Saturday, September 29, 2007

and Then Some....






Busy yesterday, ZZZZ's happened too early last night to get this posted. G. was hired (although we consider it an honor)to "plant" the wheat, so he jumped at that opportunity. I joined him and we both rode in the cab of the 555 Versatile, pulling the "drill" planting the wheat seed and fertilizer. What a fun operation! I think probably "farmers" DO IT for one of three reasons: (1) to make a living (paltry as it may be)(2) to be a part of the big picture, "feeding the world" OR (3) to just enjoy prepping the ground, putting seeds in it, caring for it, and watching it grow, then to reap the harvest of your labor. We decided that our neighbor enjoys the third - and so would we! It's 'life fulfilling'. Here are some photos of the newly "drilled" field, milo plants that will soon be harvested, my new "Studio 165" hat, the 555 Versatile tractor with the drill behind it, and G. standing on the drill. Yep, WE would like to "farm" too! (I think it is in my blood, as my dad's family were farmers). When we were done, we had to get back to the 'siding project'. The front window had to be removed and the framing around it corrected and "beefed" up. Now, it is back in, the tar paper has been repaired on the entire house front and the siding will be going up today. Started...anyway. I think my insomnia problem has been solved, do physical labor all day, took a "salts" bath and "Nighty Night!" Life is good! Stay tuned for before and after photos of the house project, hopefully to be completed soon, weather permitting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Beginning of the new "siding" project










The house is continuing to have it's well deserved upgrade due to damage from hail storms at the beginning of warm weather this year, see end of May and mid-June blogs. As you can see, we tore into removing the siding from around the door and the foundation at the door. Can't expect any more from a 104 year old farmhouse, I guess. We have a lot more repairing to do than we originally planned. But as you can see, the finished product of the new door, was worth it. We are still tearing off old siding, figuring out how to cover the "stones" that are the foundation for the floor plate, not like it's done today of course. There are lots of dead mice and some biting gnats that G. got into today. I had to go to Kearney, Ne., to return 32" door and get 36" door. Had this door that you see, for the studio, then used it for the front, now have to exchange "lites" (the glass design) from the one I was able to get today with the one in the photo, as it is much nicer than any you can get this year for the price. The one in the photo above, opens the wrong direction...had to get a "right hand" door. So now the door in the photo will go back to rest on the wall of the studio for a little longer, minus the pretty glass. More photos tomorrow with the '50 Chevy with some of the siding trash and house side open like a "sore".

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dustin' Off the Crust Buster


News about FARMIN' today. G. is out in the neighbor's farm tractor "bustin' the crust" (taking the dirt clods down to a finer soil) from the field where wheat seed will be soon planted. Neighbor, Ed, works at a job during the day, and farms when he's not workin', so to get his seed in the ground he needed field help, taught G. how to drive this equipment in the dark last night and showed him what to do..so G is out there somewhere. This morning he was bustin...to get crust bustin. He is a farmer at heart and is always interested in learning as much as he can about farmin'. Since moving here, we both have a new awareness and appreciation for farmers and their task. The saga of the elusive wolf spiders continues. They are all over the place this fall! I am OK with them outside, just not in the house, which has been sprayed and sprayed with Home Defense. I think we found the space where they are getting into the house, just have to climb up on a ladder and seal it. Did I tell you how fast they are?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Supply Run

Whenever we need building supplies, we have to travel 90 some miles (1 way) to a GOOD lumber/hardware supply. I made that trip today to pick up special ordered "scalloped" siding that we'll use to embellish the gable area of the north side of the house as we replace the siding that was ruined in June by the hailstorm. We have had to wait awhile to do this project, for the temp to get a little cooler and will have to look for a day when it is calmer, which may be coming soon, as the whole protective side of the front of the house will be coming down, temporarily. On my trip I decided to pass the time, an hour and 15 minutes each way with a book CD I have had and never listened to. What a good story, so far. Books on CD are the way to travel. I would regularly finish a book on the way back and forth from Co to KS., last year. I am listening to "The Kite Runner". Reading changes your life and sometimes changes your views. This novel definitely fits into that category. Books take you so many places that you can't go to or never thought about. It's almost dangerous to drive and listen as you can be transported to another world so easily. But it sure helps to pass the time (and it is very boring drive). Got to do a little side shopping at Hobby Lobby for some art materials I have had on my list. Yeah! Looking forward to getting the dead bugs out of the studio (from "bugbombing" the place, although some bugs sure are tougher than others, as I stated yesterday). I find little carcasses in the most unique areas. They love to crawl into boxes and into plastic bags, little do they know. Ha!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Flies, Wolf Spiders and a Stinky Farmhouse

Hi All, back from Minnesota! I had been there once, in downtown, but not anywhere else, and this time of year, it is very lovely...nice and cool with leaves changing. Minneapolis reminded us of Denver as far as traffic gridlock, even at 3 - 4 in the afternoon! We don't miss it. Stayed in a very beautiful place near Garden City, MN., in a fairgrounds, where they have horse shows, 4H, FFA, etc., but no one was there, we were the only ones! Great big old oak trees. Nice sleeping weather. I noted a hoppin' place driving back home, St. Peter, Minnesota. Looked like a place I could thrive, lots of cool old Victorian houses and a Main Street with lots of neat little interesting artists' shops. Next night, we stayed along the Missouri River in Yankton, South Dakota, nice place too, but lots of people. Now we are home and I finally feel like it is coming HOME, after a year and a half.
BTW, I sprayed lots of bug killer around the foundation inside and outside the house as we had a very huge wolf spider on the ceiling before we left, came home, picked up the fly trap that had blown off the porch and there was a BIG guy stuck to it (I'm talking about the size of your palm, guess he thought he would munch on a few flies...)then there was a BIG one in the studio, just as we walked in the door to see if we had any leaks from the 1 1/2 inches of rain that we got while gone. I can pick up toads, I can catch grasshoppers, I can catch a mouse without freaking out, I can deal with sick or injured birds and what not, but I really don't like big spiders (or snakes, as you recall). And it's fly season everywhere, don't you just hate it? Seems like every fly I swatted in the RV, Herman ate it off the floor before I could retrieve it. Yech!
Old farmhouse mustiness hit me in the face when I opened the door upon returning, so I am burnin the candles, fans blowin and windows open! Peeyoo!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Art Saves Lives"


Ok, I started this blog to tell you about my wanting to learn HTML for free online and about the grasshoppers in the fields..but I found there was something else I had to say. We are on our way to Minneapolis for the Vanagon tomorrow. Got to get back quick and get on ALL THE STUFF we GOTTA DO, so I can get back out to the studio to draw and paint. Been missing it terribly!! Right now, I am a frustrated artist! And that isn't good for the other part of my life. Makes me grouchy and sad at the same time. You have no idea how fulfilling art can be, unless you are an artist. Several of you who read this will agree! That's why I have adopted the saying on the bumper sticker on my Jeep -  "Art Saves Lives" -  actually I got it at the Ancestral Spirits Gallery in Port Townsend, Wash., and it has a different meaning there, lay-offs were happening in the area a few years ago and people turned to ART as a way of making a living...so in that case "Art Saves Lives" differently.) I also look at the saying to mean this: if it weren't for THE ARTS, MUSIC and PHYSICAL EDUCATION/SPORTS, many kids would have dropped outta school long ago. It was what kept me interested, my daughter interested and many other kids I have taught along the way interested. Please support the arts in public education and when someone says they think the ARTS should be erased from the academic world, remember please...ART SAVES LIVES!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Owners of a VW Vanagon


Well, we are on our way soon to Minneapolis. G finally found a VW Vanagon that he would like to "fix and flip" or maybe "add" to the stable of already TOO many vehicles we keep around. Either way, we can tow it behind the RV, it is a campmobile, so we can go into more difficult areas with it if needed when we travel. Sometimes it is good to park the "mother ship" and take the "satellite" out and about (like the hippies we used to be and still are at heart). Should be plenty of room for the dogs and has all the comforts of home, minus the toilette...hmmm. This rig will need lots of work, but we have been preparing ahead of time, by getting a welder and space to work on vehicles like this, plus it gets 28 mpg supposedly. Can't argue with that!! We need some more things to do, (ha) but it will be fun, and this has always been in the plans for retirement. Does anyone have a "Grateful Dead"(dancin' bears)decal they aren't using?? Peace out, man!
BTW - CHECK OUT MY NEW ETSY SHOP, SEE LINK ABOVE MY AVATAR ON THE RIGHT.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Silence of the Calves

Just across the road there is a farm, where cows and calves are kept. Beginning last Saturday, there was a prelude to an eventual crescendo of "crying" (and I mean sorrowful and sad..) from the "now older" calves. They had been removed from their mother's area to be "weaned". Our neighbor says that it is essential to do this before he takes the calves to the sale barn, as if it doesn't happen before they go, they get sick from crying so much after they are sold. Here it is Wednesday and there is a silence. So now I know it takes a good 5 days for the "silence" to occur. Thought this would be a good "Did you know?" for some of my readers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Reluctant Weimeraner


This is an oil that is on the easel right now. I need to do some photo resourcing before continuing, as G's hand was not in the photo and it shows his weight on his knuckles as he bent over to talk to our Weimeraner on the beach at Cape Lookout in Oregon. The dog had just been released from his splint on his broken leg after two surgeries and a couple of months on a "close by your side" leash, and was a little too frisky for the beach and the people around, so G was making sure he understood how the beach walk should go. Our patience and understanding was waning at one time with this one, however, we do enjoy him immensely and wouldn't trade him for anything. His figure in the painting needs much more work and detail, but I do have his stance correct. He wasn't interested at all in what G. had to say. We often saw that response when he was a pup. I'll bet a lot of you have had puppies like that, too! I also have to think about the area surrounding the figures...it is the sand of the beach, but it doesn't read right so far in the painting, so will work more on that too! It's a good thing I stepped away from it for awhile, as I am able to get re-inspired at this time. Cooler weather here makes me very happy!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Re-Entry


Being gone from home to Brooklyn, N. Y. for 21 days/3 weeks has proven to be an eye-opener to many things.
First of all, I've grown to know how much I appreciate my home and present life situation;
how much I enjoyed the change of scenery, however, "There's no place like home"...appropriately said considering where I live (tsk);
how scarce certain food items and resources for art there are in this part of the planet for someone like myself, (like no "goat cheese" at the local market, just one of many to mention, although there are lots of goats around); how very quiet and peaceful it is here;
how different each little town/community in the area is - each has a different "feel" and "vibe" to it and each has it's own distinct culture (just like the different neighborhoods within a borough in NYC);
how I have had to readjust my "mindset" from N.Y to KCMO to No. Central Ks.
My thoughts go to those who journey into space for lengthy times, those who fight for our country, doing extended tours, those who are exiled from their homelands, or even those who travel for their job (near or far). The world has seemed to grow smaller, while there exists such diversity and variety in the human experience. You'll most likely agree that we learn much from travel, necessary or otherwise, and I view it as an important activity to learn, enrich, inspire, humble, and energize the soul. But best of all, it's good to be HOME.