Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Week 43: Fall festivities

This was area schools fall break. Daughter and granddaughter planned an early Halloween party for Saturday, so for them the week was filled with preparations.
For us it was life as usual: teaching; exercise; robotics; monthly meetings of our respective committees (for me one at church and for Mike the Upland Greenway Association); my weekly writer's group; and throw in a couple other special outings--visits to or from friends, shopping trip with SIL Diane for me, and Elijah's soccer game for Mike. The week filled up nicely and there were several Rebecca sightings!

Kayla stopped by on Tuesday and we both got to hold our little gordita preciosa but could not get her to wake up.

I have enjoyed this fall immensely--great weather, beautiful colors. One afternoon I sat outside to read and fell asleep. I woke up to the sun shining through the trees.

Kayla and Skye were here throughout the week to gather twigs and branches for the woodsy decor.

Photos do not do justice to the indoor haunted woods atmosphere they created at Leah's place over several days of mother and daughter working together.

I loved this display by the mirror.

So what did Rebecca do in the midst of all this excitement? Slept, looked around, and ate at the appointed times. She is thriving with such good mamma and Nanna-care.

I dug out one of the masks I've had for maybe twenty years (come to think of it, they survived the house fire!) and put together an appropriate outfit for the occasion. After my photo session, I became the photographer of the evening.

Hostess-daughter and costume-judge, Leah, voted mine #1. She looked pretty cute herself!

But, wouldn't you know, the grand prize went to the beautiful witch and her smiling little lamb!
Although second prize went to Matt for even being willing to dress up ;-).

The evening ended with a private fireside concert by a visiting neighbor-friend we hadn't seen in over 20 years!

Troy Adams entertaining us with songs from Jimmy Buffet, John Johnson, Merle Haggard and more
So that was our week. How was yours?

Oh, I should add that Mike has been cycling a few miles each day and notices improvement in how far he can go before feeling pain, and the pain is not as intense as before nor does it last as long. There is progress!

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Week 42: Art, process and progress

Initially I intended to post all the photos taken during our visit to Grand Rapids, but soon realized that I had not taken any of the 3D Art Prize submissions, the category that most interested us. 

We chose to spend most of our time at the Frederik Meijer's Art Prize venue and then visit the Sculpture Park.
Mike was able to do this because we rode the tram. The tour guide commentary was excellent making up for not being able to see a few of the pieces hidden from view. You can find most online and their photography is much better than mine. 
Here is a sample picture, the first installation we saw on the tour. The guide named the five emotions represented by these figures. I could not match them up as we rode by, nor do I remember. Any ideas?


To wrap up last week's entries and summarize our experience, here is the new green turtle (from Meijer's gardens gift shop) to join my collection on the window sill. 
Always a reminder that creating is a process that requires steady plodding to the end. 
Progress may be slow, but the result will be well worth the effort.

Mike is living out that lesson. He did not give up on the destroyed wax sculpture. 
Here is the reassembled and coated member-tree.

Last Sunday afternoon, with the help of one of his former Red Barn faithfuls, he poured the bronze.

The set up                                                      The moment of truth

Alas, it was not successful!
Did he give up?

Monday, this time mostly on his own and with only a little help from me, he refired some parts.
He works steadily, and we wait patiently, for the end result.

                          Waiting                                                                        Equipped, protective gear                                In Action                                    
 The changing hues of the season reveal the Creator's love for beauty.
Monday dinner--view from Stephan and Karen's back porch. 

This week we could watch the leaves fall like gold rain. 
I decided to capture the different views of our woods before it was too late. 

North                                                        North-East                                                   East

Saturday was a very full day. Mike was off to a robotics competition with Team 1720.

Stephan and I ran the Taylor Homecoming 5k rather successfully each at our own pace, 
just fun to share the same event and chat a bit. 
My selfies were rather unbalanced, however, so here is a composite.

Soon after I got home the little grandsons were dropped off for a few hours so Mom could prepare for the birthday party.

Zion, proud of his 'dump truck'                                             Jude learning the names and uses of his new 'big boy tools'

Happy birthday, Jude!
The week would not be complete without a photo of baby Rebecca who was two months old on Tuesday. 
Again, sadly, it had to be one borrowed from Facebook.

Sleeping Beauty

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Art Prize 2013 Grand Prize Winner

Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, by Anne Loveless--a quilt!

--No, you've got to be kidding!

--It's true, I saw it with my own eyes!

A photo cannot do justice to the incredible minute detail--each blade of grass, the added texture of frayed-edges, the vast variety of hues.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ArtPrize: reflections on Grand Prize 2012

As promised, some of the photos of the first art piece we viewed on display at the HUB of the event.

"Elephants" by Adonna Khare, winner of the Grand Prize in the 4th annual ArtPrize event in Grand Rapids, MI, a huge pencil drawing in three sections. This collage is meant to give a feel for the whole, however, I could not include the entire middle section so will show each separately below.

 From left to right:

First panel
Middle panel
Third panel

And that's not all. The artist "was a classic example of someone who does not know when to quit," said the guide. Wherever her art was installed, she kept adding to it even beyond the edges of the paper and onto the wall!

So, how many elephants did you count? And what about chimpanzees
There are sooooooo many details: creatures of all sizes; many have human hands and feet; all sorts of objects stuck in random places. "Everything linked together by nearly invisible string the artist suggests means the possibility of harmonious co-existance," explained the guide.

He also said she copied the postures of her daughter as she drew the chimps laying on the couch, listening to music (right), and the lips stapled shut (didn't understand that one?).

It was also suggested that this enormous, intricate work of fantasy actually represented her own life--people and events. 

The eggs scattered throughout the mural represent new ideas to be developed, to 'hatch' sometime in the future.

"She began on the left and kept on going without sketching or laying anything out. It all came out of her imagination."

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 Week 41: Fun Times

Michael found what he is able to do without bringing on the hip/leg pain. He had a very productive week, spending hours at the wheel throwing honey pots, yarn bowls, and chicken roasters.

I stay well occupied writing, teaching, helping. This was the view from the classroom window when I arrived. You can see highway I-69.

And here is the building as I was leaving later.

The moon was beautiful this week. Mike got up before dawn to watch the lunar eclipse. I did not.

I stopped to visit Kayla and Rebecca on my way to Muncie, and finally got to hold mi preciosa.

Kristie had an opportunity to help out with a program Malachi attended, so I stayed with the boys for a few hours Wednesday evening. We had fun playing together, reading books, listening to music.
And it happened to be Jude's second birthday!

Thursday was a busy day catching up and preparing to be gone Friday.
Mike had made plans for us to go experience the ArtPrize event in Grand Rapids. The weather was perfect and we had a wonderful day admiring a variety of art from the 1500 contributions to the event as well as touring the Frederik Meijers Sculpture Park. We were able to take the tour tram.
Later, back in town, we walked around until it became too much for Michael. The city was abuzz with excitement as the event was coming to a close and the winners were about to be announced.
Our focus was mostly on 3D pieces, and I will try to post some of the many photos throughout the week. However, I was drawn to this painting. Can you see a fourth figure?

Saturday afternoon most of the family came together to celebrate Kayla's birthday.

So we got to visit again with Rebecca!

Conversating with uncle Skye

Jude was more interested in the puppy.

Intense play
Another fun week is over, a new one begun.

Monday, October 6, 2014

2014 Week 40

Full week. Few photos.
Still haven't seen or held Rebecca.
Once again, I must steal borrow from Facebook.
Yesterday, October 5th, she smiled for her Mommy's birthday.

 I did get to see and love on the other little ones at Monday Night Meal!

Yummy soup

Wednesday evening Mike dropped me off at the corner where he picked up an Upland youth who joined the robotics team. I spent the evening getting acquainted with some of the other members of the family. What a treat to listen to harp music!

Thursday, Mike and his two Upland PhyXtGears' helpers set up last year's robot in the Taylor University Science building for participation in the Engineering Fair.

Michael was able to sit most of the day and avoid hip/leg pain.

Friday, I looked out the window and caught a glimpse of him resting and enjoying the sunshine.
I think he's almost finished staining the deck, and may have figured out what he ought not do in order to avoid pain.The cause, however, remains a mystery.

More favorite Facebook pics--my mother enjoying a visit from great grandson Simon.

Saturday we had a delightful visit from friends who have also traveled to the Basque Country.
We taught Courtney how to play Hand & Foot. Emily remembered being my student years ago!

I promised to tell you this week about the missing piece on the tandem.
You guessed easily. However, Mike, when he got the bike down, did not notice that he had not yet replaced the seat after taking that favorite saddle to Spain last June, nor did the other riders gathered at the Greenway realize readily what was missing. So, congratulations to you very observant readers!