Thursday, October 31, 2013

Friday Ramblings

My sincerest apologies for a short ramble this week, but really. You will thank me later that I didn't let loose on the keyboard tonight.

I will, however, confess that I have slept in my painting sweat shirt, worn red socks with my moccasins, have not worn make up for three days and haven't a clue what is in the pile of papers by the phone.

On the other hand, I have multiple mini canvases, cards, prints and new 12x12 paintings ready for the show this Saturday. In case I haven't mentioned it (ha), it's the Red Dirt Art Festival from 10-4, in the small park behind the old police building in Redlands.

O.k. Enough of the shameless marketing. I have to go change my socks.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Friday Ramblings

This post is fueled by a little caffeine.
It doesn't take much.

My husband is still on the mend, but the cool part is that he takes Miss B. to school and then DELIVERS coffee to me.
I'm kinda liking this off-work order.

hey! maybe Starbucks will sponsor my blog....

Why doesn't Starbucks deilver, anyway?
Can you imagine how much money they would make?
Oh. Wait. 
If I'm home, I should just make a pot of coffee myself and they sell ground coffee to make at home.
Never mind.

I am sticking to being in my art room, getting ready for the next show,  The Red Dirt Art Fesitival.

3x3 canvas

It's a WEEK from Saturday.
Holy moly, Batman....
Brenna woke me up yesterday at 5:30 am and she actually went back to sleep, I didn't. Have mercy. I got SO. MUCH. DONE. 
Granted, I was asleep on the couch by 8:45 that night, but the day was awesome.
Thinking more is better, I set my alarm for 5:30 for this morning.
Didn't work so much. 
All I remember is jarring awake and smacking my phone. How is it my subconscious doesn't say, "GET UP!!!!" and instead, it says, "YOU ALSO SET THE ALARM for 6:00-smart move. NOW GO BACK TO SLEEP."

I notice I use a lot of capitalized letters while on caffeine. 

We have a new incentive program in our house. It's called operation Get Rid Of The Sass, or GROTS.
My eldest, who is a genius, came up with the plan.
Somehow, with all the upheaval around Dad being in the hospital, Miss B took off with the "throwing attitude around theme".  (TAAT ) I'm not surprised, but by the end of the week while Doug was in the hospital, I swear, if I had one more person report to me that my child had to apologize for her eye-rolling, huffing, muttering under her breath attitude, my head was going to pop off.

don't let this face fool you. o.k., maybe just a little.

The best story of her week goes something like this:
Mr.B, the dean of students came up to me as I dropped of Brenna one morning and said, "By the way, did Miss S. tell you my Brenna story?"
Now, first off, when someone tells me this, it usually means trouble. Second, I'm ready to lie and say, "Why, yes! Thanks for asking" and run home.
Since I'm not a good liar, I replied that, no, Miss S didn't tell me the story, and is it a good one? (I'm basically pleading by now.) Mr. B laughed rather in a subtle way, and said, "Wellllll...."
Then he proceeded to tell me the story.
Mr. C (the superintendent) found Brenna in the hallway today and when he asked Brenna where she was supposed to be, her reply was, "I don't know." Mr. C then gets Mr. B on the phone and says to Mr B, "You need to come down to the hall and find out where Brenna needs to be."

Mr. B came to the hall way and had a long conversation with Brenna about how tired she was, what kind of day she was having, etc. and then asked where she was supposed to be.
"I don't know."
In a quandry, Mr. B asked Brenna to come with him so they could figure out where she should be.
Her reply was, "No."

 Mr. B then stopped his story, looked at me with a more than slightly confused face, and said,"I have never had a child tell me no to my face."
I tried in vain to think of a response:
There is always the raise-both-my-fists-in-a-winner's stance and yell out, "OH YEAH, BABY!!! THAT'S MY GIRL!!"
I could have laughed like he had just told the best joke in the world and trailed off with "Oh, ha ha ha, yeah, ha ah ah ha ha, that Brenna, she's a stitch, ha ha ha ha ha." 
Or, "Well, you know how these kids are!"

But really? I just said, "Hmmmm. Yep." 
As in, I really. really sympathize with you, because when she gets in the NO mode, well, kinda there are only a few options that you have and since you are not her mother, you don't know those options and I can CERTAINLY imagine you were completely and utterly stumped, because I know I used to be when she first began the NO mode.

Alas, all he got was confirming, hmmm, Yep.

I have to say, they worked it out beautifully and it turned out that Brenna was where she was supposed to be. Apparently, she wasn't having such a great day in her speech class and the teacher allowed her to take a break and hang out in the hall to gather herself. WHY the HECK she kept saying "I don't know" is beyond me. Maybe she was just over it. The week had been hard, Dad was not where he was supposed to be and she was stick-a-fork-in-it-done. 

The moral of the story?
 Thank God everyday for your eldest.

 Because she comes home and tells sister that if she GROTS, and does it each day, she gets a puzzle piece. At the end of the puzzle, she gets a weekend with the big sister at the big sister's house. 
Then you get a child who lights up like Christmas and the next day at school the teacher texts you and says, "What gives? Where is the attitude?" and Brenna turns to you one night and happily announces that her attitude is gone and the sass has left the house.

And so goes another week...

Monday, October 21, 2013

On My Desk

I started today with a bang, but I am quickly loosing steam. My desk doesn't have anything on it. My brain has nothing in it, and my body says, "Dude. Hauling stuff around for shows is hard work." I haven't been to the gym much because I have had too much on my desk to finish....and I can tell. Well, of course it doesn't help that I hauled a bench to the show and found the back entrance closed, so I hauled the bench up and over the fence. Let's just say my ribs were sore the next day. I don't think any amount of strength training or working out would keep me in shape for that.
I'm not 30 any more?

Moving right along...
There were a lot of owls set free this weekend. Many thanks to those who came out to the show and purchased these fun journals! There will be more coming November 2, at the Red Dirt Art Festival.

I have to say, I should own stock in Starbucks (as I'm sure many of us could say).

It did help me get up and get moving this last weekend.
 No, these are not fully caffinated drinks. I can't do much caffeine. Maybe it would be better to own stock in a gym. 
Aren't there companies that are purely balancing acts for life? That would be better to own stock in.

I'd better quit this post while I'm ahead.
I need to go free motion sew. Or paint. Or....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Friday Ramblings

I am up and in the art room early today, fueled by the need to get ready for a three day art show that will be here if I am ready or not.

note to self: dylusion ink sprays do not wear off easily.

My thoughts turn to trust this morning. Trust that whatever I have ready will be enough.
Trust that my worth isn't based on what I have in my spot in the show. Trust that when I stay in the present moment and acknowledge God in each of those moments, it will be enough.

notepads that have free motion stitching on them. free motion rocks.

Then I left the house.

As I was driving Brenna to school, riffing along to Justin Beiber with her (and yes, I am getting pretty good at his songs by now), I noticed a man trying to cross a rather busy part of the road. It's a road that goes across a wash and on either side is the riverbed.

he was on the left side in this picture. yes. i do think of what to put in the blog all.the.time.
you are welcome for the visual.

The man is standing on the road, waiting to cross, which a little unusual in that it's not a good road to be crossing on foot. The image that is seared in my mind, however, is that he was only wearing capri-like pants. No shoes. No shirt. It's fairly early (7:30) and about 50 degrees. It's a gorgeous morning and the sun is highlighting him in the beautiful way it does on a fall morning.
 The funny part is that he is standing like I do on a beautiful morning-hands together at his chest, face raised up a little bit to soak up the sun. Only he doesn't have a cup of coffee like I usually do and I'm thinking his backyard is across and down the wash. (we have seen some tents off and on in this area)

It's at this point I stop singing to Justin and wonder:  Did he just wake up? Is he coming from a friend's tent where they just had coffee? Maybe is the left side of the road where he does his morning business and the right side is where he stays? What a life. There are so many paradoxes in our days. I come out of my art room, get into my car with my coffee cup and drive my child to school. He gets up out of a tent, and possibly pees in the wash and goes back to his tent to stay warm.

As I'm thinking these thoughts, it dawns on my that I will HAVE TO GET OUT OF MY CAR at my child's school. Not that this is problematic, and I am wearing much more than the man standing on the side of the road, but I HAVE TO GET OUT OF MY CAR and I was NOT planning on it. I bet Mr. Road Man wasn't planning on running into anyone this morning, either.

I finally realize it is going to be one of those days where I am humbled, thankful and work mightily on staying in the present moment.

It's bake sale day and Brenna has so much stuff to bring in, I get to help, which is why I have to get out of my car.

of course, now that I go back to pinterest to get you the recipe, I can't find it. But if you put in s'more brownies, you will find a million yummy recipes. This one was killer.

So, I swallow my pride, give thanks that I don't live in a tent in the wash and get out of my car and walk with Brenna to class. I am wearing my pajama top under my paint splattered sweat shirt, sweats, white socks and moccasins. Granted, it's a better look than the shirtless, shoeless man, but geez.
This is the point where I think all I have to do is run in, deposit all her goodies and I can jump back into my car and go see if Mr. Road Man needs an extra blanket.

For some reason, the dean of students and one of the Bible teachers are standing at the main entrance, and greet us with a cheery, "Good morning!"  By now, I realize it's hopeless and smile back, wondering where the heck are my sunglasses, cause if I at least had those on, I could pretend like I was hiding.

And, because Brenna does not run in and out of buildings,nooooo. She goes at a stroll-and that's if there is a fire-
she pauses to tell them what we are bringing for the bake sale. I want to crawl into a hole.

mr. road man was gone when i went back home.

Lessons learned:

Trust comes in handy when I cannot rule my world.
Carry extra blankets from Goodwill in my car. 
If I'm in the present moment, I enjoy the silliness of the day and am grateful for so much more than when I am stressing over pajama tops and sweats.
No matter what, white socks and moccasins don't match. Some things I just can't change.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Friday Ramblings

In 2008, I was a crew member for an eight man team on the Race Across America, which is a 3,000 mile bike race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland. 
At one point in the race, I found myself in a large dirt parking lot. I had no idea what state we were in. I wasn't even sure what day it was. I was at my wit's end with fatigue and emotion. All I could do was walk in circles around the parking lot, trying to figure out my emotional state of mind. I managed to get ahold of my oldest sister during one of my loops and I burst into tears at "hello". I vaguely remembering blubbering about not thinking "it would be like this". She very kindly laughed and said, "I was waiting for this call."

That sentence stopped me in my maniacal looping.
It blew my mind that this emotional state of mind could be remotely "normal", given the circumstances. (sleeping in four hour shifts, driving endless hours behind cyclists, getting up and jumping into a car in the middle of the night, and the middle of the United States..) I somehow always manage to think I should "hold it together" just a little bit more. Shouldn't I be charging ahead? Aren't I immune to hitting a wall? It's such a good cause, how can I be ready to pack my bags and run home?

my husband, rocking the latest in hospital garb. i prefer leopard print over hospital wear.

When I got home this afternoon, I realized I felt like I needed to find a dirt parking lot and call my sister.
At the same time, I felt silly for wanting to do so. After all, life is GOOD. 
My husband is healing nicely after his bowel resection. My eldest is home for a couple of days to help out. We have had friends reaching out, praying, bringing meals, taking care of Brenna, etc.
But at the same time, my husband, who I liken to a shark (if they stop swimming they die) is sleeping 10 hours at night, takes a three hour nap during the day and-are you ready for this?

So, yes. I will admit it.
I needed a dirt parking lot today. 
All these emotions!!! Good ones, hard ones, tired ones. They take up so much brain space. They take up so much room in my chest. I don't realize how much until it's too much.  
Instead of beating myself up for taking up room and feeling needy, I realized that this amazing ability to FEEL is o.k., and there are times in life when the emotion meter is going to be on the crazy side, and maybe a dirt parking lot is the safest spot I can be in.

i want to be in the dirt parking lot that this guy pulls into.

I vote for this during the next couple of days:

Take a walk. Even if it's in circles.
Know that you are normal.
Call your sister.
Call me and I'll tell you that you are normal.
Have a second cup of coffee.
Put on your favorite sweats and slippers.
Hug your husband.
Kiss your child's head.
Go to bed early.

Love you all.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Sometimes life can take a little left turn.

On two wheels.

One is left humbled. And beyond grateful. A little tired but oh, so grateful.

My husband woke me up at 2 am on Wednesday morning asking if we had anymore Gas-X. We did not and I offered to go get some for him, which he declined. I fell back asleep. He woke me up at 5:00 a.m. and said he needed to go to the emergency room, something wasn't right. I offered to drive him, but he again declined and I think he said something about not wanting to wake up Brenna.

He called at 6:00 and said after a Cat Scan and blood work, it was probably a kidney stone, he was in good hands and had some pain killers on board. I got up and got ready, got Brenna ready for her all school retreat and drove her up to the campground. I got her settled, figured out her buddies, her room and all the little details of sending my child off with her school for three days.

I realized my husband hadn't called so, on my way out of the campground I called him and said, "What's up?" Thinking he had passed a kidney stone by now I was completely thrown when he told me they were asking for a surgery consult. 

Racing to the E.R., hoping to get there before the consult, I got to his room as he was talking with a friend (who is a surgeon) on the phone about bowel obstructions and surgery.

The next thing I knew, the surgeon was in the room telling us and the staff that we had to move quickly and there was "just a small window of time" he had to do surgery.

By this time I am thinking I am watching a very strange play unfold and I'm not really liking the story line. I would prefer to leave the theater and not even worry about getting my money back for the tickets.

In the blink of an eye - or rather a lot of grimacing pain, They rolled my husband into surgery.

Twenty four hours later, he is missing eight inches of his small intestines and has gone through a resection. He gets up like a woman after a hysterectomy and our biggest prayer today is that he starts, how shall I put it? "Passing wind." No small feat when your intestines have been pulled apart and staples back together.

I'm not really sure how to continue the story from here. Honestly? We had just spent time with some a couple who are dear, dear friends of ours. The husband has been diagnosed with Ocular melanoma. We came back after the visit and talked for a long time about papers that are in order, how much we love each other and pretty much broke down and cried for our friends. Two days later we are staring at each other wondering if that time of talking together was somewhat prophetic. I took a long, long walk today, feeling like we have skirted a horror story by the skin of our teeth. Thinking thoughts about Grace. That we all get grace, every single one of us. But maybe, could we share ours with our friends? Thinking thoughts along the lines of how is it that if our hope is Heaven, we spend so much time banging down the the doors praying and pleading to have more life here? 

All I can come up with is that life is incredibly fragile and once I think I have control over it, I have done a fabulous job of pulling the wool over my eyes. 

That, and the recognition that all we have is now. Just this moment. Then we get the next. And so on. And the realization of that is a gift because today,I want to be able to cement that in my mind.

So, right now, I watch my sweet husband give into pain killers and fall asleep, exhausted by the afternoon of walking three laps around the unit, brushing his teeth and visiting with some friends and colleagues.

 And I am grateful. 

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