Playing with quotes

Recently I’ve been taking pictures (either my own or ones available on the internet) and putting quotes that I find meaningful to the pictures. Seems to have become a favorite pastime. Odd I know.  The not so good artist in me finds immense satisfaction in finding the best background and font to bring the words to life.

I of course cite the author of the words and leave any photographer’s marks on the photos if possible. The quotes and sayings are pretty easy to ensure that I have cited the correct person, the photos much harder since they are usually random flicker and Google posts.

I love shots of our natural world and words that have depth to them. Like this one below that I put together, not only is the photo beautiful but the author has brought light upon where our connection with a higher power is but also the inspiration of architects which I find a very intriguing idea.

Ah Socrates, who doesn’t love his quotes! And I do live by this idea of wisdom.

I couldn’t agree more with this saying. When I find myself about to crumble it’s usually a random seemingly harmless detail that my mind is focused on. Not the entire nightmare, just the clock ticking on the wall.

I love this Author’s quote. I really enjoyed her series, but this line has stayed with me. It is the idea that this is true that lets me think that maybe it’s possible that people like me are not lost causes.


Since most of us are visual creatures it only makes sense to have a great picture to help the message of the words come through. For better or worse I choose the pictures above to fit with the chosen sayings and quotes. Let me know if you think they flow! Joannie


Original Music

Some more of my music.

I really like a lot of techno and house type music. Particularly the stuff out of Europe. Dubstep is okay in small doses but if it’s just a bunch of noise with no beat then I don’t really care for it. I also like some of more notable female singers like Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt. Really there are many artists and singers that I really like. But some of them have a bit more a impact than others. I grew up to Enya’s music so I of course love her and similar artists. Enya’s ‘Sail Away’ link is kinda like my childhood lullaby.  I also really enjoy some of the movie soundtracks that Hans Zimmer does- Lisa Gerrard  from Gladiator (link to it) Now We Are Free -Lisa Gerrard 

One of the bands that I really love that I stumbled upon is Within Temptation. Their music is so mixed and the lead singer AMAZING. From the Netherlands, they aren’t very well known in USA yet, but they are getting super popular in Europe and hopefully will tour the states at some point. I found WT (Within Temptation) before my life really took a turn for the worse.

This is one of their older songs ‘Ice Queen’ Lyrics below. The song gives you a good idea of how the lead singer sounds. The link to the youtube video is:

When leaves have fallen and skies turned to gray
The night keeps on closing in on the day
A nightingale sings his song of farewell
You better hide for her freezing hell

On cold wings she’s coming you better keep moving
For warmth you’ll be longing, nightingale
Come on just feel it don’t you see it?
You better believe it

When she embraces your heart turns to stone
She comes at night when you’re all alone
And when she whispers your blood shall run cold
You better hide before she finds you

Whenever she is raging she takes all life away
Haven’t you seen? Haven’t you seen?
The ruins of our world

Whenever she is raging she takes all life away
Haven’t you seen? Haven’t you seen?
The ruins of our world

She covers the earth with a breath taking cloak
The sun awakes and melts it away
The world now opens it’s eyes and sees
The dawning of a new day

On cold wings she’s coming you better keep moving
For warmth you’ll be longing, nightingale
Come on just feel it don’t you see it?
You better believe it

Whenever she is raging she takes life away
Haven’t you seen? Haven’t you seen?
The ruins of our world


3 Years Gone

The day is finally over. It’s a sad, sad day for everyone around. Mostly I stare blankly ahead. At this grey picture that is supposed to be our lives. I think about how life was with Mom (Renée). So full, so lively and so loved. There was never a question of if someone didn’t belong or was wanted. The days had music and color. Everything she touched was special. The kids fought over who got to go to Wal-Mart because she could turn it into a Holiday. Cleaning the kitchen could be done with more fun than some families birthday parties. Even when things were tough, chaos was full throttle and life was questioned; not once were we not happy with Mom. She healed broken animals and children alike. She taught her boys how to love. She made sure her daughters knew that their life was also their dream. The every-day things that were simple to her we have thousands of self-help books covering how to for the rest of us. Childhood friends from less than ideal homes would ask if she could be their Mom too. Animals and people alike were drawn to the farm and to our family. Getting them to leave was usually the problem. I have never met anyone who lived with so much love and enthusiasm in every single day as my Mom. I’ve never heard of a mother with a bigger heart and the skills to back it up. I’ve never met someone who could turn literally anything mundane into fun. I’ve yet to meet a person who sings along with silly songs with her kids and debates philosophy with a keen mind and fresh perspectives. Everything Mom did was nothing short of amazing. It’s easy to think that once someone is gone that talking up their deeds and personality is natural and everything should be taken in account as such. But the truth that everyone who knew her agrees on is that we can’t do her justice. Our reminiscing while seemingly outlandish falls sadly short. As a child your often asked who was your biggest hero, your influence, had the biggest impact on your life ect. Mine has always been Mom. She was the force that moved mountains, saved lives, inspired minds and brought a new meaning to life, love and possibility. Everyday was lived to fullest.

Mom on a friend’s trampoline in the early years in TN.

Nothing was impossible to Mom. She learned whatever she decided she needed to know or was interested in. In the year before she was taken, Mom was in a Irish dance class – because it was fun. Starting a youth wrestling club at the kid’s school because no body else would. Getting her certification in Equine assisted psychotherapy to help behavioral problem children was a goal. As if the challenges of 9 kids, 30 horses on a farm, running a rental house business and homeschooling weren’t enough. Yet no one felt that Mom wasn’t around, involved or too busy for us.

Mom & muledeer    Mom & Mule Deer in CO. Early 90’s

Baby & beer in tow O.C Maryland with Jeremy (brother 3). She never tired of playing with us as children and exploring. We got to go everywhere with her. One year a couple of the kids and her really wanted to see Roswell New Mexico. So she took the 7 yr old (Jason) out of school a week early before Christmas break, packed the 6 youngest kids, myself and a friend of mine into the van and we drove. Dad and the two older boys stayed home with the farm and Wrestling tournaments. All her friends couldn’t believe she was traveling with 6 kids and 2 teenagers across the united states just for a road trip. We went to New Orleans early the next year before it got hit by Katrina too. She loved being a Mom. She loved life. She showed us what possibility really was and just how full everyday could be.

Mom & baby Jeremy Mom & Jeremy Ocean City, MD.

Words do not encompass my Family’s and I loss. The words we use to describe the emotions are flat and lifeless compared to the feelings themselves. 3 years of confusion and colorless life filled with challenges and one question that we will never have the answer to. Why he did it. I know for myself to think of the ‘rest of my life’ now is just too much. Too much sadness and pain. So years after I still have to think in the shorter timelines so as to not despair. 3 years gone. 3 years and it’s still too painful for the right words. 3 years since we heard her sing. 3 years of just trying to get by.

I wish I had some great wisdom to share with the kids and those who lost her. But I’m human. All I have is the same confusion, another shade of grey and another type of hell.

What time doesn’t change

Time doesn’t change the depth of pain. Time doesn’t change the harsh silence of the despair over losing her. Time doesn’t even begin to alter the wordless feeling at how she died. The only thing time has changed is my ability to hide the pain further away from unknowing eyes. Time has taught me that there is truly very little that we cannot live without – no matter the pain or suffering. There is nothing about thriving, but live we do. I’ve also learned that time actually has no impact on my actual feelings, just others it seems. Hurtful words like ‘you need to move on, ‘let go’ and ‘live your dream’ make it blazingly clear that very few people have the capacity to believe this kind of pain is even possible..let lone understand it. Frankly I have no need for people to understand something they cannot possibly ever come close to without experiencing it. I just wish for some to curb in their stupid tongues or simply for acceptance that this is the way things are in my life; that nothing will ever change it, make it better, less senseless and not completely shattering all life’s’ dreams. There are no ‘great’ lessons to be had. Unless of course it’s how fucking cruel people are and how unbelievably messed up this world is. Don’t get me wrong, many things I’ve learned from this. But one of best statements I’ve ever heard is – just because someone can survive something, does this mean they should have to? Do you really want a loved one to be that strong? I’ve yet to hear a yes. I would give up everything to still have her with us. I know that my whole family would.

The concept seems to be incredibly hard or mayhap even impossible for many to understand that MY life ended that night. The life of this person who just keeps marching no matter what happens started. My dreams were shattered into dust. There is nothing to fix, nothing to pickup, nothing to save. It’s just gone. Not a day goes by that I don’t look in the mirror and go ‘who is that??? Oh right.. that is me…’ I suspect my brothers feel the same. I have to find something that looks like a life I could not shake my head at when all is said and done. A life that shows the kids that they can have something if they try, though it sure as hell isn’t what any of us wanted.

I wish I could say that ‘everyone is okay’ and that time has helped. But I cannot attest to either of those things. I wish I could sleep at night. But I can’t. I wish the world made an inkling of sense. But it doesn’t. Tomorrow it will have been three years. Time hasn’t helped. I wish I could help my brothers, comfort the kids, but I cannot even do that. I sit here wondering how I’ll get through tomorrow, life just seems too long. But it always goes on. Particularly when time changes nothing.