Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Stand Corrected!

Ok.  So after posting what I thought was a really cool post yesterday, I find out my theory was wrong. 
I told you about my doll from when I was little and how I thought she was giving the sign for Rock and Roll.

I had almost hesitated to write my theory because I was wondering if maybe she was indeed signing a message that other people would know about.  The only problem was I did not know how to go about finding that out.
I had emailed my daughter to read my post because I thought it was pretty funny.  Well, she knows some sign language and she called me up and told me that the doll was actually saying "I love you" in sign language.
Bummer!  And I thought I was so cool!
At the same time, I was pretty amazed that this doll from so long ago had been made to give a message in sign language.  So, on one hand, I guess I was right when I said that I thought the doll was trying to tell me something.  Very beautiful, actually.
Another person who told me was Miz Katie, who gently called me on my error.  Speaking of Miz Katie (don't you love that name?) you have to go visit her site.  She has some great artwork and photography that you just have to see.  
So, there you go.  I hope I didn't offend anyone who does know sign language.  It was the psych major in me that just has to analyze and find a reason for everything.  
Finding out that all this time my Doll was trying to tell me something so beautiful really is very comforting.
But I still like my other story better!  ;p

So, to all those reading this, "I love you" and "ROCK AND ROLL!"
Carol B.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rock and Roll!

So, like, dude, I am always trying to tell my kids how cool I am.  
But do they believe me?
So, now I've got proof.
I had this doll when I was little.  I don't know how old I was, but my mom tells me Santa Claus gave it to me (yes, that's why I have problems).  I had forgotten all about it when my mom told me a while back that she had recently found this doll way back in her closet and did I want it?  I told her yes.
I had forgotten about it when she gave it to me the other day.  She said it was dirty but she had cleaned it up as best she could.  She even washed her clothes and put some new lace and elastic where it was needed to make the doll look as good as possible.
Did I tell you my mom really is a sweet person?
To bad she doesn't have a computer so she can read this and get all happy.
Anyway, I checked it out and all these memories came flooding back, including a very unusual memory.
I took pictures of the doll but forgive me if they are a little dark or if the eyes shine too much and make it look a bit creepy.  They would have come out better if I could have taken the flash off my camera, but since I am a techie dork I don't know how to take off the flash.  
But here is an overall picture of the doll:

As you can see, it looks pretty old fashioned.  I'm not going to tell you how old I am, but yes, the doll is on the older side.  I was going to say vintage because I thought that would sound cool, but on second thought I think it makes me sound more ancient.
Anyway, here is a picture of the doll waving:

Here is where the weird memories come in.
The thing I always remember about the doll is that the fingers on the hand that is waving were fashioned a bit strange.  At least, I always used to think they were a bit strange.  I remember thinking, why are her fingers like that?  They look kind of weird.  They even sort of bothered me.  I don't know why.  It looked like she was trying to tell me something.
When I was looking at the doll the other day after my mom gave it to me, I was looking at those fingers again.  
And then I saw it.  
She was trying to tell me something!  If you look at this close up picture, you can see that she is giving the youth sign of today that says "Rock and Roll!"

Wow!  Was I freaking out when I saw that!
Ok.  So I googled the sign to make sure and I found that in the real sign, the thumb has to be turned in.  
But, who knows?  
Maybe this was the Real sign.  The Original, For Reals Rock and Roll Sign!  Maybe it was just later distorted by today's youth who does not know any better.  Even my son freaked out when I showed it to him.  He got sorta scared and said, "Why is she doing that?"
Who knows?
Just take a look at this innocent, little face:

It makes you wonder how such an innocent, little doll from way back then could know of such things.  
Maybe she was trying to tell me way back then not to worry, that whatever might happen in this journey called life, that it would be all good, cool, and oh so groovy.
If anything, she is back to tell my kids that whatever they might think of their mother, she does have it going on, and always will.
But even if my kids don't believe it, The Doll knows.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Wonderful Mother's Day

Hello everyone!
It has been over a week since Mother's Day, but I hope all of you that are Moms had a wonderful day.  
I had written that the day before Mother's Day I was going to a Mother's Day Tea with my mom with the ladies from her church.  That sounds nice enough, but on that day, in order to make it a nice Garden Party type of tea, we were supposed to wear hats and gloves.  If you read my post, you know I was freaking out.  I mean, honestly, I was getting very nervous.  I finally decided that I would go pick out a hat and gloves at my mom's but if I really felt I just couldn't do it then I would have to chicken out.
On Saturday, before the party, I went to my mom's and looked through the hats and gloves.  My mom was so excited but as I went through hat after hat I could not help but think how ridiculous I looked.  In reality, maybe I didn't look that bad, but since I am not used to wearing hats, I felt uncomfortable.  I finally made a deal with my mom.  I would take the hat and gloves, but if no one else was wearing them, then I would not wear them.
Since the house we were going to was close by and we figured there might not be a lot of parking, my father was going to drive us there and drop us off.  It was so cute because my dad wanted to chauffeur his ladies in a proper manner so he ushered us both into the back seat of his beautiful pearl colored cadillac, flipped one of those 1930's "newsboys" caps on his head, and chauffeured us to the party.
When we drove up, there were a lot of ladies walking up to the house but none of them were wearing hats and gloves!  That was good enough for me!  
"Sorry, mom, but I'm leaving the hat and gloves in the car!"
My mom was disappointed because she wanted to wear hers, but she didn't want to be the only one.  I finally saw a couple of ladies wearing hats, so I pointed them out to her and encouraged her to wear hers.  She left the gloves but happily wore her hat.
The party was in a huge, beautiful backyard set up with lots of tables and flowers.  A lot of women showed up.  Only about a third of the women were wearing hats, so I felt ok about not wearing one and my mom felt ok that she was.
My mom introduced me to the ladies who were all very wonderful, gracious women.  There was a lot of good food and we had a great time.  I was trying to take a "myspace" picture of me and my mom, but I still don't do that very well. One of us kept getting cut off, so one of the ladies at our table offered to take our picture.  So here is a picture of me and my lovely mom in her cute little hat:

It was a very nice gathering, and many thanks to all those who worked so hard to present everyone with a wonderful day.
The next day we had a bar-b-q at my mom's house.  We usually do this because going out to a restaurant on Mother's Day is such a hassle.  You have to wait forever, it is horribly crowded, and then they are trying to push you out as fast as they can.  I find we can have a much nicer time if we just relax in the backyard.  My mom does prepare a few things, but the men bar-b-q. It is nice and quiet, with good food and a nice time with the family.
It is also wonderful because I get to see my daughter, who doesn't live with me, and since she otherwise never visits me, I have an excuse for her to see me.
Ok.  I better not make her mad, cuz then she'll never visit me.  
This is a picture of me and my beautiful baby:

Please ignore the fact that I do not have on my mandatory lipstick (we had already eaten so off it went).  In case you're wondering what my daughter is doing with her hands, no, she is not pointing at me to say I am crazy, she is pointing at the words on her shirt which say "I love you" in Spanish and then she is pointing at me to say "I love you, Mom."
I love you, too, Baby!!
It was one of the nicest weekends I had in a long time.
I need to remind myself that, despite any hard times lately, I am, indeed, very blessed.
'Til later,
Carol B.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life Goes On

Yowie, zowie.
I can't believe it's been a week and a half since I have been here.
Sorry to all those who might have come here and found nothing.  It's just that this past week and a half has been one of those times when your whole world gets shaken up and throws you for a loop.
I once told my cousin, who reads this blog, that when I am not coming here and writing it is usually because I am going through some stuff and I start to withdraw.  The problem is that when I stuff everything down, I then start to spiral downward until I finally decide to face it and write about it.  Only then can I finally move on.
Not that something really terrible happened, like a family member getting hurt or something. It's just that my whole belief system got pretty rattled.
For the past week and a half I, like many others, have been caught up in an internet art community scandal.  A post in a particular blog that revealed a lot of stuff has already generated almost 1,000 comments.  Yes, you read that right.  Almost 1,000.  I am sure it will surpass that in a day or two.
Even though it was stuff I was already suspecting, it was difficult to finally learn the truth.  If you don't know what I am talking about, I know you might be thinking SO WHAT IS THE SCANDAL??  I know that when I read a post that is vague and does not give the specifics I get really upset because I want the blogger to spill it.  At this moment, I am not going to give the specifics.  Why?  I don't know.  I just don't want this post to be about that, but only about it's effects.
What I am trying to say is that I was really believing in a particular person and what they said about life and even though there were times when that inner voice that keeps you in check told me to think twice, everything was painted so pretty that I would tell that little voice "what do you know?  My whole life has been tough and not very pretty and now I have this pretty corner in my life so unless you can offer me something better, leave me alone!"
Deep down inside, I know I have beliefs that are strong and true but there were times when I felt they let me down and this other world was so pretty so I continued.  So to finally have to face the ugly truth was pretty devastating.  Devastating, but I know in the final count will be good.  Good because after running after a lot of pretty beliefs, yesterday, in a deep funk, I knew where my real solid foundation was all along.  Though having your disillusions revealed hurts, it is a good thing.  Like getting your teeth cleaned.  Is as uncomfortable as heck, but you know it's for your good.
Another thing that might sound funny to those who do not have this problem, but to those who have it you will understand, is that a lot of my life long beliefs in my battle with food issues has also been revealed for what they are.  After years and years of trying every trick in the book to reprogram my beliefs about food and the weight battle that goes with it, it is all finally paying off.  And it is so wonderful, and yet, dismantling those life long beliefs still hurt.  Finally coming to the realization that I am not going to find any real comfort or the answers to life's problems in a bag of M&Ms or Chips Ahoy is wonderful, and yet, at the same time, pretty devastating.  I know that sounds like a joke, but it is not.  I am exhilarated and feel ever so free to be able to embrace this new revelation, and yet, after relying on this belief since I was a little girl, releasing this belief is also very sad.  Nevertheless, I am so happy.  It is really paying off and my life in this area has made leaps of improvement.
The last set of beliefs I had shaken up was in that of motherhood.  Boy, that is the area that can really throw you out the window.   
Now, I know we all go through things.  We all say things we shouldn't have, but I tell you, when your child says something to hurt you, it can really do a job in stabbing you through the heart.  
For once it was not my daughter-who-is-always-mean-to-me.  (hee, hee!  I am saying this because I know she will be reading this) (hi, Baby!).  This is about my son.
Now, again, don't get me wrong.  My son has become a wonderful young man and usually treats me very well.  We have had our issues and I have had my part to play.  I am happy to say that life is usually good with us.  But he has been going through some stuff and last week he took it out on me and said some extremely hurtful things.  Again, I am not pointing a finger.  I am writing about this simply to get this out of my system.  
Anyway, it all hurt like hell and made me very bitter in my questions about being a mom.  I have always tried my best to make sure I was raising my kids to be good people.  When you try that hard, you usually end being told that you are controlling.  And yet, if you try to let go so as not to be controlling, you can be accused of not caring enough to be a better guide.  Either way, you get screwed. 
It is terrible because there are no clear cut rules.  You can read all the books in the world, and yet it is all still a crap shoot.  Yes, I was strict with my kids, but it is because I did not want them to be a bunch of brats.  And they are not.  They have always been complimented about being such respectful, considerate people.  But yes, when you try to guide them carefully, you can also get too careful, and then it backfires on you.  You get somebody yelling at you that "you always do this" and "you always do that."  
But it is hard to know when and where to let go, and how much.  Especially if they are still living with you.  If they don't live with you it is easier.  You don't know their comings and goings so you don't have to feel guilt about whatever choices they are making in their everyday life.  As it is, I have let go of a LOT of my beliefs.  My kids are both adults, so I finally told myself, "no, you are not going to be a terrible mother if your kids choose to do so and so, because they are now adults and it is their life to choose."  Even then, you feel guilty like you are being a bad mom if you don't say anything.  But I guess it is all just life's way of showing you another place where you need to let go.
To anyone who read this far, my apologies if this all sounds like one big complaint.  I just needed to get this all out, and it has actually worked.  After feeling bad for the past week and a half, I am already feeling a lot better.  
And now, after being so stuck, I can finally move on.
Wow.  What a rollercoaster it has been.  It is never fun to have everything in your life rattled, but hopefully it all turns out for the best.
And then to top it all off, last night, here in L.A. we had a pretty yucky earthquake.  Everyone's fine, but it can really rattle your nerves.
As well as rattle your world.
HA HA.  
God must really be laughing at the point He was trying to make.
Yes, Carol, we're going to rattle up your world to wake you up and set you off in a better direction. 
I just wish He would find a gentler way to do it.
By the way, all of you who don't live in the area, please keep us in prayer so we don't have to go through any more earthquakes.
Although it's sure a lot easier than being a mother.
Ok.  No more remarks on motherhood.
It's all good.
Life goes on.
I hope you have a good day, 
and thanks for listening.
'Til later,
Carol B.    

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all you Moms out there a Happy Mother's Day!  
I hope you have a great day.
I will be reminding my son of the 37 hours of labor I had with him to see if I can get an extra special present (hee hee!)
God Bless you all!
Carol B.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Sorry I have not been posting any art here.  I have been working on the painting that I last posted.  I was almost finished but not satisfied with the face.  I thought of changing it but I thought, "what are you, crazy?  The background is almost finished.  What if you mess the whole thing up?"  That would usually have kept me from making any change, but then I thought, "I might mess it up, but I will never be satisfied if I don't try."  And so I did the most daring thing in playing with the face.  Right now I like it but it doesn't match the style of the background, so I have to see where to go from here.
The problem I have had in my art is that when it looks decent, then, even if I would like to experiment, I am too afraid to "mess it up" so I stop in fear.  I hate that I am afraid because it keeps me from growing.  Lately I have been in the process of "breaking out," trying to push things and get out of my comfort zone which I have rarely allowed myself to do.  And you know what?  It is so cool!  Yes, I might mess up that painting, or something else I try might not look as good as the old tried and true, but to free yourself out of a self imposed prison is wonderful!
But I am afraid I have reached an impasse in which I am really scared.
Why did I post the above photo?  Because of something I have to do this Saturday.
My mom invited me to go to a Mother/Daughter Tea from her church.
No, that's not the problem.  Honest.
The tea is being held in someone's backyard which will be really nice but in order to give it that "Garden Party" type of look, all the women have to wear hats and gloves.
Hats and gloves, people.
I am not a hats and gloves type of person.
I told my mom I don't even have a dress to wear, much less to be seen in a hat and gloves.  My mom said, "but you have to wear a hat a gloves!"
I was not taking the whole thing too seriously but I suddenly started to worry.  I might think I am cool not wearing some silly hat and gloves, but, on the contrary, it will probably be me who looks silly not wearing a hat and gloves if everyone else is wearing a hat and gloves.  Besides, my mom was adamant about me wearing a hat and gloves.
That's ok for her.  She is crazy about wearing hats and gloves.  I remember when I was young and we would all go to church and it was the early 60's (ok, so don't be calculating my age) and the Jackie Kennedy look was in and there was my mom in her Cassini inspired suit, pillbox hat and gloves going to church all spiffy.  That was ok for her because my mom is a teeny weeny woman and on a fat day she weighs 90 pounds (and no, I am not exaggerating; any relative reading this post will confirm this).  She has always liked to dress up in that classy type of look and she grew up in those decades when it was chic for a woman to wear a hat and gloves so it is all perfectly normal for her.  Me, I have never worn a hat and, even though I have seen some very cool hats that I would honestly love to wear, and I admire women who can wear hats, I feel I look silly in them, at least, uncomfortable.  And if I don't have a dress I am going to feel silly wearing a hat and gloves with some dumb pants, especially when they are not made to go with a hat and gloves look.
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!) my mom found me this long, summery dress that use to belong to her but she says it looks too young for her now and she told me to try it on and, lo and behold, it fits! (it stretches) and it actually looks really good on me and it even has that kind of look where you could picture it at a Garden Party with a hat and gloves.
So at least I have a dress and my mother told me to go to her house early on Saturday and she has all kinds of hats and gloves for me to try on and see what matches.  
At first I thought that would be cool and that I could actually do this, but now I am getting pretty scared.  
What if I freak?
What if I run out and say "NO, I CAN'T DO THIS!" and my mom gets really hurt and starts crying?
Ok, so I am being dramatic.  
But I am still getting scared.  So if you pray, just say a little prayer for me.
Unless I end up looking really cute. ;)
Who knows?  Maybe in breaking out of this "no hat and gloves" box I am in, I might find out I really like it!
We'll see.
I'll also try to get my art together and see about putting up some stuff.
'Til later,
Carol B. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sharing Encouragement

So I'm not crazy!
In my last post I wrote about how May reminded me of spring flowers and the beauty of springtime.  I had this whole picture going on in my mind and I was wondering why.  Thanks to Del for saving my sanity!  He wrote me a comment on that day's post where he directed me to a story about May Day on Wikipedia.  Suddenly I remembered how I had learned about that in my elementary school days a million years ago and how we actually used to learn about that day and make May Day baskets out of construction paper and the whole bit.  Funny how I had totally forgotten about that and yet it was plastered back there in my memory like you always read about.
Speaking of Del, you have to visit him at his blog which is Sunday Afternoon Noodle  You will really enjoy it.  He is a wonderful person with a very positive sense of life.  He has emailed me with some very encouraging messages which have been such a blessing to me.  He has also posted this great Youtube video called "Winston Churchill backed by band from the future."  It is a video of Winston Churchill speaking to a group and the person who did this video put music and some other stuff to make it sound like Churchill is singing a sort of rap song.  It is hilarious and amazing how it is done.  Check it out. 
As for all of you who have sent encouraging comments, I thank you very much.  I love encouragement.  There is something magical about it, whether you are receiving it or sharing it. It carries a very real healing that reaches across into someone's spirit, whether it is spoken in person or is carried through these airwaves of the web.  
Isn't it amazing when you think about it?  You can actually feel this physical healing balm, even if it is coming from people across the country or even other parts of the world.  I am beginning to see the truth when people talk about how changing our spirit can actually take a part in changing the world, and how if all of us join together reaching out in a more loving spirit, how all of us can have a part in changing this world for the better.   
Now, don't get me wrong.  As beautiful as these words sound coming from me, tell me to remember them when I am driving on the freeway.  
But I have tried doing that and, believe it or not, it does help to change things.  If anything, it helps to change me, which, I have to admit, is where it must all start.
Wishing you blessed thoughts for a great day.
Carol B.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Possibilities

Today is the first day of May.
May is my favorite month.
I love the sound of the word.  And the way the letters look together.  
And when I think of May, I think of spring flowers (my favorites) and sunshine and green grass, blue skies and a gentle breeze.
Ok.  So I know it sounds like a corny commercial.  And in L.A. we don't get that many blue skies.  But it's still the picture I get when I think of May.
I think it is also because, deep down inside, I think of new beginnings, which bring new possibilities.  On a day like today, you can start life anew.
I have been visiting people's blogs and seeing the new things people have done.  I have been talking with people, via blog comments and emails.  Everywhere I see and hear the hope in people's lives, the desire to get the best out of life.
Are you an artist?
If you are like me, you struggle with the doubts.  I keep thinking I am the only one, because I keep thinking everyone else's remarkable talent helps them to breeze through it all, but from what I hear, I am not the only one.
Why do we do that?
Maybe it is because people who are artists are sharing the deepest part of their life and putting it out there for all to see.  Whatever your art, whether you paint or collage or sing or play an instrument or take photographs, that can be a scary thing to do.
I know that doing any kind of work has its insecurities, but I believe artists also have the doubts that come with the belief that what we do doesn't really matter, doesn't really count. "Why are you wasting your time with that?  Shouldn't you be doing something important?  That's not something you put your whole life into.  That's just something you do as a hobby."
Maybe you've never thought that way.  If you never have, consider yourself blessed.
As for any of us who have struggled with that, why do we have to continue?  Who says?  Who are they to say that?  Who is the world to say that what we do doesn't count?  Why can't we start a whole revolution that turns the world around so that artists are the rock stars of the world who makes tons of money and are held in awe for their remarkable talent, talent that everyone else wishes they had?
Yes, I know it's a wild thought.  
But it's not impossible.  
And you know what?  I think it starts with all of us planting a seed to make it that way.
By considering our art time one of the most important and necessary parts of our day.  By not being embarrassed to show someone our work.  Hey, by making sure we never belittle our work.  By being proud to tell others that we are an artist, instead of shirking away thinking we won't say that until we reach some imposed level of "good enough."  And by thinking of our choice in life as being as important as someone who would say that they are a doctor, or an attorney or CEO of some grand company.
No, I haven't been outside sniffing the L.A. smog.
I am just tired of having spent my whole life living by other people's opinions, views, and dogma, as Steve Jobs said in his words I shared in my previous post.  I want to live my life, not someone else's.  I want to believe in my hopes and dreams, and believe they really can come true.
At least to know that I tried.
And so, on this first day of May, the first day of new possibilities, if you are an artist, I bless you with a new beginning, a belief in your hopes and dreams.  I bless you with permission to believe in you.  I bless all of us to believe that, as artists, as creators, we are linked with thee Creator of all creators.
So let's go out there, plant our seeds of Hope and Belief, and make it come true.   
Here's to you and your new life.
Carol B.