Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A rain catcher? downtown. yup. at least for a moment.

I am finishing up a tube encrusted rain barrel for BBAP. The weekend of October 16, they'll be selling rain barrels and compost bins as part of an Eco Houston event. They are a great price. See http://www.bbap-houston.org/ Part of the proceeds will help fund BBAP, buffalo bayou art park, an organization that makes temporary public Art possible in Houston. This organization is an incredibly important art organization in Houston!

The rain catcher takes a little visit to Tranquility Park for a green Eco news event thingy with the mayor. Awe. A morning at Tranquility Park downtown, dangling my legs over a ledge, my butt planted in the grass and catching an occasional light mist from the fountains as I listen to the major and cohorts. The green thing they are doing is a good thing and much prettier than the last time i listened to her as she christened a new residential waste depo. I look all tree huggerish and people who don't know me intimately assume i am a vegetarian because I upcycle urban waste materials for my art. I am not really a tree hugger; somethings just make sense to do.

veggie garden

My new glasses. Lovely

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alien craft in my backyard

"...men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns..." ha. yup. here are their crafts.

Wayside around Avenue T, Houston, TX. YES!

I live in a neighborhood not like any I've lived in before. A simple bike ride (dang I am out of shape) out my backdoor is full of surprises. Though many of my neighbors are naturalized many are alien. They live in bungalows, some well kept others in serious decline. But they all have front porches and actually use them, unlike in the isolation of the affluent burbs. They sit out with the charcoal heating in their wife beater Ts. The children and dogs simply play without the requirement of store bought toys. The tejano music floats through the air. Though at one juncture I heard a jazz horn aptly being played. Sweet. So I ride on. The scents are quite pungently different from the burbs with industrial manufacturing and ocean going vessel stink. And I must beware of the free range ankle biters--tiny little ragamuffin...dogs. As I returned to my BOX, I had to break for a fowl and freshly hatched chic crossing the street (weird!). Amazing since I am really almost walking distance from downtown on the other side of the tracks.

Ok. already. I know. I know. These are really lifeboats for ocean fairing industrial cargo ships and such. But they make awesome defunk scuttle-butted alien spacecraft.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of the day

the sun she sizzles upon the wires hung limp
her moon pregnant with things yet revealed
the evening cools finally
and in her rhythmic absence even
my garden still grows unseen
ok well at least i try to make the day seem
worth doing again and tomorrow i will
for it is my habit to try

Saturday, September 18, 2010

erasure (not eradication) begun.

twenty four square feet erased;
twenty four hundred square feet to go.

erasure not eradication; they are quite different; eradication is not in me.
erasure not annihilation; they are quite different; annihilation is not in me.

One new bed from start to finish (well almost)

They take much longer to make than I expect though I am getting much faster. Tomorrow I will plant this bed with more sugar snap peas (I hope I like them) and either more arugula or some butter leAf. I think.

My goal over the next two months is to line the back of the courtyard as well with planter boxes. So one or two more runs to harvest abused and to be reused (free) rough cut oak, soil and then prep my planters for spring veggies. I hope I can eat all this healthy stuff.

I have peaked the neighbors curiosity with these planters and my gardening endeavors even more than the tube art. Or perhaps a veggies mAke sense to them were as my art does not. Anyway they've been stopping by to ask what I am planting. My first visiting neighbor was a woman named Rosa. I liked that I was working the garden soil when my first rose arrived. Perhaps at some point I will off load the bulk of my tires and build a community garden. I like the neighborhood with its tejano music filling the night air. I do need to learn Spanish, the neighbors kind of look at me like I am ignorant. Of course relative to speaking or understanding Spanish this is true.

The rain has just begun. I love the smell as the temperature drops and my hair is lightly tossed by the gusting breezes in the forefront of the showers.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Oh My Arugula!
It's already sprouting! Dang I didn't expect that... I hope my sugar snap peas start popping up by Monday!

I love arugula (and chocolate gelato). I discovered these when my...ummm (not X because that is too much like scratching someone's eyes out or their face from photos, I suppose former is a more gentle wording, more in terms of the respect I have for her and the condition of my heart, but since she was my only in over two decades, my entire adult life, and i care deeply for her, i will simple refer to her as who she has been to me, my mother-in-law)...so my mother-in-law introduced me to these things as we traveled together when she invited and included me on a trip with her to Italy (rome and florence) and France (paris) in 2005. I never ever expected to, it never even entered my head that i could, get to travel to these places just to look at art, so it was a wonderful surprise, a geniune gift (it was the first time i ever cut school as well). Anyway, in these places, over our three week trip, I sought out contemporary art...Rodin. Picasso, Hesse, Debuffet, and so much more (and ate in little cafes and fine restaurants with she and Rod...thus arugual (and gelato)). So many wonders and works I had only read about and had seen in mere slides projected onto a wall in art history lectures, i now got to actually see. While on that trip I began the final pivotal transition from designer (invisible) to artist (visible)--though my whole life had been building to this point, traveling with her was that real snap moment. It is when i knew, that feeling of coming home to who i was meant to be and am, it was like stepping into my own skin for the first time in 44 years. It was on this trip that i began to follow the call on my life as artist. In a purpose driven life style were all things must clearly and overtly serve the creator, coming home to, an uncovering of, who i am as artist was disruptive and unsettling in spite of just being so right to how i am internally built and gifted. So huge changes began to manifest -- I became more comfortable with who I am, less timid, less dependent, more aware of were I felt wounded and God's healing call. Art seemed so purposeless, like entertainment, in so many ways it created a huge paradox and a new kind of anxiety in the world I resided in.  In trying to listen and follow, i have walked on unknown territory in which i have stumbled and fallen yet i am, at 48, still learning to walk. And as I keep getting back up (trying), I still limp from the many woundings. i assume i will always limp but i will walk.

Anyhow that is how arugala (and chocolate gelato) entered my life and that is when i overtly, with purpose, began following who I was create to be. All these things I will hold onto gently, as I am lead.

he leads me beside quiet waters
he makes me lie down in green pastures
and restores my soul.

I do love arugula; i really kind of hated salad (iceberg based) before i discovered arugula. now i am a saladaholic...plus steak (medium rare)!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beds fully made

Mistress Mary, Quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells,
And so my garden grows.  (c1744)

i don't recall the context other than childhood, but nursery rhymes, fairy tales and fables were a typical mom time. So now i shall look for the silver bells and cockle shells as my own garden grows.

note...thursday no arugula sprouts...but by friday afternoon, they've all sprouted! dang. the growth taken place under the surface is so unseen and then in a moment it becomes wonderfully visible. god i hope it will be like that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Morning fog soup; clear evening and freshly made beds

I don't think I have the proper instrument rating to drive through this, to which my dad had a good laugh as i explained my limitations.

Location:University Dr E,College Station,United States

But then to the BOX as the day passes...

And I put everything to bed (sorry i couldn't resist).

And my beds seeded with two different varieties of arugula (in theory should sprout in 5 to 7 days) await the snap sugar peas that must soak over night. Amen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Others' thoughts worth cogitating

"the very thing we wish to avoid, neglect, and flee from, turn out to be the 'prima material' from which all real growth comes from." -- Andrew Harvey

"we do not need to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks are heart." -- Jack Kornfield

"through our senses the world appears. Through our reactions we create delusions. Without reactions the world becomes clear." -- Buddha

Location:S Gessner Rd,Houston,United States

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When good things happen

I got an email Thursday that I was not expecting. I was really expecting it to come in the typically thin envelop bearing the single page and the lone paragraph that says, "we really appreciate your application BUT..."

That envelop did not come.

As I was exiting barnes and nobles after birthday card hunting, my phone beeped with a new arrival. Climbing back in my truck, I thumbed through my phone to retrieve the message. I openly (ok well not that openly, i was in the pseudo privacy of my truck) and sobbed when I understood what it was telling me. This tends to happen when it feels like God is still kind to me when I really don't expect it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Waiting for the "possible" tornado to finish passing through bryan/college station while...

...watching my mom eating a nursing home version of chicken cordon blue. Ummm.  That is not the sound of me saying, Yummmm...it is that Ummm, i ain't so sure about that chicken fried surprise! But my mom is so good natured, she says yummm (no matter). And the cook, as well as all the aids, assistants, nurses, administrators, just love her...of course she always has a smile for them, teases them good naturedly and has a kind of tendency to playfully run them over with her wheelchair (i call this ankle biting and try to get her to be careful...thank goodness for my steel tip boots).

i hope when i am her age, lacking all control over my life-when i get to wash my hair or take a shower, eat or be put to bed, i am as good natured as she is. she's a great mom.

my mom makes me smile. i hope i can eventually get that smile on the inside like her smile.

Monday, September 06, 2010

don't respond kathy

of course this is a response

dang it

it would not be loving
to respond
it would not be compassionate
to respond
it would not be forgiving
to respond
it assumes what i cannot know
to respond

of course this is a response

just continue to pray for healing for myself and others
continue to pray that my heart will not
grow hard
continue to pray that i will
not respond with hardness
continue to pray that i will
not respond with assumptions
continue to pray that my heart will
expand with compassion
continue to pray that i will
not be arrogant and assume i know because i can't
continue to pray that i will
grow in the capacity to forgive
and accept forgiveness
continue to pray that i will
not respond out of hurt, hardness,
false knowledge and assumptions,
anger, pride, or faulty practices
of self preservation

to late; try again

of course this is a response
i am doing it again

dang it
no body invited me into it
but i step into it anyway
every time
why do i look
why do i look
if goodness and compassion were to be offered
it would not be through that vehicle
why do i look
why do i have any expectations
why do i hope
why do i hope
and respond each and every time
as the many hopes i hold appear dashed

dang it kathy
of course this is a response
it is unkind
assumes what i cannot know

try again

now just go and grade papers and student blogs

Location:Pine Valley Dr,College Station,United States

Friday, September 03, 2010

for my baby brother! it's genetic.

no. no. no. i wont


muahhaaaa my baby brother and the fruit of his loins
muahhaaaa and his lovely seriously genetically related daughter (on the right)...well except her awesomely gorgeous thick hair and leaning towards well done cow which she got from her mama.

personally i think cheri, shelley, glenn, my mom and dad need to send me images from their archive...i am sure they exist...

it is true. my mom told me just today that my dad has a picture of her on his keychain in this very pose. it is totally genetic. that's my story and i am sticking to it.

Blessing of a forgiving heart
"in the moment you stop the war, you open up to what you have been avoiding" "our failure to know joy is directly linked to our inability to forgive."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Swimming in the shallow end
My first ever truly girlie jeans

and they're not levi's. Aaaggghhh! Why do the girlie jeans I like cost 5x the sale price at which I buy my levi's? Oh yeah, now I recall. For girl jeans, you pay extra if you do NOT want your butt cleavage exposed! YES, this is a fact.

Kindergarten and pre-k I wore those stretchy polyester-knit (green) pants with a raised seam down the front and little loops at the bottom to slip beneath the arches of my feet (think Mary Tyler Moore) while learning to ride my bike on Governor's island. Though the pants were a little problomatic because the little girl pink ruffles on the backside of my panties showed through the stretch polyester, it didn't negatively impact the development of my bike riding skills, bar me from my first movie theater experience with my mom and Mary Poppins or diminish my crush on the chimney sweep, Dick Van Dyke. When I started public school, it was one big experiment with open concept classrooms (a dismal failure) with a required dress dress code. Naturally I wore shorts underneath to be prepared for the unpredictable surprise playground games of "dress UPs" the boys were just learning. The dress code quickly devolved to pant suits. Oh and I had this awesome cotton ultra awesome, even a bit feminine, pant suit covered in its entirety with a hippy paisley to go with my plastic pale blue rhinestone encrusted cat eyed glasses. Got cut from choir cause i couldn't sing which lead to always taking visual art when i had a choice. Soon enough we could wear pants but not BLUE jeans, all while the tail end of Vietnam raged on. For the remainder, I showed up to school in my red sears' toughskins and went out to play afterwards while the Watergate debacle over took the networks and my teacher, Miss Humphreys, wore her gold rimmed tinted stop sign glasses, so of course i got my own wire rims. Junior high was big belled hip huggers and learning to play basketball. Amen that we were prepubescent with those hip huggers. High school was overalls--blue, red, white. College, athletic shorts and daily runs with the team and then Joy when we invaded some place down towards Cuba at least that's what i heard one day in my psych class. Early jobs i pushed the dress code to the boundary of ultra casual, especially with my shoes. Bought my first mac SE with a loan from my dad. Was shocked and appalled that racism in the town I'd moved to was alive and well. Had to decide for voting purposes between a crook and a Klan master...I just couldn't bring myself to vote that year. Moving to Houston and entering the church, I let them know I would NOT be wearing dresses and they should not hire us if this was going to be a issue. It was the principle of the thing, besides when has God ever really given a rip about our external trappings. Really! They hired us. Rodney King got a beating and OJ's glove did not fit. When I got the memo some years latter from Bob that I had to wear dresses to work, I let him know that I would not be doing so. The desert storm came and went. The towers crumbled. I quit my job and went to grad school. Our war on terror began. The terminator became a governor.

So here I am four decades later from my little girl pink ruffles buying my first pair of fitted truly girlie jeans. Our soldiers still march off to war while I shop, the earth rumbles, flood waters rise and fall, the resulting diseases steal the breath from children and adults alike so far away. And I can't decide if these cutsy jeans are good or bad. They are probably neither, but they were ridiculous in cost. So I consider this my contribution to restore us from recession. Swimming in the shallow end I am, no doubt.

Oops and apparently I paid extra so the girlie jeans would be cute even inside out.

Dang! that is just wrong.

I like that they have a sense of humor

Alina, Hunter, Mark, Jamine, Amber and Kelsey professionally argue about the application of gestalt theory within their visual explorations

Daniel, Henry, Edith, Michael, Geoffrey and JD do the same.

Then there is the aftermath of mental and sharpie exhaustion.

Ha. I do like these guys. Not only are they throwing themselves into the task, they are doing it with gusto and humor.

Location:S Gessner Rd,Houston,United States