Thursday, July 31, 2008

Running in Place

It seems that I have been very busy lately, but when I look back at what I have accomplished, it seems to be very little. Our days have been spent going, but mainly to the mundane places like Curves, the grocery store,the farm, and Lowe's (Terry's favorite place to shop.) I did manage to get to Michael's to pick up some more canvases, since I am down to small sizes, and frames for my pictures that are going to the state fair. I did get to paint these two pictures. The first is a small acrylic of Lake Cumberland and the newspaper photo that inspired it. Of course my colors seem brighter than the real thing. The second is a watercolor of a mesa in Arizona. The colors in the photo were this vivid.

We also did some more birthday shopping, as we are deep into birthday season here. Between my sister's family and mine, including Dad, we have 15 birthdays between June 4 and August 15. We hosted a party for Kellie, our daughter-in-law, on Tuesday, the day after her birthday. Our nephew Matt has a birthday on Sunday, my dad will be 85 next Wednesday, Chip and baby Grant share August 9 as their day, and Alissa has hers on Aug. 15. We have already had 10 family birthdays this summer, and each was the occasion for a party. We are people who love to eat and celebrate! I hardly make a cake all the rest of the year because we have it so often in the summer. We do have 4 renegade family members who dare to have birthdays in October, January, February, and May. I don't know how this happened! Actually, they joined the family through marriage. :) Our family will probably continue to grow. I wonder if we'll spread out the birthday season then..

Meanwhile, life here goes on, and of course, it's good!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Muse-ings

I have been fortunate enough to be able to go and paint at the library for the last several weeks. This watercolor is last week's effort, and the first watercolor I have done in some time. I tried very hard to make my watercolor look like one instead of having it look as if it were painted with acrylics as my watercolors are wont to do. I do like the way this one turned out. Unlike most of my acrylics, this painting actually looks better in real life than it comes across on the computer. At any rate, I am pleased with it. I do get pleasure from painting. It's very relaxing. Of course, I am amassing a large collection of paintings that are unframed and that I have nothing to do with. However, there is a meeting of the local arts council this week, and they are going to discuss ways to get the work of local artists on display. There is a gallery in our small convention center, but it is rarely open, and works are not rotated in and out much. They have promised to find a way to keep it open more often. I suspect that it will be a co-op effort with the artists that display taking turns manning the gallery. I wouldn't mind taking a day every few weeks and doing that, at least until I see if people actually will buy the art. I guess it will depend on how many people are willing to participate. I think one day every two weeks is often enough to work, and once a month is even better, but we'll see. They may just keep the gallery open on the days that people are willing to work. Of course, I imagine my better half won't be too happy to see me go off and do this, as he seems to like having me around ALL the time. You'd think he'd want to get rid of me once in a while, but this is not the case. It's nice to be loved, isn't it? Life is good..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our Newest Addition

In our last house, we had no less than three flagpoles with American and/or Marine Corps flags on them. You can tell it is very important for Terry to display his colors. However, we lived here a whole month before we had a flag, and it was attached to the house on one of those poles you often see decorative flags attached to. We had that up in time for Independence Day, but Terry had been mulling for months on how to put up a flag pole that would be sturdy and clear the house and be in a spot that was unobtrusive, yet noticeable. We bought PVC pipe so that he could construct his own pole as he had done in LJ, but after much consideration, he decided that would not work out well. We rode around to several neighborhoods to see how others displayed their flags. Finally, after several weeks, we found a flagpole kit at Lowe's that he thought would work. (I had pointed that same kit out a few weeks before, but he didn't remember it.) It was costly, but something that seemed doable. Then we waited for the boys to be available to help, but they are very busy. At last, Terry took the bull by the horns and dug the hole all by himself. Together, he and I mixed concrete and he put it in the hole and set the bottom section of the post. He was very careful to make sure it was level because, after all, he is a perfectionist and getting to be more so all the time. A day later we assembled the pole and erected it. Then the flag went up. It was a very long and laborious project, but it is finished and looks very good. However, it sways a little bit in the strong breezes we get around here. I contend that it is designed to do that, but my perfectionist worries about it, so he has designed in his head a bracket to hold it to the house and stabilize it. I hope he gets the materials and gets it done soon so that he can quit fretting about it. Meanwhile, here it is with its proud owner. Doesn't it look nice? Life is good...

Friday, July 11, 2008

This and That

Isn't this a lovely plant? It is a night-blooming jasmine, aka stephanotis, that Kellie and Doug gave me for Mother's Day. It is a prolific grower and bloomer. It had grown to the ceiling on our sunporch and was taking off across the ceiling when Terry decided it was ungainly and gave it a haircut. I would have liked to let it grow and see how tall it would get, but he likes everything tidy, so the scissors came out when I wasn't looking. I was afraid it would hurt the plant, but it has not. It is just loaded with these waxy, fragrant blooms. I love to sit out on the porch in the morning and just admire it and smell the sweet smell.
When Kellie brought the plant to me, I told her this was the flower that was in my mother's wedding bouquet, but after further thought, I remembered that they were the kind of flowers in MY wedding bouquet. Mom's were mock orange. I guess that shows I'm getting old when I don't even remember what kind of flowers were in my own wedding bouquet 38 years ago.. It was made mostly of these stephanotis flowers in a cross shape with detachable orchid corsage in the middle. That was the style then. I detached the corsage and wore it on my "going-away" outfit, which was a beige linen dress with a matching coat. I haven't come across it in the move, but I did save the bouquet in a box somewhere. It is probably lost. I do still have my wedding dress and the cake topper, though. I don't know why I saved the dress. I certainly can't fit in it anymore, and Alissa wasn't able to wear it in her wedding, either, even if she had wanted to. I don't have any other daughters to save it for, and it has stains that didn't come out when I had it cleaned several years ago. But I won't get rid of it, or the cake topper, which is taking up valuable storage space in a box in the garage. Some things you just keep, whether you use them or not, especially if you are sentimental, as I am wont to be sometimes.
Well, this rambled all over place, didn't it? Oh, well, life is good...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Welcome to My Dreams

Doesn't this look like a lovely spot for a picnic? There's a picnic table right under one of the palm trees there on that little spot of beach. This is a scene from Oahu, a place that I'm highly unlikely to ever see in person. Doug swears he and Kellie will take me one day, but since Terry has no desire to go, and I don't see me leaving him home, I will just have to keep dreaming. It's hard enough to get away to the library to paint or out to lunch with a friend without him, let alone go all the way to Hawaii! Not that I don't love spending time with him or anything, but once in a while, it's nice to have a few hours on my own.
It took me two sessions at the library to complete this painting because it's bigger and more detailed than most of my pictures. However, I really like the way it turned out, and so does Terry. This looks like my Kentucky State Fair entry. My Dad's painting can remain on his wall, after all. He had said I could enter it if I didn't finish another one that I liked as well as his, but now I have. So along with this one, I will enter a miniature of palm trees at sunset and a watercolor of a flamingo and its reflection, which I have posted before, I believe. That's my three categories. I have no expectation of winning anything because there are many professional artists who enter, but that's okay. I will enjoy having my work on display in a large setting like the fair. And, who's to say? Alissa won a blue ribbon with her very first entry.
I guess this means I could take a few weeks off from painting, but after almost 2 months without going, I am really enjoying my sessions, even though today I was the only one there for most of the session, and lately usually only one other lady comes. I guess everyone else has a busier and more interesting summer going on. I hope they are off traveling somewhere and not having problems. Meanwhile, I am happy to hold down the fort...Life is good!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Here I am again with nothing much to talk about. In spite of the fact that I seem to be busy much of the time, it seems to be with all mundane activities. Right now that's a good thing. Sooner or later I will get bored with it, but for the time being I am enjoying the slow pace of life. I manage to get in some form of exercise every day, three times a week at Curves and the rest of the time at home riding stationary bike pedals or walking in my neighborhood when the weather is nice. I am finally having time to read and paint. Of course, there is a large table in the garage full of things I have brought home from the farm that I could and should be sorting through and labeling to store, but I figure it's not going anywhere. I'll get it done this week or next, but there is no rush to do so. Once I have accomplished this, I will be the most organized I have ever been in my life. :) We have lived in this house a little over a month, and so far I have managed to put everything away that I get out. The house has stayed neat, and either Terry or I sweep the floor and dust the furniture frequently. Despite the dust from a new house, this place is amazingly easy to maintain and keep looking nice. Hooray! Maybe now we can find time to travel ( I wish!) Life is indeed good...