friday fictioneers: one artist’s rendering…

Remodeling spaces is a form of art.

Could it be that Picasso dabbled in fixer-uppers before painting anatomically grotesque women?

An artist begins with a blank canvas. So it is when I behold the before…imagining in my mind’s eye what will come after.

While I do not strike the carpenter’s hammer or turn the plumber’s screwdriver, mine is the creative vision.

The inspiration. The design. The materials. The textures. The colors.

My aesthetics power the coalescence of the parts.

And when it comes to details…I’m the devil.

Never for symmetry, instead by gut instinct.

If it feels rightIT’S MAGIC!

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…master bedroom…this artist’s vision come true…

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…daughter’s bedroom…also this artist’s rendering…

 

(Visit http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/17-october-2014/
for more great 100 word stories on the photo prompt.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Habit of Highly Effective People

This young man is on to something pretty simple…go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m….and you’ll solve your sleep deprivation problems.

I think he’s a genius, unfortunately I don’t know many geniuses…only dummies like myself who can’t seem to get this 9 to 6 and 6 to 9 routine down pat. Maybe he should author…SLEEPING FOR DUMMIES.

However he’s definitely right about the light thing. For awhile I used an eye mask. Lately I’ve found it a bit bothersome. Like eating healthy, I know what to do. I just can’t seem to make it a habit.

Still, I keep tryinggoing to bed early…and eating more veggies and less boxed or packaged goodies.

…maybe one of these nights…
………hugmamma.

which is it?…giver?…or…taker?

Came across a post, givers or takers, at  http://dailymusing57.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/giver-or-taker/, which really resonated with me.

What makes some folks givers and others takers? Or are we a mixture of both, but with a greater tendency toward one?

Perhaps we learned the give and take of interacting with others as children…maybe with siblings…or with parents and playmates as an only child.

Do those needing approval to bolster their self esteem give themselves over completely to serving others?

Do those having self-confidence take advantage of those without, whether knowingly or unknowingly?

What are the inherent dangers of falling into one category or the other?

And is it ever too late to pull ourselves back from being lopsidedly one or the other…

a giver…or a taker?

Me?

I’ve had difficulty taking without feeling I always had to give back right away. Still do. Once a boss, who became a good friend, asked why it was I couldn’t accept his invitation to lunch without feeling I had to reciprocate the next time we dined out? I had no answer. Still don’t.

Although I have no difficulty giving to others, truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worthy of taking without giving back. Is it because of my Catholic upbringing? Or because my mom told me mine had been an unwanted pregnancy.

I don’t dwell on why it is I’m a giver. It’s who I am. And while I still don’t take material things without feeling the need to return in kind, I’m always open to receiving the gift of love…from anyone. Although I must admit, I return the love immediately…in hugs and words.

Yesterday I met with Carlos for the first time. He had stopped by to give me an estimate on the hedges and trees my husband and I wanted pruned. From the minute we shook hands, our conversation was relaxed and easy. We spoke as though we’d known each other for more than a few minutes. By the time Carlos left for another appointment, we were muy simpatico…very sympathetic. We agreed that connecting with people is what enriches our lives. Material things are necessary, but the pleasure they bring is only temporary. Exchanging hugs, I shed a few hormonal tears and blessed Carlos for being a good man.

When we least expect it, we meet others who feel as we do.

I have learned to delight in taking from others, although such generosity still surprises me. It’s like when my husband proposed. I cried, exclaiming “Me? You want to marry me?” To which he replied “Who else? We’ve been dating for 3 years. Of course it’s you!”

Another lesson learned, albeit late, is to remove myself from the company of those who impact me negatively. Folks who don’t appreciate the full measure of what it is I am giving…

…my heart…for the taking.

………hugmamma.

we manage…mocha and me

These last few months have been touch and go for my pal Mocha. Old age has been complicated by the debilitating effects of sciatica. Hobbling around, her right paw can bend backwards and send her tumbling forward onto bended knees. Not one to be dissuaded from what she is about, Mocha picks herself up, dusts herself off, and goes about her business.

Observing Mocha makes me sympathetic to the plight of older folks. It’s no fun when body parts don’t work anymore. Life seems consumed with just the basics…eating, peeing and pooping.

“Wwwhhhaaa happened? Where’d all the fun go?” That’s what Mocha’s eyes seem to say as she watches me move about the room. On medication for a heart murmur, sciatica, and now a urinary tract infection, what’s a dog to do? Not much, except lie around.

These last few days I’ve been outdoors prepping the garden for the hibernating months ahead. While back-breaking for me and my arthritic lumbar, Mocha’s been lazing about on the freshly mowed grass, drinking in the sunshine. I’m certain we’ve both felt like switching places.

Being half-beagle, Mocha would love to make like a mole and dig tunnels in the dirt. Me? I’d be content with stretching out on the warm, green lawn, staring up at the billowy, white clouds floating serenely across the baby blue sky.

And yet we make the best of it, Mocha and me. On good days, she’s a little sprightlier. We both are. On days when it takes a little more effort to get going, we take our time.

We don’t wallow in “what ifs,” we just tweak our plans a little. If I’m not up to weeding and pruning, then I’ll do some laundry and vacuum. As for Mocha, if she can’t wander about in search of a new place to lie, then she’ll stay put in her comfy bed all day.

Older age. It’s about doing what we can do, and not fretting about what we can’t do. Of course, doing what we can to keep our bodies humming along is imperative…stretching, exercising, and minimizing our intake of unhealthy carbs.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgo potato chips, candy, and soda. Although I have managed to limit them to…once-in-awhile.

Because of global warming we’re suppose to get a break from the cold, dank, dark weather that normally smothers the Pacific Northwest like an unwanted blanket. According to local forecasters, the lows should hover around the 50s. So far the prediction seems to be panning out. The sun is still with us.

Hallelujah!!!

…mocha and I don’t feel so old…when our bones are warm! Xmas 2010 2 00000

………hugmamma.

 

nurturing thursdays: happiness…a matter of choice

I very often use my daughter’s professional career path as a means to understanding my life, and life in general. I guess it’s because I can step back more easily and reflect upon its course with twenty-twenty hindsight.

Now that she’s headed in a different direction, away from ballet toward contemporary movement, my daughter is happier. For sure there have been potholes along the way, but is anyone’s life ever without them?

Choices. We’re always confronted with them. Never a day goes by when we don’t have to make decisions. A dancer’s life is no different and yet, whatever is decided alters her career path without it being obvious at the time.

The first ballet company with whom my daughter trained at the age of 16 had no qualms about her going elsewhere to dance when they were on hiatus during the summer months. At least that’s what the company’s dance school director said. She felt my daughter was a smart dancer who could easily transition between time with the company and time away with others.

It was during the summer that my daughter began honing her ability as a contemporary dancer. She felt combining year-round ballet with several weeks dancing a different movement would make her a more versatile performer. And it did. Yet it seems to have come with a price that was not made clear until the die had been cast, so to speak.

Rather than inform her directly that it would have been preferable for my daughter to spend summers with the company, very subtle hints were made by staff. Nothing definite, just little questions like “Do you want to be here?” Of course the answer was always an emphatic “Yes!” How was she to know they meant…”Well then you shouldn’t be seen by other directors who might want to steal you away?”

Ballet companies have the upper hand in deciding who among their many trainees and apprentices might eventually be offered a position. There are no guarantees. All of them are made to feel they have potential, but none of them can claim professional status until they have a signed contract.

So then the decision for the “wannabee” career ballet dancer is “Does she commit herself to a company who is still undecided about her? Or does she explore the larger dance community not only to enhance her skills but also to begin networking with fellow artists…dancers, choreographers, and yes, even directors?”

My daughter chose to broaden her dance horizons. She never did it with the intent to leave the company with which she was training. In fact she was always excited to return to the fold after time away. With renewed energy and confidence she incorporated what she’d learned during the summer into her performances.

Of course there are always different perspectives to any situation. So while my daughter saw her summers as enhancing her dance, the ballet company’s director perceived them as a sign that she wasn’t fully committed to him. When he let her go after 5 years he said “I decided to let you go instead of others because you’ll have an easier time finding a job then them.” At that point, my daughter was glad to finally be out from under a shadow that had been looming ever since she returned after the summer. She hugged her boss and thanked him for the opportunities she had been given while there. And with that she left the studio, breathing in the great outdoors and the promise of better days ahead.

Others who trained alongside my daughter never ventured off during the summers. They faithfully remained with the company. Of those, a few have gone on to become principal dancers. Sadly though they have never seen the broader dance world firsthand. And then there are all the others who were not even offered positions.

Becoming a professional dancer, especially in ballet, is just as much luck as it is talent and hard work. My daughter was fortunate to make it with the second ballet company she joined.

However the journey is never without its bumps. If one’s career stalls or back slides, then a dancer must decide her next move.

My daughter could have remained another 6 years to see where her career as a ballet dancer would take her. Instead she made the decision to change directions, helped in large part by all that she’d gained during her months off from the companies.

Over the course of her summers, my daughter has met hundreds of dancers on their way to somewhere. She’s also met her fair share of choreographers and directors. And then there are the stars with whom she’s paled around…Ethan Steiffel…Misty Copeland. Of them all, however, the most notable person she has met has been…herself.

Finding oneself in life is something for which we all strive. The choices we make, difficult as they might be in the moment, bring us to our own conclusion.

I’ve often told my daughter when she was a dance student, as well as on her way to becoming a professional…”Enjoy the process. As long as you do that, you’ll never be disappointed in the outcome. Happiness lies in the journey, not in the promise of the ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.’ ”

Did I already mention…

…my daughter is happy…very happy.

………hugmamma.

(Enjoy more inspirational words at
http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nurturing-thurs-you-are/