Friday, May 28, 2010

The Art Museum

Took the kiddos on a field trip to the Art Museum last week. It's been awhile since I've been to the Art Museum, thought we were about due for a trip, since we no longer need strollers and wipes, etc. I did remember my last trip to the Art Museum, where we encountered the GIANT piles of painted, knotted, piled nylon rope in the entry. These are piles bigger than furniture, some bigger than automobiles, uniformly knotted and coiled and stacked into massive structures, with little signs that say "Please Do Not Touch".

You're kidding me, right?! These things are indestructible and randomly placed in the ENTRYWAY, so that you have to walk around and through them, but we can't touch them?! They are made of rope, like from Lowes rope, and coated with seriously heavy coats of shellac..."Kids, don't touch the giant piles of painted rope. It's delicate."

But I digress. This time the entry was still in a state of un-pack, we thought. We were wrong. There were these frames, the size of patio doors, that had unfinished strips of plywood on the vertical sides and between the plywood there were different types of curtains sticking out. The frames were at all random angles and there was a second tier on top, that had shards of mirror sticking out of the edges. We could walk through them, and OF COURSE, not touch them. It was stupid and unattractive.

Of course, the descriptive card off to the side went on about how the different curtains and positions made the viewer feel different things, blah, blah, blah. Since my friends are just as shallow as I am, we could only feel endangered by the big shards of mirror sticking out of the edges of the unfinished plywood. Actually, the unfinished plywood made me think of my kitchen, but mostly all I could think about was that someone was actually able to get paid for such a piece of rubbish.

And then I remembered my favorite exhibit ever at the Art Museum...the unravelling cacti. I think that's when I realized how very shallow and uncultured I am. A man had paid some South American women to knit coverings for plastic cacti. These cacti were set up in a large diorama. Each knitted cacti had a yarn coming off it, running up to a powered spindle on the ceiling and at random times, the spindles would spring to life and unravel some yarn from the pieces. The "art" of this exhibit, was that it was always "changing" because it would be unravelled at random times, making it different. Huh? I've got stuff at my house that changes every time I look at it--the ring in the toilet, the stacks of laundry, even the litter boxes--perhaps I need to market myself more...

The "artist" didn't even do the knitting. Head banging on desk* Still don't get it.

We found our way to the clothing area, where we last saw women's outfits from each decade since the turn of the century, only to be disappointed--and shocked--at the display of coture from the 60's on, that included a swimsuit that was a brief attached to two suspenders that joined at the navel area AND NOTHING ELSE. The mannequin had other parts that weren't covered, fortunately the one boy with us was busy with the "artwork" that was simply a poorly-lit HOLE IN THE WALL, that you viewed from across the room.

I'm sure this description does little to explain the circumstances. There were some terrific things there and I am, for the most part, glad to take the kids. I just wish I could go without the whole Emperor's New Clothes feeling.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yeah, yeah, yeah. My one fan (ccw) told me to my face the other night, that he was bummed that I wasn't blogging. Frankly, I'm bummed that I'm not blogging. I think about blogging every day. Then I think I must be pretty vain to think that my life is so entirely interesting that I qualify for daily blogger status. I mean how many times can you blog about where you have found socks? Or how many types of manure you handle in one day? (Bet I'd win.)

But really, the world is turning here at Netherfield. On Valentine's Day, Handyman's dad went into the hospital, and stayed for a long time. They tried to send him to a rehab a couple of times, but he got bounced back and then after yelling in my face that he wanted to die, he up and did just that.

It was my first up-close experience with death of a close loved one. I got to experience every single step of it, even the final end. I don't know how people go through this stuff without knowing Christ personally. What a bulwark it was for me to have God to rely on in all the various stages, with all the people I needed to help, in all the ways I was called upon to help.

All these decades of reading Dear Ann Landers and Carolyn Hax, and Billy Graham and all those columns in the magazines about life, have really helped. I was able to walk through those weeks without regret, saying what I needed to say and thanks to my dad, peeking during an altar call, I was able to reassure a lot of people that Grandpa knew Christ. And that was the ultimate peace for me and Handyman. We could say goodbye.

It was the first funeral I went to as a representative, rather than an attendee. And our friends came out of the woodwork--and what a blessing that was. You know how you never want to go to a funeral and you wonder if it's even worth your time...well it is. We were so blessed by the friends who toiled through an insane traffic jam to see us, just briefly--who bought us food because the stupid funeral home didn't even have a coffee pot that worked, who put on lunches for a huge entourage after the way-out-of-town burial--who colored with our kids in the funeral home kitchen so we could keep shaking hands. Note to self: remember how many ways you can be the body of Christ.

I actually stood at someone's bedside as they passed into eternity and I had absolutely no fear in my heart because I had said goodbye, days before, face to face, when he knew what I was saying AND because I knew he had asked Christ into his heart. Honestly, I always wondered if he remembered that he did that, and I probably should have talked more about it with him, but "that peace that passes all understanding" thing? It's real.

I could walk my kids through this first major loss of their lives with confidence in God and offer them peace for their broken little hearts.

Spring is coming now, I think. We have chicks in our attic room, with their mothers. We have contractors bidding on some alterations to our roof that are LONG overdue. My new horse is in training and I also have the opportunity to ride some other nice horses, to get legged up. #1 thinks she might get her drivers license this summer and #2 and #3 are going to school in the fall. Should be an interesting summer.

I have about 295 blogs in my head regarding the switch from homeschooling to public school, that I will be happy to unload at some point, but we're wrapping up some strep throat, orthodontia and raccoon attacks, so I really have to get out of this chair. Oh, and I didn't get pictures of the big crawdad I caught in the pasture this morning, complete with tail full of caviar, I mean eggs. I did release her into the creek and boy was she happy...