Thursday, October 20, 2016

Venting the Double Standard

While watching mainstream media news this morning, I saw a clip of last night's debate where Hillary was attacking Trump on the sexual allegations against him.

Maybe it slipped her memory or the voter's memory that Bill Clinton has had a career full of sexual allegations and sexual harassment suits. It was even shown in court that he had sexual relations with a young intern in the Oval Office while President - which he lied about under oath. Yet, Hillary stood by him. Condoning his behavior?

Why is this important for voters to remember? Any other commanding officer or highly elected official or employer would have lost their career or worse for doing what Bill Clinton did. It is morally and ethically wrong to have sexual relations with a person in your command or under your employment. Many have lost their careers over far less than Bill's actions.  So ask yourself: Why not Bill Clinton? Why was he above the law? Do you want the Clinton machine back in the White House? Where is/was the outrage?

If Hillary is elected, Bill will be back in the White House. He will have access to young interns again. I assume his duties as First Lady will have him working with lots of women's and children's issues. Scary thought!

And yet, Hillary does not seem to see the problem with her husband's sexual allegations, but she does on Trump's. On the other hand, Hillary has been told, "I did not have sex with that woman" so many times. No wonder she doesn't believe Trump.

If that is not enough to make you vote against the Democrats, think of this: Has Obamacare been good for you? Has your healthcare improved. Has the cost gone down?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Austin Wedding

This past weekend we made a fast and wild trip to the Texas Hill Country for my nephew's wedding. It was beautiful.

Saturday we drove to Austin in time to get to my brother's house for a pre-wedding dinner. My brother and SIL live in a beautiful home in South Austin which made the perfect setting. My SIL had a great supper ready for a fairly large group. It was all casual and comfortable where the two families could get to know each other.

Sunday morning Toby, Jesse, and I went to Magnolia's for breakfast. Sometimes you need migas and pancakes along with good coffee. At Magnolia's you can get all three. We were early to the wedding venue which was at Lady Bird Lake near the Hyatt. We sat out on the patio at the Hyatt waiting on the rest of the wedding party and watched the joggers on the trail along the lake. By 10 AM we were on the party barge that would take us out to the middle of the lake for the ceremony.  There was a little glitch in the plans when the lady who was making the flowers forgot to make them.  We had to wait on the flowers and some of the wedding party whose job was to pick up the flowers. My nephew had a good attitude towards it all saying, "Ya know it is kind of our own fault. We could have gone with a normal florist. But no, we went with the bi-polar, schizophrenic friend of the family..." The crazy florist whipped some flowers together quite nicely with some electrical tape. And we set out to the middle of the lake where we made our way up and down the lake a few times for the ceremony. The day was beautiful. There was a comfortable breeze that kept us cool without being windy. By the time we got back to shore, the day was heating up.
The beautiful bride with her flowers

We all drove to Gruene Hall in Gruene, TX for the reception. Toby, Jesse, and I stopped for a few minutes to see Bill and Annette Gill who live in a retirement community in Gruene. It was fun to see them, but sad too. It was sad, because they are like my mother - a generation passing away quickly.

My ex-SIL was singing at Gruene Hall. We danced and had a good time visiting with her side of the family. I do love the Hinojosa Clan. Tish is the baby of six sisters and one brother not to mention seven other half brothers and sisters.The sisters all have kids about the same age as my kids, and now they are grown like my kids. It was a large group. After the dancing we went over to the Grist Mill for supper - all forty-plus people. Once again, we had a great time, but we were worn out by 7:30 and headed to our B&B.

The B&B was quaint and comfortable, but not great. After a shower, we managed to make it to 8:30 before we fell into bed. We got up early for the weak coffee and lousy breakfast and then headed home. Since we had driven down I35, we decided to go home via 281. It was a pleasant drive.

After dropping Jesse at her house, we went to check on Mom, who had been calling all weekend. Apparently, Mom broke up with her boyfriend again and was having a bad weekend. We took her shopping. Hopefully that will placate her for a bit.

I am so glad to be home. Today is art with my little girls and I am going to revel in them and art.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Another Bridge

Last week was exceptionally busy for a person of leisure like myself. On Tuesday I had my second art class with the little girls - nine of them and two were absent! I asked if they wanted to split into two groups - two different days, but they all like being together. That is okay with me. It is a large class that will keep me hopping, but I think they will be pretty good art students. Several have had some art with me before, so I may set them together to give them separate assignments. It is a fun group.

 On Wed and Thursday, I gave the ITBS test to a couple of home schooled boys. Because I am a certified teacher, I can order and give the test. It is good for the homeschoolers to take the test. It gives the parents an idea of the strengths and weakness of their kids and it is good practice for the kids in taking other tests like ACT and SAT's. The boys who took the test with me last week are great kids.

When I finished with the art class and the tests, I cleared my art table of school stuff and got out my pastels. I have several ideas for paintings starting with the bridge I painted a week ago. This little bridge is on the river in Red River - about the middle of town. When I was a kid, there were few bridges except for the far ends of town or on private land. Of course we kids were all up and down the river playing - inner-tubing, wading, fishing, etc - it was our playground. I've seen the river swell the banks after a year of heavy snowfall and be over my head in places. Most of the time it is knee to thigh deep. Sometimes it is strong enough to knock you off your feet. I have great memories of times playing on the river, and a scar on my leg where I fell on a board with a nail in it. I couldn't tell my mom, because I was not suppose to be in the river that day.

Back to the painting and the bridge: the bridge crosses the river from the beautiful sidewalk/park side over to the mountain side where there is a walking trail. Actually there are trails all over the mountain - where I played as a kid. I used to know those trails well and built many a fort...I'm getting off again. The river and the mountain bring such great memories. The bridge is beautiful and convenient. Deer come down the mountain and cross on the bridge and walk right into the middle of Red River.

When Jesse came home this weekend and saw my watercolor and my pastel of the bridge, she said that it brought great memories from her childhood too. Summer before last when Bo and the kids were in RR with us, Bo said that his childhood in RR was really special and very unique. It was for me too. He had a great time showing his girls his playground. The bridge was one of the places we took the girls.

Speaking of Bo and the grandkids, they all came over for Sunday lunch. The girls are getting so big. GBN1 is in my art class!  Now with the boys, things were hopping here. It was tough for me and Toby to keep up with both boys. They were into everything and everywhere. Am I getting slower?

Here is the pastel. You can compare it to the watercolor of last week. The color of the photo here is not like the painting exactly. I am also going to redo the blue sky in the upper left corner. I'll take another photo after I make that change. Maybe it will work out better. 
Here is the photo I used as a reference. It was taken by the Red River Miner.
 Here is Toby and Jesse's projectA firebox with different designs on each side. This is the Zia side.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Internet Woes

We've had a little internet problem, which is not unusual in the country. But you would think in this day and age, the internet folk could do better.

A couple of years ago we switched our internet server from Rhino to Wichita Online. Then WO got bought out by Rise Broadband. I was happy with the internet at that time, because I could actually downstream a movie without waiting over and over for it to load. Now, Toby and I don't watch lots of movies, but we do want to have good service. We get up early in the mornings and look over our online stuff - like Facebook, my blog, emails, stocks, etc. So, at 5:30 AM, you would think we would be able to do that. Unfortunately our internet had a mind of its own. For months now, it has slowed down to where I could not downstream any TV shows. Facebook was iffy. At first we thought it was high usage times, but then it started happening at all times of the day and night.

We called Rise Broadband, and after some checking our speeds, they sent someone out. The guy was very nice. He told me our equipment was all good. So why could we get on the internet and get movies, etc before, but not now? He said that Rise B. needed to upgrade their equipment. He said I should keep a record of when my internet did not work and call in and complain. Then maybe they would do something. He said he had been after them to upgrade for a while now. Great. He also said other people were having the same issue. I know my neighbor has been calling Rise. If your business is not about keeping the customer happy, you don't really want customers.

Well, all of this got a rise out of me and especially out of Toby. We discussed it with our computer guru, Shay. Shay turned on our mobile hotspot on our phones and tried getting internet from our phones. Yay Shay! It worked pretty darn well.  So next we hot-footed it down to the phone store and upped our data for about ten dollars more. Then canceled our Rise Broadband for a savings of about $40.  We will see how it works and if we need more data. Still, it is cheaper than the broadband.  My neighbor did something similar, but I think they are using a hotspot box and Direct TV, which is part of AT&T. The things we country folk do to be part of the modern world!

Here are a couple of my last September watercolors. Today I am going to do the bridge in pastels (wicked laugh insert) and I'm really excited about pastels.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Worker Bee or Queen

My dad always said that I was the best carpenter's helper he had ever had. Dad and I worked well together back in the day, and now I work well with Toby. When working on carpenter projects, I can see what tools are needed, get them ready, and hand them to you before you even realize you were about to reach for them. I can usually see what needs to be done and getter' done. I don't mind taking a backseat to the carpenter, but I do love to swing a hammer.

A couple of weeks ago, I went down to help our friend Shay who his putting in a new coffee shop. He had bought lots of old wood pallets to use for building/decorating his coffee shop. Since I love this kind of work, I went and helped him build this wall. My job was squaring off the ends of the pallet boards and cutting them to the size Shay needed. Shay was the placer and nailer. It was his vision. At one point, we came across a few boards that were stained a turquoise color. Shay did not want to use those in his wall, although I thought they would be really cool. Turquoise was not his vision, so I took those boards home with me for frame making :) Anyway, we got the walls covered and with some help, we got the room painted. Shay moved his coffee roaster and equipment in and got open.

His plan was to open the backdoor to people who wanted to buy bagged coffee or a cup of coffee or cold brews while he worked to get the drive-thru finished. It turned out that there was so much foot traffic coming in the backdoor, he needed help - someone to sell coffee while he worked on the shop. So he hired a couple of ladies (friends from church) to come in and learn the coffee business. On Monday, I went in to learn also, so that I could be of help when he needed me. We've talked about me helping to set up his kitchen and getting him going. Besides being a pretty good carpenter, I'm good in service. I spent lots of time in the restaurant business. I can see what needs to be done and getter' done. But I don't want a full-time job. 

I worked yesterday afternoon making coffees and cold brews and helping with other coffee shop needs. It was a good time. This morning I went in at 6 AM to learn how to open, because Shay is going out of town and needs me to open on Friday.  I want to be a help.

Here is where things get tricky. How much do I want to help? What is my roll? Am I an assistant to the manager? Or am I a minimum wage worker? Maybe my vision is not Shay's vision. I have to figure this out.

World Watercolor group paintings.:

It is good that there are only a few more days of Sept. I think I am tired of watercolor and will do some other art.

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