Getting lost traveling from one garage sale to another last weekend resulted in this serendipitious find–a delightful Hypertufa Sculpture Garden on a small side road off the beaten track. How could one not stop and enjoy a few minutes along the shaded, quiet lane? I have been searching for just the right thing to put in front of my own house. I saw some really cool scrap metal sculptures, but that involves welding, a talent I have neither the equipment nor the knowledge to do. I have dabbled in hypertufa planter boxes, so a next logical step using that basic knowledge is to try someting that is three dimensional. This has me psyched and hankering for the enough spare time before cold weather hits.
Coat, hat, gloves, boots, wood-burning stove. Punxsatawny Phil. If unavailable, substitute groundhog living under shed in backyard. Snow, large pot, shovel, Kleenex, wine and candles.
Dress in 10 layers for warmth. Lace thigh-high boots. Retrieve dried gloves from top of wood-burner. Button warm coat that has Kleenex in pocket for moments of despair. Chill 2 bottles of Thunderbird in snow bank, drinking as needed to enable memory loss. Reserve 1 bottle for later. Shovel path to shed to retrieve Groundhog living under the back corner. Expect some kicking and screaming.
Light wood-burning stove. Place snow from driveway in pot. Melt and bring to boil. Add groundhog. Simmer until he says “Uncle!” Light candles. Enjoy meal by candlelight with reserved bottle of Thunderbird. Collapse on couch.
Beginning to think I should rent the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” At least it will be a different picture on the TV. “Cloudy with a Certainity of Snow” to shovel doesn’t have quite the same ring. Sitting at my desk this morning, looking out the bow window at the overnight accumulations, the justaposition of two “ladies in my window” pulled me away from the more tedious task of clearing assorted papers from my desk.
Many items are sitting in unusual places due to the on-going re-do. In the case of the angel, she has yet to be returned to her usual after holiday spot. Without planning however, the angel and the garage sale sculpture ended up balancing each other. The angel on high (it’s a pun) facing left. The dancer down low (sorry, couldn’t help myself–the balance thing again) facing right and up. Amazing how the brain subconsciously pulls things together without trying.
I digress. Back to the task at hand. Hope you, too, are lucky enough to be working inside looking out.
The 4-year old grandson of my next door neighbors recently welcomed (well, he’s accepting the inevitable) a new sister. He is doing fairly well, but has had a forlorn look or two cross his little face. One such moment occurred when he noted that all the cards streaming into the mailbox were for his sister and none were for him. His Guardian Angel took notice and sent him the following letter:
This is a short note from your Guardian Angel.
Just wanted to let you know that here in Heaven, we have processed an order to have an additional Guardian Angel delivered to your house. We have had many requests lately and are slightly behind schedule, but we do have a special Angel-in-Training who will be ready very soon to watch out for your new sister, Alyson.
In the meantime, it would be most appreciated if you would be good enough to give her the required daily “Angel Flutter Eye-Lash Kiss”–just like the one I give you every night as you are falling asleep.
Of course, if you would like to continue to give her an “Angel Flutter Eye-Lash Kiss” even after her personal Guardian Angel graduates and moves in, that would be OK, too.
I have been having a lot of fun with you this summer. Going to the reunion last weekend was the best day! There were so many things to do and lots of good food, too. I was so-o-o tired that night I almost fell asleep before you did! Fortunately, Penny (the puppy) licked my wings just in time, so I could give you your “Angel Flutter Eye-Lash Kiss” before we both drifted off for the night. Every Guardian Angel should have a Guardian Puppy like her.
Thanks for your help with this special request.
Yours very truly,
Your Guardian Angel
Today, when I heard about this contest, I was immediately taken with the idea. I had visions of a series of silver dresses–a surreal space age look repeated in different shapes. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. These students conjured up some of the most smashing outfits out of the most mundane beginnings–rolls of duct tape. Vote for your favorite in this year’s group before July 2, 2009 at: http://www.stuckatprom.com/contests/prom/entries_finalist.asp
Congratulations to all entrants. They deserve to be applauded for their imagination, hard work and “stick-to-it-iveness….”
Search your memory banks to recall that Fleatiquing has become one of my hobby/pass times. It has evolved into a fun and interesting “away time,” that has not only filled the booth (called Coco’s) with things for sale, but has also brought some decidedly quirky items into my personal collection. Nothing to take to the Antiques Road Show, but, small keepsakes that bring a smile to my face when I see them sitting on my shelf. These are a few of the things, I have bought for about $1:
The ’60’s vase:
The Owl Plate. His eyes hold dip:
The “I Love Paris” French Gendarme Bank for my “found money.” (That’s my annual collection of change I find in the street from January-December.)
And, the colors in this Shawnee Pottery Ewer manufactured between 1926 and 1942:
There are a few more examples, but I think you get the drift. Nothing elaborate. Each is just funky enough to catch my eye.
Back story: A quiet moment cleaning a closet over the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s sparked the idea to actually put together the 1500-piece puzzle that had sat there un-assembled for over 20-years. Momentarily forgetting that the real world was only a week away, the puzzle was pulled from the closet. The idea that it didn’t seem right to give it away without having first appreciated the finished product firsthand seemed sane at the time.
Real time: Two days after St. Patrick’s Day the tide has turned. It’s all downhill from here. The end is in sight. The puzzle is more than half full. Optimism in the face of adversity. You fill in the cliche, because keeping one’s enthusiasm for the goal line is vital. Otherwise, the dust that settles around the pieces (Have you ever tried to dust a jigsaw puzzle?) is a constant reminder of the challenge ahead–the top section that represents the sky, which is especially monochromatic.
To help the process along, an organizing tip for puzzles that have very little difference in colors or other distinctive features is to sort similar colors by shape. For example, this puzzle has dark and light pieces that have “four innies,” “four outies,” “two innies and two outies, ” etc. Many pieces have been found because it was easier to look in the needed configuration by color than to scan the remaining 1300 pieces for that one special piece.
An FYI for those who might ask, the lampshade is a Tiffany reproduction that required 72-hours of assembly. Now that I think about it, putting this puzzle together by its light seems very fitting. Lampshade making is very much like putting a puzzle together.
PS: This is the cover of the box showing what the finished product will look like. 881 done and 619 to go–not that anyone’s counting….
M.C. Escher (1898-1972) was a famous graphic artist who is known all over the world for his drawings of seemingly impossible structures. He is most famous for his optical illusions. Visit the official website for other examples of his work: http://www.mcescher.com/
Ground Hog’s Day reently brought the less than surprising news that six more weeks of winter is before us. (It’s been a week, so make that five more weeks of winter.) Phil has his loyal followers, but my personal sign of spring is the sighting of the first robin of the year. Two days ago, I saw a whole flock of robins with their familiar chirp circling a patch of grass exposed by the sun on a bright southern slope. The first robin of the season is always a welcome sight, but I did feel sorry for them. Here’s hoping they can make it for a few weeks :
When the red, red, robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along, along
There’ll be no more sobbin’ when he starts throbbin’ his old sweet song.
Wake up! Wake up you sleepy-head!
Get up! Get up, get out of bed!
Cheer up! Cheer up, the sun is red.
Live, love, laugh and be happy.
What if I’ve been blue? Now I’m walkin’ through fields of flowers.
Rain may glisten but I still listen for hours and hours.
I’m just a kid again, doin’ what I did again, singin’ a song
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along.
Yesterday, my travels took me on a 228-mile round trip journey for a special job related project. The destination was in and through the mountains to the east–the majority of which skirted the topmost ridges. What a view! Riding the highest peak for at least a 25 mile stretch offered clear lines of sight that stretched north and south.
My best guess is that the horizon was 20-25 miles away in some places. A wind farm paralleled part of the route on the next ridge over. In places, there were homes that were positioned to permanently capture exquisite mountain portraits in the frames of their living room windows.
The trip home was cold, crisp and dark, offering a dramatically different canvas. Spotlights at a 24-hour gravel/stone quarry riveted one’s eye on the fierce dust clouds swirling 100 feet above the plant. The twinkle of the further most light made me wonder if someone else was already at the end of their journey home. All-in-all a long day, but worth the trip.
Each season of the year has its own set of unique attributes that combine to make the time special in our hearts and memories. Spring has a multiple green palette showcased in each leaf and blade. Summer has the tastes and smells of corn on the cob and tomatoes, blinking fireflies and chirping crickets. Winter is quiet and dark, the solitude interrupted by holiday lights and sounds. Fall brings bright yellows, golds and oranges that are muted on foggy mornings to shades of gray and white fading to dark.
The point is to appreciate each and every day. There is always something there to see if only you allow yourself to look.