My sleep pattern hasn’t quite got back to normal, though why I’m awake so early doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been downstairs for a couple of hours journaling and creating. I spent most of Saturday wandering round like a zombie and occasionally falling asleep on the sofa, then late at night my creative muse seemed to wake up and I spent some time painting a base coat of crackle paint onto a mirror, buttering some molding paste onto a couple of journal pages and I dug out a little chipboard album and cut some Dove of the East Paris papers to fit it.
I slept til lunchtime on Sunday, did some (shhh) housework, went to see Derrick in the afternoon (update below) and carried on playing when I got home. There has been a lot of discussion amongst my creative friends recently about journaling and I’ve been chatting away about it like I’m some kind of expert, but in fact, it’s been quite some time since I journaled regularly. I have a tiny (4 inch square) journal that used to be my bedside journal where I would often create a page of doodling and writing before I went to sleep. I was talking to Lynn and Lesley about journaling while we were away and realised that I have only journalled sporadically in the last few years and it’s something that I would like to fit into my routine as a regular thing – without turning it into a chore of course.
I always tried to keep my journals focused on the positive and when something unpleasant happens, it’s easy to let the journal become a whingefest. I always used to counter that with a “What’s Better?” list each day. No matter how awful the day had been, I would pose the question ‘what’s better today’ and look for at least one positive answer and write about that.
So while I was away, I bought a copy of a journaling magazine and when I got home, I dug out an old journal that I started in 2000. That year was a huge year of fresh starts – I wound up our consultancy and training business and started Graphicus then moved house to the one we are currently in to give the business space to grow. Reading back through that old journal was so interesting – in some ways not much has changed, in other ways ten years has brought huge changes. I also found some other notebooks from the same era – one was full of images of beautiful country kitchens and other gorgeous interiors cut from magazines – something I used to do to help me refine the look I wanted in my own home. Interesting that the painted country kitchens I selected ten years ago still appeal to me now.
I have lots of journals on the go and wouldn’t you know, the one I really wanted to work in yesterday is nowhere to be found. I think I’ve left it at work. So what did I do? Started a new one of course. It has a plain brown kraft cover and nice sturdy white pages. I decided to decorate the cover with a brocade stamp and used Titan Buff acrylic paint to stamp a brocade design all over. When it was dry I rubbed distress inks over the top and edged it with Versamagic chalk ink (jumbo java).
It was this morning as I was tidying up that I discovered I hadn’t screwed the lid down on the Titan Buff paint and as I picked it up by the lid, the paint fell away and I had visions of this viscous opaque paint going everywhere. Somehow, as I made a grab for it, I ended up with my thumb right inside the pot, not great for my thumb, but lucky for everything else on the table that I had spent the last couple of days working on. Phew!
I have some more California photos to share with you, but before I do that, the invalid update for those of you following their progress.
Derrick, well he’s really going through the mill. Finally he can swallow, though he has to be careful he doesn’t choke and has had to learn to swallow twice or it goes down the wrong way. He’s had thrush in his mouth and now he’s got shingles. He really didn’t look too good when I saw him yesterday and I confess to getting rather upset as we left. It’s been a tough week for Adrian having to deal with it on his own, and almost broke my heart when he said he didn’t know which was worse, seeing his Dad in hospital, or his mum on her own at home. I am so proud of him for the way he is coping with such an awful situation and I know that when the time comes that they are no longer with us, he can be at peace with the fact that he took such good care of them.
Basil is pretty much the same. I had forgotten how skinny he was and was shocked at how light he is when I first picked him up. He is still being a picky eater, and seems to prefer eating when we are with him – must be anxiety I’m guessing. Other than being too skinny, he seems fine and he now has a new friend – a mini Mr Fuzzybottoms, who I found wandering round the Rainforest Cafe in search of a loving home.
Here we are in the Rainforest Cafe at Disney – looking a bit tired at the end of a long day, drinking cocktails (non-alchoholic, I certainly couldn’t process alchohol as well as jet lag) and eating fajitas.
The cocktails were like drinking pudding through a straw – yumm!
If you have never heard of the Rainforest Cafe, it really is a full on Disney experience as the whole building has been designed to make you feel like you are in the jungle. There are vines and flowers everywhere above you with parrots and giant butterflies gently flapping their wings. You are surrounded by huge tanks full of tropical fish who swim by and there is real water dripping down from the canopy above. Every so often, the whole place goes dark and the water drips turn into a heavy shower while cracks of thunder roll around above you and flashes of lightning are puntuated by screeches from invisible monkeys and parrots. The rain is carefully channelled so it doesn’t actually fall on the diners of course. The whole thing is a masterpiece of theatrics and the food is good too. What’s not to like?
These aren’t the real fish in the tanks, this is just the decoration along the bar. The bubbles are real and quite hypnotic to watch.
The show finished on Wednesday at 2pm and by 2.40pm, we had the whole stand down and we were out of the door. We headed to the mall we found on the first day to eat at JD Schmid again and have a browse around Borders. The rain had gone and we had sunny blue skies, almost warm enough to leave the cardigan behind.
You know you’re in California when this is the view from the shopping mall car park.