30 April 2010

Nannie Blue

I feel some sort of compulsion to post on this blog. I always, each week, think I will just delete it. I don't want to post one more time. I want to write about my true feelings, but a more positive post writes itself in my head and that is the one I publish. I have never liked to write. I have always expressed myself through photography. It pleases me much more to see what moment I caught in the jam jar by camera than to read my sad, bleeding heart sentences. I mean, I make my own work to enjoy it myself. If it pleases or at least touches others then I am in the bonus. So what I have been posting is that which I can stand to read.

I am feeling quite blue today. Many emotions today, the same ones I started feeling when I was four or so. I hated to miss anything. Mother was just saying how everynight I climbed out of my Peter Rabbit crib and would show back up in the living room. While I am insular and crave being alone, I also need to feel connected. I don't really want to miss things. That is why this blog is such a perfect medium for me. I can express whenever I want then read comments when they appear. I am alone yet not lonely.

I am blue today. I think this might be an upgrade from the anxiety I usually feel. Blue just is. I sort like my anxiety though. I get so much accomplished when I am anxious. It creates an energy. I make lists and produce and hurry and worry. It isn't all bad. In fact that is the way I operate day to day. But now I am blue. Blue makes me walk in circles. Blue lacks productivity. Blue makes me hungry. Blue makes me sigh and feel tired. But here it is. I don't have to like it I just have to feel it.

I am posting pictures of something lovely from someone I love. My friend Nan and I met just over a year ago in art classes at our local scrapbook store. I am tired of linking to that store. I have spent hundreds of dollars in there and yet still cannot manage to get added to their email list. That is fine. I will still shop there and recommend it and take classes there. It has become actually a new home for me. I have crossed paths with such beloved sisters there. I will just punish that store by no longer mentioning its name. Oh little bitter revenge. But I am right about it.

Anyway, Nan and I met last year. We look so much alike. She is funny and not all uber happy but positive and loving, so, you know, my kind of gal. We went to a baby shower a couple of months ago. Nan gave me the loveliest gift. A spontaneous, generous loving gift. She is a doll maker and collector of old linens and so forth. She loves fabric, like I do. She has a passion and apparently a large collection of hand monogramed linens. She used this "R" right out of her collection and made this apron for me.

Can you freaking imagine?

This is exactly why you don't give handmade things to people who don't make things. Because they don't get it. All of us that make things are so hungry to share. I have received so many spontaneous handmade gifts. It overwhelms me. It is one of the greatest joys and gratitudes I have.

Thank you, Nannie. It is so lovely and loving and I love it and love you.

Shit. Did I just make another fairly positive post?

25 April 2010


I just passed through the most recent phase of the Care and Keeping of Betty Jean and I call it "All I Could Do." That phase was bookended by the receipt of gifts from two of my HSGs (High School Girls aka Leaders of the Free World, more later).

The first was received during the non-existant, dismal, cold, blue Christmas. Last year I had written a blog post that included my admiration for mosaicist Amy Baldwin (actually it went something like she is so talented I could just want to run her down with my car). I received a box from Angie. You must say that to the voice of Mick Jagger like "Ain-Jay" and repeat. I am Bert to her Ernie. She sends this piece she commissioned from Amy herself.

So blown away. It was an otherwise giftless Christmas, not without lessons to be sure, this was so welcome and tender, perfect. But Ernie and I do that.

Four months later and at the end of this certain phase where I have given all I have to my particular situation I receive this. The note reads that she is sure I will never photograph or blog about this gift. From Babe aka Shelley. I am Babe to her Babe. 

Never be too sure, girl.

The mirror reads "I can deal with anything with the right drink and a girlfriend." 

It was utter concidence and without my awareness that the gifts received from these two landed when they did.

Well, not by chance.

What would I do without my girls?

Dear God, please don't make me find out. Amen

18 April 2010

Bits of Bliss

I slept eight hours last night. I took time not to work first thing but to drink coffee and read while it rains on this spring morning.

It feels luxurious. Decadent.

I freaking deserve it.

I have worked my ass off to accomplish what I have in the last four months of my mother being here. Work and planning and care-giving and emptying and moving and raging and healing and understanding and confusion and revelation and resolution.

Depression. Anger. Anxiety. Joy.

Lunch with my girls, Penny and my daughter, yesterday. A night's sleep last night. A moment free of anxiety. Is it so much to ask? I am so grateful for it.

But you caught me at a rare moment of bliss. SO don't think I have stopped needing the support. I told my Leaders of the Free World (clearly, more on that later), aka my HSGs (High School Girls) that while it is difficult to continue to support me in this chronic state of suspensed care-giving, grief and pain, it is the sheer protraction of it that makes me require attention and support all the more. Difficult for me to ask. Yet I desparately need it. I need to be checked on.

My dear reader, if you feel so inclined to show a little love, support, especially a bit of humor, friend me on Facebook or use my email if you know it and do just that. A little note each day from someone who remembers me is manna for my hungry soul. I thank you in advance. Attention and care is the most blessed gift to give. Like this rainy day, I welcome the shower.

11 April 2010


I recently received a very gracious invitation to a Private Kaari Meng Event hosted by Shea Fragoso and Deb Murray at The Church in Dallas. Jemellia and I attended and were simply elated, dizzy even.

There was laughter, tears, tools and a little bit of embarrassment on my part.

I sign up for these events, workshops and art classes for 3 reasons. First is to create and learn new skills. Creating is life-giving for me and I mean that in the dramatic way it sounds. Creating centers me and makes me return to that divine, child-like self who makes something then runs through the house saying "Mama, look, looky what I made."


Second is I want to interact with like-minded women. I have always loved the company of women. I enjoy men and their productive simplicity, but I yearn to fly my pink patchwork girl flag. And my classmates get it. I can be my true self. A little obnoxious, a little off-color, emotional and comedic. Also love a kit, a challenge and the task at hand.


Thirdly, it forces me out of my insular world so I am challenged, forced into a group setting, a new physical place, all innately uncomfortable for me. I'm not comfortable walking into a room I have not seen and a group of people I do not know. It is interesting that I have been a college adjunct professor for over 20 years where I am constantly walking into a room of strangers and performing. That is also my best talent. By the end of each semester, I think my students have been introduced to some biological information and understanding on a deeper level. In turn, I am filled by getting to know them and what they remind me about myself. But, I shake and quake before absolutely every lecture, every event and every class of every kind I walk into. The fear is instructive. So I keep doing it. However, I always recriminate and lash myself for what my mouth said.

Uncomfortable therefore instructive.

I am feeling weird and gross after this Kaari Meng Gilded Life event. I have been joking about my love for Kaari for a while. I have gone so far as to say I would just hump that sweet lady's leg because I love her so much. Oh that's all funny until I stammer, stutter and act all goofy-star-struck around her. Yuck on me. What the hell? I mean we are peers in age, why am I such a dip shit? I just was not myself in my own skin in her company. I wanted her to like me so much that I was probably unlikeable. I have two more events to attend where I've signed on for 3 more classes with her. I feel embarrased. I mean, I know it doesn't cross her radar screen because she meets so many people. Oh and by the way, one reason I admire her so much, other than love and respect for her artistry, is the fact that she really tries to connect with each person she speaks to. And hungry 'ol me was making the least out of that.

The above is an amalgam I made of charms given to each student. Initial charm by Shea and Debbie, a flower charm from Heather Ales and a couple of dangles from Kaari's kit.

The outcome.

Confronting fear is the real reason I need to keep doing things like this workshop. To meet new people, see new things, learns new skills, create and ultimately grow. Shit.

04 April 2010

The Adored One is Born

By all accounts, he was the most beautiful baby ever born. Let me be more accurate. By my mother's account, he was the most beautiful baby anyone had ever seen. People stopped her to say so. He was my mother's most beloved child.

I didn't mind it all. I loved him most too.

He was 17 years old when I was born. You know how 17 year old boys are. We have all been in love with a seventeen year old boy, including most heterosexual men according to statistics. And I was so in love with my big brother.

Funny, brilliant, handsome. He even hung the moon. Did you know how it got there, why, it was my big brother.

I loved him so very much. I didn't mind at all that my mother loved him most. There were baby pictures and little boy pictures. Pictures with Santa. Pictures with the boy scout troup that dad lead. Pictures on a horse and in his little pee stained tiny cowboy boots. Lots of pictures of a boy I never knew.

And I adored him.

He would pick me up by one arm and one leg and swing me around in the yard. He would call me turdhopper and ask me to snatch peebles from his hand, made me leave the temple when I could not.

He was interested in medicine and God.

He played the guitar and harmonica simultaneously. Hideously.

Keith, Keith. So many years ago, full of hope. Then something happened to him. I was too young to hear any of it, or know, or be aware. My family considered me to young to hear any of it. To this day.

I am starting to figure it out though.

01 April 2010

Bon Printemps

My daughter can jeer all she wants about "mama's blog friends" but you guys know how real it is. No matter what I write. No matter what I whine about, cheer about, photograph or misspell, you comment back. One of you. Someone. Sometimes the same one for each post, sometime a random single response, sometimes every other. Whatever, whenever, someone pats me on the back.

And we all get it. And need it and it is real.

Ergo a new friend from my blog who I comment back and forth with and also email. She asked for my address, would I be comfortable giving it to her? I did and also wrote that I probably shouldn't because I should refuse anything nice she may do. But I sent my address. And I let her do something nice.

And this is what she did.

She sent a box.

I knew it was pretty rare so of course I photographed each step because I wanted to share it with the one who would understand and appreciate it most.

She sent a note. I will keep the content private. But it was dear, very dear.

And there was a box. This was decorated by her own hands.

And inside a little pillow bearing the message 'good spring'.

For some reason so many of us, so many women, with all that we have in our lives... our home, job, children, partners, parents, friends, holidays, grocery shopping, hair to do, meals to cook, dishes and washing....

Somehow that isn't enough.

Somehow that isn't enough and we need each other. We reach out to the unknown and connect. And it is so special.

Thank you Cheryl.

Thank you, Cheryl,  for your comments, your emails, your support, your empathy, your kindess, your time and your gift.

You make it a good spring.
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