I spent the day at the Riverside Arts Market today. Great day, a little warm, but at least a little breezy and being under the bridge really does wonders with the shade. Set up was a bit hectic, even with DH’s help, since we left my stabilizer bars at home….a must have when I’m hanging photos so DH had to make the trek back to the house. But all in all, it was worth the trip and I had a fairly good day. I have three more Saturdays in June and then I’ll be done for the summer. Just too hot in July and August and I’m ready to have my Saturdays back! I hope you had a lovely day out there in blogland.
“Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.” Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: Generations.
While we were down at the lake in Keystone this weekend, I snuck away for a little bit to go to a fun little artist co-op and antique store in Melrose and stumbled across this awesome sign. I need your opinion! Initially, I was drawn to the very cool glasses at the top of the clock so I wanted to capture the whole sign. Then as I was cleaning it up and adding some fun layers, I cropped it to square to capture just the clock face and like that too. Now I don’t know which one I like better? Should I list the vertical, the square or both? Which is your favorite?
“It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear.” Dorothy EvslinIsn’t that such a lovely quote? And so true. I stumbled across it on a friend’s Facebook page. The girls and I created some memories yesterday afternoon, the fun side to a flooded backyard. I was this close (holding up fingers an inch apart) to jumping in with them, jeans and all, and then decided I’d stick to camera in hand.
When Mom, Kim and I first moved to the Jacksonville area, we lived in the Spring Creek apartments, 1909 Wells Road, Apt 212. Funny how some addresses stick with you. That complex is now the Target and Home Depot on the corner of Wells and Blanding in Orange Park across from the mall. It was probably bull-dozed because it constantly flooded, but for us kids, that’s where the fun came in! When it rained, the playground became skim-board central, and those times were in jeans and all. All the kids from the complex would come out in full force, and we’d have a blast...dirty, muddy, and drenched...but those are the moments you remember.
I hope the girls remember these... I think the purchase of a skim board is in order. ;-) If you’d like to see the rest of these pictures, you can view them here. I got some great shots!
So back to today. I told my assistant when I came in this morning (about 45 minutes late since I had a heck of a time getting out of bed) that I started taking these new little pink pills so if she happened to walk back to my office and find me asleep on my desk, just make sure I’m still breathing, turn off the light and shut the door. Through a constant infusion of Diet Coke, I’ve managed to stay awake but can’t really concentrate on much (like that end of the academic year college-wide service learning and learning communities report I need to write), so what did I do? In my drug induced stupor, I joined Twitter! Sounded like a great idea for my even more shortened-attention-spanned self, right?!
I’ve been fighting jumping on the Twitter bandwagon for a while, figuring I didn’t need yet one more thing to keep up with. I recently took a free five-day online marketing course from Etsy guru Tim Adam, and the first day’s assignment was to (1) start a blog, (2) open a Facebook account, and (3) open a Twitter account. Since I already had two of the three done, I figured I was doing pretty well. The next three days’ lessons concentrated on each of those venues and how they can help you promote your art online. After Tim received much feedback on how much time the above three can suck out of your life, the fifth day’s lesson was changed from Google Analytics to Time Management. He has some great suggestions, and he’s been a very charitable mentor to many a struggling Etsy seller through the forums and through his Handmadeology site. He’s done very well with his own Etsy business, going from working two jobs and selling his art in galleries and fairs to dumping his day job and concentrating on his art full-time. Kudos to Tim.
However, what he doesn’t have, my dear friends, is children, and that is key! At the close of his five-day course, he asked for feedback on what else he could have included, and that was the point I mentioned to him. There is simply not enough time in the day for one woman to successfully work a full-time “day job”, parent small children AND spend all that time marketing herself on her blog, Facebook and Twitter. I’d be glued to the computer all day! Then, of course, there’s the actual creative time that must be taken to actually create the art that you are trying to market. And yes, I know, I know….you make time for what’s important…I’ve heard that many times. But there is wanting to make time for what’s important and then there’s the reality of life with small children (and the fact that I do actually need sleep).
This got me thinking more about my mission for my art, in whatever form it may take. I talked about this some at the end of this blog post. While I’d love to have more time to work on my art, I’m not willing to quit my day job (nor can we afford to financially even if I were willing). For the most part, I like my day job. I’ve built a great career at the college and I know that I’ve been a great positive influence on hundreds of students who’ve walked through my office door. Yet I still have that huge drive to create. And to get my creations out there to others. Is my art my “life’s work”? I know that I wouldn’t feel complete without it, but I also know it will probably never be my sole income…and I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that that's just fine. I can create for me and if things sell, great; if they don't, no biggee...I'll find some place for them. Maybe that’s my subconscious telling me that my family needs health insurance, I need to build up my girls’ college fund, I need to have at least a little bit of stability in my life…who knows. Maybe I’m just not thinking clearly in my klonopin- and celexa-filled brain right now! :-) (And don’t even get me started on the topic of why I’m taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications for a balance disorder, as I haven’t figured that one out myself...I just listen to the good docs at my Mayo-clinic affiliated doctor’s office [and do my own research], but I digress). So I’ll Tweet here and there, and maybe I’ll develop a little Twitter following (with my humor and wit, how could they possibly resist, right?), and we’ll see what happens. If you are on Twitter, come join me here. We can juggle our crazy lives together! Oh, and in case you were wondering, the picture with this post is some of my photo boxes all stained and polyurethaned, ready to have a photo mounted on them; one of these days I’ll figure out how to caption my pictures...
We are not a go-to-church-every-Sunday family, but we do believe in God and try to instill that faith and those values in our girls, and sometimes their clarity of it all truly astounds me. I know “they” say the two things you should never bring up in conversation are politics and religion. Oh well, it’s my blog. :-) I don’t care much about politics, but I’m thankful my girls are finding their faith.
When I snapped this picture of my girls and their friends on a recent field trip at the zoo, another picture immediately popped in my head. In my memory, that picture was of my mom and a group of her friends sitting outside their high school. Sometimes Sarah looks so much like my mom as a child, it’s scary. I searched for the picture for days, knowing that I wanted to compare the two, and when I finally found it, I realized it wasn’t of Mom and her friends. It was of Nana and her friends! In my search, however, I came across another group picture of Mom that I don’t ever recall seeing before. It’s funny how a simple picture can tell so many stories and bring back so many memories, while at the same time leave you with so many unanswered questions.
Nana looks to be about 14 or 15 in her picture (above); there’s no date on the back, just “Wimauma High School” in her handwriting. She’s on the far left, looking much like me, actually. She would have been 15 in 1941, four years before Mom was born. What was her life like at 15 in the small town of Wimauma, just outside of Tampa, Florida? Had she met my Granddaddy yet? It looks to be summer in the picture, so Pearl Harbor still sat peacefully shining in the Hawaiian sun. How did she feel when the calendar turned to December 7, 1941? She had three sisters and a brother. Did Uncle Oscar go off to war? He was older than she, so I can only assume he did. He died before I was born (one of our more colorful family stories as I understand he was murdered running moonshine), but I have many memories of Nana’s sisters, particularly Aunt Livy, my Olivia’s namesake. At 88 this August, Aunt Livy is my oldest living relative. I look forward to spending some time with her this summer hearing all the stories of her youth…stories I didn’t think to ask Nana about before she sunk heavily into Alzheimer’s. Nana died just three weeks after my girls were born, yet if Alzheimer’s can leave you a gift (with a little help from God), it did. When Aunt Livy went to see her shortly before she died, she told Nana Sarah and Olivia had arrived. Nana’s response? “Yes, I saw them. They have the most beautiful red hair.” She had never seen them. Memories of grandchildren she never met in life….
Mom’s group picture is stamped on the back: Girl Scouts, March 12, 1953—Released Official Naval Photograph—If Published Credit Line Must Read “Official U.S. Navy Photograph”. (There’s your credit, Navy.) Mom (middle row, fourth from left) was eight years old. Sarah’s little face peeking out from 1953... I guess I never really knew Mom was a Girl Scout, but it does make sense since she encouraged me to be one. I started out in Brownies and worked on up through the Cadet ranks in high school. What was Mom’s life like in 1953? She was born in Key West, where this photo was taken on the tarmac at the base where my Granddaddy was stationed and spent a good part of his military career until he and Nana were transferred to Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 1969. Mom grew up on that Key West base and met my dad while she was in nursing school in Miami. I can only imagine what life was like on a tiny little island, the southernmost place in the country, on a Navy base. I’ve learned bits and pieces of my mom’s childhood, primarily from Aunt Livy and her son/my cousin Ray, who grew up with Mom in Key West. Mom died way too young so I didn’t get to hear all those stories from her.
I learn my family’s memories through pictures like these….a guesstimation of memories I suppose since I’ve learned so little of the real thing. One of the side effects to being a child of so many divorces? Perhaps. You don’t talk too much about family history when your own history as you are living it is so hard to understand. The upside to this is that I can make those memories whatever I dream them to be. I can make my Nana a wonderful story teller and adventurous soul, as I’ve always guessed her to be by the humor she shared while I was growing up…even in the stories she created while living with Alzheimer’s. And I can imagine my Mom as a free-spirited little girl running around with her arms flying like the airplanes she must have seen landing and taking off daily on that base, surrounded by friends and laughing. Always laughing. And I can learn from them, and use them to create memories for my own children. And my girls will remember adventure. And they will remember laughter. And they will read my stories of them to their red-headed children, creating for them memories of their moms.
Seriously!? I couldn’t believe it either. Just one of those moments when I was thankful I carry a camera in my purse. This sign was on the corner of Heckscher and New Berlin. Perhaps it was put up by the same guy I saw driving down I-95 yesterday afternoon, weaving a bit, BECAUSE HE WAS WORKING ON HIS LAPTOP WHILE HE WAS DRIVING! That was a first for me. I’ve seen people putting on make-up, talking on the phone, eating four-course meals, all that stuff…but working on your laptop? Seriously!?
And a follow up to yesterday's dizzy frustrations... As fate would have it, I had one my nastier spins last night. Hadn’t had one of those since July! Sweet little Tink kept me company while I spent about 30 minutes losing my dinner at 3am this morning. Truly not fun. No one seems to be able to figure this out. Oftentimes my milder dizzies and nausea are triggered by motion (I blame all this on the Blair Witch Project movie because that was the first time I ever suffered from motion sickness), but my nastiest, fall down on the floor spins wake me up in the middle of the night. I can only guess that maybe I'm dreaming about something that deals with motion? Who knows. Anyone else have any experience with this? I also learned yesterday afternoon that the second prescription my doc wants me to now take is not covered by my insurance and costs about $400 a month. Needless to say I won’t be taking that. I’m a 29-year-old (in spirit) trapped in a 43-year-old body! :-)
Had a dizzy doc appointment this morning and came away very frustrated. This was just a six month follow up after my vestibular rehab therapy (which did nothing but make me dizzier), and while I’m content to just keep things status quo, a few little dizzies here and there but no major spins since July, my doc wants to try one more drug. I’m just not a drug kinda girl, and I expressed this to her. I’d rather be a little dizzy than drugged up, you know what I mean!?! Gives me a valid excuse to be a “dizzy blonde”! :-) But she’s asked me to at least give this six weeks and then if it doesn’t help any further, I can stop taking it and just stick with the mild dose of what she has me on now, which has the lovely side effect of helping me sleep like a baby. Sheesh. Sometimes I think doctors just need to accept that not all things are fixable. That’s about how I feel at this point.
These flowers grow in the marsh grasses by the water in our area. I took these just outside our neighborhood seafood dive, Chowder Ted’s (the Cheers of Heckscher Drive), but they also grow all along our back fence line by the river. We are only five miles from where the river meets the ocean, so our little stretch of paradise is pretty much salt water. The flowers are actually yellow (maybe a saltwater version of dandelions?), but I had fun playing around with them in Photoshop, turning them into an orange watercolor. Click here to see all of this week's entries.