Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pinkie & Blue Boy

When I was a young girl at elementary school my most vivid memory was walking through the front doors and seeing two paintings (copies) by Thomas Lawrence (Pinkie) and Thomas Gainsborough (Blue Boy).  I actually found copies that I want to believe might have come from the school at an antique store some years ago.  B found me some smaller copies a few years ago too.  Anyway, those paintings have been a part of our lives in other ways too.  Many years ago we had a couple of cats named Alice and Sasha and then one day we were faced with a couple of ferrel kittens on our doorstep.  We tamed them and had them spayed and neutered and shots given on the idea that we would find homes for them.  I decided to give them generic names, Pinkie and Blue Boy, from my past.  We had those wonderful kittens for 12 and 17 years and they were the best.
Blue Boy 

The past week B went to visit A in California and they took an excursion to the Huntington Library where on permanent display hang the original paintings, Pinkie and Blue Boy.

The girls just had to see them because even though the paintings were a huge part of my life, they were a part of their lives too.  They said seeing them was an emotional experience, they were so beautiful and meant so much to them too.  I have to make that trip too sometime.
Blue Boy

The girls, although their visit was short had an awesome visit spending sister time.

B also got to enjoy the vocal stylings of A at a wine bar at open mic night that she often performs on Sunday evenings.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Star Light, Star Bright

Finshed this one Tuesday.  It's a star on the fence at the cabin. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Thinking

I've been thinking...oh, now that can get me into a lot of trouble.  If I have too much alone time on my hands my thinking can really bring me down and it has lately.  Dealing with Daddy, the siblings, work, construction and not hearing from friends has me in a funk.  I've been thinking a lot about my life, my growing up and what shaped the person I have become today.  Remembering the influences in my life that caused me to take certain paths of maturity.  The actions of family members and friends can certainly influence a young impressionable mind like I was.  As a little girly I was very wild and free-spirited.  Mother and Daddy had a hard time keeping me from getting into everything I could.  Momma said that I would have one hand into something and they would be "patting" my hand saying no-no while the other hand and the mind was grabbing onto something else, not even worried about the other hand and that trouble. 
One story was of them waking up one morning to find a trail throughout the house of Malt-o-Meal leading from the kitchen, over the couch, under the dining room table and down the hallway to the bathroom where I was asleep in the bathtub, hugging that box of Malt-o-Meal.  I was a busy little girl.  When did I stop being that child, one that had no fear of being in trouble.  Mother said that going shopping was a nightmare with me, that I would just take off.  One day she lost me on purpose but still had me in her line of sight.  She said I freaked out when I couldn't find her.  Maybe that is why I have a horrible fear of being lost.  That one little incident scared me for life and after that, I was the mother hen with my two siblings.  They never got so far away that I wasn't herding or corraling them together.  That is still a bad problem for me. 

First grade, six years old, sitting in Mrs. Rhodes class I can remember her going by my desk petting my very long hair. She was the nicest lady and my favorite teacher ever. I loved her and school. That world was changed when my parents decided to move to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I was halfway through first grade and was the happiest girl ever.
We moved to the country, way out in the country.  It was a two-story farm house on a hill and was a wonderland.  We had a pig sty but no pigs.  We did have chickens, lots of wasps and snakes and a dog named Sally Rand.  (Trying to add link but won't let me...Sally Rand was a burlesque/fan dancer.  Funny that at the age of 6 I knew what that meant.  Moving meant a whole new school and that school was in town so it was the bus for me, a whole new experience.  Living in the country and being small town and the times, 1962 or about, meant small school system too.  The bus was very scary because it was 1st grade to 12th.  The older kids were very mean and used to tie knots in my very long hair.  I made a friend on that horrible bus.  Her name was Sharon and she lived up the road from us.  Her family was still using a wood stove to cook and there were tons of kids in the house.  They reminded me a bit of Ma and Pa Kettle.  She also had a racoon for a pet.  It was awesome.  She was my protector on that bus but she couldn't protect me from school. 

The school was in a two or three story brick building with metal fire escapes through the windows that we had to practice in.  My teacher that last part of first grade was my nightmare.  I can't or won't remember her name because of the impact she made on my life, changed the person I was.  My fear of getting up in front of people or crowds was born in that classroom.  Each classroom had their own bathroom and she had a special treatment she used in that bathroom.  It involved a cake of soap.  She was unmarried, a spinster lady that should NEVER have been allowed to be near children.  One day in class I needed to go to the bathroom so bad I could not stand it but it was my turn at the chalkboard for something.  I block out a lot of stuff then.  I stood there trying to write on the board and I asked if I could go to the bathroom.  She flat out said no but I was in dire need.  I had to stand at that board and write something.  It may have been something that started with "I will not ask...".  After a very long time I couldn't hold it and wet myself in front of the whole classroom.  I was horrified and she had no sympathy sending me home on the bus in wet panties.  My mother was livid and she defended me with the principal but the damage was done.  I carried that fear of being in front of a classroom or people until my forties and still have it to an extent.  The next year that building was bulldozed and the teacher was forced into retirement. 

The precocious little girl was broken and it has taken me a lifetime to recover.  I was a complete wallflower all through my school years, never being able to come out of my shell.  It's those little incidents in our childhood that can shape our entire lives.  I'm working hard to change that, even though I'm 55 years old, I am always going to try and better myself.  See what sitting around Just Thinking can do, make you go places in your head. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ring Around The Insurance/Doctor Hell

Last week Daddy called me a little after I had left from one of my usual visits.  He was very upset because he had received a phone call from a collection agency.  WHAT!!!!!  That was not good.  Daddy pays his bills the minute they hit his doorway and I do too, and since I am in charge of his finances right now we both were very confused.  It was a medical claim.  First of all we are confused because Daddy has good regular insurance and Medicare which most generally covers everything except for an occasional deductible.  We also have had his mail forwarded to my house until September because he can't walk to his mailbox, and I'm paying his bills, what few of them he has.  He said that they had been sending bills and they have been sent back.  They apparently don't forward those bills.  I told him that if they called back to mail them to his name c/o of ME.  Well, on Friday afternoon I received a letter along with a photocopy of the bill.  The letter said he owed over $750 and that the letter was from a medical collection agency.  The bill showed charges and insurance payments with a balance not covered for about $350.  My first question would be where is the extra $400 that they say he owes.  Plus, it is from the hip doctor we have been seeing, one who is in charge, at this moment of Daddy's care.  One who we've seen, been in his office, many times since the charges stated on the statement.  They did not say a word on any of the visits.  Plus, Daddy has been in a hospital, special care hospital and nursing home for about 3 months, which THEY KNEW!  Plus they have his phone number and my phone number which THEY HAVE NOT CALLED, NOT ONE TIME!!!!!  Can you tell I'm pretty pissed right now.  Tomorrow, Monday morning, my phone line is going to be on fire because I am very angry and getting angrier by the minute thinking about it.  Whew, there goes the damned blood pressure.  These doctors or their offices or the insurance companies and whatever else do not talk to one another.  Good grief, I am dealing with a house in complete disarray, picking out tile and colors and general construction mess.  I'm trying to work and keep up with those books, plus my finances and Daddy's finances.  I'm taking his trash out at least once a week, buying his groceries, cleaning his toilet and doing his laundry along with mine.  I'm helping to keep his appointments plus mine, usually shifting mine to accommodate his.  I'm emotionally tired right now and getting to be physically tired. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Yesterday I dropped B off at the airport to travel to California to visit her sister, A.  It was a belated birthday present for A, to have her sister visit her and see her new apartment and roommate, Sigmund...
I'm so happy my girls are together and enjoying sisterhood to the fullest. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

This and That

Life is just kind of running together in a ton of days and nights for me lately, but I have to stop sometime and take a breath.  The beauty of a few of my moments...
Sunrise on Tuesday morning as I rolled into the parking lot of the workout place.  It was about 5:45 am.  Isn't it just beautiful.  I just had to capture it. 
The Hubby installing the heated floor stuff for the new bathroom area.  It will be awesome.  Flooring is picked out along with the marble for the shower and countertops.  The backsplash I'm in love with and yesterday got to go wallpaper shopping for the small water closet area. 
Did take a break to try my hand at some abstract art too.  I kind of like it.  What do you think?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Neighbors and Friends

My Daddy has the best neighbors although one may be getting kind of tired of being a good guy.  When Daddy could not mow his yard the neighbor to the north of him starting mowing his yard with a riding lawn mower.  Daddy has taken a bit of advantage of this neighbor because he is a carpenter.  Daddy has tapped Steve to work on his shed and a few other things and Steve told me quite honestly so.  Yet, the lawn is still getting mowed and I told Steve that when he gets tired of doing it then just tell Daddy so and we will find someone else.  In fact, I talked to my sister and hopefully her son and husband will get it done for now. 

Yesterday, after I left Daddy's from the weekly trip to the grocery store I rounded the backside of his yard and saw someone in his yard.  The very tanned man was shirtless and on his knees in the middle of Daddy's yard, next to the tomato plants and the weeds were flying.  On closer inspection I realized it was Don, Daddy's neighbor behind him, across the alley.  There too was Don's wheelchair.  Yes, his neighbor and friend is wheelchair bound and has been for probably 40 years but let me tell you it does not stop Don.  He was diagnosed with some form of MS or something and his legs do not work well but that man does not let it stop him at all.  There he was, in Daddy's garden weeding for Daddy.  Daddy didn't know about it because he can't get to his back porch much less the backyard.  What a great neighbor and friend Don is and he probably would not have even told him, but I did.  Don was in Daddy's graduating class I believe and they have in common the loss of their wives from COPD.  They are friends and neighbors that take care of each other. 

Here's is to Don and Steve, the best neighbors and friends

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday

This is Happy Birthday to my youngest. Today she turns 26 years old. I AM NOT that old, am I. I can't believe my baby is 26 years old. Happy Birthday my sweet California girl!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Watching Water Boil

I am in love with cooking shows.  I don't do as much as I used to but I LOVE to watch the Food Network and The Cooking Channel, all day long.  My favorite is The Barefoot Contessa and Giada De Laurentiis but I've fallen love with another one.  As I was skipping around with the channel changer I happened onto The Cooking Channel and found Laura Calder, French Food At Home.  Oh I love her simple yet elegant and fun way to cook French food, more my style.  I have yet to try any and just ordered one of her cookbooks.  I can't wait.  Check out Laura Calder here if you haven't seen her show.  I almost feel like I'm in her kitchen, like I'm home.  The music is wonderful too.  Maybe I'll do more than watch water boil soon.  It's been awhile.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday, The Day After

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day yesterday.  I went to see Daddy and just hung out with him yesterday.  We chatted and I fixed something on his computer.  I assessed his food in the freezer and decided that a run to the store wasn't necessary until about Wednesday.  I took his trash out and cleaned his toilet.  That was my time with Daddy yesterday.  I feel so bad that he is really stuck in that house.  He sits in his front doorway, with it open, just taking in what fresh air he can.  I have toyed with the idea of a ramp so he could go outside, but he only has a month left before the surgery and I HOPE that he will not need it after.  We take him to the doctor every two weeks and that is a trial in itself, especially since the last ordeal of me dropping him.  I really wish the doctor would get it together and push him up on the surgery list.  This waiting is agonizing for Daddy and us.  I want him mobile again so he can get out and do stuff.  I want to take him to restaurants and to the cabin and fishing.  It's just sad and depressing. 

Last week I did yoga on Monday and Friday really enjoying it.  Today I was going to get up and go but I don't have to leave this house for anything today and that is what I plan on doing.  I don't have to be at work or workout or the store or appointments or anything!  I'm staying put.  If I don't want to get dressed, then I won't.  If I don't want to brush my teeth, then I won't (not really).  I am washing the sheets from the bed because Clayton got sick last night on them.  I am going to blog, read blogs and paint.  Time to myself with no workers and no place to go.  Now that is a Monday. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Garden Party, Part 1

I wasn't going to blog this morning, intending on saving up till the day was over, but couldn't help myself. Today we are going to B&B2's for a Garden Party in their backyard. They've been working tirelessly on a new fence, deck, and the gardens to get it wonderful.  (Notice the chain link fence!)

That tiller The Hubby and I bought close to 33 years ago at TG&Y I think for $100.  I used to manhandle that thing all over my huge garden a few houses ago.  I miss my gardens.  I have to enjoy B&B2's for now. 

I think either one of these pictures would be fun to paint.  Maybe my next 5x5 next spring. 
Now check out the new fence. 

We should have a great time today.  B2's father and brother are also coming and I haven't seen them in 3 years since the wedding of B&B2.  Sad.  In fact, tons of family and friends are coming for fun and food of hotdogs this afternoon, a Garden Party! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Grand" Kitties

I have to share B's news with her pretty kitty, Vera.  Go to B's blog Bifftastica to read about how little Vera did a stint for a national commercial!  Her sisters, Pimmy and Sammie stayed home to wait as Vera made her way to her photo shoot!  What a good kittie.

On another note, A has added to her new household.  She not only has a new place to live, a new beginning, but she has added little Sigmund to her household.  I now have three "grand" kitties and Mondo the "grand"dog.  Isn't Sigmund a beauty.  He was rescued from the pound.  What a lucky guy.  How could you resist that face.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Dropped Daddy In The Dirt

Tuesday was not a very good day.  Bro asked me to help him with Daddy and the doctor visit.  His back has been an issue and getting Daddy and a wheelchair down two steps has been worrisome for him.  Sure I can help.  First, the wheelchair is a bit old.  In fact, looking through old pictures I found is of me when I broke my leg at age 11, forty-four years ago, I'll be darned, I think it is the same wheelchair that Daddy is using.  It was my great grandmother's.  Could be another one but it is still OLD!
I arrived and we started the decent down the two steps.  The trick is to practically lay the wheelchair, with Daddy in it, down backwards and then easily let it roll down the steps.  Well, those big old wheels just went WHOOSH and Daddy was on his back in the wheelchair.  DRAT!  The tread came off the wheelchair and we quickly got Daddy upright.  Shook me up for sure but Daddy was fine.  Since he was pretty much laying down he didn't fall far but I DROPPED MY DADDY!  I now have a call into the doctor to see about getting a new wheelchair for Daddy through his Medicare.  Brother has been doing this all by himself for a few weeks now and I realize it takes two very strong people.  I also realize, we need a ramp.  So the call, or text message, as that is the only communication with Sis right now, has gone out to possibly build a ramp.  The Bro-In-Law, her hubby, is a carpenter and should be able to help, should being the word to use but not necessarily going to happen.  Okay, I may rant a bit here but Sis has been to see Daddy once in the 4 weeks he has been home and talked to him on the phone once.  She lives not far from him while I live in another town.  He has laundry to do, trash to take out, groceries to buy and just company for him.  I also manage his finances right now too.  Bro has been great with getting Daddy to the doctors.  It takes "ALL" of us but right now we are down a third and not sure why. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yoga and Me

Yesterday I took my first yoga class.  I was a bit nervous but excited.  B took yoga in college and loves it but has not done it in awhile.  We found a free class at noon and joined in.  The class was packed but we both found mats in the back.  No shoes, silence your phones, get the gear that will be used and sit quietly on the mat till class starts.  I wasn't sure at all if I could do it, but I could and did.  My knees were not too pleased but I was able to do downward dog, the plank and a balance stand (stork like) thing.  I was a sweaty mess by the time the class was over and may be a bit sore tomorrow but I can't wait to try it again.  I think I'll do it again on Friday and am thinking of Monday's and Friday's early in the morning to be added to my regime.  I like to get my exercise done and over with early.  A friend said she thought yoga was a fountain of youth and I'm so going for that.  I think my joints and blood pressure will love me again.  A new journey for me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rest and Stress

Good morning my dear friends.  Monday morning and I'm moving slow.  I feel like the head is fighting heat and allergies today.  I have to really keep a check on that or a sinus infection will be soon to follow.  I didn't even get up this morning to do cardio as the head felt like lead.  B and I are going to try a free yoga class today to see if I like it.  I am hoping it will help with my stretching and stress levels.  This weekend I left it all behind spending a lot of time in the hammock yet again.  I couldn't have asked for better weather with waking up yesterday to rain.  I loved it but know today the steam factor will be unbearable and the headache!  I finished a book and nearly finished another book, now that is accomplishment. 

Daddy is doing well at home and Bro has been great getting him to doctor appointments every two weeks.  Yesterday I went over and took out the trash, pulled weeds from his flowerbed, went to the grocery store for milk, and did his laundry.  While waiting for the laundry to run we had some nice visits and checked out stuff on Facebook.  He's really doing quite well, but now he's talking about a ramp to go outside.  That scares me.  I really don't want him outside as he probably couldn't get back inside and I would be afraid that he would roll down too fast and fall.  SCARY!  One of the conditions of him coming home was he was NOT TO GO OUTSIDE!  I know he would love it but my comfort zone would be tested.  He's only got another month to go until surgery so he can just stay put.  You would think this hip doctor, knowing he is ready and has been through hell and back with this infection would knock someone off the list and take Daddy right on in.  I hate it that we are having to wait so long, 2 months home, but 3 months in hospital(s)/nursing home.  I mean really, especially since this doctor didn't think his wound was anything to begin with then we ended up with a raging infection right after surgery, even releasing him to drive to Arizona.  Have to stop before I start ranting, oh wait, already there.  Blood pressure, down girl!  Ommmm, ommmm, ommmm, I'm in my hammock, ommmm, ommmm, ommmm. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011


June 28, 2006 I posted my very blog post on Blogger.  Now as I approach the five year anniversary of that post and lots of stuff in my life I am re-reading some of my posts.  I was very sad when that first post was written and was only going to get sadder.  The death of my friend, our dog and the imminent death of my mother had taken a toll on me.  It has taken me these past five years to finally be happy again, not tear up everytime I thought about them all.  I think I am finally past the depression that has haunted me.  Now I'm on to the stress that is Daddy and his health issues.  I'm now showing other ways of dealing with that stress with my blood pressure having issues.  Monday B and I are going to try a yoga class.  I think that will help me get a handle on the BP.  When I was at the doctor for a physical last month the BP was up a bit but as we talked, and the talk was about painting, it went down very nicely.  I just need to let it go and of course lose a bit more weight.  Thank you all my readers for taking this journey with me, I hope it is another five years. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Marble Saga

With yet another day of walking overheated concrete warehouses of marble and granite slabs, I find that I'm back to the my original pick of marble, Opera Fantastico.  BIL and I pounded those slab yards and only came up with one other option ...

This one is called Green Onyx.  I don't love it as much as the Fantastico but it is nice.  Didn't think I would do green but it is really pretty.
Oh my goodness, after marching up and down those aisles of slab on the concrete my heel spurs are KILLING me.  I put my feet on the floor this morning and could hardly walk.  I can't go barefoot at all for a bit till I get the inflammation calmed down.  This is going to be a process on this bathroom but I think we've got it narrowed down pretty good.  We were told that the Fantastico might not be available anymore but if you google the name there it is, lots of it.  There was even a website called SlabMarket where you could buy it.  It is cheaper but then you have to tack on the shipping which probably makes the price shoot up.  Drat.  At least we might be able to get it.  May take a bit but I'm willing to wait for what I want. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tile, Marble, Granite...EGAD

Yesterday, I met the Bro-In-Law (he's a designer) at one of the first tile stores to help with the massive search for flooring, shower, and counter top stuff.  EGAD...We were sure that after only one stop that the choices were going to be easy and I was so very happy with it.  We found this long glass tile stuff for some pop of color, for the top of the back splash.  I am IN LOVE with it. 

The paint color we have chosen is a couple shades lighter than the master bedroom of Richmond Gold (a gold brown shade).  We found a floor I just love and the peeble look for the floor of the shower.  The shower walls we were not too sure since one tile guy said no way for honed granite or travertine because of upkeep.  Crap. 

The wood sample is the wood floors throughout the house.

Then The Hubby decided he just had to be a part of the looking, not purchasing.  Well, that put a bunch of kinks in our decisions and then he suggested we go to another place he knew of for the marble/granite/travertine selections.  Oh my gosh, so many choices and I was at a loss for what I wanted and to match what I already loved.  Then there was "it can't be too thick, it can't be too slick, it can't be...".  MAN! 

Then, I ran across this little jewel.  It is called Opera Fantastico(?), is marble and I fell in love with it.  I was even willing to change some of my previous choses...
I LOVE this, BUT there may not be enough and it has been in their storage for 4 years and probably can't get more...DRAT!  We may have to make it work anyway. 
Today we go again to check out a couple more places, that is all, and a decision will be made! 

We have GOT to find a carpenter to build our cabinets ASAP!