Oh…. Hey There

Its been 2 months since i’ve written here… not uncommon I know…. but today… the day after Christmas… The house is quietish… and picked upish….. and i’m eating a piece of Pumpkin Pie with a pile of whip cream the size of my face … I figured it was time to catch up here… and prepare for a new year.

To say  the least…. this last year has been absolutely tragic. I’ve spent hours upon hours reading stories about the mass shooting in Vegas, Hangings in Mexico…  the natural disasters affecting multiple countries, and sexual assault cases that make me ill. It’s hard not to be affected or impacted — some of us much more so than others.

That’s why today I wanted to do something different.

Rather than go off on my personal opinions about each event that has transpired (because I think the entire social media world has got that covered)… I wanted to shift my focus to something more positive.

Some people may view it as selfish and some may not. However, the only thing that brings me joy and realization of my privilege in this world is gratitude.

As you (may or may not) know…  I LOVE CHRISTMAS. It’s a magical, mysterious, and unicorn-esque holiday that no one really seems to understand — but just know that it exists.

So, here are 12 things I am thankful for this Christmas –  2017

1. My health… Yes, Really.

This year has been a roller-coaster of emotion for my personal physical health. I’ve been in and out of blood work, some terribly intrusive procedures, and am currently rubbing special honey from New Zealand on yet another virus…. this time MRSA… I’m grateful that it is not worse. It can always be worse

2. My beautiful family

There is not much to say here other than I feel so extremely grateful to have the support system that I do. I love each and every one of my family members, and am so excited to grow old with one another… Tall Child and her Tinies make everything an adventure… Small Child and his mustache growing rebellion… Smallest child and her extended time with us now. The Perea’s with their black baby girl jesus in a manger on the porch… and well… if you don’t know betty… you just don’t understand 🙂

 

 

3. Genuine friendships

I’ve always had my core group of friends (whom I am eternally thankful for). This Christmas I got word the local food pantry was out of Toilet Paper…. Yes… Toilet Paper… The only budget I had left was my friends christmas gifts…. Guess what they all got for a gift this year…. a case of toilet paper… or socks and hard candy for the veterans gift bags… donated in their name … and you know what… they thanked me for it.

While at the food bank this little monkey got informed that if you don’t eat right… even santa will not deliver lucky charms… so we delivered those right to the food bank as well….

4. Being equipped to handle life’s’ obstacles

Okay, okay, it’s super hard for me to get through one blog post without bragging about Mr Amazing…. I have a very hard time with the amount of privilege we have with all that is going on in the world… in fact… it is hard not to wallow sometimes in the depravity of it all… So how do you tell the one you love so much that you really just do not want to have christmas at all? when his favorite thing to do is buy you gifts? Well… Let me show you just how amazing he is.

This company donates a pair of socks to the homeless for every pair sold… they also employ them.

This beautiful necklace was made by a sex slavery rescue… Named Rose. As a way to get her on her own feet and it is absolutely beautiful…

These lotto tickets were alot of fun…I won a weeks worth of water and meals for someone in need  With the purchase of this beautiful candle someone in Kenya without light received a solar light

 This Keychain was made by rescued woman in india… giving them work to keep them from sex slavery.

These bracelets were designed by displaced women in Northern Uganda … combating poverty.

These chocolates had a cause and were delicious! They were a donation to darfur.

This bag is what held it all… from buy the change… is designed with a hand written letter from a syrian girl who escaped the war… she escaped because she was able to find work at somewhere like this foundation… the words written on the bag are heart breaking… and yet I will carry it with me everywhere… and let people read it… they employ trafficked children and displaced women.

5. America. Just, being American. 

I love this country and every single thing about it. The beautiful nature, the welcoming people, and the diversity. I know we’re not all sunshine and rainbows — but we certainly are not what our government portrays us to be either.

6. Feeling safe

I am thankful and realize how privileged I am to be able to freely speak about the things I am passionate about. Not everyone can say that they have the opportunity to voice their opinion without fear of repercussions, but I am hopeful that one day we will all feel safe in our communities.

7. How talk has been about the importance of mental health

It’s truly refreshing to see how many people are now vocal about their personal experiences with mental health. This year has been a tough one — but it has also taught me that ignoring something so very important just isn’t an option. Thanks to all those who have been my rocks.

8. People who share deep and personal stories on the Internet

While we’re on this topic — I am so incredibly thankful for people who are bold enough to share their stories in a public forum for all to see. Stories that just 10 years ago would have been brushed under the rug or criticized. You’ve made it easier for everyone else, and I’m on board AF with your bravery.

9. Every opportunity I have been given career wise

Nothing should ever go under-appreciated, and I worry that sometimes we forget this when it comes to our day jobs. I am super grateful for every opportunity that comes my way.

10. Charlie Bosephis

Two weeks or so before Christmas Mr Amazing had to listen to me put my foot down… I was getting a kitten of my very own… I am 44 years old and have wanted one my whole life and god dammit I was going to get one… not some purebred savannah cat that he envisioned either… a rescue cat… and It was going to be all mine… and No one would stop me… That next day he went and got me the smallest weakest plainest close to death cat he could… and we ALL fell in love with her…. but mostly me… because she is mine… all mine… and I love her beyond words. Its hard to believe looking at her that she was under three pounds when she got here.. and scared to be put down… she definitely has tripled in size in just a few weeks… and is a basic menace to society… fits right in.

11. Strangers that go out of their way to do something nice

Rare, but so so so important. We see you, strangers.

12. Lastly, pumpkin pie.

Because I’m currently scarfing down a piece as I type this.

So Much LOVE AND LIGHT to everyone out there as we wrap up this year… 2018 will be what we make it… do not ever let complacency get in the way of decency. If you are going to complain… DO SOMETHING… and well… Be AMAZING! (like mr amazing).

There is still more good than bad… there is still happiness in the greif… there is still more love than hate.

And there is hope…. So Much Hope. (A Spark… Like StarWars taught ya!)

 

Life. Its continues.

Its been over two months since Ive posted. Believe it or not, Things have been relatively good. Im working full time again, and that has not only halted my painting, but it has made me want to write again. So I finished my Novella and submitted it to a writers group for feedback. Look at me just continuing to act like I’m a writer. Like I believe in myself and have dreams. I also did something Id never done before while gone- I took a vacation. With a friend. Like not a child. Although I would have liked it to be Mr Amazing. He needed to be home with the smalls. work and stuff. So off to San Diego we went. It was amazing. I like the new job enough. I like that it is just a job. Not an all consuming hurricane of ambitions. I miss freedom. I miss taking care of everything at home so no one else had to worry about it. But I do not miss the self loathing that came with unemployment. Perhaps I will even earn a pension finally. 44 years old and finally thinking about my future. Its kind of nice. Mr Amazings small is with us full time now and I am enjoying that more than I can say. My Small, dropped on class, but kept the other and has so far survived his practice semester at college. WOOT!

I miss painting, and find my little bits of down time that I do have being spent on the couch under a pint of ice cream… but that may be due to the weather more than the new job. Knees. Again. I am still working out a couple of times a week and having my beautiful friend from the library come use the shower at the gym. I love her. Life. It continues. Today I find myself in the same offices writing this as I did about 5 years ago with my small. But today I am with Mr. Amazings small. I am hoping beyond hope that it gives her the support system she needs to succeed in all things. Tall child and the tinies are absolutely perfect in every way. Im sure she would disagree. That she struggles. But to me. They are the epitome of perfection and I love them… hard.

I intended to write more… but here are a few pictures instead. It will be several weeks before I get feedback on the novella. Im not nervous. I know it is my story. I know it is to be told. I just haven’t found its outlet yet. I had 50,000 words written before I edited it down to 20,000 and I am only half way through. I found a novella submission and sent it there. even though it is only half told. Because I could. LOL Fear Not my dears.

Like sand in an hourglass… these are the times of my life.

Soooooo Im gonna write… because I have so much in my head that is just screaming to come out….

I survived the summer… and the arts festival….

The above is a brief photo tour… but let me tell you about it… First off I stayed home this summer (Well not really… ever) but I mean I was unemployed…. So I brought in a Foreign exchange student and did an art show… and had what was probably the most stressful, and greatest summer of my life…. Aina was the College aged student who came to stay with us, and it was kismet… she was like our child from another country…. she is 21 and we instantly fell in love with her. The last photo is all of us crying as we said goodbye.

Small Child enrolled in school… I did the art festival… in 103 degree weather… and marked that shit right off my bucket list. We spent time with family and friends… the two tiniest tinys turned 1 and 2… and well…. look through the photos… memories were made… and times that will forever be irreplaceable are in our hearts.

I was able to stay with my smallest step daughter… who possibly will be us full time going forward.. and it was something that I wouldnt change a thing about. (More on that later)

The kids started school… and this morning I accepted a state job in the office of education. This is a whole different world for me, as Ive always had a fast paced marketing world… but I am turning 44 next month and have nothing to show for it. The state will offer 401K and benefits and some stability. Leaving me to pursue my passion outside of work.

Currently ive stopped with the street art… im sure just for a few days honestly… Im sick again… double antibiotics who’s side effects are worse than the illness… but at the end of the ten days the infection will be gone…. Small child is in college… wtf…. smallest is in the 6th grade and my first tiny has started kindergarten.

September is coming… in 48 hours and for the first time in my adult life i welcome it (If september confuses you… browse september in the blog history)

I will start work… and I just now booked my first ever girls weekend… San Diego here we come!

Our final summer adventure was a trek to get into the path of totality for the eclipse (Cue the photo montage again…because im on antibiotics and cannot think straight to type)

I really dont know why some of those are upside down… but there you have it… it was the perfect ending to the perfect summer…. Perfect means all kinds of things to me…. especially now that it is over.

OH! also!… we stopped being renters in our home… and bought it

.

Lastly…. This happened last night… and I need to say something

Mr amazing has been so fucking amazing… I cannot even tell you how blessed I am… this picture shows you how blessed… You see that HUGE family? its ours… And well… I am so grateful for everyone in it… but Mr Amazing most of all… He is my best friend… my biggest fan… and the love of my life. He has brought more happiness into my life than I can even express and continues to do so on a daily basis. I tell him all the time, but I think day to day he forgets that they are not just words… He is the best thing thats ever happened to me… and I love him beyond measure.

Fini!

Dear Tall Child… Your birthday is not in July…. Sooooo I suck at your letter writing

But here it is in July

To my angel girl,

As I sat in here writing this morning,,,  I was filled with panic when as I realized because your birthday is not in the same week as your two siblings I often forget to write for you…. when you are usually my inspiration and  I began to think about all the things I fear. I think what I fear the most would be losing my memory and not knowing who Mr. Amazing and my smalls are… or not recognizing my grandchildren. I was filled with dread… imagining a situation where I wouldn’t know who I really was. You guys are who I am

I think what I fear the most would be losing my memory…To me…this would be worse than death. For death is a final ending of life on this earth, and the continuation of the soul’s journey. But being alive and not knowing those who love you and those who you once loved—that was too hard to imagine.

Suddenly I decided you were an adult and I could write your letter anytime. I smiled with relief—The words were just lying there dormant… and needed to come to the surface… SO MANY WORDS!

And even though I wonder: what if this really was the beginning of a mental deterioration that… once started… could only progress? I realized that since we never know what is in store… we must take the time now to say the things we don’t want left unsaid. And so, my dear daughter!

Know that more than anything else… I wanted to be a mother. The longer I had to wait… and the weirder way children came into my life…the more I knew how important it was to me. When you came to my home I was never happier to be home… playing..  cooking (HA! I cooked!)… reading (DUMBLEDORE DIED)… singing or dancing with you. I always hoped you knew that in my life you all came first. Ahead of work… Mario… Everything…. I was proud of the fact that…  while we did not always have as much material wealth back then… we were able to get by…  and hopefully you were all content with the fact that there was never a day that I wouldn’t have given everything I owned up… Just to have you come to me.

Know that I am proud of you… Everyday. Of your accomplishments and achievements, but more importantly… of who you have become in life. Not what you do… but who you are. Your caring for others … your sensitivities to those around you… your love and compassion.

Know that I realize I made mistakes… Sometimes I pushed too hard…sometimes I did not push nearly enough. I may have seemed distant at times…  usually because I was preoccupied with concern for another of your siblings. Sometimes it may have seemed that one or another of you got all the attention… and you were left on your own. Though I do not really think any of you were loved with any less intensity…I imagine you may have felt neglected or unimportant when my attentions seemed focused elsewhere.

I have been blessed to see you grow and find your way in life. We have watched you stumble… and tried hard to let you trip and fall but still be there to help Band-Aid your cuts… The hardest thing for a parent to do is to let go… Your midnight call from Idaho helped with that (Bahahahaha – Im in Idaho… because what are you gonna do? ground me?)

When I light candles and meditate I plead with the Universe to watch over each of you…  your babies daddy… and your children… I know that in the chain of our untraditional relations I am but a small link. But that link connects me with you and it connects you and your children as it continues through time.

But if you did not know it before… then I trust you will know now that you are the greatest gift given to me in this world.

I’m sorry that I gave you a heart stronger than a bear….  because it will take you years to learn that not everyone loves like you do. I am constantly in admiration of your desire to help others and I know that you’ve felt the sting of being used… hold onto to your generosity against those who only know how to take.

I’m sorry that you see only the good in everyone.

Sorry … not sorry.

I wish that I could instill all of my lessons into you… but I know that you needed to learn on your own. I can spend days with you in the moonlight telling you life’s truths, but in the end my experiences won’t necessarily become yours.

I’m sorry that you feel everything as deeply as you do.

There are caverns inside of your soul that ache to feel everything that this life has to offer. I can see the way that you feel compassion for strangers… and how you sometimes just stop to look at me as if I hung the stars in the sky… yep… I’ve seen it! don’t deny it!

I can see the way that you are brimming with the ability to feel the world around you and with it… all of the heartache and magic it can offer.

You might have moments where you wish that this wasn’t so,,, and while I’m sorry that I have given this quality to you… it’s a gift.

And so.. while I am sorry (not sorry) that you are so much like me… I also couldn’t be more proud of you.

I see the way that you forgive everyone around you without a second thought… and how you already have learned to stick up for yourself and your needs.

I see the way that you’re already so much smarter than I was…so much better equipped to handle the ways of the world… and in those instances… I know that there is no doubt you will one day learn how to use your wings. Because you’re my angel.

 

You are so much more… my warrior princess… my fairy… and most of all…my heart.

As you grew older…  the world began to tell you that magic doesn’t exist… and while I know that you may have your faith in “fairies” tested… I hope that you continue to wish on falling stars and believe in all that is unseen in this world.

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl

I’m sorry that you are so much like me… but only because I know how hard this world will try to change you and at times break you. But more than anything else… I love you more than there are stars in the sky.

So, while every day you may strive to show how different you are from me… there is no doubt—nor has there ever been—that you are my angel girl… my daughter.

And I couldn’t be more proud of that fact.

You know your sweet babies are the light of my life… My failure to mention them was only because I wanted this to be for you… I fucking love you.

Mom

Just a note from this ARTIST!

Sooooo 9 days ago I blogged for the first time in a long time… if you want to call it that…. I do, Obviously.

I talked about my latest street art project… and then I went into work later that week…. and was laid off.

I literally was explained to that I had succeeded myself right out of a job.

My Small graduates in 1 week.

Cue the midlife crisis already in full swing… into a fucking hurricane force frenzy.

So I did what anyone would do…. I got angry…. and then I got sad…. and then I drank wine…. and drunk tweeted.

Then I went thru the self loathing phase…. (Its been only 4 days …. all these things happened)

Then I applied for a DBA Licence…. and got it…. Fairy City is no longer just a hashtag.

Oh? But I didnt stop there…. Without even batting an eye…. I applied to be in the artists alley at our little towns art festival.

Application was accepted….

You know I always thought I’d write stories rather than live them….. And I always thought Smiffbib would be my go to name…. But Smiffbib will be my writing muse… and Fairy City my painting muse…. and I think I probably ought to stop typing and start painting… because I have approximately 2 months to get an entire collection together and ready to sale….

Adventure On Folks…. Light and Love to anyone who stumbles across this madness.

Seek Magic Everyday.

And then… Somewhere in the Midst of the Crazy… I remembered I had a Blog

Sooooo I think I only remember to write when I think I am dying…. So naturally this blog post comes after yet another nasty bout of infections …. Kidney and Sinus…. See my previous posts about CMV and learning I have no antibodies…. but I realized that I have shared my latest (Over the last year) fascination with street art…. and Ive posted so much about my #FairyCity and Fairy doors… well… this year I managed a #ThoughtBubble series… and its been all kinds of fun… Here are some of the pieces.

It has been so fun to place these and watch the few people ive caught looking at them… I ofcourse enjoy painting them more than anything else… But the real story of the year continues to be the magic happening behind the library here in town…. it has slowly become a community art project… people are adding to my little fairy city… home made fairies… rearranging the magic back there… upkeeping it for me… and well…. Its kind of magic.

 

I have so much more to say but its been so long since ive pulled out my old friend to write on that it has a million updates to install and is about to restart itself upon finishing its OS update… So I will leave this here for now…. But I am here! and I feel my time to write is resurfacing…. Love Love Love!

However Tenuous the Connection….

 

The Light and Shade Challenge 

The Challenge is to take whatever is sparked by the picture and/or the quotation, however tenuous or remote the connection, and see how much fun you can have in 500 words.

 

However Tenuous and Remote the connection…. When I looked at this image I saw a doorway to another place and time…. Archways often feel this way to me… Another thought sparked is Street Artists… The spray paint on the walls remind me of this…. the charm of the cobble stone street… the age of the trees…. the stone retaining wall…. everything about it is stark and with the lighting of the sky… quite dismal…. But somewhere under those ages trees and fallen leave is some magic… a portal to another world…

Here in my neck of the woods…. and well… Ive been shipping them all over (Even internationally) I have started a street art project… and honestly… its why I havent been writing… Just til sprinkler season 🙂 On instagram using the hashtag #FairyCity you will find these little reminders that magic does exist… and the smallest of gestures can change the world in big ways…. and that the world is not always dreary as it seems….

Thank you to my friends at the light and shade blog…. I love the prompts… Im sorry I havent been participating… but I have been watching and reading… while painting 🙂

 

Winter Montage

  A photo journal entry…show us what winter looks like in your town.

So little known fact… when your small avoids senior pictures… and you wait until the last minute to take them… you take them in the snow!

That same small with his childhood friend… they go to rival schools… and are fake fighting in front of the third rival school…

Because graduation announcements should be fun… and the fact that he is growing up makes me wanna punch him in the face!

They are pretending to steal this car… which if I werent photographing… they probably would

This funny tilted sidewalk picture was probably my favorite….

They were freezing!!

Stay Warm Folks!!! We have more winter ahead!

Live like the Italian

My son is leaving for Italy this June… right after graduation…. Lately being an American woman … an american anything…has been both a source of pride… and … well lets just say we will get this all sorted out.

But the Infamous

Light and Shade Challenge

… who I used to mostly respond with fiction short stories to their prompts… but I find reality needing so much more attention these days… have prompted my gypsy soul…. that travels the world… which apparently I have given my Small … a taste of Italy.

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Andrea Pavenello and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

 

      Yes.. I realize this is a bit of a stretch with this image… but it is what it sparked in my mind… and this is my blog… so we are going with it

Eat a Light dinner….Buy natural… fresh foods–preferably organic. Italians frequent local farmers’ markets every week and buy breads at bakeries,… fish and fish mongers and meat at butchers. Or… better yet… learn to grow your own food… Sure… they have supermarkets…  but on regular occasion… food is purchased fresh for use the same day…. Dinner is about celebrating a day of hard work…. and family…. Italians respect their elders much more than Americans. They also dote on their children and consider them as the most precious things in their lives… Slow Down and Stop Rushing… Most of the time we do not take a lunch break… or eat on the run during the day… Dinner can be an all night event… talk… drink… be merry…. and enjoy your time… Americans drink far more wine and hard liquor than Italians do… even though most Italians will have wine and occasional cocktails…. The difference is they drink wine with meals for the taste–not to forget the stresses of the day…  Italians will also have a small aperitif before a meal… Drink for the taste and with meals to drink like an Italian… Embrace people… The Italian hug and kiss. Old men walk arm in arm–women do too… Even men embrace and kiss each other on the cheek… We are way too distant from each other… Hugging a friend to show how glad you are to see them is a great thing… Don’t let a day go by without touching another human being… and animal… pets count! Take a walk with your family or friends. Each night in every town in Italy, Italians get out after dinner to walk in the piazza or the main viale (boulevard). They call it the passeggiata It’s a time to relax and digest… Meet and visit neighbors… relatives and friends… It’s also a time to shut off the TV and just be still for a moment. Finally…. Learn to live with less…Smaller houses and apartments and smaller cars… That is the Italian way… oh and PIZZA!

Sunday Morning is my favorite holiday

Every Sunday Morning I get a playdate with my favorite young men/toddlers and the newest little tiny princess…. I take this opportunity to take them places that they do not normally get to go… and it of course makes me the first to take them to the zoo… or to ride a roller coaster… or to go down a water slide… It has become quite legendary…. a great example of some of the lengths I go can be found throughout this blog…. but Ironically the favorite story ever came from a missed week… and if you missed… you’re going to want to see this – GrandParents Day Out

But just this morning I was tweeting our local news channel and museum about a lego exhibit… and then I saw the prompt from Kat…. must be a sign.

 List your favorite local kid-friendly activities.

Im pretty lucky… I live in a beautiful area…. that has all four seasons in their full glory…. Surrounded by mountains… and I live in the desert…. So there is quite a bit to do… However they are little…. and Sunday is ummmmm Sacred around here? Meaning nothing is open… ever… LOL so we get creative…

This weekend we will be at The Leonardo (The lego exhibit sounds amazing)

Some of our other small child adventures have included… The Zoo... The Natural History Museum…. Bounce Houses are always a hit!

The list goes on and on…. In fact we have been doing this for over a year now… If you don’t have a regularly scheduled adventure date with the smalls who hold your heart… I highly suggest it… here are a few images of pure joy 🙂 (You are just going to have to tilt your head… Its too early to fix some of these)

Ofcourse some of our favorite memories is just at home… in our toy room… with a home made breakfast and arts and crafts.

 i