Friday, December 04, 2020

Positive People

 Thanksgiving was a bit of a bust for us. I started feeling bad on Wed. We called the kids and canceled our day with them on Thursday. I was pretty sick with a low grade fever and achy. Toby cooked and we ate, but I spent most of the day in bed or in the recliner. Friday I was a bit better, but still worn out and achy. My Uncle Bob was in Wichita Falls and I was hoping to go see him on Saturday night along with his daughter from Hawaii. Instead, I called and said I was sick and didn't want to share whatever I had. My uncle didn't seem to worried about Covid. His daughter was flying in from Hawaii to spend time with them. It was their choice. My choice was not to be the one who made them sick - even though I had not been tested. We made the right choice. Saturday night, Toby started not feeling well. He was sick with the same symptoms that I had had. By Tuesday, he was feeling better. I was much better. So, I took him to town to be tested for Covid. He tested positive. The medical place gave him a list of vitamins to take - yeehaw. 

Now we both get to quarantine for ten days from the day we started being sick. I am a bit ahead of him. Some lady from the health department called to ask him all sorts of questions. She asked him if he had certain symptoms and then listed them off. One of them was dry, red eyes. He said, "Yes, I have that." I think she could have asked if the tip of his nose was blue and he would have said "Yes, I have that." Soon after her call, he said he couldn't smell or taste. 

Personally, I don't want the health department knowing my business. That may be weird, but that's kind of how I feel. Toby told them I had it, too, and they put me down as positive. I reacted with "Oh no you didn't!" I plan on staying home and being a good little girl, but whom I tell, is up to me. (Like I just blogged it to the world)  And I did tell people - especially those whom I had been around. Its hard to say where I got it. It could have been several different places. The thing is, if someone were out and about and didn't know they had it, they could easily pass it to others. It is just going to happen. Run its course. It is not fun, but then, what flu is? 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Doing Our Best

 Last week Toby was home on vacation. He had a list of things that needed doing around the farm, and he was getting things done. Pretty much. He was also doing things he wanted to do. We threw some pots, and he welded on some projects - those are things he likes doing.  It was really nice weather, so we got some fence built. Last spring when the dozer came to work on the pond dam, he took down the fence to dig a new spillway. Since then, the horses have been free to roam our 75 acres. For some reason, they like to stand up by the house. The north side of the house has become their shade/barn. They have worn down the grass and pooped all over the place. That doesn't bother me too much, but they drink the dogs water on the patio and leave large divots in the yard. Why they think they need to be up close and personal when they have the whole acreage to roam, is beyond me. My sister asked if we ever rode the horses. We don't. The kids are grown and not interested, nor do they seem to want to teach the grandkids. Truthfully, neither horse is kid-broke. I told my sister that the horses were ornamental - ornamental house horses - large pets.

This week I have spent most of my time at the CTAC getting ready for the Holiday Art Show. I put five pieces of art in the show, and I had others to choose from. That means I have been pretty productive. On Monday, we took art in for the show and hung things. For the judging, we put the photography upstairs at the gallery, but the photographers complained that they didn't want their art work upstairs where some people might not be able to get up the stairs to see the photos. They want to be downstairs where the show is prime. So, we compromised and put the photos upstairs apart from the fine art to make judging easier, but after the judging, we moved some of the photos downstairs and paintings upstairs - lots of work involved in that. 

We have three categories - fine art, 3D, and photography. Usually, we get about 20+ photos and about 100 pieces of fine art, yet the photographers get the same amount of prize money. In other words, the judge gives four places to each category with prize money. Out of 20 photos, four of them are going to win something. It is even worse for 3D, where we only get about six pieces of art. It doesn't seem quite fair that fine art brings in the most money, but the competition is tough and only 4 our of 100 will receive prize money. Just sayin. Maybe we ought to give prize money according to percentage of the money the category brings in - like a fishing tournament. Ha! 

Anyway, it looks to be a great show. I don't know if we will have a crowd at the reception with the covid thang. Some of the gallery helpers wanted to put the whole show downstairs. As the president, I said not this year - we needed to spread out the people as much as possible. Well, that was my excuse for using the upstairs. We normally do quite the food table, but with covid, we are putting things in little baggies so that no one touches the food. It is all so crazy, but it is what it is. We are trying our best to have a show and stay safe. The community is divided - people who want a mask mandate and those that don't. Tough times. My position is: come to the show or not. Wear your mask or not. Work at socially distancing and wear your mask when you need to. Live life as best you can.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Commissions vs. Inspiration

 Toby is home this week using up his vacation time. We are not going anywhere, but will do things around the Lazy B that need doing. We need a fence around the house to keep the bigger critters (horses and eventually cows) out. Last spring when the bull dozer came to work on the pond dam, he had to take down the fence between us and the horses. Since then, they have become house horses. They hang around the house and use the north side shade as their barn. They drink the dog's water from a big bowl on the patio rather than walk down to the pond. They like the fence line between us and the neighbors, which is pretty much the backyard, so they can hang with other horses. So, now my yard is pocked up with horse hoof prints from anytime it has rained. The yard is full of horse poop. It makes mowing interesting.  I need to get the wheel-barrow and scoop poop to put in the garden, but the wheel-barrow has a flat - go figure! Just another thing that needs fixin' around here!

I have several commissions of sorts that I need to work on - not my favorite. There is a non-profit place called Charis that helps young pregnant mothers or mothers with young children. It is a really cool place with a good purpose. They are expanding their parking lot and building to better aid the mothers, and they asked me to do a watercolor of their projected plans. I enlisted Jesse's help to use her auto-cad and draw the building from photos - then change the building and parking lot to what they want. Then I painted it. They asked me to be finished by the 1st, and I was. I matted and framed it and took it to them. But the director was off in CO at a conference. Then they called on Friday and asked me to come in and make some changes - like writing the name on the matt. I said you can do that yourself. Well, then they wanted me to show the parking places more so. Okay. No problema. I can take the painting out of the frame and fix it. It is just a hassle. But I am going to town today to take care of it. I want to be pleasing to them. Yet, people who are not art people don't really know what they want, they don't explain things well, and they say they just want a simple painting. Hmm. What is in their brain and what is in mine is not always the same, but I want it to work for them. sigh.

I have had some real artistic inspiration lately. On Facebook, I am a part of a group called Memories and Photos of New Mexico. There have been some beautiful fall photos posted. I asked to paint some of them and got permission. I have done two paintings so far and want to do a couple of more. But I have some other commissions, too. Dang it. I need to getter done. 


Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Mighty Hunter

 As most old folks, we have a nightly routine.  We go to bed around 9 PM because Toby gets up at 4:30 AM to leave for work about 5:30. And as old folks, we usually wake up before the alarm goes off - what is up with that? Of course, if we sleep until the alarm goes off, I wake up disoriented. Anyway, around 9PM, we start the routine for bedtime. First we put all the dogs out to potty. Then we make the coffee, so that we don't have to do that in the morning when we are stumbling around. Usually by the time we make the coffee, the dogs are scratching at the door to come back inside. While I am letting them in, I lock all doors and turn out the lights. Then there is the usual brushing of teeth and donning of PJs. Exciting - Huh! Well, last night we did have some excitement. 

For the past couple of weeks, we have had a skunk coming up to the house. Last summer, we came home one evening to see Izzy (my mom's old dog) hopping around in the field near the drive where she usually runs out to meet our car. Then we saw the skunk. She was hopping around a skunk! I was sure she would stink to high heaven. But when we got parked and she came running up, she had not been sprayed at all. We figured that the skunk knew she was harmless, and she just wanted to play. Apparently, she and the skunk are buddies, because she never gets sprayed. It is the other two dogs that seem to have a problem with the skunk. Recently, while we had Jesse's dog, Rosita, here, we let the dogs out to potty one night, and Max, the Dane, growled menacingly. All the dogs turned and headed back inside immediately. Well, not Izzy. The skunk is her friend. The bad news is the skunk felt threatened by the big dogs and the grow, and sprayed. It was not a direct hit on the dogs, but just bad skunk smell. Toby closed the door quickly, but never quick enough.

We have had several similar incidents since then, when letting the dogs out. Sometimes when we come home after dark, there is the odor of skunk in the carport and around the house. Probably the skunk likes to eat dog food and sometimes the dogs surprise the skunk - hence the smell. A few years ago we had a skunk coming up to eat dog food at night. The dogs actually stayed in their dog house and let the skunk eat. Smart dogs.

So, last night we put the dogs out to potty. We heard barking (not unusual). When I went to let them in, they were stinky dogs (not Izzy) and the smell was coming in the house. Toby said it was my fault for putting them out (isn't he funny?). I said it was his fault for not taking care of the skunk yet. So he went and got the shotgun and a flashlight. The flashlight is mine to operate. We walked all around the house, him with the shotgun and me with the flashlight, but did not see the skunk. Obviously it had been there very recently. Then we spotted it heading to the neighbor's property. I pointed the flashlight and confirmed the skunk (and not my cat) Toby aimed and fired and hit the skunk. Yay! The mighty hunter! 

I am so glad to get the skunk dealt with, although my house is till a bit skunky today. The dogs have been banished to the outside. The weather is nice, and they stink.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Feel Good Fall

It's really fall. The weather has been cooler and wonderful. The trees are turning. It makes me want to paint fall paintings. I have several in mind, and that makes me excited. Unfortunately, I don't want to do other stuff - like laundry, house cleaning, etc. I will say that the cooler weather gives me an added "umph" to want to do things. Summer heat just takes me down, so I am glad for the autumn.

The portrait that I have been working on with my little art student, is going better, but not great. Certainly not a keeper! I'm not giving up on it, but neither is it making me happy. I have been doing some other paintings - a little watercolor and some pastels. These things make me happy. When your art is going well, there is a great feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. When your art is not working out the way you thought, well, it is irritating and depressing. It is important sometimes to work through the problem. Sometimes it is good to give in, give up, and maybe start again. Here is one of the pastels I am working on. I wanted to create movement - like a dancer. This may need a little more work, but here it is.

Monday, October 05, 2020

So Many Things

 Last week was my CTAC board meeting and a committee meeting on the same day. The meetings wear me out. I really do like the people on the board and the committee. They are good people. I think it is possible to like people without liking their dog. Even for a small town in OK, that you would think would be very conservative, you still find some people with left leaning views. Hey, it's what keeps the world going round. Most of the time I try to watch what I say. Actually, I think about how to say things without offending folks, but I am going to say what I think. Doesn't being over sixty give me that right :)

We kept Rosie, Jesse's chihuahua, last weekend.  On Sunday we left her in the house and went to church. When I came home, I noticed buttery paw prints on the kitchen island. I had forgotten that the butter was out. Rosie can jump on a chair and then onto the island. She managed to get the plastic lid off the butter dish and ate a whole stick of butter. Good grief! What a butterball!

Most of our free time has been working out in the barn on the pottery room/man cave.  We have it painted and most of the electrical work done. I am working on sanding and painting polyurethane on the trim boards. The gas man is coming on Friday to deliver a propane tank so that we can have heat and hot water in the room. The weather has been very nice for working outside or in the barn. I love fall weather, and I am really excited to get this room done.

On October 15th, I am suppose to be on Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum Trail Talks, which I think will be about 2 PM on Zoom. Trail Talks is an interview with different people, mostly artists, via Zoom. My Zoom skills are few and far between, but you can also catch Trail Talks on the Chisholm Trail Heritage Facebook page.  I have watched several other artist buddies on TT, but I watch them after the fact on FB rather than Zoom. My little art student was on TT a few weeks ago. She did quite well. She also was the opening piano act for a CTAC Live Concert last week. She is very talented. We are both working on a portrait now. She is keeping me on my toes. 

I am so happy with the fall weather. It has been beautiful here. Now I wish I had more umph and less procrastination. Like with this blog, I need to do better with regular posts and keep up with comments. I need to be doing more painting and framing.  One of my favorite movies is "El Diablo" with Lou Gossett Jr. and Anthony Green. My kids and I quote that movie all the time. At one point the hero, who is trying to rescue the pretty girl from El Diablo, demands to know where she is. El Diablo acts as if he cannot remember and sighs and says, "So many towns, so many pretty girls.." That's how I feel  - So many things I need to do, so many things I want to do..