Thursday, November 26, 2009

26 Years

26 years ago today I experienced one of the sweetest moments of my life.

Marrying the man I love? Well yes, THAT was a very sweet moment, unfortunately it took place during one of the most awkward weddings of all time... Seriously, imagine 'Hadfield's & McCoy's' or 'The Sharks & The Jets' or even 'Israel & Palestine' all coming together to sit down at the same table and 'try' to pretend to at least 'get along.'

My god, I have NO idea why we didn't just elope. My father & step-father always hated eachother since that day when my dad nearly tossed my step-father out the 4th story courthouse window when I was 10 yrs. old. My mother hated my father and evidenced this fact by loading up on so many 'happy pills' she barely functioned for formal photographs. Then, of course Everyone from the family I was marrying into hated my step-monster after all the turmoil she caused... But you know, we all had to be nice to keep the peace.

So yeah, the wedding? It pretty much sucked!

But the sweetest moment, the one I will forever cherish in my heart, was that moment just before I walked down the aisle on my father's arm and he turned to me, with tears in his eyes and said, "I just want you to know, I think you're marrying a good man and I'm very proud of you." It didn't really matter what the rest of the day had in store... The fact that my father shared this sentiment with me, following what was the most tumultuous period of my life, having fallen in love with a man who my step-monster did everything in her power to break apart, well THAT meant EVERYTHING!

And that part about me marrying a 'Good Man'... Well, my father couldn't have been more correct.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is it just me?

Or does this guy,
Look a hell of a lot like this guy,
The both of them totally creep me out!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

While Pumping Gas.... Really?

We all know when we see those little clusters of people, wearing their Sunday best, trolling through our neighborhoods, it's time to run in the house, close the blinds and pretend we're not home when the doorbell inevitably rings...

But today, while I was filling my gas tank, AT THE GAS STATION, a woman at the next pump approached me and in a bright voice said, "Good Morning"... I thought to myself, "How nice, rarely do people in the midst of pumping gas take time to greet one another." So I in turn, offered my own friendly greeting. And right after I did she pulled out a
'Watchtower' flier and said, "Here, I think you'll really enjoy reading this, it has a WONDERFUL article on Family... It's really a WONDERFUL article!"

Not wishing to be rude, because seriously, it's not like I could ditch inside my van and pretend like she didn't see me (however, thinking back on it that would've been a pretty hilarious move), I accepted the flier and said, "Uh, Um, Okay, Uh, thanks." When what I really wanted to say was, "Oh, I see... Get me when there's nowhere to hide."

Beware folks, the Jehovah's Witnesses have gone NINJA!

Are YOU prepared for the final days?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Vanity Takes A Back Seat

Life has been an absolute thrill ride over here at the Treehouse. I'm busier than ever and having the time of my life, doing EXACTLY what I love... Managing! And can I just say that, as a supreme control freak, I'm the best damn manager that ever managed anything EVER!

Last week was a freakin' whirlwind of activity. Throughout the week, the artists I've been working with got each of their sections decorated and stocked in preparation for Friday's Grand Opening. Tuesday I went down to the shop and painted a mural on the back wall, you know, to infuse an 'Artsy-ness' to the place and just as I was getting ready to start sketching out the mural, I got a call that the local paper was sending a photographer over to do a story on the place.

*blink* *blink* Photographer? Did I just say Photographer? Yep! And guess who didn't bother showering or putting on make-up that day because all 'she' had planned was painting a wall and then adding a mural to it? One doesn't 'need' to shower for such things.

"Well hello Vanity... Meet Free Publicity... Now shut up and climb in the back seat!"

Seeing as I was the only one at the shop at the time, I did my best to represent the place, t-shirt, sweat-pants and all. Did I care when on Wednesday morning I opened my morning paper to find my t-shirt & sweat-pants clad figure ON THE FRONT PAGE!!! Did I mention I hadn't had a shower? Not only that but there was a $250 size ad block on page 3 with a close-up of me sketching the mural.... Uh yeah, NO make-up! Did I care? HELL NO! Okay, well maybe a little... But we're talking FRONT PAGE, FREE Publicity here, on a Wednesday! The second biggest day of the week for newspaper sales!

And it was all TOTALLY worth it because the turn-out for our Grand Opening on Friday night was FABULOUS! We had over 70 people walk through the door and at times it was wall-to-wall people in the front of the shop. Sales were good and the energy of all involved was through the roof, up to the moon and back again.

I handed out four contracts on Friday, to other artists interested in a spot in the shop and gave out yet another contract today. It's all SO exciting, so busy and so mind boggling that this whole thing came about in just 3 weeks time and seems to be taking off like a hot match on a dry Southern California hillside, during a Santa Ana windstorm... But in a 'Good' way, ya know.

Like any proud new parent or 'control freak' manager, I'd like to share a couple of pics with y'all:
Our 'sweet' little store front.

Still in the midst of getting everything set up but here's a shot of the mural I created.

Sorry, no pics of the cover story because... Haven't I suffered enough humiliation?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Portrait of Valor

Sgt. Richard Yarosh
Portrait by, Matthew Mitchell

This painting quite literally takes my breath away.
Read the article here.

God Bless ALL those who sacrifice SO much.


Of Arts & Entertainment

A few years ago our town was designated an Arts & Entertainment District. What does this mean exactly? Well, I 'think' it means more tourism exposure for the town and a bit of financial aid for artists looking to start a small business here. However, the whole process of getting A&E thriving in our little corner of the world has been a slow going process.

You see, our small town is also the county seat. Meaning, all of the county services are here... Specifically social services, which send a lot of homeless folks our way, and the courthouse which means the upper side of East Main is littered with Bail Bonds offices. So the downtown district isn't exactly Shangri-la.

BUT! There are those of us who see the 'bones' of a lovely little place to shop, dine and simply enjoy the downtown atmosphere. I consider myself one of those people and as a volunteer, am doing what I can to help it be so.

Just 3 weeks ago, I was asked if I would be interested in getting an Artist Co-Op started downtown. This seemed like a GREAT stride in jump-starting the A&E 'ideal' so I jumped at the opportunity. It's been a whirlwind of activity ever since. The contract for the rental of the shop was signed last week and this week we've been cleaning, painting and scrubbing everything down as the place had been empty for a few years, just waiting for the perfect tenants.

There are currently 6 artists involved with the project and each needs pay only a minimal rent fee since they're all sharing the space. I was asked to take part in the co-op but since most of my work is of the commission variety, I really didn't have anything to 'fill' a space. So I've taken on the roll of managing the group and getting it up and running. HOLY MOLEY! What a BUSY job this has been but what a WORTHWHILE endeavor!

The Grand Opening is on Friday and there's still a sizeable laundry list of items to take care of but today our little 'gem' made FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper! This is a VERY good thing.

You know, some would say that in this economy, starting a new business is a fruitless task but I like to think of it in a more positive light... I like to think this is the beginning of the 'Phoenix rising from the ashes' and this small town of ours is destined to meet every potential of it's 'Arts & Entertainment District' moniker.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Stimulating the Economy

Saturday I decided I'd had it! The carpet in the family room HAD TO GO! I've had it cleaned but there's only so much you can do with contractor grade carpet, especially when it's light beige and you live with a dog, a husband and two kids who seldom if never wipe their feet. So yeah, NEW CARPET!

Saturday I picked out the color and style and yesterday my husband and his buddy went and purchased the amount we needed for the room.

Today, our refrigerator broke!

New carpet and a new refrigerator all in the same week?
It's like I won the lottery... Except I didn't and now that little 'nest egg' we've been slowly building upon has toppled out of the tree and now lays broken and oozing all over the patio of our life... However, did I mention I'm getting soft cushy fresh new carpeting and a big shiny new fridge?

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

There's something there that wasn't there before...

Because my son has a real knack for finding the weirdest things on You Tube:

It's important you pay attention to the lyrics and keep an eye on that naughty beast.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

36 Degrees *Groan*

It's 35 degrees out this morning... Freakin' winter!

The trees around here are starting to get that barren look, where all the color disappears and all that's left are gray sickly twigs. This is all I'm going to see for months and months, just gray and barren tree lines... Freakin' winter!

I'm not the type to be in the need of anti-depressants but if I was, this is the time of year I'd have to start taking them because just the thought of all that color being washed out of the world and being holed up inside to stay warm makes me want to cry... Freakin' winter!

This winter could be especially challenging because my daughter, who is perpetually cold, will want the fire on 24-7. Then there's myself who is swinging so violently, from one hot flash to the next, I've got my own personal global warming crisis in effect. Watch tv in the family room with the fire place cranked up? Doubtful! Sit for any minimal amount of time with my laptop on my lap? Puhleeeease! Drink tea? Eat soup? I start to perspire just thinking about it (perspire sounds so much classier than sweat doesn't it?)

Wait, why was I complaining about it getting cold outside again?