Sunday, 20 May 2018

Paint Shirts

I have been on a painting spree these last few weeks, completing five paintings in a series called Feathers. All done in my mixed media style.

This week I’ve been trying something different...still abstract...but a landscape.

I liked the first effort, but felt it needed something more, tried the something more,and something more again and basically ruined it.  The nice thing about abstract is that I can paint over the canvas and start anew, the remnants of the previous work add to the texture.

After watching a number of art tutorials I had a triptych in mind, something very mixed media but found myself working on another landscape.

I wear my old not-to-be-worn-in-public pants  and a T-shirt when I paint as Acrylic paints are permanent once they dry and I’m  tired of ruining my clothes. But today I looked at my shirt and it now joins the pants as my painting uniform.

I tend to hold my paint brush in my mouth when I need my hands free, like to twist the cap off a tube of paint. This is okay, unless I turn my head and accidentally clean my brush off on the shoulder of my shirt. Then there are the paint marks across my stomach from holding the canvas as I work.

I think, the way I work, I’ll have more painting clothes before I’m done. Oh, the price of creativity.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

A Lesson on Stealing

When my granddaughter has her weekly music lesson, her Mom stays with her and I get mother and son time, for about forty minutes before we all meet up again for dinner.

Tonight I was driving and told my son I had something to show him.  Something related to a new craft I saw on Pinterest. This did not meet with a lot of enthusiasm from my son. I always seem to find new crafts I want to try.

This craft involved wood, the older and more beaten up the better. Sort of like the wood you see on pallets, but they are too heavy for me and I’d need help to take one apart. So a separate piece of wood would be better. Nothing fancy, something about 3-4 inches wide, 1 inch thick and 2-4 feet long.

I took him to the new subdivision currently under construction. There I pointed out the piles of building material, heaped into what looked, to me at any rate, like discarded supplies.

“If I was to take a couple pieces of that wood, would it be stealing?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied. “It’s on private property and it doesn’t belong to you.”

“But it’s just sitting there in a scrap pile.”

I felt I had to defend my question, but really, who did he think taught him about stealing.  He did explain that the builders would go to that pile if, for example, they needed a shorter piece of wood, so it’s not really scrap.

He did have me stop so he could check a small pile of wood, but they were all 2x4’s and I didn’t want anything that thick.

He did tell me that a contractor friend of his has a scrap pile, and he could most likely get me some wood.

I told him not to bother, it’s not like I need another craft. I have enough yarn stashed away to get me through this summer into next winter. I have a painting, as yet unfinished on the table and remnants of other projects, started yet incomplete, hidden around my house.

It’s that damn Pinterest. Too many ideas, too little time. And my daughter wonders why I hoard art and craft supplies. One of these days, I’ll find that new craft I’m dying to try, and oh look, I have everything I need.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Spider Battle

l hate spiders, and, I admit, enter into a battle to the death when I see one.

The other night I was reading in bed and noticed a dark spot in the corner, at ceiling height. A spider. This presented a problem because there was no way I could go to sleep and leave it there.

I couldn’t sweep it away, and chance it falling in my bed, so I needed a weapon.  I pulled out the tape and stuck a blob of it to the end of my broom handle. This might sound strange, but I have had success with this method.

I must have been tired, my aim was off and all I did was cause the spider to run down the wall. I made several valiant attempts, but in my own defence, the end of a broom is not very big. I lost sight of it for a moment, then found it on my pillow and responded bravely.

I shrieked and grabbed the pillow to get it off. That send the spider to the wall again. I needed a new strategy if I was to be the victor. I needed a new weapon.

Stepping into the bathroom, luckily close enough I could keep my eye on the spider, I leaned down to grab a wad of toilet paper. It took me a moment, as the stars I was seeing from smashing my cheek on the towel rod had to clear. Big ouch.

Finally, with the toilet paper I captured that spider and, after carefully verifying my success, I vanquished it down the toilet, gone in a flash and a flush.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Alex Kava...the Ryder Creed Series

I have been a fan of author Alex Kava for many years. She writes a series of books whose central character is an FBI Profiler named Maggie O’Dell.

Maggie is a complicated character, driven to find and stop serial killers. But the demons she chases are not all killers. She has issues, to say the least, and demons of her own.

There are many secondary characters, her boss at the FBI, her partner, and her friend, a psychologist she met at Quantico.

And then there are the men she meets along the way. First, the husband who makes her chose between him and the FBI. End of marriage ensues.

Then there’s the Sheriff she met on a case and sparks flew. He makes an appearance in several books, but the timing never seems right for these two. Exit the Sheriff.

Next there was the army doctor. Things looked promising, but he had issues of his own and through a number of books, their relationship seemed doomed for failure.

I’m rooting for Maggie, hoping she will find someone. Not that I think a woman has to have a man in her life to feel complete, but Maggie is young, and given what she does for a living, she deserves to have someone there for her.

Enter Ryder Creed. A wounded soul with a painful history. He operates a canine search and rescue operation and meets Maggie on a case when he is called in to do a search. Now I’m excited, because Ryder is just the man Maggie needs. And talk about instant attraction and heat. But nothing happens.

Next thing I know, Ryder Creed has his own series of books. I’m thinking No, not possible, he’s meant for Maggie. I buy the book and what do you know, Maggie is there. But so is the doctor, as he and Maggie are still uncertain friends, at the will they or won’t they stage.

But the first three Creed books had me frustrated. I wanted these two wounded souls to be together, and they aren’t.

I’m having a flashback to other books, movies, television shows, that drag out the sexual tension between characters. I know there is a risk, that once these characters...come together...the tension is lost and the readers/viewers will lose interest.

I did the preorder on book number four, anxious to see what happens, especially as this book promises answers to Ryder’s past.

After reading it, I was left in a quandary. Yes, Ryder and Maggie altered the dynamics of their relationship, but it was a bit of a let down. Not that I’m a peeping Tom kind of person, but I did expect to be party to these characters’ feelings, if not the details of their sexual exploits.

I suppose I should just give Alex Kava a high five for a job well done. As a reader I want more, I want to know how this will roll out in the future. Will these people ever find happiness?

What happens next, Alex? It better be good.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

MS Walk for the Cure

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1997, after years of testing and visits to the neurologist. In  2001 I had deteriorated, more cognitively (memory issues, concentration) than physical though fatigue was a major problem. I could no longer function safely or efficiently at my job and went on disability.

My children were in their early twenties at that time, and each had their first child, making me a grandmother. Now with seven grandchildren, on this day of the MS Walk for the Cure, I realize those kids have grown up with my disease, some seeing more changes in my abilities than others.

I remember the day my youngest grandson asked me why I had a "stick", meaning my cane. Now I use a walker. My other grandson has taken notes from his father. He opens doors, waits for me to get in and out of the car, assists with the walker, waits at a curb to give me a steady arm. It's become a natural thing for him to do. The other grandkids are doing the same, making it seem normal, natural.

At times I fall into a little "Woe is Me" mood and stress about the things I can't do, but then I bounce back and am very thankful for those things I can do.

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My fantastic team.

It means the world to me to have my family, as a whole, participate in the local MS Walk. As some of the kids are small, or were smaller when we began, I drive to the half way point of the walk and pick up anyone who wants a ride back to the high school, the starting point. They called my van the "Whiner Wagon" today and I had three tag along with me, and two ten year olds who completed the whole distance for the first time.

We had fun, a lunch of hot dogs and pizza, and a lot of laughter. This year, as it is usually cool weather, we had very bright colored sweatshirts with our team name..."Debby Does MS". When my kids came up with the name I had to wonder how they knew about those movies that the name spoofs, but figured it was better not to know.

Done for another year. Congrats and much love to the team.