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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

Friday, April 11, 2014

a tale of two cities...

...or Seattle vs Portland. It's just such a thing right now. There's always been a bit of a beatles vs stones, blur vs oasis rivalry going on, but lately it's gettin kookoo! I giggled a little when I read my sweet friend Milla's Portland post this morning. Then it got me to thinking about this Northwestern city battle... and plus, I needed a break from my intensive feng shui attack/space clearing thing (more on this soon!).

  I love Portland but was stunned on my last visit there at how much Hating On Seattle, seems for some, a big time regional sport. Last time I went to Portland I had to listen to 3 different friends give me their anti-Seattle monologues. One pal talked about it soooo much I finally said "Cool, I get it! Love it or leave it, you left , now can you stop talking about how much you hated it? I still live there and you're bummin me out.". Then while out looking around, when I mentioned I was from Seattle, I encountered plenty of sweet Portland folks but was also was scoffed at and told by 3 shopkeepers,  2 baristas and one snooty bartender some negative views of Seattle. I've never felt such widespread regional disdain before (except when I went to London and certain Brits realized I was American...). It's weird how worked up some Portlanders (and non-Seattle people) get and how easily they engage in trash talk. You wanna know what people in Seattle say about Portland? I'll tell you, nothing. We like to go shopping there (tax free!) or take mini-vacations. Portland is cool, Seattle is cool. If you don't like it, guess what, you don't have to live here or even visit.

  I envision Seattle as the eldest child of the Pacific Northwest family of cities. Swanky Seattle is all growed up and off to an ivy league school (even though she once used to have green hair and play in a punk bank) while Portland is the sassy kid sister still in middle school, so totally annoyed at her older sis... Does that make sense at all?
*this lovely lady above is my friend Olive, the sweetest barista/dog bestie (at the cutest tiny coffee shop) in all the land. Washington native and all around nicest gal in town!

  I am daily annoyed by so many things in my city. The lack of diversity-racial and economic, The crowded streets, so full of cars and people, the condos, condos, condos, grossly going up EVERYWHERE (buying out seattle dives and landmarks for ridiculous prices to get a slice of the real estate pie), the uber yuppies/dot.com drones that flock to new fancy cafes & bars (they live in all the condos, drive audis), the jocks and bros and weird dudes that fill up every sidewalk in every neighborhood on every weekend night once the sun goes down, the fact that rents are going up and up... No city is perfect. I get over it here, then I leave for a week or even a few days and when I get home, it feels so right (now).

  I've never been bothered by the legendary coldness of Seattlites. I think people are friendly enough. Some days it suits me just fine if no one talks to me. People usually do though, especially cuz I have a super cute dog and I frequent hoods where I know so many people, I bump into friends often. Yesterday I was talking to a 75 yr old Norwegian pal of mine that I saw at the coffee shop, about the supposed coldness of Seattle people. He laughed and said, "I like it, reminds me of Norway. Always standing in the rain or snow in the dark waiting for the train, it's fine, no one saying 'How are you?' or some nonsense when we're cold and all feel the same way, no need to put on some fake friendliness." hahaha.

  There are so many wonderful things going on in Seattle. It's interesting (as well as frustrating) how my city has grown up with me. When I moved here I was only 20, Seattle was gritty, felt small (compared to so-cal-where I came from), still pretty dirty. I thought it was neat to see Layne Staley on the bus, Krist Novoselic was in a yoga class I frequented, Kurt had passed on but I had several odd interactions with Courtney Love. I ended up meeting and making friends with many of my teenage grunge idols. The music scene here was and still is pretty magical. We have the best radio station in probably the world. That dark foresty Twin Peaks vibe is afoot big time. The forests, islands, mountains, beaches are crazy beautiful. Oh, don't forget the coffee thing, Vivace is here and it's the best. Our city spends a lot of time and money on parks and green spaces. There are chickens and bees happily in every hood. Art galleries and community gardens (plus guerilla art and gardens). And then there's my family and the friends that have become family to me here in Seattle, I love my community-which is made up of a few different communities (some overlapping) but just so many wonderful people here!
 *Here's my teen and his bud when I took them on a super uplifting (sarcasm guys) pilgrimage, in the dismal rain, on the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death day to see Kurt's house and the park/memorial next to it... bummersville bonding experience extraordinaire, Seattle style. It felt heavy out there...

  I don't really care what folks think about where I live but sometimes it's a little like having people talk mean about your mama or sister. I mean I can talk about Seattle I've lived here since 1996 and damnit I've earned it, but hearing other people make jabs at my city does make me feel a bit protective (yeah, I'm talkin to you, bearded bartender at that Portland vegan cafe/bar, named something I can't remember). For now Seattle is my home. I lived in Portland in 1993-94. It never felt like home to me (It felt like "My own Private Idaho" and I went to "the city" nightclub and xray cafe.). When I visit now,  I have fun, eat amazing gluten free vegan treats, dip fondue at the pied cow, marvel at the surplus of cute boys (the grass is always greener!) but right now,  I can't see myself there. I'm not so sure Seattle feels like my forever home, but it feels close. I need to spend more time exploring the surrounding country and islands and hopefully migrate out of this blossoming city scape as soon as my oldest is done with high school. But for now we are in Seattle, and it's a little like my baby, and nobody talks bad about my baby (but me!).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

puppy

  On Wednesday our sweet little puppy came to live with us. Viggo is so tiny and only 8 weeks old. A friend of ours rescued him and his sisters from an animal hoarder when they were only 4 weeks old. Unfortunately My gal came down with a nasty virus (stomach ache, sore throat) on Friday and a few hours later I was feeling it too so now we are sick again. I'm grateful puppy is pretty chill and as active as he can be in brief bursts, he does sleep a lot. Right now I have very little energy and I've noticed that the colds and such of this winter have a lot of accompanying body aches. woe is me woe is us. This had better be the last cold of the season!
 We've had so many conversations with neighbors and met lots of new people when we're out with pup. It's like having a celebrity on a leash, the pup-arazzi are everywhere!! I've never had a dog before, it's a completely different experience from my years of cat companionship. I honestly would've never even considered a dog but my gal is very allergic to cats and wanted an animal friend she could touch and play with. Having a pup is a bit like having a baby. And I don't know the first thing about potty training or any of that, learning as I go so any tips or links would be very appreciated!
 I found this cute mug at the thrift store the other day. I love it. I'm doing well staying away from the coffee. I've had 1 chai and only a couple green teas in the last week. I've been drinking dandelion root tea in the morning and nettle/mint in the afternoon.

 Egg production is way up and egg eating is way down. The kids are over eggs in every form.
  
  More than ever, I'm suffering from the city blues. I love Seattle but I no longer feel like I need to be in the city and in the midst of all this activity. The longing for country life is so strong. A little cabin, a trailer, a school bus, on a bit of land... For now, we are here. I have a teenager in high school and I am committed to having him finish here, he would be devastated if we moved now. Still, when I dream, I'm in the country.

Now, it's time to put on a coat and take this pup out for a walk. xo m