Chloe shops too much.
He didn’t mean to be mean
He was just playing when he grabbed you too hard
He’s sorry and you should just move on
He’s not stalking you, that’s your imagination – you need to work out it, both of you
What did you do to make him do that?
What were you wearing?
Why were you alone with him?
He’s just a touchy-feely kind of guy
He does that to everybody
Graphite is so easy to smudge!
One thing I’m learning about myself as I draw is that I often miscalculate the amount of room I will need for something. For example, take this lionfish: His “legs” should be a lot longer. But I was having a lot of fun sketching last night. An hour and a half flew by!
I blog daily to hold myself accountable. I have not attended art school and probably never will (although…never say never)! My primary goal is to exercise creativity in a positive way and in writing my third book I want to try something new. I learned about this from creativebug.com’s Lindsay Stripling’s daily practice lesson. My subscription to creativebug.com is the BEST $8/month I’ve ever spent.
I’m going to keep a conceptual sketchbook and work on it each day, even if I have a super busy day, I’ll make a simple doodle to keep it going.
Just a sketch. I like her pink, not green. She has a shopping addiction.
As my daughters grew to be teenagers, a chasm started to grow between the older one and me. I would “advise” her to practice her violin, do her homework and I would check her grades online. As soon as one of her classes started to drop, I’d pounce on her.
This, I believed, was motherly love.
She started to distance herself from me. When we spoke, it quickly escalated with me on offense and her on defense. She started to stay out later and later and we rarely talked nicely to each other. I asked myself over and over, When will she grow out of this? And then I found electric cigarette paraphernalia in her room. I freaked out. The younger one asked, “Don’t you see why she’s acting out?”
Wake up call!
One night, I decided I would do a 180. I would do the opposite of everything I had been doing. Before, I was completely hands-on. Now, I would be hands-off. I wouldn’t ask questions or tell her what to do. I would just listen.
And when was the last time we had fun together? I decided we would go on a date – just the two of us – once a week. It didn’t have to be fancy, just as long as we had 1:1 time together.
After she put aside her suspicions (and why wouldn’t she be suspicious of my motivations?), we started to go to a coffee shop every Sunday before she went to work as a server in a Thai restaurant. She would tell me about rude customers, her rude boss, good coworkers, and not-so-good coworkers. She told me about her friends, about how she would miss them when they went off to college and she would be a senior in high school “all alone.” I didn’t give advice or suggestions. I just listened.
I learned more about her on one date than I had in the six months before my 180.
Gradually, we joked together again. She opened up. “Mom, I have something to tell you.”
I braced myself.
“Right now, I’m getting an F in math.”
“Do you know what to do to raise it?”
“I trust you don’t want an F and that you will do something about it if you care. If you don’t, you won’t. No big deal.”
She walked away completely flabbergasted.
She got that F up to a B on her report card with no additional words or actions from me.
Now, she is three months from 18 and I am completely confident she will be just fine – not just in school or college – but in life. She has a great head on her shoulders. She’s a people-person and completely capable.
And she knows she can come to me at any time.
Peaches became overripe. Made scones. Yum!
Today is my birthday.
I’m 51. 51 is the new 31. Look who else is 51: Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Kimmel, David Guetta, Kylie Minogue, and Vanilla Ice, people! I’m in good company. Jennifer Aniston is almost there and so is J. Lo.
I’ve decided to be proud of my age. It is what it is. How are we to be a society that embraces the elderly if we have shame just for living a long time? I’ve made it. I’ve had a couple close calls: a scooter accident in San Francisco….a blood clot post-labor 17 years ago…breast cancer…yet here I am. I’ve lost some loved ones this year (and in past years) and you know what? Life goes by fast. Live in a way so you won’t regret anything.
And I’m fit. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been mentally and physically. In my twenties, I thought it was most important to be thin. Now I see it’s most important to be strong.
I’m glad I’ve learned the lessons I’ve learned: Be present. Be open. Allow your children to be who they are. Love your job. Live well each day. Don’t take yourself – or anything -seriously.
Because your father and the Korean War
treated you mercilessly
you swallowed the hate, anger and resentment
with tiny grains of rice and near-clear broth
You read books and taught yourself
math – the universal language
you patched holes in your shoes and clothes
sewed extra material to your pant legs
With marriage and children, hunger multiplied
your craving for recognition and love
were bottomless pits of self-doubt
and utter darkness
You lashed out and your fears
masqueraded as control and power
launched your family away
but your heart cried
Just emulating or channeling Roald Dahl’s illustrator, Sir Quentin Saxby Blake. I love his style and identify with it a lot.
This man. He is a dream come true. He flew with me from Arizona to Georgia. Packed up my mom’s belongings and loaded them on to the U-Haul. He drove for four days until we got home and get this: There was no cruise control in the truck!
And then he unloaded the truck and put the boxes in our garage. He returned it.
He’s nice to mom. He jokes with her, makes her feel welcome, and cheers her up when she’s sad about dad’s passing in July.
Today, he vacuumed and washed her car.
He is a generous spirit – with all of his family and friends. They know he would do anything for them. He is love personified.
We were completing her FAFSA (college financial aid) together last night. The 17-year old had to create answers to 5 security questions. The final one: Who is your best friend?
I wondered, will she say Bailee or Erin?
Her answer surprised me: “Ava.” Her sister.
“What comes out of an orange when you squeeze it? Orange juice. Why? Because that is what is inside. When you get squeezed – that is, when someone applies pressure on you – what comes out? Stress? Anger? Hatred? Fear? Frustration? Is it because of your boss? Never. Is it because of your mother? Your children? What comes out of you is always what is inside. It has nothing to do with the rest of the world. How does it get there? Only as you think.”
We stopped at a Starbucks in Memphis as we made our way home to Arizona. They had cut up cards into guitar picks. I was inspired to make a multimedia page in my journal.
“Nobody wants to be led by a pessimist.”
Bob Iger, CEO, Disney
“Doing what is right is rarely the same as doing what is safe.”
Dr. Edith Eva Eger, Holocaust Survivor, Psychologist, and Author of The Choice
Don’t just do something, sit there.
My sister’s 50th birthday
My friend Howard’s 60th birthday
A visit with the in-laws
Great times with friends
For some reason, after a year of being left alone while we are at work and school, Opal has resorted to naughty behavior. The latest: Going to the pantry and tearing apart three individual packages of dried seaweed!
I’m looking forward to using these!
It’s almost my birthday. Will someone make this for me?
I rarely redirect my blog to someone else’s. But Seth Godin has an important message I agree with and I can’t put it better than he does:
It’s almost Halloween.
“Cheap chocolate is made from beans picked by poor kids in dangerous conditions.” Seth Godin
He goes on:
“On the other hand, expensive chocolate turns the ratchet in the other direction. The folks who make the bars, particularly those who do direct trade, keep paying higher and higher wages. They keep children out of the system. And they encourage their growers to use the tastier artisanal Criollo and Trinitario varieties, keeping them from extinction.
The race to the top often creates more winners than losers. That’s because instead of seeking to maximize financial returns at the expense of everyone in the system, they’re focused on something else.”
Nothing really scares me, to be honest.
“The greatest obstacle to conscious manifestation is one that arises from lack or neediness.”
“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
“When you pray for something, believe you already have it…and then you will receive it.”
I’m playing around with new techniques and styles. I really like this artist, Olivier Tallec. I
emulated copied his illustration to see how he managed the shadow on the wolf’s face. I like his color choice and the graphite pencils he used. I don’t have any…I tried pencil and chalk and didn’t like either. Just placed an order for graphite pencils and I’m excited to use them!
As my class was packing up yesterday, one of my students asked his phone, “Siri, what’s the meaning of life?”
Siri: “I give up.”
“Whenever you are stressed, it is because whatever is happening at that moment is what you don’t want to be happening.”
A critical step in minimizing your own stress is to accept your present moment.
I’m excited to use these iridescent inks! I’ve decided that my next project will center around some aquatic animals. It’s fun to do some research and let my imagination take over.