Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Change occurs when you're not looking

A lot has gone on since I sat here last typing out my thoughts.  And these are for a friend.

It is seldom that we are loved unconditionally - hardly ever by those who walk upright on two legs.  We are, however,  loved unconditionally by our four legged friends and it is heartbreaking to lose one to illness or old age when we have loved them so long.  There is something about the companionship of a cat, in particular, that is incomparable.  Kiki was  special!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Strange but true, in a couple of hours I shall be going to the dentist on a day that has my head in a turmoil. I realized on leaving the dentist's office a couple of weeks ago what this day meant to me but figured, what the hell,  just another day.

 Dates, April 18th to be specific, seems to be the reason the last few days have had me in a funk.  A few years ago I spent this day with my husband, who was in ICU after major emergency surgery the night before, celebrating our 60th anniversary.  Perhaps, acknowledging it would have been a more appropriate phrase.   All he wanted to do was climb out of that hospital bed and go home.  In fact, for the next two wild and wooly weeks he spent all his waking moments trying to do that very thing.

This year he is gone and it would have been our 65th.  The last one we celebrated together was our 63rd.  He has been gone one year and six months as of yesterday, which had been my sister Betty's birthday.

In thinking back, it was not very thoughtful of me to pick the day after her birthday to get married, particularly since she was doing all the planning for it!  Dates are innocuous things in themselves but the memories they invoke can be either glorious or devastating.  Tomorrow will be better!

I peeked in the grill yesterday figuring the wren's eggs would have been cooked by the early heat wave or chilled by last week's cold spell.  I was totally surprised to see a couple of baby birds!!  The best I could tell there were only two, because the nest was built rather tunnel like so I quickly closed the lid.  I have yet to see any mama or papa birds going to or from the grill!!  Tis amazing, the whole set up!!

Friday, March 30, 2012


While attempting a watercolor rendering of tiny bird's eggs nestled in their cosy little nest, and listening to a CD of classical guitar music I got to thinking about friends, the gifts I am surrounded by daily that have been given to me over the years.  Since I was unable to attend the night of the musicale, Paul thoughtfully presented me with a recording for me to enjoy anytime, anywhere.  On my table was a small black paintbrush rest I was using that Juanita had given me years ago.  There are paintings by friends surrounding me in my studio & books  I treasure.  The last time we worked together at the gallery, Helen gave me a St. Patricks day card and a Pot O' Gold to go with it!  Coins she had from a trip to Ireland.

I thought about the wonderful evening I had with two friends just last night - going to an art opening and topping it off with a delightful dinner at the  Sweet Basil restaurant.  A new world of authors that Bonnie has introduced me to, gently pushing me to use my brain more, mentoring me in so many ways, guiding me thru new uses on my computer.  Tillie and the special cards she sends - one in the mail today!

I thought about what a friend my daughter in law, Shula, is.  We enjoy the symphony together, lunches, whatever.  She gave me two travel books about Ireland and a journal to record the journey!  She's my #2 daughter.  Number 1 daughter is  an exceptional daughter, as  well as a very special friend.  She is supportive in so many ways, always helping me out with computer problems over the phone and when we're together - shopping excursions are a blast!  A closeness that is not always shared by mothers and daughters.   I treasure both daughters more than I can ever convey to them.  I have also discovered a closer friendship with my two remaining sisters.

My friend who is undergoing more cancer treatment - back in the hospital for stem cell transplants. My neighbor who has had a terrible year with multiple surgeries.  She enjoys my visits and hates it when I can't stay for a long time.  She is a talker so she's in need of an occasional ear.    I feel blessed to have so many friends, some dearer and closer than others, and to be in such good health these days.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Portraits and Tiles

These are my latest tiles of Koi and Waterlilies mounted into basswood.
This is a watercolor of Addy and her mother Tara.   The oil is of Addy peeking
out of a hammock.

Here are four photos of something I have never experienced before.

Yesterday I saw pine straw thru the glass in the gas grill.  I was totally amazed on opening the lid, to see that a bird had built a nest inside.  There are five speckled eggs in the nest but  I have yet to see a bird flying anywhere near the grill.  I have a feeling it is a wren's nest and wonder if it didn't get too hot inside when temperatures got into the 80's.  Wrens can build in some strange places.  One year a duck decoy hanging in the garage tempted a wren to set up housekeeping inside even though we had cats who would have loved to dine on her.

I have just taken a couple of close ups of the eggs to add to the previous ones.

This is a watercolor rendition I did of the eggs. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tune up for the old body

This week has been devoted - finally - to seeing doctors and dentists to get rid of annoying things like popping in my ear, frequent nose bleeds, etc.  You can only live with things like that for so long before you succumb to making appointments.  I'd say a year is about it.

The ear is fixed - it still has ringing and cricket sounds - as does the other one but after 20 years of that you're resigned to it.  Putting your ears thru the "car" wash is not at all pleasant!  But I can hear better.

I knew going in for a tooth cleaning I had trouble with a new bridge  - one that was built last year, the cost of which rivaled the national debt.  It was loose - came right  off in my dentist's fingers.  It is glued back in place, for now, while he figures out how to anchor it better to what's left of  one tooth.

Had a long session with, Tim,  the cranio-sacral massage therapist who works on my back and neck.  He indicated I could do some things to help myself instead of depending on him to always be getting the kinks out,  so I followed thru with his suggestion to go to a yoga instructor.  That's where the tune up comes in.

I used to treat my body to Tai Chi exercises regularly 10 to 12 years ago but when the instructor moved to California I gradually got out of the habit.  Amazing how out of tune your body gets in just that short a time!!  I haven't been doing that much walking lately either.  My tune up is getting off to a fairly gentle start due to my procrastinating mental termites.  She didn't want to undo what Tim had just done!  I think I like Qi Gung exercises better.  Those are the stretching exercises that lead up to Tai Chi.

I want to out do, out walk my athletic niece and nephew when we go traipsing thru Ireland. That may be hard to do since they are 20 years younger and tremendous bike riders but I shall try.  They rode all over Chattanooga when they were here and haven't stopped raving about our wonderful bike trails since.  I think our town is a wonderful place to live.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I know why I am back at the computer!  I'm avoiding getting back to painting.  I don't know what I want to paint and my brain won't shut down long enuf to get into a painting mode.

I got to thinking about memory.  What would it be like to have a photographic memory?  Some people do!!  What would it be like to start telling someone about the wonderful thing you just read - yesterday or even this morning?  Possibly an hour ago?  I have friends who can do that with no energy expended at all!  No sweat!  click, click,click they spout it out!

I knock on my memory's door,  knowing full well that something I saw, read or heard, is there behind that door, maybe in the corner in the dark, but it is there.  If I could see the door, I am sure there is an "OUT TO LUNCH" sign on it!!   Frustration personified.  When I was conceived, was there a dearth of genes marked memory?  Tis not totally a thing of age because I have always been deficient to some degree in that department.

I recall parties - middle school age, probably- where a tray loaded with twenty or thirty small things were passed before your eyes for 30 seconds of perusal and you were supposed to write down everything you could remember.  I flunked big time.  I happened to have been an A student, not my memory though.  It got a D- !  Remember Ancient History class and all those dates to remember?  Pure Torture.

OK, I have vented.  Back to painting.

annotation: March 24, 2012
I just discovered what my problem is.   I have  a mental termite.!!!
Nell Mohney proclaimed in her column today that procrastination is a mental termite!  If I had bats in my belfry would they take care of that?


Sunday morning the cat was acting as though something was in the garage.  There was, but it wasn't 4 legged and it wasn't on the floor.  Evidently a mocking bird had flown in and couldn't find its way out!  Since I am seldom on time,  and having gotten up earlier than usual, I was trying my darndest to do better.   I was downright irritated when the silly bird continued to fly back and forth, back and forth.   The cat, frightening the poor thing even more by reaching its level, was very intent on showing the bird how to get down.

Even after opening the side door and turning on the outside lights - all this had started before the new daylight savings time sun had risen -- the stupid bird wouldn't co operate!  In fact, it got up in the roof vent and now it was flopping around above the fan blades.  I thought,  I can't go to church and leave the poor thing to starve to death up there!  Had no idea how to rescue it!

 All this time I was back and forth from trying to get dressed, etc.,  getting the cat in, checking the time,  to coaxing the bird out, all to no avail.  It finally came to me that if I moved the car out of the garage, surely the bird would see freedom below the garage door instead of above.  It did and he did!  Leave, that is.