Holes in my head

Woodpecker art class today.  Worked last evening finding images and sounds at www.freesound.org.  Peck peck peck peck peck, with other bird calls mixed in and even a thunderstorm.  Burned the sounds onto my last cd, but must not have formatted it correctly.  The cd won't play.

I will just have to do my own sound effects in class today.  The kids will help, no doubt!

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Spring cheers and Shipoopi dances

Twiggy the cheerleader wants me to give her an S.  Give her a P.  Give her R--I--N--G!  What's that spell?  What's that spell?  Spring!

Twiggy has her pompoms.  She's doing a Herkie.  If you squint you can see her tiny top and hot pants.

The preschoolers celebrated Pee In Your Shoes Day with an outpouring of, shall we say, enthusiasm.  Who marked the calendar for this special occasion?  No one consulted with me, or I would have brought more towels and disinfectant, plus spare socks. 

Spring is sprung.  The grass is riz.  Entirely too much puddle-wonderful wiz on those goat feet.  The grape hyacinths are channeling the Buddy Hackett "Shipoopi" number in The Music Man.

Well a woman who'll kiss on the very first date
Is usually a hussy.
And a woman who'll kiss on the second time out
Is anything but fussy.
But a woman who waits 'til the third time around, 
Head in the clouds, feet on the ground!
She's the girl he's glad he's found--she's his 
Shi-Poo-Pi! Shi-Poo-Pi! Shi-Poo-Pi! Shi-Poo-Pi!

My biggest moment in theatre occurred in the summer of '95.  I was subbing for the children's theater director doing the lights, woefully unprepared, and excited to blow the train whistle.  My eldest was holding the heavy satchel as Charlie the anvil salesman.  

Danger Baby had the words for "Rock Island" written on his hand.  The youngster portraying Marcellus Washburn deserved an Oscar for staying in character all the way through the "Shi-poo-pi" number even though his belt broke and his trousers sank further and further toward his shoes as the song went on.

Whatddya talk?

Thanks for the hyacinths.
Thanks for the daffodils,
jonquils and narcissus.
Ever met a fella by the name of Hill?

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel

Only after the project was complete did the lyrics corkscrew into my brain.  "Windmills of Your Mind" was composed by Michel Legrand for the 1968 movie, "The Thomas Crown Affair".  Since then it has been covered by numerous musicians.

This was a very satisfying project, and not just because we played the "Purple People Eater" song while we worked. It included three kinds of prints, drawing and cutting practice, composition, and a chance for each student to squirt a spray bottle in school!

It was a one-eyed, one-horned
Flyin' Purple People Eater
One-eyed, one-horned 
Flyin' Purple People Eater
Sure looked strange to me
One eye

The recent rains have brought down lots of trees weak from the drought or just old and tired.  The bark pieces are filled with mysterious messages.

More nature writing inside bark
Our art project and much of my musing the last couple weeks was inspired by a gorgeous picture book.  Swirl by Swirl :  Spirals in Nature has scratch board illustrations by Beth Krommes.  Find it at your library even if you are a grown-up!

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Trout lily handwriting

This premature spring has convinced the first grade girls they should really be writing "in cursive", so they are making looping nonsensical signatures. The five year olds are struggling to master printing on lined paper, working out which letters are tall, and which hang down below the line. Candy canes and fish hooks get larger and larger. The three year olds are documenting life in invented script and writing their names in all caps. Remembering my childhood fascination with my dad's drafting block print lettering.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Bourbon applesauce cake, bubonic plague, and buddies

My blogging friend Kathleen at Wait! I Have a Blog?! is always showing fabulous food art.  My blog buddy Kim at Hummus Anonymous is on the lookout for recipes.  I am on the lookout for rats, alas.

This photo shows the gorgeous bourbon applesauce cake sent me in lieu of tea and sympathy by my college friend Mary of Ohio. Yikes. Mary and I have been friends for thirty-seven years which is totally impossible!

The cake arrived today, but I'm a bit afraid to dive into it. Mary used my old recipe and I am not an elephant. Bourbon applesauce one-bowl cake is something I used to make as a newlywed. I remember enormous men eating a piece and then saying slowly, "That didn't just have applesauce in it, did it?"  Then they would fall to the floor like elephants shot with tranquilizer guns.
D.U.E. first offense

The cake smells so earthy and wholesome, what with the wheat germ.  I'll have an observer in my art classes tomorrow while we are doing printmaking.  The observer is a parent of a student as well as a student teacher, so it would be a VBT if I fell over on the floor.

The bubonic plague will kill me first. The squirrel sat on the patio fence trying to use ESP to convince me to refill the bird-feeder. When the squirrel took a break, the ring-necked dove stood in the same place on the fence trying to guilt-trip me. I ignored them, so they called in the big guns.

Yes, the begging, pleading, cute-as-a-button junco!  I am no match for the CAABJ.  Your very wish is my command!

So I fill up the bird-feeder and the junco collects a paycheck.  The ring-neck dove pigs out.  Then the squirrel.  Then, alas, the rat.

By refilling the feeder I resumed my enabling behavior.  No little pink ears or tiny toes will make me feel better. Being a rat is a bad job, but I don't want to make it easier. Being a squirrel is just diurnal rat-being.
How are members of Congress and Presidential candidates any different than my fence-beggers?  I'm just asking...

This is the recipe for Knock Over Elephants Bourbon Applesauce Cake aka KOEBAC (and I will eat some tomorrow, Mary!):

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Never before with a hellebore

[In a would-you-could-you-on-a-train manner this post will ride hell-bent for leather all over the place, so be forewarned.]

The Dallas Arboretum cured my madness. Walked all around this morning taking photos and working out the Tristan und Isolde kinks. I came under the spell of hellebore in beds both shady and sunny. 

hellebore Look up hellebore at Dictionary.com

late 14c., from O.Fr. ellebore, from L. elleborus, from Gk. helleboros, perhaps meaning "plant eaten by fawns," from Gk. ellos/hellos "fawn" + bora "food of beasts," from bibroskein "to eat," from PIE base *gwere-"to swallow." Among the ancients, the name given to various plants of both poisonous and medicinal qualities, reputed to cure madness.

Perhaps the plant was eaten by fauns, not fawns.  I never before saw a hellebore nor Nijinsky dancing to Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun". Nor Nureyev neither, no matter how many negatives that is. I was as spellbound by the flowers as by the classic ballet film from one hundred years ago that beckoned me from my search.

Something about these plants feels very ancient even before I learn their name. Is it the dusty, slightly faded colors? The quality of porcelain? The chalky '68 rouge on the withered cheeks of the junior high art teacher two years shy of retirement telling eighth-graders how to carve plaster of Paris into della Robbia rondels?

Dallas Arboretum test garden

Hellebore plants
 are known as Lenten roses even though they are not part of the rose family.  
Hellebore for Lent....

Hellebore for lemons... also one lime, a clove of garlic, lite mayo, a red bell pepper, Tillamook pepper jack, today's newspaper, black olives... wait, wait, this is a grocery list!

Hellebore for leather? 

Hell-bent for leather. 

Hell-bent? Hell for leather? All in a lather? 

What do these mean? Am I stuck in a dream? Why are my former in-laws in this dream? Well, that last one would take many more blog posts and an interview with Isadora Duncan to explain!

  • Hell-bent--with reckless determination; at full speed.
  • Ride hell-for-leather--early use of this phrase by Kipling in 1888 to mean desperately and/or swiftly causing a horse's skin to lather.

Now I'm all in a dither about daffodils, narcissus, and jonquils. Every spring Dad and I used to wonder about the distinction. We could never remember from year to year.  This year Dad is beyond care, and I must dither on alone. 
The library regular wants to check out two DVDs from the NEW shelf, but the circulation system allowed only one. We josh around a bit, both of us having mellowed over the years. He semi-jokingly claims I put the kibosh on his movie plans. I tell him I researched "kibosh" once, but now I've forgotten its origins. The regular says if I researched it I should remember.Trouble is, I joshed, my memory was kiboshed and my brains are goulash.  

kibosh Look up kibosh at Dictionary.com

1836, kye-bosk, in slang phrase put the kibosh on, of unknown origin, despite intense speculation. 

goulash Look up goulash at Dictionary.com

1866, from Hungarian gulyáshús, from gulyás "herdsman" + hús "meat." In Hungarian, "beef or lamb soup made by herdsmen while pasturing."

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


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