Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

Oh Summer! There's nothing quite like it. Bonfires, trips to the zoo, ice cream, swimming, and cool summer evening walks. Every summer I make a "Goals List" for myself of fun things I want to accomplish before the Summer is over. My list this year includes:

  • Go to a Drive in Movie
  • Catch a wave on a boogie board in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
  • Build a Sandcastle
  • Read at least 3 books
  • Try a new recipe and new restaurant
  • Go to an art museum
  • Become more informed about the political candidates 
And the list goes on...but, one thing I really wanted to accomplish this summer was PLANTING A VEGETABLE GARDEN!!! I consulted with my parents about where in the garden I would be able to start planting. We walked around the garden and found little promise, but being the best Dad in the world, my Dad told me he would build me a box garden for my vegetables. My Dad is like that. I'll express my dreams and desires, and somehow even when it doesn't seem possible, he'll help me realize them. 

After the beautiful excitement of shopping for my vegetables, I finally put my new babies into the ground. I've loved watching them grow a little bit each day and smelling the sweet herbs on my hands. There is something so satisfying about having fresh vegetables and herbs, and knowing that you grew them yourself. 
Here's my wonderful box garden
The beginnings of a sweet pepper
The Tomatoes 
And what is Summer without fresh Raspberries?
Every time I walk by my garden, I envision all of the delicious dishes I will be able to make with this fresh produce. YUM!!! Stay tuned for pictures of my homemade pizza with fresh tomatoes, Zucchini, Peppers, and Basil. 
The hardest thing about the Summer is the heat, but somehow we survive. Two great ways to survive the hot summer 
1. Go to the Pool

2. Get Gelato (which I do probably more than I should)

However you are celebrating Summer, I hope you are enjoying yourself! Feel free to stop by anytime and I will gladly show you my veggie garden...I may even give you a taste! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Puny Poet

Some of you may know that my nearly 3 year old niece lives with me and that because of this, my days are endless surprises and joyful noises. Today, my little one was sitting on the roof of her doll house playing the harmonica. I pointed out that she was like the Fiddler Crab on the Roof (a kids show reference alluding to Fiddler on the Roof), except that she was playing the Harmonica of course.

She calmly stated: "No, I'm just a girl and I speak a different language."
I kind of chuckled to myself because the truth is that girls often speak a language all there own. Then my puny poet offered up some beautiful prose. 
"Jenny, listen to my music. It is my heart singing"
Grace has been talking a lot about her heart telling her things lately. She learned how to pump on the swing because her heart taught her. She says that her heart has a BIG MOUTH. I wish my heart had as big a mouth as hers does. Sometimes I worry that I let my head speak too much for my heart.  
But I have to agree with Gracie here. When I play music or sing it does feel as if my heart is singing. I think that is the only way to describe the feeling I have when I listen to certain classical pieces - my heart is singing along.

Grace then gave me some great advice. "Sing your great music up into the air!"
It doesn't matter how you sing, or if you don't sing at all...just let your heart sing your great music up into the air. I promise you that it will be one of the most stress relieving activities you've tried in a long time.
And just for kicks and giggles: Grace informed me that she speaks Spanish and I told her I did too. She proceeded to mumble something completely unintelligible which she thought was Spanish. I asked her what that sentence meant in English. 
"It means you speak Spanish in China, but whisper only in Chinese"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

An Artist's Corner

I don't really consider myself a good artist. I do not paint or sculpt, and my doodlings are nothing to save from being tossed in the garbage can. I heard that there is a study out there somewhere that says you can tell a lot about a person's psychology by the things they doodle. It has to do with whether or not you doodle geometric shapes... I, for the most part doodle flowers (analyze that if you want). 

Although I don't really consider myself an artist, I LOVE ART! I am not really sure when this whole loving art thing started. I don't believe it started until I went to the National Gallery with my Mother one year. I started seeing art in a different way. It was no longer just something pretty or sad to look at. It was someones soul put in a frame and allowing someone like me to behold it. Sure, artists have painted for thousands of years and many of them painted more for gain and prosperity than the outpouring of their soul, but I honestly believe you cannot create art without investing something - even the tiniest little bit- of yourself into it.

There is nothing like seeing a loved piece of art, known only as a inadequate graphic in a textbook, in real life. For me, this is like a child stumbling out of bed to behold a Christmas tree overflowing with presents. I beam. My mind starts to make all sorts of connections and suddenly I am having "a moment." 

So here is my blogging memento to a moment. Every now and again I will highlight an art piece that I've had a moment with. Today's is this one...Look carefully and try to decipher what the image is depicting.

You probably see a godlike figure holding some sort of ball, a person who seems to be out in the midst of the waves, and maybe a boat of people? So what do you think the painting is depicting?
This painting is by the American artist, Albert Pinkham Ryder - and I first had my moment with it as a freshman in my very first Humanities class. Here's the fun facts:
  • Because he was poor, Ryder's paints were not high quality. Hence, his paints have darkened overtime. (Wonder what they looked light originally? me too)
  • He hated to sell any of his work
  • He never felt like his paintings were finished, so he kept adding little things. His paintings have so many layers of paint that the top layers have begun to crack and the under paint oozes through the cracks. 
  • He fell in love with and proposed to a woman after hearing her sing
  • He is one of the most forged painters in America. 
Now...look back at the painting one last time. Do you see the whale? Very few people see the whale on the first glance. I didn't. (look to the far right side of the painting) Now it should make sense that the painting is of Jonah. 

Sometimes we need to take a deeper look at things in order to truly understand the meaning. This is probably especially true when trying to understand our fellow human beings. We cannot just assume we see the whole picture because sometimes there are things as big as whales that people tuck deep under their layers. 

Just some art for thought...till next artist's corner!