Tarzan No More…

Where is my inner-tomboy when I need her most
Why didn’t she make the call
No, she made me do it
I was a hedgehog rolling up in a ball to protect myself
I squeezed my eyes like a poor-sighted wombat
tears streaming down my face
My inner-tomboy is a wolverine
she takes down prey ten-times her size
She is a bottle-nosed dolphin
playful but oh, so very smart
I wish she would’ve been there for me
My Tarzan-holler would’ve wrested her
back from the jungle
but maybe I’ve become Jane
I did wear a sequinned shirt on New Year’s

Is Jane so bad?
Perhaps at 51, I’ve become girlie
So, I guess I’ll have to make the tough calls
inner-tomboyless
Apparently, I’m Jane now
but
those pink sparkly Sketchers will hug home plate
’cause come hell or high water
I’ll swing that baseball bat ’til the day I die

wombatMay you dream of your inner-jungle human…

Wombat (endangered) created last week 
I remain Mac-less, on a PC and fumbling with image feature – this is blurry – my apologies.

The Answer Was in My Bathroom

Dear Friends,
Queen Guenevere is about to burn at the stake. Seconds before raging flames engulf her silken gown, a chivalrous knight astride a white charger gallops in to rescue her. All along, King Arthur secretly prays for Lancelot to slice the ropes binding Guenevere. Arthur doesn’t want her to die. The King’s love for his Queen is far greater than her paramour’s.

We sometimes get lost searching for beyond. We shove away from yesterday, when yesterday wasn’t so bad. Then we get ourselves jammed in today and must wiggle toward tomorrow. Venturing out is fine, but one must be prepared to accept what surprises await on the other side. Often times if we’re patient, things alter course in their own natural time.

Venturing out, I tripped into directionless mode. A day or two off from art, writing and technology served me well. I read an excellent book, Same Kind of Different as Me and had a good cry. I read one more book to further reclaim my happy. Every other page highlighted a memorable quote with deeper sentiments beyond the sports figures who uttered them.This book took the form of, The Bathroom Sports Quiz Book. Please don’t ask me where I was while reading. 😉
Last night I looked at my beautiful family, thanked Above for all I have in this moment, then smacked myself upside the head and got back to doing what it is I do…

“There comes a time in every man’s life and I’ve had plenty of them.” -Casey Stengal, baseball manager

“A good sport has to lose to prove it.” -Anonymous

“Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean.” -Pedro Guerroro, baseball player

baseball“My greatest strength is that I have no weaknesses.” -John McEnroe, tennis player

“We’ll do all right if we can capitalize on our mistakes.” -Mickey Rivers, baseball player

“Absolute silence, – that’s the only thing a sports writer can quote accurately.” -Bobby Knight, basketball coach

head“They should move first base back a step to eliminate all those close plays.” -John Lowenstein, baseball player

“I’m not allowed to comment on lousy officiating.” -Jim Finks, football G.M.

“I just try to concentrate on concentrating.” -Martina Navratilova, tennis player

“Fear was absolutely necessary. Without it, I would have been scared to death.” Floyd Patterson, former heavyweight boxing champ

runner“We can’t win at home. We can’t win on the road. As a general manager, I just can’t figure out where else to play.” -Pat Williams, basketball G.M.

“A lot of horses get distracted. It’s just human nature.” Nick Zito, winning horse trainer

“If it’s undisputed, what’s all the fighting about?” -George Carlin, referring to term “undisputed champion”

Thank you for your kind patience and uber-gracious comments. I’m honored to know each and every one of you. May you dream of gilded washrooms, heated seats, cool bidets and warm saunas. You all deserve royal bathrooms worthy of Camelot.
-AnnMarie  🙂

The above sports quotes were selected from, The Bathroom Sports Quiz Book (2003), by Jack Kreismer
Pencil sketches done after lunch but before dinner 

Sweet Memory Found in a Dirty Cabbage Patch

Dear friends,

As a child, I never cared for dolls. My inner-tomboy wouldn’t allow it. There was however this one special baby doll, that my father brought home on a dark night long ago. Oh, she was beautiful. Her silky brown hair was fashioned into pixie and she had dark, malted milk-ball eyes. She wore a simple blue dress decorated with one little yellow daisy. She was the first doll I’d ever seen with eyes and hair like mine. It was love at first sight.

But my younger sister wanted the new doll too. She needed to add the brown-eyed beauty to her massive doll collection. My sister feared her sibling’s unusual desire for the plastic newcomer. She realized claiming her divine doll right in this situation, might be ineffective. My younger sister employed a more sinister tactic – she cried. Her blue eyes were quite convincing.

My inner-tomboy nearly relented that evening. Except as luck would have it, my inner-tomboy fell out of her upper bunk bed onto her head, ironically while showing off how far she could lean down without falling. She cried too – which she didn’t do often. My father who was within earshot came running in. In that tear-ridden moment, I asked for the brown-eyed, baby doll. Gazing at my pathetic face, my father told my sister she had more than enough dolls. And for the price of one head bump, the only baby doll I ever coveted was mine.

Sadly, I can’t remember what happened to my precious doll. Many years later, while at a younger brother’s high school graduation, I spied a beautiful, brown-eyed girl gripping a dirty, bald-headed Cabbage Patch Doll. She cupped the dolly tenderly to her shoulder. The afternoon sun was lighting her flawless face like an angel. I took a photo.

girlI came home that evening, took out my pastels and drew a cherished childhood memory –

Wise Artist Sister Told Me to Add More Art

Dear friends,
My artist sister, who is more mature and so much wiser than I, suggested incorporating more of my own artwork into anntogether. I told her my portfolio and writing pieces will be included with the revised blog design (hopefully coming soon). I let her know that up to this post, I have sprinkled random art pieces throughout other posts. This post for example highlights some work from my earlier years…

I haven’t done much sculpture, but I did make this handprint when I was 5-
hand print

print backThen there was an angel my inner-tomboy made from a cone when I was eleven. I’d snuck into my grandma’s closet and unwrapped the wool off one of her knitting cones. Grandma later asked if I knew who did it. I lied. I feel a pang of guilt that this little angel has come to represent the little devil in me.

angelI’m quite proud of this next piece, I assisted the primary artist – a man by the name of Mike-

pieta                                                                 Kidding of course…

The sculptures below are both mine. I created them my senior year of high school. They broke apart, as did all but one of my other sculptures. I’m so happy to have a few decent black and white photos of both pieces. This first one is a whimsical saxophone –

tubatuba faceThe next is by far my favorite. Had she withstood the test of time, we would have been the best of friends. She was created using a mirror. If memory serves she was at least two and 1/2 feet in length. That year I also sculpted a horse rearing up – that collapsed – and a plate of spaghetti and meatballs which died at my childhood home. Sadly, I have no pictures of those sculpts. So friends, I present to you my Suffering Woman

my sculpt

sideview And a close up of her hand which I recall being quite proud of back then-

hand closeI truly appreciate my sister’s artful wisdom.
I’ll start incorporating more art in anntogether.
Apparently, Ann has a long way to go to-get-her stuff together…

Death of an Ancient One

As a kid, I found any morning walk to my bus stop after a heavy rain daunting. Neither me or my earthworm friends were very happy. I couldn’t bear to watch the endless sea of pinkish-brown bodies wriggling on the wet blacktop. Whenever this upsetting scene accosted my eyes, my inner-tomboy morphed into a worm-plucking machine. Running in a serpentine pattern, I’d grab as many worms as my little hands could carry. Then onto the nearest lawn went the hapless earthworms. I’d continue saving worms until the bus arrived. Once seated, I’d wipe my dirty hands on my navy-blue knee socks so the nuns couldn’t think I’d been digging for the devil.

I don’t save earthworms much these days. I’d like to think that over the last forty years their little earthworm brains have evolved and they’re better equipped at saving themselves. I’ve since taken up offering roadside assistance to bewildered dogs. To prepare myself for this challenge, a nylon leash is stowed in my car and I watch The Dog Whisperer, whenever I can. To date I’m happy to report-I’ve reunited several lost pooches with their owners (though one little dog with oddly big teeth scared the crap out of me).

Bringing me to the reptile saving. A few years back there was an incident which compels me to save turtles for the rest of my life. I learned a terrible, horrible and valuable lesson. Every spring where I live many turtles venture out onto the road. While driving the tank, if I happen to spy a slow-moving shell I pull over and return the turtle to safety.

On this particular spring day several years ago, I’d been rushing to collect the big son (who was much smaller at the time) from elementary school. We had to find a birthday gift then get to a party. On the way to his school, a large snapping turtle – the kind that live 150 years – was making his way across the road. He was better than halfway and the road was not heavily trafficked. A fleeting thought entered my mind, “Pull the car over and make sure the turtle gets across.” Followed by the next fleeting thought, “No time. Everyone will see that giant turtle. It’s impossible not too. He’ll be fine.” I continued on my journey feeling nary a twinge of guilt. I picked up the big son and we proceeded to Target.

On the return ride, my jaw dropped open, my mouth hung agape. I was in disbelief. The huge, ancient, beautiful turtle didn’t make it across the road. I was broken-hearted but the guilt was far worse. I vowed from that day forward, much to the giant husband’s chagrin, to save every single turtle or reptile, no matter the time, place or situation.

I will admit that picking up and carrying that giant snapping turtle last year was not very smart, but the darn thing wasn’t moving fast enough and I had to help him cross the road.

turtle head/Prisma

turtle head/Prisma

Shaping Goo

Life is like gooey jello: add hot and cold water to something sweet then hope it solidifies into a fun shape. We view our lives in terms of taking shape. We view our bodies as changing shape (some more shapely than others). The glorious upside of aging (besides getting all jiggly), is the ability to look back with humor. Peering into our chilled jello bowls, we have the luxury of laughter as we recall our youthful lime-green messes.
jelloPerhaps that is why at 50 years of age, I can now giggle at pirates with eyepatches. I too wore an eyepatch. I was in fourth grade – my patch was pink (a bad tomboy color). My eyepatch had an elsatic band much like a costume eyepatch. The eyepatch covered my right eye ‘casue the left had astigmatism.

My adult jello bowl also allows me to chuckle at food handlers’ plastic gloves. I too wore plastic gloves. In fourth grade a weird skin rash decided to take up residence between my fingers. First thing every morning, my red-itchy hands were slathered with cream then stuffed into plastic gloves as to not smear my school mates.

Today, I can gaze deep into my jello bowl and say with confidence it’s okay to be jiggly. I can affectionately recall the lime-green messes. I remember the little chubby girl with the pink eye patch and plastic gloves and can honestly say – 4th grade really sucked.

If I can admit all this while smiling, I will not live my life shaping goo.
me with caroline

 

Super Heroes Shouldn’t Own Cows

The year is 1968 and I’m the strongest kid in kindergarten. Today my title will be put to the test. My class will be making buttermilk then enjoying the results. Crisp, blue and white boxes of saltine crackers are stacked atop a nearby classroom table. My teacher, Ms. T informs the class, “Saltines are absolutely perfect with sweet buttermilk.”

Thirty-one little mouths are salivating for this delectable, creamy treat, but first comes the challenge of making the stuff. Ms. T pours milk and what she calls ‘buttermilk magic’ into the big jar until its almost bursting. She places, then twists the gold lid with the long crank handle on the buttermilk jar. She gives the giant jar a thorough shake to ensure nothing leaks.

Ms. T regards us thirty-one, drooling tikes sitting pretzel-legged on the classroom carpet, “Okay children, time to line up for churning. Now remember, as I explained this morning, the buttermilk will get thicker and thicker as it is mixed, so I’d like the girls to lineup first then the boys. I’ll pass the jar to each of you. You will turn the crank a few times then I’ll pass the jar on to the next student in line.”

From the carpet, my hot little hand shoots up like a cheese knife slicing soft gouda. “Ehem, excuse me Ms. T, I’d like to line up with the boys.”

“No.”

“Ms. T, I’d like to line up with the boys.”

“No.”

“Ms. T–” I was just going to tell my teacher how strong I really am, when she grabs my little arm. She proceeds to line up the girls first, then the boys, then places me at the absolute end of the line. I’d be the last to turn the crank. It was my proudest moment.

My knees are whacking into each other and my feet are tap dancing on the tile. The jar of golden buttermilk is making its way down the line. The biggest boys near the end of the line are straining.Their faces are shades darker, several are breaking a sweat. Me, I’m not worried at all. I just want to have at that jar. The husky boy in front of me managed four turns of the crank then quit. Ms. T takes the jar from his exhausted paws.

I grab the jar from Ms. T, tucking it into my side, like a running back securing the pigskin as if his life depended on it. This is the moment of truth for the strongest kindergartener. I start imagining myself a superhero with a plaid cape and red PF Flyers. I firmly grasp the wooden handle, take a deep breath and force the handle clockwise. It goes slowly and it’s difficult to move. I go for a second turn which is equally as trying but I push into a third rotation. I’m biting my lower lip except I don’t notice. I’m going for a fourth. My grip hand is sweating and the other hand holding the jar is too. There is a small slip, then a drop, then CRASH…

I learned three very important lessons on that ominous kindergarten day: The first is never give small children large glass jars. The second is without sweet, creamy buttermilk, saltine crackers are very dry. And finally, superheroes should never own cows.
Hiding Bull

Forget Waldo, I’m Looking for Someone Else…

I’m looking for a girl-a young girl. She’s about 4’5″ tall, brown eyes and sports a mussed shag. Chances are she’ll have scabby knees. She’ll most likely be wearing a blue, white and green plaid shirt. Last seen she was riding her bicycle. The stingray is like a vintage sports car in restoration. The metal frame is an odd hue-a sort of sepia puking-up orange color. The seat is banana-shaped and covered in plastic leopard. The girl is one of those tomboy types. And other than to say she’s tough and possesses a sort of indomitable spirit there isn’t much else to dissect. Don’t forget to look up in the trees because she could be hanging out there. Don’t pass by large mounds of dirt without searching either-she loves the stuff and will most likely blend in. She is a fearless kid who has a take charge attitude and a ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ smirk. If you should find her you may approach and say ‘hi’. Her name is AnnMarie and she is never at a loss for words. Oh, but don’t mess with her little sister, ’cause AnnMarie will kick your ass.
Me and Do little(I’ve been going back to older posts and placing images in some, I apologize if some posts load a little slowly-I’m gettin’ a handle on this photo thing and learning to use other apps to make pretty collages…fearless AnnMarie would be able to help me out. I must find her!)