Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It's a scary thing when you wake up one day and find you have acquired the entire contents of someone's studio. My husband's great aunt who was like a grandmother to him passed away recently. While we were unloading all the contents from her room at the retirement home, the family informs me that I am to have all of her art supplies. She was a wonderfully talented china painter, something I've yet to learn, and gathered many fabulous items over the years. In the last year or so she had given me one of her three electric kilns and a large supply of greenware, paints, and books. I was thrilled when she shared these things with me while she was alive, and looked forward to maybe sitting down with her at some point to have her teach me this new skill. When I came home with the original stash I hurried through book after book trying to learn something about the craft, but when I put my brush to the porcelain the skill was not there. I second-guessed myself many times. I did not know how to mix paint properly, and felt uncomfortable with the idea of firing before the entire image was finished. With this medium you are supposed to apply thin layers of paint, firing each time in between, thus building up the layers to increase saturation of color. The only technique I've ever known is hurry up and get it done, not come back to it in a few days over the period of a month. So, I put down my china and didn't look at it for some time. When I picked it up again I was sad to learn that I had no way to fire it because I needed to do some rewiring before we could plug in my wonderful new(never been used) kiln. So, when I was told I would receive all the remaining supplies which cover an entire living attic space (two large rooms) and part of a garage I was surprised, and a little fearful. I want to create and honor her memory, but I am nervous that I will not have the patience for the craft. We will go back in a few weeks to pack and move the many many boxes of porcelain and paints along with two large electric kilns. I am excited to learn something new and have the supplies to do it, but more than anything I am sad to have lost such an amazingly loving and talented person. She will be missed, and she will be remembered.

Monday, July 20, 2009

When it rains it pours-and then your in a torrent.

You know the phrase "when it rains it pours"...well, it seems that when it pours it's torrential. It may not be my own personal rainstorm, but it seems everyone around me is getting swept up in the downpour of bad things happening to them. My mother calls me last Tuesday evening and says her a/c has gone out and has apparently been off with no ventilation in the house while it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit most of the day. Dad has looked at it and must call the repair man the next day. They are going to buy a window unit for that night. She calls Wednesday evening and says the refrigerator isn't working-half the food has already spoiled during the course of the day while they were at work. So, she moves all salvageable items to the backup drink fridge outside. Thursday I took them another oscillating fan to move some air. When I got home it was pretty normal, but right when it got dark, the power went out. Now, this wasn't just a regular old flicker- the whole block was PITCH BLACK! For 30 minutes we sat in the driveway listening to neighbors try to find flashlights and matches. Finally the power came back, and 10 minutes later went out again. This time it was only about 5 minutes- but when you are in a dark corner of the house by yourself it's still pretty scary. So, Friday I went to see my sister-in-law because she always makes me happy. She said she threw a rod on her car. Explanation; it is irreparable. So we spent an hour or two debating this fact-not that we can change it one bit, but we still just talked and talked. Saturday I went over to help mom and dad move the backup fridge inside and the broken one out to the carport to be worked on. My husband and I had an additional backup fridge(used for drinks) that they are using for the overflow and as a just in case. While we were there the 20 year old monster of a microwave started to give out, so I now have a mini-microwave(in comparison) sitting in my car to take to their house. Mom may have to relearn how to microwave-cook since this newer model actually works properly. Well, we got home late Saturday night and I heard running water. There was no running water in the house, but something was sure running through the pipes. So, we turned off all the fans and listened to all the walls. It was quite comical if someone had seen it from the outside. Anyway, we determined there was a very small leak in the shower wall of our master bath. Nothing to worry about until Monday b/c the cost of a repairman on the weekend would double. Then on Sunday I noticed the shower floor was at least 30-50 degrees hotter than the regular floor, and this sent me into a bit of a tizzy. Not only was the whooshing sound getting louder and faster, but now the floor was hot too! So we've called the plumber and are waiting for him to come to the house after lunch-what I'm really dreading is the demolition that will take place and then the bill. I am so nervous they will have to tear out the floor and wall b/c we have a slab foundation and I've seen it happen before at my brother's just the same way. So, happy Monday!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Oozing at the Zoo

Saturday we were invited to a birthday party at the zoo. Sounded like it would be a great time, and we'd get to see family we hadn't seen in quite a while. Well, going to the zoo in the middle of the day on the hottest day of the year with no cloud coverage isn't such a good plan. We did have a great time, but man was it hot. I reapplied sunscreen at least twice during the two hours we were there because I could feel myself burning through it. When we entered the zoo it was pretty funny because there was a line where the shade met the no shaded zone on the concrete and everyone just stopped. We all waited for a good 10 minutes before we edged forward into the no-shade zone and then hurried to the closest indoor exhibit which was quite crowded. I am sure they were just doing the same thing we were. Then, we were nudged forward by the children who so eagerly wanted to climb the giant ramp to see/feed the giraffes. We raced quickly to the nearest tree and watched the few very brave parents endure the hot climb. My niece finally convinced me to make the trek to the top of the bridge where we stayed all of two seconds while the giraffe hid underneath us for shade. We climed back down and found the concession stand who sold powerade which tasted like medicine. Finally we all decided we'd seen as many animals as we could stand and headed home learning a few great lessons; Don't have zoo parties in the summer at lunch time; Don't have children with summer birthdays; Don't forget to sunscreen your feet and neck; Don't underestimate the power of children.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Glass Slipper=Bloody Footprint

Friday is usually the day I get to come home early to do my shopping, running around, and house-cleaning. This Friday was no different really, except that my husband was home for the afternoon as well. It's much harder to get any real cleaning done when he's home because he just lays around and watches tv, but I was determined to get our house spotless. In my efforts to pick up and straighten, I decided to rearrange the furniture-the heaviest furniture we own-in the bedroom. I thought this would be a nice change after 3 years of the same basic layout. While cleaning I was straining to listen for the UPS delivery man b/c we were expecting a package for Father's Day and I didn't want to miss the delivery and hunt down the package. Well, the doorbell rang and I took off running through the house trying to catch the door. Only one or two steps into my dead sprint I halted and yelled COMING!!!- because I couldn't get any further. There was a searing pain shooting up through my right foot, and I was trying not to yell profanities in case the delivery person was waiting. I hobbled as quickly as possible to the door to find no delivery person, but fortunately of all days he actually left the package on the doorstep (this is VERY rare at our house). I was thrilled, but still couldn't step down, so I picked up my foot and there was blood everywhere. I couldn't believe a little sticker could possibly create such a wound, and realized there was a quarter-inch piece of glass sticking out of my foot! I pulled it out, and here came the blood-gushing, dripping all over the porch and entryway to the house. Fortunately we have wood flooring instead of carpet. I tried to wipe the blood away and ended up with a hand full of it and more still coming out of my foot. The entry already looked like a violent attack had just happened, so I hopped into the kitchen, grabbed a handful of paper towels and tried to wipe up the new shoe of blood forming on my foot. I got it to slow down as much as I could, and hobbled back across the house to the bathroom where the first aid is located. After washing the wound thoroughly, I went for the antibiotic ointment and bandages. There was no ointment, so I hobbled back to the kitchen where I remembered an emergency first aid kit, no ointment there either. So I slapped on a bandage and went to cleaning the floors. I texted my husband who was gone during the whole fiasco and told him "don't freak out when you see all the blood." I've never had to clean so much blood before, it was pretty tough. I got most of the floor mopped up before he got home, but wasn't able to clean the porch. It really did look like something greusome had taken place-I'm just glad none of the neighbors came by, they probably would have called the law!

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Time

So, this is the very first blog I've every written. I've enjoyed reading my friend's blogs over the years, but never considered doing it myself. The concept seems odd to write about my life, but I thought I'd give it a try. My main goal for this blog is to display and get feedback on my artwork, but I will probably throw in other things as well. We'll see how this goes.