Jan 9, 2017

This Ninth Day of January Two Thousand and Seventeen

This morning my teenage daughter got herself out of bed and fed and off to school on her own, while I gave my first grader a ride to his new school.  He finally got into Montessori (there's a wait list.) After I dropped him off, I went to my neighborhood library and started a mural for the toddler room.  It's a big elm tree and I used three ladders and three colors to get it going today.  It's magnificent and I may paint trees in my own home after this.  The new Montessori school gives the kids each a 'job' at school and today my son's job was to do dishes.  He loved school so much that when he came home he wanted to show me how he can help.  This day is one for the books.

Dec 31, 2016

The Last Day of 2016

I mostly liked 2016.  Yes, the election sucked, and some baby boomers I liked passed away, but on a personal level it was pretty good.  I taught watercolors all year and got a mind boggling amount of work done.  Jack learned to read words and Ella learned to read music.  Thomas published a rich and entertaining book by a writer we like this year and we have irons in the fire to work with more folks we enjoy.  I almost managed to paint a wall in the new house... I think I'm almost ready. Painting a wall is such a funny and dreaded commitment for me.

Nov 28, 2016

Busy Busy

Here's a thing I painted with watercolors.  I'm super happy with the way these eyes turned out looking so round and bubbly. I sketched this one before I painted it so it's a little less free form than usual.  I like the teal color next to that macaroni and cheese orange color.  

Nov 23, 2016

Rainy Day Puppy

It's cold and I have a cold and this new puppy we have likes to be walked a bazillion times a day. When she's all worn out, she's very well behaved, just like children. Today I've spent a truck load of time working with her on her nippy behavior.  Mostly it's going well.  On the advice from my vet I bout Dr. Sophia Yin's book "Perfect Puppy in Seven Days" and it makes me sad for all the other dogs I've know in my life that could've been better dogs had I read this book sooner.  This book is amazing and they should give a copy of it away with every puppy that changes hands ever.


My toes are cold.


I'd like to pick up some gold leaf to put into some of my paintings in the next wave of things I make. I just want to.


There's never enough time in any day accept the rainy ones, these days last forever.

Nov 16, 2016

Mighty Pens Autumn 2016 Episode

I'm enjoying listening to the media put conservatives feet to the fire regarding Breitbart.  They're pushing and pushing and correcting and fact checking and it's not only good reporting and it's entertaining as hell.

Nov 2, 2016

On Mom Time

Why when you ask if I've watched the new episode of anything I just laugh. aka Why watching a one minute video actually takes me forty minutes.

Hit play on new Jon Steward video I was tagged in, watch 4 seconds.

"Mom, can you help me pour milk?"

Pause video, pour milk, one minute later hit play, watch 4 seconds of video.

"Mom I gotta tell you something...."

Pause video, enthusiastically listen to a two minute story about farts, hit play and watch another 10 seconds of video.

Realize the puppy needs to go out.

Pause video, walk the puppy around the yard for five minutes, bring her in for praise and treats, hit play watch 4 seconds of video.

"Mom! I need help! My ipad is out of battery! I need to plug it in!"

Pause video, plug in ipad, put Sponge Bob on the tv, a minute later hit play and watch 10 seconds of video almost hear a whole joke.

"Mom this dog is too bitey! I'm gonna just put her in the laundry basket!"

Pause video, separate bitey dog from feisty child, tell child not to jump on the couch, put dog in crate, three minutes later watch 10 seconds of video, hear punchline of joke set up four minutes ago.

"Mom, I'm hungry"

Pause video, walk child into the kitchen, select a snack together, put it in a bowl, wash three dishes and empty the trash, make a cup of coffee for myself, feed hungry puppy and remember I wanted to watch that video I was watching fifteen minutes ago. Hit play, watch 30 seconds of video.

"I need a swipe!"

Pause video, for the next ten minutes, go swipe soemone's butt, wash hands, tell child to wash hands. Run to the basement to locate a clean hand towel, run it back upstairs to hand to child who is now standing there with wet hands and pants around ankles. Re-tie draw string pants at the waist of child, so they stay up. Hit play on video watch 20 seconds.

Pause video, answer phone. Talk for a minute, hit play on video. watch 20 seconds when the credits roll, realize it's over. Bookmark it to try to watch it again later.

Oct 24, 2016

All of These Good Things

Last Thursday the 20th I drove over to the next county and picked up a puppy.  Just when I felt like I was paying all my bills on time and flossing regularly I threw a puppy in the gears of the house and everything when sproinging and springing out of the box. I can't help but be reminded of my old dog, 'Wednesday', whom I received in October of... jeez maybe 1997? She looked just like this pup. Wednesday was a great dog.  I needed a couple of years between her and this one to just be helpless mammal-less. 

Lately though I'd been wishing I had someone to bark when the door bell rings, someone to walk the bike-path with me, someone to chew on my shoes. Then Dad came over and brought a friend's dog with him.  My young son showed that big old lab around our house like he was royalty. "This is the hallway, this is the bathroom, this is my room... and if you ever spend the night you can sleep right here..." he said.  It wound me up in such a way that I knew this boy who's brought a stuffed dog to school with him every day for three years, needed his own dog. My mind was set.

I made myself one promise, I'd not have a house that smelled like dog. So potty training is number one and this pup understood in the first two days where to go and what to do. She's super smart. we taught her stairs, we taught her to go in and out, we taught her how to walk on a leash, tomorrow we're going to teach her to sit. But she's a nipper. She's part border collie and that makes her want to herd things. Including children.  We're working on it.  I bought books. The kids are helping. She's learning, but her teeth itch and she wants to chew things and every cell in her body is saying run and steer.  She can move a soccer ball around the yard like Pelé. My boy says he still loves her even though she chews his pants and his toys. So we're far from having lil' Pelé sleep over in his room, but we'll get there.


It's mid-October, the leaves are falling while the wind rustles the trees in the early afternoon.  That sweet autumn smell is wafting in the open windows.  Dinner is simmering.  Both children are at the dining room table working on their homework, and chatting about funny things. Thomas is making tea. The puppy sleeping on her tuffet, rolls over and her fat little belly is exposed as she yawns. The Cubs are on their way to the world series and Hillary Clinton is up in the polls.  I stand in the middle of the house sipping coffee and quietly soaking in all of these good things.