Arts and Crafts at MeeMaw’s House

Jacob squealed with joy as Mommy and Daddy walked through the door. “Mommy! Look at my Pirate Sheep!” He happily ran to the table where a sheep skull was painted glossy blue and purple. He held it up proudly. “Look! I dug it up and MeeMaw let me paint it!”

Poor Daddy looked aghast. “Well, uh, that’s certainly interesting”, he said. Daddy is a city boy and former Navy. He looked afraid to touch it.

I grinned over at Jacob’s Daddy. “Arts and crafts at MeeMaw’s house are a little different than at day care,” I explained.

“I can see that!” he replied fervently.

“It’s okay, mom always bleaches bones before she let us play with them”, explained Mommy, the voice of experience. “Did you soak it or spray it?”

“Sprayed it with diluted bleach after scrubbing it down and rinsing it out.”

Jacob had caught sight of what he hoped was a dinosaur bone protruding from the muck in a dried out pond this morning while SwampMan and I were rerouting a fence. “MeeMaw! Come dig it out!” I got a stick and tried to pry it out, but the suction was too much and the stick broke.

“Sorry, Jacob. I’m going to have to get a shovel and dig it out later after I help Papa with the fence.”

About 15 minutes later, I heard a triumphant “I got it!” and there was Jacob holding his archeological prize, a sheep skull filled with mud. “It’s a pirate sheep!” After watching “Pirates of the Caribbean”, Jacob has decided that pirates are skeletons, hence the jolly Roger. He displays better logical leaps than some adults I know. A sheep skull would therefore be a pirate sheep.

“Uh, put that down, and wash it off with the hose, okay?” I instructed. After a thorough hosing and examination by MeeMaw to make sure that no tissue was left, I told him that I needed to spray it with something that would kill the germs that were on there. “I found it! I can take it home? I can keep it in my room?”

“Um, sure. Do you want to paint it?” I asked, thinking that perhaps it would be slightly more acceptable to the parents if the bones were sealed, so to speak.

“YES! I want to paint it blue!”

“No problem. Let’s put the pirate sheep up to dry outside, and we’ll go look at paint.”

He picked out a glossy blue enamel and some purple leather dye. Jacob also picked out hot pink, gold, silver, bright red, and sea green. Oooh, nice choices. I picked out a yellow leather dye as well, since I had in mind that while the pirate sheep was drying from the first coat of enamel, he could paint a nice lil’ 3′ chunk of driftwood and take it home, too. I could get my yard cleared one chunk at a time.

He started painting the outside portion of the sheep skull a bright glossy blue as carefully as a 4-year-old boy could paint. “Don’t get any paint on the teeth, okay? Leave them white, okay?” he instructed as I carefully smoothed out any big globs he had left. The inside portions of the eyes and palate and nasal passages and sinuses were dyed bright purple. Hmmmm. I surveyed the skull. There were a few places that needed touching up but all in all, it looked pretty good. “That looks cool, MeeMaw!”

The piece of gray driftwood had some purple and yellow leather dye daubed on in some places. In others, he applied hot pink, teal green, bright red, and lots of gold and silver sparkly paint. I went over it with a dry brush, blending the paint blotches together. The effect was really nice, particularly since the silver and gold paint overlaid and muted the bright colors and they all flowed together. Hunh. Maybe I should get Jake to paint all my driftwood, and we’ll sell it instead of putting it in the burn pile. I have seen far worse looking things for sale in the art shops at prices that sometimes elicits a forceful “you have got to be (expletive) me” out loud.

Mommy was admiring the blue and purple Pirate Sheep when Jacob showed her another feature. “See! Its tooth is loose! I’m going to pull it out in my room when we get home!”

Mommy said “No, that’s nasty. Whatever would you want to do that for?”

I explained to Mommy that the tooth fairy had been mentioned. The tooth fairy that will only visit Jacob’s house, not MeeMaw’s house.

“The tooth fairy does NOT leave money for Pirate Sheep teeth!” Mommy exclaimed, the spoilsport. I expect the legalities of the contract between the tooth fairy and the person that is in possession of a tooth that has been correctly placed under his pillow per custom will be discussed again tonight.

They left about an hour ago. His sheep skull was tucked securely into his backpack, wrapped in his blanket. I’m expecting a phone call from Mommy regarding whatever gave him the idea that the tooth fairy might be interested in Pirate Sheep teeth any time now. Heh.


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