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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Ugly Babies, Barking Dogs and Powerful Art

Almost a year ago to the day I made a Dutch baby pancake for the first time. It wasn’t the most beautiful pancake in the world, but filled with a mixture of fruit it was really quite delicious. Here’s a pic of it  as it was being filled with  the fruit.
Well last night I was making Dutch babies in my dreams, only they were very small, very flat and very burned around the edges. They hadn't puffed up at all. I was fussing at how awful they looked and moaning that I had just created ugly babies when a shrill, piercing noise filled the air. I woke immediately, looked at the clock, saw that it was 1:41 AM and realized that both dogs were barking  and jumping around as though someone was trying to break in. By that time, Mr. G was also wide awake. We determined that there were no prowlers, that Agatha  might have been dreaming and woke Victoria, who joined her in barking because that's what Victoria does. We let the dogs out into the back yard to chase whatever demons they were after, then let them back in. They were both back to sleep in no time. I, however, lay there awake in the dark wondering how the ugly babies had turned out and whether they tasted good. I will never know, but may make some Dutch babies for breakfast tomorrow and hope for the best.

All that was to let you know that the day began much earlier than planned, which could be why I am so tired now. Mr. G and I did spend an enjoyable hour or so at the museum today enjoying the traveling exhibition of "Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College.” The murals are absolutely wonderful- so powerful and so vibrant in the depiction of significant events in the journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom. Some of Woodruff’s other work was also on exhibit, and his use of color was breathtaking, with some paintings having an iridescent quality that made them come alive. Seeing these paintings on line or  in a book  doesn't do them justice and I was so glad to be able to experience them up close.

We also visited the exhibits of Far Eastern art, and were particularly intrigued by the "Lethal Beauty" exhibit of samurai weapons and armor from the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture. We would have stayed longer and seen more but I was really beginning to drag and we still needed to stop by the grocery store, so we left. I do hope we can make visits to the Birmingham Museum of Art more often and explore the may treasures on display there. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful facility so close by.

We ended the day by watching the film, “ The Woman in Gold” starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann. Based on the true story of Maria’s struggle to reclaim the artwork stolen from her family by the Nazis, then appropriated as national treasures by the Austrian government and displayed in museums, the film was well acted and very interesting. Today was a day for enjoying art and escaping from the heat. I just hope that tomorrow doesn’t begin quite as early, that I am able to finish any dreams I start and that any food I cook in my sleep will not have to contain the word “ugly” in its description.

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