Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Posted!

It was pointed out to me twice yesterday that I had not posted in a while. I pointed out that I had lots of excuses. All of which are invalid. My biggest excuse it my laptop. It has been on the blink and I lost lots of stuff - like my favorites, my documents, my pictures. Some of this I have recovered, but it is a pain to retrieve them when I need them. Still, just an excuse.  Computers are suppose to make our lives simple - not a hassle.

So none of my family (siblings) is coming to my house for Thanksgiving. With Mom gone, I guess no one felt the need to be here for her and no one wanted to travel here and everyone wanted to just be with their own family.  Did we lose the glue that bound us? My own kids will be here and that is actually a good size crew. Should be fun!

It is suppose to be a beautiful day on Thanksgiving - perfect for being at the ranch. Since I care nothing for football games and TV stuff and would rather be outside, this will be great. Plus the grandkids can romp and stomp outside - much easier on everyone.

Jes is bringing some art friends - people who are far from home and can't make to their own families. Having other folks is always fun and interesting. It is not the first time she has invited strays home with her. Most of the time it works well. Sometimes we get her in a corner when no one is looking and beat her up.

My art classes have been going well. We have painted our fill of pumpkins and started on snowmen.This is from the snowman party: with a few pumpkins thrown in.

Last week I watched the grand-kids all day. One of my friends who lives near the GKs came by with her grand-daughter, Gwen.  Gwen happens to be Mr T's favorite kid to play with - both have older siblings who like to play rough. Both are rough and tough together. This day, they decided to play dress-up. Then they came in and stood in front of us and introduced themselves, "Princess Gwen and Racoon Titus" which was pretty funny. Then the older GGs fixed a tea party for them. Gwen said that she and Mr T were "Beauty and the Beast." If you can't tell from the photo, Mr T is wearing a coonskin cap.

  Okay, I posted. Now I get to clean house and make pies. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Almost Over

It has been a good week, but a busy week with something every day. Art classes, ladies luncheon, babysitting - those things are pretty normal around here. But our little church is putting on a Thanksgiving dinner for the "empty nesters." The dinner is Saturday night. Usually at the Thanksgiving dinner, there is some sort of entertainment.  In the past, we have played bingo for prizes. Yeha. Toby hates that. It is a lot like the dirty Santa game where everyone brings a gift and then you get to play bingo for a gift or take someone else's gift.  And as usual some of the gifts are great and some are pitiful. For some reason, I usually get the gift that makes me say, "What the heck do I do with this - like I need more junk!"

This year the entertainment for the dinner is different. One of my friends wrote a little mystery play. It is really good and will be much more fun than some old bingo game, but putting it on has been major work - fun, but work. Last night I spent four hours decorating for the play and dinner. Tonight is the final dress rehearsal.  Saturday night is the dinner and play. Sunday is the cast party at MY house.  Although I think this is going to be great fun when all is said and done, I am ready for it to be done.

I'd really like to tell you all about the play and show you pictures of the decorations - all awesome stuff, if I do say so myself. But we have been sworn to secrecy. This whole thing is suppose to be a big surprise. Yeah right. Is there such a thing as a "big surprise" when more than one person knows about it? At the ladies lunch thing earlier this week, one of the ladies involved in the play kept talking about it. When I told her that this was supposed to be a secret, she said, "What? I didn't tell them what it was about!" No, you told them just about everything else. Here, I had been trying to keep it totally a surprise. It reminded me of the time when I was a little girl and I bought my dad a book for Christmas. I was taunting him with how special his gift would be and how he didn't know what it was and it would be a big surprise. Somewhere in the conversation I said, "It is a great book!"  My dad laughed and said, "Now I know it is a book." I felt pretty silly. If you can't keep a secret, it is best if you just don't talk about it at all.

There are some things that are just not a big deal to me. Like last night while decorating I would have probably just put a pumpkin in the center of a table and called it decorated. But no, we went all out. This play, the decorations, the preparations have been work, but I bought into my friend's idea, her play, her enthusiasm, and I want to do a good job for her. Just a few more days and this will all be over. I'm ready. Then I can start thinking about Thanksgiving with my family. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lost Files

My laptop is dying. It has had a good long life, but it is old. Now and then it blacksout. The last time it went dark, I lost my favorites/bookmarks and my files. I'm sure they are there somewhere, but how do I find them? It may be more than I can fix. I think I need a computer doctor. I did manage to get back to my blog and dashboard, but I have no picture files to use. When I try to go to Facebook or someplace to get photos or my gmail, I need passwords. Some of those passwords were saved to a file that is now lost. I could make educated guesses, but sometimes certain websites close after you try several times. I hate this sort of thing.

On another note, I sent Toby off to work as Edgar the Bug Man from "Men in Black". He does a pretty good impression of Edgar. I'll post a photo when I can figure out how to get the picture to this laptop. Sigh.

On still another note, we are almost finished with the fence. I know, I know! It has been almost a year since we started this project. All we need now is to finish the watergap on the north side of our property and put the gates in place. It is exciting. Murry Don, the guy who bales our hay, said that our fence looked plum professional. Maybe we should go into the fencing business. We could call our fencing company, Fair Weather Fencers.

Yay! I managed to some photos. Here is Edgar
Here are the bugs I painted and cut out and stuck to Edgar Here is our Okie engineered barbed-wire stringer

Friday, October 27, 2017

Same Power

Same Power

I can see
Waters raging at my feet
I can feel
The breath of those surrounding me
I can hear
The sound of nations rising up
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

I can walk
Down this dark and painful road
I can face
Every fear of the unknown
I can hear
All God's children singing out
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

We have hope
That His promises are true
In His strength
There is nothing we can't do
Yes, we know
There are greater things in store
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

Greater is He that is living in me
He's conquered our enemy
No power of darkness
No weapon prevails
We stand here in victory

 This song is playing in my head this morning, maybe because I was a bit flustered yesterday. Toby had me run several errands in town yesterday morning. It was no problem and I got lots done. When I got home, my time was short before the art ladies came. Still, that was no problem either. I was just slow to remember that I had more ladies coming than usual and needed to clear my second table. Being a  bit of a pack-rat, it took me a while to get the junk off the table and get ready for art. Seven ladies showed up.  I didn't really have a lesson for them; just some choices on what they might want to do. Some chose to paint pumpkins in acrylic like Robin Egg and I had done a few weeks ago. Some chose to do little watercolors of fall scenes. None of it was a problem.  My "regulars" were helpful in setting up and helping the more needy.  But still, they were needy enough that I didn't get anything painted for myself. No problem. One of the younger ladies brought her 8 month old baby. Still not a problem. One of the ladies makes me a little crazed - something about her personality. And even that was not a problem. It may have been that my mind was on another project that I wanted to get finished, and I had somewhere to be that same evening. It could have been that I knew the gate had blown open and the horses were on the wrong side of the fence. Since there was little I could do about it, and I knew they would not wander far, I was good with it. I'm not sure what flustered me. 

There was really no problems whatsoever. I made it to my event that evening. I didn't get my project done, but it was not a problem either. That deadline was self-imposed and easily put off.  It was probably just the combination of all that was going on that put me on edge. It was the constant battle within myself to not let things bother me. By the end of the evening, I was stinkin' tired. And that is the reason for the song this morning.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Best Prof

The other day while visiting Jo at her art blog, I mentioned a painting that I did in college. It is actually a rather large pastel of stuffed animals. The professor had us students bring in several stuffed animals each. Then we piled them up to make a tower of stuffed toys. Using a view finder (mat board with a one inch square cut out) we found a view and painted it. In the class critique of the paintings, Prof Ashe said he thought our paintings were too soft. I argued that stuffed animals were soft, but the prof had us re-do the piece making our lines more crisp and defined. It was a great lesson. This was my painting.
I gave the painting to my cousin who was pregnant with her first child. That child is now 35 years old and posted a picture of the painting on FB not too long ago. I got the pic from his FB page.

It was a Drawing III class at MSU with Professor Richard Ashe. He was a bit of a perfectionist, but a reasonable man and a great teacher. For example, he taught us to mat and frame our work. He was very specific about what color mat board to buy, which was sold in the student union book store. The problem was that by the time class was out, the book store was closed. I was a commuter student driving an hour each way to class with several other ladies in a carpool. It was difficult for me to buy the mat board get it home and then get it matted before class the next few days. Most of the students could use the mat cutter in the art department, but I had to hustle off each day to meet my carpool ladies. I had a hand-held mat cutter and a T-square at home. The problem with such equipment was that it was easy to slip a bit and cut an ever-so-small cut in the corner of the mat. Professor Ashe would take one look at such an imperfection and say, "Redo this!"  At this time in my life, we were poor, Bo was two years old, I was commuting, working, and I was pregnant with Jesse. I didn't have time or money to buy lots of mat board. Art classes are so very time consuming and expensive!  Because the campus book store was closed when I got out of class, I often had to stop by a frame shop in WF that would sell me mat board that was nearly the same color as the board Prof Ashe expected us to buy, but not exactly the same. On the one hand, it taught me to be a better at framing, but on the other hand it was so frustrating when I messed up a mat.

One day in class, I had had to make-do with a mat that was not the right color and had a slight cut in the corner. When Prof Ashe said it would not do and to do another one, I lost it. I ranted about the book store being closed, cost, time, commuter problems, etc. Prof Ashe let me rant. Then he gave me time from class to go and get the mat board at the book store. He made other concessions for me, but still held me to a higher standard. Well, maybe he thought, "This lady is crazy and pregnant with hormones running amok!"

Anyway, I think back to that class and know that I learned more from Prof Ashe than any other art professors. I needed to be more of a perfectionist, because I was quite sloppy before that. I actually had another art professor (at Texas Tech) who said, "This painting is the only painting that followed the instructions. Too bad it is so sloppy." His words stuck with me, too. That class was a whole 'nuther story.

I could write a lot more on what I learned in his class, but  just know Prof Ashe's art lessons remain in my head to this day - in a good way.

After years of using my little hand-held mat cutter and a T-square, I bought myself a Logan mat cutter. Money, time, and age can be a good thing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pastels with the Little Girls

We've been working on fence in the afternoons when Toby gets home from work. The cooler weather this week has been helpful and much more pleasant for fence building. Amazingly enough, I still manage to work up a sweat. Fortunately, the sun sets earlier, and we don't work long. That's a really good thing for these old bones.

I had plans to get some pottery glazed for firing. And I did get a bit done Monday night, since Toby had to work on the four-wheeler rather than the fence. I had thought to put some wax resist on the bottoms of some pieces and come back the next morning to glaze them. But no. I ended up babysitting for the Grands - not that I minded that. While I was there, the piano teacher gave each of the kids a little lesson on the piano. Before she left, the two-year-old ran in and climbed up on the piano bench and sat with such correct posture and hand placement, it made me laugh. The teacher pulled up her chair and set up a book for him. Then he very lightly with two fingers touched the keys. The teacher praised him highly, and he was so pleased. Apparently it is a ritual with them.

I hurried home after babysitting, since I had art with the big girls. We did a little lesson on creating depth in painting. For the lesson, I chose pastels. I thought they would be easier since there is no paint mixing - the colors are what they are pretty much. My girls don't have that much experience with color and value, which are used for creating depth. Pastels should be easier for them in picking out cool and warm colors as well as dark and light. Pastels are dang messy, though. There was pastel dust and color all over the room and the students. But their paintings turned out fairly well.

Today I am supposed to paint with my old Painted Ladies group. Last week we went to Jean's funeral, which was very nicely done in her backyard, which she loved, and her paintings were displayed throughout her house. In a moment of emotion and nostalgia, Barb invited Glenna and me over to paint today - like old times. It will be great to paint with them again, but it will never be quite the same without Jean.