Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Words Escape Me

Words escape me for two reasons.
One, for the amazing support and encouragement after last week's post.
I have read a bazillion times that blogs are supposed to be happy.
Sometimes, life just isn't happy and I tend to be more on the realistic side, and darn it, life is just HARD  sometimes.
So, thank you. A million times over for all your kind words.

The other reason words escape me is this photo, entitled,
"What I Did Over Memorial Day Weekend."

Long story short, because most of this is done left-handed:
I took a massive fall trying to help Brenna get control of an out of control bike so she wouldn't end up in a ditch. 
 Massive Fall.
I'll find out later this week if I have torn my rotator cuff.

Meanwhile, I'm processing.
 I'm vacillating wildly between thoughts of crazy fun graduation, possibly not painting for a very long time, letting go of the WHY and being overwhelmed with gratitude for friends and family.

I'll be checking back soon.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Graduation Begins With G. So Does Grief.

I'm gonna be honest with you today.
I'm not sure how to hold all these emotions that are flying around me these days.

In the first hand, my girl is graduating next week.
 In the second hand, we don't know what is next.

First hand: graduation, excitement, lots of "lasts", yearbooks, class parties, class trips, baccalaureate, caps and gowns, finals, looking forward to summer.

Second hand: IEP's, explaining the future to our girl, the unknown, wondering in my own heart what will be next, what is the best next step, what will continue to help her grow?

First hand: Senior chapels, cards and gifts, getting ready for family to gather, planning a party, making pretty things to give away, cleaning out lockers, senior countdown, throwing hats.

Second hand: Fear, frustration, plans not working out, switching mindsets, forging another new path, seeing the gap grow wider, wondering about the future, trying not to look too far ahead, feeling alone in the journey, feeling lost, wondering where the hell the parent manual is and being tired of writing our own manual.

First hand: My girl's tears at leaving those she loves at school, then being fine once she processes it. Her being able to live in the absolute present moment. Joy in the next activity. Spreading her love and hugs. Reading the entries in her yearbook and graduation cards out loud to her and seeing the smiles that spread wide across her face.

Second hand: Waking up at 5:00 am, too many thoughts in my mind. Searching for peace. Finding words that get me through the days:

"But me, I'm not giving up. I'm sticking around to see what God will do. I'm waiting for God to make things right. I'm counting on God to listen to me." micah 7:7, message version
"He will be the sure foundation for your times."Isaiah 33:6, NIV
"I am the world's light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in." john 8:12, message version
"Then showing us the way, one foot at a time down the path of peace." Luke 1:79, message version.

First hand: Listening to my girl talk to herself in her whispers- "I'm excited for senior countdown." "Today we are going to the movies" "This summer, I go to Camp Paivika, then Camp Footprints."

Second hand: Finding empty spots in parking lots where I howl and rage and cry and let out every fear and get really, really honest. Admissions of unbelief, admissions of being exhausted, admissions of not knowing, not understanding, not knowing, vulnerability, confusion frustration and other feelings too numerous to list. 

Stocking my car and purse with kleenex, opening my hands, palms up and reaching out to others. Getting ready for the day, listening to my girl tell me how excited she is for the day's plans (JUST TODAY) and being reminded that she teaches me more than I could ever have imagined, and continuing to take the next step forward.

sharing with Chatting At The Sky.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


We all know it's that time of year.
It's a mixed bag of anticipation for me with my youngest.
I'm learning to appreciate every day, each moment and hold my hands WAY open.
And make some art.
Which means there are new listing in my Etsy Shop
See over on the right side bar there:
That's it.
Cute stuff.

Little, tiny soldered pendants.
Each one is 1in. x 1 1/2 in.

Each pendant holds a little scrap from a Vintage Children's Primer,

..or in this case a Vintage Dictionary.

They are surrounded by lead free solder and are on a silver plated chain.

Great for a unique gift for your grad.

Even better, one for yourself for making it through the senior year....

I'll be listing more this week..

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Gift Of Time

After being on a tear for several weeks, my days have come to (somewhat) of a screeching halt.
I have termites to thank.
Many thanks as well to the crappy patch job done on the ceiling in my art room that needs to be redone.

I have spent this week waiting for estimates from exterminators, which brings great anticipation. I'm pretty sure one of them will tell me with the next breeze, my house will crumble around my head. 
So far, all I have gotten is a paper with many numbers on it and the gained knowledge that termites are swarming like crazy in our area this year.
I love gathering information.
Can't ever have enough.

I also love hauling all my art stuff out into my kitchen and working away, enjoying the scent of mud being scraped on the ceiling.
Pretty much I think I can patch it by now.
Useful knowledge, really.

Instead of being on a tear to swim meets, school functions, senior tributes and banquets, I am realizing I still remember how to paint and it's coming hard and fast.

Maybe because I'm realizing I might be packing up the house and moving out for three days while my house is tented and I will spend those two days in a coma out by the hotel pool.

Too bad margaritas and heat make me sick, otherwise that would be in the mix.
Great. Now that I know my husband reads this blog I'm in big trouble with that last statement. 
Honey, be glad the coma will not be alcohol induced.
Just the usual exhaustion induced coma.
Sun screen helps. Large amounts of chlorinated water helps.
 Pretty much, I can get high on the smell of a rubber raft and sunshine because it makes me so blessedly happy.

I think I need to stop now.
Plus, another exterminator is coming to give me an estimate. 
Happy Friday.

Linking to Paint Party Friday

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Friday Ramblings: A Love Letter

I was able to get this little bird idea of mine out of my head and on to paper today.
I thought I would share her with you today, along with the amazing love letter I read.

The love letter had an odd beginning..
It started in my email from "Anonymous"
Usually this means spam on my blog and I just delete the gibberish.
This time though, there were four in a row and I wondered what was up.

When I opened the first one, I was surprised to see it was from my husband and it began like this:

Yes to reading 100 of your previous posts – actually I have read all 660. On 12/11/13 I started a journey with your blogsite and I committed to reading every one of your posts. It has taken 4 months to read them all. Let me just start by saying I love you even more.

What. The. HECK?
We had gotten into a "lively" discussion the night before, as he had asked me to show him a couple of posts because he hadn't read my blog in quite a while. I showed him one and that seemed to be enough for him. 
I was just a tiny bit miffed, but figured boys aren't really into blogs.
I continued to read:

I can’t say why I never read your posts before - I know every now and then you would show me one and I would think “cool” or “amazing” but I never thought to join with your regular readers and “follow you.” Maybe I did not read your posts because of my own crazy busy life, maybe because I was living this life with you and did not feel the need to review it, maybe for a hundred other reasons. All I can say is that now I have read them and have enjoyed every moment. It’s funny how when one lives with someone for 28 years they think they know all there was to know. I enjoyed moving through the photos and stories of the projects, colors, new techniques, kitchen food and fun with you and the girls, flowers, friends, places, etc, etc. I have been spiritually encouraged as you integrate quotes from the Bible, “Jesus Calling,” Christian songs and your own thoughts and prayers that speak so well of our Father’s love. Your writings brought me tears, laughter, and so many memories about our girls, our dogs (former) and even me. But most importantly it gave me a deeper look into your dreams, your art, and your soul.

Let me stop and tell you that I began to cry.
Big, boo-hoo, let-it-all-out tears.
For an hour.

My husband continued commenting to the point where it took four times to post.
He highlighted his thoughts on posts like this:

1/30/14 Posted about B’s art, saying you will give a portion of your sales to NDSS and yet behind the scenes you were momentarily challenged in raising our daughter with special needs. Amazing that you can give when sometimes your own cup seems empty.

8/23/10 and 5/10/10 Your thoughts and concerns about B’s finishing 8th grade and beginning her first day of high school – and now 4 years later we see what has happened – God is faithful, B is resourceful, and you are an amazing mom. Can we learn from the unfounded fears of 4 years ago and together move with greater confidence to her next season of life?
8/14/10 B turns 16. You post the Italy/Holland story. All kinds of tears flowed again. The wonders of what if? The joys of what is! Thanks for staying with me in Holland and I am so glad you got to visit Italy.

Honest truth.
He read every single post. He did it at work on breaks and it took him four months.
Four months.
He read for four months, took notes of the ones that had highlights for him and told me about them.
That's a love letter.

He continues:
5/18/11 The photo of Lauren looking out over Florence (and the world) is forever etched into my ibrain photo book.
8/23/10 Lauren, Hall of Records, needs a passport- watches as several groups of people are waiting to get married – she decides that this is defiantly not the way she wants to have her wedding (and I think “Darn! - all the money we could save!”)

 ..later we realize a life truth taught to us by our gracious Father – that when we love, and let this love go into His care, the love returns, stronger and wiser for the journey, with greater love all around. And in this love’s life, not only does she return willingly, but she now brings her husband to be, Stephen, rich with love for our love and rich with love for our family. We are blessed.

10/10/13 I like the shark reference -“my husband, who I liken to a shark (if they stop swimming they die)…”

5/5/11 Thanks for all the hard work in promoting RAAM 2011 – until I read this post I never knew you did this. Did I tell you I love you? (Do you really think I look good in bike shorts? I could wear them all the time….)

1/7/12 Tears on “An Ending”

1/7/14 You could not remember what the numbers “27” and “4” on the gunmetal box represented. 27 years of marriage and 4 in our family; at least that’s what you told me when I asked… (Don’t worry about lapses in memory – I will remember for you and you can listen for me)

Something for all of you:

4/6/11 At some point in our life we will go to the Arno River in Florence and put a love lock on a fence post. I promise. The folks in blogland can hold me to this.

1/18/11 I like when Carol calls you “brave Bear.”

I think I cried hardest at this one:

7/16/09 This was your first post that I finally read a few weeks ago. There were 6 responses. I wish I were the 7th.

My sweet husband ends with this:
4/3/14 You posted a photo of one of your newest paintings with the following quote: “I love you much most beautiful darling more than anyone on earth and I like you better than everything in the sky.“
When our Father spoke of the things that remain: faith, hope and love, He knew what he was saying when he told us the greatest of these is love.
Lynn Richards - for reasons that live in this blog post and oh so much more – I live you much most.
Your new follower,

Thank you for taking the time to read this and letting me share one of my greatest loves in my life.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Old School

I am punchy tired.
I have no new art work to show you, nor do I have any work in my journal to show you.
I have a list a mile long I have tried valiantly to conquer.
Some how said list never ends.
Therefore, it's a good 'ol ramble today.

Let's begin with the problem of tele-marketers.
The phone rang after dinner tonight and I said to my husband, "I wonder who wants money tonight?" Sure enough, a nameless voice from some green energy company began his spiel and asked how I was doing. I said fine, but we have all ready talked with someone from his company, and could he please take my name off his li----and the phone went dead. Dead! 
Since when do tele-marketers get to hang up on ME?
I was even polite. 

Next subject:
Party rentals.
I have been put in charge of gathering information about rentals for the Big Day.
Can someone please explain to me why flatware costs twenty five cents -
One fork=one quarter.
One spoon=one quarter.
One salad fork=one quarter.
One knife=one quarter.
Start adding up the numbers and it's a ridiculous amount for something that is used in someone's mouth, dropped on the ground, rinsed and washed and packed away.
I am still on the hunt for a less expensive version of flatware that is not plastic. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Did you know that it's cheaper to purchase table linens and napkins rather than renting them?
After October, if you need a table cloth, I'm your girl.

As long as we are talking about weddings, let's talk Pinterest.
That magical world where time is lost in looking up pretty flowers. And dresses. And one hundred things you can do with a mason jar. Bridesmaid dresses. Shower ideas. Seven hundred DIY projects for favors. Three hundred blogs on how to do your own flowers. A plethora of ideas on rustic weddings, shabby chic weddings, glam weddings and the many uses of barns.
Unfortunately, when I type in "Mother of the Bride" and what do I get?

Totally me.
Especially with the flick -of -the -wrist -blow- off -everyone -behind -me move.

Maybe this:

It does have Brenna's favorite color in it...

I think I'll stick to looking at barns on Pinterest from now on.
If anyone has suggestions on Mother of the Bride outfits, let me know.

Along with the subject of weddings, let's talk chairs.
As in this great chair I found at Goodwill for a steal.
As in the awesome fabric I found (another steal) to recover the bottom cushion.
As in the excuse I had for purchasing it was that my child might need it for a prop in her wedding and she could keep it for her first home and if she didn't want it I could keep it.

On a different note, but still talking about wearing white....
Here's our girl at the Awards Night for her school.
Graduation robe and all.

That face...
She kills me. She is so excited for graduation!

I'm going to wrap it up.
My husband wants to read the blog and catch up on the last hundred posts....
Have a great weekend!