Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Clean Desk Is Worth It

Yesterday was Vicki's birthday and the dinner was planned to be at my house. All was well until we discovered that in the cleaning up of the wiring tangle (another story) in the basement, the oven was out and the problem was not not easily traced to the source. Texas white sheet cake mixed. No oven. Dean took it to church but the oven there left us with a thin black corner and three thicker slightly over-cooked corners. The beef noodle and crumble noodle casseroles went into the toaster oven and microwave. We had a lovely Sweet Kale (bag) salad, good conversation and a loving family. That's how it rolls at our house. 
Lights on the microwave - none on the oven

I did get some flowers arranged in the dining room.
and I got my desk cleaned off and it looks so good that I am going to try to keep it that way,getting out the things I am using, then putting them away. The "away" part needs a little work, but I am up to that thanks to reading The Magic of Tidying Up.

I should have one of those tables that have a top that lifts, revealing a storage place. Then again, that lamp is a little heavy to lift every time I need something!

All is well and all is well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline




Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fun with color on a c-o-l-d day.

That cold that is so vicious in the midwest is making things cold here, too. At least to us it is cold.(27 right now) I am so sorry for anyone  who has no warm place to be and even for those who do.

Well, I can't send pictures of cold, not that anyone would need them, but here is a picture of my haircut for all of you who have been holding your breath to see how it looks!
I don't do selfies well!

And here is an update. I don't like the very bottom but it is too cold to go out in the studio to fix it. There is a little heat out there but I don't think it is enough. The paint tubes were very cold yesterday and the fluid paint just wouldn't come out of the bottle; yesterday was warmer than today. I decided that I wouldn't even try today. 
We started an interesting class at church last night about Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer. It is only an hour each week and there is no homework (yea!). Father Joel is teaching and we are using a book by the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. See what becoming Episcopal can get you into? 

Sara has worked miracles in the basement. MIRACLES. One no longer needs to show one's shot record and wear protective clothing to descend. It is not ready to be photographed yet but it can be walked through with impunity. Both of the girls have put in time there and we really do appreciate it. I will be in charge of making you-know-who clean up his mess and put things away from now on. I guess that I had best learn to nag. You might hear that I already know how, but don't believe it. 

I have put up the Christmas things and moved the furniture again to yet a new arrangement. My desk is by the window now and I can see up the street and across to where my neighbor feeds the birds and has lots of cardinals to provide a bright spot on a grey day. We on the other hand have robins who gather at the bird bath. I have to go clear the ice twice a day, but it is only on the back porch. 
The aqua thing is a disassembled fountain. 

Bella and

Lucy (Sara's dog)
know what to do on a day like today!

All is well, 
XOXOXO.
Caroline

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 - off to a good start!

Sara is here and today she and DH tackled the basement. That might not sound like much but it is near to being condemned by the health department, I think. Jenny did lots of work on it while she was here for Thanksgiving but there is so much more to do that it nearly takes your breath away. I will not be posting a picture because you might call the authorities - or the hoarder site!

These are the three canvases that I have been working on.
Estuary

Earth and all Stars

Seekers

I am not sure of the names of any of them and I am not sure whether or not they are finished. Sometimes you have to get away and then come back to see what is needed. If you have a critique, let me know. 

I am still working on the Lizard Ridge afghan that I promised Jenny last year. I have 8 and ½ blocks to go then it has to be blocked and put together. I am aiming for her birthday at the end of January as a finish date. 

As you can see, it is very colorful and I have a lot of it done (two mire than in the photo). When it is blocked it will be wavy instead of lumpy. 
I have an appointment for a haircut Monday morning. What should I do? I am ready for a change. 
Are you making changes for 2015? Has your year started well? Let me know. 

All Is Well, 
XOXOXO,
Caroline

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Soup's on.

I would tell you how cold it is here but I know that it is cold there, too, and you don't really have any sympathy - you are too busy trying to keep warm yourself.  I went out today to the studio to take something and get some canvases. The sun was so nice, but the studio wasn't a place to linger. DH has ordered and we have received a heater for the studio but it isn't installed yet and may have to wait until the guys are here for Thanksgiving since DH can't really lift over his head and the heater is a ceiling mount. We will put plastic over the leaky windows and I will be cozy as can be. Until then, I have dragged the paints and some canvases into the house and I will work in the pantry. 
SO
Last week, when making tomato basil soup,
I had a little incident with the Ninja (blender)
I also found tomato on the exhaust fan over the stove which required taking it apart, the floor, myself, and there is a small spot on the ceiling that looks suspiciously red. The next day I found some on the wall opposite where the picture is. Sara predicts that we will find more when we start preparing Thanksgiving dinner! I am making some more soup but I think that I have learned an important lesson about blenders and hot stuff. 

DH and I worked this cute puzzle of 500 pieces over a few days. All the books in each shelf have names according to the other objects in the shelves and all are wordplays on well-known novels. I really chose it for the colors, though. The colors make me so happy. 
I did a little work on this old painting but think that I might have some more to do. The white in the center is glare that I couldn't get rid of but I think that the blue to the lower right of it might need to be changed. I am going to my art group tomorrow and they will critique, ever so gently, for me. 

As you know, I am not a fan of cold weather but these days I am so thankful for shelter and heat. I am afraid that there will be many who suffer miserably this winter. I will do what I can to help and I am sure that you will also. 

All is well and all will be will, 
XOXOXO
Caroline





Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm Still Here

You might have thought that I had given up blogging and I nearly did, but here I am again. I have been busy with three classes again but one is finished, one is finishing in ten days and one is finishing in two weeks except that I have to write a little talk to give on 1 December for graduation(EfM). There are, of course a few other things to do as well. It appears that November will be a busy month.

Meanwhile, I, whether for good or not I am not sure, have run across this book.
I always thought of tidying up as putting things back in place and maybe running a dust cloth over the furniture. Not so to this Japanese girl who believes that tidying up means handling everything, and I mean every little thing you own and deciding if it "strikes joy" or should be discarded in one way or another.  She suggests starting with clothes and that is what I have done. We  have given away about six full kitchen garbage bags of clothes and shoes and I haven't really started on the shoes. 

Here are all my hanging clothes. Actually I have a few other things. Two very dressy party dresses, one short and one long, that I haven't yet tried on, and a few summer things. 

These are scarves, gowns and shirts. All of them but what I now have on. I do have a drawer with some jeans and other pants. 

Undies and camisoles (sideways picture, sorry)and bathing suits. 

Socks, hankies, tights and the stuff that goes in my purse. 

Even the coat closet benefitted from a cleanup. 


We have begun tackling books and have a few hundred ready to go to the used book store or library but there are still a few shelves to be sorted. Papers will be next and that will be quite a job, I'm sure. Mementoes and little things fall in line just ahead of (shudder) the basement, the garage, and the studio. I have begun on the studio but even there much remains to be done. I want to have all this finished by the end of the year, but that might not be reasonable. Hold a good thought!

Meanwhile, DH is to have arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn ligaments of his rotator cuff on Friday. He will have his arm in a sling that will be attached to his body and they have said to wear a shirt that will go on his left arm and around his body and button.  I don't think they know the size of his shoulder and arm.  I might have to get two shirts, take the front off one and stitch it to the placket of the other and go from there. Kind of a double-breasted flannel shirt. Maybe we will start a new fashion. 

It is busy days here but not so busy that I don't think of you.
All is well and all will be well, 
XOXOXO

Caroline

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I'm Back!

For better or worse, I'm back. Someone asked this week what was with the blog and I have to say that I don't quite know. Suddenly I wasn't drawing or blogging either one. I was reading, so maybe I can blame it on Louise Penny, whose ten books I read in about a week. I also went to Tullahoma and to the doctor with Dean and I have done some work on the house, changing things around once more and...the time just flew. 

What has been done, though, is this. I moved dishes and other stuff around in the kitchen. It seems to take living with things for a while before their best places can be found. When we had the family over for DH's birthday I discovered that earlier in the summer I had put too many glasses up way too high to be used so that cabinet was rearranged. The upper and lower cabinets on the other side were also rearrange slightly so that now the pantry is a little easier to work in. 






















I also took another shot at getting the living room better. This required the Vicki and Caro Decorating and Furniture Moving Company, and I think it is finally right. I need to buy or make some pillows (cushions) for the sofa backs, but at first I thought I was going to have to buy a new sofa! My partner in crime  decorating had a better idea and we moved a table and the sofas and voila. here it is. DH says that it looks bigger and I agree. If not really larger, at least more open. 

Hint: try moving your furniture around in the show room and don't buy anything as heavy as mine!





I am sorry that these are so dark. I took them at night and evidently without flash.  If you are just dying to see another view let me know and I will reshoot these. The pictures/paintings still have to be hung. 


Our painting class has formed a group called MMIA - Mixed-Media Inspired Artists- and we are having a show right now in Dalton GA. We also have shows planned for next spring and the following spring as well, both of those in Chattanooga. We each have three pieces in the present show and I hope that this time one of mine sells from the gallery. Of course I took one of them off my wall to enter it so if they don't I will just put it back up. 
























DH returned to the doctor yesterday and will go Tuesday for an MRI then see the doctor the following Tuesday to discuss what is to be done. The consensus at this time is that surgery will be required followed by a month of healing and then physical therapy. Unfortunately the porch wasn't finished when all this happened but fortunately there is flooring in front of the door so we can use the front door. Finishing the fence is back on the back burner for a while, though. So yesterday we were talking about screen doors and DH found one - that he plans to build. Maybe after the kitchen windows promised last winter and still not done. which are in line right after the porch and the fence and the dust collector for his shop and...I think that I will be talking to Ka-Ching (our pet name for our builder) about the kitchen windows.  There are only storms in the space over the sink. Thin storm windows. 

Still, all is well and all is well, and all manner of things will be well.
XOXOXO
Caroline



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Coolness and Chocolate

When I read about the summer snow in the northwest I hoped that we would get some of that cool air and today we did. It is such a welcome break from the hot and humid days that we have been having. It was so nice, in fact, that I cut the grass and did not pass out from the heat! I also went to the grocery store for a few items, put a quilt on the frame, did some laundry, finished a book and took the car through the carwash. For me that is a busy day. Tonight I have opened windows (the ones we have gotten open) and I am looking forward to a cool night's sleep, smelling the air scented by the Mars plant. I think they are baking the cookie part of TWIX.

About the book I finished. I read a mention of author Louise Penny and have since then been devouring her mysteries. The hero is Superintendent Armand Gamache who has thoughtful brown eyes and non of the brashness usually associated with crime solvers. Set in Quebec, the stories are peopled with a variety of characters who develop throughout the series. Ms Penny also scatters poetry within the stories but not too much and very well written.  She doesn't write it herself, and in the fourth book she tells who the poets are that she is quoting. The poetry  is good enough that I will be looking for their books, too. 

Here is Bella after her recent haircut. The poodle has come out. She was so knotty and matted that the groomer had to trim her rather closely. Without all the usual hair hanging in her eyes she is seeing the world anew!



Here in Cleveland we have some of the most industrious spiders I have ever seen. The webs don't radiate from a central point but are almost knit. There are often two layers and they are so dense that they look like fabric - something like chiffon or silk organdy. AND, they are everywhere .If you tear all the webs down one day they are back the next. The front and back porches have loads of them and one spider even had the nerve to send a silk strand down to my paint brush! While I was at the table (but not using that brush)!! Nervy girl. I have walked through so many of those things that I am almost resigned to it. Now that's sad.

Something else kinda sad. About two weeks before Jackson left us I ordered raised dog beds for both dogs. They were delivered yesterday.  I hope that Bella will use hers and we will find someone else to use the other one. 

All is well and all is well
XOXOXO
Caroline