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About a year ago, I started drawing. It all started with this journaling group that meets once a month at a coffee shop, led by Lynn Fisher. When I saw the notice about the journaling group in a newsletter I thought, hmmm… I like to journal, but what exactly would a group of journalers do when they get together? I was curious.

What I didn’t realize is that the group was mainly for art journalers — I didn’t even understand what that was. I simply wrote in my journal, pretty much the same old complaining, whining, promises to do better tomorrow drivel, day-after-day.

I was thoroughly enamored with the artistic ways of these women but held no hopes that I could do the same sort of thing. But then I took a class with Roz Stendahl, who is amazing! I’m not even going to try and keep up with her. Roz taught a group of us how to make our own journals and some basic principles of drawing and painting.

Okay. So I still don’t know how to draw worth a darn. But what I’ve discovered is that drawing is like meditation for me. It forces me to slow down and notice things. My brain tends to operate like a pin ball machine, flinging thoughts this way and that way, some thoughts setting off bells and whistles and lights while others just end up in the gutter. But anyway, drawing stops all that chaos — at least for a little while.

And what came as a total surprise is that drawing is fun! Yeah, you have to struggle with all those voices in your head, telling you that you have no talent, this is a waste of time, blah, blah, blah. But if you can get past your inner critic, you start to remember what it was like when you first discovered crayons and pencils and the joy of making marks on paper. 

So the heck with being any good at drawing. I just look at it as:

A more interesting way of creating to do lists.

Of recording an interesting event.

Or recording the weather conditions.

Oh, and you don’t have to draw. Lots of art journalers paint, collage, or use photos. The main, thing is to take a moment to be still, and notice what’s going on in your life, right now. Actually, when you think about it, that’s what blogging is all about. But I do enjoy getting off my computer and putting a pen or pencil to good old fashioned paper…

Families are an interesting thing. And I have two of them: my adoptive family and my biological family. Unfortunately, both my families have gotten smaller. 

My adoptive Dad died 25 years ago. My adoptive brother died 13 years ago. And my adoptive Mom died about 17 months ago. And now my biological Dad died on November 28, 2008 from cancer.

I actually met my Dad on Thanksgiving in 1998. Ten years was not enough time, not that any amount of time would have fit the bill. But he lived about 1700 miles away from me so the visits were too short and infrequent. 

My Dad wasn’t the only member of my birth family I met at that time. I also met my birth Mom, three sisters, two brothers, and a number of nephews and nieces.

The most fascinating thing about meeting my birth family was that the love of horses and animals appears to be genetic. Who would of known? So many things about me finally made sense.

My Dad and Me on Jacki (2004)

The death of a parent is a difficult thing to go through, but I’ve found it especially complex with the loss of my birth Dad. Probably something to do with losing a part of myself so recently found. That mixed in with the adoption, rejection, abandonment issues I tote around with me. It’s something I’m sure I’ll be working through for quite some time to come.

My Dad and Me (2006)

My first blog post. I’m feelin’ the pressure. I’ve been brainstorming about these really funny stories to tell, but now, nothin. So I figured if I just got this first post over with, maybe the next ones will pour out of me.

My friend Bev and I got together in January and made treasure maps of the things we want to manifest in our lives. Treasure maps and manifesting seem like such “Law of Attraction” cliches, but maybe it will help me focus on what’s really important to me. I’m so tired of time passing by and every year promising myself that this year will be the year I:

  • Get off my property with my horses and do some real trail riding.
  • Finish writing at least one of the books I started nine years ago. 
  • Get published.
  • Have drawings in my art journal that even in the slightest way resemble something Hannah Hinchman has done.
  • Find an outlet for my music. Not sure what yet – community band, church group, be a street corner musician… 
  • Teach my dog to skijor. This is a totally new aspiration but it looks like so much fun and she needs an outlet for her energy.

I’m getting too old to be putting things off. So here I go.

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