Monthly Archives: September 2014

Bleary Blog Day

I’ve been around the blogosphere long enough to know that there are bloggers out there who are so organized, they not only publish on a regular schedule, they have several drafts on hand at any given time. All they have to do is pick one and post it on blog day. I am not one of those bloggers. I do have a regular blog day. Sometimes I even think about starting to write my post ahead of that day, but I never actually do it. I also think about starting to write my post early in the morning of my blog day. I don’t do that, either.

I might think about my blog during the week and consider different ideas, but I always end up putting off the actual writing until my blog day bedtime is breathing down my neck. This does not allow for unforeseen circumstances, such as getting no sleep at all the night before my blog day. There’s no good story that goes with that, just a weird panic attack in the dark. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does happen, I have to get up and go in search of light.

I try not to disturb my poor husband, who needs to sleep before rising early and heading out to a soul-sucking office job every weekday morning. I just grab a flashlight and go to the living room, where I can turn on a real light. Or two or three, plus the television. Last night, I picked up my iPad mini and played every game on it to calm myself down. That kept the panic at bay but I didn’t really feel calm again until I went to Facebook and saw a post from a friend who lives in Europe. Hers was a “Good morning” post. She was drinking coffee and writing Morning Pages.

That was when I started to believe it really would get light again. It was already light in other parts of the world. I’m often surprised at the things that help when the anxiety is trying to spiral out of control. One evening, it was a PBS teaser for a show about Ireland. The minute I heard those Celtic fiddles, my anxiety started to melt away. For me, the least scary darkness of all is a darkness filled with fiddle tunes.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I need a blog post and I’m too bleary-eyed to come up with anything clever or profound. In such situations, I default to the truth. This is what happened to my blog day.

On the upside, I have a couple of paintings to share. These are the latest in my series of paintings of things I happened to find in my kitchen. This time, I found a peach and a pear. I painted them first on an 8” x 10” canvas and then again on an itty bitty canvas.

Peach and Pear

Peach and Pear


Tiny Peach and Pear

Tiny Peach and Pear


As you can see, orange is still my nemesis. Some day, I will make it my friend.

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Music

I don’t talk about music much in this blog. I guess that’s because I started this blog to motivate myself to do the creative things I was not doing and music is the one creative pursuit I never abandoned. Music has been a constant source of joy and connection for me since I was a child. I grew up in a house filled with music. When I was a teenager, we took it on stage for the first time at the Florida Folk Festival. About that same time, I wandered into a chorus rehearsal during my unstructured time at a new high school. Someone put music in my hands and I was instantly hooked. I love vocal harmony with a pure and ever-present passion.

Music fills my life with light. It is the one thing I can count on to get me through the dark places. I am remembering that now because this past week has needed extra light. I lost two family members since my last blog post. One was my nephew’s wife and the other was my sister’s ex-significant other. Both were taken out by cancer, the woman after a long battle and the man after a shockingly short one. When I was trying to decide whether to list him as “friend” or “family” I remembered that he had been in the circle around my mother’s deathbed in 2003. He helped us sing her to her rest. Definitely family.

It’s what we do in difficult times. We sing. I imagine we would fall apart if we didn’t. We sang at my father’s funeral. I will never forget my mother standing in the front of the church, singing my father’s favorite song, a tearjerker called “Last Farewell”. There was not a dry eye in the church, except my mom’s, because she needed to keep it together to sing that song for him. It was probably the hardest thing she ever did, but music was her strength and it carried her through.

When her own time came, my brother found her unconscious and she was rushed to the hospital. The family began to gather, but my older sister lived seventy miles away and it took her a while to get there. Mom waited. She did not regain consciousness, but her monitor showed life signs until my sister arrived and we gathered around to sing her one last song. When it was done, the lines on the monitor went flat. She was just waiting for her song.

That night, I was scheduled to play Sister Berthe in a community theater performance of The Sound of Music. The show went on. My cast mates were shocked that I showed up, but that’s how we cope. We keep on singing. We do what sustains us.

This week, we will do it again. We will gather, we will hold tight to each other and we will sing. It’s what we do. It gets us through.

Rest in peace, Sandra. Rest in peace, Ron. I know we’ll meet again in a bright place filled with song.

Baby Steps

This is starting to look like a series. Last week, I was looking around for something to paint and my eye finally fell on a cute little habanero pepper my husband had recently harvested. It was something I could paint quickly. That was important, since I had put off writing my blog post, hoping I would have a painting to write about, until after suppertime on Wednesday, which is my blog day. I painted an itty bitty painting and shared it in my blog post and hoped I would be moving on to something bigger – maybe even something painted on a day other than Wednesday.

Okay, so that didn’t happen. I’ve been having a lethargic week and the weather has not been helping. There’s a low off the coast of Florida that’s been bringing us rain, rain and more rain. This is not cheerful weather. It’s certainly not plein air weather. I still have a dream of painting outdoors, but I’d like to do it on a sunny day, or at least a day without actual water falling from the sky.

So here it is Wednesday again and I was looking around for something to paint again and there on the kitchen counter was another pepper. My husband is really proud of this one. This is the first time he’s ever grown a Ghost Pepper. These little things are so hot, they make habaneros look like sweet peppers. Seriously, they rate almost double on the Scoville scale. These are demonic little peppers.

Ghost Pepper

Ghost Pepper


If you ask me, they even look evil. Look at that shape, so much longer and sharper than the habanero. It even has little points all over it. It’s evil, I tell you – eeeeevil! Of course, I may be projecting. It unnerves me to realize we have these things growing in our back yard.

Anyway, I have another itty bitty pepper painting. Maybe next week, I’ll do something different. Maybe the rain will stop and I will paint outside. Maybe I’ll find some other sort of pepper growing in my back yard. Or a carnivorous plant from outer space.

You never know!

Back to Painting

My regular followers might be wondering if I’m ever going to paint again. It’s my goal for this blog year to paint fifty paintings. I got a good start and kept up a fairly steady pace until the Orange incident. I didn’t think I would let that discourage me from painting, but somehow, I’ve let six weeks go by and I haven’t opened up a tube of paint.

Until tonight. I knew I had to get back on that horse and I knew today was blog day. I thought it would be nice to be able to blog about a new painting. I started looking around for something to paint. I went through all the photographs on my iPad. That would have been more helpful if there were no games on my iPad. I’ve lost count of the number of “Words With Friends” games I am playing with my daughter, but I seem to want to stare at every single one of them until I figure out how to make the perfect seven-or-eight letter word on a Triple Word space. This has only really happened once, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

I made some good words, I worked on rebuilding Springfield on the Simpson’s game, “Tapped Out,” I hatched some cute monsters on “My Singing Monsters,” I picked up some coins on “My Little Pony,” and I found dozens of hidden objects on six or seven different games. I tried out the new song on “Magic Piano,” too. I did a lot of things, but I did not find a photograph that appealed to me as a painting reference. The only one that ever did had already led to the aforementioned Orange incident.

I gave up looking at photographs. For a while, I gave up thinking about painting and started trying to come up with something else as a subject for my weekly blog post. I ran possibilities through my mind as I was cooking supper. Then I set something on a kitchen counter and saw that my husband had harvested a few of his habanero peppers. They were small. They were cute. They were…

Orange. I picked one up anyway. I took it to my painting space (otherwise known as the dining room table) and I put it on a piece of bright turquoise cloth. I took out a tiny canvas and I painted. I didn’t prepare. I didn’t sketch. I just painted.

Hot Little Pepper

Hot Little Pepper


It’s itty bitty, but it’s a painting. It counts.