My Gramma’s Cooking (part 1)

I grew up thinking every southern grandma cooked like mine. Boy, was I wrong. 😂❤️

My grams was a mountain of a woman in more ways than just her physical appearance. Although she was huge by most people’s standards, well in excess of 400 lbs for most of my childhood, to me she was the closest thing to a safe haven I’d ever known. I would crawl up into her lap and it was like I was enfolded in softness and love. Also the scent of Lysol, the shrimp factory and gold dial soap. That really weird combination of smells was my grams. She worked in the shrimp factories in Biloxi my whole childhood. They were really some serious bullshit but that’s a different story. She would wash her clothes in a old wringer washing machine that was on her back porch. God I can see it like yesterday. She used Lysol in a small brown bottle to wash her clothes. She said to get the smell out. It never did. It just melded and morphed into a smell of its own. My grams always used gold dial soap. Again she said to get rid of the smell of the factory. So she smelled like my grams. Warm, soft and weird. 😂

I’d wake up and it’d be the wee hours of the morning still cool because it gets fucking hot in Biloxi in the summer time. She’d be sitting on the side of the bed all dressed, her hair pinned up and covered with the soft spidery whiteness of a hairnet. She’d whisper to me that she was leaving and would kiss me on the forehead. I never heard my grandmother creak a single floor board in her house and her house was ancient. It was like she somehow levitated slightly above the floor because no one else could walk in the house without it creaking to high heaven. My grams had a special kind of magic.

My grams married my grandps under some extremely suspicious circumstances to be sure! 😂 I’m positive there’s some fatal attraction shit happening way back then. Her first husband died in a odd drowning accident and then she straight away married my grandps. Oh and she was pregnant with my mom! 😂 I don’t know but my mom and I used to do the math and just laugh. My grams was silent on the matter though. My grams was silent on alot of thongs. Anyways my grandps was from Louisiana. He was Cajun through and through and he was a shrimper. He was also a alcoholic and a gambler but that is also a different story.

My grams cooked Cajun food for my grandps and god it was the best food I’ve ever put in my mouth. Everyone in our family was in awe of my grams talent at the stove. Gumbo? Oh sweet lord, not that weird shit they call gumbo nowadays but real Cajun seafood gumbo. The kind that literally took all damn day to cook. The roux alone seemed to take forever. She’d patiently stand at that stove, sweat pouring off her in rivers and she’d stir and stir and stir the roux. Hell I’d run off to play or when I was older to read and I’d comeback and she’d still be stirring the roux. I was always like, Why??? Of course now I know why. Then she’d add the seasoning and the house went from smelling like browned flour to absolute heaven. Those aromatics hit that blazing hot roux and you could smell it for blocks! I can smell it right now. Mmmhhhhhhh. And so that was my grams. Big, soft, cathead biscuits, gumbo, the best red beans and rice and a weird smell. She cooked for my grandps. She cooked for her family. She would get up in the middle of the night, defrost a whole frozen chicken under running water and fry it at 3 am because we had drove up from Florida and she never batted a eye. It was just what you did for family. Sometimes if I don’t think about all the other things, I miss my grams. I miss the grams I had before I grew up enough to know anything else. That grams, the grams who smelt funny and was soft and warm and cooked. That’s grams, was pretty fucking awesome.💕


Broken Parts

I was married for 20 yrs. We were together for slightly longer than that. I didn’t really know much back then. I mean I should have, I was 24 when we started going out. It’s was actually my 24th birthday. I alway used to say he was the best birthday present I ever got. Of course I used to say a lot of stupid things. 

I had gone to spend the weekend at my best friends house and party because it was my birthday after all. Back then I really didn’t need an excuse to party. It was what I did. I worked through the week and on the weekends I went to a small town outside of Portland where my friends lived. I’d spend the weekends doing dope and drinking. Sunday night I’d wander back home and do it all over again. Anyway, I had met him before and I really thought he was an arrogant asshole. He was. He still is as far as I know. But that weekend he paid attention to me and made me laugh and I was so lonely. Plus he was the worst decision I could make so naturally that’s the one I chose. So we drank, got high and spent the weekend together. And every weekend after that for about the next six months, we rented a apartment and then it just got bad. Lots and lots of booze, dope, stupid people and bad decisions all happened really fast. We split up and I went back to Portland, within the month I found out I was pregnant. He of course didn’t want anything to do with either of us. So I worked, I had a baby and I took care of a beautiful baby boy. It was hard but I was mostly happy. I decided to move back to Alaska when my son was about 8 months old. He eventually moved up there, we got married and I had another baby. I also ate, a lot. He was abusive and mean and I was convinced that he was and always would be the only person who I would ever be with. 

There were good times, really good times. Because of course there always is, right? Times we would spend all day and all night just talking and laughing. Days were we would cook in the kitchen and play with the kids. Days when I felt so broken and I would go lay on top of him straddled his waist and tucked my arms in close and would just lay there absolutely still. I’d press my heart into him until I couldn’t tell whose heart was beating, I’d fill my lungs with the smell of him and I would relax. I would tell him “you fix me” and that’s what it felt like. Like all the broken and hurting pieces were fixed somehow. It’s was those times that kept me there threw all the shit. I stayed through things that any normal person wouldn’t dream of having to live through. But I stayed because I believed he was “the” person. The one who finally, finally protected me from my family, he told my step dad once that he’d kill him and nobody would ever find his body if he ever attempted to hurt me or the kids. I’m pretty sure he meant it. My stepfather was positive he did. There were times I left through the years. Some longer than others. We got divorced and we got remarried. He got better and he got worse. I continued to get fatter. The kids got older. When I was 40 years old I weighed 405 pounds and he drank at least two cases of beer every weekend and a 12 pack a night during the week. I had a gastric bypass in a desperate attempt to lose weight and it went horribly, horribly wrong. I spent two weeks in ICU and I almost died twice. I left the hospital on pain pills and the doctor really didn’t know what else to do but hope I would heal. I did heal but it took a really long time and I stayed in a huge of pain so the pain pills just kept coming. It was actually ridiculous the amount of pills I had at any given time. A lot of things happened. Way to many to write about at once but he started taking my pain pills and then everything went straight to hell. Threw all of it I stayed with him until the very end. 
It took 4 trips to detox, 83 days in rehab, 3 days in jail, the loss of my family, my home and my car before I managed to get sober. 

I can say truthfully now I’d not go back to him. I couldn’t always say that though. That part of me that felt like it was “fixed” by him? It’s still in me. It’s not as loud as it once was. A crap ton of therapy later it’s just a small voice amongst a lot stronger voices now. But there are times like tonight when it’s warm outside and there’s a breeze and I’m sitting on the porch alone when that part of me that stayed with him, that part that got fixed. That part really misses him. That part, despite all the abuse and the pain and the bullshit aches to be “fixed” even if for just a few minutes. So now instead I breathe and I paint or I write or I snuggle a grandchild and that part hushes. Would I do things differently? I don’t know. I do know that I am who and what I am because of what it used to be like so I’m hesitant to say I’d change it. I kinda like this person I am now. I think she’s kinda cool. Even with the broken parts. 

There Comes a Point

 *TRIGGER WARNING* for those that need one. 

One of the hardest things I had to drag into the light was that my mother was a horrid human being. That was devastating. It was traumatic and it still hurts. I don’t know it may always. I used to vacillate between being super angry and the calm acceptance of knowing shit happens. Now it’s just mostly the knowing. Tiny little human beings are gifted to the absolute worst beings. The realization that shit happens saved my sanity. Finally knowing in the depths of my heart that it really WAS NOT ME, it was nothing I did wrong, I wasn’t born defective or lacking worth, I wasn’t the one with the problem. That would be my mother and my stepfather and in the end honestly just my mom. It was my mom’s choice to stay with one of the most detestable beings I’ve ever known or known of. 

Some people would be inclined to make a whole bunch of excuses as to why she stayed but really it doesn’t matter. She knew better. She also knew that she had handed me, her child, over to a monster. The abuse started when I was 2/3 years old. She would leave him from time to time but she always went back. She said my entire life “It’s you and me against the world.” “It’s them ( meaning literally everyone else) it’s not us.” These phrases were drilled into me, I was kept isolated from everyone who was not “family” and I was so very lonely. I was standing in a drug rehab the first time I saw a sign that said “It’s not them” I just stood there and started crying, sobbing because it’s like somehow, someone knew and I was finally not alone. But it wasn’t just my mom, it was my entire family. There is no way a child could be that abused and neglected and everyone not know. People don’t like you saying that though because everyone wants deniability. Honestly what they really want is for everyone to not know what a piece of shit they are. People want to say it was just that one person or “oh damn!” maybe there’s two sick people in a family but the truth is sickness can run in entire families. It did in mine. If you have five people in a circle and four of them turn around so the fifth person can beat, rape, and neglect the child in the middle then everyone in the circle is guilty. That’s the cold hard truth of the matter. Saying I don’t want to get involved or that’s not my child is the same as saying go ahead, I’ll pretend it didn’t happen and that you’re not a monster.

I lost all my possessions as a child multiple times, was homeless, lived in a dope house, lived in a car many times, some places were worse than others but none of them was exactly good. I watched my step-father beat my mom and my mom ignore him abusing me. He made a game out of finding the worst names to call me, fatty, tubby, tubbeth because calling me tubby got old, I was routinely called whore, slut, skank anything but my name. We moved at least every six months, I never went to the doctor. I was never allowed to have anyone to come over to my house and I wasn’t allowed to go to anyone else’s. I spent months at a time not allowed to leave my room. I was allowed out to go to school, eat and use the bathroom and that was all. I’d spend entire summers in my room. 

The abuse never stopped, it was verbal, emotional, physical and sexual. And no one ever said anything. Not one single person in my family said this isn’t right, what you’re doing is wrong. It was like they all just thought it was perfectly acceptable, and for the better part of my life I believed that at my core, at the center of my soul I was bad, rotten, unlovable, unworthy, worthless, defective and broken. What to do with that? That kind of pain and hurt? That kind of overwhelming fear? Hide it, don’t let anyone know how you feel and do your best to be invisible. And I was really good at being invisible, I would go to a new school and about 6 months later when my mom would pull me out again, no one would even know I was ever there. That’s how I also felt inside invisible, unloveable and always so alone. 

People get really uncomfortable when you start talking about the specific shit that happens to sexually abused kids. They squirm around and look for a way to exit the conversation. I believe that’s because as humans we can swallow vast amounts of shit to keep from having to deal with painful things and sexual assault on a child is one of the worst things that exists. There came a point though when I just had to stop. I had to just stop looking for a reason why. It was wearin me out. When it’s all said and done I survived the nightmare.I’ve worked really hard to be able to SAY IT! To speak the horror and give it a damn name. The cycle of abuse can be stopped, the savagery that is perpetrated against children can end. But it’ll take a lot of us saying, This Is My Story. This is how I not only survived but how I healed. We can heal ourselves and we heal others by making safe spaces to tell our stories in and the telling invites healing to begin. 

Such as it is, I offer you this space for you to feel safe, accepted and so very loved. 
Namaste ❤

Owning my Story

Owning My Story

You would think that owning my story would be easy, right? I mean it’s mine. I lived it. It’s not like it is something I just heard as a story from someone else. But for me a lot of times stories are easier. Camelot? I can totally get behind that one. But my story? Not so much. I mean don’t get me wrong some days I rock and I own my shit. But that’s new for me. Because well, I can’t really talk about my life with out talking about the abuse and with that comes the shame. I spent the better part of my life making excuses for how poorly other people had lived their life and by extension messed mine up. It should be easy to look at someone and say “what you did was wrong and it damaged me.” It should be but it’s not. 
I googled how to own your story. Seriously, I did. I google a lot of really basic things though. I google emotions a lot. Or the definitions of labels that are applied to emotions. I’ll look up things like safe and then secure because I mislabel emotions sometimes because of the abuse I suffered as a child and the 20 years I spent married to a gaslighting, abusive person. All of my therapists have told me it’s a miracle I’m alive. I’m not sure about that though because it would seem to me that a miraculous person would be able to own their story fairly easily. 😂 Mostly I think I was just lucky.
So Simply Soul Art is me at 52 trying to own my story. I hope that I can be a witness to you also owning yours. I truly believe that if I can make it okay for someone else to tell their story by telling mine then this panicky, sick feeling I get with telling mine will be worth it. Shame dies in the light and in the light is where I would like for all of us to be. 

WIP what I’m working on


The very beginning of a new series I’m starting! Squeee! I’m totally excited about this. Lots of progress pics and musings on the process. Stay with me y’all it’s going to be so much fun.

Now apparently I have to wait for the metal leafing to cure for about 3 days. THat is kinda hurtin my feelings. LMBO 😀

This is the finished piece. As always it took on a life of its own, however it closely depicts how I was feeling at the time so I’ll consider it a #win.

Abstract #2

Im sure it’s probably a rule that all those lines should be straight. I don’t know I may tinker with that some. I didn’t really notice till I had posted it lol. Funny how that works sometimes.

Out of Hiding 

I meant to start blogging on September 1, I mean to do a lot of things but I’ve trouble getting started sometimes. Or I start but then it’s not good enough so I have to start again, and again, and again. Sometimes I’ll get the thing done but then I’m crippled by the fear of what will “they say, think, feel” about the thing I’ve done so then it stays hidden. I’m good at hiding. It saved me a bunch of times though so that’s not a surprise. But today is different. Today I’m writing and hitting the send button. No thinking at all is allowed once the send button is hit because thinking will cause hiding and then this thing I really want to do won’t get done. I do want to say thank you to Effy Wild ( ) and her blog every day in September challenge. While I didn’t make it out of hiding till the end I did make it out and that’s totally new for me. 

My name is Eva. I am a recovering addict, an artist, a caregiver, a mom, and an abuse survivor. I’m starting this blog as a way to record this incredible awesomeness that is my life right now. There will be lots and lots of artiness going on, beginner tips, some pro tips 😀 and a huge abundance of laughter, love, and light. I’m kinda digging each and every one of y’all.