Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A heroin for all time. . . . Artemisia Gentileschi

Self Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi

Recently, my daughters and I read a book on the life of Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8, 1593 - 1653) an Italian Early Baroque painter. The story of her life touched both of us.

It's a story of betrayal followed by victory. One that makes us want to pick up painting, a first for them & again for me. A much loved hobby long ago forgotten due to the demands of a family and children. Of course in this day and time with the modern area in art and a definite lack of practice, and in my case a lack of talent, no pressure of aspirations of becoming famous artists. Motivated by the enjoyment of creativity and the simplicity of feeling a brush lying in my hand full of potential, the graceful fluid movement of the oil on the canvas, the smell of turpentine in the air. Just the thought of a compounding pharmacy making blocks of colors out of basic substances like flowers and brick powder excites me. Oh but I'm told that just isn't done anymore, though I'm sure somewhere, maybe across the big pond, it IS still done with flowers and linseed oil. The simple beautiful art of expression is something I have missed dearly in my life and the fact that I haven't shared that side of myself with the children I love so much is about to change.

If a woman in a time when women were considered mere possessions could do it for the love of the art. So can we. With all the walking Katlynn and I do our pallets should be full of beautiful scenes off the beaten path and who knows maybe she will have a talent for portraits or the natural vision needed to paint a fore-shortened foot. Who knows.

I guess the point is her story has inspired as women to be the best women we can be. We even decided the other night to cook rabbit stew, using her recipe, it was pretty great!

Just a brief history on our new heroin;
Artemisia faced the betrayal of rape compounded by the betrayal of her father and a public trial where she almost lost her fingers and her painting talent to a form of torture designed to "make a whore tell the truth". Explaining in part the many scenes of violence in her early work. After the trial she was forced to endure she was partnered into an arranged marriage by her father with a man who was a gambler and a cheat all because of her "bad reputation'. She had four children, one survived past age 5. Once she realized her husband was keeping company with other women and had used up her dowry gambling, she left him and supported herself and her child with her painting talent, an unheard of task for a woman of her time.

For more information on Artemisia go here;

To view her paintings go here;

What inspires you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Seen here is my adorable 9 y/o son in the early morning hours this morning singing I like to Move it. What I wouldn't give to wake up EVERY blessed morning with this much energy. If I was better at editing I could have turned this right side up. Unfortunately for yall, I'm not; so if you watch it more than once like I have, welcome to the wondrous world of neck spasms and Good Morning from the Carris house!

500 am
My internal clock says it's time to get up so sluggishly and with one eye barely open I get out of a warm bed to the shock of 50 degrees complete with the accompanying goose flesh that immediately covered me. 'Who forgot to turn on the heater? Oh yeah, that would be my job. Yikes!' In a rush to find my house robe, (a cream colored fuzzy "moo-moo" yes! I did say that like a cow because a cow is precisely what it makes my rear area look like when I wear it!) I trip over the folders of paperwork I had been working on last night when I drifted off to sleep, CRASH! Catching myself with my hands on the dresser, as I untangle my size 10's, Katlynn's softball picture from last season falls to the floor and breaks. 'Well, so much for being quiet' I say to myself and commence cleaning it up. I guess it's a good thing the resident Grizzly sleeps like a stone first thing in the morning.

Brushing my teeth in the only bathroom in the house when I hear a cute little cell phone ring tone I can only assume is designed to be my 15 y/o daughters alarm. It was after all the right time for it when out of nowhere it happened, "KABOOOOM" "crash" "thud" unknown to me the innocent little cell phone had been thrown across the room and had actually hit the bathroom door before crashing into the bookshelf and finally resting on the floor. Sometimes I wake up grumpy and sometimes I let her sleep. This morning she can relax for little while, I need the quiet.

With Grumpy mad at me (as it turns out, letting her sleep in meant she didn't have time for a shower this morning) I went about the morning routine waking up the rest of the 'dwarfs' Whiny, Stinky, Silly, Ninja, and Boo Boo; by this time Grumpy was already up and living up to her name well and we're off! The race is on to the bathroom, hair must get done, shaving is a necessity now and poor little Jesse has got to go "T-T" right now!! Poor guy, he's got no less than two older sisters to lock him out of the bathroom. So he dances and occupies his time being silly with me. (hence, the video)

The Grizzly is on the move! Watch out!! Luckily I've foreseen this event and prepared his nap sack for work/school and made sure his clinical scrubs are inside, cleaned and pressed. His acknowledgement of my efforts is a sort of guttural utterance resembling what could possibly be gratitude followed by a simple tiny little kiss on the lips and he's off to work. This is quite possibly the quietest part of the chaos we call morning. Every dwarf knows not to mess with the Grizzly before 9am.
Chaos reigns but the dwarfs are beginning to move towards the door as I usher them out into the real world of school and work. By the way, did I mention one of the dogs got out in there somewhere do I spent no less than fifteen minutes running about the neighborhood in my "moo-moo" and slippers? (Yeah, it was a sight let me tell ya. Probably scared the neighbors.)

Finally, we're in the car! I even managed to get clothes on before leaving the house this time for which I'm sure my neighbors are grateful. It's a small but satisfying victory but the best is yet to come....

Dropping Jared off at school is a delight every morning. Not only does it signal the beginning of quiet time for my exhausted self, it is also one of my favorite times with him. Every morning as we pull up to the school, my now fourteen (14) year old, six foot two son leans over and kisses his Momma in front of God and everybody, tells me he loves me and says "Have a good day Mom and remember... Don't get into any trouble...without me." My day would be incomplete without that kiss or him saying those words to me. Then he's gone. Off to spend his day learning and growing; having fun with his classmates. Then, and only then, it's quiet.

Only three more loads of laundry to go and I will win this war yet again today. It's a never ending war, for now. One day when my beloved dwarfs are all out on their own and it's just the two of us; maybe laundry will be weekly chore. I think, for now, fighting the laundry war is far better than missing them. There it is now, missing them, just a small pang.

Well, there it is, just a small peek into a day in the life of one Theresa Carris, wife, mother, nurse.
Otherwise known by the dwarfs as that sweet harmless retarded lady that does all our laundry.
Does life get any better?

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's been awhile...Getting with the program.

Good Morning.

This morning I'm focused on getting back with the blogging program. I've had a rough year and as the old saying goes...

"If you don't have anything nice to say; don't say anything at all." - unknown

So, I've remained silent.

Sure, there have been some up's over the past year like the fact that Jared is now living his dream of playing high school football, Alyssa was a real princess for a night, Katlynn is finally realizing there is life after plantar fasciitis and is able to run again, and Jesse is enjoying being nine, he's a busy guy, and so cute to boot.

Jason and I have been on the 'in's' and the 'out's' and are back 'in' again at this moment. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a moment could just simply last forever?

Family life is always a little choatic with no less than six children and two adults living in a three bedroom one bath house. How could it be anything less than chaos? The laundry was winning the battle for a while but I finally had the time and spent all weekend winning the war...for now. Now, if I could only keep it all going maybe I could somehow manage to incorporate getting back to church in the deal.

It's a good life, it has some harsh realities, but it's a life worth fighting for and possibly blogging about. Who knows maybe the insanity of it all will lead to a book someday my children will laugh over.

"The life and times of the crazy woman" or something to that effect. It could be a parody of the realisms that make mothers of multiple children absolutely insane with worry, laughter and of course would include the most basic of all causes of dementia and alzheimers....raising teenagers!!

At any rate, if there's anyone still out there interested in reading, I'll be writing.

Have a blessed day!
~Theresa (a.k.a. kidlette)