Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'm talking about a little chocolate kiss or rather a bag of them. I bought some yesterday while out at the store. Had a few when we got home and that's when the sugar and good stuff hit my serotonin level. I told the gals lets go out, sure it looks like rain, but lets go out for a walk. Lydia refused to leave the yard and decided to dig for treasure and make compost cakes in the garden. Norrie followed me and Nelson around the yard. Next thing I know, I'm pulling out the mower. I couldn't believe I did that. I mowed the yard...me with high allergic reactions to grasses and hate the smell of gas (yes, we have an old mower...). So, I mowed 95% of the yard and just as I was finished putting away the mower, it started to rain. Talk about timing. We all went in, washed up and relaxed to Spongebob.
I guess I felt sorry for Jon being away all week long and sick on the weekends. I decided to just mow the yard and most likely make all the neighbors happy (we don't rake leaves like some fanatics do. People are way too hung up on perfect lawns).
So, I feel like I did something nice for Jon and a bunch of neighbors. I think leaves are good compost and was glad to help mulch it into the grass. We've got a million potholes or rabbit holes or holes from tree roots rotting away in our yard. And I hope this will help fill them in a bit. I probably should gather the remanding leaves and stick them in these ankle twisters. They are really annoying and makes the lower yard difficult to play in.
I know it's bad to get energy from chocolate and I'm amazed that a few little pieces have so much punch. I think it's because I haven't had chocolate in a long while. I found out Norrie likes candy canes and wants to be called Eleanor. I was surprised and a little sad. We called her Norrie from birth as a nickname. But she has been correcting me quite a bit. It's amazing to see her develop her own personality and just verbally. She loves to talk and I'll just listen to her and make comments here and there.
Lydia is becoming more complex as well. I read, a long time ago, never to be sarcastic/ironic with little kids. They don't get it and feel hurt. Oddly, I think this can be applied to a lot of adults as well. Not that they are immature but it's hurtful. I'll have to remember this. Anyway, I take what the kids say very highly and listen to them on an emotional level. Lydia was getting jealous because I was stamping out all these packages for trades. She wanted to do play dough and I was trying to finish this quickly. I could see she was feeling hurt. We compromised by having mom finish the packages and immediately working with her to make some play dough snails. It worked out.
It's amazing as a stay-at-home mom and artist, how much you have to give/produce. It's not for the weak of heart, I must say. You have to give up some things that use up time. For me that was the television. If I watch a show, it's maybe an hour a week. Actually, the only time I sit in front of the TV is at my in-laws and usually I'm painting/sewing. I have two examples. My mom and my b-friend, Carol's mom, Emma. My mom raised four kids and Emma raised eight kids. Yet, each of these women made their kids clothes, made beautiful homes to live in, Emma bartered for things they needed or just wanted, and yet still found time to create either an environment for their kids to create or for themselves. I'm amazed, really.
I have a memory of Emma at the dining room table facing the TV (across the room) and would have her sewing, projects, etc and do this while the kids zoomed in and out. All was cleared for dinner. And I thought, what a perfect arrangement (though now, I know how frustrating it must have been to just stop and have to clear up your projects).
And that is what amazes me about these two women. The endurance and insanity at times of having a home full of everything. And I still feel in awe when I see mom's doing all they are doing. I know there are up's and downs to all stories and mom's are human just like everyone. But I'm thankful I had creative women in my life. Thanks, mom! :)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This is the very first ad I've ever put up...so, this is exciting in my blogdom. Also, I just realized today is my blog anniversary! Wow! It's two years since I started this blog. Amazing. I first started this blog as a journal and a way to say my two cents. I feel like I've pretty much kept on this path. I've added more of my personality and views as well as adding my art. It's funny thing blogs. Lots of people question why they do it. What it all means, etc. But I've always thought blogs were a means of communicating: whether personal, business, political, creatively, or all of these. I don't think blogs should be too analyzed in this regards as it takes away the spontaneity that is so unique to people.
Blogs can be as restrictive or as free as one wants them to be. For my self, I feel sharing some of the good, bad, ugly or cute are all part of the package. How many people would want something to be the same all the time? I surely wouldn't! That's why I change my banner every season or add a few photos of things I like or don't like.
Anyway, today is also Wednesday Inspiration...I thought I'd share a blog I've been following for awhile called Artist's Inspiration. I enjoy this blog by Robin because she writes about truthfully about her busy life and because she does incredible abstracts and collage paintings. One that comes to mind is of red flowers collaged on to a painted surface. Amazing depth and clarity. I love this. I tried to find it on her site as an example but unfortunately, google is being a pain. Anyway, she has such great stamina in painting...something I really admire. So, for this week's Inspiration I choose Artist's Inspiration.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Plugging away at painting. We stayed home most of the day. Had to do some grocery shopping and otherwise, the kids and I just hung out. Yesterday was so full of errands, the girls felt like they hardly saw me. I felt the same way and was grumpy as heck. But all in all, got a lot done.
I've painted up such a big batch of paintings, I'm a bit surprised. Most likely nearly 25 new ACEO's and bigger. And I have new ideas for bigger paintings. Just need to start the canvas or surface I plan to paint. I must say feeling better and having your health really does wonders for energy levels. Who knew?
Jon brought me home Pho soup and spring rolls. They were great and so filling. I've got to learn to make the soup at least. I know my sister's mom-in-law makes a dynamite beef soup with rice. It's a Vietnamese recipe and so good and spicy will cure any cold you get. I tried making that once but burnt it...was not a good smell or flavor. I'm going to try and work on this. Calls for cilantro, limes, pepper and reducing the moisture to get a thick broth of rice and beef (or substitute).
I found that my potatoes for Thanksgiving didn't turn out to what I expected. I think I mentioned Jon helping and he blended the potatoes to a paste? Well, it tasted like condensed soup. And the next day, that is what I made with the leftovers. I do believe it was the best potato soup I've ever had, let alone made. It required boiled potatoes AND baked. This gives it a unique flavor and is so hearty tasting. I added sautéed mushrooms and there was bacon already in it from the day before. Very good. Okay, now I'm hungry...
It's late and I'm tired. A full day with two kids does that to a person. Today was all right, less mishaps than usual, only one fall on the floor, and spilling of yogurt on the floor (Nelson helped clean that up). Actually, Nelson was the only one that got on my nerves today...kept barking for some ungodly reason.
I look forward to tomorrow morning. I have my creamer for my coffee and I'm ready to belt out some Doris Day!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
But that's what I'm waiting around for...lighting.
In other animal news, Mr. Nelson has fleas. I was supposed to bring him to the vet to get treated but we couldn't stand it and got him a store flea treatment. Poor guy seemed covered with fleas. Being a white dog, they're easy to see...I was picking them out with a flea comb and soapy water. Still, I couldn't stand it and we got the treatment started. Hope it works. I'm also wondering why the vet would want to charge $45 for the same treatment when you can get it for $10 at the store? Strange.
Anyway, everyone else is doing fine. The rat girls are doing well and the Odie is placed right by the heat vent for extra warmth. I had him by the front door the other day. It's glass and he can look out. The mailman came and he nearly had a heart attack, poor guy. Feathers were everywhere. So, if I have him there, I'll move the cage back, so he doesn't think he's going to get nabbed.
As for kids, they're fine as well. We seemed to have started to balance again, health-wise. Hope it continues to get better. Thank goodness for modern medicine.
Spent a few more hours at the local art gallery. It was a nice experience and I wish I had more energy. I'm still getting back to normal, I suppose. It was nice talking to fellow artists that walked in and getting some info. on potential art lessons. I think I may offer private tutoring for people who are older and don't like steps. I hadn't thought about that but I'm guessing it's a big thing...esp. when there is ice. Yikes!
I'm definitely going to sign up for the local art group. Got to get that going as they really seem to be active. I like that.
Finally, did some painting last night...or rather started a new batch of 20 or so. I've also got a goal I want to accomplish. I want to make 100+ paintings in my abstract style. They'd have to be 3 by 3 feet or bigger...and I'd have to work at it really diligently. Can I do this? Not all at once but I think that I can. The biggest issue will be supplies/canvas. I'm thinking of using masonite board as my base and attaching a hanging device in the back. This way I can really get moving. I think I'm going to have to really make space in the basement as well...painting can get quite messy, let's just say.
I read, awhile ago, that some artists in the 1500's (most likely earlier) used to use crushed glass in their paints to create a luminous effect. This intrigues me. I wonder if this really creates a difference? And where would I get crushed glass or how to make it? Would something like glitter, crushed, be similar? Wondering...
Also, I'm learning I love resin. It's so interesting and gives so much dimension to a piece. Fortunately, I have some warmer weather and can pour some of this on a few paintings that need touch up. I hope the product we got is all right...a bit nervous as it was a bigger volume for less. We shall see.
Friday, November 24, 2006
My main fault was not asking to put the sign up. I guess I should have assumed the sidewalk was signage free. Ugh. How annoying. Sometimes this town is worse than a big city. I can see why people get so annoyed by policies and regulations, etc. Makes you want to run around town and do outsider art or something.
Anyway, enough of my ranting. We got a few people interested, not many sales but it was Black Friday and basically the gallery is competing with places that sell mass made things. I know there are "good" deals out there but at the same time who wants to go through all of that? I remember a co-worker in California who'd have her whole family plan around the day after Thanksgiving. It was rather much as they'd have a huge van emptied in order to buy stuff at 4am. CRAZY. Ever since than, I've thought Black Friday was insane. Actually, I thought it was a religious day but I guess not. Interesting that it could have come from the stress caused by over shopping on this day, however. I do like the response of "buy nothing day" to black friday.
One nice thing about volunteering is I got some free mulled cider packets. This is made from a local home operated business and is quite good. I was happy about that. The gallery supports a huge amount of artists as well as crafters. We're planning on getting a simple web page up in the future. I really think this will help connect people as so many homes have internet access.
Art wise, I'm sketching out more ideas for small illustrations. I'm getting inspired by some work I saw on flickr with beads...Very beautiful and bright.
And I'm putting together more packs to send out to various companies about my work. Should be interesting. I'm also working on putting together my portfolio and am going to start submitting to the SAMA gallery and see if I can be shown there, as well. I have a few letters to mail to various hospitals and businesses. This may have to wait until after Christmas as I keep forgetting it's nearly the end of November. ACk!
Christmas presents, I have not bought any. I have made quite a bit but will have to do over time, I think. Not too bad, really. I have a few people I'd like to send cookies and I hope I can do that at least.
Well, I've got to let this go as I just realized it's 2:42 am. Had to get up and take my allergy medicine as I forgot but my sinus's didn't.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I feel so inspired...may have to do a contest with a sweet little prize for someone. I want to brighten somebodies day too! :) I think I'll do one for January after I mail out all my trades (at last count, 19 trades...and oddly, thankfully, I finished them all!!).
click for a bigger view of flyer
2. quiet time
3. inspiration to create
4. our needs being met
5. ability to help others
6. seeing kindness in strangers
7. the beauty of bare trees and change in nature
8. hugs and kisses from my gals
9. my pets
10. a warm home and warm coat
11. changes in the government
12. blue skies and frost on the ground
13. the watch dogs in our world
14. my mom and her creative gifts
15. time spent at home with my family
16. toast and coffee
17. little hands to hold jingle bells
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
One story moved me as it was about an event that happened in 1968 in Mexico. Student protests where happening and by sundown the government began to massacre their own people. Horrible.
I found the poem that is in memory of this event by Rosario Castellanos especially moving...it was mentioned by one of the top journalist in Mexico who has a TV program called "Behind the media". Here is the poem:
Memorial of Tlatelolco
By Rosario Castellanos
And who saw that brief, vivid flash of light?
Who is the one who kills?
Who are the ones who breathe their last; who die?
Who are the ones fleeing without their shoes?
Who are the ones belonging to the deep well of jails?
Who are the ones rotting in hospital?
Who are the ones struck dumb, forever, with horror?
Who? Who are the ones? Nobody. The next morning, nobody.
They found the square was swept clean. The front pages of the newspapers were full of the state of the weather. And on the television, on the radio, in the cinema, there was no change of programming, no special announcement. Not any meaningful silence in the midst of the banquet, because the banquet went on.
Don't look for what isn't there: traces, bodies, it's all been given as an offering to a godess, the Great Devourer of Excrement...
There are no official records.
Yet the fact is I can touch a wound.
In my memory it hurts, therefore it's true.
I remember. We remember.
That's our way of helping the very brave on so many a stained mind...
Let's all remember until justice becomes clear among us.
Monday, November 20, 2006
George Steinmetz photographs have been used extensively in the National Geographic. Today, while waiting for my doctor, Jon and I were browsing the September issue and found one of the most beautiful photographs I've ever seen. It's of a motion activated camera set off by a cougar in the desert.
You can download the image for your desktop here.. I highly recommend this as you get to experience the full beauty of the photo. The eyes of the cougar seem to be raised at to the stars above...almost in a look of thankfulness for water...like a prayer of appreciation.
Oh, the shops in State College are SO festive and cute!! There were two toy stores that are just darling and bright. One had several different colored trees, pink, light green and blue and all these little bobbing things inside it. The other was decked out in bright colors and Christmas trimmings. So nice and bright! Sadly, when I compare that to downtown Altoona, it's such a huge difference. Most of the stores are closed, hardly any life and just depressing. Hopefully, this will change in a year or so...
I have so many ideas for things since I went made dashed window shopping. I feel like I had a strange run through State College's downtown... Plus, there were so many people and kids running about. I was annoyed that the Vietnamese place was closed on Mondays...so, I missed Pho soup and spring rolls. Oh, well.
As for the hearing test, took 2 hours and they seemed to be getting things sorted out. I feel good about getting this taken care of and being treated. It was a mad dash back to Altoona and we got held up by a check point minutes away from the home. Guess they were checking people's drivers registration/etc.
The good thing was to spend time with Jon...felt so different without kids and I felt a bit sad with missing them. One thing I do feel like we may do in a few years, is move closer to State College. I'm talking five or so years...so, who knows. I felt bad Jon has to drive about an hour away.
At least the trip up to State College wasn't lost as I got my paper. I know it's only paper but I really needed some heavier weight and the local art stores just don't carry it...or have it at a much higher price. So, I feel good about that.
Next trip, might be Pittsburgh...we got a new copy of Bust mag and they did a review of the Andy Warhol museum and other spots of interest. I sure wish people would do some of the jazz they're doing in Pitts over here. All sorts of art hangouts, coffee houses, studios, museums, etc. Makes you feel sort of like PA is really kind of a neat place to be...even if it's only 20 degrees! :)
Right now, we're watching Wallace and Gromit at the in-laws place and eating mac and cheese. Even though the ENT didn't pop ear tubes in my ear, at least I got the ball rolling in my case. Plus, it's good to know my ears are nearly all the way healed (except for eczema in my ear...which I didn't' even know could happen!).
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Besides the above, I did about 25 ACEO's, brought about 15 to the local art gallery, hopefully to be sold at the Christmas show and put up anouther 10 on eBay! Let's just say, I've been busy these last few days! This is not a bad thing at all...slightly, stressed but mostly glad to have this in my life.
Well, today was a big day in kid-dom. We got the long promised big girl bike for Lydia. She earned it by growing up a little and using the potty when she needed to. I'm so proud of her. And she is so happy with the bike. I let her bike in the house (it's safer, warmer, and good exercise) and she was going around and around. So sweet! Norrie was a bit jealous but one try on the big girl bike and she realized it's too big and not for her. So, that helped big time. Plus, I think she has plans to grow-up as well.
I feel pretty good otherwise. I need to get some of my mom's new stuffies to the gallery on Wednesday...she made some REALLY cute things. I have to photograph them first and share.
I'm working on some little stuffies myself...for Christmas decorations or just around the house. I just need to put on a few eyes, bells, and they'll be done.
Nelson got a hair cut and is adorable. Unfortunately, I think he knows he looks good and is being rather greedy for attention (ie, barking at me to play/etc). Plus, I got him a little holiday sweater and santa hat (Target)...couldn't resist. I'll photo him in it later. Well, I've got to go...Nelson seems on the verge of exploding (bathroom break).
Have a good week!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
in a good way. More later...okay, the painting I put here doesn't fit my feelings but it does fit my gals sleeping right now. Last night, I swear they were tired but just kept playing and staying awake. Finally, they passed out from total exhaustion. I have a vague memory of doing that my self as a kid...
Other news, I'm working, working, working. My icon should be a bee! Or a little critter with a few bees buzzing around her. :) I've got a bit to do and because of this, I feel a tad overwhelmed to write very much. But it's a good thing.
I just feel very happy and excited. Maybe I'm near completely feeling better from my cold too. This does help lift a person's moods.
Monday, November 13, 2006
What I'm thinking of:
Making some new curtains for the kitchen...holiday themed ones. I have grand visions in my head but will reality be quite different and surprising. Hopefully, not too surprising.
SO MUCH BETTER! Not at 100% level but definitely past 85%...which is pretty darn good for most people, if you ask me. Ears are hearing quite well, can hear the rats having a good drink at their water bottle. All functions are working and in order. This Star Trek ship is doing well!
Really feeling good as I got 90% of my trades ready and just need those final touches. I worked here and there on decorations and illustrations. Instead of being stressful (as I started to imagine), I started feeling better everytime my hands would get covered in paint and glitter. Isn't that funny? Yes, I do believe are is healing. Very much so. Every little bit of art is healing and in all it's many forms. If it's done with a bit of thought (emotion, critical, etc), it's art.
Jon is feeling a bit better, too. Poor guy had to make some trips in the rain this weekend and wasn't feeling too well after all of this. But he seems on the up and up. Has a cough but I supplied him with more tea and hopefully, he'll be able to feel a bit comforted at work.
The gals are doing well. I think they were getting a bit tired of going to grandfolks place (we had them there a lot...this helped us quite a bit). Poor grandfolks where getting at their wits end, I think.
I'm thinking of going for a walk (the last time, was pretty scary as my hearing was off and everything sounded too far away or too loud. I got a little frustrated, I admit) on the back streets and keeping away from heavy traffic. I'm sensitive to noise. But I guess most people are, really.
I'm so glad I've done more work then I expected. My energy level is coming back and instead of being a burden, I feel happy and dare I say it, joyful.
I hope everyone has a Happy Monday and a good week. :)
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Nelson is going bonkers as he's been played with infrequently...actually, he's been played with quite a bit more now that the gals have found in him a somewhat willing pal. Kiwi is shocked at the attention too as she's being carried by the waist with her bottom half dragging and exposed to Nelson. Poor thing got a few scratches too.
I burnt the fish sticks we were supposed to have for lunch. That says a lot right there. I still am surprised I did that. At least the rice came out well. Basically, I took one of those frozen seasons packs of veggies (the ones with corn, tomatoes, etc) and put it in enough water for rice. Added the rice and the whole thing was quite good.
Otherwise, slowly getting back together and can actually hear a whole lot more and feeling way less dizzy! So, I'm happy about this. What a relief...of course things still sound slighly muffled but not like before. I'm looking forward to my ENT appointment next week and hopefully they can do some work while we're there.
As I said it's gloomy and cold out. Norrie is taking an unusal nap...thought she'd given those up but I think she's tuckered out from doing so much with everyone. Grandparents have been helping to no end with the gals. And we cleaned out their fridge too! Felt a bit guilty about that...
Anyway, naps do wonders and I admit I had a 20 minute one and feel much more rested. Feel slightly stressed about all the artwork I'm to have finished but not too worried. I'm pretty fast at what I do and if you love what you're doing, this helps quite a bit. :)
Hope everyone is feeling good and if not, feeling better. Have a good Sunday!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Finally. Looks like the sinus pain is wearing off and I'm on the rebound. But I will not do a Pee Wee Herman where I go crazy with energy and then where myself down. Do you remember that episode? Pee Wee feels a bit tired but instead of nursing him self and taking it easy, he goes and plays a lot and burns out. So, that's what I'm doing...or trying to do with house hold chores. I just take it 15 minutes at a time. Plus, I get everyone to help pick up and it works.
For example, last night the girls room was horrible. Couldn't even walk with all the toys and blankets. So, I shouted and everyone started picking up toys and I explained how we need to do this to find our lost toys as well as not to trip over stuff. And it was 90% better. Little kids can learn to put things away if they have a spot to put it in and will pick up if you're helping. I should just yell less...I even snapped at Jon and he was all crusty (eye infection is now in both eyes but getting better). Poor guy.
The gang of pets we have are all doing well, too. Fortunately, Jon remembered to give the cats and dog water and food. For some reason, I only remembered Odie(bird) and the rats. But all is fine in our little animal kingdom.
I even think the critters knew I was under the weather. My cats were esp. attentive and looked concerned (now, that I think about it they might have been worried their water dish was empty). Still, they seemed interested in me and my single piece of buttered toast...oh, well.
One thing I'm going to do is spread out all my medicine and see if I feel better after taking them. Really creates a feeling a nausea, I must say. But as I said feeling better and typing this at 2:35 am. wow.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Still recovering. Apparenly, my ears are looking a bit better but now everything has moved into my sinus' and I've got infection there. Another trip to the doctor, more medicine and hopefully this will cinch it.
Afte all of this, I've been letting my art stuff pile up and had to cancel a friend's visit (which is rather depressing, but I don't want her to get sick or get pink eye...which Jon has gotten from the girls). Sigh...
I hope this is the last bit of it and we can start feeling better and get my ears working again (still clogged and have an ENT appointment later this month). Last night was terrible, as I had a pounding headache but now I can actually sit up an type. I slept for nearly 20 hours, which is a record for me. Thank the stars for good health insurance.
Otherwise, life is slowing down...were taking it easy and not going to worry about painting the walls or getting every last dish washed. Just let them soak and relax.
After all that sleep, I still wouldn't mind taking a nap. Must be healing...
In other news, I gave up my boycott of Wendy's (got sick there a few years ago, twice) and have gone back. They actually have some healthy selections! Salads are only 99 cents and a bowl of chili is about $2. Not bad. Also, supposedly, they don't use transfat anymore...that's pretty good. I also made a descion. No more french fries. I don't need them and plan on not touching them any more. I realized this yesterday after I ate my last bit of fries. I just felt like they were gross. So, no more fries.
So, we're off to rest...
Thursday, November 09, 2006
In one collection, he uses plastic bags as his landscape...presses each bag together creating a layered visual field. He gathers the objects and found pieces from Australian beaches and uses them in his installations.
I found the artist's statement best describes his work:
"I am with this work, apart from wishing to express obvious environmental messages, particularly interested in the brilliance of the colours and textures available to me in working with this medium. I am constantly surprised to see the variations in these plastics, very much like how I am intrigued by the beach found objects I have collected over the years.
I imagine these plastic bags, which mostly have a lifespan of up to 450 years, are in fact on the verge of extinction, as it is only a matter of time before governments impose such strict deterrents to people using them that they become a thing of the past. A fitting end to what has become such a scourge to our environment on a worldwide scale.
As a point of discussion, the Irish Government imposed a 10 cent levy on the use of these bags some years ago and saw the consumption of this product decrease by approximately 90% within a year, a reduction of many billions of plastic bags per year!
Once again, I am able as a contemporary visual artist, to use these recycled materials, to create artworks which I hope, express a certain beauty as well as containing their oun unique environmental messages..."
I admire this recycling of throw away's in our society as an art form and I'm hoping Dahlsen is correct in seeing it as a thing not used any more in the near future. It's a sad thought that so much energy is used to create plastic bags just to be discarded or recycled (which isn't not a bad thing but still requires energy to recycle that thing). If a person can reuse something (like a cloth bag...and I'm one who definitely needs to do this more), then we should.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The heart is a bloom, shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room, no space to rent in this town
You're out of luck and the reason that you had to care,
The traffic is stuck and you're not moving anywhere.
You thought you'd found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace
It's a beautiful day, the sky falls
Abd you feel like it's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
You're on the road but you've got no destination
You're in the mud, in the maze of her imagination
You love this town even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over and it's been all over you
Perhaps, there is hope to end this war...
Elf girl is 5 inches in height. Entirely handmade and designed by my mom of My mama sews. She is $25.
Elf boy is 5 inches in height. Entirely handmade and designed by my mom of My mama sews. He is $25.
and Gingerbread Girl!:
Gingerbread girl is about 7 inches in height. Entirely handmade and designed by my mom of My mama sews. She is $20.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I voted today and it was an odd experience. Had to punch in a number and use this little spin knob(how ironic) to make choices. I'm pretty computer savvy and this was confusing for me! Took me 15 minutes and I had to use the help button twice. Plus, there are ear phones (wth?)! So, this was odd esp. since I got a static type voice (remember I'm still hearing impaired) and it sounded odd. But I did like the review feature at the end; I knew exactly who I was voting for and for what. It felt a bit depressing not to get a "I voted" sticker. I really liked those. Still, I hope this is all valid and everything goes through. I do feel sorry for older folks who aren't computer savvy (regardless of Republican or Democrat). This will be hardest for them, really.
Otherwise, I had the art students over and we did some work on perspective. I think I must have aggravated my throat as it's incredibly sore. Ah, well...Lydia and Norrie are a bit better but still tired from being sick.
I've been working on pretzels lately. I made my first batch yesterday and they came out hard as rocks. I made a second batch but forgot to put on all the fixing: salt/sugar/etc. But they were much softer, so that's good. Now, I'm thinking of the third batch...I hope to goodness it's the best batch, yet. I'm using a German recipe and it's funny how you have to do something a few times before you get it.
Besides recouping from my ear thing, I painted the back steps (fortunately, before the rain) and it seems to be holding up. I wish I could make a little roof over the steps but that will be Jon's department.
I don't know if everyone else's dog does this but mine follows me everywhere. I'll be a few feet
away from him and next thing I know, I'm stepping on him. He's cute, and he's got that advantage. I must admit he doesn't let you feel lonely.
I took a poll the other day and the poll asked how much TV you watched, did you get annoyed with political campaigns, and if you were tired of it all. Really, I didn't feel like this at all and was a bit surprised. My feelings are that we are directly related to politics and they aren't as separated as we think. Everything has a "political" slant, if we think about it. For example, water and the air. Most people will take this as something that is always there and always has been safe. This is not true. It's been hard fought to have clean drinking water and air that is less polluted. These are not things that were always clean. People said they wanted clean water for their children and families. And they voted and they stood up to big industries and told them no polluting.
People fought for these things. They realized if you don't fight (vote), someone will take away your right to clean water and clean air.
Cut backs, smacks and hits and run away by night
Our kids get nothing but into fights. Why?
Why are they fighting more than ever?
Is it the moon, the food, the weather?
Or is it the swallowed up whole, the numbness of nothing,
The child left to defend his creativity through fists instead.
Instead of what?
dancing on the stage, writing a poem and having it read, displayed, painting a 6 by 6 foot painting full of rage, singing at the tops of their lungs in a school parade, creating worlds where they can live without fear and hunger, writing plays to tear down lies, creating, creating creating more than their little souls could ever know was possible.
Where is the art? It was washed away by politics to pay for an UNENDING war where our children, their children, all children will die if we mothers do not shout and say NO, NO, NO!
So I say vote for Art! Vote for those who say get the lies out! Vote for those ready to pull our sons and daughters out of the slaughter of the innocents.
Remember we have the power in our voice no matter how small. We have power in the quiet of silence in the voting hall.
Mothers fight and rage! For our children are silenced by darkness and age.
Monday, November 06, 2006
And what have we done If you want it
Another year over War is over
And a new one just begun Now
And so happy Christmas War is over
I hope you have fun If you want it
The near and the dear one War is over
The old and the young Now
-Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
Remember to vote tomorrow and why we're voting.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
That's how it's been lately with my hearing. I'm hoping this will clear up as it's a pain to have people repeat what they are saying and hearing everything as though through static. I admit I'm a little down from this.
Saw this PBS film "To the Ends of the Earth"...or rather the last episode. I couldn't tell what they were saying half the time, but I got idea of it. Also, I looked it up on PBS and caught up on the story line. Might go and read this now that I've seen it. Ususally, it's the other way around with me. There are a few books I've first seen as films, such as Mill on the Floss and honestly, trying to read that was a bit much. I hate to admit I did this with one of Jane Austen's books as well...I'm actually a good reader so, this did suprise me. I'm going to try and reread these things now that I've got my glasses...I think a lot of readings where more difficult just because I couldn't see. I guess that would make sense! :)
Today we took it easy. We were supposed to go to UU, but my hearing made me feel uncomfortable and I know we're all germy and tired. Later, Lydia threw up and Norrie hardly ate anything except wanting hot dogs. It was a nice family day, even with all the illness. We even went to the park but came home tired. I hope this makes us a bit stronger since we haven't been going out as much because of everything. I hope I don't sound too depressing either...
I started working on some Christmas decorations for a swap and I hope they come out as I imagine. Sometimes things surprise me, good or bad. I need to do two illustrations. I have to see what the weather is going to be like and hopefully I can paint the back steps with the proper paint as I used a primer last time. For some reason, I thought it would work well. It didn't and ended peeling everywhere.
I'm nearly done with another quilt and it is a beauty. I will have pics ups shortly.
I borrowed a cute 1970's book called "I love to Sew" and love it. I should scan a few pics for fun...
Well, it's off to sleep and then a new day. Have a good Monday and Tuesday is the day to vote.
Oh, one last thing...going to try my hand at soldering with lead-free solder. Got the idea from Amy, hope this isn't too hard!
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Another photo opportunity was lost when I saw several handmade political signs. They were pro-Casey and democratic. For some reason this moved me, again. I just like how people are realizing how important politics are and how it effects them (regardless of economic status) and our environment.
So, I was a bit down from this...and my ears being so clogged up. I started to feel panicky when I was at the shop and I admit tired too. I guess I may have done too much in one day but it was nice getting out even if I argued with Jon for no reason. Not being able to hear is very frustrating and I feel like wearing a button saying, I'm hearing disabled please be patient or something like this. I hate to do this but I felt out of place.
Otherwise, I'm feeling a bit better...wish I was all the way better and didn't have to be on antibiotecs but it's helping, I guess.
Right now, I'm working on several quilts and some paintings. I signed up for two different ornament exchanges and am getting worried about the time factor. A part of me is a greedy monster who wants to get beautifully made ornaments from fellow artists/craftsters and another part of me is thinking, my god what have I done? So, I"m trying to figure out what I can do that's pretty, fast and interesting. I've got a few ideas up my selve and will be experimenting shortly. :)
cute owl in truck seen at the doctor's parking lot, Altoona
I'll have to photograph my various projects as I would like to see them up on the net too. Otherwise, it's clean house once we recup a bit more...
One of her pieces esp. moved me. It is of a soldier who has come home after being injured in the war. His wounds are obvious as he carries them on face as well as in his thoughts and memories. It is a collaged piece with paint swirled in the background and has a chaotic/blatant realism with the black and white photography. For me, this pieces shows anger and frustration at the slaughter of innocents.
O'Donnell's work often talks about "controversial" topics or rather topics that are ignored, repressed in our free society or don't have a lot of commerical value. I've always thought O'Donnell was an interesting and strong person (just thinking about her strides to keep her magazine connected to her vision, impressed me).
O'Donnell has written many poems on her blog as well. These are connected to her fears, reflections and insights on the media and family around her. It's a perspective not often heard of or given with seeds of truth. One poem, in particular, I found moving is:
Posted by ro on September 12th at 5:08pm in in the news
we saw eve enslers new play
haunting brutal brilliant
dylan and portia perfect
a soldier home dead inside
facing the truths
what he became and why
and when 2 break them
3,015 Americans have died in Iraq as of September 9.
2,666 of these were military deaths and 349 were civilians.
2973 dead on 9.11
we have doubled our sorrow
three thousand times over
we r not safer
we have raised a new generation of terrorists
drenched in blood and hate
as we proclaim them free
we r slow to wake
once we do
we r unstoppable
exxon made more money last year
than any company ever
in the history of commerce
and……..the boy king is an oil baron
use the force
Friday, November 03, 2006
Called in sick, again for tutoring...but felt better. I had the grandparents watch the kids (which they kindly obliged) and I had a few hours to relax...though I ended up catching up on laundry, cleaning a bit here and there and starting a few new projects...yes, I know I need to finish quite a few others. But I'm glad I got this much done.
Afterwards, all of us met up and tracked on down to the public library for a homeschool games day. It was fun and Lydia had a good two hours of playing. Norrie, however, fell asleep and grandpa was left watching her. Then, when we came back to the car, guess who woke up and wanted to see the library. Yes, so I tracked back down and let her play for about 20 minutes. Poor kiddo. She's been under the weather ever since her ear infection. I can totally sympathize.
It was really great to see the other mom's even though I felt like I was listening to a static-ie radio. Awful in that sense...but otherwise, even I had a good time.
I have a play date in the near future set up and Carol's visit to look forward to. So, this means I've gotta start cleaning/painting to get ready! Yikes! Plus, Jon is not sick with a lung cold, poor guy. We're all coming down with something...Tis the season, I guess. Fortunately, there are lots of things to comfort oneself with and one is a tea, a warm blanket, and a fire log (of which I got a few).
Art wise, as I mentioned a few projects are on the burner. I also have to make a new batch of paintings to sell and hopefully, I can get it all done tomorrow. just kidding...Otherwise, it's slap some paint on the walls, sew up some curtains and scrub the rugs. I wonder if anyone else goes house crazy before visitors come to visit.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I thought I'd be 100% better today but now I can't hear from both ears and I feel tired and drained mixed with a slight headache. I took all my medicine/vitamins and felt a bit dizzy from this mix. But after I ate a little, felt better.
At least both the ears seem to be draining...yesterday, I forgot was Wednesday Inspiration but I know who I'm going to put up as my next inspiration...I'll do that tonight.
Sorry I keep complaining about my self. I haven't been up to creating much but I did glance at my work pile and started to feel interested again. So, this is a good sign.
I tried to load a pic on blogger last night but it wasn't feeling good either, apparently. Hopefully, this time it will work.
Yeah! It works!! And I put another pic at the top! Hope you enjoy them! :)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Anyway, she's going to be coming over for a week (I really hope) and we're going to just have fun with the kids and I hope just relax and do art stuff. I'm so thrilled there are tears in my eyes. I know, I'm a big sap...
Other good (great!) news is my mom and brothers might be coming over for the next road trip of theirs! I know that sounds wonky but this really makes me feel so good. Oh, great...now I'm laughing at my self and crying. I really need to stop watching Gilmore Girls (1st season). I always watch that when I feel sick or down and afterwards I feel better and relaxed. I think it's the set design or something...very restful and pretty. That's a great show, by the way. I love how there are people of all sorts of shapes and sizes on there...sure, it's not as good as Northern Exposure (which I still need to get a copy of) but it's up there.
Right now, I'm reading Dooms Day Book by Connie Willis. It's about time travel and complications of this as well as how the past haunts the future in the form of disease. Interesting, if not a bit tedious in repetition. But it's by a female sci-fi writer and one I've never heard of. I could see this totally as a graphic novel (though somewhat edited).
Of course, I shouldn't really be reading this book when I have a cold/ear infections as it makes you wonder if you have some sort of plague or what not. I'll have to check out Willis' other books as well...
I finished Harry Potter a couple of weeks ago and it was actually much better than I thought. I thought it was poetic with the phoenix and (as one friend commented) though rushed at the end, I liked it. I'm looking forward to the last book but I seriously wonder how everything is going to be tied up at the end. I could see this going on for at least two more books...but we shall see.
I hardly ever get to see the TV (not that I want to) and now the computer time is limited. But with a book, you can crack that baby open any place, nearly any time and there it is. Pictures in your head, color, lighting and emotional ties...nobody can do that except a book. I love that.
Today was a bit difficult as the girls were both ill too and I was in ear pain/sick. It was way too cold to play outside and we spent the day getting on each other's nerves and trying to be civil. I may have to seriously get the 3rd floor in shape to let them play there as well as the basement. I know they were cranky from being sick and I wish I had realized that sooner. I would have been more patient with them...I think I was just too sick to realize. And when your not feeling up, it makes you ubber selfish. And as every parent knows, you can not be too selfish with kids. I even let them in my old jewelry box ( full of junk jewelry, little things saved from my school days, pins, etc). They had a good time with that but then felt distracted and bored.
One thing they like to do is play games...any game will do. I may have to take them on Friday (if we're all feeling good) to the library (for homeschool games). So, we shall see.
I did so much today, I still can't believe it. In between resting, tending to the kids and housework, I made a batch of chocolate cookies (I added yoghurt into the mix and they come out really nice and soft) and biscuits. Lydia helped but was dismayed to find no eggs were needed. For some reason, she thinks there should be an egg in all baking procedures. Cute. I would like to find a pretzel recipe and try making some of my own. I know hot water is used in the process (from what I remember from a Mr. Rodgers episode).
I think it helps to have a cup of coffee about 5:45 pm. This is about 15 minutes before Jon comes home and gives me the ump I need to get past this time slot. Otherwise, I'm a mess and quite pooped.
I can not believe how much my ear is hurting me. This is the worst ear infection I've ever had. Every time I kneel to pick something up (which is often) I hurt about two minutes afterwards and then my throat starts acting up if it's the slightest chill in the air. Awful!
Now, Jon feels icky and I hope it's not the same thing but a minor prob. It's funny...whenever I take our temps all the gals will be something like 99.4 and up (if we're sick). Jon's is always 97 or 96.6. I find this funny as he can look sick but his temp rarely goes up. I guess that's a good thing...Right now, my pained ear is reading at 100.4.
A really gross thing happened the other day. We were looking at Mr. Nelson and I was like, oh you have so many mattes, going to have to take you to the groomers. Then I noticed this weird thing stuck to his eyelid. It was greenish and looked like a seed or odd growth. I was kind of disgusted by it and Jon's like, just pull it off. So, I tried pulling it off with a Kleenex tissue and it slowly loosened. Then, I got really disgusted and started imagining it was going to bleed all over. I tried again and it popped off. I was like what the hell is that? It didn't bleed and Nelson didn't even whimper but seemed better afterwards. I asked Jon, do you think it's a tick? He's like no...I looked it up and guess what. It was a fat, engorged tick! So very disgusting...I immediately went crazy and wiped everything down with alcohol and had Jon wash Nelson in the tub. Yuck! Yuck!!! I know where he probably got it. From our walks on the trails, but icky, yuck! If I had extra energy I'd scrub the floors on my hands and knees but I'll just mop up instead. Jon got rid of the tick in the outside trash. It even left a little hole on Nelson's eye lid but it's starting to look less puffy now. Bugs can be so gross.
Well, that's about all the news right now. I did finally get to try the resin and it wasn't as difficult as I thought. It rained (of course) after I put the finishing drop on the canvas and made drying time last an extra 20 hours. I actually love the effects of the resin and will definitely be doing this again. I wish I had it for the 6 by 4 foot painting I had to discard. This was pretty massive and would have been fantastically preserved in resin but I didn't do it. Ah, well...
Lately, as soon as it gets dark, rain comes on. It's like the timed sprinklers in California. As soon as it hit's 10 pm sprinklers pop on and water various people's lawns. Thankfully, we don't have to do that.
I still can't believe I forgot to get my allergy shot today. I'll have to do it tomorrow and I have another doctor's appointment (standard) tomorrow as well. Wonderful.
I think I'll try adding cottage cheese to the biscuits next time. I used yoghurt but it tasted really bitter for some reason. I didn't have chives on me, so I just skipped that. Cottage cheese might be a good alternative for now.
I cannot believe it's voting day on the 7th, Tuesday next week. The time has flown by and I guess that's a good thing. I hope people think about all the cut backs to our services in favor of an unending war. I hope people remember all those who died for this war regardless of their nationality. And I hope people remember all the children who were lost in this war, in our own flood and lack of care they received. I hope people remember that when it came to raising the minimum wage, mist in our govt. ignored it and favored pay increases for themselves. And I hope people remember that there is a huge amount of big business trying to control our govt. which is supposed to represent the people and be created BY THE PEOPLE. Remember this on voting day. Don't let people manipulate you by talk of fear, lies, deception. I know that we can't make everything right but we can make a lot much better than it is.