Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Weeks Not Over

Sometimes you don't realize how exhausted you are. This morning I went back to bed after Toby went to work. I slept for an hour and a half - deep sleep. I would probably have slept longer, but the phone woke me up. Then I forced myself out of bed and into the shower.

On Monday of this week one of our very good friends was in a serious car wreck. While waiting to turn left off a highway into his work place, he was rear-ended by a truck. It sent his truck crashing into a culvert and then flipping upside down into some water. He broke all his ribs and breathed muddy water into his lungs. The EMTs got him quickly to Duncan, but he was then airlifted to OU Trauma Center. The doctors there did not give much hope thinking that he seemed to have a hole in his heart and saying to call the family in. But our friend made it through surgery and is stable. Although he is heavily sedated, he is squeezing hands and making eye contact now and then. The doctors have been amazed. It is through the prayers of his family and friends that has brought this healing. I know that I have cried and prayed all week. Our friend still has a long way to go, and lots of prayers to go, but I am thankful to God and need to say so. Monday's painting

Also on Monday my mom's home health nurse called to say that she thought Mom's elbow was infected - like tennis elbow. Mom had fallen a couple of times in the last several weeks and hit her elbow.  She gets in a hurry and rushes around, but her balance is not what it used to be. She is actually in great physical shape for an almost-85-year-old. Anyway, the nurse said she was calling in another nurse to look at the elbow on Tuesday. So Tuesday afternoon that nurse called to say that she had seen Mom's elbow and had made an appointment with the doctor for the next morning at 9am.  Tuesday painting

Early Wed morning, I headed to WF. I called Mom three times to make sure she was up and getting ready, but she did not answer. It makes me feel helpless when I can't get her, but then there is nothing to do about it. Chances are she would not be up and ready or maybe she would be. She was not. Thankfully I had arrived early enough to rush Mom around and barely make it to the appointment on time. The appointment went okay. The doctor did not think the elbow looked that bad, but she did think that Mom' head sores were not good - could have some infection from Mom constantly picking at herself. So we got an antibiotic.

We met Mom's boyfriend for lunch. Mom is not a particularly pleasant person these days, but she acts better when Robert is around. Odd that. When I took Mom home, she went immediately to take a nap. I fixed her meds for the next week. Then I did something a bit sneaky. Mom had been carrying a ratty old purse. The ratty part did not bother me, although the handle had been chewed by the dog and the weaving was coming undone and hanging with loose strings. It was the fact that there was nothing to the purse structure-wise and the clasp did not work anymore. When she sat it down somewhere, it fell open and stuff fell out. What a pain in the butt! Since Mom is prone to losing stuff anyway, this was not a good purse for her, but I did not want to argue with her. She had also been wearing silly shoes with a slippery heel. Not so good for a person who bobs and weaves when she walks! But I did not say anything about the stupid shoes. I really hate the fight with her. I'm prone to fighting to win, but with Mom there is no point.  So, while Mom was laying down in the bedroom, I got her good purse and switched the contents from the old ratty purse to the better purse. Then I carried the old ratty purse away. I just did not want to argue with Mom again. Sigh. I really don't want to trick my mom or lie to her. But I am beginning to think that it is much easier on her this way.
Wednesday painting

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sister Time and WWG Paintings

My sister came to Wichita Falls on Friday. She got there around lunch. The plan had been to pick up Mom and go to lunch, get our nails done, and go by the hearing aid place to get a new hearing aid ford Mom. Kathy got there right on time. Although both of us had called Mom to tell her the plan, she forgot or was hungry. Anyway, she was already eating lunch when we went to pick her up.  So we changed the plans a bit. Still, we got our nails done and got a new hearing aid. It was just later in the afternoon before we got it done. Since Mom had a date that evening, Kathy and I dropped her off at her home and went to happy hour with Jesse and her teacher friends. After a cheap margarita and some Mexican food, we needed a cup of coffee. We moved over to the new Frank and Joe's coffee shop - spying out the competition for Shay and Lindz. We also stopped for some hair-color. You may think that was odd, but for us, doing each other's hair is a treat. Back at Jesse's house, I colored both Jesse and Kathy. By this time, we were worn out and decided to sit around and visit. Like we hadn't been visiting all day.

I love having my sister around. We can just look at each other and know what the other is thinking. Often this leads to bursts of laughter. It also means that I can take time off with Mom. I'm still with her, but I let Kathy do the "handling" part. I don't mind doing things for Mom, but sometimes it is nice to hand that part to someone else.

On Saturday afternoon we had a little time to kill, so Kathy and I drove down into Tanglewood Hallow where we used to live. My parents had one of the first houses built in that area, which was/is a really nice neighborhood. Mom and Dad bought the house when I was a junior in high school. It was in the process of being built, so we picked out all the carpet, wallpaper, tile, etc. Remember that it was the 70's. Mom let me choose the carpet for my bedroom and the wallpaper for my bath as well as the tile. I chose a light yellow carpet - I had pink furniture with some lime green thrown in. For the bathroom, I chose yellow tile (apparently) and wild pink floral wall paper. And I painted  similar flowers on the toilet. Hey, I was 17 and it was the 70's. Mom and dad sold that house after I went off to college - forty years ago. I've often remarked that Dad should have kept that house, because it would be worth $200,000 easily now. It is still a very nice neighborhood.

So, as we drove around the neighborhood to the old house, it turned out that there was a garage sale going on at our old house. Kathy and I stopped to visit the folks and see the old house. The house was not looking great. The yard was overgrown and not fixed up very well. The garage doors were sagging and in need of paint. We stood in the driveway talking to a young 20-something girl. In the conversation we learn that the house still has some of the same wallpaper that we had chosen and still had the flowers I painted on the toilet seat. OMG! That was 40+ years ago! The girl mentioned the "hideous yellow tile" in my old bathroom. I don't really remember the tile, but I'm sure it was lovely back then :) Through more conversation, we discover that the girl, her daughter, her mother, and her grandmother all live there. I don't know about any men, but that is four generations living in one house. It's a little odd for that neighborhood. When Kathy and I got in our car to leave, we were thinking the same thing. Lots of laughter here. Our old house is not worth $200,000 as we thought. Good thing Mom and Dad sold it after all. Or was it?

Here is my World Watercolor Group painting for Sept. 13 prompt was cocktail
 Sept. 14 my choiceI also did this red bud painting in a pastel, because I wanted to try it
 Sept. 15 prompt was waves

Sept. 16 prompt was camping gear
Sept 17 prompt was recreational vehicle
 Sept 18 prompt was canoe

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Good for Me

Painting in the World Watercolor Group has been good for me. It has made me think every day about what to paint. It makes me plan, It makes me paint. All this painting has maybe improved my watercolor.  For sure painting every day has helped me to not procrastinate quite so much. Okay, I exaggerate on that last one. Procrastination is still my biggest battle and one I rarely win. But the painting every day has been helpful. I like a challenge.

The idea of  Watercolor World Group was Charlie O'Shield's at Doodlewash. Someway, I ran across his Facebook page where he challenged artists to watercolor every day and post on the FB page. During July I painted 28 days of watercolors. But more amazing was seeing all the watercolors from around the world. They were just so impressive. It made it a real challenge for me. I watched to see how many "likes" I could get - what paintings people liked the most. In August Charlie changed the name from World Watercolor Month to Group, and we continued posting paintings. I did not do as many paintings in August. September has been a better month for me. So far I have painted every day, but it is getting tougher. It is tougher to find time, inspiration, and subject matter. Fortunately, Charlie has provided a list of prompts and a theme for the month, which is "vacations." No one has to follow the prompts or the theme, but they are helpful. I like painting from photos that were taken on vacations, so it has been good for me.

Here is one of my paintings that has received a few likes. This was from a photo that Jesse took while in Ecuador a few years ago. I have always loved the light and the kids on the river. The prompt was "public transportation" and I thought this would work well. When I finished the painting, I texted it to Jesse to get her thoughts. She said it was a good painting, but the kid on the right looked like he was standing on the far side of the boat. I texted back that I had made the boat too short - the boys too close together, but that in the photo (that she had taken) it looked like the boys were short-legged. I had assumed the boat was much deeper than it seemed in the photo. She replied, "Oh, I took that picture? Then it must be right." Ha! She is so funny.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Let the Painting Begin

The ladies came to paint with me yesterday. I guess we have not painted since last Feb when Robin broke her wing. Then I had my appendicitis. With the end of the school year, I just put off painting with the ladies. It was good to have them again yesterday. We painted in acrylics, which was easy and quick. My friend Janice had Googled "simple paintings" earlier this summer so that we could paint some bathroom paintings for her work place. She printed out lots of simple paintings pictures. Yesterday, we used those simple painting pictures to work from. Many of the simple paintings had scripture verses, so we added those too. They are kind of cutesie art, but they are fun and fairly easy and they are good brush-time.

I have been continuing my daily watercolors. Sometimes I do something really simple and sometimes I get a bit more complicated depending on how much time I have. After the ladies left yesterday, I painted this scene from our vacation to Ecuador a few years ago. This is a water taxi that took us to the Arajuno Jungle Lodge. Jesse took the photo and captured some fun light. Light makes for a good watercolor.

I was particularly pleased with this painting, because I don't do water very well, and I thought I did pretty well on water. When I showed the painting to Toby, he gave it an okay, but not much enthusiasm in his review. That always makes me worry that something is wrong with my painting.  So I texted it to Jesse. Jes liked it, said it was good, and that it was a good memory. Her review made me feel better about posting the painting.

The Saga of the Hearing Aids:
On Thursday I went to Wichita Falls to take Mom to the hearing aid place and see about replacing one of her older hearing aids - the one that the dog ate. Two weeks ago I took her to get her newer hearing aids back in working condition. She spent most of the summer without hearing aids, because she had lost the ones we bought in Feb - the ones we  bought to replace the ones she bought two years ago and had lost.  Anyway, less than a week after getting the new hearing aids working again (the dog ate the wires off of them) she totally lost one of the aids again. We now have the old hearing aid working again and another one ordered. Next week I will go back and get those fitted and tuned in. This morning one of her friends called me to say that Mom had put the battery in the wrong, and they could not get it out of the hearing aid. I had to ask which hearing aid, because she is wearing a new one and an old one. OMG! This hearing aid thing is crazy.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Labor Day Work

Our friends, Shay and Lindz, are opening up a coffee shop in Duncan, America. It reminds me of our younger days when we did something similar - we opened a little cafe in NM. Shay is taking a building that has been many things including a daycare and he is remodeling it to be a coffee shop. Toby and I took a really old building in Red River that had been a cafe back in the 30's and apartments in the 80's and turned it into a cafe. Remodeling takes LOTS of work.  Walls have to come down, walls have to be built, plumbing is redone as well as electrical work, etc.

Knowing how much work it takes to re-do an older building, I have been helping Shay this past week. I'm pretty good help, but I'm not as young as I used to be. Nor am I in as good of shape as I was in my younger day.  After working all week on covering the walls with wood from old pallets, I had to take Friday off, because my feet were so swollen. 

After a few days off, Toby and Jesse came on Monday, Labor Day, to get lots done. We finished the wood walls and painted the other walls and got lots done. It was a good day with good friends.

In the meantime, I have been continuing my painting in the World Watercolor Group. Here are my first paintings for Sept with the theme of "vacations." Sometimes I use the prompts given - as in the beach ball and the sunglasses. The prompts are good, because I don't have to think as much about what I want to paint. The other paintings are from photos of different vacations.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Water Leaks

It has been wonderfully cooler here in OK the past week. Temps in the 80's to low 90's are a welcome relief from the typical 100 + temps. Last night Toby and I sat on the patio eating watermelon and enjoying the evening when we noticed water standing in the backyard. It did rain Friday night, but this was more water than should've been there. Toby went to investigate, but we both knew the reason for the water  - a water leak. Sometimes I hate Oklahoma.

If you have been with this blog in past years, you know we have water leaks way to often. In the winter the ground freezes and lines crack and break. In the summertime, the ground gets so hard that it cracks and breaks and shifts causing the waterline to do the same. It means that today, Toby and I will dig up the ground in the red glue-mud and fix another leak. The pipe coming into the house looks like a jigsaw puzzle as it is. Such is life in OK. At least it may be cooler than the usual. I will count my blessings.

So to cheer up your day, here is a few more watercolors from my Watercolor Month on Facebook. I chose paintings with the theme "water."