Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friends, Feasts and Fairies

That's me...

a true nature fairy....

striking a pose in my tubby... I was about 2....

notice the resemblance to the 'oil of olay' lady??

This picture was created last night...amid laughs, cranberry cocktails - good lordy... who knew homemade cranberry vodka was so pretty!!?!... food of EVERY kind... and enough paper, paint, modpodge and embelishments to stock a small store!

The ya-ya's and I decided that we needed to get 'crafty'. R's contribution included homemade cranberry vodka that looked like a liquid jewel...the prettiest cranberry red in the cutest Wal-mart jug! One sip of her concoction and we were singing 'It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas'. N's beautiful spinach salad competed with her Champagne pate for star title... hard call there. Apparently, my rustic pumpkin sausage ravioli earned the nod for my part... we produced a feast!

Evening's respite was creative bliss! N made a beautiful lavendar tray filled with photos of family and friends. She was like a windmill - arms a'flyin' as she cut, glued, trimed, modge-podged and trinketed up her 'Best Friends' tray... absolutely beautiful and amazing!!

R was our little 'ma nature' with her tray... papers made of the most amazing pairings... fabric enbedded into layers... grasses 'growing' in course pulp... and the most amazing to me... skin-thin slivers of cross-cut branches peeking through a silvery-lavendar paper. Her tray metomorphed into a candle tray, with the center stage being surrounded by 'leathery' autumn leaves from a fall napkin, golden words of wisdom laid on forrest green and combinations of textures and fibers that were so intriguing to gaze at!

How awesome it was to watch these two transform their blank 'canvases' into treasures!

As for me, I worked on a project in progress... a wooden box from Ikea that has no rhyme nor reason...other than whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Last night it was one of my favorite photos of me ...taken by my mom. I remember when she took it. It begged to be turned into a 'nature fairy', of sorts. So out came the supplies and this is the result... a little spot on the top of the box bearing 'nature girlie'... complete with micro-glass beads on wings of vellum leaves and her hair adorned with a 'God sparkle'... a little rhinestone found on the pew one morning at church.... whimsy and fun are hard for me to incorporate into my art... I am WAAAY too serious when I create. So this was a stretch, and it was fine!

Very late into the evening, all goods and goodies were packed up. As N and R loaded up the beloved Jeep, it looked like a week-long trip to the cabin was the focus. But no, it was simply the necessary components being tucked away and loaded home until the next ya-ya soiree!

I choose joy!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Luck of the Irish is with Me...

How often have you heard someone rave about their boss?

It doesn't seem to happen as often as the 'rag on the boss' tirade happens.


But I'm about to change that.

I was talking with one of my ya-ya's today. It had been a very rough weekend with family issues...the kind that knock the wind out of you. As we talked about all the different facets in my life, we came to my job. Thus the rave about my boss.

You see, my boss amazes me. She has one of the hardest jobs I know of, and one of which I could never, ever do. (I am going to refer to her as 'Dr. S'.) Every day, she must create a learning environment for about 900 students - surroundings that support, educate, nuture and empower students from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all situations. Our families absolutely love her and support her to no end! She treats every single child with dignity and friendliness. I can't tell you how many times I have been in her office and a couple of kiddos come by with birthday cupcakes that they want to share with their principal, gifts for the holidays, tokens of their love for her. By the end of the year, Dr. S. has had lunch with every student! She knows them by name, remembers their name long after they have moved on through life to have children of their own and she always remembers anecdotes about them. They TRULY think of her as their princiPAL... what a joyful memory they will carry forever of their school days!

But that's not all that she does....

Every day, she must create a working environment for about 75 staff members - surroundings that support, educate, nurture and empower her staff. This is not as easy as it may seem. Personalities, communication, regulations... these can all make a smooth running wheel hit a rough cog now and then. But, even those cogs get worked out, and the wheel continues humming along its way. Trust me, I've been on the cog that got clogged, and even in the worse of times, it always worked out. Because... of my boss. That's the type of enviorment she works for, strives for, supports and encourages. And despite all of the new 'rules' coming down in my field, she vehemently stands for creating a world that allows me to do my job the way I know how to do best... Trust me when I say that is not the norm in my profession. But it is with my boss, and God bless her for staying true to her vision.

But I can't stop here.

For, Dr. S. has blessed my life in more ways than she would ever know. Fate has lead me down an interesting path these past few years. Along this path though, has been Dr. S. Her unwaivering support for me and my family has been true, strong and unyeilding. Many has been the time when she took me out, had me over to her home, indulged me with time spent with her wonderful family. Every time I drove home from spending time with her, I always gave thanks for her, for her daughter, her son, her grandson, her aunt, her sister, her cousins, her nieces and nephews, her dogs and her cats.... and a precious time with her mother... truly.... truly.... truly....

I have learned so much from her in so many aspects...I could go on and on about how this woman has been such a guiding presence in my life... as my friend, as my boss, as my mentor.... she is so many things to me.

So it is with gratitude beyond measure, and the biggest bearhug that I can muster (she is such a 'hugger'!), that I give a heart-felt 'shout-out' to Dr. S. This world, truly, is a better place because of her and I thank her for all that she is to me. God bless you, S.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your field,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.