Aug 25, 2014

The End of a Good Summer

This first week of school is the hottest of all the summer.  We were waiting for this week so that we could go swimming up at the springs.  It was one of the last few things to cross off the list of 50 things to do this summer. So, no swimming in the icy blue water of Pearl Lake and for the 3rd straight year we were not able to hear any live yodeling.  Apparently it's just harder than you think to find a good yodeler in the summer.  We also did not roller skate outside due to the rampant growing of children's feet around here and we also never made it to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison.  Not too shabby for finishing a list.  Some of the highlights of what we DID do:

#25 Pee in the ocean. (Not pictured)

#8 Eat Something New


#5 Use the wagon #12 See a parade #6 Get up early

#17 Family painting


There were regular things like find a penny and roll down a hill, and there were regular things that will stick out to me forever now.  I put walk the dog on the list.  We hadn't been doing this very often any more because our dog was very old, 119 to be exact. She didn't really feel like walking much any more, she mostly just slept.  I had to lay her to rest over the weekend.  I'm glad we spent time with her. I'm glad she was on the list. There are so many things to say about a beloved dog of 17 years, but I'm not together really enough to say them yet.

This is Wednesday and Ella and Jack in the backyard.

It was a good summer.

Aug 13, 2014

Red's Little Black Heart

Temporary Public Art outside of Bennie's Cleaners in Rockford, IL.  This is part of Rockford's ART ATTACK series going on all summer.  This is one of three I've done down-town. The unofficial title is "Red's Little Black Heart", it's acrylic paint on glass.  

Jul 15, 2014

Freshwater Mermaids of North America

"Freshwater Mermaids of North America"  It's what I'm spending my summer working on and the show is Friday, August 1st, 2014.  These are sneak peak sketches of something I'm so obsessed with and it's so huge and awesome I'm dreaming about it.  The show is at 317 Market St. Rockford, IL and some of the prints will be available online later in the month.  

Immigrant Children in the Heartland

In direct contradiction to Davenport IA, Mayor Gluba's efforts to coalesce local agencies to welcome the fleeing immigrant children to the Quad Cities, Catholic Governer Terry Branstad (R) says "I do not want to house immigrant children in my state."  Seems Pope Francis who called for tens of thousands of unaccompanied child migrants to be "welcomed and protected," is yet again in opposition to the GOP platform.

Despite Senator Mark Kirk's (R) of IL implication that the refugees are gang members and other tiny unaccompanied criminals, Illinois has welcomed 429 unaccompanied children under her wings.  Senator Durbin (D) of IL says we "would want to adopt these children if you spent five minutes in the room with them,....They are lovely, beautiful little kids." Heartland Alliance in Chicago is in charge of placing and overseeing the care of the kids placed in IL.  I'm checking to see if there is anything even more local for people right here to do, I'll update when I know more.

Can you imagine sending your kid out into the dessert by themselves in hopes they find something better? How bad does something have to be before you'd do that?  We can't send these kids back to whatever it was.  This isn't what America is about.

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Jul 10, 2014

Restless Legs

I've been doing three miles on the elliptical machine at the YMCA.  I was so proud last month when I came in under 30 minutes, and last week right before they closed the cardio room for renovations I made it in 28:15.  I did the arms over my head celebration pose.  I felt mighty.  So now the cardio room is closed for a few weeks.  Yesterday I went to the track at my down-town Y, ready to run three miles in about thirty minutes.  Of course it was going to be easier because I wouldn't have to swing my arms all big and go uphill in intervals and sometimes backwards. Then, I hurt myself.  running.  Well, mostly running and sometimes just fast walking.  I did 2.5 miles in about thirty minutes and my shins are trying to leave my legs.  They want to go to Florida and retire in a nice little community of sunny yellow condos on the beach and hobble down to the water twice a day where they sit tiny little folding chairs and watch the stingrays flutter up on the beach looking for clams. And there's a tiny little muscle just next to my knee that is really pissed off right now and as a result keeps stabbing me in the leg when I go up the stairs and my hips whenever addressed look up sulkily and tell me to go fuck myself. I'm going to do it again tomorrow.

Jul 8, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday Jack

Jack turns four today.  He's a funny guy.  He never stops moving, not unless he's sleeping, and since he started talking, he does it almost non-stop.  He's curious and caring and adventurous and likes birds and worms and sports and painting and anything with wheels, and tools - especially hammers and nails and the color "lellow." He likes to dance, loves the beach and just discovered you can slide down the carpeted front hall stairs. I'm proud of him every day for wearing me out and making us all so happy.