I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Made the move, now back to life

This weekend has been a whirlwind. I am officially moved to Grand Bay, thanks to my cousins. Between the four of them, they had me out of Mobile and into the new place within hours. I will now spend the month of December unpacking and sorting through all of my stuff. Tyler is meeting me at the house today to help me set up my art room and stretch some canvases. I haven't painted in over a month due to Ryan's death as well as three trips to the hospital with my back. Leaking spinal fluid is no walk in the park, and if I had to take a drug test right now, I would fail it miserably thanks to the cornicopia of epidurals, dilaudid, zofran, and darvocet that I've been given over the past few weeks. It has been a difficult time, but I'm recovering and I've got to get back to life and painting. I've scheduled two Bob Ross workshops in December to try to make up for November's cancellations. I'm also still looking for a part time weekday job and working on plans for kids art classes in 2009.

No internet at home until further notice. I'm sitting at Panera Bread right now, wrapping things up in Mobile. I already miss being in the city, but I realize that my current arrangement is necessary. Maybe even ideal. I will be closer to my classroom, and an hour away from Hobby Lobby in Biloxi where I hope to land a teaching position. I will be talking to them this week.

Hope all is well with everyone, and I'll talk to ya soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Movin' Out

Looks like the move is happening tomorrow. Yikes. I better get my stuff in order and ready to move by the time the truck arrives. Thankfully, it's just my furniture and clothing. Everything else is already waiting for me to unpack at my uncle's house.

This is going to be a big change...leaving the city to live in the country again. I'll be trading crazy traffic for stray animals. Life is always changing for me. I don't have a clue how I'm going to make it, since I'm not currently getting an income, but I suppose somehow it will work out.

No word from the doc yet. My aunt thinks no news is good news. I hope she's right, but I think I'm going to show up on his doorstep tomorrow afternoon if he doesn't call in the morning. He said the results would only take a week, and it has been a week and a half now. It's hard being left hanging when it's something as important as this. Hopefully I'll know something tomorrow.

My back has improved, thank goodness, so I managed to get a couple of things accomplished today. I'm still in a lot of pain and on meds as needed, but it's gradually becoming tolerable. I expect to be able to resume life as usual by turkey day. As always, I'll be bouncing around from house to house eating my weight in dressing and chocolate pie. It's just one day, though...not gonna give myself a hard time about it. My healthy lifestyle (as opposed to using the word "diet") will resume this weekend. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be able to remove "lose weight" from my new years resolutions. As long as I stay on track in December, I'll be able to replace my number one resolution with something new for the first time in years.

Back to packing now. Oh, I don't have internet where I'm moving, so I may not be online every day...just depends on whether or not there is free wifi within 10 miles of me...which is unlikely.

Either way, I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Details and Dreaming

I've been making use of my sleep deprivation lately by planning future Bob Ross Workshops. In fact, I dare to say that I've planned the next twenty-four! Who knows if I'll actually teach twenty-four workshops in 2009, but if I do, I'll be ready. I struggle with the time factor, though. Don't get me wrong, my classes are always on schedule, thankfully, but I wish that I could incorporate more into each painting. Bob's paintings are much more detailed than what I'm capable of teaching in three hours, so in most cases, I have to scale down his paintings in order to fit them into my workshop. It's kinda a bummer, but it works, so it's what I have to do. I have explained this to my students, and they are fine with it.

An alternative to my half day workshop is to offer private instruction. I've already given this info to my students, and hope to eventually advertise it. I actually prefer the classroom setting, but I would like to make myself available to those who can't attend class. Private instruction would also allow the student to complete a more detailed painting, which is nice. We'll see how it goes.

I am also considering contacting Hobby Lobby about teaching there. I haven't talked to other CRIs about their experience with Hobby Lobby, so I don't know what the conditions are, but I feel at this point that I should seriously consider it. Once I get moved to the new place, I will be 25 minutes from one HB, and an hour from two others. It would be a fair amount of commuting, but it may be worth it to have the business. I suppose it depends on gas prices, however.

Most of all, I've got to get my health under control so that I can continue teaching. It is physically hard on me, but I love it and have every intention of teaching forever. I received the 2009 certification schedule and would give anything to go to NSB for Florals, but it's just not financially possible. I'm not going to give up, though. Someday I'll make it happen.

The time I spent in FL is on my mind continuously. I wish I could go back, even if only to visit. I fell in love with the entire area...NSB, Daytona, Ponce Inlet. I'd drive there tomorrow if I could. I've never felt that way about a place before. I like the gulf coast, but eastern Florida is love.

A Million Thanks

Homemade cards for the troops...total of 95...will go to Shauna at A Million Thanks.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mountain Analysis

I've been looking at my mountains lately and trying to figure out what I can do to improve. Seems that a few of them (especially the ones that I recently posted) slightly resemble the pyramids of Egypt. Oops.

Then again, they used to look like big fat slices of coconut cream cake, so at least I'm moving up in the world. Pyramids aren't really what I'm going for, however, so it's time for reanalysis.

My conclusion is that I'm trying too hard. I am kinda OCD when it comes to things looking symmetrical. I say kinda because I don't believe I'm that bad. But it's enough to notice, so I think I will attempt to address the issue next time I tackle a mountain range.

I hate that I had to cancel my November classes. I'm having to drop two paintings that I really wanted to do. I guess I can always do them next year. In December, I plan to teach a super-duper snowy painting...can't remember the name or number off the top of my head, but it's one that only uses white, black, and blue. I think it will be a good way to end the year. It will be my 12th class, and two of my students (who have attended every class) will receive Joy of Painting certificates. I decided to give my returning students an attendance certificate once they complete their 12th class, so that will be a neat little thing for them. We'll probably have cake too. Another returning student will probably get his certificate in January. I love my students...have I said that already? I've heard horror stories from others about their classes, and I thank the good Lord that I have been so lucky. I have had nothing but good times as a student and as a teacher. I sure wish it paid the bills, but I love it nonetheless.

Well it's going on 4:30am so I guess I'm gonna wrap things up for now. Until next time, I leave you with coconut cream cake:

Hahahahaaaaaa! I thought this mountain was awesome when I first did it. Then a couple months later, I looked at it again and was like "What the heck, dude? It looks like CAKE!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My New Motto

My Childhood Dream

This man is a genius. From the time I first saw him on television, I was in awe of what he could do with a paintbrush in a mere thirty minutes. Somehow, at the age of five, I understood and appreciated this man's talent. I remember thinking that I wish I could paint happy trees like that. Unfortunately, I grew up with poor motor skills and zero artistic talent. I got a D in Junior High School art. It was rather pitiful, really. But after resigning from my hospital administration job, I decided that life was too short to live a miserable existence with a career that I hated so much that it was making me physically ill. I needed to make a change.

So I took the biggest risk I've ever taken in my life. I went into debt (unheard of for me, being a former bankruptcy paralegal), traveled to eastern Florida (my first solo road trip), and trained at the official Bob Ross Art Workshop. Not only did I learn how to paint like Bob, I learned how to teach his technique to others. I spent three weeks with 20 strangers in a place that I had never been in my life to do something that I wasn't sure I could do. Crazy? Maybe. Worth it? You better believe it. It was a childhood dream come true, and even though I am broke and struggling, I am happier now than I was in the corporate world making $10 an hour. If I could rewind time and revisit this decision, I wouldn't change it for anything.

I returned home a new woman. I spent three months practicing and planning, and taught my first Bob Ross Workshop on May 3rd. I had eight students. It was scary and exciting all at the same time, and I didn't run into any issues whatsoever. My hours upon hours of planning paid off, and everything went great. Three of those eight students returned for further instruction, and I couldn't ask for a more loyal and friendly trio. I am a lucky, lucky woman. Even though I'm broke, my students make me want to do this for the rest of my life.

It is amazing what putting paint on a canvas does for people. Bob got it. He knew the joy that it could bring to people's lives, and he worked hard to make it happen. That first day of teaching, a student approached me and thanked me for giving her the opportunity to take a Bob Ross class. She told me about her cancer, and said that she had always wanted to learn how to paint like Bob but never dreamed that she would get the chance. I still cry when I think about her. She never returned to my class because she was about to start chemo. I hope that she is ok, and that the four hours of amateur instruction that she received from me gave her a moment of joy. That is what it's all about. Bob knew it, and now I know it too.

Thanks, Bob. I hope that I am making you proud.

Teaching a beginner class in 2008

Life Is A Journey

Life is a journey, indeed. For me, it's more like a roller coaster. People have told me that I have the worst luck of anyone they've ever met, and that drama follows me. Like it or not, they are correct. So I've decided that I'm going to ask Santa for a drama-free life for Christmas. I'm going to go to the mall and sit in his lap and everything.

Ok not really. Although maybe I should.

I love the inspirational photo above and felt that it was an appropriate beginning to this new blog. Over the years I've learned that life is fragile, and that when its all said and done, what will matter the most is this: Did I find my purpose, and did I make a difference?

This certainly isn't my first blog...no sir...I'm what is called a serial blogger, and I've been sharing the ups and downs of my roller coaster life online for many years now. Feel free to find my other blogs via google or other search engine. I'm quite easy to find, as I use the same username everywhere. Doing that is a great way to keep a person honest. This blog may bore you, intrigue you, inspire you, or annoy you. Who knows? Whatever the case, I am who I am and I'm ready to launch yet another blog. Look out, world.

Welcome to my roller coaster life, and thank you for following me on this journey.