Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Monday, January 31, 2011


my play-lists..........
Well, I've done it!  I never thought I'd want to have I-Tunes in my life, I was perfectly happy listening to my wonderful Cd's.  I am a fan of lots of different music, Country, Easy Listening and most of all Native American Flute music. 

I don't have an I Pod, I have never felt the need to push things in my ears and listen to music,  I have CD players and radios throughout my house, in the car and in the studio.  I was happy to have downloaded some Cd's onto my computer to listen to some favorites while enjoying my Facebook communications and writing blogs. 

Then my daughter came visiting and at my request she signed me up for I-Tunes.  I thought I would enjoy some of the old music that I used to listen to, you know when Country was really Country and not the country rock it is today.  I loved music by Don Williams, Alabama, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Vince Gill.........   need I go on? 

Well, I have found songs that I totally forgot about, Chris Ledoux's, The Cowboy Hat, Charlie Danial's Band, Mississippi, and what about the BJ Thomas song, I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry.
I also loved many of the songs by Elvis and Roy Orbison!  Most of these old songs are only ninety-nine cents to purchase, I even found one that was sixty-nine cents!  Some of Elvis's old songs are still a dollar ninety-nine.  Listening to this music is like traveling back in time, when I was young and didn't have a thought about how things might change in the music world or that I might actually become the older generation. 

Oh, I was warned to be careful, this could cost me a lot of money, that my purchases could get out of hand.  I assured my daughter, husband and friends that I was being very selective and in total control.  I am doing well at controlling my urge to buy more songs.  Being the person you have come to know through these blogs, you might find that difficult to believe! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This May Surprise You

I write this to share a little about how I was raised.   This was my intended purpose of starting this blog, so that my family would know who I was and who I am.

I was raised in a very small town of Cedarville, Ohio.  I have spent my entire life as a resident here, graduating from a class of fifty-two fellow seniors.  To say we were sheltered from the world is putting it lightly.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I got to do things and go places, and yet today, I would call it a sheltered life. 

Funny now how closed minded we were brought up to be.  Our town is very small and yet there are five churches in our little town.  Also, a Baptist College.  It hasn't been that many years ago that the girls from this college were still required to wear dresses or skirts unless they were involved in an athletic event.  There are no judgements here, just trying to explain the influence of the community I grew up in. 

I am almost embarrassed to write about this and please know my education about life and living has changed greatly since I was in high school.  I remember graduating and going to a local community college and in my class were other students from other communities.  I was involved in the secretarial program, in those days that was about the only option for girls who didn't go on to a four year college.  The other girls in my class seemed so worldly, they seemed to understand things I'd never heard discussed before and many of them smoked!  I'd never been exposed to a smoking culture and if the kids at my high school smoked, I didn't know them or they were "labeled" as hoods.  (I'm just telling how it was.) We didn't see it in the high school but if people had tattoos I would certainly know I was in danger.  I'm not sure what kind of danger I was suppose to be in, I was very cautious.

I know much of this thinking carried with me throughout my young adulthood.  I didn't stray far from my upbringing.  I was part of the Hippie Generation, although I wasn't a hippie.  I wasn't a part of drug experimentation's, drinking or smoking that seemed to come about during this time.  I saw it from afar, I was never a part of "it".   I married two years out of high school to my high school sweetheart and we did what was expected of us.  Jobs, kids and life happened and years have passed and so have so many of my sheltered ideas about what is good or bad.

I'm in my early sixties now, my favorite drug of choice is Advil, I have never experimented with any of the hard drugs.  I don't really care for drinking, although wine is sometimes good and the occasional mixed sweet drink.  I don't smoke and never had the desire.  People with tattoos don't bother me anymore, I can now see the person behind the tattoo.  Imagine what a shock it would have been for a girl to have a tattoo when I was in high school!  I'll bet she might not have been allowed to attend regular classes with the rest of us.  I only say that because of an unfortunate event that forever stays in my mind and how unfair it was.   A senior two years ahead of me got pregnant and she couldn't attend classes with the other students, she had to sit in the office day after day doing her studies, and yet the boy who got her pregnant continued going to classes and playing sports.  I knew then that things were not right with the way men and women were treated.  We were on the edge of the women's revolution and bra burnings!  Hip Hip Hooray!

We all have come a L-O-N-G way since those days in the sixties and seventies.  I see so many people sporting a tattoos and some I really like.  I love when the tattoo isn't the first thing I see about a person and can tell you that I had the most amazing experience in this regard in Eureka Springs, AR about four years ago. 

I was in a wonderful store that sells many beautiful things, many related to the Native American culture.  Into the store walks this man, in his forties maybe, he had a black shirt on with images of horses and eagle, feathers and such.  This man was alone and he looked at everything in the store, I had my gourd work there on display and we talked about them a little.  He continued to walk around, I have to say he was gorgeous, not only in the way he looked but his spirit was gorgeous, you could feel what he was about.  When he sat down to play the flutes, I thought I might swoon!  Hahahaha!  He purchased a leather bag to carry a flute and ask when the store closed, he wanted to bring his wife and daughter back.   Just before five and when I was packing up my gourds to return to Ohio, he and his family came back into the store.  I talked with them about gourds and enjoyed the visit.

My friend, Jayme, who had come with me on this trip had gone to get the car while I packed up the gourds.  I was out front waiting on her when this man in the black shirt came out of the store.  He had already put the flute bag to use and was carrying his flute across his back.  I ask him about his flute and how long he'd been playing and of course, ask him to play something on his flute.  (Swooning again!)  We had a little time to talk before Jayme came with the car.

When Jayme arrived, I loaded the gourds and ask he if she'd seen the man in the black shirt with the flute just now.  She said, yes and then told me how strange that this same man stopped her on the street as she was going to the car and ask her if she bought the flute she had been playing in the store.  She said, "no" .  He told her that when a flute sounds and feels right to the player it is the one you should purchase.   They went on their separate ways.

I said to Jayme, "Did you find it odd that this man would stop you on the street to say that and did you notice his tattoos?"  She looked at me puzzled and then said, "Oh, he did have tattoos, didn't he?"  The point of the entire story, his tattoos were so obvious, his arms were covered, his neck but even more unusual were the dots going from his temples under his eyes and across his nose.  And yet that wasn't what we saw first, we saw the essence of a beautiful man who had the most kind and gentle spirit! 

While chatting with this man on the street, I found out he used to be a tattoo artist and now does detail work on motorcycles.  I also found out that he'd been playing flute for about four years and he also explained the history of his flute.  What a gentle soul he was.  I will always remember this as an ahaaa moment in my life. 

So you see I have evolved through the years, I hope that I'm a more open minded person that I was forty years ago.  I hope knowing all of this you won't be too surprised to know that I also have tattoos!!!!!   Hahahaha!  I know some of you are stunned!  I'm giggling as I write this!  Most who see me everyday don't see my tattoos and they are in plain sight!  Shall I share?  I have tattooed eye liner!    I just had it redone last week and love it!  Are you shocked and surprised?  Hahaha!

Friday, January 21, 2011

January Contradictions

snow on the pine in our yard
There is always something to do.  I can't seem to escape the feeling that I need to be doing something.  I always look forward to winter, I find it more relaxing, no major deadlines.  That may be true if I don't look too far ahead.  I sometimes think I live my life in total contradictions with myself.  

For instance:  I could be working in the studio, creating new gourd work, in preparation for next summers shows.  Or, I could relax, the inventory is pretty good just now.  When the season of shows begin, I will feel like I have nothing new and will be nuts trying to do some "new"work.

I could use this time to be more creative in the studio, try to do something new.  I recently got a beading loom and can't wait to try some beading.  I now have all the supplies necessary to do this.  Should I be fooling around with a new project that I can't see as part of my gourd artwork, just to learn something new? 

I could be cleaning out a closet or the sewing room.  Really, it is not that I have any intention of sewing and the closet thing means making some major decisions on keeping or getting rid of things.  Maybe I should just get started on the stack of books waiting to be read!  Sitting near the fire with a good cup of coffee and snuggled in a blanket with a good book sounds really nice!

I should be getting my shows lined up for the coming year, get my website updated and get my tax stuff sorted out before April.  I'd rather go play flutes with my friends and not think about shows, this is my "down" time, isn't it? 

my thoughts swirl around much like this paiinting
I would love to go to the library and check out some art books and then I'd want to try new projects and do I really need to get involved in more creative projects?  Not to mention getting supplies necessary to do new projects! 

I could start painting again, I do love painting.  My problem with painting is the paintings just get stacked with the other paintings with no rhyme or reason and isn't that just wasting my time?  I always like making greeting cards from my paintings, but really, how many greeting cards can one sell? Does anyone actually write letters to people or do they just send and email or text?

The sunshine is so beautiful today, the snow just sparkles and it is very cold outside.  I have a hot cup of coffee and a paper and pen to make a list and yet, instead of getting on with it, I sit and write this blog, totally using up good time that I could be doing something, anything or nothing at all..............    

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Old Oak Tree

Today the sun warms the front of our house.  I spent some time sitting at our dining room table, in front of the big window.  The sun poured in, warming my thoughts a little about this cold, snowy winter day in January.  The sun felt warm, it also made me happy.  We have had so many grey, winter days, the snow has been on the ground since early December.  I'm ready for soft spring breezes and bird songs. 

A winter sunset and the old oak tree.  (2010)

As I lingered in the sun, I took a break from the book I was reading and looked toward the old oak tree in our front yard.  I still remembered when we bought this land, it was this oak tree I sat under, with my back against it's bark, looking out at the farm fields in front of our new home.  I could feel life pulsing through this tree that spring in May, thirty six years ago.  I love many things about this tree and if I were a tree, I would want to be just like this oak tree, strong, proud and giving. 

Our old oak tree is big and somewhat knotted, every fall some little acorns fall from the great reaching branches.  The leaves are beautiful in the fall, reds and orange to russett colors.  I love that a big strong branch held the swing my children played on in the summertime. 

Today I look at this beautiful tree, it's branches are naked as the snow lays on the ground below.  I see an area of grass near the tree on the east side that has no snow and then my eyes are drawn to activity on this cold sunny day around and on the branches of this old oak tree.   I see a flicker on the ground in the grass.  I love the yellow shafted flicker and think they are one of my favorite birds in the woodpecker family.  Then I see a flash of red and recognize the cardinal.  The more I look the more birds I see, the downey woodpecker, a nuthatch moving along the trunk of the tree.  There are chickadees and juncos and I also see the little song sparrows.  What a gift this tree is for the birds to enjoy.

Our old oak tree.... (2009)

The Red-tailed Hawk has used this tree as a lookout and we have also seen raccoons scurry up the trunk to hang out awhile.  I watched the blue jays come and gather it's acorns last fall.  Many branches have fallen from this tree over the years, they have warmed us as we sit around a little campfire.  Many gifts come from this beautiful old oak tree and I am grateful she sits in our yard and that we have become old friends.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Snow Day

Today we are having a SNOW DAY.  Exactly what that means depends on where you are in your life.  When my children were young and we got up early to listened to the radio for school closings, everyone had their fingers crossed that their school would be closed, that was a SNOW DAYAs a grand parent, I thought I would be never have to worry about the school closings or delays or even the early dismissals again.  I was so happy not to get up early and glue myself to the writing at the bottom of the TV screen.  Yes, a passage from being a parent to being a grand parent.

My daughter, who is married to a Superintendent of their K-12 school, has an entirely different take on these weather concerns.  She doesn't enjoy the bad weather, with small babies in the house, it just is another interruption in her already short nights.  They live in a flat rural countryside where snow drifts control many road conditions.  The local sheriff calls the Superintendent (her husband) with a road report and then other superintendents call one another to also converse about the roads before the decision is made about a delay or closed school.  Then they have a calling system that goes out to each home (even their home) to alert parents of the news.  Which means no one has to sit glued to the TV notifications.  It's just when the call comes you are happily snuggled deep in your bed, sleeping soundly only to be awakened by the phone.   All of this activity starts happening in her household at four in the morning!

This morning, oblivious to the fact that more snow fell in the night, I am snuggled deep under my down blanket, dreaming good dreams and I get the call from my daughter-in-law, school has been cancelled and she has to go to work, is it okay if the grand daughters come down?  Of course, it is fine, bring them on down.  I must now get up and get ready for a Snow Day, something I'd thought was long in my past. 

So today, this Grandma and Grandpa got up early today to enjoy a SNOW DAY with grandchildren!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Twenty Eleven

Happy New Year!

It is New Years day.  Only a week ago I was in the kitchen getting Christmas dinner ready for the McDonald clan.  The house was lit with twinkling lights, there were stockings filled with unusual gifts, and presents under the tree.  There was six inches of snow on the ground and it was very cold and had been most of the December.

Today, only seven days later, it is very warm, temperatures went from the teens and twenties to the fifties.  Snow is totally gone and this New Years Day, it is raining.  Yesterday I heard a song sparrow sing as if it were spring.  I might have been fooled if it weren't for the Christmas tree still standing in the bay window.  I went outside, hoping to feel warmth from the sunshine, the earth was muddy and soft, I forgot and found myself looking for that first sprout of green beneath a leaf.  Then I remembered that it is the last day of December.  There is no spring hiding under that leaf, at least nothing visible to my eyes.

Loved this, looks like a
Medicine Wheel.....

Today is a new year, 2011.  I feel the rain is helping to wash away the last of 2010.  A cleansing to start the new year fresh.  Let go of the past, start a new year with new goals.  Be free of hurt and find your PEACE within.  Wash away unwanted feelings, find and share the LOVE.  Allow the rain to wash and cleanse anything that has been weighting you down. 

I am grateful for the rain, not only is it cleansing all that it touches, it nourishes a somewhat parched earth after our summer drought.  It is refilling our little streams allowing the water life to thrive.  The birds gather at a puddle and take a winter bath, the trees quietly drink the moisture for next summers shade.  It is good to start the new year with this quiet rain.  We are blessed this day.  Happy New Year, it's Twenty Eleven.