Sunday, January 16, 2022

Grands, Puzzles and Life Junk

Good Sunday morning all.  It's been a rather lazy week with a bit of art thrown in.  Of course I had to head to the office Monday morning and do a bit of bill paying and filing (I kid on the filing, that is NOT my bag.)  I didn't have to head back there until Friday for payroll.  I did post about 3 of our employees being out sick, 2 with Covid and 1 upper respiratory (we still think Covid despite the negative test.)  That was a challenge for The Hubby to juggle the jobs/customers that were counting on them to work, but he made it all work out.  THAT is what he is so over now, the juggle. 

I also got a couple of days of studio time and started applying paint to the latest self portrait and hopefully this week will be able to spend a lot of time there.  The only thing pressing this week is our friend Patti's funeral on Thursday.  Those kind of things really make me nervous partly because of the Covid numbers rising and because it is so hard for me to go into places with my mobility issues now, BUT, I have to go for her husband Jim.  
Friday evening Snicklefritz came to spend the weekend with me and while her Momma was here little Mini and her Momma joined us for a bite to eat and to FINALLY store the rest of Christmas back into the closet.  Christmas 2021 is finally a memory.  Oh these girls.  They both have these little toddler three-wheel bikes powered by feet and they were roaring around the house giggling, chasing each other round and round.  It just makes you smile and laugh watching them have so much fun together.  They are cousins but are probably as close as sisters and always will be.  
Yesterday Snicklefritz, her Granddad and I had a big breakfast.  I fixed her scrambled eggs, which she says I make the best, two blueberry waffles, orange juice and bacon.  The Hubby and I had over easy eggs, bacon, juice and toast.  She was up early even though she didn't go to bed until nearly 11 the night before.  After breakfast we hit the jigsaw puzzle hard.  It is a Charlie Brown Christmas puzzle, 1000 pieces!  I absolutely LOVE Charlie Brown.  When I was a kid I was always saying, "Oh Good Grief," so Daddy started calling me Charlie Brown.  It is a wonderful memory.  We didn't last long on the puzzle.  Starting one is sometimes so hard.  After a bit she was bored and wanted to play with her dolls and watch TV.  Honestly the only thing on was Patti's Mexican Table on CreateTV and she was quite happy to watch it.  It has a lot about Mexican culture, food, landscapes and is very interesting.  I chose to read a bit and kept dosing off.  Must have been the snow that started to fall.  That also kept her pretty occupied watching it gracefully fall and melt away.  Not much stuck and she took a couple of strolls around the yard to check it out.  There was enough to even make a snowball but it is pretty.  Oh goodness last night we played Monopoly.  We only been playing Jr. Monopoly for over a year now and the last time she honestly broke me and the bank.  Well last night we got the big dude out and set it up, carefully reading the rules.  She was a bit confused but got the hang of it quickly.  GOOD GRIEF Charlie Brown!  This girl or maybe it was my bad luck.  I kept getting hit with paying luxury tax or stuff to her or going to jail or rent to her.  I was down to $35 and she had all these properties, kept receiving money for various things (mostly from me!)  She was raking in the dough and had a stack of $100 you wouldn't believe.  The bank only had one left in it.  After nearly 2 hours I said I was done and she needed to go to bed.  It was again 11 pm.  It is now a bit after 8 this morning and she is still in bed.  She needed to sleep.  When she gets up I'll fix her her usual breakfast and then she's going to take a bath.  The Hubby and I woke up at 6 this morning and both had our showers and breakfast and he's already out the door to the office to spend his day tinkering.  After this post I will do a bit of reading until she awakes.  

Have a good week all, maybe I'll be back sooner than next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Cold, Virus, Waiting Game

Good morning all.  The weekend has passed with us jaunting off to the cabin for some much needed R&R.  I had planned on having a bit of day-drinking with my friends but this DAMN COVID messed that up yet again.  One of the ladies husband had come down with the virus on Friday and I couldn't take the chance with my surgery so close to being possibly exposed.  Even though she works in OKC at the Capitol and hadn't even been around her man it was just to iffy for me.  I've already had a close encounter in December and dodged that bullet, I don't want to stretch my luck.  
So we hunkered down with most of my view this from our bedroom.  
Plus the fireplace kept us all nice and warm during the nasty cold snap.  I accomplished not much more than reading two entire books and feeding us.  We didn't take my walker so I only had my cane to get around.  It's funny that as long as the temperatures stay about 45 I get around pretty good but if it is freezing, OH MAN!  It's like my joints are like concrete.  It just hurts so bad to try and even go to the bathroom.  It tells me that a lot of my inability to just move is a lot of arthritis, but this hip replacement surgery cannot come soon enough.  Time is ticking away as the time approaches and I am getting a bit nervous.  
There is just so much I must get done before with work and home, plus I'm having a joint replaced!!!!!  That is a lot scary for me.  It's the end of 2021 at the office and for personal tax stuff.  Since the surgery is February 3 that means I will also have a pile of bills that will need to be paid at the first of the month.  I HAVE to stay up on that stuff and also payroll is in the middle of this.  I will play it by ear and do the best I can do.  I might need the help of my girls for sure to pull this off.  

Work wise it has been not good this week.  We have a total of 6 employees and 2 of them have Covid and one has an upper respiratory virus NOT COVID! That means half of our staff is off.  You know we have gotten by for nearly 3 years without this so we've been pretty lucky.  Also lucky is that I don't see any employees most of the time.  They go straight to the jobsites, whew!  It does make The Hubby groan and gruff around a lot of the time in the mornings.  He gets jobs all set up with the customers and this many out makes it tricky.  Thankfully they are understanding.  Oh well, I guess this is life in the new world of Covid.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Food and Mania

DIFFERENT Stuffed Peppers

I totally saw this recipe on Insta and made it tonight. I am not a huge fan of peppers but the red peppers were yummy. Simple...
Slice peppers in half, clean out seeds and put in 350° oven for 30 minutes. While they cook, or get a bit tender saute sweet Italian sausage in a non-stick skillet. When that is done I add a block of cream cheese and a can of Rotel tomatoes. When the peppers are ready, fill them with the mixture. Then top them with a sprinkling of shredded cheese then put them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

OMG, these were very tasty and very different.

On a different note, this past week I've been watching, actually the whole world has been watching, the deterioration of an artist friend, mentally on Facebook.  It has been absolutely shocking to watch her posts ranting about her husband and rambling in these weird one line statements that honestly don't make a lot of sense.  This morning I then see that she is living in her car and we are having the coldest temps in a year.  It's so sad to watch one of her daughters plead with her to call them, to come home and then I saw that the daughter and husband of 42 years even went to the court system to try and get her committed.  You can clearly see that she is having a manic episode.  I've been in tons of art things with this lady and it is just so shocking to see it happen.  I'm not friend friends with her, only an art associate, I have no sway with her but feel like I need or want to help.  I can't even imagine what her daughters are going through with all this.  It's heartbreaking.  


Saturday, January 01, 2022

Happy New Year 2022

Decided that yesterday was the day to delve back into the self portrait thing. This is more than practice, it takes you deep into the YOU. I've done several of me in different stages of my life, all the while contemplating those times, eras, in the evolution that is the person that is, Carla. Today I look into the now 65 year old me without apology. It's charcoal, but will soon have paint to top it off. I think this is an important exercise at this time in my life. Of course the biggy is that I turned 65 and have jumped on the Medicare wagon. But I've also lost my father, my dear mother-in-law and yet another dear friend. We are at those crossroads in our lives, the inevitable journey of death. This is not maudlin, it is reality, hence a self portrait in the reality of me, of life, of my life.

Last night little, I should say big girl Snicklefritz spent her New Year's again with me.  We watched Harry Potter movies, played Old Maid, Go Fish and Connect 4 and drank sparkling cider with frozen blueberries.  We did indeed stay up past midnight and rang in the year (can't believe I was able to stay awake!)  The Hubby decided to head to the cabin to give a bid and check on a generator job we're getting ready to do there.  He was planning on staying till Sunday, but, I informed him that I had planned on cooking a cornish hen with our black eye peas and he said he would be home...HAHAHA.  Snicklefritz will go home today after she helps me do the laundry and we start dismantling Christmas.  I think I can do a lot of it but need assistance getting it back in the closet.  Hopefully if I get all of it done I can go to the studio tomorrow and if not then on Monday, as we are closed.  


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Goodbye 2021(2020), Hello 2022

Goodbye long, see you NEVER again...
Gosh, what a couple of years we've had.  I'm hoping the new year is a lot of good stuff and look forward to seeing 2020-2021 in the rear view mirror.  Let's move on to a new hip, more weight loss, maybe getting into some more national art shows and finally RETIREMENT!!!  

I leave you this year with more food pics.  I'm continuing the weight loss journey, albeit it with a few hiccups but I'm still working on it.  

pork chops with mushrooms, chard, white wine, splash of cream

pork tenderloin stuff with cream cheese and jalapeno's, mixed veggies and mashed cauliflower

Today I'm off to the office after a couple days spent at the studio.  I was busy working on a painting for the friend that passed away, Patti.  She contacted me in November, just before Thanksgiving, asking if I could possible paint this blue bird picture she sent.  It was taken in her sisters backyard.  I have no idea if she was giving it to her sister or keeping it for herself but I had it started and it was just staring at me
in the studio, so I decided I had to finish it.  
Not sure if I will name it but I do plan on giving it to her husband at some point when I know he's in a better place.  It might be too much right now.  

Happy New Year my friends, till we meet again next year, 2022


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas trees, presents, ribbon, food and butterfly wings.  Last night was great fun at the nephew's with The Hubby's family.  Little Min had a lot of fun just with the box alone.  
Dinner sitting with her Great Aunt Char.

Only one little hiccup when the sweet little dog, Penny took a snap at Min's cheek but it's only a bruise, thankfully.
me and my girls (Min's momma is the photographer!)

Decided to vamp myself for the festivities and took a quick pic because I knew the curl wouldn't last and I was right.  I even used mousse and hairspray to no avail.  My hair just wants to hang mostly limp.  Not bad for 65 don't you think.  

MERRY CHRISTMAS  dear friends and a Happy New Year!  Let 2022 be the year of new beginnings (and a new hip) and brightness.


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

10, 9, 8...The Countdown Is On

Are we ready yet.  Christmas is just a few days away and I think I'm ready.  Honestly it's all been pretty easy this year, mainly because I'm giving smaller presents, homemade presents and money.  I just couldn't go out and shop, but that's okay.  I did have my book club last week for dinner but there were only 4 of us.  I set my table and it looked so pretty.  Today I'm going to set it yet again for Christmas Day dinner.  Since Momma passed we've (my siblings and I) always gone to Daddy's to just have a quick brunch and just be with him.  Last year, by this time last year he was gone along with the house and we just didn't get together.  This year we three did have lunch last week.  We've tried to hang onto that once a month and we really enjoy that.  Just trying to hang onto sibling-hood.  I know my girls wanted to all of us to get together but with the pandemic and all we just can't really.  Besides we all were just together for Thanksgiving (without Bro this year.)  Maybe next year with a new hip and hopefully pandemic gone we will again be able to get together.  Anyway, this year it's my girls, their families and brother-in-law.  His hubby is headed to be with his father as his mother just passed.  I know how very hard that is.  It's also The Hubby's and his brothers first year without their mother.  So much loss this past year but we will get through it.  

The countdown is on for my new hip and I'm nervous, anxious and excited all at the same time.  I am so ready to not hurt every time I have to go to the bathroom, go to the front door, just movement in general.  As long as I sit I'm good, but that is just not healthy.  Hopefully I will be able to start walking again just in time for spring.  Looking forward to spring at this point.  The hip will be in and spring will be peaking.  It will be a good thing for recovery for me to see green and flowers, it rejuvenates me.  I also have a plan for summer at the cabin.  I'm hoping to maybe on Saturday's to have a painting class at the wigwam with anyone interested in painting, whether they are old hands at it or new and wanting to learn.  I am NOT a teacher but I can help anyone to begin.  I think it will be great fun.

"Cruella" 18x24 oil on linen 

Speaking of painting, I've just completed a commission.  A high school friend of The Hubby's contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could paint their dog who just passed.  I said I would try.  She didn't inquire the size or cost.  I went ahead and tried my hand at it.  Cruella was a standard poodle and I knew a tiny little canvas would not do to capture her so 18x24 it was.  I was quite please to finish it yesterday and I think it turned out really good.  I sent her a snapshot of it and she immediately texted back "I LOVE IT!" Good deal for me.  She asked when she could pick it up and I told her Thursday and then she asked how much.  I was conservative in my pricing but not cheap and she said, "PERFECT," to let her know what time to get it.  Wow!  When she sent me the photos to paint from she said the dog was mostly black on her head and she wasn't kidding, but, I told her that when painting black dogs, black is not always all black.  There are reflections of light, blues, greens, amber gold...lots of different colors in the "black."  I was very happy in how it turned out.  

Thursday, December 16, 2021

O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

"O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree"
9x12 oil on linen panel

Thursday, December 09, 2021


Yesterday I got a text message from this sweet lady's husband, Jim.  He said Patti had fallen the night before and was getting ready to have her third brain surgery in just a few hours. 
I don't know the details, just she had fallen and had brain bleeds they couldn't stop.  Today, again my phone went off and Jim said she had left this earth.  I am just heartsick over this.  She was not that old and was a successful realtor in our area.  I shared many a meal and a glass of wine with her.  I can still hear her laughter in my head.  Patti you will be so missed and Jim will be at a loss.  

I'm really tired of losing people around Christmas.  Last year was daddy's best friend Jay and two years ago my dear friend Charlotte.  

Monday, December 06, 2021

New Hip Is On It's Way

Tonights dinner is once again tilapia, spinach and red peppers. Simple preparation of a splash of lemon olive oil, Paul Prudhomme's Fish Magic, red pepper and frozen chopped spinach (what I had on hand.) ONE skillet in which I started the peppers, added the spinach, utilizing the water from being frozen. When it was half done I moved the spinach to the edges of the skillet and added the seasoned lemon olive oil coated tilapia and cooked till done. One skillet. (I'm lazy, hate doing dishes.)

Confession...I have been bad. Bad with my eating. Oh don't get me wrong it wasn't horrible but enough off the rails to have the scale edge up a bit. I'm still down two sizes in my clothes, that is a win. Today I went to my THIRD hip doctor. This time I was not sent on my very unhappy way but got an actual surgery date in February with a note to continue the weight loss. I have to say I was really nervous this morning going to yet another hip doctor but I had a good feeling in my gut this time it would be different and it was. She was kind, not like the other two male doctors that pretty much wrote me off and sent me on my way with no hope and no direction. Reading through the material is a bit scary. I tend to run from stuff like that so it is taking all my courage not to run and not do the replacement. I have to or I will be in a wheelchair the rest of my life at this point. I can barely walk most of the time.

So, I am knuckling down and making it happen. Get ready friends, I'm going to keep posting my food journey because it helps me to have friends support, and it seems my journey is inspiring others. It is a meal at a time, a dat at a time. I THINK I can. I KNOW I can. The little engine that could is me.