John finds joy in the small insignificant items of life like JUNK MAIL! He even bought a catalog enumerating and explaining and describing, in great detail, hundreds of publications and their implied mailing lists. John SUBSCRIBED TO THEM. He sent money and bought junk mail! So every day he’d count the minutes until they came in the mail. Those things are what others threw away without even a quick scan. The throw away all those surprises and their prodigy. If I happened to be outside when the mail comes I distracted John with something like, “Isn’t that your Mother’s letter blowing down the street?” and when he’d twist to look I’d push past him and grab the stack of mail and hold it ransom. The other woman, of course, is the mail carrier. nancymauerman.com
In spite of Portland’s leash law John saw a big dog walking down our sidewalk bare! No, I don’t mean the dog needed a bikini, although in my freaked out childhood I was positive certain parts of dogs should have been covered. The dog strolled down the sidewalk like he owned the place; leashless. A few minutes later the dog’s man followed wearing the leash, it was draped over his shoulders. “So,” John told me , “I suppose the guy WAS walking his dog on a leash.
Here’s an after though: A Mommy dog could wear an eight cup bra or four bras. This lead to the thought that I could designing lady’s dresses with eight breasts, six stuffed with cotton, which lead to the idea of Madonna singing her songs with eight points, which lead to what John calls my Madonna quilt. A picture is coming on Monday where large cones stick up a few inches and are flat on the other side of the quilt but between the large cones are deep dents that protrude through to the other side and stick out a couple of inches there. nancymauerman.com
In reviewing a children’s book yesterday I was reminded of my daughter who when she was quite young insisted that all living things grew up in statue and when they’d reached full size they began the process of growing down, eventually to infant size, then they grew big again. They repeated the process over and over. I’d asked, once, how she’d come to that conclusion but was never answered with anything other than, “Everybody knows the world works this way.” with a look on her face which told me she thought in my case my mind had grown down instead of my body size, for having asked such a foolish question. This and other strange theories are part of “Dragon Tales” a book I authored and illustrated. nancymauerman.com
I’ve been thinking about the word “original.” I could say my new radio isn’t as good as the original because I like old stuff. But then I could talk about my Outsider painting, “Understand Plastic Vanities” as being original and brag it’s not like any other.
I like to play with a word and applyi it to opposite meanings as in the book, “Leafman Attacks 3 Worse Than a Bugbear” where Grandmother sees what she was hoping not to see. She could not see Anna’s house. Her house looked gone! nancymauerman.com
I noticed my message about John on the 19th is missing! Perhaps it’s in a blog pocket somewhere and I have no idea what it said but I’m remembering a phone call he made to a mature friend, meaning she was over seventy. He asked her if he could come over and install a water filter. For the first few minutes she made sounds around the fact that she didn’t want to put him out. But upon realizing he wasn’t going to give up his mission I heard her through the phone say, “Well thank you, but give me an hour; I’m not dressed yet.” In answer John thumped himself on the chest and said, “Be still my heart!”
Let me tell you, that made her day! You can see why John is such good fodder for my children’s books and he’s fun to draw too. See “Eagles and Banana Peels” nancymauerman.com
Molasses is still sliding off an entire room full of plant leaves at my house but I can’t yet tell if the bugs are dead. (see June 26 blog)
Today I hope to read and review children’s books on Amazon, rewrite my own, rip apart three skirts I bought from Goodwill so as to remake them, and color with crayola crayons.
A thought on Goodwill: Last year a twelve year old friend asked what I was going to shop for at Goodwill that day. I realized that my mental list is generally four to ten long. It’s full of a few items of my own and also friends’ requests (things like; “If you see a new bunt pan would you pick it up for me?” ) I don’t SHOP for those things. I shop for surprises! I never know what I’ll see there. Upon reflection, I’d say Goodwill is a community bonding agent. When a friend and I discusses where to buy a hard to find dark chocolate powder, that I’d finally located, they go get it on their own because the nature of that kind of shopping is that you can count on the chocolate being there again. Perhaps we should shop for each other more, lets say a friend needs to laugh more in his life and asks me to watch out for funnies and pick them up for him.
I fell sorry for those with too much money because if they need a new bunt pan they just go out and get it. There are no WAITINGS and stumbling into better solutions, no ANTICIPATIONS and no SURPRISES while LOOKING! nancymauerman.com
Have you ever gotten a few intense weeks into a project then get a wild idea and have to decide? Do you repeat solutions that have worked in the past or go for the new and “improved” option?
MAYBE your new idea will be an improvement, maybe you’ll create a mess and throw away all those weeks of work. The result maybe different but mediocre, or it may be something brilliantly new. The only guaranteed Improvement will be you, having learned. nancymauerman.com
When John was thirteen he had a girl friend whom he talked to on the phone; for hours. So, he told me, not wanting to tie up his families’ phone.. I interrupted here, “You mean you wanted privacy.”… yes he admitted, he wanted privacy too, he walked to a pay phone. The phone was located a mile, or maybe only half a mile, away and outside a small store at the end of their parking lot. A “friend” had shown him the trick of using a penny instead of a dime. The “second” time he used the penny the woman who ran the store called the police. When the police came they said the pay phone was full of pennies and did he know anything about that. John, having not yet developed George Washingtonian qualities, acted surprised and shocked.
Now here’s where the cheek comes in; He ASKS them for a RIDE HOME! And they give it to him! I bet his fiends were impressed.
I mention John here because he’s the inspiration behind so many of the children’s books I author and illustrate. Even today he’s full of humorous adventures, one of which I’ll mention in tomorrow’s blog.
Thanks for reading, Nancy Mauerman. nancymauerman.com
For month’s now, I hadn’t been attending my quilting group and missed it, so I went tonight taking a large quilt I’ve recently finished to show. It’s hand sewn and probably took close to a year to make but when it was half done I realized my idea was BAD. Rather than throw a year’s work away plus the fabric I took it to my group last year and heard a lot of noise; suggestions, encouragement, and ideas. It’s not my favorite one but I’m glad I didn’t throw it away. nancymauerman.com