Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving - Tomorrow!

I know most of you here in the United States have already celebrated Thanksgiving and we have too as every day is a day of thanksgiving for us.  But the day Abraham Lincoln set aside as a national day of thanksgiving was celebrated this past Thursday.

We rarely get to celebrate holidays on the day they actually occur.  We have two grown children with their own children and with in-laws, out-laws, the granddaughter's boyfriend and step parents not to mention that our son works for a bank and it's federal law that the banks can't be closed for more than 3 days in a row.  That really messes up a holiday for him unless it falls on a Friday or a Monday and messes them up for us since he lives far enough away that it's difficult for them to come especially with the other family obligations he has.

So, I've been cooking up a storm for the past couple of days and am just quitting even though I haven't made any dinner rolls yet.  If I don't feel like it tomorrow, my husband will go to the grocery store and get some from the freezer section (horrors!!)  I try to do everything homemade and really like to make bread - shucks, one year we even did homemade pizzas for Thanksgiving with homemade crust and all.  But the important thing is that we get to spend time with the family and our daughter & son are bringing some of the goodies for this feast so I'll have more time to relax with everyone.

But, I'm proud of the completely from scratch homemade pies I baked earlier today.  We have 40+ pecan trees and they finally decided to drop their nuts - several weeks past the usual time but at least in time for Thanksgiving pecan pie!   I'm so tempted to cut into one of the pies just to make sure it tastes ok.  I'm NOT a Martha Stewart type so usually the food I make tastes much better than it looks.  I just hope in this case that the opposite isn't true as these are the best looking pies I think I've ever made!

Even the crust didn't overbrown or chip off!  Of course, the decorative edge isn't so decorative but I know no one will care as long as it tastes good!

So, dear readers, tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving and I just want you to know that I'm always thankful for you!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Grief Therapy

It's not been any secret that I've had difficulty painting since we lost our precious Maltese, CiCi.  I've been trying to work through this painting block by attempting to paint various Maltese dogs but have had limited success.  Below are a couple of attempts:

The first painting is a watercolor which is not normally my go-to medium.  This painting has lots wrong with it as you can see but did enable me to sort of break out of the painting slump.

Maltese dogs require a lot of care and grooming but are the sweetest, most cuddly and loving dog you can imagine.  No, we don't plan to get another one nor do we plan to get another pet of any kind.  It's just way too sad to lose them.

Below is a pastel of a cute little puppy awaiting a new home.  Yes, it was tempting to make it ours but we just aren't emotionally ready.

I also got some photos of an online friend's Maltese and Morkie (Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier mix) when we had a meet-up and which I hope to paint in the near future. 

I know these paintings will never take the place of C but it does help ease some of the pain and makes me feel close to her once again.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Such a Wonderful Day

I don't have any photos to show you as photos weren't allowed but did want to tell you about a great day I had with my painting friend, Rosie.

She asked me to accompany her to Raleigh to an exhibit at the Museum of Art.  They were having a showing of the works of M. C. Escher along with some writings and sketches from Leonardo DaVinci.  Both were so far from my casual perceptions of both artists that I was amazed and impressed anew with both of them.

I came away with information that suggested both artists were definitely scientists first then expressed their scientific bent in artistic ways.

Anyway, I was very glad to have the opportunity to study the works of Escher so closely.  His brain must have been amazing!

The exhibits took us nearly three hours to get through and we were pretty worn out so didn't even get to view the museum's permanent collection.  We were also getting short on time so we went to a late lunch at a restaurant we had discovered last year at the Art of the Carolinas trade show.  When you live in a 'meat and potatoes restaurants only' area, the opportunity for exotic (to us) fare is pretty non-existent.  Rosie and I went to a Thai/Japanese restaurant where I had a vegetable curry that was wonderful.  It's not often I'm able to order even decent vegetarian meals around here let alone a good curry!

Rosie is just a super cheerful person and a pleasure to be around and the fact that we share a love of art is an added bonus.  Even though she's younger than both my children, I think there's a connection between us that transcends age.  It's always wonderful to get to spend time with her and spending it around art is even more fun.

Thanks, Rosie!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Bit of Color in the Rain

Yep, it's raining here again.  It started yesterday and we've gotten almost 3 inches so far with it supposed to continue into Wednesday according to the weatherman/person.  It's already been an unusually rainy fall so this rain only contributes to the drab landscape around us.

One bright spot is our Confederate Rose bushes though.  I believe they're actually hibiscus and are supposed to be a little more tropical in nature than our climate allows but every few years we actually have flowers before the frost gets the buds.  This is one of those years.

The Confederate Rose flower is an oddity as it starts off as a deep pink bud, opens to a pure white flower, then gradually gets more and more of that deep pink color as the flower ages.

I've tried to take progressive photos of one of the blooms but our weather has been less than cooperative!

First, the bud -

This one was already beginning to open so isn't as deep in color as it can be.  After the bud opens it becomes a white flower - again, I didn't catch this one in the pure white stage and you can see a trace of pink along the edges of the petals.

I ran out during a bit of lull in the rain and photographed the bloom in the pink stage -

Right before the bloom falls off, it turns a deep, almost burgundy red.  Unfortunately with all the rain, I missed that stage also.

I just find these flowers fascinating and when they are in top form, they're very beautiful right up until the time they fall off the bush.  Not only that, but because they bloom so late in the season, they offer a cheery pop of color at a very dreary time.