Painting with Cheetos

OK, I know my oil painting on barn slate looks more like an oil spill than a sea scape, but it is good therapy.  My husband commented on the highlights of yellow.  (He was trying to be polite and supportive, bless him)  I was a little surprised because I only used a touch of yellow for a sun.  Upon closer inspection, I realized my Cheetos snacks ended up in my white paint.  Hmmm – a new medium??

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It Goes ON

Sharing another one of my many favorite quotes from:

The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living by Joseph M. Marshall III

In the book, an older gentleman was speaking of death:  “It doesn’t end here.  It goes on in another place, on the other side….One doesn’t travel alone.”

This gives me great comfort today.  I know my son is gone from ME in this place – but he is not gone.  His spirit, his essence is “Going ON” in the presence of GOD – on the other side.

DIS – Connected

I have been traveling grief road for 29 months.  One day, I was a very happy person – then my world exploded.   I became very isolated – personal connections, my connections – all seemed to snap under the weight of the grief.

I lost connection with friends – who weren’t really friends at all.

I lost connection with family – who meant well, but didn’t understand.

I lost connection with my husband of 37 years.  We were both in pain, but grieving differently.  I had nothing to give when he needed to receive, and I was SO angry.

I lost connection with my hobbies, my pleasures, my sanity, my common sense – I lost connection with ME.

This broken ME became isolated from the outside world, and only existed inside my head – along with the monsters, the demons of dark thoughts.  My only connections were my spirit helpers – my animals.

I never fully lost connection with GOD, but the communication had a lot of static and reception was poor on my end.  Sometimes I just went through the motions – I said the words of my daily prayers, while my thoughts and heart were not connected.

I now understand, to heal on this journey – I must rebuild and reconnect.

First – I am working to rebuild, reconnect with GOD.  I know HE never left me.   Mathew 28:20 promises “I am with you always, even unto the ends of the world.”  I know this to be true.  Instead of simply uttering words, I am learning to sit still and listen.  I hear HIS voice in the breeze, in the chatter of the birds, in ME.

Next, I need to rebuild my connections to the world.

I do not wish to re-connect with some friends.  I will bid farewell to fair weather friends – and miss them not.  I have no ill will, just no energy to spare.  My circle of friends is much smaller, but the connections are powerful and strong.

My connections with family may never be the same, but I am trying to mend them.  We are all trying.

My connection with my husband is slowly improving – well, maybe that is not the right word.  Maybe the right word is evolving.  Our connection MUST be different.  We are different.  We are not only connected by our marriage, our love – we are connected by a terrible loss.  In the last few months, I made an effort to speak a little softer and listen a little more closely to my partner.  He picked up on the change and he is doing the same.  We are walking this journey together.

I am back in my craft room, painting rocks – I even have a sewing project started.  The monsters and the demons of dark thoughts still come – but now I am looking for the light.

If you are on a painful journey, I pray you will have spirit helpers and light.

I pray you can Connect.

“When there are people in need, take their hands”

As I began my grief journey, lost in pain and confusion – I searched many Christian books for comfort.  Book after book did not “speak” to me.  Please understand, my faith in GOD never wavered.  My love for Jesus never faltered.  I simply did not feel nourished and comforted by these books. They were great books but they were not right for me and my journey.

I stumbled upon a Lakota author:  Joseph M. Marshall III

I feel GOD led me to this author – HE knew best what I needed.  I am grateful.

Mr. Marshall’s books speak to me – I feel the wisdom in his writings, first with Keep Going:  The Art of Perseverance and then with The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living by   and I hope many more.

In every chapter, every story, I find a treasure.  I will not be fooled by Iktomi.

Today, I am sharing a favorite from The Lakota Way:

“When there are people in need, take their hands”

Simple and powerful – philosophy for life.

Thin Veil

I feel like I live my life behind a thin veil.  I hide all my pain, grief, and dark thoughts behind a thin veil of the proper smile and the proper composure – just a veil.

Sorry, this is one of those nights of random thoughts.

I know GOD is with me – HE said so.  But there is so much I just don’t understand.  I know, just trust HIM.  I do – but it still hurts.  The loss is so great is sucks the light out of me, thus the need for the veil.

Time for gathered stones.  I gathered up a wonderful “potato” rock on my recent trail ride.  I think this rock wants to be a bear paw.  Time to paint.  Time to craft and let the tears fall – time to throw off the veil and work on some healing.

I will try to sleep tomorrow.

Wildflowers versus Weeds

Wildflowers and weeds seem to go together.  I cannot pull out the weeds without damaging the wildflowers.  To be honest, when they are little – I can’t tell the difference.  My life feels like that – weeds of pain, grief, sorrow, self condemnation mixed with wildflowers of loving family, friends, spirit helper animals.  Some days, all I see are the weeds.  All I see is what I lost, what I miss.

Today, I am trying to see ONLY the wildflowers – I see the butterfly and I choose to believe my son sent it to me – a sign of love.  I choose to let the beauty and the gentle scent of the wildflowers convey GOD’s love to me and my love to HIM.

I pray you all will see many wildflowers.

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Lizard CPR??

The Virginia heat is taking a toll on critters.  I was about to dump the horse trough for a good scrubbing, when I noticed this little fellow struggling to stay afloat.  I scooped him out and laid him in a shady patch of grass.  At first, I thought he was not breathing.  Just when I was about to google Lizard CPR. his little sides started heaving, but he was not moving.   I continued my barn chores, keeping an eye on my little friend.  It took nearly 20 minutes for him to regain his strength, but he eventually scurried off under the barn.  Whew!!  I really was sure how the mouth to mouth would work!!IMG_4277