Art du Jour 8

Today is a six-hour travel day for me.  I will be visiting 4/5 of my grandchildren for a week.  That’s not counting dogs, the count for them being 1/2.

In lieu of writing something interesting and worthwhile I am giving you this serious little person with wonky eyebrows and one large ear to look at.  It’s difficult to take a photo of a sketch, (especially at midnight under artificial light when you should be packing) and not have the reflections on the eyeballs do funny things.  Daylight works better.

And speaking of daylight, our clocks were turned back an hour on Saturday.  Spring ahead, fall back.  End up with exactly the same amount of light you’d have if you left the clocks the hell alone.  So I’m not sure who we’re fooling with this.  A better idea would be to extend October, a month that everyone likes, by a week;  and then transfer the last week of November into December, because that month is never long enough.  Isn’t that a great idea?  Except maybe not so much for all the November novel writers who would have to type a lot faster.

My great expectations for my week away include answering some of the excellent Nano Poblano prompts and learning how to draw a realistic ear.

Enjoy your Sunday (1/5 of the total number of Sundays for this November).  If you need anything else put into fractions, just ask.

nano

Of Bogs and Baers

Cat with a backwards "c", a bog and a baer.  Not for sale.  Sorry.

Cat with a backwards “c”, a bog and a baer. Not for sale. Sorry.

Some art work is priceless.  Found these in my filing cabinet under Recipes.  Yes, that’s how I file.  I believe the artist is Kenzie and I’m guessing at about age four. The arrows are a nice touch.  But I’m a little freaked out by the claws on that baer.

Saturday Night at the Movies

guardians

On the weekend I watched “Rise of the Guardians” with my grandchildren, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think they did too. The popcorn at any rate was a big hit.

When I was a child I believed in Jack Frost.  I had a teacher who told me if I didn’t stop pouting Jack Frost would come along and freeze my “mad” face and I’d never be able to smile again.  You better believe I took that guy seriously.  So I was a little surprised to be watching a movie in which children didn’t believe in him, even though evidence of his existence was everywhere in the magic of their winter fun.

What a great cast of characters!  All apparently chosen by the Man in the Moon.

Nicholas St. North, Guardian of Wonder (aka Santa Claus) has a very strong Russian accent, and Yetis working for him.

E. Aster Bunnymund, Guardian of Hope (aka Easter Bunny) is six feet tall and has an Australian accent.

The Tooth Fairy, Guardian of Memories, collects children’s teeth, which hold their most precious memories.

Sandy, Guardian of Dreams (aka the Sandman) doesn’t speak, but communicates with sand images above his head.

Pitch Black, the Nightmare King (aka the Boogeyman) the essence of fear –  because every story needs at least one villain.

Jack Frost, eventually to become Guardian of Fun, if he can just get somebody to believe in him.

It’s a simple story with a lot of tense situations caused by the Boogeyman, who wants to stop children from believing in anything except him and his nightmares.  It was especially sad when it looked like he destroyed the Sandman, but don’t worry, he came back.  Hope that doesn’t ruin the suspense for you.

And of course there’s a lovely happy ending, with the Boogeyman banished back under the bed.  Kids can still believe in him, but if they don’t fear him, he has no power over them.  And if they believe in the Guardians, they will always be there to protect them.  How totally awesome is that.

At the end we all picked our favourite guardian – Omayja loved the tooth fairy, Corey liked Jack Frost, Madison thought Santa was the best even though he was kind of mean. (Or maybe because he was mean, I’m not sure.)   Kale might have said the big rabbit, because he’s eleven and was playing computer games the whole movie and pretending not to listen and therefore declined to comment so I’ve made that assumption for him.  And I liked the Sandman because he was so lovely and quiet.

So there you go, it’s a movie with something in it for everyone.

Letter to Me, Aged 83

8/365 Matryoshka

Maybe I should be writing all this in bold caps for you my dear, since if you have managed to live this long I’m sure you’re mostly blind and completely deaf by now.  But I’m also certain you have the technology to enlarge my words and project them on to thin air 50 meters high, or convert them into shouting through implanted head phones or some such helpful communication device, all with the touch of your gnarled old fingers, in the year 2032.

Because if you haven’t changed too drastically I know you will have all the latest pads and pods and readers and gadgets at your fingertips, especially if your children and grandchildren still care enough to keep an old lady up to date.  And great-grandchildren.  Wow. Your self from way back here twenty years ago is having a hard time wrapping her head around that one.

So what can I tell you, now that you are a couple of decades older and wiser than you were in 2012?  This is very different from talking to my fourteen year old self (although I’m sure you’re not listening either) because I can’t give you any advice that wouldn’t be hopelessly old-fashioned by now.  All I can do is let you know what I hope in my heart you have become.

1.  Happy.  Please tell me you are happy with the things you’ve done and the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met in this lifetime.  If you’re not, shame on you, and there’s probably some great pills you should be taking for that, you grouchy old bag.

2.  Healthy.  You know, relatively speaking.  I hope your health issues are manageable and you’re not moaning and groaning and complaining all the time.  And I especially hope your main topic of conversation is not a long list of the people you know who died this week.

3.  Independent.  This one is a stretch when you’re in your eighties, but what I mean is that I sincerely hope you can still do many things for yourself on your own.  There is a fine balance here, because you also can’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it.  Just don’t be a burden.  And don’t climb up on the roof simply because you think you can get away with it.  Things like that could put you at the top of somebodys list of people who died this week.

4.  With it and Wise.  Yes, I know you’ve never really been either one of those things, but it’s never too late to try, is it?  If you’re not convinced that what you’re about to say makes sense, just sit there and say nothing.  People will mistake your silence for deep thought.  And I think it’s time you gave up the phrase “life is too short to….” because obviously some lives are not that short after all.

5.  Generous.  You can’t take it with you, whatever it is you’re clinging to, or whatever it is you’ve got in the bank or on paper or cluttering up your house.  If there are people around you who need it more than you do, give it away.  If they throw it in the trash once they’re out of sight, that’s okay too.  What you don’t know can’t hurt you.  And what you no longer have you also no longer have to dust.

6.  Kind and Loving.  Don’t ever stop loving your family and being there for them, no matter how extended or far-flung.  They’re the ones who will carry your memory with them after you’re gone, and it would be nice if those memories could be good and beautiful ones, not the kind that make them shake their heads and roll their eyes and pray they didn’t inherit any of your cantankerous disagreeable old genes.

7. At Peace with the World.   Stop fighting and accept the things you cannot change.  Let all those annoying young people you’re now surrounded by take over.  They have way more time and energy for all this nonsense than you do at this stage in your life.  Take a long nap.  You’ve earned it.

8. Unafraid.  Fear is such a waste of time and energy.  If you’ve been paying attention, you will have deduced from number seven that you don’t have huge amounts of either one of these things to spare. Don’t distress yourself with dark visions of doom.  You know what I’m talking about.  But if you’ve forgotten, never mind, that’s great, forget I mentioned it.  However, you should NOT give up your fear of stairs.  That’s a healthy one.

9. Tolerant, Understanding, Unbiased.  I hope you keep an open mind, even if you’re losing it. Never stop listening.  Never stop learning.

10. At Peace with your Soul.  Never regret who you were and who you are and whatever dumb and stupid things you did with your life.  You did a lot of good things too.  You deserve to be the happy, peaceful, loving soul of your dreams.  If what the psychic told you all those years ago is true, you have eleven more years to go.  I hope you enjoy every single minute of it.

Dora Does Living Colour

Dora does the stink eye.

Pink goes well with blue hair. And red arms.

Could be an Irish ballet.

Dora tries her hand at face painting.

This is coloring after my own heart.  I LOVE green hair.  And would you not just kill for this last ensemble?  And go totally overboard with the self-tanning to complete your look?  If you say no, there’s a lot more you need to learn about having fun.  Thank you Maddy and Princess O.  My fridge has never looked better.

On My Own Again

The pony tail girls with newly pierced ears!  All pictures for the next little while will be posed sideways.

My fridge has a new look, thanks to some industrious grandchildren.  They were here for two days.  I imagine if they stayed for a week I could get them to paper the entire house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great visit – they got to spend a day at Galaxyland, go to the Wimpy Kid movie, color and paint, play some kind of queen/guard/chef/servant/royal dog game (I didn’t get a lot of the details straight since all of them were elaborating on them at the same time),  turn the basement into a disaster zone while watching tv (they are great multi-taskers), do stuff on the computer, decorate the driveway with chalk, eat A LOT of pizza and freak out about the crazy rain and thunder storms.

Then just like the end of a wild storm they were suddenly all packed up and gone.  My part-time loaner dog has happily left me too, picked up by the vacationers on their way home from the airport early this afternoon.

And here I am, alone again.  The silence is deafening.  I think I need a nap.

How To Grow Weeds In Your Own Back Yard


I am delighted to report that my defunct fire-pit/barrel-planter landscaping project is flourishing despite an almost complete lack of enthusiasm, personal interest, concern or care on my part, except for the odd brief confused and frowning contemplation of it, and subsequent picture snapping.  Because it’s pretty hard to describe this in mere words.

I catch a glimpse of it from my kitchen window and think, shit, I should do something about that.  But then I can’t think what, except maybe to destroy it, and really, it’s not hurting anybody, is it?

If anyone would like any pointers on growing unidentifiable (to me) green things in big pots by accident, I am definitely your go-to person.

While you’re thinking about that and wondering which one of us needs the most help, here’s some advice on pillow shopping.  If the plastic bag says “extra firm” you should take that seriously.  The two new replacement pillows for my bed which I brought home yesterday were hard to force into cases, there was so little give to  them. They took on the appearance of over inflated balloons with not a wrinkle to be seen.  No punching was required to get myself propped up in a comfortable position to read, but it was also kind of like placing my head on a slightly squishy rock.  This morning I wondered for a bit if my neck might be broken.  But it was just at some weird angle it’s not used to dealing with and seems to be straightening out as the morning progresses.

It’s been a long time since I’ve said anything about my beautiful, intelligent, astonishingly amazing grandchildren.  Here’s four of them and one large dog. They’re growing like weeds in their own backyard.   
Don’t think because I put them here that they’re less important to me than actual weeds. Sometimes it’s just fun to save the best thing for last.