Of Parties and Scary Clowns

Dear Friends,
I hope you’re all enjoying a lovely holiday weekend. Yesterday, the big son had his first scrimmage. His football pants started out white and no bandaids were needed.

team This is the last time his pants will sparkle. I’m a bulk launderer and don’t use bleach.

football cropAfter our morning of football, we were off to a Labor Day barbecue. The people at this gathering – all funny – all great friends. At some point we were exchanging clown experiences. The big son – when little – once attended a birthday party where there was a bright orange-faced clown.

I understood the big son’s need to hide in the other room, because I was already hiding there. Even the children’s laughter echoing from the other room and the sound of balloon animals being twisted into form, could not persuade us to leave our hideout.
Thank you and may you all have a glorious, scary-clown free weekend!

Pasta the Clown

Pasta the Clown

Scary Clown drawn late last night with the studio door locked.
Football pictures snapped with phone yesterday morning.

I Prefer Wings to Armpits

Dear Friends,
Rocky and I were on our morning stroll when we observed five geese flying overhead. We both looked at them flapping happily against the sky. Rocky was thinking how delicious those flying chunky drumsticks might taste. I was thinking of wings. I want wings to soar. Who doesn’t want wings. Rocky and I were going on our fourth lap. The street was growing warm from the 9 AM sun. His long pink tongue was hanging out and my armpits were getting a bit sticky. Yes, I’d like wings instead of armpits.

Last night the sky was stunning. Having wings would be like brushing a canvas with azure blue – paint flowing seamlessly across linen – impressions surfacing from a few airborne strokes of thought. Yes, I’d like wings instead of armpits…
skyWings – not armpits – and I’m lovin’ everyone 😉

Lov'Hen

Lov’Hen

Thank you. May your dream wings fly you above the clouds and spirit you away to a place of peace for the night…

Lov’hen created three weeks ago under the continued influence of my neighbor’s chickens. Hey, chickens don’t fly, darn it!

Never Lost a Bar Fight

Dear Friends,
Going out the other night and observing some ‘dancerinas’ made me think back to a time when my demeanor wasn’t what it is today (I pray today it can be classified as somewhat thoughtful). My obnoxious 1980’s dance days may have brought me close a time or two to an honest to goodness brawl. Back then, whenever my inner-dancerina was in peril, out came my secret weapon – my younger sister. Dolores always kept one eye on me. She understood my need for attention and put up with my shenanigans. She had this wonderful way of gently coaxing me off Jersey Shore dance floors by wrapping her fist around my hair and pulling hard. She accepted my tendency toward ‘over’ expression. She knew it was a ruse. At twenty, I was under the delusion – staring eyes were imaginary compliments.  Though my sister is a whole year younger, she was, is and will always be, much smarter than I. So though I may have lost a few hairs on my head in the 1980’s, I never lost a bar fight thanks to my little sister.

The Dance

The Dance

 

Thank you. May you dream of dancing to your heart’s content and your feet never tire…

Dancing Bird spun onto paper August 25, 2014. I believe I’m being unduly influenced by my neighbor’s chickens.

The Big White Kitchen in the Sky

Dear Friends,
When I was twelve, my grandfather passed away. It was my first experience with losing a loved one. I recall two specific things from that time. In life, my grandfather had a horrid sense of direction. In death, the hearse made a wrong turn. The road was an unmarked dead end and the entire procession had to turn around. The other thing I remember has long become a fixed image in my brain.

During my grandfather’s wake and funeral, I did not cry. I remember thinking, ‘”Everyone is trying to make me cry. The sad words, the sad music, the other crying people are all trying to make me cry. I’m not going to cry.” This mantra worked until it didn’t. I held in my tears for three days. I almost made it to the finish line. As I began walking away from Papa’s freshly dug plot, it hit – like a ton of salty wet bricks. I was body-jerk sobbing when a surreal image popped into my head. There was Papa, burly and thick, his great sausage fingers throwing meatballs into a deep silver pot. His head was turned to the right so I could see the big smile on his face. A smile so wide, his horn-rimmed glasses rode up his cheeks. I could smell the tomato sauce – there in that big beautiful white kitchen.

Winged

Winged

 

Everyone who departs earth joins Papa in The Big White Kitchen. My grandparents are playing cards on the round white table, nearby a gallon of Carlo Rossi rests. There’s nothing but laughter and smiles all around. It’s sunny and smells of tomato sauce and meatballs. Everyone is joyful in The Big White Kitchen, even the dogs running around the table legs.

Thank you. May you dream of your loved ones in wonderful places…
Wings created with Prisma pencil 2 weeks ago after observing a butterfly.

The ‘Ugly’ Friend

Dear Friends,
I don’t get out much, at least to places with bars and bands. Last night, a good friend and I ventured out to one such establishment. We had lots to chat about and enjoyed much girlish giggling. The band wasn’t half bad. Groups of guys and dolls braved the small dance floor. Back in my twenties I did a great pelvic thrust, but alas, I now have pride .;-)

During the evening, my friend excused herself to the ladies room. I was left alone to either: A – make pretend I had lots of text messages, or B – crowd watch. I was observing a few minutes when ‘they’ or rather ‘she’ walked in with two others. Without getting too cliché, she ‘resembled’ Sandy (Olivia Newton John’s character) from the movie, Grease with a few exceptions: She too rocked a black spandex ensemble, but was showing a heck of a lot more cleavage. She was lots older. She enjoyed whipping her long, bleached hair around. Her companions were of the subtle variety. Their clothing had air-pockets. They walked in behind ‘her’ and maintained wing position regardless of the continued hair lashing.

Flapping

Flapping

 

Without knowing any of the three ladies and having a mojito under my belt, I concluded, which one was the ‘ugly’ friend.

Thank you. May you dream of giant dance floors and spinning on your toes.
Long Lady created with Prisma, August 25, 2014 with a mild headache.

Turning a Cavalier into a Cavonster

Dear Friends and Cavaliers,
There is something in our supple, formative high school years, something that sticks under the skin – good, bad or indifferent. Those of us that furthered our ‘acadamia’ beyond high school, wore notes pinned (Post-its not yet invented) to our collegiate chests like Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter: From here on in, do-overs are expensive.

High school in the seventies was saddle shoes. It was the energetic marching band playing, Sweet Caroline while we cheered from the bleachers trying not to spill watery hot cocoa. It was crushing on boys that were beginning to look like men. It was someone crushing on you, when you wouldn’t even date yourself. It was trying to link-in when many chains were clasped shut. It was admiring those who made it look easy. It was hiding in the open. It was saying goodbye to your cocoon, and hoping your wings worked.

My high school mascot was a Cavalier. I wished it was a fearsome beast, not a man with a plume hat. I’d have called our dangerous mascot a Caveast or a Cavonster –

Cavonster

Cavonster

Thank you. May a brave mascot escort you along dangerous dreams.
Cavonster created August 24, 2014, inspired by watching big son’s high school football practice.

A Tall Order

Dear Friends,
The big son wants to be giant like his 6’7″ dad. At the big son’s physical, the doctor offered, “You’ll definitely reach six at least.” The big son was waiting for her to say, “and seven inches.” She didn’t. When we arrived back home the big son bemoaned, “I want to be as tall as dad, so I can talk to him – eye to eye.” I supportingly said, “Hey, you may get there. But for now, just use a ladder like everybody else does.”

I have two nephews – brothers – who are 14 months apart. They are amazing kids: bright, handsome, kind, athletic. I jokingly refer to my sister Virginia’s, three children as the platinum kids. They’re nearly perfect in every way. All three received huge scholarships. The 2 boys have since graduated and are finding much success. I’m quite sure their beautiful sister will do the same. The interesting thing is my eldest nephew is 5′ 10″, while his younger brother is 6′ 3″.

Years ago, my mom requested a portrait of her darling grandchildren. The images below are details from the 6′ x 8′ oil painting. I’ve not yet recovered from painting so many teeth.
This is platinum nephew, number one –

danielThis is platinum nephew, number two –

JoeyThis is the beautiful platinum niece –

Marygrace

Here are all the teeth I was talking about –

grandkidsThank you. May your dreams reach tall heights…
All images of my painting are iPhone pictures of photos, quality is poor, sorry…

Earth logo for blog

Long, Long Ago

Dear Friends,
When I was little, I wore my brown hair in a cute pixie. Next, I sported a mussy shag that I adored at age ten. My chubby cheeks were in full view. As I grew into my insecure teens so grew my hair. I realized if it grew it long enough, I could hide behind it. My face would be concealed, as would my thoughts. When I found my roaring twenties, so roared my hair. If I wore it big and crazy enough, people would run. In my thirties, I grew tired of hiding, I secured my hair in a heavy ponytail – like a sword.

Hair Hiding

Hair Hiding

Heavy as my hair got, it made my heart feel lighter.

me and doOne bright day I realized, hey, this freakin’ hair is really heavy and it hurts my head. I was ready to lighten the load. What made it much easier was knowing my ‘Linus Blanket,’ went to help make others secure. It has been donated a few times, the last being October 2013.

hain in a bagI don’t hide anymore. I can’t. My kids make it quite impossible, as does the giant husband. They always seem to find me. I miss my old friend. So back it grows, but this time for the right reasons.

Thank you. May you all be happy in your skin, and if your skin has hair, may it be as long as you like. Dream well…

Here’s to Daphne, a dear friend taken by cancer, a long time ago. Daphne and I used to peruse wig catalogues when she was up to feeling pretty. And to my valiant Aunt Lenore, also claimed, but was ever-valiant for many years…
Little Miss Long Hair created with Prisma pencil August 21, 2014 with my hair tied back. Photo is of me and my beautiful, younger sister Dolores in 1980. Sorry if I grossed anyone out with the shot of, My Hair in a Bag, 2013

Handi ‘Dunce’ Cap

Dear Friends,
We grow. We sometimes have children. We involve ourselves with other things other than ourselves. And we learn, sometimes.

As life has its ironies, mine has been no different. For the last four years, I’ve been a substitute teacher. I spent eleven years designing and developing textbooks. I’m a strict parent (though I do love fun and goofiness). I do this because my children must be smarter than I was at their age.

I was a willful child. My kindergarten teacher recommended that I repeat kindergarten. Her reason, “She doesn’t follow directions at all. She doesn’t WANT to follow directions at all.” I remember thinking, “But my way is better. The piano can be played from underneath.” My parents told Mrs. H, “Absolutely not. Our daughter is simply creative.” My parents gambled. They really couldn’t know if I was creative, only that I had great difficulty following directions. In truth, they didn’t want me to have the stigma of being in my younger sister’s class.

I recall my willful behavior put me into the classroom corner, and I think I remember a pointy hat. Could be with the passage of time, I dreamed the hat…or not…

Dunce

Dunce

I often find myself fighting against my inner-child. Funny, how these things stay with us. Now, I get quite annoyed at  some students when I’m subbing – they don’t follow directions! My way is best 😉

Thank you. May you dream this eve of brick buildings made of marshmallows, licorice chalk and smiling teachers.

Dunce Cap drawn August 20, 2014 while wearing a childlike smirk

 

A Sexy Green Dragon and an Old Black and White

Dear Friends,
A bulletin board hangs in my kitchen. It supports a collection of photos spanning a few generations. This morning, while tidying up (I must speak with the house elf) my mom’s sorority picture caught my eye. What is is about old monochromatic images. I’ve never met an old black & white that didn’t jet my heart back into a romantic world – the classic dress, the heavy-lipsticked smile, the proper pose, and of course, the sophisticated hairstyle with curls and waves set in their geometric place.

soroityI was staring at this classic photo and thought it would serve as a perfect leveler for my ‘sexy’ dragon. Why did I draw a sexy dragon? You know, I don’t know. She just came to me, and like my other little creatures, I had to release her from my brain or she’d stay in there and get me into trouble. 🙂 I’m sorry for the brief nudity. Think of her as old-school voluptuous.
dragon

The lovely sorority lady below is my beautiful mother. I added the green tint because I think she’s still sexy.  🙂

green momThank you and when you dream this eve, let it be of gorgeous, gentle dragons in your choice of color. Love you mom.

Sorority Photo (sorry, don’t know photographer’s name, but it’s a lovely shot)
Sexy Dragon created with Prisma pencil, two days ago while drinking wine 🙂