getting a little dirty

I has been gorgeous here. It snowed like crazy last week but its all melted now and has left us with mud. No problem.  I can cope with mud. It was pretty exciting taking these pictures today! I felt like I was about to go on a date or something! Its weird. I guess we do sort of get to having these strange relationships with our cameras after a year or so of self portraits. The whole process is pretty interesting to me.

I was going to go on to the next part of my self discovery/ new endeavor / rant of the mind sort of writing, but I have a lot to do this evening. I will say that I am more excited than ever to share it with you!  Thank you.

Coat: thrifted vintage
Cardi: that Sac antique faire I always talk about
Scarf, tank: AA
Shorts: cutoff from old AE pants
Tights: I think UO but not sure

Boots: Actually Wanted sent these to me and I was reluctant to keep them for a minute since I was not sure how often I would wear them (I sometimes feel strange wearing "new" things), but since they are synthetic, and comfortable and washable (with a hose, which is apparently needed today) I have found them to be a daily staple in these snowy/muddy days we have been having. They are like rubber boots or something!  It's been great to not even worry about my leather lovelies! ALSO, they are called NEVADA boots so how perfect is that. Jeeze Louise right?)

Hat: I got this from Brittany at Finders Keepers!! I Stumbled over there one day and it was just sitting in her shop!!  I couldn't even believe it! Anyway, so I bought it and she sent me an email later telling me that she had thought of me when SHE bought that hat at the thrift store!!! Whoa right! Its not like she warned me about it or anything, she just found it and I found it and now I have it and I love it!! Thanks Brittany!!


well and fine

I have not been taking any photos of myself lately, but I thought I would include this little candid shot my dad took of all of us after our Thanksgiving dinner. My little family had two dinners on Thanksgiving this year and both were delicious. This is just after the second one.  It was a good day.  I hope you had a nice week last week too.

I plan to resume my outfit photos now that I have gotten a few things out that I needed to say.  I really just lounged in my yoga clothes all week last week. Before last week, I thought that if I didn't offer some visual stimulation here, no one would listen to what I had to say. I am happy to report that this is apparently not the case. Thank you so much to those of you who stuck with me over the past week. I needed to learn that lesson to be sure I was posting photos for the right reasons. Coincidentally, outfits and self portraits (in a sense) are a huge part of my new thing I am developing. I am looking forward to getting to business now that I have done some self investigation.



What is it that you value?  There are all types of things we value in this life. Things we are supposed to value, things we feel embarrassed to value but secretly do anyway. There are things we value because our parents valued them, our country values them or our communities value them. How do we discover our true values, the ones we personally hold as having the greatest worth?  And how do we know the ones we are so sure we value are not symbolic of something else deeper, that gets to the base level of our core.  Good freaking question right. This can be a touchy issue. Values are very personal, especially if you identify a few that go against the normally excepted value system. Why are those there anyway?  It is sometimes difficult to think for yourself. Sometimes we think we are thinking for ourselves and don't even realize that we are falling victim to a total misconception of the truth.  What is the truth?  The truth is our authentic self. It is not observations of the world or the people that move within it. We don't have too look outside ourselves for the truth that is with in us, that is our SELF.  Who are you? You will realize the answer by identifying your core values, the things that stir emotion. That resonate and shake you. Are you in touch with your self?

These are all questions I have asked myself, things I have measured inside of my self and answered for the very first time. After I identified my cycles, or my personal story, and both subjectively and objectively observed where I have been and where I am now, I knew the best way I could move forward was by finding my authentic self. I had to ask the hard questions and face the truth of my answers. This process has been the focus of the last week.  I immersed myself in yoga, went to acupuncture, read books, sat and thought, slept, talked to 6 people who are wise, listened to them and measured all of my findings against the core of my self. I don't know how to explain this in words, and an attempt will likely muddle it all up with confusion, but I have a strong compass inside of me. It feels truth, authenticity, what is real. I think we all have one and the more we listen to it the stronger its signal.  It is easy to muffle its signal, easy to step off course and not realize it until you are way off and feel confused and lost. I wandered off course many times in my life and made a great effort to get back on track, back in my river.

Funny, I always thought of myself as a person in a canoe on a river, flowing with the current. There would occasionally be forks in my river, and I would have to look to my compass to decide which way to go. If I chose the way I was meant to, things would just fall into place, little effort would be required of me. Strange coincidences occurred that were too bizarre to be considered chance. People sometimes canoed beside me for a time, we would learn and nurture each other and then they would go off on their own path. And I knew when I was off course. Figuring out I was off course could be a bit tricky though.  Especially when you are not sure of what you value. At one point I needed and thought I valued recognition and validation. I wanted pats on the back, kudos, ego massage, money, to feel like I was indispensable, the only one that could do my job as good as I can, The ONE for the job. It took a lot for me to see that what I was really needing was self acceptance, not the acceptance of others. No matter how good it felt to hear that I was a genius at my job, deep down I felt like a fraud. There was never enough kudos. Nothing could convince me of my worth except for finding my worth inside of myself. Eventually the charms and external validation offered by that river fork felt shallow and empty and I knew I had to get back to my true river. I paddled and worked and humbled myself, admitted, my fault, came to terms with my demons, communicated my fears, and made my way back. Back to my true river. My yoga instructor calls the true river GRACE.

I was patient. I learned to not judge myself since it was a lesson I had to learn.  I forgave myself. I was forgiven. I tucked that river fork experience in my pocket and it helped me to see and detect tests that have come before me, temptations that urged me to enjoy those external validation pleasures, urged me off my path. I resist. . .  and when I don't I begin to feel empty again, begin to measure myself by others. . .  and I abhor that feeling. Abhorrence brings me back.  I want to feel GOOD. . .  Inside. . . and the things that make me feel really truly good and happy are my core values. The values my compass points to.


Complex Clarity

{EDIT:  Besides all that I say below, I also want to be clear that I don't expect everyone to be in to this. I do not judge you if you are not. In fact I expect to lose a portion of my readership. Fortunately for me, I have lost the fear that is necessary for me to see my worth in someone else's eyes. I do have faith however, that I have reached some of you on a less superficial level and that maybe you will reserve negative judgment based on your previous understanding of me.  Hear me out, if you wish.  Also, I am not trying to sell you something. I am not asking for anything from you. The only reason I am broadcasting this information is so that I may spawn some seed of awareness and change in fertile soil. If this information rings true for you, Great, if not, oh well. I have no power over you and I don't wish to.}

There are a few things I have to be clear about here. First of all, I assure you I am not on drugs, as many of you may assume (and have mentioned). Pinky swear. I am just speaking from a very primal, yet aware space, and I don't think many people really allow themselves to explore those types of feelings and thoughts in a public forum often.  In contrast to what we are used to, the drone of the constraints of society, I may sound . . .  a little weird. I am totally Okay with that.  Next, many of you said you are going to purchase that book I mentioned. Great, but you must know that the book was merely a catalyst. The cycles I discovered and the epiphany I experienced originated from my realization that I do indeed fall into patterns.  YOU ARE ONLY ABLE TO CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE AWARE OF. 

Everything I am about to tell you did not come from the book at all, but from a lucid state I entered into last Saturday, that I continue to learn from. Let me begin by showing you my clearer, computerized chart:
As you can see, it is much clearer than the scribble chart from the previous post, still intense looking however. A few of you said that you too have noticed patterns of activity in your lives, clusters of change etc. Well, I mapped not only the clusters of change or milestone moments, but also the duration of my emotional states leading up to these changes and occurring directly after and in between those milestones.  This is essentially a map of all the major events and emotional states of my entire life. I only mapped what I can clearly remember. I know that the first 14 years of my life play a important role in my development, but since I cannot accurately define my emotional states, I am leaving those years for examination at a later point in my investigation. For now, I am concentrating on the last 15 years or so.

I have identified four major emotional states that flow together in perfect cycles. You can see that I have organized my chart to reflect my life in two year increments, with a mid line corresponding to my birthday.  This shows more accurately the years as I experience them, not the calendar years. To examine the emotional states more clearly, I will refer to the segment of my life between 2003 and 2009 shown in light green in the left side column. To help you understand the frequency and vibration of each emotional state, Imagine a line graph similar to a Richtor scale that has a neutral midline:

→Restlessness / Discontent, purple (begins at neutral and heads unmistakably below the midline till it reaches an unbearable low leading to change, usually quitting an activity)

Limbo, green ( a state of flux, moving over and under the mid line in wide arches, optimistic that something new is on the horizon, relived that the source of discontent has been removed, but anxious to discover what is next and uncertain of how long it will take)

Excitement / Happiness, orange (well above the midline with rapid peaks and dips and very energetic activity, establishment of something new, accepting the challenge of the new endeavor, mastering new skills, acquiring, new information, a period of rapid growth)

Busy / Contentment, red (Rapid movement steadying out to a solid above the midline calm, gaining comfort in the daily routines, feeling fulfilled by the situation, confidence in your abilities, quantitative evidence of success) which inevitably moves nearer to the midline neutral and settles into

Restlessness, purple → and onward.

I like to think of the cycles as segments of a multi volume story. As you can see from looking at my chart (the table of contents) I have identified two year cycles (chapters) that repeat within 7 year periods of time (parts). After deeper investigation, I have come to the conclusion that a third cycle exists over 10 year periods (volumes). If the chapters are lessons I must learn, the parts are themes of that time in my life, and the volumes are quests of my life, (are you following?)  then much can be learned by reflecting on what is already written.  This reflection will help me to write the next chapters, parts and volumes. While I am subject to life's cycles, I am still the author of my story.

In case you are wondering, No, I assure you, I am definitely NOT on drugs. And its about to get weirder / clearer.


beauty in chaos

This whole process started with a voice in my head, "It is time to get laser hair removal."  Now, I know what you MAY be thinking, but seriously stick with me here for a minute.  This whole fantasy of being fuzz free was never something I took seriously. Sure I had thought about it for a couple of years but I never looked into it online, never really asked around or got quotes and never thought I would spend that kind of money on something so frivolous (remember, I am a die hard thrifter, I don't pay more for things than I have to, and shaving was never SO terrible) but here I was on Monday November 8th in the middle of listing my vintage on esty, with a strong booming voice in my head "get your hair lasered off."  I told my husband, he promptly researched the local clinics that offer it, printed out pages on 7 places, which I called immediately, and the very last one I called sold me to the core. Within one hour of the prompting, I had an apt for the coming Friday and a quote that fit right under my predetermined budget.  And now I know why.

When you are in a certain position, and a laser is pointed right at your most, ahem, holy of holies, you had better bet that you and that woman holding the laser are going to be pretty tight pretty fast. She could have been anyone, but she just happened to be L., and she had a special message for me. Being a very receptive person, I listened to her message and followed through with my guts' reaction to do exactly what she said to do. I bought a book.  Well, actually my husband bought me the book (he knows me so well and though I don't ask for much, when I do, he knows its for a good reason). It's the one I told you about before, The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstein.   Saturday morning (this past Saturday) I read the introduction, put the book down, and started scribbling like a maniac on a piece of paper. This was the first lightning strike.  I knew I had patterns, cycles, wheels of emotion and activity that I moved in over the course very specific time lengths. I had to map them. I had to see the pattern. I could feel it but I needed concrete proof.  So I made a chart. I set it up to show the length of my life over the course of the months and years. I charted my life's major milestones. I recalled the periods of time that I inhabited specific overall emotional states. My scribble looked like this when I was done:
I admit it looks like an absolute mess to everyone but me. . . When I looked at this, I was hit by lightening again. I knew that I had to get it in a more presentable state, needed to be able to assign symbols to these milestones, colors to the emotional states, align the grid to be sure I was not pushing the data to reflect my hunch. The clarity of the computerized chart PROVED EVERYTHING.  I have very specific cycles. I also just happen to have been alive just long enough to really see the completion of a few major ones, and to recognize the patterns of behavior within each.  I could see exactly where I am RIGHT NOW.  Exactly why I felt that old familiar tug of restlessness. The feeling that so many times before, transformed into distaste and resentment, building to the final climax where I just QUIT. Quit, without notice, without something else to go to, without ever looking back. I would just dump it all, donate whatever vintage I had left, leave everything and start over fresh with something completely different, as I had too many times before.  I felt restlessness creeping in and I knew that everything I had been developing, enjoying, growing, nurturing, and learning from, was in jeopardy. This blog, the RELATIONSHIPS I have established, the outlet it provides me, the validation and comfort of seeing my thoughts archived so neatly, and the income my vintage selling has provided me (though small) has become the passion of my last year and a half.  Was I DESTINED to repeat the same pattern all over again??

I have been a retail store manager, a receptionist learning bookkeeping, a assistant to the buyer of a golf boutique, a barista, an art student, the next person in line to run an amazing arts non profit, a yoga and art therapy facilitator to girls with eating disorders, and now a blogger and vintage seller. This list doesn't even include my side hobbies of holistic medicine, blood type and its effect on how we digest food, yoga, philosophy, psychology, thyroid function, eastern religion, western religion, the elements, Fashion and style, watercolor painting, sculpting, sewing, clothing design, furniture design, furniture redesign, collecting, and finding the perfect pair of riding boots. With such varied interests and such random hobbies, where was I headed next, and would it even stick long enough to mean anything?  Or was there a way to use the Wisdom I have gained from mapping my cycles to just transform my current situation? I will tell you.



I feel like I have been hit by lightning! Not literally, but in the EXCLAMATION POINT!!! I GET IT NOW! SUDDENLY EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE! Sort of lightning bolt sort of strike.  It is, to say the least, enlightening.  I GET it.  I know my Dharma.  I understand what I was MADE for.  My life's purpose.  I thought I knew before, I mean I have always known deep down, but the specificities always mucked things up. I would get too caught up in the HOW and lose track of the WHY. But now I know. This clarity came quite suddenly over a really long period of time. . . 31 years . . . ish. I got little whiffs of it and thought I could almost taste it a couple of times, but I am finally, just now, seeing and understanding the ingredients, and realize that I have them all and can really put these things together and make this thing happen. . . . deep breath in. . . . . . .and out. . . .  . . . Its very exciting. . .  and absolutely terrifying. Exciting to realize that I am perfect for this thing that I will do, and terrifying that in order to fulfill this, I have to move forward with out fear and self doubt. FEAR and SELF DOUBT.  I am not ready to go public with the specifics.  The HOW is my new work. I know I can do it though. I thought for a minute that I was not going to include the internet world in all of this. I was going to quit this blog and move forward, but then I realized that anyone who reads this, and anyone who wishes to, can be a part of this. YOU are a part of my  Dharma. So is everyone else that I come in to contact with, accidentally or on purpose. What we do and feel effects everything around us. But things are going to be different here. I don't know in what ways exactly, but there has been a marked shift inside of me. You are welcome to stay with me as long as you like, and if you decide to go I have no issues with that. This space is progressing along with me on my journey. There might be pictures some days and some times there won't be. I will only be here if I have something to say or ask or share what I have discovered.

I expect that many of you will have no interest in this voyage. For those of you who do, welcome.


raw candor

Everyone has their own opinions of magic and astrology and superstition and math and things like this that don't seem to make sense but sometimes your brain tricks you into thinking there is some kernel of truth to them. Well, I personally think that these things are sort of mini philosophy lessons, or mantras, or even just something you look at that asks you to reach inside of yourself to find the truth. One site, that Zoƫ actually introduced me to, is a very good quality example of what I am talking about. I only check it when I am in the middle of some thinking and would like a fresh perspective. Check this out, my report for this past week:

The nature of the game is changing. Do you know which game I'm referring to? I mean the one that everyone's playing but no one's acknowledging they're playing. The rules of the game had held steady for quite some time, but recently they began to shift. Now even the game's rewards are in the process of metamorphosing. My advice? You don't necessarily need to splash a big dose of raw candor all over the place, but I do recommend that you at least tell yourself the truth about what's going on. 

Whoa.  Raw Candor! What? I have been so wanting to splash that shit all over the place! Fortunately I read this little tidbit just in time and it made me think twice about the level of candor splashing I actually engage in. . . Because really for what? We are all smart cookies. What I am in the process of doing is identifying the rewards all over again. What do I feel is the greatest part of this huge gigantic game we are all a part of? I think sometimes things I THINK are rewards are only ghosts resembling what I really value. Hmmm. 

{EDIT: EM!  Just left you a comment where you just commented! Don't know how else to reach you!}

Thrifted stuff except for Scarf from UO and socks from someplace random. Oh wait, and some crazy girl gave me those boots. 



Whoa. How did I not know until yesterday that I could make my pictures this big?  I don't know.  But wow. They are pretty big. Been feeling a little strange and transitiony lately. It must be the season I am sure. I had a huge terrible cooking FAIL last night. I make a huge pot of something each week, and last night was chicken and rice soup, and I was doing the same old thing that I always do, but decided "Oh! we have extra beets!" and this antsy "try something new" attitude made me cut that shit up and put it in the soup. No biggie right? Should be fine. . . well it seemed to taste fine to me but it looked like a pot full of blood and all the veggies turned dark pink and the chicken turned a weird yellow. I admit. It looked strange and only tasted slightly of beets, but you wouldn't think that witnessing the reaction of my family. I felt like the bad guy trying to feed bloody oatmeal to the golden child. My kid wouldn't take one bite, and my husband said that he guesses he can force himself to eat it this week. WELL. . .  Ah well. 

I am listing all the stuff from the Party Time collection today! Just throwing that out there . . . for whoeva . . .

Dress, jacket, necklace, belt, purse, bracelets, boots: vintage thrifted

Oh and I didn't cut my hair or anything, I just got it toned. My girl had to take out my feathers for a couple weeks till I get my roots done, but I might just get a buttload of them when we put them back in.  


shifting interests

This is for Miss Kimberellie.  She asked to see one of the little paintings I had done recently to help her get started again. This was my first real shot in years at anything 2D and I am pretty rusty. I wasn't really planning on posting my new things here, but I thought that if start to get all precious about my new hobby and worried about, whatever, then I will just make a bigger deal out of this than it really is. I also see it this way: If I have shifting interests and I don't include them on this blog, then what is this space really a reflection of? 

So my son paints right along side me and I have to be honest, he busts out water color gold every time. The one below was the one he did last night, but he has been pretty prolific in the past week! Yes, your suspicions are true, I believe he is a freaking genius. 


Party Time

I am not really sure where this is coming from, but in my mind, I would wear things from this collection to a Thanksgiving dinner with a jungle theme. Strange?  I know. . .  and really this theme only works if you pile on these accessories. In any case, I am calling this collection Party Time, since many of us will be attending plenty of parties in the coming months. There may be a Party Time Two following Thanksgiving, just to let you know.  

I will begin listing this collection in the shop Wednesday, November 17th from 9:00 am pacific time until I am done. As usual I will tweet all of my listings. Thank you!
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