Hi. I'm a painter, a writer and a mother of three teenage sons, one with a severe disability. This is a journal: riotously disorganized, full of art, food, children and everyday domestic events. Unless you are a friend or family member you may not be interested, but you are welcome to look. Artists who are parents may find some common ground here, as well as parents of children with special needs. For art only, see my site: nancybeamiller.blogspot.com
Thursday, June 30
The champagne flowed like water (i.e. without stint) and the water flowed like champagne (i.e. not usually quite enough) at this glittering party to celebrate my friend Elizabeth Kostova's birthday and book debut. A wonderful celebration. The swell of emotion in the room: joy, pride, admiration, thankfulness and love, hung in almost palpable cloud. Delicious. And by the way, her book, The Historian is terrific!
Saturday, June 25
These cheese curls, left over from a kid's party, were a glowing, almost fluorescent color against the blue of the bowl.
Thursday, June 23
Saw this at a local greenhouse. It looked similar to a Datura plant, but in a tree form. I asked a passing nursery worker but she was as mystified as I. "I don't know WHAT it is, "she admitted, "But it sure is pretty." She then added, "But I wouldn't want to eat it." No indeed. Something slightly sinister about it, despite its fragile appearance.
Later Note: I just got an e-mail from Linda at Reflex, identifying the plant as a Brugmansia. It is very closely related to Datura, and yes, it is poisonous too! Funny how both the greenhouse worker and I instinctively recognized it as such, despite not knowing what it was. Wonder if anyone has ever done a study on subliminal poison signifiers?
Wednesday, June 22
Young boys seem to revel in this kind of thing. One of those not-often-mentioned facts of parenthood. Seemed a good photo for this week's challenge from Lens Day: "smell".
Monday, June 20
While touring Mount Vernon recently, the home of George Washington, we were lucky and had the most brilliantly sunny weather. There was even a light breeze coming off the river so it never got too hot. Although I think this big fellow was wishing for a pair of sunglasses too!
Sunday, June 19
I'm working on a couple of paintings right now, commissions, that have become very real to me. I mean they feel like actual people. When I walk into the studio I say "Hi" to them, and occasionally make comments to them like, "OK, now, I just have to add a little more bounce to your hair here." etc. I am going to feel sorry to see them go. They've been good company.
Friday, June 17
A GOOD SPORT
H got invited to a friend's house, a friend who has a pool. Henry watched him gathering suit and towel etc and when I called the guys to get into the car he leaped in excitedly. Clearly he thought he was going to the Pool too (his favorite thing). How to explain? I tried, but when we got to the friends house and only H got out Henry was obviously disappointed. He gestured repeatedly at the house, not being able to speak, but communicating very plainly. I had to say "Sorry buddy, we are not invited this time."
His face fell as he slowly realized he was not going swimming too. I took him to a local playground where he soon cheered up and played happily on the swings. Made me think about how so much of Henry's life consists of bewildering inconsistencies, accompanying me here and there, sometimes doing this sometimes that, sometimes x is allowed, sometimes it is not. If you couldn't understand the reasons for it all, wouldn't it drive you crazy? He was such a good sport about the whole thing. I guess he has sure had a lot of practice.
BTW, today was the last day of school! Almost three months of summer vacation coming at me. I surrender.
Tuesday, June 14
We have some fat and sassy ones around our house. They thrive on the compost heap and on the odds and ends left scattered around the garden by the little boys. This one came up on the porch and was eyeing H as he ate an apple as if to say, "I'll just wait till you're done, don't mind me." He seemed a little anxious as to how much core would be left for him.
Monday, June 13
dusts these cool mint daisies. They looked too good to actually eat, so I just let my lens do the tasting.
Friday, June 10
from an eleven-year-old. Henry's speech therapist has been trying out a new augmentative communication device for him (the Mini-Mo), essentially a machine that talks for you. Press the appropriate icons and it will say things like "I want chips please." and other phrases of life and death importance! :-) Very useful, except that it has proved extremely difficult for me and Paul to program. The speech therapist also had some trouble, and so she called a meeting with the head of the district's augmentative speech program. I brought along eleven-year-old P, Henry's fraternal twin, thinking that he might be a great help. And boy was I right! Here he is showing both his dad and the speech therapist how to do something tricky on another device, a Springboard. And of course he found the Games option within minutes, something I hadn't even known existed!
Thursday, June 9
BEVERAGES WHILE YOU WAIT
I love that moment at a restaurant right before the food arrives. The clean white tablecloth and feeling of expectancy. Kind of like a blank white canvas waiting to be painted upon. A good reminder to me that I have to go upstairs and paint!
Wednesday, June 8
This is our first home-grown rose of summer. Well, of course it is not yet officially summer, but this recent heat wave has moved everything along pretty quickly. My friend Helen M. gave me this Climbing Peace Rose last year. It languished in the spot where I planted it, despite soil amendments and black spot medicine. And so I meant to move it, but unfortunately that turned out to be one of those millions of little details I haven't yet found time for. Anyway, just the other day I caught an elusive whiff of a sweet honey fragrance and followed my nose to see: wowza, a big fat beautiful rose! The forlorn little bush had decided, after all, to bloom where it was planted. Another life lesson from the vegetable kingdom. Of course, it still has black spot!
Tuesday, June 7
WATER ON THE FEET
Seriously delightful in 93F degree heat.
Monday, June 6
Waiting for the schoolbus this group got very excited and merry about something. It seemed to be some kind of hand held game that sparked off the crowd. I kept my distance, not really wanting to know the reason for the furor, and also not wanting my presence to quell the vivacity
Friday, June 3
A RARE SIGHT
Not often do you see a person with extra mammary glands and gluteal muscle bunches. Ran across this uber-woman while in Soho yesterday. I'm sorry I wasn't able to find the name of the artist. It was both powerful and hilarious, kind of like Gaston LaChaise crossed with Salvador Dali.
Wednesday, June 1
This book by Kit Williams was carried out to the hammock to be pored over at leisure by one of the little boys. Dropped in the dirt at some point it was then left for several (rainy) days. Interesting that it was open to the painting of Spring, disintegrating in to the earth, as summer draws near, as this is exactly what happened to this book. I would be more upset about it (it is an out-of-print edition) if it weren't so poeticly apt. And, as some buddhists would say, "The glass is already broken." Especially in a house with three young boys.
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