my treasured mitt

I still enjoy throwing a ball and swinging a bat. I go to the batting cages occasionally with my big son and we challenge each other. This pic from my high school softball days. Still have my beautiful first baseman mitt and yes, I treasure it. As a lefty, back then – it was difficult to find. ūüėė

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side by side

we hope our children view the world through rose-colored glasses
shades
pray they live well, so their buckets won’t need lists
green bucket
we’ll try to respect their deep-seated thoughts
car leg
and teach them to respect those who have gone before
pray
they must always believe they’re more magical than mermaids
lil mermaid
and understand playing dress-up is fabulous, as long as they remain young at heart
money bat
we’ll tell them it’s okay to think upside down
Caro upside down
and they’re the apples of our eyes
apples
and when the world gets too big, they can hide under a blanket
eyelashes
and that same big world is full of wonderment
max laugh
we’ll let them sit in a red chair and do absolutely nothing
max red chair
and tell them they don’t have to smile all the time
painting image
as long as they keep their heads above water
max head above water
we’ll hope they love each other enough to hang out upside down
upside downand sideways
butt heads
but above all that they’ve learned‚Äď
love simply means standing side by side
carmax hugwith Caroline attending college this fall, and Max a high school junior come September, I’ve been waxing nostalgic
I published this post last year but have been thinking about it lately
damn, time wearing his ankle wings and over-priced Nikes sure does fly
xmas 2105

Spirit mural

escaping

the young athlete in purple and gold was trying to escape
his muscles maxing out in length beneath his sweating skin
each time crawling on knees and palms to reach the outer ring
to safety
every wrestler knows when you reach that white circle, the whistle blows
out of bounds
you get another chance
he was fierce
yes he was
in his determination

the other wrestler wearing the baby-blue and white singlet
continued lunging at his fleeing opponent
baby-blue and white wanted the win badly
purple and gold was trying with all his power to escape

on the other side of the large wrestling mat,
a bulbous-bellied man in a bright yellow shirt
was positioned like the sun
he stood there eclipsing all else around him with
his giant flashing camera and smashing fists
he was a bright star
without the warmth
but with all the heat
loads of hot air bursting out
through a constant barrage of bellows
screaming at the young wrestler‚Äďhis son
“YOU HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN THAT”
“GOTTA PULL YOUR LEG ‘ROUND FASTER”
“QUIT RUNNING FOR THE RING”
“YOU’RE NOT TRYING”

and secretly, the young wrestler in the purple and gold and I both knew
he was trying
trying very hard
to escape
to reach that white circle
and never stop running
Love Tackleart previously published
unfortunately, this is a true story, colors of singlets were changed to protect the innocent:)

He-lloween

Dear Friends,
Sometimes, one just has to have a little fun with their pencil. A dear friend of mine, often sends me links to fantastic¬†artists’ sites and all sorts of other wonderful information. He-lloween,¬†was inspired by Nikki Shelley’s spectacular face painting. Click on her name and check out her awesome talent. I wonder if Mary is Nikki’s¬†distant relative, who speaks to her¬†from beyond the grave…

I created¬†this¬†He-lloween drawing while¬†on subbing breaks.¬†Yesterday, a¬†few teachers observed¬†me working on He-lloween’s¬†face. I didn’t want them to think I was insane,¬†so I explained, “I’m not crazy. I’m just a¬†simple¬†artist with a blog, who poses as a substitute from time to time. Oh, and I like monsters very much. And Halloween is just around the boneyard!” ūüėČ boooooooooo…

JawedThank you. May you dream of sweet creatures and free candy.

Please keep West Africa in your thoughts…

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.

Moonskin and a Blue Monster

Dear Friends,
The saturday night moon… Something about soft blue¬†light bathing parts of vulnerable¬†skin, the¬†bedroom window allows to be touched. So peaceful this¬†moonlight. Smiling, forgetting my head sinking into the mattress because that old pillow has seen better days. Like a child¬†–¬†I was – in that satin light. Our¬†dachshund curled¬†under the comforter;¬†a tunneler¬†by trade. Shouldn’t he be howling or something?

A few months ago, the big¬†son was perusing¬†my high school yearbook. He found my senior picture, looked a few moments¬†then said, “Mom, you looked pretty.” I smiled. He made me feel young like that satin moonlight, if only for a moment.

hs pic.668And of course, now that I’m lots older, more wrinkled and much wiser, the moonlight also inspires other things. I like to call this lovely birdie, Bluebell. He rises with¬†the sunset and enjoys all things in blue moon light.

bluebellIf you should meet him please don’t worry, he¬†harbors a¬†sweet disposition, but just to be safe, I’d let him be…unless the moon is extra bright…

bluebell closeupThank you and goodnight. May delicious blue moonlight guide¬†you to¬†dreamland…
High School grad photo¬†taken 1981 yikes! Bluebell images created in 2010…

Earth logo for blog

Little, Only Minutes Ago

Dear Friends,
My lovely mother-in-law is visiting from New Mexico. Today I took her¬†to Barnes & Noble – one of my most favorite places. As Karole went¬†off to browse Wally Lamb books, I perused¬†the children’s section. Perhaps it¬†was¬†the time of year. Perhaps it¬†was imagining the¬†big son entering high school in September. Maybe it¬†was¬†the delicate daughter’s recently acquired driving permit and employment. Whatever it was,¬†my eyes transfixed on two small, green chairs. These made me blue-

green chairsThe delicate daughter, big son and I used to frequent Barnes & Noble. Every year when they were much smaller, they participated in the B&N summer reading program. Gosh, was it so long ago she swam with Emily Windsnap

emily windsnapAnd he travelled to far off places and distant lands in a Magic Treehouse

magic treehouseHave ten years slipped by since I painted these faces-

caroline
maxWeren’t they little, only minutes ago?

Thank you and goodnight. If you have children, hold them tightly…

JackArt

Dear Friends,
I visited a blog: A Worried Student for the first time the other day. A lovely young person – oh, to be 18 again – wrote a post about Rainbow Looms. The bloggist (I like making¬†up words – this one probably¬†exists), asked the reader if they recalled any childhood fads. I¬†couldn’t recall any craze other than toe socks. Then I remembered – denim jackets. In high school, I was asked to paint a boatload of denim jackets. The most common request was for album cover¬†art…so I must thank, A Worried Student, for inspiring me to find my old photos. I called these jackets – JackArt (I like making up words) I found three…and without further ado, here they are-

pink floydThese JackArts are pretty much self-expanatory-

morrison jacketThis next one was a bit more artful-

mar:elvi jacketI snuck this one in – believe it or not – this is an old favorite Jersey Shore shirt of mine – I used to paint tigers and snakes on my fingernails and shirts – ROAR- oh, to be 18 again!

tiger shirt¬†Thank you and I hope all your dreams are peaceful tonight…

Darn that Steed with the Apple in Its Mouth

I admit to being somewhat tech-challenged. I know the reason why and I’m trying to face my fears. Almost sixteen years ago I held a corporate job. I loved nearly every aspect of that insane day-in-and day-out grind. I was the Art Director for Prentice Hall Education, High School Division. I came in at an entry-level position, working my way up the corporate rock wall and can tell you there is so much more to ten-pound textbooks than meets the eye.
inside credit page

We designers were using Pantone markers when from over the horizon a white steed with an Apple in its mouth and a saddle-sized CPU on its powerful back came charging. Our world was rocked. We all were gifted shiny, new Macs.

Horaffe/acrylic

Horaffe/acrylic

I learned how to navigate my way around easily enough. I was designing, enjoying and somewhat reckless in obtaining ‘real’ knowledge. My designs looked as they should. I didn’t worry about ¬†production issues because there was a separate department for that and for serious computer issues there was yet another department filled with brilliant techies. As both these departments grew more ¬†savvy, I went the other way. I was learning management stuff and was no longer hands-on.

I left Prentice Hall when my heart knew (as it had for some time) I wasn’t cut out for work and raising my first child. I’d overestimated my multitasking prowess. All the color-coding in the world couldn’t help me (though I did color-code my infant daughters toys for a while‚ÄďI know, I know…).

Fast forward past two kiddies. Instead of a stay-at-home mom, I become a stay-near-home mom. I return to writing, drawing, painting and all things creative. I find my way back to the beginning of a new path. I return to the heavy, black Mac Powerbook G3 I’d proudly purchased before leaving Prentice Hall. I jumped into Word and tinkered around in Adobe. At the first sign of trouble I yelled out for Tech Support but no one came. I’ve been yelling ever since.