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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Once Upon A Fence...


Some months back I blogged about a colorful mural someone painted on their fence. I drove by the fence yesterday and I saw that they’d changed part of the mural. The artist who lives there either added to the mural or changed some of it. The vintage cars remain but someone added an underwater scene to the section facing the alley. This whole thing interests me for several reasons:

1)      Public art is awesome!

2)      Personalizing your space makes your home your own, and adds flavor to the neighborhood.

3)     Painting over your own work is a newish concept for me. You are literally removing evidence that you spent time and effort on something. In the past this would have felt uncomfortable to me but I’m starting to appreciate it. We don’t necessarily create something in order for it to last forever. Sometimes we create to illustrate how we are feeling right now.  

 
Whoever lives in this house and paints this fence uses an airbrush, which yields fast results, so maybe s/he feels fine about painting over previous work. Such quick painting may be the perfect way of expressing the artist’s own development. Like wearing a different outfit each day, painting and re-painting a fence may be the artist’s way of refreshing the environment or expressing a mood.

 
Anyway, I thought I’d share some photos of this large wooden canvas that evolves along with the artist. Instead of mourning the loss of the art that was there before, I’m digging the idea that surprises regularly will be unveiled upon this fence. It’s like a giant Etch-a-Sketch (although it’s harder to shake a fence to start fresh). The creation will change but the creativity goes on and on…

 
 

There It Goes...


I’ve been AWOL. I’m sure the whole planet has felt my absence from blogging (major sarcasm). But the small but sweet group that reads my blogs may have noticed (or not) that it’s been nearly four weeks since I last blogged, and that’s longer than usual for me to keep quiet.

It’s been an extra insane month. School started, which some parents acknowledge with back flips and the happy dance. But I have mixed feelings. Yes, there’s a chunk of time in the middle of the day when I might get a few things accomplished. But before that and after that it’s complete pandemonium, so it’s a trade-off. I like the less structured vibe of summer. You float through the morning and into the afternoon and evening and even though you’re mediating an average of 87.3 fights per day, at least there aren’t the deadlines involved with school. There’s no racing to get up and get to school in the morning. No racing to get as much as possible done while they’re gone because there’s no hope of getting anything done once they’re back. Then there’s the racing to pick them up, careening through the afternoon with reminders and re-reminders and threats about homework, making dinner (or some approximation thereof), packing lunches, finding clothes for the next day, a scavenger hunt for missing toothbrushes, herding them into bed, and collapsing into my bed with a thud, like a felled tree.

Now where was I going with all this? Oh yes…Something about how crazy September has been. School started and the kids promptly got sick. This is somewhat rare for them but I suppose grammar school always includes a fog of germs hovering around kids’ heads, and they all came down with stuff. They passed it to one another, which—in a twisted way—at least confirms that they’ve heard my lectures on the value of sharing. On the other hand, it also confirms that they have not heeded my warnings on the value of washing their hands. Constantly.

While they were passing germs around, we had three batches of relatives visit—one group from another continent, one batch from another state, and one from another city. We had a major heat wave, two family birthdays, awful news about a friend who was gravely ill, several trees-worth of paperwork coming home from school, a 25-page newsletter emailed from school (I am not joking)—which I did not read but opened just to see how pages of updates I would not read--ants in the house, my sister’s baby shower, two kids’ birthday parties to attend, Oktoberfest to reschedule once Hubby got sick, and mountains of housework (that were ignored for the most part because of the aforementioned Other Stuff Going On).

What was that multi-colored blur that raced by? That was September. And there it goes…

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School Lunches 101




Samples from recent discussions with the kids while I pack lunches for school:
 

Me: R, I’m packing tomorrow’s lunch. Do you still like granola bars?

Him: No. Well, sometimes. I don’t know.

Me: Hmmmm. Well, you need energy during the school day. If I pack a granola bar, will you eat it?

Him: Maybe.

Me: Okay. Now, how about apples?

Him: Not if it is whole. Maybe if it’s cut up. But then it looks funky. So maybe not.

Me: Hmmmm. Will you eat dry cheerios in a bag?

Him: Nah.

Me: Carrot sticks?

Him: Not sure.

Me: Pretzels?

Him: Only the small twisted ones. No pretzel sticks. They taste different.

Me: What? They’re made from the same dough. So, do you have bag of twisty pretzels?

Him: Yes, but it’s empty. I finished them. I was starving. I’m a growing kid!

Me: Since you hate milk, should I pack water?

Him: Yes, but not in a plastic water bottle. It tastes weird. Only a metal water bottle.

Me: We don’t have one anymore. Could you make do with a plastic bottle for one more day?

Him: (Sigh.) Okay. But don’t blame me if I come home dehydrated!

Me: (Sigh.) Where’s your sister? Oh, there you are, S. Let’s talk lunches. Will you eat pretzels?

Her: No.

Me: French bread?

Her: Maybe.

Me: Turkey Pepperoni?

Her: Eeewwww, gross!

Me: You loved it last month.

Her: It’s revolting, stuff that pigs in a pen wouldn’t consider consuming.

Me: Fruit leather?

Her: No.

Me: Carrot sticks?

Her: Never.

Me: Apples?

Her: Only if the peel is removed, it’s sliced and the green part in the center is carefully removed from each slice.

Me: Oh, please. There will be only ¼” of apple left if I remove the center and the peel. String cheese?

Her: Depends. Is today’s date an even or odd day?

Me: I have no idea. My brain stopped working two years ago.

Her: I have a solution. I’ll buy from the lunch truck every day.

Me: Not going to happen. Occasionally, yes, but not daily. You need healthy stuff, and variety.

Her: French fries are healthy, right?

Me: Healthier than pop rocks candy, I suppose. But not at the top of my list.

Her: I don’t want to bring a lunch at all. I don’t need lunch.

Me: You’re a growing kid. Your brain needs food while you’re at school...Now, what happened to the lunch boxes? They were here a minute ago...