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Archive for April, 2012

“One little known secret to making precisely the right move, at precisely
the right time in your life, Jenny, is knowing that in all cases,
there is more than one right move and more than one right time. Lots and lots more.

In other words, no matter what you do next, or when, so long as you do something,
I’ll meet you there, smooth the edges, polish the grill, and connect the dots.

Tallyho,
The Universe”

In case you haven’t heard of it, http://www.Tut.com is an awesome site that sends you little notes of encouragement each morning letting you know that all is being taken care of, so there’s no need to worry your pretty little head about it. One of my favorite things in life.

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I’ve had a busy week catching up on orders and trying to organize things after the trip. Still haven’t even unpacked the van. Maybe if I do I’ll find my glasses. Someone made up a trip checklist that I followed and I was wise enough to take my old pair with me. One night I knocked my glasses off the cabinet next to me that I use and haven’t found them yet. They are behind it somewhere. The one nice thing about the van is that you know everything is in there somewhere, but unfortunately I’m just as disorganized in the van as I am in my house. Jena just sighs…

I’ve been spending lots of time casting and making more molds…working on the mold for the Serenity Prayer and new one for Vicki’s Acceptance Angel. Keep your fingers crossed that all the detail comes out for me. Mold making is a pain, no way around it. Demolded Laney’s bench yesterday and it has a crack all the way through. This is the 4th time and I think it’s just jinxed at this point. Must have been this crazy weather – below freezing one day and 80 degrees the next.

I had at least a little time to spend with friends. I had another artist friend over last night and we kibitzed about the portrait. I haven’t had time to do anything with it yet this week. I really thought this would be the week to get that done or at least further along. I may drop in on my art class this morning to get some help. Allen’s face is further along, but he looks old. He was squinting into the sun in the photo so I think I took that a little too far. Shawnta just looks scary right now with only the underpainting done. Pray for me on this one, folks.

Well I went to the art class and got some help with the painting. It helped a lot, but I have a long way to go with it. Had a wonderful lunch with some fellow artists and friends at Piezano’s Pizza. I love having all these artist friends for feedback and support. I haven’t had that before I moved to Fredericksburg and it’s really been wonderful. My friend Nancy is a very talented watercolor artist, but it’s only been in the last few years we’ve been able to pursue our art. I am going to miss being here and all the friends I’ve made.

Oh well lalalala life goes on…..

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Darn! It’s raining again so I decided not to call on stores. The ones I wanted to talk to were closed anyway so I need to check in with them on a day that isn’t Monday. As long as I was there I drove through Easton which I had never visited and what a charming little town that is!

Easton MD

Easton MD

I think I need to devote a week to the Eastern Shore towns.

Well I didn’t have much luck finding the place with the vans. Turns out it was on the other side of town than I thought it was, and I saw it as I was accidentally getting back on Rt 50  after searching for an hour. Too late and I was not ready to backtrack at that point.  I will just have to keep looking. Is everyone out there helping me find the perfect van? I just need a plain old white utility van like the plumbers and painters use, that’s cheap and in good enough shape that you would send your mother around the country driving in

Whew! Made it home in time for a quick sit down and now I am watching TV with Carl, an Alzheimers patient I sit with once a month. He doesn’t communicate much now. I guess I’ve been coming here for over 2 years. Bless his heart, he keeps hanging in there! He likes to watch Dancing With the Stars, so that’s what we do.

I guess it’s time to pull the comforters out of the van and make up my bed at home. Too cold to camp out there tonight although I managed a lot colder on the road. Tomorrow I hope to get caught up on orders and other business stuff. Never enough hours in the day.

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St Michaels MD

St Michaels MD

Back to St. Michaels with the girls and breakfast at the Big Pickle. We had the breakfast biscuit which is a far cry from the fast food version. Bacon, sausage, ham, egg and cheese on a huge biscuit…yum! Had to take half of it home it was so big. Have to take a picture of the sign on the Ladies room door…cute!

Big Pickle St Michaels MD

Big Pickle St Michaels MD

It’s really raining hard so I’m going to wait a day to go home. Perfect day to sit around the house and read and write. If the wood weren’t so wet we could build a fire.

Maybe I’ll check out some stores around here tomorrow. There are several little touristy towns around here to look at and while we were driving to the wedding I saw a car lot with about a million cargo vans, so I’ll check it out on my way home.

Guess I’ll take everything out of the van, get her detailed, and see what I can get for trade in. She’s as old and tired as I am, so with everything that’s wrong with her, I wouldn’t dare to sell to an individual, but have no qualms about trading her in. Maybe only get $500, but every little bit helps. I saw a few cheap ones on Craig’s List, but don’t know enough about cars to make a good decision.

I need to find a guy who knows cars. Can’t use my feminine whiles anymore so I guess I’ll have to resort to begging. Anybody know a car guy I can borrow for awhile?

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My Son, My new Daughter and Grandson

My Son, My new Daughter and Grandson

Well of course I screwed up. Somehow I had it in my head all along that the courthouse wedding was going to be at 4:00 in Annapolis, until Jena called me last night and informed me it is at 2:00! If I only had a brain….! So I overslept and had to really rush to get ready to leave and hit every red light on Rt. 301.

As tired as my van is I am reluctant to take the interstate so I patted her and sang the prayer of protection to her and told her how good she had been to me and if she would just get me to the wedding on time I would be happy to let her retire after 14 years. She got me there on time but I was totally frazzled. All that mountain serenity and spirituality I had gained went right out the door.

I can’t believe I lived in Annapolis for 25 years and can’t figure out where the courthouse is! Finally Jena calls me wondering where I am and I’m just around the corner. It turns out the courthouse has a delightful little wedding chapel with pews and we were able to get about 20 people in and seated for the ceremony. Shawnt’a choked up on “for as long as we both shall live” and Allen sweetly put is arm around her and drew her in.  Of course that made Big Crybaby Mama burst into tears, which I did regularly for the next 2 days. I’m tearing up again just talking about it.

Oh well, haven’t married of one of my kids in almost 20 years, I guess I’m allowed. Allen is 35 and really waited until he was sure before he made the leap. Couldn’t possibly because if my 2 disastrous marriages as well as his father’s. His dad has a good one now and they have been married almost 30 years so I guess he got one good example of how it’s meant to be done.

They had originally planned a big wedding but decided to be more sensible and get married at the courthouse and have a nice reception at an aunt’s house the next day for all the friends and family. Allen’s dad and stepmother and their 2 kids were there, his sister and family and we all played nice and got along fine. After all we have been divorced for over 30 years! They have really raised some great young people and I was really glad to get to know them.

Food! Good Lord there was enough to feed an army! We all brought some and there was barely enough room for it all. They had a mock ceremony for all who weren’t at the real wedding and she wore a real wedding gown and was escorted down the stairs by her father. He teared up and then all waterworks around the room broke loose. Their old friend Ice, who had known them both since grade school, officiated and he and his wife had even written a poem for them which was just beautiful. Because Allen is a musician and involved with the music business they had wonderful music and a beautiful singer for the ceremony.

After that we all retired to the basement for the dancing and let me tell you there was some serious dancing! They cut the cake and my son was very well behaved and didn’t smash it into her face but handed her a little nibble. Then they had their dance, her father came out and started jiving with his daughter so I grabbed Allen and we did a much more sedate white folks slow dance since he hates to dance.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

Me and Shawnta's Dad

Me and Shawnta's Dad

After that I told Shawnt’a that it was time to dance with her father-in-law and she told me in no uncertain terms that they weren’t going to do that whole thing which we all agreed that was a very wise decision. His 70 year old father doesn’t like dancing any more than Allen does, but he eventually stepped up and danced with her and I did eventually get a very fun dance with her father as did my daughters. That man can really get down as can his beautiful daughter.

Laura and Melanie

Laura and Melanie

 

 

Zach and Jena

Zach and Jena

Shake it Shawnee
Shake it Shawnee

 

All of us white folks really tried to keep up but we were no match for the rest of the crowd….except for Allen’s sisters who really know how to shake their tail feathers. The step-wife and I spent a lot of time dancing with our daughters and grandsons while the older Johns men sneaked away as quietly as they could. A grand time was had by all and the step-wife bemoaned the fact that next week she was going to a Scandinavian Lutheran Wedding that was sure to be much more dignified and sedate. A million pictures were taken of all the proceedings for Jena to make into a scrapbook for the happy couple – she took over 400 herself –  so I will post a discreet number of them here so you can enjoy the fun.

 

Mama and Son

Me and My Boy

Zach Kimmy Josh

My grandsons getting down with Miss Kimmy

 

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Living at Walmart

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I drive home early in the morning to get started on the painting.

In case I didn’t mention it, I live in a beautiful rented 4 bedroom 3 bath home in Fredericksburg, VA that I dearly love. Initially my daughter and her two sons and I lived in it and then they all gradually moved out and went on with their lives and so I rented out their rooms. I sleep in the dining room so the rent I receive from tenants pays for the whole rent and utilities for the house, and I live there for free now, which is a great help to me.

Unfortunately, while I have been on this great Asheville adventure I got a call from the landlord that someone wanted to buy the house, he wants to sell all his properties and retire to Florida,  so there goes my beautiful home that everyone loves so much. It’s the nicest house I’ve ever lived in but that’s okay. Living in the dining room has really prepared me a little for van dwelling.

I guess I’m just a vagabond at heart because when I moved my younger daughter Melanie to St Michaels MD recently, I fell in love with that little town and thought I’d really like to live there. So I guess I’ll keep her house as my home base and travel from there until I get sick of it and find another place of my own. A year ago she offered to put me up, but I think she’s hoping at this point that I spend most of my time traveling. She’s 40 now and had been living with friends until she got settled in the new area and was so delighted to have a place to herself.

Then my other daughter, Jena,  moved in with her to use this as a home base for her van dwelling and she hasn’t even had a chance to be on her own here except the 2 weeks we were traveling. I will do my best as a dutiful mother to stay out of her way. I love my girls and we live together pretty well when we need to, but we live apart much better. Both my girls are single and beautiful and have every right to live their lives without their crazy mother hovering around. Jena and I were traveling in tandem and quickly learned that it’s great to travel near enough to help in an emergency, but it’s really nice to go your own way and explore what you are interested in.

Anyway, I digress….back to painting. This one is not going very well for me and I’m beginning to wonder about my sanity in offering this. I have not painted a portrait in over 15 years and that was pastels. This one I decided to do in acrylics and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t go with oils. The acrylics dry too fast and that was why I wanted to use them because I knew I wouldn’t have much time to work on it, but now that I have allowed my self the time to do it right rather than rush it, I think I may go with oils after all. I did just take that wonderful oil painting class after all. Maybe I can drop in on that sometimes and get some help with this painting.

It’s very large – 30”h x 40”w – which they wanted and it helps with trying to get details but I hadn’t counted on my back and shoulders being in such pain. I need to find some exercises to strengthen those muscles if I’m going to return to painting again. Well I had hoped to at least get their faces done and take a snapshot and put it in the card to give them but it ain’t happenin’. Allen looks old and sad and Shawnt’a looks scary cause I just got the underpainting done and nobody should ever look at that.

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