Friday, October 05, 2007

Landscape at Dusk--
Here's a cropped image of the largest oil painting that I've done. Again, I apologize for the quality of the photo. I'll need to work on that.
In this painting, I played with color a bit.. and I do mean played. This painting was a lot of fun to do. First, I underpainted the entire canvas in blue.. the same as the sky. When doing the grass and flowers, I allowed some of the blue to remain visible.What would I change? There are more orange tones than I would like. I may go back and adjust that. But, that's merely a personal judgement of the final result.
Should I be concerned about what my painting looks like in the end? Not so much. That may surprise you. After all, isn't the goal of art to end up with a work of art that is everything you want it to be? I don't think so. I think that the process of creating is much more important. Art keeps me sane. It's not the paintings hanging on my walls that soothes my soul, although it is nice to be surrounded by art. What's important to me is to take the time to allow myself to create- whether it be in the form of a painting, poetry, or a story. When I create, I am free.. free to purge my thoughts and feelings on paper, canvas, or the computer screen. If I am focused on the end result, I'll be censoring my efforts through the entire creative process, which would not be helpful at all.
Freeing yourself to create without boundaries or expectations is a way of accepting yourself without judgment.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Abstract Self-Portrait


I realize that I haven't previously posted any of my artwork, which is a real shame. This painting is my abstract self-portrait. This picture is slightly dark. (I never claim to be a photographer, although I have worked as one.) The painting is somewhat lighter. This acrylic painting is an image that reflects on my struggle with bipolar disorder. I treasure it, and it is currently hanging above my bed. Basically, it is an abstract blue flower flowing on lava. It's much different than my usual works.. which lean towards post impressionism. I'll be posting some more of my paintings and theory on art soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Johnson & Johnson Sues the American Red Cross

Did you hear that Johnson & Johnson is suing the American Red Cross for using the red cross symbol?
Johnson & Johnson Files Lawsuit Against the American Red Cross

After I read that news, I wondered if Johnson & Johnson or the Red Cross used the red cross symbol first. My suspicion that the Red Cross was first is actually correct.

The symbol was he Official ICRC (International Commitee of the Red Cross) symbol since 1864.
Geneva convention concerning the Red Cross ratified by the US in 1882.
Johnson & Johnson trademark in the US since 1905, which it should never have been.

I hope the Red Cross files a countersuit against Johnson & Johnson and wins.

I smell a boycott. I absolutely refuse to buy any Johnson & Johnson product from this day forward. They've really gone out off the way to show their heartless nature.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh, Mike Vick...

As a diehard Falcons fan, I feel the need to briefly discuss Vick's indictment for dog-fighting. First of all, I wholeheartedly support the team's careful consideration of their options at this time. I am glad that they did not act hastily to either end.

Here is the link to a letter to fans regarding the matter:
Letter from Arthur Blank

I encourage all Falcons fans to try to be patient. I know that with only 17 more days until the first pre-season game, patience is not an easily-obtainable virtue.
Remember that the Atlanta Falcons do not equal Vick. Vick is only one player, albeit an important one. Even if Vick will not be playing this season, do not give up hope of rallying to become Superbowl contenders. If there is one thing that the Falcons have been known to do, it is to rally from a disadvantage and take the world by surprise!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Friend's New Website

A dear friend of mine has a new website:
http://ask-josh.com

Please take a moment to check it out. He offers his down-to-earth advice to anyone in need. He is also a very talented free-verse poet. My two favorite poems of his are featured on his website.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

"When you buy your first tube of paint, it comes with an artist's license that says that you can do anything that makes you happy."
-Bob Ross

Monday, July 02, 2007

Having Fun With Poetry

The clerihew is a whimsical form of poetry. It is biographical, with the first line consisting of the name of the person who the poem is about. The following 3 lines are of varied lengths. The first two lines rhyme, as do the second two lines.

Vincent van Gogh
Cut off his ear, as you know
His vibrant colors and thick strokes
are lesser known to the folks.

They are fun and easy. Try to write one!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Disturbing Headline

LEVITTOWN, Pa. -- Animal control officers caught an alligator in a Bucks County creek over the weekend, just days after netting a 5-foot gator in the same area. The second alligator, caught Sunday afternoon near Bryn Athyn, is about 2 feet long.

Alligators in Pennsylvania? wtf?
Do you think some idiot had a couple pet alligators and released them? It's quite likely. Think public safety and the ecosystem, people!

Sometimes, people just don't realize the impact that their actions have on others and the world around them. Many ecosystems around the world have been upset by animals that people have introduced to the area. Now, commonly, exotic species are introduced into bays by way of ballast water from ships. This accidential displacement of organisms from one country to another is the price we pay for international trade. You would think that by now someone would have designed a filter system or something to prevent this from happening. Maybe there already is such a device being used.. I don't know.

But, the introduction of exotic pets in areas where they just don't belong by careless or apathetic owners is just not right. When someone buys an exotic pet, they should be prepared to take on the responsibilty for that animal.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thank You!

I just want to take a minute to thank everyone for taking the time to read and vote on my stories. I appreciate all the feedback that I have received. And for those of you who are rushing me to write more stories... There are more on the way!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Story!

I just had a new story posted on Literotica.com for their National Nude Day Contest. New nude story.. say that 10 times fast. LOL
Check it out and please let me know what you think! I appreciate constructive criticism as well as superficial praise! I'm not going to lie. LOL
Again, you must be 18 or older to read this story. By clicking this link, you are verifying that you are at least 18 years old.
Vegas Road Trip Ch. 01

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Live With Enthusiasm

I am watching Bob Ross "The Joy of Painting" on public television. My daughter and I love Bob Ross. I have a t-shirt with his picture on it that says "Happy Trees." And, though you have to wonder what he was smoking before taping his shows, you just have to applaud his enthusiasm. As he paints the carefree clouds that just "play in the sky all day," I wonder if he views life that way as well. We all get caught up in the hassles of everyday life. That's why we each gotta have our thing. Painting was Bob Ross's thing. I love to paint and write. Those are my things. What's your thing?

Having a hobby or art helps us stay in touch with ourselves. When I paint, I'm not worried about bills or my ever-lasting To Do list. If I go too long without painting or writing, I tend to feel overwhelmed by the stress of everyday life. If you don't have a hobby, craft, or art, I strongly suggest you find one that suits you. Try new things until you find something that makes you feel good.

Here are links to my short stories that are published on Literotica.com. You must be at least 18 years old to visit Literotica and read these stories. By clicking the following links, you are verifying that you are 18 years old or older.

A Realtor's Surprise - A Realtor & client get naughty with a stranger
2007 Sex Olympics - a humorous piece just for fun


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Motivate Yourself

Only you know what will truly motivate you. What I find helpful may not have any benefit to you. Don't be afraid to try new things.
I believe that personal growth should be its own motivation. I love to learn new things. Reading books such as Robert Allen's One Minute Millionaire or Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad series help you to see success from a different, and hopefully an attainable perspective.
Educating yourself is not only a first step, but it should be an integral part of the ongoing journey of life.
It's easy to let what you learn fall from your priorities when dealing with the daily grind. I find it helpful to post motivational quotes in my bedroom. They help me remember what my goals are, even when I'm faced with the laundry, homeschooling the kids, and so forth. Not that those daily activities should ever be neglected! Hopefully, part of the motivation for your goal is to free up time to spend with your family and friends. Life is a balancing act, and someone keeps changing the weights! Keep your eyes on your goal, while enjoying your life where you are right now. Being content and being goal-oriented are not necessarily contradictory.

Words of Wisdom

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Erotic Short Stories To Come..No Pun Intended

I've been focusing on freelance writing assignments, and not doing any writing for fun. Though I will continue to write for one client, I will also be doing more on my own. Anyone who writes would appreciate the necessity of this change. Therefore, I have entered a very interesting contest at literotica.com. I have written erotica before, but never for a contest. And, really, what could be more fun? So, expect to see some of my short stories there soon.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Is Stupid A Medical Condition?

So, Paris Hilton was released from prison after serving a tiny fraction of her sentence. Why? The excuse given was that the release is due to a medical condition. I was not aware that stupid is a medical condition.
Even if there is a legitimate health concern, would a non-celeb be released because of it? Hardly. You tell me if a poor black woman was serving a sentence, what chance would she have of being released due to a medical condition?
How could anyone have faith in the American justice system?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Home Improvement Time

If you are a home owner, like myself, what time isn't home improvement time. Am I right? It seems like there is always something demanding my attention. Of course, as a Realtor, I chose this house for a reason. I bought this house three years ago for $47K. The house needed a lot of work, but has a lot of potential. Houses in this neighborhood are now selling for $70K.
Now, here is where the work comes in..
I already put in a new furnace, got new appliances, and did some interior painting. The house still has a long way to go! The kitchen is a disaster area! Being that the kitchen is tiny, approximately 8'x8', it does not make sense to invest a couple thousand dollars into a total remodel job in that tiny space.
Instead, I am converting the dining room into an eat-in kitchen. The house has two living rooms, so after I sell this house, the new owners could use one as a dining room if they so desired. The old kitchen will be converted to a 1st floor laundry room.
Other home improvement jobs that are demanding my attention: the downstairs bathroom needs a major overhaul.. new tile floor, new sink. the foyer is currently without walls LOL The old plaster has been removed, and it is being prepped for new panelling. The upstairs bathroom is in fairly good condition. I bought the paint for it.. a new sink and mirror would be excellent.
Today's task: landscaping! As a single, working mom, I resent having to take time to mow the grass. I have a small yard, typical for this neighborhood. I am getting rid of most of the grass. This is a local landscaping trend. More patio, rock garden, fountains, raised flowerbeds, and other relatively maintenance-free accents.. less grass!
Wish me luck! It's going to be hard work, but I look forward to the end result.








Friday, June 01, 2007

Goals- Evaluate & Reach

Today, I took a look at my goals.. personal and family goals. I realized that I need to remind myself to work towards these goals everyday. Taking time everyday is the only way that I will reach my prized destination. I find that if I go too many days without actively working towards a goal, I tend to feel uninspired at best. I begin to feel depressed and unfulfilled.
When working towards a goal, I think it's important to take time to visualize obtaining that specific goal. This should include all the senses, not just what it would look like.. The visualization should be as detailed as possible.
After visualizing the goal, it helps me to break the goal down into steps. What do I need to do everyday in order to reach that goal? Without action, a goal isn't a goal- it's a daydream.
So, if you read this, take some time to shape a goal for yourself.. whether it's working towards a specific personal accomplishment or a family goal, such as buying a new house. (Did I mention that I'm a Realtor?)
Forever moving forward....

McDonald's New Caramel Iced Coffee

Well, tonight I tried McDonald's new caramel iced coffee. I am a fan of their hazelnut iced coffee, so why not? Much to my dismay, I find the caramel flavoring in this coffee to be overpowering.. I'll stick to the hazelnut.
Overall, I find the consistency of the quality of McDonald's iced coffee to be non-existent. One time you buy it, the coffee is sickeningly sweet. The next time, it's almost bitter.
I think McDonald's needs to take another look at this. After all, their trademark is consistency. A cheeseburger here in the States tastes the same as a cheeseburger you get in London.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Raising A Child With Asperger's

My 14 yo daughter has been recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a form of autism. I thought that her age is a bit late to be diagnosed with autism, but I did a little research and discovered that Asperger's is often diagnosed in early adolescence.
My daughter completed a program at a local mental health facility. She had been getting violent with me. Once they effectively medicated her migraines with Topamax, her behavior drastically improved!
I spoke to her counselor about the symptoms of Asperger's. It really seems to fit. My daughter does not like people. She and I are close, but even in our relationship, she refuses to call me "mom." She calls me "The Woman." She refers to her brothers as "The Boy" and "The Other One." Her eating habits are very ritualistic. She has always been oversensitive to sound and smell. She gets obsessively attached to certain objects.. right now, that is her hoodie, which she wears 24/7 no matter what the temperature.
She never tells me that she loves me. My daughter has told me that she will never have children. She has no interest in getting close to others, not even boys. Only time will tell how her aversion to relationships will play out.
She is highly intelligent. She starts taking college classes this fall. I have no doubt that intellectually nothing could stop her from attaining any career goal. However, she has certain behaviors, which before I always dismissed as stubborness. She has to do things her way in her time. I explained to her that once she goes to college, if a professor asks her to write a certain way or do an assignment in a way she wouldn't normally do, she has to follow the instructions. But, she tends to put up a wall, saying that she "can't" do it that way. Recently, I gave her a freewriting assignment. Well, the very nature of freewriting is that there is no "wrong." When you freewrite, you don't edit yourself at all. Well, she absolutely refused to do the assignment, saying that she can't freewrite..that it doesn't work for her. I explained to her that there is no such thing as "can't" when it comes to freewriting. I had to punish her by confiscating her stereo in order for her to eventually do the assignment. So many struggles all the time!
So, where do I go from here? Well, if a friend came to me for advice, I would suggest that her daughter receive counselling. I wish I could force my daughter to attend counselling, but she is refusing treatment. In Pennsylvania, the legal age of consent for treatment is 14. Therefore, if she doesn't consent for treatment, I can't force her to get treatment. sigh.