I never outgrew the enjoyment of coloring in coloring books. I have always loved it, and have a collection of crayola crayons (the only crayons worth coloring with, in my opinion) and coloring books. Not many people enjoyed this activity, as adults, but fortunately the BF Jim does, so I’ve had a coloring partner for the last 5 years.
It should come as no surprise that I was delighted that “Adult Coloring Books” have become a thing. Not because I needed it to validate my life long pastime, but because of the material that’s now available to color. DC and Marvel Entertainment have jumped on the bandwagon, producing black and white coloring book versions of previously published comic book stories, and collections of pin-up posters, images and comic covers. I could not be more excited about this, and have a small collection of these already (and hope to own them all, some day.) I also like that they are printed on paper more amenable to coloring with colored pencils, because I enjoy coloring with colored pencils more – it allows me to get a little more artistic with shading and color matching. I hadn’t actually colored in any of the books until this weekend. I started with two comic book cover reprints, Brave and the Bold #59 and Justice League of America #217, using an image of the actual comic cover for reference. I absolutely loved coloring them, and this has definitely reinvigorated my love for coloring.
I couldn’t get a really good picture of the finished product, but here are the two images I colored. The original comic image is on the left, my hand colored version is on the right:
If I had one small complaint, it’s that some of the colors are reprinted as solid black in the coloring book images (note the difference in the DC logo in the upper left corners and the text in the bottom right corners of the first images; and the difference in the DC logo in the top left corner, the Comic Title, and circle of stars in the bottom image.) But that’s just the perfectionist in me. Otherwise, I love these.
I can’t wait to do more.
Well, we survived the week and, despite it being long, hard and difficult to handle…
…I’ll wait while the spiritual 7 year olds on the web giggle and smirk naughty smiles for my choice of phrase….
…there were some great resolutions to some stressful and upsetting situations. I gave a kick ass presentation, I finished a bunch of “sitting on my desk too long” projects, I worked through some personal stuff, my “ex-blogger” buddy and IRL friend Dave is home and on the mend (Yay!) I even managed to eat relatively healthy this week…mostly.
To reward ourselves for not quitting, we decided to treat ourselves to an impromptu get away to Lenox Massachusettes to see the “HANNA-BARBERA: The Architects Of Saturday Morning” exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, then have lunch, do a little shopping, relax in our hotel and have dinner at a favorite local restaurant (Alta), then just have a night away to unwind and pamper ourselves a bit.
We left this morning and, despite the cold, its been a fun, carefree and relaxing day. A much welcome respite from the stress and strife of the last 7 days.
One of the hi-lites of my day was finding this guy: meet Marshall Lenox Hanna-Barbera, the latest addition to the stuffed Giraffe preserve in my home!
What can I say? I refuse to grow up! When the lady at the counter said “Someone’s going to be very happy to get this. I hope it’s going to a good home.” I just smiled from ear to ear and said “I can guarantee it!”
See you on the other side.
We watched all of the first season of the “Story of Us” this weekend. It is the life stories of a family, and deals with some real issues, many of which I can understand and relate to. Weight issues, feelings of inadequacy, fear of abandonment, relationship dynamics, family dysfunction; it is a fictional world with very non-fictional situations. Many of the more poignant moments come at crossroads in the lives of the characters, when they have to make a choice about what they want to do, where they want to go, who they want to be, and how they want to relate to the people in their lives. My favorite point of the show is that it illustrates love in action: not just a bunch of people saying it to each other, but showing it through their actions, their choices, their struggles, even when it’s hard, or painful. Because, in the end, love is not just a feeling, it’s a choice and an action. A choice to walk a path, build a life, a family, a home, a future with other people. To be there, through it all. It’s not reciting “for better or worse” at a ceremony in front of people on a perfectly planned day; it’s not just having fun and laughing; it’s not cocktails and expensive dinners; and it’s not expensive gifts and great sex; those things can be shared with someone you love, for sure, but real love, strong love, powerful love, is there when things are painful and confusing and scary and hard. It’s there when you fall and need a hand picking yourself back up, or break and need help putting yourself back together. It’s there when you screw up, not to shame you, but to forgive you, recognizing your faults and wanting to be with you anyway. Its caring about others wants and needs as much as your own. Its having a permanent part of your brain wondering “Where are they? What are they doing? How are they feeling?” even when you can’t be there. It’s worrying more about working through problems than pointing fingers, and it’s believing that, above all else, they will be there for you, and knowing, with all your heart, you will be there for them.
That is love.
And that is the story of us.
At least, I’d like to believe it is.
It had been a busy morning, finishing up the remainder of putting the house back in order. We went for a comic book and grocery run in the bitter cold New York temps, then returned home to settle into a relaxing afternoon on the sofa together with the dogs, enjoying the solitude and calm of our newly returned-to-normal home, warm and cozy, safe from the blistering cold just outside our door.
After situating ourselves on either end of the couch, Harvey quickly curled up in a tiny ebony puddle between my legs, while Rita sauntered her way onto the blanket draped casually over the side of Jeffrey’s leg and thigh, settling into an awkward-appearing restful position, half nestled, half hanging, as she is wont to do.
After a few moments of petting and tail wagging, she breathed a deep sigh and sank into his side. I stared at her, growing teary eyed as I remembered the first time I saw her, from across the room, surrounded by a cacophony of excited, yapping dogs, her little snout silently poking through the chain-link fence that separated the canine orphans from the human parents-to-be. We made eye contact, and I made a bee-line for her. It was love at first sight. I continued to glide through the memory, recalling how I was handed her leash, quickly scooping her up, and holding her lovingly but clumsily, realizing she was all muscle, shaking furiously, scared out of her mind. She was nothing like I ever imagined getting, but everything I could ever want. I clutched her firmly and warmly, whispering reassurance into her ear that she was safe, and promising her she would be more loved and cared for than she could ever imagine. I promised her she would always know she was my special girl.
And then, as my lip started to tremble, and the muscles in my face tightened (as they do when I inadvertently attempt to stop the tears I know are inevitably going to flow from the emotion sweeping over me) that’s when it happened…
Rita puffed out a little dog-toot from her heiny…shattering the silence and sending me into a fit of laughter*, as only Rita Mae can do!
Princess without polish, precious without pretension.
That’s my girl!
*”Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” – Truvy (Dolly Parton) Jones, Steel Magnolias