Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guy sleeping outside down near the river

One morning mid-summer we ran across this guy sleeping outside. I was a little startled and since he had his back to us, I stared and tried to figure him out. He didn't have a backpack or bag or anything, just himself kind of curled up on his side in the grass. I didn't get a picture of him that morning (as I wasn't sure how asleep he was (or if he was dead) and I felt like he had a right to privacy). We went walking by there the next morning as well and he wasn't there, so I felt pretty confident he wasn't dead.

This is the second time we ran across him. This time, I figured if he was sleeping outside in full view of anyone, he didn't really have a right to privacy. I snapped his picture (but you'll notice it was from behind and from a ways away so if his eyes did pop open, he'd have to turn his head to look at me and I'd just look away like I hadn't just been taking his picture.) It was this time, I noticed that he was just a kid, maybe 17 or 18? He had his shoes off and by his feet and he had a drink near his head. I know it looks nice and comfortable out there in the grass, but it couldn't have been as this is when the temperatures were soaring in the upper 90's and into the 100's. It was hot.

We ran across him again a week later. Curiouser and curiouser as he had on a different shirt. This time, he had a shirt or something else draped across his shoulders, but his shoes were still at his feet and a drink near his head. Still no backpack or anything else.

And we ran into him for a fourth time a week after that. Same type of situation, but this time with a McDonald's drink and sack near his head. It was still hot. I never could figure out what he was doing here. Pooker said he noticed him sometimes when he jogged (and Pooker would jog between 6 and 7 am) and one time he noticed him just coming and laying down. I haven't seen him now for over three weeks, but I still wonder just what was going on in his life that would have him coming down to lay in the grass and sleep by the river.

Cute pair of turtles

Brownie and I stumbled across this cute little pair as we were investigating a little off the beaten path. I like how the shell of the one is kind of turned towards the other. They did have their heads out until we startled them, then they pulled back into their shells (almost like we interrupted a private conversation between the pair).

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Little Birds

Here are the little bird paintings that I have been working on. I have really enjoyed them. I love birds and I have a bird bath in my backyard that I keep filled with fresh water for them. And boy, do they know it is there!

A Red Bird Will Do, 8x10, 8/19/10

Blue Bird of Happiness, 8x10, 8/19/10

Good Things Come to Green Birds that Wait, 8x10, 8/21/10

Nature's Beauty

I love how this little green vine twines up the trunk adding such a touch of beauty to this tree. How beautiful is that!

Here's a fuller view of it, although we were both walking as I snapped this picture so it isn't crystal clear. Still, it gives you the idea.

I'm thinking we've got beavers....

Well, I'm thinking we've got beavers in the area, although I haven't seen hide nor hair of them (nor have I seen any dams, dens, etc.). This is at least the third newly planted tree I've seen that has been gnawed in half. I bet the beaver was pretty disappointed not to be able to drag away his little tree to use because these were wired to posts for support!

At any rate, they've wrapped some of these skinny trees with wire to discourage the little fellows. I don't know why they wrapped some and not all, but that seems to be the way it goes around here. Maybe they ran out of money for wire for this fiscal year....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Very large turtle in our path

We were just finishing up our walk and what walks across the path in front of us but a very large turtle! We were far enough back from him that at first, I couldn't tell exactly what it was. In my haste to get closer, I stepped on and startled Brownie who had stopped to sniff something and I hadn't noticed because I couldn't stop staring at this thing. Then, if that wasn't enough, a jogger is coming up on us from behind with her dog and we avoid other dogs (Brownie doesn't like other dogs, so its best to just steer clear), so there I was trying to get off of Brownie and trying to get her off the path and away from the dog, but I kept my eyes glued to the turtle. He was moving fast and I didn't want him to get away before I could take his picture.

Finally, we get up to him and he stops, but didn't pull back in to his shell. Brownie was very curious as to what this could be and was sniffing him (I wouldn't let her get as close as she wanted because I had no idea if it would try to bite or not and I wasn't going to find out). I don't think I have ever seen a turtle of this magnitude outside of a zoo and NEVER one with a tail such as this. Quite extraordinary. We were leaving, but other people were stopping to take his picture and to look at him. I hope he finished crossing and went on to wherever he was going because there were park vehicles on the trail today (I think managing some inmates on a work crew detail to water the trees and pull grass from the bushes at the points of interest) and one just about mowed him down while we all looked on horrified. When I pulled away, a lady was trying to shoo him along to get him off the trail and into the grass. She was very reluctant to actually touch him (her friend was telling her to just nudge him with her foot, but she wouldn't do it). I don't blame her. A turtle of that size could take your foot off if he was so inclined.

I'm a little lost, could you help me?

"I'm a little lost, could you help me?" is what I think this shopping cart is saying to the rock. It never ceases to amaze me where shopping carts can end up. The closest grocery store is a mile away. The day before, this cart was in the parking lot where we park to get out and walk (and I didn't have my camera), but then yesterday and today the cart has been down communing with the rock. Someone, please come get this cart and take him back to the safety of the herd. Who knows what horrible things can happen to lost, lonely carts this close to the river....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where's Brownie?

Where's Brownie this time? She is in the foliage at one of the little rest areas along our walking trail. No stone unturned (or bush un-sniffed) for this one!

Team Dirty Deeds at the Mud Run

I must say it was a hot, hot day, but team Dirty Deeds was ready for the run. This has been one year in the planning for them and nothing, not even the heat, could dim their excitement.

This was the first mud obstacle they encountered. They took off fast so they could be somewhat ahead of the pack so they could do their dive through the tires (and not be stuck behind a lot of runners waiting to get through).

This was the third mud obstacle (after the army crawl through the mud) and they are still going strong. I was a hot, sweaty mess as I was running to get to each obstacle to take pictures.

There was one other mud obstacle before this giant slide into mud, but I didn't go over there so I could be here to get their picture. I wish I could have shown you the whole slide in which they grabbed hands and launched themselves over the edge. They made a huge splash at the bottom. From here, it was a race to the finish.

Pooker and my sister, Peanut, after the run and they are still smiling! And yes, they both said they will do it again next year. I just really hope it isn't as hot.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

...and yet a few more Love paintings

Love 5, 4x5, 8/10/10

Love 9, 4x5, 8/10/10

Love 10, 4x5, 8/12/10

Love 11, 4x5, 8/12/10

And there you have it! You are now officially caught up with my Love series. This is as far as I've gotten with these and I'm currently working on a Tapestry of Life series as well as some Wild Flowers and some little birds (again, working mainly in the abstract). I sat down and just thought and thought the other day (one of my favorite things to do) and came up with a whole list of things I'd like to paint. These are just me starting on my list and certainly in no particular order. All I know is our first Fall show is Sept. 18th and I certainly am going to have lots of paintings available to sell (which is a good thing as in the past, we haven't really gotten focused on the shows until two weeks before the first one resulting in a very frantic, rushed two weeks). I have no intentions of repeating that mistake again this year. I know my sis agrees!

A little bumblebee

I like the cute fuzziness of the bumblebee (as opposed to the hard sleekness of the wasps and hornets). Plus, this fellow didn't seem to mind me (and that is the quality I look for when taking pictures of living, moving things).

It did finally rain two days ago and cooled us off quite a bit. We are in the low 90's today and I am loving it. It is forecasted to go back up this weekend and I really kind of hope it doesn't. Pooker and my sister are running in the Mud Run on Saturday (which is exactly what it sounds like--a one and a half mile course with at least four mud obstacles to get through before crossing the finish line). Why didn't I want to run in the mud run? I don't want mud on me or in any of my orifices. Plus, it just doesn't sound like any fun. I will be taking pictures of team Dirty Deeds and will enjoy watching them struggle through the obstacles, er... I mean enjoy themselves running through the mud.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What in the heck?

I bought a new bra last week. I get it out and put it on on Sunday and I feel something in the fabric. I thought, "What the heck is that?" I took it off and was feeling it to see what was going on and I felt what seemed to be a rubber band.

You can see the twisted thing in the picture above. I have never had anything like that happen EVER. I had torn all the tags off and thrown them away several days earlier, so returning it wasn't an option (never mind the fact that they only seem to carry one bra in my size at a time in the brand I like). I decided I'd have to go in with the precision of an excellent plastic surgeon and try to get it out (in a place that wasn't going to be too obvious, yet couldn't be anywhere next to my skin as the feel of "stitches" wasn't going to be something I could comfortably live with).

So, I make the cut in what I thought would be an unobstrustive place and work it over there and start to pull it out the hole. It was about that time I realized that not only was it in between the two pieces of fabric, but it was ATTACHED nearer the bottom of the cup. I then had to make a second small incision (as if making one incision wasn't bad enough) and pull it out as far as I could get it. I snipped it off as close as I could and then felt to make sure there weren't two little tails hanging up to irritate me.

There weren't, so I went ahead and carefully closed up the holes. I would have taken a picture of my small, neat stitches, but my camera battery decided it didn't want to take any more pictures. You'll have to take my word for it that I closed it up neatly, albeit noticeably. There was just no help for it.

I went back into the store today for another bra (because that store gives "cash back" every so often for every so much spent, the catch being you have to remember to spend it at some point in the future between certain dates--I don't forget these type of things). You'd better believe I felt that bra up and down and sideways before I bought it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yellow Flowers

There were such beautiful flowers on the trail this summer (before it got too hot for anything to survive without rain). It did finally rain today after several weeks of no rain and temperatures soaring in the 100's (anywhere between 103 and 107, not counting the heat index). It was really unbearable. I think we still have rain chances and I do hope we get more. At least enough for the brown patches/scorched patches in my lawn to green back up!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

...and still more Love paintings

I'm still painting! Besides working on this series, I'm also starting a new one which I haven't officially titled yet. I have ideas for at least 3 more different ones. It is just sitting down and doing them in between our walks (in which it has been TOO HOT this week), cleaning, laundry, running errands, and cooking (a little). I feel like I'm on target for our first show this Fall on Sept. 18th.

Love 2, 4x5, 8/4/10

Love 6, 4x5, 8/10/10

Love 7, 4x5, 8/10/10

Love 8, 4x5, 8/10/10

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New series of paintings titled "Love"

These paintings are partly the reason I've left you hanging for a few days! I've started painting again (Thank God!) because I need to paint to be alive. We've really focused these past 7 months on building up our paper goods (cards, tags, etc.) and other things and I couldn't do both. Now that we've got that built up, I can go back to painting AND still do paper goods (I have my tables set up very carefully and I paint as many as I can and leave them to dry and work on paper goods (being careful to keep the paper out of the wet paint).) These are from my new Love series.

Love 1, 4x5, 8/4/10

Love 3, 4x5, 8/4/10

Love 4, 4x5, 8/4/10

Yes, Love 2 is missing. I had a few touchups to make to it (I have to be satisfied with it before I call it done) so it will be included in the next batch. I posted these on Etsy yesterday and Love 1 sold within a few hours of posting! I was very excited about that as it was actually my first painting sale on Etsy. (Not my first painting sale, period. Thankfully, had that first several years ago!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shy Mushroom

This mushroom is a little shy. She's trying to hide behind the grass, but I saw her and took her picture!

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days (for those of you who just can't get started with your day without a post from me). I had my family in town this weekend and we had a great time together. However with the cleaning before, the fun and food during, and more cleaning after, I'm just getting back to my postings. On the plus side my house is clean. On the minus side we have had five days of over 100 degree weather with high humidity. A storm system is trying to pass through here today which has given us a lot of cloud cover. It has lowered the temp a few degrees, but with the storm not actually breaking through the high pressure system overhead, it still leaves us with a hot, sticky heat which means we can't go outside and sit and enjoy it. Sit and sweat, yes; enjoy, no. I hope wherever you are that you are staying cool and hydrated! I'm sticking close to the air-conditioning.