Tag Archives: laughter

There’s another storm a

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Dragged my butt out of bed this morning because my cat was persistent.  I was dizzy, my head felt separate from my body, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to even get down the stairs.

An unproductive day bothers me.  I feel the need to accomplish.   But carrying around severe clinical depression in a knapsack on my back, some days I have to give myself a break.  Sometimes getting out of bed is the one and only accomplishment I’ll get done.   I have friends, friends who understand the talons of this disease, and encourage me to do the basics.

So when I was able to make it to town to get milk and a few groceries (We are in between storms here in Vermont, and I should’ve shopped LAST week!), I was thrilled with myself.  Managed to get the garbage out, and then took a three hour nap.  Cold medicine helped me lift my head from my favorite couch pillow, and I felt well enough to paint.   Happy!

The market where I went to get milk, bread, basics, there was a woman my age who was working.  She was friendly, pretty.   We spoke briefly on the impending storm, and she mentioned she had to shovel her drive and walkways.   I comically shared with her that Winter, three-four years ago I had a plow bill of about $450, and I figured I’d have to sleep with my plower to get the bill paid off.   She did a huge belly roll, surprised that I said that.  “I have no one to plow, my husband died in July”.   “I’m sorry, I said”.

Normally here, I would offer a brief  pause in my day to listen, if she wanted to share.  I wasn’t feeling well enough to stand there much longer, so I wished her a good day and drove my ass home.     All the way home I was thinking about her.  Man, she’s still green with her loss, that is a hard hard trek.   But she was working, was very friendly, KIND, and I said a prayer for her.   So many friends are experiencing loss right now, or serious serious illnesses, life threatening.   It’s hard here in New England in Winter.  I can go all winter without seeing my next door neighbors.  It’s just the way Winter is.

As I was painting tonight, (working on farm animals, not my forte, but I want to get good at painting them!), I thought again about her friendliness, her kindness, and somehow, some way, I will do something kind for her without her knowing it.   She so deserves that.  Facing such pain and changes in life, for her to be MORE than civil, is, in my book, awesome.

Now I’m going to go finish this Rooster, and then head to bed.   I’m finding that I don’t want to go to bed.  I love my bed, I truly do, and my bedroom is pretty.  But I’m finding it harder and harder to get up.   Need to boost up my D3 intake, and get outside, in fresh air, no matter the weather.   But today?  Today I think I did very good, given how crappy I was feeling.

Kindness is so contagious, and in her circumstances I dare say “courageous”.

 

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Blah Blah Blah

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I watched President Donald J Trump get sworn in yesterday.   I didn’t see him grab anyones whowho, nor did I see anything improper go on, but I DID catch a glimpse (and watched it several times) of the perverted former president who was ogling someone other than his tyrant wife, who was caught and given the “dead stare” that I have given before!   I found it funny.

I do not understand the marches.  Yes, I said it.   I am a woman (looks down, Yup!)    I am for womens rights.    But I do not agree with the vagina hats or very crude signs that some were holding up, many.  I know good women who marched.  I support them, because it was important to them.  But really, I’m very confused at to what this was about.  Who has lost rights?  He hasn’t been in for more than 24 hours and he’s already destroying lives and families!

I don’t profess to agree with everything he has said or done, but I have heard men share (and women, for that matter) talk locker talk in front of others.   And I’ve been called a racist for years, since I decided I didn’t like the politics of Obama.  But I was respectful.   I lived through his presidency, and was mistreated by others because I didn’t like him.

You know, it’s getting really old to me.   The country voted (oh yes, we ALL KNOW CLINTON won the popular vote) but Trump won the electoral.   HE WON.   He is our President.  For those of you who say “he’s not my president” I say, go live in another country and see how well you have it.   And take those self professed important movie stars and comedians who have been threatening to go if he got elected!

If you want to march, march.  If you want to protest, protest, but destroying property that doesn’t belong to you, throwing things on those who attended the Inaugural Ball, is NOT right.  Frankly, it’s violence, and it’s a crime and they should be arrested.  Let me further add that bullying a child (The Trump son) on SNL skits or whathaveyou (and yes, you too Rosie!  I’ve lost all respect for you, calling him austistic)   How is this okay?  How is this okay and acceptable to ANY OF YOU?   Or Ashley Judd, really?  Referring to his wet dream of his daughter?   How is this ANY LESS nasty than what Trump said in the presence of other drunk men?  How?

I read last night that there is already an impeachment started.   This is so sad.   What happened to democracy?   I will tell you, I’m a registered democrat.  I haven’t voted that way in a long time because I’m appalled at what the party has become.  That doesn’t mean I jumped ship and joined the republican party, although I will say, I voted for Trump! gasp!  I know, how dare I?

Here’s what has happened.  You have college students who are being excused because they are emotionally unequipped to accept Trump was elected.  My God, we watched the Space Shuttle blow up and still had to go back to school or work!   Get a grip!  But I have found humor in much of this.   The over inflated  egos of actors and actresses who haven’t a clue what “reality” is, or what it means to be a working class single woman trying to make ends meet.   I think the election was a blow to all of them who realized their “importance” didn’t make a difference in the election!   Get over yourselves!   And what a shame (but nonetheless the same as we’ve been living, for those of you who join me in NOT liking St. Obama!) that you would punish a peer, because they don’t agree with you.  Really?  I will say this for the Obama’s, there were no scandals!

When Trump was elected I had put his picture on my fb page as President Elect.  “An old friend” who is gay, and whom I defended his rights since his early teens (I think he’s in his 40’s now) told me he couldn’t be my friend anymore because I stood for hate!   And then he private messaged me and told me to f*(* off.   When I blocked him, he kindly went to my business page and wrote that I’m …..  all the names we’ve all seen and heard TOO MANY TIMES.    On my business page!  “And don’t you contact my family again!”.  Well, that’s funny, because his aunt (who he treats well, depending on what he needs) is a good friend of mine.  He speaks for her?  NOT!    This is the thanks I get because I have a different view on politics?  How is this behavior helping your cause???????????

If rights are being stripped, I will stand up for what I believe in.  I believe in womens rights, and a right to choose whether they want an abortion or not, I will stand up for my gay friends (who have not unfriended me in the very manner in which they wrongfully unfriended me!   But I’m not going to jump on anyone’s bandwagon against President Donald J. Trump.  Why?   Because like it or not (and apparently a large majority do not) he is The President of the United States.  I live here, you live here.    Adjust, like many of us had to do with Obama.

And yes, we know, Obama was better than sliced bread.  I’m just waiting to hear how Trump (in his 24 hours of service) has caused this divide in our country.   And for those of you who are brave enough to do extensive research on the “dead pool” associated with the Clinton’s, because in my view, she was no prize! I think of her what many of you thinking no of Trump, at least he’s right out there. I am not impressed with the dual personalities that Clinton has “for the public” and private,NOT AT ALL!

I want a woman President.  I do.  But I want one who is worthy, not one who has been bought and sold one hundred times over, who has stayed in a repulsive “marriage” for power.

If you want to bitch and moan, go ahead, but do not do it on my blog, and do not do it on my facebook page, because I’ve had enough.     For you Clinton lovers, I’m so glad you can believe in the fairytale, but there are many of us who know differently.  And as I watched Bill ogle over whoever it was, rumored to be Ivanka or Melania, I took great pleasure in knowing, there would be no more scandals of the Clinton’s.   Remember?  The ones who left the White House broke and stole all that stuff they had to bring back?   Yes, it was a while ago, so I supposed we aren’t supposed to talk about that!

I support President Trump, even though I despise his tweets and his need for attention.  I support the men and women he appointed to positions to help our country.  And if you want to unfriend me, please do so. I’ve reached a point in my life where other peoples opinions of me do not effect who I am, my purpose in life, nor does it define me as good or bad.   My view may be different from yours, if you are a true friend, you’d respect my views, you don’t have to agree with them, but certainly mistreating me…..  How is that helping your cause?  I don’t want anymore fair weather friends.  I want friends who know me, and may disagree with me, but see value in me as a person, as a woman, as an artist, a daughter, sister, aunt, friend…  If you aren’t one of them, I can live with that. But I ask you, exactly what do you expect from those of us who support you, but not this long drawn out dramatic tale that has yet to happen?  Are you strong enough, is there enough courage in your convictions to give this guy a try? Are you brave enough to accept that you MAY not be the most important priority right now? What are you willing to do for  your country?

I leave you with the words of one very popular President.  “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy   

What a great time!

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Five minutes after I arrived home from a painting convention today I fell into bed.   I was so tired but fell asleep and woke up with a smile on my face.    What a great time.  I taught three classes, had AWESOME students who kept me entertained and were ever so willing to hear my funny stories.   It’s so good to laugh, isn’t it?

My first class I was 5 minutes late to.  I got caught in city traffic.  I’m not used to that!      I refused to get upset about it, and when I arrived at class my students were happy to see me, they all pitched in, got everything together, helped set everything up and we were off.    Only help, love… no criticism, anger.   It was a very nice way to start the convention.

The first day I left my purse in a public seating area.  Fortunately one student (who was actually in my class last night), brought my purse up to the desk, very wisely took action and it was returned to me while teaching a class.   I wasn’t even aware that I didn’t have it!   Now move forward to last night and one of my wild friends from upstate VT had left her purse somewhere and they had it in lost and found.  How VERY NICE it is to know that there are still honest people out there who care.   It renews faith in humanity, ya know what I mean?

The first class I taught was Sallie Snow woman, everyone did great.   I suggested and they were excited about getting prints made of their painting and making their own Christmas cards!    I look forward to seeing them…. (Hint Hint…. send with chocolate!)   No, just kidding.  I’m off sugar.

Also during class a friend, fellow artist stopped in to visit and gifted me with a pack of her cards which are prints of some of her many beautiful paintings.  It was so nice!    It really made me smile!

I also realized that I had unintentionally left two pertinent colors at home on my table.   Well, I didn’t fret.  Two crazy assed friends from Maine were able to help me.  As we went up to their room they were entertaining me with a very funny.    I see panty shields in my future conventions!

Things worked out smoothly, without planning that I was able to see girlfriends and spent time with them between classes and commitments.  I love it when things flow with little or no effort.

Last nights class which we named “Saturday night live!”, we were laughing so hard that the teacher and students in the classroom next to ours ran over to find out what was so funny.     I love it when everyone is comfortable sharing funny stories, particularly female stories.  My goodness, it is so healing!

All day Saturday I was feeling “dizzy”.   Sort of “falling over” feeling.   About an hour into class last night my students were busy so I sat down, threw one leg over the other and realized that the sole of my dansko had disintegrated.    CHUNKS of rubber were missing, and the thick sole on the heel was gone!  No WONDER I felt dizzy.    I had seen all this black stuff on the carpet and wondered who the heck had taught in there the class before!    It was chunks of my sole!     Today as I walked around the trade show my every other step my shoe would stick to the cement floor.   It was so funny.  I drove barefoot on the way home, afraid that my shoe may stick to one of the peddles.

Another time I was trying to get my girlfriends attention who was sitting at one of the front tables.  Gail!  Gail!   Gail?   It was like she was in another world.  Even the girls sitting behind said “Gail, Gail” and she didn’t respond.  I just figured she was entranced in her “ever so her” usual acts of helping someone else, in this case the woman sitting next to her.    A few minutes later I was talking to her and said “Gail” again and she said “Michelle!”    I KNOW HER NAME!   I KNOW HER!   We are twin daughters of different mothers.  Why the heck did I do that?   Have you ever been so tired that you do such stupid things that it makes it all the funnier?    She also told me that she told her husband if something should happen to her, he is to split her painting supplies up between her friends and call me….  FOR A DATE!     Is that not the sweetest thing ever?

Yeah, it was a wonderful time.  A very busy time but many great memories were made, beautiful paintings were done, lessons were learned and laughter could be heard all over.  It rocked!     As I drove home, I thought about how kind, caring, and the sisterhood that decorative painting industry holds.   Helping one another, sharing stories, supplies…  What a great group of people.   I will remember more as I unpack and get back to my life.  I know I am forgetting to share other funny stories.   These are gems nuggets of gold that will keep me warm in the coldest of winter to come.

I am so inspired that I want to stay up all night and paint, but I’m just too tired to unpack my jeep!   But what a good tired… what a good tired.

Yes, I am one fortunate woman to have god given talent that I can share with others.  For all the wonderful and long term friendships and new ones started that have sprouted from teaching.   I feel very blessed.   As I head out to Long Beach, CA in 10 days to a Nerium convention, I know that there I will be with childhood friends, long term friends and will meet new friends as well.   I’m a very fortunate woman.   God has blessed me with so much.

Love to all…..

My Walmart Story -All I wanted was service!

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This blog is “back by popular demand!”

Jim & I had stopped into Walmart in Keene, NH for our normal supplies.   Being only weeks since losing my kid sister to cancer, I was deep into grief, no where near “myself”…   I headed for the fabric department to pick up some batting for a project I was starting and Jim took the cart as he kindly offered to gather all the household/animal/food stuff we had on our list.  Upon arriving in the department I noticed a woman my age and her daughter waiting for service.  “Have you asked for help?” I asked in a kind tone.  “Yes, 10 minutes ago” the woman replied rather grumpily.   I walked up to the Customer Service Desk, requested help.. they paged someone as I was walking back to the department.

About 5 minutes later we were still waiting for help.  I thought to myself, hmmm I wonder if I could figure out how to page!  (Now mind you, if you have ever walked the difficult road of grief you know you are not in your right mind!).  I walked behind the counter and found a sign beside the phone “To Page press #1”, which I did.  “Customer Service in Fabrics Please, Thank you!”.   As I walked back to the front of the counter I saw the grumpy woman shake her head in disgust and her young daughters jaw hit her chest as she smiled at me. 

10 minutes later, still no help.  I went behind the counter again, picked up the red phone and started to page… as I was doing this Jim came around the corner with a full cart.  One thing I loved and miss about Jim was when he saw me he always smiled brightly, I felt like the most important person in the world.  Now as a beautiful redhead he would turn red from head to toe at times too….  As he came around the corner pushing the cart he smiles that big old welcoming smile, then his face turns to confusion as he sees the red phone up against my ear, and me BEHIND the counter, then his face flips over to pure horror as he connects the voice he is hearing over the intercom to his fiancee that he is looking at… “There have been customers waiting in fabrics for over 15 minutes now, could we get some help here please???” 

Now red from head to toe, and actually picking up speed, he whizzes by me with the cart and utters “You need a wheel barrel for the set of balls you are carrying girl!” and kept on going up front where he quickly paid for product and left the store, not wanting anyone to know he was with me… (I’m laughing as I’m writing this).  I in the meantime went back to the front of the counter waiting for service.  This girl, probably 17 or 18 shows up, I pointed to the woman beside me “She was here first”.  She was chopping her fabric to shreds, literally.  I was thinking about saying something but thought, nah, this woman needs to learn to speak up for herself, but if she does this to mine, that’s another story.  Then she looks at me with the look that can only be described as “Carrie” and said “Did you do that?”  I looked innocently at her and said “Did I do WHAT?”  “Did you Page?”  I said “Why yes, I did!”.  “You AREN’T supposed to do that!” she said in a rather harsh and scolding tone.   Without hesitation I said “Who are you going to call, the Paging Police?”.

With that the sweetest Southern Belle came down and apologized for my having to wait for service, measured out 3 extra yards of batting for me, and I was on my merry way.  When I got out into the car Jim was fit to be tied.  He said “Donna, I can’t believe you did that!”  We had been together for 7.5 years, this made me laugh… to the point where I was laughing so hard I was in a belly roll, now at risk of wetting my pants.  This was the first time in weeks that I had laughed, and the first time IN MY LIFE that I didn’t give a shit what anyone thought of my actions.   It was so healing.  I was laughing so hard I was crying, in a scary insane manner lol.  The more I thought about what I did, the disgusted look on the face of the clerk, and how I DID NOT CARE…. I would laugh harder.  It was so FREEING!   Have you ever experienced this?  That freedom?

We had to stop at my brothers house on the way home because I needed to use his bathroom…as I ran into the bathroom I could hear Jim telling my brother “You will not believe what your sister did!”… My brother was disgusted with me too.  He said “If you were my wife I would have hit you!”… That made me laugh all the more….  (My brother is a very passive person).

So for days I laughed over this incident and for months Jim refused to go into Walmart with me, but the thing was… All I wanted was service!

On loss

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My uncle died this morning.  He was my mom’s youngest brother and only living sibling.   His life was far from easy, having been in a very bad automobile accident in his teens.   I have been thinking about how hard it must be to be the last survivor of your siblings.    I do not have a death wish, but I do not care to walk through the pain of losing my surviving sister or brother.

It feels like I have lost 20 years of my life.   I find myself reflecting back to what seems a couple years but reality, now 10, 15, 20.   My parents are in their 70’s, my dad will be 80 this year.  The older I get the “younger” the years become.   I remember thinking I would never make it to 21…31…41…51 and I’ve surpassed all.

My parents found relief when my oldest sister, Karen died 2 years ago next month.  Karen’s life, like my Uncle’s was not easy either.  I am so not “up” on what is politically correct, both severe handicaps, both experiencing brain damage.    I heard the same relief in my mom’s voice tonight as I did when Karen died.   I know it is that she can die knowing he is okay.  She had promised her mother that she would watch over him, take care of him.  My mother did her very best.  My Uncle wasn’t always an easy person to get along with.   He could become belligerent, defensive when there was no threat to him.   Because of his mental and physical challenges he, like my sister, were in harms way of others.  I remember too well, the gifts we bought my sister, only to have them stolen from staff who were taking care of her.  Pitiful.  What kind of person could take from the handicapped?  Pitiful, may God be with them.   My Uncle, too, was manipulated many times over in his life.   Very sad to think about but sadder to think of the person(s) who did so.

My mom was with him, holding his hand when he passed.   I can’t help but think about all the defensive actions he took against a woman who loved him, who was only trying to help him, because he was persuaded by the greed of others.   I can’t help but think that when he opened his eyes this morning, my mother was the only one with him, he understood her efforts.   I can’t help but think how he felt when upon opening those eyes he gave her a great big smile.

My Uncle could squeeze the poop out of a buffalo nickel.   At one point when he was getting food from the local food bank, he sold the huge bars of cheese for $4.   When my mother found out she was aghast.   How could he do that Donna?   We laughed.   We found this out one of the many times he was in the hospital.  My mom gave his neighbors some of his food so that it wouldn’t go bad.  A male neighbor said to my mom “You mean, I can have the cheese for free?  I don’t have to pay $4?”    You couldn’t blame him, however.  His limitations played a part in his entire life.   When we were talking today we shared this memory and once again, laughed hysterically.  What’s worse?  He selling the cheese or the man who didn’t know it was available free to him as well and paid him $4?

I remember my Uncle fondly.   I remember as a youngster being “afraid” of him because it was obvious he was different.   I think back on that now and feel sad, yet I was just a kid, what did I know?

A couple of years ago he had a broken hip (?).   My mom wasn’t able to do for him as much as she did because she, too, had physical limitations at that time.  I would go to my Uncle’s, pick up his grocery list and try to pull the $20 bills out of his hand that he didn’t want to let go of.    He still owes me $60 from the last time I went.   I had forgotten this, my mom hadn’t.   Again, we laughed.

I saw him 2 weeks ago when I was leaving a doctor’s office and he was walking in.   My mom and he looked so much alike.   He, of course, had more hair on his face.    I kind of chuckled when I saw that he was finally wearing the new glasses my mom had arranged for him to get a few years ago.  He wouldn’t wear them.  He wanted to “save” them so he wouldn’t have to buy another pair in his lifetime.   As comical as I find all of this, I also saw the pain, the anguish some of this caused my mom.   She only wanted to do right by him, and she worked hard to do so.   I think she did great.  There were times when her patience was truly tested and she had to walk away to maintain composure.   She loved him.   He was her kid brother.   As difficult as he was, as stubborn as he could be, she loved him.    She really did love him.

When I think of some of the things my mom has had to endure in her life I am in amazement of her strength.   A strong willed personality, a strong intelligent woman, it doesn’t settle well within me to see her aging, to see my father aging.   I realize how fortunate I am to still have both my parents, I also realize if they die before me I will feel like an orphan.  I depend on my parents moral support, their advice.   I guess you know when you’ve grown up when you realize your parents DO and DID know what they were talking about.   Ahh, if I only knew half, now, of what I thought I knew then.

I will go to bed tonight envisioning my sister’s welcoming my Uncle on the other side.   He loved all of us kids and was particularly close to Karen, my oldest sister as he spent a lot of time with her when she was little.  My mom and he lost their mom too young, but older than many.  I suppose we all think of those we have loved and lost that it was too soon.

With teary eyes I just looked up into the sky to see if there was a particularly bright star.  My heart is in my throat at the moment as I think about life, as I think about death.    I’m not afraid to die, I am, however, afraid of losing others.   I barely made it through the grieving process with my sisters, with Jim.   Yet, death is a part of life, just as birth is.   The old adage “there are 2 constant’s in life…. death and taxes”.    I

I meant what I said earlier.  I do not want to be the last sibling to die.   I don’t know what is in store for us, for me but I hope that I will not live through another siblings death.  It will be hard enough accepting my parents.   One of the three of us will be the last to die, it’s a fact of life.  Not easy, but a fact of life.    My girlfriend lost her mother unexpectedly and quickly a few months ago.  She is a mother, a grandmother.  She struggles still.   I’ve said before, I don’t think we ever really heal.  I think that times teaches us how to coexist with the pain.   I’ve watched my parents lose their oldest and youngest daughters.  My heart hurts at the thought of it.   That has to be one of the most painful things in life, losing a child.    It must truly suck.  I think sometimes that my mothers strength was not only out of need, but faith.   Like my Uncle, my mom’s life hasn’t been easy either.   There are times I want to smack her, but those times are few and far between.  I value her opinion, and trust me, she is more than willing to give it!  I value her advice.

Rest in peace Uncle Hank.  I want to believe you are reunited with your parents, your brothers, your nieces.   You deserve to be walking in the house of the Lord, it’s time to rest, the dense path you carved through your life has come to close but you will not be forgotten.   I will always laugh at some of your antics and smile at the thought of you.    Rest in peace….  ♥

Hurray! An Awesome Day!

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What a great day I had today!   Warm temperatures, the icebergs in my yard are shrinking fast, the sun is shining, blue skies, birds are chirping, I watched a mouse scramble around my rose bushes… and the paint brush is a flowing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Music blaring through my bose, I close my eyes and let it roll through me, my muse.    I did something new, I am playing songs that make me happy, not make me think of sad things.  Yah, well it may come natural to you, but it hasn’t me.   I’m learning coping skills, how to help myself, I’m learning how to live a different way.  With this day I know it’s paying off…It’s paying off!

While painting I barely heard this crash…  Hmmm, I realize Sophie is in the kitchen.  I brush it off, I’m on a roll…When I finally go out there she had pulled the placemat over to her which is on the island, dishes for cat food.  Well, she broke their water and milk dish, their dry food dish, all to get to their dry cat food which, I must say, that white buffalo china plate is clean.   As I write this I am realizing I’m rather foolish to use my favorite bbq plates.  Will be changing that…

I have made up my mind and committed to another painting event.   I’m excited about it.   I have decided to recommit myself to my career in the decorative arts field.    It’s a good decision, I know that because of how I am feeling today.  This is a rarity.  I wish this day would never end!

Well, I’m off to go eat my green beans and get back to painting.  Hope you are having a great day because I sure AM!   Woot Woot! ♥

 

My sixth sense….. HUMOR

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Lesson #3:  Be sure to take the time to tie the laces on your Sorels (boots) before carrying your dog to poop.   Stepping out of a boot into a foot of snow is NOT fun!

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“You girls get out there and pick up the table”…my father used to say every night after dinner.  So my sisters and I would go out into the kitchen, pick up the table and wait til he saw us.   We would have to take turns at who washed and who dried the dishes.    I preferred to dry because my sis would always give me back a dish and say “It’s dirty”.   Then she would turn her head and smile.   “MOM, Darlene is making me wash clean dishes!” …. My mother replied  “Well, there are worse things that could happen, Donna!”

I love my family’s sense of humor.  Every one of us, including my parents, my aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins all  have wonderful sense of humor.    My father, a kind, very gentle man would include his on his very infrequent bouts of anger.    My mother was in a particularly bossy mood one weekend.  “Do this, do that, get this done, get that done…not to just us kids but also my father.    She and I were backing out of the driveway to go get groceries and she hollered out the window of that big old Ford wagon (with grained sides) “Don’t forget to do fix Pooey’s chain!” (our black lab).   My father, with a look of disgust, with force in his voice said “Would you like me to shove a broom up my ass and sweep the floor while I’m at it?”   I will never forget that.   I was laughing so hard, turning my head so my mother couldn’t see, which was stupid because she could certainly hear me! imagesCAADX7KJ

My former fiancée had a wonderful sense of humor as well.   When I would be in a less than flattering mood he would put his finger up in the air and say “One minute, I’m going to run downstairs and see where you left your sense of humor!”

I don’t know where I would be in my life without my sense of humor.   I have learned to find humor in almost anything.  It is a coping mechanism, it is a light and airy twist to the toughest of times.    It used to be a person could be a complete jerk, but if he had a sense of humor, it was his redeeming quality.  I still laugh if a jerk is funny, but I’m not so quick to befriend him/her.  fake I sometimes think the more difficult experiences, the deeper our sense of humor grows.  This is a t-shirt my niece sent me while I was going through breast cancer.

My brother was the youngest of us five children and the only boy.   He walked into the house one day just as my sister, Karla, was explaining what a “front” was.   Honestly this girl should have been a weather reporter.   “It’s when the hot air hits the cold”…my brother walked in as she was explaining this to me and my youngest sister.  He says “Well, I just fronted then!”

I believe that to be able to laugh at another you must first be able to laugh at yourself, really laugh at yourself.   I am fairly adept at that now!  Sometimes when I’m driving or sitting in my car outside a store trying to talk myself into going in, I get to laughing at things.  I bet on more than one occasion a passerby thought I was nuts!   (No comment from the peanut gallery is necessary here!)  What is most interesting is that each of us have our own sense of humor.   monkey Some of you will not laugh at this, I think it’s hysterical!  You just have to take what you like and leave the rest! This picture was taken upstairs at the Vermont Country Store a couple years ago.  I assure you, all I did was snap a pic!

I remember one year teaching at HOOT (a decorative arts convention in Columbus Ohio).  I had a full class, 35 students I think.   I like to entertain my students in between instruction because first, I find most of us learn better in a relaxed environment, and second, it tends to keep their focus on whatever the joke or story is and fuss, worry less about their painting.   Well, I thought I was being particularly funny, and only one of two people would laugh.  A couple of minutes later there would be laughter in the room and I wanted in!  “Hey, what are you guys laughing at?”  “We just caught on to the joke you said five minutes ago!”    It has been suggested on numerous occasions that I do stand up comedy, but I couldn’t do that.   I am really good about beating myself up as it is, if I were to do comedy I wouldn’t want to target anyone but myself….  my therapist surely wouldn’t like it!

Off to give my Lilly some lovin!   That’s another thing, how humorous my animals are.   It’s fun to observe them.   Have good night, day, weekend, …..life in case I don’t see you again!  I hope today you have been able to enjoy a sixth sense…. “Humor!”

I  call this painting “Winter in New England”   imagesCAAAWH53

Sarah, I’m changing my name to Sarah!

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I am procrastinating.  The next thing on my list is to clean my house…..    For the life of me I do not understand why it gets so cluttered AND its been almost a decade since Jim has lived here and his spit is still in the sink every morning from brushing his teeth!    WHOOPS, I guess it was mine all along!

Have been thinking about music, how much it means to me.   While listening to Sirius radio today, John Cougar came on.  Then he was John Cougar Mellencamp, and them John Mellencamp.  How about the artist “formerly known as Prince?”    So I was thinking, I’m going to change my name, forget my past and just redefine myself.  How about Sarah, Sarah Serandon?  That sounds like a nice name.  Screw the married name, which is the only evidence left of that marriage.  I stayed with it because it was my published name….And others liked it “Dana Scully”…”Donna Scully”.   Yah, I’m done with it…. Sarah, call me Sarah, the artist formerly known as Donna Scully!

Mission clean out continues.  For the first time in the history of my living here (some 25 years) my cellar is empty.  It has a few things of paint, but the walls are bare, it needs a good cleaning, vacuuming, I want to get that done before winter, and there are nut shells down there from the frigan squirrels.   I had thought they were gone, I think one remains.   There is no furniture waiting to be painted, no wood, metal or tin waiting to become a masterpiece…I am freeing up my backpack and starting anew.  Wish Sarah luck!

Temperatures were into one digits last night.  When my fireplace is going my living room and studio get up to 80 degrees.  The highest it gets with the furnace (or the highest I allow it to get) is 68, sometimes 70.   I normally wouldn’t like 80 degrees, would make me bitchy, but there is nothing quite like a fireplace, wood, penetrating, warmth to the bone.

I’m considering cooking this year, Thanksgiving dinner.  I haven’t done this in over a decade.   We shall see.  The majority of holiday gatherings were at my house, my sister and I would cook, and laugh our butts off all day.   I have been thinking about this because a close friend of mine just lost someone very close to him, someone that they baked cookies together every year.   Darlene and I did that, too.     I don’t think I would even remember how to baste a turkey!   Thank God for the internet!

Now I will go and start some laundry, clean my home.   When I start to get the “screw its”, I’ll think about how nice it will be to come downstairs tomorrow morning to a spic and span house!    Peace….

Right where I’m supposed to be

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I lost today to sleep.  Not sure why I am so tired lately, I fear what it may be, perhaps why I am too chicken to go to the doctors.  My body hurts.  My bones hurt.  Could very well be arthritis, though I have dealt with that for years and it hasn’t felt like this.    I could very well be sleeping because of the pain, it is exhausting, still, I need to find my big girl panties, get my ars into the doctors.  One things for sure, I never have to look really far to find someone way worse off than I am…. I will live. 

Years ago I remember meeting an elderly woman (These days I categorize those 120 years old as elderly J) who shared that she had “The Big C”.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what she was talking about, obviously before my family started to diminish and the diagnoses kept steadily coming.  Now, I know far more than I ever wished I knew.   I have said this before, and I may very well be repeating the same blog (forgive me if I am), I wouldn’t wish this journey on anyone, but I wouldn’t trade my personal growth for the world.

I have dreams that I want to fill, actually only a couple of them.  I have questioned myself why I have not been actively pursuing them?  Do I think that I am going to get more time by putting them off?   Time waits for no one.   It will certainly not wait for me.  As Kramer used to say from Jerry Seinfeld show “Giddy up!”

I seem to have lost a decade of my life.  I look back, I was so engrossed in the sorrow, then my own health, I cannot tell you much about it other than what I worked hard daily to accept, to walk through.    Others have suggested to me that I am/was dwelling, I don’t think so.   I do think I walked through hell and back and there are days when I’ve unwittingly taken an express train back there, but I don’t live there.  My present is not my past.    I know where that decade went, I don’t know how else to explain it.  I know where I was, what I was doing, but time eluded me.  All of this was all part of my life, all constituted chapters of my story, all contributed to who I am today.   

A truth seeker, I never want to be “protected” or “lied to”.   I do not want to miss a moment of my life including, yes, my death.  I want to be aware, of course I hope it is pain free, but I want to leave this world knowing I am leaving, I want to see my life flash before my eyes as it miraculously does, and I want to feel the journey.   I like being knocked out with anesthesia.  I love counting backwards and boing…done!  Do I think I will wake up from death?  Who am I kidding?  Not on this planet, but in a realm I have felt and seen glimpses of before.

20 years ago now, when Bruce Springsteen came out with a double cd hits and dvd I went into work, excited, talking about it with coworkers, they of course younger and one said to me “Yeah, my mom is excited about it too!”  And so began my awareness of aging!   Lately seeing things on facebook “Remember these?” things out of my childhood and some?  Some out of my teens and twenties, now antiques!    Yikes….

When I look back at my life it feels I have lived many lives in this one body.   I need to stop looking back and chastising myself for the things, decisions I would do differently today.   I think back and see the growth in myself and I sometimes cannot relate to that person I was then… all I have to say to that is “Thank God!”

Time waits for nobody.  I am only fooling myself if I keep putting off what I want to get done.  Perhaps there will be no tomorrow here, will I regret, too, those things that I wanted to do but didn’t pursue?  

I am now past an antique (50 years and older).  I would not want to go back unless I could go with the knowledge that I have now.  A life not well lived?  Quite the contrary.  I think I have lived well, wealthy in terms of fulfillment, I have taken chances, I have pursued a career I wanted, have succeeded at what I set out to do, I have loved, I have lost, I have cried and I have danced.   I have spent time alone with myself, I have spent time with loved ones and even some that I despised.  I have been happy, I have been sad, I have stepped forward and back.  I have found out through serious illness not only what I am made of, but who I am and today?  Today?  Today I like who I am.  There are things about me I should again, work on improving, things that I do not like about myself, but they are few and far between.   I am on the right track, I am again finding peace, acceptance with some harsh realities.  No, No I wouldn’t want to go back.  Perhaps because I am tired, perhaps because I don’t feel well,perhaps because I feel I have lived an honest life, perhaps because I know, I know who I am, perhaps that in itself is my purpose?… I am right where I am supposed to be.

I am right where I’m supposed to be.

So now I will return to the warmth of my bed, thank God that I was able to take care of myself today by resting, and I shall accept that I am a human being, not a human doing… I am right where I’m supposed to be………

The shuttle from hell…

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Landing in Les Angeles we were told to take the Disneyland shuttle to get to our hotel, as it is directly across from Disney in Anaheim…. Exhausted from getting up at 2:30am to catch our plane, we walked out to the hotel shuttle buses. “There is Disneyland Express!” We flagged him down, so happy to finally be on our way to the hotel. The driver, eager to pick us up, came right out and threw our suitcases in the back. How much? “$20” he said. I climbed in first and sat in the middle seat, my friends Sheri & Cindy were in the front bench seat. He takes off and the rancid smell of antifreeze hit our nostrils. “Um, you’re leaking antifreeze” Sheri said to him. “Oh no, I got it fixed yesterday, no worries”. “Well they didn’t fix it well” she said with knowledge. By now we are riding around, circling the airport. This driver putting the NY Taxi Cab drivers to shame. Near misses, pulling in between two buses, cars, taxi’s… all I can say is Oyy…. Cindy decides its time to fasten her seat belt. “It’s back there, he said”. She couldn’t find it… why? Because it was behind ME. It would take a contortionist to have pulled that seat belt to the front bench seat. I scooched over and grabbed the seat belt for Cindy. She looks behind and shakes her head.

Upon further observation of the interior of the van, plastic on the front passenger side window. A bar which one would think would be to help or assist someone climbing up into the van, but no…that was a bar “not to be touched” because evident-ally it was holding up the roof over the door. Okay, unbeknownst to my two friends my window that should have had a clip and open like a vent window kept flying open and slamming back against the door. By this time our driver “Ce Czar” (spelled incorrectly on purpose) pulls over to the curb, goes and picks up this couples luggage (They were shaking their heads No, they didn’t want or motion for him to pick them up, he just threw their luggage in the back with ours, so they pile in the very back bench seat. An oriental couple whom were very quiet and looking around wide eyed. Apparently they were more astute than us upon observing the inside of the van. With the smell of antifreeze now embedded into our nostrils, our driver happy with the full van, we pick up speed and are on our way via the freeway.

About four minutes down the freeway I started to feel this vibration underneath my feet that got louder and louder. I thought a tire was blowing, but I wasn’t sure. Suddenly we hear this very loud (not good sounding) noise, sounding like we ran over something or someone. Ce Czar said “What was that? A pipe?” We are all looking around, feeling lopsided. “Oh we are okay” he says as he says he is going to continue on our way. Sheri pipes up “Pull over”, he makes his way to the center median and pulls over. The smell of burning rubber, now coupled with the antifreeze filled the van. He gets out, walks around the van (5 lanes of traffic flying by him at 80 mph or more) “We’ve got a flat tire!” I mumble under my breath “No Shit Dick Tracy”. “Will just be a minute or two”. As the tractor trailer trucks whizzed by the whole van would shake, and Sheri & Cindy’s heads and bodies actually moved from the wind caused from such. Ce Czar comes back and in a loud voice says “Do not move!” He asks Cindy to move back to my seat beside me. Cindy & Sheri who both have a great sense of humor were cracking comments. I laugh. Trust me, not one of us were moving. It was scary enough being on the side of the road on the freeway. “I’m not happy about us sitting on the freeway” Sheri said…. I said “Sheri, what are our options?” We look to the right of the median to two more lanes of traffic. After maybe 30 minutes he comes back, tells us the tires are new but he had it fixed. Cindy wants a seat belt. “It’s right there behind you.” She couldn’t find it. “It’s right there behind you” he says again. I pull out what should have been my seat belt, he wants her to wrap it around her and then buckle it to mine. “Um, No” she says. She wants to get back into the front seat, but the pole which was holding up the ceiling was in the way “Do you want me to open the door for you?” “Yes please”. Sheri & I are joking to Cindy how nice her pole dancing is going. I reach back and off we go again. Ce Sat gets back in the van, shuts the door which also had a funny noise to it, and we’re on our way again. Now I’m hearing this clunking jingle jangle noise. “Um, am I the only one hearing jingle bells?” Sheri & Cindy turn around and see that there is a cop with his lights on, trying to pull us over. He gets out, throws something in the back with our luggage and takes off again. “No problem, it was just the tire jack”…sparks were flying from it as it bounced and dragged along the pavement. We all take a sigh of relief, I am laughing hysterically by now (without valium even!) We are on our way again. I look forward (after grabbing the window and holding it shut) and I see smoke. “Um, does anyone else see smoke?” Sheri turns around, her face beat red as she was puffing on her electronic cigarette. “Want a drag?” she said. It was hilarious.

The oriental couple are dropped off first. When they got out I think they kissed the ground. They didn’t speak much english but as they were waiting for their luggage you could see them looking relieved and saying “Gooood Lucka to you” We pull back out again, now looking behind us as if we were being held hostage in this van. Off we go. Fortunately by this point our hotel was only a mile or two away from the couple he had just dropped off.

As we climb out of the van (without putting too much pressure on the pole), he stood in front of us to help us down. He gets our luggage out and says “$22 each please”. Apparently the price went up in between the adventure between the airport and hotel. I give him exact change, he’s not getting a tip, that $2 raise was his tip. I look over, Sheri is checking out the tires. “I have more tread on my ass then those tires had on them”. Again I laugh. Cindy pays him, tips him $3 (not only does she have a great sense of humor but is very kind and giving).

“What time is your flight out on Sunday?” I stop dead in my tracks looking wide eyed at Cindy & Sheri. “Oh, we don’t know, we’ll have to look”. “Let me give you my card”, he writes his name and number down on this card and hands it to Sheri. This is when we learned his name was Ceasar.

He takes off and we drop to our knees and kiss the ground! Not really, but I must say we were all relieved to be out of that hell van.

If you are planning a trip to Los Angeles and would like his information, I will get it from Sheri. I think she has a thing for him and saved his card!