Saturday, February 28, 2009


I woke up this morning to the sound of Barrie chipping ice away from the bottom of the front gate so we can close it. The neighbor's Pit Bull comes up on the front porch all the time now to eat cat food. Wish I had a cap gun, or maybe even some small firecrackers. I love dogs, but Pit Bulls are another story.

My plan for today is to get the cat tree put together. It would fit better downstairs, because my upstairs room is getting so crowded. But I want it upstairs, so maybe I will do some organizing and rearranging up there to make more space. Some of the things I have up there could be stored away, even in a downstairs closet if I need to. And I'm going to try to arrange my two tables into an "L" shape, which will give me more space to set up the cat tree. I would like to have it where it's not blocking my view out the windows too much


Vicky brought me some pictures from my Retirement Picnic. Thanks, Vicky! I didn't have any pictures from that celebration! You will notice Cristy and Joe in the back!

Friday, February 27, 2009

How to Ruin a Painting

How to Ruin a Painting

Click on images for a larger view

The top photo shows the painting after I painted the trees, water, and reflections. Then I looked at it for a while and foolishly decided it needed something in the foreground. So I put some dark, heavy trees in front, and some bright colors, and the whole effect of the painting was lost. I did this a couple of months ago. I think now I am getting better and quitting when I should.


Another summer photo of a finch in my chokecherry bushes.


According to the package tracking information, the cat tree is supposed to be delivered today. It will have to be assembled. The way my day has gone so far, I might wait to do that.

I ordered some new ink cartridges for my photo printer. I usually order from Amazon and take advantage of their free shipping. They did not have two of the colors I needed (My printer uses eight cartridges.), so I ordered "compatible" cartridges from a different source. I opened one today to install in the printer, and when I snapped the plastic cover off, the ink ran out all over my hands and some on my clothes. I was more careful when I opened the others - did it over a wastebasket, and they were all defective. The company will replace them, but I don't want replacements. I am not about to dig those messy things out of the garbage and return them. I have asked for my money back, but don't know if they will do that. I will only buy genuine Canon cartridges from now on. Live and learn!

The forcast said it would be windy today, and it is. A slight chance of snow, but probably not. My thermometer said it was 3 below zero this morning.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I didn't spend any time at all upstairs today, and did not touch a pencil or paintbrush, nor a puzzle or book! I'll try to make up for that tomorrow!

I cleaned out the dishwasher and filled it again, made macaroni salad and muffins, and put away a bunch of clutter in my kitchen and cleaned off the counters. Also made a half hearted attempt to clean out the refrigerator.

I took four bags of trash to the dumpster, and even got the dead television out there. I had to get the TV down two flights of stairs. It wasn't too bad. It is a flat screen, not too heavy, and I just went slowly, one step at a time. Then I put it in the back of the pickup and drove down to the road.

Saw fresh moose tracks going down the road in front of the house.

Barrie got my big monster TV up on the shelf in the entertainment center, and hooked up. I haven't tried to use the DVD/VCR player with it yet, but the Dish hookup works fine. I sure like having that larger screen.

Click on images for a larger view.

Kasey decided to wear my boots tonight. She has never been able to get them on before. Yes, they are on backwards, but she managed to walk around quite a bit with them.

When Barrie brings the five gallon buckets in to fill with water in the bathtub, Kasey likes to "help Mamma" and carry one of the buckets into the bathroom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Click on image for a larger view
I've never had much success painting flowers. I did this iris in art group today, and it is probably the best I have ever done. But that's not saying much. It's about 6" x 8".

I ruined about 8 or so greeting cards trying to paint roses. They were SO bad.

My fellow painters fuss at me because I never remember what colors I use in a painting. This iris was done with just three colors . I have promised to make notes of the colors I use (hope I can remember).

More Television Woes It's not supposed to be so hard to watch TV! Some time ago, the big elephant sized 32 inch TV I had upstairs died. I managed to get it out of the entertainment center and pushed up in a corner. It must weigh 500 lbs! Then I brought my 23 inch flat screen from the living room upstairs. Last summer, I bought a 32 inch flat screen for the living room. I later decided I needed a larger TV upstairs (for my old eyes), and ordered a 32 inch flat screen from WalMart. And they delivered a bicycle!

So I have been putting up with the smaller screen. Today, that TV died. Barrie had tried plugging in the elephant TV one day, and we found that it worked. So I now have it sitting on the floor in front of the entertainment center. There's no way I can lift it up in there, but Barrie will help me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Two Works Finished

One of the benefits of having so many things started at the same time is that sometimes you can finish a couple in the same day! It gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Click on images for a larger view
I posted a photo of this painting before, as a work in progress. I am calling it finished now.

This is the pencil drawing of the calf I have been working on. I enjoyed doing this one.

I have ordered a "tower" for the cat. She gets on top of everything, and I think she will like it. Maybe it will help keep her off other things. It has scratching posts, several platforms, and a "condo". Some of those cat towers cost as much as $400! Good grief! I even saw one that had a built in litter box. I'm not sure where I will put it. There's more room downstairs, but I seem to spend most of my time upstairs, so will fit it in somewhere up here.

It is so much easier to edit photos on my new laptop. The screen seems so large and bright compared to my little laptop.

It came with Microsoft Office 2007, but not really. It is a trial version, and I would have to buy it to keep using it. I tried removing the program and anything to do with it, but Microsoft has a way of getting in your face and making some things hard to do, like get rid of them!

I have a disk for Office 2003, which I got installed. It has Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It also has the complete Microsoft Works, which I seldom use, but it's a good program.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Click on images for a larger view

Kasey and I are doing a watercolor in one of my little plein air books with a small field set of watercolors.

Kasey is trying out her mom's shoes.

Barrie was in the picture taking mode yesterday. She kept grabbing my camera and "shooting"


I have finished my online "Sudoku" puzzle today. I try to do one every day - it's about the only exercise my brain gets!

I found one of the missing puzzle pieces in the middle of the studio floor this morning. The cat had it hidden somewhere and brought it out. I think there are still three pieces missing.

My front gate still won't close - ice build up, and I have left it open all winter. But now the neighbor's dog (I'm sure it's a Pit Bull) has discovered the cat food on the front porch, and is a regular visitor. When I try to chase him away, he just backs up and barks at me. He makes me nervous, and I want to keep the gate closed. They have a small fenced yard. I don't know why they don't use it.

I have been debating whether to make a jello salad or a macaroni salad, but time has passed and I don't feel like making either one. Guess I will depend on yesterday's kielbasa and potato casserole and a piece of toast.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Click on images for a larger view

I was still in my pajamas this morning when Kasey came, although it was late. Barrie and I were both taking pictures of her with a new toy. I sat on the stairs, and she made me move over so she could sit beside me.

When Barrie was little, she had a cute little battery operated dog that walked, wagged its tail and barked. I brought it up from the basement and put new batteries in it, but it wouldn't work. I found a "retro toy" on the internet that I thought was similar. This one is much smaller, doesn't walk as well, and has to be turned on by a switch on the bottom. The old one had a leash that turned it on and off when you pulled on it.

I was disappointed in this one, but Kasey liked it, and the cat is terrified of it! But after about 5 or 10 minutes, Kasey was looking for one of the balls she throws for the cat.

I am going to give myself a rest from the new computer today. I was going to put in a video that I am trying to "paint along" with, but "Gone With The Wind" is on, and I guess maybe I'll just work on the drawing of the calf.

Friday, February 20, 2009


A day in the life of a cat
Click on images for a larger view

Thank goodness the cat spends quite a bit of time doing this, because when she's not sleeping, nothing in the house is safe. She steals kleenex or anything else that looks interesting, she gets up on everything, she scatters the rugs and pillows. I don't have pictures of any of these activities because she moves too fast to photograph.
I spent most of the day working on the new computer. Got a couple of programs installed, like Photoshop, and got it set up to print over the wireless network. I also copied all my photos to it. I was supposed to make a recovery disk, but am not sure that was successful. It said it would take 21 CDs or 2 DVD two layers disks. I did have some of the DVDs but got the message that the first disk had an error when the computer verified it. I tried it again (takes a couple of hours) and got the same message. So I quit for now and did not even try to make disk 2.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Late night

It's very late, and I am still up. My new laptop computer came this afternoon, and I have just barely begun to work with it. The screen size is SO much better for old eyes. The keyboard is also full sized, with the numeric keys on the side. It was easy to set up for my wireless network (well, with Barrie here to help). My e-mail is set up, and I am getting my internet links entered.

Barrie and Kasey were here for supper, and Kasey stayed with me while Barrie went out to feed her dogs. Kasey is distracting when I am trying to work on the computer. Not that I'm complaining!! She is just so much fun and entertains me non-stop. She played ball with the cat a lot tonight, and she gets so tickled and giggles when the cat chases the balls.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Today was our art day at Rendezvou Pointe. I didn't accomplish much - painted the creek on my snow and tree scene, then washed it all off again. I did get a better start on the trees. Whenever I get frustrated with my painting, I paint quakie trees.

Click on images for a larger view
I went back to the files for old photos again. This is a picture I took of Madge's cabin up at the museum. I edited out the chain link fence in the background and replaced the sky. Madge was a icon in the community when I first moved here. I wonder how many of us will ever have our house featured in a museum?

On one of my early morning trips over South Pass to Riverton, everything was covered with frost. I stopped out past Boulder and took this picture of a frosty cottonwood. Terry was talking about frost on trees this morning and we discussed how to paint something like this in watercolor.
Dee C. painted with us this morning. Dee and I taught together for years. It was great to have her there. After art group, Dee, Melanie S, Toni B. and I all went to lunch at the Patio. We need to do that more often.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moose and Mooseling

Click on images for a larger view
The moose and calf are finished, I guess. I sure got frustrated with the grass in the foreground, and finally decided to just leave a suggestion of grass.


Judi wondered about the Marlatt family. There were actually only 10 brothers. Two of the players were nephews, children of the oldest son. And there were 6 girls in the family. The photo above shows the whole family. Arena gave birth to 13 of these children. The mother of the three oldest died, and Henry married Arena.

We used to attend a family reunion every summer near Hawk Springs. What a big crowd!

I once told my Mom I never heard Grandma Marlatt talk, and my Mom said, "well, she never had a chance to say anything, with all those kids". Before my mom and dad were married, they used to visit the Marlatt house. My Mom said the girls were doing the cooking, housework and laundry, and the boys had to pack in water and firewood. And Grandmother Arena sat over in the corner mending socks!

By the way, they NEVER wore 10 gallon hats. They got off the train in Chicago wearing the hats and chaps for publicity.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Lynn, your painting of Gypsum, Battleship and Big Sheep Mountains is great! I went through my maps and found one of the BT National Forest. I remember more now about those mountains. I think the lake was in between Big Sheep Mountain and Gypsum, with Battleship in the back.. It shows that it is the beginning of Gyp Creek, but I found a couple of old photos that were labeled "camping on Sheep Creek". Anyway, I enjoying seeing your painting.

Click on images for a larger view
Judi, I got a chuckle out of your "slow down for the lake" sign. Good one!

Here is a scan of a Chicago newspaper from about 1929, showing the Marlatt brothers baseball team in their hats. They not only wore those hats, but also wore hairy chaps. My dad is in the center of the front row, wearing his school sweater with stripes on the sleeve. The hat and chaps were donated to the museum in Torrington, but they never displayed the baseball team. They did use the hat once in a display of cowboy gear. A couple of years ago, my brother and Alice stopped in the museum and took the hat back - so Bill has it now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


My horoscope for today said I should make sure my work was all done before engaging in frivolous pursuits. I don't know if painting and drawing is "my work" or if it is a frivolous pursuit. I believe I'll consider it "my work".

I am baking another loaf of sourdough beer bread today. I start it in the bread machine, but take it out for the last rise and bake it in the oven. I'm not sure why, but it seems when the bread bakes in the bread machine, it becomes dry and stale immediately. Maybe it rises too high and doesn't bake fast enough.

I am working on the drawing of a cow moose and calf, and sort of finished it yesterday. I put a lot of tall grass in front of them. This morning when I woke up, I attacked the grass with an eraser. Now I have to decide what I need to do to attempt to save the picture.

I got my new carbon monoxide alarm yesterday and have it plugged in. After Gina's scary story, I decided I needed one. Barrie said they were cleaning out a closet in her office and found one, which they will not use. So she is bringing it to me and I'll put it upstairs. Thanks, Gina, for nagging us to be safe!

I started on my income tax yesterday. I have one item I'm not sure how to handle, but other than that, it was easy. The hardest part was getting the box open with the TurboTax CD in it.


Click on photos for a larger view
And old photo, from one of the slides I scanned. This was taken from the top of Little Sheep Mountain. The road you can see near the bottom of the picture is the Gyp Creek Road. There is a lake up in the low spot in the mountain, but you can't see it. I think it was called Sheep Mountain Lake maybe? It was about a two hour horseback ride up to it. The Game and Fish used to spawn up there, but now I don't remember what kind of fish were in it. The lake didn't have an outlet. There was a hole out in the middle of it, and the water came out of a sidehill lower down. I'm pretty sure it was Gyp Creek. Maybe Hank can correct me if I don't have my facts straight. I think he is pretty familiar with the area.

I don't even put bird feeders out any more, except for my upstairs window. Too many cats. Finches are one of my favorite summer birds.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sunny Friday

What a beautiful sunny day! It's still cold - my thermometer reads only 17 degrees. My outdoor cats are all laid out on the front steps. The steps are concrete, and there is a cinder block wall on the north side. It must be really soaking up some heat from the sun, because the cats are sure enjoying it.

When Barrie and I were in Sam's Club, I looked at an HP laptop computer. So tempting, and I orderedd it yesterday. My laptop locks up often, it sometimes doesn't recognize the power source. I'm sure it still has a lot of life in it, but I talked myself into a new one - not hard for me! This one has such a small screen, and it is difficult for me to see. That's the main reason I bought it - it is very small and compact, and easy to take with me.

The new one will have a 17" screen. It has a huge hard drive, and I was able to configure it the way I wanted it. It will be larger and heavier than this one, but I find that I am doing a lot of work upstairs and will enjoy the larger screen and keyboard.

Click on photos for a larger view

This is my Winsor Newton field sketch kit. The brush is about 4 inches long - the book of paper is about 4" x 5". I don't use it as much as I should, but I have good intentions. The painting shown was done looking out my daughter's glass doors . They have a beautiful mountain view. I try to take it with me whenever I go anywhere, but I don't have the confidence or skill to do fast sketches.

This is a small (about 6" x 8" watercolor I did last week. It was fun to do. I have started the same scene on a larger piece of paper, but have the feeling it won't be as good as this one. I think this one looks kind of fresh and spontaneous, and the larger one will probably lose that. Oh well - it's all practice and learning.


I put some cardboard over my jigsaw puzzle the other night, but the cat managed to move it and destroyed one whole corner of the puzzle. I found a plastic table cloth to cover it, which seems to work. It is a 1,000 piece puzzle, but with the cat's help, it is becoming more like 2,000 pieces.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Click on image for a larger view
Vicky and Terry hard at work in the art room.

I finally finished the last inch and the toe of Kasey's second sock today. She likes them, but she may not be able to wear them with shoes - they might be too heavy. Oh well. I'll make Barrie buy her some larger shoes.

I actually got the garbage out today. Well, I got it all sacked up and Barrie took it to the dumpster for me.

I made stir fried shrimp for supper tonight, and it was good. The vegetables came in a package, frozen, with noodles and sauce already in them. I do a pretty good job cooking when all I have to do is heat up something that is already put together.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Art Day

Click on images for a larger view

The above three watercolors are by Terry.

One of Pam's color studies

Conley's current work in progress

I remembered to take my camera to art group today so I could take photos of everyone's work. I hope the color is OK on them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday February 10

First of all, I want to say I'm so happy for Lynn for the good report from her last tests. What wonderful news, and how thankful we all are for the good news!!

Kasey is here tonight. Barrie is out feeding her dogs, then she is to meet her attorney at 7:30. Her attorney is from Cheyenne, and is with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This will be the first time Barrie has met her in person. They will be in court tomorrow with a judge for the final financial settlement.

Kasey is just goofing of on the couch, climbing up, then getting back down. What fun it must be to be a small child and so easily entertained!

No other pictures to post, so how about a cat "portrait"? This girl has come a long way from the tiny scrawny yowling kitten I raised on a bottle. I just wish I knew how to teach her better manners. And I really hate the litter box!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shop 'Till You Drop

Barrie, Kasey and I went to Idaho Falls yesterday, and were'nt sure we were going to able to fit everything into Barrie's truck to bring home. Kasey was tucked into her car seat in the back seat with things packed all around and under her.

I took my long list for WalMart, and didn't even get everything that was on it. Also, I had a bad cart that kept pulling to the left - and when I had a lot of stuff in it and it got heavy, I was really fighting the cart to get around the store!

I got large economy packages of things like toilet paper and paper towels, and bought a box of 66 diapers. Didn't get many groceries - some cheese, eggs, and a sack of potatoes. Doesn't take long to fill a cart and spend a lot.

After we left WalMart, we went to Sam's Club. I had never been to a Sam's Club before, and it was quite an experience! A fun place to shop. Barrie bought 28 bags of dog food there. They were 44 lb. bags, so we were really loaded when we drove home.

The WalMart store almost made you sick. Barrie said it looked like a Pepto Bismol truck wreck. Everywhere you looked, it was pink and red for Valentines. Also, WalMart has all their winter clothes put away, and is ready for spring. I really don't like their "spring" colors - garish greens and oranges, reds and yellows. They are not pretty colors. So we didn't do a lot of clothes shopping. Somehow, I can't get interested in spring clothes in February in Pinedale.

Kasey is such an easy and fun kid to take on an all-day shopping trip. She never whined once all day. She only had one short nap in her car seat. As usual, WalMart was full of crying children, but Kasey stayed cheerful all day. At this age she thinks it is her job to entertain us.

We didn't get home until about 9:30, and it was snowing almost all the way home. After this trip, Barrie is really happy with her truck. Driving on snowy and slick roads and loaded down like it was, it drove great. Barrie had to unload all the dog food, then we unloaded my stuff from the carport into the basement. So nothing has been put away yet.
Click on images for a larger view
This is a shot I set up for the theme "Scents of the Season". I put boiling water in the cup, but there was not enough steam to show up in a photo. So I added the steam on the computer with Photoshop.

An old photo of a rain storm over the lake.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Kasey is here today. Barrie brought her up and filled her water buckets to go out to her dog lot to feed, water, and clean.

Click on images for a larger view.


The John Deere telephone I got Kasey for Christmas quit working. I put new batteries in it, but it was still dead. I wrote to Amazon, where I bought it, and they have already sent a new one. There is also a set of keys. Both phone and keys have buttons and they make sounds. You can even record a message on the phone.


The 1,000 piece puzzle I am working on is about half done. Had one small problem yesterday - the cat had "helped" me some time during the night, so I had to redo a corner of it. I don't think any pieces are missing. If they are, the cat ate them.

Barrie and I are going to Idaho Falls tomorrow to WalMart and Sam's Club. Yea! I have a huge list started, and will no doubt spend a lot of money. I don't want to buy anything for the freezer, as my freezer is full, and half of it is frost!

Barrie buys dog food by the truck load at Sam's Club in Idaho Falls.

We activated the XM radio in Barrie's pickup today. I have the "family plan" - I have one in my house, one in my pickup, and I put both Paul's and Tracy's on my account and it is their annual birthday present. So now Barrie is added to the plan.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I took a photograph of the watercolor paper with the wash that Conley showed us how to do. I'm not sure what I'll do to turn it into a painting, but I'll think of something. I want to try this again. I know this type of wash can be done with a brush, but I never had good luck with doing it that way.

Click on images for a larger view.

Looking through my print rack to see what was there, and I think I have never posted this sepia drawing of a buffalo.

And the last of the bumper stickers.


Not a very enjoyable day today. I decided I had put it off long enough, and reconciled my bank statement (for two months). I had lost a check book back in September, so had checks that had not been entered. I use the "Quicken" program on the computer, which I love. When I finally got everything entered, I could not believe it when everything came out to the penney!!

Then I began to wonder why I hadn't received a VISA bill for a while, (two months) and when I called, they don't know either. They say they mailed them - I made out a check for the final balance and will get it mailed today. But in the meantime, I'm sure I have late fees. I thought if you were too late on your payment, that they turned down your card. Guess they don't do that any more. They let me just keep on using it.

I definitely need to keep my life more in order!!

To relieve all this stress, I got on Cheap Joe's art supplies site on the Internet and ordered some fun stuff!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have no new photos to post today, so found a couple of old ones I hope I haven't posted b efore.

Click on images for a larger version

These corrals are up on South Pass. When I loaded this photo onto my computer, I converted it to black and white, and did a lot of other "creative" editing actions on it.

This skull has hung on the side of my house for so long that I hardly notice it any more. I should move it in and paint it and pretend to be Georgia O'keefe.


Art group was enjoyable today. Conley showed us how he uses small spray bottles to apply smooth washes for a background. After his demonstratioin, I tried one, with yellow on the top of the paper, and fading into blue at the bottom. I was pleased with the result, but think I need to have more pigment in the spray bottles. I think this could be used for many different effects with different colors. I would like to try a sunset with it.

I have avoided all politics for so long, and am surprised at how I am following some of the stories about the government bailout and the big companies. It is so interesting that the big banks and auto makers are ready to take all that money, but still continue in their old habits. Citibank was ready to buy a multi-million dollar new corporate jet, but after the outcry, they decided not to. Wells Fargo was renting rooms in Las Vegas for a 12 day "employee meeting", but got their hands slapped, and called the party off. Can you believe those people? I applaud Obama for putting a limit on the salaries of the top execs of those companies.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday - Taking a Break

I have so many projects started that it is almost overwhelming. So sometimes it just feels good to take a break from it all. Even though it makes the room really crowded, I set up a card table and got out a jigsaw puzzle. I haven't done one for about a year, and it is very relaxing.


One more bumper sticker.


I got a kick out of the Burma Shave sign that Lynn posted. Boy, do I remember taking trips when we looked forward to seeing those and reading them aloud together. I found information on the history of these signs on the Internet, and read that one of the big reasons for the demise of them was the "progress" of highways and high speed vehicles. I guess you had to drive slower to read those little signs.

Does anyone remember the "Stinker Stations" in Idaho, and the billboards they put up? We used to visit my grandparents in Boise when I was a kid, and I remember watching for those signs. They wre quite large, and humorous. I remember one out in the middle of nowhere that said "If you lived here, you'd be home now". And another with a bunch of rocks around painted green, and the sign said "Petrified Watermelon - take one home to your mother-in-law." They were certainly not as well known or located nation-wide like the Burma Shave signs, but they were a welcome sight while driving across Idaho.

The kids today ride in the backseat with a TV or a DVD player. Good grief! I remember counting the number of white horses we saw, or keeping track of the number of cars we met of different colors.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday - Ground Hog Day

The Groundhog can certainly see his shadow today, so that means we have six more weeks of winter. Are we surprised? Don't we always have six weeks of winter left when it's February? Or more.

My garden rabbits are sitting on a stump in the back yard, snuggled together with a blanket of snow on them.

Another bumper sticker

This is a photo of Barrie and her lead dog Gremlin, taken several years ago in Jackson when she was in the Stage Stop. Gremlin is now gone, and Barrie doesn't wear glasses any more.

I could hear the start of the sled dog race downtown this morning, but didn't get dressed and go down to watch it. Barrie is handling and driving the truck of a friend who is running the race. She met them in Alaska, and raced and trained with them quite a bit. Then later when they moved to Montana, she lived and worked with them for a while. His wife has never learned to drive - and when his handler got hurt, he called Barrie for help. As the format of the race has changed so much - a lot of the stages are out and back in - most of them don't need a truck to be driven to pick up the team. Today, Barrie had to drive their truck to the parking lot up the Green to pick up the team.

Here is an interesting article I found today on how to be creative, if you are interested.