My baking cabinet – I like to have everything in one spot. This holiday season I plan to bake… but not nibble!

A Baker’s Dozen on day 12 of 210 of no sweets

It’s been dozen days for me now, no sweets.

And to commemorate, here are a few things that are a dozen. First off I just want to ask a little question, how comes a baker’s dozen is 13?

  • “A baker’s dozen” assures the baker isn’t cheating anyone. The appearance of propriety is kept by the baker throwing in an additional to bring the dozen to thirteen. Historically a baker would have to pay a fine or according to my research, pay some other severe consequences for cheating people such as getting an earlobe nailed to a post. Sorry bout that but history is brutal. I am pretty sure that if they’d teach those interesting tidbits in high school kids those sometimes unreachable teens might just pay attention.

There’s a bakery near me always throws in a couple donut holes with the bag of donuts. (Of course I’m not eating any presently.)

A dozen things that are a dozen, or twelve

  • eggs,
  • cupcakes,
  • muffins
  • Cookies
  • Pack of hot dogs
  • Hours in half a day
  • Months in a year
  • Inches in a foot
  • School grades 1-12
  • Tribes of Israel
  • Days of Christmas,
  • Roses

Counting, Not by Tens

Primitive counting by duodecim

Not by the neat metric base of ten

Gives us a dozen right out of the oven

Cookies and cupcakes and muffins in tins

And when months of the year and hours of the day

Look to the moon and the sun to arrange

And the length of the foot times three is the length

From the right shoulder to the left finger, a yard, three feet,

Wonder where the dozens come from

That gets moons and planets and measurements going,

Those dozen roses, and holidays aglowing

And the creation adoration bestowing

~Julie Robinson

Above photo: my every morning: oats and coffee, a little listening, studying, planning, and a lot of writing On DAY 11 OF 210 OF NO SWEETS, YAY! It’s getting so much easier too. Right now I’ve been taking a little break from painting because the poetry and other creative writing endeavors have taken top place in my creativity.

Here’s my poem and below the poem is a number line showing my sweet progress.

SAVORED LEAF

A dust devil destroys stacks

Of carefully raked leaves,

A Skittering dustup which the wind wins.

But one bright leaf, whisked up by a kid,

Mesmerized by the skirmish,

Having kicked a rock as far as he could,

But finally losing it,

Crams the new find deep in his pocket

And later tries to pull it out

A crumbling faded memory

Better to savor but not to save,

To leave it where it lay

~Julie Robinson

210 DAYS NUMBERLINE – The progress looks so tiny below, bottom left in pink. But it serves to remind that this experiment has an end. Join me in the journey, never too late to jump on!

Mondays are my favorite…on Day 6 of 210 not eating sweets

This post has nothing to do with giving up sweets … but it has everything to do with staying with it. It’s a Monday attitude sometimes the only thing that’ll get you through!

What can Monday be good for? Don’t most people relish hating Monday’s? My answer’s in the Ode.

Ode to Monday

Monday comes dressed to impress

Smart and clean

after the weekend

Of t-shirts and jeans

You freshly greet us

And you don’t make a fuss

“You still sleepin’ you lazy bumpkin!”

Oh no, that’s not a Monday voice

You leave that to other days

You’re sharp yet sweet

Like a first grade teacher

It’s discipline first you know we need

You come each week

Ready, rain or shine

To do but mostly be,

Always so refined

Good thing you are a Monday

So you can never see

Me rumpled up on Friday

While you, neatly pressed, pristine.

~Julie Robinson

IPad Pro Art… Tree at the Guadalupe by Julie Robinson

Ushering in “No Sweets November” and, ok, just one more tiny little poem.

Between projects is a difficult place to be. I only have the hope of the future projects – but not one yet underway. It makes me feel a little artistically heart fluttery nervous. Why is that?

So to solve this problem, I get to thinking, what is is that I treasure the most? So, I thought that first a bit of personal inventory might help:

During the month of October,

I placed my husband in long term memory care after he wandered out dangerously for the last time in the middle of the night climbing out of his window and walking a mile! And I’m strangely torn without him here, unused to not taking care of him all the time. It is expensive. I have faith that God will provide the needed resources to keep him there.

Also I finished the first quarter homeschooling my daughter 11th grade. She does lessons by video and I oversee and ask her to teach me what she has learned. It works well that way since relating something just learned helps greatly with interest and retention. Hey and it’s good for me too as I think I’ve forgotten all that. Actually I think at her age I was doing nothing but concentrating on some boyfriend. I paint and write while she does school. As I blog away here she’s doing violin class and I will add… a lot less squeaky than when she first began at the beginning of the school year.

I wrote a poem each day for the past 31 days. That was exhilarating. Really. I did not know that doing it would be like running a race each time. Yay for getting across the poetry finish line.

But back to answer my original question what should I do now that poetry month is over

1. I am in planning – brainstorming – looking at photo references – for a brand new oil painting project to show in my art club’s copying the master’s challenge but first I’m finishing the painting below. I’m not very happy with it right now which is lending a little to my art troubles but I wrote a poem about it so I am including it.

2. I’m sugar free (but just as sweet) and will blog about my upcoming 7 mos of eating no sweets.  And yes I can eat fruit

3  Art projects with memory care. I am excited they asked me would I bring in some projects to do with the folks at my husband’s memory care facility. I am considering bringing some tempura paints and brushes and some cheap Walmart canvases. So I will be sharing about my Art memory care experiences.

4  Poetry Monday’s:  I am thinking I ought to write poetry on a schedule of one day per week so I can keep poetry challenged.

Below is my current painting propped for picture in the window. Interesting how the lavender sky outside is all matchy matchy with my painting.

Faith

Oh! A lavender sky

Where below the cattle gather,

Heads low, munching,

Not at all watching

Any kind of weather.

~Julie Robinson

Sweet Report: Day 1 of 210 (is that 7 months?) I haven’t actually started this day yet! But, I am full of optimism, I’ve gathered all the faith I got like the cattle under the lavender sky, and unless the sky rains snicker bars, I’m ok. Check back each day for my Sweet Report. Think I can do it?

Summing up this post, goodbye October and ushering in important thing: FAITH! I went back up into the post and italicized every place I talked about it. That is the treasure I seek for November. Faith

There is an old phrase

“Art imitates life”.

Art Isn’t Dying

Rescue art

When it screams

Unbecoming decaying things

Should make the conscious crawl away

How can passion for disaster

hate-filled lyric fashion

Cut up jeans to Banksy shred

Be any statement but:   “That art is dead.”

Bored of their own pleasure

Wanting, working their demise

Receiving doleful measure

A dark and deadly compromise

Of standing, agreeing

And where wisdom once was

Mistaking fleeting feelings

Raw, uncensored, not creating.

This poem has no summation

‘Cause all know a salvation

Starts deep in the art

By the Refiner of heart

~Julie Robinson

Melancholy Glee

Lavender spike oil filled the room

better smelling than turpentine

The painter, tired, in a mood

How painting day was now the night

Across the room, with distance to see

That drama of the raging sea

Rough and vast and painterly

But her cat would change it, yes, would he

Who jumping to chase

Snagged his claw on the drapes

And clanging knocked over

Red buds in a vase

So frightened he shrieked

And wherein did leap

His bushy tail becoming a brush, he did sweep

Across the wet painting wide and deep

Oil painter was he

The artist doubled fitfully

Then signed the painting happily:

Melancholy Glee

~Julie Robinson

Gilded

There it sits

The golden frame

Setting the painting

O’er fireplace hangs

Stormy seas bringing

A ship on the green

Waves swelling, telling

High venture at sea

Ornamental,

Brilliance beaming

Oil captured, artist dreaming

Come, move in closer now to see

What is happening

In that moment

Stormy day atop the wave

Rocking, rolling, treasure toting

Tell me, ship, you coming, going

Got time for a visit pay

Better, navigate my wall untamed

In the artist’s gilded frame

~Julie Robinson

Sometimes I like to imagine that something I have created on canvas is real. I have painted many ocean and beach scenes but this is my first attempt at a sailing vessel. I have the painting sitting on the floor trying to figure out a grouping with some other paintings. It’s actually an acrylic painting though it worked better in the poem to have it be an oil. And I have no fireplace, but I am considering building myself a faux fireplace with candles just so that I can hang it above the mantel.

My good friend Caroline Dechert so sweetly framed it in that beautiful frame and put it in a local art show for me during a time when it was difficult to get out and do things due to caregiving.

That frame is as fancy as friendship. Caroline called me and checked up on me and came to my house to paint with me. She has been one of my biggest art supporters. Friendship is golden.

I think this painting should be named: “Gilded”.

The Princess of Pee

Don’t mock the cardinals

I stood outside while my 10 year old Yorkie was doing her little business. I say little cause she’s only 9 pounds. She has had a little problem which has given her the nickname “The Princess of Pee” because she doesn’t want to “go” outside when it’s raining and it’s been raining a lot.

Enough is enough. So I figured I’d better stand outside with her to be sure.

And boy did the birds put on a show.

High on top my neighbors tree were three female cardinals. And in my tree, a beautiful male sang loud a courting song which is what got my attention. But then some mockingbirds, the Texas state bird, swooped in and took those high positions.

There are rules in birddom, I’m sure, rules dictating who gets the top of the tree. Sure seems the mockingbird ranks over the female cardinal.

Coming in from the animal show in my backyard, I can’t help but consider in this so far quiet early morning hour as I scoop coffee grounds and put the oatmeal in the microwave… I can’t help but compare our lives to the birds: When my husband got his dementia I had to swoop in and take his place kinda like the mockingbird.

And I wanted to … And I had to…

when I needed to … be at the top where I am the one in charge where I am caregiver to my husband and part encourager part enforcer to our daughter who homeschools.

Gotta be the mockingbird.

I really ought to write a mockingbird poem during this poetry writing month. Right?!

IMG_0765
For awhile I was churning out little clay animals, mostly owls, but I decided to make a turtle here and I snapped it’s picture as he looked like he was trying to climb out.

Feeling Stuck

I got a bead stuck up my nose… in all honesty, I stuck a bead up my nose when I was about eight years old and had to go to the doctor to get it out.  When you get anything stuck anywhere there is a franticness that sets in.  The bead gets dug even deeper, the kid with the elbow between the chair slats wedges even tighter (one of my kids).

When my grandson came to visit a few years ago he got his finger stuck in my pantry door.  Anything stuck makes me feel so frantic on the inside and his wailing really made made it worse.  I highlight those stuck moments in my mind along with other painful moments like falling off my skateboard.  I thought I could go faster if I ran and jumped on it.  I went up in the air and landed on the concrete where I felt like I kept landing… it was a strange sensation… and I remember laying there looking up at the sky and plumeria trees (we lived in Hawaii) and boy do I remember having to go to school the next day and sit.

What do you do in ongoing life stucky-ness?   Being a 24/7 caregiver for a person with any illness with no end is stuck time that drags on.

We are stuck in my husband’s dementia.

Usually I deal with it better.

Today I am not feeling well.

I feel like I’m coming down with a cold which is making me feel aggravated with his telling and repeating all his weird delusional tales he makes up.

Stuck in dementia… trying to at least emotionally climb out like the painted turtle above.

 

6B64D5A7-C53B-4DEE-A28E-D330833A1606
iPhone art. If you look closely in the lower left hand corner you will see the paper holes. I had taken a picture of some smears on my piece of paper and then doodled around with the iPad pencil. Sometimes I write a poem to go with my paintings.  (See Adrift Haiku below story)

Have you seen Adrift?

My daughter and I watched the movie Adrift last night on Amazon Prime.  If you haven’t seen it yet I promise I won’t spoil the story.

We sat together on the couch watching it and nearly hit each other over the grief when they showed the thing … that happened, the thing that was revealed was so surprising.  It’s a true story.

What is it called when the author knows the thing that happens and keeps it a secret?  It makes me kinda mad, like they were keeping a secret and holding it back from you to punch you in the face with it for effect.  It was strangely satisfying though because I think it made us feel a little like the character felt when it happened.

What happens in the movie (except the thing I can’t tell you that happened), is no surprise.  And, that there would be a rescue was no surprise since it is based on a true story.

The way the director weaves in the days prior, during, and after the storm of a couple who fall in love not long before they set sail to the time of a great storm that changes their course, leaves us all adrift with them.  We were on that sailboat… what a cinematic accomplishment.  And, we always kept in the back of our mind that there of course would be a rescue.

But, the surprise:  it cut deep.

See the movie and tell me what you think.

Adrift Haiku

Adrift is not lost

A storm can n’er be conquered

But peace can be found.

~Julie Robinson

I couldn’t help comparing Adrift to being a caregiver to my spouse who has dementia.  Not everything can be equally compared.  But sometimes I am Adrift.