Friday, March 31, 2006
Of course, I'm not skinny and I'm tall, so there was that limitation but it's all in good fun.
We all crashed at 8:30pm. I think this is a record at our house. Basically, we spent most of the day outside. Very nice weather and pulling out the sandbox helped. I dug around and the girls played in the box. It was a late afternoon play and we didn't get too much sun or anything. Very nice.
Looks like it's going to be another beautiful day. I've been up since 3am...I run on seven hours sleep...with a nap on occasion. That's just the way I am.
Oh, and I did one of Jon too!
Jon said, "My lord, I hope I'm never that skinny!" Then he said, "That's the son we're going to have..." That made me laugh!
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Had an art lesson today and as it turned out to be such a good day we all went outside afterwards to chat and the kids played in the yard with Mr. Nelson. We were contentedly playing and then it was time to say good-bye. I turned around to go get a few things for the girls to play with and I see Kiwi (my little cat) sitting in the side yard staring at some robins and birds! This is a surprise as she's a housecat and secondly, I didn't realize I had left everything open for her to get out! So, with my heart pounding I called her to me and fortunately, all my cats come when called (except for Autumn who will come to just a bit past your arm length and sit, staring at you...very annoying). I grabbed her and stuck her in the house.
Fortunately, I was able to get her inside and I must admit she looked pretty cute sitting in the grass staring at robins. She even inspired me to do a paper collage:
I started to feel overwhelmed that I had so much to do until I broke it down and stuck it all on the calendar. It seems a lot less stressful and actually not that bad. I have so many goals, I must appear rather scatter brained. But I'm not...just a flurry of Emily activity.
Well, I mentioned my in-laws were scoping the towns around here for a house. While they were here we went to Lena's in downtown Altoona. It is the oddest Italian restaurant I have ever been to. First, never go on a Saturday night. This place was PACKED! I mean seriously packed...as in every 10 minutes or less people came in and few left. Where they stuck everyone, I have no idea. There was murmuring about it being like a clown car where more and more clowns get out...this was the reverse. I was a bit overwhelmed as it was an almost claustrophobic feeling with table after table. But the service was great, the food (I had homemade noodles) was great and Jon was going on about the lasagna. Even Jenny, my sis-in-law who is known for her bird like eating habits, ate 90% of her dinner. After we left, I noticed there were three parking lots for this place. Wow.
Anyway, it's a nice week though there should be some rain...I hope. My tulips are starting to emerge but look kind of dry on the edges.
I have a little thing to vent…my in-laws (grandparents) are great and loving people. However, they have two things that really, really annoy me. One is that my mom-in-law does not like to wear her seatbelt. She sits in the back of the car, behind the girls. I’ve told her a thousand times to wear it but she stubbornly looks at me like I’m mentally disturbed. I don’t get it. She’s very careful about the kids in most regards but will not wear a seat belt even though I told her about her flying about and hurting us as well as her self.
Then my dad-in-law likes to use bug/plant killer in his yard. I told him it not only causes cancer to dogs but kids. He just laughs at me like I’m mentally disabled. I’m not kidding either. It’s one of the most annoying things I’ve ever had to deal with. And I’m not being unreasonable. Not wearing seat belts is against the law and plant killer does cause cancer! I don’t understand them sometimes and I’ve talked to them about it and they just shrug and smile like I’m a high strung nut. I feel like taking some bug killer and putting it all over some food and saying would you eat this? Would you put your hands in your mouth after touching this? No. But a child would.
I really don’t get them. What can I do? I feel helpless and they just act like they know everything and that’s that.
It’s funny because they are obsessively clean. I mean they clean as soon as a cracker crumb has fallen. But if it’s an invisible poison, some how that’s all right for kids/dogs to be around. Insane!
I feel helpless because they watch the kids for me a good part of the week and I need them. Am I being unreasonable? Why would you care about how your granddaughter looks and what she eats but not about seat belts? Why would you bother giving your grandkids fresh water but poison the ground water with crap? It makes me angry because it’s not a minor thing. If it was a muddy kid I brought home or one covered in markers, I’d be totally all right with that. But really endangering their safety is quite baffling to me.
Well, there it is I’ve said it. I don’t feel any better because I feel at a loss as to what to do. I’ve talked to Jon and he’s annoyed but hasn’t said much. Also, I know Jon’s dad is sneaky and will do stuff behind our backs if he thinks it’s harmless. Do other grandparents do this? Am I the only one? Frustrating…
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
This monster is representative of Apathy...which is a monster for me, especially when I was younger. I remember wasting hours watching TV and thinking of all the things I would do if I could. I was also afraid of a lot of things. Fear and apathy...old monsters I have had to fight.
This sort of story is what sends shivers up my back...makes me proud of teens and of their ability to use something like myspace for positive action as well as standing up for their rights, the rights of their parents and of their friends. It's esp. moving because I remember just a few years ago in Los Angeles a stupid proposition (187) was trying to get passed that would basically enforce teachers to turn in their students if they thought they were "illegal". What an inhumane thing. The irony of this is the very same people who supported this prop are usually the same crazies who support anti-choice. How can they value some life but not all life?
To me, when such propositions come out, it's usually a way of scapegoating a group of people for much deeper problems. There are many reasons why this should not be tolerated as it primarily provokes hatred and creates fear. What it does, however, is mask political corruptness and misused trust of our government. For example, the Terrie Schiavo case. For some reason this case among all the hundreds out there reached supreme court and clogged the news for several weeks. The various politicians wept for this comatose person and raged against the injustice of her being "let go". But why then? And why not all the other injustices of people being "let go". And why aren't these politicians, if they are so sensitive, stopping a war that continues to hurt thousands and thousands of innocent people both Iraqi families and multi-national soldiers?
It's come out lately that there was another reason for this big "to do" over Schiavo. She was merely a pawn to be played as the other hand swept and passed a law which will effect millions of living breathing people. A law which benefits an already manipulative and corrosive entity called credit card companies.
Bankruptcy was intended originally to aid those in regards to illness, divorce or death and I would add recent poverty. It was a way of helping to erase (forgive) these bills and help those individuals start fresh. Yes, there is some bankruptcy fraud. However, on the whole most people who needed to do this had an option. Now, during one of the darkest periods of the US (the largest unemployment or employed at minimum wage, little or no health care, housing at artificially high costs, wages kept at an absurdly low rate and student grants cut to nothing) people are meant to owe on credit for the rest of their lives. All this happened between tears and rage for a comatose woman. Now, don't get me wrong. I feel sorry for Schiavo but I feel rage for the living. Why do our children have to have massive debts on their hands? And why are we spending trillions on blowing up a small country that was found not to have ANY weapons of mass destruction? Why aren't we all shouting "no, stop this"?
Perhaps we have already succumbed and the time to rage has been past and we have let it roll away. Will a time come when we are left, alone, unprotected and there is no one to help? I've shared this poem before and I will do so again.
First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.
by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
This is why we need to speak up and if that means to go against what is being said, lies and all, then we must speak. And we must speak together.
And if you are confused by what side to take, remember this. If you have to work for a living you are on our side...the working class side.
Peace to all~
In other news, I feel really good now that I ate some lunch. Sometimes I think I might be hypoglycemic or something. But I feel really good and even better, no headache! I had a bad one yesterday but nothing compared to the migraines of yore. So hopefully the sinus surgery is going to do it's job.
I got a bit behind in my eBay postings. Need to reboot that this weekend but we had family over this weekend. Jon's sis and brother-in-law came down for a visit...looking for houses. Hopefully they'll move. I really don't see why they've stayed as long as they have in Boston, really. They don't have any family there. If they moved here it would be a big change in that housing is very affordable, lots of country and farms (hopefully people won't buy up farms to make their homes on that land...it's really a waste and should be protected. Thankfully, there are Amish around who do wonders to these places) and I know Jon's sister would get a good job being a nurse. Obviously, it's up to them but And it would be really nice to have a cousin close by for Lydia and Norrie. Now, if I could only sweet talk my sister to moving here...Did you hear that, Becky? hehehe
I can't believe it's already Tuesday. I walked up to the grandparents house and my throat felt like someone had scratched it with dry leaves. Painful. The air is dry and it's actually warm (65 degrees). Unfortunately, that means my car is starting to smell...needs a bath desperately.
Yesterday the girls and I scrubbed the basement floor. My assistant was supposed to come by at 10 am but when I called was still sleeping at 10:30am! Let's just say I'm a little annoyed with her.
Anyway, we cleaned and scrubbed and moved stuff around. Jon was impressed when he came home and I even put up some shelves in the mud room (plastic portable ones). It's getting more organized! And potentially a studio/rec room. I keep wishing...I think it needs more light.
I was hoping my slides would arrive today. Maybe tomorrow...they're for a local show and now I'm starting to sweat about them. Hurry, hurry slides!
Well, got to go. Peanut butter/homemade strawberry jam sandwiches are on the menu. If you want to make them look at the recipe below...super easy. Oh, and I'm jealous. The mom of the kids I tutor made something like three fresh sour dough bread loaves. I could smell them (was there a hint of cheddar cheese?) and felt like I had some after I left. I'm going to have to learn to make that bread. And they look so beautiful too.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Another factor, if you worked and have a spouse to help out would your working be worthwhile in regards to paying for quality childcare. This is one of the biggest question I can think of and is really why we haven't put our gals in daycare/preschool. Quality childcare costs a lot. And with women still only earning 80 cents to the dollar, it’s actually more affordable to have the kids taken care by me. However, what all parents want is a place that is safe, clean and has teachers that are near duplicates of our selves...well, at least like our selves in a few ways...
But what we normally have are people who are paid minimum wage or just slightly above this (I know this to be true because I applied, awhile ago, for a job as a preschool teacher and found out the starting pay around here is $5.25 an hour! I guess I was over qualified as I didn't get the position...thankfully!). But would you really want someone who is caring for your kids to be getting just the minimum? What sort of quality care would you get for that? Sure there are people out there that are just good people and will "sacrifice" for kids. But there are many people who wouldn't and would just do the minimum amount for such a job.
In California, there is a hamburger place called "In-N-Out Burger”. Two things set this hamburger place apart from other fast-food places. The first is it was apparently started by a family with strong Christian ties. This doesn't really go for much in my book. People claim a lot under such headings and usually to manipulate trusting people. However, the second aspect that sets this company apart is the treatment of it's workers. They do not pay minimum wage (or at least didn't when I was in California...about three years ago) but a living wage. They have very low turn over and the quality of service is excellent. The place is always PACKED. But you don't wait long and you get your food hot and with care. The fries even tasted differently from In-N-Out Burgers. Now, what does this have to do with minimum wage paid childcare workers? It has a whole lot to do with it. If you pay people wages that are fair it seems you get people that care about their work and their job. Yes, there are a few people out there that are never happy or else taint things like tenure for teachers...but on the whole there are people who do their work because they love it and are being respected by their employers.
So what's the answer. Do you stick your kid in the nearest public school and say good luck? Or do you get on top of the school board and demand fair wages for your teachers, and clean, safe and attractive schools for your kids? Or do you stick them in private school or homeschool them? There are many choices and there isn't a perfect answer.
I will, however, always side with teachers rights because I know the crap they have to deal with in regards to administrations. And I will vote people in who are for teachers, too...and not just in going through the motions.
It's a tough job to take care of kids and mothers should all get aid esp. for the first year of their children's life. In fact, in Canada women can get a mother's check which enables them to stay home for their child's first six months+. We don't have that in the US. I wish we did.
The word mother is the most loved word in all the world. However, few recognize the importance of mothers in regards to treating mothers and their children with respect.
So, I say pay all mothers for the first year of the child’s life, give universal health care to all and have free college especially for women with two or more children. There I said it! Lol!
A quick note…Strawberry Jam.
To make: crush 4 pounds of strawberries (or left over strawberries. I know it’s not the season but we’ve been getting them from Calfornia).
Squeeze fresh lemon juice and add about half a cup of sugar (or more). Put in a pot and boil. Mash in between boiling.
After it starts to liquefy, spoon some on some bread and make a Peanut butter sandwich. This is the BEST PJ sandwich you’ll ever have.
Next, to make the jam thicker, let the pot cool. Next, boil again to almost burning…it will thicken and be just the right consistency for jam. Enjoy! Store after cooling in a bowl or jar and put in refrigerator. Should keep for a week.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
1. When driving in my car, my radio station is usually tuned to NPR...for the classical music if possible...actually, I don't have a car radio it was stolen along time ago. Usually my kids and I just sing.
2. When I turn my television on, even if I'm not really paying close attention to it, it's usually on channel 3, PBS...safe for the kids in the morning and British comedy shows in the evening...if I ever watch.
3. If I owned a pet, I would own just what I have , because having four cats, a dog and four rats is getting a bit much but I’m still thinking of rabbits/guinea pigs.
4. I own a HP printer. I bought it because it has a scanner on top and was affordable.
5. You can find all kinds of books in my bookshelves, but mostly this type: Art and contemporary novels.
6. I take about 100 pictures every month.
7. I blog about 20 times a month. For example, I this will be my second post of the day...
8. I've been really busy doing my artwork and getting my art classes together lately...and some Spring cleaning.
But I have started feeding the animals again. How could you not? In the middle of Winter and beginning of Spring wild animals need the most help. Their access to seeds are limited and with people tearing down trees and wildlife left and right it makes it nearly impossible for critters to find food. And don't get me started on chemicals used to "protect" their gardens from insects or to make it "green". Basically, those people are giving their pets/children access to Cancer and early death. Not to mention their own bodies being poisoned by that crap.
My best friend’s husband works as a landscaper in Ohio and he often brings home piles of wood, grass clippings and all sorts of leaves...stuff you'd LOVE to compost but they have to dump. Caroline asked him about starting a compost with that stuff and this is what he said: We can't, Caroline. It's full of sprays with bug killer, the grass is full of toxins to make it look pretty but causes illness... I got angry when I heard that. Why are people so stupid about this sort of stuff? Really.
When I was in California, Jon and I were part of a city co-op gardening group. Originally, the group was a bit slack and hippy-ish, and would use found objects to support their bean poles, etc. Then, the main guy died and the city put in a hired hand who was very tight on what things should look like and be like. Basically, he was a jerk as he wasn't a gardener and would tell seasoned gardeners how to grow things and what not to use. The garden looked nice and people did do the organic thing. That is, until paths (between the garden plots) became an issue. The paths would grow this tough crab grass like weed that is nearly impossible to pull out by hand. It is extremely aggressive and unless you are on it constantly, will invade all parts of your plot and everyone else’s. We pulled, ripped, dug, chopped at this weed and it constantly came back. Then, when we were just getting so frustrated this little old guy comes up to us and whispers about a certain chemical to get rid of it. You see, we were wondering why lots of plot paths looked great and low and behold Chemical X may have been used. Definitely not organic and not kosher. We used some of this and the weeds went away but my conscious was left heavy. We decided to give up the garden for several reasons and this was one of them. I realize now that weeds are plants. If they grow in the path, they grow in the path. Just dig them out and be done with it. And if they come back, repeat but don't beat your self up and others to have perfection.
I wonder if that community garden is still there. Land prices may have made it too tempting to the city. I hope not.
On to other parts of the day: Lists
I've noticed a number of blogs writing about lists and especially books on lists. I admit I've always been a list keeper and writer of lists. I love them and have driven myself to exhaustion in the pursuit of finishing my lists. But I've gotten past having to accomplish every little thing I've jotted down. I usually use my list as a reminder to do stuff either for the long or short term. At one point, I had a book with my idea list. I just gave it random numbers as headings such as Idea #245: Make a sculpture out of found objects from lake. Stuff like that. I'd plug them into my sketch book and laugh at what future people might think about these numbers in my sketch books. I'd imagine them wondering, Where's number 14, 15, 16-100? What? I don't get it??
--For some reason, that's funny to me.
Locally, I started a yahoo group called "BC Barter and Trade" as in Blair County Barter and Trade. Anyone can join it (though for some things it has to be locally) and it operates on the principle of trading instead of using money.
In other news, I finished three sculptures and now need to photograph them for submission to a local art show. I hope I get this done with so I can go on to my next project. I'd like to update my webpage and maybe even hire someone to do it properly. I need to find out who does this, prices, and if I like the concept. If anyone knows of people who do web design send em' here.
Interesting article on how much of America is bought and sold to pay off debts. Seriously makes you want to consider buying products from places that don't pay their workers fairly and treat them in a humane way. I'm guilty of this myself. A teapot/cups I just bought were cheap and when I got home and turned them upside down...from China. Argh. I've got to watch out for that.
Why do I not buy things made in China or try not to buy from China? The first reason is pollution. This country is becoming so polluted that they have actually named the village Cancer Village. Horrible. I feel very guilty buying from companies that don't do anything to stop dumping crap in the water, air and land. So, that's the first reason why I don't try to buy China made products. The second reason is I want to buy products from places that employees could actually buy the products themselves if they so choose to. This is important because if your own employees can't afford the shirts they make, who are you going to sell them too? And secondly, that's pretty darn crappy if you can't buy the shirts you're making because your family would go without food if you did.
This reminds me of the town where I live. At one time, there were a bunch of factories here. People used to have some good jobs and made decent wages...Now, those jobs have gone over seas, all the people fired and working at odd jobs to make ends meet. Why? Because the heads of the company wanted to pay less to their workers and found that slack laws allowed them to get away with unethical work standards...hence China and a whole lot of other unprotected areas. Wrong and enraging.
So, when I think of the crap I've bought and helped fund these companies I am ashamed. I've gotten to the point where I usually look twice before I buy a product...is it made in conditions that I would not tolerate? Is it made in conditions where the people who made this could afford it? Ask yourself these questions and think twice. Can you find it made in conditions that are fair? That is the challenge.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
I'm working on a variety of things...and just wish I was totally over my nasal stuff so I can really get things done.
I had to go to the doctors today, I got a shot to reduce swelling so I'm a bit weak from that. I'm a big baby when it comes to blood, etc. I still can't believe I'm getting allergy shots in two weeks. I hope to God they help.
Anyway, Illustration Friday...
I had to do one this week even though, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed from today's events. It is in honor of the protests around the world marking the 3rd year of a false war.
Titled "Our feet are marching against war and our souls are set afire. Keep on Marching"
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I missed the service but it was about same sex marriage. I wish I could have at least heard it...I think in some other churchs they piped in the service (or even record it!)...may have to reccomend this. Anyway, one bit was interesting that Jon related to me: Apparently, in this one state (Indiana?) they were not going to allow same sex couples to adopt and tried to pass this on a bill. So, the democrats got together and proposed a bill saying "Republicans should not be allowed to adopt". That was pretty funny and shows how absurd it is to not allow people to adopt.
I have to stop here for a moment and say, I'm so proud of Jon, I really am. I have to mention something...when Jon was a young college guy working on his thesis, he wrote about how California (around the 1920's)would force people to have sterilization for being Hispanic or of some ethnicity or African American, poor, "retarded", gay, mentally ill, etc. He did an excellent paper on how if you were labeled one of the above you lost ALL your rights to reproduce. Very scary times and unfortunately, we're starting to see a bit of this again with recent laws saying women (who are not married) won't be allowed to use sperm banks. This is wrong because it's saying you can't reproduce because of Big Governments ideas of what makes a family a family. This is so wrong and this is why so many women and men are against limiting choice as well. It's about saying "Hey! This is my body. My Family. My life. You can't force me to have an abortion like China, you can't take away my choice either. You can't say whether or not I should have children." It's about saying you are in control of you. Choice and having control over your body is like having control over your bank account. If you want to withdraw some money and spend it on books and groceries, you can. Or if you want to save your money and buy a house, you can. Also, having someone else be in control of your body or say your bank account or say your living quarters is reminiscent of a much darker period of time in Europe and the US...namely what started WWII and killed millions of people for no reason then the leader didn't like their culture/religion. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look up WWII at the library and you can read about it.
Also, why is it most women who use sperm banks get demonized but men who donate sperm are looked upon as bettering society? It's the same old story, isn't it?
Anyway, after church we went home and got ready for a driving trip to State College. It was so nice to see the country side even with bare trees and a somewhat steel gray clouds cast upon the land. We even took Mr. Nelson. He sat on my lap the entire time and looked just like the phrase "gun shot". We slowed down to look at some cows near a fence and Lydia, Norrie and Mr. Nelson got a good look. Nelson even started to growl at the cows. Silly dog.
Then we drove on and saw what looked like turkey or giant crows but were some sort of vultures (four) feasting on a carcass of a deer. Kind of gross and kind of interesting. I'm glad Jon didn't turn the car around to see it again, however.
We drove on and found the landscape turning from rural farms to yuppie homes on what once were farms to pretentious housing developments or McMansions as we call them (sorry, if I offended anyone...but it's true). I hope some Amish buy the land around there instead of land developers...Apparently, the Amish go in and buy up old rundown farms and rejuvenate the place up. I like that.
We then went to Wegmans, a trendy organic market and "oooed" and "ahh-ed" over various gourmet delights, organic dreams and "wowed" at the candy display. Still, it's not as great as the specialty stuff found at Trader Joe's and it's not as refined as Mother's Market or Wild Oats, but it will definitely do. I liked that it's a combo of both and the prices weren't horrible or anything. They didn't have Bulgarian cheese (Jon asked previously), so that's a few points off! ;) I got some brie cheese, lots of crackers, sour dough bread (it was STILL warm to the touch), California rolls (Jon grabbed that) and even a donut shaped chewy for Nelson. I think the cat litter was actually cheaper there and bigger, so that's a plus. I’m ashamed to admit I stuffed my face full of rosemary/thyme potato chips…they were SO good. Thankfully, I bought two bags...but they are not big bags.
I wish they had a sit down area to eat and relax. They had patio stuff in front but it was only a display. It would be a nice touch to have something like that. I wanted to try their soups but they were freaking expensive...still, they looked good.
I have to admit I was amazed to see things I've been hunting for right there...like this lavender soap I read about in Bust magazine...right on the shelves! And rice paper for Spring rolls, right there in the Asian food section. I was amazed. I've been hunting for that probably for six months. So, I grabbed two packages.
I started feeling a bit out of place...or a bit overwhelmed...I don't know what. I had to laugh at the carts with coffee cup holders and there were lots of cutesy signs to drive 25 and keep kids alive (very valid by the way) or wind advisory stuff and putting carts back in place. I saw a mix of lovely people, couples of all varieties and grumpy looking people eyeing my basket full of plastic and they were holding cotton/canvas bags with their precious items. It was nice to go into the parking lot and see not one but about 10 Kerry for president bumper stickers. That's when I felt a bit better. We were getting hungry and spent a bit more then we intended but at least it's going to a store that seems to be on the up and up.
I even got a tea pot...why? It was really cute and white. It has a tea strainer built in and is so pretty. Plus, I've been thinking about teapots and wanted one besides my metal stove tea pot. I'm going to have to make a tea cozy for it.
I cannot believe it, but I woke up at 6:30am today. I had to make a bean bag toss game. I feel a bit guilty as I promised to have this game for another event but didn't make it. So, today I made it, quilted it and made the bean bags all before church. It's really cute and the kids liked it too. I actually had fun making it and am thinking of an alternative with flaps and little prizes under the flaps for kids to win at Lydia's b-day party. It's basically a match the color game (no competition) of two colors red and white. I think the next one will have five colors and matching bean bags to toss.
Lydia's birthday is April 5th and I have to think up what to do for her party. She loves pirates and something else (but I forgot). So, I'm thinking of making it a pirate combo party. I don't like the idea of swords so, I might use Captain feather sword of the Wiggles for inspiration.
Everyone is sleeping right now. We have to get ready in about twenty minutes to go to grandparents for the evening. What a long day...
I'm nervous about Spring but I relish the thought of planting and gardening and, goodness, humidity. The wind is so cold right now and my winter coat is in the wash. I'm shivering at the thought of going up to the grandparents house...I hope soup is on the menu. Also, my hands have started cracking on the fingers, like my mom's. Darn cold weather!
A part of me wants to move closer to State College...another part of me likes where I am just fine. I guess I'm in the honeymoon faze of Jon's new job at Penn State...but even the UU church has an actual building, preschool, etc! Oh, if only we could have that movement down here! sigh, sigh, sigh...
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Firstly, ebay stuff is ending this weekend! You can check it out at:
Emily's Ebay Art
Been a hectic week with recovering and tending to my gals, Mr. Nelson and trying to sneak in bits of clean up, crafts and art. I mostly did clean up and I didn't have to sneak to do it.
I have a little headache (okay, it got to be about 45%, which isn't that bad but still makes for unpleasantries)...instead of sitting up to sleep (as I'm supposed to apparently for the rest of my life), I didn't and now I have a mild headache. Not fun. Hopefully, it will go away.
On the way to the groomers; good-bye beautiful fur coat.
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Nelson got trimmed (shaved) and looks pretty awful.
Oddly, some of the pictures I took of him still look pretty good. It's Mr. Nelsons's charm, I suppose.
I miss his fluffy hairiness and I think I will not let anyone (in-laws)cohearse me into getting him groomed (chopped to the skin). Mr. Nelson was shivering on the frozen ground the other day and I actually had to go and pick him up; he was so cold.
I made him another little sweater. It came out rather well, actually.
It is super easy to make. I have several old (scratchy with pill balls/fuzz) baby winter suits (thankfully in blue/yellow not pink...I know, I know, I'm being sexist)I was going to use for an art piece (I'm still going to do this rather large installation...it's going to be about war, etc. Just need some space to show it at) but immediate need called first. I first cut the suit/sleeper in half so that the legs were now seperate. Second, I did a wide hem with a zig zag stitch. Third, I cut two some holes on the top of the sweater/jacket and threaded a string/ribbon through the openings. Then I put it on Mr. Nelson and pulled the string and zipped it up. It looks well fitted and I think he was very grateful, poor little guy. Took about 20 mintues.
Anyway, it's a super cheap outfit for a dog and reuses some unwanted baby stuff. I actually had knitted a sweater for him but it was too bulky and Jon later found it in the bushes. Very "No Roses for Harry!"
Kiwi, my third cat, is fawning all over me. Either the cat gang is out of food or it's Kiwi being Kiwi. Most likely the later. I've banished her to the scanner:
I can not wait till art classes resume and she gets some attention by the kids. It's driving me crazy. Sampson was on the computer the other day,
practically drooling for rubs. What in the world? I feel like everyone is desperate for attention for some reason.
Today we went to Kmart for curtains. For some reason, I always think of curtains and rods when I think of Kmart. They also had the perfect litter for the rats (recycled pulp paper...I was given a lecture by a local pet store cashier a few weeks ago as to why pine litter is bad. It's not good for little critters respitory systems...it was annoying at the time as I wanted to get out and go. Also, I wanted to shout at her then "WHY IS IT ON THE SHELVES?" She actually stopped in the middle of my transaction to tell me this and I had to grumble back and get the pulp stuff. Then the line was a mile long but I stood right next to person she was waiting on because there was NO WAY I was standing in line again. Still, I've been converted to use this stuff. I like that it's recycled).
I found out that the best light in this dim house is the girls rooms. They are both Southern exposure and have awesome light through out the day. I'd get a solar tube for my room but I'm debating it. Maybe just for the 3rd floor...which is terribly dark. If we expand the living room to include the porch that would be a lot of light. Things to think about...
A skirt for me...don't know if this will come out flattering or awful. We will see. What I am using...red crushed velvet (from free fabric I got from my neighbor) and a thrifted dress that was, ahem, a tad too small for me but was so pretty. I hope I can at least wear the skirt around the house. Jon says it's looks "gypsy"-ish (read artsy).
Here is a pic of Simone before I realized she was eating my flowers! Her eyes look strange in their mismatched colors.
I need to take a pic of Autumn (the 2nd cat in my list of cat arrivals) or she'll feel jealous.
Well, that's half the weekend. Tomorrow is church with the UU's and should be fun. Hope everyone has a good weekend...we've been having some beautiful weather even if it's only 30 degrees! Oh, my nose hurts~
Friday, March 17, 2006
A dog is not a cow and a cow is not a dog. Mr. Nelson is a dog; he is white and has a tail but is not a dog.
I found this quiz at "Seeds of Simplicity:
I scored : 23
Your score is between 21-30. Consumer stress is limited.
What will you score? Take the quiz
Ever since I saw the movie "Fugitive", I've always thought of St. Patrick's day in the scene where Harrison Ford is trying to hide out in a St. Patrick's parade. Kind of wierd.
I do not like Mr. Nelson's new hair cut. The groomers did super short haircut on him. I think they didn't understand me or something when I said I just wanted an inch off his coat. I swear the groomers purposely trim him extra short so they can sell the hair to weavers or something. VERY ANNOYING, whatever the reason. Even Jon had pity for Mr. Nelson. Jon said, "It looks like Mr. Nelson is embarrassed of his hair cut." I couldn't agree more. I like the other groomers by the Knickerbocker...I think they know how to trim a Bichon.
I'm now yelling at Jon for not putting water in the humidifier (like I asked). When you have nasal surgery you are even more sensitive to dry air. And it actually hurts your nasal passages, etc. For example, the air was so dry the other day I rubbed my nose and it started to bleed. Well, he just filled up the humidifier...things should be all right now. Of course, we're all annoyed...okay, we made up. (roll eyes)
I proposed starting a singing group (choir) at our UU service and it seems to be getting a bit of attention. It's going to be very liberal in nature. My dad-in-law is teasing me with "A Mighty Wind".
It's too early for me to think clearly and I haven't had my coffee yet. So, I'm just going to post this and write more later. One of the cute/annoying things about Lydia when she first wakes up is her constant chatter. I don't know if other kids do this but both my girls, when first waking, talk and talk and talk. I'm still half asleep and it's like have a high pitched radio deejay talking about toddler stuff. Oh, boy...
Thursday, March 16, 2006
You Are Austin
A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.
Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tonight I had Vietnamese Pho soup and spring rolls. A treat brought back from State College by Jon. It was good and made this day of dog poo (Mr. Nelson had two accidents poop in Lydia's room, pee in Norrie's) and Lydia's little accident on the couch a bit more bearable...even if I had to go to two banks to pay the mortgage (get the money from one and deliver it to the other because the other doesn't accept atm cards) in this freezing wind and my poor sore nose suffered. Sigh. Plus, I think my winter coat smells stinky (everyone, including Mr. Nelson uses it as a blanket...I have to admit it is pretty cozy...I even fell asleep in it. I've referred to it as my cocoon).
Well, now I'm feeling better...even with my in-laws bugging me to "unburden" myself with Mr. Nelson (my dad-in-law wants him). I even threw a ball 50 times for Nelson and now he's conked, thankfully.
Just a day in my life...
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I'm so proud of my Lydia. And for myself as well. I was coordinator of this event for the Homeschoolers of Blair/Cambria County and it was a lot of work but I'm glad everything went through well. And, I'd do it again in a heart beat.
Monday, March 13, 2006
In other news, I had a mildly serious effect from one of my pain killers. It was the worst feeling in the world...I was dizzy, headachy, nauseous, cold and shaky. All because I forgot to eat something with my medicine. Horrible. After going to the doctor and finally getting a few crackers down I felt better...sleepy, but better. I'm up now, which shows I'm on the up, thank goodness. I hope to God that few people feel this way when they are on their medicine. But I know some have even worse effects.
The worst feeling was not being able to help my kids get their breakfast. I poured them juice and tried to make toast. The spilt it and made a mess. An hour later my in-laws arrived and helped me. I felt so weak and out of it. Thankfully, I'm getting better at being patient and not going into a rage about the house being messy. I did think about vacuuming but just couldn't and that was that.
Life goes on...
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Then it rained and we saw a squirrel sitting in the brush nibbling a hamburger bun I had Jon leave at the feeder. Very cute. I love seeing animals and will on occasion leave food for them. However, last year I had gotten to the point of over feeding and started to be known as the place with the best small animal sightings by the local hawks. This meant my viewing of a pigeon being tracked down by a hawk much to my dismay. Jon had to clean up the remains (which were few, thankfully). But I vowed to limit my feedings. Fortunately, our feeder is right in a thicket which makes it easier for little animals to get food.
I'm still congested from my nasal stuff but am doing better each day. I've even noticed some sense of smell change and taste's of some foods seem different. Very odd.
Mr. Nelson has gone up one level. He is no longer tied to a spot (for potty problems/chewing) and is now liberated to roam the house. I made the mistake of letting him loose before I secured the 3rd floor/attic/some time studio/cat box collection and he got in the cat boxes. It smells awful and I have to have Jon go up there and clean it out. Big yucky, Mr. Nelson!
Otherwise, he has graduated and is now sleeping by my side on a big blanket much to the chagrin of the cats. Autumn esp. doesn't like this but she will have to adjust, poor dear.
I'm looking at cameras and picked up some good advice from Doll about 4x optical lens...there is a lot of info out there but I think I may be going with a kodak easyshare with 10x optical lens and rechargeable batteries. That was the clincher; rechargeable batteries.
I've been getting so inspired by various magazines and blogs. I've even updated my list of links...so much good stuff, so beware.
In other news, I'm in love with Betty Boop. She is so cute, independent and for goodness sakes from the 1930's! Very liberated for the times...plus, she loves animals. There's a lot of depth behind her story and why she transitioned to more disney-ish, animal lover. This had to do with a ban in the 1930's that prohibited cartoons to look overtly sexual such as having certain clothing items like garter belts shown, and had a touch of the risqué about them. We found quite a few Betty Boops at various discount places and yesterday I splurged and got a 30 cartoon DVD at Toys R Us with some Little Audrey thrown in there. It's funny how much more sophisticated the cartoons were back then to now a days. When I see some cartoons now, it's mostly (and there are few exceptions...like Kim Possible, Powerpuff girls, Pepper Ann) girl looks to please/attract a male. And vice versa. Very annoying and quite sickening in a way. There is a certain time for these things but not for little ones under 15! Even 15 is a bit young... I guess I'm old fashioned in that regards...blame my parents on that! ; ) Sorry, mom!
Anyway, that's why I like these "old" cartoons. Little Audrey has messages about respecting nature and learning the consequences as in Song of the Birds. She shots a baby bird and everyone mourns the bird as in death. But the bird recovers and Audrey tries to get forgiveness. Nobody forgives her. But then the little bird reaches out to her and then everyone follows. Very touching and true. Forgiveness can only be given by the one harmed.
I also visited Carol's blog and got this nifty idea. It's about what artist would paint you and why.
My artist came out Pablo Picasso and here's why:
"You're an expressive soul who shows many emotions, with many subtleties
Only a master painter could represent your glorious contradictions." Now, that's what I like! Good ol' flattery! But I do like the glorious contradictions. I feel like I'm made up of many contradictions, and I'm okay with that. For example, I think eating meat is bad and I feel sorry for the animals. But I still will eat a hamburger on occasion and will eat chicken with little or no guilt. Sorry all vegetarians out there!
Well, anyway...I would be painted by Picasso:
|Who Should Paint You: Pablo Picasso|
Only a master painter could represent your glorious contradictions
Saturday, March 11, 2006
The fear of death has been in my mind and started to grip up in earnest on several occasions. The first clear grasp of fear was when my husband, dad/sis in law and I got stuck on a rollercoaster in 2001. I thought I was going to die. This realization seemed to snap back into me with such a force I knew I had to have a child to keep back the tide of endings. I wanted to live on, even on a small scale (or great scale), through my children.
It’s a bit funny how this realization comes full force in the physical. As an artist, I have always known I would live on through my works of art be it writing or painting or photography. I’m grateful to many professors for their repetition of how art is like living on. And I know it to be true from the books I’ve read and the paintings I’ve seen.
But when the body breaks down and is at last gone, what have we left behind? What is it that others will have gotten from our passing? Will we have done good things or bad? Will we go quietly into the dark or raging?
Death is something we all face. We are all on that road and it is hard to grasp and realize. I was scared in the hospital but I knew my condition was small and in the end, I gave up my fear. I imagined I was petting my cats and dog and a sense of peace seemed to overwhelm me. Letting go, I came back. I awoke next in my recovery room and saw my husbands face smiling at me. Everything was over and I had survived my fear of the unknown.
A poem that comes to mind:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
I've always liked this poem. It means so many things and most importantly, for me, it means raging against the wrongs like Katrina victims not being treated with kindness and humanity, raging against powers that abuse rather than lift up and raging for those who have little voice because of poverty.
(On a side note: I had to learn this poem when I was 19 just starting college. I had an awesome professor, who’s name I cannot remember but I do remember him. He was in his last year at Pasadena City college and regaled the class with stories of his youth. He had worked a tremendous amount of jobs from grape picker to teaching jobs to even putting a script together for a film (or two). I didn’t realize at the time how much I appreciated his perspective. I remember being annoyed at having to learn this poem, at having to standup and actually recite it in front of the class and how very sad I was at the last day of class. Also, I was extremely shy and words seemed to weigh upon me like cement blocks. But I remember him and expressions/words of my fellow students. )
The fear of death and living…fear of living and death. I hope we all can reach a satisfying conclusion for our short time on earth…and I hope our times are long in human standards and our actions will be considered blessings by others.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Jon is in top form as he has got none of the responsibilities because he has the house to himself. I don't think I'm getting that much extra treatment...except in mom/dad watch the kids more (thank the Gods). Plus, when I slipped home for a little bit today, Jon forgot to feed the cats! Geez!
So, this blog entry is primarily about my complaints and aches. Plus, I feel like I could just sleep but then my back feels sore from sleeping in this annoying upright position. I'm hoping if I keep it up for a few more days I can heal faster and get back to normal.
I brought some of my art things to work on and did a bit (a very small bit) of work. I have to send off some eBay paintings as well. I feel like I'm so behind in my art for ebay too...very frustrating.
However, I do feel like I've got some fresh ideas I would like to try...doing some larger paintings and want to try them as posters/limited giclees. So, I’m researching printers and costs. Also, there are two local competitions I would like to enter...poetry and art (painting and sculpture). But I have to really work at getting it all together. I'll be very glad to get on a schedule again...at this point we're all sleeping at odd times, etc. I guess I thought I'd be 100% in a day or two. What was I thinking.
The hospital stuff wasn't as bad or as good as I thought it was going to be. I wasn't nearly as scared and I awoke after all was done and had no memory of it all. I do feel like the nurses could have been a bit more quiet at 2 in the morning...they seemed to like to complain, loudly. Then I had to share my recovery room with someone with an even scarier situation. She didn't know what was wrong with her...so, I felt lucky at least I knew what I was in for and why.
In other news, I’m seriously thinking of trying Montessori preschool twice a week for the gals. I think they might be a bit bored (as least Lydia) with staying home or going to the grandparents. Plus, I feel sad that she talks about friends that she has made up. I think most kids do this (I hope) but I’d like her to be around more little ones her own age. Play dates are on the list; just a matter of me getting better, etc. I wish there was a Waldorf preschool around here… Not that a school has all the answers, but it's a nice change for the kids.
Anyway, Jon has been enjoying his first week at his new job. And I love hearing his stories and new places he’s been going to at State College. He found out they have an excellent Vietnamese restaurant that actually serves Pho soup. I’m really excited about this. The last time I had good Pho was three years ago. Wow. I’m only sorry to say we didn’t find this place sooner…even if it’s an hours drive away. Plus, Jon gets cheese at a discount from the creamery and on Fridays can buy mushrooms at a discounted price from the mushroom plant (where they test mushrooms for taste, etc) too! Other good news, Jon may get to help edit a book on mushrooms and gets to talk to the writer of the book. Apparently, the guy is a great mushroom finder locally, and a Shaman.
If you ever want a small taste of small town life rent the TV show Northern Exposure. I sometimes feel like that show…funny how life and art can imitate each other. Boy, I miss Northern Exposure...that was good writing and beautifully filmed.
I’ll have more to “report” as we did a heck of a lot of stuff before my surgery…like Lydia’s first art show(!) and something else but I forgot what it was (oh, yes...I remember judging a Science competition...let's just say it's very disillusioning what teachers say/think about kids behind their backs).
Right now, we’re watching Pinocchio and I’m having serious fish inspirations…may have to do some paintings with some lovely fish. Pinocchio certainly has some beautiful scenes in it
...I hope that this surgery will relieve my headaches by 50%. I’d be satisfied with that. Anyway, hopefully the next post will be equipped with pics. Hope everyone else is having a good week...wow, it's nearly Friday...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
350 million years ago this fossil piece (found at a friends) was formed. Amazing. The organism most found in this sample are called Mucrospirifer medfordsis. It looks like a moth but is actually an ocean mollusk that would filter water through itself to obtain food.
Apparently, there must have been some sort of tide pool around this location as there are lots of fossils in the area. Again, amazing.
The pics are really blurry (sorry bout that)...how does one obtain some of the fantastic close-ups I've seen elsewhere (like on Flickr)? I've got a standard digital camera by Kodak (CX7330). Whenever I get really close, it's blurry as heck and the flash washes out everything. I know natural light is best but even then it's hard to get fine details.
In other news, we had freakish weather today. Thunder, ice rain, sleek sheets of invisible ice and cold. I was going to go down the back step as usual but I decided not to (rain was coming down way to hard) so we left by the front door. Thank the gods I did this. As we walked past the side of the house there was a complete layer of ice all over the back steps (invisible) , path to the garage and all the way down to the car. I couldn't even get further than the back steps. If I had stepped out on the back porch steps, I know I would have fallen and probably be really in pain right now. Very scary.
As it was I was stuck there with Norrie and Lydia (who were slipping and sliding...caught Norrie as she took a dive). I stood by the steps for about five minutes thinking, Oh-my-God-what-am-I-going-to-do? Then I noticed that some of the ice on the edge of a step looked loose. So, I reached over and scraped it with my shoe...then I leaped onto the step and scraped another step and so on. I got inside and threw salt (which had frozen solid and I had to bang the bag against the porch frame to loosen salt granules) onto the steps while picking up Lydia and Norrie to the safety of our back porch. It was horrible. That's one of my worst fears about Winter...being stuck because of ice and no salt. I threw more salt on the path but it just rolled off. I need to get spiky shoes or something. I am a Southern California (read as no snow/ice) city girl.
So, I cancelled everything and then discovered I had pulled a muscle in my leg and arm. Sometimes, I really don't like Winter.
Reflection: Yesterday it was warm enough to go walking on a hillside and look for fossils and complaints about mud all over. Today was filled with ice and danger just trying to get to the car. Talk about 180 degrees difference.
Well, there is talk of going to the library tomorrow...I'll see how I'm feeling. Saturday I'm helping to judge a junior high Science competition. Sunday is church and a local art show some of my students took part in. Should be interesting. Monday is the day of the deviated septum. I can not wait till it's all over. I'm supposed to get some TLC from my mom/dad-in-law. As long as they entertain the mini-troops (my gals) I'll be happy.
A few low key things:
Crocheted some Mary Janes for myself but to my horror they are about 50% too big. My feet are NOT that big. I had to take them out entirely after I tried to shrink them. But I've found that the manufacture of this yarn (acrylic) didn't lie...it does not shrink even if you are praying that it does. Oh, well.
That's Lydia's hand patting my poor attempt at coveted Mary Janes...
Next, mail off eBay paintings and maybe put a few more auctions. We shall see. Jon starts his new job the same day of my nasal surgery. I've already guilted him out enough...I'm expecting roses at the least. I refused to change the operation because I need to get this over with. I think if I cancelled I'd find another reason to not do it and suffer with debilitating migraines caused from allergies. I hope this year is a new start...thank you to all who wrote they concern and the good effects of this type of surgery. I very much appreciate it. : )