Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Slowest day of the year!

Nov. 30 is turning out to be the slowest day for me.  The clock is advancing, but my feeling is that I'm standing still.  I will sure be glad when this is over with by this time tomorrow, although that is when the hurting will begin.

Hope everyone else has a great day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Steve & Meg brought baby Quinn to Jeannie's house yesterday and I was there and ready!  Meg handed her to me immediately; I spoke to her in a soft voice and, eyes open wide, she smiled at me!  Such a big smile, no doubt about it.  Need I say that my heart soared.  Jeannie was next, and from then on she was passed around for everyone to hold, even the kids.  There is just nothing like it, and I'm not just being grandmotherly when I say she is a beautiful baby (I've never seen a baby that wasn't beautiful) with a lot of dark hair so far.  She's a tiny little thing, somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 pounds.  I'm glad to have been able to hold her while she is still tiny as all my babies were tiny and it is just like old times.

After looking at what is available in the grocery store yesterday, I've decided I can make a better cream soup from scratch than I can buy in a can, so that's what I'll do for the first few weeks.  I love Malto cereal which is sort of like cream of wheat only made with corn, and flavored with maple and brown sugar.  I'm going to get some cream of wheat and also some grits, and should be ok for breakfast at least, and maybe even for supper.  I love grits with salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese.  If I could only have some shrimp to go along with the cheesy grits!

My rent bill came today along with the newsletter/booklet for December.  I note they have a time at the clubhouse on Monday afternoon set aside for crafts.  Anyone can bring their crafts to work on, and I'm giving some thought to trying it out and taking a canvas, some paints & a brush or two.  I bought a small container of hand wipes that are supposed to be good for cleaning paint off a brush as well as one's hands, plus I'm sure they have a water source nearby.  I haven't decided exactly what I would take or whether it's worth it to haul even a few supplies down there and back.  I figure I only would need to go once and I would be able to tell if I would enjoy it or not.

OK, I'm sitting around long enough and need to get some things done before I am feeling too bad to do anything.  Tomorrow night I will stay at Jeannie's and Ara will take me to my appt at 7:40am on Wednesday morning.  I'm not sure when I will be able to post again, but I hope everyone has a good week.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ready to paint again

I'm mostly bored without anything to take my mind off how I feel.  I was in the kitchen today and as usual, looked up at the 6 small paintings across the tops of the cabinets, and I like having them there.  Soooo, I decided the cabinets that are one corner away need some color above them as well, and to that end I looked up some fruits and vegetables that I haven't painted.  I think four pictures would do me fine for that wall.  I selected a stalk of celery, 3 red potatoes (I will be careful when painting a few "eyes" on them), and some grapes, both purple and green.  Some people refer to them as white grapes but I always think of them as green.   I think I also downloaded a photo of blackberries but I'm not sure if I want to include those, as I'd prefer something with a lot of color.

I downloaded some free photos from the internet and have roughly sketched the celery and potatoes., with notations as to shades of color, background, etc.  I'm not sure when I'll get started on them, but it's good to have a project or two going.  I do have a "palm tree project" in the works also.  I think I will enjoy working on them although I'm not sure how much I'll feel like painting for a while after dental surgery.  I find I do better when painting a little at a time rather than sitting and doing it all at once.    I'm trying to just mix a small amount of paint at a time so I can use it up rather than try to keep it moist and workable if I take a break.

The rain was really pelting down when I left the gym this morning and I wondered if Steve & Meg would bring the baby out in this.  It turned out Liam wasn't feeling well so they decided to come over on Monday.  I hope I'm lots better by then too.

Tomorrow I might make a run to Costco if I can get started early enough, so I can return a couple of items.  I just hope I can keep walking on the treadmill every day.  I was doing so well but really dropped the ball on my exercise and well being.  

This morning I got up to a house that was fairly comfortable.  Having the heater bring the temperature up just a few degrees before I get out of bed makes such a difference.  I'm happy with the space heaters when I move from room to room, but first thing in the morning the furnace is a godsend.

The rain is falling hard again.  The first clear day I need to go out and pull and spray weeds and grass.  It's getting out of hand.  Steve was planning to redo my back and side yards, but of course with a new baby I understand that is no longer on the drawing board.  

Hope you  are enjoying the weekend, whether you are a shopper who doesn't mind big crowds, or like me and will do most anything to avoid them.  I just hope I can get going early enough in the morning to miss the mobs! 

A word about photos.  It was a decision I wish I'd made in the very beginning of my blogging life to not post photos of my family, especially the children.  I sometimes look at my statistics and one interesting feature is the list of where viewers are coming from.  Most of course are from the U.S. and Canada, with several from other countries where I know people who live there and read my blog.  This month I have about 42 hits on my blog from Singapore.  I don't know anyone from Singapore and am not sure how I get so many "readers"; same is true about Russia and China.  To my knowledge I have never known anyone from those three countries.

I realize I don't know most of the readers from the U.S. either, but I just would prefer to not post my grandkids' pictures when I have no idea who is reading my blog in some of these places, or the attraction for them if they do read it.  What we put on the blog can never be retrieved and the images are out there, like it or not.  With facial recognition technology available to governments and individuals today, I just don't trust that it's all legit.

That brings up something I'd like to ask readers.  I understand many people read blogs but don't want to comment.  I'm ok with  folks remaining anonymous, but I sure would appreciate hearing from some that have never left a comment, and especially those in other countries.  I'd just like to say hello and welcome to all legitimate blog readers.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The day after

I slept late this morning (late for me), and ended up back at Jeannie's house for leftovers.  I think Steve & Meg are bringing the baby to see her since she can't get around (still wearing the cast on her foot), and I may buy a surgical mask and drive over so I can see the baby as well.   It would make me feel better and I'm sure the parents would feel safer as well.

After a big plate of leftovers and several hours visiting, I came home and took a long nap.  I think I'll try to go to sleep earlier tonight so I can wake up at my normal time tomorrow.  I also would like to go to the gym, as I did this morning, and get back in the habit of walking every day.

I'm trying to sketch at least a little bit most every day but today just got away from me.   

If anyone has a suggestion for what I can eat or drink to get some calories in me when I can't chew I'd sure appreciate hearing it.   I CANNOT abide yogurt!  So that's out.  I'm probably going to end up making puddings, but they have more sugar than I would prefer.  Also my protein shakes and ice cream are on the menu.   I have gotten so lazy I never mash potatoes any more - just cube and boil them, and top them with cheddar.     I never peel them but I think I will have to at least right after surgery, and then they would be easy enough to mash.  I should get my juicer out and talk Ara into making it for me.  I don't do much juicing these days because the price of vegetables (organic) seem to have gone through the roof, at least in the quantities needed for extracting the juice.

This is going to be a helluva way for me to go through December and the holidays, but I want to get it over with before I get much worse.   Six months ago I felt great and had energy to do things I wanted to do, and I wonder if I'll ever get it back.

 On cold days like today I am so grateful to have found the Puma sweat pants.  They are so warm and comfortable compared to any I've had in years, and are worth every bit of the cost.

If I get any energy at all back I'm going to have to straighten my house, if I don't do a full cleaning job.  Everywhere I look I have sketch books and pencils, tubs of paints and supplies, and you name it.   At least I know where everything is but when I straighten it all up and put things away I won't remember where anything is!

It looks like three days of rain coming up and even lower temperatures.  When I cross the American River I can't see that there is any more water in it than usual.  Someone was out there on a raft when I crossed today, and that has to be cold so close to the water!

I'm rambling on and on so I'll just say goodnight and wish everyone a great weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Really Good Thanksgiving

I went to Jeannie & Donald's a little early this afternoon, not sure that I would stay.  I ended up feeling better and stayed until after dinner.  I think one of the things that has been wrong with me is that I haven't eaten enough to keep my energy levels up.   For what I normally eat, even in my better days, I had a lot today.  I got tired about halfway through but overcame that, so I didn't sleep away a big part of the day.  The excessive sleeping is no doubt partly due to boredom.  So I have hope that I can get back to normal one of these days, and the dental work will get me started on the path to recovery.   

I left about an hour after dinner - Jeannie offered  for me to stay there tonight but I drove on home.  We drew names for the Christmas gift exchange as well.    I also remembered to bring back the 3 prs of sweat pants that I forgot last time I was there (thinking Jeannie might be able to wear them).  I will return them to Costco but probably won't go anywhere tomorrow.  I hope I can talk myself into going back to the gym - it's been quite a while and I need to be consistent with it.  The advertising for the Christmas season is already outrageous this year and I will try to do some activities that don't involved getting into the shopping crowd.

I am really anxious to meet my new granddaughter, but not until I'm entirely sure I won't pass along any germs.  Maybe I should buy a packet of surgical masks - not a bad idea.

I hope everyone had as good a day as I had.  I'm so thankful for family and friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Another Down Day

I couldn't even take advantage of two different offers of rides to the hospital to see and hold my new granddaughter, Quinn Marie.   She is a beauty from what I've seen in the photos Steve sent.  She was born about 10:30 last night, and weighed in at 7# 2oz, at 20-1/4" long.  My daughter Jeannie was 20"  long when she was born, and was the shortest of my children (still is).  

This morning I woke up with a cough, which just sealed my fate as far as I'm concerned for visiting the baby today.  I'm even reconsidering going to Jeanie's house for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  Joe was going to have it, but it is better for Jeanne if she can stay home.  I think it's been too soon for her to be going out, getting in and out of a car, etc.  I'll see what I feel like tomorrow, and I don't even know if what I have is contagious since I've never had a fever.  Every bit of energy I have is ebbing away, and I couldn't get an appointment at the dentist until 7:40 am a week from tomorrow.   Jeannie suggested I spend the night at her house and Ara can drive me to my appointment which sounds good to me.

Yesterday Phil wrote a comment to my blog post, that was related to Christmas shopping:

"Your story about the grand children doing your shopping reminded me of years ago when I went home for Christmas. I had to do some last minute shopping and was heading to Sears. My mother said, I need something for your brother and don't know what to get him, so find something for around $10, would you? I went to Sears, and found a neat ladle which was also a small balance scale. The heavy end of the handle was a weight, and you moved the pivot stand to the weight you desired, then fill the ladle until it would balance and it was perfect. I was very excited about it. When I was opening gifts, I opened one, and it was the ladle. I told my mom she had the wrong name on it. She said, no it is right. I needed it for you, but if I told you it was for you, there would have been no surprise. I still have it in my kitchen. "

Caddie wanted to see a photo of this ladle and Phil sent this to me today:

The batteries in my smart phone were dead, but I did find a picture of the ladle on etsy. It is ready to pour in the ingredient you want to weigh, and when the weight reaches the amount, the ladle will level out. Neat! 

I just ate some ice cream because it makes my throat feel better, but now I'm freezing and burning up on the side of me closest to the space heater!

I called to cancel my attendance at art class this evening, to find out there is no class for the next two weeks.   I haven't been out of the house except to bring in the garbage cans that I should have taken care of yesterday, and I'm glad I don't have to go out today . 

Thank goodness for the hummingbird feeder on my front porch.  Those birds go at it as if thy can't get enough, and I love watching them.

Thinking about my 9 living grandchildren (plus the twins that didn't make it), assures me I am one lucky woman!    I've lived to see them all, as well as to see how wonderful my own children are as parents.    I can't ask for more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I've barely moved today!

I haven't felt much like eating, haven't gotten dressed (it's after 3:30 in the afternoon), and am just suffering from a lack of motivation and energy.  I called and made an appointment for Dec. 1 to have my molars removed - at 7:40 a.m.  I had originally set the appt. for Dec. 6 and then decided I have no reason to wait.  Going at 7:40 in the morning will mean that I will drive myself to and from the dentist office, which means I can't take a valium, and I had thought I might take two this time.  The only thing I notice about the effects is that I'm much more relaxed.  When I don't take one I find myself clenching my hands constantly.

My daughter-in-law is in the hospital, and we are all hoping Baby Quinn comes quickly - although they rarely ever come quickly enough to suit the mother.   I hope to hear some good news this evening.

Last week Victoria at Michaels told me I have another class paid for Ara and me, but I don't think so.  If we get there and she made a mistake I'm going to come back home as I don't feel like painting just now.  I didn't have anything ready and not even a subject to work on, so I just went in and gesso'd a couple of small canvases, and think I will try to recreate the three palm trees I sketched and posted in my blog a few days back.  I've been feeling so down I haven't even tried out the little sponges or the nice round brushes I acquired recently.

I'm on the mend physically and I'm hoping to get my mojo back when I get the dental infection cleared up.   That won't be for another 2 weeks at least and I can't imagine living like this for the next two weeks.

My mind is still working, fortunately, and I came up with a brilliant idea for getting my Christmas shopping done, at least for the kids.  I've enlisted Alyssa and Autumn , my nearly 9 and nearly 10 yr old granddaughters, to do the shopping.  I'll set a proposed budget and turn them loose.  Ara will drive, probably to Barnes & Noble and maybe some other stores in the vicinity, as well as take them to lunch.  I might even get them to wrap the gifts after I get a chance to see them.   They are both excited about the prospect!   I think they will enjoy it and I will be so relieved to not have to do it myself, especially when I'm not feeling well.  (It's sort of like child labor, but as long as the labor is happy about it I don't think I'll be called before the Board!)

Monday, November 21, 2016

No better but at least warmer!

It was a challenge to get myself ready for my chiropractor appointment at 11AM, but I'm glad I did.  He made some adjustments that have really helped the sinus infection or cold or whatever it is.  I slept well last night, considering, (being warm makes a big difference) and it will no doubt be colder tonight but I'm ready for it.   I have had no fever that I a tell by using the back of the hand across the forehead method (Dr. Mom).  I can't find a brand new thermometer I bought about 2 years ago, and I'm not buying another one which I no doubt won't find when I need it.

Jeannie and Donald stopped by last night and he had the furnace going in no time.   They called me on the phone this morning when they were on their way home from the hospital after Jeanne's surgery, and she sounded very good, probably a lot to do with whatever painkiller they used.   I relayed to her what my orthapedic surgeon told me years ago when I had foot surgery, and that was to be very aggressive fighting the pain for the first 5 days.  In other words, take the meds when it's time to take them whether you think you need it or not.  It worked for me back then, and I hope she listens to me but then I have to laugh and wonder, does a daughter ever listen to the advice of her mother?

I hauled two loads of laundry across the street this afternoon to the dryer and as it turned out the sun stayed out and I probably could have used the clothesline but just don't have the ambition it takes.  I feel like crap, to tell the truth, and I think I am going to see if I can get an appointment soon for dental surgery.  There is no sense in waiting until January, when I am feeling worse by the day  and honestly wonder if I could even make it to 2017!

I'm staying warm and comfortable in a pair of my new sweats today, plus a fleece top and my good fleece jacket.   Now if I could just get myself motivated to walk again, but at this point I don't care much about anything.  That's can be a dangerous attitude but I won't let it go too far.

I apologize if I've repeated anything from last night's blog - I should have read it before doing this one.  Google gives me such problems that if I try to read it now before publishing this one I will never find my way back to where I am!    But don't you know their developers are working hard to make the program better for us and easier to use.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Taking it Easy

I spent about 4 hours at Jeannie's today; we sampled various cakes and sweets Donald made, had good conversation, and worked the NYT Sunday crossword.  It took a while but we finished every last bit of it.  I'm still at the top of my game when it comes to those puzzles, although Jeannie, Ara, and I probably contributed equally.

I took the sweats in size Medium that I planned to return to Costco, thinking maybe Jeannie would like them.  She prefers a different style, including elastic around the ankles, so I will return them.  I forgot to bring them home with me, and I'll try to remember the next time I'm at their house.  Here is a photo for anyone who wonders what the difference is between Puma and Hanes.  (Click to enlarge)

I love the slim tapered leg and especially the large pockets on either side - wish I could have worn the size Medium as the thighs would have been slightly less voluminous, but I'm ok with them the way they are.

I have been thinking I'm going to see if I can get a homeopathic doctor at my local UCD Med Center.  The big problem with going back to a doctor is if they want to do tests, most of which are done at their main location on Y St. in Sacramento.  I can no longer drive to that location, and even if I could find a way to avoid the freeway I will never again try to park in a garage, which is the only option there.  I just don't know what to do, but I know I'm not doing so well right now.  It is probably the dental infection, and I might even see if my dentist can pull the molars in early December. although it will affect what I can eat.  If it would help me avoid seeing a doctor it would be worth it - I'm down to 117# so what the hell does it matter if I lose more!

The rain has been almost continuous, and will be falling for the next few days as well.  I wish I'd done laundry before the clouds came in!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saga of the sweatpants!

I now own 6 pr., as I went to Costco this morning intending to go inside and measure the Mediums against the Large, and possibly returning the Med. that I bought yesterday (I left them in a bag in the car).  It's a good thing I couldn't tell by holding them up in the store, so I bought 3 in Size L.   Trying them on at home made up my mind pretty quickly to keep the Large (I'm wearing one now) and returning the Mediums next time I go back to Costco.  The Large feels more comfortable in the waist, there isn't a whole lot of difference in the inseam although it might be a fraction of an inch, and while the thighs are a bit larger I don't really care.  They fit and look much better than the Hanes men's sweats.  The pockets are wonderful as well as the tapered legs.  (Sherry, I think you might find the length to be fine - you can probably wear small or xtra small, which would shorten the legs up a bit.)  With the $4 off original price offered by Costco, the cost is about twice what I could find Hanes for at Walmart, but the Puma brand are so much better in fit and quality they are worth it.

From there I made a trip to Target - why is it they never have enough cashiers and the lines are long and slow.  I bought only a few items, including the Chiquita bananas that I went there specifically for.   I don't know what Dole and DelMonte do to their bananas but they sure lack the sweet flavor of Chiquita.  And I just love saying the name "Chiquita" !

I can't go to Target without a stop at Michaels at the other end of the parking lot.  I bought a set of sketching pencils - I have two but one is very dark and the other is light, and I need some that are in between.  They were on sale, as were two other items I bought.  I really have to stay out of that store because if I go in to buy one simple item, I always find other things I need (can use/would like to have).

When I came out of Target the rain was pouring down.  Of course I was parked far away from the entrance, as I always do wherever I shop in order to get a bit more exercise.  I finally decided I wouldn't melt and just walked into the rain.  We need it and I don't complain about it although I have an excellent crop of weeds already.

My daughter is having foot surgery on Monday so I'm going over tomorrow morning to drink coffee with her (maybe work the NYT crossword) and just try to reassure her about the operation.  I had a bunion removed when I was just a couple of years older than she is now.  Worst thing I ever did - it was fine for a lot of years but has gotten so bad again that it hurts to walk.  It isn't so much the bunion but the displacement of other bones years after the surgery.

I didn't make the chicken vegetable soup yesterday so I just finished it this morning.  Mmmmm good!  My fridge looks a lot emptier.

The rain looks like it will be around for a while, but the overnight temp looks to be a bit warmer as well.  I'll take that!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trying to stay warm

I'm trying my best to stay warm, but have found out I can only run one heater at a time!   I blew a fuse in short order this morning when I tried to heat the bathroom as well as where I sit in the living room.   I looked at the furnace thinking maybe I could light it myself but there are a number of steps - push the red button, turn the white dial - and so on.  I have to see something head on rather than at an angle to be able to read it, and most of those instructions are down in the lower area of the furnace.  Even with my head on the floor I don't think I could do it, so I called the office to see in the maintenance guy could light it for me.  He did it last year and it only takes a minute if you know what you are doing.   If I could afford it I would go stay in a motel for a few nights, but I think it's going to rain over the weekend and temps will stay much lower.  I'd need at least a few weeks in that motel.

I spent a lot of time yesterday going to different stores looking for women's sweat pants.  Do you know they don't sell them any more?  They sell flimsy fleece lounge pants (that remind me of pajama bottoms); they sell pants that sit below the belly button, and other types of pants only the younger people would wear, but no regular sweats with drawstring at waist and pockets.  I was delighted when I opened an email ad from Costco this morning which featured men's Puma sweat pants:  drawstring waist, pockets, straight legs - just what I wanted.  The biggest problem with buying the men's version is that the pants legs are way too wide and balloon out over my skinny legs.  I no longer care about that, and as soon as I can leave the house (assuming the maintenance guy will show up today) I'm going to Costco and buy several pairs.   I wish I could order some from an east coast Costco as they are much more substantial and heavier.  Those sold in CA are flimsy and light weight - probably because the weather isn't as cold as elsewhere.

My bed was so warm and comfy last night with the knit sheets, thermal blanket, and comforter.  I may get my down comforter out if it stays this cold, although the down is supremely warm and I would end up having to throw it off me during the night.

My painting and even sketching has come to a standstill.  I'm discouraged with both things I have going - the Alaska river and the Irish farmhouse.  I worked on the Alaska one at class and I think I've really ruined it again.  I should never listen to what anyone tells me to do, and just go with what I  think.  Then if it's messed up I can only blame myself.  I watched a video this morning on painting a tree with acrylics and it looks like something I'd like to try, but other than that I think I've hit a brick wall for a little while.

I think I'm going to make some chicken soup today.  That will warm up the kitchen, will fill the house with a good aroma, and will use a lot of the veggies I bought recently.     The best part is that it will taste so good! 

Maintenance can no longer do the pilot lights and they told me I would have to call PG&E.  If I had seen Mike and asked him personally I'm sure he would have come in and had it going in no time, but I called the office.

I sketched some palm trees in the distance which I've always wanted to do but never had the nerve.  Would you believe I had to google palm fronds to make sure which way they spiked!  This is a very light sketch and probably won't show up very well.  Maybe if you click to enlarge it you might be able to view it a little better.  Back to the drawing board!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

C-c-c-cold morning!

I woke up to a house that was 47 degrees this morning!   Checking the 5 day temp info I see we had a low of 38 last night, which is a real drop from what it has been.  Time for me to get out the warmer sheets and maybe even my lightweight blanket.   I actually slept warm last night but getting up in the middle of the night is pure misery.  I was going to say "pure hell", but hell is thought to be "pure hot"!  

I just changed my bed sheets and got out the flannel set I use during the winter.  It's about time for me to buy a new set and I checked online but there are no discount linen stores left in Sacramento now.  I was sorry to see them close Anna's Linens a year or so ago.

I am sitting directly in front  of my space heater which keeps me slightly warm, but think I'm going to have to just get my furnace turned on.  It's amazing what a few minutes of heat will do to bringing the rooms up to a tolerable level, although the bills skyrocket just from having the heat on for 5-10 min. a day.   I don't know how I would pay for any more than that.  I'm tough and can usually get by just dressing warmly, but this morning it feels like the cold is seeping into my bones.   Turning a year older can't make that much of a difference, can it?

Ara and I ate at Chipotle before class.  That makes two eating-out nights in one week - a rarity for me.  Both restaurants have excellent food and lately I am glad when I don't have to cook!  Cooking at home is better than eating at most restaurants and not knowing what kind of additives are in the food, so I try to only go to places I trust - Straw Hat and Chipotle!

The art class went fine last night - everyone welcomed Ara and made her feel at home.  We hadn't been there long when one of the women asked her how old she is.  She told them she is 27, and it turned out the woman was going to say something that was a little on the racy side but thought Ara might only be 16!  I have to laugh because most 16 yr olds could probably shock us oldies, but it was so sweet that they didn't want to say anything that might shock or offend her.

When we were leaving Victoria (the instructor) told me she had us down for next week as well, and I explained that I didn't think I had paid for any more.  She insisted, so I guess we will go back one more evening.  I really can't afford to go every week, and even if I buy some more sessions when they go on sale for half price, I would probably only go once a month now.

I'm hoping to get Ara into the art scene here in Rancho Cordova, and last night was a good start.  Ara is a very good artist, and I want her to see if she can get some of her work accepted to hang in City Hall, and to find out about upcoming events to display her work (and hopefully sell some).

At 10am it's still almost too cold to get dressed, so I'll probably stand in front of my little electric heater I keep in the bathroom.  It is a Lazko that I bought for my RV several years ago and probably needs to be replaced.   I hate having to replace things like the heater - for one thing they just add things and settings I don't need when they update the product.  I don't want or need a remote control for a little heater that is within arm's length of me.   I also have to be careful because some of the space heaters I've tried blow a fuse within minutes of being turned on.

Ok Gypsy, it isn't going to get any easier so just get up and get moving.  It is probably a lot warmer outside than in my house! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Turning cooler

Although we will have mostly sunny skies, the temps will be dropping from the 70's into the 60's.  That's fine with me.  I neglected to take advantage of the sunny warm days to hang sheets on the line to dry, but I'll get them out there someway.  

Today I hung the remaining 3 paintings in the kitchen.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

I've made a lot of mistakes in these paintings, but it's good for me to see them together and up close.  I hope I can remedy what I'm doing wrong in future efforts.  They are really just my first try, although as I struggle with the Irish farmhouse I feel like it's the first time I ever looked at paints and a brush.  I think I did fairly well on the house, but the surrounding area is giving me fits!

While I like a challenge, I think I should stick with the smaller efforts such as those I hung in the kitchen, for a while at least.  I'm not thinking of doing more subjects from my fridge, but maybe plants, leaves, and such.  I probably need to take some walks outdoors with my camera and see what little items I can try to paint.

After my walk at the gym I returned the case of Ensure to Costco this morning and did a quick run through the store - I ended up with a gallon of their ice cream, plus a package of some  crepes rolled up around  hazelnut chocolate.  I ate one when I got home and it isn't bad, although it isn't as incredible as I thought it would be.  I will enjoy them once in a while and it's a better substitute for calories than Ensure!  That's the way I look at the ice cream.

I also filled the gas tank as I was running on the last gallon!  I hadn't checked Costco's price lately and was pleased to find it at $2.19/gal.  The Shell station at the corner of my street is still at $2.60, while for some reason Chevron across the corner is $2.75.  What marvelous additive could they have to warrant a 15 cent a gallon increase over Shell's price!

The moon last night was really a beauty.  I got my first glimpse of it in the eastern sky when Donald & Jeannie picked me up to go to Straw Hat.  When I went to bed later on it was shining through my window and onto my pillow which made me feel so good!

I can't remember if I posted anything about Straw Hat when I got home last night, but it was great, as always.   There were two big groups there but we had no trouble finding a big table for ourselves.  One group seemed to be young soccer players, and the other was probably a large family group.  I love how free the kids can be to have a good time there.  If they talk a little loud, then nobody worries about it - there are usually adults talking a little loud as well.  It is truly a family place and it's our good luck they have superb pizza, salad bar, and several beers on tap!

I've rambled on enough for today.  Tomorrow is my last art lesson, so I may not get a blog posted.   I wish there was a true "class" nearby I could attend and learn from scratch, but as it is there are lots of Youtube videos I watch and learn from.  Some are so bad I click them off after 2 or 3 minutes!

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Good Day!

The day I dread every year has turned out to be a good day so far.  I had two big danish rolls for breakfast, and it seems I've been eating/snacking ever since.  I have to leave room for the pizza and beer this evening.

I've been thinking about the vitamins and supplements I take.  They worked so well for so long but I'm starting to have some unwanted side effects.  I notice in the case of a couple of tablets/capsules, the dosage has been increased.  Since I don't know what is causing my side effects I'm going to quit most everything for a week or so and see if I notice a difference.  I will continue to take the eye capsules and krill oil caps (Omega 3).  I don't think anything else is critical and I will have to study more about it.  I think one of the problems is that a mfr makes a capsule of a vitamin or supplement, and then they begin to add other ingredients which you wouldn't know unless you looked at every label of every new bottle you purchased.  In many cases they double the dosage which can be very problematic.  

I'm beginning to shake off the effects of the pre-birthday agony as well as the pre-supermoon shenanigans!  This is the night of the full moon, the supermoon, and I am going to enjoy it for all it's worth.   Tomorrow I have a ton of laundry to take care of, and maybe in between  loads I can get some other things done that I've let ride for so long.  Also, gotta make time to go to the gym!  It wouldn't hurt me to start working out again but I am lazy!

I'm going to have veggie pizza with artichokes this evening, and raise a couple of glasses to my old friend, Stella (Artois)!  Come to think of it, I'm going to raise a glass to all my blog readers.  Skoal!  Salute!  Slainte!  Kanpai!    Prost!    and Cheers!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Short One

I don't have much to write as I haven't done anything today.  Jeannie just stopped by with a box of 4 huge fruit danish rolls for my breakfast tomorrow.  I just finished one and am considering eating another, which would leave me two for breakfast.  It's a difficult decision, but if I hold off until morning I'll be able to enjoy coffee with them.

She also asked if I want to eat out tomorrow evening and mentioned a couple of places, one of which is my favorite, Straw Hat Pizza.  So that takes care of breakfast and dinner tomorrow, and I can probably grab something out of the fridge for lunch.

My only outing today was the gym this morning.  Otherwise I've been moping around waiting for this supermoon to do it's job and let me get back to normal!  I feel like I've been through the wringer and the worst is probably yet to come.  When I got up several times in the middle of the night I could see the nearly full moon shining in on my bed, and it is beautiful.  I could hardly get to sleep because of the moon in my eyes!  Nothing like being caressed by moonlight though!

Have a nice evening.

New Zealand Earthquake

New Zealand was hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, reportedly the largest in 50 years!   This is followed by a tsunami to add to the problems.  So far I've seen reports of 2 deaths, but there are no doubt many more.

One of our bloggers lives in Christchurch, NZ; her blog is "Growing Older Gracefully", and can be found in my blog list to the right.  She hadn't posted in approx. 2 months, so I wrote to ask her how she fared through this earthquake.  She responded and described the rolling motion that went on for over 2 minutes - a long time when you have no idea when it will stop.  I think she and her husband fared better than many,  and I hope her children and extended family are all safe.  NOTE:  I just see that Anne has updated her blog and you can read her latest post.
Please remember Anne in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the people of NZ who have been devastated by this very powerful quake, and the following tsunami.  This is likely the beginning of a series of quakes that will spread throughout the area, eventually making their way to our west coast/Central/South America.

I will post my regular blog later, if I have anything to say.  So far I'm being lazy and just trying to talk myself into taking a walk at Mather (former AFB).

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Farmers market

After an absence of several weeks I made a quick trip to the farmers mkt this morning.  It took me all of about 15 minutes because I only visited one stall.  I usually have another vendor for potatos, but didn't need any today.

I brought it home and began washing the rainbow chard and kale, and tearing them into smaller pieces to put in ziplock bags for easy access.  I can't tell you how gorgeous the kale and chard is, but it is so pretty and so fresh that I wonder why I ever get that stuff in the grocery store, even in the organic section which isn't bad for a grocery chain.  In addition I bought some broccoli, zucchini, and celery, and that did it for today.

I had eaten a big breakfast of strawberries, blueberries, white grapes, chopped walnuts, and sliced banana, topped, of course, with a splash of whipped cream!   I didn't bother to try to figure out the calorie content, and as I would be perfectly happy with a dinner of veggies this evening, add just a few calories, and you can see why I don't gain weight.  For lunch I did make French toast, which I have always liked with salt and pepper.  I ate the first slice with those seasonings, and then got out the maple syrup for the second slice.  Even so, the calories in my lunch don't add up to much.

I might gain weight if I started eating out a lot at fast food restaurants, or if I cooked with packaged dinners such as Betty Crocker, but that's not how I like to eat and I just can't help it.  And looking further into the contents of Ensure, I've decided I'm going to return it to the Costco warehouse when it's delivered to me (so I will have to carry it after all!)  

I figured out that the supermoon is going to fall on my birthday evening, and I looked up the full moon for November 1940.  I think it was also a supermoon, but it was a full moon nonetheless and it fell just a few hours after I was born!   With that coincidence I might have something very good (or very bad) in store for me during this supermoon, or probably not.

I like to know what is happening in the skies and I believe in astrology up to a point - I'm certainly not a fanatic on it and never change my behavior to coincide with it.  I think I was most affected by what was in the skies when I lived in Ireland.  It was uncanny, to tell the truth - maybe the starshine didn't have to go through so much pollution to get to me.  In fact, that is the only time I remember actually seeing the Milky Way!   I was also affected by the gale-force winds which were common.  I would be an absolute ball of energy when the wind was strong.  Sure doesn't make me energetic these days!

I want to thank everyone who commented on the three small paintings I've hung in my kitchen - I have three more to go but need some gale-force winds to get me moving to hang them!    I feel like an absolute blob of putty right now and can't get up the motivation to do a thing.  This shouldn't last much longer and maybe I'll get back to a more normal state.

Friday, November 11, 2016


I have a few days to go before my age climbs to a steeper number, and as it always has, it makes me depressed.  I think I was like that even as a child - not so much depressed about having a birthday, but anyone making a big deal over me was embarrassing.    My dear father, the most important man in my life, always remembered even down to the exact time of my birth, and would invariably call me and announce that in x minutes and yy seconds I would be zzz years old!  It didn't make me feel any better, but I sure would love to hear him say it again.

So that is the major reason for my depression - I hate having a birthday.  I wouldn't mind so much turning a year older, but having people make a deal out of it bothers me.

The Irish farmhouse painting has me stymied for the time being.  The driveway didn't look like a driveway and when I tried to fix it, it just got worse.  This morning I ended up painting over it with a small amount of gesso.  

I'm now on Series 10 of Bob Ross' videos, and still learning things from him.  I checked online at "Cheap Joe's Art Stuff" to see how much it would cost me to buy a supply of water soluble oil paints, and the answer is "too much for now at least".

These are the first 3 pictures I hung in the kitchen.  I would welcome comments as to whether or not I should put them in frames.

Another reason I'm depressed is my weight.  I don't get on the scale every day, but only once in a while.  This morning I couldn't believe it when I read "117" pounds.    I have to get it back up over 120, so after the gym this morning I made a trip to the grocery and thought about buying a 6 pack of Ensure (I hate that stuff!)  They only had regular, strength which is 220 cal. per bottle, and if I'm going to drink the vile liquidt I want the extra strength with 350 cal. per bottle!  I knew it was on sale at Costco, so I ordered a 30 pack online, and will be glad to have it delivered.  If I'm going to lift a heavy box of beverage, I'd prefer it to be a case of beer!  So three a day should last me 10 days, and I should notice an increase in my weight with the addition of 1050 cal. per day.  I'll have to be careful because it could ruin my appetite for real food.  Therein lies the problem - I have very little appetite, especially after lunch.  If I could train myself to eat a full dinner for breakfast I might be on to a solution! 

Here is a photo of Jeannie's favorite cake, German Chocolate.  Everyone loved it, and as I mentioned, she cut me a little sliver that didn't have coconut on it and it was superb!

That's all for now. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

So Tired

I don't know why but I'm tired and lack energy today.  I did go to the gym but that was it - I came straight home and haven't left it since.

I figured out how to use the tape hangers for the small paintings and it's pretty easy once I tried it.  I've hung  3 of them so far and wonder if I didn't make a mistake by not putting them in frames.  I'm not sure how difficult it would be to remove 3 paintings - 6 tapes - from the wall.  Then I need to find some inexpensive frames - nothing elaborate but just something to outline the canvases.  So that kind of slowed me down today and while I've looked at the Irish farmhouse painting I started, I didn't do anything today.  I'm not happy with the colors I've used for one thing.  I am terrible at mixing paints, just knowing what color(s) to add to achieve a particular shade.  I know it takes practice, but I'm ready to go out and buy a few tubes of specialty colors so I don't have to mix so much.  Of course I'd still have to mix other colors with it to achieve the exact shade I'm looking for.  I think I'm just burned out for the day - about everything.  I'm not unhappy about anything but just tired and a bit burned out.   

I will be back tomorrow and hopefully in a better frame of mind.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Short One Tonight

As you know, I am going over to my daughter's house for her birthday dinner, and I'm not sure what time I'll get home or if I would have time to write a longer post.

I did a little work on the painting today, but it seems that everything I do leaves me needing to make corrections.  I'll just keep working on it and see what it looks like.  I have a lot of "how to" and "what should I do now" questions but no answers.

I drove to Costco in Folsom this morning because that is their only store I know of that carries Hazelnut coffee beans.  I had directions to drive there, which I looked at a day or so ago and thought I would easily be able to find it.   The entire trip was a comedy of errors, starting with me going way past Folsom and realizing the higher I gained in altitude the more I was driving too far.  I got off the freeway and back on coming back toward Folsom.

The Costco was in sight but I had lots of difficulty getting to it.  I had to drive through a hotel parking lot to get turned around, and then ended up in an In-&-Out Burger lot.  I finally made it to Costco, but leaving to drive home I turned the wrong way and several blocks down the road had to make a U-ie to get back in the right direction.  I finally got on the freeway and made it to where I am comfortable.  It was an amazing trip though - traffic was not too heavy to begin with, but it seemed every road I drove on was like Moses parted the Red Sea so I could safely travel without traffic in my way.

Did I say this was going to be a short one?   Have a nice evening everyone, and I'll be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Work in Progress

I took some photos of the house I'm trying to paint, and one of the painting in progress.   I maybe should have used a ruler, but I'm committed this time at least to just paint it and not worry about perfect lines, proportion, etc.  My vision keeps me from doing a decent straight line, no matter how hard I try.

Here are two shots of the house:  (Click on photo to enlarge)

And here is the painting in progress.  (Laughing is permitted and maybe even encouraged!)

The yellow is the undertone I painted the entire canvas with to start.  I will be painting the hillside, grass, driveway, etc., right over the yellow.   The house had a one story addition added on to it, and you can see where I was going to make it taller - I will paint out that white line that shouldn't be there.  I also painted the house a darker color than it actually is, but the color was darker than the photos indicate

My landlady told me her father built this house when he married her mother.  I just loved living there, and the house had good feelings and good spirits in it.

I can only do a bit of this at a time as it seems to sap my energy!

I  got my hair trimmed today, and it is a long way over there in traffic.  There was a lot of construction on Fair Oaks Blvd, so I decided to take Folsom Blvd back - maybe a little longer but very little traffic at that time of day.  Of course there were lanes closed on Folsom for construction as well.  I try to remind myself that construction means people working; earning wages; paying taxes; supporting their families; supporting local businesses, and so on down the line.   I can be pretty pragmatic about construction tie-ups because I usually have all the time in the world, and I ALWAYS leave early for an appointment of any sort so I won't be late due to things like construction.

Tomorrow is Jeannie's birthday, and even our hairdresser was wondering what kind of cake Donald is going to  make for her.  I'll try to remember to take a picture of it.

The beautiful sunlight is shining in the front door, but it shows the dust and dirt on the floor.   I'd better go clean it up while I can still see it - once the sun is down the dirt won't show and it will sit there for another day!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Time change

I woke up just before 8am, and a short time later turned on my computer.  Something didn't seem right with the time, so I checked all my clocks and the last word was the cell phone, which matched the computer.    I did a search for "is this the weekend of the time change" and found out that yes, we picked up an hour overnight.  I stayed up and decided to go to the gym early this morning.  I had an appointment with the chiropractor, and instead of rushing  I had lots of time to get ready!   I wonder how many more years they are going to keep up this farce of switching back and forth, especially when so many studies have shown that much productivity is lost for two weeks after the change, as well as physical maladies caused by losing or adding an hour.    For at least the first few weeks I will try to get up earlier in keeping with what seems normal, but sooner or later I'll be staying in bed until close to 8 am!

I had no idea this was the weekend to "fall back" - guess with no newspaper and no TV, I'm living on the far side of the planet!

I found a photo of the Ireland farmhouse and started painting the sky; when that dries I'll add in the clouds, hillside, and figure out where to put the house.  I started to sketch it last night and had out my ruler, pencils, and eraser.  For some reason I found a Youtube video about painting windows and since I lave a few windows to paint, decided to see what it had to say.  It said very emphatically to "leaver your ruler out of it".   Don't measure anything; just paint it as your mind sees it.  Well that makes me feel a little better, so if my final offering is a bit run-down looking you will know I just sat down to paint it - not make it technically correct.

I've been looking for photos I know should be on my computer and what I found shocked me.  I am told I'm using a version of the Mac operating system that doesn't support the photos I'm trying to obtain.  So a yet-newer version of the O.S. will bring me back the old stuff???  It doesn't make sense to me.   I used to be a little smug about how wonderful the Mac was compared to all the complaints I heard about Windows, but now I think they must all be crap!   And it's strictly for the phone users.   I wanted to see if I could retrieve any photos from my big iMac, but I've moved it with the creation of my "studio" and the outlet on the wall doesn't take the plug with the extra prong.  I will either find an extension cord or a power strip with a longer cord, or if all else fails I can carry my iMac and set it on the living room coffee table.  Oh wait, that table is covered with 5 x 7 paintings, plus two large family photos that need to be hung!  Will I ever get my act together?

Yahoo!  the Bob Ross catalog I requested came in the mail today.  I'm just looking, you understand, to see what they might have.

On a final note, I shouldn't admit it but I always have a big glass of water near me to sip on.  The glass was sitting on the side shelf of my art table this afternoon, right next to the big cup of water I use to clean the paint brushes.  Fortunately I didn't dip in the drinking water, nor did I sip on the cleaning water, but I learned a lesson!  From now on my drinking water will reside on the computer desk across the room.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Short Sunday Post

Although  I often try to keep my posts short, most readers of this blog realize I have a hard time knowing when to "shut up"!  I love words and never tire of writing them, speaking them, and reading them.  But I'm determined to make this a short one.

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog and especially to those who comment.  I love reading your comments, and am very humbled by your reactions to my efforts.  You make blogging (and painting) worthwhile.

I made a quick trip to Michael's after my stint at the gym, and bought a bottle of gesso.  I've covered several blank canvasses with it, and I hope to see a difference when painting on the primed canvas.  I've read contradictory web sites with one saying one coat is sufficient, while another recommends at least two coats.  It's kind of a boring job so I'll just go with one coat!  I've done two new 8-1/2 x 12's, and three 5 x 7's.  I've also covered one of each size that had already been painted on but were too unsatisfactory to keep.  

Actually, the smaller canvas was put to good use after I decided I couldn't salvage the painting.  I've used all the blank spaces to try out various brush strokes, colors of paint being mixed, etc.  The time had come though where I had no blank canvas left.  I used the gesso on both canvases and will have to do a second coat to adequately cover up what was painted over.

I want to paint the house in Ireland that I lived in during the years 2000 to when I returned in April of 2004.  I had planned to stay a few more years, but 9/11 changed everything and I felt the need to be back in my own country.  I've found several photos of the house but not the exact one I'm looking for; if and when I find it I will post it on the blog so you can see what I'm working on, "before" and "after".

Have a good week ahead.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

6 Paintings Finished

At least they are as finished as I'm going to get them.  I'm a little disappointed in the squash but I think the actual painting looks better than the photo; I'm not really happy with the painting either.   I'm going to have to change my signature to something that flows a little easier.   I used a very thin paint and a tiny brush, and it still comes out looking clunky.  Oh well, I'll post a photo of the squash because I know most of you won't be more critical than I am myself!    (Click to enlarge)

Now to hang them in the kitchen.  They will be high enough to prevent critical examination, at least from me.

Next I worked on the one I tried to paint from a photo taken in Alaska.  Here is a copy of the photo, in case you've forgotten what  it looked like.  I should never have tried it in the first place, but the reflection in the water blew me away by it's beauty and effect on the scene.

I soon knew the scene was too dark and suggested that I make autumn the season so I could add some color to the trees.  That suggestion was nixed, and my effort went from bad to worse.  I eventually set it aside and went to work on the items from my fridge - easier to paint if not as esthetically pleasing.

Well, I decided I would try to at least modify the Bob Ross method for painting trees (it can't be done).  Then I thought I would add a bit of color - just a little gold and red to the "trees" - there is no defined tree in my entire picture.  It's gone from bad to worse, but it is so bad I actually like it and it makes me smile.  I guess it's the bit of color I dabbed in there.  Nothing on either side of the river looks like a tree, so I don't think I will even try to add some tree trunks.  All I have to do now is to decide whether or not to try the reflection, and if I do, which brush should I use.   Get ready for a laugh!

Don't the "trees" look like they have Christmas lights on them?   I have the feeling that one of these days I'm going to try painting in oils, as I understand there are new products that may be safer and easier to clean up.    Can't do it for a while yet.  (Bob Ross reflections in the water don't work in acrylics either).

I could hear a little voice in my ear this morning that sounded like my dentist's voice, urging me to go to the gym.  I did and enjoyed the walk!  Now I need to begin doing some minor exercises here at home such as lifting some light weights, etc.

Looking at what I've painted so far, I realize that I have a long way to go with mixing colors.  I guess it's a matter of practice, trial and error, and I am still in the "error" stage.

I bet a lot of readers wish I would take a trip and get off the painting kick!  I don't blame you


Friday, November 4, 2016

Blogger troubles

I have had so much trouble with Blogger, and when I thought I had it solved I did a test post, not thinking it would show up as well.  I've sent feedback to Google and they wrote and asked me a bunch of questions that are very difficult to answer.  When you are jumping through hoops to write a coherent blog, edit the errors in it, and publish it, you can't recall step by step what goes wrong.  Your whole damn Blogger program is wrong, Google!  

Thanks to everyone for their positive comments on my efforts to be Grandma Moses!  (Just kidding, I'm only trying to be myself and let out the hidden artist into the light of day.)  I have 5 out of 6 small canvases ready to hang and have bought tape strips to hang them.  But first I need to get on a little stepladder to wash that part of the wall where I want to hang them in case there is any oily residue from cooking.   I should be ok because I'll be leaning into the countertop/sink, so not much danger of falling.  I hate to even say that :~)

After walking at the gym this morning I made a quick trip to Michael's to buy gesso.  It is expensive and I think my tube of white paint would cover a lot of canvases for a lot less money.  I'm sure the gesso is better, but for now I'll just wing it.  I think that was the first time I ever left Michael's without buying anything.

After a short time of not going to the gym, my dentist mentioned how important it is for me to get exercise.  He really read me the riot act, in his usual kind way though.  He is right and I have just become lazy about going.  So this morning I drove over and remembered they are repaving the parking lot so much of it is roped off.  When I began walking on the treadmill, someone on a machine to the rear of me had a very squeaky machine.  Instead of going to one that didn't squeak they continued the entire half hour I was there!  It is a huge room, full of just about every kind of walking, running, and pedaling machine there is, and very few people using them; I'm sure he (or she) could have found a quieter one.

Today and tomorrow we are having sunny days that just top the 70 degree mark.  All the new green weeds glisten in the beautiful sunlight.  One of the residents a few streets over is having artificial turf laid in his side and back yards.  They started working on it yesterday and it looks like they are finishing up the side today.  I wonder what it would cost to have it done.  The large piece of artificial grass is not cheap, nor is the heavy black plastic that would need to be laid underneath it.  I need a lot of things done to my house and yard, but it looks like every spare dollar I can get my hands on will go for dental work.  No fair!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dentist and photos of painting efforts

I saw the dentist this morning and learned that he needs to pull the last two lower molars I have.  They are adjacent to one another and I decided I may as well have them pulled at the same time and get it over with.  Lord only knows what I will eat, as I'm now down to about 117+ pounds, and without solid food I'll waste away pretty quickly.  I will get out the juicer and probably make much more green juice while I'm healing.  I haven't been making as much as I did because the cost of the ingredients is constantly rising.  I can do without meat and eat mostly fish if I have to.  He thinks it will take approx. 6 wks to heal enough for a partial denture.  I think the dentist in NY who did the upper partial only waited 2 or 3 weeks, but maybe the uppers heal faster,  As long as they leave my front teeth as they are, and I still look like me, then I will try not to complain.

The meatloaf was good last night, as was the meatloaf sandwich I had today at lunch.  When it's gone I won't ever eat meatloaf again and will probably avoid beef for all but rare occasions.  It just doesn't agree with me, and I had a difficult time getting to sleep last night.

I came back home from the dentist and worked on some of the paintings.  I have four of them signed and ready to hang (out of 6).    Had trouble with the signatures until I realized that Bob Ross uses enough thinner to make the paint very watery when signing his paintings.  I will have to add more water in the future.  I have grouped the four ready-to-hang photos, but wonder if I should redo the signatures.  It would be a pain to remove them from the picture and then add them again.  I'd probably have to cover the entire background.  I know I have a long way to go, but when I'm enjoying it so much it doesn't matter to me whether or not my efforts are kindergartner-ish!

Click to enlarge.

Here are the peppers plus the way I've painted them.  I just can't get the shine on them and am about to give up on it.  I may take it with me to my last class two weeks from now.

My effort:  It needs another coat of paint on the top part - supposed to be a shade of ivory but I'm not there yet.

How they are supposed to look:  I'm really unhappy with the way I've painted the yellow one, and it is so beautiful I had to try.

I have also started work on the redo of my river in Alaska, and so far so good.  I'm doing it so much differently now, and will keep the colors lighter than before.  I'm also going to paint it how I want to do it, and not worry about getting every little feature from the photograph.  It may turn out to be too bland, but I will do my best.  One thing in the photo that I probably will have trouble recreating are the beautiful reflections of the trees on either side of the river.  It would be so much easier in oils and doing it the way I've seen Bob Ross do it in so many paintings, but maybe I can figure out a way to compensate.  I think I can paint some passable trees without having to do each individual leaf.  I'm excited about trying it.

It's chilly in my house and after lunch I climbed into bed with my fleece jacket still on.  I had a lovely nap and could have stayed in bed the rest of the day!  I woke up craving ice cream or anything sweet.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A crazy afternoon

Since Keira's birthday is tomorrow I decided to take her and Arianna out for ice cream this afternoon.  Ara drove to meet us at Baskin Robbins and brought Autumn along too.  Alyssa had soccer practice so she wasn't able to join us.

The younger girls are a bit more difficult to keep occupied than the older ones, and it was nice having Ara along to give me strength and courage.  Autumn is a real plus as well.  Actually, the younger ones were pretty well behaved, but I could tell when it was time to get moving.  I enjoyed my ice cream and wish I could go there at least once a week!

I'm not really hungry after having a large scoop of ice cream, but decided to heat up the 2nd meatloaf I still have in the fridge.  One or two slices of meatloaf along with a couple of the cheese biscuits should tide me over until morning.

I spent the morning painting, and need to go over a couple of things that need sprucing up.  I'm not too unhappy with my efforts so far.

I think I will go to bed early tonight (I got to bed early just about every night) and wish I could get up earlier in the morning.  I think the fact that the sun doesn't show up until at least 8 am has me reluctant to climb out of bed.  That, plus the fact that it is cold outside the warm covers!

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The morning with Ara

Jeannie took the girls trick or treating over in Joe's neighborhood last night, and Ara spent the night there.  I think she and Joe raised a few toasts to her return!  I asked if she would like to go to Costco with me around noon, and Joe dropped her off on the way to taking his girls to school.  We spent the morning catching up on her trip back, her future hopes, art painting, and just about everything.  I later drove her back to Jeannie & Donald's and visited with them for a little while before coming home for a nap.  Jeanne is working from home for her 1st two days back.  She looks very tired from the trip and I'm so glad they made it safely.   They both remarked on how little traffic they encountered the entire trip!

I'm going to keep this post short.  I ate way too much at dinner - the mini crabcakes were delicious, and the cheddar biscuits the same.  I also had some veggies left over from last night that i threw on my plateI  I feel very content right now although I'd feel a little lighter if I hadn't eaten so much!