Friday, March 23, 2007


Japanese garden with koi pond, originally uploaded by diahn.

Doesn't this picture look like a wonderful place to sit and meditate? It was. I didn't. It's in the Birmingham Botanical Garden's Japanese Gardens. Lovely...the cherry trees were in full bloom, along with camellias, red bud trees and the first dogwood flowers. I was here with my family and my MIL who lives nearby. What a lovely place it is - open and free to the public - beautifully maintained with paths, both paved and not. It's another one of those places that I go to and wonder why my town doesn't have one, or something like it. It's not that I don't like my town...okay...maybe I don't...but I'm confused as to it's lack of cultural activity for the everyday person (as opposed to the old money and the new money and the money money). I mean - come on - this was FREE. It was a weekday afternoon and there were scores of people there enjoying it...families and businessmen and young couples and old couples. In my town, it seems that the only activities are to shop in the giganto-upscale-PINNACLE-shopping center (it's always packed) or spend $70 per ticket to see a big name act come to town.

What is it? Is it the proximity of such a beautiful, natural, national park so near by? The lack of dedicated, passionate people to spearhead such things? The general air of unrelenting apathy there? Even I have become apathetic living there - it's rubbed off.

I know you don't care, but I'm tired and far from "home" and the only thing I miss is my DH (and my house...I like my house). I've driven around my college town for the last couple of days and noticed the improved parks and beautification activities they've undertaken - so nice. I've always like that town - it's small and quaint - a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. But, being a good university town, there was always a free concert somewhere, or an art show or a irish drinking band or something to go watch. I drove past a local, ummm, estalishment, I was once known to frequent and the sign on above the door said, "Thick Smoke, Dim Lights, Loud Music...welcome to Egan's". It made me smile. That's just like Egan's. I'm not really into bars or thick smoke anymore - but I wanted to go in and just sit and talk to the countless interesting people I used to talk to there. I didn't think it was appropriate to take the boys in, though.

I'm traveling to the town I grew up in and it is full of casinos, now. It wasn't when I grew up there. This will probably all get worse tomorrow.

We'll just go ahead and file it under "rant", and I'm sure we'll revisit it again soon when the so-called "Dogwood ARTS Festival (or farce, depending on who you ask) kicks off...


Saturday, March 17, 2007

EDM #110 Draw Something with Flames

As a nod to the car crazy men in my household...

Watercolor crayon in the 5.5x5.5" hand*book journal. Really HATED how these worked on this paper!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring is in the Air

Japanese Magnolia, originally uploaded by diahn.

I can smell it...can you?

I wandered around Fountain City today while the boys were in art class. I saw this sign and for some reason it struck me as funny. "Hair Executives" Do you go to business school for that, or to cosmetology school? I don't know if I would want to be a hair executive - seems like alot of responsibility...

Hair Executive sign

These two ducks seemed to be having a little conversation about the weather...

Duck Conversations

And this one has no purpose except to say OHmiGOSH I love my new camera.

Water Off a Ducks Nose

C'mon - don't you love this??


Spring spring spring...I love spring...doo doo doo doo..I love spring!

Lenten Rose (Hellebore)

Thank you. The happy Spring dance is now over. For today.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Flying, originally uploaded by diahn.

I'm SO ready for Spring. All these nice almost warmish days are tempting me to break out a pair of shorts and sit on my deck, but then I get there and the wind is a bit too brisk for that and I have to get up and go back inside to the stale air of winter.

There's a time change this weekend. I love it when we Spring Forward. The day goes on a little longer and the neighbors start to venture out into their yards and we all become friends again after a long winter's hibernation.

I know some people like Winter, but for me it's a long, dark, cold and unpleasant time of year. I love Spring, when the first buds appear on the trees and little tender shoots burst out of the ground. I love Summer, when the sun bears down on the back of your neck and the sound of the kids running through sprinklers is sweeter than honey and the the trees and bushes put on a full show of foliage. I love Fall and the smell of campfires and the sound of football games and the bright, glaring, surreal colors of the aging leaves.

But Winter? I can do without it.

And this picture? It has absolutely nothing to do with any of it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Things to do while waiting on your kids...

I could have spent my hour and half reading the latest steamy novel or playing solitaire on my pocket pc, but instead, I broke out the hand*book journal and sketched what was around me. I promised J I would hang out in the art center while he and D had their first art class. J was nervous and wasn't real sure about the whole thing, but he calmed down after I told him I would stay in the building the whole time. It wasn't too difficult - there was a show of watercolors from the local watercolor society, and one of the local school systems had some student work showing - it was interesting to see the differences between first grade and 8th grade work - astounding what a 13 year old kid can produce, really.

Anyhow - I had some time to fill, so I sat down on one of the very comfy sofas and sketched what was in front of me. I neglect perspective, interiors and architectural elements on a profound scale, so it was a bit of challenge...but that's okay. I like a challenge! They're not the prettiest sketches I've ever done, but I'm keepin' it real here on American Blog...oh, oops - sorry - I'm watching a little carried away...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright...

The Tiger
William Blake. 1757–1827

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 10
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp 15
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee? 20

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?