Monday Modicums

I just searched the thesaurus re: the word BITS, and it gave me the neat word, MODICUMS. “The smallest amount or part imaginable.” And this post is going to be cobbled together bits of news and musings.

Speaking of cobbled together, I started reading a book yesterday. THE GIANT FOREST, by Bill Belew and his daughter Mia, is billed as a “Chapter Book for Parents and Grandparents of Preteens Who Love to Read.” I think they should have run it by an editor, too, as there are a few words missing and some misspellings.

The plot: Half a dozen children from one school go to Mount Hermon summer camp (in California.) Several of these children have parental and/or friendship issues which are detailed at the beginning. The first evening, five of them wander off into the forest, get lost, and have frightening experiences. In one case a girl is captured by giants who plan to eat her. Another trips over the edge of a cliff into a waterfall.

This is a fantasy of sorts; you see shades of C S Lewis in the way intelligent animals and insects rescue the human children. But the scenes flip back and forth between one child and another in their experiences, so the book becomes a cobbling together of small scenes. To add to the melee, the story of an original pioneer couple (not too bright, it seems) is mixed in, also in bits. Since I haven’t finished it yet, I can’t give you an overall impression, except that I’d prefer a more linear story. I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round reading this one.

Today is officially the LONGEST day of the year. How did that happen? We only just finished May, enjoying the spring, and now June is passing in a whirl. Life has become a merry-go-round time-wise, too, with Sundays coming around every few days.

I did more painting last week, including several “pour art” pictures. I have much to learn in regard to this type of painting! Adding a few drops of silicon oil to the paint before you pour it gives “cells”, but I haven’t tried that yet. One day I watched a demonstration where a woman used her hair dryer to blow the paint all over her canvas. That will be my next effort. 🙂

Yesterday was Father’s Day, but was a wipe-out at this house. I had my second COVID vaccination Saturday afternoon and the predicted sore arm by evening. Yesterday I felt so weary and light-headed, so I had several long naps and read some. Bob did about the same, so nothing memorable or exciting to celebrate Father’s Day. We missed the Youth singing at the Villa in the evening, as I was feeling too light-headed to go anywhere. Thankfully that “floaty” feeling has passed and I can resume normal life this morning.

Saturday morning I read an interesting article on the Battle of the Alamo (in Texas), which debunked a lot of the myths that have arisen over time. It wasn’t the “decisive battle” Texas history has made it out to be, and could have been avoided.

Have you noticed how history is full of battles that didn’t need to be fought, if only someone at the time had used some common sense? In Canada we had the Riel Rebellion, which could have been solved so easily without bloodshed if the federal government had only listened to the Metis and native people. They were being driven off their land and some were starving. Their complaints were legitimate, but the federal govt was way off in Ottawa and had no clue about conditions here on the prairies. So send an army; put down the rebellion.

I see where the city of Saskatoon is considering renaming John A MacDonald Road (he was Prime Minister at the time of the Rebellion) Reconciliation Road.

Usually someone at the time has a good handle on, and keeps a record of, what’s really happening. However, the rhetoric and fervor of the hour make so much noise they drown out wisdom. A century or two goes by and historians, no longer caught up in the dynamic, look at all angles of these past events. Just as our great-grands, if time continues, will look at the movements and battles of our day and analyze what all factored in and how it finally played out.

As they say, “Hindsight is always 20/20.

Grandma’s New Passion

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is SPRUIKER. An Aussie word meaning (carnival) barker, or hawker of goods (like at a fair or flea market.) My fantasy tale shall carry on from yesterday’s description of pour art.

Grandma’s New Passion

My husband and I were strolling through the farmer’s market yesterday when we heard a shrill spruiker a couple of rows over. I turned to look and saw a teen girl in front of a really colorful display of art. She was calling to passing shoppers: “Pictures, beautiful pictures. One look and you’ll fall in love with them.”

Curiosity aroused, I tugged my husband over to that booth. The girl was delighted to have an audience. “Can’t you just see one of these beauties on your wall…for only $20.

We spent a moment gazing at the marbled canvases, with every color of the rainbow drizzled or splashed across in random patterns.

“Um.. What are they supposed to be pictures of?” Jaycen asked. My practical husband doesn’t go much for abstract art.

“All kinds of things. Fields, trees, flowers…whatever. Wouldn’t you love to have one on your wall? You could have your visitors guess what it represents?”

“You have such a variety,” I said. “Someone has been very busy.”

“You can say that again! Last month my grandma discovered “pour art” and got so enthused about it, she’s made hundreds. She keeps trying to get the perfect picture.” The girl rolled her eyes.

“Oh, yes. I had a grandma like that, but her thing was afghans. All of us grandchildren got half a dozen. I suppose your grandma has gifted you well, too?”

“You got it! We have two or three on each wall. So does everyone else in our area. When Grandma started buying paint in five-gallon drums and canvases by the truckload, Mom said we absolutely have to do something. So she rented this booth and I’m stuck here trying to sell as many as I possibly can.”

“You do have a problem.”

“I sure wish she’d go back to making quilts. She’s doing a dozen pictures every day.” Her tone became desperate. “You want one, don’t you, people? Or two or three? Only $20 each. Even if you don’t like them so much right off, they’ll grow on you.”

Soft-hearted sorts that we are, we bought a couple. We just grabbed two at random. They’ll grow on us.

Image by delta1 at Pixabay. Here’s an example of pour art where a few drops of silicon oil have been added to the paint-medium mix. That’s what gives it the bubbly look. Creators call these CELLS and when you tilt the canvas, the cells stretch out into odd shapes.

Delight + Dismay

Monday Morning Catch-Up

Delight: A beautiful sunny morning. I saw a hummingbird at our feeder at 7am.
Dismay: I’m missing the swallows. Used to be, morning and evening, I’d see a dozen swallows swooping and diving, cleaning our yard of pesky mosquitoes. So far this month I’ve seen two tree swallows and, twice now, a lone barn swallow.
Some people regard barn swallows as pests. “Dirty little birds, dropping mud here and there. Wish I didn’t have to clean up their mess.” Never considering how swallows clean up our air, devouring thousands of mosquitoes and other bugs every single day.

Delight: All kinds of birds come to my watering/bathing dishes all day long.
Dismay: Can they ever splash, especially the robins! Dishes need refilling several times a day. I don’t mind, actually; the show is worth the effort.

Delight: I’m finally getting another blog post written!
Dismay: I’ve lots I’d like to write – and posts I’d like to follow – but I’m having a hard time disciplining myself to get at it.

Delight: Last week I finished different painting projects and varnished half a dozen. They’re ready to go now.
Dismay: This new hobby takes time and money. On Friday I left another generous sum at Michael’s for more paint and canvas.

Delight: Someone encouraged me to sell them and even suggested a selling price!
Dismay: Perhaps no one will buy them? I’m not a pro, you know.

The same someone reminded me that we have other artistic sorts here who sell stuff and they aren’t PROFESSIONALS, either. Sign makers, candle makers, soap makers, bakers — we all do the best we can and it’s up to buyers if they want what we offer. So I’m encouraged to try.

Delight: Last week I studied online about the art of “paint pouring,” the different methods used, etc. And then I gave it a try!
Dismay: For the first picture I used some old Mod Podge I had sitting around as a pouring medium. Not so smart. The picture’s fine, colour-wise, but the texture is like someone sprinkled sand on the canvas.

Delight: On Friday’s trip to the city, I bought some proper pouring medium and a few more canvases. Mixed up some paint, several colours separately in cups, and gave it a try. Actually, I mixed up too much paint, so did a second picture.
Dismay: The second picture being an afterthought, I hurriedly mixed up more paint and it wasn’t mixed as carefully as the first cups. So the result had a few lumps.

Delight: Hey, the pictures were okay. The second one, on a 9″ x 11″ canvas, came out looking like six pink flowers spaced out nicely in a beige and turquoise flowerbed. This would have been a perfect illustration of Friday’s RDP prompt: Not a pair. 🙂
Dismay: One important instruction about pour art: When you leave your pictures stand overnight to harden, be sure the surface they’re on is level. Otherwise the picture may shift; paint may flow off the canvas one way or the other and you may see a much different picture in the morning. I could say I spent $25 Friday night to discover that the desk in my sewing room isn’t quite level. My “flowerbed” now looks like a dipsy tulip. Artists, beware!

Delight: I’m not giving up anyway. 🙂 I’m so enthused about my new artistic hobby!
Dismay: Much as I’d like to – I can’t spend all day painting. 😉

Delight: My operation was a great success and I’m pretty much back to normal in my activities.
Dismay ?: It’s time to catch up on all the housework and pull weeds in the flowerbeds.

Delight: Though the spring was drought-dry and dust was flying, farmers seeded their crops in hope. Now some badly needed rains have come to replenish our land. The seed is germinating and we’re all hopeful again.
Dismay: June is half gone already!

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: SEED