Tag Archives: college

The Art of Production

When the chicks leave the nest, there’s a relationship dynamic that needs to be rediscovered and rebuilt with patience and a whole new respect for one another. For example, this year I remembered my husband is artistic. Now that I am his aged wife, I admire his commitment and discipline to his most recent medium: oil on canvas.

When we first met I knew he could draw and create. I enjoyed watching him sketch with his younger brother in the dining room or produce strategic military scenarios in the sandbox with his baby brother. Nowadays he and I go on Friday night dates that include a 40-70% off canvas sale or a quick stop to replenish an oil color. Our early Sunday mornings usually consist of old episodes of Bob Ross or the Jenkins. When Richie is in his own makeshift studio, I love seeing his art come to still life.

This past weekend we went into one of our girl’s abandoned bedrooms to view his gallery that is taking shape. Christmas presents and potential future sales adorn the walls. We took our conversation across the hall to our other daughter’s abandoned bedroom, to view all the stored art supplies. My artist husband was like a kid in a candy store. He excitedly counted his canvas inventory, by size, as he considered his next subject.

My more analytical perspective concluded, “At the rate you are turning out finished pieces each week, you still have a two years supply of canvas!”

“But I bought them all on sale!?”, he replied with an appreciation for commerce I wish I’d seen more of over the last 27 years.

“Yes, hon, and I know you’re excited to transform them but your storage costs will break you in the end.” Although I’d considered our gallery ambiance as romantic and thought about the Picasso series, Genius, we’d recently watched, I was unintentionally a buzz kill.

My perpetual inventory comment ruined the creative mood, so we walked outside to enjoy an Indian summer on the deck. Our preparations for winter were viewable at the back of the garage: bagged coal, stacked wood and kindling piles. We milled about watering the plants that were still enjoying the warm weather, rehung the hammock that isn’t quite ready for winter storage and added Halloween decorations to the yard.

I retrieved a fall slate for the back door, came back out on the deck, and as Richie raked wood chips near the railing he announced, “I need another 8×10.”

I became impatient. “Are you kidding me? You’re addicted! Didn’t we just have this 2-year stockpile conversation?”

He looked hurt.

Confused.

Liked he’d lost respect for me.

“A tarp. I need an 8×10 foot tarp for this last small pile of seasoned wood!”

It’s our dynamic.

It doesn’t need to be rebuilt.

Or rediscovered.

Our relationship is still a blend of old habits and new beginnings. I have a lot of respect for my husband’s hobby but must continue to work on the art of conversation. After all, in our family, the chicks are gone, the cock does more than a-doodle and I am still the mother hen.

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#PRallstars – Fantastic Four

My niece, Melissa, and I have never missed viewing three consecutive episodes of Project Runway All-Stars together.On this week before Easter, I bowed out again because my youngest daughter was home for the holiday. Time with her is fleeting as she gets older, so her presence overrides everything. She trumps my weekly budget, closet items and PRAS routine!

Tarah and I binge watched shows she missed during exams instead. At 9:15, I knew the four remaining designers and iconic judges would soon be on the updated round runway. I glanced down at my phone wondering if Melissa was in D.C. without me? She was at the Capital and shared her capital lettering:

The remaining designers were indeed the fantastic four. Melissa knows I loved Fabio in his original seasonand evidently she now appreciates his Sunday best. My niece was ready to text about the episode but I explained I wasn’t watching. She understood and stopped the relay of unfolding events. About an hour later, I acknowledged that yes, we needed to talk over the weekend and then I put my phone away for the night:

I hadn’t seen Melissa’s response until the next morning – after the episode aired. Feeling unresolved, anxious for the results and out-of-the loop, I responded accordingly:

I didn’t watch TV that morning but Good Friday was still a great day. My daughter and I went shopping, shared a delicious Italian late lunch and played cards into the night.

PRAS withdrawal kicked in as I went to bed, so I gave myself a challenge and knew I had to “make it work”. I woke before the sun and watched TV on demand. I also started texting notes for later discussion with Melissa:

I know my texting had woken Melissa up but she stayed awake to humor me and relive a great episode. My niece saw my final remarks later in the morning and responded:

We must join creative forces and watch together! Project Runway All Stars has been a fantastic season. In four more days, the last episode will be a finale marvel.

#Guess

Friday night but my disciplined husband keeps his weekly work routine and goes to bed by 9:00.

Past 9:30 but this cinema buff keeps her weekend desire to watch old movies past midnight.

Classic Hepburn was a given. Including Spencer Tracy and Sydney Poitier was like adding salt and pepper to a favorite dish.

Guess who’s coming to dinner was my 1967 choice. Looking back in time at this social issue was the comedy-drama I wanted.

15 minutes into the movie and I wonder why I hear my husband going out the back door? I figured he needed more wood to ensure the fire made it through the night. My mind stays focused on the screen and I pay more attention to the gallery and nice digs than I do to my own artful home. When I hear the stairs, I finally turn my head thinking Richie decided to join me.

But it’s not Richie!

Guess who’s coming to dinner was my 2018 reality. Gawking in surprise at my non-social butterfly baby girl was the comedy-drama I needed.

She had not flown in on United but I was thrilled to be reunited with her.

I didn’t have a Tillie to make us sandwiches and it was too cold to eat outside but I did whip us up some cheesy scrambled eggs to eat in the kitchen.

I never made it past the scene where the doctor meets the dad. On the interesting flip side, Tarah’s dad visits his doctor in the morning.

Our reunion tonight was comedic. I can’t wait to see what drama unfolds tomorrow…in both households.

I am my blog

My life’s motto is the same as my blood type:

be positive.

My fashion statement is the same as my home decor:

relaxed.

My persona is the same as my perspective about the future:

welcoming.

 There are so many good things in every day life. Relax, put your feet up and read.

Welcome to my blog!

Gone but not forgotten

Our daughter has been in Philadelphia for several weeks. I miss her terribly just knowing she’s further away than usual. When I opened the refrigerator this morning, I saw her face. Maple syrup from the restaurant she likes. Dunkers that she  usually buys at Trader Joe’s for her dad. The bottle of Coke I had to buy yesterday because it showcased her name. Tomorrow I’ll buy some cream cheese and have a loaded steak and whiz sub for lunch. Somehow the visuals and city references bring her closer to home. It’s been a Rocky road for me. Ah, yes, that too will shorten the distance. A mom has to do what a mom has to do.

Release

Saturday’s are a mixed emotion for me. I struggle with how to enjoy a day off and still complete as many chores as possible. This morning I decided to mix business with pleasure and triple task. The plan was threefold:

– enjoy the calm and breezy  summer morning

– walk 3 miles to the bank instead of driving

– get in some exercise and tone my legs

It was a great idea but as I got to my halfway point, I thought of another task I should have completed before leaving the house. It occurred to me as the skies opened up and left me walking in a downpour and flip-flops. I could’ve checked the weather app. 

Now I’m feeling down, pouring myself a coffee and admitting my plan was a flop. 

– The walk wasn’t a breeze or calming.

– One can bank on the fact that my cold cash is now wet.

– I need to set a new tone for the day. 

My work is never done.