THE M.A.D. HOUSE ARTISTS
Our home was built as an artists place, where each of us may pursue his or her peculiar talent. When first envisioned, Grandma was needing to be diverted and her special needs were addressed, making our facility particularly well suited for the handicapped, sporting special steps throughout the grounds designed for wheeled chairs, and an elevator between floors at the main house. Our rural setting provides inspiration for the artist in each of us. The M.A.D. House Artists are in Oklahoma on Grand Lake of The Cherokees.
Above is pictured the front entrance of The M.A.D. House Artists. Door knocker and sculpture by Ronald Godwin, of ART WURKS in Brundidge, Alabama. The Door Knocker has the distinction of being one of three ever produced, and one the owners of the other two is Wesley Snipes. We feel that we are in good company there.
When we hold the SHIRE event, it is in the Library of the main house. Below is our dance studio.
In our dance studio we have held monthly public dances with everything from Classical East Indian Dance to English Country Dance. Candace has been known to lead exercise, breathing and stretching sessions, along with dance for enjoyment. Our social dancing is fun and no one needs any previous experience. Everyone from grandparents to very small children have joined us and no one has had to be left out of the dancing.
On occasion, Dennis reads for us from his choice of books. He tends to lean towards the Fantasy genre, which is delightful. When he does read to a group we call this event The Shire in honor of some of our favorite fantasy books. Dennis' live readings rival any we have heard on tape.
For years the invitation has been open on Tuesday mornings and early afternoon for Arting Around - an amiable group activity with Candace. Call and come over, we'll work together on any number of projects.
Canace favors PRINCE, but who needs PRINCE, when you have your own '...not like I love my guitar...' right at home...
Believe it or not, this was not a posed picture,
Dad actually was sleeping with his new Stratocaster.
(and we thought we were kidding...)
With over 1,000 ft. of shelf space, the books we have for sale are listed with images at books.themadhouseartists.com. Books on many subjects, Music, and Films are always here, for purchase, lending, or reference. The M.A.D. House Artists hold ongoing Film Festivals, concentrating on a particular director, actor, or theme.
When Candace was searching for a phrase to describe all the activities and disciplines represented just between the four of us, she asked our son to write a brief description of what we do here at The M.A.D. House Artists. He mentioned that we are patrons of the arts, but Mom countered that we participate as much as possible as well. He then pointed out that we needed a description that stated that we are "participants in the arts," and "almost random." His spontaneous suggestion was so exactly right that after Mom stopped laughing we adopted it at once. Though we are not incorporated as a foundation. We immediately became
The Grand Lake Artistic Chaos Foundation
and so we remain (Thank you, Kimball!)
Welcome to The M.A.D. House Artists!
Dargason goes on and on...2008
Here is Candace with the newly erected Duck Dock sign. The plastic keeps the wind off the back deck in the winter, and every day the sun shines, provides us with solar heat between 80 and 108 degrees fahrenheit.
To the right is the elevator for Grandma's wheeled chair. On the east side and the south side of the elevator shaft are the original front doors from the house and a couple of windows. The elevator was added after the house was finished, and when they were replaced with fancier doors, we had the old front doors put in the elevator shaft (which was under construction) to provide light for the passengers. Our contractor put up a fight, but finally agreed to leave the doorknobs intact, and even left the key in the lock. So there it is, eight feet above the ground, ready to unlock the door in mid-air. We TOLD you it was The M.A.D. House Artists.
About Our LLAMAS and a few others in the M.A.D. House Artists' Menagerie
We really bought the Llamas for Grandma. As Esther was reaching the end of her lifetime of being Excessively Diverting, she was mainly suffering from Deadly Boredom. We, being of lesser giftedness, were at our wits end to keep her entertained. We planted gardens, attempted to get her to paint, brought in Cute Little Baby Animals, and did everything short of standing on our heads, and still she was torturing the Home Nurses, and being pretty miserable.
Candace read on the internet about llamas being therapeutic for depressed people, and Dennis said the fatal words: "All we need now is a couple of Llamas!" (He was kidding.) The Llamas (Both purchased through the internet) arrived too late for Grandma by about two weeks, but they were sure therapeutic for the rest of us.
Our two Llamas SIR CHARLE, (From North Dakota and The Sisters at the Monastery Llama Ranch), and MAGICAL FLAG, (From B&B Llama Ranch in Washington State) Have lived very long lives and passed on to the llama ranch in the sky. Sir Charle was born in 1997, and Magical Flag was two years younger than Sir Charle. Magical Flag was only a yearling when he came to Oklahoma. Both were registered with the ILR, but we are collectors, not breeders, and both were geldings. Currently we are enjoying the company of Snoozer, a rescued llama. Snoozer and Sir Charle may well have met while Sir Charle was in transit from North Dakota in 2000, as Snoozer came to us through Texas, coming from the large llama preserve in Montana, a REAL world traveler. They certainly ACTED as though they were familiar with each other - like jealous siblings. We adopted Snoozer to keep 'Charle company after the passing of Magical Flag, and he certainly did that. Following Sir Charle's passing, we have not yet adopted another llama. We have the Great Pyrenees, Nymphadora, to keep him company and the chickens for Snoozer to guard. So far he seems quite content to be the center of attention.
In years past we have rescued some of the Turtles that were crossing the road and brought them out to the woods here by the house, as far off the highway as possible, and near Grand Lake. Yertle (above, sporting her beautiful 'bow' design on her shell) was such a personable and responsive individual, we had her living in the Atrium Garden off the kitchen for years. For those of you who have been following Yertle's Tale, you may remember the sad loss of her beloved Bubba, the Blind Turtle in 2003. Well, She had found love again in 2006 in the person of the vagabond Grendel (named by one of our Author friends, Doctor Philip Levin, in a contest). After a couple of days outside, it looked like they had really warmed up to each other until Grendel took a powder one night and ran out on her. Yertle was devastated. Mom noticed Grendel making tracks across the neighbor's driveway about a month after the escape, and restored him to the garden, where Yertle seemed only too glad to have him back. (No accounting for tastes.) But apparently the male turtles are not as adaptable to domestic life as the females, because Grendel and his 2007 successor, Red have both returned to the wild. Yertle remained sociable and was eating well. When Kacie (See her art page) came into the house, Yertle recognised Kacie's voice and starts for the edge of the pond to greet her. In 2008 we acquired Teeny Turtle, a very small turtle who recovered from her dog attack, suffering only the loss of one eye. All have been released back to the wild, now. Once a year we see Grendel crossing our dirt road or in the neighbor's driveway, distinct because of his markings, and wave a friendly hello.
Below is Alexander Dog, given to us as a very sick puppy in August of 2004...
Here is Alexander, a year and a half old, in December of 2005, enjoying bounty from Santa Claus on his first Christmas Eve. Many dollars later, and much help from Doctor Crockett and Dr. Gilsleider, Alexander Dog was the healthiest dog in Oklahoma. Alexander spent all of about five minutes on this 2005 Christmas Bone before it was completely demolished. ...Alex was a cheerful, sweet (and very enthusiastic) Dog! Dr. Gilsleider said Alexander was Rottweiler and Red Heeler mix. As a puppy he carried small logs around ad toys and his idea of a teething ring was a cast iron bunny meant as a watering sprinkler - about five pounds of solid metal. In his old age, Alex never forgot how Candace cared for his ailments and brought him back to health and he was loyal, and a bit protective, till the day he died at the ripe old age of twelve. Many nice photos taken by Dennison on his web page.
As Alexander lost the use of his hind quarters, we worked on a design for his very own custom built wheelchair, The Alexmobile, to dignify him in his old age. Wheels donated by our local tire shop, design by Candace. This is a photo of the project in process in late September, 2015. Alexander was quite the Dog, patiently working with us. He is so strong and healthy, seems like he should not be slowed down just because his legs stopped supporting him. What a good dog. We miss him.
Since Alex died, we have acquired a couple of puppies to keep Nymphadora company. Anitra, 2018, who was advertised as a Great Pyrenees, but who decidedly is NOT, and Hyacinth, born in March of 2020, who most decidedly IS a Great Pyrenees. Never a dull moment.
Many Thanks to the Herring family who supplied so many parts at such a reasonable price, and who offered helpful advice whenever asked.
Their business, in operation since 1965 - 2020,
JAY PLUMBING & ELECTRIC
We really miss their friendly store.
And we still call upon Junior for advice and rescue. There is none better.
The M.A.D. House Artists are host to a number of unusual pets. We have twenty named chickens, three guineas, one handsome gelded llama, two great pyrenees and Anitra, a parade of neutered & spayed cats (Roger Penrose was neutered AND spayed in the spring of 2020 because of his undescended testicle - omg). We had a neutered rabbit named Dot (and one spayed rabbit named Harvey), goldfish, koi, we have had tropical fish survive extended power outages in freezing weather, Yertle the turtle, Land Hermit Crabs, and newts (John Cleese and Isaac Newton). Not to mention an ecosphere with tiny brine shrimps who lived twenty five years in the sphere. The menagerie keeps us on our toes and makes for a lively life, and the chickens feed us.