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Victorian Style Oil Portraits commission for a book featuring the main characters.

Commissions are still open and I am still very much in need! In a ridiculous amount of need. 🙏

I can do all sort of art! Not just portraits or people. Let me know your need/idea and we’ll work out a price. General pricing is on the commission sheet.

Shares and mentions are also really appreciated!

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Io sì, so bene cos'è.

Ma forse non l’ho compresa così bene quanto vorrei. 

E’ una compagna frequente, perenne direi. 

Ho sentito dire da uno psichiatra che la rabbia non è da rifiutare, ignorare, condannare. Secondo lui la rabbia è una compagna da riconoscere e accogliere nelle proprie vite. Secondo lui a questa rabbia bisogna darci persino un volto, un corpo, dei vestiti. Una storia. 

La mia rabbia è una regina celtica, come Baudicca. Una guerriera, una violenta, una saggia, un’amante della vita, una protettrice, una sovrana, una giusta, una leale, persino una vulnerabile. 

E’ qualche giorno che è ritornata più insistente. Non le ho ancora chiesto perché. Ed è forse il motivo per cui non la sto gestendo nei migliori dei modi. Insultare chi vuoi bene, litigare, aggrapparsi a dei piccoli torti, non perdonare, non sapere più sorridere ad un volto amico… questo va oltre la rabbia. 

Quindi Baudicca, ti prego, sediamoci, prima che ignorarti oltre possa portare altri danni. 

Ci sono diversi motivi che forse hanno richiamato a me la tua presenza. Il primo è la tensione che mi porta vivere con dei vicini poco affidabili e cattivi, nell’attesa che da un momento all’altro possano dire e fare qualcosa di male, a me e alla mia famiglia. E forse sei tornata per rassicurarmi, per farmi capire che non mi abbandonerai mai in balia di arroganti e violenti e ladri e falsi. La tua spada mi da coraggio e il tuo scudo, mi infonde sicurezza. Il secondo motivo è la terribile sensazione di abbandono che provo. Ho ventitré anni dannazione, la sindrome del bambino abbandonato deve persistere ancora a lungo? Io non sono stata abbandonata fisicamente dai miei genitori, ma spesso durante la mia vita, ho ricevuto dei piccoli abbandoni psicologici che mi hanno ferito profondamente ma allora come ora non voglio incolpare i miei genitori come una stupida adolescente in crisi che non ha capito come va il mondo. Io so che i miei genitori mi vogliono bene. E so che io non rendo loro facile volermi bene. Ma è bastato per una volta ancora non sentirmi ascoltata e compresa da mia madre, per scatenare in me un domino di emozioni che mi hanno portato qui, seduta davanti a te. Tu sei venuta a darmi forza e a rassicurarmi che sì siamo soli, ma anche il più socievole e simpatico uomo sulla terra, se chiude gli occhi per un istante si rende conto di quella sconvolgente verità che siamo soli. Ed è per questo che ci uniamo in gruppi. Forse sei venuta per dirmi che una regina non è regina di nessuno ma di un popolo ed è giunto il momento per me di trovare il mio. Il terzo motivo è l’università e la mia sempreverde mancanza di fiducia in me stessa e nelle mie capacità. Il tirocinio imminente ha sollevato l’ansia da prestazione insieme alla paura di non essere preparata abbastanza per affrontare le sfide che mi si presenteranno. E tu, Baudicca, quando fiuti la paura sei come uno squalo con il sangue. Ti ringrazio, so che sei venuta a darmi forza, a ricordarmi del mio lato combattivo, quello che non si arrende, che difende con le grinfie quello che ama, e soprattutto se stessa. Perchè in fondo, diciamocelo tra noi: io amo me stessa. Io mi voglio proteggere, io mi voglio bene. Io voglio cose grandi per me. Io voglio avere successo. Io voglio essere felice. Io voglio vincere.E tu sei ritornata per spiegarmi come fare. In ultimo, so cosa ti ha spinto a ricomparire. Dovunque ti fossi nascosta dall’ultima volta che ci siamo incontrate ti è giunto all’orecchio che mi ero smarrita. Di nuovo. Cavolo, perdo spesso la bussola. Non so riconoscere le stelle in cielo e trovare la strada è così arduo per me. Tu questo non puoi permettermelo, lo so bene. Perchè tu per prima cosa, sei una condottiera e guidi il tuo popolo in battaglia. Sono felice che tu sia qui con me perchè ho bisogno ancora una volta che tu mi indichi la strada da percorrere, che mi rassicuri che i sentieri che ho intrapreso siano quelli giusti, che le lande che ho scelto per le mie battaglie mi portino ricchezza e prosperità e gioia. E a ricordarmi che quello per cui combatto è buono, eterno e valido. Ma forse c’è ancora un’altra ragione per cui sei ritornata. Forse l’hai scoperto solo dopo avermi vista. E io l’ho scoperto guardandoti in volto. Perchè ciò che sei veramente, profondamente, regina dei celti, guerriera valorosa, condottiera del popolo libero, è essere donna, come me. Hai visto che non sono più capace di amare e sai bene che non è una colpa quanto più una povertà. Quindi come tu, mia rabbia puoi aiutarmi in questo? Puoi procurarmi l’amore con la forza, con la guerra, con la vittoria? O forse puoi insegnarmi a combattere per amore della terra che si protegge, della propria famiglia, della propria vita. Non sapevo che l’amore fosse così legato alla rabbia. Ma forse è questo il punto. Spesso sono stata codarda perché non ho mai amato abbastanza. 

Ti prego Baudicca, insegnami ad amare. 

La mia casa, la mia famiglia, la mia vita. 

@alexandrawanderer

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半夜下了一場大雨,趁天亮雨停時,鋪上草皮。

就在草皮鋪植完成之時,老天就馬上幫忙澆水,實在太完美了!

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Tristan inhales deeply as his mother tries pulling off a boot to see the injury. “Tsss, please be careful mommaaaa, it huuuurts!” He wails. Elizabeth removes his shoe to see his twisted ankle and sings, “sit still now little one, the more you squirm the longer it will take.” She calms her child and plants a tender kiss to his scraped knee. He grumbles a bit and tries pulling away a few more times as she gently rolls his sock down. His ankle all puffy from where he mistreated it earlier by running down a hill to fast causes her to bite her lip as it pains her to see her sons poor foot so badly hurt. She uses her magic to quickly repair his damaged joint and Tristan watches with wide eyes while exclaiming, “woah momma! Cool!! It’s not so painful now! Thank you!” He throws his arms around her neck for a big hug. As he tries to return to his activities his mother stops him. “Hey silly!” She calls out, “don’t forget to put your sock and boot back on!” He quickly races back to her and she helps him put his clothing on again before patting him on the head. “Ok baby, you can go play now, but please be more careful!” She reminds him. “Sure thing momma!” He replies, but he’s eventually inside once more before too long looking for more of his mother’s tender affections and care.

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Being at home with the same two people I love the most has been lovely yet stressful. At one end I’m so happy they’re okay and we’re okay but I see them all the time & it gets a little annoying because all the things I find quirky about them I now see 24/7 on top of the uncertainty of literally everything,, I get a bit steamed out lol.

In no way am I saying I’m without any flaws, I’m sure I irritate the hell out them too. But, today I realized I’m so happy to be annoyed by them and have them be annoyed by me, it means we’re okay and things are okay, that’s a good thing. It’s a small thing but small things can matter most sometimes. I wouldn’t have wanted this any other way.✨

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Love is such a complex matter of heart. No one can exactly explain what it is. Many have felt it in some form or another. 

I have felt the love of my family, friends, and my significant other…each is unique in its own ways..

Love from family is one of God’s blessings. I felt such love when my mom stayed in church and prayed for me till my test was over; I feel her love when she gets anxious and worrisome over my sniffles; I feel her love when she makes all of my favorite dishes when I come home during the holidays. 

A dad’s love on the other hand is different. It’s gentle but firm; It’s distant but near. I feel the love of my dad when he gently scolds me when I do something wrong. I feel his love when he proudly brags about my talents or accomplishments to his friends and family. I feel his love when he comes home from shopping with a cute pink T shirt with a picture of Tinker Bell on it because he still sees me as his little girl. One thing i can certainly say is, I am Blessed.

Love from your partner can make you feel like you can conquer anything and everything. It nudges you to do things that you never thought possible, it makes you feel special and confident. This love is different from anything you have felt, this love makes you feel secure, makes you understand what it means to have a healthy conversation with one another, to have healthy arguments and fights. This love teaches you things you didn’t think you needed to be taught. To know such love is a blessing. 

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Yeah, seit dem Tag, an dem er uns verließ

Seit dem Tag schauen wir Papa nicht mehr in die Augen

Das hat mich gefickt, vielleicht mehr, als er grad sieht

Sierra Kidd - Vertrauen

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Insanity driven holiday, trying to stop in vain the pain displayed across her face.  A family dynamic flipped to households of dramatics.  

Evil tactics to see who can screw who first.  It’s been handed down since birth this curse of never meeting the approval of the remaining parent. History is repeating in front of my eyes.  

Stories of lies and too much pride.  There are no happy ending movie scenes of generational curse part 4. Fuel the fire and attempt to keep score, but where are you when I’m picking her up off the floor. No kudos deserved, just in two years, I’ve observed you mean nothing until the money is a concern.

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Flipped

Upstairs bathroom. Done. Finally. I gotta say, it’s been a process. What started with a two-week demolition in October of 2018 finally wrapped up with the hanging of a shower curtain in mid May of 2020. I poured weekend after weekend and night after night into this thing for months into more than a year and a half as basically every square inch of the room minus the floor got redone. You know, back when I was teaching kindergarten I’d update my class every Monday for months with the progress I’d made the weekend before. It got to the point where I remember one of my kids throwing up her hands and announcing, “When are you finally going to finish this bathroom remodel?!” It turns out the answer was “About the time you go to 2nd grade.” The breakdown:

  • Biggest change? The tub installation. We gotta have a tub for soaking babies, and my wife had always wanted one of the clawfoot variety. Fun story; I secretly arranged with the plumber to get the thing installed while Gracie was out of town for a few days at the February 2019 WSCA Conference. But before that I even went as far as to request a fake e-mail from the same plumber confirming a March installation date and let Gracie read it over my shoulder so she’d be totally misdirected- a move that would earn me my Master’s degree in Wife Surprising from Ball So Hard University.
  • Over the course of the remodel I’ve learned more than a little about tiling. That wall behind the tub represents my first ever attempt at tiling. It took something like four or five hundred tiles and about a month to finish, which felt like a slow process until I jumped…
  • … into the shower. I’d anticipated my second ever attempt at tiling would go significantly faster than the first, but booooy was I wrong. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; “glacial”. The pace of the shower project was glacial.
  • The picture frame wainscoting was pretty fun, I guess, but in my opinion it’s outdone by one of my favorite details in the room, and one that I can’t claim as my own work;
  • In the late 13th century Pope Boniface VIII wanted to bring in an artist to create a number of paintings for St. Peter’s. As the story goes, the pope sent his courier to all of the greatest artists of the time and requested they each submit a work indicative of their skill from which the pope would then make his hire. When the courier arrived at Giotto di Bondone and told him of the pope’s errand, Giotto quickly drew- freehand- just a circle. A perfect circle. When the courier wasn’t sure if Giotta wasn’t just messing with him, the artist assured him that the circle was all the pope would need. He was right. Giotto got the job. So… where am I going with this? Gracie’s dad’s an incredible craftsman. How good? I say look no further than the door and window trim in the room. A couple other rooms in the house- the originals- feature the same exact trim, but all of the additions made to our home over the decades since were finished with different trim. To me, Todd’s ability to spot on replicate 80-year-old trim you simply can’t buy anywhere anymore is as fair a representation of his abilities as any. They’re Giotto’s perfect circle.
  • Todd also built that sweet sliding closet door. I just put glass in it.
  • For me, the vanity revision might have been the funnest part of the entire remodel, and between pallet wood and salvaged hardware the price was right, too.
  • Check that. Making that pipe shelf and toilet paper holder were the funnest part. I got a little impulsive and overspent on 1/2″ black steel pipe and now I’ve got tons laying around. Last fall Gracie went to this craft fair and sold something like $300 in gnomes she made out of striped socks stuffed with corn and more or less rubbed her success in my face for ever doubting the marketability of said gnomes. This year I’m making pipe shelves from my surplus black steel and one-upping her. Write it down.
  • Though we were advised against it… *cough* Todd *cough* I’m so glad we exposed the chimney running through the corner of the room. Something about old brick…
  • And there were other details I’ve either forgotten or not pictured. Painting that pattern on the closet floor. Homemade closet shelving. Patching a hole in the ceiling the old school way with plaster and lath. The list goes on, but it’s finally done now.

So… What’s next? Well, no time to rest on my laurels. It’s onto the mudroom/laundry room. Can’t wait.

Until next time,

-Ian

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