The Colors of Autumn

Artist at work.

Perhaps "washable" and "indelible" are actually synonyms?

My proud minimalist next to his "pièce de résistance" entitled "Red."

Black and White and Brass. Doesn't she sound great?



Some Mondays seem maliciously and anthropomorphically bent on proving what a small person I am. Today was such a Monday. True suffering, and momentous calamities, are different from mere aggravations, yet there is something peculiarly difficult about quantity of small troubles regardless of their quality.

Aggravations on top of aggravations can lead one to entertain thoughts representing smallness of mind:

1. Recalcitrant math student? One might be tempted to respond, "Fine, double-digit addition with carrying is stupid, don't learn it!"

2. 8 yo with flu symptoms? One might picture a backyard quarantine-yurt.

3. More month than money? One might idly wonder how much is in the 3 yo's piggy bank.

Monday, in anthropomorphic glory, saved it's coup de grace for the afternoon mail. A letter bomb arrived- well, actually a post card from a dear friend. The picture was of a beautiful vacation spot on the Adriatic. As soon as I saw the picture I was there, sitting at a cafe in loose white clothing while a waiter poured my drink. Greg inexplicably had a dark moustache. I could feel the heat of the sun on my skin, hear the water and sounds of the children playing at a distance while their nanny carefully looked after them.

Zap. Then I remembered I was in my dining room setting out bowls of cauliflower soup (yuck, but the kids like it) on a tablecloth that hadn't been properly cleared since breakfast.

I love the sender of the post card. She is one of my oldest friends, and the most beautiful of people. I'm so happy that she's on vacation as a celebration of finishing her Master's thesis. However, my first reaction was of utter jealousy instead of joy for my friend. That's the definition of smallness.

Smallness, meet me. Me, meet Smallness.

Did God know today would knock me flat? Is that why during my morning shower the hymn, "Be Still and Know That I am God," kept coming to my mind? God, the antithesis of smallness.

I'm glad tomorrow is Tuesday...


Silly Similes, S'Aliteration

Gray days, for days on end, get me down, make me cranky. Time to look at silly, sunlit, Summer photos. Tennessee Teen Takes Toddler from Tuba would be a great headline.
My 15 yo daughter (who, minus the toddler, plays above-pictured Tuba) was given a writing assignment to compose a poem using similes, but instructed to strictly avoid cliches. She too gets cranky and contrary on gray days. She just couldn't resist. If you make your teacher smile does that off-set doing an assignment exactly wrong?

A Poem of Cursed Similes

The blue of the sky,

was as blue of the sea.

The clouds were as ships sails,

waving o'er to me.

The green of the grass,

was as green as sea-weed,

Those greeny masses

that came and then flee'd.

The brown of the tree-trunks,

was as brown as the mast,

from which a sailor,

was crying, "Avast!"

The red of the flower,

was as red as the face

Of the red coated Marine

yelling, "About face!"

The black of the cannon ball

was as black as the earth.

To which they would go,

not long after their birth.


Sneakers, Swords, and Taillights

Fall is shoe buying time. With 7 kids obviously we try to squeak by with the cheapest footwear we can. When I happen along on a sneaker sale it's a happy day. All my boys are fast now. They'll tell you that repeatedly, if you can catch up with them. The 7 year old wanted a non-sale sneaker, until my husband remarked that if he got the same kind as his brothers they would look like a kind of team, or even a group of super heros. Spin-it Baby. Parenting at it's best.

We have a family friend who is a sword maker. Yes, I said swords. Noble Armory has a faithful following of Tipton children who are always willing to try out the new models. The normality of it for our children has led to some unusual angst. Ben, when he was 4, announced that when he grew up he was going to stay at home and "make" his wife go to work. When I asked why, with tears of anxiety sparkling in his eyes he said, "Because I don't know how to go on airplanes (his own Dad travels a lot for work), and I don't know how to make swords."

Fast forward to yesterday. The three youngest boys in their new sneakers battling with neighbors. Evidently the level of testosterone in the body is directly linked to the newness of footwear. An epic sword battle in the driveway led to the death of my van's left taillight cover. Mayhaps it was a burning one-eyed dragon?

Cost of sale sneakers + cost of new tail light cover is still cheaper than cost of regular priced sneakers. If you figure in the amount of energy expended outside (and by definition Not inside), the character developed upon coming inside to confess the injury of said van, the level of hand eye coordination developed with the self correcting feed-back of physical reality... I'm way into black ink.