Seeing F*R*I*E*N*D*S And We Were Van Gogh’ed

One of my favorite blog friends Ernie was in the vicinity for spring break and wanted to meet up. I had my assistant look into my schedule and see where I could fit in a little gab-fest; Friday afternoon it was! She and her family had spent the day at Fort Myers beach and it was only an hour for me; naturally we met at an ice cream shop because Vacation calls for Ice Cream. We had a great hour long conversation and could have sat and talked all day, but I had a meter running and I’m partial to NOT being towed. Her daughters are just as bright, sweet and funny as I’d imagined; basically mini versions of their mom.

Ernie is the sixth blog friend I’ve met over the years and so far I’m Zero for Six at meeting a Sociopath who wants to make a skin mask out of me.

WINNING!

Ernie doesn’t show her family faces on her blog, so I need to respect that too. I know I’ve professed before that I have zero artistic abilities, so now you can see I was clearly lying telling the truth.

They DID see a dolphin & they DID have ice cream (those aren’t shanks in their hands)Clearly, I am the shortest one there, per usual.

Van Gogh And My Little Artists

The girls and I had a ‘play date’ on Saturday that involved an hour and forty minute drive for me with two stops along the way to pick up my children on the side of the highway. Wait., that doesn’t sound safe. We met at a place near the highway, which is funny since I recall a few times I wanted to leave them somewhere along the highway. Or maybe just a small country road? I don’t sugarcoat that there were challenging times while raising teenagers.

The good news is we got through it and I love spending time with them. I purchased tickets to Van Gogh-The Immersive Experience for the three of us. We had reservations for a lovely lunch first and then we high-tailed it to the event since you have a timed entry and lunch margaritas took longer than expected.

(FYI, while looking for the link I saw that there are two different versions of this around the world, we didn’t have the virtual reality experience that they show on the other site and now I’m so mad I could cut off my ear)

I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but it was a really cool experience. The first 15 minutes you walk through an area where you read the timeline of Van Gogh’s life. He was a ‘complicated’ man who at first thought about being a preacher before going into the art world. He was SO very hard on himself. The girls and I agreed that if he realized in 130 years people would be seeing his work, he would have really lost his marbles. Although that happened anyway which is very sad.

Then you plop yourself into the huge room with canvases all around that morph from one painting to another.

I felt like I died and went to heaven when the entire room was sunflowers; I didn’t even take a pic of that part as I was mesmerized.

It was so cool to see the progression of all his work. Well, I’m not such a fan of all the paintings he did of himself with his ear/head bandaged; that made me sad. He really struggled with mental illness. Did you know he did some of his most renowned work while in an asylum? (there’s hope for me yet!)

Here are some unknown facts about Vincent if you are interested. (theories that he might NOT have cut off his own ear or even taken his own life)

I Have My Own Art Gallery

While we were enjoying the exhibit I was reminded that I also have artists; this is a gallery wall in our back hallway of paintings the girls did in elementary school. A little Vincent (Starry Night) and Georgia O’Keeffe, plus more pretties.

I’m gonna keep this artwork up until I have some NEW little budding artists one day.

Does anyone collect art? Does your art look as special as mine? I’m talking about my kids art, not MY special art.

XOXO

21 Things That Didn’t Bite in 2021

My blog friend Mark wrote an end of the year post about what was GOOD in 2021. I’ve never wrapped up my year before, but he has inspired me to do so. Plus, I love making lists.

If I were more with it today, the list would be in a better order. I’ll share with you next week how 2022 is starting. Spoiler alert, it’s not that freaking awesome*. (but it will be)

So in no particular order, my good list from that weird year….that second weird year.

  1. LILLIE. Adopting her started our 2021 on a positive note; we adore her!
  2. We had a lovely trip to California where I honed in on my Bee Keeping and learned mastered about Birds Of Prey.
  3. Business is amazing! There is more work that we can keep up with. Although we couldn’t host our much loved company party again this year, the Coach doled out large bonuses and who doesn’t love money?
  4. We enjoyed many visits to our GA house.
  5. Butterflies!
  6. Pool renovation, back of the house/craft room renovation/new deck outdoor area in GA. We don’t shy away from a project.
  7. Healthy family. After I started this list, Linds contracted Covid and was miserable for a few days; she is better now. *I will share more next week.
  8. My Aunt and Uncle found and purchased a home in GA 8 minutes from our house. On that note, we’ve spent more time with them in the past two years than we ever did and that makes me so happy. I know it also makes my Mom happy; I’m assuming she’s reading my blog or attempting to haunt us if she doesn’t have wifi.
  9. We celebrated 30 years of (mostly) marital bliss. The Coach hasn’t wisened up and for that I’m grateful.
  10. My Cuz Patrick was able to spend a week with the Coach and I in GA; and we experienced what the experts called The Brood X Cicada invasion. But I’m still not convinced it wasn’t an alien invasion.
  11. We convinced Lindsay to join the family business and she is doing an amazing job, plus, she’s in a much better mental state than the years prior and THAT is something to be thankful for.
  12. We had an amazing July Fourth week spent with friends.
  13. I’ve been more consistent with my blogging and in turn, you’ve been visiting more often and leaving me sweet notes. I LIVE FOR YOUR COMMENTS. Some of the more fun blog topics this past year had to do with bananas and the coveted box of baby teeth . I can’t believe I’ve not been discovered yet.
  14. We hosted a small and fun surprise Co-Ed Shower for Lolo and Nathan.
  15. The WEDDING!
  16. I have a son and didn’t gain more stretch marks.
  17. Callie has made it another year. In February of 2020, the Vet said she had 2 weeks to 2 months.
  18. I turned 54 this year. I know, for most people that isn’t a big deal, but for me it is. Some people dread getting older, but it is a privilege that not everyone is given and I’m here for it.
  19. We were able to see Live Music again while in California.
  20. I was able to have more phone calls/text messages with fiends this past year because we all had a little bit more time.
  21. No hurricanes in our neck of the woods.

In the midst of all the crap, life is still beautiful.

Share with me ONE thing that was good in your 2021.

XOXO

Your friend Suz

After All, It’s A Small World

Last weekend the Coach and I, along with our friend Stacy and one of her lifetime friends went to see a (smallish) country concert. Our friend Ben Allen was opening up the show, then, Runaway June (loved them!) Cole Swindell (awesome!) and Thomas Rhett (fabulous!)

It was so much fun to see live music again and of course to see my friend Stacy enjoying herself, even for a few hours since losing her husband in July.

I got a message from Lolo while we were there: “A woman named Claudia said to tell you hi?! She recognized me while I was directing traffic.

My BRAIN:

Why are YOU directing traffic? That sounds dangerous, I swear I told both girls to stay out of traffic and here you are….

Also, I thought she was off this weekend? I’d spoke to her early that morning and she told me she was off this weekend, but she had made the 45 minute trek to her work area early that morning to volunteer for Shop With A Cop, which she absolutely loved.

She further explained that she signed up to help direct traffic for the annual Christmas boat parade; this was a paying $$ gig.

I only know one Claudia, and guess how I met her?

BLOGGING.

**Cue the annoying tune that makes you want to catch the next space shuttle off this planet to a place where they don’t allow that specific tune to be played**

My ONE Claudia lives in the Tampa area, two and half hours north of me.

A minute after Lolo’s text I got a FB message from Claudia:

What are the chances?

I’ve actually met Claudia in person several years ago for lunch when she was in our ‘hood. Prior to that she tried to help me with a feral cat situation {Sasha Fierce} in 2012, but it was not meant to be at that time.

I love that she referred to seeing my Shining Daughter as a Star Sighting!

Have you run into any *Stars* recently?

XOXO Your friend Suz, Mother Of All the stars.