Monday, October 31, 2011
I buy candy every Halloween, even though, in my six years here in the little yellow house, there has not be a single trick-or-treater at my door. None. Nada. Zipididoodah. And I always buy not one, but TWO bags, because, gee, it would be awful to run out, now wouldn't it? Well, that way, I can have two pieces a day till Christmas, when a box of See's usually wings it way to me, and lasts till epiphany, which is January 6, for those not in the know, the 12th day of Christmas, actually. At least this year I did not torture myself with my very favorites, like Mounds or Almond Joy or Baby Ruth bars. And I suppose I could take the candy, bowl and all, to my women's meeting tomorrow? Well, some of it. Whatever, I always have a happy Halloween. And my assignment from my thought for the day is to laugh a lot. Chocolate helps.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Kind of a mixed up day today. Woke up with a headache right out of a complicated dream where I had lost not only my car, but someone else's yellow vintage Chevy, too, carrying a dog that was not mine, and very worried. I guess it is all about loss, when I think about it. Took a gratuitous bath that I really didn't need except to warm my core, because the little yellow house gets very chilly these nights. Frost is definitely on the pumpkins here. Finished the last of my pumpkin cheesecake for breakfast, and thank HP THAT'S over. Got dressed and headed for the Conference our area hosted for all those sweet AA folks from Northern California (the GOOD half of our state). And heard a famous Hollywood type of guy give an amazing share about his life and times, ripping and roaring. Same generation, same length of sobriety as the cowwoman. He bugged out before I could thank him for one of his performances, so I Googled him and sent him an email. Yes, I can do that now. No shame, that's me. And notice that I framed one of the WTF opus. Put a mat and a frame on ANYTHING, and people will think it is art. Well, not everything. I actually saw one pastel on the wall at Art for Life that I would die of shame over if it were mine. But hey, there's something out there for every (tasteless) body, right? Rest of my day should be fine. Aspirin will help. And hey, I know where my car is. How sweet it is.
Friday, October 28, 2011
I read that on my Facebook page this morning. When they are not posting spiritual bon mots, my FB friends find all the lol graphics, videos, and nutso sayings. It is a plethora of humaness, my FB page. Was all excited to be within 99 friends of my son, then he got three more. That is the new status symbol for the Nerd Herd, you know. I have 222 friends currently. Two of them are dead, but I'm keeping 'em anyway! Really, I disgust myself sometimes. Now looking at my fridge and thinking I could probably divest myself of some of this stuff. Obviously, the skinny model picture is not keeping me from delving into the innards of it for things like pumpkin cheesecake (remnant of last night's potluck, and hey, I ate it solo for breakfast - eggs, cheese, sounds healthy to ME) of lemon triple gingersnap ice cream, what a wonderful world it is that makes lemon triple gingersnap ice cream! Ever since Boo left the planet, I have been indulging every appetite that had been happy to deprivate before. One of my refrigerator mottos seems to have gotten lost, but it said "This too shall pass", and yes I am looking forward to the day when I can take my wobbly bits, now on steroids, back to the gym and once again feel like sugar-free Jello is a worthy dessert. Meanwhile, it is verging on 11 AM, I am still in my full jammies and robe, bedhead all over the place, and pondering whether to get dressed or take an extra bath, since that would warm me up and I could turn off the heater. Decisions, decisions.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
When Boo went to the big dog park in the sky, I put away his sweet dog bowls. Somehow, I could not look at them or pass them on to the Pickle. Then I noticed that, being the second child, Pickle had plain old WalMart plastic bowls, and that did not seem right as she is now top dog. So, on a trip to Marshall's in search of the perfect soap dish (after the bathroom got scrubbed to within an inch of its life after toilet erupted like Vesuvius, and I organized everything), I saw these designer dog dishes. They were so cheerful and bright, and only $3.99 each, and they say that Pickle is special, too. Joy for $8.00 plus tax. What can I say, I am easily amused and delighted. Notice that I already filled the food dish, and here, at 12:30 PM, Pickle has already eaten her meal of the day. My kind of gal. Instant gratification, what a concept.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I am tired. It has been a nasty, brutal couple of months. Dog died. Allergic reaction to drug that was supposed to cure infection. Plumbing exploded. Tooth got infected. Tortuous time in the dentist's chair that has my mouth still wounded. Gym took money they were not supposed to take, then said they gave it back, but didn't. Must make still another trip there to try to straighten that out. It occurs to me that folks have gotten more and more dim witted as I have grown older. No one even apologized to me about taking my money away from me. How sad is that? Pretty lame world, HP. Time to pony up, and take care of the poor old gal just trying to matter here. Okay, did my victim thing. Now on to the next mess, which couldn't get lamer than this one. It was a great idea, trust me. I got a lot of benefit by just dabbing at it for a couple of hours. Nuts.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Just couldn't stop today. This is actually the third painting I diddled up. Really, there is a lot of other things I could do here - laundry, grocery shopping, raking leaves, vacuum up the fuzzbomb's leavings all over the rug I vacuumed yesterday, change the bed, on and on ad infinitum. However, I believe she who dies with a clean house has lived a wasted life. Off to make an enchilada for dinner, then to Intergroup, the political arm of AA, my last night of service for my meeting. I endured a whole year there. Wow.
Let's see. In the last two months, darling Boo died, I got a rash from the medication that was supposed to make me feel better, a tooth got infected and I had to borrow $10,000 to get my mouth redecorated, my microwave died and my plumbing exploded. Today, I took my head out of my butt and examined my bank statement, and found that the gym screwed up and never cancelled the automatic withdrawal, so that the last two months that were supposed to be free weren't. I set out this morning with steam coming out my ears, praying not to be too stern with them, stopping by for the blood test I was supposed to get three weeks ago. The lab didn't have the order, and I didn't have the number of the clinic on my cell. I have to go back later today. Sigh. And I have not checked, but the gym swears they have it right now. Wouldn't that be peachy? I know the Universe does not have it in for me. I think. Whatever, I did not paint all last week because my mouth hurt so much. Now back to doing something. Doing something is better than languishing in my victim mode. Good stuff has happened, too. And will continue to happen, I am sure. Now would be nice.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I went to Penney's the other day to get a new battery in an old watch, because my current one had a floppy latch, and I was tired of it, you know how it is, day in, day out, same old face. And the battery guy was on a break, and I got tired of standing there waiting for him, so I mosied up to the counter, and I bought this one. I do not wear jewelry very much, just earrings (three, because I have two holes on one ear, there's a story there), my little charm on a gold chain around my neck, the triangle in the circle, the AA symbol (it is my secret handshake in the world- only other recovering folks know what it is), and my watch. Wish I didn't have to wear a watch, but the whole world seems to revolve around the face of the clock, even when one is retired and not expected to show up on time, anywhere. Don't know why I chose this one. It was kind of a reward for paying off a big debt, and, at the time, I thought I had money. That turned out to be a fallacy after a trip to the dentist, which occasioned a trip to the bank to borrow more to pay for a lot of necessary dental work, so I guess I am glad I got this pretty watch when I did. And it was not expensive, not by a longshot, and it was on sale, too, and every time I look at it, I feel rich. Strange, and wonderful. Such a small thing gives me so much joy. Simple pleasures are the best, you know.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Remember that old saw about it's always darkest before the dawn? Take it from this chronic insomniac, this is too true. And now, in this time of OMG, what could possibly happen next, blessings are flowing my way. Dear wild man artist is on a high roll and slipped me a couple of Benjamin Franklin's to tide me over through the financial doldrums in which I now find myself mired. Another darling friend sent me home with a cooler of soup and yogurt, perfect for a sore mouth and returning appetite. And, yesterday, a friend dropped by with a microwave oven she said Target was throwing away. I said REALLY? Well, she said, they threw it into her car. You know, I love doing things like that for others. My situation does not allow gestures quite that grand, but I try to show up, be present when others are hurting or needing, and I know how good that makes me feel. So I became my sweet friend's good deed, and now I have this adorable little microwave to heat up her barrista coffee when she comes to visit me. Ever so much better than the teensy sauce pan I was using. Life is so very interesting that way. Meanwhile, trip to the dentist shows healing is happening, loan came through from the credit union, so it is all paid for, payments are affordable, and I have teeth! Who could ask for anything more?
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Well, my mouth is still sore from hell-on-wheels dental appointment last Friday, and as if that weren't enough, I got a sore throat and runny nose, too. I wandered around the little yellow house this morning, kicking and yelling at some really noisy people out front, don't they know I am SUFFERING here? Pickle just looked at me with that just-get-over-yourself expression she is so good at, so I made a pot of coffee and had lemon cream pie for breakfast because I was too lazy to make pancakes or French toast, then sat down to read my email, and when my DSL connected me, instead of my iGoogle homepage, I got the Don't Quit Poem, which promptly endeavored to inspire me. I took this as a hint from HP that I truly did need to get over myself. A trip to my Facebook page quickly had me laughing loudly (Quote: The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is difficult to know if they are genuine. Abraham Lincoln). Then I watched a 50s video on Control Your Emotions, more hilarity. I am now a member of the Nerd Herd, how sweet it is. Next I saw a video of a kayaker's encounter with a blue whale. Okay, that was totally radical and wondrous. Hard to kick things, now. Still, I am laid back here, not inspired to do much more than lay around. Maybe take a bath later? Maybe paint something, like the grapes I got yesterday at Trader Joe's? Cuddle a Pickle? Empty the dishwasher? Call a friend? Hell, anything could happen, and often does. God bless the simple, retired life.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
It is Art Trails, the first weekend, and so far I have visited four artists in their studios. I suspect they have been seriously cleaned-up studios. Very different kinds of artists. Number one is an oil landscape painter, very impasto, dramatic use of values. Love his work. I think it is seriously underpriced. Wonder why it isn't flying off the walls, it is so wondrous. Next artist paints in acrylics due to a toxicity problem, abstracts, very big canvases, lots of primary colors, layers and layers on layers and layers. Interesting, not my style, but worth looking into. Next came this amazon of a woman, actually taller than the cowwoman, and that does not happen all that ofter. She works in acrylics on paper! Some big, some little, mostly of her dogs lounging or frolicking about in their habitat. Wonderful work. I noticed she outlines, something I have stayed away from like anathema. May have to look in to that. Impressive, expressive, joyous work that has me going Hmmmmmm a lot. And today, on my way home from Safeway, where I bought myself a lemon cream pie since I am on a soft diet after having a tooth pulled Friday, and what could be softer than lemon cream, I stopped just down the street to check out a watercolor artist. She was the only one who would not let me take a photo of her studio. Very zealous in guarding her images, which, of course, I would never steal. Just wanted the inspiration. Maybe I will stop by there next weekend and buy one of her greeting cards. Just wanted to get home and into my lemon cream pie. All this sojourning in other folks studios has taught me that my work is okay, and definitely different than these folks, so maybe, just maybe, I have a style! Now, that's exciting. Meanwhile, mouth is hurting, again, so headed for bed early, a good book, Desperate Housewives later tonight, and Tylenol PM for a happy night's sleep before getting up and trying new things. Maybe even getting out the watercolors, I feel so stoked about the work I saw today.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
A friend who buys abandoned storage units gave me a huge box full of "art supplies". Actually, there were some student grade watercolors, lots of paper, a few brushes, and I gave all those to my partners in crime who are working the Artist's Way with me, as they are just beginning that experimental stage, and it couldn't hurt to have a few doodads to begin. But one of the things in the great big box were a couple of sets of oil pastels. Now, I have avoided them like anathema, as they just seemed too rough and too loose, strange but true. Could not tighten those suckers up if I tried. Strangely enough, these are water-soluable, so a wet brush will spread the pigment into all those annoying holidays, if I were to decide to do that. And gee, I like having lots of options - to fix stuff once I go "eeeeeuwww" and walk away in disgust. Here is my first attempt at these suckers, on watercolor paper with lots of tooth, scribble, scribble. It made me happy, actually, and came out with a certain elan of it's own, that would not be there if I were working in soft pastels or acrylics. Messy is not bad, I think. Every day, I get an artist du jour on my homepage. They do all kinds of stuff, much of it really ugly, full of social commentary. I like art to be 1) expressive, 2) full of color, 3) interesting to look at day after day, 4) enlightening. Mostly, I like MY art to say ME in it. This little ditty did that. Will report back later, after more experimenting. So many media, so little time.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
And here is the latest I-don't-give-a-crap-what-happens-I'm-just-needing-to-paint ditty from the current WTF opus. Still pissed off at losing my dog. Good that the browser is loading pictures much faster than it was (used to be able to play 5 0r 6 games of Freecell while waiting). Bad that the microwave is deceased. Third one since I moved here 7 years ago. Life on life's terms. Thinking dirty words at the moment. Also have no $$$ after recent vet bill, wedding, and upcoming dental stuff. HP has great things in store, I'm sure. Yes, I think I will stay positive. I haven't been dumped on my head yet. And, if I was, well, I have Medicare.
A friend sent me this picture he took last year at our gala 20th anniversary of sobriety party. Best shot anyone has taken of the cowwoman in many moons. I like that it is black and white, and kind of fuzzy, always a good thing in these latter days of life. Oooh, it was TWO years ago. My, how time flies when one is over the hill. I don't know about you, but I hope to coast the rest of the way.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The 9th step promises say we will be relieved of fear of economic insecurity. Notice, that does not promise that economic insecurity will go away. Oh, nonono. Only that we will not quiver at its imminent approach. Well, here it comes again! And I am working on it, really I am. Perhaps this is HP's way of saying I should market my art? Though, I have always thought I needed to frame it before that happened. Maybe just mat it? Don't know. Mulling here. Meanwhile, I just keep painting, like this Monet homage, a copy of a still life he did, very busy and rather muddled, but fun in the end. Oh, hell. I am just going to keep having fun, and trust that the prosperity will land on me like a butterfly. You have to sit still for that to happen, you know.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Didn't want to waste any pigment, a holdover from my Scots mother who never wasted a thing in her very long life, so I did this. Really, I love the acrylic on paper. Don't feel like I need to be perfect or eloquent, just no real investment in using up the materials or in the final product. It is what it is, in the precious moment of its creation. Happy Sunday, Big Blue Ball.
Really, there was plenty to do. Laundry beckoned. The leaves are in piles and will not get into the yard waste bin by themselves. I could write my morning pages that I didn't do this morning. Instead, I felt truly sorry for myself (tooth is still aching, after all), went to a noon meeting and thought about someone else for a while, sweet newcomer who is braving the raging river of new recovery, offered her a paddle and a prayer, then came home to stare at my computer monitor and some mindless games to take my mind off my aches and miseries. Then said NUTS and painted a couple of mindless little ditties, not particularly interested in any outcome at all, and gee, kind of fun. Now headed for an early night hoping to catch up on some sleep that has been denied me as I try to overcome this blasted infection, and fear of economic insecurity that has raised its ugly head as I contemplate paying for all this horrid dental work. Ah, life on life's terms. Truly sucks sometimes.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Chaotic little mess I made using up the remainder of a palette from another, more mannered mess. Kind of appropriate for the current situation in the little yellow house. Just as I was hoping to have an easing in the monthly budget, having paid off a large, ancient debt, I made another one yesterday to have major dental work done, an even bigger one, sigh. One more year of eeking along, sigh. Meanwhile, I saw on a PBS channel that I was surfing by the other night that the universe is expanding at just the right rate. Any slower and it would collapse on itself. Any faster, there could be no life. So it actually looks like the whole freaking universe was designed to support and protect us fragile beings crawling on the surface of this pretty blue ball. No wonder scientists become mystics. There is a great and wondrous order to everything. Previous PBS lurking taught me that everything is made of the same stuff. That would be you, me, the stars, the flowers, the rocks, ad infinitum. And that most of everything is nothing, vast empty spaces in the atoms between the nucleus and all those crazy electrons spinning around it in a frenzy. Gee, I think I'll go back to bed with my toothache and contemplate that for a while.
Friday, October 07, 2011
I attended the first evening of a four week seminar on grief from pet loss. Six women were there, with Reverend Leslie of the Center for Spiritual Living. I saw that I am in good company here, that the process is much more spiritual than I had thought. Still have a problem looking at photos of Boo, but I did take my sketchbook drawing I made earlier this year. Our workbook has pages where I can make more sketches, too. We had an altar in the center of our circle, where we put pictures and toys. Other dogs did not make the mess of their toys like my Boo did. Perhaps I will bring his bowls, the blue and white ones with little paw prints on them, next week. And his baby picture. Lordy, he was obscenely cute as a baby. Well, he was cute all his life, little teddy bear dog that he was. A couple of the other women in the group were still grieving actively, sobbing. That is not happening to me, and I think it is because of the long, long, long recovery I have practicing letting go. Whatever, I will profit from writing out our story, the Boo and I, and acknowledging the lessons he taught me, like loving with a totally open heart, walking sloooowwwwly because he was always waddling in front of me, confident he knew where I was going, and gratitude for his warm, furry presence, even as I swept drifts of black hair from every corner of the little yellow house. There will never be another Boo.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
So, here I am, all trussed up in my sweats, several layers of them, resisting turning up the thermostat, because that will raise the PG&E bill, and it is still early in the fall, right? Don't know what has happened to global warming in our little corner of the globe. Here, it has been unseasonably cold for summer, with only a day or two of heat in between. Don't want to know what that has done to our monocultural crop of grapes. Late harvest, for sure. Low sugar, probably. Bitter wine. Couldn't care less, not doing wine any more. Meanwhile, contemplating alerting my local classical station to the ingenuity of my favorite streamed station, RMF Classic, from Krakow, Poland. They don't play those dry-as-dust contemporaries of Mozart or Beethoven or Bach, guys. If they are languishing in obscurity, there is a REASON, guys. Why not pull out some Dvorak or Katchutorian or Sibelius, the lesser known pieces, or Ralph Vaughn Williams? Today I heard an amazing piece by Williams. Couldn't tell you what it was. The crawl was in Polish. Still, there is a wealth of bouncy, perky music out there that is obscure only because these composers have such a bounty of more performed works. Okay, they don't have to stoop to Sting or Harry Connick, Jr., but an occasional TV theme would be nice. Yesterday, RMF Classic played the theme to Dr. Kildare (Richard Chamberlain, Raymond Massey, in the '60s, remember?). I almost wept with the joy of it. Well, that felt good. I will admit, I like romantic music. No longer ashamed of that, either. Everyone should just get over it.
Monday, October 03, 2011
...and not one of those gray days when God kind of just spits on me, but real rainy rain, the kind that will demand an umbrella just to get across the street to get the mail. And the five day forecast says no sunshine till Thursday. And we all know what that means. It's fall. Just like that. So, time to haul all the summer duds to the back closet and the winter stuff to the bedroom. And dig under the bed for the knockoff Uggs and other more waterproof footwear and bury the sandals there for six months. Hell, I am even thinking of turning on the furnace! Well, maybe not right away. Pickle is snoring on the rug. Smart cookie. She knows that 3 PM is a natural circadian trough, and takes a nap. Or maybe this is just an extension of her after lunch nap, which was an addendum to her after breakfast nap. Really smart cookie, the lone Pickle. And here is another of Martha's arrangements in this cut glass vase that I thought I could not paint, and probably didn't, but it works for me now. Strange flowers, probably passion flowers, which I think are from Mars.
I have been very abundant lately. Since I am in this frenzy of creativity, friends have been gifting me with lots of magazines. One was Martha Stewart Living. Yeah, I really need that. But, gee, here were all these dandy floral arrangements. I got so excited, I literally jumped up out of bed to lay a palette and paint this one. It got pickier than I have been lately, and at the same time, is wonderfully messy and kind of just THERE. Happiness is a mess of acrylics and a Bristol pad. Which I replenished at Riley Street, this weekend, the last of their Back to School sale, where everything was 40 to 50% off. New brushes, even! Rich. I am so very rich here.