Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Painting List

Sometimes you get a to a place where you ask yourself where’s the inspiration and if you have something to paint? So after watching a program about a folkloric artist who painted striking paintings about his personal history, I asked myself what is my history? What is my heritage? Immediately a series of images started racing across my mind. Here’s my list:

1. Plantains lined in long straight rows in a field, and me looking up seeing the green leaves in contrast to the blue sky and the light at the end of the row

2. Running on the edge of a small river being chased by a big frog in the hand of a distant cousin

3. A natural rock slide with gushing water that I swam at one summer

4. A little wooden house we rented during that same summer

5. My grandparent's house in Naranjito, long gone

6. The old large musty tobacco drying barn

7. Don Manuel’s boots

8. My father’s hands

9. Titi Sarita’s fan

10. Some ripe plantains frying in an iron skillet over a gas stove

11. My son sitting under a rattan table

12. My children and I dreaming about clouds or fishing for stars

13. My grandmother teaching me to play briscas or squeezing my hands

14. Saying good bye to my brother

15. My mom in her teens during the 1930’s teaching herself to type using a cardboard card

16. The women in my family all together around a table making pasteles

17. Edwin playing the guitar

This is what I would paint if I were to paint my heritage or history. They are complicated and simple. Let’s see if I can do this.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crazy weather

Where did that come from? Here we are in Central Florida minding our own business. Middle of the day, well actually 3 in the afternoon and a severe storm decides to pass by my school, and zap a huge lighting bolt just a couple of feet from my classroom. We could hear the unmistakable sound of sizzling lighting nearby. It seemed to have slowed down time. We had just read, Lemon Brown in Walter Dean Meyers' short story say, " I have a razor blade so sharp that I can cut a week into nine days." My paraphrase more or less. Well, that lightening strike did the same thing, if you really want to know. We stopped and listened. One students said she saw what looked like electricity coming from the electric clock near the window. It was odd.

Later we heard about tornadoes near Palm Bay and Melbourne in Brevard County and a flooding alert that extends till tomorrow, late at night with the approach of Tropical Depression 16. It could become Tropical Storm Nicole before it is all said and done. Before it is all said and done it can also blow up a storm. So we are going to hold on to our hats, and keep our eyes wide open for any advisories, so we can stay in the know. Umbrellas, sweaters, and hot chocolate will be the order of the day tomorrow. Tell you more when we know.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Natural Beauty


Sometimes we think we have to spend money in order to make our homes look better or more cheerful, and we get a little depressed if we can't buy some flowers in the grocery store. No, no, no. Just step outside and see what you have. Before I did though I had to make the area ready for the beauty to come in. I wiped down the table, took away the clutter and set the table. Then I put water in the vase and got my clippers and set out to find some fine reeds and some periwinkles. I have an abundant supply of periwinkle in the backyard. So even if they only last a day, I can replenish. The reeds came from my Japanese irisies which I later discovered were harboring some nasty wasps. I will have to relocate them away from the house, but in the mean time it meant using some spray to chase them away and destroy their nests. Three nests to be precise. So I did have a surprise, but I got my reeds and my periwinkle, put them up in my vase, and had a late breakfast at 10:30. All on a splendid table. There they sit, my periwinkle and me.

So I proved it, you can have beauty in the house and you can stretch your budget, too. Today's project has gotten me started. Now, I can't wait to see what I will do with an exotic banana leaf!
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