Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spinning my wheels?

Do you ever feel like you keep starting new things, but never finish the old ones? Yep, that's me!

Elizabeth, you mentioned looking forward to seeing what I would put on that big canvas. Well, guess what! I quietly put it away and started yet another one. Smaller this time. (6"x6") Like that will make it easier to come up with a subject, lol. Actually, I do have an idea. We'll see if it gets done any time soon.
I have done some line drawings for an inchie swap. The theme is "Teapots". One reason I continue doing ATC swaps is that I feel like I'm committed, so I actually get something done! I love little cottage-shaped teapots!

I've been having online challenges. My rent supposedly includes wifi, which floats through the air from my landlord's house next door. The problem is it's kind of intermittent. Sometimes I get a fairly strong signal and other times it fades out so my pages won't load. Is there some type of booster I can get? I hope so, because I think I'm paying a lot of rent and reliable internet should be included.

Another challenge is my Microsoft Word Starter program. I decided to try my  hand at doing some online proofreading through Well, my little word processing program isn't going to cut it. I haven't actually used a word processor to do proofreading since college seven years ago. I'll have to learn how to do it all over again. There are tons of "free downloads" available, but who can you trust?

Speaking of college. One of my favorite texts was "Blue Zones" which we read for sociology. This video/article mentions some of the research for the book, and it makes me want to live on this heavenly island. Have any of you seen this already?
The Island Where People Forget to Die

We've been having quite a string of cold, rainy days. I hope my little plants don't give up and think winter is back! So far they're hanging in there, but I'm hoping it won't be too long before we get some more sunshine and warmth.

It's knittin' weather! Nope. I'd better stick with painting.
Shalom, all!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This and that... (Thanks for the title, GM!)

Well, lots of little things have happened since my last post.

My tree nursery job wrapped up last Thursday. Just in time for me to spend Friday babysitting my three older grands. Micah and baby Sully headed to Minneapolis in the early morning Friday and returned late Saturday. This was for the annual MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leadership conference. Micah looks forward to this each year as a mini-vacation.

Micah had purchased a couple of goats about a week before she went on this trip and since Adam has never milked anything before, I volunteered to come over and milk Friday evening and twice on Saturday. I kind of enjoy it. It brings back pleasant memories of the farm and many years of having goats. :)

Friday went smoothly except one incident in the evening, after I had gone home, when Adele pulled a heavy object off of a shelf and onto her head. This required a trip to the ER. Adam called me Friday evening and asked if I could come over early (I had planned to go over at 8:30 to milk) because Adele was hurt and was bleeding a lot.  I ran over and, by then, he had the bleeding stopped, and she was pretty calm. The ER doctor said she seemed to be okay, but to watch for symptoms like screaming, vomiting or unconsciousness. Yikes! Anyway, she was fine other than a cut and a bump on her forehead. She's a very active two year old and routinely runs into things, falls off of things and generally bashes herself about. She keeps her guardian angels busy!

Here are some photos Micah took in the past week. 
Micah and Sully picking Audrey up from school.

Grocery shopping is always an adventure!

Micah and Sully at the MOPS conference. She goes with a group of moms and they always fit in some pool time. Sully loved it!

My future daughter in law, Brooke. She was planning the flowers for her wedding.

We had planned to take the whole family out for Mother's Day dinner, but Adam decided at the last minute that it might be more fun for Micah and me (along with nursing baby Sully) to have dinner together and have some quiet time to visit. He said they would take the kids out later in the week. We took him up on his offer and went to a favorite Mexican restaurant. His mom and step-dad had come over on Saturday for lunch and a visit. So, kind of untraditional, but you do what works. ;)

This is my 5x7 acrylic canvas for this month's canvas board swap. I tried to copy a painting by Heni Sandoval called "A Murder of Crows". She had just discovered that a flock of crows is called a murder and thought she'd like to capture that in a painting. 

 As I painted I was watching a YouTube video of these three youngsters; also painting. They actually made some videos with the intention of people watching them while they paint. So you feel like you're painting with a group of fellow art enthusiasts. Weird, huh? Ha ha! Actually, it was kind of nice having some conversation going on while I worked. I guess I'M weird. Do you like my fruity tablecloth?

Do you remember my friend who asked me (and some others) to make ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for her to hand out to people in nursing homes?  Well, now she's asked us to make ATCs of creole words so she can put together an ABC book for some Haitian kids to use to learn their sounds. I'm not sure how well this will work, but I've made nine so far.

I just received this gorgeous little jewel of a book in the mail. 
It contains lots of beautiful examples of lettering...
...and lots of nature paintings.

Of course, like everything these days, it's infused with new age thinking, but...
I'll look past that and use it as an art lesson in a book. I love the colors and want to learn how to do the acrylic/gouache techniques of painting color on top of color. I'm just loving these beautiful paintings!
On the subject of gardening, I put in two tomato plants and six little summer squash plants. I hope we don't get any more freezing weather!

The summer squash are hard to see here, but I reckon they'll take up the whole space when they bush out!
 The next two photos show a couple of plants that were in the flowerbed and I wasn't sure what they were. This almost looks like raspberries?
 And I have no idea about this one. Anyone? I didn't want to dig these up until I knew what they were.
 The rest of this part got petunias. There are some day lilies in the distance and just to my left as I was shooting this photo.
I'm not sure why I didn't take photos after I planted the petunias. It's cloudy and dreary out right now, but I'll have to do an update when the sun comes out. 

My sitting spot, and what I can see from my sitting spot. 

You know you live in a resort if...
I covered this 8x10 canvas with one of my favorite colors. This brand of acrylics calls it Key West. I think of it as turquoise. Now I'm a little stumped. What will I paint on it? Maybe I'll steal some ideas out of the book I showed you. :)
I'm going through a period of adjustment with this retirement thing. I find myself feeling guilty for having so much time off. Pom, did you experience this? I know I'm ONLY 60, and I ONLY worked for 13 years outside of the home. That's what a little voice keeps telling me. But those 13 years were hard, physical labor AND I spent 24 years before that being a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled my kids for 19 of those years. We also lived a very rustic, physically demanding life during those years. So, if I'm able to retire (or mostly retire with some seasonal work) on my widow's benefits, I think I should be able to enjoy my retirement. I think this phase will pass. I have all kinds of time to do my creative stuff. I just need to have the courage to go out and find some volunteer work so I can be helping people and so I don't get too self-involved. Micah is my main source of volunteerism right now (babysitting), but I'd like to branch out. Anyway, it is an adjustment!

With the skies threatening rain I may not get out for my walk today. I did 2 miles day before yesterday and I'm still tired from that. If it clears up I may go for a shorter walk.

Let it rain! This is where I'll be curled up! :)

I hope you're all enjoying the coming of summer. I sure am!
Shalom to all!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A fun Saturday!

Here I sit sipping a cup of coffee at 9 p.m. Duh!
My coffee hankerings usually come late in the evening. I know better, but just gotta have that warm, sweet drink. Oh well.

Things are ratcheting up for tourist season here in Nevis, MN, home of the giant Muskie statue. Our tiny town of 390 souls is already swarming as folks flock to The Iron Horse Cafe and Saloon, and other dining/watering holes. (We have several. We may be small, but we're a tourist town!)

I'm so glad to finally be experiencing summer without the stress of working at the deli. I thank the Lord for giving me the work when it was really needed, but I'm also very thankful that that season of my life is behind me. The work at the tree nursery is very tiring, but not stressful. I think we will be finishing up by the end of next week. (Oh, I'm also thankful that my present abode isn't right in the center of all of this action!)

Today was a lot of fun. It started out slowly. I got up at 6:30, but after about 30 minutes of dragging around I realized I needed more sleep. Eight hours of working at the nursery does take a lot out of you. So, I went back to bed and slept a couple more hours. I'm not a person who routinely sleeps in until 9, but sometimes you have to listen to your body! I've felt great for the rest of the day. :)

Anyway, I planned a trip to Bemidji today to find a dress for my son's wedding. The one I ordered before just wasn't going to work. So, I headed out for a little adventure. It's a 42 mile drive, mostly through wooded country, and very pretty. I relaxed and enjoyed the sight seeing. When I arrived at the mall in Bemidji I decided to just take my time and look at all the stores before deciding on something. I looked through J.C. Penney's and Herberger's and was getting very disappointed. I may be old, but I don't want to dress like my grandmother. And some of the stuff was just so meh.

As I wandered down the mall towards Kohl's I saw a little shop on my left. I had seen this shop before. It was filled with bohemian style clothing and lots of mysterious and interesting items. Heh heh. I headed in. The gal working in the shop didn't have any other customers and she was very helpful. Many of the dresses were really over-the-top bohemian/gypsy styles. I told her I wanted something for my son's wedding that was full and flowing, and comfortable. Something with some arm coverage. She scratched her chin and showed me some things, but they were all sleeveless and not in the color I wanted. She said she had something in the back and she went back to the storeroom and rummaged around. She came back out with this dress. It is so comfortable and I really love how it looks on me! I was so happy with it and she was so kind. She pressed me for more details about the wedding and listened like she was really interested. That's quite a skill. ;) Anyway, here it is. The color doesn't quite look the same in the photo. $32!

After finding the dress I found some cute sandals at Famous Footwear. A pair to go with the dress and a pair for casual wear. 

I enjoyed lunch at the Dairy Queen in the mall and then slurped down a twist cone while sitting on a couch in the center of the mall watching the people. As if this wasn't joy enough, I traveled on down to the end of the mall to Hobby Lobby. The only thing on my shopping list was some white gel pens, but I managed to find an armload of art supplies that I just couldn't live without.

I rarely go "shopping", so this day was a special treat. I'm so relieved to have a dress that I really love and that I don't have to worry that I won't be able to wear it if I gain a pound.

In other news, I received this book today in the mail. I have a bad habit of telling you all about books that I've received before I read them. So, I hope this turns out to be a good book! I heard about it from one of my YouTube vloggers. If it's a terrible book, remember, I haven't read it yet! lol!

By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville.  Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there--a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters--he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.

To read the reviews on the back cover you would think this man is the greatest writer who ever lived. We shall see.  (I have heard of the other two books they mention above, but I don't know anything about them.)

Well, I have a lovely stack of reading material beckoning to me, so I think I'll spend some time reading before bedtime.

I hope you all have a lovely rest of your weekend!
Shalom! :)