Tuesday, November 18, 2014


We have a couple of altars in the house.  The main one is the living room fireplace that we never use.  Except as an altar of course.  That one has the statues of Odin, Frigga, and Thor.  There's also usually a couple of skulls of various fauna, but that's just because I like skulls and use them to decorate.  We change the look of this altar pretty regularly, and usually with the seasons.  Soon well have evergreen branches among the trinkets and stockings hung under the gods on the mantle. 

The one in the kitchen is kind of a family altar.  There are little bits and bobs that either came from, or remind us of someone close.  Someone here or someone that has passed.  The kitchens is where I do most of my spiritual work too, so most if not all of my tools are kept there.  My candles, knives, incense, etc.

Now I'm setting up a new altar in my studio.  So far its just the housing.  I'm not sure what will ultimately go on or in it.  It will grow organically I suppose.  The altar itself was suppose to be made into a doggie bed for Mojo, but for those of you that don't know, Mojo tried to attack Bam, so he was sent away.  Sorry, but no second chances there.  But its too nice a piece to not use, so an altar it is.  It adds a bit more storage space to my already cramped space.  Bonus. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

So apparently im old now

There is a distinct difference between your 30's and your 40's.  I've been in my 40's for a week now, so Im pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.  And its weird, but in the last week I really have become a lot more aware of the differences. 

I swear, and I just don't care.  Sometimes the only thing that can make you feel better after an exasperating day is a long and soulful exclamation of "fuuuuuuuuuck".  I'm fine with that.  I like my salty language, and honestly I'm not looking for anyone's input on my vocabulary choices.  If I feel the situation calls for a hearty "BOLLOCKS" then by gods I'm yelling "BOLLOCKS."

I'm sexy and I know it.  Hawt is actually a better term.  Beautiful.  Majestic.  Yes, I have a "strong" nose.  Crooked front tooth.  I'm fluffy at best.  But my sexyness has so very little to do with my actual features, and EVERYTHING to to with my mental state and attitude.  I'm amazing because I believe I'm amazing.  And I am.  Call it charisma, inner light, whatever you want.  Maybe its just being comfortable in my own skin. But I've got it. And on that note...

I will wear what I want when I want to. Ill be honest, in my 20's i would not have ever worn leggings, but damn.  40 is all about the leggings.  Most comfortable thing on the planet. I love them.  Even jeans are becoming too binding anymore.  Plus by wearing leggings I don't have to change before yoga.  I'm already dressed!  I'm not dressing FOR anyone, and I'm sexy no matter what I wear, so why not dress the way I want to?

I am never going to be a size 4 (and probably not even 10).  I have been trying for over 20 years to loose 10-50 pounds.  I weigh more now than I have any other time in my life other than in the third trimester of pregnancy.  And honestly, I may never loose it.  OK.  I'm still healthy.  I eat real food, and as little of it is processed as I can.  And there's something that diet companies don't want you to know... food tastes good.  Its super yummy.  So as long as I'm healthy, who the fuck cares what size I am?  Not me.  Not my husband.  Or my kids. 

And so...

I'm not looking for outside approval.  No, not even yours  I think turning 40 just made me more aware of who I am.  I truly appreciate who I am.  I am beautiful (see above), creative, talented, and amazing.   And it'd OK that I recognize these qualities in myself.  I doesn't seem to matter to me if no one else ever does.  My favorite quote is Coco Chanel "I don't care what you think of me, I don't think of you at all."  

Nothing on that list would have been possible even in my early 30's. 

But at 40, I'm down with it. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014


We got the DVDs for season seven of Big Bang Theory (no spoilers please, I won't be seeing season 8 until its out on DVD as well) and I've finished watching them.  I jealous.  Of Penny.  Not for the body or the hair, or even weirdly of Leonard, whom I find just... Yummy.  But because of her decision to quit her job and devote her life to her art. That takes guts. 

Not sure that I have those guts.  Well, I DO, I just have an even bigger streak of responsibility.  Maybe that makes me a bad artist.  Maybe I'm just not ready to commit yet or something.  I'd love to, don't get me wrong.  Its just that things are tight enough without taking away an income. 

Although quiting my job ala Penny is a particularly pleasant fantasy of mine.  Especially after days like today.  A body can only handle so much frustrated clenching. 

I guess that kind of begs the question...  Am i a bad artist because I won't quit a job I hate,  (am good at, do well, and am apparently suited for, admittedly.  Will never quit, certainly). (With the exception of winning the lottery, they would never see me again), in favor of keeping a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs?  Does it make me a bad mother and wife because I even consider it?  Or am I just bobing along like everyone else, waiting for some lightning strike? 

But I can commit to spend more time in the studio.  I'll try to carve out an hour or so a day.  Even if I don't get anything accomplished, its getting me into the routine.  Im going to also try to actually DO the Artist Way homework.  I lasted a week last time with the morning pages, but I never did any of the other exercises.  I can try to do that.  I'm also thinking of going one of my older stuff and gessoing over it to start over.  Some of my first works aren't really representative of what my style is evolving to.  I still have a couple blank canvases squirreled away, so I'm not at that point yet.  Just something that's been festering in the back of my mind. 

I'm not willing to make Mark very the financial burden.  I'm just not.  Its not fair to him, and were in this family together.  So until the lottery comes through for me or my paintings finally take off, I'm stuck here. It really not that bad a place to be as long as he's here with me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Seeking My Tribe

today is the last day of Bloom True Boot Camp.  and i'm both ecstatic and sad.  ecstatic because this has been such a life changing experience, i honestly could have never thought at the beginning that i would be where i am now.  i will be forever grateful for this experience.  it has deeply and profoundly changed me.  and it has strengthened my resolve to become the artist i know i am destined to be.

today's prompt is to gather my tribe.  these are women and men that inspire me, egg me on, make me a better person.  i'm related to some, friends with some, some i've never seen in person, and some i've never even said two words to.  but they are all special to me and help make me who i am today.  please meet my tribe:

my mother Barbara Westcott - my mom has inspired me every day of my life.  to be a better person, to be a better mother, to be an amazing artist.

my niece Meghan Blake - she is one of those truly special souls that has followed her bliss and makes it work.

Andromeda Ross - she has been with me through thick and thin.  we may not talk every day, but we have always been there for each other when we need each other.

Deina McIntosh - Deina is so very deeply my soul sister.  we've never seen each other face to face, but i know her and love her like she's been in my life since the day i was born.

Dallas Tomasello - my sweet baby girl.  i would not be who i am today without her.

Mark Tomasello - the man that started it all.  he allowed me to bloom into who i am today and never lets me apologize for who i am.  i do not say this lightly when i say that he has saved me.

Danni Suplicki - she is such a talented artist and inspiration, and meets me geek for geek in all things geekery.

Chris Zydel - she is an amazing artist.  she inspires me every day to create and let my goddess flow.

and yes Flora Bowley - her book changed how i paint.  and her boot camp has changed everything about how i create.  today is her birthday, and i cannot think of a better present to her than to live my life EXACTLY the way i want to, as is her example.

this is my tribe.  stitched together by love and respect.  you all mean so much to me.  thank you for coming with me on this journey.

i love you.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Be Brave

today's #bloomtruebootcamp is to be brave.  i started this out on facebook, but it's too long so i've blogged it.
here is my bravery.

I am:

a mother
a wife
a pretty damn hot looker
a wit
a brilliant mind

a scared little girl
a survivor
a terrified mother

a slightly neurotic zombie apocalypse conspiracy theorist
a yogini
a mediator

a crone
an aspiring Volva
an empath
a kitchen witch
a heathen

a geek
a gamer
a nerd

a liar
a cheat
a person that has broken an oath
a person that's vowed never to do it again

a lover of the truth, even when it is so painful

a feminist
a humanist
a person that thinks it's just stupid that we still have to be these things, but we really do need to be right now

a talented artist

this is what i am, and oh so much more.  both good and bad.  and i have faced each of these things, and i am so very aware of what i am.  and what I'm not.  and that my friends, is so very very brave.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rocking my style

today my Bloom True Boot Camp work is all about finding my style as an artist.  honestly, i think i'm too new to really pin down my style.  it changes all the time.  from abstracts, to swirly fiddily details, to weird creature shapes...  i've come a long way in a short amount of time.  

there are a couple of prompts from the Brave Intuitive You blog  about finding your style:

What makes you stand out from a crowd? i've been asking myself that for a long time.  i'm not sure exactly what it is.  but its something inside.  some inner light and playfulness.  

How do your friends describe you? hehehehe, that depends on the friend.  lets ask them...  leave a comment below on how you describe me

What are your favorite color combinations? it depends on my mood.  sometimes i'm all about the light pastels and greens, and other times i cover everything in black and red

What type of art makes your heart beat faster? Why? impressionism.  the breakdown of color, the 'almost there' images...  i love it

What brings you the most peace? my family.  there is no where i'd rather be than surrounded by my loves

Where do you love to travel? i have to be in the MOOD to travel.  i'm a homebody by nature (which is why The Plan involves an RV, so i can travel and still be at home), but i like going places with either friends or adventure.

What art mediums do you love to play with? i love acrylics, but i've been playing with oil pastels for a few days and I LOVE THEM.  but only for small things, 

What’s your idea of FUN? honestly.....  my ideal fun time is being at home and playing video games.  i know i'm supposed to say something like "yarn bombing the artist quarter and picking up recycling" but i'm not that girl.  give me chips, salsa, and Darkspawn any day.

What objects would you put on your personal altar? i have several altars actually.  the main one in the fireplace has statues of Odin, Frigga, and Thor, as well as offerings, a stone knife, herbs, and other bits.  i have a more "family" altar in the kitchen that has photos of grandparents, little "chotchkis" and trinkets.  so i guess that one is my personal altar.  probably should have read the question again.

What makes you feel most alive?  coffee.  sounds flippant, but it's true.  i love me some coffee. 

i have to say that this boot camp has been amazing.  i have grown more as an artist in the few weeks of this boot camp than i did in almost a year on my own.  it's truly sent from the gods.  artistically, this has been the best thing to happen to me since Hubby.  i'm going to be sad when it's over.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the ripple effect (it's like the butterfly effect, but not*)

* as in it's not a crappy movie

today the Bloom True Boot Camp is about the ripple effect.  you share some of your favorite things, people see those things and try them out too.  it's very cool.  so this blog post is going to be a little different in that it's just a list of a bunch of stuff i love, and maybe a link, or a reason i like it, or whatever.  here we go:

favorite musician - Voltaire.  if you've never heard him before, be prepared to love it.  he's gothy, meaningful, damn funny, and loves sci-fi as much as the rest of us dorky geeks.  it also helps that he's pretty.  so pretty.

favorite artist - Van Gogh - i've always loved his work, but seriously, even more so since watching Vincent and the Doctor.

favorite tv show - Doctor Who.  i'm not even going to quantify this

favorite artwork - While i love Van Gogh, my favorite work is done by Cibot.  Fallen angels is the most beautiful piece i've ever seen.  wrought with emotion and symbolism, it speaks to me.  i'm lucky enough to live in Omaha, and it is housed in our Joslyn museum.

favorite movie(s) - The Fifth Element, LOTR, and The Hobbit.  don't judge

favorite color - pumpkin orange

favorite smell - fall.  the air. oh the air

favorite medium - i work mainly in acrylic, but i've been LOVING my oil pastels lately

favorite people - My children Dallas and Balin.  they are the reason i am who i am today.  i love my Bugs and Bam

favorite words - "so you wanna?"  this was of course, how Hubby proposed to me.

favorite time period - the viking age.  i'm a viking at heart, and i love the idea of the Volva!  she was a Norse witch, and able to go anywhere unencumbered.  the viking age was awesome.

favorite god - Odin.  he is my favorite of the gods, and awesome.  he loved magick and knowledge.  and he was a traveler at heart.

favorite goddess - Frigga.  she is definitely my patron goddess.  the goddess of home and hearth, she also ruled when Odin was away.  very awesome

favorite song - right now, it's Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford and Sons.  i listen to it on repeat a lot when i'm driving.

favorite new age hippy thing - right now, earthing.  walking barefoot as often as possible.   it sounds weird but i really do feel better and have more energy.  and seriously, the problems i've been having with my foot are all but gone.

other favorites - Bikram yoga, toeless socks, cuddels, art dates, road trips, coffee with lots of cream

yes, a lot of this list is fluffy stuff, but at this point in my life, i've earned a little fluff.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Photo Scavenger Hunt

for the #bloomtruebootcamp today there is a photo scavenger hunt.  we had a funeral to go to, so there wasn't a lot of scavenging (as in i didn't do all the prompts) but i got a couple good shots in.  the prompts were

  • Explore shadows and light.
  • Find complimentary colors (blue + orange, red + green, yellow + violet)
  • Take a close-up photo of the natural world.
  • Capture something in motion.
  • Find repeating patterns.
  • Take a photo of something you love.
  • Look up.  What do you see?
  • Look down.  What do you see?
  • Take an “artsy” photo of your art supplies
  • Take a loving self-portrait. 

something in motion

something i love 

repeating patterns


contrasting colors & look down

look up

a loving selfie

like i said, not the best pictures in the world, but better than nothing

Monday, September 8, 2014

Manifesto Destiny

my prompt today for the Bloom True Boot Camp is to write my Artist Manifesto.  a manifesto says who and what i am as an artist.  kind of a "hay, this is me, this is what i think" kind of deal.  every artist eventually has to create one even if it's just a couple of sentences needed to enter a jurored show.

the focus questions from the Bloom True Boot Camp blog are as follows:

Why do you want/need to create?  What are your intentions when you create?  What are your core beliefs about creativity?  What does creating add to your life? How you want to FEEL when you create?

this is quite possibly one of the harder things i've ever done in my life.

    why do i need to create?  the glib answer is that i love painting and making the world a better place.  the dark answer is that if i don't the horrors of my job start to creep into my phyche and this is a way to cleanse it.  there has to be a happy middle somewhere.
    what are my intentions when i create?  i don't really have any intentions when i start a piece.  it's all just chaos.  i rarely if ever know what's going to come out when i start.  i guess my real intention is to not get any more paint on the hardwood.
    what are my core believes about creativity?  easy.  everyone is creative.  they just need to find what moves them.  for me it's energy and emotion.  i have so much of both.
    what does creating add to my life?  a level of sanity heretofore unknown to me.  or madness.  it's amazing how often i mix up those two.
    how do i want to feel when i create?  depends.  i feel a lot of things when i'm painting.  happiness, pride, anger, fear...  you get it.  sometimes all at once.  the piece dictates the mood as weird as that sounds.  and it changes millions of times each painting.

so i guess my manifesto is a little bit of all of that.  i had already made an artist statement, and i'm just going to add on a bit more and turn it into a manifesto.  here goes:

i am a new artist that is deeply inspired by the emotion and energy of the world as it bursts around me.  it thrills me to see the layers of paint grow and develop, and the randomness of the elements come together out of the chaos.  for me, it's amazing to see how organically my paintings grow and change, and how one small detail can move the piece in a completely new direction. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bikram and Blooming

Theres not a lot of wiggle room in the budget.  Not enough to make the regular Bikram classes a staple.  I might be able to swing the 'Happy Hour' Friday class for 5 bucks.  That's probably more doable.  Which is ok with me, I dont think more than a class a week will fit into the family dynamic. 

Im torn as to if im even going to Bikram tonight or not.  My stuffyness is morphing into a full blown cold.  Im sure the heat will cause me to sweat out my toxins and germs, im just hot sure how much of the poses ill actually be able to DO.  Though at this point, the class is paid for, so even if I just lay there in corpse pose, im getting my money worth.  maybe ill go.  But maybe ill stay home and work on todays Bloom True Boot Camp prompt. 

I know its only been three days how, but this boot camp is exactly what I need.  I especially loved the first days gratitude prompt.  I dont take enough time to be greatful.  And my life is pretty amazballs, so ive got a ton to be greatful for.  Today's prompt is about gathering your supplies,  and ive already got that down.  All my supplies are in this AMAZING storage unit I bartered with my friend Kate.  I may tidy that up a bit.  It became a little disorganized when I did all my ren faire sewing.  

My sewing desk is going to get a face lift soon too.  I had such good luck with the chalk paint on the little table that im going to do the same to the desk.  It will be beautiful.   Oh yes.  Love it.

Ive had to back out of the Cirque art show.  Im a little sad about it, but im making up for it by really throwing myself into the Day of the Dead show.  Ive completed one sugar skull already, and am about to prep another.  Mortimer was very traditional,  but I think with Morticia im going to stretch the concept a little.   Im not going to leak any details,  its still in the planing stages, but it will be awesome.  

Thats all the update for now.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

it's ok to be selfish

in two months i will be 40.  less than two actually.  by a couple of days.  and while i don't think that the plan and it's preparations is part of some sort of mid life crisis thingy (or maybe it is, i don't know), i have been having a very "where is my life now and where do i want it to go" internal monologue.  sometimes my internal monologue has a brittish accent.  it's very sophisticated.  it's entirely possible that i am out classed by my internal monologue.*

i have lived most of my life, and all of my adult life, helping other people.  i have volunteered at charity functions.  i have fed those that couldn't feed themselves.  i have given time, and money, and the clothes off my back.  i have attempted to start my own charity when i saw people were falling through the cracks.  i've done 5k's in costume because it raised more money.  my current vocation is literally 100% about helping people, sometimes whether they want it or not.  i have given my free time to friends and family when they needed it, even when i had no time to think straight.  as a wife and mother i have given everything i have and everything i am to the three most important people in the universe.  

and i'm tired.

my job has apparently a high rate of PTSD, which i can see.  i've had the nightmares.  the reoccurring ones that wake you up covered in sweat.  i've heard the death rattle of a last breath for months every time i closed my eyes.  it wares on a person.  it can rub you raw if you let it.  so you build up walls.  and when that's chipped away you build another one.  sometimes it feels like there is an entire city inside, all abandoned walls and crumbling detritus.  


so i've decided that as a present to myself i'm going to be selfish.  unlimited taking time for myself, as often as i want.  starting now.  i'm buying a 30 day unlimited pass for the Bikram Yoga studio in town.  i start my first session tomorrow.  and when the 30 days is up, i'm buying a pass that lets me do a class a week.  i'm going to paint and sketch whatever i feel like whenever i feel like it.  i'm going to buy wonderful delicious healthy food.  i even already have a kale smoothie ready for tomorrow after yoga.  

i'm going to walk around with no shoes on as often as possible.  it's weird how AMAZING walking without shoes has made me feel, even in just the last couple of days.  earthing i think it's called.  i'm going to do it whenever i can.  

i'm going to take baths with Epsom salts and baking soda and essential oils.  i'm going to get herbs and candles and incense and be witchy when i want.  i'm going to do whatever i damn well please with my hair.  i'm going to spoil myself and my husband and my children if i'm able.  and as long as i keep on track with the plan, i'm going to buy high quality things that are going to last and that i love.  because fuckit i can. 

because it's ok to be selfish.  because it's not selfish.  it's self care.  and i am far to wonderful and amazing, and yes, goddsdamnit to OLD to do anything else.  

*totally stolen from Terry Pratchett when he described Foul Old Ron's smell.  i love Foul Old Ron's smell,  it goes to the opera**

** the * was also stolen from Terry Pratchett.  if you don't read him yet, you really should.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

i'm altering the deal

i don't think i can do the 4 pieces of clothing thing for the year.  i already forgot and bought a pair of shoes.  so i'm cut by half.  so that sucks.  so i am pretty sure i'm going to suck at it.  admittedly i still have 2 pieces left, but i'm pretty sure that's going to be taken up with the boots. (yes, i'm still thinking about the boots.  i love them so)  so i'm changing the challenge to say that if more than 4 pieces come in, something else has to go out.  i buy a new tshirt, an old tshirt has to go.  that's probably more doable.

we're also talking about changing up the plan.  instead of a boat, an RV.  to be honest, i like that idea better.  i'm not so sure about the whole boat thing.  apparently there are still pirates.  it's a thing.  and i like the idea of being able to pick up and go whenever we want to wherever we want.  and apparently boats require a lot of maintenance.  like a gawdawful amount.

i'm getting better with the hula hoop.  i can keep the hoop going for sometimes 15 seconds.  that's a personal best by the way.  i'm awesome.  yoga however is in a little bit of a stall.  my foot is still bothering me.  i've seen a podiatrist, and i'm working to get better.  i really like the podiatrist.  he's a very hippy dippy kind of guy.  sees a herbalist, says that walking around in bare feet is awesome.  "the way we're supposed to walk."  it's great.  because i hate shoes for all the time.  the boots don't count.  don't judge.

if i had my way no one would wear shoes any time but winter.  at most we'd have hand knit wool socks.  i prefer the yoga/dancing socks that have the toes and heels free.  i'm knitting myself another pair now between calls at work.  i love these socks.  i need twenty more pairs

so as soon as my foot feels better full time i think i'm going to get into a regular yoga class.  i really love how my body feels when i'm in a regular class.  i'm not sure my daily (or every other day) sun salutation/tree/triangle practice is cutting it.  i need something more.  something... structured.  maybe i'll look into private classes.  though i know i probably can't afford them.  just more things mulling over in my mind.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

hoops and downward dog

mark is on a motorcycle ride with my dad and their 'biker buddies'.  i still find it hilarious that my father and husband have biker buddies.  watching the news just makes me sad for the world we live in, so bam and i are playing video games, and in a little watching big bang theory until bed time.

to keep you updated (as i said i would), i suck at hula hooping.  don't get me wrong, i love it.  i'm just not good at it.  which is weird, because, all false modesty aside, i'm good at a lot of things.  kind of a jack of all trades girl.  i do practice though, nearly every day.  bam watches, and yells a big "YOU DID IT MOMMY" when the hoop stays up for more than two seconds.  which doesn't happen often.

yoga has become... problematic.  my foot has started to bring me a lot of pain.  and you'd be amazed how many yoga poses (read almost all of them) require you to put your weight on both feet equally.  i have an appointment to see a podiatrist on friday after work, and i'm hoping that i can at least get an answer as to what the problem is.  from someone who actually listens to me, and doesn't just try to throw pain killers at me.  i don't want pain killers, i want the problem fixed.  this is apparently not the norm in modern medicine.  and people wonder why i see my herbalist before a doctor.

couple my foot pain with my ancient lap top which i was playing my favorite yoga dvd on finally dying....  not a good mix.  mark however found one of his old lap tops that had a cracked screen and we're getting it fixed so i can use it.  i'm happy that we're fixing something that we already had, not so happy that we are forking over the money to get it done.  but it's still cheaper than getting a new one, so it all works out.  we can't live like monks right?

and i DID try doing yoga in a room other than my studio where i had access to an actual dvd player.  i didn't like it.  it felt disconnected.  i love my studio.  other than an actual yoga studio, it's my favorite place to practice.  next to the kitchen, it's my favorite place to be.

i've been thinking again in my head about going through yoga teacher training.  it's something i keep coming back too, even though i'm not sure i'll ever get to do it.  i have little enough time now, it would be halved or more if i took the course.  i'd end up trading away most of my days off, and hardly ever seeing my family.  not sure it's worth it.

perhaps i should give myself a little 'yoga retreat'.  i read an article about making your own yoga retreat while you're still doing everything in your life, ie work and kids.  basically you take like a class a day when you can fit it in between your other commitments.  it might be something to look into.  maybe treat myself for the birtha-versary.

yeah, i think i'll do that.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

back to the grindstone

today is the last day of this vacation.  it seems like it's the longest vacation ever, and the shortest one, all at the same time.  a lot of things got cleaned out.  from our house, from our lives, from our souls.  everything is lighter.  we went camping, we went to water slides.  we went through a lot of soul searching, and came out the other side stronger.

i started my yoga practice again, and i can already see the changes in myself.  i'm standing straighter, taller.  i'm carrying my weight better, and i'm more comfortable in it.  i love my body.  it's amazing.  yoga has helped give it curves where there should be and muscles where those go too.  the process of stripping down our lives to their bare minimum has opened up my yoga and meditation practice so much.  it has bloomed into something that i don't think i can live without.  a calming center to what used to be a huge ball of stress.

and i've ordered a hula hoop.  not the feather weight ring of plastic that you buy at wally, but a weighted, adult size hoop dancing ring.  in the internal story that plays in my head i'm going to be amazing at it the first time i try it and i'll have amazing hips and abs.  but i know the reality is that i'm going to fail a lot.  and apparently also get bruises and super sore muscles.  which i'm good with.  i know i'm going to suck at it for a while.  but i'm hoping that it's going to be a good compliment for my yoga.  because apparently my treadmill isn't an option for a while.  my foot needs to heal, but every single step is another injury.  a livable injury, but still an injury.  so i'll deal.  i love my treadmill, i love playing Zombies, Run! on it, but there's nothing saying i can't hoop away from zombies.

i'll let you know how well (or not) hooping goes.

i don't want to go back to work tomorrow.  i know, you're shocked.  but i think i'll be able to work there better now, knowing that there is an end date.  admittedly, it was the date i was going to retire anyway, but there is a path.  a plan.  a way out.

of course i'll still buy lottery tickets every once in a while.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Camping in the Middle of Everywhere

"We cant live like monks."

This has been Mark's favorite phrase this past month.  and I have to agree.  We cant.  And if we try, the transition will be too painful and we wont follow through.  Society makes it too easy to conform, and so hard to forge your own path.  So we're on vacation.   Camping about half an hour from home.  Nothing major, but time away. 

There is no wifi here, so this post will have been written over two days at the campsite.  So far we have pitched the tents and are having a snack before the boys go fishing.  I don't fish, so I brought my art journal, which is more than enough to keep me occupied.  

"We cant live like Monks"

I know, I know.  Nor would I want to.  Other than the abundance of wine, I don't think I could get into the monastic lifestyle.   Admittedly,  the chanting and meditation would rock, but I think that's where it would end.  I just feel so much guilt every time we spend money.    Every.  Time.

So much.  But Mark does have an excellent point... we get what we pay for.  Example : If I buy a ten dollar pair of shoes, that's what im getting, and thats what ill be replacing in just a month or two.  Lets do the math... $15 a pair for... my feet stopped growing at 15...  thats 6 pair a year...  150 pairs of shoes at fifteen bucks a pop... $2,250 in shoes.  OR a 480 dollar pair of boots that will last me 20 years in sun, rain, or snow.  Much cheaper in the long run.  ( and yes, im still on the fence about buying these boots, but they DO last 20 years, seriously,  ask any Ren Faire player about the Native Earth boots). 

"We cant live like Monks"

I've been reading a lot of "how to downsize" books.  They're all the same.  'Get rid of everything you haven't touched in a year, everything you keep needs to be either useful or beautiful'.  The same thing, over and over.  At least three different books.  But nothing about how long it takes.  About how emotional it becomes.   Nothing about how you FEEL after you've tossed everything out.  Its all very clinical,  when it should be spiritual.   Its very zen. 

We've talked a bit this weekend about downsizing the house.  If we can get what we paid for it out of the house,  I'd have no problem moving into a mobile home or even an RV.  But we'd have to at least break even, and right now we won't.  The point is to REDUCE our debt load, not still be paying for something we don't even have anymore.   A smaller space to live in would make the downsizing easier.  There are points on both sides of the issue. 

"We cant live like Monks"

I can see my breath this morning.  Not something that we planned on for camping the last week of July.   So no sleeping bags, just blankets.   Trains going by and blowing their whistles every hour.   Coupled with no pads so we slept on the hard baked ground....  not a fun night.  But walking around the campsite this morn on my way to the bathroom (I don't get to pee in the woods like SOME people), there is a fog over the lake and over the river.  Quite beautiful.  

Ive already started a list of things well need if we make this camping a regular thing.  Top of the list is sleeping pads.  And sleeping bags.  Maybe NyQuil.  There has been talk of  getting a little pop up camper.  It would compliment my parents rv well.  There would be lots of family camping trips.  Again, cheaper than full blown vacationing,  so we can stick to the plan, and not go crazy.

"We cant live like Monks"

I need a bike.  And not just for camping., but for all the time.  It would save gas money at least.  For those little trips to the store for milk or laundry detergent.   Instead of getting in the car and driving there, I could just hop on the bike and get what we need.  Ive already asked my mom if I can borrow her bike, but ill have to learn to use hand breaks, something ive spent almost 40 years avoiding.   I dont know the problem I have with hand breaks, ive just never gotten the hang of them.  

"We cant live like Monks"

There are a couple of campers here with vintage Airstream campers that I have fallen in love with.  I live the lines the simplicity,  the 'cool factor' of the Airstream.  I think I could live in one of those comfortably.   I know I could.  Totally kitch it out.   Oh yeah.  Teal and tangerine.  Yes.  It must have an awning.  Teal and tangerine stripes.  And gypsy curtains.   Lounging pillows.  I wonder how much a vintage Airstream costs...
I could paint it creamsicle orange. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

and Frigga throws a little party

3 more lawn and leaf bags full of clothes and junk today.  that's a total of 8.  not to mention the breakable stuff that i didn't want to stick in a bag.  bags and boxes are lining the dining room floor waiting for people to pick them up, or to be delivered.  there is a huge plastic tub in my studio closet that's going to have to wait till RenFest season for us to schlep down to KC, as well as a bunch of stuff that i haven't found a tub for yet that goes to someone else in the KC area.  i'll be putting a bunch of patterns up on ebay tonight.  i've sold off my extra cauldrons.  and there is so much more that needs to go.

i'm in full on Frigga mode. so much so, that in the time it took me to type that sentence, i went into the kitchen and cleaned/threw out all the stuff on top of the fridge.  FULL.  ON.  FRIGGA.  MODE.  EVERYTHING MUST GO!

everything feels lighter.  it's weird, i know.  in my studio at least it actually IS lighter.  i got rid of enough crap to get rid of an entire dresser.  it's like there's more room to breathe.  room to stretch.  room to grow.  room to re-make our lives.

it's like the whole house is inhaling and exhaling.  like it can feel the purging we're doing and appreciates it.  greenhome, like earth, is a sentient being, and her arteries are finally becoming clear.  i may have also started my yoga practice up again and am just chock full if hippydom.

i know that a lot of people just don't understand what we're trying to do.  it kind of flys in the face of convention.  instead of getting a bigger house, newer clothes, and the most flashy gadget, we're trying to get rid of everything, sell the house, get rid of all our debt, and live on a tiny boat with no one to be accountable but ourselves.  real freedom.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

to new beginnings

so it's a new chapter in our lives.  and it's only fitting that as the era of the Very Nearly Hippy ends, the era of Our Weird Wyrd starts.  consider it a changing of the guard.  whatever.

for those of you that don't know me (which i find highly unlikely, but hey, it could happen), my name is Heather Tomasello.  I'm a mother of two, artist, yoga lover, experimental cook, and a Heathen. each of these things is ingrained in my phyche, so that's the stuff i talk about the most.   you'll learn to love it.  or your head will explode.  one or the other.

right now we're in the 10-15 year prep mode of THE PLAN.  you know THE PLAN.  the get-out-of-debt-and-save-a-bunch-of-money-and-buy-a-live-aboard-sailboat plan.  it involves downsizing, minimizing, and simplifying pretty much every aspect of our lives.  everything must go.  from junk and stuff to baggage both physical and emotional.  we're on a two week vacation right now, and i've already started going through and getting rid of stuff i don't use/don't need/and haven't touched in years.  when did i get so much crap?  it's maddening.  pretty much the only thing that isn't going are the actual sentient beings of the house.  us, the kids, and the cat.

i've also given myself another, more personal challenge.

i'm allowing myself to buy exactly 4 articles of clothing from now to next july.  and yes, this includes goodwill purchases.  just 4.  and a pair of shoes counts as two.  because between tee fury and cons, i seriously have tshirts and other things that i have NEVER EVEN WORN.  that's just not right.  and it sure as hell won't fit on a boat.  so stuff goes out, but does not come back in.

there are of course things that i'm going to hold on to as long as possible before giving them away or selling them.  Helga, my kitchenaid mixer is one.  before i set foot on the boat you will only get her if you pry her from my cold dead hands.  i'm not joking.  i have elaborate plans to take her with me in the event of a zombie outbreak.

so as THE PLAN progresses, i'll keep you all involved here.  i'm expecting set backs a plenty, because any plan we have always has bumps.  always.  and i'll try to post more regularly, now that i am blogging more about every aspect of our lives, not just the hippy dippy stuff.

i'm still hippy dippy, it's just not all of me