Action Girl

Getting a Jump on the “To-Due” List

You already know I’m a big “To-Due” list keeper, and, because I DO get things done, you would think I could keep those lists pretty short.

Nah.

Of course the little habit I have of adding things to the existing list after I have accomplished them, just so I can cross them off said list might be one reason for the length of those lists.

But I don’t want to talk about that right now.

Anywho. I’ve got a really long list this week because on Saturday — 2 days from now — we are getting on the road to NEW ORLEANS!

But you don’t want to know what’s on my To-Due list before we hit the road with 3 dogs, all of Mike’s paintings for his exhibition in May, clothing for 3 versions of climate change, and at least a couple of my new tarpestries from this past year, do you?

Nah.

So instead, here’s a photo album of the Tarpestries I’ve created for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) Social Justice Partners 2015/2016…

November 2015: Farmer’s Market Mobile Market — Food Justice, food security, income inequality
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December 2015: ACLU of Idaho — Criminal Justice Reform, Against the Death Penalty
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January 2016: BUUF Partner Church Meszko Sholarship Fund — Supporting UU 6th principle of world community
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February 2016: Feed the Gap — Child Hunger, Food insecurity
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March 2016: Interfaith Sanctuary — Homelessness
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And because we are going to be away, and I didn’t want to leave work undone, I have gone ahead and made the tarpestries for the months we will be in New Orleans….

April 2016: Women’s & Children’s Alliance — Domestic Violence
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May 2016: Planned Parenthood — Reproductive Justice and Comprehensive Sexuality Education
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June 2016: Habitat for Humanity — Affordable Housing
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I have 4 more tarpestries to create to finish the year — which I’ll make when we get back from New Orleans, and, I’m planning on creating another book with the help of my friend Debra Smith who is doing the Social Justice coordination for which I am creating these tarpestries. Team work, baby. Collaboration is the name of the game for me these days, and my tarpestries are my medium.

I’ll update you from the road, and then undoubtedly inundate you from NOLA, because that city knows how to make Action Girl work up a serious head of steam!

Tarpestries: The Exhibition is Up!

Huh? Wha’ happened? Have I been asleep? Under some sort of evil non-blogging spell? Nah.

Just doing a little heavy lifting.

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And, thanks to my constant supporters, especially Mike, and the Existential Cheerleaders (you know who you are!), the mountain top is coming into view…

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(Thank you Lauryn Medeiros for such a good job on the graphics!)

Yup. I am having a solo exhibition at the BSU Student Union Gallery. It’s up now, and will be through January 15th. You can drop by anytime the SUB is open — it’s right at the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor.

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We got it hung this week with able help from Cameron Quade the Student Union Gallery manager.

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And even had some early visitors curious about the show…

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Like the BSU Prez himself, Bob Kustra.

It’s hard to truly capture the show with a few quick snapshots, but at least here’s a glimpse…

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There will be a Reception on Tuesday, January 12th from 4:30 to 6:30. I hope you’ll be able to attend!

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A Week in the Life of a Lazy, Easily Distracted Sprinter

Sometimes I have a really hard time getting off the mark. I mentioned how I am a sprinter in my last post, but what I failed to add is that I’m basically lazy too. And easily distracted. I’m a lazy, easily distracted sprinter.

This week for example, I began on Monday by accomplishing little more than a couple loads of laundry and a half marathon of “Sing It On” on Netflix.

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It’s about 4 college a capella groups competing to get to the New York ICCA Finals and all the ups and downs of their personal interactions….But I digress.

Tuesday I woke up feeling guilty — which resulted in a sprint through 10 tiny tarps – tarpititos?

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On Wednesday I finished the other half of the “Sing It On” marathon.

On Thursday Mike worked from home and since I don’t like people watching me do nothing, I basically made myself work on my tarps out of self-conscious guilt.

First, I decided to use my tarpitinos as “fringe” on a bigger tarpestry.

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And then I laid out, cut out, and taped the image — a giant eye-ball surrounded by snakes and lightning bolts (my self-conscious guilt perhaps?).

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On Friday I worked a little on the graffiti on the top surface, but I got tired really quickly and watched 6 episodes of  “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” instead. I tend to be attracted to the white sands and turquoise water of the Gulf coast beaches. Well, I was born in Pensacola, Florida…. Anyway.

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Today I had coffee with my friends (which resulted in a plan to create 12 new tarpestries for a special project — the first of which is due in a week!), and then I came home feeling like I’d been shot out of the Canon of Inspiration, and finished the tarpestry.

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I think I can fit in a couple more episodes of “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” before anyone notices I’ve slipped back into my lazy pants. Aaaah, the Gulf coast — I’m telling you, it’s the best!

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Enough IS Enough!

I can not remember a time when I went without. I can not remember a time when I did not have more than I needed. I have never gone hungry. I have never gone thirsty. I have never been too cold, or too hot, for too long. I have always felt safe, and confident of the goodness of the people in my world. And I have always had more than enough of everything I could possibly ever need.

Way more.

Enough is Enough

In fact one of the many gifts of my life has been the largesse of the material world. Maybe not in coin, but most definitely in goods. I have always been able to “turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.” I can find it second hand and make it into something Anthropologie would charge you beau coup bucks to own, and as a result I have accumulated way more than I will ever be able to use.

I know I am not alone in reaching this stage in our lives when we gasp “Whoa Nelly, enough is enough!”

Enough is Enough

How did this happen? Wasn’t it yesterday that everything we owned could fit into our backpack?. . . Car? . . . Studio apartment? Can’t we blame this on the kids? Didn’t we accumulate all of this stuff in order to make a home for them? And what about the fact that I am an artist? I need this stuff as raw material for art — don’t I?

Enough is Enough

I have moved house many times, and every time I’ve moved I have purged and donated, recycled and thrown away tons of stuff. I do it as I’m packing and I do it again as I’m unpacking. This latest move is the first time that we are actually “downsizing” however, and that means I have a much smaller house in which to try and make everything fit.

Enough is Enough

It’s not working.

Enough is enough

Yes. This is my garage.

Enough is enough

And this is the storage room I’ve renamed the butler’s pantry/monument to materialism…

Enough is enough

but which is in fact an embarrassment of riches.

Enough is enough

If there isn’t a Twelve Step program for this kind of problem, there should be. I admitt I’m powerless over my ability to accumulate more than I need. I’m willing to take inventory. And I’m ready to give it back.

Most of it.

Well, a lot of it anyway.

When we moved out of our last house we had a driveway sale, and as the day wore on we switched our signs from “REALLY” “CHEAP” “STUFF” to “FREE” “STUFF,” “REALLY!”

Enough is enough

I’m thinking I need to do that again at our new place.

Enough is enough

Soon!

Home At Last!

I am so happy to tell you that that light I mentioned in my last post, the one I was just begining to glimpse, did in fact turn out to be the EXIT sign from Limbo!

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What a relief!

It has been a week now since the sale of our wonderful artists’ home went through — yes, 3rd time is apparently an actual charm — and we are finally the owners of just ONE house!

We could not have weathered this process without our amazing realtor Linda Bishop, who fought for us time after time. She is a treasure. And a pit-bull. A pit-bull we truly treasure!

And, I would have been a lot less sanguine about this meat-grinding we went through without the constant upbeat support — daily emails and frequent phone calls — from my friend Peggy Jo — who is suffering through her own tumultuous sojurn through Limbo. YOU, my dear friend, are amazing!

So. Wanna see some pictures of the new house?

I knew you would!

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I work in sections, “perfecting” as I go, and creating islands of sanity within the sea of chaos. Those are all photos of the sane islands.

Lest you find my “perfecting” process depressing in light of your own journey through Limbo, Mom, — here are some pictures of that sea of chaos which I still need to calm:

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Feel better?

Ok, blog break over. Time to get back to work!

Greetings from Limbo!

Bet you thought I wasn’t updating my blog because we were taking a Summer Vacation!

Nope.

In fact we have been caught in the sticky fingers of that ghastly place known as…

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where we have been ever so busy being chewed up and spit back out by the transactions known as “Selling Your House” and “Buying A Different House.”

This is what I have learned: when you are the Seller it is a “Buyer’s Market,” and when you are the Buyer it is a “Seller’s Market,” and if you are doing both at the same time it is simply “Not YOUR Market, Not NOW, Not EVER, So Sorrynotsorry About the Teethmarks, Market.”

And this is pretty much what it feels like:

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The only reason I am able to even attempt a new blog post is that I think I can just begin to almost see the slightest bit of the tiniest glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

“How’s that?” you ask. Well, we have managed to “Buy A Different House” and I have painted many of its walls, and had carpeting removed from the room which will be our studio, and we have moved in the contents of 4 “Storage Cubbys” leaving only the biggest pieces of furniture to be moved by Cross Town Movers on Saturday, and that, as they say, is All Good.

I have even started a new Monument to Materialism in our storage room which is off the courtyard to our townhouse…

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Meanwhile we have been living in the “House for Sale” and bending over backwards in our efforts to get it to that golden moment when it is in fact, “SOLD.”

WISH US LUCK!

I may be smiling, but my back is killing me!

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Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy…!

When my kids were little the three of us spent a lot of time watching Sesame Street together. One of the Bert and Ernie sketches had the two of them in a rowboat, fishing — without any luck, until Ernie had the bright idea to just call the fish. “Here fishy, fishy, fishy!” And suddenly fish were flying out of the water and into their boat.

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There was another little “mini documentary” about an Eskimo child and her day to day life which had one line in it that Lina and I still quote pretty much any time there’s salmon for dinner: “I realllly, realllly like feeesh!”

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Well. I DO really, really like fish, so I am having a great time creating a series of 10 small tarps which will be hung on the framework of the patio railing at Reel Foods on Capitol Blvd. starting in July, and running through September into October, depending on the weather.

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I’ve completed the first layer on all 10 — they are cut and taped — and will start in soon on the second layer of Sharpie and paint pen “grafitti.”

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Meanwhile, I am getting everything ready for our Open House this Saturday. (You can see my announcement about it on the TVAA website Community Post here.) My plan is to hang some of the tarps on our fence out front, in the hope of catching the eyes of passing house-hunters.

House-fishermen?

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Here fishy, fishy, fishy…!

Open House!

We’re having an Open House on Saturday, June 20th from 11:00 to 2:00. If you’re house-hunting I hope you’ll come by so you can actually be IN the space and really experience what a cool house it is! Pictures may be worth a 1000 words, but this is one time that 3-D, rather than 2-D, really makes a difference.

I am a visual thinker. I’m good at going into a space, stripping it down to its bare bones and then overlaying my vision of what it could be “on top”.

Looking at floor plans and arranging my stuff within them is one of my favorite things to do. Since we’ve begun the process of selling our house I’ve spent more time than I care to admit looking at photos of places we might buy once this house is sold, and figuring out ways I could make them work for our needs.

We have something like 25 photos of our house on the “virtual tour” but if you are like me and you are trying to understand the arrangement of the rooms within the 3447 sq. ft spread over 3 floors you might be having a bit of difficulty piecing it together.

So, to make it easier for you between now and the Open House, here are some sketches of our floor-plan, as well as photos of “transitions” between rooms which you won’t see on the virtual tour:

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You enter the house on the main floor. The front door faces South. The kitchen faces East and gets lovely morning sun, the bedrooms face West and the one in the Northwest corner looks into the backyard through the leaves of the plum tree right outside the window.

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(The front door on the South side of the house, and a peek into the hallway.):
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(Standing in LR/DR facing into hall between main floor bedrooms):
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(Standing in that hall looking into the NW bedroom with the view of the back yard. That’s a built-in linen cupboard between the painting and the bedroom door.):
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(Standing in the hall looking into the NW bedroom, the “study” and the living room.):
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(Stairs to the 2nd floor are in the center of the main floor off the little hallway between the bedrooms. You can see into the “study” on the left side.):
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(The view from the “study” across the landing into the kitchen.):
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(Looking from between the “study” and the kitchen down the stairs to the basement.):
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(Looking from between the “study” and the kitchen the other way, down the stairs to the Butler’s Pantry and the back door.):
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(The Butler’s Pantry is to the right of the back door, on the landing between stairs down to the utility room, and up to the main floor.):
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(Standing in the kitchen looking back toward the LR/DR.):
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The 2nd floor rooms are on the East/West axis. I use them as studio spaces, but they would make great guest rooms, or bedrooms for kids.

(The view into the room on the East side.):
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(The view from the room on the West side looking back down the hall to the room on the East side.):
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(The room on the West side.):
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The basement is basically an entire house unto itself. It was Logan’s apartment while we were a Certified Family Home and has a legal egress which we had installed in the bedroom.

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(The bedroom also has a really cool “nook” which we built shelves in and which Logan used as a “book nook.”):
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(There’s a room off the utility room which we use as a work room. It has built in storage on the South wall and with a little TLC could be converted to a 6th bedroom.):
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(We also have a storage room under the stairs which I call the “holiday room” since that’s where I store all my Christmas, Easter, and other seasonal decorations.):
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All of the above — I know, I know, I’m risking overloading you with visual information — but, all of the above should help fill in the inevitable gaps in any virtual tour of less than 50 pictures.

If you need more than this, then for heaven’s sake COME TO THE OPEN HOUSE ON SATURDAY BETWEEN 11:00 AND 2:00!!!

I need a nap.

Houses for Sale

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Yesterday I found refuge from all the sturm und drang of our house sale in the pleasant distraction of doing a little house painting.

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A little bird house painting, to be exact.

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They say when you’re feeling sorry for yourself the best medicine is to think about somebody else and do something nice for them.

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Every year the Idaho Humane Society finds various creative ways to raise money to help find homes for all the wonderful animals that end up on their doorstep. This year, artists are painting bird houses to be auctioned.

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It felt good to think for a change about somebody else finding their perfect people and future home.

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So…now I have two houses for sale.

And I feel good.