Friday, December 30, 2016

Help I'm Alive

There's been a lot of this going on over the holidays - by "this", I mean both sleeping, and shielding myself from what is going on in the outside world.  The deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds a mere 24 hours apart was a terrible shock. Fisher had always been fiercely vocal about her battle with mental illness, and I greatly admired her for that, and Debbie, well, she was Debbie Reynolds.  "Singin' in the Rain" has always been one of my favourite films.

I got new eyeglasses from Old North Optometry.  The shape is different from what I've had in the last few years and I loved the colours used in the stripes on the frame.

In a sudden burst of creative inspiration, I made this necklace from some Dollar Store Christmas ornaments and a choker purchased at a street market in London, England, many years ago.   I wore it over to Heather and Travis' for Christmas dinner.

After said dinner (pork enchiladas), we had some messy good fun decorating a batch of Pusheen the cat cookies that our friend Lola had made that morning.  Apparently, I can be as detail-oriented in my cookie decorating as I am in many other aspects of my life, as evidenced by my blue and green polka dot cookie in the upper right, compared to many of the less-detailed abstract ones the others created.  In the bottom right corner is Heather's Christmas tree topper, which her husband found at Halloween.  A good bat skeleton should definitely be displayed more than once a year.

I spent a day in Stratford visiting my mother, and found some time to do a bit of shopping for myself which included the book and paper dolls above.  I loved making my own paper dolls when I was a kid, and the outfits in this particular book are fantastic.  There may or may not have also been the purchase of a couple of dresses, but you'll have to wait to see those.

Sylvester has made himself very much at home, and as to be expected, I have fallen completely in love with him.  His days are filled with eating, sleeping, belly rubs, and playing with his beloved Cat Dancer.

I found it easier to get through the holidays by listening to my inner voice which says it's ok to feel sad, and stay home with a book or a movie, instead of forcing myself to be social and pretend I enjoy the chaotic food and shopping frenzy that so many people embrace at this time of year.  I hope you all had moments of peace and joy to balance out the stress and anxiety that often comes with the season. 2016 has been a devastating year for many people and I am wishing for a brighter 2017.


  1. I'm glad you were able to spend some time with family and friends over the holidays. Having a fur baby at home it what keeps a person sane I think. Zoe has been my saviour many times over.

    All these recent deaths and changes in the world is making everyone a bit sad and uneasy.

    I was lucky to have my husband come home for a brief visit. Tomorrow he is back to Hong Kong and it is just me and the pug holding down the fort again.

    Wishing you and Sylvester love and happiness in 2017.


    1. I'm so glad you and your hubby were able to spend the holidays together; it must be so hard having him so far away. Now that I have Sylvester I don't know how I went so long without having a cat. Hugs to you and your furbaby!

  2. Dear Shelley,
    It was lovely to see your post today, full of the richness of your life and creativity. Love that holiday necklace. Love seeing that your cat is so well settled in; life is so much better with a kitty (or two, as I have! Couldn't live without them.)

    It seems true for so many of us that we're going to be glad to see the backside of 2016. This fall was so rough collectively for people who try to live life with values such as compassion and truth. Some of us also had hard knocks personally (I mean that literally myself as I had a really serious set of injuries from a bike crash.) All of this became opportunities to grow, and to rise to meet the challenges with courage and equanimity. I have been so grateful to find new capacities and to feel the strength of my community around me. I hope everyone has had a chance to experience this. And I hope we can find new ways to support each other in living as our truest selves, together.

    Thank you for putting your life and creative endeavors out here for us. Wishing you all the best in 2017.

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful and inspiring comment Linda!

  3. I have been a mess since Carrie Fisher died - I can't even think about it. I love seeing your lovely kitty (aw, says L, looking over my shoulder), and I'm with you on cookie decorating - I'm such a detailed person, I would take forever to do one! The new glasses are so snazzy, and I adore your necklace. That bat skeleton tree-topper is the best!

    This past year has been about taking care of my mental health, something I plan to continue in 2017. It's so good to recognize when you need that alone time and that it's okay not be part of the seasonal frenzy. Hugs to you, Shelley!

    1. I watched Carrie's one woman show "Wishful Drinking" on HBO on Demand last night. If you haven't seen it, you need to watch it. Self care is so very important, and as I get older, I need to devote more time and energy to it too. A hug to you too!

  4. My internet and TV-free festive season meant I only leaned about Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds' deaths days later. I'm afraid I don't really know much about either of them but how very sad. I was shocked when I learnt about George Micheal, he was part of my teenage years.
    Sylvester sounds and looks like he's settling in a treat. Pets make such a difference to our lives. I don't think I could bear a life without a feline or two.
    I love your necklace, you creative genius!!
    Sending loads of love and good wishes for 2017, Shelley! xxx

    1. Yes, I was shocked by George Michael's passing as well. I remember dancing to his music in the 80's. Sylvester is a wonderful companion!

  5. I am so glad you have Sylvester!!! Yay on that. Good start. And I have bern with friends and family this year. No presents, and normal food. Today I spent on the couch. Hope 2017 will be better for you.

  6. oh yes, wish you a brilliant 2017 too!, and I'm glad that Sylvester has adapted nicely to home, that's great news!
    I agree with you about embracing a certain sad mood, instead of getting involved in any faux joy. It sounds more healthy and way more genuine too.

  7. This was a great review of your holiday season. Your creative necklace might be the start of something wonderful.

    So many changes in the world have me spinning. How to deal with it all? Happy New Year Shelley. Looking forward to following you in 2017!

  8. Best wishes and love for a healthy, fulfilled 2017. xx