Lost and Found.

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The Phone.

Hanging out with my sisters and our mother one Thanksgiving weekend, we walked into a casino. I threw $60 dollars at a slot machine, it caught it, and five minutes later, I was ready to go home.  My mom was seated at a machine dropping in nickels one at a time and getting a return in multiples with each push of the button. I hovered around her and grunted until she reached into her fanny pack, pulled out a twenty and said, “bring me back ten.” Okay!!! Somebody else’s money!

Two seconds later, with $400 in my hand, I found my mom again. “What time is it?” she asked. “We’ve been here 5 minutes and 2 seconds, I’m $330, dollars ahead, it’s time to go!” I reached for my phone intending to touch base with my sisters but couldn’t find it. It probably fell from my lap when I got up from that last slot machine! I retraced my steps but the phone wasn’t anywhere in sight.

The remainder of the day circled around the use of the ‘Find My iPhone‘ app. My husband joined us at the casino as the iPhone app was new to me, and it’s capabilities came across with conflicting results through tales from my sisters.

The adventure filled our hours. Like treasure hunters deciphering a map, we ended up at a convenience store near the casino where a grey bearded man dressed in a black Members Only knock-off was holding my beeping phone in his pocket. With noisy slot machines in the background, the police (who just happened to be there) and a mall cop swooped in and confiscated my property. After all was said and done, I heard one officer say, “That was cool, I’m gonna have to get that iPhone app!”

 

The Keys.

A couple of months ago, I unlocked the door, walked in the house, set the keys down, went to my easel and started painting. Less than 10 minutes later, my husband asked for the keys. “Aren’t they on the table? I just put them down.”

They vanished from sight.

I once read a book about the tiny little people that live in houses and borrow things when the big people aren’t looking. Things like keys, pencils, socks and sunglasses will mysteriously disappear. One minute they’re on the table, the next minute they’re gone.  I felt like my keys had been “borrowed” by the little people.

The next morning, I still couldn’t find the keys and things got complicated. I needed to get my daughter to school, but the locked Toyota was in the driveway directly behind the Volvo that was parked in the garage. I was frantically trying to squeeze the Volvo through the ridiculously tight space when a police car patrolling the neighborhood approached the house…. Officer Alan stopped and asked if I needed help. Much to my daughter’s disdain, she arrived to school in a police car. With a wink, he promised not to turn on the lights until he got close to the school.

Three weeks later, I noticed the water in the sink next to my easel was draining a bit slow.  I placed my hand in the garbage disposal, and found my keys.

 

The Purse.

Last Friday after my daughter and I finished shopping at the art store, I opened the rear door of the car and placed our new items inside. We got in and began our drive back to Walnut Creek for lunch.

Once inside the carpark, I realized I didn’t have the small clutch I’d been carrying. I called the art store to ask if I’d left it there. We checked inside the car several times, but we couldn’t find it. I then drove to the bank, cancelled and replaced my cards, and my daughter and I carried on with the rest of our day.

Irritated with myself as I realized I probably placed the purse on the top of my car and drove away. I also imagined I’d left it in the store where someone picked it up. There were several scenarios that could have taken place. I tried not to be upset as I knew things could have been worse. There wasn’t anything of much value in the purse. I’d replaced my bank cards. My phone and my keys were in my jacket pocket. The most annoying thing would be going to the DMV to replace my driver’s license.

My thoughts kept going to the person who picked up my purse and the disappointment I felt towards them. It happens all the time. It’s easy to walk away with something that doesn’t belong to you. Keep the twenty dollar bill. Maybe try to purchase something using the ATM card. As tempting as that might be, it’s just as easy to go up to the clerk and say, I found this in the parking lot. I know what I would do.

I remembered the man that picked up my phone a few years ago in the casino. I remembered him being near the slot machine when I went back to look for it. My sister spoke to him. Not too long after, once I figured out how to use the Find My iPhone app, the phone beeped for hours in his pocket.

I want to believe in good. I want to be good. I want to do good. Spread good. But life gets in the way. Doesn’t it?

Saturday morning, less than twenty four hours later, special delivery. My purse was returned.  There was a note inside.

Hello!

Found this on the road in Oakland today. Your lipstick was smashed by a passing car so I threw it away to avoid further mess. I hope calling American Express so they could let you know it had been found does not cause any complications. Have a nice day!

Dustin

Thank you Dustin. Your kindness brought me to tears.

Remnants.

Coffee and quiche.

Sunday coffee and quiche at a favorite eating place before checking in at the theatre.  A young family choses their late morning delicacy. I make googlie eyes with the little kid. He blushes then covers both ears so he can’t see me. Or maybe I’m not supposed to see him?

Crayons.

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There is something exciting about a brand new box of crayons. Colorful, bright, clean and smelling of wax. Then somebody borrows one, tears the paper, dulls the end and breaks it….

At Bible Study this past week, we were asked to illustrate our perception of Glory. I immediately thought of that new box of crayons. A perfectly, sharpened, orderly, smudgeless box of colorful glory!

I have a memory of a playmate showing up with the Crayola Crayon box of 96 colors with its built in crayon sharpener! I was impressed and thought this added feature sure way to keep those crayons looking fresh. Unfortunately you had to peel back the paper on the crayon in order to sharpen it. Also sharpening a crayon makes it smaller. I finally accepted that if you use the crayon, it will never look new. Kind of like having cake and eating it too.

I had to re-think my bible study illustration. Perhaps Glory doesn’t have anything to do with perfection.

My crayons, no longer perfect, live in a plastic shoebox. They are broken, the wrappers are torn, smudged, unreadable or missing. They are the crayons that were used to give life to masterpieces created by my children and their friends. Each dulled colored stick of wax had a story to tell.

I think, like the crayon, we start out perfect. As we live, we leave marks on our canvas gradually creating our own masterpiece.

Adam and Eve were hanging out in paradise with only one rule to follow, Leave the apple alone. Although their world seemed perfect, they were still given the gift choice. A decision was made, and consequence ensued.

If perfection was the only expectation, why weren’t Adam and Eve simply destroyed and a new set (of humans) created? Instead, they were given an opportunity to live, grow and recreate outside of paradise. They were given life outside of the perfect environment. One can only exist in the womb, it isn’t until we are outside of the womb that we live.

Perhaps it is all as it should be.

Outside of the crayon box.

I am like the crayon, spreading color, my sharp edges are gone, I am broken, my wrapper is torn. My story is the markings on the canvas.

Perhaps Glory is when I can look back and say, I’m happy with my masterpiece.

Upcycling.

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

A friend sent a photo of two chairs his mom was planning to throw away. They were hideous. He thought of me as I’ve been learning upholstery over the past year and a half and figured I might want to make a project of them.

Cambridge online dictionary defines project: noun  (ˈpräjˌekt)  a ​piece of ​planned ​work or an ​activity that is ​finished over a ​period of ​time and ​intended to ​achieve a ​particular ​purpose. I found a second definition of the word describing a large or major undertaking, especially one involving considerable money, personnel and equipment.

Tadaa!!

Perhaps from the early 70’s, or even the 60’s these rounded low chairs are seated on a chrome swivel base that was heavily rusted, but with some elbow grease, polished up quite nice. After removing the original fabric and the innards, I found the wooden “skeleton” in pretty good shape. A few reinforcements with screws, braces and glue gave added insurance that these chairs would last a couple more generations of  seating while sipping Martini’s or beer, eating popcorn on movie nights, game nights, conversing with friends or maybe even falling asleep.

Ava at the Beach.

859556_4460745881452_407812683_o I was complimented when a friend said she wanted to spend a day watching me paint, and/or paint with me, see how I work….. Is there a method to my madness? I decided to follow the progress of a painting taking photos as I went along.

Often I find I overwork something then wish I could press the “undo” button and go back a step or two. That’s when my husband might question why I didn’t put my signature on it and hang it on the wall several iterations ago.

I imagine many artists 830494_4460745641446_761784991_ohave a desired “look” or “feel” they want to achieve. Some point of measure that is known only to the artist herself,  and until that point is reached, the signature may remain lost in the hairs of the brush.

This particular project went from palette to canvas with relative ease.  I don’t really know why one painting can be completed in a couple of hours, while another takes months of frustrating do-overs? I’m pleased with how I was able to capture the sun on her knee.860932_4460749841551_938766107_o

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Ava at the BeachAva at the Beach • 2013 • Edie Moore Olson

It Isn’t All Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

A fellow blogger, Jessica Glassberg, is on a journey with her family in Australia. She is a writer with the gift of humor. You can follow her, fun loving, heartfelt tales along with me.

The Journey of Jessica

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Yes, most of the blogs I post on here are about all of the fun adventures we’re having here in Sydney. And trust me, we are having a blast!

But in between the trips to museums and the zoo

In the midst of play dates with new friends

There are tantrums. There are crying jags. There is stress and anxiety and the general pressure of parenting.

There are moments of just sheer exhaustion.

There are days where we have fun playing and learning. And then there are days like today where I’m standing in Woolworth’s, having made all of my supermarket selections and am headed towards the check out when The Little Moo suddenly bolts out of her stroller and runs down an aisle. I am then forced to abandon said stroller and my filled grocery basket in the middle of the meat department to keep up…

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Tomatoes

IMG_0001Slow roast cherry tomatoes with garlic cloves in an oven of 200 degrees 3 to 5 hours.

I’ll toss the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, a pinch or two of brown sugar and some balsamic vinegar.  Spread them evenly on a roasting pan and place in the oven. Check occasionally, turning them over, gently, so not to burst them. I might sprinkle dried herbs at the beginning of this process, or add basil leaves at the end when I’m ready to store them in a jar and refrigerate. I add a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper when I store them in a tightly sealed mason jar.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic make a great addition to a salad, or as an appetizer with fresh mozzarella. I’ve used it as a spread on toasted french bread.  I once impressed a friend when I took a jar out of the fridge and tossed it in a pan of fried (diced) bacon. I tossed in cooked pasta and sprinkled on some parmesan…. she thinks I’m a gourmet cook! IMG_0021