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.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some things are amazing

I was cleaning up in the kitchen after doing something rather strange - cooking!  Out of nowhere I remembered an impromptu performance of Irish dances last Saturday at Margaret Dyers reception at River Gallery.  A couple from Atlanta with their daughter, here for the day, were drawn into a conversation with several of us.  Don't really recall how Ireland crept in to the conversation but when she said her daughter did Irish dances, and I am planning a trip to Ireland, I asked permission to see if she would dance for us. Although quite young, she dances with a group in competitions so she was very poised.  Even with no  music- she delighted us all with an Irish jig and another clog dance.  I don't have pictures of her dancing but I do have a couple of photos of Margaret's pastels that I want to post.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


IIt occurred to me upon reading the last posting that I never did find out what brought three fire engines to our hill!!

Tis difficult to understand how time can fly so fast some times.  Seems as though it is afternoon one minute and the stars are twinkling before I've had a chance to turn around twice.  I am sure that has to do with the fact that I stay busy for the most part.  Could it be the dawdling in between that tends to eat up so much time?

I have managed to finish an oil painting of Addy, do a watercolor of Paul's grandson, back into my neighbor's car on my way to church last sunday,  read a couple more books by Robyn Carr - like the way she writes - buy a weeping red bud, take a friend to lunch who was heading back today for the hospital in Tampa for stem cell treatment to put her cancer at bay. What else?.  Rake leaves, or was that last week, scrub the deck with a broom loaded with clorox.  The overhanging trees, birds and squirrels really make a mess.

An artist I admire tremendously and from whom I have taken four workshops in pastels was doing a demo at River Gallery yesterday prior to a reception of her show.  I went early so I would have no trouble finding a spot to park and it gave me a chance to scrutinize her work before people got there.  Margaret Dyer does magical things with pastels!  I hung around and as luck would have it we had time to catch up on the changes going on in her life..  She and a friend and I had dinner at Tony's and a quick trip to show her In-Town Gallery - at her request.  She was really quite complimentary of our co-op.ll

I do not know if I could go thru the gruesome cancer treatment Billie has gone thru these past 6 months.  I have a feeling I would say no, I have lived long enough.  Billie is quite a bit younger than I and she has a good chance to get control of it - not a cure - but keep it in remission and go on with her life.

About brain dead - nite.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Flunked journaling 101

Tis nearly two months since i last wrote in my blog so it looks as though journaling is not the sort of thing I can do with any great regularity .  Suddenly I have become rather like a gad fly.  After saying I would never fly again after the disastrous trip home from Coos Bay, Oregon last Fall, I found myself going on a short trip to Florida and most recently a trip to see my daughter.  Both of those trips were short and without incidents.  A slight glitch in communications did have me waiting for someone to pick me up at the airport,  When I said into my cell phone that I was on the ground the recipient of my call thought I had fallen!  When she didn't hear any moans and groans she asked for clarification.  Confirmation of flight schedules to the person meeting you at the airport  is as important as with the airlines!

All of this is to say that I will be sure to confirm  more than once  my arrival time on the return trip from Ireland.  Yes the person who said "never more" after spending a harrowing 4 hour drive in a small, cold bus at 75 miles an hour on a twisty costal road to get to the Portland airport at 2 AM is crazy enough to contemplate a 10 hour flight to Ireland.  Portland has a beautiful airport but at 2 AM the only thing open besides security was a souvenir shop.  The lady manning the shop was tickled to death to have someone to talk with.  Eventually a snack shop opened up and we were able to get something to stave off starvation till we could board a plane for home at 6:30.  That was originally the time we were due to arrive in Atlanta and would have if the commuter plane had ever taken off from Coos Bay!

I have been reading a wonderful book by Robyn Carr, The House on Olive Street.  I had t stop for awhile because I have a tendency to devour a good book.  I hate reading a book piecemeal and when I get hold of a really good book I don't want to do anything else but submerge myself in it.  I did vacuum this morning before  delving into it.  And yesterday I raked leaves till I had a mountain of leaves.  I'm not totally undisciplined. Not totally.

It doesn't pay to name a neighborhood similar names like, so and so drive, loop and circle because the fire engines never know where they need to be if there isn't a large plume of smoke to guide them.  Just now three fire engines went flying up the circle then behind us on the loop then up another street before they evidently wound up at the right place at the top of the hill.  Don't know what the problem is or was but two of the fire engines and another vehicle left.  Guess I'll find out in the morning.  I had planned to start reading another book I found by Robyn Carr tonight but guess I'm too tired so will say good night and head for bed instead.  Sweet dreams, y'all.