Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder
Eye of the Beholder

I did this painting from a photo I took in Florida last fall. I believe I posted the actual photograph a few months ago. In any case, the painting was my valentine gift to Mr. Lee this year. Unfortunately, I did a little last minute touch up to the sandy area in the bottom quarter of the painting and, in the process, painted over some ruffled chest feathers and forgot to put them back in before giving him the painting. Now, he won't let me touch it up. It's his opinion that artists should not keep changing a piece once they've "finished" it. I, on the other hand, change things constantly. But it's his painting now and he won't let me touch it. I did finally photograph it so.... now I could fiddle with the digital version. This, however, is the painting, as it is.

We leave for Florida this Monday. As usual, I'm half mad running with the details of getting ready. There are so many things to do before we go. I'm taking a lunch break but now got to get back to my list. Enjoy the day.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Local news at 11:59


Other than a very personal, spiritual observation, I'm not much into Easter. As far as rebirth and renewal celebrations go, I prefer the Spring Equinox and this year it was March 20th. But Thea Bella and Baby Leo are enjoying the day with candy, colored eggs and plastic ones, some filled with candy, some with quarters for college and that's good enough for me. My round about way of saying Happy Easter.

As for my friend Bill, unbelievable. Two days prior to visiting him this guy had had a a big juicy vein pulled from his leg like a worm, his sternum sawed open, his heart artificially stopped, all six blockages cut out and replaced with segments of the leg vein and yesterday he was FUCKING RED LETTER FANTASTIC. The giant slice through his chest is practically healed and he was cheery as ever. He did give the hospital staff a scare however because two days after the surgery he went for a walk on his own. He went to the chapel, I'm guessing to say thanks, but it was on an entirely different floor which was out of range of the heart monitors and set them clanging. You can't keep this guy down. Seems his Alzheimer wife entirely forgot he'd gone in for open heart surgery but even that didn't bother him. The three of us had a good laugh about it.

Other than that, I recently started using new hosting sites for the images I post here because they don't put a cap on uploads, Lafango for my own photos and Imgur for reposts of ones I find on the web. Seems I have exceeded my allotted bandwidth with this blog and after that Blogger canalizes older photo postings to make room for new ones.

UPDATE: Lafango sucks ass. Forget about em. They won't allow my own photos, which I upload there, to repost on my blog. They are useless to to me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My friend Bill

My friend Bill, the 77 year old cool dude ski god who roller blades with his three dogs and cares for his Alzheimer wife and generally runs everyone into the ground younger than him, had bypass surgery the other day. Amazingly, and in spite of his awesome prowess, he had six clogged arteries or veins, whichever. Spaghetti. Yesterday on the phone he said he'd like to learn a little bit about eating a more vegetarian diet. Yay! That's Bill for you. His otherwise wonderful physical condition has everything to do will his perpetually open mind and willingness to change. We're going to visit him at the hospital this afternoon and bring him a starter veggie cookbook. I love this guy. We are slobs who are willing to put up with the most basic of menus... rice, beans, oatmeal, tofu, seitan, a ton of fruit, lots of veggies (fresh and frozen), a little fish, free range eggs, daily giant slices of crustless pumpkin pie etc. and a hell of a lot of Amy's and Kashi organic frozen vegetarian dinners. Bill wants to do stuff like soak and grind soy beans for veggie loafs, IOW, actually cook. After he's fed his wife and dogs, maybe we can get the leftovers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday recap

My brother's garden

Since my last post, I spent time with my brother and his wife in Seattle, was home for two days then M. Lee and I came here to Southern Oregon on Friday, drove his mom to the Bay Area on Saturday to visit his ailing sister and came back to Oregon on Sunday. We will return home in the AM.

I haven't felt much like posting. I got bogged down with photos and once that happens I lose the thread. In two weeks we are leaving for Florida for the summer. I hope to be back on track by then.

It's been wonderful visiting family but not all has been well with everyone along the way. At the moment it's just too complicated to write about and not really my business to do so. Things will work their way out. Tonight I just needed to move the words along.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Once upon a time....

Saturday was my last day in Great Falls so we had breakfast at Tracy's, a Montana 24-hour diner that's been serving up distinctly American cuisine for over 50 years. Tracy's is very much old school and proud of it.

For one thing, they don't accept any plastic, neither debit nor credit, only checks and cash. But they do have a website and on it boast about being a "hot spot" at night. Must be true. They have ancient juke boxes in every booth and they still work, kind of.

Ours played music, just not the selections we picked, and nothing modern. Being the last of Montana's old-time diners, Tracy's has appeared in several, as their website says, "old-time movies", including "Holy Matrimony" directed by Leonard Nimoy.
Baby Leo and Mama

Of course Leonard Nimoy has a permanent pass and lifelong honorary hero status but I wasn't surprised to read the following review of  "Holy Matrimony" at IMDB.

Leonard Nimoy directing "Holy Matrimony"

"You sort of find yourself feeling the same way about it that you would about a child's school report read aloud...gently ignoring glaring flaws and nodding encouragingly."

Rumor has it that the cheese at Tracy's is Velveeta but I can not confirm that. I had the white bread French toast which came fried in bacon grease. What other totally '50s things do you notice about this table?

Baby Leo having a story before nap time.
He is a truly sweet little fellow.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I thought it was spring

Montana in April

This morning we woke to snow.

By the way.... the white jacket? Other than a few black hairs from Nevada the very black, very shiny Lab, still white!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creepy or quirky?

Here's a quirky test. I don't know if it's "legitimate" but it is interesting if not a bit creepy. Best not to think about your answers. I did and at one point even got a bit paranoid. Anyway, here's what I got.

"You need to help others and to be thought of as a generous and kind individual. Often you are taken advantage of and regarded as simply part of the scenery. You work best when handling the work yourself; you do not appreciate a managerial role and tend to be uncomfortable in that position. Friendship is important to you, but it is generated on a personal basis, rarely a professional one. Consequently, family life is very important to you, and is often the most important aspect. Because of a strong sense of propriety however, you will sometimes consider the eccentric behavior of your friends and family as a personal affront. Often you find it difficult to speak up about personal anguish or pain, feeling instead that it is something an individual should bear in silence. Tradition is important to you, and you feel a sense of belonging when operating within the constraints of a predictable routine."

It's not the full picture by any means but rings true. However, the part about "needing to be thought of as a kind person" is a strange slant. For me kindness is a spiritual practice, an action not a social image. And as for being "taken advantage of" etc., I've have my bouts with that but learn from them. The comment about shunning managerial positions is spot on. Getting tangled up in that kind of thing is not for me. I am an outsider. I prefer autonomy to notoriety or control over others. For me Einstein says it best... "Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday outtakes

Thea Bella & Company.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Portland afternoon

Thea Bella is down for a nap. Today that means for the last hour and 19 minutes she has been in her crib cooing, singing and squeaking at her dollie. Oh and just now she commanded my presence. Gah-ma... (wait wait wait) as she (listen listen listens). She really should sleep.

Meanwhile, it's sunny outside. This being Portland (now the cooing has been replaced by a sporadic whine, squeal lament then silence as she listen listen listens)... as I was saying... this being Portland in the midst of what is forecast to be a record breaking wet Spring, a sunny afternoon is a spectacular event.

Owie the dog is here now for another scratch. Poor fellow. Mr. Cone Head. He's still recovering from the second surgery, the one to remove the metal rod in his leg. He's doing great. He's a saint, that dog.

Oh and the phone charger arrived yesterday and the phone today.Yay. Thank you, Mr. Lee. He's the best.

As for the white jacket? It's safely (I think) tucked under my raincoat in an out of the way place.  Mmmmm.... better go hang it up in the closet.

Okay. Mama's home. We're off to the park. Can't waste the sunshine.