Never leave me alone with my thoughts

Firstly, to those of you wonderful people who took the time to read what I posted earlier, I apologise.

That post was lazy, poor thought out and basically pretty crappy.

So it is gone.

And here I am 10 hours later, trying to retrieve the thoughts that flooded my head as I negotiated the traffic of my half hour drive home from work tonight.

Each day I drive the same road, sometimes even seeing the same cars.

Some nights the traffic flows quickly and I am home before I know it, but often, there are snarls where we sit, and wait, before crawling forward a few metres and then stopping again.

I find it my thinking time.

The music is playing, usually my iPod set on “shuffle”.  Sometimes a song will play which has me lifting the volume and seat dancing, and other times it is merely background noise.

While I sit and wait for the lights to change, I replay the day, or the week and try to solve the never-ending challenges that this world and life throws at me.

I have decided that each parent should be issued with a toilet roll length of writing paper for each child at birth to assist with the constant endless lists that come with parenting.

It starts with lists of baby requirements, prams, and nappies, moves on to school books and uniforms and before you know it, the list is all about work clothes, steel cap boots and getting them a job.

And a car.

Well we can cross that off the list anyway.

At least for Big C.

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From the constant plotting and planning and organising of being a super mum, my thoughts will sometimes drift to other things.

Conversations with friends, can be examined, and replayed and even more deeply, I examine my own life, my past, and my here and now.

I am so blessed in so many ways.

I was lucky to be born to parents that are still together, to be able to have a quality education and have never been unemployed or homeless.

I am certainly not saying it was all perfect.  There have been bumps and bruises along the way.  People, who through their actions have impacted on me and not always in a positive way.

I have made choices and not all of them smart.

And to be honest, I haven’t been very adventurous either.

But life has never forced me to be.

I once pondered here that sometimes I felt I was “vanilla” and I perhaps I longed to be more interesting, maybe more “rocky road”.

And you all, my friends, reassured me that Vanilla was wonderful, and I guess it is.

Not all of my friends have been as lucky as me.  Life has been harder, the bumps and bruises are deeper and have had a greater impact.

And yet, these people, the ones that are surviving everything that life has thrown at them, are to me, so inspirational.

They often have the biggest hearts, are the most creative and perhaps because they take nothing for granted, make the best friends.

I have learned so much from meeting these people, often through this blog, and having them in my lives.

My life is so much more the richer.

And I am thankful.

Those that read what I posted earlier, would have noted the line “I made a friend cry”

Not all tears are bad.  Sometimes, when the connection is deep, the trust strong and the conversation intense, tears can fall.

We are working on a project connected with a cause important to both of us.

World AIDS Day.  December 1st.

There is still no cure.   We have to keep the conversation happening.  HIV will not go away on its own.

 

For those of you still here after the 600 odd words so far, especially if you are crying out “but where is the art?”

A little more work on the cafe scene.  You might need to check earlier posts to see the difference.

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Also after a couple or six wines at the neighbours, there is plotting of a possible painting of a wine barrel that is to be used as a table.

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Not sure when that will happen, but it could be a hoot to give it a go.

The last photo to show you, a bit of fun.  I call it training for my trip next year.

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Not only does my friend in Texas tell my how much he loves Dr Pepper, but the town where we plan to stay when we visit him, has a Dr Pepper museum.
So when I saw the can in the supermarket I grabbed it.
Funny thing is, the can I bought was actually made in the UK.
Fail.

Happily, MJ, has located a genuine Made in the USA can of Dr Pepper which I shall try over the weekend.
I just wonder if it will taste the same as the stuff the Brits made.

Well a lot more words, and hopefully a better post.
I have no idea really.

But this is done.

Almost the weekend.
It has been a bit of a crazy week, and I am ready for some down time.

 

Sending out hugs and smiles.

Until next time xx

 

 

 

 

 

And the Boss was singing “Chicken Pizza”

It’s still warm, even at nearly 10pm.

I don’t mind though.  Enjoy it while I can, is my mantra at the moment.  Besides, they are predicting a cool change sweeping the state tomorrow evening.

There is always change.  A change in the weather is nothing really to stress about.

Actually, stressing about change is pointless as well.

Shit happens.  So does good stuff too.

It really is all part of the adventure of life.

Rather deep and meaningful for a warm Wednesday night.  There is a cop show on the tv.  One that I don’t particularly enjoy but as Hubby has sat through my favorite drama, it is my turn to grin and bear it, at least until this is written and my cup of tea is finished.

I stepped out of my comfort zone last night, accepting the offer from Big C to drive me home.  I was a little nervous, but he is becoming a confident and competent driver and with a little bit of luck, in New Year, we will be celebrating him obtaining his license.

We are actually moving into a year of celebrations.

Big C finishes high school and turns 18.

Hubby hits the big 5 oh.

MJ will celebrate his 21st in April.

and yours truly will finish 2015 with her 50th birthday also.

So there has been talk of parties.  A family affair for Big C is planned.  That is all he wants.  And a car.

We are discovering that a license, and transport are essential for a job seeker.

And we need to get that kid a proper job, so his gift from us will be a little cheapie of a car.

Hubby has refused a party.  He simply does not want a fuss made of his birthday.

His only request is that I accompany him for a weekend away.  Just me and him and the archery club at a country shoot in January.

He will love it, we will have fun, and I will probably get a lovely afternoon to sit and read my book.  Or wander the city of Mount Gambier, perhaps looking for arty inspiration.

It’s not that hard to find the positive.

I haven’t been well, three days off work last week.  Nothing too serious, I went to the Doc, got some medication and plenty of rest.

So much going on lately, I am a little inclined to blame stress.

So I need to stay positive and not let things get to me.  Just breathe, laugh often and celebrate the wins.

Like a hot coffee, waiting for me when I arrived at work.  My boss is pretty awesome.

I have clean shiny kitchen cupboards and vacuumed carpet, thanks to Big C doing chores while I am at work.

MJ has finally secured some work experience and has finished exams for the year.

My cuppa tea was delicious and I have been making progress on both of my paintings.

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Still a lot more work on both, but we are getting there slowly.

Both are different and both are providing huge learning opportunities.  There is an awful lot of problem solving in a painting.

A lot of stepping back, appreciating what works, and fixing what doesn’t work.

And sometimes, just accepting, that what will be.. will be.

And that is ok too.

It is the little quirks that make art and life interesting.

That and having a boss who continually changes the words to songs.

“Chicken pizza tell me the truth…”

 

 

Facing the fear

Gauging by the comments on my last post, my photo of the lady Redback spooked a few of you.

Believe it or not, spiders terrify me too, but when you fight the fear, and really stop to look at these little creatures, some of them are incredibly beautiful.

And realistically, it is not the spider you can see that is the one you have to worry about…

Growing up here in Australia, a redback spider was, and still is, part of summer life.  We are lucky here in Adelaide to not have the nastier Sydney Funnel Web, but our colourful black and red arachnid will still give you a nasty bite if you are not careful.

That said, I have never been bitten and really don’t know anybody who has.

It is routine to check the outdoor table and chairs, before sitting, and also under the window ledges and rubbish bins, and it can be pretty obvious when a spider is in residence by the messy web they like to leave around.

And usually, all it takes to evict permanently is a shot of bug spray, a quick brush with the boom and you are ready to enjoy a comfy sit.

I wouldn’t call myself a thrill seeker, I despise rollercoasters and know I have a problem with heights.

I am not really sure I enjoy flying, and to be honest, I can be quite shy when meeting people.

But facing fear, any fear, will make you feel alive.

It pushes you to experience the world fully.

I am a little scared of coming to the USA.  It is an awful long way and is going to be hugely expensive.

I can worry about the million things that might go wrong.  I can worry about missed flights, plane crashes, random shootings, terrorist attacks, bears, mountain lions, skunks, cholesterol overload….  (feel free to dispute my stereotyping)

I know there will be a frisson of fear when I put myself in high places like the Grand Canyon or on a balcony of a skyscraper.  There will be the fear of the crowds in New York, fear of getting lost or mugged or running out of spending money. (what if I can’t get a cheesy I heart NY t-shirt?)

And the fear that  meeting my friends, despite all the planning, and hoping and counting down, could all go horribly wrong.  (and I end up short a bodily organ or three)

But I am going to face these fears, and in doing that, I know I will experience such wonders, and beauty and fun that my life will be so much richer.   This, I am confident.

We all have fears, some more rational than others.  But we need to face them, even if we can’t overcome them.

(Big C driving still scares the crap out of me, but I am trying)

If you can, look again at that spider photo.  Look how beautiful she is.  How amazing her markings are.  The colours, and shapes are natures way of telling us to be careful of her.

She was just sitting on a rubbish bin, outside, enjoying the morning sun.  No bigger than a thumb nail.

Not hurting anyone.

And really, probably much  more scared of me.

And if you just can’t face that again,

Here are some triple chocolate chip muffins. Fresh out of the oven.

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Nothing scary about that eh?

Oh and did you watch the first Dazey Mahem video?  It really is fucking funny.  (That was before you got to the spider pic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distractions

The sun has disappeared today, replaced by grey rainy skies and I find myself sitting quietly in my studio/office/girl cave with random music playing through the speakers of my laptop as I attempt to sort the ever-growing pile of crap on my desk.

A futile effort perhaps as I become distracted yet again by something I would rather do instead.

The morning started with a wonderful giggle.

My gorgeous friend Rabbit has started a YouTube channel for his alter ego “Dazey Mahem”.

The lovely Dazey has been in retirement for a few years but Rabbit has decided it is time to put her to work.

Her first video is a blooper reel as she works the bugs out and is random and hilarious and probably not safe for work.

Give it a watch though, and subscribe so we can hopefully get plenty of snarky wisdom and fun in the future.

I watched this girl “beat’ her face before the filming and that was art in itself.

I confess, I am a little in need of distraction this week.

On Wednesday, Big C will finish high school.

No more homework, no more books,

No more Teacher’s dirty looks…

No more mum hassling about homework or washing a pile of grotty school clothes.

No more shopping for backpacks and basic black shoes.

And in just over a month he will be 18 and legally an adult.

As his mother, this is totally messing with my head.

My baby all grown up.

It makes me feel so bloody old.

And this is all new to us.  MJ just simply went off to Uni to do his degree.

Big C will now be a “job seeker”.  And there aren’t that many full-time permanent jobs around.

So lets add fear and worry into the mix of Mother’s emotions.

But I shall distract myself with my art.

A new painting underway.  And still more work to do on the tulips.

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Plus I am figuring out what paintings to submit to a huge regional show that is held in January.

Plenty to keep my mind busy..

oh look shiny…

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Spring has sprung

And finally we get some warmth.
Warm enough to dry the washing on the line without having to bring them inside damp.
Warm enough to have the weeds growing in the lawn to the height of shrubs
Warm enough to enjoy breakfast cooked on our new BBQ outside on the patio.
And warm enough to have us getting the pool ready for summer swimming and cleaning the muck out of the turtle pond.

I love Spring.
There are flowers everywhere. Sure in my garden, a lot of them are probably weeds but they are pretty anyway.
Clocks have changed and we have lighter longer evenings.

Although
I confess, it was very bloody dark last week when I was dragging my butt from my nice comfy bed at 4.30 am so as to be at work by 6am.
And for anybody contemplating doing the same, 4.30 m is a ridiculous and insane time of the morning to get up.

The actual work was ok. Just would have been so much better if I had been able to do the same job at a much more social time like say..8am.
But people want their mail in their boxes early and so it had to be done.

Thank god for coffee and concealer.

At least it was only a week and now my shift returns to normality (what ever the hell that is) and I will get some free mornings to get the overdue chores done that were ignored last week.

Having said that, this weekend has been a lovely mix of productive and lazy.
Saturday it was back to a new term of art classes. I was all ready to start my little cafe scene that I want to paint but my teacher had another idea, getting the class to do an exercise in abstracting a landscape.
Of course the whole abstract thing still gives me dread after having it rammed down my throat at the last school but this was a different exercise and we didn’t even have to paint it unless we wanted to.
I did and came away with a (unfinished) nice little painting that is a good practice for doing that particular scene another time.

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After class I had my hair done, nearly falling asleep in the chair as my hairdresser redid my colour and we both agreed that a nana nap was in order for later that day.

Which of course happened.

Today I have been cleaning windows, washing clothes and helping hubby with the spring turtle stocktake.
After hibernating in their pond all winter, it was time to drain the green slime, check on the little creatures and refill the pond with fresh water.

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There is a lovely shoulder of lamb roasting in the bbq.. oh yes, we got a new bbq to replace the one that hubby managed to set fire to last Easter. Like any new “toy”, it is getting lots of use as we work out how to cook on it without cremating the food (Sadly the chicken didn’t appreciate just how hot it was and quickly became charcoal)

There hasn’t been any more work on the tulips since last Sunday. I took it to class for show and tell. My teacher is impressed and made some suggestions and I will get around to it eventually.

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For now though, I think it might be time to hang out the last load of washing and then pour myself a coldie.
Cider or wine?

Either sound rather nice for now.

 

 

Ps I renewed the domain lizardhappy.com for another year, so I guess you are stuck with me for a bit longer

11:11

Some things are impossible to explain.  They just are.

We can try of course.

Put it down to habit or circumstance, time of the day or routine.

But usually there is no explanation, no reason and it all remains a mystery.

This week there have been so many times when I have looked at the clock to see the same combination of numbers.

Perhaps not on my clock but on the international clocks I have on my ipad.

Emails sent and received, time stamped with that particular number and happening often enough for me to wonder if there is some significance or some message that I should take notice of.

I don’t understand numerology but believe that there is more to life and the universe than we can possibly understand and so I will ponder and then paint.

For painting something had become an almost overwhelming desire in the last few days.

Perhaps because it has been a few weeks since I put brush to canvas.  Perhaps it is a reaction to the routine and demands of everyday work.

But the need to cover a canvas with colour dragged me from my bed early this morning and without much more than a photo for some inspiration, I started a new painting.

No pre-drawing, no tonal sketches or measuring.  No over thinking.

Starting with a blue background and just a basic chalk drawing before adding paint.  Mostly dark reds and greens to begin with.

The only plan to get the darks in first before adding the light later.

Its loose, textural and quite abstracted.

I worked quickly, pushing away the nagging insecurity whispering that it could all go terribly wrong.  That I could fuck up a perfectly good canvas.

And I went back to the beginning.  When I didn’t know “the rules”.  When I just painted instinctively.

Big brushes and knives.

It is a long way from finished, but it answered the need.  Tomorrow I will paint more.

Next week, at class, I will start my street-scape.  I will measure and plan and think.

For now though, it is all about colour, shape and light.

I guess my streetscape will be about the same things too.

But for now,

This is a little freedom from thinking.

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Stop the world..

Wake, eat, work, sleep, repeat.

There was a long weekend, the clocks changed, a friend came to visit, we had wine and food and an awesome time.

But now, I am back to the grind

The Boss is sick, people are on leave and it just gets busier.

So you get a crap post, simply so you know I haven’t abandoned you all.

and a photo of amazing lemon meringue pie which I enjoyed at the new Jamie Oliver restaurant in the city.

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This weekend I hope to paint.  I need to splash some colour.

 

I miss having paint under my nails