Friday, May 18, 2007

A Special Thursday 13 (plus 2): JB

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..)


  1. Oh what a glorious post! This is an absolute gem of a tribute to a lovely woman. My eyes can't even make tears and this one made me cry.

  2. AAAAaaah how beautiful! This is so sweet! The whole thing! Plus she is so beautiful inside and out you can just feel the glow! Hey how did you get her to let you do this? Well I'm so glad you did! I love the sweet shot of your dog and both the homes and jb's studio is the cutest thing! Thank You this was great and by the way your comments are like ambrosia, Thank You again you make feel great! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. KJ- Your love for JB is so obvious, and when the two of you are together, you really shine (both of you). It's a beautiful thing.

    And your yard looks amazing! So different in May than in October (naturally).

  4. Haha, what a great build up. I did not think we'd get to see a picture of JB the way you were going. But I'm glad we did get the picture of JB, she looks such a warm, kind and sweet person. I'm not just saying this, now, it is the way I feel, and you should never lie about feelings, and certainly not in blogworld.
    21 years, great, I believe Ces and her hubby have been together for 21 years, and my wife and I have been married 20 years, we met 3 years before getting married.

  5. Sharing that with blogfriends makes the bond even stronger.
    I love JB's little hideaway.
    Keep up posting her art even if it is sideways. It looks great!

  6. Lovely to see a photo of JB. Thanks for a great post.

  7. Oh, how magical! It's like entering an enchanted forest - I step back in wonder.. (and envy).

    Beautiful tribute, it radiates sunshine and daisies, strawberries and laughter.

  8. Awww! JB! HI :) kj, I've missed you--will you be at Big Yellow on Monday night?

    Love the tribute to JB--I learned some new things and heard some things that sound so familiar. You two are amazing.

  9. Bad move, kj. After seeing her shoes and taste in cars (though my coveted [and imaginary] Mercedes is even older than Prissy and I've been through *3* Hondas) and now her lovely, smiling face I'm coming out there to kill you in your sleep and take her for my own. The only problem (besides the obvious) is that I'd need to convince her that offing you was the right thing to do. :)

    Purely delightful. If I don't read another blog all weekend this was enough. BTW I suggest you do two things to fix your photo problem: download LViewPro and make it your default picture-viewer (photo orientation and size are so easy to adjust) and open a free Flickr account so you can download high-res copies of your photos in various sizes.

  10. I love reading this post!!!

    Andrea, I've been trying to do that since I met JB, no luck. She really is lovely but they are lovelier, together still, just beautiful, intelligent, fantastic, adorable women. I want them to be my sisters!!!

    I think JB deserves a new Mercedes.

  11. I so loved reading every bit of this post. Having had the pleasure of meeting JB twice, I am all the more delighted to see her artwork. I hope that I'll have the opportunity to see it "in person" soon:> The real love that comes through in your words warms me on this chilly day, and I actually gasped when I saw JB's photograph! Of course it's beautiful! She is... and so are you!

  12. Oh, this got me all teary! I love you guys! xoxo!

  13. Great post. I love that magic cottage!

  14. This is the most touching tribute to a partner I have ever read. You to are priceless KJ

  15. What an absolutely beautiful post! I haven't been on blogger for a while and what a treat to visit your blog and read about JB - just lovely! I really enjoyed the insight.

    BTW, I love JB's artistry.

  16. It is so nice to see these details of your life. And I'm glad that JB finally let you post a photo of her. It seems to me that you live a very full life--and I am happy for you. :)

  17. hey everyone, thanks for such wonderful comments. jb read my comments for the first time ever--not that i expect her to do it again.

    i am really lucky be surrounded by so much love in my life. sometimes i don't take the time to appreciate it, but thank you to the people who put up with me and love me anyway. i can be a total handful....

  18. A note to JB - thankyou for allowing KJ to post this lovely picture.
    And thankyou to KJ for giving us a warm insight into your very private life.

    KJ, how can you even ask for a post about a boring, stuck-up wannabe actress!

  19. What a glorious tribute! Love grows!

  20. Things that make you go Awwww!

    That is such an amazing tribute. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  21. Wonderful tribute to your friend. She looks like a wonderful person. Nice to have such a deep relationship with someone. Nice to see such creative people together.

  22. Oh finally, finally I see JB. :D

    What a very beautiful post about her kj. It was worth the wait.

  23. Rats, I commented and blogger kciked me out. Okay, what I said, approximately is:

    The post is beautiful and so is JB. Such a warm smile. I'm glad she let you write about her.

    Also, a techie note - do you upload photos directly from your camera or from a photo editing program. I use Picasa, a free google download, to edit and store my photos. In that (and most other programs, I believe) you can easily rotate a photo 90 degrees in any direction. The trick is to save the change, THEN go to blogger to upload the photo. If you don't save it after you've rotated it, it will still be streod sideways and load on that way. I know, unsolicited advice - just thought I'd throw that out there in case you wanted it.

  24. I like the wooden floor and the cow pie kicking boots!

  25. I agree with Pieterbie: a great build up. I once said to you: please ask JB permission to show us her eyes only and now we get the whole woman ;-) She is a beauty and when we have to believe you (and we do of course) she is also a great human being. I think it is good to learn about long relationships between people. My husband and I are married for more than 34 years now. And we are happily heading for our 50th anniversary :-)

  26. I love the window art!! I have two pieces of window art in my house, although I don't know the artists personally.