Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday week: Art takes a back seat to family and food.

The week has been packed fuller than Santa’s sleigh. I’ll try to hit the highlights, but so much is happening that it’s hard to stop and write much. The biggest news is that the house filled up. Vojta came last week from the Czech Republic via Los Angeles where he’s learning English in a Kaplan school. Grandma and Aunt Lois came on Wednesday in time for dinner, so people are now sleeping on all three levels of the house. That means lots of baking, cooking, eating and generally enjoying each other’s company. I finished my two varieties of stollen for Christmas breakfast, which is traditional. Jim suggested that we try to spread out eating some of the goodies, so we cut one loaf for Christmas Eve breakfast and one for Christmas morning. Brilliant! With all the other goodies, including rumballs, ice cream, and brownies, we’re on holiday eating overload. Thank goodness for Zumba on Monday!

Even with all the family events, my art projects are slowly advancing. I have a commission to make five ornaments, and I’ve managed to finish three of the bases. For my two large commission pieces, I made all the beet root parts and I’m working through a second large carrot. I expect to see giant rabbits peering in through the windows any time now. I packed away all my scarves for the year and transformed my art studio into a bedroom for Aunt Lois. All my art toys, such as looms and tools, are hidden behind a blue curtain…nothing to see here! If I wake up in the middle of the night and listen carefully, though, I can hear them calling to me. Next week will bring a major house clean-up and art studio reclamation project before I launch back into work full time.

Everything else in my life is kind of a blur. Let’s see. We had a big snowfall, and grandma went out and shoveled the sidewalk, driveway and path to the house. If the grass were showing she’d be trying to cut that, too. I had a great Skype conversation with a subset of my family in the Czech Republic. It was good to see their faces and talk as if there were no distance between us. I remember wanting to call my grandmother in Prague, but at two dollars a minute my father wouldn’t let me. It seems like that wasn’t so long ago, back in the late seventies. Thursday we went to the Cardinal Stage Company’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, by Dickens. That was truly amazing. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it for different reasons. Grandma was touched by the songs, saying it brought back wonderful memories. Lois popped up and gave them a standing ovation at the end. Vojta thought the English accents were amusing. I just love going to the theatre, where I can be transported to a different world. We’re very fortunate in Bloomington to have vibrant theatre groups with high caliber actors. A big cheer and thanks to them!

Christmas dinner was salmon, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and Lois’ famous cranberry salad. Everyone was so full we opted to skip the chocolate pecan pie. That will be dessert for lunch today, after a modest bowl of soup. The boys stayed in their jammies until dinner, building their Legos and Megablock construction projects. They did take a break for lunch and about an hour off for playing with remote-controlled cars. They basically kept themselves busy all day so the grown-ups could have pleasant conversation. My big score at Christmas was a tool kit from Vojta—it’s as though he knows me! I think it’s going to become my art fair traveling toolkit. As well as a lovely bottle of Amarone from my be saved for a nice, quiet evening.

It’s just been a wonderful holiday week for us, and I hope you and your family have found some holiday cheer with your family.

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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