December 16, 2010

A Miraculous Christmas?

Ah Christmas... such an "interesting" time of year.  Even now as I write about it, I really don't know quite how to feel.  I know I should be happy and cheerful but I'm not, mostly because yet again another Christmas year approaches and I didn't get it right.  This year has been especially difficult to get it right, not just for me but for so many people.  How can we get it right when incomes are cut, jobs are lost and so much fear of the future.  Yet we all want that Martha Stewart perfect Christmas.  I confess I want it, I will always want it because it's pretty and perfect and well, not like me.  

In this grand Christmas effort there always comes a point where I have to look at from the beginning.  Mary - a virgin, not your skanky kind of girl, found herself miraculously pregnant and pretty much all hell broke loose for her and her fiancee Joseph.  Not an ideal beginning for a new marriage.  But both Mary and Joseph encountered an angel of God and believed his word and promises.  They believed what might have sounded to me insane.  Then just about when this miraculous baby is due, the government places harsh demands on them and they must travel to be counted.  And while traveling she goes into labor and has to have her baby, the child of God, in a barn.  Just imagine, you see a cow, a donkey, cow poopy, and then a newborn baby, why yes, that IS the son of God.  Then some freaked out shepherds show up kneeling if not groveling at the feet of this newborn with their lambs making enough noise to wake the baby, the baby that is the Son of God.  Good grief!  This birth, the one that brought us all this overwhelming, over consuming, over stimulating Christmas was far from perfect, ideal and easy. 

So how do I, an average Joe, think I'm going to created anything perfect or ideal?  And every Christmas I get the Martha Stewart smack down.  Even today as I sat in my seat for 8 hours of jury duty, with a throbbing toothache - because of a filling I had replaced the day prior, I wondered how was I going to do it all and with what money.  I simply looked at the list and just realized I couldn't and I crossed off some things.  I guess that would be the "cow poopy" part of my story.  Then I when I got home I noticed the Christmas wreath that was hanging on my front door was gone, stolen -- the one my friend made, the only one I had.  Yes, definately Christmas isn't going to be perfect this year.  But GOOD NEWS people, whether you believe what I do or not, Christmas will still be. There is much to be anticipated, do I really believe that to be true?  Can there possibly be joy in the chaos, in the Christmas  that doesn't go as planned?  I have to believe!
My wish for you is that you believe in spite of the disappointments, thwarted plans and "cow poopy" that surrounds you.  Believe in a miraculous birth!

December 9, 2010

It's a French Thing

I've told you all about my love for Lafayette Square before - a taste of Paris in St. Louis - and I've painted so MANY watercolors of this part of town that you must be sick of me.  But I never grow tired of it.  I paint a little, dream a little and get a little taste of Paris too - in the form of a chocolate croissant to be exact.  My absolute most favorite cafe is Rue Lafayette and before I met or even knew the owner Araceli I came here at least once a week to sit and remember my one visit to Paris so many years ago.  I eat my chocolate croissant, trying not to devour it in three bites, sip my coffee and enjoy the view.  No matter what time of year I come, it is beautiful.  It's one of the nicest things I do for myself. And, if you ever come visit me it's definitely a place I will take you.  So it is with so much excitement and honor that Araceli has invited me to show a few of my Lafayette Square paintings at her shop this Sunday.

And, for the first time I've had several 8x10 giclee prints made for purchase as well. (like the one pictured above)  It's the perfect Sunday too because the Holiday Parlor Tour will be going on as well and you can get a peek inside of some of the Square's most fabulous historic homes.
So, dress in your most cozy cuddly coat, twist your scarf up like a Frenchmen, take the tour and finish up at Rue Lafayette.  See you there.   


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