31 May 2008

Really, We Don't Know This?

The following article was on MSN this morning. I have to say, that ever time I read an article about fathers, or men in general, it makes men sound like knuckle dragging morons. Are most men really so un-evolved that they need to be told these things? Do men really think that parenting is for the women? Do men still believe that we can't be nurturing, emotional, and care giving? Hell, do men even know what common decency is anymore?

From articles like this one below, it makes me wonder.

Well men, let me say that it's time we join the 21st century. Women are great and all, but it's time for us, and by us, I mean you, to step up. We can and should be equally involved in relationships and parenting. Stop dragging your knuckles. There is nothing better or more important than being a good parent and partner. It's good for us individually and good for us as a society. Life is about more than Bud, Nascar and porn. Don't make me pull this blog over.

*****

1. Respect Your Children's Mother
If you are married, keep your marriage strong and vital. If you're not married, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children. When children see their parents respecting each other, they are also more likely to feel that they are also accepted and respected.

2. Spend Time with Your Children
How a father spends his time tells his children what's important to him. If you always seem too busy for your children, they will feel neglected, no matter what you say. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but it is essential to spend time with your children.

3. Earn the Right to Be Heard
All too often, the only time a father speaks to his children is when they have done something wrong. Begin talking with your kids when they are young, so that difficult subjects will be easier to handle as they get older. Take time and listen to their ideas and problems.

4. Discipline with Love
All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behavior. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love for their children.
5. Be a Role Model
Fathers are role models to their kids, whether they realize it or not. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be respected by boys. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility and responsibility.

6. Be a Teacher
Too many fathers think teaching is something others do. But a father who teaches his children about right and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to help their children learn the basic lessons of life.

7. Eat Together as a Family
Sharing a meal together can be an important part of healthy family life. In addition to providing some structure in a busy day, it gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and want to do. It is also a good time for fathers to listen and give advice.

8. Read to Your Children
Children learn best by doing and reading, as well as seeing and hearing. Begin reading to your children when they are very young. When they are older, encourage them to read on their own. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of personal and career growth.

9. Show Affection
Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted, accepted and loved by their family. Parents need to feel both comfortable and willing to hug their children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.

10. Realize That a Father's Job Is Never Done
Even after children are grown and ready to leave home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they grow and, perhaps, marry and build their own families.

26 May 2008

So It Begins...

I have all of my things at the gallery. At least everything I need to get by for a few months. When I told people I was going to live at the gallery they looked at me like I was joking, or insane. It's a fine line. It's not as bad as it seems. It was my choice, not that I had to do it, but I wanted to. It has everything an apartment has. Now it also has everything my studio had. It's perfect.

Anywho...This my 300th post. The start of our summer adventure.

It would be very easy to sink into a depression. Let my grief overwhelm me. Spend the next few months in misery. Well quite honestly that would make for a long ugly summer that I could do without.

I have an opportunity to paint for months undisturbed. I can focus all of my attention to my art and the gallery. I can face this adversity head on and grow. Become stronger.

Technology will allow me to talk with them and see them everyday. Southwest can allow me to be with them in a matter of hours.

In the blink of an eye this summer will be over. I will be in California. This will all be a distant memory. Move forward. One day, one week, one month.

I have more support than I could imagine. Family, friends, bloggers. Thank you all, it means a lot. Now if I could just fall asleep...

24 May 2008

Holding On...

It's been a very emotional week. I'm holding up fairly well considering.

Tuesday morning we started driving south. For the most part it was an uneventful trip. I-5 through California is a mess. That highway is in serious need of repair. Going through the central valley we hit a dust storm. I have never seen it like that before. We drove through it for almost three hours. At times our visibility was less than a few hundred feet. Terrible.

We made good time getting to San Diego. Ended up having an extra day to spend with Precious and Mr. Man. What should have been Friday and most of Saturday. Friday morning I woke up with the worst migraine I have ever had. I spent most of Friday in bed wanting to die. I took two Imitrex, a handful of aspirin, caffeine, food, nothing worked. I decided to fight through it, sick to my stomach, dizzy and unable to move at any kind of speed. I wore earplugs to block out the sound, and glasses to shade my eyes. The pain let up around 11pm. About the time everyone wanted to go to bed. I stayed up talking with a friend. We sat outside while we talked about human nature. Swapped stories, drank cocktails and played with a fire.

At around 2am I went up stairs and climbed into bed with Mr. Man. I just wanted to hold him. He jumped and swung his arms when I touched his face with my cold hands. I breathed in deeply to smell him. It would be the last time I got to cuddle for awhile. I wanted it to last for ever. A couple of hours later I did the same thing with Precious. We lay in bed holding one an other for hours, not saying much. Avoiding what we both wanted to say. Knowing that we just needed to enjoy the moment. It would be over all too soon.

Saturday morning I spent playing with Mr. Man. We chased around the yard, threw food to the fish in the pond. We hugged and kissed and played. I was trying hard not to make too much of my leaving.

There were a couple of moments that almost killed me. At one point he stopped running, hugged me and said he would miss me. I fought back tears, but we went back to running. The hardest moment was when he started crying. He said he was crying because he didn't want to cry when I left. I really struggled not to break down at that point. Just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. (People in the airport are beginning to stare at me)

Precious just dropped me off at the airport. My flight leaves in a couple of hours. For days I have been telling myself that this is temporary. I will see them soon. It's the little voice in the back of my head that is making things hard. I know all too well that life is unpredictable. I know that it may be the last time I see them. Strange things happen. Things we never see coming. I fight back that voice with all my will, but every now and then, I can hear it.

I focus on the things I need to do when I return. Finish orders at the gallery. Clean our house. Patch holes and paint. Move the rest of my things to the gallery. I have a lot to do. Much to keep me busy and my mind occupied. Time moves quickly. The summer will be over before I know it. Besides. I already have a flight booked for three weeks from now.

If I can just keep from curling into a fetal position and sobbing my eyes out here in the airport, I just might make it. A few more vodka red bulls and things will look differently.

18 May 2008

Time...

Tonight is the last night we will spend in this house as a family. Precious and Mr. Man have been asleep for hours now. I have been walking around organizing boxes and things, occasionally stopping to stare out the window. The lights of the coast are softly glowing through a layer of fog. Just thick enough to block the light of the near full moon. I will miss this place. I have loved this house. There will be a week left on our lease when I return in six days, but will most likely not spend another night here.

I'm having the "what might of beens and what might bees". Thinking about what we had planned when we moved here. What we hoped we would accomplish, and what we needed to accomplish. What we want out of our move back to California. The best laid plans.

Having moved as often as I have, one would think it should be easy. I get sentimental about places I've lived. I remember them all. As I sit here saying good bye to this place I think about the next one. While I'm here, Precious will find our next home. She and Mr. Man will live there for months before I move in. I find moving an exciting time, but it also makes me sad. An end to a chapter, the start of another.

In the morning we will finish loading, cleaning and getting our selves ready. We will drive to Portland to drop off my car at the airport. My ride home when I return. Spend the night drinking champagne in a motel room. Tuesday morning we will leave for San Diego.

Mr. Man is fascinated with the truck. He wants to spend every minute in it, on it or under it. Helping, of course. With each pause or break to rest between loads we were politely asked to return to work so he could return to the truck. Such a slave driver.


On a side note. Here are the two still lifes I mentioned last week. 10 x 10 inches each, oil on canvas. Finally finished and dry. They will be going to the EVO cooking school in Cannon Beach as soon as I return.

13 May 2008

Ready Or Not...

The house is packed. Pretty much. A few odds and ends left. The yard sale cleared out a huge chunk of our past. Thank goodness. You dig through boxes and find things that you haven't seen for months or years and wonder why on earth you have kept this trinket and drug it all over the planet, and at the same time you have a pang of, guilt, for lack of a better word, when you put in the 'for sale' pile. What the hell is that about? If it meant anything to me I would have had it out, or at least remembered where it came from or why I still have it. Guilt be damned, be gone knick knack.

Cleansing is a good thing. So is the stack of cash and knowledge that those unremembered knick knacks will be collecting dust on someone's shelves that are not ours.

My mind is everywhere, and no where. I have moved everything that I will need for the summer. I painted for the first time since mid March. Two still lifes for a local cooking school.
An apple and a pear. Single pieces of fruit, solitary and alone. Coincidence or self abuse? Neither, I want the cash. The months will only drag if I let them. A plane can have me by their sides in less than four hours, and it will, about every three weeks. Southwest frequent flyer program (and hours with Dr. Bob) here I come.

07 May 2008

Price vs Cost...

I'm arguing with myself about what I need to accomplish this coming summer. As my seven readers know, Precious and Mr. Man will be moving to San Diego in a mere 13 days. I will not be going with them. I will be staying in the northwest for three to six months trying to salvage what I can from our sinking ship we call an art gallery.

This will be the first time we have been apart. I have been trying to prepare myself for what awaits me. Trying to dislodge the the horror in my mind of things that might happen. Why do our minds go to these terrible places?

Those thoughts I can shake. The ones that stick in my mind are the things I will miss. What's funny is that, it's things I would not have thought about years ago. The parent in me. As much as I love Precious, and as much as I will miss her being with me, she isn't going to be a different person when I finally join them. She will still be the person she was. Maybe a little bit tanner, But the same.

Mr Man. on the other hand, changes everyday. Everyday he learns new words and how to use them. His attitude grows and changes. His body will grow and change. He will learn to do things from other people. Sure they're my family, but they're not me.

Almost every morning when he wakes, he calls out for Daddy. I love that. My favorite thing is our triple kiss. Cheek, Cheek, Lips. What if he gets over that while I'm gone? There are dozens of things like this that I fear he may out grow or get over while I'm here, away from them. Five months is a life time to a four year old. What else am I going to miss? What am I going to miss it for?

Will it be possible for me to make enough over the summer to make up for the things I'm giving up? Is five months away from my family worth any amount that I may make? I can't buy those things back.

When I think about my earliest memories, I can't remember very much before four years. From four to five is when things started to stick. Will Mr. Man's first lasting memories of me, be the summer we spent apart?

03 May 2008

Spring Unveiling Art Festival...

Welcome to the gallery. Lets take a little tour of our show.









It's back. May 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Spring Unveiling.
It's the only thing keeping me from being at Tequilacon. Ok, one of the only things.

Every spring Cannon Beach has the first of our two art festivals. Three days of art shows, gallery receptions, unveilings, wine drinking, food eating and art snobbery.

15 galleries that belong to the gallery group as well as several other galleries that take advantage of the things the group does with out paying for any of it, comprise the weekend festivities. You can find them all at; www.cbgallerygroup.com

Friday night was rather slow. Not many people in town this year. Saturday needs to be much better. I guess that's today. Of course it's raining and cold. The weather report says it's going to be warm and only partly cloudy. Maybe they should step outside before they read their report.

To all of you in Philly, have a great time, wish I was there. Now let us all think warm fuzzy thoughts of people buying art. Ready...Set...Fuzzy!