Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thursday 13: A Year in Review--Sort Of

Okay, I am going to start right here. There is no order to this, it is not by month, it does not cover the whole year, it does not include all my favorites. But here is some of my 2009:

These days I talk more frequently about my heart sisters from blogging. They and it have been a big part of life this year. Can you imagine receiving this as a holiday gift, one of two incredible angels from my twinklierest twin, Angela Recada. I keep this on my desk so I can touch it and and every time I look at it I feel so grateful, not just that I have an angel of my own, but that I get to watch Angela and so many other talented artists paint and create before my eyes. I just love that.

There are so many artists and painters in Provincetown because it is known for its light. But I've only seen a pink sky twice. The one before this one was so pink it lit up everything.


I started to draw this year. I drew when I was 11, 12 years and I always doodle, but I'm going to try to learn how to draw. My inspiration comes directly from right here, especially Lolo and Mim. Here is a true story about drawing : A 4 year daughter asks her father what he does at work. "I teach grownups to draw," he says. She puts her hand to her mouth, surprised, and says, "You mean they forgot?"

About three miles up the road from my house, from June through September, you can get a large lobster roll for $ 6.95. That is unheard of. I love doing this, an Sunday afternoon, around three o'clock, taking a little drive for lobster rolls.


Ah, what a good day this was. I sold 23 books. For the most part I love doing this, sitting out on a warm day talking to people browsing, talking about my book.....

I fell in love this year with a four year old girl this year who has had a tough time of it. As her therapist, here I am sticking my tongue out at her daycare center, letting her use my camera. I have struggled this year about her, about how much to get involved. Her mother gave up parental rights this fall and is available for adoption, essentially a roll-the-dice prayer that she will be lucky. I am too old. I really am.

Hydrangeas from my very own yard. I planted the bushes myself. JB and I can now have fresh flowers from the yard all season long. I am very pleased about that.

For several days in August Jess and Mike and Mr. Ryan and Baby Drew and JB and I vacationed in Ptown. Every morning around 6:30 JB and I would take Mr. Ryan one block to the bay, where it was low tide and we could walk way out in wet gooey fun sand.

This is as good a shot as any to highlight the fact that I work in a poor community with a fair amount of high crime.


Look at her. She turned 94 yesterday, and she is as happy as I've ever seen her. My Mother lives in an incredible place called a Rest Home, with 29 other residents, all with their own rooms, and with a staff who manage to quietly provide a ton of support while making it look like none is needed. Dignity and independence. I think you can see the result of that on my Mother's face.


I cannot tell you why I like this shot of my kitchen counter at the start of the holidays.

This box has actual LoVe in it. Love that you can run your fingers through, feel with ease, breathe it in and give it back at the same time. This is the "We-Treasure-You Chest" that found its way to Renee on Christmas Eve. It carried the gifts and cards and loyalties of forty people from around the world. Let me tell you--it was an honor to prepare and send this box, a total joyful giddy happy exciting honor.

I won't even try to explain why I love this casino and why I love playing those quarter slot machines. Has to be an addiction, right, all that dopamine exciting my brain. I just think it's the most fun. I only go twice a year or so and I always lose. But two weeks ago I went and won. I won $ 565. I won't use the O word to describe it this time so I'll just say it was thrilling.

This is in front of Mr. Ryan's house. Every time I look at this picture I can remember him flying down the sidewalk, exhilarated. I loved watching him, hearing him squeal.

It is a warm day in August with a brilliant sun and I am lying at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown. Sometimes when I am at the beach I understand and feel my place in the larger picture.

Ptown again. These are the flower cottages, each named after a flower. They are booked two or three years in advance, families returning year after year. The beach and ocean bay is right behind them. Someday I would love to rent several of the flower cottages and stay there with some of my favorite people.

There was a fire down the street from me this year. A whole apartment building burned to the ground. I don't know if I should admit that I like watching fires. Well, not really 'like,' but I am in awe. When I opened my business (OPTIONS), my first office was three rooms over a general store, and everything in it totally burned from a fire one early morning. It was unbelievable.

And last, Mr. Drew. He was born in April and is just beginning to crawl. He smiles so easily, he loves being held. I love having small children in my life again.
Earlier this week I posted the first half of my 2009 Moleskine. Now I've posted about half of the photos I would choose from 2009. There will probably be sequels.
It was not an easy year. That may be an understatement. But I think I am almost alright again. And from 'alright' I think/hope I will comfortably settle into myself. I'm looking forward to a good year. And not just for me.


  1. My word if I had to have one for this year would be 'possibilities'..

    Nice post kj

    best wishes
    for all that you wish for
    x Ribbon

  2. thank you ribbon. likewise and ditto. ♥

  3. Thank you for sharing your life with us here like this. I feel honored to be one who gets a peek inside.

  4. Your mother is real fortunate!
    Good to see her so happy!
    What a stroll through 2009.
    Is what not an easy year you write but I sure see some beautiful moments
    Hope 2010 brings you a better one!


  5. I love that drawing quote. I'll tell you a secret. I used to sculpt in my teens and early 20's. Mainly with terracotta and porcelain but haven't had access to a kiln for years so haven't done it. I dream of doing something artistic. Maybe this year is the year to bite the bullet. Spend less time on the internet and get arty!

    Putting lobster in a roll seems all wrong, daubing it with Thermadore sauce or garlic butter . . now yer talkin'

    I think it very sad that 40 is the cut-off limit for adoption. I know so many parents who would make wonderful adoptive parents. Thought of fostering?

    Hydrangeas are Clare's birth flower. My mother bought a bush when we moved into our new house over 25 years ago. It's still there, purple and blooming. I never planted one in my current house. Perhaps the next.

    God bless your mum. I know she's vague as a violet but she's still here and she knows who you are. And can manage a bit of lippy! I miss mine more than you will ever know. Taken too young at 62. One day, I will blog her story but after all these years, it's still too painful.

    So lovely to see the treasure chest. You did well! No wonder Renee was so pleased. It was a joy and a privilege to be involved.

    As for P'Town. I HAVE to go. Fingers crossed for next year.

    Your heart circle is closing darling. I hope I'm not too brutal in my encouragement but you will have a good year . . .let go and fly.

  6. God sorry, I wrote a post!

  7. In my world any year you make it through without being directly involved in trauma and drama has been an easy year. It's been a hell of a decade. But then I do so much like being inside my life.

  8. amazing photos and quite the year eh? and wouldn't it be special if Baino really did make it to P'town next year - woowee!
    I have such high hopes for this year....

  9. It all looks wonderful kj.

    My favourite is the picture of your Mom she looks so beautiful and truly happy.

    Love Renee xoox

  10. That's quite a year. I love your Mom's happy smile and the teeny baby feet. I think most people are fascinated by fires - such an overwhelming force. Here's to a joyful 2010!

  11. What a beautiful angel by Angela. I love the wings.

    Nice thirteen to reflect on Ms. KJ.
    I think you sounded a little too 'happy' about fire though imho.
    My interpretation leaves a lot to be desired though, I admit!
    Fire scares the ever-lovin' life out of me.

    Your mom is beautiful. You can tell she naturally embraces every moment of life. I love her smile.

    And Drew's tiny feet, precious.
    And that Ryan being A.J. Foyt of the neighborhood! What a boy!

    I love that you're getting back to the drawing board. I've always loved that story of the kid and the dad about forgetting how to draw. When we become 'adults' a lot of the play stops. Such a shame. That's when it should start!
    I picture a few of us having several art days throughout the year ;)

    I'm hoping for a better year myself. Lots of us have had a tough 2009. I'm pretty sure it was Universal! I'm looking forward to all good things from now on. Bring it on!

    The snow is softly falling here and I'm going to make it be an art day. I have projects to work on that I have been stalling on. I'm in a quiet, reflective mood and that's often when I do my best art.

    Have a wonderful Friday KJ.

    I'm sure we'll gab later ;)


  12. I have never heard that quote, "you mean they forgot"!

    You draw every day silly - you just started using your hands.

    Anybody who lives through their heart IS an artist in my opinion.

    Your being is your art.

    Fun! Fun! Fun! To start the New Year, let's all hold hands and jump up and down and laugh!


  13. Wonderful post! Love your mom...happy she is. Hope tells us that 2010 will be better for all.

  14. Wonderful insight into your year, kj!

    Not so long ago, I thought I would go back into fostering, as I did many years ago. I fostered teen boys then. But the years went by, and here I am at almost fifty-nine. I feel the same...I am too old to look after a child for twenty-four hours every day.

    Beautiful hydrangeas...almost as beautiful as your Mom!

  15. lynn, that is very nice of you to say. unfortunately i don't seem to be able to NOT share my life!!

    yes, marianne, the glass half full. thank you for reminding me. it's so true. but THIS year i will clear out the cobwebs and let go. i will let go.... xoxo

    baino, HAHAHAHAHA! this is the longest comment you've ever left, i'm sure of it! see what vacation and a little chardy can do to a fun girl? :)

    okay hells, this is the year. i want to see some art from you. blogland lane is the perfect place to start to go public when you want to.

    there is no cut off for adoption. i could adopt if i wanted to. but i am too old to think about the energy needed. my god, i'd be in my 70's with a child still in high school. still, i don't think i can let this child suffer another trauma, so i'm watching things as they unfold....

    my mother 'vague as a violet'0--hells, you are hilarious. you really truly are. i love you so much!

    and ptown next year. well damn right. let's do it. no cost for room and board. you get here, we'll take care of you. xo

  16. I love the photo of you and the one of your mom is precious. I am wishing and inteneding a bright, happy New Year for all of us.
    (How do you make the little hearts?)

  17. Love you! I hope this year brings you only good things.

    The little girl you write of breaks my hear. I hope someone wonderful finds her, loves her as she deserves to be loved, and gives her the chance at a good life. You have been her angel this last year, dear friend.


  18. walking man, no drama, no trauma is a good year? you're so right. happy new year my friend. xo

    mim, i have high hopes too. all you probably need is for things to settle down, to stay put for awhile. you are incredibly creative, mim. i want to play with you!

    renee, prayers to you and your Mom. xoxoxoxo

    cs, it's silly, i tend to think you and i will improve together! so yes, here's to a wonderful year for both of us. xo

    lo, wait til you see the other angel angela sent me. i love her angels so much. what a treasured gift... i laughed thinking of mr. ryan as a.j. foyt. that is exactly how he looked, racing down the sidewalk.

    it's going to be a good year, lo. we want a healthy happy renee and then we will create and play and love our hearts out. xoxoxo

  19. linda, i'm jumping!!! and laughing!! can you tell?!! thanks for coming and chumming along in the year to come. let's see what we come up with. xoxo

    LD, ah hope. sometimes i think hope is everything anyone needs. an outstretched arm, reaching for the stars.... ♥

    marion, it would change my life forever. of course i would take mr. ryan and baby drew in a minute if needed, and i find myself feeling the same way about this child. but i am praying praying praying there is a good solution that is not me. jb would kill me. but i asked her a couple of months ago, "if i/we HAVE to do this, are you alright with it?" and she said 'yes'. she is a wonderful person. xoxoxo

    annie, hello! i will send you an email. you would like my mom. no memory, totally intact humor and optimism.

    angela, i love you too, twinkly twin. it breaks my heart too. if you met her, angela, your heart would be all over the place. one of my intentions when i pray is that i will somehow be able to support her for many years ahead, until she is able to find her own way in the world. ♥

  20. So many good things, places, and most important of all: people in your life in '09. A very good year.
    I'm praying for the perfect family for the little girl,sigh,,this subject so touches my heart.

  21. wonderful post, will keep me coming back several times - must say you are never too old to care for a child - in their eyes you are love and that's all they need...your Mother is gorgeous 94! You have many years to go if genetics are fair...Love this post!!!

  22. Dear KJ,

    Your year in review was so touching. So many special moments all pulled together to create a little story. From your mother's worn and experience filled face to the little feet ready to step into the world, viewing this has been a real pleasure.


  23. babs, keep praying, please. she deserves someone to love her large and wide. and yes, babs, it's so much about the people in our lives...

    oh, well, linda sue!! thank you most sincerely for the genetic compliment! hahaha. and thanks for your kind words about this post. xo

    hello annie, welcome here. thank you for noticing so many important pieces of this story. xo

  24. you certainly have a full life and a full year. great photos and thanks for sharing some life snaps.

  25. It's a great post, but am stuck back with a 4 year old girl-i hope someone wonderful finds her. Not necessarily Norman Rockwell wonderful-I hope she finds her way to the person she needs.

  26. Look at all these comments! You have a tremendous support system here, KJ, and it's because you're you. Reading this made me smile and even brought a tear. And the story about the adults forgetting how to draw! Magic!

    Thank you. Best blog post I've read in forever. xo

  27. I loved this post kj! Your photos and words have given us a special glimpse of your world - thank you! Great that you are drawing too - I hope you will keep going with it and maybe show us what you do sometime. xx

  28. Gosh kj. How do i find the words to go along with a post such as this?

    Wouldn't it be a dream for everyone here to stay at the flower cottages? We'd all go eat lobster rolls and walk on that beach and we'll paint and draw and talk about your book and our gbabies and life. you are not too old for that little one, not in years anyway. but i'd be like you, worrying is it too much to take on at this stage.
    i know why you love that photo of your kitchen, it's aching with life, comfort, everything there sustains, coffee,tea,toast, and look at that light. i love it too.
    thank you for sharing your year,

  29. Oh my gosh, I sighed at every photo, so full of love and life...I felt like I was sitting next to you looking through your family album.

    23 books? How fulfilling! This post felt like a little book that would be on a guestroom nightstand, something sweet to look at before falling asleep.

    The photo of where you work...and still there is hope.

    Lobster rolls and those cottages, I have never traveled up your way but sounds delightfully restful, as the ocean should be.

    Your mother, and you, are blessed with joyful countenances that speak volumes.

    And the exhilaration of racing down a sidewalk, maybe we can all find that this year!

  30. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it