5 positive parts about America that the citizenship swearing in ceremony will make you realize

Loverpants got to pledge allegiance to the United States of ‘Merica last week, and the whole morning was just pretty keen. My hubs has his own immigration story to tell, but he and his family have endured a lot to call this place home. As for me, I just get to take the pictures and wave the star spangled banner. Here are a few things a swearing in ceremony will either highlight or reaffirm about this great nation:

1. The immigration process is still a careful one. From the biometrics to the interview to every piece of paperwork, the bureaucracy is boss. The process for letting the good guys and gals in is still pretty stinking thorough. I’m sure there are a hundred different ways to outsmart Uncle Sam, but his gates strive to be ironclad and the gatekeepers aim to be good flaggers of criminality.

Citizenship

2. Your new neighbors bring a ton of wealth to this country. So maybe they’ve been here 5, 10 years. They speak Yoruba, Farsi, Spanish. They celebrate high Hindu holidays. They braid hair and weave baskets and practice law and medicine like bosses. Maybe they are bosses. We just don’t always see them gathered all at once on a happy occasion in one room. The swearing-in ceremony will remind you of the riches of language, culture, religion, and racial diversity that the wave of recent immigrants represents. Total jackpot.

3. The Daughters of the American Revolution are still a thing. They make cookies and wave flags and celebrate citizenship at swearing-in ceremonies. Civic engagement for the win.

4. Hamilton the Musical is sold out indefinitely for a reason. The convergence of hip-hop with the brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda and colonial petticoats is all pretty cool. But so is our history as a young nation of zealous freedom seekers. It still resonates. I have to believe this is why Judge Susan Lee got all verklempt swearing in these new citizens last week. She says it’s her favorite thing to do.

Citizenship

5. There are now 50 more immigrants-turned-citizen in Chattanooga who will be eligible to vote in November, who likely are against building a wall along our border with Mexico, who don’t believe America needs to be made great again, since the best is surely yet to come 🙂

Citizenship

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Fieldtrip: What we found in the Sculpture Fields #CHA

There’s a new sculpture field in Chattanooga, even though it advertises itself as plural. Maybe that means there might be more. I hear an amphitheater is coming, adjacent to the field o’ sculptures. Right on top of a landfill. Isn’t that great? We could be singing along to “Cheeseburger in Paradise” while Jimmy Buffett performs (wearing a parrot hat, obvi) all the while an actual cheeseburger is decomposing underneath our very feet? Living in the eco-kingdom is phenomenal.

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I don’t know if sculpture fields are the new cupcake shop, the new pop-up shop, the new record players for old vinyl albums. Are they the latest hipster movement or are they old news? Despite the fact that Chattanooga enjoys the fastest internet in the nation (so fast that it should be making me younger and lighter simply by the velocity at which I am downloading gigawhatevers), I’m really behind the times. I’ll have to watch some Portlandia tonight and see if they spoof the Sculpture Field Craze that is now so played out.

I think my favorite sculpture is this one. From one vantagepoint, it reminds me of a guy desperately trying to hail a cab (Uber wasn’t around when he was sculpted). From another angle, it looks like he’s waving to Lookout Mountain.

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When I made Little Man pose for this one, I thought, this would make a great bridal backdrop. Just hand me my megaphone because I became a minor prophet that day. I’m seeing it on the ‘gram like you would not believe.

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Parents in usual places: “Stay off that rusty rail. You’ll get diptheria or tetanus or something!”
Parents at Sculpture Fields: “Oh, you guys look cute. Let’s take a picture for the ‘gram.”

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If you go on a swelteringly hot day, you can pretend to be Bowe Bergdahl running from the Taliban in an arid wasteland. This is not, as it turns out, what our kids were playing here. They can’t get into Season 2 of Serial, I guess.

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This one is called Granite Windows. It spins. That’s way beyond my sculpture wheelhouse. Hahah. Wheelhouse.
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Daughter.
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Hubs.
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Little Man
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To go:
http://sculpturefields.org/

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Crafternoon with findings from The Refindery

I have a penchant for trolling shops and other emporia that stock old timey estate sale things. Bureau drawer knobs and big slabs of slate. The things I could do with them! The junky things I can make using mod podge and dryer lint!

My personal kryptonite are planks of wood, though. I love a good solid piece of wood that cries out to me, Paint me! Gold leaf me! Take me home!

The Refindery
The Refindery

My virgin visit to Chattanooga’s The Refindery afforded me the ultimate souvenir. A wood plank that was…you might want to sit down for this and grab a paper bag in which to breathe…hand-carved. I know. It was like winning Powerball or giving birth to an heir to the throne and not having to tell the media right away. At least, that’s how I imagine it would feel. Finding your handcut wood and the salesperson at The Refindery saying, “How ’bout $12?”

Boom. Sale. Done and done.

She said it was probably a remnant from someone’s fireplace which was lovely to think about this being a literal part of someone’s hearth.

Here is what happened when I got home:

1. Sanded wood to clean off any excess crud.

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2. Painted with acrylic paint and then covered bottom half with chalkboard paint.

The Refindery

3. Allowed to dry and posted some kendraspondence in chalk on my new fireplace fixture.

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I think it looks quite fetching and will definitely return to The Refindery for more woodchips from the Planet Krypton.

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