Day Two of the Creativity Bootcamp

Second Day of the Creativity Bootcamp challenge. This morning I was granted a blessed 30 minutes of journal writing time to myself before my little redheaded early bird began with her morning “Mommy” chant. Tried to stay up the night before and write but too sleepy.

I chose to take myself to the gym first thing today. Battled steady rain juggling an umbrella and 35 pounds of girl in and out of truck multiple times. Drugstore, the gym, and the grocery store for milk. And by the time I got home, showered, folded laundry, and ate lunch, it was one o’clock. Fiona at the grocery store on

I knew and dreaded as I headed in to the craft room with Fiona, it was again going to be That thing (see first day’s post here). And yes, she quickly commanded my attention, climbed and teetered on my stool, grabbed things, and then called Mommy twenty times while I was standing right next to her just because she knew it was irking me.

But I made stuff. Just standing there proving that I could do it. Despite. Perseverance even as I was irked. Proving that the disability, in my case a toddler, doesn’t have to define you as incapable. In fact it makes what you’ve created even more amazing. Day two creativity bootcamp challenge cards on

I’m hoping for an actual break from small people on Saturday so we’ll see. To truly get a groove on in my creativity. I don’t want to sound monotonous as this post for thirty-one days in a row challenge continues. Just gotta get a groove going and consider how to spice all this up.

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The Stove, She Is Fixed

When last I spoke of the stove, the story wasn’t going well. Sears had “messed” up. All their kiss butt customer service people couldn’t put it back together again. And I had given up hope. But not Mark (or Kathy). No. He was the picture of perseverance. He went online to a company called PartSimple who refurbishes parts. And ordered us up some rehabbed stove’s brains for $137, plus shipping. DSC01317


My Dandy Handyman

The part came on Tuesday. He said Thursday he’d put it in. I had waited this long. Today, Thursday, he began to install it only to find that he was going to have to disassemble the new Johnny 5 to swap a part of the part. So he practiced pulling it apart like an assembly line pro. Did you know the soldered component boards are called “bread boards”? He did. Bad soldering memories for him. But this only involved his leatherman.

And he stuck that bad boy in and…TA DA… As I no longer dared to hope…It worked.


Fiona says he’s her favorite Daddy

So I made roasted red potatoes tonight to go with my Faidley’s crabcakes and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. And we may have to celebrate with a bottle of Smoking Loon Pinot Noir. Yippee. Here’s to my husband and boo hiss to Sears, you schmucks. I have my oven back no thanks to you. My friend Anne suffered the same fate with the same stove BTW.


I am glad my oven cleaning effort won’t go to waste

The beginning and end of the story, all appliances suck and are necessary. See Stupid Plastic Parts for more appliance breaking hilarity.


I ‘m Square Me in My Round Life

I am finding it very hard to be me these days. I stumbled a month ago. Then the chance to recover never came and I kept stumbling. How do you not take your own life personally?

The story starts with me wanting people to like what I’ve created. And when they didn’t, I tried not taking it personally. But I raged and ranted, rejected my rejection, and wanted horribly to reach the outcome I’d expected where I was wonderful. My attempt to jam a round peg in a square hole backfired on me. I was mortified. I felt compelled to apologize for wanting to rush everything. For trying to make people do stuff they didn’t want to do. For not paying attention and not being ready.

And I wished that was all that had happened to me. I might have recovered from the hormonally crazed temper tantrum I had. But you never expect the Spanish Inquisition. When it ends, I’ll tell the real story because it’s my ongoing nightmare. Nobody is hurt in this story except my self-esteem which apparently was sacrificed to the angry gods to allow me to live.

Do I have an alternate personality? Maybe Nancy?  Was it she who wrote that check I don’t remember writing for the amount that over drafted my account. And she who forgot to take care of that very mundane but important detail that, when neglected, threw my life into a self doubting tornado of chaos and hell reminding me of places I’d left and no longer wanted remember.

I’m so tired of the burden of shame I’ve been feeling and the tears I either endured or stuffed this past week . I am hoping this isn’t some perverse form of unconscious self-sabotage to revisit a shameful place I left a long time ago in a marriage far far away. A place where I wasn’t safe from myself.

I’m wondering where the reset point is? When am I allowed to forgive myself and accept the fact that I may mess up again. When do I get to wear my force field coat allowing me to regain my confidence from this time forward? Soon I hope for my and my loved ones’ sake. I feel I’m in danger of losing the self-confidence ground I worked really hard to gain.

Although surely a visit to an oncology wing or a homeless shelter would give me some perspective, maybe telling my story will lessen its evil spell. Or maybe if I stop trying to bear it by myself and ask for support, I’ll feel lighter. Or maybe I need to ride it out because perspective is a square peg I can not jam in the round hole of my now.

I’m the one person I may need to truly apologize to. To say “I’m sorry Shalagh for dropping the ball. For having everyone else’s back but mine.” Next week I intend to talk back to the loser-speak. I’ll make better plans to keep me safe, organized, and clear of unrealistic expectations which might further damage my tender state of existence. “The best way out is always through”, Robert Frost said. Soon, I’ll tell you my bad story from the beginning.

Odds of Yes

I have to admit that I’ve been working real hard at my writing. Just not here on my blog. I had pieces that needed polishing up for submission. And they greatly benefited from the attention. Except I find the cover letter is hard, meaning, the actual submission. I haven’t admitted it but I received my first rejection right before Christmas. And rightly so, the piece wasn’t ready.

I realized afterwards, it was the best thing that could have happened. I should have sent a thank you note to the guy for being my first official editorial rejection. I lived to tell. My head didn’t explode. I did have a day or two when my husband asked if there was anything he could do. But I decided it didn’t mean I sucked after all.

The letting go is the hardest part. Just doing it anyway. Risking the inevitable rejection. If you do it enough times, you develop immunity to taking it personally. Because the people who succeed don’t get rejected less. They just persist more and increase their odds of yes.

I often think that my present piece is the best I will ever create. It’s an only child. All I’m capable of. Like when I attempt to pull an outfit together from my closet and I get compliments. I think these are the nicest pieces I own. It’s a one time deal. Until the next time I’m complimented and I realize I’ve got an entirely different outfit on.

I often choke on the not knowing how. Preventative medicine for progress. And these blogging and writing things are both completely in the realm of know nothingdom. But in my heart, I feel the necessity, the need, and the purpose. I finally put it out there and I’m not taking it back. And I noticed not all my pieces are great but they keep coming and I’ve heard they’re getting better.

Keep on keepin’ on

Perseverance. Stubborn single-mindedness. That’s what I can be made of. Holding on until the knuckles whiten.  A first marriage that went on and on. Self definitions playing out beyond a comfortable exit.  A shop that was opened at exactly the wrong time but stayed open for a year and a half. We all are guilty of not seeing the exit signs. Enter a new beginning. Contrary to my expectations, my blog-gable life starts now.

But my site’s URL was Note the extra w and p at the end. The additional anxiety of fixing this was not what I’d envisioned, and paid too much for, as I began my life in the blog-asphere. Again I am indebted to an It guy. This round was Robin’s. He held my hand as we copied, checked, and did until my integrity was saved. is the address again. Although the passwords will be the death of me.

I find it funny how sometimes we just have to fight to be ourselves. As a child growing up with the name Shalagh (pronounced Shay-la), I had to fight to be me. Correct the authoritarians on the pronunciation of my name and essentially the address of me.  I did the same to my kid. Gave him a funny Irish name that will have him correcting people throughout his life. And establishing who he is in his own mind.

I had a dream last night that I had some presents, maybe x-mas presents, that got taken by a girl who had a sister. The sister didn’t know what was going on but I knew the other one had taken them. We searched everywhere and finally I asked her for them in a way that I hoped she’d know I’d forgive her. She brought them down from the upstairs. I was happier. Presents are otherwise known as gifts.  Among my gifts, writing and sharing my thoughts with the world. I have held back from sharing these and enjoying the outcome. And I may be ready to forgive myself for not getting here sooner. Meanwhile, I will build a palace from ashes.