the other side of the street
Hi friends! I have been going through a real melancholy and reflective phase. Maybe it's my age and time. Maybe it's February. But I have felt a sadness. Not really depressed, just a sort of sad. My kids had names for it growing up... That Sunday night feeling and The Dupree Feeling. I am feeling it lift, though, as the birds sing in the morning again and the sun stays out longer. Art helps so much... paintings,music, dance,poetry and stories.
I am going to share a poem that my dear friend Monica wrote years ago. It struck me, the minute I read it and has stayed with me always. I recently came across it again. It is called 'the other side of the street.'
i'm out sweeping sidewalks
after a week's worth of spring rain and
cold wind that's blown tree-seeds and
helicopter pods and anything
not yet summer-tied
to the explosion of growth in my yard
and i imagine how i must look to the
young neighbor women
tending to their kids on bikes
and counting heads
busy with the hum
of activity threaded to family
i used to be on their side of the street
with my own kids
watching curiously as the older women
in older houses
swept sidewalks and weeded their small gardens
i'd watch slyly,not wanting them to know
that i wondered what it felt like
to have kids grown and gone
and days long with light and time
to lean on a broom and turn into the sun
and go in and out of the house
at whim with such ease and
not a backward glance
or a scolding word
and now i've become that woman
who sweeps her sidewalk
and listens to the joyous cries
of other people's children set free by spring
hearing the echoes of my own grown girls
far from home.
monica's kitchen. a great place to be.
Today This Life.
It is an interesting thing, this life. Today I reflected and worked and thought a lot about my life. I am in the midst of a Cleaning Venture ( if you dont know.) Today I started going through the piles of papers and "things I want to save" in my closet. My closet is large. It is big enough to house a baby or a rich person's wardrobe, shoes included. So because I have neither... it fills with papers and piles and bags and boxes. Of stuff. Let me tell you, I'd be better off with a baby! (maybe) So I recycled a lot of paper stuff it turns out I really don't need to keep....and a whole box of old phones! and in the process I found some poetry/stories written by my oldest. What a pleasure to read your kids' writings again. Because we all are in a different place now than we were then.... Just like when you re-read a great book, this time it may affect you in different ways, distinctive to where you are now in life...
I've been feeling melancholy and a bit nostalgic lately. Don't know if it's the time of year or time of life. Friends and work and kids all help....but I realize I am getting old. What a weird thing it is, to get old. To realize I am no longer "young" by any definition. I feel a bit sad about all the things I haven't done yet (and may not)... I am a happy person by nature though, so I always feel grateful for the time and experiences that Ive been given already...and I intend to make the most of all my days doing what ever I can and want to.
Just reflecting. sometimes you must. x
Day 30 the Finale
Well there you have it. 30 days of posting. in a row. basically. I have completed my challenge! It feels great to do something you set out to do, even if it doesn't really matter....as in no one will truly be affected either way.
Someone once said you should try at least 3 new things every day in order to remain happy and I like that bit of advice.
New things I tried today: 1. Whiskey. Well technichally, I've had whiskey before.(not very much though) But I enjoyed a whiskey and chocolate pairing flight! with 3 different kinds and enjoyed it. 2.Icelandic Fish stew. I am not a fish lover... I know, I know. It's so good for you... Delish. (Garth found the recipe) 3.Icy Hot back patch. My back has been bothering me lately and last night it was the worst it's been so today I bought this product to try! So far, so good....just feels cold to me without having an icepack in my pants.
In the bigger picture, this 30 day writing challenge was completely new to me. I don't normally write for others to read. But I really enjoyed it and am sort of proud of myself for completing it! I am definitely going to continue on the blog...probs not every day...but you never know!
To anyone who read all these posts... thank you with all my heart. (To anyone who read any of them...thank you with all my heart.) I have come to know that it feels good when someone reads/ looks at/ buys/ likes your stuff.
See ya on the other side! x
Day 29 Got something to say?
When I started selling barnwords signs I went through a long process trying to figure out my tags (not the kind that are # but actual paper things tied on the product). I love a good tag. I am drawn to a good tag. I had originally wanted to make each one from tiny watercolor paintings and hand written info...That lasted a minute. Well to be fair, longer than a minute. I did do a bunch of them. Then I started tying on a business card. Too conventional (and boring). Then I settled on my current tag which is an old black and white photo with my info on the back. I often have to cut up the photos so I end up with a few good tags from one. B & W photos are available for purchase at many antique stores but I ended up with a shitload from my relatives, actually. No one knew who any of the people were...so I didn't feel too bad cutting them up. My mother's aunts and uncles gave her a bunch. She gave them to me. I like the look. From the get go, I have used the line 'Got something to say?' on my tags and about my signs. ( I wish more people would take me up on it though and actually say something ) So today I saw a really cute thing online that said " I would love to hear from you. And you. And you, too. Questions, comments, stories, jokes, good music, recommendations, whatever you have to say, I'm all ears..." something something. I love that! I feel like that too! I would love people who buy my signs to contact me any time and tell me something.
If you were to buy a sign what would it say? Dont worry, its quite a hypothetical question...(unless of course, you want to buy it:)
but like what would you love to see on a sign? Lots of people buy signs for someone else, so this is for you. What you would hang up in your home, office or doghouse or whatnot.
On a side note... My challenge of writing a post every day for 30 days ends tomorrow!!! I love that I did it.
Guess I had something to say! x
Day 28 booklove
Today I was reading book reviews and found myself on a site called http://bookshelfporn.com If you are a book lover, check out the photos. WOW. I often think of home improvements I'd like to implement, here at The Ghetto..and bookshelves are frequently involved. What is it about books that make a home look so inviting? I also ordered a book from amazon today :) Well, before you make any judgements...I do like to shop at bookstores (used and new) and support them. I love being IN a bookstore. My goodwill store (Delavan) used to have the most awesome book collection-loads of variety- It's changed now and their book section is much smaller (boo) but they still have an awesome glass selection. I do use Amazon too. Can't beat the price and sometimes I just like getting stuff delivered. Plus I was ordering something else so why not?
My little town does not have a proper library, unfortunately, but I have used other peoples library cards in their towns on occasion. For many years when the boys were young, I was Michelle from Huntley. (ahem) I've been Gail from Crystal Lake and currently I am Georgia from Walworth :) At least the last one is legit, as I can get books for my mom too. :) I figure if those people aren't using their library but are paying the taxes...It's all the same difference. But it sure would be nice if I could use any library any time!
In my ongoing cleaning project I have come across some old Domino magazines. Did anybody read those? These are from 2008, not that long ago but it was a great sort of home decorating/design mag. I'm taking the stack up to bed and perhaps I'll get rid of them after that. Do people 'save' magazines? I think that used to be a thing. We had a load of National Geo.'s because my oldest was given a subscription when he was young and nobody threw those away! I used to have all my old (talking OLD-like the '80s) Rolling Stone mags but finally purged them in a move. I don't really get any magazines anymore, but I think I would recycle them to someone. Happy Reading, friends! x
Day 27 a lot to do and lovin it
I have a lot to do, it seems. Taxes. Some deep cleaning, before I return to work in April. Getting ready for the Relic show (Lynda-we are gonna rock it!) Signs. Planning a trip. Go through (never ending-not complaining!) boxes of photos. I want to separate my photos into kid boxes, for each of them. Finish a couple books I've started. I like having a lot to do, though. It is better than the alternative. I just need to (start to) prioritize. Do you guys prioritize??
I am lucky to have this time off in the winter although it comes with a price.( That price being a high price of $$ :) Unemployment is not a bad thing at 57 years old and the knowledge that I have an end date in sight. I used to hate being slow or off in the winters. I often tried to find jobs to do but now I enjoy the slow time. A wise man I used to work for once told me...'I love the winter...it is the time I reflect and rejuvenate' At that time, I remember thinking, Ugggh I HATE winter...I HATE being without that paycheck...I HATE having 'no purpose'.
Winter is great. I have learned to savor my less busy months and the freedom it allows. I have learned to take advantage of the time. I used to dread it so. I did not have barnwords back then, of course. That has helped me a ton. I do need to figure out how to sell more.... but. ( I am a terrible sales person.) I definitely have a more healthy attitude these days and have actually learned to enjoy my life in winter. Time goes so quickly. I never wish for the next season anymore. I never say "oh I can't wait for this winter to be over..." because why would I want time to go any faster than it already is?! I try and treasure every day that I am alive, cliché as that sounds. Because what else do I have? x
Day 26 Make out
So today I went to a new friend's home for a small gathering of women artists/makers who, through the foresight and thoughtfulness of one of us, have become a 'group' of sorts. A group we call The Makeouters. We all Make things. Create art. And we all have the fortunate common bond of knowing one another through each other. I feel lucky and blessed to be IN this group. Everyone else is fairly well established in the art/craft world....I am the newbie, so to speak. Not new to making. Not new to art. Just new to the world of selling and being IN the world of doing things to get seen. These few women are awesome! Amazing spiritual beings who inspire and create. I feel lucky to be included! The thing that resonates with me is the connection and the need for connection. I think there are probably many people who create and sell things.... but I am happy to know these girls.
Which makes me think of an earlier post in which I talked about how my own insecurities held me back. I do tend to let my self-doubt rule what I do. Today I astonished myself by offering to host the next meeting HERE at my home (fondly called The Ghetto....) I used to worry a lot about what people thought of me, but I realize I don't so much anymore. I live in a very OLD home with problems. Maybe it's age. Maybe it's the 'I Don't Care' syndrome... I don't really know, but I like it. Anyway, I will have a valid and legitimate excuse to clean before they come....which, hey, is always a good thing!! I never would have agreed to let "strangers" come over for a gathering at my home....I just don't have that kind of home....But now.... I am empowered in a way. I guess it is age.
Anyway I really like these women and I hope they won't judge me. And if they do, then whatever.
To quote Dave... Funny the way it is....
Isn't it interesting that we all feel insecure but the people who love us think we are awesome ?
Day 24/25 so much money
Super bowl Sunday. For many people, it's a party to look forward to. Personally, since I don't care for football, I've never really cared about the Super bowl. When Ian lived here though we always had to make/have an assortment...a multitude of snacks. and by snacks I pretty much mean the type I would not normally consume. Not talking about fresh veggies and hummus here...although those have made appearances before. No, I mean heavily breaded frozen or tiny cute versions of other bad-for-you items. We carry on the tradition Ian started years ago. Ian is all about the traditions. This year, a nice surprise- Garth was able to come home for an overnight! Now if you don't know my kids, you don't know that Garth is the least likely Super Bowl loving person (besides me maybe) on earth. So how funny when he said 'I wanna come home for superbowlsunday' (read: Im craving horrible junk food I would never buy for myself can you pick me up on Sunday afternoon?) ...plus we love to visit...plus Beyonce.
So it was fun and disgusting and relaxing and we enjoyed the halftime hoopla and as I watched that whole colossal affair I once again wondered about So Much Money. Sooooo much money, reportedly 10 million dollars (no idea but does it even matter?) that performance cost. It was entertaining. It was. but in the giant world we live in...that amount of money could have done something great. (Pretty much every year after the halftime show I have some version of this thought) I don't know. Just a few hours prior, when picking up Garth, I passed all of the makeshift tarp/tents under a bridge/overpass, peoples "homes" and at the very same time THIS is happening. It's astounding in a way. Television extravaganzas make me think about this too. Like the Grammys (or whatever big awards show) and their spectacular displays/performances. So Much Money.
I also wonder if the companies who buy Super Bowl ad space ever see increases in their business or is it really just a nice opportunity to be creative and innovative in their advertising? Just wondering.
Also on Saturday at Winterfest in Lake Geneva, my neighboring town, a bunch of cars fell into the lake. Yep. People parked ON the lake and as the day progressed,their vehicles fell through. This to me seems about as stupid as it gets but that's because I would never park on a lake. Tons of pictures on social media... and even on the news....I didn't see any mention of the possible negative effect ON the lake itself. Wondering about that. and life goes on. Happy Monday everyone!! x
Day 22/23 such a perfect day
That's right. Two days in one. I said I'd post every day for 30 days. But yesterday got away from me. :) Today's a better day, anyway. Feb.06. 206. A date I always remember :)
Garth's Juilliard audition date 7 years ago! I love that he still texts me 'Happy Feb 6th' every year. It was such a perfect day. We'll never forget it.
It has been a week chock full of friends, I am happy to say. I haven't had a week like this in so long... and it was marvelous!! I literally saw people I haven't seen or talked to in years and years....along with others I talk to regularly, but always love seeing! Beginning last Friday, with dinner with friends and right up til last night with dinner with friend. Feeling so blessed and lucky.
Sometimes I let my own insecurities get in my way and end up missing out on experiences. I am working on being more free, more available, more able to enjoy. ( the old cranberry's song now in my mind: 'I'm freeeeeeee to decide') ( HEY I just found this 'increase font size' key!)
I did get a lot accomplished this week... for the first time since before The Holiday time. I'm excited about the shows coming up. Art fairs I've entered AND show-shows. Garth has created an amazing work and I cant wait to see it. I'm excited about new sign ideas and cleaning up my space. I'm excited about going back to work in the Spring. I'm excited about the new books I am gonna order ( hopefully next week) I'm excited about these tacos I'm about to eat for breakfast. Do you guys ever put radishes on tacos?? Its so delish. I think we all need stuff to look forward to.
Hoping you all enjoy your weekend. As always thanks for reading and checking out barnwords!! x
Day 21 talk
Today I was listening to a guy talk non stop about every subject possible for about 40 minutes straight. I'm not kidding, he seemed to have some level of knowledge on every subject you can think of. He was interesting, not necessarily a know-it-all, and there happened to be 4 other people standing there in the conversation and I think we all kind of felt that way. How do you have info on sooooo many subjects in your head AND have the ability to relay it in an intelligent manner? I think it is a gift. I can't even think of the right word half the time. Today I said 'mile' for the word 'acre'. WHAT? yep. I said "About 10 miles" in response to someone's question, fully meaning "About 10 acres". They politely stared at me. And probably thought 'My god. she's an idiot. why am I having this conversation?'
Sometimes I wish I was a great communicater. An easy talker. Engaging and confident. It's not my strong suit. It never has been. Speech class in school used to make me nauseous. (Thinking about speech class used to make me nauseous) I have long admired my friends and co-workers that are comfortable giving talks. (I'm looking at you,Shelley and Roy Diblik among others) It's probably a good attribute to have when being in any situation, actually. What, exactly makes me nervous, I don't even know, especially if I know the subject matter. It's just one of those things. I have two children who love being performers. What is that gene? I am devoid of it.
In other news, but still related, I did see many people from my 'past' today.( I attended the ilandscape show, which is a giant trade show for landscape industry professionals) That was weird and cool and I enjoyed seeing them all...One girl I worked with at least 35 years ago!!! AND she remembered 2 books I once gave her. Me-no recollection of that. ( I told her to just keep them. HA. ) An old friend (from that same work place) that I haven't seen in a couple ( four? five?) years. And an array of people that looked familiar...that I may or may not have worked with. lol. x