Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for November, 2011

Cat for Sale + Favor at the end.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Today’s painting is actually a painting of an object that I painted this time last year. I told the story of it here. Unfortunately, it’s taken a new form, which sadly results in an abstract painting.

We put our tree up a litttle earlier than normal this year. December is a bit busy, and I wanted as many evenings as possible sitting by the fire with magic light. So I managed to wait until Thanksgiving night, but then pulled the tree out with glee.

That lasted two days. Saturday afternoon Chris sent me this photo.

I’ve got to admit, I was pretty upset. I’m still not speaking to the cat. (Though she hasn’t really noticed.) But while we were cleaning up, I swept the broken glass pieces into a pile and couldn’t help but notice that they were really pretty.

I can still have the memory that goes with the ornaments, even if the ornaments are gone. And the memories are what matters. (Though don’t tell the cat. I’ve decided to be mad at her for a couple more days.)


Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Lately, despite how complicated so many other things have become, my yoga practice is swimming along beautifully. This weekend, I finally worked my way in to a pose that has eluded me for years.

It’s kind of surprising how much space you find in your body when you begin stretching. It’s true in yoga, and in life. I’m starting to look back over my goals for the year, and I’m shocked my how much I’ve accomplished this year.

It makes me want to reach farther next year. And try a harder pose in yoga next week.


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

A week ago today, I got up frightfully early to make my way to the airport. I don’t do mornings very well in general, and several things went wrong that morning, from a conspiracy theorist cab driver, to a TSA snafu that required me going through the line three times.

I got to the gate just as boarding began, so I had no time for coffee. My seat mate was a very nice lady who also took up a large percentage of my seat.

I was not off to the best start.

We took off just before sunrise. As we cleared the low clouds, I glanced out the window in hopes of seeing Mt. Hood. At just the perfect altitude, and just the perfect moment in the sunrise, she popped in to my window.

A week later and I’m still remembering the beauty of that moment.


Monday, November 21st, 2011

This week has been a doozy. I had lunch with a friend yesterday, and I had so much to tell her that I was still talking long after I finished my beans and rice bowl.

It’s one of those weeks where my Pollyanna tendencies start to fail me. I can’t quite come up with a good story about everything that I’m processing. I’m holding a lot. I just hope my bowl is big enough.


Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Every Sunday morning, I stumble out of bed, throw on some clothes and exert every ounce of self-will towards getting myself on my bike.

Once I’m on the bike, it’s easy. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, or cold, because it’s 7:30 on a Sunday morning and that means it’s time for yoga.

Many other times I plan to go to yoga throughout the week, but something always gets in the way. But even if I have something else planned that morning, I can always make it to yoga and be back in time to meet a friend for coffee or have brunch with Chris.

So I go.

Yesterday, riding my bike home I was thinking about how the class is getting easier, and I’m much more confident in my practice. I was thinking about my Sunday morning ritual and how no matter what else has happened that week, this yoga class is kind of a fresh start.

It’s like a big reset button for my week. And it makes me grateful for new starts.


Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Today I’m grateful for blue skies.

Today was a gorgeous blue sky Fall day. The trees stood out so brightly as I rode my bike around the neighborhood. All day I kept looking out the window and feeling grateful for weather like this– especially when we’re heading in to winter.

And the best part? That everytime I looked up at the sky I thought of a tired traveler who was up there and heading my way.

I’m grateful for blue skies that bring my love home.



Monday, November 14th, 2011

I have a Fitbit– it’s awesome. It tells me all kinds of cool details about how much sleep I’m getting, and how many calories I’ve burned each day.

My favorite part though is keeping track of my steps. Sometimes at the end of the day, I’ll realize that I’m close to 10K steps, and I’ll march around the house for a bit just to hit that magic number.

A couple of scars on my ankle remind me that three years ago at this time, I was hobbling around on crutches recovering from ankle surgery. And that’s why I’m grateful for everyone of those steps.


Saturday, November 12th, 2011

This week, I’m headed off to visit my family, so when you read this, I’ll be flying east. And I’m thinking about beginnings.

Often things come right back to a place where you began. Orbits are like that.  Every year, the Earth comes back to the same spot as it travels around the Sun. But I’m another year older, and hopefully wiser.

Sometimes things happen that make me feel like I’m at back at square one. But rather than think of it as a circle, I try to think of the situation as a spiral. I have experience and knowledge that I didn’t have before, which puts me in a new place.

Even if things look a little familiar.


Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Some friends and I have a tradition. Occasionally, we find ourselves at a certain yarn shop on Thursday evenings, with a full kitchen at our disposal. So we plan dinner. We decide on a theme via text message earlier in the day, and we each bring ingredients.

Sometimes it’s salad, or sandwiches, but our biggest successes have been soups. Soups are the perfect thing for collaboration. Throw a few ingredients in a pot in the right order and you can’t fail.

I’ve been busy working on a few projects that require collaboration, and we’re trying to get things in the right order. It’s really fun to sit in a circle eating pastries and hash out big ideas, but the best part is seeing what our soup becomes.


Friday, November 11th, 2011

I have a few different approaches with each paintings. Sometimes I begin with the end in mind– I get an idea in my head and attempt to recreate exactly what I see there.

Sometimes, I start with an idea or a concept and let it guide my brush.

And sometimes, I just play and surprise myself with what turns up. That’s what happened with today’s painting. I had no idea what would happen when I started covering the canvas.

I think it looks a bit like a backgammon board. Or maybe that’s a yellow brick road? From another angle, there’s very clearly a duck…

It’s part of the fun. What do you see?