Monday, February 25, 2008

Bond, Jane Bond

I don't think that Homeland Security is involved with Little League, but on Saturday it sure felt that way. We signed up my 13 year old for what I hope was Spring softball; but given the extensive security screening, one of us may now be part of the Secret Service.

Our adventure began innocently enough at a table in our small town's elementary school gym where I was asked to present my daughter's birth certificate. Oh, snap, I had forgotten to bring it, but I assured them that my girl had indeed been born and the evidence was standing right next to me in her Converse shoes and sweats. (Since she'd played softball last year, thankfully the certificate was still on file. I was quite relieved--I'd hate to have to show them my C-section scar and stretch marks to prove a point.) Next, I was instructed to hand over my driver's license. Wow, carded by the Little League board! I told them how flattering it was to be mistaken for a teenage softball player, but that I was not the one who was going to be playing, only watching. But according to the LL authorities, I had to prove that I also had been born, or at the very least, that I was a resident of our county. The license was taken to a top secret area where it was photo-copied, or fingerprinted or scanned by the FBI or Secret Service or something and then returned.

The next step involved providing our address--no problem there. We're not in the witness protection program (yet) and I do remember where we live. After passing that test, I was given a small copy of a map of our county on which I was instructed to locate and circle the exact location of our home. As a 40-something who is in major denial about my failing eyesight, I couldn't even see the lines on the map, much less find my street. And since I had no idea I was going to be required to have microscopic vision that day I hadn't brought my special secret spy gear. . . er. . . $2 Wal-mart reading glasses. So to cover all our bases (pun intended) I drew a really large circle (probably at least a 30 mile radius) in an area on the map I thought was reasonably close to the location of our home. I'm not sure why, but apparently all of this must have something to do with national security or global warming or whether my daughter can hit a softball or not, at least in this county.

On to the uniform fitting station. While we were deciding upon the appropriate sizes, someone else approached me and asked for my driver's license, again. I thanked them (again) for mistaking me for a teenager, and begrudgingly handed the license over, explaining that I'd already proven my existence earlier, and drawn my circle and that I was still only going to be a spectator. Somehow the copies they'd made earlier had already disappeared they said, and they needed to make more. Disappeared. . . yes. . . disappeared. . . They were probably half way to Washington by now. Signing up for LL this time had more security checks than when my husband and I went to see the President in Atlanta a few years ago. Could I really look that suspicious? Has someone on the LL board read my blog and discovered that I once harbored a fugitive baby white owl named Bird Reynolds? Was I being featured on "Punk'd"? Was I a punk? Was Friendly somehow involved? These questions and more have yet to be answered, but after paying the required fee, we were allowed to leave the premises. It was then that we noticed the number on her jersey--007. Hmmm.

(Just kidding about the 007 part ;-)

Here we go. . .

. . .March updates on The Primitive Gathering available March 1. Also, check out the other talented artists represented there!

Friday, February 22, 2008

This. . .

. . . . is why you always replace the top of your paint. Especially when you're in a hurry. And especially when your floors need vacuuming. [Warning: Professional klutz. Do not try this at home. Individual results may vary.]

Have you ever been up to your eyeballs in glitter and paint and glue and paper and deadlines? I feel like one of those crazy cartoons with blurry arms flying about in a giant cloud of craft materials frantically flitting from one pile of stuff to another. And sometimes it even feels like I'm working in a pile of quicksand: it seems the more I work, the deeper I find myself sinking with a mouthful of sand, or in this case, glitter and paint. And I've even been seen (in public, no less) walking around with paint on my face and glitter in my hair, or was it glitter on my face and paint in my hair. Probably both. Inevitably interruptions happen. . . Mom, I don't have any clean underwear. . . What's for supper?. . . Oh, I forgot to tell you we're supposed to go to So-and-So's anniversary party today. . .I saw Friendly licking that spoon you're using to stir the soup. . . I'm supposed to bring cupcakes to school tomorrow. . .I surprised you and came home for lunch. . . Honey, do you smell smoke. . .

. . .Yada, yada, yada I'll have some new things to post soon. And hopefully the paint will be on the papier mache and not on the floor.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And the Oscar goes to. . .

One of my blogger friends Blondie has passed along this lovely award to me: "Art Prize and Award"
"This prize has arisen from the daily visits that I dedicate to many blogs which nourish me and enrich me with creativity. In them I see dedication, creativity, care, comradeship, but mainly, ART, much art. I want to share this prize with all those bloggers that entertain me day to day and to share this prize with those who enrich me every day. Doubtlessly, there are many and it will be hard to pick just a few, the people I will name today deserve this prize, as do the very long serious list of bloggers I also enjoy to read, but I will name the first 10 and will leave the rest of the work to all the bloggers that visit other's blogs and are nourished by them."

++++++++The rules of passing on this award are as follows:- post award in your own blog: [Post who gave it to you]- indicate its origin and a link to the site:
And I was tagged a few weeks ago to tell which artists inspire me. And I don't think I ever gave my Daily Dose list either. Let's just combine them all and I'll make a list of a few of those in blog-land who I enjoy visiting and find inspiring. There are many others, but my time is short today.
I'll pass it along to others, with no obligation on their part to continue the tag. I regularly am inspired by

Monday, February 11, 2008

Check this out-- Cool vintage images and decorative ideas!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Blast From the Past Vol. 2

[This is part of my regularly random series entitled "Blasts From the Past".]

With barely enough kids to field an entire team, the grid-iron that day was not kind to our son's inexperienced, out-sized and out-manned middle school football squad. And to say that his team was the underdog is rather an understatement. The ominous feeling of doom began even before the game started, as my husband and I watched both teams run onto the field: from one side, a swarm of ants; from the other, a herd of giants. Questions began filling the air like a Jeopardy show: "Why are their coaches dressed in football uniforms? Those are PLAYERS?! Are we even at the right field?? There is no way those are middle school kids! Are you sure that isn't their high school team?! Those are middle school kids?!? Are you kidding me?!? Do you think we should start praying?? Are we paid up on our insurance??!
Inevitably, we were faced with the grim reality: we were at the right football field; those giants dressed in the opposing uniforms were not coaches, or high school kids, but were indeed, middle school boys; prayer was our best, and eventually our only defense; and, thankfully our health insurance policy was in good standing. Let the slaughter. . . er. . .game begin.

Because our regular quarterback was injured (or maybe he'd gotten wind about the opposition) the duty of leading our team to victory fell squarely onto my 85 pound, 13 year old son's shoulders. Not only was our son among the youngest in his grade, he was also one of the smallest players on our team. But what he lacked in stature, he made up for with "heart." However, heart was not what our team needed. We needed armor, and muscles, and testosterone, and about 20 more players.

One player in particular from the opposing team revealed our side's weaknesses. (That we lacked armor, and muscles, and testosterone, and extra players.) He was a defensive lineman, and quite frankly, in the testosterone lottery, he had hit the jackpot. . . and then some. He stood a full head taller than anyone on our side of the ball, including the referees, and his "five o'clock shadow" was even visible from the side lines. Most of our guys didn't even have a shadow. If not for the number 64 on his football jersey, one might have mistaken him for the Hulk, or Andre the Giant, or Godzilla. He was so over sized that his coaches had wrapped duct-tape around his waist in an effort to keep his middle-school-sized-pants from falling down. All afternoon, this "kid" had his way with our offensive line, and seemed to enjoy swatting them aside like gnats. And consequently my quarterback son, although full of heart, spent most of the afternoon on the ground experiencing the full extent of number 64's duct-taped girth and his testosterone windfall. Finally, mercifully, the game ended. Aside from the zero on the scoreboard and the obvious affront to our sons' egos, the parents all considered it a resounding victory--mostly because none of our kids were carried away by ambulance, and just about all of our boys' limbs were still intact (and the T-Rex wearing the jersey with the number 64 was making his way off the field, thankfully, in the other direction.)

Afterward, we awaited the sad re-emergence of the downtrodden from the locker room, and then the even sadder drive home. At last we retrieved our war-weary boy, and as he sat, head hanging down in our car in the congested parking lot, the silence was broken by the familiar beeping sound of a nearby school bus driving in reverse. Without looking up, our son, summed up his frustration and the day's events mumbling, "That's probably that big ol' number 64 walking backwards."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Vintage Valentine Swap

Here is a pic of the wonderful Valentine basket that sweet Grace from New York sent my way for the Vintage Valentine Swap hosted by Dolly. She really outdid herself! The beautiful beaded basket contained candles, heart coasters, vintage scrap, a banner which reads "Be Mine", a sweet handmade crocheted ornament, a fun heart-shaped vase, a cool little hankie, and a few other fun goodies. And the best part was that it was great fun getting to know Grace.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Last weekend we had the rare treat of takeout Chinese food, mostly because I hadn't taken time to cook anything and often my kids require regular meals. I've always said that if they would just give up eating and wearing clothes, I might be able to get a little work done. (Truthfully, I had been busy trying to finish up several little papier mache guys, and since they NEVER complain about being hungry, the time had just gotten away from me.) Our little one red-light town only recently entered the multicultural realm, so the allure of chopsticks and fortune cookies hasn't quite worn off either. In a mere 10 minutes we'd done our part to bolster the local economy, everyone was satisfied, and I could get back to work. We even had enough food left over for lunch the next day--two "birds" with one debit card swipe, double bonus! Sunday after church my middle daughter dutifully awaited her turn at the precious Chinese leftovers and I saw her wince slightly as she watched the supply getting smaller and smaller. (You firstborn children and babies of the family will never quite understand the plight of being "middle." It means getting along at all costs, no matter what.) Anyway, at last it was her turn and there was just enough for one last serving. She carefully popped the plate into the microwave and counted the seconds until mouth-watering ecstasy. Ding! As my darling daughter gingerly pulled the anticipated food out of the oven. . . SPLAT. . . steaming Moo Goo Gai Pan somehow splattered all over the floor. I could almost see her little body deflate, and all she could muster was, "I hate irony."