I just realized how long it has been since a post.
One of my friends with cancer has already died. While a somber and reflective occasion, it provided time with people I don't see often enough and the sharing of really nice memories with so many people.
Never take for granted your life. Or your friends and your family. Choose wisely.
Because my job continues to drag the life out of my soul, kicking and screaming, I am re-evaluating my options. I am grateful for a job, but anxious to find something more fulfilling, or at the very least, ess stressful and time-consuming.
Stay tuned for details on the purging process. For now I am content to get paid for my misery, but my feet itch for the next installment of "how to pay your bills."
I woke up not feeling well. I decided to call off from work.
I slept in a very little bit, then woke up to water my plants and knit. I've had a headache for weeks and a stomachache for days. These activities were the easiest things to do while I was feeling puny and sorry for myself.
This was actually taken Sunday while it was raining.
This was taken about 2 skeins ago. Making a super-gigantic garter stitch scarf in scandalous RED!
My decision to go out for coffee and toast proved a good one late in the morning. I went to a neighborhood restaurant that just opened its outdoor seating for the season. I took a book and read while I sipped my coffee (mine is better) and enjoyed some whole wheat toast with strawberry preserves.
I took a book that I had read rather quickly a few months ago. I was two chapters in before I realized that I really didn't remember reading it at all. It was the catalyst for my reflective day - thinking about my general malaise and dissatisfaction with things. The small amount of reading that I did made me want to read more, to paint and to write.
More on that later...
This past weekend I took a little road trip to a hard-to-find inn. The inn was hosting a wine festival, but I chose to just enjoy the drive and to walk around the grounds for the day. The property is next to a horse camp, and the parking lot was pretty full:
It was a great day, spent with a friend from years ago.
This wasn't the getaway I described a while back, but it was a step in the right direction. This was a Saturday trip that lead to reflection as I planted vegetables and flowers in the rain on Sunday. My reflection continued, and evolved, today.
My Grandfather had it, my Mother has it - I have it. Restless Legs Syndrome. I'd like to believe that it is just a diagnosis made up by doctors and pharmaceutical companies to push drugs on us, but it is a real thing. I can hardly sit through a movie sometimes, or fall asleep at night.
These days I have restless legs of a different kind. I need a vacation. I need to get away somewhere quiet and calm. I am thinking of a few days in the Smoky Mountains with my dogs. This time, a cabin and not a tent.
Wish me luck with my decision.
On an unrelated note: My internet crush has been silent for a while. It makes me a little sad. And restless.
I came home from work on Friday to find that some neighborhood vandals - very likely kids on spring break - had painted my neighbors' garage.
I asked my neighbor, a school teacher who was on spring break herself, if she had been home all day. She had actually called me earlier in the day and I hadn't noticed. It seems there were kids climbing the fire escape at a nearby church and her dogs were barking. She had gone outside and asked the kids to please be careful because the stairs were not safe. That's when she called me, asking if I knew anyone to contact about the church property.
It seems the kids didn't like any interaction with her, let alone a warning to be careful and not fall to their deaths or impale themselves on a rusty metal fire escape.
Stay in school, kids. You could stand to learn how to spell at the very least, and maybe even pay attention in art class.
My neighbors admitted they can't see the result from their house or yard, but I can. I offered to help them paint over it, but worried that white paint might only be encouragement to paint it again. We came up with a solution that was inexpensive and fun, and I was able to do it while they were away.
I'm pleased with the result and will readily admit that I felt like I was getting away with something when I was tagging my neighbors' garage.
Binge-watching: Season One of American Horror Story. It really doesn't scare me, but it's worthwhile viewing. Jessica Lange is outstanding. OUTSTANDING.
I've tackled some household chores that have been neglected, and while there is much, much more to be done, I realize the instant gratification that even the simplest tasks can provide. Note to self: Make a list and accomplish at least two tasks daily.
Stepping back, I recently visited the vacation property of a friend with her brother and a representative of her mother's estate. Unfortunately, this friend of mine is not in good health - physical or mental - and we went there in an attempt to help. It was eye-opening in more ways than one.
I was happy to see it standing. I don't think anyone has been there for years. Despite my best intentions and my repeated attempts to talk to this friend, the property is being emptied and sold and its contents will be auctioned. It is a sad conclusion for a place that was fun and exciting to visit with a friend who used to be fun and exciting to visit there.
A few weeks ago, I received some work from textile artist Maria Wulf. Maria and I had arranged a swap of my painting of her dog Red. I painted him back in July as part of my 30 Pets project. I would have been happy to give the little painting to her and her husband, author Jon Katz, but I was so happy to come to an agreement to swap the painting for three of Maria's original pot holders.
You can read about Maria's work on her website, but I really love that she uses recycled clothes to create her unique pieces. After she posted some similar potholders near Valentine's Day in the shapes of hearts, I asked if she would consider circles for mine. I didn't want to direct her, it was just that circles have greater symbolic meaning to me. The result is beautiful and I am so pleased with the exchange.
I am also VERY pleased that Red now resides where he belongs. If a picture paints a thousand words, than the more than thousand words written by Jon (and by Maria on her blog), certainly helped paint this picture.
As the sun started to drop in the sky today, I took the opportunity to capture the alter ego of my dear friend, the artist Robin Long-Jordan. The Robin Doll came home with me right around Thanksgiving and I admit to not taking her out much. Sorry Robin, but my life can be pretty boring sometimes. Today, I thought you might enjoy climbing the crabapple tree in my back yard.
Then I thought, "A picture with the dogs would be appropriate." The picture with Wilson was fine, but my attempt to photograph Parker with The Robin Doll quickly went awry when Parker tried to swallow her.
And recently I started some knitting projects to work on over the summer.
As every day with my silly critters ends well, so does this Easter Sunday.
Now back to my binge-waching, knitting and list making. Until next time...
There is no sand where I live, so it isn't realistic to go about drawing lines in it. If it isn't too late, I would like to state a new year's resolution: to use my paint brushes more. Kill them with kindness. Wear them out and buy new ones.
Funny, as a student I could ill afford to buy nice brushes. I use a mix of expensive brushes - purchased at sale prices - and cheap brushes. I cared for each one like it was the last brush I would ever own.
Now that I can afford to buy nice brushes, I need to carve out time to paint so that I can wear out my brushes. That's the goal.
I am gearing up for a new painting project similar to the one during which I made 32 paintings in July. I will be hiring someone to convert my garage this spring. At the very least, I wish to have electricity out there and some deck flooring. If nothing else, I'll insulate and add either drywall or plywood walls for reinforcement. If I paint all summer, I'll need a fan. If I paint at night, I'll need lights. Progress is slow, but the reward will be great.