Thursday, January 19, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge Day 19: Random Thoughts

Glennie Mae Barber

This is a picture of my Mother, Glennie Mae Barber, and I miss her deeply.  Especially at this time.  We used to have some great conversations about the world. I would love to have had a running dialogue with her during these past eight years. I know she would have been so very proud of the manner in which our current president conducted his business; proud of the fact that his thoughts and actions were always intended to take care of the country and all of its residents.  The key word here is intention.  

 I would love to have a conversation with her about what is going to happen tomorrow afternoon. I know she would have a few choice words about the swearing in our new president.  One thing I know for sure the would have had me laughing until I cried.  My mother was not one to mince her words.  She was very down to earth and she would not be happy; however, she was a realist and would know that now is not the time to be depressed for sad.  No she would say it is a time to be vigilant and aware.  It is a time to pay attention.

When I figured out that my word for the year is actually two words, PAY ATTENTION, I did not realize how important those words would be.  I have to pay attention to every word, to every nuance, every thing I see around me.  I have to pay attention to all elected officials, now more than ever, and exercise my vote in a wise and determined way.  I have to pay attention to how I relate to those who are of a different opinion from me so that I treat them with dignity and respect hoping that they reciprocate in kind.

The ribbon around my mother's neck is the Martin Luther King, Jr. award she received in January 2006.  She was so proud of being awarded as a bridge builder, human rights activist and civil rights worker.  In her quiet and yet determined way she worked very hard for 50 years in her neighborhood. Some day I will tell you about her activism.  But for today, I will remember that she was a bridge builder between all ethnicities in the Southwest Detroit Area.

Tomorrow marks a real change in our world, or at least my world.  It is time for me to really pay attention.

see you tomorrow

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge Days 17 and 18 - Change of plans

Jane Davenport goodies

Collage papers and watercolor brushes

Pencil pouch and pockets and pouches add-ins

The photo's above are pictures of items I got today from Michaels.  I wanted to get some Jane Davenport items from her new line and the display looked like it has been picked over by vultures.  Very little was left.  I had been trying to justify purchasing the Mermaid watercolor brushes, they were all gone so I was kind of happy.  I just could not justify the cost when I have so many watercolor markers and other paint materials.  So I got collage paper which I will use, watercolor brushes, the pockets and pouches add ins work really nice in the Faux-Dori I purchased a couple of years ago and the pencil pouch just because it is cute.  With the Senior Citizens discount, 40% off discount and gift card I have had for over a year, I spent $4.53.    Maybe I will put the Watercolor brushes on my list for my birthday.  There really is no hurry.

It was nice to get out and do a little shopping.  I am really trying to cut back and spend more wisely.

Now to the change of plans.  I am planning to go into more detail discussing the Strathmore Items I won.  My plan is to use each one and post about the experience.  I am working with the Watercolor pencils on a coloring book postcard, but I have not finished it.  Hopefully I will post soon.

see you tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2017

31 day Blog Challenge Days 15 and 16: Look what I won

Photo number 1

Photo Number 2

Photo Number 3

Today is another twofer.  Yesterday was a very busy day and when I got home from church I was really tuckered out.  Ate Dinner, took a nap and then watched President Obama on 60 minutes.  I knew that what I wanted to write about and the lighting in my living room was not great so I waited until today.

The photo's relate to the wonderful items I won from the great giveaway sponsored by Strathmore Artist papers.  I am going to do a series of posts about each item; but suffice it to say that this is an extremely generous prize featuring journals, watercolors, watercolor pencils, cards, water color instruction books and much more.

see you tomorrow for the first post.

Friday, January 13, 2017

31 Day Blogging Challenge Days 12 and 13 - What I am thinking today


I like to have some sort of photo on my post even if the post is not specifically about art.

Yesterday was a pretty good day that ended rather emotionally.  So much so that I went to sleep instead of posting; hence the twofer for today.

I posted on Facebook a picture of Joe Biden and President Obama and wrote a short caption regarding Joe Biden's 47 year of service and how I met him in the Washington DC train station as he was going home to Delaware.  He was so gracious and greeted everyone in the Metro Lounge as we waited for our various trains.  I was not looking for responses, just sharing a great photo and my thoughts.  One response was "what a joke".  I took great offense to this statement.  First it was not necessary, if the person did not like the fact that Joe Biden was given the Medal of honor, that is fine just move on from my post.  Joe Biden's life is not a joke, a man who lost a wife and daughters in a car accident and went on to serve the country.  A man who has been willing to show his humanity and his flaws; a man who did not use the jobs he has held for personal gain and who lost another son to cancer has my respect.

There is not a human being on this earth that is perfect and we are entitled to our opinions; however, I have been on Facebook since around 2008 and the one thing I have never done is look at a person's post, even if I disagree with it, and make a rude or condescending remark.  If I do not agree, I just move on and let them have their say.

For the past 8 years I have been very careful not to post political or religious posts.  First because that is my business and once you post it on social media, it is no longer your business.  Second, because I have seen all of the attacks and negative comments that are really hurtful and third, as an African American I have been so proud of the way President Obama has performed despite all that was put before him.  Has he been perfect?  No, but I am so proud of what he has accomplished.

The Affordable Care Act, despite what Congress says, has been a great benefit to many.  Not just the millions of people who have never had insurance; but also, to the millions who could not get coverage because of pre-existing conditions.  The millions who were impacted by yearly and lifetime maximums on their coverage.  Did you know that a person who has an organ transplant can use their lifetime maximum before they are even discharged from the hospital?  Six years ago that limitation was eliminated so they can have follow up treatments without worry.  I worked in the health insurance industry for nearly 40 years and know from whence I speak.  For example; Michigan Bell Phone Company added a rider to their coverage to allow parents to keep children on their coverage until age 26 even if they were not in college.  Groups could add a waiver of the pre-existing rules to their coverage and most did.  Affordable care act brought many of these group benefits to individuals.  After retiring and trying to get coverage prior to Medicare, I was told I could not have any services related to breast cancer for 10 years (pre-existing); so I had to take expensive COBRA coverage until it ran out then no health care coverage until Medicare kicked in.

Can the ACA be improved upon?  Yes, but there are always improvements and tweaks to health care benefits.  Ways to make it more cost effective and ways to enhance benefit structures.  I love the intricacies of the Health insurance industry; ways to make it better for the average American.

Well, that is what I am thinking today.  I am sad that people who have the best health care insurance coverage in the world are so eager to repeal instead of fix a program that does have merits.

see you tomorrow

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 11 of 31 day Blog Challenge; All Aboard

Kansas City Missouri Train Station 

This is my favorite photo.  Taken on a train ride home to Michigan.

see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

31 day Blog Challenge Day 10 - Holy Crapola!!!!

A Single Tear
I have posted this painting before, in fact immediately after it was painted in 2015.  I looked at it with fresh eyes on Saturday night and went Holy Crapola!!!!! I painted that.  What made me have this thought?  I was looking at some paintings on Facebook and thought how beautiful they were and wished I could paint something like that.  I looked up at the painting over my chair in the living room and did a double take.  I HAD painted a painting like that.  I had dug deep and found this painting lurking side.

I was amazed and at the same time a little ticked.  Amazed because I get the same feeling today that I did in September of 2015 and ticked because once again I wished for something I have already done and not really appreciated.  This photo makes it look bright; however, hanging on the wall it is haunting.  The lighting in the room makes the face recede significantly so you see it faintly in this black fog.  I really think that as the paint cured over time (man, I sound professional here) the painting darkened which is the effect I wanted.

When I first started this journey I would not display my work, now it is hanging on my walls.  All I can say is Holy Crapola, Batman.

see you tomorrow.