Thursday, January 11, 2018

The New Everything

Good morning...brrrr...a cold front is moving in today.  Actually, I think the weather people were predicting it to turn cold later this afternoon but the once sunny sky this morning is dark, dark, dark and it's 9:25 a.m.  YIKES!

Oh well, I'm safely ensconced in the NEW art studio ready to begin something NEW!  Speaking of NEW, I have a NEW website.  Please go a visit and see the artwork.

I am working on some mums today in the studio and then on to the next great thing. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

I promised I would be here for one last post for the end of the year and HERE I AM!

We had a "sort of" White Christmas.  It was gone before Christmas morning but it was beautiful.  It's really bitter cold but I'm okay with it as long as I DON'T have to get out.  I H A T E the cold!

The holiday season is almost gone but it goes with wonderful memories of family.  We had a most welcome visit from the youngest at Thanksgiving and was serenaded by Snicklefritz and her classmates at her school.  Her Christmas arrived with a new grown up bed.  She is so big now.

"Penny" 12x9 oil
My art world has made giant steps this past year and I hope it continues.  A new studio to create and hopefully to show in our new gallery.  My brushes and easel have been busy creating some of the best art I have ever painted and I can't wait to see what more I can do.  This sweet little puppy is Penny, our nephew's family dog and I gifted it to them.  Penny is the last painting of 2017...what's next...

Come on 2018

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

The year is winding down and we are the the second part of the wind down, Christmas.  Thanksgiving is the first and New Year's is the third.  The usual hoopla that is accompanied with all the Christmas rush has been really at a minimum for me, I welcome that.

First was a wonderful Christmas program with Snicklefritz.  She is darling isn't she!

A gathering of great friends at the cabin getaway. 

Out to dinner with my guy... 
where the lighting, for my lighting guy was inspiring.  We now own a fixture just like one of these.  He researched and researched and found one.  We were eating at a restaurant called Sisserou's in downtown Tulsa where these hang.   

Not much to say but Merry Christmas to one and all.  I will probably have one last wrap up between now and New Year's.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Dinner Party Success

THIS has been the busiest week with various parties, events, tasks...I'm looking forward to this next week where only one thing is planned on Friday.  

We hosted a huge, well not huge, dinner party on Thursday night for 17.
I gathered my best dishes, ones I rarely use to set a festive feel. 
I served cheese, crackers, fruit and lovely wine for appetizers. 
And the main course was perfectly cooked beef tenderloin with roasted asparagus with red pepper, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes with jalapeno salt and garlic bread.
Desserts were purchased things like tres leche cake, various cookies and dark chocolate candies.  The party was wonderful and the cleanup was easy, because The Hubby was in charge of that since I cooked, for his friends.  It was quite awesome to be in bed with my feet up and hear him clanking dishes and it was a great partnership to make that happen.  

I have to tell you I was a bit apprehensive that not all would go as planned because let me tell you that cut of meat, two of them, was costly.  I read and reread Barefoot Contesa's method of cooking, which I've done before, to do it perfectly.  As I planned the menu I realized that I was basically roasting every aspect of the menu.  Luckily I have two ovens but really that wasn't even necessary but it helped.  I put the tenderloins in the oven at 500 degrees to cook EXACTLY 25 minutes and rested 15 minutes.  While resting I put the potatoes and asparagus in at 400 degree (maybe 425) but the potatoes did take a few minutes longer.  The bread in the other oven for 10 minutes.  The potatoes I did leave in a bit longer which was perfect because it took time to slice two whole tenderloins.  I also made a horseradish sour cream sauce to go with the beef too.  Everything was perfect and the only leftover was a small serving of the regular potatoes and about half of the tenderloin.  There would actually not have been the leftover tenderloin except Fresh Market had only whole ones and I only needed 1-1/2 but leftovers are fantastic!  

It was actually so much fun I would like to do another one, my legs and feet though, they may have a different opinion.  

Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday Ramble

Good morning and welcome to a Monday Ramble. 

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around these here parts.  I've had the urge to paint something Christmas'y so I bought the ornaments and a nutcracker for the studio to attempt.  Linda has two DARLING Santa's in our front window FOR SALE!  I want to get in on the holiday action...LOL...
Here are some photos of my part of the the new studio, my space.   
I also have a separate room that is my storeroom. 

This is our front room and it looks a lot different than this photo.  James, Linda's hubby has put those metal grids all over and we've started hanging our paintings.  It is AWESOME looking.  See the plant in the front area...that is a lemon tree...welcome to -


Had to snap another photo of myself.  The last few somehow I scrunch my head back and make the double chin THERE!  I can't stand that.   

This is my latest painting, a commission for our accountant.  It's his girls and today he is coming by to look at it and purchase, IF he likes it.  I think it turned out good but really don't want to be known for portraits.  I don't enjoy doing them as much and I struggle getting them right.  There's a lot of pressure to get them perfect. 

This weekend The Hubby and I skeedaddled off to cabin land for a little R&R.  Work, our other work has been a bit stressful for him.  We have work and LOTS of it, which is good but it's the other kind of stress now.  There's not an in-between for him, he's either stressed when we don't have work or he's stressed when we do have work.  The difference is he's a bit happier when we do have work.  Just wish he would stay in the middle with the stress.  Anyway, the weekend was pretty quiet as no one was there really and that's kind of nice.  I really got nothing accomplished except sleep and laying around.  We did get an invite for dinner next door at Jimbo and Harri's but Harri was not there.  She has a seasonal part time job so it was just Jimbo and he cooked for us a pot roast, mashed potatoes, and a cake for dessert.  It was YUMMY!  He retired nearly a year ago and has taken up cooking, especially baking and he's pretty good at it.  I would LOVE it if The Hubby would start cooking.  After nearly 42 years of planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning it up I'm just about done.  Lately, I've been purchasing pizza, prepared casserole's or just serving a meat and veggie.  I'm so OVER cooking and all that goes with it.  Honestly I'm kind of done with food in general.  I just want to be fed something to make the stomach stop growling and not worry about what it is at this point.  I've got too much on my mind, painting and I don't want anything else in the brain to distract that.  

Oh, I ramble.  Back to the weekend.  Sunday morning when we got up and turned on our phones, and remember the reception at the cabin is spotty or non-existent, (we have a booster that is better at getting text messages) The Hubby had a phone message from where his mother lives, her retirement place that she had twisted her ankle and was being taken by ambulance to the hospital.  OH MAN, did he panic.  He called them and their computers were not working so no info on whether she was home or still at the hospital, so he called the hospital and found out she was still in the ER.  He had in his mind that she was there all night long.  Found out later it was only about 3 hours.  BUT, the problem was he was the only one that was called of the three boys and it wasn't by her.  She didn't want to bother anyone.  The Hubby had called the brothers which knew nothing and one lives down the street and could have even taken her.  Oh that woman, she didn't want to interfere with anyone's lives, or to be a burden but we would have been there in a flash.  As it turned out the brother-in-law was the one to go pick her up from the hospital to take her home.  They asked her why didn't she call and who did she think was going to take her home.  She said she thought her retirement place would have gotten her.  Oh, sweet mother-in-law, we would have been there for you in a flash, just call.  Of course most of this info was found out as we were driving back from the cabin at 90 miles an hour.  I had to tell The Hubby to back off, that it was not life threatening and he needed to CALM DOWN!  I've been through this scenario many times with Daddy, that all would be okay.  Life with a 90 year old...

And to top all of this off, this week, we have a bank function tonight, Tuesday an art luncheon and meet with another client that is purchasing a painting, and Thursday night we are hosting The Hubby's dance crew at out house for a dinner party.  I told The Hubby I wouldn't mind but had a casserole on my mind.  He wanted something more so I'm serving beef tenderloin, either roasted or mashed potatoes, either roasted asparagus with red peppers or green beans and bread and a tres leches cake (purchased).  THEN, after I had the menu planned he informs that one of the ladies is a vegetarian, maybe we should change the menu.  No, we are not changing the menu.  I'm also having a killer appetizer plate of olives, cheeses, crackers and assorted fruits and nuts.  Of course the house is still a mess from setting up the Christmas tree and I haven't even finished setting up around the house my santa's and decoration stuff.  On top of this I have payroll on Friday and Snicklefritz is spending the night Friday and Saturday night and she is attending a luncheon with me on Saturday.  I am so going to need Sunday to rest.  And yes, somewhere in the middle of this I have to go into the office which means usually about 7 in the mornings to get my work done.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The After Party

Thanksgiving 2017 is done and it's now time for moving to new studio, Christmas and Philbrook. 
I was up early Thursday to chop celery, onion and lemons for my Turkey.  (May have to paint this!)  Seems like the day went without a hitch except that the bro-in-law and his husband were sick and not able to come.  Sad they weren't able to see our youngest as she had not been home in over a year but it is what it is.  We missed them.  

Today, Sunday, I'm having a Trim the Tree dinner for them, the mom-in-law and my girls.  I'm trying to make it a tradition, and hey, it helps me for sure.  So my front room looks like Santa threw-up everywhere.  I did get the tree up and the lights on and tonight the ornaments will be hung.

Friday it was time to start the move to the "new" studio and I was going to use all the muscle I could gather, i.e. my girls and granddaughter.  I started the long process of loading my little push cart and made multiple trips back and forth from the old place to the new place.  Fortunately, it was in the same complex but it was a lot of trips and lots of loading.  By lunch time I was running on fumes and happily the army arrived with lunch and that muscle.  My girls helped manhandle my tables and shelves into place while Snicklefritz was our door opener.  I COULD NOT have finished it all without their help.  Then B was able to get my storage room pretty well organized before they left.  Makes my life so much easier and hopefully I will be painting again by Monday!  There will be pictures and more info on the studio soon so stay tuned.  Also a shout out to Linda (my painting partner) and her hubby James.  They got my taboret table in my painting room and that thing is HEAVY!  I was so afraid it wouldn't fit but they made it happen.  

Today, if you are around and about you HAVE to go by Philbrook Museum Gift shop and see B.  B is producing the Christmas tree pin for Philbrook this year.  She was the chosen artist for them and I could not be more proud of her.  So today, between 1-4 she will be there, sewing them.  Hope to see you there.   

The future of the month of December is huge.  I have so much to do.  The Hubby wanted to have his "dance crew" over for a dinner party and I said okay.  Of course this means really cleaning the house and COOKING!  I can do that for him but plan on having some of MY friends over too, hopefully, at a different time.  I "tried" to talk The Hubby into letting me make a casserole for 15 but oh no, he wants me to do the beef tenderloin.  Okay, okay, it will be an easy meal, but HE is doing the clean up!!!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Turkey Day

It's that time again for TURKEY DAY and family.  It's The Hubby's favorite holiday and getting to be mine too, as it represents family and tons of memories.  No presents involved, family and food.  Thanksgiving brings so many childhood memories out for me.  When I was little we always went to our Greatgranny's house with all the fixin's in tow for the best ever meal.  Honestly I don't remember much about the food except for the turkey and cornbread dressing that mother had perfected.  At first I remember Greatgranny getting up all night long to baste her turkey in the roaster pan that was right outside of her bedroom "curtain." Yes, I wrote curtain.  You see she didn't sleep with Greatgranddaddy, she slept in the freezer room on a featherbed, the softest bed in the world and We each got a turn to share the tiny bed with her when we visited.  

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for family and friends and the wonderful life I live.  I'm so happy that my whole family is here to celebrate (minus the almost son-in-law, he had to work.)  It's quite a whole feeling to have all my little chicks close around me.  
This morning of course I was awake at 2:30 for some crazy reason.  My eyes popped open and I was AWAKE!  I laid in the bed tossing and turning till about 3:30 and decided to just get up.  I was going to be up at 8 anyway to begin some prep for Mr. Tom Turkey to go in the oven.  Everything went off without a hitch with TONS and TONS of wonderful food, family and fantastic weather. 

This year Daddy decided to go to Bro's house for dinner.  It really makes more sense, they live in the same town (I get Sis and her family!) and Daddy has decided that HE IS NOT DRIVING ANYMORE!!!!!!!  Yippee.  At least we won't need to worry about that anymore and if we can sell the car and get the car insurance canceled he will have a little more money each month.  I know it's hard to host Daddy for anything because Daddy is restless and always wants to head home almost before he arrives.  He didn't disappoint on that part as Bro said he ate, didn't even wait for dessert, and wanted to taken home.  

Well, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and bring on CHRISTMAS!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Studio Update

A lot has changed in the past 24 hours.  First, I took 3rd place in the Alpha Rho Tau members show at The Hive in Jenks last night for "Oren's Flowers" in floral category.  Very happy with that.

The studio thing, well, yesterday we three met, Linda, Gil and I and looked at the front space that is in our building.  Sadly there is only room for us girls so we had to make a decision.  But first we three drove around to look at other prospects for the three of us but did not find anything that we could all afford.  So back at the studio we made the decision that Linda and I would take the space and Gil will have to find another place at least for a year and we will keep looking for something to include, hopefully.  We are still going to have some shows together this next year because we have been billed as Studio 3.  

The space will work great for us two but it does need some cleaning and readjusting of some things but it will be great and we will have a GALLERY in the front that faces the street with windows.  That is so exciting for us.  The place has carpet and the landlord does not want to take it up but he's just fine if we spill paint or turpentine.  Who knew!  We're pretty careful but Linda's students, sometimes...will have to watch them.  Also, the hitch is we have to be out of our space by December 15.  CRAP!  Unfortunately Linda husband will be a big factor in getting the place ready is out of town all next week and part of Thanksgiving week so that will leave us a whopping 2 weeks basically to move.  Hope we can get it done and hopefully before Christmas.  Thankfully I've already started Christmas shopping and I'm not hosting anything big except maybe a dinner party here.  

Oh well, I'm happy and sad for Gil but it just can't be helped.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Roller Coaster

This has been a roller coaster week and it's only WEDNESDAY!!!!!

The art thing, well, it is AWESOME!  I've finished a couple of paintings that have been some of the best I have ever done.  I'm getting all kinds of accolades and it feels good, real good.  

"Main Street Tavern Glow"
24x18 oil on linen

"Orchid and Glass"
24x18 oil on linen

On the Daddy front, I did go to see him on Sunday to pay his bills.  He apologized but not sure how I feel about that right now.  I did have to go back today to drop off his cat food (after I went to 2 stores to get the right kind.)  When I walked in he cried out that his neck was killing him, his knees and and hands.  He has a crick in his neck.  Thankfully the home health care nurse was supposed to be there at 10:30 to check on him.  

Heading back to the studio to finish the first painting I hit rush hour.  YUCK!  Finally there Linda and I were painting fiends and I started another painting after signing the Glow.  Both of these paintings on Facebook have hit epic likes and comments and the orchid one was chosen as the banner on one group page I had just joined.  SO EXCITING!  As the day was going on about 1:30 the doorbell rang and Linda answered the door to find the neighbor clinic/office people there.  They came in and were talking about when we MOVE OUT on Tuesday!!!!!  Linda nearly screamed, "Get Gil!"  He was back in his room with headphones on but heard us and came running.  What, what, what IN THE HELL IS GOING ON!  The clinic is expanding and apparently taking over our space which was news to us, maybe not so much Gil which was concerning.  Linda and I are so confused and upset because we just don't know what is going on.  Supposedly we are to move in the space up front that is for lease but there IS NO kitchen or bathroom.  Oh there is a bathroom but it shares with another clinic in a common room.  Not sure how we feel about that.  Not sure how this all happened but we do know that Gil's lease (we sub-let from him) ended LAST February and he never signed another one.  So I guess the landlord has the authority to do this crap.  He's really a nice guy and I think Gil all along knew about it, actually, I'm kind of thinking that he really wants us out out, that it's just not working for him and he didn't know how to let us know.  Well, CRAP!  I'm devastated and so is Linda.  We are going to look at the space tomorrow but we also have a line on another place.  It's just a bad time with the holidays coming.  

Anyway, this week so far has been a roller coaster of emotions and frankly I'm tired of it.  I just want to PAINT!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Sunday Ramble

It's early, 6:15 A.M., that is on daylight savings time.  It's funny that I actually woke up at the usual 5 A.M. time even thought it was 6, so I guess I did get an extra hour in.  Man, I need more coffee, that's too much for the brain this early in the morning.  

Clayton is of course up with me ready to eat.  It's so nice that he is finally eating normal again.  Well, normal is not exactly right because he is on Prescription diet with two kinds of antibiotics that we have to fix.  What's bad is that before he got sick I had purchased nearly $100 of dog food, canned and two bags of his lamb bites dry.  I'm not sure he can go back to eating that yet.  He has a can and a half of the Prescription stuff left so I will call on Monday and see what the vet says.  He still has an occasional spit up thing but that is actually a normal for him as he has acid reflux going on too.  I'm just glad he's better and I can smother him in kisses and hugs and he's in my lap letting me do that.

I have a dilemma going on in my heart and head today.  I have not been to see my father in nearly 2 weeks, since he yelled at me the last time.  I can't seem to make myself go there again.  I just don't want him to do that again but I know he probably needs me to write some checks for him.  It's not something you put yourself willingly into.  I'm in a happy place right now with work, my life, painting and I don't know if I want to upset that again as it takes a toll on my well being.  When The Hubby and I went to dinner the other night he told me that when I was trying to tell him what Daddy had done and then I broke down and sobbed, that he had not seen me cry like that in years, since Momma died.  He was actually angry at Daddy.  He said that it really bothered him that I was so hurt.  That I was basically attacked by my father.  We've had a lot of discussions about Daddy and the man he is and was and that he has not changed.  I think Momma kept him even to an extent but he is reverting to the man I grew up with and I think that is what hurts so very much.  I thought he had changed but in reality not.  I know, I know, he is an 82 year old man but that does not give him the right to be a jerk, again, to make me a grown ass woman CRY again, like a little girl and be scared of him.  I'm sorry but I do not forgive him.  I am hurt and I will stay home I think again today.  Maybe this week I will venture that way but I have to heal my heart here.  You know he yelled at B and little Snicklefritz several months ago too.  Don't remember about what but it's why they haven't been back either.  It scared Snicklefritz and B.  The man puffs up like an angry peacock and let me tell you sometimes it's for the scare factor, but I know, for a fact that he has been physical and I think that is what is so scary.  

I hope Time Does Heal in this case but I don't see it happening.