Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Treats

Fair or unfair?  We live on a somewhat busy street with no sidewalk.  So we don't get trick or treaters.  None.  For 30 years of living here, we just sit in our home alone, while the rest of the world parties in the streets.  We don't even carve up the pumpkin and put it out on the porch because why would we?  Since our children grew up and moved away, I don't even display my fine ghost collection any more.  It sits up in the attic, haunting me in its own way.  Halloween.... dispirited frustration and longing.  That's just the way it is.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Friday Freak Out

I'm heading to two doctor's appointments this morning.  Optometrist and then regular doctor.  My eyes are messed up.  Constantly watering, stinging and itching.  Now the skin around my eyes is drying up and peeling away.  I'll probably just have two old eyes floating around in the sockets soon, with nary a lid to hold them in.  It may be allergies.  It may be eye lid mites or flesh eating bacteria.  We don't know.  It's bringing me down and freaking me out. Why the eyes?  Why the eyes?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Boxes (Thursday Creativity Share)

Remember when I used to do Thursday Creativity Share?  Well, it's back my friends.  For probably this week only.  But who knows?
Yesterday I read a book called Mr. Cornell's Dream Boxes by Jeanette Winter.  I learned that he took care of his brother who had cerebral palsy.  He lived on Utopia Parkway in Flushing most of his life.  He had an exhibit for kids toward the end of his life where all the boxes were installed child height.

I love Joseph Cornell's boxes a lot.  You probably do too  Everybody does. You should look at some of Mr. Cornell's boxes today if you feel like it.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Berserk Male Syndrome

We journeyed to Apple Works yesterday, where we tasted various apples, ate biscuits with apple butter, listened to Kevin play his beautiful tunes and wandered over to look at this alpaca. In short, it was a glorious afternoon.

Nancer brought Back and Forth with her, so we took some photos of Back and Forth enjoying the pumpkins and the fall foliage. Nancer came up with a grandiose plan for putting Back and Forth in the pen with the Alpacas for some truly groundbreaking photos.  The plan could have worked well, but there can be risks involved when you mix it up with alpacas.

While alpacas are usually gentle, some (mostly males) experience Berserk Male Syndrome and can be aggressive toward humans and books written by humans.  The alpaca pictured here didn't show any of the tell tale signs of Berserk Male Syndrome but Back and Forth didn't want to take any chances. A field trip to Apple Works should only be pleasant and carefree.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Connections

When we read a picture book with social justice themes, we do a lot of talking about it.  This week, we talked about The Case for Loving, about the Supreme Court case of 1967 that ended the ban on interracial marriage in Virginia.  It's a good book. Before we started writing, I read over the list of connection writing topics that the Thirdlanders had jotted down on their partner chat sheet.  The majority wanted to write about weddings they've attended, but there were some other original topics offered like:

  • I love people, too.
  • Someone tried to stop me from doing what I want before.
  • I want to end racism.
  • Black lives matter.
We got out our notebooks, grabbed our snacks, turned down the lights and put on some quiet music.  As we started writing, a Thirdlander yelled out, "I'm changing my topic because I want to end racism too. I want to write about that." 
"Sounds good," I told him and we all got into gear.  I wrote as well. Not about anything fascinating---just some memories of adults telling me to stay away from certain kids when I was little.  A pleasant start to our day. I'm really liking this class.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Felines

 Let's backtrack to the weekend.  Exotic Feline Rescue Center. The home of the rescued Big Cats. My mom's in the golf cart with the guide.  Husbandman, D.A.D., Li'l Sister and I are walking along.  There's one young woman in the party with a long braid.  I don't know her name.  I think about introducing myself, but what would be the point really?

This braided gal loves the big cats.  She keeps getting off the trail to approach the fences to speak to the cats in a babyish voice.  I keep my eye on her the entire time, anticipating the use of Husbandman's belt as a tourniquet for her bloody stump of an arm. This really detracts from my big cat enjoyment.

During the tour, the guide shares horror stories about the cruelty of the circus and the stupidity of people who buy tiger cubs.  At the end, we are checking out a couple of servals when braidedGal says, "But why can't they be pets?  Why would it be bad?"

We are silent, until Li'l Sister takes over. "They spray all over your house.  Smell that?  You want your house to smell like that?"
Braidedgal asks, "But can their glands be removed somehow?"
Li'l Sister stares at BraidedGal for a hot second and says, "They're. not. pets.  Not Pets."  She shakes her head and glares at Braided Gal. The tour guide echoes Li'l Sister's words. "They're not pets,"  she mutters as she drives golf cart down the trail.

We leave BraidedGal and the Big Cats behind. As we drive home, BraidedGal is our main subject of conversation.  You can probably imagine some of the stuff we say about BraidedGal.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More Favorite Frogs and some Fan Fiction

Ruth showed up unexpectedly with a 50 pound ham in a box.  It was cooked and cut in a spiral pattern. She was also grappling with a six pack of PibbXtra.
"That's a large ham," I said.  She told me it was a 50 pounder.  I said, "I didn't know hams could be that large." 
"The record is 180 pounds for a ham.  Look it up," she said in a combative tone I found unnecessary.
"PibbXtra?" I asked, changing the subject.  "Is that like Mr. Pibb?"
"Same drink, new name.  Can you move so I can come in please?"

Ruth walked into the kitchen to set down the 50 pounder and the Pibbs.  I wondered what to say because I didn't eat ham and I was pretty sure Ruth knew that.  She popped a Pibb and found her way to the livingroom, settling on the couch in front of the tv. I texted people I knew who might come over to eat ham on a whim. Within 20 minutes, people started arriving.  I created a macaroni salad while people collected around a Judge Judy episode I was sorry to be missing. 

All in all, it ended up being a pretty good last night of vacation.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Frogs

I took a bunch of great frog photos awhile ago.  I'm probably going to post all of them, bit by bit.  I'm on fall break.  My mom, dad, and sister are here.  Great times.

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...