Category Archives: personal ramblings

Thoughts on voice

The post below was started months ago and has sat dormant in my drafts folder. I’m sharing it now and incorporating a few additional thoughts related to where I am today. ============================ I’m a week into an 8-week online writing course. Yesterday, my homework was to think about my writing voice. The first portion was to write a few keywords that describe my voice as it is today. The second half was to think about what I want my voice to be, keeping in mind…

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Friends and French cuisine win out over fear

We moved here from Portland 3-1/2 years ago (almost 4 for Paul). I still feel like a newcomer. I do know where all the stores are and one what aisles to find my favorite grocery items. I know the backroads that will sneak me past the traffic and lights on the main thoroughfares. I’m familiar with those things. But, with the amount of history that most people have in this community, I do still feel like I am the new kid on the block. However,…

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A dream and the storm it created.

Last week, I had a dream that brought back to the surface some deep seated insecurities and fears. To tell it, the dream is silly and not even all that interesting. I was at the home of one of Amira’s friends from school. Amira, for some reason, wasn’t there. Her friend and her mom were. The dream began to stick with me as the mom was showing me what she had built while our kids had been at school that day. It was a foldable…

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The courage to practice art

Yesterday, I was working on a painting for a dear friend that she commissioned from me. I’ve been painting, tweaking, looking, experiment and trying so hard on this piece. It just will not come together. I was so frustrated that I just about broke down and cried. Actually, when Paul came in and asked how I was doing, a few tears did fall. I watched a video short with Ta-Nehisi Coates. In it he says: I think breakthroughs come from putting an inordinate amount of pressure on yourself…

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Get onto the bus!

You have to take the bus. There are no express taxis or cars that will pick up the random hitchhiker.  Unlike the bus that you REALLY don’t want to take, you can’t shake your head, wave your hand at the driver and have them pass you by. There are certain buses that have your number on them. You have to get on them. And you have to take them to their intended destination. Well, you don’t have to. You can try turning tail and running…

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Point Lobos on Christmas Eve Day, Part 1

The day before Christmas, we ventured out to explore Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. The ‘we’ I refer to was myself, Amira, Paul, my cousin Doug, Mom, Dad and Aunt Carol. Piled into two cars, we took the short pilgrimage from Monterey to the reserve. The skies were a flat gray and the wind was cool enough to warrant and make us grateful for cozy knit hats, bundling scarves and coats to hold warmth to our bodies. We parked next to an inlet of water.…

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Making our way for the holidays

My side of the family, each Christmas, converges at one of our homes to celebrate the holiday. This past season, after too many years away, we met in Monterey, CA. Monterey is where my Uncle Daryl and Aunt Carol have lived for a few years shy of forever. We left home Saturday evening and made it through LA by the cover of night. We missed all the traffic and buzzed right on through. (So nice!) We spent the night in Thousand Oaks. We slept in, ate…

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New Year’s Day 2015

For the almost two years that Paul, Amira and I lived in Portland, we attended the Unity of Portland church. We participated the White Stone Ceremony, both years, during the holiday season. The ceremony involved receiving a small rectangular white stone. By the end of the ceremony, after a message from the pastor and time for meditation… we were to think of one word to write on our stone. That word would play the part of map and guide for us into the new year.…

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Trying more than twice… a lot more

I never learned how to draw. I paint abstracts because I love color, pattern and texture. But, I also paint abstracts because I can’t draw. I’ve never taken an art class. Well, almost never. I started a Drawing 101 course in college. I dropped out pretty quickly because everyone in it was an art major and had been drawing the better part of forever. I was better suited for ‘How to draw a recognizable stick figure’… Today, Amira was practicing her piano. It hadn’t yet…

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Looking for fall and finding more

Yesterday morning, I received a text that said: “Fall Color Picnic?” It was from Natalie. I hope it makes perfect sense to you that it took me a negative nanosecond to reply: “Yes!” We went last year. <– Side note: for more fall beauty from last year – click on those two links. And… see this same day from Natalie’s side of the experience here. It’s well worth it – she has gorgeous photos! Last year, we said we would visit again. We both meant…

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An invitation and reminder that “Man is free at the moment he wishes to .” – Voltaire

Bear with me. This is going to be a long post, but I do hope and intend that it will be worth your time. This week I took on, for realsies, writing a book. It’s something I’ve thought about. I’ve never started it because I’ve always talked, rationalized and FUDed myself out of it. It’s been quite the week, as I’ve started writing, listening to my brain spew out every-last-reason-known-to-man as to why I should immediately knock off this nonsense. I’ve grown a lot in…

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The skies have grown overcast and the air damp. The marine layer has made its way up the hill to where we live. I like it when it does this. I like the cool breezes and the introspective and slightly melancholy mood it creates in me. I feel the call to self-nurture. That’s one element of living in the PNW that I always loved and do miss. I like the the feeling of wanting to curl up on a really comfy corner of a couch.…

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Throwback Thursday – Because I trust myself

Sharing for Throwback Thursday – written 7/14/11 Title: Written for me, because I trust myself. Do you trust yourself? I was raised not to. Being raised in a brand of the Christian church, what I was taught was I am always suspect. And not just suspect, but guilty. Themes that were branded into my mind and soul included: I’m not safe. I am my enemy. I cannot count on myself. I can’t trust myself. I am not good. I am fundamentally fucked. (Forgive the language,…

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