It’s been a long year…

DSCN0767It’s been a long time since I have looked at my WordPress page…and the layout is totally different.  But, the thought is: change is good.  Change scrambles your brain cells into more active connections which leads to a sharper brain.  Okay, this is what I hope I have accomplished this year of foggy brain.

I will ask for your patience, if this Post is a bit scattered.  I have not been able to clearly write anything new and substantial for a long time.

Although, good news: I did revise two short vignettes which will be published in a local anthology in November.  Just so you get the full picture, I could have submitted up to 25oo words, but all I could find in myself, of polished writing, was a total of about 380 words.  I’m counting my blessings for this small success.

One thing I have done this year is try to envision myself in another place, in another home, in another job, living a different life.

Back in April a friend invited me to Arizona, outside of Phoenix and I went for five days.  I played the tourist and we toured AZ.  Drove to Sedona and spent the night,  then up through a forest towards Flagstaff (I think) and then around and down and back to Fountain Hills.  I visited a National Monument called Montezuma’s Castle with Indian cliff dwellings, and saw a chapel built into the rocks, and drove through a National Park with a forest of cactus, the ones that stand tall and look like they have arms.  Lots of little “firsts”.

Here’s another trip I took.

Esalon Big Sur 2015This photo is of the coastline of Highway 1 near Big Sur, California.  My sisters and I took a road trip up the coast first to Cambria and then on to a workshop at Esalen Institute.  This area is awe-inspiring gorgeous!

The catalog describes Esalen:  “Since 1962, The Esalen Institute has been devoted to exploration of what Aldous Huxley called the “human potential”, the world of unrealized human capacities that lies at the growing edge of consciousness.”  For me, this was definitely a profound weekend of sharing with my sisters, connecting with people, and healing some of my grief.

Grief:  There are stages: shock, pain, loss, anger, guilt, resolution.  These are the ones I’ve been coping with.  Oh, another one is the foggy brain syndrome which is a form of paralysis which makes decisions difficult.   Mantra:  Just Keep Moving Forward.

The real grieving hit me when I flew to Oahu and visited places my husband and I had been too.  I went alone and while I was there: I got sick, had car trouble, stayed in bed for four days, cried, blew my nose a thousand times, and read four or five novels in a row.   I felt vulnerable with a Capital V.  Vulnerable.  I had not anticipated coming face-to-face with my husband’s spirit, life force, whatever I could call it.   I laughed, I cried, I remembered all the good times.

I count my blessings that I had this profound experience and I am grateful for this year!


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Back to Painting and a Quote

Quote for the days:  “Don’t energize worry.  Instead, energize art.”

Here’s one of my most recent paintings.

2015 LR Mission SJCOil painting, canvas size 11″ x 14″, from a very old photo of Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Enjoy your day. LR

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What does it mean to “Downsize”?

Orchids white on blue What does downsizing mean to you?  House to apartment or mobile home or car, two bedroom to one bedroom or studio;  3000 square feet to 1000 square feet or less; living on your own to shared living, or visa-versa.

Maybe it’s the move to minimalism.  Smaller?  Less? Got to lower expenses?  Retired?  New job?  Relationship changes?

I have it in my mind that I needed to downsize,  and that may be the most practical thing I do.  It makes sense.  I’m on that journey and maybe it started way back with the clutter clearing.  But everything’s been kicked up a notch or three or five.

Clutter-clearing involved: give-away, throw-away, sell or trash, small stuff.
Next notch involved selling  a few bigger items, emptying cupboards…
Then another notch: turning it over to the professionals and staging an Estate Sale.
(I think of an Estate Sale as a garage sale for dealers who are buying for their shops)
Then, with what’s left over from the Estate Sale time to have one or more garage sales.
(Not a big money maker, but I met some neighbors for the first time)
Then when you know where you are going to downsize to: call in the liquidators.
(I’m not to the liquidator stage yet.)

I’m writing about this without emotion, BUT, in reality I’m letting go of parts of my life and this is a huge emotional journey and I go up and then I go down and I’ve put things in the “to go” pile and then taken them off.  I’ve let things go and then had a tinge of regret.  It’s all part of this journey.  I’m keeping a journal (YES helps), and I keep a yellow notepad near me in the night, in case I wake up and need to write out my thoughts, for the next “to do” lists.   Old life…new life:  I’m caught in the transition.

One other thing I am doing: I signed up for some art classes and I am painting once a week, and this is my lifeline.  I’ll try and share some new work next post.

Peonies with White Flower

Peonies with White Flower

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From Order Comes Potential

Tile Design 2Right now, my house is a place of disorder.   Boxes in every room. Piles of objects mentally labeled to keep, trash, donate, sell.

I am craving simplicity and that means making decisions and letting go.  It means keeping the flow out the door.  It means emptying closets and drawers.

It means going through paperwork – YUK!  This is my least favorite job – how many years to keep tax related papers?  Will I need that in the future?  What is this?

And what to do with photos?  All those cherished moments of childhood.  All those celebrations.  All those past memories.  Key word here is PAST.

Thinking about the future.  I’ve got to make room in my mind and spirit for new memories and new challenges.  There’s been a shift in my universe and I’m figuring out my new course.  Any advice out there?

Tile Design 1

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Sending Flowers

Rose Double DelightI’m a grandmother again, but this time it’s a girl!! And I’m thrilled and I’m sending flowers to my daughter-in-law and lots of love to their new family!

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Landing On My Feet

Julio Vila Prades - La ni_a de la LamparaLife isn’t the same any more and I’m regrouping as I experience emotions, face uncertainty, and prepare for changes.  But I have the belief that in time I will land on my feet, thanks to sisters, sons, daughter, family, friends and neighbors.  Oh, and my grandson who brings me joy!

Here’s some quotes to inspire: “Every dream begins with a dreamer.”

White Roses

“If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden.”
~Frances Hodgson Burnett

100_2300“There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is.” ~ Albert Einstein

Here’s one last quote and maybe you’ll join me in a cup of tea and we can talk about what adventures we want to happen.  I read this morning about a train trip from Boston to Los Angeles and seeing the countryside of America roll past your window.  I was reminded of my train adventure in 2012.  So maybe trains are in my future.

Here’s the quote by J.M. Barrie:
“Would you like your adventure now or should we have our tea first?”

Roads!   Wings!  Trains!

Molakai 2012 029Railroad Crossing



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Images that Inspire

I think by now, that anyone following my blog knows I am pulled to images like a magnet.   I get some kind of energy, some kind of inspiration, some kind of emotional food and water nourishment.  And behind the painted image, there is an artist who has put paintbrush to canvas.  And I know that process and all the trials and tribulations and joys that go into creating a work of art.

Upstairs, in my house I have a square hallway.  Along one wall is a bookcase, floor to ceiling.  Across from that is a linen closet and doorway.  And on the two side walls I have a collection of small posters, postcards, and photos of images that give me inspired boosts of energy.  The wall I am sharing today, has images of women.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

Madame Renoir Portrait of a woman in a hat by Pierre Auguste Renoir, titled Madame Renoir, oil 1885 Several months ago I rediscovered this image, actually didn’t even know I had it,  and since I love a straw hat, this image became my most recent addition to the wall.  I connect with this middle age, slightly plump woman with those rosy cheeks and that flowered hat.  She gives me joy!  I like the palette of colors Renoir used: pastels of pink, blue, yellow and then there’s some drama in the darker hues around the face.

Picasso DrawingPicasso - Woman with a Book -1932Next are two very different paintings by Pablo Picasso.

To the left, Woman in White, mixed media, 1923 and to the right, Woman with a Book, oil 1932.
Alexej Von Jawlensky - Dreaming Head - 1916This portrait head was painted by Alexej Von Jawlensky in 1916 and titled Dreaming Head.  I’ve seen two art shows of Jawlensky’s work, both at the Long Beach Museum of Art, but in two very different venues.  The first time was maybe in 1995 and the Museum used an old renovated building or house.  Presentation of art can change the viewer’s experience.  In 1995:  the ceilings were low, the floors wooden, the rooms small, and the experience very intimate, bordering on sacred.

After the renovation, maybe in 2000:  the ceilings now high, the floors now tile, the rooms now large.  The presentation was large and lost and impersonal.  Now, if I had nothing to compare it too, I might not be able to write that this was my reaction.   But, in 1995 my mind was soaring high and my reaction to art was profound and seeing Jawlensky’s art for the first time left a huge impression on me.

I’ve debated about whether to share one or two of my paintings in the same blog as these great artists.  Definitely need a woman artist for balance and I think these paintings can hold their own.

So here goes:  from the “Celebration of Color” series by Linda Ruddy:

LRuddy Asian cropDueling Personalities, acrylic, 2000; Artist: Linda Ruddy

And below:
Which Part of Me is the Femme Fatale?, mixed media, 1994, Artist: Linda Ruddy

LRuddy Which Part cropI’m sharing my work because I have a possible goal for 2015.  First I need to decide if I’m going to pursue it, and then I need to build up creative energy and a major push to get the goal accomplished.  In 2015, The National Museum of Women in the Arts will begin their online digital archive of women artists.

There’s been an archive for years but the rules used to require that before you could physically submit reference materials of an artist’s work, the artist needed to have a solo exhibition. It took me so long to fulfill this requirement, that by that time I had solo showings in 2001 and 2002, the Museum had changed the rules.  This has definitely been a long-term goal in the back of my mind that I am still thinking about.

However, right now I am on a mission to complete my novel.  My mind is wrapped around the story and characters and I can’t move on YET.  If I don’t continue to put energy into my writing I may just give up on it and I’m not ready to do that.

So what wisdom is there here, now.  Have goals!  Finish one project before moving on to the next! Stay inspired!  Keep your passion!


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September: Art and Quote

Girl on Bear by LR

Girl on Bear by LR

I’ve shared this piece of art before, but I like it and this girl is on an adventure, and I want life to continue to have !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!adventures!

I have this list of quotes by my computer, for reference and for use on this blog.  I don’t remember when or how I put the list together or even who most of the authors are.  In particular for today, Who is Vladimir Mayakovsky?  All I know at this moment, is that these words resonate with me, now.

                  “Formerly I believed books were made like this: a poet came, lightly opened his (or her) lips, and the inspired fool burst into song–if you please!  But it seems, before they can launch a song, poets must tramp for days with callused feet, and the sluggish fish of the imagination flounders softly in the slush of the heart.  And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth of loves and nightingales, the tongueless street merely writhes for lack of something to shout or say.”    ~Vladimir Mayakovsky, The Bedbug and Selected Poetry

Vivid imagery:  “tramp for days with callused feet”, “sluggish fish of the imagination”, “twittering rhymes”,  “tongueless street”:  I’ll be researching Vladimir today….

Embrace your day. LR

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Just Checking In


Sketch Close Up Birds-FairyJust a quick hello to let you know I am still in blog world.   August has been an unusually hot and sticky month in my part of the world.  The word is humid.  I even went to my doctor to get my hormones checked, I’ve been that hot and uncomfortable.

Anyway, I’ve been busy wrapping my mind around my NaNoWri manuscript, moving chapters around, and attempting to “hear” the story that wants to be told.     I’m determined to have a workable manuscript that I can begin to fine tune craft  by the middle of October.  My goal is to finish and my focus now is on this process.

Here’s some quotes to keep us going:

Come fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~ William Butler Yeats

“...There should be a real sense of your imagination and your memories walking and wool gathering, tramping the hills, romping all over the place.  Trust them.  Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right.  Just dance.
~ Anne Lamott

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”  ~William Shakespeare

Cat and Toby Fairy SleepBest wishes to all of you.  LR

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