Ahhh, yesterday

I have to tell you how much fun I had yesterday. I had several friends over for lunch, My best bud and always helpful Julia (thanks, J., for not mentioning that the table cloth needed ironing), artist extraordinaire Joan, my friend from junior high Roseanne, and Angela, whose 14 year old son is learning about old radios from Mark (and anyone else who will teach him). As usual, I made far too much food. I always panic that someone won’t be able to eat what I make, so I tend to make a variety. Yesterday I made many appetizers, including spinach balls, mushroom mini-quiches, sun dried tomato and cheese quesadillas, warmed brie cheese with apples, lentil soup, and there were going to be deviled eggs, but I forgot to serve them. Joan made the mistake of wondering out loud what she was going to serve for dinner as she was leaving, so she got handed a tub of deviled eggs. Mark and I will be living on leftovers for a while. It was a lot of fun sitting around shooting the breeze. As always, if Roseanne and Julia are in the same room the conversation quickly turns political. There was lots of discussion of sons, too, as between these four women there is not a daughter among them.

Besides all the good food and conversation, there’s another reason I like to have company. It forces Mark and I to do some serious clean up, and boy did this house need it. I’m sure it will be back to normal in no time, but for this moment you can find the dining room table, and I do enjoy that.

Then last night we went to the Penn theater. They were showing “A Hard Day’s Night“, how could I stay away? Admittedly, I do have the movie on dvd, but to see it again in a theater, how wonderful! And I’m proud to say I managed to stop myself from repeating the dialog and singing the songs along with the movie. I saw “A Hard Day’s Night” in ’64 when it first came out at the theater, and it was almost as crowded this time as it was that time. Let’s see, I was turning nine that year, and so in love with Paul. That changed with Wings and “Band on the Run”, that’s when I realized George was the real catch. It was wonderful watching the four young lads run wild, they were so full of energy and having so much fun. I so thoroughly enjoyed the film. Mark has an old issue of Mojo magazine that tells all about the making of the movie. There is one really depressing fact in this article. Very depressing. You remember Paul’s grandfather? Surely you remember, he was very clean. Many of us in America, or at least me, believed it really was his grandfather, but he was really a famous British comic actor named Wilfred Brambell. Ok, this is the depressing part. Are you ready? When Wilfrid Brambell was making “A Hard Day’s Night” he was, ya sure your ready? It’s really depressing. He was 52 years old. Yep, 52. The same age I am now. I’m old enough to be Paul’s grandfather. Eeek!

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Today, I’ll be wandering the streets of Plymouth with a snow shovel in my hand. It’s snowing like a flubbernut out there. Or something like that.

Torch with a Twist

Mark and I went to Cliff Bell’s in Detroit Sunday to check out Torch with a Twist, an old style vaudeville variety show. And in the tradition of vaudeville, the acts range from wonderful to awful, but they always manage to maintain a level of bizarre. It’s a great chance to see strippers, belly dancers, snakes, dogs, cute girls with feathers on their butt, and an endless variety of odd things. Our hostess Grace graces us with song and keeps the night moving, even when everything wants to stop. If you are looking for polish and refinement, go someplace else. But if you favor a night of cheap entertainment and keep an open mind, you will find a good time. With luck, you will get to see Fleck love his glass balls into defying gravity. He is amazing, and this video doesn’t do his act justice. I do recommend the show, even with it’s many flaws, or maybe because of it’s many flaws. Check it out.

Artists escaping..

Sorry, I meant to blog about this yesterday, but yesterday Les got to come home from the hospital, and hospitals can move at a snail’s pace when they are discharging someone. We are very glad to have him back home, and sorry he won’t make it to Florida this year, I know he was really looking forward to it.

This is my shrine early on.

Bats ready to go in the shrine.

Finished shrine!

Side views.

Jane’s box.

Katie works while her round robin doll keeps watch.

General mayhem, artists at work!

Oh the concentration!

Stuff!

Where I Stood…

This is the floor of one of the meeting rooms at the Hampton Inn by Metro Airport. Yesterday a group of us met there to make some art. We call ourselves “the escape artists” thanks to Joan, and this time we worked on an interesting challenge. Sidney gave each of us a metal tin with several small items inside, and we were each to put it together anyway we wanted, adding anything we wanted. It was a great day, and a wonderful relief from a busy life.

Lynn is instrumental about putting these things together. One thing you don’t know about Lynn is how much she LOVES having her photo taken! I got soo many of them yesterday, I’m going to share them with you now.

Oops, she was holding flowers. Put down the flowers.

No, Lynn, don’t shake the flowers, put them down.

C’mon, Lynn, I just want to see that smiling face for a second.

There she i…., oh, not yet.

She put down the flowers! Now!! Oh, nevermind….

Gotcha!

Well, it’s the best I could get.

Tomorrow I’ll show ya some of the stuff we made!

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places Lynn Krawczyk spends her life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you’d like to join her by posting a photo on Sunday of places you’ve been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on her Sunday posts telling her where she can find you/your photo and she’ll add a link to her sidebar so others can find you. I am one of those that Lynn has badgered into joining her, I have changed it to “where I stood”, because right now I’m sitting in front of the computer, not standing anywhere.

Providence…

Hospital, that’s where I’ve been hanging out. My mother’s husband, (that makes him my stepfather, though that’s a word that doesn’t do this wonderful man justice) had an “incident”, blurred vision, loss of equilibrium, that put him in the hospital. It looks like all will be well, but it’s very scary while you’re going through it. Anyone who has been in the situation before knows, it’s hurry up and wait and by the time you get an answer to one question there are three more. It’s hours watching people you love worry and go hungry, they wouldn’t let the poor man have food all day for fear he’d need surgery (luckily no).

But with the waiting and lack of answers you can see it’s because they don’t see his problems as life-threatening, and that alone helps. The emergency ward was crowded, with patient laden gurneys waiting in the hall. One passed with an elderly thin women sitting up, wrinkled black skin stretched over brittle bones, white frizzy hair about her, passed by our door. I was struck by how regally she carried herself, she looked like a queen gazing at her countryside while her serfs wheeled her chariot.   Impressive, to be wheeled around by orderlies and still give such an impression.

Now our sweet Les has been admitted, fed well, and will probably be released soon. He is in very good spirits, and we have every reason to believe life will be back to normal quickly.

Moon shine

Did you look out your window and see the moon eclipse last night? I saw it wane, but fell asleep before it came back. It always makes us feel connected to everyone on earth, past and present. It’s the same moon Neanderthals gazed at, the same moon everyone on the planet sees. You tend to forget what tiny specks we are, the moon reminds us.

Back to earth, a quick update on Mark’s back. Some days are better than others, he’s still in pain, and can’t get into see the neurosurgeon until late March, after our trip to North Carolina and Florida.

And now for something completely different…

a couple more K’s:

Why I do what I do

Quite some time ago my friend Missy tagged me to write five things about myself. I thought about it a long time, but I had just written the ever so self indulgent 100 things about me, and I couldn’t come up with five more. I came up with one, and I thought I’d share it with you. I was reminded of it when my friend Pattie emailed me about my watercolors. The thing I want to talk about is why I do the various media I do. It’s not because I have a feeling for it, I have many friends who, say, work in clay because it calls to them, they feel connected to the earth, work in fabric because of it’s history with women’s work, etc. But not me, I chose the media I work in by convenience and who I can talk to who’s working in it. When I first went to the College for Creative Studies I was planning on majoring in jewelry, but the jewelry classes were in the dark, dank basement and the instructors didn’t get along, I felt like you had to pick whether you were on Mike’s side or Buffy’s side, and the weaving department was upstairs, bright, above the glass furnaces so the floor was always warm, and I liked Susan, the instructor. So there I stayed. Now I am working again in fabric, not because I found my muse there, but because Joan and Lynn work in fabric, and they are an incredible amount of inspiration for me. I so wanted to be apart of the group of artists Lynn and Jill organized that I would work in whatever media they did.

As far as the watercolors go, my sister took a trip to Europe many years ago, and brought me back a small watercolor set for traveling. I bought myself watercolor paper postcards, and I would send her hand painted postcards when I traveled. It’s gotten kind of out of hand, and now I paint postcards all the time and send them to people. I don’t seem to get any better at it, I just enjoy painting them. People often tell me they’re good, and they are, if you don’t compare them to work an actual watercolor artist does. But that’s OK, they are meant to be funny, or entertaining, not earth shattering. They entertain me, and that’s enough. Speaking of which, here’s one now:

Leann cooks

Recently I’ve been on a major cooking binge. It has me a little worried, I’m not generally the Suzie Homemaker type. It started with the invitation to the Bloody Mary Party, I made a very lovely tapenade to bring. It was quite good, and got good reviews at least from those who like olives. Then I made a filling and healthy lentil soup. All the while there is a pork shoulder in the fridge.

These things always worry me, Mark can leave meat in the fridge for decades and then cook the green meat and eat it. I’m a little concerned that he’s going to kill himself. The pork had only been there a couple of days, but Mark was making no plans to cook it, so I decided I’d better. You should know that I’m a vegetarian. But Mark is not, and I don’t want him dying from tainted meat. I looked up recipes in cookbooks and found one for roast leg of pork, and another for lamb shoulder. Hmmmm…. I decided to do it my own way, and follow cooking instructions for the pork leg, or poor piggy leg as I would call it. As per the cookbook, I cut slashes into the fat on the roast, and then I made up my own rub. I used olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme, (no, not parsley and sage), and basil. I ground it all up with a mortar and pestle, and smeared it on the poor dead aminal. Then I stuck it in the oven, and it cooked and cooked until the whole house smelled wonderful. Yeah, I have to admit the smell of cooking meat can make my mouth water. I pulled it out after four and a half hours, checked it’s temperature, and when it read 150 degrees I stuck it back in for another half hour. After the extra half hour I checked the temperature again, this time it was 175 degrees, (the cookbook said cook it until it reaches 170 in the center) so I pulled out the poor little critter and served him (or her) to Mark. I tasted a little bit, and I have to say it was wonderful. It made me regret being a vegetarian, something that rarely happens.

Well today I made lasagna, and it’s OK, nothing to write home about, so I think I’m done cooking for a little while.