Amber Waves of Glass and Broken Pain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI knew I needed to get something done with all the glass and shards and ceramic pieces I am finding in a nearby field.  I’ve found buttons and marbles as well as old bones and teeth from long decayed animals from when this was a working farm with sheep, cows, horses and other critters.

What I find fascinating are the pieces that you turn over to find the name brand of the plate or that it was hand crafted or painted.  What did people do with this fine china if it was chipped or cracked?  They threw it out but sometimes it went into the outhouse. Well, now we have an outhouse remains that have surfaced after 60-70 years of being all covered up.  We had indoor plumbing for a long time but this century old house used to have an outhouse and my grandparents and aunts and uncle with my Dad used chamber pots as well.

I’ve needed to be creative lately, we are going through a family crisis period right now and it is NO fun to have personalities clash over what they deem as necessary in getting my 87 year old dad out of business.  Some of my siblings will have nothing to do with this, others are over involved. I’m the bystander that is closest to it all and I see what is happening. I’m sad by it all.

This too shall pass. I’m glad that I have an understanding husband who listens to me when I feel hurt or betrayed.  I’ve volunteered by hours and then when I show up to see how it is going, I’m accused of interrupting work in progress. AS IF I WAS THERE FOR HOURS when in fact it was only 15 minutes. I was checking to see what I could do the next day but this stop that I made seems to have been amplified and reported to another sibling. So then I hear “time is money” and I was wasting money by stopping to see how I could help and volunteer the next day…which I did.

I am willing to get my hands dirty and do some fairly bad chores…especially when I was cleaning out the furnace room. I finally had to use a shovel to scoop up all the debris, it was a hateful job.  But so is a LOT of other things that are left behind by a hoarder. I was going through one area in the main lobby and I found empty containers, about 7-10 of them that should have been trashed but instead were chucked away in a certain area. This same place had gallon containers that had a little bit at the bottom of it, not thrown. Glass, aluminum, scrap metal, paper, plastic…all of this has to be decided on and it wasn’t  done for 30 plus years.

So, I do the dirty work of a volunteer and I look into other options of selling inventory that could make lives living easier, especially for my parents. However, I hear the refrain that I stopped progress one day when my brother was sorting and wasted money. Wow, that is quite an accusation when I feel like as a volunteer I am not being recognized for the work I have done. I stopped by for 15 minutes and this is what I get?  Yet my brother can talk to me on the phone for over an hour or so and that is okay?  Time is LOVE, not money.  I keep hearing this that Time IS MONEY. I want to scream.  People are to use things and LOVE people but instead I see that there are those in my family who USE people and LOVE things!

Okay, that is why I do art to ease the pain. I’m accused of being domineering and trying to control.  Well, the person who makes that criticism is doing that in spades!  So, I will continue to be creative and NOT let this negative energy get to me. I need to be praying for these people who are hurting and angry and are striking out against those who are there to help.

Here’s my art so far!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »

Sweet Pea Power

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe days are still long and so I went out to do the watering of gardens and potted plants which I have many of…three hours later I was back inside.  What did I have to do?  Since it might rain tonight, I needed to take out water from our large rain barrel and water the vegetable gardens.  That’s when I discovered in ONE of our gardens that the deer had been eating off the top of my yellow beans!  That is a BIG mistake on their part because those are my favorite and my husband knows it.

Then I went around the perimeter of our property to talk to the deer and sometimes yell at them hiding in the woods that they don’t belong here.  I see too many hoof prints from a big mama deer and her baby deer.  Whoever came up with Bambi did NOT do us any favors because these creatures can be spiteful with eating our maple trees and other young trees.  We have a LOT of other trees they can munch on, why go for the young ones?  I wish they would eat the walnut trees, that would maybe kill them!

Oops, did I really write that?  Yes, I’m glad for deer season when hunters can actually kill these animals and harvest the meat.  People eat venison around here, we did not grow up in a family of hunters but we are surrounded by those who love to hunt and fish.

Then the other thing I did was pick asparagus and also weed around the sweet peas. That was my LAST thing to do before I turned in for the night at 10:15 p.m. that is how long our days are still though they are getting shorter.  Sweet peas have a nice fragrance and they can be quite colorful. The more you pick, the more you get.  So, I intend to give many different bouquets to people throughout the rest of the summer.  Nice to be able to bless others with my abundance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However, the deer do NOT fall in that category, nor do the gophers.  I have my battles with them as well.  Their mounds of black soil they churn up, I put them into garden patches but it is not fun to mow around these mounds…thus the extra work that is created from them.

Yes, deer and gophers, those are our nemesis this summer along with the awful weeds.  No mosquitoes though!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »

Article about Astana

This article about a faraway place was a surprise to read since I have been there, lived there, worked there…Astana, the new capital or Kazakhstan.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/kazakhstan/articles/astana-newest-city-break-expo/

If you think that this is a hot destination to go to, then be ready to have plenty of money to pay for all the extras.  Also, it is a blend of old Soviet in the old part of town with the new era that has unusual architecture.  The locals have their own names for some of these buildings…I’ve written about them in my earlier blogs.

For now, enjoy my artwork that I did that is on display with about 50 other artists.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »

Respect and Equality painting

which one is mineOn a whim I went to a free class for two hours to do a painting about Respect and Equality for all.  I knew what I wanted to do even before I saw the materials.  I wanted to paint black and white squares like a chessboard and then from the left moving right, the lines would be less rigid.  The idea behind that was to show that all different colors of people are involved in our world, it is NOT just a black and white issue.

In fact, I put two red pipe cleaners on the left to show that it is wrong to think in only those two colors.  Little did I know that there would be so many different things provided to add color and 3D look to my painting.  I used a LOT of buttons which you can’t tell by looking at these pictures, I also used a feather or two.

Other people visualized it differently and the result was good.  Someone took about 5 minutes to blob on different shades of brown.  I took the FULL two hours to do my painting. Some have no respect for what it takes to be artistic, time and patience.  I’m no artist but I have been feeling very artsy lately. I want to be creative.

EGRFKS art display

Can you tell which one is mine based on the clues I gave you? My husband and I will go tomorrow to see this gallery of about 60 paintings. I’m looking forward to it!

Leave a comment »

Not on jury…this time… next week maybe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday, I went to be on a jury at 9:15 a.m.and there were 49 other people there waiting for the inevitable. Some were busy farmers, others busy professionals or housewives.  I had asked for a deferment already so no time was convenient but better than when I am teaching during the school year.

It was a sad case of a rape that happened in 2008 and it is come to light now?  Well, the “innocent guy until proven guilty” was sitting in the room the whole time as we were asked questions of the judge, of the two lawyers and finally, I was part of the 20 people to be potential candidates. I was eliminated at 5:15, so it felt like a long process just to be rejected.

When I got home after picking asparagus in the ditches and picking flowers and watering other new plants, I went to pick more glass and enjoy the great outdoors.  I have a garden that is coming along and that needs tending.

Right now I am tired and want to go to bed. My family is coming up for the week to help my Dad de-clutter his shop…he has a LOT of inventory and he IS a hoarder.  As an 87 year old, he grew up as a Depression baby so he holds on to things…just in case.

Well, we will see how much we can fill a BIG dumpster with all the things he has in his shop.  I may post pictures of that later.  I should have gone out to pick gooseberries. I’ll have that for my nephew from Russia, he LOVES gooseberries!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »

June’s busy days, picking shards and flowers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I guess I got caught up with playing the violin in our string quartet and also with picking up shards of glass and picking our yard’s flowers.  Not to mention, planting and maintaining our vegetable gardens and mowing the lawn and general upkeep.  I’ll post photos of what we have been doing.  I have other things I have to attend to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The above shows what I did with the amber shards that I found in the field.  I also did a platter with ceramic and China dinnerware.  One underside was labeled Knowles China, another was from Westmeath or Alfred Meakin, made in England.  Happy to know it is from the 1880s and 1890s so I have shards that are antique.  Note the images below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »

Happy Mother’s Day

Okay, ONE hour left in Central time in the U.S. to wish mothers a very special day today. We went to church, I played two violin duets with a former Korean student and then to pick up my folks.  I had to give my Mom our lilac and plum blossom bouquet first.  Then I also had along a Campfire coleus that requires full sun. That’s unusual for coleus which requires little to NO sun.  Then I also gave her a Ukrainian beaded necklace I bought for her a month ago in Kyiv.  Hard to believe I was there for ten days just a month ago.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Glad I’m back to our beautiful spring and how everything is greening out so nicely in the tree lines.  Our plums have been wonderful, next up will be our crabapple tree out front.  We are starting to get lilacs and then the chokecherry blossoms should be out as well.  Ken hosted my folks and me to a nice buffet this afternoon after church and then we went for a drive to a very famous nursery, it was bustling with activity, lots of flowers, plants, bare root trees were going out the door.  The grounds itself will be planted with whatever is left over from what people don’t buy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ken and I planted our garden that I had in our bay window for several weeks.  We put out brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers and 24 different tomatoes.  Some insect was already eating up the leaves of the cauliflower and cabbage so I put SEVIN on it.  Now tonight I discovered that our ever so industrious gopher took out one of our peppers because he is setting up his mounded home in OUR garden. Ken put out some “bait” for that critter.  I DO NOT LIKE gophers!!!

Tonight Ken and I went for a drive in the countryside to our favorite asparagus patches and found some surprises and other places that are late bloomers.  I will bring some of that to work to share with others and also some lilac bouquets.  We are blessed to be living out in the countryside although right now it is VERY dusty.  We could use some rain soon.

For this month of May, I thought I better get this post done so I have at least two postings for my blog this month. I was advertising this to a genealogy group I spoke to last week.  I used to post every day while I lived in Kazakhstan.  Now being away from it for so long, I only keep up with what I am doing while living back in the U.S.  I am glad I still have visitors that come to this site…many are from either the US and Canada or Kazakhstan. I’m surprised how many other countries are represented in looking up about what I experienced while I lived and taught in both Almaty and Astana for about four years.  Great country. I wonder if I will ever get back to Kazakhstan again?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »