Wednesday, March 24, 2010
One of the things I was so excited about moving to San Antonio was the opportunity to check out the myriad of museums. From rare art, animal horns in all shapes and sizes to one of the largest collections in the southern United States of ancient Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek and Roman art--San Antonio has it all.
I've been to the McNay Art Museum, which I loved, and I am adding the San Antonio Museum of Art to the top of my list. I am so jazzed about seeing so many wonderful exhibits. Dale Chihuly, is a well-known glass artist, and he did a permanent installation of one of his pieces at the San Antonio Art Museum or SAM. It is called "Persian Ceiling," and I am blown away just by the photo and can't wait to see it in person. The colors are so rich and vibrant it makes the blood tingle in my veins.
I was perusing the museum's site the other day and I was floored when I saw the teaser to its Western Antiquities collection. Seeing the photo of seated statue of the goddess Sekhmet made me stop cold. Wow. I want to see this in person and I will.
"The Egyptian collection represents nearly 4000 years of civilization, from the Predynastic through the late Roman and Byzantine periods. A colossal statue of the goddess Sekhmet greets visitors to the Egyptian galleries. Other highlights of the collection are a remarkable Predynastic female figurine carved of ivory and a group of 28 relief sculptures from Amarna, the capital city of the 18th Dynasty king Akhenaten. Among important works representing later phases of Egyptian history are a group of plaster mummy masks and two mummy portraits from the 2nd to 3rd century A.D."
Man, I love history. I can't wait to visit this place.
San Antonio Museum of Art
200 West Jones Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78215
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I used to think I knew what wildflowers looked like--their breathtaking beauty. All around Bakersfield, if the rain fell just enough and the winds weren't too strong you could see fields of yellows and red and whites. But California has nothing on Texas wildflowers. They take their wildflowers here quite seriously.
Now, in the afternoons as I drive home, I get to enjoy the Texas Bluebonnets in full bloom in the highway divider. As I sit bumper-to-bumper on 281, all I have to do is turn to my left and a mere four feet away are bunches and bunches of blue flowers vigorously growing. We've had the perfect mix of rain and sunshine to nudge the wildflowers into blooms that are picture perfect.
The two dominate species of Bluebonnets are only found naturally growing in Texas and no where else in the world.
As historian Jack Maguire so aptly wrote, "It's not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat." He goes on to affirm that "The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland."
I learned when we visited LBJ's ranch about Lady Bird Johnson and her passion for wildflowers. Lady Bird talked the government of the State of Texas into planting wildflower seeds along the state's highways. Every year, we are treated to splashes of color and beauty. Many a driver thanks Mrs. Johnson for her foresight into the beautification of Texas.
Jerry and I have visited Wildseed Farms outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. It is the largest working wildflower farm in the country. Acres and acres of flowers so pretty it makes you think it's not real. Something so perfect can't be real, but they are. It's an amazing sight. Trust me; it's something you have to see to believe.
Monday, March 15, 2010
What is your earliest memory? I had another one of my random thoughts and it flashed through my brain--A&W root beer. The earliest memory I have is when I was about five years old and my mother had stopped at the A&W Drive In by our house and bought me lunch. She had picked me up from kindergarten and it was a special treat to eat out. I had a hamburger and a root beer. It was just me and my mother. That was a rare treat for the youngest of five children. I still smile when I see an A&W restaurant, although you can't find a drive in anymore.
My next flash of memory was surgeries I had on my ears. Again, I was about five years old. My ear drums had burst and I was in the hospital. I still remember my head being wrapped like a gauzy white mummy head creature. The nurse had set me on a chair while she changed my sheets. (An unfortunate accident. I couldn't get to the bathroom in time.) My face still burns red at the embarrassment I felt so many years ago. It's funny what stays with you. The nurse was kind, and I kept saying I was sorry.
I don't have a continuous memory of my childhood. It's a hit or miss--second grade and seeing the spanking paddle the principal had hanging in his office. Never used on me, but my brother got spanked. Boy, my mother was furious. She threatened to use the board on the principal if he ever used it on my brother again. We kids laughed at that image. Mama could do it, too.
I remember chasing horny toads in the desert and worrying about stepping on scorpions. I remember a cookout on a California beach and family members teasing me that the crabs were going to grab me and drag me into the ocean. I still have a fear of deep water. lol I can close my eyes and still smell the smoke from the fire we built. We had so much fun.
I remember being at a park and to water the grass they would basically flood it. We'd lie down on the grass and soak in the water. It was the closest thing to being in a swimming pool.
I remember a guy who lived near us who didn't like kids crossing his lot, so he put nails upside down in a piece of wood so we kids would step on it with our bare feet. No pain like stepping on a nail. I think he got in trouble for that, but I can't be sure. I can still see the vivid red drops of blood dripping from my foot and crying so hard my eyes swelled up.
I remember a trip my family took to Tijuana, Mexico. The businesses were run down and there was a lot of dirt. I was afraid and excited at the same time. We had our pictures taken on a donkey painted to look like zebra. Even I knew at that young age that it wasn't right. I just enjoyed being on an adventure with my family.
What are some of your earliest memories?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
It's a bit ironic, that I struggle to hear every day and yet I find my most peaceful times when I turn off my hearing aids and block out the world. It's not that I don't want to hear what's going on around me. I do. I really do. But I find myself turning off my much needed hearing aids during the day just to calm my soul.
There are times that listening can be highly overrated. It's exhausting to hear. My concentration has to be so focused so I can understand what the heck you normal hearing people are saying that I feel as if I've run a marathon. No wonder I'm so flipping tired when I get home.
It's not that I can't hear what people are saying. It just sounds like you all are mumbling. Trying to clarify the sounds can be frustrating, embarrassing and quite awkward.
"Read my lips."
A former coworker said those words to be thinking he was funny. He wasn't. I wanted to slap the smile off his face into next week. I know I don't hear well. I sure as hell don't need anyone to point it out to me. I've been living with this since I was five years old. I think by now I have a clue.
Fish. Dish. Wish. Words sound alike if you can't hear well. I have responded to questions with wrong answers. I've been laughed at, teased, ignored and even made people mad.
"You hear what you want to hear. You have selective hearing."
I heard those comments many times over the years. Umm, nope. I hear what I can when I can. It can be a hit or miss situation. Not by choice. Trust me. If I had a say in this I'd have perfect fricking hearing. But, guess what? I had NO say in the matter. Crap happens and you deal with it. And I've been dealing with this a long time.
I hate and love the sounds of silence.
Want to know what my world is like? Take cotton balls, shove tightly in both ears. Take a set of ear muffs and put over your ears. Now go into the world and try to communicate to people. Try to work. Try to order food from a fast food drive thru. Try to carry a conversation over the phone. Try to be a good mom and be able to hear when your children cry out for you.
Welcome to my world.
When my sons were babies, I would go to their cribs and put my hands on their chests to know they were breathing. I couldn't hear them. I was petrified I wouldn't be able to know if something was wrong. When the kids and I were home alone, if Jerry was gone for the night for some work trip, I'd barely sleep. How could I protect my sons if I couldn't hear if someone was breaking in the house?
But I survived, and my kids turned out okay. I thank God everyday for letting me be who I am. Yeah, I'm hearing impaired, but the good Lord doesn't give you anything you can't handle. I have and will continue to handle this challenge.
A friend wondered how I could calmly study for a test at a noisy restaurant. Well, with my hearing aids turned off, the sounds are muted and it's peaceful. I can be in a roomful of people and read and not be distracted.
I hate and love the sounds of silence.