Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ya Can't Beat a New Pack of Markers or Crayons!

James made and wore this alien mask yesterday afternoon. You guessed right-- it was inspired by one of the Star Wars movies. That is definitely a good thing about his newfound Star Wars obsession. . . it's fired up his imagination. Thomas the Tank Engine and Spiderman were fine companions, ones we all rather enjoyed, but the 'droids and 'bots and assorted aliens accompanying the SkyWalkers and Jedi Masters have really taken hold of our world.

What little kids don't draw or color, you ask? Well, James is one of those who can take it or leave it. When we still worked at the daycare (well, I worked, the kids attended), James would refuse to fingerpaint and he was quite likely to turn down half the coloring pictures that were offered, too. So, it was nice to see him so engrossed in making alien masks yesterday. I'm not one for "making" kids do any certain activity, but I have to admit the masks made me sigh with satisfaction.

Kate, on the other hand, has always liked to draw and color. It's just her thing. Being someone who only learned to roughly sketch ideas, I am so happy to see her learning at such an early age. Creativity always needs to find its physical outlet for expression. If you can find that particular outlet and start learning it, then there's a lot of satisfaction to be had as you progress. It's also perfectly fine with me if she doesn't discover the reasoning behind this but just keeps on drawing because it makes her happy!

Oh, yeah, Mommy loves a new package of markers, too! Attempting to draw outlines of my glass ideas helps me think about how I'll go about making them when I sit down to the torch. When I sculpt on the mandrel (like making a bead but bigger and closing off one end of the bead hole), I can move back and forth, adding glass here and there as the mood strikes me. That doesn't work when you sculpt off mandrel. The key to sculpting without the mandrel is to not keep moving back and forth because the shock of the heat from the flame will crack that glass that has already been melted and cool some. I know for lots of people the transition between these two styles poses no problem. For me, the transition is taking longer. . . the two styles are very different to me, and I had the on mandrel sculpting's movements ingrained fairly well.

Anyway, where was I going with that thought? Oh. The sketching an outline really helps me think about the steps I'll have to take to make something without needing to backtrack. Not to mention, I am the grownup who never outgrew the love of crayons, pens, markers, and notebooks. Back-to-school sales have always made me perk up, even after I was done with college and hadn't even thought about having kids. Some moms might dread the school supply list-- the store you are in at the time never seems to have just the right style of scissors for the little ones (was that pointed or blunt? red handles or green handles? and were those handles the plain old kind we had as kids or the fancy new more ergonomic ones?). Me? I could happily wander the school supply aisles for hours. The hardest part for me is only buying what is on the list!

Hmm, we just might have to get a new big box of crayons at the store today. . .there's nothing like carefully punching loose the perforation around the lid, tilting it back, and then silently, reverently, contemplating which color to use first. You finally lift one out of the carton, read its name, put it back, and check the names of a few more. What was once Midnight Blue some thirty years ago is likely to have a newer, more modern name. What once required mixing a peach and a yellow now comes in one Macaroni and Cheese color crayon. Ah, but what was once a thrill that lasted all afternoon, or at least until the papers had to be peeled back and the sharpened used, is still a thrill!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Attack of the Devilishly Cute, Freckle-Faced, RubberBand Slinging Short Woman...

This is my daughter. She is on the attack. Her weapon of choice lately? Rubber bands. I caught her peering over the edge of the couch in my direction this morning, rubber band at the ready. Next thing I knew, rubber bands were zinging towards me and the kitchen table.

Little brat is a darn good shot, too, LOL!

Of course, she gets an extra laugh out of me with her taunts. See, she knows that I have never, ever, in my 42 years been able to zing a rubber band at another person without zapping my own thumb instead! I have accepted this shortcoming. I really have. . . well, okay, maybe, just maybe, I feel just a weeeeeeeeee twinge of envy when I see someone else do the rubber band snap without hitting themselves :)

Spitballs, paper wads, all those other little grade school delicacies never really excited me. However, a good rubber band war or water fight can not be beaten, in my humble opinion. Of course, squirt gun wars had to be confined to home. Taking a squirt gun to school was tantamount to risking your entire armory to teacher confiscation. Believe me, if you had a squirt gun, you sure didn't want to donate it to the teacher so her kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews could use it all summer. Ah, but a rubber band was the perfect expendable weapon!

No, of course, I'm not going to tell my kids how to get away with rubber band wars or tossing paper wads or any of those other fairly innocent grade school hi-jinks. I am fairly certain the blue-eyed munchkins won't need any help in the how-to-earn-a-trip-to-the-principal's-office department!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sometimes, Ya Just Gotta (fill in the blank)...

  • Sometimes, ya just gotta play with glass, not worry about whether it's a realistic design, and find joy in the flow. Doesn't matter if it turns out to be a bit fragile, after all, it *is* glass. Another reason to try again and figure it out. This beautiful cascade of glass was the tail of a dragon faery I've been working to create. Yep, I am a clutz, and I managed to break it off. Must be a clue that I need to figure out a sturdier underpinning to protect my dainty dragon faeries so they can fly from studio lights and grace east-facing windows with prisms of sunrise without risk of calamity.
  • Sometimes, ya just gotta stay up half the night reading a good book, basking in the soft glow of a turned down reading light, everyone else's dreams and breathing a soothing background as you quietly follow the threads of a good story. Doesn't matter if you'll feel a bit groggy after a couple hours of sleep, after all, it *is* brain food. Another reason to stretch your imagination. Yep, I couldn't get to sleep last night, so I quietly set up a tiny lamp and quickly became engrossed in Lucy Rees' journey across Navajo and Hopi territory in search of a Hopi labyrinth carving akin to the ones in her native Wales. The Maze A Desert Journey is quite a trip, literally and figuratively. The freedom to set off on a couple of horses that had been headed for the meat market, letting intuition take precedence over maps at times, befriending strangers along the way, drinking in the earth as she unfolds around you. . . what a blissful journey. Can't say that I would want to sit on a rock in the desert moonlight and exchange glances with a rattlesnake, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed traveling the pages of the book.
  • Sometimes, ya just gotta hop in the car and head out to explore. Doesn't matter if you find what you were looking for in the first place, after all, it *is* adventure. Another reason to treasure the unexpected. That's what we did yesterday when Ricky and the kids got back from town. Hopped back in the car, in search of a couple of houses I'd discovered on the foreclosure list. Ever the bargain hunter, my husband the accountant dreams of finding the perfect house and rescuing it from the bank for less money than it is worth. Anyway, our printer gives me fits, so I just sketched the map. Eek! Maps never look the same when you are actually driving them, at least not for me. Fear not, though, I am, after all, a Greer at heart. A Greer never deigns to ask directions because we are never actually lost-- after all, we know how we got there, so we can always turn around and try again! In pursuit of the houses outlined in the sketch, we ran across the most beautiful house we've seen so far. Not too modern for me (I'm sorry, but I am stuck in another era and don't like brick that isn't red), not too charming for Rick (sad to say, while I adore personality in a home, my husband seems to crave oatmeal-ish and boring), this house gave us hope that we will eventually find one upon which we can agree! That is a treasure, that right there :)
  • Sometimes, ya just gotta sleep late and lounge around the house in your pajamas. Doesn't matter if you'll have to scramble for some clothes if anyone comes to the back door, after all it *is* summer vacation. Another reason, however, to make sure your jeans are within reach :) James, of course, woke up and changed into his Jedi uniform. Kate and I, however, are very happily going about our morning in undershirts and p.j. pants. We are all three busy creating something. I am playing with words, Kate is experimenting with markers and squiggly cut scissors, and James-the-Jedi is creating new light saber moves. It is a wonderful summer morning that is seamlessly flowing into the afternoon. Sometimes, ya just gotta go with the flow :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shall I Work, or Shall I Play?

Well, I just started writing you a post about pigeonholing yourself, but it wasn't coming together. I think my mind is rushing in about four different directions all at once right now.

See the munchkins in the car? They just headed into town with Daddy to run a few errands since he's off work today. Aha! That means Mommy has a few hours to do whatever she wants...or do I? Yes, I'm the one who is with the children twenty-four hours a day in the summer, so of course, I am glad for a little bit of quiet time to myself. But what should I do? First, I'm gonna finish writing to you so you'll know I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet. Then? Torch? Read? Clean up my desk? Design a new business card? Make a business plan for the coming months? Solve the world's problems and then redecorate the house? You get the idea.

First, I shall finish my coffee. After that, who knows? What would you do?

Don't PigeonHole Yourself! Err...What Does That Mean, Anyway?

Oops! Just pushed enter before I meant to do it. In fact, I just sat down to start writing! Back in a just a bit. . .

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Foot in Front of the Other...Oh, Bother, Piglet!

Feet, foot, one in front of the other. . .oh, bother. Pondering what to write today just makes me feel as if my writing muse is channeling Pooh Bear! Been up since early this morning, battling glass, running into town for milk and bread, doing laundry, and frying cheeseburgers. Not much time for writing until now.

Ah, the glass battle ended in a truce. I shall try again later, if I get other stuff done. Torch times that feel like battles are the Glass Gods' way of telling you to quit trying to rule the glass and just let it flow the way it desires. I had worked my way up to having very few of those particular battles with soft glass. I was approaching a sort trance like nirvana where the molten glass flows and you only need to turn it and gently help it into the shape it desires. Hard glass? Well, it's still a learning experience, and there is always another battle looming on the field of inexperience! The footprint paperweight you see in the pictures is my current reassurance that the number of battles will eventually diminish!

See all the ripples in the footprint? That's where I kept melting the thick rod of glass in the middle, pushing the ends together to make what's called a "maria." Usually, you make a maria in a circular shape, but this one started falling more to one side as I added more glass. Before long, I could see that it would make a great footprint shape. . . and my sister, the one who just happens to collect Footprints in the Sand things, the one who is getting ready to celebrate her 40th birthday next week, that sister, she obviously needed a really cool footprint paperweight.

Did you notice what was happening there? That last paragraph? The glass was leading the way, and my thoughts were following it as I made that paperweight. That is why that is a good piece of glass. I didn't try to make it do something it really didn't want to do. Ha! You thought artists were the sensitive, temperamental part of the equation, didn't you? Nope, the glass can be even more temperamental and egotistical. The artist who remembers that and lets their own ego go for a few moments while in front of the flame will be rewarded. The reward may seem to be only an apparition, as fleeting as it may be, but it will convince you of its existence and it will draw you back to the flame to seek it again :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Might As Well Be Don Quixote, Jousting with Windmills...

Here's a pretty picture. This is a Pretty Pixie Plant Protectress. She's a plant poke. You know, one of those pretty little doodads that you sneak in to the pot amongst the houseplants. I named her a plant poke for lack of a better description. Now, some plant pokes end up that way by default because they start out as beads and then get stuck on the mandrel. This one I did on purpose, off mandrel with a thick rod of glass to use to push her down and anchor her into the potting soil.

Here's a not so pretty picture-- me, joisting with not-so-imaginary dragons but still looking stupid because one of the castles I was defending by default turns out to look as if it is the domicile of a villain. Good grief. Might as well be Don Quixote, riding a hopelessly downtrodden hag, joisting with windmills. Now, all those not-so-imaginary dragons are going to be sitting in their lairs, grinning and saying "nah-nah-na-nah-nah! You were wrong in this case, so now we have justification for being mean any time we feel threatened." Untap my shoulder and call me plain old Mrs. I'm done playing knight.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Walkin' a Few Blogs, Enjoyin' the Scenery...

The other day, Captain Elaine tagged me with this award for my blog. Well, you know me, any encouragement at all for my motormouth ramblings, and I'll just keep on blogging a mile a minute! The thing is, I'm not so great at copying and adding pictures from someplace on the web. For now, I'm going to go ahead and write this without trying to put that award here. . . otherwise, it could be yet another week before you ever find out where I'm sending you to see my seven pics for blogs that a fun reads!

Here's my acceptance speech: Thank you! I have no idea to which ancestor goes the gratitude for the motormouth-smartass-contemplative gene, but THANK YOU. If it weren't for that tidbit of me, my family would've enjoyed way too many moments of quiet, peaceful bliss. Instead, since I was gifted with a run-on sentence brain and a mouth to match, they have endured countless moments, nay long stretches, of AnFaye rattling on and on about practically nothing :)

So, if you're in the mood to start your day with a few pics of cute critters and pretty flowers and even a bald eagle, please drop over to Mari's little spot of whimsy and leave her a "hello" and a smooth recovery wish. Mari, my dear, you are hereby awarded the

Ta-da! and Congratulations!

Now, for the next six award winners.

If you'd like to travel to the southern hemisphere for a taste of living in South Africa, please go visit Michelle and Anthony and their boys. Mich's Ramblings of a Lunatic Mom and Lampworker are really a glorious mix of daily thoughts and photos that will make you feel as if you are right there with her.

As long as you are traveling to the southern hemisphere, do swing by Deb's Sew Much to Do- So Little Time creative mishmash of fiber and glass and jewelry and flowers. New Zealand may be far away from me, but just like with Michelle's blog, Deb's grabs ya and pulls ya right into her world.

Now, up in Michigan, USA, lives a cyber-sister who always brings me encouragement and some great art talk. Art Talk with Sheila Morley is a wonderful spot for peeking at some glass and learning a few things about the process of learning. Hey, Sheila **insert wave here*

What is that now? One, two, three, four? Okay, numbers five, six, and seven coming up!

For these, I'm going to surf a bit and see what interesting things come up.

Here ya go, number five. You don't have to be able to read French to enjoy these pictures at La Maison de Caro et Mehdi. Looks like these are shots of the progress of building a new house. What made me decide to add this one is all the happy faces in Caro's other blog, Des Nouvelles de Nous. Isn't that cool? You can just feel the joy in the faces-- don't need a translator to interpret smiles!

Oh, for number six, I am so totally cheating and nominating someone who's already received this award. . . you have to go see these pictures at FotoSeasons!

Now, to hunt down number seven. . . More pictures! Hooray! I've never really surfed around just for pictures that tell a story, so this is kind of fun! Check out the Architecture Art and Photography at Archimadness. Scroll down a bit, so you don't miss the people after the funky bridges or the fried egg in a skillet pics. Just pretty pictures!

That's all for now. If you are one of the seven peeps listed as award winners, all that means is besides having a fun blog to read, you are now the proud virtual owner of a copy of that Brilliante Weblog image. What you do now is post that image, an acceptance speech thanking anyone you want to thank for helping you in life, a link back to me (iffen ya want, but hey, most of ya already have me in your blogroll, so it isn't necessary), and then a list of 7 blogs you want to give the award! Voila! You're done, and you've helped spread blog-goodness all around the www!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dr. Garrenschtein's Gruesome Glass Goof-Ups GraveYard...or What Do You Do With Your Glass GiveUps?

Bwa-Ha-Haaaaaaaaaa. Do come in. Welcome to Doc-teur Garrenschtein's glass lab. Oh, no, no, don't sit right...there. Oops.

Wait, do stay. I have something to show you, and I have a question to ask you.

Look. These are some of my glass "mistakes." Busted, cracked, stuck on mandrels, interrupted and never finished, those sorts of things. Alas, I can shut the door to that cabinet, but I can still hear them crying out to me, "Please, Doc-teur Garrenschtein, please, make us useful pieces of glass!"

Oh, the agony! What shall I ever do for them? Oh, no, no, that won't work. Sorry. We don't use a coffee table in the living room. Excellent idea, though, those shadow box tables filled with interesting bits and pieces of glass. That's what I always think of when I start to throw away these mistakes.

And now! The boro mishtakes! Logically, now that I've been working off mandrel, it would be a simple task to rescue these bits and pieces of broken glass. I should be able to reheat the broken off nether regions of that dragon and add a different tail, right? Right. That's why I can't just throw him away, even though I'm pretty sure I need to work on the design-- or else, why did I keep having troubles with him as I torched? Oh, and the torsos-- I should be able to hold them gently by the tootsies and slowly warm their broken bellies until I can add glass and finish them. I can do that, I know because I have tried it. It's just, well, the whole flow of the piece got interrupted, and I'm not sure it would be worth the end result to spend time adding to them.

*sigh* So, what do you do with your mistakes? I don't keep a jar of water for dunking, so I've never attempted to just make frit. Who knows what I'll end up doing with all these pieces? I do know this much. I just can't bear to actually bury them in the trash can, so it's a cinch that Dr. Garrenschtein's Gruesome Glass Goof-Ups Graveyard will be on my table and in my cabinet for a long time :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michelle's Maniacal Macaroni MeltDown. . .Mmmm

MapleValleyGlass Michelle, this meal is for you! For those of you who might have missed the "A Few Words from Michelle " adventure in the Bathroom section of Lampwork Etc. yesterday, let me explain why I am having macaroni and cheese for lunch and thinking about Michelle whilst I eat it.

One of the tidbits of information Michelle shared was this-- extra virgin olive oil is not a good replacement for butter or margarine in macaroni and cheese, no matter how healthy it might seem. Now, if my mother reads this, she is just going to guffaw at the whole idea because she still fries every food imaginable and might consider adding a little olive oil to the butter in a dish, but would never see the point of taking butter or grease out of a dish. To each their own, I say, and must note that the woman is still darn healthy so why not?

On the other hand (or maybe that should be on the other artery?), those of us from a different generation tend to be plagued with the desire to make healthier food choices while still enjoying all the good food we grew up eating. You know, I am not trying to put words into Michelle's mouth here, so this part is just from my own personal experience. . . if I'm gonna eat macaroni and cheese, then why not make it a healthier version with less bad fat? Here be the irony Michelle was pointing out with her disclosure about the olive oil fiasco-- we know the macaroni and cheese isn't the ultimate healthy choice, we know that a real nutrition freak might not ever touch the stuff because of the refined flour in the pasta and the whole fat dairy origins of the cheese. We know these things, but we just can't let go of a good bowl of mac & cheese. So, what do we do? We try make the mac & cheese fit into a healthy world. And, that, my friends, is how a sane woman could come to try extra virgin olive oil in the place of butter/margarine in a bowl of macaroni and cheese!

Let me tell ya, eating healthy does taste better, if you can just bring yourself to do it. James and I just polished off a batch of roasted asparagus and red bell pepper at lunch. I added my pepper to onions and bacon on toasted white bread, with some mac and cheese on the side. The cheese was a slice of American, melted into the hot pasta without olive oil or butter or margarine. Hey, it works for us, so Kate and I can have our macaroni. The white bread? Well, I got tired of always buying whole wheat bread and white bread. Before you know it, the kids had decided that Daddy's white bread is decidedly better tasting that Mommy's whole wheat stuff. The bacon? You can take the girl out of the country kitchen, but you can't purge the entire country kitchen from the girl, sorry. The onion and asparagus and red pepper? Mmmm-mm-GOOD and good for us. Seems like everything really is a matter of finding balance, isn't it?

So, Meesh, thanks for the maniacal macaroni meltdown yesterday!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Candy Coated Globs of Crisco...Um, Why Did I Like These When I Was a Kid?

Know where this stuff takes me? Right back to the mid 1970's, riding in the station wagon, windows rolled down for 55/4 "air conditioning," Mother driving us three kids over by the dam after leaving Grandma and Granddaddy's house, stopping at the little country store, and picking out candy.

These were one of my favorites! Give ya a hint. The name has something to do with the number of candies in the picture. Did ya guess? Yep, Sixlets. Ugh. I loved these things!

I bought some the other day. Ugh. I loved these things?? Until this morning, some three decades after I used to delight in these things called Sixlets, I had never made a connection of any sort to explain the name. There are way more than six pieces of candy in one of these little packages. I only see five different colors in the package. Maybe only a six year old could love them? Nah, can't be it, since I also loved them when I was 7, 8, 9, 10, and even 20. The eureka moment just hit me, though, because after I took the above pictures, I popped those pretty little round globs of what tastes like cocoa flavored Crisco and sugar into my mouth. Ugh. "Six-lets" is obviously a play on words, a mix of the words kidlets and sick. Yep, sick. Ugh.

I know why I liked them as a kid, though. I really do. It was fascinating to get a whole long tube filled with these little candies. I vaguely remember them coming in a long slender tube, too, one just wide enough to hold a single piece of candy, making a long slinky tube of candy. Another allure of the Sixlet was the very loose connection to chocolate candy. Believe it or not, I didn't like chocolate when I was younger. Eat Sixlets or Milk Duds or any other chocolate imposter, and you look like a cool, chocolate loving dude. . .to other little kids.

Well, here I sit, thinking I should've been writing you a post about this cool blog award from Elaine's blog, but instead I'm contemplating how to describe those little country stores from my childhood. Actually, they were from my mom's childhood, these little Mom and Pop one room stores scattered about the countryside where my mom spent her childhood. I'm not saying they were lost in time, but I'm pretty sure you could've walked into Sam's little store, grabbed your own slice of pickle bologna with a handful of crackers, left some change on the counter, and gone about your merry way as long as you gave the hound dogs a pat on the head. Those were some big hound dogs, too. From what I remember, they liked to lay in the dark corner by the pinball machine. Dang! That is lost in time, isn't it? Hound dogs laying inside the store.

It was always dark in there, too. But dark was a fairly good thing on a hot summer day. You'd jump out of the car barefoot, sizzling the soles of your summer tough feet as you walked across the blacktop. Whew, walk out of the glaring sun into that dark, cool store, and your whole body let out a sigh of relief. Wish I could take you there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who's the Most Chickensh** of All?

Alrighty. Let's just get this out of the way first thing. I. Am. Not. Putting. On. A. Swimsuit. Self confidence and being comfortable with who you are is one thing. Easy to start thinking that way when you're in a t-shirt and jeans. NOT EASY when contemplating putting on a swimsuit and heading to the neighbor's to swim in the pool.

So, there.

I'll take the kiddos over there this afternoon because they just don't get to get in the water as often as they'd like. Here's where I admit that has a lot to do with neither mommy or daddy wanting to put on a swimsuit if at all possible. Oh, we put on the swimsuits and played all day in the water fun area with them when we stayed at the Nick Hotel last fall. . .and we had a blast, all four of us! Ahem, however, I don't expect I'll ever again run across any of those people who were staying at the Nick Hotel in Orlando last November-- easier to just say the heck with it and go have fun!

Oh, I could talk all day about why we shouldn't let ourselves worry about things like this, about the importance of accepting yourself the way you are, about the quandaries of enough sun versus too much sun, about being comfortable in your skin, about swimsuit design, about my very few scuba diving adventures.

Eh-eh. Just. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. Today.

I am now going to take my chickensh** self to the torch for a wee bit. Yes, the flame is solace for what ails ya!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just a Little Blurp...

Ha, ha, ha, giggle, giggle! I crack myself up with these funny songs that I make up when Mom asks me if I want to sing a song for her!

What's he laughing about now? Brothers! What dorks!

Since When??

Oh, I am trying to be good this morning, I really am.

But the smartass in me is about to burst! Yes, the smartass section of my brain has been assaulted by too many too-good-to-pass-up, bop-me-on-the-forehead-and-say-duh, idiot moments this morning. . . and the "idiot" in question is just as often Angela Faye Greer Garren as it is someone or something else.
****Just so you know, I wrote that first part about two hours ago, and my mood may have changed. Something about watching Back at the Barnyard with the kids has lightened the grump in my groove this morning. Well, okay, a little bit of lightening, but I'm still in a smartass kind of mood.

  • For instance, while watching Back at the Barnyard, I am once again wondering, Since when do bulls have udders?? The main character is Otis, and I'm pretty sure from his voice and from references to "he" and "son" that Otis is a boy. Boy, as in either a bull or a steer, but no udder! Great, my kids either think milk can come from a bull, or later on in life, they are going to be wondering why Mom and Dad laughed along with them while they watched the exploits of a cross-dressing bull. Not that cross-dressing phases me one way or the other. Heck, I loved the scenes in Bull Durham where Susan Sarandon's character convinced Tim Robinson's character to wear lingerie under his pitching uniform. Still, there's just something so not right about an udder on a bull.
  • Once again, I've read a little online stew about something that didn't have enough meat or vegetables or even broth to warrant a stew, and yet, I keep reading because the responses and half-apologies and comments are so... well, I don't know what they are. I started to say entertaining, but that's not the right word. Pettiness and ugliness are not entertaining, unless of course, you are a producer of Jerry Springer's shows. Here's my smartass thought after reading all the "give it a rest already, I apologized, stop beating a dead horse" laments at the end of one of these discussions-- Since when do you bring the "horse" to the party to begin with and not realize that it's going to be "beaten" repeatedly?? Since when do you expect that the carcass of a "dead horse" is not going to stink??
  • Told ya part of this would be expressly about me. Since when is it a good idea to leave a freshly painted piece of wood to dry outside in 62% humidity?? Excuse me, girl, but did you forget that humidity=moisture which does not = dry?
  • I have become a crotchety old woman, I have, and I'm not even going to ask "Since when??" on that one. No, in true crotchety stereotypical fashion, I am reserving my indignation for the minor details that surely should have escaped my notice if I had more important things to occupy my worry wort. For instance, Since when do you save money by cutting down the size of the caps on plastic soda bottles so far that even a person who works with their hands has trouble gripping and opening her much needed Diet Coke?? Surely, the one-hundreth of a cent's worth of plastic saved on each bottle is not enough to increase Coca-Cola's stock prices? I know, I know, water bottles have had those skinny lids for a long time, but hey, drinking water is a healthy habit and as such is expected to require some extra effort ;)
  • Here's one last point to ponder this morning. Since when did I think eating a brownie for breakfast would count as starting to eat healthier again?? Did I really think that eating a small handful of grapes first would make it okay? Oh, oh, I know! The gooey sugars from the brownie adhere to the fiber in the grape skins, binding together and passing through the body unabsorbed. . .
Oh, brother! I think I'd better stop "since when' ing" and start getting some stuff done around here! Catch ya later!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dragons Are Winning. . .and I Didn't Even Think It Was a Battle!

HoooBoy, let me start by saying that I am not very versed in dragon lore, except to know that throughout history Western dragons have tended to be the man-eating kind (like Grendel, chomping on all Beowulf's acquaintances) and Eastern dragons have tended to be the spiritual kind (like all those elaborate Chinese dragons on silk prints).

Another bit of lore that I ran across the other day was the mapmaker's phrase "Here be dragons." Apparently, in times past, long before GPS navigation aids were readily available at Best Buy, mapmakers would draw as much of the known world as possible, and then they would caption the unknown rest with the warning "Here be dragons."

I ought to be giving you links to all this stuff as I write, but honestly, the web is so filled with dragon lore that I can't remember where I read what! Just google "dragons," and you will be busy hunting and capturing magnificent creatures of fire all day long!

If you live anywhere near civilization (not saying country isn't civilized, just remarking on having to drive an hour to get there), you can also head into a bookstore and ramble the aisles. You'll find dragons in the New Age spiritual section, the juvenile section, the fiction section, and the bargain section. I was just inside a Barnes & Noble yesterday (yes, I had to break down and make the hour drive because I was sorely in need of a bookstore fix!). There were so many beautifully illustrated books featuring dragons, and yet, I left without a one of them because I could not choose among them!

Think Beowulf was a classic piece of literature? Wait until you run across the story written from the dragon's perspective. Grendel, the book by John Somebody who might have been aided by hallucinogens in his writing considering he wrote the book in the early 1970's, is still lurking somewhere in my china cabinet with all the other classic literature. I fell in love with that dark book when it was assigned in college some two decades ago. Writing about dragons gives me the urge to unload all those double and triple rows of books and find that particular one to re-read. . .

Ah, but, as usual, I digress. Hell, I don't just digress from the path of discussion, I tend to climb on and off the path, take shortcuts, wander around in circles, and then jump back on the path. What I was coming here to tell you is that I have been brewing dragon images in the back of my mind almost since before I first lit my torch. I've made flame breathing dragon heads, but never managed to make a whole dragon the way I wanted.

Here's where I say it: The dragons are winning, and I didn't even know it was supposed to be a battle! I like dragons, and I especially like the Eastern dragons in all their ornate, protective, magnificently beneficent glory.

Apparently, I have not told them so in the right words yet, because they are defying all my efforts to finally make one that matches my personal vision. The dragons slayed me again last night-- I spent hours (once again, the actual time torching is split up into small segments, which is actually part of why I'm sticking with boro and off mandrel work these summer vacation days) working on a dragon with a Chinese shou symbol of longevity on his chest. He (or maybe it was a she?) started out lovely, and as soon as I got excited about the progress, the glass went to hell in a handbasket and never came back (unless you count the myriad pieces of wings and tails strung across my workspace).

So, this morning, I offer up a conciliatory, humble, and maybe even groveling, prayer to the dragons. Please, please, let me finish this beautiful dragon that I have started today. It's the one in the picture. He is magnificent to me, and I would love to breathe life into the rest of his body. . . pretty please??

Happy Friday from Ang, who knows that she art crunchy and particularly good with catsup!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Socks, Crocs, Raspberry Chocs, and Grannies Rock

Socks: Courtesy of Grandma Vicky, the woman with colorful, coordinated style. Bless her heart, she probably didn't intend for me to wear them with sandals, though!

Crocs: Courtesy of my mother, the woman who cannot stand thong sandals but bought them for herself anyway, knowing she'd probably end up passing them along to her daughter :) Bless her heart, too, 'cause I'm really sure this whole picture will make her toes hurt and her eyes wince!

Raspberry Chocs: Courtesy of the coffee cup this morning, I have the aroma of raspberry chocolate enveloping me. Bless my heart, this coffee smelled soooo good in the grocery store but I knew I wouldn't like the actual taste!

Grannies Rock: Yes, they do! See the above. Oh, and see these pictures on LE of a witty, hilarious, "Professional Troublemaker" of a beadmaker with her barely day old grandson. Yep, look at that smile. . .another Granny rocks! Congratulations, Granny Annie :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Star Wars on the Brain, and a Light Saber Constantly in Hand

Meet James, my own personal source of encyclopedic information regarding light sabers. He still hasn't seen all of the Star Wars movies, but he's been googling Star Wars and light sabers and reading Star Wars books from the library and collecting light sabers.

This boy goes no where without one of his light sabers. Right now, he is watching cartoons with Kate-- light saber propped against the wall beside him. He carries at least one with him to the van wherever we go. At bedtime, his light sabers wait at the side of the bed, ready to be of service at a moment's notice (and incidentally, a bit of a hazard to barefoot Mom in the dark of night).

Beware, do not walk by the boy when he is practicing his Jedi moves. At the moment, he is hovering at my shoulder, reading what I've written about him, giggling, and wondering when I'm going to let him use the laptop so he can peruse his wish list of Star Wars things. If he doesn't go play and let me concentrate, I have a feeling he may not get his turn for quite a while. . . Aha! That got his attention, and away he walks with a grin on his face and a (you guessed it) light saber in hand.

It has been years, and I do mean many of them, since I knew much about Star Wars. Hey, it was fun to watch the first three, but I can't say I have a good memory for them beyond these random thoughts: Ewoks are cute and I still want one for a pet; Han Solo will always be the sexiest man in outerspace, no matter how gray he gets; okay, cool, Darth Vader was really Luke Skywalker's father; the Death Star looked massive on the movie screen; Chewbacca is a good one to have on your side.

Now, though, I have a 7 year old whose brain is consumed with Star Wars information. Every time I walk past him, he has another factoid about Darth Maul or Anakin Skywalker or Obi Wan Kenobi. I can hear it now, "Hey, Mom, did you know. . ." I have to admit to you, though, that I am still not sure which color light saber belongs to which character. Heck, I don't remember them being different! Still, now I know there are four different colors, and each color signifies something important.

The little boy has been proofreading this entire post. I thought when I wrote about Han Solo being the sexiest man in outerspace that he would get embarrassed and walk away, but he's still here, trying to read as quickly as I can type :)

Uh-huh, and since he *is* reading this, let me give him just a quick little reminder about swinging that light saber dangerously close to Mom's head when he is practicing his moves...Watch out, son, or the evil MOM will have all the light sabers for her very own collection!

Giggles. "You better not do that, Mom!" More giggles. Then an afterthought:

"Why don't you just start your own collection, Mom?"

May the Force Be With You. . . and may your light sabers hum for many days without needing new batteries!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Snacks + Playground + Kiddos= Fun Picnic

Well, shoot, I've been trying to write ya something all morning, but mostly what's on my mind today is a picnic, not glass or being middle aged or soul-searching or rambling a la George Carlin style.

  • The kiddos and a bunch of their friends are going to have a picnic today. Why do I hear Yogi Bear's voice every time I say picnic? It always comes out as "a pic-a-nic, yum!"

The grownups are having sandwiches, the kids are having Lunchables, and the birds and squirrels will probably be having a buffet after we leave the park!

So, tell me? Here are a couple of those picnic questions good for debate. What's your preference?

  • mustard or mayonnaise or Sweet Vidalia Onion salad dressing for your sandwich?
  • Doritos or Ruffles or Cheetos?
  • Kool Aid or water or lemonaid or Cokes (that's southern speak for soda, pop, or soda pop)?
  • Yellow Potato Salad (don't know what you call the kind with mustard) or German potato salad (how can ya go wrong with vinegar/sugar/bacon??)?
  • arrive on time or fashionably late?
Oops, I better scoot, or I won't even be fashionably late, just plain old L.A.T.E.!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Help Me Bombard Sheila with Happy 35th Birthday Wishes!

Happy 35th Birthday, Sheila!

Today is Sheila Marie Farnell Morley's 35th birthday! If you know glass, chances are that you've seen Sheila's magnificent Soul Gestures beads, Lady in a Dress beads, intricate murrini marbles, and so much more!

If you've ever talked to Sheila, you know she's so much more than just a glass artist extraordinaire... she's a wife, she's a mom of two boys, she's an adventurous spirit, she's a soulful spirit, and she's a great friend.

She's also one very, very busy chickadee, squeezing in time for her three Boys, making time to create and push her skills forward in glass, and spending time on jobs with her Dad and family.

Wanna give her some extra smiles for her birthday?
Just go to

Art Talk with Sheila Morley

and leave a Happy Birthday comment today :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

1/2 SmartAss, 1/2 Spiritual. . . Pretty Much the Same after 24 Years

Well, last weekend, while Tasha and I were torching, we were talking about life and how time does fly. When I mentioned realizing that this year marked my 20th year out of college, Tasha said something like, "Yep, 1988 was a year of changes. You graduated college, William graduated high school, and I graduated from 8th grade."

You know what that means, don't you? I've been out of high school for 24 years! If there's anything that will make you choke on your soda, it's realizing exactly how long you've been a "grownup." I use the term "grownup" loosely, because I don't think I will ever feel grown up.

Rather than do something productive, I figured I'd get out the old yearbooks and take a snapshot of a snapshot for you. I'm not even gonna let you see some of the pictures of me that made their way into the Log '84. That one (up above) from the Senior Superlatives section is just so true to form for me, though, that I had to show you.

Joyce Powell and I were in charge of laying out the Senior section of the yearbook, and we let our smartass, quirky humor have free reign (well, at least as much as we could push the boundaries without getting our ideas vetoed by John Tabb, the yearbook advisor). The whole class voted on Superlatives, so I certainly didn't choose myself for this "Most Intellectual" picture BUT I did get to decide how to set up the picture. Can you tell? The two seniors voted Most Intellectual are sitting (um, maybe slouching is a more appropriate word) in the Home Ec room lounge, reading the funny paper and a book called 500 Games, talking on the phone, and listening to music. . .a most intellectual scene if ever there was one :)

Um, yeah, I did mention that I had a smartass sense of humor way back then, too, didn't I? I was valedictorian of that small high school class of about 150 kids. Ronnie was an honor student, but he was also a bit of a class clown. I'm not sure where he ended up, but I've heard he became a state trooper (which just defies all preconceived notions about personality). Me? I graduated college, followed an ex-hubby while he did his stuff and had bitty jobs each time we moved, and now am a combination stay at home mom and glass sculptor. I have been a substitute teacher, a daycare supervisor, and even a temporary state employee who unpacked and counted blood samples from livestock (doesn't sound like fun, but that one was a fun job for a sometime science geek, and I was disappointed that it was only available while someone was on maternity leave).

Suffice it to say that I don't often feel as if I've fulfilled my title of "Most Intellectual." The beauty of being out of high school for 24 years, though, is that with middle age comes a better acceptance of who you are and a better understanding of who you want to be. I didn't pursue that Ph.D. in Psychology, but I am always happy to contribute my two cents when someone asks for advice. . . and occasionally, it's decent advice that is fully appreciated. That's a good feeling, and you don't have to have a Ph.D. to help a friend. Instead of pursuing any particular career, I ended up with two kiddos-- me, the girl who used to say she'd like to just adopt an 18 year old and send them straight off to college. Who would've thought it? Poor James and Kate, "stuck" with a mom who cares about what they learn in school and who likes to teach them things even while they're on summer vacation.

Funny, isn't it? How things never turn out the way you would've expected, but you still wouldn't want to change them?

Enough mining the past for today. Gotta get back to cleaning house. Gonna take the kiddos to the library later. Hoping to torch a bit after that. Happy Sunday, Everyone :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to Make a Non-Artist Shake Their Head in Wonder/Disgust/Confusion...Psychelic Goddess Belly and Piece of Trash Kaleidoscope

My husband, beancounter extraordinaire, gearhead junkcar tinker unmatched, that guy-- he doesn't really "get" why his wife does some of the things she does. We won't even discuss all the discussions that arise from him being a neatnik and me being a slob, won't even touch the differences between coupon clippers and just buy the brand you want that's on sale shoppers, won't get started on the polar opposite driving styles (Type A gone ultrahypervigilantegottagetwhereI'mgoingNOW versus Type Zzzz enjoy the drive and we'll get there when we get there), and for heaven's sakes lets not discuss practical degrees versus liberal arts degrees.

Before we get started on this discussion, though, I have to give you this disclaimer: Because he is who he is and uses that accounting degree to full advantage, I get the luxury of being a stay at home mom who's making a stab at playing artist and small business person. For that, I say a great big THANK YOU!

Now, the piece of trash through a goddess belly kaleidoscope discussion:

It's about 7:30 on a Saturday morning. Beancounter is scouring the local newspaper at lightning speed, an eye peeled for names he knows or interesting political commentary. Now, I am a morning person, but the gearhead is not, so I see he also has a new issue of the Trader (lots of car classifieds) to keep him amused when he's done with the newspaper. Ah, coffee for me, and we each quietly go about our morning.

Coffee almost done, I decide to grab the camera and head outside to see what sort of intriguing picture I can find to share with you. Well, let me just add here that the cornfield looks pretty much the same, just taller and tassling. The sky is a lovely rich blue, and the maple trees are still standing guard in the backyard. The weeds had their photo shoot already this week. That's right, nothing jumped out at me and said, "Hey, take my picture!"

Hmmm. I go back inside, grab a fat goddess experiment from the worktable. Ooooh, she has her problems, but her torso is a huge gob of clear glass just waiting to be used for something. Another hmmm. I take her outside in the sunlight and hold her in front of a bright yellow dandelion. Interesting, but not quite what I want. Hmmm. I head across the driveway, and step across a piece of trash that I'll grab later when my hands aren't full.

Hey, wait a minute! My brain does a doubletake at all the super-intense metallic color in that piece of trash. It's a piece of that bumpy, metallic looking stuff like you peel off the top of a yogurt container.

Ooooooooooooo, pretty, pretty colors shining through the glass goddess belly in the bright sunlight! A kaleidoscope! No wonder people love kaleidoscopes-- each one is so different, so intriguing with the gazillions of possibilities. I have my picture. I hum along inside, camera in hand, satisfied muse sitting on my shoulder smoking a cigarette and plotting a new design at the same time.

The conversation as I walk in the door:

What were you taking pictures of, Bunny?

A piece of trash through a piece of glass.


A piece of really bright colored trash through a thick piece of clear glass.


I don't even have to look around the corner to see his face, I know he's shaking his head in bemusement, wondering what the hell will she do next? And that, my friends, is the beauty of it all. Opposites attract, drive one another silly, and eventually rub off on one another. After almost a decade together, I'm coming to see the value of saving receipts and rescuing old car carcasses from junkyards before they get crushed and melted into a new Chinese whatchamawhatever, and his artistic eye opens a little wider every time he sees something on his travels and realizes the Bunny would like that. Okay, so it's a slow road, but it's taking us there :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weeds. . . I Grow 'Em

Weeds. I grow them. Well, not the illegal ones, even though I did grow up in Kentucky, where "weed," aka "grass," seems to be the #1 illegal cash crop.

^^See this grass? That's the kind I grow. It's the kind I can grow because a.) I do not have a green thumb at all and b.) it grows all by itself. All that time I was fixing a new flower spot at my mom and dad's last week, I carried with me the certain knowledge that my mother, the queen of plants, would make sure the flowers I planted would be watered and tended. I also carried with me a humongous grudge against this very stuff, this grass that lengthens its grasp by at least two inches daily, this grass that puts down roots better than a homebody who has never left the county limits.

And, yet, look at that picture again. Isn't it kind of pretty the way each new shoot adds a touch more green surrounding that pale pinwheel at the heart of it? Isn't it intriguing that even a lowly, annoying weed such as this forms a beautiful mandala pattern?

So, with a wink at Ellen, who says only I could make a dandelion look and sound pretty, I give you some more pictures of the weeds that were happily growing without my help while I was gone last week. (Lest you think I've finally lost my mind completely, let me also point out that Mallory actually adores milkweed for a very good reason.)

^^A black-eyed Susan of the straggly weed variety is blooming in one of my abandoned flower pots. No way am I going to disturb her. That intense buttery sunshine crown with the velvety corduroy brown center is just too beautiful to require relocation. I'm sure we must have some chigger weed growing around here, too, but I wasn't up to crossing the newly graveled chip and seal road in my barefeet and pajamas this morning. I do love that stuff, too. It's so lacy, so delicate. . .and so full of chiggers it'll make you scratch from ten feet away. Ah, have you figured out which weed I'm talking about yet? I'll bet you've seen it. It's the one that bears a striking resemblance to Queen Ann's Lace. I make no claims to be a botanical expert, but I must tell you that I am convinced chiggerweed and Queen Ann's Lace are one and the same. (Dangit, now, I feel like I gotta slip on the flipflops, grab the camera, and go take a quick pic!)
<--Anybody know the real name for this stuff? It looks like a tiny hybrid of clover and shamrocks, doesn't it? If you ask me, it is the quintessential groundcover. It stays low to the ground. It cushions bare feet from the gravel underneath it. It has those little nubs of yellow flowers that bloom once in a while. It tricks the mind into thinking you're in a field of clover. Just look at it. I think it probably harbors some shy pixies and a faery or two. Wouldn't you like to shrink down to their size for a moment and look up into the world from behind all those heart-shaped umbrellas? Um, no, in case you're starting to wonder, I don't smoke any weeds to get my mind to think like this. . .it just comes naturally, this pondering and wondering.

<-- Weeds are things that grow where they are not supposed to grow, and here is a new weed for the books: TomCattusNoBelongusToUs.

This is Patience, at least that's what we named him a long time ago when he appeared out of the cornfield as a stray kitten. I named him without looking at the nether regions, so Patience is still what we call him when he comes to visit. It didn't take long for our MeatyHead to discover that Patience was a tom, though. Territorial wars ensued, and Patience took up residence across the street.

He still comes back to lounge on the deck, eat any of Moochie's leftover cat chow, and occasionally mark what he thinks is still his territory. So, since he's another weed I really like, and since he was willing to pose this morning, you get a picture of him today, too :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tale of the SuperHero CrackHead Amazon...Yeah, You Read That Right

Yeah, you get the picture, too, don't you? Here I wanted a big girl torch so I could torch big girl sculptures, and in the end I discover that it really isn't all about the firepower. . . takes some power of will, too.

Look at her. The cape was supposed to be more of a free flowing scarf twirling in the twilight. Nope. Looks like she plundered Wonder Woman's extra wardrobe closet. Oh, she's an Amazon, too. Barbie doll sized glass. Yeah, that's it.

The crackhead part? Here's where I tell you how patience is a virtue, even when melting glass. Suffice it to say that it takes a long time to build up this much glass, working only from one end and moving up without letting the cooled off part get licked by the flame. It took me all afternoon off and on (trust me, with a 6 year old and a 7 year old, there will be breaks for snacks and referee-ing squabbles and hugs and kisses).

In the end, I did all that work only to wake up this morning and discover in the bright light of day that she's a crackhead! That's right. At the very tip of achieving my goal, I decided to add that twilight cape, and that was the heat that made the girl's head crack just behind her ear.

Crack. Head.
They say patience is a virtue. I wish "they" would drop by the studio today and hold my hand while I attempt to verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry slooooooooooooooooooooowly reheat the tip of this crackhead Amazon/Barbie. I've heard it can be done.

Of course, when I've tried it, the result has been exploding heads of glass! Right, patience.

Ohmygoodnessgraciousgolly, I hope I can do it. She has her imperfections, but you should see her in the sunlight. The big pools of clear glass capture inverted pieces of the landscape in layers upon layers. The sparkle is unbelievable.

After yesterday's cathartic post about why I'll never be a girly-girl, my writing muse seems a little hungover today. I hope you'll forgive the staccato feel of today's rambling. It seems the torch is impatiently waiting, figuratively drumming its fingers on my worktable. See this little pendant? Not only do I want to fix the CrackHead, I also want to make some more pendants. Tasha, I remade your amphiptere pendant in that pearly green you like so much, and this time I made her wings lay flatter.

P.S. An extra cup of espresso at 6pm is not a good idea if you are usually a morning person. Just thought I'd share that little tidbit in my sluggish-didn't-sleep-much-all-night misery this morning. . .

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yet Another Reason *I* Can Never Be a Girly-Girl...

Okay, so I'm 42 years old, and I paid for my first ever manicure and pedicure about a month ago. Actually, since I'm not the breadwinner in the family, I put the charge on the grocery credit card. . .even at the risk of giving my perpetually coupon-toting CPA husband a coronary episode. Ha! He pays thirteen bucks for a haircut and has no idea how much a woman can spend on a haircut at a real salon.

Well, the $48 bucks to have someone else paint my fingernails and toenails a clear color that wasn't even noticeable didn't give him a coronary after all. In fact, he smiled and said something to the effect that he's grateful I'm not a shopaholic-spend-money-like-water girly girl. Amen to that, brotha! Seriously, even when you don't consider the $6 lip glosses (and it felt like plastic goo on my lips, not moisturizing like a plain old cheapo version of Chapstick) and the $50 coifs, being a girly girl is simply not for me.

I say that with no malice toward anyone who is a girly girl. In fact, I envy you if you are one of those glamorous creatures whose hair and nails and clothes are always immaculate. A glam girl could choose to wear an old t-shirt, worn jeans, and messy hair, and she'd look like a million bucks. I always wear old t-shirts (never, ever, throw away a t-shirt that is ten or more years old), worn out threadbare jeans (Levi's if my little brother has had a fat phase and gives me hand-me-downs, otherwise cheapo Faded Glory's from Wally-World), and messy hair (because it refuses to look any other way, even when concreted to my head with 43 different magical hair solutions). . . and I generally look like $1.59.

I just can't do it. No matter how hard I've tried at times, I can not be a girly-girl because I just don't know how to do it. For your giggling pleasure, I shall now leave you with a list of failed attempts, observations, and reasons why being a girly-girl is not attainable for me:

  • Case in point-- the $48 manicure and pedicure with clear nail polish. I work with my hands. My nails grow fast, and I whack them off with the clippers. The day I went for the manicure and pedicure, my fingernails were so short that putting any color on them would've been akin to dipping just the very end of a fat bratwurst into a little dab of ketchup-- what's the point?
  • Ah, the orange hair episode, that one is a good reason why I shall treat my grays as natural highlights for my dark brown hair. Dark brown hair with blonde highlights sprinkled through it is very pretty. . .until the stylist mistakenly tries a shade too light for your dark hair and presents you with orange hair that she cheerily dubs "strawberry". That was bad enough, but then I decided to fix it myself and ended up with goth black hair that would not lighten to my natural dark brown, no matter how much I pleaded with the gods and goddesses of Clairol-land.
  • Ever watch "What Not to Wear"? Yeah, me, too, once upon a time. Not any more. What's the point? Cute shoes in my size 7 1/2 are always sold out or only available in those stores where they ask you for a current credit report before allowing you in the door. And clothes? Have you tried to find that new section in the stores, the one where the clothes fit middle age bodies but don't look like they came from your 80 year old cousin's wardrobe (which always looks incredible on her, by the way, even if it's not my style).
  • Freckles and pores-- I have them. You could spackle on foundation and powder an inch thick on my face, and there would still be at least one freckle or mole screaming, "Look at me!"
  • Skip this one if you don't want to hear a slightly catty observation. The messy hair thing-- it's just not possible for my hair to stay in place, and I've come to like it this way. Used to be, back in the 80's and early 90's, messy hair was not a bad thing at all. Ah, I could do that, no problem. Even better, my ex-husband always complimented me when I got a messy haircut. He really liked my hair messy. While my husband now occasionally asks me if I plan to comb my hair, it doesn't bother me a bit because my hair and I have come to an agreement-- I can cut it all off whenever I want, it will grow back quickly and with a vengeance, and that way one of us always has a chance to be satisfied with the situation. Now, back to the catty observation. It has not escaped my notice that while the new Mrs. is undoubtedly better suited than I ever was to being a small town celebrity's wife, her hair will never be messy. I was the one who left, so I'm not getting in a dig at the enemy, I'm just plain being catty. Catty observation over.
  • Bare feet. Don't like to wear shoes. Never have, never really will. Oh, I've learned to wear my old tennis shoes while torching, seeing as how a glob of molten glass landing on even calloused feet would hurt. I've learned to slather vaseline and moisturizer over my tootsies and then put on socks, seeing as how these tootsies need all the help they can get. But what happens? I grab a pair of sandals and end up traipsing through grass and mud. I forego the sandals and gingerly walk across the gravel driveway. I endure the socks and shoes for about an hour and then strip them off so quickly they appear to be a blur of cotton and rubber headed for the bottom of the closet.
  • Oh, and for those of you who know the movie "Top Gun," Kelly McGillis is the epitome of girly-girl with strong personality in that movie, and I wanted to be her when I finally grew up. Ha! Got the sunglasses, got the leather jacket, and **insert drumroll** I looked like Tom Cruise. Oh, well.

Shoot, you know I could go on and on, but the truth there will always be a new episode to report. Heck, even while writing about all the reasons I can't be a girly-girl, I'm sitting here secretly wishing I could flip a switch and turn on the girly-girl charm before I leave the house. Yeah, that would be great. . . but it probably ain't gonna happen.

Besides, did you read that warning on the nail polish bottle in the picture above?? Avoid heat? Avoid flame? Seriously? Ain't gonna happen.

Ta Ta For Now from Ang, who is happily getting ready to throw on a t-shirt, jeans, and sandals and head to town to run errands. The heading to town part is not my fav, but I am sure happily at home in the t-shirt, jeans, and sandals. . .even if I don't wear them with Kelly McGillis style ; )

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Guess I Gotta Get Over Myself, Huh??

Now, see, while I was sipping my coffee syrup (espresso, black with enough sugar to trap all those delicious caffeine molecules in a syrupy sludge), a number of serious thoughts came to me. Deb, I must tell you that I agree about the Dance of Humanity's shape and the way Maya Angelou's poem is a perfect example of how we should look at ourselves as we carry around the shapes we have. . . **sigh** but that's as far as that train of thought went down the track before my daughter woke up.

So, if you ever visit here, or if you know us in real life, you probably know without a doubt that Kate loves to make faces, goofy faces. The child inherited her father's class clown gene, as well as his inherit ability to pester the crap out of you until you stop what you were doing and let loose with the belly laugh that's been building up.

Instead of writing that essay about the way we should look at ourselves, I had to get over serious self already and laugh! Had to grab the camera and have a mini goofy face photo shoot with the children. Now, that's even better than that shot of caffeine syrup! (Well, okay, I'll tell you the truth, as much as I love my children, I ain't about to give up the coffee and only mainline laughter. . . some mornings it just wouldn't be enough.)

There ya go, now ya know my original plan for the morning has gone terribly astray :) I'd be willing to be that the seriously sultry swamp siren from the Okefenokee Swamp that I was imagining sculpting in boro today could easily turn into a fairly funny face Marie Laveau gone goofy! Oh, heck, now I'm in the mood to listen to Bobby Bare sing his song about Handsome Jack's encounter with Marie Laveau. . .

Here's to a goofy Tuesday for everyone!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Feel the Energy. Feel the Strength.

Feel the energy, feel the strength. Glass is a conductor of emotion and sensation. Hold a piece of glass in your palm, and you can feel the vibrations of glass artists through the ages. . .all they have done, all they have felt, all you have done, all you have felt. It is there.

Feed your energy, feed your strength. Hold a piece of glass shaped by someone who poured their soul into that creation.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What a Wonderful Week!

Tomorrow morning I will be busy packing the car with clean clothes and dirty clothes, junk bucket goodies and hand-me-down Crocs flip flops, a beet or two and cabbage, and maybe a handful of hen 'n chicks (the plants, not the critters) to start growing on my own back porch.

Just this evening, the cat and I sat on those steps in the new flower spot. The cat seems to like that spot, and so do I. I like to sit there and feel the breeze as the sun gets lower in the sky. Listening to the sounds of power tools and hammers as Granddaddy and Uncle Bubby work on the playhouse, listening to the sounds of the kids swinging on the swingset, I sit contently. A rabbit looks at me and the cat with a glimmer of fear, then decides to make the run from the edge of the cornfield to the other side of the shop. The cat twitches his tail and seems ready to pounce but never does.

Other evenings this week have been filled with games of catch with Grandma and a few attempts at badminton games. This afternoon, we went to visit Nate. Bobby was still visiting with Riley, so we got to see the cute little curly haired girl. Whitney and the baby Chloe weren't there, but we did get to see them the other night at the picnic. After Bobby convinced Riley that it really was time to go, then James, Kate, and Nate had a grand time playing while Tasha and I each took a turn making a bead in her studio. I watched her make an encased floral heart, and once again, I am in awe of her florals. She makes it look easy, but trust me, it is not. After the tiny glass melting fix, it was time to run across the yard to visit with Uncle Ralph and Aunt Carol for a bit before heading back to Grandma and Granddaddy's for supper.

It's been a wonderful week.

Nighty-night, all. Gotta catch those forty winks, we have a long drive ahead of us tomorrow.

Beets?? Blech!! But They Sure Are a Pretty Color!

Beautiful color, isn't it? It's a beet from Mother's garden. Now, when I was growing up and hated eating vegetables, I thought my mother liked every vegetable known to mankind. After I did grow up and discover that I like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, red bell peppers, and even purple cabbage, I tend to think that there's a good chance that I eat as many vegetables as my Mom. Ah, but beets?? Nooooooooo waaaaaaaaaay. Sorry. I tried them a long time ago, and I just do not like them.

Yes, they are a beautiful color. They really are. However, Mother and I were discussing eating beets this morning, and I declared them to be very pretty but an unnatural color. She quickly pointed out that I like purple cabbage, and it's purple. Ummmm, well, how do I get myself out of this one? You know what? I may have to eat some beets later today. . .I think literally eating the crow would taste better, but I'll probably have to try beets. Turns out that the beautiful color of beets is echoed in many of my favorite offerings from nature:

Look at the glorious color in this calendula. I'd like to point out that it is not edible, as far as I know. However, it does have that "unnatural" beet color, so I guess "unnatural" is not a good argument, huh?

More pics of that garden faery here.

Another beauty from Grandma's garden.

One of my absolute favorite colors for a dahlia. But, then again, I pretty much think every dahlia is my favorite color.

So, there ya go. My argument for not eating beets is not quite perfected yet, and I may have to try them. I keep telling myself that. . .I'll let ya know if I actually follow through with it :)