Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Checkin' In

You turn your back for one minute and another month passes. Hello Ms. March!

03/06/18, 6:15 p.m. backyard sunset by: Me
  • I'm finding it hard to believe this June will mark ONE YEAR of my being at the store.
  • Nothing more in life has been happening here. I haven't been to Italy, Greece, The Coastal Georgia Islands or any place else that's been on my bucket list forever. Often times I wonder if I'll ever get to any of those places.
  • I feel like I live a very quiet life which is cool, but at times can be quite maddening. This lovely quote comforts me in some way:
"Solitude" by: Me
  • On the reading front: "A Confident Heart" has become another one of my favorites. I love my faith, God and any good reading that makes me feel even more grateful in my gratitude walk
  • "The Story of Arthur Truluv", because I love anything Elizabeth Berg writes
  • "They Left Us Everything" because I love a good memoir and it kinda reminds me of what my sibs and I will have to face with mom...
  • "Happier At Home" because who doesn't want their home to be simple, comfortable and full of love?
  • "Living In Full Bloom" because I'm all in for books that share how to live in constant bloom; and
  • "Daughters of Men" perhaps because I didn't have a father/daughter relationship in my life and I love reading about Black Women who do/did
On the art front: Paint chip butterflies on canvas board, hot glue on canvas board covered in foil and polished w/black shoe polish, my contribution to Valentine's Day (acrylic paint on canvas board), and "Loretta and Devine" (named after the amazing Loretta Devine), my first time with Orchids. Side note: "Loretta" is THRIVING: ALL the petals have since fallen off "Devine." 😭 Research says don't trip - she's not dead.

 Until next time - from this quiet life.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Static sounds better...

I am artistically/creatively "static." (static adj.stillmotionlessstationary)

I looked up synonyms for the word "stuck" and like this word better.

Surrounded by all things crafting and I cannot right now come up with ONE creative thing.

From my view, everything looks....meh.

Pinterest doesn't help with the static; it overwhelms instead of helps. Too many choices, ideas and for me, sensory overload.

I've stopped trying to force the magic because I discovered it cannot be forced.

While Sister #1 is over in her hood shooting off numbers of the pour technique (she completed NINE canvases in one week), I praise her in awe and feel the static even more.

Google Image
Is it because she lives alone? Retired? Everything stays exactly where she puts it? She has a master bedroom-sized craft room? She can sit in her creativity and let it come without interruption? I say yes to all of these things.

If you find my creativity out there some place, please tell it I'm looking for it and to please return to me. I miss it.

"Stepping Stones" Google Image

Friday, January 12, 2018

Trybe Strong

Photo by: me
My best friend has breast cancer.

We got together @ her lovely home yesterday, she gave me this lovely journal for a Christmas gift, we talked, laughed, chatted, then she told me.

I'm not ashamed to tell ya - I'm a 'weeper.':
  1. 1.
    a person who weeps.
  2. 2.
    funeral garments, in particular.

Any of the following moments can open the floodgates for me:
  • when I do Bible study/meditation because I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness to God for everything - good and/or bad; 
  • when a movie touches my heart
  • when folks get hurt, killed, or die (which in today's world would leave me a nasty mess at all times, but there are specifics to this one)
  • @ natural disasters because my heart gets overcome by the loss & sadness for others
  • when I've had too much drink and the conversation turns sad or deep
  • when I think of my mom these days (dementia)
  • when I open my heart and receive
But not this time!!! (Huh?) I felt so powerfully faithful for my friend - not one drop of sadness or fear. Why? Because I didn't feel any of those things and 24 hours later, I still don't.

I feel like God has got this like He has everything else under the sun. Not that blessings are based on any type of our merits (cause there's nothing we can do FOR God; he just wants our love and obedience), but this just feels different. I trust God so hard in this situation that I plainly don't have one shadow of a doubt that this will all come out in line with His will, which is that my friend will go over this "speed bump" (her words) on her journey and continue to live her beautiful life.

I have a friend through Facebook that I've never met in person. She's West Coast, I'm Midwest. We exchange snail mail, she knitted me a pair of fingerless gloves just because I mentioned I wanted a homemade pair (WEEP!!!) and she's going thru the valley of breast cancer. When she told me it had returned and metastasized, I cried so hard I couldn't breathe!

But me and THIS woman? No. The only feeling I have is being there for her & her family in the best way I can. She has a huge tribe of family & friends so I'm not real sure where and when I should step in, nor what I should do, but you can bet the farm I will be there. Starting yesterday.

I have a gazillion and two, no wait - three journals, but they all pale in comparison to this one. If not tonight, tomorrow I will start journaling (the goal is daily) in honor of my girl. She bought one for herself one so we can push each other to stay on top of it. She's never journaled so maybe she can learn from me. Because I've always been 'the writer.' If I don't get my words outta my head and heart, I'd be bat shit crazy.

So here's to being part of my girl's "trybe." I've never felt more protective of her or love for her.

I am love, I am light. I am peace. I am Trybe Strong.

Photo by: me ("Blue Skies on Canvas"

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hello, Ms. New Year

Photo by: Me
Happy New Year to all out there!! They say the new year is the start to a clean slate, but truly - everyday is a clean slate if you think about it.

I haven't for the past couple of years made any resolutions. I just do whatever it is I'm going to do. Besides, I suck @ staying true when I 'resolve.'

However, here are some things that would nice if they would/could happen:

  • We find a solution of what to do with mom as her dementia increases
  • Mom will allow us to act on her behalf in her best interests
  • I will continue to be able to stay in my home. With things shifting, sometime I get just a tad antsy but have to remember God telling me to "be still and know..."
  • Carve out serious practice time for the guitar instead of letting it go so long that I have to keep repeating lesson #1
  • I can make some type of road trips (or a flight would be even better) to take some new, fresh pictures
  • Someone would look @ my FB Photo Bus. page and think, 'OH MY GEEZ, I JUST HAVE TO OWN AN ORIGINAL 😀
  • I can get asked to shoot more weddings/parties and charge what I'm worth
  • Perhaps at the prompting of Sister #2, create that Photo Book of my pix
  • Hoping my creative spark returns. Everything I've touched lately turns out like shit in my eyes
  • I can be more real and honest with myself
  • I will make time to write here @ least once a week
  • I will make time to plop my behind down onto the mat and do yoga again. I know some aches and pains I have sometime can be cured with a solid routine
  • Find time to give more attention to my dogs. It's a lot of work taking care of two on your own when it was SUPPOSED to be a joint-project
  • Stop spending so much time alone and forge real friendships. Introversy be damned
  • May I stretch myself to grow in all ways positive and trust the process
Life is such a beautiful, crazy, mysterious, scary thing.

Photo by: me "Reflections of..."

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hello December

Photo by: me
Well, hello last month of this year. Seems when we were kids time dragged on eternally. As an adult, you revolve around paychecks/bills so that can really eat up your time. Booo... I'm tired of adulting.

It's Friday night which used to mean a lot 'back in the day.' For school, it was the weekend; as an adult, it was hitting up the clubs or meeting with friends, etc. I work on weekends now (something I've never done in my life) and I'm pretty much solo on the social scene so it's basically another night.

No frets, however. I just made a batch of the coolest Turkey and Spinach Soup. (Note the recipe calls for Kale, but I don't care for Kale - too bitter). I followed the recipe almost to the "T", except I added chicken broth instead of water, added in a green pepper to the veggies and added in a can of Cream of Chicken Soup for thick broth. It's still on the simmer right now, but the house smells great.

I'm a soup lover and in my Midwest neck of the woods when the weather turns, I need something thick and rib-sticking. Canned soups don't do that for me; they're basically a ton of salt & water so I chose to make my own. Last month, I made Chicken Soup and froze them in one serving containers which is what I'll do this time, too. Genius.

Photo by: me
'Tis also the season to decide on my Christmas card. I usually pick a photo I've taken and have them made @ Walmart. I'm thinking this one might make the cut. Today I shopped for myself and my 2 sisters. Sadly a cute little shabby-chic place is closing its doors so I found truly good deals on 'scarf necklaces' for my sisters. Forget that price you see - I got these babies for $4/each!!! Yay, me!

And to make my bedroom look just a tad less trashy, I picked this up for myself. It's tough when your bedroom is your office, studio, meditation, reading and guitar practice room. It's not a pretty place, but I'm surrounded by all things I love so.... you know.. whatever.

Otherwise, life continues to ebb and flow. Most times I'm upbeat and other times I 'go under' and feel melancholy. At those times, I'm quiet, I read a lot and do things that don't involve seeing or talking to anyone. I keep social media at arm's length as well because when I'm down, I don't need to see that shit.

I'm still 'pickin' and a grinnin' (any "Hee-Haw" fans out there?) on my beautiful guitar. My fingertips hurt but it's a good hurt. A learning hurt. After I learned a playing pattern, I did chords that changed the sound and almost wept with accomplishment! 😀 Not ready to go on tour yet, but it's coming!

Photo by: me OF me 
So until next time dear friends (or you who read this). I believe it's time for soup.

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Raining Leaves

Here in my neck of the woods, we didn't get much brilliant fall color as I had hoped. Not enough rain, then hot temps, then cold temps, then rain; bottom line, the leaves didn't stand a chance.

I was able to grave some colorfuls on the last good day for a walk (last week or so).

So in ode to Fall and the season of Thanksgiving, I created these:

Tea light candles set them off. And don't be afraid of Mod Podge. It's our friend. 👏

Love & Leaf Light.

World Kindness Day

 “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” —Dalai Lama

My Gerbera Daisies
 Kindness is something that this world desperately needs in these times of sheer, total cray-cray-ness. The President is weird, unintelligent & downright scary 👀👀; everyone has 'touched' someone else in a wrong, not-good way and all other kinds of madness.

BUT!!! In light of all that, there is always time, always a way to be kind and perform random acts of kindness.  This article gave me the warm fuzzies all over. 💖

I believe we do random acts without even realizing it. If you do something as small as say 'hello' to someone or smile or say 'have a good day', you have no idea what those things may do for another person's day.

I'm all about the kindness because I wanted to be treated kindly. It's truly takes much more energy to be mean, just like it takes more facial muscles to frown than smile. Plus, being mean gives you wrinkles, so fix your attitude so you don't end up with R.B.F. (Resting Bitch Face) 😁

On voting day last week, I walked to the Art Academy up the street from my house. Inside, a woman was complaining about how cold she was. She had on many layers, but her hands were ice. Without even thinking twice, I say - "here - you can have my gloves - I have more."

No I don't. I mean I THOUGHT I did, but I can't find them. No worries - they were just the small, stretchy ones that are a dime a dozen. My hands would've appreciated them as I walked back home in the cold wind, but I couldn't get over the feeling of how good I felt and how good it felt for her to hug me in thanks.

Just a small random act. Of kindness.

I can't believe I gave her my gloves...... 😐


Friday, November 3, 2017

November??? Seriously???

I didn't realize I had not posted one damn thing since September here. Where have I been? Where was I the entire month of October?

I've been right here. I've come to this blank page many times but the words got jumbled in my head so I left. And left. And kept leaving.



  • In two days, my son will be 30 years old! A co-worker told me he didn't think I was more than 35 years (I'll pay him off later) His growth into a beautiful, gentle, humble man who happens to have Autism is just a testament that time goes on; whether you know what you're doing or not. I still to this very moment am not sure in my parenting skills, but here we are.
  • It's been six months since I've been @ the store and I still love it. Of course you run into folks who are miserable in their lives and want to spread the misery, but I repel that shit like roach spray. I recommend everyone do the same.
  • The sibs and I are still keeping a close watch on mom. You never know what will go on from one day to the next w/her dementia. I discovered B-12 deficiency can be a major factor in easing/slowing the effect of "D". I vaguely remember mom's doctor telling us that and recommending shots to which she said 'to hell with THAT!' So .... here we are: nowhere.
  • Summer is done and shut down. I have a few plants left that are fighting the good fight w/this 40degree weather. I'll let them go until the frost obliterates them because as long as they still have color & act like they want to live, I say let 'em live.I found that the ones that lasts are the ones I planted from seed. #natural #nature



  • The clocks fall back this Saturday/Sunday morning. Booo.... only because it will get dark @ "early o'thirty." That feeling that always makes you feel like you should have on your pajamas & refuse to go back outside, even though its only 5:27 p.m. Uggh...

  • Otherwise, my life is still what it is. I haven't traveled anywhere, done anything exciting or written any novels worthy of Oprah's Book Club List. 😋😆 I still watch YouTube vids. for practicing the guitar (so relaxing), still 'dabble' in trying to stay creative & staying humble. I guess for now, this is my place in this life.
Face Stencils by me, titled "Mother & Daugher"

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Speak It

This became a reality for me over the last couple of weeks. I'll try to keep it brief.

  • I shot a pic & mentioned on FaceBook that I wished someone could draw it for me.
  • I get a response from a FB friend that I've never met personally (but have been FB friends for a few years) that he could do for me - no problem
  • I'm OVERWHELMED with gratitude. I mean just out of nowhere someone says, 'yeah... I can do that....'
  • We haggle over price; well, I haggled - he told me he would do it, send it & let me decide what to pay him
  • Now... clearly he doesn't know that I am clueless with that much power. Hell, I don't even know how to charge my OWN photography, let alone put a price on someone else's
  • He keeps me posted on his progress, saying he wanted to find or build a frame
  • I'm FREAKING over this much generosity. I mean... DYING
  • Today...... this arrived
Original by S. Blakely
SERIOUSLY?????? All it took was the 'speaking' of it? Or that he thinks I'm pretty cool & enjoys my photography? What? Who? How? Why?

I cannot even put into words how grateful I am. When I keep thanking him profusely, he just says, 'thanks - glad you like it.'

What price do I put on this? The time he took to sketch this out on canvas, the shipping...

Oy vey.

I am abundantly blessed.


Me and Keith Urban

Earlier this week, I bought a guitar from a co-worker. 🎸

It wasn't an impulse buy. It's been on the bucket list forever and the chance fell into my lap.

I've always wanted to learn to play. I figure 40+ years was long enough of a wait.

It's an expensive guitar, but she sold it to me for a song. No pun intended. 😀

It's a "Keith Urban" and came with a set of teaching CD's, case and a buncha cool stuff.

Last nite I practiced for an hour. It's hard work getting your fingers just right on the frets. MAJOR finger practicing is in order.

After an hour, I was frustrated but I know it'll take time.

It's not like I'm going on tour next week.

It felt so liberating to buy it on the spot. One of the perks of employment.

The Sig.Other wasn't impressed at all. I'm not sure if it was because I didn't mention it to him first or what, but whatever ails him is not my problem.

In the meanwhile, I'm working on becoming the next Nancy to Ann Wilson's "Heart" and banging out "Crazy For You."

A 'girl' guitar player.

Hellz yeah. 😎😎😎

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Running on Empty

I'm a "runner."

Nope, not a physical runner.

Not a 'carpet runner' on the floor.

I'm a feeling-runner.

When I touch the flame and it burns, I run.

This is nothing I'm truly proud of. It's a deeply instilled fight or flight response.

When I was a young wife and mother & things didn't work, I ran. Neither he or I was mature enough to make any adult type decisions on marriage/motherhood. I couldn't see any light @ the end of the tunnel. So I ran. Three thousand miles & aside from the living proof of my son, I acted like it never happened.

Recently, when a male friend whom I shared serious closeness/intimacy with chose 'not me', I ran. Not far, though, because he lives all of 5 mins. from my home. But chances are slim that we run into each other, so I unfriended him on social media as well. It was too painful for me to see pictures of him with his "Queen." And I'm pretending it was all nothing.

A couple years back; same thing. Different man, same flight response. No social media interaction, rarely run into each other in this small town, even though my heart drips with heartache for what could have been. And I'm pretending it was all nothing.

What causes this fear of intimacy? Until I can approach the subject without feeling like it's life or death, I'll never know.


Pictures by: me (shot thru a chain-linked fence because the asses @ the fair wanted $8 just for parking and I wasn't feeling it.... ✊)

Checkin' In

You turn your back for one minute and another month passes. Hello Ms. March! 03/06/18, 6:15 p.m. backyard sunset by: Me I'm fi...