Monday, July 16, 2012


Here I am. I am showing up. That is the first step for anything. To create anything you have to show up. Not think about showing up. Not think about attending to it whatever that it is. Not just read about it or look at others taking action.

Lately, I have been most successful at showing up to my meditation cushion, or chair, in my case, because longer than 12 minutes on a cushion and my feet fall painfully asleep.  What I mean by successful is fairly consistent - almost daily. And I've adapted to the chair in order to keep up the practice.

Note to self -I did not say perfect at showing up to meditate. Oh dear, did I just use the word perfect?


Or ding dong - my bell is rung.

I just uncovered with the typed print of that word  p-e-r-f-e-c-t  what holds me back from expressing myself. Yup, perfectionism. Somehow I think I am going to come up with some perfect solution that gets me to either turn off the lights here and move on to some other utopian creative project  OR gets me to stop hiding and express myself someway somehow here now.

I have a lot of other reasons for not showing up. Perfectionism just tops the list. What I have discovered from my meditation practice is not to expect anything. To follow the practice. My mind drifts or runs and I come back to the breath. I'm learning to be gentle with myself and not try to be perfect. To make friends with all of myself. Most days I show up.

© Kara McGee 2012
I wonder what would happen if I started a creative dawdling expression practice? If I showed up and followed the basic instruction to express something. Gentle with myself. Making friends with my creative self and perhaps my creative gremlins too. Inspired by meditation practice.

So, here I am. Showing up to practice.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oscar 2006 © Kara McGee
Three weeks ago we put one of our cats to sleep. Our sweet Oscar Bear.  He had a mass in the middle of him near his heart and lungs. Once we discovered this unfortunate fact we did all we could to keep him comfortable because there really wasn't much that could be done.  It was simply time to enjoy him and help him enjoy his life for as long as we were given. Eventually, the tumor got the better of his body.  

This loss still hurts, and I know it is going to hurt for awhile. One of my personal goals is to make a photo book for my husband and I to celebrate and remember Oscar's life.  It helps raise our spirits to look at pictures and remember him.  I thought I might start this project just out here on my blog and put up a few posts about my cat. It will help me sort my photos and help me write some memories. 

I met Oscar when he was living at a foster kitty mom's home. He was there because he had been abandoned and found in the back of a pickup truck all alone. He was too young to be put up for adoption at the Animal Humane, so he was living at foster mom's house getting extra kitten care until he weighed enough to go out for adoption. 

I'd made my choice to adopt one kitty that was living there at foster mom's house. He reminded me of my childhood cats. The foster mom knew I wanted to adopt two kitties. She suggested Oscar. Actually, she pushed and nudged me.  As a tiny kitty Oscar had long fluffy fur.  I was worried he would be a long haired cat.  Foster mom assured me that would not be the case once he grew out of his safety kitten-y fur. She was right. She also said Oscar would grow up to be a lap cat. She was right.

As an extra push/nudge/sales pitch she said that all black cats stay playful for a much longer time. She was right about that too. Oscar played until the day before he died. Sadly, one way we knew it was his time and we needed to ease his pain was when he just didn't have the oomph to play.

The foster kitty mom was pushing me because, at least 11 and 1/2 years ago and maybe still today, it is very hard to get the all black cats adopted.  If they have some white on them no problem they are even in demand but an all black cat causes everyone to be superstitious.   Ridiculous!    Although I did play along by saying around Halloween that I had special immunity from goblins and spooks and bad luck because I had an all black cat. 

We still have our Fox cat.  He seems to be enjoying the extra attention.  If Oscar played abundantly, then Fox was kind of inhibited around Oscar.  Now we are getting to play with Fox in new ways.  I know he misses Oscar sometimes because he's done a few things that seems to be different for Fox but very connected to what Oscar would do if he was here.

We are not looking to adopt another cat again soon.......though the temptation is strong when I hear there is an overflow of cats needing adoption at the local animal humane.  I would say, if and when the time comes to adopt another kitty cat, if I'm ever chosen by another all black kitty I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.

p.s. if you click on the photo above you can see it bigger.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ah, the sweet relief of summer rains.....

Thankfully, we have been getting some summer monsoon rains.  I'm slow to update this fact.  So slow in fact that we just went through a week of hot and dry with no rain showers.   When we do get the storms they tend to pass by quickly.  Round these parts we call them gully washers.  Here is a photo of the canales on my home with the rain water pouring out of them.   Notice the blue sky and the sun is already out shining again.  This storm probably dropped about a 10th of an inch of rain in 10 minutes. 

Kara McGee ©2011 rain in canales

Rain later in the day means rainbows.  We have seen some wonderful bright rainbows this year.  One evening there was a rainbow that formed just at or after sunset.  The rainclouds were a dark steel blue.  The sunset gave everything this purple glow.   The rainbow appearing in the clouds looked like it was shrouded in a veil of purple midnight sheer silk.  I called it a night rainbow.  I didn't even try to get a picture because I knew there was no way I'd be able to record it.  I hope to never forget it because it was the most mysterious rainbow I've ever seen.  

The photo below isn't the brightest rainbow I've caught on digital this year.  Yet, I couldn't resist sharing the view of our hummingbird feeder with the rainbow in the background.  I cropped this photo and the hummingbird isn't sharply in focus but nevertheless I hope it offers you some summer delight.

hummingbird with rainbow summer 2011 ©KaraMcGee

Friday, August 5, 2011

summer project

letting go ©kara mcgee
Sometimes it feels so exquisitely good to let go of old words, old whines, old weight.  This is my summer project. 
I search for the patterns and make note of the history and then rip and shred.   Giddiness ensues!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

rock squirrel © Kara McGee

Summer time, summer time, sum sum summertime.........are you finding a cool spot to relax?

Read any good books?

Summer projects...........

Thursday, July 14, 2011

She has a name

Now that she has arrived at her new home I can share a few pictures I shot of this cutie before I sent her on her way.   She was given the name Plumcake.  Isn't that just adorable.  She looks blue in my photos but really she's purple and just sooo cute you want to eat her. 

What's at the top of the mountain?  I wanna see......

this grass is fun......why does the grass grow?

The cat is made using a pattern in Super Cute 25 Amigurumi Animals by Annie Obaachan.  The flower is from a pattern in Suzann Thompson's book Crochet Bouquet.

Have fun in your new home Plumcake.   Inspire the writing and don't chase after Karen's pen while she's trying to write. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Worries from my porch

Las Conchas fire as seen from my porch on July 6th. photo by Kara McGee
Since my last two posts were about drought, wild land fire worries, smoke, prayers for rain, I feel like I need to give an update.

New Mexico has had it's own large fire.  The largest forest fire in the state's history.   This morning, on July 10, it is 146,353 acres with 45% containment.   It started June 26.  You may have heard about it because it came close to Los Alamos and the  Los Alamos National Lab.  It's called the Las Conchas fire. 

We saw it from our back porch about an hour after it started.  I knew it was going to be a terrible monster fire.  There was too much wind that day and it looked like it started in a dense forest area with lots of fuel (trees) to burn.   That first day it grew to 43,000 acres.   Seeing the fire that night was one of the worst sights I've ever seen.  Heartbreaking is the only word that I can use to describe it.

I won't report all the details about this fire or the other fires because those are reported about elsewhere.  I feel very sad for all the communities who have suffered in this loss.  I worry for all the animals too.   I am not in the middle of it but it has deeply touched my daily life these past few weeks.  My heart feels heavy.

This has been a tough year so far.  The snow and rain just stopped in January.  We normally get wind in March and April but this year it did not stop.   I think the heavy wind red flag warning days finally stopped about a week ago.  New Mexico has suffered the worst drought in recorded history between January to June 2011.    Here at my home we would normally have recorded 5-6 inches of rain from Jan to June.  We recorded only .71 inches.  

I've become tense.  My creative dawdling has suffered.  I've begun to feel dried up, brittle.  I daydream about Portland.  I daydream about vacations away, but since I have a cat who needs a lot of special care it's hard to get away.   I've spent weeks under a fear of fire erupting closer to my home.  That is a post for another day about what would I take if I had the chance to evacuate.      

Today, the good news is the monsoon rain we usually get is on the way.  The Las Conchas fire did not receive rain yesterday, but we got .19 inches.   That is almost a third of what we got in the first 6 months of the year so it was great reason to do a happy dance! I did it in front of all my neighbors at an annual neighborhood party.  Everyone was happy but I was the only one who danced.  A creative dawdler will dance when we finally get significant measurable rain!   It truly feels like we will get some good rain soon in this state.  Enough to put out these fires.   I just pray the potential flooding won't be as devastating as the fires.

Every year I hang Tibetan prayer flags out in an enclosed outdoor area that we call the cat run.  Our cats get to go outside without the danger of becoming coyote or bobcat food.  This year I  had some delay in finding flags.  The ones I found are three times as long as I usually buy.  I hope the abundance will make for abundant prayers into the wind.    The Hubster helped me hang them on July 8.  I prayed for rain.  Since we get them every year I know that the first few summer rains usually wash a lot of the dye out of them.  This year I want to see them fade quickly.    I was happy for yesterdays rain and looking forward to more. 

Prayer flags awaiting fading.  May the prayers for rain and renewal travel far and wide.