Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep

Here we are just hours away from Thanksgiving Day.
I don't know about you, but I am happiest when in the kitchen preparing a meal
for family and friends.

Favorite recipes located and reviewed.

Lists  made.

Supplies gathered.

Favorite music loaded.

Have I not shared I am a huge fan of Willie Nelson?
Who did you think was sweet Willie's namesake?
It was those eleven years spent in Austin.

Oh, a story for another day.

I've chopped, stirred and baked most of the day.

It has been the best day!

Family is just an hour away, the guest room has been fluffed and a pot of comforting
chicken soup is simmering on the stove just waiting to served.

I hope you have had the day you hoped for today.
If you are traveling, be safe.   If your home may you be surrounded with peace and love.
And, may you wake tomorrow with thanksgiving in your heart.

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Counting Blessings

Do ever have those days when you wake up and it takes only a few minutes to realize your day is not going in the direction you had hoped?

Several weeks ago, a week or two before Halloween,  my day began its downward spiral.  Trying to leave for school in my usual rush, I found myself locked behind our driveway gate.   After trying to open it several times from inside my car, I got out, remote in my hand, walked up to the gate, aimed and punched the open button again...nothing, not even an "I'm trying to open" sound.   Panic gripped my stomach.  I had thirty minutes to get to school and I was locked in, unable to exit.  Thanks to a friend picking me up I made it to school, but my day pretty much continued in the same general direction, downhill.   And then there was the final blow.

Another friend delivered my safely home, leaving me with an "I love you".  As I entered my home the silence was deafening, I paced.   I went upstairs to change clothes and there on the floor were my sneakers just where I had left them the day before.  I knew what I needed...sitting on the floor I changed shoes careful to double knot the long laces.  Channeling my best "Forest Gump" attitude, I walked out my front door and started walking.  I didn't have a destination nor a timetable.  I just knew I needed to walk.  I walked up sunny streets and down the shady ones.  I circled once and back, in and out and around my neighborhood, my thoughts racing in the same random directions.  

I'm not for sure how long I walked, nor how many times I walked down the same street.   My thoughts and pace slowed just as I found myself crossing my own street.  I had walked enough, I turned and headed home.  Just as I saw my house a phrase passed through me so powerful it stopped my forward movement...

"count your blessings"

As I walked the last block to my front door I began reciting the many ways I have been blessed.
It didn't block the sadness I was feeling.  It did, however,  make the the load a little lighter and the day seem a bit warmer.

My blessings? amazing husband who main objective in life is to care for his family daughter who fills my heart with joy daily just by existing in my world son-in-law who we feel so fortunate to have as part of our family
...the women who I am allowed to work with and call friends
(seriously if you are ever in need of the wagons circling,
 these are the women to be traveling with) friends, old, new and those I have reconnected with;
 those who are near and those who far way.
...a job I dearly love, even on the days I'm taken to my knees who I have connected with in this crazy blogging world,
and who read my sometimes crazy ramblings
...and my sweet Willie, who asks for nothing more than to curl up
next me, well... maybe a puppy treat or two

                                                                                                                    These are just a few...

As the sunsets on another day I hope you will take a moment, and count your blessings.
I know for some it may be hard to see beyond the worries, the heavy heart or anger, but it
will give you a moment to rest, and maybe give you reason to smile.

Each chapel morning the children sitting on the front row are ask to share something for which they are thankful.   The collection runs from legos to their teacher.  Do you have something your are thankful for?  I hope you'll share.

I made it through another day....
and yes,  I am blessed.

I do hope your cares are few and your blessing many.


Saturday, November 9, 2013


"There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend... 
One day the black will swallow the red"
                                                                              Mark Rothko, "Red"


Here is my beginning disclaimer...
I have never fully appreciated nor understood abstract painting.

Last evening we attended the production of "Red",  a ninety minute, without  intermission, two actor play about the artist Mark Rothko.  I knew the name, was somewhat familiar with his work, but wasn't "tuned in".

via google

Set in Rothko's studio in New York City, 1958-1959,  we watch a reclusive, abusive, and narcissistic Rothko mentor, challenge and at times terrorize his young assistant, while creating a series of commissioned murals to be hung at the newly designed The Four Seasons restaurant.

As Ken, a young artist, enters the studio for the first time applying for an assistant's position,  Rothko announces in a tirade "I am not your teacher, your mentor, your Rabbi, your father, your friend....
I am your employer".  Yet by the end of this emotionally layered play you come to the understand the artist took on so many of these roles, as he developed, molded, bullied  and pushed his assistant to see beyond the obvious and find his own place in the art world.  And as so often happens in the classroom the teacher often is taught by the student.

I was moved by this play without seeing one finished canvas.
I walked out of the theater maybe not with a better understanding, but most definitely a new appreciation for the artists who gave us these pieces labeled abstract expressionism.

Rothko believed art should be about emotionally layering and allowing oneself to be stripped naked by the energy and emotion of the work, facing what we as human beings so often find hard to meet, the reality of past and present.  Color and texture were insignificant elements.  I believe it is as much about the artist as the art.  Rothko said, a landscape stays a landscape.  No matter how or where you look at it, a landscape doesn't change, the abstract breathes, moves and changes.  He saw his pieces as a community that communicated, moved and cared for each other.

My favorite artists will remain the Impressionists.  Like the books I enjoy, when I study a painting I want a story, an adventure.   I want to travel to places and times I will never go.  I want to see good lines and technique.  I want to view something amazing and beautiful.  I want to be educated.  I want to say I stood in front of a Degas, a Matisse, a Renoir and say it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.  I don't want to face the glare of reality at every turn, but desire escape.  I want to be healed, and leave the experience feeling well.

While I may continue to browse the Abstract Expressionism exhibits with a question mark floating over my head, I will certainly slow down, stop and appreciate the artist's being, emotion and energy stirred and mixed with pigment and applied to the canvas.

The black did finally swallow the red.
 On February 25, 1970,  Mark Rothko committed suicide.