The Heart Is Ever Young

Secure in the knowledge that no-one now reads my blog except my eldest daughter I can happily post photos of the journal page that appeared after the events described in one of my previous blogs, so endearingly titled ‘You Old Bitch!’.

I managed a few hours in my play room and, not liking to be left out, had already decided to have a go at a half face, something I have never previously done, but which is all the rage right now.  

I worked on that first, using a raw piece of canvas so that I had to work the colour into the texture.  I hoped that might allow me to layer and blend seamlessly – and it pretty much did. I gave her white hair as that is my natural [hidden] colour and I’m working on a vision of myself as I want to be at 70!!

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With that done I turned my attention to the double page – previously gessoed up and doilied, and sprayed dylusions colours liberally.  I used yellows and blues to make the spring green on the right side and added reds and browns to the left side.  It was all too much so I applied a whitewash over the whole lot and when that dried I crackled the left side with clear crackle paint rubbed over with some ‘vintage photo’ ink to get an aged and weathered look.  

 

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I used various stamps and staz-on ink to add texture to both pages.  I’m not that happy with the left side [age] but love the spring green that appeared on the right.  The doilies represent me – my girls will tell you that I love anything with lace and bling – the more the better really……… I’ve just got no taste!!!

I cut the face out of the canvas and glued it onto the prepared double page and voila – 

 

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It may transition onto a canvas one day……..

Here’s another random thought – written in the hope that someone may read this some day –  I’m not a very good photographer and always feel dissatisfied with the results of my aim and click style.  I use Adobe Photoshop, but really don’t understand it, [despite a 6 week course a few years back] any body got any tips?

Eight Weeks Later …… An Update

I started this blog at about the same time I decided to improve my life style – the two were not linked, purely coincidental …….. My reason for starting [the blog] was to make myself keep track of what was coming from my craft room, something I was – and am – notoriously shabby at!

The reason for changing my lifestyle was to get out of my own way and do something about the state of my overall health.

If you have read previous posts – about 6 of you I believe – you’ll have a bit of an idea of what I’ve been doing in the kitchen.  I thought I might do a couple of days and then quit – missing bread and sugar too much – but I didn’t.

So I said to myself ‘Well, I’ll finish the week and see’.  I did and carried on.

I said ‘Well, I’ll do it til I can’t any more’ [which statement can only come from a place of deprivation].  And still I happily continued.

Somewhere along the road I realised I wasn’t deprived – I was eating more than I did before – now partaking of delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners whereas previously I had often not eaten all day and found myself on the verge of keeling over about 4 pm.  At that point I would head for the fridge and start grazing, often continuing until late in the evening……  Now I happily potter about in the kitchen creating great tasting food which heals my body and feeds my soul.

Now I’m not a person who likes to share her aches and pains with the rest of the world.  If you ask how I am I will smile brightly and chirp ‘Just fine thank you – and you?’  Or if it’s a person I know will share all their woes with me and I’m in a ‘can’t be bothered’ kind of a mood I’ll chirp ‘Why, just a box of fluffy ducks thank you’ and continue on with a change of subject or bustle busily away.

But now that they are all gone I think it is time to list the reasons why I needed to do something.  Her’s how it all began back in ’99:

  • Me and a stressed out, exhausted, workaholic lifestyle
  • Me, a steep flight of concrete steps and an ambulance
  • Me, a left knee and a right hip – neither of which worked at all any more
  • Me, a cigarette and a heart attack – or three
  • Me, no cigarettes and a box of chocolates stuck in bed due to points 2, 3 and 4
  • Me and a greatly increased girth due to all of the above points
  • Me and the passing of 10 years with not a lot changing except point 1

General health liabilities included unstable angina, stiff and painful joints, hip problems, knee problems, difficulty walking due to hip and knee issues. Obesity – and an inability to lose weight.  Low functioning thyroid, unstable cholesterol rates, high blood pressure or low blood pressure depending on the weather I think……  Add into this panic attacks and agoraphobia, sadness, depression, and loss of motivation and interest in life.

I worked my way out of that last part of the litany of horrors and learned again to look for the sunshine, I spent years peeling back layers to get to the bottom of the issues and learn again to take responsibility and to forgive others and most importantly, myself.  Learning and relearning – no wonder I ended up as a life coach!!

My health would improve, then take a dive again for no apparent reason.  Eventually I came to see that certain types of food might be the issue and I tried various diets and fasts and all that – none of which I stuck to for very long [due to the deprivation issue.]

Then we arrived at the timeline of 8 weeks ago and little did I appreciate how very much would change!  Here is absolute proof that our wellbeing is defined by what we put into our mouths – who knew??!!

Look back at the paragraph below the points and at every comma or new sentence add in another word in parenthesesGONE ]  

But here’s the big thing – I wake up every morning with a vague sense of elation, a feeling of joy, of excitement, of expectation that the day will bring something good.  

And it generally does!!!

You Old Bitch!

‘Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart’

~Rumi~

The other day I was in the supermarket and must have needed a reminder of how awful life is for some folk as I had – ta-da  ‘An Encounter’!  

A woman had left her cart parked in the middle of the aisle and as I was having difficulty  trying to manouvre around it I gave it a wee push to the side, which, it appears,  made said woman mad as all get out…… and I was the sudden recipient of a shot of venom that could have felled a lumberjack!  While I stood frozen in stunned silence she finished her tirade about my general incompetence as a human being with the words “……..you old bitch!”

Now I’m a woman with some understanding of the human condition and I know that when you scratch someone and reveal such raw hatred you have met a very unhappy being.  One should be filled with compassion at such misery – but this One wasn’t.  This One reared up and said indignantly “Excuse Me?”

She was tall and I am not, so there must have been some authority in those two words as she kind of backed off, not making eye contact and muttering under her breath.

I stood staring blindly at the assorted sweet potatoes I had been reaching for, trying to remove the venom that had been hurled at me and calm my indignation.  It took a few moments.

I pondered my role and took responsibility – lesson learned – never touch the shopping cart of an unhappy woman! But still I was rattled and indignant.  I couldn’t shake it off.

A couple of aisles further on and I bumped into YD also doing her shopping and the encounter was poured out to her.  She knew immediately who it was and reported that she had also had an encounter with the same woman moments previously – ‘murderous’ was her description.  “And she has a child with her” said YD “he’s pale and thin poor kid.”  So it wasn’t just me, it wasn’t personal – it was all about this poor unhappy person.  We just happened to be there.

I didn’t feel any better though and felt ashamed to admit that I had not noticed the child in my encounter – that’s how rattled I was.

The incident stayed with me, I put it down to the intensity of unhappiness in that woman and it was not until the following morning when I woke that the real reason made itself known.

She had called me ‘an old bitch’.  And it wasn’t the ‘bitch’ bit that mattered – it was the ‘old’.

I lay in bed giggling – she’d caught me out!  My inner picture of myself as eternally young was crushed – she had looked at me and seen ‘old’.  And that one word had sent me spiraling out of self-confidence into panicky ego-driven indignation.  Ah!

When I was a young woman in my 20’s, my favourite aunt had told me of her struggles with her aging appearance.  She was in her late 60’s at the time and yet felt herself inwardly to be a young and vibrant woman.  She was strolling down the street one day and saw the reflection in a shop window of an old lady bustling along, walking towards her.  She noted the woman was wearing a similar coat and was thinking how much nicer the coat looked on her than the old lady.  As she got closer to the mirrored shop window she realised it was herself and was horrified.  She said, “From that time on my self confidence was eroded – I had to work very hard to remember I am more than what my outer appearance says.”   She was thoughtful a moment then added, “And wise people see that.”

Now I know what she meant.

So I now have a sense of gratitude for the encounter with the unhappy lady in the supermarket [while hoping she gets some help for her anger issues!].  Yes I am getting older, and if you choose that is all you will see.  But my world is a rich place made of a life time of experiences, adventures, lessons learned and non-material wealth gathered.  It is a place full of love and contentment.

Come visit me here sometimes and share it!

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It’s been a while since I posted – if you have read previously and are waiting to hear more about the new life style, all I can say is it is going well – I still spend more time in the kitchen than I have for years and am still experimenting happily with recipes both old and new.

More important though is how I am feeling [within my body and health and well-being generally].  At the end of week five I am pleased, proud and happy to report that all is going very well…… for the first time in over a decade my body is pain-free, the inflammation has subsided substantially – I can now touch my toes while keeping my legs straight – something that had eluded me for some time!  And I feel good – that ephemeral feeling of general well-being and ease within the physical translates into a sense of greater contentment.

I’m sprouting [mostly alfalfa and a seed mix known as ‘Energy‘], making yoghurt, cheese and oat cakes [ see a previous posting for the recipe]  Oat cakes on plate

and chicken broth [which becomes a yummy soup].       

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food ...

Did you know that when you put a dash of cider vinegar into the water it helps to pull out more of the vitamins and minerals from the chicken so that your broth becomes an even more potent cure-all.  There is wisdom in the old-wives tales and folk medicines!

My window sill is full of fresh herbs and regenerating bits and bobs such as celery and spring onions and my freezer is full of pureed pumpkin, chicken stock and soup, spicy nuts [for a quick pick-me-up snack] and bags of activated walnuts and almonds just waiting to be added to the next meal.

I’ve even made my own salad sprinkles – a tasty mix of various activated nuts and seeds mixed with dried karengo [a nutrient rich seaweed] and crisped coconut flakes.  This has been a great favourite and even though summer has given way to autumn, and salads are being replaced with hot dishes, I feel confident they will be just as tasty sprinkled over vegetables!

Now, just in case you think I’ve become a health nut, let me hasten to reassure you, all the old cravings for comfort foods are still being satisfied.  Why just last night I prepped up a couple of parsnips and sweet potatoes and rubbed ’em down with some oil and peanut butter [homemade, she said proudly] popped them in the oven with  good sprinkle of salt and enjoyed myself some hots fries and watched a movie!!  It was just that kind of night!

I think what I’m enjoying the most about this change in life style is that it is not a ‘diet’ – it is really a chance for me to enjoy good wholesome food without the crap that factory made stuff is liberally covered in and because I use home-grown or organic wherever possible I know it is good for my body and health too.  I’m enjoying finding out what my body likes and what it doesn’t like – perhaps for the first time ever I am really paying attention to the messages it sends me…….. a little later in the day, but hey, better late than never!

Now apart from all this, I’ve also been busy in the craft room – lots of stuff underway, lots more ideas waiting to be trialed in the art journal but here is a quick pic of the latest card:B'day Card front March 13 B'day Card Inside March 13

Front                                                     Inside

Made for my eldest daughters mumble birthday.

I’ve also popped those photos onto Orlando King’s pinterest page if you want to have them.

Thanks for popping by – leave me a note to say you’ve been, I enjoy hearing from you!