Tuesday, November 17, 2015

dealing with my demons and other assorted life bits....

getting ready to sage.......but procrastinating by doing a blog post first.

our family has been through a living hell for 5 years now.   my hubby was forced to retire from a job he had for over 30 years because of a money hungry company, we lost health care, our furnace and a/c pooped out and we had plans to replace them about the same time he lost his job, (we still go without heat and a/c)  our antique couch and love seat, 80 and 100 years old pooped out and we were going to replace them as well, (my hubby transformed an antique buffet into a very uncomfortable couch this past summer)  we were remodeling our kitchen, the outside of the house needs siding replaced.....all of that put on hold.  we have gone hungry for days, even a few times for weeks....only to become ill from our body trying to process food when we were able to eat for the first time again.  thankfully that was only the first few years, now, we may not be eating steak and lobster.....the meals are simple, but we eat.   we have felt like, and it has looked like we have been living in _______________  (fill in the blank with the word you feel least offended by.....slums, projects, poor house........)

may 31, 2013 our home was hit by a f-3 tornado.  may 31st 2014 my hubby and i were hit head on by a woman who ran a red light.   it took months to be able to function again, and to this day we are both still experiencing physical issues from the accident.  i still have flashbacks from the accident and panic attacks when i walk down to my studio, not to mention being in a car.... in january of this year i had 2 surgeries, and there were questions as if i would, in the end, survive the mystery infection, he had 1 in between my two.  i am now finally getting back to 'normal' from that.   my youngest son has lost 8 friends (?), i have lost count, this year.   plus 1 friend lost both his legs in an accident, an acquaintance is fighting for his life at this moment.  he has been going through a nightmare with his newest truck, my daughter experiencing a lot of mental and emotional issues as she has lost a great deal of weight this year, many of the same our sister in law experienced as she lost a great deal of weight.  

then there are the stresses from trying to figure out which bills to pay this month, things we use to consider normal expenses are luxuries.

in january, when the hubby and i were recouping from our surgeries, our daughters naughty cat knocked the christmas tree down and it broke, along with most of my beautiful antique ornaments.   i have been praying for a miracle that we can replace that tree, the ornaments, and buy christmas gifts for the kids.   my kids are all young adults, but i can not tell you what an awful feeling it is to not only go without food on christmas morning, but to not even have a small gift under the tree for each of them.  i am keeping the faith and believing with all my might that we will be blessed and be able to replace that tree, the ornaments and buy gifts not only for our kids, but for someone who still has little ones that believe in santa.  

there is a ton of icky, bad, sticky, ooey gooey juju floating around this house.

it is time to clean house.

i go to church twice a week, i spend time with God everyday, i read my bible......but the blech is still around here in the house....so even if the darkness and demons are of my own making, sending them packing so i can solder, assemble, and create again in peace will be awesome.

happy stuff......

several friends and my family have been pushing me to do an adult coloring book.   i put it off.  i do not have a publisher.   i do not know how it is going to happen.  the market is already flooded with them.   i do not have a real plan.  if i can't answer these questions, then why should i even start or try.....but...why not.   my drawings have now been published twice.....who knows what could happen.

just a sample of some of the tangles drawn so far......

the one below i just finished last night.   i love line drawing.   i love how it almost seems like you could touch the page and feel the hills and valleys created by the pen.  it is the most meditative art form i know of.    it amazes me every time how easy it is to get in the zone and empty my mind while at the same time feeling like i am moving in rhythm with the pen.

while working on the project above, and being lost in the moment, i thought about how on a hot day you can see the shadow of heat coming off of like a bar-b-que pit, or the exhaust of a vehicle and how it rolls and moves....the lines i was drawing looked a bit like that......which led to the following thought and post on facebook....

coulda heard crickets chirping on that post.   thankfully one good friend, who gets me, replied.....

as i grow older, and wiser, i realize how much energy is put out there, and how we can almost physically touch each other with that energy.   i think some of us are much more sensitive to it than others.   my hubby.....immune.  if you seem like a nice person he likes you.   me.....i can size up, with about 98% accuracy, anyone in the first few seconds i see you.   maybe it has to do with a couple of icky bad things that happened as a child in combination with being hearing impaired most of my life...i have learned to listen to body language, then speech.

so anyway....back to where i was heading to ....
a few weeks ago i made a quick list of what to draw for the coloring book and decided to just start drawing.   i will in faith leap, and the wings will grow on the way down.  i will take the first step and the staircase will appear.

i am also in the middle of a huge hand sewing project, and getting my studio cleaned and organized, and demon free, so that i can begin making gifts.

ahhhhhh.....and when i find myself stressed, i always, and i  mean always....for some reason feel the need to add in something challenging.   i have been wanting to teach myself to draw monsters....nice, sweet, maybe slightly creepy, monsters....like for a year now, or more....and i decide to do it....now.

monster #1

monster #2

i love this little geriatric beat to crap chicken bat so much!   i drew it for my oldest son's 22nd birthday card....i love that boy to pieces, but it was gut wrenching to give this guy away knowing he would be stuffed in a memory box.  i feel really bad admitting that, but it is the truth.

i might draw another....i already know i would do that tattered wings a tad bit different.....

my dad.......

i am amazed how when we talk to our loved ones that have crossed over, how they will many times communicate back with us.  

a couple of days ago i was talking, in my head, to my dad about a situation.  i went to empty the washer and found a penny.   lots of time i find change in the washer...no biggie.   when i find just a penny, or just pennies, i feel like that is an angel saying hi.   but where i found this penny when i opened the washer....i knew i had been acknowledged...

that is where the penny stayed during the entire wash, rinse, and spin cycle.  how it did not vibrate in to the washer i will never know.

i also have to say that since the latest iphone update, you can not edit a photo on your phone and then have it transfer in a file you can open on a windows based computer.....grrrrrr....so the photo is sideways.

a bit earlier in the day i was talking again to my dad, and i then realized there was something on instagram i wanted to show my daughter.   i grabbed my phone, opened my instagram app, and the first photo was a screen shot of a screen shot from someones phone....notice the header on the text message says......dad.    got an acknowledgement again.

i don't talk to my dad everyday, and many times i don't get an answer.....that i know of.   but we have connected quite a bit lately.  maybe because i have been jabbering at him so much lately he is trying to get me to leave him alone...lol....?

later in the day i was thinking of my sister.   her first and middle name...cheryl lynn.   long story, again....talking with my dad about something involving her.....and the song 'got to be real' popped in my head.   when i get random songs in my head, and i know i have not heard them recently....and they all seem to be 90's and older, i go looking up the lyrics....just to see if there is a message, or meaning.   many times i can't find one.   so, i googled the lyrics for this song, and it was blown away....the first and middle name of an artist that recorded this song......

blew me away......again my dad heard me.   i did not remember her until i saw this on google.

if you are rolling your eyes and thinking i am a crazy flake....you gotta stand  in line behind my mom, dad, and sister.   thank God my hubby and kids have witnessed these things first hand enough, and 2 of my kids are gifted with this as well, so they have not had me committed.   my hubby almost did not marry me because my ability to know things and weird prophetic dreams.....he tells me on a regular basis i need to document and write a book on my dreams, so since i have already exposed enough crazy here these last few blog posts i will probably start posting them next post.

but i share these very personal experiences for someone who has lost a loved one and wonders if they are a crazy flake too, or wonder if that butterfly, penny...or smell...or whatever is really a sign.   i want that person to know it is real.   i want that person to take comfort knowing they are surrounded by love.   i also believe that the more i work on being a better me, the more i have these experiences.  when i went through i really tough time and was holding a bit of anger and unforgiveness i rarely, if ever had these experiences.

i also see numbers....11/13 is from my dad, 905 from my grandma, 4/13 if i need to call my mom, smells.....coffee and home cooking from my mom's parents.   cigarette smoke, my dad's parents.

i think you have to be open and willing to experience this.   i think gratitude and acknowledgment play a part in it.   i thank my dad, my angel, every time i am gifted.   i assume it is my dad who plays games with me at times, and i feel like it is him when i find hearts, pennies in really hard to find or really odd places.

some hearts i was gifted.....

my oldest son's fiance' sent my son home with the remainder of cake she had made him...found this yellow frosting heart on the side last night.

an ice cube

there was another heart or two, and i guess i did not take a photo.

and for cat lovers.....

why does max take so long to come in the house after he comes home......i have waited for him to pet me all day....(or....am i dying, or is that just gas?)

oh....i just heard max come in the front door.   (or...i just farted....did they hear it?)

being a cat is so hard.....i collapse from exhaustion.

my furry dream catcher....

my furry dream catcher giving me the stink eye for taking photos of her while she is trying to sleep.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

they never leave us, completely

the 13th of this month will be 11 years ago my dad passed away, 'unexpectedly'.

unexpectedly in quotes, because this girl, the family flake, knew months before my dad passed that there was not much time left for him with us.   a couple of months before he died i hugged him extra tight and breathed in his cologne as deeply as i could.   i never told anyone i knew, because how do you tell people that think you are a bit odd, weird, and flakey that their husband/dad is going to die.

my dad died at the age of 59 of an aortic aneurism.

(his ashes are in the heart necklace.   i ended up being allergic to the necklace.   i cried for days.   i felt my dad was rejecting me again and did not want to be that close to me.)

i love my daddy very much.....i miss him very much.

my dad had a rough life growing up, a screwed up life.....something that was passed down like hair or eye color through the generations.   it affected our relationship greatly.   he and my mom were kids when i was born, just 9 days after my mom's 18th birthday.  he was just 20.   i was a mistake.

skipping most of the details, my younger sister and i were raised differently.   i was the black sheep, flake.....you name it.  if it was negative, it was me.   spent most of my life on what my parents called 'the shit list'.   never made that man proud once.   if he was happy with me, i knew it was just a matter of time before i screwed up again and was back on 'the list'.   i tried so hard to be what they wanted and expected me to be and i was not true to my self....after all being accepted by others is a desire we all have to a degree, but being accepted by your tribe, your family and loved unconditionally is almost a need.

that is me to the left....

in the months before my dad passed we had some really good conversations, that i treasure....who knows what would have happened had he lived.

i tell you this, so that you know i was not daddy's little girl, we were not really close.   in time i learned to understand he was a product of a super crappy childhood.  i would like to say i have forgiven him completely....for the most part i have.  sometimes i just remember something that still hurts or makes me mad, but.......but......i have changed.   i get it.  the adult in me is all good, the little girl in me....eh....she is healing.     i wish we had another chance......and my dad has worked really hard from the other side to show me he loves me.

i wrote a post, here on my blog,  in august of 2013 about how he came to me, and our family in the form of a butterfly.   we interacted for a very long time.   it was my wedding anniversary.  it was the most beautiful experience.   i hoped to have another experience someday, but i felt selfish for wishing and asking for it.   we took hundreds of photos.  one of the photos i use as my home screen on my phone.   it was, and still is one of my most precious experiences and gifts i have ever received.

this past august 4th, the day of my wedding anniversary, i asked my dad for another butterfly.  later that afternoon i realized i had zero chance of interacting with a butterfly because our house was under an almost 2 month attack from hornets.   BUT.....later that day i walked by our finch cage and saw this floating in the water bowl.....

i line the bottom of the finch cage, and change the paper almost daily, with adds from this.....

these are free at local shops, they fit the finch cage perfectly.    there are various adds, mostly used car dealers and working ladies advertise here.   never once had i seen a butterfly on any of the pages, but floating in the water bowl was a torn piece with a butterfly on it.    my finches are very smart...they pull the paper in to their bowl and have learned that when the paper gets wet it tears easily, they then line their nests with the paper and as it dries it conforms to the nest.

i never said out loud i wanted another butterfly.   just in my head.   i have learned our loved ones who have passed not only hear our words.....they know what we are thinking.   i know because it has happened many times.

i receive hearts on a regular basis, and photograph quite a few of them...just so i don't forget just how loved i am from the other side.

my dad plays hide and seek with pennies and hearts.  sometimes i sense he is playing a game with me.   or, maybe he knows i will always listen to that tiny voice that tells me to look some place weird and do something goofy.

these are just a few of the hearts i was given in the past 10 days or so.....

this past wednesday....the 2nd i believe, i was feeling the kind of menieres attack coming on that is the worst.   it is hard not to get worked up knowing what is in store.   i did as much housework as i could and crossed a few other things off my to do list knowing i had at least a couple of days in bed coming.   i had already been grounded to bed several times by the hubby over the last couple of weeks with bad attacks, but this one.  yuck.   i can't even sew, draw, watch tv, get on the computer....nothing.     i found myself standing just a few feet from the foyer trying to figure out what to do next as my brain and body were starting to feel crappier by the minute and i decided that something good is going to happen to me today.   with that i felt the need to look out the sidelight window of my front door.   i looked down and there is was.....

i saw that the penny was heads up and thought to myself how my dad would have approved of this one.   he was a very superstitious guy. 

i wobbled down the hall to get my phone so i could take a photo of where it was on the porch to show my hubby and kids later and found this new text message on my phone from my hubby......which i thought confirmed that the penny on the porch was definitely from my dad....but wait....it gets lots better.

it is a photo of a Sysco truck.  that is the company my dad was working for up until the day he died.  we always take it as a 'hi' from my dad when we see one.  

my hubby is not tech savy at all.   we have shown him hundreds of times how to save photos from a text message and how to text a photo to someone and whooooooofffff, it goes right in one ear and out the other and doesn't even mess up his hair!   so, by the grace of God, he somehow was able to text me this.

this, though was not the first photo he took.   this is......

my hubby, being the sweet guy he is, and listening to the voice....that quite honestly i don't even think he is aware of......he decided to get a better photo of the truck for me.   it was his love for me and his instinct to pull in to the parking lot where the truck was and snap the first photo i showed you that gave me the hand written note from my dad.

as i looked at the photo my  hubby texted me, i noticed a weird brown, transparent floaty thing to the left of the cab of the truck.  i enlarged the photo on my screen......

you can actually read the word better in the second of the 3 photos.   it appears to be a skeletonized leaf being blown by the wind, as it was quite breezy that day.   it says 'dad' on it!!!   my dad knew that brown blob would peak my curiosity.   he sent me a note.   it almost looks as thought the top part of the line of the first lower case 'd' was cut off, but that says dad....i was so excited to show my hubby and kids as they came home.

my dad did it again.   this last photo is now on the lock screen of my phone.   i can't tell you how many times a day i lock my phone just so i can see it.    it is now the last thing i look at before i go to sleep and the first thing i look at in the morning.   i feel so blessed to feel a kind of love i wanted so badly from my dad while he was alive, now.

it gets just a bit better.......

the evening our neighbor took his life, i was devastated.  my heart ached to see him laying there in his backyard, alone.   i kept praying for a sign that he made it 'home' safely and was at peace.

my husband and i stayed outside until the coroner van drove off with his body.   while the csi and detective were gathering info i noticed a group of 's' in the sky.  i tried to figure out what it meant, and i decided to take a photo of it in hopes i would figure the puzzle out on a later date.   i figured it out when looking at the photos my hubby took of the Sysco truck,   my dad was letting me know tom was safe and sound.

there is one 's' in the bluish color in the sky, kind of slanted, and 2 in the pink.

they kind of form a pattern, like this.

that just happens to be in the same pattern as the 's' in the Sysco logo.

so.  if you have lost someone.   please know, they are around you.   you have to believe, be open to the experience.......and maybe be just a bit of a flake.

thank you daddy.   i love you.  

p.s.   just realized i forgot to add this.....when i was going through my uploaded files to pick the photos for this post, one of the photos with the leaf signed dad, is photo number 465.   i was born april (4th month) 1965.    my birthday acknowledged by my dad.