Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain

Barbara Stahnke and Bryan Bishop

Well our rain continues and now it is cold, in the low 60’s, which is a refreshing change from the 80’s and high humidity. What a wet summer we have had and now with the Fall feeling weather my thoughts turn to planning for the next season. Time to get out the warmer clothes and check the filter on the heater, the other night we thought about turning on the heat, but found warmer clothes instead. This summer has had cancelled hikes and picnics, we just don’t know how to deal with the rain and storms very well. My sister talks about going on picnics often in the rain in Portland, Oregon where it rains a great deal. The parks have covers over the picnic tables, they plan for the rain, not so around here.

The most startling event of the past week, was  when my cat, Tyler leaped from the middle of my bed straight through the glass window and out into the yard, for reasons only known to him. I had just gone to bed, and turned out the light. I heard the cat running full charge down the hall, he then leap on to the bed and right through the window into the black night.  I looked out the window with a flashlight, but didn’t see him anywhere around. The next morning he was waiting in the kitchen by his food dish same as every morning. He did have a little cut on top of his paw, but he didn’t seem concerned about it. It is a true unsolvable mystery as to why he did this. He does spook easily, often running out of a room and hiding, but really, crashing through glass!!!! I guess I have to chalk it up to a moment of just being loco.

 We went to a delightful flute and piano recital of my friend, Barbara the other night. It was a special treat to see her perform. The recital was "Classical Music Through Time" with historical comments about each piece, that added to the listening. The final piece was an original composition of Bryan Bishop, a real treat and a great way to end the evening. Setting an watching and listening to the music was so inspiring, it reminded me of one of my favorite college classes.  I had a music appreciation course that was live performances of the grad students. They were taking a performance class, so they we working on their skills and we got the benefit of it, as the audience.  I always found it inspiring and helped me with my artistic voice. I often sketched my ideas for the art projects I was assigned to do.

So, here is my solution to all this rain, I’m painting design images of the sun. I’ve started yet another Talavera Pottery inspired series. One of the most popular wall hanging in Mexico is a colorful ceramic sun with the design motifs of Talavera Pottery. I have seen many of them while in Baja and thought about buying one but never found “The One” that I just had to have. There are so many variations, it is really fascinating to research the images. The one thing that I have found that is very surprising to me is all the suns have blue eyes. I wonder why, since blue eyes are extremely rare with Mexicans, as yet I haven’t found a reason for it.

Final comment, the family is on baby watch, my nephew and his wife are having a little girl any moment now.  The Doctor said it could have happen yesterday, but it didn’t, so we all continue to wait for the blessed event.
Lucylu napping in front of just finished latest painting

Painting "Sun Times Four" 24"x24"acrylic on wood panel

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer ‘s Movin’ On

Dawn from my yard

Here in the South school starts next week, so there are big displays of school supplies in our local stores. This does make me a bit nostalgic. I can’t help, but pause at these displays and wonder are you sure you don’t want a new notebook or binder or that teacher calendar….  Sometimes its’ these silly little moments that happen with retirement. I’ve been retired 5 years now, you would think my work life would be far in the past, but sometimes it still pops up just for an instant. Mostly I love being retired, though not to fond of the getting older part of it.


This past week I found it was time to replace one of my early Peace Poles. It had become weathered and didn’t look all that great. As an artist, I really hate to see my artwork looking old and worn. Just like a house needs repainting, a painted peace pole only will hold up only so long in the harsh weather conditions of sun, rain and snow. So, without much fanfare, other than taking a few pics we took out the old and put in the new. The new one is nice and colorful, a fine welcome to our church.

Other news, dad is doing okay, and we continue to explore how to make the house more accessible for a walker.  Our next big project will be to put a ramp in at the front door. For now he is managing the back door with a cane, the walker wouldn’t work at either door. It would be nice if we designed houses for aging occupants when they are built. Seems like things would be so easy to do right from the start and I bet not even make much of a cost difference. As a culture we don’t want to think about getting old yet with luck it happens to most of us. “They” are always commenting on the invisibility of seniors and this really is another example of that.

One final news item: Patch and I took another walk in the woods this past week, which was a delight with no rain clouds in sight. Will time to return to my painting, I am busy with a new painting. Hope you are finding a fun project to fill your summer.
View on our walk