Even though I refer to her by several names, nobody really calls her JB. She is fierce about her privacy and has sometimes viewed my blog as an alien force. But in a weak moment, prompted by my pleasant and persistent pleas over many months, she has agreed to let me write about her.
For starts, she is an artist. JB works a regular job as a Consultant but she at her core she has the eye and wonder of an artist. She is at her happiest playfully making art, moving pieces and colors around with the exuberance of a 3rd grader who has finally been allowed to use scissors and paste. Here is one of JB's collages: made on one of the dozens of old windows she has in waiting.
It is again unfortunate that I am still posting sideways photos, and especially in this case. This is one of my favorites of JB's pieces. She's embellished a picture frame with the tools of her trade: fabric, ribbons, found objects, and rocks and bark found as she walks along in life.
You should know that Emily Rabbit is really JB's friend, not mine. Emily first appeared almost twenty years ago. Esther followed a few years later. Esther has handed out halloween candy for all that time. She is ususally cranky and a bit of an exhibitionist. One day JB came home with Mildred, who she foolishly expected Esther to "mother "and raise. Esther kind of takes care of Mildred, but she's never been happy about it. We think she drinks sometimes, because one morning we found Esther draped over the staircase, feet dangling every which way. JB told Esther that drinking and flying is forbidden in our house, but I wouldn't count on her cooperation.
Here's another of JB's artwork. This one's in our kitchen. It shouldn't be sideways either.
JB had a red Honda for years. Then one day she asked our car repair guys to pick her up a used Mercedes at auction. This is Prissy, so named for her attitude in snow. Because of my bad advice, last year Prissy was traded in for another Honda. I was a bad partner, because JB is not a Honda-type girl. She works hard and she deserves a used Mercedes (even though the repair bills were outrageous). When we left Prissy at the car dealership, we felt like we were abandoning a family member. I've said this before: don't name your car unless you are prepared to suffer the emotional consequences.
This is the house JB and I and Jessica and our dogs, cats, birds, and hampsters lived in until Jess got married and we sold the house two years ago. This is a Victorian duplex, meaning we had neighbors on the left side and we lived on the right. We spent years fixing up, painting, remodeling, landscaping, and doing it all over again. This was a grand home, and yet we never looked back when we left. As you will soon see, our present house is way way smaller and way way simpler, but it has a "magical" shed in the yard that has become JB's studio.
JB loves our backyard. I garden, she helps sometimes, we grill in the summer, and as we always have, sit outside at dusk and talk about our hopes, dreams, aspirations, inspirations and perspirations.
JB also loves shoes. People stop and ask her where she's gotten her shoes all the time.
And JB loves Stella. She never had a dog before she met me and was afraid of most dogs. Stella is our third dog, following Nicki, our Siberian Husky and Rosie, our beloved Springer Spaniel. Last year we walked into a local shelter and JB saw Stella for 15 seconds and said, "We should bring her home". I wasn't sure at the time, but she was 100% right.
Back to shoes. Here are JB's cowgirl boots. She has two pairs. She ususally wears them with long skirts and lots of jewelry. JB is the Queen of Accessories. I wish I could show you her closet and her jewelry box. Someday I might.
She is from the midwest and came to New England for work. She had never been to Europe before we went to Paris 4 years ago and Italy last October. This shot is of the Almalfi Coast, where JB and I fantasize about returning for several months. I would write and she would create art. We day dream like this alot, and often times we pull it off. One of the characteristics of our relationship is that we try to say "yes" to one another most of the time. So if one of us comes up with an idea that involves risk, or money, or change, we don't dismiss it. I like that best about both of us.
Here is JB's Magic Cottage. She loves it. It is filled with fiber and paints and old windows and wood and bark and found objects and stuffed animals, and there are six rubber lizards outside her door.
Last summer I planted zinnias in the garden and back yard. We've never had a house with full sun before now, so this has been an awesome treat. I am including the zinnias because they make JB so happy.
Here we are. You get to see JB' photographic hands and a hint of our relationship. It's all good.
And last, for my good blogger friends who have never seen JB: here she is-- this wonderful, dear, kind, rock of a partner of mine. We've been together 21 years--sometimes we soar and sometimes we sink--but through it all, she one of the finest people I've ever known.
(Thanks, JB, for letting me post your picture. And a cute one it is..)