Saturday, September 29, 2007

Guinea pig in apple costume


Guinea pig in apple costume, originally uploaded by emily999.

Lots of new work on eBay!

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZnutkinsQ2dnest

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good day...



It rained (poured, actually) last night and thankfully, this cooled everything off and it feels like Fall again instead of a humid, day in the middle of July.

Today, Norrie and I went to the park and took a zillion pics, played and ran all over. Then, we stopped at the thrift store...sort of slim pickings but I found a few interesting things. I'll take pics of some goodies. I got an old baby blanket that I'll wash up and cut as batting for some mini-quilts I'm also working on. I ran out (or can't find) some batting I used. I got some fiber-y batting that I'm not quite sure how to use (it was at a thrift store, so why not).

I also got an interesting vase white and cream. I like it because it has coil method clay work and has two handles. Very unusual, plus it's big enough to hold all sorts of flowers or even big paint brushes.

A lucky find was a pair of Furbies (mini) that Norrie has become quite attached too. It's funny because Jon got me a furby 7 years ago for our first Valentine's Day gift. I was really shocked/surprised. Since then, it's been through some bumps and what knot’s. Now, it has been re-loved by the gals even though he is limited in his abilities (lots of falling down). I'm glad I kept the little guy.

I've been busy doing some artwork...a call from the local gallery asked if I had any fairy paintings and I looked and found a few. But I wanted to do more and did 8 or so new ones. I dropped them off and that's when I found out they're going to VA for a art show! Wow! I'm glad I made as many as I did...15 in all.

Each night, after the girls go down, I relax painting my miniature paintings. I've done about 20-40 paintings. So, I'm happy and I hope all my clients will be too! :)

Today, I finally started the triptych paintings I'm working on. This is three paintings made at the same time. It's going to be slightly different as I'm playing with colors and mediums. I want to add my beloved oil pastels to it...so, I may have something very different then what I normally do.

With this last batch of paintings, I discovered a new way of displaying this work. I've worried about the canvas/masonite board as it's hard to frame (at least for me) and can be costly in the end. What I discovered is if I back these boards with 2 by 2 inch wood pieces (cut to fit) I can make a thicker backing, keep the masonite sturdy as heck and it's entirely unique. So, I'm very happy with the look/feel. I think I could get fancy and sand it a bit, but I really like the rough look. Plus, it's not cold metal frames (which I don't like).




Last week, I started working on my pond piece by starting to screw on wood and secure the piece to blocks of wood. This is challenging to say the least as the shape is oblong and not square or round. So, I'm looking for lots of wood (natural piece) from our walks to add to this one. It will be a very heavy piece...I always seem to go in this direction with my bigger works.

My next goal is to get more 2 by 2 inch wood strips and secure the 10 or so paintings I have on masonite. I remember one art teacher in college, Joe Soldate, saying hardware stores are the best place to get art supplies...and boy, was he ever right! I love that place! There are some things art stores are good for but on the whole, new and inventive works come out of raw materials...and hardware stores are where it's at. :)

I'm going to add resin on this piece and then drill holes for the supports. It's a backwards process but I wanted to see how it will look.

This is part of a diptych.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

1st soccer practice!


soccer, originally uploaded by emily999.

My gal in blue...


, originally uploaded by emily999.

Pikachu and friends


Pikachu and friends, originally uploaded by emily999.

Things I do for my kids...

Italian Sweet Peppers from Amish


Italian Sweet Peppers from Amish, originally uploaded by emily999.

I wish I could send a bag of these to my mom! They are so good...I'm frying them in oil/onions and will let this mixture cool. Then, I will take it and put most in small containers to freeze. When I want to add peppers to a sandwich, I'll put some of this on it.

I learned this from one of my clients. Apparently, this is a very Italian thing to do. It makes a perfect vegetarian sandwich with just peppers and cheese melted on. Delightful!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

pondering

She felt something was amiss...

Humid evening...

We had some strange weather today...coldish and sort of damp. This burned away to heat that kept building up till after 4pm. I felt really out of it (medication for the sinus stuff) and fell asleep. Plus, we did a lot of driving, doctors appointments (Jon's knee/cold) and went to an Amish Farm in Kettle. It was really a nice drive up there and I got 10 Italian sweet peppers as I'm going to try and fry them up with onions. I learned this from one of my clients...she's done this for years and it's a very tasty addition to a sandwich. It's very Italian, apparently. It keeps for quite some time as well and can be frozen in little containers (which I plan on doing). It's funny how, when you work with older people, you start to pick up on certain parts examples/ideas.

Today was Lydia's first soccer game/practice. For the first time, I think she did very well. Other kids had already played before (had leg protectors, etc) and I guess I'll have to do something like that too. She was so sweet running around and I could tell she was happy. She didn't hold back either as she was right in the mix.

I started to think about when I was in grade school and would be the only girl on the kick ball team. Being tall, I felt more inclined to play kickball with the boys rather than "Chinese" jump rope (it was a rope made of rubber bands and the girls would play this...I was way too awkward at this and was at a disadvantage as I'd get easily tangled in the ropes. I had a blast with kick ball, however.

There are only 3 girls (including my gal) on the soccer team. She's thrilled to do this as for the past two years she's seen bunches of kids playing soccer and now it's her turn. Norrie is prepping for next year. She would love to play right now. I need to get some soccer balls to practice with. Heck, I want to play! :)

Nelson had a good time, got loads of attention/walkies. Grandpa/ma came out and had fun too...grandma had to hold grandpa back from running in there and coaching! That was cute.

Oh, I also got my hair cut today. It's funny, but it's nearly a year since my last cut. I couldn't believe it! I need to do this more often. I started to dread I had it cut too short but by the time we were heading home, I wished I had it trimmed to half an inch...I was dying from the heat/humidity! Good grief.

I was the only parent taking snaps of the kids (I do think one mom had a camera phone). Most where sort of like, yeah, go _____! You did it!" But some decided this was the time to get their exercise in...I thought that was a bit much. Too type-A for me. Also, who the heck wants to walk in humidity?!? I'd rather get up early and walk then use my kids time. Geesh!

I must be getting better as I'm feeling better and not so down. Having a nap helps too.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

mind over mind

Apparently, my husband Jon had a panic attack before he could get on the plane. I didn't realize he had such feelings about flying. I got a call at 7:20 am and was surprised to hear Jon's voice. I thought he was calling me from the plane but as it turns out he was still at the airport and sick. After he calmed down, we made a plan and he would rest and then come home. I felt so sorry for him and worried. He looked horrible when he came home and he felt miserable. He wanted to go to Los Angeles so badly. This was the first time he was going to go on an airplane ride, alone and it took it's course. It didn't help that he's got a bad cold and is feeling miserable from this.

So, he's in PA and I am secretly glad he's still here. I was feeling a tad nervous about it too. I also know the next time he travels, we'll be going together (and I'll make sure he has his medication for relaxing a good hour before we board the plane). I have to smile as he reminds me of the TV character, Mr. T from the show "The A-Team". I loved that show as a kid and must say, it was a bit endearing to see Mr. T refuse to get on the plane. That is my Jon, apparently. Everyone has a limit...for me I don't like shots and will faint if people rush me. So, I tell then nurse and let them know I need to lay down. Nobody wants to deal with a six foot tall woman falling to the ground. Believe me, it's not pretty (or safe for you).

Anyway, I hope he'll be able to see the humor of it all tomorrow. Today he's too emotional and upset (and ashamed). He really wanted to see his friend and he said, this would have happened even on trip to Hawaii. I know this, but for some reason he's feeling guilty. I wish there was some way, I could make him know it's not his fault. Mind over matter...mind over mind; doesn't this cancel the other out? I think so...when the body if filled with such fight or flight chemicals, rationality flies out the window.

Ah, well...Next time, he'll have me to help him.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Leaving on a Jet plane...


(we're all a little sad)



I'll be seeing my dear when he gets back in a few days. I'll miss him like crazy. I fee rather sad right now...but glad he's going for his friend. There is just so much in his going to Los Angeles...phew. I can't even begin to start on here. I may have to create some art to get me through all of this. Oddly, I started a rag rug (crocheted), don't know if I'll finish it but I like the looks of it...not pressed or perfect or even with a specific idea...just flowing in a circle. Keeps me steady having something to weave...

Things I'm reading: Women who run with wolves. Recommended by an artist friend and I finally trotted down to the library and am digesting this. Very good book...already has brought me to tears with stories. I'll have to find one of the stories and share it here later. It had such clarity...

Sorry this is so brief...it's late and I'm tired. It was a long day of arguments, stress, being sick and feeling sorrow as our friend is taking a turn for the worse and it's tearing his family a bit. I hope they can heal for the grandchild.

.......

I hope Jon has a safe journey and can bring some love and joy with him. I hope he has a good a time as he can and takes a million pics. And I hope my mom and sis read this and make sure he is safe and taken care of.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

woman on horse: Midnight ride

midnight ride

Playing with photoshop...this is usually what I do when I take a break at the computer.

We've all got colds....


So, my sinus infection came back. I'm on antibiotics which has all sorts of effects on you when you're trying to heal. Very annoying.

Both gals are at home; they're sick. We just got the mail (Nelson alerted us...and half the neighborhood) and we got our monthly Funny times. For some reason, the gals love it...looking at the pics (which can be a bit depressing (a melted Earth or some such thing)). They like to ask me about what's happening in the comics, etc. Very sweet...I've got either really bored kids, really advance kids or strange kids. Ah, well...

Yesterday, it seemed we spent an unusual amount of time at the doctors/pharmacy. I had to wait for 20 minutes for a prescription and then we went to the doctors for Norrie and got her a prescription for ear pain from her cold. Then, we crashed at home and Jon was late for the soccer practice meeting and I had to ask the grand-parents to fill in (which they did, wonderfully). Then, Lydia knocked over a full bowl of oatmeal and I went crazy and yelled at everyone. It was all over from the table to the window. I couldn't believe what a mess...so, I cleaned that up. Jon did end up going to the soccer meeting and met up with his folks. They made plans to help get Lydia to practice for us. Thank God.

Then, Jon came home and I was grumpy as hell and ended up falling asleep in bed. I awoke another person but with an aching throat. All day I had sinus pain and the medicine started to help after I fell asleep. Thank goodness. The kids went to bed and about 5 am Lydia woke up and was crying and coughing. So, we gave her medicine and she fell asleep. It was one of those crazy 24 hours...

Right now, I have a headache but am managing. I have to work at 4 pm and I think I'll try to take it easy till then. Jon said he'd come home early too as everyone in his office is sick too.

I don't know if everyone feels this way, but I always seem to have high energy just before I get sick. I'll clean the house, laundry (5-6 loads, carried up 2 flights of stairs) and so on. Then, I usually crash and get sick.

One thing that was sort of funny when I took my nap after all the earlier events. I had a dream about a painting. I dreamt I did a painting and it looked really sweet. I remembered it so well, that I'm going to paint it. I hope it comes out as cute/funny in my dream.

****************

On a side note, I missed the magazine sale at the school. I couldn't believe I missed it by 1 week...talk about having a hard time. But again, it's because of all the changes and being sick.

*******************

A day or so ago, I got some wood (2 by 1") to start supporting my flat masonite paintings. I'm excited by this as it gives the piece more dimension and acts more like a traditional canvas. It will make it easier to display work as well.

Also, I finished two paintings a few days ago...but they need to be covered with gloss medium. Then, I'll see where I go from there. All I want to do is get better and start working at a maintainable level. This is one reason why I like doing ACEO's...they're small and don't take too much physical energy to do them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Have a Happy Pirate Day!


Have a Happy Pirate Day!, originally uploaded by emily999.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lincoln Center...

I'm watching/listening to the concert on Antonín DVOŘÁK...it's amazing. Something with the filming of this concert is done so well...besides the music being excellent. Also, watching the faces of the conductor, Lauren Maazel...so engaging. But I think what moves me most is the faces of the musicians...so amazing to see their concentration, their expert ability in their art and the variety of faces. I just love it. It makes me think there is hope for all of us, really.

Monday, September 17, 2007

my fairy girl in green


my fairy girl in green, originally uploaded by emily999.

my fairy girl in red


my fairy girl in red, originally uploaded by emily999.

rejections...of perceptions

Ah, well. Recycled paper, finally, got back to me and I got my work sent back. It's actually a relief as I have been waiting for nearly over a year. So, to be quite frank, I'm just glad my stuff wasn't lost or thrown out! lol! Also, it's a good lesson in what to do next time and to try harder. I'm not afraid of failing as much as I used to be. How about that? I'm growing thicker skin! :)

The worst thing to me is not knowing, regardless of the yes or no. I feel better now that I know and can move on to the next project/publisher.

My current goal is to make 5 new pieces of art/work and send them out. I think this is a good attitude and one that is doable. I also want to get my brochures printed up and start sending them out. This will be aim for the next couple of months.

Right now, I'm a tad tired as I got up at 6 am. I feel blah. I mailed out (what seemed like) tons of packages. But just a few things. I still need to mail a B-day card to my sis, and I want to send a card to some of my clients I do care work for.

Plus, I finished putting away the tent (it left a massive spot on the grass...all the grass died under there. I'm pretending an alien space craft landed and that was what remained. The kids are too literal, however, and say mommy it was the tent. Oh, well...


**************
Tonight, I think I'll make a turkey chili. It's been cold for the past few days (40's or lower at night). My bones started to shake and I vented to Jon about how I wanted to live somewhere warm. I had a humbling moment when I saw all the fires happening in the West and I vowed not to complain (too much) about the cold. Plus, I know once we insulate the walls, things will get warmer in the house and I won't be so bitter. Just feel a tad sad in saying good-bye to my plants/garden. Ah, well...

I'm also doing a lot of smaller works and trying different styles and what not. I need to go to the local gallery and bring in some new things there. Plus, I have to finish some work for the St. Drogo's cafe among other places. Jon may have another place for me to show my work at a restaurant in State College. We shall see...

****************

Jon's leaving for the weekend. He's going to California and you have no idea how I wish we could all be going too. I haven't seen my parents in 5 years. Not for lack of want, believe me, but funds. Sigh...But we are aiming for a January trip. If things keep going the way they're going, this might become a reality. So, I'm feeling good...Jon's trip is so he can spend some time with a dear friend who's had a series of very hard knocks in life.


+++++++++++++++++++++

It's funny. My job as a caretaker is a very personal one and I'm dealing with a lot of people who are left with bodies either ravaged by time or disease. It's interesting as the biggest problem of people who are limited is not so much having their basic needs met (food, shelter) but being around other people and making connections that make them feel valued and real. My feelings, within the first week, shifted from saddness and pity to surprise and compassion. I was surprised to see the dark humor some people showed and the politics of retirement centers. I was really, really suprised! Anyone who says older people are like children is quite naive in their perspections. If anything, these folks are really good at subtle, spiked conversations. Certainly, if a person is mentally ill, it's a different story but for those who are aware and here, it's quite enjoyable. I'm fascinated by the stories people will often open up and tell me...and how you can't pigeon-hole people at any age. One woman, loves the most conservative Christian preachers but has an equal amount of love and support for Bill Clinton and Hillary. You could knock me over with a feather, when I heard her say Bill, could win this race because he's got the common man touch. What insight! lol! Even now, I'm laughing with surprise at how people just amaze me sometimes.

And so, I've learned, yet again, do not judge a book by its cover. It's also funny because, as a quiet person, I'm often perceived as withdrawn or I don't know what, really. However, I do know what I like and don't like. I don't like showing off or feel I need to stand up and say look at me. I'll share what I feel like I need to share, certainly. However, I don't feel like I need to be an extrovert when I'm a quiet person. I'm happy with who I am. And if some people don't like this, it's their loss, not mine.

Once, about 15 years ago, I adopted a stray cat. She surprised me by getting larger and larger, until I realized she was quite pregnant! She had a litter of about 7 kittens. All of them were beautiful and sweet and I esp. liked the white and gray one with a fluffy body. After they were old enough to start moving around, I put them in a row and decided that which ever kitten came to me, would be my cat. One by one, each kitten wandered away until there was one left. I was feeling very rejected and sad when the last kitten opened her eyes. She looked right at me and like a Barbados turtle heading for the sea, she came straight to me! I named her Simone, One who hears, and she has been my cat ever since. This is how I know something wants/needs to be with me. I try to use this gauge in life as much as possible.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cold days...

It's a cold day here in PA! The dew is heavy on the car windows and it feels like Fall, at last. Or silently, Oh no, if you don't like snow/cold. I'm still debating whether or not I like snow. I don't think anyone likes the cold, that much. I guess as long as you've got a down coat and your cold weather gear, it's all right. Still, I must say I wish I could bottle steamy, humid days and release them on a 10 degree morning. Sigh...

We had a late start today. Actually, I got up right on time. So did Lydia. Norrie seemed to refuse to get up...her time clock seems geared towards hibernation with all this cool air. Cute but tiring for me (I have to carry her more which is no easy task). Lydia didn't want to go to school because she thought today was Friday (teacher conference or some such thing) and we have some plans (library and a sundae). Then, when we were about to leave, Lydia tried to help clean up and ended up pouring chocolate milk all over her jumper/socks. So, I was rushing around like a mad woman which doesn't help to keep kids calm. I can be a bit gruff (to say the least) and need to work on that. Poor kid started crying and I tried to rush down the steps only to add to her upset feeling because she thought she was going to fall down the steps. I felt bad and she started to cry more. So, finally after many hugs, and calming her down (and my self) as well as saying it's all right not to have your sweater (which was at school), we left. I'm going to let her wear a warmer jacket as it's too cold to wander about with a sweater and no tights (which I need to get too).

Also, I feel bad for ranting about her teacher at school. I found out she was getting over a cold and didn't feel so hot either. So, now I know everyone was having a hard 1st week...sometimes, I can be so egocentric. I'm going to try and calm down and not rush to conclusions/fears.

In other news, my friend Caroline may be coming out soon to spend some time with us. I'm so thrilled though, thankfully, she told me her husband has a things about germs/messiness. This explains quite a bit and I feel much more at ease...although, this means I'm going to have to clean a bit more. I wish I could splurge on a bunch of baskets and containers...maybe, I should have a yard sale and clear up space this way. Or else another Salvation army drop. You'd think with all the stuff I've given away I'd have a lot of room, but nope. Of course, it doesn't help that I find stuff I've stuck away for another day. But at least I'm seeing the bottom of the floor. I notice there is more and more space now.

We got a free wooden shelf from Craig list. This is a really cool shelf as it's made with the wood from a 180 year old carriage house. I believe the wood is chestnut and very rough/unfinished but so strong. Amazing. This is going to be for the garage and then I can really roll in there. Jon needs to put it back together as I have no idea how to put it back again.

I'm going to look for yak tracks for the gals as I know this would help them out too. These are the best for protecting you from slippy ice on walks. I highly recommend them. If I could afford it, I'd get them for all the elderly clients I work for. This would give such ease to them, I know...actually, it's good for everyone. Just don't walk in the house with them and esp. not on linoleum/tiles as you'll fall on your butt.

I can hardly believe it's Fall, again. I'm so glad it was hot/humid for the first 3 weeks of school. Yes, I complained like crazy and it was a pain but I think it wasn't so bad. I guess I'm worried about the heating bill and cleaning out the furnace/filters. You would not believe the stuff you have to do in the East for Winter. I bemoan all the spoiled days I had in California... The worst thing you had to do was wear a slightly thicker coat with a pretty scarf and maybe mittens. Here it's double thick winter gloves, thick down coat, thermal underwear (or the thinner silky kind), hat, THICK scarf and yak tracks. I might take it an extra step and get ear warmers as well. I have some cheap ones but they slide off my big head.

One great book I read this summer was Laura Ingalls Wilder's "These Happy Golden Years". This is a great primer for cold weather; the joys and pains/aches of it all. It's so true about being so cold you can hardly get out of the bed and can feel the cold press you down again. We're planning to insulate the walls in the house, so maybe we won't be that cold for long. Hopefully...

I want to get the whole series of Little House. I didn't realize what a great book it was...so interesting, simple yet full of real truths. I'm going to have to reread Anne of Green Gables series to see if they're still as good as I remember as well. Also, I want to compare them a bit. I've read most of L. M. Montgomery's books...a few I missed and would like to read.

I noticed I have to clean out some of the basement for shelf space. There is an old metal dollhouse of mine I'd like to pull out, clean up and make useable for the gals or just for me. I actually found (about 3 years ago) at a flea market most of the doll house family/furniture. It's one of those 1950's style dollhouses. I got it for Christmas one year and wish I had taken better care of it. I do have fond memories of that dollhouse...I would let my albino guinea pig, Strawberry, climb around in there. What fun memories! I used to climb the grapefruit tree in the backyard and hoist Strawberry up in a yellow sewing basket (it came with the little sewing machine my mom got me for another Christmas) and pull her up to the roof. We'd sit there and played. I probably made my parents have more wrinkles, then I realized...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Preferences...and the Fly

I've had my icon on here for some time and will be changing this. I liked the "air brush, high light, wash-out look" but need to change it. It's a little to "soft and pretty", if you know what I mean. It's one of those sort of vanity photos, I guess.

Anyway, I want to put something up that's more me and will have to sort thru some pics. I'm starting to lean towards a more "real" feel to images of people's faces. I notice quite a few British pics look like that...usually have more of a natural feel (no air brushed away wrinkles) or capped teeth (which is a big industry here in America). For the record, I have had braces (massive under bite, crooked teeth on the top) but refuse to do the bleaching of my coffee stains. Maybe when I'm older, I'll feel differently. But for now, I'm all right with off-white teeth.

This concept of "perfection" comes up in art a lot. What is perfect? What is beauty? Many people have written, explored, debated, denied and have tried to get to some concept of beauty or idea of perfection. I don't know what it is, personally. I do know if a person tries too hard, perfection becomes the base for failure...as in, why bother, I'll never be perfect. And I've seen too many people try to be beautiful (and for some reason this is attributed to youth most of the time. Again, it's a big industry) with rather pathetic results.

For myself, I've noticed that beauty is often something that connected to surprise. It's like going for a walk, seeing some shade under some trees, reaching the shade and looking up through the branches. Suddenly, you're aware of a whole new view, a whole different perspective...and it feels beautiful and amazing. This is beauty to me.

I guess I think the discovery...the unexpected is what makes things perfect and beautiful. For example, I have this fly sitting on my monitor right now. It's been sitting there all day and I could probably catch it with my kids bug vacuum and set it free outside. But it's not doing very much sitting here and is actually sort of like a temporary bug sticker on my page, I guess. The funny thing about it is as I look at various photos and artwork on flickr and on different art sites, there's the fly. It's become part of the work and often I'll find myself laughing... there's a fly in this serious nude photograph. There's a fly on the landscape. Oh, and there's a fly part of this birthday party. Very odd and funny and a tad Gary Larson-ish. I've even thought, what an interesting idea of adding a fly in your work...only to remember, it's sitting on the screen.

So, the fly stays and gives me a different perspective to a flat surface. It's added a bit of clear winged, delicate legs, round little bodied dimension.

NED Collage: for Nina, originally uploaded by emily999.

NED Collage


NED Collage, originally uploaded by emily999.

Collage book


NED Collage book, originally uploaded by emily999.

cover...for a group (NED) project.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"The Calm is in the Big and Small of it all"

Detail of "The Calm"
detail of painting

"The Calm" 5 by 3 feet, 2007


The calm is in the small and large of it all...

Things that uplift...

I was feeling a tad shy about what I wrote earlier...I started to feel like, what if I offend someone? What if someone thinks something negatively about me? And like a strange and wonderful call from the universe, I read this post today from Hello, my name is Scott:

"...Nietzsche once said, “Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

Nice.

So, whether you're:

At work...
At school...
At home...

Don’t shrink from opportunities to say things like:

“That’s how I roll.”
“That’s my policy.”
“That’s just who I am.”
“That’s what I believe.
“That’s just how I dress.”
“That’s the way I do business.”

And next time someone becomes upset or frustrated or uncomfortable around you when you DO insist on being yourself, remember two things:

1. That probably says more about them than it does about you.
2. They’re just jealous.

Insist on being yourself.

And if some one (or some place) can’t handle it, just walk away.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you ever had to check your personality at the door?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Write "Insist on being yourself" on a sticky note and post it EVERYWHERE"

sparkle in your eyes

time...

Tomorrow is the 6th year since a tragedy came to be full blown for the US. September 11, 2001 will live in my mind as a day when time stood still. It seemed, for me, as if those planes crashing into buildings was a huge symbol of how pretentious we can be, ignorant and pleased with ourselves and blind, so blind to so much around us.

There were very few voices that made any sense to what had happened. I listened to people getting angry and blaming. I listened to a weird mentality of "We're going to get them and make them pay" Cowboy muck. I heard pastors and normal calm people fill with rage and despair...feelings of safety dashed and fear unleashed. For my self, I didn't know what to think. I was 5 months pregnant and a feeling of, "I need to be calm or else" over took my being.

I noticed people were so edgy and frightened. Even when going to the grocery store, people would look at you twice if you put something back at the counter because they were afraid you might be doing something different. We were also planning a move to PA and as we left California, the world changed again as Afghanistan was invaded with rage and hostility. Nightmarish and unreal, people so poor and already suffering, suffered even more. I couldn't watch this or think about it.

There were conspiracy theories and who knows what...all crazy and some how the same massive failures where repeated later on, when our shores where flooded by lack of care. It seemed like Katrina was saying, "Hey Wake up! Come back home and take care of your people and lands. Stop the fighting." But we are still there...in a quagmire.

It's six years ago, tomorrow that a small group of people, raging and filled with quiet anger, shook America. But did we listen? Did we learn? Did we stop to turn off the noise of avarice and greed and listen to those who suffered? I don't think we did.

I don't know what it will take to calm rage-full hearts. What will it take to comfort people who have lost so much in war? War is a cancer to me. It's something that most people (normal people) do not want and should be taken out or treated. I feel like if the war was stopped just now, everyone would be fine with that. I know we, as Americans, would be able to put aid/funds back into our State programs and most likely other countries would step up to help Iraq reestablish itself.

I'm not much of a writer or even that great at thoughts. I'm just a person living in the US, a mom and artist...but what I think we should do, is stop this war. Start healing people, instead of trying to blow them up. I think we should just look at 9/11 and the pain we felt, is exactly what they felt. Is six years of war worth, the lives of those who died in the US? It's disgusting to write this, but isn't that what it comes down too? I'm tired of war, worry and feeling helpless.

I don't know if the people in Iraq or Afghanistan will ever forgive us. I don't know if we can forgive either. But when you have one country that is so much bigger, stronger and capable of so much more than guns/bombs...shouldn't that country start to create peace? Shouldn't it be a shame to come to blows and pain, esp. when there are children and mothers around? I feel like we have no shame and embarrassment for our actions...oddly, this is opposite of so much of religious teachings. I don't know very many other religions but from what I do know of Jesus, he avoided conflict with swords as much as possible and when he did cause chaos it was when people decided commerce was more important then the teachings of God. This is a great person and one we should be using as our examples.

Anyway, these are my thoughts and reflections on how time seems to have not healed very much. At times like this, I think of the words from the song, There is a Balm in Gilead. We need to think how we can heal those who have been wounded. We need to act upon those thoughts and be healed by it.

THERE IS A BALM IN GILEAD

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

Refrain

If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

thought of the day...





Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Found from Annette Bush from losanjealous

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Ready for treats


Ready for treats, originally uploaded by emily999.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A book and comfy chair


A book and comfy chair, originally uploaded by emily999.

Too much humidity...

Good grief! I had the humidifier going all night and this morning I went down to the basement and found it had stopped. I thought, why did Jon turn this off? And started to get angry and frustrated...that's when I saw the red button. It had shut off as it was FILLED TO THE TOP! I couldn't believe it. I pulled out the draw and it surely was filled to the very top. I guess the hose (which is attached to the side of the machine and pours into a drain is clogged. At least it's working...

So, I did that and feel a bit better. I need to pull in all my artwork I've been doing (resined 3 more paintings today, and started a diptych painting(S). This will be my first one and I'm enjoying it very much.

I need to get some more supplies. Some disposable brushes, latex gloves, stir sticks and what not. I'll see what I can find on freecycle.

Also, I need to figure out a framing system for my canvas. I don't want to do metal as it doesn't feel right to me; I want something more organic in feeling. I wish I had more wood tools but that isn't going to happen any time soon, so I'll have to make do with what I have.

I finally got one batch of paintings scanned. My scanner is acting so temperamental and I have no idea why. It's not like I unplug it or move it around all the time. Do things really break down? Maybe that's it...but I hope it can be fixed.

Anyway, I bet for the day. I feel tired and sluggish from all the heat. It's supposed to rain tonight and I hope it clears some of the warmth. I'm looking forward to working a few hours this weekend. I hope it cools off for all the people in senior care too. It's really hard for them. Oddly, working with most people in senior care isn't so difficult. It's nothing compared to trying to reason with 5 year olds or younger. It's kind of funny. Plus, as long as an older person takes their medicine, they're usually very nice and normal.

I nearly fell asleep just now...but my eldest woke me up. She ran up the steps like a crazed cat. Very cute and funny because she said don't let Norrie follow me. I had a feeling something was up or rather down and asked if Norrie was sleeping. Sure enough, she is.

I also cleaned up the kitchen. Emptied the compost bucket and wiped off the oven. What a joy it was to see that cleaned up. However, I opened up the cover on the oven and was disgusted by all the crumbs under there. Another project, but it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.

Also, I decided I need to make a schedule for cleaning during the week. I'm going to put it up on a big piece of paper and mark off all the things that are done that day. This way, Jon and I will know what needs to be done and one person (ME) won't have to do everything. I felt like divorce was in the air when I realized how much needed to be cleaned/fixed/worked on. But once I thought about it and have decided to do something about it, I felt better....However, I'll feel even better if this works. I can stick to lists, but Jon is a different story.

Lydia has her 1st school birthday party, tomorrow. I could hardly believe they gave out B-day invitations on the 1st day, but I guess some people are used to schools. I feel like I'm trying to stay afloat and wishing I was back on the shoreline. Some people amaze me.

I went to the Family Dollar store today. I was looking for cheap cleaning supplies and got some good deals. I was lecturing on how we should not buy things wily nilly esp. if it's from China. I ended up with two toys from China and a wooden shelf set that was "As is" made from China. It stinks, literally. Something about the paint used makes it stink. So, I need to test this for lead and then I'll put this together and paint it (to be safe). Sigh...me and my "bargains". I just did the lead test and it's not lead! YEah!!Phew!!

I also need to start being strict on hats/sun block as I saw a poor man after he had part of his nose removed. It was full of cancer, apparently. It looked like he was shot in the nose...very disturbing photos (on flickr). Fortunately, he was all right and is recovering. This reminds me of my college professor in theater arts. Every year, as a young man, he'd work in the fields as a farm hand. This exposure to the sun took its toile and he (every 3 or so years) has to have about 2 layers of skin removed from his nose and face. I can't imagine this, but he would get it done. He didn't feel too disgusted by this and would still show up to school...wiping his bloody nose like it was covered in sweat. Awful...and a good lesson to wear hats/sun block and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

I'm going to give Lydia's school sun block to apply before she goes out in the sun. It freaks me out that she's out there so much. When I was at my dermatologist there was a poster that said most people permanently damage their skin before the age of 18 years old. This would explain a lot of women/men around here that look 60 or older when they're only 35 or 40. Scary. Wrinkles are caused by too much sun/tanning. Not to gloat, but I was pleased to hear my dermatologists say I had pretty good skin. I think it was because I just didn't tan at all in my 20's and didn't really like the sun's full blast when I was young. My parents were pretty smart about this. They'd often take us to the beach just before sunset...the best time to go as you're not getting all the sun rays and you get to see a beautiful site. I remember going to the beach once in college in mid-day and was so surprised at how flat and washed out everything was. Now, I know why!

Maybe I'll get some nice umbrellas too...I hope the styles change and bring back the parasol. These are great things...and those 1940's hats for men. I love that look.

I hope Lydia's gym clothes arrive soon as I don't know what she'll wear for Tuesday. I'm nervous about this as we got a form to fill out and I turned it in the very same day. We shall see...

Personally, I can't wait for the hoagie sell at the school. I love hoagies and only wish I could freeze them. Fortunately, they are sold thru out the year. Still...it would be nice to do that...

I must admit, once I get over the fear of driving to a new place, I've been meeting some great people at my new job. Certainly, it's very difficult being ill or feeling like you aren't who you used to be. But on the whole, I feel comforted to know there are places/people/aid for when you get older. People don't have to be left somewhere to suffer and there are lots of good people who will help you. Also, I notice the ones who seem happiest are the ones that get out and do stuff like playing cards, going to a show or just going to the senior center to chat. It does surprise me that most people don't seem to have family to help them. But I guess this is to be expected as well if you’re past a certain age. I also wonder if people just are nicer to new people and a little bit meaner/too comfortable with family. Maybe distance isn't so bad in this case. Still, you hope that most people are happy and won't feel left behind. I think this is the key to anyone's life, regardless of our condition/life mark; finding what makes you happy and feeling you’re part of the bigger picture.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Japanese FUNNY Show (Monkey and Dog)

3:30 pm

This is the dreaded time when I feel so tired, I just want to curl up on a nice soft fluffy bed and the scent of coffee and vanilla wafting in the air. But do I get this? Nope...it's usually chatter, cries, stinky cat box smells, a growling Mr. Nelson and me feeling achy and flustered. Today isn't too bad but I feel annoyed because Nelson got into the trash three times (Jon believes you don't have to empty a trash if it's not to the brim...YEAH, RIGHT!). So, I emptied this, cleaned up the floor, hand washed the stinky floor (3 or 4 times), picked up the girls room (so they could actually play in there), plooped down on a messy bed and lay there for about 10 minutes. I couldn't really rest as I have to go to work at 4:30 pm. This means getting the kids ready to go to Grandpa/ma's, get myself ready and drive to work. It's only for 3 hours but when you feel tired, hot and blah, it's not what you want to do. To add to this, is I can't find my collage books I made for this group I'm in. I feel worse as it's me who started this group and now, I can't find my part of the collage. I feel frustrated and short tempered.

I did get a lot of things done today, however. It was a very foggy day and I was not about to walk to school in this. After we dropped my eldest off, we drove to the market, recycled grocery bags (3 huge ones), went shopping, came home and ate, played in the sprinklers, did 3 new paintings and I got to resin one painting. I do feel satisfied in this regard. I usually start feeling really frustrated if I don't get art time. It's funny how important this is to me...I just feel so annoyed and angry if I don't have time to paint or make a mess. lol!

So, that was my day. Oh, and to top it off when I went to get Lydia today from school, I hit my head so hard on the car door frame, I saw stars and cried/cussed under my breath. I think there was some blood but I can't tell as it's all swollen up there. Sometimes it's really a pain to be tall...

Now, I will go and make some coffee (with vanilla creamer), drink this slowly, take a few Motrin and try, try to find the collage books I made. Then, I will take the kids up to grandparents and be off to work. I look forward to a calmer day tomorrow, though I really hope I do more artwork.

I got a call back from Recycled paper greetings and they are (hopefully) going to finish up reviewing my art and I will get it back. At this point, if something gets chosen, fine. If not, I'm definitetly fine with this. All I want is my work to come home and try selling it at the gallery or at a different card place. I feel a bit better about this. I need to really take my advice and COMMUNICATE more.

One good thing is my hearing is coming back. My ears are clearing up from the cold and I'm on the up. Thank all that is Good! :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

echos of the soul


echos of the soul, originally uploaded by emily999.

a view of works by fellow artists

hmmm

well, Jon and I talked to the school/teacher and I think things will be better now. I was really getting annoyed by these Xeroxed copies of things to do with little side notes from the teacher. Then, there was highlighting and it just was annoying. I think it's much better to just talk to a person and not assume notes will suffice. Plus, having my doubts whether my daughter was getting her lunch or not, made me feel sad.

I cried today as well. I guess I needed to mourn the passage of time and I began to realize my little gal is growing up. It makes me feel sick and happy all at once. Such a strange feeling...It didn't help that Norrie wanted me to play some songs from Quest for Camelot...

The Prayer

I pray you'll be my eyes
and watch her how she goes
and help her to be wise
help me to let go
Every mile thus pray
every child knows
lead her to a place
guide her with your grace
to a place where she'll be safe

I pray she finds your light
and holds it in her heart
as darkness falls each night
remind her where you are

Every mile thus pray
every child knows
need to find a place
guide her with your grace
give her faith so she'll be safe

Lead her to a place
guide her with your grace
to a place where she'll be safe

It was just so right for the moments I've been having all these two weeks and didn't even realize it. My little red haired sweetie helped me to see this...It's so hard to let go, but a part of me knows it must be. The good thing is they do come home and the other good thing is there are lots more holidays at a religious school! lol!



an edge of my summer garden 2007


, originally uploaded by emily999.

it's 3:30 am and I'm up...

Yesterday, I had packed all of my daughters things that, apparently, I had neglected to pack. I received two HIGHLIGHTED letters from her teacher without any verbal explanation in regards to what was needed for my gal. I even talked to this teacher and she said, everything's fine...the kid just needs to adjust. blah, blah, blah. I realize, over the weekend, that my child, needed a blanket for naps and snacks. The teacher said nothing.

Today, my daughter comes home and says lunches are supposed to be in paper sacks or lunch boxes. I look at her and I'm wondering, did she eat a cafeteria lunch? I put her SNACK in a brown bag. I'm flabbergasted and getting very annoyed at this teacher. Did my daughter eat a lunch? I don't know. She's afraid I'll be upset and won't tell me now. If she didn't have a lunch (which we paid for and I suspect/hope is the case), I'm ready to try a different teacher. What in the world is wrong with this person? And why is she a teacher? Communication and not letting the parent be left wondering and feeling like a failure because you expect them to read massive notes/papers the first week is key.

I've never seen someone so anal for a teacher and esp. for Kindergartners. I can see why parents would want to take their children out of this class or get someone else to teach. I also notice my daughter seems sadder, lately. Not her cheerful self. This makes me very upset. School, esp. for the wee ones, shouldn't be a pain in the A**. I really thought the purpose was to be "Christ based" and not "my rules as a teacher, or no lunch" based.

Jon says he's going to call but I'd like to talk to the principal about all of this. I've got some strange sickening feeling about this teacher...rigidity, inflexibility and ignorance do not a good teacher make. Compassion, kindness, understanding and most of all love, make a good teacher in my book. I should have followed my gut when I volunteered the first day of school. I saw Lydia's teacher off sitting at the teacher table and the other kindergartener teacher sitting right next to my daughter. This makes an impression on a person and the impression is, I want the one who will sit with the kids and not be off sitting with her pals like a gaggle of turkeys strutting their feathers. It's icky and very unloving.

So, I'm saddly typing this at nearly 4 am while having a mint tea to calm my upset tummy. Yes, I get upset when my child is afraid to tell me she didn't have a warm lunch because her teacher has some problems about rules. I wonder if the principal has email...I communicate much better, I think in letters. I don't get as flustered, angry...usually. :)

I feel a bit better with this plan. I just hope it was a mistake and not a crazy teacher. I guess I feel like I'm hitting a little hypocrisy...why do I believe things are going to be any better than I ever thought just because a place says they're religious? I don't and I'm glad I got a chance to think about this. Sorry for clogging the blog waves with my fears.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

things in my garden...

squash blossom

New week...

Phew! What a weekend. I feel so tired. I officially have a sinus infection but am getting better. And I had to work for a few hours as well...so, very little sleep in. I wanted to have a new batch of art up on eBay but was just too tired to finish anything...actually, I practically fell asleep while painting! Haven't had that problem in a while! lol!

My sis-in-law and family are leaving today to go back to the Boston area and I'm sure they're going to be happy going home and relax. I guess that's what I want to do...and sleep. My left eye feels swollen for some reason.

We're 85% finished with the fence work. Jon got most of the heavy stuff done and now to work on the gates. I haven't had any coffee yet and feel sleepy thinking about everything. And my ear feels stuffy.

Jon's leaving for California on the 22...I wish I could go with the gals. But it's not to be yet. It's going to be an emotional and stressful time for him, I know.

I just want to rest today but life has a way of jump starting you. I hope everyone has a great day and is not suffering too much from the weather (heard it's crazy weather in California...106! I just understand how anyone can live in that extreme...but I guess I did for awhile, though I don't recall it getting to 106! Scary.

I hope I'll feel better after I have some coffee and my allergy stuff because there are things I want to do today. I'd like to finish some paintings up as the weather is great and I can use some resin.

Monday, September 03, 2007

artist


artist, originally uploaded by emily999.

flowers


flowers, originally uploaded by emily999.

from my garden. These are from burpee seed catalog. Lovely!

me...sleepy


me...sleepy, originally uploaded by emily999.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Reading...

During these strange times, I've often felt a drift and frightened. I look around me and often, I'll see a calm bit of world with a few, very few problems. There is economic depression, but we still manage to carry on. There is very minor problems when you think about it...or at the least, places to go and get aid for problems that do seem overwhelming. However, what do you do when you feel so sad about something that feels so beyond you? I'm talking about a war. A war in another part of the world where there is no sense of calm, no running water or even basic medicine for your child, let alone a peaceful quiet. I think about these things and I feel so lost and just sad. However, every now and then my sorrow is punctured by the voice of reason and hope. Such people who do this for me are Michael Moore, Sister Joan Chittister and past contemporaries such as Molly Ivins. I feel a breath of truth sweep inside me like no other.

Tonight I read a moving column by Sister Joan Chittister. I hope you will read it, play the music video and know that you are not alone in how you feel. What moved me most was the realization that we can't put our hope in the system of checks and balances, in the thought/idea/concept of justice if there is no action.

Sociable

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