When Imposter Syndrome Strikes

It is happening. Again.
And I’m sure that it will happen again in the future.
Does it ever really stop?
How do you combat it?
How do you push passed the voices in your head that say you’re not good enough?
That say, Who do you think you are?

It’s that time of year when the summer county fairs are getting ready to start. There
are two locally that happen. Maybe more, but two are the ones I am familiar with.
These fairs have all sorts of competitions. 4-H and FFA for the kids.
For the grown-ups there’s quilting, gardening, baking, canning, and so on. There is
also one for art, with categories for painting, woodwork, etc. And then there is the
photography one. Which I have wanted to enter since the first time I went to the
fair and found out such a thing existed.

When I first got here, I just had a Kodak digital camera. It was my very first digital that cost me
around 100 dollars. It was my “upgrade” from my film camera.
It wasn’t great, but it was good for capturing family moments. Then,
a dear friend gifted me her Nikon Cool Pix. Had a little more oomph than the Kodak. I’ve
gotten some rather lovely (I think anyway) photos with it. I still use it from time to time,
especially when I’m just running down to the mailbox, I can tuck it in my pocket for those
just in case I see something moments.

Then a few years ago, I got a “big girl” camera for my birthday. This is probably when I seriously
started thinking that maybe I could enter one of these annual competitions. But I’ve seen the
photos that get entered, even at the armature level. I have to wonder if I can even compete.
This is when those voices rear their ugliness and say how inadequate I am. That I only have a kit
lens. Who do I think I am? How I’m not good enough. Skilled enough.
Instead of wondering if I could win, all I can hear in my head is how it would just be a complete
and utter failure.

Entering doesn’t cost anything at the armature level. Except maybe my pride. On the other hand
though, it might give self-doubt a good swift kick in the ass just for doing it! One of the other reasons
I didn’t enter in previous years was because I wanted to do it with my name, not my old name. Now,
I don’t have that excuse.

I think I always had an interest in photography. I can remember wanting to use my mom’s 110 camera
with the cube flash bulb that would turn every time it went off. One of the first things I bought when I had
a “real job” was a pink Fuji 35mm camera. It was one of those manual crank the film ones to wind it back into the
canister at the end of the roll. Some time later, I upgraded that to another 35 mm, that was automatic. No
more cranking for these fingers. Then I upgraded to a Kodak digital camera. Very basic.

The thing was, I was never encouraged by anyone to pursue my interests. No matter what it was. I don’t even
know if I knew it was allowed. To have interests, passions, hobbies. When I decided I wanted to try and
write a book, my ex bought me a laptop for Christmas as “encouragement”, but then it was that he wanted
me to write a book that he wanted about mobsters and crime. I told him I had no interest in such a book,
that I had my own idea that I wanted to pursue. He didn’t much like that at all. But he’d always sarcastically
ask me if it was done yet.

When it comes to making art, I don’t feel like “a real artist” because I don’t sell. I feel like I’m not that good at it.
I feel like I don’t have the right to call myself an artist because I don’t spend hours painting. Just like I feel like I
can’t call myself a writer, because I’m not published and I don’t spend hours and hours writing. And thinking about
doing either doesn’t count LOL. Then comes photography. And I think how can I even call myself a
photographer. Or any of the things for that matter. This syndrome just really sucks!!!

Do you know how hard it is for me to even pick up my camera and take it outside? I feel like I should hide it under
my shirt and smuggle it out the door so no one in the house sees me. Posting the pictures I have taken and sharing
them either on here, or facebook, or instagram….is so hard for me. I feel so exposed.

Sometimes I wonder if I should give it all up.
But then I wonder what if I try.

Moving Right Along

To recap, I got my papers back from social security.
A couple of days later, I got my letter from them stating they got my stuff and were
returning my papers to me. UM…guys…I think you goofed, but it’s okay. I got them, even
if the letter was supposed to be in with my papers. It’s whatever…! A few days later, on
Monday, I got my new social security card. Now I can get down to business.

Yesterday was run around day. Stop at DMV to update my State ID card, which I changed to
a STAR card. This buys me a bit of time with my passport card. Not that I’m crossing borders
any time soon, but still. Then it was off to deal with my insurance to update that stuff and ask
questions about my bill that isn’t being paid. Next was pick up my prescription which they
attempted to run my insurance on, but it is still asking for the other non existent insurance.
Well Bullocks!!

At least though, things are moving in the right direction to getting my name changed over.
It feels good. I actually got to use it proper for the first time yesterday. Besides changing it in
those two places.

I did the thing!!! I got Jabbed!! I did the one and done shot. Mostly because I don’t do
needles and the thought of having to do it twice was too much for me. And I got to use my
name. And the gal that stabbed me actually pronounced it correctly on the first try. It may have been
a slightly stupid reason, but I held off on getting it done a couple of weeks ago because I wanted
MY name on the card, not my old name. But that’s done, and the jab is done.

It’s been just over 24 hours now since getting stabbed and so far *knocks on wood*, things are okay.
My arm is not sore (thank the gods) because I tend to sleep on that side. Tummy is fine, so far.
I have some mild achy feeling between my shoulders, but I get that normally so I don’t know if it is
connected. Plus my other shoulder has been giving me grief for about 4 or 5 days now, so the achy
feeling could be part of that. Over all, I’d say I just feel a bit more tired today than normal, but not
omg I need a nap sleepy.

This weekend, if things are still plugging along well and I’m not out for the count, I will be putting
together wedding decorations for Rescue Mom’s oldest. We are decor duty for tables, putting
together thank you favors, making up the bouquets and boutonnieres, just to name a few things.
Mom has some alterations to make to the bridesmaids and maid of honor’s dresses. Just some
minor stuff, thankfully. I may have thrown myself into the fray in order to help Mom with the
decorations. I felt bad that she would be doing it all alone. I have apologized for just jumping in to
help without being asked, because I really feel like I might be butting in. She said I fine but you know
how the brain works and I just can’t help feeling the way I do. Stupid brain weasels!

Yesterday I was in jeans and long sleeves because it was chilly. Today, I decided was jammie day and I’m
still wearing my fuzzy robe. By next week though, Monday I think, we’ll be heading back into the 90s and
possibly even 100s!!! Send cool thoughts!

The garden is thriving. YAY!! I still have a couple things to plant. But we need about 4 more bags of soil
to fill out the beds where these last seedlings will go.

My one monitor is on the fritz. I don’t feel like dropping almost 200 on a monitor, but it’s my good one that
is acting up. The one I do my photo editing on. GRRRRRRRRRRR! I’m hoping it’s maybe a retrograde thing.
HAHA! I need to replace both. My working monitor is older, it’s dull, and the imagining is fuzzy. So I’m not
exactly doing a jig that it’s my good one that is acting up. Still though, either way the thought of paying that
for a PC monitor. *shudders*

And finally as promised, here’s a few photos from June Camera Play.

AA lone bee on milkweed
Busy bees on milkweed
Found treasure?
Bug on a Pine Needle
Red Rose
Pine Branch

Hello June

It doesn’t even feel like it should be June, yet here we are.
And what a start to this month! Boy Howdy!!

We started off with a heat wave, which is ending today. Thank the gods!
Yesterday was a record breaker, topping out at 103.
And then the storms arrived. The trifecta of thunder, lightening, and wind.
Dontcha know, I ended up out in it.

Rescue Mom needed help keeping some scrap wood from coming crashing
through a back window. All we heard was I need help! We run outside and
can’t find her. I swear I thought she was trapped because she sounded so
far away with the wind roaring so loudly. But she was okay, except trying to keep
the stuff from flying through a window while trying not to get beaned by flying
branches and crap herself. She got help with that, but I got as far as the 5th wheel
and couldn’t go anywhere.

Yep! There I was in the middle of it. Pressed up against the side of the 5th wheel that
was rocking so bad I thought it was going to flip on top of me. I thought about going in
it, but then had visions of it blowing down the hill with me in it. So I decided against that.
Branches were flying like crazy. The rose trellis got pulled out of the side wall of the house,
nails and all. No damage to the house, thank the gods!!

But there I am, trying not to panic because OMG DOOM WINDS! of over 60+ MPH. It felt
close to being like winds of a Category 1 Hurricane. It probably wasn’t that high, but when
you’re in the middle of it, I might as well had been in the middle of the Wizard of Oz scene.
There was no help for it, I said a prayer to the Blessed Mother (because my Babci swore by
her aide and said she never failed her), gathered my hair in one hand because I didn’t have it
braided, and made a run for the front side of the house.

When all was said and done not even 5 minutes later, we were without power (for 6 hours after
it we lost it). Small branches scattered around the yard. A missing but found trash can. Three
giant empty spools from wire that got blown down our hill. Our neighbor’s trash can at the road
got blow down said road and into a ditch, but another neighbor saw and pulled it out. And then we
heard the sirens and could see the emergency lights from our front yard. There was an accident
on the interstate at our exit. The wind flipped a semi. I hope the driver is okay. I swear I heard
the heavy rescue equipment being used.

I prefer my days a little less eventful. Ya know what I mean? And yes I know I was pretty stupid for
getting myself stuck out in the wind. I think I panicked and froze. It seemed like a long time but
it was really only a few minutes. But in that moment though…..yeah.
Today is the last of the hot days for a few. It’s breezy on and off.
There is a snake out in our patch of trees somewhere. I didn’t get to see it though. Not for lack of
trying, mind you. Hopefully it has moved on.
My garden is sprouting like crazy. The lima beans are finally coming up, as are the tri-color beans.
The peas, bush beans, and pea pods too. Looks like my carrots are trying to as well.

Oh and best news, I got my letter from social security that my request is in process!!!
I got my documents and ID back a couple of days prior to that.
So I am really on my way to changing my name in all the places. FINALLY!!!
YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

This coming week, hopefully I get to some of the in person places to get those changes done.
Project wise, I have some table decorations and favor boxes to put together for someone’s wedding.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find plastic mason jars that don’t cost a fortune?????

Well that’s my start to June.
How is yours? Hopefully not as eventful!!

Pictures coming in the next post. Until then….have a safe and wonderful weekend!

Monday Musings

Well, end of May already!! I feel like the whole month just flew by!!!
Tomorrow is the first of June, and I don’t even feel like we should be out of the say oh
I don’t know…February?
I’ve got some photos to share at the end of this post from the final days of my May Camera Play.
I have really enjoyed doing this. No pressure to get out every day with my camera (well maybe just
a little bit.) The slowing myself down, making adjustments to F-stops. The trying to capture what I
see and not just randomly click away. Definitely going to try and continue on into June.

  • I’m still trying to process and move into the fact that I am actually divorced. But holy fuck! What
    a pain in the ass to get my name changed in all the places. So I can’t do anything at all until it is
    changed with Social Security. BUT!!!!
    Social Security is not operating under normal business hours. I stopped by the local office just to find
    the doors locked. They were open, but no one could go in. A sign on the door says call for an appointment.
    Okay, that’s doable. I figured maybe I could get one later that afternoon or perhaps the next day. So I call.
    OH…they aren’t doing appointments unless it is an emergency. You have to drop all your original documentation
    off in a dropbox AND it’s only open from 9 AM – NOON! Well shit!
    I did call the next morning, just to confirm which of my documents they specifically needed so I didn’t put in the
    wrong things or leave something out. Once that was established, I went back to the office and dropped it all off.
    Now, I have to wait for them to send me back my ONLY copy of my decree and my photo ID card. (SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    Thanks for nothing RONA! I mean, I understand the need for caution. I respect it, I welcome it. It’s just there
    is nothing that tells you this until you actually get a live person on the phone.
  • All this makes me feel like I don’t exist. Maybe that’s the wrong phrase. I have a name I can no longer use because
    it’s legally changed. And I can’t use my now legal name because I can’t change it all the places until it is changed in
    one place as mentioned in the above point. I feel like walking around saying “A girl has no name. A girl is no one.”
    If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will understand.
    It makes me want to go out in the middle of a field and scream “FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” as loud as I can.
  • Most of the vegetable garden is planted. Seeds are starting to sprout. The seedlings we bought are doing well. We have only lost the cucumbers and one tomato plant. I should have waited on the cuke seedling. And no idea what exactly happened with the tomato. The other nine are doing just fine. I still have a zucchini, a watermelon, and an okra to get in a bed. I picked up 2 blueberry bushes, those will go in a barrel until next year. And we found a pomegranate tree. Not sure where it’s going yet. But it is still quite small, so it might just go in a planter too for this season.
    The peony plant is in full bloom. As are the poppies. The roses are starting to bud and bloom. We still have a few odds and ends we want to find and plant, but for the most part the garden is off to a good start.
  • It’s going to be HOT AF!! the next few days. First heatwave of the year. Not looking forward to it at all. I’m going to be a giant puddle of goo. I don’t do well in the heat. The last couple of years, the heat has really hit me hard. So not looking forward to this week.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about my photography. I have so much to learn. My best friend from high school and I were talking a couple of weeks ago, we were sharing some of our dreams with each other. I told how crazy it is that we lost touch for so many years, and yet we lived almost parallel lives, had similar experiences, and have almost the same exact dream for ourselves. Even though her dream is some time off in the distance, she has already offered to display and sell my photos. My dream that was very close to hers, I have more or less let go of …at least for now. The licensing, the permits, the financing that would be needed is just out of my realm of possibility at this time. And to be honest, I’m not sure it’s my dream of dreams anymore.
    But our conversation got me to thinking about my “studio name”. I have been going with “Forgotten Muse” for so long, over ten years. It started as just my blog name. But at one point, I saw it being more. Though now, I wonder, is it time to let it go. Another name popped into my head the other night, REBEL MUSE PHOTOGRAPHY. Or Rebel Muse Studios. This might seem crazy, but I’m not a big fan of the word studio. I don’t know, it’s just a thought. I like the idea of using Rebel because I don’t like conforming to what other people think I should be or how they think I should act. I’m trying to break the mold others created for me. It seems a simple yet rebellious act.
    The other “problem” I seem to have is that every time I feel like I have thought of a brilliant name, it’s already being used somewhere. I thought I was being so creative when I came up with “Forgotten Muse” over ten years ago.
    But I really want something that defines me. I just don’t know what that is.
  • In June, I am hoping to continue with my monthly camera play. I am also wanting to get my ass into my art cave, consistently. I want to read at least ONE non-fiction book cover to cover. I just bought “The Creative Cure” by Jacob Nordby for me Kindle as it was on sale for only 99 cents. So maybe I will dive into that one. Or maybe I’ll cave and finally read “Writing Down The Bones” by Natalie Goldberg. I want to finish a crochet project that I started a couple of months ago.
    These are small bites, but they seem doable. And not overwhelming.

Without further ado, here are those photos:

Release Day!! She fluttered into the garden bed which I have green garden fencing to keep the littles out of it.
From this last round, I think this is one of my favorites
Here the fledgling has made up into the trees.

There are more, but I’d need a whole other post to share them all. I’m considering either adding a page for just the photos on this blog or perhaps a separate blog for just photography. I think the added page might be easier to do for now, if I can figure it out.
I do hope you enjoy these photos. Have a pleasant last day of May!!

Weekly This And That

It’s the weekend again!! How did that happen? I feel like we just had one lol
I haven’t had much art cave time. But I did manage to get some camera time in.
Still have to work on slowing down before taking the photo. Unless of course it’s
something fleeting and if I don’t I’ll miss it.

I’ve spent the last couple of days processing. I’m still not sure I can describe how I feel.
The thing I have been waiting for has finally happened. I asked for it the first time almost
15 years ago. I was told “NO! I had to wait which at the time was roughly 6 more years”
I asked again 10 years ago and again was told “NO!” I may have stated that I wanted it a few
times in between but I can’t recall for sure.

Ten years ago though I had had enough. I didn’t think my sanity could take much more. I was
emotionally and psychologically spent. If I stayed I was probably going to break. I made the choice
to leave. I lost so much once again. There things I couldn’t take. There were things I forgot to take.
It broke my heart. It’s the second time in my life that I have lost almost everything I had.

I got an email on Thursday confirming what I had been waiting for. After a few clerical hiccups. Corrections
were made and refilled. Sometime on Wednesday, the judge signed the decree. I’m officially divorced.
The thing he wouldn’t give me fore years, finally happened. I was granted my maiden name back. So if you
are friends with me on social media, you might have noticed the change. Next week I have the task of
running around and changing my name on all the things in all the places. DMV, Social Security, passport, etc.
We won’t have the hellkitten next week, so there will be time to do all that.

So, I’m trying to sort out how I feel about all of it. I think I am a combination of things. I’m shocked, numb,
relieved to name a few. I’m also still feeling like I’m waiting for the proverbial other shoe. Or that someone
is going to go “oops just kidding, you’re not free.” I know it’s just how my brain works anymore. It’s how I
think after years of narcissistic abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, co-dependency, etc. This IG post
really hit home for me today, can be viewed at the holistic psychologist page. So I guess really, I’m still processing
it all.

On a lighter note, I thought I’d share a few photos I took this week. Hope you enjoy them

First Peony Bloom
Starling Fledglings. First rescue of the year. They were found abandoned in our carport in a box of giveaway stuff.
Hello Toad! I love the markings!
“Poppies, Poppies. Poppies will make them sleep” Blooming Poppy
Waiting for the rain 5/21/2021
When I was little, my Mom used to tell me that when I saw the sun rays slipping through the clouds like this
it meant someone was going to heaven.

Fibro Awareness Day/Month

Today is Fibro Awareness Day. May is Fibro Awareness Month

I was trying to think about what to write today. I had thoughts on something else, but then I saw the reminders come up on Facebook and Instagram. And though okay, let’s do that instead.

NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY - Main Street Magazine
https://mainstreetmag.com/national-fibromyalgia-awareness-day/

Did you know there are at least 200 symptoms to Fibromyalgia? The most commons you might hear of are
*Pain
*Fatigue
*Memory Issues aka Fibro Fog
*Difficulty Sleeping
*Sensitivity to Hot and/or Cold
*Skin Sensitivity
*Sensory Sensitivity (sound, smell, light)
Just to name a few. According the link with the image, more than 12 million Americans are affected. It is considered a central nervous symptom disorder. Some patients also believe it is an auto-immune disease, while others do not. It is very often accompanied by an auto-immune disorder. There has also been some indication that it could be a result of trauma.

My childhood was not all sunshine and roses. My father was an alcoholic. My mother, well…how do I describe that. She (I believe, was a narcissist) had issues. More than once the doctor put her on medication which she would take for a short period of time and then throw away. There was a lot of arguing, yelling and screaming when my dad was drunk. I can count on one hand maybe the number of times things got physical. But it was the nature of those times that were traumatizing.
It’s a hell of a thing when you call 9-1-1 at 12 years old and the operator doesn’t believe you despite the fact that you are crying hysterically into the phone. Or that your family doesn’t believe you when you tell them about something that happened.

I can remember as a child having pain in my body. Like where my muscles or bones ached. I was always dismissed and told it was “Just growing pains”. I learned to live with the pain and it became “normal”, it wasn’t ever debilitating at the time, just uncomfortable.
In my teens, I became involved with a boyfriend who was physically abusive. As I got older, certain areas of my body would hurt and I thought it was just pain as a result of what he did. Pain in my knees for example. But again, I learned to live with it because I thought it was “normal.”
In my 30s, I saw a chiropractor. I think she suspected fibro but did not fully come out and diagnose me. But she knew how certain activities caused me pain, like making the bed or doing dishes, even vacuuming. She wanted me to stop doing those things for a period of time while she worked on getting my body adjusted to where it should have been. My ex wasn’t very unhappy about her recommendations. Unfortunately, despite her best efforts my body wasn’t interested in complying. And as soon as she had my body measurements corrected, and I resumed “normal duties” things went right back to how they were.

I had heard of fibro over the years, but didn’t understand it or know too much about it. Over the last decade, my pain increased. But I have kept on learning to live with it. About 6 years ago, I finally went to a doctor to find out why my hips and legs were hurting so much. He kept dismissing me, even though I made it very clear up front that I was not seeking medication. I just wanted to know what was going on with my body. His answer was go do some yoga. I couldn’t, it hurt too much. 3 years in, he finally took x-rays. But, I was told they were fine, nothing found. A year later, an intern looked at the x-rays, came into the room and said “so you have bone spurs in your spine”. I looked at him and said “what? are you kidding me?” He then asked if I knew, to which I replied that no one had ever told me. He examined me. I asked him if he thought I had fibro. He said he didn’t know enough about it to answer my question, but he would certainly make it a point to learn about it. I got the impression he wasn’t even taught about it.
Anyway, did a number of things and determined (in his opinion) that I had some form of neuropathy as I had a good deal of weakness in gripping with my hands and when he had me push down with my feet. When the doctor finally came in, he asked him why wasn’t I told about the bone spurs in my spine and if it was possible I had fibro. The doctor was less than thrilled. But he at least relented and said I had chronic pain.

Last year, I switched doctors. I went in and said I want to know why I am in pain all the time. He went through a list of questions, then examined me. He confirmed what I had been suspecting for years. That yes, I did in fact have fibro.

I have good days and bad days. It is as they say an ‘invisible illness’. You can look amazing, but in a hell of a lot of pain. I can forget what I am doing while I’m doing it. I easily lose my train of thought in a conversation. Some days I can’t find the proper word to use for the simplest of things. There are times where even on a warm day and we have all the fans on with windows open, that I am in a sweater because I’m cold. I no longer do well in the heat. Anything over 90 and I look like I might pass out. Sometimes, my clothes hurt to wear. Or my hair hurts. Yes, my hair.

There was a time, when the symptoms were milder back when I was with my ex and he’d say it was all in my head or that I was just being lazy. I didn’t have a diagnosis then. And I didn’t know how to respond to that. So add that into mix of shit that I was going through when my symptoms really started to present themselves. And I just kept on learning to live with the pain. I thought, if I felt the pain then I was alive. Now, I don’t want to mask the pain out of fear of hiding other things that might be going on. I take OTC stuff as needed. Even then, I will wait until its unbearable before I will take a tylenol or an advil.

Fibromyalgia is just one of the many invisible illnesses. Please be aware that a person doesn’t have to “look” sick to “be” sick.
Thank you for reading my post today.

Monday Musings

  • Oh look at me go, barely passed 9 AM and only on my second cuppa and here I am writing a post. I guess I’ve just been feeling pretty unmotivated the last few days. Between allergies, getting over a cold, and just the usual aches and pains that come with having Fibro. Maybe unmotivated is the wrong word, lack of energy I think is more like it. And I’m afraid to push too hard because I don’t want to make things worse. So, I’m playing it safe.
  • Read a great blog post by Kim this morning, you can find it HERE, if you would like to read it. In it is a link to an article by Natalie Goldberg, which you can read HERE. In the circle of people I admire, Natalie and her book “Writing Down The Bones” is pretty much up there as life changing. I finally found a copy of said book, which is currently sitting on my TBR pile. Along with the likes of “Dance of the Dissident Daughter”, “Big Magic”, “The Art of Asking”, “Women Who Run With the Wolves” just to name a few. I think I have finally realized WHY these “life changing” books are still unread, or partially read. I am afraid to read them! Seems silly, right?! But there it is. They, these books, they scare me. I’m afraid of what parts of myself they will uncover, of what I will discover, of how they could possibly change my life. I’m a “let’s not rock the boat” kinda person. The kind that walks on eggshells and tiptoes around so as not to “make waves” or “piss anyone off”. Learned behavior that I am trying to work on unlearning. I’ve been doing it since childhood, so there is so much to undo. I think I am afraid to see who I might be without all that.
  • So writing. And what light bulb went off while reading the article. I love smooth, buttery paper, the kind that when you put your pen on it, the pen just glides across the page. Effortless, freely. And pens! I do love my pens, and notebooks too for that matter.
    Years ago, like 15+!! I found this looseleaf paper at a store called Big Lots. It’s a discount store of sorts. It was a recycled paper with a grey tone to it, unlike most looseleaf that is stark white. It wasn’t quite the smoothest paper, but it did/does feel quite nice to write on. Yes, I still have some from the packs I had bought only because I don’t want to use what I have left as I can’t find it anywhere. I also still have two or three note pads from the same time. Which I am reluctant to fill up for the same reason. Since then though, I have found that I rather like the spiral notebooks from I think it’s Mead. I try to grab a few at the back to school sales when they are like 10-20 cents each. Another brand that I have fallen in love with is Studio C, as well as Sasquatch. Which both happen to be made by the same company.
    I had been in love with Parker pens since forever, high school I suppose. Not the fancy ones, I don’t think the one I had was more than 5 bucks, but it was gifted to me. Much as I love(d) it, I realize now that I found it to be a slow pen. It doesn’t glide easily across a page. I was a fan for a while of Papermates, but then they started to leak often. My fall back pen always seems to be good ole Bic.
    All that there is to say that I can be most productive with my writing when I’m using my favorite paper and pens. Things just seem to flow. At some point, I think I had forgotten that. When I started out writing, going back to that 15+ years ago, I always seemed to be in my zone when I had the right tools…my favorite tools. I somehow forgot that. Maybe I need to go back to the beginning. Start all over again, like the first time I sat down to write. When the words seemed to flow from my mind with little effort, too fast for my hand to keep up with at times. I miss that time, when I was writing like that. I don’t know if I can get back to that or if it something that I’ve lost. Or do I stop trying to go back? Just gather my tools and see where I might end up?
  • This week’s 52 Frames challenge is RED. Sometimes I find the challenge topics overwhelming or intimidating. And when I get to that point, I will often not do them. Which doesn’t help me improve my skills at all. On the other hand, I also over think things into the ground so I end up just overwhelming myself but still end up not doing the challenge. So either way, the outcome is the same. I’m trying to get myself out of that mindset too. I can learn and improve if I don’t practice, if I don’t try.
  • But that goes for any of my endeavors now doesn’t it? What ever I’m trying to create, be it painting or art journaling or writing or crochet or photography. I need to stop overthinking so much. I need to stop procrastinating. I need to stop allowing myself to get overwhelmed and intimidated. Sometimes it’s easier to say but not so easy to do. And I seem to be the queen of not doing things. I’ve not made much progress on changing that, I don’t think but I do keep trying. And that’s what counts. Right?
  • So things to try to do:
    – Read “Writing Down the Bones”
    -Gather up my writing tools
    -Gather up what I need to start my “Commonplace Book”. Going to need a place to jot down all the words of wisdom somewhere.
  • I will leave it there. It’s a start. Or else I will overwhelm myself with all the things.

First Friday

What a week! We’ve all been a bit under the weather around here with sore throats, congestion, and the like. Of course with a pandemic going on, it’s hard not to think is it a simple cold, allergies, or Rona. I never thought there would be a day where one would think the worst because of cold or allergy symptoms. Thankfully we’re all on the mend. Nothing that rest, vitamin C, and ye olde Vicks couldn’t handle. Thank all that is good and holy.
This was also the reason for not blogging for a few days. I just couldn’t sit at the computer or focus much on anything. One day I just caved in and went back to bed and binge watched several episodes of ER season 12.

In my childhood days, First Friday would have meant Mass with the entire school, communion, and fish at dinner. Catholics are supposed to have fish on first Friday. And other Holy Days of Obligation. I haven’t really thought about that part in years. Only time it usually crosses my mind is around Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Christmas Eve. Funny how random memories pop into your head like that.

I had a bunch of things I wanted to write about and now my brain is a total blank. I guess I should have kept some notes for myself to remind me of what I was going to blog about.

We’re in another cycle of winds here in PNW. Yesterday we had some wicked gusts. And I gotta tell ya, those scare the shit out of me. Ever since the tree out back fell on the roof, I guess it’s about 4 years now, I get a little panicked. Still though, while the winds weren’t crazy I just had to sit on the back step and watch the distant storm clouds. The storms themselves pretty much went around us, I just wish the winds would do the same. It’s still quite breezy today, but not near as bad as yesterday, thank goodness.

Here are a few pictures that I started out with for May. My macro and close up photography needs work. I tried so hard to capture a photo of a bumble bee yesterday. I heard it before I even saw it. But it was so windy, poor thing couldn’t even land on a flower. I hope I get to see it or another again. I only ever saw one last year.

Butterfly on a Dandelion
Wish Makers
Honeybee on wild violet
Raindrops on Rose leaves

And Then It Was May

What? How? These days are just going by too darn fast for my liking.
I can remember when I was in the lower grades and summer would seem to be forever.
Then sometime in high school time suddenly started speed up.
And now…well…yeah. Just whizzing by!

So before I forget. Beltane Blessings!! Happy May! and all that good stuff!!

Last night, I/we heard a weird noise outside. I wasn’t sure if it was cats or what. I thought it might have even been a wild cat, but I’m not sure we have them around us. So as one does, I flipped on the back porch light. We have a little cat house outside with dry food for the random cats that pop by and for our boy that goes in and out. I noticed something move inside it and I thought it was the neighbor’s cat. Boy was I ever surprised!!! My brain was screaming at me “get yer camera dummy!!!” But I was so enthralled I couldn’t move. It was so dang cute! So floofy!!! Our night time visitor was a very large raccoon!!!! Right there, on the back porch. It even washed its little paws before sauntering off. I regret not getting the picture but I was just in such awe.

On Thursday evening, after the Hellkitten went home and we had our dinner, Rescue Mom and I went for a quick drive. We were looking for something in particular. We didn’t find said thing but we did find something else. And of course we stopped the car so I could get out and get some pictures. Again on a two lane country road, this one not as busy this time of evening. The last time I saw these amazing creatures was about 5 years ago when I went to the Oregon Coast. First here’s a video clip on my IG account. And now for some photos

Five Pelicans!
On the way back, there are now 12 pelicans!!
I was able to get a bit “closer”.
Zoomed out to see the whole picture
Evening on the Boise River
On the bank of the Boise River.

Challenge Complete

Here we are, the last day of April. Last day of the blog along.
I have enjoyed it. Writing daily, reading others over morning coffee.
So many of us experiencing similar emotions, thoughts, feelings, experiences.

Doing this has brought up some things I had forgotten or pushed into the deep
corners of my brain. This isn’t a bad thing. It makes me remember and let’s me know
that I’m not crazy. That it wasn’t “all in my head”. Well I guess in a way it was, just
that it was buried.

Also speaking of challenges.
This happened!

I’m trying to come up with daily titles for going forward on the days I write here.
Like “Monday Musings” “Tuesday Thoughts” and so on. Not as easy as I thought.
And that would be only if I didn’t have a title for the post or if there were several
things I was rambling, I mean writing about.

My days all seem to run together anymore. I think more so in the last year. I didn’t understand
why I was seeing all these posts about Beltane. Then my cousin messaged me with blessings and
then it hit me.

I was on Hellkitten duty today. Thankfully she was good and didn’t have any tantrums. 2 year olds ya know.
She was fine until she woke from her nap. It was quite warm today, around the low 80s somewhere.
Well, she got overheated poor baby. And wasn’t feeling the greatest. Her momma got her home and got
her cooled down. She seems better now. We don’t have air condition, so hot days are not fun. We worked out a
system with fans and “swamp” coolers that seemed to do okay. Hopefully we can remember what we did
for this summer.

I’ve got some pictures that I took yesterday to share with you. But I’m not done compiling them. Hopefully,
I will have them ready tomorrow.

Thank you all for stopping by and reading my posts and for all of your comments.

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