Friday, July 01, 2016


Jesse is in China. She is doing a ceramics residency at Sanbao - Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. I did not link that, but if you want to see more photos of the area, Google Sanbao. She does ceramics by day along with some university lectures and visits from famous ceramic people from all over the world. At night, she often dines or parties with these people. The owner/director of Sanbao, Jackson Li, has taken Jesse and other art folk on some interesting tours. When Jesse wanted to see the Yellow Mountains, Jackson sent his assistant to hike with her. Jesse said that he was worried about her lack of phone reception if anything were to happen to her. He said he was like her Chinese mother. 

There is about a 13 hour time difference from China to Oklahoma. Jesse and I usually Skype, that being the best way to communicate with her since China does not do Google, early in my morning when she is finished with her day. Sometimes we Skype at the end of my day when she is just getting up in the morning. She sent the above photo sometime while in the Yellow Mountains yesterday.  I woke up to this amazing photo, but will not get the details of the trip until a bit later before she goes to bed - and then only if she has wifi. 

I know she is having a grand time. Jesse always does. It is a bit stressful for me, but I'm okay with it all. Jesse lives her life and is happy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

39th Anniversary

A year ago on June 27th, we were getting ready to celebrate our 38th anniversary when we got a call that my mom had fallen. She had not just fallen, but said that she had been pushed by her neighbor. It all seemed so incredible. We rushed over to WF. Mom had broken her arm near the shoulder. That was the least of it. The entire episode sent mom into a tailspin. We spent our 38th anniversary at Mom's.

Here we are a year later. Toby took off a couple of days last week and Monday of this week - Monday being our 39th wedding anniversary.  On Thursday Toby took me to OKC for a bit of fun in the city. We did some shoe shopping and then ate lunch at Ted's - our favorite. We stopped at a liquor store to buy Prairie Artisan Ales - something Toby had been wanting to try. Then we moved on to the Prix de West at the Cowboy Hall of Fame. It is a great show every year, but this year seems to be better than last year. I love looking through the paintings. We did not do the Matisse show at the OKC Art Museum. I try not to overload Toby with too much art. I will save that tour for time with my art buddies. Other than the City traffic, it was a good day. There was a wreck on southbound I-35 as we were headed north into OKC. It messed up traffic all day. We drove across town to run an errand then headed down I-44 to I-40 to come home and avoid I-35. It was a mistake. Not only were we in 5 o:clock traffic, but there was a wreck on I-44. What a mess!

We spent Friday here at home preparing for the Art Walk. Other than a trip to Wal-Mart, we did not go anywhere. And of course, there was the Art Walk on Saturday, which was all consuming. Sunday was our usual day at church. We came home and took a big dog nap. Our friends Lindz and Shay came over for some barbecue chicken and a bit of visiting that evening. We made our first batch of peach daiquiris of the summer. Yum!

On Monday as we were deciding what all we wanted to do for our anniversary, Mom called to say she was sick. And so it was deja vu. We spent our day in WF seeing to Mom, who was not really sick - the good news. But she is needy sometimes. We did have a salad at Parkway Grill, my favorite place. And we went by Sam's for a few items. At Sam's Toby bought me a yogurt with berries.  While we were sitting there at the tables in Sam's eating our yogurts, Toby said that this was my anniversary treat. Wow, I cannot wait to see what next year's 40th anniversary will bring :) He is always a fun date.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Art Walk Heat

The Chisholm Trail Art Walk went very well. It is only the second year for it, and this year was a big improvement over last year. I think in time, it could be very a big event. But for this year, sales were nil. Most of the really interested lookers were other vendors. I told Toby that I needed to sell two paintings to come out ahead, but if I bought stuff at other vendors, I would have to sell even more to break even. We laughed about that, but one of the other artists told me that she never buys from other vendors until she breaks even with her sales. Good advice. Other good advice came from my buddy Jo, who is an artist and blogger.  Her email came a little late, since I did not receive it until I was sitting out at the Art Walk. Still, I tried to talk to people, which I like to do and can do easily. The problem was that my friend Glenna came to sit with me. I love Glenna. It was good to have her around, but she was a bit of a distraction. Several times I broke off conversation with her to talk to visitors. It felt rude, but necessary. Good news - there were very few visitors to talk with, so I did not have to be rude to Glenna very often.  Bad news - there were very few visitors to talk with :)

The day was very hot and we were in the sun most of the day. I wondered whom I had made angry that they would put me in the sun. It turned out that it was a lady whom I do not know very well. She put herself in a very shady spot. But one thing I know for sure, I will be nicer to her next year :) Actually, the tent provided some very nice shade, and I had a fan that we set up for a breeze. Most of the day there was a little breeze anyway. We moved our chairs around throughout the day to fit in the shade. In the photo, you can see that we are inside the tent. I really wanted to be outside the tent so that visitors could view the paintings easier. But there was no shade anywhere to be found other than under my tent. Even under the tent, I got quite the sunburn on my back - odd.

Something funny about the heat: While setting up the tent in the early morning hours, there was a bit of shade, but it was receding fast. Before the tent was up, we were in the sun and sweating. My feet were on fire. I thought it was my new sandals. I was thinking that I was going to have to go barefoot, because my feet were so hot. Finally I said something to Toby. He said his feet were really hot too! He had brought his flip-flops and was going to change into them immediately, because his feet were so  hot. When the tent was up and I was thinking about my poor feet, I realized something. The night before the art walk, Toby had put some heat lotion on his feet since his feet were hurting. He said it felt good, and he came and rubbed my feet too. It did feel good at the time. But standing out in the sun, I guess the heat lotion kicked in and was miserable. I rubbed ice from our cooler on my feet to help relieve the pain/heat.  I'm sure glad Toby did not rub my back. My back burned on its own.

When all was done, we broke down our tent, and went to see the Grandbabies. They have a new above ground pool. It is only 30" deep, but we cooled our bodies off while playing with the Grands. Then my son fed us some pulled port tacos. By then, I was breaking down. I was still a happy camper/artist, but my brain was done for the day. And it was a good day. I would do it all again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Duncan Art Walk

When discussing my career choices, Toby says I should treat my art more like a business. We talk about doing more shows and working at putting myself and my art out there. The Chisholm Trail Arts Council has an Art Walk this weekend. Last year I did not participate since it was on my anniversary. This year I'm gonna do it!  It is this weekend!

Of course, like all good procrastinators I have waited until last minute to get ready. So much for being businesslike. Actually, it was not all my fault. I only got the notice for the show on Thursday of last week. I guess there was some sort of mail mix up.

The Arts Council was more than willing to let me join in last minute. All week I have been framing and matting and working on getting paintings ready to hang. I'm not sure what I'm going to hang them on, but we are working on that too. I bought a tent/awning thang. It is all coming together. The above photo shows you what my den looks like. It is getting better. The paintings are ready to hang. Then while I was cleaning up, I found three more paintings from my trip to NM last year when I painted with Jo. I may go ahead and mat and frame them too - while I'm in the work mode.

Now I'm need to fix my man some supper. A woman's work is never done. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

China Rush

Last Saturday we brought my mom home with us to spend the night. My brother, who lives in WF and is normally able to check on her easily, has been on vacation. It seems that Mom gets more needy when one of us is away having fun. She had been complaining of dizziness, but there was no obvious problems with her health.  Anyway, Jesse was home for the weekend, and I figured Mom could spend Saturday night here and go home with Jes on Sunday. It would be a good way to keep tabs on Mom.  Of course, Jesse decided to stay and extra night and go home on Monday. No problema. Mom did fine both nights here - no real problems with the dizziness. Then on Tuesday the home health nurse called to say that Mom was still having problems. The nurse suggested I take her to the doctor and see if Mom had an inner ear infection. I called the doctor who had an opening, but I could only make it if I jumped in the car and headed to WF in the next 15 minutes. Jesse helped me out by picking up and delivering Mom to the clinic. I was able to get there a few minutes before the appointment.
All went well, although the doctor had no real answer for the dizziness and it is difficult for Mom to explain herself and her symptoms. By late afternoon, I got mom settled back in her apartment with new prescriptions. By this time, Jesse called and said she was meeting a friend for happy hour at a local restaurant. Perfecto!

We decided it was easier for me to stay and spend the night with Jesse, since I was supposed to take her to the airport the next day, Wednesday. I always carry a travel toothbrush in my purse and keep extra make-up in my car. It all worked out well, but it was all a bit of a rush. Dealing with Mom was a bit wearing. The best part was that I got to spend some extra time with Jesse before taking her to the airport.

So, my girl flew off to China for three weeks. She was excited to be going to a ceramics residency.  Three weeks of China, making pottery, seeing the sights, etc. It should be a great trip. As I dropped her at DFW, I laughed and hugged her and told her to have fun. Then I drove off and big tears rolled down my face and a big lump formed in my throat. I was halfway to Decatur before I could phone Toby and tell him all was well. Still, when I heard his voice, my voice cracked. He knows me well - knew I was crying and why. Dropping your baby at the airport for a long trip to places unknown and not seeing her for three weeks - made me weepy. I've had people say some pretty stupid things to me about this trip as if I should not have let Jesse go. Jesse is a grown woman off on her own. She is smart and has traveled lots. Am I worried? Why yes I am, but don't add to my worries. Just think of the art and the sights and the fun she will have. I love that she lives life as full as she can. And if you think of her off in China, say a prayer for her and me.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Flower Girl

My high school buddy, Phil Cassell, is a photographer in San Antonio. He posts some of his very wonderful photos on Facebook from time to time, and they are usually awesome. Several months ago he posted an exceptional photo of a young girl. Some people have called her a little ballerina, but I thought she looked more like a flower girl in someone's wedding. Anyway, I got permission from Phil to try and paint his photo. Here is my painting. I started to post his photo too, but decided not to do so. Although I used his photo as a reference, my painting does not have to look exactly like his photo. Actually it does look lots like it, but that is not always the point. Sometimes people get caught up in the "does it look perfectly like the photo" and miss the beauty of the medium, which is pastels in this case.