Lit up by the sun, joy in the face of grief.

Apr 15, 2023

It's the weekend and I'm feeling better!

This was a tough week. We hit the 5 month mark this week—5 months since Mom crossed over. I was just starting to feel like I had gotten over the hump but no. I don’t know what I was thinking. I remember Mom telling me that when she hit the decade mark after her mom died was when she started feeling a little better. ‚Äč

A decade. A lifetime happens in a decade.

‚Äč‚ÄčI was looking at photos this week and found this one from just over a decade ago. I love how Mom was lit up by the sun in this photo. Pretty fitting now as she's actually in the light :-) ‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč

And this one from 8 years ago:

Brad took this photo back when life was “normal” (whatever that means.) Our daughter had just left the house (if you want to know more, you can start here) and we were finally safe for the first time in 6 years. We looked normal here but weren’t really. Relief and grief was the name of the game that year. And for several more after that. ‚Äč‚ÄčI suppose it’s realizations like that that has me again appreciating my ability to notice the little things that bring joy.

Thursday my aunt and I were having both a cry and laugh fest over all the pics from my computer and a cardinal came to sing very loudly next to my window. You remember me telling you about my Mom saying she would send me bright red cardinals right? We live in NC, they are everywhere so how would I know when it was a message? ‚Äč‚ÄčI absolutely know. ‚Äč‚ÄčThey show up right at a moment when I need them. Beautiful. A little bit of bright joy from Mom. We've got to find the joy in the everyday stuff because sometimes the big stuff is ugly and hard.

‚Äč‚ÄčThis tiny lizard brought me the same, “Oh look!” feeling this week:

‚Äč‚ÄčFinding I Love Lucy curled up in my neurofeedback chair was a sweet surprise:

She has never gotten up there before‚Äč‚Äč (which is good, I don't want her up there lol)

The new growth on holly‚Äč‚Äč:

This weird fuzzy thing on a tree (I think it's a hickory):

‚Äč‚ÄčFirst spiderweb of the season:

‚Äč‚ÄčRayn soaking up the early morning sun after a chilly night‚Äč‚Äč:

The hot pink seed pods on my Japanese Maple:

‚Äč‚ÄčI took a leaf off my Mom’s gorgeous and very old African Violet, put it in water, waited for a month and LOOK!! Roots! And don't I love seeing Polar Bear hair in absolutely everything, including this leaf:

These finger cots at the art store—for pastel artists but they made me laugh out loud because for a split second I thought they were condoms for little bitty…ūüėā‚Äč‚Äč

Speaking of art, I was in Pittsburgh visiting my brother. He’s an artist too and has taken over most of his two car garage as his studio. We got to paint together for the first time. ‚Äč‚ÄčI haven’t painted since I finished the big purple horse and had been thinking about painting people again. I’ve only painted a dozen or so and what I have painted have all been in colored pencil. Now that I've switched to acrylic and a completely different style with lots of color, I thought I'd maybe feel like I was starting from scratch. Turns out, all my past practice was very useful which shouldn't be a surprise but still was :-)

I'm not sure what to name her yet, if you have ideas, send them on over!

Acrylic, 18x24" and on one of those deep canvases so I'm thinking about signing the side of the canvas instead of the front. We shall see. Wanna see the progression?

‚Äč‚ÄčIt was fun to play again! I got a little freaked out when I realized I needed to move that right eye up by about a quarter of an inch but I was brave and just did it and it worked out great.

And someone else was brave this week! ‚Äč‚ÄčI Love Lucy came with me on my trip and she was a great traveling companion! A little weirded out when we got there, "Is this my bed? I feel funny. I'm confused.":‚Äč‚Äč

"Maybe I'll be safer down in the Nightmare on Elm Street basement?"

But she soon figured out her schedule and life was very similar to home. She’s always been a farm dog and hasn’t lived the suburban life of all my other Border Collies, so long distance traveling was new. I’d take her again!‚Äč‚Äč

Brad sent me this pic while I was gone. One of these things is not like the other:‚Äč

Apparently he opened Poppy's outer pasture to the horses over night but forgot to close the inner gate so Poppy just wandered out. What's cute is that he could have easily gotten out of the horse pasture but didn't! I was also very happy to see that the donkey didn't bother him and that the horses didn't seem to mind him at all :-)

And finally, the Polar Bear doesn’t want to let me out of her sight, she didn’t like that I was gone for so long!


I grew up in a house with a dad who would NOT have found this funny but also with a mom who would have found it as funny as I do:


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