Saturday, September 16, 2017


i turn 50 in a few weeks.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

those are difficult words for me, and i'm not sure why.

i'm kind of conflicted about the whole thing, really.

part of me wants a big bash.  but what would i want a party to be like?  wine-or-other-booze?  somewhere besides my house, for sure.

i want to feel like people care about me enough to celebrate me.  but then, i want to hide from it all and everyone.  because i am not comfortable around people.   because i feel nobody would come anyway.  because most of the people who are in "my tribe" live far away.  because i'm sad i'm turning 50.  because i don't wanna be 'old'.

i think of 50 and i think "i'm almost 70".  i truly think that.

i think back on my daddys' 50th birthday celebration.  he had a tent and a million people (ok, not that many, but a lot) at the farm to celebrate his milestone.  there was tons of food, people brought their instruments to sing, there were toasts made.  but, he was the man.  he was popular and amazing, and so loved in his career.  i stay at home, have never had a job, and stick to myself.  there can be no comparing.  but, why does part of me want a birthday bash when it would stress me out?  do i need the validation that i am worthy of a party, that i made it this far?  do i feel that this is what people do for their 50th, what people do FOR people when they turn 50, and that i'm not loved enough if i'm not given a party?  those expectations are killer, guys, killer!

my mother tells me she took a trip to ireland for her 50th.  at least i think that was the ireland trip.  my momma has always loved traveling and was able to do so.  mark and i don't have the funds to do anything like that, and even if we did, i'd be worried about my pup at home.  and, no, we can't even take her camping because she hates the car!  so, travel is out.

i told mark a bit ago, like 6 months or longer, that this was his to plan for me, thinking it really wasn't right for me to plan my own party.  gave him some ideas, like going to see a live musical.  we tossed around the idea of going to new york city for a big night on the town.  or boston, which is several hours closer to us and could be done in a day, not overnight like NYC.  i basically set myself up for disappointment.  and i haven't bugged him about it for months.  because i'm still unsure that i want anything.  maybe if i just ignore it, i will be ok. (update; we have discussed, and bought tickets to see "evil dead the musical" in worcester, which is even closer to us than boston, a couple days after my actual birthday!)

so, what is it about 50?  mid-life, assuming one lives to be 100 years old.  lord help mark if i do!  has the crisis hit?  i think it hit me a while ago, always thinking of the next big number.  but 50 is B-I-G!  where one looks back on where they were, and looks forward to where they wish to be, and then tries to map out directions from point A to point B.

i know i've come a long way in my life, from that scared little teenage mom struggling to keep her marriage going.  who was told not to come back with a baby if i got married and it didn't work out.  so, i stayed in the marriage for as long as i could, against the advice of my close friend who saw what was really going on.  i've come SO far from that place!

even from the newly bereaved mom place of being couch bound and over sleeping for more than a year.  though i still was strong and brave there, taking on school councillors who didn't understand, two bouts of lice, driving hubby to work, and dealing with police and obtaining a no trespass order against a dude at the cemetery.  i'm not there anymore.  i've come so far, and done such hard work.

i'm now in a good place.  one of creating art and grocery dates with hubby.  life has become placid for me, as placid as i can get anyway.  taking daily walks with pup is an exciting event.

but, where do i want to be in 5 years?  what do i honestly want?  i'm scared to ask for a budding career that will make us money.  scared because of the eyes on me, the travel involved in showing, the stress of commissions and selling.  if i could do anything and not fail... thats exactly what i would do!  if i had no anxiety disorder, sign me up yesterday!

so, how do i get to THAT place with generalized anxiety disorder???  the art show i'm doing in february is a huge step in the right direction.   when mark and i were at the fairgrounds i went to look at the art that was showing, and it interested me and i thought for a second that i could handle that.  i have a friend with a storefront who has suggested i set up to sell my art in her shop, and i have plans to make smaller, affordably priced work for there (after february).  maybe buying some of my art merchandise from my shop along with smaller original work to set up at street fairs and farmers markets in the towns closest to us.  those are some mostly manageable ideas that could help me get to where i would like to end up.

one of my totes, still going strong

i'm still in that wishy-washy place of turning 50, but i think i'm feeling better about my role in the next phase.  while i am still being gentle with my self care for my all over health, i do have these mini quests to check off, so to speak.

still the warrior of my life!

until later,

Friday, September 15, 2017

i know this

todays nudge was "what is something i know for sure"

well, this i know;  mark loves me with all his soul.

i am a wounded warrior.  my first marriage was a bust, and i have had other man mistakes in my life, so getting to a point of trust was a difficult one.  when mark and i first were dating i would flinch if he moved too fast, and i would be scared out of my wits if i wasn't expecting him and he suddenly showed up in my field of vision.

five years into our marriage, and seven in our relationship, we went thru the chaos of my oldest son dying.  mark was right there with me, but i needed more.  he was having game nights and things were a mess so he quit them for me.  that was a huge sacrifice for him, as that must have been his own life line.  something that could get his mind off of the grief he couldn't fix.

mark has been the soul money maker in our large household and i honestly don't know how he made ends meet.  he did though, or made it seem like he did.  he never wanted me to worry, as that added stress to my already overworked immune system and illnesses.

i've been the sick one, the one in the hospital, at the doctors, having surgeries, and mark has been forever beside me, holding my hand, making sure i was as comfortable as i could be.  even on good days he will tell me to take it easy and rest, knowing if i over-do it one day then the next will be trash.

this sweet, funny man treats me like a queen.  he literally expects nothing from me except for me to love him, and even then he will say he's not worthy (which is bologna and i feel the opposite is true).

mark goes out of his way to be goofy to try to make my day a little brighter.  he only wants to see me smile.  he has supported my choices, no matter how odd they seemed.  he has been with me thru thick and thin, sickness and health, with critters coming out of the woodwork at times, thru my heartache and losses, thru my anxieties and insecurities.  thru all my drama moments.  and he still loves me, fully.

even now, 23 years later, i still have my moments of doubt.  but those moments are so backwards that even my brain realizes these are the fake thoughts of my anxieties.  i know this truth; i am loved by this man.  it's stronger than any love i could have imagined.  and i can rest in this moment, knowing that all is fine.  this moment is perfect.  right here and now is perfect and i don't need to worry.  i am safe.

thank you, mark, for being my heart.  i adore you.

until later,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

not too many know this about me

this is todays prompt and i had to share this one.

i don't know why or how it started.  but, with six kids between us i had to make life a little more, um... light-hearted.

and, for years and years this went on.

hasn't happened in a while, since the kids moved out i suppose...

but, it never failed.

whenever someone asked for a pickle, or mentioned the word

i would start singing the pickle song  (aka the motorcycle song) by arlo guthrie.

just the chorus.

and, badly.

cause to REALLY sing the pickle song, you must sing it badly.

I don't want a pickle Just want to ride on my motorsickle And I don't want a tickle Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I don't want to die just want to ride on my motorcy...cle

it became a thing.  the kids knew it.  and, either they loved it, or they hated it, or they loved and hated it, or they loved TO hate it.  but, it was my thing with them, and *i* loved it.  i loved being silly with them in this specific way, a consistent way for them to interact with me and me with them.

i brought my nephew into the tradition, as he was a regular at the house at that time, and i swear he didn't think i could carry a tune.

he may have been surprised to hear a few years later that i had joined a singing group (short lived, but fun and scary).  i remember him talking to hubby about my singing, and hubby trying to explain that i can sing, it's just that song is traditionally sung that way.

about a month ago, my sweet man texted me saying that he was at lunch with a client, who asked mark if mark wanted a pickle and then launched into the song.  mark said he HAD to tell me immediately.  i had to ask if he sang it badly, to which he replied "of course!  how else would one sing it"

an appropriate photo for this story, i think.
and, no, i wasn't intending to ride, 
just sitting on sons motorcy...cle

-this is no disrespect to mr. guthrie.  i adore his songs and his way of story telling.  i grew up listening to him, and he holds a tender spot in my heart and soul

until later,

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

alone and unsupervised

hubby left early this morning for an overnight business trip.  he will be back tomorrow evening/night.  that means i will be alone tonight with just me and the critters.

so, what will i do with my time with no adult supervision?  the fact that i've been looking at the clock just about every hour today and am already tired at 5 pm makes me think i will be putting myself to bed at a staggeringly early hour, even for me.

when mark is home i used to try to force myself to stay up until 9pm, but that ship has sailed many months ago and now i struggle to stay up until 8.  i don't think it's the coming autumn, with the sun setting earlier, because i think it started in the summer months.  yes, i remember going to bed when the sun was still bright, and i was reminded of my childhood when i would complain to my parents when they told me it was bedtime and the sun was still out.  didn't i know how wonderful sleep is?  why are children so stupid about sleep?  it is a wonderful invention!

i think i screwed myself by getting so much done yesterday.  i woke so sore and exhausted this morning.  my shins hurt, my ears hurt, my toes hurt.  these are not the normal areas of pain for me, and all signs that the fibromyalgia would win today.  but, i forced myself to slow walk the pup around the lake.  she is a great friend these days while walking!  i never would have thought that the pup that pulled so hard i could not walk her without pain now walks with the leash on the ground, and waits for me if she gets too far ahead.  she stops, and looks back with her paw raised, just waiting for her mama.  today there was lots of waiting involved, and she was content to do so.

she's slowly learning to enjoy the water!

when the fibro is bad i have issues with concentration, so reading is difficult and i rely on 'the stupid box' way too much.  our remote control to our tv and various systems has been running out of battery juice the last few days, and i had been eeking out the last of it.  of course it ran out of juice today, and of course we don't have any replacements in the house.  so, i've been keeping the tv on the roku system instead of going back and forth between cable tv and netflix.  i can use the roku remote and turn on and off the tv the old fashioned way.

i've also been snacking too much the last few days, which is annoying when i'm trying to eat better and take gentle care of myself.  old habits and all.  i had my 'dinner' at 4 this afternoon.  damn, i'm sounding REALLY old!

so, this is what this wild and crazy chick does with her unsupervised time without hubby.  i think i'd have more of a social life in an old folks home!  i just have to remember that this was a time of self care after a busy day yesterday, and i'm dealing with some chronic issues.  days won't always look like this, and there is no reason to be embarrassed about resting and going to bed at toddler times.  as long as i have my security pup, i'll be set!

until later,

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

after a date with sheep, i'm getting down to business!

i keep saying this to myself, but i must get to work to make sure my paintings are ready to show for februarys art show at our local library!  i have about 17 paintings that are finished, but none are completely ready to show.  the ones that are wired to hang have not been varnished, there are some that are varnished but without wire or painted sides, and many states in between.  not one is at a level i would be willing to show!

i need to breathe!

yesterday i put a coat of varnish on my two latest paintings, and today i will check to see if they are dry for the second coat.  then they will have to completely dry for at least a week before wiring, so i don't mess up the varnish.

varnishing is a long process and one that takes all of my available creative space, the wiring takes a lot out of me and gives me pain, so thats why i've procrastinated these steps.  if i give hubby the task to drill pilot holes for the screws i think that will help, but he is so busy and i feel bad asking him to do yet another task for me.

each of the paintings has a little bio already written, but i have adjusted my pricing structure so i must make sure each painting is measured and priced accordingly.

i've looked critically at the prices of my pieces and have decided to use a price per square inch for the smaller pieces, and then at a certain size to switch to linear inches which will make the larger pieces more affordable.  it may be a strange way to price things but i want to make sure my pieces are available for people of all income levels.  thats why i have my shop, as well.  if someone can't afford an original, maybe they can afford a print, and they can surely afford cards or a mug.  it's not the same as an original, of course, but it's something from my heart, and the energy and love is still there.

last sunday hubby and i needed to bring my daddys truck back to my stepmom after a beauty treatment.  since we were going to be in the area, and the franklin county fair was in it's last day we decided to go see the sites.  i loved the fair when i was younger, and the livestock animals were my favorite attraction.  but the first thing we managed was to watch the fireman muster!  we got there just in time and it was a blast and i was cheering on the teams like it was the Super Bowl!

we made sure i was able to touch a few critters, and i chatted it up with a woman who was showing her beautiful cows.  then we went over to see the sheep and goats.  there were a few there that needed some jenny love, and they knew just how to get me to them.

 this sweetheart wanted to kiss me on the nose, 
and i wasn't too sure i wanted to let that happen.
just a little intimidating with the size difference!

this little love enjoyed my two handed skritch approach, 
and didn't want me to leave her.  
the feeling was mutual!

i'm still having computer issues, and hubby keeps breathing life back into it.  just not sure how long this is going to last.  keeping my fingers crossed that life and money woes continue to straighten themselves out, and that things stop breaking!

until later,

Saturday, September 9, 2017

day 8- my favorite teacher

i was a child that did not like school very much.  i was not a good student, had some learning disabilities and "back in those days" things were not diagnosed like they are now.  so, i did a lot of staring out the window and copying friends math and being utterly lost at times.  this lasted until 9th grade when i became pregnant and dropped out of school.

middle school was rough because it all changed.  we went from being with one teacher all day to different teachers throughout the day for different studies.  this meant i had to deal with different personalities and a differing schedule each day.  and it wasn't an easy schedule, like monday was always this schedule tuesday always looked like this and so on, it was a rotating schedule, some persons sick joke on me i think.  each day looked different, and to make things worse i was horribly disorganized, and never had my schedule print out.  it was a bigger school, too.  so, i used to ask friends what was next after each class, hoping someone knew what i had, and i had to find the classroom, hoping the teacher was in a good mood that day for my nonsense.

my favorite teacher was before the chaos of middle and high school started.  mrs. tolin.  sixth grade.  she was a truly supportive woman who loved reading as much as i did, and read out loud to the class often.  she let the kids pick out books for her to read, and i picked out the great billy hopkins.  i was surprised when she got to certain words that she had to 'edit' for language.  i felt embarrassed that i chose a book that mrs. tolin couldn't enjoy as much as i enjoyed it.  i wanted to make her proud, and instead made her work harder, and possibly made her look down on me for reading such "bad" words.

mrs. tolin helped make learning seem fun for one year.  she went to my 12th birthday party and gave me a holly hobby christmas ornament which i still have.  when i had my beautiful son, winter-orion, she came to the hospital to visit us.  she was a special person.

we lost touch for a while, and then started sending each other christmas cards with short notes telling how things were going.  and then she stuck in a check.  and that stayed the norm for many, many years.

her notes got shorter and her handwriting became shaky.  she started telling me her health was not too well.  my mother mentioned to me one day that mrs. tolin had been in the hospital and maybe i should send her a letter, which i did.

and, then the card didn't come.

this was a couple years ago, and i checked online for an obituary that i couldn't find, so i've been living with the belief that my sweet teacher, mrs. tolin, is living happily away in a nursing home, reading her favorite books and listening to her favorite music.

little jenny

until later,

Friday, September 8, 2017

day 7- a revelation of sorts

i think i've figured out why september of these last few years have been increasingly difficult for me. september had always been one of change, which has always difficult for me, but it was also an exciting time filled with back to school activities. shopping for new clothes and school supplies, first with me as the recipient and then with our 6 children. it was a time of busyness and of anticipation of the coming years' growth and learning.

after winter died, the children living with me (my two living boys and my oldest stepson) were all taken out of school to learn at home for various reasons. they were all struggling with a school system that allowed no grief time, that didn't understand anything but teaching cookie cutter style. the kids each had their own unique way of dealing with their trauma and it came out in their schooling, of course.

the boys and i became even closer, doing everything together, me trying to figure out how to help each of them and eventually finding a great resource nearby that allowed for child led learning. the center was short lived, but the kids got a lot out of learning how to learn during that time.

my stepson eventually went back to public high school to succeed a bit better than if he had stayed in the system. he had been given some new tools and had been gently guided by his family to a level of maturity where he was now able to fit in. the other two boys got their GED each at age 16 and started taking college classes.

now these kids are each successful adults, one living in california with his wife and 10 year old twins (he would have to live in hawaii to be further away and still live in the united states!).

where my house used to be a bustling beehive any day of the year it is now silent. september just brings the silence more fully into view. my children were my career and i was forced into retirement.

youngest and i at the bridge by my childhood farm

it's nice to have the understanding of where all this extra sadness is coming from in september. knowing is half the battle and hopefully i can now concentrate on finding something to help the empty nest syndrome that becomes an unbearable beast.

in other news, my computer is failing. luckily hubby is a computer technician who can revive it so i can work on it for a few hours the next day, but theres no telling how long it will be able to continue in this fashion. my art, my blog, my classes- all need my computer. sweetie estimated for me to get another computer of this quality would be 2-3K. we just can't afford that, with my car needing transmission work, and our house leaking during rainstorms.  i just don't know my future in blogging right now. i'm worried i won't be able to download the rest of this years classes. i'm a smidge less concerned about getting reference photos to work from, but that concern is there, too. so, if suddenly the blog becomes stagnant, thats probably the reason. hubby now and again gets old computers at work that he can frankenstein together, but that happens less often than it used to. i'll do what i can to continue my time on social media as long as i can, cause blogging has become important to me

my bff is going thru some rough stuff that is just not letting up. she is feeling lost and alone and i'm sure is feeling beat up from life. it's been going on a long time for her, and she got some devastating news a couple days ago that brought her again to her knees. my heart is with her, i hurt for her. and i wish her peace in these troubled times. yesterday i went into the studio and found a blank canvas to use as therapy for my own feelings about what she's going thru.

it will be getting more layers before i call it complete, but i'm liking where it's headed and i'm grateful for the outlet that art provides me when i'm feeling useless.

until later,