Joys and Flus

Joys and Flus

My throat hurts. I took too much medicine to sooth myself and I feel like laying down, the kind of way you feel when there’s a gas leak in your house. I’ve done so well. I am so happy. I got my review from The Pacific Book Review’s and it is awesome! I can’t wait to share it! The reviewer also loved my art work. But I can’t celebrate because I fear I am getting the flu my kids have had all week. I’m also scared my husband is getting it and he’ll be super tired when he gets home too. What if I must take care of everything tonight but I get a fever, because I feel I’m on the verge of a fever. The other day at the park I got this strange feeling, my body was so still, my mind, it was like a drug. But I had a feeling it was the Flu Virus, working its way into my body. Taking all my energy. The next day, which was yesterday I made broccoli and mushroom soup and I’ve been gorging on it to stay healthy. I washed my hands a million times and didn’t share food with the babies all week. I couldn’t keep it up well enough or maybe too much of Jack and Fiona’s sneezes and coughs in my face! So, I’m scared. I have one and a half hours until my babysitter is off. I think I should watch a trippy movie or take a nap. I’m just anxious to work on my next book and get back into the studio and start my next series. I think I’ll take the next few days off and rest.  

Happy Doesn’t Pay the Bills

Happy Doesn’t Pay the Bills

2008, I first think Obama, then it says Time For Change in a circle boarder with three paws and it says PETCO. Then I think that’s the year my mom died, and I realize 2008 was a long time ago. I grab a scoop of Billy’s dog food, that’s what I came in the pantry for in the first place. I ripped off the cardboard tag of the re-usable shopping bag. That date, 2008 has stuck in my mind all day. My clammy cold feet mind. I got a call from a woman from Readers Magnet. Before I called back I looked up the info about this company. “Beware of this Scam” it says when I type in the company. I take every criticism I read on the internet with a grain of salt. When I talk to the woman she gives me her sales pitch and tells me a bunch of new stuff about selling books. It gives me anxiety! But it’s informative. She talks about E-commerce and Pay Pal. Selling my books, myself straight off my web site. No Amazon. She also talked about SEO’s which I am befuddled by from my last interaction with SEO’s and advertising on WIX, the perverts the word “mom” brings out of the wood work. I don’t know how to sell my books or paintings or if anyone will ever buy them, it leaves me with the same question, how much time, energy, focus should I do on the marketing and selling side of things? I just want to write and work in my studio. My art show hasn’t panned out any big sales, I just get feeling like this sometimes. Things were so different in 2008, before 2008, there was a big change, for me and for the United States with Obama being elected. My mom died right before the Inauguration. She missed a time of hope and optimism. Even after she died I kept focusing on art and painting, getting into graduate school, I felt like the time would come when I could do what I love, which it has. I am doing what I love. I love painting and writing, and my life as a mother and wife and person in the community, I couldn’t be happier or prouder of myself. But Happy doesn’t pay the bills or store the art or pay for the publishing costs, only cash will. It’s not a choice, I won’t ever stop writing or painting, but, Do I let go of my dreams of my work I produce to cover the costs itself? And what about the hustling I need to embark on to try to sell my book and paintings? The time and the money, it’s overwhelming. With my disposition the only thing I can hope for would be a Gallery and a Traditional publishing company to pay me and sell my work! And that’s just a pipe dream, right? I mean what would I have to do?

No Nap Time Paintings Book, This year anyhow

No Nap Time Paintings Book, This year anyhow

I recieved my paperback copy of my book , Nap Time Paintings yesterday. I am totally dissapointed. It looks like a cheap overpriced magazine. It was marketed to me as a coffee table book. I shouldn’t have shared it on Face Book and Word Press before I recieved my copy, I was just so excited. This is what it looks like two days at home: 


The retail price is $41.99!!! Can you believe that? I’m so bummed. I don’t know how this happened, the only thing I can think is the company I’m dealing with is super unethical? 

Its a very sad thing.  

Studio Time Thursday, beginning of Non-ish naptime paintings(because you still get the suprise naps)

Studio Time Thursday, beginning of Non-ish naptime paintings(because you still get the suprise naps)

Studio called, helped me, cupped me, marked me. Studio welcomed me back, still work on New Work for my Fall show and possible inclusion on my new website and book. Work on colors, new, or deeper colors. Try to take my purples farther.  “Color is mood” someone said to me the other day.  I say this to myself as I work. I start on collages in my notebooks. Ripp up old drawings I worked on this week. 


Paint, add collage. Get excited. Print what is left on my plexiglass from yesterday when I did an art lesson on printmaking in Fionas class with the children. Again my true self emerged. I was my complete self teaching that class. Each kid made a beautiful print on nice paper. 

I was inspired today in my studio from the experiments yesterday in Fionas class.  


The house is quiet, Jack and Fiona are still sleeping. Its been a misty day. It’s 4:30pm, June 8th, 2017

How it was, what its like

How it was, what its like

“Time to go for a walk babies, do you want to take Billy for a walk?” I say. We just finished eating pasta for dinner, “This is how we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face, this is how we wash our face early in the evening.” I sing as I attempt to clean Jack and Fiona’s spaghetti sauce faces. I do a good enough job, grab both babies out of their high chairs, carry them down the stairs, Jack slipping out of my arm, I make it to the bottom without dropping one, set them both down. I open the door to the garage, “Look Daddy’s home.” I say. Alan is putting out the trash. Jack and Fiona scurry around the garage, touching things they shouldn’t touch, playing with a half put together toy dump truck we got for their birthday. (Alan put the wrong screw in one of the wheels so now he needs a long screwdriver to get it out, the kind of thing that eventually goes to the dump without ever being used) I go upstairs and put on  Billies leash, she’s shedding like crazy, big clumps of hair falling out, there’s no way to control it. I bring her downstairs and Alan has Jack and Fiona in the B.O.B. for me. “You guys need to learn how to do this” I say as I brush some of the clumps of hair off Billy. I imagine Jack and Fiona brushing Billy, loving her, taking care of her. She’ll probably be dead though before any of that actually happens. First we walk down the hill, “Billy’s sniffing, she loves to sniff, come on Billy, whoa!” she stops and pulls me backwards, “Billy, come on, you’re not going to pull me backwards on hills today, LET’S Go Girl!” I say. “Look at the trees guys, oh my god it’s going to be a bad night for pollen, can you feel the pollen in the air?” I say. Past the Bret Harte playground, I ask myself, is it really that bad? (I can’t get my first visits out of my mind, the dog poop, the dirty diaper in the corner, I won’t know until Jack and Fiona are older and we spend more time here, I think to myself.)  I really like the big Oak Tree. Up the next hill I’m laughing out loud. Smiling, wondering if I’m crazy? Crazy happy? Why do I have so much energy tonight? I imagine People think I’m crazy when they hear me talking and laughing while walking Billy and pushing the stroller. Before the babies came Alan used to always tell me, “Stop talking to yourself.” Now technically I’m not talking to myself any more, I’m talking to Jack and Fiona. I’ve always talked to my dogs. It’s natural. “Do you see the trees? The half-moon in the sky? The single dove on the telephone pole? Look at this pinecone.  The sun, no wait the sun is already down. Babies the sun is already down, but we’re lucky, we’ll make it home before dark. Oh my gosh, what if today was the last day we saw the sun? ” I think about it, the last day, that day will come. My new motto is “Keep on Movin’ Keep on Groovin’. Keep the wheels turning, that kinda thing. Yesterday it happened again, I got the babies down for their nap. I had to give them a bath, I didn’t use wipes at the park today. (the park I drove too, because at the time I think it’s a nicer park than my neighborhood park.) They have dirt on their legs, food on their faces, just messy! I watch the other moms at the park wiping the hands and faces of their babies several times. Sometimes thoughts appear in my mind, self-conciousness, “Do they think I’m a slob? I’m really dirty?” Even Alan has made comments after meals that I haven’t cleaned Jack and Fiona’s faces good enough and they are going to break out. Interesting huh? I wonder why people are so into cleanliness. Anyhow the babies were taking their nap, I had all my workout clothes on the floor, I was going to go through them and turn some into painting rags. I tell myself, “Just do it really fast” and I did. But I came upstairs to get some water, I decided I NEED to go to my studio and paint for a minute. Kaboom! I see the kitchen is a complete disaster, after the park I brought everything up and set it on the center Island. (The babies are asleep right now) I find myself walking around in circles picking stuff up, putting things in the sink, in the fridge, in new piles of like items. “STOP!” I say to myself. “Grab the baby monitor and water and Go to your studio!” I can finish cleaning later. I get into my studio. I’m feeling super inspired, is it the babies? Their passion for life? I don’t know but I’m feeling freedom. I paint fast and into new territories. I’m excited by the drawing I’m doing, the unconscious feeling I have when I paint with my few remaining usable paintbrushes, (I ruin all my paintbrushes, they turn hard as rocks) I grab a palette. The colors show up in my mind, I mix them. I use restraint not to overwork every single piece. I already have a huge pile of overworked pieces. (I may turn these into collage down the road) Its 5:30PM, I can’t believe the babies have slept so long. I finish up in my studio and go inside the house. (my studio is in the garage, built into the hillside. It stays the same temperature all year long) All is quiet, but I realize I had the wrong baby monitor. Oh well, they needed that rest and I needed to work in my studio no matter what. I walk in the house expecting to hear crying babies, but the house is still quiet. Sweet little babies, in their nursery, in their cribs. On white cotton sheets, a quiet peace surrounding Jack and Fiona as they sleep like babies, a sweetness I’ve never know before. Maybe comparable to a sweet late spring day, where the chimes chime in the breezy afternoon. The doors in the house, windows open, letting the light and smells of the day filter through my body. There are always sweet, lovely things to hang on to in life. Even on the most stressful, busy  days.

End of Naptime Paintings

End of Naptime Paintings

What thought do I start with. The small flying orange creature that just flew into my house, my notebooks laying out downstairs, almost bare. One piece of black handmade paper collage is glued on each page. I want to go down and work on them now. Jack and Fiona are not taking a nap. They are watching Toy Story. I can feel the naptimes are almost over. A little boy showed me his Dark Vader ice pack from his lunch box today as I pack up Jack’s left over lunch stuff. The teacher wants each kid to pick up their own lunch stuff. I’m the mom who comes in and picks up after her son. But I want to get to know his classmates, who he’s hanging out with. Jack spills a bucket of old daisies on the floor, they are dried out. A few sprinkled down on top of one of the girls sleeping mats. I pick up the flowers, leaving dust on the carpet, too difficult to pick up. A little girl asks me about the flowers. I say Jack picked them and brought them to school last week. He wanted to pass them out to the other kids. The girl and I talk about sewing the flowers together, making headbands. I tell the teacher she could use them to make prints. Two little ones are dosing off to sleep next to a teacher. They have their toy stuffies over their faces. I could tell a lot of them weren’t going to actually fall asleep. I put Jack and Fiona in their beds when we get home. I come upstairs. Hear them. Check on them. Soap all over the mirrors. They are not going to take a nap. I give them a bath. We read toy story and I decide to just play the movie for them so I get a break. The end of naptime. The end of naptime paintings and writings. It will now become something else. Some other piece of time carved out of motherhood. I will find it. Time will adjust. Now I have to go to my studio for a VERY SHORT TIME and make marks in my notebook.