Monday, August 17, 2009

Sculpting, Salsa, and That Darned Maid

Certain people (you know who you are) have been nagging me to post something to my blog. I'll admit I am way behind on this. After my dad died I had visions of throwing myself into a creative whirlwind, transforming the ideas in my head into tangible objects and generally getting back into the swing of things.

But alas, it's been a slow process.

My creative space is still the repository of many of my dad's papers and things that I have to go through and organize. AND we adopted a kitty a couple months ago and she terrorized my poor canaries so much that they (and their large cage) have also moved into the studio (so we can shut them safely behind the door). So my favorite creative space is very much occupied right now. BUT-
I'm so excited because I just signed up for a fun, creative, figurative sculpture workshop with an artist I've wanted to work with for a long time, Debbie Fecher Gramstad. She's technically a wonderful sculptor but more than that her work has expressive emotion, freedom of form and movement that I find so exciting.
I've been communicating with her via email for, geez, a couple years now and either because of timing or my family obligations I've been unable to sign up for her workshop. Well I have time now SO I DID IT! It's a small workshop of 8 students held in Debbie's studio for 3 hours every Tuesday night for 6 weeks! I can hardly wait until it begins in October ( **sigh** so far away) .
So after I registered for her class I e-mailed her to ask if there was anything I could do to prepare for the workshop. I was thinking I could practice something.. like forming hands out of paper mache or sculpting a series of my kid's faces in all their moods out of butter or something. You know, something technical like that. (Coming from a family of musicians I know very well that one prepares for a workshop by practicing arpeggios, scales, or the Bach inventions to get your fingers loose and your mind tuned up. I was thinking along these lines.)
Know how she told me to prepare for her class? This is a direct quote:
"The best preparation you can do is to visualize how much FUN this is going to be! And then …let go and be open!"

Wow. I'm not used to that kind of preparation.

Did I already say I can't wait? Well I can't. I think I'm looking forward to having permission and a specific time each week to let the right side of my brain take the stage for a while.

SALSA! (The condiment. Not the dance)
So hubby and I canned 27 pints of salsa yesterday. The salsa is tasty, it will save us money and is very satisfying to see lined up on the shelves with the other preserved food. (Because, you know, if the economy collapses I simply must have something into which to dip my black market tortilla chips.)
The link to the recipe is here. I figured those many positive reviews couldn't all be bogus. I tripled the recipe (but I did NOT add 3 cups of jalapenos!) and added cilantro and fresh lime juice.

Anyway, I peeled, seeded and diced 20 pounds of tomatoes. I started processing the tomatoes early in the morning before my family woke up in order to get a head start. And I have dried tomato seeds on my jammies to prove it. In fact, the whole business really did make a mess. Which leads me to my next subject:

She really does a crappy job. I'll admit, this house can get to be a mess. But honestly, that maid of mine is a total incompetent. It's almost like she doesn't exist at all. I curse her regularly. And for some reason, cursing her lack of work ethic and general incompetence makes me feel better about having to do her job. The kids are used to this and share my opinions. "That darned maid" they say. "Yeah.." I sigh.

Sometimes I halfway believe she's there but this is only when I'm so tired from the day and so totally exhausted at the monotony of cleaning the kitchen *yet again* that I forget (or block out?) that it was me who actually did it. I'll walk by on my way to the back door and think "My, she did a nice job tonight!"

I guess this is why I keep her on. That and I really don't want to have to pay back employment taxes if I fire her and she gets vengeful and turns me in to the IRS. Hey, she said she wanted to work under the table! (She just doesn't want to clean the floor while she's under there.)

Plus she's the closest I've ever had to an imaginary friend. Okay, imaginary incompetent know what I mean.

I'll stop now. More to come, I swear.