Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Just a quick note to say Happy New Year to all!!! I will be at the Torch Club tonight, my hubby Joe is playing with Stacie Eakes and the Superfreaks. This is our 4th New Years Eve there with Stacie, always a great time!!! Our home computer had to be rushed off to the PC hospital, hopefully we will be back on line soon and I'll resume my blogging. Be safe and enjoy! Tj.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What lies beneath...

I am so confused this time of year. I want to be happy and joyous and I try to be but you see I am conflicted. 21 years ago tomorrow, my mom passed away. Yes on Christmas day 1987. And 19 years ago yesterday in 1989 my first husband and my son's father passed away, he wasn't my husband any longer but we still spent time together as a family and I still loved him.

I watched an old video of Christmas 1989 the other night. I saw my adorable little kids opening their presents, Nick was 8 and Lindsey was 3, they were so cute. I saw a smile on my face, but sadness in my eyes. What lies beneath.

I heard Nick ask in a sad little boy voice as he opened a present from his dad, how do you know this is from my dad? Because I wrapped it, my response, with a half smile on my face. What lies beneath.

Still today I say out loud Merry Christmas, and when I do it feels like a stab in my heart. What lies beneath.

I try to put up lights and decorate with Christmas spirit, but just want to scream. What lies beneath.

I want nothing more to bring back that Christmas joy I used to feel this time of year but I am torn. What lies beneath.

My smile feels like a cardboard cutout on a stick, I hold in front of my face. A facade to cover the sadness that overwhelms. Why is it still hard today so many years later… well it will probably always be. I'll dust off the cut out smile on a stick, and hold it up for all to see. I will wish merriment and joy, love and celebration to the world because that IS what I want. That IS really what lies beneath, I just figured it out, OMG I get it now. Tears of joy!!!

Wishing everyone the joy and wonder of Christmas. Thanks, love and blessings to you all.

I have my Swell Sister Laurelin to thank. We have a writing thread on the Swell Sister website where someone writes something and then gives the next word or phrase. Laurelin gave "cardboard cutout" as the next phrase. I have been struggling the past few days and I started to write about my struggle for my blog. Then I read the post with the phrase cardboard cutout and it all made sense to me. I started to write and it brought me a revelation. I thank you Laurelin with my whole heart.

Be well... Tj.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dedicated to my mom...

Memories of youth explode as visions of sugar and creamy butter this time of year.
Mom's yearly ritual of creating sweet treats for all who crossed our porch
Caramel, divinity, fudge, marshmallow
The sound of scissors slicing waxed paper to small squares
Spooning golden gooey caramel hoping to hit the paper
Rolling and twisting attempting to trap the sweet surprises
The feeling in the spoon handle as it scraps the metal bowl
Scooping pink, blue and white clouds of whipped mixture
Puffs of sweet corn syrup confections float through my thoughts
Pouring smooth creamy cocoa brown melted concoction from the pan
Hoping to level the luscious liquid on the plate with the old wooden spoon
The smell of chocolate fudge whirls through my memory, I still smell it now.
Rolling the sticky white marshmallow in a messy mound of chopped walnuts
Fingers covered in nuts and candy
Mom’s smiling face smudged with who knows what
and her singing off key
The sights, sounds and smells of my mom’s kitchen rush back to me for the holidays
The kitchen table was the place to be. I miss that.
But mostly, I miss her.

Be well! Tj.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Long time no blog!

Gosh I haven't blogged in so long where to begin?? Ok, well last I blogged was just before Thanksgiving. Ours was nice. My brother Tim and nephew Thaddeus and my daughter Lindsey's girlfriend Kelsi all joined us. So there were 7 for dinner. The turkey this year came out juicy and delicious and I had a big bird, 18 pounds. So we had left over's for quite a while!

I had that week off from work, so we got a lot done. There were still boxes and bags of stuff we didn't know what to do with in our dinning room left from moving Lindsey downstairs, our office to Lindsey's old bedroom, and creating my art studio in our old office. How do we collect so much junk anyway?? Oh yea, we are collectors of stuff that is for sure! But the time off gave me the opportunity to go through those boxes and bags left and I got rid of a butt load of junk. Also, we organized and filed things that needed to be put away. My hubby Joe was amazing. He cleaned and scrubbed the kitchen and help organize. By the time Thanksgiving arrived we were very clean and organized! Wonderful!!!

I did some painting too, I had to have my 2 pieces for the Swell Sister's Gather the Women Second Saturday show done by last Saturday for hanging. So I had work to do! But I have to say they turned out really great! I painted on repurposed tile board that we had left from the downstairs bathroom redo. And I purchased old frames from a thrift store. The painting flowed into the frames, making the piece one large piece of art, not a framed painting. I think it is very folk artsy! I am going to do more of them! I took some photos, but am hoping to get better photos now that they are hanging. I used a gloss varnish on them, and when I took the photos it was not very light, so I had to use a flash. The gloss finish really picked up the flash, so I am hoping I can take some photos without a flash now that they are hanging. Once I have better photos I'll post!

Lets see what else happened, oh I went to a rehearsal with the Jahari Sai Trio. That was fun! My hubby Joe and I have 2 songs worked out to play at the Swell Sister show. So, at their rehearsal I showed up with my ukulele and plugged in! First time I ever plugged in my Uke. It sounded pretty good amplified! I am a little nervous about my debut, in public, playing music. What what??? Ok ok, deep breath, I'll be fine, Joe will be right there and that helps a lot! And, the room will be full of my swell sisters, family and friends so it all helps!

My son Nick had a birthday. He turned 27 on the 23rd. Yikes! He's getting old, what does that say about me??? We all went out for dinner, well Joe had to work, but Lindsey, Kelsi, Tim, Thaddeus, my niece Heather and of course Nick went. Then we played Phase 10 at our house and Nick was the victorious winner!!! We also played donkey, I, as usual, was the first to be a donkey! I am just too slow now days to play that game! Seems like I can't get a penny for anything!!! Nick was the winner for that too! It was a fun night and I think he enjoyed his birthday. Here is a photo of me, Nick and Lindsey what seems like just a year ago... Not! Ok, it was 18 years ago!

I created a book over the weekend. The Swell Sisters have a writing/poetry group, and we had quite a bit of haiku's and poems that had been written. We have been trying to encourage sisters to read some poetry on the breaks at the show, so I thought what better way to encourage them but to have their writings in a book. So, I took it all and put it in a book! I created it on it is a self publishing site. Really cool. I order just a couple of books to be sure they print as well as they looked. Then I'll share the link and people can order it!

Well I guess that is it for now. I am getting so excited about the big Swell Sister Second Saturday show this next Saturday!!! It is almost here!!!!! Wahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be well.

Until next time... Tj.