.....and other random stuff......

Friday, June 23, 2017

Another Face Class

So......I took another Face class!!! Surprise, surprise, right? LOL 
This one was Making Faces with Lynn Whipple. One of the classes hosted/offered by Carla Sonheim.
I had never taken one of Lynn's classes but after reading the reviews and knowing it was hosted by Carla I jumped right in. 
And am I glad I did!
I no longer think of myself as a beginner so some of what was presented I was already aware of, but I ALWAYS learn something. Plus a class has a way of pushing your limits that you wouldn't necessarily do by yourself.  
And I wasn't disappointed.
I know I have my own style, and no matter how hard I try and emulate some of the artists I admire it comes out me anyway....but......I have to say, with Lyn's guidance, I turned out some not too shabby pieces that I quite like. 
It's a good day when I can add to my growing pile of 'friends'. 
Here are a few of the better ones. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

Husband and my mother used to tease me about who had it worse…my mother for having lived with me through the ‘formative years’, aka the teenage years, or Husband for being married to me.  (nice, right? Lol)
My mother always claimed she won on the basis of seniority. She knew me longer than Husband…end of discussion.
Which got me to thinking…she died when I was 45. I met Husband when I was 22. That means when I’m 68 (not that far away now) he’ll be able to claim me on seniority. He will have known me for longer than my mother did.

I’m not sure if that’s sad or funny……..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Punny Monday

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Progress………More or Less

Since the GREAT A/C EXPLOSION OF 2017 and replacement thereof, we’ve had to put the house renovations on hold.
But……I’ve been able to squeeze out a few finishing touches in the bedroom.
The Big Red Chair will eventually reside in the living room, replacing Husband’s recliner (YAY! sshhhh….don’t tell him I said that…) and a new Big Grey Chair will be put in the bedroom.
But for now I feel I can call the bedroom/bathroom ‘finished’!

At least I have a nice place to retreat to when the rest of the unfinished house gets on my nerves.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

Shower Thoughts

In the warm steamy recesses of my shower anything seems possible. Ideas come to me like manna from heaven. Everything is possible….writing and illustrating a children’s book….writing a serious novel….painting a stunning landscape….
The words flow as if loosened from my mind by the warmth of the water.
Ideas gush like the water from the spigot.
Then they evaporate like the steam on the mirror the moment I dry off.
Gone in an instant.

Such is creativity…….

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pardon Me While I Vent……

Yesterday I went to the drug store to pick up some needed toiletries. It was a store I don’t usually frequent and I was unfamiliar with its layout.
After wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles I decided the smart thing to do would be ask for assistance.
I spotted a young lady wearing a smock with the store logo and figured she might be able to help.

I was wrong.

I politely asked, “Where do you keep the emery boards, please?”  
She thought for a moment and then said, “Aisle 5, right hand side, bottom shelf. “
She sounded very knowledgeable and sure of herself so I toddled off to aisle 5.

I knew I was in the wrong place immediately. The only products in aisle 5 were school and office supplies.

I was back to indiscriminately roaming the store.

I finally found the Revlon products..…..approximately three feet from the young lady with the smock.

For a split second I considered telling her, “If you’re ever asked again where the emery boards are, this is WHAT they are and they’re located over there.”

But I decided against it.
I was afraid my helpfulness might be misinterpreted as hostility. 

Yet another child left behind…..

Monday, June 12, 2017

Punny Monday

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, June 9, 2017

“How Many Holes in the Wall Does it Take to Hang a Picture?”

You’d think hanging a picture is pretty straightforward, right?
You’d be wrong.
At least for us (ahem….you know what I mean, lol.)

Here's how it goes.....
First, check to see if the framer has placed the hangers evenly on both sides of the back of the frame. (Believe me when I say to measure this! It will save much discussion later.)
Second, measure the distance between the windows and divide to find center of wall on which the picture will be hung.
Third, measure the picture frame to determine the center.
Fourth, have Husband hold picture up to wall to decide how high it should be.
Fifth, put pieces of painters tape on wall to mark all measurements.
Sixth, get confused as to which side of the painters tape marks your spot.
Seventh, when you’re ABSOLUTELY SURE you’ve measured correctly and you’re satisfied as to the placement of the picture……drill two holes and insert oversized screws (just to be sure they will bear the weight of the picture) into wall.
Eighth, hoist picture up to wall and try to catch the wire on both screws.
Ninth, swear a lot while doing number eight.
Tenth, center picture so it hangs evenly on the screws…..except….it doesn’t.

Eleventh, move picture around on screws and try to determine why it won’t hang straight.
Twelfth, take picture down and take all measurements again.
Thirteenth, conclude the solution is to move one of the screws up ½ inch to compensate for the tilt of the picture.
Fourteenth, unscrew/re-screw screw.
Fifteenth, re-hang picture and straighten.
Sixteenth, stand back and see it’s still slightly ‘off’.
Seventeenth, decide its ‘good enough’ and three giant holes in the wall is sufficient damage for one day.

So, the answer to the question at the beginning of this diatribe is THREE. It takes three holes for us to hang a picture. And for some reason, ahem, we didn't fix the extra hole. 
It also took three holes to hang the bling mirror. We never bothered to fix the third hole there either…..so both holes are still there.....behind their respective hangings……gapingly open……..you can’t see them but they haunt me…..for so many reasons….not only my OCD-ness but I lie in bed at night wondering what sort of ‘critters’ are going to come crawling in through those holes! 
Mostly I worry about the one over my side of the bed!
It's an aged and slightly damaged  blueprint of our old house up north. A little reminder of our 'previous' life. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

And the Lord Said

…..let there be coolant! 
I'm happy to report the new A/C unit is installed and working like a charm! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Perspective is Everyting

Waiting for the new a/c unit to be installed.....they did give us a 'loaner' to tide us over....but.......
To cool off we float in the pool....and it's GLORIOUS...... (I don't mean to rub it in, sorry.) 
It's interesting how it changes your attitude when you change your perspective. 
The 'view' from the pool.....LOL

Monday, June 5, 2017

Punny Monday

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Haunted Headboard

Husband finished the headboard. It's EXACTLY what I wanted! 
Except......for the slight possibility it might be haunted.....lol.
Things are shaping up in the bedroom. I think it may actually be finished soon. 
(I know it LOOKS like there's no video, but click on it a couple of times to view it.)

Thoughts on a Thursday

One of the reasons I think God is male: HOT FLASHES

NOT funny, dude.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Punny Monday

Q: What is Donald Trump's favorite chapter of the Bible?
A: Chapter Eleven. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

This has been puzzling me for a while now…..

It heartens me to see more and more companies making organic products available. This is a good thing! I am all for going back to the way our grandparents ate. REAL food from gardens and farms that don’t rely on chemical pesticides and antibiotics. But…..for certain foods I don’t see how they can claim that it’s organic.
I refer to honey in particular.
How can a bee keeper guarantee the honey his bees produce is purely organic?
I understand they have guidelines, like the area surrounding the hives for a certain distance has to be pesticide free. Or the citrus grove they are pollinating has to be certified organic.
BUT…..and to me this is a BIG BUT……how do they know the bees stay within that area???
How do they know a rogue bee doesn’t one day wake up and say, “I’m sick and tired of orange blossoms! I feel like some clover today!”  So he and his gang of hooligans fly off to an unauthorized area and chow down?

Which leads me to other thoughts….such as when they find a bee hive in someone’s wall….(that’s obviously been there for a loooong time and how did the homeowners not hear it for so long??? But that’s another thought for another day…..) is that some sort of street bee gang? Did they leave the hive because they were tired of being oppressed? Are they making ‘meth’ honey to finance a bee coup???? A world takeover??? Are they weaponizing their stingers??? And suddenly, in my head, I have a whole underground bee culture going on……..

And you think its easy being in my head……lol

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

♪♫♪♫♪ We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave…..♪♫♪♫♪

A tropical heat wave.....♪♫♪♫♪….. the temperature’s rising…….♪♫♪♫♪……it isn’t surprising….♪♫♪♫♪

I’m grumpy as hell….♪♫♪♫♪…..and sweaty…..♪♫♪♫♪

and the a/c in the house died!…..♪♫♪♫♪
(I know it doesn’t rhyme but I’m working under duress here…..)

The a/c died. 
Long story short (sort of....lol) the tech told us the coil was leaking.

New coil $2,500…..or new unit to replace what we have now $7,400 (which has never cooled the house to my liking)….or new unit upgrade with duct work @ $10,000…….hmmmmm.

He added more Freon to get us through the weekend. But it only lasted that afternoon and then the temperature in the house topped off at 86°.

We have every fan in the house going and all the shades drawn to keep out the sun. The a/c wall unit in the garage is running and we have Husband’s big work fan trying to blow the cool air from the garage into the house….
Even with all that the temp climbs higher in here every day!  

We decided on the new coil and they ordered it on Friday. It’s coming from Texas….it’ll be here by tomorrow (they think….) and then they have to schedule when they can install it.

I considered offering to drive to Texas to get it myself. It would have been faster and I would have been in a nice cool car the whole way……but…..I decided against it.  

In the meantime….I’m M-E-L-T-I-N-G…………(cue the Wicked Witch of the West screeching…..)
The tech came and added more Freon to keep us going until the part comes....and two hours later......BANG......WHOOOOOOSHHHHHHHH......the OUTSIDE unit blew! 

We are now getting a whole new system. Upgrading to a bigger unit, new duct work, new returns......BUT.......I'll be able to hang meat in here!
Debt be damned....I'll be COOL

Monday, May 22, 2017

Punny Monday

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Kickin' Back on a Friday Afternoon

...enjoying the sunshine and a sketch......

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

Technology is amazing. I find it remarkable you can hold a tiny device in your hand, tethered to nothing, and have access to the world. ANYTHING you want….movies….music…information…..directions…..the list goes on.
Wireless technology is magical. I don’t understand it and it astonishes me. I’m sure there are gremlins involved in some way, they’re just not telling us! LOL
And yet I’m totally unimpressed with the fact you can turn on a radio and get music out of a box, or for that matter put a bunch of metal tubes on your roof and have another box filled with pictures.
Radio waves don’t impress me but wireless technology does…..
Why is that?

I grew up with radio and TV so it just seems normal I guess. But hand held devices impress the hell out of me! 
Pardon me, does this make me look old?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Left Hander’s Burden……

Inspired by Koosje Koene’s Draw Tip Tuesday I decided to try my hand (no pun intended...you'll get that in a minute....) at the newly arranged living room bookcase.  I grabbed a ‘failed’ piece of paper from my discard pile, a blue ballpoint pen and took a few minutes while listening to an old movie.  
Just a quickie….no judgement. 

Two works of art for the price of one….lol.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Punny Monday

I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted pay checks.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

This is as Far as I'll Get

Writing about my grandparents made me feel all fuzzy.......I even thought I'd get ambitious and make a batch of End of the Garden Relish.......
I'm afraid this is as far as I'll get......lol

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

I often have trouble making art just for the sake of the doing. I find myself asking why? To what end? What am I going to do with it? To sell? To share? To exhibit?
If I can’t come up with a satisfactory answer I don’t do anything. I get stuck in a quagmire of nothingness.
And I brood.
I get cranky which leads to depressed…..
Then I wonder what’s wrong with me.
And  I wonder if some of the adults I encountered in my formative years who tried to make me right handed......or questioned some of the things I did, or said , or thought or believed…..I wonder if they didn’t fry some of my brain circuits.

It would explain so much……

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

End of the Garden Relish

During the depression my uncle raised and sold chickens. My grandfather was out of work for four years during that time but my mother said she never knew until she was much older. She never felt deprived or poor. There was always food on the table. During the winter months they had what my grandmother had ‘put up’ (i.e. canned) from the garden.

Grandma was famous for her End of the Garden Relish. A sweet relish made from green tomatoes and other stragglers from the garden at the end of the growing season. She gave me the recipe and I’ve made it once or twice but it was never as good as hers. 
Grandma's recipe, in her own hand. Give it a try, it's yummy! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Punny Monday

They begin the evening news with 'Good Evening,' then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

Friday, May 5, 2017

You Want a Toe-Mah-Toe Sandwich?

After all the hellos and hugs Grandma went into grandma mode…..feeding us! The first question out of her mouth after all the hellos was ALWAYS “You want a ‘toe-mah-toe’ sandwich?” Mostly she asked this of BigBro but I got in on the deal.
Toasted tomato sandwiches on homemade bread (sliced slightly thicker than store bought bread) with vine ripened tomatoes from their garden. In all my life, before or since, I have never had a sandwich that tasted as good as Grandma’s! And they kept coming! I don’t remember what BigBro’s record was, but I’m sure he put a significant dent in their tomato supply.
For my special treat Grandma made cinnamon toast for breakfast. Every morning of our visit I got to have cinnamon toast.  And eggs!  (keep in mind, as a kid, I was supposedly allergic to eggs….among other things. And Grandma conveniently ‘forgot’ all my restrictions.)

Now THAT’S love….feeding your grandchild food that could possibly have detrimental effects…..amiright?????

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

Next thought: Do you ever wonder…….. when some guy decides he’s going to pop the question to his girlfriend in a really big way and hires a sky writer to fly over a stadium at half time…….puffing out WILL YOU MARRY ME, REBECCA? Do you ever think about the statistical possibility of how many other Rebecca’s there are in a crowd of 80,000 fans? And out of all those Rebecca’s how many of them turn to their unsuspecting boyfriends shrieking YES and throwing their arms around his neck because all the way to the stadium in the car she was secretly hoping this would happen?

I wonder how many poor guys have been suckered this way?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

More Memories of Grandpa

We only visited my grandparents once every four or five years. So when we did it was special. I remember the closer we got to their house (after driving for hours on the New York State Thruway, the MOST boring road in the universe) I would get antsy. I knew what was coming. I had to get through the ‘hellos’. I HATED that part. All the hugging and kissing and “My, how you’ve GROWN!” comments. But the part I hated most was Grandpa’s mustache!
I didn’t mind so much that it reminded me of Adolf Hitler. 
What I hated was he’d hug me and kiss me and ‘tickle’ me with that mustache. But it didn’t tickle, it scratched! And left red marks on my neck! I hated those first few minutes of every visit. But once we got that out of the way it was fun!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Punny Monday

I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

(I may still throw in a Trump pun when the mood strikes....so reader beware.....)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Grandpa’s Back Gate

My grandparents lived in a small town in upstate New York. They lived in that house from the time my mother was born until their deaths.
It was on a narrow but very deep parcel of land. It had a small front yard but a HUGE backyard. Most of the backyard was devoted to a victory garden.
Rows and rows of vegetables……tomatoes, carrots, corn, peas, green beans, lettuce, beets, onions, potatoes……you name it, and Grandpa grew it. They even had fruit trees next to the barn.
At the very back of the yard was a white picket fence. And on the gate of the fence, on the alley side, was a mark carved deeply into the wood.
A strange shape with lines. I remember my grandfather showing it to me and asking if I knew what it was.
Then he told me a story.
About the depression and how during the depression many people left or lost their homes and would travel from place to place looking for work and food. He told me how the hobos would never come to your front door. They would ALWAYS come to the back door. They were polite and respectful and for the most part would not take a handout but would always ask to do a chore for any food given. And on back fences all across America were marks that the hobos carved so those who came along after would know what to expect at the marked houses.

The mark that was at my grandparent’s house was this: 
It means ‘food for work’.
My grandfather was out of work for four years during the depression. I think there were times they were afraid they would lose the house. But even through hard times they never turned anyone away looking for food. Grandma always found something that needed doing. He was very proud of her for that. And proud enough of the marks carved into his back gate that in all the ensuing years he never replaced that picket. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

I’ve been thinking…..gasp….I KNOW….she thinks! LOL
Anyway, since my father’s WWII photo album has ended and I think you must be sick of looking at my old family photos (don’t worry, I’ll probably go back to them when I run out of ideas to write about) I thought I might share some of the random things that pop into my head from time to time.
I’m still looking for a title.…. Thoughts on a Thursday…..Theoretical Thursdays…..Thoughtful Thursdays  (or Thoughtless…) we can work on that later……

The first one: I was thinking about where we come from. You know…..BIG THOUGHTS. I’ve heard a lot of theories on this one. I like the extraterrestrial theory best. I still think we’re an extraterrestrial’s fifth grade science fair project. Like sea monkeys in an aquarium. But now that she’s in high school and she’s lost interest she forgets to tend to us so we are running amok.
And I kept on thinking in this vein…..maybe the Soylent Green theory is right. Except we’re food for ‘them’. But then it begs the question….are we the appetizer, the entre, or dessert? Or are we some very rare delicacy like Japanese fugu? Or maybe we are to them like carbs are to us. We taste really good but we’re bad for them.....snack food. And the reason they haven’t come back for us is because they’re trying to clean up their act and eat more healthfully.

Oh, the possibilities……

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Organization is a Bitch Update

I finally finished! (and have the aching hands to prove it....)
I fit everything into four cases:
1. Copics
2. pencils
3. black pens/markers/brush pens etc. 
4. colored pens

I'm happy with the consolidation. I've only used this new system once so far. It was easy peasy. Grabbed the Copic case and lugged it over to where I was working. 
I like that they take up less space (look at all that shelf space just waiting for more books!) and that I don't have to dust them! Dusting your pens is a pain in the ass and just plain stupid, IMHO. 
So there you have it! Job well done. 
Just thought you'd like to know.

 The spaces left between pens is because the loops are so tight it's sometime difficult to get them in and out so I left myself some 'wiggle' room. 

 And I kept brands together...it appeals to the OCD in me! 

I even put my charcoal and smudgers in there!