Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When the Gypsies Came to Town

Anybody else have an unnatural fear of Gypsies? I was in third grade when the Gypsies came to town. At least I am assuming they came to town. I never actually saw them. My family owned restaurant in a small town in upstate New York. It was a truck stop and local hangout type of diner. We lived in the back.

There were four kids in my family at that point. My mother told us one day that the gypsies were in town. She gave us French fries and told us to go play in the woods out back and stay there until she called us home. Apparently gypsies stole young children but wouldn’t venture into the woods to get them. She told us stories about these people that would sweep into town for several days. They would come into the diner to eat. The would do such things as open the salt, pepper and sugar containers that were on each table and just pour them out into the tables. They never left tips.

Thinking back on this, if we children were really in danger, wouldn’t we have been safer in the back/house part of the restaurant closer to my parents than alone, playing in the woods? 

By the way, my fear of gypsies doesn't affect my opinion of tramps or thieves.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Things I don't understand...

Why do the hamburger pictures on the menu at the fast food place look fresh and juicy and plump, but the ones you actually get look like someone sat on them?
Why do they use the sounds of sirens or car honks in some radio ads, so that if you hear them while driving, you start to look around to see where it is coming from?

Why do some salesmen in car dealer commercials have to yell at us like we are deaf?

How can they have a study that says people who exercise have 25% less chance of dying, when the truth is we all have the same chance of dying…100%.
How come nurses don’t get to take all the same medicines that the rest of us do? When ever you see an advertisement for some drug, they always say don’t take this if you are pregnant or nursing. How come we never hear, “don’t take this if you are pregnant or a truck driver? Or if you are pregnant or an accountant?”

Why is it called a “near miss” when two planes almost collide in the air. Wouldn’t that be a “near hit”?

How come blow and suck are opposites, but they mean the same thing if you put the word “this” in front of them? This sucks. This blows.

Why are some people so mean and cruel to each other?

Why do some women’s magazine devote the first half of the magazine to losing weight and eating right and the second half of the magazine to fattening recipes?

How come when we smell something that smells really bad, the first thing we want to do it have someone else smell it.

Why do you see signs on cars that say “FOR SALE BY OWNER”? Who else would be selling it?

How come Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vote for me!!! Please.

I am very excited to be a finalist for Jerry's Artarama' July artist of the month!!!  Please vote for me.  Just look for my name or the painting of the cupcake.
Click here to vote.

Let's Talk...
Don’t you hate when your 18 year old daughter returns your van with the words, “Don’t worry, Mom. I checked it over good and the van is fine there is no damage..” She then proceeded to tell me a long story about the van, the express way and a tractor trailer. I had to keep asking questions to get to the actually details.

“Did the van and the truck actually touch?”
“No, Mom.”
“Did you hit the guard rail?”
“No, Mom.”
“What actually happened that you had to examine the van to make sure it wasn’t damaged?”
“This  *#&%^#  truck driver doesn’t know how to drive and should never have been given a license and came out of nowhere without looking and pulled right up to where I was driving without even looking and it was a good thing I was paying attention because the %&*#@&% truck driver wasn’t and in order to avoid him and not let him hit your van I pulled over quick and kind of sort of hit the tires on the curb and nothing happened to the tires or the hub caps or anything cause I checked really good.”

She has been told in the past not to start a conversation with anything that would upset me. She is actually suppose to start every conversation with, “I love you, Mom. I’m not pregnant.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I actually painted today!!!!

Due to some medical issues with my dad, my parents have stayed with us several times in the last month.  We participated in our neighborhood garage sale.  Our dog Brandy passed over the rainbow bridge after being sick for a while and I have been busy planting the gardens.  As a result, I haven't painted in my studio in the last month.  Yesterday I finally had a chance to go upstairs to my studio to work.  I walked into the studio and realized that it was a mess.  I have two small fish tanks that needed more water.  I had piles of stuff everywhere.  I had a few boxes and bags with new art supplies that needed to be put away.  So I set to work to get the room in shape.  Two hours later, just as I finished cleaning, I noticed the bag of CDs that we had recently inherited.  I sat down at the computer in the studio with the CDs and proceeded to go through them and add selected songs to my music folder.  When I got that finished I thought maybe I would straighten out the whole folder.  It contains alot of music and some of the songs were duplicates and others I just wanted to remove.  I worked on this task for several hours.  At 5:00 I went downstairs and told my partner, Jane, "Well, it's 5:00.  Time to stop pretending I am going to paint today."

Sometimes the hardest part of painting is getting your butt in the chair and a paint brush in your hand.  But today I did manage to sit down and paint.  I even managed to get it finished.  This is a 5x7 oil painting on hardboard.
$45.00 plus $6.00 shipping

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


On Friday, my friend Chris and I drove to East Aurora, about 90 hours away, to go to an alternative health center. We both had appointments with the Kinesiologist. Kinesiology is a fairly new branch of science which was developed by doctors, chiropractors and acupuncturists. It can be amazingly efficient at balancing the body so that it can return to good health, energy and emotional strength.

Kinesiology is a truly 'wholistic' system, because it looks at the whole person (not just at selected parts). When you step on a cat's tail, it's the other end that screams!

Chris decided to go to some of the shops in the area while I went in first for my appointment. When she got back I was still in the room, but they told her she could go right in. She knocked before coming in. She told me later that she didn’t want to just walk in, in case I was naked, laying on a table. First of all, if I am naked laying on a table, people, it must be a party, so come on in. Second, Kinesiology isn’t that kind of therapy, so if someone asks you to get naked and on a table, run…don’t walk…out of there!

After the appointments, Chris and did a little more shopping. One really cool store had classic country CDs for sale. I purchased a Donna Fargo CD. My sister and I loved, loved, loved listening to Donna Fargo when we were young. I put the CD in my car CD player. Oh my God! It brought back memories…..OF PATSY CLINE! The case and even the label on the CD said Donna Fargo, but that was definitely Patsy Cline singing. Guess there was a major mix up at the factory.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

My Grandmother

I was reminded recently of a trick I played on my grandmother when I was young. I was about 10 and I found one of those white, cardboard jewelry boxes. It was the kind that inexpensive jewelry comes in. I cut a small hole in the bottom of the box. I put dirt all over one of my fingers and placed the finger through the hole, holding the box in the same hand. I placed the lid back on the box and walked next door to my grandmother’s house. I showed her the box and said, “Look what I found in your garden.” I took off the lid and it looked like there was a detached dirty finger in the box. “Go throw that thing out.” She said, as if it was perfectly normal to find a human finger in the garden, but I just shouldn’t be playing with it.

My grandmother always had good advice. “Don’t swallow your gum. Your guts will stick together.” “Watch out for bats, they will try to fly into your hair.” It never occurred to me to ask why a bat wanted to hang out in my hair. Whenever she happened upon a snake while working in the yard, she always took a garden hoe and chopped it into small pieces. She then carefully carried each piece of the snake to the road, balancing it on the hoe. She made sure to spread them far apart. That way cars would run over the pieces and squish them, and the snake pieces couldn’t grow back together.

My grandparents were married for over 50 years and as far as I know it was a good marriage. However, every time a car would go by decorated for a wedding and beeping it’s horn, she would say, “Damn fools.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to get rid of goats

My parents are in town for a few days and are staying with us. My 78 year old mother and I were discussing herbs.

My mom told me that last year she planted a bunch of herbs and only the sage grew.  Not being a big fan of sage I told her I don't like sage. I said, "it is only good for burning and to get ghosts out of your house. (There are people that believe burning sage can bless or cleanse a house.)  My 18 year old daughter has told me she thinks there is a ghost in the house where she lives.  I said that  maybe Jessica should  burn sage.  My mother said, "Why?  Does her house smell?"  I looked at her confused.  "Does she have a goat in her house?"  My mother asked.

So apparently my mom thinks that if you happen to have an unwanted goat in your house, causing unpleasant odors, you can get rid of it by burning sage.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What I miss...

This is what I find I am missing about my dog Brandy, who we lost on Monday:

She was better than the door bell at alerting us that someone was at the door.

I was always amused by the way our one year old cat would "herd" her around like she was a sheep dog and Brandy was the sheep.

The way she would roll over and pretend she was "dead" when we pointed our finger at her with our pretend gun and "shot" her. (It was a big hit at parties.)

She always loved us, no matter what. Her love was unconditional.

Whenever I dropped food on the floor I wouldn't have to pick it up...I just called Brandy over and she ate it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Begining

Someday soon I hope to get back to painting and actually be able to post a finish picture here. In the mean time, I thought I would tell you a little about my childhood.

I was born a poor black child, without rhythm. Oh wait, that’s not me. That was Steve Martin in The Jerk. I, on the other hand, was born a poor white child, without rhythm. I am the second of seven children. Just for the record, none of us has rhythm.

Growing up with that many siblings was fun most of the time. You always had built in playmates around. But that didn’t mean that we didn’t torture each other. At times my older brother was a great playmate and at times he was unmercifully cruel. He made up terrible names for me and used them instead of my name whenever addressing me. J-O Junk, Skunk and Cow Pie, may not sound bad now but as a kid they were horrific to me. I think it really cut into my self-esteem, which wasn’t too great to begin with. I felt like my mother never protected me from his cruelty. Her response was, “Oh, he is just being a boy”.

One night I was kneeling at the side of my bed. I must have been around four years old. I was saying my prayers, The Hail Mary and Our Father. I was doing it half heartedly and rather loudly, almost like the prayers were a joke. My brother heard me and told me that I was going to go to hell.
“What is that?” I asked him.
“It is a very bad place that is all fire and you burn.” This scared me and I started crying. Steve, afraid of getting in trouble for making me cry, quickly added. “Don’t worry, me and Mom will go with you.”

I must have been a very gullible kid, because another time Steve told me that if you ever put anything down the heat registers at my grandparent’s house, the house would blow up. Well it wasn’t too many days later that my sister, Maryanne dropped some crayons down the register. Steve probably told her to do it. Anyway, I told my mother and expected her to gather us all up and get us the heck out of the house and far enough away that the exploding house wouldn’t hurt us. Instead, she and my grandmother took the grate off of the register and attempted to get the crayons out. I couldn’t figure out why they were doing that when the house was going to blow up at any minute, and she couldn’t figure out why I was in such a panic about crayons in the register.

Next blog I will tell you how I used to torture my younger sisters.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Turning 50

Now that I am all grown up, I am growing old. As I saw the age of 50 approaching in my life, I made a few decisions. I decided that I wasn’t going to be taking anybody’s crap anymore…ok I still take some from my kids and my better half (don't tell anyone I said that)…but now it pisses me off. I also decided that I wasn’t going to put myself out there anymore, offering my time and everything else to anyone with a need. That means no more of “Oh you need help moving? Sure I can help. Oh you need a ride to the mall? I can bring you. Oh, your uncle needs a kidney? Well I just happen to have two and would be glad to give him one.” I am not saying I have turned selfish. I am just saying that I am not putting myself last and everyone else first. I will be taking care of myself first and what ever is left over can go to helping others. At this age, if I help everyone else before I take care of myself, there is nothing left at the end of the day for me. It is actually a very unselfish act to make sure I am well taken care of so there is some left for others.

I have also decided at the age of 50 that things that I thought were important, aren’t. I used to care if someone liked me or not. Now I figure if they don’t like me, it is their loss. I am a great person and great friend...so there!

I do find it hard to believe sometimes that I am now 50. It seems like one day I am graduating from high school and the next day my daughter is graduating. One day I have zits on my chin and the next day I have stray hairs growing out of my chin. One day there is nothing on the sides of my belly button, the next day my boobs are hanging there. And what is with all these gray hairs….in my eyebrows?

I would write more about aging but I have to get going now. I have to help a friend move then go donate a kidney.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Our dog Brandy was getting up there in age. When she was only nine she started to act old. It was hard watching her slow down, watching the fur get gray around the muzzle and her eyes getting a little cloudy. But, I think the hardest part was that she was going senile. I had always been able to talk to her as if she were a person and she would do what I said. If she were laying on our bed and I needed her to get off, I would simple say, “I need to make the bed, Brandy, get down.” And she would. It got the point where commands had to be repeated several times to get her to do it. I am not sure if she isn’t hearing me or if she is just ignoring me. Her behavior had gotten a little strange. She sometimes woudn't get off of the deck in the back of the house and acted like she was afraid of the grass.
Brandy was a German Shepherd, collie mix with thick medium length fur. We brushed her a lot but she still shed huge amounts of fur through out the year. I don’t understand how she could shed so much and still have fur left.
Sometimes I would look at Brandy and I realized that she wouldn’t be with us forever. I would softly whisper to her, “ when it is your time to go, dear girl, we are getting a small, non-shedding, lap dog.”
Well we lost our great Brandy yesterday. At some point in the future, we will get a small, non-shedding lap dog. But the new puppy won't be taking Brandy's place. No one can replace her. She was a good dog, a smart dog and she will be sorely missed.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Grey Goose Painting

This is a 6x6 oil painting on hardboard. $125.00 plus $10.00 for shipping and insurance.

We have spent the last several days getting ready for our neighborhood garage sale. It is in Penfield, NY. If anyone is in the area and wants to know where it is, drop me an email...unless you are a stalker. In that case, call me.
Here are my thoughts about having a garage sale:
· You work for days and days, going through your belongings, closets and basements to gather stuff
· You work for several more hours, setting up tables, arranging and pricing your items
· You sit for hours on end in your garage so you can sell this stuff
· You are happy when someone gives you a quarter for something you bought for $5.00 last year

Something is very wrong with this concept.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Garden

I finally have my flower and vegatable gardens all planted. I have had some knee promblems lately, so kneeling to plant was just about impossible. I thank God he gave me a very big butt. I planted almost everything while sitting on it, saving my knees much pain. This was the second year in a row that I have planted a vegatable garden. I used to plant a garden every year. The last time I planted a garden, several years ago, it was a very bad year for rain. I watered the garden regularly with the hose and the plants grew, but they didn’t produce any vegetables. The only thing that produced anything was my broccoli plants. They had the most beautiful broccoli growing on them. One day after letting the dog out on her chain, I looked out the back door to check on her. She had broken the chain and jumped the fence that surrounded my garden. She had pulled up every last broccoli plant and dragged them around the yard. She was happily chewing up the last one when I spotted her.
The rain last year was great as far as the garden was concerned. Everything grew wonderfully. I gathered my cucumbers and vegetables, bought jars and made pickles, tomato sauce and other canned things. I figured out that if I take into account the costs of the original veggie plants, fertilizer, fencing and jars and if I add in the time it took me to prepare, grow, harvest and can everything…at minimum wage…each little jar of pickles cost me about $20.00.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Court Date

It was 7:40 am. I needed to get dressed and get going. I had to be in court at 9:00 am. No I am not on trial for murder or anything like that. That would be far less aggravating. No I was going to court for probably the 13th or 14th time so that my ex-husband could try to get his child support changed. He has taken me to court every few years for the past 13 years to tell the judge he can’t afford to pay child support. For the sake of this blog I am going to call him by his given name…DH. Ok, ok, I am the one that gave him that name. I am sure some of you can figure out why. I was going to tell you, but I don’t want to offend anyone.

Anyway whenever DH quits or loses a job, which can be often, he feels he can no longer “afford” to pay child support. Apparently when one is unemployed all of their children’s needs stop. They no longer need school supplies or new shoes or even food.

At one of these court appearances the judge asked DH why he doesn’t just get another job. “I can’t”, said DH. “I have to spend all of my time coming to court for this.” So let me get this straight…he can’t get a job because he has to go to court to explain that he can’t pay child support because he doesn’t have a job. It makes my head spin.

So as I walked into the courthouse and approach the metal detectors I found it hard to breath. Not because I am afraid of the metal detector. No, I had already removed my knife from my pocket and left it in the car. No, I am just so sick of this process, sick of the bull, sick of not knowing what lies are going to come out of DH’s mouth.

I have this theory about people like DH. I figure that all souls in heaven are pure and good. So why is it then that some people on earth are jerks, troublemakers and worse? I think that before these people are born, these souls volunteer to come down to earth to play the role of antagonist – the ass, knowing full well the other people will hate them. It is sort of like the actress playing the bitch on a soap opera. It moves the story along and it helps us grow and get stronger. Being here on earth is like a schoolroom for our souls. But for the most part we don’t learn and grow from the fun, good experiences. We learn and grow and get stronger from the pain and difficulties. That is where people like DH come in. They cause pain and difficulties. They throw roadblocks into our lives, that we have to learn to get around. They help us grow and get stronger. So maybe I should thank DH for volunteering to come into this world as such a jerk and for making my life difficult. He has done it for the last 20 years, and he has done a great job of it.

Sooo….from now on I am going to refer to all jerks and troublemakers as "soul-growers". Let’s all start using that term and see if we can get it to catch on.

I would love to hear your thoughts about what I am writing here. Let me know if you like it, find it interesting, or hate it. (Ok, not that last thing.) Please leave me comments.

I have put some of my artwork on products for sale on Zazzle.com. Check it out. You can now get poster prints, mugs, tee shirts and much more. Let me know if there is any of my art that you would like to see added to a product on Zazzle.

Make personalized gifts at Zazzle.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Let's talk.

I have had this blog for a while now and I have used it to feature my art. Well, I have decided to take it to the next level and have a blog with a little more….more info on the art process….more info on me. I wanted to share my life, my thoughts, my plan for world domination…errrr, I mean my plan for world peace.

This blog is for everyone, regardless of your religion, sex, sexual orientation or color… unless you are gray…in that case stop reading now and get to the doctor.

So be sure to come back often to check out the art and learn all about my fascinating life. You can even subscribe to this blog (look to your right) and receive updates in your email.

Tomorrow’s topic…turning 50...or my day in court. You will have to come back to see what I decide to write about.

Lion Painting 8x8 oil on hardboard. $10.00 plus $10.00 shipping.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


This painting is still available. Email me for info... artbyjoy@aol.com .