everything’s gonna be all right I know…
I like to try to think of something positive I came away from failed relationships with. My first marriage, I learned from my mother-in-law to use scalding hot water to wash dishes. Still do. Second marriage… phrases. Useful phrases that I still repeat and have passed on to my kids and those around me.
This is one of the things Tom, my 2nd ex, used to say a lot, “It was a great idea, it just wasn’t worth a damn.” It’s true of so many things, including this last thing I decided to try:
See, my current husband (coming up on 10 years…this one’s a keeper!) has to wear these compression socks and when we first started buying them they were really expensive (and we were usually scraping the bottom for sock money). So even though he’s worn out the heels and bought new ones, he never throws the old ones away. I had this brilliant idea. I’ll just learn to darn socks, and we’ll save money and be thrifty.
I watched a video on it here.
Then I tried it. My husband looked at me all lovey-dovey-eyed, as I sat on the sofa with my reading glasses on and attempted to darn his socks. It was a real mushy moment for him. But after a few attempts, let me say:
That shit is NOT going to happen, people. I just found a different supplier for the socks, and after I shot this picture I threw that sock away.
It was a great idea, it just wasn’t worth a damn.
I am still exploring the world of mixed media, art journaling, now getting into art swaps. I joined this one after stumbling upon it at almost the VERY last minute, and look forward to getting 5 postcards from women around the world!
Here are my 5 submissions:
If you would like to visit the hostess’s blog, it’s right here iHanna’s blog
I was in the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon–a crazy thing in itself. But I was making myself “do the hard thing” so that I could scratch it off my list. I was actually feeling pretty good about myself even though the chaos of HEB on a busy day is very unsettling for me. Then my phone rang, and my husband said something to the effect of, “Someone from the church just called…your youngest has been sending texts to a girl asking her for naked pictures of herself.”
Long story short, that Thursday night he went to live with his father. I spent Friday like I’d spent all the days before it…running down yet another long list of things to get done. Drop off the boy’s ROTC uniform at the dry cleaner’s. Locate birth certificate, shot records, social security card. Pick up uniform, return it and textbooks to the school and withdraw him, go to the post office and express mail all his paperwork to his dad instead of driving to Boerne myself. And I still had to work until midnight. The world might come crashing down on me, but it never stops turning and expecting its lists to get checked off.
Sleep. Check. (thanks to Lunesta, I can still sleep)
Get up. This one’s hard but I do it. Check.
Do SOMETHING. A load of laundry. Check.
Eat something. Power bar, no cooking involved. Check.
Work. Sleep. Get up.
Like Pink Floyd says, comfortably numb.
That was some weeks ago. Maybe 2 or 3…can’t really say. I may go in and out of phases of sadness. I found some relief in a book I’m reading currently, in which the author wrote, “Bereavement does not have a happy ending.” And it’s so true, that in every cloud we look for the silver lining so that we can say AHA! That’s the answer! Now the ends are tied up and it is going to be OKAY! This doesn’t have a happy ending, not here anyway. So I need to get on with my life and not waste it searching for meaning or that AHA moment to cling to for hope. I do have hope…but I’m not clinging to it like a life raft in a sea of sorrow. I’m ALIVE goddammit. I’m not clinging desperately to jack shit. I AM ALIVE and there is sorrow and there is hope and that’s life. Aha!
I must also say, there is now peace here. When he was here, there was always an undercurrent of mistrust. I KNEW every time he closed that bedroom door he was up to no good. I would walk by it and just feel that there was something bad and dark going on behind that closed door. I saw a movie recently that said, “Our instincts always have our best interest at heart.” Good to remember.
So the dark cave of secrets that was once Daniel’s bedroom has been CLEANED. The loft bed disassembled, ready to be listed on Craigslist and the proceeds to go toward a pickup truck for Jessyca. All video games and accessories are in boxes to go to his dad’s. The only electronic device in the room is a tiny 13″ television. The dirty windows and sills have been cleaned and the room is bright. It is welcoming, but it’s not a place for badness of any sort. It’s a room in my home, and we live in a G-rated house.
Except for the language.
So sue me–I’m not perfect!!
I could talk forever about what’s been “happening to me” but…well, nah. Check out art… art feeds the soul.
Jessyca was invited to a masquerade so I got to make an impromptu mask out of cardboard, duct tape, texture paste, black gesso, silver glitter paint, and little jewels.
Then I got very excited to see that Jessica Brogan had decided to re-run an Inspirational Deck Swap, a deck of inspirational cards you make yourself, send to her, then she sends you back one of yours and 51 from other participating artists. They were actually fun to make, with old playing cards. And I got them finished and in the mail day before yesterday, just barely sliding in under the deadline.
Here were what some of mine looked like.
What is a quote you return to a lot for comfort or inspiration?
Paul at work, Daniel stayed home from school with a headache, Jessyca and I did chores and worked on aprons. I wrestled with my stupid serger for probably a couple of hours before calmly pulling all the thread out of it and putting it in a corner of the room. Like a punishment. Then later I looked at my goal chart and one of the post-its says “Get Serger Up On Counter.” So I plopped that pain-in-the-ass back into the spot I’d cleared off for it, and I guess I’ll try it again another time. I wonder if anyone even MAKES a serger that’s not a complete tiger to work with. I’ve felt relieved when finishing a project with mine (which is a Singer) but never satisfied. Just glad to turn it off!! I also cleaned my Bernina and the Janome my grandmother gave me. Got a lot done, switching back and forth from them today. My bed—although it has no quilt—now has a nice long bedskirt that hides all my boxes and drawers and baskets full of (you guessed it) yarn underneath. The quilt will be next (and soon). I was thrilled to scratch this off my list, but I sure did wrench my back climbing in between the mattresses to get it all straight.
While I was stuck in the hospital with Paul. Wait let me back up… I was not “stuck,” but he was. I just chose to be stuck with him. Make sure he wasn’t alone, because he was pretty miserable. When you are all mushy in love like we are (we spent the 11th anniversary of our first date in that hospital room!) you can literally spend 9 days not even talking really. He didn’t feel like it, didn’t feel like much of anything. I watched Hammer movies on my little DVD player, and he watched whatever was on TV. Set aside the frustration and terrible pain, we had a nice quiet 9 days together.
So anyway. While we were there, I set my mind to finishing UFO’s (unfinished objects). It’s part of my decluttering…I gotta get this stuff OUT of piles in boxes in closets and corners, and either make something useful of it, or get it the hell out of my house! So I finished this afghan, which ironically I started in the waiting room of an outpatient surgical center 5 years ago when he was having his first hand surgery. It’s been through another hand surgery and months of waiting in the rehab lobby, then Brittany’s gallbladder surgery, then shoulder surgery and the months of rehab that followed, and also on the plane to and from Los Angeles. But mostly it’s a “hospital afghan.” It was the trophy, whomever was in charge of “taking care of Dad” got the good chair and the flag blanket.
Although we haven’t been able to put all the Halloween into the year that I wanted, we do have some special plans–Paul took the night off, so we’ll spend it together! Also next Wednesday night, Jessyca and I will be going to one of the theatre showings of the original Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein at Heubner Oaks theater together. We watch those old b/w Universal Movies every year! Right now I’m watching “House of Wax” with Vincent Price. I do love me some Halloween!
And finally I’m about to lay down and go through some of my new art journaling books for inspiration. All this stress, I’m in need of a little! And Nicky is already ready to keep my pillow warm.
Started out the month with grand plans to decorate for the Big Night, but wouldn’t you know, my husband got a big giant blood clot in 2 veins that shunt blood from the liver and part of his small bowel (jejunum, specifically), marked by dreadful abdominal pain every time he ate. He thought it was just a stomach bug–a visit to our GP yielded nothing so he was sent for a CAT scan the following day (about a week after the onset of the stomach pain). By the time he was called, he couldn’t even get on the table so my daughter drove him to the emergency room, where they finally drugged him enough to get an MRI and discover the clot.
NINE DAYS in the hospital, the first 7 of which he was just miserable, had excruciating pain even after a simple spoonful or 2 of Jello. We came home last Sunday and each day has gotten a little better. He’s returned to work, and is having less pain when he eats. And I’m feeding him better than Jello.
In other news–my wayward brother Michael has found himself in Oregon. Now the fog in his brain seems to be clearing and he’s more in contact, and is planning to find work and return home. I have no idea how his story will turn out, and I am — as always — stressed out about it.
Jessyca and I have begun working, actually WORKING toward our goal of having our own business, with the first goal to buy her a pickup truck of her own. We’re going to make a goal/inspiration board that covers an entire wall and a picture of a Toyota Tacoma, all decked out and jacked up (WITH the step bars of course) will be the first thing that goes up there.
So this is our first collaborative offering:
It’s a candy apron! Halloween is my very favorite holiday so I like to be out in the yard visiting with the families that come up to trick or treat, not stuck on the porch with a giant trough of candy. So Jessyca and I designed this apron, and I embroidered it with my “new” embroidery machine, given to me by my Nana several months ago. We’re making 5 to sell (for more details, see the “Tam’s Attic” link at the top) and have only 4 left… Get ‘em while they’re hot!
Fall is HERE! It’s the first fall, complete with cooler weather and pleasant breezes, that I can remember for many years. It gives me that Fall itch to redecorate and plan for some fun family times during the holidays.
So that’s our October so far. I look forward to some PEACE AND QUIET while Jessyca and I begin working into the fall and Christmas season.
Here is the take-off page of my Gypsy Diary. It’s not all glittery and mystic…not yet. First I gotta clean house, break camp…then I’m off to see where I end up.
Before getting started I thought I’d do a little research on this whole “gypsy” thing. Turns out that true gypsies aren’t charmed and don’t live a magical existence. They are–as they have been for hundreds of years–the unwanted of the “civilized” world. They’re the “shaggy-haired stranger” blamed for any number of crimes that might occur when they are camping nearby. Today they still exist, but can’t really co-exist with mainstream society because they refuse to be mainstreamed… and we all know how “normal” people don’t like anyone outside their norm!
So that’s very sad. And I started this journey sad so I’m not going to take a sad path. I am instead going to chase down the illusion of the gypsy. The road less traveled. Living “off the grid,” making my own rules, setting my own boundaries, and learning a little more about the world around me by traveling through it a little more slowly. Because I’m in a wagon…get it?
Here we go!!
Probably not the most original of lines…but it’s what I have.
You’ll notice I posted a link to Jonathan’s memorial fund to the right in place of my Etsy link. Please feel free to share it.
I came home from Jonathan’s memorial feeling wrung out. I finally emailed Tangie Baxter and told her I didn’t think I had a creative thought in my whole head and was doing a crappy job for her. She insisted I take some time to work on her new project, and decide later. How nice is that? So I did download her workshop, the “Gypsy Diaries” and darned if it isn’t EXACTLY the project I need for this month.
There are plenty of pages and elements if you want to go 100% digital, but also videos, PDF’s, and collage sheets if you want to go hybrid and actually alter an older book.
I’m altering a book on manners from way back in the past when people had dinner parties and servants and ladies wore white gloves. It’ll be more useful when I’m thru with it!
I’m most excited about the inside pages. Because I really have been on a journey, and now I wish I could just pack up a few things (art things, books), my husband and my dogs, and get into a little wagon and GO. So in some imaginary way, I will work out all my crap while I have me some “gypsy” adventures. I’ll make a big pile of “luggage” that’s staying behind, and fill my wagon with all sorts of colorful pages and insightful journaling. I might even make up some potions and spells to cook up by the campfire under a full moon. Potions to ward away politicians and their minions, doesn’t that sound awesome?!
Doesn’t this look dreamy? Of course you have to squinch your eyes real hard to imagine the 2 Great Danes. My husband better watch out, or my imaginary gypsy wagon will end up getting built in the back yard, and look an awful lot like this one. With solar panels covering the roof!
This young man was born on January 12, 1988. I know…I was there. His dad handed him to me and his mom beamed like she’d just created a whole ‘nother being. They shared him with me and I loved –still love– him dearly, as if he were my own son. I was so happy for him when he had a son of his own, and loved watching his life moments as shared on Facebook. But due to a quirk of nature, he’s gone. Just like that…24 years old. His little boy has no daddy, his parents have lost a son, his siblings have lost a brother, and the love of his life is left truly widowed.
Below is a link to contribute to his funeral fund. I’m posting it everywhere. I can’t go to his funeral–can’t afford to go, and if I could, I’d rather give the money for fare and hotel to this fund. Please pass this link around if you feel moved to.
So this is a self-portrait, done for a journal page about Jonathan.
The original page I did had journaling about how I didn’t recognize the aging, grief-stricken woman in the mirror. Then I went on to draw a face like Suzi Blu taught me and she looked like a perky, happy little teenager complete with makeup. So then I actually took a picture of the face in the mirror, and this is her. Lots of dark circles and lines…I feel like the month of August has etched some of the deepest ever.
People say, “You know, the Bible says God won’t give you more than you can handle.” And I want to say, “Have you actually READ the Bible?” Because that is NOT what it says. It says that we will face temptation, but no temptation greater than we are equipped to resist (I Cor. 10:15). And I don’t think God Himself metes out the trials, but the Devil, to hinder our walk, to mock God, to trip us up and laugh when we fall. Just to make trouble, just to cause pain. We know there are people like that, right? So I feel safe in assuming the Devil is that much worse.
Earlier in the month I got this weird “text-to-land-line” message in which a robotic voice read to me what was worded very much like a suicide note. Whether that was its intent or not is a matter of question…but the fact remains that had I not gotten that weird call, (name withheld) would have died of an overdose. Those few minutes saved his/her life, so I could call 911 and EMS got there just in time…so why no last-minute rescue for Jonathan? He was prepared…he even had a defibrillator in…but it wasn’t enough. And I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY. I simply cannot comprehend that he’s just not HERE somewhere, “one eye geen, one eye boo.”
Still. I will stand on the Solid Rock, and believe if I feel it or not (lyrics…love lyrics).
P.S. God…I could use a lull in the storm please.