Monthly Archives: September 2010

Meet Ellie . . .

Lola decided last week that she wanted us to make a doll together. She drew a picture of Ellie, complete with green hair, and yesterday we dug through the fabric scraps until we found just the right ones . . . and Ellie was born. I see lots of other rag dolls in our future!

Fletcher, meanwhile, is quite in love with his new violin – which he refers to as his baby and often kisses. Too bad that when he plays it it sounds something like dying cats . . . .

Actually, that’s not entirely true. When he is playing around and “fiddling” he sounds pretty darn good! When he plays Hot Cross Buns . . . not so much.

because the sky is blue . . . .

We went on a picnic Saturday to Fort Mcallister because it was Worldwide Day of Play and National Public Lands Day.

But mostly we went because the sky was amazingly blue and the world is a beautiful place to be.

If only every Saturday night could be like this . . .

Happy Birthday, Elsie!

A dog named Sue

One day in May, 1999 Raymond and I walked into PetSmart for a bag of dog food and came out the proud owners of a sweet black and white puppy. It was an impulse adoption, poorly thought out and totally impractical. But I was in love.

On the way home, we learned on the radio that Shel Silverstein had died, and we decided to name our new little boy Sue, in honor of the song written by Shel Silverstein and sung by Johnny Cash. You know the one.

For the last 11 years, Sue has been my troublesome shadow. He shed like crazy, leaving tumbleweeds of black hair all over the house. When we weren’t home, he liked to sleep on the living room furniture and totally ruined my upholstery. In recent years he developed Cushings Disease, and became an obsessive eater – turn your back on food for a second and it was gone! He drank from the toilet. He peed on the floor. He turned over the trash can. He snored like a chainsaw.

But he was always at my heel. When I walked from one room to the next, Sue came with me. He was there when I made coffee in the morning, there when I did the dishes, there when I cooked dinner, there when I tucked the children into bed. He even followed me into the bathroom! My constant companion.

Today has been a very sad day.

You will be missed, sweet Suey.

My kid could paint that

Labor Day weekend was, despite the fact that Raymond and I both had tons of work to do on upcoming exhibitions, a wonderful and relaxing break from the back-to-school hustle. The weather was cooler (and I know that saying 90 is cool sounds crazy, but compared to the 110+ we had a few weeks ago, it felt amazing outside!) so we spent much of the weekend in the backyard. Raymond worked in his studio, I worked on sanding boards and mounting photographs, Fletcher read and Lola Gray painted . . .

Raymond and I watched the documentary film My Kid Could Paint That a few days ago, so it was funny when, totally unprompted, Lola Gray asked for materials and then worked diligently on her painting for hours, telling me how she might need to work on it every day for a while before it is finished. The photo above is step one in the process – I’ll be curious to see if she goes back to it! She wants to put it in my exhibition, which opens in just over a week, and says people will probably like it better than my photographs. She also told me painting is a better form of art than photography, so Raymond feels his work is done.

When we weren’t working, we found time for a fun little science experiment . . .

By the way, I looked up the reason that baking soda and vinegar create this fabulous effect, and it turns out it is pretty interesting! The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda to create carbonic acid. But, the carbonic acid is very unstable and immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles are the carbon dioxide escaping, and because carbon dioxide is heavier than air it gives that flowing effect. Pretty cool, no?

We also found time for one last trip to the pool . . .

and one last Sand Gnats game . . .

I guess summer is truly over now. I’m sad to see it go, but ready to bring on the pumpkins. Is it too early to start decorating for Halloween???

Ordinary Magic

We had a rough afternoon. It may take a bit of time for Lola Gray to adjust to the full-day school, and a post school doctor’s appointment requiring the drawing of blood didn’t make the afternoon any easier. The kids were starving, so we had an early dinner, and then went outside for popsicles and a little fun before bed.

The sun was slowly sinking behind the fence as I watered the plants, and suddenly the spray of water exploded in the most amazing sparkle of light. It took my breath away! I grabbed the kids and my camera and we played, exposing the beams of sunlight streaming through the fence slats in brilliant, magical droplets of water until the sun finally slipped away and it was time for bed. The photos don’t do it justice at all. It was . . . beautiful. Just an ordinary evening on an ordinary Tuesday. But it was magic.