Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Favorite Quote ~ Ever!

Indulge me please. This is my favorite quote ~ EVER!  I just found it and the link so I want to keep it in a safe place. Thanks  ~ d.

"And now we're here - our memories are veiled - and we're showing God and ourselves what we can do. And nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us. And then, as President Brigham Young said, we're going to wonder why we were so stupid in the flesh.

"God loves us. He's watching us, he wants us to succeed, and we'll know someday that he has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, there are heavenly hosts pulling for us - friends in heaven that we can't remember now, who yearn for our victory. This is our day to show what we can do - what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly bring to God. If we give our all, we will get his all from the greatest of all."

zra Taft Benson [Jesus Christ - Gifts and Expectations 1974]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Winship House!

Trees Draft 8/21/14 4:24 AM

I used Vicky's old house as a model. One of my favorite houses.

First Page Illustration for Harvey Wood

As funny as it sounds I just realized that Harvey Wood is my first children’s book ~ and being that as it may ~ this book is the one I will learn what to do, and unfortunately , what not to do. I started character studies in April 2005. I’m still working on that nine years later. I am learning how consistency of design, color, and technique holds its way through the whole project. Think I have it.

Developing the world that Harvey lives in has been a real challenge. I have the story already so I know where everything begins and ends. I even have it slated to what goes on each page, but just couldn't put my finger on how it will look. Until about six months ago! I was stuck on the first page; the house in the Cascade Mountains.

I went over and over in my head, for years, what kind of house would Kelsey and McKenna live in? It took me years walking around make-believe forests looking for the right house. I finally stopped and sat down on a magic mushroom somewhere on a well-trodden path in the far reaches of my imagination, when it occurred to me to ask myself "Where would I live?" ~ Well I knew that right away! From then on everything clicked.

I lived in northern California for a year after I got out of college in 1987. It was near my grandpa and all my aunts and uncles and cousins. In fact I worked for one of my uncles. It was a dream come true. My aunt bought my cousin and I tickets to U2 in Oakland, so I needed a date. I thought of this girl named Barbie right away. She was nice. We talked at church a lot. She was pretty, smart, kind and she laughed at my jokes. But what attacked me to her the most was that she agreed to go out with me at all!

I drove to her house and parked my car. What a great house! It had a lot of history. My uncle and cousins talked a lot about it when I got to work on Monday. Over the next year I was there all the time. Hanging out with them shaped who I was for years to come.

I wish I was a stronger writer so that I could tell you more. There was a cool fireplace, french doors, and a huge staircase. Barbie had a lot of brothers and sisters. I think a million people lived in that house! I told you the Vicky story already. She was Barbie's younger sister and she was sitting in the living room of this house the first time I saw her.

...and though that house and all it's people are now only memories,
~ thank goodness some memories last forever.

About the drawing. It still need to be painted but I'm on my way. This project has taken so long we now have to consider formatting for iPads and such.

Still shaky. They put me back on the blue pill this week. It hasn't kicked in yet. It wasn't too bad tonight. So that's a good thing.


Hi ~ It's Me ~ Ian!

Ian wearing his shirt from Cafepress.

You remember Ian's penguin?! Well I bought him this shirt for his birthday in January. It was 3 sizes to big then, and I thought I would have to buy a new one. Nope! He grew into this one! It's super cool to see them growing up.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Batboy + Chicken

Attention to All Readers:
For educational purposes only
~ there will be no pity parties held today!

The last time I put myself in the hospital they had to drug me to get me off the walls. After it got to that point, it felt like I hadn't been myself for a really long time.  Not good. Feeling like me again got the creative juices flowing and all was right with the world ~ well, kinda...
...but as soon as I came down I drew
“Angels with Wings on Their Heels”.

This time I went into the hospital they were picking me up with a shovel, again not good. I hadn't drawn in a long time. If you have ever been in a grocery store when the lights go out, you will notice immediately the power is shut down to only what is absolutely necessary. Milk and Cheese refrigerators are on, but the overhead lights have been reduced to a minimum. My mind had done the same thing, only I felt like I was in the dark with the taste of sour milk in my mouth. Drawing was not on my mind ~ at all.

I have been to the ER in April and now this, my “Fido be a good dog medicine” wasn't doing its job.

They wanted to mess with my meds ~ a lot!

When I went in I had: a blue pill that stops me from shaking. A pink pill that keeps me off the ceiling, a red pill that keeps me off the floor, and a kind of peach color pill that acts like a referee between the pink and red pills. Oh yeah, a grey pill for my thyroid. It sounds like a lot, but I’m quite sure I couldn't have had a marriage that lasted as long as it did, or a family, or work, or go to school.

~ you know what I mean?

In fact the bottom only started falling out in 2007. However, it has been getting worst since then, with more trips to the hospital, and generally not being able to function. It is very clear to everyone these thing are helping me not to fine, "a permanent solution to a temporary situation".

Treating Bipolar is like being a Voodoo doll; everyone is just taking their turn sticking the needles in to you and seeing what comes next. 

So there they were, thinking deep thoughts, and deciding which one sticks in the next needle!

They decided to take away the blue pill that keeps me from shaking ~ don’t get a head of me ~ less pink pill and more red pill. Peach and grey pills get to stay the same. “Well Dave, if they take away your blue pill won’t you shake?”

OHH YES! These are high cycle trimmers I get from my Mom’s side of the family. You know those little old ladies that look like bobble head dolls? That’s how my Mom was, and that’s what I got to look forward to! Not good. Within two days I was shaking so hard I couldn't hold a pencil ~ two weeks later I couldn't hold a fork! It comes and goes. Some days I have to use a spoon and I can’t draw very well. But in two weeks I get checked out again. 
Everything is going to be alright, that's what I keep telling myself:)

“Batboy + Chicken” Was drawn in the hospital this time and the last thing I drew before the shakes hit me. I kinda cringed to see Batboy on the edge, it hit too close to home. He looks like he is really considering it, but in a Jimmied Cricketsque way the Chicken says,

“You wanna do that…you better rethink this...it looks like it will leave a mark!”


Batboy & Chicken ~ 2014

Batboy [Draft]

The first part was only half of the post; read what Brianna wrote. See some of the tools  I use to help myself. All of my circumstances are not fixed with a pill. All of this I thought applied to what I was thinking. ~d.

17 Essential Ingredients For
Being A Happy Person

1. The ability to be okay with not always being okay. Happy people aren’t the ones who are happy all the time, they’re the ones who can process through all of their emotions and experiences gracefully, with the knowing that everything is impermanent, everything turns out okay in the end, and feeling negative serves as a signal to you that’s just as important — maybe even more so — than feeling positive about something does.

2. Humility. Being in tune (and okay with) your humanness, being able to say you were wrong, to ask for help, to get medication, to objectively evaluate how your actions factor into an equation. This is the root of being able to change yourself. People are usually blocked from humility out of fear and shame of losing that sense of control that comes with portraying perfection, but it’s a backwards logic that causes infinitely more problems in the end.

3. A few close friends from different parts of your life who fulfill different aspects of your personality. Aside from it being generally unsustainable to have too many friendships, having a few intimate relationships with people who you are completely, unabashedly yourself with is really, really important. These are the people who you can be comfortable around, actually enjoy your life with, who will tell you like it is and won’t placate you into remaining stuck in your old habits.

4. Enough money to pay the bills, save a little and spend a little, and the gratitude that comes with understanding how much happiness money can buy. Money can buy the books you love to read. Money can buy your yoga classes and groceries. It keeps a roof over your head and clothes on your back. It’s not irrelevant, but it’s not extraordinarily important. Once you figure out what makes you really happy (hint: it’s usually not $3,000 in clothes every month) cover your essentials and cultivate gratitude for simply being able to pay the bills, spend some and save some, your whole life will become richer and deeper and more thoroughly enjoyable. Generally speaking, if it isn’t enough now, it won’t ever be.
5. The ability to realize that everything you experience is a reflection of who you are. The second you realize that everything you feel and experience is a reflection of who you are and a manifestation of what you are, you become your own locus of control. You realize that you are in control of your experiences, and that you can choose happiness through matter of course.

6. A health-wellness-mind-body-spirit routine. You are a being within a being, and for the time being, you have to keep it functioning. This isn’t about devoting your entire life to unrealistic and unaffordable health regimens. This is about drinking water. Finding foods that are good for you that you enjoy. Taking a walk with someone you love. Meditating for calmness, reading for clarity, the ability to listen to your body and keep it healthy. It’s hard to enjoy much else until this is done.

7. Always having long term projects going, giving life a sense of balance and forward momentum. This is absolutely not to say you lose touch with the present moment, only that you have something to work on and toward, that you are in tune with what you want to become and that you have enough going on for you that your eggs aren’t ever falling through one basket.

8. The genuine ability to be able to put your phone down, turn your computer off, disconnect from work and enjoy your life. Work-related anxiety is normal and understandable, but balancing your hours pounding your fingers on a keyboard and actually living your life is the make-or-break between happy people and not. It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, you’re not going to perform to your best ability if you’re overworked and burning out, not to mention a main source of work-related anxiety is the fact that you don’t have anywhere else to diffuse your attention.

9. One routine you can go to so you can let off steam and recalibrate yourself — whether that’s working out or meditation or a mantra or even reading a book, whatever. You need to know what to do and where to go when your soul needs soothing. Part of being able to take care of yourself is being able to handle yourself outside of your day-to-day mental and emotional maintenance.

10. A few rough and tumble experiences to date. The best people — the most loving and caring and honest and down-to-Earth — are the ones that have seen some shit in their day. Happy people know suffering more than anybody else. That’s how they see how beautiful their lives are.

11. The understanding that “good” and “bad” are subjective. Once you can release your attachments to what’s “good” and what “should be” and start seeing everything as simply a matter of experience, your life becomes infinitely easier. You realize that the things you once saw as personal failures were your redirects, lessons are more important than being okay all the time, and what’s right to someone is wrong to another. It’s a matter of conditioning and perspective, all of which you can shift once you’re aware of it.

12. The ability to reconnect with the reality of “this too shall pass.” It’s been my mantra for seven years, and it’s the one notion that has consistently, throughout all that time, been a grounding idea for me: the fact that whatever terrors I’m currently feeling will pass — as all the others prior to them have — but also that whatever I have that’s great and lovely and enjoyable will be gone someday too, so it’s at once a comfort that even the worst things don’t last, and a call to remember that neither will the best.

13. Gratitude. People think that they can only be grateful for the things they want, but gratitude is something you cultivate. It’s realizing that every experience serves you in some way, and the simple ability to know where your next meal is coming from, to have access to the Internet to be able to read this, to be literate, are not things everybody is guaranteed in life.

14. A fundamental understanding of the bigger picture — whatever that means to you. If you consistently get lost in the minutiae of your life, you’ll lose sight of what actually matters. “What actually matters,” however, is up to you. You choose how you view the purpose and meaning of the culmination of your years. You decide what’s going to be important to you in the long run. This guidance system keeps you from getting lost in the silly, energy wasting things that don’t matter.

15. The ability to enjoy the little things, your day-to-day life. It’s true what they say: that’s all we really have in the end. You won’t remember the years of your life, you’ll remember singular moments within them. All big things are made from a series of little things put together.

16. Simplicity. Being able to devote your mind, attention and time to just the few things that matter keeps you grounded and satisfied. Clearing your space of the things you don’t need, the people who don’t serve you and the thoughts that weigh on you lets you live a lighter, fuller, happier life. Most things are meant to be simple, we just complicate them in our minds.

17. Purpose. This is the most important fundamental of happiness: a sense of greater purpose. Whether that’s to be the best sister you can, to be come a teacher who changes lives, to serve whatever God you believe in… a sense of purpose gives meaning to the sometimes frustrating ins-and-outs of everyday life.