When the ghosts come haunting me in my dreams

George Washington Bridge on a muggy Saturday evening... #mynyc #mynewyork #georgewashingtonbridge #rainynightI sat here and started writing this post a few minutes ago and my post “disappeared” just as I hit “Publish”.  No drafts apparently made it to “save” and I have tried in vain to try to “pull it back”.  The only thing that seems to have survived is the html code for the graphic I had decided I would use for the post.  When I hit “paste”, there it was.

Take two.

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, knowing I had a good night’s rest (turned in before midnight, believe it or not) and then got up after the first alarm just after 5am.  But I had a heaviness in my heart and it took me a while to remember what it was.

I had a most disturbing dream about someone who I hate to think about and whose very presence, even if not in my life, has and continues to cause me so much pain.  I am trying to let it go, but when she visits me in my dreams, everything seems to fall apart.  And I don’t normally dream about people I know… my dreams tend to be bits and pieces of a never-ending movie starring me, myself and I.  When someone I know actually pops up in my dreams, I get  worried and think of it as a message from the universe that needs heeding.

But this one person whose actuations had distorted my life beyond comprehension the past year is a constant ghost in my dreams.  I just saw a draft about yet another “visit” sometime in July — and back then, I had gotten so upset I never even finished the post.  This time, it’s different.  I feel like I have a need to exorcise my demons by speaking out.

I wish I had the grace to forgive, but my lessons on forgiveness in the recent past have been fraught with disappointment and frustration.  We have seen it all too often in the movies how when one is hurt by another, that person comes down on bended knee to seek forgiveness, and then makes up for that transgression to earn it and all’s well that ends well.  I have forgiven and yet I never got anything back for the forgiveness I gave.  I didn’t get anything that made me feel good.  My debacle was not solved.  The storm seems to have abated, but it didn’t really leave.

Yet other portions of my life have gone on as if nothing had happened.  I try.  Until the she comes in my dreams yet again to haunt me.


A gorgeous goodbye, the sun bid me

Sunset tonightOur days have been shorter with the exit of summer.  This is how the sun bid me goodbye tonight.  Gorgeous, don’t you agree?

I am tired and exhausted after a long day, but as I went through my usual before-bed routines, I made up my mind to try and come up with a quick post.  I just felt like it.

I wish I didn’t have to be intimidated by the thought of having to wake up really early tomorrow to take the boy to school.  I want to make it to work on time and even just the thought of it feels daunting.  Another long day tomorrow, but at least it looks like there is hope for the rest of the week to ease up a bit.

I was so busy today that I am surprised I managed to cut out the multi-page layout I’ve been planning for a bit.  That part of my altered book will take a while to finish.  But the trickiest part — that of cutting the “windows” out of the pages (and several pages, at that) is done.

The me-side of things has taken a backseat to work.  I don’t mind.  Busy is good, I always say.  I didn’t pick up my tools but I’m okay with that.  I need to be in the proper frame of mind to be creating.  It’s not always as simple as wanting to create.

Do you ever send out a note or a letter not expecting a reply but silently wishing you will get one?  I never learn.  I guess it’s just the eternal optimist in me.  Or that part of me which continues to be in denial.  Not everyone is kind.  Not everyone will go for “good”.  The lessons of the past two years have taught me that only too well.

I was cleaning up one of my mailboxes which has been cluttered by unread mail.  Promo mail, mostly.  They can pile up.  I came upon an e-mail written to me around the first half of 2012.  I had done someone wrong and I received very searing rebukes for my misstep.  At the time, and for a very long time, I bowed my head in remorse.  Then later I discovered that person had done me more wrong, a hundred times more painful, with transgressions that were repeated over and over again — and suddenly I realized my guilt was misplaced.

Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.  I was. I continue to be.  Force of habit, I guess.  Sometimes people tell us something over and over again and even when it’s a lie, it becomes our truth.

I want to shake that off.  I want to rinse it away.  I continue to try.

And it’s sunsets like this that make me hopeful.  My own redemption has been in that I had felt and shown remorse for what I thought was the bigger mistake committed by me.  That has given me pause to forgive myself.

Goodnight, sun.. see you tomorrow..



The Rainbow Connection

Did you catch the rainbow over Manhattan today?  Sometimes you have to look hard and be quick before it's gone...Happy Friday! #happyfriday #manhattan #midtownmanhattan #rainbowovermanhattan #rainbow #lookup #friday

Remember that song from the late 70s, “RAINBOW CONNECTION”?  (Sung famously by Kermit the Frog and covered by a ton of artists after..) — it’s the song that comes to mind when I remember the splendor of seeing a rainbow above Manhattan Friday afternoon after a quick shower.  We were expecting a thunderstorm, but Mother Nature gave us a break.

It’s hardly discernible from the picture I took upon seeing it, as I caught it as it was about to “disappear” into the clear sky that was revealed after the grey skies had passed.  Magnificent..



Friday Five – Three out of Five off the list

I had actually written and finished this Friday, but I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I slept without hitting publish.. so here it goes..

I am proud to report that I am ticking off three of the five on my list last week.

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  

3.  Report on my progress with the THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT.

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  

5.  Create a non-polymer clay piece.

Save for the pants, I might even be able to belatedly take no. 3 off soon, too.

Not bad.

This week’s Friday Five:

1.  Finish the pieces for posting to the shop.  The polymer clay disc pieces and the non-polymer clay ones are just up for finishing, photographing and posting.  Target for the weekend: at least one.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  Still trying to get this done before the fall is fully present in NYC!

3.  Write a post in the other blog, THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT.  I’ve been working on this and there is much to report.  If only I could find the time to sit down and write.

4.  Begin the next multi-page layout I started planning last weekend.  I love doing multi-page layouts which I fill in as I go on with my art journal

5.  Create one of my Marian necklaces.  About time, considering the request from Lou came a while back.

Let’s see how far I get this time…

How you have grown

Blog graphicToday was the first day of school in New York City.  As always, we packed the school supplies, labeled and ready for turnover to his teacher.  In the morning, we went to the assembly yard and found his new class and lined up.  We waited.

In previous years, we would then trek to their classroom and deposit the additional supplies, listen to some welcome remarks from the teachers and then hurry back out and on with our day.  Today, the teacher did us a favor and told us it didn’t make sense for us to go up to the third floor just to deposit what the kids  could easily carry.  She then instructed the children to take the extra shopping bags of supplies from us and off they went.

My boy is now in Fifth grade.  Wow.

Of course, it’s not lost on me that he no longer wants to hold my hand nor kiss me or be kissed in plain view of his schoolmates.  This, even as he refused to let me go when I had him in line with his friends.  I guess there’s still that part of him which actually can’t let go of Mom.  Thankfully.

He called me (one in around 5 calls before I finally reunite with him at home) and calls me”His delight.”  Sometimes he’d say, “Mom, won’t you be a dear..” followed by some trivial request.  He knows how to butter me up even if he knows he really doesn’t need to. It’s just the way he is.

I’m having one of those “I wish you wouldn’t grow up so fast” evenings.  I’m really exhausted after a long day at work and I have forms to fill out for school.  Later.  Or tomorrow if I manage to haul myself off the bed early enough.  (Where there’s a will, there’s a way.)  Maybe it’s the glass of wine I had while having my spicy steak dinner.  Whatever it is, I wish he’d always stay a boy… alas, that’s yet another facet of life I have no control over.

I must give in and relent.  Go with the flow.

I was watching him watching something on his iPad earlier and I looked at him viewing it with rapt attention.  Until he noticed me looking.. he thought I had said something and he took off his earphones. Nothing, I said. I was just watching my little guy and saying out loud, “Oh, how you’ve grown.”




Therapy: Scribbling and Doodling and Mountain Maid Strawberry Jam for breakfast

Work in progress:  thank you postcard for #thethankyoupostcardproject. A simple thank you is enough.  #postcard #handwritten #pen #cursive #sprayink #vintagebookpage #handmade #pspercrafts #thankyou #thanks #sayit #kindness #payitforward

I do it when I get the chance, and I’m surprised that I’ve covered so much ground.  I did this layout just before I left work yesterday.  At first I meant to do collage letters or paper embellishment “THANK YOU”s.  Then I started doodling again and then doing my block lettering.  I’m lucky to have a nice penmanship, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of actually rendering it as wordart until now.  As always, all it takes is practice.  As you can see, I still need to do one more pass, at least, to fill in the gaps within the lettering.

The background is a collage of at least 2 pieces from a vintage book (read: almost 100 years old) I got for a song at Strand’s.  It was a little difficult working with it because the paper is literally crumbling.  You cannot fold it anymore as it will just break at the crease.  Once done, I will seal this with a coating of Mod Podge Matte Finish or it will never get to its destination!
Almost finished or should I leave this as is?  Work in progress for #thethankyoupostcardproject   Bring some color into someone's world by saying thank you.  #thanks #sayit #kindness #wordsmatter #wordart #workinprogress #postcard #payitforward #pen #spra

(I’m not quite sure if I will continue to doodle on this or just leave it as is.)

I haven’t quite gotten the project off the ground.  I was hoping to do this update on the blog for the project (see badge on the right or click here), but I wanted to make that blog all about the project, while this space is all about me.

Sometimes I grab a stack of the cards and I just can’t stop.  Whether it is doing the borders around the Subway Map background layouts, or doodling the actual “Thank you” on them, it has a hypnotic effect that keeps me going and going.

Work in progress: ink on a piece of the NY subway map for #thethankyoupostcardproject - Remember to say thank you ... #thanks #thankyou #kindness #sayit #payitforward #postcard #pen #pspercrafts #crafts #workinprogress

Even just drawing those lines on the border can be very relaxing.  I usually stop only because my lunch hour is over or because my hand has started to hurt.

I remember reading about a then teen-age actress back in the 80s and she used to say she would color with crayons on kiddie coloring books to pass the time between takes during shoots and to destress.  We all self-soothe.  Many of us do it in unconscious ways but for some, we seek the comfort or calm we want to have in very deliberate ways.

Mine has been writing and personal art.  It has been helpful.  And I often find it amazing to see how my work has progressed.  I don’t claim to be an artist.  I’m a crafter.

I often get lost in the daily grind.  Work has its own rhythm and I can get going from the beginning of the day to the end juggling things and trying to finish the tasks I’ve been assigned.  Time can fly by when you need more of it.  And when the break hits me, I stop and try to do something specifically “FOR ME”.  Whether it is to browse my favorite websites for inspiration or to just go through one of my magazines.. or maybe even create one of my digital postcards to post on my Instagram page for the project.

I push the negative thoughts away.  Those thoughts that bring pain and confusion and anger.  I try to dwell on the positive.  Scribbling and doodling brings me there.  We all have our own ways of coping — I’m trying to stay on the positive side, even if I sometimes can’t help but thinking perhaps there’s something to drinking the blues away, or some such other resort.  But the thing is, I don’t enjoy drinking, for one, so the thought of the headache and maybe spilling my guts out when I get inebriated keeps me from going that route.

It looks like a nice day out.  I started the day with my buttered toast and jam breakfast.  And mind you, it’s no ordinary jam.  I finally relented to opening my last bottle of Mountain Maid Strawberry Jam from the Religious of the Good Shepherd convent in Baguio from last December’s visit. (If you’re visiting from Manila and you ever think of me, please bring me a bottle… precious, precious jam!  I only use one teaspoon each time.. trying to stretch it.)  Such a savory treat that brings me a taste of home..

I’m seeing my stylist for a hair cut.. the boy needs one, too.  Errands to be done today — and just relaxing.  It’s one of the last holidays we’re getting for a while, so we’re trying to make the most o fit.

I can’t believe the quiet.  The boys are in the room.  (Coolest part of the house.)  Can you believe summer’s gone?  We will officially be into fall soon.  Where did the time go?

Well, we’re still here.

That’s a thought that makes me truly thankful.



Friday Five Update

Happy Friday!  Looking forward to the loooooong weekend! #happyfriday #longweekend #summer #sunflowrtIf I had been ticking off my Friday Five from two weeks ago, I would be able to make quite a progress report.  Off of last week’s list, though, I don’t have much.  So rather than confuse myself between the two weeks, I’m foregoing the progress but going on with my list for this weekend. And it’s a loooong weekend, at that.

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.  I’m further simplifying this.  I brought home two postcards — should be easy enough to send out.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  This is priority because I don’t want to end up not wearing these new pairs again until the next spring!

3.  Report on my progress with the THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT.  I’ve been working on this and there is much to report.  If only I could find the time to sit down and write.

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  Already in progress and ready for assembly this weekend.  I’ve been stacking them on headpins while trying to make up my mind on the composition of each piece.

5.  Create a non-polymer clay piece.

It’s Labor Day on Monday and just about the end of summer.  School begins again on Thursday.  So there is much to savor over the next three days.

Have a good weekend, everyone…


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