Here's what I've been up to. I either really dig it or really hate it. I haven't decided yet.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The river was far too cold for adults (and barely warm enough for two Trolls used to the bathwater-like temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico), but we Were enjoying the energy of the moment and the fresh air.
As The Trolls dared each other to get in the water first (and tried goading The Boyfriend™ and me in, too), I got out my sketchbook to capture the covered bridge that ran the spance of that stretch of the river. My sketch time was short-lived, though, because we were soon off to other adventures, but I didn't think too much of it. In fact, I remember thinking "I'll finish this the next time I'm here", not realizing that very soon the bridge wouldn't be there for me to sketch again.
It's just a bridge, but it's also a piece of history - of MY history. Of thousands of people's histories. Generations of kids - including my own - swam under that bridge. Generations of kids made out with each other in the cozy confines of that bridge - including The Boyfriend™ and me. Every year, a new group of adolescents dared each other to sit in that bridge and wait for the ghost of Eunice Williams.
The bridge is gone now. Washed away during the flooding brought on by Irene. It makes me sad. I won't get to finish this sketch, while sitting on the banks of the river underneath it.
I suppose I'm being dramatic - a covered bridge washing away is by no means comparable to the levies breaking after katrina. But that a piece of history is gone. A thing that has always been there - part of the fabric of my life - is gone.
If nothing else, the urgency to get back home is even stronger. I don't want anymore unfinished sketches in my book.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Here's hoping he forgives me. LOL!
And here's a photo from back home. Where the Two Year Plan will come to fruition for us.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My head, she is not a happy place these days. I can't get out of my own way. I keep trying to claw my way out of the hole, but it's like free climbing a shale wall: it looks like a solid foot hold, but it'll crumble the second you put any weight on it.
I know it'll pass. Off and on, my whole life, I've dealt with mild depression. I won't say that my coping mechanisms have gotten better with age, but at least I recognize that when the wall is crumbling, I need to stop - just for a minute - and examine why. The only way out is through.
Upside: I do some pretty amazing work during these periods. So I turn to my brushes and pots of ink and canvas... And I process. I let the canvas speak for me.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Trolls having a last-day-of-summer-vacation swim.
I joined them in their pool mayhem shortly after this picture was taken. While it's a man made, chlorinated pool, there is something about the water - even this kind - that soothes my soul and calms me down a bit. I must remember to honor my mermaid half a tad more.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
It was also open house at The Nugget's school tonight. I met his teacher and am ever so excited about the year for him, knowing that he has a compassionate teacher who is in it for the love of teaching. So far, I've heard nothing but positively glowing statements about her methods, her classroom, and about HER. I admired the way that she gently, but firmly, established her "alpha" role with The Nugget - even while I was standing there. It was a moment of cooperative "parenting," and put me even more at ease.
I have tomorrow off from work and am looking forward to the long weekend with The Trolls and The Boyfriend™ before school starts. While filled with a bit of here and there, it's also an opportunity for us to batten down the hatches and gear up for the school year. In anticipation of the chaos, I've gone a bit off the deep end and implemented a by-the-hour school week schedule, in an effort to not only mitigate that chaos but allow more structure and being present for each other, as a family.
Being present is something I am even more acutely aware of these days. Our trip to Massachusetts planted the seed and a startling wake up call, by way of The Monkey's report card, fertilized the roots. My children suffered for a lack of my being truly present for them. *I* suffered for a lack of being truly present. My relationship with The Boyfriend™ suffers from that lack, too, as well as a lack of listening. And while it will be an uphill battle to undo the damage wrought by my ignorance, I am grateful that I had this epiphany in time to fix it.
There are certain things that I wish I had the luxury of: homeschooling The Trolls, making a living from my art, so I can stay home and not be beholden to the clock. But being present and aware of that desire to simplify allows me to give more purpose to my days, because I am working toward that goal. Building the foundation for the realization of my dreams, by researching homeschooling, sustainable living, how to make my etsy shop successful, homes and land for sale in New England, will allow me to have EXACTLY what I want, rather than some facsimile thereof. So, in a way (and as frustrating as it is), I am grateful for the interlude between now and THEN - when I've achieved my goals - and here and THERE, so that the foundation I build is solid. So that I learn to breathe and be present. So that I walk this path with mindfulness.
Between here and there, and now and then, I can create memories and traditions. Memories of paths explored during the remaining time in Florida, to take with us and give us something to reminisce about during those long winter nights in New England. Traditions that can translate to whatever home we're in. Habits and guidelines to sustain us as we transition from one cycle of our lives together.
The last - and I think the most important - thing I am grateful for tonight is the realization that it's not too late. Time has a funny way of speeding by, but I have the power to slow it down. I have the power to stopnthe clock, if necessary, to give myself a couple more seconds here or there to make sure that I am not late. And as long as I am moving forward toward the realization of my dreams, then there is no such thing as too late.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I don't know what the message is that I'm supposed to learn with all of this being thwarted. Slow down? Re-prioritize? Focus? Breathe?
Yes, I think it's about breathing. I need to breathe more.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Last night, back home, they slept with the AC off and the windows open. Here, it's still 84-degrees out at 11 o'clock at night. Back home, they're gearing up for the county fairs next month. Here, I can't even garden because it's too miserably hot during the day. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that here is not THERE and I want to be there. I miss home deeply right now. I'm homesick in a way that I haven't been in five years or more.
I mean, I am quite literally ANGRY at myself for having moved to Florida in the first place. Logically, I know it was the right decision at the time and all, but emotionally, I'm kicking my ass for it. now I know why so many people back home stay there - there's no earthly reason to move - unless you're an idiot or something. Which, I am. Apparently.
This soul deep longing to return to my roots is further proof that I need to get off my ass and get working on getting home. For good. The Boyfriend™ is even feeling repressed and stifled here, too, and he's FROM here.
I take a great deal of comfort in knowing I can get there - and will - even if it'll take some time. I'm incredibly impatient though, and don't want to wait. It sucks this waiting stuff.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Growing uo, I always wanted the rain slicker & umbrella That the Morton's salt girl wore. I coveted it deeply. Part of me still really wants galoshes because of that iconic salt girl.
But that's really not the point. Well, maybe it is. It offers an explanation toward how truly obsessed about certain things I become.
I wish I could remember how I found her site, but Amanda Blake Soule's blog (www.soulemama.com) is my absolute favorite these days. She's made it quite clear that what she shares with the blogosphere are the good snippets of her life. Let me tell you, there seem to be plenty -- even in the small chaotic ways. The life she and her husband have built - carefully and lovingly - is one I aspire to. It's simple and pure. Full of love and support and nurturing. She is who she is. Her family is her family. It's a thing of beauty watching it unfold.
Ms Soule is also a published author. I pre-ordered her latest book and it arrived last week. It was signed by both Amanda and her husband, Steve. As I looked at the inscription, I was mildly taken aback. Her handwriting is almost identical to mine. No, seriously. It is. The Boyfriend thought I had written in the book myself, the writing style is so similar.
I thought it was cool & chalked it up to the both of us being New England girls. Later on, as I was reading her book, it occurred to me that the significance of the hand writing was more than a mere fluke. It was almost like a sign.
I can't explain it without sounding stalkerish, so I'll just say this: Ms Soule's example has helped me have the most clear vision of how EXACTLY I want the two year plan to turn out. It's something to hyper focus on, so I can get where I want to go on time. I thank her for her help in giving me focus.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I'm taking a page out of her book & showing you some corners of my home.
The picture above is part of my studio space. The table is too narrow & the room often gets taken over by mischevious trolls, but this is the first time I've ever had studio space and I love every centimeter of it. It's where I dream and create and visualize as I stare out the window and look on the pink rosebush blooming in the neighbor's back yard and my mind wanders forward to the future...
Tomorrow, we're having spaghetti and bug shaped macaroni. Or The Nugget's menu.
Cooking is so much more interesting when Trolls choose the menu.
Here, The Nugget is trying to wheel and deal with The Donald... I mean The Boyfriend.
Me... I was totally blissed out. I am LOVING all this family togetherness.
Monday, August 8, 2011
It was a good hour spent as a family. I was blissed out on the vibe & was envisioning two years from now, bundled up in front of the fire place, being a family.
If this is Monday, I think I may really start loving them.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Little dude is a champ. Feisty from the get go (the only mewler), and he's got 6 little kidden toes on each paw. Why yes. Yes I AM smitten. Why do you ask?