Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh...I finished something...

It wasn't very long ago I was posting about some of the projects I have waiting for me here at home. It's been a busy week, and I have finished two of those projects. The closet is cleaned, the linens and rags are organized and residing benignly in their new plastic storage drawers. I even changed the placemats on the table, and found a couple of tablecloths I didn't know I owned (two still in packaging). It felt pretty good to see that mess cleaned up. Lurking among the rags and linens were lightbulbs. Bet I won't have to buy lightbulbs for a year...who knew there were so many hiding in there? AND, as I refolded placemats, I found a pearl ring I thought was gone forever. Maybe this is why some people clean house regularly?

The other major accomplishment is the unpacking of mom's collectibles. She didn't have much that was fancy, just a few odd pieces of Hummel figurines. I dusted them every week of my life growing up, and now they are unpacked and I can dust them again. What memories unwrapping these figures brought back! Periodically, mom would fill a dishpan with warm, soapy water and gently wash the pieces. That's a project for another day.

Mixed in among the figures were a couple of surpises: the figure of Fritzi, our dachshund, that I made in second grade, and a ceramic brown bear my brother sculpted when he was in grade school. Those sat on the mantel with the Hummels, and were just as valuable to mom as anything else she had. All these pieces were shipped to me by my brother, about ten years ago, after mom passed away. I'm only holding onto them for a time. They will eventually go to my daughter. In fact, my daughter helped me unwrap them this morning. It felt good to spend that time with her. My mother's memory, me, my daughter, and her unborn twin girls--four generations of women.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Friend Wants a Picture of a Rabbit

So I've done some sketches today. The top one is Winston; he was a live model in an art class I took several years ago. I did this pen and ink from several brush sketches I had done at the time. The bottom sketches are based on Herman, a German Giant Hare who made the rounds in emails a couple of years ago. He's completely adorable, with huge fuzzy feet and a round tummy. Not sure what my friend wants, but she is currently enchanted with Beatrix Potter, so I'm playing with cute.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I've been tagged...

These can be fun, because who doesn't enjoy talking about her/him/self? My DS tagged me, so I get to follow the rules:

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Me. The subject I know most about.

1. I doodle. If I am not reading, I usually have a pen in my hand. I doodle flowers, houses, and faces. I like many of my doodles better than my actual artwork; my doodles are spontaneous and done without concern for style or rules. Maybe that makes the difference.

2. My grandchildren brought me back to life. No, I wasn't suicidal or anything quite that dramatic, but I was just going through the motions, until my dear son married the woman of his dreams, and they brought The Boy into my life. The Princess followed soon after. Then my daughter and hubby contributed Jack, and next thing I knew The Apple had joined the mix. Now we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Gwils--Jack's twin sisters, who are due early this fall. With the addition of these little People into my life, I have regained focus and meaning. Their parents may not always believe it because, after all, they act like children, but these guys are Major Blessings.

3. I'm an introvert. What?? A person who reads, does needlework, stays home, avoids social gatherings, is happy alone?? Yes. And I work in a career that requires me to interact constantly with others. Ironic, yes, but I enjoy my work, and I enjoy my quiet and solitude. I need them both.

4. Being a Christian matters to me; going to church doesn't. I thought it was important when the kids were little, so they could learn things I might not remember to teach them. And it's a great social atmosphere, a good place for making contacts, an opportunity to get rid of excess money, provides a sense of belonging to something greater than the self, and, all that being said, does not provide me with the opportunity for spiritual meditation and service that I think I need. When I was a younger woman, I loved my church home, and my church family still is important to me, so please understand that I do value church; I just no longer attend the Sunday singing, praying, money gathering sessions--oh, I mean worship. (Maybe I don't attend because I am an introvert?)

5. I procrastinate. Everything. Right now I have a box of my mother's collectibles to unpack. It's been waiting about 10 years. This week I brought it in from the garage. In the hallway are two plastic 'drawers' for the contents of the bottom of my hall closet. I really need to sit down on the floor and sort that stuff into the drawers. Both my coffee tables contain books for work that I need/want/should read before school starts again in the fall. That sort of thing... and I'm sure those things will get done as soon as I set up some tasks I want to do even less than I want to do those. Like cleaning the bathroom.

6. My fantasy as a child was to live on a certain street, unnamed, on which every home held family. In this fantasy, all of my aunts and uncles, and my grandma, had a home on my street. Every home on the street was lived in by someone I loved... I was surrounded by people who loved me. I really wanted to grow up and move into middle Michigan, closer to family. Instead, the man I loved and married was in the Air Force, and I ended up 2500 miles from everyone. The fantasy has never completely left me. Which kind of leads me to...

7. collection of houses. I collect(ed) little David Winters cottages, wooden tole-painted house, any kind of miniature (but not doll) house I could find that I could afford. They all are sweet and cozy in appearance. They all look like the people who should live in them would be happy families. And they all remind me that " my father's house are many mansions," which is a promise to me that in Heaven I will be surrounded by love, and there is a little spot just for me.

8. A friend recently told me that my home reminds her of a Beatrix Potter house. She said she almost expects to see little bunnies peeking out from around the corners. I'm flattered. I think it means the place is cozy. (It may mean the place is a cluttered mess, but I get to decide how to interpret her remarks.)

So, who shall I tag? I'll bet this has already been to a bunch of people I read, so I will say if you are reading this, please tell me and consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WOW! Look at this blog!

Thanks to Hannelie, the most super blogger-friend ever, my blog has an exciting new look that I think is a lot more representative of Me. The color is vibrant, the flower header is vivid--this is a feast for my eyes. I love passionate colors, the flowers represent the fullness of life, the background color provides a wonderful backdrop for my art.

Hannelie, how can I thank you? What a lovely gift you have given me.

Which Harry Potter Character Am I Most Like?

Which HP Kid Are You?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

With Pen In Hand, I Am ...

Teddy's in the rocker
He likes it sitting there
He feels just like a big boy
A growing up teddy bear.

When I sit in the rocker
I'm a big boy too.
But rocking takes a lot of time
And I have so much to do!

I'll let Teddy do the rocking
And I'll vroom-vroom my trucks,
And help my gramma vacuum
And make a sink of suds

I can fill the pool with water
And dig up dirt and plants
And make my gramma happy
When I don't pee my pants.

I'm such a big boy now
With lots of things to do
I'll sit in that rocker
When being three is through!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Seems like summer should be a time for guilt-free relaxing. I worked hard all year in two schools, doing two jobs to the best of my ability, often waking during the night to worry about students or something left undone. I spent many days at work long after my official quitting time, taking care of details, making phone calls, writing reports, analyzing information, filing, etc.

So why do I feel guilty for doing nothing now?

I think I'm being hard on myself. If I go back to bed, take a nap, lie on the couch and read, I fret. Seems like I ought to be weeding that mess out front where the flowers hide, trimming the suckers off the cherry trees, running the vacuum.

When I have Jack I don't feel like that at all. I can easily justify coloring with him, or doing play-doh. In the last two weeks, we spent a lot of time out back with the hose. We've planted some flowers, played with the hose, cleaned off the porch and patio. He can't do much damage with water, and all he really wants me for is someone to talk to. When we need to be quiet, we come in and color. I just love Crayola Color Wonder!

Grandchildren really gave me a new lease on life. I know, that old bromide is so trite, but so true. Since the first day I met The Boy in Houston, I've had a new reason for being, and each subsequent child has added to the focus of my life. I really do thank God for my grandchildren.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Fourth of July

I enjoy the 4th. It's always meant a lot to me to be an American. Growing up during the Cold War years, and the child of a career Air Force man, I was acutely aware of the freedoms we have. My dad was a first generation American, born to immigrants who escaped the devastations of middle Europe early in the twentieth century. According to the story I remember my dad telling, my step-grandmother, the only Grandma I knew (and loved fiercely) escaped by night with her family, hiding in ditches. When, at last, they arrived at Ellis Island, her family told her not to talk. She had a stutter, and immigrants who were less than perfect could be refused entry to the land of "your huddled masses, yearning to be free."

Grandma married my grandfather when my dad was about 2 years old. His own mother had died in childbirth during the great flu epidemic (1918) in Chicago. She was a wonderful woman, who cured every ill with food. "Eat, eat. I got lots," I remember her saying. Whether it was my homesickness on a weeklong visit, or a Sunday family dinner, food was always plentiful.

I'm proud of my heritage, what little I know of it. I'm proud to be part of people who kept trying for a better life.

This is not right...

I'm already thinking about school starting, and that's just wrong. We have a new principal, and maybe that's why it's in my mind so much. It will be another year of transition and learning a new person's style and expectations. I hope our philosophies mesh.