where I feel most myself . . .

I figured it out. After a week of pondering the question of where do I feel most myself, while taking walks in the city, amongst the trees, hanging out in cafe’s, & so on. I finally realized where it is I feel most myself. It is somewhere close to me.

The archetypical urge to nest came to me later in life. I was 44 before I truly felt the desire to occupy a house, to make it my own, to make it a reflection of my creative expression. Even after having children I still didn’t feel the need. I heard about women who suddenly have the urge to create a home, redecorate, paint the walls while pregnant all in preparation for the baby’s arrival. That never happened to me.

But then after having my second child & moving to a new city into the first house that I bought with no furniture, just long dark wood floors I felt for the first time I had this need to live in this house & make it my home. I was no longer interested in travelling around the world or looking for the next adventure. My adventure became discovering a new way to cover my windows that was unique to me & my style. As I slowly created little altars throughout my house & picked out the perfect eclectic pieces of furniture I was able to witness my creative expression unfolding on a new, larger canvas, my house. What emerged over time were numerous installation pieces throughout my house. The installations keep changing, shifting with the seasons, but having a home as a canvas is a bit like living inside of myself.

we designed this - all of it!

THIS IS WHERE I FEEL MOST LIKE MYSELF because it is me.

I was told by a psychic a few years ago while living in Santa Fe, NM, that in my early 40s I would be overcome by an unexplainable desire to make roots in a home. At the time I was living in my RV (with wheels under it) and my daughter and I moved around to different campgrounds for a few weeks at a time, or sometimes we would house sit for others in some body else’s real house. We moved frequently. It seems whenever that clever North Wind picked up I would feel in my bones it was time to look for another adventure.

Antidote Coffee Shop

There are those places and things that inspire me; like trees, coffee houses, pubs, the ocean, but they don’t always make me feel myself, often I’m in their presence as an anthropologist, a visitor & stranger. It is not where I feel myself. I love being in their presence, I love watching the people, hearing the espresso machines do their thing, smelling pine needles, listening to crashing waves, smelling coffee, watching & soaking it all in but not to be myself. I can find peace & inspiration but I don’t always feel my true self in these places.

It is only in my home with my family that I can be mostly myself with unconditional acceptance.

my boys swirling in love

Well in my home & in boots. I realized this today when I awoke to a sudden, unexpected cold front & had the first opportunity of the season to wear my boots. It was heaven, like coming home, that must be why I loved being in the Marine Corps all those years. I got to wear boots everyday.

big love,
Katariina

i love my bed

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& now a word from our sponsor, the color orange . . .

the market

I’ve been wanting to write for days now, but time seems to be flying by too fast for me to even catch up. Halloween whizzed by & now that it is November company is on their way for Thanksgiving, wait. . . . but first I am flying out to California for a quick visit, & Larry is off to a shareholders meeting in New Jersey. That feels like a lot.

I’m not even someone who has to be caught up in the energy of this season & here I am being pulled into its vortex. What I mean is I don’t have deadlines, a job or anything pressuring me to hurry up but still . . . I feel the sense of urgency in the air.

On Saturday night, we had a fabulously successful pumpkin carving party.  It was just a sweet night of sharing stories, listening to music, drinking great wine, dark beers & incredible food created by everyone, mostly Larry. He is amazing in the kitchen. So much Savor!!! The kids carved pumpkins & then swam their hearts out in the pool.

These pictures are just my way of catching up with all of you, sharing what’s going on in our hood. I’m taking an online e-course by Madelyn Mulvaney & she is sort-of, kind-of, really blowing my mind. I have only stuck one foot into the course holding onto the curb with my little toes afraid of what I might discover about myself. I’m two weeks behind on my photo taking that I am supposed to post on flickr.

One of the ideas that is swirling about in the recesses of my mind (thanks to Madelyn) is “where do I feel most myself?” I still can’t figure it out. It seems it is not so much a physical location as it is the convergence of many elements that inspire my senses & shoot right to my soul. Listening to a certain song, being in nature, being with Larry & my kids, dancing or travelling to exotic locations, tasting the perfect savory flavor or smelling roasting coffee are some of the elements that together can create this explosion in my soul & I am myself, home in my boots, with my soul dancing just under my skin. This is what I came up with so far, but still the question wanders & rattles around inside. After I figure that out I need to photograph it. Yikes!!

Enjoy the different shades of orange, until next time.

Katariina

habibi & the pumpkins

our house in october

the captain steering this ship!

 

 

I made this one! Can you tell?

from rawfully organic co-op

these tomatoes are so good I had to post another pic

roasted sweet potatoes

finn's new old truck

we made this dress together!

 

my happy place

my quiet place

Well after 5 months of work & I don’t even want to say how many thousands of dollars more than we budgeted (I hope Dave Ramsey doesn’t see this) we finally are almost, just about finished with our sanctuary backyard. We love to be outside. It doesn’t matter if it is 109 degrees or 40 degrees we are outside soaking in the fresh air, stretching, laughing, reading, meditating, cultivating our garden or what have you.

Our little cocktail pool works wonders in the hot months, but it will be our hot tub in the cold months. We love the water too. Being from the clan of original Selkes, I need to soak my flesh in water everyday or I feel all dried up inside, so this little dunking pool is the perfect medicine. The water should be preferrably cold water – Barton-Springs-cold, but Larry & Finnegan need it warmer.

I love how we were able to make the antique bricks look like they have been there forever. Here are some before & after photos of the transformation. It’s amazing how much bigger the backyard feels with the new look.

Before the remodel

backyard before ipe deck

backyard before ipe deck

before back patio

extended patio

before air conditioners went up

after the a/c went up to 2nd floor

Finnegan with Mr. Penguin

crow . . .

crow stamped on wood

I signed up for a Mono-type class for this semester. It’s starts in a few weeks. I’m so excited. In fact so giddy about it that I had to make my own crow stamp now, before the class starts. I just got this stamping rubber stuff at the Texas Art Supply & drew a picture & started cutting away. It’s so fun that I can’t stop stamping everything!!!

testing, testing,

above studio sink!

on beginning of painting

I’ve had this idea for making an american flag to hang outside on our patio fence. I wanted it to look old & add my style to it. As I started working on it further I decided that it would be a painting about the Marine Corps & war, but a light one. Really maybe it is more about how I joined the wrong Corps. I should have been in the Peace Corps instead. but I don’t know, I was probably right where I needed to be and odd duck. No regrets, some sorrow, sadness, anger, but no regrets.

Everyday as I gain more insight into who I am, really am, without influence from others, I move further away from those things that hurt me more than bring me joy. I seek out those things, people, experiences that are in alignment with who I am. This lessons the dissonance & increases the resonance. I don’t resonate with dissonance.

I visited a gastro doctor last week who told me that my colon was like a jazz band all the parts doing their own thing, not playing the same tune together. I guess Jazz has its place just not in my gut & not in my relationships or work environments.

make art not war

My stars are flowers. USMC is going off the canvas. 83 was the year I joined the Marine Corps. I wrote, “make art not war,” “all we need is love.” “love is all we need,” oh &
“war is never the answer.” Then of course, there is my crow.

Crow is the protector of the castle, the castle being your psyche. He also is a trickster & a shape shifter. Two aspects I love expressing. Tricksters make us think about things that are so firmly embedded in our beliefs that we don’t even think to question. I was a trickster in the Marine Corps.

This painting is about the healing & coming home to me, the me that was me before the Marine Corps.

 

a Tuesday in my life . . .

dandelion root tea w/ sassafrass

I had such an amazing day today, Tuesday (don’t you just love Tuesdays?), the last Tuesday in August. I love how everything is shifting for me, in my inner & outer worlds. I just feel better with more energy, more joy, more focus. It just feels good all over. Today was for some reason just so delicious. I started it with a cup of dandelion & sassafrass root tea. I have many dried roots that I’m experimenting with. Dandelion root is great for digestion & heaven knows I need all the help I can get. Actually, now that I’m mostly eating raw & realizing how important consuming tons of water is everything is flowing much better! (I bet you’re glad for that update! :o)).

I wrote a job description while sipping my root tea for a position for our newest company, Wildcat Bulk Water Services. It was written for a Marine who is transitioning into the “real” world to help us deliver bulk water. Yippy, it’s all coming together so easily. I’ll write more about this in another post.

For lunch I met my beautiful friend & soul-sister at Tiny’s Boxwood for our second lunch in two weeks. This is actually is born from an intention to grow our community here in Houston. Sara is a great friend who is completely aligned with me & yet it has been months since we have made time to see each other. But now I am making a commitment to open up & allow community & friendship to come into my life. We shared this amazing Beet Burger minus bun. Yum, I didn’t know they could do that to beets.

the glowing Sara @ Tiny's

After lunch I had time to puruse through a new antique store in the Heights. I actually fell in love with a ring & then was able to talk myself away from the edge & out of wanting/needing desperately to buy it all in the 15 minutes before picking up Raine from school.

We went to JoAnnes for some fabric for a skirt for Raine & curtains for our backyard naked patio. This is the fabric I chose for the curtain. What do you think?

new curtain fabric!

Larry, Finn & I went to pick up our bushel of luscious fruit & veggies at the Rawfully Organic Co-op tonight just to get hugs from the lovely Kristina. She is this incredibly dynamic woman that I want to hang out with. She runs the co-op & about a dozen other things!

The Lovely Kristina & her beet!

 

Rawfully Organic

Kristina & Lisa at Rawfully Organic

I took my bushel of veggies & chopped it up into this delicious chop salad for dinner!! so Goooood.

chop salad

Raine sewed up this sweet skirt tonight for picture day tomorrow. She is so crafty! She got the idea off of the Sweet Verbena blog.

Raine Sewing

Raine's Handmade Skirt

After whipping up this skirt she did her homework & then baked cupcakes to give to some friends at school tomorrow. What a gal!!! I’m so proud of her creativity & ability to just independantly jump into projects.

Okay now I’m sitting with Larry both of us with our laptops open, eating cold watermelon listening to Adele on Pandora. Time for bed.

goodnight!

Kat

Finn Swims on Super8

This is Finnegan swimming with so much grace in our backyard pool. If I could only have this much joy in everything I do. I captured this video with my Super 8 app on my iPhone. How fun is this?

This didn’t work the way I wanted it to but I’m still working out the technical bugs. In the meantime just click on the link!!! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/embed/fWqPObZMXMY

some things I just love today . . .

my beautiful man

Today I am so madly in love with my handsome, soul-filled man, Larry. He takes great care of us, he is a wonderful provider & protector. He is tender & sweet as well as strong & intelligent. I love his entrepreneurial spirit & his creativity that drives him to keep creating new experiences with business. We have an incredible connection & appreciation for each other. Here there is deep respect & love like I have never known before. Out of this love was born my next love.

finnegan & daddy

finnegan

Now my sweet daughter Raine who starts her sophomore year of high school in two days is not last because of any ranking. It’s just that she hides in her room until 2 pm then emerges with her sunny face & quick wit to make us all laugh. Doesn’t she look like a domestic queen?

Raine making cupcakes

now for the inanimate objects that I love today –

old accordian

Larry bought this old accordion on ebay just because it has so much history & story just eeking out of it. We put it on our mantle & it looks great.  It fits in well in our house.

our mantle

Outside in our backyard where we recently put in our pool & this week will be building the epi wood porch, we finally finished our outside shower. I designed the cement floor with rocks & Larry put together the shower out of copper pipes & a vintage shower head. It’s so absolutely amazing to take a cold shower during the day when the 102 degree weather is getting to ya & the pool is 90 something degrees. Lar & I both now only take showers outside & can’t remember the last time we took one upstairs in our inside shower.

our outside shower

We planted some zoysia grass in old baskets & boxes I bought at the thrift store. The grass is thriving & we love the look.

our outdoor shower

our old bricks

I love these bricks. These are reclaimed vintage bricks I both found & bought for our pool deck. I found about 70 of the bricks around town over the past year & collected them into our garage. Then we bought Thurbers, Croesbecks, Standards, Coffeyvilles, Houstons, and on & on.  We wanted to give our backyard the feel that the bricks have been there forever. So we didn’t use any grout or mortar but instead put sandy dirt between the bricks. In some of the bigger spaces where the bricks didn’t quite fit together we planted zoysia grass. Well I just share that with you if anyone is interested.

the cairn i built

This is the cairn I built to honor all the gratitude & patience I have for our slowly coming together vision of a magical backyard sanctuary in the big city.

Thanks for witnessing all that I love today. Well it’s definately not all that I love but those things that crossed my path & grabbed my attention.