Share Your World – April 24, 2017

I have been fighting with my printer this morning – lately, it’s decided not to connect with the network to allow me to print things when I want to or need to. It’s really very annoying, and I’m resisting the urge to throw it to the ground and stomp on it. My right foot, the one I twisted so energetically, would not stomp well, but I can lean on something and stomp with the left foot. Instead, I think I’ll share some more of my world, then do a shut down and restart of computer and printer, just to see if that works.

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink? To really quench thirst, I’d go for water. It has to be cold though – in the winter just out of the refrigerator without ice is fine, but in the summer, ice is a must. In warm weather, I do enjoy a cold beer after working outside, but nothing really quenches thirst like water for me.

Complete this sentence: Never In My Life Have I…. Won anything. I finally gave up on buying into opportunities to win that golden prize, or the million dollars, or even a set of knives, because it’s just not going to happen. If I want it, I’d better work for it. I guess I was not born with the winning gene.

If you could be given any gift what would it be? That’s a tough one. I have the gift of my children, my friends, life, a home, my furry girls, space to call my own. I think I’ll go the greedy route and say the gift I would like would be enough money to travel more; enough money to donate to those causes I view as worthy.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive? I usually don’t have a problem sleeping, but sometimes I will wake in the wee hours and sleep does not come back to find me. I lay as still and quietly as possible, because there is that eternal hope that sleep will find me soon – although it usually takes a couple of hours to do that. I try to keep my mind blank while I wait, but generally sleep isn’t returning because my mind thinks it needs to worry about things that don’t need to be worried about, at least not in the dark hours of morning.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful that life as I know it continues. I am grateful that I have been able to divorce myself, at least separate myself a little, from our political climate – a self-preservation separation. I am looking forward to the sunny days the forecast says are coming, and the continued healing of the pulled muscle in my foot so that I will soon be walking normally, rather than almost normally. I am grateful for the young man I was able to hire to rake up the pine needles and pine cones in my yard because that’s something I no longer care to deal with.

Now, I want to share my alcohol ink painting of the Homeless Man, from a photo my son took a few years ago. My Facebook friends have already seen this, so they can go no further if they choose.

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Share Your World – April 17, 2017

We are rushing headlong into a new week, although I’m not sure where the last week went. I know it was here, but then I blinked, and it was gone! New week means time to share with Cee, although I suspect these questions will prompt some “it depends” or “I don’t know” answers from me.

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen? Pen, always. A pen just seems to write more smoothly for me, although that’s no guarantee my writing will be any more legible. Truth is, I prefer typing. Although sometimes my mind goes faster than my fingers, I seem to be able to get the words that I want on paper more readily when I’m typing.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer? If I’m going to be amazing at something, I think I would prefer it be something where I could remain more in the background most of the time. Perhaps an amazing artist, or an amazing writer – either of those would be fine. Neither singing nor dancing are in my range of talents/skills for sure – I am not known for being musical or graceful.

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating? My tongue tends to tangle and my brain to empty when I need them to function well – which means I don’t think a debate team would be in my bailiwick either. Remember how I said I’d prefer to be in the background most of the time? Uh huh. Applies here too.

What are you a “natural” at doing? Procrastination when it comes to things I don’t want to do? Probably that’s what I’m most natural about. If it’s something I do want to do, it will be organized well in advance.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful for time to play with my inks, the company of my furry girls, nearby friends and dinner with them on a recent evening, communications with my kids. I am looking forward to the weather going back to more spring weather after some wintry winds and clouds that dropped snowflakes on us this past week.

My inking the last few days has taken on a more realistic bent – although I would love to be able to be more impressionistic and free in creating my art, I seem to always come back to the realistic thing. Yesterday’s efforts produced “Time for Breakfast”:

The end of last week I took an online class given by Helene Rush on SherylWilliamsArt.com about painting an ostrich. When I told my daughter that, she laughed, having had a mental image of me painting a real ostrich. So, to be more specific, the class was about painting a portrait of an ostrich, and this is the result:

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

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Saturday Ramblings and an Award

Laura of Riddle From the Middle just bestowed the Blogger Recognition Award on me. Thank you, Laura, although I suspect you might wish you’d chosen someone else because I’m not sure I can adhere to all the rules, which are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Write a post to share your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
5. Select 10 to 15 bloggers for this award. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and link back to this post.

I can handle #1, and I am now taking care of #2. #3 – well, my blog first started on Blogspot back in 2009 I think it was, when husband and I took a trip back to Minnesota to visit my brother and his wife. It was my way of keeping my kids and our friends posted on our whereabouts and activities. It just seemed much easier than trying to write individual emails and share photos that way. When we got home, I slacked off on posting until my daughter got on my case – giving me some motivation, backed up with mild threats.

#4. Not sure what kind of advice I can give. For me, what works is letting myself write about and share what I feel like at any given moment. This blog doesn’t really have a theme, other than letting my thoughts wander where they may – thus my blog title. My advice to me, and thus to you, is to do what suits you. It’s your blog, and I think it’s important to follow your whims, your muse, your heart. Only you can decide and know what your reason for blogging is – therefore only you can fulfill that purpose.

My second piece of advise is to always be respectful of your audience – and of yourself. Don’t put something out there that you’ll regret tomorrow, because once your words have entered the internet universe, they will never ever go away.

Then we get to #5. That’s where I have trouble. I don’t follow a huge number of bloggers, and many that I followed when I first entered this world have drifted away from blogging. I know some of those I follow do not like being nominated for awards like this, so my usual response is to offer it to whomever might be reading this, telling them to go for it as they wish, because they all deserve it. And that’s what I’m going to do here. Sorry, Laura, if I’m breaking the chain, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

So other than that – today I am celebrating the sunshine that is coming in my windows. Warmth, we do not have – we are definitely not having a heat wave – but the sun has been making itself scarce all winter long, and not showing up much more in this version of spring, so I am appreciating its presence for this day. I shall soak up as much of it as I can, because the forecast says it will be short-lived.

My muse has been on vacation. I’ve been sitting down to my craft table, taking out my paper and my inks, and coming up with nothing that really satisfies me for the past few days. Yesterday I sat down in front of my computer for a class on painting an ostrich portrait, which I might start working on today, and it woke my muse from her deep sleep to a slightly awake doze. The paintings I did are not outstanding, but at least I am not wanting to start a small bonfire with them.

First, one I did a few days ago – a little dark for my liking, but that probably is reflective of my mood that day. This is Deep in the Forest.

Yesterday, the world apparently looked a bit brighter and I visited these Rolling Hills.

And there were Heat Waves yesterday too – if only in my imagination. This one started out as something completely different a few days ago, something I hated when I finished it, so I drowned it in alcohol which left only the color stains on the media. Yesterday, a little more ink, some more alcohol, and a brush, and I feel better about it.

There you have it! My Saturday thoughts. My world – which is full of enough.

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Share Your World – April 10, 2017

Cee is back to share this week. I decided I might as well play now instead of waiting for another day – it’s another case of avoidance for me, since today has been designated as the day to go grocery shopping.

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story. I have no story to tell. Although I have done all of those activities, I’ve never participated in an event for any of them. I am just not a competitor. And things I’ve done or do for pleasure become a chore when done for any other reason.

Name one thing not many people know about you. After blogging for several years now, is there anything people don’t know about me? Like Cee, I was once a baker of fresh breads, cinnamon buns, sticky buns, fancy cakes for Christmas – one year I made a gingerbread house which I put a nightlight in and the gingerbread smell in the house was heavenly. Now I bake, but less often and I sometimes bake bread, but I use the breadmaker to prepare the dough. I also used to make all of my clothes, and clothes for my kids. I even made my husband a pair of pants, a tie, a Nehru jacket (back in the day when that was the trend), and several shirts. Then the cost of fabric went up and the cost of ready made went down. Now my sewing machine lives in the closet.

What is your favorite flower? In the spring, when daffodils first appear, they fill me with joy because they are a brightly colored, living thing, so welcome after a white winter. I think though, that my true favorite flowers are peonies and lilacs. If only they had longer bloom periods.

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc) I have many of the things I would want in my home – I have photographs my son has taken, printed out, and framed for me. I have crafty things my daughter has made for me, and some of her paintings. I have my own paintings and photographs. I have book cases filled with books and knickknacks that I keep thinking I should thin out. I have a sort-of big screen TV, although I think I’d like it to be a few inches bigger. I have a comfy big recliner with a large cozy fleece lap blanket. I have more than I need – I have enough.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for getting my dining area and second bathroom painted new colors. I find it interesting how we (or at least I) change with time – when I last painted that bathroom I was apparently in a dramatic frame of mind and chose a color that was pretty dark – recently, I’ve felt more of a need for light and bright. The difference is amazing and pleasing to my eye and my soul. I discovered with the dining area that although I had replaced my dramatic darker color with a lighter one a few years ago, it still did not pull that space out of the dark, so I went with a color I have never used on my walls before and it did the job! I am happy. what am I looking forward to? Spring becoming more like spring – and mowing the grass. Yes! Already it needs mowing, much earlier in the year than I recall ever before. But, waking to freezing temps in the mornings and only a little warmer in the afternoons does not make me anxious to go out and do that.

Because I’m certain sure you really want to see the results of my painting, I will share. The first is the dining area, completed – because I didn’t take a “before” photo.

The bathroom – sort of before (because I seem to have a mental block about “before” photos) – the dark is the old color.

And the bathroom, completed.

Wishing you a wonderful week.

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There Are Those Days

You know how some days you realize you just should have stayed in bed? How you seem to be in complete destructo mode? How you don’t come to that realization quite early enough? Yep. I’m having one of those.

I’ve been considering painting my dining area walls, which I’ve always treated as accent walls, for two or three weeks now, but have been undecided as to color. It’s the one area in the house that gets no sunlight and is a dark alcove type area. It’s been a medium turquoise for about three years now, but I had grown weary of that color and wanted a change. I picked up four paint samples, before I hit one that I thought would be good – a golden yellow, and although I’m not really a fan of yellow on walls, it seemed to be the pick up that area needed. So yesterday I went to our local hardware store and bought the paint.

I got the first coat of roller painting done yesterday before my body decided that rebellion wasn’t getting my attention, so it went for a wholesale coup. This morning, energized, I was back at it, but I thought before the second coat on the main parts of the walls, all of it’s little corners and nooks and crannies – the back wall is known as an “architectural feature”, a nice addition until it’s time to paint – the parts that needed the strokes of a brush, should be taken care of.

The offending wall:

So. I was on the ladder, with my smallish paint container and brush on the top of it, painting away. Then my phone called me – it told me I had a text message, and you never know, it might be something really important. I have never been able to ignore the call of a phone, despite the fact that I do not like phone calls. So I got down, found a text message from Famous Footware that “hey! we’ve got this deal going today” – yeah, right. Like I need shoes. I deleted the message, and decided I should move the ladder before I got back up on it – you can see it now, can’t you? You’re right on – I forgot about the paint container on top of the ladder. Because it had been all of, what, one minute since I’d seen it there. Did I tell you I had also failed to move the protective tarp before I put the ladder where it was? Yeah.

All I can say is I’m glad it wasn’t the whole half-gallon paint on top of that ladder. A quart of carpet cleaner, a couple of big old towels, several buckets of water and a roll of paper towels later, I have done the best I can. Any remaining stains will be forever known as spots of sunshine, despite the fact there is absolutely no way spots of sunshine could get to that part of the carpet. Oh, had I failed to mention this area is carpeted? It is. The carpet is old, could stand replacing (with non-carpet), but the budget just laughs at me when I mention it. So, like the dandelions in my yard, my carpet now boasts spots of sunshine.

No, I did not take pictures of the damage. I didn’t because it was my intent not to tell anyone what I’d done. But I always tell on myself. No secrets here.

Old brains are a real pain, you know?

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Share Your World – April 3, 2017 – Official (sort of) and Unofficial

This week Cee was not feeling well, so Ribbonrx jumped in and filled the void. Then The Spectacled Bean came up with an unofficial version – so, because I’m certain all of you really really want to know more about me, I think I’ll play with both of them this morning. This is, once again, me avoiding doing anything constructive.

First, from Ribbonrx via Cee:

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way? Hmm. What do I like doing the old-fashioned way? How old does this old-fashioned have to be? I think I don’t have an answer for that one – I prefer doing things the easiest way possible actually.

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie? Okay, at risk of being a total dud with these questions – this is one of those either “I’m not sure” or “it depends” answers. I like movies and books about people (that’s definitive, isn’t it?) – relationships – maybe mysteries sometimes, or maybe psychological thrillers that don’t get too weird – I don’t like a lot of violence or descriptive sex. Give hints, I bet I can use my imagination just fine. Some historical fiction – it’s neat to learn something while being entertained.

How often do you people watch? Whenever I’m sitting quietly where there are people to watch. We people can be very interesting.

What have you only recently formed an opinion about? Maybe I’m too old to form new opinions. I do think my opinions are subject to change – what I believe right now can be influenced by learning more about the topic.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Life. I’m grateful for life. I’m looking forward to life continuing.

Now, for Ally Bean’s unofficial share:

1. What is your favorite word? Ixnaflickle. I just like the sound, and you can make it mean whatever you want.

2. What is your least favorite word? A word that I dislike intensely enough that I really don’t want to say it. It’s a rude synonym for female parts – actually, there are two of them. Words I dislike, I mean.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? What Ally said – being outside – blue skies, sunshine, birds singing.

4. What turns you off? Again, what Ally said. Hypocrisy. Narrow-mindedness. Rudeness.

5. What is your favorite curse word? Goshdarngollygee. Well, that was what I said when I was a kid and didn’t want to risk getting into deep trouble.

6. What sound or noise do you love? Mostly the sound of silence. Otherwise, nature’s sounds, birdsongs, the gentle breeze.

7. What sound or noise do you hate? The sounds of hypocrisy, ignorance, disrespect.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? When I was younger, I thought being a corporate attorney might be good, but maybe not. I like playing with words – but I also like painting with various media. This is one of those “when I grow up, I want to be” so maybe I’ll just come back and answer this when I decide to grow up.

9. What profession would you not like to do? Janitor, because I don’t like cleaning. It doesn’t last and keeps needing to be repeated.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome. We have an oceanfront cottage for you. Your furry friends are waiting for you.

Now, completely off-track and not relating to anything that preceded this, here’s a tile I painted the other day, playing with my new tiny air compressor:

Commercial alert: To see more of my ink arts, visit http://inkarts.wordpress.com

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Spring Blooms = Happiness!

Yesterday afternoon I went outside to do a little – very little – bit of yard work. My focus is the area around the house, where the pine trees litter every fall, and the grasses choose to populate what I want to be flower beds. The grasses are not especially discriminating, and seem to prefer to plant themselves where they are not wanted. They are also stubborn, refusing to give up their grip deep in the soil, so as soon as it warms up a bit more I’m going to mix up a solution of vinegar, epsom salts and dish soap, per a recipe for a weed killer mixture I found, and test it out. In the meantime, I pull what I can, rake out the pine needles, and giggle to myself when I find something I like popping up. Yesterday I found a couple of daylilies I planted last year and forgot about. Love surprises like that!

After I spent as much time as I cared to on my hands and knees, raking, pulling, discovering – and the amount of time I care to spend in the beginning is minimal – my Shasta girl, who spent her time on the deck watching me work, and I decided to wander around the yard to see what we could see. Well, okay, so I decided to wander around the yard and she decided she’d accompany me. She has learned her mom’s lazy habits very well, and is generally quite content to lie down and relax.

The Scilla are showing their pretty faces. These little girls have been so reliable for the 18 years they’ve managed to survive. Apparently my underground critters are not so fond of their little bulbs, unlike the crocus corms that disappear after the first year of bloom. Or the tulips – I used to have at least 100 tulip plants. Now I have two, both of which struggle each year. The underground critters really like crocus and tulips. And lilies. And I could go on, but I won’t. This photo is slightly blurred, because I had not yet discovered the camera feature I tell you about next.

I found the pussy willows in bloom

And – bonus! I discovered my phone camera has different modes, one of which allowed me to get that closeup! I’ve only had this phone for two years, you know – you couldn’t possibly have expected I might have discovered this earlier, oh, like maybe a year and 10 months earlier, could you? It’s the little things in life that give pleasure – it’s also the little things in life that can cause extreme embarrassment. I’ve always suspected I don’t use my electronic gizmos to their full capacity, and every once in awhile something like this happens that reminds me how correct I am. Sigh.

We walked a little further, and found the first of my daffodils greeting the spring sun

This is not the clump that usually blooms first, so it was a wonderful surprise.

Moving on, the Lenten Rose is offering more blooms than it has in the past years, with much smaller leaf clusters than it has in past years. It used to sprout large leaves with a few blooms, so this was another of those happy discoveries.

I have no idea why it’s changed – it’s not like it’s a very young plant. It’s one I planted just after we moved here in the fall of 1999.

Wandering to the back of the house, which faces the front of the yard assuming front is what borders on the road – I know, when we placed the house we did not follow the norm, so it’s just strange trying to decide what is really front and what is back. But I digress – at the back (front?) of the house, in the flower bed there, daffodils are getting ready to start blooming, and the violets are in full bloom – those pretty purple little flowers that always wake up early in the spring.

And there you have it – the reasons for my spring happiness! The reassurances that I really do have enough. How about you?

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