I’ve been feeling sad lately. My Dad died in March. My cat died in June. I stopped doing my cartoon/stencil drawings after my Dad died. I was kind of doing them for him.

Soon after he died, I felt an overwhelming urge to move back to Houston. My Mom is the only parent I have left now. I don’t want to lose her without getting to spend more meaningful time together, but I also have a job. I guess that’s the main thing I have right now. A job, an apartment, a floor fan. Stuff.

I also have Jesus. He’s back in my life. My Dad’s memorial brought him back to me. I couldn’t read the Bible passages I was asked to read without having Jesus in my heart. It just wouldn’t be right.




I should probably call this ‘Friendship in the Time of Covid,” but I’ll leave it at “Friendship.” I was on a Zoom party last night and I got so angry I had to get off. I was blown away that people were able to maintain friendships at this time. I feel like my friend circle has gotten very small. I was grateful to be invited to a Zoom birthday party for a friend who is turning 50. I have known this friend a few years and she’s a very kind, generous and creative soul similar to myself. She and I have encouraged each other through our dreams, but going back to work at a preschool last September, I once again felt I had to put that on hold to be able to endure the grind of 8:30 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday with 10 to 16 preschoolers. I come home exhausted. I often just inhale some food and then get into bed or lay down on the floor (I don’t own a sofa) in front of the Roku set and watch “The Crown” and eventually get myself into bed, often after 10 pm. I have been entertaining myself with that and playing Scrabble with Friends on Facebook with people with whom I don’t have any conversations. It’s sort of depressing. I have been reaching out to family and that’s nice, but mostly I get to see the exciting things they are doing and I wonder about my own schedule. Is this how I should best be using my time?

Then I show up on this Zoom birthday party with this gal and her friends and people I barely know and rarely see but have some affinity towards and I feel angry and lonely and frustrated. I guess the fact that I am blogging about it rather than feeling depressed is a good thing.

I want to be creating. I have created a bunch of images that have been very powerful. I’ll share some of them here:

I find these images to be something that just moves through me, as though all the art I witness during the day through the hands of four and five year olds come out of me in its own unique fashion. It’s a way to feel satisfied while my inner self wants to create and feels frustrated at not being able to do much creating all day long. So, at the end of the day I can come home and make weird and interesting creatures.

Maybe these creatures are my friends even if the human kind are a little more complicated for me to figure out. I am grateful for my pens, my stencils and my pad of paper where I can let these little beings come alive.

#friendships #friendshipsduringcovid #workingwithpreschoolers #workingwithkids #workingwithkidsduringcovid #isolation #creativeart #weirdcreatures


A very unsatisfying post

I am practicing waiting today. Yesterday I practiced fighting for what I want. Now, today I practice waiting. It’s uncomfortable. I think I need to be doing something.

I got up and did my stretches and flexibility practice. I had been so tired yesterday: holding onto what matters most to me is hard work. I felt nervous and anxious inside. I took several naps. The verdict was the new car I wanted so badly required $6,000 of work done on it before it was ready to run. They were discounting the work, in fact, they were going to sell me the car for less than the sticker price. So, why was I resisting?

When I test drove the car last week, it was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted: v6, 4-wheel drive, sunroof!!, comfortable seats. I loved how I felt in it.

After frantically going back to the dealership a week later, hoping the car was still there and putting down earnest money, I was so excited that I was about to get the car of my dreams! I even sold my current car to my boyfriend’s roommate for more than the Kelly Book price. Wow! I was excited and empowered and spent that night with my boyfriend, feeling elated and passionate.

The next morning, I get a call from the salesman I had worked with the day before. The differential needed replacing. Very expensive repair. They would give me a discount, but they couldn’t sell the car at the lower price I was hoping for.

What happened?

Last week I found perfection.

This week I find imperfection.

Something in me is disrupted. So, this morning, I wait.

Being my own Healthy Parent

(Warning: there is some slightly graphic sexual content in this post.)

A part of my life and my thoughts have revolved around “making myself a better person.” Or “healing myself.” Or wondering why I do things that don’t feel good and then judging myself. I have gone through periods of time where I don’t really know who to talk to about this and other periods of time where I am calling someone every day or every few days and “checking in” about the state of my inner world.

The conventional wisdom is that an “unexamined life is not worth living,” but what about an over-examined life?

About five months ago, I was contemplating what to do on a Saturday night. I didn’t have plans but for some reason, I took a look at Facebook and a friend who I hadn’t seen in years, partially because he throws what I consider decadent parties and I had been abstaining, was throwing one of his annual wild parties. It involved wearing dresses – for the women and the men. Preferred color – red.

I thought I’d go.

Today, reflecting on that choice, I can see it unleased something that probably wouldn’t have been unleashed if I hadn’t gone.

My question is, am I glad to have unleased this, and now, where do I go from here?

To get more specific, I had met a man at a dance the weekend before and he and I conferred about attending the red dress dance as well. I had flirted with him. He seemed interested in me. We didn’t exchange numbers but exchanged names so that we could say “hi” to each other on Facebook.

I could tell he was into me. I wasn’t sure how I felt.

But I chose to go to the red dress party because a voice in my head said, ‘you will end up missing this and staying at home and then feeling woe-be-gone for days until something else fun comes along.’ And, I DID have fun. And HE was there, wearing a red dress and braids. (He has long hair.) The chemistry was still there. I don’t know how it happened but at some point he and I went downstairs where all the dancing was happening and he pulled me close and held onto me. I felt wanted and desired.

We both managed to peel ourselves away from each other and go back to our respective homes. I hadn’t fallen that quickly for someone in a while (ok, I had just broken up with someone two months prior.) But, I was cautioning myself to slow down.

But I went to my open-minded, open-hearted church the next morning and the minister was preaching on allowing in all the pleasure we could stand. (Can you believe it?) She was challenging our old Judeo-Christian habits of not allowing ourselves to enjoy our lives.

I left before the sermon was over, rushed to my car and asked if he wanted to have lunch with me.

An affirmative ‘yes’ and after a cozy Thai lunch, we went to my place and consummated our new relationship. 

I am reflecting on these events of February this year. Now it’s the end of July. After the lust wore off, I started thinking maybe this wasn’t meant to last. I am grateful for the passion that being with this guy unleashed in me, but I also discovered that parts of me weren’t showing up when we were together. For example, last night, I was feeling emotional pain. I had stirred up a well of anger and not-so-carefully shared it with someone at my community garden. I think my anger was justified, but perhaps I could have gotten the intensity of it out a little more before talking to anyone at the garden who I felt angry at. I had spoken to the person who I thought had wronged me, but I feel like I had come from a place of blame and not a place of goodwill. I didn’t like how I was behaving. I ended up coming home after and then taking a nap. When Brad reached out to me, I was wrapped up in a blanket of self-pity and really didn’t want him to try to be cheery with me, but my brain said, it’s not healthy for you to hang out in self-pity. See, your buddy is calling up to make sure you are ok. This will be good for you.

So, I let him talk me out of my mood and I came over to his place. Usually this means sharing a meal, hanging out and chatting, often mindlessly and not very satisfyingly. Often not feeling heard or seen. Often just wanting to be held but putting up with all the static waiting for the moment I am held and seen.

He made an effort to be ok with me feeling “tender.” He had given me a hard time a week ago about feeling tender when I came over and I had expressed, perhaps in a text, feeling like my emotional needs weren’t being met. He was making an effort. I wanted to slow him down even more, but at some point he pulled out his erect penis and I started sucking on it. It gave him pleasure, so I kept doing it. He was expecting it. I was waiting to feel seen and heard. Then he went off to get the clean sheets. I waited. He came back and we made up the bed. I think he started touching me sexually. I think I took off my underwear.

But this is how it always goes. I just want to feel seen and heard and I show up and do whatever is expected of me waiting to be seen and heard. Once the sex is over, we cuddle. I enjoy the cuddling. I am grateful for the cuddling.

The sex is awkward to me.

I don’t feel seen or heard. He doesn’t hurt me. I am able to ask for what I want, sometimes, but I don’t feel seen or heard.

I enjoy it in a somewhat detached way. I have trouble looking him in the eye because I don’t feel like his eyes see me. I feel the intensity of his eyes, but I don’t feel seen. I don’t see his inner self acknowledging my inner self. I don’t see love. I see him receiving pleasure from touching and entering my body, but I don’t feel warmth in my heart. I don’t feel harm, but I also don’t feel loved. He says things like, “you’re so nice!” And I think, well, I guess I am too nice. I almost didn’t come last night. Would it have been better for me to sit alone in my self-pity or to come spend the night with a man knowing he’d have sex with me and I would feel detached. I know I would get cuddles that I really love and enjoy and feel warm and caring, but do I need to have detached sex to get to that? It’s not fair for me to go through that to get another need met. I feel raw and pain writing this. Am I willing to let go and allow in something even better?

I want to call people and ask them what to do. Instead, I thought I’d write this blog. It’s personal. It’s detailed and it’s honest. It’s also an opportunity for me to reflect on my own choices from the standpoint of being my own healthy adult.

If I were my own healthy, loving parent, rather than being me, what would I say to me. Here’s a start: ‘Your body belongs to you. You don’t need to give your body to someone else, even if they experience pleasure, even if you experience pleasure, unless you really want to. Unless you really really want to. This is happening because you have a lesson to learn. Maybe the lesson has to do with ownership of your body. Maybe the lesson has to do with where you get your love from and what you do to “get” loved. No one owns the love that you are wanting. You don’t need to trade things for love. This may be a good time to reflect on the nature of love:’

2 Corinthians 13:1-13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong-doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

“Some call you love, I call you the king of Love. You are beyond all imaginings, taking me places I can’t even dream of. O Ruler of my Heart, wherever you go….Don’t go without me.” Rumi


by Erin Hanson

You are not your age, Nor the size of clothes you wear, You are not a weight, Or the color of your hair. You are not your name, Or the dimples in your cheeks,

You are all the books you read, And all the words you speak, You are your croaky morning voice, And the smiles you try to hide, You’re the sweetness in your laughter, And every tear you’ve cried,

You’re the songs you sing so loudly, When you know you’re all alone, You’re the places that you’ve been to, And the one that you call home, You’re the things that you believe in, And the people that you love,

You’re the photos in your bedroom, And the future you dream of, You’re made of so much beauty, But it seems that you forgot, When you decided that you were defined, By all the things you’re not. ‘

Maybe it’s ok that I am where I am, sitting at my desk, typing this blog. Maybe it’s ok that I am shedding tears, longing for a more mature and civilized sort of love, wanting to love myself. How can I love myself? I think first of all, I am setting the intention.

Sorry for the long stall, and an update on me

So, back in August a year ago after I posted the “whole grain is not an ingredient” posting, I was working on a furniture project I was excited about. Then, I started having breathing issues. I ended up taking myself to the emergency room twice in the period of a couple of weeks because my breathing felt labored/not right. I also noticed how eager I was to spend time with the emergency nurse. In the moment it felt as if he cared about me more than anyone else in the world and wanted to know I was ok. I felt embarrassed. Where were my friends? Don’t I have friends? At the moment I didn’t have a job or a career. I thought that I must not have any friends who cared about me because the only company I got was hanging out with the emergency room nurse.

I went to my primary care doctor, got treatment for asthma and was thinking about posting a blog here to warn about watching too many home renovation shows without thinking about the impact of the products they are using on your health. Just spray paint this old vase, and voila, a new vase! No one says, do it in a ventilated area and preferably use a ventilator. And, if you use a ventilator, make sure that you replace the charcoal filter after each use because it loses it’s activation and isn’t much better than just breathing in all the fumes. Because, you know, when you are wearing a ventilator and thinking it’s working, you breathe through it. Well for me, it turns out I was breathing through the ventilator but not getting any of the benefits of filtering out the fumes.

So, I got to experience asthma first hand. I had bronchitis seasonally as a kid exercise-induced asthma as a young adult, but now I had caused myself asthma. This along with living alone caused me to panic. Just so you know, the upside of panic – the oxytocin and adrenalin create a fight, flight or freeze response. Right? But did you know, part of the purpose of oxytocin is to get you to go be with people. The emergency room nurse, remember? And, then the shame of the emergency room nurse now becoming my best friend motivated me to get out and spend time with other people. Which brings to mind my friend Veronica who thankfully walked to me to the registration table at my church and stood there until I had filled out the paperwork and paid the down payment to go to church camp in August 2018. Also, at this time, the fires were burning in the Washington Cascade Mountains and the sky was filling with smoke. Asthmatics are supposed to avoid all breathing contaminants – chemicals, fumes, smoke, etc.

Yes, as you imagined, it was a challenging time. But out of it blossomed something beautiful. I unexpectedly connected with my old friend, Noam, and we spent a lovely next few months getting to know each other better, dancing contact improv and being invited to all sorts of activities that I hadn’t participated in before – house concerts, clown jams, contact improv retreats, etc. My fears of not-enoughness were wearing off. I also started a beautiful new job at a Montessori on Capitol Hill that had a reputation for being a kind, magical place to develop children, families and teachers.

I am now grateful for the many blessings that came from this experience. Things are continuing to unfold in my life. God is always there looking out for me.

Whole Grain is Not an Ingredient

Ok, so I am starting today with a little rant: “Whole Grain” is not an ingredient. I say this because as you see in the picture below, General Mills is trying to convince you it is. I crossed out their little lie: “Whole Grain is the 1st Ingredient” and replaced it with my own words, “Whole Grain is not an ingredient, it’s an adjective.” Right?

Basically, they left out the word “wheat.” This is important for me in particular as I am giving up wheat.

Yes, I could read the list of ingredients, but I just get so bugged by lies in advertising. I’ve done some internet reading about advertising (I am not an expert, in other words) but can see that one of its purposes is to boost the economy; getting people to spend money: A little about the history of advertising in the US.

But, maybe I am just naive, I would like a little more honesty in the world and I am bugged that even my box of cereal couldn’t be honest.

Ok, I could stop there, but maybe I will turn this around and find some companies that are very honest. Check this out! Ok, the first link I found was a little more tongue-in-cheek than I meant, but I thought it was funny.  My favorite, “Maybelline: Maybe it’s Photoshop.” Yes, it is.

Ok, here is a real honest ad: honest advertising examples Image result for honest advertising examples

And, as far as I can tell, this is a real TV Commercial: Really honest advertising!

Well, you decide. Let me know how you combat advertising lies you encounter, whether you succumb to advertising lies and whether you think more honest advertising is the solution.

Have a super weekend!


Sail: Word for the Day

In responding to today’s prompt, I am calling on one of my favorite TV shows, So You Think You Can Dance, and one of my all-time favorite auditions for this competitive dance show:

Maybe not what one would associate with 4th of July in a coastal town, but, nonetheless, worth the time it takes to watch this clip!

Prompt: Sail

Letting Go of Suffering – Why Do I Suffer?

I haven’t posted in a little while and an evening with a friend had stirred me up and I wanted to post about it. I started with a rant, but realized that was only going to leave me feeling more like a victim. So, I checked out the site of a mentor of mine, Karuna Poole, and was reminded about suffering. I usually don’t realize I am “suffering” as it is such a habit. I believe that our thoughts create our reality, but I often get caught up in old emotions (memories of a similar experience to my present day experience and the feelings I have about those memories) and forget that I can actually stop it. So, I thought that I would share this in an effort to take the high road and not get caught up in my disagreement with my friend.

I also feel like I need to remember that I don’t always see eye-to-eye with others. Everyone has their own unique experience of the world. I’d like to explore how to be in the world with differences of opinion and not to be resentful or superior or shut people out because I disagree.

Here’s Karuna’s post:

The task for this week and the next will be to explore WHY you suffer, e.g. why you are suffering now as an adult and why you learned to suffer as a child. The primary tool you will use is Pam Levi…

Source: Letting Go of Suffering- Week 4: Why Do I Suffer?

Spiral Scarf?

I like Christmas. I like Christmas because it’s about new things, a new baby savior, new stuff wrapped in paper and tied up in a bow, new books, new jewelry, etc. I was thinking about that over the last few days because I’ve been working on this spiral scarf I had started several years ago but had set it aside because it was taking too long. I was going through my grandma’s old sewing cabinet a few months ago and I found the scarf, liked the colors and started working on it again. I had lost the instructions, so I had to wing it…with the help of a friend who looked at it and said, I bet you can figure out how you did this. She was right! I did figure it out!

At least enough to keep doing what I had been doing so far. But I didn’t like how tight the spirals were. At the rate I was going, I was sure that I’d use up all my yarn without making anything long enough to even come close to wrapping around my neck. So, I altered the scarf to shorten the spirals and create a longer distance between each spiral. I wanted to end up with an actual scarf and not just a stack of closely knit kitchen rags….this was ok, I thought. It looked a little sloppy, but I could dig it! And then I ran out of yarn. The yarn is a pretty swirl of blue, green and purple. Surely, I should be able to find more like it…it’s so pretty! After scouring the endless shelves of yarn at my local JoAnn Fabrics, I found one yarn with a very similar blue and green color but without the purple. Ok, how do I fix this? I bought a skein of purple yarn to use at the end. That will look cool, right?

Yesterday, I was ready to pull the whole darn thing out and start over. This looks dumb! I thought. It looks like a mistake. Was this a mistake? It would be easier just to pull it all apart, start over, start something new. Right?

That brought me back to my thoughts on new things. This is why I like getting new things and I don’t like finishing things I’ve already started. I have to decide…do I unravel it all? Do I continue what I started? Do I stick it back into the sewing cabinet to pull out months or years in the future only to have to decide then what to do? How is this like my relationships? Do I continue the relationship with the person I’ve known for years…but we are both changing in different ways, aren’t we? Are we starting to get so mis-matched, like the yarn I bought to finish my project? Or can I be patient and trust the process, so that the relationship will evolve into something new and different? Will I be glad that I didn’t yank it all out and start over? Will I be glad I stuck with it?


I recently saw a documentary about Walt Disney’s life. Did you know that after creating Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, he got distracted from his animated movies and became very interested in trains? They were half-scale or quarter-scale trains. He would create tracks around his property and ride his toy trains all day. It was all he wanted to do. He didn’t have a grand idea of why he was doing this, he just did it. His wife questioned what he was up to, neighbors noticed, but he kept doing it because that is what he was called to do. Eventually his ideas started evolving and they turned into the idea of bringing his movies to life so children could interact with the characters….his ideas evolved into what we know today as Disneyland and Disneyworld, complete with a train that will take you around the whole property!

I really like that story. It reminds me that I can be working on something without any idea of why I am doing it. And there’s no reason for me to stop. I can continue working on the scarf with it’s funny shape and colors or I can rip it all out and start over or I can set it aside to mull it over and come back to it with a new perspective. I can even post a blog post about it because I feel compelled to, not knowing what purpose it will serve or why I am doing but just trusting that pull from my solar plexus and that ache in my heart is trying to tell me something.

Ok, so what does this have to do with Christmas and new things? Maybe they are all connected. Christmas is about the darkest season of the year and something new and wonderful arising out of the moment of our darkest experience. There’s a certain amount of trust that the wise men and Joseph and Mary had to have to trust the guidance they were getting that this child really was the son of God. Joseph was betrothed to a pregnant woman who wasn’t pregnant with his own son, the wise men had heard that this son of God would be born but how could this child sleeping in a stable meant for livestock be this baby king? I think it’s a matter of trust and knowing that I can start over and begin anew or I can continue something I’ve started. Either way I am going on faith. That’s what I want to practice doing more of trusting my spiritual guides, trusting God and knowing that there isn’t a right or wrong way, but the best way is if I learn to trust myself.


Childless and Middle-Aged: What’s wrong with you?

Click here for this article: Childless and Middle-Aged: What’s wrong with you?

Last Sunday was mother’s day. I was feeling really down and I wasn’t exactly sure why. Was it because I was feeling grumpy about my last interaction with my Mom? I certainly was feeling pressure to talk to her but didn’t want to. But is that what was up?

I think it was more than that. I think it’s because I am over 40 and I haven’t had any children. Unlike this article, for me, I don’t know that I’m done yet. I still get strong urges to be pregnant, to have a child, but I talk myself out of it. ‘I don’t own a home,’ I’ll think to myself. ‘I shouldn’t procreate. How irresponsible of me! I’m not married. My relationship might not last as long as this new child. I am not structured enough.’ Etc. I have a litany of reasons why I shouldn’t have a child and yet also a very strong ache to have one.

No, I haven’t started menopause yet, at least I don’t think so. I haven’t been there yet and although I probably should, I haven’t read up on all the symptoms. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe in my head, I’m still 25 and I have time to figure it out.

I was feeling pretty upset about this on Sunday so I brought it up to some other women I knew who were over 40 and childless. I heard at least one person say that they had excuses too and now it’s too late. I also met a woman who had a child because she felt so strongly about it but now had broken up with the father. She’s still happy she had the child, but she says it didn’t resolve all the feelings she was having.

I am curious how other women feel about this and if they chose to have the child, or even gave it much thought and then, like the silly Pop-Art refrigerator magnet says, “Oh my gosh, I forgot to have children!”