Artsy Fartsy Stuff

More artsy than fartsy. Promise!

A Scots-Irish Lass With A Hispanic Soul

It’s true that the only word I can remember from my High School Spanish class is “albondigas.” That means “meatballs” … I think. At least I hope it’s not a dirty word. I just can’t understand why I didn’t learn an important word that was useful. Like “bacon.” Why didn’t I learn that? And, what makes me think that a Scots-Irish lass has a Hispanic soul?

OK, I admit that I no longer qualify as a “lass,” but I must have a Hispanic soul, or I wouldn’t be so enamored of the Mexican culture — especially Día de los Muertos. I adore that celebration, skulls and all. Keep in mind that it isn’t about spooky ghosts! It’s about honoring the memory of the dead. The Aztecs were the first to celebrate it, and when the Spanish came to the land the holiday was mixed up a bit with Catholicism. If it were still an Aztec holiday, there might be skulls and blood!

I told y’all that Denton is having a Day of the Dead Festival. While I don’t expect it to be anything like a true Hispanic celebration, I plan to enjoy it. Perhaps I’ll even find some figurines to add to my growing collection.

I mentioned in that other article (linked above) that the display cabinet that I inherited from my Grandmom became a year round altar to my loved ones who have passed. That cabinet dominates my entry hall.

antique display cabinet

It’s hard to get a good picture of it with all of the glass. That curved glass on it is original, and I don’t know how in Thunder I have managed not to break it (knock wood). It had become a “catch-all” for the family heirlooms, and was in quite a bit of disarray. I decided to copy that Día de los Muertos altar I showed you from San Antonio and put family pictures. That way folks could see the person who owned each item. It made that cabinet into a “memory box” for the people I love.

altar to mom & dad

Two of my fondest memories of my parents are of them playing cribbage together in the evenings and of them dancing to the song “Night Train.” Momma thought that “Night Train” was the sexiest song she knew (I think it’s only because she was dancing close with Daddy). So, to honor them I put the cribbage board they used and the record with them on their altar.

grandparents altar

I have an area that is just for my grandparents with a few of their belongings. It really stretches across the whole shelf, because I have a lot of cool mementos from them.

altar to family

And, I have areas designated for extended family and friends. Although I sometimes feel sadness when I look at all the folks in there, I feel good that I am honoring their memory in the best way I know how.

As I sit here looking at a picture of my Papaw, I remember that my grandfather always told me that we were “Black Irish.” Supposedly that meant that our Irish ancestors had intermarried with the Basques. The Basque region is between France and Spain … it could be that I really do have a drop or two of Spanish blood! That could explain my “Hispanic Soul.” Or, not.

Some things are just inexplicable. Like, why I can’t remember how to say “bacon” en español.

Something’s Afoot

I saw this sculpture of a foot at a garage sale, and it just called my name.

foot sculpture

Did I hear one of y’all ask, “Why?” Don’t you realize who is talking to you? I’m the woman who collects everything: hand sculptures and carvings, hats, carpentry tools, Art Deco anything, African masks, rocks, shells, books, records, cats (stopping at five fe-lions … for the time being), crystal dishes (or crystal looking), walking canes, exercise equipment (unused), musical instruments (my living room sports several guitars, drums, a Hammond organ, a dulcimer, a mandolin, and a didgeridoo) … did I miss anything? Oh, yes … crocheted squares (but they go away every year)!

I decorate my living room with nekkid mannequins for the shock value. I have offered to put a pair of pasties on them for uncomfortable guests (but what if I need them??).

I have a gas mask hanging in the bathroom in case of emergency just for grins. Although I forget it’s there and it is odd when people come out of the bathroom laughing. I always have to think for a minute.

I had a rubber chicken hanging upside down in the kitchen until it “died.” The rubber deteriorated and it broke off at the legs, bless its heart. I miss that chicken. I used it to beat anyone who ridiculed my cooking.

With that many weird things in my house, of course the foot needed to come home with me! Yes, one might say it is a bit ugly. Definitely it is “odd.” But, that’s the way I roll. Now, I just have to figure out where to put the doggone thing.

So, go ahead and tell me what you collect. You never know, it could give me ideas for something new to seek at the flea market!

Hole-y Mole-y! It’s Kinetic Art!

A stroll across my yard can be hazardous to the health! It isn’t the poison ivy, the fire ants, or the occasional snake that is the problem (you can usually see those before they get you). No, the problem is in what you can’t see — a labyrinth of tunnels beneath the grass that rivals the New York subway system. Can you say, “Moles!”?

Those insidious little critters are positively thriving in my back yard. Sure, I’ve read about how to get rid of them. The most effective methods seem to be poison or those “harpoon traps.” Neither of those methods appeal to me. I don’t want to murder the moles; I just want them to go away! I like to think that I live by the maxim, “First, do no harm.” I wish the moles were familiar with that philosophy. One of these days, I’m going to step into one of their tunnels and break my leg!

Somewhere I read that if you place those daisy windmills on their tunnels that the moles will fear the vibrations and run away. I don’t want to put those cheesy toys all over my yard; I’d need a jillion of them!

However, I saw a windmill creation at the Fort Worth Main Street Art Festival that I would put into my yard [Note: Mark your calendars for April 19 – 22, 2012 if you want to visit an art festival that is first rate!].

giant daisy windmill

Hole-y Mole-y! How’s that for a daisy windmill? Or, I could put a whole truckload of the wonderful kinetic art by Andrew Carson in my yard.

Andrew Carson kinetic art

Look at this one up close and tell me I couldn’t live with that.

kinetic art close up

Those might not repel the moles, but I’d be so busy admiring them that I’d quit worrying about mole holes. Maybe the moles would even stop digging long enough to sit back and enjoy the scenery? Do they enjoy art?

I bear those moles no malice, but I do wish they would move to the neighbor’s house. Maybe I should go down to the local bait shop and buy a few buckets of grub worms? In the dead of night I could dress all in black, stealthily drag those buckets of worms about six feet into the neighbor’s yard and release them. The moles might decide to move to where the livin’ is easy.

Or not.

Meanwhile, I’ll just contemplate murdering moles as I step gingerly across my yard and dream of the day when I win the Texas Lottery, so I can fill my yard with art — or sell the danged place and move to a house with a few less critters in the yard!