Sunday, November 28, 2004

Oona's Art Day

My two year old daughter has once again managed to express herself on the freshly painted living room walls.

"Oona! No drawing on the walls!" I yell in my loud, Mommy-in-charge voice.

She looks up at me with those innocent eyes.

"Don't wowy, Mommy. Don't wowy, Mommy.” she says over and over.

I am stifling a smile as best I could. She sounds so sweet I just want to hug her. But I prevail since it’s disciplining time. She sees I am not budging from my firm-mommy stance and therefore, ups the ante.

"I'm sowee, Mommy." almond-doe eyes cast down, feigning remorse.

Uh-oh. That one’s got to work. Mommy-in-charge face melting away fast.

"It's okay, honey. Come. Give Mommy a kiss and huggabug..." my eyes are closed, lips puckered, ready to receive the sweetest kiss from the little angel.

No kiss.
No hug.
I open my eyes.
No child.

Little angel is off and running. I bet she's considering self-expression on the kitchen wall next.

My great, young artist ~ Oona, on her 2nd b-day, Nov. 28, 2004

Friday, November 26, 2004

Do More Things...BADLY.

I met the author Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy or SARK last Saturday in Toronto.

I was excited about the meeting because I have admired her since that fateful day at Tina’s apartment eight years ago where I chanced upon her book Succulent Wild Woman.

Just the book I needed to read at just the right time in my life.

SARK had a brief workshop on making your creative dreams real , her new book. She signed books after and then had a soiree with the MMB (Marvelous Message Boards on PlanetSark, members which I am. (MMB name: "iKat")

She shared a lot of wonderfully inspiring stories and read magical poetry. SARK even belted out a few tunes. Oh, what a vibrant, joyful soul. But of all the things she shared, the one that hit home was her advice to procrastinators and perfectionist and busy people on doing. I, of course, am all of the above.

The message is this: Do more things --- badly.

To that I said: Eek!

The first part about "doing more things" is easy enough to understand. But “badly”, BADLY! It takes a while for such information to sink into a perfectionist’s brain, even a recovering one at that . At first, it just does not compute. Old recording in my brain started to play: "If you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all."

SARK is easy-going. She is gentle in her manner of giving advice. I slowly began to accept what she was saying. She was so heartfelt, crystal clear in her speaking. And best of all, she had an honesty to her that just made want to listen well.

Here's Susan's gentle message:

"You can be ~

A proud procrastinator
An imperfect perfectionist
A happy busy person

And still be an active creative dreamer."

Aha! I had a moment there. Why did I not realize this before? I would saved myself a lot of head and heartaches everytime I fell short of a goal. Of course it's okay to procrastinate. Of course it's alright to be a perfectionist. What's not right is getting frozen in place because of it. That's where the advice to "do more..." comes in. Just keep doing. Just keep moving. Just keep tweaking along the way.

And, by God, I am grateful for busy. Busy equals alive.

I, Kathreen, choose to be fully alive!

Drawing by SARK

I hereby declare myself a proud procrastinator, imperfect perfectionist and happy busy person who resolves to do more things...properly or BADLY!

Thank you, Susan, for all the good...AND BAD, that you do in the world.


Sunday, November 21, 2004


I just love this photo of our little man, Sol, shown here waiting for his aunt, Tita Joey at the airport.

Joey is my youngest sister. A couple of months later this scene is repeated with the arrival of the other beloved sister, Leslie.

I adore this picture for its innocence, its purity, its sense of promise of fun things to come. And lots of fun we had!

There was strawberry/cherry picking, horseback-riding, hand-gliding, grocery shopping, baby-waiting/delivering and ring-making in Montreal with Tita Joey. Then there was outlet shopping, park/museum-visiting, restaurang-hopping, junk food-munching, and posing for pictures at Niagara Falls with Tita Leslie.

There was home-cooking, closet-organizing, laundry-washing and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Cleaning kids' clutter, kids' food droppings and kids bums. There's lots more we did but one thing's for sure. Amidst all the doing there was lots of laughing. Laughing until our sides hurt. Laughing until we cried. Laughing until all the hurts of the past have melted away.

Sisters are loads of fun to have around. They're an extra pair of strong hands and sturdy shoulders to lean and cry on. They've got good ears to ramble on to and a soothing presence when times get extra tough. They've got great fashion sense, an area which I am known to be challenged and even greater sense in the kitchen.

I'm the luckiest since I've got two of them --- my best friends, my allies, my soul sisters, my laughing buddies.

Tita Leslie and Tita Joey, I love you both so much. Thanks for being the best Aunts Solomon, Oona and Joshim could ever have.
And thanks for being the best sisters in the world. You two are too much fun!

Until the next visit ... and did I hear anyone say "Hola! Hola!"? You better practice your Spanish-speaking senoritas just in case you come visit me in sunny Spain. Viva Espana!

Now that's another tale for another time. ;-)

My beautiful sisters and best buddies, Joey Pineda and Leslie Albano. (photo taken in Tagaytay, Philippines)