Saturday, August 11, 2007

Managing, Glair and the Sky

Well the glair doesn't glare--more about that later.

Today I cleaned the carpets in the upstairs with the new Bissell carpet cleaner Mark's father gave us on our trip to Savannah. He had bought a heavy duty carpet cleaner which, after one use, he decided he would rather give to us, and pay someone to clean his own carpets. This machine is much better than the cleaner we've had on loan from my parents, the selling point of which appears to be how lightweight it is. But this new one weighs ten times as much and works a thousand times better. All the old one would do (unless I put my foot on it and "skated" on it to help the scrubbing-action) is turn a dime-sized coffee spot on the rug into a quarter-sized coffee spot on the rug.

Since the youngest three are out of town I am trying to get some larger jobs done.

The chore of dusting always gets away from me, although it is one of the simplest jobs to do. The problem is I am afraid to hand it over to a child who might break something in the process of trying to clean it. We don't have many pretty things sitting around, but I know if I hand this job over to someone other than my husband, one of those pretty things will be in the trash before sundown.

It reminds me of another article Mark told me about by Will Manley, who writes "The Manley Arts" for Booklist. He believes that Tom Sawyer is the embodiment of managerial skills. It's not because he is a workaholic, comes in early, leaves late, or works harder than anyone else. It is because he is quintessentialy lazy, and able to pawn all of his work onto somebody else, while making everyone think he is doing them a favor. This is the job of a manager. He is not only paid for the completed job, but he is lauded for his hard work. Tom is able to make his friends want to whitewash the fence while he sits lazily by, chomping an apple and seeming to everyone like an all-around great guy. I want to be able to do that.

Ella & Rose are at a gala at the Village Square Theater tonight. Rose was in Oliver! and Ella was in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this season, so they were invited to the gala. Ella was asked to perform one of the scenes from her play. It's a hoity-toity event in our little town, so they dressed their best.

About the icon glair. I'm more disappointed than I thought I would have been. The paint didn't crack. A part of me wishes it would have, so I could have seen something more climactic. As it turns out, the glair painted on seemingly well, but after it dried it looked like a window washed with plain water. It beaded up enough to leave the dried look of a poorly washed window (into heaven--I'm tempted to add--but since I've already asserted that this wasn't strictly an icon, I won't). Since it looked this way, I thought, "It only needs another coat to cover it up."

The resulting image looks like it was varnished in a thin coat of flour-water. The depth of the color which is achieved in the light which rises out of the image through the brightening color looks instead like my sink after a kitchen-mopping. I tried to wipe it off, but it pulled off some of the last layer of color, which is the big X on the angel's globe, some of his staff, and a lot of the border. I was going to wax poetic on how amazing the traditional craft will use the whole egg, but now I wish I had used the chemical varnish.

On a lighter note, or more interesting one anyway, I discovered there is to be a lunar eclipse on the Old Calendar day of the Dormition of the Theotokos. I love when things like this happen, like the grapes in my arbor reaching their peak-ripeness on Transfiguration, and our pet butterflies emerging from their chrysalises on Pascha morning. Tomorrow night are the Perseids between 1 and 5 AM. We'll see if I can get out of bed to take advantage of this educational moment.