Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wishing you a Fabulous 2014!!!

I just completed another project in the "Dancing With Your Dreams" class I'm taking.  (I LOVE this class, by the way!!!)  Hiding under all those fabulous colors are my dreams for myself, my family, my life.  They're all cozy, warm, and safe under a layer of fun and whimsy...ready to grow, grow, grow. 

I'm not one to ever do resolutions, so this project was pure perfection for me. I think there's a lovely power in putting things in writing and visual form.  Bliss!

Wishing everyone a fabulous 2014...may it be full of fun, love, friendship, whimsy, adventure, creativity, and anything else your heart desires!

Click here to view my gallery.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Toilet Lid Up or Down?

Our kitten loves the toilet.  By "love" I mean that he grooves on it as a source of water, he plays with it with his paws, and he occasionally slips all the way in and takes a very brief bath.  Very.  He's seriously convinced that it was placed there just for him.  It's disgusting.

Now we humans in the house have a new rule as a result of all this.  Always flush the toilet.  Always put the lid down.  These rules, as the only female human in the house, make me very, very happy.

While we've proven ourselves to be fairly abiding of the flush rule, there's definitely some failures on the lid down rule.

So this scene happens...a lot...and not just to me.

• Go in to the bathroom.
• Sit on toilet.
• Do business.
• Stand up.
• And only then realize that the seat was wet.

What is it about standing that activates our moisture sensor while sitting does not?

• We remember to put the seat down.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Classically Conditioned Kid

My little guy told me the other day that I was beautiful.  Unprompted!  Not that I prompt him to do so...OK, I have...but not this time.  I chalk it up to a Pavlovian thing.  Here's the deal.  For many years now I've required my kids to say something nice about me if they want me to make them a non-meal-time meal.  I mean they're asking me to stop what I'm doing to basically do something they could totally do for themselves.  So I'm perfectly reasonable, right?

Well, yesterday when my kid asked me to make a sandwich, he blurted out, "You're beautiful!"  I think it actually popped out before he'd even had a chance to consider the words he was about to utter.

Me:  "Why, thank you.  Same sandwich as always?"

Click here to purchase this painting.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Done Got Hip Checked

I got hip checked today.

Little guy:  "Hey mom, have you heard this song before?"

Me:  "No.  I like it."

Little guy:  "Here, I'll play you some more of their songs."

Me:  "You're the reason I'm so hip.  You keep me current."

Little guy:  "You're not hip. And don't say 'hip'."

..and I suppose his honesty would hurt if it were the slightest bit true.  Good thing it's so totally not!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Anonymous child of mine:  "Why are you being so weird?"

Me:  "What do you mean?  I'm always weird."

Anonymous child of mine:  "No you're not.  Dad is."

I'm not sure if I'm proud or if I feel I've been dethroned.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Putting it on the Line

I have to admit that my kids are rather used to being spoiled in the laundry department.  As far as they're concerned, the laundry fairy shows up most of the time and delivers piles of neatly folded laundry.  I figured they rather dug it like that, so I was blown away when my big guy said something to me today when I was hanging some jeans on our clothesline.

Big guy:  "Are you going to start using the clothesline again?"

Me:  "Just a little.  I always lay off in the winter."

Big guy:  "Well, I like when clothes are hanging out here so I can just go outside and take what I want to wear off the line."

I really dug it...and somehow I think one of his fond childhood memories will be of his mom hanging his clothes to dry.  Pretty groovy.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Santa Strategy Fail

I actually tried something last night...something I'm pretty sure I never even tried when my kids were little.  I hope I didn't, anyway.  You see, the little guy's room was a disaster.  Disgusting, really.  Stuff everywhere, seemingly half of our dishes strewn about his surfaces, and the place just had a smell.  A bad one.  So, after many nice reminders to clean it up, I pulled out the big guns.

Me:  "Santa Claus is watching you.  You better clean that room."

Little guy:  "Let him watch me."

That's what happens when your kid is fifteen, they're no longer a believer, and they're a smart aleck. 

Me:  "Watch me not give you any of your presents tomorrow."

Little guy:  "OK, gee, mom."

That's what happens when your kid is fifteen, they believe your threat, and they give up being a smart aleck for just a moment.


Mom:  1...I got my way.
Kid:  1...He got to have presents (and a clean room).
Santa:  0...Sorry big guy, can't even give you points for trying.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feeling Festive about "Finally"

On this particular eve I'm reminded of all the years of very little sleep I've had.  Of waiting for my children to finally fall asleep...so I could finally excavate all the toys I'd hidden...so I could finally place them just so in the living room...so I could finally go to bed...so my kids could wake up way too early and bug me till I finally got back out of bed to share the joy with them.

Good times were had, indeed.

And now that they're teenagers I precede them at bedtime and at rise.  Finally.

I wish everyone a happy holiday season celebrating in all the amazing ways that you do.  I hope you are with those you love, doing something you enjoy.

...and this little polar bear is ready to hibernate.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Gift of Easy Gifting

Dave and I went out to eat tonight.  On the way back we passed by the mall.  I suppose the mall is OK on a normal day, but oh, my goodness, there was gridlock in that parking lot.  I was so happy to not be in it.  In our actively inactive participation in the holidays, we've pretty much avoided all the shopping hoopla.  I admit we did buy a couple of things for my niece and nephew who are many states away.  Amazon, thank you very much...shopping in my PJs awesomeness!  We're happily giving my art to family as gifts.  No shopping there.  And my kids?  Well, they're each getting cash and, I'm every so slightly embarrassed to admit, groceries.  Yup, all their tangible gifts say "Trader Joe's" on them somewhere.  And I'm absolutely positive they will love what they receive!

This is my happiest and most stress free holiday season ever!

I recommend it.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Aging Fabulously...Young at Heart...The Tale of my Bunco Group

It's a funny thing this growing older business.  In the day-to-day I scarcely notice it.  But when there's a big gap in between things, the changes are always more evident.  Case in point...I'm so very lucky to be a part of a group of women who all met when our kids started elementary school.  That was about twelve years ago.  At first we got together monthly to play Bunco...then a little less often...until these days when our schedules keep us super busy and life pulls us in a million directions and we see each other as a group once a year.

When we first started we were a bunch of risk takers, young moms, eager to be out and kid free for an evening.  Singing our hearts out, dancing on tables, and, well, Vegas rules, darlin'.  We'd stay up late and worry not a bit about how we'd feel the next day.

These days?  We talk about our children going to college...or not.  We talk about our ailments.  We talk about our parents who are leaving us one by one.  We talk about what elates us, and what give us pause.  We dance on the floor where there's minimal risk of falling.  We definitely think about how we might feel the next day.  And we talk about how very much we love bedtime...yes, we talked about our mattresses and how much support they offer.

And all I have to say is I totally love us...young in years or young at heart.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I have the best neighbors ever!

A funny thing happens in my neighborhood when you're lazily boycotting setting up for the holidays.  Yup, no decorated tree, no stockings, no lights on the house.

What happens is this....

Your neighbors prod you in a very friendly way on facebook. 

You continue to be lazy and still do nothing...until your husband happens to come home with a slightly sad and a bit broken poinsettia plant...which you promptly put on the porch and declare your house decorated.

And then your neighbors put lights all over one of your bushes for you.

I'm officially the luckiest person in the world to have such amazing and wonderful neighbors!!!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Singing the Praises of Winter Break

Turns out that bursting into my kid's room whilst belting out "School's out for Winter Break!" to the tune of Alice Cooper's "School's out for Summer" doesn't create the animated happy response I expected.  Is it because finals just ended and exhaustion has taken over?  Maybe.  Is it because it's only a two week break?  Possibly.  Is it that my rendition is some kind of awful?  The likeliest answer.

I'm good with that...because I've got two weeks off for fun with family, friends, art, writing, and doing absolutely nothing!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wacky Wardrobe Choices

I've been thinking about wardrobe choices lately.  Mostly when I look at my big guy.  He's taken to wearing a beanie all the time.  Now this isn't a beanie like I remember as a kid...you know, the one that was rainbow striped with a propeller at the top.  No, it's the winter cap type of beanie.  And he's really, really cute in it.  But the forty-six year old me keeps wondering, "Why the heck does he want to wear a winter cap all the time, even when it's getting into the 70s?"  Impractical.

And I roll my eyes.  And I keep my comments to myself.

And then I remember that at his age I wore a black leather biker jacket all the time, no matter the temperature.  And I'm thinking I probably looked pretty cute too.  But totally impractical!

My big guy is looking a lot smarter in his style choices all of a sudden.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So what is it about dogs and postal carriers?

So what is it about dogs and postal carriers?  They come at pretty much the same time six days a week for years on end.  They never make a move to invade the house or cause harm in any way (aside from delivering bills, of course).  So why do dogs think they're so evil?

Our old dog, Scout, barks relentlessly at our mailman each and every day, and no amount of persuasion or consequence can convince her otherwise.  To Scout, the mailman is the devil incarnate.

Well, today I went out to retrieve our mail after Scout's usual barking fit, and there were two dog biscuits placed atop our mailbox.

Me:  "These are a gift from our very nice and very kind mailman, Scout."

Scout:  gobble, gobble, whatever...

Somehow I don't think Scout will change her behavior at all, but I'm quite sure our mailman will be the recipient of some lovely homemade cookies!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Eleven Scariest Words Ever!

I went to bed last night, snuggled under the covers, my little guy came in to give me a hug...which somehow very much resembled a wrestling hold but I chose to love it anyway...and once alone I drifted off.  Almost, anyway.

Dave:  "Hey, Kal...the kitten has a cockroach.  Don't let him on the bed."

Me:  "WHAT?!?!?!"

Worst sweet nothings said to me at bedtime.  Ever.


Click here to purchase this painting.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I Found the Link to my Inner Child

I found the link to my inner child.  I've found it before, but I didn't really realize it.  But this last time I saw it for what it was.  I rather like to draw with my left hand (I'm a righty) as a challenge.  I do it every once in a while just for fun.  What I realize now is that it's a total release.  It's permission to be a kid, to be utterly and completely imperfect, to do something purely for fun, to experiment without any expectations of a "good" result.  It's FABULOUS! 

And it produced these super cute little guys!

So go for it!  Find the link to your inner child.  Maybe it's as close as your "other" hand.

 Click here to purchase this painting.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Big Switch-a-Roo

I absolutely love my children's art work.  I have tons and tons of it.  Now I was picky about the art work I kept from school to avoid having to rent storage space to hold it all.  My basic rule was that if any part of it was created by a copy machine, I allowed myself to toss it in the recycling bin.

Anyway, I've got several of their awesome ceramic works around the house.  Some decorative, some useful.  The other day I was admiring one that must have been from around first or second grade.  I turned it in my hands, the texture familiar to my mommy fingers.  I tipped it over so I could read the bottom to remember which of my kids had created it...and, clearly on the bottom it said, "Antonio".  Now this would have been fine and dandy had it been one of my kids' names, but that is not the case.

So am I going to pursue finding "Antonio"?  Likely not.  Do I wonder if Antonio's mom has my kid's work?  I kind of do.  Am I going to keep it?  You bet...I've grown to love the darn thing. 

Antonio, wherever you are, this mama loves your work!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's all in a Name

So I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes.  Well, a lot, I suppose.  It's been cold here lately and I somehow managed to misplace my gloves.  I couldn't help but think that my dad always knew where his gloves were.  Always.  Of course they were in that compartment in his car, right in front of the passenger seat.

And, I kid you not, I finally realized why that compartment is called a glove box.

And, yup, now I've got some gloves in there.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jungle Kitty Adventures

It froze here recently.  This, of course, means that all the plants must be brought inside.  Yup, all four of 'em.  Many, many years ago we had many, many more plants.  But years of being void of all green thumbiness has greatly pared our potted plant collection.

Anyway, once we lugged them all in, almost immediately our kitten scurried to the tippy top of the six foot tall pony tail plant.  The tippy top!  He was in jungle kitty heaven!  He'd go to the top, scale his way down, dig in the dirt, pull leaves off, and make a delightfully HUGE mess.

And ever since he was able to release his inner jungle kitty, he's become quite the stalker.  Stalking us, stalking our grumpy big cat, stalking the dogs, even stalking his kitten toys.  Now the three plants are back out on the porch.  Yes, three.  Jungle kitty officially got his first kill.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wrestling with my Wimpiness

My little guy participated in his first wrestling match last night.  OK, a little about me.  I have little to no attention span when it comes to athletic events...even when it's my own children who are involved.  I've missed many a pass, goal, touchdown, catch, etc.  My eyes and mind simply wander.  But, oh, my goodness, watching my kid wrestle is a whole different thing.  Did I look away?  Nope.  Do I wish I had?  Yes, indeedy.  The match was a mess of boy legs and arms all pretzeled together, flip-flopping, and then, mercifully, it was over.

And the funny thing is...

Me:  "Are you sore this morning after your match."

Little guy:  "No."

Me:  "I am.  I think I pulled something in my back while I was watching you."

Little guy:  "Wow, wimpy, mom."

Click here to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eat mo' Frito Pie!

I've sunk to a new low in the mothering department.  I actually uttered the words, "Eat a lot more Frito pie!"  And I meant it.  Now I'm not a nutrition nut with my kids.  They eat some junk food, have a daily dose of sugar, drink a soda if we're out and about, and have a particular love of fried chicken.  But me actually insisting that they increase their intake of Frito pie...well, it's a bit absurd.

Except for the fact that we've got a rather large stash of Frito snack size bags.  The deal is this.  I purchase large boxes of snack chips at Costco about once a month (See what I mean?  Seriously damaging my Mom of the Year status, eh?).  The kids, being ravenous teenage boys, devour the potato chips, the Doritos (regular and cool ranch), and the Cheetos, but what ends up settling to the bottom, least preferred and abandoned, are the Fritos.  So each time I buy a new box, I dump all the left over Fritos into it.  And on and on until we've got a rather large amount that may just qualify us for the show "Hoarders."

My solution?  If anyone wants me to buy another large box of assorted snack chips, they have to prove that they actually like all of the enclosed variations.  I'm here, wearing my apron and holding a can of chile, some shredded cheese, and a bag-o-Fritos...ready for my sweet guys to get home

Oh, if anyone knows of a charitable organization that could use a rather large donation of Fritos,  that'd work, too. 

Click here to purchase this painting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Kids still say the Darndest Things

When I was in college, about twenty-five years ago, I had this boyfriend.  One day he was in the kitchen and I needed help with something.  I can't for the life of me remember what, but when I asked him for help he said, "I can't, I'm cooking."  Now, had he had three pots going at once and a spoon in each hand, I would've understood.  But what was happening is that he was standing by the microwave...watching something get reheated...that still had a couple minutes of time left.  And, no, that isn't the reason we broke up.

But I was reminded of that long-ago event a few days ago when I asked my kid (who will remain unspecified) to make a phone call for me.

Me:  "Hey, will you call dad and let him know I'm actually cooking a meal for us tonight?"  (Yup, homemaker of the year I am not.)

One of my kids:  "I can't right now, I'm only wearing my underwear."


While my family doesn't benefit much from my culinary skills, I absolutely benefit in a HUGE way from their awesome sense of humor. 

Click here to purchase this painting.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lost in the background...can't figure out which way is up.

As I drove to the grocery store on Saturday morning in the 27º temps, I went through an intersection and there was a familiar homeless woman at her usual spot.  She was covered in plastic, her usual outfit, rain or shine, hot or cold.  Even her head and face are always completely covered.  I passed her quickly as my lane was moving through the intersection, but I could see her moving her arm and legs in what I can only assume was an attempt to keep herself the slightest bit warm.

I feel sad that I did nothing at the time to support her in any way.  I didn't offer her a ride, didn't give her cash, or even give her some of the bounty I'd just gotten at the store.  I still see her in my mind's eye...no face as it is always obscured by her protective plastic layer, instead only her wiggling limbs.

And I must have been only one of hundreds who saw her that day, and for the vast majority she was likely lost in the background of their commute.

As I painted in the warmth of my home later that morning I pondered a painting I'd picked up, tweaked, put down, and reworked over a period of a few weeks.  It was intended to be a background with something added to its surface that would be the actual focus, but every time I looked at it I got lost in the background.  Lost in a good way.  And then I found I had no idea which way was up.  So I opted to leave it as is, unsigned, anonymous.

And then I thought of the anonymous, shivering lady in plastic, lost in the background...and I wondered if she sometimes can't figure out which way is up. 

Which way should I go?
 Click here to purchase this painting.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Intuitive Spirit Totem Animals

I love critters...always have.  So this was super fun to do.  This painting is part of the "Dancing with your Dreams" class I'm taking.  For lack of a better word I made a mess of paint and tissue paper all over my canvas.  And then I stared at it, and stared at it, and stared at it.  The awesome idea was that our spirit animal would show itself.  And one did, almost immediately.  As soon as I finished painting I could clearly see a cat in the middle of the canvas.  It was climbing or jumping and was definitely joyful.  As the paint continued to dry I started seeing fish as well.

I did my best to bring them out and give them life.

I think the cat is telling me to take risks and have fun enjoying the adventure.

And for some reason I feel like the fish might be saying, "Hey, come on, you don't eat any other living creature, stop eating us, too."  Or maybe they just jumped in to harass the cat.  But really my gut is that they're telling me not to swim with the crowd...to stand out in my own way.

I dig these guys!

Click here to visit my gallery.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I've got ya where I want ya, and now I'm gonna...

...well, basically kidnap me.  I actually get kidnapped regularly.  It's awesome only because my husband is my kidnapper.

Here's how it goes.

Me:  "Hey, wanna go to Costco with me?"

Dave:  "OK."

And then an hour later I've gone with him on a work thing and then find myself at a coffee shop in a part of town I rarely, if ever, get to.  (Note:  Costco has not yet occurred.)   And aside from all the taxidermied animal carcasses around, it's a pretty cool coffee shop.

While I leave my bubble frequently in my mind and spirit, I tend to not be much of an adventurer in real life.  So I'm super thankful for my husband who forces me out.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Perfect Storm of Motivation

I'm always...ALWAYS...inviting my family to go with me when I go running or walking with our dogs.  I pretty much get a universal "No," but the other day presented itself with the perfect storm of motivation.

Me:  "Want to go running with me tonight?  I'll take you by a house where bunnies run wild and free."

Little guy:  "OK, this time.  I need to get in shape for wrestling."

So, perfect!

bunnies + wrestling = running buddy

And so as we ran and walked and ran and walked (that's how I roll), we weaved around the neighborhood, over bridges, through the backstreets, and up and down hills.  All the while I was doing my best to remember exactly where I had seen those cute little bunnies.  As an expert at "fake it till you make it" I meandered my way till I thought things looked familiar and then we were there.  And there was one lone bunny sitting in the front yard.  And my kid was thrilled.

...and so was I.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Power of Suggestion

I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of totally and completely cutting caffeine out of my life.   No coffee, no brown/black/green tea, no hot chocolate or any chocolate for that matter.  And really, it's been fine.  After those initial three days of withdrawal, that is.  It was worse than the worst flu ever, I tell you.  Seriously, my hat's off to anyone who can actually quit something really hard.

Anyway, as we've had quite the cold snap I'm finding myself a little hot beverage needy...and challenged.  I dug through the cabinets and found some herbal remedy type teas, and I've been getting my fix with a tea perfectly designed to soothe a sore throat.

And...unfortunately my throat has a certain weakness for the power of suggestion.  Sigh....

Hmmmmm...If I'm that susceptable, I need to get a hold of some herbal "tidy up your art project area already" tea.  My family would be so happy!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Dogs have Super Powers

I've decided that my dogs have super powers.  Totally different super powers.  And it all relates to kitten love.  Yes, I know, I'm a little obsessed with all things kitten these days...deal with it.

My dogs, when combined, make for a perfect companion for our newest little furry fella.  Hazel's super power is playing hard...super hard in a super gentle way.  She and our kitten, Tommy, play for hours and hours throughout the day.  Hazel is 81 pounds.  Tommy is 7 pounds.  It's seriously adorable.  Our old lady Scout's super power is snuggling.  Any time of day Scout is available for a little super cuddle time.  When Tommy isn't playing with Hazel, he's likely to be snuggled up to Scout, catching one of his many daily catnaps. 

Yup, my super dogs complete each other and are absolutely, positively a kitten's best friends.  I think they might just get capes for Christmas.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Food Combining Fail

You know how things can taste totally great separate and once you combine them, not so much?  Well, I just had that experience.

On their own...good!
• naan
• jalepeño yogurt cheese
• brussels sprouts
• jalepeños

All combined to make a "pizza"...not so good....

I have a feeling that when I go running later this afternoon my cooking skills will seriously come into question.


Click here to purchase this painting.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

Our little kitten finally got a taste of legitimate freedom.  "Legitimate" as this was the first time he was out with permission.  He's been out before, mind you.  Once he popped a screen out.  Once he slipped out when I was talking to Dave at the door.  He's a serious little toot, that little furry fella.  The cat, not Dave.

So the other day we took him out on the deck in the back yard.  I had a newly opened can of tuna to tempt him back if needed.  He took some slow, tentative steps and then leaped off the deck.  And he landed in the most freakish stuff that ever existed...wet grass!!!!  Ew!  Ick!  He shook it off, literally, and decided that he was all in for this adventure he was on.  He walked around behind the shed.  He ran up a tree.  He ran along the fence...and up another tree.  And then he found a small opening in the fence and before we knew it, he was in the next back yard.  Dave took off to go get him.  The kitten tore around, back and forth, under a trailer, under a bush, around a shed, and then he freaked out.  A monster was coming!  He ran back to the fence, looked at me with terror in his sweet little green eyes, ran back and forth, and totally managed to not get the fact that one, he could easily scale that fence in a hot second if he knew it were possible, and two, my entire arm was reaching through the opening that lead back to his safety zone.

"Crunch, crunch!"  Nab.

The monster Dave got him and poked him through the opening.

And the adventure was over.  And that little kitty took a big ol' cat nap.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oh, Mercy!

I realized this morning that it's World AIDS Day.  Made me think of a fella I had the pleasure of knowing while volunteering at a local AIDS hospice in the early 90s.  His name was George, he was from a small Texas town, he was beyond polite, he was some kind of seriously funny, and he was dying.  I remember sitting with him and visiting about how life used to be and how life currently was.  He had the sweetest southern drawl and knew better how to say, "Oh, mercy!" than anyone I'd ever or since met.

One morning I showed up at the hospice and I could tell before going in that a transition was in process.  I went to George's room and gazed upon his skeletal form, barely emitting a rattle of a breath.  I stayed with him till he left this life and for quite some time after.  Next to the birth of my own two children, it was likely one of the most beautiful and profound events of my life.

And I say on this day, as I do pretty much all of my other days, "Oh, mercy!"  Here's to George and the ability and willingness to see the amazing, the whimsical, the fun, and the humor in the things that life puts in our path.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Slumming It...Monopoly Style

We played Monopoly last night.  I have to say, I'm not a fan of the game.  It's funny, I have fond memories of playing it as a kid, but I mostly remember winning.  You know, against my baby brother who likely wasn't nearly as savvy as I, and against my parents who probably threw the game to get out of playing it for hours and hours. 

So now I was the parent playing.  I knew how it'd likely go.  One person would win and the rest would go down in financial ruin.  So, rather than approach the game as I did as a kid, full of dreams of becoming a slumlord as my opponents died slowly, I decided that my goal would be to lose, and to lose quickly.  That way I could get back to painting something happy.

Well, the game started out just like always, everyone getting a rainbow of properties with no one (except me, of course) getting a monopoly.  Then the big property trade/swap meet began....and then monopolies were had.  Dave and the little guy were cash rich, so they, I kid you not, jumped straight to purchasing hotels, which now that I think about it, cannot be done all in one turn, right?  Anyway, I rolled, crossed my fingers and toes, hoping to land on one of their big, red multi-family abodes...and I missed them.  Repeatedly!  My plan was falling apart!

Dave was not so "lucky" and he lost his shirt to the little guy...my sweet little guy who was now utterly and completely embodying every stereotype of a slumlord, down to the maniacal laugh.  And then I landed on his property.  And that was the end.  And I was so, so happy.

And I got my sweet little kid back.  Whew!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I've had to get the kids up "early" yesterday and today for lovely Thanksgiving gatherings.  As it turns out, waking up is a lengthy process involving much falling asleep at varying intervals in different places.  But what's awesome about my sleepy children is that they are very willing recipients of many hugs and kisses.  A fact that I'd somehow managed to forget until my big guy whispered something as I was giving him a little shakey-shake to stir him.

Big guy:  "Hug."

Oh, yeah, I'm on it!  XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!

Click here to purchase this painting.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Feeling Thankful

Feeling ever so thankful today...

for my family

for my friends

for my critters

and for all of you taking the time to read what I ramble on about and check out what I draw and paint on a daily basis.

Thank you for being a part of my bliss!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Consequences of Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry reared its ugly head today.  And I was with only one of my children.

I was in a dressing room at a store trying on some skinny jeans.  These weren't the run of the mill skinny jeans, these were the skinny jeans.  I pulled them off the hanger feeling quite self-assured and optimistic.  I pulled the left leg on, then the right.  Only the right just barely made it over my heel.  Now I don't have an abnormally enlarged right heel, for some reason that's exactly where they decided to place the big plastic security thingie.  I pulled the pants up to my waist...well, almost...and it became perfectly clear that those jeans were not meant to be worn by the likes of me.

So the process went in reverse.  All was fine until it was time for that right heel.  I was STUCK!  I got my phone out, considered calling my big guy who was actually the reason we were at the store, decided against it, and gave it one more HUGE tug. Success.

On the way home....

Me:  "You don't wear skinny jeans, eh?"

Big guy:  "No."

Me:  "I tried some on when we were there and I couldn't get them off.  I almost called you for help."

Big guy:  "I wouldn't have helped you."

Me:  "You wouldn't have helped me?"

Big guy:  "You would've eventually figured it out."

Me:  "Gee."

Big guy:  "Maybe I would've helped you if you didn't always side with my brother when we're fighting."

Sibling rivalry rearing its ugly head.  I love those guys of mine!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

He's Driven by My Distraction

My husband is right.  He's funny...downright hilarious.  OK, so admittedly I was pretty darn distracted with something all afternoon and into the evening.  I was nose to the grindstone and paying everyone else no mind.

So after some gentle nagging to stop, I tore myself away from my task and joined the family.

Me:  "OK, but now I need you guys to do something funny so I can blog right quick."

Dave:  "I am funny, you just haven't been paying attention."

So I did a little rewind in my brain.  And yes, the dude is correct.  Here's what my delightful husband was up to whilst I was"away."

• Dave danced for the dogs.  Yes, for them, not with them.  And they were scared!

• Dave poked and prodded me in a super flirtatious, not at all annoying, way.

• Dave approached me with random "What are you doing?" "What's that?!?!"

• And then he offered me a piece of meaty pizza.

...which meant he was willing to try anything to get my attention.  And that he's really, really funny...even funnier than he thinks he is.

If we're thinking of being thankful, my guy is at the top of my list.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Missing one of Life's Little Pleasures

Life is filled with a myriad of wonderful things, big and small.  You know, like the sun setting, or a flock of birds taking off in unison and swooping overhead.  Stuff like that.  I get my fill, I really do.

...but I've noticed lately that I am missing one of my small simple pleasures.  Something used to avail itself about once a month, perhaps more, sometimes at home, sometimes not.  I'm missing bubble wrap.  I've said it.  Yes, this ridiculously over-the-top veggie eating, recycling junky of a chick misses one of the most wasteful things out there...bubble wrap.  I don't care if it's the big kind or the small kind.  I simply enjoy singling out one bubble and giving it a good hard squeeze till it emits that most satisfying sound, "POP!"

I don't know where the old bubble wrap has gone.  I'm sure it's gone the way of the dinosaur in some effort to save trees, which is awesome, of course.  From what I can tell it's been replaced by big bags of air (not nearly so satisfying to pop) or this weird deceptive bubblish wrap that lets you squeeze one cell...but the air just moves to another, denying the squeezer of the pleasurable "POP!"


OK, complaint registered.

Now accepting donations of vintage bubble wrap.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Opossum, Totem Animal

Today I completed my fourth piece for the "Dancing With Your Dreams" class I'm taking part in.  We were to paint our totem animal.  I'm utterly and completely clueless about such things, so I pondered what animal had joined me in my life from time to time...and of course for me it is the wonderful, beautiful, and most amazing Opossum.

Somehow these creatures have managed to find me or allowed me to find them over the years.  While most folks find them scary and unattractive, I think they're simply the cutest!  And so very brilliant in their own way.

Here's what I learned about the opossum as a totem animal once I did a little digging.  And I'm feeling even more honored that they've sought me out.

The Opossum's Super Powers or what we may learn from them are...

• patience
• our mind is mightiest weapon
• kindness
• wisdom
• illusion
• sensibility
• strategy
• protector
• instinct
• supreme actor

And my favorite...

• do something unexpected

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Booting the Ball

Sometimes things come right back and get ya.

That's what happened to me this morning.  About a week or so ago Dave and I had to keep telling, and telling, and telling our little guy to "STOP BOUNCING THAT BOUNCY BALL IN THE HOUSE!!!" about a thousand times.  The kid is solidly unable to stop once he starts.  And this has put bouncy balls in the "Most Annoying Toy Ever" category at our house.

Anyway, Dave and the kid were wrestling on our bed over who would keep the ball.  Dave got it, subtly passed it to me, and lacking anywhere else to put it, I casually dropped it into one of the cowgirl boots that reside by my bed.  And then I forgot all about it.

Until this morning...when I grabbed those boots, took them to the living room, reached in each of them to make sure my supports were in the right spot (Hey, I have old lady feet and those feet want their creature comforts!), and my finger hit something entirely unexpected.  I yanked my hand outa there lickety split, clearly avoiding retouching the biggest cockroach that ever lived, and tipped my boot, thus sending the ball bouncing once again.

And then I hid it in a better spot.

P.S. The picture below is not a reflection of how I felt...it's how the ball felt!  I'm just playing with some different emotions in my art.  Me?  I'm happy, happy.  That ball is hidden great!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

A Close Encounter with a Spork

I'm nerdy organized about my daily take-my-lunch-to-school routine.  All the way down to my cloth napkin, two spoons, and one fork.  The cloth napkin, because I like to bring a little class and environmentalism to my day.  The fork, well, ya know, you gotta have a fork.  And the two spoons, because I'm too lazy to wash my oatmeal spoon by hand.  Yes, I bring oatmeal to school every day to eat before my students arrive.  It's good and good for ya.

Except this morning I spaced out.  For the first time this entire school year I arrived at work with no napkin, no fork, and no two spoons.  I sighed, got over it quickly, and made my way to the cafeteria where I was able to find that amazing, multi-purpose, wonder of an eating tool...the spork.  Now I'm usually wild about combo things.  Like my skorts...pure genius.  But the spork?  Not even in the same category of awesome.  Not even close.

That spork bent as soon as it made contact with my mushy oatmeal.  After a few tries I figured out how to finesse and sweet talk it into getting a small bite's worth.  And then I sat in awe thinking of all the children I've seen managing to easily eat things like spaghetti and meatballs with those same sporks.

So I think I must rethink this whole "the spork is the problem" thing I've been having and go ahead and consider it to truly be operator error.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eating my Words

OK, so weirdly enough, I'm writing two blog posts in a row that involve gray hair.  Perhaps it's because I recently had photos taken of myself and my delightfully sweet husband zoomed one up super close and pointed out that I do, in fact, now have a few gray hairs (I say they're just a lighter shade of blond than the rest of my hairs, not that going gray is a big problem for me or anything).  Perhaps I've just been lucky to run into some slightly older-than-I peers of late.

Anyway, as Hazel and I were running up a hill tonight I caught up with a woman.  I didn't see her face as I only saw her from the back, but she had salt and pepper hair.  I had the silly thought to myself, "Hey, I'm still faster than someone."  And then Hazel had to pee, so I stopped.  I heard the pitter patter of feet approaching us...and than that lovely salt and peppered woman ran right by us, full tilt.  Hazel and I started running again, at our regular pace, and that woman totally left us in her dust.

I love surprises.

I love eating my words (or thoughts).

I love running.

I love.

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