Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The End - The Beginning

It is the END of 2014 and I guess I need to reflect.  What a year it has been.  We've moved our offices after 30 years of being in one place.  Daddy had yet another surgery which turned out A-OK!  That precious granddaughter is just the apple of my eye and growing by leaps and bounds, daily.  They also have moved into their new digs which was exhausting for everyone involved.  

My painting has taken on a whole new dimension in my learning and experience.  It will continue in the new year with another 30 Day Painting Challenge and a trip to Scottsdale to attend the Scottsdale Artist School for a week of intensive instruction.

My girls are happy.  What more can you say but that they are happy.  They have great families and possibly we will have another wedding in the near future to celebrate.  

The wrap up is it has been an AWESOME year so far and I look forward to 2015.  (Bring on spring!)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Random 5 Friday

I have gone back to the first of the year in blog posts and realized that I was doing a Random 5 Friday and linked it to a particular blog that is no longer there.  Well, think I will Random 5 Friday anyway.  

1.  I hate winter, especially this winter as this month we have had a total of 3 partial days of sunshine.  I don't live in Seattle and this is going on way too long.  I am so wanting spring to arrive but I know we have to wait.  Waiting, waiting, waiting...

2.  Coffee, do you like coffee.  It's funny that I was never a coffee drinker until I turned 23 years old.  I loved the smell of it and when my grandmother had coffee candy in one of her many candy bowls I loved the candy but I just could NOT get the desire real coffee.  At 23 years of age I was pregnant with my first child and we had our business in our home.  That meant that the employees were in our living room every morning and the coffee pot was a gurgling.  The smell drove me crazy and I tried it.  In fact I became obsessed with coffee, I craved it.  Back then we didn't know to stay away from stuff like coffee, diet pop, etc... but I kind of knew real coffee would not be good for the baby.  SO when The Hubby wasn't aware I would pour decaf coffee grounds in the real coffee can and we had decaf coffee every morning.  The guys and The Hubby never knew and I got to have COFFEE and I never looked back.
3.  What was you favorite childhood movie?  Mine was Bambi.  I think I only saw the movie once but we also had the record, the soundtrack from it.  It was narrated by Shirley Temple.  Everyday at nap time Momma would put the record on the record player in the living room and put Bro, Sis and I down for naps.  I didn't want to nap but she told me that I had to at least lay down because Bro and Sis had to nap.  I almost always ended up asleep before them.  Smart play Momma.  Anyway, the record would play everyday and I could almost recite the entire movie, line for line at one time.  So loved that movie, uh, soundtrack.  I still have that record somewhere with a HUGE chunk out of the side of it.  Years later I was able to find another copy for my girls.  

4.  What's the plan for New Years Eve?  My plan is to watch Rio while her parents host a party.  We haven't had an all-nighter in months.  The Hubby is going dancing!  Maybe Rio and I will watch Bambi!  

5.  Finally, getting better.  I've had a sinus infection for the past two weeks and yesterday was the first day I felt back to normal.  Still crappy in the head a bit and the voice is still wonky but better.  I haven't been sick in a very long time and this kind of whooped my butt.  I have to get better because I am gearing up to do another 30 day painting challenge so get ready for a painting a day.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to everyone.  I've been busy just trying to get well lately but I did finish this sweet painting, "Three Elves".  These little guys were my granny's and I wanted to paint something else Christmas.  I love them and them immediately found a home after I posted on Facebook.  I will definitely paint them again.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Goings-On!

This week I've been a bit slow as a stupid head cold has left me puny.  It's not a bad one but bad enough to knock me down a bit.  There has been so much to do that this is just not acceptable.  The Hubby decided, that it was time we did Christmas cards again.  It has been a few years since we have sent out business or personal cards.  Since the move we unearthed a huge box of best intentions Christmas cards so sure that is just what I did.  What better to do while sniffling and sneezing but to do Christmas cards.  I've probably done 300 or so with about 60 or so left to do.  Today they will be finished, maybe Monday.

Last weekend was Bri's Alliday Show and it was a great success.  Unfortunately, while watching Rio either she gave me this cold or vice-versa.  I suspect though that one of our employees who was hanging over my desk last week moaning and sniffling gave it to me and I passed it on.  DANG IT!  So she's been quite puny too.

There was a sad note on Monday morning as they lost their sweet new kitten Opal Bebe.
Opal came from a large feral community and the community has a lot of health issues that apparently she was not able to fight.  They think she had a stroke or brain bleed.  The very short time she was in their household made a huge impact and struck them hard with the loss.  Opal had bonded very tightly with Bri so she was very devastated.  They got a kitten for Rio and for their older cat, Vera and they were all very sweet together.  precious baby, 
Opal Bebe. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Catch Up

My week has been SOOOOoooooOOOooo busy and I'm glad it is over, but all is good.  It was our first real week at the new offices and all went very well.  I love, love, love my windows.  It seems to rejuvenate me, even though we've only had one sunshiny day this week.  Enough with the cloudy days already! 

I did get a day at the easel in art class and boy what a day I had.  I finished two commission works and a fun painting.  I have another commission I'm not looking forward to doing but will tackle soon.  I really do NOT want to be known as a dog painter but that seems to be all I'm doing lately.  They are very fun and I'm getting better.  

This one is for my friend Carol who already owns six or seven of my paintings.  This sweet face is Tally Ho.  

This one was a challenge, not because of difficulty but difficulty of the pictures given to me to try and paint from.  Good grief, one was the backside of the dog with her child.  Really.  Finally, one came that I could work with and I did this one in less than an hour.  I'm happy with it too. 

Now on to fun stuff.  We have a friend who takes the most amazing photos at the cabin area and in fact is putting together a wildlife calendar.  She has given me permission to paint ANY of the photos she takes!  YIPPEE!  In the spirit of the holiday season I titled this one "Do You Hear What I Hear".  

Speaking of holiday season, I am so very behind in present stuff.  I did get Afton and Nick's stuff ready and wrapped and we have it all packed up in a box to hit the postal ways on Monday morning (I hope).  Have got to find the packing tape!  The nieces and nephews are sadly going to get a card with money this year as that is all I have time for.  The Hubby wanted to do Christmas cards this year in the business and personal which translates to ME doing all the Christmas cards.  I've been busy addressing and addressing and ADDRESSING cards.  So far I've got most of the personal ones done which was about 150 and have started on the business which might be between 150-500.  I have my work cut out for me.  He also wants to have an open house, NOT the Christmas season but before April 1.  That is a lot of planning on a huge scale and I will totally need Bri to help.  This weekend is her Alliday Show and when she gets to rest up on Monday we will hit the ground running with it all.  So very much to look forward to getting accomplished this next year.   

I haven't gone to Bri's Alliday Show because my part of helping was watching little missy.  I had her Thursday morning while her momma did a bit of publicity on television and got to play with her hair.  It braids beautifully but is so very fine and slick it won't stay but what fun.  Yesterday I got her about 11 am and took her to lunch at our usual Friday hangout.  She loved pad thai and spring rolls.  Then I we got gas and she was intrigued but the guy washing our windows (yes I did full service).  Next stop was Hobby Lobby for more yarn.  I have presents to make.  I've discovered a thing called arm knitting.  I'm kind of obsessed with it.  Anyway, we made our way to the yarn section and since her new favorite thing is PINK we bought pink yarn to make her something.   
After that trip we headed home and I tried and tried to entice her into a nap but it was a NO!  She has only had one in a couple of weeks and goodness sometimes she needs it.  Really though she was a jewel.  I took her to her house because I was to keep her until around 11 pm last night.  She fought and fought going down for bed but that girl she was tired.  When it did get quite I looked on her little monitor and I could see something weaving and bouncing but was not sure what it was.  I sneaked down the hall and peaked and there she was sitting with her back against the back of the crib sound asleep but fighting the urge to actually lay down.  The bobbing and weaving was her head lolling back and forth.  Poor baby!  I reached in and gently laid her down and she was OUT!  We had a long day of sight seeing, shopping, gas getting, hide-n-seek, chocolate ice cream...just what granny's and granddaughters do.  

P.S.  Daddy also called last night to kind of give me a dig that I need to come check up on him because he fell hitting his head Thursday morning.  GOOD GRIEF!  He said it just would not stop bleeding and he had not cleaned it because of that (blood thinners).  By the end of the conversation I think I gathered that he really didn't fall all the way that he kind scrapped or barked his forehead against the wall while cleaning the kitty litter.  I told him I would be down Sunday morning and then sent texts to Bro and Sis who both said they would go today to check up on him.  Yes, I have been absent but goodness I have been so busy these past couple of weeks with no time for anything.  Guilty conscience.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Sunshine and Paint

Yesterday was AWESOME!  Yes, quite awesome because I got to work all day at the office.  What is good about it you ask.  Well, I will tell you, WINDOWS!  Yes, after 30 years of no windows we now have windows and yesterday was sunshine all day long.  I couldn't be happier about that.  I got a lot done with a lot more to do later this week.  After several years of not doing Christmas cards for the business I am gearing up to do them again.  That will be a lot of writing but well worth it to our customers.  

Last week I took yet another art workshop with artist Derek Penix.  This will probably be the last class I take with him.  He is so, SO very talented but he is young and I think he is still searching on where he wants to be in his art journey.  Maybe we all will be searching forever.  The first class I took with him I was terrified and the last time I was in his workshop I left so frustrated and angry that I wanted to quit painting.  Actually, last time he painted so much on one of my canvases that he should have signed it.  This time I felt really confident in my ability and where I am in my journey.

This painting is what he demoed for us and the less he put on the canvas the better I liked it.  Oh I kept saying SOLD.  He kept putting more paint and it was better.   
I don't think it is finished but I so loved it.  I own several of his paintings I don't really need another...

Anyway, this is what I did on the first day and I have to say I love it.  It was from a picture when The Hubby and I took the Fall New England tour a few years ago.  This was a beach in the Acadia National Park.  I tried to paint it but ended up using a palette knife on most of it.  LOVED IT! 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Moving Day

It's done.  We've moved.  Well, most of it is done, the most important part, my desk.  Whew, it was a whirlwind day yesterday but I think we have all settled in, now we start sending out the change of address notifications.  

We had a little help from little Snicklefritz and she was mightily confused by it all but in the end she had a great day. 
Her new digs upstairs were outstanding and she loved the wide open space to run from one end of the space to the other with her push toy, The Hubby not so impressed.  We even found her Momma's old Alrac Electric shirt to wear.  I had forgotten I had it hanging on my wall. 

We did hit a few snags with the proper place for it all and had to make some adjustments in my new desk.  (I was also informed that The Hubby decided to NOT have cable put in, WHAT!  I watch the news and one soap to keep me company but oh well, on to NetFlix movies.)

BUT, look at my new view.  In the other office I lived without windows for nearly 30 years.  It was so depressing and now, YEAH! 
The upstairs view, from my easel,  OH MY!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving of Years Gone By

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, Thanksgiving was a favorite for my mother, and mine.  We spent nearly every Thanksgiving holiday at my great-grandparents home in Jay, Oklahoma.  Mom would load up the car with us and every turkey thing possible and off we would go for the holiday.  This house is/was so full of memories for me and where I wanted to go when I threatened to "run away from home." There was no indoor bathroom until I was a senior in high school so the trips to the outhouse at Thanksgiving were mighty cold.  If you had to go at night there was a large coffee can under each bed and you perched and peed.
In warmer weather we could sit under this tree on the bench or some old rusty chairs.  That driveway in the background was long and usually full of lots of cars.  Most generally it was full of hunters cars that would bring in deer for Big Dan to help clean.  My memories of deer when I was young were of them hanging in the tree dripping blood.  Yup, my first look of a live deer didn't come till I was in my 40's.  But that was very educational for me.  They lived off of the land.  The only thing they bought were eggs, flour, sugar, and probably other things, but I was a child and that is what I saw.  They did receive government cheese and peanut butter that I know of.  One time I took a ride with Greatgranddaddy in his old Ford truck to one of the chicken houses to buy eggs.  Let me tell you he was a speed demon in that old rickety truck.  It was a scary ride!
 In the picture below, that is Big Dan, with a fox or coyote they were skinning.  They ate EVERYTHING off of the land.

Awwww, Momma at the dining room table.  I'm sure the turkey was in the roaster as that is how they cooked it.  When I was little all they had were the electric roasters and Greatgranny would get up every hour or so and baste it.  The stove was a wood burning stove for a long time and then Granny bought them an electric stove and Momma would cook the turkey, the way I cook it today, hot and fast.  We cooked a totally foil-wrapped turkey at 450 degrees.  The time depends on the weight of the turkey.  I did a 22-1/2 pound turkey yesterday in 3-1/2 hours.  Fell off the bone. 
I channeled Momma yesterday.  I miss her so. 

Greatgranny and Greatgrandaddy, my most favorite people in the world.   

Great-Aunt Marie or Granny Ree as she was best known and Dan or best known as Big Dan.  Big Dan was the son of Greatgranny and Greatgranddaddy.  They actually owned the house of which I did not know until I was in my 40's.  To me it was always Greatgranny's house.  Big Dan never wore shoes, except maybe in the snow and he always, ALWAYS wore overalls.  That door behind Ree is a huge memory.  The covering was a crocheted something, I used to know the name.  It was beautiful and I loved to look at it.  In this picture where the camera person is standing to take the picture was a wood burning stove that heated the entire house.  Awww, the memories.

Greatgranny.  She had fallen and broken her ankle, see the crutches in the background.  I think she died about a year later.  She was the most awesome lady and I loved her dearly.  Her name was Maggie.

The many, MANY children that were always running around the house.  Sis is on the end, I am next to her and Bro is at the other end.  The other two were friends that were always there.  Have no clue to their names now.  See the gun in the corner.  There were guns everywhere in that house, EVERYWHERE, but we knew better than to ever, EVER touch them.  That was just the law of the household, and in mine that I grew up in.  We were taught a healthy respect of them.  Good grief we saw the effects of a gun, there were dead animals everywhere in that house and outside.  (My stand on gun control!)

Just FYI...I write a lot of these posts because I know my girls and grandchildren and great grandchildren will read them and I want to pass on the stories.  My hands don't write as well anymore and can't write as fast as I type so there you go.  I also have my blog posting printed every year in a hard bound book for them to read.  I use Blog2Print in January every year.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Day After

  It's the day after turkey day and all is very well.  We had a great Thanksgiving Day with family and that is what counts.  The niece did come and she was quite pleasant, even helped with cleanup, I think her way of making amends.  I'll accept.  Goodness look at these two pictures.  The top one is Thanksgiving 2013 and the one under is yesterday.  These oh my!  My sister was blessed with two beautiful children.  That boy just turned 16, has his learners permit and is a blessing.  My sister, after having her daughter and two miscarriages was told that she should not get pregnant again.  She was also born with some heart problems and the doctors always said that she would have to have her valve replaced sometime in her adult years, so she had her tubes tied.  Guess what, some 17 years ago I got a phone call in which she said, "I'm pregnant!" I was flabbergasted.  Her first time to hear his heartbeat and I got to go.  It was very exciting but dangerous for her.  Both of her children were born 6 weeks premature and spent a good amount time in the NICU for premies.  He wasn't in this world very long when Sis went in for her first open heart surgery.  I think he was 3 months old.  And about 3 months after that she developed a blood clot in the new valve and they had to crack her open again.  It was a very scary time for all.  I think it affected her daughter more that they realized, plus Sis is always talking about she could die at anytime.  Yup, think that made a negative impact.  But we have to beautiful children that need to be protected and taken care of.  I think her girl is getting the help and moving in the right direction, I hope.  
Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2014

 It was nice to have Daddy there too, both last year and this year.  Daddy turned 79 years old in August and I am thrilled he is doing so well after all he has gone through.  He informed me yesterday that he is thinking of moving in with his lady friend....
Oh good grief.  I kind of really doubt it because he manufactures stuff in his head sometimes but you just never know.  He said that they are not going to get married but they may move in together.  Good for him but WHAT!  He doesn't look as happy in the current Thanksgiving picture.  I think he's kind of disappointed with he granddaughter in her decisions in life (and his daughter) but he does love her.
 Last year.....this year.....

Another good thing was Sis walked in the door and handed me my mother's piccolo.  Afton had called Sis about 2 weeks ago to check on Brit and in the conversation asked about the piccolo.  Sis said she had it and brought it for me to give to Af.  Sis played flute in high school and Afton plays too.  They have a connection.  In fact when Afton was in high school she played Sis's flute and it was in the high school band room when someone stole it.  We never got it back.  I had to buy another one to replace it and one for Afton to play.  Dang it!  Anyway, we now have Mom's.  I remember she would get it out and play for us.  She couldn't play it long because being COPD her breath didn't allow her to play it.  So sad because she was fabulous.  
This picture brings back a flood of memories of Momma.  I miss her so and especially this week as Thanksgiving was her time to shine.  She loved to cook turkey and have everyone together.  Our childhood Thanksgivings were spent loading up the car, turkey and all, and go to Jay, Oklahoma, to my great-grandmother's...more on that tomorrow!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes it is HAPPY THANKSGIVING, but it is also moving day for us at the office.  After over 30 years of having our 35 year old business in one location we are moving.  The new offices are done and ready for us to begin operating out of it.  Slowly the shop part has been moving a few blocks away leaving the empty space to the point that it echos out in the shop part.  Last week The hubby and #1Man started moving their offices, and yesterday we packed everything but the computer, postage meter, and calculator and hauled it all to the new office.  It's all still in boxes until Monday when we will start unearthing and organizing.  This will be a challenge because in reality we are moving to a smaller space but it will have so much more ambiance.  Kind of brings a tear to my eye as we have called this work space home for a very long time, but I can't wait to have WINDOWS!
Oh, such a help this little munchkin is.  She was a pistol yesterday as her nursery room is now empty too.  In fact, my car is full of her stuff to move with more to go this weekend.  Yes, we are staying around town to move the rest of the stuff and to enjoy Turkey day.  We have had a lot of interest in all the spaces we have to lease and I think we will have one maybe both of the new spaces leased.  The old space, our old digs, has had a ton of interest and we may have it leased too at this point.  YEAH!   

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to one and all.  I am thankful for my family, and the love we all have for one another.  I am thankful for this little darling who gives me tons of laugh lines.  I am thankful for my fabulous life.  I could NEVER have guessed it would have gone down the path it has gone.  I am truly walking down the yellow brick road of happiness and joy.  Love to all.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday's This 'n That

Walking in the rain this weekend with sweet Clayton.  It had actually stopped raining but he kept dragging me under low hung rain sodden boughs to do his business, hence the umbrella.  

The count down is on for Turkey Day.  My mind is a whir as I am having about 22 at our house.  Really, not much for me to do except to make my bed that morning, set the tables, put the turkey in the oven.....the day before I will make cornbread, chop celery and onion.  This morning I'm going to the grocery, before the rush.  I just do not want to deal with it later.  Tomorrow is my painting day and then Wednesday I have to work, payroll and all.  I should have this down to a science since I've had nearly 39 years of experience so a deep breath and onward!

Yesterday we picked up my new taboret table and took it to my new studio space.  
I'm so excited but a bit nervous to move it all out of the house.  I'm torn and get a lot of mixed signals from  The Hubby about inhabiting the new corner space of our building.  He asked me the other day if I was going to trash out the space like I have at home.  I calmly said no but good grief I am an artist and I do have a lot of stuff.  There will be a plethora of canvas' laying about, along with brushes, and STUFF.  

I did finish this sweet little dog at the office last Wednesday, just in time to give to Harri for her birthday on Saturday night.  I was thrilled with how it has turned out.  Now I have another King Charles to paint, Tally, and an aging poodle named Maddie.   Plus a guy I went to high school is dead set that I paint a picture for him for his song he wrote.  It's not something I'm passionate about but he is very insistent.  He writes and sings and is promoting his new CD and wants one of my paintings for the promo.  I am extremely flattered but not sure I want to do it.  We'll see.  He did a photoshop mock-up of what he wants and I will paint from that.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Just My Opinion

It's just my opinion but really, Rosie O'Donnell used to be a comedian.  I don't watch The View but I do catch the news, FaceBook, Entertainment Tonight and read People and folks the lady is not funny anymore.  She wants to take a stand on everything and argue with everyone.  Really, not funny anymore, just a sour woman with a lot of money to have a chance to stand on a soap box, A LOT!  It's just my opinion.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Dance

"Morning Glory", 5x7 oil on cotton panel
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I am gearing up to have the crew.  I'm really very excited to have everyone this year.  I do wish the California girl and her guy were coming but I totally understand.  They are so busy right now with work it's just too hard for them to come home that often.  They will be here next summer for The Hubby's big 60th birthday bash (a surprise to him).  

On top of all of that going on like grocery lists, when to thaw the turkey, table cloths, we are getting ready to move our office next week, FINALLY!  It is going to finally be a reality.  We've still got a few hurdles to go with the city and Certificate of Occupancy and all that popped up out of the blue but it is getting handled.  I am getting a new (used) front desk that I HOPE fits.  The architect, I think, screwed up his measurements so our electrical floor box may be in the wrong place and the bay where our file cabinets are too, which makes everything have to go where it is at and that means we are too close to the front window.  We will just have to see how it all lays out.  I told The Hubby that I HAVE to have my computer and Internet up and running by next Friday so I can do payroll.  It's a dance with all the powers that be.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Television - What's New

Lately, The Hubby has discovered a new television show that he is kind of obsessed with.  I've also found one I LOVE.  His is a show called How We Got To Now, hosted by Steven Johnson.  It's on PBS on I think Wednesday evenings.  Wow, wow, wow, it is such a cool show and quite amazing.  I'm telling you that if I watched that kind of show in school I might have paid more attention to science and the world around me.  Amazing stuff.  Did you know that the actress Hedy Lamarr was an actress (duh) and INVENTOR!  Yes, and she is credited with kind of where we are with our cell phones and sound.  AMAZING!  Really, REALLY interesting stuff.  You can watch it on PBS website.  A must for sure.

Another show that I am kind of obsessed with is on PBS but on a channel called CREATE which I found.  Locally it is on channel 113.  It is called A Chef's Life and follows the life of chef Vivian Howard (love the name Vivian).  She and her husband Ben and their twins have moved back to her roots in North Carolina and follows her life there making food happen.  I LOVE her dialect/accent/whatever.  I've watched the first season episodes and now we are into the next season.  They've had a fire in the restaurant which closed it down for a bit and now they are opening two other restaurants.  Great show.  

I'm kind of getting disenchanted with regular TV because they keep canceling ones I watch.  First my soaps have bit the dust, then Longmire (think Netflix is picking it up) and then Dallas.  Guess this means more time at my easel.  Too bad I don't like to paint at night.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Eat, Exercise and Babies

So, I'm totally stealing this photo from Rio's momma's Facebook page but how DARLING is it.  I mean reading by the fireside with Mondo, her daddy and that face, oh, that face.  Speaking of fireside, the weather she is a changing for sure.  We are just waiting for the snow to begin.  Goodness, I am so not ready for winter, for the cold mainly and the dark, dreary days.  What gets me through is that I know that in a few short months the sweet green of spring will pop out of the dead stuff and the world will be flush with color and beautiful sun filled skies.  That is what I look forward to.  What I do now is to stay very busy and that is not a problem for me.  I will kiss Rio, paint lots of pictures, read, crochet, do counted cross stitch ornaments, and cook.  I have to be careful with the cooking because I have quit my trainer and the cooking thing entails EATING!  

I don't know if I have shared about my trainer but yes I have quit him.  There were a lot of factors in my decision to be done with him.  Don't get me wrong I am not giving up on exercise but I am taking a break.  I've pretty much done it 5 days a week for years now, early, EARLY in the morning, but sleep has been a pressing need.  I am in need of a new place, a new kind, and new people.  I don't have time to check it out yet but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be back at it.  FYI, doing it at home on my own is not an option.  I am not self-motivating.  I will not get off my keaster to ride the bike that sits gathering dust.  Just not in my head to do.