Yesterday we went on a hike with some friends. It was simply lovely: beautiful waterfall, crisp air, space where the boys can throw rocks and beat sticks and no mom has to say “Stop it!” Los Angeles is simply running over with these little natural spaces, in the middle of the big sprawling city. It’s something I love so much about this place.
On our way back down Eleanor and her friend found some animal bones. They were very excited, because our friend Jeanie, an artist, uses found animal bones in her collection called Corpus Delicti. She gold-leafs these bones, and nestles them in velvet, inside found containers: tins and small wooden boxes, also gold-leafed or otherwise bejeweled. It’s a stunning collection of work.
Granted – Jeanie uses mostly tiny bones for her art, and these bones looked to be from coyote or dog, and are kind of big and a bit gruesome, not being bleached white and not all that clean or anything. But hey, how often as a 7 year old do you get to feel really helpful and useful by scavenging bones? We brought them home in the backpack and I forgot all about them.
This morning I walked into the bathroom and there was Eleanor, all sweetness and industry, using my new dish brush to scrub what looked to be a backbone. An elemental, animal smell was wafting up from the sink, which was covered with small bits of black uugh, as was Eleanor. Now seriously! Even for a home schooling family – this is a bit much!
After a lecture on germs spread by decaying carnage and the proper usage of dish brushes, I sent her outside to spray the bones with the hose. I saw to the clean up of the bathroom myself.
Just a few minutes ago I walked out into the living room to muster the kids into afternoon chores. Ella was sitting on the carpet with a bag of frozen peas open in her lap. There were peas in a little bowl sitting beside her, and peas scattered on the carpet where the cat was batting them around. What was she doing? "Making sure the peas aren't stuck together!" she said, patient but puzzled by my ignorance.
Of course! Silly me! After a day like this one it’s time for a glass of wine, and some kind of dinner that doesn’t include peas. Or carnage.