Saturday, October 31, 2009
Oh, I am so very smart. I wasn't feeling 100% yesterday, and I have a commitment on Saturday morning to fulfill, so, just in case I felt worse in the morning, I arranged to have a couple of friends fill in for me. And, feeling very smug that I remembered, I set my clocks back an hour. I figured I would be ahead of the curve. Except that I was a day early in that regard, and didn't call my people to help, thinking it was too early. HP took care of me. One of them called ME! And it all got done, a little late, but still in time for the rest of the folks to have their coffee and rolls and fresh fruit at their very spiritual Saturday morning meeting. I am humbled beyond belief. And, if I had gotten up on time, I might have been tempted to go do it all myself, because it appears that all I have is a little head cold. However, we are all so paranoid this flu season, more better I keep my butt indoors, with aspirin, fluids, and mega-doses of vitamin C. I feel that I have some immunity to that dreaded pig thing anyway. About 36 years ago, my whole family got together and played games on New Year's Eve. The next day, we were all desperately ill, with the London flu, which blindsided the whole nation. I got pneumonia, too, and was down for a month. My brother got scarlet fever. I would bet this is the same strain, and the reason that only young folks are dying from it, because it hasn't been around in their lifetime, and they have no defense. This little cold may keep me from getting to my drawing homework, which was to visit a pumpkin patch and do some quick pen and ink sketches of the kids and the veggies. I had actually planned on cheating, anyway, and getting photos online. Venal me. Now, I have an excuse, and can be, as I usually am, honest. It's a better deal, I think.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
What better subject for this medium than leaves? They are non-specific in color, especially this time of year. In fact, except for the first one I laid down, they were all pretty much still green. I livened them up a little here and there, and everywhere. Then I put in some of the chestnuts and shells that a friend brought me. Because they screamed of autumn, too. Okay, it's not my most exciting image. But I got pretty excited about it because I got the paint to behave most of the time, and I could get a likeness of my objects with a peculiar ease (and a sprinkling of salt here and there). It was an exercise in patience, not my most abundant attribute. Nothing ran together and made a puddle. That alone makes it a triumph!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I first joined a gym back in 1990. My motives were not pure. I knew my ex went there, and I was hoping to reconnect. That did not happen. What did was a total surprise. This hunky trainer, Ward, told me that if I applied my self just the tiniest bit, I could sculpt my body. And I did. I became addicted to the gym, so much so that Ward told me to not come so often. I was rail thin. That didn't last, of course, because eventually, I moved to the coast, where there are no gyms, and even the 52 stairs up to the house and the 45 degree grades in the roads there couldn't keep me in shape. I eventually went on an eating plan and shed 35 lbs so I could be svelte for my 40th high school reunion. And then I gained about 20 back, over the next 7 years, not a difficult thing to do when eating and not moving very much. The swimming this summer got me back into active mode, and now, I am back to the gym. Like it is a new idea. I love my days there. I wear my gym clothes there so I can dig right in to the weenie workout circuit, after my warm up on the exercise bike (rode 1.95 miles and shed 30 calories this morning). I have already begun upping the weight on some of the machines, while others totally do me in at 20 lbs. After two circuits, I change into my suit to head for the pool. Today, on my way there, the scale grabbed me. I was all ready to accept a gain, as I am hopefully replacing fat with muscle, and so what a surprise to see that I had dropped 3 lbs! And I wasn't even trying! Which makes me think that it takes my old bod a while to catch up with what's (not) going down. I had a lovely cool down in the pool, lazy laps for 10 minutes, then a dip in the jacuzzi, how sweet it is. Then into the shower, allover lotion, into my skinny jeans (single digits, folks), blow dry my haystack, smear on some lipstick and mascara, and prance out to the car. I have become, once again, long and lean. I no longer resemble a string of Italian sausages. I think I am done with the eating plan for a while, anyway. At my age, it is easy to turn into something resembling a plucked chicken if you get too thin. And I do love to eat, especially in the winter. Stew! Split pea soup! Turkey with stuffing! See's candy! I can get away with it if I keep pumping away. It's a plan.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Drawing class was cancelled today. I didn't find this out till I had driven 16 miles to Petaluma campus, but, gosh, that's the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. So I came home and worked on our assignment, this weird little image you see here. The objects had to be organic, so I chose a shell and a piece of driftwood. I drew each one in pen and ink four times, beginning on the left with a simple contour line drawing, then a cross-hatching, then line with ink wash, and finally ink brush only. I tried to rotate the objects to get different perspectives, but also because I was going to be bored out of my tiny mind if I didn't give myself some variety. Frankly, I hope I never have to look at these things ever again. And I think I got some interesting results. Actually, I am most at home with painting, so the last image of each object appeals most to me. But I seem to have gotten the idea of the cross-hatching this time. Great tool for doing value studies (looking at contrasts of light and dark). Michelangelo used that method, as have most great artists. Who am I to bitch? And this is only half the assignment. I have to render two more objects four times. What fun.
A friend asked me the other day "Gee, you've lost weight. Are you okay?" I remember when losing some weight was an occasion for rejoicing. Now, it's a fearful thing. So many of my friends and acquaintances are battling dreadful diagnoses. It seems like life is hazardous to your health. In my FOO (family of origin), there is a lot of longevity. My great great grandmother lived to be 106. I also had a grandfather who died suddenly at 66 of a massive stroke. So, although there has been virtually no cancer in my heritage, that could happen, too. I am happily alive at the moment, healthy, even kind of fit. And this is the only moment, right? So, I'll just keep trucking here. For today. In the autumn.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This is one of my favorite things about recovery; it is never too late to start over. Spiritual advice from Dory, in Finding Nemo - "just keep swimming, just keep swimming". So, I went to the gym at 10 AM this morning. Not early enough, I found out when I finished the weenie workout. Lots of folks in pool doing strange things with floaty devices, only one lap lane open, and big guy churning away. So I went into hot tub first, which makes getting into the pool a religious experience. It only hurts for a minute. Being so righteous deserves some reward, so the eating plan is history. On my shopping trip yesterday, I noticed that HaagenDazs was on sale, 2 for $6, so into the cart went Vanilla Swiss Almond, and Cherry Vanilla, my two all-time faves. Very happy to dig in, eating 1/4 of carton at a time, only 250-300 extra calories, which means intake is up to 1,500-1,700 a day, and I should be able to maintain my current slim self at that level. If not, well, I can always start over, again. But not until the ice cream is gone.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I woke up kind of murky this morning. Sleep eluded me for a great big hunk of time in the night. I meditated. I prayed. I wrote a novel. And eventually nodded off, only to have a dream where I was, once again, lost in the city, couldn't find my car. Powerless. The darkness and I are old friends. I spent most of my life there once. It is different now. Now I play in the light, most of the time. Not at this particular moment, where I feel like sinking into my little hole and pulling it in after me. I won't, of course. I have learned that, if I keep moving, it goes away, that yearning for my own darkness. So I am off to the neighborhood pool, to use one of the six or seven swims I have left on my card, because, despite my mood, HP seems to have given us one of those amazing Indian summer days, and I miss seeing the sky when I swim. That should yank me back to my gratitude place, where everything shines.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Art, like beauty, is in the eye (and opinion) of the beholder, a totally subjective experience. There are those who loathe Vincent Van Gogh, poor misguided souls that they are. Who doesn't adore the energy and vision of that tortured heart? Well, he's not for everyone. I myself find him fascinating, especially knowing his history and struggles. Yet, in his lifetime, he sold one little painting. And it wasn't his best, by far. In Vincent's time, what he created did not qualify as art. Isn't that amazing? If the aim of art is to stir the emotions, what could be the feeling attached to furry bowls and spoons? Yet, that was in my art history book, along with some really ugly Dada creations, grotesque social commentary on the futility of life between the great World Wars. And, isn't that what it's all about anyway? Art reflects the society out of which it is created. In our little community, we seem to be striving to depict the beauty and simplicity that surrounds us. There is not a lot of prickly stuff happening here. And there will always be that thorn among the roses. Without ugliness, there could be no beauty. And without art, how sterile life would be.
Friday, October 23, 2009
When I was a baby, there was a big war waging, and Mommy didn't have those disposable diapers or even plastic pants. Instead, I wore soakers, thick padded pants over the cloth diaper. After I was potty trained, which my mother tells me was around six months of age, we wore little nylon panties, briefs, they called them. These monstrosities are still around today, panties that begin at the top of the thigh and extend to the belly button, great big Briget Jones underpants. Sometime later, after I was out of school, we found out that nylon didn't let our nether parts breathe well enough, so briefs came out in cotton, ever so much more comfortable and healthy, but still not very pretty. They were like Jockey shorts for girls. Well, sometime in my thirties I gravitated to bikini panties, still in cotton, but in pretty prints like pink polka dots or blue daisies. Then high top panties came along, still cut up above the thigh on the sides but not as low on the belly as bikinis. I was 50 before I wore a thong, and have to admit, I had spent decades trying to keep my panties from creeping up there, and found that thing really uncomfortable. Not my style at all. And I balk at the new style of boyish panties, sitting about the same latitude as bikinis but below even the traditional brief in the leg. They just look really unweildy. So I will stick to my healthy cotton ItseBitsy bikinis, thank you. So much more feminine and comfy than my mother's tap pants, which were like boxer shorts for girls, and my grandmother's bloomers, just short of pantaloons, that bunched up under all those petticoats. Let's face it. These things are IMPORTANT. Just knowing my underwear is au courant gives me a lift. Yeah.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I remembered to bring my camera to class with me yesterday, because I looked up as I was lurching toward the garage with my portfolio and tote bag full of watercolor necessities, and noticed how magical it is when the sun goes down and the lights come on. We have a beautiful campus at our lovely little community college: heritage oak trees, brick buildings (some older that I am), tenderly cared-for gardens. But the greatest improvement in my estimation was the parking garage. And look how pretty them made it! It is brick, to match the rest of the campus, and they gave us our own camponile, to rival those big Universities down south of us. It is really magical to be able to go back to school at all. Then I get to see all this wonder around me. Wonder, even in a parking garage. How sweet is that!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
There is more to going to the gym than meets the eye. Besides anxiety about the weenie workout machines, and the co-ed hot tub/sauna/steamroom, there is the locker room, and its particular pitfalls. I once had a friend so modest she could not undress in a locker room at all. I am not like that. While I don't think I need to contort myself to keep my towel around me every instant as I change into gym clothes, neither do I need to strut around in all my glory either, like this lovely young Asian woman did today. She stood in front of the mirror over the sink, drying her hair, in just her flipflops. Admittedly, she had a lovely body (you think I don't check this out?), I thought that was pushing things a little. I am used to the pool, where a lot of the women are older than I (very, very old), and some had disabilities as well. And no one felt they needed to hide themselves, so I didn't either. I did notice one woman came and left in her workout clothes and solved the problem by not showering or changing. I like to swim after working out, so that doesn't work for me. And a shower is de riguer after, to rinse the chlorine out of my hair and off my skin. And that is the best place to skin off my Speedo, under the hot water. So I just wrap my big towel around me and head for my locker, where I dry myself off completely, without modesty, even the secret places. We are all women there, after all. We bear the wounds of life: flaccid bellies that birthed children, surgical scars, folds that weren't there until recently, breasts that are succumbing to the pull of gravity. It is what it is.
A long long time ago, I used to commute every workday 40 miles south of here, along Hwy. 101. Now, I know it could have been worse. I could have been commuting to Sacramento, where there is nothing to look at but fields of onions and tomatoes, miles and miles of flatland. My drive took me through rolling hills, past the Petaluma river and that wondrous dairy farm that was home to all those sweet cowladies. And, this semester, I am commuting 16 miles south, again. Only twice a week, but major deja vu happening. My class ends at 4 PM, just in time to catch the leading edge of the Daily Lurch north. Good little Zen person that I am, I know that I cannot be anywhere else but sitting in my puddlejumper, waiting. And then, yesterday, I had a surreal moment when I sort of came to and we were all just whizzing along. At that very moment, a monstrous red bigrig screamed by me in the left hand lane, and I was suddenly aware of how very dangerous this activity is. Remember driver's ed, where they taught us to keep 10 car lengths between our vehicle and others? Not happening out there, folks. And where were all these folks when they taught merging? Sometimes, slow is just as dangerous as fast! So, heads up, guys. Life is not a race. Your day will not be ruined if I get there faster than you do. And, could you all just get out of my way?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We are into still life in watercolor class. This is good. Over the last weekend, I went to some open studios in our annual Art Trails event. The most exciting part is FINDING the studios on the weenie map they give you. And my sidekick was about as good at navigating as I am, which is pretty much useless. However, she had a GPS on her cell phone (!), so it helped us a lot. One painter impressed me on so many levels, and I signed up for a class with her. Her paintings were full of color and texture made with things like plastic mesh, bubble wrap, atomizers, even a syringe full of this glue-like stuff that left thing curlycues on the painting, really dramatic stuff. These pears were an effort to reproduce the image our instructor made. Not too successful, but definitely progress in letting the medium do what the medium does, rather than forcing it to behave as I think it should. Sort of like raising a child, you know. Provide boundaries, and let go. Life lessons in art class!
Monday, October 19, 2009
You know, I am a lot better about my appearance, which is good, because it is getting pretty tattered around the edges. Probably that is because of all the bumping into walls I have done lo these many, many, many years. I can go out without makeup! In ratty sweats and a camisole top! I can show up at the gym and be willing to not know what to do and have someone show me. That doesn't mean that, inside, I am not still that frightened child who thought her rain overshoes were clunky and deliberately faced torture for losing them. As Fiero sings in Wicked, those who don't try never look stupid. And for many years, that was my only choice. Happy to report those days are done. I hope.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The cowwoman is humble enough to know when she doesn't know anything, but arrogant enough to want to look like she knows what she is doing. So, I showed up at yoga class yesterday with my brand new mat, in my Birks which are easy to slip off because I just bet they do yoga stuff barefoot. I wore the right outfit, that was good. I spread out that mat and did what everyone else was doing, stretching or sitting cross-legged and meditating. I did a little of both. Then the instructor arrived, and I found that I had set my mat in the front of the class. Too late to move, I just kind of hung in there, being careful to be careful, because I hurt my knee doing yoga before. We had a great instructor who explained how that could happen and made sure we kept both feet pointing in the right direction for the upright warrior pose. Some of the poses were really tough. I am not a person who bows well. And chair, well, without one, my body really wants to just sit down, plop. I did manage them all, some better than others, and finished the whole routine. I felt a little shaky, and kind of nauseous, which I think came from breathing in the fumes from the mat. I rose undaunted, however, and ready to tackle this class again, probably with a different mat, if I can find one less odiferous. And, because I was so good, I got to eat pumpkin pie yesterday, and today, and for the next week. The eating plan is in the closet for a while. How sweet that is!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
A long, long time ago, I really was hot for yoga. I have a book on it, practiced cobra pose, could sit in full lotus, even. Then life happened, and all that busyness of raising kids, doing the mini-career that wound up supporting me all these years, and it went away, that desire to be flexible and have a young spine. It was replaced with the desire to be, well, desirable, which meant slender and toned, so resistance training became my fitness of choice. And now, after getting toned up swimming, and beginning the weenie workout again, I am seeking something different from the yoga. I am seeking to find BALANCE. How very unusual of me! Okay, I am also seeking to get the most bang for my health club buck. Cannot escape my mother's Scotch frugality, it seems. So, off the old gal goes, yoga mat under her arm. This should be at the very least, interesting.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Cowwoman bit the bullet and joined a gym. It became clear I was not up to swimming out of doors in the fall. Winter wasn't looking too good, either. And all the good work I have done, restricting my diet and getting nice and toned up, was about to go south what with creamy soups and steaming chili on the horizon. So I found a place that has a lap pool! And for $5 less a month than I was spending on lap swimming, I can not only swim indoors, but have a hot tub or steambath or sauna afterward! And do some resistance training, take a yoga class or learn pilates! And the folks that hang around this gym look a lot like me, kind of old, kind of out of shape, just huffing and puffing away, trying to defy gravity. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to look like Christie Turlington (she is 40, by the way, and amazing looking). I just want to be firm and not gain back all that weight I so righteously lost. I want to eat anything I want (well, within reason). Ice cream! I haven't had any ice cream in AGES! I figure a week of swimming, lifting weights and a yoga class, I will have earned some Vanilla Swiss Almond.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It occurred to me today as I meandered from room to room in the little yellow house, picking up Pickle orts (toys, burs, pieces of the outdoors), that there is not a wall anywhere that does not sport an original work of art. The room I am sitting in has eleven, ten of them paintings, one a photograph, seven of them mine, four my dear friend's. And there are two in the bathroom. And five in the kitchen. And I don't know how many in the bedroom. Don't even think about the studio, where they cover every inch of the available wall space, and the garage, where they filled a huge cupboard. Lots of elan on these walls. I need a lot more of them - walls, not paintings. I hope someday they will be on the walls of a gallery somewhere. And, is it too much to hope a museum, too? Yeah, that's a stretch.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
So, fall has fallen, with a big boom. Torrential rain yesterday, grayness today. But, if no rain, I am going swimming anyway! I need to keep toned up! Also thinking hard about a gym. Sounds like a plan. I am in a stew this morning. My routine got all balled up by this ultrasound my doctor sent me in for, bladder and kidneys. Hard to be dignified with someone smearing cold goo on your full bladder. Hard to be dignified inside the body, ever. And, after a quick trip to the supermarket for staples like Cool Whip, I got advised that the one little polyp they found in that other dreadful procedure is the bad kind, so I have to go back and do that lousy test again in five years instead of ten. Ouch. Well, I guess I can be grateful I got it done at all, that the nasty growth is history. Okay, I'll go with that.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Our watercolor class is already half over. That went really fast. I have a boatload of images to present at midterm portfolio review, and I have to pick just 8 to present. Decisions, decisions. This little ditty may be one of them. We are working on portraits and no one said they had to be people! And, Pickle is a little person, for sure. I tried to capture Boo, and missed totally, but Pickle is an easy subject. At review, we are asked to write about our process and work so far, and give ourselves a grade. Hmmmm. What should I give myself? I have shown up every time but one, when I was sick. Every assignment we have had I did two or three times, trying to get it perfect (haven't done that yet). And I have tried a few other things, like this portrait. So, I am giving myself an A. Not that I am such a hot watercolorist. But I am a dynamite student.
Monday, October 12, 2009
A friend and I did a gallery opening together in my hometown the other night. My little apple town became a haven for hippies in the late 60s, which really ruffled my Republican parents' feathers, so we have a wonderfully diverse and artistic population there now. The advent of vineyards and wineries has also brought in a new affluence. The clientele was very earthmotherly, in all natural fiber clothing and dripping handmade jewelry. I have a new pair of suede boots, slouchy with fringe on them, so I felt at home among these folks, even in my preppie navy blue blazer. The artist being feted did Native American images, though she didn't look that ethnicity, and a guy that did played this flute-like thing that was absolutely haunting. After, we went to a new bistro called Pesto's, where I had the most divine 4 cheese and spinach ravioli in creamy basil pesto sause with pine nuts. Divine! Anyway, to get to the point, my friend gave me a butternut squash from her garden. The only squash I normally engage with is zucchini, with an occasional yellow crookneck thrown in for color. Happily, she told me how to cook it, once I got it cut in half (she recommended having a mallet handy to pound the knife through, but I have one super big knife that did the job, eventually). Once cooked, though, what then? I looked up recipes on the Net (how handy is that), and found one for soup that I liked, and voila! Enough butternut squash nutmeg soup for the week! And it is yummy. I may be ready to try pumpkin next. I just hate all the guts one has to deal with there. As big as the squash was, it had just one little pocket of that slimy stuff in its belly. So, we'll see if that will happen. I know it would be worth the effort now.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Most mornings, I get out my industrial strength blowdryer to arrange my admittedly very short do. When my hair is this short, it is not a matter of curling or straightening, but of management of hair bumps and valleys. So, even if I did not wash my hair that day, I get it all wet and mess it all up, and turn on the wind tunnel. Now, before I can turn it on, I have to plug it in. This very small appliance has a monster plug on it, with red and white switches. I guess it is kind of a circuit breaker thingie for multi-taskers like me who think that blowing their hair while bathing will save some time. So, while I am grateful the manufacturers have thought of this possibility and thus saved my life, I wish they had thought to put an arrow to indicate which way to plug it in. My car has an arrow to remind me what side the gas tank is on. I forget to look at it a lot of the time, and sometimes have to move to another pump when the hose will not reach over the car, but it is there if I did decide to look. But, back to that damned plug; I always seem to try to put it in upside down. Wouldn't you think that it could just as easily be the other way around? Like I could be RIGHT most of the time, instead of wrong? I decided that this is HP's way of reminding me to SLOW DOWN. Life is not a race. It is not even an endurance contest. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Hopefully, not while drying my hair.
Friday, October 09, 2009
My favorite season has arrived. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and there is a whole bunch of interesting, cerebral movies coming to the smart people's theatre here in town. Today, we saw The Invention of Lying, a Ricky Gervais conception, and what a sweet, fertile little mind this guy has. I revisited some thoughts I had earlier, like last month, about the value of a little prevarication and restraint. Tact, I think it is called. And without some fibbing, honesty is brutal and wounding. It was a low-key, totally thought-provoking little film, sweetly conceived, tenderly acted, nothing big or blockbuster, just a semi-precious gem among those bloody, loud and over the top Hollywood movie extravaganzas, the cowwoman's favorite kind of entertainment. So I came home feeling like I had been inspired in a different way. Sometimes, it's just better to lie. Imagine that.
I notice that, when I get all cozy here in the little yellow house, like today, when it is gray and cold outside, and bright and warm inside, my reality slips. Suddenly, I am fat and old and stupid. Worse than that, I am untalented and incapable of original thought. I lose my self, because, in reality, I only exist in relation to the world and others. Sociology confirmed that for me. EVERYTHING exists that way. A fork is not a fork until it is named, and set beside a knife and spoon. Old is not young, fat is not thin. Duality reigns. And I live on the sensitive edge of sanity, where any little ripple in my self image can send me off my thin tightrope in either direction - to elation or despair. Not much in between for this tender soul. Okay, enough soul-searching philosophizing for this peanut head. I think I'll give myself a nice warm bath and an allover body lotion, slip into a soft turtleneck and go shopping!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Now, I love my car. It is pretty much my favorite thing that I own. Most of the time, it is crouched by the side of the little yellow house under its little carport, just waiting for me to jump aboard and take off. My car seems to equate to my freedom of movement in this big troubled world. And as traumatic as traffic can be around here, it is comfortable and purrs along quietly and plays quadrophonic symphonies for me. Tuesday, at school, I opened the trunk to sort through the stuff there for my blue painter's tape that I needed to put in my ArtBin for drawing class, then hopped in and started home. The idiot light on the dash told me a door or the trunk was still open. So I pulled over and checked. The trunk had not latched. And it wouldn't. I tried all kinds of gyrations, including slamming it several times. Nothing worked. So I gingerly drove home, avoiding potholes and such which might cause the trunk to fly open. And tried again, this time using the key, which I never do because I have this handydandy zapper thingie, thinking maybe there was one part of the mechanism that wouldn't respond to the electronic signal. No dice. So, the next morning I was out and about early, and dropped by the Ford dealership to make an appointment to get it fixed, figuring they were my best bet if I needed a part replaced. I made it for hella-early, as I had an important appointment at 10 AM. I was there at 7:30 AM, sitting in the waiting room with a bunch of guys in baseball caps and flannel shirts, with those Blue Tooth goodies hanging off their ears like bizarre earrings, who had probably brought in their mega-trucks for exotic things like timing chains or water pumps. I didn't want to tell anyone why I was there, like I was embarassed that my puddlejumper just had a defective trunk latch. How unmechanical could it get, anyway? So, I sat. The TV was tuned to the 24/7 sports channel, and how much can they say about a couple of baseball games, anyway? Apparently, a lot, because I sat there for over 2 hours, and they never stopped talking about them. I sat there, looking through this display case full of model cars (I assumed they were all Fords) at my reflection in the mirror behind it, getting more and more frustrated. I had brought my current mystery novel, thank HP, and that kept me from getting totally steamed. I finally went to the service window to tell the sweet woman there that I had an appointment in 20 minutes, and really needed to get there. And I had my car 5 minutes and $133 later. With the proviso that they were able to "adjust" the lock, but it would probably need replacing later. Goodie. Fortunately, I am good at restraint of tongue, having nearly 20 years of practicing it, and did not disgrace myself, not even when I saw the bill. I was just happy to drive away in my sweet little automobile, its trunk now securely closed, and arrive at my appointment 2 minutes early. Gratefully. Life on life's terms. How interesting.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
We had a guest artist in class yesterday. Her vision has her painting little ticky tacky houses climbing up rainbow hills, with lollipop trees in the mix. Very colorful and actually quite delightful. So the teacher thought it would be good for we novices to work on piles of things, receding into space. I brought in pictures of produce from my favorite store, Andy's Produce out on Hwy. 116, which I visit only rarely now that I am not a west county person any more. Andy's sells locally grown, organic, seasonal veggies and fruits, plus a variety of yummy stuff made in the area; cheeses, salsas, vinegars, and hummus. I bought some of the latter and ate it with the tomatoes I got there. So, I whipped out my camera and immediately got told that was a big nono. But, I protested, it's for my art class! Sweet guy turned his head and didn't watch me photograph the piles of pears in their baskets and the pumpkins lined up on bales of hay. Of course, the rest of the class did the houses thing. I didn't. Now, I would never select this subject by myself, and I am grateful for the suggestion, but not sure this is my mileiu. Had fun doing it, and kind of like it, not as messy as some watercolors I have done. Working on the pumpkins next. Lots of orange. Lots.
Monday, October 05, 2009
I was surprised to find that advanced drawing class was about departing from academic style, and learning to be more expressive. Watercolor class then assigned us self portraits (every art class does this, and it is one of my favorite subjects, I've done lots of these), so I took my new skill of letting go of the results and just pushing the envelope, and here is the cowwoman, with her new blond do, exaggerated and souped up, but still I think the essence of me is there. Part of the problem was I was painting flat while looking up in the mirror, and kept elongating my face, which is admittedly more gaunt than it was due to weight loss program, but not quite as gaunt as this. A lot of this rendering was pure accident. I love that when that happens. And I couldn't replicate it even if I wanted to. That's really special, I think. Oh, and to be fair to ME, I did a totally representational version later, and made me younger and glamorous. Hey, fair is fair!
Sunday, October 04, 2009
I attended a friend's 50th high school reunion last night. Unlike my flaky class, they have gotten together faithfully every five years. That's a good idea. Then no one looks shocked when they see you again. Lordy, these folks were old! But, wait. My 50th is only three little years away! That means I'm old, too! Well, not inside. Inside I still feel like a teenager. They played a lot of 50s music, some of it worth hearing again. I danced, though not with my friend. He's too old for that now. And it was the women who really tore up the dance floor. Hooray for my gender! Though a lot of them were kind of fluffy, there wasn't all that much wrong with them that a good, courageous haircut wouldn't solve. And, after sitting in classrooms with youngsters, it was fun being the youngest at the party. So, here I go, back to the pool, to keep my girlish figure, keep my heart happy, and just feel ALIVE. I think that is the problem. Old doesn't mean dead. Maybe it means slower, but not full stop. Ever.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
After happy outcome in dreadful screening procedure, I can now get back to my recovery from my life. There is something to be said about living each day as if it were your last, because it very well could be. And as fragile as life can be, that is how strong I can grow in facing its tiny ups and downs. They don't seem that tiny to me, of course, but put in perspective, compared to what a lot of people are facing, my life is a beach, with soft breezes and shady coconut trees. And though I had to lay low yesterday (no more hitting the ground running for this old broad), I get to jump around all day today. How sweet is that! I am all excited about my trip to the grocery store, and the feed store, and the local Old Navy to try on single digit jeans. None of that would be happening if I were still living the life before sobriety. Ah, life number two, I love you.
Friday, October 02, 2009
The cowwoman is off to the Digestive Health Specialist of Northern California, to have pictures taken of her insides. Now, my digestive tract is not often on my mind, but last night, as I prepared for this test, it was the whole world to me. I drank a gallon of liquid in about 2 hours. I thought I was going to explode. I didn't. That was good. What did happen is unmentionable here. Now I am waiting for my ride, because I get to do this sleeping.
Now home from procedure, which was a snap compared to the prep. They snuggled me in with a blood pressure cuff on one arm, an IV in the other, and a warm blanket on top of me. They recommended warm socks, so I took my World's Softest to keep my tootsies warm. I had to wait a while, getting rehydrated (that gallon of goo actually dehydrated me!), then into the procedure room, where the doctor was about 11 years old, and very sweet. The next thing I knew, they were shaking me awake. One polyp, just one little guy in there, got removed. I got pictures of him before he met his demise. And, surprise, I have herorrhoids, like I didn't know that already. That was the dividend of commuting for 3 1/2 years, 2 hours a day. A friend drove me home, and stayed for a while to be sure I was not going to expire or anything. I slept. Now, up and at 'em, except I cannot drive, so I guess I'll draw and paint. Homework. Thank HP this is over. It is very unpleasant, but so are most things medical. Oh, and I had my first meal, peach pancakes. I deserved them. I've been a very good girl today.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
As you can see, we are doing watercolor portraits. Or maybe you can't see that, what can I say? We looked at a lot of artist's work in this particular discipline, and some were really good at this, getting delicate images of children and their pets. Others were edgy as hell, just letting it all spit out on the paper. Well, that's me, folks. I would not choose this medium for a portrait, anyway. Oils are easier to manipulate and express the nuance of the face. But I will be doing a couple more this weekend for homework, one a self-portrait, and maybe it will get easier, and better. Now, I am not altogether unhappy with this effort, now that I see it again. It captured the essence of the subjects, migrant farm workers. The guy on the right was hella-pissed off, and I think I captured that. And don't you just love the Playboy baseball cap? Messy, but that's my trademark! And it's not only okay, it is prized in some instances. Well, maybe not this one, but gee, it could be, don't you think?