Sunday, September 30, 2007

Flakey Mermaid?

Thanks to Wandering Coyote's personality quiz find, I am a flakey mermaid. I always did want to be a mermaid.
You Are a Mermaid

You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are.
While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need.
Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational.
You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else.


Friday I volunteered for a couple of hours at the school. It was great watching the eyes of the children as they "caught on." Egads, I thought I wasn't that crazy about children, per se, but for an insane moment there I wished I was a teacher. (Yes, I am crazy about children - these amazing little people who are soaking in the world about them!)

One little boy who wanted to jump all about the computer and not stay on his lesson, I discovered, was not able to answer the questions he was supposed to answer. So, we worked from 54% correct up to 94%. It was another's turn but he was so excited about getting (and understanding) right answers, he wanted to "do it again" and try for the 100%.

After school, littlest grandson and I jumped in the car and stopped for ribs. We'll never go to Sonny's again! The chain barbecue place has gone down, down, down. I'm going to have to do barbecue ribs myself!

Then we hit the highway to see my older daughter and kids. We had a great time, despite our bad backs, attending the oldest grandson's football game. We made it and we are recuperating. He didn't get to play, but seeing him in his uniform was enough for me! We had a good Saturday visiting - the house was full of people which included two of the kids' friends.

M and I have quite an interesting mode of "visiting." We share magazines, sit on her big bed, talk, read, and she shows me nail polishes, new perfumes. Our latest rapture is the new
Russian OPI nail polish line
of dark, deep mysterious reds, blues, purples nearly black polish, but very sultry looking.

Significant other-in-law cooked all day. Chocolate cake, lemon frosted muffins, grilled hamburgers with seasoned potato wedges. The guy can cook better than anyone I ever met. He has his mother's cookbook of favorite recipes which is about four inches thick and he uses it!

We're home now, me gathering my wits together. I have a couple of phone calls to make this afternoon. I don't know why its hard for me to talk on the phone. Has the internet ruined elegant hand written letters actually mailed off through the post office (not carried in the purse for months) and long lingering phone calls? Yes, for me it has. I'm trying to be better for my friends who prefer phone calls. I still have a horrible time with letters! I cleaned my files out and I have several cards all made out and never mailed. How gauche!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Was it all Only a Nightmare? No, the drawn Blood is Evidence

I isss the leader of a three member cat gang who terrorizessss the human house until 3:30 a.m. But hisss not my fault. Psycho getssssss mad after numerous attempts at jumping up and trying to turn door knob to get out. You ssssssssseee, he hassss a job. He hisss rat killer. However, humanssss do not appreciate asss he tries to bring ded ratsss into houssssse.
So we all being mad humanssss not let usssss out ssside, we scream all night, we fights, we runsssssssss, we knock dishes off cupboard, and when human sleep, wheeeeee runsss over her and claw her bloody. You might think the Senior Meowie wasss innocent. Hisss job was to claw the new sofa. Why human grouchy thissss morning?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


While looking for work, I always see the term "must be a multi-tasker."

Is multi-tasking really an asset? New research indicates that multi-tasking might be driving us crazy, impeding our concentration and focus, resulting in reduced output in the long run and affecting the quality of work. (Notice in the picture that Shiva has her legs in a knot over her clutter! Ha, ha, my translation of the picture!)

Now, having been praised for being a great multi-tasker all my life, I can see where the new research is pretty right on. It takes a bit of self-assertion to tell people to get in line with their requests so you can focus on one at a time. Or, what about the discipline needed to help myself do paperwork by turning the TV or music off so I can do my work quickly and to the best of my ability? Or to turn off the chitter chatter of a co-worker? How many times have I looked forward to a holiday and crashed with a sickness because I was doing my work and everyone else's as well? Working longer to make up for the time lost? More than I would like to admit to.

Joyce Myers on her TV show today said that if one wants to simplify (I've been trying several years now) life, they need to get rid of clutter of all kinds. Clutter in the mind is about as hindering as clutter in the house. I agree.

The thing is, I don't know how to start. I have steadily been chopping away at my own clutter. "Knick knack" purchases have left my life many years ago. If its not functional, I don't buy it. I threw out a cupboard full of piecemeal dishes and bought a whole set. Now where all the rest that are once again cluttering my dish cupboard came from I don't know.

Perhaps the change needs to be injected into my head with a giant syringe - what do I have to prove by keeping two years of credit card billings with the check # and date of payment written on them? I dunno. If the balance is correct after two billing cycles, I would say I could throw away everything but the last two billing cycles. (I've cleaned my files--this is my new goal - 2 months only.) And so on and on and on......I sure have burned up some good meals while multi-tasking on the computer - I can see lots of havoc in my time from trying to do a million things at once.

And what to do about a house full of clutter - family members who can't throw away empty boxes or sacks, who have boxes of "stuff" sitting everywhere, and corners piled up with who knows what? Ah, Hattigrace was so right, I have to create an oasis of calm in this room somehow so I can paint. Its not wrong to be clutter people, some people just are - but its wrong for me because I get so nervous and frustrated I freeze and can't do what I need to do because it overwhelms me.

Anyone else out there in the process of simplifying? Any hints or pointers how you deal with clutter?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


If you want to read a good book(s) - go here for reviews.

My sister gave me "My Sister's Keeper." What a great book. One of those "no put downers."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday and Sunday

Milkweed from my garden - the butterflies love it!

Saturday I had a most wonderful afternoon with Hattigrace sharing art books, sipping a glass of excellent wine, and having wonderful conversation. She is encouraging me to remake study to studio. Ok, I'm starting. The task seems overwhelming as I "collect" for future art and have no storage area for me. She had some ideas for that too. Take what I want out of the magazines, catalog, and dump the rest. Rearrange some. Dump the carpet for studio resistant flooring to begin.

She produced a couple of her paintings from the back of her car and I'm so excited that she is doing so much painting. What a great sense of color! And - an art buddy! Oh happy day. I don't take out enough time for friends, and this afternoon was such a wonderful treat!

This a.m. we started out for church, but the parking lot was slogging with water from a downpour and grandson was hungry, and I said, oh well, at least we made it to the parking lot this time. I felt a twinge of guilt. But it was a quiet gentle morning anyway.

We went to IHop, then we went and walked the perimeter of the neighborhood park. We pulled wild flowers to plant in the flower garden. I got up to a huff and puff and decided the track is calling me in the mornings, every morning, hopefully.

Discipline calls me. Exercising, getting up early in the a.m. and getting busy on my long list of "to do's," clearing the study so I can do what I want, HAVE to do. Decluttering my life is a challenge as I live with extremely cluttered folks and their clutter keeps creeping in to my areas and overflows along with my clutter and ultimately the end result is that there is so much "STUFF" that there is not any room for any one's stuff. The only time I really painted consistently was when I commandeered a room in our previous home strictly for art. I'm sure there is a joke somewhere about how many hoarders does it take to drive them all crazy? But hey, is that a problem? NO. I soon will have a short review of "My Sister's Keeper" up on the Fall Read list. The book reminds me that, really, I have no problems compared to so many others.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Twenty Ways to Bug Your Parents

Conference yesterday. He's doing well, struggling in a couple of areas, but considering the materials are light years ahead of what he was doing last year, he's doing extremely well. I adore the teacher. He carefully seated him with three other boys who were great kids with good families. I noticed he is acting more his age and I think, "No wonder!" Montessori often combines varied age groups together which I could see the advantages in some areas, but not when the child is consistantly acting and year or two younger than his/her age.

He's taking piano and loving it, and is looking forward to joining choir.

He and PawPaw went walking the neighborhood for the school fundraiser and had a great time. PawPaw was puffing a bit though.

He was the greatest gentleman when my sister was here. He sometimes had some acting out problems when company was around because he liked the attention AND his routine was interrupted as well.

I don't know if this is part of Barbara Bush's initiative or President Bush's, but there is a stringent reading program the kids need to keep up with. I laughed when Sage chose a 200 page book entitled "Twenty Ways to Bug Your Parents."

The teacher is a reader! The last book they read was a story about Amelia Earhart and Eleaonor Rooseveldt. That is good. If your child can grasp a love for reading, they are guaranteed years of enjoyment and enrichment!

Favorite Breads

Mr. Anchovy posted a bread post....I told him I'd put up a recipe for Grandma's Rolls:
2 pkg dry yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup milk luke warm
1/4 cup cooking fat or oleo
2/3 cup sugar
1 TBSP salt
2 eggs well beaten
Flour to make stiff dough
Knead well - place in warm place to rise

Any more instructions than those, you need to figure out. This was from the old days of a pinch of this and pinch of that.

And........... more:

From my days on the "Rez":
Indian Fry Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup non-fat milk powder
2 TSP salt
1 TBSP Crisco
2 TSP Baking Powder

Stir together flour, nonfat dry milk powder, baking powder & salt, cut in Crisco until Crisco until mixture represents crumbs. Stir in water, divide into balls - 6" circles - let rest 10 minutes. Deep fry.

Sopapillas (Mexican version of deep-fat Fried Bread):
4 cups flour
1 1/2 TSP salt
1 TSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Granulated sugar
1 TBSP shortening
1 cake yeast or pkg yeast
1/4 C warm water
1 1/4 cup scalded milk

Combine the dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add to scaled milk that is cooled to room temperature. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Pour liquid into well of dry ingredients to make dough. Knead dough 15 to 20 times and set aside for approximately 10 min.

Roll Dough to 1/4" thickness or slightly thinner - cut & deep fry.

Add to all of these a pinch of magic that it takes to make really good bread.

The Indian Fry bread is a great treat with chili. I used to make it and throw it into a big brown paper bag, salt it, and our family would EAT! Sopapillas are traditionally eaten with honey - but we prefer the salt treatment as well.

These look like cholesterol-ville - well how come my Grandma lived to be 101? And was not overweight? Her favorite salad dressing was bacon grease.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ground Zero

This ..........ack, I can't even talk about it. The article speaks for itself.

Semi Tropical Spiders

This is a view to the outside from my study window. Not too long ago, the palms were babies.

One of the disadvantages of living in a semi tropical climate is this very nasty spider bite I've been wrestling with for several weeks. It is still painful and itching as well. I've called the doctor and will pick up my meds today. Then I'll go in to the office next week so he can access the damage and treat accordingly. I was sick for a week a while back and am wondering if perhaps the two are associated. Anyway its creeping me out. It's probably a good thing I was on antibiotics for something else when this thing took a bite out of me.

There is a "new" spider in the panhandle, but as my friend said, I would have to put my foot in the toilet to get bit. Then I wouldn't be around to tell about it. The little white spider with red dots on its tummy lurks under toilet seats. One man not too far from here died from its bite. A warning has gone out to look before you sit!

Mostly I am afraid of the Brown Recluse which is so prevalent around the country. While looking up spider bites to identify this bite, I ran across something called a Cone Spider. That was a horrible looking sight to behold.

Once, at my older daughter's house, we looked out the bedroom window to see a beautiful yellow and black spider about the size of a coffee cup saucer. It's web was HUGE! After it was disposed of, I found out it was a common garden spider - a "good fellow"

Well, I have a major stack of paperwork to work my way through, so I better get to work - at least take a shower, spiff up a bit, and grab a cup of coffee to make it easier!

And last, but not least, I have a growing fall reading list, but can't find where to post it to join the reading club.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Well, as usual I'm musing and mulling. Just returned from a "Loved Ones" luncheon at boy's school. I'm always touched by the kids whose parents haven't shown up for the special plays, etc. Their eyes are always searching with hope, and then too often dim with disappointment. The boy was looking glum, but lit up like a candle when he spied us. We had a great lunch, his teacher joined us for a few minutes. Nice guy - ex Marine I hear.

Back to sisters - we had a step sister, Maxine, much older than us. I loved it when she and her husband came to our home for a visit.

For me, home was rather like an orphanage where I felt I wasn't worth anything unless I worked hard, cooked, and worked hard some more. Perhaps that contributed to my need to have an orderly, clean space to live in and my need to see family members doing something else besides lying in bed watching TV.

We always felt special when beautiful Maxine and her handsome husband were there. That's about the only time we felt special. Maxine died from emphysema in 2004. I wasn't able to be there, but my sister that visited me was. One time I went to visit sister in the Pacific Northwest. We drove over the mountains to see Maxine. We didn't tell her we were coming, because she always felt she had to have first class accommodations for guests. She was on oxygen then. When we walked in the door, she about fainted. She cried, she said she didn't think she would get to see me before she died. It was good.

My sister who visited - oh, we didn't get along too well when we were kids. I often considered her a pest. My mother worked evenings, so it seemed as if we were alone together most of the time. We fought. I chased her with her biggest fear - actual spider webs. We fought often. We had to fight in a sneaky manner because of a very, very strict stepdad. (He was sister's "real" dad so I felt she had special favors.) In reality, he had been in the service and ran the house as an army captain or whatever they are called would run his troops.

I had guilt for years because I didn't protect her from some traumatic events, but then after a while I realized I was a child and couldn't protect myself OR her.

After we had children and she had went through a terrible divorce (the first one) she came to stay with me in Iowa for about six weeks. I was a "back to the earth" person. The kids and I lived out of the garden. So we gardened, we partied some, we made all our Christmas presents, dozens of cookies, that year and had Christmas together. I cooked and cooked. I love to cook.

It was the time of our knitting of our hearts together. I found out she was stricter than I - I laughed when one of the little ones smeared herself in cold cream and we found her sitting in the middle of the bed looking at us through all the layers of cream with big blue eyes.

That's when we began talking into the night(s). We worked out a lot of our childhood problems - or at least identified them. We knew there was a lot of work ahead. For some reason none of us are born to perfect parents, or very few anyway.

So, we have developed a bond of closeness. I so wish we were closer geographically - but its those adorable grandbabies that keep us anchored in our places. We talked once of moving in together when we were old. Of growing apple trees and gardens. In a cabin on the magnificent Skagit River. We would wear blue jeans, rubber boots, and flannel shirts, fish, and rock in rockers on the porch in the twilight. I would have my cats and she her dogs. Then the sun would set.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Good Time

Well, my sister left on the airplane today. We had fun and we talked, talked, talked, talked and talked. Didn't do as much as we wanted to - wanted to drive down the coast across Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. We didn't make it. My stamina loss makes me angry and frustrated. I wish she could have stayed a month and so we could have done more.

We did a lot though. Just about single-handedly, she finished my flower garden in two evenings. We planted a trumpet bush (the yellow flower). I love it! The pinkish red flowers are "Shrimp" flowers. We bought some blue flowered bushes also. All of these can be propagated to make more. Hopefully next spring the day lillies will thrive as well and I can double the flowers in the planted area and it will become lush. ALL weeds are gone. The compost is spread and pine straw placed on top to keep in the moisture and protect the plants. Looking out my kitchen window and seeing the garden finally finished (here it is fall already) makes me smile!

One morning we sat in the back drinking our coffee and watched the damselflies and dragonflies doing their dances. The "love bugs" are out - once a year the air fills with little love crazy black and orange bugs flying about two by two.

We would forget to eat until one of us felt yucky. Then we'd have something freshly grown from the market. Or oysters. Or catfish. Or cheese grits. She rode with me as I made my medical appointments. We watched "Labyrinth." We drank wine. I miss her so much already.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Great Internet Quiz!

You're The Guns of August!

by Barbara Tuchman

Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what
causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they
really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing
with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in
the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Is this really me?

Friday, September 14, 2007


My sister now has her blog set up. Everyone is invited to visit.

She is Dirt Road Blues 2.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Week Up to Now

Received a wonderful package from candyminx - collaged postcards which are all mini pieces of art. Each one as I look at it forms into meaning for me. What wonderful fun. I finally part with one of them for my sister, who is also gazing at them absorbing the meanings she finds in them. There was also a wonderful 'Zine that was art as well.

Weather hot and humid. She wants to drive deep into Louisiana. ("H" walked in just now to inform me that there was a hurricane there yesterday.) Anyway, I'm finding my fragile points in stamina as I want to stay up talking about everything into the wee hours of the night and do everything so she can enjoy the area. We would like to drive the coast all the way over.

She is getting my Maine Coon to eat - he's too skinny. It's a shy breed. The others run and gobble - he stands aloof waiting for the others to eat so he can eat undisturbed. The only thing is the greedy little creatures will follow him from bowl to bowl thinking the food is better in the other dishes. I told her he didn't like people food. I was wrong - he likes people food fed to him with people hands. Oh la, Prima Dona Cattuh.

We went to an Irish Pub and had the hugest best flavored hamburgers ever. Today will run some paintings out to a business owner who asked that I bring some buy. A sale? That would be encouraging. I'm hoping I can pick the best ones out and am feeling amatuerish for not having a stock of frames to pop them into before showing them.

And perhaps we will find a snack of Oyster Poboy. Southernstyle.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My sisserbae issa cominae.

I received a phone call about three hours ago. My sister was stuck somewhere in airplaneville. I said, "HUH?" "Thought you were coming tomorrow."

She laughs.

I have the days mixed up. It is tonight. Well, there is a delay in the middle flight. Three airplanes and two layovers to fly from west coast to the east coast and back west again to the destination? Maybe tonight.

This is the sister and I who talk the weird language to each other. Thanks to Jodie Foster and a need to keepa hubsands frooon kanowing whatta wasbe takin bout. Sometimes I swear we should be on stage somewhere as when we get together the comedy hour starts.

I will never forget the night I had on satin black pants and a leopard skin top and she had a dress on. We went out for some fun. Started popping champagne corks on the way to Des Moines. Will never forget Sisty falling down the Capitol Building steps (hope I got the right capitol/capital?). She had on really good nylons, they didn't even rip. Later the wild Irishman futures broker I was dating was running across the street carrying me on his back and dropped me to the pavement shredding some really cool satin pants. Oh well. Those were the days.

I guess I better go and think of something for her to eat when she gets here. Airplane food has disintegrated from pretty good meals to six peanuts and one-fourth of a coke or other beverage. She'll be hungry. Isabee excitabe.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Bags, bags, bags, I love bags. Back in job world, I would be the only employee with a handbag or a purse, and a bag. Yah, I know - a big fashion "no no." I don't care. I still don't understand how anyone can get by without a largish bag. This is the bag I currently crave.

What do I carry in them? Let's see - there is the utility work "bag." In it, will be a bottle of water or two, a tube of lotion, medicine, crackers and an apple in case you get caught and can't go to lunch or dinner, an umbrella in case it rains, a plastic bag of ice (for my back and you can also chew it if you have anemia) and mail I've grabbed from the P.O. box.

Then, of course, a beach bag is a must, especially if you are a spur of the moment beach goer. Or, in case Fabio calls up and wants to meet you in Aruba, you are ready! In it, is a bathing suit, two beach towels, sun screen, a tube of insect repellent just in case the sand flies are biting, a comb, lipstick, hairspray, a small mirror, a small purse for money, a book or two, and sometimes ice cold grapes, and oh - yeah the water bottles. Camera at the last minute. And, more mail.

Then, the art bag - with a sketch pad, pencils, chalk, and camera, and somehow extraneous paper creeps in there as well.

Then there is a travel bag - a shorter, leopard or zebra print version of the gym bag - for short trips.

The empty canvas bag with strong handles - for trips to the stores - just a small pitch for the environment - one less plastic bag used.

The meeting bag. Any state but the previous one I was in, a briefcase can be the "meeting bag." In the meeting bag - bottled water, a steno pad, mechanical pencils and a pen or two, business cards, (yeh, yeh, should carry a brief case - but didn't want to appear too business like - that is not appreciated where I was in that other State). Even attorneys, like true frontiersfolk carried their files in their arms, but never briefcases. In fact, I was warned right off early by a well meaning associate, that I should "ditch the bag." I found out it was not because there was a prejudice against bags, just a general prejudice against "commie environmentalists." My bag said "Save Our Last Wild Places." Ooops, treason.

So, obviously I drew the conclusion - a bag can define who you are. Thus, partially thus, my craving for the gorgeous bag that I have linked above. Fabio, feel free to add this as a wee gift for me when we take our spur of the moment island trip.

The ideal situation is a bag large enough to hold any assortment of carriables AND a small purse.

Any other bag people out there?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Shredding of Yesterdays

Here's my "do" - doesn't it look great? The best part of this is, I hadn't even combed it after getting out of bed when my daughter caught me with the camera. See, before becoming an acrylics artist, hattigrace has been a hair artist. And, indeed to get a decent cut, etc., one needs a hair ARTIST.

I've been working at my desk. Condensed one plastic file box into another one. I'm shredding two years of receipts from Wyoming. As the last rent receipt went down the shredder, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. No, that was a figure of speech. A load is lifting from my heart.

Life is so dratted interesting. And hard. Yet, we hang on to it with every shred of our being.

As I sit here feeling "lighter" somehow, I have to relate this story of a supernatural experience in real life:

I went to the meeting although the tiredness went through my bones and weighted them down like lead. I didn't want to be with people or around people. Have you ever been there? And had someone attach to you like glue on flypaper? Well, these wonderful folks did. They pastored a small church.

That particular night a guest was there from the prophetic school down the road about three hours. I was called out for what we call a "word." I went and stood there dreading what might be coming. You see, I had death hanging all over me. I only wanted to disappear.

Most of my young life, I laid in bed at night wishing I were dead. Years later, after I became a Christian I asked God to forgive me for treating the gift of me like it was nothing or something to be destroyed. Yet, after my son died, Death came back and trailed me like an old dog that you can't ever "get rid of." It tormented me, "Ha, ha, I didn't get you, but I got him." Anyone who is a parent knows that you would lay down your life for your child, no questions asked, so you can imagine what this did to me.

As I was called out, I dragged my body up to the front and lowered my head for prayer. All of a sudden it was like I went to another dimension. It was totally black with no presence of God, people, anything. I floated in that pool of blackness with my arms outspread and my legs as loose as if I were in water. The feeling of being TOTALLY without God was overwhelming. Then, from my gut a wrenching screaming came out, over and over and over, "I want to live, I want to live, I want to live." The presence of God returned and the absolute alone-ness left. Then I found myself back with me feet planted firmly on a carpeted floor.

I returned to my seat, weeping and sobbing which continued through the meeting much to my embarrasment. I left that little church with something inside me broken, yet freed from that black spector of death. I remain free to this day. And I fight for every day, I devour every day, I love every day no matter what it brings.

And that's the story. Some of you will probably think I'm nuttier than a fruitcake. Another might cry because you have been or are there as well. Anyroad, as 4D says, this shredding of yesterdays today has lifted something dark off of me as well, and reminded me of the crossroad for life where I made a choice. It's sometimes good to remember.

Ze Leopard!

This is Leopard. (He's an oil painting I've done and then messed around with on the computer.) I've been messing around with digital art again. I'm finding photoshop is a great program to do all the "what ifs" for a new painting. Think I'll take "Hibiscus" over there and fool around with the background.

Not much new except I'm trying to search for a certain piece of paperwork which is not showing up and I hate the paperwork thing (my own) but have an appointment that I need to have "stuff" ready for. Yech.

Have invited "McPuffin" to join my blog friends - she has such an elegant web design and I love her writing. Will try to get her into my template this a.m. before I wander off to other things.

Its another drizzling rainy day. The grass is growing like crazy, much to "H"'s dismay.

Boy is doing very well in school if we can go by the grades coming home, but homework at night wrings us all out.

Feeling ok, blood is still bouncing around from too thin to too thick, so have to run the road back and forth to hemotologist until it settles down. I feel like shopping, but am broke. That is at Sam's Club - I like to buy jars and jars of olives.

Went to see Hattigrace yesterday on the spur of the moment and have a wonderful looking head of hair - I'll see if I can catch a photo before I get it too messed up...........thank you hattigrace! Hattigrace has picked up the brush and is painting like crazy - you go, girl! I'm so proud of you.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cajun Hibiscus

Psycho stares longingly at the refrigerator. Too bad. I'm painting, no matter what. Everyone is on their own. It's ok, daughter eats at taco bell on the way to work, the boy is fed, "H" will heat up the usual sausage sandwich, and I'm fine with coffee and coke for the paint process. (I'm on a mega liquid vitamin supplement and 5 of the 7-8 pounds gained during the great meds mixup is off!) The cats do have food, just not what they want. Psycho wants the beef stroganoff that is behind these doors.

This painting is acrylic which I don't work with often. I don't like the fast drying time and it doesn't like being reworked, while oils thrive on more and more layers. But I'm thinking maybe the drying times will make me a little more spontaneous.

Started with a cool background but I think now it should have been something hot, or maybe ochre. I struggled with a feeling of "poinsettia Christmas card" with this one - although the finishing touches seemed to bring it back into the hibiscus look. I think I might try a couple more tropicals to loosen me up and get me back in the groove. I have determined to paint everyday. However, my art website - the .com one is a mess and needs attention. And the house and the yard. Oh well - its raining again - good excuse.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Florida Sunset

SUV's, Vegetarianism, and Sink Holes

This was in my email box from Climate Coalition:

Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change. By Claudia H. Deutsch, The New York Times, August 29, 2007. "Animal rights groups do not share the same mission, but they have coalesced around a message that eating meat is worse for the environment than driving. They and smaller groups have started advertising campaigns that try to equate vegetarianism with curbing greenhouse gases. When that report came out, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)and other groups expected their environmental counterparts to immediately hop on the 'Go Veggie!' bandwagon, but that did not happen. 'Environmentalists are still pointing their fingers at Hummers and S.U.V.'s when they should be pointing at the dinner plate,' said Matt A. Prescott, manager of vegan campaigns for PETA... The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has taken up the issue as well, running ads in environmental magazines that show a car key and a fork. 'Which one of these contributes more to global warming?' the ads ask. They answer the question with 'It's not the one that starts a car,' and go on to cite the United Nations report as proof... On its Web page and in its literature, the Humane Society has also been highlighting other scientific studies -- notably, one that recently came out of the University of Chicago -- that, in essence, show that 'switching to a plant-based diet does more to curb global warming than switching from an S.U.V. to a Camry,' said Paul Shapiro, senior director of the factory farming campaign for the Humane Society."

SUV's 'Versus' Meat. By Charles Komanoff,, August 31, 2007. In reference to the NY Times article above "I spotted one glaring error and one questionable assumption in the U of Chicago article (Diet, Energy, and Global Warming, PDF, 17 pages) that underlies the Humane Society's claim. First, the authors evidently used a figure of around 16 lb of CO2 emitted per gallon of gasoline burned. (They don't give their figure; I backed it out of their Table 1.) But the standard coefficient, easily derivable, is approximately 19.6 lb per gallon. Switching to the correct coefficient would add 22-23% to the 'SUV' side of their comparison. Second, the authors based their 'SUV' calculations on average US per capita miles driven (8,332 miles/yr). The appropriate basis, in my view, would be the number of miles a typical motor vehicle is driven, which is around 12,000 (that's the figure US EPA uses in its calculations of carbon impacts of driving). After all, switching from an SUV to a Camry would mean switching out 12,000 miles, not 8,332. Substituting the higher figure would add 44% to the 'SUV' side of the comparison. Making both changes simultaneously would increase the SUV emission figures by 75-77%, which pretty much invalidates the triumphalist statement by the Humane Society's guy. It wouldn't surprise me if there are similar errors undermining the 'food' side of the comparison. Maybe someone else will take a break from their seitan preparation and check it out. And maybe the Humane Society and their allies can find ways of advancing the worthy cause of vegetarianism that don't require belittling SUV damages and Al Gore."

THEN, I found an interesting article that should have been titled "The Pig Poop Papers." The article pointed out that since mega corporate takeovers of smaller pig farms and the rise of the Super Pig Productions around the country that huge holding tanks of Pig Crap are amounting to untreated sewage abound and these mega-poop ponds are leaching into the ground and into the drinking water which is pulled from rivers and other water bodies. That would be against the law if it were People Poop. Doesn't make sense to me.

It was comforting to learn that most Florida water comes from aquifers in the limestone so we have pretty good drinking water, that is until it reaches the treatment areas where it is pumped full of chlorine and fluoride and ran through lead piping. (It's just the fish we can't eat because of the chemical dumping by paper plants and other sources and we best keep an eye on the fecal coliform levels before we dip in the Gulf!).

Anyway, when we put in our pump for the yard, I was amazed that water was available only twelve foot down. Then it crossed my mind, why doesn't the County regulate these water pumps - how long does it take a subdivision to drain an aquifer? Ever heard of Florida's sink holes? That's how they work - the water is all gone from the limestone caverns and the ground sinks and eats your house with it.

Enough, going to get busy and paint some more. And decide not to worry about this stuff.