Monday, February 27, 2012

It is Monday again . . .

It is Monday again . . .

Will someone please tell me how it got to be Monday again already? To say that time is flying by is an understatement. The older I get time is fleeting. Some weeks I even lose a day. This morning I finished a picture for one of the ladies in my writing class. This class is turning out to be very profitable for me in many ways. It has stirred up my creative juices in various ways.

Last week one of the ladies had a birthday and to celebrate it, she, yes, she brought in her own birthday treats to share with the whole class. Two pans of homemade wonderful ‘stuffs’. You know the kind. Thick gooey fudge-laden goodness and luscious layered chocolate and peanut butter, something or another.

And salty fingerings. A variety of little salty rounds, sesame things, and flat disk shaped munchies and pink yogurt covered raisins. She found them at a specialty store in the area. A Bushel and a Peck I think was the name. All I know is they were good and very unusual.

The paper plates and napkins she brought were just as unusual as well. They were almost too pretty and bright to eat off. (But I forced myself.) They were a cluster of brightly colored flip flops. I kept one of the napkins and brought it home. As I enjoyed it sitting under my coffee cup for a few days, the more I looked at it the more I felt inclined to recreate it in a colored pencil drawing for her. After all it was her birthday and she made all the refreshments.

So, I scrounged around in my closet and, whala!  Colored pencils and white card stock paper. This is something that happens for me a lot. Every time I want to do something on the spare of the moment I seem to have what I need. How that happens I am not sure. But it makes life fun. I even found some sparkly palm trees that I glued to the frame.

I think it turned out quite nice. I framed it as well and will place it where she sits on Tuesday. I don't know if her choice in napkins was unintended or she has a thing for flip flops.

I am finding my ‘just cause’ side of myself again. I like what I call ‘just cause’. We give often on what seems to be expected holidays. Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversary, etc. but I have always liked to give something to someone on an ordinary day. And always unexpected. It is more fun for me to think about their reaction to getting something they had no idea was coming, than them actually receiving it.

Life needs more unexpected good stuff. Wouldn’t you agree? I’ve had the other kind and it is not nearly as much fun. I realize that finding these extra projects to do is my unexpected joys. It fills my many hours and I guess, just makes life a little nicer.

I wonder what will be next?

I am even loving taking the picture afterward and posting it. Here is the drawing and the napkin that inspired it.  Happy Monday !

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Overwhelmed with life . . .

Overwhelmed with life . . .

     If you clicked on this post thinking you were going to read something from a depressed state of mind, you are not. Not today. But I am glad that I got your attention. I am having what I call one of my unexpected genuine happy days. It’s something that just happens. I never have been able to explain it completely, but I keep trying. The best description I have found that suits my understanding and maybe gives some credence to it is, it is as if God walks up to me and just puts His arms around me and holds me close.
     I have been reading this morning, an activity that I already find enjoyable. It is a book written by Anne LaBastille. Woodswoman – Living alone in the Adirondack Wilderness. Now you might ask why in the world would a noted couch peach, (I like Peach better than potato) be reading a book about hiking and building a cabin in the woods? First, because I can and second that is the wonder of reading. I can READ about all the things I can not do. I have been walking in the splendor of cool lush forests. Canoeing across gold-encrusted lakes, watching otters splash and bob about in pristine rivers and have envisioned stumbling upon a beaver busily gnawing through the base of a soft Birch tree – all from the comfort of my recliner.
     I’ve smelled the fresh brewed coffee and almost tasted flapjacks made in the early morning. And mostly I have marveled at the tenacity of some people who think nothing of hiking 15 miles in all phases of weather and still have the strength and mental prowess to make camp. I would be sitting sucking my thumb and blubbering, “I want to go home” if actually doing all that. But reading it fills me with pure delight. Reading about sleeping in rain soaked tents and sleeping bags, suffering burns, blisters and bug bites and loving every minute of it. I wonder what was the DNA that got planted in them that I never in a million years could think to have. Although, I did get the fishing gene. I could fish for hours in a rocking boat. Come home sunburned, tired and still have energy to fry the hushpuppies, make coleslaw, slice sweet Vidalia onions along side cold crunchy pickles and brew up a pitcher of sweet tea while the ex-husband fried the fish out in the yard.
     Even though I switched to sipping a cup of hot chocolate, while I continue reading, I know it was more than the coco. That overwhelming feeling of pure happiness with life. Publishers Clearing House did not knock at my door, I did not win the lottery, no book agent e-mailed me begging me to publish with them, but tears just sprang up from somewhere deep within me as an expression of thanksgiving for where I find myself at this stage in my life. I am okay. I have everything I need, I live in a safe environment, my health is not tip-top but I am breathing and taking nourishment.  I can see, hear and still having feeling in my toes and fingers. Pain in various parts are to a minimum today and above all; I am loved by a God that knows exactly where I am and what I doing and made an extra sensory reach for me to let me know He is with me and life is good.
     Can’t ask for better than that. I wish this for everyone today. Maybe you need to slow down, get quiet and ask the Lord to surprise you with something similar. I am so thankful when this happens at unexpected times. Mainly because it is the initiative of God toward me. It’s His decision to touch the strings of my heart to let me know he sees me and I am not alone.
     Maybe this time the trigger was reading of all the wonders of this world that we can’t explain. I keep flipping the book over in my hand looking at this woman’s picture on the cover. Simply amazing the things that she accomplished on her own; the people in her world with like-minded ways. Trappers, hunters, lumberjacks, a licensed guide, a hermit squirreled away in the Adirondack Mountains. All people that I would never know existed had she not taken the time to write it all down.
     I used to read around 10 books a week, I had them in my bedroom, the kitchen, in my car (yes, I am one of those who reads at red lights) in my purse, etc. Today my eyes do not allow me the privilege of reading quite so many. I think I have three going right now. It is like having a box of chocolates on my table. I hardly put one down to pick up the other when the last one calls me back to continue on reading from its rich velvety chocolate goodness of wordy descriptions.
     Sometimes I am literally ‘full’ feeling when I get to the end of a book that I could not put down. Then the inevitable happens. I have to WRITE! I have to open one of my many files and let my own places, characters and hopefully, chocolately goodness flow onto the pages. Sometimes I think it is just what I call my ‘seatwork’. Giving me something to occupy my days. I still hope that bestseller story is rolling around somewhere in my writing DNA and it will find its way to paper. In the mean time, today could not be better. It makes up for the ones that are not so good that we all have from time to time.  They come too. They creep up and surprise you but with a totally different outcome. The tears are not from joy. But they fall under the, “and this too will pass” category.
I hope you get a hug today . . .

Saturday, February 18, 2012

An unexpected reaction to . . . Whitney Houston

An unexpected reaction to . . . Whitney Houston

    I watched the funeral of Whitney Houston today and how I felt during it surprised me.  Sometimes when notable people pass away they are portrayed as Christian, and really no one truly knows the heart of any individual, except them and God when all is said and done.
     The chances that Whitney Houston and I would ever have found ourselves in the same circle, was none to nil. But today I felt a connection to her by faith.  I know that people who love the Lord make mistakes and making mistakes connects all of us. My mistakes, thankfully, have not been spread around the world for everyone to see and judge like Whitney’s were, and will be for a while. For that I am thankful.
     I think I could have sat down with her and we would have had something in common. If we had met through some unexpected set of circumstances, I could not have talked about careers or fame or importance in this world, but she and I would have had a conversation nonetheless.
     It would have been about the Lord. I have had conversations about the Lord with other people and during it I began to see they really didn’t know the Lord. After listening to Kevin Costner’s tribute to her I appreciated that even among the world of celebrities there are men and women who start with a background of faithful parents and time spent in church. Then something happens and somewhere along the line they get lost. We have seen it over and over.
     She opened the door to her life to a wrong person and in marched the evil influences that strategically worked everyday to take her down. It kept being said throughout her service that she knew where to go when she needed help getting that lion off her back. It happens to all of us. We get mired down in mistakes and think we will never see another happy day. Her family had to watch as those people she allowed to come into her life brought the very things that ended up taking her life. Things that she never would have become involved in if her family had been able to make the choices for her. I am sure they tried to persuade her. And it is also evident that the one thing that she did hold to was her faith and that she knew regardless of what she did, that her family might not have agreed with, they never stopped loving her.
     Whitney Houston was a celebrity, but she was also human; a human who started out just like the rest of us. I have to admit that during the elaboration of words for some who are in the limelight, they don’t ring true. I found myself weeping and realizing that she was probably just as fragile a Christian as the rest of us who get swept up at times in things that we know are not the things we should be involved in and end up getting stuck. I hope the last of her days do not overrule the good in this woman. Sadly, we know that marketing mistakes sell more in this world.
    What I hope more than anything is that her daughter will not have to go through the pain and sorrow that her mother endured to fine her way back to her beginning. Usually during a Christian’s service the family tries to relate the wishes of their loved one. I think Whitney would have been pleased that the eulogies for her life were for her faith in God more than her fame and accomplishments being those lasting remarks.
     I know it changed something in me. With all Whitney had, she took nothing with her. She left every award, all her possessions, everything that represented her as an icon, behind. The only thing she could take with her was her faith. 
     I know that sometimes I let myself look too much at the off ramps people take and lose the reality of who they are underneath all the trappings of life. The more I listened to the words of those who knew her intimately I think she would have been someone I would have liked as a friend.
     I hope the final pictures of her life fade soon and the media gives her a break. I know I’ll be more forgiving and less judgmental. I didn’t think it would have been a singer who inspired me to do this. I am not really a follower of music icons, never really have been.
     It shows me once again that I don’t know everything that God will use to help me be a better person. God said that He did not need any man to tell him what was in the heart of man. He knows. He says that he loves us and nothing can separate us from His love so who are we to question who that “us” turns out to be.
     Her service ended up taking a change at the end. We know that everyday we all face the possibility of not seeing tomorrow. No one knows the day or the hour that will be our last. Some say it with tongue in cheek trying not to give it the weighted importance that it has. But the truth is, we don’t know.
     Her last contribution to all of us went from glorifying the end of her life and accomplishments as an artist back to her beginning. I am glad it finished there.  That is all that really matters at the end.  I also got the feeling that this is where Whitney wanted to get back too physically and just couldn’t find the way back while she was still alive. If we could ask her what she would have done differently, I think knowing what she knows now for sure, she would have never opened that door and let the things that drew her away come in
     It was evident today that in the end it wasn’t all her musical talent that God would use in her life to touch others, that was only the instrument that drew us all to view  what she really left as a last impression. What she believed sustained her no matter what. I have to say that this service was quite different from most celebrity services.
     Now it’s her family who are left to go on. They got her back. Not in the way they hoped, but I liked what T D Jakes said,  "In Whitney Houston's case, death did not win." It should not win in anyone's case.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Gift for the Teacher

Keeper of Memories
     Needing to find some things to occupy my time, I started a writing class that meets just up the hill from my apartment. As I have mentioned it is a class on writing memoirs. Although fiction is really what I love to write, I am using this class as a social outlet. At the end of the class last week I loved the childlike action that we all took in whispering from one ear to the next, “Let’s all bring the teacher a Valentine next week. Pass it on.”
     I had to laugh. She was giving us our final instructions as one by one we leaned into the person sitting next to us and did our, “whisper”, all except to her. Hmm, I wonder what part of secret, she didn’t see.
     Nevertheless, it set my mind in action. I have always loved crafts. Even as a small child. My sister and I used every holiday as a time to create something for our parents. (I won’t spoil this post by going into how it was received. If you have been reading previous posts, you already know.) But I do have to inject here, that Mom was always appreciative of her girls’ efforts. I wish I had focused more on her throughout the years instead of my father. I did finally wake up to the fact that she was so much more deserving of love and attention.
     On one occasion we girls decided to take wire coat hangers, open them up and form two round forms with them. One for the head and the other the body. We made ears and stuffed the entire framework with crumpled newspaper. Layers of crape paper in pink and blue and purple covered our huge rabbit. When I think back now to covering it with a sheet for two weeks during its construction and instructing Mom not to peek, I have to laugh. You know she peeked.
     Anyway, on the eve of Easter we snuck it out to the living room, surrounded it with the papier-mâché eggs we made and filled with gifts for our parents. I could hardly sleep for the excitement of them finding them in the morning. Well, Mom's excitement anyway.
     We worked hard on all our projects. I look back now and am amazed at the creativeness and heart we put into each one. I can’t speak for my sister, but every thing my hands worked on a portion of my heart went into it. The whole time I was concentrating on the workmanship I could feel the anticipation of happiness I hoped the person I was making it for would feel in receiving it.
     Learning the hard way over the years that not everyone receives on the same level of excitement has caused me to understand that sometimes all the happiness derived from giving something to some people comes in the personal joy of just making it.
     Although I am sure my teacher will appreciate my Valentine gift, I already have received my own happiness just in the time spent making this plate of memories for her. I love making these decoupage plates. They are so easy and unique to each individual recipient. This one just came together so easily. I found just the right size pictures of Victorian and older objects. The girl in the center was my last minute final touch. I added two small feathers and a tiny bow to her hat. I had to wait (something I am not good at doing.) until the several layers of Mod Podge dried, to add them at the last. It was worth the wait. I think it sets it off just right.
     Regardless of how it is received, I loved making it. I love being creative and watching something I do come together just as I imagine it. I hadn’t had an occasion to make one of these plates in a while so it was happy ‘seat work’ for me. I am sad to see it come to an end. Hopefully another unexpected occasion will come along to make another one. I took a picture of it and am posting it. I am hoping it comes out good.
     I suppose I shouldn’t add this little footnote, but it is something that I will think about when I give this plate away on Tuesday. (I am always telling on myself, wonder why that is?)
     While I work on my projects I usually have a cup of coffee sitting near by that ends up going cold. While doing this project I also had a cup of water that I put my paintbrush in between coats of sealer. Well . . . . . let’s just say, there is a remarkable difference between cold coffee and cold glue water. Just ask me, I did it not once but twice! I am chalking it up to my senior moments.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sometimes you just have to laugh . . .

Sometimes you just have to laugh . . . The next writing prompt in the memoir class I am taking is, of course on the theme of Valentines Day.  And why wouldn’t it be? I really struggled with this one. While trying to focus on good memories in the writing and reading we do each week, this prompt was a challenge. So, after starting three and deleting them I think I answered the challenge with some humor as well as staying true to the actual events.
     What do I do with this prompt? Avoid it? Ignore it? Write something totally different? Something fun, something warm and fuzzy? I am not even sure I have a warm and fuzzy thing to write about Valentine’s Day.
     Okay, I can do this. I’ll treat it like a school essay assignment. Similar to, ‘what I did over my summer vacation.’ Maybe I’ll surprise myself.  Maybe when I begin to think about why I hate Valentines Days . . . no that word is too strong. I don’t really ‘hate it’ I just never got to really be a participant in what it was meant to be.
     Maybe I’ll start there. Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
     Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
     Well, now that explains it. Or does it? Someone needed to tell the creator of those heart-shaped, dove loving, winged cupids that Valentines Day for a pudgy girl in third grade through her seventh grade would turn into elephants balancing on their trunks. Happy Hippos in not so little tutus posed incredible on their toes and whales smiling out from a wave spewing little red hearts out of their blowholes. Not to mention the red cheeked fat lady holding the big heart shaped box of candy or the strong man hitting the hammer causing the bell to ring at the 300 pound mark.
     With the possibility of coming down with some third-world disease or licking the bottom of my shoe being out of the picture, there was nothing I could do to put off going to school the week of Valentines Day.
     It started with the avoidance of one of the parts of class I loved, art class. Each one was issued a medium sized white paper bag upon which we were to express ourselves while creating hearts and flowers from shades of red and pink construction paper and white household paper doilies.  That seemed tame enough. But it was all that came after the art project was completed and hung on a clothesline down one wall of the classroom where the pain and suffering began.
     All the bags were hung alphabetically so as to make it easy for each classmate on the day of the party to walk the length of bags and deposit their Valentine greeting into everyone’s appropriate bag.
     The closer I got to Friday, the ‘party’ day, the more I’d rather have been scheduled for a root cannel. No such luck. Thankfully the teachers usually thought it more controlled to ration out one homemade cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, a sprinkle of candy hearts and a heart shaped lollypop on each plate avoiding confusion and ensuring enough to go around.
     So to sit with my plate looking like all the rest was actually a welcomed part of this whole dreaded episode. Being the third to the last alphabetically meant that if I timed it just right I would only have to retrieve my bag of valentines, walk slowly back to my seat before we had to collect our lunch boxes, book bags and make it out the door to catch the busses home. I had become proficient in performing the slowest timed walk.
     With the remainder of my plate of party fare in my lunchbox and my bag of valentines crammed in my book bag, I was the first one out the door.
     There was one bright consolation in all this. Learning the slow walk had saved me the embarrassment of having to show any of my valentines in class. That meant also denying all the little hateful boys the opportunity to giggle and poke one another when one after the other all the elephant, hippos, whales, fat ladies and strong men valentines that had been deposited in my bag had to be viewed.
     I couldn’t help but wonder what the manufactures of these heart-piercing childhood darts could possible have had in mind? Who did they think would go home with a bag full of them? The little chubby girls got them in duplicate.
     I couldn’t toss them away before getting home; my mother would want to see them. She tried her best to help me laugh at the brightly colored Valentines. The moment they finally became for me the happy occasion they were intended to be was on the hurried run out to the trash can in the back yard and deposited under the clanging lid.
     All except one that I kept for several years. It was the year the mother of one of those hateful little boys had made out his valentines because of him being sick, that I was surprised with a sweet-faced blushing little drawn character holding a valentine envelope asking me to be his Valentine, signed, Timmy.
     Although the memory of Timmy has long gone by the way side, evidently the memory of that one Valentine still remains with me today. Even if it was only from his mother.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How Not Enough Nuts and Raisins ends…

     As some of you who were being so kind as to read along with my writing of Not Enough Nuts and Raisins might realize I have closed it down. But I feel that I owe it to my few readers to let them know, “the rest of the story.” And why I stopped writing it.      When I started to write the last few chapters of how Toba’s life was happy and looked promising one minute and the next was torn to shreds by this controlling old man, I realized how this fictional character, shaped around the real one in my life, was bringing all those old feelings up again. All the broken feelings of being disappointed over and over and over when he never kept his promises. Promises I realized years later that he never intended to keep. They were only to pacify the moment of having to deal with the poor luck of being saddled with another daughter and not one thought was given to how it affected me personally.
     I thought writing this would be therapeutic, but all I find it is doing is stirring the pot. I had to ask myself a very important question, “What’s the point?” I learned to go on, I survived the years of pain and I think I ended up with the greatest possible result. I have a heart. How I ended up having a heart is a miracle. I guess when you get trod upon by someone who you loved for so long you just have to one day break free of it. You realize that it isn’t you, and what finally helps you see that truth is what you kept asking yourself for years, “What in the world did I do so wrong?”  When you come to the awakening that it wasn’t you and you didn’t DO anything but that destructive personality that you endured was the real problem it is like walking into the sunlight.

 So, the story was to have a happy ending . . .

      Toba was going to hang in there facing daily onslaughts of Mr. Gilbert’s verbal bashing and passive-aggressive cutting remarks. Eventually, due to the onset of winter, Toba would move into a spare room in the old house. Of course he would have to endure several ‘schoolings’ on what to touch and what not to touch. When asked to retrieve some old papers one day he will stumble upon some pictures as well. It becomes apparent that the old man does have some family and that he and they are estranged. (Not surprising.)
     The old man will have to open up to Toba some things about his past when he is slated to be part of recognition of a branch of the military being honored after many years. Mr. Gilbert was in the Merchant Marines and according to his story to the news, his ship was sunk and he and a few mates spent time in a lifeboat.
     Toba being the nature that he is, begins to understand that perhaps there is good reason for the old man being as nasty as he is. Of course it will take a turn when Toba tries to be too understanding and also questions the picture of a young woman he finds in all the papers.
     Mr. Gilbert will become enraged and this will set off s series of accidents which Toba will be blamed for and eventually a trip to the hospital for the old man. With his memory slipping and his natural tendency to treat Toba unkindly his remarks will reflect to the authorities that Toba is nothing to him and that he caused his fall.
     Thus Toba will end up in jail. Having no one to call on for help he reconnects with Mr. Crown who comes to his rescue and along with it a conversation concerning what little is known about Toba’s earlier years.
     When the authorities are satisfied that Toba isn’t the culprit he is made out to be. He is released and he goes back to the old house. Curiosity gets the best of him and he does a little out of character snooping. He finds an old police report of a run away girl involving Mr. Gilbert and realizes that it might be this daughter he refers to at times.
    He takes the report and finds himself at the local library looking for whatever information he can. His intent at this time is simple to see if he can reunite the old man and this daughter before it is too late.
     Skipping ahead, he does find an email address and he informs the girl, Samantha Gilbert, about how he became to interact with the old man and might she be his daughter? While Toba is at the hospital, the old man tells him that the only way he will be released is if he has someone staying with him. Once again Toba’s good-natured ways are called upon to forgive the old man and accompany him home.
     They aren’t there long when a visitor arrives. Samantha Gilbert arrives unsure if her coming was the right thing to do. Her unexpected return sends Mr. Gilbert into an all out judgmental attack on not only Samantha, but Toba, spewing his accusations and rage. This old man’s life of control is being turned on him and he just simply cannot take the natural reimbursement of a lifetime of cruelty. With his health failing he experiences a massive heart attack and with his final breath he offers one last heartrending blow. Although on one hand he acknowledges Samantha as his daughter it is quickly squelched with his unrelenting decision to disown her. When all the dust of the old man’s death settles, Samantha and Toba are left to pick up what pieces are left and make some sense of how they both were thrust into the old man’s life.
     Samantha opens up and shares how she ran away years ago because of her getting pregnant and the old man disowning her. It isn’t until she tells Toba of the greatest heartbreak of her life was leaving her baby boy that she knew she could never take care of in a hospital lobby one night wrapped in an old feed sack she found as she fled her father’s home.
     Toba’s shocked reaction to hearing from Samantha Gilbert the one and only thing he ever knew about who he was, will close the story with not the expected reconciliation of a coldhearted father and brokenhearted daughter, but the reconciliation of two innocent individuals who though mistreated at the hands of an unforgiving spiteful bullying old man find the most important missing pieces of their lives.
     The end . . . in many ways.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Companion and me . . .

I am drinking a second cup of coffee letting my eyes linger on the view out the sliding glass doors across from my chair that I strategically placed in my small living room. Standing over on the top of a small knoll is my lovely friend, Tree. I call her Tree because she is one and today it seems appropriate to do so. She looks like she needs reminding of the fact that she is a tree and that it is indeed February.      She looks confused. It looks like she has gone to her foliage closet wondering what to wear. She has tossed off the green leaves. Abandoned long ago the bright smock she wore for Autumn and now stands, well . . . you know . . . naked as the day she was planted. Now looking out the door at her I had to get my binoculars to be sure I was seeing what she had adorned herself with this morning. She is wearing a moss colored lightweight coat.
     “Tree? Are you going somewhere?” I asked her. Not getting a response (smile with me I really am sane) I took another look and sure enough I think she still had some unkempt branches in her hair tossed about by the rain and wind. Then I realized it is perhaps a mossy bathrobe and not a coat. After all the weather has been too warm for her to be dressed in the thick fluffy coat she worn last winter. So this one seems like a good choice for today. Green is definitely her color.
     But she looks puzzled. Even a bit sad. Definitely uncertain about what she is supposed to be doing. Should she be sleeping? Should she be thinking about new leaves? Should she remain dormant? Or should she just go ahead and open up her roots and bust a move before Spring? Instead she is unable to sleep so she put on her bathrobe and is having coffee with me.
     I think I understand my friend, Tree. Sometimes I wonder what I am supposed to be doing.  Some days I know the routine of coffee, write, do a few dishes, write, vacuum or laundry. Go for the mail, do some writing.  The writing is both my pleasure and my problem. And like Tree I wondered what I am supposed to be doing with it.
     In a conversation with my artsy sister, her talent is drawing, she said, “I can’t not draw but sometimes I wonder why I bother. No one sees it but me. I wish someone cared about what I draw and even if they didn’t like it at least it would be seen by some one other than me.”
   I completely understood her feelings. So, because Tree and I are having a confusing day, I am going to show you a picture my sister drew for her church. They happily used it for a program. I think she said they even made copies for the children to color. And why wouldn’t they it is good!
     When she told me where I could find it online I could hear the happiness in her voice. Because of the lack of encouragement we got as children, not just lack of encouragement but actually a steady diet of discoursing remarks about wherever we did artistically, we both have wondered what and where we would have ended up if we had been encouraged to pursue our talents. It’s hard loving to do something for which there doesn’t seem to be a place to display it.
     Maybe God will let my sister do a few sunrises or heaven-blue fluffy cloud mornings in heaven when she gets there. And maybe I’ll get to write something that Angels will read and rejoice over. But right now, Tree and I are having coffee, I’ll post my sister’s picture and I’ll share this blog. So all in all, life is good.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Covering my eyes and hitting the mute button . . .

     I guess I’ll just say it right up front. I HATED Bridesmaid and I ABSOLUTELY hated Bad Bosses. In fact I not even half-watched them; I called the cable company and asked for my money back. (And I got it.)
            I cannot understand paying to watch such garbage. Yes, I said it . . .  garbage. What gets me the most about this style of movie is that the basic storyline is good entertainment. But when every other word is *&#*$*&$$$++ it gets old real fast for me.

            I am embarrassed to be the room with just myself and keep hitting the mute button hoping it will get past all that, I can’t imagine watching it in mixed company or letting kids watch this stuff. But in fact, the momentum of this off-colored script grew even worse the more I tried to watch it.As I kept going in and out of the film, wouldn’t you know it, either there weren’t any decent scenes to happen upon or I just had bad timing.

            The last one I tried to go back to in Bad Bosses I was shocked! If what I had already seen Jennifer Aniston doing and saying wasn’t bad enough, the scene in the bathtub was my last hope. I found myself sooooo disappointed in these actors; especially her. What in the world could she be thinking to stoop so low as to play a part like this? Surely she doesn’t need the money that bad.

            The other thing about being duped into watching these movies is all the media hoopla. They certainly don’t show you those parts in the trailers. I’ve learned to pretty much use my own censoring standards before purchasing one of these new movies, but I struck out twice.

            I am not perfect. (And I am sure there are those out there who will agree with me, absolutely your right too.) But this is not entertainment to me. There are many actors and actresses who agree with me and you will NEVER see them in movies like these. The have maintained their integrity throughout the years and I think movie goers should commend them for it.

            The last thing I have to say about this is . . . it seems bad behavior keeps getting Awarded over and over. If one of these films pulls in one big Award it seems it sweeps the Red Carpet.

            It’s sad. One final, final word . . . someone, who I have a great deal of respect for, told me once when I voiced my opinion on how the Austin Powers movie (not even sure if that’s the title), was the stupidest movie and insulted my intelligence, they said, “It is supposed to be a joke. It isn’t to be taken seriously. Movies like that are an escape for most people to get out of the seriousness of their lives and the stupider and more invasive it is the more people flock to them.”

            Well, call me dumb. I knew this person were right. I am sitting watching this mess making remark after remark and actually squirming in my seat because I didn’t think I could stand another minute of it and all the time the movie was being just that . . . a stupid, intelligence insulting film.

            Okay, I get it. To each his own is very apropos here. This is my opinion and I am sure it is shared by other people and not by some others. That’s fine. But I am entitled to my opinion just the same.

            It isn’t differences of opinions that separates, to me it’s the refusal to allow those differences to be voiced. You don’t have to embrace them, but I think it’s only fair to allow them to be spoken.

            Again, I go back to the writing of fiction. I love it because a character in fiction can have a voice that in the world might be silenced. Our freedom of speech is being tested these days beyond anything that I think our forefathers ever imagined. Things are being allowed to be said and shown that would make our Great Grandparents and Grandparents roll over not once but twice in their graves.

            If it was the showing of an ankle or Rhett Butler’s, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” that got the critics all stirred up in the past, what I half-watched and heard in these movies would cause a national revolt.

          I can’t help but wonder what the next generation will be subjected too? Don’t even get me started on the gore and horror stuff . . . entertainment? . . . really?