Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ding! 2013's done.

As I sit here on the last day of 2013, I am listening to Dustin's very loud truck pulling up in the driveway, baking a quiche and sipping coffee. So my first thought about the new year is whether or not Dustin's truck will make it through 2014, and if he'll actually a) graduate, b) get a job and c) get a new vehicle.

The next thought is about Dad. He had surgery yesterday to remove his broken femur, basically a partial hip replacement. Tough on an 81 year old man, but the good news is that his tumor is GONE. Gone! The thought is that the chemo and radiation worked their magic. So basically right now, he is cancer free. This means after not walking for 9 months (or driving, which bothered him more) he should be able to do both after healing from the surgery and completing physical therapy. He's not the best patient by far, but he's been through quite a lot, and hopefully will get his head straight about the work he's got to do. It's been a rough year on Mom too, but he care giving skills have been amazing, especially for an 80 year old woman.

So what else happened in 2013?

Haley graduated from high school and started at U of D. She's halfway through her freshman year and got great grades. Dustin is in his FIFTH year of college (oy) and hopefully will graduate in the spring. Another year at the art league, where we celebrated our 75th anniversary. A year that had poor art sales in the first 3/4 of the year, but picked up in the last quarter. Lorrie beat her cancer as well, and is now 98% finished with all her reconstructive work. Kevin has been through the wringer, but has come out happy and moving forward. People have come into my life and left my life, some more than once over the year. And it all happens for a divine reason that none of us really know. I made my p.r. with the Rehoboth Marathon, at 3:48. That was quite a moment.

I will say thank you. Thanks to the divine who guides us, thank you to my family and friends. I am grateful for a job, and a home and my health. I wish YOU the best in 2014, and hope that you surge forward with a smile, amazing goals and all the happiness and health that you seek.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Coffee, Hopes and Misanthropes

When pressed about her misanthropy
She’d say she was forced into it
By a world, alien and bizarre
Love was a beauteous concept
That to her, was a bit too far

A baker’s dozen tries
A decade of disquiet
And she’d had enough

She ground and brewed her coffee
Tended her own small plot of land
Cut down a pine tree each Thanksgiving
A blueberry pie baking, prepared by her hand

It’s not that she didn’t like people
She always had, still did
But a safe distance seemed prudent
So in her home, she hid

Shopping for trinkets
The day before Christmas eve
To place upon her misshapen tree
They met, for a second time

The first time they’d met
He'd gazed first into her eyes
Then at her art
She'd had a strange sense
He'd seen straight to her heart

She questioned the possibility
Though slim
That her wish upon a solstice star
In a second chance meet
With him

What’s the harm, she wondered
In coffee,
In a quick date?
Third time’s a charm?

The future uncertain
Her hopes rising
The next day
She would see
Would know
What might, or might not, be

He seemed another misanthrope
But that might be just right
If only he could see her whole
Gaze bravely at her soul

Steve Robison

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Literature Utopia

"I had no illusions about love anymore. It came, it went, it left casualties or it didn’t. People weren’t meant to be together forever, regardless of what the songs say." 

— Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby

I look at words as art, especially when they're put together in a way that they make music. It makes a kind of beautiful trilogy: words, art, music. Three of my very favorite things.

When I come across a poem, a song, a quote from a piece of literature or sometimes a line in a movie or a play, and it hits me hard, all of a sudden I'm very conscious of being wide awake and paying very close attention. Often times, these are the quotes/songs/poems I share on here, because of that kind of impact. They are not necessarily a reflection of anything happening in my life, but more of an homage to them, in respect for their beauty. If I'm not painting, or just don't have anything ready to show as "in the works" I will share this type of art, because it too, feeds my soul and it feels good to share that.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Daughter of Fortune.

“Not only had she not forgotten him, however, she remembered with noonday clarity every detail of what had happened and each word he had spoken or whispered. The only thing she erased from her mind was the disenchantment of having been deceived.”

— Isabel Allende, Daughter of Fortune


The Conversation has a new home - in a perfect location in a beautiful home that overlooks the ocean.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pre-Christmas prep 2013

 Chloe, modeling a ribbon as big as her head.
 Big Brother's/Big Sister's Christmas party...about to begin!
 Unbelievably generous church families "adopt" a "Little" and shower them with amazing Christmas gifts, along with putting on a tremendous party!
 Annual Christmas party at the Klabe abode. Some of my favorite people right here.
The Grinch, his "dog" Max, and some Littles, about to pin hearts on the Grinch, to help his heart, that's just too small.

Friday, December 13, 2013


These two plein air pieces from October 2013 (Walt Bartman's workshop) sold at the Children's Beach House show. And "The Conversation" painted in October/November of 2013 is now on loan at a potential buyer's house. She is living with it, hopefully falling in love with it, and more hopefully, purchasing it.
Motivation to paint.  :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Well, I did it! 3:48. Much better than I expected and very very happy. Also very very stiff and sore.

The weather held off, with the rain stopping pre- 7:00 a.m., which was the start time. There were puddles, which were a bit of a problem at times, especially on the trail, and mud - but hey, you can't have everything. The wind was bad up around Dairy Queen in Lewes, but that was short-lived. Mostly tail wind on the run back. At mile 24, I was at 3:30, so thought there was a very good chance I was going to make it. So I picked up my pace, which I have never done that late in the race. It felt good. I was smiling. When I saw the clock, man.....smile smile smile.

Great post race party with 16 mile beer and veggie burgers, which was a great surprise. FABULOUS day, local scene, lots of friends. Awesome.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow....

Tomorrow is my fifth marathon. I have done Richmond twice, Phoenix once and Wilmington Delaware. This is the Rehoboth Beach Marathon, so no travel necessary. Nice. Last night the weather forecast said 90% chance of rain, but it's now down to 30%. Who knows...these meteorologists just seem to throw shit out there and see what'll stick most of the time. I'm showing up, either way....no choice really, after 13 weeks of training I'm not bailing.

My fingers are crossed for a PR. Anything better than 3:59 will do that. But I refuse to be disappointed if I don't. I'm showing up, trusting my training and enjoying the journey. Ah, a lesson in life.

I just want to squeeze his cheeks.

Amazing basketball baby

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Sandman

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' or 'how very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love."

— Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

Sunday, December 1, 2013


We sometimes learn from the most surprising sources for sure. Our children, our grandparents, our enemies. I occasionally work with adults with Down Syndrome and the elderly (some with dementia) in senior centers. Years ago I would have assumed that nothing could be learned there, and I couldn't have been more wrong. My Down Syndrome friends are some of the happiest, easiest to be around, full-of-joy people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Just being with them makes me happy. Some of the seniors at the assisted living facilities love to tell stories of their lives - and it's easy to write them off as old and without merit, until you just listen. Their lives have been full, successful and exciting, just like ours can be. After all, we'll be the same way one day and certainly wouldn't want to be written off for having lived our lives.  So rock on, Superman.