Saturday, December 27, 2014

the search for a new painting chair

or should i say..research?

since i broke my painting chair (and probably my ass too)
i haven't been able to paint,.....oh i've tried rigging stuff up
but i realize that after about 5 minutes, 'yeah it ain't gonna happen'
the strain on my knees and back is too much to let go and paint
and since i am already all banged up bad from the fall.....we're not going to aggravate things
so i have been researching

and this is where i'm at
three chairs.... one cheap but with arms and too big to fit in there
one small enough sort of to fit in there without arms, but too tall and needs extra cushioning on the seat...
and one that seems perfect but is out of my price range (well right now... a bandaid is out of my price range)

and i am also going to fix my little chair as a back up... cause i can't take the down time

i am trying to find the 'seems perfect' one for less then 200....
if i could i would have gotten it already

i can't paint without a rolling swiveling chair...i can't get close enough to the painting
i was going to try to stand to paint, but right now without a major reorganization and possibly building something. that's isn't about to happen, and i can't find my studio easel either...
but that takes up some serious floor space.....(it's been a while since i've used it so i don't remember how much floor space but i know it's a lot more then my drafting table)

i am trying to think outside the box (or the studio-if you know what i mean)
i am wondering ok..... what if i give up my drafting table (which would bother me but maybe huh?)
put my little easel on a tall stand and paint standing?
or put my little easel on something with wheels and move that in and out?

i don't really know what to do....
i do know i would like to finish my corn painting...some time this year..which is not going to happen without a painting chair (the other solutions would take a bit of time so since next year is like what? thursday? yeah ....not likely)

so there i am
meanwhile i got a very sore ischium bone... (it feels like it's also got a bad cut inside there)
two bad knees and a horrible shoulder which i am not entirely sure doesn't have a hairline fracture.....
i am also going out of my mind by not being able to knit, sit for long periods of time, walk or paint

i think the knitting and the painting is the worse part of it

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

happy holidays

i wish all my friends all over the world the happiest of holidays (and if this isn't your holiday- i wish you wonderful memories and lots of hugs and icecream )

it really is so small a world these days, i talk to my friends from the usa, south america, europe, the middle east, africa, australia, and the far east........... all due to this wonderful magical thing called the internet- we can even skype! we can talk into what surely to a medieval person would have seemed a magic mirror and we see each other, hear each other and connect-- and i would imagine i would be extremely warm right now as the flames surrounding the stake would be leaping higher

my friends from all over, i am so lucky to know you all..... you all make my days so much brighter

and as i talk to all these amazing people so alike and yet all so different, i realize how important they are to me
suddenly people from far away aren't faceless, they are my friends, they are all the faces of my friends

i also realize how very empty my life would be without these wonderful people spread all over this tiny blue planet ..... we are all just a speck of dust in an infinitely huge universe- but here we are..... and it's amazing to me

i sit (well ok right now i am not able to sit due to the broken chair) in my studio and paint. then i can instantly share that image with all of you folks all over the entire world....... HOW COOL IS THAT?

it makes me think how petty that all the wars, the hate, the killing, the controlling insane the quest for ultimate riches and power is....
because we really are all in this soup of life together
we really do all interconnect...

it's not 'them' and really is just all US

anyway..... happy happy holidays to you all...... my very best wishes for you all
freedom, peace, security, happiness. health, happy memory making.......
i wish it all to everyone
all without fear, without pain

bless you all no matter what if any religion you are...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

dear santa claus

it's me violet
remember me?
of the pennsylvania violets?

i know i am sorta haphazard about things but i remembered my list this year

so here goes

i would really like to have some of my friends who are ill, made well.... i worry about them carrying on and being in pain, or worse..... having worry hanging over them like a dark dark rain cloud

folks who need not just jobs..but good jobs..... jobs that allow them to live not just survive
so they don't have to chose between do i get my meds........or heat or eat
they are working and making more then minimum but let's face it anything less then 50K for someone who has a house and mortgage and a job is just not going to make it
70K a year and they can actually save a bit for retirement

and can you do something about this world wide situation of fear..... fear of knowledge just got 141 people killed by extremists GOD'S name (god's pr department must be having a meltdown about now)
cops killing folks out of fear.... folks in fear of their lives from cops
folks in fear ..just fear of all things
meanwhile you got folks telling everyone ..... ditch the fears
it ain't so easy
we're going to need a major miracle here
(maybe you and god's pr department can team up here?)

and the greed thing.. some folks ..enough is never enough.. the thing is.. we're all literally in this together...we ALL live on this earth, breath this air (and if nestle waters has it's way...we'll be paying for water too)
are interconnected by atoms and molecules.... so by that line of thinking ...maybe at one point enough is enough?? and we know all must be able to not only survive but live?
aren't we supposed to be above all the savagery ?
i mean if is the point of it all?
how insanely crazy can you allow things to get before stepping up and stepping in?

those are some of the major things
and if you have a bit left over...please take care of my little family
bernie and the animals
mrs quail is calling for her dead husband.... phoebe is slowly dying of age
my fawnie can't walk (also i suspect due to age)
bernie is doing ok so far .....can he stay healthy and happy please?

me i need to be mobile again, to take care of everyone, it's not working well that bernie has to step up with some of the stuff.....

and an agent for me....... i need one that can be an asset to me so very bad, it's getting into 'needed urgently' territory now

so santa that's my list
i know there really isn't anything you can wrap and put under the tree...(i am assuming an agent would object to being wrapped up and a bow stuck on her head..... ?)
but really that is my list

if the world gets better for everyone... that is the best gift of all.... and everyone will get part of it!

anyway i'm off now
i am gimping around so it's taking me forever to do anything and it's time for my ice
take good care santa
and really please try to get some of that stuff on my list..the fear and the greed ones i think are the biggest no?

your friend


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

me and fawn

both immobilized
her with her slipped disk in her back
me and my knee that i mangled back in april in that fall

fawn we gotta stop meeting like this

the vet gave her a shot and did accupressure....she's walking better but not normal
he said..... (this morning) if she's not better by next week..accuPUNTURE
i was surprised he didn't do that in the first place
now fawn is anything like me she's going to stay crashed for a week then gradually get better
meanwhile between the two of us....we are NOT doing well

i have to keep icing
she has to keep a heating pad on
and both of us just want to lay down and sleep

Thursday, December 11, 2014

bean soup and snow and ducks and wood stoves

i made a huge pot of bean and ham soup (diced onion, carrot, celery, added to the cooked to tender navy beans, then the remains of the ham.....simmer all day)
it was wonderful!
the beans broke down into a thickener, the veggies melted, and the ham added flavor
i was shocked when bernie went back for seconds (of course there was nothing else for him so he had no choice.....but he said it was alright)

hey he ate it so that's a plus
(i'm eating it for breakfast, i do love beans ....i have to get more navy beans)

today i woke up to snow on the ground
and more coughing....a lot of coughing actually
dr won't renew the zpack i am to use the inhalers
seriously they aren't helping with the coughing at all
the pulmonary dr won't be available until at least feb..(he'll be back jan but booked until feb)
i noticed that going outside or getting too upset, talking too long....or exertion makes me cough BAD

ok to sort of continue the light bulb thing from the other day (it's scary how my mind works) i have to rig up the shop lights for the seed starting very soon..... i have to start peppers EARLY, and i would like to start a few early things like cabbage and leeks if my leek seeds will germinate ( i have seeds that are kind of old and some stuff such as leeks don't always store well no matter how well you store them)
if i wait for bernie to help me with the shop lights i won't hit the window for the early seed starts
i had asked for a cold frame or tunnel but that didn't happen either as i was too sick to do it myself

bernie seems interested in the garden this time so i am going to hope he helps me as lately i'm not able to do it all myself

depending on weather, i am going to be calling for wood next week, not the full three cords i need but at least one cord at a time
i wish at this point i could have about 10 cords out there...... well we'll do what we can do
thank goodness we didn't wait for that old wood guy...he never EVER bothered to follow up on his promise....we'd have frozen already

and in ducks... phoebe seems to be ok she's out with the flock
i don't know as she is going to have as long a life as she should... that was the nest i was raising when that jackass was next door with the methlab
so cleo and phoebe had never really been right and cleo died so young...
so that's our day so far
how's your week going?

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

as time goes on

today i am again cleaning in the studio....
my plague, with the help of a zpack and inhaler is down to a dull roar and so i'm back to cleaning my studio
have i mentioned how much i hate cleaning?
and how once it IS clean how i hate messing it up again
maybe that's why i don't clean much.. at least with the mess there i can just get to work
well ok that's my story
so i got my work surface cleared off and added two long shelves...... i made the mistake of putting out my half sheet bounty paper towels
bernie saw them
there may be a homicide happening if he touches them
i need them and i've stashed them for a while so i HAVE THEM
not just any rolls...BOUNTY half sheets
those are the best and that's what i have in the studio

now today it's a sort of half assed storm outside
although it's warm, and while it's slushy and all.... the ducks are ok
tomorrow we are to get about 3'' of snow and sleet and freezing rain and hale and the 7 plagues of hell and grasshoppers
maybe frogs

bernie got kero for the backup heaters but we won't be able to use them as he hasn't dry burnt them to service them... i can't get him to understand that if he doesn't do that...we can all die of carbon monoxide when there is incomplete combustion--

and i am also trying to protect my paper towels
homicide may happen......

just saying

meanwhile................ today is going to be a chicken curry for dinner day-
and i am hoping to get further on the studio
i need my second work surface brought up.... i found it and couldn't move it myself
i would like to also paint it with a semi gloss cream
(although my other one is minwax red- it used to be my niece's desk when they were little kidlets living in an apartment in Fairlawn .....i painted it for them)
so the back one is probably going to end up being painted with cream outdoor trim paint, which is fine as i am going to beat the crap out of the work surface anyway....
i have two other shelves to go over that work surface and i'll paint them cream as well

i am looking at lighting....and i think i am going to go with dimable LED ..... as i can afford them, they are brighter, and supposedly last much longer..... and use much less electricity.....
i desperately need to get light bulbs..... i need regular ones CFL at 40 w...and i need one really tough one for outside on the porch (about 100w equivalent)
and then the studio lights
i was looking at some under counter lights that are not too under 20.00 for 6' which is most likely what i'm going to use .....the cool white is 6500K so that is as bright as daylight
(i'm also going to need regular cool white and warm white 48'' floursecent tubes for the big fixtures... to start my garden seeds-- like i said...i am out of light bulbs)
i found a few of my smaller drafting i'm going to hook them up for the second easel as task lighting
i have two ott lights but i am afraid to use them as they got brown where the lightbulb plugs in
i wish i could
lighting is a huge problem in my studio, even with three walls of windows.... we had to cover (nosey neighbors from hell).... so we do rely on artifical lighting a fair amount...
i wish we could have replaced the windows when i was planning to but now we'll have to wait

so that is the state of the studio right now...... it's cleaner and almost rearranged
bernie didn't help
i did it all as i felt better
and now.... onto curry chicken

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

a sodden end to vacation

cause it's raining, foggy, dark, relatively warm (in the 40s but feels 30s) day.
bernie is sleeping i hope as he starts back to work tonight

and i am cleaning the studio ...
to install a new work surface across the back wall for my second easel...... i got it partly cleared out but now i need to move stuff and bernie's sleeping
(we agreed not to fight by not moving stuff the other day)

in addition to this i went for the adrenal supression test this morning----- they took my blood at 7:13 so i hope that was ok
i felt terrible as there was a guy there ( even though i was there first and had the first appointment) who'd had a liver transplant...... but i had to get this blood drawn
and i did have an appointment (he is a regular walk in)
i really could use a bit more sleep
i was going to go up then realized that bernie has to sleep today so i've stayed down
i really wish there was a way of me sleeping down here a bit- i asked bernie if we could put the spare bed up in the studio ......but really there is absolutely no space for it
so i have to come up with another idea- and some bookcases..... (cause part of the no space thing is the amazing amount of books i've got crammed in here- why yes i do read a LOT --- ahem why do you ask?)

i have a hair brain idea.... i want to buy those insulation panels and install them on the walls then face them with drywall, and replace all the windows with one large window on the north wall, two large windows on the west wall and patio doors on the deck wall......
i sort of priced it all and just for supplies would be about 6K--- i think however we could heat with less then 4 cords of wood a winter then...... maybe
so that would probably pay us back in about 6 years
considering ac costs ....maybe less!

anyway today i am struggling to get the energy to do the painting corner
i need it done NOW
(i also could sure use a white board in there as well......)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

so ........ how was your holiday?

i've been sick still
bernie did most of the cooking but i did the supervising and the hard stuff like the gravy...
stuffing etc
we packed the turkey up into containers right after supper and put them in the freezer
then i made stock and soup

i'm still sick but not retching as much
meanwhile we were to have done my studio today

i ended up throwing my body across two sewing machines that bernie was attempting to remove to some obscure undisclosed, known only to him and promptly forgotten location........

his organizing style and mine are VASTLY different
i can't reach his idea of organized.....
nor can i see his idea of organized

so we had a truce to cut cat's nails and clean ears...
i was informed that he intended to get started organizing me and my studio early tomorrow morning
......there may be a war

or something worse, the last time he 'organized' me i couldn't find anything for over a year
and some things are still missing........ like two other sewing machines......
as it is i can't reach my watercolor paper without his help and i can't roll out the folding cutting table for cutting fabric or paper on as he's got it stuffed in and piled up
so even though i have carefully drawn plans as to what/where/how i want my area done.....
he'll throw them to the wind and make sure it's inconvenient and impossible to work in if i let him do this without supervision
i've been pretty sick so i can't do this myself at this time

oye oye

i hope i survive

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

have a wonderful holiday

and a safe one as well

right now....we are watching some seriously heavy wet snow coming down
but bernie said it's warm out and it's melting pretty fast
we'll still be shoveling off the studio roof
but i am grateful that the weather is warm, as i am dreading a repeat of last year with the horrible cold that never stopped

meanwhile i am still really ill
last night i was coughing so bad that i was retching
this went on for quite a while
bernie kept saying 'this isn't normal, you need to go to the hosptial'
the only problem with that was i would have to get dressed and i couldn't stop coughing long enough to do that 

by the time the coughing fit subsided somewhat, i was so very exhausted that i couldn't even climb up into bed
(it's got a very very high mattress..... bernie hasn't lowered the frame yet... so it's about 6'' too tall for me, i feel like jack in the beanstalk in the giant's house)
i think i finally got into bed and sitting UP (forget about lying down) at about 2am
so right now i'm in a robe and slippers
i couldn't eat breakfast either, it made me cough

bernie is going to get me mucinex to see if that's going to help-- i'm desperate at this point

good thing i made the cran sause and such already..... cause i couldn't do that today
i have to bake the rutabaga..... and i  will have to supervise bernie cooking tomorrow unless i get better really soon
the no sleep with the painful ribs from coughing is doing a number on me
bernie hasn't been sleeping either of course
i am hoping that the mucinex will help....i would love to get a full nights sleep, i swear if it isn't the woodstove getting me up..... or something it's my health nailing me

in painting news, i am painting oak leaves... cause i am an idiot
but i won't let them defeat me
so i am painting oak leaves
and cranberries but i think bernie fed my models to the chickens
next i have indian corn and shells and more leaves but i also need to return to the water fowl series and oye..... i paint too slow sometimes i think

well... everyone i wish you all a happy, safe, and healthy thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

wed is not only the new monday......

but we got a vacation coming up
which means stuff will get done maybe?
meanwhile i sealed up some of the air leaks around the duck room door
i swear the studio is warmer
one of my friends suggested i use pipe insulation in there which i will be doing
as we can't seal it up permanently yet
i also have an appointment for the suppression test......
and lab/hospital bills are starting to come in
i need to get back to painting as my subjects are piling up (literally.... a pile of shells, a pile of leaves, a pile of berries....... )
plus i have the brant geese to do and now arctic circle stuff too
it's been pretty cold so i am a bit reluctant to sit in the coldest corner of the studio

in holiday preparations- i made cranberry sauce
and i will be making the stuffing shortly
i've also make my leftover plan for the freezer
and we did a ham so that we'll have ham, turkey, chicken and pork meals in the freezer
along with soups and beans
i need a good sale on beef though
i'll grind my own chopmeat if i have to...(probably a much better idea anyway)
and i would like a good sale on pork loin...i maybe even will make sausage

i am slowly learning not to over do anything
how about that!
i cut up three packs worth of ham today, into cubes and vacuumed sealed them
then i put the ham away
tomorrow i will do a few more if i can

i am still having trouble with the knee i fell on in april- it suddenly does this snapping thing that hurts like i fell on it
i end up howling like a banshee it hurts so bad
then boom the pain subsides (the after pain is still there though)
i am going to assume this isn't a good thing...
ok i've got to get to bed now
i can't keep my eyes open

Monday, November 17, 2014

knock you on your ass tired

i can't even begin to explain the level of tired i am.....
it's really beyond anything physical
however i am very blessed to have friends who send me packages with shells and seeds, socks and stuffs to cheer me up
(boy does that help)
i got two wonderful packages today when bernie picked up the mail

so briefly to bring this up to date
we are facing a bad cold snap
bernie did get the furnace to work more or less and that went on this morning when i just could NOT get myself out of bed to stoke the woodstove.......(so now i got a bloody nose from the furnace heat- oh well at least i stayed in bed resting for 12 hours)

i got my rx for the meds and labs for the suppression test to see if the tumor is located on the adrenals or what..... that will happen next week as the draw must be at 7am so bernie will have to be off to take me

painting- well right now i got layouts waiting and a paper prepped for work but not enough energy to get over there
i hope this changes soon
my next burst of energy will be spent in prepping layouts so that even if i am too tired i can still paint

now today it is raining hard and is dark and overcast..... the ducks seem ok with it for now
bernie is getting concerned about the quail for the winter and we're going to give them a nest box with shavings ....we haven't prior as we didn't want 10,000000. quail babies..... so now with the days short that shouldn't be a problem but the nest will keep them warm

knitting- i am working on what started out to be a worsted weight cowl.......and evolved into a hat...
i just don't like worsted weight for neckwear....... i don't know why- i don't mind it too much for a hat
or mittens, actually i prefer lopi in worsted for work mittens that don't quit...
but for a cowl..... really i just like fingering or lace. so i cast on 100stitches on 4.5MM needles and did two inches of k2p2, then switched over to double moss..... i'll keep going with that for a while, do a turning row or band then do the crown -- susan was right when she advised me to not be knitting lace right now........ or tiny needle that i love so much
so that also means colorwork in fingering is out of the question... so i'll knit a new hat for bernie
(gees he goes through them so very fast anyway)
meanwhile i am just so glad to be knitting again...even though it's nothing complicated or lacey

THE SEED CATALOGS-- the onslaught has started
i got 'high mowing seeds' and i'm already drooling
my short list is mainly 'winter over in the garden' stuff

  • leeks
  • chard
  • spinach
  • brussels
  • cabbage
  • mache
  • carrots
  • lettuces
and there are a few bush beans i am considering......(we never did get the other beds made up in the garden)
i had that small deck garden this year and boy i missed my big garden....... i would like to put in a hoop house for next winter if bernie gets around to helping me.....
but meanwhile the seed catalogs are tempting
and i love my leeks and chard so very much.... along with my peppers and pumpkins
so something has to be done for next season......

there is the state of the herron household, at the moment
everyone is pretty much happy, and relatively healthy (ok so we still have the plague)

i am hoping to get a small on sale stock up going for the freezer
i'm still sighing over paints and brushes but that's an ongoing thing

i am still desperately trying to figure out an accurate way to release these paintings as giclee prints
and i am still looking for an agent (one was supposed to be interested but after that i haven't heard anything from her so i am thinking probably not)

how is everyone's winter and holiday preps coming along?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

this whole plague from the

pits of hell thing is getting really old
so yes, well.....i'm sick AGAIN
no surprise there huh?
meanwhile i have to do another cushings test so they can narrow down where the tumor is
and no it's not anywhere near as much fun as it sounds
i think this endo is going to turn out to be my best doctor to date, as good as the specialist down in philly
meanwhile i'm very tired
and i am not only have a bad cold or something but a full blow fibro flare going on
which means i want to just sleep
i went up as soon as bernie left last night and didn't come down until about 11 this morning
even that wasn't enough
tonight i am going up right after supper
my legs feel like leaden really feels like i have a temperature but i doubt that i do

now in other news, i started to try and do some paintings of oak leaves (will i never learn?)
well actually after the last painting of oak leaves that i wasn't happy with, i decided they will not defeat onto more oak leaves
probably with indian corn...possibly with some sea shells thrown in
cause that's what's on my painting table right now and i can't face the brant geese at the moment

odds and ends going on... well... we got half our wood in
i really would like to have the rest in within the next week if we could..... it needs to be stacked for seasoning....although it's not too bad-- but it could go a few more months
bernie is supposed to check the furnace oil tank too
he hasn't done that and i can't see up that far

i am also trying not to worry too much about this cushings thing.. but it's sort of scary- i am not concerned about dying as much as being incapacitated--- way way more scary then dying
so anyway i am sort of trying to not quite ignore it....but maybe not think too much about it either..

also i am trying to figure a way to sleep down here during the day while bernie sleeps upstairs
so far i haven't figured anything out yet that is actually comfortable enough to sleep
but i am still thinking about it

are you all getting ready for thanksgiving?
we are sort of
i'm going to have to do a shop next week for odds and ends
it's not going to be huge here but i hope for enough leftovers for freezer meals for at least a we'll also be digging a ham out of the freezer (since bern will be home he can help me)
between turkey and ham...i expect soups and main dishes and all that

ok well off i go now
im going to eat and go to bed
sleep well and sweet dreams everyone

Sunday, November 09, 2014

while my woodstove gently doesn't burn

i'm sitting here AGAIN
waiting for a cranky woodstove to decide to get warm
it was caught and burning brightly......until it was time to go to sleep
then like the reluctant and petulant child it truly promptly went out
so i sit
i'm so tired my skin i crawling cause we did this dance last night
and these days from...ok to crawling skin tired is now a matter of hours not days like it used to be

(i am having some trouble lately could be cause the 50K of vitamin d RX is not been picked up at the pharmacy...... or maybe it is also the weather change...?)

meanwhile i'm having terrible trouble with the knee i battered in the april fall so life has been a bit more difficult again
and this coming week we are also going to get slammed with the cold from that alaskan storm- bernie needs to cover that AC unit in the studio inside and out..... and there is a broken storm window that right now..... we may not be able to replace on the other side of the studio- and i can't do it myself right now...
we'll be putting the drapes and plastic up on the doors
i know he said he'll be stacking wood tuesday too.. he wants it up before friday and also we need to figure another load to come in so that space needs to be available
i can't stack either right now...
i'm having a fibro flare that is just bad enough to make life super difficult but not quite bad enough to lay me out totally

now with painting.....i finished a small painting of a gourd and oak leaves- i do love the gourd
the oat leaves not so much
i had the still life sitting on my painting table and so i worked partly from life....partly from a photo and partly from a blk/wht print of the photo of the still life........... yeah i know...over kill but it's better to have enough back up reference just in case

um i still have corn and shells and more leaves to do yet
and if the berries don't croak i got them again too
then after that shells
then ducks
i better paint with both hands

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

more tests

ok so more tests

thank goodness i have finally found a good doctor again it looks like

meanwhile i am still working on the gourd painting with the leaves, it was meant to be a study so i put it on a square piece of watercolor paper--
it's started now to develop into a series type painting
so now without finishing my poor migratory water fowl series....i have apparently stopped mid series to do a botanical series -- in my plant material does not keep and it is/was FALL- so how could i NOT
but i have to say...... the new fall series is more adaptable to things like pillows, papergoods, dishes
and possibly cards
with elements that could be lifted  for surface design (although after reading about how little fabic designers make and what they go through..i am think -- thank you)

i have a few more things that need to be painted now before their time is gone, which makes me wish i could paint even faster (some paintings are very fast though)

also what happened is my gallery that i keep on my nook has gotten messed up
so i reformatted the memory card, and it's behaving better.
i had tried to download an app for photos, however my nook wouldn't allow it to download, and in trying to fix that with tech support....somehow NOW my nook won't log on to the wifi
so it's just a gallery now
which actually is ok
that is what i wanted it for

let's see what else? ......oh the wood is here
finally, we had to use a different company as the one we have used for a few years now, kept telling us wait and he was getting wood to us no latter then the end of the week......however THAT was three weeks ago....... now i had let him know in the end of august/beginning of september that we were going to get 6 cords, the first three to be delivered mid october..... followed in two weeks by the other three cords, he agreed and was happy to do it.....or so he told me at the time.
if we believed his promises, we would have no wood for winter.....what does he care.

so we got our alternate wood guy who is now our main wood guy
he is very professional, the wood isn't bad at all..and best of all he shows UP when he says he is going to.... omg how amazing is that?
he costs more but you know what? it's worth it and it's only 5.00 more a cord so it so IS worth it

to continue with heating news, bernie got the furnace working again... he still hasn't told me how much oil we have left in the tank, but he said.....'really we should get it filled while oil is cheaper'


i think that is about it for now....
the only other thing is our little boy budgie has decided he loves his momma........ and is taming himself now
stella is sitting on the never hatching eggs so she's basically a stuffed bird with a heart beat for all the company she is to him
so now he loves momma

Sunday, November 02, 2014

all night long...

i listened to the wind blow
i kept hearing things hitting the house
and wondering if the trees were going to come down
we will be keeping the woodstove on all day today and probably for the rest of the winter heating
i'm still not sure about the furnace
i got two of the three tests back.... the two i messed up
the third one i did right so we'll see

meanwhile, i have a sort of still life going with a gourd..... two oak leaves and some berries maybe a blueberry leaf or two
one leaf is behaving and the other is giving me a really hard time

there isn't much right now i feel like talking about..... or even remembering as this blog really is more of a diary for me (when i had a very high readership i got scared and stopped posting)
i am a bit depressed today, which i think has something to do with the hard frost overnight and my bean plant dying finally... i am so going to miss that plant -- i saved seeds but i KNOW the seed i planted was brown and the seeds this plant produced are i am assuming this is a hybrid between whatever that one seed was and my merchant of venice pole bean

i am going to have to look into a bunch of day light lamps for in the studio i suppose
maybe LED ones
and maybe a few fixtures as well....
i get SAD this time of year until at least into april

and today it's really bugging me
so i'm off to paint

Thursday, October 30, 2014

in waiting...

we're still waiting for lab test results
and my visit with the endo was pretty good
i remembered to ask about my arm (the doctor isn't sure and is going to talk to a colleague)
we discussed the what ifs on the labs that aren't back yet
and i forgot to ask her about the thyroid panel with the reverse t3/t4 and antibodies
so that's pretty good

bernie's rash and hives are pretty much gone...still some lingering things
and his cough is still bad, he won't go back to urgent care for it as he says it's just allergies
so that's the state of the bernie

we have a new wood guy as our old wood guy blew us off repeatedly after telling me that he promised us wood last week
so new wood guy will deliver monday the first of three cords

and i finished a study of barberry from out front, next are the gourds and corn that susan sent and then the shells from rhonda, i also have some rosehips to paint and fall leaves, as you all may realize we still didn't finish the rearranging in the studio so i am stuffed into the corner and pretty cramped for space-- plus i can't find my bid studio easel....... so my poor long suffering studio is a nightmare... but as you can also see i do manage to get work done--- i wish it was more work but at least it's steady work done

so that is about it... i am feeling pretty good thanks to the d vitamins, the doc renewed the 50,000K cause it is working ----- i still can't over do things too much and i am in big trouble if i get chilled but the constant exhaustion and deep ache is gotten totally bearable so i am good with that, the rest i can basically ignore
although i found that when my elbows hurt, i've over done it! and it makes no sense WHERE the elbows hurt either!
fibro....who knew?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

so this is your saturday....

my latest painting is a very happy old lady witchie poo....... i had to paint her, i mean......tis the season right?
she fought me tooth and nail ........she wanted to be younger, i wanted her to be older (she is actually a real person, and she is a bit older in real life then in that painting- but she is as sweet in real life)
every once in a while i have to do some humans to get make sure i don't forget how to paint figures/portraits

ok now i have gourds and berries to work on..... and some dried leaves, and corn..... i wish i could get a visit from one of our crows.....they've been gone all summer

as to the family here....bernie is doing better, but still on stuff to help with his hands etc.... he's still got that plague and i am considering forcing him to go back to a doctor about it...he's giving me a hard time so he must be feeling a bit better

still no wood--- the woodguy is a total flake------ now... if i don't hear from someone this week, i don't know what we are going to do..... probably get the other maple taken down and use that

in the midst of all this the laptop is acting up bad now...and my nook color no longer is allowed on my wifi..... but it's something from the wifi not anything i did.....
that nook thing started when i tried to download an app i purchased to deal with my painting gallery on the nook...the download wouldn't work.. then the wifi crapped out (the nook sees the wifi....but the wifi won't let it connect even with the correct password!)
which again brings up the whole 'new computer that can handle graphics' issue again
if we had been able to follow the plan i laid out for all this...i would have had the computer in 2013... and i would be so much further along (actually i would have stayed on schedule with my plan for this whole licensing thing * and world domination? isn't that what everyone is expected to say?*.......

so now i am trying to figure out something to raise the cash i need for the good graphics computer, a wacom drawing tablet..... and the graphics software
it's a matter of, i need the above to be able to work........ and i need to be able to work to GET the above......

and tuesday..... it's the doctor that takes all my blood..... i better drink a lot of fluids huh?
there is an art supply store near the doctor, that i would LOVE to stop at while i'm there.....but i don't know if we will, but i would sooooooo love to, especially since i heard they got my favorite watercolor paint in stock now.... and maybe maybe some good brushes????
i am waiting to put a brush order in to rosemary & co....... but that's on hold
i do tend to go though brushes.... not as bad as some people (like bernie does) but since i paint so dry, and 'up on the tips' --my tips tend to wear, the body is ok but the tips aren't as sharp as they should be
so i'm always looking for good brushes with super sharp tips....
the next order i'm going to put in is for half riggers and spotters .....basically all tippy brushes.... with no real bellies to them but what can you do?
i really wish the kolinksy thing is straightened out soon...(china get your shit together ok? this is a a RUSSIAN weasle not a sable, not from india, not endangered........... and america you too... wtf?)
i've tried some synthetics and i'm not impressed............ so let's all work together shall we......the artists in america need brushes
( and i really really like cheapjoes dragons tongue brush..... the very bestest- they are a good brush, hold enough paint, have good longer lasting tips and are reasonable in price--)

well that's about it now, it's time to give fawnie her meds......and for me to eat something, do my stretches (they really do help) and start to paint
i had a crap night, with less then two hours sleep, and that was all nightmares..... my elbows are killing me (that's where the fibro seems to have settled, i over do it...... the elbows hurt!)

so take good care and ttyl

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

and this week......

started off with a run to the emergency room for bernie
reaction to that the antibiotic kicked off contact dermatitis to the gloves he has to wear at work- and he's got the plague too
so he may have to go BACK to the doctor again for that
however he did pass the MAC certification test so he'll be getting a small raise for that (he passed in one try, most of the other guys in his shop took 2-4 times to pass- i am not surprised as he is a slow and careful thinker and this was a test he could take here at home...... so he was able to sit and think about it without stress or pressure)

meanwhile i got a fire going to take the raw out of the house since it's raining
and i am hoping to paint some gourds and berries today if i can
but since bernie got sick i'm struggling to do a lot of his chores that used to be mine that i have trouble with now......

still no wood..... i got a call from the woodguy and i tell you.....i am not happy
he had assured me when i first called him that he'd have my 6 cords ready
now he's telling me that he doesn't have them and that his 'friend' is going to get me my wood
it's going to be too late in the season soon
and i am really getting worried

also tonight is the last night in the cortisol tests i have to take at midnight
at least i was under the impression it was three days.....i hope it wasn't over three weeks (one a week)
my appointment is next week so they may have the results by then i hope
but probably the hormone tests go out to california to the nichols lab

now it would seem he DID give me his plague... i am starting to get a cough and a throat thing going on. i am hoping it's weather related, due to mold spores in the rain...we'll see about that
and also.......i have been doing very basic yoga stretches and some walk aerobics when i can.....and i am happy to report that they have been helping and i am making slow progress- and i can not stress enough how shocked i am that the vitamin D deficiency made such a huge mess of my body..... now taking the supplements that the dr gave me the rx for ....sure helped- and i'm not even up to optimal range yet~!
adding the b12 seems to have also helped so when i was advised to add  k ......i listened and ordered that along with bernie's vitamins

ok i've got to get my day started now
take good care

Sunday, October 19, 2014

did you ever have a week.........................

where it was one thing after another......
where things just kept going wrong?
that's us
first off bernie's hands are still a mess and now he's got a cold or the flu or something
the wood guy did NOT deliver like we agreed on..... despite of a few reminder calls-
the van needs front end work desperately and we are going to have to take it to a shop as bernie can't do it at work (wtf? a mechanic and we're PAYING SOMEONE ELSE?)
oh and of course...the roofer never called either
i also dropped that thing on my leg..... all cut and bruised ....... what a mess
and then calpurrnia is got the runs (normal for week a month it seems she gets the runs...and won't use the litter box with them)
the computer is a mess too.......i downloaded and updated a new vid driver but i secretly suspect that the this laptop is on it's way out....
i am considering an edition of my prints to buy a new computer---

now today........i was able to put up another pot of split pea in the nick of time...... because i eventually found a carrot
(it is just not the same without the carrot)
thankfully that went ok
i still haven't found the shredded ham i froze in soup sized portions (and we need to do another ham i think. so i have packs in the freezer)

looks like bernie has thankgiving week off
this will be the FIRST time since 2007 that we won't have to worry about either road calls or other issues...............
so maybe since he'll be home we can cook not only a turkey but maybe a ham so i can do stuff up for the freezer, since i'll be having help around

now i have to tell you.......that the vitamin d and the b12 really have helped the fibro...... i can't believe i'm saying that but it's true
i guess that really bad d deficiency was causing problems- pretty bad ones actually
so now i did more research and am adding K3........
so i ordered vitamins instead of the brushes i need/want
how very adult of me
i long to order brushes...paper, paints...... music...books..... beads..........yarn....
but i got our vitamins
i got bernie his 50+ for men vitamins.... and k for him too...
and the 50K units of d for me for after the rx one runs out.....i am not going to risk going back to what i was feeling before
that was horrible.....i felt so bad i was afraid i would live!

so that's about it for now
i'm going to stir the soup...... pull the current painting off the board and get ready to draw some fall bounty that i got in the mail this week
i hope you are all enjoying fall.....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

well that was fun.....NOT

i was (*maybe still am) dealing with a malware redirect virus....
it's a 'your flash is out of date' redirect
now i haven't been feeling great so it sorta didn't register at first
and then i thought it was a site issue (i don't know where the hell my head was)
but now i am dealing with it
it isn't fun
i thought i had gotten it but it hijacked spybot and malware.....and i am not too sure if norton is ok either yet
i'm tired too
(today is a bad day flare wise for me, but a good day family wise as my long lost sister in law finally called...everyone is fine thank goodness)
ok fast updates
i am working on a portrait of a witch....(not a mean witch but a sweet old lady witch....... i just felt the need)
i couldn't face one more duck unless i did something else for a shake up so witchie poo is on the drafting table....after all 'tis the season' no? and what fun is being an artist if you can't shake stuff up a bit here or there?

anyway i have to go as this flare is got me very tired
but i will talk to you all in a day or so

Saturday, October 04, 2014

more freezer cooking

today is enchiladas
chicken and bean with mixed veggies
i got the beans up on the stove cooking now (dried navy beans this time)
i am planning on 32 enchiladas so that will be i think 8 containers of 4
now each container actually is a meal for both of us with his 'work supper' as well in there
i eat one, he eats two and takes one to work
i am hoping to stretch the chicken with the beans (shhhhhhhhh we won't tell him there are beans in there-what he doesn't know is good for him)
i may put some corn in too
in a few minutes i'll go make the sauce for this
right now i am still struggling with the morning fibro stiffness..... (and it's raining)
now yesterday i processed that pie pumpkin i baked the other day....i ended up giving the chickens the guts as i didn't like the way they looked but the girls were very happy
i made bernie a pumpkin crustless pie....i called it a custart.....hahahaha
he liked it but he said it needed whipped cream which we didn't have.....for once i would agree with him
i couldn't find the ground allspice and didn't feel like grinding the whole allspice so i just put cinnamon and ginger in was pretty good

next i am hoping for a good sale on beef but if not then i am going to have to do with a mix of chicken/pork for meatloafs and such
and i am going to need to deal with that soon...... as i need to have stuff ready for when i am too ill to do anything
i am fighting this disease as hard as i can..... which isn't easy, as i hate being idle.... but i do have to sleep and rest and i can't do what i am used to doing in a day
i keep hoping i figure a way to at least do what i need to when i am better against the bad days..and figure ways to have the bad days not so bad

anyway....right now i am cooking for the freezer..... in a while when that's finished i'll paint

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

freezer cooking

4 meals of chicken in curry sauce and one of chicken and dumplin
tomorrow if i feel ok
i bake
i also discovered i really need to do a few batches of enchiladas up for the freezer
plus i am working on stuff for thanksgiving
getting as much made ahead as i can.
i don't think bernie will be actually here all day awake (he'll be working that night) but i could possibly do the full meal the tuesday before and have a leftover second meal on the actual day

in other news, i again have insurance starting today
and the fibro is down to a dull roar......thanks to the vitamin d3.....
i need to add vitamin k2 and k3 as well
which i will
and i have discovered that taking the vitamins in late morning/early afternoon is the right time
as if i take them too late they keep me up
i would have never thought that a vitamin D deficiency would cause problems and that taking d would fix stuff
i'm not sure about the other vitamin claims but for me, i've proven to myself that the d works
and works well
the general horrible tiredness in my legs is tolerable now
i can go down to the ducks and while i can't yet do water buckets or grain pans, i can and do bring my beloved ducks in the house at night (i've missed them all so very much- and they have missed me too)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

and the irony is.......

i am from jersey, born and bred......
now all the good birding sites are there........

i need to figure a way to do some field trips
between bernie's graveyard shift (which he actually does like, less traffic, no interruptions to his work)....... high gas prices..... and my fibro plagued body

but if i can do a few trips during the right migratory times, i got a years worth of birds and such to paint.

i guess i would also need to really plan these trips as i would need more equipment for the camera....
memory, batteries, waterproof housing, and a telephoto lens of some sort

i wonder how much of a hassle it all would be?
this fall is out but maybe spring?
i haven't been down the shore since's been a while no?


Thursday, September 25, 2014

vitamin D ......who knew?

i am starting to feel better a bit longer.....a bit more often.
i have noticed that the vitamin d seems to be working.
i am also sleeping a tiny bit better
i think a part of it is that a lot of stress is off me as well.
i had to stop with the gabapentin though cause i am not sure that was helping me at all...just gave me nightmares...i feel better without it

one of my friends on fb mentioned that all the fibro patients (of which she is one) have low d
and in further research i found a lot of people that got improvements adding high d and b-12
the doctor has me on 50K once a week, and i found that if i take it monday, thursday is a good day...
the endo added more d daily...and i am having better days more often
but then again i was severely deficient in d--
yesterday was rough but today i was able to get some exercise in..(VERY LIGHT) and some stretches too.....
so that's getting closer to a more normal day for me
i long to be able to take my ducks out myself
and garden again......
meanwhile, i have other news......looks like i get insurance october 1.... so that should be just in time for the endo
we'll see
meanwhile.... today i am here and there.... a bit more energy.....a lot less pain...
so i am going to be keeping this up
and hoping for more improvement

oh and one other thing... getting chilled or cold is NOT A GOOD THING AT ALL
totally not
i have to keep my muscles warm or i have problems
i ended up with a few quilts on the bed last night..... and until i got them on the bed my knees and legs were killing me..once i got my legs warmed up...i fell asleep!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

study number 2 of goosey gander

study number two of the brant goose head..this one is wash and colored pencil-
those colored pencils saved my ass today.... i started to lay down the washes and for some odd reason......i messed up BIG time...... could NOT get it working
so i let the paper dry and went into it with colored pencils.........
it saved what would have otherwise been a total loss.
i'm still not totally happy with this...
oh and the eyes are darker in real life (or so i suppose from the reference photos)..but they are hard to see in a painting if i make them too dark so this is the 'artistic' license part. i will give the colored pencils this...... they sure do make rendering texture easy.... wow the textures of the neck/breast feathers NEVER were that easy.... omg ....... and the cheek feathering and highlights....... ditto.. so here is my second study...
i am most likely going to do a third head then a composite of body poses and then go for the layout of the 'real' painting

meanwhile my art supply shopping list just got a couple more colored pencils added to it.... i was told to note which ones i used and make sure i always had extra (thank goodness blick has open stock on them)
i really do appreciate the ability to use the colored pencils when a painting is going south, like this one was...... i also thought i was going to have a very large learning curve, but i guess i did so much drawing with graphite pencils when i was a kid that i sort of just am able to shift that knowledge over.
good colored pencils do a lot of the work for you?

meanwhile i got a sweet comment from the girl that won this years federal duck stamp competition ....... i had mentioned her yesterday on the blog ( i really am so proud of her winning, even though i don't know her, i do like her work.) i am so glad to see more female folk painting ducks and wildlife subjects, and i like to see the girls win the traditionally almost all male competitions.

let's see..... we're waiting to hear if i am going to get insurance again... thinks will be super tight if i do but i desperately need to be monitored with this fibromyalgia.
i should have been monitored for the pcos and adrenal thing all my life but well things happen....
the fibro is different.. cause of the meds they put you (me) on
anyway...yeah i know .... two posts in two days
i may even post again tomorrow if like the study

well there you go
have a good week's the beginning of our weekend cause monday and tuesday are bernie's days off

Saturday, September 20, 2014

goosey goosey gander.......

brant goose
pale bellied
head study
i've started research on brant geese.....which are tiny little birds about the size of mallard ducks.
they are ocean/salt marsh birds and we get them down the coasts during migrations.
the one on the east coast is the pale bellied or atlantic brant
there are a few others.......
they eat eelgrass, seagrass, and forage in fields near the shore. (vegetarians)
anyway.....i have a ways to go with my studies as i've never seen these guys in person..... which sucks, as i don't 'know' a bird well unless it's in person. so i am trying by doing a few studies to get near to a credible rendering.

meanwhile in duck stamp news... a woman won it! she's only the third woman in 75 years!!!!!
her name is Jennifer Miller and i don't even know her but i am so proud of her...she won with a pair of ruddy ducks. ........

now a couple of years ago....someone said about my work 'why ever do you paint ducks' answer then was 'that is what i have around me, what i see and love every day' and i do so love my ducks-- i never knew there were other people out there that loved and painted!

ok now, in other news, i put up a stewing chicken and did stock.... and it was perfect timing as our bake element in the oven blew up the other night. so i ordered a new one online and it'll be here monday or tuesday.    meanwhile we have 'stove top' meals and soups.

as to the fibromyalgia, i am trying to learn my way around it..... ok well it's been ongoing i suppose. i will say that the 50,000.units of vitamin D weekly helps a lot and i added b complex and extra b12. plus a D3
i really was terribly deficient with the D way way below the lowest on the scale thingie.... it does help me to take the D supplements-- now that being said i did something to my back... so while i am better that is giving me fits.... it almost feels like i twisted my pelvis again.. and dislocated it but yet it doesn't hurt as bad as when i did the dislocated pelvis...but it does hurt and it's hard to stand up and walk.

meanwhile summer is winding down..... fall is starting in..... and i am hoping for an easy winter
so we'll see about that

anyway let me know how you all like that goose
and better yet if you have seen them in person, let me know how i did ok?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

october blue september

it's cool out and blue skies and pretty sunlight through the still green leaves
with happy ducks
bernie i believe repaired the chimney to the furnace
he went to the havc place so we'll see how it goes
Susan was/is very concerned about me being up all night stoking the wood stove like i have done now what? 10 years? almost?
she is so right though, i don't think i can do it this year
last winter almost killed me...... i was so very very sick
i called the wood guy to ask for a reserve of 6 cords
i haven't heard back so i'll call tomorrow
i am never ok until the wood is in for the winter

and since tis the season......we got apples...... they were on a seasonally great sale so we got a lot of apples
i am happily eating one a day until i break down and make the apple sauce for the freezer
we now need a huge sale on butter and the extra $ to stock the freezer with....i need to get back to baking
meanwhile... my cortisol levels are elevated .....umm yeah so that is not really news to me, that sort of is the norm
and i am making my way through fibro.....we have discovered that at least 10 hours or more of rest is required may not make me have more energy but at least it brings the pain down to a dull roar
vitamin d helps too
actually i found that if i take the 50K units of the dr rx vitamin d on monday..... thursday is going to be a GREAT day...
so i am trying to plan cooking for thursdays
i am going to add daily vitamin d as well-- the endo suggested 2000 -5000k a day
i ordered b-12 and b-complex as well......
i'll try it.
heat helps too..... heating pads....sitting in maureen's car today which was pretty warm, that helped
the hot shower this morning helped to unstiffen me
but stairs are still a nightmare....i climb them to the bathroom and to bed but i can't do the up and down like i used to at the moment to the basement or the freezers

and the freezers....... ok my split pea soup was to have gone and maybe one container may yet make it down but i am eating a bowl daily
it was the BEST split pea i have ever made and i've been making it for 40 years!

carrot/celery/onion diced very fine (used the food processor cause i couldn't chop long).... melted in butter
add beef stock (what i had on hand ...normally i use chicken) and the cleaned split peas
simmer until the peas break down..... add cubed potatoes ( i used red but i would rather yukons) and salt/pepper/ parsley
cook until the potatoes are tender....
serve with a swirl of heavy cream and be prepared to not be able to stop eating it

i also made chicken and dumplins that day...but that didn't even really last the supper...bernie ate and ate and ate and ATE
one tiny bowl left over for me for lunch.......

i need more soupies in the freezer..... i would like chili, and more split pea........
and of course stocks.....chicken, beef and turkey...ham stock is good too once in a while

so there you in the little stone house in the woods

Saturday, September 13, 2014

it's a soup day

cold and rainy....
so i put up soup...two pots since i had to use the food processor to do the veggies ....
one is chicken and dumplins (the fall tradition of putting that up in the le creuset soup pot.....gees i love that pot)
and one of split pea in my very favorite small stock pot
it was relatively easy for me
although the pots are heavy right now
i'll thank myself later when i have soup in the freezer
really it's so cold i should do a break in firing of the woodstove but i'm going to hold off until bernie cleans the chimney

in painting news my wood ducks are finished....and they do look good
i am about as pleased with them as i ever am with any of my paintings.... although there are selected areas that i do like
i am starting to look at the next one in the series now.
i am considering brant goose

i have to do some research on the brant goose and learn it's habitat and life style first
meanwhile today i am cooking
and if i recover a bit of energy i will do some cleaning of my work bench

i have to say... the vitamin d that the doctor gave me is helping a lot more then the fibro meds are

Monday, September 08, 2014

cool fall weather

detail- wood ducks
wonderful fall weather
i love fall but i am not as able to enjoy it this year as i'm so worried about getting the wood in for winter and the furnace done
i am painting wood ducks--- that is a detail from the bigger painting......i'm much further along now
i took a break to update the gallery site and upload some of the new work ....then send the link to an agent, i looked at their stable and they may be able to use what i do.... so we'll see
i got finished last night about midnight-ish so emailed it all off early this morning (1 AM !!!!!)
meanwhile today i am back to painting wood ducks and of course thinking of what i am going to do for the remainder of this series and what's next
i have so many going..... the migratory waterfowl, upland game birds, more shore birds, the paper dolls..and i am going to do another human series.... plus the ongoing teacups (i've got to get to the antique place to pick up a few more)
i'm also slowly working the studio over
i moved some things around already..... bernie needs to help me a bit with the big stuff but i am slowly getting more space in my little corner.

funny, it was never that cramped when i was sculpting porcelain over there
two big things that need to be addressed is where i photograph, and where i cut paper

well is our saturday, bernie was going to mow the lawn this morning but the mower didn't work.. he's sleeping now..
i'm not waking him up, but i image he will get up around 6 like he does normally for work
so i am still painting my wood ducks

oh and i emailed sennelier to ask for a physical color chart-- something to keep by the drafting table.... i have my m graham, and the windsor newton (which is actually painted out!...they sent it to me)
i have decided i need more paint....although i hate to get it ....i don't like a lot of paint around, as it's too confusing for me, but there are some blues i think i really need and i can't mix
possibly some raw umbers as well
and a few more ochres .....some brown some red, one green all ochres..
i need some more brushes too
if i can't get the dragon tongue brushes from cheap joes i am going to get the liners and lizard licks from rosemary & co
i might try kalish again, with their reservoir  liners but maybe not...i wasn't too impressed with the tips on the brushes i got from them
i am making them work but i'm not happy with them
i do however really like the rosemary & co brushes....
i still adore the cheap joes dragons tongue when they are back in stock i am so going to stock up

meanwhile we are also talking about a new computer for just working with the photos etc of my make the digital files for printing etc.
all the advice i'm getting from the other artists is go with either a MAC or get a gaming pc
they warned me to get a LOT of ram memory.... 64G is best
so we're still talking
cause that is a huge investment and also it's going to have to have a spot that isn't around the woodstove

ok enough of a break......wood ducks call me

Thursday, September 04, 2014

the ducks ran amuck

two of the younger ducks got out this morning, bernie didn't latch their pen door well enough
and the little hellions snuck out..... and tried to spring misha...
but they were peeping and squeaking in joy very very loudly
right below the window i work in front of
can you say BUSTED......yup they sure were

i went down and two little duckies wanted to be picked up and cuddled
so of course i did...
and kissed them soundly.....and took them for a walk
they decided to run down the slope to the old pen which right now has a hornets nest in it so no one can use it....
i got them eventually to come back up the hill
gees i love those ducks
but they were very bad ducks today

anyway....i got a couple of phone calls from friends today
now usually phone calls don't happen
everyone emails or texts (i can text from the laptop as i don't have a cell)

so having actual conversations was a very nice thing
the massive doses of vitamin d are helping a tiny bit
the wood duck painting is progressing
and for now........ things are good

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

the weirdest dreams i SWEAR

i sort of woke up in a dream...... i was in a sleigh with 4 full grown female reindeer pulling it
back in fairlawn but on the other side of our hill
i realized i needed a brake (or a drag) so that the sleigh didn't run over my reindeer going DOWN the other side of the hill
so i left them sorta hanging out on some strangers lawn.... at night
and then terrified...walked up to a man i didn't know at night .....alone
and asked for help for my team of reindeer

yup i got weird dreams

it wasn't even december in the dream
but there i was driving a team of reindeer
but no sack of toys
no red suit
actually it wasn't even winter so wtf is up with the whole sleigh thing?
anyway, i was up after this dream cause bernie was sick
he'd been splitting some logs we had and he got hurt
i'm not sure what he did but his stomach was killing him.....not his arms or back so i basically stayed up the rest of the night.....

meanwhile back on earth
i am further along with the wood duck painting- but i am at the stage of 'i hate it'
i will as usual push through until either it's finished or i can't stand looking at it one more second

i am also trying to move some of the stuff around the studio myself...
bernie never seems to have time and i have to get a place to cut paper etc...

i am also thinking....i have to thin out my beloved books......
that is like killing off children to me
so slowly....... (is there a 12 step program for avid readers who can't let go of a book?)

i actually need to make myself another goal list
but everything right now takes way too much effort, and i am very very tired all the time

but this too i'm sure will pass like corn right?
even with fibro, it doesn't last forever, right?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

wood ducks

well i did start the wood ducks yesterday
at least the stormy sky washes are started

i also did up a big batch of curried chicken in sauce which knocked me totally out
i did about 10 pounds
normally i do 120 pounds
10 pounds?........... i was laid low by 10 POUNDS of chicken?

i had a super rough night
and not a good morning

then i found some tiny flies in the microwave.....again WTF?
so i cleaned the microwave, and boiled a ton of water in it
next is boiling vinegar in it
i know i cleaned it not all that long ago so the only think i can think of is that half a blueberry muffin that i forgot in there yesterday
 (it's called fibro fog........really? omg )

any way, today is looking like rain, and i am in a lot of discomfort
i am going to paint in a few minuets

meanwhile i need to cut paper again, i think i better cut quarter sheets out of at least 10 full sheets which of course will give me 40 paintings
i need to get more black paper too..... and soon so i can cut that before winter (cause i use the woodstove to cut paper on, as it's the right naturally during heating season that is not an option)

my friend susan made a good point too about heating.....
that i am going to be hard pressed to get up at night to stoke the stove during the winter
right now the furnace is out of commission
as not only does it need to be cleaned but the connector between it and the chimney rusted out (no doubt due to lack of use and the moisture in the basement)
i guess we need to also get that chimney cleaned an inspected.....make that both chimney's inspected

and i am thinking while we're at it the kero heaters that should have been cleaned at the end of last heating need to be gone over and gotten ready too

oh man bernie is not going to be a happy i am going to have to see if i can at least do the kero heaters instead of him doing them

i know one is not too wick and clean the tank and it should be ok (it needs to be burnt out too)
the other one is going to be a bit more of a headache i think.....that one is a corona (top of the line--- we also have an aladdin..... radiant one)
bernie was going to toss them but i rescued them and after being reconditioned they will work better then anything on the market today

you know...... i am realizing more and more that bernie is a lot like my dad... dad never did maintain stuff nor finish stuff (we had a pencil stuck in the plumbing for as long as i can of dad's fixes)

anyway...that is the state of the pre heating herron household at this moment

Thursday, August 28, 2014

and the official word is.......

drum roll please......

i had a friend 30 years ago that had it and i swear i never would have thought i would end up there .....
we knew however but now it's official.

i got meds for it ...... we don't really have  much hopes for the meds but ok
they are anti seizure meds

meanwhile i am almost back to being hydrated, i had two nightmare days of almost no fluids, which made this mornings blood draw fun fun fun.......
the lab tech had to get it from two different places... she tapped me once and after only one vile the blood just stopped
so she tapped my hand too

i have to run for my glasses on friday, and then my final medical appointment before i lose the insurance sunday.......

so that's really what i have been busy taking care of....
after i get a chance to settle down, i have wood ducks to start working on
then i am considering a goose painting

listen someone had to sort of hold me accountable....i need to get these jpegs into a pdf file
and i am really having a lot of trouble getting it done or started
(also i could sure use a much better computer to do it on too)
but considering that my first computer had a HUGE 30G harddrive (at a time when 10G was the norm)....and this laptop has 250g ...........

the advice i was given about the graphic computer, was to get a gaming computer with as much ram as i could get........ a really good graphics card...... then make sure i had two back up harddrives, a wacom tablet, stylish and duel LARGE 27'' monitors
or an imac 27'' and add my own expanded hardrives

maybe i should set up a fund ? oye

update on the insurance, i can get coverage monday so no lapse but the old insurance won't give me an end dated letter until AFTER the end date and the new insurance won't let me in until i have that letter stating that i lost coverage

we so need socialized medicine, cause this is really insane
oh and i found out that the insurance marketplace companies are subtly maneuvering to limit coverage for people that actually need to use it- preferring of course to just get premiums paid to them without having to actually put any thing out---- things like this discourage me greatly

Saturday, August 23, 2014

did you ever wake in a vile mood

and can't quite figure out why?
then everything seems to exasperate it? today

i came down to a mess in the crate from calpurrnia..... a horrific mess
and rain
heavy at times but unrelenting rain

to a couple of what should have made me happy but somehow got me more annoyed things
like a gift card to olive garden (hate italian food OUT...... we make it right ...and we make it at home)
which bernie chose even though he knows i don't eat italian food out

then bernie had planned on an omlet for himself....but since i was down he realized he probably should offer to me too...... only to find out there were just 2 eggs.......

one thing after another and it's all seemed to rub me the wrong way
not to mention litter boxes need to be cleaned
as calpurrnia pissed on the floor again

oh man.......
i should do a restart on this day i think

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

bucket lists and fast paintings

well that was FAST, i did a pair of bufflehead ducks on black paper
it took me less then two days from start to finish
(and showed me how timid i am with using darks on white paper or how lazy i am.....either way)

so now i am making another series decision.....i'll sleep on it and let you all know

onto bucket lists
i don't really have one i think

a few things i would love would be
to build a deltec house/studio
have a better garden and small barn (and small farm animals with some help) along with a small orchard
have a subscription to a philharmonic and also to a ballet company (probably for yearly performances ) with GOOD seats ....not in the nose bleed section or the telescope section......
and be able to got out to a nice restaurant prior (even though i'm really not crazy about going out to eat)
get back to the Met at christmas for the angel tree
finally have a dedicated library room with a pair of wing back chairs.....and ottomans

see not really much of a bucket list
just some things i basically have dreamt of all my life-- to me that is the good life
i wouldn't mind some travel as long as it was to go to places to see birds, or places like longwood gardens or some museums that i would just DIE for to see
but i am uncomfortable out of the house so a lot of travel is not for me..... maybe a weekend once in a while

i realized it today, that the measure i have of success, the measure of a happy and good life, are things like this
and we've done too little of them in the past few years (although we were to longwood not too long ago)

i need to talk to bernie about this cause we need to see what we can do to bring some of that into being
he actually likes those things too which would surprise folks if they meet him in real life- but he adores western european paintings! and he's got a good eye for them too.... along with a good sense of color and composition- you wouldn't think it until you see him in front of a painting..... and you ask him what he thinks...
he doesn't use the 'buzz' words.... just plain english...but he's right in what he's saying and a trip through a museum with him is something that will get you seeing with fresh eyes
(don't believe me? take him to a museum!)

anyway... today the local philharmonic has their early bird discount seasonal tickets on sale... and all i can do is sigh......

Sunday, August 17, 2014

2nd whistling duck done.....

and it's better then the first but i am not happy with it totally either.
so now either i move on to buffelhead or do yet another whistling duck.....(until i either want to pull my eyes out or i get to know them like i know my muscovys)

and speaking of my ducks.....they were calling me this morning while bernie was putting them out
so i had a bit more energy and went down to them
amelia and pru wanted nothing more then mommy hugs and pets and kisses.....which they got..... then mommy took them on a walk to the worm field for a treat
amelia was so happy that she was giving me duck kisses as often as she could
falstaff was so thrilled to see me he came over to tell me all about how happy he was.... he told me about the summer and the girls and the bugs he's eaten (that's big news to a duck)
i told him how much i missed him and how handsome he was, and how glad i am that he's still alive (he is an extremely long lived duck......we estimate him to be about 10-12 now.....
misha was trying to decide if she liked me or not
and lilli and phoebe made a point of ignoring me....... POINTEDLY
gawd i love those ducks

i did expend all my energy though going down there and back.
i was hoping to have enough energy to make split pea soup for the freezer today but right now i can't even think of it as i am too tired
even if i use the little food chopper to do the onion/celery/carrot........
i'm just way too tired
exhaustion like this is something i would never have believed i would ever deal with, it's so bad at time i literally can not put one foot in front of another, the muscles just won't obey

i had hoped to get to the bottom of this and get some help but now it would seem that's on hold again
so we'll see what happens

the weather has warmed up again, just like bernie told me...... yesterday i was in fleece and a wool hat, today it's warm and humid and i am debating on the fan or the AC!
but really right now, i could so go back to bed for a while, i would too if bernie wasn't sleeping
i've expended what energy i had for typing now so i'll say good bye for today
take good care

Thursday, August 14, 2014

wow!!! the town is putting in part of a new driveway for us....!

to ease the big step that they have in front of our upper driveway.......
and the guys doing it were very polite and professional
YES that is what i love to see......accountability i went to file for new insurance..... keep your fingers crossed that i can get it at a price i can actually truly afford
meanwhile bernie is to go to take his test for the third endorsement on his inspection license next thursday-
that school called last night and they seemed to be confused..... and accused him of cutting school!
however he's only signed up for the test....they told him he wasn't supposed to take the actual class....

up and down up and down......reminds me of mendelson's midsummer's night dream (when the fairies sing 'up and down')

i spoke to my doctors office today and we're trying to get the lab tests figured out that i need before this insurance runs out-
it looks like there is going to be a lapse in coverage ...... then we're not sure about pre-existing....... it could be there is not anymore stigma for that
or maybe there still is
either way this is nervous making

so i put down my paint brush for now... i will say the amount of dread i had doing all this paperwork etc...... really was 1000 times worse then the actual doing...... but don't think the doing of the paperwork was easy, or wasn't
and it was nerve wracking
so now we wait, and i am terrible with that

ok the other thing is..... i am seriously (yes again) considering putting up a link to let folks buy prints of my paintings....
if that is something you folks maybe interested in..... please let me know either by email (there is a link to email me at the middle right) or let me know in the comments
i know that an astonishing amount of folks are asking me for prints.... (astonishing to me anyway)

i am also still working towards licensing.... and maybe even the duck stamp competitions...
why not? i'll be painting anyway right?
so let me know ok?

now back to your regularly scheduled day......

Monday, August 11, 2014

about half way done with the 2nd painting

and i SWEAR i need to SEE whistling ducks in person cause they are giving me fits
the center duck in this painting has a great head but i'm not sure about how feathery his back is
the front one at this point looks good

meanwhile it's our saturday (yes it's everyone else's monday)
i am going nuts looking for my birth certificate, i know i have the original, and at least two copies
i need it this week and i can't find it!
i may have to order a new one from jersey!

and to add to things......
we are trying to decide which state to focus on for retirement.......
i wanted new hampshire....... bernie is not too thrilled with the amount of snow my friend karen gets up there .....but i like the idea of no income tax and no fracking so clean water-- and where she is.....they have a traveling/visiting nurse that comes to the house.. among other things
its a nice area
if money was no object, i would say rhinebeck ny first (rhinebeck sheep and wool is important to me)
or somewhere in mass...... somewheres quaint, with artists
or new hampshire (tamworth area i think)
or bucks county nearer to philly
or near williamsburg va

those are my dream retirement areas

a lot of our friends are in one or the other of the carolinas....... i really don't like the south but i was assured that in the mountains of NC there are a lot of us northerners, and there are a lot of artists, plus sugar maples and some snow...... ok so they got my attention with the artists and the sugar maples

i don't want to go west, i have a thing about tornados.... earthquakes..... mud/land slides..... and either excessive drought or excessive rain
pretty much leaves out anything north of middle pennsylvania
i wouldn't mind pa if some of the taxes/government changed...... and we moved a bit south or a bit north.... but definitely out of this area (so south it would be.... probably closer to quakertown)
but bernie doesn't want to stay here
we need to really start thinking about this soon so i can start to do the research and target some areas....
i would like to learn about a few different areas and then go see them for a week or so to see how it really is
although you don't really know until you are actually living there

i do know i would like to build if we can...... and i would like a round house with solar....
and a flat piece of land...
i want a much bigger studio...
and i want open big open room with the bedroom/bath in another room, that fits us
we always tend to hang out where ever i put my one big open room is perfect

we're talking about it back and forth.......but until we decide on a WHERE.......we can't decide on a when or how....
ok i have to get back to  work

take care for now

Saturday, August 09, 2014

slowly fading summer

i came down to 45 degrees out on the deck this morning
while it's a relief to me, (as i can't go 80 degrees much) it's also the beginning of the decent into fall
which while normally my favorite season
this year i am a bit worried as we don't have nearly the wood in for winter, and at this point, any wood we got in now wouldn't begin to be ready until january
detail -black bellied whistling duck

but i am enjoying the cooler temps

today i will be back in the studio...... painting black bellied whistling ducks
and i know that there are a few people that want to buy prints, and i am getting there
i am reconsidering printing from here and wondering about a commercial online print on demand.
i now have the means to do the digital files ........although i am not sure if i need color balance on the monitor or not ......that i don't have yet
also next in the line up i think will be mallards or teals for ducks, i plan on doing at least 6 of the migratory ducks, followed by a trip out to the bird farm to research and study the upland game birds, and the orpington chicken breeds for their respective series.
sometime in the next few months i need to start an acrylic painting area as well..... at least right now that is part of the idea.... and move my small easel for gouache and colored pencil to it's own area too... i am not looking forward to acrylics, but oils will take way too long to dry for some of the paintings i have planned.. and that takes way too much space

i've also got those paper dolls to finish, i would like the figures themselves to be die-cut around their outlines and on heavier coated stock.... i'll have to see about that...... however that was always the intention....and i need to get their stories written...... to be bound (i hope) in tiny books to go with them-- that would be something that would interest me, so i imagine someone else would really like that as well.
if/when we move (yeah i been wanting to move for FOREVER, but i think we maybe closer to it-as i don't want to stay here in pa in retirement unless the government here changes drastically) my next studio must be on a slab as i want to add an etching press and those things weigh a quarter ton...... maybe half a ton - i think the one in school was like 1600 pounds..... and you need space for that so the next studio maybe has to be 30 X 24 at least.. almost double the size of this one...and i want skylights next time

so that is sort of what is going through my head today......
visions of various series, new studios..... paper dolls and ducks......
it's not easy being me

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

second times the charm?

we'll see
i started the second whistling duck painting, masking off my ducks and laying in the far shore, lake and foreground water.......
i am much happier with this one
i've realized that although i do finish my dud paintings.....
i bitch about them ..........
this painting i am not bitching about...i like this one
i really like this one
so while i am having some challenges with the ducks and their back feathers...... things are going so much smoother with this painting

the weather here is not too bad for august, 80s and some humidity.... some leaves are starting to drop already...

and i have a busy week (today is our monday) as thursday and friday i have appointments about my insurance...... (and next week is labs and eye doctor)
i know when i get through with the next round of specialists i'll be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the endo told me so
i am hoping there is something to help with the extreme muscle fatigue.... exercise isn't helping at all.
rest isn't helping either...... the massive doses of vitamin d seemed to have some effect but that's been over for two months now.
i do notice if i sleep 12 hours i get some relief but who the hell can sleep that long?
well anyway......we'll see what happens

now i am going to go paint this new duck painting...... it's actually good and i am actually enjoying

Sunday, August 03, 2014

duck paintings

i scrapped the painting of the black bellied whistling ducks..i am going to do another one
i just was not happy with the two ducks in the background and the more i looked at them the more upset i got
so i scrapped it
i am going to put it in the scrap box and maybe someday i will see about either reworking it or burning it....either or
people got upset
but this is the deal....... if i cringe to look at it..... then i don't expect anyone else to look at it
so i am going to redo it or something with that species

i have a rough week ahead of me, appointments and some medical insurance problems to deal with
i am so not looking forward to this week
but it has to be done
and in addition NOW i have to figure out different/new medical insurance....and the exchange isn't open
so i am not too sure what i am going to do
i have the rheumatologist this month but i won't be able to get to any lab work or tests so that is going to be rough
also this month bernie has his bus/heavy truck inspection endorsement test- he's already got a class 1....... he needs to get class 3.... he doesn't need motorcycle so doesn't have to worry about class 2
he's had to switch his off time to take his test and we realized too late that we should have written the letter requesting two days not just the one...due to him having to work the night before and not having enough sleep prior to the test
but what is what is...... we sort of expect that he'll pass anyway as he's been doing this for years........ getting vehicles ready to pass the state inspection so he does know it already

i am also hoping this week to finally get the other work area set up in the studio....i've planned for it....showed bernie.....drawn floor plans ..measured etc
he wanted to wait until we put down floor covering...... me, knowing how that goes around here, said....... i need this workspace NOW i can't way 20 years until you get to the new flooring
(i think it's been 28 or 29 and still no kitchen countertops-if we had an ikea near i would so have installed my own wooden ones)

so that's my little world.
oh and i emailed the roadmaster of the township the mess of the roadwork out front along with the waterfall down our driveway....we'll see what happens next

Friday, August 01, 2014

i often think........(or something to incite almost everyone)

(and half my friends just fell over reading that)

about the big questions in life.... my mind, when left to it's own devices tends to drift to either quantum physics....or the big questions... who are we? where did we come from?

and over the years i've found some answers that work for me
(no religious preaching please..... one answer i found was an extreme distrust of orthodox religion and the bible )

today, in dealing with some really annoying issues relating to my medical insurance coverage..... i am again (while on endless phone hold) thinking about 'what is it all about'
we are insignificant specks of not even dust on a cosmic scale.....
and i am not so self centered to think that we are the most important things in the universe
actually i suspect we are just as important or unimportant as any amoeba or tick or rat or plant or thought or cloud on any planet anywhere in the known or unknown universe

so what makes our problems, differences, likes and dislikes so damn important?
is there a superior species shaking their heads and watching us...... like an older wiser relative?
sighing while waiting for us to grow the F*ck up?

and also as thousands of others before me.... i look up at the sky and wonder

one theory i feel is that, we are all together tiny but essential parts of the whole that makes up what folks maybe refer to as god............. it just resonates with me.
so in other words there isn't one little old man in a white nightgown in the sky watching us for any mistake we make in his contradictory rules that may or may not be written by a bunch of possibly not so well meaning scribes.....

so in other words.... the spark of divine in me and in you and in grass is all equal and equally important
and all together work together to make up, at least our part of the universe....

so maybe it's all a grand evolutionary experiment?
as there is no annihilation of energy, but just a change in form- maybe the coherence that puts that energy together in a form that i can recognize as that part that also somehow reaches out (i'm thinking something along the lines of the quantum physics theory of spooky action at a distance) and holds hands with every other drop of energy and all together make up not only 'god' but the universe

(no it's not easy being me...and i'm not all here right now, being on hold waiting for help with my insurance issue..... the muzac is lulling me into a trance)-- and after over an hour on hold....i'm still no further along with this insurance problem

lately i have been wondering why i'm bothering to work so hard at being a better artist....
i know i won't stop working hard as it's not in me to stop... i work very hard at whatever i do- partly cause..what else are you going to do with your lifetime? and partly because that's just me
(i've never been a tv person, so reading, making things, growing things, all that's what i put my energy to ** with the exception of house cleaning**)
and without constantly doing, creating, reading, walking ducks..... time would hang very very heavy on my hands

but still i wonder why at times
why anything?
i have an irresistible passion for the things i am interested in... so that keeps driving me.... but i still do wonder what ultimately it's all for

do you?