Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Sure Can Use a Little Help from My Friends

Do you recognize this? The framed words, not the sunflower.

You know where this is going?

The old message underneath came from a voice in my head. A holdover from youth that always said, "You'd better mind me!" One day in a fit of pique, I quickly sketched in two birds looking down on a great big whale. In unison the two told the whale, "You'd better mind me." And a whale being a whale, paid them no mind. It kept on being a whale, doing whale stuff since no way would it obey either bird on shore, let alone both. And it lived happily ever after.

It just so happened that I glanced at the half finished drawing for what I'll say here and now, purely for drama -- that it was the thousandth glance, as I passed it on my way to another room. Only this time I stopped, picked up a piece of chalk, and . . . No. Truth is I couldn't find the horrible little piece of white chalk that shames the old chalk we used in school. I had to make a detour to my studio, fumble my way through an assortment of possible chalk homes before deciding to just use some of the pastels I haven't used since my shoulder began the long sulk. But at least I knew where they were (drum roll) . . . because boxes of pastels lay in the very last drawer of the map dresser! 

Organization is a wonderful thing. Give things a place to be and they'll stay there until you need them. If only. But I feel so good telling you how I knew where those boxes of colored chalk were. I'll tell the truth and shame the devil too, because of that good feeling: I had to search each of the three drawers, but I knew they were in one or the other. 

What was meant to be a quick outline and text layout turned into one or two quick color selections, which meant having to turn on lights. Did I mention it was late? I was searching for a copy of the Upanishads I was positive hid in the bookcase next to the television in the family room, and I can find my way around in there like it's nobody's business. But no one can read titles in the dark, right?  One light's okay. Two lights mean three three more bulbs shining, in addition to the first, and everyone in the house will see light under the door. Including Minuet. When Min sees light she wants to come to the party, and lets the whole world know it! She's the best alarm money can't buy.

So. I stopped with a promise to finish today. Unable to find the book I sought, I hied away to my woman's room with four other titles instead, read my fill, and cheerfully called it a night. I wonder why my parents never allowed me to do that? Had they done so, there would have been less ill feelings on all sides. Wow. Now I feel guilty because the light interrupted JC's beauty rest 'cause today's his birthday and he needed sleep . . . I slept in. Selfish me, right? I punished myself for being so inconsiderate though. I didn't finish the drawing as penance   And, since we couldn't really go out to celebrate, I drew him a lovely IOU birthday postcard. My Copics went nuts in  the humidity so I had to use backups. I know how Diana Ross must have felt needing the Supremes. *grin* 

Still no mail In or Out. The same goes for grocers supply trucks too. You'll get no complaints from us though. We're just happy to be here. Happy end of August, y'all! And be good.

P.S.  I am not with Charlie Hebdo. I never was and never will be. Satire should never be hateful, mean, harmful, ignorant, mean, hateful, unkind, mean . . . There's an interesting piece in JUSTOR that asks if speech can be an act of violence. Here's a link to an article referenced: When is Speech Violence? Perhaps the people at Hebdo should come to Texas. Perhaps they should meet us. Ours is about as diverse as it comes when we talk of diversity, melting pots, and humanity. Insulting another's religion, politics, culture is pretty much what . . . Words hurt, otherwise we wouldn't use them. We'd go around punching people in the mouth, we'd bomb them, shoot them, lynch them, burn them, gas them . . . Oh. Wait. That's been done. That's being done. And how has any of it been a change for good? 

Hatred kills. It kills the person who gives it life first and foremost. Remember how it felt the first time you realized "if looks could kill" I'd be dead? If you can feel the violence behind a stare, imagine the violence behind hateful/harmful words. Ever been shouted at? Hollered at? Screamed at? I have. And I flinched without meaning to. Reflex actions happen without thought. I've flinched in the face of a powerful word like STOP! because I felt it. Tell me you love me and I feel it. Blow in my ear and . . . I'm likely to giggle. Whip me into a frenzy and I'm likely to follow you on a foot chase after Frankenstein's monster. He wouldn't even have to had done anything to me. I'd simply need to be weak-minded and allow ugly words and rhetoric to unleash the darkness that can lurk within everyman.

Goodness me. I just looked up at the title of this post and realize I never told you why I need your help. See what happens when the little mind takes over the bigger mind? Stuff happens. *grin* I want to paint a great wall in our home chalkboard black. A dream of mine that's never seen the light of day is to have a single wall that's all mine. It'll be a chalkboard that I'll draw on and write on and dream on into forever.  Or will I? The last time I drew on such space was when I was in high school. I was allowed to draw a huge nativity scene. All the teachers in the district saw it. Mr. Bowser, my algebra teacher let me do it or he asked me to. I forget. But my Sistine Chapel-esque creation stayed put until February when I drew a big pink Cupid and a red Valentine. 

So what do you think? Has anyone tried the chalkboard paint? Does it smell? Will you Google "chalkboard wall," investigate, and tell me what you think? I'd be much obliged if you do. And thanks in advance.


  1. Yay, I have broadband today...well, so far anyway. Happy Birthday to JC. The 31st is my sister's birthday too.

    When J was younger I bought some blackboard paint. I wanted to paint a strip across the middle of one wall in his play room. For some reason it never got done, which is a shame because J drew all over that wall with crayon! But, I have used the paint on smaller projects and it does have a bit of odor, so I think painting a whole wall would give you a headache from the smell. The paint works very well, and is just like a chalk board. We have crates that we store apples and potatoes and other root vegetables in and used the paint to make "signs" on the ends so we could write what was inside. After all these years, it still works just fine.
    Being a veteran painter, if you go ahead and paint your wall, and I hope you do because it is such a good idea, onions cut in half will absorb some of the odor and so will instant coffee set out in a dish.
    I hope you will show photos if you do paint your wall.

    1. Kudos to your broadband provider. :) and Happy Birthday to your sister. I wonder if she and JC are alike in noticeable ways? ;)

      Okay. Odor is a big no for me because of chemical sensitivity. Thanks for the onion and instant coffee tips though. I won't be painting the wall. I won't use the rolled chalkboard wall "fabric" either since I've smelled them in stores.

      Until this moment I've resented being super sensitive. I'm grateful instead. My immune system sends out alarms that warn me to beware of harmful chemicals. That's a plus. Not a minus. :))) Thanks for helping me realize the wisdom of my body.

      I found a large 48 x 72 inch chalk board online for $110.00. Maybe we can get one locally. Restaurant suppliers sell them.

      I had to laugh at images of J working crayons on a wall. I bought Erin a toy box with a building chalkboard. She graduated to an easel. We still have it in storage. All children draw then some think they cannot before they outgrow childhood. How sad.

      Thanks for you. I do appreciate your comments..

    2. Before our daughter was even born, we found an old schoolroom chalkboard in a thrift store. We hung it on her bedroom wall and themed the room with "ABCs and 123s." She's a senior in high school and still uses that chalkboard! Hope you can find one that works for you!

    3. This is one of the best chalkboard stories to come my way. :) I loved working algebra problems on the board in class. It was like thinking out loud and talking at the same time.

      I got to write class assignments on the board for one of my favorite teachers when she was too busy. Good penmanship earned unimaginable perks. i was so painfully shy that writing while another class watched, made me so nervous my damp hands dampened the chalk! High school was torture. Most of my teachers didn't know their use of my talents put a target on my back.

      Surely your daughter knows her parents had insight. :) Dry erase boards just aren't the same.

      Thanks for your good hope. :)

  2. Go for it! You can start with this quote:

    1. LOL. I like the quote. The instructions reinforce the truth of not taking shortcuts. I won't be painting the wall. It's almost the width of the upstairs hallway. Paint, let dry, paint, let dry, paint and let dry again? Coupled with the smell and the unreliability of the paint's contents . . . well it all makes me a sensible coward.

      Thanks for your help in making the decision.

  3. The paint it self works pretty good, Prep is the key - textured walls are not your friend though, so some sanding to get that thing FLAT will be in order. Glad you all are safe, was worried bout y'all. JC and I share the same B-day - hit 49 8/31 :)

    1. Dang. Prep. I'm not even a good at waiting for ink to dry so I can forget about this little/big project. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate your knowledge.

      Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you had a lovely celebration. Did you have cake? This is the first year I haven't been able to get J his favorite cake. Stores are running on fumes here. A handful of eateries are open but no restaurants. Sept. 10 is the projected date for a degree of normalcy. I believe you and JC share some of the same personality traits. LOL. Crowd the hell out of 50 this year, okay? :)

  4. this is jean wilson writing - on my daughter's computer. i found this warning about chalkboard paint - after seeing others that said it has a bad odor. there are some brands with lower odor. here is the warning:Not only can it be toxic when it gets into your food as Paul mentions, but chalk dust can also be a major problem for people who have allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities, so it would not foster an accessible design for people who suffer from such afflictions. It would also violate universal and visitability design principles, as it could create a similar hazard for other users of the space, particularly visitors whose sensitivities might be unknown. Chalk dust doesn’t do anything for overall air quality, either, so that lowers the green design reusability quotient of the paint, never mind what the VOC content of it might be.

    1. Jean, you bring it home. Thank you. I'd buy a portable chalkboard if I thought we could get it upstairs. LOL. I'd hoped the paint would be safe. The pastels I have bear the SAFE seal. The dust falls directly onto the drop cloth and I do have face masks as a safety measure. I had trouble with acrylic paint in art school. It gave me hives. Instructors were always, "Well, I've never heard of such a thing . . ." Until they saw them with their own eyes. I had to stop learning air brush too. No one told us we'd spit paint.

      Thanks for your comment. You're a gem. A smart, knowledgable gem. :)

  5. I found a picture of a chalkboard wall and I think it is an awesome idea I surely do and it looks like it would be fun to do .I have a small chalkboard in my kitchen to put what we are having for dinner on so yeah I Like chalkboards Go for it I say . great post by the way . Be well and stay well .

    1. They look so cool, don't they? Too bad they don't sound safe or smart. I won't even ask JC to consider taking on the project now.

      You post your menu. You rank, woman. :)

      Thanks for liking my post. I appreciate your comments.

  6. I have always fantasized about having a chalk wall. Not in this bitty house though... We have a school sized one in the boys room, they messed around on it very occasionally. Too bad they would be a problem...