Monday, May 13, 2019

It's Me

I am babysitting Theo today.  He is sleeping while I am stealing wifi.  Hopefully, I can get a quick note to you before I need to play with the baby. It's a tough life, but someone has to do it.

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It was not a big day for me.  Saturday I spent time with Jesse and she bought me a shirt, but forgot to give it to me. Ha! Then we went by to see Toby's mom in the nursing home.  She is doing well. We took her some baby tulips and put them in a vase that we had bought at the MSU Mother's Day ceramic sale. I had other plans for the vase, but Toby put the tulips in it and they looked great.

Instead of going straight home after visiting Toby's mom, we went to Lawton where they were having their Arts for All in the park. I've probably blogged about this event before, since I love going there. We walked around the artist's booths to see the art. My old art teacher is always there with his ceramics. He talked to Toby and I for a long time giving us pointers on pottery and doing shows.  Then Toby and I went over to the food court - much like a carnival.  We got a couple of gyros and a corny-dog. I saw people eating turkey legs and was envious.  The curly fries with chili and cheese looked pretty darn good, but I wolfed down my gyro and called it good.

I have been extremely lazy when it comes to art and blogging and house cleaning. What is wrong with me? CTAC is taking up lots of my time with different events, meeting, and such.  School is almost over at the Edge.  I have really been enjoying those kids. It is very laid back.  The kids come and go and are not consistent in showing up for class. It is difficult to actually teach. So, we just do art. I give them all sorts of options and let them go at it. We made some ceramic cups. We do lots of paintings, which they love. We did a bit of linocut printing. They liked the carving part. I will probably do this again next year, although the director of the Edge is leaving. I'm not sure what that will mean for me. Maybe I will know more soon.

My little girls art class is almost over for the summer too. They will come tomorrow and maybe one more time. I love them, but I seem to be a bit tired of them. The summer break will be nice.  I need to be doing my own art and I have been making excuses for not doing so. Procrastinating.

I apologize for not blogging for such a long period. Who knows if I will do better? I'll try.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

An Old Friend

It was good to get home from the watercolor workshop on Friday evening. We had worked on a third painting at the workshop. After lunch Graham Berry did another part of the painting. About the time I sat down to work on my own painting, people started packing up and leaving. One of the ladies I was with wanted to go, too. Beat the traffic. I was more interested in doing the painting, and I said as much. So we stayed longer. It was difficult to paint with people packing and moving around and going behind me and asking me to move a little so they could get their big-Art carts past me. Finally I gave up or gave in. The traffic was really not so bad. We made it home in about 3 hours.

On Sunday I was going through Facebook stuff, when I came across an obituary of an old high school boyfriend. It was a guy that I had quite a crush on, but we were more friends. We never seemed to be free to date each other at the right time. But the crush was mutual. I was sad to see that he had died at 62. That's way too young. I didn't cry, though, just sad.

I remember the first time I spoke with Cody. He was a Greaser (a kid from the poor side of town) sort of kid, but very popular. He was good-looking and athletic (Golden Gloves champion). He never aspired to be popular, he just was. I had a biology class with him my sophomore year. He sat on the opposite side of the room from me and up a bit - I could watch him easily. One day the teacher gave us free time to just sit and visit. I pulled out my sketch book (yes, I have always done art) and started to sketch Cody. I would look at him and then draw, look and draw, look and draw... then I looked up and he was gone. I looked around the room, but could not find him. Then he spoke, "What are you doing?" He was in the seat behind me wanting to know why I was staring at him. He was just curious. He was impressed that I was drawing and maybe a bit humbled that I was drawing him. I was mortified. But Cody was always easy to talk to. He made me comfortable. He knew I was shy and obviously liked him. From then on, we were friends. He always made time for me.

We only went out once. I needed a date to a dance that I had been invited to. So, I asked him. I had actually asked two other guys. One said yes, then he changed his mind (broke my heart). The next guy that I asked was more of a friend. He said he wouldn't mind going with me, but had really wanted to ask this other girl. Fine. So I asked Cody. He said yes. He didn't really want to go, since the dance was at the country club and that was not his style, but he went just for me. We had fun. He took me home at 11:30 because that was my curfew, although he had another party to go to. I really wanted to go with him, but I dared not break my curfew. The next morning, my dad asked me why I came home so early. I said it was my usual curfew. Dad said, "Yeah, but you are almost a senior now and I thought you would have stayed out longer." I was furious with my dad. I actually let him know that he should have said something  - like - sure you can stay out longer. Oh well.

Our senior year, I worked in the office last period of the day. I did attendance records. Onetime, Cody asked me if I would mark him there when he wanted to skip school. I remember just staring at him open-mouthed, wide-eyed.  In my head, I was thinking OMG. "You mean you want me to lie?" For Cody I might do it, but what if I got caught? I'm sure I looked lost and Cody realized it. Before I could say anything he said, "Never mind! Forget that I asked." He was really okay with it, because he knew who I was. I knew who he was too. No matter my crush, he was not "the guy" for me. But I really liked him. I'm very sad that he is gone.

Here are the other paintings done at the workshop. I posted them on FB and got lots of comments and likes. I don't think people understand that it was a workshop. I don't paint like that all the time. Maybe I should. Now I need to put what I learned into practice. See if I can make it work.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Birthday 61

Last Saturday was my 61st birthday.  We had the usual crowd over to eat, which was quite a crowd. We cooked the usual fajitas with all the good fixin's to go with them. Jesse cooked me a pound cake - my favorite. Actually she texted me and said she was going to bake me a coconut cake. I don't really like coconut, but whatever. And I said as much. Since it was MY birthday, she said she would go ahead and make me a pound cake.

I've probably mentioned this before, but my grandmother used to make a pound cake for my birthday. The first year Toby and I were married my grandmother had a stroke. So on my birthday, Toby asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said that I wanted a pound cake. Since Nanny could not make me one, I was a bit sad. He asked his sisters to make me a pound cake. They chose to make me a carrot cake. Go figure!

By the end of my birthday evening after feeding the crowd, Toby and I were bushed. We decided next year, we should go out to eat or someone else should do the cooking.  As were cleaning up and getting ready for bed, I discovered that I had put the rice in a container and then put it in the cabinet rather than the fridge. Then I was making the coffee (so we can just turn it on first thing in the morning) and I poured a scoop of coffee beans on the plastic lid of the grinder (without taking the lid off). Beans went everywhere. Toby laughed at me and said, "Some people age slowly and others go down hill fast." I guess turning 61 sent me downhill fast.

So, one of my birthday presents was my trip to Dallas to the Graham Berry watercolor workshop with my friends Glenna and Barb.  We drove down on Tuesday after school to go to the Southwest Watercolor Society meeting where Graham was doing a demo. It was fun to be a part of that. Then this morning we started our first class of three days. It was awesome. I was just so excited watching Graham paint. He uses six colors and paints so vibrantly. Amazing. Here is my painting:

We are staying in an Airbnb, which is really nice. I am enjoying my buddies and all is good. Dallas is a big city with lots of traffic. I can live without that, but it is fun for a few days. I'll post more later.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Weekly Recap

My week was uneventful.  My high school art class at the Edge gets crazier and crazier as the year goes on.  Kids are graduating early. They work through computer programs to finish school - so depending on how hard they work, they can get out when they finish.  Then students come into the program, because they have been problems elsewhere and have fallen behind. Class consistency is wild. We have been painting on canvas and next we are going to do printmaking. It is difficult to teach when kids come and go like they do. So, we just have fun.

Friday I went to Wichita Falls and had lunch with Jesse. She took me to some odd place in a downtown building. We had pumpkin/jalapeno soup, which was really good. Then I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some mat boards to do some matting. Boy! That stuff is getting expensive. I need to find a new source to buy from. Amazon is my friend! I also went by Michael's to use my coupon and get a bit of watercolor paper.  My other errand was to go by Best Buy where I bought my third Kindle Fire at the end of December.  I love my Kindle, but lately it has not been holding a charge or charging up very well. The Geeks at Best Buy said it was the Kindle and not the charger. So I went to Jesse's house and used her wifi and called Amazon. With very little questioning, they said they would be sending me a new Kindle and to send the old one back when I got the new one. Yeah! I love those folks.  The Amazon guy was from some other country. I had him on speaker phone. He was doing pretty well, but I wondered about his mastery of the English language. At one point he said lots of stuff and I had no idea what he said. I looked at Jesse and she burst out laughing. Later, we met Jesse's friend, Lex, for supper. They chose Indian food, which was good, but after the jalapeno/pumpkin soup, I was overdone on hot stuff.

Saturday morning I got up early to judge the high school VASE competition. It went really well. I love seeing the high school art and talking to the kids - the judging has lots to do with an interview.  We finished up at noon and went to the judges room for lunch.  After lunch we had to decide which students went on to state competition. But some parent came in and threw a fit that their child had been disqualified. Apparently one of the rules is that the work must be original.  If you draw/paint from a photo, it has to be a photo you took yourself. If you use some other photo (heirloom), you must "significantly" change the drawing - not copy it.  The art work in question was a pencil sketch of a photo that her grandfather took. They did an excellent job - the photo and the art work were exact. Unfortunately that was not the rule and the piece did not make the cut - you can't copy someone else's photo. The parents insisted! Arguing went on for a while causing us to have to wait until a decision was made on the art work. Finally the VASE folk gave in and said they would include the art work.  sigh. You know, it was going to be disqualified at the state level.  It was very irritating. It was really good art, but they so obviously did not follow the rules of originality. I'm glad I could judge and go home and not have to deal with parents.

Sunday we had kids and grandkids and Shay and Lindz with baby Theo over for lunch. It was a pretty nice day, so we took the kids to climb on a large pecan tree that fell over several years ago. It is huge and lots of fun. If I was a kid, I'd be all over that tree. But at my age, I stayed pretty much on the ground and was a safety net for the kids. It was a good time.  By the way, with Theo's blue eyes and lack of hair he reminds me of Gene.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Martin Workshop

Today should be art with my little girls, but no one is coming. Everyone is fighting off illness or whatever.  It is suppose to be bad weather today, but who knows what it will actually do.  Here in OK, the weather could change at the drop of a hat. It is already cold and overcast. I have a fire built in the woodstove.  Things are cozy nice.

I don't mind that there is no art today, but I did have a plan for finishing some art with the girls.  March is Youth Art Month and I need to have art for the CTAC youth art show. I would love to take some art from the alternative school where I teach, but getting those kids to finish something is difficult. They come and go and are absent lots. When they do finish something, they run off with it before I can get my hands on it. My regular art girls are not much better.  This winter has had lots of illness. Plus several of the girls went off on a ski trip last week. I know where I stand.  It's at this point each year when I wonder if my little art class is worth my time and effort.  But then it is Feb. I will make no decisions for now.

The pastel workshop last Saturday went well.  I got up before the crack of dawn, because I was so excited to be going to a workshop and because I had to drive to OKC.  I was one of the first to arrive and set up my pastels.  Dale Martin was already there and set up.  He's an older man and very quiet. He did not talk much, but he is a good artist. Watching him was fun. Here is his demo.  He works fast, so he did this demo and then we all went to work on our own pastel.  Everyone brought photos to paint from.  I brought a whole stack, since I wanted to paint something similar to what Dale painted (although you won't think so when you see what I chose).  He liked my redbud pictures. Even though I had painted these before, I did them again.  One of these paintings Dale did work on a bit. The other he did not touch. Can you tell which one he worked on?  The bottom painting is totally mine and it was the first one I painted at the workshop. Dale liked it as it was. Then on the second painting, he was more into helping and talking, so he put in the blue touches and smeared the cedar tree a bit.  I think by the second painting Dale had lightened up with the group.  Someone had brought a pan of brownies. He chowed down on them saying that his wife had him on a diet and he didn't get brownies at home. Every time I turned around, he had another brownie. I said to him, "Good Grief! How many brownies have you had?" He said, "Brownies are in his contract." And just like that, we were friends.

I also met some nice people at the workshop from the OK pastel society, which I have been a member of for a while, but never been to a meeting. They have their meetings in the evening. It is difficult to drive up there for a meeting and come home late at night. It could be done, but I haven't tried it. Being that I did not know people and they did not know me, I was fairly quiet at the workshop and did not add my two cents much. The lady painting next to me needed help, but I wasn't sure she wanted mine. Oh well.

I had downloaded a book from the public library to my phone so that I could listen to it while I drove to The City and back.  It was fun.  I also stopped by to see my friend, Sue, in the hospital. She has been in ICU for over a month. She is just now getting well enough to talk to people. It was good to get to see her awake and coherent. I also stopped by the coffee shop and treated myself to a fancy coffee before driving home.

I got home from OKC about 7 PM and fed the animals. Toby got home from WF soon after (I think he planned it that way so he didn't have to feed).  Jesse came home to spend the night with us and Sunday.  Next weekend I will go spend with her in WF and judge the VASE (high school arts contest) like I have done for the past two years. I'm looking forward to that! Time with Jesse and art stuff!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Going Postal

As Toby walked out the door this morning heading off to work, he said, "I don't think I want those boots after all.  Would you send them back for me?" He has been ordering work boots online. This is the second pair. The first pair he sent back last week. He packaged them up, but had to print out the label at work. I had to come to town and pick up the label and then take the package to the post office. It was not really a problem. This time he wanted me to just do it all.  For some reason that irritated the heck out of me. Maybe it's because ordering things online is easy and great, except when it doesn't work out and you have to send them back. Returns are not fun. Some stores provide a return label with their invoice - very convenient. But Amazon has not been doing that. Everything has to be electronical - online. You have to go to your account, go to orders and to returns and print out a label yourself. That works okay for someone who has a good printer. Don't even get me started on printers! Now Amazon has something where you can have the UPS store print out a label for you (apparently other people have printer problems, too) That is convenient, except when you live in small town Duncan where there is no UPS store.  So I called the Southern Box that is sort of a UPS store, but they don't have the scanner to read the code that Amazon sends. So I called the Post Office. After listening to several recordings and pushing buttons, I finally got a man who said, "Sure, I think we can do that. Or at least we should be able to do that." So I got myself put together and headed into town and the post office.  The lady at the window didn't mince words, "No. We cannot print labels." So I explained that someone at the PO said they could do it. She buzzed for her boss. I waited. And she was right, the Duncan PO cannot print labels. Sigh. Sometimes I hate technology.  I understand why people "go postal." Toby will have to take the package to Wichita Falls and take care of his package by himself.  Ha! Revenge is sweet.

Tomorrow I am getting up early to go to OKC for the Dale Martin pastel workshop. I 'm pretty excited. I'll let you know how it goes.