Sunday, May 05, 2013

Go, Go, Gooooooooooooooo, ohhhhhhhhhhhhh

Yesterday was the annual Kentucky Derby Day party at the Dog In The Hole residence. Cloudy skies, thunder storms, blah weather so we cleaned the downstairs, set up the tables for the food, hauled in the comfy outdoor chairs and hung the rest of my art work that came home from the show.

Over 20 people poured into the lower level and a great time was had. We usually throw a dollar in a bowl, then pick a piece of paper with a number on it.
Winner get the big bucks.

I could kick myself, though, I had the camera downstairs but I also had to have Murphy on a leash so he wouldn't try to herd people and bark at them.
When he's on leash he's just happy to let me be in charge. That and a very stiff neck which seems to restrict my ability to turn my head to the left made me forget to put my camera around my neck.

So, I didn't get a picture of all the gaiety and Riley's beautiful Kentucky Derby Day hat. She was the only child at the party and of course, being an only child she handled it like a little adult almost four year old.
She had a ball.  All these grandma's and grandpa's around and they all know how to relate to little people and think you are adorable. What's not to like?

Someone, Michael, I think showed up with a bakery pie.  He always brings something wonderful.  This time it was a Chocolate, banana, cream pie. I tell you this because I want it down in the record. I DID NOT lick my fingers or the box when I took it out and whipped cream got on them. I did not eat an entire piece. I want some sort of medal here. I had my THREE bites then handed the rest of the slice over to Riley who polished it off.

I've been eating my healthy eating plan, tightening it up in some places. I've left the Diet Coke by the wayside. I'm avoiding anything salty or sweet. If my mind is in the right place it's not that difficult. 

Early one morning, while the sun was trying to come up and push by the rain clouds, I made a list of things that occupy my mind. 

There were some things on my list that I can not control BUT I can send healing thoughts and prayers.

There were some things on my list that annoy me or frustrate me and I needed to take a list at what was going on in my thought processes. Why did they annoy me? Since I can't change other people's behavior I needed to change MY RESPONSE TO THE SITUATION. Sounds hard and it does take some retraining. 
Sometimes I realized I still had expectations concerning someone. Not good. People are what they are.  They do what they do because they get something out of it. It may be a positive or negative reward but they get something. They are NOT going to change because of me.  So, logically, said Spock I need to adjust my thinking to the issue.

For example, the Friday Studio workshop starts with a half hour of settling in, getting coffee and getting set up.  We were often going running into the actual workshop time. Lunch is a half hour and that leaves us two and half hours for actual work. Sometimes that really isn't enough when you are working on a larger experiment. I would get frustrated that I had to point out, show, answer questions about supplies. I spent and extra half hour in the morning setting up the space. So, I decided that everybody was a grownup and healthy, they could set up the their table and supplies by themselves. I organized a shelving unit with their workboxes (kittylitter trays, which by the way are not only great for gathering supplies but for use when you need a pan to hold water, you are working with powdered dyes, you can put wet towels on the bottle to contain the powder, etc.)all the general everyday supplies we use, rubber gloves, baby wipes,etc. Then on a table next to the shelving I put out the supplies they will be using for that workshop.

It went pretty well.  I think once people get used to the new routine they will find it makes things a lot easier on all of us.

I used to make coffee in the morning for them.  Now, I provide hot water and I found these single packets of decafe and regular coffee.  That with a tin of tea, they can decide what they want.

I mention all of this because we've been meeting for a couple of years now for the big summer workshops and I was finding myself frazzled at the end of the day. I couldn't really figure out why I came back to the house and had to nap. One of the participants, a good friend, met me for coffee and told me point blank to stop doing for everybody. It's part of my nature and I need to learn to back off. Not always easy. Answering questions, explaining a technique over and over because half of the participants where listening and half weren't was exhausting. Now, I type out the directions, they all get a copy. I'm learning.

The point to all of this is, you need to take a look at what and who is causing you stress, anxiety, frustration in your life. Can you do something about the situation? What can you change about YOUR attitude toward something? How can you make small changes in your life that will help you REDUCE your negative response to something? 

I certainly don't have all the answers I'm still working on things but I find the list helps. It reminds me that sometimes I can't do a thing about something. I can change how I respond to it. 

I knew that there would be one person coming to the party that always caused a problem for me. She's the wife of a dear friend so she was going to be there. She has in the past caused me extreme frustration because of her tactless comments.
This year I made it a point to greet her with a smile and then avoid her. If I saw her coming my way I made some excuse to the group and moved on. The less contact I had with her the less chance I had of hearing anything from her that was going to upset me. I remained friendly but out of reach. We aren't friends so we didn't have to have a "conversation" about her behavior. 

I have to say John is a good example for me.  He deals with all kinds of people on a daily basis. He
"lets go" of things much easier than I do. He is quicker at coming up with alternate ways of dealing with something. I'm a Scorpio, I have trouble with these things. I'm like an elephant sometimes. I remember things that I should have forgotten. Things that don't help me move forward. Again, I'm a work in progress and I'm almost 65 so it's not something you ever really say, "I'm done, I'm perfect!"

Ok, sometimes I do announce that I'm perfect but I know nobody takes that seriously.

It's going to be a beautiful day here. The sun is shinning and it's going to be low 70s. MY kind of weather.

I'm off to the barn to sort out the mess of things that have to be stored back up in the studio. I've piled them up on the steps going up there like some little kid. Now, I have to actually take them up.

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by! 



  1. What a tactful and compassionate way to deal with that one person...who seems to know it all and tells you. Happy Derby Day ..a bit late...Ken and I went to a great family reunion Derby party...good friends...good foods...Mont Juleps...and great music. Have a great week! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. Thanks for the lesson reminder. I've come a long way, but still plenty of remedial work. But then that's growth and I like that part. It's the lesson repeats that get me:)