Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Newest Normal

prompt: something that starts with "T"

prompt: Lick and A Promise

Shelter at home, safer in place, self-quarantine, suspended, postponed, cancelled. This is Spring 2020.  Maybe Summer too? And dare we fear, Fall?  It is all too overwhelming to contemplate so I'm working on maintaining a day-to-day outlook.

It's difficult.

Point of fact my day-to-day hasn't changed much since the beginning of the government's efforts to "flatten the curve".  I was already working (so grateful) from home and I am not, under even the most perfect of conditions, a social butterfly.  My work hasn't had to shut down and in fact, may get busier as the days go on with folks seeking medical attention. (The company has clients whose practices are likely to be less in demand while others are likely see a dramatic uptick).

Still, I'm concerned.  Both my son and daughter work in industries that are not considered essential. Well, my daughter's industry is but as she was employed by an sports and entertainment venue her workplace was shuttered with days on the schedule.  She may be able to get hired on with another group within the industry but job hunting during this time is...well, challenging.  Her income or lack thereof impacts my (our ) budget.  She may get paid for the games missed, a promise with no concrete documentation.

There are options, not great but, something. Those are being explored, utilized in as much as they are feasible. 
My son is still waiting to hear if the university (he's a teaching artist working with a theater attached to one of Chicago's major universities) will pay staff during the shut down and if so, for how long.

I am concerned. March feels taken care of economically for us but the days, weeks, m o n t h s following, not so much. And beyond all that, both have, prior to their respective workplaces shutting down, had a lot of contact with a lot of humans.

The unknown (and an extreme lack of confidence in the federal government) invokes fear, anxiety. 

So yes, I'm working on maintaining a day-to-day outlook; trying to focus on that which I may solve.  And reaching out (even more) to family and friends. 

And leaning on art even more. 

Stay safe. Stay home if you can. Follow CDC protocols.  We're all in this together. 




Sunday, March 08, 2020

A Porch Goose

Porch Goose*

For several days running I have had a tune roaming about my head. The first few days, just the tune and then, the lyrics.  I remembered the title but I couldn't remember where I'd heard it or why I know it.

Than I asked my daughter. She came up the source in a a nano-second. 

Once she named the source it all became clear (why I know it). What still remains a mystery is why this tune suddenly arrived in my head and more to the point, why the tune won't leave my head. 

The tune: "A Whole New World" ~ I bet you all know the source. 

*About the art, the prompt was laughter.  The image that immediately came to mind was a neighbor's porch goose dressed for Mardi Gras.  This same goose is now dressed for St. Patrick's Day.  There is a second house on the block with a porch goose (what are the odds?) who is also dressed but more for the elements than making a statement.  


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Remind Me Where We Were

I had a dream a few nights ago about . . . well, I don't really remember what it was about except that during part of it I was trying to avoid these people who were trying to entice me into eating lima beans. I don't know who they were or why it was so important to them for me to have lima beans, but there you have it. 

I has never able to recover the main part of the dream. The lima bean episode took over.    

Oh, by the way, I detest lima beans.  Or I used to.  I haven't had any in decades. I presume I would have the same violent reaction to a plate/bowl/spoonful of the dreaded legume.  It is a theory I'm not open to testing, thank you. 

/Group Dynamics

Monday, January 20, 2020

And Now This Really IS Twenty Twenty

Greetings and Salutations,

And just like that twenty days of twenty twenty are just about over and out.  Are we all still on the eating better, drinking more water, exercising more party bus? For the record, I am, despite the cheese puffs I'm eating right now.

I assure you, this cheese puff eating is an aberration, not a rule of the past twenty days.

But I don't want to talk about what I'm eating or not eating or drinking.

One of my maternal aunts celebrates her 100th birthday next month! Her kids, grands, and great-grands are hosting an event to mark the occasion.  I plan to be there ringing in her new year.  My Aunt (the eldest of my mom's siblings) always possessed an Alaska sized personality; most of her kids, grands, and great-grands share that trait.

It should be quite the party. It shall be the one good thing about February, a good memory to hopefully over-shadow the other.

(Also for the record, still sketching daily, participating in a challenge--squee!)
(Also also for the record, I have not cut my hair.) Squee.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

In Review

prompt: Cheer 
The Good Stuff: 2019 PERIOD

Much of twenty-nineteen has been consumed with continued recovery from twenty-eighteen . The ineptitude of the condo association led to a series of events that forced us out of our home, into foreclosure, and in a rental that is . . . growing on us (well, me--my daughter isn't convinced).  In the midst of my daughter and I striking out together, my son found his own way forward. He has survived most of these 9 months thanks to the kindness and generosity of several friends; that support has led to him landing in his own place--well, a place he shares with two other renters, but, still . . . a permanent address. 

Like at the end of twenty-eighteen the look back at twenty-nineteen reveals some good, some bad, and a bunch of stuff in-between. 

One of the biggest boons of twenty-nineteen has to be the transition into working from home.  While I do occasionally miss the camaraderie of office mates, I do not miss the hassle, hustle-bustle of the daily commute.  I relish in the time, energy gained not spending 3 hours (round trip) door-to-door in-transit.  It has been a, in a word, lifesaver. 
At the beginning of 2019 I began a 'tip' jar practice which as you can see, is barely filled.  Still, as I reflect on the practice I'm convinced it is a good idea despite my not having kept pace throughout the year. I know when I read the notes on those slips of paper I will be reminded of people, events, music and more that lifted me then and will serve to live me beyond. For twenty-twenty I shall move the location of the jar toward making it and the idea behind it even more present in my day-to-day. If there is a resolution to be had, it is to be resolute in daily practices (like the tip jar) toward the greater good.  

Speaking of daily practices, today marks day 90 of me having sketched in my sketchbook.  Thanks to programs like Inktober, Pencilvember, Drawcember, and the up coming, 30 day sketchbook challenge (aren't there 31 days in January??--uh hmm) I have been duly prompted to put pen, pencil, or chalk to paper and eek out an image. I eagerly await the January prompts which will be delivered by email each day. My mind is spinning over re-working some of the sketches, developing others beyond sketch mode, and continued to develop skills and advance the craft.  

I don't have any grand plans for twenty-twenty beyond putting one foot in front of the other toward striving to survive and working for the greater good for myself, my son and daughter, community, and world at large.  

Come to think of it, that plan is pretty grand. 

Cheers!  Happy New Year!   


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Who Is This Person?

So, we're in full swing with December and all the draw antics it is bringing.  To say that not only am I still producing a sketch a day but thinking about how to render something, dreaming of images I somehow want to convey . . .  I tell you, it is blowing my mind. 

On a more practical note, I do need supplies (specific supplies like dark toned paper and white ink pens) and a better system of managing the supplies I have and those I will purchase somewhere down the road.

In the meantime, the household is growing accustomed to my new normal

To some degree. 

In other news, an old blogging friend (we're still connected via THE FB) just started breast cancer treatment.  And another (not a blogging friend but a long time FB pal) is burying her 21 year old son, lost to (in her words) addiction and depression. 

Reading of these events makes me both extremely sad and incredibly grateful.  However, for the moment, the sad is consuming me. I'm having emotional reactions (that is to say, tears rising to the surface) about nearly everything.  I'm sure the root of most of this--it being THE holiday season and all, cycles back to my mother. 

This shall pass I am sure. 

Welcome to Middle Girl's middle of December in the middle of some existential . . . event.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Finished November

I did get through the November pencil challenge.  I also followed prompts for the 2018 Inktober challenge.  Everyday in November I completed two sketches.  Squee!!  

There are many December challenges all named draw-cember or DecemberDoodle or variations thereof.  Most of the challenges/prompts are Christmas themed.  I've opted for lists that are not Christmas-y.  While I have selected three lists to work from for the month of December I will only strive for one sketch a day.  More than that is a tad overwhelming what with the other daily tasks / goals I've booked for myself.  

I don't know why I don't have access to phone photos from later than November 18; so here is a sample from the middle of November.