September Lingers

Here it is, the end of September. I woke up on the 23rd whispering words to the wind, a happy birthday to an old friend, even though our paths will never cross again.

The painting is done. For now. I was tempted to keep on going when I painted the hall side of the door trim, which would result in painting every inch of baseboard in the entire house, all the doors, door trims, the vanity in the bathroom, and the hallway cabinet. That can wait.

First things first… I have to get that room done. It’s still a mess of bins and boxes, and other things needing to be neatly put away. I have an old closet organizational system (shelf units, drawers, and a kiddie cube bin thing) set up along the wall that is painted solid light blue. It looks dingy white, could use a nice coat of paint or something. I still need help to hang the birdie wallpaper border up next to the ceiling on the solid darker blue wall as I’m not able to climb up ladders or stand on tables or anything. Still need to do some touch ups, clean up splatters… one section at a time as bones allow. That’s life trying to do things with disabilities; everything goes in slo-mo. It takes me weeks to get done what someone else can do in a day.

Here is a peek of the cleanest corner.

Yes, I got the table in there. I had my grandson’s helping me. They got the “lefty loosey, rightie tightie” lesson with wrenches and screwdrivers as we put the doorknobs back on, too.

I have “before” photos but I can’t bring myself to post them as this room was the bedroom I shared with the vet and his shit is in the photos… piles of his clothes, his shoes lined up, stuff on stands, etc. That’s what launched this project. I couldn’t sleep in there as I’d wake up thinking he’d walk in the room any minute, as if he just went to the bathroom. The only way to stop crying was to pack up his stuff and flip rooms, make my little office the bedroom and turn this one into work space.

It’s been almost three months… might take me till Halloween or maybe Thanksgiving to get it all set up good.  Yeah, my life rolls in slow motion.

Oh, here’s my temp solution for the kitchen: two outdoor chairs and a little oak desk that I found on the curb awhile back… I snapped the photo to show my sister my 74 cent mixer.

Yes, this red Hamilton Beach stand mixer cost me a grand total of 74 cents because I cashed out $25 of my Ibotta funds as a Walmart gift card (mixer was $24 on sale online, plus 1.74 sales tax) and opted to pick it up at my local store because I was too cheap to pay for shipping.

My kid got me started using that Ibotta app… it’s kind of like using coupons to save on groceries and stuff, only instead of getting cents off, you get cents credited for buying what you were going to buy anyway. What I do is check the app when I come home from a store (long list of participating stores, even the dollar stores) and see if there are offers on anything I got… click, click, snap photos of the receipt or square thing on the receipt and UPC’s on products, IF requested (some brand names want proof you bought it to make sure you’re not trying to use receipts found in parking lots) and it all adds up. Some things are worth more than others… few cents for this, buck for that, etc. Once your total tops 20 bucks, you can cash out via various options.

My sister doesn’t trust anything that wants to “link” to a bank, not even PayPal, so to show her that it’s totally legit and you have options… if you don’t want your Ibotta funds deposited in your PayPal account, you can choose from a long list of gift cards… I choose the Walmart this time and bought the mixer online as a “Show & Tell” hoping she would sign up, too.

If you are interested in trying the app, here’s my link…

They offer a $10 welcome bonus… and yes, if five people sign up via my link (or my referral code of WECQCKN), then I get a $25 bonus. That’s why I’m plugging it…I’m aiming higher than a mixer for my next cash out. Yeah, between the referral bonus and using the app myself, I might be able to buy myself a kitchen table, maybe a sweet little bistro set.

Thanks for reading!




That Paint Thing

I went to “that paint thing” Friday night at the SOAP Gallery in downtown Youngstown and the vet called, texted, and messaged via Facebook a combined total of NINE times. I heard the third call, ignored the voicemail, and went outside to call him back… he just wanted to make sure that I got there okay.

Holy crap… he watched me walk down the street and board the bus, after insisting I stepped outside to feel the wind before heading out (the jacket I choose might not be warm enough) AND blow dry my hair so I wouldn’t catch pneumonia. He also knew that I would get off the bus on the corner near the gallery, just a half block walk away, while it is still daylight, on a familiar street that I’ve walked hundreds, if not a thousand times. I used to live downtown; even the homeless greet me with a friendly hello.

So, what gives?

I thought he was coming home early because he had a grandchild coming over. No, he just wanted to be here before I left… to see me get ready, to watch me leave, to hang out here while I was gone just so he can call or text repeatedly about how he misses me, to ask how much longer I will be?

YE GADS… I was only gone maybe 4 hours, including transportation. It started at 6, he was texting “are you done” at a quarter till 9… I called my taxi home at 8:51 PM.

I had started painting a pretty picture… dark brown all around the sides of a wrapped canvas coming over the edge on top first (so it could dry) with a nice cloudy sky with just a hint of blue, just painting pretty little landscape in the opening… when I caught myself thinking “put a happy tree over there” it was like what the hell… I’m not Bob Ross. Bump that, paint what you feel. My mood had shifted enough to take burnt umber over the whole damn thing, right into the wet paint, wishing like hell for heavy beat driven tunes and a tube of Mars Black.

Clock ticking, paint something… what do I feel? Interrupted. I feel red. I need my orbs. Are you done? Err. Yeah, I’m done… snapped this photo when I laid it on the table designated for wet paintings.

I look at this photo now and think, “oh, that’s not done” so I will finish it AFTER it hangs in the gallery for a month… that sounds so backwards, I have to laugh. Oh yeah, hang your work BEFORE it’s done, then finish it after it has been on display for public viewing and documented as part of a community project.


Ironically, the vet announced it was football day before he left ye noon on Saturday to go watch the games… where or with whom, I don’t know. He didn’t say and the only question I asked was, “Does this mean I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Sure enough, I woke up alone on Sunday morning, 5th week in a row, and he didn’t care enough to call me even once. 

Did I call him? NO… maybe I should start doing that, call or text at least once every twenty minutes asking stupid questions… Did you get there okay? Are you watching the college games? Is Youngstown playing? Did they win yet? What are you doing? Having fun? How much longer? Is it overtime? What’s the score? Who’s playing next? Is your team playing tonight? Are they done yet?

Nah… I can’t do that… I just need to find more things for ME to do, and learn how to turn off my phone.

Thanks for reading!

Art Start: Domestic Rage

Abuse is a polite word used to soften the impact of crimes committed by persons who claim to love, or have once loved, the victim. Call it what it is… assault, battery, attempted murder, rape, torture, etc. Psychological manipulation and verbal assaults should also be viewed in a serious light as those are means to beat a person down from the inside out, to destroy their sense of self worth or make them feel trapped in a helpless situation so they can be more easily controlled.

Silence perpetuates abuse. People die because other people refuse to get involved, don’t bother to report crimes of domestic rage. My sister is alive today because someone called the law.

So, what does this have to do with this oh, so unfinished art?

unfinished... a rough start

unfinished… a rough start

Everything. I overheard how a man talks to someone I care about over the phone. I think she should leave him. It is her choice to stay. Bottom line: it is her life.

This painting is about rising, standing free and strong… or will be when it’s done.

Thanks for reading.


UPDATE Mar. 9, 2015:  Here is how the art looks now… size is 6×9 inches so it will be matted for a 9×12 frame.