Tuesday, March 11, 2008


My wife, Tabitha, is an artist and collector. She collects items for use in future art projects. Unfortunately I keep her so busy with her job and the children that she has little time to actually work on her projects so the clutter builds up.

For years she collected her old beauty products. She had dozens of bottles of lotion, cleanser, and make-up. And then one day she did this:

She emptied all of the bottles into this jar. It is called "Beauty." I was concerned that we would start a chemical reaction but our house hasn't burned down yet. It was originally a congealed mess with the fat more evenly distributed. As time has passed the layers have become more defined.

Her latest collection is milk cartons. She is actually using them for a ceramics project with her students. In the meantime, we have been tripping over milk cartons. They are going to school tomorrow. And yes, Aidan is lactose intolerant.

For a while now I have been saving bottle caps. I'm not sure what she is going to do with them. I'm just saving them. This one is tough for me - open a Guinness, drink it, don't throw away the cap. I am a regular patron of the arts.

We have stacks of magazines around the house. She saves those to use in projects at school. In the garage, there are two plastic bins filled with old insulin syringes and empty bottles of insulin. That is going to be a really cool piece.

I can't blame her for all the clutter around the house. I'm pretty lax when it comes to putting clean laundry away. The kids are no help either. As soon as we put their toys away, they pull them back out. As I sit at the computer writing this, I see stacks of paper shoved into little nooks. This is my filing system. It's no wonder I have trouble finding things.

In spite of the clutter, I wouldn't trade my artist for anyone in the world.

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