Heartfelt . . .


I have been speechless, my friends.

Both meanings of that word apply: aghast – and without words.

Every time I have opened WordPress to write a post, I have been so baffled by what to say, that I have said nothing.

For 15 years, I have made my living by having a big involvement with the online arts community, blogging, teaching, publishing – which I have enjoyed very much.

Because I made my living online, I have kept my personal feelings about politics, religion, and other such things to myself – which has been extremely difficult to do at times.

But one thing has come through to me loud and clear during these very trying times, and that is that I must stand for what I believe. Out loud – in word and action.

I have always taken the high road, and that will not change, but I need a plan to keep my head from exploding.

My first plan was to go out in the garden and bury said head in the dirt – just hide out for four years.

But that is not responsible action, and there seems to be no way to avoid hearing news that brings my blood pressure to boiling.

I CANNOT tolerate what is totally illogical, untrue, and idiotic. Never could tolerate such things and never will. Stuff just has to be TRUE for me, or at least, most likely TRUE.

Here is just a single example of the kind of thing that drives me crazy: If Hillary Clinton could bring 650 million illegal and/or Muslim immigrants into the country if elected, that would be really amazing, because it has taken us over 200 years to immigrate the current US Population of just 319 million.

That is only one example of the complete illogic that got us where we are right now. There are thousands of examples, but no point in revisiting the nonsense.

Truth, facts, the laws, and honor don’t matter right now, it seems.

This is not politics. It is madness.

So, what to do? How to survive this debacle with wits intact?

Stand FOR what you believe in, and stand WITH the people who need you.

Stay connected to community and ready to do what is needed to protect your community. Don’t just talk, DO.

Decide once and for all, that no human being has the right to sit in judgement of the worth of any other human being, no matter what. And that you will not put up with that happening to anyone.

We all belong to ONE RACE – the HUMAN race. Differences we are born with are just for variety and make no one superior to anyone else. Anyone who has to declare themselves “better-than” is just broadcasting that they must feel “less-than”.

Fight for our system of government by checks and balances. We need conversations and compromise for government by and for the people to work.

And most of all, live your BEST life with the idea of spreading good thoughts, good feeling, good will, good cheer, and good-ness all around you and as far as you can reach.

Make someone you encounter feel better about themselves everyday, and they will carry that forward.

And when you hear something that throws your system into knots, stop to breathe before reacting any further.

Here is a treasure that comes from Buddhist tradition and has such a calming effect on your nervous system that you will find it hard to believe. So much result for so little effort.

The Relaxing Breath

Expel all the air from your lungs to start.

With your mouth closed, breathe in quietly through your nose to a count of 4

Hold the breath for a count of 7

Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 8 (this should make a whoosh sound).

Repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 breaths.

Don’t do more than 4 of these relaxing breaths in a set, but you can do a set as many times as you think of it during the day.

This really works and has saved my sanity (what is left of it) on more than one occasion.

I am climbing down from my soapbox for now.

News from An Artful Life . . .

Progress on the new website is slow but sure, and I have exciting creative plans for the new year, so stay tuned.

Sheer Heaven has officially left the building. I had very mixed feelings about that “ending”, but it had to be, and so I have found ways to appreciate the new found freedom that has come with it, and hopefully, some new “beginnings”.

My Santa Fe Gallery has shocked us all with its level of success and we are thrilled. It is truly a lifelong dream come true in its current state, and I am so grateful.

Gracie, the new kitten, is pretty much grown up now, but a kid at heart, of course. Too funny and way too cute.

During this website transition, you will find me most often on Instagram. Unlike Facebook, it is devoid of politics, and I have chosen carefully who I follow, so when I get a few free minutes, I go there to look at “pretty pictures”. And I post some too!

Until next time – live well.




  1. Love the heart painting! I feel as you do. I still haven’t come to terms with the whole politics deal. I have a lot of family who voted for Trump for various reasons and in truth, I don’t see how any of them will be satisfied in the end. I and a few others voted for HIllary and I am still coming to terms with her loss. I feel for the first time in my life as if I (don’t know how to emphasize it) lost. I haven’t always picked the winner but I never felt it so personally before. The lack of logic – don’t be PC but wha, you are calling me names stuff – and Trump and his campaign saying the lying was okay as it was a campaign and that’s how campaigns are run and of course, no one but the media believed what Trump was saying except for the media – his followers knew he was lying for the campaign (according to Trump and his campaign leaders). Well, all the people I know did NOT think he was lying so they are going to be surprised before long when the wall goes by the wayside, they lose their healthcare and Medicare and more but what’s done is done. While we wait to see what the fallout is let’s do the best we can and make some art to dispel the gloom!

    So glad your gallery is doing beyond expectations! That’s some good news!

  2. I’m also just astounded and heart broken. There is a really good thing on Facebook it’s a group called pantsuit nation. It’s a private group. People write their stories, and make suggestions for ways we can be agents of change. There is most likely a group in your state also. Today for example here in Boise people met today to start a knitting group to knit pussyhats pink hats with cats ears to send for the women marching to Washington to protest the inauguration. There will also be a March in Boise that day. But more than telling their stories it is a place where action plans are being born. Very positive and kind place. After you read this you can just delete it. Just know you are not alone!

  3. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I feel the same way! I’ll try your breathing exercise during the news. Now I have to mute certain individuals or my blood pressure skyrockets(normally its low). Yes, I too believe we are all human-beings and should be “judged” by our individual actions not by race, gender or whatever meaningless criteria someone thinks up to divide us. Maybe “Area54” is real and some aliens have escaped. Please Scotty, beam them up! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I too have been struggling with what has happened to our country. My biggest feeling of loss is for truthfulness! How can people make good decisions if all they are fed are lies.
    For me the treasure in your post was the reminder to go back to my art. It’s time to get the studio back in working shape, roll up my sleeves, and to escape my thoughts for awhile.

  5. Welcome to my world, except I’ve felt that way for the past 8 years as I witnessed our economy, healthcare system, and basic freedoms wilting and dying. Glad you could get this off your chest, but it’s not a good practice to air it in a place where you do business. Conservatives are art lovers too. My hope is that both our business thrive as we get the economy back on its feet again.

  6. HI Jo, I too have felt frustrated for a long time. Things have not been perfect and maybe it takes a bomb like this to break the log jams – who knows. I have nothing against conservatives in art, politics, or anywhere else and have some conservative views myself, but I am against lunacy in government which seems to be where we are going. I long for the way people in government used to communicate with each other and come to joint decisions and compromises.
    As for the place of business point – I have followed that rule for 15 years, and now I’m done. Like Popeye, I yam who I yam and it’s ok if people know who I yam.
    And just for the sake of truth, I just read through some economic reports – the factual numbers reported by the various government agencies. Our economy is the best it has been (according to all indicators including 4.6% unemployment rate) since the end of Bill Clinton’s terms – brought back by Obama from the most horrible since the Great Depression at the end of George W’s terms. This is not partisan and it isn’t anything anyone can argue about. It’s numbers. These are the facts that people love to ignore. Our economy IS back on its feet. Do the research and you will see. Hopefully it will keep going in a positive direction.

  7. Deb, thanks for that information. I won’t delete any comment that is written wisely factually, and in a friendly tone.

  8. Thank you for sharing! In Sweden we are very worried since the result of your recent election is extremely important and affects us, too.
    Thank you also for the Buddhist breathing technique. It will come handy for the next four years.

  9. You speak my language! We are ONE HUMAN RACE on this planet. We need to take care of one another and take care of this earthly home. Respect and kindness cost nothing and mean so much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Good for you, jessica, for saying what you feel and think—and not apologizing for it. I didn’t watch or read ANY news for more than a week following the election, and I limit my exposure even now, for the sake of my blood pressure. Many people, including myself, feel exactly as you do. A friend sent me this article, which offers something small that anyone can do, and it helps to make us feel less powerless.

  11. Thank you for the link, Jeanne. I have been wearing my “safety” pin ever since the election. We will all be ok but it’s going to take vigilance.

  12. Thank you for saying that our loud. And wear your safety pin. You would be amazesd at the positive reatctions you’ll recieve. And, of course, mean it when you wear it. It’s not for show, it’s a committment to the HUMAN race as you put it so well.

  13. There is nothing else to say other than you are so right. I spent several days mourning and am now knitting for peace. And drawing for peace. And singing for peace. Not gonna stop.

  14. I am on that soapbox with you, Jessica! I too have planted a stake in the ground and will speak out against hate speech of any kind directed toward a fellow human being. I also marched in protest this past weekend for the first time in my life. I believe the good that is coming out of this is exactly what is happening to you and me. We are no longer willing to ignore and be silent about what we see and hear happening around us. I always had fear about what might happen if I spoke up, now I’m more afraid of what will happen if I don’t. Thank you for sharing.

  15. We can make a difference if we all stand up for right over wrong and take care of each other. Thank you for speaking up.

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