Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Art Haul

My Friday started off with a bang - literally. Toby was getting ready for work while I fixed his breakfast and lunch, when I heard a loud bang - like a gunshot. My first thought was, "What has Toby done now?" Not that Toby gets into lots of trouble, but I had instant memory of the time I heard a loud "ka-poof" that rattled the windows of the house. It was a sound similar to when Toby used his striker to light his welding torch only much louder and more powerful. That time, I ran outside to find Toby standing near the propane tank in the backyard. He had been filling his tractor with propane, and a spark ignited the propane, shooting out fire. It stunned Toby and singed the hair on his arm and face. We managed to shut off the gas and fire quickly.  Fortunately, it did not burn him seriously.

This time, it was a different sound, but definitely loud and scary. I jumped and ran into the old part of the house where Toby was getting out of the shower. He ran passed me - probably looking for the source of the bang. We have a tankless hot waterheater in my art closet. For some crazy reason one of the plastic pipes leading into the tank burst. Water went pouring into my art stuff. The good news is that Toby was near the shutoff valve. I hollered and Toby shut the water off very quickly so that very little got wet. I needed to go through and clean that closet anyway.

The burst pipe was reason for Toby to come home early from work to fix the pipe. It was a fairly easy fix. We went back to town later to pick up Jesse's car, which has not been starting like it should. It turned out that the key was dying. We ordered a new one. Another reason to dislike these new electronic devices in cars.

While in town, I went to an estate sale. Back when we  moved to Duncan and I first took watercolor classes, I painted with an older lady, Joyce.  She was a Duncan socialite. Very nice, very pretty, very rich. Apparently Joyce died last fall and her family had an estate sale at Joyce's beautiful plantation style home. I had to go. I wanted one of Joyce's paintings, and I wanted to see her home. Her home was beautiful, but it was the art that drew me. I went out to the pool house where Joyce had a little art studio. I went through piles of watercolors and picked out my favorite Joyce painting
While digging through the pile of watercolors, I found a watercolor by Larry Weston. Years ago I took a watercolor workshop with Weston, and here was one of his paintings - maybe the demo, if I remember correctly.
 Next I found a painting by Naomi Brotherton, who also did a watercolor workshop here in Duncan. I got all three paintings for 15$. I was thrilled.  Back in the house, there were several Hugh Walkinshaw paintings, another artist that had given a workshop here in Duncan. That last link takes you to an article where Hugh is mentioned as a nationally known artist. I bought two of his paintings - both framed - one for $55. and one for $65.  I was just giddy. I found another painting that i liked, but I could not read the signature very well since it was half below the frame. Because it was framed, it was $35, but I was not willing to pay that. So, I waited until Sunday afternoon when things were half off and went back and bought it - just because I liked it so well. The artist seems to be A. Huerto or something like that. I also bought a few good artist brushes for .50 cents each and some watercolor paper and a drawing board. I also bought a field easel on Sunday when things went for half price. I feel like a pirate who made the big haul.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Art

For Mother's Day I got to go to Lawton for the Arts for All Festival with Jesse and a friend of hers.  It is so great having raised kids who appreciate art - especially Jesse. Bo likes art, but he is much too busy to take time to go art gazing. Jesse and I go gazing as often as we can. The AFA in Lawton is usually a good art festival. They jury the art so they don't get a lot of craft crap. Don't get me wrong. I love a good craft show, but sometimes at craft shows, there is a lot of crap. I guess at an art show there can be lots of crap art, but for some reason, I don't always want to combine my arts with crafts:)  Although I don't like craft with my art, I judge both shows similarly: I can do better than that; I can do that; That is way better than me; and Oh my gosh that art is cool!  At these kinds of shows, you get a lot of similar art. So a new category, Uniqueness, could be added.

Although I have never bought paintings at one of these shows, I have found things that I would like to have. But buying art is such a personal, expensive, investment sort of thang. I do usually buy ceramics and jewelry, which is what I bought at the AFA. The ceramics was a mug from my old art teacher Mr. Kukendall (I knew he would be at the AFA). This is the man who brought me into his art class (I was in another class) and taught me to throw on a wheel. He also taught me to mat and frame my work. Both of which he said I would need to know in college. It was very helpful knowledge. I reminded him of what he had done for me.  Then I reminded him that about 13 years ago he invited me to his studio and sat me down at a wheel, dropped some clay on it, and said "Throw a pot." I did, and it was great! That is when Toby bought me a wheel. Then I taught Jesse to throw pottery on the wheel and hand build. I told him that Jesse was now an art teacher at Hirshi High. "See what you did for us all!" He grabbed me and hugged my neck. All teachers love to hear that they made a difference in their student's lives. He certainly was influential in mine.

The jewelry that I bought was for Jesse. We kept going back to the same metals booth, which was definitely high on the unique side of art. This guy was from some place up north - like Minnesota or one of those M states. He was a young guy and a talker. Of course when you take Jesse with you, guys will stop and talk. This guy found old metal pieces - such as antique oil lamps, plane parts, ship parts, and artillery shells. Then he made jewelry, money clips, and other little things. He stamped the dates of the old pieces on the new pieces. He had some great rings made from old silverware, too. Now that may not seem unusual, but his pieces were very unique.  Here are a couple of photos of some of his work.
The first photo is of his pieces made from shell casings from the Vietnam War. He also had stuff from WWI, WWII, the Philippine War, etc. Very Cool. Jesse got a ring from a casing stamped 1940.
The second photo was some of his art from airplane parts. What also made his art fun, was his knowledge of history and his stories about how he came by the old metal. It was a good time and a good Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Head Cold

It has been a slow week. I've really got nothing...except a bad head cold. It started on Tuesday with the feeling a worm went up my nose causing tingling and sneezing. Then buckets of snot. Then my head swelled up with pressure behind my eyes and teeth. I ran a low fever causing achy bones. Poor Toby! He would leave in the mornings with me sitting in my recliner in my comfy clothes (sweats), covered in a blanket, and a small pile of used Kleenex all around me. Then he would come home to the same scene. I did absolutely nothing the last couple of days, but sleep. I love my recliner when I have a cold. I build my little nest around me with computer, phone, Kindle, Kleenex, blanket, etc. Then when I get sleepy, I can just kick it back and rest. The slightly upright position is much better for me and my congestion/dripping.

I'm doing much better today, although, I woke up with a headache from sinus build up. But just a little time in the recliner sitting up and some massaging of my sinuses has worked wonders. Either my fever broke or I had a hot flash - it's hard to tell sometimes. Since I'm feeling better, I think it was the fever breaking that caused the sheen of perspiration.  Anyway, things are looking up. Still, I will stay home again today in hopes of being completely healed tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am supposed to go to WF to take Mom to get her nails done, maybe out to lunch, and whatever else she wants. My brother and I are also supposed to look at a place called House of Hope, which has a dementia unit. It is a very nice place. I don't know if Mom is ready for such a place or not. This is all new to me. But I want Mom to be engaged in day to day stuff - not just lying in her bed whining. On the other hand, maybe she is still too cognitive for a place where everyone has dementia. Is cognitive the right word? Anyway, we will just check our options.

Here is a little watercolor I did last summer from a friend's photo taken in Cuba. I love the colors of Cuba and would like to visit there.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Wild Life Refuge

This is my painting from this past week. I have worked it to death and it still needs some work. Sigh!  Sometimes you have this visual  - in your mind - of what you want the painting to look like, and it just does not happen. Maybe I like the photo/reference so well, that I thought I could make it a great painting. Maybe it will improve.

Here is my new fridge. :I think it looks so much better than the old one. Hopefully the double doors on top and the freezer on the bottom will be great. I need to put all my stuff in it and magnets on the door. I kind of hated to junk it up yet.

Mom's dog, Buddy, came to live with us on Saturday.  Last week when I was in WF, I should have taken him with me - when she would not get out of bed to take him outside. She has been pretty pitiful. I thought leaving him there would be okay - hoping she would have to get up and move around - take him for walks in the courtyard. Also, I was afraid she would have let me take him last week, and then change her mind and call me all week. Instead, she called me on Friday and said, "Come get him." Apparently he pooped in the apartment and she said she had to clean it up. Although, she did not clean it up. My brother did that. He is a good brother. Buddy has gotten very fat and was probably a bit sick from all the table food Mom feeds him. Anyway, he loves being here with the other dogs and having the run of the yard. He is already doing better.

It is beginning to be Lou's Home for Wayward Dogs. We also have a chicken that runs free in the yard and comes up to eat dog food (is that cannibalism?). We have two cats roaming and taking care of mice. Fortunately, we got rid of the pony and the horses have stayed penned up rather than free roaming. Maybe it is more like a wild life refuge.  I think I need an otter.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Joe Ely Date

It's hard to believe that today is April 30th and the month is gone. It is also hard to believe that the temp was about 45 degrees today and has only warmed up to about 55. What is easy to believe is that the wind is howling.  I mean blow you away howling, and I'm no light weight - so typical for springtime in OK. It is miserable out there. That is why I'm in side playing on the computer. And, well, doing laundry.

On Friday when Toby got off work, we drove to WF for a little date time. We went over to hear Joe Ely at the Forum, which was a great place.  The Forum is a wonderful old Spanish style building in WF where events are held. When I was in high school, lots of dances were held there. Now it is more of a music and arts place. Joe Ely set up on stage with his guitar and sang and picked for a couple of hours - very nice.

Back when Toby and I were going to Texas Tech, the gang we ran with used to go out to the Cotton Club to hear Joe Ely. Our first date was in December 1976 to hear Joe Ely. That was 40 years ago!  Those were some wild times.

I say "go out" because the Cotton Club was outside the city limits of Lubbock. It was a big metal building with a stage, dance floor and lots of tables - not very nice. It was BYOB and it was a rowdy place. A bunch of us crazy kids would head that way on a Saturday night. We usually got our friend Bear (a big guy) to get there first and help hold the table. Yep, sometimes that was a problem. I do remember one night when we were all there sitting at the same table with some older guy and his date. The guy handed out his card and said we would probably need it. He was a bail bondsman. I'm glad to say, we did not ever need his card.

And so back in 1976, Toby picked me up in his Daddy's Lincoln (rather than his Camero) since we were double dating with one of my dorm buddies, Denise, and Toby's friend, Brad, who was also a jeep driver in RR that summer. It was through Brad that I met Toby. Brad and Denise did not hit it off, but Toby and I did. And the rest is history.

Now we are older and wiser. Joe Ely is still a good time. If I had closed my eyes listening to his voice, it would have been just like the Cotton Club. This time, we sat at a table with another couple. When we sat down and introduced ourselves, the lady said her name was Donna. Then we discovered they were from St. Jo. Then I said, "Donna Howell-Sickles has a studio there." The lady said, "That would be me." Then I just got stupid and flustered. Donna Howell-Sickles is my favorite contemporary artist. I first saw her work in the back part of the Morgan Gallery in Taos, NM, 25 years ago. I was in awe then and still am today of her work. To be sitting and talking to her was amazing. I was just a goof.
Later when I talked to Joe Ely, I was normal. Maybe I'm not as impressed with musicians as I am artists. 

Later we went to Jesse's house to spend the night. Jesse was off in San Antonio at the state high school art competition VASE. So we used her house. Although it was not a late night and could have driven home, we planned on doing the Mom thang the next day. It was nice to just already be in WF.  
Saturday we kicked around WF doing the usual. We had hoped to get home earlier since we were in WF earlier. But it was not to be. We saw both moms, worked on Jesse's car, did some shopping, etc. Then we decided to try a new place to eat before we came home. We ate at Bricktown. It was not good. How can somebody mess up a greenchili cheese burger and nachos. Oh well, it was still a very nice weekend - even with the wind howling.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rough Days, But Always Hopeful

It was kind of a rough week here at the Lazy B. My DIL's dad had brain surgery a few weeks back to remove a tumor that may have been there for years, but was now causing major problemas. He did great with the surgery and was doing his rehab, when something went wrong with his heart-rate. It turns out he had some blood clots and one major blood clot that had to be removed with open heart surgery.  He came through that surgery with flying colors, but now has more recovery and rehab to do. While all of this was going on, I babysat the grandbabies over night and through the day. The kids and I had a great time, but I needed recovery time too.

After my trip to WF on Monday to meet with the assessing nurse for insurance purposes, Mom seemed have a rough week. She called several times a day - usually wanting her dishes and China cabinet or wanting her money back or asking if I had her wallet. I always answer the phone when Mom calls - maybe because I am hopeful that she will be my mom again. But the calls usually go south fast. No matter what I say, she gets angry and usually hangs up on me.

It turns out that Mom broke up with her boyfriend (again). He has not been able to take her dancing or shopping for the past several weeks due to health issues of his own (he is 88). But now he is better and had gone by to check on her. Unfortunately, she can't remember or understand why he has not been around, and she was ugly to him. He called me and told me he was done with her this time. I told him that I understood (and was a little jealous of him). He told me that he thought she had another boyfriend - someone named Tom. Good grief!

My big brother showed up on Saturday to see Mom. It is fun to have him come. Mom loves his visits.  I met him at her apartment and we all had a nice chat. Then Mom remembered that I had her China and cabinet and money, etc.  No amount of smooth-talking would help and she threw us out. I'm fairly used to this sort of thing, but it was harder on my brother. An hour or so later, Mom called me and wanted something, so we went back by her apartment. She was pretty pitiful, but I made arrangements for my brother to pick her up for supper. Then Toby and I high-tailed it out of town.  I think the really hard part is wondering if we are doing what is best for Mom or does she need more care, different care, drugs, etc.

Yesterday, Sunday, was just a beautiful day. After church we worked in the garden - Toby's thang, and then in the flowerbed - my thang. We got lots done. Tomatoes planted with a little hoop house over them, dirt moved to the flowerbed, flowers planted, and mulch put down - Yeha! It was very satisfying, but now I am sore in places that I forgot I had.

I am hopeful for a quiet week with some art and crafts and maybe a massage.