Friday, December 30, 2016

Checking In Before the End of the Year

I've missed two weeks of the Project Thoughtful Thursday posts. I'll pick up next week, after the holidays.

In the meantime, here is a tiny little tree I sketched during my time off.

And another little sketch that I photographed and tweaked a bit before adding the words.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Project Thoughful Thursday Week 16

"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken wing bird that cannot fly." Langston Hughes

I'm late this week. I've been doing some of the lessons in the online class I'm taking. I've finished one lesson, and one angel, and I've started another one. In between that, I did another face in the style of the first lesson. Only this time I did it on a piece of watercolor paper.

She did end up telling me not to give up! I didn't have any alphabet stamps to stamp the words on so I wrote them on a thin piece of paper and used the gel medium to glue the paper to the board and then blended it in.

This is the one I did on watercolor paper. But this time around I had the better oil pastels than what I had on the previous project. I carefully measured so I could put her in a mat with an 8X10 opening, then I proceeded to make her hair go over my  measuring line. I decided I could just lower her where all her hair would show because it would matter if I cut some off her dress. I forgot about that when I glued the words on tonight. I may have to end up cropping some of her hair off at the top. I think I could have made the letters a bit smaller. Eventually I will break down and order me a set of alphabet stamps just like Kelly Rae Roberts has. LOL I wish I could hand letter them, but my hand is not steady enough anymore.

Also, I made the picture smaller so it would load faster. The words say, "singing lullabies of love and hope for the little ones." 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 15

I've been chatting with a friend on Facebook. I said I was going to bed but here I am writing a blog post. For one thing, tomorrow is week 15 of Project Thoughtful Thursday. For the other thing, tomorrow will make five years that my son has been gone. He's been very much on my mind lately. I read about another friend on Facebook who also lost a son, and how he usually takes the day off. When I read that, I asked myself why I couldn't be smart enough to do that for myself.

I have people whose hearts will be with me all day tomorrow. People in my face to face world, and people in my online world. Because of so many horrible things happening lately, most everybody is familiar with the quote where Fred Rogers told him to look for the helpers in times of trouble. On a very individual and personal level, that's what I've learned to do during the harder times of my grief. I'm very grateful for the people who will be holding me in their hearts on this day.

How serendipitous that the card for week 15 would be this Anne Frank quote about all the beauty left around me. It's true, there is still so much beauty. We can get so distracted by the darkness and the sadness and the tragedy.

My angel I'm working on for the painting class is coming along. I have a list of supplies I will be ordering on Friday. Part of the work we are supposed to be doing is listening to the whispers, the words our angels might be wanting us to hear. I think I hear mine saying, "Do not give up."

I'm trying very hard not to. I hope you are too. We need to be here to share our gifts with a hurting world.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Hopeful Beginnings

I've had a chance to watch the first lessons of the Spirit Wings class. The supply list is daunting. The good news is that I do not have to have everything at once and I have a few things that I can use as substitutes for some of the supplies.
I've watched the first video lesson and an exciting thing for me was seeing her use vintage wallpaper scraps for her backgrounds. For years I've had this thick book of wallpaper samples. I didn't know exactly what I would do with it but I knew it would come in handy eventually. This morning I tore the pages loose from the book and tore smaller pieces to place on my board. So far this is what I have. I would have glued it down but unfortunately I have matte gel medium and I need gloss gel medium.

I don't know how much farther I will go because of a few supplies I will need that I have not found locally. I could try to make do with what I have. I'll see as I move along. But I will be ordering a few more supplies soon.

(To be honest, I glued the pieces down before I left to play tennis. I can tell you that my pieces did not get put on exactly like I have pictured here. I'm going to work on adding a couple of layers. We will see what happens.)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

A Most Relaxing and Rainy Weekend

On Friday I went to the student art show and bought my annual piece (or two!) of pottery, one of my ways of honoring my son's memory.

It was one of my favorite kind of weekend, cold and rainy. I stayed in most of both days, reading and writing, and taking a few pictures. I read a book on intuitive painting, collage making, and read parts of another one about writing essays. I also read some in a special edition of Flow magazine. It was an issue dedicated to mindfulness.

And my most exciting news of all, that I almost thought wasn't going to happen is that I signed up to take an online painting class from Kelly Rae Roberts! She had this fantastic sale to celebrate ten years in business and the sale was so good that it crashed her website. It took several days to get it up and running again. I got an email with the new coupon code and the news that the deadline to order was midnight Saturday! We were in the country, where I do not have internet, and only spotty service on my phone. I didn't think I could hold a connection long enough to sign up. We decided to go in to the small town nearby for dinner and I was able to sign up while we were there. I am so looking forward to taking this class!

Here are photos of my pottery finds.

This is a small piece. It's thick and heavy. I'm not always looking for perfection when I'm shopping for a piece. Sometimes it's the pieces that seem to have a few flaws that speak to me. 

I've gotten to where I really like the bowls. This one is shallow and you can see where they didn't get the color all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It also might be just a little bit lopsided but that's okay by me!

This is just a grouping of things I found around the place at different times.

I forgot to mention that I pulled my tiny sketch book out of my purse and did a loose rendering of our tiny Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 14

Another timely reminder, this one from dear old Albert Camus. Having the bendy heart still doesn't get us out of suffering, does it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Lone Guy

When you're stuck proctoring an exam and you have one lone guy left who is taking his time, you search the desk and then the floor for a writing instrument. Finding a cheap Bic and a piece of paper from the the trash can feels like a small dab of light in a dreary set of circumstances.

So I wrote a few silly things and then I thought about how I didn't want anyone to find my silly words and so I wrote more words on top of the original words. Then I turned the drawing upside down and wrote another layer of words. Then I filled the guy's shirt in with words. I think this is an art journaling technique. It might be called "Over Writing," but I didn't find anything to confirm that in my quick Google search. I took a photo of the sketch and doctored on it in one of my phone apps. 

This was a good distraction while I waited. December, the Christmas season, the season of Winter, these are times of waiting in darkness. It's here. May we all find the small dabs of light we so desperately need in these times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 13

"Step Away Sometimes," another timely reminder! 

Step away from the dessert table.

Step away from the loudly opinionated relative who will want to ramble on about politics.

Step away from that questionable looking vegetable casserole.

Step away from the offer to bring some of it home with you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

At Least I'm Not Depressed

Yesterday I got the urge to walk up to my grandparents' house to poke around. It's been steadily falling down after Hurricane Rita dropped a tree on the front porch in September of 2005. My grandmother was already gone by then, my grandfather had passed years before.

I don't think I'm clinically depressed. I do believe I am very sad. For one thing, the holidays can be tough times for me, as I know they are for many other people as well. And the current state of our nation weighs heavy on my mind. But here's the thing: I've had enough tough times to know that they do pass. It seems the light does manage to return. Or small pockets of joy can be experienced even in the midst of the tough times. Oh, and here's the other thing: sometimes things get worse before they get better.

For some reason, it's sometimes comforting to go see the decaying condition of their house. I walked around in the yard and felt some strong feelings of love and sadness and loss. I picked up a small thing or two and came back feeling somewhat better.

One of the things I picked up was this frame from my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration. When I cleaned it up a bit, I found a photo of them.

I heard my grandmother's voice saying "You kids stay away from that well hole!" For years, I believed if I messed up and step in it, I'd slide right down and never be found again. You can't tell from this picture but the "hole" is only about two feet deep. It seems to be filled in with dirt and pine needles. But you couldn't pay me to step off in it to test that theory! No sirree!

This is the back entry to the kitchen. The curtains are still holding onto what is left of the window. And there is some sort of ceramic painted picture still hanging. Just out of view is the spot where the kitchen table was, the place where my grandfather and I ate the peach juice after everyone else had left the table. The window was the one we checked to see who was coming up the road when we heard a car. The chicken yard was back there, and the barn, and in earlier years, the outhouse (I know, ugh).

This is the view into the living room. A bedroom and the bathroom are in the piles to the left of the photo. I don't know how much longer what is left will stand. It's not safe to go in anymore. Occasionally I find myself tempted to push on one of the walls just to see if it will all tump on over. I'm afraid it would kick out and take me down with it so I keep my hands to myself.

My sister is having surgery tomorrow. She's had a rough row to hoe with her colon cancer. She's still sporting the temporary illeostomy. She's had anemia, infections, gall bladder pain, blood clots and all sorts of tough stuff to deal with. The surgery is to remove the gall bladder. It seems the stones have plugged up a bile duct and so she is jaundiced. Her liver enzymes were up. Please pray for her if you would.

This is the time of year it was when my brother went into the hospital the last time before he died. We just never know how long we have.

And December 11 will make five years my son has been gone.

Tomorrow will be my last day of work and then the Thanksgiving holiday.

Life goes on.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 12

Another one from my friend Ralph, "Do what you can, suffer when you must, love and grow as you are able."

Seems to me to be a very timely reminder, especially in times where there seems to be so much that isn't right that you don't know what to do.

Here's the other version, without the frame. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Project Thoughful Thursday, Week 11

I really need to work on this in my home and in my life. 
I've made some progress but not nearly enough. 

Sunday, November 06, 2016

My Cannas Are Dying, I See Light, I See Darkness

We've got a place "in the country" that we go to on weekends. Occasionally I wake up in the night needing to go the bathroom and I'm a bit disoriented about which bedroom I'm in. All I have to do to figure it out is to look for the light. At home, the window is on the wall to my left and there is a security light from someone's yard on another street that shines in that window. In the country, it is our own security light that shines in the window directly in front of the foot of our bed.

What I've been thinking is that when I am in a dark place in my life, I go through the same process in trying to orient myself as I do when I'm in the bed needing to get to the bathroom--I look for the Light. And usually I'm pretty good at finding it. I never do it perfectly, and sometimes it takes a bit of time wallowing in the dark, but I have, so far, been able to get there, to seeing the light.

I was sitting on the porch this afternoon and noticed the light shining on my dying cannas. It was beautiful. I don't know that my photos do the light justice. But also, the flowers are dying. Perhaps my photos do their dying justice. Winter is coming, I am surrounded by reminders of impermanence and loss.

I've been reading After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, by Jack Kornfield. It's been a thought provoking book to read. I'm including a few quotes below with the photographs of my dying cannas.

"The middle path embraces opposites. It rests between them, acknowledging both truths, caught by neither side. In this way we can see from one perspective that human life is suffering, with its inevitable string of losses culminating in sickness, aging, and death. Tet from another perspective it is also grace--filled with gifts and blessings, expressing a divine beauty. Our very suffering can be seen as the grace that brings us to compassion, surrender, and humility." 
Jack Kornfield

 "With a strength of heart we can respond to the full range of human emotions, unafraid of feelings, neither identified with nor embattled by them. When we accept the feelings as impermanent and impersonal forces, we can be free to honor them without being shut down or frightened or caught by them." 
Jack Kornfield
"We cannot live only in the world of light." 
Jack Kornfield

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 10

A quote from the book "A River Runs Through It." I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and still want to see the movie.

I'm not sure why this quote touched me so, but it did.

Monday, October 31, 2016

For the Mourners Among Us

There is a clinic where I work and they treat young children. There are often chalk drawings out on the sidewalks. Sometimes A,B,Cs, sometimes a hopscotch grid and sometimes a drawing. Children play here. It's a happy thing for me when I see their games and drawings.
It's a poignant thing for me when I see a tiny tombstone with no name, but just a word, "Baby." I think even the most dull among us would recognize the loss of hopes and dreams that is carried in this small space.

And let me be clear, it doesn't matter how young or old a child might be when taken by death, it hurts, and "you feel like the days you had were not enough."

On the evening of the first day, you lie down praying it's all a dream, that you'll wake up and your world will be righted. But in the morning you wake again to the hard truth: your child is gone. This continues for some time until eventually, you mostly get your head wrapped around the truth. As I've said before, the topography of your ground has been forever altered. But gradually you settle in to your "new normal."

Then a friend has a niece who is experiencing the loss of her son. You imagine her days and you remember how it was, all the waiting to know, the planning for the services, the raw grief of your loss. You relive your own grief, but from a stronger position than in the beginning. You feel everything again, but this time it's not about you. It's about this new mother who has been inducted into the club no one wants to join.

And you can't quite figure out what to say to your friend because words aren't worth much on occasions like these. Presence is. But you're so far away. All you can think of is how hard this is going to be. You count the loss, which can never be counted. You hold the friend in your heart. You hold the grandmother in your heart. You hold the mother in your heart. What else can you do? It's one of the hardest things a person can ever go through. No parent is supposed to bury their child. But it happens. All the time. You pray this mother will survive her loss.

I read this quote recently. It would not have comforted me in the early days of my loss. It's part of a larger article on connections between the child self and the adult self, where she is musing over a photograph of her and her older sister, who is deceased. She herself was much too young to actually remember the day of the photo, but she says this, and she asks questions--

A person whom one has loved seems altogether too significant a thing to simply vanish altogether from the world. A person whom one loves is a world, just as one knows oneself to be a world. How can worlds like these simply cease altogether?  --Rebecca Goldstein

Apart from what I believe about eternity and life after death, one thing I have appropriated for my own comfort is that my son is alive for me as long as I am alive. I carry him deep in the muscle memory of my heart. It's not the same as him being here in the flesh, but my memories of him do bring me comfort, as do the stories we tell each other as a family when we are together and remember him. This is the hope I have for this bereaved mother, that one day, and it will take some time, the memories and the stories will bring comfort and a smile, that she will find her way in her grief, and eventually walk again on steady legs. The loss will never go away. That hole will always be there. For right now, I know that hope seems nearly impossible. I don't know that it gets easier. Most of us learn to live with it. Most of us learn a new way to walk. Some don't. 

Just today I learned that a friend of my eldest daughter lost her brother Friday in a bicycle/automotive accident. Just a couple of weeks ago, I ran into this friend's mother. We hadn't seen each other in many years. We weren't ever close friends, just allies in raising two girls. But we talked a good while. We talked about my son. We talked about my breast cancer, and she told me about hers, about how it'd been nearly fifteen years and now they were seeing something suspicious. We went our separate ways, comrades in breast cancer. And now we are comrades in that club no one wants to join, those parents who have buried their children. Another cycle of grief begins. I don't know that I will make it to the visitation or the funeral. My good intention will be to check on her in the coming days, to be present with her in her loss.

In October, there is always another little boy I remember. He was a childhood friend who lived in our neighborhood, born two years before me, and died in 1969. He was 11 years old. I think of his mom and dad and his three sisters when October rolls around. His parents were among the first ones to come to my parents' door when my brother died, saying they remembered my parents' kindness when their son died. They were years into their grief journey, evidence that one could survive the unthinkable.

I think of these sons, and daughters, too, and I wonder what might have been.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 9

I'm late! I went to Houston Thursday afternoon for checkups and didn't bring my laptop. I received good reports from the doctors I saw and I don't go back until January. And again in February. I suppose eventually it will get to where I see everyone in the same three month increments., rather than one doctor this month and another doctor the next month.

I don't usually worry too much about the cancer in between my appointments. But in the week before the time to go in, I tend to get a bit nervous. That usually manifests itself in me overeating or choosing not to pay much attention to my exercise routine. I woke up this morning and realized how relieved I am that everything went well and all the reports were good. Now I'm ready to live again! And hopefully I'll get back to my routines and to better watching what I eat.

Anyway, this week's reminder is, "I have what I need." Truly, I do. And had there been negative reports, I trust that I would have had what I needed then, too.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Saturday Before Last

Last weekend, my parents and I went off on an adventure. There was a cemetery we wanted to see and there was another event we wanted to check out at a local historic sight (site?). I brought my big camera with me and got only a few photos.

These two photos were taken in the yard before we left. The blossoms are from my Confederate Rose, also known as Cotton Rose, officially known as hibiscus mutabilis. The flowers start out white in the morning and turn pink towards the end of the day. It's not uncommon to see both older pink flowers and newer white blooms on the bush at the same time (which fascinates me to no end, but I am easily fascinated).
Grave house alley! It was an oddly peaceful and quiet place to walk. One of the fenced in areas had morning glories growing all around. Another one had plastic saw horse frames propped up against the fence. We aren't sure if they were significant to the deceased or if they were just placed there by someone attempting to tidy things up a bit.
These two photos were taken at the Talbot Pierson Cemetery. The grave houses were originally placed to keep wild animals from digging up the graves. My dad and I have postulated that the houses were all redone at some time in the not too distant past, since they all look very similar.
It's so true. Sometimes you just have to decide to get out with a bare bones plan (or none at all) and see what you come across. If your eyes are open to it, you will find delightful in the oddest of places.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Let Go!

My son's best friend came riding up one day on a brand new dirt bike. My brother had a small street bike and a mini-bike so I'd had some experience riding. It had been years since I'd been on a dirt bike so I wanted to take a little spin around the yard. I wasn't brave enough to get out on the street. I went slow but it left quite an impression on the kids. My oldest, who was 12 or 13 at the time, decided if I could do it, she could too. Her brother and his friend helped her on the bike and started giving instructions.

They had a whole story to tell. My daughter didn't realize she needed to hear the whole story and then act. So when they told her to hold the clutch in and turn the throttle, she did. And when she started rolling, things went downhill fast. She squealed. She headed straight toward the building in our back yard. The whole event only took about 30 or 40 seconds but it lasted long enough for her whole life to pass in front of my eyes. Once that started happening, I hollered at her to "LET GO, LET GO!!!" She was squealing up a storm and didn't hear a word I said.

Finally she managed to wedge it between the corner of the building and an old light pole beside it. When she hit, and the bike stopped, she jumped off and ran like the wind toward the patio. We were all dumbfounded for a minute. We recovered and ran to check on her. I sent my son's friend to check on his bike. I was afraid it was torn up, but it wasn't. When I got to the patio I asked if she was okay and she was. When I asked why she ran away so fast she told me it was because she was afraid she was going to be electrocuted.

I don't believe she ever got within spitting distance of a motorcycle after that. 

This was one of my favorite collages from my recent 40 day project. I thought of the motorcycle story not long after I'd done this one. I was profoundly relieved when my daughter let go that day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 8

"I am precisely where I am supposed to be today."
Sometimes I'm not too sure about that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 40 of the 40 Day Art Journal Adventure!

So now I've done 40 days of collages in my little journal. "What next" was the question I posed on one of the three collages I did today. I'm not sure yet about the specifics of what I'll do. Here at the end, I pulled out my watercolor crayons (Neocolor II water soluble Caran d'Ache crayons) and my oil pastels (same brand as the watercolor crayons). I bought them several years ago, when I started my current job. They were on markdown at the campus bookstore, plus I got a discount above and beyond the sale price. I was thrilled with the purchase, so thrilled, I guess, that I thought I needed to put them away and not "waste" them on anything I did! I thought I didn't like them. I thought I couldn't use them. I guess, after nearly 40 days, I got a little freer and a little wilder and a little braver, so I used them. 

I found this quote in an article in "O" magazine ( . She died of breast cancer in April 2012. She's one of my newest heroes. If you care to read the article, you might understand why.

I've been thinking lately of the October of 2016 I imagined back in October of 2011 when I was first diagnosed with colon cancer. I'd hope to be celebrating five years cancer free. Instead, I've weathered a second attack of colon cancer and breast cancer. Saying it, seeing it here on the screen, I feel like I sound a bit snake bit. That's not at all the way I feel. My prognosis looks good on all counts and I am grateful.

My five year anniversary didn't quite turn out to be the party I'd expected but that's okay. I don't know what might have been. I only know what is, right here, right now. I've been shaped and strengthened in the last five years. Katherine Russell Rich (read the article) said she learned, in times of uncertainty, to ask herself "How are you right now?" She said her answer was, "Fine. Stay right here, in this day, stay right here in your mind." I think that's mostly a pretty good place to be, "right here, in this day."

"What next?" You keep on living, you keep on doing. You don't spend too much time wondering how much time you might have. You put one foot in front of the other, and keep on moving the best you can.

(Yeah, sometimes that's easier said than done, I know.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be Gentle With Yourself, Week 7

More collages. I'm almost to the end of the 40 day art journal. Tomorrow is day 40. I think I'll take a break for a few days to ponder how I am going to proceed. I'll have to think about the things I've learned by doing this.
I've enjoyed the words, I've enjoyed the images, I've enjoyed the cutting apart and the putting together. I've been a quilter in my past and this feels a lot like that, but working with paper rather than cloth.

I like the feeling of being born by bits, and not all at once. Always, a work in progress. It occurs to me just now that this process of working daily on these small collages, with no real thought of the outcome or of completing a finished project is a metaphor for my life. Each day I do what I can to do the best I can with what I have on that day. I don't look too far ahead but instead try to keep my mind right here in the present. I enjoy the process without thinking too much about the outcome.

I had a counselor type person tell me once that I sure spoke in metaphors a lot. I heard that spoken with a disdainful tone, and for a long time, I tried to nix the metaphor from my speech. I tried to come out and say what I had to say, without trying to couch it in symbolic language. Another thing I've learned from doing this practice for almost 40 days is that I love metaphor and visual symbolism. I have a poet's heart, and I'm not going to apologize for that. Not that anyone is asking me too, save for my own self!

I read an interesting article on Brain Pickings this week ( It was from an essay written by Mary Oliver, something about the third self. In it, the author quoted Mary Oliver, saying, "In creative work — creative work of all kinds — those who are the world’s working artists are not trying to help the world go around, but forward. Which is something altogether different from the ordinary. Such work does not refute the ordinary. It is, simply, something else. Its labor requires a different outlook — a different set of priorities." I'm no Mary Oliver, but I am, on my own small scale, in my own small spot in the world, a creative person, and an artist. The things I do are not earth shattering. They aren't things that will spread very far beyond my own small circle, but they are important, they are my things to do.

Part of my being gentle with myself is accepting that, and not comparing myself to others. I am only here to do what only I can do. Also, maybe I can accept that it is good for the world that I am here?!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Terminal (Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 6 Writing)

There is a woman in my circle of acquaintances who I do not know very well. She is divorced from a doctor, and the last several times I've been in her presence, she has been talking about how she is redoing a home in the historic district of our city. She was always friendly enough but because I am introverted and somewhat slow to warm up to people I do not know, I did not know her well. I made some assumptions about her. It is no assumption that she is older than I am. My assumption was that she was a woman accustomed to having her own way. I also assumed she probably didn't have much depth to her.

I might have been wrong in my assumptions.

Last week, when I saw her in the group we have in common, she casually mentioned that she really hadn't had many dark times in very many years. And then she added that she was now facing terminal cancer. It is a relatively new diagnosis. She still looks and sound healthy. One would not guess her health is in such a dismal state by looking at her. She talked about how grateful she is, how she has been able to talk to her children and her grandchildren about her illness. She mentioned a few bucket list things she'd been able to do. Those things involved time with her grown children. It sounded to me like there might have been some restoration in those relationships. She is a pretty woman. There was a smile on her face.

When I went over to her after the meeting, she was the one who first offered a hug to me, not the other way around. And she asked me how I was doing with my own health concerns. She radiated peace.

I won't see her at this month's meeting. I'll be in Houston doing all my checkups. I don't know how quickly the disease will progress. We are not friends, only acquaintances. But she is who I thought of when I pulled the card for week 6 of the Project Thoughtful Thursday prompt. She was a healthy woman who probably expected to live to see her grandchildren grow up. Her life was changed in an instant.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Project Thoughtful Thursday, Week 7

I'm sorry I'm so late getting this posted, I knew yesterday was Wednesday, I know Thursday follows Wednesday, I just sort of somehow thought this was still Wednesday! I was thinking I'd write tonight about last week's prompt, and post this one tomorrow. Then I realized today is Thursday. O.o!

We all have different things we do when we are angry, or upset, or disappointed. My modus operandi is to turn on myself. I can be vicious toward me. I'm learning to catch myself when I start treating me in a way that I would not treat my worst enemy. I'm getting better at extending grace toward myself. When I forget, my friend Ralph is good at asking me to please be a little kinder to his friend. It's true that sometimes we can do things for our friends that we can't do for ourselves. But I'm also learning to be kinder to myself for own self.

I'm grateful for friends who help me to see the positive things about myself that I sometimes cannot see.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Day 31 of the 40 Day Art Journal Challenge

Today was Day 31 of the 40 day art journal challenge. I need to figure out what it is I have learned from doing this, and how I feel about it. But right now I'm just enjoying the process.

This was day 31. 

This is something I wrote for a Three Lines class I took online (Maya Stein). I'll probably end up tweaking this and using it with one of my photos for a "thang."

Living in the "and" is a bit of a philosophical mantra for me. I have to remind myself that I am both my strengths and my weaknesses, not just one or the other.

I love the colors of this one. 

I want/need to write about the PTT week 6 prompt. I hope to get to it in the next day or two. If I don't, I'll forgive myself.