Saturday, February 26, 2011

How Y'all Doin'?

We are just back from six really, really, really fun days in Austin, Texas. Since we lived there from 2000-2003 while Warren was in Seminary, it was easy to choose who to see, what to do, and where to eat. We stayed with our friends who even loaned us a car for the week. We had privacy, freedom, and they had low expectations. All they asked was a couple of dinners together. Wonderful!

Sunday night, our hosts invited some of our St. David's Church friends over. We put together a pot of poblano chile stew, made a salad, chilled some beer and had a feast. A burning fire pit topped off the special feeling of warmth and love, sitting and chatting with good friends.

Monday, Jonathan and I drove south to New Braunfels where I met my CCS friend, Malinda! I've known her for years through CCS and it was just like we'd talked yesterday, once we met. We all went to lunch in Gruene and putzed around some antique stores. Then we drove back to New Braunfels so we could go to a gallery we'd both read about. It was such a fun day, and a thrill to be able to meet and spend time with Malinda.

Tuesday we had lunch with some seminary friends...some still work there, some don't. But we are all still connected because of our relationship with ETSS, and we all had a great time together. While Warren went to a meeting on campus, Jonathan and I strolled around and re-visited some old "haunts" on campus. Most things look the same, but everything is different. The new offices are way too quiet, and even the campus didn't feel lively. Maybe it was the day. Maybe it's because I've changed. At any rate, I'm glad we spent some time there and I'm glad to have those friends.

Wednesday was a day without an agenda, so we decided to do some sightseeing at Central Market. It's the most fabulous grocery store in the entire universe! The produce left us gasping, it was so fresh and beautiful (and even cheap!). We bought a few things for dinner, and were happy about our adventure. Later that evening we all went to Antone's for a tribute by women artists to Gilbert Antone, who started the club way back when. We mostly were excited about Marcia Ball being in the lineup, but had no idea how much we'd love everyone who performed. There were some men on stage, too, but not singing. It was fabulous, and we stayed until 1 a.m.

Thursday we did some more sightseeing at Waterloo Records, and also at Tesoro's, a wonderfully eclectic shop full of interesting imports from Mexico, Peru, Inda, Vietnam...beautiful things and so much eye candy! We dropped a few dollars there, but it was more fun just to look. One more lunch of Tex-Mex and Happy Hour with seminary friends and we were back with our hosts, enjoying another feast, playing Dominoes and having a wonderful last evening together. Here's Warren with one of our hosts, Anne.

And now we're back in Worcester. I've decided not to say "I'm home" because I realized this week that I'm not sure where home is. Worcester is where I keep my stuff, but it's still not home. Not to me, anyway. I'll figure it out. Maybe I'm just a Vagabond and will feel a part of the many different places I've lived and enjoy visiting them. Who knows. At any rate we are back.

Thank you, Warren, for this wonderful Christmas surprise! You really know how to love a gal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Remembering, with Love

Today I remember my mom, who loved Valentine's Day. My sisters and I used to compete to see who could find the mushiest card to give to mom, because she did not like mushy! In later years, we'd send mom a really mushy card but sign the name of one of our sister's, so she never really knew who she was getting "that crap" from. It was fun!
I'm not big on celebrating Valentine's least it's been a long time since I went to any effort to give Valentines to friends. This year was different, and I'm glad. Eleven friends over at CCS had a little Valentine's Day swap, and it was really, really fun. Making the valentines, making the envelopes, picking out the perfect postage stamp, and then receiving all these beautiful works of art from them in my own mailbox! Now I have a mantle full of love and friendship and beautiful, sweet Valentine's Day art. I'm so blessed!
I recently learned a new little art form called "Iris Folding Paper" and have had so much fun with it, especially when making the valentines for my friends. Here's the valentine I made for my husband (before I wrote "You Drive Me Crazy!!" on it...just kidding).
Happy Valentine's Day
to all my wonderful friends!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Learning To Draw

A woman said to her niece, "I'm going to take a drawing class!"

"Why?" the little girl asked, "Did you forget how?"

Such is my life! I am taking a drawing class at the Worcester Art Museum. Today was my third week of ten weeks, and it was as wonderful as the first time. Our instructor is so encouraging and thoughtful, and the class size is small so we each get a lot of attention!

Today we worked on drawing negative spaces. I've done this before, and loved it. Today, not so much! What we were given was a large twig/branch to draw from. I kept losing my place, and then someone moved and sat across from me and it changed everything. I felt very frustrated.

Then, Teacher said, "Okay, let's take a short break now and go downstairs to see the special Goya exhibit!" I almost swallowed my tongue! Warren and I had spent over a half hour scouring these beautiful etchings and lithographs during the museum's recent "Flora In Winter" exhibit. What drew us to the Goya gallery was NO PEOPLE! It was funny, while we were in there two women breezed through, looking for flowers. One said, "Nothing in here!" and they breezed out. If they only knew what they were missing.

Look here. Look at the negative spaces. Look at the emotion on the faces. Just look. Then, look again. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011