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Monday, August 18, 2014

country...

  In the last few years (and especially accelerated during the last year) I have embarked upon a journey of limiting possessions and setting my intentions towards a country life. I have too much stuff, too many things. I've thrifted most of my life and it's my job. Of course, far too many tings make it into the house. My once affordable (cheap even!) city is now home to seas of computer tech drones, corporate cannabis producers, net moguls, etc... There are no more deals in the Emerald city.
  In my 20s the mid sized frenzy of Seattle city/night life was just right to me-at times even too tame! I loved roaming the streets and bumping into friends and acquaintances at every corner. I've mentioned before, that I basically lived in bars and was a real prancing pony, girl about town. I thought it would never get old. I was a steadfast champion of the city.
  Slowly, my love affair with the night life soured. When I stopped drinking, etc. my disposition became more thoughtful and delicate. I now feel overwhelmed by all the noise and often brash or clashing personalities that I encounter. I feel like I am a sponge and absorb what I am immersed in and I don't really want to absorb everything that I finding here, in this city.
  I find myself dreaming of quietude and less of this and less of that. More space, more trees, dozens of hives full of bees, a vast garden to tend and goats to milk when I wake up. I daydream about the simple life, pick-up trucks, cabins and dirt roads. It's a kind of wallpaper in my brain. At one time, the daydreaming was enough to soothe my nerves. I had always planned that it would become reality but at a more distant future, 3-5 years off in the horizon. I feel more urgency today.
   Last weekend I was in the country, on a rural Island paradise, with the man of my dreams and it felt so perfectly quiet, calm and lovely. I've visited this Island before and I always leave feeling recharged and inspired and fiercely yearning for my own country heaven. I appreciate the limited choices of commerce and the lack of ugly shops, fast food joints and people people people everywhere.  You have so much more personal space in the country. Your own little bubble can grow bigger than the, what? 12 inches or so you try to maintain in the city... I love that my phone didn't work and I wasn't absent mindedly checking inane websites or my inbox for non-important emails.
   I have always felt most myself in nature-meadow, field, or forest. I can be psychically open and take off the spiritual armor I have to wear in the city. I enjoyed so many conversations about ideas, goals, experiences. Far too often the conversations I have with city friends lean toward consumption (new shops or restaurants visited or items bought) and extreme character criticisms (yep, gossip).
   I am tired of rushing all around town. I would not miss the sound of the buzz saw that my neighbor runs daily (everyday, for real, why!?). I am annoyed by the sound of the lawnmowers and leaf blowers everyone on my block is so fond of.  I want trees and dry grass and dirt and dandelions tufts and dragonflies and hillsides all around. I want to sit creek side and listen to the sounds birds and bugs make. I want to be sloooow and allowed to be still when I want to be. I want to be able to clearly hear my own thoughts.
  Last Sunday sweet Milla made us the best breakfast with vegetables from her garden. Her magical nest was hidden away in the unfamiliar hills and we drove around in circles a few times just trying to find our way off the rambling hillside.
 Nettles everywhere, overgrown and gone to seed.
 There were daytime mosquitoes and so many irritating flying ants-which now, don't seem so bad after all...
      A few days after we returned from the Island, my man went home. I made mixed berry jam and felt super sad that day. I don't think separation ever gets easier. Each time feels worse than the time before.  Having a very limited amount of time to spend with someone you are into is hard. I want to pretend my job is interesting and throw myself into work but my heart is not in it at all. I'm distracted. Though I am grateful to be distracted by thoughts that are intense and sweet in nature. I find it surprising that this man even exists because he is strikingly similar to me in all the best ways. This connection makes others dull by comparison. I don't want to dissect it (much...) or figure it out. I just want to feel it.

   Now I have a carload of total junk to drop off at the donation center up the street. Then I'm going to drink coffee, cut out patterns and go through all these books/downsize the shelves. I just want to move to my rural utopia right this minute. these things take time and all that... but still, I am moving forward and into a new phase of being. xo m

Saturday, August 16, 2014

summer of love

  I haven't been around much this last month. Not just here, on the interwebs but in my city. I spent a total of 10 days during July in Northern Ca. I grew up in Southern Ca and Northern Ca is just so different, pretty and magical, almost like a different state. I adore it. Of course, it doesn't hurt that there's a boy there that I like a lot A LOT... But here I am, now at home and having slacked a bit in the work dept, it's time for catching up in a big way.
 You can find me at the Fremont Sunday Market set up in the sweltering sun (or hiding out in the musty garage) selling dresses etc all summer long...
 On clear days, I stop and look around and feel instantly lightened by what I see. Seattle is so beautiful. I think that the contemplation of a move, somewhere off in the future, has me looking at my city fondly.




  In my nighttime dreams I am roaming dry grass covered hillsides of California, planning where to put beehives and multiple gardens. I'm transported, as I sleep to fantasy farmlands, imagined treehouses and cottages. I make mental lists as I sleep and during waking hours. I've decided that those lists are going to become a notebook of real lists, starting today.
  I've never really experienced a long distance relationship. Or a healthy relationship for that matter... I'm learning how to do this.  It feels otherworldly to be in love with someone who lives far away. I feel a little removed and in a daze at least part of the time. My heart and thoughts are elsewhere, with him.  I alternate between fearful, rational, over-analyzing (of facts and distant what-ifs) and just feeling happily lost in crazy, head over heels adoration. It is ever a struggle for me to remain in the present moment and appreciate and enjoy love as it unfolds. Mentally, I  try to run too far ahead, then I miss what is actually happening now because I'm involved in some future fixation. I have to pull myself back into this moment.  I want my reality to be made up of what is I am currently feeling right now.

Northern California twilight.
See that red hair? It is a really washed out pastel pink now, faded quick.
This Washington summer has been the hottest that I can remember. Days and days on end of heat in the 90s leave us feeling like wilting winter flowers. Summer wildcrafting and jam making projects have been less than productive. I am pretty much useless when it's humid and hot.
although in this heat we have such lovely Seattle summer sunsets.

  The clutter clearing and minimizing continues. I am still on my "get rid of it" trip big time. I like the feeling of lessening all this accumulated stuff. I need to spend some time on my little lady's room (covertly of course) today. The mountainous pile of stuffies is out of control! I'm thinking another yard sale is in order for next weekend or the weekend after. So many piles under the carport headed for the dump and a giant stack downstairs headed to value village...
  The attachment I once felt for so many precious items has really disappeared or at least lessened. I don't want to be that lady creature from Labyrinth with all her worldly treasures attached to her back! Not anymore! xo m

Saturday, July 12, 2014

home

  Now that I am home, it all seems a bit pale. I'm starting to get back into the routines of work/summer/life but it's as if a part of my heart stayed behind.  Many times a day, my mind drifts off to thoughts of strange trees, fog, wind... I wake up and it takes a minute to realize that I'm not sleeping in a crumbling Victorian with stained floors. No one is going to bring me coffee. Vacation is over and reality is here. I feel like I'm living life in two separate places.  I don't even know what a long distance relationship looks like. Guess I get to discover that now.
  It takes so much effort for me to stay in the present. I was always calculating (especially in regards to romances) too far ahead and people can feel that kind of pressure and dream scheming expectation, I swear... Having to focus on what is in this moment RIGHT NOW takes true discipline. I feel calmer and less anxious when I focus on today, this moment. It's a liberating feeling.
     Another wonderful moment from my Northern California journey was getting to meet, in real life, one of my favorite blog ladies, the lovely and magical Mary. I took a few pics but in every one she was mid chew. We sat in the park for an hour, sipped coffee and ate crazy claire's squares oh goodness, those treats are heaven! I have met a few friends from the blogging world and have yet to be disappointed. Mary is just the bees knees!

   At this exact moment I am focused on writing a query letter, or rather the first part of such a letter which is "the hook". Oh damn that annoying hook! I need to basically condense the idea of my book into one sentence...  It's maddening. I find George R.R. Martin's hook for Game of Thrones endlessly inspiring:
 In the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are mustering.”   
  see... good right? I just need to figure out a perfectly enticing way of drawing  readers into my own web.
 
    The sun is out and it's already in the mid 80s. We are deep in the midst of a sweltering global warming heat wave. The grass is all dead, all the outdoor plants are dried out and the chickens are unhappily pecking in the dusty dirt, no worms to be found. I didn't do, well anything, in the way of planting or weeding this year. I figured I would end up moving this summer. Now, I have no idea what next month or the month after will look like. A path will be illuminated. I will wait and see.
   Summertime is full of lazy, hot animals, sticky, slightly cranky children, dirty feet and ice cold lemonade mixed w yerba mate'. I have been drinking coffee again, but only first thing in the morning. The last few weeks, I have spent too many nights staying up till 2am talking on the phone teenage style, so coffee goes with the territory right now.

  July is so full of birthday's and bbqs. Then there's the whole work thing which really picks up in the summer. I'm devotedly working and query letter writing. Choosing to be fully focused on Seattle life (I'm giving myself a little pep talk here). I can have another little romance vacation soon, after certain goals are accomplished.  Now back to hook writing... xo m

Thursday, July 10, 2014

falling in love...

   The last few weeks have been crazy (nuts insane bonkers...)! I have spent the last couple years exploring what it feels like to fall in love with: my children, our city, friends, sobriety, future dreams/goals, my writing, independent lady life etc etc. Basically channeling all my intensely romantic love feelings (in the past, that stuff pretty much always ruled my every thought!!) into healthier options. I was on a romance break. For however long that needed to be. I figured that eventually, when the time was right, a dreamy partner would appear. I believe that like attracts like and I would find someone special when I was ready and wonderful, happy within myself. In the past, I had always tried to control and make relationships into what I envisioned they should be. I used people I was in love with to try and fill an emptiness. I thought others were responsible for my happiness. This didn't work out well for me. I was also guilty of finding men that resembled rough pieces of coal and trying with all my might to turn them into dazzling diamonds...
 3 moons ago, at the urging of an old friend, I did a new moon manifestation list. I wrote down all the traits in specific detail that I wanted in a new partner. My ideals were so specific that it seemed impossible one magical creature would ever possess them all. I folded up my list 3 times, wrapped it round with red thread, tied 3 knots and left it in my bedroom window where it would be bathed in moonlight. Almost instantly there were strange suitors on the horizon. None of them were quite right but still it was a start...
 I turn to my tarot cards for insight almost daily. My readings were beginning to deliver messages of, what I saw as, a more romantic tone.
   I realize that romances are like the stories I write. I have an idea in mind and I sit down to attempt pulling it from my brain onto the page. It the process of extraction, the story takes on it's own life, begins to breathe and changes the course of the initial idea I had. I never fight this in writing. I let the story tell itself, I am just a channel for the revelation, whatever it may be.
 A few weeks ago I began falling in love. The process began so innocently and it has been instantaneous and virtually effortless. I am working on placing no expectations or strategic ambitions (oh the games and tactics I used to obsessively employ!) on this romance. It is a new experience for me. Love as a coming together and sharing the same path, sort of journey. Not as a goal oriented conquest of spirit...
 Last week I was on a plane. Off to see this darling of my dreams who lives over 800 miles away. And yes, my hair is hot pink now...
 I began my trip, a belly full of butterflies. I was nervous, calm, excited, terrified, apprehensive, elated, totally freaking out... on my way there.
   Once I landed my nervousness intensified to be so heavy that I nearly hopped on a plane to return home... I calmed myself down, pushed through it and was rewarded with a long weekend of wonderfulness.
   There can be such a transformative power in romance. At times it was overwhelming but ultimately sweet and lovely.

  I returned home full of a buzzing, psychic connection. I feel comforted that the physical distance will bring careful decision making and wise perspectives. I have had a tendency to be impulsive and less than careful.  I feel aware now. Awake and alive and present in the now.
Love is all around me now. In the birds that fly overhead, even in the crow caws, sparkling in summer flowers, washing over me as waves from the sea, sliding by in shifting sands. I have fallen. I am falling. There is now the feeling of being so deep in the middle of love. xo m

Monday, May 26, 2014

holding out for that teenage feeling...

  There has been a lot of journal writing these days. I'm finding my place as a single lady. These last 2 years have been a true, transformative journey. In the past, I was always lost in dreamy obsessions or deeply ensconced in some romantic (usually toxic and misguided) relationship. Coming out of that haze and learning to be responsible and self reliant has been, at times, a real trial and at other times an achievement of amazing personal freedom.  I'm learning who I am and who I want to be, without other peoples overwhelming influence. I am on my own, clear headed-ly, for the first time since, oh age 13...
  When I ended my last long term relationship (and quit drinking, etc...), I found myself set back to the emotional age I was at before these all consuming relationships, and unhealthy coping habits, had started. I was renewed in my attitude of youthful idealism and innocence. I have gradually become romantic in a new sort of patient (pretty much sweet and old fashioned) healthy way. I am aware of myself and intuitive of others. I no longer feel the pull of these obsessive relationships, in fact, I can see them coming from a mile away and once I see a telltale sign, I run like hell! I experienced this mental shift and the old things no longer seem appealing, they look dangerous and harming and wonderfully, that is no longer attractive to me.
  I look back to the pursuits that brought me such happiness as a very young lady. Writing (stories, letters, journaling), spending time with animals, being in nature, herbal studies... I am choosing to put the romantic energy, which I have in abundance, into my work, creative projects and into nurturing a happy loving life with my children, friends and animals. Instead of rabidly looking for another partner I will look inward and reflect my light outward. I concentrate on where I am going and continue creating and manifesting the internal goodness I now feel, which I had been seeking in others throughout all those lost years. I sought to find that freedom and joy outside of me but was never able to truly look inside myself at what might be lurking there.
  There are moments when I feel less than resolute and a little lonesome. Most of my friends are married or in deeply committed relationships and I have to admit that I feel a little isolated being one of the only single people I know of.  It seems that most folks in their 30s are coupled off and seem to only come in pairs, often hand in hand and I feel envious but then I examine why I feel that way and what is motivating my envy and it's usually silly. I write about it and move on.
  I am not on okcupid, I'm not asking dudes to hang out, I don't go to places with the intention of meeting someone special. It's important for me to nurture my creativity and concentrate on writing. I've been working on a book since 2010 and I need to just finish it and do all the work necessary to go to the next level in that area.
  I put a bunch of cds in the car last week. In the process of going through them, at random while driving about on a sunny day, I came across this song and had a magic moment of solidarity and understanding. Finally, I  am content to wait for a love that is sweet and wonderful. A relationship I was always seeking but was never in the right emotional space to find. I'm not interested in settling (or projecting imaginary traits and dreams onto some with-holding "diamond in the rough" man, hoping that my love will change him into my soul mate). When the time is right everything will fall into place. xo m

Saturday, May 24, 2014

poppies, puppy & wheels...


  ...these things have been most on my mind (and work work work, dreams of relocation and romance but let's start small!). Mars retrograde brought some financially laden changes that, while painful (STRESS time!) to work through, were ultimately for the best. At times I have to be careful what I verbalize and put out there to the universe because ultimately it comes to pass but in a difficult, seemingly "Why is this happening to me!!" way.
  I have been saying for months that I want to shift the bulk of my work onto etsy/ebay. I have two retail spaces (in different vintage co-ops) that I pay rent and a percentage of sales on and the income can be good at times but inconsistent and the overhead is high. Lately the sales and customers even coming into the shops has been bad and the owner has no interest in advertising or improving the aesthetic or "branding". He just wants to collect his cash. Etsy has it's own woes but the overhead is low. So I've been working on listing more everyday and voila, etsy sales are up.
  And then there's the car. I was gifted an older mercedes a couple years ago and it's been a pain and just not "me" in the car dept. I felt weird in it. I would think back longingly to my old volvos (years ago I had a 1978 green 240 wagon and a 1984 white sedan).  When my car died a couple weeks ago, I ended up getting lucky on craigslist and now I have another volvo wagon.


  It's pretty sweet. I felt like such a responsible adult (really not my forte in the cars and bills dept) going and getting tabs, insurance and an oil change.
  This little pup, Viggo Mortensen, is getting bigger but he's still the littlest dog in town. On our outings, we've only met one pup (a teacup chihuahua puppy), that he is bigger than. He likes to chew stinky bones and be wherever I am at all times. Viggo is my little shadow. I adore him but at times (5am) I curse myself for taking on another family member. Now that my daughter's allergies are pretty under control and she is blissfully sleeping through the night, I go ahead and add a puppy to the mix and yeah, he barks and whines in the night and gets up at 5am EVERYDAY. oh boy... He's a sweetheart though and everyone (except for the scroogiest of Seattle folks) smile and dote on him. He makes people happy and light just by his magical, tiny, cuteness!



 Poppies are popping. The jumbo ones, the little fluttery ones, the ones with crinkled edges...
 and eggshells getting crushed to be fed back to my chickens with their corn and snacks to add calcium and built strong shells.
 oh little lovely California poppies. I never knew there was any other kind when I was a kid growing up in Southern California. These orange poppies were everywhere including lining I-5 for mile after mile.


 Gathered flowers from our evening stroll. My gal fills bowls and bowls.
oh and Hello there Mr Gary Oldman at your finest! Swoon! The other day I was feeling a little lonesome and needing a dose of heady deep romance. I had happily discovered Bram Stoker's Dracula was added to netflix so I watched it and was instantly revived and feel content to be single until I find my own sweet prince.
  I just want a dashing, mysterious man with a thick accent who has "crossed oceans of time" to find me. No big deal, sounds reasonable... I'd better get started on that "hopeless romantic" stick n poke tattoo now. haha... Tomorrow finds me slinging vintage clothes and chatting w sweet ladies from Seattle and all around the world all day long. I'll be working on a new zine in my downtime. I think the first zine I've made in over a decade! Zine revival babies! I'd love to be a part of the return of snail mail and more printed words in hand. xo m

Saturday, May 10, 2014

May!

  It has been a month that I've been away. Not actually "away" but just not visiting this space. I've missed it. It just seemed that at the end of the day (when I usually write posts), after my little one goes to bed, I'm pretty tired and not in the mood to do much but nonsensically gripe...  (and here comes the complaining...) The antibiotics we were on at the end of March to their toll and we've been working hard to take and eat as many probiotics as possible. and then there was/is the whole turmoil of my car. I was given a "free" car by my daughter's grandpa a couple years ago. The problem is, it's a luxury car and extremely expensive to fix, so I knew that when problems started arising I would not be able to afford the astronomical repairs (I can barely afford the synthetic oil!). There have been a few car issues the last few weeks and yesterday we ended up broken down on the side of the road. We're still waiting to hear from the mechanic but it doesn't look good. I wouldn't mind if we were more centrally located but 5 years ago we moved further away from the city and there is nothing in walking distance and my kiddos schools are on the other side of town. Then there is my work... I drive around thrifting all day and sell at flea markets and my vintage shops. Maybe the universe is telling me to move back to the Capitol Hill? Maybe I need a different job? I don't know,  but it's an annoying situation, grateful we are healthy and able to have a "luxury" problem such as the car but it directly affects my income and I feel major (extra!) money $tre$$ now.  Wishing I lived in a village or on an island where everything was within walking or biking distance.
 
 I don't deal well with indecision, or not knowing what comes next. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed & trapped. Then there's the whole question of, how much longer can I even afford to try and stay in Seattle. It's gotten impossible to be able to afford rent with one income. Looking around at what's out there in the rental market is dismal.... ahhh, I'm just so bummin right now! See why I've stayed away? Deep thoughts, big decisions need to be made and it's hard times inside my head...
 Nettle season passed by in the blink of an eye. My little gal harvested her first nettles. She didn't get stung once! Every day there are fresh greens and more flowers in bloom. The daily weather is ever switching back and forth. Often suddenly between overly sunny warmth and intense gloomy rain.



 The Wisteria appeared! The lilacs are waning quickly.  I keep finding cards on the street, always hearts and diamonds... Or my birth card, the Queen of Clubs...
 This little guy is a handful. It's like having a baby. Not quite as hard but similar in so many ways.
  It's hard for me to let go of worry and just "be" and do what I need to do, one thing at a time. I spend too much time worrying about imaginary future "what ifs" and, while I am improving and working on it, I still slip into worrying-anxiety-freak outs in times of stress and transition.  So not only am I trying to solve a problem situation or make a tough decision, I also feel awful fretting... Right now, I'm going to take a hot shower and imagine all the cares and worries washing away and going down the drain! xo m