Monday, November 15, 2010

A Potpourri

Christine Sibley leaf man

I've got kind of a mixed bag of pictures here from the weekend. And this time I think I'll actually talk about some them--instead of just ignoring them.

I've added a couple of pieces to my collection of Christine Sibley garden sculptures: a creepy hand holding a butterfly, and the baby doll-like Triton pictured below. I started collecting Christine Sibley stuff in the mid '90s when I lived near her gallery/studio/garden, Urban Nirvana, in Atlanta's Inman Park neighborhood. Rob and I were really poor then, but we'd go there sometimes, usually at Christmas, and buy little pieces for our family. The gallery was in an old brick warehouse--cavernous and freezing cold in winter. So by far my favorite part of Urban Nirvana was the tangled garden, full of fantastic sculptures . . . and real ducks and geese. (Perhaps a goat as well. Or did I make that up?) There were banana trees and vine-smothered arches and cracked mermaid faces under water. A birdbath shaped like a giant sunflower. Leaf people. Angels and goddesses . . . Urban Nirvana closed in 1998, I think, and Christine Sibley died in 1999.

Christine Sibley's Triton. Rob laughs at this one, because of the chubby cheeks. When I first showed it to him he said, "Okay, now that is dumb."

It was such a warm, golden weekend. The sumac is turning red, and the sassafras is orange and scarlet. The sky was such an intense autumn blue, perfectly clear; the hawks and buzzards really stood out against it. The old pecans are taking on their winter look, their branches bare except for clumps of mistletoe and Spanish moss. Bare pecan trees and hawk cries and cobalt-blue skies--that's November in Quincy to me. The air always smells of fireplace smoke.

Rob and I worked on our pond garden again on Saturday. We first started digging the pond in January. Since then we've finished the pond itself, surrounded it with limestone rocks and boulders, and filled it with lots of native aquatic plants and goldfish. We've added a picket fence, painted said fence (a real bear of a job), cleared all the invasive species from the area, mulched around the pond, and created curving beds around the fence. On Veterans' Day we finished building a fine stone path leading around the pond and through the gate.

But it won't be until we get back from England that we can start on the best part: filling the beds with native azaleas and rusty blackhaws, sparkleberries, needle palms, coonties, Christmas ferns, royal ferns, and native gingers and wildflowers! My favorite season--planting season--is about to begin, and I am totally jazzed.

My latest Mule Day birdhouse, displayed in the pond garden

On Sunday Kris and I took pictures in downtown Tallahassee's Chain of Parks, a series of seven lush little city parks, each just one block long. The parks are dark green all year round with giant needle palms, holly ferns, and camellias. Charming brick paths wind through the beds. Around the parks, here and there, are remnant antebellum mansions, the old gardens gone wild (they're really more like cabbage-palm forests now).

Kris and I tried to take pictures, but we gave up pretty fast because Sophie and Jake were with us and they wanted to play. So mostly we just ran around in our dress-up clothes and laughed and pretended to be squirrels. Sophie made up all our squirrel names: I was Sugar (a white squirrel), Jake was Chester, Sophie was Nutty, and Kris was Midge/Patrice (she played two characters).

"Sugar," Sophie/Nutty said, "did you know I have a restaurant? Would you like to work there, Sugar? What would you like to do? Would you like to be a cleaner?"

And then Jake/Chester yelled, "But I am already the cleaner! That isn't fair, Sophie--I mean, Nutty! Mommy, why does Nutty get to be in charge of everything?!"

Jake kept wanting all the lady squirrels to fall in love with him. He developed a storyline in which he fell out of a tree and needed some sort of firstaid. "And Mommy--I mean, Midge--let's say you are bandaging my leg and then you notice how cute I am!"

"Oh, this little squirrel sure is cute," Kris/Midge would say.

"What? What, Mommy--I mean, Midge? What did you say?" Jake/Chester would shout. "You want to go on a date? Did you say you want to go on a date with me?"

At the end, Sophie and Jake found a little patch of ice left over from Friday's Downtown Get-down festivities and they did some hilarious ice dances for us. (They were still squirrels when they were dancing.) They did the Cha Cha Slide . . . and splits and jazz hands and dramatic poses. They're both the biggest hams. As they danced, Kris and I sat nearby, cheering and hooting and rating their performances.

When Jake/Chester finished his last dance (ending in a split), Kris/Midge cried, "Oh, that one gets an 11!"

And I said, "Chester, I think that judge wants to marry you!"

Jake just looked at me. "Um, Leslie," he said, "this is a kids' show. I really don't think you should be saying that."

Then Sophie started fretting because she had ice in her shoes. "Um, can we go home?" she said. Getting ice in your shoes constitutes an emergency.

As Jake was getting in the car I could hear him saying to his mother, "Ma'am, did you want to know if I will go on a date with you? Did you? Sure. I will go. What would you like to do?"

Jake, song and dance man

Fed up with the paparazzi

No comments:

Post a Comment