Self Portrait with Ammo Box

Self Portrait with Ammo Box-  I drew this a couple of years into my life with John. The ammo box represents him. After serving our country in Vietnam he came home a changed young man because he’d loved the people there and his brothers in arms and saw many of them killed and damaged. So he came home to his Mommy and Daddy’s house he was unable to function for a few years.  When I met him I wasn’t functioning, then together we carried each others loads and grew up and grew better together.

Yesterday was his funeral which became a wonderful measuring rod. John  had not only lifted and healed me but gave me the strength to totally enjoy his work buddies, war brothers, neighbors, blood family, and church family. I’d say John hadn’t simply influence these people for good but was a BOMB of joy, and enlightenment, mystery, and surprise in all our lives.

I drew my self portrait in Crayola crayons- kid’s colors. Aren’t we all kids anyway with ages layered on top?


Self Portrait With Ammo Box

Slf Portrait With Ammo Box

Outsider Art- Almost All The Girls Are Taller Than Me All I Can See Are Breasts

My husband died six days ago and I already miss what ever things he would have done today and every day next year.

A few years ago he said beaming, “Almost All The Girls Are Taller Than Me! All I Can See Are Breasts!!” He was a few inches shorter than me and almost a year younger. And, he was so proud to be married an OLDER WOMAN.

One day he wore this bathing cap ALL DAY. I was never upset when he appeared to be A LOT younger than me by more than one year. The way I see, he’d been eight for 57 years and just added days and years on top. He usually appeared to me to be about 8, sometimes four, quite often 16.

Almost All The Girls Are Taller Than Me All I Can See Are Breasts

Almost All The Girls Are Taller Than Me All I Can See Are Breasts

Outsider Art My Husband Died Two Days Ago- Thank Goodness For Dish Washing

Johnny, my husband, died two days ago. Twelve years ago he was diagnosed with lykemia. (I’m sorry I can’t figure out the spelling today. Ha, and you should see all the wrong keys I’m hitting too.) “I Look Great With Your Glasses Off,” I said to him awhile ago. We like to look at thoughts from the other side. We had fun with his disease too. And now I’m fighting off breast cancer. We’d laugh after my treatments when we both tripped through the house having been too sick to eat. Doing dished gives me a short break from the pain. Our Father in heaven gave John strength to get me to my two surgeries (they were minor) then I’d get an extra boost when he was especially bad.  And my goodness I wish you could all meet the good people at the VA hospital. Especially the African Americans. They tuned right in- and staff, patients, clergy, nurses and my favorite a custodian, all helped me, cried, and all the African American brothers and sisters prayed with me.  John was !00% German American, I’m Scotch- Irish American and both both of those cultures are restrained and overly quiet. Yea sometimes that’s good but I learn things I wouldn’t otherwise learn from my African and Liberian American friends. I love America. I love Americans!


I Look Great With Your Glasses Off

I Look Great With Your Glasses Off

Outsider Art- Trash Cans- and Harry The Brain Surgeon

I looked out my window and what did I see- a stranger bringing in my trash can for me. John, my husband, and I both have cancer. He has lost weight, his fat is completely gone, his muscles are just a shadow of his old warrior self and I do believe his bones are lighter too, he has leukemia. I’ve recently had breast surgery so as a result I’m not to lift, and John can’t so when our neighbors asked to help John asked for our trash cans to by rolled out to the street every other week. (The nice trash man comes only every other week because we live in Portland Oregon and our city proudly aspires to be, “like the third world.” It works we now have rats.)

So like I said, several weeks later when I ‘d healed enough to roll the cans out and in I was very late in doing so because I was so sad for John’s discomfort and hurting because I miss the old John will soon miss the entire John, I just couldn’t face going out the door. Late in the day and out of the corner of my eye I see a woman I don’t know bring my cans around and park them in their place.

I know all but a few on my block and John and I had in the past brought other peoples’ cans in for them if the garbage was picked up came after they’d left for work. In this way burglars won’t think,”Ah ha! The cans are left out- someone’s not home!”  So all I can think is that the idea has spreed and some nice person I haven’t met helped. I love America.

By the way Harry, in the below picture, is a neighbor who has since moved and has never seen his picture, which will immortalize him forever. He’s a pretty old fashioned guy and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or confuse him because I didn’t paint what he “looks like” but instead I made a picture of his energy and love for his two giant dogs that lived with him in a tiny house.

Click here for a larger image of Harry The Brain Surgeon

Harry The Brain Surgeon

Terrified Of Hurt Feelings

When my brother and I young we were terrified of hurt feelings! At the grocery when asked to fill a bag with oranges we’d look for the bruised and bashed ones! “No one will buy this one.” “Look at this poor thing, it’s so small!” “It will get hurt feelings if no one eats it!” We usually didn’t bring ourselves to tears. We were afraid to admire success.


Click here for a larger image of Cage