The Power Within

11:12 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
The power within, the power within...  This is from Sponge Bob, sometimes we go around the house saying this and we all laugh.  But the thing is the power does come from within.  When we can master our mind, control our thoughts and our reactions to whatever comes our way, that is when we have the power.  I tell my girls all the time that they can't control how people act, but they can control how they react.  Great advice, when am I going to start taking it?  Nobody can beat me up like I can.  Nobody can knock me down and control me like I can, so why not start lifting myself up?  I went to a therapy session last week and one of the things that she talked about was our own "self talk".  Last night at a study meeting a guy made a point that if we had a loud speaker coming from our head broadcasting our thoughts, we'd probably start changing them.  You are the most important person in your life, so why do we abuse ourselves so much?  This is all very baffling.  Apparently I am a slow learner and have to keep telling myself of my own self worth.  I have many people in my life that uphold me, tell me what a good job I am doing with this or that.  But the most influential speaker in our lives is ourselves.  So today I am declaring I Am Worthy!  I do have the power within, I just need to draw from it and use it.

11:48 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4bf9e69baad88eef152da11f/cranberry-cosmos

Sunny Sunday Morning

7:50 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
The sun is shining!!!!  That in itself is reason enough to be uplifted today and to smile all day long.  It is family day and while the rest of the family is still tucked in bed, I am awarded a few moments of peace and solitude.

Maybe we will go on a hike today.  Or work on the yard.  Or play volleyball.  Or...  The possiblities are great when the sun is shining!  Yesterday at the first farmer's market of the year, I picked up a loaf of huckleberry beer bread from the Polebridge Bakery.  It is devine.  Made even more so by using it to make stuffed french toast.  Yummy!  Sunday is the only day that we get to do the big breakfast thing.  At least until school is out.

Whatever we decide to do today I want to be in the moment.  I was reading my friend Melissa's blog the other day about being in the moment and it made me think about how little time I spend there.  It seems that I am always doing at least 2 things at once and thinking about something else while I am doing them.  So, I am really trying to focus and be present.  Life is good and I don't want to just keep going through it, I want to LIVE it!!!

Fruit Punch Days Ahead!

7:56 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
April 16th each year on this day I find myself once again unemployed.  It is something that I am so ready for and am anxious about every time.  It was a very slow year this year and I only worked about half as much as usual, while financially needing to work twice as much!  Funny how that works, but here I am.  The no more paycheck thing was really starting to worry me, but Janelle put her spin on it and told me "that's okay, now your money will just come from different sources".  Yes, like from selling my artwork, which is what I love doing anyway!

I think that most of us have met someone somewhere and thought, "they have the best job in the world, they get to do what they love AND get paid for it!"  While we might not be able to find a career doing what we love that pays all the bills, why not still do what you love?  Even if it is only for a couple of hours a week? 

I have this sign that I made that hangs above my kitchen sink.  Do One Thing Everyday That Makes You Happy.  Seriously, how hard is that to do?  One thing.  Not 10, just one.  Try it.  It's Fun!!!

I was featured this morning in this treasury titled "Fruit Punch".  She used my fruit punch card and a bunch of other fun, bright things.  I get so excited when someone puts me in the treasury.  I keep wanting to do one myself, but it is really hard to get one listed.  I'll keep trying.

I am ready for fruit punch days.  After getting snow at the beginning of the week I am relishing the sunshine that is at this very minute streaming through my windows.  I can hear the birds chirping outside, they are happy too. 

Spring time in Montana

6:51 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
This morning as I drove Kyra to school the sun was shining on the snowcapped mountains and it was beautiful.  Majestic.  By the time I took Gracie to school an hour later it was not so sunny, but not too bad.  Went to Jade's and came out to gloomy clouds and a bit of drizzle.  Had lunch and watch hail/snow accompanied by terrible wind.  Came home to grab something and was pointing out to Janelle the flowers that were starting to come up.  I have some "flags" that originally came from my great, great grandma's garden in South Dakota.

As I sat down to write this outside the window was snow everywhere and now there a big patches of blue sky.  Go figure.  I love it when people ask me what the weather is like in Montana.  It depends on what time you ask the question!

I hope that you all have more balance in your life today than the weather here in Montana.

The Spirit of Ida

5:15 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
"The human spirit is the strongest force there is. As long as our spirit remains unbroken, there is no defeat. In life, spiritual defeat always precedes actual defeat. Guard against laziness, cowardice, carelessness, impatience, resignation and despair which corrode the human spirit and sow the seeds of defeat." - Daisaku Ikeda

Have you ever met or even just been in the same room with someone who's spirit, their life force, is so strong it is like another presence?  Ida is like this.  She is by and far the kindest, most giving person I have ever had the pleasure to call my friend.  She is generous beyond belief with her time and friendship and genuine heartfelt caring that just touches you deep down inside.  Her spirit is infectuous, there is no escaping her!  I thank her everyday for sharing her strength and spirit with me and for making me to want to be a better person.  And not even just want it, but know that I deserve it, and that is way cool.  Thank you Ida!

Don't grow up too fast

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So often these days I think  of Kyra as 11 going on 16.  She just seems to be growing up entirely too fast!  She is always texting her friends, logged onto facebook, talking on the phone or rolling her eyes at me when she thinks I'm not looking.  She is a great kid, don't let that other stuff fool you.  Yesterday she cleaned Gracie's room for her and baked her dad a birthday cake!

On Friday, her friend Madison came for a sleepover.  They took my camera and said that they needed to do new photos for their facebook.  Great.  I could only imagine what they were going to come up with.  So I did the job of downloading the pics onto the computer, thinking that I would be able to edit out whatever I didn't think was appropriate.  Wasn't I surprised to see what fun, silly pictures they took of each other!  It's good to know that she isn't growing up too fast, it just seems that way.

Happiness

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"Where can we find happiness? Happiness is not found in a tranquil life free of storms and tempests. Real happiness is found in the struggles we undergo to realize our goals, in our efforts to move forward."- Buddhist Philosopher Daisaku Ikeda


So that is what struggling is for...oh, I am so on my way to happiness!  Seriously though.  Don't you always seem to feel so happy and content once you have weathered the storm and come out on the other side.  Or reached for those impossible goals and achieved them?  Nothing good ever came easy, right?  I have to say that even with all of the struggles that have presented themselves to me lately, I really am happy.  I have never felt more at peace in my entire life.  Life is good and I am happy.

CHERISH

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The word of the day boys and girls is CHERISH.  My girlfriend Cheri loves this word, her name is in it!  And I do cherish my girlfriends.  I love how different people in your life bring different "spice" into your life.  Cheri brings laughter and inspiration.  She is the most talented, creative person I know.  Seriously, she can make ANYTHING!  She is amazing.  Janelle brings JOY and happiness.  She has been in situations that would bring you to your knees, but she always manages to rise above.  Lemonaid out of lemons, spreading sunshine.  Ida brings peace and silliness.  She can sugar coat any situation like nobodys business.  And I absolutely love her for this.  My family.  I love them with all my heart.  Each of them has such unique personalities and they each bring out the best in me.  Thank you.

Inspire

3:16 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I got a compliment the other day from a gal that I had met a few weeks ago. Actually I went to high school with her but didn't know her back then.  Technicalities!  ANYWAY...  She told me that I inspire her! I was amazed. I know that I am inspired by people, movies, books, art... all the time, but to actually be the inspiration for someone else. Pretty darn exciting! Who inspires you?  Tell them, it will make their day!

Bodhisattva

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"There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed. " - Buddhist Philosopher Daisaku Ikeda

I've been thinking a lot about "bodhisattva".  Everyone has it in them.  It is their compassion and wanting to help others.  Why is it so hard to remember that we should try to appeal to someone's bodhisattva nature when we are dealing with people.  Sometimes I get it.  Like when I go around fundraising for the school asking for donations.  A lady from school had asked me once how I got people to give donations all the time.  I had told her that I just go in there expecting that they want to help.  And usually they do.  So why do I forget this same concept when asking for something that I want/need?  I think that sometimes when we are in a bad spot it is easy to feel like its us against them.  That the system works agains us.  But think about how ridiculous that sounds.  Why would that person be in that job/position if they didn't want to help.  Why is it easier to set ourselves up for failure rather than success?  Human nature?  And why?  Well I say poo on that go with the concept of bodhisattva and see how your view of the world changes.  Invite joy in!

Letting Go

10:20 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Letting go.  Funny how these 2 little words can have two very different outcomes.  It can be losing or winning.  Walking away or opening your heart to something new.  Or both at the same time!  Today I was challenged big time.  I had the opportunity to yell "in your face, comes around goes around" to a couple of people in my life that have caused me grief and suffering, which then led to bitterness and anger.  It has been festering for years.  I would think that I was "over it", but something would come up or be said and I was right back at the beginning.  But not today.  Today I let go.  I am done with it all.  All the bitterness, pain and drama.  The blame and the hurt.  Done.  I let go.  And boy do I feel good!  A physical pressure has been lifted off my heart.  Literally I felt myself let go of it.  Amazing.  Why didn't I do this years ago?  I know why.  I wasn't ready.  Well I am now and I let go!  Watch out world, here I come.

ATTITUDE is Everything!

8:29 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay so we've all heard it before in so many ways, but until you actually believe it...  Since I have been chanting/praying I have had such peace.  Normally when the crisis hits, I hide.  In a curled up ball, closed off from the world in a black pit of depression.  Not anymore!  My whole outlook on life has done a 360.  Everytime that I am hit with another "crisis", I turn it into an opportunity.  Don't get me wrong, yesterday I was having a couple of moments, but with a little help from my friends, I was able to look at all of the positive in the situation and build on it.  The positive attitude applied to my situation caused me to seek out other opportunities for help.  I know in my heart that I will get through this and my attitude is going to help get me there!

PEACE

7:49 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Peace. Isn't that what we all wish for? In some way, shape or form. Peace in the world. Peace in our souls. Peace in our relationships. Peace from finacial burdens. Just PEACE!

WooHoo!!!

10:04 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I just had 2 sales in 2 days on etsy!  I am over the moon excited.  I have so many new things that I am working on to add to my shop.  I am looking into adding prints and listing some originals.  I am also WAY excited to be adding some fun jewelry using my art work.  Will post as soon as I get some made.  I feel that I am on my way...

These are the cute cards that Barbara of Touch of Silver just bought.  Check out her etsy shop.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/TouchOfSilver

Thanks Barbara!  Now I need to get my butt out to my studio to get these orders packaged up.

PS - Worked a full day at office today.  Life is Good.

OMG I Did IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

10:57 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
It is going on 11pm.  I have been sitting at this damn computer since about 3:30 trying to get my etsy shop to be on my blog.  Thank you http://curiouspug.blogspot.com/ for you help.  I felt like I was losing my mind!!!!  This really shouldn't be that hard.  Unfortunately I do not speak computer.  Pretty much not at all.  I thought that I knew a thing or two, but no, I don't.  And the crazy thing is, I still don't know HOW I ended up getting my shop on here!  Good grief Charlie Brown.  Good Day and Good Night :)

FAITH

12:44 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
 I just saw this great quote, "For me FAITH means no worries".  I love that.  That is where I am right now, for this moment anyway.  I have faith that things are going to work out and that I do not need to be worrying about everything all the time.  Today, I believe.

Count your blessings

8:55 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Count your blessings.  How many times have we heard or said these words, but haven't really thought about what they mean?  I know I am guilty at times of not counting what is right in my life, but focusing on the negative.  Oh sure, I always think that I am grateful for my family and friends, but what about when I am wanting to shake the snotty tone out of my 11 going on 16 year old's voice?  Am I thinking about how wonderful it is that she has her own attitude and opinions, that she is finding her way, creating her own self?  No, but I am trying. 

A little trick that I have been doing lately is to follow up my complaints with gratitude.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving myself license to bitch about everything that isn't just how I think/want it to be.  No, just when I catch myself whining, I stop and myself and add "but at least I have a .... so I know I shouldn't complain.  Case in point.  I have gone back to work, its tax season.  I started 3 weeks later than usual, but at least I have a job!  Some days I only get a half day in, but that is 4 hours more than if I had the day off.  When I have an extra day off that week because we are slow (which has been at least on day everyweek for the past 3 week) I get a "bonus" day to take my granny to lunch and maybe work on some new art.

What a difference this has made in my daily outlook!  Trying to put a positive spin on each situation isn't always easy, but how rewarding to be "forced" to count your blessings and not wallow in what is not right in your life.  I have always told my girls that you can't control how other people act or what they say, you can only control how you react to it.  Do you let it get you down, or do you put your own positve spin on it?  It's about time I started practicing what I preach. :)

Today's blessings count.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family; supportive, encouraging friends; a job; Jim's huge increase in sales at work!; a warm, welcoming albeit messy home; a studio to create art in and nurture my soul; a computer to be able to connect, share and sell my wares; the sun that has been shining so much lately; my newfound confidence that I can create my future!; chanting as a way to bring peace into my life; my dogs for their sloppy wet kisses and unconditional love and devotion; Oliver the wonder cat for his wonderment at every little thing; meeting new people and their inspiring ideas on how to stretch my art into new directions; for ......

Ah-ha Moment

8:31 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Isn't it amazing how the universe works?
Yesterday, my good friend Ida calls me up and invites me to her Buddist Womens meeting.  Now, I was raised Christian, so this was a little "out of the blue", but I was game.  Let me just say, "Oprah, I have had a life changing, Ah-ha Moment"!  I have always believed in karma of sorts, you know, what comes around goes around, do the right thing or it will come back to bite you in the ass, but had never gotten to the point where I had put faith into that idea.  Actually ASKING for something AND EXPECTING it to happen.  Amazing concept!  What became evident shortly after my arrival, is that this last week of my life had been leading up to this moment.
I have never been in a room with so much positive energy and love radiating from every single person present.  It was just so focused and powerful.  They practice chanting, and this was quite foreign to me, but the concept was clear- show gratitude, thanks and respect and know that you are worthy of asking for what you need AND that you will receive it.  At the end of the meeting I decided that I wanted to join this group of women and Ida being the wonderful, giving woman that she is, offered to cover my $30 membership and I could pay her back later.  Well, I thought no, I will write the check and I will expect the money to cover it will come.  Isn't that the idea?  While I was at the meeting my phone had  rang, but I had silenced it and forgot about it.  After I got home I checked messages and it was a woman calling to give me an order!  Now, let's back up a couple of days.  Thursday night I had said to Janelle that this lady had called me a few weeks ago and had professed her love of my cards and her disappointment in not being able to find them all year round.  Well, I had just opened my etsy shop http://www.thinklocal.etsy.com/ and proudly told her that she could look at my designs and just call me with her order.  So I was thinking, did she lose my number, change her mind, why hasn't she called?  Low and behold, I called her back and she placed an order for, you guessed it $30!!!  I was ecstatic!  But wait, there's more.  I also received two emails yesterday, one giving me some great ideas on expanding my artwork onto clothing ect. and the other was from a gal that is opening a shop and interested in buying some of my cards and possibly prints!  I am so grateful and excited and just brimming with joy.  Bring it on! 

So...a continuation of yesterday

8:01 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
So... I have been lying in bed for the last hour, too many thoughts whirling around in my pea brain, thinking "what can I write about today".  Lots of topics were popping up shouting "pick me, pick me" and then as often happens with aforementioned pea brain, I jumped into "what to do today".  Actually jumping on the treadmill was jumping up and down wanting to be IT, but then I thought that no, as I actually have yet to master my ipod, and when I say master I mean figure out how to work the damn thing, that lead me into thinking today I am going to put some new songs on that sucker, which then got me thinking about what to download.  E.N.D. by the Blackeyed Peas won out, but of course that isn't even on my computer yet since the whole thing decided to go belly up last month.  But not to be daunted I got out said ipod ready to go.  Of course, it is dead.  As in no battery, not dead like p.o.s. computer was last month, and there is the tiny problem of not even knowing where the cd is.  So... other grand plan of the day was to grab Miss Gracie and go out to the shop today to make stuff!  This got me thinking, why do I always refer to it as "my shop" as in workshop and not my STUDIO!  Who am I , Santa?  I am sure that it goes along with the artist hangup.  From now on we will refer to said space as "studio".  So fancy.  My studio in its past life was a daycare.  It is kinda funny, what used to be the "quiet room" naptime area, is where my saws and power tools reside.  There is nothing quiet about a table saw!  Of course whenever I go out there my two labs, Sara and Sophie, also think that they need to go too.  Sara loves the saws and the shop vac.  Whenever I get the vac out, which isn't often enough, she wants to be vaccuumed too!  Sophi on the other hand is like, what the heck, we don't need to drag that noisy thing into our peaceful exsistence of chewing on everything in sight!  :)  So off to the shop, er, studio!  Let's be an artist today.

Here I go...

10:35 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »

Artist. BIG Scary Word. I don't know why I have such a hard time with it. Is that normal? Did Picasso give a rat's ass whether people thought him an "artist"? Let's not get carried away and think that I am comparing myself to Picasso. I'm not. Jeez, no wonder I get so freaked out by the title. I hear the word and all of the greats pop into my head. The funny thing is that I have no problem tagging artist to all sorts of other people. Just not me. One time when I went to Vegas with a girlfriend and some people at the blackjack table asked me what I do, and I just blurted out that I was an artist. I figured it was okay, you know, the whole "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" deal. It was sooo exciting! I felt naughty, like I was getting away with something. It's not like anyone was going to call me on it, blow my cover. My husband always introduces me as his wife, the artist. And my girlfriend Janelle calls me that word any chance she gets, I think that she's hoping I will just eventually give up and admit that maybe I AM an artist. So, here, in the world of blog, I will declare, I AM AN ARTIST. Afterall its not like your going to hunt me down, call me out, and take away my birthday.