I grew up with an entire menagerie of animals. Strays had a way of just appearing at our house, and we had a way of just inviting them in. We gave them food, shelter, and love, and they gave right back to us. It’s only natural that I am inclined to want to pet every animal I come into contact with. It’s in my blood, my genes, my heart.
My family spent last weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel for an early Halloween celebration. My daughter and her friend wanted to attend Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. My husband and I considered going as well, but we decided to stay at the resort and relax rather than pay someone to scare us. I was an avid haunted house fan in my teens and twenties, but as I got older, I realized there were lots of things in real life that scared me plenty—like a visit to the doctor’s office. Last week, I had my annual physical. Just like a haunted house, there was a wait to enter. When I was called to go back, a nurse with a menacing grin had me follow her to the first frightening site—a horrible torture device– the scale. I pulled off my shoes, set my purse on a table, and exhaled before I stepped onto the beast. Was that maniacal laughter I heard as the nurse nudged the counter weight along its track? She led me down a long hallway to the exam room which was ‘decorated’ with graphic images of heart disease. It’s hard to be calm in the face of fear, but I managed to slow my breathing as the nurse pumped up the blood pressure cuff. Next, the doctor entered. After poking and prodding, he served me with lab scripts for my annual blood work, a bone density scan, and a colonoscopy. My heart was racing as I swallowed my screams. Another nurse appeared and escorted me to the most terrifying area of all—the payment desk. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Halloween Horror Nights? No thanks. I’ll let the teens run screaming through the haunted houses. I’ve already had my walk on the wild side, and more than enough scares for this Halloween.
“A Walk on the Wild Side”–Watercolor Pencils–Work in Progress
My life runs according to lists. There are lists on my calendar, lists on my note pad, and lists on post-its all over the house. If I write it down, I will do it—eventually. If a task has to rely on my memory for completion, chances are good that it simply won’t happen. For months now, I’ve been thinking that I should volunteer at the assisted living facility in my community. My plan is to offer a watercolor pencil workshop so I can teach the residents to use art as a vehicle to find peace and passion. I knew I would need to stop by the facility, fill out an application, and talk with the Activities Director. I didn’t put that visit on a list, so I never went. Yesterday, I went back to my dusty mental filing cabinet and transferred that thought to a post-it. The next thing I knew, I was in my car and on my way. I picked up an application, and today, the number one task on my list is to return that application. This teacher is ready to get back in the classroom. I’ve written it down, so I’m bound to make it happen.
“Apples for the Teacher”–Colored Pencil
I am incredibly envious of my dogs’ masterful ability to sleep. They sleep the majority of the day, drifting in and out of slumber. They can sleep through just about anything, other than the sound of the treat jar opening. And when they do wake, it takes mere seconds for them to slip back into a dream. I, on the other hand, wake at the slightest sound—my husband’s breathing, the house settling, the air conditioner kicking on—and it takes a miracle for me to resume my sleep. I toss and turn, think, over-think, worry, and catastrophize. I’ve tried OTC sleep aids, natural sleep aids, and odd Southern remedies, but nothing really works. I usually spend the next day in a sleep-deprived fog. Actually, I think I might be in one now. Maybe it’s time for a well-earned nap.
“Sleep”–Graphite and Colored Pencil–From my Sketchbook