Final Moments of 2011

Good bye 2011..

You were a good year, the year I got married and graduated school.  In fact just a few posts ago I made a list of all of the good things about you.  Sometimes at the end of a year, one believes it is necessary to go out with a big bang.  Chris and I tried just that.  We headed out with the idea of hitting the town.  Instead, we hit two places, had a total of three drinks between the two us and a plate of wings and sliders and headed home. Some years are like that.  Not a lot of fan fare.

2011 was a salt of the earth year.  A year one plods through, with good intentions and a lot of effort.  I will always look back most fondly at this year, as it was “Our First Year” and it it doesn’t get much sweeter than that.



I wish that I were from somewhere…

The Jesus Prayer

When I was young, I prayed unceasingly.  Truly. Certainly part of this stemmed from my belief that God was always watching me and I either needed His help or I needed to explain my behavior.  Mostly I needed help.

I also prayed out of a very big need for acceptance and connection. I came to tell myself that I remembered Heaven, I remembered the place before here, and I wanted to go back. It was lovely and peaceful thereThere I was accepted, wholly.

It has only been within the last few years I have stopped praying, almost entirely. I cannot pinpoint an exact moment, or event that caused this to be so.  I think I just became tired.  A confluence of many difficult circumstances and situations seemed to overwhelm not only my physical and emotional self, but my spiritual one as well. One might say, “well that was when you should have prayed more.” But exhaustion and depression smother life completely sometimes.  And I had been smothered.

Last night I watched a special on the lives of Orthodox monks in Greece.  They pray unceasingly.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. The Jesus Prayer.  Over and over, with every task they do, they say it.  They prepare themselves to be with God one day.

As a child I imagined I was seen and heard by God. I believed it with all my heart. Christmas makes me long for that feeling again.  Only I feel disconnected and out of spiritual sorts. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.

A list of things I have done this year…for when I think I’ve I’ve done nothing..

Modigliani...Gypsy Woman with the National Gallery, Washington DC

in no particular order…

1. got married 🙂
in our church and had a lovely reception at the Podkrepa
2. graduated college
3. went to Washington DC
4. went wine tasting in a school bus
5. visited Crater Lake
6. had a painting get accepted into a show
7. went to the coast for Valentine’s
8. took many many, walks with my beloved around the city; some of them very long walks..
9. went on the tram by OHSU
10. threw a great dinner party in our living room
11. watched fire works from the City Grill
12. went to San Francisco and visited family
13. saw those cool jelly fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
14. taught yoga
15. learned how to screen print
16. went to Livingroom Theater many times and saw many movies
17. saw the Christmas lights at Peacock Lane
18. spun wool
19. knitted a shrug
20. went to the lovely 50th Anniversary party of Bob and Sylvia and danced with my husband
21. Autumn Supper at the Andersons
22. had mimosas at brunch at Jake’s
23. in fact..I’ve enjoyed many of Portland’s eateries..
24. run with Luka
25. stargazed
26. I’ve painted
27. and made books
28. made lovely dinners for my husband
29. went to a U of O football game
30. watched my step son play high school football
31. went to many art shows
32. celebrated Emily’s birthday in her backyard
33. rode my bike to work
34. helped decorate my church for Christmas and hung out afterwards
35. hosted an adult Formation mtg at my house
36. ate soup with good people at Tamara’s house
37. planted kiwi
38. had my house painted
39 …and my oil tank decommissioned
40. cleaned out my closets
41. made mulled wine
42. read a book, finally!! in fact I read several
43. recovered cpb’s iPhone from a homeless man
44. hosted Thanksgiving dinner
45. played bocce at the Trunz’s
46. and enjoyed fondue at their house too
47. went to two parties at Roxanne’s and Johnny’s
48. played trivia..and even won a few times
49. took many baths
50. went to a BBQ at Mike B’s
51. grew vegetables in my garden..and ate them
52. ate homemade icecream..cpb made it
53. rode on the scooter with cpb all over town
54. ordered pizza at a tiny airport on the Oregon coast
55. spent time with my grown children
56. bought a camera took many photographs
………57. published my 400th post on wordpress

day two

of no wheat…yay me..

every journey begins with a single small step

A little holiday spinning














while waiting for paint to dry, literally, in my art studio…I spun some alpaca. The wool is courtesy of my alpacas Sante and Cyclone.  I had give up my boys when I moved to the city, but I have load of their wool still. I spun this especially knobby..thinking it would make a cool cowl.

no more wheat..I mean it this time

I have promised myself countless times that I would be good. I am wheat intolerant.  I can’t eat it without bad things happening. I know this. But time and time again, I eat it anyway. And suffer.

I eat it anyway for so many reasons…
1. I like bread and pasta
2. I like beer
3. I hate to be “that guest” with the food sensitivities at a party
4. I don’t plan ahead and get hungry and eat whatever is around.
5. I think I’ll get away with it..
6. I can’t believe I really can’t wheat…

The truth is I can’t. And today I am suffering, really suffering. What is it going to take? More days like this? Today, I am afraid to eat. I have been here before and it didn’t matter. I have spent days lying on my side breathing slowing waiting for the abdominal pain to go away.Days that added together make months and maybe even years. I have rashes and lethargy and conditions I won’t go into detail about and still I eat wheat.

I looked up support groups today. I don’t why this is so hard for me.

Once again…day wheat…I promise, really…

December in Portland

I finished school. Really finished it…as in got a degree finished. I can only say I am relieved.  As much I know that going to college is a privilege, as much as art school is really a luxury, I am relieved.  School stresses me out.  I wish it had been different, that I could have enjoyed it more, but that’s not how it was.

Maybe it was the constant justifying of my going to art school (“yes, art school…what do I intend to do my degree?  Why be an artist of course..”); maybe it was that I am freak around getting a good a grade and not disappointing anyone; maybe it was putting the house on the market and getting married while attending my final quarter of school. I am glad I finished…that’s all I can say.

So it’s the middle of December in Portland now. It’s cold, although not rainy; and I’m not feeling all that Christmasy. I am not feeling all that much of anything but tired and stressed.  I went to mass on Sunday; the sermon made me nostalgic for the passionate and energetic self I have misplaced.  Maybe I’m just getting old.

Chris is off this week, well most of this week.  We didn’t have a honeymoon after the wedding; he went back to work and I went back to school.  Maybe we can honeymoon now.  I think we need a little rest.  And some fun.  I want to laugh; I want to see new things; I want to read and knit and paint…paint just to paint….I want Chris to relax…I want him to write and listen to music and eat well.  I want to see sunshine and take my dog for a walk.I’d really like to see my children, but will have to settle for phone calls and texts.  RJ told me yesterday, “I’m a grown up mom, I live on my own now.” I guess we’re all grown up now.