28 March 2010

Not the First One

This is not my first post about Kim. The first time was in the Year Book during our high school junior year.

Miss Kim was our high school twirler. I was in drill deam with our marching band. Kim would don a sparkly uniform and deliver a spinning, throwing, often flaming, routine at center stage of our performances. Everything halted while Kim did her thing. I was part of a corps, but she was the star, superstar. She was otherwise quite quiet and proper, so to see her in go-go boots and {sexy} shimmering costume was intriguing to me.

She otherwise did not let her little light shine. Kim held titles for twirling in our state. I cannot imagine the silvery nads it took for her to dance and catch that spinning metal baton. It took skill to choreograph those routines, then to perform in front of crowds and judges....well, it prepared her pretty well for her carreer in law. Yes my Kimberlee is an esquire and a twirler. Know any of those? Well, there can't be many.

I was so impressed with her and at the same time frustrated with how quiet she was about her successes in dance. So I fixed that. I photographed her in costume and wrote up an article about her achievements. It made a half page spread in our junior yearbook.

Kim can forget how special and shiny she is, I think. We all forget get don't we? I whipped up a collage using that low tech image straight out off the yearbook page.  Adding the word "sparkle" to describe her, her style, the twinkle in her eye. A crown of course.

Look, a wee robin is perched on her baton. Looking up to her...

Kim, I thought I would beg forgiveness rather than ask for permission to post again about you.

Forgive me?

23 March 2010

This Is This

I gave a peek at a project in my last post. Here is full frontal viewing of one of the pieces. It is a journal ala Rebecca Sower's Hodge-Podge Journal I am currently obsessed with. I made it as a gift for Holly Abston's baby shower given recently by Shelley Overholt and Holly's sister Amy.

Holly is having a little boy this time. She had a boy baby the last time, and the time before that. This journal uses the number three often and of course that blue. You know THAT blue? The cover bears a page from an old hymnal titled "O Blessed Son of God." Oops did I make Holly cry? Awwww, shoot.

That image is a baby boy riding a stork. The music page reads "brotherhood."

Just browse through some of the pages...

In 1210 she is having number 3.

It was such a joy to work on a page here and there while taking care of mother.

Art nurtures.

That bird bears a crown with the initial "R."

I completely love working with paper and glue.

Above is the interior of the back cover. The book page number 3 had "born" circled.

The back cover displays a fusion of symbols for Holly and me. I met Holly taking a crown making class at Paper Crown. Birds, eggs and wings are themes I always use.

Here is to a boring delivery and a healthy boy, dear Holly.

16 March 2010

The One About Devon

Devon is one of my new girlfriends. We have been friends for about 18 years. I feel so close to her. We met because our husbands worked together. The guys were a fairly social group so the wives saw each other pretty frequently. We were all pregnant together as well. Our daughters are 5 weeks apart and have always gone to school together. We even chose the same high school so our kids would have this other set of parental eyes on them. Her daughter picked my daughter up yesterday to go to the book store. They bought a journal to share. Each will take turns doing a page. Neat huh?

When I went through my divorce, Devon did something extrordinary. Despite the fact that our husbands worked together, she chose both of us. She remained the same friend she had always been. Meanwhile other wives scattered as though they may catch something off me.

Devon is a physician and I have called her numerous times for advice, of all kinds. Always professional and compassionate she addresses each of my concerns.

While many Christians are very vocal about the fact, Devon actually embodies that which is Christ-like more than many (if not most) of those standing on the street corner openly talking about God, Christ and prayer. She is standfast, loving, puts children, safety and health first, while donating huge amounts of time and money. She is devoted in all ways.

Also, she is tall and beautiful. And real. She answered the door once, it was obvious she had been crying. I asked "what's wrong, are you okay?" She answered "I was was just crying" and shrugged. No drama. No shame. Wow. That may be my favorite story about her.

Devon is also very talented and embraced learning new artistic things after her last baby got big enough to open the refrigerator. Her medium these days is PMC, clay embedded with silver. Once fired it becomes in silver what her hands molded in clay.  I asked her to make a piece for me last year. She used fiber (since I knit and sew) and the oval shape. I am drawn to the oval, as it represents the egg, a meaningful symbol for me. She also added the word "nest," again, very important to me.

I asked her to make a necklace for my step-daughter last fall. I don't like calling her my step-daughter. It makes it sound like I am not owning the relationship. But she does have a devoted mother and I would be disrespecting that fact if I called her my daughter. I often refer to the girls as our daughters. I guess I will never figure it out. My first mother-in-law always introduced me as her daughter. I loved it when she did that. Okay, so then, I had Devon make this for my daughter. So fresh and pretty.

This one is for my mother-in-law Phyllis, the jewelry horse. In my favorite shape. Devon pressed a Euro coin into the piece creating a ghost image of Venus, a reference to Phyllis' Italian heritage. It has a lovely weight about it also.

Last year Devon gave this to me as a birthday present. We have no hard and fast rules about gift exchange. If  Devon sees something that remeinds her of me, she will just offer it as a gift. I love that. I usually think everything needs to be Even Steven. Look at this. The image just says so much. I recognized it to be the work of Samantha Lamb whom I love.

Devon is wonderful. Just bliss to have her. Thank you, Devon.

08 March 2010

First They Are Sour...

I really do not want to seem too needy regarding this care-giving-for-my-mother job. But I am needy and this is my journal and I will cry if I want to. I have been realizing some very definite stages occurring and it isn't all bad. {Images from Scottsdale, 2003}

Mother was discharged from the hospital on December 24, 2009 and my husband and I brought her here. I really had no time to prepare for her to stay. I didn't realize she would even survive her hospitaliztion. We did, however, anticipate that one of our mothers may need to live with us when we built this house 3 years ago. We have a guest bedroom with widened doorways. The bathroom walls are reinforced for the possible addition of grab bars and such. I am a Physican Associate and worked in a rehabilitation facility for 10 years, so I did see assistive equipment as a possiblity. In fact, working in rehab I saw all kinds of family situations that were inspiring and horrifying. Both of those words describe my own family situation.

So we are on the highway in a blizzard with my very frail 83 year old mother. No one knows what tomorrow holds but that was a moment bloated with the unknown. This whole thing has been a confrontation with the unknown. Oh and Miss Planner has issues with the unknown. I mean I have a plan for everything, even prision.

Seriously. I have a plan for prison. Another post...

I wanted to bring mother home and care for her. I was happy to do it and I still am. But while doing so I was and am overwhelmed with emotions. My first real phase was resistance and resentment. I meet most challenges with resistance and usually resentment. I am a planner (see above) and not at all spontaneous. These are character flaws and trust me I actively work on them. But that doesn't make them just go away. Like arm flab. You do all you can but there it is.

I resisted the full time care-giving because it interupted my life. I have a child living with me still. Said child had just turned 16 and all that implies. It was already a whole thing dealing with that.  Also, I was going to start teaching again, a class I had not taught for 5 years so I had to completely start my prep from scratch. I mean no Power Point used last time. Its a lot.

Also, it is lots of work to care give. And I hadn't slept much in the emotionally and physcially exhausting week of mother's hospitalization. So resistance...

Also resentment. A pity party by put-upon poor Robin. I mean why did mother not move out of her house and into assisted living already? I had been discussing it with her for a longtime. Her house was sitting over there. I know she would not return to it. I knew it would be my job to empty it and also take care of her and my family and my job. What about me? Who would help me? My husband is phenomenol and wants to help me, no, not even help me, but shoulder this with me. He thinks of mother as OUR mother and WE take care of OUR mother. The thing is, I do have a sibiling who lives nearby. We don't see her much. I cannot count on her. In fact she brings far more drama than help. And I resent it.

Some abandonment issues stirred. Deep, dark and yucky. But that really is all fine. I need to process these feelings. And that never happens when you feel good and have time, right? You are confronted with the demons when it is dark.

After a pricky month, mother stabilized and so did I. Mostly. She is very ill but not getting rapidly worse and she is ambulatory which is HUGE.

Fortunately I found myself starting to emerge. Acceptance was nigh. How much more pleasant for everyone I live with.

That lasted a couple of weeks. Then I got sick. What a big set back. When your reserve is low it takes so long to bounce back. Then my cousin, mother's nephew, died. That was very emotional. Also there was drama surrounding my sibling, still, again, of course. Energy sucking again. Two steps forward and one step back.

Now, oh wonderful now, I am a bit beyond acceptance and in some sort of loving place. I look at mother and think she is so darling. She is so cute to me. Not pathetic. Not sad to me. I just feel very loving toward her. Sitting next to her and watching a tv show is so simple. I see how lovely it is.

I am seeing the beauty in the ugly right now. March is here. The weather is warming. Tender shoots are emerging. And so am I. I am depressed but that shell is cracking. Fresh air is blowing in. Oh thank you, God, for it. I need the strength love brings and that depression takes. I need that strength to deal with the next phase.

Thank you for reading this. I really am receiving so much love. There is still more gnashing of teeth than pink fluffy clouds. But they do float by...

03 March 2010

Looking Back Is A Look Forward

Since I have been so swamped I haven't even walked into a junk store since November. Look back with me now at the things I found last time I found things.
This blue suitcase was disgustingly cheap. I couldn't haul it to the register fast enough.
I mean, I knocked a man down.

This is a display card for these old brown buttons. It was a little pricey for me.
I feel that if I don't need it, then it shouldn't cost much. But this I needed.

I was planning to buy this hatbox when I opened it to find it held hats.
That rose is as big as a softball or small melon.

I buy enamel tubs. I just do.
And this is a pot thing or something which apparently I also buy.

I have a collection of books about marriage and putting women in their place. This book is His Friend and His Wife. It is slightly less misoginistic than some.

Here is a cake tin and some red utensils from Second Chance in Omaha.
I obsessively collect kitchen utensils.
God, I'm fun.

These jewels cam from Jenni Bowlin at Silver Bella. I wold love to shop her again.

And I just bet I do.
I am trying to be more upbeat. Is it working?
Fake it 'til you make it, right?
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