About Me!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my website, thetirelesstangler.com! My name is Cyndee Pelley and I am the voice of this site. It is my hope that you will find this site useful and informative, but also meaningful! There are a lot of Zentangle sites around and most of them are amazing places. One of the things that makes this site special, I believe, is the artist focus posts. These written pieces about the life of the artist, mixed with the beauty of their art are often inspirational to me. I feel by sharing these things together we peek into the souls of these wonderful people. This leaves me feeling deeply privileged!  The lives they touch and their personal philosophy can make you think twice about your pain or how tough life is for you, yourself! I know I’ve been personally humbled to know the people with whom I’ve spoken. Art has become my passion and I’m excited and driven to share something special!I have written, to date, 12 focus articles. The first on an amazing artist from the Zentangle®️ Mosaic App, Sarah Fowler, in the United Kingdom, but I also have written of artists from Spain, Canada, South Africa and Taiwan to name a few! I’ve realized this is something important I’m meant to do. I hope you will agree! A special thanks to each of the artists who’ve given their time and shared their art! 

I also haven’t arrived here without a lot of encouragement from the wonderful Zentangle®️ Mosaic App community. CZT, Ellie Miller, Sarah Fowler, CZT, Terri Delaune, CZT, Jody Genovese, CZT, Laura Story, and so many more have all had a hand in giving me the courage to take this step! My life has literally been transformed by the caring support and encouragement of these people! I’m truly blessed! 

So, about me!😊 I’m 56 years old and I’m a single mom of an 8-year-old boy. I’m an artist (you have no idea how hard it is to say that but it’s getting easier!), and a blogger. I’m also completely disabled with a degenerative spinal disease that has left me with nerve damage on my left side. This makes walking straight and not falling down a nice surprise every day! 😚 2 years ago, I lived in my room and didn’t leave the house. I was seriously depressed and hopeless. I felt without purpose and that I was a burden on others. I knew I needed help because I was in a dark emotional place. I signed up for a counselor and I’ve seen her ever since. My beautiful German Rottweiler, Simba, keeps me smiling! He never lets me sit too long without a break and is always encouraging me with his love and attention. He may never work as a public access service dog but he definitely qualifies as one as he can help me stand and walk straight. No words about me are complete without him in my life. 

Here’s my best friend and companion, Simba!

 Image of service dog, Simba Image of service dog simba outside

My first sketchpad was dedicated to my counselor because it was she who put me on this journey. We have tangled together a couple of times because I feel it’s so important she be aware of the positive effect of Zentangle for others like me she may come across in her practice!

Skip the adult coloring phase and go to drawing my own pictures (although I learned a LOT about colored pencils and blending.) I was drawing a dragon for the grandkids and wanted a pattern to put on her wing. You may notice she is unfinished because here I found Zentangle!

Color dragon by Cyndee Pelley

Fast forward through Pinterest and to TanglePatterns.com and there I found the Zentangle®️ Method! How that moment fundamentally changed me. I began drawing patterns about 18 to 20 hours a day. This is how my blog was named. Drawing became my sole focus. It was like a dam burst and suddenly I was free! My art wasn’t very mature (still isn’t) but it’s improving! Here’s the first thing I uploaded to Mosaic.

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This is called a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art). Meaning it’s a mix of patterns and ideas based on the Zentangle Method but not conforming to the structure and rules of it. Like adding color.

My next pivotal moment was reading Dr. and CZT, Ellie Miller’s blog post (tanglesxm.com) about the Zentangle Primer, vol. 1 and why it was the best Zentangle purchase she had made. I finally spent some precious cash and there, I truly began to understand the Zentangle®️ Method. It is a method and not just for drawing. My most important attitude shift happened with this beautiful book, whose dustcover had to be removed because I was using it constantly. 

My first Zentangle Primer lesson. wp-1489265276348.jpg

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My second try! After this, my addiction to Zentangle and art were permanent! After, buying Eni Oken’s books and joining Eni Oken’s Art Club, I am finally courageous enough to say “I’m an artist”. 

Last year, I experienced the tragedy of suicide, 3 times in 6 weeks. It was months before I was calm enough to draw, much less write this blog. I didn’t think I’d survive. But I kept trying, thanks to my counselor and the Zentangle community, I’m back and determined not to give up. My life is unrecognizable from last year at this time. It is always filled with adversity but I have managed to find my joy again thanks to Zentangle and the support I can always find with you, my dear readers! 💔 Thank you for making my life rich and full again. Each of you is dear to me!

This is my disclosure section: unfortunately, I now need one, but it is a sign of progress. 

I am currently an affiliate marketer for Amazon (US) but i hope to add the UK, CA, and DE.

I’m also an affiliate marketer for Eni Oken’s Art Club. 

What does affiliate marketing mean? Basically that I host ads for things I think are useful to the artistic community, or, as with Eni Oken’s Art Club, I may earn a small commission if you join art club using the link on my website, or make a purchase on Amazon using my link.

I am in the process of branding this website. Making choices in how I want it to look and be set up. Please give me your feedback if you love or hate anything. If something doesn’t work, I want to know so I can fix it! It will probably undergo several transformations before I’m happy with it. I would ask your patience for my growing pains. I want to switch to a business plan and I need to figure this out before I begin offering anything. Being an affiliate may help pay for some of my costs moving forward. 

Most important is to tell you that this site and blog are mine. The decisions on what to write and what to say are solely mine. Neither Amazon.com nor Enioken.com is responsible or liable in any way for my words or mistakes. All content is my responsibility alone.

Lastly, and most importantly, if you’re enjoying the posts here, please leave a like or a comment so I know how I’m doing! I’m very close to 15,000 views and I would love to reach that goal before January 1st, 2018.

Thanks to all my followers and readers! You make this worthwhile!

This picture is my pride and joy. Thank you Eni Oken for this amazing lesson! Tangled Dragons

Tangled dragon image by Cyndee Pelley

Simba Sliced! (My Future Mobility Dog; part 4)

I sent Simba out to the country 2 days ago so he could get some exercise with his sire, khan and sister, Athena.  This morning, the family called to say Simba had cut his paw, slicing his radial artery. A few stitches later and he was okay, though if the lady had not been forced home to change her clothes, he could’ve easily bled out. Every time I have that thought I cringe and die a bit inside. He is too closely tied to Sean and we only lost him 3 weeks ago. Sean’s sons that were here with me when we heard of Simba’s injury were panicking too. Makai told me he couldn’t lose Simba after losing daddy. Exactly how I feel about it!

Simba and Makai (brothers and best friends)
Makai was devastated when he heard of Simba’s injury.

Puppy Nala was sent to friends when Simba returned. She is relentless about playing and far too rough for a hurt Simba. Simba has been able to make it outside to potty and kept his food down. We will have to make sure he takes it easy for a few days before the dressing comes off.

Simba and Camden
Simba and Camden after the stressful vet visit.

All of this brought me back to yesterday’s post about expenses and reminded me how vital his health is to me now. And how expensive it will be. Time to do pet insurance before anything else happens! I was also very pleased with his treatment of the veterinarian and the vet tech. He was sweet and compliant and never showed a tooth or growled. That is wonderful information for me.  Further proof of his sweet nature and excellent temperament. The further down this road I go, the more anxious I’m getting about the huge responsibility. That said, I’ve always felt that Simba was worth something special and if I can do this, both our lives will be richer.

My Future Mobility Dog (part 3)

Simba, one year old German Rottweiler
Sweet Simba (luckily he still thinks he’s an indoor dog.

Part 3 in this journey (there’s going to be a lot more in this story) is about expense.  I said in my last post that I’d be looking for Simba to do his AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification. This is basically a series of easy tests to prove the dog is well behaved in public with both animals and people they don’t know. The only Oklahoma AKC club link on the AKC site doesn’t work, so of course, I Googled the evaluators in okc and ended up at my favorite training center, K9 University, home of Angel “the dog whisperer”. No surprise here! Angel’s training facility is first rate (they do police, military, drug, etc) and they can do the test $150.00 for a successful test.  Ok. That’s like 15% of my disability income.  But I can get it together.  I am also going to want a vest for him. It’s not legally necessary but because he’s a Rottweiler and will be seen as a threat I might get him a pink one with fluffy bunnies on it!  Then again, my son might haunt me for that! Hehehe… yeah the first issue was not to use one of these scam sites that sells service dog tags and fake registrations with vests.  I found 2 I liked. One actually quotes ADA law instead of promising you can take your dog with you “everywhere”. Their vests were all handmade to order in the USA which is a bonus. (I am not against imports but I am against us not owning our own country so yeah, I’ll happily buy American)  All their vests start about $60.00 US plus another maybe $30.00 for the appropriate patches  another $15.00 for the extra large size not to mention the various accoutrements required to make it work. I will also need to buy some sort of mobility harness which I also found a US Company that hand makes leather harnesses for Mobility dogs starting at about $400.00. Now I’m well on my way to a grand in expenses and I haven’t started to figure out his food budget and I won’t skimp. He will also need hip and joint tests to prove his health. Now, I could breed him but that goes against everything in my shelter volunteering ass. I cannot do that for money. Growth I’ll wait for but not this. 

Other financial considerations, pet insurance, joint supplements vaccinations, heartworm, flea, tick and mosquito treatments, cutting and I’m just getting started. Some of these financial obligations are the same no matter where I get the dog, some are going to be on me if I choose Simba. 

This is a huge decision that will require work, research and money aplenty to make it a reality.  And keeping with a reality based approach, reality is we have to teach him stay before I need to worry about all this! Stay tuned for the next episode of SIMBA, MOBILITY DOG!  

My Future Mobility Dog: ADA LAW (part 2)

Accepting the responsibility for training a service dog is even more intense than I thought.  Once  I had decided to train Simba as my Mobility dog. I began to look into what certifications were required for my state and the United States. I wanted to know what types of trainings were required to be certified as a service animal. To my shock and dismay, I found there are absolutely no regulations or laws regarding what a service dog must be trained to do in order to be called a service or assistance dog. Apparently, there are many sites out there that pretend or fraudulently sell service dog kits, service dog certifications, service dog collars, tags, registry or vests. When I looked into it, I found that none of these things are technically illegal but they give a false impression that the dog has been evaluated by some government agency, or have met some sort of criteria. The criteria is money! Under The Americans with Disabilities Act a service animal must perform some task or job that assists the disabled person. This is the only requirement necessary to call an animal a service animal. Any business may sell these items but it means nothing (except you’re out some cash.).  They’ve absolutely no authority in the registration or certification of service animals as there is no such authority. The best you can do is to check and see if the agency you are using for a service animal is registered with Assistance Dogs International. If it isn’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the training that your assistance dog will receive there is no good. Having one registered with ADI (Assistance Dogs International) is no promise of good training. And since I know many of you out there are thinking, my Fido can learn something then I can take him everywhere! Let me be clear, you must have a legitimate disability and needing emotional support alone from your dog isn’t considered service. The dog must DO something.

Next I want to address another concern. What about breed bans for Rottweilers, Pitbulls or other negatively stereotyped breeds. These bans do NOT affect service animals. A city or municipality can’t ban a service dog based solely on breed. That said, the dog must be under the handlers’ control at all times. So, I can decide how best to train Simba, but it’s also my responsibility to control his behavior. Hmmmm.I’ve got to get some good advice now on how best to proceed.  My biggest fear is doing something that will negatively impact the legitimate service dog community. I’m starting to realize the breadth of this undertaking. I’m going to get Simba’s AKC Good Citizen Certification first so any breed issues with behavior are addressed up front. I’ve gotten some great advice from several blogs. One is Al Brittain, the Dog Chief.  Another is called Actually Service Dogs. This blog is going to be an on going story of my journey with Simba. Come back and see what’s next for us!

Meet My Future Mobility Dog! (Part one)

This is Simba, he is a German Rottweiler, here at 5 weeks. He came from a litter of 10 and being the only male he was given a small dot on the head to differentiate him from the girls.

Simba, 5 weeks
5 week old German Rottweiler, Simba

At six weeks this boy never looked back. Just look at those paws! I knew he’d be a beast!

Simba, German Rottweiler, age 6 weeks
Simba 6 week old German Rottweiler
Simba, German Rottweiler, 10 weeks
Simba and Mari were already best friends

I spent the first month with him with  my hands and fingers in his mouth. I prefer to get the nibbling out of the way  before they can swallow you whole! Simba learned quickly and now at one year he is so gentle you can barely feel him take your arm. Simba was Sean’s puppy and he had to take him while he was renovating the house he would live in. That meant I got to keep Simba with me and begin basic training for the first 4 months. I knew he was exceptional from the start. Even then, I secretly wished for a dog like him for my mobility dog.

German Rottweiler, Simba and owner Sean.
Simba and owner Sean

At 4 months Sean’s family moved to the house in the country and Simba lived in dog heaven for awhile. Strong, caring owner and 4 boys to play with, Simba  reveled in the freedom to run down the block to where his dad lives and play. His sire, Khan, is just 2 years older than Simba and has plenty of  go left in him.

Simba at one year
Simba is in the middle with Khan in the red collar and Athena, Simba’s sister, in the back.
TUG-OF-WAR Rottweiler VS. Disabled
This is one of the ways Simba adapted so I could play with him.

Simba brings his toys up on the bed so I can play tug of war with him. Front paws on bed, back paws on the floor. Love this dog!

4 month old Simba
Gorgeous Simba sitting on my bed, 4 months old

When Sean died on July 4th, 2016, Simba was nearly killed by police for protecting his body.  He was so fierce that friends who knew him were afraid.  Since Sean’s death, Simba has been back with me. He’s not the same and it took me about 2 weeks to figure out he’s been waiting for Sean to come and take him home. He’s been visiting his dad for the kind of rough play only big dogs can handle. But I was still faced with how to help him.

Simba and Makai
These 2 boys have a very special bond. The adoration is definitely mutual!

I was told a story about a Rottweiler who was ex-military.  When his handler died he was adopted by an older man who wasn’t active.  The dog steadily declined until the man took him to a handler/ trainer and was told he could easily adapt but needed a job to be happy.  The man trained the dog to retrieve his paper in the morning then sat waiting as the man read each page. When finished he would place each page on the floor and the dog would take it and throw it away.  The dog then returned and waited for the next page.  Apparently this was enough of a job for the Rottweiler who settled in happily thereafter.

This story just clicked in my head and I realized I had the perfect solution. Since I have still not had an initial interview with the service dog agency, I started asking questions and after the funeral one of Sean’s friends in Colorado, who is a handler, offered to do Simba’s initial service dog training.  He has a pure pitbull at home who will love Simba.  I believe sending Simba to Colorado will change his scenery and routine enough that he’ll adjust and be much happier.

I haven’t yet spoken to the service dog agency but all involved feel they will accept him more easily if he has already finished his basic training.  This may be a “hand of God” outcome I never could have expected. I am hoping there will be shared healing all around. wp-1469080618553.jpg

(After spending a lot of time researching, I realized how much I don’t know. Stay tuned for part 2, which will focus on the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES Act and laws regarding service animals)

I Can’t

I can’t. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t write. I can’t read, or listen to books.  I can’t listen to music, can’t play or sing. My art is gone, I can’t draw, paint or color. The only time I function is when I’m supporting the kids or friends and family. As soon as the door closes the life leaves with them.  Nothing left here but fear and uncertainty. He was buried one week ago and it was the longest week. I think I’m losing time. What is the point of going on if all you do is take up space, time and resources. I had ways to show Sean my appreciation. I have nothing to offer anyone to make up for the cost in time, effort, and pay for labor. Every time I worry about what will happen I feel guilty for thinking of myself and the fear gets worse. How the hell do I care about taking medication on time when I can’t think or concentrate longer than a few seconds. I was 3 hours late feeding the dogs because I forgot! I’m so OCD about the animals schedule this is not a good sign. All 4 boys are being separated in one case, by a state, and another by hate. Everything he held important has dissolved because he…so, I just can’t. 

Goodbye

I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to say goodbye to the most important person in my life.  Sean is not my biological son. He came to live with me at age 15 years. I accepted him and 5 friends when they had nowhere to go. Only Sean expressed gratitude, only Sean came around to help me as my health failed. He’s been my primary caregiver for the past 5 years.  He was my landscaper, Hvac repairman, car mechanic, ride to the doctor, plumber, painter and anything else I needed.  He dropped by almost daily even though he was so busy he barely slept.  If I was sick he stopped in multiple times a day. He gave me grandchildren to care for and love. None of that comes close to the loss of a friend and confidante. Sean was one of the finest people I’ve ever known and for some reason he loved me like a mother. My mind is the hamster wheel and I just can’t stop losing him again and again. I know why but I don’t understand quitting because my Sean never ever quit. I know he thought it would protect his kids, but I know they wouldn’t care why, they just want daddy back. I worry most about his 2 non biological sons. These 2 boys never, before Sean, had any male role models and now their futures are unsure. I seem to be one of a few who understand what these 2 boys lost. I saw him tonight and I almost wish I hadn’t gone. He wouldn’t want the boys to see him this way but they are having an open casket. I’m not sure I even want to go and say goodbye for the last time. Are you there Sean? Come back so I can kick your ass for leaving us all. I am getting up everyday for your children and believe me, I don’t want to but I won’t abandon them. I will wait and say goodbye to you tomorrow, but you will live on in my heart, as my child, forever.  Forever.

 Education Fund for Sean’s children

My Story Hits the Internet

I could never have imagined that my story would interest anyone but me and perhaps my family.  About a month ago I submitted 2 patterns for assessment by Linda Farmer at tanglepatterns.com  (you’ll find the link in my menu). When submitting a pattern, Linda asks for you to write a blurb about yourself in case they decide to publish your patterns. I’d like to say they published my patterns but it can take time for that to happen. Linda emailed me back and asked to use my story on her site and yesterday I saw a mail from her saying they’d published my story.  The wonderful responses and heartfelt messages have really been a balm today as I prepare for my Sean’s funeral tomorrow.  I’ve been deeply moved by the outpouring of support for me and my family and I’m more grateful than I can express. Here’s the story link if anyone is interested.

Cyndee’s Zentangle Story

Attitude

Tomorrow, July 11, 2016, it will be one week since the death of my son Sean. This week has been full of calls, texts, visits and family trying to come together. Words cannot describe the emotional and physical exhaustion or the physical pain involved in being up and walking so much this week. It’s also so hard to be the emotional support for so many others when all I want to do is cry myself to sleep every night. Having his children around is both a balm and a heartache. As I have been overwhelmed with the number of people deeply affected by his death I keep asking myself why this beautiful man gave up and didn’t fight. I know this is a question I’ll never be able to answer which just makes it all harder.

This quotation was something I received at an interpreting convention (sign language). I was going through old boxes I re-read it and remembered why I’d saved it.  When I let Sean read it, he immediately wanted a copy.  A friend made it into a poster and he took 3 copies.  He hung one up in his shop at work and read it to his crew and new hires because this is one of the most important lessons you can learn in life. I believe this wholeheartedly and so did Sean. Read and think or not, the choice is yours. (I may have just channeled yoda)

Attitude

Our single greatest gift is the freedom to choose our attitude.

Your Attitude is more important than knowledge, education, background, wealth, position, talent or appearance.

It is even more powerful than what other people think, or say or do.

It will make or break a team…a company …a person…a relationship…a home.

I am convinced that life is 5% what happens to me and 95% how I choose to look and react to it.

And so it is with you! Your attitude is your choice! 

Ellen A. Miller 

If you can wrap your mind around this you’ll be way ahead in life. Choose to be positive!

This is the concept to which I’m clinging.  What will you choose?

 

 

Some Beautiful Advice from a Dying 24 Year Old

This is so beautiful, poignant and true everyone should read it. Thanks to fellow blogger MakeItUltra at MakeItUltra for reposting this so it could touch me too. 

[Text] Soon I will be gone forever, but that’s okay as long as someone reads this

u/mylasttie489d, 12h
I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.
The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.
Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:
    Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
    It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you‘re a legend.
    Take control of your life Take full responsibility for the things that happen to you. Limit bad habits and try to lead a healthier life. Find a sport that makes you happy. Most of all, don’t procrastinate. Let your life be shaped by decisions you made, not by the ones you didn’t.
    Appreciate the people around you Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love. That is why you shouldn’t take them for granted.
It is difficult for me to fully express my feelings about the importance of these simple realizations, but I hope that you will listen to someone who has experienced how valuable time is.
I’m not upset because I understand that the last days of my life have become meaningful. I only regret that I will not be able to see a lot of cool stuff that should happen soon like the creation of AI, or Elon Musk’s next awesome project. I also hope that the war in Syria and Ukraine will end soon.
We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.
You can float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour. Or, you can fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life. I hope you will make the right choice.
Leave a mark in this world. Have a meaningful life, whatever definition it has for you. Go towards it. The place we are leaving is a beautiful playground, where everything is possible. Yet, we are not here forever. Our life is a short spark in this beautiful little planet that flies with incredible speed to the endless darkness of the unknown universe. So, enjoy your time here with passion. Make it interesting. Make it count!
Thank you!

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