Magic of the Universe

I ran across this the other day and wanted to share: it’s journal entries from my home buying experience. I had completely forgotten how quickly the universe answered my plea!

2 0 1 5    The Adventures of Home Buying ~

It all began on April 18th, with a curious “peek through a window” . . .

Saturday, March 28:  Alone in my shop in the North End of Boise, I began missing my best friend, Bevin Hawley.  His attempted suicide in January, coupled with my visit to Idaho Falls over Valentines, and his rejection of my offer to shuttle him to Boise for his birthday on March 24th – left me feeling desperately worried.  Frustrated, and lonely for my best friend, I spent time in a corner of the property’s shed (which I turned into my little woodshop). This place of meditation was where I’d been attempting to carve out moments of joy.

As if I weren’t experiencing enough pain that day, I began missing my Pop. This was shaping up to be an especially difficult Saturday.

At one point I dropped to my knees, my heart splintering as if it were made of spun glass. Choking back tears, I asked out loud for help, promising that I would practice Letting Go by Accepting whatever the universe dealt me this summer – if I could please get some relief.

And like a whisper on a breeze – my pain was lifted from my heart.

Later, I recalled the specific words from my plea: whatever the universe dealt me this summer.  I’ll just point out that sometimes the Universe has a peculiar sense of balance.

Saturday, April 18:   Attend a Women’s Spiritual Gathering at the home of Terry Means, where I randomly peek through a window of a newly remodeled home for sale.

Wednesday, April 22:   Sharon Brown  joins me on this Wednesday to meet with Realtor Atticus Faul on the Franklin Property where I’d looked through the window. On a lark, I attempt to qualify.

I discover it is only slightly out of my price range. Oddly enough, the lender suggests buying with another party. So, I ask Bevin if he would like to be roomies again! Although this generates excitement for the both of us, he never follows through with the paperwork at the bank.

Friday, May 15:  Last day of BSU contract, I continue house hunting with Atticus for something in my price range.

Monday, May 17:  Begin working temp jobs, in the event I find some property and need essential cash for closing & what-not’s

Tuesday, May 26:  Meet with Jennie Woodall of Summit Funding – third financing organization that I decide on after Mountain West Bank and Idaho Credit Union. Choosing Jennie was one of the best decisions I made during the process.

Tuesday, Jun 16: Make an offer on Ona Property

IMPORTANT TO NOTE (background): Sunday prior, I’d driven by the property, a For Sale sign was leaned next to the mailbox. I called the realtor Atticus had entrusted me to during his vacation. She checked into it, explaining that the owner had taken the house off the market for a couple days while she fixed torn linoleum in the kitchen, but would be willing to let me look at the place. That same day, I wanted to make an offer – the owner acquiesced, and to my surprise, accepted my offer to her last on-line asking price of $84,900!

This was indeed benevolent timing. During the few summer months Atticus and I had looked at small homes under / around $90K. The market was so hot that buyers were offering cash – over the top of asking price! I experienced a bit of hopelessness. But on the drive to meet Atticus for a second look, I was filled with confidence. All the way there I chanted,

“I’m gunna be a house Ona – I’m gunna Ona house on Ona Street– I’m gunna be a house Ona!”

Monday, June 22:  Begin working a 40 hr/week temp job with MWI on Vista & the freeway – making twice my BSU pay. With no savings, I knew this would ultimately help with any miscellaneous costs I anticipated.

Sunday, June 28:  Driving home with the Duncan’s from Tracey’s wedding in Moscow, ID – I received one of the most distressing calls of my life: my best friend, Bevin Hawley killed himself in the early morning hours. I felt quite literally as though I had been unplugged from yet, another amazing human being that I was fortunate enough to love – and who truly loved me.

Wednesday, July 1:  All paperwork has gone to the underwriters and the waiting begins. I drive to IF to burry my friend.

Tuesday, July 14:   With the 21st slated as Signing Day, the underwriters request one last piece of missing paperwork: my 2014 I099, I request it from my AZ CPA, who creates the only sleepless night I experienced through this entire process – by refusing to produce it!  Her final avoidance tactic was that her mother (conveniently) had a stroke that day and she couldn’t help me, only to find out this was a lie. How awful is that?! And there’s my house-buying-horror-story.

Thursday, July 15:     Late that morning, the Bauer’s come through for me from Seiku, WA! Alice purchases a program on line to acquire the 2014 paperwork and fills out another 1099 for me.

Friday, July 16:       My loan is approved at 3:24 p.m.! I signed the following Tuesday on my brother’s birthday, July 21st.

I was bestowed more blessings over the next few weeks:

Since I worked less than a mile from my new home, I was able to run back & forth to meet the flurry of different folks for hook-ups, changes, bids & consultations.  Atticus provided me with some incredible contacts from his network of people, so I was able to have (and afford) a few things done to the little house before moving in:

  • I found Pergo flooring on sale at Lumber Liquidators for 49¢ /sq foot and had it installed for $1.40 /sq foot. I paid $1,000 for new floors!
  • After ripping out the carpet (and the next door neighbors graciously helping me pull it up & haul it outside) I saved enough money to hire professional movers for the first time in my life. What a treat!
  • My yard sale $ afforded me paint, casing materials, and the rental of a *hot saw. I did all of the painting myself, except for the kitchen – my mom put a coat of yellow on the walls for me. My hands were so sore that I could hardly hold the paint brush after a few days!
  • The *saw was to cut out a back door leading from my bedroom: the first thing my mother insisted I needed, and after the mess was finally cleaned up, I was grateful for her persistence. I used the larger bedroom widow (where the door used to be) to replace the submarine-peep-hole looking window in the bathroom.
  • My cousins Steve & Loretta Bigley offered to help me move my shop, and Steve suggested our cousin Michael could help me install the door. That was certainly a good idea – Michael was a much better choice at running that concrete saw than me! After a few days I am sure the neighbors were wondering if I was flipping the little house – rather than moving in!
  • My sister, Roselle, dropped off my new kitty, on August 9th.  Duggan and I spent our first official night together at 2701 W. Ona Street that Sunday.

I had thrown myself into renovating my little house, grief and all. It isn’t until now, looking back, that I see how quickly the universe answered my plea and provided me with such unimaginable gifts.

I still  have so many more grand plans visualized, but there isn’t a day I’m not grateful for what I have. Moreover, I still look around and wonder, who did all this work? 

 Thank you,

   . . . . out there

            . . . for all the help, guidance, and benevolent gifts ~

Celebrating my Extraordinary Father

Writing this February feature article for Idaho Magazine was an honor. Such an opportunity commemorates on paper, all of my Pop’s hard work in Pearl. With his own two hands and the sweat of his brow, he molded acres of sage brush, rock, and high-desert terrain into an Oasis. Benevolence, being one of his many gifts for his family, enabled his legacy to live on for future generations. This is my thank you to an extraordinary man, who is missed by many -everyday.

Managing Fear

wildflower_Tatters_ccSomething that I frequently explore is the idea of technology and how it shapes our world, and quite frankly, at times, scares the ever loving crap out of me! However, it just so happens, it was during one of these conversations when the concept of my Domestic Wildflower was born,  and I recognized how to face, and perhaps embrace, some of my technological fears.

As artists, many of us find ourselves in an ever changing technical landscape where we must learn to navigate in order to make a living at our craft. That artistic soul, trying to make their talents known to the world – for profit or not – will ultimately experience a certain amount of growing pains on this journey.

As a Wildflower [artist], those ‘to-do-lists’ we have all been conditioned to follow are in direct violation to the wild pounding of our hearts. That anxiety, that blind determination – those are simply wake up calls, reminders – that we were born to create – not cross off!

And I love my to-do-lists! How is that for twisted logic?

My point is, as we become more reliant on technology, and the expectations to learn, develop, and keep up – it can make us feel as though were in some kind of race with humanity. Or worse – with ourselves.

How nice it would be to completely lose ourselves in our chosen crafts and never look back. I envy those who have figured out how to do that. Those are the true Wildflowers!  Instead, many of us feel forced to live with one foot in two worlds, until striking a balance to make those worlds work.

At times this is a painful, confusing, frightening transition, but one that forces growth and experience. Those are the moments beckoning us to face our challenges. To face our fears.

The following is an excerpt from my book The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Feb 23

“The ‘public’ scares me, but people I trust.”
~ Marilyn Monroe

This magnificent woman was known to both publicly announce, and privately manage her fears. As artists, we are all subjected to a broad spectrum of criticism. How do you manage your fears?

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, by clicking on the link(s) in this sentence.

Writing that Wakes the Dead

spider web

by Rochelle Cunningham, Gypsy Writer

One of my favorite prosaic pieces, I jotted down at 3 a.m. The rest of the construction came later, but I’ll never forget how the majority of this prose flowed out of me in one sitting. Had I ignored the persistent muses’s calling – this piece may have died on the vine.

Here is an excerpt from my poetry collection on my website, entitled Jealousy of Night.

There is a man out there…

…who refuses to abandon a dream that naps quietly on a dusty shelf in someone’s basement. He’s caught clawing at the blank pages of a bedside journal – unwilling to turn on the lamp. And his breath weighs heavy on the back of a sleeping poets mind.

There is a man out there…

…who assembles broken memories that crash on the shores of desperation. Wrestling with the rising tide he sails the course of a barely beating heart toward the horizon of a forbidden kiss. A swell in the stillness of the room uncovers a woman’s face and stirs the bedroom curtains as a reminder of troubled waters ahead.

Remember that persistence pays of in many ways. . . even if it’s completing a burning piece of prose keeping you awake! Keep challenging yourself. Keep listening to your muse. Keep writing.

Below is an excerpt from by publication, The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Dec 14

“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” ~ Anne Lamott

The next time you are unable to return to sleep – get up and write. It may end up being some of your best work.

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, click on the link in this sentence.

How Do You Brew?

Boil Boil Toil & Trouble_wittco.gmbh_cc
by Rochelle Cunningham, Gypsy Writer

As a writer, I am always in the midst of several projects. This morning, the inside of my head felt like three Scottish witches were using my congested skull as their personal cauldron!

Boil, boil, toil, and trouble . . . I write a few lines of a poem . . . eye of newt . . . a dark villain presents himself to me as I apply mascara . . . a pinch of bat hair . . . my sweet, brunette heroine falls from grace – ohh, what event shall return her to the arms of her lover . . . and toe of salamander . . . fictional names explode like popcorn and I’m digging through my purse like a cat covering crap on concrete, desperately trying to find a pen! Not an unusual morning for most writers.

We’re crazy like that.

The challenge is getting all that great stuff from our heads, on to the page. Writing is magical, and can be quite therapeutic. But it’s also a lot of determined, disciplined work. I frequently fall short as life continues to get in the way. It’s crucial to develop good habits.

The most important, is writing (and reading) EVERYDAY. As a blogger, I’ve discovered an addictive way to strengthen that habit, and keep me motivated and accountable. <strong>The Gypsy Writers would L O V E to hear some of your dark secrets or challenges with the craft, and perhaps, some remedies for how you stay on track.</strong>

Wishing you all much luck with your boiling pots and good habit development!

An excerpt from my book The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Nov 04

“I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
Regardless of your medium, or the craft that calls to you, connecting to the human soul – as an artist of a written language – is what you have been called to do.

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of  The Writer’s Handbook visit my webpage by clicking on the link(s) in this sentence.

Communicating Our Experiences

by Rochelle Cunningham, Gypsy Writer

Life is full of juxtapositions, many rich in fodder for writing. In my experience, it’s all in the timing. Learning to seize delicate moments, albeit brief and fleeting, is about keeping your eyes peeled and your heart open to capture them. Take my life over the last week, for example. I buried two uncles, one from my mother’s side, and the other from my father’s. Painful? Yes, of course, and one might think a writer would produce only dark or dreary material. That wasn’t the case at all.

On Thursday evening surrounded by family, I watched my Uncle Dennis take his last sip of air. Having been closer to this uncle, I experienced a more profound, and peaceful sense of his absence the next day. It was there in the sunrise, and not any ordinary sunrise, that I found him.

The Friday morning sky wasn’t painted with the typical broad strokes of amethyst and orange against the crisp, blue canvas. On this day there was an entire cosmos of exploding pastels that reached out from the waking foot hills, shrouding the dampened grass and fall leaves in full glory, as it came to pass over me with warm yellow light. I stood outside in perfect humility while my uncle greeted me, quietly assuring me he had arrived at his destination. I smiled back at him.

It was in those moments, standing alone, bathed in lustrous golden, new morning sunlight – that all was well in the world – even though it felt a little different without him in it anymore.

My muse immediately began dipping her pen into a more poetic ink well. We are currently creating a poem entitled The Mourning Sky.

An excerpt from my book The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Nov 02

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

When was the last time that your writing made you happy? Did you call a friend, dance a happy-dance around your desk, or simply chuckle to yourself with great pride? Be sure to celebrate the moments when your words come to life.

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, visit by clicking on the link(s) in this sentence.