Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Rob the Fish








These are not actual pictures of Rob the Fish - he was in a fighting mood and wouldn't let me take a picture of him - he glared at me and showed his teeth so I backed off and decided to get these pictures off the web.

Rob is a young Siamese Fighting Fish - a family fish - happy to live on the kitchen counter in his glass blow with fake plant and colored pebbles. Rob has a routine, eats at the same time everyday and swims in multi directions - a talented fish he is.



Look at his beautiful colors and textures - he is a handsome fish - and - if he had a lady friend, he'd also be a happier fish.

Rob's owner - a 19 year old male - went off to college yesterday - leaving Rob at home in the care of the 'rents. Rob wouldn't be happy at college - too much moving around, and he couldn't stay there during breaks and it was felt by all that he would be best left at home. Confidentially I was told that Rob would be company for the parents, and a willing substitute for two loud, happy 19 year old boys.



So Rob still swims around on the kitchen counter - wondering where his boy has gone (fish don't understand the concept of college, altho they do understand 'school")

Right now he's a lonely fish, hoping for attention and waiting patiently till his boy comes home to give him that special attention again, let Rob nip at his finger, and make faces at him thru the glass.


It's gonna be a long wait Rob....but you keep swimming around and the time will pass by. Pretty soon they'll be home for a weekend making noise and leaving their large shoes all over the house, and watching loud TV, and having friends over.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene

It's late at night (Sat) and Irene is slowly moving up the coast. Sounds like water damage more than anything else, from people I've talked to so far. (I started this post last night. it's now sunday 1 pm and we got very little so far - mostly rain, but fairly low winds)

I spent the day taking care of business - getting my weekly laundry done, going to the thrift store to drop off a ton of stuff, gas in the car - you know the routine. The house sparkles!

I am also working on a baby quilt for a friend - the mother just went into labor yesterday! I started out with a basic applique of balloons but it has morphed into balloons being blown by a wind cloud. It'll be cute in the end - I hope! It'll also be much more work than I had anticipated but that's OK - I do this for the creative award, and inspiration (but money would be nice). I'll show pictures when done.

Speaking of pictures -here are some facial features that I have been working on - working with a book called "how to paint faces" or something equally basic - and it's easy and fun.


I know they look paint by numbers but thats how I learn - tiny piece by tiny piece.

More paintings to show after this weekend plus two finished knit pieces. Nothing like a forced stay in day to get those UFO's finished. (for those of you who are obsessive-compulsive - a UFO is an UnFinished Object - which you overachiever types probably don't have)

Back to watching the weather channel - according to them I'm in imminent danger of wind, rain, tornado's, earthquakes, and I should probably go bury my head under a pillow. Instead, I'm putting on a book on tape, and finishing a scarf.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Early Morning


My early morning walks are later and later - soon they'll turn into mid afternoon walks. All summer I trotted out to the field at around 5:00 AM and it was bright and lovely. Yesterday I was greeted by this gorgeous red sunrise at 5:15.....

...and today at 5:20 it was a bit brighter but the moon is still clearly visible.



By the time I'd done a lap or so, the sky was getting brighter (this photo is enhanced a bit with brightness) but the ground fog was amazingly strong. The photo is funny, I didn't "see" the fog right in front of me, only the fog in the distance across the path. But of course, fog is all around us, and it's fun to see how much I didn't see what was right in front of my face. I could wax on about that last statement and get rather philosophical - but it's a bit early.

I am still amazed that I've kept up this early morning exercise - but it feels so good that I don't want to stop - I'll just have to go to the gym in the early dark hours all winter. I never thought I could walk/run comfortably again after I broke my ankle but if anything - it's gotten better with more exercise. Actually, no one ever said "exercise more and your ankle will feel better" - I just assumed that it would always be painful. And there are still days where it aches, but nothing like before daily exercise. So I'm a convert now, and will preach to other broken ankle sufferers. And, to be honest, I never thought I'd keep it up cause I'm so darn lazy - but to date, I've walked/run 164 miles. I'm pretty happy about this statistic - rather pleased with myself for sticking it out. And today, Friday, I ran straight thru about 1 whole mile. Woohoo!! For me, this is major.

So - enough boasting and patting myself on the back. I've got to go to work, and prepare for the "Hurricane of the Century" which arrives here on Sunday. My nephews were supposed to go up to college on Sunday - of course I was going also - but it's gotten postponed till Tuesday.

I hope you all have a safe, warm and dry weekend - and I hope that no one gets hit by hurricane Irene! Let's just say "Goodnight Irene" and have her go back to sleep.

Corny!

xoxo mim

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blue Lady - Garden and...Crows!



I started this blue lady down in Florida and finished her up tonight. Odd eh?

Some garden pictures - as summer is winding down, there are late flowers that are reliable and wonderful.

My Black Eyed Susan is blooming like crazy right now - I'm going to plant more for next year near a new ton of daylilies.


I have a hibiscis in a pot in the back yard, and it's been blooming all year like crazy. I'll take it into the basement over the winter in hopes of a new bloom next year.



And this year my hydrangea is bright blue and blooming like nuts. I lost my climbing hydrangea but these bushes lasted thru the winter like troopers.

And oddest of all, tonight I had a complete murder of crows tromping around on my front lawn. These are only two, but there were at least a dozen - which is unusual. And they were walking in the road, and just strolling about and eating things on the ground. It appears that we had a microburst on our street while we were away so there must be something interesting down there for them to eat. But still odd I think.

Just thought I'd post these interesting pictures......

Animal Wednesday - Southern Animals of course


When we're in Florida we go bike riding in a State Park called Myakka - which is a wonderful jungle-y typical florida landscape, with miles of Florida prairie and wildlife galor. We often see deer, turkeys, and wild pigs running around.

There's a great boardwalk which goes out into a swampy area and it's a great place to see all kinds of birds - this guy was just hanging out waiting for a meal. He let me get very close before flying away, so I got a few good pictures.




It was an overcast day, and the swampy area was teeming with life! Nothing I could photograph but you could just feel that layers of life in that swamp. Bugs, fish, birds...and the grunt of alligators. I was glad I was safe and sound on the boardwalk.


At one point the sky was getting darker and darker and suddenly all these birds started flying together overhead. Of course, it was more dramatic in real life but hopefully you can see by this short video how many birds had congregated. In this group are seagulls, crows and vultures - maybe others but those were the main groups.

video


Back at home - one night I looked up and saw this image on our screened in porch - ran and got my camera before he jumped off. Isn't the first image funny? It looks like a frog sonogram!





Happy Animal Wednesday!



Monday, August 22, 2011

Florida Art and Clouds


We went to a few art galleries while in Sarasota - most were closed in the August heat but this one was open. The lady manning the gallery took us upstairs to a studio to show us some paintings by a wonderful artist - you'd think I'd remember her name! Tiny studio, filled with wonderful paintings. We love the one above - such a great wave image.

And she had a series of Blue Circles----my heart pounded!!!


I took down some instructional books on portrait painting and labored over eyes and lips and noses (i hate noses) and profiles. Did this profile below and then got crazy and painted blue and yellow. I liked it better after. The nose was too long so I painted over it but you can see the ghost. So Ghost Nose is now on my basement wall.


And what would a Florida trip be without clouds. My early morning walks were punctuated with stops for pictures - the ones below were taken near dawn - the light was just wonderful!


More pics to come. I'm glad to be home but it was lovely being on vacation for a week - despite chores that had to be done.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Animal Wednesday - hiding and sunning

I've been going thru old photos on my computer - cause it was telling me I had too many (I did) and found these two pics that I don't think I'd posted yet. Both were taking while bike riding - an opportunity to commune with nature if you don't speed by it.

I am off work this week, and taking time to relax. Have a Happy Animal Wednesday!



Monday, August 15, 2011

Start a new painting




I've been wanting to do this painting for awhile - I saw something of this style at a folk art museum and wanted to learn how to get the hilly look So...I'm working on it. Looking at the pictures, I can see where it needs some adjustment - and definition - but I'll work on that later. Meanwhile - I'm liking it - although I think it would have been better on canvas and with acrylic instead of difficult watercolor.

Either way - it's fun and a learning experience.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Lovely Day

We had a lovely day at KJ's and JB's house. Lo was already there, I got there early and Suki joined us for lunch and an afternoon of chatting and some paperclay artwork. I have a few pictures but haven't shared them yet with the girls so I can only show me...since we're going away tomorrow I probably won't be posting for a week or so.

So here I am sporting a lovely absolutely adorable hair clip that Suki got me (she got for Lo and KJ also but mine was best I think :)




...and this is getting ready to leave - it's KJ's hand and I figured I could post that without getting permission.


Hope I'm not in trouble!!!

Lovely day. Delightful. Delicious cupcakes.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Message?


Yesterday morning had a beautiful sunrise, after a night of pouring rain. I was feeling pretty pleased as I did my morning walk/jog - some new asthma meds were doing a great job and I was able to jog along without gasping for breath. I was thinking of what KJ had said about her Dad visiting her on or around her birthday and wondering if my Dad would show up soon in a dream, or as a bird. I thought that Dad would be pretty proud of me trotting along like this - he was not happy that his daughters were a bit on the round side as he was always thin and trim. He never said anything but did comment when we looked good. Anyway...here I was thinking about him and thinking good thoughts and I looked down and saw this stone in an area of minimal stones....and I hadn't seen it when I had walked that section a few minutes before.



I took it as a sweet and loving message. Thanks Pops....

Nice way to start the day I think.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Animal Wednesday - R.I.P. Maggie Stella

Obituary section - Doggie News - Animal Wednesday section - August 2011.

Maggie (full name - Magnolia) was 11 years old when she passed away this weekend, at her home in Central Coast California after struggling with breathing issues for many years. She'd actually died a few times this past year, but got revived with slaps and massages - but this time her poor little heart just couldn't take it anymore and she passed away surrounded by her loving family. She leaves behind her human parents, Jon and Kelly, her human siblings, Jody and Andrew and a canine sister - the funny looking and rather standoffish Airedale, Lulu. Private services were held. In lieu of flowers, donations accepted for the "Breath for Pugs Association" which has it's headquarters in Brooklyn, NY



So yes...poor little Maggie died this past week - she really had serious breathing issues and they were getting worse and worse. She's had surgery on her "nose" area in the past and that helped for awhile, but over the past year we've been expecting her to just keel over...and that's what happened. I loved this little dog - not only cause she was a pug and we had a pug as kids, but because she was so loving! She was the type of dog that was so happy to see you when you came to the house that she couldn't walk straight - she had wrapped herself into a comma shape with happiness and kept going in circles. She had a funny little bark, and made herself known to all with her tiny yet determined "woof". She loved her food, just like all pugs, and was never happier than when dinner was done, and she could hang out with her people. She swam like a stone, and it was scary to see her go into the water knowing that you'd probably have to drag her out.
She also wasn't very bright - or maybe it was just funny vision. Once she got a new bed with a tiger stripe on it and she was terrified of it - kept barking at it, and acting like it was going to eat her. So we banned her from watching Animal Planet - obviously she had been traumatized by some tiger eating show.

I was very sad to hear that she had died this week, I'll miss her. My brother has another dog - Lulu the Airedale - who he adores, but that dog has eyes for him only and that's it. Other people come in the house and she barely gets up. No happy greeting, no "I love you even tho I don't know you" - nothing, nada from that dog. Ah well....

RIP Maggie, you are a great little dog and we all loved you.




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

As the World Turns

Don't you sometimes wish that the world would just halt for a tiny while. Just a moment - to let us savor consistency for a tiny time in our lives? All this chaos, craziness, lunatic rantings, money problems - who'd have thunk all we've seen over the past few years...and now it appears to be starting all over again. Oy!

But the real problem for me today is how the world turns. It's 4:49 AM - and I should be driving to the field for my morning walk. But it's PITCH black out - whereas a few weeks ago it was getting light. I love New England, and I respect the seasons but oh - summer is so damn brief here! Really, our reality is fall and winter and while it appears on the calendar that spring-summer are equal in length to fall-winter....it just doesn't work that way as seen by this picture taken in APRIL last "spring"



I've been going thru my photos on the computer - getting rid of duplicates and extras and freeing up space. I found a few that show what I'm talking about.

Field near track being planted - early summer.


Field last week - PLOWED and all the veggies picked and gone for sale.

I'm not complaining - I love all the seasons (well....) but I do wish it was lighter longer around here.

Ah well, it's 5:00 am - dark or not - I'm heading out!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Animal Wednesday - and what a long time it's been!


Mom - realizing that her hair is wet - despite the white stretchy bathing cap she had on for swimming in the ocean. I've never seen anyone swim and come up with her make up still perfect. She was like Esther Williams that day.


Summer time is so busy for me and for all of us. The light calls from outside to bike ride, kayak, or swing in the hammock in the evening light. I've had minimal time to read your blogs and even keep up with mine!

To make it even busier, I was away in Atlanta on a business trip all last week and ended the week with a visit to my mom and the infamous Scruffy - who is the star of my Animal Wednesday.

Getting ready for a 3 mile walk - where are you Scruffs?



Let me lead the way - trot, trot, trot!


On the way back, his little legs got kind of tired, so I carried him for about 1/2 mile - after that he was just fine!


Scruffy and his cousin Sammi - they came from the same shelter.


Going so fast I can't take a picture!


Taking a break from running around.

Play, play, play!

video


This is a shot looking up at the hotel I stayed at in Atlanta. Very odd place, but nice rooms and interesting curves everywhere.



Happy Animal Wednesday and Happy August