Monday, April 27, 2015

Of Containers, Ducks, Alexa, Frida and Cleaning - What my weekend was made of

This weekend was mostly about regrouping, trying to recharge and gearing up for the next set of big events that take place in less than two weeks. By Friday afternoon I was spent and nearly voiceless. I was so thankful that it was the weekend. Ellie graduates on May 9th. Ellie and I are organizing the reception at her school and we are hosting a party at our house, too. It is a lot, but graduating is important, so a party (or two) is in order. We are hosting a party for Ellie and Kohlton. It just makes sense to combine them since they will want to be together. We will be meeting some of his grandparents for the first time and we want to make the best impression possible. That means that we are deep cleaning and attempting to declutter our house. This is in contrast to Larr emptying out his father's house. Much of that stuff is making its way to us. The timing is not great, but it is what has to happen.

We are all very sad, but Larr is still in very deep mourning. Integrating some of his parents stuff in with ours makes him feel a little better. The picture above is an example of this, and one I love. The rocks, minerals, shark's teeth, crushing balls, etc. are part of his collection of cool stuff. The containers are from his parents. I love the way it looks. I think him mother would have approved.
The beaker is one of my favorite things brought over. There is a set from when Eleanor worked at the Armstrong Cork Company. Upon close inspection, I found that the numbers were sand-blasted on. It looks like the letter stencil was made by hand. The elegance of the script is just not the kind you would get from a machine.

Their furniture makes this room look more like an office, than the man-cave it was just a short time ago.

On Saturday, Ethan stopped by on his way to working his first night shift. On the way over he encountered a mallard drake that was injured. Ethan thinks that it may have been clipped by a car. It was injured, bleeding a small bit and trying unsuccessfully to cross the road to get to a small pond on private land where its mate was already on the water. Ethan was unsure what to do. He picked up the bird, carried it to near the edge of the pond and left some food for it. Much to my amazement, Ethan said that the bird just looked at him placidly and was very calm as Ethan delivered him to the other side of the road. I don't know if that means that the duck was in shock, or if it sensed that Ethan intended to help, instead of hurt. I called a bird rescue organization. I had to leave a message, so I don't know if they were able to help the bird or not. We certainly hope so, but I don't think we will actually know, short of going to that spot and looking for evidence of carnage from something attacking and killing the duck. It also makes me wonder what happens to the mate that is left behind after one of the ducks die. It was both sad, that the duck was hurt, and gratifying to see that Ethan has a tender enough heart to stop and help a creature in need.

The next day we went over to Don's house. Ethan and James were eating dinner. James has a fun device, a toy, really, called Alexa. It is kind of like Siri for the house. It is Amazon Echo. She is voice activated. You can ask her to purchase and play music, ask her about things like weather, or traffic. You can ask her to tell you a joke or tell her "good night Alexa" and get a response in return. Her jokes are pretty funny in a 3rd grader kind of way. I asked Alexa to tell me a joke and she replied, "Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 (ate) 9." When we told her good night, she replied, "Good night and sweet dreams." Ethan is not much of one for lots of computers or electronics, but James is and it is fun to see how they blend their different kinds of fun while living together.
When you say, "Alexa" it lights up and waits for a request. It is really pretty fun.

In between cleaning (I did a deep clean of the living room and a bathroom, complete with a cabinet cleanout and reorganization) I did a little art, working on a second piece for the Frida exhibit in Louisville this summer. It is really kind of exciting!

I colored the second Frida image that I drew, glued it to the craddled board and painted the sides of both pieces. I am also thinking about some way to finish the back in a fun way. All the while I watch, "Frida" with Selma Hayek planning the title role. Frida was an amazing, passionate, fiery woman.

I might try to do a third piece for the show. I am also thinking about creating some coloring pages that kids could color so that they would have fun at the event, too. My art will be part of an artwalk in June. Exciting stuff!

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