Am I really typing or did I finally fall asleep and am dreaming this?

My book partner told me today that the publisher is pushing our production schedule up by two weeks. Which means I need a clone. Or a time machine. I raced home from work and had to begin writing the text for the book. I had grandiose ideas of doing it all, but I only managed to get half done before this absolute exhaustion paired with fried brain from the third night of 90 plus degree temps in my apartment made me cry mercy. I have to do double time on the commission tomorrow because I need Saturday to varnish it and for it to dry. I HAVE to have the text all finished by Sunday. Period. I can’t physically get the paintings done by then, so they will simply have to be a week late. Looks like I have a few more late nights ahead of me. But the one good thing is that the heat isn’t so bad tonite, because I am just to tired to notice.

Tell me again how great the life of an artist is. Cause I seem to keep forgetting this week.

hey, guess what? it’s still hot!

Hey! Guess what? i locked my keys in my running car today at work. Thank you security cops at work! You might not be the sharpest tacks in the box, but give you a half hour and you got me an onlocked car and done saved me $50 bucks. Then i got home from work and found out my air conditioner is broke. Until Friday. FRI. DAY. As in, I will be lving in 90 degree heat, painting the rest of the day and evening and tomorrow night as well, in an infreno. Y’all, it is HOT IN HERE. Like crazy hot. And don’t go on telling me about how people way back when used to have nothing so nice as airconditioning and they wor long sleeves in the summer just so the misquitos wouldn’t eat them. I am a 2007 girl, and I like me some cool air. (and can you imagine the smells back then? ick….)

Besides that it’s 1:25am and I am doing well. Boyfriend is out of town for two days and i am all on my ownsome until I get the kidlets on Friday afternoon. I was a wee bit cranky before he left from the heat and he moved fast enough to dodge the paint bottle at his head as he told me he was glad his car had great air conditioning and that the hotel probably did too. So it is just me and the panting dogs who agree with me that it is too damn hot. They are INDOOR, spoiled rotten dogs and want to know “WTF lady, I thought you could pay your bills now???” Moving on….

I just have one more coat of green paint to do and I can go to bed. I just varnished two small painting that I need to mail off for a fundraiser event in Dallas and sent off some logo comps to a client. The pt job at the college is going well. I hope to get my ID card tomorrow which gives me one of the biggest perks of this job besides regular money: a free gym! The days here are getting hot and running is not fun at all. I am trying really hard to keep up with my exercise, but it is so hard. But I just flat out refuse to not take care of my body. That and even though BBE promises he would still love me if I became super morbidly obese, I still think he might spit if I tipped the scale at 500 or so. I need the energy, so I need to take care of me. Monday I have yearly girl stuff check up which I have not had in waaay too long. Thank you Planned Parenthood for affordable medicine! I figure if I find out I have some horrible, rare disease, I go buy my insurance and act truly shocked and awed when they decalre that I have Sars… Sars? Guess what? On my way to work there is a restaurant i pass and it is named SARS. Are you kidding me???? Whose snaffoo was THAT?! Anyhoo, my mind is rambling, I went to bed at 3am last night and got up at 7am. I guess I am punchy. I figure I can keep up this pace until Sunday. That is the day I deliver the painting. I rented a truck today to deliver it. Don’t even GET me started on how difficult it seems to get a van. That, or the universe is trying to tell me loud and clear it DOES NOT want me driving around in a cargo van on Sunday. But the bonus part of having the truck for the day is that I am going to plunder? pilfer? steal? furniture from my boyfriend’s house. He has been pretty much living here since February and one teeny tiny dresser for all our clothes is just about to drive me stark raving mad. He is a laundry fantatic (which is very good cause read a few posts back – I AM NOT) and he is so amazing cause he does not just enjoy the doing it part, he enjoys the folding – and get this ladies – PUTTING IT ALL AWAY. Yeah, I KNOW! Me? I can live happily from laundry basket to laundry basket, but him? Nope. That crazy guy loves to put it away as fast as it can come out of that piping hot dryer. He says that way no ironing is needed. I asked him what an iron is.

Anyhoo, with this wonderful putting away into the two teeny tiny drawers that we each have been alloted, means not much room. But you never did see a man stuff clothes so tightly and efficiently as he. Until I could no longer open my drawer. And then in a loving, sweet, kind tone I asked him to PLEASE STOP PUTTING MY CLOTHES AWAY. You see I was scraping my hands trying to push clothes down and clothes the drawer and I really could not tell what was in there, not to mention you had to be a bodybuilder just to get the damn thing open. Not that I don’t appreciate it, sweetheart. So anyway, it means I have piles and piles and piles of clothes all about the bedroom. All neatly folded mind you, but it just always feels cluttered. And while admittedly, clutter is not the worst thing in the world to me, I do on occassion get a fly up my, um, well, and decide I NEED a pefectly clean house (ok, only a few times a year, but still!) So “I need ANOTHER DRESSER,” she said sweetly. And the one in your house, just sitting there holding nothing? Yeah. It’s MINE now. And I got me a truck to get it. And I’m thinking the coffemaker and microwave will be my donations to the shockingly empty break room at work and the giant tv** will make next season’s Grey’s Anatomy SO MUCH BETTER. So shopping. For free. On Sunday. Yay!

And to leave you with what it looks like to be painting until late at night in an inferno….

**Yes, honey I know you already told me the tv is way too big and we can’t get it this Sunday. I was using artistic license for the story. Now shush, you.


it is 2:07 am. I just finished up a pug on the big, giant commission that is due Sunday. (I ended up moving it tied to the top of my friend’s minivan to get it here cause there is just no way to be painting at my studio. And the lovliest thing happened during the night last night. My air conditioner broke. I thought I must have had the plague or something when I woke up drenched this morning in what I thought was a broken fever sweat. HA! To BE so lucky. It is 91 degrees in here. I am sweating from standing and painting. I had a fan on me, but the fan was drying out the paint on the canvas too fast. It is crazy, brain-melting hot in here and I wish I could remember that Shel Silverstein poem – you know the one – but my brain is half melted out of my head. I’d be very tired, if I wasn’t so hot. This commission will be the background for my portrait on my bio page in the book. I think i will be a week late on my deliverables. But I will still have been very close to my original estimate. That is good, right? Ok, I think i am done for the day. My melty brain is not working so well. I am going to go make coffee and set the timer so that it is all ready when my alarm goes off in 4 and a half hours. Um, did I tell you it is So. Damn. Hot. In. Here??? Cause it is. Really, really hot. And one day, when I am painting at my beach house and I think back on this moment, the kind of moments that you realize you are willing to do anything it takes for your dream to come true, ya know what I am going to think? That it is So. Damn. Hot. In. Here……

In the Summertime….

Underwater handstand races, marco polo, cannonballs, pencil dives, who can hold their breath the longest, volleyball where no one keeps score, kiids screaming with joy instead of irritation at thier sibling, getting exercise when they don’t even realize it cause to them it’s nothing but fun. More reasons why I love this season the best. Here are a few pics of the people I adore most on this earth. The two that make me determined to live my life HOW I WANT to live it, cause there is nothing more in this world I want than the same for them. Noah and Sophie, you are my heart, my soul, my loves.

Ain’t no Martha here, just a crazy ol’ dog paintin’ lady…

I know I am painting a lot when I actually stop and think, “Wow, I wish I had time to clean this place, it’s really a mess!” Cause THAT statement hardly ever comes out of my mouth, much less is a thought floating in my head. When Best Boyfriend Ever and I got together and it began to get ‘serious,’ I told him I needed to let him know a powerful truth about me. I said very, very seriously and with a tone that let him know I was speaking the truth in the same tone that the first jerk you ever dated told you that he was an a-hole and he would probably treat you like dirt but you just giggled and thought ‘How cute is HE!?’ and you realized later that was no joke, that was the god’s honest truth and oh how you wished you would have listened tone, said: “I would rather paint than do laundry. I would rather paint than do dishes. I would rather paint than decorate my house. I would rather paint that clean the toilet or scrub the tub. I would rather paint than make the bed. I would rather paint than vacuum. And painting will ALWAYS win out over housework.” I am not Martha Stewart nor do I or aim to be like her although I would love a house where she came in once a week, but if he wanted Martha he better keep on moving. Luckily for me he believed me and loves me anyway. That, plus I promised all this painting was to ensure that one day I could afford to pay someone to be Martha for me. And I am going to make her bake me really cute, adorable cupcakes at least once a week too.

Um, what now? Who needs what, now? Ok, I’m on it.

My living room looks like a design studio and painting studio blew up. But now, with kid stuff everywhere too. I have a laptop on one end of the table for my part-time job that i am doing from home this week while I have my kids. My personal computer is at the other end. It looks like a dueling piano bar that gets all crazy and loud and you are laughing and singing with your friends and after that last Billy Joel song and third dirty martini, you think, “Ya know, I really CAN sing!! Screw what my friends say!” Or maybe, yeah, maybe I am just a bit tired.

I am waiting on client emails, so even though I should be outlining that beagle painting I am waiting for the effects of coffee to kick in. The kids (3 of ’em, Soph had a sleep over last night) are still asleep and I am grateful for them staying up late last night because it means I can get most of my computer work done before they wake up. It is slightly overcast and I feel like a terrible parent because I am doing a little raindance inside hoping it pours all day because I don’t really have time to go to the pool. But if it does not rain I will do what I did yesterday at 2pm. Lug a bunch of stuff downstairs to the pool and paint in the crazy humid weather. I was up until 2pm last night, but painting seemed to go in slow motion. I got a lot done, but it was slow goings. I finally gave up and went to bed. I woke up at the crack of 9am and turned on the computer for work and stumbled to the coffeepot. Oh, sacred coffeepot how I love you. Love you so much I would marry you. I would. And I am not that into marriage anymore. But I would marry coffee. In a stunning beachside sunset ceremony with just a few of our closest loved ones. Um, yeah. Ok, maybe I could use a nap later.

I have over half of my paintings for the book done. I need to go deliver them later today for copy shots. Then I need to begin the other half. Tonite I need to finish a 22×28 commission to be delivered at 11am tomorrow. I have to finish the big 5 ft x 5 ft commission by July 1. I need to finish the rest of the paintings for the book by July 1 as well. Oh, and that big old website design job that came in needs some design comps by July 5th. It sounds like a lot, cause it is. A whole, whole lot, that WILL get done in time. Cause, did I tell you? I am marrying coffee. Look for the invites in your mailbox.

What I do on a day off from design work.

I have been painting all day. In my little apartment. Just down the street is my nice big studio. But I have so much stuff to bring back and forth it didn’t seem worth it. Plus I will be painting into the night and all weekend. I have a huge commission to get done that is at the studio, so hopefully I will be in there soon – besides that the canvas can’t be moved without a truck. And I have no truck. So I WILL be at the studio soon. So much to juggle all at once and I feel guilty I am not in the studio. Why would I feel guilty? Whose rules am I breaking? Who cares where I paint but me? Funny how we make these rules that cause us guilt and it is so unnecessary. I have a deadline coming up and I need to paint as fast as possible while having another job and having a boyfriend and having my kids in the summer who would rather swim than watch mommy paint. So instead of trying to go by some made up rules as to how my life SHOULD look, I am going to live my life by how IT WORKS for me. And that means painting on my couch, or down at the pool, or at the studio when I can, while life goes on around me. And tonite even though I asked for a dress up date night and best boyfriend ever of course said yes, and then I called him at work and said how does chinese take out and a rented movie sound instead so that I can keep on painting my mountain of canvases and he of course said yes, I realized that life pretty much rocks right now. Cause I am painting in my little apartment creating art for MY BOOK and I really, really don’t think it gets much better than this. Except for tonite when I am doing it all next to best boyfriend ever.

Back from the beach, enjoying the summer

Well, my beach vacation was lovely. Made me want to stay there forever. I miss it when I go and can’t wait to go back. While I have a particular fondness for Topsail Island, just about any ocean will do. Although I am pretty sure my one day home will be on the east coast, possibly the gulf, but this side of the big ol’ U. S. of A.

Bestest Boyfriend and I are going to Key West in a few weeks for Hemingway Days and I am pretty excited about that. I figured out that if I just take a beach vacation every 2 months or so, life will be pretty perfect! That is a plan, right? Life is pretty darn good right now. The cubicle job is over. What one you ask? The one where I got home every day at 6pm and the life force got sucked out of me for three months? Yeah that one. While I loved the people and the work, that was just not for me. Sure, the money was fabulous, but the cost was more than I could handle. I couldn’t get any painting done and at the end of each day I had to rush home, make dinner, do homework with the kids and then it seemed before I could just hang out with them it was bed time. Then I was too exhausted for anything else. Painting? What painting? I was more than thrilled when the job ended. Another design opportunity presented itself very shortly after. Actually, so shortly after that I was working the following Monday after my cube job ended. One of my long term freelance clients needed me. Then they offered me a pt position. Only 19 hours a week and fleixibility. I could leave everyday by 2pm and am off every Friday. Now THAT is a job I could live with. It is perfect not only with a school schedule for my kids, but also the fact that I would have time for PAINTING. I can not worry about getting more freelance work and just come home and paint. And oh yeah, I have a book’s worth of painting to do this summer! So it is perfect. I will be on a bit of a tighter budget for the summer than I was for the spring, but Michelle is a much happier girl. I get to spend time with my kids, time with bestest boyfriend, make money AND paint. What more could a girl want? Life is good, I am happy and for the first time in a long time I am not waiting on ‘when this happens life will be good,’ it is good right now, this second, and that rocks.

I will leave you with my most adorable lil’ beach girl.