Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another heart problem...

I really have become frustrated about finding time to do these blogs. I need to find a way to find the time to sit down every day and talk. We finally have a caregiver again for my son, which is such a blessing. But real life is still interfering with everything I try to do.

Bob suffered congestive heart failure in Salt Lake City, Utah on Dec. 11th. They are still not sure what will happen. They ran tests, and sent the results to his dr. here. We are to meet with a surgeon on Jan. 22nd...then we will find out what they plan to do...and how much it might affect our lives. We have had so many prayers and so much support from friends and family; I am so thankful for that...and for having him still here. At the moment he is stable enough to drive, so he is doing that even tho' I am scared to death. Trying not to show it, because it upsets Bubba when we are upset.

I have been so very fortunate to have shared my life with this man!! This poem is rather long...but it says alot...about not only my life before, but now.


Kaleidoscope of memory,
shifting before my eyes,
changing the patterns of the past,
time dances across the years.

And tho' the pieces of my life,
change focus and their shape,
throughout each frame of reference
a lonely girl appears;

she waits amid it, all alone,
she longs for life to end,
sure that she'll find no joy on earth,
but only hate and fear.

Her soul counts on heaven's bounty,
believes that in a place
so filled with overflowing love,
there'll be no room for tears.

She's looking for her share of peace,
and waiting for the arms
of the shepherd to enfold her,
to living grace she steers;

her heart thirsts after safety
and hungers for release,
an end to pain and suffering,
a stop of constant jeers.

Cries echo through the loneliness,
sobs hide in every hurt;
she cringes--terror evident,
as each tormentor nears.

She knows that this is all there is,
that she deserves the worst,
a punishment for sins unknown,
a judgement from her peers.

Hidden silent in the background,
an angel watches her,
and he guards her from destruction,
while quietly he cheers,

for the truth is fast approaching,
the plan is reaching time;
the child is unaware of it,
no hint has reached her ears.

But her pleas go not unanswered,
her grief is not unseen,
her constancy is recognized,
her trusting soul endears;

the growth of spirit, heart, and soul,
tho' slow have taken hold;
the seeds of love and happiness,
were watered by her tears.

As the finest steel is tempered
by time spent in the fire,
and wine's bouquet is brought to life,
by the passage of years;

her patience tho' sorely tested
gained strength from all her past,
her heart thru' every hard-fought trial,
comes further from her fears.

For out of darkness comes the dawn,
from discord comes new life,
upon once bleak horizons, now
a second chance appears;

no longer child, but woman grown:
in place of dread, a smile
who's glow becomes a guide so that
the fog of doubt now clears.

Out of the mist of their own pain,
two travelers draw to light,
tho' weary from the path they've come
their way, to her way, nears;

from sorrows and lonely valleys
they come, both man and boy,
to the search for quiet refuge,
the silent man adheres;

tho' tempted by the gleam of love,
too long alone they've been,
to let the hope of change arise,
and so, hope disappears.

Yet, angels watch, with guiding hands,
and that which is ordained,
shall come to pass, shall come to be,
God's will now engineers;

the joining of three lives to one,
the merging of their hearts,
tho' separated from the start,
become concentric spheres.

As Eve was made for Adam's life,
and Ruth to Boaz clung;
as Rachel watched as Jacob toiled
to win her heart with years;

Sarah and Abraham had hope,
and Isaac sought Rebecca,
so, too, these ones were meant to be
a solace for their tears;

the whys and how's of past don't count
except for what was taught,
the present and the future now,
will mean the end of fears.

So as I watch, time coalesce,
and glimpse behind the scenes,
I see that life has just begun,
as heaven slowly nears;

I rejoice with all the angels,
and vow to do my best,
as I have been blessed with new love,
and offered new frontiers.


The Year of the Heart...

I have changed the name of this the year of the heart. From heart attack to heart attack to heart attack, and also the melding of two hearts at my son's wedding.

First my dad in April, then my hubby in July, my son's wedding in August, and then my hubby again just last week. As the year of the heart has the joy of still having all these hearts with me!!

But in spite of it all...I paint on! I did a number for the holidays, and for Christmas presents that will be very late.

These are 5x7 on canvasboard....

This next one was just for fun...12x24 wrapped canvas...

This one, I added dragons to, for my hubby's birthday on the 13th...which he did not get until after he went into congestive heart failure in Utah. But he made it home...and that was my early Christmas present!!

This I did, not only as an excercise, but also for my son's caregiver...who is a godsend!!

These are my dad's parents...for his Christmas present...

And my mom's parents for hers...tho' I am not quite done yet...

Thanks for looking, and for understanding the chaos of my life!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For anyone who wants to know the latest insanity in my life...check out Dragonswhispers. It is too much to go into!

I have gotten a little painting done... not as much as I wanted, but more than I thought I would.

Here's one for the guys...

And one for the ladies....

With time short I will just post a few more, and try to be back soon...

Some wildflowers....

The family...

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

A large gap here....

Well, I can see that all the good intentions in the world do not always win out over life simply getting in the way. I had thought I would have lots of time to blog. Hey it's not like I have an outside I should have loads of time, right?

Somehow, that is not happening. I suppose all I can do is try.

Shortly after Bubba came home from his respite care, he had a doctor's appointment; just a regular checkup with his neurologist, a short discussion of his behavior, and a change in his meds to hopefully increase the good behavior and and decrease the combativeness and angry outbursts.

I had told you of some of the escapades last time, and that was before we knew the why. Let's just say it got much worse before it got better...but knowing WHY helped us put the Blame where it was due...sigh...but could not erase what happened!

Unfortunately, for all concerned the drugstore, made a small error, and gave him the wrong meds. Any of you who are familiar with a true ADHD child/adult, probably know that since you give them speed to slow them down...a tranquilizer can have the opposite effect than it does on the rest of the world. It tends to make them more hyper than fact it sends them climbing the walls!! And usually send you with them.

All is better now!! He is on the correct meds...and they are better! I have a caregiver again, and some time to get me back together!! Life is so much better than it was for awhile!

Anyway, I still feel like I am recovering from that. It definitely made for an 'interesting' time...NOT.

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season are upon us, once again. And if we listen to the stores...they have been since long before Halloween this year. Somehow it has really gotten out of is so ridiculous to me. A month before maybe....but not 3...that is just dumb.

I do have good news, I have made a new friend!! So nice!!

Well, I have much to do for tomorrow, but I did want to let you know I am still here. Weary, but here!!

Here's a poem for your perusal....

OK God...

Ok is the question:
why Job.....why pain and suffering?
why the total unfairness of it all?

I mean, yeah....I guess I understand,
some of it anyway.....a little bit, but
why the weak and why more for them?

I see that even the lowest of us
have a saying...don't kick the dog
when he is already down...right?

Then why....why...why do You
let them have it again, and
again...right cross and then left.

Speaking of
you sure gave Your Son one of those
I mean....Your own Son?!

I know You never said that life
would be fair or anything.....but
it seems to me that this is a bit much.

I do know that I do not understand
I do not comprehend......the depth
of Your hurting those who love You.

You answer, with one hand giving,
and then the other one takes away,
and what have they got then.....nada?

You say the meek will inherit the earth,
but what is gonna be left of it....when
the strong ones destroy it first??

And blessed are those who mourn...
when is it, exactly, that they are
supposed to get and find that comfort?

I know....I know....I am no better than
the lowest of low....and who am I to
question anything that you do or say;

I just simply do not get it....I really do not
do not see the justice or mercy or joy
that is supposed to be a part of the package;

we laugh, we cry, we live.....and then we die.
And You,....what do You do while we
are down here doing and going thru' it all?

What is your part in all of this.....You
are supposed to be a father.....who loves
and cherishes us as beloved sons;

You even let Your own Son pain
hurting and beaten....crucified with criminals
and nothing to ease His suffering either.

It seems like all I see is justice for the strong,
and a big mess and wallow for the little
guy who sits down at the bottom of the heap.

I mean...You are the one who said it would
be worth it all in the end?....which end is that
You were talking about...ours or the world's?

Blessed are the peacemakers...or so You tell us;
but the only blessing I see is for those who use
the guns someone laughingly named that.

So answer me this.....just one answer....
when will it end?....with death for us all,
or just some of us....or will you intervene?

Be still You say?....quiet down with the questions...
just listen to your heart....and hear that your soul
rejoices in the still and KNOW who You are...

Are we too busy to listen....too busy asking why
to hear....too full of self-pity to feel the love...
too blinded by the world to let in the Light?


Happy Thanksgiving to all...we all have so much to be thankful for!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Joys of Life....

I wish I had been able to write earlier, but between my dad's health, and the return of the manchild...things have been crazier than anticipated. Dad seems to be doing better; they are all moved into a seniors apartment. Dad says a few mornings at first my mom thought they were in a motel, on a trip. I imagine it would be hard to move after 55 years in the same place. So many memories in each piece of that house...even tho' alot has been updated, I still remember how it was...from the time I was 3. Many changes...some for us...some because of us. I remember getting a new ceiling in the living room...that was because I was in the attic, and my foot missed the rafters, and it went thru' the insullation and the sheetrock. I don't think I was very popular for a bit after that!

My son's wedding was a wonderful break for Bob and I! The kids were so cute, and so in love...they were just lost in each other the whole day...and still are. I remember feeling that way...actually still do...I love my hubby more today, than I did when we got married in 1999. I am very lucky! It was nice to dance for hours together!

Things here since Bubba's return have not gone as planned. He came home a little bit less combative, but with a total disregard for obedience. He does what he wants to, when he wants to; refusing all limits and boundaries. That does not make things very easy for any way, since I cannot make him do anything anymore. I have to really pick and choose my battles, and even then I may not win. I have had to installed keyed deadbolts on all the locks...and am wondering about the windows next. He left at 3 am one night, in the pouring down rain, and walked almost two miles up the road. A very nice gentleman found him when he left for work, and managed to get him inside his garage out of the rain. They could understand some of what he said...but not all, because of his speech problems. They could understand that his name was Bubba, and that he wanted to go home...but not where he lived. So sad to say, they felt they had to call the police. They came and got me about much fun, when I got there they helped me to get him into the truck. So until I could get to the store to get new locks, we slept tied together, so I would wake up if he moved.

Well...I just got my answer on the! He was just knocking at the door. He put his chair outside...and then climbed over the sill onto the chair....sigh! Guess I get out the nails or screws and fix that. God love him, he is inventive!

The worst part is he has been home now for a month now, and my home services have not resumed yet. So it is just me, 27/7...trying not to complain, but I don't like being locked in the house with him all the time. Thank goodness my husband came home last weekend, after I begged. It gave me a bit of a break; but it is so hard on him, so I really need other help.

I will leave you with this thought, in honor of my son's wedding!


We said our vows and pledged
our love; exchanging rings, we
gave our promise to each one.
Never knowing what would follow,
we made a choice to live united;
good or bad, easy or hard, we
chose to join and fight together.
We watch as one, a dawning day;
hold our hearts till our last breath.
Our dreams are shared, our goals
we dare to make again as new;
for now we strive to form a whole,
untried, we brave the way ahead.
Only God knows our future trials,
what we will have to face there;
whether peace and calm await, or
continuing tribulations are in store.
Yet, we can triumph, in unity,
our continuity and friendship,
synchronized by our devotion.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Time sure flies when you are NOT havinig fun too....

Things here have been totally is so hard to explain all that happens in my life. Some out there that have special needs children would understand, tho' each child is different. With Bubba's blend of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADHD, and autism...well, I can say that we rarely have a dull day! And if it is quiet, it is only because he is asleep, and getting the energy for another!

Let's just say I have had very little time to paint lately. The last few days, I have just painted...since his behavior is not much different either way...sigh!

I'd like to show you some of what I have finished up; it is nice to have a few of them off my easel.
16x16 acylics on wrapped canvas
11x14 acylics on wrapped canvas
16x16 acylics on wrapped canvas

I have shown you some of the main challenges we do at Wet Canvas. One smaller one, that I did just a few for, was different colored still lifes. The one for blue, I just finished. It has been awhile since we did them, but there was something just "not right". I am posting the ones that did not go well too...maybe it will make the ones that turned out okay look! Still lifes are just not my favorite things, but good practice fot other things. So I keep trying.

The first that I tried was red...and I liked it...12x12 acylics on paper

then orange...sigh...
8x10 acrylics on paper

then yellow...ouch...
8x10 acrylics on wrapped canvas

then green...?....
8x10 acrylics on black artboard

and last was blue...I am proud of this one.
11x14 acrylics on wrapped canvas

I guess two out of 5 is not too bad. I admit, my heart was not in most of them.

Here is one he let me paint outdoors...while he was playing with his ended when it began to rain. It is 16x16 acrylics on a wrapped canvas...
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Have a great week! Hope to be back more often now!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Endings and beginnings....

Since I last posted, my dad went back into the hospital. They have been doing tests all week, and had one more to do today.

We got the results of the test, and it was not good. There is nothing to fix. His heart muscle is just old and tired.

They are sending him home for now, and are going to insist on totally assisted living. This is going to break their hearts, because they were so certain that if they were in a tiny apartment, with all meals provided, that they could take care of each other.

I know it is just a pride thing, but they were both so active and independent, that this is not going to be easy...for them, or for us to watch.
Basically, since neither is steady on their feet anymore, and won't is either walkers, wheel chairs, or scooters for both.

They are both still in denial at the moment. I am trying to work up enough 'upbeat' to call, since I know they do not need to know how worried or upset I am.

The doctor is going to tell them, rather than the family, because he is the only one they might believe. They have been conditioned this way...authority figures count, and the doctor knows best.

The dietician fussed at Dad and told him flat out, no more fast matter what it was. No more eating out, period! So my brother has to find someone to cook for them, because neither of them is really able any more...and also because dad would

I know many others have been thru' this, and I have been blessed to have had them both as long as I have; I also know I am selfish to want them to 'live forever', but I suppose that just makes me human. I think, for me anyway, that it has been the hardest thing in the world to progress into a role reversal where I am the adult, and no longer can be the child. No matter how old I have gotten I still want my mom or dad when I am hurt, sick or sad...stupidly I thought you outgrew that.

With my son's wedding coming up this weekend, and then hopefully a trip to help out with my parents, I may not be able to post for awhile. I hope you understand.

I apologize for using the same post for each blog, but I truly am not up to writing two; again I ask for your understanding.

In closing...I am posting two winter paintings, since it is so hot everwhere...maybe it will help cool us off. Both are 8x10 on paper.

And also the one I am currently struggling is by Karoly Brocky...and I have loved it for years. 16x16 on canvas

An end to being a child....

Since I last posted, my dad went back into the hospital. They have been doing tests all week, and had one more to do today.

We got the results of the test, and it was not good. There is nothing to fix. His heart muscle is just old and tired.

They are sending him home for now, and are going to insist on totally assisted living. This is going to break their hearts, because they were so certain that if they were in a tiny apartment, with all meals provided, that they could take care of each other.

I know it is just a pride thing, but they were both so active and independent, that this is not going to be easy...for them, or for us to watch.
Basically, since neither is steady on their feet anymore, and won't is either walkers, wheel chairs, or scooters for both.

They are both still in denial at the moment. I am trying to work up enough 'upbeat' to call, since I know they do not need to know how worried or upset I am.

The doctor is going to tell them, rather than the family, because he is the only one they might believe. They have been conditioned this way...authority figures count, and the doctor knows best.

The dietician fussed at Dad and told him flat out, no more fast matter what it was. No more eating out, period! So my brother has to find someone to cook for them, because neither of them is really able any more...and also because dad would

I know many others have been thru' this, and I have been blessed to have had them both as long as I have; I also know I am selfish to want them to 'live forever', but I suppose that just makes me human. I think, for me anyway, that it has been the hardest thing in the world to progress into a role reversal where I am the adult, and no longer can be the child. No matter how old I have gotten I still want my mom or dad when I am hurt, sick or sad...stupidly I thought you outgrew that.

With my son's wedding coming up this weekend, and then hopefully a trip to help out with my parents, I may not be able to post for awhile. I hope you understand.

I apologize for using the same post for each blog, but I truly am not up to writing two; again I ask for your understanding.

Let me leave you with this...I wrote it for a friend, trying to tell them what I felt the person that was dying would have said if they could have spoken...


I hear you.....your entreaties for me to stay;
I feel your tears, as you stroke my cheek,
they drop, unheeded, on my hands.
I hear you pray for me to wake;
I feel your heart, breaking , beating against mine,
as you lie against me one last time.
I hear you speak of the past joys;
I feel your pain, tanigible, as it fills the room,
it pulsates around us as a living thing.
I hear you.....even when you are silent ;
I feel you, wandering alone, lost in memories,
as I fear you will be lost without me.

I would speak......and tell you that I must go;
and you would know that I cry also, inside,
where no one can tell, over having to leave you.
I would speak.....and tell you that I would stay;
and you would know that I meant in your heart,
where only you will know that I am still with you.
I would speak.....and tell you that I will remember;
and you would know that I will never forget,
though we are separated by death.
I would speak.....and tell you that we will join;
and you would know that we will be together,
forever, in a better place, when it is time.

I wish.....that we had been able to say good-bye;
you wish that we never had to say good-bye....
farewell, to loved me fully.
I wish......that I could tell you that I love you;
you wish that I would never stop loving you.....
farewell, to taught me much.
I wish.....that I could spare you the agony of loss;
you wish that I was not lost in painful agony....
farewell, to brought me joy.
I wish.....that we had had more time to spend;
you wish that you had spent more time.....
farewell, to will see me soon.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Since I last posted...

Since I last posted, my husband had a heart attack; altho' they called it a 'cardiac incident', from what I could see it was the same thing. He had a heart catheterization, and while they were inside they put in some stents. A couple of the bypasses, of the 5 that he had done in 2000, had clogged or were clogging up. He is feeling much better now, and is going back to work tomorrow. I could have done without the stress, but am so thankful to still have him!

Corny as it may sound, he is still, after 10 years, the light of my life, my soul mate, and my knight in shining armor. There are two songs that I think of when I think of him, and if I hear those songs, I think of no one but him. One is Ty Herndon's "I Know How the River Feels" (audio), which seems to describe our path to each other; and "The Keeper of the Stars" by Tracy Byrd ( audio),which is 'Our Song'. It took us 48 years to meet, but we finally met and fell in love. I had always heard that if you were truly in love, you 'just knew' and there were no questions in you about whether you were; and I never understood what they meant by that. Once I met Bob, I knew...there were no questions...I just knew.

I did not plan to speak of love today, I was actually going to talk about patriotism, but I will save that for another day. Today, my thankfulness, leads me to love of this one person; perhaps tomorrow, to love of my country, which I spoke of today in my art blog...Artwork by Susan J. Richards.

Here is just one of the many poems I have written for and about my husband:


I'm in a place I found today,
deep within my spirit's core,
created by our union;

a space I didn't know of,
but where I plan to stay,
one more thing you give to me;

and just a simple thank you,
does not seem quite adequate,
to tell of my gratefulness.

My heart is overflowing,
with mounting joy and gladness,
mere words do not seem enough;

the tokens you have brought me,
the gifts of love presented,
have opened my life and heart.

The barren garden of my soul,
blooms beyond imagining,
with new and exotic flowers;

buds of changing attitudes,
fill the air with scents of love,
and visions of things to come.

I look and I see your smile,
and I feel your gentle touch;
I hear your word of comfort;

you speak of strength, not weakness,
you radiate love for me,
and your wisdom knows my needs;

your voice is soft with guidance,
your arms reach out and hold me,
and your lips are filled with praise.

I never knew these before;
never dreamt of them for me,
thought all was a fairy tale;

now here I am the princess,
and you my errant knight,
at home now in my garden.

Tho' storm and strife make changes,
and life's path not always smooth,
our two lives have refuge won;

we'll dwell herein together,
with our hearts and souls in tune,
safe and sound forever more.


Free time...what free time?

As June closed, and July started...weeks of painting to my hearts content stretched ahead of me. I was beginning to relax about my dad, who seems to be doing better. I finished up alot of work for a friend, which took about 2 weeks, and did some yardwork (tho' not really Yet it was looking good...I showed you some of what I was working on, and had so many ideas of what and where I wanted to go next. Then, as usual, Real Life stepped in, and my husband had a "cardiac incident" which is the way they say it when they do not feel comfortable saying he had a heart attack, I guess. He had stents put in, and is doing fine; in fact he goes back to work tomorrow.

However, all of that left me with not only little time to paint, but a healthy dose of stress again. Oh, well....maybe that is just how it is supposed to be. I did get a little more work done on two I had started, and started one more. So for now...these are just WIP's (works in progress).

I still need to work some more on the clouds...I am just not happy with them yet.

This I had planned on making into another fantasy one, with perhaps a dragon, but have been requested by friends and family to not use this one for that purpose...we shall see where it goes...

This one, is a memory of childhood. We used to have two "circles" of grass in the yard that were a different type of grass than the rest of the lawn. As kids we called them fairy circles, and played there often, imagining all sorts of things. I was into reading fairy tales, and dreamt of unicorns and fairy princesses, of following Alice into the rabbit hole, of talking to animals like Dr. Dolittle, etc. I was not much for playing girl games, or doing girl stuff, I was quite the tom boy on the outside, but I suppose when I dreamt, I was a typical female of the 50's anyway. This still has a long way to go, but it is getting there...

With the fourth of July coming up, and September 11th, never far from my heart and mind...I wanted to do something patriotic. I am so amazed at 'Generation X', as I believe they are called, and also the The Millennial Generation. On the surface of things, they seem so young, so questioning of values...but I am sure that is what our parents thought of the sixties generation too. They have risen to the challenge! I am so proud of all of them...we have a volunteer army...and oh so many volunteered after 9/11! And in spite of wars, skirmishes, UN interventions, military policing, or whatever you want to call all that is going on in the world...they continue to volunteer, there has been no need for a draft...they go to fight for our rights, to stand for our ideals, and to honor our country! God bless them, every one!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Chaotic thoughts....

Many thoughts whirling around in this old brain...but the most frightening is the "mother of the groom" one. I actually find myself somehow tying it in with the invitation that came in the mail for my 40th High School Class Reunion...arggghhh! How can it be 40 years?? I want my old body back...the one before gravity had it's way with me...before all those tiny little bedtime snacks snuck up on my fat cells and stored themselves there. Been contemplating how much weight I could loose in the next 5 weeks...or how much plastic surgery? Lol...not going there...not really! Just one of those dumb thoughts. Is it that I can what I look like, or care that my son might care? Somehow, I think it is the more selfish of the two...worrying about what others will think of this older woman...or is that mature lady?

I suppose they even tie in to the thoughts I started in my art blog...Artwork by Susan J. Richards about needing the approval of others and basing alot of my life on what others think/thought? I am really not sure why it is such a big part of my personality. I have spent/wasted alot of years trying to be what everyone else wanted me to that they would like me. It got to the point where I did not really know who I was...only who I had to be with certain people. It began to be like I had multiple personalities, almost...definitely confusing...not only for me, but for others too. Of course, it is something I have written write about most things that hurt, me or others, but wonder if I would be the same me that I am, without all of the garbage I have hauled around for way too many years? I am hoping to lay it down one day, as it tends to get heavy, but I believe I will keep the experience and hopefully some wisdom from the lessons learned, hard as they may have been for me.,,


As I sit here reflecting on all that was said,
and, too, on what was left unspoken.....
trying to see around the pain and turmoil,
to learn what I must from it;
I see a need for forgiveness, at the top of the list:
forgiveness for myself, for gullibility,
for believing in something that had no credibility,
for allowing myself to respond to a dream;
forgiveness too, for what I've led you to believe I am,
in my inability to just be myself,
and for permitting the charade to continue too long;
and maybe forgiveness, to be begged,
from all the true meanings of my life, poor as it is...
to be sought before it is too late to correct.

Perhaps the only real truth spoken, was that
I am not like others you have met;
not because of some exaggerated sense of self-worth,
but because I am not what I appear.
When I pull aside the blinders I've been wearing,
and see the life and image I've created,
I am appalled at what I've allowed myself to become;
my soul has long screamed, "Desist!";
yet somehow, in a mistaken effort to defend myself,
I turned a deaf ear to its beseeching,
fooling no one but myself, into seeing what I wanted;
and now the screams echo in the pain,
and tears are wept for foolishness and loss--
perhaps not of total innocence, but some.

A child, trapped inside, for so many years alone,
only coming out when walls were crushed,
and no more defenses could protect and hide her,
from the world outside her prison,
at first amazed at the freedom and wonder of life,
trying to learn, from the shreds
that were left of the thing created to protect her,
what had passed while held deep inside;
then buffeted with hurt and anger from all sides,
over the lives destroyed while she hid.
All the waste of years, so sad for the loss;
sins of omission are perhaps more damaging
than those of commission, more totally destructive
of the lives that contact such a one.

Vows made to undo what could be undone,
to not repeat such hurt again ever;
yet under the strain and stress of extreme loss,
to awaken again and see that paths were trod
that were not to be followed, and yet had been;
the phoenix arising from the ashes
had itself turned to dust , and left only bitterness;
the butterfly that was to be seen emerging,
fresh and free from its chrysalis, trembling,
it flew, and was not a butterfly--
but only a foolish moth that in stupidity
blundered into the fire and was destroyed.
this is not something a person want to face,
but face it I find I must.

I have not lived in the manner I believed;
intemperance and indecency are not part of
the me I would want to be, or the person I want seen;
the excuses for such laxity are no good,
and the ends never justify the means no matter what.
In a search for reassurance I used,
and was used, and in the end lost what I sought;
in a desire to hide from reality,
I endangered myself and others, and solved nothing.
I sought values in others, who
used the same excuses , and couldn't find in them, either,
what I was unable to find in myself;
what a waste of precious time, when none of us knows
how much or little of it we have.

So, I look up from all the destruction I allowed,
and I wonder what I truly am,
and even, sometimes, if I am anything at all.
Perhaps I can be seen, somewhere in the reflection
of what I've been, some of it perhaps not all bad;
I am most realistically a mother, and will be
to the day that physical death claims the emotionally dead;
for the moment bereft of their presence, yet
still and all, they are a major, consuming part of my life,
no matter how much hiding is done;
nothing can change that, nor in truth would I allow it.
My own happiness can only be a reality
if it is gained through my efforts to meet the responsibility
which I took upon myself in their creation.

An idealist, a romantic, having my head in the clouds,
which allows for considerable stumbling;
I longed to find someone, somewhere, who could love me--
not for what I have, or do, or could give,
but just for me, seeking a completeness through love,
asking no material rewards or promises,
wanting only love, closeness, comfort, and protection;
desiring to learn to give with out caring about returns.
You have allowed me to know that maybe I could do that,
for I have wanted to care and give with you,
to be for you all that I could be, to please you
with no thoughts for what you could give,
except perhaps for love and tenderness and laughter,
and those I found in what we had.

Yet there was missing, the most important part :
honesty and trust, I could not trust,
and, in my lack, I could not be honest with you.
I have beliefs, which I kept hidden
for fear that in their expression I would lose you;
and in that fear I almost lost myself,
which, in the end, was far worse than the loss
of something I never really had at all.
I believe in a God who cares, though in my anger,
over what I considered unfairness,
I convinced myself He couldn't truly care for me;
and in a false sense of unworthiness,
I felt myself too insignificant to be bothered with,
and tried to close the door on belief.

But my belief was there, is there, and will be there,
for without it the emptiness is too much to bear;
what temporary existence is worth the loss of your soul.
How often we cry out in anger and bitterness,
claiming to be above the pain and hurt that are part of life;
are we not all humans to suffer what life brings?
No one has ever escaped it, no matter what it seems;
why do we think ourselves better than others?
I know I must learn to quit blaming God,
for things I allowed to happen to me,
and even for those things that others have inflicted,
for no one is a puppet that He controls;
all have the freedom to be the most, or least, they want,
and to do what they wish--right or wrong.

Excuses and justifications for our actions lie not
in what others have done to us, but
in what we do in life to mold ourselves, our parts;
not the dictators of our patterns, but
the teachers, so that we might, as time passes,
go on to be the most that we can be;
and not remain locked in a futile desire to remake
a past, which if it had been worth anything,
would not need remaking, but simply remembering.
I don't know what I am, or can be,
however, I do know that I cannot learn or gain it
by denying any parts of me, or achieve
any success by a denial of myself or of reality
that can only continue to bring defeat.

It is possible that until we truly want to live,
we will not; for just being, is not life.
In the serious contemplation of ending the pain,
through the ending of my life,
maybe I have come to see the road I must travel--
running away, living in dreams and fantasies,
not facing decisions, not accepting my responsibilities,
selfishly seeking my own pleasure
at the expense of the needs and feelings of others,
has earned me nothing rewarding;
it has only reaped pain and heartache unending;
but I do want to live, surprisingly,
and maybe now I know at least part of the way
in which I must learn how.

I only regret the pain I have caused to others,
in the wasted years of seeking excuses
instead of the doing of what could and should have been done;
I can only hope, that in some way,
I can , with the rest of my life, correct in some way,
the pain I've caused others, and prevent
the devastation of lives by a change in myself;
not to change the past, but to correct the future,
seeking only to be the best that I can be,
accepting failure, and moving on
to try again, instead of wallowing in defeat and self-pity;
to try and use what I have for others,
and to give of myself in honesty, despite what comes,
and in so doing, gain some measure of self-respect.


Well...if those thoughts are not chaotic or deep enough for a beautiful day...just wait; I am sure I can come up with more later. Oh, by the way...I am going to try and start using my middle initial, since there are a whole lot of Susan Richard's out there...and even some are artists. Maybe it will help with some of the confusion...maybe can but try.

Gotta run for now!

Since Wet Canvas is still down....sigh....

It has been a long week with Wet Canvas down. I did not realize how very spoiled I was, and how much I had come to rely on the the comments of other artists, in judging my own work. Now that I have not had that for a I any closer to deciding myself what I like, and what I don't? I am not sure; but it has given me food for thought. I know my daughter, who is an artist, wonders why I am so concerned with what others think; yet I would say my whole life has been based on that, in some way or another. I have always been more concerned with what others think of me, than what I think of myself. My current husband has helped me alot with this...but it still remains a large part of my psyche...I wonder sometimes, if I will ever overcome it, or if I should. Perhaps even "bad" character flaws are part of what makes us who we are...and the loss of even one of them would change us. Like I said, much food for thought there. Perhaps it better belongs on Dragonswhispers than here in my art blog.

Moving right along...I have been playing with techniques, and working on the new master's challenge, Van Gogh, this time. It has been an interesting, and fairly productive week. Since I am newer to painting, I still get tons of books from the library...searching for knowledge, and learning techniques and terminology, etc. This week I have been playing with combining some of the "easier" and often maligned art teachers techniques and mixing them with my style (such as it is at the moment). For a change, I have been pleased with how it is going.

Here is the Van Gogh I did, called First Steps....

The original ...

Mine still could use a bit more work....

I also drew a sketch of a sketch he did called Sorrow, I just could not resist adding color to it...since it is a nude, I will not post it here, but those who are adults and are interested in seing it, can view it here Portraits 2.

This is the first of the landscapes, as yet untitled...of the everglades:

and the second one, also untitled...tho' I am leaning toward making it fantasy art, with either a unicorn or a dragon...or both??

Well, a long day editing blogs and web pages, and I think I am done for now. In case anyone notices, I am going to be using my middle initial from now on. There are alot of Susan Richard's out there, and even some are I am hoping to avoid confusion...and be my own person.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The studio move is over...

Well, I finally can see the floors and some of the walls, in my new office/studio. I have 3 tables to draw with a drafting-type top that adjusts to different angles; one that is just flat for sketching, tracing, drawing, reading, or whatever I need to do, and one for my easels, so I can paint on them. Sometimes I paint on an easel, sometimes I like to lay it all depends. I can see the top of my desk, and my pc is set up with the keyboard and mouse in a convenient location, that is less stress on my arms and hands; and plenty of space to change their locations if I want to for some reason. My bills, ledgers, and budget book have their own spot, and so does my shredder, and calculator. The scanner is where I can scan my artwork, and my printer is in a good spot to print out things to paint or whatever else I need to print. I like to make my own cards for birthdays and anniversaries, etc. The paper, and specialty paper, and other stuff is located right under the printer where it is easy to access.

Daddy is home from the hospital again...hopefully for longer this time! The truck is fixed, but still needs tires...soon, I hope. The air conditioner is fixed, and should require nothing until the fall, if then. Hopefully other than the fast growing grass, the rest of this month will go easy!

I no longer am stressing about the Watermelon Festival...making sure I have enough paintings...getting a tent, and enough fans and cold water to make it thru' the potentially 100 to 115 degree days. I am sending an email to get my deposit back, because my son has chosen that weekend to get married! So instead of sweltering in the heat...I am going to be mother of the groom! Not sure how that will hopeful that current husband and ex-husband will be cordial and get along. I plan on being a wonderfully polite and nice person! He and I do not seem to dislike each other quite as much as we used to...maybe because we are separtated by 600 miles, and two other to speak. We are each on our 3rd relationship...and second marriage. So, as in everything, with the passing of time, things change. Hopefully, since we are both happy in our current relationships, things will go smoothly.

Well...I have to get up early {shudder} in the am, so I will leave you with this thought...


Family is funny,
or so it seems;
it's one way when young, but
not when you're old.

One might be smarter,
some are still fools;
some grow into adults,
others pass on.

I often recall,
past holidays;
crowded with so many,
yet seldom esteemed.

Did wishes come true,
not all are here;
did we want them to leave,
or waste our time?

When your youth passes,
some hopes will change;
if-only's and what-if's,
are food for thought.

Family is funny,
or so I think;
for that which we had once,
is not there today.

Old squabbles and feuds,
seem stupid now;
if we did it again,
would it be the same?

If I could go back,
I'd want to say;
that I love you, miss you,
and see you some day.

Family is funny,
tho' I feel sad;
family's not forever
enjoy while you can.


Filling the void...or what happened to all my free time...

I thought I would have more time to paint, with my son in respite care; however, that does not seem to be the case. I suppose that is how things usually go. If there is a hole, something will fill it; and I had a hole in my time consumption, and things have filled it. I have been doing alot of yard work, because the grass refuses to quit growing; in fact with all the rain this spring, it is growing like crazy. I also have been doing some work for a friend, and that has used up some more time. With my dad in and out of the hospital, there has been alot of stress to deal with as well...not that I have not been painting, just not quite as much as I had hoped.

I wanted to show you the updates on the two I showed you last time, as well as go back a bit to the chronological progression of my work.

I finished the painting of the old hotel in Water Valley, and also the scene of them loading watermelons onto a train in Water Valley.

I have shown you one of the challenges, but in between those, I look for photos, and scenes to paint. There are a number of places to get royalty free photos to paint, and I am always on the lookout for scenes that capture my interest. One of the plant ones, where they are growing out of an old log is one that I found. Here are some more....

This one is a simple ocean scene where the sunset on the waters and glinting in the pools of water on the shore intrigued me.

The next one was a crane or heron or egret walking on the beach at low tide, looking for dinner, with the sandpipers playing nearby....

This one sold, before it had even left my easel, to a good friend.

The next one was a canyon, quiet and peaceful in the afternoon sun, as a storm seemed to be blowing in...

Well, I have a busy day and yard work...yuk!! But as in all things, it has to be done. Till next time, have a great day!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Real life enters....

Well, it is quiet, but it is not calm. Since Bubba left, it has been a bit more hectic than I had planned. The pickup needs work and tires, the air conditioner died, and now dad is back in the hospital. It is always something, or so it seems.

I am so angry at the doctors, and at the closing of ranks to protect each other. First they messed up on the meds they gave him after the surgery, and he ended up with congestive heart failure. Now they messed the meds up again, and his kidneys are not functioning correctly, his heart rate is way too low, and they think maybe the scar tissue from some of their procedures might be strangling his heart. Knowing my parents, they would never sue...but at this point, I think I would, just on the principal of things! It is old...I remember when my mom first got cancer...they treated her for hemorrhoid's for 7 years, and she had colon cancer. My sister works for a lawyer, and nothing can be done. But it does not stop the anger! Wish I could threaten them with something, that is for sure.

I have started remembering alot of my childhood memories. Maybe because of the stress, I don't know. I do know, that I have been pleasantly surprised at how nice they were. I have been learning how very much I love my family, and remembering how much they love me!

Well, in all this heat, I have had alot of trouble sleeping. So I am going to try and catch a few...

I'll leave you with this....


Whenever I reflect upon
the person I call mother,
I find myself humming:
M is for the many things she gave me......
a song I learned quite young;
and I wonder if it really
shows what all I think of her.

She taught me much,
and was always there;
I never had to beg at all
to get the attention I needed from her,
or the love that was mine;
she stayed at home,
and lived for just her family.

She is, and was, strong
in her faith, and in her love;
she fought battles, in life,
that would have been
hard for others, and came through triumphantly;
winning her way back,
to her loving family.

I can only wish for me,
to find inside of myself,
the heritage she gave
to each of her children;
and the ability to become, a better person,
so that I can say with pride,
I am just like my mother.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Finished a few things up...not much, but a few.
I finished the Renoir...Two Girls at the was quite a learning experience.

I did a few more tiny tweaks on Thunderhoof...just moved a few clouds mostly to give it a better look...

Let me see where I was in showing you what I have done....

(This was a post I thought I had posted, and finished....obviously that was not the case. Not going to go know those senior! So I will just let it stand as is.

Happy days are here again....

The North MS Regional Center called this am...wanted to know if I would like to move Bubba's respite care (where he stays at the center for a few months, to give me a break), up just a bit? They had called last week to say it would be late summer, but they just had a it is tomorrow. It took me about an hour to pack him up...practice makes perfect? Not that I am I had been wondering how to accomplish all that I needed to do over the next few months, from working at an outside short term job, making some Dr. appointments, helping my parents move to assisted living, painting, doing art shows, etc. Nice to have an answer now! My step is already a bit lighter.

I might even have time to blog I have such good intentions, but the follow-thru' is not so great.

Well, I need to spend some time with him before tomorrow. Later...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fun with photos....

Just had to show you what I have been doing....I started a number of paintings with the new photos of Water Valley in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This one is my favorite so far....I used a new (to me) technique to do the background...and I like how it is turning out. It is still a work in progress....but I just had to put it up for you. It is 16x20 on canvas board.

I am also working on one where they are loading watermelons into a boxcar.... itis also a work in much little This one is 8x10 on canvas.

Well, it is time for my lazy Saturday morning coffee and visit with my neighbor, so I will close for now. More to tell later!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduation time....and memories

As of about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, Bubba graduated!

He seemed to think it was fun, and kept everyone laughing. He and Logan, the other graduate were good friends while attending the Scott Center in Oxford, MS. Hopefully, tho' school is out, he will continue to grow and learn. Tho' I suppose his teacher will have to be me now.

This is a picture of him with his teacher, Ms. Minnie.

When we got home we found out that my dad was back in the hospital with congestive heart failure. He is responding well to the meds, and feeling much better today. They say he may be home as soon as Friday. I think all of this has pushed them towards the decision to accept placement in an assisted living facility. My aunt and some of their friends from church have apartments there, and so they would have family and friends to be near. I am sure it is never an easy decision, to give up your home, and to admit that you need help. There would be such a war of pride and ego I would think. I do not live close enough (13 hrs away) to them to help more, and my brother can only do so much. My sister lives over 2 hours away, so helping out is not something we can share very well. They have always planned to go there, just were hoping to postpone it awhile longer.

It brings to a close a large segment of my life. I know you can never go home again....but now it will be for real....there will be no more old will be sold. Alot of memories will go with it...some good, some bad...but oh so many memories.....


As I was sitting in a restaurant, eating dinner
And listening to a trio playing old songs and new,
I found myself drifting away on a sea of thought;
Nostalgia is usually different for all of us,
Each memory a picture of separate meaning,
Love bound up in divergence and selfishness,
Yet somehow finding a pathway thru’ it all.

I remember so many things, long forgotten….
Mom playing duets with us on an old painted piano;
Her pounding out “Alley Cat” while we danced;
Lullabies sang in the hallway, so all could hear;
Washday with clothespins in her mouth outside in the back;
The smell of sheets hung in the sun to dry while
Dragonflies dodge the clothesline and we the poles.

Working with dad at the Y camp in the summertime;
Dad telling the joke about the suit the tailor made wrong;
Hitting his head on the cellar steps for the millionth time;
Cutting our hair in the basement, sometimes crooked,
While we wound up the record player and listened to
Lavinsky At the Wedding, and other 78’s grown warped,
And he puttered at the workbench or painted something.

Melting tin into soldiers, marathon monopoly games;
Being “locked out” into the fresh air with no book to read;
Picking raspberries till the mumps caught up to me,
Instead of the flies and prickers and wasps and bees;
Sick in the summertime heat and bored till daddy
Comes home and brings me a building kit to make
My very own city, in a fantasy world of my choosing.

Hiding from my sister, or hiding from my brother;
Or maybe just hiding from the neighbors in a game;
But we had to come in when it got dark, and we could
Still hear them calling “allie allie oxen free”, or “you’re it”;
Going to bed when it was still light out after school began;
Indian rug burns, mubletypeg, climbing trees and
Catching minnows in the “pond” in the side yard.

Riding with grandma A in her car that had air-conditioning;
Eating cornflakes before a bedtime later than usual;
Listening to the train whistle late at night which we
Never heard at home….only in town with dad’s folks;
Watching daytime soap operas on a 17-inch TV screen;
Going a movie or getting money to spend at Woolworth’s,
As a special treat on our yearly overnight stay there.

Building tents at grandma W's house, in her cold living room,
And ducking into the dining room to stand on the grate
After grandpa added coal to the furnace, on a winter’s day;
Eating cookies from the cookie jar, playing in the tiny room
Beside the kitchen or upstairs with curtains drying on racks;
Braving the outhouse, or heating water in copper tubs for washday.

Not knowing then that my kids and grandkids would not
Have the same kind of memories as I did with childhoods
So different than mine; no frame of reference for what I recall…
Records with only one side, played on players that wound up;
Getting our first TV with a tiny little screen and only a very few shows
On in black and white, listening to radio broadcast of the Lone Ranger
Amos and Andy, Father Knows Best, popping corn in a big kettle.

Playing army, or cowboys and Indians, with a stick as a gun,
In the “big woods” in back of the house (which was only a thicket
To my mother), and now is less than a few dozen trees; or in the
Forest back the lane where we could wander for hours and never
See anyone or signs of habitation; lying on top of a hillside
While the Blue Angels flew over us on their way to the air show
At the National Guard armory, with our dog barking beside us.

Watching the airport tower lights at night go from green to red to white,
Out my window when I was supposed to be asleep, but couldn’t sleep
Because I wonder what a broken home was that the boy next door
Came from, and if he would leave when they fixed it again, and praying
That he wouldn’t go because I loved him more than any six-year-old
Ever could; seeing who could drink a glass of water without stopping
To breathe once; chewing on dog biscuits in the haymow back the lane.

Once we had a food fight in my mom’s kitchen and she and daddy
Participated; and my sister told jokes from school that she did not
Understand and neither did I, but my parents did and said, “hush, now.”
Waving sparklers on the fourth of July after a picnic with all the
Neighbors gathered together; and late night parties on New Years Eve,
When my mom’s friends would come over and bring the “booze”,
Which was only seven up and coca-cola, but a treat ‘cause we only had milk.

Coming home from school and mom was there baking cookies or cake;
Easter-egg trees in the spring; taking piano lessons every week;
Having dad tell us about snakes and bugs; catching 6 baby skunks
And keeping them in a pen for awhile; catching fish on a cane pole;
Family vacations, and trips to my great grandparent's farms where
We could see cows and pigs, and ride in a boat; drawing lines in the car
So no one took more than their half of the seat or else we’d fight.

Learning to ride a second-hand bike that mom painted special,
With streamers in the handles and sticks in the spokes for noise;
Walking to the local dairy for ice cream with my grandpa and seeing
Where he worked and watching the cows get milked by hand;
Having the jocks in high school marvel at the same grandpa
When they worked on the road crew with him and he out-worked them
With him being an “old man” and them being younger “men”.

Wrestling in the living room with my mom, and she always beat us
Even when we got big because she cheated; growing up innocent;
Not knowing what we had because we were too close to it then, and
Wishing that my kids could have known what it felt like to walk
Barefoot in the grass and mud, without worrying about anything
More than having to wash off with the outside hose before dinner;
I wish we had known then how great we had it, but I do now.


Well it is late, and I need some sleep....I will apologize here too...for only now learning how to respond to comments....begging forgiveness and thanking all who have commented so far. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Late night update...

Things here remain is back in the hospital,Bubba graduated yesterday, and the great move...well, it moves on. I really wish things would calm down a bit...but then I suppose that would not be real life.
I want to thank Rex from the Deer Camp Blog for his generous praise of my portrait of Thunderfoot. It was a pleasure to go out to the camp and do a plein air painting of this majestic deer while Rex was fishing. This artist's eye saw the majesty of his stance, and the spirit of eternity in his eyes! When I got back to my studio, I did a few tweaks on him, because I truly wanted to capture his beauty. I hope all will forgive any artistic license I took.

Last time I showed you the dogs and kitties....but after doing some animals, I tried some flowers....not sure that florals are the direction I am heading, but I love those that others do, so I had to try my own.

These are not florals, but plantlife.....

Well, it is late, so I will close for now. I hope you are enjoying some of my artwork.

I do have to apologize to anyone whose comments I have not acknowledged, it was not intentional, I just did not understand how to do so. I am still learning how to do this blogging thing, and now I have learned how. Thanks for your comments!