Powerful Habits

‘Ground Hog Day’ was a movie that dealt with the concept of repetition, waking up each day to the beginning of the same winter day, over and over. The main character began to notice this caught- in- a- loop dilema, and as a result made small changes in choices he made.

So, I’ve been thinking about the nature of repeating habits. Every morning is the same – coffee with reading funnies, stretching, teeth/skin/eye care, make bed, get dressed, plan for meals, quick check of emails, and in studio by 9 am. (probably). The only self imposed variation to this very ordered routine, is that some days I choose to lift the tiny weights over my head eight times and some days twelve times!

It is ridiculous how boring it all is, if I choose to look at it that way. Or, I can see the repeating order as safe, healthy, and wise. The daily habits are good for knee maintanance and also for doing artwork.

Showing up each day to the kitchen and to the studio, also make it possible to create artwork and home cooked meals. Things get done and I feel a sense of accomplishment.

Time Travel to the Park, $250

Even the less sexy tasks like  clipping toenails, and dusting under the bed are part of the necessary routines. Husband Felix is fabulous at keeping the driveway and walks shoveled in winter. I happen to be pretty good at staying abreast of dishes and laundry. I am not as reliable for habits relating to clearing paper piles, calling loved ones, or aerobic exercise.


Felix has recently set up a successful indoor soil sprout production habit. Each day he must water plants in the window, remove some from the dark cupboard, soak seeds for next day, keep his special soil mix supply ready, and plant seeds in mini loaf pans. He devotes about 30 minutes a day to this endeavor. His bible is: Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening by Peter Burke.

soil sprouts 1

I have the pleasure of harvesting the soil sprouts and preparing food with them. I am using salad mix, buckwheat, radish, sunflower, and peas in a variety of invented raw and cooked recipes. Yum. (I would enjoy sharing these, and am frustrated that my readers don’t have the ingredients! Oh Well.)

Soil Sprouts 2

Back to topic – Those boring and powerful habits. The bed time routine started in a timely manner, really does help me go to sleep. Cleaning the studio between projects, really does get me excited about the next project.

The next paragraph provides details about my stretch routine and is really long and boring, so you may choose to skip it.

My sympatico stretch routine has changed bit by bit over time, like that Ground Hog Day movie. It began with Viniyoga Therapy by Gary Kraftsow. Added to this are special strength and stretch exercises that my physical therapy daughter gave me to help my left knee.  Then I incorporated some exercises from Strong Women, Strong Bones by Miriam E. Nelson, PH.D. I modified some moves after reading Prevention & Treatment of Back Pain, Osteoporosis and the Postural Changes of Aging by Sara Meeks, PT, MS, GCS. I also use a rolling pin on my knee for one minute. Lastly, I now do the first 10 minutes of  on-my-back stretches with a warm rice pack over my eyes. This is followed by washing eyes and drops. (This has really helped with my dry old lady living in Wyoming eyes). The warm eye pack has provided a good deal of incentive to even BEGIN the routine. Yeah!

Tossing out the bad habits and introducing new good habits can be a challenge, but is do-able. I am currently trying to drink more water and read more. Pretty easy. Heart pumping, is harder. I may have to try out many incentives and different times of day, to find the perfect mid winter aerobic habit. I’m pretty sure it will all hinge on selecting Latin dance music. And dancing hinges on keeping my left knee working.

Being a productive happy human is far easier when we have powerful habits in place. I wish you well for practicing your music, making a clever grocery list, filling the bird feeder, or whatever you are currently working on!

Blue jeans Day 10.5 X 7 SOLD

Excellent Travel Snack Butternut Pancakes:  Cook 1/3 c. oats and let cool. Add 2 T. each of peanut oil and honey, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. yogurt or buttermilk, and 1 or more c. cooked butternut squash. Use mixer to combine. Add  dry ingredients and stir together – 3/4 c. oat flour, 1/2 t. each b.p., salt, cinnamon, and 1/2 c. of sunflower seeds. Make adjustments to texture by adding water or flour.  Batter is fairly gooey. Place spoonfuls on preheated griddle. Spread batter a little with spoon. Turn when edges start to look firm. Cook well. Enjoy hot or cold, plain or dressed.

Using again in a new way

Recycling is not just for plastic, cardboard, and newspaper. The concept of using something again, in a new way, can be applied to many parts of our life, from letter writing, to baby toys, to recipes, to artwork. Cousing Janet has taken the Facebook concept share photos and stories and redirected it to a letter format. These… Read more »

Harder than arranging the towels

My daughter likes to regularly scout for home decorating ideas on the internet. She got very excited after seeing several examples of artwork arranged in Salon style on the wall behind one’s TV screen. Salon style means lots of artwork hung close together top to bottom and side to side. The idea is to balance… Read more »

Seasons of Life

“To every time there is a season, a time to live, a time to die” —or something similar to this. And also the bit about under heaven. This sentiment makes it’s way into wedding vows and sympathy cards. A time to get hip replacement (modern miracle) A time to breast feed your newborn baby non-stop… Read more »

Pendulum Swinging

Politics also go through a seasonal cycle, but instead of the sweet and nurturing circle we experience within seasons of the year, political climates are right and left, pendulum swinging back and forth. The trapeze is up so very high! The political tribes have opposite view points on so many things – Are rules for the… Read more »

The weather promises to change

Can you guess which one of these images represents December and which one represents March?   Which image is April and which is October?     I have been creating small (10X14) abstract artwork for each month of the year. I use a combinatiion of hand painted and commercial fabrics. All applique and quilting is done… Read more »

A day in the life- mid August

      The mid-August brisk air (55 – 65 degrees) is perfect for removing the algae from around the edge of our small pond. This task is only done while wearing knee pads (making crawling easy) and in the early morning cool air before the yellow jacket wake up bell. Before this task I… Read more »

Just add purple and chartreuse

I’m starting a new series of work that will use (spiritual) purple and (rebirth) chartreuse as major players. At least that’s my current thinking. I will use a lot of a formerly used Wyoming color palette with these strong colors added. Here are some examples of older work using many of the same colors.  Taken together they… Read more »

Make Over

Get out the rotary cutter. Sometimes the best thing to do with a piece that isn’t so good, is to visualize cutting it up, and then have fun doing it!  Since you didn’t like it anyway, nothing is lost. Making artwork is always a risk, so I say, go for it. I cut ‘Abstract Figure’… Read more »

Everyone is happy

When a commission turns out well, everyone is happy. The woman who asked me to make a piece based on a photo of herself and her children, was already familiar with my artwork. She knew about my medium, style, subject matter, and my love of light and shadow. She could safely feel that I was… Read more »