Growing Up to Become an Artist


Me in1977

    Way back when this photo was taken, I was cramming a final art project in to one evening, even though we were given an entire month to work on our project. I realized then that I work best under pressure and since I can remember I've always been somewhat of a procrastinator. Unless it has to do with desserts, happy hours, or shopping. Oh by the way, I received an A for that semester!

    There are many kinds of artists and ways to be creative as I've learned, and since I've only twice in my lifetime produced large amounts of art at a time I do not consider myself prolific by any means. Because of this I often ask myself, am I really an artist? As I turned 60 during this pandemic I have noticed a shift in what I consider to be a creative life, at least for me. My art supplies have been swapped for balanced peaceful living, more time for developing friendships, fun with grandkids, redecorating our home, and self-care. We can be creative in so many areas of our lives. Paper and pen is not my only medium. If I can throw in my Instant Pot into the mix of creative tools that would be even better, because we all know those work great under pressure too.

A Grandmother's Love


Roslyn & Me 2018

“Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.” – Unknown

This quote couldn't be more true for me. I watch my daughter make all the conscientious food choices at her house, as she should. But, when it comes to Grandma's house, it's fruit snacks and Poptarts, and sometimes nature's candy when I'm feeling a little guilty, raisins.

My Grandmother was the greatest and most influential person as to what a Grandmother could be and even though she is gone now, her memory is with me nearly every day. Especially on the days I'm playing Grandma.

The comfort and fun my Grandmother brought into my life helped to smooth the often abrasive parenting within my own home as a kid. Thankfully, it just takes one person in a family to tender many wounds.

Little red satin pajamas

So silky & soft

Just like my Grandmother's love

They cover and comfort me

While I sleep

Dreaming of a magical world

Only in the mind of a hopeful child

Healing and caressing

the voices

Where pain has no rest.

jj 2021

In memory of my Grandma Verla

Positivity in 2022


"Look on the bright side," we've always heard, but do we really stop and recheck our thoughts often enough to actually do the work of reframing our mind? I know I haven't been doing this until recently. It's a topic I've been studying through the book entitled Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook referred to me by a therapist and it has changed my life.

    Whether it's from learned behavior or just plain self-defeating habits, I've had a tendency to look at some things in a negative light in my adult years making it hard to enjoy tasks or activities where if I work on changing my view, I change my experience and what a powerful concept!

    I described this reframing concept as "work" but I'm discovering as I get use to being mindful about how I'm experiencing something, this work, or reframing, actually gets easier and becomes a new habit. We can reprogram our thoughts. 

What a great way to start a new year!

Note to self: Here's to a positive kick in the pants, Joni!

A Child


Let your thoughts float away like clouds

Just you

Looking up from the ground

When you were just a child

It was magic

With dreams of riding the wind

Beyond the tree tops

And up, up, over your town

Hang on to that moment of freedom

Just you

Your dreams

And the clouds.

jj 2021


 Icy grey

embraces exposed limbs

on trees ready to slumber

til Spring

As they dream

birds alight

and tease their quiet hiding

from gloom.

jj 2021


 Simple funny man

So awkward and shy

Describing your drawings to me

You look away as if to think

I don't want to hear what you have

to say

Oh the contrary, my friend

Oddly intriguing

in large sunglasses

You are a delight

And a welcomed strangeness

in a bland world

I hope to see you 



Slipping Through Cracks


There are those

who slip through cracks

Their stories go unheard

Their voices


to the noises of the

busy world.

I choose to rise

Up through the familiar

decaying cracks


in promises

from the past.

jj 10/21