Tuesday, May 16, 2017


As artists, I don't believe in beating ourselves up. I believe in being
gentle with ourselves. 
Julia Cameron, Facebook, May 16, 2017
        Today when I read my daily affirmations, I hoped for a tidbit of encouragement.  Considering I hadn't read them for six days, I thought surely one would be of help.  Nope.  However, when I checked into Facebook, Julia gave me words to ponder.  She is a writer who helps artists to become unblocked.  She taught me about morning pages and artist dates.  She helped me to become unblocked about eight years ago.  She is fantastic.

Her words are definitely what I need to hear.  I believe them wholeheartedly.  I am just not sure how to apply them.  For the past two months, I have been trying to get back to my writing after my trip to England.  Unfortunately, in all that time, my life has been ripe with a lot of drama.  My daughter's mental illness has skyrocketed.  We had a huge financial scare that will be lingering for the next couple of years.  To prep for that possibility, we are stepping up our house projects that need to be finished.  I have been beating myself up in all of these areas and extremely stressed.  Needless to say, I have nothing left over for my writing.

Each morning, I come to the computer.  I work my morning pages.  I read through the writing blogs I follow if I have the brain power.  I contemplate my work.  Then I promptly runaway from it by doing housework, gardening, or working with my daughter. 

Now, I would think that my house, yard, and projects would be progressing beautifully.  Nope!  I am still working all the projects.  Nothing is finished.  As soon as I get close, I am pulled in another directions for a variety of reasons.  I am tired.  I am frustrated.  I am discouraged.  Yes, I am depressed and angry.

As I stated in the last two blogs, I work my list.  I continue to pray.  This morning I was a bit lost, so I worked my daily tasks of housework that I usually ignore until the last minute.  I worked on the budget which never is the way I want it.  I folded laundry and actually cleaned out the top section of my armoire.  My pile of things to take to the Good Samaritan is growing! 

Once I upload this little blog post, I will do some reading.  This afternoon I hope to plod along in the gardens.  I need to find a place for my cucumbers, pumpkins, and gourds.  I think I will put them in my steampunk garden because I won't be able to get to the retaining wall until this fall or next year.  I also need to mow the backyard and move even more manure.  I am so thankful God has given me the drive to garden and have too many projects to accomplish in a lifetime.  They really help me keep busy when my life feels in shambles.

Friday, May 5, 2017

To Do List


1.            Read, read, read:  Stephen King is a proponent of this.  So I have a ton of books I want to read.  Here is my list for 2017. 

Patrick, Wizard at Large, Robert Heinlein, Flannery O'Connor, Madame Bovary, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and, a writing book or two!!!

2.            Go ahead - polish the silverware:  Housework and decluttering are on my list.  If my muse is crying, I can let her mourn and throw a fit.  I will clean and get the house back in order.

3.            Garden:  Re-do the wood chips.  Dad's Garden.  The Steam Punk garden.  The Water Heater (paint it for yard art) and side garage garden. 

4.            I might also work on getting my scrapbooking stuff organized to get to work on 2010 and 2016 and England.  I started work on the headboard; I need to get the tools to finish stripping the piece.  The pantry.

5.            Change the scenery and walk:  I am going to lump these together.  I want to walk Lake Helena and both mountains more often this year.  I still need to see some more ghost towns.  Madelle said she wants to go to Garnet.

6.            Research, Study:  This is my own point.  Short Stories, a book or two.

7.            Listen to music: and sing loud.

8.            Play with Leo.

9.            Take a fun outing:  Places to go this summer: Daly museum, Clark Museum, MT Historical Society, Garnet, Bannack, and the Battle of the Big Hole.

10.          Photography:  Lanterns and Lamp Posts!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Stress pounded down on me for a solid two weeks in the month of April.  With the stress, frustration and depression followed in the stress's wake.  I was left in a state of only wanting to read or watch television.  I allowed myself to do just that for a day.  As time continued on, I picked an art project to work on and began my morning journal after taking a few days off.

I worked my depression to do list.  Yep, I do have a list.  However, before I even hit the list, I allow myself to stop all of the items on my regular daily tasks.  That's right, I quite working on editing, publishing, and writing.  I give myself a break.  I took mental health days.  Once those passed, I slowly added fun things into my life.  What is on my list?  Music, reading (granted I never stop reading, but I add more types of things to read), paint, scrapbook, garden, get out and about, clean house (it is cathartic), and photography.

During this round of the doldrums, I worked on a sign for my steampunk garden.  I believe it turned out really cute.  I am excited to put it in the garden though the garden isn't even ready for plants, let alone a sign!

Gardening has been my other project.  Though during this bout of depression, I have related to Job from the Old Testament.  The only problem is I don't have the patience of Job in the area of gardening.  When I went shopping the other day at Costco, I spontaneously bought some flowers: 8 hostas, 3 bleeding hearts, 5 astibles, and 12 lily of the valley.  All of these plants only live in the shade.  Well, my one and only shade garden is small and can't hold this many plants.  Brilliant!  Not!!!  My steampunk garden will hold all of them, but I still need to get the retaining wall built and decent soil added.  Good grief.  So, what did I do?  I stuffed all but 5 hostas and 2 astibles in the old garden.  These I put in the new garden.  If any of the plants survive, I will have to reorganize next spring.  I do cause a lot of work for myself!

My depression isn't completely gone.  Because of the things that happened in April, life is still difficult.  At least three of my seven days of the week, I feel like a failure, but I am back to procrastinating with cleaning the house.  A sure sign of feeling better.  I worked the steps and feel fairly good again.  I gave myself the rest of April to play before diving back into the editing of my novel.  I have a ton of yard work to do.  I also somehow have to start clearing the garage of all my projects.  I am just too busy!

Today I am having a rough day.  At the beginning of the week, today was a completely free day to work on writing and gardening.  The late afternoon my calendar became busy and this morning I had to add an interruption for midmorning.  I want to curl up on the couch and read or watch television.  Instead, I will listen to music and push through the negativity as I write one word after the other.  In afternoon I will dive into my gardens.  This means the two places I have to go this afternoon I will probably have dirt in my hair, but to hell with it.  I have to get plants moved before the weather is too warm to move them.  I also need to pull weeds before they turn into trees!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

London Lanterns

British Flag and Lantern

Royal Lantern

River Walk Lantern

London Eye Lantern

Flowers and Lantern