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Friday, December 31, 2010

will and lucy...

...
here is my rendition of will and lucy at the beach...i had to work a bit because for some reason lucy was looking more like my daughter jen than her own self! she's better now! we're welcoming in the new year rather quietly - didn't even stay up to see that ball drop..but then again, we almost never do@! easing into 2011 but i have big plans for getting back to painting on a more regular basis - i've just ordered a couple dvds and books - hope it won't be information overload! happy new year!

happy new year...almost...








we have had quite the time!!!...first the prep...pounding, flattening, rolling up and otherwise preparing chicken breasts...and then the feast.....imagine seven adults, five children and three golden retrievers...all gathered on sunday to celebrate christmas. of course the kids had to open their gifts right off the bat...keeping the dogs at bay as best we could. they had a high old time and then went off to play and wreak havoc on the house...this time the flat screen in the basement was spared!!) the colts game started at 4 so we decided to do our presents at half time and then eat dinner after the game...more time for rummykub for the girls, of course....so it was COLD!!! - and the guys were snuggled on the porch, smoking cigars and drinking beer and scotch and wrapped in hats, coats and blankets..what a hoot! when it came time to start up the deep fryer, the guys realized we hadn't thawed the peanut oil left over from thanksgiving (did i mention it was cold?)...and things were just not working! - water and oil don't mix, after all...so the girls ran out to get more oil and we poured out the old and started over. we sat down (quite late) to our chicken kiev..our christmas dinner tradition...what a wonderful feast with all the trimmings and the dishes and pots and pans that go with. i always use my good china at christmas...hand washable......so we wake up monday morning - and after the dogs come in from their morning ablutions in the back yard, we notice ruby's not acting quite right...drinking lots of water and nuzzling me even more than usual. then i smelled her breath. the tell-tale scent of peanut oil with just a hint of kiev told me all i needed to know! - what on earth?...then we found a pan of oil on the ground - part of the first batch that had been poured out and she apparently helped herself! - think about how good a greasy meal is going down and then how bad your tummy can feel later...times twenty five, i'm thinking!!! i won't go into the gorey details but she threw up in the family room - BIG time - and then had continual little grease burps all over the kitchen, where i decided to contain her. then she had huge outside explosions..from both ends...and i finally called the vet. davey had gone off to work of course and i had the whole aftermath of the feast to deal with...a task i usually relish because i take my time and remember all the fun...but with a sick doggie?? - thank heavens she's all right and back to her wild and raucous self, dragging things around...and i'm cutting this short (*short?) because she's at this moment trying to climb up in my chair with me. i'm going to start posting the kids pics. the one above is baby joey - from their christmas card. and as an after thought i 've added some pics of my grands from our thanksgiving gathering...the first is their thoughtful pose and the second their normal pose....here's to a happy and healthy 2011!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

been a while..

i have been sick, sick, sick!!! it's been so long since i really caught something and this time the zycam didn't work. i think if i'd gotten up in the middle of the night about 10 days ago to take a dose i might have warded it off ....but i didn't want to wake ruby...my bad! - but i have managed to get some stuff done - i'm almost finished with my kids' paintings - i don't want to post anything til after sunday and i need to tweak the one of will and lucy - almost done with everything else...and looking forward to gathering!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

party time!!!




heading to the annual couples' christmas party tonight...we've been doing this so long and it's always the best time!!...it started very small in the 70's and back then the hosts did all the cooking..a very special meal because you only had to do it every five years!..over the years we've added folks and lost folks and along the way we got smart and started to have it...TA DA...catered!!!!! very smart!! but we still dress up and bring gifts and share an evening with wonderful friends at this special time of year!!....i am hoping i can fire up a bit...i really worked hard today - i stretched 5 giclees of my santa - hard on my back and on my hands but it had to be done - i need to get those embellished and into the hands of the new owners soon. getting ready to watch IU play the evil kentucky...wouldn't a miracle be nice???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

now..on to christmas!!

this is where my snow painting was placed for the event. i really love this frame!
...linda and i in front of the fireplace and this gives you an idea of the scale of my santa. the event was lots of fun - they had over 100 people there - got to meet some new people and catch up with old friends...there was a warm tent set up for desserts and drinks and chef gregory's hors d'oeurves were passed throughout the evening. all the creches and my santa were up for silent auction and i think we made a nice amount for the united way, even though the final tally was a bit less than they had hoped. sign of the times, i'm sure. john and susan nash purchased my santa and i hope to go over and see him when he joins their other santas. all in all, it was an exciting time and hopefully a profitable night for the united way. and now...on to christmas!!! - i'm doing some things for my family and so i can't post here until after they open their presents...probably a day or so after christmas when we all gather. if i don't have a chance to do any more posting, i want to wish eveyone a very happy and holy christmas!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

tonight's the night....

this is the first creche that zinnia miller found...the one that started it all....a very small piece but probably valuable in it's distinction of going first.
another of the many creches to be auctioned off tonight. some folks haven't heard of the word creche before...actually i think it's from the russion and it means manger scene so there is much variety in the pieces to be found. each of the decorator's rooms holds three of creches and there will be a silent auction starting at 7:30 tonight. i have my eye on one or two but the bidding may get to be a bit steep...we'll have to see...

this is where my santa hangs. claudia's florabunda helped and i love how they've decorated the mantel - including little peacock feathers - the room is gorgeous - linda has such a good eye - i must mention that connie skyrme is also participating with her painted furniture... anyway - i forgot to take a picture of my winter garden piece as it hangs on the wall but if you're facing the fireplace it's behind and to the left of where you stand, on the wall the faces the street. i'll try and remember to photograph it when i get there. i'm a bit nervous...but it should be fun - and of course i'm hoping the bidding for my santa ALSO gets a bit steep!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

getting close...

18x24 oil on canvas

so here's the irwin house on a snowy day...straight out of my imagination because for one thing, the regular folk are never allowed back there...the gates are usually locked...this place has the most wonderful gardens and folks flock there to get married, take pictures, just browse or whatever...but only during the hours it's been open. now this wonderful old home has been turned into a bed and breakfast and i'm not really sure what the deal is with the garden but the inside is gorgeous...and several decorators are doing up the rooms royally...just in time for santa and christmas and the coming of baby Jesus...there will be creches available friday night at auction along with pieces donated by local artists...(moi included...)...so this will be fun - i'll try and take pics of the event to post later...the photo above is a bit glarey (and a bit lopsided i fear)but i hope it says "winter"!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

coming along...

it's coming along...i can't decide whether i want to make it a blustery snowstorm or just a quiet winter day...i'm hoping i can get it finished tomorrow...still have lots to do...

starting the new project...


here's the beginning of the painting of the inn at irwin gardens...i don't have much time so i need to get at it! - the problem will be that i'm using a lot of white...snow scene...so i'm not sure it will be completely dry when i have to deliver it on friday. i dropped off my santa at bob anderson's stillframes this morning and hopefully he'll get it photographed in time to drop it off for decorating tomorrow sometime. i'm weary! - don't know whether it's the tennis or the long hours of painting...and i still have so many decorations to bring up from the basement. ah well - i guess it's better than sitting around on my bahdoon....

Monday, November 29, 2010

my united way santa...


36x36 mixed media on stretched canvas NFS
so this is the finished piece. my friend linda callahan (www.lcodesigns.com) just asked me to bring it down to the irwin house to see how it would look over the fireplace in the parlor. and it works!! what she didn't tell me was that reporters from the republic were going to be there taking pictures...yikes...hopefully they can find one picture they can use! and now it's on to the next event. linda wants me to paint the irwin house as it would look in mid-winter...snow-covered and cozy looking. so that's my next job...and it needs to be done before friday! gotta get crackin!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

too tired....

well, we had a big day!!! we had all the babies for a sleepover last night...wild!! - and we had tillie and ollie the night before so all in all ...along with finishing the pots and pans and clean up...we are bushed! - (i decided to finish my santa tomorrow...just can't do it today!) .... anyway, i had the bright idea to have the kids eat their pancakes at the big table in the dining room this morning...with grape juice.....not a good plan....but who cares??? - it was so much fun to all be together..and after one of them asked whether we could have a whirlpool, and it wasn't ready...all of a sudden, papper worked on it this afternoon and it will be ready for our christmas gathering. and we're heading out there in a few moments to have a soak our own selves. we did have a huge bonfire in back last night...complete with smores...and stories...and then this morning, my friend leland came to show me the frame he and shirley picked out for the painting i did for their grandson...beautiful...i was humbled and i was again reminded of how lucky we all are to have each other and to have our health. all my prayers go out to my friend shirley as she struggles through this bad time. ...anyway...another thanksgiving has passed and i'm hoping to keep the spirit of thanks and gratitude alive all year through...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

happy thanksgiving!


we've been busy taking care of a puppy with a bad tummy...she's on the mend but it's been a struggle..meanwhile i'm working away at my united way project...and LOVING it!!... i haven't been posting much as i've gone along - can't decide if i should or not - i'm at the point where i'm adding some collage aspects and it's tricky going..once they're down, they're down...(i think...i haven't tried to remove any of them)...i'm using acrylic gloss medium to attach things.. and then those things actually become a part of the total piece. exciting...and scary!!!!....we aren't celebrating thanksgiving until saturday so i have tomorrow to work on my house and my project..i think i may do a painting of the irwin gardens home for the show on the 3rd as well...more for me to do in the next week - but what could be more fun????? happy thanksgiving to all!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

getting started...







ok - i'm getting very excited about this project! it's larger than i usually work but i still managed to balance it on my easel. since this is acrylic and mixed media, my process will be a bit different. i plan to get all the local color blocked in - doesn't matter if i place my darks first. the fun thing about acrylic is you can keep going back in and painting over things...i did find that the copper paint i was using wasn't covering the lines of my drawing so i had to go back in with a more opaque paint and then i can go back over with the copper later. there's a lot to do on this -it's going to be "mixed" media...meaning i'm going to try a few things...and most of the work will be in the bag of toys but i wanted to post a bit of the work in progress. i meant to put the drawing first and then the start of the toy bag and then the last one..i still don't have the hang of this blogging stuff!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

back home again...

i haven't been able to post for a while...we ran out of our wifi hours in georgia and i couldn't quite get the i phone...it was very hard to type in the right spot! - ..so we left the island on monday...drove about 8 hours and stopped in our favorite doggie motel in murfreesboro tennessee. ruby did well, altho i was frantically following her around so she wouldn't have an accident. we ordered our usual pizza and hit the sack fairly early....and the rain had started...in the morning, as we drove into nashville, we had memories of all the flooding last spring. we almost didn't make it home then - and we almost didn't make it home this time...but not because of the flooding...but yes, because of the rain. we drove through torrential rain - cars were spun out on the side of the road, we hydroplaned several times... we wound our way through an accident that had just happened, marveling that had we been there a few seconds or a few minutes earlier, it may have been us...i am a very careful driver - i like to drive fast but not in bad weather and i really believe in DISTANCE!!!! - and thank GOD! -i could have been turning to talk to davey..i could have wound back the audio book we were listening to...both of which i did often...but for some reason i was staring ahead of me at the road..bad visibility, lots of rain and there in my lane directly ahead was a fed-ex truck - jack-knifed and on it's side - IN MY LANE!!!! and another car between us and the truck and i could not slam on my brakes because of the weather! - i don't know how we managed to stop! - obviously i have things to do here yet on earth because i could so easily have been chatting or looking away for even the briefest of seconds - so we drove on - grateful to be alive - cherishing every moment -GOD is indeed good and our guardian angels were definitely working overtime!!!............so now we have finally re-entered - bills, papers, unpacking, laundry, ruby's first appointment and we find she has parasites...then today all hell broke loose when the neighbor's dogs broke through the fence...sons-a-bitchin bumpuses!!!! tomorrow i start on a huge project. i think i mentioned that linda callahan asked me to do a special santa painting for the room she's decorating at the inn at irwin gardens. there will be a silent auction of 30 pieces of mrs. xenia miller's famous creche collection and all proceeds will go to the united way. my painting will also be up for auction - it's going to be very different and i'm really excited about it - when i finally get to post it - just picture it as 3 feet by 3 feet - BIG!! - and, per linda's request, quite different colors - gotta dash - ruby's calling!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

running out of wifi

i'm going to try and use our i phone for future posts - may not work - if so i'll be back next week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a leisurely read....

da


so here's the start and maybe the finish of this painting of my beach lady. i saw this woman reading on the beach a couple years ago and have been wanting to paint her ever since. we had a nice day on the golf course...once again ceebs and i tied for most improved!! -can't wait to get back out there!! - i plan on doing one more painting and then i'm done for the trip!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

shelling....


this is a (maybe) finished painting of my granddaughter tillie on the beach here on the island. she's reaching for a little shell - holding on to her hat in the wind! the shot above is mid-painting - to show a bit of my process. golfed today..the weather was glorious and we drove over to jekyl island to check out their course. we were joined by our friends karl and katie and it was a great day! - complete with 3 alligators and at least 15 deer, some with actual antler racks!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

taking a break...



i've done and actually sold this painting before...it's of two of my daughter's friend's three little boys...not quite finished with this but took a break to take the dogs to the beach. ruby's not too sure yet....

how i start...


generally speaking...i try and begin my paintings by putting in the darks - often i'll use a colored ground..in this case a warm orange tone...and i like to let a bit of it show through on my finished painting. i'm heading back up to paint while ruby (and davey) are napping!!

lazy morning...

8x10 oil on stretched canvas
this is a cropped image of my magnolia painting. i can't tell if there's a glare on the screen or whether i need to take another look at this painting...it's too cold up there right now to even be outside so i'll wait til it warms up a bit and then check it out and most likely start one of the other paintings i'm planning. it's so nice to be away from home and not have so many obligations and just be able to paint a bit.


and here's ruby - snoozing in her crate...even she's being lazy today and it looks like it may stay that way since it's very COLD!!! - sunny but windy and not even a good day (yet) for painting upstairs on the balcony. we're just relaxing after a night out with friends - a wonderful dinner in a condo overlooking the ocean...beautiful food and good conversation..and a good bit of wine...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

am i finished?


just home from a very windy golf day!..my buddy cb and i were vying for most improved on the back...we always do that - and we were so neck and neck the whole way...as it turned out we each improved 5 strokes so it was a tie!!!! we were both thrilled considering the conditions - probably a 3 club wind for most of the day and very cold. my hubby and i didn't really pack for cold -no turtlenecks - it's usually nice here and will be back in the high 70s and maybe 80s by midweek. BUT - i had a fabulous idea strike me and at the turn i grabbed a whole slew of potty paper and wrapped it around my neck - i looked a bit like katherine hepburn in her later years but boy was i warm!!!!!..cheapest scarf i ever had! and good for lots of laughs! not sure about golf tomorrow - it may be windier than today - but it's so protected up on the porch upstairs i'm sure i'll be able to do some more painting. and i can properly photograph my magnolias and post that tomorrow.

a work in progress...


since it was too cold to golf yesterday, i managed to find a little time to start this magnolia painting. this is the land of magnolias, after all, even though they're not blooming at this time of year....during a wakeful part of the night last night, after i took ruby out to go potty, i toyed with the idea of redoing "moon's magnolia", a piece i did several weeks ago...the gallery here really likes magnolia paintings so i'm still undecided..i may finish this one and then do the other and then decide which one i'll frame for the left bank gallery. our plan is for 12:30 golf today...this is such a magical place..i'll try and take some pix from the driving range and the course - the sea island company did a huge and gorgeous overhaul of the cloister and spa..just as the economy went into the tank...and had to file bankruptcy. it's been sold and things should turn out all right for everyone. this is a glorious place and we've been so fortunate to be able to spend time here several times a year....more later...

Friday, November 5, 2010

we've arrived!!!

this is the view from the porch off the master bedroom on the third floor. we'll always have this view because it overlooks the parking lot for the public beach and coast guard station. you can just see the ocean over the trees.
this is the view from the porch off the great room on the second floor. when we bought this home probably 10 years ago, you could see a lot of ocean! - but over time all those houses across the street have spring up - good for the economy, i guess but really bad for the view!!! you can just see a tiny patch of ocean way down at the end of the street. but we love this place - two private pools down there and then the private gate to the beach - we're at the end of the island that's "accreting" - meaning the sand is coming back rather than eroding.


finally!! - it's been maybe 6 months, maybe more, since we've been on our beloved island! - just got in last night after a good trip with the dogs. actually ruby did great in the car for such a long trip - no accidents and slept a lot in her open crate - what a great puppy! - we were planning to golf today but it is mighty cold and even mightier windy!! we may just spend the day settling in and i might even get to do A BIT OF PAINTING...those caps were an accident but actually with that being my focus maybe i'll leave them!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

for my friend shirley....


24x18 oil on stretched linen NFS
this is carl - my friend shirley's grandson - playing soccer on his team in plainfield indiana. carl is a stud, as you can see and shirley and her husband leland asked me if i would do a study of him doing what he loves best. years ago, carl's dad rick introduced me to and taught a class in transendental meditation. some time later he taught a class in wine appreciation and then went on to med school - quite a well-balanced career - i'm tickled to be able to do this painting for all of them! we leave in the morning for st. simons. i'm sure hoping to paint while i'm there, but as my friend stephanie (http://www.stephanieberryart.blogspot.com) said: " we see where your time's being spent"..and the sad/happy fact is - yes i'm spending time with my new puppy - i'll reap many rewards later...my painting is suffering a bit but that, too, will pass....

Monday, November 1, 2010

last night...

this is my very fabulous and "ghoul-friendly" hubby...in his own personal get-up
and this is me...you can't really see how awful my hands are...all covered in blood and green skin and black nails.....actually not that different from the every day, now that i think about it.....

well....we almost thought we were over it! - since we haven't been home for maybe 2 out of the last five years, we think some of the folks may have thought we were out of the business of haunting. (in past years, people would drive in from other neighborhoods and then drive off)....as i mentioned, the frenchies were the first ones here and then several other groups - just after 5 - sun shining, birds chirping, the farthest thing from a scary scenario...and then..not much at all for a good long while - we were almost thinking maybe we could hang it up - this monster we've created - but then, things started to happen! - we got lots of kids after dark - one little boy came in and said: "thank heaven's you're back! we missed you!!"...one mom knocked on the door and asked us to turn off the strobe light so her son who has seizures could come up to the house. as they left, we heard her saying" see? now you can go home and tell your dad you went to the witch's house!" a couple of dad's with cameras started howling when the fog machine went off at just the prime moment to scare the bejeezes out of their sons! - i think next year we'll take the camera to the front door so we can get pix of the little goblins like they take pictures of us!!! almost forgot - tillie and ollie came over with their parents for some soup and some haunting... tillie's gotten very brave when she's around the witch but ollie...not so much...he said "gan, i'm not scared of you..i'm scared of the paint!!!"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

the witching hour...

is upon us!!!!! - it's five o'clock on halloween and from now until 8 p.m. our house is transformed into an evil witch's den...complete with loud noises and moans and chains clanking and howls and growls and candy and lots of little ones who get braver every year. some of them get a little farther up the walk with their parents close behind with the video camera. we started this years ago, when our kids were much younger and one year a young friend dressed up in the dummy we have on the front porch and scared hell out of those brave enough to come all the way up. other years our kids dressed up and hung out in the yaard and chased the kids down the street....time out..our first customers..the frenchies next door - all five of them with their dad. they've been so excited because we're actually going to be here this year for halloween!!...(i'll have to finish this later - that was a whole slew...)..more tomorrow...

Friday, October 29, 2010

newsflash!!!!


we found my memory card!!!!! and davey did not put it on my desk, afterall!!...it was caught in the printer, probably having fallen off his desk while he was doing a bunch of printing...so i am one happy girl and he is one chagrined boy!!! here's another photo of ruby - in nellie's basket!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ruby


what were we thinking??????? - nellie was 3 months old when we got her and ruby was 7 weeks...you do the math!....she is the cutest thing going but boy is she a lot of work! - she's getting better about potty training but her little teeth are sharp and she's got a tenacious grip when she gets a hold of something. it's up to us...davey, nellie and i to socialize her and teach her to use her soft mouth and not her teeth. she's going to grow up to be an enormous dog and she needs to learn to be gentle. when nellie was a pup, we had little ones around her all the time so she learned early to be gentle - but i'm thinking scooby, the frenchie's dog, is like a litter mate and they scrap around and fight and it's going to be harder to get her to be gentle, i think. i had a whole bunch of images of her, along with all my cruise photos, etc on the other memory card...somehow it's gone and so we start over and, as my husband says, "move on"....hard for me, sometimes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

donation


12x12 hand-embellished giclee on canvas
so here's a giclee of one of my very early daily paintings..jennifer's old toe shoes which now hang in my studio where they await future painting, i swear!! this is my donation to this year's annual fund-raiser for our local arts association, CAAC. tonight's their big wing-ding and we won't be going. we haven't been able to attend for years, partly due to my hubby's schedule and possibly a little bit because one time our group got severely scolded when we got a little rambunctious and acted up in the back during the auction...(we were a rowdy group back in the day...much older and more sedate now...)anyway..i still like to support my local sherrif so i always donate either an original or a giclee, now that giclees have come into favor...i love the digital print technology which makes a print look quite like the original artwork..(can you say thomas kincaid?)...and especially when they're hand-embellished by the artist...or not..again, think kincaid....they can be good value and a nice work of art. i was going to post a bunch of stuff about ruby but as i was working on this post, i thought i was posting a ruby picture but i accidentally put up a very cute but funny picture of davey and in trying to delete that, i somehow deleted the whole post. huge bummer!!!!... so this is a second effort and i'll stop here and post the puppy stuff tomorrow....hopefully...

Monday, October 18, 2010

the ruby has landed!!!!

today was "D-Day"...delivery day for the newest addition to our family..RUBY BEGONIA!!!...we took nels and drove over to oldenburg...the great chicken place...but instead of chicken we got our sweet ruby!! - we had 4 to choose from and the minute i held this little girl in my arms and she licked my face i knew she was the one!...she is so calm...just what this family needs i'm thinking...and at the moment she's sound asleep in her crate, full tummy, puppy breath quietly going in and out and head resting on a toy the frenchies next door got her as a welcome home present. their golden, scooby, is 2 weeks older than ruby but he's a lot bigger and, being a boy, a lot more aggresive...go figure...i can see a whole lot of backyard frolicing in their future!...just returned from the cottage...with this new life ahead of us i sure hope i find time to fit a little painting into the mix. nels is still a bit wary but so far it looks like she's a keeper for sure!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

gangway to jamaica

here's the view from our balcony...this is at the end of our day in jamaica and the folks are straggling back on board. i would highly recommend a balcony - it was small but we spent some quality time out there..reading, snoozing in the sun, mesmerized by the waves at night...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

grand cayman



so here are a couple pics of grand cayman - as you can see, the water is very choppy and we couldn't even sit near the edge on the balcony of the bad restaurant because we'd get sprayed. they closed the dolphin swim and the stingray adventure so all we ended up doing is browsing, eating, taking pix of galoots and buying a lovely bracelet. we found out later that some of the folks snorkled but i don't think we know how...davey says we did it years ago in some southern place but i've slept since then and don't remember it if it even happened!..gorgeous day today...played some golf...ordered our christmas present to each other...(a tempurpedic mattress!!!) and had the comcast guy come again!! time to eat!

Monday, October 11, 2010

a bit of the dunns river falls..




so i'm finally able to upload my pictures..back to normal wifi after the vastness of the ocean...this climb up the falls was just spectacular - i'm not sure i captured it and in certain places you were in water past your waist. i had to hold my fanny pack containing my camera up around my shoulders and davey kept having to hold his back pack over his head. (check him out in the first pic above).. we weren't even allowed to bring cameras or backpacks on the trek but we managed to skirt the official "group" so we never quite got the memo. it was so exhilirating - we wanted to turn around and immediately do it again but we were running out of time so we just walked down on the beach and my hubby, while looking for a bob marly hat, got bamboozled into buying a little carved piece - the guy gave us the first piece as a gift and then demanded to sell us the second and snarled when we didn't offer enough - really quite threatening...we were so happy to get out of there...anyway - back to work and real life...we're picking up ruby within a week and we're starting to break the news to nels...she's already exhausted from playing with scooby next door!! the weather is still hot hot hot so i'm thinking tennis will have to wait another week and i plan to hit the links in the morning!!!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

back home again...

well - we're back in indiana...was that a dream?? - hopefully i'll have time tomorrow to catch up..maybe post some of my pictures..galoots, etc....but we came home to 82 degree weather and we may just have to golf...laundry and golf...bills and golf....life is good, no matter what, and we are ready for another cruise!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

headin home....

ok - so we only have 18 minutes left on our wifi account so i'll be brief...and unless something fantastical happens tonight, this will probably be my last post before we're back in the states. we're beginning to see signs of humanity - the occasional lighthouse-looking thing - a dim far-off landmass looking thing - i know we headed out of jamaica yesterday and headed northeast and around the eastern end of cuba and then back up sort of following the coast - the tv available on board is pretty pathetic but they do have a channel that continually shows where you are and it's kind of cool!...a lazy day - have to have all our bags packed before we head to dinner and we just aren't making that much headway - we did take a long nap this afternoon - this nightlife is really hard on a body! - we watched a beatles tribute and then went to a piano bar last night. davey is of course the hit in our group! -they can't get over his argyle socks, of all things - that's just the way he dresses! - gotta run - we've printed off a couple prints of some galoots we know...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

468 pounds of "galoot"...


(note*...i have since been able to access my files so i'm uploading the pix!!)
so now i have my computer back up and running and i actually FOUND my camera charger! - i knew i wasn't crazy!!..SO I'M ALL SET! - so there we were in cayman yesterday - browsed around the jewelry stores and had lunch at a very overpriced and not very good place called the paradise...as we were leaving we happened to look down this little stairway to the ocean and who should we see but two huge galoots getting tossed by the waves. it was dak and heck of course so after we got a quick pic we joined them and got absolutely wiped out by an enormous wave! and for some reason i can't seem to upload the image! rats! i'll keep trying but it may be that i'll have to wait to do most of that til i get back in the states. before we came back on board, my hubby bought me a beautiful gold bracelet with 3 little perfect diamonds - i was so thrilled!!...then last night we had a lovely dinner and then went to karioke..i couldn't get anyone to agree to sing with me but then monica walked in late and i had my accomplice! - we also dragged james up there - another IU cruiser - and we did a fine number..we sang "don't stop believing" and we were pretty fabulous! - then up to the lido deck for a bit of dancing - not too strenuous - it was almost one and we were tired. we needed to get to bed because today we hit jamaica - mon - and went to dunn's river falls - it's this fabulous waterfall that you climb up - all this rushing water cascading down around you and water at times up past your waist - we did pretty well for a couple of mid-sixty year olds! and then we had to avoid at all costs the beggars accosting us, starting with the guy at the stairs at the top of the falls who announced that this was the "tipping station" of all things! we'd been warned about this so we were prepared - we also did the falls on our own instead of joining a group - that way we avoided all the guys snapping pics in hopes of selling you a video at the end of the ordeal. had lunch at the hard rock.. some jerk chicken sangies and red stripes - now back in the cabin and, since we've already run out of scotch, we bought 6 little duty free bottles and snuck them back on the ship by pouring them into a tea bottle. very clever - so now we're resting up for a big night - no-one needs to get up tomorrow so we may have a fun evening in store - no need to hit the leg machine at the gym today - the falls did it for us!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

hilarious....

so here we are in cayman - bad weather on the other side of the island kept us from landing in the main city...we took a bus over to all the action and just browsed around a bit...all of a sudden a strange man came over and yelled.."i thought you should have won the dance contest!!"...what a riot - i'm running our of battery - more later...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

another dancing injury.....

well...i am NOT the best dancer on the ship, apparently! - last night before dinner we discovered this fabulous little bar with live music right across from our sit-down dinner venue...davey and i got the place going a bit until we had to leave for the late seating...then after dinnner, we dragged jackie and dak and monica and ski to this little spot for just a bit and then they dragged us to the michael jackson tribute...and that's when the fun began~! - the place was not exactly rocking when we arrived but in no time jackie. monica, davey and i had most of the crowd out there! - at one point i was dancing with this very smooth black mj wanna-be - and we were going to town when all of a sudden i tripped and couldn't catch myself - (i'm blaming it on the rubber crocs i was wearing - they wouldn't exactly slide and spin!) - i went crashing to the floor and this fine fellow actually came swooping in on his knees and we kept dancing so it looked like we planned it! dak actually asked if i did that on purpose!! it hurt like hell! - in fact i hardly slept - anyway...davey was out there shaking it down almost every dance. he was his usual fantastical self but he needed just a tiny break - so i grabbed "bob"...who said he would only dance if THRILLER came on...and it did..so he did!...one dance....and while we were out there this gal came around and put a medal around my neck, saying i was officially in the dance contest. she tagged 4 other ladies and 5 guys - one of whom was BOB!!! - davey was so pissed! - sits out one dance and he gets "bobbed"...or as he likes to say "wally ( i think) pipped"...the guy who sat out one game and then lou gerhig played the next 4 thousand and 12 or something...anyway - we had the dance-off and even though i did my best, the crowd got behind these two other ladies, one of whom was from the short bus and the other looked like betty white...the betty white gal i think won the girls and for the guys...even though there were some mighty fine dancers - mj wanna-bes for sure...guess who won!!!??? BOB!!!! - plus he went on to win the entire thing and a bottle of champers...and he's been in my husband's face ever since!! - we are having a wonderful time with these new IU friends - and today had a eucher tournament - we all thought bob would win that too but some other guy did and i came in second - dumb luck and 3 hands of "going it alone" didn't hurt!!...i can't decide if there will be dancing in my future but after a couple drinks with dinner i just may have to hit the floor again...(not literally, of course!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

key west


it was so strange last night...first of all we had a lovely dinner - met two very lovely couples, one of whom was celebrating their 50th wedding ann'y! - then, since we ate so late, when we finally got back to the room it was quite dark...then it got strange.....on the balcony, with the ship traveling around 20 knots or so - we were making time and it was almost eerie - the birds looked like stars, darting about overhead - almost luminescent - and the vastness of it all - i was at that moment very happy and grateful to not be alone in the world - to have wonderful family and friends - i can't imagine how alone one would feel under that great big sky - lost in the middle of the ocean..if one didn't have faith and family and friends....we slept well and this morning pulled into key west - quite the tourist trap - lots of junky stores selling lots of junky stuff. we rented a couple bikes and got several hours of exercise - rode all over - got some great shots - the southernmost home for one...and now i have a delimma...i find i forgot to pack my camera charger! - i'm going to check to see if they have another - i actually bought a new battery for just such an occasion but it's supposed to be charged first so i'm in deep trouble! - i may just have to write about things and not do any pix - i'll probably wait til i get home to post most of the stuff since it takes so long out in the middle of the ocean. you can get some idea of the hugeness of our ship with this photo and out room is directly above the "N" in carnival!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

underway.....


well i took so many fabulous pictures today...including one of a group of people doing the twist...and i asked them if they would mind being on my blog...and they said great! - i took one of us leaving the port, a couple of the inside of the pool area...one of the outside of the boat as we were arriving...and then i went to post all this and i found i'd left my card in the computer. no card in the camera!!! i promise to do better tomorrow! - anyway...we actually stood in the VERY long check in line with the fellow who was the primary reason we're even taking this cruise in the first place - danny dakich - former iu player and assistant, head coach of bowling green, back as assistant at iu - interim coach under sampson during a very hard time for iu - now a fabulous radio and soon to be ESPN commentator...anyway...we met his wife jackie and traveling buddies monica and ron and found it was a very small world indeed...some stuff about the ship...almost 1000 feet long and around 300 feeet high - absolutely immense!!!! i've done a bunch of exploring and this place is unbelieveable - so much to do - i found myself in the middle of a spa tour in the blink of an eye...and the food!!!!!! - my friend michelle told me the average weight gain for a cruise is 7 or 8 pounds. from the look of perhaps 30% of the people on this ship..they have been on many many MANY cruises!!!!! i think you can eat at all hours of the day and it's all included so "what the hell"?! we did check out our dinner arrangements and we have regular 8:15 seating in the "posh" restaurant - unbelieveable! - i took a picture and..well you know the rest...maybe tomorrow...getting ready to meet the IU gang at 6:30 and then on to dinner. this is going to be so much fun! - and guess what my hubby just said..."maybe we SHOULD play golf"...go figure! - and he, of course, managed to get out of the call to muster drill - i knew he would! i was there frantic and he was relaxing in the cabin, having told the guy who knocked on the door that he'd been so sick and vomiting he couldn't leave the room. we DID manage to sneak our scotch on board!!! more later!

from our hotel balcony.....

so here's the view from our balcony here at the hilton marina in ft. lauderdale....i took this today..sunday morning...but it was way more fun to watch last night!..we think this may be between 100 and 200 feet - a true luxury yacht with a crew of i don't know how many. at least two girls and maybe three fellows scurried about most of the early evening, preparing for something. then all of a sudden, we saw a young couple - lounging - not working - they'd be on one deck, then they'd be on another - then they'd go inside and come back out - then they went up on the top deck and lay down with their feet kicking up behind them. this was after we came home from dinner...we took a break and watched the Blind Side - a wonderful movie, by the way!!!..then when we checked back in we saw what all the preparations were about. the two girls were serving 4 people dinner - very elegant it seemed - and the young couple had been joined by two other men. the rich are differect. but they still have to eat - even if it's aboard a fabulous yacht!! i think we caught a glimpse of the carnival freedom on our way to the hotel yesterday - if i'm right - this yacht will look like a toy boat...more later..and are we excited!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

c-day approaches....

c-day..as is "cruise"...fast approaching and we are getting very psyched!! in getting my piles together, i'm realizing i have WAY more clothes than i need - maybe because i have a hard time letting go of anything...(i think i still have some over the knee "go-go" boots up there somewhere)....so hopefully, with all this i can pare down and give some stuff away..honestly, i've really tried over the years to do that but now i think it's staring me in the face - so i will do it...when i get home, of course! - packing up my computer and my camera so i can hopefully document some of the fun stuff we'll be doing. i can't wait for dunn's falls! and the stingrays...and the food! - someone mentioned the average weight gain is 8 pounds...i KNOW we can do better than that! ok - all for now...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

gearing up....

there truly has been no time to paint this week - with every day that passes, i'm thinking i'm getting ready for this cruise but i'm really not! - i'm making piles..(we all know about that, don't we?)..and i've heard that some people get very dressy on a few of the nights - and anyone's who's ever traveled with me knows i pack everything i own...just in cases....so i'm really trying to think and plan ahead of time so i won't have to do that. and then....yesterday, davey tells me " i have some very bad news for you!"..i thought.."oh god, what have i done now?"....and then he says "YOU have to pick out ruby since she's going to be your dog!!"..needless to say, nels is HIS dog...so...anyone who's ever gone out to dinner with me knows what a hard time i have making a decision..eveything looks so good and what if someone else orders something i maybe should have ordered?...so picking out a puppy?????? whew!!!! fortunately we won't have to cross that bridge til we get home from our cruise - we can't go over and pick her out til the puppies are all ready to go home and then the breeder has to honor the hierarchy of ownership..(pecking order?)..so who knows where we fall in that lineup...i'm just going to trust...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

latest in a series...


11x14 oil on stretched canvas
oh i'm having such fun with these mouths....lips...ladies...i started this one in my friend nan's back yard a couple days ago - it was very hot and windy and we didn't last long...plus we did more visiting with our friend jane than anything else - friendship trumps painting anyday, i'm thinking...so i think i'm finished with this and i plan to take this and another up to the downtown midland gallery next week. i haven't checked my traps there in a while and i need to rearrange stuff. we're getting ready for our first ever cruise ..(we sail one week from today)...and i really don't want to stress over this so i'm going to really concentrate on getting ready! - may not have too much time to paint. i plan to take my laptop and hopefully post some of our adventures. i'm not going to take my paints but hope to do some sketching or maybe some small watercolors...we are more than excited!! - meanwhile the frenchies' puppy arrived last night...he's just 6 weeeks old and already he thinks nels is his mom!! wait til ruby arrives in a few weeks - we'll have the scooby and ruby show...and nels will be so happy...perhaps...