Musings of a Teacher On Delay

I wrote that title without thinking much about it. Really it was simple, I am on a two-hour delay (thanks for the craziness that is this year’s weather), I felt like sharing some random thoughts, *boom* there is your title. Only after it was placed there on the title line did it occur to me that it could represent something more telling, especially given what has inspired my morning thought process.
As usual, I’ve been flipping around Facebook, seeing all the pictures of friends engaged, friends married, and children here or on their way. Around the Newsfeed, I saw an article shared regarding being the mother of boys. A little nugget, long lodged in my head, shook loose and it flashed by “I think I’d like to be a mother to a boy.” That led to me thinking about motherhood and whether or not that is something I would like to be: someone’s Mom. More

Granny at Hardy’s House

It’s amazing what a fairly decent night’s sleep and Birthday Pancakes can do for one’s motivation. Tack on some amazingly warm February days, and you have the makings of a multiple blog post Sunday!


This used to be our ballfield


Classic Rock Thoughts

‘A love struck Romeo…”

This has been the first real winter some of the kiddos have ever had.  Snow falls in large, fluffy, flakes, covering the ground with the promise of adventure.

I am inside cleaning, fighting an internal battle between what makes sense (finishing projects, including laundry) and the absurd (running outside with a camera or driving out into the mess just to do it).  Through the cable box, the classic rock station plays.  Songs that I skip on my iPod because of the memories they encapsulate are allowed the freedom to be heard.  Why don’t I delete them from the playlists?  Well, it’s not like I dislike the song.  Its the memory that becomes the problem.

“Play your love songs all night long for me…”

It’s a haze of white outside.  The pull is stronger now.  I would love to call my friends and see who else wants to be ridiculous.  The voice in the back of my mind, the worried looks from loved ones, stops me.  You dislocate one kneecap….you almost dehydrate and have to be put in the hospital…. you are involved in a car accident….when you live too far for those loved ones to help, and their fear seeps into your thought process.  It’s not just their fear though.  It’s also the fear of the pain you felt, the worry of the possible result that you so narrowly missed, that keeps you in as you get older.

I just couldn’t bear providing any more pain to them. 

Still, you have to take a risk sometimes.  It gets to a point where the itch is too strong and a reaction is needed.  Newton had it down pat – you can only pull back for so long before it has to flip the other way.

The nice thing is, if you are lucky (and I am lucky) you have the support system that just wants you to be. 

“Gimme three steps…”

Here I am, being me….now, where are my boots?

Just….Just Let Me Wallow For 5 Minutes

I hate feeling like such a drag.  It’s not like I’m not used to being a third wheel, or the single friend to a group of couples.  They are my friends!  I love being around them and sharing jokes and good times.  Doesn’t make you any less the odd man out.  Last night was a blast!  Rang in the NewYyear with great people, saw a fantastic – impromptu – firework show, talked to a friend about life and Doctor Who, had dinner with my uncle/best friend (yeah, he’s my best friend – what of it?!) – what more could I possibly ask for?!


It’s Thanksgiving… Why Not?!

Lately my posts, both published and still in draft form, have dealt with some topics that I feel are pretty frustrating.  By attempting to find some self-realization or come up with a solution, I have dropped into some of the darker aspects of my personality.  While I enthusiastically assure you that I am, in fact, a happy person, I have a tendency to get a tiny bit negative.  It doesn’t last for long, but it happens – especially when I’m overwhelmed/frightened/worried/etc.
Now, let’s get to the point here.  It is, indeed, the Thanksgiving holiday and it is, by far, my favorite holiday.  Growing up – and to this day – I am very aware of how fortunate I am to have the life I do.  If I get too deep into thought about it, pondering how each decision has led to this very moment, it can be a bit overwhelming.  I’m glad to say I try to remember that thankfulness each day and show that thankfullness through my actions towards others.  Doesn’t mean I don’t slip up, and, oh, how I slip up, but Thor I try.
So, on this holiday, on this forum, I would like to share what I am thankful for in this year – and always! More

Timey Wimey Cross-Stitch

ART – it still happens for me….PROMISE!

I have had a hard time completing personal projects as of late.  Drawings, paintings, prints – I just can’t get my head around them.  I have a few things on the burner that I want to get finished, but I just can’t find the heart to do it.  Maybe it has something to do with my own restlessness in life.  Job security is not a luxury I have (first year teacher in a new district) and I’m just everywhere mentally (lesson plans, house work, house improvements, adulthood slapping me in the face repeatedly, you know…the normal).  My friends have tried to get me to knit or crochet – which I enjoy doing – but I don’t practice like I should if I want to get better.  Then it hit me: embroidery! More

Let’s just say I’m on a roll

It is a little strange for me to go from 0 output to, what, four posts in two days?  Well, three new posts, one update, but that’s neither here nor there.

This is another short post – similar to my bro’s ticket display painting (which, Bobby, if you are reading this, I need to know the size of the ticket).  The painting I’m working on (again) is for my other brother, Ramin.  Yes, you could say Ramin is my “brother from another mother”…and father…but I claim him, and love him, and that’s all that matters.  To get really in-depth, we could say that the brother that I claim as a brother is my brother – but that might be taking this discussion too far away from the point (in fact, yes, I did go too far).

Handsome fella!

Ramin spent Christmas with us this past year and it was a glorious time.  Finally, after several years I could finally give him the Harry Potter painting I had been meaning to send.  It made my day to see that he actually liked it.  He liked it so much, in fact, that he asked me to work on a painting for his new music room!  The subject matter he wanted was Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Like SRV, Ramin is a gifted musician and I really don’t want to let him down.  What I’m posting this evening is the painted start to his painting which I hope he’ll like.

For this piece, I didn’t just want to copy an image of SRV, but rather what I think of when I hear his music.  To go a step beyond, I want to incorporate what I think about Ramin’s music, and all the music that has been played together at my parent’s house.  My dad, for those of you not in the “know,” is pretty much the Pied Piper of rock in our community in the sense that all kids who like music, come to our house and leave loving it.  Yeah, he’s not the Pied Piper in the tragic sense – try to keep it positive kids!

Well….here’s my work so far:


Just the start...but I think it's a good one

UPDATE:  New Images, Closer to COMPLETE!

Full canvas

Detail of guitar










SRV detail

field detail

A Week Into p90x and The Phantom Menace Comes Out in 3-D?!

Don't underestimate the power of the 3-D

Okay, I know it’s not a coincidence that the end of my first week of p90x is on the same day Star Wars in 3-D hits the movie theaters.  Being the avid fan of the Star Wars Saga, I was aware that today was the day that the 3-D releases of the films began with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.  As I write, I am lounging post workout (and shower) in my Star Wars pajama pants watching the theatrical version of A New Hope on DVD.  You get the picture, I’m a Star Wars fanatic!  You’ve seen my art, that’s not a total surprise.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the Star Wars films in 3-D.  There is a part of me that wants to see them on the big screen – just for the parts I like in the case of the prequels and special editions.  Then there is the other side of me that says, “Staci, you have all the films.  You watch them pretty regularly.  Do you really need to see them in 3-D – even the ones that you don’t like that well?!”  Well….yeah.  I’m not running out the first day they are at the theater, but I’d like to see them.  A bad Star Wars film is better than a crappy regular film (Attack of the Clones…maybe not).  I can over look the bad dialogue and sometimes slow story development (pod race anyone?) to see Darth Maul vs Qui Gon and Obi Wan.  Besides, I’m a little curious to see how the 3-D was added to the films.

Duel of the Fates

Now, back to my first week of p90x.  It has been pretty great actually.  Very difficult and more often than I like I fall a bit short of the rep goal, but hey “Do your best, forget the rest!”  I have also given up on carbonated drinks.  Yes, the Diet Dew that I have truly enjoyed for the last 12 years of my life is no longer my go to drink.  Water and flavor packets have become my drinks of choice.  Occasionally I’ll have soda (when I’m out to dinner with friends), but other than that, no more fizzy bubbles for me.

Speaking of friends – I should thank my friends for their support in my new me endeavor.  Doug, John, Jinny, Sara, Dez, Tom, Michelle – and a whole slew of others! – could not have been more inspiring and helpful.  I’m not always the easiest to support with the pessimistic attitude I at times adopt, but they have been super helpful and, hey, it’s paying off.  I was asked today if I had lost weight!  I don’t really think I have, but I do feel more toned and better to face my days.  Here’s looking forward to the next week and what that brings.

Good night all – and may the Force be with you…always.

The Last Great Game…..A Review

I think it would be safe to say that out of the three Errant Easel members, I am probably the biggest University of Kentucky basketball fan – if not the biggest than I am definitely the oldest.

Please accept my following small review with a large flashback and insight into my family’s love of Big Blue for what it is – my best attempt to write about something surprisingly emotional.

Let me take you back….

March 28. 1992 – I had been 11 for a whopping 1 month and 10 days.  Kentucky was playing Duke for a chance to go to the Final Four.  The television was against the wall in the living room of our log house.  We were actually watching the game in the living room as opposed to the T.V. room which could only mean one thing: this game was HUGE!  I would be lying to you if I said “I can remember the whole game.”  I can’t.  I do remember jumping from a small chair, recently reupholstered and busted at the base, to the floor in front of the television and the brown brace holding our roof up.  I remember we, UK and the faithful following them, were ahead and all we had to do was hold them…just please hold them…there is only two seconds we have this!   More

A little Story About My Grandmother Holland

*DISCLAIMER* I normally don’t like to get too personal, and especially on Errant Easel, but this has to do with one of my favorite forms of art, and sometimes good art comes from the pains (and the crap) they have to take from “critics”…and I’m so good at telling too much, so why not!

So, let me start off by saying, I love photography, but when I decided to take pictures of people…that is a challenge!  I am great at getting candid pictures, and even better at more of the fine art material….but taking pictures of people on command….it’s tough, and with every client is a new learning experience, and I hope I never stop learning!  That being said….taking pictures of people is tough, and I would go into all of my bad experiences….but I will just focus on this one for this post!

So, My father’s mother is a beautiful black woman of 68, she don’t let anyone tell her what’s what, and she is a rattle snake! Unfortunately, she is not capable of giving a complement or appreciating anything!  Oh yeah….she’s that grandma…been giving me low self esteem circa 1987 (when I was born for anyone keeping up at home!) Needless to say, I avoided her for years, she’s a doting grandmother when it comes to my cousin…but not for me, I don’t know what happened there…but I was an adorable child! How on Earth you could not like me…is beyond me! Hey, it aint wrong if it’s the truth!

So anyways, recently, I have been trying to go see my grandparents more often, and she’s not so mean anymore…they get softer with age I guess.  And even though me and my grandmother don’t see eye to eye, I still think she is beautiful, and although I won’t tell her this, there’s a lot of pride that comes with telling people Dorothy Holland is my grandmother! (the Hollands are kind of a big deal among the community in the area I grew up) Even if a lot of people think I am adopted or don’t even know I exist!…Moving on.  On Mother’s day, I told everyone, look nice! I am taking pictures!  For my grandmother, this is never a hard task, growing up she always had perfect makeup, always had her hair did, nails did, and her clothes were always of the best brands…and even though she doesn’t go through the same painstaking activities she used to, she’s still beautiful! Being mixed with black and Indian has it’s perks!  So, I took lots of beautiful pictures of my mother, and of my parents, and of my grandparents….oh and of course of my beautiful niece who LOVES the camera! (she’s my favorite model)…

So, now you have a back story, moving on to the future! I gave her one of the pictures I took of her and my grandpa together for their anniversary…and yesterday a message was relayed to me from my Daddio….she said and I quote “tell her I am still mad at her for giving me that ugly picture of me”.  So, as always, the way she feels about herself is more important than what her granddaughter will feel when hearing something like this…a stab in the heart.

But, don’t feel sorry for me…I realize that I am stronger now for the struggles with my grandmother…and…well….the struggles with the rest of my dad’s family…and I inherited that rattle snake quality…and I still think it’s a lovely picture, and for my first official photography post, here is the picture.

P.S. This would piss her off by the way….and I’m glad!

Such a handsome couple

She is a Rattle snake, I swear!