Thursday, July 29, 2021

Middle of the Week Life Update

First of all is a recipe update.  You know the Tik-Tok recipe for baked feta, well, this is my version of it.  SOOOOOooo, yummy and easy.  

I took a deep casserole kind of dish and tossed in a bunch of grape tomatoes and tossed them around with salt, pepper, lemon olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic.  Then in the middle, squeeze in a block of feta cheese and sprinkle it with more olive oil and the Italian seasoning.  Then around, on top and squeezed in around the tomatoes put chicken tenders with seasoning and oil.  Bake in 400 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is tender and the cheese is all smushy and melty.  So very yummy.   

The losing weight thing is still a thing but this week has been a bit of a pull back because we went out to eat and I totally had pasta but it was well worth it because it was an awesome date night.  Then last night I was planning something totally different but I had the grand-girls to watch and feed.  So what do kiddos eat and love, well, spaghetti of course.  Pasta again was part of my meal.  I wasn't about to fix something different for me because I was already fixing vegan spaghetti for the girls and regular MEAT spaghetti for my guy.  It was yummy, I won't lie.  But, I had a smaller plate and did not go overboard on it.  This morning I'm taking Snicklefritz out to breakfast to one of her favorite places and of course I am eating.  Just have to take it a meal at a time.  It will be okay.
I've been to the studio a couple of times this week but really haven't achieved much in the paint department.  I've been working on this from one of our weekend drives to and from the cabin.  This is one leaving on Sunday and heading back to reality.  So far I'm liking it.  I'm using a lot of greens and mixing paint is very therapeutic for me.  I've not gotten too much done because of work and Linda coming in.  I haven't talked to her in over three weeks because she had her family in town with grandkids so we had to play catch-up on the visiting. 
That's okay, I will finish this next week.  Really need to let some of the green dry anyway so I can paint in the guard rail along the road and the arrows on the signs.  It's going to be nice.  Why I can't paint anymore today or tomorrow, well, I'm again watching grand-girls today and tomorrow I have to WORK!  It will be an all day thing because it will be payroll and it's the end of the month and invoicing should be in full swing.  I also may have to go in on Saturday to work.  Not too keen on that but when you are self employed it is what you do.  Plus we have the printer situation fixed.  Did I tell about that, maybe not.  Our printer, only 6 months old decided to stop working completely but since it was under warranty our nephew, our IT guy, got HP to send a replacement printer and he got it up and running on Tuesday.  I went in yesterday and did a few things and now I wait for The Hubby to get the invoicing ready so I can get it out.  I love a working printer.

Oh these girls....LOVE them so much.  Yesterday Min's momma took them to the pool and then brought them to me to watch so she could go to a prayer vigil for a friend who is on the verge of being put on a ventilator.  So very sad, especially since he opted NOT to be vaccinated.  Anyway, Snicklefritz had a ZOOM Campfire meeting and Min was right beside her watching and participating in it most of the time.  They were so quiet in the bedroom, I just loved it.  


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lost Sleep

I have been up a good part of the night because of the rising numbers from Covid.  I shared it on FB and honestly only got a few responses for the rightness of this.  I am on board for being vaccinated for sure.  There was only one negative and the stupidity of their reasoning is bugging me.  I've heard all kinds of reasons not to be vaccinated, and these I've personally heard:  

* It's not tested enough, we're guinea pigs
* I'm waiting to see the side effects of the shot
* I'm afraid of the side effects
* It's my right not to be vaccinated
* It's against my beliefs
* You can't tell me what to do
* I've had Covid, it wasn't that bad
* I've never been vaccinated for anything before
* It can make me infertile

Okay, now I will challenge these:

* There are literally MILLIONS of people who've had the vaccine, we are not guinea pigs
* IF you have side effects of the shot they last a day, maybe two, not unlike possibly the flu shot
* This is NOT a religious thing, it is medical, get over yourself.  
* What are you 13 years old rebelling!!!
* If you had Covid I can bet you say you had Covid but if you won't get a vaccine you probably weren't tested either so you probably DIDN'T have Covid!
* If you are my age I can almost guarantee you have been vaccinated for at least polio and smallpox!
* I know 4 people who have gotten pregnant during this damn thing!!!

Listen people, get over yourself and let's get this thing beat back down again before we wipe out our babies now because that is who it is hitting hardest now.  Think of your fellow mankind here and let's do the right thing and get poked! A friend of ours who is vaccinated is a pilot and his co-pilot (private pilots) is...was unvaccinated.  The co-pilot passed away and our vaccinated friend got Covid but is getting over it.  Our daughter has a friend, a couple with five children who did not get the vaccine and the husband is in the hospital fighting for his life and losing that fight.  This is completely crazy that people are not willing to suck it up to save lives, their lives, their children's lives.  I've seen what it can do to a baby.  Our little Min had it early on and it was heartbreaking to watch her suffer.  Her momma still has issues with smell and taste and another friend is still losing his hair by the handfuls from having Covid.  I am TERRIFIED of contracting this thing because of my lungs.  

This is why when I woke up at 12:30 last night I could not go back to sleep until around 3:30.  My mind was whirring again like it was when this all started a year and a half ago.  

I'm sorry to be on a soapbox, but I can't sleep from the worry.  Let's all be careful and do the right thing.  Let's get back on track for our lives, our future, our children and stop the fighting and the ignorance.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Weekend Shenanigans

My weekend was shear bliss.  The Hubby had a lot of dancing to do this past weekend and I had absolutely nothing to do, so I boogied off to the cabin by myself.  I've actually been a bit afraid to go by myself because I've been so unsteady on my feet.  Lately though, since I've lost 17-1/2 pounds so far, I feel lighter and I am moving so much better.  As long as I take my Aleve every morning I am so much better.  So I thought, I can do it.  The issue there is that when I arrive I have to go down the stairs to the garage to turn on the water and flip the breakers to the hot water heater and stove.  But it was okay, I was okay.
It was a hot weekend but we've had so much rain that the countryside is still very green, muggy air, but green, green, green.
When I arrived I immediately contacted my girl friends there and they were heading to the creek.  Now, that kind of thing, walking around in water in the creek, I'm not able to do.  But I was able to drive the golf cart down close enough to the girls were sitting in their chairs in the creek with an umbrella in the water and sit on a chair on the edge and visit.  It was hot and steamy but I'm okay with that too.  The heat doesn't affect me like The Hubby.  The creek was so lovely and I got some lovely shots.  I promised the girls NOT to put their photos up and I'm true to my word.  I think I also got a few shots to paint and that is where I'm going this morning.
Also had this little visitor early Saturday morning.  He was there last weekend too.  I've seen turtles in our little yard over the years and I think they are the same ones.  I love it.  
Thursday was not a good day at the office.  I went in to do a deposit and an invoice.  The previous day I put a magenta cartridge in the printer and then printed some stuff.  Thursday morning I got there and printed the deposit and invoice and a couple of other things then BLAM, the printer screen went blank.  I actually was able to print some other things and then tried to figure out what was wrong with the printer when it went offline and then NOTHING!  I messed around with it for a couple of hours and nothing.  I told The Hubby to get hold of his nephew, our IT guy to look at it, that we needed it fixed before this next Friday for payroll.  I took off to the cabin and then got text messages that J was there working on it and for some reason The Hubby had in his head that changing the cartridge was the culprit.  I explained over and over and OVER again that was not the problem but sometimes when he gets something stuck in his head he can't let it go.  As it turns out I WAS RIGHT!!!  After a few hours of them working on it and contacting HP the printer just crapped out and it was only 7 months old and under warranty.  They are shipping a new printer Wednesday and J will come and install so hopefully I will not have to do payroll or invoicing BY HAND!  Oh the problems of still working.  Hopefully we are closer to the end of work soon.  Good news though is our original building where we operated out of for over 30 years and have had leased out for the past 5 years has a new renter!  We've been working on finding a new renter for awhile now but the only inquiries were pot growers and you know how I felt about that.  This one is in the oil business and signed a 5 year lease!!!!  Woot-Woot!

I almost forgot that Friday before I left for the cabin I had lunch with my siblings (we try to do once a month).  My youngest and her family joined us along with my other granddaughter, Snicklefritz.  Little Min was not in a good mood at first but after a bit she settled and we had a grand time watching her and visiting.  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Weekend Roads

 What a glorious weekend we've had.  We didn't get to the cabin until nearly 10 Friday evening as we had a function to attend but better late than never.  It's always the best when I am able to get up early in the morning at the cabin and make my way to our fabulous screened porch.  Hot coffee, birds starting to wakeup the morning and a good book in hand, I am in my happy place.  

Saturday was a wet morning so The Hubby had to wait to mow and do a bit of yard work in our small little yard.  We were having guests for dinner, ribs and he needed to clean up the tall grass.  Me, I sat quiet contentedly in my chair and finished reading a 400 page book and started in on another.  All the while I loved watching my bird feeders which were full with goldfinches, indigo buntings, purple finches, black-capped chickadees...oh there were tons of wonderful birds.  I could spend all day just watching, and I do.  

We had a wonderful evening of guests for dinner, lots of laughter, chitter-chatter.  After a bit we girls took a nice golf cart ride just to get out.  By the time we got back the sprinkles started so everyone decided to head back to their respective cabins to await the rain.  We have a metal roof on our cabin so listening to the rain is wonderful to sleep under.

Sadly, much too soon it is time to head back to reality, home and work.

Oh my goodness I almost forgot to mention, I got into another national show, the Allied Artist show in NYC I am once again in.  So two national shows in two days, my weekend just got even better.  
I totally forgot to take any photos of our weekend but captured a few from the drive home.  Maybe a painting will come out of these.

Home again, home again, till we head back down the road back to our Eden next weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Art Show Notification

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I received the email with the juried results notification one of the many art competitions I enter . It was from NOAPS (National Oil Painters of America) 2021 Associate Online Exhibit along with 150 other works. I am very honored to be in this show . I was sitting at the table working a jigsaw puzzle when the email came in. I had totally forgotten that the 15th was the day for notifications. I guess being turned down so many times I had just given up hope. Snicklefritz was sitting next to me when I logged into the website and there it was a green circle with a check mark. I squealed! I honestly had forgotten what painting I had even entered and was thrilled to find it was my first landscape to even get into any show. I know I've gotten into Allied Artists in NYC and gotten in twice but this one is different. There are three top groups/shows I've tried to get into and NOAPS was one. The other two are Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society. This one is online only so I don't have to ship anything. I think the 26th is another notification for different paintings. Let's see what happens with those show!

"The Long Road Home"
8x10 oil

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Watermelon Girl

Had to give some screen time to the other love of my life, Watermelon Girl.
Stopped by their house today at lunch and she was again chomping down on watermelon.  Such a cutie.
I kind of think she looks a bit like me...what do you think.
Sadly I think she has my eyebrows.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Fishing Girl

OH MY GOODNESS...this weekend was absolutely the most fun for this little one.  
She and I took off on Thursday to hang at the cabin because her mother was at a quilt retreat and her daddy was taking care of some stuff at his dad's house.  So I got the pleasure of hanging with her.  
We spent Thursday with me reading and her working on a paint by number and listening to the birds with some chat going on.  My friend Lesa came to dinner and I fixed her my tilapia dish and Snicklefritz had fish sticks, mac and cheese, green beans and ice cream.  She was a happy girl.  We then took a golf cart ride with her as my driver.  She is quite a good driver.  We ended up just sitting in the meadow enjoying the wonderful evening, listening to more birds and enjoying the beautiful view of green and green and green and blue skies.  We chatted about life and death and more about birds, insects and flowers.  She's quite a smart and deep little girl.  

The next day was a lot of the same during the day of paint by number and reading and then The Hubby showed up and we all went to friends for dinner.  The next morning her granddad and friend John went to get bait and planned on swinging back by to get her and take her fishing.  She was so excited and was up and ready early.  This girl stayed down at the dam and creek all day long with these two and caught some giant fish.  She had a smile from ear to ear all day long.  At one point The Hubby had stepped up the embankment to grab his phone/camera forgetting his line had bait and was in the water.  They tried to catch it but the thing had a huge catfish hooked and the whole rod and reel went under.  He thought oh well and just busied with helping Snicklefritz and John with bait when all of a sudden she was reeling in another fish but what she had was his line with the rod and reel AND a fish on his line.  She successfully found his rod and reel and they continued on fishing.  
When they were pretty exhausted they came in to clean their catch and she was right in the middle of it all, patting the fish and handing each one to them to clean.  At one point he told her if she kept patting them they would become a pet.  She did not have a problem with them cleaning them at all and watched it all.  

This girl had the absolute best time of her life this weekend and frankly we did too.  Love her to pieces.


Monday, July 05, 2021

Happy 4th of July

First of all HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

It was an absolute grand time at our cabin this past weekend with ALL of our family.  The girls, their girls and hubby's and puppies.  We had wonderful food, lots of laughs, hugs and of course fireworks (not my fav.)
I made this pasta salad and it was so very yummy.  It was so simple. Pasta cooked in salted water and then drop in broccoli to blanch pretty quick.  Frozen peas, chopped red onion, green onions and marinated artichoke hearts.  I love marinated artichoke hearts and since our group are vegan and vegetarian I had to do this without mayo or cheese.  So the dressing was the water/oil from the marinated artichoke arts and about 2 teaspoons of lemon olive oil.  That is it and it was fantastic, especially the longer it sat in the fridge.  

I also had another screened porch art show and sale since there would be so many more people in the camp.  Sadly the "regulars" didn't come which really disappointed me BUT there were so many of the new members that showed up and we got to meet.  That was pretty awesome and I DID sell a couple of small paintings!

Then there were these darling girls that made the whole weekend so much fun.  I cannot tell you how much I love these sweeties.

Plus we had some 4-legged company that I was stressed over but it turned out really wonderful.  They are going to be a great addition to the collective.
Granddog Vinny
New granddog Vance.  They think he has Great Dane in his lineage.  Wow!

We also got a bit of hair braiding done.
All in all it was one of the best 4th's we've ever had at the cabin.  I am truly blessed.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Go Ask Alice

Were you ever influenced by a book as a teenager?  The one book that had a huge impact on me was Go Ask Alice.  The author at that time was listed as anonymous but researching, it has now been attributed to Beatrice Sparks, a therapist of that time period.  The time period of the book is early 1970's, the era of my youth and angst as a teenager.  I still had my copy that was purchased through the Scholastic Book club paper you were given at school.  I saw my copy on the shelf and decided I wanted to revisit the book I felt affected me as a young teenage girl.  This morning I was awake at 3 am and started in on the read. (Yes could not sleep!)  I've read to about page 32 and it has brought back a lot of 14 year old feelings.  The book is written in diary entries and I believe influenced me to begin journaling.  Of course back then I wasn't as prolific as I am now but it definitely hit home.  The girl, Alice is filled with feelings of self doubt, insecurities, feeling alone, a square peg in a world of round holes.  Feelings I felt myself at that age.  She also had an injury in her 5th grade year, getting hit by a car and in a cast.  Wow, I could really identify with that with breaking my leg in the 6th grade and in a cast.  Lots of parallels in the book, EXCEPT I did not take the drug journey like she did.  The book terrified me against drugs and I was definitely in that era for the height of drug use. I stayed on the path of a goody-two-shoes (as my sister called me) of wanting to be a hippy but not engaging in the practices of being a hippy.  The character of Alice also is overly concerned with her weight and diets constantly or flat doesn't eat.  WOW, that was my youth too.  My cousin and I hung out a lot in that time period and she was an influence on me with the weight stuff.  She is two years older than me and we were of the same build and height.  She had a pool and I practically lived at her house in Tulsa.  We would diet together, trying to see who had the flattest stomach each morning and constantly weighing ourselves so we could fit into our bikini's and work on our tans.  Luckily I never got into the purge thing, but the not eating, yes that was me.  I'm looking forward to finishing the book to see how much more of me I can see, the young me, in the pages.

In the stack of the paperbacks on the shelf I also had Lord of the Flies, Johnny Got His Gun, and Of Mice and Men.  I plan on re-reading theses classics again.  May have to find a copy of The Outsiders again.  I had a copy I borrowed from a girl in high school and felt so guilty that I STILL had it that I mailed it back to her a few years ago.  I know, Goody-Two-Shoes, I come by that moniker quite naturally.  Can't help it.  

Were there books, poems or even sayings that influenced you as a child?