Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Get your 2010 Calendar...

Calendars… Get your 2010 Calendars......

If you are in need of a creative 2010 Calendar for yourself or a gift… a teacher or a friend perhaps just click on the Buy Now button on the left and place your order!
Happy 2010!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Central California

We visited Central California this Thanksgiving… We stayed in a quaint little town called Cambria
plenty of little Shops, Restaurants and Galleries...

We saw Nit Wit Ridge…
It is a State Historic Landmark...

We enjoyed seeing the open, undeveloped land… and the cows…

I loved this guy....

We drove to see the Elephant Seals hanging on the beach…

and playing...or fighting...

We watched the kite surfers.....

We collected Moonstones on you guessed it… on Moonstone Beach…

We took a tour (1 of about 5 offered) of Hearst Castle in San Simeon...

Just a little bit different than the other Historic Landmark we saw!!!

The place is mind boggling....

Love the indoor pool.....

We saw the Morro Rock in you guessed it again...Morro Bay…

Seals sunning on the dock....

We walked through San Luis Obispo… I used to work with someone who raved about San Luis… now I know why…

I still love So Cal but if you ever get a chance to visit Central California go for it… you won't be disappointed... as my hubby said " it makes you want to buy some land, plant some grapes
and get a few cows"!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Joy Diet - Connection

The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck

Every Day, Use Joy Diet Skills 1 through 5 in at Least One Interaction with a Person Who is Important in Your Life.

“There is always a you, me and us.”… How true this statement is. If you grow up in a dysfunctional family… that fact can get lost… boundaries get confused. It has taken me a long time and I am still learning and practicing that we do not always have to be “us”. I can be myself and others can be themselves yet we can connect. It sounds simple but it really is not. I guess if it is something that could be learned easily then peer pressure would not be as big an issue with kids or adults for that matter!

Some relationships are easier than others… there are some people that you can be with and you do not have to work hard at the relationship, yet there are others that are so hard. Some people can give you energy, yet some can just suck every last ounce out of you!

Cancer and financial hardships taught me a lot about relationships. People who I thought would be there for us were not and people who I never expected were stellar. A survivor friend of mine had told me that cancer separates the men from the boys. I think that is true. I think financially that can be true too. If you are doing well people want to be around or associated with you. If there is trouble or money is not as free flowing, then you really find out who your friends are. In the end, really looking at that truth will help to identify what relationship, if any you still will have with those individuals.

This week I have had some trying connections with CONTRACTORS! But I could write my own book about that!

I am looking forward to feasting and the wrap up of this little group. I am thankful for my health, my family and friends, both in person and online.
Happy Thanksgiving to all…

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Joy Diet - Laughter

The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck

Every Day, Make Sure that You Laugh at Least Thirty Times. If this is Not Possible, Use the Laughter Alternatives described in this Chapter.

I love to laugh. I have to admit I like sarcastic humor, just plain silly humor too. Even looking at old photos of people laughing makes me laugh...

My daughter when she ws one year old....

My son at about 18 months old

I love to stand in card stores and read through the funny cards. I often find myself laughing out loud… which can be a bit embarrassing.

My roommate in college, Heather and I would laugh at the silliest things… sometimes it would be after doing all-nighters working on our design projects. One time I remember coming back from a school break and bringing a “Truly Tasteless Jokes” book back with me. I can still see us sitting on our beds laughing until we were crying… She used to say: “It was a crack-up”… I miss that girl… she died 16 years ago this past week...

A friend that I worked with in the 80’s used to bring in the New Yorker Magazine and pass it around the office. I loved many of the cartoons in that magazine. We would read it individually and then share what ones we thought were the funniest.

When my daughter was little and she used to pout or cry I would play this little game with her… I would say ”don’t smile”… she would burst into a big smile… when my son was born I would try the same thing… he could go a little longer without smiling, but in the end would end up smiling too. We still play that game to this day…

One time when my daughter was about 3 a bunch of us went to Darien Lake and were riding a “Grizzly Run” type of ride, you sit in the big ring and ride through various rapids and waterfalls and are sure to get wet. She and her Uncle sitting next to her got drenched. We all sat very silent waiting to see if she was going to laugh or cry… She burst into laughter and said ”Uncle Tommy got blasted!!” Her laugh was so hearty and surprising that we all about peed our pants laughing at her laughing at Uncle Tommy even though she got drenched too!!

I love using famous lines from movies at opportune times to make people laugh… mostly my husband, but we all use them now…”Bueller… anyone, anyone?... Leave the gun… take the Cannoli…. My son has great comedic timing. Sometimes when my husband is so angry with him, my son will say the perfect line or saying or have a certain intonation in his voice and my husband just cracks-up. Then we all start laughing

We love to watch America’s Funniest Videos as family… my kids, especially my daughter laughs so hard and they have both have contagious laughs…

I love sarcasm too… when I moved out West many people did not understand sarcasm. It can be hurtful, but it does not have to be… just looking at things from a different viewpoint. When I was going through my breast cancer treatment it helped me to deal with some very difficult situations. If I can find humor in it then it makes it a bit easier. It was before I blogged… I sent out email updates and one of my friends would tell me that I would have her in tears reading about the treatments and then I would crack a joke about it and I would have her laughing through her tears.

I don't have a vision card this week, but I just looked through some of my old jokes that I cut out over the years and I liked this one....

Have great week!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Joy Diet - Play

The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck

Once a Day, Take a Moment to Remember your Real Life’s Work and Differentiate it from the Games you Play in Order to Achieve it. Then, Commit to Playing Wholeheartedly.

I have to say I really loved this chapter. I now “get it”. I guess I had two awakenings, I will call them awakenings instead of tragedy’s. I went to my dream college and I was working my dream career, a Commercial Interior Designer. I will say dream career because not all of the jobs or tasks I did as part of the career were a dream… Interior Design is a very dysfunctional industry. I worked very hard for the first 10 years, sometimes at 2 or 3 jobs, but I really did not play or even know how to play. My first awakening came after 6 years of infertility and the joyful day of adopting our first baby… a beautiful little girl… “A peach” as the nurse at the hospital called her. I still worked, but now it was part –time… 18-24 hours each week. If I had to put in extra hours I would work after she went to bed. My priorities became much clearer very quickly.
My second awakening unfortunately was cancer. I would love people to “get it” without having to go through a tragedy or such a major awakening, but then I myself really did not get it until I had to.

Interior Design was not as satisfying anymore… it really had not been for quite awhile but that is what I could bring in an income with. While I was fighting the cancer and healing I learned how to play with art again. I still struggle with what is my real career… what will bring in money… what is important to me. I am very fortunate that right now I do not need to bring in an income. I will always be a designer, but I am learning to call myself an artist and it was affirming to read that it really is not about the money.

I love the eagle and mouse vision. I too often get stuck hunting for that next piece of cheese. This really helped me clarify my real career right now. To be a Healthy Survivor, a Wife, a Mother, an Artist. Sometimes I get that mouse vision and forget that if I do not stay healthy then I will not be able to achieve the rest. This past week I really tried to fly up to the eagle position to clarify my goals. So I jogged instead of doing some other things that I wanted to get done. It is easy for me to put the exercise to the back burner, yet I know it is important for me to stay healthy. Before I die…I want to create lasting memories with my family and friends and create lasting art to document my life’s lessons, thoughts and feelings.

I am still learning how to play… that it is ok to play… it is ok to say no to requests that others ask of my time…. especially if it does not part of the “game” that I want to play.

This is a collage that I made for my daughter....

This painting was titled "Living with Cancer"...

This is an old painting titled "My Soul" painted while I was fighting cancer....
They sum up my awakenings...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Joy Diet - Treats

The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck

Every day, Give Yourself at Least Three Really Good Treats: One for Every Risk You Take and Two Just Because You’re You. No Exceptions, No Excuses.

I have to confess that this past month has really been a month of treats for me… Eighteen out of the 31 days in October we had guests staying with us. First was my sister… we had a great time. Similar to Jamie’s sister liking pedicures… my sister loves massages. I enjoy them, but I really have to try to schedule them. My husband always wants me to get them so when my sister was here he treated us to massages and facials… He said he knew I would go if my sister was here! We had a great relaxing day and then had lunch and dessert finishing just in time to pick up the kids. While my sister was visiting we also had lunch (and dessert) in Laguna Beach, we worked in my studio making fused glass ornaments and jewelry. The girls went to Crystal Cove beach and hung out (this is the beach where the movie Beaches was filmed).

Crystal Cove Beach

Beaches Cottage

Porch where Bette sat...

The boys met us for dinner at the Beachcomber… we sat outside and watched the sunset. The restaurant even provides blankets to keep you warm while you eat.

We went to Disneyland and closed the park at 1am. We walked Balboa Island (one of my favorite places and I always find myself smiling as I drive over the bridge). We rented a Duffy boat and cruised around the Bay and got close to the pelicans and seals.

We introduce her to Wii and Wii Fit and it is now on her Christmas list. It was a great visit and every time she comes I am so thankful that I am now healthy and we can really enjoy our time together. She stayed with us twice while I was sick and although it was so nice to be together then, these past few times have been a whole lot more fun!!

We had a one week break and then my in-laws arrived. We relaxed around the house, went swimming and used the hot tub.
My hubby and I attended a fundraising Halloween party and ended up winning with 3 others for Best Group… the Mod Squad and the 70’s! My in-laws and the kids went out to dinner that night without us!

There is "Tony" and me on the right!!

The girls went to a Giada Delaurentiis cookbook signing and then went to lunch. Giada is just as pretty as on TV and she was so sweet. There were over 500 people waiting in line and she tried to say something personable to everyone. If you ever have a chance to meet her DO IT because she is a doll. My Father –in –law stayed home that day and made his special veal and sauce dish. The next day my Mother- in- law made her homemade soup… yum! We went out dancing with them one night… I love to watch their generation dance… It was a great visit for all of us.

I was planning on writing this on Friday and I was thinking about how Martha Beck loves art stores. I love art stores and stationery/office supply stores too. As I was ready to start my blog I received a text from a friend that a local art store was going out of business in 2 days. I called to ask if they were selling the fixtures and the answer was “yes”. I headed right over to look at plan files for my studio. I had my eye on Craig’s List and I lost out a on a few. I found some files and went back on Saturday to pick them up. I had to clean a ton of tape off of them and I may have to paint them black but I can now organize all of my collage papers and beads. I was giddy… this is truly a treat…plan files and at a great price!

I, like Jamie thought it was funny how this treat week was also the week of Halloween… we only had 3 sets of trick or treaters so I now have plenty of treats for many days to come… I have already had my refrigerated Reese cup today!

I think I have already practiced for the feasting that will be coming up soon and the only down side is that I have gained about 5 extra pounds with all of the eating out and desserts!

An update on my risk from last week… I heard back from the store/gallery and although she likes my work, she is full and too busy with the Holidays coming up but she wants to see my work in person in the New Year!! So thanks Sharron and the Joy Diet for pushing me to just DO IT!!

Here is an older painting of the flowers inspired by my walks on Balboa Island….

See you Friday...I have to go and play....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Joy Diet - Risk

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck


Every Day, Do at least one frightening thing that contributes to the fulfillment of your desires.

I can say that at this time in my life, I really do not need to do one frightening thing a day…. Maybe one a week is ok. In one sense I am a very conservative person and most people would say that I am not a risk taker… I am a safe person; I am not daring in the sky-diving, cliff-climbing, drive fast or reckless sense of the word. But if you look at some of the things that I have done in my life, they are daring or risky in another sense.
Most days, when I was growing up, just living in my house was frightening. At 17 I went to Manhattan for a college course for high school students… when I later attended Parson School of Design, also in Manhattan, I lived in Astoria, Queens and commuted on the subway. Back then it was what I needed to do because I wanted Parsons so much. Later, when I went back and really looked at the place where I lived, I could not believe it. I must have made my Mother and boyfriend (who is now my husband) so nervous during those years… but I was following my dream.
My husband and I went through 6 years of infertility and then adopted two beautiful children….Six years ago we packed up everything and moved 3000 miles to start over…Three years ago I was given the diagnosis of breast cancer… I chose every treatment that would reduce my risk of reoccurrence.

So when I read this chapter… I understood what Martha was saying, but right now I am not in “survival” mode. For once in my life I can stop and just enjoy each day. For me, I have to practice just enjoying each day… Many of us who have a lot of turmoil or risk in our lives do not really know what to do when it is not there. It is a new normal that we have to get used to. I know many of you reading this may not understand… but I also know there are many of you out there who are shaking their heads in agreement. I have been working hard on the “you are not in survival mode”… but I also know if I am called upon my survival instincts will kick in and I will put up my dukes and fight.

I did move one step closer to one of my professional desires this week… I am not sure if it was risk taking or I just had to set my mind to do it. There is a store locally that I think my artwork would fit in well with. I had the requirements for new artists for awhile but I had just not sent in any samples. So this week I sent in some samples… I will let you know when I hear back from the shop…

This is an older collage that I am using as my vision card this week….

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Joy Diet - Creativity

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck


Every Day, conceptualize and write down at least one new, concrete idea that will help you obtain something your heart desires.

I have to say this chapter was not as fun as the title suggests. Whenever I see the word Creativity, I usually enjoy it.

At first I thought it was because my sister was visiting and I did not spend enough time or concentration on the chapter. Then I read some of the other responses to the chapter and laughed out loud! It was not that I was not spending enough time or attention … it was that we all could have just read the main statement…written or sketched a creative idea or ideas and be done for the day! I almost think the order of the ingredients is out of order. I would have placed creativity after nothing… being creative and just letting things flow would have lead us to truth and in turn to our true desires. I think this chapter was more about analyzing than creativity.

So my do one thing different is to NOT do all of the exercises and analyzing that Martha is telling us to do in this chapter…

That in turn should help me realize my desire of staying healthy and having more time!!!

this painting was my response to a series of questions exploring "my birth purpose"

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Joy Diet - Desire

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck


Each Day, Identify, Articulate, and explore at least one of your Heart’s Desires.

Ah yes desire… I have pretty much always lived in the future… when I get this or accomplish this… As a young girl it is what kept me alive…

I thought about this a lot this week… I still want certain material things in life… stuff for the house… or the kids… a few nice vacations… Hawaii, Italy…

But then when I really thought about it … what do I truly desire?

I have to go back to that darn cancer lesson list again… what I truly desire are things that money cannot buy…

Good Health and Time

My sister is here visiting, so I am sharing an older painting as my vision card this week…this way I can fulfill my desire to spend time with her!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Joy Diet - Truth

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck


Create and Absorb at Least One Moment of Truth Each Day

This chapter was so important and teaching for me. I think I have almost the whole chapter underlined as so much of was written spoke so deeply to me. Truth and/or the lack of truth has played such a major part in my life. This week I really tried to focus on behaviors and the underlying truth in those behaviors. If I started to think about a painful situation and started my mind spin game, I tried to stop and get to the truth of my behavior, my feelings and the whole situation.

This was particularly useful in the following situation. A friend treated me poorly (in my opinion). I felt very hurt and sad. I kept replaying the event in my mind (which made me mad and anxious), but then I stopped. I told myself that I really needed to look for the truth in the situation, my feelings and my reaction to the whole event. This person has at least twice before done similar things. I have even told this person my feelings and told them that they could not treat me this way. Obviously it is still happening. I thought about my 5 year friend/relationship with this person. Perhaps my actions trigger emotions in her that make her treat me the way she does? The economy is adding more stress to people’s lives… maybe it is financial stress? I know she likes me and considers me a friend, but maybe this is just how she treats her friends?

When I thought with my heart I found this truth: I like this person, but I cannot change how this person treats me or others. I can only change my involvement with her and her organization. If I choose to spend time with this person then I must take the chance that she can and most likely will hurt me again. I have to remind myself that just because a feeling is familiar does not make it good, positive or healthy. The emotional truth does hurt but I think the continued wishing (denial) that I will be treated differently hurts more.

This week, when I found myself feeling/acting a certain way or obsessing about an event, I tried to stop and think of the underlying emotional truth. It really helped me to stay more present… stay in the now. and have a good week...

So here is my vision/reminder card for this week:

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Joy Diet - Menu Item One

The Joy Diet
Martha Beck

Do NOTHING for 15 minutes a day...

I have always had trouble doing nothing. One of my Mother’s mantras was idle hands… idle minds. I also have so many interests that I like trying to do everything. I have to thank Cancer for teaching/forcing me to do nothing. Believe me I was forced to do nothing for a lot longer than 15 minutes. There were days that I was so tired that I could not do anything. I have to say my mind was probably the quietest during that time also (except at night). Chemo has a way of sapping everything out of you and you need every ounce of energy to get better.
I truly try to remember my lessons learned from the time I was ill… but I have to be honest it is easy to get caught up in the doing again. Part of it is that I feel well and I want to fit in as much as I can because I am healthy. But then I have to remember how important rest is… for both your body and your mind.

I did try and do nothing consistently this week… A few years ago I started saying a daily rosary… for me this is a good way to stop everything. I do find my mind wandering sometimes but I just go with it and try to focus on the prayers.

I also sat outside and just gazed into my backyard view…

But then the birds would tease me or the lizards… so I got up and got my camera and watched these guys do nothing for a bit…

Sometimes it is really hard to do NOTHING for 15 minutes a day...
So here is my vision/reminder card for this week:

It is not my favorite, I felt rushed, but I did lose about 1 1/2 hours this week doing nothing!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life is Like a Box of....

Fortune Cookies…

This was my entry for the 2010 Cloth, Paper, Scissors Calendar… I have always loved eating fortune cookies and reading and saving the fortunes that I thought pertained to me… or the ones I hoped would pertain to me! I have on occasion played the lucky numbers in the lottery, but never won!

I was thrilled to be one of the 13 winners for the first annual calendar. I was as giddy as a school girl when my copies arrived. I have finally figured out how to put a buy now button on my blog… so if you are in need of a calendar for the soon approaching new year just click on the button to the left…

If the button is not working or if you have questions please feel free to email me at mb@drawntocolor.com


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