Best Humpday Headway so far!

windows

LOOK at all this progress!!!!

nowindows

All because Husband went and got me a couple windows! This is how it feels when a spouse validates your dreams. Shazam!

As I started to bring things into the shed I looked at Husband and said, “I forsee a problem in the next few days as you see just how big my hoard is.” He thinks I’m joking when I say I own half of Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics.

Firstposter

Of course he wasn’t sure on my first bit of wall décor but this is MY space after all.

Official  Announcement

Last Friday was my last day babysitting on a full time basis. It means I now have no gas money or extra but it means I get to pursue my artwork full time! So look forward to seeing better writing and more updates from me. I plan on Humpday Headway, a day I just update you on things I’m building, painting, or repurposing. It will be all about the Art Shed. Friday is Teacher Tidbits, a day I post little ideas that can be used in the classroom or even at home to help your students/children succeed. Monday I am dedicating to getting to know my fellow writers. I have missed so many great blogs over the last few months! Tuesday and Thursday will be all about big pieces I’m working on as far as writing. This means if I do post on one of these days it was most likely something I spent some time preparing for you, dear reader!

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Tonight I Take the Stage

So most of us have seen The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson or have at least heard the term to understand what it is. I have a journal in a dresser drawer that holds a few of my Bucket List wishes. The rest are in my mind for long car rides to and from children’s sporting events.
Bucket List Item: Audition for Community Theatre……….Check
Get called back (wasn’t even on the list)……………. Check
As I broke the good news of being cast as the eldest sister in Close Ties by Elizabeth Diggs, everyone was shocked but happy for me. Well, almost everyone. The Husband was not impressed but it is important to remember he tolerates my venture into the Art world only in hopes of it being something that will one day contribute to the monthly income. This is the burden he carries as head of the house, the bottom dollar. Everyone’s shock came from the fact that I am a busy Mom of a total of 8 children. I am starting a business from home for my Art work, mostly reborn dolls for now, and I have never been involved or even hinted to friends that I was interested in becoming involved.
Last night during our final dress rehearsal I was thinking about my husband and I, vocationally over the course of our relationship. He has had the same job, the steady one, the backbone of our income. He has had side job ideas like lawn care, rebuilding cars, and a bait shop. Then there is me. Not the reliable income by any means. I was in college when we married, then was a correctional officer (a “where did that come from?” move), then factory work before finally starting in my degree field of teaching kindergarten. Only a few months into that and the universe threw us a curveball. I’ve been home with little ones ever since. I have so many ideas that go through my mind that it surprised me that a man like my husband can follow. In my defense, he was warned. I only have one tattoo and its meaning is that I’m sweet and unpredictable.
I was most excited to call and tell my Grandmother who has always enjoyed live performances. She thought I was calling to tell her I was pregnant again. Uh, NO, six kids in the house is enough. That night I got the script and as we did our first read thru I found words like dildo, hell, and asshole. My character was to say that D word in the first scene! So I put out feelers to my Aunt and Dad to see if Grandma would pass out. Last Friday, a week before the show, she called to give me love and apologize that she wouldn’t come. I accepted gracefully, hung up the phone, and cried.
This is the first time in my adult life I am doing something just for me. It feels AMAZING! I have never done any acting aside from my back-up dancer during the High School musical Oklahoma. I have learned about theatre and myself over the last 6 weeks of preparing. I wish I could let go and really become Anna. There is a shyness within me that holds me back from going complete Chris Farley. We are a small cast which is nice because it means I only have about a dozen people giving me advice instead of 30! I love feedback, it’s what helps me fine tune. It has been entertaining watching the different personalities of our motley crew, a truly refreshing change from my normal stay-at home life with small children. Someone told me after the birth of my second child, everyone will give you advice on how to raise kids, just smile politely and file it away because you never know when that tip may work for you someday even if not today. I have held that tip in every aspect of my life whether it be working at a factory, raising kids, or now, being an actress. Did I just say that? Well, it IS what I’m doing.
I find it ironic that a good portion of my role is about sister relationships. This of course makes me think of and miss my own sister. Six years now that she wrote the letter saying her religion would dissolve our sisterhood; Years of babies being born, loved ones being buried, ups and downs of one week to the next. Now this, my theatrical debut will be without my sister’s presence. However, our brother will be there. The man I love most in this world just past Husband.
My Thank you’s
Theatre
To the Terre Haute Community Theatre, where adults go to play, thank you for this opportunity! I’m waiting until after the show to ask why me.
The Cast: Jack Ciancone, Kendall Murphy, Pam Virpilio, Linda Green, Matt Schludecker, Mick Mack, and Mikaela Fish have all been so supportive and understanding of my learning curve. Thank you!
Sonni Crawford and Doug Lunn as our Director team has been the bomb! I have learned so much from both of you!
At Home
Amber Parker has been my greatest supporter from the beginning. Being back-up Mom on my rehearsal nights has made my load so much easier. I would have been driving girls to Mom or Brooke every night and these last couple weeks would have been awful without you! I am so proud of you for the changes you have made in the last year, I love you!
Husband, thank you for not complaining too much about all the housework I have got behind on, and thank you for giving me a head cold the week we open. Haha

My Bio!!
Jennifer Parker is debuting as Anna in CT’s Close Ties. A wife and mother of 8 she feels blessed to have a husband who provides for their large, blended family so she can pursue her love of being an Artist. She operates Jennifer Parker’s Art Shed from her home where she creates an eclectic array of original pieces. Jennifer also writes an online blog under the same name. The late David Bowie was quoted as saying he never saw himself as a Singer but as an Artist. Jennifer feels the same way; she auditioned for CT to open the door to performing as a way of expressing her inner creativity. It has proven to be a wonderful experience!
I dedicate the show too…..
John R Parker
There have been so many nights I drove home thinking of you and how you won’t be in the audience.
I am taking care of the boys as best I can, like I promised.
They miss you everyday.
And so do I.
Words for you, Dear Reader
Make a list of wild things, from when you were 9 years old that you daydreamed about: being an actress, a roller derby girl, a singer, an artist, whatever. Then look at your life and carve out time just for that daydream. I’m 37 and I just got started on my impossible dreams.
and

Not Doing Housework…OCD Much?

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well”

– Mark Twain

I can’t sweep the floor until I clean the top of the counter.

I can’t clean the top of the counter until I wipe down the stove.

I can’t wipe down the stove until I load the dishwasher.

I can’t load the dishwasher until I scrub out the bottom of the fridge.

Why?!

It goes in an order. An order in which I must go through or it isn’t done correctly. However, going in an order means sometimes the thing that needs the most attention isn’t getting done at all.

Illustration: I had a mess in my garage for 2 weeks because of a blender that once I plugged it in I found out it didn’t work! The blender was sitting on the floor closest to the door. One must start the mess closest to the door and work toward the Freezer. This is obvious to anyone who would have looked in my garage. So my brain tells me. I couldn’t tell you if I am a master procrastinator, I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) or I am a perfectionist who must have things done a certain way. Ultimately, I am going to revert back to my own diagnosis of I am mentally merged with the Mad Hatter.

Avoidance

There are definitely times I can recognize my behavior is simply avoiding doing something I don’t like to do. If I put it in my head that I am going to clean off my desk and file paperwork, I will miraculously have time and energy to rearrange the living room, clean the kitchen and mow the yard. Since this is a chore I despise, I take it in small doses. I do all my blogging and computer work in the morning. I have a hotspot for internet which means if it is overcast or satellites are in odd positions I have to wait a while for things to load. While waiting I will organize the desk around me. Ope, page loaded, Yay I can stop paperwork. Sounds anti-productive but it works!

I'll get there, it just takes me a little longer than the rest.

I’ll get there, it just takes me a little longer than the rest.

Perfectionist

The Picky Sister syndrome or The She got it from our Momma Effect

If you get around to seeing the dolls I make on my website, know that they almost never happened. When I first learned what Reborning dolls was I fell in love! I immediately ordered kits, paints, fabric, and tools. I took everything out of the boxes but was stopped in my tracks. I had spend $300 of which I couldn’t rightly afford on dolls I wasn’t sure I could make. I wanted my first doll to look as good as the artist who were established in their craft. I would look at my supplies and think, “Do it! Just start! Life will not end if you mess up!”  Of course, I did eventually jump in. I remember the day very well and the best part of the day was how good it felt to finally begin. My first doll did not turn out like the pros, nor my second, or third. However, my dolls are my creation, not theirs. My dolls hold a beauty and creativity that comes from ME. I always get compliments on my creations, even if it is just my Mom.

So where does this brain block come from? I have a sister who is eight years older than me so she helped influence who I became. Her house was always spotless. She always had things on her to-do list accomplished before bed. If she lent someone a CD, they got their name written in the big book of belongings. In school she had to have designer jeans, which back in the day were Jordache. Everything was just so, all the time! This was her personality. My personality was more laid back. I could’ve cared less about where my jeans came from. My house has been a mess since my second child was born, he is 16.

My sister got it honest though. She got it from our Momma! Mom and Sister have always ran households where everything has a place and there is a place for everything. They seem to be able to move into a new house and within a week have it clean and organized. I’ve had some moves where when I went to move out two years later there was still a pile of unpacked items in the corner. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it was that my brain needed to do it in an order. I needed to hang a shelf before I could unpack the one on top. I needed to buy shelf anchors before I could hang the shelf. This was the order I needed to do instead of just putting the items somewhere else.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). It’s also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD.

With OCD, you may or may not realize that your obsessions aren’t reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.

As defined by the Mayo Clinic

My initial example of doing things in an order I don’t really feel fits in the category of OCD as defined above. As an example, here is a picture:

They couldn't have rotated that circle just a click?

They couldn’t have rotated that circle just a click?

For me this is annoying. It causes a tickle just under my breast bone and my hands feel twitchy, like I need to fix that circle. However, if I walked by this on the sidewalk, yes it would annoy me but once I walked past it I wouldn’t think about it again. Someone with true OCD may think about it several times or even have the need to fix it before continuing on.

I think for me putting things off is first I want it done just right. Thanks Mom. Secondly, I avoid chores I don’t like until they overwhelm me, as if raising six kids isn’t enough! So if you’ve been reading along thinking OMG! That is so me! or Wow! They let this lady have a driver’s license?! I hope you enjoyed our time together. Now, I’m going to make cookies since I don’t want to mop the floor. Until next time!