A WELL DONE WOMAN – Carla Sonheim

We hope you enjoy and perhaps are even inspired by the series to celebrate women who, in our estimation, are “well done.  

What’s a “Well Done Women”?

  • She has weathered decades of life experience.
  • She’s navigated life changes – whether by choice, chance or necessity –  learns and continues to adapt.
  • She contributes to the world in diverse ways, small or large, sharing her values through social causes, charities, or caring for people, the planet & animals.
  • She is curious, creative and open to learning or having new experiences.

 Carla Sonheim, a WELL DONE WOMAN.

When her boys were young she taught art in their elementary school classrooms. Carla explained, “There I was tasked (happily!) with keeping the lessons both fun AND instructional, and when I began teaching adults a few years later, I continued this approach as I found that many people felt nervous about drawing especially… it helped to keep it FUN! From those two teaching experiences Drawing Lab was born.”

She and her husband Steve live in Seattle, Washington, just 10 minutes away from their three beautiful grandchildren.

Carla Sonheim helped jump-start my (judy) drawing.  Years ago, I took her on-line class “Silly” and have followed her on her blog and taken other classes since.

By Carla Sonheim

___________________

Here’s Carla’s response to the question of how she deals with feelings that “. . . art isn’t important and what the hell is art good for?”

” . . .My answer has three parts:

  1. The short answer, I think, is that the artwork I create isn’t really good for anything much at all. A few people might like it and enjoy it, but in the grand scheme of things, the artwork I make doesn’t matter all that much. Most of the time it just goes in drawers!
  2. On the other hand, it is ALL that matters.
  3. Or somewhere, anywhere, in between, depending on the moment and my mood.”

By Carla

* * *

Chinese writer and artist Gao Xingjian wrote (and this is from memory, so I might get it wrong): “An artist never changed the world; self-fulfillment is the best he can hope for.”

“I think this quote speaks to the first part of the above answer, where I feel that artwork I make — the actual drawings and paintings —  really aren’t that important.”

“It’s very likely that my work is never going to be collected by art galleries or museums, and most of the artwork I make is never going to be seen by more than a few people. So why do it?”

“BUT! We’re forgetting the PROCESS if we think that way.”

“The actual making of artwork provides me with three things:

1. “When I draw or paint, I feel better. I feel calmer, happier. I’m doing something I like to do, which makes me a happier person, which makes my husband and the rest of my family, happier people.”

2. “When I draw or paint, I am solving problems and challenging myself, and there is satisfaction in that… humans love to learn!! A side benefit… these problem-solving skills I can take into the rest of my world, such as running the business or navigating a friendship.”

3. “When I draw or paint, I either have something I like at the end of it that I can share or something that goes into the scrap drawer to be painted over later… a physical piece of work.”

“You can see that the artwork itself is just one of the three things above, just 1/3 of the benefits! The other two things are arguably ways that you would encourage anyone to spend their time doing — doing something they love and learning new things.”

* * *

“So that is what I mean when I say that making art is “ALL” that matters. It is something I love and it is the thing with which I choose to spend the bulk of my “learning” time. In other words, making artwork is my way of being in this world, interpreting it, trying to make sense of it.”

“Other people do it through sports or exercise, science, business, homemaking, cooking… we all have our things that we do that seem both frivolous at times (even cooking, does it matter in the grand scheme of things whether to use regular salt or sea salt?), but serve as the conduit through which we live our lives.”

“Therefore, it is “everything.”

“I learn from drawing and painting that life is full of paradox. There is duality in everything… we both love and hate, we both must be gentle and firm, etc.”

“For example, when I draw, I have to hold two seemingly contradictory things at the same time: I have to try and be gentle with myself and at the same time try and improve/get better (which means that at some level I know there is room for improvement, which is where the gentleness comes in).”

Collage Lady, by Carla

* * *

Finally, even though I know the above is true in my head, I get off track on a regular basis and feel dumb about all of the hundreds (thousands?) of drawings I have in drawers and what have I done with my life?!!

I find life wonderful, but I also find life very hard.

I do have clinical depression and, though it is mostly managed, it kicks my butt some days.  So sometimes I don’t do well at all with the feeling; I cast about.

Other days, when I’m feeling better, I can reach out to a friend and they can help remind me that I am okay just as I am, whatever I do with my time is my own business (as long as I’m not hurting people) and that taking an hour to draw a silly animal today is really okay.

Sometimes I read books by other creatives on the “why of creativity”… “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield and “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron are two that have helped me…

Mostly I try to remember that the feeling that I suck, my artwork sucks, life sucks… will pass. It always does (with the help of medicine and people around me… and drawing and painting).

And I’m pretty sure that the fact that I feel bad about all the art sitting in drawers is just a substitute for feeling bad about myself IN GENERAL, and that if I can continue to work on that (paradoxically, THROUGH making my artwork), the rest will take care of itself.

Collage Bird, by Carla

Take a Hike – My Next New Car?

I’ve spent the last couple of months looking for a car.  Internet reviews, consumer reports, test drives was exhausting, confusing and frustrating.

My primary need for a new car was based on the monthly trips I take to visit family in another state.  Comfort, mileage and good visibility were important . . . I never thought about maneuverability over rough terrain!

Hyundai has shown off a small model Hyundai Elevate car it says can ACTIVATE ROBOTIC LEGS to:

  • Walk at 3mph (5km/h) over rough terrain.
  • Climb a 5ft (1.5m) wall
  • Jump a 5ft gap

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The Hyundai Elevate could be useful for emergency rescues following natural disasters.

“When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot,” said Hyundai vice-president John Suh.”

“Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete.”

Mr Suh also suggested that wheelchair users could be collected via the vehicles, which could “walk” up to the front door of a building.

I love to hike.  The next time I buy a car I’ll look for one that can accompany me on the trail and then drive me home

Peggy

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46794087

How to Be Mindful While Eating Chocolate (Parenthetically Speaking)

Chocolate Meditation by Peggy

“Mindful eating is eating with intention, attention and awareness. The purpose of eating chocolate is pleasure. So when you are eating what you love, give it your full attention and love what you eat.” 

  1. Become aware of any feelings of guilt. (If you dwell on guilt when it comes to chocolate please skip this meditation and see a therapist).  
  2. Sit down to savor your chocolate choice without distractions.
  3. As you unwrap the chocolate, listen to the sounds and notice the aroma. (If you are an experienced meditator, buy a bag of unwrapped chocolate to go directly to the heart of the meditation)
  4. Take a small bite, then pause. Become aware of the textures and flavors on your tongue. (After the small bite, eat  the entire bag and focus on the subtle differences between gourmet and gourmond).
  5. As you begin to chew, notice how the flavors, textures and aromas change.
  6. Notice pleasure.
  7. When you have fully experienced your bite, swallow, then pause to notice how long the flavor lingers. (If you’ve already swallowed in step #4 return to step #1.)
  8. Slowly repeat steps #4 through #7 until your treat is finished.
  9. (Next,  make a batch of homemade dark chocolate for tomorrow – for optimal results meditate every day.)

Peta, a Green Global Trekker, shared her easy recipe for healthy chocolate.
www.greenglobaltrek.com

“Add just enough coconut oil to get the cacao to being liquid. Approximately 2 tablespoons of oil to each cup of cacao, but as with the maple syrup it’s definitely trial and error and according to taste with the maple syrup. Can you tell I’m not the measuring type?”
  1. Raw cacao powder mixed with organic coconut oil. (approximately 2 tablespoons of oil to each cup of cacao)
  2. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add organic honey or maple syrup, to taste.
  4. Use freezer trays – put an almond, a piece of date, a cranberry, whatever you fancy, in your chocolate, then spread the liquid mix over the top.
  5. Freeze and pop chocolates out, “eat right away as they do melt quickly.”

Any questions . . . ask PETA!

www.greenglobaltrek.com

Peta and Ben in Goa, India . Check out their travels.  It’s a great blog

Ben and “not Peta”

Peta Kaplan

Peta was born in South Africa and Ben was born in France. After twenty plus years living in the U.S., when their four sons finished high school and left home for college, they quit their jobs, sold most of their possessions and launched Green Global Trek adventure.

Peta is a painter, yogini and animal activist.  Ben is a strategist, personal and corporate “trajectory consultant” and sculptor.  Both are both committed environmentalists and increasingly focused on discovering solutions and advocating for climate adaptation.

Frankly Freddie – Doggone it Buck, I must squeal on you

Dear Freddie Fans

Buck Westerfield is my cousin . . . by marriage, not birth.  He’s a very nice cousin, but I’m a bit alarmed to receive this picture of him.This is Buck chewing a pig’s hoof . . . it’s very concerning. I’m particularly fond of pigs.  They are as intelligent as canines and only roll around in the mud because they are not allowed in the house where it’s cool.

If you don’t believe me, read what ThePigSite has to say.  And if you don’t believe a site devoted to HERD MANAGEMENT HUSBANDRY PIG DISEASE AND WELFARE  who can you believe?

1. “Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices, and can recognise their own names by the time they’re 2 weeks old. Sows have even been known to ‘sing’ to their young whilst nursing.”

2. “Adult pigs can run at speeds of up to 11 mph, or in other words, they can run a seven-minute mile.”

3. “If you’ve ever suggested that someone was ‘sweating like a pig’, then you’d be wrong. Pigs have hardly any sweat glands, and one of the best ways for them to cool down is to wallow in all of that glorious mud. Click here to learn more about pig anatomy.”

“4. A pig’s squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels – that’s 3 decibels higher than the sound of a supersonic airliner.”

5. “And when they’re not squealing, they’re talking. Pigs communicate constantly with each other, and more than 20 different vocalisations have been identified; from wooing a mate to saying ‘I’m hungry!”’

6. “And when they’re not either squealing or talking, pigs will eat almost anything – including human bones. In 2012, a farmer in Oregon, America, was eaten by his pigs after having a heart attack and falling into their enclosure. By the time a concerned relative came looking for him, only his dentures were left.”

7. “They may be indiscriminate eaters, but pigs are also highly intelligent and incredibly social animals. When kept in a group they will snuggle close to one another, and prefer to sleep nose-to-nose. Studies have also shown that, much like humans, they dream.”

8. “And dreaming isn’t the only way in which pigs are similar to humans – their genetic makeup is also very close to our own. Because of this, stem cells from pigs are being used by scientists to research cures for human diseases. To track the cells once they’ve been injected, Chinese geneticists have crossed a pig with a jellyfish, producing piglets whose tongues and trotters glow fluorescent green in UV light.”

9. “Aside from their life-saving abilities, the pig is also associated with fertility and virility in China. This has led to statues of pigs being displayed prominently in the bedrooms of Chinese couples who are trying to have children.”

10. “And finally, we’ve all seen pigs wallowing in the mud, but how about swimming in a crystal clear sea?  On the uninhabited Bahaman Island of Big Major Cay, that’s exactly what they do. A population of wild aquatic swine rules the island, and many have taken to swimming out to the boats offshore, in the hope of being rewarded with a tasty snack.”

Frankly Freddie – Dog O’ Blog, Phineas

Unlike me who is very paws-on, Phineas prefers to manage his blog, doodlewash and all the affairs of his humans, Charlie & Phillipe behind the scenes.  Cleverly, Phineas has assigned Charlie to do all the work and be the front-dog. 

Water-color by Charlie

I suspect that Charlie tends to click the “publish button” without Phineas’ editorial approval.  Why?  Because almost ALL the pictures of Phineas are Charlie’s water-color paintings of him rather than photos.

Also, Charlie has jumped to some conclusions about Phineas that we canines would NEVER assume about humans. 

Cases in point (I quote Charlie):

“Since he was a rescue found growing up on the tough streets of Topeka, Kansas, we assume he must have a very small town view of the world. This, combined with his rather wrinkled brow that makes it seem like he’s always a bit irritated with something and judging you, led to us deciding he’s also an extremely ultra-conservative Republican.”

Phineas maneuvered Charlie with the very clever ploy that all us smart canines all know:

” . . . this little Basenji has had a wonderfully unique personality from day one. I still remember going to the shelter and seeing a scraggly little dog with hair so coarse it would almost hurt to touch it. I sat down on the floor of his pen to get to know him and within seconds, he leapt into my lap, rolled on his back and stared up at me. If I was at all undecided, it was clear that Phineas had already made the decision for us. I looked down into those mischievous brown eyes that seemed to say, “Dude, let’s get the hell out of here.” And so we did.”

Phineas getting comfortable with Duckie

“Creative” is Charlie’s “gig” . . . we canines just know how to get comfortable

“His first bit of time spent in his crate, he tore the stuffing out of his bed, which doesn’t seem odd for a dog who is bored. However, after pulling out all of the stuffing, he then re-stuffed it into a different shape, which he found to be more desirable. It felt good knowing I had a dog who was also creative. Though already one and half years old when he arrived, he had the energy, curiosity and enthusiasm of a puppy. It seriously wore me out and made me crazy some days, but I couldn’t fault him as these were also traits we shared.”

Water-color by Charlie

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie . . .you are suffering from human naiveté –  Phineas doesn’t “ASSUME”, he KNOWS.

“Phineas has quite a rich and complex life that’s quite easy to overlook while simply watching him snoring on the couch. When we have dinner parties, it’s referred to as Phineas Café, not because he actually cooks anything, but because he thinks he owns this restaurant. And he will go up to each guest and won’t leave until they tell him the dinner was wonderful or at least satisfactory. Indeed, his demeanor seems to say that he owns this house and all of its inhabitants as well. When I published my recent book, we imagine Phineas saying, “Oh, no! I’m an author now! How much can one little dog do?” He takes credit for everything that happens in our lives, and assumes he must be in charge of it in some way.

Charlie O’Shields, Owned by Phineas

“I’m Charlie O’Shields, and I live in Kansas City, Missouri.I started doodlewash in July 2015 to capture little bits of the world in ink and watercolor. Even though I hadn’t picked up a pen to sketch in over 20 years and I’d only just used watercolor for the first time that day, I got super excited about it, and well, Doodlewash was born. (What’s a doodlewash? Click here!)”

“My posts are actually my art journal. . .  paintings . . . all typically created in the precious little hour I’ve carved out for myself on a weekend or weekdays after work and before dinner!”

“You can also log into this site with your chosen social media provider and join the club! Doodlewash Club, to be exact. A totally free to join watercolor community where you can get your own artist profile, share your work in our global watercolor gallery, interact with other watercolor artists around the globe, and much, much, more!”

 

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Editor-in-Canine, Roving Reporter

 Jessica SORTING LIFE’S ISSUES WITH JESS. 

She is hosting Dogs of Blogs, of which I am one.

Freddie’s Dogs of Blogs Posts:

Day 22

Doggone Well Done Dogs – Day 1

Freddie to the Human rescue

Dogs of Blogs – Day 2-1/2

Phineas earns his badge of distinction

Frankly Freddie – Dogs of No Blogs, Day 2-1/2

Dear Freddie Fans,

Doggone Good Dogs* Buddy and Cookie Klenner

Alas, neither owns a blog. 

They must ask their human why they are being deprived of having a public forum.

Can you tell which one is Buddy and which one is Cookie?

Freddie’s Dogs of Blogs Posts:

https://wp.me/pLGhj-aT0Day 22

Doggone Well Done Dogs – Day 1

Freddie to the Human rescue

Dogs of Blogs – Day 2-1/2

 

*What’s a “Doggone Good Dog”?

  • She or HE has weathered years of human’s life experience.
  • She or HE has navigated changes – whether by choice, chance or necessity – and continues to adapt to human idiosyncrasy.
  • She or HE contributes to the world by caring for humans, both female and male.
  • She or HE is curious and open to having new tasting experiences.

Frankly,  Freddie

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET

 Jessica SORTING LIFE’S ISSUES WITH JESS. 

She is hosting Dogs of Blogs, of which I am one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Women’s Day – March 8th

The world is moving towards legal gender equality — but it’s moving very, very slowly.

“Only six countries currently give women and men equal rights, a major report from the World Bank has found.
Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden scored full marks of 100 in the bank’s “Women, Business and the Law 2019” report.”
  • The United States scored 83.75, placing it outside the global top 50.
  • The United Kingdom achieved a score of 97.5
  • Australia scored 96.88
  • Germany measured at 91.88

“The rate of progress means that, by CNN calculations, women won’t achieve full equality

in the areas studied by the World Bank until 2073.”

But countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa averaged a score of 47.37, meaning the typical nation in those regions gives women under half the legal rights of men in the areas measured by the group.
“The study aimed to “develop a better understanding of how women’s employment and entrepreneurship are affected by legal discrimination,” highlighting “how women must navigate discriminatory laws and regulations at every point in their careers, limiting their equality of opportunity.” It did not measure social and cultural factors, or how effectively laws were enforced.”
The criteria analyzed were:
  • going places
  • starting a job
  • getting paid
  • getting married
  • having children
  • running a business
  • managing assets
  • getting a pension
(Those were broken down into questions such as: “Can a woman travel outside her home in the same way as a man?” and “Is there legislation specifically address domestic violence?”)
Overall, the global average came in at 74.71 — an increase of more than four and a half points compared to a decade ago. But the score indicates that in the average nation, women receive just three-quarters of the legal rights that men do.
“If women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, the world would not only be fairer, it would be more prosperous as well,” World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva said.
“Change is happening, but not fast enough, and 2.7 billion women are still legally barred from having the same choice of jobs as men.”

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UNDay for women’s rights and world peace.

Internationally, purple is a colour for symbolising women. Historically the combination of purple, green and white to symbolise women’s equality originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolises hope. (White represents purity, but is no longer used due to ‘purity’ being a controversial concept.)

The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long. It doesn’t end on International Women’s Day.

The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with #BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year.

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About