Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stuffed Animals

As I may have mentioned, I was born and raised in a small mountain town. I was raised by wonderful parents & from them I gained some good survival skills. My Dad grew up hunting and fishing, so actually.... I didn't really learn any survival skills from my Dad. But my Mom, she grew up sewing, reading and cooking & I can do 2 out of 3. So, for example, if I'm ever starving and need to kill a wild animal to survive and in the process of doing this I rip my clothes, I would be able to sew my clothes back together & then read a story about it. So, basically I will die of starvation if left in the wild.
(Which is why I binge watch Dual Survivor with the peacock to gain some much needed skills for dooms day). 

Anyway, when you grow up with a hunter, you have access to antlers, lots and lots of antlers. I grew up with stuffed Elk heads, fish, grouse feet (that my brother and I played with...I know, I KNOW...gross) and, well, antlers as the main pieces of artwork in the living room. My Dad rotated his dead animal crap around the same way I rotate my art and furniture around....frequently. Often times my Mom could not park the car in the garage because there was a dead elk carcass hanging from the ceiling just twirling around and around and around. When my Mom made my Dad finally move the elk head out of the living room and down to the local sporting goods store, my Dad would go down and "visit" his elk head, brush it's fur and stuff. I actually had to talk my Dad out of having some of my Prom pictures taken standing with his dead stuffed Elk head. True story. 

Many people would consider this "redneck" and maybe it is, but maybe not...I'm too biased to tell. But I've come to realize that it's a dying way of life. My parents to this day will use only what they need. They don't even know the word excess...unless it has to do with getting wood for the winter (but that's a Story I already told) When clothes get ripped...they get repaired. My Dad hunts and then has meat for months and shares it with the lot of us. One year I had so much elk meat in my freezer, I didn't buy any meat for almost a year! My mom cooked and baked quite a bit from scratch and still does. I rarely had any fast food growing up & I still don't eat it (excluding Chipotle). My little goldfish's favorite dress was made by my Mom. She made my 8th grade graduation dress and a homecoming dress. This was a life they learned from their parents and these are skills that were passed on (mostly...kind-of) to me and my brother. 

Urban Antlers (2016)
Oil on canvas 8x8
Skull & Bulb (2016)
Oil on canvas 8x8

So, to summarize, if we are in a situation where we duly have to survive, I will need you to do everything, as my only skill is basically finding my way home. 
And if I happen to die, just stuff me like a dead animal, put me in my prom dress (most likely, my Mom still has it) next to my Dad's elk, so he can brush my hair and take a few pictures. 

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