Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Furry Picasso

Caught the mouse last night in the nifty lil' green house.....he was in my studio. The little critter was either a few crayons short of a full crayon box and never figured out that most of the food was in the pantry or perhaps he just had good taste in art (ha ha ha)....I'm going with the latter.


Today I just feel like crawling up in a life size chenille slouch sock, you know the super fuzzy kind. They should make those into sleeping bags.....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I've been thinking about an earlier post lately...the one were I said my house was a mess. I hope you don't have visions of me in wader boots trudging through knee deep trash...it's actually not bad here, just a bit disheveled. Why do I worry so much about my home....and then I figured out where the evil root of this comes from, of course, my mother. (Mom-if you ever read this -I mean this good heartedly)
Perfect example:
I'm throwing a baby shower for my sister along with my other sister and friends. We're having it at my mom's house because her downstairs bathroom doesn't have a soccer ball potty seat that shouts out "ole!" when your kid deposits. And for various other obvious reasons...
So, here are some of responses to the evite I put together for my sister's baby shower...
Yes
Ellen-Yahoo! I'm there with bells on!
Amy
-So excited for you!
Jenni-Yipee, can't wait to celebrate the new baby boy and mom!
Diana-Wouldn't miss it for the world!
My Mom: Got the carpets cleaned.

Ba dum dum....cymbal crash!

Speaking of house cleaning again and I realized this does not bode well for my house is not such a mess statement so I must preface this with the info that our house backs up to a huge field, followed by a horse farm so we get mice (and snakes)....The mousetrap that you see above is fantastic. If you ever have need of one, I highly recommend it. It's so old fashioned and frankly fun (well probably not so much fun for the mouse but at least he gets a treat and stays alive) . The squeals of joy from your kids in the morning after one is caught will have you forgetting that you smashed your big toe trying to catch it yourself in the first place. And you can get it through PETA's online catalogue without having to promise to wear leafs over your private parts too.

Typos


I was sitting down yesterday with my dear friend, Shanthi (hi Shanthi) and we were talking about everything as we always do (you've got to love friends like that). We got onto the art topic and I brought out the typewriting manuals that I use in my art and read aloud some of the hilarious passages that women in the 1940's-1950's were supposed to type over and over and over. The books are full of "subliminal" messages as I like to call them. Type good. Be good. Good girl. And that my friends, is why I make things like the above piece. That chart was from one of the books-Error Analysis Chart. I like "repurposing" the pages. Do you think Amelia Mae Smith was typing out the lessons and penciling in on her "error chart" thinking....SOMEDAY, a liberated mother, artist and free spirit will be cutting out these pages and drawing and painting on them? Nope, neither did I.
Shift, tab, DING!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Toys for the Economy




I've got the new "it" toy and now you'll want it too.
And it's going to provide your kids HOURS of entertainment....it's called HOLE IN THE FRONT YARD! It costs nothing, well, maybe a few blisters as my husband will tell you. It's perfect for digging, burying,poking, bug looking and when it fills up with water....BONUS...it's a swimming pool!
And if you act now, you too can have THE DEAD TREE LAYING ON ITS SIDE IN THE BACKYARD THAT WE PULLED OUT OF THE HOLE!!! more hours of entertainment.....

Huh?


This picture just cracks me up...what weird expressions and completely different on each of the kiddos' faces. Ahhh...Monday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Rosary



I grew up Roman Catholic. And my family was not one of the apparently blasphemous only on holiday attending type of Catholic brand either. We went every Sunday, religiously. Now don't get me wrong, my family did not look down upon part-time Catholics, I just knew that others did. I've been trying to look back on my time in the church.....did it form me? (think my family did more of that for me) Did it help me as a spiritual being? (yes) Did it annoy me? (plenty) And what do I want for my kids? And if we show up now after being gone so long will we be looked down upon too?

As it turns out as much as I can tell, the most positive feelings I have of my religion are pure and simple nostalgia.......ahhh, Christmas Eve, seeing friends, my grandparents big ole' church in Towson with the stained glass windows, the sticking off the pew tighted legs, the doughnuts......
I do have faith. These days it's just not found in between walls. And do I bring my children into the church just so they can have fuzzy warm feelings about pastries?

So I think back even further about my thoughts on church, religion and the whole rigmarole.....
You see, I was a good kid. A really good kid...I remember having to try REALLY hard to come up with bad things for confession....the worst I guess was that I WAS LYING and making stuff up in confession because I couldn't come up with any sins....you can ask my family, this is true. I was so good mainly because I was terrified of getting in trouble. I did not like that confession thing. It left an impression on me. But I did like the ministries where we actively helped people, working with food drives etc. I still donate to SOME (So Others Might Eat) and think that that kind of kindness and volunteerism are kind of a church in of itself.

So, right now, I'm kind of a Catholic in remission. I do think our family will venture into those hallowed halls someday when the kids stop looking at wide open spaces as places to have HUGE lightsaber wars. Perhaps we will EVEN be those type of Catholics....holiday Catholics.Perhaps we will shoot for once a month.(?) And alas the bonus is that I am NOT going to ever have to lie in confession again, dammit! (see there we go, that's something right?)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dirty Little Secrets

Okay....it's been really bugging me....on the occasion that I really do get to sit down and watch an Oprah (I DVR them now)...I did sit down for the In the Motherhood show last week. And it's been bothering me....it's not just that Brain,Child has been telling it like it is for years (which it has) it's that the whole show seemed to center around the term "dirty little secrets"....well darn it! They aren't dirty and double darn it, they aren't secret. Well, they shouldn't be.
You know how I judge a mother/friend? By her sincerity and honesty. I/we have been doing it for years and now, two (three counting Cheryl Hines) well to do and well coiffed California gals are going to talk about our dirty little secrets as if it's something new? (Don't even get me started about the Hines' nanny situation-I used to be one)
Hmmmm.....this lady is taking out the duster, mopping up those words. There ain't nothing dirty about being honest. Ah, I feel better now.

(btw I had all of these fabric hearts leftover from my February show and so they are appearing in my collages....how very Earth day of me)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Girl Friday


I'm just waiting right now....I'm waiting for my own 16 month old personal shadow to wake up and then commence the day full of following me around and wanting to be picked up. I don't know if any of you out there have an overbearing yet lovable personal assistant but she's kind of like that. She's always following me around holding things up for me to see, check and approve, only she drools, poops in her pants and can only say dada, of course, oh, AND the dog's name. She's super cute and that's why I have gotten in the dang habit of picking her up all the time. Alas, I have a knot the size of a baseball on my right side and tendonitis in my left wrist, really.

It's a rare morning when she sleeps later than 8am, the boys are playing with vampire-like Bionicles (which, by the way, rank really high on my painful-toys- to- step- on list) in the living room and I decided I am going to stay off the computer today....so of course, here I am.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blue Heart Push




My Zombie Defense

The other night B and I watched the horror movie, Quarantine. It is a zombie filled, apocalyptic and claustrophobic flick about a virus that has wrecked havoc in a very cool eclectic apartment building (well I like the main staircase anyway). Everyone is quarantined inside with no hope of being let out. Can you guess the ending? Well, there is a twist.....anyway.....I didn't think it was that scary. There's something about zombie pictures that make me laugh, the arms out straight, laughable hygiene and herky jerky movement. Of course, my husband will always pipe in and say,
"OF COURSE, you didn't think it was that scary, Beth. You didn't ACTUALLY watch all of it."
And he's right, I kind of like my own self inflicted editing. I wait for my husband to jump and THEN look.
Which all leads me up to the end of the evening when we are both battening down the hatches (as he likes to call it) and he comes around the corner and scares the bejezus out of me. I of course, scream bloody murder and violently push him away as he bumps into me....
"What are you doing?" he asks, kind of annoyed with me as I tend to over-react to things.
"Ohhhhh, I can't help it I thought you were a zombie!"

Ten minutes later on the late late evening news right before we turn off the boob tube, there it was ...footage of Woody Harrelson fighting off an unwanted camera man. And Woody explained later that he had mistaken the camera man for a flesh eating zombie!
B and I looked at each other, "See I said. There IS such a thing as a zombie defense!"
Ahh, vindication.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ancient Chinese Proverb #3

Spiderman cake or Thumbelina cake....oh well, cake is cake.

(words of wisdom from my wise, almost 6 year old, upon realizing he was going to not just a birthday party BUT his female cousin's fairy princess themed party).

Friday, April 17, 2009

Carousel

Have you ever found a picture that you didn't even know you had? And find one that so perfectly illustrates a state of mind- the blur of motherhood, the smile of a child-the balance of both. I'm holding J on the horse-you can't really see me but I'm there.

(This was taken over three years ago, when J was about two and a half.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

She Slipped Me a Mickey


This morning as I drained my morning coffee....I found the remnants of a triscuit (found on floor I'm sure), a lego Batman and a hair clip. Never leave your drink unattended at my house when little miss is on the loose.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Postmark


My scanner is getting funky but alas doing some fun things with my artwork....these blueberry flowers are really light blue, there's no green or dark purplish wine color on the original. Happy accidents. The stamp above it, I found when I was in Bermuda about 10 years ago wandering around St. George by myself waiting for my flight home. A woman was selling packs of old stamps and there were a series of these, train, plane, tram and boat....I used to love to travel and find things (great graveyards on St. George, really old). Haven't done too much traveling lately but in time.....

Monday, April 13, 2009

He Gave Me a Giraffe


When my husband and I lived in Cleveland Park, Wash DC (which we pronounced Clevey Land just for fun) we used to run right through the National Zoo. Makes for an interesting run and as it turns out a lot much safer than running through Rock Creek Park which was exactly the time when Chaundry Levy disappeared, poor soul...anyway, B told me the baby giraffe was a present he got just for me.
And I named him Zippy, of course.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Doctor Is In

Ahhh sick days...this goes along with the Oprah chant the other day of "no one ever told me"....there will never be another sick day until your kids are off at college. I'm going on sick day number 8...I know I am allergic to Spring but this is not allergies. Knock me out and wake me up later, please.
The latest Colinism (words of wisdom from my three year old):
"You CAN shut your eyes but you CAN'T shut your ears." (I'm sure there's an old Chinese proverb just like that somewhere-the boy is a genius.)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Naked Eye


A lot of the stuff that stay at home mothers do is immeasurable by physical evidence-forensic scientists would have a tough time figuring out "what exactly happened here" in our day to day life-
"Yes, m'am it looks like we had a lunch here but judging by the yogurt splatter pattern on the walls and floor it seems that the baby didn't like it...."

There's the 52 memory card pick-up (x 20), the changing of diapers, the putting BACK up of art and object that constantly fall from the fridge, the breaking up of fights, the cleaning up of mud tracks, making and breaking down of lunch and breakfast and occasionally dinner is a undeniable presence.
And where's most of this evidence? Gone with the trash a lot of the time or down the hatch. These are the repetitive tasks that are imperceptible to the naked eye.

My husband used to come home and ask what did You do today, trying to be nice, have a conversation. But I took it as fightin' words and would rattle off a plethora of mysterious things that I couldn't prove ACTUALLY happened and then would scurry to defend myself. And all he was saying was what did YOU do today (no emphasis on the "do"). After awhile, he stopped asking and just went for the hug.
It is all about the small stuff, sweating it or not BUT ignore it and you can can buried under it's avalanche of little bigness.
I've been trying to actually get some house stuff done in the morning so that I can actually take a well deserved break...write up stuff like this and do a little art. That's what's nice about art, the undeniable, look I did this! (picture me holding up some art).
And I'm going to put it up on the refridgerator, darn it! And if it falls off, well, I'll just put it back up again and again and again.....

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Check All That Apply....

Kids' dentist questionnaire:

Kid #1 (my sensitive 5 year old son)-check all that apply concerning your child's disposition:
friendly-check
nervous-check
shy-check
scared-check
strong willed-check
I checked ALL of them.(I don't think you were supposed to check all of them.)

Kid#2 (my happy-go-lucky 3 year old son)-check all that apply:
friendly-check

Two very different kids....yet one very smooth dentist appointment, whoa. Child number one, he displayed really only the "friendly" attribute, okay, maybe a tad of nervousness.....we've come a long way baby and bonus, we found a really good pediatric dentist. A couple of years ago, the scene was me (5 months pregnant) wrestling said five year old up onto my lap for a consult. It was actually the dental hygienist's idea to plop him on top of my already uncomfortable belly. I still have looks could kill looks JUST for her, if I ever see her again.
Needless to say, we left that place, sour taste in both of our mouths and it has taken us a while to get him back to the dentist (myself as well, after that debacle). So today, was a triumph for the little guy. Yahoo, let's have a lollipop, on second thought make that a healthy snack. Chomp, chomp.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Hammerly House

1902

Now

There's a crumbling, old, turn of the century Victorian in Round Hill called the Hammerly House. My drawing is what it looked like in its hey day. When we drive by it now, the kids called it the Spooky House because it is in shambles from years of neglect and abandonment. And it takes all of my will power not to go and look inside (way too dangerous of course).
It's such a shame. Was it haunted and deemed unlivable? Was there a horrible tragedy there? Did the family disappear in the night, Tuck Everlasting style? .....Nah, nothing so mysterious. It's the product of....a divorce. A fight between an estranged husband and wife as to who would get this Victorian beauty. Since no one could decide, the house was left to rot and disintegrate. And we could spend much time waxing and waning about the irony of the dilapidated house and its parallel to the marraige but darn it, when I heard about this senseless battle, I was appalled. Not about the couple but about the fact that the POOR house had to suffer the consequences, unforgivable! Oh, I could have had a marvelous time keeping that house in tip top condition. I would have kept your floors swept, your front porch full of people and your kitchen smelling of tarragon (see earlier post). Shucks.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Queen Anne


It's been a really long week with a crying teething, following, want to be picked up baby. No wonder my back is killing me. Not too much funny this week. I know I try, I really do.
Last weekend I drove down to my sister's place in Norfolk....just me and the car (my old Forrester-how I miss you). It was a nice reunion, the two of us, hitting the open road and Ikea on the way. It was a nice break.
B often complains of his hand-me-down car, that he didn't get to pick it. I'm getting your leftovers, he says.
Awhile back I was told the Forrester was THE choice car for professors and lesbians. And then the very next day, I saw an older man with mask on face, hooked up to an oxygen tank, driving his Forrester down the toll road (I'm not kidding). Now, I'm sure this is not the image that husband wants to portray either.
But I never wanted to be the soccer mom minivan driving type either, I cry!
It's Car Wars....someday I'll steal my Subaru back and then I'm sure I'll be a professor with an oxygen tank and possibly without a husband if this keeps up. It's a joke people, a joke.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mount St. Mostly

There's a Skeleton Under Your Field


My husband and I decided a few months ago that we would have a "code" word if one of us dies before the other, you know for haunting purposes. That way one of us would know that the other was saying hi if they heard the code word. And then at the time we thought, hmmm...but what if we can't speak words out loud when we're dead? Maybe we should have a code vase falling off a shelf kind of thing.
But the other night neither of us could remember what the code "anything" that we decided on was.....well, that doesn't do either of us any good, he said.
Chuckle, chuckle.

(The above skeleton has been gone for awhile. I love to draw skeletons. You can ask my mom, I've been doing it since I was about 5 or 6. Back then though, I would ask her to draw me the skeleton over and over again. I once asked her as an adult, if she thought that was weird...she replied, "You were my first child, I didn't know what was normal.")-chuckle again.