Thursday, March 31, 2011

And When Did You Become a Doctor, M'am?

The past 2 weeks have been rough. First, there was the visit to Meadville Hospital ER because this Florida girl can't navigate Mother's stairs without injury.

Then there was the cold I caught either in said hospital or perhaps aboard the plane coming back.

And finally, there was the burn I got using a heating pad (to comfort the aforementioned injury).

Or, so I thought.

So today I finally see a doctor about it - the burn - because I thought it was getting infected. The doctor was kind but firm: My "burn" is an ordinary case of the shingles which, by now, is healing nicely.

FYI - "Shingles" is the chicken pox virus emerging from it's dormant state in one's body at times of stress, poor immune function, age, etc. I didn't catch it from anyone. Anyone who has ever had chicken pox could some day have a case of the shingles. This was actually my second go 'round - lucky me!

OK. That's your medical tutorial for today. While I was waiting to see the doctor I drew a decidedly cheerful picture, on yellow paper, no less!

In The Garden
Here's to increasingly bright sunny days ahead! Yeah!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Water - "over the dam" and Otherwise

I love this picture. When I spend a few minutes focused on it I can actually feel my breath slow down and my muscles relax.

Same thing with this one:
But water is a funny thing. It can be beautiful,


Life giving


I found the following quote about water:  "What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere."
– Ovid

Of course, Ovid was talking about life, and how we approach life's problems.

Anyway, it's not surprising that two of my latest drawings are on a water theme:


Aside from contributing to the Red Cross, there's not a whole lot more I can do for the people in Japan. The past two weeks have been unbelievably hard for them.

By comparison, I've got nothing to complain about.

And I have much to be thankful for.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No, I Haven't Named Her

Remember the molds and fabric I showed you the other day?

Well, after a lot of stitching and glueing and painting, I ended up with this little doll:

She's just under 6 inches tall. The trim is baby rick rack and embroidery, and she is filled with Poly Pellets, which makes her a sort of bean bag.

I think she's cute enough to go on her good looks, but if you think she should work, well:
  1. She could be a pin cushion.
  2. She could sit on a dresser and hold safety pins and brooches.
  3. She could be a paper weight on your desk.
She is not a toy.

She is not washable.

While I was making her I remembered the "wash cloth dolly" I made for Beth when she was a baby. It's a quick and easy project made from 2 or 3 wash cloths and a small circle of white cotton or cotton blend. It has no small parts to cause choking and it is completely machine washable. It is ideal for very small babies & toddlers.

So - now I want to make a wash cloth dolly.

Trouble is, I have 3 more molded faces; I really ought to use them first....!

Story of my life: I always have a bunch of projects going. And difficulty completing them.

But here's my challenge to you: If you're not presently cutting, carving, painting, drawing, glueing, sewing or tying something - well - get to it!

It'll take your mind off things, I promise.

It's kept me outa the loony bin - really!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So Many Projects, So Little Time

In addition to the Recipe Book I'm working on, here's a little more of what's keeping my Meadville visit varied and busy:

The newest member of the family is little Paige. I got to hold her today. She didn't like me much, or maybe I've just lost my touch with babies.

I whispered in her ear. Told her to give me a call when she's 15 - heh, heh!

Now, on to another project. Meadville has a wonder ful JoAnn's fabric store, and you know I just can't go in there without buying something. This time, some cute molds caught my eye. I got the idea to make some sort of doll item. Here are my supplies:

I made four faces from the mold, out of Sculpey clay. And now I'm sewing and decorating. More on that later.

And, finally, I turned my little smart fish on his side and he became a pelican. What do you think?

Mother made a cozy fire in the fireplace so I'm going to go enjoy it with her now.

Bye bye - and count your blessings, every one - for there are many less fortunate than you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I think I'm the luckiest person in the world, to be in the company of my (almost) 93 year old Mom, who spoils me with attention and great food.

Tonight we had chicken for dinner. It was so wonderfully moist that I must share the recipe with you. It's not my recipe, or an old family recipe either - it was on the back of a Land O Lakes butter package.

So, in case you buy the store brand of butter, here's the recipe:

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
6 (4 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  1. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, pepper and salt in a shallow bowl.
  2. Combine butter and garlic in a shallow pan.
  3. Dip the chicken in the butter mixture first and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Place in a shallow baking pan or tray and bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes.
Now, Mother doesn't like garlic, but she does love sage, so we made an adjustment there.

And because I love mashed potatoes, well, I made lots of mashed potatoes. I don't know why, but I swear mashed potatoes in Pennsylvania taste a whole lot better than in the South. Are they fresher potatoes? Different varieties?

Good thing Mother and I both like V8, 'cause that was the vegetable....!

Sorry, no pictures of the dinner, but I have a little doodle for you that I made after dinner, while Mom and I watched TV and talked politics.
Not Bitin'
Whatever your life is like today, remember to count your blessings. Gratitude nourishes life.

And, thanks for reading this!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Change of Scenery

Sometimes I'm very contrary:

When everyone else goes left, I go right.

When the rest are going up I'm going down.

And when folks are heading South, I'm on my way North!

So - I got into Meadville yesterday and found - surprise! - SNOW!

Oooh, so cold! This Florida Girl was freezing!

But my nephew-in-law brought his wife's winter coat when he picked me up, and when we got to my Mother's house he cleared a path in the snow so I wouldn't get my sneaker-clad feet wet. Now, that's a gentleman!

So now that I'm here, we'll see what transpires - artistically and otherwise. I've already designed a cookbook cover for Mom:

There will be more about this wonderful cookbook later.

Hope you're having a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Every ass loves to hear himself bray. - Proverb of Unknown Origin

Florida Governor Rick Scott

I don't like our new governor at all. They say he's the darling of the Tea Party. I say he's a tempest in a teapot!

Also, "Close your mouth, Rick. You're catching flies!" He always has his mouth open.

Mr. Scott is a millionaire - or a billionaire - let's just say he has a lot of money. In order to understand how the wealthy think, I've tried to imagine their daily lives. Must go something like this:

Breakfast on the patio, served by my cook, who cleans up the dishes after. My maid makes the bed. Another servant lays out my clothes for the day and puts clean towels in the bath, etc.

My day is surrounded by people who tell me what I want to hear, acquire for me what I want to possess, do for me what I want done.

If I have any problems, I throw money at them:
  • Cars, appliances, houses get old and ugly - no matter, I replace them.
  • I or a family member gets sick - no problem, I find the best doctor money can buy.
  • Someone I love is unhappy, addicted, depressed - easy, I send them to a treatment center for a good long time.
  • I get bored - I travel.
  • I need a special favor for my business - I call the politician I contributed big bucks to last election.
I'm not saying rich people are dishonest, greedy, or cold-hearted, any more than the rest of us. But they clearly don't know how the people feel when;
  • Even the stuff on sale at the grocery store is way too expensive.
  • The last week of the month is spent making do until the Social Security check and Food Stamps allotment arrive on the first.
  • The car broke down, there's no money to fix it, and getting to work by bus involves 2 transfers and 90 minutes travel time, sometimes in stormy weather.
  • The "managed care" doctor requires certain tests and won't allow others, and puts on blinders to ignore complaints that don't fit into the insurance company's protocol.
If you're not rich you may not have the worries of the poor either, but many of us are not that far away from "poor" - just one paycheck, as they say. So we are concerned about public services, social security, affordable health care, etc.

The rich? All they need is good roads, good airports, a strong military and plenty of jails.

So, that's who our new governor is talking to. And I'm not listening.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Fab Four

Beth and I went trippin' down memory lane last night (well, my memory - she's "only" 37).

We saw "The Fab Four" in concert:

Look familiar?

These four guys, and "Ed Sullivan" performed for over 2 hours, with 3 costume changes, and did an incredible job of presenting the authentic Beetles sound. They do the whole thing without extra sound backup. The show is 100% live, produced by them and their one sound guy.

I've been to a few big name concerts and I remember one well (Melissa Ethridge) where it seemed the performer wanted to be anywhere but up on that stage. These four young men were just the opposite. They liked the audience, wanted to be there, and worked hard for us.

And we worked hard for them. We clapped and sang and (sort of) danced and wore ourselves out!

If you get a chance to see this group, take it. The tickets are worth the price, which is  pretty reasonable anyway!

Hope you're having a nice day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Insanely Funny!

Take Charlie Sheen, for example.

And Gadhafi.

Saw a piece on the news that compared the two. Saw a newspaper headline suggesting that Charlie could rule Libya.

Could Gadhafi carry "Two and a Half Men?" Are Charlie's "suits" discussing the possibility?

And my last question of the day - no, last two questions of the day:
  1. What does this have to do with "news?"
  2. Why is it OK for the media to make fun of a mentally ill person when most of us wouldn't dream of doing the same to his face?
I feel bad for Charlie. I'm afraid he'll crash and burn, and hurt himself or someone else. I'm afraid he might OD or commit suicide.

But it seems like he's just entertainment for the world, and the funniest he's ever been.

What is it about human nature that we gravitate to this, like we strain to see a bad accident on the highway?

I think it's basically fear.

We're afraid of death, and therefore fascinated by it.

The same with mental illness.

I hope there is someone around to catch him when he falls, and I don't mean those two bimbos who are just there for his money.

"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind."
– Henry James

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Here's The Poop

The Navy chair:

This chair never goes out of style, according to the manufacturer, and they've been making them since the 1940's. They were designed for use on submarines and aircraft carriers, which is why they are compact, light weight (aluminum) and very strong. The material they are made of is three times stronger than steel, corrosion-resistant, and said to have a life expectancy of at least 150 years.

Good enough for me.

Mostly, I just like the nice clean lines.

Just plain aluminum would go nicely in our kitchen, but these days they do come in colors. And, of course there are variations from the original in other materials, such as plastic.

My computer wasn't working right all day, so while I was doing various scans and things I drew this picture of a lady in her favorite dress.

Upside down she's a flower:

Now that's what I call multipurpose art.

Hope you're having a wonderful day!