Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One word.

Two years ago, I found Christine Kane's blog -- she explained in this post why new year's resolutions generally don't work, and why choosing a single word to be your guide for the year might be a more effective way of achieving goals and making dreams come true. I have been using this practice for two years, and it has been amazingly effective for me.

In 2008, I chose the word health, and I shed a bad marriage, lots of pounds, and a good deal of mental baggage. In 2009, I chose the word wealth, and while I still have to work for a living, I am in a much better place than I was a year ago, and I am wealthy beyond belief in love, family, friends, joy, gratitude, and good health.

For about two weeks, I've been thinking about what word to choose for 2010. Like Christine, I believe that a single word is more effective and focused than choosing several, so the word I choose is important to what I hope to manifest in my life in 2010.

This morning, when I woke up and began my day, I tried to focus on the most appropriate word. I am a morning person, and early in the day is when I have the most clarity, so I was sure it would come to me. I had it narrowed down to about a half dozen, and as I turned on the coffee pot, made my bed, and bundled up for my walk with Max, I let them pass through my mind, trying them on for size.

When I returned from our walk, I went into my bedroom, coffee cup in hand, and glanced at my reflection in the mirror, holding this cup that I had purchased just a few weeks ago. It wasn't even one of the words on my list, but I was absolutely certain it was the one I sought.

It is the word that has sustained my sister (and our entire family) during every one of Avery's surgeries, and I know it will serve me well in 2010.

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas...

I wish you all a magical, miraculous holiday season. Once again, I thank you all for your prayers, support, encouragement and friendship during this past year. I am blessed beyond all measure.

I don't know when I'll have an opportunity to post again during the next week or so as I'll be off to spend Christmas in Boston with my mom, sisters, and especially, Avery. I am looking forward to waking up to her beautiful face on Christmas morning.

This montage of photos was taken on thanksgiving day this year. Last year, Avery's journey began on Thanksgiving day, and we could never have imagined all that would take place in the next twelve months.

This year, many of my thoughts and prayers will be with the family of Avery's donor, and the angel with whom she shares a heart.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A regal visitor...

I posted a similar photo last year sometime, I think, but these beautiful creatures never cease to amaze me, so I may tell the same story twice. This hawk perched on my deck railing for a good fifteen minutes yesterday morning. There are bird feeders to his left and right, so I suspect that he had either just feasted on one of my little visitors, or attempted to and was just re-grouping before heading off. I know it's sad, but that's the way nature works. And he has to eat too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Painting as therapy...

I had a bad day at work yesterday. My bad days at work are very few and far between, but nonetheless, it was not one of my better days. At 5 sharp, I left hastily, looking forward to wrapping some holiday gifts, lighting a fire, and watching tv with Max curled up at my side.

When I pulled into my driveway, it was 5:30-ish and dark. I glanced across my front lawn and thought, "What's all over the lawn?" As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I figured it out. It was most of my split rail fence. I live on a main road, and for the second time in less than a year, someone crashed into my fence. The first time, there was just minor damage to one post, but this time, two-thirds of my fence was spewed like matchsticks all over my lawn. This was not the way I had envisioned my evening to begin. But a couple hundred profanities later, I was over it.

I mean, first of all, the person who hit my fence was obviously having an even worse day than me. And according to the accident report, she wasn't injured, which was good news, and a miracle, given the condition of my fence the auto debris that she left behind.

So I walked Max, lit a fire, ordered a pizza, poured a glass of wine, (and then another) and finished this painting, which is a gift for a friend who has been doing some interior decorating. I stayed up way too late, because I was totally in the zone, but it was the perfect ending to a much less than perfect day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A trip to the city...

Dec 5-6.

NYC to be exact. It was great. I went with my Aunt, Mary (with me, at right), and we were hosted by my cousins, her sons, Adam & Scott. We had three great meals (lunch & dinner on Sat, and then brunch on Sun), as well as fabulous seats to see Wicked. I find musicals to be a bit over the top, and can only take them in small doses, but it was a great show, and the set was phenomenal.

One of the highlights for me was a trip to the MOMA, where my cousins left me in search of a bar with a football game airing. I only had a couple of hours, but I could easily have spent all day. It's an amazing building, and I was awed to be in the presence of such incredible art. And yes, I chose the MOMA over a bar! It doesn't happen often, folks.

When I told my sister Jennifer that I wanted to see the MOMA, she said, "What's the MOMA?"

"The Museum of Modern Art."

And she said, "Seriously!?"

I said, "Yeah, why? Where would you go?"

She replied "Jimmy Choo!"

And I said, "What's Jimmy Choo?"

"A shoe store - from Sex in the City!"

So when we did find ourselves passing Jimmy Choo, on our way to dinner at the Monkey Bar, we had to stop for the photo! Notice the shoes, attached to the half-naked lady in the window. Kind of like the MOMA!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Altered wish...

This is a digitally altered version of a painting I made over the summer. I had some Photoshop fun with cropping and filters to alter it into a holiday piece. Since it's December already (can you believe it??), I thought an altered Christmas tree would be appropriate. My posts this month will probably be few and brief, as I have not purchased a single gift, baked a cookie, or written a card yet. In fact, this may be as close as I get to a holiday card at the rate I am going!

While I love the act of giving someone a perfect and thoughtful gift, more and more I resent the pressure to buy, buy, buy during this season. I realize that this mind set will not help the economy, but I am hoping to find creative ideas for giving that don't always involve a trip to the dreaded mall.

Oh, and I almost forgot...
My friend Marilyn is introducing a new monthly "featured artist" on her blog, and she has invited me to be the first. Here's my interview.