Monday, December 17, 2007

HOPE is a four letter word

First off, thank you everyone who left a kind message regarding my last post. It does a gals heart good to be told how well she can write. I humbly thank y'all.

I try to avoid writing about family members and those close to me. I feel this is akin to stepping over a line called friendship and perhaps even ethics. It sucks at times when I have such a juicy story I am dying to tell! The only family person I will write about (besides Joe and I tell him every) is Bridget. She is the type of person that when I mention Blog she says, "What???"

Last week a light bulb not only went off above my head, fireworks, dancing the polka, tossing back chocolate-tinis and throwing knives also accompanied the sudden parting of the fog!

I had decided to give her for Christmas jewelry-beading lessons.

The girl is good with her hands. Her Dad made his living making dental crowns and the such so she has inherited the gift. One of her first jobs was making one of original fast food "wraps" (a good ten years ago) and she was always put on the Wrap line because she was excellent at this particular composition. It has manifested itself in various ways years before, and after. I just was not paying particular attention.

She is in a series struggle to find her way in life. Going to school is not an options as she is just not.....let's say she is class room averse.

I never felt so brilliant in my life. And so late in being brilliant.

I have been canvassing all the Bead shops, craft shops and any small shop on Bardstown Road that may offer lessons. Today I hit the jackpot, and she was even with me! I had taken her out to lunch to give her a pep talk and good meal. She begged to hang out with me (how could I say no) so I told her what I was up to.

As we drove past the shop she turned to me and said, "Dad's friend owns this shop, I think. One time he was going to ask Sandy to hire me."

And yes it was Sandy! And yes they do have private lessons that are very reasonable and progressive. Bridget was in love as we entered the store and began to study all the beads, baubles, stones, strings and rocks....

I talked to Sandy. "How did you get into this business?'

10 minutes later.................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bridget said later she felt so bad for me, she should have warned me ahead of time how ponderous he could be at times.

I was just glad he started in the middle and did not start out telling me where he was born, how much he weighed, and where he went to grammar school, high school, took music lessons......blah blah blah.

What a story!

I could have told it in two paragraphs. It took him a lot longer.

But, I have hope and it feels so good. It feels like a warm wonderfulness in the mid section. She and I had an exquisite talk on the way to drop her off. Already we have a web site and so many art shows lines up in our heads.

If enthusiasm begets success that kid has a road opening up for her.

Just, never ask Sandy anything personal. Unless you have an afternoon to kill.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sunday Scribblings # 88

Another interesting thought provoking entry brought to you by Sunday Scribblings.

The subject....Competition.

On the surface, the prompt did not seem that relevant to me and my thoughts, life, my being. Yet, when I am scrounging around for something to write about I returned the site and thought, what was I thinking!! I have a long history with being competitive and have the scars to prove it!

It all began in grammar school in a small two room school house where I realized I would never receive the best grades in the class no matter what I did, no matter how smart I thought I was, no matter what the subject, no matter how hard I tried. Her name was BKA and I loved her as much as I despised her. I competed for the Nuns attentions, grades, who got to the swing set first, who ate lunch with who under the sliding board, boyfriends from the meager selection we had out of our class of seven, (of which five were girls)(meaning Tom & Mac were in great demand) with this pretty demure girl from the country, a farmers daughter. We even fought (because isn't that what competition will turn into when you are eight and nine) over who was our best friend. We traded Missy back and forth like we traded school supplies, (trading supplies was one of our great passions and a coveted tiny red pen that had three ascending bubbles on it, much like three marbles, was the highest prize of all changing hands every several days)(I am remembering this stuff from over 40 years ago, the attached emotion is still so raw). She left our school before eight grade and nothing seemed right in the school, like the earth had deviated from its axis.

After that it was competitive swimming where I excelled, which surprised no one more than me, in the back stroke. I was good, very good, but now I was thrown into a bigger pool (no pun intended) of competitors, much larger than my grammar school universe, and the best I could do was to place seventh in the state competition when I was a Sophomore in HS. Lost interest after that.....I remember my Dad marveling at how when we would all approach the start how I was the smallest, slightest, least muscular and intimidating of all...yet I would kick ass (my words, not his)!

Then I didn't care about anything for awhile because it was the 1970's and I was in college.

Then it was the 1980's and I had to return to college and get a degree while attending night school because I had messed up so bad during my first attempt at majoring in FUN rather than a degree. And man oh man, did I ever want to prove myself as a scholar. I could not believe how I coveted having the highest grades in the class.....and I mean the curve setting grades.....and how I studied and studies and studied.

I did okay and at times, I did kick ass in the class room too.

Everyday I spent working for the Beverage Company involved some type of competition. I grew very weary.

It is at this point that I should be able to reflect and have some profound ending summary about how winning is not all it is cracked up to be. How we all compete yet we all can't be Top Dog. How it makes you stronger to stretch and try. How it builds character.

Yet all I can think of is Dirty Harry's famous line....

"A man's got to know his limitations."

And learn to live with them.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Almost Famous

Sunday morning I was looking through the travel section and read for the umpteenth time that you too can share your travel photo's with the Courier Journal! I looked at the photo's and thought to myself (for the umpteenth time)that my photo's are as good, if not better, than the three being featured that morning.

So I did it, I sat down and registered and uploaded four photo's from our trip to Ireland in 2004. My favorite photo from the entire 2004 was the one of Paddy Gleeson waving good-bye to Joe and myself as we left his cottage in O'Callahan's Mills, the home of one set of my Grandparents.

Paddy had just turned 100 and had his cards strung around the room from a string he had attached to all four walls. They hung like Christmas ornaments around the small dark area. We sat in front of his peat fire and drank a thimble of some grape wine he had on hand. He was partially deaf and very cute for 100.

Yesterday evening I open the paper and turn to A-2 and almost fall off the couch.

There is Paddy!!

I was not named as the photographer who supplied the picture, but the thrill of seeing one of my shots published was just pure joy. I immediately ran out of the house and began to hunt down all the newspaper stands to grab as many as I could.

After calling my mother.

And my brother.

And my sister.

I was so shocked and speechless!



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Workshop

I realize I spend a lot of time away from J-land. Actually, I am not blogging/journaling all that much anywhere anymore!

But...I was thinking about Christmas cards. I recently read about making a collage out of all your "saved" Christmas Cards. (come on, I know you save your cards too). So, I took it one better and thought I would make some cards from the stash I have accumulated over the years.

One thing led to another and I thought what if I asked if anyone wanted to be part of a Christmas Card exchange?

It is one of my favorite things....receiving cards, especially at Christmas. (don't worry Gayle, you are getting one...!!)(Jane, I need your address...)(Trish, I need your new address).

So, e-mail me, or leave a comment and let's see what happens.

(Yes, I sit on the floor...)