Monthly Archives: November 2012

an early morning walk

I am here to post something much more delightful and positive than my borderline rant. I have asked myself if I feel better after saying what I felt and I am not sure I can answer that. This uncertainty tells me, perhaps not. I think I stepped out of character for that post and not being “you” is never a pleasant thing. So, I’m back…pardon the detour.

I am off this week of Thanksgiving and the weather here is perfect. I was outside early this morning picking satsumas and newly ripened oranges off of my trees – trying to beat the squirrels and the birds. I stood there within the grove the citrus trees made and broke the fast of the night – it was so wonderful, pure, whole food from my backyard. I have to say, there is not many pleasures beyond growing your own food. I suppose it is somewhere in our DNA – a survival tool that we are hard wired for. I heard yesterday that one component of well-being and good health is to have something to look forward to. Well, growing your food gives that to you along with whole food that is free from chemicals and filled with nutrients. Just a small patch of land can do big things for your health. Just saying…

 

While in the woods, I was dazzled once again by the cobwebs that extended over the paths – masterpieces in the early fall mornings with dew outlining their shapes and emphasizing their details – little Rembrandts of the night reminding me of chalk artist in today’s cities – working so hard to create, only to be dissolved by an inevitable looming force of nature.
The day rolls out like a tapestry rug – each hour offering something different than the one before, like the chapters of our lives, unfolding and delivering little pieces of art that delight us and then disappear into the morning light of the next day where, if we look with open eyes, we will see yet another masterpiece beginning .
Anyway…I hope this post is back to normal and I hope you can find something to look forward to whether it is a child coming home for the holidays or a trip you may take or a ripe orange in your backyard – and when you do, I hope you are thankful for the masterpiece that was delivered to your door and know that soon, there will be another.
b u
p s

 
 

 

sorry, just had to say it

 

I am up early on this Sunday morning and my emotions are playing tug of war – so I will write, I will try to sort it all out with words. This weblog is designed to be a place of positive postings – as I have said, it is my “Prozac” – it is a place I come to reaffirm the good things in my life and life in general, but today, I am being challenged with a reoccurring torment of sorts. I apologize, but I must deviate from my purpose.
This negative spiral downward began when I opened this laptop this morning. I have a love hate relationship with this computer. I love the accessibility of my friends, many I would have never connected with if not for this magical machine, and I love being able to look up information but the nemesis is the information that is force fed to me each time I sign in – I really don’t want to know all of that stuff – and I really don’t believe most of its sensation but it still affects me and I carry around its negativity like a ball and chain.
Like this morning – the headlines were “Driving America’s 85-mph toll road before the fun gets old” – well I knew that was south Texas so I skimmed the article and found this, “This strip, I realized, would soon lose its innocence. The state of Texas didn’t build it as a go-cart track for gas-hogging Caddys. Austin and San Antonio are both booming, and the I-35 corridor connecting them shudders under the weight of extreme population growth. They built the 130 to ease the traffic pressure. It probably will, a bit, but it’s also an open invitation to developers. That’s some pretty country right there along the San Marcos River. The day is coming when South Central Texas will be one long urban megalopolis to rival southern California. At one end sits a sign that points visitors to the new Circuit Of the Americas race track, and at the other, the entrance to Interstate 10. TX 130, the fastest road in the U.S.A., heralds a kind of lost innocence.” – that leveled me, the hill country, soon to be corporate? For one, I fear that allowed rate of speed will be pushed to the limits of 100-mph and danger will set in and secondly, and what prompted this post, I’ve seen that strip of beautiful, authentic country and now, I predict greedy, non-caring developers will litter it with every chain known to us – it will look just like every town in America – chains lined up for “miles and miles of Texas”.

 I traveled a lot this past summer and from the highway, it all looks the same; I find that so disturbing. I can only imagine the ill effects of these big corporations to the interiors of these, once unique, towns. I know the population is exploding and we need to provide for that but why can’t each town and city make those accommodations from within – with character and distinction that is their own – why do we all have to look alike and why does every piece of land have to be developed? Have we lost sight of the importance of our natural landscape, of America the beautiful? (I suppose you expect to hear a violin playing in the background right about now because I am getting close to the “drama queen” border.)

 Anyway, I will stop here because, as I have said many times, I am not politically savvy and certainly know nothing about economics, I just know that I am always upset when beautiful country with history and distinctiveness is leveled by big chains and greed that are only there to fill their pockets and have no concern for the destruction of natural habitats and the heartbeat of that town.

I can’t end before I ask, ” Why don’t we just buy local?” I know it cost a few dollars more to shop local, but hey, how about we “buy less” locally instead of “paying less” for so much junk we really don’t need? I am guilty on occasion too, guilty of popping into Wal-Mart or one of the other chains – I feel so bad when I go into one of those places that used to be a farm or a place where the sun set or, heck, someone’s backyard – they do not care – they have no perimeters as to what cannot be turned into concrete, destroying the natural flow of the land, tearing down trees, destroying the beauty and running out the wildlife that has been there forever.  Oh and then, we get up in arms when a dislocated black bear or a coyote invades our “territory” or a raccoon turns over our trash – how dare it come into my space? Just kill it.

 I have no solution to offer and those of you reading this may not even see it as a “problem” but this is my space to vent and it’s obviously something that means a lot to me, so here it is. I am not writing this to be confrontational and I don’t really care to respond to anything, I write this to raise awareness – I just wish we could all maintain our originality and I see supporting local businesses as the only way to that end – if not, we will all be, if not already, cookie cutter towns with no character and our money will land in some far away place. And sadly, the art of living will be on the clearance aisle in Wal-Mart.

 
b u y l e s s
p s

 

art

Just a quick post on a busy morning… Today is our community artwalk – something I have been looking forward to for a long time. I have my little book ready today – Berry Tales – and I have some pieces of art to show. I have a cozy spot at our local bookstore, Books Along the Teche, and the weather is festive and perfect, but…I have a little problem. It seems my right eye is doing something weird and probably age related – it began with a floater and last night there was a flash. I am very worried and will see a doctor this morning. I am posting, not for drama or sympathy, but for obligation – an obligation to say to you how we should not delay our lives. We never really know what the next second holds. I am not trying to spread paranoia or create drama but this little (I hope) incident has made me realize that very thing, that sudden change, so graphically. Anyway, I am off to the doctor and I feel confident iIwill be okay but I am different now, I am in a state of more gratitude for all that I have in terms of “natural resources” and I want you to be too. I hope to be at the artwalk this evening with my little book and my family of snowmen.

b u
p s

berry tales

This is a tough entry for me, but I have challenged myself to make this seemingly egotistical entry before the week ends, so here goes…I have a book I would like to sell. I have been writing a Sunday newspaper column for nearly 7 years and I have put together a little book of Berry Tales. The book includes the first 4 years of my column, from January 2006 through December 2009. It is just $14.95 and would make a great and unique gift for yourself and for people from here, New Iberia, that have since moved – buying local is good you know J.

 The reading is light and positive, includes illustrations, and I hope, in a small way, inspiring. Anyway, I am so happy that I finally did this – it was a bucket list item – and I hope I will do another at the end of 2013 – 4 more years of Berry Tales.

If you are interested in a copy, message me on Facebook or email me at wejamnla@yahoo.com. The life of an artist is wonderful and I would not want it any other way, but the part that involves that left brain business and marketing stuff is very hard and unfamiliar. This is possibly my most awkward and difficult post ever…

here is an iPhone shot of the cover:



 

 here is a small peek within:

 

November 2007

Winter Wishes

 

 
“… It seems most everywhere you look things are red and green and plugged in. You have to know Christmas is near. Tomorrow night there will be a parade on Main Street and I hear Santa will be there as well as floats and dancers and queens and princesses and Christmas music. Our Main Street is such a wonderful backdrop for Christmas pageantry. The shop keepers and store owners have created displays that are delightful and imaginative. I love the way Kimberly’s and Clementine’s have wrapped colored lights outside of their buildings, and  there is an old fashioned feeling when you look in the window at the old Wormser’s and the mannequins at Natalie’s are whimsical and fun. I also love turning the corner onto Iberia Street to see the marquee lights on at the old Essanee Theater. I drove by the other night, it was a bit chilly outside and I could see people inside. I suppose they were creating and rehearsing and doing what they love to do; it all seemed so wintry and theatrical, like something magical from Dickens.

 

I have noticed, however, something has vanished from this season of tinsel and treasure, the Sears Wishbook. It seems to have slipped away with the milkman, Tinker Toys, and fat colored lights that twist in and burn out.”

 

And it goes on… Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me to do this – it makes me happy and motivates me to do more, to create more. Art is something I have retreated to my whole life, it’s a place I can go to be happy; I hope these little berry tales can give you joy also.

b u

p s

Berry Tales

This is a tough entry for me, but I have challenged myself to make this seemingly egotistical (yuk!!!) entry before the week ends, so here goes…I have a book I would like to sell. I have been writing a Sunday newspaper column for nearly 7 years and I have put together a little book of Berry Tales. The book includes the first 4 years of my column, from January 2006 through December 2009, with illustrations. It is just $14.95 and would make a great and unique gift for yourself and for people from here, New Iberia, that have since moved – buying local is good you know J.

 The reading is light and positive and I hope, in a small way, inspiring. Anyway, I am so happy that I finally did this – it was a bucket list item – and I hope I will do another at the end of 2013 – 4 more years of Berry Tales.

If you are interested in a copy, message me on Facebook or email me at wejamnla@yahoo.com. The life of an artist is wonderful and I would not want it any other way, but the part that involves that left brain business and marketing stuff is very hard and unfamiliar. This is possibly my most awkward and difficult post ever…

 

Here is the cover:

berry tales

by pam shensky

a collection of Sunday columns from

The Daily Iberian

2006 – 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a small peek within:

 

November 2007

Winter Wishes

 

 
 
… It seems most everywhere you look things are red and green and plugged in. You have to know Christmas is near. Tomorrow night there will be a parade on Main Street and I hear Santa will be there as well as floats and dancers and queens and princesses and Christmas music. Our Main Street is such a wonderful backdrop for Christmas pageantry. The shop keepers and store owners have created displays that are delightful and imaginative. I love the way Kimberly’s and Clementine’s have wrapped colored lights outside of their buildings, and  there is an old fashioned feeling when you look in the window at the old Wormser’s and the mannequins at Natalie’s are whimsical and fun. I also love turning the corner onto Iberia Street to see the marquee lights on at the old Essanee Theater. I drove by the other night, it was a bit chilly outside and I could see people inside. I suppose they were creating and rehearsing and doing what they love to do; it all seemed so wintry and theatrical, like something magical from Dickens.

 

I have noticed, however, something has vanished from this season of tinsel and treasure, the Sears Wishbook. It seems to have slipped away with the milkman, Tinker Toys, and fat colored lights that twist in and burn out.

 

And it goes on… Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me to do this – it makes me happy and motivates me to do more, to create more. Art is something I have retreated to my whole life, it’s a place I can go to be happy; I hope these little berry tales can give you joy also.

b u

p s

"How did that happen?"

Life is very different for me now. I wake up on a Saturday morning and I am not scrambling a dozen eggs and juicing OJ; I am making coffee and writing. They are gone, far away gone, from Colorado to the Cresent City. Elizabeth is still here, finishing up the last hoorah but on this Saturday morning she is in Lafayette taking SAT – something she needs to move her on. “On”, will be far away too, it seems. Next year, they really will be all gone. Hmmmm. It is a strange, but good, feeling, kind of mellow.
 The first thing I ask myself on this morning of semi isolation is “How did I do that?” I cannot conceive of waking up to five kids every morning and getting this house in motion. It seems my instinct of survival has blocked that from my memory – too much to absorb, too much to think about? Funny about life, we go through passages almost blindly, doing what we need to do without question and then later, look back and say just what I have said, “ How did I get through that?’ I am not making this declaration in a negative light, it was great, it was magical, it was fulfilling; I just don’t know how I managed to see about all of those people.I’m really not a multi tasker kind of person – I am very, very laid back. I do remember cooking – alot. I also remember the seemingly endless pile of clothes in the laundry room.Honestly, I thought I would live my entire life in that room – forever!  And I do remember the conscious decision to put away my paintbox for those years. I realized early on that that would cause me frustration – to begin a piece and have to go deep into the night to finish it – not worth it. Instead, I think those years and my children gave me inspiration and I think they will manifest themselves in my art – it was the right decision for me.

Anyway, it is early November and I have the day to do as I please – this is a very new deal for me. I am going to enjoy this little piece of freedom for sure but I will always miss my busy home when they all were here and my day was filled with the most important activity of all, being “mom”.

I think of a quote by Jackie Kennedy and hope that I somewhat hit the target, but more than that, I hope they all know I tried my best on that one chance I got ,  just as all of you are…

” If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”
just a favorite pic taken on the 100 year old carousel at City Park in New Orleans  – a month before Elizabeth lost her grandmother, my wonderful mom. She was there on the little bench watching Elizabeth go around and around, each time waving as though the first time – this was a very difficult passage for me as “mom”…still is

 

So, whatever your stage in life is, I hope you are trying your best – no one is perfect, but everyone can be the best “them” (most of the time :)).
b u
p s