Sunday, November 25, 2018

Best News of the Day

Hey, folks.

Sister #1 has decided to take Sister #2 up on the offer of renting mom's house!!!!

My heart was so overjoyed @ this news.

This means we don't have to rush to get the remaining weird crap outta the house (we still will - there's just no deadline rush).

This means we don't have to put mom's fancy clothes, hats, etc., in storage until it is decided what it to be done with them.

This means the house with the great patio/backyard will stay in the family and we will continue to celebrate there.

This means the Yellow Maple planted in the backyard honoring my brother's memory will continue to have our eyes adore it.

This means Sister #1 will be a HOMEOWNER (as opposed to a townhouse renter).

This means we will still have a reason to go to that side of town (the North East).

This means Sister #1 will take a lovely home and put her lovely touches to it.

This means.....God is always right on time.

All the time.


Peace.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Hey! It's November Already!!

Hey folks. Yeah... I'm still here. I've been to this blank page more times than I care to count so let me try to catch up.

I can't begin to put into words how fast time is flying. It really messes w/my head some days. Working crazy shifts back and forth; I usually don't know what day it is, nor the date. Everything is a blur.  AARP Mag. says this:
As I get older, time seems to just fly by. Every year seems shorter. Am I normal
That's normal. Blame it on how your brain marks time — through novel experiences that create memories. Growing up, you’re learning and changing and making memories. Then, as an adult, you settle down into a routine, which makes the days, weeks, months and even years start to blur. “When those days don’t change, they meld together until something — such as seeing a friend’s grown child you haven’t seen since age 2 — shocks you back into memory mode,” says British psychologist Claudia Hammond, author of Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception. To keep time from flying by, you need to deliberately create new memories, Hammond explains. “Go somewhere different and do new things this weekend. On Monday, when you look back, the weekend will feel as if it were a longer period of time.” 

Got it? ✔


The summer for me truly flew by. I worked straight thru without vacation. I grew lovely flowers, herbs, tomatoes and sunflowers in pots. Things didn't quite work out like I wished, but I'll try again next year, God willing.




Then it seems the Fall came and went so quickly. We didn't even have Indian Summer!!!! This year we had beautiful color, but lots of wind/rain, so the beauty didn't last for long. I caught what I could.




Fall is my most favorite season to shoot for obvious reasons. 😉

Still working @ and loving the store. June made a year, I got raise. 👍 I have quite a few favorite customers, especially the elderly. I love giving them time and attention. #priceless

Mom entered memory care on August 1st. Still emotional about it even though it is for the very, very best. She has adjusted; it's a nice place for her. We've been going through the process of breaking down her home to put on the market. The sibs and I already have established homes, so we didn't have a need for much of mom's stuff. And I mean she had STUFF! An entire house full of her life to be dismantled. I give ALL props to Sisters #1 and 2 for their hard work on this. We would be lost without them.

This makes me think of my own house full of STUFF! If someone had to do the same for me, they would catch the same type of hell we're catching right now! I think my books and craft things would be enuff to make someone want to strike a match. Oy vey ....

... which brings me to this book I picked up the other day from the library. I'm afraid I "keep" too many things for various sentimental reasons. I really need to let go. In gathering things from mom's, I tried to keep it "down" - only taking what I could use around the house but I took a lot of her books, etc. Just because they once belonged to her.

Alzheimer's is a bitch of a disease. It totally robs folks of their lives & memories. I don't know what stage of life mom is trapped in right now, but she's NOT in the present or even the past few years. We don't know what to talk to her about. The most we can do is listen to her talk of times we know nothing of and agree. We "lost" her nearly four years ago. It's hard. But it's life.

"Better Days"


What else?? 🤔

OH! Remember the Arbor Day Tree Photo Contest I mentioned in my LAST POST OF APRIL? (Sheesh...), well... I WON FOURTH PLACE!!! I was on a natural high for sure! I left the gallery, went straight to bar down the street, bought myself a celebratory drink, sat outside on the patio & enjoyed my few moments of fame. I was SO happy! I looked like this: 😀




Otherwise, that about sums up the past few months. Nothing exciting on the horizon; I wish I could change that but... it is what it is. I've been practicing being ' present in the moment' for the past few days; not racing ahead in my thoughts - not looking back, but being right in the moment. It's a hard practice but it's where God said to meet him - right here/right now. It feels strange, yet peaceful.

We are spiritual beings having human experiences.

Peace.

*All photos by Cuppa"T" Photography (aka: me)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Update


Seriously? Day 24? Lol. Sometimes I don't know why I bother with these prompts. 😕

"Inspiring Movie": I loved this one. Eddie Murphy was 'bravo worthy' for sure. If you haven't seen it, don't sleep on it. It's purely worth it.

I got my photos submitted for the Arbor Day Photo Contest ("Tree-Mend-Us). I almost didn't make the deadline. The voting ceremony will be this Friday (27th) then the winners will be announced May 4th @ a ceremony at a very cool art gallery in our city's art district. I'll keep ya posted. Here are the submissions:



On the very cool end, I have a buyer for the black/white photo!! 😀 I never know what to charge for my pictures, but I think I've come up with a reasonable price. I have such a bad habit of under selling my talent/worth. If the buyer isn't happy with the price, that will be okay too.

On a not so cool end, mom's doctor has diagnosed her with "severe Alzheimers." 😩 We're in the process of obtaining guardianship. He said it'll get a lot worse as she'll begin to have angry outbursts. We have tons of information, options, etc., but I am SO heartbroken. He said she's rapidly declining & probably 'won't be with us much longer.' THAT was the heart-squeezer for me & I'm always on the brink of hot tears.

At a time like this, I stay in tight communication with God for strength & constantly reflect on the word "Impermanence" which was taught to me at a time when I was grieving for a friend.


The best we can do is spend as much time w/her as possible while we still have her.

Amen.

Friday, April 6, 2018

April Love Days 4, 5 and 6



..... as you can see, I'm getting off to a great start - doing 3 days at a time! 😖


Day 4 - "Smile" (by: me)
 Nothing makes me smile more than my beautiful niece's smile.


Day 5 - "2018 So Far" (by: me)
 Welcome Spring!!! Still getting snow. Ugggh.......

Day 6 - "Blue" (by: me)
Blue skies reflected. So peaceful.

See ya in three days!!! 😁. Just kidding; I'll try to do better.

Until then.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April Is Love

Hey.

To try to stay more consistent with this spot, I'm going to follow the April Love 2018 Photo Challenge by the wonderful Susannah Conway. I'm not a stranger to Ms. Conway's prompts and have completed several over the last few years. I usually do this on my FB page, but like I said I want to give this spot more attention.

So.... I will start with today (April 3, 2018) and go backward to April 1st. Here we go:


Day 3 - Inspiring Quote

Day 2 - Simplicity (Circle Art by: me)

Day 1 - Morning View by: me

Until tomorrow?? :-)

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.





"Loretta"
"Devine"
 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.':
weep·er
ˈwēpər/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who weeps.
  2. 2.
    historical
    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.

Best News of the Day

Hey, folks. Sister #1 has decided to take Sister #2 up on the offer of renting mom's house!!!! My heart was so overjoyed @ this news...