It’s January 2nd and You Didn’t Make Any Resolutions? 3 Chances to Reset for 2020

January is the perfect time for a new start, but sometimes things don’t work out the way you thought they would and you need to go to Plan B.

It’s January 2nd and of course i didn’t get my list of resolutions done before the end of the year. It’s really cruel that the madness of the Holidays is right at the end of the year and then you’re supposed to be ready to start with a clean slate on January 1st. Poor planning in my opinion. I had every intention of having a solid plan for 2020 because 2018 and 2019 were kind of a hot mess for me but it didn’t work out. Thankfully, it’s never too late to get your shit together and set some intentions.  (Read about my weird year here if you want.)

We tend to start things at what seems like a logical point. I mean, nobody starts a diet on Friday, am I right? Here are some fresh start dates, if you need that extra mojo:


Monday – January 6th

New Years’ Day on a Wednesday screwed up the whole week. I mean, it just felt like a vacation. Figure your stuff out this weekend and start fresh Monday.


Groundhog Day – February 2nd

Groundhog Day the holiday seems like a strange starting point. I am as superstitious as they come, but I am not buying this whole “rodent does or does not see his shadow” malarky. Whoever thought this one up must have been bored out of their mind. Groundhog Day the movie is another story.  If you’ve never seen it, you need to get on that ASAP. It’s an existential comedy, and one of my very favorite movies. Basically, it’s a story of a guy who relives the same day over and over and over. The perfect day for you to go ahead and start living a little differently.


Leap Day – February 29

It’s an extra day of the year, so what’s not to love? You can’t buy time but you can get a bonus day in 2020. Make it count!


Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year – January 25

Here’s another chance at the “New Year”. 2020 is the Year of the Rat. The Rat is the first of the Chinese zodiac animals and represents the beginning of a new day. Sounds like a great time for a fresh start!


Even if none of these dates work for you, you can still have a great year. Figure out a time that works for you to review last year and think about what you want to accomplish this year. Then figure out the steps you need to take to make it happen. Download my “Big Project Planner” if you need some help. Now, let’s go kick some ass in 2020. 


Blog Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

My Very Weird Sometimes Wonderful Year

starting the year with giant bonfire

Ten years ago i lived one of the weirdest years of my life. I lost my job of 22 years and with it, a big part of my identity. The last decade has been rough as hell, but it’s also been a testament to our resilience as a family and as individuals. We are tough, we are adaptable, and we are grateful.

This year has also been hella weird. So many changes! So i thought i’d do a lil recap post.

It started with a big bonfire

Full disclosure, it started a few years ago when we decided our best plan would be to sell our big old house because it was just way too big and hard to keep up. And i spent much of 2018 purging all of the stuff we’d accumulated after living there for twenty(!!!) years before we contacted a realtor in December of 2019. But then, on New Years’ Eve 2019, we had a big bonfire. Part of it was a way to get rid of a giant pile of palm fronds and branches from the trees in our yard, a lot of it was a symbolic cleansing ritual. Having a deadline kicked the whole process into high gear. We worked so hard to get the yard and house cleaned up after many years of neglect.  Our “life reset” of 2009 had knocked the wind out of us and we spent a long time trying to bounce back. This project gave me a purpose and i loved the challenge.

We gave away so many of our possessions and hauled two truckloads away to the dump. We found a new home for our piano which had been in the family since the 60s and had lived with us since Julian was a baby. One of the things i really enjoyed getting rid of was our ugly and uncomfortable couch. Before we lost our jobs, we had planned to buy new recliners for our living room and that hideous couch was a daily reminder of how things were different now. I wanted to set it on fire, but we just had the trash truck take it away. Still felt great.

When everything was finally all cleaned out, we went to dinner to celebrate. Good job, Team!

Our sweet girl Lola was so frail and in a lot of pain. She was 16, and mostly blind and deaf. She couldn’t get up and down the stairs very easily and had to be carried sometimes. She was my pal, following me around while i worked from home. I wish she could have lived forever. But that is not possible, so on January 30th, she crossed the rainbow bridge. She was the best dog i’ve ever known and i still miss her every day.


After the house and property were cleaned up, i started having feelings of regret, like we should just stay. Everything was so much nicer! I developed some really good habits while having to keep the house clean for showings and it made everyday living a lot easier. Who knew?? (PS: It’s never too late to pick up good habits!) But then we had some winter storms and i remembered how much the house sucked in the rain and how, even though it was tidier and looked prettier and almost normal, we just weren’t able to fix the big problems it had. It was only on the market for a couple of weeks, thank the gods, and after a reasonably short and uneventful escrow, we moved out all of our stuff and turned over the keys. We all cried that day as we drove away from our home for the last time.

The three of us moved into my Mom’s house. She already has two roommates, my sister and niece, so Greg, Julian, and i all crammed into the converted garage and lived there for three months. It was quite an experience, but not the first time we’ve taken drastic measures in times of change. When we were buying our big old house we lived upstairs in some empty offices at our family’s moving company for six months to save money. We showered in a utility sink, proof of our adaptability. It was pretty interesting. I should write a blog post about it.

So there we were, sharing a garage, with no real endgame. We started this process with the idea that we would be moving away to the Pacific Northwest and our kids would come with us but the day after the sign was put up in the yard, our daughter came by one last time to see the house and also to tell us that she had a boyfriend and they were pretty serious. Of course, I was very happy for her but this news pretty much crushed our dreams of moving away. If she wouldn’t move, then we couldn’t move.  Now we were in a bit of a pickle. One of the reasons for moving away was that we couldn’t afford to buy a home in San Diego without a mortgage and we were trying to not have a mortgage so Greg could have the freedom to take a low paying dream job. We thought about renting, we considered living in an RV, but in the end, we decided the best thing to do was to start looking for a home to buy here in San Diego.

Because of our price range, we saw a lot of crappy houses in bad neighborhoods before we finally found the home we would buy. It was weird and it felt kind of rushed, kind of like we settled even though i know we probably got the best house our money could buy. I missed our old home so much i would sometimes cry in my bed at night. I would kind of be caught off guard sometimes at the fact that this was our home. “We live here now”, i would say out loud to Greg to kind of force it to sink in. For a long time, it felt like we were just staying long term in an Air BnB. We didn’t even have a couch or put up our TV for a month after we moved in.

One of the things i really missed about our old house was the views. We had an awesome view of the sunset from the deck and the sunrise from the backyard, and best of all, i could see the moon at night from my spot on that horribly uncomfortable couch. One night i was lying in our new bed in our new room and a light shone in my eyes. The rising moon had just become visible through our bedroom skylight. I laid there staring at it for a long time and felt a shift in my perspective. The house finally became home.


This house is so different from our old house in every way, starting with the size. The new house is half as big. The yard is probably one quarter the size of our old yard. But it’s really cute and nice and the neighborhood is good. It has lovely light, perfect for all of the houseplants we have now. We have hardwood floors and a comfortable couch. We got my Mom’s antique dining set out of storage and it looks fabulous in our 1940s house. We eat dinner at the dining table now instead of on TV trays. Greg has a room for his music and his desk. After trying so hard to give away our piano, we bought a used piano and Greg is teaching himself to play. His room is just off the kitchen so he practices while i make dinner and it’s very romantic.

After losing Gladys and Lola, we knew that we wanted to add a couple of dogs to our family as soon as we were settled, so in August, we adopted two rescue dogs from Mexico. ChiChi is a Chihuahua mix, two years old. She was given up by her family at a spay/neuter clinic run by the rescue. She is so sweet and funny, i can’t understand why anyone would have given her up. Gilda is a terrier mix who was 11 months old when we adopted her. She had been found as a stray pup and was taken to the rescue facility. She was so gentle and laid back we thought her new sister was going to drive her nuts always wanting to play, but then we soon realized Gilda was really sick! She was diagnosed with Canine Ehrlichia, a tick-borne virus. After a course of big-time antibiotics, she got all better and oh boy, her true self was not calm or laid back at all. She is a big dopey clown who loves to play with her sister, and when she wears her sister out, she’s very happy to play ball by herself.

Our year wrapped up with a two-week camping road trip to the Redwoods in our tiny trailer with the two dogs. We traveled from the bottom corner of the state all the way to the top and it was amazing.

This year has gone by so quickly and a lot has changed. We just celebrated our first Christmas in our new home. It was really wonderful. We got a tiny tree and i decorated it and we put up some lights. We hadn’t had lights for years. I’m looking forward to the new year in our new place, making new memories and taking on new challenges. Have a wonderful 2020, everyone!


Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

One Hell Of A Decade

This decade has sucked so hard for me, when I tell you all the ways, it’s going to sound pretty horrible.


My family had to close our small business which meant that we were all out of work. Me, my husband, my sister, my Mom, even my Grandpa. My sister and I tried to start a new business, an art studio. That tanked too. My dad Bob was diagnosed with lung cancer. He went through the treatment successfully but was seriously injured by medical malpractice that put him on oxygen 24/7 and which shortened his life. He passed away in 2015. My Grandpa died the following year. My husband was injured at his job due to workplace negligence and now he suffers chronic pain in his dominant hand. I’ve always been an anxious person, but in the past decade, my anxiety grew out of control. I had several major panic attacks. I now have agoraphobia and can’t drive so I’m pretty much stuck at home a lot. Our pet tortoise was stolen from our back yard, a raccoon killed my chickens and then our dog. Our surviving dog went into a deep depression after losing her sister and passed away this January. I could go on but I think you get the idea.


In spite of all of that and perhaps even because of it, I’m grateful. And hopeful. And so many awesome things have happened this decade.  We discovered a true love of camping and have taken many incredible trips to a lot of gorgeous State and National Parks. We’ve been to so many beautiful places and have an abundance of precious memories from our trips. Greg began volunteering with the Sierra Club and found his passion, getting kids involved in nature and conservancy. I decided to be an artist. I didn’t realize that was a thing you could just decide to be. I guess I thought you were born an artist or went to school to become one but no, I figured out that you could be an artist simply by making art and living an artful life. I’ve met so many people and done so many things this decade that I never dreamed possible. I never thought I’d ever travel alone, but I’ve done it many times in the past ten years. It’s been a real journey of educating myself, learning to bead and paint, to understand self-care, to plan amazing camping trips, to be grateful every day and to find joy in just being alive.


This decade has been rough but I got through it by reframing the bad stuff into challenges to conquer. Let’s all rise to our challenges and make the next decade the best one yet!

Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

The End of an Era

So, the thing that i’ve been working on for so long has finally happened. We finally sold our house. And it’s weird. I knew it would be, but it’s actually weirder than i expected.

Getting the house ready to sell was pretty much my everyday life for about two years. We’d lived there for twenty years and had accumulated so much stuff. Way too much stuff. Going through it was an emotional process.

Now it’s over, and i feel a little adrift, like i don’t have a purpose. I had been looking forward to crossing that finish line for so long, and i did. Now what?


I miss our house. I’m sad. I’m not sure we made the right choice but there wasn’t another choice. I had a real love/hate relationship with the house. So many things to hate, and so many things i really loved, like the sunsets, the moon out my window, the bunnies in the yard, my beautiful bathroom. The memories of twenty years.


Over the past few weeks, Greg and i have thought a lot about the decision to sell the house and what it would mean for our future. We thought that once the house was sold, the future would become clearer and we’d kind of know what to do but actually, the future is murkier than ever. We have no idea what to do. I can only hope that it will start to become clearer with a little time.

Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

Red Scorpio Diaries – November 01, 2018

The thing i’m most grateful for in the whole wide world is my relationship with Greg. He’s my best friend and soulmate and an amazing man.

Blog Creativity

My New Studio Helper

Many people have asked me how i can work with such tiny beads. I just happen to have really good close-up vision as long as i hold the bead and needle super close to my face. The problem is that makes me scrunch my body up into a really bad posture so by the end of the workday, my neck and back are stressed out and aching.



I’d been thinking about using a lighted magnifier for a while. Sometimes i will stubbornly continue to do something that’s a literal pain in the neck just because it’s the most convenient thing. But i found a magnifier that i really like made by Brightech*. It’s LED so it’s nice and bright but cool which is important to me because it can get pretty warm in my studio.

I must admit it took a couple days to get used to looking through the glass and not just hold my work close to my face. I also had to break myself of the habit of looking over my glasses to see up close.

Using the lamp immediately improved my workstation posture and i could tell from the very first day that the strain on my neck and back was gone. It feels kind of dumb to have scrunched up my body for so long when the solution to the problem was so easy.

I’ve been wanting to do more in progress photos and videos but couldn’t figure out how to hold my work so close to my face and place the camera. Being able to hold my work further away will make that so much easier.

The lamp is such an awesome studio tool i’m kicking myself i didn’t get one sooner!


* this is an affiliate link, but i wouldn’t be sharing this with you if i didn’t 100% believe in this product. i love my new lamp and it really has made my work easier. buying through this link doesn’t change the price you pay, but i do make a little commision from any sales. if you prefer to shop at Brightech and not use my affiliate link, click here.

Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

Red Scorpio Diaries: October 03, 2018

I drew a mermaid for drawlloween. I’ve never drawn one before so, not too bad.

I draw faces a lot but rarely bodies. I googled hand drawing for a reference for drawing the hand and it was extremely helpful. i had no idea there were so many drawing reference pinterest boards out there.

Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

Red Scorpio Diaries – October 01, 2018

Setting creative parameters can be helpful but sometimes it backfires. Like challenging myself to make my September blog posts about learning made me totally over think it.

I’m not afraid of messing up especially when the stakes are zero. I feel compelled to challenge myself. Most of the time it works out and that’s great but even when it doesn’t, it’s usually fine.

Happy Rocktober, everyone!

Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

Red Scorpio Diaries – September 03, 2018

I learned that Lola doesn’t like salmon at all but she loves ahi tuna. A lot.

I didn’t learn anything new from watching Avengers – Infinity War a second time.

Blog Red Scorpio Diaries

Red Scorpio Diaries – August 30, 2018

Total disruption has knocked me off my game. We’re having some work done on the house and having people here is very stressful for me. I let all my habits go. Not all, just the good ones. I still have lots of bad ones.

Meanwhile, i’ve been into wonder, inspired by my friend Sarah.

Starting in September i’m going to post one thing i learned every day. A month-long challenge is a good way for me to get back into this and September is the perfect month for learning.