Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Treasures past on and lost

I lost my grandma's ruby ring. She passed it on to my mom, who passed it on to me and I lost it. (the pic to the left is mom giving Alex daffodils,about 20 years ago)
I am trying to grasp this reality, but I keep obsessing about it. I keep looking everywhere possible. The mysterious dissappearance haunts me, even in my dreams. I had it on, absolutely no doubt, on my way to mass. Later, about an hour after we were back home I realized it wasn't on. I immediately went to where I usually take off my rings. Nothing.
I drove all the way back to church and searched. Nothing.
I prayed to St. Anthony, too. I won't say "nothing", as maybe my prayer will be answered yet as a YES. I hope so.
I remember looking at the ring on the way to mass and thinking how my hands looked like my mom's and grandma's and how the ring serves as a link to that memory.
My horse Nancy has listened to me cry and whine more than I care to admit. I went out to the barn, told Nancy I lost mom's ring and all this pent up emotional pain just came out in sobs.
I know my horse pretty well. Here's what she thought, "does this mean I'm not going to get a snack?"
She probably did wonder that, but in some magical way, she is able to share her strength with me. Maybe because I'm able to share my weakness with her. Loss. What is the purpose of loss? To teach us how much we loved what we lost? Swell.
I'm not a materialistic person. I'm just extremely sentimental!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My mom has given me lots of pretty jewelry. This is a pic of the jewelry box she had as long as I can remember, and a ceramic doll she made. When I was a kid, she did ceramics. Our house had lots of elegant, dainty dolls for me to stare at. You couldn't touch them of course, but to me, they were so beautiful and I wanted to look just like they did when I grew up.
Good thing I didn't get everything I wanted.
And in conclusion, this is what Elle thinks, "just wait till your siblings read this blog and find out you lost that ring."
Oh, yeah.

Friday, February 22, 2008

In Praise of Betty the Sheep

Here's Betty doing what she does best; looking up towards the house watching for movement. I guess winter does that to a person, you just sort of space out. Betty has hay stuck in her wool, which drives me nuts. It feels like the hay is attached with velcro and when you pull on it, it even sounds like velcro. If you scratch Betty, which she loves, you'll get black oily residue on your hands, I suppose that would be lanolin. One year, I was determined to save her wool and actually get it ready to......to what? I dunno, spin or something. I read up on how to clean it. I was about 1/2 hour into the project when I got overwhelmed, like you wouldn't believe, as there was 52,000,000,000 little pieces of debris that just would NOT let go of their strong attachment to her wool.
Still, I decided to stuff it into old pillow cases until I figured out an easier way. I forgot about these pillow cases of wool for about two years. I don't even remember how they got up in my attic, but when I came across them two years later, I opened them up......still smelled the same, still full of dirt and possibly even more gross than before.
I read where lambs wool is just dandy for the garden.
I'm not so sure, it took a looooooooooong time before it even started to decompose. It's almost impossible to work into the soil. And, people always said, "what the heck is THAT?!!" when admiring my herb garden. Most people thought the wool was a dead animal.
All in all, Betty has proven to be the easiest pet I've ever had the priviledge to care for. She is low maintenance and has done her job spendidly, which is to be a pasture mate to Nancy, the horse.
The two of them face each day and night, side by side, year after year, with patience and trust.
It's been a wonderful experience to be a part of their everyday world.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Officially Nuts

My dad was a genius at making faces. Here is a pic of him trying to teach Alex a funny face. She is really studying his face. I love this photo, (which I played around with on my photoshop, I've no idea what I did, but I like the results), it brings back that day so vividly. The stove in the background, pot holders hanging on the fridge, Al's little t-shirt and dad's hand. I know that hand as well as my own. This photo was taken about 22 years ago, but the feeling of watching my father play with my daughter still swells my heart just as much now as it did then.
I miss my dad. I can tear up at a drop of a hat when it comes to him. Sometimes, I just stop. I stop to get my barings, so to speak. I need to figure out what happened. Did you ever go for a long automobile trip and sleep part way? When you wake up you've no idea how you got to Texas but you are there just the same. That's how it feels, my mind is back in mom's kitchen, but my body is in my house and I get the two confused.
Okay, so I'm nuts. It's official.
Meanwhile, back at the studio I learned a new word. "splined". That's what this canvas is, splined.
It's a 4" x 6" stretched canvas with a wooden frame tucked inside for extra support. These things are sturdy!
Here's a few newbies for my etsy shop. I did manage to get the first one up for sale on Etsy today, in between my being officially nuts and watching it snow, and snow and snow.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Heart Appreciation

These little red hearts were made by katiemadegoods.etsy.com . They are beautifully made!!! Including shipping, these hearts were only $10.00. You can tell that a lot of TLC and time was put into the making of these handmade felt creations. So many tiny stitches, each seed bead sewn individually!!! I have met such good people via Etsy. They really believe in their art and talent. Inspiring! Having something handmade has so much more meaning than mass produced stuff from mega stores, etc. Not to mention the good "energy" they bring. Oh yes, that really does affect a person! There's not one drop of negativity in these beautiful hearts, including the transaction. (Elle thinks so too)!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Turning Around

A rainy, dreary Ash Wednesday. Surprisingly, I'm not depressed in the least. Inspite of the fact that our ponds are looking more and more like one big lake. I'm grateful that our basement is dry as well as the barn, and hey, our roof isn't leaking either. Knock on wood.
Got ashes on my forehead today. Fr. John, in his homily, talked about this woman with Alzheimers, and how she would walk the halls in the nursing home all day. But, when she got to the end of the hall, there's a wall, and someone would have to help her turn around because she no longer remembered how to turn around.
I envisioned a woman, in a pink robe and slippers standing up against the wall. Just standing there. Then I pictured a nurse who would lovingly and gently turn the woman around so she could continue walking.
The act of compassion and mercy was offered to those who would turn this woman around. The chance, the opportunity to do something so simple, yet, I got to think, in God's eyes, it would be a really, really, really, big deal.
Fr. John also added that there are times in all our lives when we forget to turn around.
It really made me think, all day long, I've been thinking about this. God isn't expecting fabulous art out of me, but mercy and compassion . That I can do.
Yesterday, at the gallery I was looking at this painting by Rene' Magritte. It really bugged me.
He entitled it, "Son of Man". hmmm.....I get the apple part. His own take on this painting was "Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see".
I see.
Rene' was born 11/21/1898 and died 8/15/1967 at the age of 69. He sold his first painting when he was 25 years old. His first job was drawing motifs for wallpaper. (Personally, I'd love a job like that.) I like his art work because it gets me to think, and ask questions until I understand.
Actually, I love it that Rene' even bothered to paint at all. Sometimes I'm sure we all think it doesn't matter if we do our art. It's all going to end up in the landfill someday. But, ashes to ashes. That's what is supposed to happen. In the interim, someone's life may be a little bit better because of your doing what you love.
(That apple is making me nuts~!!)