Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kickin' It at the Museum

My 13 year old grandson, SP, and I shared a rare day together recently.

No, this NOT my grandson with a new "punk" haircut!
This kicked-back guy is a fairly good-sized Iguana from the live animal exhibit at the Riverside Museum. He is a VERY cool and laid-back creature, actually not unlike SP!
Which reminds me: what an HONOR the first Adam had, to name ALL the animals of the earth!! Don't you think it must have been SO fun??? A huge task at any rate!

My barely-teen grandson is almost as tall as me already! It was SO much fun to pal around with him! We are really blessed to have this time now; in a few more years, he may have other things to do, or will have to bring a girl with him or something! YIKES! He really is handsome and brilliant (not just bragging), he has a great sense of humor, I love the way his mind works, and most importantly he loves GOD! He and I made several cool discoveries this day:

1. Dubliner Cheese - Glory be! (as my grandmother used to say). What a taste delight!!!! It is an aged Irish cheese - sort of a cheddar-like texture, with a nutty flavor similar to Swiss and the tang of fresh Parmesan! YUMMMMY is our description!!! We were on a hunt for summer/beach wear at Costco, when a kind lady offered us a sample of this most awesome cheese! We immediately bought a 2 pound brick and headed for the bakery department, which led to our 2nd discovery:

2. Olive-oil and rosemary French bread - A match made in heaven, this AND the Dubliner! Oh my goodness! PLUS we had some big juicy green table grapes to go with! SP carved the cheese, we tore off the fresh bread in hunks and enjoyed our somewhat Medieval feast all the way to our 2nd destination - an appointment with my surgeon. (YUCK)

Good news! My elbow is healing nicely and my range of motion has improved significantly. Thank You, LORD!!! And thanks everyone, for all of YOUR prayers!

Whew, a LONG road, this one! Somewhere down this "merry path," the doc will take the pins, screws and wires out. He has promised to stitch me up as nice as he can, as the staples left a nasty scar (don't look, if you have a weak stomach). Can't wait - actually, yes, I can!!

SP got to see the x-rays of all the cool hardware in my "bionic" arm. I suggested to him that he might like to do what my surgeon does, as "there are lots of power tools involved." *shudder* ... plus he makes about a bazillion dollars a year! The Dr's eyes LIT up and he asked SP if he liked tools. Hesitantly SP answered, "yeah." Doc replied with a smile, "This is easy! You like tools? Really, it's easy!! " YU-UCKK, yeah ... if you don't mind carving on PEOPLE!! LOL

Anyway, SP and I adventured to the historic section of downtown Riverside and our 3rd discovery:

3. Riverside Metropolitan Museum: There were two featured exhibits. The American Grizzly and Quilt Stories - both very interesting! Well, actually the Griz exhibit was a "little" sparse, but there were also lots of interesting historical items and memorabilia from the local area.

OK, this IS my grandson apparently in the grip of a griz cub. Just happened to get a reflection of the California flag in the shot!

There were many examples of how the grizzly has been used in advertisng as a symbol of strength and power! Showcased were some nice griz art, a few books, a bear rug, pictures of bears as circus attractions, and Theodore Roosevelt's first naming of the "Teddy Bear." Teddy Roosevelt actually lodged at the Mission Inn back in "the day."

The intricate indigenous Native American baskets of the Chumash and the Luiseno were a striking contrast to the brightly colored modern Native American quilts: both told stories of their everyday lives!
Luiseno basket-1890s
Collage of Quilts
We saw Community Quilts, that record the stories of entire communities. Among them were quilts from Gee's Bend, Alabama and a film interviewing the elder lady quiltmakers. The U.S.Postal Service commemorated these quilts on stamps in 2007! Most awesome to see them in person! These traditional quilting skills have been handed down from mother to daughter continuously since before the Civil War!

Also on display were Riverside Citrus Heritage Quilts, which depicted stories of the Washington Navel Seedless Orange that was developed in Riverside! The matriarch of that citrus empire had the SAME last name as the maiden-name of my SP's other Grandma! Hmm...will have to research that! I heard that the fam was not related, but SP and I think it could be...worth a little digging.

The Cultural Heritage Quilts were my personal favorites! There were exquisite depictions of the life and traditions of the Navajo and Hopi people. There were also Family Quilts, which were passed down through generations of families.

NOTE: My maternal grandmother was a master-quilter and hand-sewed all three types of quilts beautifully. Unfortunately, her skill was NOT passed down in our family, but her quilts certainly will be. I will put OUR stories on my "blogs to-do" list! :)
Cougars used to roam local hills.
(This poor guy reminded me of your displaced panther, Gateway!)
Being a Natural History-type musuem, there were lots of specimens, animals, insects, birds and really icky stuff in jars...curiosities they call them. These of course, were some of SP's favorites!
Better yet was the live animal exhibit, the Nature Lab! Besides the iguana, there were tarantulas, black widows (like I don't have enough at home!), all sorts of local snakes (minus a rosy boa), lizards, millipedes and other lovely creepy-crawly and flying what-not that are best enjoyed by men and boys!

What stood out the most to me was the immeasurable variety within each and every species that the Lord creates! The beauty, colors, patterns and the delicate/perfect balance that HE created and provided for all His creations to exist, thrive and multiply just blows me away! Each is unique to its own environment, yet all are in perfect balance on this one earth!! Unfathomable to my finite mind! He is SO the God of marvelous detail!

How could anyone see all of this and not believe in GOD ... in a CREATOR??!!! Can anyone really believe that all of this just "happened"???!!! Only those who, like Pharaoh, REFUSE to see, and CHOOSE to harden their hearts! That is SO sad!!! We MUST pray for these lost souls and especially for their families!!!

SP and I had a great time together! We topped the day off with a personal tour of a new state-of-the-art Athletic Club in our neighborhood. Seems the LORD blesses US with favor when we go anywhere too, we got celebrity treatment! Of course, we are children of THE KING! Bless His name!

We ate as much Dubliner, bread and grapes that we could on the way home! Ahhhh yesss... !!!

THANK You Lord, for turning my long drive to the doctor into a fabulous adventure with SP and for the very special memories You gave us!
"O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth,
who have set Your glory above the heavens ...
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and stars, which you have ordained,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
and You have crowned him with glory and honor ...
Psalm 8:1, 3-5


GateWay said...

so if this comes through 2 times, sorry, it said it was a duplicate, so I'll be brief on this one. ;)
love the cougar... we have another one here much like that one.. the lake one was BLACK (amazing huh?). Nope, wish I had thrown the pot (I do have a wheel.. and have done some clay work) but this is George Holland's work (he is the artist on my cottage webpage Thank you for seeing more than my picture or words relate! I love it when God lets me see His body coming together from such unanticipated places... confirmation of His promises. And the steps.. hopefully the other comment comes through... great story!

His Girl said...

I'm glad you had such a great time! If it weren't for your blog, we would never have known---- you know how chatty spencer is.... not!

Gretchen said...

How special to have that 1:1 time with grandma and grandson. Very cool. I lurrve those quilts. I'm not terribly skilled by any means, but I sure love making them.

GateWay said...

came back on to see the name of that cheese... gonna look for it today at one of our deli shops...Haven't heard from your side of the states in a while???? hope all is well with you and yours. We here in Texas are really really HOT.. 102+... wish Dolly would have brought some rain, maybe soon.

Sing4joy said...

You two are quite the adventuresome pair! Once again, I say what a treasure it is for the littles(well not-so-littles anymore) to be building those very special memories with you!