Day 6…Really?

15179077_10154628313576166_4709343064344981021_nI am so proud of myself for continuing to be accountable to blogging every day in April. I am grateful to Effy Wild for all that she does and puts out into the universe. You can check out some of the awesome things she does here:   https://www.patreon.com/effywild

So it’s Friday, and it is getting hot. I live in Florida and I am not a big fan of the heat….And I am not talking about regular summer heat…..I am talking about what happens here from about May to October…..over 95F most days, with a humidity level of about 99-100%, and the beating sun……I dread it just thinking about it. It literally drains the energy from my body, and seeing as we are on a farm, I have to be outside more than usual.

But, I will say, that since we moved up here from South Florida 6 years ago, it has been better. Living down there, it was like that from January to January, with maybe a few days of temps in the 50s.

Here, we get Fall….and it is lovely. It is not as vibrant or fragrant as further North, but it does the trick……our Sycamores change color and drop their leaves….and we even get a “slight” winter. We don’t get snow, but we do get temps in the 30s, and the way our house and property sits, on an open field surrounded by trees and the house is elevated slightly….we have been known to wake up with ice and frost and temps in the high 20s on quite a number of days. Usually it is up to the 50s and 60s by 1PM. It’s so perfect, you never ever hear me complain….that is, until the heat rolls around….

But, with that being said, I’ll take those summers that last 6 months, knowing there is the promise of beautiful weather for the next 6.

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Unfinished Art

Girl on a Wire
An unfinished self portrait of me as a child  I have been working on for 3 years

Hello! Hello! So, since I have spent the past 4 days talking about personal stuff, and this blog was initially intended to be my art blog, I figure it’s time to get back on track.

Now, I do have loads of completed artwork, some framed, some sold, some prints, a little bit of everything, but they are complete, finished.

So here is my question: Why do I have so many incomplete pieces? It’s not that I don’t like them, after all if I didn’t I have learned I can just paint over them and do something else….no, it’s definitely not that. Most of my unfinished work is stuff I really, really like, and all of it I enjoy doing. It’s just that it seems somewhere along the line…I get STUCK…..really stuck, like in quicksand stuck and decide to put it aside.  My reasoning for putting it aside is that when I get to that point of stuckness (is that a word?) I feel if I continue t that particular moment, I will do something to make me NOT like it. And then, it never gets finished.

I am sure there are many artists out there can relate to this…I know you are out there. I just want to know if anyone has an answer, or a solution.

Take the painting above…..I can’t tell you how much I love this painting. The background was originally painted by myself and my grandson in 2014. I sat and looked at it for a year before I decided what I wanted to do with it. You can’t really see from the photo but it is 3 dimensional. The red Chuck Taylors, the pile of books on my head, they were all painted on a separate piece of watercolor and cut out and glued on. Even the flags are pieces of card stock and material. I even at one point redid the face entirely.  I have a pretty good idea of what else I want to add, but I got stuck on one of the 3D pieces and stopped. And there it has sat, staring back at me day after day….waiting to be finished.

There are quite a number of these in my studio, and I keep promising myself I am going to go back and finish them all…but instead I usually start on something else.

Oh well, if anyone can help, please feel free to comment. And if I ever finish any of these I will let you know.

 

 

The Ties That Bind

Bernadette and Donald, my birth parents

So something that is big and important in my life (being adopted) that I have been meaning to write more about came out in someone else’s blog today: (https://morgainependragon.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/day-4-when-the-past-comes-calling/)
It was very interesting to read a perspective from the other side.

Of course, I have been way more fortunate than most in the whole search for my biological family on both sides. In fact, before I truly found my paternal side, I wrote a little something about it that you can check out here:http://legitimatebastardette.blogspot.com

But since that time, I have officially met MOST of my siblings (my youngest brother Jamie was ill when we had our get together) and for the first time in my entire life I feel completely whole and secure. I know who I really am and the people I come from and it has really filled a huge hole for me.
Now, I love my adoptive parents very much. My mom who just turned 85, lives in a small apartment attached to our house. My Dad passed away in 1991 and not I day goes by that I don’t miss him. My younger adoptive brother Robert, passed away in 2007 and today would have been his 50th birthday. I don’t think he handled being adopted very well and he had many years of mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse along with a host of other personal issues.

All that being said, there was always a deep need in me to know who I was, and where I came from…who are my people?

Well, I found my biological mom Bernadette in 1994 and I also have an older sister Kate. Bernadette passed away in 1998 and Kate and I have a somewhat tenuous relationship. Apparently her and Bernadette did not get along very well and I can understand Kate’s anger and frustration which sometimes gets projected onto me. It used to bother me so much, but these days I have a much better understanding of it.

 

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My sister Kate and I on the subway in NYC

Just last year, in May, through DNA testing I was able to find my paternal side. (Bernadette had told me my birth father’s name) Unfortunately he passed in 2010 and he never knew about me from what we know. But, I do have 4 more siblings to add to the mix, one, a little sister who passed away tragically at the age of 13. When I found out about Dee Dee from my sister Annie and brother Donnie I spent many nights dreaming of her and wishing we could talk. It seems that when I first contacted them, I told Donnie he should take a DNA test so he would be certain…he kept saying no, that it was ok he knew who I was. Then Annie shared some photos with me of Dee Dee and I knew why he said that. We could have been twins…..and everything they tell me about her sounds like me. I grew up with just myself and my younger adoptive brother Robert, but now I am one of 7 siblings…..

 

 

My brother Robert and I    Me with Donnie and Annie

Life is quite an amazing journey….and just like everyone else I have had my share of tragedy, heartbreak and the like, but when you are adopted I believe all of that is exacerbated by the fact that you already feel so disconnected from life…like you are some sort of alien dropped off with no link to anything. Now I am complete and whole, both sides of my birth family have welcomed me with open arms and hearts, and I will say, that since my birth mom was 1 of 11 and my birth father was one of 8, the amount of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews is astounding.

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My Uncle Louie

My nephew Michael and my niece Donna

I am so thankful for who I am and where I come from. And that deep yearning I had all my life has finally been satisfied. The Ties That Bind

Me,  Annie and  Donna (Dee Dee) taken when we were about the same age.

I am so thankful for who I am and where I come from. And that deep yearning I had all my life has finally been satisfied. These ARE The Ties That Bind

 

Day #3 Just in the Nick of Time

So I waited until now to write this, because I had a sort of  small meltdown today……and I didn’t want my whole post to be a complete bitch fest about what was bothering me. Let’s just say I am constantly disappointed by people’s behaviors and usually in the past I would feel completely emotional and hurt and wonder what “I” did to cause them to behave in whatever way they did that showed disrespect and hurt my feelings. Lately I have been doing a really good job of setting boundaries and instead of doing the whole “what did I do?” routine, I just get completely and utterly pissed off, I vent (mostly to myself) and then, if it is someone close to me, I speak my mind to them in a kind and gentle way and move on. I try really hard to move on, whether they choose to at least see my point of view and take note of it, or they make excuses and give me reasons why they are right…..it does neither of us any good to continue, I can agree to disagree, but at that moment I know I have learned something big. I hear that voice of my dear Aunt Frances in my head, “Do NOT engage Chou Chou” that is what she always said to me and it took me years to understand.

So, what do I do when I am feeling this way? Well, I don’t go into the studio because I can’t concentrate and feel creative, so I do the one thing that over the past 2 years really soothes my soul. I go out and groom my horse. Her name is Morgan Frances and we found each other over 2 years ago…..me, the person who said, “Nope, no horses for me…too much work.” We live on a small farm and have 3 dogs, 11 cats, 2 steers, 6 hens, a rooster, a tortoise and a dove.

2 years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to help out at a barn she was working at and I agreed. That is where I met her. The girl who owned her had rescued her. She had been an event horse for many years and then got into the wrong hands and was starved….this girl took her and got her back in shape, but it had become too time consuming and expensive for her. As soon as we looked at each other it was love at first site. She will be 30 this summer, and although I choose not to ride her, we do have a very strong bond. She is sweet, kind, curious and pretty funny too.

Going out to groom her and massage and do reiki on her (Her favorite) helps me center, and clear my head…..works every time.

Tonight as I was heading out to run a few errands, she made sure she peeked in on me to see if I was feeling better. How can you not feel better when this happens

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Yes,  thank you Morgan, I am fine thanks to you.

Artfully Wild Blog Along Day #2

Well, here we are again, and although there were so many things buzzing through my head today about what to write, I am now sitting here and it’s radio silence. Does that happen to you too? I have so much to say and discuss and share and my ADD has my head spinning everywhere and now, when I have the quiet time to sit and write…nothing….zilch…nada.

It can be very frustrating trying to get my thoughts in order. My creative mind is all over the map…..and then I think, “Oh, yes, I can write about such and such” but the thing is…Do people really want to hear about all this stuff in my head? Is there something there for them to take away for themselves?

Yesterdays blog was something I really wanted to put out there. I don’t even know if I got across what I was trying to say. Yeah, now everyone knows my overflowing love for my grandson, but what I was really trying to get across was this….everyone talks about “soulmates” and I think most of us think that that person is a romantic partner (I always thought so myself) But now I know that they come in all different shapes and sizes and creatures…human and animal alike. And of course there are many we end up meeting in our lives. so I could have just written that, but well, I tried to explain it from my perspective.

And then I think that when I sit down to write, it’s like a great big purge…….a mind dump if you will. Not the same as morning pages (anyone who knows The Artist’s Way knows what I am speaking of)  But more of a reflective thought process, saying this is how I feel and why.

Sometimes I think I get carried away and write too much and it ends up being way too long, but there it is…it seems my over extroverted blabbermouth self that I was as a kid just comes along and takes over. I am much more of an introvert these days..where once you couldn’t keep me in the house for anything…..now I would much rather be at home in my own little space. At one time I wouldn’t miss a party, event or anything that had to do with socializing….I just wanted to be out there, meeting new people, having fun, dancing and just general mischief. These days I much rather get together with my “small tribe” when time allows. I no longer do “small talk” or anything of the sort. Don’t get me wrong, I am still the person who will smile and compliment a stranger, hold the door open, help someone in the supermarket who seems to be in need. I just feel more “centered” and calm and the need to be out there looking for ???? whatever it is I was looking for is gone.

I attribute a lot of that centered calmness to my husband and all my animals, my family, my dear friends and the beautiful place I call home. But I think most of all I attribute it to actually knowing who I am and liking it.

That has been a very long and tumultuous road, with lots of twists and turns, sadness and heartbreak…..but here I am on the other side…..and I am liking it.

Blog Along in April

So, here I am accepting the challenge to blog along with Effy Wild. This was a perfect opportunity since my head has been filled with blog ideas constantly….hopefully this will keep me going.

You can read a little about me in my about page…but of course as with everyone there is so much more to “Surface” stuff.

The subject that has had me thinking I would like to write about it is this…..Soul connections. We all have them in different forms but the one I want to write about in particular today is a very special someone in my life, my oldest grandson. Mind you, he is only 6 1/2 year old….but I feel our soul connection is one of the deepest I have ever had. It runs through my veins, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it runs through his too.

You see, I was never fortunate enough to have biological children of my own, and I am also adopted….which leaves a person feeling so disconnected most of their life. Of course I was also blessed to marry a wonderful guy who had 3 children whom I have had a relationship with since before him and I were ever together, and I have found my biological roots which has filled me with a euphoric sense of completeness (That’s for another blog).

With that being said, I will travel back to a time in 2009 when my middle step daughter got engaged…..it was something we all knew about and was to be a surprise for her birthday while we were on a family vacation. My now son-in-law pulled it off without a hitch and there was lots of joy and celebrating. Of course everyone started planning…wedding showers, dress shopping, planning….and yes it was all fun and exciting…..but the thing is for me, I couldn’t stop thinking “BABY”…..I was way ahead of where everyone else was and my heart and mind were consumed….baby baby baby, all I could think about. I even spoke to a medium about it, because it was like an obsession to me…and her words now come back to me full force. “This child you are dreaming of, your souls are connected on a very deep level…..you have known each other before and in your heart you know the arrival will be soon”

I laugh and cry at the same time just thinking about it…..and of course the wedding was wonderful, and as a gift, my husband and I sent them on their honeymoon to a place that has special meaning in our family, a place where my husband’s mom spent a lot of childhood summers and where we have spent happy times as a family. It is a little island off the coast of Rhode Island called Block Island. We got them a suite at The Spring House, a beautiful old hotel overlooking the ocean…and both of us joked that we hoped our first grandchild would be conceived there….

After that, life went on it’s busy way….work, obligations, the usual..and then my dear dog Kayla whom had been with me from the age of 3 weeks old and was now nearing 16 was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. It was the longest 2 months ever of round the clock hospice care for her. As the Christmas holiday was fastly approaching, I knew we were nearing the end of our time together…..and then on the night of December 21st, after my stepson came home for the holidays, during a full moon eclipse, she passed quietly in my arms….Anyone who has ever had a dear animal companion knows the devastation one feels when the time comes….I was numb, I was silent, I didn’t’t want to do anything….I didn’t go out with my husband and son for dinners, or visits or anything….I just wanted to be alone. And thank goodness they understood and respected that.

And then…..Christmas morning came…I tried to be upbeat but I just wasn’t into celebrating….and then we got the call from my stepdaughter as she wanted to hear us open the present her and her husband had sent us….it was a rectangular photo frame, with 3 photos in it, her, and her husband and something else….As I tore the paper from left to right I KNEW what it was before I saw the whole thing….my heart leapt in my chest, I let out a huge yell and burst into tears….20180401_150105

That’s RIGHT!!!! I was going to be a grandma!!! This WAS IT!!!!!! And funny thing was, she DID conceive on her honeymoon, they were just waiting for Christmas to surprise us. And then she asked us what we wanted to be called, and even though I was still in my 40s, I wanted nothing more than to be called Grandma….that was an honor I never thought I would have the privilege of having so that was it.

I also KNEW it was going to be a boy, although everyone else said it would be a girl…..I called him my little beanie.

And then in the early summer of 2011 he arrived, and from the very first second I held him in my arms, it was love, true unconditional no holds barred deep in my soul love….and somehow, this little guy gave it right back to me. Even though we live so far apart, we are ALWAYS together….in our hearts. We have our secrets, we have the moon and the stars and we have each other. And he couldn’t quite say grandma, so I am now Meema….which makes me laugh.

Before he could even speak, we would look at each other and just know what the other was thinking…..on visits when he was little we would lay and look up at the stars and I would tell him stories and he would ask me questions about life, and death and the universe and love. He was only 2 or 3 at the time and we had such deep conversations with each other, I would sing a special song I learned in Gaelic and whenever I would start, he would stop what he was doing and stare at me like he understood. One Thanksgiving when he was 3, he burst into tears at the table and refused to eat until he could talk to me via FaceTime…..and he took the phone outside because he wanted a private conversation…..he does that a lot. Since we live on a farm it is hard for both of us to get away, so we take turns going up to visit. Every time it’s Dick’s turn, my grandson takes his phone and calls me…even at parties and family gatherings, he just sets the phone down next to him so we can talk as if I was there.

Now he is soon to be 7 and the connection is deeper all the time. But now I have the pleasure of hearing the phone ring early in the morning and a little voice saying, “Can I please speak to Meema?” He is the ONLY person I will ever speak to before I have had my coffee…..everyone else knows I am off limits. He is really the most special person in the world to me…but it is our secret, because I now have 4 grandchildren and another on the way. We talk about how when we are all together it is not fair to show favoritism so we will look at each other and wink and he knows that is our I love you best signal. There are times when he will specifically ask for us to have our alone time and it doesn’t have to be anything special, sometimes we just sit in silence lots of times we paint together. He says things to me that move me to tears, and now at this age, he finally understands what happy tears are and has experienced them himself. At Christmas this year, they were all here to visit and at one point, my husband and I looked around the room, looked at each other and started to cry…..everyone else was completely oblivious to our emotions, including the adults, but he looked over at us….and I saw the tears well up in his eyes and he said, “Please, stop it…you are making me cry” Of course we just cried harder.

I look at this little guy as my greatest gift in life…….and although he says to me, “I am so glad Peepa married you, cause you are the one and only best Grandma for me.” I know beyond any reason, that this little boy was meant to be my grandson, he is my soulmate.