still usable

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Working at my art table this morning.
Making two pieces of art for the Good Friday art show next Friday.
Grabbed a stack of brushes and saw my maiden name written on one.
It’s a 25 year old brush from my freshman year in college.
Still usable.
Happy and a little weepy all rolled into one.
I’m going to paint a sky now.
A blue one.
I knew the title of the piece before it was begun.
“Rebuild”
I am.
With paper, paint, scissors and glue.
And love, hugs, laughter, ice cream, tears and lots of help from my family and friends.
It all swirls together.
Life and art.

April 10, 2014

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feeling lucky

A little before 10:00am Blue dog and I stepped outside for our second walk of the morning. Temps are brrr cold and we’re walking once again upon freshly fallen snow. We pass by several neighbors shoveling and greet the ones we know. Just a few doors down, is the kind, white haired neighbor man who pauses in his work to smile and say to me, “You sure are dedicated.” Then he adds, “You sure are a lucky dog, Blue.” That made me laugh! Yep. He is. Blue acknowledged the words of his neighbor friend with a happy woof and tail wag. Oh. He knows. We stayed on course, circling around the block. The little one, not one of our longer routes. Back inside now, thawing out with a later than usual hot breakfast, while the dog curls back up on the couch. My lucky canine compatriot. After food, it’ll be time to retrieve my shovel from the garage for digging out the front of the house. For many weeks I kept a snow shovel propped by the front door, only recently returning it to the garage, rather optimistically. Oh well. More snow fell. Winter is still quite “ON.” Thankfully we got less snow than predicted and it is the light, fluffy version of the white stuff. Very doable. Although, breakfast has turned into brunch here. My boys drifted to the kitchen in search of food. Sausage has been cooked and bacon is sizzling now. Evidently breakfast meat is the secret to A Great Sunday at home. Even better is the time we’ll spend in scripture, worshipping at Home Church for awhile longer. Suddenly a day that began with solitude and quiet is filling up with life, love and yes, a bit o’commotion. Good stuff. God stuff. We’re all “lucky dogs” because we have each other. Feeling thankful and blessed. Let it snow.

March 2, 2014

Promise

milkshakesandheartaches:

I hope on the 

ashen stone

that will stand

above,

you will sing

me a song

of how much 

my life affected

thee.

Do not weep

or leave me

flowers that

will wither,

just promise

to bestow your

beauty for

those whose

eyes still see.

Yes. This. Thank you for writing it. Monday it will be six months since my husband died. “Sing a song” and “bestow beauty.” Life is happening now. We are to live it. Grieving is part of my/our journey. We loved. We mourn. We miss him. We remember. We are still alive. Speaking for my boys and I. So many loved and cared for him and prayed us through. Our family that we made together. We are thankful and blessed. Again and again. “Sing a song” and “bestow beauty.” Got it. Will do. Yes. This.

February 22, 2014

It is Valentine’s Day today. My boys each received a giant Hershey bar with a big red bow this morning. I was surprised they didn’t have chocolate for breakfast like on Easter morning. They could have, but they didn’t ask or just go for it sorta on the sly.
Instead of wearing red (I’m just not feeling bold like that) I chose my purple t-shirt with the hot pink sea turtles and the words “Aulani • Hawai’i.” We loved there. He and I. Our family of four cocooned together surrounded by Hawaiian island paradise. That was six months ago, at the beginning of August 2012, just three weeks before he died.
This morning my youngest son and I stood outdoors in quickly falling snow with Blue dog too. What began as micro flakes quickly changed to ginormous ones and was really coming down. This unexpected snowfall made me smile, as did the talking and laughing between us while while waiting for the bus. Sweet fifth grade boy has twenty eight valentines with nerd candy attached in his backpack, ready to give to his classmates at the party this afternoon. I’m preparing for a sugar buzz attack this evening, followed by a crash. He held his backpack over his head and asked me to go inside and get the umbrella to block the falling snow. I didn’t budge. Instead my hair turned white from snow accumulation because I’d left my hat inside. Enough landed there that I did blow dry it again once inside. Crazy winter.
I have a lunch date with my oldest son at his favorite restaurant to look forward to. Half day only at his school today. Parents Day in the lower grades. We’ll enjoy our afternoon time, just us two, before his brother gets off the bus returning home. He led me in a merry game of chase when I turned to give him a Happy Valentine’s Day hug before school. What a scene we made. Thirteen year old boy with the long legs staying just ahead, ten year old keeping pace beside me and Blue dog racing, not sure of the objective but not wanting to miss the merry go round of fun. I’ll get that hug. Later. The day is young. Good thing is, he “eluded me” by brushing his teeth before school at my reminder.
I’ll probably make a chocolate cake in my grandmother’s heart shaped cake pans. They are mine now, but they were hers first. If not today, sometime this weekend.
The dog is walked. The boys are at school. The house is quiet. The coffee is brewed. I started to reach for my blue “Oasis” mug. The one I glazed with the soothing colors of the Caribbean in early July while my children worked on 4-H projects alongside. Then I considered the earth tone mug in the unusual shape that I brought home from a summer art fair in 2011. That was longer ago than it sounds, considering all that has happened since. Instead, I chose the bright red heart mug today, on the day it is made for, Valentine’s Day. I bought two of these red heart mugs long ago, as Valentine’s Day gifts for my husband and I. Way back, before the children were born. I still have both of the mugs. Stupid earthly stuff. It stays behind with memories attached, both the good and the bad ones. So much to wade through.
Earlier this week on Monday, February 10, I wrote in an email to a girlfriend:
“Valentine’s Day won’t be as hard for me as our wedding anniversary on May 31. I always have considered Valentine’s Day “a Hallmark holiday” and still say showing your love isn’t about over the top extravagance on one *stupid* day you feel forced to make a gesture, but about the whole year of big, and mostly little things, that you do for one another. My 2¢. I’ll make sure to toast the day with chocolate and will spend it with my children, my two bestest Valentine’s, this year and every one. Hold each other close. Say, “Good morning, I love you” as the day begins and, “Good night, I love you” as the day ends. We got it right for the last month of our marriage, when all pride was finally shoved aside and we loved with our walls down. Beautifully. Fleetingly. It was good and all God. I told my oldest son yet again, on the drive to school today, “There were many miracles along the way, but the biggest one was the way God moved a stubborn man and a stubborn woman at the end of July.” It was all Him.”
I’m thankful for, and humbled by, the ocean of love and prayer that continues to surround my family of three people, one wild dog, and a cranky cat.
Now I’m on today. Valentine’s Day. All day. I’m finishing my last cup of coffee, a special blend sent across the ocean from Hawaii and looking forward to my lunch date. Later, I anticipate laughing later while watching Blue dog play outside on the long leash as I shovel snow, and then being tucked into home with my family tonight, with cake to follow soon. Lots of good stuff right there, in these quiet moments that no longer pass me by.
Aloha means, “hello,” “goodbye,” “I love you.” Feels right. Yes. That. Aloha. My subconscious knew, as I chose my souvenir t-shirt from our Hawaiian vacation to wear today, along with my sparkly heart love multicolor Venetian glass necklace, a gift from two GFF BFF friends, also from August 2012.
Happy Valentine’s Day, from me to you.
Love,
Janean

P.S. See?! I am trying. Getting there. Day by day. Grief is not for wimps…and this rambling post probably doesn’t make a lick o’sense. Oh well. I wrote it anyway. So there. Take that, Valentine’s Day! *sigh*

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

February 14, 2014

6:57am
School is on here. The phone call last night and the email from the public school announcing a one hour late start had the best wording. Funny thing is, they sent the email in bigger, red colored type too. I think they really wanted to cancel again due to subzero temps. It is -6, feels like -20. Life goes on and school must to. I get it.
No driveway drifting overnight. I needed that l’il “win.” Blue is taken care of now. Sidewalk needs a l’il help, then back in to rouse the oldest boy, with dynamite if needed. I opened his blinds already. Sunlight. Expose the teenager to sunlight. Step one. 🙂
There is color in the sunrise. Warm looking yellows and golds. An illusion. It is snot freezing cold. So much for poetic…there’s the blunt as hell. 😉
Heading back outside now. Not quite Hoth-like. Blue could walk on all four paws.

February 6, 2014

I am sitting on the ledge.
Waiting.
Wishing.
Hoping, for anybody to come save me.
But they didn’t.
They never came.
Instead, they waited for me to jump.

PoorGirlRichWoman.tumblr.com (via poorgirlrichwoman)

That is when you decide you just needed some quiet time and a bird’s eye view to give you a new perspective. Things aren’t as dire and dark as they momentarily appeared. You already have the courage, strength and stamina to save yourself. You are brave and strong. There is a beacon of hope within that nothing can snuff out. It is time to begin again, soaring like an eagle. You discover you prefer this sky high view, closer to the clouds. Birds of a feather flock together. I’ll meet you in the air. *chirp*

Suicide is never the answer. You don’t get to choose your last day. Only God knows when it will be. You have today. Life is a gift. LIVE IT. You are never all alone. The God of the Universe is always as close as a prayer. He is available 24/7. Talk to Him if you can’t bring yourself to phone a friend. Please. I beg you.

January 19, 2014

back to routine

7:27am
-Blue gave up fussing about not being able to see his dog buddy Jake, and decided to just eat breakfast instead.
-8th grade boy was shocked, amazed and thrilled to find a new MythBusters on the DVR this morning. You see, it’s not just a new MythBusters, but A NEW STAR WARS MYTHBUSTERS!!!! Are you kidding me?! Pure awesome right there.
-Best of all, thanks to the folks at Discovery Channel, that TV show was the incentive my 5th grade boy needed to come out from under the layers of cozy covers where he was burrowed when I told him it was wake up time, a little after 7a.
Up, dressed, breakfast, backpacks with lunches packed…we just might make it.
7:33am now
Gotta go!

The words above were posted in real time as my Facebook status. It is 8:24am as I post them here at Tumblr. I just walked through my front door, after delivering one boy curbside and waiting with the other until the bus arrived. It did. *whew* My breakfast time is next. Coffee. Taking my mom to the train station mid morning. I have a whisper of an idea for how I’m going to spend my day, but I’m not yet telling. Wednesday today. All day. Going to make it A Good One! First step is taking my winter coat off. I’m holding my phone with a turquoise knitted glove and typing with my thumb. I will. Letting the words flow ‘til then…