February 26, 2015

Time To Share

My cousin shared a link on Facebook this morning to the article below. As I read the article, I realized that some of these "alpha women" items are almost the opposite of what I was taught growing up.  I just had to share...the universe demanded it!!!! The original post is on Thought Catalog.

"There’s a quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich that states: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” It’s a often posted on Pinterest boards and slapped onto cards with women in 1920s-fashion kicking up their heels in unison. But for me, this sentiment is more than encouragement to go on a girls trip and go wild; it’s a celebration of women who choose to be defined by their courage, bravery and decisions to go after the life they want to live instead of being confined by “appropriateness.” Call them bold, fearless, or powerful, these are women who light up a room with their magnetic energy. They intimidate the close-minded and inspire those who have long hungered for tangible proof that they, too, will serve themselves well by igniting their passions and relishing in their independence. I know a few of them very well and they have changed my life ...Here are fifteen things alpha-women do differently:

1. They cultivate a life they actually enjoy living:
Whether they’re single, coupled or in that complicated gray area, they commit to creating and living a life they love. While they may not feel 100% comfortable initially, they push themselves to take the class, book the ticket, try the restaurant and understand that life won’t wait for them if they’re choosing to wait for a specific someone to enjoy it with.

2. They make their move.
Whether it’s walking up to a stranger and saying hello, putting in an offer for an apartment they want or asking their boss for more responsibility, bold women would rather risk hearing “no” than sit on the sidelines and hope someone else will bring them the opportunity they desire.

3. They don’t put themselves down.
Very few men and women walk this earth feeling one hundred percent happy with their looks and life one hundred percent of the time. But fearless alpha women accept the fact that there will always be someone younger, smarter and thinner than they are and don’t stress it because, well, that’s not the point. These women know they’re not defined by any one attribute (and certainly not by something as small as a few dimples on their backside.) They know they’re a whole package and that package is so f***ing awesome it demands to be spoken about with respect.

4. They don’t need a boyfriend but they’re open to having a partner.
In a world that treats singledom as a disease that needs to be treated, it’s refreshing to meet a woman who’s not only OK being on her own but unwilling to compromise the time she spends with friends, on her career, or enjoying hobbies just to have any old someone in her life. Fearless women aren’t looking for a savior, a benefactor or boy toy. In fact, they are not even looking. The bold and fearless women is, however, excited when she meets a man who understands her, accepts her, respects her, respects himself and is looking in the same direction as she is.

5. They don’t waste time wishing.
We all have situations we wish would have gone differently but a bold woman knows that the only thing the past can do for her is serve as a lesson in how to do better for herself here in the now.

6. They call people out.
They aren’t the type of women who will sit silently in front of someone feeling disrespected or violated and then cry about it over cocktails. They will call those people out, set a boundary in place and move forward right then and there.

7. They know when to walk away.
They know that bending themselves backwards, forward (and backwards again) in an attempt to make something work — a friendship, a relationship, a failed decision – usually means they’re investing time and energy into something that isn’t offering respectable returns.

8. They expect FaceTime.
Witty text sessions can serve as fabulous foreplay in-between dates but spending day-after-day texting a guy you never meet? Fearless and focused women are not looking for pen-pals. Instead of spending hours replying to winky faces, these women encourage face-to-face contact because they know that any man who’s serious about them will want to see their real smile in real time.

9. They give themselves a real chance to meet someone.
Swiping right has it’s place and Match.com has made some real-life connections, but these ladies know there’s a real value in getting out into the world and having human interaction in a space that’s supportive of an introduction. They enjoy the clubs with their girlfriends but aren’t afraid to pop into a sports bar, networking event, museum opening, gallery showcase or even a trip with a carefully curated guestlist.

10. They don’t pretend they’re on an episode of “The Bachelor.”
Compete for a man’s attention and affections? You’re kidding, right?

11. They also don’t pretend they’re a Kardashian.
They aspire to be a star in reality over a reality star." (Side Note: My sister and and niece do have one day a week that they 'talk-like-a-Kardashian' which is completely different and totally acceptable)

"12. They see themselves as an investment.
They take pride in themselves. From their word, work ethic and reputation to their friendships, manicure and handshake, these are the women who invest in themselves without the slightest bit of apology.

13. They don’t play the victim.
They know people will do things to let them down and even screw them over — such is life. What they won’t do is re-live that scenario a million times over. They know they are in full and total control of how they react to a situation and when the going get’s tough, they learn their lesson, roll up their sleeves and get tougher.

14. They dare to go for it.
Whatever “it” is — the job, the guy, the bucket-list experience or adopting a baby on their own, these women think things through, make a plan and bring their own unique idea of happiness into fruition.

15. They would never put their lives on hold to accommodate someone else’s idea of who they should be. Instead, they get into the driver’s seat, turn-up their favorite tunes and go in the direction of their dreams."

February 21, 2015

There We Were

Such a beautiful and pleasant dream this morning. I'll wager there was a smile on my face as I slept, though drooling or not drooling is off the table....or pillow.

I woke up (real life) at 2:30 this morning and could not fall back to sleep. There were new paints in my studio, alcohol inks to be exact. I've never worked with these inks on ceramics! They were singing out, "Come play!"

And I did!

There were three sets of beads, crosses and medallions in need of paint; six new bottles of oh-so-delicious inks and one excited artist. Don't forget Rex. He was at my feet urging me on.

It was love. Love. Love. Love. "All you need is love...da ta da da da....all you need is love..."

As I create each bead, I say a corresponding prayer. I caught myself painting, praying and smiling around 4 a.m.  Carrying on for another hour was just about all the joy I could handle at such an early hour. Tightened up the caps, washed the brushes, discovered ink is permanent on skin so I brushed my teeth and hit the pillow.

It could have been moments later, or hours, but the dream came so vivid and luxuriously.

Six women, including me, living in a whimsically painted Victorian house. We all lived on the second story but never really went up the stairs. The stairway was painted in exquisite shades of purple, blue, turquoise, orange, greens and little pops of white. The entire downstairs (open concept) was our studio and we were all artists of one type or another.

The style of clothing was very bohemian and all, but one of us, had hair styles much like the one I saw in the mirror while I had been brushing my teeth. The style may not have a formal name but 'bird's nest' adequately describes it.

One woman had an incredible bun of white, white hair on top of her head and though it swayed to and fro as she painted the piano, remarkably it never let loose its hold.  All of our clothing seemed to match the colors of the walls, furniture and floors. We were a mad bunch of smiling ladies!

We chatted as we painted, drew, wrote, sculpted and danced. Now and then we would burst into song or one of the women would hold up a piece of art and exclaim, "Hey, what do you think of this?"

We would all look up and cheer her on.

At one point, we gathered up some of our art (not the piano), slipped on purple ballet shoes and trotted down the front steps of our lovely porch and headed to another whimsical Victorian house.

It felt like we were going for some kind of Women's Artist Show and Tell. We laughed, we teased each other and walked on the grass but the grass welcomed us....then I could hear the snoring of my three dogs, feel the warmth of my flannel sheets and the muscles in my face...yup, that was a smile!

Opening my eyes, I already missed my gal pals.

Today's plan is to hit the little orange "Publish" button on the top right side of the screen, throw on my most bohemian outfit (that already has paint stains) and take my dream and my stained fingers back to the studio. I think I have a couple of grins left in me!

February 18, 2015

Record Breaking Showers

Living with my sister is awesome. We are doing a lot of things on the fly, in fact, today we played so hard at not doing nothing (yes, I know that is a double negative...get over it). So we needed to shower quick and head out for our 'to do' list.

"I'll shower first, I'm really quick!"Slam, bam; I'm in the shower, Shampoo. Conditioner. Lather up the body for the 22 seconds that my hair is conditioning...no leg shaving on this shower because I'm lazy in my old age....I "naired" myself 3 days ago.

My "Why" factor kicked in as I was rinsing out the conditioner. Why do I rush through my showers? My husband takes 20 minute showers. He lets the hot water caress his neck and shoulder muscles. Showers to him are so much more about relaxing and soothing.  Showers are purely utilitarian
for me.

Donning my Sherlock cloak, waterproof, because it is invisible (What a beautiful wrap and such fine vinyl, Mrs. Emperor!) I begin some serious self-investigation.

Why are my showers record breaking quickies?

Am I afraid I'll miss a phone call if I'm in the water? (insert giggle) Hell, I don't answer the phone when it's in my pocket or sitting next to me at the keyboard.

Am I concerned that someone will come to the front door and I will miss them?  'Nother giggle and eye roll. I don't answer the door half the time even when I am sitting at the dining room table  and can be seen by stranger pushing new rain gutters or million dollar vacuums!

Am I preserving water? Yeah, but that certainly isn't my intention!

Epiphany! It's all about fear! Not a Er!-Er!-Er! Psycho shower scene fear but more of an ego based body image fear!

For instance...what if there is an earthquake and the house collapses on me? When the rescue team finally digs me out of the rubble there I am....an older, fluffy, naked woman!

What if a truck misses the corner and plows into my house, ripping the wall away from the shower exposing my sopping wet naked body?

Sick, huh?

Tomorrow morning I am going to take a 20 minute shower. I am going to let the hot water soothe my neck and caress my shoulders. I am going to really, really condition my hair. I am going to enjoy my my self.

I just hope the conditioner doesn't have any ill effects on my swimming suit.

February 08, 2015

The Art of the Tweak

We are all masters of something. Something grand or something humble but we know, with every cell of our body, that we do "it" better than anyone in the world.

I believe I am a Fire Master. I can build and maintain the hottest, most efficient, roaring fire in a fireplace, wood stove and campfire! Bar none! In fact, when we lived out of city limits, my burn piles and blazes were epic!

My husband is a fire master (note the lower case lettering), He believes he is my superior in fire building skills. Alas, he is equally delusional in other areas of expertise (soups, pruning, driving).

My children believe themselves to be masters in the art. I totally agree with their self assessments as they studied under a Master!

I'm considering mounting a little Go-Pro video camera high in the corner opposite the wood stove to record many not-so-discreet tweakings of my awe-inspiring infernos.

My husband leaves in the morning after stoking the fire. When his car leaves the driveway, I promptly open the cast iron door to our wood stove to gently adjust the logs for maximum heat. A quick modification of the draft knob and we have perfection.

I keep the consummate blaze going through the day. Paradisiacal Artistry!

Just before hubby comes home, I check to make sure the glory of the burn is in order.

Husband walks in, gives me a kiss, a couple of pats on the heads of dogs and beelines it for the wood stove. Tweak, tweak, tweak.

Brushing ash or stray bark from his hands he heads down the hall to change into comfortable clothes and remove his shoes or, weather permitting, he grabs leashes and takes dogs for a walk.

I move to stove to repair any damage to the fire and readjust the draft knob.

If husband catches me putting in a new log or checking on fire he quietly returns to tweak whatever I have done. I know because the door is very much in need of oiling. It can be heard opening and closing in every room of the house.

There is no way I am going to allow that door to be silenced from warning me that my artistry has been tampered with!

Boy, is he going to be surprised to find out where the WD40 is at the end of fire season!