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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Strange Place

Some days, like today, as I'm talking with one of my kids, a faint sadness begins to gnaw at me. Lovely Beautiful Daughter is venturing into new territory, living on her own and taking care of herself by working three jobs. She hopes to continue with her education at the university this fall. The obstacle in the way is money. Me being a single mom for several years combined with not receiving any financial help from the kids' dad made it nearly impossible to save any money for the kids' higher education. I know I could have not spent money on some things, like my bikes, my workshop, and my gardens, and I probably should have put off investing in these things. Hence my sadness. I feel like I've let my kids down. And I don't know how to help them make sure they get the education they will need in today's world.

This same sadness worked at me Sunday morning as Funny Delightful Son and I walked around a local pond, carrying our fishing poles, and hoping to find the bluegill hole where all the monster bluegill hung out. Funny Delightful Son talked with me about his dreams of one day moving to the country so he can hunt, fish, trap, and live off the land. He's become proficient with both a recurve bow and a compound bow. He caught a mess of bluegill Saturday evening, enough to feed us a fried fish and hush puppy dinner Sunday evening. He's always been drawn to all things country though most of his life he's lived in the city. I wish I could have given him a country life, what I crave for myself as well, but I couldn't make that happen. The only thing I can do now is help him make his dream come true.

Then there's Angel Baby. He's no longer a baby. He's no longer a little boy. He's very quickly becoming a young man, getting taller, his voice deeper. Today he had tears sliding down his cheeks, something I haven't seen in a very long time, and struggling to follow through on attending band camp. Camp days run 8 hours, so after just a couple of days under his belt, he's exhausted. He really wanted to stay home. I could see the fatigue in his eyes, but I knew he needed to go or he'd get behind and not know the routine. After a few minutes of talking, he agreed to go. Part of me wanted to tuck him back into bed, but I knew  he had to tough it out.

It's kind of a strange place I'm in with my kids. They're independent in so many ways, but at the same time, they still need guidance and support. I'm trying to figure out how to let them find their way without helping too much, and like Angel Baby finding it within to do something he really didn't want to do, I have to find it within to hand over the reins and trust the kids in how they hold them.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Artist Application Update

This morning I opened my email to find the following:

"We are happy to inform you that your application has been accepted, and we're looking forward to displaying your work as part of the show."

Does this mean I can call myself an artist?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Ending Approaching

I'm already feeling anxiety of summer coming to an end and having to return to work in two weeks. I guess this means I've had a wonderful summer. I don't want my days with nothing scheduled as "Have to Do" to end. Putzing around in my gardens, making cucumber relish, playing with my new welder, saying, "Nahhh, I don't want to do the laundry right now" and instead settling into my hammock to read have become the way of life for me the last two months. Letting go of this is going to be incredibly difficult. My heart is already weeping over the realization of an ending approaching.

On a happier note, I fashioned my first welded sculpture. The weld isn't spectacular, but it is solid. Overall, I'm very happy with the finished product. When I let up on the welding torch trigger and realized the flowers were actually going to stay in place, I wanted to pump my fist in the air and do a happy dance. Instead, I filled out an Artist Application to have it appear in an art show featuring bicycle artwork. I figured why not? We'll see how that turns out. It'd be kinda cool to see a piece I created on display. 

One book I'm reading at present is The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. At nearly 900 pages, this is a hefty read, but I'm finding it is a fast read. I came to this book after watching the mini series based on it (up late one night because I couldn't sleep). I thoroughly enjoyed the four episodes and thus decided to read the book to see what the differences are between it and the series. Just a few pages into the book, I wondered why I'd never heard of it before. The use of language, the detail--this is a book that makes me want to turn the pages. Even though I already know the characters, what happens to them, the book is giving far more detail that help me know them in a different way, a better, more complete way.

With only two weeks of "freedom" remaining, I hope to complete another sculpture that has taken shape in my head and is demanding to become reality, and I hope to finish Crimson Petal as well as two other books I'm currently into. Staying busy with creating as well as learning might help keep the tears at bay.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My Summer Thus Far

 I went to Hubby in early June and said, "I'd like a space to call my own. A workshop type of place." I pointed to the area behind the garage, saying we could clean everything out and build a barn for me. He immediately sat down with a sheet of paper and a pencil, and drew out the kind of roof I wanted. Then he measured the space to see just how big I could go. We ended up deciding my workshop could be 9 x 16. From there, we started in. After two weeks of hard work, sometimes 12 hour days, we ended up with exactly what I'd pictured in my head. I now have my red barn in which to create all the ideas that pop into my brain. My sister gave me the leaded window above the doors, and the door windows came from a salvage company here in town. I love being in my new space, but I love Hubby even more for taking my idea and turning it into reality.
One of the projects I started once I could move my stuff into the new workshop is painting all my curbside chairs that will be a part of the garden party coming up in August. I have quite a few throw-aways that I'm trying to give new life. The blue chair is one I finished a few days ago. Initially I set it in my garden, and I liked it amongst all my plants, but I decided to bring it in to drape one of Mom's quilts over. It definitely adds a burst of color to the room. Today I painted another chair canary yellow to go along with the blue chair . . .and the purple chair . . . and the key lime green chair. Lovely Beautiful Daughter laughed when she saw the key lime green chair with the new fabric adorning the seat. "It looks like a chair the Mad Hatter would sit in," she said. Exactly what I was going for! My vision of the garden party is one that is full of color, one that my guests feel infused with life. If my Mad Hatter chair makes people smile and laugh, that will make the garden party all the more fun.

And I am busy, busy with the garden. The lettuce and kale have been growing wonderfully, as have the black raspberries. But first came the strawberries. When I was cleaning my fruit garden in May, I had given serious thought to removing all my strawberry plants. They were out of control. Once I cut back the raspberries and installed a trellis for the grapes, I realized I had plenty of room to keep the strawberries. I just needed to corral them a bit better. So I did. But the weather right into June stayed cool and wet, making the bees not want to get out and pollinate. I ended up with a lot of tiny strawberries that had no taste. I also ended up with four excellent pickings--one that went to strawberry shortcake, one that went to Dad, and two that went into strawberry jam. Since then, I've been harvesting black raspberries, red raspberries, broccoli, lettuce, kale, and peas. The beans are starting to pick up, and the tomatoes are beginning to ripen. My garden has provided us with quite a bit already.

This evening, Hubby, the boys, and I enjoyed a beautiful fireworks display not far from the house. While I sat with my guys, I had to smile--my summer is going really, really well.