topiary cats

topiary cats

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Rooms Where it Happened

School is out all week........ these school holidays were so much better when I was a kid and I was off.....well, we didn't get as much time off back then....

Anyhow Daya is out of school this week.
Yesterday she came to work with me. It's been a while since Daya has been in the office.  I hooked up her computer, got her internet, and she played Roblox all day. And she had an unlimited supply of free hot chocolate.

After work we went to yoga together, and it was a good class.
Daya did a pretty excellent shoulder stand.
She's good with the physical part, but she needs to grow into the internal/mental/meditation part.  The infinite part. It is a different pace than she is used to- it isn't dance class. Also, she is eleven.

The asanas do have very definite benefits, internal and external, but yoga isn't about how well you can do it, or even how flexible you are (or are not).
It isn't about showing off, or what anyone else thinks.

Daya is definitely a natural yogi (she even has a yoga name! Daya is a Sanskrit name) and I wish she would embrace the internal part a little more, because it would really help her right now, but it isn't something that can be forced.

A lady came up to us after class to ask how old Daya is and to say she is really amazing. Which is true.

Then we finally used the gift card Rob gave Daya for her birthday and went to dinner.

Daya's phone ran out of juice, so on the way home we each took one of my earbuds and listened to Hamilton together.

BY THE WAY if you are not familiar with Hamilton you ought to do yourself a favor and check it out, it is seriously brilliant and amazing.

We had possibly the goofiest ride home, as goofy as possible without being annoying to others. Daya is obsessed with Hamilton, she knows the whole score and has dance moves.  I already took her to the Met to see the Hamilton portrait, Next up we have to go downtown to Trinity Church to see the grave.
Drusilla says the Museum of Finance downtown has more stuff, too.  

I grew up in New England in Newtown CT, which is a pre-Revolutionary War town (founded 1705)- so we heard a whole lot about Revolutionary War Stuff pretty much all the time.  But NYC is, of course, a fantastic place to scout out historic sites. So I'm really glad Daya is into it- we live in a perfect place to explore.

Aside from having a nice talk at dinner, I think it was a really good thing for Daya and me to just spend time together having fun and being a bit silly.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dixie and Harvey

Dru and Branwen came over last night for a little birthday party for Branwen.
Rob came over, too.

Here is a little painting I did of Branwen's cats.  Harvey (who is a girl) is on top and her mom Dixie is below. 

Pastel on black Richeson sanded paper, 8x10

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

V Day

I always do something for Daya for Valentine's day...usually chocolates.
This year I got her a box of chocolates and 2 cards... one from me and one from the cats. I sneak into her room when she is asleep and leave it for her to see first thing in the morning.


Rob took me out which I really appreciate, especially on a Tuesday night after work.

We went to a really nice place in Brooklyn- actually right in my old neighborhood a couple of blocks from Pratt. It was lovely, and the food was really good.

He also gave me a big bouquet of flowers.
The cats were intensely curious until they decided it was boring, after all.

All three cats kept photobombing my flowers...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Conversation

She: Mom please massage my back.
Me. Ok.
I massage her back, then her legs.
She: No mom! Not my legs.  My legs are fine!
Me: Since when are your legs fine?
She: Never.

Isis is pretending to be a pillow.
She un-perfect-rounded herself just in time for the picture.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Topiary Snowcat

Here is a little topiary cat in pastel. ( all Nupastel)
It is on that second sheet of blue colourfix- primed watercolor paper.
I used acrylic glitter glaze in the background for the sparkles.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Back at the Met

Last month when I went to the Met there was snow.
Same for yesterday.

Rob and I went to the Met- I wanted to show him the colonial American furniture, which he liked very much. And the Frank Lloyd Wright room.

He also liked the European Renaissance paintings.

I took this pic of Rob in the dragon mirror.

And I visited my favorite Memling painting.
I love her.

Central Park is pretty in the snow.
All the kids were out sliding around on sleds and having fun.
We found some snowmen.

Here are some more snow pictures.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Orange Clouds

Here are some orange clouds.
My focuser is kind of broken so this was a small quick study that still took 2 easel-sittings.

5x7 pastel (assorted brands) on blue colourfix-primed Strathmore WC paper.

Friday, February 10, 2017

You Can't Wear Just One

I did a double-take when I saw this.
Yep she's wearing two backpacks.

One for school and one for dance.

Thursday, February 09, 2017


It is snowing!
I'm working from home and schools are closed.
We will go out later if weather permits, I guess thesnow is supposed to continue all day...we are supposed to get about a foot.
The cats are curious about the snow!
Furball has left the window but Isis is camped out there, taking up the whole window sill...she'll be there for a long time.

Furball is fascinated by the snow.
The window is open and the snow is hitting my screen.  She was trying to catch the snow while looking freaked out.

She did catch a snowflake, and she ate it!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Hoping for Snow

We are supposed to get a good amount of snow- I heard 4-8 inches.
I would LOVE a good snowstorm; we are overdue for a good blizzard.

Taxes are done and I'm as confident as I can be about my job stability going forward....this is a huge relief.  A massive relief.

And so I need to keep conserving and chip away at the financial mountains of dance and braces and Life in General.  Dance is killing me a bit because tuition went up a lot last October and I don't know certain costs up-front, like competition fees- how much and when. Recital is here too, more $$.

And that stupid basketball game she is required to perform at in April that I DON'T WANT TO GO TO but I am required to purchase tickets for me AND Daya...$66.  I'm really peeved about that.


I need a dance sponsor for Daya. :(
That has to be how people do this- when their kids show real promise and they work crazy-hard in the arts.  If the family is not well-off they must have someone financially backing them.

But I think for the most part people who excel in the arts or go into that world as kids come from money. This stuff costs money- a lot- and that's unfortunately what it all boils down to. I'm drowning. I'm holding up a mountain with a toothpick.

Since Daya is a crazy over-achiever I don't know how I can say no or cut back...she's holding up her end. I can't argue with straight As in honors.  She's also excelling in all her dance classes. She is incredibly driven. I can't take something away that she really is working so hard for.

I have no pictures except for these nice pink clouds from the other day that look like cotton candy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Long Dark Party

There is a game called The Long Dark and I have been smitten with it for more than a year...and Daya loves it too.  It is still in alpha and right now is in sandbox is a survival game in the Canadian wilderness in winter.

In addition to the sandbox there are some challenge modes, one of which Daya and i have been playing- the Whiteout Challenge.  You have a month to gather a certain list and quantity of supplies before a massive blizzard.

So we had a Long Dark party on Sunday night.
I got several food items from the game (except I couldn't find grape soda or energy bars!)

We had our can opener, survival bow (not pictured), and our knife and whetstone. I broiled our Coho Salmon and Lake Whitefish- plain with no seasoning and it was actually really wonderful.

We did not eat all this food, no way, it was too much, but it was fun.
Daya loved it.

It was a nice way to finish our Whiteout Challenge, which we did in 15 days! 
Last night we had party leftovers and we started the Nomad challenge.

Rob went to the dentist yesterday and I went with him.  
Everything went very well.

Saturday, February 04, 2017


Rob said he has a sink in his closet that someone gave him from a job.  It is brand new.  Porcelain and mohogany, do I want it?

Rob also asked if I want him to put in a new bathroom door.

My bathroom door is a ridiculous mess.The floor is evevated and someone cut the door years ago before I moved in, so the bottom was hollow.  They covered it with masking tape and paint, but that fell off years ago and the bottom started splintering.

The cats made it much worse.

A couple of years ago I covered it with contact paper and it looks ugly but at least there aren't bits of door splinter all over my apartment anymore.

So I will be getting a new bathroom door.

Here is my new sink!  I LOVE IT!
It is in my library until Rob can come install it.

Furball and Isis were snuggling today.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Dentist Day!

Yesterday was Dentist Day.
Rob went in the morning...he just got a cleaning and a referral to an oral surgeon.
He goes Monday and I'm going with him.

My co-worker was on her honeymoon last week and she had a wind surfing accident and lost her front she needs a new tooth.

My other co-worker's cat has a dental issue too.

I used to go for my cleanings every six months like clockwork but I have missed a has been hanging over me....well, I got all scared yesterday because of all this dentist talk and booked a cleaning and got it done.  I will only see one hygienist, I LOVE her.  She was very happy to see me and said she had been thinking about me and hoping everything was ok.

I have perfect teeth.  Never a single cavity in my whole life. Lots of orthodontic work but otherwise my teeth are fabulous.  I'm nuts about my teeth- they make up for my eyes.  My teeth looked so fantastic in the x-rays and I made sure to mention it to everyone at the dentist office.  Everything is fine and I'm glad I got it done.

I didn't paint but-! I thought about it and I primed some paper.  This is Strathmore watercolor paper with some nice Colourfix pastel primer.  They are 5x7s.....sometimes a small painting that can be done in one sitting is better than working on a larger project. I was only going to prime one but a second sheet was stuck underneath and I got primer on it got primed too.

Blue Primed Papers!

I think Daya might be on the verge of starting her cycle....which really makes sense as to why she has been so miserable and unstable.  Of course I explained this to her but she rejects everything I say. She doesn't believe me. There is no convincing her.

She asked if cravings are normal, I said what are you craving? She said sweet stuff.  I asked, chocolate?  And she said YES.  I said, "Daya, why do you think I have a chocolate drawer?" and she gave me a hug.

She has been having some issues with her friends (a huge contributor to the misery) and she talked it out with one of them I hope she starts feeling better. I'm proud of her for doing that- it is a mature and brave thing to do.

Jackie said that right before her daughter started her cycle it was horrible...just awful...and then it got a little better.

I hope it gets better.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Welcome to February!

We made it!

Daya got her report card and again she has straight As in honors.
She has a 100 average in Math!!
She is on the Golden Honor Roll. Again.
And that's in addition to 15 hours of dance- including assistant-teaching 2 classes.

And she is beating herself up because it isn't good enough for her......because her total average is something like a 95 and people in her class are bragging about a 97 average. And she doesn't have a 100 average in EVERYTHING.  (Her lowest is a 90.)

It's ok to want to do well and have standards, but there is a line that, once crossed, becomes unhealthy.  I have told her this but it means nothing to her. When Daya is feeling bad and I point out something positive, she says it doesn't matter.  I hope it is just the age and she levels out a bit with this pendulum thinking.

I am suuuper proud of her, though.
Ridiculously proud.
She works so hard.

I think I have finally arrived at a point where I need to paint again.
It is a relief.
I'm hoping I get a chance really depends on how Rob is feeling.  He is at the dentist this morning for that toothache and if he needs some taking-care-of, I will do that.  It is really nice to care about someone who appreciates being cared about.

I need a meditation structure for this month.
Sometimes I need that-- I need to implement a structure of daily practice to stay centered.  I have a couple of ideas for the month but I think it might just be an evening prayer I keep on my altar.  Someone gave it to me last year and told me to use it for 21 days straight- which I did- to good effect.

I had forgotten all about it until I noticed it on my altar a couple of days ago.
So I will spend some time with that this month.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday List

1. It is SNOWING!! I love snow! Yay!

2. I woke up early at Daya's request to iron her hair.  She has a LOT of hair and it took 45 minutes...we were both late.  She said....on her own, out of nowhere, "I love you,"....  oh tweenagers. Waking up at oh-god-thirty to iron hair for 45 minutes is definitely an act of love.

3.  Daya sent me a text from school this morning telling me school gave her a metrocard...for reals.... again.....?? Well, ok, we'll see how it goes. I remain skeptical. I think it is the same as before because the other one expires today.

4. I'm going to see Rob after work. Daya has dance til 9 so I have a whole evening to fill. That means I won't go to yoga but that's ok. I'd rather go spend time with Rob.

5. Furball is Cat of the Day.

6.  I'm still not feeling 100% inside but I'm doing much better.  A little better every day.  I think I'm over the worst bits, and slowly feeling back to my normal self.  Who knows, maybe I'll get over to the easel this week.  I would like to finish the painting I have going.

7.  I am glad January is over.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Why I Like Tarot

The tarot is not a religion, it is not silly hocus-pocus, and it is not some strange kind of silly magic. It isn't something to believe in or not believe in. There is no belief involved with it at all.

It is a system, a series of focus points- that contain all the symbols and themes of human existence from a granular to a universal level.  It is very deep and layered. It does contain collective energy, and can help as a focus point for meditation and inner reflection. It is also art. It is centered around visual art.  I have been collecting decks for almost 20 years just for the art alone.

Some use it for divination, which can be helpful for answer-seeking and insight, but as far as I personally use and relate to it, it is an insightful meditation practice. I don't do tarot readings for other people.

I have said before we humans are internal and external beings.  The tarot is really about the internal landscape. It is representative of energy- themes, patterns, and dynamics either of where we have been, where we are, or where we want to be.

Like anything else, it is not something easily explained to people who have not spent any time with it or investigated it.  It is the same way I can't explain what it is like to be an artist to a non-artist. I can talk about it, but my audience won't relate unless they, too, have some kind of similar experience. If you have spent time with something and gotten to know it, telling someone else about it doesn't mean they will know or understand it. If they want, they must undertake that journey themselves.

You can pick any point in the universe and find the god-source.

Judeo-Christian traditions teach that tarot is somehow evil. And so people are afraid of it because they are taught to be afraid- but it is no more evil than, say, yoga- which also has a huge element of meditation and introspection. There is nothing harmful about it. It is outside the standard religious Tribe, and people are taught to fear anything outside the Tribe so they will stay in the Tribe.  But the Tribe has its own agenda, mostly of self-preservation.

The tarot is just one way of infinite ways to be in touch with your inner spiritual self, to zoom in and out, to connect, to learn, to grow, to find answers, clarity, and insight.

Keep on asking, and you will receive 
what you ask for. 
Keep on seeking, and you will find. 
Keep on knocking, 
and the door will be opened to you.
                                            Matthew 7:7

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Night

I had a nice weekend.
I am very grateful for the nice weekend.

Daya's switch flipped back to Angel-Daya- mostly- which is a massive relief.
Angel-Daya is cute and sweet and funny and loving and kind.
Jackie has been wonderfully supportive.
Thanks also to Lisa and Launna and Tammy, you have been wonderful and I appreciate it more than I can ever say.

Eva got me a massage for my birthday which I hadn't used yet- so I went Saturday morning and it was lovely.
Then I had a lovely afternoon/evening with Rob.

Today Jackie and I went to a nice French bakery in her neighborhood. I know we will be back there.
An orange cat lives downstairs in the bakery, too.
Shop cats and bodega cats used to be common and it was really nice. These days, I suppose because of overly-ridiculous health codes, there aren't as many cats in the shops. The cats always brought good energy to their stores, and they enjoyed being there- lazing around or greeting people. They belonged there.

Today marks six months I have been with Rob.
It feels slow and steady to me, solid-  I really think we have a good thing going.
He is a wonderful person and getting to know him has been a positive experience.

Aside from him being my boyfriend- he is my friend. He is a good friend. I truly enjoy listening to all the things that are always running through his mind. I respect him as a person- his character and his intellect.  And he respects me.  We both know a lot of weird stuff, but we know different weird stuff so I'm always learning something new.

In these past six months, we have spoken mostly every day. We always have something to talk about.
We can easily be on the phone for 2 1/2 hours.  He listens just as well as he talks. We both know ourselves and we both are experienced in being alone through tough times.

I am very deeply grateful for this relationship.

I am pulling in some tarot REALLY worked last year!
I chose The Sun and have had that card on my altar. to help bring in Sun energy.
So of course I noticed that Rob is a Leo--and Leo is ruled by The Sun.
So, yeah, that worked.

For this year, I chose 2 cards... the 10 of pentacles and the 10 of cups.  Why not aim high, right?
They are both cards about fulfillment- pentacles deals with the material aspects of life and cups deals with emotions and relationships. They are stable cards, cards that come after a progression of lessons and difficulties.

So I have them up and I invite their energy in.
This deck is Tarot of the Water, last year's 78 Tarot collaboration. (I WISH I was a professional artist...then I could apply to do a have to be professional, with a certain percentage of your income coming from your art.....that is not me unfortunately.)

For my Major Arcana I chose Judgement...which isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. 
It is 20 out of 21 Major Arcana, so like the 10s it comes after a process.  It contains a meaning of awakenings and realizations after past trials which come from a self-evaluation.. Absolution is a big theme.  A new start and forgiveness.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tweenage Angst

Everything is Terrible.
Mom is the reason Everything is Terrible.
Mom is horrible.
Mom is awful.
Life is Terrible.

Usually things with Daya and me are good, and then they aren't.
And when they aren't, they are intensely bad in her perspective.
Eva says she just needs someone to blame when she is upset and that's me because I am closest.
I'm the only one there.

In all honesty I don't think I am a bad parent.
Other people have freely told me everything I am doing wrong, but I still don't think, for the most part, that I am a bad parent.

I can, from the most honest core place inside me, say I really am doing my best.

My greatest weakness is my lack of people and close relationships, especially family.
I'm not dumb enough or egotistical enough to pretend it doesn't matter because it does, and it has effects I just can't do anything about. And so I try and deal with it the best I can.

The truth is that Daya has a lot going for her and I devote quite a lot to her well-being and development.  And it is never enough. It is never good enough.

If I can give her 80% of what she wants, it is the End of the World and Everything Is Horrible and Terrible because of that missing 20%.

And that's what she focuses on.
She forgets about everything positive.
The time we spend together.
The stupid jokes we make.
All the times I am there for her and I support her and listen to her.

None of it matters, not one little bit.

Over winter break she was out of school for a week and a half.  I also took vacation during that time.
She had a really nice Christmas.
She had a really nice New Years.
Her friend came over.
We went to the movies.
We went shopping together and got a few new things for her room.
I went out painting ONE DAY and she went out that same afternoon to go hang out with her friends.

And Eva asked her how was her winter break and Daya gets the Sulky Face and says, "Mom went out painting and left me alone. There was nothing to do all break and I was bored."

Out of all that, so many nice things that I made a huge effort to give her, so much time spent together, she comes out with Mom went out painting and I was alone and miserable.

She was alone ONE DAY for TWO HOURS before she went out to meet her friend!

Anyone speaking to Daya on her perspective of me and Life in General would think I am pretty much the worst and most negligent parent on the face of the earth.

She is currently miserable because there is a week off from school in February and we aren't going anywhere.
And it isn't enough.
It is never enough and her world is in shambles and it is my fault and she is determined to be miserable no matter what.

It makes me feel worse than garbage.

Maybe I never really stood a chance.
Maybe with my background, maybe with the way my marriage ended, maybe with the circumstance I found myself in, I never stood a chance to get through this successfully.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Perhaps it is because I have never been a social media addict to begin with, or because I am in lock-down mode...but staying off Facebook is remarkably easy.
I think it may have been more of a mindless habit than anything else. I don't miss it.

Yesterday I still felt continuously bad but today I am feeling better.  The better-ness feels tentative and fragile but I'll take it. I almost want to paint again. I can almost eat again too.

Rob came over for dinner after work yesterday and it was really wonderful having him over. He is kind to me. He is a good presence. And he likes my cooking.  He also drove me to pick up Daya from dance, which was especially nice because it was raining.

Jackie is coming over after work tonight and I'm happy about that. 

It is so hard to get out of a bad fear vibration...such a struggle...I'm trying to just surround myself with calm energy, nothing heavy.  I'm looking for places to go and get higher energy. I need this fragile stability to last.

Daya doesn't like budget cuts even though dance isn't impacted, except I told her only absolutely essential recital dances. She complains because she gets bored, like during school vacations.  But she has to keep realizing her non-essentials budget is already gone.  She gets dance and that is a LOT. It means there are things we can't do because those resources are spent.  And I'm paying off a lot from last year.  And still paying for braces. And freaking out over job stability.

I know she doesn't mean it but sometimes Daya's attitude comes across like nothing is ever enough, or good enough. Or there is always something wrong to complain about. It is really defeating because I'm holding everything up alone in a precarious balance.

A lot of the girls in dance with her are extremely wealthy.
So it seems to her sometimes like everyone gets everything except her.
And some of them do get everything.
As far as I know the other families at the studio are either 2 parent households or both parents are involved somehow. And extended family, too.

(I picked her up from her friend's father's apartment once and ohmygod think luxury penthouse at the height of helicopter flights, The whole place was windows too...and a balcony...I have never seen an apartment like that before, let alone been in one. It made my humble home seem like a hole in the ground.)

All this has been explained and I get upset when she still keeps asking me for stuff,  I know she doesn't have the perspective and that is ok.  But I don't like the sulkiness.  Maybe all tweens are pre-dis-positioned to act like Everything Is Terrible.

I'm not going to refill Pebbles' prozac prescription.  She has been on it for a while and it shot up in price.  So I'll wean her off probably next month.

The Thankful List:
*health- mine and Daya's

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I decided to go off Facebook for a while.

This horrid anxiety that just will not go away.....and when I do manage to get my equilibrium back- every time I go on Facebook I feel about a thousand times worse so I'm off.

Never in my life have I had such intense and relentless anxiety and upset that lasts this long.  I think most of it is job fear, but I have had that before too and it always subsides after a while.  Whatever this is just will not go away no matter what.

There is a huge and intense amount of fear, hate, and almost-panic going around in society and aside from my job-fear, I think it's very possible I'm picking up on it and it is really affecting me in a bad way. So I need to just step out of it all and work on getting my inner stability back.

I'm falling into too much fear about things that are unknown- all of which are future unknowns. I am scared at having no safety net. I feel very unsafe, overwhelmed and alone. This isn't healthy and not a good way to live.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


My friend Teresa is a cellist in the Bronx Opera, and she comp'd me tickets for today's performance (Sir John in Love).

I have seen several of the opera's performances and they are all superb.  Today was no exception.

Since Teresa gave me 2 tickets I asked Rob if he wanted to join (Daya HATES the opera), but I know he doesn't like opera so I also told him- and meant it- that he really doesn't have to go. He also has a toothache.

Last night he said he would let me know this morning, and I again told him it REALLY is ok if he doesn't go and I truly don't mind going alone.  (And I really don't mind one bit.)

And he said he wanted to go.

So we went into Manhattan together and he started to really not feel well.

I pretty much made him go home at intermission.
This poor guy really was feeling terrible despite pain meds AND really doesn't like opera... poor Rob.  It was so good of him to go out today with me despite everything.

Here is a picture he took when he was on set in NJ.
I love this picture; he looks great.

IRONY: my fuckwit piano neighbors are right this second blasting opera through the wall.  
I like opera just it is suuuuperloud and annoying right now.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Yin Yoga

This week has been horrendous and brutal and I am still messed up.
Daya also had a horrible week.

Aside from the whole (ex) friend thing,  I have had zero money- I mean stupid-broke. I got paid yesterday so it was just a matter of scrounging through the week. Daya has had a bad week as I mentioned, but is also expressing unhappiness at things I can't really change no matter what. She is taking it out on hating her room. It is so defeating because no matter what I do she is unhappy. That includes spending time together.

I saw Rob for a very short time on Tuesday evening. We haven't really spoken since. He was cast for the tv show Discovery ID and has been in NJ on location for the past couple of days.  He did call me yesterday from the set but the reception was terrible.  We haven't ever gone this long without talking.  And it really is ok and I don't mind at all, this is a cool thing he is doing.

Girls we all know Aunt Flo loves a good shitty week too.

I remain stressed about work.

My left shoulder is still hurting.

There is a child living upstairs running around constantly. I will write the landlord; something really weird is going on upstairs. I think either shift- living or the tenant is using that apartment for people coming here illegally.

The stuff with **, while not life- changing at all, is triggering for many reasons that I just have to deal with.  And I know what those reasons are and there is no fixing them. Ever.  There is just managing bad episodes and coping.

Here is a link about effects on children of depressed mothers, including post-partum depression.

Here is a link about how the early relationships in childhood impact relationships (or lack thereof) through adult life. 

Yin Yoga.
I am writing this post from the Gold room at Integral Yoga Institute.
Since I am so messed up I need to get out and to a place of good energy.
Because I am slow this morning I thought about staying home.
I thought,  I will make it if the express trains are running local. And they are!

I thought maybe I should not go into Manhattan today because of protests but then realized how silly that is. So I am here.

Though I did not make the 10:15 class, I saw there is a Yin Yoga class at 11:15 so that is what I am waiting for.  I am glad to be early because it is peaceful here and the space is what I need.

There is a nice garden out the window.

Update: I took the F train home and it was the Protest Train.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

At Least the Sun is Out Today

Sometimes things just need to be processed before they disappear.
I wish- seriously wish- that I could just think things away, dismiss them and they're gone, but life doesn't always work like that.

Today I'm not feeling great but since everything seems to have culminated it's all on the way out.  When I am feeling bad it just needs a little time.  I'll feel better in a day or two; I know how it goes. This is familiar ground.

Like splinters. it hurts before extraction, it hurts during extraction, and it hurts after extraction but it starts to go away.

My shoulder still hurts but less than yesterday.  Again, just like feelings, it slowly works its way out. I know it is stress-induced.


I hear the owl in the night
I realize that some things never are made right
                                                -Indigo Girls

Here is something I have thought about a lot in...well, I-don't-know-how-long, Recent-ish time, a couple years perhaps.

As humans we are internal and external beings.
There are things we can physically observe (our bodies, etc) and things we cannot physically observe (thoughts, personality, emotions etc).

Sometimes it happens that a person has an ailment with their physical body- loss of limb, an injury, a disease- that causes chronic pain that- in truth- will never go away. It is something they will have to cope with for the rest of their life. It is, in a sense, easier to define because it is physically observable and measurable. There are also many unknowns about our physical makeup and what causes dysfunction.

Sometimes it happens that the internal non-physical structure of a person gets messed up. It could be genetic, It could be trauma, abuse, childhood situations which can impact a person for the rest of their life.  Something has happened on a core foundation level and everything else developing from there just has to make due the best it can, if it can.  If a tree grows crooked, for example, it can never be made straight. If a tree grows straight, it can never be made to bend.

Sometimes there are things that are missing which can never be replaced.  Or injuries that cause permanent change. And this may cause an internal chronic pain issue, such as depression. And depending on the source of the dysfunction, it can definitely be something that won't ever go away.

There are different ways to manage chronic pain issues, some better/more effective than others, but the point is that in these situations it may never go away and that is something to be looked at and accepted.

It doesn't mean a person is weak, and it isn't even a failing.
It just is what it is.

The point is that you can make huge efforts, good efforts and all you can do is manage something that will never go away.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stupid Week

I'm having that kid of week where everything feels very wrong.
I wish it was possible to just think away being so scrambled.

Daya had a bad day yesterday, some friend drama I guess, and she didn't want to talk to me about it.  I guess that's ok but she was really upset and I wanted to help and support her, but she just shuts me out.  I know it is the age but it is still hard.

I sent ** (person who unfriended me) a text asking why.
I need closure, because this is someone I have known for a long time and I just can't figure it out.
As stupid as it is, I'm upset.
Nothing back. Maybe later.

Work is...ok for now but I'm still worried and I can't shake it.

No sun all week.  Gloom.

** called me and I'm glad she did.
She is furious with me because of something that happened several months ago.

** has a 21 year old daughter, and ** has been going through some drastic life changes and I heard through the grapevine it was going very hard on her daughter.  So I reached out through Instagram to offer support if needed.

** looked through her daughter's phone and correspondence and saw the text, was furious I did that, and that's why she ended our friendship.

There are other things that could be said here but most of it has nothing to do with me so it doesn't belong on my blog.

**I reserve the right to monitor Daya's phone and she knows that but I also believe in privacy.

Monday, January 16, 2017


I have been working on a painting, a large-ish layered oil painting.
The whole thing is a bit of a color experiment and it still needs a lot of work.
But my clouds are coming along nicely- I did a lot of work on them last night.

Here is a detail of the upper right corner of the painting (oil on panel):

It is still very wet and I have to wait a few days before continuing.
This is fine though because this painting needs a lot of thinking.  It needs to sit while I problem-solve.

Today I went to Jackie's for tea, which was lovely.
Another friend of ours came up in conversation and Jackie asked if I saw something she posted, which I had not so when I went to check I discovered I had been unfriended.

I'm trying to wrap my head around it because absolutely nothing happened.
We haven't been in touch much lately, because she has a whole new group of friends she has been hanging around with and I gave up on keeping in touch other than Facebook because I never got a response. I know the unfriending has been very recent.

And now I have been unfriended (??) and have also found out she has apparently resumed friendship with one of the close friends I lost in 2015.....and this person she resumed friendship with told me several times she didn't even like her very much!

This is stirring up a lot of not-good feelings for me, mostly a lot of hurt and sadness.
People like to talk about others a lot and they never look in the mirror.  
It's always someone else's fault, and they never look at how they themselves are treating people.
Those are the people you have to watch, because they will always turn on you eventually, too.

Or they do and say things that break relationships and they reconcile it in their own mind, and then want to act like nothing happened because they got over their mind...without ever resolving or apologizing with the person they said terrible things to. And then, somehow, there's something wrong with me for not acting like nothing happened.

Daya was also hurt by those events.

I know the above saying is true but it still hurts and I feel very sad.

I wish I was the kind of person people wanted to stay friends with and keep around.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Something Furball Does

I have those cube organizers instead of a dresser.
One of my cubes contains my....errr, not-daily-wear-unmentionables.

Furball likes to pull this particular cubby open and unpack all my lingerie.
She only ever unpacks this particular cubby, though she could unpack others if she wanted.

It is extremely odd.

I think she's laughing

Friday, January 13, 2017

Budget Cuts

I am freaking out about money.
Rent went up $80 and dance tuition went up $50.
A month.  I am feeling it.

Basic life expenses outpace salary increases, and I really desperately am hoping to stay employed in my current situation.

So, budget cuts.
No one is immune.

*Art supplies- OUT OF BUDGET not unless I run out of something vital, like white oil paint.
It is a good thing I am ridiculously stocked in everything.

*Sephora- OUT OF BUDGET-  A while ago I already limited myself to only Urban Decay unless it was seriously- very seriously- WOW. And I have been very good about sticking to it. I have passed on many items due to this rule.  It is a good thing I'm not interested in anything new from Urban Decay, including their two recent palette releases.  I will replace things I run out of, that I always use, but I am also well-stocked in this area.  I admit I did get the new Kat von D Alchemist palette, which I love tremendously and I'm glad I got it.

Duane Reade- MOSTLY OUT OF BUDGET- I love Duane Reade (Walgreens).  They are my go-to place for anything non-Sephora and I can also spend too much there.  Essentials only!!!!!!!! And if I can get it cheaper elsewhere, I will!

Munchie and Q-Tip really don't cost much at all so they won't notice anything.
They are both old and I'm not getting more when they pass.

The cats are used to getting 2 cans of wet food split three ways every morning. Effective immediately, they will get 1 can split three ways each morning. Their dry food  (Blue Buffalo, it is good stuff) will remain unchanged. my cats are grain-free and will continue to be.

We won't be going out to eat nearly as much as we used to. She'll have to deal with less sushi, or better yet I'll teach her how to make it herself.  I have the tools and it is easy.
I'm going to say no to a lot of little stuff.  She gets an allowance so she's used to me saying "Buy it yourself," 
Mostly Daya will notice we don't go out as much.
She already knows resources are limited and her budget goes to dance.
She may complain if I say no to something but it's minor.  She already understands.

I don't know if it is all my own economic anxiety, or if I am also picking up on the extreme angst and anxiety surrounding the inauguration, but I'm feeling pretty intense anxiety.. It is maintaining in the long-term that has got me stressed.  Things are getting harder and harder every year- and the things that used to be pathways to security just aren't anymore.  Society is changing, and not for the better.

This week Rob has been working long hours and I haven't seen him all week.
I'm going over to his place for a little while tonight.
He always makes me feel better.
In so many ways, he is a very healthy presence and I am very thankful we met.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cat of the Day

Daya still designates a Cat of the Day.

Today, Isis is Cat of the Day because she is very fluffy, and she hasn't been Cat of the Day for a while.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Got Unfriended

"Walking out your front door 
is dangerous business" 
                                 -Bilbo Baggins

So recently I made a Facebook connection with a painter in New Zealand.
Let's call him CH.
He's a really good painter, and a cool person.

I posted a pic on Facebook of Daya hanging upside down on the subway.

Here it is, and it is a great picture.

CH made a comment about it isa good way for her to break her neck and I'm just standing taking a picture. We had a short exchange, nothing rude at all, but it must have triggered something because he unfriended me.

Ok, let's pause and think about this.
I'm a pretty safety-conscious person but I'm also not a worrier and I think people are a bit too paranoid sometimes.

I know the subway.
I was there....I took the picture.
I know the situation.
I know the physical space.
I know how the train moves.
Daya knows how the train moves.
She was also not very high up.  Those bars are not terribly high- even I can reach them!
I know Daya is very strong, and I know the only possible strong jarring motion would be if the train stopped short unexpectedly, and that almost never happens. Seriously, almost never. AND if it did, she could reach to the side or up and just hold on. It is not a big deal. It would be extremely easy for her to brace herself if needed.

I explained to CH that Daya was fine.
He started talking about strong able-bodied people in spinal injury wards.
Ok, yes, I know that exists. But it is not proportional to the situation here.
But there is an evaluation of a known environment balanced with risk factors.
This is nothing close to something like a car accident or a high-impact sports situation.
Or skateboarding.
Or even possible dangers of bike riding.
Driving down the highway.
Normal every day activities that pose far more risk than Daya hanging upside down on a subway bar for about 5 minutes.

I maintain this was not a very dangerous thing for Daya to do for the 2 stops we were on the train last night.

But something must have really triggered CH because he unfriended me, which I think is a very strong unwarranted reaction.

We need to take risks and let our kids take risks.
The world is full of danger. everything is a risk.

Society is over-paranoid, sanitized, and kids are suffering for it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Time Travel

Daya wanted to to go the Museum of Natural History on Sunday.
As we were getting ready, she said she wanted to go to see ancient Egypt because she is studying it in school. (I also studied ancient Egypt in 6th grade.)

I told her Egypt is at the Met, not Natural History.
She said, "Oh yeah! Let's go there!"
I said, "You want to go to the Met? Really?" (Daya doesn't like the Met.  She thinks it is boring.)
She said, "Yes!"

Well, I'm not going to argue!  I LOVE the Met!
So that's where we went.

Daya is into Pokemon Go, and she says Manhattan is the best place to get whatever it is they get.
I thought the Apple store at 5th ave would be a good spot, and it was. Plus it was on the way.

Looking straight up from the Apple Store elevator

We went to Egypt.

Daya with Anubis

Deciphering hieroglyphics


Daya with Sekhmet

The museum was setting up for some fancy event in the Temple of Dendur so it was roped off.

Daya had some change and she wanted to make wishes for her, me, and Rob.

Then, since Daya is into the musical Hamilton, she wanted to go to the American Wing to look for the portrait of Alexander Hamilton. She even went to the Met's site on her phone to look up the exact gallery.

One thing Daya LOVES is the glass elevator in the American Wing.
I took the BEST pic of her.  She didn't pose intentionally, it just happened she was looking at something and I wanted to take a pic from the other side of the elevator, and there is a sculpture that reflects through the glass.

More pics from the American Wing.

I love this cat in the sculpture court.

Central Park covered in snow! ...and someone's dog.

We found the Hamilton portrait.

From Colonial America Daya was Museumed Out, but I needed the growly lion pic we always take if I can mamage to get her to the Met. The lion is in Greece.

But on the way to Greece I wanted to take a detour because I like this fountain.

When we got to Greece, we stopped in the Greek Sculpture Court because it is one of my favorite places ever.

We made more wishes for her, me, and Rob in the fountain.

And then we went to go roar at the lion.