2021/01/16

2021 – Day 16 TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 01:58

Each night as I head to bed, I turn off the lights in the living room and key my phone to bring up a blank note page so the light from it gets me to the bedroom without me tripping over anything (like the cat). If you don’t move your finger across the screen, it goes out fairly quickly, so I’ve taken to scribbling away with my thumb. Well, that got me thinking about the single line contour drawings I used to do in my art classes as a warm-up exercise. Now, I challenge myself to complete at least one quick little character every few days.

Below is one that wasn’t meant to resemble anyone known to me. I rather like this guy. He has no name yet. Feel free to suggest one or ten.

I’ll post more in the future, I think. I’m having a lot of fun with this and it’s sort of opened my mind to a more creative headspace.

Single line contour drawing

Basic technique used: a single line (I’ve been using my left thumb), while looking at the drawing or without. If using a reference subject (person, photo, fruit, etc.), try drawing looking at the subject only. Then try another while glancing back and forth from subject to your drawing. After you do this several times, you’ll discover your blind drawings improve a great deal as you become more confident in your ability to control your hand/drawing tool.

I’ve been doing this on my phone and in a sketch pad. I’m amassing quite a collection of doodles. It’s fun and it’s a really wonderful way to engage your brain in something other than television. It’s a bit of art therapy.

A bit of advice: Don’t judge your drawings. They’re not meant to be the Mona Lisa or Venus on the Half-Shell. They’re just a way to let your brain have a bit of a rest.

Another tip: if you’re using a reference subject, try to get your paper or phone or whatever you’re using as close to the same level and angle of the subject. By not moving your head up and down so much, your brain and hand better translate what you see to what you capture in your drawing. There’s less distortion in the translation, if you will.

Reminder: don’t judge your efforts! Just let go and have a little fun!

2021/01/12

2021 – Day 12

Da Goddess @ 22:48

More like “Night 12” because I’m all over the place right now. I meant to post yesterday and I couldn’t keep a signal to save my life.

Well, to make up for that, please go watch this. My heart is now full.

The kittens are kind of like Odie. Especially Tiger Lily. Cats. So fucking funny.

2021/01/05

2021 – Day 5

Da Goddess @ 04:07

In a few hours I’ll need to be wide awake and sitting in a chair at the ophthalmologist’s office. The big appointment to get a baseline for my diabetic eyes. I’m just hoping I can get some sleep before then because it really does me no good to go in with exhausted eyeballs now, does it?

The two least favorite parts of the exam will be the dilation of my pupils and that fun whooshing puff of air. Let us recall how eye phobic I am, m’kay? I’m the person who required several hospital employees to hold me down when I needed to have my eyes checked for corneal abrasions after a chile verde accident. As soon as the doc said he needed to put some dye in my eyes (while he was holding a cardboard sleeve containing said dye, which must touch the actual surface of the eye), I suggested him — nay, WARNED him — he was going to need assistance. He didn’t believe me. When he was sufficiently convinced I wasn’t going to be able to keep still or keep my eyes open, he called for backup. I suggested he listen better to his patients when it comes to such things.

Anyhow, I hate everything that has to do with my eyes, except getting new glasses. I know I’m due for them as my right eye is completely put of focus with my current lenses. I can’t wait to have new glasses and I can’t wait to get new frames. I hate the ones I have. I’ve pretty much hated them from the start. The former boyfriend talked me into wire frames. Once they were on me for more than a day, I remembered how much I hate them. They bend too easily. The stretch out too easily. You can’t pop them up onto your head for a moment while you’re using your camera or blowing your nose without the nose pads and nose arms getting all tangled up in your hair. So, yeah. No. I’m not doing wire frames again. Ever. Nor will I ever let some man decide what my personal style should be (at least not unless he’s showering me with bills in large denominations).

So that’s the bulk of my day sorted. If I can tolerate being outside after the appointment, I’ll go have a look at the new unit being built in the garage. It’s going to be a studio apartment. My landlord’s uncle and his crew are handling the construction. From the little I’ve been able to see at a distance, it’s going to be rather nice.

I’m going to attempt sleep once more. Fingers crossed!

P.S. Remind me to tell you the story about the big tabby I met. And about the rambunctious dogs.

2021/01/03

2021 – Day 3

Da Goddess @ 06:44

Still here? Good. That means we’ve both survived the first two days of 2021. Every day without a toe tag is a win.

I went to bed at 2200hrs Friday night, got up around 0500 to feed the cat, went back to bed and slept until almost 1000. I know I woke a few times during the night, but I was able to conk out again right away. I remember zero dreams. I rarely sleep that well for that long. Even when exhausted. Whatever juju made it happen I’m taking as a good sign for this year. I then had a very lazy Saturday because my whole being just hurt and didn’t want to function properly. So I slept a little more off and on. I had to postpone grocery shopping with my sister. I’m running low on a great many things, but I was that wiped out.

It ended up being a good call because I found myself in the bathroom with alarming frequency (alarming for anyone without inflammatory bowel disease), often just barely making it. This is one of those things that can upend your entire day or weekend or week or even month/s. This is also why I’ve learned to honor my body when it decides to kinda shut down. It doesn’t always mean a flare up of my gut, though it does tend to follow that pattern.

TMI? Too bad, so sad. This is life. I mean, we all have our stuff. This is just one more thing in the shit heap I get to call mine. No pun intended. I’ve stopped counting all the health issues because, frankly, it’s depressing. Thank God for therapy! And antidepressants. And distractions. But, despite all that, i have those days when I find myself starting to tick everything up on an imaginary list and it gets to me. That’s when I do everything in my power to switch off the brain and go for nonsensical distractions. It works. Mostly.

I ALWAYS say “mostly” that way. It’s the law.

One of the distractions I use is searching for my favorite body powder, which Walmart has stopped carrying. I’ve entered my old lady body powder phase. Actually, I got there last year. So, I find this fantastic inexpensive ($1.98!!!) powder that smells heavenly, right? I always bought as many packages as they had in stock. I’m glad I did since I can’t get it at Walmart any longer. Except I’m almost out. And that link to the company selling it? Their price just went up again. That’s the actual company distributing the product. Je suis très déçu. Almost as disappointed as I am by Secret no longer making my deodorant (I have three more on hand before I have to decide which route to take next).

But back to the powder. I use it liberally on my decolletage and on the inside of my elbows at night. Those are areas that tend to get a little sweaty and I like the lavender as it’s naturally calming (I’ve also come to like the tropical breeze scent or whatever it’s called…and I’m sad Walmart never carried the rose version because I would have bought the hell out of that!), thus making it the perfect powder for me. I was ready to plonk down $3.95 when it was on sale on Belcam’s site, but decided rent was more important than body powder. Just barely. And only because I have a cat to care for.

Sigh.

It’s just not fair! Why can’t Walmart carry the powder again? It’s my favorite and I’ve found it’s the only product on the market that still has talc in it. Corn starch has replaced talc in almost every powder product on the market because of the slight chance that talc MIGHT be linked to ovarian cancer. There’s no definitive proof of the link between the two, but almost every company has opted to make the switch. (BTW, corn starch, while very good at absorbing perspiration, can cause yeast growth, which is the last thing most of us sweaty folk need.)

Look, I’ve come to the realization that I can be high maintenance when it comes to personal care products. I’m not at all ashamed of this. I’m rather particular about what I use on my body because I have found using poor substitutes cause me all sorts of problems that I then have to spend more time and money on to fix. Yeah, I’ve learned the hard way and I no longer have the bandwidth to deal with MORE problems. I stick with what works until I have no choice but to change. Like I’ll have to do when my deodorant stash is depleted. I’ll very likely end up going with a spray because standard deodorant sticks tear at my skin and the gel kind are super ticky-tacky, which makes me sweat more. The smooth solid (soft solid/conditioning solid as this specific type of deodorant has been labeled in the past) has been the only type I can use for more than 20 years. The only way to get it now is to buy Secret’s “clinical strength” formulation and it’s priced well beyond my budget. Walmart has had their version and it’s fairly spendy as well. Plus, it’s rarely in stock…if they’re even still making it.

Look at this nonsense! Even when I try to distract myself from the things that stress me, I’m still fucking stressing! My brain seems to get stuck in that pattern. Is it any wonder I’m back with a therapist?

Before anyone takes that last sentence the wrong way, I need the therapy and I like therapy. I particularly like my new therapist. She’s fantastic. For me, therapy helps untangle the mess, helps me to get my brain back on task, and I’m better at problem solving when I’m in therapy. It’s not that I can’t manage without it — I can. I’m just happier and less frazzled with it. Between chronic pain, my 3 million other health issues, the isolation with the pandemic, and all the major changes in my life the past couple years, I get overwhelmed, my brain is overloaded, and I find I can tackle most problems on my own. Honestly, I think everyone should have therapy. It’s incredibly beneficial in a multitude of ways. But, the key to good outcomes is having the right therapist. The wrong one can really cause more problems.

Shit. I meant to do just a quick post and head back to bed and I’m over 1,000 words. Definitely too much for one day.

Happy January 3, friends! Ta for now.

2021/01/01

2021 – Day 1

Da Goddess @ 11:39

And how shall we begin the new year?

Let’s see:

Couldn’t sleep, so I played a word game all night while the cat slept on my head. I have fang marks imprinted on my forehead today.

Decided to go for a walk after I fed my cat and the kittens. Two plus miles?? I’m paying for it now (although I’ve been up and down the stairs a bunch of times, which always adds another layer of fun). But all’s good.

After prepping fresh veggies for my snacks this weekend, I took the leftovers down to the goats. We’ll see what they do with them. They’re finicky, which I thought was against goat law. I don’t even know with these two.

I’ve watched the dogs go crazy and chase each other (and the poor kittens) around the yard, take a dip in the pool, get muddy again, and then roll in poo. I’d have thought they’d worn themselves out after playing with the goats earlier (hilarious!), but Bristol has been extra wound up lately and can’t seem to sit still for long. Bandit just follows her lead.

I was going to do laundry at some point today, but have decided to wait a day or three. I have enough clean everything to last me a long while, so it’s better to be kind when I’ve overdone the walk (after several days off).

My next project us to go through email and unsubscribe from every newsletter I never bother reading any longer. I’ve done this a bit over the past few months and am ready to go full scorched earth on the damn things. I just don’t care about the majority of it.

That’s it for my first day. What are you up to?

2020/12/25

Merry Christmas, Friends

Da Goddess @ 00:09

May your day be everything you’d hoped for, or something close to it. If you’re on your own today, I get that it can be lonely and frustrating, irritating and crazy-making. But, many of us are in the same boat and I think it’s safe to say whoever you’re missing is likely missing you just as much. If possible, give them a call or send them an email, tweet, or message them on Facebook – if that’s your thing. Reach out and let them know they’re in your thoughts.

Go out for a walk today if the weather permits. Hell, even if the weather doesn’t! Just be safe and smart about it.

Make up a plate of comfort food and eat until you’ve had your fill.

Let this be the one day you indulge your appetites and make it a party. Yes, you CAN have a party of one. Use this as a means of practicing for when we all reenter society at some unspecified date in the (hopefully) near future.

Be kind to yourself today. Be kind to others you may encounter. Mask up. Stay safe. And remember how sweet life will be when we’re able to join those we love most and celebrate together. Hold out for that day, BUT don’t forget to find simple joys now, too.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

If you feel overwhelmed by the day/season/life in general, please dial 800-273-8255 and someone will be there to help you.

On the 12th Day of Christmas…

Da Goddess @ 00:01

…I bring you John Berry. That voice. This song. It just doesn’t get any better.

(more…)

2020/12/24

11th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

Another song capable of reducing me to tears — and not just this year! I love it so much.

P.S. if anyone wants to buy me (and themselves) something fantastic for Christmas, Tim Minchin’s new album is out and it’s call Apart Together. It’s beautiful, haunting, fun, and a strangely perfect soundtrack for 2020. Though the songs were written before this year, somehow Tim captured the aching loneliness, the absolute insanity, and the deep longing for connection that have become even more pronounced during our extended isolation of this pandemic. I guess it’s true that whatever we’re feeling now is just a magnification of what we normally experience. Anyhow, Walmart and Target have an incredible price on the album and I think you should buy many, many copies of it and share it with a whole bunch of people.

2020/12/23

10th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Justin Hines is a regular here at Christmas and I’ll never apologize for that.

2020/12/22

9th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

This song could’ve been written specifically for 2020. I began crying the moment it started to play. It has been quite a year, hasn’t it? Where do we go from here and how do we get there? The only thing I know is we go forward and the old rule of “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together” applies to us now more than ever. Next year at this time, I want to be with the people I love, the people who make me feel whole, and I want that for all of you, too. So, let’s do the hard work the right way and get back on track. In the meantime, here’s Queen.

2020/12/21

8th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:05

We recently lost the brilliant Hal Ketchum, but his music remains. This is a beautiful song I hope you’ll love as much as I do.

2020/12/20

7th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:02

I’ll never tire of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells” no matter how many times I hear it.

2020/12/19

6th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:24

Here’s something from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll sure to keep you in the holiday frame of mind for a while.

2020/12/18

5th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:09

Are you in the mood for something gorgeous? Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss have just the piece for you.

2020/12/17

4th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:16

I’m feeling bluesy and I’m all about some Keb’ Mo’ on this very day. You can never go wrong with him.

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