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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thanks, Erika for making me smile!

I am dedicating this blog entry to my BFF, Erika Nelson, aka China Doll (yeah, I coined that phrase for her, and no, she is not Chinese but has hair like the china doll my uncle Frank brought me back from Asia when I was 5). Just tonight, I told one of our mutual friends, Linda, that Erika never has anything bad to say about ANYTHING or ANYBODY. Always a smile on her face.

So embarrassed to learn that Erika re-invented her blog back in the early part of the year, and I missed it! She has been so good to comment on mine, and I didn't even know about hers. Then today, I learned that she had painted a portrait study of me that is DAMN good!

Here is the link to that blog. Read all her entries, they are worth it.

Erika never complains, never talks much about herself, but has in a few of her blogs. So, you can read about her experience with polio, and the challenges of being in a wheelchair from her firsthand. It is obvious when you are with her that she is in a wheelchair, but after a few minutes the chair disappears and it is natural to be around her.

I try not to talk about my 'bad stuff', but wonder if it shows on me like her wheelchair does on her? Is it something that people are aware of, but forget after I play the fool and make them laugh?

I'm just now being comfortable easing back into mainstream 'public'...and organizing these workshops has been a real pleasure for me. In fact, I got huge grins watching everyone else watching Mr. Les. I got more out of your faces than I did watching him (sorry Les lol)...the pleasure lasted well into the evenings as we talked about the day's events.

The journey since the loss of our daughter, Sarah, and the destruction by fire of our brand-new home (and everything else we had 7 years ago) has been such a painful 're-entry' for me that I have been a bit of an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand...or a comedy/tragedy mask...and then Erika goes and paints me with my goofy grin and goofier red hair! Pollyanna reinvented!

Art saved me...and I struggled to find good instructors (had to go through a few to find the ones who speak to my heart). To find joy combining my new passion with some of my old corporate skills through workshops has been a blessing.

When I was accosted with negative nellies and all kinds of unsolicited advice from 'experts' who never volunteer for anything...I fell off into the septic tank of negativity. Put my head back in the sand for a few days...guess I'm still vulnerable. Want everyone to be happy. And, I realized again, that there is nothing humanly possible anyone can do to get a group of people to agree on anything.

I won't go into anymore descriptive specific comments...but those of you who lavished praise and loved every minute of the past events I helped organize, you are appreciated.

For my good friends who always observe from the wings and anticipate my every eyebrow lift when in potentially unstable situations...(Echo, Pam, Kippy, Les, Urania, Julene, Judi, Erika, Linda, Dustie, Ron, Randy (always), Rhonda, Charles, Judy, Sylvain, Chantal, Paul, Penny, Agnes, Suzette, Julie, Reba, Lisa, Tim, M&D, Jim, Sarah, Hayley (doubletroublemills), Josh, Jessie, Jerome, and many more) THANKS!

For the rest of you, DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE! I will not allow me to get down in the septic tank of negativity ever again. Put your time where your mouth is!

And, for Erika, thanks for getting me back in perspective. And for painting all night to finish a large, beautiful pastel still life for the show, and figuring out how to get it framed by yourself, from that chair. And for always having a smile on your face! Hmmm...maybe we need to give that chair a name! Freedom, speed queen, dancin' queen, betty (grable for legs),



Erika Nelson said...

Red, Red, Red, major blush here lol I now climb down from the pedestal to tell you, I don't recognize the China Doll aka Erika you speak of here LOL!

Don't kid yourself, we all have our vulnerable moments when we're caught with our shields down and we battle the elements with our minimal resources, we have a tendency to not be our ourselves.

When I used to see you and didn't really know you, I made a mental note that you struck me as beautiful, happy and confident - basically a perfect recipe for a very attractive woman! Now I've known you for at least 3 years and damn it, I still feel the same way! I love it when my first assessment was right on! :)

One can only admire how you've emerged from your very sad tragedy. You've never really told me the whole story, you know? You don't wear your sadness like you think. I am glad you are reaching out through a medium you love in order to heal yourself. Little Red, you travel near and far for your refueling and I can truly see the wondrous fire lit by your efforts which are manifested in the art you are producing! It's no surprise that people respond positively to your efforts and you are winning awards! They/we see something special is happening yet only a few know it's because we are witnessing a phoenix!

LOL ok you've discovered that darn portrait of yours drawn from a photo I took of you with my phone - what was it, my 500th attempt at photographing you that day??? Woman you are a blur!!! Always on the move whether it's talking, laughing, making faces, but you always do it with great passion hahaha! You know I love you little Red Vicki Lou! xox your China Doll - thanks so much for the goose bump post you've made my week! xoxox

Theresa Rankin said...

Vicki!! This is a passionate and accurate description of Erika! She is an inspiration ....just as you are by your passionate hold on life and motivating writing! No rain hear...just admiration for your humanity and talent.

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Erika! It's your day! Of course I found my portrait...I remember that day when you were trying to get a picture of me, we laughed so hard because I CAN'T be still. Sitting for Mr. Les to do me while in France was excrutiating...every time he would squint down to look at me I would pout thinking he was mad at me! Then I took to crossing my eyes when he would look...anythiing for a laugh!

How much for the painting?


ps: I read every one of your blogs...I have a visual of you and Betty sitting in the middle of the diamond field. I've been there once when I was 12 or so, and that was one time too many!

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Theresa! Thanks for liking my writing. Good friend, Kippy in France advised me several years ago to keep a journal. She was probably thinking of a more private writing..ya think?

gotta figure out a way to study with you some more...didn't get all I wanted!


Erika Nelson said...

Who the hell is Betty??? Page? She's hot. Can't sell the portrait if it ain't mine. Better ask yourself since it belongs to you such as it is. It's my first pastel in years thanks for the inspiration gurly!

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Betty (Grable) for legs...remember i named your w/c last night?


Erika Nelson said...

I tried to leave a comment earlier but I think blogspot is having some major problems lately... anyway

OMG Betty is such a clever name!!!!!! My head was just mush about 11 last so that one just went flying over head zoof!

Mz T. you're all so sweet to me, I didn't mean to not acknowledge your sentiments. I know I can run to you girls anytime I need an ego boost!

Hugs to you both!

lisa-rico said...

i am not a blogger. I admit, i'm a blog virgin. Until now. I attempted to "post" to your blog yesterday, but encounter a problem...i didn't know how.

But this morning, I am determined to try again.

I do enjoy receiving your blog and find your stories and updates interesting. I especially like to see your work. You are doing some really good work! Keep it up.

The other day when you wrote about the show, the jumping back in the public, and the negative pool you encounter, that is when I was inspired to join in the conversation.

We talked a great deal in france. About the show and about the past. As a result, I know that your were concerned about the experience. But you took the bull by the horns and went with it. And I admire that.

Getting back in the "public eye" has to sting. And I am sorry the negative energy of some touched you.

You have been through hell and survived. And if you asked my opinion, (which you didn't) no one should rain on anybodies parade. So many people are so quick to judge and critique.

You are strong and bold. You are talented and spirited. You are honoring Sarah by honoring your life. Do want moves you. Paint, laugh, make us laugh, love, cry, eat good food, and drink good wine. And tell everyone who attempts to rain on your parade to go pound sand.

My best, your friend and blog virgin no more, Lisa

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Jeez, Lisa...made me get lint in my eye. Was hoping you'd join us...Lisa Rico, everyone! We met at the de-vine Mz. K's in France during Mr. Les' workshop. Lisa was the star of that show, I can assure you. In fact, Lisa and I had so much fun that when Kippy reran the film she took of all the demos, it made her tear up! Needless to say, more than a little footage will have to be CUT!

thanks, Lisa!