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On his 17th birthday…

These days… there are days I only see him for a meal on the run. He  works harder to get what he wants than anyone I know. He’s generous to a fault. He prefers his own company to mine — as does just about everyone — and likes his sister a lot more than he’s willing to admit.

Oh my dear small… you are one smart teenager. But as you enter your 17th year, on the 17th day of this month….here are 17 things I want you to know.

1. Life can turn on a dime.
You learned this in a way that I would never have wished for and I know you know that Nothing in life is guaranteed. But remember to Never take anything for granted. Be grateful and tell your loved ones you love them — every chance you get. I will always answer you when you say GoodNight.

2. Read The Economist every week.
Make knowing what’s going on in the world a priority.

3. Don’t hold a grudge.
There have been times when I’ve been slow to forgive… and I have destroyed some pretty important relationships…. You’ll learn over time that most things that may seem absolutely outrageous in the moment are quickly forgotten. Everyone makes mistakes. You make mistakes too. The worst thing you can be is judgmental.

4. It’s not uncool to have mom in your corner.
I will always be your number one fan (In a creepy way like that ankle hobbling chick from Stephen Kings Misery…. okay not that way) … We have had some times this year when you have really not counted me in on your plans… infact you straight up lied about plans… its okay to convince me that you are old enough to do something honestly…. it is okay to get my permission… its okay to check with me… anything you have to lie about isnt something you should be doing… Form an opinion… stand by it… convince me… this ability to disagree with people respectfully will get you far in life… and well… learning to do something against someones advice will also help… just make sure you are telling the truth

5. There’s nothing wrong with a Joint every once in awhile.
You will have oats… You will sow them… Sow them wildly. Next year… after your 18…. ha!

6. Always stay close with your sisters.
One day, they will be the only people who still remember your childhood. Ive harped on this a lot recently I know… but in our strange little family… they are all you will have when I am gone… Your nephews (and possibly soon niece) are going to need you… because they too will not have anyone to have a family reunion with… infact if your generation is going to keep any semblance of a family together… it will be on you.

7. Keep a journal.
You might think you’ll remember your favorite teachers, or who screamed like a girl during late night 5 nights at freddies…. but….Write things down. Take photos. Look back. It is important.

8. If someone tells you a secret, and asks you not to tell anyone, don’t.
Unless you should, then do. No friend is worth losing your integrity to. But all Friends deserve a secret or two kept.

9. Don’t build your worth on objects, but on experiences.
You can look around our house and tell that we’ve always valued children and vacations a lot more than nice furniture. And I’m so glad we did.

10. It is usually not about you.
As you grow older, don’t worry so much about looking a certain way. Most of the time, no one is paying attention. Really. People like to think everyone is focused on them but, in actuality, people are usually focused mostly on themselves. And if someone does something to you that’s hurtful, it’s almost certainly related to something going on in their life that has nothing to do with you. This goes for me as well… when I nag you about your eating habits… nutrition… social life… Im really saying that I hope you havent picked up on my bad habits.

11. If you need to go far, far away to pursue your dreams, then do it.
Don’t be afraid to take chances… Dont be so tied to your current plans that you dont alter them when there is an opportunity… Dont be so afraid of wasting that small college fund left by your dad… that you dont go and do the things your dad would have wanted you to do.

12. Be kind to those you meet on the way up because you may meet them again on the way down.
This is an old saying and you may find it silly. But it’s definitely true. Down the road, your behavior towards others will dictate how they behave towards you.

13. Practice the skills we’ve tried to teach you.
Before you go off Adulting on your own you must become more adept at cooking, cleaning and taking care of your finances. I know it’s a pain, but one day you’ll thank me. I think our recent adventures in a brand new adult in our home has taught you that much at least. Even if it stresses you out… charge things and pay them off… register your car… make a payment to a bank… trust me.

14. Modesty is very attractive.
A lot of moms and dads these days walk around telling their offspring how spectacular they are, and that they can do everything perfectly. As a result, many kids exude this sort of “I’m better than everyone else” self-confidence. And no doubt it’s nice to be self-confident. But being humble is what has  drawn others to you, and makes you stand out, much more than pounding on your chest ever will. I hope you do not lose that “drop in the ocean” mentality…. but I also hope that you know you are the entire ocean to some people…

15. Show up for important events.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is spend the weekend at another family party with people that you like just fine… but are not really like us, or even a Saturday afternoon at your little sister’s recital, but it’s important you do. I’ve learned the hard way that failing to show up at a major event is one of the most common reasons relationships break down. Be there for others and they’ll be there for you.

16. Attitude is a small thing that makes a very big difference.
The older I get, the more convinced I am that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. Hanging around people who complain all the time brings you down. Being positive and thinking good thoughts will help make good things happen. Attitudes are contagious. I really believe that. Do not ever complain about things unless there are actions you can take to make them change…. as I have always said… I cannot complain about politics if I dont vote…. and ofcourse I will be voting this year… because good hell.

17. Wherever you end up in life, you will always have a home so long as I am alive.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, I will always love you like crazy.

So happy 17th birthday, you quiet, smart, handsome “Destiny” fanatic. I couldn’t be more proud.

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Bringing Magic Back

In the quest to figure out what I am doing with my life… for my life… why my life… I have been just floating in the wind of change… letting the changes happen… Im at a really rough time of year for me (anniversary of Something Lost) and I find my emotions and moods and temperament as crazy as the weather… and I am going through some bizarre midlife crisis… and anxiety in our house is smothering at this point with all of the recent changes my little squad has gone through… the population of this country is so negative with the elections that even my 9 year old is spouting off serious hate for Donald Trump because it is the cool thing to do at school? (who can blame her or all of them really) and sometimes we in this house feel the bern… and sometimes we just cross our fingers and hope Cruz gets beat… by anyone… (I am totally thrilled with Bernie or Hillary as an option for that) but the discussion amongst the smalls amazes me… everyone hates someone… and everyone is so angry…

I woke up Tuesday morning assuming I would continue down the path of painting my life away… my latest obsession has been quotes on canvas… word arty type shit… when I realized I had two birthday presents to buy… and out of no where I decided I was going to the local garden store, which I can count on one hand how many times ive been there… and my ability to kill every living plant is another topic for a blog all together… but I went anyways…

Once there I found myself in the fairy garden section… Pause here for a little explanation… I dont blog about it… (at least I dont remember blogging about it) but I am HUGE believer in paying it forward as often as I can… I buy meals and coffees for people behind me in drive thrus… I buy random outfits and rent tuxs for my favorite family around the corner (My cookie wifes crew) … I buy sandwiches for the homeless… I buy dogfood for the dogs of the homeless… I always seem to be in a place at a time… and it just happens…. This particular morning in question… I believe it all came about the way it did because I was supposed to do this random act of kindness… because I had never even thought about a fairy garden before …. and I didnt even know if the 2 people who I needed birthday gifts for gave a shit about fairy gardens… Unpause…. I am browsing the darling section at the garden store… and I hear the employees asking if they all had gotten a text… about someone who was VERY ill and they were drilling into her bones to get something out? some infection? and it was all so awful sounding and they were all planning on going in on gift…. and lo and behold… what they wanted to go in on was an indoor fairy garden… but the pot to start it was 50$… so they needed cash from everyone… then they would get a few small things to put in it…. So I grabbed the stuff for my projects that I wanted… and went to the cash register feeling rather strange… realizing that these ladies made way less than I do… and 50$ to them meant a whole lot more than it did to me… and I quietly asked the cashier if I could buy the pot for the girls in the back fairy garden… the cashier was the daughter in law of the sick person… and she was the sweetest thing on the planet that morning for me… I really needed the hug she came around the counter to give me… and I asked her not to tell anyone and I took my purchases and headed to the craft store next…. the craft store… it’s dangerous as hell for me…

Here is how my two gifts ended up (They were fucking awesome and the people who got them LOVED them) it couldn’t have gone better.

This one was for my Ride Or Die Chick :)

This one was for my Ride Or Die Chick 🙂 Its amazing and I wired it with purple lights that light up! and those lil fairies are obviously drinking the wine….

and something a little tamer for Mr. Amazings little sister

and something a little tamer for Mr. Amazings little sister

 

Then when at the craft store getting a few more little things… something else happened… I was falling in love with all the miniature stuff… its so cute… and I had been wondering how I could brighten the mood in our little town… and I had been finding all these amazing quotes to paint and practicing my lettering… and well…. I am now full swing into this little project.

Door1 Door2 Door3 Door4 Door5 Door6 Door7 Door8

I was working on this one last night... with 2 glasses of wine (which only happens like once every couple of months so I was SUPER not painting straight) Soooo I will be fixing this one up a bit

I was working on this one last night… with 2 glasses of wine (which only happens like once every couple of months so I was SUPER not painting straight) Soooo I will be fixing this one up a bit

fairydoors

And then… After glazing them… and using an adhesive on the back… I placed the first six in various spots around town… I told my smalls when I placed them that I knew they would be taken… destroyed… kicked… whatever… that I didnt care… That if I made even one person smile for each door I was going to keep doing it… I put them in places that they wouldnt hurt anything… Not destroy any property… and then I watched… The one on the tree was at a park… I drove by three times that day to tons of kids staring at it in happy fascination … it was gone by the end of the day… I can only hope some little girl took it and put it in her room 🙂

The black one I put outside an old book store that sells and buys used books…. The purple one with the Buddha quote I placed on a boarded up window of an abandoned building on main street…. The double doors ended up on the walking trail behind the library… one on a low income over crowded child care facility mail box (I figure some kids need some magic more than others) one in a visitor parking lot shared by an old folks home and the hospital… and that was it… Ive checked on them a few times… The others are all still where I placed them… and I cant help but wonder if people are seeing them… smiling… finding hope…

There is a big rainstorm slated for today… I will go again and check them afterwards… to see if they are ruined and need to be thrown away (I mean, Its art im not littering right? but I wont leave trash out there) and I started on my next set of them … as you can see above… I also painted a shit ton (that is a unit of measure) of tiny mushrooms (out of dowels) … I figure if the ones out there stand up to the storm… I will add mushrooms to the area… to keep them from becoming something people just pass everyday and dont notice the small miracles life offers.

Tiny lil mushrooms

Tiny lil mushrooms

Last but not least… I have been on a clothing kick lately… and I have been wearing the most awesome stuff… Here was my fairy door attire…. Notice the shoes… thats all… Spread Kindness Like Confetti PEOPLE! I LOVE YOU ALL!

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OMG… Like I wrote a real blog… maybe thats what this whole journey is about… getting back to writing finally…. whatever… I have a TON of doors to get painting

Its been two weeks…

Here is everything I should be writing about….

St Patricks Day

Easter

How my new job is amazing

How the spiritual meditation circle is magical and wonderful

The failure of our school system on sex ed… and how I got to have some awesome discussions with a very confused and frustrated 16 years old son… who lost his father… and I didnt understand he didnt even know what a circumcision was… or foreskin…. 3 years ago this month he lost his dad.

How I miss my friends…

How much I love and adore my small and tinies and the adventures weve been on

How much a love Mr. Amazing and wanna climb his tree constantly.

But…. all I am doing is painting still….

Here are my latests… LOL

Totoro SeriesHeroes WIP

Down the Rabbit Hole….

So… as previously mentioned in multiple posts… I set off on the first of August on a new adventure… I quit my 15 year career… I since then have contracted and then was added to the payroll at another company… that pays me enough to stay comfortable… and I work only part time hours… I discussed at great length how this was going to free me up to follow all kinds of dreams and ambitions…. at the top of that list was writing… which I did quite a bit of in the beginning…. but seriously… as of late I have simply disappeared… I have done this time to time over the years of blogging… but never when I have had so much free time… I haven’t been writing at all recently… not on my blog… not on my other projects… and well… even though I don’t write for anyone other than myself… I feel like I am doing things wrong if I am not writing…. so let me write about what I have been doing instead…

Ive been cooking…. shut the fuck up… me cooking! Lots actually!

I have given up coffee (for the most part)… which is really one of the most defining characteristics of my personality… my love of coffee

I have gotten closer to my smalls… my tinys … and even Mr. Amazing.

I have done quite a bit of housework… but not as much as I should (seriously… not enough LOL)

I have lost 30 pounds… at least… I actually am going to weigh myself again today at the doctors… Its probably closer to 40 but I dont keep a scale here…

Just from not emotional binge eating…. cause I sure as shit haven’t been exercising… maybe that will come next…

I’ve joined a Meditation Circle/Book Club for spirituality. (Highly Recommend – Spiritual Growth – Being your higher self – By Sanaya Roman)

I’ve painted… my god… have I painted… infact its really the only reason I am blogging today… because I set some goals for my self to be able to escape into my paint room for the day… and that was to shower… clean up… pluck that overgrown chin hair… and write before I let myself go in there… So it is 7:45 am and here I am crossing that off my list… ha!

Let me show you some of what i’ve been working on…

I did this one for my small (now 16 year old) child - these are 4 by 4 block canvas and they were a lot of fun

I did this one for my small (now 16 year old) child – these are 4 by 4 block canvas and they were a lot of fun

This was my practice run for print transfer... I did it for my favorite red head on the planet

This was my practice run for print transfer… I did it for my favorite red head on the planet

This one was for smallest child... I told her I would add to it as she read more of the series

This one was for smallest child… I told her I would add to it as she read more of the series

Dis one was for my best friend... cause you know... we are mad LMAO

Dis one was for one of my closest friends… cause you know… we are mad LMAO

This is my Alice Set... I did this one for myself... these are 6 x 6 block canvas

This is my Alice Set… I did this one for myself… these are 6 x 6 block canvas

These were for my cute tinys

These were for my cute tinys

and last but not least…. the other day Small child was looking at pictures hung in the the hallway … and said “You’ve changed so much Kerry! Your hair used to be black and short and curly… now its lighter and all kinds of colors and soooo long and straight… and your face… its smaller too!”

So here is my smaller face in bed as I type this… ha! because seriously… like im gonna get dressed before I paint!

(Im putting it down here because no one ever really reads to the end…. right?)

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A soul set fire

The Year Twenty Fifteen started like this…. 2015 <– this is a link… it will open in a separate window should you care to read it or here it is paraphrased… I would call that a resolution… a resolution to write more.

I did some serious soul searching in 2015… I took that resolution seriously…I have a story inside of me and I am going to write it.

I QUIT MY JOB of 15 years…. I did that thing! So that I could find balance… so that I could write.

Mr Amazing supported me through it… My Small (who is not so small) encouraged me… asked me how it was coming… Had I written or blogged?

You know… Life is full of ironies… Just as I had cleared the path for myself to really dig in and be who I always wanted to be…. to write:

I painted instead…

I travelled to San Diego… and San Francisco

I caught up with friends

I caught up with my smalls

I cooked… I did really

I colored in those trending Zentangle coloring books… a lot

The Force is Strong with this one

The Force is Strong with this one

and yet… once again… I have this darling husband that has renewed my blog/domain… so that it is here… when I am in the mood.

So as I enter 2016 with my life going completely different than I had planned it… working in an office only enough to get by…  leaving myself plenty of creative time… I can’t help but marvel at the things I have done… even if they are not what I set out to do.

I am in awe of the happiness I have found.

I am excited for the adventures that will come next… I am feeling quite recharged… Unlike my laptop… who had collected some dust and was dead when this morning I decided I should capture the silence of an empty house (Before the not so small wakes up, sleeping in enjoying his winter break… and before my step small arrives in all her glory… loud loud glory… constantly singing taylor swift at the top of her lungs… cackling like a witch from The Haunting Hour…. and achieving every ballet pose ever learned at an alarming rate of speed… from her other home) WANT TO SEE OUR FAMILY PHOTOS?!?! BAHAHAHA!

Sad little neglected cute purple laptop

Sad little neglected cute purple laptop

And so… My Resolutions for 2016 are not to lose ten pounds (Although it should be)… Or to eat only organic (although that too would be good)… or to drink less (I dont think I could possibly drink any less… ha ha I am not really a drinker)…  it is simply this….

be-fearless-in-the-pursuit-of-what-sets-your-soul-on-fire

A Giant Shout Out to MamaKats! Without her prompts I am not sure I would remember to write at all…… I chose the fifth prompt this week “Look back at the resolution you made last year at this time, how did you do?” Go grab a prompt of your own… and do all the things!

mama kats

Baby… It’s cold outside!

Write a blog post inspired by the word: frozen mama kats

There could not have been a more perfect prompt for my life this week… Yesterday was 60 degrees and sunny…. We woke up to this

image1 (1) This is just in town… not the freeway… I had this view

for about 45 minutes… from this bridge I could see the school I was trying to get my small (not so small) too… but couldn’t get to it… The school district however did not close the schools…. So Self Declared Snow Day it is… Fuck this shit

image2 Dont mind the valet receipt reflecting on windshield as I photograph my small (not so small) from the warmth of my car… On a conference call with work through my blue tooth/Car speakers (this appears to be my office for the day)  as he struggles with the entire supply of ice melt from the drug store to my car…He is pushing it through a foot of snow that fell in just a few hours…

Today would have been his first day driving in the snow… Most of the time we get an inch or two… its good to practice… I think he can try it tomorrow instead…

So we have a conference call going on in the kitchen – we are naming that Mr. Amazings office for the day (Damn him! he has the food)

Finally I find myself curled up in bed with my laptop…

We are now measuring 18 inches of snow on the porch…

Baby… Its cold outside.

 

Free Falling…

Write a blog post that ends with the word: leap.

 Write a blog post that ends with the word: leap.

Looking for work when you don’t really want to work is hard…

I have always worked… always… since I was fifteen…I am turning 42 this month…  Im sure there were stretches I have forgotten about where I was between jobs for a month or two… but I cannot remember a single one… and I was with the company I just jumped ship from for almost 15 years… I am entering my 4th week of not going to work… It is time for me to get serious about doing something about that… I have gone on 4 or 5 job interviews now… nothing has felt right..either for them or me… <sigh> I am getting a little discouraged… which is funny because I am not desperate yet… Im worried I will get there… but I planned this well…

Here is the thing though… The filling out of applications is easy… submitting a resume … I have amazing skills… Its the interviews that are killing me. I feel like I am selling myself… which I understand I am… and I come out of those things terrified of two things… one.. that I didn’t sell myself well enough… and two… that I over did it and my days of laying in bed plunking away at my cute purple keys on my macbook air are over… I am torn with whether they should be or not.

So far… I have only not been the right candidate… or the job is not right for me… but I am going to have to decide what I am doing next…

I love being home … I love the alone time… I love the writing… I love the coffee sipping… bird listening… housework upkeep… the freedom… the lack of stress… but at the end of day I get the better of me and it ends with worthlessness… not earning my keep… gelatinous pile of netflix watching flesh

Today is September 1st… and I am feeling weepy… guilty… always always guilty… I think it’s my middle name… Guilty that Mr. Amazing is working his ass off… Guilty that I am home at a time when Small Child doesn’t need me to be… when he could have used me his entire life… until now.. he just gets up and drives himself to school…. guilty that I am not cleaning enough… or at all really … guilty for breathing… The wind is blowing outside… the sound of it against the windows is just enough to keep me from continuing down that flight of stairs inside my mind…

Oh... Look... No Make Up... Bags under eyes... Still fucking sexy.

Oh… Look… No Make Up… Bags under eyes… Still fucking sexy.

So here is the thing … For someone that has zero religion… I tend to believe that everything happens for a reason… and my life has always had a way of working out… very much despite my best efforts… now that doesn’t mean I dont need to do the footwork… and maybe it works out because I make the best out of whatever is given to me… Im not really sure… but I do know that even though I feel the need to constantly justify it… I am doing the right thing for me right now… which is pretty much nothing at all. There is a saying “Leap… and the net will appear” … Im working with out a net here people… I don’t even want one…FUCK the net…  so here I am… after the kamikaze yell… and the barrelling towards the edge of what I have always known… every time I choose to leap.

… My amazing graces

Go ahead and click play on the song  – We all know how much I love The Piano Guys… Well this is their latest work of art… and I dub it the themesong of my life right now… so give it a listen while you finish reading this beautiful disaster.

So I kind of disappeared there didn’t I!

I disappeared long before I stopped writing the blog… Slowly I was turning invisible… But as my previous blogs have mentioned I was ready for change… I was ready to be Bad Ass… and bad assery is on the way…

I did it… I quit my job… and what I did at first… was clean compulsively … I mean not really clean … but pick up and vacuum a lot … dusted some things… put away alllllllll the laundries…

then I watched a season or two of TV …

Here are the things I did not do: stay in bed all day… cry… stay in pajamas… eat like shit

The second week we took our summer vacation to San Diego… and the magic was palpable (… I just really love that word)

SanDiego

 

We did all kinds of things…. as you can see above… including the safari park… body surfing… Mr Amazing’s glasses went to swim with the sharks… got sunburnt in all kinds of weird places… Drank ALLLLLLLL the cocktails… ate enchiladas that I swear were my spirit animal

Here are the things I did not do: Panic… Hurt… Cry… stay long enough (seriously I could spend weeks there)

and suddenly here I am wrapping up week two of unemployment… My saved up vacation pay has been paid out and I am officially not earning any money.

I took some time to get the kiddos ready for school… inventorying of clothes and shoes and such… I spent some time with family… I spoke on the phone to friends… Not text or gchats… like actual phone conversations that lasted longer than 5 minutes… I applied for some jobs… and set up a couple of interviews for next week…and I wrote… I mean really wrote… not blogged… not updated my facebook status… or tweeted… I mean I wrote… about 50 pages worth of a novel I have been typing a page here and there on for over a year…

I painted… a little

I listened to music

I hung out with my kids… just hung out… doing nothing

I cooked dinners… really cooked them… didnt drive through for them or microwave them

I am having a family dinner tonight… Tall child and Allllllll the babies included.

I found a part of myself I had lost… The part that knows how to slow down… and breathe.

I will let you know what I find next.

 

 

 

Dear Son…

It’s so fucking hard to believe you’re turning 16 today.

Apparently… when I blinked, your little blond mancub self… who used to spend hours catching grasshoppers and swimming and music has grown into a tall…kind.. thoughtful…  smart teenager who loves games and girls…

I know this journey hasn’t been easy.

I know your dad and I (especially I!) have made mistakes… but we have done our best… I promise to continue to do so.

It’s not easy figuring out what should be said and done and those words that should remain unsaid and the actions that should remain undone.

Because sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to stay back and let the lesson teach itself… I am so sorry about your dad not being here.

There have been a couple of close calls–a few times I felt my heart in my throat.

When you chased your sister and her friends around the block… with myself and some neighbor lady trying to catch you… when you got past the dead bolt for the first time… when the lump formed on your neck… and later when they wheeled you away to surgery to remove it….when you broke your leg… when the scuba gear sank you like a lead weight…. when your dad died…

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell you what I want you to know. Many times… we don’t see eye-to-eye. Sometimes…  I don’t do well when I’m put on the spot. Sometimes (most times),  I do better in writing. So here goes.

I know you think you have it figured out. Life, I mean.

And in many ways, you do. You get good grades, you get along with your peers, you love music and your viola,. You feel things deeply… and injustice bothers you.

These are all attributes that make me proud of you.

Please–never fail to listen when somebody older and wiser tries to give you advice… Let the BFG offer to help with math…  You don’t always have to take it (many times you shouldn’t!), but listen to those who care enough to try to help.

In just a few years, you’ll be going off to college– Now you are driving without me… making decisions on your own.

I’m not worried about that. Well shit…  I do worry a little, but I think you’ll be fine.

Your moral standards will hold. I know it may sound cliché but I’m going to say it anyway…  follow your heart. Follow your conscience. It’s kept you kind and compassionate.

One thing I do worry about: I want you to make time for friends. I know you are introverted and it’s easier to stay by yourself … but you have so much to offer others: your sense of humor…  your knowledge of current events… your integrity…  your wit. You’re so funny!

Please, don’t sell yourself short. Shoot for the stars! Set high goals. It’s okay to not always succeed — sometimes falling is part of the process. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Sometimes, you’ll get told “No.” Even though it stings, it’s not the end of the world. If it’s important to you, keep trying…don’t let one person (or opportunity) hold you back. Never let YOU be the one to hold yourself back.

When you do win…know you deserved it. Nobody can say you didn’t.

I’m your mom, and I love you more than I can say… more than there are words to write…and I can’t wait to see how you’re going to shake up this world of ours.

It’s going to be beautiful.

You are My Sunshine...

You are My Sunshine…