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.   

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Painting Workshop

(I hope to paint this lovely)
This has been a week I can tell you.  I hit the ground running Monday morning and finally last night I was able to sit, just sit.  My head hit the pillow about 8:15 and with a brief wake-up at 9 pm, I then slept until 6:30 this morning.  Monday and Wednesday were of course work and watch Rio days.  Tuesday and Thursday were painting days, but not the usual painting days.  As I posted last time, we, my group of friends, were to paint with Diane Ainsworth at one of our new lease spaces that has not rented yet.  It was quite a learning experience and I felt so free in what I was putting on canvas.  She also critiqued our art, which was a first for me.  I was a bit scared of it but she liked my art and the only suggestion was to "lose the edges more."  That is her impressionistic style which I venture into a lot.

We had a thrill to see the different paints she used and of course I went right out the next day and purchased some more.  Like I need anymore.
The first day we did what she called a thumbnail sketch before we painted.  Her thumbnail was more of a very small scribble but mine was a bit more precise and larger.  Then we did a value scale and then the color.  I chose the nutcracker I brought and plan on painting it on an actual canvas because it was such fun to do. 

The we moved on to still life.  She set up many, many things on the table and I was shocked thinking we were to paint ALL of it but she said that she sets up several things and just picks out parts to paint. WHEW, that was a relief.  I chose the limes in the corner as they "spoke" to me.
She had me give the hint in the background of the brass thing-a-ma-bob and it worked and she loved what I did.  We did a bit of painting of palette knife technique.   
Thursday was portrait or figure drawing.  That I have not really done from a real model since I was 14 years old in 9th grade art.  Her husband, Robert, was our model and quite a good model he was.  Very still he sits.  

Now don't judge as it was definitely a rough go at it but quite fun.
Then she painting a landscape in about 15 minutes....WOW...I had the chance to purchase and should have but just not my style to spend that kind of money.  Even though it was a very good price for what hers normally sell for I just couldn't do it.   
See the space we had, it was just awesome.  The Hubby got on top of the office storage space and took our photo. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Building Project

 Remember our building project, well, we are done with the new building...

So very excited to be done.  Now we need RENTERS!
It's all clean, heated, spacious and READY!  In fact, since it is still not leased I am hosting a painting workshop for Tuesday and Thursday with some painting friends and a lady I have not met yet.  She will critique and teaching some about impressionistic and portraits.  So very excited and this space is perfect.   Lighting and heat and lots of space.  Her name is Diane Ainsworth and is apparently well known in the art world (I am clueless.  Thank goodness for painting friends.)

Remember when there was NOTHING!
The stone building has been another project.  It is actually where our offices will move to, downstairs.  The guys will actually work out of the end of the metal building. The city and fire marshals are kind giving us some fits with the stone building.  We are probably going to be moving in next week and then all of a sudden they want a new hand rail on the staircase outside and they say it is listed as only storage.  So now we have to deal with an occupancy certificate.  GOOD GRIEF.  We just want to be done and will be when the creative concrete guy (former owner) finishes the floor inside downstairs.  We took out partition walls and that left the floors with unfinished areas.  It is all we need to do.  

The upstairs is DONE.  It is kind of an apartment where we will watch Rio while and I will have an art studio. 

This is a closet that we won't use as a closet and is perfect for a playroom for Rio for now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Weekend Fun

Yes, I am still here.  Blogging has taken a back seat to my life lately as I'm busier than a "cranberry merchant something, something, something." (A saying my mother used to say.)  Work, painting, watching Rio and last night we hosted a cocktail party for some of our neighbors.  Since we moved in some 8 years ago the houses around us have already been inhabited by new neighbors, we are the old kids on the block so to speak.  So we wanted to get us all together.  Unfortunately, one had dinner plans and another couple were coming until he came home SICK, they were nice enough to stay home.  I was afraid we were going to be by ourselves but the doorbell finally rang and we had a great time.  A cocktail party is fun because it's early enough, and in the middle of the week, so I was in bed by 8:30!  

Sunday's fun on the easel.  I have a couple more, self portrait and another of someone else, but they are not fit to share yet.   
Have I told you that I am going to Scottsdale Artist School in March!  Yup, for an entire week I am attending classes with friends to paint.  Yesterday my special paints arrived!  I'm so excited and I know I will not be able to NOT use these till then.  
Sunday was stew day...yummy...repeat Monday.