Monday, May 24, 2010

dispatches from quilt city

Oh where to even begin...back in December my grandmother and I were driving through Marshall County on our way to Holiday Open House. Suddenly, as we fly by at top speed (Mema has a bit of a lead foot), I notice these trees bedecked with faces made from all manner of found objects.

"What is that!?!" I exclaimed.

All my grandmother knew was that the landowner was the thorn in his neighbor's side and that they were constantly trying to sue his little found art exhibit into oblivion.

Well, I made a mental note to get back out there as soon as possible and take a closer look. Several months later, on our way back from the lake, Ron, Mom, Nicholas, Griffin, and I stopped at what we later learned was named "Hillbilly Gardens."

What a miracle...out in the middle of Marshall County. A folk art miracle.

The owner/artist Keith Holt has transformed the land inherited from his father into a found art exhibit/roadside attraction/Americana wonderland. For a small donation, one of his children will take you on a tour of the "lawnmower graveyard" and the "hillbilly rocket ship." I'm not sure if all the hillbilly references are ironic, self-effacing, or just plain funny and I don't really care. When it comes to art, I don't discriminate. I love Monets hanging in museums as much as the next girl but there is something truly special about an untrained artist taking the medium of everyday existence and trying to make something special.

And Hillbilly Gardens is special. Very special.

Oh and did I mention Toyland - the 3000 piece toy collection?
Gotta leave you thirsty for more I guess...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Socialism: It Ain't All Bad!

It's exhausting being a political science major these days.

You spend four years in college studying the political spectrum. You write long research papers on socialism, Communism, and the differences between the two. You learn about Marx and the intricacies of his theories. You take test after test on the application of these theories throughout history.

Then you get out into the real world and shit hits the fan. All of a sudden socialism and Communism are used interchangeably (some even throw fascism in the mix for added fun!). Despite the endless examples of socialism in every single modern democracy, you hear it used regularly as a four letter word in political debate.

Well, I've decided to try a fun little experiment. I call it "Socialism: It Ain't All Bad!" I'm going to start posting positive examples of socialism at work in our own country and other democracies.

First up - The Green Bay Packers!!!

The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, Brett Favre, FOUR Super Bowl wins - you don't get more American than that!

And owned by the ... wait for it ... GOVERNMENT! That's right the Green Bay Packers are a non-profit, community-owned organization. The scourge of capitalism - the team has strict bylaws that prevent any share owner from profiting (that's right they legally can't make money) from ownership or gaining majority control of the team.

The Packers are the only NFL team organized in this way. Many argue this is the reason the small community of Green Bay has been able to keep its team, while huge cities like Los Angeles go without.

So there you go. Socialism at work.

Maybe it's not so bad after all! ;)

Like mother like son

Griffin took to this whole birthday present thing like a duck to water.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Thirty before 30
  1. Have another baby.
  2. Visit Abraham Lincoln's birth place and grave.
  3. Watch Griffin play in the ocean for the first time.
  4. Plan the most perfect first birthday for Griffin.
  5. Read A Wrinkle in Time.
  6. Have the most spectacular 30th birthday party.
  7. Organize my pantry.
  8. Learn how to play chess.
  9. Make a crepe cake.
  10. Landscape our yard.
  11. Find a hairstyle I love.My high school classmate Carrie cuts my hair now and I LOVE her.
  12. Write a historical fiction short story.
  13. Paint my den and kitchen. Pics to come later.
  14. Finish the ancestry book I've been working on.
  15. Have a romantic weekend away with Nicholas sans bebe.
  16. Start doing yoga again.
  17. Run a marathon relay.
  18. Read The Age of Innocence.
  19. Visit my best friend Laura in New York City.
  20. Buy another pair of Manolos.
  21. Go to New Orleans for the first time. We had such a wonderful time!
  22. Plan a fantastic girls weekend with my best friends from college who are also turning 30 very soon!
  23. Make these chocolate chip cookies.
  24. Find a job I love.
  25. Turn my current laundry/storage room into a craft/exercise room.
  26. Get a fantastic family portrait taken.
  27. Go back to DC for a visit.
  28. Read The Lacuna. Reading it right now and having a bit of trouble I gotta be honest.
  29. Go to Lillith Fair.
  30. Learn how to play tennis.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 365

And to think we thought of this a mere test run for the big party...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 359

Griffin has gotten really into books. On the way back from Nashville
last week, he looked at one of his favorites for 45 minutes straight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

I had a fantastic first Mother's Day. Griffin (with a teeny bit of help from Daddy) brought me breakfast in bed. I got flowers and chocolate and fabulous stationery. We had a wonderful lunch and dinner with my mom and grandmother and to top it all off I got take a nap!

I ask you - who could ask for more? :)

Day 358

Day 357

Saturday, May 08, 2010