Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bits and Pieces, Goals and realizations

A few bits of randomness....

I have found that when I am seriously busy, but not preoccupied, I do a lot of creative thinking and free associating.  So I have been totally preoccupied for a while- between my Boundary waters trip, Dirty Girl run, school starting, wedding of the mad-engineer son and his FULL of awesome new wife, and most recently, a trip over to Sheboygan-my brain has not had a lot of time linger on much of anything.

This past weekend I was hit by a few feelings- first was an overwhelming sense of relief and release.  Second was a definite feeling of let down and then a little bit of being directionless.  My brain being as it is, has been searching around for something to  focus on and also has been making connections.

The first thing I settled on was a new goal.  I had an aha moment last night when I realized that I am coming up on 2 years as an official, card-carrying member of the loseit website.  I am thrilled with the progress I have made, amazed still, and I understand now that I really would like to finish off my final goal by the time I hit my anniversary.  Now I am not silly enough that I will be all bummed out if I don't lose this last 4 pounds by Dec. 21, but it would be nice to do that.  I want to sort of put an exclamation point on that part of things and be able to think about new goals that I would like to achieve.  I actually do want to lose probably another 10 pounds after that, but I will not be checking on that regularly- some may say obsessively!  With that in mind, it is much easier to avoid the very little bit of Halloween candy that I will be exposed to today.  2 years is a long time!!  I'm still surprised.

So with that in mind, and thinking about Halloween, I also again thought about the fact that other than in college I have NEVER lived in a place where I had trick or treaters come to my house. That is sort of odd I think.  Maybe not, but I sort of wish I had experienced it.  I used to go over to my friend CathyB's house and hand out some candy there, and when I was a kid I used to help Grandma Kutz had some out when I got back with my own stash.  I'll avoid the little kids and their treats today, and keep putting things up in the hall (for conferences next week) to burn off any accidental treats I might ingest!  :)

When I get home tonight, and indeed right now, I will be truly alone!  I am alone a lot, but never truly alone.  That sounds mysterious, so I will explain.  Anyone who has followed the nonsense of the mad-art teacher knows that I "flit" around a lot- that would be the MA's term for my traveling.  I love traveling and the MA- not so much.  Anyway, tis the season for the MA to make a road trip to Eau Claire for his 2 day income tax seminar.  I used to go along and go Christmas shopping (usually the seminar is later in November), which was a hoot.  It was nice to get away from the kiddos and get the gifts mostly purchased and just generally be adult-like.  But I can't do that anymore (I am not that good at being adult-like anyway!!!) especially when I spent 2 days last week flitting, er, um, traveling to the art convention.  So this evening, I will return home from my weight lifting and elliptical sessions to a house that is really empty.  Now, typically, the MA is gone when I get home from the gym as it is that time of the year where he goes every night and weekend to help out with the activities at the sheep ranch and Christmas tree farm.  And therefore I am alone a lot, which is what sort of triggered a mini-saltine and peanut butter attack last night, but I digress....  So if you refer back to the first couple of paragraphs, you will see how this is all connected in my somewhat convoluted story here!  It is always weird for me to be alone in my bed at home.  But I do sleep well!  :)

Anyway, it is time for me to get ready to go to work, avoid the candy, stay busy, keep moving, get rid of any candy that lands on my desk and don my black angel wings and rock the art room!!  THEN, go to the gym and come home and savor/fear the true aloneness.  But, I never know when things will come together for another aha moment- a new goal, an interesting realization, a new appreciation for random stuff.

Joy comes at unexpected times!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sheboygan photos Part 2

This was the next day!  There was quite the difference.  I also have included here some photos from my little Canon camera, I had taken along my big boy for the majority of the work.  But the little camera has it's particular advantages as well.

 From my little Canon Powershot- Thursday's wild weather:

Thursday night- pic before I was walking in the rain

Love the driftwood!

Hope you found some joy in these pictures, I know I enjoyed taking them!

Art convention in Sheboygan and a gorgeous photo opp!

I left on Wednesday after school to go to the WAEA convention in Sheboygan!  I love going to the art ed conventions, as it is such a great way to recharge the art teacher batteries, get new ideas and great free art supplies.  Heaven knows we love a free art supply!  :)

I had never been to Sheboygan before, but had heard it is quiet lovely and man that was so true.  What a great little town it is.  The downtown is gorgeous, and the lakeside parks are wonderful.  I didn't get to shop much, but there appeared to be plenty of that as well.  I'll get to the photo ops in a second.  The only drawback is that was one heck of a long drive and don't even get me started on the road construction in Green Bay!!  ugh!!! I have learned the joys of using GPS, I am sometimes not a very quick study.  HA!

I got the wonderful opportunity to go and tour the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden on a very lovely Thursday morning, before a big ole front came in and dropped us into wintery type temperatures.  It is an outsider artist environment- a place where a self-taught artist created and displayed his sculptures.  This particular one has its sculptures in basically the same places that they were originally made, which isn't always the case. The Garden is maintained by the John Michael Kohler Foundation, which has a great museum in the city of Sheboygan.  These first pictures are from the Tellen Sculpture Garden.  I love the way that the artist was able to sculpt very realistic faces and bodies out of the concrete.  He probably cast them in the dirt like many of these craftsmen did.  He was far more skillful in that regard, much less primitive than other examples, such as Fred Smith's work.

Outsider art is something that I have sort of unwillingly (at first) obtained a fairly large body of knowledge!  When I first moved up to Park Falls back in the day, I was mildly amused and totally offended by the Concrete Park art work.  I knew nothing about outsider art and only saw the naivety of the form, not the story behind it.  I hold much appreciation for it now that I have studied it, read about it, wrote extensively about it,  and now am trying to expand my exposure to the different art environment sites around the state.  I try to get my students to the Park in Phillips every year, as they really need to know the importance of this local landmark that is known all over the United States.  Incredible, but true.  It is good for all of us to see art in unexpected places and in unexpected form.

Fence at the entrance of the Tellen


Native American woman and child

Bears on a trunk- gate


Part of a functioning mill house that is set up a few times per year

small vignette of people

Drunk?  maybe!

Part of the log cabin that was built by Tellen


Tellen made metal light fixtures for the house

Walk in the woods to discover the statues

Last of the leaves

Beauty in russets

Ephemeral beauty

statuary that inspired Tellen to begin
Then there was the bathroom at the John Michael Kohler museum.... was it ever cool.....
One of the sinks

Tiles in the ladies bathroom

Part of one of the exhibitions
 Meanwhile, back on the beach, it was sort of sunny to start with, and then it got cloudier and windier and the pictures possibilities were fantastic!

Late morning color and waves

Later in the day color and waves

beautiful fence and steps

curls on the lake

I have another whole picture post coming of Friday, which was cold but sunny.  A whole new lake to shoot!

This was definitely a joyful trip!
Even got to hear Yoda on a friend's GPS!  You just never know what will happen some days!

Until next time..... be a joy giver!