Monday, August 16, 2021

more progress, 45 years, and republican hypocrisy

I started filling the first trumpet flower mold on Saturday. I know the glass in the leaf looks very blue but the colors will mature in the kiln to be more green (and there is a layer of darker green underneath that light colored layer) though I did select greens in the bluer range.

I think I mentioned that as the glass frit melts it reduces in volume as the air gets pushed out and so I have to build up the color at least as high as the void is deep. It's the gum arabic that I use that makes it all sticky and stick together so that I can build it up. There are other 'sticky' additives I could use like CMC, a cellulose product, or white glue or even corn syrup but I've always used a dilute solution of gum arabic to make my 'paste' or slurry with the frit.

We've been without rain long enough now that I have to start watering the gardens. I spied this pearl crescent on the rudbeckia on Saturday

as well as this little katydid on the althea, or rose of sharon.

While I'm still seeing a multitude of toads of all sizes, I'm not seeing any little frogs which is unusual especially with all this rain we've had but I do hear them singing at night.

Saturday was our 45th wedding anniversary. Forty five years I've lived with this man, more than half my life. Our usual celebration is a movie and dinner out but that didn't happen this year or last. Instead we considered buying a new BIG TV which we ultimately didn't pursue, at least not yet. Getting a bigger TV would entail rearranging not just the pictures on the wall but the furniture as well in the living room. What precipitated the idea was that the screen on our current 32” TV (the largest one that will fit in our cabinet) died Friday night basically turning the TV into a radio. Out came the old 22” TV which still works fine and has a screen that diminishes glare, unlike the bigger one. We're just not big TV people. We were trying to remember why we bought the bigger TV when the small one still worked fine. I guess we just wanted a bigger screen, I said. That doesn't sound like us, he replied.

Sunday's progress.

After I finish this mold I'll need to concentrate on finishing the feather piece. It will only take a couple of sessions to finish the cold work, figuring out how to display them will take longer. I have to have the work at the gallery by the 10
th so I've got about 3 weeks to finish.

And the US is withdrawing from Afghanistan. Because unlike Trump, Biden honors agreements made by his predecessors, Trump's much ballyhooed by republicans peace deal with the Taliban, releasing 5,000 hardcore Taliban prisoners in exchange for them not killing anymore Americans with a withdrawal date of May 1st this year (and let us not forget Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David 3 days before 9/11). Since Biden was a bit busy the first half of this year, the withdrawal is just now taking place. And the press and the republicans are having a field day, blaming Biden for Trump's mess. Even Trump himself has joined in while the republicans are trying to scrub the internet of their previous support for the end to our occupation in Afghanistan. Make no mistake, I'm in favor of this withdrawal. It's been 20 years. For 20 years we have protected Afghans, propping up their government, and training a 300,000 member army and outfitting them with our equipment. The time would come eventually for the Afghans to stand up and take responsibility for their own country, government, and society. Well, that time is now and what did the Afghan army do? They laid down their weapons and fled, they made backroom deals with the Taliban, they gave our military gear to the Taliban, they turned their country over without a fight. The videos widely circulating of the hoard of Afghan men running after and clinging to an air force plane as it takes off is wrenching, reminiscent of our departure from Viet Nam, but not for the reasons given, an abandoned people desperate to flee. What I see is a hoard of Afghan men trying to escape, abandoning their women and children to the hands of the Taliban.

This was always going to end this way. We have never learned that we can't import or impose western culture, society, government on a people whose religion, culture, and tribalism is thousands of years old and diametrically opposed to the West. We should have left long ago.


  1. You sum up what's going on in Afghanistan and Washington DC so well. A friend on Facebook wrote "If we still had a draft how long do you think this war would have lasted?"I thought that was a pretty good question. Republicans are the most idiotic humans on the planet.
    Congratulations on 45 years of love!
    And... enjoying watching this new art project unfold.

  2. A 20 year war is too long a war. We took over from the Russians, now who will take over from us. I fear for the women and girls.
    Congratulations on those 45 years and the Trumpet flower.

  3. Forty-five years is a long time to spend with anyone! And it's quite an accomplishment. Congratulations and may you live and love many years longer.
    I just don't understand enough about this Afghanistan thing. I suppose I have turned a blind eye to it after the initial push for war there which seemed like a pretty terrible idea to me. And now here we are, so many lives lost, so much money spent, and for what? It's fucking horrible. We never should have gone there to begin with.

    Well. Keep making art.
    And maybe you will get some rain off Tropical Storm Grace the way we are getting rain from Fred. It's not bad at all.
    Take care, Ellen.

  4. Congratulations on your anniversary! And thanks for the continued coverage of the current glass project.

  5. I'm with Biden and you on Afghanistan. I'm curious to see how you will display the feather.

  6. I am slowly getting a sense of the process of your work. This is really interesting, reminds me a tiny bit to the enamel work I did when I was a teenager.

    Yes, mostly men are seen in these images but while there may be men abandoning their wives and children/daughters, remember that right now it is suicidal for women to show themselves anywhere in public. I listened to several interviews with Afghan men and women both there and safely in Europe explaining that. Plus the news that the taliban in several provinces are already calling for all women aged 15 and above to be handed over to become brides of taliban fighters.
    I know two young doctors who have been living and working here for the last 5+ years all the time trying to get permission to have their parents, siblings etc. follow them - to no avail. They were sent here by their families to find a new home for all of them. I don't dare to image how they must feel right now.

  7. I'm getting excited to see the final result on the trumpet flower. Also, I'm in total agreement re: Afghanistan. It's just a lose-lose situation no matter how you slice it.

  8. I'm with you on Afghanistan. The house of cards collapsed alarmingly quickly, but it was always going to happen for a variety of cultural reasons. Biden tried to begin moving people out of the country earlier but he was asked not to by Ghani, who feared it would destabilize his government. (Already, as it turns out, wildly unstable!)

    1. Oh, and happy anniversary. I hope you don't discover a problem with the 22" TV that you'd forgotten! :)

  9. Stop teasing with the trumpet flower already. I'm chomping at the bit waiting to see the final picture.
    As for the Afghan people, yes it was sad to see and yes we should have left as soon as we got Bin Laden. We should have never let this go any further.

  10. Amen!!! We have enough problems here at home; we don't need to be interfering in other countries business. Especially for 20 years!!! I cringe thinking of the money thrown away that could have been used for our own people. So so wrong.

    1. And a p.s. to wish you a very Happy Anniversary with many more happy years to follow. Your situation with your t.v. reminds me we have an ancient 27" t.v. in a cabinet downstairs. LOL It's never used and weighs a TON. Hadn't thought that it will have to be brought up and dealt with. Never ending... have fun with your glass!

  11. It is a joy to see your recent works in progress, as it is to have glimpses of your garden, especially the butterfly. I see butterflies now and then. Far fewer than in the past. I rarely see frogs but I do hear them.

    The sorrow and futility of war is endless. I remember how traumatized R, my beloved Vietnam veteran friend, was when the bombing by the U.S. military began in October 2001 in Afghanistan. As he was lay dying in a VA Hospital in 2008 partly due to Agent Orange exposure, there was a World War II veteran dying a few ICU rooms away and veterans of every war, including who knows how many with injuries sustained in Afghanistan and in the Gulf Wars. My heart is heavy today, thinking about the Afghani people and all the soldiers and their families whose suffering continues.

  12. Yikes!! I meant to wish you a Happy Anniversary and went off the deep end thinking about Afghanistan.

    Yaaaayyyy for lasting marriages. When I hear about one, I celebrate!

  13. Happy anniversary! I remember your dinner-and-film celebration from sometime in the past; it would suit me as a perfect way of marking the year, but every year I get a little more low-key.

    I'm curious to see how the colors emerge as the trumpet flower progresses. I'm rather fond of them as they are; that blue and green combination in the leaf is lovely. I think it's the shading that I like. It sure is fun to see the changes as you work your way toward completion of the piece.


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