Been up since before 5am, that’s what happens when I dare fall asleep around midnight, then I’m up way too early! And now I’m yawning as I kept dreaming that I needed to get a blog out! You know how it is when reality and dreams intersect, well that invasion is what woke me.
So here I am at the buttcrack of dawn thinking back to coming home from Tampa last week. I smiled all the way while singing loudly and offkey to Jeremy’s Spoken, The Wind Cries Mary, It’s My Life, I just Want to Celebrate Another Day Of Living, and Gravity. Gotta have me some NIN, Madonna, Hendrix, Perfect Circle, Dusty Springfield, The Who, Depeche Mode, etc etc. These newer groups post 2000 seem like gratuitous copy cats and I could not name one except for Adele and Amy Winehouse and The Black Keys and the Black Keys  only because they are an Ohio band. Funny to think Marilyn Manson was born in Ohio, (love u Marilyn.)

The newer music is nothing exciting in comparison to what has gone before it. Listening to the oldies brings opens that floodgate of so many memories, Though now when I listen to How can People Be so Heartless from Hair, I apply it to someone who was actually cruel and not society! I need this music, this theraputic wave that washes over and brings so much comfort, or maybe rather I need the distraction to stay sane through the rip tide of 110 miles of intense speeding through tourists, truckers and crazies like me while keeping my eyes are locked upon the I-4 traffic race, (and what’s with me and the water analogies, no wonder I make so many bathroom stops.)
Some people pick up and go, I pick up and meander, NO ONE would enjoy a trip with me,  it last two times longer. I make about 4 to 5 pit stops along the path! The anxiety tags along like a clingy, morbid, lousy friend you are forced to take with you riding shotgun trying to over -ride the other normal driving id who is so excited and just wants to get to wherever we are heading!. Of course I start off at McDonalds for coke and fries, that’s my comfort food/sugar high blood stabilizer to begin the journey and I can name about every exit along the way that has fast food or a clean restroom. But if you have read the past, you know of my high anxiety when leaving the comfort zone I live in.

This time I went to Tampa for the birth of my second granddaughter, Kira Sun.  I got there about 5 days before she was born, but that was so I could ‘hang’ with my little Iyla Sky. We are happily close, she likes me a lot right now which is great and makes me feel so special, who knows how she’ll feel when she grows up.
My “adult kids” seem to like me too and let me stay as long as I want, (once I was there almost all summer till Fall.) I am thrilled to have two beautiful babies and wonderful kids. Family can be such a mixed bag can’t it! Luckily, my  bag is full of kids I actually like besides loving and get along with! Luckily we have had so much joy among us. We have had big trials too, but love sure helps!
All the way to Tampa I wondered about marketing again, most of the artists I know don’t use art as their main source of income, but some are truly dedicated to getting their work out through various social media, using Facebook, (guilty) and blogs, (guilty) and Etsy, 1000 markets, Saathi Online, (not guilty, but thinking about it.)  My internal programming is rather focused on taking the photos and working them, but not marketing which is the most important winning end. So until I really push the sales, I guess I’ll never really know if my work is salable.
‘It’s always good to see what’s out there, and this week I went to the Seminole State College exhibit and reception for Donte K. Hayes, a talented painter from Kennesaw Ga. His work had wonderful coloring and use of space and details. Dante’s whole focus is a series of life’s complications and learning to move forward. Though his main character is a black gingerbread man and some of his work is painted skillfully on tar paper, it embodies the struggles that can relate to anyone of any color, sex or creed. D0nte’s use of line and shapes and space especially stripes revealed to me that he must be or has been struggling hard on the inside.  The lack of expression, or small grimaces  on his gingerbread man’s face made it seem like his working through conflict was a difficult journey of self. The highlighted struggle with the bold use of beautiful  colors seemed to be saying to me anyway, that a bright life is waiting beyond a self imposed incarceration.  The continual entanglement was focused through the smaller details painted with purpose within his work, especially “Boxed In, Boxed Out”. That painting to me embodied Donte best. He was on a journey and the past and future were both impediments that needed working through. I so want for him to be free from what has weighed him down for so long. But despite what my personal reading was, it’s surface look is bright and happy hanging inside the  SSC Art Gallery where Megan Stepe always knows how to place pictures to benefit the artists. As the Gallery curator, she is dedicated to making that gallery shine every time there’s an exhibit.  I have never seen her without that big welcoming smile of hers. I know her students must enjoy her infectious enthusiasm.  
We certainly live among various struggles within our own lives, as they say, “shit happens”. We are not alone in these trials through life, that’s why it’s important to reach out and show people your vulnerabilities too. Hardly anyone lives a perfect life, (except maybe Mitt Romney.) Most of us 99% live with a sense of balance for the good and not so good. You can only do so much, keep a positive attitude,  wake up remembering it’s a new day to make yours! Try not to dwell on the past unless it’s the good times, so make today something special! Go  to youtube and listen to songs you loved, share a special one on FB — reach out to others in time of need and remember those who have been good to you through your life and TELL THEM!
Here’s a few more pictures of my new and old baby, and one I am working on for the “Crow Show” at UCF in June. Also, will be changing pictures this week or next, Depending on how fast I get them made and framed for Donuts To Go on First Street up in front of Hospital in Sanford. Will be exhibiting the local scenes of fishermen and women. Come to “my” Donuts To Go gallery and buy a donut or two and enjoy the food and scenery!
Thanks again to Donte for his expressive and deep art and SSC for your exciting exhibits.

Here ya go fellow Firestone High School Alumni Class of ’68’ – a song to remember – (I’m enjoying learning so much about my high school classmates via FB that I really didn’t know before.)  I went to Firestone where I hardly knew anyone, the majority of my friends went to Buchtel.  I had a hard time adjusting to  a place that seemed overwhelming big and cold to me. I am so glad to say I did survive thanks to a few terrific friends back then like Jackie K and Suzy V. Pam M.   Dave U. Rick W. thanks for being there. Now as I get to know others, I wish I had been more outgoing, there were others who felt the same way and others with the same interests who would have been so interesting to have known back in the day, but can’t backpeddle, and as we get older and see our friends going through their hard times, that’s where this social network benefits us –“Reach out of the darkness and you may find a friend.” (can you guess the song?”) go look it up by the lyrics. Anyway, enjoy your day – get to Seminole State College and look at Donte K. Hayes exhibit  and love the ones your with -Here’s Simon and Garfunkel: