Tuesday, May 24, 2016

anxiety, dog butt, and chiggers

I guess the anxiety for my upcoming trip to the North Lands Creative Center in Scotland is starting up. I have three flights to make to get there and last night I dreamed I missed the second one, the one that will take me overseas. I also dreamed I dropped a $20 bill and couldn't find it. I also dreamed that I had a big potted plant as a gift for a friend and their door was unlocked so I just walked in and through the house with it to the back garden where they were entertaining and she wasn't too happy about my having just walked in the house and then told me they were getting a divorce. I don't know what the fuck that was about. Or even who the friend was.

What I do know is time is running out and my trip that was months away is now only weeks away and I am a little anxious about the three flights (did I leave enough time between each to accommodate any delays, is it going to take me three hours to get through security like I've been reading about, how miserable am I going to be in coach for 8 hours while flying over the Atlantic Ocean, will my checked bag make it there with me). Oddly, I'm not anxious about arriving safely, not worried about crashing or terrorists.

I have to prepare a presentation. I had to do that for the residency I did with Catharine Newell three years ago so I'm starting with it and updating it. Only one person will have heard it before. It took me three days then to write it and prepare the slide show that goes with it. I'm making it a bit longer with more pictures this time.


I'm finishing up the last intermediate drawing for the A&M job. Just have the butt and tail of the dog on the last drawing to complete. I didn't work on it yesterday, taking the day off to run accumulated errands plus I'm tired of drawing shaggy dog hair. This particular section on this black and white dog is a black hole of black. Even when I use photoshop to lighten it up, the defining lines of hip, leg, and tail are not clear. 

I had planned to go into the city on Thursday to get the prints I need for the next set of drawings but Marc has proposed going to the movie to see Captain America: Civil War before it leaves and I'm all for that. Guess I'll go in town on Friday. Don't want to go tomorrow because I go to yoga on Wednesday and I don't want to be running around the city and then trying to beat the traffic over the Colorado River bridge and through all the construction on the highway home to get back in time. Besides, I'd rather have a stiff drink when I get home after a day in the city.


I worked out in the yard all day Sunday, well, til about 3 PM when I was thoroughly pooped doing maintenance. You could see my progress around the 1/2 acre by the piles and trails of debris left in my wake. It was hot and muggy out there and I dug up pecan and other trees and pruned the dead wood out of a large rose bush and pulled out the gone by bluebonnets and clumps of grass and other weedy things out of the wildflower garden and fertilized the azaleas and numerous other small tasks and became home to a bunch of chiggers that think the crack of my butt and between my legs is the best place ever.  I also pulled out the guara I planted (or rather that planted itself through the pot) last fall because it WOULD NOT BLOOM. Besides it had gotten to be 7' tall and was being a bully in the garden and I had warned it over and over that it had better perform. I've had guara before in that very same spot that bloomed madly and only got about 3' tall.

But here at the beginning of summer, the gardens are looking pretty good. Things have filled out and started blooming since the grand tour.


  1. It's terrific that you're going to Scotland to talk about your work. It'll be great. Security in the US is a pain in the arse, but by now it may not be so annoying as it has been in the past. I like your drawings. I'm sure you can invent the dog's rear end if you have to. Your garden is beautiful. Chhers.

  2. Well, I wouldn't be able to breathe if I was supposed to be going to Scotland soon. Due to anxiety, of course. So I think you're doing great!
    And your yard! Mine is just sort of on its own right now. There is much I could be doing but I'm not. Soon. I will do it soon.

  3. Now is the time it all looks so pretty and together.

  4. Oh, chiggers. I was a little farther out and about than I usually get this past weekend, and I brought home more fire ant and chigger bites than I've had for some time. Maybe ever. Sigh.

    One place I went was the Hawley cemetery over by Blessing. It was most impressive -- and I had no idea Shanghai Pierce was buried there, or that he had a connection with Wharton. Interesting.

  5. I also have dreams full of anxiety when I plan a big trip now.. However, it is worth it when you are going on a trip to a wonderful place that you have never been. Enjoy every moment and make lovely memories.

  6. Your garden is a charmer. found 2 colors of indigo yesterday starting all over the prairie.I would worry more about being able to do everything fun while on your trip. Once you are through the first flight you are free of TSA.My first time going overseas I thought I might be able to see whales. Not possible at 35K ft.HA! the crew was amused.

  7. Yeah, I think your garden is looking pretty great! I wonder if the guara would perform better if planted outside the pot? (Because it just grew into the ground through the bottom of the pot, right?)

    You should ask your clients to use a lighter-colored dog. Ha!

    Oh, and while it's perfectly normal to feel anxiety before a flight, let me just say the trans-Atlantic thing is not so bad. A couple of movies and a nap and it's over!

  8. "8 hours"? Just eight? Let's talk when you have a 16 hour flight... Just watch 3 movies and the time will fly. That said, get an aisle seat. Also, check the TSA site before you leave for the airport. They post the wait times there. Lines can be long but they depend on airport, time of day and security entry point. Pick the shortest line. Luggage now mostly only gets lost if the bag tag comes off and that happens usually only if they put in on a strap that gets torn off (personal experience here). I have traveled all over the world including India, New Zealand, Bali, Russia, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Israel, UK and all over Europe and have only once or twice had my bag not show up and then only due to significant flight delays or in-transit changes. If you expect to go through immigration at Heathrow, 2 hours between flights might be useful - although they have gotten much better with the completion of their new terminals. Otherwise most international transit lounges are reasonably comfortable and an hour between flights is sufficient. Now... the 7 hour time zone shift... that's a different problem. Have fun!

  9. Ellen!
    I don't know how I could have missed this..? But yes, going to Scotland in coach is not my idea of fun either, take a sleeping pill :)

    The bowl cum bird bath with the succulents is beautiful and that little blue chair in the background, the perfect place to sit and relax, sigh... and have a little drink.

    Such talented drawings.


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