Saturday, March 26, 2011

Art Exhibit

Thought some of you would enjoy viewing some of the art work created in our art group.

The first two photos are a recent mini scrap quilt I did for my youngest granddaughter and the last oil painting I did in the late 90's.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I See It All Around Me

People struggling to hang on to a long dead American Dream; to an image they believe is safe and secure; and to adults shuffling bills in order to maintain an appearance of normalcy.

People ignore the obvious by burying their fears in alcohol, drugs, petty theft, domestic violence, chronic pain, depression and other forms of self abuse.

Their expectations - honed by years of consumptive conditioning - are far removed from the reality they continue to resist.

And corporate America is only too happy to oblige. The "deals" keep coming; the advertisements continue to entice and ignorant people believe they "need" frivolous imported junk as opposed to the basics: (real) food; (adequate) shelter; responsible, frugal use of utilities; dependable transportation - not motorized, multitasking wonder machines that cost a year's wage or more and are obsolete by the next model year.

If people can't cope with what's happening now, the future is indeed bleak.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Iced In & Doing Something With Nothing

Ice storm hit here overnight.
One inch or more over everything.

Ventured outside between power outages to check things. Large tree down on road south of us but someone had cleared part of it away. Lots of broken branches in the yard and our vehicles are impenetrable. The previous day I had shoveled openings in the muddy ruts so the water would flow downhill. That did the trick but two hours later - as we're waiting for things to dry a bit - the sleet and freezing rain began.

Heard from a friend about a electrical line that came down within four feet of her car as she was scraping ice. This was followed by a fireball and a nearby tree crashing to the ground between their home and her husband's vehicle. Neighbors called 911 reporting that they heard sounds like a cannon being shot.

Meanwhile, we've lazed around today. Took a nap, read a book, made a pineapple upside down cake and washed a quilt - how hung across an eight foot rod in our heated back shed.

I've been asked to speak to a home schooling co-op group in late April about recycling, cost saving strategies and my experiences in the early days of homeschooling 32 years ago. Ought to be interesting as these folks can't fathom being investigated by Social Services or threatened with loss of a job because I home schooled.

My art program that many thought would never among to anything is sailing along to the point where we're no longer accepting any more mural locations for this year and about to outgrow our meeting space at the library. The plan is to do murals on location whenever possible and otherwise meet in various parks, weather permitting.

And, of course, at a community meeting last night, before the ice storm, I was introduced as the newcomer who's "made an impact" on the community while having no building, no money, no bank account and no board of directors.

When asked how I managed to do that, I said: "By not letting anything hold me back."

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Wheels

We've had a good week and welcomed warmer weather by walking around our yard picking up sticks and giving Lady a little exercise.

Finally unloaded the last of Sweetie's stuff from the back of his truck today!!! Yesterday he removed the truck topper and tried to scrape the driveway muck. It's in better shape by the garage but a total loss near the road. Thankfully, we have parking space to the south of the driveway entrance. However, this means using the front entrance which has four steps up to the deck. A makeshift ramp on one side gave me and Lady easier access.

An email to local friends gained me a FREE nearly new Nova walker with four wheels, a seat, basket, brakes and a great paint job. At tomorrow's art class, while others make collages and paint, I'll jazz up my walker.

Once we got it home, I realized how much I've been sitting in order to avoid falling. Though I have another ancient walker, it was a two wheel model with no other features. I was always letting to of it to carry something and often the inevitable happened: down I went with broken stuff and/or fluid on the floor.

The MS flare ups have increased while my energy level has decreased. And, as much as I've resisted using a walker it's been a blessing to have SAFE mobility.

That's all for now folks.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Progress On the Art Front

Wednesday we had a brainstorming session for the art group. Great group of dedicated people and fantastic moderator. By end of the thee hour session we had a new name, mission statement and agreement to meet 24 hours later to assign tasks and questions raised the previous day.

Today, at Drop In For Art, our free art class held at the library, three of our members were present so we discussed more ideas.

We've decided to remain non-hierarchical, have no officers or recorded minutes and not organize as a business or non-profit.

Our mission is to bring art to the people to enhance our communities. The five of us have gelled to the point where we open our emails to discover we've all had the same thoughts within a few seconds.

We're going to construct a series of community murals and already have our first location. A call for donations of acrylic exterior paints has gone out. We'll provide the 4x8 foot primed plywood surface and invite community members to help paint the mural. This method has the advantage of making the murals transportable and sitting one on saw horses makes them easy for all ages and abilities to paint on them. One perosn has volunteered his garage wall as mural material.

Two small festivals are held here each year and we're going to be a part of them too.

I've also been invited to attend a joint community meeting aimed at fostering community pride, business and recreational space for the communities.

Seems a few people have decided art may be an idea worth trying.

Two people have decided quiet publicly that my ideas are crazy. They've removed flyers, told people not to listen to the "nutty artist" and made a few crank phone calls. So be it.

I think there's been enough positive response, especially from the children, that their objections will be drowned out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Preserving Our Sanity

Have you ever noticed how easily we're led off track; wound up by other people's actions or become involved when you should run in the opposite direction?

We've had our share of turds hitting the fan the last couple weeks: the roof and two new windows are leaking; the stove door fell off; the land contract holder didn't pay the insurance; the garage door hit me in the shoulder; crank calls at 3 a.m. and I slipped down three steps.

Things got worse when the "people problems" began. Sweetie's son made his usual choices and complains about the results. The library board had four openings and a small town mudslinging campaign added the spouses of two former board members and a child molester to the board. That ought to make for local fireworks! A neighbor drove home intoxicated and took out one tree and our mailbox. We fixed the box and last night he spun donuts, lost control and came to a stop in our lilac bush.

I should have realized some people never learn much while others, like us, have short memories. By yesterday we were so exhausted we slept most to the day, ate little and refused to answer the phone.

After showering at 6 p.m. and sat in our chairs staring into space. When the cat jumped on my lap I snapped to attention and called my father. He sounded great; said he had no need for a home health aide and insisted he's seldom left alone where he lives. Okay, I thought. No point in arguing. Just say goodbye and keep my peace.

Less than two hours later the phone rang. My sister-in-law said, "He's up to his old tricks again."

Now he's worried about managing his meds; claimed the house will be cold and said he is alone most of the time. This version is closer to the truth.

My sister-in-law said she'd stop by every other day to check his meds and arrange for a visiting aide. Before he could respond she said, "It's not too late for you to go to assisted living." (where he had previously applied until my ex changed the plans).

My father laughed uncontrollably; said she and I worry needlessly about him, and get others upset when there's "nothing to worry about."

The kicker was: "This has been fun watching you two go crazy! Gotchya!"

She hung up and I don't blame her.

Yes, he needed medical attention. Yes, we're concerned for his well being. But game playing and hurting people intentionally because he thinks it's funny is unacceptable. Once again, we'll forgive his bad behavior, but be on guard against future assaults on our peace and self worth.

Tonight he's home at my daughter's boyfriend's, snug in his bed, I assume. I don't even have the energy to be pissed, which is just as well. In a day or so I'll send him a card and that' that.

Meanwhile, every appliance we have can quit; more windows can leak and it can rain for 40 days and nights. None of it matters because we're of one mind, heart and soul and thankful to occupy our little corner of the world.

Sleep well people. You may very well need your energy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Was Not Informed

My sister-in-law, who is not supposed to associate with me, called our home today to tell us my father has been hospitalized with the flu and pneumonia.

She only knew because her husband emailed her - after being incognito for five weeks.

I called Dad at the hospital and talked to him awhile, then called the nurse's station and asked to have my name and phone number added to "the list" of family members to be notified of any changes in his condition, etc.

Two sisters, my three children and two teenage granddaughters are on "my list."

The first words out of Dad's lips when I called where: "I wondered if you would ever call me."

Frankly, certain people's well being is not threatened at this time because I'm 10-1/2 hours south of them. But, a day of reckoning will arrive and I pity their hind ends then.

BTW, he laid in bed for three days, coughing, refusing to eat or drink and none of them did a thing. It was an elderly neighbor friend who stopped by to play cribbage who brought him into ER.