CREATIVITY CAMP ROCKS!

fort 15

O My Gosh!

It’s been a joy-filled, crazy-fun, totally exhilarating & completely exhausting,

“virtual” camping adventure with my Girlz With HeART!

What a hectic, beautiful, fun, creative BLAST the Girlz have had at our Fifth Annual Creativity Camps–

six different sessions with 10 girlz each!

Camp Mariquita (that’s “Ladybug” in Spanish!)

has been a magical, imaginary gypsy caravan,

with tent forts, sleepin’ bags on the floor, and nature-filled three day creativity activities.

Convened at the gracious homes of the 4 Core Grand Mamas 

(THANK YOU Elisa, Connie, Katrin, & Dell!)

who have kept this “impossible” wild, crazy, joyous riot of a dream of mine afloat…

fort too 6

My goal has been to provide a magical time of pure pleasure and shared GIRL POWER

for these young women, 7 to 12, who have had a rough ride

in foster care, group homes, transitional situations, and family crisis.

fort too 5

They built blanket forts to sleep in little clusters to read to each other, tell stories, and feel safe…

fort too

fort too 3

They did art making that enhanced their sense of esteem…

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and they built their own forts

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from recycled cardboard.

They wrote poems and sang songs

and became their own “super heroes”…

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There were scavenger hunts…

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and campfires…

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and pure JOY!

It’s been such a heart-filling experience!

The Girlz had such fun thanks to all the loving support of so many!

Jillian, Candace, Janella, and Meritta were past graduates from the program who acted as camp counselors…

and Brandi, Connie, Tammy, and Leslie were the merry pranksters who came up with endless piles of food and drink.

Nancy S. donated a TON of brand-new clothing for the Girlz to treasure and Denise brought musical instruments for their delight…

Anne L. & Nancy G. donated so generously to make the fabulous field trips possible!

And I so need to thank my Beloved Albert for all his love and encouragement!

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It has been a grand time of esteem building, buddy bonding, scavenger hunts,

journaling workshops, nature walks, art play, and so much more.

They got to go to the Desert Museum on cool mornings when the park first opens

to spend some magical time with the caring staff behind the scenes.

They have been enjoying swim days at local community pools,

visiting the Children’s Museum, and learning to make art journals.

We’ve been having an amazing time and thank you all for your kind support over the years:

art supplies, clothing donations, encouragement.

I’m utterly pooped but have a huge grin on my face!

I’m so grateful to have all of you you in my life and in the lives of these amazing young women.

I feel so blessed to have been able to be do this work for the last five years!

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All particularly bittersweet for me as this is my last month leading Girlz With HeART…

it has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life!

Almost 70 now with some significant health issues, I find I just can’t keep up anymore.

The costs for insurance, transportation, supplies, and resources have tripled over the 5 and half years I’ve been offering the project.

Most of my original GrandMamas have had to pull back due to  health issues or financial challenges of their own.

Arizona’s broken child protective & advocacy agencies have tied my hands in a million ways and continue to put huge obstacles in the path of my program.

 My own rapidly declining personal and physical energies have also informed this very difficult decision.

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But not to worry,

I have been training a half dozen stalwart advocates to carry on the work within their own agencies and spheres of influence

and I have seen to it that ALL the young women in my program will be absorbed by other very worthy groups in town.

It has been such a pleasure to be a part of this work and to throw my whole heart into it.

These are our future leaders, dreamers, and achievers!

So Much Love & Gratitude To You and To Them 

From Momma Mariquita

“One thing’s for sure… If any one of us unleashes our creativity, our world will split open. We’ll find unprecedented ways of solving problems and expressing our souls, and our lives will be forever changed.”     Martha Beck

 THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

I’ll be taking a little break this next week…

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 © Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

P. S. Sooo many cool ideas from http://www.bravegirlsclub.com

and Pinterest!

JUST A QUICKIE

be happy 2

It’s been a long, hot summer! The Creative Cottage has been full of wonderful artists working on beautiful projects, the Girlz With HeART Summer Leadership & Creativity Camp served 68 amazing young women, and, somehow, WildHeart Ranch survived severe drought and much less monsoon than we needed!

And through it all, my Sweetheart & I stayed happily in love–just two old sillies!

old folks

But it’s time for a little break–

I haven’t taken any time off this summer and I’m a little frayed…

O–I’m not leavin’ town, going to some fancy resort, jetting off to Venice

venice

or, chasing the sunset in Costa Rica

costa rica sunset

(which, of course, would be my FIRST choice!!!)

Instead,

I’m just going to stay home and get the garden ready for fall vegetables…

stay home and clean out the closet (where in the world do all those clothes I can’t imagine ever wearing come from?)

Stay home and watch old Turner Classic movies!

I’ll do a lot of Virgo work–cleaning, sorting, organizing–on the theory that…

unclutter

In short, I’m just going to stay home and BREATHE…

cuz I need to remember to…

rest

I’m solemnly promise not to over-achieve in any way…I may not even get out of my pj’s unless it’s absolutely necessary!

I have a stack of library books, a pile of art supplies, lots of Netflix to watch, and no ambitions what-so-ever!

Which is not to say that I don’t have plenty to do.

The “to do” list is five pages long.

(There are projects en progress from a year ago!)

But what I’m going to do instead…

is make this little art smock

art smock

and a big pile of gelli plate papers for my art journals!

gelli

I’ll be “doing stuff”–just NOT the “HAVE TO” stuff!

My mantra this week  is…

more play

Please join me in whatever way you can–

find a few hours for fun, make a few hours for creativity, give yourself permission for a luscious little nap.

Just say,

“the Mistress of Merriment made me do it!!!”

WHAT I BELIEVE

“It’s a joy full life. I believe when all else fails love always wins. I believe in practicing courage every single day.

I believe kindness changes everything. I believe in telling our messy, complicated, beautiful stories.

I believe nothing is wasted and everything shapes us.

I believe in letting go and trusting the process.

I believe we are all part of something beautiful, something bigger, something deeply, profoundly, astonishingly…good. “

I love this quote from Kelly Rae Roberts (who is one of my heroines!)

      blooming 2

It’s exciting…next week I’ve been asked to give a presentation about “What I Believe” for about a hundred young women who want to become mentors.

At first I was utterly overwhelmed!

YIKES! What DO I believe?

Well, it turns out…it’s kinda simple really!

This is WHAT I BELIEVE

attract

And, yes, it’s definitely harder than it sounds–but so worth the effort!

Very early on in my own life I decided…

decide

 I believe life is about our choices and…

I choose

That old adage about “the company you keep” is also important…

greatness

And just try to…

where you are

and

beauty happy

It’s taken me a very long time, but now, I

yesterday

and, in my classes & counsel sessions with Cottage friends, I urge us all to…

future dreaming

I’ll tell these young women to…

remember who

and to…

work for a cause

I’ll tell them that they need to…

grateful

and remind them…

blessings

Finally, these are the lessons it’s taken me all my life to learn…

in the moment

embrace the mess

and

what's in heart

Above all else…

joy

and I believe that laughter is the best healing medicine of all!

smile again

It is my goal is to remind them that …

life

Soooo, what do YOU believe? What shaped and guided what you believe? How do you share what you believe with others? How have your beliefs changed?

 Click on the little white cloud at the top of this post and tell me!

And wish me luck at the big conference…

I am so humbled to be asked and so grateful to have beliefs that have served me so well that I can share!

Whatever else you do in life,

Believe with all your heart that you are a special, wonder-filled, amazing creature!

you matter

NOTICE: You are hereby allowed to be happy, to love yourself, to realize your worth, to believe in great things, and to be treated with love and respect.

Much Love From Kaitlin

© Copyright Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Pictures and much inspiration from Pinterest.

MUCH BETTER–THANK YOU!!!!!

elephant

Whooooosh! I don’t believe I’ve ever been so ill!

One day happy, full of energy, my calendar full of fantastic stuff to do…and overnight, out-of-the-blue, WHAM!!! Knocked flat!!! No warning. No tags back. Five days of impossibly high fever, constant retching, zero energy, unable to keep even a tiny sip of water down. It was all I could do to just hold onto the edge of the wildly spinning planet for dear life!

Amazing how all of one’s totally vital plans, absolutely essential meetings, and incredibly crucial comings and goings just fall away!

After the initial waves, the resulting chaos, and the very slow recovery, I had me-self a good, hard think on my life.  I’ve been burning the candle at both ends (and sometimes in the middle too!) for far to long, all the while dispensing such lovely platitudes about slowing down, letting go, taking more time to play. I meant to take my own advice. I did. I really did. But I hadn’t quite gotten ’round to it yet! Daaa!

Well, being curled in a fetal position for a week really made me rethink my options. I promised myself (if I ever stopped retching!) that I’d change up my life. So over the weekend I did. Finally. At last. Long overdue but never too late!

Girlz With HeART

I’d spent a solid month getting the Girlz With HeART mentees (sorry, that sounds like a herd of small manatees) through their end of school year testings and graduations. They are wonderful, lively, energetic, needy, demanding, fantastic young women but I’m getting dangerously close to 70 years old and I’ve just plain run out of energy to be the center of their universes.  Vain glorious proud me believed no one else would be up to the task. No one could do it as well, as passionately, as selflessly as ME. Silly woman!

“Things don’t really get solved.  They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together and fall apart again.  Its just like that.  The healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for the grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”  Pema Chodron

So, armed with my new sense of humility (and human frailty!), I finally fashioned a larger consortium to take on the most acute responsibilities and challenges of my Girlz With HeART program. It’s been a very interesting  (and humbling!) process letting go of total control. I’m thrilled with the new, young, excited souls who have stepped up to add their own wonderful energy and vision to the day-to-day intensive summer months with the Girlz for me. The work, the solace, the mentoring, and the creativity will go on–re-inspired, re-enthused and I will get a little break! I am so grateful!

Blooming

The upshot of this sudden bout with mortality (geez–after a week of constant barfing, the word “upshot” makes me a little nervous!) was a huge lightning flash of revelation about ways I want to re-sculpt my life. Having the luxury (well, more like the occasion) to have a few days to think about my life, I decided to apply the lesson of “letting go” to several other huge responsibilities. I won’t bore you with the details–suffice to say there will be a lot more FUN and NAPS and PLAY and HOMEBODY TIME in my life!!! I’ll have time to watch things bloom–to read a book–to giggle with my Sweetheart!

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” Alan Cohen

So check out my June & July Creative Cottage classes (click on the Cottage Classes tab at the top of the blog) and come play…let’s share our creativity and practice enjoying our lives together!

A thousand, million, trillion “thank you’s” to my fabulous husband Albert who cared for me so lovingly and thoughtfully! Thank you, too, all for your cards and calls and wonderful well-wishes! You bless me with your love!

Welcome to a summer of fun at Katlin’s Creativity Camp!!

Love & Gratitude From KaitieBug

library books 9

 © Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Ruby Tuesday Yard Art Fun!

 “Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” Rumi

Wow! What fun it is to gather a group of wonderful, playful, creative women and pile a bunch of junk treasures and rusty stuff in front of them and say “Have Fun!” And they do!!!

Cissie'sCissie made this magical creature called “Windy” (cuz she’s gonna hang in a tree…)

and Polly made MatildaPolly's

and added some bed springs for legs Matildaisn’t she cute?

And Morgan conjured Minerva…who Morgan'sseems to be amused!

Teresa invented these three yard art whimsies:

Teresa 1

teresa 2

tersa 3

And a fine day was had by all! It’s so exciting for me to see all the little treasures and trinkets I’ve collected over the years become ART!

I’ll have my June schedule of classes will be out this weekend (posted on the blog first!) and there will be lots of new adventures to share–all kinds of fun, new classes planned over the next several months! Sign up early–classes fill fast in the summer months!

The Creative Cottage is your great summer get away destination–come play–you deserve a little FUN in your life and I know just the place!

P. S. Dearest Nancy K gifted me with these delightful new slippers!!!!!!

my slippers

–can you guess how thrilled I am!!! Thanks Ms. Nancy K for bringing me such joy!

Thanks to all of you who bring things to share with me and The Cottage and The Girlz With HeART! I am so grateful for you all and the great happiness you add to my life!

“Being with real people who warm us, who endorse and exalt our creativity, is essential to the flow of creative life. Otherwise we freeze. Nurture is a chorus of voices from within and without that notices the state of a woman’s being, takes care to encourage it, and if necessary, gives comfort as well. I’m not certain how many friends one needs, but definitely one or two who think your gift, whatever it maybe, is pan del cielo, the bread of heaven. Every woman is entitled to an Allelujia Chorus”

 Clarissa Pinkola Estes

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

LEARNING TO RECEIVE

 

 

 

stopBlog posts are hard…who the heck do I think I am sharing random bits of my small little life? Who wants to read these oddball musings anyhow? Am I just ranting in the wilderness? I was concerned  about my last blog post—sharing with you that I was a little overwhelmed. I almost didn’t post it! Was I whining? Was it selfish and self-centered of me? How silly my small problems seemed on the grand scale of global issues facing our planet! I was worried that me, Susie Sunshine, was having a rough patch and was bothering you about it.

But you surprised me! I got so many calls and beautiful cards and dozens of emails. Every one of you said you could relate. Apparently we all get in over our heads, commit to too many things that devour our time, and fight our own energy vampires. Apparently everyone is struggling to learn to say “no” firmly, graciously and without guilt or shame.  Apparently we all want to whittle more time from the fray for our own lives, friends, and passions. Who knew?????

buddha

 

 

I thought I was just a grumpy, self-centered old poop complaining about having too many obligations and not enough time…waawaawaa!

But from the moment the post showed up, you began calling and emailing me,thanking me for speaking up about what seems a universal problem. And so many of you, kindly, offered your help. You poured out hugs and solace, you offered to take some things off my shoulders, you enveloped me in LOVE!

Teresa and Nancy graciously took on primary responsibility for a troublesome committee, Lyla became my right-arm with the Girlz with HeART Project, Anne brought me a beloved Flavia DeLuce mystery to devour in a rocking chair in the sunshine on the front porch, Cissie & her dear husband Michael brought a printer for the Cottage (on my wish list for three years!), and I got an amazing note from my dear neighborhood friend Karen:  with the best reasons in the world to say “No!” to things that didn’t fill my heart or feed my spirit…little monkey

It was such a rush of love and caring…I was sooo touched by the outpouring! I clung to it while I got my bearings.

But guess what? I’m terrible at asking for help and even less good at accepting it. I ain’t no star spangled Wonder Woman with super human magic but I’ve been acting like one for years! “No, that’s alright, I’ll carry that 400 pound weight up that slippery hill in the pouring rain with a broken arm, cuz I’m a sassy, independent woman, not some whimpy shrinking violet.” But why? Why, when there are happy, eager hands willing to help? Why, when someone has ropes and pulleys and a pick-up truck? Why take it all on yourself?

Why not lean on your friends when you need to, take a little nap when you’re tired, take turns being the “responsible” one?I got this!

I actually thought self-sacrifice was virtuous! I didn’t want to”bother” people or “presume” on them or be “needy,” so I tried to do it all myself. But what I was being was just plain silly!

Thanks for reminding me in such a gentle way (and loving me anyway!) You are such a blessing in my life and I promise to get better at this “receiving” stuff–I promise to practice saying, “Could you lend me a hand?” and “No, I can’t take on that task of yours–I’ve promised my friends I’m going to take more time for them and my garden and my art-making!”

Meanwhile, know I am just one, raggedy human, floundering through life, figuring things out one tiny moment at a time…with a little help from my friends! Thank You!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.today

 

OUR FRAGILE WORLD

 

kaliThe news simply isn’t good. Terrorism, murder, mayhem. Incomprehensible hatred. Outrageous greed. Blizzard, famine, drought, deluge. Intolerance, ignorance, racism. These are the Kali times.

Sometimes my heart just splits open with pain. I find myself sobbing over the cruelty, the children killed, the planet ravaged. Frequently, I think there is no hope for us humans. Often, I feel, like my elders before me did, that the world has gone to hell in a hand basket and that we’ll never learn to embrace tolerance or practice peace.

And then…a rose I thought had long-ago died, blooms… bloom!or a wee hummingbird dashes to the feeder outside my kitchen window with sunlight glinting off his burnished emerald feathers, or a friend sends a handmade card that says “I love you even if you’re goofy,” or I meet a ten year-old girl battered by the world who is still so full of optimism and excitement about the future that my spirit revives and I regain my wild hopefulness again! It has been that kind of week.

kelly rae roberts 2 This is the work of Kelly Rae Roberts…and her message is clear.

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” ― Mother Teresa

As Tucson remembers and celebrates its resilience from terrors of the past, as musicians continue to make music and poets continue to write poems and peace-makers continue to stand for kindness, and compassionate souls continue to tirelessly care for those wounded by war and disease… I remember that we all have a choice. We can wallow in grief, we can stoke our bitterness, we can join the perpetual “haters” or we can raise our hearts up to the light, desert scene 4 we can work to save the planet, and we can practice, practice, practice peacefulness in our own lives.

“Happiness belongs to those who are sufficient unto themselves. For all external sources of happiness and pleasure, are by their very nature, highly uncertain, precarious, ephemeral and subject to chance.” Arthur Schopenhauer

So, with your help, I choose to celebrate my life as an amazing series of miracles and joy-sparkled moments. I choose to nourish my capacity for compassion. I choose to use my energy to uplift hope and work toward a more tolerant world. And you help me with that mission every single day! By coming to The Cottage to share your stories, to exercise your creativity, and to build our friendships as sister allies. By donating art supplies for the Girlz With HeART Project. By doing what you can, in your own special ways, to be the bringers of light, the tenders of love’s flame, the givers of warmth in a cold world.

Thank You! I am honored to be a part of our loving, caring, generous tribe! Keep the faith. Stand in the light. Be a peace pilgrim. Radiate Love!Happy New Year

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~Desmond Tutu

P. S. Look for the new roster of February classes by clicking the Cottage Classes tab at the top of this post–we have a beautiful Creativity Chix Artist Date for Februaryvisiting Ben’s Bells to make bells and celebrate hope! Register for classes right this moment–January classes all sold out in a flash (Thank You, Thank You!!)

Sending you love,

Kaitlin, Still Full of Hope

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 

LIVING WITH PURPOSE AND PASSION

 

 

 

purposeMy goal these days is to deepen and enlarge my personal sense of purpose and passion! My heart is wide open working with the Girlz With HeART and the fabulous wimmin who call the Creative Cottage their inspirational artistic home! I feel incredibly blessed by my life with my Beloved (Albert) on our little hunk of desert sanctuary (WildHeart Ranch) and I am learning, each and every day, new ways to stay grounded in appreciation, to be in constant celebration of the ordinary, and wildly in love with the small moments of utter joy!

So in this very busy season–in this time of changing seasons–in this potentially stressful crunch of holiday festivities (false & true)–take a moment, make a cuppa tea tea timeand watch the hummingbirds outside the kitchen window…look for ways to matter to this fragile world Smilestay rooted in the deep loam of your creative passionopen your heart to creativityyourcreativityisagiftand remember that we are just briefly wayfarers on this lovely blue planet and our most important job is to love one another with all our hearts! marnie's heartMany blessings of the season to you my friends and fellow wayfarers!

LOVE LOVE LOVE from

Kaitlin, Mistress of Merriment

Passionate Steward to Joy & Wonder

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

CELEBRATING OUR TRIBE!

 

Albert flowers“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about…say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from the beginning of the universe.” Rumi

Everyone who comes to the Creative Cottage knows that I believe in telling our messy, complicated, beautiful stories without editing or apology. I love creating a safe place where we can do that. I am so pleased that the women who are drawn to The Cottage seem to love sharing their stories. While we make art, we spend time talking about out lives, our loves, our challenges and our triumphs. We are respectful, encouraging, compassionate, caring, attentive listeners…we cry, we laugh, we share advice, we exchange recipes for life, AND we make art!Lucy Copper 2

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” Anais NinCome On In And Join The Fun!

In our little circles at The Cottage, we learn to trust, share our hearts, ask for help, offer solace, and celebrate our friendship. We make art and we learn to live life more creatively.

“The primary benefit of practicing art, whether well or badly, is that it enables the soul to grow.” Kurt Vonnegut

Lucy's Paste

Over the last couple of weeks, our Cottage kinship circle has shared the loss of a loved one, the complications of relationships, a fabulous new job, sudden illness of a parent, a new grand child, a broken heart, and learning to dance in public. We’ve worked together on the Girlz With HeART Project,  visited friends in the hospital, donated dozens of hours to various fabulous causes, and MADE ART! Gogi Book

Here are some examples from the Steampunk Divas class…sp 1 sp 2sp 5 ritasp 6 carolynsp 8 pollysp cissy

Thank you dear Creative Cottage friends for adding so much joy and laugher and tenderness and friendship to my life…and sharing so many wonderful stories!

Blooming!

“I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. Vincent Van Gogh

©Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

 

SHAZAAAAAAAM!!!!!

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!”Saguaro SunsetGreetings PlayMates~

Have you been wondering what the heck happened to the Mistress of Merriment and where the blazes (literally!) is her schedule of new classes????? I hope so! Here’s the short version of the long, gory story…minus all the anguished hair-pulling, speaking in curses, and decidedly “As The World Turns” melodramatic elements–fill them in on your own and don’t forget the expletives!

People murmur about “Mercury in Retrograde” and sun spots and karma and all manner of random cosmic dysfunction. For the most part (usually) I’m able to slip through these calamities. And even if I do, per chance, have a setback or two–I get through it. People don’t call me Suzie Sunshine for nothin’! I was raised to sort of “buck up” and get on with things, not whine or complain, not take myself or anything else so seriously that I fall off the rails. But lately…it’s been a real challenge. I mean, even Suzie Sunshine has her limits!

The short list is:

I had to invest a couple of thousand dollars in my beloved 2002 Subaru Forester (BaRoo) BaRoo to keep her on the road…I love that car! She’s the first new car I ever bought and I paid for her with my very own hard earned money and we’ve shared many fine adventures together over the years–200 thousand miles worth! People said, “well the Blue Book says she’s only worth a couple of thousand dollars and maybe it’s time to let her go…” AAAAARRRRGGGGGH! I recycle, up-cycle, green cycle everything in my life and I’m not about to let BaRoo go! You’ve probably seen her around town–she’s covered in bumper stickers, has ladybug seat covers, has a stuffed bear sidekick named Scruffy on the passenger seat. BaRoo 2The good new is I found the most wonderful local auto mechanics and they patched her back up beautifully and didn’t even blink when I told them her whole life story and why I loved her so! Check out JayBees Auto Services at 790-6035 (www.jaybeesautoservice.com) and ask for Shelly–she’s amazing!

Okay–and then Shazaaaaam (!)I had a HUGE computer CRASH and for a breathless week I was without a computer (how the heck did we get soooo dependent on these danged contraptions?!) No e-mail contact list, no documents, no picture archive, ALL MY SOFTWARE WIPED OUT!!! But the amazing folks at Computer Renaissance somehow got her back together and retrieved EVERYTHING! (Call them at 888-8100 and ask for Faraz Zein who is a great tech!)

Then the Girlz with HeART Summer Leadership and Creativity Camp responsibilities hit a real crescendo and we had several setbacks and complications and “opportunities to grow.” The good news is that the Girlz themselves pulled together and creatively managed to problem solve, re-adjust, and come back stronger and more positive than ever. They are utterly amazing little people! creative girlThrough your kindness in donating so many great things for their “jumble sale,” they have decided to make the whole month of August their fundraising focus. Instead of having their Jumble Sale at The Cottage on Saturday, August 2, as they’d originally planned, they decided to have sales all over Tucson & Marana, in their neighborhoods, at their mentor’s churches, and at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet to maximize their earning potential. All proceeds will go directly into their fall/winter activities with their gratitude to all of you for your fantastic support of their hard work to evolve into happy, productive, creative “little beans.”

And, finally, I’ve been going through  “seasonal distress” as my Sweetie calls it. It’s been tooooo hot, not enough rain, toooo much war and strife and mean-spiritedness in the world, and I’ve been feeling a tad hopeless, helpless, “old & in the way.” Does that ever happen to you? Sometimes even Suzie Sunshine hits the skids!

But, thanks to all your love and encouragement and the general joy in my life,Punkin with friends I’m feeling sooooo much better and have a whole new list of classes for August to share with you (check out the Cottage Classes tab above)! Thanks for hangin’ in there with me!

More soon. Please sign up (over to the right of this post) to receive the blog in your “in” box to keep up with all the crazy news of my life and to0 see if there are seats in my classes. There will be special class offerings just for folks who read the blog too! My plan is to write a blog post every week from now on, update status on classes, add pictures of students and their work, and generally share news of books and movies and fun activities with you. See the “My Favorites” tab above for all the news about Marnie’s very cool arts retreat!

And, meanwhile, celebrate your life, create something every day (sign up for some Cottage classes!) and remember that your pal Kaitlin is sending you love!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.