The Angry Tree

As mentioned before I feel like The Angry Tree deserves a post to itself. So, here is the story of the painting you love or hate, or have grown to love.

In 2007, I decided I wanted to start painting. I cannot draw. I know nothing about paint. But, it sounded idyllic and I was interested. I also would see abstract art that I liked and think, “I could totally do that!” Well, that’s not really the case.

I have a thing for trees in the winter. I LOVE how leafless trees look on the horizon. I don’t know if it’s the lines or what, but I think they are beautiful. So I decided my first painting would be simple. A thin tree off centered with lots of limbs and a plain white background.

I started with the trunk and being the perfectionist (not compatible with artist, btw!) I am, I painted the line and it wasn’t straight. So, I painted over it and it got thicker. This process repeated itself until the trunk was, well, fat.

I moved onto the branches. I don’t know why I thought the branches needed to be curvy, but that’s what I painted. I realized it looked really terrible, and decided to just continue on adding branches. After all branches were added, it looked even more terrible. Really bad. Awful. I hated it. It made me mad, er, angry.

So, where the simple white background would be, I dipped my paint brush in red paint and filled in the ugly background around the ugly tree. Ugh, I thought. I hate this. Worst painting ever.

Jeremy was in the living room watching TV, and I knew there was an empty nail on a wall just behind our front door. I decided to hang it up there as a joke to show him my masterpiece. After laughing his ass off at me being supportive, we continued with our evening forgetting about the painting.

As I said, the painting was hung behind our front door, so it was easily overlooked. It stayed there, not on purpose, but because we simply forgot about it. I’m not sure if it was a week or a month later but when our friends the Launchbaugh’s came over, they spotted the painting and we all laughed. I told them my 0riginal vision and the reason behind the red painted background. It was bad. It was really, really bad. Agreed.We decided upon the name “Angry Tree” and it stuck.

Again, time passed with the painting still up because we just forgot about it. As more and more friends saw it and we told the story behind it we all became weirdly attached to this ugly painting. And, it stayed up on purpose. Simply because it was funny.

Fast forward again, two years later to us moving in our brand new house. When friend’s came to see the new casa, one of the first questions was, “Where is Angry Tree going?!?!” So, angry tree now has prime real estate in our entry way. I have grown to love this painting because it makes me happy thinking about laughing about it with our friends. So, here it is folks. My masterpiece:


This is what happens when…

You show up at a park and the “splash pad” is on unexpectedly.

You leave your glasses on your bedside table

You PLAN on the splash pad being turned on

P.S. lots of posts to follow over the next few days to catch up! Happy Monday!

May – In Review

Rebekah & Reese after dinner. Could they be any cuter??

Rebekah has a thing for glasses. She found mine and decided to give them a try.

A pony tail!

She’s really trying to dress herself these days.

The glasses obsession again. She stole these from me.

We had a fun weekend at the zoo and pool. She’s climbing the rock wall at the zoo – don’t let the cute face fool you. There were several temper-tantrums at the zoo!

First swim of the summer!

Rebekah & Reese at our friend, Candice’s, cookout.

Going on a walk with mommy, bear, pluto, goofy, water and snack. She looks mad, but she got over it!

At a photo shoot for a friend of a friend’s store. I can’t wait to see the professional pics.

Update: 40 by 40

I’m excited that I actually do have 4 updates on my 40 by 40. I think making this list public is making me accountable! Here’s the latest:

1)  Get involved with a charity (Women for Women, Parkinson’s or low income teens in Tulsa) – I have actually taken steps to get involved with two different charities.

One is a charity that I discovered after reading Nicholas Kristof’s, Half the Sky. I highly recommend this book. It’s a tough read, but introduces you to a world that you can’t turn your back on after learning about. Women for Women International is a charity that provides micro-financing to women in war torn countries with a donation of only $27/month. The wonderful thing about this program is that you are matched up with a “sister” who is directly receiving the benefit of your donations. They help her learn to build a business, anything from farming to making jewelry, and establish herself as a knowledgeable and independent woman. I’m currently waiting to be matched with my sister.

The second is a local organization called Youth at Heart. They provide activities after school and during the summer for children who live in low-income and government assisted living. These children wouldn’t be able to participate in activities without this group. Can you imagine a childhood where you couldn’t participate in things like soccer, camp or dance? I’m so grateful that my family was able to provide this for me, and to think of a child who won’t be exposed to things like this is tragic. I’ve met with them and I think I will be helping with a golf tournament in July and once the school year gets started again spend time with some of the kiddos.

13)   Paint 2 canvases for house – I just finished painting the trim of the canvases black (to avoid framing) and am curious to see what happens. We might have another Angry Tree painting on our hands. Angry Tree deserves a post to itself.

22)   Create a Family Photo Wall – My mom recently purchased a new coffee table. When we unpacked it, it was sitting on this piece of wood and we both thought, hm, something cute could be done to that. So, here’s the piece of wood after some sanding and gray spray paint.

I’m a little torn if I want to use it to put simple glass frames in with pictures of our parents and grandparents or if I want to turn it into an organizing station like the Daily System at Pottery Barn. Yeah, I said organization and station so I’m sure that’s where this one will end up. Not sure yet.

26)   Frame favorite quotes and put in vanity – Done, check! Okay, this is probably the smallest item on the list, but it’s still complete. Below is a pic and the quotes I chose. (I obviously really like Maya Angelou quotes!)

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou

 “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” ~ Maya Angelou

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ Maya Angelou

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ Maya Angelou

“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” ~ Maya Angelou

“We need much less than we think we need.” ~ Maya Angelou

 “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you” ~ Emerson

Five Years is Just Too Long

This is going to be a hard post to write. And, for those who know me, you will probably be surprised at my candidness and openness in the post. I’m not an outwardly emotional person at all. But, I have a lot of thoughts, feelings, emotions and a simple need to get them out there and to connect with those who have been through this and those who knew and loved my dad.

5 years ago, my world stood still. It stood still for days, weeks, and looking back the better part of a year. After a long battle with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease and the rapid progression leaving him bedridden, my dad, a once avid runner, outdoors man and charismatic man, simply couldn’t live any longer.

The idea of losing him wasn’t shocking. I knew it was coming. I knew he was done and had no quality of life to live for. After a close call in early May 2006, we thought his outlook had improved. While on vacation with dear friends two weeks later, Jeremy and I got a horrific phone call that he was gone. He decided he was done and that was that. He left us to grieve, but he was no longer suffering. After booking an early flight and staying up all night reliving the horror what happened, Jeremy and I arrived in Tulsa to face reality.

When I think about him being gone for five years, I can’t bear the idea that he hasn’t been a part of my life for five years. Five years is a long time. A lot has happened. Jobs, trips, children, moving, friend’s children and marriages and he hasn’t been here for any of it. That is heartbreaking.

After getting through the initial grief, shock and overwhelming sadness, the hardest part to this day is that it will just hit me, out of the blue, like a punch in the stomach, that he’s not here. He’s not here. He’s not here. I can’t call him to talk about exercise, work issues and anything else I want to talk to my dad about. I also can’t get annoyed with him for asking me a million questions when I’m about to leave, I can’t roll my eyes when he tells me to make sure I leave one headphone out when I’m running and to always be aware of my surroundings.

So, while it’s been five years since I lost him and day to day life is easier than it once was, I don’t think there will ever be a time when I don’t feel that punch in my stomach when I see or hear certain things. And, it’s not the big things. It’s the small things. It’s when I see that Chevy has a new Camero and I know that he would have been so excited that he would have taken me to the dealership to test drive the car with no intention of buying it. It’s seeing other grandpa’s with their grandchildren. It’s Jeremy getting a beer fridge in the new house and not being able to taste new beers with my dad. It’s me starting to take yoga and not having him to be enthusiastic about my new adventure. It’s doing a double take at the store when seeing a stranger that walks, looks, or has mannerisms like him. Those things, will never go away. And, I don’t want them to. I want his memory to stay close and never fade too far away.

But, most importantly, he doesn’t know my daughter and my daughter doesn’t know him and never will. That, THAT, is the most heartbreaking part of it all.

The following is the speech I gave at his service. I wrote most of it in at 3am driving over an hour to the airport in the dark less than 12 hours after learning of his death. The memories literally flooded my mind and I wrote them blindly in a book all over pages with words already printed because there was no paper but I had to get these out. The fear of forgetting them was completely consuming.

Just before my dad passed away, I had a long talk with a great friend about what eternal life of lost loved ones truly means to those still living.

Dad’s eternal life is in heaven, but also, his eternal life is still living with and through us.

Here on earth, the things he has taught my mother, my brother, my husband, our friends and family and myself will live on and be passed on to new generations.

This past week as I was remembering him, I wrote down just a few of the many things he taught all of us. Here are a few I want to share with all of you.

  • First, how to make sure that those you love, especially your spouse and children know you love them and you tell them every day.
  • How to calculate price per unit at the grocery store to find the absolute best bargain.
  • A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
  • Drive your car like you’re going to sell it. Also known as, “not allowing a single piece of dirt or trash to ever be left in your car.”
  • That it is actually possible for someone to fall asleep or “snooze” as he would say, at Yankee Stadium in the middle of a Yankee-Red Sox game. (not sure I’m going to pass that one on)
  • To always have an open mind, try new things, accept others and never be afraid to be different.
  • And lastly, whenever I went through a difficult time, he would always, always tell me, “It’s just a moment and the moment will pass.”

And, he’s right. This time of grief, sadness and loss is real and here right now, but our grief will slowly turn to loving, funny, enjoyable and fun memories.

And we will each go on in this world here on earth doing better and being better people because we all knew my dad, Jim Scovil, Jr.

Blogging took a back seat

So, I’ve been totally MIA from the blogosphere because sometimes I get obsessive complusive super motivated to finish a lingering project. The lingering project this time? Rebekah’s first year (+5 months to complete 2010) scrapbook.

I have been a scrapbooker since I was in the seventh grade. I have a scrapbook per year every year since that time. Yes, that means I have one scrapbook per year since 1992. My scrapbooks are so precious to me that the following story actually took place:

During finals week at the Kappa House the May ’99 tornadoes hit Oklahoma. If you were in the state you know the massive outbreak I am talking about. The sirens went off and since everyone in the house lived on the 2nd or 3rd floor, we were told to make our way to the basement. All the girls around me were grabbing jewelry and other expensive items. Me? Not so much. I lugged down all 10 or so scrapbooks I had in my room at the time. Yes, I got looks and I know all the girls thought I was crazy, but those were my most prized possessions!

I made a major decision with the help of Amy to go digital for my future scrapbooks. So, I’m excited to get started using the new software I purchased from her. It should be less expensive and less time intensive than the old school way.

I’ll take some pics of some of my fave pages and post later when I’m not too lazy to get up, get the camera and then download them. I’m so proud of it and glad it’s complete! Here’s a couple cell phone shots

I’ve randomly thought of things I wanted to blog about so I might be OOC with posts this week!


It’s been a while since I’ve blogged – The past few weeks have been busy, a bit complicated, and full of nothing particular to blog about. Here are some recent pics of Rebekah and the adorable baby ducks at our neighborhood pond. I’m so pumped that Rebekah and I can spend so much time outside these days!

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