Sunday, March 9, 2014

Writer's Block or what have I been doing for almost a year

Yeah, I know... MIA for way too long. Can't quite understand how I haven't been able to write, me... one who is never at a lose for words. The good thing is that I have discovered why I like to write. It's a process, just like doing laundry or any other repetitive task. It is not the actual result, the proverbial clean and folded laundry, that I need but the process. The contemplation, the release of words to the keyboard or notebook. Then the editing. Hitting the delete button, inserting, rewording... the process.

This means that I have fell in love with new processes that help me meditate on life. I've discovered water bath canning. Seriously, I love it and I can do it in my tiny kitchen! I've made the best garlic pickle ever, fell in love with homemade strawberry jam,

 created "Mmmm mango Mandarin jam," and



<"There can only be one.. The Gherkin."


The Gherkin (just before putting in jars)>








I bought a juicer and love the mixing of fruit and veg that result in these amazing colors and flavors!






And for the first time in my life, I have been able to grow my nails and I'm obsessed with polish and nail art! 

How silly, how fun!





Stay tuned for canning recipes, my fav veg/fruit juice combos, more rants and giggles, and yes, watch my nail art progress. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Endings, Beginnings, Endings, Beginnings
I am a Work in Progress


I've been virtually silent, literally. I have kept my virtual voice to a whisper for several months. My journal still sits on my night table gathering dust.

I was/am in the process of ending “our marriage,” or do you say, “my marriage?” The papers were signed and filed so it is Final, Legal, done. We/I am divorced. I am learning the semantics of divorce are tricky. I am still stuck in the “we” and it is not the royal “we.” How do you change from saying “our son” to “my son” when we (see?) are still parents? How do you refer to the person you were once married to? Ex sounds so, well, crass. I think that “Former” might work, maybe that makes him like Prince, the man who was formerly known as husband.  And I am no longer known as a Daley, “one of my former’s conditions.” Now I can go back to saying, “Leslie Miller… like the King of Beers.”

It has been a long year. The man I was married to actually follows my blog but I am not sure he actually reads it anymore. I haven’t been able to write about this ending/beginning in my life. I, one who is never at a loss for words, still have so much difficulty verbalizing the emotions that are associated with ending a marriage. The other reason is that my attorney told me to go on social media silence. I will agree that this process is like mourning a death. I stumble back and forth through all the phases of grief and while I believe I invented a few new phases, I am sure that many have gone before me and more will come after me.

The emotional me still grapples with the feeling at some level that somehow I failed. The realist in me knows that this is not true. That’s new for me… I still have optimism but I learned to be a realist. The fact remains that I cannot pin point an event, an incident, a moment in time when the ending began. I once told a friend that marriage is like the ocean, it ebbs and flows with the tide. I mused about this in another blog entry titled "Twitter: A Writing Exercise" so I suppose I have survived a shipwreck. It is not all smooth sailing. I suffer the memories both good and bad. My heart aches still and always will on some level. The friendship that I always cherished is battered, bruised and may not be able to be saved. This man is the father of our/my son. My/our child, is truly the best thing I have ever done in my life and would not be without his father. I just couldn’t be his wife anymore.

I have learned that nice divorces only happen in the movies. Ask anyone who has been through one and they will tell you that there is no such thing… unless your marriage was for legal documentation, you don’t have kids or pets or community property. My attorney told me he has actually written visitation orders for dogs. I never imagined just how ugly things would get. I will not recount the insanity as it would make a public record of the events that I have no need to record. These things are burned into my soul. I am a veteran of the divorce war. Those who have been there know what I mean.

The good news? Each day is truly a new beginning and I am “enjoying the process” as my dear friend Cat would say. I realize I am closer to me than I have been in a long time and I am proud of my journey.

“I am proud of the scars in my soul. They remind me that I have an intense life.”
Paulo Coelho




Saturday, February 9, 2013

From Red to Black

This is not an accounting lesson, repeat, this is not an accounting lesson. I was born a brunette and while we keep our hair, we go grey young. I've been coloring my hair since my twenties. When I worked in a record store (yes, real vinyl records and cassettes were the thing) I experimented with shades of purple and orange. When I "grew up" and got a real job, I had a great colorist... a rich brownish red. I could afford a visit to THE SALON without thinking twice. Oh the good old days!

Flash forward to the last 12 years (which does in fact coincide with the age of my son) I have been basically brown or kinda reddish. The reddish has been great but goes so brassy so easily. And many of my friends will testify that I will put off buying the box for waaay too long. I've come to work to find "gifts" of unused hair color boxes on my desk. So my reds have varied.

As I have noted in my previous entry, time to color and cut my hair. I decided to rid myself of brassy forever and listened to my friends... I found an ash color to cut out the brass. So there I was in the hair color aisle at the HEB staring at the wall of potential colors. I have never been loyal to brand, always going for the low to mid-priced box o'color but today, I felt I was worth it... and tossed the box of 4A Dark Ash Brown in the cart and forgot about it for a few days.

Home hair dying isn't very difficult. If you can read, you can dye your hair from a box. Even though the directions provide extra minutes for stubborn gray, I usually add an additional five to that because my gray is obstinate. I have a special shirt that I wear and recently added a hand towel to that as well. I saved a root touch up brush that helps with the hairline and temples but I always miss a few. On goes the dye and then I sit around for the prescribed time. I can't do anything really because I wear glasses and without them the world is a blurr but of course, I can do laundry blind if there is any left to do. 

Finally its time to hit the shower. Rinse until clear is actually pretty interesting. Within the first few minutes excess dye splattering everywhere creates a shower murder scene. Some products make your hair feel like straw, but I have to say that I love the conditioner that comes in a box o'color. I have friends who used to buy the box just for the conditioner. Once completely rinsed and conditioned the waiting game begins for me to see what color 4A Dark Ash Brown really is because the box pictures are always off. I rarely dry my hair with an actual hair dryer. I just can't be bothered but I just can't stand it... I grab the blower and go for straight hair versus the air dried mostly curly look. 

And now I am Dark Ash Brown, which is really Daring Almost Black. I embrace the change and everyone says it suits me. Next, the new hair cut.



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cleaning House


My blog is clogged.  My journal sits waiting to be paid attention to, pen at the ready. My knitting needles lost their click and I haven’t been lost in a good book for months. These things are the way I work out the stuff that churns inside my brain, my heart, my soul.  It has happened before on rare occasion. I have reached a place in my life when I am at a loss for words, my creativity has come to a screeching halt because of the internal work consumes all. At times like this I have to clean house. I watched my mother do the same thing… I knew she had something on her mind and she would commence to clean. To seek out every nook and cranny and make it right.

I am my mother’s daughter. I am transitioning, changing my life in ways unimaginable. It has taken every inch of my fiber, my being to grow… to take these steps. And since I am not using my traditional “tools” to cope, I am my mother. Not a bad thing. I am cleaning house. I open a drawer or cabinet and go through it. I find all the lids to the plastic ware and if there is a missing piece it goes in the trash.  I spent part of New Year’s Eve matching socks. Yes, I actually threw the singles away knowing its mate would never surface. I have tried on everything in my closet and sectioned off a part that fits, will fit and must consign.
 
And on those particularly turbulent days I make laundry. It’s not like I don’t have enough laundry to do and I actually don’t like doing laundry. But there is something about doing laundry, the methodical rhythm of finding the bits for the wash. The kitchen towel, the hand towels, the blankets on the couch. Then turning the knob, adding soap and loading. , Next the turn over to the dryer, cleaning the vent, turning the knob. Warm clothes enter the basket… the smell of clean laundry. Then, the folding, matching of socks, and making neat stacks. I do this all without really thinking, I enter a Zen state of laundry. My mind is captured by the method and I find peace. This is the one task that I do mindfully without actually having to focus on being mindful. I acknowledge the other “thought bombs” and let them go, I’m doing laundry.

So my house is almost clean and the laundry is nearly done yet the writing still comes in mad rushes. It is obvious that radical steps remain. Time to change the color and cut my hair. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Frogging...

Not to be confused with gigging frogs. For all my non-knitting friends, this means that point where you have been happily clicking away on that knitting project, perhaps for hours and then you look down and realize something is just not right. After counting rows and stitches, recounting rows and stitches, you realize this is not a simple fix, you cannot simply unknit a few rows and this is something that crochet hook will never repair. You bemoan the fact that you have not utilized the life line. There it is, the issue at hand, perhaps a gaping hole, or twisted stitches. The decision is yours. 

Do you continue on as if nothing has gone wrong? Or... do you decide to (gulp) frog?  You hear the every increasing loudness of the "rip it, rip it, rip it, rip it" froggy chorus and you have the decision of your life ahead of you... Are you prepared to tear out rows and rows of your meditative knitting?  




Knitting has helped me to put my life together when it was unraveling and now that I have worked on this UFO (unfinished object) for years, I see the dropped stitches, the miscalculated rows. part of me kept knitting along unaware. I have measured and contemplated long and hard. Finally, I have mustered the courage and I am frogging with determination knowing that I each time I start over, I understand the pattern better.