A woman who works with her hands is a laborer;

A woman who works with her hands and her head is a craftsperson;

A woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an....


Monday, March 25, 2013


It's Spring.
And I live in Oregon.
The place where there are all types of cliches...
"if you don't like the weather - just stick around. It will change in 5 minutes"
"oregonians don't tan...they rust"
yeah, yeah, yeah
The reality is - we do the seasons good here.
And this time of year the clouds can be so spectacular.
They are an artist's dream come true.
Big. Fluffy. layers of colors.
Yellows, oranges, blues, grays, pinks, purples...
And when I look up at them and I see the sun breaking through with rays of light reflecting color,
I am reminded of God.
And it makes me want to ask some questions...
Like -
1. Why do some people get "it" while others never quite figure it out?
2. Why does everyone think that stainless water bottles are the way to go? I think they make my water taste metalic. I don't like them. I don't like them at all.
3. Why does the plant daphne, that smells so amazing, bloom for such a short period of time?
4. Why do people take so long to learn from their mistakes (myself included!)?
5. Why can't someone invent a nail polish that doesn't chip off after a day and a half?
6. Were you having a particularly good day when you came up with hummingbirds and dragongflies?
7. On the other hand...what were you thinking when you came up with cockroaches, head lice and stink bugs?
8. Who's bright idea was daylight savings time and why are we still honoring it?
9. Knees...really?
10. And wisdom teeth? Was there a purpose that we haven't figured out?
11. Why do people think it is ok to put ketchup on eggs? Or ranch dressing on a quesadilla?
12. What is the story with the loch ness monster and big foot and UFOs?
13. Am I on the right track?
14. Why does music touch my soul in a way that nothing else does?
15. Why does it seem that whenever I really want to wear my sunglasses - they aren't with me?
16. And why do all my umbrellas seem to end up at work - but they are never in my car when I need them?
17. Why does my dog only want to jump on my bed when he is wet?
18.Why do some people work to stay in our life while others don't seem to care?
19. Why can I think of all the projects I need to get done in my studio - and then when I sit down at my work table my mind goes blank?
20. Why are some people so afraid of color?
21. And lastly...I just want to say "THANKS".


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy...

Mr. Linn
Doesn't matter what you call him...he has been the most influential man in my life.
My dad.
Today marks the completion of his 81st year walking around on this earth.
His birthday.
He has taught me much.
He continues to teach me much.
He is the person I still go to for advice and confirmation that I am on the right track.
There is much that I still am learning about him.
He has lived a very full life.
He has lived his life in the state of Oregon but traveled to many other states.
He loves the ocean an often played in it with us when we were children.
I have very fond memories of visitng Hawaii with him about 12 years ago and we played in the surf together again.
He spent many of his childhood days in the Tillamook Oregon Forest on the Coast where his mother was a cook for the loggers in the logging camp.
He loved the coast so much that in 1969 he and my mother bought a cabin shack that became our refuge for years to come.
The began a remodel on the cabin in the mid-70s and turned into a beautiful refuge that they enjoy to this day.
His father died when he was quite young.
He grew up as a child of the depression and has seen amazing changes throughout his life.
He always wanted to fly a plane but his eyesight prevented that.
He did however, enter the Air Force and worked on planes as a mechanic.
He met the love of his life and fell instantly.
They married when he was 20 years old...20!!!
He has remained married to the love of his life for 60 years...60!!!
Together they have had 4 children, 18 grandchildren and 3 (soon to be 4) great grandchildren.
He believes his family is his greatest legacy.

He has lived in 4 homes since he was married and worked to make each one a place of peace and love and a place that we were all proud of.
He has worked hard ..always in sales and has started a few of his own businesses.
Some did wonderful - others struggled. But he never quit.
He loves a good practical joke.
I was the recipient of many of those.
He taught his children to work hard for what they wanted and to believe in possibility.
As children, he made it clear that we were expected to contribute -
we were treated very cruely (LOL) and expected to do chores, obey curfews, and treat our mother with respect.
He taught his children that we were worth whatever we desired - but it didn't come free.
He has incredible patience.
He has a wonderful sense of compassion and selfless love.
He always has and always will put his wife (our mother) first - thereby teaching us what love really is.
He was never shy with his affection.
I do not ever remember him leaving our home or coming home after work without stopping to kiss our mother and tell her that he loved her.
He hugged and kissed his children often.
He worked long hours - often into the evening, due to the line of work he was in;
however, he attended every one of my performances when I was growing up.
He still does...
He even brought his work associates to my plays because he was so proud.
He made me feel like a princess.
He still does.
I love you daddy.
Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Over the Rainbow...

I can't remember the first time I saw the movie "The Wizard of Oz".
I just remember that it was an annual event.
Of course...
I am of the era that grew up with no dvd's or big screen plasma tvs or cable television.
If we wanted to see a movie, we went to a movie theater or
we waited for it to be played on television.
If we watched it on tv, the disclaimer that it had been "edited for television" always preceded the start.
This meant that minutes had been shaved off the movie to allow for plenty of commercials.
But there were no other options, so we endured the commercial breaks.
The "classics" were usually broadcast once a year -
"The Ten Commandments" was always played around Easter.
Sometime in the winter, they would play "Gone With The Wind" - over two nights!
"My Fair Lady" was usually a holiday movie.
And then there was "The Wizard of Oz".
Life stopped and schedules were planned around these special movies.
The whole family gathered with large bowls of popcorn sitting in our laps.
And the movie about the wonderful land of Oz was always a favorite.
The music.
Dorothy and Toto.
The witch.
But the best part...the transition from black and white to color.
I remember, when I was in my early 20's,
a local movie theater that was known for playing only "classic" movies
had a showing of "The Wizard of Oz".
On the big screen.
I went.
And the movie took on a whole new feel for me.
Let's face it - today's movies are much more spectacular from a technical standpoint.
My children have a hard time appreciating some of the older "classics" because they are so used to the perfection that is achieved through computer technology.
But for me, the magic of the "Oz" remains to this day.
One of the most enduring aspects of that movie is "the" song....
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"...
In my humble opinion - one of the greatest songs ...EVER!
The melody.
The simplicity.
The complexity.
The message.
I don't know what it is about that song in particular.
But being a music person - and a music person that really appreciates great lyrics -
this one speaks to me on a deep, almost spiritual level.
The idea of a land where everything is perfect;
the feeling of possibility, of longing, of hope, of dreams...
The song was magical to me as a child.
As a young mother, I sang the song to my children as a lullaby.
As an adult, I have sang the song for weddings as young couples began their new life together.
I have sang the song for funerals as family members have said their last goodbyes.
As a recently seperated married woman, I sat at my piano and sang the song with tears running down my face, as a way to find solace in my new uncertain world.
And now - as a divorced woman looking to the future,
I sing the song with an eye on possibility for greater things to come.
New adventures, new dreams, new roads to travel, new destinations...
anywhere my wings will take me.
Birds fly over the rainbow...
and so can I.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

the Story of the Red Boots...

The Red Boots - photo by Vicki Cane of Grace Photography
When I was in the sixth grade, boots were big.
Especially cowboy boots.
I wanted a pair and at Christmas, I put in my request.
I got a pair of boots, but they weren't what I had envisioned.
And they never really fit quite right.
I eventually grew out of them and they went away.
I had other boots here and there - but never another pair of cowboy boots.
Then I moved to Idaho for school and also spent some time in Montana.
There were cowboys everywhere.
And boots were worn every day as a clothing staple.
They lost their appeal to me.
the movie Footloose came out.
Remember that movie - the original?
Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer?
And Ariel, the main female character, wore those red cowboy boots.
She wore them with everything -
And I fell in love with them.
Or maybe I just fell in love with her feisty attitude, which I never could master when I was young- but the boots seemed to be her trademark - and therefore, I associated those boots with feistiness.
Yes - they were cowboy boots.
But they were RED boots!
I still love boots.
But I am very practical with my boots.
Basic black and brown.
No heels.
Nothing trendy or fancy -
Just basic.
And that works well.
I wear them to my day job almost every day during the colder months.
Late last summer, I was in the midst of dividing up assets and liabilities and preparing to be officially "single".
I felt...ok, I'll just say it...old.
I tried to appear and seem ok with the change I was in the middle of, but the reality was, I felt lost and scared and wondered how an almost fifty year old woman starts over?
Visions of the spinster aunt with her hair up in a bun sitting alone night after night started dominating my thoughts.
Then one day, I was looking online and I came across red cowboy boots.
My heart leaped and I got a little giddy.
I revisited the web site over and over and kept looking at them.
I had multiple arguments with myself -
These are not my style; these aren't practical; what if they don't fit; what would you wear them with; blah, blah, blah...
Then I found myself in October.
The month that final papers were to be signed and things would become "official".
I was going to be single.
No longer a "we".
I was starting over.
There were some tears.
And then there was a glimmer of hope.
And then there was ...


I started recognizing that although much of my life was exactly the same...
I still got up and went to my day job; I still had to grocery shop; I still had errands to run; I still had custom orders to fill and bills to pay and a dog to walk and laundry to wash...
There was a sense of wonder and excitement at a world full of opportunity that I had never allowed myself to experience before.
There were friends to reconnect with.
There were adventures to be planned.
This was only an "end" if that is what I chose it to be...

Instead - I chose to see it as a new beginning!

I needed to somehow commemorate this new chapter.
Something to symbolically congratulate myself for moving forward and not wallowing in self-pity.
To reward myself for facing each new challenge head on.
A trip? An adventure? A purchase?
I began a quest for the perfect symbolic gesture...
And then...on the sidebar when I was surfing the web...the picture of the red boots.
And I knew. Instantly.
That was it!
What else would mark this change better than something I had wanted since I was young?
Something that was just enough "out of character" for me to say..."things are new and different?"
So I bought the red boots.
They arrived on my doorstep on a day when I felt completely overwhelmed.
I opened the box and they were better than I had hoped.
I slipped them on and, not only did they fit perfectly - but I felt so proud in them.
 I felt strong and empowered and ... anything but old!
The red boots have become a symbol to me of strength.
Of courage.
Of feistiness.
I find myself wearing them with anything and everything -
If I wake in the morning and feel a little cranky - I wear the boots.
If I know there are challenges ahead in my day - I wear the boots.
If I am going somewhere or trying something or doing something that is out of my comfort zone...
I wear the boots.
The red boots have gone to my day job, to hear live music, to meet new people, to sign my house over to new owners...
They have become a precious symbol of the power that exists in me . . .
The power that exists in each and every one of us.
Superheroes wear capes...
I wear the RED BOOTS!
And when I wear them - I know that I can!
What brings out the superhero in YOU?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Before and After...A Thrift Store Makeover

On the weekend, my good friend and I meet for breakfast.
We talk and catch up and laugh.
And then we go for a walk -
We try to catch a local consignment shop when it is open.
We have failed.
So this last week - we did a local thrift store.
I love to go thrifting.
I grew up thrifting and garage saling.
My mom and I spent countless hours on Saturdays and during the summer months looking for treasures.
My mom was an expert at finding something that looked sad and dated and turning it into a one-of-a-kind treasure.
She mastered the art of it long be "upcycling" became trendy.
And I carry that love with me to this day.
I feel a sense of thrill when I find something special.
Some of my favorite clothing items were thrift-store finds.
Most of furniture has treasures that I have found and repurposed.
I love it!
Back to this last weekend.
My friend and I pulled into the parking lot and I got a little giddy.
What would I find today? Anything?
Who knew...that's part of the fun!
We meandered through all the aisles looking for treasures.
A few gadgets for the kitchen.
A little something to decorate with.
Something to repurpose.
And then I flipped through the racks of sweaters.
I know the seasons are getting ready to change -
but it's still sweater season where I live.
I found a nice brown sweater vest -
it's long, will work good for work, and was in good shape.
It looked nice.
And the price was right.
With the colored tag of the day, I got the sweater for about $6.
Like I said ... it's nice.
But kind of...brown.
And plain.
Very plain.
I'm all about dressing it up.
But I decided this time, to do a little extra.
I have toyed with the idea of brightening up clothes with some art for a couple years.
But I never seem to get around to it.
I decided that it was time to change that.
So with a little felt, some embroidery floss, a needle and a couple hours for a few evenings watching a movie before bed....
This little sweater vest got a little splash of color.
Just a little something to say...
Hey! I'm special.
I'm a little different...
Kind of like me!
Hmmm...I wonder what else is in my closet that could use a makeover?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Am....

I came across this quote by CS Lewis the other night.
It YELLED at me...
And I created the drawing above.
Then when I was saving the photo, I noticed I had another photo saved with a similar name.
Obviously I love this quote because I did another drawing with it very recently - back in January.
Is the universe trying to teach me a lesson here?
So it got me thinking...

What do I believe I am?

I remember sitting in a workshop many years ago.
We were supposed to find a partner and introduce ourselves.
We were then instructed to write down who we were.
We took our pens and began scribbling quickly.
We created our personal resumes on our paper.
We then shared our answers...
Wife, Mother, Sister, doctor, lawyer, assistant, teacher, student, volunteer, etc., etc., etc...
The teacher thanked us all and told us that not one of us had answered his question.
We all looked around in confusion.
We had long lists stating who we were.
"Those are the roles that you fill each day. They are not 'who' you are...", he said.
"Now - write down "WHO" you are".
We took our pens in hand and .....
Sat in silence.
No pens were moving.
We were all stumped.
We looked around the room hoping that the answer would find us.
How do you answer that question?

If I couldn't state my roles - then who was I?

This question wasn't about what I did or how I spent my time -
but it was about those things that we hold so close to ourselves, deep down inside.
The things that we feel uncomfortable speaking out loud because it may be interpreted as being
egotistical or vulnerable or afraid...
The ever-thriving personal internal debate...
"like yourself just the way you are - but don't brag about it or you are conceited."
"don't show your fears and vulnerabilities or someone will take advantage of you".

So "who" am I? Who do I believe I am?

I'm still learning the answer to that question.
I may never fully know the answer because I am always growing and changing and evolving.
I hope I never stop.
But let me share the words of Marianne Williamson -
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
This quote gives me goosebumps every time I read it.
This is who we are -
it is who I am...
And I hope that, as I let my light shine as bright as I am able, it will "give other people permission to do the same." As I am "liberated from my own fear", I can "liberate others".

Friday, March 1, 2013

Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish...

As a child I made wishes a lot.
I wished on stars.
I wished on the rainbow.
I wished when we drove through tunnels.
I wished when I blew out my birthday candles.
I wished when I threw a penny into a fountain.
But I would panic if I told someone -
because we were always told that if we shared our wish,
it wouldn't come true.
Wishes were important and I took them very seriously.
I still do -
I believe that in order to achieve anything -
you have to put it out there.
You have to think about it and visualize it and believe that it can happen.
As a grown up we call them goals.

I went to classes and heard lectures about goals and goal setting all through my growing up years.
I was instructed in the steps of goal setting.
Think about your goals.
Write them down.
Identify, develop and write down the steps required to achieve the goal.
Give each of the steps a deadline.
Review the list regularly.
Blah, blah, blah...yada, yada, yada.

As a teenager and even as an adult -
I didn't really buy this.
It just seemed like busy work to me.

And then several years ago, I wanted to open a business.
And I was asked for a business plan.
What the heck was that?
I took a class.
I researched.
And then I realized...a business plan was really a series of really big goals.
So I started writing things down.
And as I did it - I began to feel empowered.
Especially when I started to see the checkmarks that started accumulating as I accomplished individual tasks.

Goal setting...or wishes...are a big part of my life now.
There is a little girl inside me who still believes in wishes.
Who still likes to see the magic in things.
Who still believes in magic.
I make wishes for all sorts of things.
Things I want to accomplish, new adventures I want to try, places I want to visit...
I create "vision boards" - usually just a series of pictures and words that I put together on a blank piece of paper.
I tuck them into a sheet protector and tape them to my bathroom mirror and look at them everyday.
And it makes me feel excited and full of purpose.
But I also realize that a magical fairy is not going to come along and make the wish come true.
No genie is going to come out of a bottle.
I have to do the work myself.

And when I accomplish something...
it IS magical!
The big difference is this....
I believe in the magic of wishes - I just don't believe that they are free.
I believe that I have the power to make them come true.
And that...makes the whole process even more magical and special.
So embrace your inner child...
Look up at the night sky.
Close your eyes and make a wish.
Just don't forget - the magic is already right inside of you.