It's shaping up to be a crazed week, but I did manage secure a box of these. If you haven't found any yet, and if I find a moment to actually taste them and put down some thoughts, I'll let you know.
Perhaps I can add a DoD for this disgusting product. Whoops! I already gave away my verdict!!! Here I thought science had created something magical and wondrous... a new kind of Asian pear (they've always had a Concord grape note in their flavor). I thought it was some kind of gene/plant splicing! WRONG! It's ARTIFICIAL! It's like they slathered the apple in grape Chapstick. :-P
I am saddened.
Pinko- I'll eat some of the O's and will try to get something together asap. As I said, the week's pretty crazed. Thursday might be the soonest.
My father is 84 today. Yes, he's still with us... although I think I've been holding my breath for a few years now, always expecting that call... sometimes hoping for that call as opposed to thinking of what might be coming.
He doesn't live at home anymore. He went into assisted living this past summer... something I fully understand, but still hate and don't understand. I keep resisting the urge to bust him out... while also fighting the urge to lose my lunch.
How can this be?? How could so much have happened so fast over the past few years?? How does a man go from exercising every day and having a stellar mind, to not being able to walk, and not being sure what day it is?? How does a man go from building a home and living in it, to no longer being able to live there, even though it's still his?? He has a home! He just can't live there... at least not without a team of people. It's very easy to move a baby, it's not so easy to move a 6'1" man.
He's still there though... or part of him is still there. Sweetness, as I have mentioned before, has taken a stronger hold in him than he has probably allowed since childhood. That is one of the few blessings, no, probably the only blessing of the stripping away of who he is.
He still has a fondness for ribald jokes. Go figure. You can ask him what time of year it is the day after he attends a 4th of July celebration, and he'll say October, but apologize to him for possibly giving him a wedgie when trying to move him from his wheelchair to his recliner, and he'll laugh right on cue and say it's probably the most he's felt down there in a long time...
He still retains (or I think he does) a fondness for flatulence humor, so today, when out shopping, and happening upon the scratch 'n sniff farting unicorn card, I snatched it up. I guess I'll find out Sunday, when we go to visit, whether this part of him still exists, or if it has joined the long line of characteristics he has left behind.
Below is my father, in younger years... Ha! I say younger, but he would have been roughly my age now when this was taken... 1976. He loved to cook out and built an awesome barbeque pit, which allowed him and one of his best friends to throw annual hog roasts. 1976 was one of the years they didn't... instead it was the Bicentennial Beef Bash... beef was chosen so a variety of other friends who did not partake of pork could attend.
You gotta love those shirts... again, it was the 70's... His glasses, however, were pure him. He's worn round spectacles since and before I've known him. I counted once, he had around 120 pairs... all different, but all round. Some crazier than others. He referred to them as his Magoo glasses.
And then there's that smile... a smile he often tried to restrain because it was crooked. Egads. What was he thinking. Smile Dad... smile!
The lyrics of this song don't really pertain, but it's been playing in my head since I put this up.
No, this isn't a resolution... just a slight shift in behavior from something I noticed I was doing... something that no doubt was adding up to hours of wasted time.
I caught myself last month, waiting to take a lamblet to her music lesson. I had approx. 15 minutes before I had to leave. I sat there, feeling antsy, randomly clicking around the internet, just wishing the 15 minutes had passed so I could leave. Had it been 30 minutes, I would have felt like I had time to do something, but 15? It felt like no man's land. Too early too leave, not long enough to really do anything, but I thought of all of those 15 minutes added up. I thought of the hours, the days, all comprised of 15 minutes I wished away. I had to find something, and something that would be easy to start and stop.
I pulled out an unused notebook. I'm always buying them... this size, that color. I've loved clean, lined notebooks since the 4th grade. They held promise. I even prefer sketching in notebooks. There's less pressure. So I grabbed the notebook... doodled "15 Minutes" on the cover, and wrote whatever came to mind until it was time to leave. I pull it out anytime I find myself waiting for an appt, waiting until I have to pick someone up, waiting for whatever reason we wait, but feel like there's not enough time to do anything, and I write, I draw, I doodle, I embellish previous entries. Nothing may come of this, but something may... something may develop, and I'll have it, captured on the page, instead of lost with my other wonderful thoughts that light up my mind so brightly only to be lost in the haze of the day's activities.
Yes, something may come of it, or nothing may, but at least I'm no longer wishing it away.
... but I'm always tweaking, always rehabbing. I realized, my dream studio would need this app:
I would like to be able to push a button and all of the things I'll never need again, will never use, will never think of, will just be GONE! No sorting, no wondering, no pulling out some ancient box of whatevers and thinking, "WILL I EVER NEED THESE WHATEVERS EVER AGAIN!?!?"
If I ask my mind that, my mind will suddenly go to the millions of ways I might need these things, all of the ways I could use them. Best to keep it JUST IN CASE!
However, I'm finding that I have shelves full of "Just in Case"... when I really need to use those shelves for "What I'm Doing Now!" I would allow myself a shelf for the near future and a shelf for just in case, but my shelf is turning into a closet of "Just in Case".
I want to not have to even look at things I'll never use again because if I look, I might wonder... And it would also have to be things the lamblets would never use, because they're creative sorts and love to have access to a random smattering of things. Even if I don't want something, I might keep it for them.
Of course, my dream studio would also have that, "Exactly What You Need Right Now" closet... which would hold what I needed, whether I knew it or not. It would hold whatever anyone needed. Whoever opened the door would see only what they needed.
I would also like my dream studio to have the "This is exactly what you need to eat right now" fridge... which when I opened it, would have the perfect meal, ready to go... full of whatever nutrients my bod was lacking at that time... and not full of things that would give me hives, go directly to my butt, phlegm-up my sinuses, etc, etc. (My stomach just typed this one. It's lunchtime, and I'm hungry).
I am once again trying to clear out my office/studio space so it's not full of ghosts of abandoned projects from the past or monsters from the imagined future. I need it to be a place of focus, of clarity, of ease. I think I'm going to invent a drawing table/easel/line of sketchbooks that have blinders on them so you can't see anything but what you're working on... No, even better, you can't think of anything, but what you're working on.
I have three areas I need to be able to devote my space and thoughts to (not necessarily in order of importance):
2) Finishing work I've promised
3) Getting 3 specific projects to their next level of development.
I need to get distractions out of my way. I need to make space for what's going on now. That eject button for things I never need to think about again would sure come in handy.
We got snow... functional snow... Amazing it took this long, considering it's mid-January in the Midwest.
I woke up early this morning, and even though it was dark out, the moon was bright enough that there was that cool glow in the bedroom that lets you know, EVERYTHING is covered with snow.
It's also so very quiet...
Until snowblowers started up about an hour later.
When I first got up and let the dogs out, I had two thoughts... 1) I'm thankful I don't have to pee in a snowbank. And 2) Why is it that the first thing a dog will do in snow (after peeing) is stick its head into a snowbank?? I often imagine them breaking through to the other side of something that only they know is there. We assume it's dirt, a mouse, or dead plants, but I'm guessing there's something else going on, and only the dogs are hip to it. I'm not that curious though to give it a try.
Yes, I'm breaking my own rule about not talking about my classes, but I felt this one needed to be shared... especially since some of you have been privy to other experiences. Aside from the fact that I only found out this class was going to run yesterday morning, and class was to start last night, that would be the least of my problems.
I arrived about 20 minutes early, figuring that since this was the first class, no one would be waiting outside, 45-60 minutes early, like other classes I've (cough) heard about... I had brought in some of my own work, brought in my supplies, dug through old class exercise canvases that have long since been abandoned, trying to figure out my best plan of attack for a 3 hour class.
Mr. Enthusiasm (age 72) showed up first... but I noticed he had no supplies. He said he thought the first class would just be an orientation lecture. I said with only 6 weeks in this session, we're going to start painting tonight!! If he lived close enough, he should really go home and get his stuff.
During our brief bit of smalltalk, I found out that Mr. Enthusiasm was more or less self-taught, having had an insatiable hunger for art history books. He had worked in the steel mills which is where he learned welding, and after that, he ventured into sculpture. He no longer has a torch, so he said he uses whatever other materials he finds that he can repurpose. I get that.
I also heard, "WELDING!!" I have wanted to learn to weld for the past 20 years, but never seem to have gotten the chance. I asked if he would please bring back some of his work, when he went home to get his supplies... and off he went.
Student #2 shows up!! Ms. Youth!! Also supply-less... Really?? No supplies?? She said she gathered that supplies would be included. HA! HAHA!! No, I told her, they're not... you should have been given a list. I said she could use some of mine for this evening... We talked a bit about her experience and what brought her here. She's a graphic designer and spends most of her day doing banners and envelope design. She really wanted something more creative again. She said she also was known for asking questions and hoped that was alright! HA! QUESTIONS?!!! Someone who wanted to ask questions and not know everything right from the start!!! I said I LOVED questions and would do my best to answer all... Yes! Let loose with the questions... ask them in 20 different ways. Pry what you need from my atrophying brain!!!
Enter student #3... Mrs. I'm Retired, (age, early 60's). Guess what?? She had no supplies... I called the main facility, hoping they could fax a list, but apparently none was on file, and I could not access mine at home. I started reeling them off, and was 6 items into a list before they asked if I could email them in the morning. :)
Mr. Enthusiasm returned with some awesome sculptures, we talked about them and his inspiration. We talked about methods, we talked about where this class would be going, and since it was only 3, hopefully everyone would get plenty of time and would be allowed to follow the path they needed.
I couldn't help but notice that Mrs. I'm Retired seemed a bit sheepish when we were discussing some of the aspects we'd be delving into. I asked her what she was thinking, what was up?? She said she had ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE... and that that was why she was here, because the course book said, "No experience necessary, just a desire to learn." I said she was right! We'd jump in wherever she was! She still looked really nervous. I prodded some more. And then she teared up a little bit and said, "I haven't done anything since high school." I told her I'd had a lot of people like that. High school desires got shelved for real life and decades later, they finally took those desires off the shelf! No problem! She then said, "No, you don't understand... my high school teacher said I had absolutely no talent and should never do art again... but I can't stop thinking about it and when I saw this course offered, I thought, this is my last chance... but I'm worried, what if I really can't do it??"
I was flabbergasted and said the first exercise would be hunting down the old art teacher so we could smack him/her upside the head. I said the mere fact that this has been calling her for DECADES was all I needed to hear, and that she did not need experience, but just had to be open. I told her she would start seeing things in new ways, and she'd never stop. Her response? I'm always trying to look at things with an open mind... always trying to find new ways of thinking. I guess I'm in the right place.
Yes, yes she is.
I just wish I could bottle some of her openness, some of the entire groups' enthusiasm, and share it with another group I know.
So, I have a new class with 3 people... who have no supplies. :) But they're 3 people who have the supplies I didn't really think of... they are OPEN!! They're not defensive! They're excited. They just want to explore. I can work with that.
I think it just changed to, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
My painting class starts back up today... Good times are sure to be had. I was also supposed to be starting a true beginners class tonight so people who need (and want) a lot more assistance and direction could get the time and attention they deserve. I always feel bad (for any number of reasons) for the true beginners who end up in the regular class. Most end up not coming back. My boss and I felt offering an evening class for true beginners might bring in a different crowd. As of last week, enrollment was ZERO!! I wasn't surprised. Sometimes a class needs to be in the books for a session or three before enough people happen upon it, or before schedules mesh.
As of this morning, I had still not heard whether it was officially canceled, or if through some painting magic, we had the needed minimum of 8. They were supposed to call and let me know. I finally called them, pretty sure the answer must be no... or they would have called!! Right??
I have class tonight. They did not get the minimum, but because they love me, they're going to let it run with 3, and hopefully we can build from there. I have nothing planned... and am I planning? No, it appears I'm writing a blog post.