Rainy days

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are well. We are having a cold, rainy day here. My least favorite weather. The upside to a rainy day is that I can’t get outside to work and can escape into my attic studio.

My current projects include trying to finish some unfinished paintings and work on this website. DH pointed out the other day that I don’t have any of my commissioned work on here. Over the years I have had little time to pursue shows or galleries because it has been hard to build a body of work to use. I have been able to consistently take commissions though. They have been my bread & butter artwork.

It is still a work in progress, but if you look under the MENU tab above you will see my Commissions page now. These are samples of work I have done in the past few years. Somewhere I have more photos of more work, but they seem to be MIA. Does anyone else need a better system of filing your photos? If you have a good system, PLEASE tell me how.

I have a table full of unfinshed work and some canvases I’m getting ready to start on. It has been an absolute pleasure to finally have some consistent time (did I mention that our niece got her license so my taxi business has retired) to paint. My minimum daily time is about 2 hours most days. Today I have been holed up here for almost 4 hours. Other than a lack of heat up here, it has been wonderful.

Trying to improve my website has proven just how scattered and fragmented my art time has been over the years. I have reference photos everywhere – digital and hard copy, photos of finished work stuck in weird places and finished work in equally weird spots. Finally I have one place for all my supplies, files, work, etc. Slowly I am cleaning out dried up paint, art that should be burned, craft supplies I will never use again and crazy stuff I wonder why I kept. Now if I can just get my studio construction finished, it might not be as cold and would certainly look better!

Well, folks I need to wrap this up, go thaw out my feet and put some soup on for dinner. In case I haven’t mentioned it recently, I am on Instagram and Facebook under Bloomtown Studio. Usually I post the same stuff in both places so just pick one to visit. Also, check back here when you can. I am determined to get my act together (stop laughing, it could happen) and get this website in better shape.

Have a wonderful week!!

Christel

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Getting back to it

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are well. Today is Election Day in the U.S. DH and I went out early this morning to vote. I’m old school and prefer to vote on Election Day instead of early voting. I always think of my Dad during elections. One of his favorite things was helping at the polls and he did it for as long as he could. When I went to vote for the first time at the age of 18, he almost followed me into the voting booth while he was instructing me on how to vote. You would have to have known my Dad and his side of the family. They loved to argue politics and they did it loudly at every family gathering. Guess what. They never got mad at opposing views and never stopped being a family. I always told my kids that they should appreciate the peaceful transfer of power in our country. My prayer today is that this country continues to uphold that process and that families don’t stop being a family over politics.

Moving on to artsy things and to start catching you up on our current crazy…

My studio is still under construction, but I am able to work fairly comfortably in here now. With all the other projects that have to be done, we are only working in the studio on rainy Saturdays. We haven’t had many of those in the past few months. While I am working away up here I do have to occasionally move around furniture and storage as we work on baseboards and painting. MOST of the boxes have been unpacked and I have purchased some shelves. I have a color scheme picked out for when I finally get to the pretty stuff, but I have decided that the wood floors need to be painted. They are hardwood, but they have lived a hard life and it’s not worth the time and money to try and refinish them. I also need more light up here and think a glossy white paint should reflect what light I have around more. Do I even need to mention that oil and acrylic paint has a strange way of escaping a paint brush and throwing itself around everywhere? White gloss paint covers a lot of ugly and messes.

The main photo above is a current work in progress. Lately I have been slightly obsessed with clouds or things that make me look up and have many photos for reference. I’m working small right now just to get back in the swing of oil painting. Maybe I’m the only one, but switching between acrylic paint and oils requires a major flip in my process.

Our niece got her license back during the summer and though that is a double edged sword for a parent, it has finally given me a little more time back in my life and my goal is to get in a minimum of 2 hours studio time each day. That does not seem like much, but when it has been more like 2 hours a week or even a MONTH, it’s a huge improvement. My attitude about life reflects the change. I am so much better mentally when I get my art time in. Hopefully I will have some art work finished by the end of the year and can update my website and add a little store onto it. Life goals.

You all have a great week, stay safe (it’s crazy out there) and do something creative.

Christel

Anyone still out there?

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I have been MIA for a very long time. There are several reasons for my absence. Primarily it has been an extended creative block. I have been doing some artwork, but was struggling to get into it. I decided to pull out the sewing machine and start making myself some much needed clothes. Maybe something about switching up my focus started getting the creative juices flowing again. I think it may take a different turn, but I will start sharing what’s happening and give an update on my studio construction (hint: it’s not done yet).

I have closed my Etsy shop. Maybe I will explain that decision later. Many folks have been disgruntled with Etsy and I was one of them. I am looking into just adding a shop here on my website if I can afford it. I am also considering starting a newsletter. It would only be sent out when I have a major update or important information. If you would like to be added to the newsletter email list please email me at bloomtownstudio@gmail.com and tell me you would like to be added.

That’s my update for today. The handsome pup is a recent commission that I finished.

Have a great week and I should be back posting soon.

Christel

Cats and S.A.D.

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all are well and that if you are getting a snow dump this weekend you are ready. I don’t think we are getting too much this time hopefully. This is going to be a quick check in today. The TO DO list is long.

It has been too cold to accomplish much in the studio even with two heaters running. I do have a drawing in the works and am working on the admin stuff from the living room right now. Next week is looking like better temperatures. I need some serious time upstairs. Winter is getting to me.

Things around the farm haven’t been too bad lately. We had one horse jump the fence on Tuesday morning. You are enjoying that first cup of coffee, watching the sunrise and realize that there is a traffic jam on the road in front of you. Then you get that bad feeling that the traffic jam might be caused by someone who belongs to you. Sure enough, it was our long legged, DARK horse, Cinder, on the loose. He was lucky that someone saw him in time to stop. Later in the day I found the spot on the fence that he either squeezed through or jumped over. The tuft of black tail or mane stuck on the fence might have given it away. That and the hoof prints on the other side! You can’t imagine how many times in a week that I shake my head wondering what these four legged fools were thinking when they got into trouble.

We have also had an influx of stray cats. Normally we have one at a time, but now we suddenly have THREE. One big ‘ole white tom cat with one of the largest heads I have ever seen on a cat. One tuxedo cat that has been around for awhile and I suspect shares DNA with our Sweetie Pie. One young orange tabby that showed up this week. Most of the time we are pretty tolerant of strays and will give them a meal if they look too thin. This time having so many along with our cat is becoming an issue. Sweetie Pie is a small (but mighty) feline and she has been fixed. Jughead (DH named the big, white tom) has not been to the vet and could also be named Scarface. The tuxedo cat and the young tabby we have not been able to verify their kitten making status.

All I know is that there are too many cat fights going on. Sweetie Pie got chased into a tree and I had to rescue her the other night. Over the years I have taken more than one cat to the vet with abcessed puncture wounds and do not want to do it again. We also do not want to find a litter of kittens in the hay bales. We had hoped the puppy would at least scare them off. Not hurt them, but make hanging out not so fun. Nope, Phoenix likes cats. The cats know this. So much for that theory. So, we are now trying to decide how the handle the feline population. Shaking my head again.

This week the Seasonal Affective Disorder began to settle in. I’ve done better this year. Normally it moves in right after the holidays. I think puppy therapy has helped. Phoenix will drive me crazy with the puppiness, but she keeps me too busy to think about the gloom and doom. I am seriously fighting the urge to stay in bed, shave my head (I don’t understand the hair thing, but I have now heard that other people also want to do drastic things to their hair during the winter), and eat biscuits and gravy all day. You would think after almost 60 years of this stuff I would have figured out a treatment or two. But no and I dread it every year. If any of you have suggestions please pass them along. I keep as much light in the house as possible, try to get outside for sunlight when I can stand the cold, eat pretty well, but still it affects me.

That’s about it for now. There is lots of gloom and doom out there in the world and most of it’s not winter related right now. Try to have some fun and look after yourself. I will do the same.

Faith, Hope, Love, PEACE

Christel

Photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash

The joys of winter

Hi Everyone!

Hello to the new readers. Welcome. How is everyone doing? In my part of the world winter has arrived in force. We were snowed in over the weekend and expecting more snow and ice tonight. Hopefully not much this time. I am very tired of slipping and sliding my way to the goat shed every morning.

Our temps are not supposed to reach above freezing all day. Yuck. The wood stove is working hard! Even both of my kids who live at different parts of the East Coast are expecting significate icing tonight. One is having to spend the night at the hospital where she works and I’m sure my firefighter son will be busy with wrecks and possibly space heater fires.

I have been trying my best to use my winter confinement wisely. We won’t discuss the cookie baking and biscuits and gravy that have been happening! I finished the blouse I had started last week. The original plan was for long sleeves, but I did not have enough fabric so it became a summer blouse. I am happy with the pattern (the fabric was a beast and I will avoid such slipperness in the future) and am planning a dress in the future from it. If anyone is interested, it is the Rhapsody Blouse & Dress from Love Notions pattern company.

I am still working on DH’s sweater and am playing a serious game of yarn chicken. There are going to be some creative sleeves on this baby if the beige yarn runs out too early. Sewing and knitting have their share of drama! I am using the Flax pattern from Tin Can Knits, but not doing the garter panel on the sleeves.

For a long time I have been wanting to learn stranded colorwork, but have been intimidated. I have enough trouble controlling one ball of yarn much less multiple. But the time has come. I am joining a Knit Along in February to see if I can master it. I have visions of Fair Isle sweaters in my closet, but I’m starting with a hat. I will let you know how it goes.

Artwork is limited because it’s just too darn cold in my attic studio. I am still slowly working on a drawing. If I get this post done soon enough I am going to work on it today. The puppy is down for her nap and I have a heck of a time accomplishing any detailed projects when she is awake. We see glimmers of hope that she will eventually become a big, squishy puddle of pit bull lazy in the future, but we aren’t gonna be there for months yet. She is losing her baby teeth and that has been exciting. I haven’t had a puncture wound for almost a week now!

That’s about it from the frozen wasteland of North Carolina. We won’t discuss the mud levels either when the ground thaws. Double yuck.

Stay safe and warm out there!

Faith, Hope, Love and Peace,

Christel

Makers gotta make

Hi Everyone!

I am trying to sneak this post in quietly while the puppy is sleeping. Honestly it is just like having a two year old running around again. I can’t take my eyes off of her while she is awake because she will get into something and I try to cram all my work into her two hour morning nap. It’s exhausting.

So 2022 is here and I am juggling lots of things at once. How is your January going? Things are supposed to slow down in the winter, but I really don’t think that ever happens in my life. I am trying to do more cozy activities. The Scandinavians know how to do winter so I am embracing as many of their traditions as possible to get to Spring without diving into my usual Winter depression. Currently three pairs of socks on my feet, wood stove going, candles at night, more books to read and forcing myself out into the cold for some walks.

We are still working on the studio, but I now have three tables up there full of creative endeavors. Yours truly is spending at least an hour a day in her UNHEATED studio. I have one space heater and will probably move another up there soon. Yesterday I had my three pairs of socks on, a hat, fingerless gloves and three layers of clothing while just happily working away on three different projects. When it’s your thing you just do it!

The 2022 plan is to revamp my pitiful Etsy shop and hopefully my website. I am thinking in April I will have a one or two day sale of original paintings and drawings. I am also trying to post current work on Instagram and my Facebook page a few times a week (search for Bloomtown Studio both places) so you can see what I am actually doing in my attic hideaway. Currently I have two drawings in the works and a couple of unfinished paintings I need to get to. With it being so cold I don’t think the paint works as well as it should so I have been concentrating on my drawings. Here is a video of the beginning of one. Yes, to many people this probably seems pretty boring, but I’m processing what I want to do with this piece and pondering life.

I am also working on a knitted sweater for DH and sewing myself some much needed clothes. Yes, I know there are stores that have these things. First, I extremely dislike shopping (hate seems too harsh). Second, I “inherited” boxes and boxes of both yarn and fabric from DH’s Mom and Grandmother. Both ladies were talented makers and left behind very nice fabric and yarn. I kinda feel like it should be used and not wasted. Grandbabies have been getting blankets, DN is learning to crochet with some of it and I am using all of it that I can. There are also several quilt tops and quilt pieces that I am planning to finish.

I suspect many of you that read this crazy blog know exactly what I’m talking about. Makers gotta make. It’s our thing. It’s our sanity. It’s our duty to use our talents. Yes, those folks who don’t have this blessing/curse don’t understand why we will spend hours and hours making something. Something that may or may not be actually good or usable in the end. Something that may not be appreciated when it is received as a gift. I quit worrying about it and you should too. Don’t try to explain it and don’t get your heart hurt when a gift isn’t appreciated. Hopefully they will realize that if you put so much time into something it was given with EXTREME love. We don’t give people these things if we don’t love them! We can go to the mall for a gift for those people.

The grandbabies are wrapped in blankets made by my hands from yarn that belonged to their great-grandmother. DH will get to wear a sweater from yarn that his Mom bought probably hoping to make him one herself (the colors screamed DH). I get to wear clothing I made, that I like (can we admit that some of the styles out there are yucky and the quality is awful) from quality fabric and if it falls apart I can only blame myself. Making things is therapeutic, frustrating and satisfying. What’s not to like? You are going to spend that time doing something. I would rather be making than watching TV and not accomplishing anything.

Gotta get going. The puppy will be waking up soon.

Have a great week!

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace, Peace,

Christel

Hello 2022!

Hi Everyone!

I’m pretty sure some people gave up on me. I have been missing since mid-October so I can’t say I blame them. Life got CRAZY. My last post was on October 21st. Halloween weekend we took off to South Carolina to visit my daughter and her family. Their neighborhood is something to behold on Halloween. We didn’t get to go Trick or Treating with my grandson, but we had a nice visit and took in the ghosts and goblins.

The following weekend we hosted our annual family chicken stew. I pulled it together this year, but not at the level that I have in previous years. Normally I have the weekend before to get the last minute stuff like decorations and games for the kids, but barely got the food this year. For the record, I do not consider myself an Event Planner. I enjoy the people, but not the planning.

Our chicken stew was on Nov. 4th. On November 5th we went and picked up the newest member of the family. Meet Miss Phoenix aka Pheeney. I couldn’t stand it without a dog. It was too quiet in the house and I was getting depressed. I had Dinah, our niece’s dog, but honestly any dog that weighs less than 15 pounds just doesn’t count as a dog in my world. Dinah is also very squeaky and needy. Phoenix is a American Pit Bull (though we do not know what Daddy was) and is probably going to top out somewhere between 60-70 lbs! DH and I just adore her. She is smart, full of personality and very snuggly. If we can survive the puppy stage Phoenix is going to make a great dog. Right now we are in the toddler stage and having to take her out once or twice a night and keep her entertained and out of trouble. We are exhausted!

The following weekend DN was supposed to be gone on a trip so DH and I planned a weekend of fun for us. Then the trip got canceled. Well, she’s old enough to take care of herself for a while now so we packed up the pup and went hiking that Saturday morning. It was a gorgeous day and Phoenix made the 3.5 hike mostly on her own four feet. Saturday night DH and I went to a local theatre and saw the band Sythian. We NEVER get to go out to see live music so this was a huge treat. A much needed evening of fun. If you haven’t heard of them, look them up.

November 19th was the long awaited graduation of my son from the firefighter’s academy. DH and I loaded up the car with the pup and my ex-mother-in-law (we are still good friends) and headed to the coast of North Carolina. DN had the opening night of her theatre class’ production of Frozen Jr. She stayed with my sister and BIL who also got her where she had to be on time and was in the audience for opening night. At the same time we were sitting outside for the graduation freezing body parts off. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but you just don’t think the coast of NC could be that freakin cold.

After a nice celebration dinner we headed back to our Airbnb, got up the next morning and toured the house my son and his girlfriend were closing on three days later. I’m very proud of them. They have made some serious lemonade out of lemons in the past two years.

Back in the car before noon for a 4 hour drive home and settled in the pup, dropped the niece off at the school, a quick dinner and off to see her in the play. By this point we are thinking we are getting too old for this kinda crazy schedule and by the next week our bodies were telling us the same thing. It started out as a head cold that put DH to bed for Thanksgiving. My daughter and family came in, but he didn’t get to enjoy the fellowship. I served him Thanksgiving in bed.

By the first week of December I had the head cold and we were both on our way to bronchitis. Yes, we tested for the CV19 and it was negative. The rest of December we struggled to just do what we had to do. DH worked, slowly. I managed minimum decorations. DN took on most of the Christmas goodies. We got through but I can’t say we were thriving. Let’s just say there are a few Christmas presents that have not been given yet. They may be Valentine’s Day presents!

So, that’s where I have been. We are fairly recovered, but I don’t yet have my normal energy level back yet. It was fun and we got to spend time with both sides of the family, but I’m ready for life to slow down and get back to normal.

NEXT WEEK (as long as crazy doesn’t set in again) I will fill you in on my 2022 plans. Wishing you all a wonderful 2022. I can tell you that my one resolution this year is to take things a little easier and add in more fun. I worked too hard last year.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace and Peace,

Christel

Puppy photo credit Hope Animal Rescue. House photo credit Sam Hittle.

It’s been tough

Hi Everyone!

I really didn’t mean to disappear for so long. I hope you are well and life is at least calm for the moment. I thought after the garden wore down some I would have more time, but it seems to have sped up instead. Marching band season has kept me running up and down the roads with DN, crazy household projects that needed to be done and a never ending string of vehicle repairs have been messing with my schedule. I don’t even know why I have a planner. The plans go out the window every. single. day.

We have had a couple of especially tough weeks. One of our neighbors passed away unexpectedly. She was one of my extra Moms growing up. Our families went camping together, church, ice cream socials, etc. She was also one of the funniest, sassyiest (I have no idea if that is spelled right, but you know what I mean) ladies I have every known. When word got out that DH and I were going to get married, she came up to me at some event and said “I just want you to know that I approve of your marriage. I know you don’t really NEED my approval, but you have it anyway.” No, we didn’t need it, but we definitely appreciated having it from Miss Ann (where we live, ladies of a certain age, married or not, get “Miss” added to their first name as a sign of respect and affection). Now, every time I pass Miss Ann’s house I get a little sad. We lost a ray of sunshine when she passed.

The day after Miss Ann’s funeral we had to say goodbye to our pup, Odie. It was also very unexpected. Odie had been having seizures for almost two years and he went into a series of seizures the night before that really messed him up. We had him from a seven week old puppy and he was seven years old when he passed. He had been my constant companion and shadow since our pup Kato died in 2020. I still expect him to be at the door when I come in. I listen for his feet padding down the hall to jump in the bed with me and DH. I am still saving my pizza crust for him every Saturday on Pizza Night.

I don’t do life well without a dog. I’m just one of those people. DH has to have his horses. I have to have a dog (I would definitely have multiple if I thought I could get away with it). For the record, I don’t do small, yappy dogs. We have DN’s dog that falls into that category, though I just mentally don’t think she actually qualifies as a dog. So, when my heart heals a little and it’s time, the hunt for a new pup will begin.

I have been working in my attic studio most days. This week has been the exception. Here is some of my recent work and I am working on a commission that I will show later. Some are finished and some are still in progress. I had to put in some grief therapy time working on pup portraits that are still in progress. We have a good bit of sanding and painting to finish the attic, but I have a semi-workable space for the moment.

There are plans (ha, ha) to post more on Instagram (search Bloomtownstudio), redesign my website and start listing my original paintings on my Etsy shop (seriously neglected). I would like to say I would be having several listed before Christmas, but to be honest, according to my calendar it’s highly unlikely. I am starting an email list and hope to put out a newsletter maybe once a month starting in 2022. If you would be interested, please send me an email to: bloomtownstudio@gmail.com and ask to be added.

Take some time to get in some creative therapy time. I think we all need it right now. The world is more than a little crazy at the moment!

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Photo of Odie courtsey of our friend Alan Sieg

A revelation

Hi Everyone!

I think it’s time to accept that for the time being this blog is gonna be a little sporatic. My best laid plans keep flying out the window. I’ve had grandbabies to watch while their parents have to take care of life stuff and DN has been home AGAIN for the past week and a half for quarantine. Her entire history class got quarantined because of a few students that tested positive. God willing and the creeks don’t rise, she gets to go back next Tuesday. There are a few things that get pushed to the bottom of the To Do list when life gets crazy and this blog is one of them.

I hope all is well with you and everyone is working in some fun and relaxation occasionally. Over all we have been good here. I did have to take a few days off from the garden because I had just worn myself out. I desperately needed some R&R. Of course it was DH that pointed out that I was running out of steam and that I needed to take a break. I must have been complaining about being tired all the time and trying to weasel out of cooking dinner one time too many. He has gotten used to home cooked meals every night and if you knew my husband’s capacity to consume food you would understand why he was becoming concerned.

Along with the above conversation I was complaining that I just couldn’t find time to get upstairs and do any artwork. Like many women (not all, but I suspect the majority), my priorities start with the family and work down to myself. My schedule was to feed goats/horses, take care of the garden before it got hot outside, do the cleaning/bills/laundry/cooking and then if I was lucky I MIGHT (but rarely) have enough energy to do some artwork. So, DH said it was time I rearranged my schedule to the following: Goats/horses, garden, ARTWORK, cleaning, laundry, cooking. So I decided to try it even though it made me feel a little guilty.

Well, well, well, it has been working wonderfully! I get up to the attic (no, it’s not finished, but it is to a point I can work in it) while the temperature is still comfortable (no A/C yet and it’s been in the 90’s). I work until 11:30ish when it starts getting hot. It has been amazing how much I can get done in the approximately 3 hours of attic time. Currently there are 8 paintings in various stages including a commission of 3 small paintings. Top that off with the fact I still have energy to take care of the daily chores after I’m done and my mental clarity has been soooooo much better. No building resentment because my life is all work and no play either. Ok ladies (and any men who might have been doing this too) don’t do like I have always done and put yourself last. At least occasionally move yourself to the top of the list to save your sanity.

I have honestly felt like a new person. My day goes smoother. My brain works better. I’m not tired and cranky all the time. I get my much needed alone time.

The weather is cooling off and by George, I’m going to be spending more time in the attic. I need to reorganize lots of stuff along with doing the actual artwork. Then I need to a paint as DH puts the finishing touches on the drywall and trim. Oh Happy Day!! I love my people, but I sooooo need this now.

I will share some art with you next week, uh, next time I’m here. Stay safe out there and do something for yourself.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Photo by Raul Varzar on Unsplash

Heartsick

Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well in your world. Did you think I wasn’t coming back? To be honest I wasn’t sure either. I’m going to go ahead with the warning that this post is going to be long.

I have been busy with the garden and getting DN to camps and such, but I really haven’t been so busy that I couldn’t write a post. I’ve been procrastinating. Things have been weighing heavy on my heart for a long time now and I have been avoiding writing anything about it. My posts here have been lots of fluff for many months to circumvent what I really want to say. I have enough years in the rear view mirror to know by now that when something keeps nagging at me and just won’t go away it is the Holy Spirit (you can call it what works for you) telling me to do something. If I keep ignoring the message I will get a smack on the head instead of a gentle nudge (ask me how I know).

Several years ago, when I was still a single mom, I formed a friendship with another single mom about my age. We had lots of interests in common and started getting together about once a month for dinner or go to an event. I enjoyed her company and was looking forward to a long friendship. Then suddenly she started finding reasons not to get together. No real explaination as to why. I’m not stupid, so I quit calling her because obviously she no longer wanted my company. It hurt. I racked my brain trying to figure out what happened. Since we were still “friends” on social media I started to see political leanings on her posts and in one of those EUREKA moments I remembered a comment I made over dinner that she didn’t agree with. This one comment is the only thing to this day that I can figure out ended our friendship. To this day it still hurts that she chose politics over a friendship.

This is what is making me heartsick. People have become so polarized over politics, vaccines, the news, the frickin weather that relationships don’t matter anymore. Yesterday I saw an aquaintance’s post where she got the vaccine. What followed in the comments literally made me sick to my stomach. The ugliness that people were spewing out floored me. What has happened to common courtesy and respect?

Using the vaccine as an example since it seems to be the super divider at the moment, can we not try to understand the other person’s point of view even in the tiniest? Everything has gray areas. Virtually nothing is black & white. Yes, we can understand why someone wants to get the vaccine. Could we also understand that someone may be unable to take the vaccine? Could we understand that maybe someone had a bad reaction to a vaccine in the past and is slightly terrified to take another one? A personal example would be my experience when the MMR vaccine came out. I was in elementary school and they were giving the shot to every student and lined us up in the gym to get it. Thankfully my doctor was there supervising the vaccines, saw me in the line and pulled me out. Come to find out I was very allergic to one or more ingredients in the vaccine. What would have happened if he hadn’t been there? To this day I have not had the MMR vaccine.

This horrible, vile, rudeness is destroying our culture and social fabric, not to mention our close relationships. People, and I am definitely including myself here, can no longer carry on deep, meaningful conversations. If you only associate with people who believe exactly the way you do there is no growth or creativity. What if the square wheel people never entertained the suggestion to round off the corners of those square wheels? So, does it get to the point where we will only associate with people that eat the exact same food we do? What if they wear a red shirt, but we only like blue shirts? Eventually we find ourselves in a tiny box ALONE. Think nothing that crazy will happen? I don’t know. Keep watching and see. We are hurling down a very dangerous road.

Earlier this week I was with a group of people at an event. I know these people, but not well. So far I have enjoyed their company and have had fun with them during the event. We were just sitting and having some small talk (about all we are down to these days) and laughing when someone mentioned the vaccine. Dead silence. Everyone was afraid to make any statement. No one wants to suddenly find themselves being verbally stoned to death and in all likelihood ostracised forever from a group of people they like. Even if you THINK you know their leanings you can’t be SURE. We all just sat there in silence until someone steered us to a SAFE conversation. This is no way to live!

I have realized that I am now down to only my husband to openly discuss anything with. We don’t agree on everything, but we have the trust and respect for each other to be able to handle a disagreement. My fear of losing long time friendships and even some family relationships has now reached the point that I walk on eggshells all the time. More than once I have gotten off the phone and felt tears well up because I felt like I said something wrong. There is a barrier that used to not be there in several of my relationships. There are people I want to reach out to to check on, but I don’t because I know how easy it is to step on a land mine these days. This is not how I want to live my life.

We should all feel free to be who we are and in that freedom allow others the same. We don’t have to agree, but we should give respect, courtesy and grace to each other. This used to be normal. Now it’s the exception. How will we solve the big problems and make a better world if we are constantly at each others throat? Am I the only one who feels this way?

I can’t do anything about how other people act, but I can decide how I will act. I pledge to listen completely to a differing opinion, treat the person with respect, courtesy and compassion. I don’t even have to like them, but maybe if they don’t have someone immediately jump down their throat and tell them what an idiot they are, then maybe they will in turn treat someone else better. I can tell you this without a shadow of a doubt…if you are my friend, I WILL NOT dissolve our friendship over politics, vaccines, what you eat or what color shirt you wear! You get my drift.

I welcome thoughtful, courteous comments. You are free to express your opinions here as long as you do so with grace. Any vile, ugly, divisive comments will not be approved. I don’t have a huge readership here, but I value all of you and if we each go out in our worlds and stay calm and respectful we might start to turn the tide. You know…drop a tiny pebble in body of water and watch the ripples expand.

For Heaven’s sake, stay safe out there!

Christel

Photo by Timothe Blandin on Unsplash