Life in Words
January 12, 1939 - September 13, 2021
An artist, activist and woman of unparalleled resourcefulness, my mother lived life on her own terms. I think when anyone who has been a large part of one's life passes, there's a tension between "keeping faith with the dead" and being honest with the living. Honesty has been both a blessing and curse in my life and in particular with my relationship with my mother.
When she, a long time pack+ per day cigarette smoke asked if her apartment smelled of smoke and if the smoke could be smelled outside her door, I said yes. This made her angry. When she asked me to buy one of her painting before an art show to make a more impressive "statement", I said no. This made her angry. This is rather how our relationship went over the years. Not smooth sailing by any means. One could say much of the tension was self-inflicted on my part, as it was often something I said, or didn't say that would set off the angry tirade. However, it did take me a long time to learn all the "trigger words" to avoid a storm.
She was a mercurial, exuberant creator; designing and making clothing from the simple to the sublime; many of her own clothes, a handmade lace wedding gown. She knitted, sewed, beaded, embroidered and made fabric art. She invented a learning system for people with dyslexia. She exhibited her artwork. She wrote and published poems and short stories that ran from the wickedly satirical to the powerfully poignant.
Her high school yearbook's prophecy section said "Marie Marotto has just been nominated by the Republicans to run for President." Which made me laugh out loud since the last 5 years of her life were spent as a Twitter based political activist decrying the actions of the Republican President.
Rest in Peace Mom
A Mother's Day video I made back in 2014.
I was seeking a "paint" or "color" by numbers app for the iPad. Most of the coloring apps out there are either just outlines that you color whatever colors you like (mandalas and such). Others are "color by number" apps that just have you tapping each section instead of using swiping strokes like you would with a pen (and all that tapping gets super-annoying over time.) So, April Coloring is a "swipe" to color app that has a lot of great images to color arranged into a variety of galleries. There is a free version on which you are required to "watch" a certain number of ads before moving on in your coloring. The paid version is $9.99 a month and removes all the advertising.
Once images are finished they can be saved or shared. My only criticism of the app is that when you export you always get their logo on the bottom of the image, even if you are a paid customer. However, all in all, I think it's a great app and I color at the end of the day as a sort of a wind- down. It's simple (you can't go outside the lines) and soothing and let's my mind relax a bit from the constant "problem solving" mode with which it is often burdened.
As an avid reader I have read many books and always wanted to have a comprehensive list, so I looked to GoodReads.com. I love it because there's a way to keep a list of all the books you've read and those you want to read. Each book has links to reviews and comments from other GoodReads users, there's a section for recommendations based on your reading history. You can link to your Amazon account to automatically include books you've purchased, or you can create a separate login to keep your accounts separate. All in all, I love GoodReads for it's overall usability and cool features.
I was visited by both my parents the other day, which wouldn't be the least bit strange, except they are both deceased. One of the unfortunate consequences of parenting is that the things we say get embedded into the internal voices of our children and those voices persist.
I am heading toward my wise-woman years and some of the parental voices are just as loud as ever. Unlike some who have one harsh or negative voice and one kind and loving, I unfortunately have both my parents voices as negative and judgmental. With the result that I have been cursed with voices that shame me and drag me down. I always know that I am headed for emotional trouble when I can hear in my head, practically in their exact intonations, "What's WRONG with you?" How can this be overcome? I am not entirely sure, but I feel it has to do with naming the voices and even perhaps dialoging with them to find out why in the name of all that's holy they are still plaguing you decades after the actual words were spoken.
Maybe next time my parents visit, they will have something nicer to say.
I have been keeping a journal (off and on) since I was 10 years old (that's a long time!) I had them in boxes in the attic and they've been through several moves with us. I decided to take them out and put them in my "writing cave" to see if they can inspire me or offer me any wisdom from my past self. Here's something I found that I wrote in 1984.
If I only knew how to give power to the words.
If I only could utter some magic and make the words become real. They would stir your emotions. The words could make you cry in despair, laugh in joy. They would make your heart pound in anticipation, your palms moisten with fear. Words are lifeless without a creator. They are lines of symbols pressed together randomly on a page.
If I only knew how to make the words speak to your soul. Make them fit together and blend as the threads of fine linen.
If I only knew how to give the words substance, I would no longer be powerless. My words would shake your soul, move your heart, inspire your actions. My words would live.
If I only knew how to make my words speak.
So, that's what I wished for.
I recently subscribed to an online Word a Day calendar that feeds a word a day to my Google calendar. The idea was to expand my vocabulary. Above, you see today’s word: graphomania. Who knew there was a word to label my inclination to write excessively (obsessively?). After watching Dances with Wolves, my Dear Husband (DH) gave me the nickname “Writes with a Pen.” I guess it’s true, I’m a graphomaniac.
Anylist is an amazing list keeping and recipe archive app that works across all platforms (with an individual paid subscription of $9.99 a year). The app alone works on iPhone and iPad without a subscription. You can keep a grocery list:
If you find a great sounding recipe online and have forever to scroll to see the actual recipe, you can use the Anylist add-on for the browser and directly import a recipe into your archives. Then you can look at it at your leisure and decide if you want to keep it.
The recipe section allows you, in one view to quickly add items to your grocery list and in another view, focus on one step and your ingredient list (with built in checklist)
Super-helpful app free or at a very reasonable price per year. It's been a real help for me, you can even get Siri into the game and program her to automatically add items to your Anylist shopping list by creating a short-cut. You can even export your list to email or text so you an add a grocery stop to your "Honey-Do" list as needed. Love this app!
Growing up, Mr. Rogers was a staple in our house. We not only watched him on TV but my mother also had some vinyl records (now I'm really dating myself) of his songs. This one always made my mother laugh, so I remember it well.
When my children were growing up, we also listened to Mr. Roger's songs on audio tapes, especially when they were at Grandma's house. When my daughter was very young (3 probably) she had her own words, which make me smile:
Roly, Roly Bump
Gently down a tree
Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary
Laugh about a dream
So, what really is the meaning of this poem/song particularly because King Friday's version contains the very Zen statement "Existence is but an Illusion." I found this great possible meaning online at InspireMore.com
Price Ea, a socail media personality known for his inspiring messages, took to facebook with an explanation for the life changing meaning behind the song.
The path takes another turn. After AskJoanne.com, after MrsMarkets.com and after leaving the corporate world for the second time the path has turned inward and I have almost finished my formation process to become a Spiritual Director. I am learning to be more quiet both within and without, learning to listen with my whole being, learning to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit before replying. Seeking to find and answer to the questions Who am I? and Why am I here?
So I found that I was not the only one who did a little retail therapy during the pandemic and then experienced buyer's remorse. So I figured I would write about it. As I do with most things, I turned to the internet's "hive mind" to see if others had found solutions. Along the way I compiled this list of the top regrets:
However once you've made the purchase you have a few options: