GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Catching Up – June 2018 Edition

I’m glad today is the last day of June.  June isn’t my favorite month and this year proved to be extra difficult.

Jet died on June 17th between 6:18 – 7:40pm.  I checked on him and then went to mow the easement and back yard.  I came back in and David was up, and told me Jet was gone.   I was glad he wasn’t suffering anymore but I really had a hope he would recover.   When talking with coworkers about pets, I’ve caught myself still saying “I have 4 cats”.   I bought a small Bast statue for him, as I did with our kitten Kali ,who died about 20 years ago.  I didn’t realize it was so tiny when I bought it, but it’s now sitting up with Kali’s Bastet.20180630_0634531

I’ve been sketching more this month. There’s been 2 outings to a nearby park, one demo at a friend’s coffee shop and today I’ll be driving to a farm about an hour away to sketch live chickens for World Sketch a Chicken Day.   I don’t draw from live animals much.  It’s such a challenge because they refuse to stay still.  I’ve done gesture drawings of the corgis as they’re sleeping or chewing on their toys but they still move constantly.  I may pack a bit more than my simple purse travel kit.

Oh, that reminds me…  I simplified my travel kit a bit.  Instead of a 12 half-pan Windsor & Newton travel palette, I used some blue poster tack and stuck 6 half pans (yellow, red, blue, burnt sienna, titan buff and yellow ocher) into a small tin, and cut down a make up sponge to fill up the rest of the tin.  It’s been challenging since I have to mix my greens but I love that it’s so lightweight and takes up no room in my purse.

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This was before I decided to add the ocher

I’m also geocaching more and will be in the next 3 weeks with the Hidden Creatures souvenirs going on currently.  I’ve only managed to find Bigfoot but will sign some puzzle caches I have solved as I drive back into town from the farm chicken sketching outing.   I have 65 puzzles solved (I honestly never thought I’d ever work puzzle caches!) and I made a list of all the 1/1 skirt lifters so I hope to hit my 100 mark quickly.

That’s my catch up for the rest of the month.  There are a few other things, but I’m saving those for another post.   Now I’ll decide what art supplies to pack today.   Chicken Sketch Posts forthcoming!

Namaste.


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Marketing IN YOUR FACE!

I’m a sucker for a freebie.  I don’t think I’m alone in this.  When a creative person offers a “free” workshop with various teachers, I tend to jump on board.  Of course, each teacher is going to offer a free gift with their course.  A PDF file tutorial or discount for their next workshop, just sign up with your email and you’ll get the free gift.  Along with all of their marketing newsletters, updates, offers.

The GDPR emails have me thinking, what do I really need in my life, email wise.  Some of the newsletters I’ve stayed on.  They’re unobtrusive, maybe one or two a  month or every few months.  Artists and creatives that I really love.   Others, holy crap, it’s like the pushy used car salesman that won’t leave you alone no matter how many times you say you’re just looking.

  • 1st email: Workshop offer
  • 2nd email: I wanted to make sure you saw my workshop offer
  • 3rd email: I really think you’ll love this AMAZING workshop offer
  • 4th email:  Here’s what others have said about my INCREDIBLE workshop offer
  • 5th email: Don’t let this ONCE IN A LIFETIME workshop offer pass you by.
  • 6th mail:  This is your LAST CHANCE to sign up for my workshop offer (until I run it again in 6 months month).

It’s frustratingly crazy and a little bit sad.  I get you have to put yourself out there.  It’s something I don’t do well, and I’m working on it.  But the IN YOUR FACE emails and notifications are wearing me out.  Like physically.  I’m exhausted deleting, unsubscribing and turning off app notifications because they’re a constant bombardment.

I’ll say No Thank You to the many free workshops that offer a variety of teachers, each offering free gifts and their own workshops, with multiple teachers offering free gifts.  (I’m getting an Amway vibe just writing that!)

Within the last year, I get to deal with a box truck with digital billboards driving down the road when I’m going to work.  It drives the speed limit, during rush hour traffic easily flowing 5-10 miles over the speed limit.  You get stuck behind this thing, forget about getting around because everyone is flying past you.

And algorithms.  These do kind of make me laugh because I’m on the computer a lot at work, looking up spec sheets for products we offer.  Now on my Facebook sidebar I’m being shown products I have no personal interest in, but had to look up information on it for project at work.

I don’t think my  little rant will have any effect on the amount of marketing shoved in our faces but I am being aware of it, and how I respond to it. It won’t go away but I don’t have to join the zombie mob slowly ambling towards the latest gadget, or workshop.

Namaste.

I have to chuckle that the spell check function doesn’t recognize the word “unsubscribing”


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Back to Steady

Oh, I feel like myself again.

After 3 days of socializing, I spent yesterday afternoon at home.  I made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen some, and was in bed by 8:30pm.  Sometimes I chide myself for going to bed so early but I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

I’ll be travelling for work today, and have a social event on my calendar this evening.  I may run into the person who upset me Saturday.  I won’t initiate a conversation, but I will probably say HI in passing.  It’s not in my nature to be rude intentionally.

I’m behind again on A Course in Miracles, but I have been consistently writing each evening in my Gratitude Journal.  Just a few things throughout the day that I’m thankful for.   It puts me in a good mind place before falling asleep.    As I build habits, I’ll add something when I first wake up instead expressing my irritation at the puppies for waking up so early.

Time to get ready for my day!

Namaste.


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Merry Go Round

I was leery of publishing my post from yesterday, but I’m glad I did.  Once I hit publish and closed my computer, I didn’t think much about the situation.  I watched TV as the puppies played until it was time to get ready for an Urban Sketching workshop.

For every down in life, there’s an up.  The workshop was great fun, and I was able to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in 6 months, or more.  There were some new faces and I hope they begin to attend our Urban Sketching meetup.   We’re a small group right now but we’re also less than a year old.

After sketching at the workshop, I sketched some more at home in the evening, finished up a Buddha painting I plan on hanging in my meditation/yoga room.  I’ll post photos of it to Instagram this evening when it’s hanging.

I try to stay positive, and present a sparkly rainbow bunny to others, but I think squashing down those instances of frustration and anger cause them to brew and bubble.   Festering like an infection that you ignore until amputation is required.   I don’t intend to become a chronic complainer but speaking my truth in all aspects of emotions.  Events yesterday were good, and I enjoyed myself.  Honestly, events on  Saturday were good with the exception of a few interactions.

My intention for this week is to speak my truth, and work on being heard when in a group.   If I feel I need to be heard.   It is more fun to observe and note how others interact.

Namaste.


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Normal is an Illusion

I’ve been waiting for things to “get back to normal”.  After my mom passed away, after my son enlisted in the Marines and left for boot camp, after my son called saying he was coming home from boot camp after 2 weeks, after my Mom’s birthday without her on Earth…

There’s always something else to cause feelings of uneasiness.

So I’m not going to look for Normal anymore. I’ll accept the things that cause disruptions in my daily life, a broken dryer heating element, traffic in the morning with the annoying LED billboard truck I seem to get stuck behind, winter or severe weather I have absolutely no control over.

Normal is an Illusion.

I wonder if my meditation and yoga practice has directed me towards this epiphany.  I think it’s an epiphany I’ve had many times before, but forget about.  It feels like I’ve been here before, knowing that life is a series of ups and downs and there is nothing consistent except inconsistency.

 


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Broken again (sort of)

I’m actually healing but last week my left knee was very painful.  It was hard to transition from sitting to standing/walking, but once I moved it would feel better.   After work one day I went to the store to pick up healthy joint supplements and pain relieving cream, and as I was walking out to my car, my knee popped, and I couldn’t put weight on my leg.  I was stuck at the edge of the cross walk, and a car was trying to turn into the handicap space.  I waved at him to park and he waved at me to walk across.  But I couldn’t move, shuffling baby steps that were excruciatingly painful.  I think I yelled “JUST PARK!” at the guy, which he did.  Getting out of his car, he tells me he’s had problems with his feet too.  I explained it wasn’t my feet, my knee popped and now I couldn’t walk.  He wished me a nice evening and went on into the store.

I managed to put weight on my sore knee leg if I tippy-toed, and I managed to get to the car.  Which is a manual transition.  I need my left leg to shift.  To fully engage the clutch, I have to straighten my leg…  luckily the store is only 2 miles from my house but that was the most painful 2 miles I’ve ever driven.

I get home, call my oldest son to come outside and get the shopping bags, bring me the crutches from when I had broken my foot, and take me to the after hours clinic.  After a 2-3 hour wait, I go back to see the PA.  She pokes at my knee,  it doesn’t appear to be any bone issues. I haven’t fallen (apart from tripping over Vision and breaking my foot in July), nothing hit my knee…   She explains a x-ray wouldn’t show what’s wrong with the ligaments and tendons, so there was no point in doing one since the bones were fine.  I’m prescribed some anti-inflammatories and pain meds and told to follow-up with my primary care physician.

Next day, call to get into see my PCP (same clinic after hours, just a different side of the building).  Again, pokes at my knee, bones are fine, probably the ligaments or tendons.  She can’t put an order in for an MRI until I have an X-ray.  Which I was told only 12 hours earlier would be pointless .  I get the x-rays and of course, nothing wrong with the bones. A touch of arthritis and a bone spur but other than that, everything is fine.  I’m told I’ll be called for an MRI within 72 hours – since it was Thursday, it wouldn’t be until the first of the next week.

Well, I’m not getting an MRI.  I don’t feel like paying whatever it will cost me, since I have a high deductible on my medical insurance and they only cover ‘well visits’ 100%.   I’ve been icing my knee, taking the anti-inflammatories and if it starts getting sore, usually with a turn or pivot, I try to stay off of it for a bit.    Plus, if I opt for the MRI and they tell me it’s a strain or sprain and to RICE it (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) then I’ve thrown away money.

I think part of the problem with my knee is having walked awkwardly while my broken foot was healing.   I’m more mindful of how I walk, and sit.  And I need to walk more.  I’ve sat around too much lately and I can feel the difference.


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Healing

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I fractured my foot.   I think it’s healing very quickly, and I’m going to try to drive tomorrow with my husband as a passenger, in case it gets to be too much.  I’m walking with less limping and I can curl my toes under without pain.

I’ve tried to do as little as possible in the last fortnight.  I’m not patient when I want something done and I can’t do it myself.   A lot of normal household maintenance was neglected while I sat with ice on my foot.   Now I’m ready to catch up.

This morning I weeded the front garden.  The gladioli are beginning to bloom but the grass in the flowerbed was obscuring them from view.   I weeded the brickwork and edged the walkway.  I really want to mow, but I’m waiting.   It’s the hottest days of summer so far, with temps hitting 104 deg F (40 deg C for my Postcrossing friends).

The easement needs mowing the most.   With erosion from flooding, the ground is full of ruts and dips so I’m not keen on doing it myself. There are other yard chores in the backyard I can do. Cutting down trees growing up on the fence line and trimming the hedges. Mostly stationary work.

In the evenings, as I’m laying in bed, I visualize all the errant healing energy in the air gathering to me.  Those prayers for healing and the sick that are non-specific.  I visualize them coalescing into a blue and gold swirling ball that engulfs and permeates my foot.  The bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Every cell, molecule, and atom.  I visualize quick and complete healing, walking normally barefoot or in my flats, heels, or boots.  I fall asleep with these images in my mind. It’s a nice way to drift off and if it helps my healing faster, great.  If not and energy work is a bunch of woowoo hokum, I really haven’t lost anything anyway.

Namaste.