Adventures

ONE STEP BEYOND

Can you imagine how dull life’s travels would be if all the roads were straight? WINDING ROAD

I used to feel anxious and off balance by life’s many twists and turns, and navigating them was as much fun as trying to drive through quicksand.

But I know that beautiful and astonishing discoveries are not going to come and find me at home on my sofa where I am safely tucked away in my comfort zone.

I have to take a deep breath and put my uncertainty aside. I have to make the effort and physically leave the house.

I have to take one single step . . . beyond the familiar.

I have learned that with a new point of view, a few tools, and a little practice, that these twists and turns, these disruptions and deviations, can teach me fun new driving skills and lead to wonderful and exciting experiences.

Instead of anxiety, I call it excitement. And instead of fearing the unknown, I now seek it. And embrace it. I celebrate the newness and am giddy with anticipation.

Sometimes, the greatest joy is in the journey . . . and the destination is just a happy consequence!

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Categories: Adventures, Inspiration/Motivation, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A HALLOWEEN DREAM

(I don’t care much for Halloween. But in the spirit of going with the flow and learning to laugh at life, I decided to try to make the best of it this year. All of the pics in this blog were taken while out driving yesterday with Patti Petroline; dear friend, great adventurer, and carver of pumpkins).

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We’ll have a full moon the TV said 

but I stayed home cuz I was dead

I watched a movie called Pumpkin Head

and then I ate and went to bed.

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My B.L.T. caused crazy dreams

and transported me it seems

to scary skies with sugar beams

I’m just not sure what it all means.


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I saw a tree


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a goat


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a sign


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Was this all caused by how I dined?
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And then a barn


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my dog


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a friend of mine?


*

Whew! It all ended just in time.
*

Thankfully, I did awake . . . or did I make a bad mistake?

My body hurts and my head sure aches. Oh, my gosh . . . for goodness sakes!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, GOBLINS! Xoxo

Categories: Adventures, Humor, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

NEW YORK CITY **IS** ART!

I just returned from my first visit to New York City. It was wonderful and brief and I fell in love and somehow, I managed to miss out on every single art gallery and museum. Sheesh.

Why, you ask me? What happened?

I will now confirm the airheaded-ness that most of you have always suspected I possess, by telling you the truth. I forgot. I forgot all about the museums I have waited most of my life to see, because she seduced me.

New York City seduced me. And I loved every single crazy, magical moment of it.

How did she do it? With lights and colors and flashing billboards and music and vibrant electric people-energy! Here, let me give you a small glimpse.

I thought my seizures would have kicked in with all these colorful, flashing lights, but they didn’t. I only had one seizure, and that was during a performance of the Lion King. I hardly noticed though; I was having a panic attack because I was stuck in the middle of a row, and with all my sweating and deep breathing, it came and went unnoticed by anyone but me. What a case.

But a show unlike anything I have ever seen! The sets, costumes, music, and performances were off the charts! It transformed me to Africa!

And the biggest surprise? The City of New York herself is the most unique and stunning display of art I have ever seen!

I forgot all about galleries and museums because everywhere I looked I saw amazing things.

It started with the view from my room.

And the people on the streets. AS art. And making music.

 

 

NYC is the fashion capital of the world because even her buildings are the best dressed anywhere!

 

 

Even Mother Nature gets in on the act.

 

Sometimes her buildings are clad only in red, white, and blue.

 

 

Rockefeller Center.

 

I never imagined buildings as being beautiful. Until now. These unadorned and magnificent buildings decorate the skies.

 

 

 

Reflections of buildings.

Reflections of a child. (Do you see me?)

I even made a few creative new friends!

(Yikes! It looks as if I’m being groped! Lol).

But NYC is not limited to artful people and buildings. No, there are also plenty of wonderful sculptures!

 

 

 

 

And the message is everywhere.

We must not forget to . . .

Checkout time is 12:00 noon.

Gosh, I love this city. Until next time, New York . . .

Categories: Adventures, Art, Love, Patriotic/Political, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

NEW YORK CITY LOVE

Our journey shared flew quickly by

yet is frozen still in time

Our journey shared was here and gone

but is forever yours and mine.

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This love I know is new to me

and is for things I had not dreamed

This love I know for everything

was waiting to be freed.

 *

A place can change a person

and I became a part

I will carry you inside me

and I will wear you in my heart.

Categories: Adventures, Love, Patriotic/Political, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

LABOR DAY GIFTS

This week’s blog is dedicated with deep gratitude to my dear friend, Pat Petroline; aka Doc, Momma Patti, Miss Lu, LuLu Yang-Master Chef.

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Making a critical mistake is like getting bit in the butt by a dog . . . you don’t see it coming, you feel the shock of realization, the horrible pain upon infliction, and unless you’re simply unlucky enough to be a random target, you should probably limp away having learned a lesson.

We seldom get a do-over.

Saturday I took a three hour journey across the State of Michigan on a less-than-desirable emotional task of sorts. Without prompting, my friend, Patti, offered to accompany me. I cried during most of the drive.

We arrived, tended to my dreaded personal business, and began the three-hour drive home. I cried during most of the drive back too.

After a restless night, I awoke on Sunday morning in a terrible panic. I telephoned Patti and hysterically screamed that I had to return. I had made an awful mistake and had lost something very precious.

Fifteen minutes later we were on yet another three-hour trek.

We arrived on the western coast of Michigan, managed to un-do my previous day’s doings, and retrieved what I thought was priceless and forever lost.

Yet again, we took one final trip back to Southeastern Michigan. This time we laughed the whole way home.

Two days, twelve hours of driving, and 800 miles later, I walked away having learned two really amazing things:

ONE: Recognizing a mistake is the first step to learning from it. And sometimes, if you are quick enough and lucky enough, you get a do-over. But you have to try or you will never know.

TWO: My friend Patti is a one of a kind blessing.

When I called on her for help for the second time, she did NOT say that she was busy with weekend holiday plans, or that she was tired from her busy week at work. She did NOT say that she was needed at home with her family, or that she just couldn’t handle another six-hour trip. She did NOT complain once during the entire two-day fiasco, and she NEVER called me crazy or irrational or stupid for making the mistake that started it all.

No, when I called her, sobbing and screaming, “I have to go back now!  Can you come? Can you come, please? How soon can you get here?”

Her calm and simple reply was, “I’m on my way. All I have to do is put on my shoes.”

And that was that. No questions and no judgment.

I love her so much for that. I wish I could adequately show my gratitude by buying her something special . . . like a house! LoL.

Patti, thank you will never seem sufficient. And nothing you ask of me will ever be too big.

A do-over.

A rare and special friend.

And a labor of love . . .

Categories: Adventures, Friends, Kindness & Compassion, Love | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

WHEN PAINTING . . .

I went to an art show recently and felt just like Dorothy did when she first saw The Emerald City. It was magical! I am so inspired by their “Homage” exhibit that I’ve decided to pay homage to them by painting my interpretation of the yellow brick road and Dorothy’s ruby slipper and gifting it to the owner of the Rivers Edge Gallery. 

But honestly, I’ve never painted a thing in my life.

Oddly enough, I have the art supplies in my bedroom closet.

In December I purchased some stuff for a friend and bought extra for me, although I’m not  sure why. But the weeks passed, and turned into months, and each time I opened my closet door, I saw the paints, brushes, and canvases.

“Julia, bring us out into the light! Use us!” They taunted me.

“I’m afraid! I can’t! I don’t know what to do with you!” I replied and promptly closed the door.

But, now inspired, I reluctantly begin.

One thing becomes crystal clear: I can’t draw a shoe or a brick. I begin with a smudgy, yellow, abstract road. But something is off and I can’t figure out what. I try again and again.

Frustrated, I put it aside and go watch television. As I flip through the channels, I see a mountain scene with a winding road, and a vast blue sky.

Excited, I return to the dining room table to paint another canvas. This time I add the sky and the picture gains depth. I go out and buy a sticker of a high heel shoe and “MacGyver” it with some red glitter paint and then glue it to a toothpick so it will protrude from the canvas.

Now covered in paint and tickled pink,  I complete my somewhat juvenile rendition of Oz’s yellow brick road.

Okay, so it isn’t a masterpiece.  I can live with that. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Whether you’re creating your first painting . . . or painting the canvas of your life, remember these simple rules:

  • There are no rules. Only advice. And it never hurts to listen; it might even save you some trouble. Either way, paint your picture the way you want to.
  •  Don’t get trapped by your own labels. I had to stifle my inner voice that said, “I’m a writer, not a painter!”
  •  There’s no avoiding it, things have to come out of the closet.  🙂
  •  Proper lighting is vital. Good painting and good living both require clear vision.
  •  Sometimes you have to briefly step away to gain a new perspective. A patch of sky, (or a breath of fresh air), can bring new ideas and help you to focus.
  •  It’s good to improvise. Be flexible. Embrace your mistakes. Have fun!
  •  If you don’t like your picture, just start over.
  •  And finally, when you gift a painting, you’re gifting a part of yourself, and the recipient will surely smile in appreciation of your efforts.

And that, my friends, is priceless.

4”x4” acrylics, “Homage to Rivers Edge Gallery, Wyandotte, MI”, by Julia Kovach, Writer and Artist.

Categories: Adventures, Art, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

GIRL, INTERRUPTED

“Julie, wait. You need to adjust your pants. You’ve got to look natural or you’re so busted. Now strap this to your waist and pull the top down over it. There, how do you feel?” Mary asks.

“How do you think I feel?” I ask sarcastically. “I mean it! I’m not even kidding! I know I said I’d do this and I’ll do it, but I’m really not in the mood.”

Mary smiles faintly and is about to speak, but changes her mind.

“Yeah, yeah”, I continue complaining, “I see that smile; you’re so funny. I mean it; just give me the damn bag already.”

I step outside and my eyes squint as the bright noon sun pierces them. I feel every one of the day’s 87 degrees as the sweat trickles down my back and underneath my arms. This is my first time and I’m hot, and cranky, and unprepared.

I jog slowly down the sidewalk and around the corner.

“I just need to get there and get this over with.” I grumble.

Upon arrival, I walk to the back of the small house and open the chain link fence. My heart races as I sprint into the backyard, grinding my alto voice and roaring from deep within.

“MMM!” I bellow, “Me want cookies! Big Bird sent me! He says someone has birthday today! Me want cookies!”

Within seconds, four year old children swarm towards me like happy, squealing, little honey bees.

“Hey! It’s Cookie Monster! Cookie Monster’s here! Yay!”

Some wrap themselves around my legs while others hang off of my arms like big Christmas tree ornaments. Within minutes I’m flat on my back in the grass, laughing and flailing wildly.

I pass out coloring books from my white bag and the helium balloons that I’ve been holding in my oversized, furry, blue hands.

My sister, Chris, walks by and I grab her butt.

“MMM, Momma! Nice cookies!” I shout.

She yells and slaps at me, and parents screech with childish delight.

Soon the kids line up to say goodbye. My niece, the birthday girl, a petite, precious little thing, hugs me firmly and looks up into my big googly eyes.

“I have your picture on my wall” she says earnestly in her sweet, tiny voice, “I love you Cookie Monster!

I tear up, swallow the lump in my throat, and take a breath.

“MMM! Cookie Monster loves you too! Me thinks you yummy like little cookie! Yum! Yum! Yum!” I say and hug her back.

Then off I go, trotting down the sidewalk back towards Mary’s.

As I make my way, a passing car slows and a little girl hangs out of its window shouting, “Hi Cookie Monster!”

I wave my big blue hand, do a little dance, and continue on.

Moments later, a woman comes from her home with her son and a camera and asks if she can take a picture. I am happy to oblige.

I arrive at Mary’s and change back into my civilian clothes.

Now, I head back to the party . . . . once again.

“Aunt Julie! Aunt Julie!” My niece yells with excitement as I enter the backyard, “Cookie Monster was here!”

“Oh right; sure,” I say hoarsely and brush right past her, “like Cookie Monster would really come here; you’re so funny.”

“Really! Really!” She shouts.

I wipe the sweat from my face with the back of my hand, gently push past the children, and plop into a lawn chair. I am overheated and exhausted.

I glance over at my sister. She smiles.

I smile back.

And wink.

It’s been a good day.

Categories: Adventures, Family, Holidays/Birthdays, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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