Driven to distraction…

Bless me father for I have sinned, it has been 10 days since my last blog post and I’m starting to get letters…

Life of course, is what happens when you plan other things…

In fact, I got really distracted by three significant things in my life, all of which are really really good, but none of them left me with a second to sit and write a blog post.  Mea culpa…

First, my family came home.  All of them.  My husband flew home from Saudi Arabia, and drove up to Massachusetts to pick Brianna up from college for her spring break.  So besides a wonderful visit from John Mullarkey, we had a house full last weekend.  And those my dear readers, are the priorities of life.  Family and friends, when they surround you, become the most important thing, because it won’t always be like that.  Kids grow up and go out on their own, and I cherish the times we are all together.

One of the priorities we had while my husband was back in the states for a mere two weeks, was to buy me a new car.  Since Brianna’s car met with an unfortunate end a couple of weeks ago, we decided to give her my old “red car”, the indestructible Honda wagon that has served me well for 14 years.  I looked at another Honda and loved it, but because we were also retiring our Dodge Pick up truck, a mere 12 years old, we needed something with a little more pick up and towing capacity.  So we are now the proud owners of a Toyota Rav4, and I’m a little overwhelmed with things like heated seats and auto start, and a moon roof, I’ve never had a “luxury” car, and I feel like the queen driving around in it.

This chain of events prompted significant event number two…

With too much to accomplish while my husband was in town, I waited until the limo pulled away on Friday to tackle public menace number 1, a garage that isn’t a garage but a storage unit for everything we didn’t know what to do with.  I’ll be damned if I am going to park my brand new “luxury” car in the drive way while my garage bay houses junk…

Side bar…

I always parked in my bay.  I was careful to always make sure I could pull in, that nothing crept into the space where the car should be, until a fateful January in 2006, when my beloved mother-in-law fell for the second time and we had to put her into a nursing home.  Actually, I had to put her into a nursing home as my poor husband was in India on a six week job.  And that meant I had to pack up her apartment and haul everything a truck load at a time, from her apartment in CT to my house, and the only place to put it was the garage bay.  It took me a month, but I did it, and at the end, my husband flew home and towed a trailer full of the big stuff.

Two years went by, and all that stuff was still parked in my garage bay.  It took me that long to sort through and find homes for all of the detritus of life.  It could have been a lot worse, she only lived in an apartment, it could have been a rambling Victorian home she had lived in for 50 years.  So I’m not really complaining here.  But the truth is, once you let the spillover of life invade a space, it is hard to reclaim it.  That and the fact that five cars filled the driveway, there was no point trying to pull into the garage, because I’d have to move two other cars just to get to the garage door.  Sigh.

So, now we are down three cars, one retired, one totaled in an unfortunate accident (no one hurt), and one up at college with my daughter.  I dove into the garage bay last Friday and didn’t come up for air until the bay looked like this…

I had to wait until my son returned from National Guard weekend drills, and he helped me load the rest of the stuff into the car, and off I went this afternoon to Goodwill.  They took everything.  And now, something I haven’t done in six years, I pulled into my garage bay.  I am happy.

The third significant thing that happened was summer arrived.  It was 80 degrees for a few days and that meant that all the trees and bulbs burst into bloom, I dug around for summer clothing, and there was absolutely nothing I could do but enjoy the gorgeous gift of a summer day without having to get on a plane and heading to Florida, which is what most New Yorkers do in March.

I planted pansies…

We rearranged deck furniture…  (I do still have a lot of deck scrubbing to do, but that will have to wait…)

We bought some new deck furniture…

I put in my cool weather crops, lettuce/spinach/chard…

And I dealt with public menace number two…

Frogs in the spillways of the ponds.  They park their fat bodies in the spill ways, under the rocks,  and block the water flow causing the ponds to drain out.  Sigh…  And there are a ton of very large very noisy bullfrogs.  I’ve declared war on the little beasts, though I do love listening to their loud croaking in the evenings.

And finally, I looked at the calendar and went into panic mode, because I have to donate a 16 x 20″ artwork for the “Blank Canvas Event” at the Visual Arts Center of NJ by Thursday, something I do every year, and this year I was so distracted by other events, I sort of forgot about it.  The artwork isn’t finished, it is actually barely started.

I decided to kill two birds with a single stone, and finish off a large “Weave a Memory” piece I had printed in sections, taped to a cutting board,  but just kept moving the rotary cutting board around trying to get it out of the way.  The loom was warped, and I had woven a few strips, but I figured I could scale it down a bit, make it fit a 16 x 20″ canvas, and move it out of the studio.  So I un-wove about an inch or so, and cut down the image, and then wove like a crazy person…

I finished the piece around lunch time today.  Now to remove it from the loom, and mount it on the canvas.

So I had a busy week, and now it is time to hunker down in the studio and prepare for a couple of teaching venues, I have a morning workshop series on Wednesday with the NJ Consortium for Gifted and Talented students and then I pack my car and head north (stopping to deliver my work to the Visual Art Center) to WEBS for my two day garment construction class Saturday and Sunday, there may still be a couple openings.  I’ll be checking later on today.

Stay tuned…


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Hilary Criollo
Hilary Criollo
March 27, 2012 6:11 am

Wow, that weave a memory piece looks real cool! Can you post a photo of it finished? Last week you mentioned John M. was teaching in CT, Do you know where? Enjoy those heated seats!

March 27, 2012 7:57 am

I’m so excited to be a part of your upcoming workshop at Webs! See you there!

March 27, 2012 9:16 am

Congrats on the garage. A MAJOR accomplishment.

Mary Ehrlich
March 27, 2012 10:49 am

Just for you and all you do: Winners step into the circle to receive the prize, where once decided long before, “I will do this if I love or die!” I have finished my first “Daryl Jacket”. Thank goodness I used fabric I found at JoAnn’s. I ripped about as much as I sewed-but I did get it finished and I think it is beautiful. Now I can used my hand woven since I sort of know what I am doing…. Thank you, Daryl for being that great teacher. Not only for the pattern, how to make changes to it,… Read more »

March 27, 2012 11:02 am

Wow — glad you got to put your new Rav4 into the garage. The weaving is beautiful!

March 27, 2012 8:37 pm

I can relate to some of the above………….my beloved 1996 Honda (40MPG) got hit by an Elk and yes, we all survived, 2 dogs and moi. So now i too have a ‘new’ Rav4 and it is quite the experience. enjoy your new wheels.

March 27, 2012 10:38 pm

Once again you have made me excited to take a “Weave a Memory” class from you! I also hope you will post this one finished so we can see it. How great that you completed it…..
Congrats on the garage cleanup—quite an accomplishment! Ahhh, the great juggling-act we all are doing…….thanks for being an inspiration to us, Daryl, to keep our creative efforts a priority too!

candiss cole
March 28, 2012 11:28 am

I am so proud of you for reclaiming your garage. That is HUGE. Glad you got to enjoy everyone being home. You are capable of much, but it is always wonderful to do it as a family.
Enjoy being a princess!

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