Passions of an Odd Chick

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mission Statements

Still drawing in my journal. I will always love faces best I think. Don't ask me why she has brown spots on her was to be a dimple and her eyes would not be crooked in a my perfect art world, but I haven't made it to that place.

I am working on my goals and updating my mission statement for 2009. Something I've learned is that everyone has a mission statement, some just haven't written it down yet. But we all are living out a statement about what our life's priorities are, what our legacy will be whether we define it in words or not.

I attended the funeral of a close friend's mother today. I did not know her mother. But as I learned of her, I was reminded by the things that were said about her life that -it was her attitude about life, her love for people, her zest and vibrancy and humor that were remembered. Nobody mentioned what kind of clothes she wore, or car she drove, whether she was good-looking or how much money she made. I'm reminded: it really is the little things, the daily acts of love, of good attitudes and gratefulness and encouragement, and a sense of humor and zest for life that make the big motion picture of our lives so memorable to others - that leave a legacy.

This funeral was one of those divine appointments that will help me further define my goals and mission statement. I'd love it if you would take the time to comment about your own.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Living In our Dreams - Awake

This is a quick and shaky little sketch done in a rough diesel pick-up on the way to visit family over the holidays. William -Adolphe Bouguereau did it first in 1889 and called it "Whisperings of Love".

It is in my journal because it symbolizes to me what I feel as I reflect over 2008. It was a very blessed year. There were some close calls - like when my Mom went to the emergency room because she thought she was having a stroke but they found it was only a reaction to a nausea medicine she had been prescribed -a Benedril tablet cured her. Like when my son skid off the road in Colorado after hitting a icy patch and went over the edge and down to the bottom of a ravine and crawled out uninjured - and after his car was towed, he drove it off the lot! How many other disasters were averted - I'll never know. It is not because I'm good or deserve an enchanted year -thank goodness we don't get what we deserve - but this year was one of those years that most everything went right and good and lovely and it deserves to be remembered and memorialized in my journal. It was a year of great wealth. What is the secret to wealth? I've learned if your not grateful, your not rich. I have felt the abundance this year. I hope the new year brings abundance to you and that the boundary lines for you fall in very pleasant places.

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake. Thoreau

Friday, December 19, 2008


"I went to the mountaintop and received a gift.

I went down into the valley and went to the market and carried it with me under my robe."

Japanese proverb

Some of our most treasured gifts are memories of places and people that touch us to our very core. And once we take time to bring them forward into the open spaces of quiet reflection where we examine them with the precision of a jeweler, we find something exquisite in the treasure that may have been hidden upon previous inspections.

And once again, the gift is re-opened and re-gifted to our very own soul as if we had never seen it -magnified now with a thousand joyous memories with brilliant facets going in every direction, like a handful of diamonds scattered out on black velvet.

May you find those gifts deep in your soul for this season.

You can leave Africa but it never leaves you. -

Saturday, December 13, 2008

There is a six-foot, fresh Frazier Fir keeping us company tonight. Thanks to Martha Steward it is dressed up in its fancy pants. Sweet Farmer said as I was preparing to unload the tree, "Don't get a tree this year. I know you're doing it just for me. I read your blog".
I said, "Too late- it's in the back of the suburban."
He said, "OH NO, I don't really like real trees. They get too dry and lots of lights make a real tree a fire hazard".
Can you believe it??
I wanted to say it wasn't all about him. But it was.......
I said, "How many houses burned down last year from real trees and Christmas lights?"
"Hundreds", he said.
But he helped me decorate, and tried to tell me how.
And, suddenly, unexpectedly, it felt just like Christmas.
And we both feel better now. We may have to have some spirits with our new Christmas Spirit and toast our new fir tree.

Friday, December 12, 2008

GIVING - is that all you got?

This is my feeble attempt to get back at drawing in my journal and to get some Christmas spirit. I'm a little in the Christmas funk. I'm really into visiting friends and family and going to parties but I'm just not that thrilled about decorating my house this year, shopping or gift-wrapping or exchanging presents. We'll have no company this year but my son, who wouldn't notice the Christmas tree when I get it up (I'm sorry Tucker, but you know it's true). But my sweet hubby will notice- he loves when I decorate the house and he loves the tree. He loves friends coming by....And since it's not all about me around here, (she says sarcastically) I think I will stretch myself to do it just for him.... tomorrow.
And maybe I'll get the spirit. Maybe that's what Christmas is all about. Giving beyond ourselves - giving sacrificially-whether that means physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially. For God so loved the world that He GAVE........ I just ask that He helps me keep on giving .... beyond my own selfishness and comfort zones and personal pleasure and leisure. And not to give just with my hands, but with my heart.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I took my mom to see her favorite aunt who lives in Dallas, and I took my sister-in-law to see who sister who lives in Dallas, and I took one of my best friends to see her daughter in Dallas, and I took myself to travel with all these fun people to see my great-aunt, my uncle and aunt and cousins and friends who live in Dallas. We had a wild, glorious ride and I had my sister-in-law snap these photos (with my new camera, YEAH)because I was driving in rush-hour traffic (I'm a small-town girl) but I was fascinated with how the light was creating shadow and reflection.

We had a wonderful time visiting and laughing and telling stories.

My aunt and uncle graciously hosted us as they have many times and you feel you have been on holy ground, in a sacred place after being around them because they are so good and kind and patient.

This is my Aunt Freda (in red) and my mom. Aunt Freda is like the fairy god-mother. For every year of my life and for every single relative alive and born in her family, including in-laws - we all receive a handmade birthday card. And when you are 18 or under, you received money in it. She has never forgotten a single person or a single birthday and she is famous for her thoughtfulness and remembrance of all of us for all of these years. It was a pleasure to see her and to see how well she is as she is learning to adjust in a beautiful assisted living home.

All of us want to grow up and be more like Aunt Freda and Aunt Petey and Uncle James. In our family, they deserve to be knighted or crowned or given sainthood.

Do you have an unusually thoughtful relative of whom you would share a comment with me?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's like one big wave hits and then another. No time for routine things. I'm leaving for Dallas today to see family. I can't wait - these are some of my favorite relatives that I haven't seen in a long time.

My camera broke. UGH! I use my camera everyday, especially blogging! And I have missed it tremendously and it doesn't seem the right time of year to replace it and it will take forever to send off for repair. Feel my pain.

I haven't been still long enough to paint or draw and I miss that too- it centers me somehow. So nothing new creatively and it seems my artist friends have been more creative than ever.

But for something old - I'm thinking about Africa these days because I was in Africa at this time last year. East Africa is one of those places that it takes a long time to process and ponder - and it leaves you with memories that wash over you like a high tide. Although it's half a world away - it's still a place I visit often in my mind. Do you have a place that you re-visit?