Arizona Green Tea Bedroom

My daughter wanted her room painted differently. We moved in about 5 years ago and I painstakingly painted each kids room exactly how they wanted. They are really cool rooms! But she was in the third grade then, and now she’s 13 in the eighth. Even I have to admit the room was too young and princessy for her. Jazz's Old Room

But, for the past three years, I had a crappier paying job than I had when we moved in and I couldn’t afford our bills, let alone to re-do her room. But now I have the best job ever, and I have more time and money to do things, so I asked her how she wanted her room done. All I could say to her response was:

Not ImpressedReally?

 

Arizona Green Tea. That. Was her answer.

And so it began.

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And the finale!!! At least for the mural part…

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As if that wasn’t enough, we decided that the carpet in her room needs to go! So we did this!

 

This is some serious girl power! Tomorrow we lay down the laminate and we will feel like the baddest bitches in town! Please hit me up if you want to commission a mural of your own! Maybe a giant Sun Rise Sushi Logo or your favorite sports team logo in the living room! Er, uhhh, I mean the man cave?  Go to my Murals page for pricing. Updates on the floor soon to come!

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Broken Chrysalis

I woke up this morning…different. Consciousness rose to the surface somewhere around 4am-ish. I don’t know because I didn’t reach for my phone, for once. Oh, all the familiar aches and pains were still there. So many days of being bent over the bench, using my hands as tiny vices, pushing down prongs, sawing, torching, searching for that thing I just had in my hand, eyes always in the microscope, everything pushing toward the center and never having my chest and arms opened up. I can feel it every morning when I wake up on my stomach with my arms out under my pillow. My hands and arms involuntarily push into the bed and my back burns all the way down the middle, my spine clearly out of alignment, muscles tight, hands clenched, throbbing and aching. But, today, even with the aches and pains, was…different. My head wasn’t so heavy. I didn’t feel dread for the day or the future or the heaviness of life’s burdens. I felt, maybe not energized physically, but certainly a new kind of energy, positive energy and the absence of negativity. I was actually able to pull my body out of bed at 5:45. No, it was better than that. I couldn’t KEEP my body in bed, when, for the past…at least three years I have had to willfully and grudgingly drag myself out of sleep wishing I never had to wake up again.

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It occurs to me that I’ve been in a very dark, confined space, not free to move at all, or to see or to feel. Nothing about my surroundings or situation has changed drastically…yet. But this morning, I felt like the cocoon is beginning to give. No wings are out, they are still bound, my legs still can only barely wiggle, but my antennae are out, feeling around, tasting the air, proboscis unwinding, ready to partake of life’s nectar, and my eyes are almost uncovered. I can almost see my way out of confinement. Every day I will wiggle a bit more, search a bit more, seek a bit more, till my bonds break free. I want to fly.

I won’t think about darkness anymore. I will push those thoughts from me and concentrate on the light. I will keep dark people at arms length and seek out the people who’s light is contagious. I will let their flame ignite my own. Then, when I’m a full fiery blaze, and those who’s lights have gone dim are drawn to mine, I will use my light to ignite theirs. I will learn a new way of thinking, a new way of speaking, a new way of existing. I will free myself. I will move my body, wake with the sun, and consume only that which will heal and nurture. I will grow strong. Someday very soon, I will love myself again.

The Story of How I Wish it Was…(WIP)

I’m wrapped up snug and warm under the heavy patchwork quilt I made out of all our old jeans with only my face sticking out. Every muscle in my body aches delightfully with the memory of yesterday’s work, and my nose is chilly. I breathe deep, taking in the cool fresh pine air and gaze up out of the skylight at the morning sun shining through the boughs of towering pines. We put skylights in every bedroom and keep the windows in the lofts open day and night, save for the winter months, so that our bodies are apt to rise and set with the sun. The little house sways ever so slightly with the trees it’s built in as the breeze moves through them. It is JOY to wake up! I roll over and gather my robe from the wood plank floor and slip into my house shoes, breathing deeply again. I run my hand over the bark of the thick strong pine that runs up through the center of our little house as I descend the spiral stairs we built around it.

“Good Morning Gia. I love you.” I whisper to her. Yes, I name my trees, and I do love them!
Santini has already started the fire in the woodstove and set the French press on it to warm. I pour myself a cup with a little goats milk and honey, pack a tiny little bowl of fresh herb from the cute little glazed clay pot we picked up at the festival last year. It’s a stoner frog. I open the French doors onto the deck and breathe again. The Stellar Jays are shrieking at each other, the Cheeseburger birds calling to one another, the rooster crows, the hens cluck, the goats bay, the ducks quack, the stream gurgles, the house sways and I am happy. Happier than I have ever been in my life! I know the animals are hungry, but I take my time in the morning. I sit at the little table on the deck 30 feet off the forest floor, looking out at the clearing we’ve made. The hen house and run, the goat barn, the high fenced garden with the hoop houses still covering ten raised beds, the wild native plants with edible, defensive and medicinal uses we purposely encourage to grow around our property, at the two workshops and the storage shed, the cute little outhouse (we also have a composting toilet in the treehouse,) but mostly, I gaze up at the trees and the sky and the little creek. I greet them as I sip my coffee and smoke my bowl.
When I am done, feeling awake, aware and irie, I drop my mat and do a few quick yoga poses and stretches, telling God how much I love Him/Her for allowing me to be here. I go inside, open the trap door to the storage area under the floor, scoop out a bucket full of chicken feed and the smaller bucket of last night’s table scraps off the counter, and slip on my mud boots. Sant already lowered the upper stairs, by the pully we’ve rigged, down onto the landing of the lower stairs. We didn’t want bears climbing into our windows stealing food, or raccoons, or even unwelcome animals of the two legged variety, so every night after chores, we pull up the stairs, Lock the doors, and close the lower level shutters, keeping the loft windows open to the air.
The short walk down to the coop and goathouse is pleasant, no, it’s utterly joyous! The brown of the dirt path, the grey of the rocks sticking up through it, the lighter grey brown of the gnarly roots crossing the path. I love the crunch under my feet, the irregularity of it, the beauty of it, seeing the progress of the green things surrounding it, hearing the trees whisper to each other, to me.
“Good morning Ladies!” I sing! “Who’s ready for BREAKFAST???” they all come to the gate, clucking excitedly. I greet them all by name as I fill their feeders. Give them water, decide if their house needs a cleaning and check the boxes for eggs, which I put carefully in the empty feed bucket. On to the goats! We have four. Two mommas and two babies! Up the ladder to the hay loft and push down a few flakes. Their house doesn’t need cleaning till tomorrow either. Fill the water and watch to see how the babies are getting along. All is well on the little treehouse farmstead! Santini is in the workshop changing oil and checking levels in all the vehicles. I hear him tinkering and I hear his radio. Zave is up, always the morning person!
“Mom! Mom! MOM! Can I milk the momma goat?”
“Yes Boy, but do you remember what you were told about washing your hands and all the things you need to check for and do before and while you’re milking?” He lists them off and I remind him of one he forgot. We went to a friend’s farm a few months ago to learn how to take care of our momma milk goats. The boy pays attention and takes this life seriously, but has incredible amounts of fun doing it. Jazz is coming down the stairs all bleary eyed and asks how the babies are and if I got eggs.
“They seem good, you are better at knowing than me. Why don’t you go visit? Zave is milking Ganja, why don’t you milk Mary while I go get some green stuff from the garden to make omelets out of these eggs? I’ll call you when breakfast is ready. DON’T SPILL THE MILK!”
She is ridiculously happy out here. I am SO happy. I think as I duck into the first hoop house. She thought she’d hate it, that she’d be afraid, and she is from time to time, but not about bears and scary things at night in our house. She knows she’s safe there, but she fears for our critters. She’s definitely an animal whisperer. She adores them. We are going to have to kill some chickens soon. We can’t afford to keep buying our meat. I’m scared she’ll hate me then. I’ve warned her, and I told her we won’t name those ones. I hope she can handle that. I hope I can handle that!!!
Back upstairs, I kick off my boots by our tiny halltree, set the eggs, a zucchini, a couple tomatoes, an onion and a generous handful of spinach down on the counter, wash my hands, pour myself another cup of coffee, take another hit and get to work on two big ol’ omelets! I’m learning how to make cheese from our goat milk, and we don’t have pigs yet. Dreaming of the days when we can have homemade cheese in our omelets and serve them with bacon! Pre-packaged cheese for now and we can do without bacon for a while. We are really doing this! We are learning and working HARD and having more fun doing it than anyone knew we would. Well, I knew we would. No, I knew I would, I HOPED everyone else would.
I hear the whirr of the stationary bike upstairs.
“If you are on that bike you better have a load of laundry in the tub, or milk in the butter churn!!!” I yell up to Jahmila, who is still the last to rise even out here. Still, 7am is WAY better than 2 in the afternoon!
“Uuugh. It takes so LONG to fill it up!”
“I’m gonna take that phone away!”
“Fine.”
The stationary bike is the best thing we’ve rigged out here. It can do a small load of laundry, or churn a vat of butter depending on which one you hook the gear to, and it powers electronic devices, which is why Jahmila is always trying to ride it empty. I’m proud of myself for being on her butt pretty consistent though. She’s been doing a LOT of laundry, and we are never without butter! LOL!
I hear her patter around up in the lofts gathering a load, and then turning on the hose we’ve rigged upstairs to fill the washtub. It’s harder to pedal the bike when the tub is full of water. We’ve all gotten so incredibly STRONG since we got here! It feels good, and the girls are looking like a couple of brick houses! I hear Michael Jackson after a few minutes of her pedaling. Cool to have music out here in the middle of nowhere off grid!
“Breakfast is close Padjums, you should drain and rinse now!” I yell up to her.
“OK.” And I hear her stop and connect the other hose we have rigged to empty out into the garden drip system, then hook up the water one to fill the tub with fresh water, a couple more minutes ride and she drains again, fills, rides and drains one more time. We make our own laundry, dish and body soap out of stuff that won’t hurt our vegies. All our grey water goes to the garden.
“I’ll help you ring after we eat. Go get everyone for breakfast K?”
“K Euma! I love you!! She runs downstairs, also touching Gia’s bark all the way down. She hugs me super tight, uuugh she’s so stinky! LOL! She eats fresh onions and garlic raw from the garden and it makes her ripe! But I love her to pieces! I’ll send them all down to the creek with soap later. She stands on the deck and yells.
“Breeeeeakfaaast!!!!” and I hear Jazz and Zave tell her to help them pull up their buckets of milk. I can see them in my mind struggling up the path with their buckets. They hook them to one of the pully hooks and Jahj pulls them up one at a time. I can hear the littles (who aren’t so little anymore) tromping up the stairs in their mud boots.
“Is Daddy coming?” I ask, and add, “BOOTS OFF!”
“He’s in the shop still.”
“Well did he hear that breakfast is ready?”
“I don’t know, his radio is on.”
“Well GO down there and GET him.” I tell them.
Jahj rolls her eyes, “Ugh, Jazz you go get him.” Jazz glares at her.
“I WILL!” Zave offers and runs out and down the stairs, down the path and into the shop. I make the girls help me set the table.
Yea, we are actually setting our table together! We aren’t all yelling at each other irritated and rushed to get out the door to go places we don’t want to go and do things we don’t want to do. OK, so I don’t really WANT to ring out the clothes, but I gotta tell ya, I DO love seeing them all hung up on the metal railings of the loft. It feels like freedom to me. It’ll take like five minutes and then I’ll do a load and charge MY phone. Then I’ll have Zave and Jazz do some butter and another load. We keep the clothing to a minimum, but dang, laundry never ends! I still have to take some of the milk and start yogurt, make bread for the week, take down the hoop houses, clean out the leaves and crap from between the garden beds and put it all in the newest compost heap, set up the moveable chicken run between the rows, clean the pantry and take stock of what we have left, check the beehives, decide what’s for lunch and dinner, make sure the kids are doing their school work… It really never ends, but we are together at home, sustaining ourselves as much as possible and getting better at it with each passing day.
Sant and Zave are coming up the stairs as I dish out the omelets, toast, tall mugs of fresh milk, yogurt, and applesauce from the pantry. Zave is excitedly telling him about how he milked the goat and got a HUGE bucket full and how cute the little goats are.
“Good job Dude. Keep it up! WOW! Look at Mommy killin’ it!” he says looking at the table.
“How are things?” I say, “Cars good? Thanks for starting the fire and coffee.”
“Yup. Their ok. Truck’s gonna need an air filter and we should change the timing belt in the Subaru soon. Quad’s good.”
“Oh good, cuz I gotta take the hoop houses down today. We need to make sure the fence around the property is still good. I don’t want those damn deer and elk in my garden!”
“They can’t get past the fence around the garden can they?”
“I want multiple defenses! Plus it’s time to make sure the brush is cleared by the road. Defensible space time.”
We ride around the property about once a month from early spring to late fall to make sure the fences are good and the dry brush is cleared. Fire is a real danger here, as are bears. That’s why we chose the tallest barbed wire fences we could build all the way around the property and corrugated aluminum for all our siding and roofs. I had ulterior motives for that though. Have you ever seen the perfect spacing of ice cycles formed from corrugated roofs? They are perfect and beautiful! Plus, we all love the sound of the rain on the metal roof. Anyway, we ride around with a little trailer full of fencing tools and materials, fix whatever needs to be fixed, and fill it up with dead brush and junk that we either burn or throw in the compost heap.
“K. I gotta finish up changing the tranny fluid in the truck and then I’ll take Zave around with me. Did you see the fish I caught this morning? One’s huge and the other one is ok.”
“No! Dang! You were up early!!!”
“5:30ish. I saw you smoking my weed when I got back before I started on the cars.”
“Phishaw! YOUR weed!”
“MOM!” Jazz and Zave are mad at me.
“Whatever,” Jahj says, “You guys know she smokes and it’s better than being drunk all the time. I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
“Your brain has to be developed before you guys ever try it.” I say. “It makes me calm and motivated and happy. I feel comfortable smoking out here. I never could feel right about it when I had to go to work, even on the weekends. I just feel so much better here.”
“I’m NEVER doing that!” Jazz sneers.
“I don’t think I will either. It’s REALLY illegal in South Korea.” Jahmila says for the like hundred millionth time.
“Yes Jahj, we know.” Says Daddy.
“I was gonna go ask Dillan if he could come fishing with me! I don’t wanna go fix the stupid fence!” Zave complains.
“Dude! The fish don’t bite during the day! You gotta wait till it’s almost dark, That’s when you catch ‘em..” I tell him.
“I’ll take you guys out this evening, but you gotta help me with that fence and get your school work done first.” His Dad tells him.
“Maaan! That’s stupid.”
“You talkin’ back to me kid?” Sant asks, “Fine. I won’t take you fishing tonight, or tomorrow, and that phone is mine tonight.”
“Fine. I go with you to fix the stupid fence.” Sulks the kid.
I look at Zave hard. “Check the attitude, or the phone is mine for a week. Jahj, It’s your day for dishes.” She rolls her eyes. I ignore it. We have one bowl, plate, knife, fork, spoon and cup for each of us, and we all wash our own after every meal, but we take turns washing the pots and pans and such. Jahmila loathes dishes more than any of us, but not so much as she did before we came out here and minimalized.

Choices Part 3

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Image taken from the artforadults Instagram page. Not my work.

Several previous posts have outlined the events that have lead up to the mess my life is in right now. None of it is pretty, lots of it makes me ashamed. I am stagnant and depressed. I keep saying I have no hope, but if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be writing this, I wouldn’t even try to get up in the morning and the dreams I have would go away and leave me alone. It’s been brought to my attention that I have choices. I CAN change my life no matter how impossible it seems. I NEED to change my life, or at least my outlook on the life I have. I have always gone where the wind blew me, until it blew me into pregnancy and marriage, which seem like a dark corner where the gusts can’t reach and so I stay here damp and rotting till someone comes with a broom and sweeps me out. The thing is, I don’t want to depend on anyone with a broom! I want to sweep myself out! Maybe not even out of marriage, and certainly not out of motherhood, but out of this stagnant depression, this groundhog day like existence of doing the same things day in and day out. Get up, take kids to school, go to work, come home, eat, help with homework, go to bed and do it five days a week and then clean and prepare all weekend for the next week to be exactly the same. My life isn’t horrible. I have three beautiful kids who love me, a husband who cares deeply for me, a job that pays the bills and feeds us all even if just barely, a car, clean running water, this computer, all things that most of the world doesn’t have and many yearn for. It’s absolutely unfulfilling, boring and enslaving. I have no time or money to LIVE. I only exist and I MUST do something about that. So here I plan to list my dreams, plans to make them happen, obstacles to overcome, pros and cons of each including the effects they may have on my family, in the hopes of being able to choose a pathway to freedom and happiness, or at least less depression. getting them all in order is going to be tough, so please bear with me as I struggle.

 

When I think of the ultimate happy life for myself from this point on, this is what it looks like:

I could somehow magically quit my job and still pay my bills, no, pay them completely off except maybe the mortgage and I could stay home while my husband worked at whatever amazing job has magically presented itself.

I would still have to wake up Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 6:00am to take my daughter to school, but once I got home and saw my boy off, I could start laundry, do dishes, clean the downstairs and then the upstairs. In the summer, I’d tend my garden before cleaning the house, before things got too hot. That all should take maybe two hours. Then I would shower and dress and shop for the week. I’d get home, unpack groceries and head upstairs to Blog for the remaining two hours before it was time to pick up my daughter from school. We’d come home and I’d help kids with homework before starting dinner. We would eat, and clean up together, then I’d either hang out with them or go upstairs and read articles and watch vlogs on how to homestead, permaculture, how to raise animals for food, how to build treehouses, how to navigate the art business…

Tuesdays, up at 6:00am, off to school, home, garden, clean, shower, then go to some art studio like The Generator for four hours to work on some massive project till it was time to pick up my girl. Then home, homework, dinner, clean up, and hang with kids or watch more vlogs and read more articles on beekeeping and woodworking and outdoor survival…

Wednesdays, 6:00am, school, home, garden, clean, shower, Generator for art, school, home…well, you get the idea. All that till I could accumulate a big enough body of work to show my art at as many events, galleries and contests as possible up to and including Burning Man. Hopefully that would allow me to make more money and connect with people who could actually show me how to do all the things I have been trying to learn about through blogs, vlogs and articles. I would be able to keep up with housework and homework as well as having my own time to do the art, building and gardening work I’m passionate about. I would have time to plan the healthy meals which I love to find and prepare for my family. I would make meals and snacks that I know would help heal their minds, bodies and spirits as well as my own. We would use essential oils and other 100% natural products to clean our home and treat ailments and keep us healthy. I would have the TIME and money and energy to decorate and prepare for holidays and vacations. I would have TIME to clean up after our adventures and get the home back in order. On weekends I could afford to take the time and money to go on adventures with the family and bring them to my shows and exhibitions.

With the money I’d make from my art I would continue to fix this house up. I’d be able to put new floors in, update to energy saving appliances, make the murals and decorate the rooms the way I envisioned them. I could finish the ocean mural in my friend’s home and all the other projects I’ve started for friends but haven’t had the time or energy to finish. Once it was all done, I’d stay for two years enjoying it, making art, making connections and getting the kids through school as happy and healthy as we can be within this system and within this marriage.

Then we would sell this house and buy unimproved land somewhere and build ourselves a homestead where we could get EVERYTHING we need from our own land and be independent of the system except for property taxes, insurance, and the smallest necessities needed from town or other homesteaders. We’d go to music festivals and sell our wears and grow our own meat and veggies. I KNOW it’s not impossible! I can SEE people out there DOING it!

 

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Again, not my image. Taken from Instagram username wendyortizart.

 

All of that is how I WISH things could go from now till then. But where is the money going to come from? I have to face the fact that my husband is probably never going to get a job that could support us all and provide enough money to actually live life like that. No one is going to just GIVE us money to make that happen, and I’m not sure I’d even want them to. I hate feeling DEPENDENT on anyone. I hate being dependent on my husband for his half of the contribution to everything right now. I don’t want to ever feel obligated to anyone except those less fortunate than me. Maybe this hang-up with obligation is why I have a hard time opening up to my husband physically. I hate that I feel obligated and that it’s not my own not passionate choice in that moment, especially since there is only a small window of time between other obligations to get it done. I also HATE going to work outside my home and having to bend my family’s life around it. My kids are alone far too much of the time. I just don’t see any way around it. I make art whenever there are no other obligations and there is time before bed or I can afford to stay up and work when the inspiration is there. That happens maybe once a month, if even that. But I still do it and I will hopefully be able to come up with a consistent body of work at some point. Right now it feels like it’ll never happen. I’m struggling to come up with any kind of plan to make even small parts of this lifestyle come to be. Here are things I think I should do:

Meal plan on weekends and give a list of groceries to my husband. I don’t do the shopping, but maybe I should start doing that on weekends. He would scream about the bill, but maybe I can get him to trade the mortgage bill I pay, for the grocery bill he pays and then I wouldn’t have to answer to him for the amount of money it takes to feed a family of five an abundantly healthy diet. I’m not sure I’d even have the money or energy to pull that off, but I can look into it. I don’t get home till almost 7:00pm and I still have to help kids with homework, so he does most of the cooking and I’d have to depend on him to stick to the meal plan. Sometimes he’s not home till late either and then it’s even harder, but I enjoy cooking, and if we are eating right, the kids might not have as much trouble in school and I might be able to spend less time having to help them. I have no idea when we’d have time to fix up healthy snacks that so often require putting together instead of just opening a plastic package, but we can try…

I need to make a budget. How much we make vs. how much goes out. I already know it’s pathetic. I’ve done it before and got scared, so I put it out of my mind and hoped for the best. I need a PLAN for paying off all this debt that wasn’t a problem when I was getting paid a lot more. I can’t ignore it anymore. I MUST put in more effort to stay on top of my bills. I must get my money organized. I need to accept the possibility of bankruptcy or at least call the creditors and ask  for options to lessen the burden. When I think about this I get terrified. I’m no good on the phone even with friends and family. Seriously, the phone SCARES me. I know it’s irrational and after I do take care of something like that I feel better, but I’m literally terrified of paperwork and legal stuff and talking to people on the phone, or asking for help, or accepting defeat and fault. But it’s time to suck it up and act like the adult/parent that I am.

I need to stop complaining and be grateful. My kids aren’t sick, my husband isn’t sick. I am sick, but it’s fatigue and depression, not some life threatening, expensive hospitalizing disease. I CAN still get up in the morning and I CAN still go to work, I CAN still help the kids with homework and let them vent and talk to me about whatever they need. No matter how much I want change and adventure, no matter how much I resent my life as it is now, I DO have a lot of things to be grateful about.

Lastly, I guess I need to ask for help. I don’t know who to ask or how to ask or even really what to ask FOR. Anyway, enough for now. Thanks for reading. Really just typical American woman lifestyle stuff I guess. Advice and encouragement welcome.

 

 

Choices

Choices. I have some to make. I don’t want to make any of them, so I just stay here, struggling, sad, hurting. It gets increasingly harder to get up in the morning. The pain runs so deep. My head hurts and feels heavy, my thinking isn’t clear, my neck, shoulders and back hurt, my energy and passion for… pretty much anything I used to have passion for is gone and the thought of leaving my bed to do the same thing I did yesterday, and the day before and the day before makes me want to die. I want to sleep for a thousand years. But I know I can’t because people need me to do the things I’ve been doing, you know, so we can eat and pay bills. I don’t know if I have ever woken up consistently feeling refreshed, clear headed and excited for what the day will bring. Something has to change. I need change, to make the conscious decision and plans to change. I’m not sure exactly what I want or how to make anything I want happen. My fear is that things will change and I’ll hate that too, because wherever I go, whatever I do, I’ll still be me.

 

My husband thinks I’m not in love with him anymore…

I guess I’m not. I’m not sure I ever was, not in love the way I want to be, not the way he wants me to be. He wants to know if there is any point in him trying anymore. I’m not sure there is. I HURT over this. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The man is beautiful. I enjoy watching him walk around with his graceful long lean muscular body, the savagely beautiful dreads hanging over his shoulders. I like the way he smells and the way it feels to wrap my arms around his waist and bury my head in his chest. I like seeing him stalk through a crowd of people because he is always hands down the most beautiful person among them. Maybe it’s a good thing he doesn’t know it, my god he’d be so cocky! I also feel safe when I’m with him. No one can harm me, or do me wrong in any way. He assesses situations and knows how to handle himself. He has never had a spending problem. He ALWAYS handles his shit. Bills are paid, even if just barely sometimes. He does freaking dishes and laundry and anything else that needs to be done, for God’s sake, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME? He’s an AMAZING man. He makes sure the kids get to school and that their homework is done. He’s a good dad and a good husband and here I am…not loving him. I can like and admire him all day, and be so incredibly grateful for all he does and then, when it comes down to OUR time, I reject him. My body refuses to open to him. My mind refuses to open to him. We never reduce each other to gails of laughter or engage in deep soulful conversations about anything in which we are both enthralled with. We don’t PLAY, and I think it’s because I don’t get his type of play, I’m never in the mood to play when he is or one of us (usually me) takes it too seriously. We just don’t really “get” each other. I don’t feel like being dirty and naughty with him. I’ve tried, and his reaction always somehow falls flat for me. When I open up for him to love me physically, its because I know I can’t keep denying him, I MUST open up, for HIM, and sure I get off about half way through. He’s always made sure I was satisfied before he is, but I don’t feel CONNECTED to him mentally or spiritually or physically. I’m never aching for or excited in anticipation of his physical love. No, it’s worse than that. Sometimes, when He’s trying to touch me in a way that I know means he wants my love, my body shrinks in on itself. I tighten up and can’t stand the thought of letting him have my body. My breasts are actually irritated at his touch and my legs clamp together, when his touch should bring warmth and tingling excitement. My body should instinctively want to move closer and want to rove all over his body, not shrink away. It’s involuntary, I can’t help it, God knows I’ve tried. I’ve prayed and prayed and tried to “get my head in the game” for YEARS, but it’s not working. It’s not because he’s not good either, he is, he knows exactly how to use what he’s got. I wish I knew how to change this. I wish I knew how to get that feeling back if it ever was there at all. I don’t know why it ended up this way, or how, or if it can ever be fixed. I used to think that it was because I was a mom now, because I didn’t like my body, because I was getting old, or because the stresses of life killed my libido, but the truth is, my body and my mind have responded to someone else and I don’t know what the hell this is all about.

 

Now I have to think really hard about all of this. I can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing. What I have done is something I never thought I would do. I thought I was a good person. I thought I was one of the most loyal bitches on the planet. I cut friends off for having affairs because I didn’t agree with what they were doing. I judged relatives and strangers alike for doing what I’ve done. And that with his FRIEND! This person isn’t some rich good looking stud who can make all my dreams come true either! Oh no! He’s a short, skinny, tattooed, little punk rock skater, snaggle toothed troll who lives off of diss-a-freaking-bility in a TRAILER like 1000 miles away! What. The actual. Fuck Jeanette???

 

How did this happen? Well, read all my other blogs and see the progression. I was doing kinda ok till I lost my job last year and I had hope. I thought I’d be able to pursue my passions and make a living that way. I really REALLY thought that it was going to happen, but all the doors got slammed in my face. The sex problem has been there almost the entire marriage, and I have wanted out before, but always chalked it up to depression. Maybe it IS depression, or depression is a part of it, or maybe just plain dissatisfaction with society and this way of life leads to depression. I don’t know. I just know that me and my husband are not one of those couples that you see around who you can tell are not only married, but also best friends who vibe off each other, finish each other’s sentences, love to play with each other and do things together, have inside jokes, find adventure going to the grocery store, feed each others passions and lift each other up. I feel like we don’t know how to make each other feel better, but instead get bitter when the other is down and resent having to pick up each other’s slack. I feel like when I’m sick, he doesn’t care so much that I hurt, but more that it makes more work for him. I feel like he’s killed my passions, stomped them out on the rock of reality more than he has ever encouraged them. Don’t get me wrong, reality is a thing, I know this. It’s not his fault that bills have always had to come first if we were to feed the kids. We’ve never had good paying jobs and therefore never had the money to pursue passions. We MUST have steady paychecks no matter how small. Risks are all the more risky when you have three kids. I get that, and he IS trying now. I just feel like it’s fake. The trying and wanting to make it work is real, but the actual passion for the things I have passion for, just isn’t him, and why would I want to MAKE him feel passion for anything that isn’t him? That’s like me sitting through hours of football games trying desperately to love it and then sitting with him going over all the stats and trying to participate in his Fantasy Football Leagues. Uuuummmm no thanks! That’s not fair. And it’s not fair for him to keep getting rejected when he’s not worthy of rejection. I WISH I knew how to love him. I wish he was capable of loving me the way I need to be loved. In these times that are so hard and so scary, I really want to curl up into him and let him comfort me and to comfort him back because I know that out of all the people on this earth, he cares for me the most right now and I truly care for him. But what good is that going to do when nothing is ever going to change and when it comes down to sex (what I know he looks to for comfort from me), I just can’t get to that place? I truly don’t know why he’s still here after all the times I’ve rejected him physically. It’s not fair to either of us. But I don’t know how to leave, and he doesn’t know how to let me go.

 

How can I leave fifteen years of marriage, of building, struggling, raising kids? My kids. I can’t leave my kids! I’m their MOM. No I’m not happy. I’ve been in the deepest, darkest depression of my lifetime this past year and a half. It’s literally all I can do to get up in the morning and keep putting one foot in front of the other, to do my work and try to pretend that I’m fine all day, to come home and try my damndest to do ANYTHING after work, including helping kids with homework, then go to bed hoping he won’t try to get on me and knowing that I have to do it all over again the next day. I really REALLY hate life right now. I feel like a slave to society, like I’m going nowhere, like nothing will ever change. There is no hope of ever paying off any bills, there is no hope of travel, of seeing anything new, of making this house into what I had envisioned for it. It’s a struggle when I have to get new clothes for the job I don’t even want, we have no savings, no cushion, no way of getting the kids their teeth fixed or lessons they want or vacations… no way to even help them make their dreams come true, no hope.

My feeling like this isn’t helping my kids, but my presence is still better than my absence. Sometimes I pray for death to release me from this world, and then I can just sleep for ever, get the rest I so desperately desire, but my kids need me in whatever capacity I can be there for them. They all talk to me in a way they don’t talk to anyone else. When my oldest sees the struggle and sadness in my eyes she says, “Oh Uhmma! I love you!” and hugs me tight. She tells me all about everything going on in her life with friends and boys and music and school. She follows me around when she’s home and insists that I watch her videos with her, she craves my company, which I love and hate. My middle girl is the sensitive one who HATED me for doing this when her dad found out. She would barely talk to me, refused to hug me or touch me, and it’s taken her this whole year to get to a place where she’s started to hug and cuddle and talk to me again. I think it’s not because she’s ok with what’s happening, but because she sees me struggle personally but also still love her. I never stopped trying to love her even as I gave her space and the right to hate me for what I’d done. She also talks to me about EVERYTHING in a way that she can’t talk to anyone else, like how kids tease her about her hair at school, how she struggles in her classes, what her friends are doing, who she likes and I can’t leave her. And my boy, my youngest, he gets good grades by himself and plays flag football. He’s one of the best on his team. He just gets how to play the game and blocks like no other. He still has a passion for everything. Holidays especially. It hurts so badly to see him so excited about those things, the decorating and the spirit of the thing and I can’t get there now even though I was the one that gave him that fire in the first place. I don’t WANT to do anything. I used to want to carve my own pumpkins while helping them with theirs and bake pies and roast the pumpkin seeds. Christmas literally threw up all over our home in a big tacky mess of glitter and bows. But that’s all dead to me now. I want it back, but there is no time or energy left for that after working so much for nothing. Holidays bring more depression now because there is no money or energy or time left to do the things I used to. Even when I had the energy and the passion (There was never any money.), I remember feeling like it was dampened by my husbands lack of enthusiasm. He never understood my passion for it. Not his fault, it just is what it is. But the boy still has it, and he’s bright and funny and loves me. He always wants me to go in his room to say goodnight and spoil him with a massage or scratching his back while he talks to me about silly stuff that little boys talk about. They all three want me to do stuff with them that I would do if I had the time energy and money, but they also like just going for walks once in a while or watching a movie or just cuddling up and talking, or fighting with each other over me while I scream at them to keep their hands to themselves.

And through all this, I miss my Trailer Trash Boy and all the excitement and passion he brought back to me that I’m now having to reject, and I hate him for existing, and myself for loving his stupid ass. I miss him. He made me laugh every single day, like, out loud, with his stupid messages. He had passion for art, MY art, his own art, and not just lately, but ever since he met me. He understands who I am. My husband does too, but this asshole LIKES it. He’s not just tolerating it and hoping I’ll grow the fuck up, start adulting and stop complaining. Of course that’s easy for someone to do when it isn’t THEIR kids needing the food and shelter, when YOU’RE not the one who needs help with the bills. GOD! I’m so fucked up. I tried really hard for a whole god damned YEAR to stay away from that fool, to let him go, to not think about him, and I fucked up again. Let him back in. I fuckin miss his dumb ugly face. What. the fuck. is WRONG with me?

I met him fifteen years ago. He was married with two kids, and I was dating my now husband. I’ve always liked his energy and he and my husband have always had this weird love/hate thing going on. Well, now it’s pure hate on my husband’s end, but that’s understandable. He saw what I could do with art and was so excited and impressed that he talked to people about it. I got pregnant three months into dating my husband and we decided to make it work and were married four months later. Trailer Trash Boy was actually AT our wedding. not long after, he and his wife started having trouble and they split. She took the kids and he rarely got to see them. Then he was hurt on a construction job and had to have multiple surgeries. He never could go back to work. It sent him into depression. He drank a lot back then, but I still liked him. He was always so positive about everything that was me whenever we interacted. He was heartbroken over his wife and worse over never getting to see his kids and every time we talked, I could see it, feel it. I never wanted to cause anyone that kind of pain. Once, I got a call from a lady who said he’d been into her art store, that they were looking for artists and he had talked me up so much that she wanted me to come show her my work. I did, and that was my first art show. It happened to be in Tahoe in the middle of December during one of the worst winters ever, so it wasn’t so successful, but still. He was this crazy little drunk going around selling my talent to people for literally no gain. He’d call me drunk looking for my husband and we’d end up on the phone for hours. Never talking about anything shady or inappropriate, just talking about life and how it should be and art and kids and treehouses. I have to admit he used to drive me a little nuts cuz he was drunk and wouldn’t shut up, but I liked him. Every time he was around I gravitated toward this little fucker who irritated the shit out of everyone else. I thought he was funny and I got where he was coming from with most of the things he said. I didn’t WANT to like him. I saw how his energy was too much for most people and I saw how my husband could never decide if he liked him or hated him. Regardless, I always wanted to see him. I DID keep my feelings in check every time I did see him and even after. I tried not to let my head go where it wanted to. I loved my family, and I still do.

The little twerp makes art of his own because he saw ME make art and talked to me about it all those years ago. He helped his brother build a mother fucking TREEHOUSE in the mountains in Colorado and spent a summer carving the tree stumps around it into totems and planters! There is a fire pit and an outhouse and an outdoor kitchen. I guess his brother has ten acres out there and he has an unfinished platform that he never completed because…well, why when it’s just him? He also has a lot in Costa Rica in a place called Finca Bellavista, which is a sustainable treehouse community. He never built because, well, I don’t know why. I guess the money and time wasn’t there yet. I just don’t know. He has two trailers, one he’s remodeled and is leasing, and one he is living in and fixing. His adult son lives there right now too, but has a good paying welding job and won’t be there forever. So yea, a fixed income trailer trash boy, but he makes art and knows how to fix/build things including livable TREEHOUSES and he makes me laugh, like a LOT. I think about him trying to play with me and instead of wanting to get away, I want to lick his ugly face. GOD I’M A BITCH!

So, he had started talking to both me and my husband about a year and a half ago. I still don’t know what went down with them really, but he wanted me to make a sculpture for his daughter for Christmas that year. I was about to loose my job of 6 years because the owner was going to retire. This was a paying art commission, and one I was very inspired to do, not because it was him asking, but because the subject appealed to me so much that the image came to me quickly with no struggle. I had just learned about this place called The Generator here in Reno where artists make a lot of the Burning Man art. I got in with their ceramics room and started creating. I was in heaven! I was creating something that no one I told could believe I was gonna pull off, in a space FULL of other creatives! I’d send pictures to him of my progress and we’d talk about life and kids and treehouses and art like we always did and just be silly and excited about the project. He was also messaging my husband and I guess they got in a fight. My husband forbade me from talking to him, so I wrote him and told him I didn’t know what was going on, but that I wasn’t going to talk to him anymore. I wrote more than I should have about things that I shouldn’t have and then cut him off completely…and cried like a baby about it alone in my closet.

 

More of this story to come next time I have time and energy. I just need to get it out and write out all the options I have. Like I said, none of them are good, but choices need to be made, no matter what, if I’m to move forward with my life and not be stuck in this damned purgatory I’ve been wallowing in the past year and a half.ezekiel

 

Dead

I have no passion left. I don’t care about anything I once cared about. Organic healthy food, gardening, exercise, making my own health and beauty products, hiking, camping, art, building, writing, fun, adventure, sustainable living, TREEHOUSES… Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest don’t inspire anymore, they only make me sad and angry now. It’s all so worthless. No one else cares who I am, or who I once was. those things don’t matter, who I was never mattered because I was the only one who cared. No one shared in those passions with me. I can’t care anymore. It’s too hard to keep up with all of that. There isn’t time nor money to care anyway and it hurts too much to give a shit when no one else feels my passion, no one else feels joy in doing those things WITH me, always telling me why we can’t, or why they don’t want to. No one cares to lift me up to a place where I am ABLE to care about those things and pursue them. No one is proud of my passions, and now I’m not either.IMG_6101 They are dead, and I might as well be too. I wish I was. I wish I could lay down and never wake up in this stupid world. But I can’t. I would leave and find like minded souls, but THIS is my family. I have an obligation to feed and clothe them, to keep them alive and moving forward. So I stay. I try to love them. I DO love them, even though it means losing myself. I’m trying. I wake up every morning, I pull myself painfully out of merciful sleep and I put one foot in front of the other, living the same drudgery over and over and over again. I work every day instead of doing the things that I once loved, and every cent I make is sucked away  by the money sucking machine. No passion, no hope, no joy. I hope I can keep trudging long enough to get them through before I die. I am dying. Slowly. I’ve failed the child that I was. Not a single dream has come true. I’m tired of fighting, so I won’t anymore. I surrender to this bondage, the enslavement to the machine. Fuck it all.

Today I pushed you from me. 


  

For the second time in history.

In reality I can’t count how many times I’ve pushed you out.

But this time…

Oh this time it’s as sweet as it’s been bitter.

Cuz you’ll think of me too as time grows thicker.

Waiting on the Other Side

  Are you there? 

On the other side?

Watching me? Waiting?

I’m lonely.

Slowly returning to normalcy.

No longer hiding and scared.

Still can’t eat much.

Can’t sit down much.

I walk around sighing

playing with my hair

touching my face

hugging myself.

One second smiling,

The next I’m dying.

I’m a twitterpated tween.

Shake it off

Check my phone

My inbox is safely,

despairingly…empty.

Love songs are no longer meaningless, but tragic.

Attempting to push emotions

& crackling chemistry asside

Trying to bring back logic 

In order to decide.

Think RATIONAL thoughts Jeanette!

Reality is rarely like our fantasies.

Don’t jump in blind.

(Self Portrait by JETTE 1997)

Pathetic Mid Life Musings

I think about you a lot lately. Things like what I would say to you if ever we meet. Oh I do realize how pathetic it is. I ponder that all the time too, like, why YOU? Of all people, really, it has to be you? It’s absolutely the dumbest thing that I could possibly be thinking about. I think it’s an escape. I CAN’T think about the disaster that is my life, so I fantasize instead I guess. Just like I was 13 again…but I’m not.

It was my 13 year old daughter that introduced me to you, which tells you right there how stupid I’m being. At first I hated you, all of you. I’d roll my eyes at her and and barely be able to endure the videos. They were obnoxious! They aren’t even in English! Well, maybe a phrase here and there, but that was even more maddening! The camera never stays in one place long enough and it makes me dizzy trying to focus on one guy when it switches so fast and pans around and everyone’s dancing, but the scenes are changing. It was just too much and you all looked the same except for the crazy hair styles and bright colors which at first were the only way I could tell any of you apart. The outfits are terribly tacky and pretentious, and the drama was SO pre-teen over-mellow! I’d actually laugh, and sometimes still do at how good you all are at being emotional for the camera and all your screaming heartbroken fans.

But then something changed. I picked you and one other absolutely stunning man out just for the sake of picking because my daughter seemed to think that everyone should have a “bias” or two, or three. I picked him for his perfect face, but I picked you because you were endearing. You have such a sweet face and you move in a way that is…different from anyone else. You carry your little self with an air of…something. You seem small but you are unafraid and you know you are the best at what you do. And you kinda remind me of another dude I once knew. At first I payed more attention to the other because even though I loved watching you, I though you were arrogant, a playboy. The way you dressed and the way you acted in your videos lead me to assumptions. But then I read your lyrics…all of them. Now it is obvious to me that you are not a gimmick. All you have ever had to do to achieve what you have achieved is BE you.

I keep telling myself this is a mid-life crisis. As a matter of fact I know that’s what it is. It had to be you because had my daughters been in love with European or American stars I would NEVER become infatuated. I’d STILL be rolling my eyes and barely tolerating their fandom. Honestly I had no idea just how incredibly famous you are. I never had time to pay attention to such things. Now you have been pointed out to me though. You are just alien enough, just different enough, mysterious enough, far enough away to let myself feel a spark of interest.

I look at the art that you create out of your life in everything you do from your photos, to your videos, to your lyrics, your clothing, your jewelry, and your stage performances and I’m mesmerized and so bitterly jealous of you. You say things like “Hope is the parent of despair.” and I actually hate you for it because letting myself feel like a girl again after so many harsh years only makes me feel the sharp sting of NOT having my dreams fulfilled. You remind me what it was like to have hope, to actually believe that dreams can come true for everyone. They can’t. Not for everyone. Not for me. Not for my children.

I remember what it was like to be in front of the camera, to feel beautiful, to be alive with creativity. I remember what it felt like to go on all night art binges, to look on my creations with satisfaction and to get recognition from my artistic peers. I remember what it felt like to deprive myself of sleep to run up into the woods with friends and enjoy all of God’s creation. I remember what it felt like to be infatuated with myself, to feel sexy and strong and free. Now, at 38, I feel like a withered old woman trapped in a cage of her own making. It’s all downhill from here. Beauty is fading, strength is waning, energy lacking. I’m like poor old Jacob Marley carrying my unachieved dreams around my neck like heavy chains weighing me down and tearing me apart. It’s so much easier to just be resigned to my fate, to believe that suffering where I am is noble and beautiful. Damn you! I hate you for making me WANT again! But I don’t really. I admire you. I have a pathetic and definitely kind of creepy cougar crush on you. Seeing as how you are almost exactly in the middle of my daughter and I in age, it would be far more fitting for her to love you than me. Oh God I’m so creepy! Forgive me. I amuse and disgust myself because of you.

I guess I admire you because you’ve done it, you’ve achieved greatness at your passion, and I’m as proud of you as I am jealous. I’ve always admired and been drawn to passion. I think passionate people intimidate and scare me away though. Maybe I feel unworthy? Sometimes I wonder if you are happy with fame? If I could ever be happy with fame? I see the thousands of likes and comments on all your social media and I wonder if it ever weighs on you? I think about how I think I feel about you sometimes, which I am fully aware is just the creepy fantasy musing of an over worked, under payed aging mother of three living in a loveless marriage. I KNOW I don’t know who YOU are. But I know that the little girls really truly think their feelings for you are real. Their hearts are really breaking because they actually believe that the you they have made up in their heads is who you actually are. You must know the pictures and videos and even live performances will never be enough to satisfy their aching hearts. You must know that each and every one of them believes deep down in their soul that they are your soul mate and that if you only SEE them, you would know too? Does that ever scare you? Holy cow it would scare me! You can’t possibly answer them all, satisfy them all, meet them all, thank them all, let alone love them all! Do you ever feel a responsibility for breaking so many hearts? Or do you get off on it, does it excite you? It must be thrilling and lonely at the same time. I feel like I need to be alone in a crowd sometimes and that there are very few places left that you can go and truly be alone in a crowd. I enjoy strolling down streets and watching people. I assume that you can’t do that in very many places. Are you sure you want to be famous in America too? Don’t you want just a few places where you are still just some regular guy?

I also assume that we, you and I, are on opposite sides of the same problem…money. I’m in the gloriously wonderful spot of having none. I get up and go to work every day, I work hard, but it doesn’t matter. I’m still on the verge of loosing everything. I am feeding my kids, but can’t take them or myself to the doctor. I just lost a job that was covering all the bills, but after that I didn’t get paid for two weeks, and now I have a job that I like better than the old one, but it only pays half of what I was making before. I’m three months behind on my mortgage payments and my husband won’t finish school for another six months. I’m wondering when they will come take the house. Damn near 40 years old and still struggling just to put food on the table and keep my house. I’m aging. Fading, and I will never have the money to fix it. I can’t get clothes for my kids let alone for myself. I used to have the most glorious smile, but now my front tooth is yellowing and there’s not a damned thing I can do about it. I’m bitter and I’m angry at my husband for not taking care of me and the kids. I’m angry at myself for not being better, not being smarter, not trying hard enough, not making the right choices and I’m dying inside knowing that time is running out. I wonder if my kids will make it. If they will be successful. I can’t help them. I can’t help me. My husband and I are caged animals ready to devour one another. we barely even like each other anymore. I guess that’s why I make up who you are in my day dreams.

And that’s your problem. You have money, you are who you are and everyone wants a piece of it. But would they want you if you weren’t famous? Who would want you if you were as broke as me? I wish I had the answer. Probably not me. I’d probably be just as pissed at you as I am at my husband. I think the difference is though, that even if you were my husband in the same poor place that we are in, I think you would dance with me, even if I am bad at it, and I think you would write me love songs even as my youthful beauty fades, and I think you would still try to make me feel happy and carefree even as the world seems to be falling apart. But there I go again. Putting perfection on someone who is still just a man.

It’s time to stop being 13 and turn back to God for His perfect love, and it’s time to call the mortgage company and rest of the creditors and work out whatever it is that they are willing to work out or face bankruptcy. I can’t waste any more time feeling sorry for myself and wishing for you when you’re not even what I wish you were and even if you are, you wouldn’t want an aging American with three kids anyway. This mid life crisis stuff is no joke, especially when you’re poor. It amazes me that some people can have it all while others have nothing. I just don’t get it.