Monday, March 26, 2012

How...

I often wonder how other people do it. How do they (and they is usually women-folk) manage a household, raise kids, cook, clean, work 40+ hours (at least some of them do) outside the home and still have the energy to make art?

I don’t get it. Really, I don’t.

But then I look back to when I was younger, even up until about 5 years ago, when I was able to do all of those things and still have energy left to do lots more. I could stay up late, get up early and go, go, go all the time.

Not now. I haven’t been able to work for almost 2 years and I do good to get the laundry done for just me & Richie in less than 2 full days....I have to take naps, and rest far too often. Guess that’s why it’s called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, huh? It just gets so tiring having to battle all my health demons. I keep asking my doctor when (or if) I will ever feel better but he doesn’t have any good answers other than to take good care of myself, take my meds and give it time.

Time is something I’m in short supply of...I want to feel better NOW! My life is passing me by and I am tired of not feeling like an active participant in it!

*sigh*

Enough of that! Just more of my thinking.

I have been working for the past few days to get everyone’s supply purchases packed up and ready to mail but I still have a few left to pack up so I should have them all in the mail by Thursday or so. Thanks for your patience, everyone.

We did make it to the beach this past Sunday. Just me, Richie and our little Kirby. 025We always have the best, most relaxing time when we go on those early morning trips like this. I just sat and took pictures and enjoyed watching Kirby chase the waves as they come in and recede back, Richie testing the water, and the gulls and pelicans swooping down at the water.

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Tell me that Kirby isn’t the most precious pup you’ve ever seen1 I just laugh and laugh at him the whole time we’re there.

The beach is very much my peaceful place and I really love our little private spot that we normally go to hang out and enjoy the beach and our privacy.
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Doesn’t that just look peaceful?

I hope you’re finding time to relax in your peaceful place.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cold, Cold Beer

I am most definitely NOT a beer drinker. At least not on a regular basis. But since we moved here to Pensacola we have found the mug-of-beer-thumb5000167absolute coldest beer I have ever had the pleasure of putting to my lips in the 30 years that I have been tasting beers. (I’m actually more of a wine girl but actually don’t drink much of anything alcoholic these days. Anyway...) Our local Logan’s Roadhouse really does have the absolute coldest beer anywhere.

I swear that I do have a point in telling y”all this...

Saturday was our 6th Anniversary. We aren’t always big on celebrations or even holidays lately (hard to be celebratory when you’re broke, ya know?) but this anniversary was one we wanted to celebrate. Things have just been so rough for us the past few months. Moving here has been wonderful, we love Pensacola, but it isn’t without its share of problems...mostly financial but also my health, too.

But things have began looking up a bit for us...Richie got word that he was getting a nice little raise and he is in line to become a District Manager (either in the Destin, Florida district or in the Tampa area once a group of stores in that area are bought out by the company.) Add to that my upcoming disability appeal hearing this Friday that I am very hopeful will be successful this time.. *crossing fingers* We have hope again...and it’s been a long time coming.

R and B 6th anniversaryWith our hopeful outlook and some good changes coming down the pike added to our Anniversary, we decided to celebrate. Nothing sounded better than a relaxing night out with some very cold beer, a good meal and just being together.

Our celebratory night out didn’t disappoint. Not at all. And it was something we both needed more than we realized. (Not the best pic but it was rather dark in Logan’s and I took it with my iPhone but you get the idea. Oh, and yeah, those are my new teeth. *grin*)

So that’s what our weekend consisted of...well, that and my poor husband working every single day. I couldn’t be prouder of him...he works so hard and does such an awesome job. Not to mention what great care he takes of me. Y’all have no idea of just how much Richie really does for me, especially since I’ve grown sicker.

I just had to brag on him a little...he’s just the best. How did I get so lucky?

Yesterday I tried to get a little more energetic than usual (I have NO energy these days so everything is a struggle) and did a little cleaning, some laundry (the bane of my existence), and made some no bake cookies. You know, the ones made with butter & sugar & cocoa & peanut butter & oats.

I shouldn’t love those dang things so much but I do and I have been jonesing for them for weeks. Now that I’ve made them and eaten a few too many, I think I need to send the rest to work with Richie tomorrow. If I don’t, I’m afraid I may slip into a diabetic coma soon. lol

Thanks for all your great comments on my latest two videos. It really encourages me to do more of them for y’all. In fact, I think I’ll try and work on a new one for ya today or tomorrow.

Hope things in your lives are going smoothly and life is treating each of you with the greatest of kindnesses.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, March 10, 2012

And Another...

I guess once I got one video completed and uploaded, it opened up the flood gates to even more coming down the pike, eh?

So, here’s a short one I finished and uploaded to YouTube yesterday...

I think the next video I do will be a journal page/spread from start to finish unless y’all have something else you’d rather see. Please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

I hope you’re all having a great weekend. It’s our anniversary so it’s definitely a good one for me.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Video

I finally got one of my Journal Flip-Through videos done and uploaded to YouTube.

Yay, go me!!!

Anyway, here ya go.

Art Journal Flip-Through 2.1

You are welcome to share this on your own blogs, etc.  Also, if you have any questions, leave them in your comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

I have another one coming in the next couple of days. So be sure to look for it here or on my YouTube Channel.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Videos and Editing

Believe it or not, I’ve been busy recording a new video! I’ve got a few (quite a few) journals that I need to do flip-through videos for and I’ve finally gotten started.

Doing the editing tonight and I hope to have at least one of them up on my YouTube in the morning. YAY!

Anyway, back to what you were doing. Just lettin’ y’all know.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I guess I’m growing old...

On December 1st, 2001 I was forced to have all of my upper teeth pulled. Thanks to some advanced gum infections that didn’t want to heal (thanks diabetes!) all of my upper teeth became loose almost over night. So having them pulled was unavoidable but also very devastating to me.

I’m only 46 years old, I shouldn’t have to be confronted with getting dentures at my age.. Not yet. Sheesh!

You guys have no idea how hard this entire journey has been for me. I have not had any pictures taken over the past 90 days because who wants to be captured toothless? I have no desire to really remember how I’ve felt or looked for the past 3 months, either (although my daughter came to visit and did sneak a few but was kind enough to catch me with my mouth hidden.)  This ordeal has really hit my self-esteem hard. I haven’t even wanted to leave the house out of embarrassment.

All of the emotions this horrid event has caused in me (including crying jags for no apparent reason) has also bled over into most every other part of my life...I haven’t done any of the art journaling videos I want to do, I haven’t felt like being in my art journal the way I normally do, I have began really doubting my creativity and I’ve found myself so depressed and out of sorts and I believe it’s a little related to winter but it’s also related to the loss of my teeth.

I never thought I would be so happy to get dentures but yesterday I got my “new” teeth. It’s strange, for sure, and there is a huge learning curve to eating and drinking with them but I’ll get there. You don’t know how much you depend on your teeth and how intertwined our self-esteem is in those kinds of things until you lose them..

It’s only been a day but I can already tell that my mood is improving. I think that very fact will bring me back around into being my old self again. Up until now I had only told my closest family and one of my girlfriends (who has been kind enough to sorta see me through this since she’s been where I am –Thanks S) but I just felt it was important record this for myself and to somewhat explain my disappearance.

Add to that the death of my wonderful next door neighbor last Thursday! Ms. Nola was the first friend I made here. She was the kindest, most wonderful woman and, at 92 years old, she was still very young at heart. Definitely the coolest 92 y/o I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.

Almost every single day since I have lived here, she and I had a little daily pow-wow outside our front doors. We talked about all sorts of things...art, feeding the squirrels, family, aging, just every subject under the sun. I never failed to learn something from that dear, sweet lady. In just nine months I learned so much from Ms. Nola.

I miss her each day and the void that her death has left in my life will remain for a very long time. Rest in peace, Ms. Nola...I miss you so very much.

Whew!

Too emotional right now. 

Anyway, just sharing my stuff...even though it’s not happy-happy-joy-joy. Just keepin’ it real here, ya know?.

I hope you’re all doing well, feeling artsy, having good days & good times.

Back soon.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Coffee

I was experimenting with my coffee this morning (see, I am working on getting back to my ritual of morning coffee…go me!) and I have come up with a fabulous little “recipe” for a tasty mocha.

Take about 2/3 cup of steaming hot, brewed:
starbucks_breakfast_blend_whole_bean_coffee

Add 2-3 (ymmv so more if you like) heaping tablespoons of this:
20101209-127730-cocoa-tasting-land-o-lakes-thumb-560x400-127183

and stir well. Then grab some cream, half & half (my favorite), or milk and…
coffee_milk_533

Talk about yum*my!!!
It even makes my coffee happy!
Happy Coffee
Try it, you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Friday, y’all.

Have a great day and an even better weekend.

**MUAH**

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rituals

I ran across the following picture on the internet and it really made me stop and think about the rituals in my life.

I know that my rituals include my morning coffee and working in my art journals…but even those comforting parts of my day have undergone some changes lately. I hope to get back to my morning routine soon because I miss it dearly.

What is a ritual?

rit·u·al/ˈriCHo͞oəl/

Noun:

a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.

The rituals in our lives do provide a great source of comfort. They give meaning to our everyday lives and provide a feeling of contentment and that all is right in the world. When we lose those same rituals, it can shake our foundations and leave one feeling, not only out of sorts, but also quite lost.

I think that might be what I’m feeling right now…a loss of the rituals in my life. I hadn’t realized just how much our move to Florida has really affected me but it really has, tremendously. I believe that if I can regain those routines that give me a sense of regularity in my life and create new ones that I will feel better and more at peace.

It also makes me wonder what kind of rituals others observe in their life. So tell me, what are the routines and rituals that give you comfort? What do you do daily or weekly that gives you a sense of peace.

I ask because I want to begin new rituals in order to give my life a greater sense of peace and comfort and, hopefully, my days will begin to have more meaning. 

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Holy Cow!

Are you on Pinterest yet? I am. In fact, I am on Pinterest way, way too much. It is getting in the way of my blogging and other stuff cause that is one addicting place/activity. I love it so much.

Oh my, I do love it.

If you’re not on it yet, take my advice and don’t do it!! If you do, you’ll be like me and go for days without washing your hair, taking a shower or even getting out of your jammies. It takes over your mind and your whole life! All you can think about is what you might be missing on there; all those glorious finds you could be pinning.

I’m only half kidding here.

Seriously, I am warning you…be careful…Pinterest is like the heroin of the internet.

Be the kid in youIn other news, It has been one of my goals to start doing more videos for my YouTube channel and I was all ready to do some new ones with the journal pages I’ve been working on, like that one over there <—. Bad part was that I couldn’t find my Flip video camera. I tore my studio apart looking for it and, after 3-4 days of searching high and love, I reasoned that it must have fallen into my big trash can and been thrown out. *Huge sigh*

Know what I found this afternoon? Yep, my Flip…in my nightstand! I have no clue how it got there but it did. I’m just glad to have found it. It was killing me to think I had thrown it away, even if it was accidentally.

So, it looks like I can actually work on doing some videos, like I had planned in the first place. YAY!  That is if I can keep up with my video camera.

I also need to get back into my groove and start posting on Art Journaling II, again. Funny how you can be so into something one day and you find you’ve lost all interest in that same thing the very next day. I think it must be my depression/SAD that does that to me. I really hate it but I’m going to work hard to push past it.

Some good news on the creativity front…I do feel like I’ve pulled myself out of my funk cause I have been an art journaling fool lately. Once again I can spend literally hours in my studio, paint flinging like mad. WOW!!! I had no idea how much I had been missing this feeling.

In fact, I think I’ll head back in there for a while before bed. *snicker*

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Days

Hola, my dear friends.

I’ve sure missed y’all but life has been busy in one way or another continuously for the past week.

I had some really major dental surgery on December 1st and had to have some follow up surgery this week. I really hate the dentist, too. So when I haven’t been completely high on Lortabs or trying to spend time with Richie, I’ve been trying to do some full on creating and art journaling…you can tell by the disaster I call my desk. lol

017

I have managed to complete two journals and I need to do flip-throughs of both of them…maybe tomorrow or Saturday. I should have plenty of time since I have the next three full days with nothing on tap for me while my hubby is gone to a Managers conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

This will probably make me sound like a 15 y/o girl but he and I seldom spend time apart. In fact other than these yearly conferences and once when I stayed with my sister when she had surgery…we’ve never been apart. Actually, that’s the way we like it. Sappy as it sounds, there is no one I’d rather be around. I realize that I am a very lucky woman.

Isn’t it great when life works out that way?

It’s good to know that so  many of you agree with me on Paula Deen’s products being so blasted high priced. It’s just a shame that someone like her has either forgotten where she came from or, more likely, is having her name plastered on these over-priced items in order to get those crazy high prices.

Either way, I think it sucks.

Okay, I need to sign off for now and curl up next to Richie since 3:30am is going to come mighty early in the morning.

Back soon.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thanks!

Before I say anything else, I really want to tell you guys how much your recent comments and kind words have meant to me. Some of you are commenting for the first time just to let me know you are reading and that thrills me so much. So, thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate you all more than you can imagine. It helps this soul of mine just beam.

025I’ve been busy in my art journal and hope to have some more photos besides the one over <---- to share with you over the weekend, if we don’t get busy while Richie is off.

His work is stressing about his work and our finances so much right now. I hope to get him out of the house over the weekend and go to the beach…it really works wonders on his stress. It’s like all that tension just floats away and he is a new man after that, completely.

In other news, I thought I would make a little list to clue y’all in on a few things, some strange, I bet you didn’t know about me…

  1. I absolutely swoon for a man in a seersucker suit. matlockIt must be some odd Matlock fetish or something. lol
  2. I collect quotations…thousands…and have notebooks full of them.
  3. Even though I have a horrible fear of heights and of flying, I really want to skydive. Badly.
  4. If I had my life to live over again, I would leave for Europe the day after I graduated high school to backpack, cliché as it might sound. Then I would come back to the states and do college then law school. If only.
  5. I have taken lessons for: tennis, guitar, clarinet, swimming, calligraphy…the only ones that stuck with me are swimming & calligraphy. The others were not my things, I guess.
  6. I have had very short hair since I was a kid but I’m finally letting it grow…so I can get dreadlocks! (I’m doing it at the end of the month. YAY!)
  7. Other than a few things from Wal-Mart, I have no clothing that haven’t come from thrift or consignment stores or garage sales.
  8. I’m giving serious consideration to changing my name. I’m not sure what I want to change it to, though. I just know I don’t feel like a Barbara or Barb.
  9. I have voted in every election since I turned 18.
  10. I am disgusted enough with our country that I would leave the US for good if I thought we could make it financially.
  11. I could eat Mexican food three meals a day, for the rest of my life. OMG, I love it so unbelievably much. Nom! lol

I suppose that is enough drivel for now. I think that I am just wanting to open up a bit more and find lists are an easy way to do it.

Do me a favor, won’t you? Leave a comment (anonymously, if you want) and tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know…kind of like a post secret of sorts.

C’mon…you can' tell me.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Paula Ain’t Right

Can someone explain to me what is up with Paula Deen? 

I mean, I am the first to pledge my undying love for her Gooey Butter Cake, I could eat my weight in the food from her restaurant, and I agree with her belief that butter makes everything better.

My problem with her is that she has forgotten where she came from.  Once upon a time she was long suffering single m,other with agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), stuck in her little Savannah apartment with a terrible fear of going outside. She still had to make a living and that’s how Paula Deen began her cooking empire. She made sack lunches and the boys, her sons, would deliver these lunches all over downtown. Then she made pies for the holidays, and on and on it went.

She was poor as a church mouse back in those days…but now she’s wealthy beyond belief. So why is it with her background that a simple set of measuring cups, pretty as they are, from her website store cost $179.95?!?!?!? Here they are, so tell me…would you pay $179.95 for these?

Are there really that many people out there with more money than sense that will spend these outrageous prices to buy this kind of thing? If so, I am in the wrong business! Well, figuratively speaking, of course, since I’m really in no business. You get what I’m saying.

*hushing now*.

Just something that struck me today.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shrink and Hide

I have done so much thinking while I’ve been away from blogging. You would think that when my mind is so full that I would be overflowing with things to talk about here, but that certainly the way it has worked.

I’ve been trying to figure out where my mojo goes when it leaves me (like it has done for the past few weeks…uh, months,) and just this morning, I think I have figured part of it out. Back when I first began blogging, I did it just for fun and to show the crafts and art that I was creating. As time progressed and I turned more toward art and less toward craft, I found myself overwhelmed by comparing myself to others. In the world of art journaling, there are some awesome artists out there, and it’s hard not to compare yourself to some of them. In bathing myself in the work of others and doing these comparisons, I’ve done more damage to myself than I have good.

003I guess what that does to my mojo is to make it shrink and hide in the shadows, fearful of failing. I’m well aware that the only way to succeed is to risk failure…but I also feel like this uninspired feeling isn’t something I have chosen. What I know I have to do is to stop with the comparison, stop scouring the internet for inspiration…most of all, I must trust myself and stop being afraid of putting myself out there; to stop being so safe.

I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish these things, I just know I have to try. That’s what 2012 is going to be about for me, my struggles to let go, to find my voice, to simplify…to IMPROVE (my word for the year!)

Thank you to everyone that commented on my last entry. Although I know I need to stop all of my dependency on acknowledgement from others, it still feels good to know I am noticed. I love each of you…truly I do.

It’s going to be a good year…I can just feel it.

Peace & Love,
Barb

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