Wednesday, June 27, 2012

grandkid visits - week 2

When I dropped off Jade, Robin had her stuff in the truck in a flash and off we went.

Robin, the youngest, is 11 this year and will be making the transition to middle school in the fall. She was pretty quiet while she was here, calling her mom just about every day. She loves her mom.

We played Gin and Rummikub, both at which she beat me consistently, though I did manage one win or two.

We made monsters.

She made a strawberry pie and helped with dinner.

We sewed. Of the three girls, Robin is best at the sewing machine.

We went to see Brave.

We picked figs from my neighbor Frank's trees.

She watched a lot of TV on my computer.

We had a lot of fun and the week was up in no time. Took her home Tuesday and returned with Autumn.

Monday, June 25, 2012

a few pics from the yard...

The squash is about done but this one growing end seems determined to put on one last burst.

When I went out to the compost pile last evening I was greeted by a dozen or so of these beauties. I think it is a type of fritillary but couldn't identify it exactly.

The plumeria and the bromeliad don't seem to mind the heat.

edit:  thanks to TexWisGirl, I have identified the butterfly as a tawny emperor.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

grandkid visits - week 1

Jade was ready for her week with a list of projects, a supply list for those projects, and a menu for the week...breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At 14, she is a very organized young woman.

We had a lot of fun, Jade and I. She really didn't need any help with any of the things we did. Well, maybe a little, especially with the sewing parts, but mostly all she needed was company.

We stayed up late every night. Me, til midnight. Sometimes she stayed up longer.

We made bow rings.

We made a tribal necklace. Jade made a tribal necklace.

We cut down T-shirts and wove up the sides.

We made her Oscar The Grouch Halloween costume into a bag to keep her yearbook from school and a scrapbook in so it won't get messed up.

We made pies and cookies. She turned her head when I lifted the camera. 'Nooo, Granny. I don't like the way it looks with my hair up.' She ran off to the bathroom and fixed it and came back and posed for me.

We made a dino hoodie.

Again with the turning of the head.

The week was over in no time. I took her home and returned with Robin.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

letting go

I'm struggling with something.

I have a few facts and a lot of conjecture. Throw a little paranoia in there, a little need, both emotional and actual and it's not a pretty picture.

The facts are that the garden club here, of which I am a member, decided to donate a sculpture to the library. I asked to be on the committee. They were looking at cement yard art and catalog stuff.

I suggested we see about getting a real piece of art, like, from an artist.

That was my first mistake.

They asked me if I knew some artists and the more I thought about it I decided I did not want to take on finding or suggesting certain artists and then I thought that maybe my friend who does fused glass and I could do something together with some sort of metal framework.

So I did a presentation to the committee.

That was my second mistake.

I showed them examples of some outdoor uses of fused glass and steel and etched glass, slides and actual physical examples of glass done in different ways, and showed my portfolio. They liked my suggestion of doing etched glass in the side lites and transom around the inside doors to the library. We talked about using the new logo for the library as a jumping off point for the design. They asked me to do a proposal and sketch.

So I did.

That was my third mistake.

While they told me they loved my drawing for the space and indicated to me that they all agreed for me to do the job when I presented my proposal and they were going to set up a meeting with the library and the county, someone or several someones decided afterwards that they should look at another etched glass artist for the work.

My conjecture is that they thought that because I knew the budget, that I was pricing my work to it when in reality, I gave them a big discount because the installation cost was a big chunk. It is my conjecture that they didn't want a member of the club profiting from their gift. Never mind that I am a resident, a member of the club, and a user of the library so that the art and artist would have a personal connection.

The email I got several weeks later informing me of this decision came as somewhat of a surprise and I knew then that I would not be getting the commission. I asked them to not show or describe my design or concept to the other artist as these were proprietary.

Last week, the committee presented the 'anonymous' designs to the club at the summer social for a secret vote even though it had been announced at a previous meeting that I would be submitting a proposal. It was painfully obvious that they had done exactly what I asked them not to do as all three elements of my design were present in the other sketch. I cast my vote and my sister's vote (who couldn't be there) and left. I had no desire to be there during the vote.

The committee chairman called yesterday to give me the results of the vote and it was as I expected. But what I didn't expect was that I would only get three other votes besides mine and my sister's out of 29 cast. I thought it would be a little closer.

I think I would have preferred not knowing the vote count.

I did tell her on the phone that I thought I had been treated unfairly and it was quite obvious they had done what I had asked them not to re my design. She said she was sorry I felt that way, that they appreciated all my hard work, that all they had done was tell the other artist their vision for the space, except that their vision for the space was what I had presented to them. When they met with me, they had no vision for the space. I came up with those ideas.

So now I'm struggling to let all this go. I know who the other artist is and I know they also are struggling financially, like all artists these days, because we use the same installer. I don't want to begrudge them the work and I know that I will be plenty busy soon enough when the purchase orders for these two walls I've been consulting on come through.

It's hard though. It's taking a conscious effort. I'm glad there won't be any more meetings until fall. And maybe I'll still be too busy when they start up again. I don't want any hard feelings to carry over, but damn...

I'm going to hate going to the library now.

edit:  as it happened, I crossed paths with the guy that did the job about three months later, and it came up in the conversation  and he told me that they did indeed show him my design.

Monday, June 18, 2012

uninvited guest

When I went out to pick tomatoes yesterday evening, I spied this little guy helping himself. This little green tomato is almost 1 1/4” long. After his photo shoot, we put him and the little tomato back outside where he ate more and was gone by morning.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

just a note...

teen in residence

It's summer, school is out and that means it's time for the individual visits by the grandkids. Jade is here this week and we are busy with craft projects. No sewing clothes this year but she had a list of projects, a list of necessary supplies, had saved the instructional videos for me to watch, and a menu for the week. She is, at 14, a very organized young woman.

I imagine when we take her home we'll bring another back with us. Usually we like to have a week in between visits but we are still expecting/hoping to be working soon. After two years of hardly any commissions things are getting a little dicey. It's a good thing the garden has done so well this summer.

Still no forward motion on the two big walls which I have been consulting on, doing proposals and samples for, going to meetings for since January. The last meeting I went to Monday the 4th, my liaison told me that they had solved all the structural engineering problems and all the pertinent drawings had been received that morning so I expected to hear something by now. I sent him an email this morning and he copied me his inquiry to the contractor/project manager asking her to give me an update. Still have heard nothing by the end of the day.

I have another troubling little thing that I'm not ready to write about. Well, I am ready to write about it but I won't until I hear the final outcome which I should be notified of soon.

Anyway, I won't have time to post much or come around and visit or comment much for the next several weeks.

Y'all don't forget about me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

9 days

from hatchling to fledgeling


I noticed a female cardinal building a nest in the rose bush against the chain link fence around the Little Back Yard very near the gate. One day I peeked and there were two little eggs. This picture is from another nest in a different rose bush earlier that was abandoned and the eggs disappeared.

Mom tucked into her nest.

Sunday the 3rd, 10:16 AM – just hatched (poor picture, it's the reddish blur, but the parents were really unhappy with me). I found the other egg on the ground.

Tuesday the 5th, 8:47 AM – still breathing (same circumstances, parents chirping and giving me the evil eye)

Tuesday the 5th, 5:58 PM – getting bigger but still doesn't respond

Thursday the 7th, 6:08 PM – feed me!

Saturday the 9th, 4:12 PM – starting to sport some plumage

Sunday the 10th, 8:30 AM – getting fluffier

Monday the 11th, 8:26 AM – bye bye (right after I took this picture, it flew off)

Friday, June 8, 2012

I didn't mean to get political

Today is the last day of my two weeks of full time employment. After today I go back to my 3 or 4 Saturdays a month and the occasional day filling in. Not tomorrow though. Tomorrow my sister is working, an arrangement made when I thought we would be doing a workshop that weekend. And next Saturday the store will be closed because it's the annual Juneteenth Festival.  I guess the store will be closed on the 30th as well as that is the Freedom Festival, Wharton's 4th of July celebration.

The store is closed on those days because the square and surrounding areas are full of people and parades and booths and activities which is not conducive to business.  People aren't on the square to visit the local establishments.  When they come in the store it's to get out of the heat or to ask to use the bathroom.  I don't know what the other stores do, but Miss Hattie's closes.

I like living in this small town even though it is very conservative, very religious, and, quietly, racist.  Well, I don't know that it is any more racist than any other part of this country, and by 'this country' I mean the entire US,  but I've recently had a few encounters here where the person with whom I was speaking let their racism bubble to the top, one even using the 'N' word, something I haven't heard in a very long time.

I don't like that word (or any of the words used to malign people with racial or cultural differences) with it's inherent connotations of shiftless, lazy, ignorant, deceitful, useless, especially when it's being applied to a person who is working to improve his life or a group of people who are gathering for a celebration of their release from slavery.  I don't chastise the speaker for their choice of words when I find myself in an unpleasant conversation but I do speak up for the maligned individual or group.  

I think white America tried to convince itself that racism was a thing of the past in this country when Obama was elected president.  Considering the obstructionism from Congress he has faced since taking office, I'd say that racism is still alive and well in America.  His opponents and detractors are quick to assure you their position is not about race, blaming him for the results of 8 - 10 years of Republican policies, but the fact is, the old white men in our government closed ranks the day he moved into the White House.  They  were quite public and vocal about their intent to make him a one term president before he ever got a chance to govern.  Never mind that he has continued most of Bush's policies.

When your hatred of a black individual causes you to vote against policies that are good for the country and your constituents and prevents you from doing your job of representing the people who elected you, when your stated intent is to run that guy out of town on a rail instead of giving him a decent chance to govern, when you blindly blame him for the results of your own misguided policies of the last white man president who moved massive amounts of money out of the hands of the middle class and into the hands of the already rich, when you vote against bills that you previously supported because they might make that guy look good, that, my friend, is racism.

The hatred and vehemence spewing out of the conservatives these last four years is unprecedented and I for one will be glad when white people finally become just another minority in this country because I am sick to death of this attitude of entitlement and superiority.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

one little thing and one big thing

the little thing:

3 day old baby cardinal

the big thing:

this beauty weighs 1 lb ¼ oz. that's a quarter next to it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

shop girl

Working at the antique store every day leaves me little time to do much else. I've been taking model making stuff and working on my current botanica erotica wax which I think I am nearly satisfied with now. I also finished cleaning up an oleander bowl wax. And I have plenty of time to read and comment on blogs. The browser on the computer at the store doesn't play nicely with blogger though so I can't really post.

Today is my day off and I only have, oh, about a million things to do on that one day. I have three azaleas that are in desperate need of planting, 20 ears of corn that need putting up, the oleander bowl mold to fill, and finish up my W post.

OK, not a million. Half a million.

Monday I'm back in the city for another meeting for these now mythical walls, still all talk and no action. I am showing the new samples of the more detailed version of the mountain and the design team is going to pin up the full size drawing in four sections. These samples are much bigger and heavy, 18” x 24” and 18” x 30” on 3/8” glass. Marc made me a nifty little dolly to cart them around on.

And then Tuesday finds me back at the shop for four more days. It's been very quiet this week with no sales at all the last two days. But at least people came in.

So I try to check the garden in the morning and evening, picking fruit and picking off bugs, cutting away and removing the decaying material. It all goes in the compost pile with the intent of returning it as mulch the next time. The tomatoes are finally starting to ripen.

The female cardinal that built her nest in the rose bush on the fence by the gate to the Little Back Yard continues to sit on her eggs. She's getting pretty used to me. She won't fly away now unless I get too close or go through the gate. I try not to go through the gate. This is the second cardinal nest in a rose bush I saw this year. The first was out in the bush in the day lily bed but one day she and her eggs were gone.

Update: one baby bird now in the nest. Looks like it just hatched. The other egg was pushed out and I found it on the ground. I tried to get a picture since mom wasn't sitting on the nest but dad was very unhappy with me so I just shoved the camera in and snapped. Not a very good effort as you can see.