A Warming Trend

December 24, 2015

During this hustle and bustle of busyness, I decided to slow down a bit. After all the art shows and classes and joyful events…. weariness set in and knowing that a recharge was needed was evident. We were not going to even put up a true Christmas tree, not that we weren’t in the spirit, but we were just going to take it easy. But a single friend of ours, Rick, saw the need and brought over his own pre lit tree that soon was decked out in our favorite ornaments and that act of kindness warmed us.

Then the mother of a friend of ours passed away on Saturday, even though she was battling that robber of memory, it had been very hard on our friend and family who had been the sole caretakers, really the soul caretakers of her for the past five and a half years. I watched my husband kick into gear by baking a ham and friends coming together to surround this friend and her family with love, and comfort…. and that act of kindness warmed me.

Sitting here in the dark just before dawn, with husband hunting this morning and I am alone, I am thinking that this life is not about “I”, it is when we are loving one another and not thinking about ourselves that we were and are truly made for. We come alive and that is a true sign of what God, our Father, made us for. To love one another, just as He loved us by sending a baby one night, on a clear and starry night. When humanity met divinity to save us all…. and that act of kindness and extreme love warms me.

Merry Christmas friends , I pray this Christmas warms your soul . With much love,     Suz

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Missing Home

November 17, 2015

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I have been going, going, and gone for awhile now. Preparing for art shows, teaching classes, making ornaments…. I want to slow down, spend some time with my Lord, quiet time to realign myself, to listen, to rest and invigorate . I want to go home to Blountstown where I hail from but have not lived there for many years. I want to sit by the Apalachicola or Chipola river and just watch the water go by, I want to crunch leaves down a forgotten path, I want to go to old homesteads where family meals were shared along with old stories, good food, good people. I am missing home. I miss burn piles, leaf piles, hot chocolate with marshmallows, corduroy pants, flannel shirts, playing with cousins, hearing my name being hollered out to come wash up for supper… or dinner. I miss faces and voices that are gone now . I even miss deer being dressed in the back yard, and bags full of soft quail… knowing that a wonderful meal was soon to be had. I miss exploring with my grandfather, listening to my mama and grandma gossip in whispers, I miss a picture being taken of the Thanksgiving table because my grandaddy was so proud to have good food on the table. I miss them.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all that I have family wise. A sweet husband, darling daughter and a wonderful son in law, aunts and uncles and cousins. My cup runneth over in so many ways. Eucharisteo, giving thanks for everything in all circumstances. I just am missing home. A place that is burned on me, deeply rooted in who I am. I am grateful for the memories that the good Lord has blessed me with and for all those that loom ahead. Be thankful, Eucharisteo, giving thanks just as richly as we have been given. xoxo, Suzanne

p.s. the painting is of a creek in Calhoun County painted from a photo of Jim McClellan’s.

‘Tis The Season

December 22, 2014

Well, it’s is almost that time. The presents are almost all wrapped, there is a pot of Lady Grey tea brewing everyday in the kitchen, cookies have been baked and given away, the house cleaned….. it’s time to relax a little, review my lists and snug in for a nice quiet Christmas. The older I get, the more I want to slow down and take in the sights, smells and sounds of the season.deer

When I want to experience the colors and lights of the season I tend to go to Pinterest for inspiration. but if I take a hike to a local nursery here in town, I find the visual is equally stunning and inspiring.lonny christmaThe bulbs are blooming, narcissus, amaryllis, hyacinth are all bursting forth with wonderful color and smells. The freshness of the outdoors that is brought inside helps the long cold months ahead and make me, for a short while, content with the greenery.

I finally slowed down with my painting commissions and classes so I can enjoy the season a bit more. I wander over to Au Peche Mignon, a little french patisserie topatesierpick out something delectable to go with my cafe au lait..then pick up a box to go for Christmas festivities. The smells of baking goodies and the aroma of strong, perking coffee are like catnip for me. Very satisfying.

Then the sounds take me away to a different place. The amazing sounds of Pentatonix a cappella rival any cathedral I have ever visited. There is the sound of the winter birds feeding on our seed and the happy chirping that goes with it. I love the crackle of leaves as I walk to the mailbox to check for cards and letters. I look forward to our Christmas Eve service at church, the beautiful old music welcoming the Christ child into the world…. pure bliss.

I pray this season is a wonderful one for you, it is a contemplative time for all of us. To wonder and ponder on the joy that sets before us in the new year. God’s blessings to you all, Suzanne

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Band Of Angels

November 18, 2014

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It has been a busy, busy couple of months getting ready for some shows I enjoy participating in here in Tallahassee. You definitely learn your strengths as well as weaknesses when you are painting non stop for two and three months straight. Let me tell you though, I would not trade it for anything. I am learning to let loose and play like a child with my paintings . Always being a rather tight , wound up person, it is so freeing to just give in to it all. I started painting for grief therapy , thanks to a wonderful Christian counselor who encouraged me to find a space of my own, decorate it like a child’s room and just go “be” myself. So I did, I painted my old bedroom a pale pink, hung mermaids from the ceiling, put about a thousand post it notes everywhere with positive affirmations all over the walls…. and slowly but surely began to accept myself of my imperfections, just as my God does, and forgive myself. This is paramount in becoming who you were meant to be, and letting God work through your gifts. Your gift is unique to you, just like this band of angels. One plays the flute, another prays , another uses her voice…. all glorifying God with their distinct gifts. God receives this love letter like a wonderful fragrance wafting up to please Him. He loves it when we accept who we are after all the planning that He put into creating us. So thank Him for your freckles, your funny nose, your blush and giggle and know that this is very pleasing to Him and He would not have it any other way!  Have a blessed week! Suz

Three Girls

August 30, 2014

Recently I had the pleasure of taking a long awaited trip to St. Teresa Beach with two of my dearest friends . We have been good friends since our senior year of high school and it still amazes me that even though we have all gone different paths over the past almost forty years, we can still get together and we are three girls again. We don’t notice the wrinkles in the corner of our eyes, because laugh lines are a sign of a life well lived. We don’t pay attention to the extra pounds because we have children, albeit grown, and have supped and dined and cooked for them and with them…..and it was time well spent. Two of us paint together because we have discovered that in order to be authentic we had to dig deep to find that there were artists down deep inside. Later we join the third out by the shore where she is decompressing from her hectic and busy job…. that she loves. We get our Pandora on with The Eagles, Boz Scaggs, Crosby Stills and Nash along with some more modern mix that we can’t even begin to know what they are singing about! At night we gathered around the table and shared laughs, wine, roasted veggies and chicken salad…. just like back in the days of gathering in this same kitchen so many years ago. I treasure these girls, their stories, their laughter and their friendship . We are blessed indeed. Love, Suzthree graces

I find great joy in going back home to the small town where I grew up. There is just something about slowing down, taking a deep breath and filling my lungs with sweet air that smells like pine, jasmine and earth. Yesterday I loaded up my grandmama , picked up some milkshakes and headed to the river landing where we sat under trees and took in the beauty of the fast moving river and the old oaks with spanish moss hanging down. People must have thought we were strange sitting in the car with the windows down, drinking our shakes, laughing and talking like there was no tomorrow… not in any kind of hurry, just being in the moment. I love being with this elderly southern belle who has traveled the world and has seen much life. I ask here if she could go anywhere in the world where would she be right now, Hawaii? Holland with all the tulips? Provence??? She answered ” Those are all nice places Suzanne, but where I want to be is right here, in Blountstown. I thought to myself the simplicity of just wanting to be home is the most delicious thing in the world….just being in the moment. Have a blessed day! Suz

" Being in the moment "

” Being in the moment “

mermaid sign9170240b5e25dca2421e19cedc39a54d        I found out yesterday that my blood pressure numbers seem to be very high. This was quite a surprise for me since I thought I was a pretty laid back person who kinda rolls with the punches, and my numbers are low if anything. So while I am waiting to get in with my doctor to see what next, I decided to try some extreme self care in the way of bubble bath, bible study, and some mermaid therapy….. it sounds crazy but for me it worked! I envisioned myself as a mermaid in a stream ( I know this is unrealistic for a mermaid, but just work with me here) and I am gently going with the current, looking up at the sky and trees and just floating. Occasionally I swim and notice the beautiful stones and the fish are swimming with me….and I notice that everything, the stones, the fish and even the water itself is praising and glorifying their creator. Then I reach the ocean and I look for shells down below and later sun myself on big rocks with the other mermaids, all the while hearing the cacophony of the whole ocean worshiping God. When I finally opened my eyes from the meditation I felt lighter, more freer than I have felt in a long time. I know mermaid therapy is not for everyone…. but for this landlocked, two legged one……. it’s working!

 

 

alligator-with-baby-on-backI  love being in my fifties…. there I said it. I do, it is very freeing to be rid of so much artifice that accompanies the early years. The laugh lines are there, the gray hair is taking over like a crop of dandelions, I can no longer wear boys levi jeans, and I never get carded when I order a drink….ever. When I go to the movies I am asked if I am a senior…… a what? My dad was a different story, he detested getting older and spent most of his adult life trying to combat it…. without much success I might add. I remember the seventies and all of a sudden he started jogging, that lasted all of two or three days. Then there was scuba diving, we had enough equipment to start a search and rescue mission on any body of water, next was flying planes, which he became licensed to fly….. I wouldn’t go up with him, no way on God’s green earth or heavens. Let’s see then the last ten years of his life he took up riding horses and roping. Which suited him I think. But the story that stands out most in mind was when he added fighting alligators to his to do list. When he turned fifty, he and a buddy decided to go fishing, some river or lake and unbeknownst to his poor buddy, Dad had already decided that it was the day he would fight an alligator. Well his wish came true and to his delight a gator came around the small boat and Dad, without any warning, jumped in after the gator. All I can say is that we aren’t sure who was terrified more, the gator or dad’s friend. When dad jumped into the murky water, he landed in soft silt up to his knees and for an instance couldn’t find his legs…. he thought the gator had got him! I am sure that gator was no where to be found after a crazy, Liberty County crazy jumped in on him. Well needless to say, Dad proudly could say that he had gone in after a gator, and it was the truth( not that ever stopped him before). This was just one day in the life of my dad and I can say that even thought he died at sixty, he lived a big life. I am starting to wonder….. what can i add to my bucket list besides a spa day, a week at the beach, or traveling to Ireland….. I think Dad would be a little disappointed!  Suz

Breakin’ Out

January 3, 2013

I came from a long line of ……. can I say prissiness? It cannot be helped, the girls in my family are mostly blondes, great figures, a southern drawl that could melt butter…. getting a visual? Then along comes me, I was brunette, tomboyish, leggy and my mama didn’t know what to do with me. I lived in jeans and button down shirts and sneakers or duck boots. I listened to country music and back then could do damage to a bottle of southern comfort and diet coke, of course! Mama blamed it all on the Foster side of the family…. I think I was just breakin’ out. Appearances are sometimes all important to people, I like to get a little scratched up and see what is underneath it all, I know I’m not alone in this. Just when I was reveling in this epiphany of being real and the velveteen rabbit story swirling around in my head I was reminded that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This morning I was having breakfast with an friend who shall remain nameless, Maria, and she was laughing about my heart attack story. Not that I really had one but one night due to something other than my heart I was experiencing pains in my chest. Not one to over react I lay there awhile trying to access the situation and knew exactly what to do. First I gathered up my journals that had my deepest, darkest secrets in them and I threw them in the trash downstairs. Then I put on my prettiest nightgown and got back in bed, ready to die and looking somewhat decent for the coroner. No thought to call the doctor or whatever but there I was, worrying about appearances and people finding out about the real me. In the morning, when I had not died, I got up and got all my journals out of the trash and went about my daily business. When you hear somebody else tell the story, you know that you come from crazy… and then you ask them to pass the sugar free syrup! Hope you smiled and have a great day. True story. Suz

20130102-172932.jpg Mama called it not fixin’ up, Lu and I call it down home dressing.

Breakin’ Out

January 2, 2013

I came from a long line of ……. can I say prissiness? It cannot be helped, the girls in my family are mostly blondes, great figures, a southern drawl that could melt butter…. getting a visual? Then along comes me, I was brunette, tomboyish, leggy and my mama didn’t know what to do with me. I lived in jeans and button down shirts and sneakers or duck boots. I listened to country music and back then could do damage to a bottle of southern comfort and diet coke, of course! Mama blamed it all on the Foster side of the family…. I think I was just breakin’ out. Appearances are sometimes all important to people, I like to get a little scratched up and see what is underneath it all, I know I’m not alone in this. Just when I was reveling in this epiphany of being real and the velveteen rabbit story swirling around in my head I was reminded that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This morning I was having breakfast with an friend who shall remain nameless, Maria, and she was laughing about my heart attack story. Not that I really had one but one night due to something other than my heart I was experiencing pains in my chest. Not one to over react I lay there awhile trying to assess the situation and knew exactly what to do. First I gathered up my journals that had my deepest, darkest secrets in them and I threw them in the trash downstairs. Then I put on my prettiest nightgown and got back in bed, ready to die and looking somewhat decent for the coroner. No thought to call the doctor or whatever but there I was, worrying about appearances and people finding out about the real me. In the morning, when I had not died, I got up and got all my journals out of the trash and went about my daily business. When you hear somebody else tell the story, you know that you come from crazy… and then you ask them to pass the sugar free syrup! Hope you smiled and have a great day. True story. Suz

20130102-172932.jpg Mama called it not fixin’ up, Lu and I call it down home dressing.