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Sunday, October 2, 2016


I discovered my yardstick collection in my garage this weekend.  Local businesses used to advertise on these handy measuring tools.  I like that the businesses were often selling paint, and as an artist, paint is good.  I'm especially pleased that I have a yardstick from Morse Graphics and one from Fredericksburg where my great grandpa lived.

A giant praying mantis climbed onto my window screen while I was staring out into space thinking about all the other things I'd rather write about than "weapon".  Did you know the females often kill their male partners during sex?  I suppose violence exists in a lot of species, and doesn't even require weapons.

It's a little ironic that I have a yardstick collection because Mom used them as a weapon.  The yardstick broke once when she smacked it on the back of my bare legs.  I laughed.  She went from mad to really mad.  Things went downhill from there, but I had a sudden realization that she couldn't keep hitting me anymore.  Sometimes the lesson learned isn't the lesson intended.  On the other hand, I don't display my yardsticks in the house.  I'll keep them in the garage.

I've spent a lot of effort lately in cleaning out the garage and rewiring it.  In some ways, I think this is a waste of time since I don't spend much time in the garage anyway.  At the same time, it annoys me that I couldn't use the garage because it was crowded with too much stuff, dirt, and cobwebs.  It becomes symbolic for other things in my life, a large, unnecessary, rotting appendage.  Bro3 re-sided it, so at least it isn't rotting anymore.  Mostly, I'm just working off excess energy and getting some exercise.

I took a class in stained glass when I was managing a fine arts program at the local civic center.  Making something intentional creates a lot of unintentional wasted glass.  I used it to pretty up my garage windows.  Reglazing these windows is still on my to do list for the garage.  It was far more important to get rid of every unnecessary nail, screw, and hook that the man who lived at the house before me put in every few inches on every rafter and stud.  I ended up with a heavy pile of rusting iron and bashed my hands and arms pretty badly in the process.  A friend accused me of "domestic violence", pointing out that it doesn't always take 2 people for violence to happen in the home.

I don't regret these scrapes and bruises.  I've had this garage for years, and for years I had to put things where that disorganized man had left me a mismatched shelf or hook.  I ripped out the shelves on one wall and replaced them with orderly shelves that actually make sense and let me store long pieces of lumber.  I'm tired of settling for what is instead of what I want it to be.

The point of all this is that whatever you do, it's better to strive to improve the world than to just rot with the garage or take out your aggression on someone else.  Look for the beauty.  Create it.  Share it.


  1. Cool yardsticks Linda despite the fact that your Mum used them as a weapon.My Dad used a cane....another rather ineffective weapon too but it was a sign of the times of our youth.Luckily these days we have woken up to the fact that violence tends to breed violence and stopped hitting our children as punishment. I love your stained glass, you must have the most beautiful garage windows in the road! Happy October xx

  2. Thanks Jane! I'll admit that it amused me to put pretty windows on a small, crappy garage -- though the garage looks loads better since it has new siding!

  3. You managed to turn a "weapon" post into something inspiring :D.
    Love your stained glass windows!
    Your yardstick story reminds me that our mom used to swat us with one too. Now I realize I haven't seen one in a while.
    And now I guess we know why those mantises are praying!

    1. LOL I'm glad I'm not a mantis. I think a lot of kids were swatted with yardsticks. Maybe that's why you don't see them much anymore?

  4. Words of wisdom, Linda. I think sometimes we need to feel we have control of our environment even if it means doing "unnecessary" work. But it's really not unnecessary, it's building the world around as we would like it to be. A part of the bigger picture. :-)

  5. I love the inspiration at the end. I'm always looking for beauty in nature. And finding it. My problem is people. I wish I could find it there more easily.

    1. You and me both! Thanks for sharing the beauty :)