I've been quiet for a bit... I've been working on a new store on Shopify (harder than I thought it would be!) And I created a new store on Etsy, Clutter Gallery, to clear out stuff from my studio (starting with books, then art supplies, then art...) I still have a lot of books to list. Buy some books! Use the Coupon Code: SPRING23 at checkout to save 25% off your order over $15.

And WHY am I starting to clear out my studio? Partly because I have no idea when a studio space will open up at the Western Avenue Studios - and I want to be ready. 26 years in an enormous house... there's a LOT of stuff I don't want to move!

AND - I need to raise money to train the puppy! He/she will need about 40 hours a week of training... O.M.G... I admit that I am simultaneously soooooo excited! and absolutely terrified. It's a lot like waiting for a new baby. I don't know what I'm doing. But, I do have two amazing kids who took an awful lot of work too... so maybe I'll be ok?

I got to "meet" the puppies on Thursday (on Zoom). Just watching them do their stuff made me smile and calm down a bit. There's nothing cuter than a pile of exhausted puppies scattered around a puffy dog bed, all sleeping on each other. I was introduced to the few who were awake and it's obvious that their personalities are developing! "Oh, there's Aladdin again! He's always where the people are..." "Moana is tiny but fearless..." "this one is a chunky monkey!" I want one who is confident, friendly, smart, and calm. I'll know in about a week!

Here are a couple of them at 4.5 weeks, on the Zoom, they were 6 weeks. They grow up so fast. Sigh.

So cute, right!!!? It will be nice to have the company. And, I admit, I'm actually looking forward to puppy classes. I really need to be trained as well - all that socialization and desensitization will be very helpful.

I realized that I hadn't left the house in three weeks... and I had absolutely no incentive to do so. But I was also... afraid. Uh-oh. There's something wrong, Geeky Girl. I made a plan and in the last week, I've accepted invitations to meet up and chat, got a new therapist (I've been through three this year alone!?), a new nutritionist, and a new doctor. Clean slate. I'm feeling hopeful about the new therapist. I tend to wear mine out pretty quickly. This one seems sturdier, a neurodivergent psychologist.

Me: I hope I haven't overwhelmed you? Do you need a shot of whiskey?

Her: (stares at me) I've worked in a mental hospital, this is nothing.

Me: Ummm.... I'll take that as a compliment?

Yes, I see it as a comic in my head. I draw a lot of comics... in my head. And sketch notes. And paintings. But something is wrong. I haven't been able to actually draw or paint in real life. It's not procrastination. I just... can't.

There is an awful lot of stuff that I'm trying to process, and I think it might be doing a lot of damage. I realized that somehow, all the people who used to check on me, have disappeared. I'm working on trying to find new friends, but it takes a lot of work to build a support system and that wears me out really fast these days... so it kind of goes around - I don't have enough energy to make friends who will be there when I'm not doing ok so I don't recharge and I feel lonely and then feel worse and around it goes. And my daughter is going through similar things. It's taken 2 years to get the testing and now, get a meeting at her school (in 2 weeks). And I'm already panicking that I'll mess up this one shot - her dad will be there and I will go mute. Crap. Or I'll be having one of my OFF-weeks where I'm afraid to leave the house, or exhausted, or... yeh, panicking.

Agh. So, the one thing that helps me when I feel this way (ie: I've been staring at the wall and I have no idea how much time has passed) - is sorting and organizing stuff. I often move the entire studio around (I guess that includes physical exercise in a way), but I've already done that a few times this winter, so I started clearing out books. It's like that book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" (which is a book I found while cleaning)... "If you start sorting out books, you'll feel the need to sell them, so you set up a new Etsy shop, and then..." I've gone through all the art books in my studio - half of those are listed on the Clutter Gallery, the other half are in huge stacks on my studio table. This week, my Service Human helped me clear one entire bookcase in my Library of Childrens books! Most of them are signed by the illustrators!

So much to do.

Maybe that's why I can't paint?