My Staycation is Over…

My staycation has been a heavily guarded secret. Four people knew outright that I was taking a week off besides my co-workers.

I sit here on a Sunday evening, on my front porch, watching the sun start to set. This time tomorrow night I will be back at work.

It is quite. Not a great deal of traffic comes by here on Sunday evening. Not like other days. I am listening to a Van Morrison song I heard last night. I imagine what it would be like to be in his arms, swaying to this song. It is “When the Leaves Come Falling Down”, you should give it a listen. I have just left him yet, I want to be with him again. I miss him as soon as we part ways. I knew he was tired and I needed to get home to get ready for the return to working life. I wanted more time but I knew what I should do.

My staycation was made amazing by a single trip. The other days had their merits, but that little variation from the main road was excellent. It was one of those days when we were just going to ride to the next town and then something changed. They were working on the road, paving crews were scattered about in different area of the road.

We decided to come back a different way. We drove some back roads. We passed a river that we both love. We pulled off and we were looking at the waterway. I looked up and he had taken off his shoes and was walking in the water. It looked like fun. I wanted to do it as well. So out of my sneakers and socks I came. I am tender footed so it was interesting getting from where I took my shoes off and the water. My mom has always had us scared of drowning because she is afraid of water. It was barely up to our ankles but I walked around in the same river I was baptized in many years before and that was the last time, I was in that water.

It was so relaxing and just being there with him. That was the it for me. Being there with him. He had told me earlier that he thought I would go somewhere while I was off. One place in particular was mentioned. I told him I wanted to go there with him. He said I should have gone even if he was busy. I said I WANT TO GO WITH YOU!!!

So he gave me  a day of both relaxation and adventure on series of back roads.

We went in the river and after I got my shoes back on I sat there and basked in what I was feeling in that moment. The river and the sound it made as it rolled along. The nearness of his presence. It was more than I could say to him.

After I sat there for awhile, he gently said, there are other adventures awaiting if you are ready to go. It was almost as if he thought he would disturb my mood if he suggested it, I was happy to go see what else he had in store for us, so I got up and we started driving again.

We circled around a dusty gravel road and we saw this amazing view. I did some video with my phone because it was so beautiful; I was awestruck to say the least.

Once again, I was completely aware that he was right there with me. He was saying nothing. He was just letting me enjoy the view. He was letting me take everything in. He would speak if I said something but he was letting me take everything in, the big view and the details.

Our last stop was a rock mound that was connected to his childhood. It was a magnificent sight to behold. He told me stories of his childhood and his memories and I took each and every word he said in.

There was a moment when we were standing there and I said you know someone had to use this place as a dwelling place long before we got here. You could hear the water running up above our heads. It was a great experience for me to just be there, being there with him made it so much more special. That was the it for me.

He doesn’t realize it but that day was one that will live in my heart forever. We just bought lunch and gas. That is all the money that was spent but what I was given that day was priceless. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

It is not where you go or what you do, it is that you are there with the person you love. That is the good stuff.

I will go back from my stacycation refreshed, even though it stated out pretty stressful, it was on so relaxing to just go on a huge adventure a little ways from home base.

A Woman and Her Shoes…

A man may wear many hats but a woman wears many shoes.

If you are woman who just has a couple pairs of shoes in her wardrobe, you are rare.

I have an unusual affinity for cowboy boots. In them I feel more confident. Like I can take on the world. Unlike most women who wear cowboy boots, from time to time I wear fishnet stockings. Like my frilly underthings, fishnets make me feel feminine. Nobody needs to know they are there. I know, that’s what matters.

I have my sports shoes, flats, wedges and my strappy sandals. I have something for every occassion. Boots however are an obsession. I just love my boots. The ones shown above and my red boots are my favorites.

I also have an obsession with stilettos. However, being larger than I would like to be, I have been slightly more than apprehensive to own a pair. I even made a board on Pintrest for stilettos. I really want them but I am a big girl.

I have bought into the notion that if you are overweight, you can not be sexy. You are not allowed to wear certain things, you can’t dress in a sexy manner.

My upbringing is also part of this perception. Dressing in clothing that is too risque is shameful. Now, I don’t wear clothes that look like I was melted and poured into them nor do I wear hysterectomy pants. I do like my clothing to hug my curves in a seductive way. Sometimes, I struggle with it. I don’t want to look desperate, like I am searching for my youth again, I just want to look pleasing first for me and secondly for him.

I want to look nice for him but I exist in uniforms. When I am not working, I want to look good. I want to wear makeup, I want to have my hair done, I want my lips and nails dark red.

I like to wear my frilly things and feel girly because at work, our clothing is not girly at all.

If he notices and likes what he sees all the better.

Today, I was taking my mom shopping. I was not going to buy anything. I have just cleaned out my closet and gotten two bags of clothes out of my closet. I don’t need anything. Then I saw them….the shoes.

  A pair of sparkly stilettos. Dare I even try them on? What if I look like an elephant on stilts? What if I fall over while trying to walk through the department store? What if people laugh at me, I am a big girl, how dare I want to wear such a pair of shoes?

I took them from the shoe department to the plus size section of the store. I was going to check the price on the scanner. I will spend  plenty of money on art supplies but I never pay full price for anything but cowboy boots.

Well, they were in my budget. The department was free of on lookers. So I slid one of the shoes out of the box. I freed my right foot from my worn flip flop. Should I dare? I slid my foot into it. So far, so good. I repeated the process with my other foot.

I was actually wearing a pair of stilettos. There was a mirror on the side of the column holding the price checker. I looked at my feet in the mirror. They looked good. Sparkly and open toed. My burgundy nail polish peeking through the toes.

Dare I take a step? With my luck the first step I take, I will break the heel, fall and chip a tooth or bloody my nose.

Okay, deep breath, one step, then another. Before I knew it I was walking up the aisle like a model on the runway.

Oh MY GAWD, I can walk in them, they look good, they are the right price and honestly, I felt as SEXY as hell. I did. My first thought was “yes Cinderella, you will go to the ball”. I had to laugh at myself.

I posted a pic on social media simply because I was so happy. I had wanted these for so long.

When I got home, I let my person know and told him, kind of, how they made me feel. I kind of hinted at it. I didn’t want to admit that they made me feel sexy. I don’t know why.

So now, I will wear them with pride and a little more pep in my step, just not sure where they will take me, I am sure it will be a fun adventure.

Six Years…

It has been 6 years. 2,190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. That is how long it has been since my world changed.

I remember walking into my house after he had to leave me. The transition had happened. He was out of pain. I was in pain.

My mom was with me. My best friend was the first one to show up. I sat on the sofa holding my little dog. It was more his dog than mine. They were there all day together while I worked until he went in the nursing home then most of my time was I there.

I sat there as people wandered through my house. I felt nothing. I watched as they carried food into my house and they sat and talked and honestly, I didn’t hear a sound.

As night fell, I began to pray. I was praying to make it through that first night, just one night was all I prayed for. I laid in the bed that we had slept in together and I cried. I laid there for some time. I remember when I woke up and saw the sun, I said I made it through the first time. I was going to be okay.

I couldn’t go back in my house and I walked off 135 pounds just walking to kill time so I didn’t have to go home to an empty house. Just something to do became therapy, which became a habit, which made me feel better mentally, physically and spiritually.

He had made me promise him that I would be alright and on the days and months that followed when I wanted to give up, I reminded myself of that promise.

When it got unbearable, I decided to end my own life. I knew how I was going to do it, I had a plan. Nobody would have thought anything except that I had grieved myself to death.

On the same day I was going to do it, I was sitting in my chair and I got  a response from a post on facebook that said “I feel ya but that first part isn’t right.” I asked the person to explain themselves. The response “I personally think you are hot and gorgeous”. I remember screaming all over the house. A friend of mine thought that I was hot and gorgeous. Me. Nooooo….. but at that point, I had a reason to want to live again. This man was gorgeous. He was sexy as hell and he thought I was hot and gorgeous?!?!?

I had been flattered by men since my husband had died but this one was different. I had sparked to him the first time I had met him. There was something more to him. Something of quality. Something worth me getting to know him better. That was five years ago. We have been through a great deal together. I have fallen in love for the second time after I thought I wanted to die. He became my person. That person I want to share everything (and I do mean everything) with.

If anyone had ever told me that I would fall in love again, I would have slapped them. If they had told me how deeply I would fall in love the second time, I would have laughed. Yet, here I am.

For the second time in my life, I am in love with a good, honorable man. A man who cares for me. A man who treats me with love and respect. A man who treats me an equal, he doesn’t talk down to me because I am a woman.

Does he still think I am hot and gorgeous? I can’t answer that . Only he knows the answer to that. I hope he does. In my mind I wonder. I am not 20 and skinny. I am not a model. He sees his share of those. I am not the kind of woman men trip over themselves to get to know although, sometimes people tell me I get a second look from time to time. It would be nice to hear it from him from time to time,  that he still thought that.

Life has changed for me a great deal in 6 years, 2190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. At times it seems like a lifetime and at times it seems like it just happened.

I had one love and we honored those vows to the very end.  I have just found a new way of living and a new way of loving. the heart can mend and it can love again if given enough time and patience.

 

In Just One Day….

In just one day, I have felt fear, love, joy. I have seen glee, amusement, trepidation. I have heard of frustration, greed and success. I have spoken humor and sang of love, hoping that lyrics like “the day you strolled in, my heart was stolen” were heard and the smile on my face was seen because I was singing about and to him.

I have experienced life. I have lived, not survived, lived. It all happened on a typical ordinary day. Life happened. It may be far from perfect but it is my life. I may be far from perfect, I gave up striving for perfection a very long time ago.

So as I lay here, in my bed, smelling of the lotion I have put on my body, listening to the movie that I am not watching on the TV, with my windows open so that I can get fresh air and  I smile. I lived today. If tomorrow doesn’t come, I can say I lived. Even if just for a day.

I Will Always Love You….

My girls (my great nieces) are growing up so very fast, the oldest one just turned 13 in May. An actual teenager in Earth years but she has one of those old souls.

She is so wise for her age, wiser than me some days, as she proved to me today as we had a conversation driving up the road.

We were doing a photo shoot for her new CD. Everybody’s first response is that she is beautiful. She is, no doubt about it; she is gorgeous. She is also, smart, talented, funny, goofy, wise beyond her years, a loving person who wants to see good in everyone. She is strong in her faith. She will not do anything she finds distasteful. She is focused. She is driven. She will not put her name on something she is not proud of. She is so much more than what people see.

They simply do not know her like I do. She always tells her other sisters that I love her more because I have loved her longer. I love them all, in different ways. They are all so very unique. They all have their strengths and very singular personalities. I give them the attention each needs. It’s just that right now the focus is on the older one getting her CD done.

We were alone on one of my favorite crooked country roads. It is the second round of photos for the project.  Her parents leaving her in my care,  had left us  to do what we do because they had to take care of some other things. We were fighting for time, there was a thunderstorm not so far away.

We did the shots and as always, I had music playing from an old cell phone. The song “Forever Country”, which is a mashup of some classic country songs sang by some of the greatest voices from the past and the present,  came on. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9gAXwYZtfk

We were looking at the shots we had just taken, she has to proof each of them. As we stood there flipping through pictures, we began singing along with the song. At the end of the song the last song they blend in is “I Will Always Love You” came on. As they began to sing that part, she laid her head over on my shoulder and sang to me.

Of course, I cried. In that moment, I knew that I was loved as deeply and as innocently as anyone could ever be. She wanted nothing but to in her way tell me she loves me. She does all the time but that time was a little more special than all the times before. No one saw it, no one was supposed. It was a moment but one that I will hold in my heart forever.

Trying Hard Not To Give Up On Me….

I am in a blue funk. That is one of those moods that you just don’t want to deal with anything. You don’t want to get out of bed. You make yourself but you really don’t want to. Today I didn’t, until I absolutely had to. Thanks to my handy dandy mobile secretary, my cell phone,  I did some things from my bed but that was it.

I am trying not to give up on this dream I have. I am trying to figure out how to shatter the “glass” ceiling and just bumping my head over and over.

What I am doing is getting attention brought to my jewelry from all types of people, fashion bloggers, artists, people I know, opera singers, photographers but no sales. YET!!! I am having fun doing it the creating  but if I could just get more sales, then it would me make me feel better about myself.

I realize that I have tied too much of my personal value to my jewelry projects. I shouldn’t do that. I am not what I make. I am more than what I produce yet part of me looks at what I have accomplished with pride. I started this knowing nothing, I have learned everything the hard way.

I am in that place you sometimes get in, you know that downward spiral you get in when it is not going exactly how you planned. Yeah, I am in that thing.

I don’t like this and tend to be somewhat silent until I figure things out. I feel like I bother other people when I am like this and Lord knows I never want to feel like a burden. So, I just keep quite. I muddle through it. I get there, just sometimes not as quickly as I would like.

I know what I make is not who I am. I get that but it is nice when someone sees value in what you do. Some people do, don’t get me wrong, but there is just something when people put some money down on the table and say I want to own this, I think it is of value.

I promote it everywhere I can think of.  On Facebook, Instragram, Pintrest; a couple of people share it, yet no sales on the web store.

So I work, I play, I enjoy the making much more than the business end of things. I am much more of a piddler than a business  woman.  I missed a chance the other day by simply not having business cards with me.

It will be okay. I will be fine. I just need to relax. So much so I took myself to the movies yesterday and I hate going to the movies by myself. I needed to escape. However, the movie got me thinking more than ever. I saw a group of people. One was fearful then resolved. One was hopeless and gave up on herself but rose to fight for the person she loved, and three helpless people who were out of anything to fight with. She of course came to the rescue of the three.

As much as I believe in other people, it is hard for me not to give up on me. I will fight for others much harder than I will fight for myself. Maybe she and I are more alike than I imagined.

The movie I saw was Wonder Woman. Somewhere maybe there is that connection. I just need to get my fight back up.

Return on Investment

I am in a slump right now. Not saying much about it, trying not to let anything show.

I have written many time about my jewelry making business and my photography business. They are both kind of hit and miss. Right now it is a miss.  The photography is more of a hobby with an occasional paying gig from time to time.

The jewelry is different. I would like to see it grow and prosper on its own.

I get excited when someone expresses interest in a piece. When my person looks at and sees a comparison to a beautiful piece of art or speaks about what makes the piece special, I kind of blush and I am speechless. Nothing I do can compare to what he does.

Just today, I got three inquires about new posts. I got excited. Every time my phone made a sound I checked it. Bad, bad idea. I was so hoping for sales that I was jumpy about it. That is not the way I should be.

I should just relax, let things work out as they will and enjoying the process of making. The new things I am learning. The things I learn from my mistakes. Those moments when I look at a piece and realize that it is actually pretty and I made it. I should revel in that, not in what might sale and what won’t.

Being human, I would like to get a return on my investment. I would like people to put there money down and say that something  that I made is pretty enough to buy it.

I want people to want to share my items. Only my best friend usually shares my posts with her friends on social media to try and help me out.

It is a struggle for me to do the business end of things. I love the creative part. The business, I feel like I am charging too much or not enough. I don’t know how to do stuff like this.

I don’t want to seem pushy but I would like to see it succeed.

I got taught a lesson last night by a six year old. She wanted to build a “ghost buster pack”. She had a large frisbee from the back of my car. She got paper and scotch tape. She cut small strips of paper to make the straps. Well, I knew it wasn’t going to work but she was sure it was. Well, we tried it. It was not going to hold. I explained to her why it didn’t work.

We tried again. This time using paper, because in her mind, the paper was going to work only this time we used duct tape. Once again, it didn’t work.

The third time, we used a plastic bag cut into strips and used duct tape. By the time we were finished, she could actually slip her arms through it and wear her “ghost busters pack”.

She wasn’t making anything to sell. She was just using her imagination. She knew what she wanted and had a general idea how to do it. She just needed a little help.

Maybe that is my legacy. Maybe it is not what I sell that will be the return on investment. Maybe it is the fact that these girls see me take chances, that they see me never quit. That the know that I work through problems one step at a time. Maybe that is much more important than anything I could ever sell.

So, it may be time to put on the black dress I wear for photographing formal occasions, put on my soft soled shoes and go unnoticed for a while. I will continue to make. I just won’t put it out there for the world to see. I will make for the joy of making. I will bask in the silence of doing without expecting a sell. I will just try to relax and let my imagination take over.