Saturday, June 30, 2007

My cousin Joann came to visit

On Thursday afternoon Steve and I were totally surprised. My cousin Joann Baker Schumacher walked in the front door. We knew her daughter Jamie was going to start college this fall at the University of South Carolina. We looked forward to seeing them but totally forgot that there was going to be an orientation, placement tests, and class scheduling. We had a great visit but I was just too stunned by the unexpected visit (especially since the house was an utter mess) to remember my camera. Maybe next time I'll shot a few images!

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Birthday

Yesterday was my 48th birthday. I celebrated by attending a party at Jane LaPorte's house. It was a big "all girls" bash in a style that is wonderfully over the top, just Jane's sense of fun. There was water aerobics and karaoke. Jane learned that she had scheduled her event on my birthday, so there was a flower birthday cake for me. Everyone sung "Happy Birthday". It was so much fun.

The Skate and Create show ended...raising over $2000. Alex worked most of the day but found time to dye Erica's hair dark brown later in the evening. One the table are the beautiful roses from my sister Wanda, the flower cake, and the flowers from Skate and Create plus a little cactus that was Jane's party favor.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Skate and Create

Alex made it through his day at Subway...a full work of genuine employment. He really helped out at Skate and Create, the art show I sponsored at the gallery. The temperature was in the high 80s and the heat on the pavement had to have made Lady Street hotter than the low 90s. No one thought about providing water. Alex and Erica took my credit card to Publix and hauled in three cartons of bottled water and plenty of ice.

Finally, Alex got to skate a friend's long board down the closed off, sloping Lady Street.

Above is his contribution to the art altered skateboard...a clock. The most hilarious thing happened at noon while I was working with the Dave Toole from Blue Tile Skate Shop and Shannon Purvis of the tattoo parlour. A sound pierced through the gallery. We were labeling the art and didn't recognize the sound immediately. It was an alarm was Alex's skateboard...the default for the alarm for 12 noon. It took us several strange seconds to figure out what we where hearing. So, the clock works!

Alex's first week at Subway

If Alex makes it through today, he will have been working at Subway for an entire week. Steve and I are proud and amazed. Alex currently works 9 AM until 3 PM every day. These are good hours. Alex hasn't been late and has voluntarily taken his book, Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, to work with him for times when things are slow behind the sandwich counter. Shocking! He's reading...and liking it!

After work, Alex has been creating his skateboard for the show that opens later today. The difficult thing was getting the hole cut in which to mount the clock. After this was accomplished, he used his air-powered paint gun, stencils, and got a staple hanging device mounted on the reverse side. I'll post pictures later...from the show.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Alex Partnering at CMFA

Since coming back from England, Alex has been helping out at CMFA. He sweeps, takes the trash out, answers the telephone, and do all sorts of things that John Whitehead, executive director, needs done. One of these responsibilities is participating in partnering class.

I think Alex likes partnering class. I think Alex likes how he looks in black tights and a muscle shirt. I know Alex enjoys flirting with the girls and hanging out with the other ballet guys.

These photos aren't so good. I was sitting pretty far away. The room isn't exactly lit for picture taking and there is always lots and lots of movement. Yet, these are the ones that I managed to get.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Susan and Wanda in the Philadelphia Airport

Alex took this photo of Wanda and me in the Philadelphia airport. We were flying to different parts of Europe within ten minutes of one another and only two gates away from each other! Quite a coincidence.

Mathias and Alex in Warwick

Above and below are images of Mathias and Alex on the roof of the cathedral in Warwick. Warwick Castle is visible in one of the pictures.

Below is a photo of Mathias and Alex on the Warwick Castle wall. I took this photo from one of the towers.

Below are Mathias and Alex posing with some of the shields in the armory.

Below Mathias and Alex are standing in the Great Room of the Warwick Castle.

Below Mathias and Alex are posing with the island in the background. Medieval tents were set up. Nearby is the mill. A bit further along, on the island, is the trebuchet.

The Trebuchet

Although I have a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, I never did care to study military history and had no idea what a trebuchet was when we arrived at Warwick Castle. Mathias and Alex, however, knew exactly what one was. They've played enough Medieval Total War video games. We headed immediately to this area for a show at noon. The photo above was taken from the grassy area across from the island on which the trebuchet sits. At the end of the presentation, there was a call for volunteers for the 3 PM show. Mathias and Alex couldn't wait. I had to lie about Alex's age, but it was well worth it.

We assembled at the trebuchet at 2:30 PM. The volunteers were given instructions and costumes.

This complex machine is operated by man power. The "hamster" wheels are used to coil a rope on a pulley and bring the giant, swinging arm down to be loaded. The photos directly above and below show Mathias and Alex in the wheels with two of the trebuchet crew members.

The final photo shows Alex and Mathias in the wheels alone. After the trebuchet's arm is tightly set to spring, the rope must be uncoiled. This only requires two people, Mathias and Alex. After they completed this task, a flaming ball was loaded and shot over 230 meters down the grassy island. It was absolutely spectacular. Nothing in my studies could have ever conveyed the sheer energy of this experience.

Mathias and Alex demonstrating how criminals were punished

As a family, we went to England for Christmas in 2001. We visited Warwick Castle. Lots has changed since this first trip, including the placement of the public shackles. Yet, they were on the grounds. Mathias and Alex were only too happy to pose with them!

Above shows the boys in 2001. The photo below was taken just last, it was just last Monday...hard to believe now that I'm back home!

Alex in the Warwick Castle armory

We went to Warwick Castle as a family for Christmas in 2001. Above is Alex in the armory. Below is Alex in the same place but just this past week!