Friday, January 1, 2016

Updates for 2014-2015

I said I'd be doing the bucket list last time I posted here- and forgot about it all.

Is that bad? Nope.  That told me that my life kept me busy.

I have increased in volunteering, participating in social justice and reproductive justice activism lately!    However to talk about my social justice activism would make it all about me, not the communities that the spotlight need to be on.  Please read blogs by women of color; participate in groups run by trans people; and listen with no intention to interrupt or go 'but' to stories of disabled people.  


I saw the play "Our Town"  in January 2014.     All I can say is.. it blew me away.     If the play comes to your town, go see it!     Yes, it may feel boring- stick to it and you'll realize how accurate it is to your life.
Actors Theater's 'Our Town'


In the past two years, I had been pressured to give/donate some labyrinth paintings I created to organizations or individuals.    I had not felt comfortable with that; yes I even resented that encouragement, pressure.   That included being asked to give workshops on labyrinth mediation/walking for free.    What gives?   Do one really think that art or education should be free all the time?  

When I paint, that includes the cost of materials, frame, canvas, length of time- could cost between $75-200.  Yet when I put $90-350 on the paintings, I am told that I am greedy.  !!!

When I come to do a labyrinth workshop, that includes mileage, cost of gas, hotel stay, sometimes rental of the room, length of time, and time away from my job.   Yet when I check whether they will pay me for the workshop, (usually 200-450), I'm told that they cannot afford that.  Yet it's okay for me to pay to fill up my gas, drive 150 miles, and pay for overnight stay at the hotel. Okay......

So I had dug my heels in and said no more, I'm not gonna donate/give paintings away, nor do my workshops for free anymore.   Did that stop people?  Nope-   others realized the value- I had sold six paintings in the last six months!  To me,that's a big step.  Workshops-  I had been asked to do a workshop later this year, and they made an offer to pay for the hotel stay and my airfare, so to me, that's a fair trade.

In 2014, I had gone to the Michigan Womyn's Musical Festival, in which I had fallen in love with.  For the first time ever in my life, I felt safe. I could walk down the road at 3am, not looking over my shoulder, which I did so- walking under the moonlight!  Camped among fellow spirits.  Only one minus about that was that there were no workshops about infertility/childless choice/not by choice.  I recall telling members who have been attending the festival for many years as they could recall, that there IS a labyrinth built on the land, and to be told "no there isn't, unless you mean the labyrinth by ribbon over there."  I was persistent- following my gut, and I found the stone labyrinth!  It had been built a long time ago, so many old members let it slide from their memories.

I came back in 2015, saddened that it would be the last year for the festival.  Heartened that I got to give a workshop on the labyrinth walking- in end, the attendees got to see the stone labyrinth- lets hope that whatever happens to the land, the stone labyrinth will be always be there.  This time, my best friend Roni came and experienced the magic of the festival.  I also volunteered most of the time at the orientation/welcome area, the Deaf haven and the kitchen.  I realized from 2014, volunteering was where I was most happy, and so I did that again last year.

I walked in the 2014 Zombie Walk in Louisville- it was a blast of fun!    Saw so many zombies, yet so little time to see them all!

I took a break from writing the book, since I found myself stuck with the 'writer's block' (obviously here too in the blog!).

For 2014 and 2015 Goodreads, of 150 and 200 books, achieved, although realizing that with that pressure in the last year, I found myself disinterested in reading. So for now, I'm not going to read just for the sake of 'Goodreads' goals, but for my own pleasure.

In 2015, I had done some travels-  to NJ, OH, IN, CO and KS.

I had also lost my grandmother, June back in July.  Throughout growing up, she had been there a steadfast anchor for me.  When relatives hesitated in learning sign language, she dived in and became skillful so we can communicate to each other- she made sure that I was part of the family, instead of staying in the shadows.  She encouraged me greatly to start reading when I was a toddler; she fanned the flames of reading within me, non-stopping in handing me books to consume.  In the last years, she had been a shadow of who she was, due to dementia, no longer remembering anyone, not even me the last time I saw her. So when I got the news she died, I explored the mixture of grief and relief at the same time- feeling relief that her suffering had ended, yet grieving that she is gone.    At the funeral, I wrote her eulogy, echoing her values in reading and writing.  I still miss her.

And my VW Jetta Sweetheart, bought in 2003, had bit the dust only two months ago.  I got a new Kia Soul-   more room for camping trips!

Looking back, the bucket list have looked harder than it was, and so I decided for the next five years, I will stick to the five goals.

Pay off Debt
Travel out of country
Buy/Build a tiny house.
Re-assess my life and see where I want to go from here.

And for the childless not by choice part in my life?    I realized that I AM a mother in other ways.  To my furkids, I am their mom. I am an aunt spoiling my 3 years old nephew, who now finds himself a Star Wars fan like me, and the twins(boy and girl!) just born to my brother and sister-in-law two months ago.  Being a mentor to several young women is enriching.  So in general, I have made peace with the childless aspect.   Of course, the book about me is unfinished, there is a lot more to write- the plot may change.  And you know what? I look forward to surprises popping up on the next few pages.


  1. I was glad to see your words show up this morning in my feed....
    I am excited to see what you do in 2016!
    Happiest of new year wishes to you

  2. How wonderful to see you blogging again. You've had quite a year.

    I'm sorry you lost your grandmother. Dementia is cruel, it takes your loved one bit by bit, and then you end up losing them twice.

    Brava on selling the paintings! You're quite right to value your time, and your investment (financial, emotional, artistic) in creating them, or in preparing for and delivering workshops. If you don't value your time, no-one will. Good for you.

    Good luck for 2016!

  3. It's great to see you posting again, Wolfers! :) Happy new year!