The most epic of epic updates

Hello my dearest of dear readers. I realize it’s been quite literally more than half the year since I’ve written in this blog. But – I think perhaps you’ll forgive me when you learn a bit more about what I’ve been up to. I think i’ll just start where I left off…

I was struggling – with work, with myself, with trying to figure out what to do next in my world. So I did the unimaginable. I quit my job as Director and decided to do some serious traveling. I made two trips down to the caribbean – US Virgin Islands. In February and again in April.

There is something so healing about those blue waters, I get lost in them. I have always been a water baby… but there is something magical about an ocean that I can swim in without fear of hypothermia. I would literally spend 8 hours at a time just swimming and exploring. At some point – I’ll detail out all the fun travel stories – and believe me, there were MANY.

When I returned home, I worked for a short couple of months in a temporary position…. cuz dollar bills y’all…. and then realized I wasn’t done traveling. I booked a camper van for an entire month and decided to whisk me, my two children and my two dogs away on an adventure of a lifetime. We plotted our course – the goal was to make it all the way to the coast of texas and back. We would look at properties along the way – as I had it in my head that I wanted a vacation property – something I could enjoy once the kids were grown and off living their own lives (which for one of my kids is happening right now – the other still has a good 9 years to go).

It truly was the trip of a lifetime -for all of us in different ways. I think in some ways – that trip pushed me to learn new things about myself, and what I’m capable of as a single woman, as a mom, and as a friend.

There’s more to say there – but I promise they will become blog posts all on their own.

So far, this year, I’ve worn bikinis, I’ve climbed mountains, I’ve rescued a group of tourists and taught another group how to kayak. I saved a woman from drowning and held her in my arms as she had a seizure. I danced in the rain, and sang to the sea. I made friends at every turn and opened my heart to new experiences, new perspectives and new adventures at EVERY SINGLE TURN.

While in St Croix, I made a new friend had to go visit her in Dallas when I returned from my crazy road trip adventure.

Dallas was another level – and just added to the learnings I had while traveling. This time, I went as just me, no pets or kids. We went shopping and I danced around the store when I learned I was down 5 sizes from what I thought I was.

Everywhere I go – I’m learning that my energy is magnetic. It pulls people to it. 🙂 And it’s incredible.

When I returned home, I realized that purchasing property far away just didn’t make sense. So I decided to invest in myself instead. I’ve leased a commercial building and spent a couple of months turning it into a studio space. And now- here I sit in a space that feels INCREDIBLE. We will be doing a photoshoot so that I can properly show it off to the world – but i’m working on my books (yes – plural! 2 comic books!!)

Life is fricken fantastic. It’s been a LONG time since i’ve been able to say that. I’m living my BEST life and feel DAMN proud of every single second. I’m doing well still with my weight loss – but more than that – I know my worth. I see myself as a beautiful woman with a lot to offer the world. I no longer need to question whether or not I’m worthy. I KNOW it.

And it’s fucking amazing. 🙂

So, to those of you who still read this blog – please know that i’m going to be updating a hell of a lot more often. I’m going to show you the studio and share some travel stories and even share my comics because I’m fiercely proud of them and they’re BADASS! 😀 hehe.

Much love, dear readers. I hope you’re still holding on and that the pandemic and quarantine haven’t completely broken your spirit. If you’re close – and barely holding on – just know – I’m here for you. You aren’t alone. And if I can do it – we can do it with you together too. 🙂

2021 is off to an interesting start

I don’t want to jinx it. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush… but so far – 2021 is off to an interesting start. I find myself in a unique position to take a little break from the stresses of my career and give myself a reset. A reset from all that happened in 2020. I don’t want to get into any of the real nitty gritty details right now – but a few highlights include

  • Losing the woman who helped raise me to Covid
  • Divorce
  • My kid “came out” – lots of whirlwind rollercoaster emotions with that one, but the end result has been quite positive.
  • Work stresses from 4 manager changes – and then over the New Years break deciding it was time to move on from that company.

And so much more…. I’ve decided to really look at what I’ve been prioritizing in my life. To really focus on my health and wellbeing – both physical and emotional and mentally. It’s a little bit scary – but it feels right. And I’m doing it holistically – across many avenues and many paths.

I’ve started drawing again…even drawing about the moments from this blog. It’s a comic book or web comic – of this blog…of my life. A modern day ”Cathy” or A modern day ”Calvin and Hobbes” – but about a mom instead of a boy. A grown up female mom with an imagination that rivals the boy. I don’t know if it will amount to anything -but I’m absolutely beyond driven to make it a real thing. It feels so good to draw the moments that helped shape who I am. Poignant Vulnerable Moments. Some of them are even quite funny! It’s been a very positive and very empowering project to get started on – and the more I work on it – the more I see it taking real shape. I can also see where I’ve been influenced as far as other artists in my life. 🙂

I’ve been slowly sharing pages and work in progress on a new instagram account. If any of you are interested – I’d love a like or two on the ones that make you smile or make you think. In truth – I’m still learning – my grandfather was the artist – not me. But it brings me such joy.

http://www.instagram.com/snowfallstudiosart

I think right now, I have 6 followers – and a few came from my kid. 🙂 I don’t mind. In theory – people will slowly find my work and if they like it – they’ll follow me as I go. Even if no one ever finds them… it feels good to put visuals to the story I’m telling about my life.

I just did this piece … it doesn’t fit with the blog – but it’s a bit more relevant for the world we’re in right now. It’s showing what it would be like to go on a vacation in a world where we not only wear masks – but we also have our own personal plastic bubble (PPB). It was fun to draw out to be honest. And I’m not sure my line art does it justice – at some point – I’ll put color to it – but I kind of like what it is right now – as it is.

I’ve also highly enjoyed drawing the kids and my pups – showing those little moments that bring such joy in my life. Even my son has enjoyed helping me plan out different panels and tell a story. How could I NOT want to spend my time doing THAT? 🙂

Well – I better get back to my day – but I wanted to check in. All the love to you in neverland. We’ll catch up again real soon. If you feel up to it – leave me a note in the comment section – how’s your 2021 going so far?

An update while recovering from pneumonia

sick

Please excuse my absence.  I managed to come down with what I thought was just a miserable cold.  It’s been rough, I won’t lie.  BUT… I’m on the mend and starting to feel like me again so I’ll focus on that.  🙂

I’ve had a few topics on my mind in the last few days.  Things I wanted to write about and every time I’d sit down to do so, I’d get distracted by an article or an email or text.  There is so much to catch up on from the last couple of weeks, so I’ll sum it up really fast.  Took my mini-me to her first comic convention.  It was a 4 hour drive out of state to get there and we stayed the entire weekend in a hotel.

RCCC

This was her birthday present from in June.  She had a blast and I’m thrilled that she got to experience it and found such enjoyment from it.  I found her an anime wig and did some big anime eye makeup on her.  She had many people stop her and ask to take a picture.  It was wonderful to see her light up that way.  I got commended on how cool of a mom I am, which of course made my day! 🙂

The mini-me all dressed up
The mini-me all dressed up

The bro started a new job.  Scrambled a bit to find daytime care for my little one, but got there in the end.  Because I’ve been sick, I missed work last week, and this week, I’ve been pretty much working from home.  Some of the other ladies who work for me have also been sick with colds and we had a “sick party” where they came in their comfy clothes and slippers, and we worked at my dining room table with snacks and Kleenex, delivery pizza and plenty of giggles.  It’s been lovely having them here.

I re-arranged some of the main areas of my house tonight.  From a mental side of things, I needed it.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting better after being so sick, maybe it’s because there’s lots of talk of the bro moving out, maybe it’s the thoughts I’ve had of where I’m going to put my xmas tree this year… but I’ve had my home on the brain a lot lately.  It’s decorations, the layouts of the room, how to get more efficient and organized and how to make it feel like home.  I haven’t had Nana and Granddad over yet.  I’m just not ready for them to see it in the state it’s in.  Don’t misunderstand, it’s not horribly messy or anything like that.  I still haven’t finished unpacking – and frankly – I actually don’t care so much.  There is still a box in my dining room to unpack, a box in my bedroom, there’s a box by the front door that I haven’t touched.  And a garage, half full of boxes of life.  It’s highlighted to me just how much “stuff” I had.  And I knew that.  In that big house we came from, a six bedroom house to fill, and a family inside of it, accrues a lot of material possessions and things.  These are the things that still half-fill my garage; random decorations, old year books and parts or pieces to old hobbies that had been put aside, extra frivolous kitchen appliances that rarely get used, in my case, there’s also an extra couch and dining room set.  I’ve promised myself that the things I don’t touch in a year – get tossed.  I hate clutter; and yet somehow, I’ve managed to gather quite a lot of it.

clutter

Between kids, moves, and breakups and divorce… the clutter seemed to creep in; and I didn’t really seem to care or notice.  I see it now.  Tonight, I spent a fair chunk of time going through some of the clutter.  It’s only scratching the surface, but the re-arranged rooms helped me stay motivated.  I think I needed that refreshment, because tonight, looking around at what I got done and having the ideas in my head on what I’m going to do to finish each room, it’s finally starting to feel like home.

George, my cat, is sprawled across my favorite chair, the room is flickering with candle light; the carpets are clean, the room is dusted, the kitchen is even clean… I really got a lot accomplished tonight after I finished work.  I KNOW I’m feeling better.  🙂  Last Wednesday, I felt more like I was on death’s door and could barely get out of bed.  And yea, I still sound like absolute crap when I cough.  Laying down at night isn’t as fun either, as I feel a bit like I’m drowning.  It’s kind of funny, I keep referring to myself as a squeaker toy because I take a breath and squeak like one.  What I’m finding “interesting” is that my dreams have increased while I’ve been sick.  I’ve had more nightmares in the last couple of days than I’ve had in a very long time and I’m unsure what’s triggered it.  Last night, I dreamt I was in a horrible motorcycle wreck. In my dream, I felt the pain of a car driving over the top of me, and when I woke, I could swear I still felt it.  It’s amazing what the mind does with a dream.  I then had a second dream that started out innocuously enough but ended with a blow to the heart emotionally that had me crying out in my sleep.  I hate dreams.  I find that if I go to bed with a clear head, that I have a better chance of not having any, but they still sneak up on me.  I wish I could find a better solution.

I’m tinkering with a couple of ideas for new innovation in my head right now and it’s wonderful.  I missed doing that kind of work, and with as busy as work has had me lately, I didn’t think I’d be able to sneak in the time to do more of it.  But I find that later in the night, before I fall asleep, I’ll get some really interesting ideas and jot them down.  Sometimes I’ll bounce them off T if he’s around, and sometimes I just journal them and keep them for later.  I have FAR too many notebooks with these kinds of things in them.  It would be interesting to somehow collect it all in a way I could re-read it all.  🙂

robot

These latest ideas are involving robotics, one involving transportation and one involving personal computing.  I want to get my hands on a google glass device – but how would I explain that at work?  I’m already considered a traitor for using an android phone.  See, it’s my opinion – I don’t care about the brand.  Does it work?  Does it solve a problem or a need that I have or make my life easier or less dependent on the unimportant things?  Cool, then I’ll try it.  If it somehow chains me down, or makes things worse, then heck no am I going to spend decent money on a gadget that’s just the next popular thing.  I’m VERY picky.

Well – I should get some sleep.  It’s later than I’d realized.  I hope you are all well.  Goodnight Neverland.  XXO

Staycation Part 1

It’s Sunday.  The house is quiet.  I am very obviously not on Orcas Island.  And … I’m completely okay with that.  I have no plans for myself for the next couple of days, and I’ve given myself one rule.  Think about (and accomplish) needs/wants only.  No stress or drama, no grumpiness, no pain.  Meaning:  No thoughts about work, no thoughts about moving, no thoughts that bring about sadness or pain.  Or at least try and remember to turn them off when they do occasionally pop up.

Yesterday was lovely.  I met with a friend for coffee, ran a few errands, and then disappeared into a favorite book store.  I filled my arms with books and hunted down a chair.  There was another woman there, and she was doing the same.  Her arms filled with books on dragons.  She had one I’d considered grabbing, as it covered the techniques of painting scales and certain textures.  I commented to her about it as she plopped into the seat next to mine and we ended up chatting about art and comics.  She’s a local artist.  Very nice woman.  We laughed about wanting to have a coloring party and exchanged numbers.  🙂

I talked to my little brother briefly yesterday.  My real brother, not the “bro” I live with. 🙂  He and I are both wanting some sibling time. He’s planning to come stay a night soon so we can stay up too late gabbing and laughing and sharing.  Then have horrible-for-you-but-oh-so-good breakfast diner food the next morning.  I’ve enjoyed watching him get older and become a young adult.  In my case, being significantly older than a sibling is interesting because you love them, and want to share everything you can with them, but know that age and maturity is a factor in understanding the choices that we make as adults or as parents.  So you don’t share everything.  Sometimes you just stay silent and stand back and watch.  I think he’s on the track to being a very cool man.  It will be interesting to see what he grows and becomes.

I came home and painted.  And painted.  And painted.  I had candles.  I had my entire music collection put into one playlist and set to “random”.  I had a glass of amazing red wine.  Ok, over the course of the night I had 2 glasses.  I was trying a new technique I’d found in a book.  I wanted to see if I could accomplish it.  I used a photo as a guide and went about trying to replicate the picture I’d found in the book.  I did it.  It’s not perfect, I somehow messed up half way through and Photoshop put a 30 px outline on all that was laid down.  So I had to go back and repaint a lot of what I’d already done.  I’m still new to painting on the computer.  It’s awkward for me, but I’m dedicated to figuring it out.  Blending just pisses me off on the computer.  You lose the ability to shade with your hands a lot.  But tablets and technology are giving me the opportunity to paint without the mess, in my living room with my feet up, relaxed.  Not hunched over an easel. I knew 3/4 of the way through that I wanted to finish my painting last night, and I knew it would hurt to do so.  My hands were cramping. 🙂 But I was so excited to see what took shape.

Should I show you all?  Please remember, I am not the original artist.  This is NOT my work… I mean – it is … I painted it.  But from a small photo.  I don’t feel right taking credit.  Shoot I feel even worse that I didn’t think to note down the original artist.  Or the book.  Bad Jen.  But here it is all the same.

Image