Friday, December 23, 2011

Ring-A-Ling Ring-A-Ling

For the past couple of days, I've been thinking heavily about what I recently heard a weatherman say about snow. Snow is an annoyance or an adventure depending on your point of view or your age. Pretty poetic for a forecaster, don't you think? I imagine this could be applied to just about anything, though.
Perhaps, I've grown a little cynical, but lately things seem less adventurous and more of a annoyance. Maybe it's the fact that I turned 45 this week or because it's the holidays. Maybe it's a combination.
I was shopping the other day and found myself getting really annoyed. As I waited in line, the muscles in my neck grew tense and beads of sweat rolled down my back. It was then that I realized the song that was playing. It was Silver Bells.
That song conjures up the worst of Christmas memories, worse than the Ronco Bottle And Jar Cutter, a gift from my dad one year, which is a different story.
This song is psychological warfare to me. Keep this in mind when you need me to surrender the compound.
In the first grade Christmas pageant I was cast as a Silver Bell, not Susie Snowflake, and most importantly, NOT The Virgin Mary-the most coveted role among all 6 year old Catholic girls. This seems rather absurd, now that I think about it.
Had those nuns known the repercussions of casting be as a bell and not The Virgin, my life would have been completely different. I wouldn't be sweating like Pavlov's dog every time I hear a ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling . I think he salivated, but either way there was a bell involved.
Things would have been different alright.
Who knows, I may have even liked the snow.
Soon it will be Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegetable With No Cream

The German word for snow is Schnee, when pronounced correctly rhymes with the English word, knee. When we lived in Germany I found it amusing that something so dreadful that could last for months on end had such a cute little name. It sounded like a petite sneeze. A sneeze is defined as a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the mouth. No offense to the Germans, but that pretty much sums up the rest of the language. Not a series of sneezes, but convulsive expulsions. In the three years we were there, I learned a few words and could fake my way through a conversation. I knew when to nod and laugh. The Germans learn English in school and welcome the opportunity to show off their multi-language skills, therefore, I learned to speak English with a German accent.
The one phrase I had down was what kind of dog I had. This I had to recite to every passerby on our daily walks. After a while, I thought I get creative and add a little more to the phrase. My dog's name is Sienna. She is a mixture breed and she has no teeth. I said this phrase for the first two years and always felt so proud of myself. I was speaking German!
One day John was with me and I felt like showing off. Since he spoke perfect German and taught himself, well...whatever, he laughed and asked if I really knew what I was saying. Of course, I added," my dog is a mixture and she has no teeth". Except I had the two most important words wrong. The word for mixture is Gemisch and I was saying vegetable, which is Gemüse. The word for teeth is Zähne and I was saying cream, which is Sahne. Hello, this is my dog Sienna. She is a vegetable with no cream.
Now that we live in Ohio and it's sneezing outside for the first time this Winter, I wonder if the people in our little German village ever ask what happened to that woman who walked her dog that was a vegetable with no cream.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Searching For The Box

I have often been applauded for my ability to think outside of the box. I don't necessarily think it's such a grand feat. I'm rather disturbed by the way my brain operates. You see, if I actually knew where the damn box was, then I'd be more comfortable with the way I come up with solutions. I could be considered more of a rebel.
The "box" is defined as what is obvious. I imagine this box filled with all the obvious answers, the ones I never thought of. I hate this hidden box.
I will never forget the first time this circuitous way of thinking took the stage. It surely made a grand entrance as I played first base on my 8th grade softball team. The batter hit a ground ball directly to me as I stood slightly off the base. Instead of grounding the ball and touching the base, I got on the base and dove on the ball. I'm embarrassed still now. I can still hear my coach saying, "well that's one way to do it".
Yea...let's hear it for thinking outside of the box!
I tend to make the easiest directions more difficult. It's been this way for as long as I can remember .
We had hearing tests in the 1st grade. The nurse conducting the test told me to raise my right or left hand depending which ear I heard the little beep. Simple enough, right? I raised the opposite hand and came very close to wearing hearing aids.
There's been numerous examples throughout the years. Although, I am having trouble thinking of them. All I can recall is the stupefied look on peoples's faces as they shake their head and say, "well, that's one way of doing it".
I've learned to steer clear of those types of people. They act so superior because they know the location of the box. Heck some, simply live there.
I have recently found a group of women that think similarly as me.
It's funny being surrounded by a group of us outside of the box thinkers. I like to imagine being a boxed thinker and what they might think listening to us.
Now that's really thinking outside of the box!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rummage Sale

I came across an on-line rummage sale where locals can post photos of their wares.
I like to look at it not only for good deals, but mostly for amusement.
With a background as a visual merchandiser, it's difficult not to be critical of some of the photos.
Don't people realize the importance of a good photo when they are trying to make a sale?
The word, 'rummage' is more commonly used as a verb; a haphazard search. This makes sense when it's used as an adjective to describe this type of sale. It's haphazard, alright. I know it's not Sotheby's, but come on people.
I ask you,"How tempted are you to buy this mirror?"
I saw an ad for a set of chester drawers for 30 dollars. There was no photo, which only made me curious. Apparently 30 dollars was a steal, because they sold right away, sight unseen. They must have thought it was a "blessing in the skies". So I guess, a good photo is not always necessary. Perhaps, it was the seller's kitchy way of talking that sealed the deal.
Today I am hoping that someone buys that eslectic stove.
Again there is no photo.
I tell you these people are so clever.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Head Up

Yesterday I saw a farmer pulling a cart on his tractor. A pretty normal scene where I live, until I noticed his daughter scrunched down in the back with her head between her knees.
It was then that a thousand feelings rushed over me.
You see, I spent most of my pre-teen and early teens in that very same position.
Looking back, I actually believe that my father got a certain thrill out embarrassing me. Such an easy task, though, at that age when you think the whole world is laughing at you.
He had a 1954 old Chevy truck that barely ran. He would start working on it early Saturday and by Sunday afternoon it was up and running. Through a black cloud of smoke one could see a proud father driving this loud stinking calamity through suburbia. It was at the exact time that all the good people did their normal suburban weekend activities like washing their cars and mowing their lawns. If you happened to look inside, you would have a seen a blond ball of shame on the floorboards in the very same position as the farmer's daughter.
I knew exactly how she felt in the back of that tractor. There were people watching, lots of people watching. Come on Dad!
Now that I am older, I feel a little guilty that I didn't pick my head up and enjoy the ride. I think of all the things I missed with my head down, worrying about what people thought.
If I could, I would have shouted to that young girl to pick her head up because she may regret it someday.
But some lessons, I guess folks need to learn on their own.
I am trying to learn this even at my age. Trying to hold my head up, so I don't miss a thing even through all the loud stinking calamity.
Thanks Dad.
I love you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Series Of Firsts

A group of us were talking the other night about how quickly time flies as an adult compared to when we were younger....much younger.
Here it is already Fall. It's like I went to bed one sticky Summer night, and woke up surrounded by vibrant colors wearing my favorite jacket.
I found that the reason time seems to speed by as an adult is that you don't experience as many first time events. First time events create lasting memories, which help slow down the illusion of the passing of time . I will never forget my first kiss. We both had braces and we were both scared of being permanently attached. A long time ago, yet it feels like yesterday, because it was a first.
Since I found this out, I want to lead my life as a series of firsts. It's already happening.
I grew up in Texas and didn't have the advantage of experiencing seasonal change. I remember 3 seasons-hot, hotter, and hottest.
Six years ago, I saw my first Fall, while living in Germany. It was breath-taking. Something inside me came alive, a feeling I had never felt before.
We now live in Ohio where the climate is quite similar. Each day there are more and more colors. Colors you wouldn't believe found in nature! God's palette is hard to replicate.
Believe me, I try.
It's still a first for me.
One I know I will never forget
year after year.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What is It ?

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

— Marilyn Monroe
What a profound, simplistic way of viewing things. It makes you wonder why she chose to leave this life in the manner in which she did.
Lately, I have been hearing the phrase, " it is, what it is". I have to admit that I have been saying it a lot too.
But it got me thinking. What exactly is," it " and is " it " a constant?
I came up with this loose correlation.
If, "it" is what we perceive to be real, thus becoming reality
and reality is all, meaning everything;
" it " must be all.
Some believe the way we perceive the world is an illusion and that nothing is real. I believe there is some truth to that. But that can be a scary thing, because an illusion can become a reality. Some people may spend their whole life in an illusion.
The only way their perception can change is through experience and awareness.
Marylin appreciated the good by experiencing the bad.
Her "it" was not a constant.
Being able to see through an illusion is a very difficult thing to do, since we all see the world subjectively.
It's important to surround yourself with those that validate your perceptions.
But, most importantly, that validation should come from within.

I believe Marylin was right. She figured the only way to overcome was to know and trust herself.
She was aware of the illusion and she was also aware of the dual nature of good and bad.
This was her knowing.
It still makes you wonder..
Perhaps, she knew too much....
So what do you think?
Is it what it is?
Perhaps, only if YOU allow it to be.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pretty Packages

Years ago, I rented a small apartment in an old house. One day I was invited to a party by a fellow tenant. He was nice enough, but rather square. I accepted for lack of anything better to do. Plus, I was new in town and I didn't know too many people. The party was hosted by one of his co-workers, who was from India. It was in honor of his new wife, who had just arrived to America. She was beautiful. I was entranced, yet more so intrigued by the whole arranged marriage.
Along with all her mystique, she brought with her several gifts from her country to share with the guests.
I sat on a couch between my square neighbor and another computer geek trying to digest the whole concept. It was her first time in America. She didn't know a soul, not even her new husband. I was scared for her.
On the coffee table a beautifully wrapped box of colorful candies caught my eye. The hostess gestured for me to try one and within seconds the arranged marriage wasn't the only thing I was trying to digest. How was I going to swallow this hard concoction that tasted rather fishy?
She was watching and waiting eagerly for my response. I waited until she glanced away, quickly spat the candy back into the wrapper , and hid it deep within the couch cushion.
When she glanced back, I smiled and lied. Her country's candy was delicious!
I thought I was in the clear until a little dog came out of nowhere and began pawing at the cushion. It happened all too fast.
And there it was, my lie.
My lie exposed
chewed, spat, and hidden away.
I was so ashamed.
Years have passed since. I am more cautious now for I am aware that some things wrapped in beautiful packages may taste fishy.
It's okay to refuse them, but if you accept them, you better be prepared for the consequences.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Waiting For My Denouement

It was always to my understanding that in order for a drama to reach it's conclusion or denouement, there had to be some sort of climax. The denouement was that quiet time when one realized all the intricacies of the plot.
Right now I am stuck in a drama impending a climax. I am wondering, though, if it is possible to skip the climax and reach the denouement?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Pledge To A Sunflower

You were the only one facing my direction in a sea of others.
I made sure of it.
It was like wishing I may and wishing I might, that you were really the first and only star before I made my wish.
So I made a wish, which was more like a pledge.
A pledge of allegiance to you for being different,
for having the courage to face a different direction,
and be yourself.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Not So Subtle Sign

There are some signs in life that need no explanation. They're
placed right in front of us, unavoidable, and most often lacking in originality.
I find that the most obvious ones, usually go unnoticed. By time you realize it was a sign, you've made an illegal u-turn and caused a major accident.
At what point do you turn back and is it safe?
Should you wait for another sign?
I believe in signs.
I often wonder if I look too intently for them, thus avoiding the reason
they were placed there in the first place.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flowers For Chickens

Flowers For Chickens
36 x 48
acrylic on canvas
This painting was inspired by a little drawing that my student gave me. He is 8 years old and is so very creative. I just loved this drawing, so I asked him if it would be okay to copy.
It was quite challenging. I truly wanted to maintain the whimsical innocence that he had in his drawing. It was a fun painting; I was actually sad when I finished it.
I feel a series coming on!
One of my favorite quotes by Picasso says it well.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Friend Shapes and Training Wheels

I've never felt the satisfaction of having a circle of friends. I am always envious of a group of women appearing to enjoy each other's company. But, truthfully, I am most comfortable one on one in a friendship. Introduce a third friend and it gets tricky. It then becomes a triangle of friends, an uncomfortable shape compared to a circle. One point is further from the two and usually that point is me.
I know it's childish for a middle-aged woman to find herself feeling this way, but I am thinking that feeling like the "third wheel" may not be such a bad thing, after all.
The idiom, "feeling like a third wheel" refers to one that feels left out or useless. Since wheels work in pairs, a third wheel is not needed.
Or is it?
I got to thinking about this and remembered my training wheels on my first bike. That white metal apparatus with a little black wheel on each side. The whole thing just seemed so flimsy.
As I remembered, only one wheel actually touched the ground.
I'd like to think of this as the "third wheel", quite useful when it came to assuring me that I wasn't going to crash.
So the idiom isn't exactly true.
I have no idea what that fourth wheel was for. I bet if you really felt left out or useless, you could call yourself a "fourth wheel", hopelessly spinning, never touching the ground, and only there for appearance.
Fortunately, training wheels are only temporary. Unfortunate for my "third wheel" analogy, though. Gradual adjustments are made as the rider becomes more stable.
A day will come when the training wheels are no longer needed and can be removed.
One of the many rights to passage of childhood memories.
So at the moment feeling like a "third wheel" is quite enjoyable.
I know it's not forever and I can be supportive.
But really,
I am just along for the ride.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Red Umbrella

I recently heard that if you concentrated long enough on something, you could actually slow down the passage of time. Buddhist monks practice this deep focus while meditating. The study went on to stress the importance of "staying in the moment" .
I thought about this as I waited in line at my little town's post office. I began to focus on the clerk's methodical questions and his snail-like movements.
Time was slowing down, it was Zen-like, and I was getting very sleepy.
It is true what they say about small towns. People tend to move slower. I am not complaining.
I'd still be in line talking to the lady with the red umbrella, if my husband weren't with me that day.
She said that her grandson makes fun of her for carrying the umbrella when it's not raining.
"It's for sun protection", she boasted. Her face was riddled with bloody scabs and I found myself focusing on the red umbrella. I felt the Zen-sation returning and her words slowly slipping further and further away.
I once had an uncle who had a large portion of his nose removed due to sun damage. It was hard not to compare him to The Great Sphinx of Giza. Because of this, I always felt uncomfortable around him.
I would wager that having a visual mind is equally as harmful as ultraviolet rays, but I'm not a good gambler.
I never will forget the time when my grandmother returned from the doctor's office with her face looking very much like the umbrella lady. It was horrific!
At this point, John was pulling my arm to leave.
There was no more time left to stay in this moment.
As we drove home, I wondered what was the benefit of staying in that particular moment and the only conclusion I came up with was that
if you choose to stay in a moment, make sure you're protected from the sun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Country Living Fair 2011

I am getting ready to do it again! If you're in or around Columbus on September 16-18th, I highly recommend this fair. There's no better time and no better finds anywhere else! All the pages of my favorite magazine come to life in every booth. Mark your calenders and come see us at booth,
Kelly Lane.
Guaranteed to blow your mind!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday's Child

Tuesday's child is full of grace according to Mother Goose. That grace being only physical not
All knowing soothsayer, Mother Goose, you sealed my fate as a young girl.
Had I been born on any other day, I would have known how to act at that absurd party called, "mommies night out".
Why wasn't I informed that there was a title?
Since, I was born so close to Wednesday, I am only half full of woe.
I guess, it could have been worse fate to be born on a Thursday. That child was told that they had far to go. I am beginning to think Mother Goose wasn't such a nice old lady after all. Good luck in life Thursday's child. You've got a tough load ahead of you.
Friday's child is full of love and giving. Now that sounds like a good day to be born. TGIF! I bet Friday's child could have handled a bunch of mommies droning on and on about their kids.
And how about Saturday's child that has to work so hard for a living?
Poor Saturday's child
She works hard for the money
so hard for it honey
she works hard for the money
so you better treat her right
Donna Summer was probably born on a Saturday.
Now there's Sunday the Sabbath. Not a working day.
That is if they never work retail.
This child is supposed to be bonny and happy
wise and gay.
This takes on a whole new connotation this day and age.
I mean, who says bonny anymore?
Lastly, there's Monday's child who is fair of face giving no indication other than this child will have to seek continuous protection from the sun, slather sunblock and always wear some sort of hat.
I bet Mother Goose was born on a Monday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strange Pattern

I took my father, who is visiting from Dallas to the South Street Coffee House in downtown Wilmington, Ohio to see my collage paintings and of course have some coffee. They have excellent coffee! There were two women sitting enjoying their coffee and they asked if I was the artist. They said that they couldn't believe all the research I had done. This was funny to me, because all I had done was use vintage dress patterns, a map of Ohio, a couple of vintage coffee ads, and a fleur-di-lis stencil.
Turns out, the previous owner of the coffee shop was a dressmaker and her logo was a fleur-di-lis.
Strange pattern?
Or maybe, I was channeled?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All Things Chicken

"If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens"
~Anna Mary Robertson Moses better known as
Grandma Moses

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rough Around The Edges

I still have lot to learn about country living. The two things I've learned so far are that your mind can really wander when you spend 4 hours on a tractor mowing and you can also make some pretty important decisions during that time.
I wasn't sure what led me to this decision. Maybe, it was the empty gas tank or the fact that I decided to forgo the sunscreen for ample sun time. Not the best tractor decision, I might add. But, when I realized I had a good two more hours to finish, I decided to cut some corners and leave it ' rough around the edges'.
As I drove the tractor back to the barn, I remembered the idiom, 'rough around the edges'. That was my mother's polite way of saying someone was not fitting for me to socialize with. This, of course, only made them more appealing. Looking back she was right, she was always right, and she still is right.
But, doesn't the term, 'rough around the edges' mean that something is unfinished?
Are we all not works in progress?
That would make us all 'rough around the edges'.
Don't you think?
I am still wondering if I made the right decision.
Those rough edges can be quite deceiving,
because they can provide the perfect cover for predators.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Dear Spring,
It seems that I have waited a whole season for you to change.
You're just unwilling to see my perspective.
I will never forget the way you deliberately overlooked the dress code to the party I invited you to. Did you not notice the shame on my face when you showed in that grungy, grey pantsuit?
I tried to dress accordingly, since I knew you were accompanying me.
But honestly, I would have rather worn a
bright, floral sundress.
Frustrated in Ohio

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pick, Hunt N' Peck

I found this 1920's Royal typewriter at a rummage sale for 30 dollars and it got me thinking.
Do you think 80 years from now, some picker such as myself, will be just as excited to find an IPhone in a rummage pile? I know there's hardly any comparison...
I guess, it's inevitable that someday all the technological improvements to getting our point across, may be lost and the words, "what did you just say" foreign to our tongue.

I remember my grandmother loved to type, even though she wasn't very good. I used to love listening to her bang out a letter. I think she helped originate the term, 'hunt n' peck. She typed all the letters she sent to me one summer when I was at camp. I still have them, typos and all. This was before Liquid Paper. I always wondered why she just didn't write. Maybe, it was her way of advancing through technology. Well, maybe not advance. A sweet memory, though.
I'd like to congratulate all my picker friends out there in their efforts for reminding us of our past. It helps us learn who we are today.
It's Spring here, finally, in the Midwest and the sales are just starting.
I wish you happy finds!
Here's a link to my friend, Carrie's blog. She is a professional picker. Her finds really bring back memories!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Right Path

Feather in my path.
Happenstance? Gift from above?
Encouraged to travel on.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Letting Go

There comes a day when you realize that holding on so tightly, only made you imbalanced.
Perhaps, that day was a Tuesday, a day unlike any other day. It didn't start or end the week.
Basically, it was just a Tuesday.
So on that day you made a wish and cast it into the wind, trying your best to overlook all the stubborn pieces left behind.