Monday, April 30, 2007

I feel so happy today. This morning I saw the first bumble bees of the year, my Mum confirmed she’s coming over in 3 weeks, the blossom fell from my giant tree and left bright green leaves, and I reread Charlottes Web yesterday. Here is one of my favorite paragraphs: “The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell – as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world.” This for me evokes vivid memories of my childhood, and brings my love of the countryside flooding right back. But today in this lovely Spring weather, with my summer bulbs 2 inches up and the blossom blowing around me - the City doesn’t look quite so bad.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's good fishing weather - crappy. What happened to my Spring?! It's cold, rainy and a little windy damn it. The blue sky has been replaced by a dull blanket of gloom. It's dreich as we say in Scotland. But according to my husband "It can't rain all the time", and my day will certainly brighten up considerably when he comes home :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On a brighter, more positive note - Spring has most definitely sprung! Joy. In my tiny City garden my tulips are blazing red and orange, and my daffodils are gorgeous yellow. There are tiny blue flowers spreading all over and I have no idea what they are, but they are lovely. My butterfly bush is covered in new growth, and brings back images of last summer, when it seemed every Monarch in the neighborhood landed to feed. Most of the plants I presumed dead, now have bright green shoots and lots of buds. Oh hark I feel like singing! My huge tree in the back garden is covered in blossom, and finally, the apartment buildings behind are vanishing once again. The sky is bright blue and the sun is warm. Oh and I'm wearing a gorgeous red polka dot sun dress. I am happy.
My Mother became very ill over the weekend, to the point where she couldn't raise her head from dizziness. My cousin died from a brain hemorrhage when he was a child, so everyone sort of panicked when seeing my mum become so ill so quickly. It turned out to be a middle ear infection, and she is now recovering. She said she had awful thoughts go through her head about her Will not being up to date, and the way it was presently, the government would take most of our inheritance. Having just sold the family estate in Scotland, after the death of my Grandmother, we know all about how much the British Government gets their hands on. Capital gains, Inheritance taxes etc, - how awful that you're forced to think these thoughts on top of being worried about your family, or being just plain scared of death. The horror of it is when I worked for the Deputy Prime Minister back in the first few years of Labour being in power, they were rumoured to have millions of pounds of collected taxes sitting in accounts, that they had no clue what to do with. Bring back the Conservatives - where have all the Churchill's gone? Even Thatcher is an angel compared to the Blair witch. Rant over.

Monday, April 23, 2007

So my weekend in the country was a little different than expected. Instead of gaining happiness from my sales, I was happy because of the people I met. It's amusing how much fun it is to be thrown in the middle of people you would ordinarily never meet in your daily life. To my right I had the good old Irish/Italian/German/Americans, waiting for their grandchildren to come. Lovely people with interesting stories. Sad stories, the death of 1 of their 5 children. Great stories, of the lady taking time out of her career to raise all of her children at home, and her strong beliefs that I was doing the right thing working from home, in order to raise mine. She ran a cheesecake business during those years, and look at me and my love of the cheesecake art? Totally different but yet the same. Stories of their trips to England, and losing all the photos they took in the x-ray machine at the airport. They said how quaint my accent is, and how funny the word differences are. Then to my left, the "country" biker folks y'all. The man was in his late 40s with children varying from 30 years old right down to 18 and several grandchildren. Plaid shirts abound. He was selling hunting gear, gun cabinets and the like. He had a full table of back issues of Easy Rider. He talked excitedly about all the party's he'd been to where he had picked up those magazines, and quite a few girls along the way. I was captivated. I loved the way he talked so passionately about the bikes, the hunting, the life. He was pure country. I felt at home, even though sometimes we couldn't understand a word either of us were saying. I told him of my love for Harley's. So he told me all the ins and outs of getting the right one, where to go, who to trust, what to look for. He showed me centerfolds in those magazines of pictures drawn by an artist who died recently. He spoke of them like they were Monet, or Vargas for that matter. His eyes were alive. Some people label guys like him "red-necks". They call them uneducated and they are portrayed in comedy sketches like Larry the cable guy, as being dumb. But to me for the most part, people like him are people who are dedicated to working to live, and not stuck in the rat race of living to work. That's important you know. Why is it that every week I am thrown a new hurdle in my struggle to like City life? I miss not caring what time it is. I miss fields and trees. On Saturday night we went for a twilight stroll. We came across a fat frog sitting on the road. We closely examined it with my husbands flashlight, I want to say torch, but don't want anyone thinking I go around with a flaming beacon of any kind ;-) Anyway we presumed it dead, and as I was putting my son back in his stroller it hopped away into the hedgerow. The excitement and laughter that followed made my night! Then we came across 3 horses. We all petted them and I delighted in that long forgotten smell, of years past. It's the simple things that count in this life.

Friday, April 20, 2007

This weekend's going to be a scorcher! High 70s where I'm heading. I have my first show of the season this weekend, so I've been crazy busy all week making jewelry and printing Varga Girls, oh it's a hard life! This morning the sky is the deepest blue I've seen in a long time, it reminds me that summer's just around the corner, which is enough to make me jump for joy, or dust off my bikini at the very least.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's 12 years ago today that the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people were killed including 19 children, and over 500 were injured. The worst part of this sentence for me is "19 children". It tears me apart. As a Scot, it brings back horrific memories of Dunblane; where a mad man shot and killed 16 young children. I know the pain shouldn't be worse, a death is a death. But the image, that won the Pulitzer prize, of the firefighter with the infant that later died, truly haunts me to the core of my existence. I see it - I cry. I have a gut wrenching feeling every time I think of it. So I try not to. Maybe because I am the mother of 3 small children. Maybe it feels more raw to me. There's a line in a System of a Down song "I cry when angels deserve to die". It gets me every time. Makes me think, but why? Angels never deserve to die. I read deeply into things that hurt me, even song lyrics that bear no meaning to what I hear them as. My heart aches for all the lost children. Today even more so.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

There are less than 200,000 wolves left in the wild. Shocking right? Since I was a child wolves have been my favorite animal. Bears follow. There's something about their eyes that captivates me. I've been keeping me eye on a man amongst wolves. Shaun Ellis, a fellow Brit, lives with a pack of wolves in England. Abandoned by their Mother, he took on her role and taught them to be wild. Now honestly I can't really bear to watch him eating deer flesh alongside them, but it's so fascinating I can hardly take my eyes off it. He came up with the concept that a recording of wolves howling might be enough to keep other wolves from coming onto farmland to kill livestock. And it actually works.. so far. There's much scientific research being done, to prove this as being a valid way to combat this problem. If it proves successful, and the sceptics accept and use this method - hopefully wolf numbers will increase, as the farmers will stop shooting them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Apparently last nights dream meant : "that I have feelings of insecurity and am going through some personal changes and I'm entering into a new phase or new area in my life. Oh and that I "feel neglected". According to a dream analysis site that is. I don't think any of this is true, but I wonder what a gypsy would say? Would she look into her crystal ball and tell me of hard times to come, emotional ones at that? When my Mother was a child she had dreams that followed on the next night. She dreamt she was a little girl living in the past, wearing "old-fashioned clothing"; she saw the house, garden and people she lived with every night for many years. Every morning she would wake up and have gone through another part of that girls life. Some people would suggest that in a previous life my Mum was that girl. When I was pregnant I would constantly dream of my husband being with one of his exes, he wasn't cheating on me with them, just walking around - happy. It killed me, because I was the most horrible pregnant woman in the world. The worst part for him was I would wake up and yell at him. I blame hormones, he blames me being Scottish! According to the analysis sites, having this dream while pregnant is caused by feelings of insecurity, and anxiety over the impending birth. Well, hey! Tell me something I don't know. I seem to always have dreams about running away from something, being chased. Apparently there may be something I am supposed to do but have been avoiding. If this proposed action is a source of fear, stress and confusion, it can sometimes manifest in my dream life as an attacker or pursuer. Instead of facing my fear, I am running from it, and the attacker in my dreams represents the thing I am trying to get away from or avoid in real life. So if I really believed in all this I would be a pretty miserable person in my waking life!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Who decided darkness was scary? I'm much more afraid of the light. Is it the sense of the unknown that exists with darkness? What you can't see won't hurt you... right? Surely daylight is more frightening, when what scares you is in full view in all it's gory detail. Who made the rain depressing? I love the rain. "It washes the $hit out of the city". I like the way it feels on my skin, and the sound it makes when it hits the window. When did thunder become something to fear? To me it's pure magic, like a dragon roaring. Why did the forest become a bad place? I grew up surrounded by trees, and to me it gave protection and shelter. Tonight when driving home from Upstate NY, we passed hundreds of thousands of trees packed tightly together, bare from winter, with darkness falling, and the 'end of winter' storm lashing them with rain and snow - it looked like Narnia out there, and it gave me butterflies.

Friday, April 13, 2007

"Now Friday came, you old wives say, Of all the week's the unluckiest day." (1656) For those of you who suffer from triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13th, today is not such a great day. Imagine also suffering from what I think is the longest word I've ever seen - paraskavedekatriaphobia, which is a fear of Fridays. Friday is my favourite day, and my Mother in Laws birth date is the 13th, so today is just another day for me. But for those of you who believe in all this, here are some more things to be worried about. "If you hear anything new on a Friday, it gives you another wrinkle on your face, and adds a year to your age." (1883), "If you have been ill, don't get up for the first time on a Friday." (1923), "As to Friday, a couple married on that day are doomed to a cat-and-dog life." (1879), and my favorite of all "A child born on a Friday is doomed to misfortune." (1846), - nice. Even nicer is the fact I was born on a Tuesday, meaning I'm "full of grace" - someone should have told that to my Scottish dance teacher. You would have heard her laughing the world over.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Congratulations to Rob & Lori on the birth of your beautiful baby girl. Mina - a beautiful name for an absolutely perfect angel! Having children is truly the best trip of your life. So much happiness. Enjoy her!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I really miss Scotland today. I miss it everyday, but there's something about feeling trapped that makes you long for "home". The City makes me feel that way. The big buildings jammed all around me, so many people, the grime and crime, the roaches and rats. I want to walk through a field of wildflowers, go horseback riding along the beach, sit on top of a mountain, and cry my heart out. Listen for the faintest sound of bagpipes, and the chill that comes with it. A sense of belonging. Feeling part of something much bigger than the daily. I know I made the wrong choice. Being in the big smoke is hard for a country girl. I need peace. I need to hear the birds sing. I feel lost, again.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I am so excited. This summer I'll be saying arrivederci to NYC and ciao to Italy. I'm heading to Tuscany to visit family, then on to Scotland for more of the same, but without the gelato!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Wishing you all a Happy Easter! Special mention goes out to the luckiest bunny of all, the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit, Sylvilagus palustris hefneri,who is found in marshes in the Florida Keys from Big Pine to Boca Chica. It is known as the "playboy bunny" because its research was financed in part by the Playboy Foundation. And happy birthday to Hef himself, who celebrates being 81 years young this Monday. Also, I admit it, yes, sadly I am addicted to the Girls Next Door :-/

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The attendants at the movie theater always look lost. People around them are out having fun, catching the latest flick, candy and coke in hand. Right now I feel like I'm sure they do. Life is passing me by. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me one last time, and it's hard to find the way through the smoke. Hard to make it back from down there. Sometimes in life you're hit with a blow so strong you feel you might not recover. But then good things are happening all around you, and what are you going to do? You can't just stay caught up in your own moment. Darkness. You have to find a way to turn your light on. Clear a path through the clouds, and find your way home. The older I get, and the more blows I'm dealt, the more I realize that if at first you don't succeed try, try again - is real. And this life is the real deal, the only chance you have to keep on keeping on. So I have to give it my best shot. Plus frowning gives you wrinkles, never a good thing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I love the smell of creosote it takes me back to when I was a child growing up in the beautiful countryside in Scotland. We had wooden fences and there’s something about that smell that comforts me. I love the smell of a workshop, the oil, the metal, the wood, reminds of my Father, back when he was my Father. Fresh hay - that quintessential musty smell of summers past, another one of my “should be bottled” scents. I do not love, and in fact really detest, the smell of that perfume – the one it seems every Russian woman owns. In this neighborhood the air is thick with it, the kind of perfume that sticks to the back of your throat and makes your eyes sting. Ladies, less is more.