Art has been an integral part of my life since early childhood. Like most children, I enjoyed drawing and sharing my pictures with family and friends. I was drawing, painting, or doing something artsy almost daily. By middle school, my art was being selected for public showings. I was honored when a painting done in high school was placed in one of the offices of the then new Mental Health Department building of the DC Government in Washington, DC.
Then came college. I had chosen a career in education not art. Was this my mistake? Not really. As a Black female in the early 1970’s, becoming a teacher was a safe and respectable career choice. Besides, I loved working with children. So, after four years of college and armed with a Master of Arts in Special Education, I used the arts (music, poetry, and art) to support my classroom lessons. I found ways to bring more art into the school and support community art. Although art was still there, on the ride with me, my personal expressions with art had taken a back seat in my life.
Imagine how my skills could have progressed had I not stepped away from my art for forty years. I don’t regret my years in the classroom, but I wish I had spent some of my leisure time continuing to nurture my artistic side. Here and there during those forty years I’ve had special requests for a piece of art which I accepted, but again, these were not my personal, introspective expressions.
A few months ago, I pulled out the canvas and bought new paint. It brought great joy to my heart. Don’t push your interests aside. Always make time to do the things you love. Check out my original art at http://betweennaps.net/art .
My daughters have always added love, joy, and excitement to my life. They have taught me more about life and love than you or they could imagine. There has never been a moment that I did not treasure their company; even during trying times in those teenage years. I love you girls!
Because she was too young to write, I wrote this book for my three year old granddaughter as a diary. It was offered to her as a recording of her thoughts, feelings, and actions. I hope this book brings her joy as she uses it to reminisce about this glorious event in the life of her family and herself.
Ellie, just a toddler herself, walks you through the mixture of emotions and questions an only child feels when a new bundle of joy is welcomed into the family.
I am proud of myself. Even around an unbelievable amount of food this Thanksgiving, I only ate as if I was having a normal meal. I didn’t even have dessert. And there were lots of desserts to choose from.
It was fabulous and beautiful.
For more photos go to Travelfrank.
I began October with the goal of simplifying my life by organizing my home and doing things to make cleaning quicker and easier.
I began by purging closets and drawers. I pulled everything out and in very little time separated clothing, electronics, and toys into three categories: keep, trash, and donate. BUT I am still left with papers I have not gone through to determine what to keep and what to trash.
Papers aside, there have been other accomplishments toward meeting my goal. I have made specific spaces for storing materials for all my activities: writing, sewing, music, jewelry, painting. Glass top furniture pieces have been eliminated or replaced with easier to keep clean pieces. The glass and wood coffee table is now one of those all wood lift top tables with storage. Nick-Nacks that require tedious dusting have been removed.
Even the outside of my home is being simplified. No more painting and staining the deck and porches. Wood has been replaced with composite decking.
Once I have the house done, it’s on to the storage shed.
Now, back to those papers.
After my vacation with my mother and time with Gloria, the jewelry maker, I came home and reconnected with a lady I met several months ago at a tire store. AND what to do you, she also makes jewelry. She was preparing for a trade show in Ohio, so she was making lots of jewelry. She also invited me to a jewelry making class.
Here is what I made at the class:
I took the week of September 6th to take my mother on a small vacation. She has been wanting to visit a few friends and family, so this week she got that opportunity. Although I didn’t nap much, I did get to sleep in. My average awakening time was between 8am and 9am. I drove north to get to mother’s on Saturday evening
We left after breakfast.
First stop was the Russell Stover’s candy outlet. Everyone we visited got a box of candy.
From the outlet, it was on to Gloria’s where the jewelry making ensued. Mom and Gloria repaired jewelry and created new pieces. Yes, they even drew me into the activities. I made two necklaces.
We met one of Mom’s friends and had lunch at Cracker Barrel. We picked up some of Bob’s peppermint candies while there.
Virginia Beach to visit with Tracy and Karen.
Karen makes a mean fruit salad. Tracy was out on the deck cleaning fish caught in the lake earlier this day. It started to rain, so I wasn’t able to jet-ski. (Sigh…sad face)
This is the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. We stopped here before going on to Luray Caverns where my daughter and granddaughters joined Mom and me.
The underground caverns were beautiful. We learned a lot about calcium deposits, stalactites, and stalagmites.
On the same property as the caverns is the Car and Carriage Museum. We took a quick tour before heading into town for lunch.
We ate at the beautiful Mimslyn Inn. The 19th century Georgian Revival architecture was stunning. My daughter knows all the best places.
We took a quick tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum before lunch.
Going back to Mom’s, we took the scenic route north through Shenandoah Park. As we drove up and down around the curved mountain road, this black bear decided to cross the street. Sorry, I wasn’t fast enough to get a good picture. He only looked in my direction once.
Writng, writng, and more writing. That’s what I’ve been doing between naps. I have written one nonfiction book and one children’s book. The nonfiction, Kindness and Caring: a 40 day challenge, is almost ready to be published. The children’s book needs to be illustrated and formatted.
Well, it has been almost two months since my official retirement date. It didn’t seem any different until last week. As a school teacher, I always had summers off for vacation. This summer was just as it normally is for a summer vacation other than everyone asking me what I was going to do now and what it felt like to be retired. What did they mean? What was I going to do… anything I want to do or nothing at all. Isn’t that what retirement means… ceasing to work?
Anyway, last week summer vacation ended and students returned to the classroom. Now, retirement is real! Now, I feel fully retired. I miss the cheerful greetings and hugs from returning students. I miss getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of new students and creating ways to use the first to overcome the latter. BUT I don’t miss early rising, late evening, and bringing work home. I don’t miss thinking about going to work sick because it’s easier than making lesson plans for a substitute to follow, especially knowing that you will probably need to teach or reteach the material you left because the substitute decides not to follow your plan. I don’t miss working lunches. And I don’t miss the meeting where teachers are introduced to the next educational trend.