pink, pink you stink

Imagine if you will, being so sick you couldn’t even think straight.

After a few years and buckets of hard work, and a thousand glasses of green juice, bit by bit you began to heal.

Then year after year, October after October you are SMACKED in the face to relive and remember.

Pink.

It’s the pits. It is awful.  It is crappy.  You get the picture.

3+ years ago, I chose the path less traveled.  I chose not to “join” the wear pink club.  Instead of joining and being encouraged and supported by friends and family wearing pink boas and pink tutus……….I went a different direction that was right for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I used to love pink.  It was one of my top 3 or 4 color choices.

However, I can clearly remember “the” closet day.    I went to my closet and started ripping down anything I saw that was pink.

Pink t-shirt, pink fleece jacket, pink Oxford shirt, pale pink tank top, pink glittery tank, pink long granny gown hanging up.

Next, I stepped over to my dresser.  I tossed into the pile: a pink slip, a pale pink lovely piece of lingerie and some pink panties.

I didn’t even donate them.  I threw them in the trash can for pick up the next day.

Done.  Moving on.  Brushed my hands of that.

Flipping through catalogs, I was drawn to the pink, but chose gray or taupe instead.

Imagine being so broken that for a time, I couldn’t even read, bake, write,  cook or sew.  It was a huge accomplishment when I made our bed or fed and watered the chickens by myself.

Slowly, ever so slowly with fierceness, determination, encouragement & support of Mr. Right & my family,  I started to heal.

Trying to fill up that sick, painful, time and memories with new, good, healthy positive things was/is slow going and tricky.  Bit by bit.

Then I would catch sight of a pink bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken,  pink Jello, pink diet soda, pink gummy vitamins, pink garbage bags(?), pink cake mix, professional football players wearing pink shoes or socks or the referee using a pink whistle, pink menu card in the airline seat pocket and on the ridiculous list goes.  Not one of those things would help me heal.  While the chemicals, sugar, colorings would only add gasoline to the fire, the stupidity of pink garbage bags or pink furnace filters is an assault on my intelligence.

While the pink does uplift some, brings others hope and they find comfort in the meaning, I do not.

Pink, pink you stink.  Seeing that color is a huge road block for me.  I am working to get around it. I try all the tricks the mental health field has to offer.  I continue to work on it almost daily.  It is tough, really tough to gracefully deal with it, process it and skirt around it if I am not strong enough that particular day.

Every single week, Mr. Right brings me flowers.   However,about 3+ years ago,  he considerately stopped bringing pink flowers.

As a matter of fact, for date night last night, he gave me the most beautiful burnt orangey, salmoney, fall color saturated roses I have ever seen.

In the name of healing & progress, I decided to type this.

Last night for date night.  I wore a brand new, very cute black and white pencil skirt. An adorable smokey gray (encrusted with jewels) sweater tied causally around my shoulders that was over a brand new stunning, color saturated pink blouse.  I paired it with a stunning pair of antique earrings.  20161013_104318_resized

Doesn’t seem like a huge deal to most.  I talked about it way, way too many times with Mr. Right.  However, once I decided to wear it, I was done talking about the color.  As always, he complimented me several times.  Not one person pointed or even noticed, no other human being in the restaurant even gave it a second thought.

It was a humongous step for me.

20161012_175949_resizedRight in the middle of a beautiful, lovely, middle of the week, awesome-sauce date night at the Space Needle, I quietly, without fanfare, took one more healing step. 20161012_191956-1_resized

As the sun set, the skyline was a light with sky scrapers. Several of those buildings have pink twinkle lights lining the rooftops.

I am not completely happy and comfortable with being constantly reminded with pink for many reasons, choices and the seriousness of this topic………..at least I didn’t dissolve into a puddle of tears as I have in the past.

Girlfriend to girlfriend, I actually sort of forgot about it.  It sort of faded into the background.

I was thinking more about:  the view, the food, the piano music, how Mr. Right still does it for me,  the dessert choices, my manicure, the card he gave me, how tight my Spanks were (I was just seeing if you were paying attention), how I love tasting his food and sharing mine,  how cute & remarkably comfortable my peep toe shoes are, my pedicure, how much I enjoyed the after dinner coffee, the bracelet I wore,  how much I enjoyed the conversation, how much I enjoy spying Mr. Right politely and smoothly tipping the young valet, how nice the car drive home was…….and on the list goes.  Yeah, I sort of forgot to fuss and fret over wearing pink.

I am making a tiny bit of progress.  Maybe my heart is starting to heal?  Maybe I am finding my own way?  Maybe, just maybe I am making my way back to liking the color pink again?sometimes-the-smallest-step-in-the-right-direction-ends-up-being-the-biggest-step-of-your-life

Pink, pink you are just sort of smelly.

progress.

step into a dream

Sometimes it is easier for me to write with someone in mind. Today, I am writing to a beautiful, smarty pants, charming, “joyful” hair girl I know.

She has a dream of traveling to Paris.  Instead of being the weird wife of a fellow co-worker, I want to be an uplifting, encouraging, human being nudging her towards that goal.  I want to push her just far enough that she can actually see and feel her dream coming alive. I want to be part of that magic.

Yes, she has an envelope that she “feeds” when she can.  Yes, she has pictures of the Eifel tower to gently remind her.

I want her to buy a Barret, a stripy black and white shirt.  I want her to buy a loaf of really quality French bread and excellent cheese and go on a picnic with her boyfriend and dream about Paris.  I want her to bathe herself in the beautiful pieces of art that were created and shown in Paris.

Actually, I want to shove her to jump in with both feet. I want her to write down her goal/dream.  I want her to see it every single day on the refrigerator. See a note every day on her mirror.  I want her to plaster her desk area with beautiful lovely pictures of Paris.

I want to gently nudge her to take in the “intimate impressionism” exhibit that is now at the Seattle Art Museum.

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/impressionism

Last night was date night!!  I know, weird timing?  Smack dab in the middle of a work week.  Take time out, put on a cute sassy pencil skirt and head to the museum with Mr. Right.

This particular exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art.  They call it “everyday moments of lasting beauty”.

We were treated to a selection of art on a personal and intimate scale.  Most often grand oversized paintings, painted to be seen at public exhibitions, these gems were on a smaller scale, yet the same breath-taking moments happened.  In the most lovely of ways. I giggled at one (and bought a post card to share) and slipped by one or two that were not to my liking.

We gazed upon works by Monet, Degas, Renior, Sisley, Vuillard, Van Gogh and more.

As you know, the first impressionist exhibition when the group was given this name, took place in 1874 and included 30 artists and 165 works of art.  For Sale!  They had to stay until the end of the exhibit, however, all were available.

This group of mostly friends, helped each other.  They encouraged one another.  They painted each others portraits, they painted out in the air, together.  They ate together, pooling what funds they had.  They shared and painted over canvases and when money was scarce, they painted on cardboard. They shared and lifted up each others dreams.

Instead of being hurt and crushed by a nasty and critical review meant to discredit their work, the critic Leroy, instead invented their identity. The Impressionists.

We each chose our favorite piece from this exhibition.picking flowers, RenoirIt was a surreal feeling of being surround with such treasures.  You could almost feel yourself silently slipping into their gardens and sitting behind artist as they created.  When you really paused a moment to look deep into the layers of paint, you could imagine the oil smell.  You could feel the draft in the room.

We chose postcards to send to our grands. flower beds by van gogh

We talked about places we had visited that were depicted in some of the paintings.

Over dinner, in the big city, we discussed the pieces even further.

Driving home we talked about brush strokes and some of the frames. We talked about color.

I talked about the “Porcelain” room at the Museum.  Bar none, my favorite room in the museum (permanent display).

This morning in our notes and card to each other, you guessed it, we discussed art.

Here’s the thing, art and artists have a way of evoking emotion.  Passion, dreams, hope, pure beauty.  This unique group of people helped each other thrive. At times, it was not easy.  It took years and years for some to sell their works.  However, there was strength in their coming together. Strength in all having a vision, a dream. There is great strength in others seeing your dream as something that is attainable.

Instead of being singled out for being wildly “independents” & “intransigents” they were a group with value.

One of my favorite pieces in this collection is “Argenteuil” by Claude Monet.  I adored the slips of light that filtered through the trees.  However this painting was extremely discomforting to many in 1872 , because it’s swiftly applied, visible brushstrokes made it seem unfinished to tradition-minded art critics.

After he had returned from the municipal exhibition in Rouen, and until the end of 1872, the most important part of Monet's artistic output took place in Argenteuil. Most of his work was done on the right bank of the Seine, the Argenteuil side, painted facing the setting sun beyond the trees of the promenade. The road and rail bridges, the Seine, the sky of Ile-de-France, and the promenade's trees would become the key subjects in Monet's work in Argenteuil, forming the most distinctive motifs of this highpoint of Impressionist painting. Here, the painter focuses his attention on the physical features, especially the promenade and the river, but typically at the same time he suggests a human presence through small details.

Instead of one person having a dream of travelling to Paris, collectively as kind humans we need to jump in and lift up that dream. Maybe skip a coffee drink and share the money for the dream envelope?  Maybe share a favorite artist that walked in the very city she wants to discover?  How about sending her a postcard with a stunning view of a landmark that she will one day explore.

Dreams and goals are attainable.  Dreaming together brings more strength to the goal.

“Paris is always a good idea”  ~ Audrey Hepburn

Here’s to you and your dream!  May you surround yourself with all that is Paris and by doing that, you are one step closer to being there.

I want to be part of the dream.  I look forward to the day, when you want to sit down with coffee and share pictures of your travels.

Have Dreams, Will Travel.

lighten up people!

candy canesYou know those two-inch candy canes that are individually wrapped in clear plastic?  We have had two of them in our glove box since the beginning of December.

waiting.

waiting.

Each year, for 32 years (we missed one year, the Army had invited Mr. Right to be somewhere else) we have gone out, one night in December, in search for lights.   Each of us gets to have a candy cane.  I wait for it all year-long.  I am not sure it is my all time favorite, the idea of the cool peppermint just builds and builds in my mind.

For a few years, we had cozy blankets, hot cocoa in a thermos and Alvin and the Chipmunks singing their tunes.  The two short people in the back, loved, loved that music.

No matter what state or country we lived in, we made the date.  As the people in the back of the van grew taller and had different musical tastes our listening tunes leaned more towards Dr. Demento, and  his kooky take on the holiday.  Hey!  you have to do what you have to do to keep the teenagers coming along.  There just happened to be snacks and candy canes and we got to stop to purchase hot cocoa at Starbucks.  Way Cooler than cocoa from a thermos from home.  ha

Some years, we went to certain neighborhoods that asked for a food bank donation and the whole neighborhood was decorated.

Other years we drove though a county display and paid a fee.

Some years, Mr. Right would find the list of top ten house in a 25 mile radius and the boys and him would plot out our evening trip.  You would think they were plotting a military invasion.  They figured out the shortest routes, best roads, which side of the street the house would be on, etc.  They worked on it for a couple of hours. Did you catch that?  They worked together, yep, teenage boys, brothers, worked together figuring out the best route to go see the best lit up houses.

house christmas lights, 2The people in the back of our van, grew up, got married and had kiddos of their own.  One year, we gave them a gift.  We made sure it arrived the beginning of December. We sent each family a red plaid blanket, a CD of Dr. Demento, a great thermos, hot cocoa and candy canes.   Good News, they have continued and added their own twist on driving around one night looking at lights.

Last night was the first time, ever that we went after Christmas.  I don’t really know what happened?  We were not that filled up with activities.  I guess we just didn’t make it a priority.  Then something amazing happened.

Last night was the first time ever that I just sat there and enjoyed the lights.  NOT ONE TIME, did I think, okay when this is done, I can wrap a few more gifts.  Okay, when we get home, I will have time to roll out one more batch of cookies.  Once home, I can lay out my festive sweater to wear tomorrow.

We just sat there and enjoyed the moment.

To be honest, last night, Mr. Right invited me out for date night.  Yes, a real Friday night date.  A new restaurant we had been wanting to try.  Amazing.  Sumptuous food, excellent service, wonderful atmosphere.  We became clean plate members,  (yes, they give you more than enough).  Um, we were just a bit piggy and over indulged and enjoyed every morsel.

The waitress came over and asked how everything was & asked if we had saved room for dessert.

I said no.  Then Mr. Right interrupted and said, could you please tell us what you have to offer?  She listed many delicious sounding items.

I always say no thank you.  I can’t have sugar.

Wait, he said yes.  He said we will share.  He chose one of my old-time favorites.  Tiramisu.

The dessert was amazing and wonderful and slightly sweet. It was presented on a pure white plate and was set between two European sized forks.  It was so good.  Really, I wanted to lick the plate, it was so good.

Reluctantly, we left the ambiance & amazing aromas of the wonderful family owned restaurant.

Oh, then I remembered he said we were off to look at lights. house christmas lights

Both of us were completely satiated with food and drink and merriment and dessert.

For the first time in 33 years, we chose to leave the little 2 inch candy canes in the glove box.

I highly recommend date night.  Yes, Virginia, it is that good.