Tag Archives: music

Holy Heat

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Heat has hit here in New England.   We went from having our furnaces on for a week, to installing my portable air conditioners in one day!   I guess I really should think about shaving my legs.

Had a great day of painting.   Let’s see, today I sketched, painted, grooved to some great music!  My mom is staying with me for a few weeks, anyway I thought she was outside so when Michael McDonald came on, I really rocked it!     I didn’t put my brush down for the fake mic, but close.    I stand up, dance, and walked into my living room and there sits my mom.     “Did you enjoy the concert, mom?”

Painting vegetables, fruit, sunflowers, and sketched my first person today.  He needs some work, and I can’t stand this guy, in fact, I loathe him, but I’ve been studying a picture of him for weeks, thinking about how exactly to draw it, what are his strongest features?  Maybe I’ll use it for target shooting!

I have four inches of roots showing on my head.   Is it not a wonder I have been using the widest headband I could find?  Thankfully tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll look human again.  I don’t know about having my hair done and shaving my legs on the same day.  It just might be too much excitement!

Still standing with our President!    I believe when the heats on, you step in and do what you can to support the person.

Well, I think I’ll head to bed early, have some research to do, and I love doing that when I crawl into my cozy spot, give thanks for another day, and pray for my family, my friends, my country, my President, and all service peeps, veterans, AND…. whoever reads this!

 

 

 

 

Mental slag

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Today has proven to be a challenging day for me.  The first thing I did besides feed the lippy cat that was ready to eat two hours prior, was go out and shovel out my car.  I must say, someone was looking out for me when it drove right out of it’s spot, unlike the last time where I was stuck.  But stubborn brunettes don’t give up!   We had a shitload of snow fall yesterday.

What was challenging for me today was my head, where it goes.   I once heard from a psychiatrist that the more intelligent you are, the more remote places you can find to hide in.   Not saying I’m the smartest person in the world, not even close, but I have at times thought, if I wasn’t so smart, I would be happier.   Sit on that one for a moment!

I cannot share my thoughts here, I cannot share them with anyone.    I’m doing what I know to do, and that is to get moving, get busy, keep trucking.  It took me hours of stuck to get there.  I guess I should celebrate in getting there.

I’m heading to bed early tonight, taking a friend to a much needed doctor’s appointment up North.  I’m hoping the roads and snow removal are in good shape.  I get to drive the cutest car in the world because mine doesn’t have heat.   (Kia little boxy car, I just love it!) Ya just can’t expect an 81 year old to ride that far without heat!

I walked around my house today foreign to myself.   Not exactly foreign, but certainly not where I wanted to be.   I know depression and anxiety intimately.  But where it takes me, those are places that it’s hard to find comfort in.  I remember hearing at a recovery group a couple decades ago “Find comfort in the uncomfortable”.   One of life’s tricks to success, or certainly to get beyond, or overcome.

I did some sketches today on a piece I want to start soon.   But as I walked into my studio this evening, sat down to work on ears of the pet portrait I’m doing, I see many 85%-90% paintings started, but not completed.  That isn’t a sin, but it’s something I have to be vigilant of.  Signs?  Silliness?

Well, have things I have to do before bed.  I’m hoping I sleep.  Last night I did not.  Not well, anyway.

Hoping your having a great day, full of insight and direction!   It’s what I’m seeking at the moment.

 

 

Things I’ve learned

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Have been painting, and listening to music.  “I’m holding on, I’m holding on, I’m holding on, I’m barely holding onto you”.   Lifehouse “Broken”.

Thinking about times of my life where I was broken, so much that it hurt to move.   And it is the pain from those times that keep me vigilant to never go there again.  But is that any way to live?   “Is there healing?  In your name, I feel healing”…

Mother Teresa “I have found a paradox in love, if you love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, only more love”.   One of my favorite quotes.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in this journey called life.

True Friends show up when you need them the most, and you don’t need to talk to them every day, you don’t need to hear from them to know, they are there, nothing has or will ever change.  It is also at the most needful times that we learn, sadly, who we can count on, and who is fair weathered.

I’ve also learned that love comes when you least expect it.  For if and when you search, that which you find is forced.  Nothing is more refreshing than falling in love when you aren’t looking, or thus doing anything to get the attention of another.  You’re just being yourself, and in my case, and I hope yours, seeking to be a better person for each day we are alive.

Two halves never make a whole.  But two wholes can be together and still, independent of each other.  I think this is the healthiest place to be, to fall in love.

I’ve also learned that falling in love isn’t just about human relationships, but about life, and things we stumble upon that thrust our passion into full speed.  Passion is an awesome thing, and one that I am very very grateful for.   I have met people, quite long in the tooth, that have never experienced passion.    The past couple weeks I’ve fallen in love again with painting, with new techniques, new visions.   I’ve fallen back in love with my very old, needy, ditzy cat, who is quite vocal about her needs and wishes!

Being alone done not mean loneliness.   At least not for me.   I have been single over a decade now.  I’ve dated, and really have no preference if I do or I don’t.  You can say that’s sad, some friends have, but honestly, I love my home, I work on that, I have my art, music, my animals, and family and friends that I do not spend enough time with.   When I feel like I don’t want to be alone, I call up a friend who is kindred here.  We both like our solitude.

“Desire” by Ryan Adams is now playing. I found this song off an old “House Episode”, love it.   I’ve also learned in life that there are more ways than being in a relationship to get that physical human touch.  My animals, and in past, my nephews, my niece.   A new born baby, animal, I think that’s why the world is watching and anticipating the birth of April the giraffes bambino!     Who isn’t watching?

So, in this day, reflective of my past, my past loves, I am sitting here in peace, with happiness in my heart as I play and work in this newfound love for art.  Each brush stroke I anticipate, and it’s hitting right where it’s supposed to.  Even accidentally dropped a brush on my painting and the color looked delightful in a place I never would’ve expected or tried.

“You know me.
You don’t mind waiting.
You just can’t show me, but God I’m praying,
That you’ll find me, and that you’ll see me,
That you run and never tire.
Desire
Desire
Desire
Desire”

Wishing you love, passion, and always, peace
rodney2

Saturday night

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It’s Saturday night.  I’ve been painting since 2 today.   Was so enthralled I forgot to eat.  Believe me, that doesn’t happen a lot!  Anyway, the brush is still flowing, and I’m looking at the clock knowing, I need to keep to a schedule.   This is one of those nights I could paint until 2-4am.  I know it.

Grateful that I have the abilities that I do.  They keep me entertained.  I have three major (once hobbies) that I do, and while I love each and every one of them, I know my life would be easier if I just chose one, and stuck to it.  But that’s not me.  Of course it isn’t!   🙂

I heard the weather in New England today called “Balmy”, twice.  You don’t hear that too often either.  It was in the 60’s.  February, 60’s.   I didn’t touch foot outside all day.   Nor have I gone to look in my cellar at how much flooding is happening.   I’m in a good mood, want to keep it!

Listening to music, and thinking about the times in my life that these songs were new, and what was happening then.   Oh how I love music.  I am confident I would be a miserable being if I didn’t have it in my life.  It’s my muse.

Happy Saturday night!  Hope you’re doing well, and if not… hold strong.  I speak from experience, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

 

 

“50 things about me!”

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1.)   I get teary eyed and goose bumps when I see a big old Red, White & Blue flag flying

2.)  One of the proudest days of my life was when I bought out my ex-husband, and owned my own home!

3.) I am the middle of five siblings

4.) I have known love

5.) I hope to be half the person my dog thinks I am!

6.) My mentor is an 87 year old retired art teacher who I just adore.

7.) I have been in a room with someone I loved when they were told they had only a short time to live

8.) I have EXCELLENT taste in friends.

9.) I find great joy in making things…. Art for one

10.) I have had more surgeries than I can to share!

11.) My home is like my womb, and I hope it’s comfy and inviting to all my guests

12.) I do not like to cook

13.) I rarely lose anything

14.) I am not a morning person, have never been

15.) I was unable to have children, so I guess I married them

16.) I believe in God, and I’ve been blessed to see his work in my life

17.) I believe if you give to another it comes back to you, tenfold

18.) I do not feel my age mentally, but physically I do

19.) My most creative time has been 10pm – 2am

20.)  I despise phones, but I love what my Iphone offers me

21.) I have smoked one cigarette in my life (at age 15), and I had a headache for 2 days

22.) I love Bailey’s Irish Creme

23.) I believe when a door is closed, a window is opened, or visa versa

24.) Music is vital to my happiness

25.) I have had the following cars:  1976 Subaru (Turquoise), 1980 Subaru Coupe (New), Renault p.o.s., 1988 Honda Prelude (new),  Pontiac Fiero, 2003 Subaru Wagon, 86 Jetta, 91 Jetta, 2003 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Jeep Liberty, and I now drive a 2002 VW Passat with 270K!

26.) I am my own worst critic

27.)  I believe food tastes better, and possessions are more appreciated when earned or grown yourself

28.) Sometimes I think about growing old, and I wonder if I will

29.) I am very grateful for my parents and their love for me

30.) The best advice given to me (or that I heard) was “Step back, look at the situation before responding, hence reacting

31.) I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that life is like a 100 piece puzzle that we will only get 60-70 pieces to connect

32.) I know mental illness intimately

33.) I love being near or close to bodies of water, I find it tranquilizing

34.) I hate snakes

35.) Family comes first, always

36.) I know what lost love feels like

37.) I am a cancer survivor

38.) I have laughed so hard I’ve wet my pants

39.) The older I get, the smarter my parents are!

40.) I believe we are responsible for our own happiness

41.)  I don’t like the state of the World.  It saddens me

42.) I have been physically abused before

43.) If I had to do it over again, I would have become a graphic artist

44.) Nature grounds me

45.) I like who I am, I am honest, kind, caring, and I love to laugh

46.) I have lost two sisters to ovarian cancer

47.) I fear more loss

48.) I love animals

49.) Fall is my favorite time of year

50.) I am an extrovert who heals and recoops like an introvert

Whose next to share their list???????????  I dare you!

In my youth

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I’m painting (on canvas) for the first time in months, listening to a playlist on Spotify that depicts my life and times in words, songs.   “Rocky Mountain High” just played, which was, I believe, our 8th grade graduation song.   John Denver got me through MUCH in my youth.   The, what seemed insurmountable problems of youth, which seemed so very difficult, something like a blemish on my face, or my favorite Levi’s not clean for a date, etc.   I think about it sometimes, as I drive by the local high school and see these YOUNG KIDS and I question, “Was I really ever that young?”    And then, putting into proportion the immense deep feelings I had for a kid that I had hoped would last into adulthood.  I’m laughing now.  IF ONLY relationships were that easy!  ha!    But it’s nice to think about being so young, so innocent.  And certainly the woes of that time were real, and feelings are so deep because you’ve yet to experience life, to experience loss, to experience the pain of broken hearts or dreams.    I’m not meaning to sound cynical, not at all.   I guess I’m just saying, the innocence and naivety are covered with blankets of protection of our youth.

I’ve often written about music.  How important it is to my well being, to my mental health.  I simply don’t know how I could ever live without it.    In thinking about life’s necessities, and if I were given only one luxury, would I choose music over art?    I think I probably would!  And yet art is so important to me, ingrained in every aspect of my being.   I’m so fortunate that I have known passion for such.   I’m grateful for that.  I’m grateful for where my paint brush has taken me in life, and all the good it has brought me to.

Now, a song by Toni Child’s “I’ve got to go now”.   A song about a woman in love with an alcoholic, who tosses her and his children aside for the almighty bottle.   This song actually relates to the three major relationships I’ve had in my life.  All alcoholics.  The first, who physically beat me, the second who emotionally did, and the last, the one who gave me so much, and likewise, took so much of me when we parted.     “Must be addicted to all this pain, because I keep coming back for the shame.  Dear God give me the strength to leave, I’ve got to keep going, keep going this time”.   Powerful song, and an epitaph of my past relationships.    Listening to this song does not always make me sad.  Shat it does is get me in touch with the courage I have mustered in my life.  The starting over, the strength and fortitude that comes when you say goodbye to the one you love, because you know, if you stay, you will die before he.

Now, “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks.  I LOVE this song.  It’s been, what I call, my “recovery” song.  Questioning, seeing, surviving.  “Oh, mirror in the sky.  What is love?  Can the child within my heart rise above?  Can I sail through the changing ocean tide?  Can I handle the seasons of my life?”   I go to this song when I am questioning,  seeking strength, seeking guidance.  Doubt becomes certainty, becomes strength, endurance, and then even on top of that becomes the silver lining of it all.  “But time makes you bolder, and children get older, and I’m getting older too…”   Life, learning, lessons.   I’ve become the person I wanted to be, when it comes to morals, standards, strength.  And how did I do that?   Only after the landslide took me down.

Life these days is pretty straight forward.   I am working hard on myself, and my home.  I am focused, aligned, very content with my life.  Change is coming, I’m not afraid of it, nor am I afraid of how it will change me.    I’ve got a track record now.   All the difficulties have thickened my skin, but not my heart.  My heart is strong, my thoughts are clear, and damn, I just had pistachio ice cream!

Music?  A necessity for me.  I have an italian friend who says she couldn’t live without olive oil.  Me?  I couldn’t live without music.   What’s your necessity?

And now I’ll close as “Rhythm of my Heart” Rod Stewart, is playing.”The rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum, , with the words I love you rolling off my tongue, Never will I roam, for I know my place is home, where the ocean meets the sky I’ll be sailing!”  Have a great weekend!  Chase your desires, your dreams, or hell, just get yourself an ice cream, and sit and listen to your favorite tunes.    Love to you…

 

Mooosic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“Donna, have you listened to music today?”  My friend Shawn would ask me, when I was having a particularly hard day.  “When are you going to realize it’s your muse?”

This was about ten years ago now!   No!  I know I loved music, but I really had no idea how powerful it was to me.  But he was and is right!

One of my favorite “materialistic” items is, indeed my Bose Wave which I worked very hard to acquire.  I LOVE music.  And I like to listen to it and hear every instrument, every word uttered.   Even my computer speakers are Bose!   I want to hear MUSIC, damnit!

These days, free streaming is available and it’s just awesome how much music we have within our reach, easily, affordable.   If I am out and about and I hear or think about a song, I will note it in my “notes” on my phone, and when I then sit down again at the computer I look at the songs I wanted to add.  It’s amazing how many long forgotten songs you can come up with!

When I was in grade school, in a small town in New Hampshire, we had a Chinese music teacher.  Her name was Mrs Chang.   “Okay students, it’s time for moooosic lessons!”    It was one of my favorite parts of the school week!

I’m always amazed at how powerful music is to my soul.  Always.  Which makes me laugh.  Because that just means it gets better and better!     Driving down the road, listening to music, I can feel 18 again, or recall people, places in my life that have for whatever reason, disappeared.   It can reach within the aging skin, harshness of yesterdays, or todays, and find my buried spirit.   How about you?

At 15 I started working, and the first thing I bought with the money I made was a pioneer stereo.  Oh my god!   I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  Having like minded sisters and brother who equally loved music, and parents who introduced us to it, there were sometimes five stereos going at once.    I have a huge smile on my face right now, thinking about this.

My sister introduced us all to “CCR –  Creedance Clearwater Revival”.  Oh my dad didn’t like that music, but my mom did.   Every single one of us younger kids (three) spanning 10 year age difference was a fan of CCR.

I jumped in my mom’s car yesterday, and she had Bob Seger playing.  It brought back very fond memories for me.  He’s one artist I have found hard to find on feeds.  Anyway, I had every Bob Seger album, cassette (Thankfully I came into stereos when 8 tracks were going out!), and when then came out on CD, my sister would come and steal them, leaving the jackets of all, so I wouldn’t know it!    To this day I smile.  I love that we all had this connection.

Music…. my muse.   It can raise me up, and certain songs can drop me pretty low, if I allow my psyche to go there, so I don’t!   But I know what songs I can listen to if I need the added push to be able to cry.

I have heard a few times over the course of my life that if you are singing, you cannot be unhappy.   I don’t know about that, but I do know it can get me out of some dark places and instantaneously seat me in a better place, or in a creative place.   And when I get to singing, yeah, you know, I think it makes everything better.  It doesn’t take away problems but it surely adds spark and quality to my life!

I can get through anything with music on my side!   And I can easily spend an afternoon searching for music from my past online.  How quickly hours can go by when music is part of it, for me anyway.

What am I grateful for today?   Mooooosic!!!!!!!!!!!      Thank you, all artists!

 

“All my life’s a circle” -Tom Chapin

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I love the ebb and flow of life, friendships.   Tonight I had an absolutely joyful conversation with my best friend from high school.   Filled with laughter, and being the sap I am, a few tears, I feel so good right now.     “Old friends, they mean much more to me than the new friends, because they know where you are, and they know where you’ve been!”.    If you’ve never heard this song I suggest you get your butt to Spotify!   Tom Chapin, the late Harry Chapin’s brother wrote it.   Great song.

There is a major, positive shift happening with me.   It’s exciting.   I’ve had to take double takes and rub my eyes to see if I were dreaming.   I’m very grateful for this new upswing.  Grateful and ready!

It’s been ridiculously humid here in VT.    I remind myself what Winter looks like, what it looked like this past winter, and I stay in the air conditioning and shut my lips!   As I drove to Town today there were neighbors out chopping, splitting wood, getting ready for Old Man Winter. image   I thought to myself, wow, the irony.  The hottest day of the year and they’re preparing for the coldest.  Such is life in New England.  Such is life.

I’m painting and designing well.  Very pleased with that.  Purchased a couple new brushes today (which I just don’t do) but mine were REALLY ratty.   It’s funny how a $25 purchase can make me feel like a queen!   It really is the little things in life.

My house is not dirty but an absolute clutter hole.    I laugh at how organized I feel, and am getting, amidst it all.   To someone coming in?  What the heck happened here?  But to me, I see organization, progress.    More gratitude!

I am very pleased with the direction my life is going.    Thank you, God.

And now I’m off to watch some tv before Lilly and I retire.    I have been up for 30 hrs.   This is not good, but what is good is that I SHOULD sleep really well tonight.

Hope you are having a great day!   🙂

Secret stashes

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The past year I’ve really been cleaning out my house.   As an artist, I don’t want to throw anything away because I “might need it”.   And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve tossed things I’ve had for a decade, only to find 2 weeks later that I wish I had it!  Yes, I’m a mental case, but that isn’t the point I’m trying to make.  Not even sure what is!  Oh yes, DE cluttering!

It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been living in this house since 1988.    So you can imagine the collection I had.  I’ve never been materialistic, except when it comes to art supplies, music.   Don’t get me wrong, I love nice things, and my taste is certainly larger than my pocket book, but I have a knack of finding things inexpensively.  I also do not compromise on some things.   I don’t want to listen to music through tin sounding speakers, or bead with acrylic.  I paint with acrylic, but I bead with gem stones, crystal.  No plastic for me!     Add to this my return to needlecraft design, I rarely buy acrylic yarn.  I want fibers.  Wool, silk, cotton!       Felting has brought new joy into my life.   As the snow accumulated last winter, I made these sweet roses and flowers, felted them, and they sit in a box next to me.  A little box of sunshine just for looking!  I guess what I’m saying is, I’m fussy?

So now you know I’m a craft hoarder.   But I don’t think I am.   Honestly, if you saw what I got rid of?    I am downsizing, however, and numerous surfaces, canvas, tools that I no longer use are going to be going to a good home.    So I have piles started.  Piles that are going to the hospice thrift shop, a pile started for a couple of friends that I know would appreciate this stuff, a pile to go to the Senior Center, and a large pile to try to figure out where the heck to put it!

But something very cool is happening as I go through this process.   For everything I get rid of, I am gaining back freedom.  I don’t know how else to describe it.   I feel lighter, and lighter each box that leaves, or is scheduled to leave.     It’s kind of funny when you think about it.  We spend years accumulating things, and yet it feels so good to get RID of things!  One less project “owning me”.  Every project I had planned to do and didn’t, owns a bit of me.  By getting rid of it, it frees up my head and time, gives me what feels like really good juju!

There is also this fun aspect to cleaning out.   Things I forgot I had, or did.   It is like a treasures box!   Now if only I could find some moola!   But I did find brushes, brushes and more brushes.  A secret little stash I forgot about from days of working with several brush companies and a box of samples a girlfriend sent to me that include some kick butt dry brushes.    It’s funny how a finding like this can be so inspiring.    When cleaning out my Uncle’s apartment last year after his passing, I found some things that he had held onto that made me smile.  imageOne being the book I authored in the early 2000’s.  Going to try to attach a picture of it, but no promises!      I’ve always had an Americana style, and my work typically represents country living.   Yep, the possum is on the stove top boiling!    I was particularly proud of this book, because my sister was able to see that, and the first time my artwork was on the cover of a magazine.     She was one of my two biggest fans, supporters when I started down this path of decorating painting.

In one box I found a toy of my Brody boys.  An Australian shepherd who died a couple of years ago.   That dog was something else.   I miss him everyday, but I know I was truly blessed to have such an intelligent, articulate, bossy dog in my life for almost 13 years, but it’s never long enough, is it?   Finding his toy hurt at first, like I was just sucker punched.  But it quickly turned to smiles as I found pictures of him, and remembered his funny ways.   My bossy aussie.brody 002

This is an adventure!    One with fabulous memories and pride, which I choose to look at versus the mess that my studio has been.   I really have NO business being in business for myself.   Honestly, I am more organized than I have ever been, but that really isn’t saying much!

Today’s song….     U2 “Pride”,  Hope you’ve had a great day!

Poor santa

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I just got up and walked away from a painting I’m working on.  If truth be known I wish I had done this 10 minutes ago because I despise what I did to it.   Poor Santa!   I  believe it takes two to paint, and one person to stay “STOP!”     I have been using brighter colors than usual, and I’m excited about that, I think it is tell tale that I am seeing things differently than I did a few months ago, a couple few years ago.

I love Spotify.   When I’m in my car and hear a song I like, I ask Siri to take a note which lists the songs.  When I get home, turn on the computer I download these new songs.    I have playlists for cleaning, workout, painting, for each of my siblings, and people who have departed.   Music is so powerful.  It carries me through the darkness and then gives me a jolt, boost of energy when a song comes on that reflects positive memories.   My best friend went through an ugly divorce and could not listen to music for a couple of years.  I remember thinking to myself, if I did not have music, NEW music at that, I would probably not move.   But I know there was a time in my life when I couldn’t listen to music.   That’s all I want to say about that dark time.

Tom Petty is currently “running down a dream” as I type this.   I hope he dreams that this Santa I’m working on will look better in the morning light!  Music, Music, Music!     When you listen to music, do you sing like a rock star?  Find yourself holding a tube of paint as a mic?    I am not saying I do, just wondering about you! 🙂

This week is not going to be without stress, I’m afraid.   Dr.’s appointments, test results that could change a life drastically.  I have worked hard to stay busy and try to keep my emotions in check.   But it doesn’t take much for fear to jump in, and I find myself in the middle of a panic attack.   Why does life have to be so hard?   Recalling an earlier conversation I had with myself (Hey, I’m pretty good conversationalist), in which I reminded myself it was just a few days ago that I questioned “my shining hours” were actually some of the hardest of my life.   Now isn’t that something?    I was hot and didn’t even know it?  Haha!

If you think of it Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, drop a prayer or send good thoughts my way.  I’d appreciate it!  And I hope you have a lovely Monday!   Is there such a thing???