Looking Back…

Friday already!

Slow down world…

Today, I am packing and prepping to head out to Sherwood Forest Faire for the weekend.  I’m working there again this season.  Sherwood is similar to a Renaissance Festival, but set in a different time period. I’ll once again be working in the kitchen of the Italian restaurant…behind the scenes, but still involved with plenty of time for wandering around and taking in the sights.  People watching is one of my favorite activities.

I’m only slightly anxious about leaving for the weekend.  I can feel it building, but I think that I’m dealing with it fairly well.  Maybe the new meds are helping?

Looking back is not always a bad thing (as long as you don’t live there).  I can remember a time not so many years ago, when going away for the weekend would have been almost impossible.  I certainly wouldn’t have been able to drive myself an hour and a half away.  In fact, there was a time when going to the grocery store was a serious challenge.

It’s good to remember those times and to realize that progress and improvement is possible.  Things can get better.  Maybe never completely resolved, but better.

Sorry for the hurried post, but I still have a long ways to go to be organized like I once was.

The dryer load is finishing up with the clothes I need for the weekend.

My art class materials still need to be gathered up.

The car needs to be emptied of things that will be needed here this weekend.

I need to double-check that I remembered everything.

And then triple-check!

I need to take a deep breath and relax.

All shall be well.

And life is good!






Declaration:  a formal or explicit statement or announcement

For the last eight weekends I have been packed up and hitting the road this time every Friday to head to Sherwood Forest Faire.  I’ve been working in an Italian Restaurant preparing sauces, washing dishes, working on the food service line and anything else that needed to be done that nobody else was doing.
It was hard work and the hours were sometimes long.  I initially took the job as a chance to earn some extra money to help out around here.
It wasn’t long before I started looking forward to going.  In addition to some extra cash, I discovered community – community populated by some awesome people who accepted me for who I was and not who I normally pretended to be.  There were few preconceived notions about how I should behave, what I believed or what I should spend my time doing.  Pretty much a judgement-free zone.  In some ways, a brutally honest place.
I’ve been learning to deal with questions like:
  • What difference does your age make?
  • Why do it if it doesn’t make you happy?
  • Why aren’t you doing it if it makes you happy?
  • Who told you that you needed to live that way?
  • Why not change the way you are living your life?
  • Who (or what) is stopping you?
  • How long are you going to wait to start doing…


I can’t imagine hitting the road and becoming a full-time “Rennie” anytime soon.  I am a homebody at heart.  But, as I’ve been repeatedly reminded, houseless and homeless are not the same thing.  I have a good life here.  I don’t want to ditch it all and start over.

But, there are some things that I am going to change though.  Since coming back home last Monday, I have been dealing with the chaos of being away from home for all that time.  Normal housekeeping compounded with the mess of home renovations.  I’ve been sorting out and decluttering and organizing.  And all the questions from Faire have been echoing in my tired and stressed brain.


Hence, the declaration!

I want to make art.  I want to sell art.  I want to give away art.  I want to stop dealing with material possessions at the cost of spending time with the people I love doing the stuff I enjoy.  I have one life.  I am 54 years old.  I’m not too old to change my life, but realistically I don’t have forever.  I need to make changes now.  Permanent changes.  Less stuff, more experiences.  More community.  More fun.  More being me and less living for the opinions of other people.  The unnecessary layers are going.

Excuse my language, but this shit has got to stop.  I’ve been working towards this point for a long time.  My whole life, I suppose.

Now, I feel like I’ve been challenged to change.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and didn’t like everything that I saw when I came back to where I started.

Stuff doesn’t make me happy.  It makes me unhappy.  I’m tired of decluttering and organizing.  Half a pick-up truck load went to the thrift store yesterday.  A full can of trash and 5 additional items left on trash day.

A queen mattress set also went away.  It was worn out.  I had held onto it in case we needed it.  You know what, if that many people need to sleep here, we’ll figure it out.  Holding onto that mattress is a symptom of trying to be prepared for every situation in the future instead of living right now.

Next up, my closet.  I’m ridding myself of all the “costumes” that I’ve purchased and held onto to.  I’m talking about the clothes that I own that fit the roles I’ve been trying to play.  The teacher clothes, the Mom clothes, the artist clothes, the mature woman clothes and the woman with a weight issue clothes.  I’m just going to keep the “me” clothes. Yes, all those roles are a part of who I am, but I am so much more than that.

I’m packing up a great deal of our belongings to make the new floor installation easier.  Only the essentials are staying out.  If we don’t love it or need it, it’s going away.  When each box is unpacked in the “new” room, we’ll re-valuate whether it stays or goes.

Change is good.






We’re hustling and bustling around getting ready for a busy weekend.  Always so much to do on the weekends.

Hubby and son are working at their jobs and planning on some home improvement projects.  They are hoping to splash some paint on the walls of our main living area – a clean and bright white shade to lighten things up.   Plywood “flooring” has also been purchased.  It’s going to be installed in full sheets over the existing floor and coated with some shiny polyurethane. I’m hoping for a clean and simple “Scandinavian” look.   We’ve researched and pondered many different flooring types and decided that this is an affordable (and therefore, possible) option.  If we get rich later on in life (HA) we can just floor over the plywood.

This has been a good learning and growth experience for me.  I’ve had to think about what I need and what I want.  I’ve had to discern what I can be happy with and let go of what others might think of my choices and decisions.  It all comes down to what will make us happy when we walk in our front door. In my struggle to be “normal” and balance that desire with who I really am, I’m constantly comparing myself to others.  But, that’s changing.  Yea!

I’m happy with our new floor plan.  But, more importantly, I’m comfortable with it.  It’s a good decision for us.  I think it’s going to look great and suit our lifestyle.  Even better, it’s not going to cost a fortune.  We’ve saved up the cash to pay for it outright.  As we save more money, we can continue it throughout the rest of the house and not have to worry about matching the flooring. No debt.  No overextending ourselves.

While the family is slaving away here at the homestead, I will be off once again to Sherwood Forest Faire for another weekend of fun and merriment.  Well, mainly I’ll be slaving away in the kitchen while others are making merry.  Never fear, though.  I’ve managed to have a bit of fun myself. 

I don’t watch a lot of television. (I thought about not sharing this and fostering an image of an intellectual who reads the classics and eschews television in favor of more life-enriching experiences.)

But, the fact is, I freakin’ love Supernatural.  It’s just about the only show that I watch, other than British mysteries.  And I have an embarrassing infatuation with Dean Winchester.   And this happened last Sunday!  I always hoped that I’d be the mature individual who saw a celebrity and calmly walked past without becoming a flaming idiot.  Nope.  Didn’t happen.  I turned into a crazy, stalker-fan.  Sigh.  At least I haven’t printed it out and framed it…yet.  It would look great next to my life-sized cardboard cut-out of Jensen Ackles that currently lives in my studio.  For the record, I didn’t purchase said item.  It was a Christmas gift from my son.

Well, off to another adventure filled weekend in the Forest.  Wonder what will happen this weekend?


The Weekend

Where was I this weekend?

I was at my newest part-time job!  I’m working the season at Sherwood Forest Faire just outside of Austin.  It’s a Renaissance festival type of event and I’m toiling away as part of the kitchen crew in an Italian restaurant.  The hours are long, the food is yummy and the people watching is extraordinary.

I’ve always loved these types of festivals and I must say that it is interesting to be “behind the curtain” and get to know the work involved in making them come together.

Today, I’m back home and re-adjusting to my reality.  One of the best things (for me) about working and living there is the exposure to folks that are houseless, but not homeless.  That distinction was an eye-opener for me. I follow a lot of blogs about people who have tossed most of their personal belongings and live a nomadic lifestyle, but to actually see it first-hand is a whole ‘nother story.

I’m sharing my daughter’s “vardo” (renovated tool trailer) on the weekends and space is limited.  I only take absolute necessities and am finding that I need a lot less than I think.  Each weekend I take a little less.  Life is so much simpler in many ways.

I can’t foresee ever hitting the road full-time.  There are some “luxuries” I can’t imagine giving up – showering without someone singing in the stall next to me while enjoying ample water pressure of a consistent temperature of my choosing, for example.

Anyhow, today will involve catching up on real life and keeping one eye open for more stuff that can leave our home.

I’m really motivated to rid myself of mass-produced items in favor of the hand-made and hand-crafted.  Wandering the faire and seeing the work of artists and artisans has been significant as I’ve chatted with them and seen the sacrifices they make for their work.

I’m also feeling the need to get back into my studio.

Mainly I’m going to continue to seek more balance in my life – ridding myself of more of the unnecessary and filling my life with more of what brings peace and joy.

I think I will  busy today.