All About Art

Art is alive and well–even in home school! Zoe’s inspiration was clearly The Simpsons, and this art is an example of Ben Day dots style, which she learned in art class! Seems like it’s been forever since my last post. Let’s start with another trench (art).

We spent yet another weekend digging in the back yard, installing the drain on the other end of the deck in preparation for the experts to rototill and seed our smaller plot of grass. Which, by the way, is complete. And now, we wait.

Ahh, the smell of fresh “compost” (horse manure). But while the girls can’t play out back for a while, they’ve had plenty to do. We’ve had several fun weekends in the front of the house with jump ropes; Ella took a short JoJo Siwa cheerleading class (apparently cheerleading is not genetic); and who knew there was so much fun to be had with balloons? One weekend the girls decided they wanted to host a magic show on a Saturday night. Ella had seen a video on a YouTube Kids channel called Junk Drawer Magic about how to get a coin into a balloon. But we had no balloons. Amazon came to the rescue, but it turns out we never saw that magic trick–though we did end up with balloons all over our house… Some looked like these:

We did get one magic trick, with no balloons:

(CLICK FOR VIDEO)

Other fabulous art in the Johnson house includes more weeks of Sunday lunches, a local non-profit program I’m glad we’re continuing to support. In fact, on the last Sunday of January, they distributed almost 7,000 lunches! We’re doing our small part by adding our 10 lunches per week–we’re up to 80 this year so far. Here is some of their original art:

The first image above includes Zoe’s clever addition of word searches and mazes, and the second one is a special Valentine’s Day edition, which included candy and “Be Mine” cards we hoped would make someone’s day. For our food adventures at home, I challenged my husband to replicate the new Starbucks kale egg bites. And, of course, he did.

They were, in my opinion, actually better. Zoe’s been on her own food art adventures lately, as Bart and I waffle on/off the Keto diet (yes, I see the irony in using “waffle” there). She found a recipe for chocolate pudding that replaces the milk with heavy whipping cream. When you use sugar-free Jello pudding mix, it’s Keto friendly, super rich and delicious. According to Ella, it’s also good in a vanilla version, on a waffle (full circle waffle reference–you’re welcome):

And there’s no better art than nature itself. While I love trying to garden, I’m simply not good at it. I think it’s because fundamentally it’s a very repetitive endeavor (plant, water, prune, repeat), and you never know if what you’re doing is right until something blossoms–or dies. For example, on Mother’s Day this year we planted a “Mother’s Garden“, filled with specially selected plants for the mothers in our lives. On the first day, it was gorgeous. As of today, only one remains, and before the holidays, I thought I’d killed it.

There were dead blooms all over it, but their stems did not look dead, so I was afraid to prune it and kill the whole plant. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore and snipped off every dead bloom and stem. Two months later, this beauty is FILLED with new blooms.

Sure, there are probably 52 wrong things I’ve done to this poor plant. The leaves are tinged with red, which can mean low water for a succulent, but my handy water meter says the soil is consistently moist. Anyway, back to why I’m not a great gardener. That will not prevent us from installing a new raised garden bed in our back yard. I’m a glutton for punishment.

So many more experiences have happened over the past few weeks, which feel like one long week. One of those was a brief getaway for our family of shut-ins. But that’s for the next post. In the meantime, stay safe out there, find ways to help others and don’t forget to stop and appreciate the art in life.

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