Thursday, March 4, 2010

Emptying pockets

You ever come home from a trip or really busy day and empty your pockets to find several unrelated and strangely unfamiliar objects? Some of the items you've completely forgotten about in the depths of your denim carrier and others you simply can't remember why you put them there. This post might be a bit like that.

Everything has been so chaotic around here lately. It's March, for goodness sake. So what was in that blur that was the last couple of weeks?

There was a brief moment of Girl Scout Cookies. If you love sugar and chocolate as much as I do, then you know what I'm talking about. They say those cookies keep really well if you store them in the freezer. They're also really good if you eat them immediately after you receive your order. ThomasK and Mollo gave me some health and fitness advice when I received my cookies. They told me it would be best to eat all 5 boxes of cookies at once instead of trying to ration out the calories over an extended period of time. 4 boxes later and I'm thinking this was great advice.

We've had several accumulating snows this season here in the upstate. We had a small one the other day and as expected my 3 year old was excited about it. I opened the door as I heard the car pull into the garage and I could hear him yelling, "It's snowing, it's snowing, it's snowing! Daddy, can we go build another snowcar?" At his age he doesn't understand why the snow can't come every week and he gets genuinely upset that we can't go out and play in the snow when it's sunny and 50 degrees outside.

Speaking of Blue and snow....

2 weeks after our "snowcar" was built we went out to check on it. Surprisingly some of it was still there just beneath the leaves. We did our best to fashion a small snowman with the remnants Then we picked up all the sticks to save them for the next snow storm that at least one of us are convinced will come soon.

Blue Thug


Violet smiles

In the category of "Strange things artists do to exhibit their work" we have this: I drove a 10 hour round trip to Greenville, NC to deliver 2 sculptures for a show. Turns out this was much cheaper (and safer) than shipping the steel artwork. Highlight of the trip? Dodging a beaver on Highway 264. I know, some people have all the fun, right?

Of course the photo is a few miles after the beaver and I was laughing hysterically.
I did listen to an audio book by Shane Claiborne for 7 hours of that trip. This was my first try at an audio book and I found myself wanting to flip back a couple of pages every ten minutes or so to make sure my brain was digesting the information, but if you've ever tried that on your ipod, you know how difficult that is. Maybe I'll get a chance to listen to it again at some point and maybe post some of my thoughts...but I can say that it was not what I expected.
Prepare for another subject change.
If you're old enough to remember the "Live Aid" fundraising from way back you might be interested in the article I read a day or so ago. "Live Aid" was a rock music fundraiser with great intentions of helping African villages and refugees. It has been discovered that "hundreds of millions of dollars" of those charitable donations went directly to the purchase of automatic rifles. In other words, the money that was given was siphoned off by corrupt officials to fund their own military actions and ended up bringing harm to the very individuals it was intended to help.

I'm not a fan of politics and I know next to nothing about foreign policies but I couldn't help to think of the recent outpourings of financial donations to countries suffering from disasters....natural and otherwise. We are good modern Americans and we love our internet and how it allows us to click a button or dial a number and donate money to organizations without really getting our hands dirty or even bothering to find out where that money actually goes or what this organization does.

And because the good Earth seems to keep on shaking and because real people still lack food and water even before the news crews and celebrities show up and long after they lose interest and leave for better ratings....let me offer you these ideas:
Hydromissions is a local (Upstate SC) group doing great work in bringing wells and fresh water to villages. From this side of a keyboard it seems unfathomable that there are still places in the world where fresh water doesn't just magically spring forth from the kitchen and bathroom and if that registers with you....then you need to give some cash to this group.

Samaritan's Purse is a great organization lead by Franklin Graham. He's kind of a big deal. Maybe you've helped this group with shoe boxes at Christmas but you may not know that they have permanent presences in many third world countries and when natural disasters occur they know the needs because they are already there. They make sure your money actually helps.

And Rice Bowls...I grew up with our local church sending these little plastic rice bowl piggy banks home for us to fill up with change. We'd fill them up and send them back but the whole time the little bank sat on the counter it was a daily visual reminder that this money was actually going to provide food for a hungry child. Rice Bowls runs an orphanage in Haiti and survived the earthquake and immediately began doing everything they could to help. And my good friend works for them, which means I can probably hook you up with a box of empty rice bowls. Hey Brooke!

Or give to other groups on a regular basis but just make sure you do enough checking to be certain that the result matches the intention.
Ok, back to the 3 year old....Last night I got home in time to speak to him before he fell asleep. My wife had put him to bed before I got in and when I opened his door he was getting close to falling asleep. He was lying there very still and his face broadened into a grin. He asked me to lay down with him for a minute and he continued to smile as he stared up at the ceiling. After a while I asked him what he was doing. "I'm not doing anything, I'm just thinking" was his remarkably intelligent reply. But what was he thinking about? Seriously, what goes through the mind of a 3 year old? I have no memories of being 3 and I would love to know what he was contemplating in his head. Was he remembering things? Maybe recapping his day at school? Imagining amazing creatures?
Oh....and I finished a new drawing. Halo 4 is complete and I even had time to work on an old drawing a bit.

Detail of the new one. The red ink did some great bleeding over the lines.


The old one under 1/4 of an inch of clear sealant.


More thoughts later.

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