Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kreativ Bloggers

I was given a lovely blog award, called Kreativ Blogger, by Jane. Jane has two blogs, one called The Painted House, which is her personal blog, filled with creative art and sewing and her writing about her life. The other is a new venture for her called 52 Projects. 52 Projects is an "adventure in discovery" involving doing something new and exciting each week of the year (although the project doesn't have to be big or art related) as a way to self-discovery and personal growth. Best of all, you can jump in anytime! Doesn't that sound great?

So part of the award is posting seven things you might not know about me.

1 - One of my favorite jobs when I worked regular jobs was working as an accounting clerk in a small office. I ran an adding machine all day and did very little thinking, leaving my mind free to roam all day. I loved that. Another favorite job I had was as an ice guard in an ice skating rink. I was the only female ice guard and it was a cool job:) It involved skating around, keeping people safe, and helping people who were injured. Some of my jobs were okay but nothing compares to being a writer.

2 - I made a Valentine for LoveHubbie last year out of an old refrigerator part, one that the repairman left when he installed a new thingamajig. I like making art projects out of found objects.

3 - I have had really, really bad teeth. By the time I was in my forties I'd lost about two-thirds of them. Lots of years before that were spent in pain before getting them fixed and after too. Then LoveHubbie took out a second mortgage on the house (just kidding, but almost) and got me a mouth full of dental implants and my life was transformed. Teeth are really, really important.

4 - I wrote a psychology paper in my sixth year as an undergraduate on how to calculate physical attractiveness using a mathematical equation. It sounds pretty lame except that I was also a statistics major and it made sense to me. That was so long ago that I typed it on a typewriter using carbon paper and I still have a copy.

5 - I am crazy about fountain pens and writing by hand. I've kept journals all my life and writing in them is just about the most fun thing I can imagine to do. I am also into flexible nibs and interesting colors of ink. I write mainly in moleskines now but also have several journals by the talented bookbinder and art journaler Leslie Herger.

6 - I started writing Amazon reviews because I wanted to share what I thought about books I'd read with other people, and I didn't know anyone I could talk to who cared. So far I've written 1,014 Amazon reviews. Really. It's pretty cool because I often get sent free things to review, however, I sort of wish now that I'd devoted more of that energy towards writing for publication.

7 - I was the black sheep of my family. LoveHubbie is the black sheep of his family. I enjoy people who do things differently, and my friends tend to be other black sheep. I think that being a black sheep is a fine thing to be, even a good thing. I do find it sad though that when you are marching to a different drummer people try to make your drummer (and you too) wrong and bad. I think that different drummers are what makes the world go round.

Lastly, for the Kreativ Blogger, you must pass it on to seven other bloggers. Jane hates this part and I do too. I don't think I read any blogs that aren't incredibly creative, because creative blogs are the ones I'm attracted to. Here are the rules for the seven recipients:

1. Thank the person giving the award.
2. Copy the award to your blog.
3. Place a link to their blog.
4. Name seven things people don't know about you.
5. Nominate seven other bloggers who you admire.
6. Place a link to these bloggers.
7. Leave a comment on their blog notifying them of the award.

I am adding another rule just for these seven wonderful bloggers: if you don't have the time or the desire to do this or you want to do it your own way, please feel free. My desire is to honor you and to let you know how much your creativity has inspired me.

Today I'm picking:

The Queen of Arts,
The Queen of Creativity,
                                               (I chose both Queen Kim and Queen Kate for their incredible creativity especially artistically, and I mention them first because they are royalty.)

Kikipotamus the Hobo,
                                                (I chose Kelly because she is gifted at finding small things to be grateful for each day.)

Notes from the Laundromat,
                                                (I chose Kristine because her art is like nothing I've ever seen, her photos are great, and she is an emerging artist just beginning to find recognition for the work she does.)

Suzie the Foodie,
                                                (Because she is just SO darn creative with food, her approach to cooking, and her writing about her adventures. I'm not really interested in cooking but I read each and every post and enjoy it. I swear I even taste the food!)

Finding My Way Home
                                                (I chose Thailand Chani because she is so creative with her approaches to life and to dealing with difficult situations.)

The Dream Life
                                                (Because Lori-Lyn writes better than anyone I know, and if that's not creative I don't know what is. She is also very, very real.)

If you're just coming back to my blog after a long hiatus (as in, since the last time I posted), please don't miss my post "Where's Olivia?" also from today.

Ahhhh, it's good to be back.

Where's Olivia?

I have been working on finishing my book on Moku`ula, and then I actually did just that on Friday, can you believe it? And I may already have an editor. I'm submitting my manuscript to her Monday for her to evaluate to see. I need someone very familiar with the Hawaiian language as well as Mauian history. I decided to pick the very best person I could find. So I am honored that she is willing to consider me. 

So I've been working, working, working, like grad school all over again. But I'm done.

I will be posting more stay tuned.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sacred Life Sunday: Blessings and Poverty

I wanted to write today to tell you how much I appreciate all of my blessings, especially each one of you. I was talking to a friend yesterday and I told her that my most prized possession is my laptop, because it is a major way that I connect and interface with the world, with all of you.

As I watch the coverage of Haiti, I am reminded that even just in the stability of our country right now, even in the fact that we have food and water and a clean bed to sleep in (let alone new sheets), even in these little things, we are very blessed. We have so much! Our health, our jobs (or our ability to get a new job), our families (biological or chosen), a clear mind, being able to walk and feed ourselves--we each have so much that we take for granted.

Today I am focusing on not taking the foundation of abundance in my life for granted.

And praying for those who are in need.

Today I am reminded of those who are in spiritual poverty also. People who are searching for spiritual life. People whose spirituality is fear-based or even hate-based. They are in need too.

May we all--all--be blessed and have our needs met.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Sheets

My 10th wedding anniversary is coming up in one week. It's hard to believe I've been married to LoveHubbie this long. This year, I decided to do something creative. We previously had our original comforter on our king bed, which is also 10 years old. So I decided to put together a beautiful new sheet set.

I only mostly shop on the Internet, so I did it using Amazon, trying to coordinate everything with a treasured drawing of Moku`ula that hangs in my bedroom (as well as the subject of my book). It's pretty hard to do, but an exciting way to exercise creativity--at least that's how I experienced it. I'm always looking for deals, too, so that made it extra fun.

Here is the blessedly short movie I did about this:

Unfortunately the movie came out like an action movie with the camera swaying all over the place and the details blurred and pixelated. I debated about putting it up at all, but I really wanted to show it to you! And for right now, I don't know how to improve it. I obviously need to learn much more about how to make clear movies and about how to package them for YouTube, but this will have to do until then. 

Here is a picture of LoveHubbie and me from over 30 years ago in our engagement picture:  

As some of you know, we married other people, and are grateful for a second chance to be together in middle age.

Peace and joy to everyone this weekend, O

Friday, January 8, 2010

Word for the New Year: Presence

I'm a little late posting this year and I've missed Sacred Sundays and Wellness Wednesdays for a while, but I hope to get back on track. I've been working on finishing my book before my jury duty obligation starts next week. I'm not going to finish in time after all, but I've made so much progress. It feels good. My first deadline was the end of 2009, but I'm satisfied that I'm nearing the finish line.

Well, my word for 2010 is Presence. For me this means being present and mindful and experiencing things with my whole self. It means having a year of sobriety from alcohol and really feeling through things. I've experienced a lot of shifting even just in this short time. One is that I enjoy two things much more, poetry and music. I've been drawn to them. Usually it's way too hard for me to slow down enough to read poetry. And music competes with all the noise in my head. So this year I've been reading poetry of all types and listening to instrumental music, especially tango.

Another shift is that I've dropped a bad habit--that of staying in touch with people who have expressed a desire NOT to be in touch with me. As in, following them over the Internet because I "care about them". This rationale works well for people I'm related to or have been close to. Or following their activities and endeavors because I "need to know what they're up to so that I can be informed and prepare myself"--this rationale is good with past so-called enemies. This is a really useless pursuit that keeps these people present in my consciousness. There is no space to move on and introduce healthier relationships. I have let this go. It allows me to be Present in my life.

I've also started meditating via the 28 Day Meditation Challenge, which I found out about from Linnea via Twitter (she is @cafemercury). Several of you have joined me in this. I started out strong, but forgot the last two days. So today I had a long meditation time for me, twenty minutes. Loved it. I was following Kelly's suggestion to take today off after I tweeted about it being Elvis' birthday today. I always remember. I don't know why. I'm not an Elvis fan. It's just one of those things that sticks with me, like Pearl Harbor Day and birthdays of everyone I've ever loved.

So I just decided to go with it. I have been pushing pretty hard and can use a day off.

One thing I should mention about my word. It hasn't been just hunky-dory with me being Present as I go about my life. So. Far. From it. I just get little glimpses from time to time. It's a place to start. And other things.

For example, in letting go of people---both loved and toxic folk--I have a huge amount of anxiety. Huge. An open space. The space in my heart is cracked wide open to receive more as I let go of these people. It does result in anxiety but I expect this to get less and less.

Also, I have times of alternating Presence with Suzie's word: Escape. Suzie has such hutzpah in choosing a non-shiny word, I think. Right now I still need some Escape as I am transitioning (and maybe I always will). For me this means reading fiction, watching television while I eat, playing Sudoku, getting lost following links in Twitter, dreaming about where we'll retire, and generally healthy things like this. But I do use them--use them--to Escape from being present and to cope with difficult emotions when they become too much to bear. Instead of forcing myself to always be Present (too overwhelming right off), I am taking baby steps. Escape is very, very helpful.

If I haven't wished you a happy new year yet, I'm wishing you one now. I love your comments. Each one is encouraging to me and helps me to continue on this journey we're on together. xo.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark, all taken in Maui this past fall 2009