Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Flying Hotdog

Forrest is deep into his flight training, sailing back and forth across the skies in the flying hotdog (Chinook) which- against all expectations- I have grown to love. The Chinook is the helicopter that carries everything, namely soldiers, aid, food and other helicopters (I kid you not). It is a stud muffin. A workhorse. The Daddy of the copters.

These pilots-in-training eat, sleep and breathe helicopters, and their enthusiasm is contagious- which is lucky, because the subject is otherwise a little dry. Engines? Rotor systems? Instruments? Torque? Thrust? Weather patterns? Brain pain indeed.

I approach the whole thing from my own angle. Visual. I drew a little picture to put in Forrest's study folder for the purpose of making him smile amid the stress of academics. Some eagle eyed class member caught sight of it, and consequently I'm being asked to draw the class 'plaque'. A picture of the pilots-in-training and their aircraft that is presented to their instructors upon graduation. Pens and paper standing at attention? Affirmative Captain (officer /lieutenant.....). What did I just get myself into?!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

You say tomayto, I say tomahto!

Capturing the taste of summer in pickled and oven-dried tomatoes. Preparing for the winter months when those trusty red orbs lack a little of their Summer luster. Rudy is co-ordinated for the colour theme of the day. My pretty little boy is so patient with my style choices for him :)

Drawing is taking a momentary back-seat while I've been researching block-printing techniques. I grabbed caution with two hands, looked it in it's nervous face and tossed it into the wind. I then ordered the printing press that I've been arguing with myself about lately. I'm ready to add a little somethin'-somethin' to my usual style of work. With two books that I illustrated for Philo Trust being published in time for Christmas, some new ideas for my very own Children's book have been whirling about in my head. It's time to put the coffee on and kick the brain into gear. I've been slipping a bit. Distracted by 100 different things. But season, new page, new work. Come on.

By the way, the oven-dried tomatoes were a winning idea that I lifted from one of my favourite foodie blogs; Tea and Cookies. Always, always a good read.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Summer folds up her Beach Towel.

I welcome Autumn with a smile. I've got love and hugs for this season, as I contemplate the cosy allure of woolly socks and hot chocolates. The resident horse has mastered a winning technique for high-jumping onto the bed- stealthy as a ninja- so that the dark mornings come into focus with doggy kisses as four paws sneak along my side of the bed. The boy knows who feeds him, apparently.

There are end-of-the-Summer bike trips to lakes and the beach, as we cling on to the sunshine with fondness. Matching neckerchiefs for Rudy and me is October Vogue, and a 1lb burger challenge at the weekend firmly closes the door on swimsuit season.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October arrived with pride and a paintbrush.

When you are as impatient a person as I am, waiting out the greencard application process can get a little fraying on the nerves. The eternity that it takes is a unique sort of torture- in the limitations that it places upon you, where you sit around twiddling your thumb -wishing you could work- while you try and find purpose in every day. There is at least an upside to this state of limbo, and rather than lamenting the limitations of my predicament, I am coaching myself to appreciate the time that has been gifted to me as a result of it.

Once we get past the mundane details of housewifeliness- the washing, the sandwich making, the cleaning, the shopping- I have hours stretched out before me for illustrative adventures, craft projects, baking and quality time with the fam-damily.

My treasure of a husband was recently promoted to 1st Lt. and the great honor was bestowed upon me to pin on his new rank and give him a punch (an Army tradition that I was more than happy to continue). Seeing Forrest work so hard every day, and meeting his friends who are some outstanding guys makes me proud to be part of this community, and proudest of my pancake making, football playing, copter-flying husband. To mark the occasion, I made him a....well....dinner tray, actually. Not the most elegant or romantic of gifts but hey, we Neumanns are all about practicality! Inspired by the four-legged-wonder-Rudy- and Forrest's other interests, the design is quite pleasing to me. After painting, I covered the whole thing in varnish, for luck (and protection).

So congrats, 1st Lieutenant time I won't punch you quite so hard!