Sunday, February 27, 2022

Russia, Ukraine, and Trumplicans

I tried to embed the following link but it didn't work. By all means, take the time to view this.

Message to Russian troops from Kyiv's Defenders.

Ukraine is holding its own to Putin's surprise and consternation. He sent untrained young men who don't really want to be there. Saw one report that Ukraine had captured 200 Russian soldiers, all around 19 years old. The Ukrainians are letting them call their parents. Saw another report that the Russian soldiers were looting food from Ukrainian stores. Apparently the Russian generals thought that the invasion would be short and swift and didn't figure on needing a lot of food, or gas for that matter, for their army. Ukrainians are blocking roadways and in one instance at least caused a Russian tank to turn around and leave. Kyiv is still unoccupied, Russia still does not have control of the air over Ukraine, the citizens are weaving camouflage nets, collecting arms, making molotov cocktails and joining the fight alongside their soldiers while surrounding nations are sending munitions and other supplies to Ukraine. Meanwhile the Russians are targeting everything...kindergartens, residential buildings, emergency vehicles.

Russia has become a pariah to the world with massive protests and sanctions against the country and it's oligarchs and come Monday, their economy is going to come crashing down. Even his 'allies' are remaining silent or coming out against the invasion with massive protests in Russia and other Eastern European countries and the Russian oligarchs, unhappy that their assets and properties are being seized or frozen, are starting to put pressure on Putin. In response Putin is using the threat of nuclear retaliation, of course he is, but at the same time he has had Belarus intercede with Ukraine to hold ceasefire talks with Russia. Ukraine has agreed though Zelensky says he doesn't expect there will be a positive outcome. This is more likely an attempt to lure Zelensky out to be captured or killed as Russia has done in the past.

None of this has gone as Putin expected or hoped, surprised I think by the unified response of the Ukrainians. Trump was supposed to be reelected after setting the stage for the Russian takeover of Ukraine. Trump did as he was told, doing his best to destroy NATO, pulling us out of the Open Skies treaty, handing Putin sensitive national security intelligence, refusing to send the money to Ukraine for it's national defense which might have never been uncovered if not for Vindman. Trump would not have objected to the invasion, no sanctions would have been applied. Even now Trump calls Putin a genius and the invasion a smart move with certain Russian asset GOP congresspeople supporting Putin instead of standing united against him with the administration, while Russian flags with TRUMP written across the blue stripe are circulating at CPAC this weekend. The Republican party in general is using this invasion to try and undermine Biden, calling him weak when they know that Biden is anything but weak and has refused to be cowed by Putin unlike Trump who would come out of his meetings, from which he barred the American press, with the Russian authoritarian with his head hanging. The GOP likes to point out that Putin didn't invade Ukraine while Trump was in office but the fact is Trump was giving Putin everything he wanted to insure his eventual invasion succeeded.

Putin has put his nuclear forces on high alert, laying the blame on NATO countries and the West's support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia which has made Putin feel threatened even as he continues his invasion. Surely Putin isn't so far around the bend that he would actually use them instantly insuring that Russia is destroyed in kind. We haven't seen this level of threat of nuclear weapons since the Cold War. I'm not going to fear a nuclear holocaust. I've been through that already. I lived through the Cold War, with nuclear annihilation hanging over us daily, with nuclear bomb drills at school, with the extra emergency pantry that was supposed to hold a year's worth of canned food as if any of that would have saved anyone and living in fear of that will not stop it from happening.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

squirrels, birds, and trail riders

It turned cold again Tuesday night. It's overcast and in the 40˚s currently dropping into the 30˚s tonight and for a couple of nights. There are two squirrels in the little backyard that have been keeping me entertained and driving the dog nuts. I finally had to bring the one bird feeder in because I could not keep one (or both) off it. And they aren't in the least intimidated by me, holding their ground until I get about 3' away staring at me until they leap away. So now the cardinals keep flying to the tree looking for it and the squirrel(s) keep coming back to the branch looking for it as well.

Or else on the shepherd's crook trying to get at the squirrel proof one. 

Eventually I'll give in and put it back out (which I did when I had four cardinals and a chickadee sitting in the tree giving me the stink eye).

You may not of noticed, and why would you since I haven't been in the habit, but I've been trying to reply to all your comments the last several posts. I do appreciate that you take the time to tell me what you think.

It was cold in the house Wednesday night and I opted not to go to yoga. I had been feeling achy in the head and neck, a funky stomach, afib acting up because I forgot to take my pills the night before, all day. (OMG, is this covid?!) We're all so paranoid, the least little feeling of unwellness has us freaking out. But no, not covid, I'm fine today.

And it is cold today, low 30s when I got up and at midday has only made it to 40˚ and overcast. But I know why this front came's the week of the trail rides that come into the city for Go Texan Day on Friday for the start of the rodeo and livestock show and the parade. The trail rides recreate the paths that the cowboys used to drive their cattle to market. When I was in high school it was the only day us girls could wear pants to school and back then it was the Rodeo and Fat Stock Show and kids that wanted to participate in a trail ride could get the week off school. The trail riders hit town on Friday and camp out in Memorial Park for the weekend. This year there are eleven different trail rides participating. The weather can be warm and pleasant up until the week the trail riders come in when it almost always turns cold and wet.

image via the internet

Right now there's at least a dozen cardinals dive bombing and mobbing the bird feeder and a goldfinch holding its perch not the least bit intimidated by the bigger birds.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

new painting in progress and not quite spring

Looks around at the house...if dust is mostly dead skin cells, I have to wonder why I have any skin left at all.

Well, I managed to get one room vacuumed.

Monday was warm, mostly cloudy, some blue, with sustained SSE winds of 30 mph with 40 mph gusts. That's windy y'all, push you around outside windy, make you go back inside windy. I did sit on the deck some since it's on the north side and protected. But mostly I didn't feel like doing anything.

I moved the bird feeders around yesterday putting the squirrel proof feeder on the shepherd's crook because I can see it better from where I sit than the other one shaped like a house which hung lower. The squirrels easily climb the shepherd's crook and would gorge on the sunflower seeds from that one. I moved it to the tree outside my window and of course I'm having to chase an occasional squirrel off it. There's a young squirrel in the yard, I think maybe this is her first year as an adult, and she spent yesterday trying to maintain her balance on the shepherd's crook in the strong wind while she tried to get at the squirrel proof feeder. It was very entertaining. She'd try for a while then find a seed or two on the ground then try again completely ignoring the peanuts I put out for her and the others. This morning I'm seeing cardinals, chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, white wing doves, and sparrows.

Another watercolor class today. We started a new painting, another landscape. The picture to emulate...

First we lightly drew in the lines of the roof, the edge of the house, the window, and the curve of the road. Then we painted the trees and bushes with a piece of natural sponge. Gay's example for what we were to accomplish today...

my progress today.

It's warm today, overcast with some humidity which I'm glad for although another cold front is blowing in tonight and it may be our last. I do enjoy the dry days but after a while, there's a little blood when I blow my nose and my already dry skin gets even worse. Also, the humidity brings out the curl in my hair which gives it some body.

The birds are convinced it's spring and they're all looking for mates. The plants however have yet to start putting out new growth. Still dead and dreary looking out there except for the 10 petal anemones and the woodland violets which are blooming all over the yard.


Sunday, February 20, 2022

nighttime ruckus and miscellaneous pictures

As planned, I did nothing Friday but read and doze off. I even refused to take Minnie for her walk much to her disappointment/annoyance. She was in my face pushing at me or whining or barking until she finally gave up and settled down next to me. I did fix dinner...smothered steak with onions and mushrooms, leftover scalloped potatoes, and sauteed cabbage with onions and garlic.

Yesterday I puttered around in the yard some carting more fallen branches and sticks over to the burn pile, refilled all three bird feeders, filled the birdbaths, did some watering, pulled some hay grass up in the big backyard, and yes, walked the dog and visited with neighbors.

Speaking of neighbors, we have some new ones at my end of the street, across the street catty cornered and down one. The couple with their 2 year old son that had been living there moved to his house out in the country and her sister and family moved in. I haven't seen them yet, much less met them, and have no idea how many and what ages but they have four cars. Last night about 9 PM there was a big ruckus, doors slamming, yelling outside, cars roaring off. Went on for about a half hour.

Since I don't have anything interesting to write about and am ignoring the news here's some miscellaneous pictures.

artichokes are flowers

so are pansies

10 petal anemones all over the yard

the maple tree is blooming

the loungey pants the twins brought me back from Ecuador

and the little butterfly

yesterday's sky

Friday, February 18, 2022

rice, a wreck, and SHARE

Apropos of nothing, my favorite rice is short grain brown rice. It used to be the only rice we ate and was available at several different stores when we lived in the city but apparently it didn't prove to be very popular as eventually the only place I could buy it was in the bulk section of Whole Foods. It was a pain having to go into the city just for rice after we moved and then we found 12 pound bags at Costco but Costco doesn't seem to get it anymore. So after two or three years of eating white rice (don't really care for long grain brown rice) I finally searched online for the short grain brown and the 12 pound bag arrived.

Yesterday morning there was a three vehicle accident including an 18-wheeler on I-59S just past the bridge over the Colorado River in Wharton. When the police and emergency personnel got there all three vehicles were engulfed in flame. The truck driver died. They closed the highway in both directions. I don't know where they funneled the traffic going north but when I had to pass under I-59 to get Robin to work at 9 AM they were diverting and directing the traffic going south right through town to the other bridge over the river. That road eventually joins up to 59 past where the accident was. Traffic was bumper to bumper through town, probably 85% trucks of varying size.

Usually it takes 5 minutes or less to get from the Walmart to SHARE. Yesterday it took nearly 20 minutes so I was late. Of course it turned out to be our busiest day yet, over 30, maybe 32, and there was already a mountain of baskets at my station to be filled and they kept coming. I don't think I finally caught up til about 12:30 (we close at 1 PM) and two of the guys had to do my restocking for me when they were in between filling carts with other food. Their station had 5 volunteers, mine, just me. These are the baskets I fill.

A is one person, B 2, C 3, D 4 or 5, E 6 and up. A and B families get one basket each, C – E families, two baskets.

This is my station. I just do the canned goods and some packaged food like mac and cheese, juice, laundry detergent, and (when we have them) hygiene items.

They also get meat, bread, milk, flour, sugar, peanut butter, cereal, eggs, butter, dried fruit, nuts, hamburger helper, assorted sauces, whatever fresh is available, desserts, etc. What they get depends on what we get either from donations (individuals, food drives, the grocery store, Walmart) or from the Food Bank in Victoria from which Jan places an order every month or direct purchases. SHARE also provides clothing, blankets, sheets, diapers, some household goods/appliances, financial help and temporary housing at motels if needed.

This week has been so busy. This is what my day yesterday was like...pick Robin up and take her to work, SHARE, drop the cardboard from SHARE at the recycling container, lunch, an estate sale with Pam, walk the dog, pick Robin up and take her home, yoga class. Today though, there is nothing on my agenda and I plan to sit and read. Because it turned cold againMaybe vacuum the floors. Maybe. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

learning to paint and to let go, not sure which is harder

My father loved art and the walls of our house were filled with paintings, many of which were by their friend Jack Cooley who was a painter in New Orleans. Jack had a little studio on Bourbon Street across from Pat O'Brians (a famous bar) in the French Quarter and the summer I was 14 I was sent to spend two weeks with Jack and Joanie and their three kids for him to give me painting lessons. Jack was not inclined to be an instructor of any kind so basically turned me loose to explore the French Quarter while he painted and drank. He was not very successful and so a couple of times my parents invited him to do a showing at our house, inviting friends and colleagues to view and hopefully buy some of Jack's paintings. We always ended up with several. He even painted a mural in our house in the family room. Anyway I've written more extensively about Jack before and you can read it here

When us kids were young our parents would take us to the Museum of Fine Art and other venues. I was pretty young and those memories are pretty vague now. As a teenager I would go with my father to art openings sometimes at a few galleries, particularly Meredith Long Gallery, because Mother would no longer go with him. I guess she found them boring but my father liked to hob nob.

My parents groomed me to be an artist. I was always taking art lessons of one kind or another, either in school or after school, but to my father being an artist meant being a painter, working with oils or acrylics. He even finagled a promised show at a gallery from one owner (which I'm sure the guy was just humoring my father) and somehow got me a gig ghost painting for another successful artist (copying his paintings doing the basic color blocks and then he would do the finishing work and sell them, sort of like making prints only they were paintings). I only did about three before he cut me loose because the problem was, painting didn't grab me, I wasn't good at it, and after a few years I gave it up altogether. I did like to draw though and it was the drawing that was the backbone of the carved and etched glass I ended up making a fairly successful career out of with Marc's help and participation even though we lived hand to mouth a lot of the time.

My father had a pretty bad stroke in the early '80s, no paralysis but he suffered from speech aphasia. At that time, he wrote letters to each of us three kids but we didn't get them until after he died from another major stroke in '96. What I remember most about my letter (I no longer have it as it was in a box that got submerged during the flood) was that he considered my fledgling etched glass studio as a temporary side distraction until I got back to the serious business of being an artist and painting. I have no idea if he finally accepted what I was doing as art, being an artist, but I'm pretty sure he was still disappointed that I never became a painter.

And now, here I am many decades later, finally exploring, learning to paint only with watercolors and not oils. Key word here...learning.

Today we finished our snowscapes though I may still work on mine here at home as I'm really dissatisfied with the big trees. Joy's parting words were 'don't overwork it. Gay, that ship has sailed.

The instructors finished demo painting.

And mine.


Saturday, February 12, 2022

blue sky days and yard work

The weather has been glorious the last three days, cold in the morning but warming up nicely with clear blue skies and low humidity and so I have been busy. Busy busy, so much so that I haven't had five minutes to sit down until almost 7 in the evening. Consequently I haven't had time to come around and see what everyone has been up to. Tuesday I already wrote about. Wednesday I posted on the blog and after breakfast I went over to the shop and torched the burn pile which took a while to settle down to smoldering because there were some pretty big log sections from the large limb that fell off one of the pecan trees. Then I emptied the full load in the truck from the photinias onto the smoldering pile and it flamed up again but since most of that was still fairly green it didn't take too long to simmer back down. Then I loaded up the bricks and drove them across the street and tossed them into the front yard where I'll use them. After lunch Minnie and I jumped in the truck and headed to the Feed Store, one of her favorite places. Not only do they let her come in but it's full of wonderful smells and people who coo over her. I spent just about all the available cash in my pocket on 6 bags of potting soil, 3 bags of composted peat, 2 bags of what they call landscapers mix that you add into the dirt to improve it, and 2 bags of pine bark mulch. Can you tell what I'll be doing the next couple of weeks? After that I walked the dog and then watered a few things in the yard when Abby called, she was out with her mom and stuck in traffic and wouldn't get back in time and would I lead the yoga class for which I had to leave in the next half hour. So I did that.

Thursday, of course, was SHARE after which I took the cardboard to the recycling center that we accumulate from emptying boxes of food, then lunch, then picking Robin up and getting her to work, walking the dog, and then time for Thursday night's yoga class. Not as physically demanding perhaps as hefting pruning debris and bricks although I do fetch and carry heavy boxes and flats of canned foods to replenish my station at SHARE. Jan's always telling me to get one of the guys to get the stuff for me and sometimes I do but lifting heavy things helps keep me strong.

I have no real plan for today, Friday, though. In fact I didn't even roll out of bed until after eight. I have several chores I need to take care of but we'll see how the day goes.


As it turned out it was another beautiful day and I spent much of it outside. I used the hard spray on the hose nozzle to wash the lattice around the bottom of the deck in preparation for painting (so of course today it's cloudy and might rain), I dressed up the side steps to the porch with bricks and mulch,

outlined a possible bed for ferns or other shade lovers on one side of the steps on the front of the deck but the lattice needs to be painted before I proceed with that,

cut back the frozen branches of the yellow bells and plumbago, raked the year's leaves out of the barn and lugged all the bags of potting soil et al into the barn,

pulled up the sandstone slabs of the walkway I put down several years ago because I'm not happy with the way I did it and stacked them for a future re-do as soon as I get some sand,

walked the dog and thankfully she only wanted the short walk, and cooked dinner...roasted cauliflower with pancetta and olive dressing, mustard and collard greens, and toast.

It's back to being cold and very windy today. Earlier the sky couldn't decided if it wanted to clear up or be overcast. It seems to have settled on overcast so I'm taking it for a day of rest.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

another mouse, an attempt at art, and art

Last night when I opened the drawer in the kitchen where I keep the few cookbooks I have and the printed out recipes, a mouse jumped out, leapt for the floor and ran under the dishwasher. Surprised the hell out of me. Mouse! Mouse!

Well, I knew there would be more. I tried to get more traps when I did my grocery shop yesterday but they didn't have the ones I wanted so I'll have to stop by the Feed Store today.

Tuesdays are shaping up to be very busy days with the watercolor class. It's also the day I do my weekly grocery shop and one of my nights to cook dinner. Yesterday I went to the watercolor class, dropped the cardboard from last Thursday at SHARE off at the recycling lot on my way to the grocery store, walked the dog after lunch, picked up Robin and took her to work, and fixed dinner which was Italian sausage, apples, and shallots all roasted together.

Here's yesterday's progress on the snowscape. I added in the trees in the distance and worked on the shadows in the foreground some more. I still feel kind of clueless about the snow and shadows as it's not something I'm familiar with since it doesn't snow here.

And speaking of art, I bought a print over the holidays from an artist, April Coppini, whose work I really like and she's just now having prints made of some of her drawings. Finally got it back from the frame shop. I've been wanting one of her bees for a long time. She's on FB and Instagram.

Monday, February 7, 2022

warmer days and outside work

For the past week or so we've been hearing noises in the house, noises that suspiciously sounded like rodent noises. Friday as I was standing in the kitchen rolling up egg rolls I caught a glimpse in my peripheral vision of a little mouse as it ran past me, out from under the stove and into the dining/living room. Dammit. We had mice last winter too. I still had two traps (I've never had luck catching mice with a live trap and I think glue pads are cruel, if I have to kill them to rid the house of them I want the death to be instant) so I baited the traps and set them out in the little paper bags, one beside the stove and one under the secretary in the living room. Caught one Friday night and another Saturday night.

Sunday was much warmer, high 50˚s, partly cloudy but I got out there and dug up the clump of dietes iris and moved it to its new location on the other side of the driveway where I hope it will get enough sun to bloom. When I say I moved it to its new location what I didn't do was dig a hole and settle it in, I just dragged it over to where I want it and left it like that. Maybe next week I'll dig a hole for it, maybe not. This is the second time I have dug it up to move it. The first time it was crowding two rose bushes so I dug it up and dragged it over about 5' and left it there. Didn't phase it a bit, it settled right in and kept growing. I divided a section off it for one of my neighbors and have another handful of loose ones that I'll plant over at the shop.



And I uncovered everything and it all looks good, even the porterweed which I think is still green at the ground.

Years ago, before Harvey and the flood, back when I had great plans for a food garden and fruit trees over at the shop yard I bought three blueberry bushes, dug up a triangular section of grass and lined it with bricks and laid down weed cloth, cut holes in it at the points of the triangle and planted my bushes then covered the whole thing with mulch. They did great for a couple of years, then the flood and eventually neglect. Haven't gotten any blueberries in years, one of them died and the other two have been struggling and may also be dead. The grass has taken over the triangle, my bricks buried.

Today I excavated the bricks. As you can see, it's a sunny day. 

Now I need the truck to pile them into to bring them back over to the house where I'll use them in the front. Before I can do that I have to torch the burn pile so that I can empty the truck of the previous weekend's tree trimming.

Off to yoga which I desperately need as I still have not started back on my home routine. 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

ice and egg rolls

Friday morning at 8 AM when I got up the Accuweather app on my phone said 24˚ in Wharton. Everything looked crispy or had a coating of ice outside because the front came in with freezing rain. The roof of the bird feeder had a coating of ice, birds tried to perch on it and would slide off. The bird baths are frozen solid. At 11:30 it's still only 28˚ and the bird baths are still frozen solid. 

Marc reminded me that the station that records the temperature for Wharton is out at the airport, wide open space. Still below freezing here. It took the dog three tries to finally brave it to take care of business. First time she got about 5' before turning around. Second time she got halfway across the little backyard before turning around and coming back in. Sweater on, sweater off, sweater on, sweater off, sweater on finally, she went through the open gate to the big backyard. I've been out once to spread some birdseed on the ground and put out more pecans for the squirrels. I have no intention of going out again.

I've been getting lots of cardinals and titmice and chickadees. I looked out just now to see that the house finches and goldfinches have arrived giving the cardinals a run for the birdseed.

I've been wanting to make egg rolls again for a while but it's so time consuming and once you buy the bean sprouts you're pretty much committed to doing it within a couple of days. This time I decided to make the filling one day and roll them up and cook them the next. So that's what I did Thursday. Not my night to cook but he had a roast in the oven so I had the kitchen. It was different cooking when I wasn't having to produce dinner. I could take my time to make the filling, not worry about the time, and so I did.

Tonight it is my night to do dinner so I'll make some fried rice and roll up the egg rolls (I wonder why they call them egg rolls when no eggs are involved) and this time I'm going to bake them instead of frying them. We don't do deep frying anyway so they have to be turned and it's messy, can only do a few at a time.

Today, Saturday, it's warmer, in the 40˚s and a blue sky which when you are out of the wind makes it not so bad out there. Lot's of freeze damage on the things that made it OK through the first dip into the 20˚s a couple of weeks ago. The blooms on the woodland lilies all froze but I think it's early enough that we'll still get some new bloom stalks. The easter lilies that were wiped out by the arctic blast last year seem to be OK so far though we have one more night in the 20˚s tonight and the banana trees seem firm but they could still be frozen as we still have big chunks of ice floating in the bird baths.

I did bake all the egg rolls last night, flipping them halfway through the cooking time and they turned out OK but chewy and are definitely better fried. They didn't get nicely browned and crispy like the recipe I looked at said, mainly only where they were touching the pan. I froze what we didn't eat so maybe they'll soften up during reheating.

Tomorrow we should return to our regular winter weather...lows in the 30˚s and highs in the 50˚s and 60˚s.


Thursday, February 3, 2022

winter, winner, water (color)

Wednesday...It's supposed to get up to 72˚ today before it plunges to 40˚ tonight and tomorrow the temperature will rise only one degree and then three nights in a row below freezing. Of course, the woodland lilies are really coming into bloom.

The weather people have been warning of the coldest longest front for about 10 days now. First it was two nights below freezing, then one night, then three nights, then four nights, and now back to three nights in the mid to high 20˚s. I'm going to cover the porterweed but I don't expect it to survive. It's already frozen almost to the ground. And I'll cover the yellow angel trumpet in the big pot that's already putting out new growth and I think maybe the ponytail palm too. I plan to do that today instead of waiting til tomorrow when it will be mostly in the 30˚s and guaranteed to be windy from the north. (That chore is done. I covered the angel trumpet, the porterweed, the gardenia, the largest patch of the ground orchids, and the ponytail palm.) Other preparations are done as well...more bird seed, a suet feeder, and I walked down the road to a native pecan and filled a small container for the squirrels. My trees gave me not a single pecan for the second year in a row and there's just no food for them. Hopefully this will keep them off the bird feeder. Hahahahahahahahaha. I'm so funny.

Of course our republican government claims that the problem with the energy grid has been fixed and there will be no power outages like during the arctic vortex last year when people lost power for a week or two and many people died during which Texas Senator Rafael 'Ted' Cruz bundled up his family and took off for Cancun while his constituents froze and AOC in New York was sending relief supplies and generators to the people in Texas. Because freezing in the dark wasn't enough hurt, those that survived and had heat were hit with astronomical energy bills. Do I believe the powers that be fixed anything? No, I do not. Not in this anti-regulation state where profit is king. And now of course our governor is hedging his bets telling us that he can't promise there won't be any power outages because that's not really a priority for him. He's too busy taking bodily autonomy away from Texas women, sending our National Guard to the border for a non-existent problem and screwing them over in the process, forcing governmental control over private businesses and schools by prohibiting mask or vaccine mandates, and banning any school curricula and books that tell the truth about our country's history as it pertains to genocide, racism, and segregation because it might make those poor little white children feel bad.

The first of 8 watercolor classes was Tuesday. The sign up for the class suggested a one time donation of $35 to help defray the cost of the supplies but was not required. I got there first and placed my $35 in the donation envelope. I watched as several other people also donated. When it was time to start, one of the volunteers got up and passed around a sign in sheet, she mentioned that the donation would be appreciated but not required. A few minutes later one of the women got up and took her money back.

Instead of starting with making a color wheel and a chart of color combinations like last time she had us start right away with a winter landscape. This is the instructor Joy's (unfinished) example.

All we needed to do yesterday was draw three horizon lines and four lines that loosely delineate the two trees and paint in the sky and snow shadows. It was all loose and free. Aarrrgh! I don't do loose and free. All my artwork, from the etched glass to the pate de verre, is very controlled. I couldn't visualize the hills and mounds of snow we were supposed to be painting the shadows of. It's OK to make a mistake, it's OK to mess up she says. Don't over brush, don't over brush she kept telling us. Too late. I did just finally let go. Anyway here's my sky and snow shadows, yesterday's effort.

During class, Stephanie came over from the new house to tell us all hello and brought me a basket of goodies. At the open house there was a raffle for a chainsaw sculpture of a pelican by a local artist which I did not buy a ticket for and they had a drawing for 10 door prizes which I did put my name in for because, why not, and apparently I was one of the winners.

The basket, 2 large mugs, instant latte mix, and 3 hand embroidered dish towels. The dish towels are huge, 30” x 30” lightweight cotton.

In retrospect, we all would have been better served had I not won. I'm not a basket person and will never use it (it would be perfect for keeping yarn in but I don't knit or crochet), we will never use those large mugs, probably won't drink the instant coffee mocha mix, we're not big candy eaters but the dish towels will get used.