These summer days

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The days of July are here, the ponds are covered in waterlilies and turtles are sunning themselves on fallen logs. The days feel slow, with the heat pushing down and the humid air clinging like a wet towel. Yet I know the days are still the same 24 hours they are in December and January. I am still working my way (albeit VERY slowly) through the boxes I brought home from my studio. I would have thought to have made more progress in 8 weeks, but alas I have been slacking in that endeavor! I have undertaken compiling fonts, images and mixed media pieces for my website, which is in the works under someone else’s capable hands. I finally realized I could either spend 100+ hours and get nowhere, or spend some money and have a person who does it as their job. Who will actually complete a functional site. Yet it still requires me to get things prepped for uploading, a myriad of tiny things that need doing for each image. The hardest part is to do it and not continue to fiddle with it, that tinkering will always derail my best laid plans. Hence the outside web design. I am anxious to see the first draft, and a bit nervous about even considering a web site, but without a studio I need the chance for some exposure. And after all, doing nothing is not a good option if I want to move forward. So, these July days are a mix of activities, much as they are a mix of weather.

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So here I am…

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looking across a landscape both familiar and unknown. Metaphorically clambering over fences has become a much more regular thing in my life. Life moves at a steady pace in spite of how it sometimes seems to drag or speed by. But progress is being made as Joe recovers. And the more he does, the more frustrated the slow but steady pace is to him. He wants to be king of his own schedule again, to work, and come and go as he pleases. He wants the illusion of certainty that life used to have. And though I am one who prefers disillusionment (the facts) to being fooled by illusions, I know what he means. He wants back that carefree feel which was lost. The map that didn’t have this detour which took him someplace he had no interest in going. But there is no rewind, so the options are stand still or keep moving. And each are fraught with unknowns, but at least one is action.

Postage affixed

mantle stamp

This fall while poking around an old. empty house I noticed this tiny stamp stuck on the mantle. As the house has sat empty for years, though this was my first foray inside, I do not know if the stamp was put there decades ago or more recently. It appears to be a stamp from Chile, and in that old green and off white color of days gone by. I have kept an eye on the house all these years since seeing the estate sale on the lawn close to a decade ago, always expecting it to have been torn down. It was a farm and sits on 40 some acres right on a busy state route, and since big box stores have been filling in all along the route I know it is just a matter of time. It is also possible it will go to upscale homes with a fancy sign saying Pheasant Ridge Run or some such overdone name. It is completely unlikely it will be restored. I will post some other photos over the next week so you can get a feel for the place, as it does have a story that is all but lost except for these images.There is not enough postage affixed to save it. Such is life.

Stillness

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This week I am aiming for stillness, not of body or mind, but of spirit. I have much to do that won’t allow for the first two to be stationary, . But in spirit I can be still. The weekend was spent cleaning out the overhang and cellar, neither of which were terribly cluttered, it was just some stuff left from the last clean out that I wasn’t sure needed to go. It did though, all the excess gift bags and lovely store bags, the spare glue guns (why were there 3 anyhow?), the stepper from knee surgery rehab many years ago, old paint, a little tykes bookshelf, all sorts of things plus dust and dirt. It all went to the dump to be parceled out to the appropriate spot. And when I went into the cellar last night- it was spacious and still. A feeling of “Ahhhh!” swept over me. I have been working on winnowing down items that have become fixtures in the house, but rarely used. Amazing what slips in and overstays. We are tentatively looking to sell in 2-3 years, and wisdom tells me tackle things now when there is no pressure. Plus clearing out stuff costs nothing but time, and feels great afterwards. The redoing of the driveway, and flooring on the other hand is money out of pocket and can wait a bit. But for now, we are chipping away at things that we have let be so we can get used to the idea of moving forward and preparing for what’s next.

Midpoint

progress report 001It is mid week yet again, and the start of a new month, plus the halfway point of the year. Not sure how July got here so quickly. I have to do my mid year check up on what progress I have made.

I had set a goal of 6+ shows to enter and am at 4

I had set a goal of 3 magazine accepted submissions and am at 1

I have expanded my social media activity, and feel:

instagram- “A-“, easy to use, fun, but can become a time-eater

WordPress- “A” enjoy reading other people’s blogs and working on mine

Facebook- “B”, a bit clunky, needs updating from old format, but still a good outlet, can devour time

Exercise- “B+” I still don’t enjoy running, and the weather has prevented it, but the walking is steady

So, I am doing okay so far, but need to keep my eye on the ball or I’ll be chasing butterflies and getting nowhere.

Along the way

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I got out on a quick hike early on Sunday following a rainy night which left moisture clinging to the trees. There was much to see even though I have walked here many times before, and this was one of the views that this time seemed to come together nicely. I like how all the elements came together to create a sense of a sheltered path, screening the distance just enough to make the whole scene feel intimate. It was the break I needed before taking on an overdue task. I am on my last stretch of getting the studio put back together after painting the floor Sunday and Monday. It looks great and disorganized at the same time as I get things put in place and move some stuff out. The process is exhausting, but the only way to the end is through it and I am soldiering on. I could almost put my head on the computer keyboard and fall right to sleep,

but that would result in several things:

1. A forehead full on keyboard key dents

2. No progress towards my goal of finishing the project at hand

and

3. Potentially a post with lines like the following,

skdhfosidyfpbasnoieytlvseuht;ameoituanytpam;woircumwtuiylwoiumsluhslmfihmljvhx

Since none of those are desirable outcomes, I will wrap this up and get back to the sorting and shifting, and along the way enjoy the new space as it evolves.

Have a great weekend!