Thursday, December 31, 2009

Optimism - Word Thursday

My father used to say, "If you can keep your head while all others around you are losing theirs you clearly don't understand the situation." He was the optimist? He used to optimistically get us into situations that triggered Mom's we-are-not-going-to-make-it gene. Us kids, caught in the back seat as the car ran dangerously close to out of gas miles from civilization, or trailing behind in a force march out of our favorite fishing hole with the temperatures soaring to above 100, or in our bedrooms listening to fights over money were just literally along for the ride.

I have learned to whistle in the dark but firmly believe the light at the end of the tunnel has a good chance of being a freight train. I keep waiting for my ship to come in while debating to swim out after it. But in my heart of hearts I am afraid of sharks. And I have read about the Lusitania and the Titanic.

Optimism comes from the Latin word optimus, meaning "best," which describes how an optimistic person is always looking for the best in any situation and expecting good things to happen. Optimism is the tendency to believe, expect or hope that things will turn out well. Even if something bad happens, like the loss of a job, an optimist sees the silver lining.

I can be very optimistic from time to time. And I believe in the power of positive thinking though I know that did not work for the builders and passengers of the Titanic. I always hope on New Year's eve that the year ahead will be better than the last. But since Christmas Eve 2001 it has been one long struggle after another to avoid that train in the tunnel. I have fought to get the doctors to believe something was seriously wrong, I fought for worker's compensation and then Social Security Disability, and bankruptcy so I could keep my home and not the debts incurred while not working - just living from day to day. Then the contractor from hell. I am frankly rather tired of fighting.

But I read my yearly horoscope this morning to try and find some reason to believe the dot on the horizon might be my ship coming in and not a swarm of locus. My trials over the last eight years seem to all be about the now non-planet of Pluto.

Gemini is one of the few Sun signs that doesn't have an animal symbol, but this may be the year that all of that changes. In the past few years, with Pluto opposing your sign, you've been a little like a monkey, swinging from branch to branch trying desperately to keep one step ahead of the predators and keep yourself fed. With Pluto now moved on into Capricorn, a lot of the major partnership issues you've faced will be lightening up. You'll still retain the swing, but this year you're going to feel a lot more like a hummingbird: still mobile, still getting things done, but in a much more elegant manner. 

Your renowned intellect has been strained the last couple of years, as it's been forced to find solutions to the many issues you've been dealt. In 2010, you'll finally be gaining some traction on your biggest challenges, and solutions will flow to you with ease. 

And my career and financial path seems to be upward mobile for the first half of the year. So dare I hope as I wave goodbye to 2009 that 2010 will be a better year? Or is that being overly optimistic? Foolhardy even?

Where do you fall on this time-space continuum?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Morning Chat - Not Where I Thought I Would Be

The clock is ticking down to the final days, hours and minutes of 2009. I am always of a reflective mood this time of the year. And it occurs to me that this year I had really thought I would be further along than I am.  I wanted to have the lawsuit from the contractor-from-hell over and done (it has been more than two years now), and I wanted to be showing some in impressive income from my studio. But I think the economy got in the way on that last.

On the upside I survived 2009 financially. Just barely at times but I am still able to pay bills. I completed my Chapter 13 early which helped this fall. And I started a small pet and house sitting business which has added some extra income which I think will build. And I have had steady sales of art. The past year also included two Best of Show awards giving me a total of three within the last two years. Validation that I am on the correct tract with my art. And further validation was found in those clients which have purchased a second and third piece.

But I really wanted the mechanic's lien over with. My legal aid attorneys offered a settlement where no money changes hands but he has not snatched it up. There is a telephone hearing this morning on discovery. Hopefully the judge will just cut through all the crap and issue a summary judgment. Keep your fingers crossed. This lien has so handicapped me financially. And made it so I do not want to do any enhancement of my house even where there is only sweat equity involved.

I am still, however, developing plans for 2010. One cannot continue to live without hope and plans. Now if just those things I have no control over like the economy and the legal system and the weather will cooperate it could be a very rosy new year.

How was 2009 for you and do you have plans and hopes for 2010?

Friday, December 25, 2009

May All the Blessings of the Season be Yours

And may Santa have brought you all you wished for even if you were not on the best of behavior this year. I know I wasn't. And will 2010 be exceptionally wonderful for all of us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee - Happy Yule to You

 Let There Be Light

I must admit the increasingly dark days were really getting to me this year. Maybe because with my dependency upon passive solar for warmth it also seemed increasingly cold in my house even with the wood burning stove. I successfully battled my desire to turn on the heat (ergo up the electric bills) but found myself wanting to just snuggle down in my easy chair and remain there all day despite the warmth of the wood stove. Is this response to less sunlight each day some genetic memory? Are we closer to hibernating bears than we want to admit?

Knowing that today was Winter Solstice or Yule I got up in a brighter frame of mind (even facing the shortest day of the year.) I rekindled my fire, lit the candles, and turned on the juice to the Yule tree. Let there be light. Tomorrow there will be more sunlight even though it is scheduled to be concealed in my neck of the woods behind increasing clouds bringing rain and then snow in the late afternoon. Even the possibility of snow is less depressing knowing that the days will be getting increasingly longer.

MMCOC usually includes updates on my life in general. No news on the settlement with the contractor. It has been 11 days since my attorneys made the offer for him to drop it. Since we were dropping the counter suit if he did I expected him to jump at the chance but then nothing he has done in this whole miserable affair has been expected.

After the incident of the dogs barking in the night covered in Sidetracked Charley I located all my security measures and repositioned them for more easy access. I have obviously gotten lazy with my stalker going silent for so long. Evidently the reason for the dogs barking was the arrival of vacationers at the house across the street. They really are a great alarm system.

I will be spending Christmas Day at my friend Jessica's house. She is a jeweler and we are going to spend time in her studio folding metal. I think I will spend part of today making a chain from some silver wire I bought months ago. Creation is a good way to celebrate Yule.

How is your winter going? Do the short days and long night depress you?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Word Thursday - Predestined

Do you believe that the future is set? Maybe just a little bit if not totally. My mother, at one time in her life, was a firm believer in predestination - established or prearranged unalterably; "his place in history was foreordained"; "a sense of predestinate inevitability about it"; "it seemed predestined since the beginning of the world."

A rather fatalistic view I must admit. I fight that view of my future. Or my past. And yet I don't sit comfortably in a world shaped totally by free will. I dabble with belief in karma - the total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.

It is that "determining the person's destiny" which makes it a bit different than predestination. It allows for some free choice in response to a set of circumstances and ergo some control over our ultimate fate. When I laid on the snow following the ski accident I have this clear memory of looking down on my body and knowing I had to go back and that it would hurt like hell.

For four hours I did not know my name and there are to this day some eight years later this Christmas Eve whole blocks of time I have no memory of and yet I have never wavered in my belief that it was "ordained" to happen. And the free will part was what I did with it.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? I must admit I don't at times. I charge ahead as if I have total control of my life. And yet there are times (usually when I sit quietly and meditate) that I know things are as they should be. Some consciousness in the universe is just waiting for me to see the paths available for me to take. And depending upon my path there will be other choices. Other people to meet that I have the feeling I have met before. Are there, like in StarTrek, alternate time lines developed because of other paths taken?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Morning Chat - Where has the time gone?

The holiday market wrapped up after Thanksgiving and time, with no clear direction, seemed to stretch ahead uncluttered with must do's. I think I am programmed by years of education which always provided this wonderful two to three week vacation at the end of the year. Real life is seldom like that these days even when you don't do Christmas. Well, there is the tree. That I do. But it is essentially done. Though I will collect new ornaments for it through the after Christmas sales.

My sister is working the holidays so she won't be up. But I have pet sitting gigs and am taking care of a house with guests coming and going there to orchestrate. And there is the 6th Anniversary of Artspace Gallery in Angel Fire to cater. Fortunately I am not part of the party set in Angel Fire so my festive requirements will end there. I have decided to forgo a holiday open house at the studio and concentrate on a spring opening instead.

But there are the end dregs of the lawsuit (keep your fingers crossed as the contractor from hell has not accepted his lawyer's engineered out yet) and research for my lobby efforts in Santa Fe in January to change the Mechanic Lien laws in New Mexico. And January is when selection for most of the shows in 2010 will happen and I need new images - ergo new paintings. And going to the gallery website for the url for the link alerted me to the fact my images are passe there which means they are likely in need of updating on my own website.

Is December just too busy for you too? Would you like to run and hide?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There Is a Happy Ending Ahead

With the ground covered with snow and the temperatures heading toward -5F tonight I had to put that lovely butterfly at the beginning of this blog. Things are looking up. I got a call from my legal aid attorney and it looks like the opposing side is going to dismiss their case and release the lien on my house. Looks like it is going to be a Happy New Year after all. But a busy one.

Our state legislature holds its session in January and I am going to dive into the lobbying effort to change the laws governing mechanics liens and the licensing of contractors in this state. I have a few names of influential members of each house and I am beginning there and with the licensed lobbyists. So lots of research time on the internet looking up all the where and wherefores.

And a Facebook friend suggested a group on that site to gather experiences of others in New Mexico caught on the horns of this horrid state of affairs. And I would also like to hear from those in other states that think their state has it right when it comes to dealing with building contractors and mechanics liens. All constructive input appreciated.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Morning Chat - Snow Coming?

The above image was taken last year around Christmas. That snow storm engendered fear in the hearts of the residents of my area because of the two previous winters when we broke all records; including one snow that over three days accumulated over 6 feet. Last year this was our deepest snow but we all were suffering from PTSD and every flake struck us numb.

Thus far this winter has been mild. In fact the ski areas have had difficulty making snow up until the last week. This Friday the Angel Fire Resort is suppose to open their season. All the retailers in town are nervous. So very much of our revenue depends upon tourist dollars and that means skiers. Though frankly they don't spend that much off the slopes. Skiing has become so expensive and the economy so sucks they are inclined to ski and then head for the condo to cook dinner. The non-skiers in the parties do, however, feel they have a right to spend as much shopping as the others spend skiing so there is that possibility of a Merry Christmas for shops.

So the current winter storm watch is viewed with very mixed emotions at the moment. I frankly am all in favor of anything less than a foot. We need the moisture and a foot of snow is not difficult to shovel. However, when they toss around things like "one to two feet above 9500 lowering to 7500 overnight" I am filled with dread. And memories of that 100 inches of snow in one month that never seemed to melt and just drifted into ever and ever larger piles. At one point I could have put boards across the piles on each side of my driveway and made a garage.

You couldn't just hire a man with a plow on the front of his pickup to clear your drive. Front end loaders became really in demand and charged $100 to take the snow piles back from your driveway. Shades of being snowed in one winter in Aspen. Only Aspen knows how to handle it and we don't - or didn't. We are used to snow storms that dump and move on allowing warmer temperatures to melt it off before the next one comes. Ski areas have to work at keeping it. I want those sort of winters back.

But sitting here reading the winter storm warnings I can only dread the possible return of the winters from hell. I have wood. I know where my snow shovel is. And the snowshoes (not just a winter sport when the snow gets to 2 feet). And the telephone number of the man with the plow is on the fridge. However, I keep hoping the weather forecasters are again wrong and this storm will take a more southern track. They're having a drought south. They could use and even love two feet of snow. I could cherish 6 inches tops.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Word Thursday - Apology

I thought I would clear up the matter of the apology but it seems to have only gotten more murky. There seems to be a lot of apologizing going on lately. Tiger Woods in my opinion gave a very honest apology. I frankly believe he even assumed fault that was not his. very gallant thing to do. He offered no excuses - like maybe the breaking out of the back windows by his angry wife with the golf club caused the accident instead of rescuing him.

Gov. Sanford (remember him of the affair heard around the world) did not in my opinion apologize all that well. He merely provided everyone with excuses. All inadequate in the eyes of the law when he stands before his peers on ethic charges.

So I Googled the definition of apology. It is after all Word Thursday: APOLOGY

  1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

    1. A formal justification or defense.
    2. An explanation or excuse: "The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct" (Daniel Defoe).

  2. An inferior substitute: The sagging cot was a poor apology for a bed.

I was frankly shocked at definintion number 2. That to me is not an apology but an excuse. So I looked up excuse.

  • accept an excuse for; "Please excuse my dirty hands"
  • grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class"
  • serve as a reason or cause or justification of; "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"; "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
  • apologize: defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning; "rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"; "he rationalized his lack of success"
  • a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for ...
  • ask for permission to be released from an engagement
  • a note explaining an absence; "he had to get his mother to write an excuse for him"
  • excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with; "excuse someone's behavior"; "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities"
  • apology: a poor example; "it was an apology for a meal"; "a poor excuse for an automobile"

That was shocking. It seemed to say apology and excuse were interchangeable. So I googled more definitions for apology and in some instances what I consider an excuse is actually definition 1 and not 2. Is this because of current usage. Is there now now difference between an apology and an excuse? Sad state of affairs.

My father used to always stare us down when in the dock for some misadventure. "I want an apology and not an excuse," he would say. "If I wanted an excuse I would have asked for one." He clearly saw a difference. Do you?

Wish I was on 360 so I could insert a poll at this point.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Twitterings

Tomorrow is the Full Cold Moon. I am trying to remind myself that in 20 days the earth will be blessed with increasingly longer days. The winter solstice tree is almost totally decorated. Yes, some of you think of it as a Christmas tree. I am tweeking things now. Attempting to make it perfect. I bought some new ornaments yesterday when I am in town, and in spite of being exhausted had to put them on. I love the smell of fresh pine in my house. And when you go into the National Forest (about three miles from my house) to get your tree they are definitely fresh.

I have now gone to the gym in Taos four Monday's in a roll. I am trying to get back into the swing of loving to exercise. It is in many ways a mind game. Today's exercise will be going up and down the ladder to rehang paintings I took down for the fair. Then it is clean up the studio and try to make a decision about an "open house" sometime in December. Part of me would love to just crawl into my cave and not talk to anyone till spring.

I also want to spend some quiet time to get back into writing poetry. It has been some months since I have actually posted one of my own on Creative Journey's Poetry Wednesday. The sun will be streaming through the studio windows today (Thursday is snow and a high of 18F - low of zero) so I should enjoy it while I can. I have been so busy preparing for the holiday show and Thanksgiving guests. Knowing I am skipping Christmas entirely gives me a real sense of freedom to just do what I want. My gift to me.

January demands a whole new set of digital images of paintings for entry into various fairs in 2010. And I would love to get the triptych done as one of those images. Now is the time to allow myself space to be highly creative.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday.

I hate the holidays. And all through my life this time of year seems to conspire to prove my dislike is correctly placed. They did it again and we are only at the beginning of the season. There is a whole other month to be gotten through.

As a kid I could never quite understand why everyone was trying so very hard to be jolly after you had heard your mother crying half the night. And underneath all the happy was all this tension. Everyone tiptoeing around to avoid a fight when being forced to see people they ordinarily didn't see, and be nice to people they were badmouthing just the week before they got the letter Aunt Louise was expecting everyone for Thanksgiving dinner.

The adults always drunk too much, you had to be nice to your obnoxious cousins, let your aunts with too much make up kiss you, put up with cousin Bruce of the roaming hands, dress in uncomfortable clothes, be grateful for gifts you thought you had long outgrown, worry that you were using proper etiquette at the table and thanked everyone you needed to thank.

And adulthood just makes it all worse. You spend money you shouldn't spend and don't even have, toil all day cooking food you would not ordinarily eat and which will vanish in twenty minutes, tap dance around subjects that come up for demolition year after year, dress up and go places when you want to curl up with a good book and ignore the world. And once again find yourself apologizing for something you said at 3 in the morning when ordinarily you would have been asleep.

And I always end up apologizing for something. Nobody every apologizes to me. It is always me that is expected to say I am sorry even when I am not sure what I did wrong. Well, here it is everyone: the blanket apology. I hate the holidays! I hate them so much. I hated them before Mom died on Thanksgiving Day and I had the ski accident that changed my entire world on Christmas Eve. And I especially hate that I have to pretend I like them. So I AM SORRY for anything I do wrong between now and the middle of January.

All that said I have a refrigerator full of food bought with the money I needed to pay the auto insurance in 12 days. I am up at an absurd time worrying about my sister that left here unable to breathe because of an illness she had not mentioned. And to make matters worse she was angry at me because of something I said about the dogs. (I am NOT responsible for what I say at 3 a.m. It is one of the reasons I stopped going to bars. Some part of my rational brain does not work at that hour. When is everyone going to get that?) And in four hours I have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed and smile at everyone for two days at a Holiday Market. This is real important because I need to earn back the auto insurance money I spent. And tonight I have to attend a reception at the gallery that represents my work.

What I really want to do is jump in bed, assume the prenatal position, and sleep till February. Stress is when you have to say one thing while your mind is screaming another. No wonder the suicide rate is so high this time of year. I am sorry but I wish the grinch had succeeded in stealing Christmas. And I think Black Friday is a perfect name for the day after Thanksgiving but not for any of the reasons the merchants think.

PS: I will be thankful when this is all over. And if I haven't been around to read and comment on your happy holidays or I am thankful post I apologize for that too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee - Guests Coming

Thanksgiving is this week in case you have not noticed or you live in a country other than the United States. I usually glide past this holiday madly preparing for the Holiday Market this weekend. But last year my sister and I with her husband and the jeep started a new Thanksgiving tradition - the slaughter of helpless conifers.

Our national forests sell tree hunting permits about this time every year. I am going over to pick up ours today at the Carson National Forest headquarters.  They are $5 to $15 a tree depending on how big you think you want and can tote back. Debbie and Alan are coming up Thanksgiving day for the the second annual evergreen sacrifice. Hey, it isn't as ungreen as it sounds. It helps thin the forests and lessen the fuel load for fires in the summer months. And it increases areas where grass can grow and elks can graze. Most that partake in this bounty are forest lovers. A lot of thought not only goes into selecting the trees but selecting them where they won't be missed and in fact benefit other trees around them. When forests get to think the trees get sick.

Dianne, my good friend of decades, is also coming up for the extended weekend. She is arriving on Wednesday to help me set up for the fair. And knowing Dianne, clean up for Alan and Debbie. So nice I have not rented the apartment and have it furnished with beds and chairs. It is my guest house at the moment. I will open the connecting doors so all can come and go.

But things remain to be done like clearing off the library table where Debbie sets her laptop while here. And my studio desk where Alan locates his laptop. And there is the kitchen table that serves as a laundry folding area. The folded laundry needs to move as this is the gaming area. Once all the art I am taking to the fair is out of the studio I am setting up a folding table there for the big meals.

I have the fair on Friday and Saturday and so we will likely do the search for the perfect trees on Thanksgiving afternoon while the bird roasts if it ever thaws. Does that 3-4 days in your refrigerator thing work for you? Wednesday it goes on the kitchen counter! Friday evening my tree will be decorated by all. It will be so much fun to get out the boxes of ornaments I lovingly stored last year. And I remember where this year!

What are your plans for this week?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hopeful Dawn

Some of my more faithful followers from the Y!360 days know that I have been battling with the contractor that built my studio in part. That struggle has been going on for over two years now. This last week it consumed two of my days because of the necessity to depose one of my witnesses. The good news is that deposition went very well and my attorneys now feel hopeful I will not lose my house. I was asked to give them an idea of my dream settlement.

First thought: Give me a release of lien and get the hell out of my life.

But it got me thinking about all the hell he has put me through. And that led to a review of my life. Eight years ago this Christmas Eve I got the bad end of a ski accident. I suffered three compressed cervical disks and a closed brain trauma. I struggled with the recovery from that for two and a half years and could never get a cent out of the reckless young man that slammed into me. I crashed my mask making business. But I began to paint.

Being unable to work, losing the business income, led to excessive use of credit while I fought for two years to get Social Security disability. The good news is with the help of a wonderful SS Advocate I won that battle. That is when I came up with the plan to build my studio so I could paint, and teach and sell without leaving home. Enter the contractor from hell.

The good news is I have my lovely studio even though I had to finish it myself as those that follow my blogs know. The bad news is the contractor has been trying to foreclose on my house and have it sold to pay his unsubstantiated claims. And to add spice to life there was the stalker from my past.

I was reading the blog of a friend this morning as she talked about her struggles to get free of an abusive husband. It puts you life on hold. You cannot make plans, cannot commit to a new future, cannot feel safe and secure even within your domicile. Legal issues against irrational people can rob you of joy. So what would be the dream settlement for such a crime?

There used to be this cartoon feature in the Sunday paper when I was a kid: Halto's History. He would design his own comic hell for various offenders of his sensibilities. There should be a special place to send those that rob other people of their joy and freedom. Unfortunately all we have is an overburdened and sadly inadequate court system. Even if I win my counter suit against this animal the chances I will collect are slim to none.

But it looks like maybe at last I can at last get him out of my life and move on. But I have seen too many Friday the 13th movies to believe in the death of monsters.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee

I spend a lot of time on Facebook these days but you really cannot sum you life up in small status snippets all the time. Once a blogger always a blogger I suppose, so pour a cup of coffee and let's chat.

Last week was a busy one, and I wish I could say I got everything done I wanted to get done. But I did get four new paintings completed (two still need to be framed) making currently a total of eight new ones for the holiday market a week from this Friday. To check them out go to Creative Journey. One of my other blogs.

I also attended a cooking class at the Taos School of Cooking on how to cook winter squash. That was Thursday and on Saturday I tried out my new skills with a lovely squash based vegetable soup. Yummy. Monday was back to the spa with a friend and trying to get back into the routine of hard exercise. Tuesday a yoga class. Okay, I didn't get a lot of painting done because I was out playing around too much, but the weekend brought snow which was not as much as forecast but it kept me inside my studio.

I wanted to put nose to the grindstone this week but the lawsuit from the contractor-from-hell is preventing that. Today I must go into the Legal Aid office and help them prepare one of my witnesses for his deposition on Tuesday. And Tuesday I have to hang around there to be available should questions arise during the deposition. November 4th was two years since he had filed the lien on my property. Why cannot he just go away?

On the plus side I have been doing some monitoring of temperatures in my studio and house during this cold streak (currently 12 F) with not much sunshine in three days. The wood stove seems to keep everything quite cozy. And the house holds a good temperature even without the fire going. The hit and miss passive solar yesterday kept the studio a workable temperature even without a fire going. My goal is to use as little supplimental electric heat as possible this winter.

Saving kilowatts makes sense not merely in the pocket book (the electric coop bills last winter were awful) but it is the green thing to do. Due to the snows I did have to use my electric dryer on Saturday. Tried to catch a sunny window between storms and got caught. But once in four months is not bad.

What are you doing to save money this winter? And to be more green?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where did time go?

Alice went through the looking glass or down the hole following the White Rabbit and met all manner of creatures which wasted her time. She was suppose to be studying as her tutor directed. And I was suppose to be painting more paintings for the Holiday Market, and taking advantage of the wonderful weather to finish my fall chores before winter settles in.

But I followed the White Rabbit down the hole in time and discovered all sorts of diversions upon which to "waste my time." Mother would have said, "You need to focus." My teachers always had that little note on my report cards, "Does not use time wisely." Or "fails to pay attention in class." But I am a self-starter. I just sometimes start on the wrong things at the wrong time. I run with scissors.

I can look back at the last several days and remand myself for not applying my energies correctly. But I can also see that I really needed to run, skip and play. And there is one more day of play ahead of me - tomorrow's cooking class with friends in Taos. But it is also just two weeks before I set up for the Holiday Market and paintings are not done let alone framed. And Friday we are scheduled for a mix of rain and snow. Time to attend to the matters at hand and put my nose to the grindstone. Fortunately, I am good at playing catch up. I had to be since I always lagged behind studying rocks as others hiked ahead.

So do you pick a steady pace, keep to schedule, moderate your activities? Or do you like Alice follow a rabbit down a hole in time to find you are all so late?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My WOW! List

I like to read my horoscope as sort of an exercise. I am not all that sure I believe in horoscopes. I really only pay attention if they are predictions of doom or cautionary advise. The doom predictions usually get me to stay home but I would not cancel a cruise. Cautionary advise is always good. I absolutely do not believe I am meeting Mr. Right at the grocery store today or any day. But I take seriously Mercury in Retrograde.

My horoscope for today said:

The positive cosmic energy is flowing your way at a rate that would be alarming if it weren't so good. You'll encounter great opportunities to turn big ideas and beautiful dreams into reality, so make a list of what you want this season to bring.

I posted this in Facebook and one of my long time blogging friends said: Wow! So I immediately began work on my WOW! List. Because I do believe in WOW! lists. I have made them or decades and sooner or later, in one fashion or another the things on my lists are achieved. The studio was on my WOW! list from a dozen years ago.

I have lately fallen out of the habit of making lists of anything other than what I have to accomplish. And doing this list today kept me from doing a couple things on today's list of todo's. But I am feeling jazzed about my list. I wrote it down in my journal and will refine it over the next few days.

Do you have a WOW! list? Thinks that would just put you at the top of the world if they happened? I think we all should. Write what you want down. And hold it close to your heart.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This is About Avatars

Those that knew me from my Y!360 days will recognize Charley, my first serious avatar. We changed avatars a lot in those early blogging days so I had a whole folder for avatars in My Pictures on my computer. I was reminded of this recently on Facebook as Halloween approached. On Y!360 we had a holiday appropriate avatar so I changed to my witchy photo for a couple weeks.

Boy, that was a weird experience. Remember how you felt in high school when you wore something totally out of style per your peers. Made it even worse when you happened to really love that blouse. That is how I felt with my holiday appropriate avatar on all to serious-about-avatars Facebook. Everyone uses their real face! How dumb (and oh, so boring) is that? I still have not adjusted to using my real name there. Though to be totally honest I am far from anonymous on the Internet. The first time I Googled my name I scared myself to death.

Anyway I have a Turkey all picked out for Thanksgiving, like it or not Facebook. Meanwhile, I decided maybe it was time to do something about having a decent face shot to use. One without a ski cap and a dog. Everytime I win a prize for paintings I am asked for a publicity shot. My sister takes marvelous photos but when she is up I seem to be in front of a camera standing waist deep in a mud puddle we just got the jeep out of.

So I decided today to mount the camera on its tripod and take some photos of myself. I won't be self conscious in front of me right? Anyway this requires the self timer mode on my Nikon D70. I have done it before but how seems to escape me every time I want to do it again. So I go hunting for the manual. Then I have to remember what it is called in the manual. I always think of it as shutter delay but that is a problem that needs solved not a mode you prefer to use.

So I finally got it all together and took almost 70 pictures. There might be one or two I can use after running them through Photoshop and using the artistic blur or something. So stay tuned to Facebook or any of my blogs to see the results in a day or two.

Frankly I really love Charley above or the masked lady I have on Profiles. Why do I have to get real?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday Morning Chat - A day late

Trips out of town always seem to require one more day beyond the one more day you took. And the older I get the harder it is to hit the ground running when I get home. And the longer you were gone the faster you have to run to catch up.

We got 9 inches of snow the night before my return home. It is one of the reasons I stayed an extra day. I wanted them to have the roads cleared before I topped the pass into my valley. And they did. It did look like a winter wonderland but the dogs were sleeping peacefully in the back seat and I did not want to wake them to immortalize the early snow. Besides why encourage it?

Temperatures were already melting it off driveways and country roads. And you could hear the breaking of tree branches from the weight of it. Nature's way of pruning. I had to shovel my walkway to get the car unloaded. In addition to supplies I bought I had New Mexico travertine tile my friend gave me to skirt the wood stove in the rental unit. I tired before unloading the pieces of it I am doing a tea table with. Laundry awaits to be done and hung in the warm temperatures and sun today before the next snow storm hits.

And there are the two boxes of clothes I got from my sister. She was doing some extreme sorting for a garage sale and a move. She buys good quality clothes so taking home castoffs is a joy. One box is old t-shirts to cut and crochet into a rag rug. All this means I have to do some sorting myself to make room. But first today is about catching up here at home and doing the out of house tasks the next two days of more snow might make a bit difficult: grocery store, pet sit client visit, check on house I am sitting, post office to mail painting, restock firewood on porch, unload rest of car.

I think I am looking forward to being snowed in for two days. Sounds restful. Nothing like being out of Dodge to make you appreciate Dodge.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Word Thursday - Aesthete

My word for today came on my dictionary module on My Yahoo. I like learning new words or renewing my acquaintance with words I once used but have lost touch with. My word for today falls into that latter category. Aesthete is a perfectly good word but it has gone out of favor since the days of President Richard Nixon and his Vice President Spiro Agnew. It became popular at that time to be rude, crude and socially unacceptable. A fine tradition what was revived and honed by G.W.Bush.

The word aesthete began to take on the darker parts of its definition -  dilettante, professes to have, and indifference to practical matters. Artists and people that had a sensitivity to beauty were seen to be light in the loafers or of little use. Art itself was devalued. Beauty had value only if it could be mass produced in China and marketed at Wal-Mart.

A funny thing has happened as we have waded through the economic crisis, and as an artist (an aesthete) I have noticed, people seem to be returning to a love of beauty over quantity or just drinking in the beauty at galleries or tops of mountains or owning one small piece of art they truly love. Consumer is becoming a bad word and aesthete is once again taking on its good definitions.


a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauties of art or nature.
a person who affects great love of art, music, poetry, etc., and indifference to practical matters.
Also, esthete.

1880–85; < Gk aisthēts one who perceives, equiv. to aisthē- (var. s. of aisthánesthai to perceive) + -tēs n. suffix denoting agent

1. connoisseur. 2. dilettante.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning Chat - Winter Preparations

Almost two months ago I ordered three cords of firewood from my auto mechanic. He is very successful at fixing cars including mine but he is also one of those go-getters you find up here in the highlands that does other things to supplement his income. Selling firewood is one. And leading wild game hunts is another. Yesterday he called to say he had two cords of my wood. He wanted to deliver them before hunting guide season begins in earnest.

Couldn't have come at a better time. Weather is nice and soon to turn bad. So with some hard work I can get it stacked in my woodshed and under cover and behind locks before the rains come. This is my fall aerobics program. That and putting up/repairing snow fencing. The good news from my labors over the weekend is I seem to at last be hale and hearty. The flu I had this April/May (I truly believe it was H1N1) knocked me for a loop. The good news is I probably have a real good immunity for the coming flu season.

I helped unload the two cords of wood into a huge pile and then my neighbor, who also got firewood, and I went off to have a Chinese dinner. My other task for the weekend (besides the fencing on Saturday) was making myself an under-window bird feeder for the studio.

By removing the screen on the louvered window at bottom I can even feed the birdies without putting on snow boots this winter. And maybe even get some great photographs of my winter visitors if I keep the window clean.

I also collected some downed Ponderosa Pine Cones to make into fire starters but currently they are just too beautiful to burn and are decorating the wood stove while they dry and open up so they will hold more wax.

Needless to say they are very quickly going to have to move off the wood burning stove. The will be rolled in remains of candles melted down and then stored in a metal container for the winter of fires ahead. I do love this time of year even if it is a lot of work. There is a sense of accomplishment and well being with storing up for the winter. I suppose that is a hang over from our hunting and gathering, living in cave days.

How are your cave storage preparations coming?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Foto and Chat

This is Eci in the sun in my studio. Eci is one of the two cats I got from my friend Kathi before she died. It has not been easy to integrate Eci and Lily into my household. They are Siamese if you please. And I already have one Siamese among my purr kids - The Darkness.

While Lily remains stuck to her upstairs self-imposed restrictions, Eci is now downstairs the majority of the day time. This does still result in fights over the primo sunspot chairs but all in all it is working better than I had hoped in the midst of this battle when I regreted taking them.

I tried an experiment with Lily of not filling her upstairs food bowl in a timely manner and she ventured downstairs to the "public" feeder. I am wondering about totally stopping her own private bowl. I do think Eci does go up there to feed too from time to time. And he sleeps upstairs with Lily.

It is so hard to know what to do with cats. And I got sidetracked with the dog issue there for a while. Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Word Thursday - Getting Out of Dodge?

This is my version for the week of Word Thursday. Getting out of Dodge is one of my favorite phrases for when it seems necessary for my mental health to leave my little valley. I have been trying to get out of Dodge for two weeks now and things keep coming up like memorial services and pet sitting gigs and legal appointments. I am settling this morning for going over the pass to shop for necessities in Taos, but a longer sojourn seems impossible at this time.

This morning I began to wonder from where came this phrase of mine so I Googled it. And the Urban Dictionary says: "Get the hell out of Dodge" is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, which was a favorite location for westerns in the early to mid 20th century. Most memorably, the phrase was made famous by the TV show "Gunsmoke," in which villians were often commanded to "get the hell out of Dodge."

The phrase took on its current meaning in the 1960s and 70s when teenagers began to use it in its current form of meaning - just leave and leave soon. For me it means I desperately need a change of scene. And I can even use it to mean get out of myself; stop obsessing over an issue.

A metaphysical friend of mine maintains that there is something to getting out of Dodge that does change the mindset. Going ten miles or crossing a natural barrier such as a river, mountain pass, or geological fault can change the energy. So lacking the time this week to go see my sister and best friend for a few days I will instead content myself by going over the mountains to Taos and roaming the aisles of the grocery store.

The above photo is of Dodge City, Kansas in 1870. And if history is correct there were a lot of reasons in those days for getting out of Dodge which was the destination for many a cattle drive because it was where the trains came. It had a lot of saloons and law enforcement issues.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Chat with friends

I got up this morning fully intending to write a blog. Was even going to write an Art Sunday one. Then because I was not on the Internet much yesterday I got into catching up with friends and recent events.

Then I needed to paint. It has been two days since I made much progress on the five small paintings I was working on. I am very close to finishing three. Don't like one at all and trying to decide how I am going to rescue it. The studio with the sun streaming through the windows is the warmest room in the house currently. So painting is winning out. Got my laptop open just to keep up with posts of others.

I am currently waiting for the paint to dry. Actually ink. I do my accents on my paintings in ink. Don't like to mess that up and so everything below where the ink is going has to be dry and each color of ink has to dry. This is generally why I work on more than one painting at a time. But only two right now interest me. I admit artists are weird. At least this artist.

And it has been a weird week. But the good news is the fur kids are getting along a lot better and I am so thrilled with that. Under the advice of my dog whisperer and a deep instinct I have decided to curtail all play days with the neighbor's dogs. I think they are just two dominate and unregulated.

Part of me is feeling like it is nap time but I really want to finish these two paintings. Or get them to the point where for a couple of days I can contemplate about them being finished. Monday I want to start on the continuation of the two others. The one I need to rescue will sit there for a while and bother me.

How goes your day? Oh, btw, as concession to Art Sunday I decided to post a Matisse. I actually saw The Red Room in a museum.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Foto and Chat

This is along the side of the road I walk every morning with my fur kids. I have been watching the Aspens turn gold for a couple weeks now. Weather has been against them being a fantastic display but yesterday the weather provided fog which gave everything a Gainsborough look. I posted several of the pictures I took in a slide show on Creative Journey. But the above picture is one of my favorites of those.

Why photographers like a particular picture they have captured is an age old question. This one does not show the Aspen's true bright gold. Nor does it focus on the biggest stand of Aspens on my road. But it captured the morning. I can vividly remember the smell of the wet grasses and leaves when I look at this photo.

We had experienced heavy rains the night before. The type that at this point in the fall colors can knock all the leaves to the ground but it didn't. The humidity and the temperature combined to create a wonderful fog which was lifting as Magique and Mardi and I walked down our quiet country lane. If you enlarge the photo you can see drops of rain still hanging on the fence wire. The rising sun is just beginning to touch the tops of the taller Aspens.

I belong to a photography group on Facebook - Picture Picks. We are a small group with weekly contests for best photo fitting a theme. Whether I am posting a picture or voting on my favorite pictures taken by others I am asking myself what is a good picture? What makes a fantastic picture? It is a very interesting exercise.

BTW, as I had to have both hands for the camera on this walk, the battling fur kids were free roaming. We made it the entire walk with prolonged stops for picture taking without any fur flying. Banner morning!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Word Thursday - Samhain and Paganism

As I mentioned in my other blog - Sidetracked Charley - my dreams and thoughts are turning to Halloween or Samhain which is the Wiccan new year.

Samhain is a cross-quarter sabbath; a night when the veil between this world and the next is the thinnest. It is a time to honor those who've died during the old year just leaving, as well as all ancestral spirits.

It has often interested me that regardless of our basic beliefs there are certain nexus in the calendar about which all festivals seem to cluster. One is of course Christmas, a Christian holy day. Chanukah is always close. And the Islamic New Year. But this time of shortened days and long nights was originally a Roman festival. And it is of course connected to the winter solstice which is honored by many pagan beliefs including the Druids.

"Paganism" refers to a range of spiritual paths. These are generally Neopagan religions based on the deities, symbols, practices, seasonal days of celebration and other surviving components of ancient religions, which had been long suppressed. Pagan can also mean anyone that does not believe in your religion. Some believe that in the early Roman Empire, "paganus" came to mean "civilian" as opposed to "military." Christians often called themselves "miles Christi" (Soldiers of Christ). The non-Christians became "pagani" -- non-soldiers or civilians. No denigration would be implied. See the website Religious Tolerance for further discussion.

Halloween, which came from the Celtic culture, and All-Souls, the Catholic holy day, and Samhain, a witches' sabbath, all cluster around October 31st. I find this one particularly significant because there is no astronomical event like the winter solstice to mark this day as special. It is often seen as the dividing line between autumn and winter as well as when the line between the living and the dead is the thinnest.

I find my dreams become particular prophetic at this time. And my thoughts turn naturally to those who are no longer in life with me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Day to Whine

I am going to begin with the positives about the week and the Been There/Done That Sale this weekend. Then I am going to whine so be warned. I don't whine often but when I do I am good at it.

De-cluttering the studio and my life was good all in all. Yes, it created some havoc in my life and the lives of my fur kids but in addition to finding junk I no longer needed I found things I did not know I had or had overlooked for ages even if they were in plain sight like my Ashford spinning wheel. I drug it down from upstairs, oiled it up, looked up the value of it on the internet, priced it and now am not sure I want to sell it.

And I got all my flat files and storage places in my studio clean out. Emptied some storage boxes I had in the far shed and have now filled them with things that did not sell but which I don't want to toss but certainly can be stored in the far shed. And I discovered I can put up some display panels in the studio for special events. I am leaving three up for a couple of weeks with the remaining "under glass" watercolors still on sale. And the studio is big enough to have a couple artist friends with a table or two each for another sale event.

Now the whine. I was talked into doing two days by a friend that was participating and then she just participated just one day but left all her junk for me to deal with. I had to call her three times after the sale was over to come and get it. The idea was not to have more junk than I began with. And I wanted my studio back. I want to paint. So I made a pest of myself until she at last deemed it within her schedule to come haul it off after saying, "if you want any of it I can just leave it?" NOT.

All which leads me to my major whine: Unclean communications. The older I get the more I just want people to be truthful and direct with their communications. And I do not want to be manipulated or taken advantage of or used or made to feel guilty for things which are entirely NOT my fault.

And I really, really want people to live up to their agreements. Death in the family is the only excuse but you need to call me and communicate that excuse. Don't tell me one thing and then assume I have through ESP figured out all your changes of desires and mind set. AND, definitely do not put me in the middle.

As it stands I currently still have some stuff which was supposed to be picked up at closing yesterday. And one person wanted me to handle what another person said they wanted. I refused. They can call each other. I provided the venue only.

The Been There/Done That Sale was definitely a good thing to do all in all. It introduced a lot of people to my studio and my work (even that not on sale) and it did it in a manner where I did not have to spend a bundle to have a reception here. So I may do this again. Maybe bi-annually. Once in the spring and once in the fall. In May it might be nice to introduce new work done over the winter before the summer fairs begin. But I am really clear about who will not be invited again to participate. Life is too short.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Foto and Chat

This is my calico cat Wee Willow enjoying a morning snooze in my computer chair. So for those that have inquired where I have been the last several days - not here. Life has not gone as planned lately and that means a break up of regular routines. And it also puts me behind on the Been There/Done That Yard sale this weekend. So I have to really hump it today and Willow will reap the benefits by having the chair again for her nap.

I did get over the mountain yesterday but not to do a photographic trip but to run Jan over for her car in Taos and pick up a couple necessities. Took the camera hoping to snap a few pictures of fall colors on the way home but it was so windy they would have all be blurred. And the wind was quite chilly.

Besides yesterday morning's fur kid fight, (which I mentioned on Facebook) seemed to use all my energy. Driving back over the mountain I realized an early return to get things done was not going to happen. Instead there was a nap in my future. The dogs seem to have reached a separate peace with each other which is good. Mardi, my older standard poodle, has some sore muscles. Magique seems ashamed by her misbehavior.

So today things must be done. No other day to push things off on to. Weather should be nice tomorrow and hopefully sales are brisk at the yard sale because I don't want to put all this clutter back.

Been trying to get the news on the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in Indonesia and Somalia but with my schedule the last two days not easy. But while watching a webcast last evening I caught news about Google's new Wave. Why was I not asked to be one of those testing it out? Sounds cool. Anyone know any thing about it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Movie Monday?

A couple of the refugees from the old 360 are trying to get theme days going here. As my frequent readers know I do Poetic Journey on Wednesdays on my blog Creative Journey (hotlinked on this page). Dangerous Meredith and Nicholas V (Intelliblog) are supporters of the Movie Monday, so check out their blogs.

I thought I might join in from time to time but what I have to report on this week is not really a movie but a British television series: The Last Detective.

The Last Detective is an ITV drama starring Peter Davison as Dangerous Davies. The first series aired in 2003 with three more seasons succeeding this. The first consisted of a pilot and three episodes, the second and the third series both consisted of four normal episodes and the fourth series increased the run to five episodes and the duration of each individual episode to ninety minutes as opposed to the previous seventy minute format. As of 2007 this series had seventeen episodes in total. The series follows Detective Constable "Dangerous" Davies who is seen as a joke by his colleagues but is committed to his work. As the series progress, his reputation improves with his colleagues and his estranged wife, Julie. The series is based on the Dangerous Davies series of novels written by Leslie Thomas.

Granada have stated that the fourth series was the last. "The Last Detective: Complete Collection" was released on Region 1 DVD on 20th January 2009 and includes all 17 episodes of the TV show, the movie starring Bernard Cribbins which tells the same story as the TV pilot, and other features including an interview with Peter Davison.

I have become quite a fan of British television especially since opting out of American television which has been aimed more and more toward the lowest common denominator. Since cutting off the cable feed I have joined Netflix and watch even my British favorites on DVD's. Definitely the way to go with no commercials or interruptions for fundraisers or station identifications. You can actually keep track of the plots. There is some great character development on this particular series.

DVD's are also a great way to catch those shows you did not see when they were actually on the air. And you can watch the whole series in a short period of time instead of over years.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Sumup for Last Sunday in September

I frankly cannot believe that September is almost gone. Which makes the year 2009 three fourths complete. I won't give you that stupid count down to Christmas. Fall is busy enough here without adding that in.

This week included two "required social events" to promote art in our northeastern section of New Mexico. For the last dozen years I have tried to explain to people I meet without mentioning the word Taos. It and Santa Fe were probably the two most recognized communities in New Mexico. At one time Taos had signs coming into it on major highways that proclaimed: Taos Soul of the Southwest. Well, if that was the case I thought it needed and exorcism and said so. The chamber of commerce there finally discontinued that slogan because of "associations."

It is not easy to present your community in a positive light that is remembered by all that visit. Angel Fire was for so long that upstart skiing resort for Texans. We did not even have a cementary. People that died here got buried "back home." That is changing. People have come and stayed and become committed to the "right" growth for the area. And I like to think I have had a significant impact in the growth and recognition of the art community here.

The regular gallery reception on Friday and the special reception for magazine writers last night have underscored those years of effort. And how far we have come. Angel Fire is now getting recognized for more than just skiing. Which, since I am an artist with a new open studio, is good.

It has otherwise been a quiet week. My sister and her husband did not make it up this week for four wheeling. And I have been delving through things to put into my Been There/Done That Art Garage Sale next weekend. It was a week that raised more questions than it provided answers. Somehow that, or the receptions, or fall has gotten me thinking back on the good old days. Which, of course, always requires a trip to YouTube. Found the following video you may enjoy if you are about my age. All those were the days.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Word Thursday - Private

The old Y!360 used to have a Word Thursday. I even hosted that weekly event for some months. I found it quite informative as it always sent me searching for a new word or seeking the exact definition for a word I thought I knew and certainly used enough.

Today on Facebook I was suddenly overcome with an intense need for privacy. Yes, I know that Facebook privacy is an oxymoron (I will let you go look that one up). But despite the fact that I post four blogs, have a website for my business, a studio open to the public, and have an active Facebook account I am really a very private person. I don't attend high school reunions or trod the old college campas or go tripping through the Internet looking for old friends. This is now and that was then.

Nor am I on all these social networks for the sake of finding new friends especially. I have met some great new people admittedly but I trust slowly. And I find that my friends are almost as private as I am. Today I made a comment on comment on the FB page of a more public friend of mine and was ambushed by one of her friends. I immediately deleted my comment (not because I am wrong but because I was afraid of catching something - cooties maybe) and dashed back to my settings and cranked everything down to friends only so the friend of a friend could not follow me back to my lair.

So my word today is private.


1. belonging to some particular person: private property.
2. pertaining to or affecting a particular person or a small group of persons; individual; personal: for your private satisfaction.
3. confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential: a private meeting.
4. personal and not publicly expressed: one's private feelings.
5. not holding public office or employment: private citizens.
6. not of an official or public character: private life.
7. removed from or out of public view or knowledge; secret: private papers.
8. not open or accessible to the general public: a private beach.
9. undertaken individually or personally: private research.
10. without the presence of others; alone.
11. solitary; secluded.
12. preferring privacy; retiring: a very private person.
13. intimate; most personal: private behavior.
14. of, having, or receiving special hospital facilities, privileges, and services, esp. a room of one's own and liberal visiting hours: a private room; a private patient.
15. of lowest military rank.
16. of, pertaining to, or coming from nongovernmental sources: private funding.
17. a soldier of one of the three lowest enlisted ranks.
18. privates. private parts.
19. in private, not publicly; secretly: The hearing will be conducted in private.

1350–1400; ME < class="ital-inline">prīvātus private, lit., taken away (from public affairs), special use of ptp. of prīvāre to rob. See deprive, -ate 1

pri⋅vate⋅ly, adverb
pri⋅vate⋅ness, noun

2. singular, particular, peculiar. 10. sequestered, retired.

2. general, public.

All I have to add to this is Yes. That's me really.

Because I am an artist I have a public personna but I am inside an intensely private person.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Morning Chat over Coffee - Winter Coming

September is only two-thirds gone and the weather site says to expect up to two inches of snow tonight. Usually our first measurable snow does not arrive until Halloween. The ski areas do not begin to blow snow traditionally until the 30th of October. It just won't stick any earlier than that, and some years not then. The three cords of wood I have ordered for the wood stove is being delivered the last of October.

So what happened to Indian Summer? You know that delightful time of the year where we all get to finish up our list of to do's before winter. This year we have had rain. Mind you rain is nice but it does not allow you to do those outside tasks that need done before the snow flies. I have re-channeled my energy (after recovering from the either very late summer cold or very early winter cold) into organizing the interior of my living space.

I was tackling the clothing exchange yesterday (summer clothes to top shelves, winter clothes out to be handy, etc) and noticed that I had not quite got the winter stuff stored this spring. Nor had I worn half of my summer stuff this summer. Just has not been warm enough for shorts even mid day. The economy is not going to allow for a winter escape to the beach so some of the summer clothes went into the Thrift Shop bags. I'll deal with new if and when I can afford a cruise.

I was remembering that during the studio construction I was reduced to living in the two upstairs rooms. The sewing room/guest room got put in order at last but my bedroom (in the midst of redecorating when the carpenter fell through the living room ceiling) is still in some havoc. So my task this week is to finally reclaim that space beginning with the clothes and moving to the furniture and boxes shoved in there.

And for the first week in October I am planning a studio sale. Going to drastically mark down all my unframed work and many of my traditional watercolors I did and framed. I need wall space before winter closes me in.

"Give me elbow room," cried Daniel Boone.

So what are your winter tasks? And how long do you think we have before bad weather?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sum Up for September 20, 2009

It seems like longer than a week since I won the Best of Show in the Illusions exhibit. I celebrated by getting sick; no doubt from spending all that time an energy in the 1st National Bank building where the exhibit was held. The weather outside was around 58 but they had the exhibit room chilled with air conditioning to 66. Not very green of them.

Monday my scratching throat became a full on upper chest cold complete with hacking cough. Yesterday I finally felt good enough to run to Taos and purchase some much needed items - like tissues. Fortunately Albertson's was having sales all through the store on canned goods and my favorite pasta (Dreamfields-low carb) and so I stocked up the larder without emptying the bank account.

I had wanted to go to Santa Fe this weekend and take in the huge art expo show but my energy and my available funds said that would not be wise. It is time to be like the ant and horde for winter. Unfortunately I am often more like the grasshopper from that old fable.

While in Taos I got the French Press coffee maker I blogged about. And a supply of Senseo pods for my pod brewer. An interesting thing has happened since the demise of my Mr. Coffee - I seem to be drinking less and enjoying it more. And I have gone back to drinking more green tea in the middle of the day. Albertson's had a sale on my favorite brand of that too.

Needless to say with the cold I have not gotten any painting done or much else. This next week will mean diving into the paintings I had begun but not finished. And I am toying with a "garage sale" of sorts. Thinking of having an open studio event and mark all my old watercolors (on paper and not canvas and under glass) down 50% to free up wall space. Also some unframed mixed media pictures and reduced prices. And those tossed off art supplies I now most likely will not use. Such a sale event could bring in some revenue and free up wall and storage space before winter hits.

Always a question: When will winter hit? In some ways it would seem early. We have gotten more rain and cooler nights earlier than usual but then other signs say it will either be a delayed onset to winter or just a mild one. I am not having the influx of spiders and insects that general procede extended bad weather. Though in all fairness the cats have been enjoying a field day of field mice but in the field.

I expect the Aspen will be in all their glory next weekend. When the clouds lift (they have been on the deck a lot) you can see spots of gold beginning on them thar hills. I hope for good weather so I and my sister can record them in pixels to share.

How has your week been?