Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Shut up, I'm busy."

I learned something interesting this morning.  I was listening to the radio in the car on my way to work and on Writer's Almanac Garrison Keillor was talking about how April 14th was the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated (150 years ago) and also the day the Titanic hit that big old iceberg (103 years ago).  Mr. Keillor said that another ship tried to warn them about the ice but the radio operator on the Titanic was so busy trying to get personal messages to the passengers his response was, "Shut up, I'm busy."  Hmmmm.  Bummer to be that guy.

In other news, it was 73 degrees yesterday afternoon.  My yard is still half buried in snow but I got out the rake anyway.  I am wishing I had been a bit more diligent in my efforts last fall.


I brushed her all off and she immediately dropped to the ground and rolled around again.  Then didn't want to move out of the way.

You can't tell from these pictures but there is still a giant snowbank in my front yard.  A bunch more melted today, and I even had a sudden emergence of crocus, but there is still plenty of snow.  At the end of the day I hauled Roxie into the bathtub because she was a dirty brown dog.  Man, she wanted NOTHING to do with it.  The dog who will spend an entire day trying to eat the water out of a garden hose and getting soaked in the process was shaking like a leaf in the empty bathtub.  I tried to get a picture but I didn't have enough hands.  I didn't even have enough hands to use the soap.  I guess someone will be getting her baths out in the driveway from now on.

Kathy, Evan and mom were here over the weekend.  And Ruby.  We took a lovely walk on Sunday and I only have two photos to document the event.

Evan found a spoon in a field.

"I can smell the barn from here."  I always say that to myself when I'm getting to the end of a run.  Unfortunately, at this time of year, we can smell THAT barn from a looooooooong way away.  Kathy was gagging but I thought it was a pretty mild day stench-wise.  Those cows have the best view.

I finally finished the St. Patrick's Day-colored wreath.  Two months later.  Kathy and Evan made a very clever centerpiece, so I had no excuse since the glue gun was already warmed up.

Using my purple wall as a backdrop was a bit of a mistake but the white wall I used to photograph all the other wreaths is now a bright apple green.  My paintings look cool on the purple in real life, but in photos ... not so much.

That's a little 5" x 7" cradled panel.  It's a hot mess, but there's nothing I like better than a good hot mess.

I was also working on a word piece but my spell checker fell down on the job and I didn't quite catch it in time.  I had to do some strategic removal and repair work.  I will finish it tomorrow.  I have a few more pieces in progress that I want to finish this week so the varnish has a good long time to cure before the craft fair on May 2nd.  I'm hoping to build my walls this weekend, then spend the next couple of weeks busting out a few more wreaths and generally getting my shit together.  Deep down inside I'm not the least bit looking forward to the craft fair so there will be a lot of positive self-talk happening around here.  "It will be fun!"  (Ha.  Right.)  "You will get to talk to a lot of people!"  (My fave.)  "The booth will look AWESOME!"  (I can only hope.)  "Your artwork will sell like hotcakes!" (Did someone say cake?)  "GET A GRIP!"  (Okay, okay, take a deep breath....)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sugar Coma

First, let me get the bad news out of the way.  We were at Ann's house today and Hoagie was outside rolling around in something suspicious so Ann went out to check and ... yep, you guessed it.  "BRING ME THE HEAD OF THE EASTER BUNNY!"  (If anyone can guess what that is riffing on, you get extra points.)  There was some shrieking and wailing and all around chaos as it was determined that the body-less bunny outside was probably Humphrey.  The kids took on the task of performing a burial ceremony and planted him out back.  Poor little dude.  On Easter, too.

But then there was shaving cream and there was rice and it was a mess and the Swede looked at us like we were smoking crack.  We had hard boiled eggs coming out of our ... refrigerator.

There will be some egg salad this week....

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring? Bring It.

Poodle and I were rock stars this week.  Sort of.  We had our three mile "run" on Tuesday and we felt pretty good about it.  Then on Thursday we threw caution to the wind and went about 4.5 miles.  It was a lovely, lovely day -- the sun was shining and it was pretty warm outside.  Felt like spring.

Then it was Friday.  Whoa.  How's this for spring?

HAHAHAHAHAHA!  A bit misleading, but it DID get up to about 60.  We cranked out another 4.5 miles, and we were about two miles in when I realized my shirt was on inside out.  Doh. I knew I was a fashion accident, but didn't realize the exact extent.  It was a bright purple long-sleeved shirt, underneath a dark grey t-shirt.  With this:

I think my shoes glow in the dark.

Anywho, we got home and I found a guaranteed sign of spring:

Yippee!  One of the bulbs I planted last fall!  Spring has sprung!  (I'm not going to mention that the temperature is 25 degrees colder today and it is snowing right now....)  Roxie celebrated our long run by bathing in the snowbank:

She was soaked.  I think someone is going to get a REAL bath tomorrow night.

Back inside, we've got something that turned out more curious than I was expecting - but it's interesting anyway - and something that turned out more awesome than I was expecting.  You decide which is which:

Yessirree.  But now we are packing for an overnight trip to Hinesburg and time's a-wastin', so in conclusion, here's a joke in honor of Abby who is playing in a tournament today:

Q:  What do Easter Bunny helpers get for making a basket?
A:  Two points, just like anyone else on the team.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Greens

This is my favorite template tree painting so far:

I got a new tube of paint - green light permanent - and I'm making good use of it.

That flower looks a bit upside down.  Thank goodness there's no hardware on the back yet.  The tree piece is called "Spring Greens."  There's another one wet on the table that, if it works out, will be called "Autumn Tapestry."  Right now it's a little freaky but you can probably figure out what color(s) it is without even seeing it.

I hadn't painted any new words in an age, so there's this:

Just putting more positive vibes out in the world.  I've got a big word painting I want to do but it will require an 8" x 24" canvas (which I've got) and some concentration (which I haven't got).  I hope to start that one this week.  It may end up being a disaster, but there's only one way to find out.

Roxie and I went for our first official training run today for the Mad River Half Marathon on July 12th that I still haven't registered for yet.  We encountered a bit of traffic and we had many snowbanks to water, so there was a lot of walking.  We covered three miles of road.  If I can work up to a six mile long run by the end of April I will feel mostly like I'm on track.  Plus I need to register for the race; I've been procrastinating since mid-January.  Crap, I'm going to do it right now.


Okay, that's done.  In like Flynn.  Committed.  No backing out now.  Too bad Roxie is in better shape than I am.

My last painting for the last post of the month is a bit of a repeat, but I really like it so I don't care. It's "Hearts and Flowers 2.0" and although I had to work harder for this one than I did version 1.0, it still makes me happy.

That's some wabi sabi love right there.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Heavy Heart

I used to think suicide was incredibly selfish.  Friends and family are left with questions they have no hope of ever answering, and most of them start with, "Why?"  Then one of the world's most beloved entertainers takes his own life, someone who outwardly appears to have everything - fame, fortune, family, the adoration of (literally) millions of people - and it opens the door for a lot of conversations. Real conversations, not just lip service.  And then when it hits closer to home, .... I've been thinking about this a lot over the last week and I can't get my thoughts to form a coherent statement.  I'm trying to ditch all the platitudes and find a pattern in the jumble of fragments left behind in my head, but it's a mess in there.

All I have is this:

There's no easy answer.  There is never going to be an easy answer.  There's just a painful story behind every suicide and every single one of them calls for less judgment and more compassion.  I cannot imagine what it would feel like to be chased by such big demons, I just know it must be incredibly exhausting.  It doesn't matter how many drugs you take or how many shrinks you see, because at the end of the day - at the end of every day - there is only one person out on the front lines fighting that battle.  And my heart hurts for the people who feel they need to lose in order to win.

RIP, Howie.  Rest easy.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Second Sight

Things have come to a screeching halt around here while I suffer through a wickedly uncomfortable toothache.  I have no tolerance for pain so maybe out in the real world this isn't so bad, but I've been eating Ibuprofen like candy and mainlining Orajel.  I tried gargling with salt water, sipping apple cider vinegar, putting a paste of ground cloves on my gums (Marsha - that one HURT!) and just plain putting my head on my desk and crying.  Wednesday was the worst day, then Thursday wasn't very bad at all.  Today has been mostly okay until about an hour ago.  My dentist appointment is on Monday and at this point I will be happy if they yank out all my teeth and give me George Washington dentures.  Okay, not really.  Pain may be making me delirious.

I DO have this to share.  I tried to recreate the moose in my big sketchbook and although he came out halfway decent, he's not as good as the first one.  One big difference:  he has an eye full of Christopher Columbus.

Heh heh.  I should name the drawing The Santa Maria, except it's a bull moose.  What a conundrum.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

We Know That It's Probably Magic

Surprise!  More flowers.

The colors are out of order, but it's a rainbow nonetheless:

I tried to find a good quote to put in here about rainbows and flowers or gardens, and the best thing I could find is this:

Good enough for me.

If I count the paper moose, which I will because it has become one of my favorite happy accidents in the history of all time, I have exceeded my goal of ten art pieces this month.  Plus I've got a new one half done and I think I dreamed a way out of my wreather's block on the St. Patrick's Day wreath. This painting would have been the second for the month if I had finished it back when I started it:

Some things have to percolate longer than others.  I keep thinking I will call this one "Lost in the Woods" but that sounds too sad.  The trees are very subtle.  (Remember, that rhymes with Frito-Lay.)

Old Man Winter came back and left a few inches of snow in my driveway, but I'm determined to stay positive and optimistic about the impending arrival of Spring.  How can you not be optimistic when there is a rainbow on the back of your couch?