Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Waiting For The Paint To Dry

Back in the day when I was doing craft shows I was painting regularly If I was at home and my work was done I had a brush in my hand and would work until bedtime on whatever piece I was creating. When my Mom got sick, I stopped doing craft shows or selling my pieces anywhere because the dreaded call could happen anytime. There wasn't any way she could reach me if I was in the middle of a show and she was so sick, recovery wasn't guaranteed. I wanted to be reachable, in case.

After she died, I lost interest in painting and selling for a good number of years. I painted a few pieces every year, usually for gifts. Last year I lucked into an opportunity to sell from a store and the owner isn't demanding that I keep much of an inventory there which works fine for the enjoyment and stress reduction factor. However, not doing paintings all the time for 12 years and being older, I'm finding that I need some practice with techniques that used to come easily.  Like brush lettering.

I know it doesn't look that bad but the tail on the word Live makes the word look like Liver. On all the words the letter L is supposed to be larger allowing the second letters to be placed closer and above the bottom tail. During the lettering process I also managed to set a portion of my arm down onto the piece and the bottom daisy wasn't dry. 

The absolute best thing about paint is it's very forgiving. When you screw up, you just clean it off and start again. The need to do that used to annoy me but I finally figured out that it was because of the pressure to have enough for the next craft show. Something that I loved doing became a job. It might have been a job I enjoyed, but jobs have deadlines and deadlines can be stressful. So can the shoppers at a show.

Now that it's not a job and I don't have a deadline, I can relax and enjoy the process without stressing myself out, even with mistakes, it's fun again.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Better Things To Do

People amaze me and not always in a good way. Someone that I blogged with in the now defunct Blogstream has been exercising his freedom of speech by calling all women who disagree with his support of Trump, things like old hag, bitch and the C word. My only comment to him after 2 days of seeing his behavior was that if supporting Trump meant using the kind of language, I'd pass. I spent the rest of that day deciding that I might need to unfriend him for the sake of my own sanity. Went to Facebook the next morning to do so and found that he'd taken care of the problem for me. This after his spending weeks complaining that people were unfriending him for his politics. Umm, no. Sorry Bryon, it's because of the hate you're spewing in the name of your politics.

Many of my Facebook friends voted for Trump.. Oddly only 3 or 4 have had anything to say about their choice. Those who decided that they wanted a solid Conservative SCOTUS said that was why they voted for him and they didn't celebrate that win because, as Christians, the need to vote for him didn't make them happy. Supporters who keep spewing their anger at those of us who don't support this president seem to have had the wall, the ban on muslim immigrants, abortion or the defeat of the PC people as the reason behind their votes. Those of us who don't fall into lockstep with that particular block of Trumpeters are on the receiving end of their schadenfreude and it's vitriolic expression.

I'm not being bothered by any of them since I don't feel that arguing online is going to solve any problems. Therefore I am not making a target out of myself since my only contribution to the fight is to post articles I know to be closer to the truth than some things one can find online. I also have this little quirk in my personality. I feel that if someone isn't paying my bills, they aren't entitled to an explanation of my beliefs. I say what I think and I have no need to defend that. I'm entitled to that, according to the Constitution. I have a very dim view of people who want what they want at the expense of those less fortunate than they are. I just stay away from them as much as possible and have chosen to leave their fate on Judgement Day in the hands of a higher power than I am. I have my opinions, but, in the end, do they really matter to anyone but me? I don't think so.

Anyway, because of all the turmoil, I am spending much of my time where I can enjoy my life. That place is in the comfort of my castle with the laptop shut off. I might be cooking, cleaning, sitting in my recliner with the cat on my lap and a book in my hand. I might be out shopping or running errands. I might even be doing some painting. That was what I did yesterday. Today I will sign the piece as I have looked and in my mind it is finished the way it is. In another day I will start the sealing process and grab another surface to see what my mind decides needs to be painted onto it. There's a spark of something running around what remains of my brain, we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, this is what I did yesterday. I think he's flirting with you.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Spending The Day Doing Something For Me

I may not have had much to say so instead of talking I started doing. There is a room, a small one, maybe 7' x 10' that I had decided would be my crafting room. I've never had one before, just a table tucked into the corner of my bedroom which made things a little crowded but I dealt with that. The room as also where we chose to put the freezer but other than that, the room is for me to paint in.

This morning I realized the table was too close to the window and that the cabinet covered a feature on the wall that I was fond of and didn't want covered up, so I rearranged them. Then I saw that the chair I was going to use would not have much room to move in without bumping into the freezer so I moved the freezer closer to the outside wall. Once I did that, I started unpacking boxes and filling the shelves.

Books, blanks, baskets of brushes, daubers, palette knives, palettes, sponges, rollers and just about any tool you can think of. And the paint and finishes of course. I have a lot of stuff and it's now all organized and I'm happy. After the boxes were emptied it was just a matter of cleaning and taking another picture.

A whole room just for my crafts and it's big enough for me to keep things clean and neat. Now all I have to do is decide what I want to create. 

Coffee, Love And Peanuts

I had nothing to say yesterday. I'm not sure I have anything to say today either. 

It's going to be a long 4 years. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Life In My Neck Of The Woods

My husband has a sense of humor and so does his oldest daughter-in-law. She asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he told her he wanted a 6 foot tall blonde back scratcher. She came close. Barbie is probably his favorite gift. He keeps her propped in the chair there. I have to move her or the cat when I want to sit in the living room when he's stretched out on the couch. I always feel bad when I move the cat, not so much when moving Barbie.

I had taken some pictures of the neighborhood a couple of weekends after we moved in.

I was taking this picture and something started moving in my field of vision. It was a weird sensation because I couldn't really see anything except movement. So, I zoomed in to see if there was anything there that could move or was I hallucinating.

One of the few remaining Fall days they could be let out of the barn after milking. We had the first snow storm just 2 days after I took those pictures.

It hung around until Christmas which gave us the first truly white one in a couple of years. It made shopping so much more fun except for the crazy drivers trying to kill me. I don't go fast enough for them. One of them was trying to force me to move faster by tailgating me. I started ignoring him and when I finally looked in my rearview mirror, he was on the other side of the road trying to turn his car around. Odd how he stayed off my bumper after that. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Birdhouses, Flowers, Paints and Preserving My Sanity

Last week while shopping in Walmart I was in crafts and saw 2 wooden birdhouses in the paint section. I didn't pay much attention because I was looking for unique containers that could be used for artificial floral arrangements. Didn't find anything worth spending money on. Mostly glass bowls and vases. I have those.

On Sunday while arranging the nursery rocker in the living room, something caused those birdhouses to pop back into my mind. They would be the right size for that shelf. My first thought was to paint them and glue flowers to the roof and that would be alright, but wouldn't give me a change in height I need on the shelf. All of a sudden it dawned on me. Pots! Terra cotta pots.

Like this:

I painted the last one many moons ago and sold it for $12. The other 2 I found on Google, painted by someone else. 

I can take them to my BFF for the addition of a floral arrangement which will give me the height. I won't have spent a lot of money. If I do 3 pots and 2 birdhouses on the 7 foot shelf it should give me color without going overboard. I expect to spend $20 for the pots and birdhouses. I have the paints and then there will be the expense of the flowers for at least 2 of them. I'm thinking I'll leave 1 pot empty. 

So, this means I need to get my craft room rearranged and ready to go this week because my BFF will be moving to N. Carolina later this year. Painting will give me something to concentrate on and hopefully help me to ignore the political goings on. I'll stay saner that way.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Solving Problems One At A Time

I am the proud possessor of an antique nursery rocker. It was made, according to my grandmother, by her maternal Uncle Jake. He made it for his sister to use while feeding my grandmother who was born in 1898. There isn't a single bit of metal in it anywhere. The legs connect by insertion into the seat as does the back and arms.

The joints after all this time are solid, the wood is in good condition, the finish is not so nice these days. It's not really worth a lot of money since it wasn't created by a popular wood worker of the time. It is a connection between myself and those who came before me. My Mom had it and once she passed away I acquired it but kept it in storage for 10 years since I didn't think it would survive the woodstove heat. I am tempted to sand it down and either stain it or repaint it, but I have no place to work on it right now. I gave it a bath with Murphy's Oil Soap and took off all the dirt I could get. 

I am happy that I now have the space, and no woodstove to overheat and loosen the joints. It can now become part of my daily life in the living room where it should have been for the past decade. It gives me more seating than just the couch and recliner. Not necessarily comfortable seating since it was built for someone who was much shorter and smaller than we are today. I weigh 180 now and I fit in it without a creak or groan. I don't sit in it for too long since my legs do come in contact with the arm braces. After awhile I feel the pressure and it does become uncomfortable. The wood is hard.

I decided that I needed more color and then remembered that I had purchased a fleece throw as a planned Christmas gift. I had changed my mind and stored the throw away for a future purchase. You can see part of it in the picture sitting on the recliner.

If I remember correctly, I spent $8 on it at Dollar General. It provides the perfect color pop on that side of the living room.

After looking at this picture, I need to add a window scarf to the windows. I love the lace curtains but they need a little help in here. They can wait because I still have that 7 foot shelf to think about. Although after solving the problem of the antique rocking chair, my mind has moved to birdhouses and flowers. Endless possibilities there.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

And The Beat Goes On

First orders of the inauguration day were to remove the LGBT rights page and the Climate Change page from the Whitehouse website Also a suspension of the small deduction in the costs of FHA mortgage insurance for first time homebuyers. According to incoming Press Secretary Spicer, the Donald only signed 3 innocuous Executive Orders. So, liar-in-chief is still liar-in-chief and transparency is kaput. Since liberalism no longer has a real voice in government, I'm going to remind the Alt-Right of that whenever they start whining about how hard life is getting. Even my Conservative daughter-in-law woke up. She posted in Facebook the Dow and Nasdaq results. The price of gas and the unemployment figures so that she could go to her Memories Page to see just how great America becomes.

We want all the things, even when we don't have the ability to afford them. The last time my husband and I went out to eat was on a birthday of mine. It was so long ago, I don't remember what birthday.. On the other hand my husband's children go out to eat every week and they complain they haven't enough money for other things. Youngest and wife go to the movies every week as well. How long ago was it since I went? Well, the movie I saw was "Platoon". Now we watch them at home. Cheaper that way.

When I worked I saw a lot of people living in the Senior buildings who used to run to the corner convenience store as soon as their checks came in and they'd drop $20 plus dollars on Lottery tickets. After not making back the money, they'd take themselves out to the closest fast food place for a lunch. After that they'd head to the smoke shop to buy a bag or 2 of tobacco and a box or 2 of tubes to roll their own cigarettes.  Next day they'd order a pizza for delivery that would cost them another $12 or $20 bucks depending on whether or not the order included wings. Within 4 days they would have spent $50 to $100 of their Social Security check. When food stamps came they'd spend all of it in one trip to the grocers and the last week of the month they'd be at the Food Pantry.  I always found it odd that they could slow down their smoking to last the full month but couldn't see that all the rest of the spending is why they were out of money and food a week to 10 days before the check came. Senior buildings and property are smoke free facilities here. The walk off the property a few times a day probably did some of them good.

I hear how hard it is and how different it is from when I was younger. They aren't kidding. When I was younger, my parents had a home of their own and only 1 car. We had a TV antenna on the roof and could only watch 4 TV channels. None of our entertainment cost a lot of money because it didn't happen every week. We didn't have cake, candy, cookies, ice cream or pie every day. They were treats. Without freezers to keep it in, ice cream was bought by the pint and consumed when we got home. Sometimes during the summer a trip to the ice cream parlor happened. Today's kids get these things almost daily and they live with the things it took years for their parents to gain. Somehow they think they can do all the treats, have all the things they're used to and still have everything else they want.

They aren't prepared for life. Somehow they think it's going to be perfect all the time and easy to have everything they want without muss, fuss or bother. I look at life like this. It's waking up in the morning to the most glorious sunrise you can imagine and then turning away from the window only to step in a puked up hairball with bare feet. Today's kids have to be anesthetized with whatever drug of choice they consume. When they feel the heat, they rage at everything and everyone else. They expect easy street all the time. That's just not the way it works. I wonder what would happen if parents actually taught that? I'm thinking we might find out since we have a new broom in the White House and I'm pretty sure things aren't going to change for the better. I'm just glad my parents taught me about life so I know I can get through whatever happens in one piece.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It Was A Great Idea Until It Wasn't

The shelf I need to decide what to do about is 7 feet long and divides the kitchen from the living room. The above pictures show what I did over Christmas which just doesn't work for me. I'm thinking that part of the problem is that everything was a similar height and lined up like they were facing a firing squad. Of course, I didn't realize that at the time, I just did things and then ignored what I didn't like.

I don't understand it sometimes. I lived in a home that was cluttered and crowded with too much stuff and I never had as much disappointment at how my things were displayed as I do here. What I tried to do was use furniture that I had before that had been used for other purposes and it didn't quite work. The other problem here is that everything is a neutral color. 

Wall color in all rooms except the second bath and smallest bedroom is taupe. In the bedroom there is a forest green carpet that somehow makes the walls in there look sage. I haven't done much in there except to purchase a throw rug for next to the bed to hide the holes in the carpeting. We will be replacing that in the future and the multicolor rag rug works fine to brighten the room even though I haven't gotten in there with decorating ideas yet. I'm still stuck in the living room.

I have depression, antique and vintage glass and porcelain treasures that used to be displayed on multiple small corner shelves in the old dining room Here I had to use a 7 foot tall bookcase which is dwarfing the items in the case because the case is too tall and has too few shelves.

See what I mean? 

I need to find a smaller case of some type. Something where the shelves are closer together and the empty space doesn't dwarf my treasures. I also need the case to be a darker wood color. The other thing I want to change in the living room is the 2 shelf cabinet that is next to the entrance door. I'm looking for a vintage round pedestal table for that spot. I saw one in a vintage shop just before Christmas and since it was right after I moved here, we had spent all that money on getting things hooked up and also paying the taxes, I didn't buy it. I'm afraid to go look and find it sold. 

The decorating issues I am going to address will be resolving themselves as time goes on. I will probably make mistakes but they're learning experiences and eventually I'll have things the way I want them.

My kitchen was the easiest part. I just have to stand in the middle of it and try to remember where I put things.

The backsplash is grouted slate tiles and the flooring is ceramic tiles that replicate slate. With the hickory cabinets and the black appliances, it's perfect the way it came. I love the ceramic cooktop on the stove, it's so easy to keep clean. I do, however, have to con someone into cleaning the oven. My knees will not allow me to kneel on this flooring. I tried, it hurt so bad I couldn't stay there. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lost In Thoughts About Nothing

One of my favorite 60s hits is "Gimmie Some Lovin" by the Spencer Davis Group. It's one of the 10 or 12 songs that will actually get me off my butt to dance to. My husband is watching "Last Man Standing" with Tim Allen on the Hallmark Channel which just advertised the Valentine's Day movies set to that song. Sung by a female. No, just no. I'm not big on covers by other artists even on songs that aren't my absolute favorites. I can handle the Blues Brother's version, but not this advertising female's rendition. Now, Joan Jett singing that song I could get down with, but all I can say about what I heard is this. Joan Jett she ain't.

The one thing I miss about no longer having DishNetwork TV is the SiriusXM channels. I can't turn to The 60s on 6 and listen to Cousin Brucie and the best hits of the 60s. I do have a 60s channel on Spectrum Cable but it's just not the same. I turn it on during the day when I'm doing housework but haven't heard anything that makes me want to boogie with my broom, mop or vacuum cleaner. The only saving grace with Spectrum Cable is it's cheaper than Dish was and it includes phone service.

Which, now that I know what our expenses are here, leaves me with discretionary funds. I can now take art lessons at the local art and community center or I could do a Sip and Paint party. I can take a drive to Hobby Lobby and not have to pinch the pennies and settle for the lesser quality paint brush. I could even join a gym...NAH! My joints wouldn't survive the first 10 minutes. Where was all this extra money when I was young enough to enjoy blowing it? Oh, right, being saved so I could have a home of my own.

Now that I have the home, there are a few little decorative things I'm thinking I might want. With 2 cats, real flowers in the house can get tricky, but I have this long shelf that I feel the urge to have something sitting on it that will provide color. It's winter. Everything here is cold and white and beautiful in it's own way, but inside where it's warm, it feels happier when there is color.
The couch has color enough, but the shelf above it is soooooooo bare. I think I'll go shopping on Thursday. I'm going to look for containers, artificial flowers, some floral foam and moss. At the Dollar Tree of course. I've seen the prices and to be honest, I've been penny pinching for so long it's a habit. Trying my hand at florals will keep me off the computer, away from politics and will give me some color. Until I find something I like better, it'll work.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Taking A Deep Breath

Sitting here thinking about things and deciding if I wanted to actually say something. While my mind was wandering I noticed we now have emojis. Not necessarily good ones but they will say what I think if I care to use one.

They even have the "pile of poo" that I am so tempted to cover the page with but in the interest of preserving my sanity and my blood pressure, I'll refrain. I'm also finding that I'm needing to refrain from speaking to almost everyone except family and maybe 2 other people since they are so gleeful over the election results and what's going on in Congress this week.

If I hang around my other blog site, I will learn to hate so much that I might never be able to stop. As it is I've blown up in a blog post over family members of mine with serious ailments that might be left out in the cold, including my grandson. Oddly, the biggest troublemaker there looked past what I said and asked me about my grandson's condition which no one else much saw fit to do. Fortunately, no one disagreed with me to the combative point either. I am not sane at the moment and my blood pressure is sky high. Again.

I'm trying to get past what has happened and have some hope but it's getting harder. I have decided to unplug from social media except for contact with family and those who have the same political leanings that I do. And when I feel the need to write, I will come here where nobody much reads me.

It's not worth working myself up into a stroke or heart attack over what has happened. I just need to stay away from those who feel the need to spout off against everyone who disagrees with the election. Especially when they're crowing about crybaby libs or liberal whiners while they clap their hands about taking health insurance away from the low income working person even if they're in the midst of treatments for catastrophic illness or like my grandson who at 19 has COPD and needs expensive medications to breathe. When I think about my nephew who at 9 has to live wrapped in gauze bandages and spend every month at Upstate Children's Hospital trying to fix his feeding tube. He has epidermolysis bullosa and his prognosis is...well...I don't want to talk about him now. It's too depressing.

Since moving here when I use the laptop I sit in the kitchen at the table. My cats are not allowed on the table which they normally abide by. Yesterday I was sitting here trying not to go off when Butterscotch popped up between me and the laptop and started butting me in the face with his head. He was making little mewling noises and purrs while he would put his head against me for a second or so. It caught me by such surprise I didn't even chastise him. Probably because I needed a hug and he was the next best thing.

I have the tools to heal myself of my anger and worry. I just need to take responsibility for myself and use them. I don't want to start arguing with people. I've saaid what I believe and if they wish to consider me to be a whining liberal then I don't need to argue with that, I need to let them go and ignore them.