Tuesday, February 20, 2024

musing, meals, streaming, and spring

Another picture of my dwarf redbud tree in full bloom.

For practically my whole life I have been taking art lessons, either in school or out, or making, from craft kits as a kid to sewing as a teen to exploring different mediums in college to finally as an adult building my own art studio making etched and carved glass for architectural installations and small cast glass sculpture for over 40 years. We retired from the etched glass at the end of 2017 after the house flooded and we spent the next two years dealing with FEMA and the Texas Land Office for funds and getting that half of the house repaired. Since then I have made some cast glass sculpture and even took two watercolor classes which I enjoyed but I have also had extended periods of complete lack of motivation or desire to create. I’m in one of those times now, going on a year and a half this time; I don’t draw, I don’t watercolor, I don’t make models for casting. The last piece I made was the Coral Reef box that I completed September 2022. I keep thinking I still have some work in me that I want to do but I’m not motivated to go over to the studio or getting out my watercolors. Am I done? Marc mentioned the other day that he was going to close the business bank account and put that minimum $5,000 required to not have a monthly service fee to better use, like earning interest, and I’m fine with that. Last year there was no water in the studio due to a busted pipe from our new very cold arctic vortexes that have been hitting us the last three winters and the horridly dry and hot summer and now the pipe is cracked again. So, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. Right now I’m happy enough to watch the birds, read, write, work out in the yard, volunteer, go to yoga and spending a couple of hours a day in the studio means not having the time to do other stuff.

We finally fixed and ate all three of our HelloFresh meals and they were without exception very good. We tried the soy glazed steak with zucchini stir-fry and jasmine rice with scallion ginger oil (10 ingredients), penne with spinach and grape tomatoes, garlic butter breadcrumbs and parmesan (9 ingredients), and apricot, almond, and chickpea tagine with zucchini, basmati rice and chermoula (14 ingredients). The pasta dish was very similar to one I make only a little fancier. I’ve never eaten chickpeas that weren’t in the form of hummus or falafel, which I really like, and I’m not that impressed. The tagine was very good but I’m not likely to add canned chickpeas to my staples in the kitchen.

I mentioned we had watched two episodes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on Prime and that it was nothing like the movie and at that point we weren’t sure if we were going to continue watching it but we did. It’s one season of eight episodes and it’s actually pretty good. It’s not just about two people working for an unnamed powerful secret spy organization given missions, it’s also about two complete strangers paired together as partners with their cover being a married couple and their developing relationship. Anyway, the last episode was the only one that mirrored the movie and it ends in a cliff hanger intentionally so as to let the viewer decide how it ended. It also sets up for a possible second season but there is no indication at this time that there will be one.

I was able to get out in the yard yesterday, a cool but pretty blue sky day and the wind had mostly died down. I pulled up one of the two remaining cabbages and clipped all the little broccoli sprouts that come out after you harvest the main head and then pulled all the broccoli plants up and continued turning and weeding the dirt in preparation for planting the spring garden. Not sure what I’m going to plant besides tomatoes. The mustard greens are bolting so I need to pull those up. I never thinned my carrots and I have no idea how they are growing since I haven’t felt around the tops. I’m thinking they probably aren’t even as big around as my little finger.

Minnie and Cat enjoying the pretty weather outside today, cat in the shade on the right, dog in the sun on the left.

Still nothing much happening in the yard here but over at Pam’s house the white crinum lily started putting up a bloom stalk a week or so after the freeze here

and the fig tree is putting out new growth.

The cuttings I took when I pruned back the yellow angel trumpet to cover it for the deep freeze have started putting out roots 

as have the fire spike but the small branch that broke off the pink angel trumpet when I moved it into the garage is still stubbornly refusing to root.

A small cluster of pink 10 petal anemone.



  1. Those animals look so content. I think my Kitty is too feral for any fun like that.

  2. I think garden-wise, we are pretty much similar, but you will get so much hotter soon. Our peach trees are going to flower any day now. Your animals look very happy.
    My craft is knitting, not the middle of the road socks and sweater kind, but more elaborate stuff based Kaffe Fasset or Kieran Foley designs - very intricate, many colours - but had to slow it all down, mostly due to shoulder, hand, wrist or finger issues, sometime vertigo. But I still have something on the go, trying to use up yarns and not ordering too much new stuff.

  3. I've definitely lost my crojo - although I did make some progress on a sweater vest yesterday. It feels like it takes too much focus these days & I'd rather vegetate. At least you're doing productive things!

  4. You are still creating, just in different mediums. Making a nice meal is creating, so is gardening and yard work. I think that it's the ACT of creation that is what satisfies us. I know we always think that it must be "art" to count and are definitely does count but what exactly IS art? Is putting a blog post together with words and photos not a sort of art? I think it is.
    Having said all of that, I do understand what you're saying. After a lifetime of defining yourself as an artist of a certain type, it's a little bewildering not to practice that art. I would imagine. To everything there is a season, though. And that's the truth.

  5. I spent 12 retired years making pottery, my dream from many years before. Then a pandemic, (during which I stayed pretty isolated) and I did nothing creative for 3 years. I kept looking around, thinking I must be doing something creative, but blogging was the only thing I did. A lot! I envy your gardening...since I'm confined to potted plants in my apartment, and on the porch during warmer months. Soon...

  6. I know what you mean about not being motivated with your art. It's been 32 years since I stopped. I still have my stuff on my art table but I haven't had the ambition I once had.

  7. Your comments about your slow 'departure' from art reminded me as my own withdrawal from sailing. After more than ten years of intensive, every week being on the water, interspersed with longer offshore trips, I didn't exactly lose interest, but other things came along. I discovered nature, for one thing. And beyond that, there's the usual dynamic that always accompanies basing a business on what's been a hobby. I'm around boats just as much, but the relationship's different. I have one friend who used to live aboard and cruise, and she's always longing for those days. Me? I'm just not interested. I'm glad I did it, but I don't want to do it again. Odd, but there it is. We change.

  8. We're not seeing anemones yet. Still too early, I think. Perhaps you're just recharging your batteries on the art, or perhaps not -- just take it as it comes! Because if you're going to keep doing it, you want to enjoy the experience and not feel like you're forcing yourself, right?

  9. I have been uninspired all winter, but am finally getting more energized as I see signs of spring. I want to cook! March 13 is the new date for another new stove. I wish they would just send a repairman to fix the one burner! The stove has five burners, so it would not be a hardship for me, but the oven has not been changed over to LP and HeWho is determined not to do it until the new stove is in place!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.