Monday, June 28, 2010

Yes, A New Look!

To answer Diane's question from the previous post about my new blog-design, I'm sorry to say I can't take credit for the photo. I've been a little brain-dead or creative-dead, something, since I got back to Oklahoma. Yes, I've been busy, but it's been yard work, physical sweating work, not thinking or creating work. I think the fact that I had not written anything was bugging me so I messed around with the design instead, just to feel like I was still connected to it. It was time for a new look anyway. All elements are from the blogspot's new templates.

I'm anxious to get back to doing something creative. I have projects on my table waiting for me, and I know I will get around to them. But the outside, hot though it be, has beckoned instead. Some of it, I realize, is a good way to procrastinate summoning the energy to create. Maybe I need a muse. I don't understand inspiration. I don't know what inspires me or gives me the spirit to create. The desire is there, just not the energy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Life

The baby birds are almost ready to fly. We saw one with his head hanging out of the nest, looking down, as if to say "I'm supposed to do what?!!" It's been so much fun watching the birds with Lucy and Henry. Both will sit on the porch, whispering, so the mama bird won't be scared.

And what a nest the mama Robin made. The details in this picture aren't great, but the nest itself is such a tight construction. The dangling grasses make it look like a design element has been added.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Exorcism for Tantrums

One thing I miss about living alone (among others, of course) is not having anyone around to read those fascinating tidbits to that I find in the newspaper. So, in light of that absence, you, my faithful few, get to hear about this.

In the Pittsburgh paper on Tuesdays, there's always a column by a John Rosemond, a family psychologist. He writes about problems kids have that parents try to put fancy names or "disease" to but instead should be dealt with as a developmental issue. Today's column is about children stuck in toddlerhood at age 7 (or so) who still have tantrums. I thought the solution to this was ingenious. That's why I had to tell someone about it.

The parents were trying to label their daughter bipolar. He told them she's a toddler in a 7-year old body, still convinced that what she wants, she deserves to have and will throw a tantrum to get it. He called it her delayed ability to take responsibility for her own happiness. The solution was for the parents to tell their daughter that they had seen a television show in which a famous doctor talked about children who still threw tantrums at age 7. The reason, they told her, was that she wasn't getting enough sleep and they were going to put her to bed right after supper but no later than 6:30 p.m. until the tantrums stopped for 3 weeks. If there was even a little tantrum, the three weeks had to start over at the beginning the next day.

It took six weeks for them to "cure" the tantrums. The little girl is very happy now and they will all live happily ever after.

This made me think about adults we encounter now and then who still believe they are entitled to get what they want when they want it. Maybe they just need more sleep.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Scavenger's Delight

I've always been a scavenger. Even in grade school, I would drag home treasures that I found on my short walk home. The people on the corner were great neighbors. They threw away so much good stuff. I remember somehow carrying home an entire set of dishes. My family actually used them for a long time. They were pink and grey, very nice stoneware. But I digress. Here's the real story.

I currently live two blocks behind a private school. The other night on my walk home, I discovered that the art department had cleaned out the pottery studio and discarded projects that students had not picked up. A gold mine for a scavenger and a step up from dumpster diving.

Lizz (yes, Lizz with two zs) had a good thing going that I don't think she fully appreciated. Having just attended the Three Rivers Art Festival, I had seen a lot of pottery and hers was not too shabby. I don't know who Lizz is, but she might be surprised to know that she has an exhibit going on at my house.

In the first picture, the figures are things I already had. Her pottery complements it so well, it looks like I bought it to go with them. The last piece is not hers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Day at the Science Center

Lucy and I spent the day at the Carnegie Science Center recently. It was fascinating to watch kids and imagine what kind of adults they will turn out to be. One little guy was working with velcro-tabbed PVC pipe to design a plumbing system on the carpet wall. The goal of the activity was to be able to put a ping pong ball in the top and have it travel all the way through the system to a cup. Intuitively, he seemed to know how to connect them so that it would work. There was no one explaining it to him. He was probably 3 years old. Lucy would add a piece, but it was pretty random. Not much rhyme or reason. He would calmly remove it and reposition it. Interesting to watch.

Then there was the Earthquake Cafe. A diner table with booth seats, a hanging lamp, and three choices of earthquakes to experience. Although there was a sign that clearly stated "If others are waiting, please limit your experience to one earthquake," there were four 10-12 year old kids who kept switching seats and essentially hogging the cafe. Lucy and I waited. The line behind us got longer. The little girls behind me said, "but the sign says . . ." so finally, I had to step up and say, "You've been able to experience this. There are a lot of kids who haven't. How about you going to the back of the line if you want to go again?" The ring-leader glared at me, but they all left. Yea for the adult.

In one corner, there were large spongy building blocks. One guy had built a tower about 4 ft. tall. When Lucy added a piece, it toppled over. He was pretty upset and came to stand right in front of her spouting nonsense. Lucy didn't say anything. She had a triangle piece, like the top of a house, in her hand and she very calmly put it on the top of his head and walked away. The boy shouted, "That's not funny!" It still makes me laugh to think about it.

Four floors. So much to see, so much to experience. When we left, she wanted to know if we could go again some time. "Of course, we can. Let's wait a while so when we come back it will seem new again." Her reply? "Maybe we can go tomorrow."

I took a nap when I got home.