My Blog Journal


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If I Only Had a Brain, Some Courage, a Heart, and A Way Home

Wizard of Oz Cat Portrait of Tin Man Cat

Glinda told me to follow the yellow brick road…. but where do I begin?

Three weeks ago, I quit my job. (The real one ~ with the bi-weekly paycheck and navy blue/khaki uniform).

It was an amicable parting; I had verbally told my supervisors in late June that I would be leaving, and I gave written notice three weeks in advance.

It was a bittersweet ending to a nine-year partnership with that company…. which included 6.5 years of 40+ hour work weeks in management, and 2.5 years of part-time 16 hour weeks.  I hesitate calling it “a career”, because that sounds too much like a commitment, and my plan was never to stay permanently.

However my initial excitement to embrace self-employment, focus on my future art business, and even to home-school my 5-year-old daughter, was tempered with the reality that I would be leaving behind a team of people who felt like family to me.

In fact, when I started working at the Waynesboro, PA location … Joe and I were still dating. These guys have known me nearly as long as my husband has!
During my final days at work, as I hugged dozens of people good-bye, it felt like I was breaking off a long-term relationship every half hour.

Jen and I being goofy :)

I’ve stopped into the store once or twice each week, though it’s a 30-minute drive from our house, because I haven’t fully accepted that I’m no longer part of the system. I feel drawn back to work, as if the last three weeks were an extended vacation.

They tease me about being bored at home, but quite the contrary!

I have finished the Six Wives of King Henry VIII, and I will start painting the portrait of Henry himself this Saturday, the 28th, at the Carroll County Farmer’s Market.
I will be attending every show this winter! Since I no longer have a retail job forcing me to work holiday weekends. ;)
[see sidebar for show dates]

Wives of King Henry VIII, Tudor Cats Collection

(from top left-right) Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour.
(bottom left-right) Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.

I can spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in years ~ instead of producing enough cupcakes for everyone in the North Eastern US, or guarding a pallet of cheap office equipment.

I will also be participating in the upcoming 8th annual “Art for the Animals” charity auction to raise money for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. You can check out their Facebook page for details, and I will be updating with pictures from the opening reception on October 5th.
This is the 3rd year I have donated artwork for this fundraiser. “Africat” was my contribution in 2011, and the “Duke and Duchess of Welfurrd” were last year’s submissions.

This year, I decided to paint four 5×7 paintings in a series…. and asked my Facebook friends and fans for suggestions. Everyone had wonderful ideas!
From the Fab Four and Kiss Kats… to Civil War soldiers, the four seasons, and my daughter’s favorite: the cast from Les Miserables.
Someday I will have to paint them all!

One popular theme was The Wizard of Oz, and it was the idea that inspired me most…..

Wizard of Oz Cat Portrait of Dorothy

Perhaps because I’ve been identifying with Dorothy lately, lost in a magical land, surrounded by wonderful and caring friends (and a few wicked witches, too!), but all the while just trying to find her way back home.

I’ve never had a sense of belonging to any place, any person, or any job.

Nothing felt quite right.

Even this townhouse we are currently renting has lost the “glow” it had when we first moved into our subdivision…. now that I know our neighbors, the defects of the building, the cost of utilities, and did I mention the neighbors?

If I had a pair of ruby slippers to click together, where would they take me?
Will I wake up tomorrow in an old farmhouse in Kanses?
Or will I… like Dorothy…. realize that I’ve been carrying HOME along with me the entire time?

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