Friday, June 30, 2017

An End Of the Week Cup

Seriously...don't you LOVE it when the holiday falls on a Tuesday?

Settling in with a new canvas and paint, a couple of (hopefully) good reads, a quilt on NPB if the rains hold off...and if not...well that is okay too. Some ideas for my novella (still in progress), a film, relaxation, and a fridge/pantry filled with burgers and hot-dogs...baked beans...mustard potato salad, chips, watermelon, good coffee, and even a pint of Ben and Jerry's Ameri-cone Dream.

Fireworks on Tuesday. 

Four Days.

That's America, Buddy!

Finishing up my "Newest Land" Hawaiian Painting today. And working on my Itinerary for Virtual Sicily in July and August.

 Both the Shelby-Cat and I, are pleased to report that the house no longer smells like this...

From the sulphur in the painting.  It has dissipated until it is just a faint whiff when you stand right next to it...which is what I was going for.

Also it seems that one day this week was National Yoga Day.

 To which I could only say that the ONLY way you will EVER see my body curved in the position of the girl on the bottom of that "C" is if someone drops a doughnut on the floor...m'kay. (...and even then- it would have to be a Chocolate Iced Raspberry Jelly-Filled...just sayin'...)

Gorgeous week with much basking, and am now with a nice start of a tan, finally. A sudden storm popped up with showers about an hour ago and was perfect. Saved me from hauling water out to the patio plants!

Speaking of plants...

Received a Gardening Catalog this week that I am STILL enjoying a laugh over. I call it

The $500. Tomato

On the front of the magazine is a beautiful potting bench and a raised bed...both of which are available inside for around $425.00. They also feature designer for a mere $45.00...and a protective hexagon cell to prevent any wind or heat damage to your tender tomato plant for $30.00  They don't actually sell tomato plants so presumably you would already have one before buying your Tomato Spa mentioned above.

Don't look at me. I'm buying my Beefsteaks from the Amish at The Farmer's Market this! 

Enjoyed coffee with Loretta yesterday...and ventured out this morning for all  the long weekend provisions.

Caught a couple of great films this week.

The first a remake from an older film

And (although definitely a chick flick) it was OUTSTANDING!  Highly recommended viewing. You'll'll cry...yadda yadda...So much better than the previous version with Bette Midler.
A wonderful feel good film.

The Second

Shirley McClaine is brilliant in this "OMG" darkly funny film.

Best line in the entire thing

"She puts the BITCH in Obituary"

McClaine plays a dying woman with "Control Issues"  and Seyfried is the unsuspecting obituary writer she hires to write HERS while she is still alive and can review/edit it.

Only have time to see one film this year? 

Catch this one!

Turned on to a new trend recently...

Hand-painted Kindness Stones.  You paint them. Put encountering words on them. Then leave them for others to find!  They range from the elaborate (above)
to the simple

I am loving this!

And now for something completely serious.

Those who read this blog regularly know how it has morphed from

"Let's Give Trump a Chance"


"What NOW ?" 

and more recently

"Are You Shittin' Me???"

And I have had a good time coming up with (and in a few cases...stealing) Monikers

Donnie Tiny-Hands


The Marmalade Maurader

His Orangeness

and more...

But over the past week our Commander-in-Chief has been out there...

 His erratic behaviourism is becoming increasingly bizarre and seems at times pathological. If any employee said, tweeted or acted the way President Trump has, in the past week, they would have been FIRED immediately.

I am not so sure a psychological evaluation shouldn't be demanded at this point.

And maybe the 25th Amendment needs to be brought into play.


And this has gone way beyond partisan politics. Even the GOP is realizing that something is not right.

Stay involved. Know what is going on. Join a grass-root movement. RESIST.
This week...just before the celebration of Our Nations Independence the Republic is threatened. The threat is much more domestic than foreign. 

We are better than this. 

To stand silently by is assention.  

More anon...


Addendum: And the painting is finished!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Novel-The Plan: The Funeral

With the assistance of David and Patty, Mark made sure the Old Lion got the proper military send-off he would have undoubtedly expected.

Complete with 21 Guns and Taps.

He had been shown and buried in full dress blues, and a chest full of medals and his "stars and bars" had accompanied him to the grave.

It is the way he would have wanted it.

Demanded it.

The day was perfect, the sky was clear and several hundred showed up to pay their last respects.

It was amazing to see and hear how The General had touch each of their lives. When they completed folding the flag it was presented to Mark. They came one by one to touch his arm and give their condolences. I was...Mark thought...his son. He was my Dad. He really was.

Biology be damned. 

When at last it was over and evening came, after the kids were asleep, Mark sat silently in the darkness on the veranda.


Patty quietly joined him and touched his hair.

"H'its hard ain't it? Cain't beleeve he's real'y gone, somehows. Alw'ys thought he gonna outlas' all of us."

Mark was surprised to see a tear slide down her coffee brown face. She brushed it quickly away.

"I w'nt to 'splain somethin' to you. Somethin' he never tole anyone but me. I think you need to hear it."

Mark listened as she told him of Regina and his son he could never claim until his burial.

"Mygina. My Gina" he suddenly realized. The woman he was talking about in the hospital the night he was dying. The son that he claimed was his and Mark had never heard about.  He wasn't taking out of his head. He was trying to let me know.

Then Patty explained how this son had fallen in with a married woman and then he had been framed for her death. How obsessed that The General had been over the case insisting that the husband had obviously killed his wife in a jealous rage, and his boy had been a convenient scapegoat.

"Mark" Patty spoke quietly in that voice used to soothe animals and comfort the dying

 "The pers'n who fram'd his son was Doc Troy. It was tha' doc'trs wife that was kilt."

Mark sat in stunned silence.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Almost Done

From this

To this

And finally adding the magma and waves

Now there is only a bit of spattering to be done with the waves in the back
and, of course, steam from vents and the magma hitting the water and such. 

I spent an inordinate amount of time on the black cooled lava building up layers to resemble the thick ropey cooled lava flows of Hawaii.

The flow of the hot magma was that Happy Accident I was talking about much earlier...before I had even mixed the magma colours. One night after working on the black I sat the canvas up before it was completely dried...the next morning there were runs...easily fixed...but then I realized I could use tilts and runs to get a realistic flow pattern with my magma. 

That Newton fellow was onto something!  Gravity Works!

Or maybe just "on something".

Anyway I mixed the flow colours...really globbed it on the canvas and tilted for a realistic flow pattern.

And to my extreme happiness the colours with the flow turned out looking fairly "thermal/hot"

Oh...and I mixed a pinch of sulphur power into the paint. So there is an olfactory side to it as well.  Hoping it tones down a bit after it dries overnight because now...well...The Shelby-Cat is squinting and the apartment smells a bit like a portal to HELL.

                                     "Thank God the SCREEN is open!"

Yeah...yeah...everybody's a damned critic...even the cat.

But happy with the progress today and hoping to finish it up by the 30th!


Mixed some of my black sand from Hawaii and ground larger bits of pumice to mix with the black acrylic for some realistic 3-D texture of cooling lava

(and a detail shot)

And, overall, pretty pleased with the effect. Going to go back and dry brush a few with magma.

Then it is finishing steam, surf and sealing and it is done!


and Fini

Going to take a week off after Hawaii (give or take a few days) and then start the next virtual adventure. One I have deliberately waited until the heat of July and August (here) to enjoy, and may finish out the virtual travel year here..


Itinerary soon...


Friday, June 23, 2017

All the Boys: Together Again!

This makes it all worthwhile!

Our "Middle" (Lennon) up from Florida for a week during his vacation.

Recuperating today after many days of over-doing...but so worth it!

We plundered Plainfield, Cox's Nursery and Plants, The Shoppes at Perry Crossings and Cracker Barrel.

We enjoyed (nearly) EVERYONE together at James and Nicki's for a Saturday Cook-Out! Burgers and Dogs on the new grill, Baked Beans and Chips (and best of!)

(back left to right...Tina, Chris, James and Aiden, Nicole, Emma, Brittany and baby "son" bump, and Savannah, Lennon, Hannah and I, Amelia Rose and Brenden. Missing: Preston [who was there earlier in the day] and Kaylee)

Lennon and I did a Trip Down Amnesia Lane on Sunday with a Tour of Every House he had grown up in with us 1992-2010

The First Being Montclair.

Proof that Robert Frost was right. You can't go home again. Basically because there is a No Trespassing sign affixed to the boarded up front door. At least the hideous sky blue trim seems to be gone. Morel of the Story: Never trust Walmart to mix paint...and no it never darkened up when it dried...for years.

Overgrown and boarded up. Left to decay, as were all but 2 houses in the entire town. Quickly becoming a ghost-town. Doc Singer will be so pleased (the ghost from the time our house was Singer Station...the Hub or Montclair)

Our next stop was the Lake House Coatesville

In good order...and the small trees that we had planted as sticks now towered over the house. The Cherry Tree that Lennon planted for me on Mother's Day which was not much taller than he was back then, is HUGE now.

When we arrived at our (past) home in Bainbridge I was amazed to find this!

I think I want it  back. (the tree)

Although my Magnolia and Wisteria are long since gone and the decorative pond we worked so hard on- filled in...this Willow Tree was planted as literally a 1" in diameter stick-of-a-tree.  Nothing reveals the passage of years quite as clearly as a tree you once planted.

The Modular Ranch House was in good shape and the blooming Yucca were some I had planted. An improvement would be the removal of those horrid (pre-existing bayberry) bushes that ran along the front. Not sure if the giant elderly lilac bush that graced the back is still there or not. We used to get baskets full of blooms off it.

And my Rose Cottage in Roachdale

Sadly rose-less and bushless. They were all cut down. 
This my have well been my "favorite" of all our "shells".


We had a great time "chasing memories", though...and there were a million of them.

Also enjoyed a day at Turkey Run

 And an impromptu photo shoot through the one way glass at the Nature Center

                           ( had to hand it to this guy for persistence...)

He even snagged me a piece of black granite off one of our trails.

On the way back we stopped at The Big Berry.

"What do you mean you are out of STRAWBERRY ice cream???? You've a giant strawberry on the roof of the building for crum's sake."

(...Lennon fixed this later that evening by bringing me back a pint of Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake from the store...which is every bit as decadent as it sounds...still enjoying it slowly...) 

He and Chris also managed a couple of solo evenings out.

Pre-flight we brunched at Jackson's Family Restaurant before he had to leave.

We have been coming here since all the boys were literally head-high to the tabletops.

Oh...and he found this we are listening for the banjo music. Seriously.

So- now he is back to work...and the Morning Zombie Walk to the Keurig and Shout at the latest TRUMP blunder seems lacking.

Did I mention the kid turned out as political as Bill and I...and puts down even more coffee than me. So proud.

A wonderful time...see you again soon!

Woke to Monsoon Conditions on NPB this morning, so no basking today...just taking a quiet Zen Retreat here until Monday.
Have a Wonderful Weekend.

More Anon...