Thursday, April 30, 2009

Road Trip Tomorrow

Barrie and Kasey and I are taking a road trip to Montana tomorrow morning. Barrie lived up there for several years, and she would like to go for a visit. I'm looking forward to it. It should be fun! Hope to get lots of photographs and maybe even a little plein air painting done. I'll be back Sunday night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday - Snow

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This was the view this morning out my upstairs bedroom window across the hay meadow to Pine Creek.

Ghost Truck

This is what I would call a "Bad Hair Day". This little bull's hair is coming loose and turning white in the process. You can see the beginnings of his antlers. I thought the moose were gone yesterday, but they must have been right in front of my house hidden by the willows. When a couple of four-wheelers went by, they came up in the driveway.

Someone sent Barrie this photo and she sent it to me. It is titled "Why Trampolines are not Safe in Idaho".

I got my new Holbein watercolor paints from EBay today. There are 13 tubes. I tried just a dab of each color on paper, and they look really nice. Don't ask my why I needed new paint. They were just a bargain on EBay, and I wanted to try a different brand. I am a shopping fool.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Windy Tuesday

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Kasey's new shoes have Velcro, and she is fascinated with it. She takes her shoes off, and tries to get them back on again. She got one shoe on one day - with no sock and on the wrong foot, but she was pretty pleased with herself.

I have a vine on the south side of my house that turns a beautiful deep red color in the fall. I don't know what it is called

Another older picture. This is Tracy when she rode in Rendezvous one year.


The cow and calf moose were here today, munching on the willows down on the street in front of my house. I didn't even try to take pictures of them - the willows were in the way. Shorty keeps me alerted when anything comes around. The moose ignore his barking.

I'm preparing a new watercolor painting to work on in art group tomorrow. I have the log cabin image transferred to the paper and am applying some miskit to it. It is on paper I don't usually use, and I will be using my Daniel Smith watercolors, which are pretty new to me. So who knows how it will come out.


I finally made a decision to buy the 3 in 1 cooker - the one that pressure cooks, slow cooks, and cooks rice. I've never used a pressure cooker, but I remember my Mom used one a lot. I already have a rice cooker, so I can get that out of my cupboards - and the old slow cooker is gone, so I should have room for this appliance. There will probably be a flurry of cooking for a little while. Hope I can make something good.


Some people call this "SPRING". I call it "The Season of White Plastic Bags Hanging in Trees."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gloomy Monday

The Remodeling:

I've probably posted these photos before, I can't remember. When I had my attic remodeled, it took a full year. I was so sick of the mess, and the lack of privacy, but I guess it has been worth it. I love the rooms and spend most of my time up here.

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This was the original little attic room at the top of the stairs.

And this is what it looked like when my builder started the demolition.

For a time, I had no roof. And yes, it rained. They covered it with tarps, but there were some leaks.

The room finished. There is a small bedroom behind me, and a large bathroom to the left. Many changes have been made. The quilting frame has been replaced with drawing table and a work table. The little TV has been replaced with a larger one. And the plant got bugs and got put out on the ice.


It has been a dreary, cold day, with snow and rain once in a while.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Old TV Show

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I was browsing the channels on my TV set and found that the Lawrence Welk Show was on! So I watched it for a while. A real "blast from the past". I think the show was on in the mid-1950's. I must have watched reruns, because my parents didn't even have TV in the 50's. It's almost corny, but I enjoyed watching it - they all dressed so properly, suits and ties, haircuts, and nice dresses on the girls. And of course there is the "bubble machine".

Barrie did some laundry this morning, vacuumed, cleaned out the refrigerator and took stuff to the dumpster. I decided to come upstairs so I wouldn't get run over.

She loaded up some of the branches she cut off my trees and is hauling them off.

My slow cooker died, it smells like something burnt up in the wiring. I am looking at new ones on the internet, and am not sure what to get. I can spend a little over $100 for one that slow cooks, pressure cooks, and cooks rice. Or I can spend about $25 for a plain old slow cooker with high or low settings. Or I can just live without one and enjoy the extra space it took up in my cupboard.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


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I started this painting a while back, and decided to work on it today. I can't paint snow or water, so need to practice. I may decide to work on this a bit more later, or I may decide to just abandon it.

I have already thrown away the painting of the rusty old car, and also one of an old pickup and shed. I also did some organization in my studio, so maybe my painting mood will improve. I have two new watercolors started, and am getting the old rusty car on paper to paint again! I just can't give up on it.

And I have committed myself to do at least one small value study per day.

Have enjoyed Judi's flower pictures. Here is one I took years ago and scanned it from a slide. It is Bitter Root.

The newest family member, Hadley. She is my great great neice, and Bill and Alice's first great grandchild. Wouldn't this make a great painting or drawing? Sorry, Nicki, but I'm not a big fan of the headband and big flower!

The bill to expand the wilderness areas in Sublette County seems like a bad joke. I keep expecting someone to pop up and say "April Fool!" Surely there are enough members of the house and senate with a little common sense and this bill will be defeated. Expecting politicians to have common sense may be unrealistic, however.

Friday, April 24, 2009


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I guess I am done with this one of Hank's old rusty car. I don't like it as well as the one I did with no background a couple of weeks ago. Whenever I attempt to do the same subject twice, the second attempt never turns out as well as the first one. I have another photo of this car taken from a slightly different angle, and want to paint it.

I seem to be having so many problems with my values lately. I should try some paintings using just one or two colors - value studies. Maybe that will help me.

Cloudy and a little bit windy today. The forecast is for snow and rain for about the next week.
Who is more busy than he who hath least to do?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Someone accused us of "playing with our food" in the pictures I posted yesterday of Kasey eating spaghetti. OK, what can I say? We WERE playing with our food. Sure was fun!

Kasey is staying home with me today with a runny nose, cough, and sneezing. She doesn't act like she feels too bad, but Julie appreciates it when you don't bring sick children to her.

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Kasey wanted "Laura Bear" today. First she pulled her nose.

Then she gave her a hug.

I've probably told about "Laura Bear" before. My mother made her for Tracy when she was little. She was (and still is) funny looking and has cross eyes. She was Tracy's constant companion, and once required a phone call from Laramie to a restaurant in Casper to ask the waitress to mail her to us, which she did. Nice lady!


I've always been interested in infrared photography, but had never done any of it. One of my photo editing software programs has an infrared filter, and I like to play with it once in a while. The top photo shows what it looked like, but not the orignal. I know I did some editing on this photo from the CCC ponds, like increasing the saturation, boosting up the yellows and oranges, and probably some more things. The second photo shows what the infrared filter can do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Many Different Ways to Eat Spaghetti

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There are many different ways to eat spaghetti. It turned out to NOT be Kasey's favorite meal. But Barrie and I had a lot of fun laughing at her attempts to eat it. She ate just a few bites of spaghetti with the sauce, which she didn't like, and didn't even eat many green beans, which she loves.

Kat had a traumatic trip to the veterinarian yesterday. I arrived at the same time as another woman with a cat in a carrier, and we laughed at the two cats howling in harmony. Kat was pretty scared, and hid her head under my arm. She was well behaved, though, having her stitches taken out and getting shots. She was very happy to get home.


The rest of the WN watercolors I got from EBay for our painting group came today. I think there were 11 tubes, and they cost me $2.90 a tube, which includes the postage. It will make it nice for our group to be able to buy some paint at a bargain price.

I worked on the painting of an old shed and rusty pickup today. It's not going well. Old barn wood and rusty trucks are too much the same colors and values, and I have to figure out how to fix it.

Pam and Vicky both brought yummy cookies today!


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This is about the most exciting thing happening around here today. The cat started playing with Barries old tennis shoes. She had her head stuck way down inside, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera to catch it. Kat is going to the vet this afternoon to get her stitches out and finish up her shots.

These are old, old books that belonged to my grandmother. They were all published in the late 1800's. There are poems of Tennyson, Whittier and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. There is a book of Grimm's German Household Stories, and the book Lorna Doone. The first few pages of Lorna Doone are missing, so I don't know when it was published, but it is very old. There is also a newer one, published in 1939 with a collection of poetry.

I remember my grandmother loved poetry, and always thought I should read more of it. Now that I have her old books, I really should read some of them.

I have made myself stay downstairs this morning. I got caught up on bills and reconciled my bank statement, and sorted through some old photos. There are some old photos in my albums I should scan, but I get discouraged scanning them. Until I got a 35mm camera, they were all taken with a cheap little Kodak Instamatic, and aren't very good quality. I didn't get a good camera until Barrie was about four.

Kasey went with Barrie to feed dogs last night, and Barrie took her out and walked her around the dogs and let her pet some of them. She came home so excited and jabbered and chattered about all the dogs.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I packed my new chair upstairs today from the basement (two flights of stairs). I opened the carton and brought it up a few pieces at a time, and it took me four trips. While making trips to bring up the chair parts, I also took down stacks of quilt fabric I had in the dresser drawer upstairs. It's time to clean dresser drawers, and maybe get that drawer in Barrie's dresser cleaned out for her.

It was really quite easy to assemble the chair and it's much more comfortable than the old one. I am sitting in it right now, typing my blog on the laptop computer.

I'll have to keep experimenting with the adjustments until I get it to suit me.

Every time I write that it is beautiful day with no wind, I am soon proven a liar. Seems the wind comes up every day. I don't think the wind blows as hard at my house as it does up on the top of the hill or out of town where it's flat.

I did a little bit of work on a watercolor painting today, but didn't get much done. I spent too much time on the chair.

I finished a book last night, "One Thousand White Women". I enjoyed it, and and am wondering what I should start next. I don't use the library as much as I should. But I always check out more than one book and sometimes don't get them finished in two weeks.

Lynn, I really enjoyed your photos of the Beartooth Highway. My college roomate's parents had a ranch near Belfry, and I remember some wonderful times in that area.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


A beautiful and warm day today with no wind. I'm not getting much done. I did clean up the kitchen and made some "scrapple". Barrie and I both love fried slices of it - cornmeal mush with sausage in it.

Barrie got everything hauled out of her pickup and either brought it upstairs or put it in the basement. She is waiting for Kasey to wake up from her nap and will go up to her Dad's and unload her dog food into her horse trailer. She doesn't store much at her dog lot because of the mice. Then she and Kasey will go out and take care of the dogs.

Kasey was excited about her new shoes today. She had the white tennis shoes on, but took them off and was playing with them, the little pink sandles, her snow boots, and her two old pairs of shoes.

I took the Swiffer duster down, and she wanted to "help". She took the duster all over the house and dusted, mostly on the floor, but she also dusted the cat a lot.

Barrie bought two big dog pillows for Jarvi and Shorty. They sleep in the back hall. They were very happy with their new beds.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


To Idaho Falls:

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On our way out of town, we pulled over to check on Barrie's horse, who is pastured a short distance west of town. The horses and mules are sure enjoyinging being out of the snow and mud.

I took this over my shoulder into the back seat without even looking in the viewfinder.

The driver

The Pedal
Had a great road trip to Idaho Falls with Kasey and Barrie today. Instead of WalMart, we went to KMart today. It was great. The isles are wide, the store is clean, and it was not crowded. Barrie found real bargains there on clothes for Kasey. Kasey also got new shoes, and we even found snow boots on sale in a size that will fit her next winter! I always feel worn out after shopping at WalMart, but KMart was great.

Sam's Club, on the other hand, was crowded and busy, but we did OK there. I found what I hope will be the perfect chair for my drawing table. They had one on the floor for people to try out, and it seems to be very comfortable. Barrie bought a pallet of dog food (24 bags). I bought two bags of cat food, and a 50 lb. bag of cat litter. I didn't even know you could buy that much cat litter at one time!! Barrie assured me she can put it in the plastic container I have that is almost empty. Good Grief!! 50 lbs????? Thank goodness for a basement and large garage to store that kind of stuff in.

I have to brag on my granddaughter. Sams' Club and KMart both had fussy and crying children, as usual. Kasey was just "wilting" while we were in Sam's Club. But she does not cry or fuss. The only time she whined was when she got her fingers stuck in the cart. She was asleep before we were even out of Idaho Falls, and woke up just before we got home. She is such a fun and easy kid to be around.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back to Pastels

This is definitely not a finished painting, but I thought I would show the progress on a portrait with my new pastels and new paper

This certainly has lots of things wrong with it, but as least I am not tearing it up and throwing it away. The eyes look kind of spooky. I got some new papaer, and also some new pastels.

The paper is Sennelier Pastel Card, comes in a pad of twelve sheets 13" x 15", and there are 6 different colors. I don't want to admit how much I paid for it. But it is sure nice. I wish I could use both sides of it.

I got very frustrated with the Unison pastels, partly because they are so soft, and partly because of the paper I was using. I hope I can get used to them. I'm using Rembrandt pastels, which are not quite as soft as the Unisons. I found a set of 90 portrait colors on EBay which I bid on and got.So with my old set, I have a good selection of colors.


Nothing special or even personal about this shot. I saw this cat on the ditchbank in my back yard and took his picture out the window. He looks like he's been in some fights recently. It's that time of year. All the cats are out roaming around. Now that it's safe for Kat to go out, she won't step out on the porch.


Barrie and Kasey and I are going to Idaho Falls tomorrow. We will go to Sam's Club and WalMart, so my credit card will be smoking. One thing I plan to buy is a new chair for my drawing table. This one is so uncomfortable. The last time we went to Sam's Club, they had a big assortment, and I sat in several of them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday was art group day at Rendezvous Pointe. I started a new one of the old rusty car in a landscape. The car is not as good as the first one I did for practice. I should have known that would happen.

I am so frustrated with stretching watercolor paper. I have some 300 lb paper that I soaked yesterday, stapled to a board, and started to paint a wet sky on it this morning. When I wet the sky, the paper buckled. I am soaking it again, and will give it another try.

We missed Vicky yesterday - I guess she went to Jackson. We not only missed her company, but we missed her "goodies". Pam went to the bakery at Ridley's and brought us some doughnuts. Thanks, Pam

The wind came up really hard about midnight last night. Then the wind went down and it started to snow. We got another beautiful snow, about three or four inches. I checked the web cams for Riverton and Lander this morning, and they have snow too.

I never attended any "tea parties" to protest our taxes yesterday. I guess I'm not much of an activist.

And speaking of taxes, I did some research on the Internet a while back on "taxable income" and found this actual page from IRS Publication 525:

Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.

Illegal income. Illegal income, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

Stolen property. If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.

At first I thought this was a joke, but it is a real government document. I wonder how many people actually report their illegal drug sales or items they steal


I found this drawing in an old sketchbook. Lovely, isn't it??

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


My company headed for home this morning. It was snowing pretty hard here. Alice called home (Riverton) and their neighbor said they expect a lot of snow tomorrow. We checked the web cams for South Pass, Lander, and Riverton, and roads all looked good. And the report said the roads were dry at Farson.

We decided if they didn't go today, they might end up having to stay a week or ten days, so they decided to go. It was quite a trick getting that huge motor home out of my driveway. It kept sliding into the willows. Bill finally got it back up into the driveway and took it more less straight back into the neighbor's driveway. Then he was able to drive it out onto the street and get the pickup hooked back up. I don't expect them to have any problems getting to Riverton.

Wish they could have stayed longer, but I know they didn't want to be here for a week or so.


Barrie and Kasey went to the Aniel Daniel Chili Cookoff last weekend, and the photographer for the Pinedale Roundup took Kasey's picture. It was in the paper. This is not a very good photo, because I scanned it out of the newspaper.

Kasey is here today. She played hooky so Bill and Alice could see more of her, but now she is just hanging out with Grandma. I fixed her half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and she ate that and wanted more. I should have made a whole sandwich to start with.

Monday, April 13, 2009


My brother Bill and sister-in-law Alice got here and got the motor home parked about 3:00 this afternoon. They unhooked their pickup and parked it at the other end of the driveway.

Alice and I drove up to see Lynn for a while this afternoon. Lynn and Alice have been artist friends for years. Lynn's house is so beautiful, and we all had a good visit.

We had steak, baked potatoes and green bean casserole for supper. We had cherry pie later. Not too bad for a bad cook like me.

When they were here last Thanksgiving, Kasey was pretty shy with Bill. She still hangs back from him a bit, but at bedtime she went to him and gave him a hug and a kiss. Maybe the fact that he shared his cherry pie with her had something to do with it.

No new pictures today, but I chose an old one to post. This is Tracy with her sister Leslie and brother Sonny - and me. The painting on the wall behind us is an oil painting of their Grandad LeClair done by Dave McNalley from Jackson. Tracy and I bought this (monthly payments to Wilcox Gallery) years ago. It hung in my house for years. Several years ago I took it to Colorado and it now hangs in Tracy and Paul's living room.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


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Barrie's dog, Jarvi goes to work with her , and was the hit of the office when she snuck into another office and ate the dog biscuits she found in there.

This is one of my favorite things - the purple tree in Daniel. I took this from across the highway with a medium telephoto lens, and it really brought the mountains in.

A nice day today, but windy. Barrie attacked the front yard again with a chain saw and a rake and wheelbarrow. It is starting to look really good out there.It has become so overgrown.

Bill and Alice are going to be here tomorrow afternoon. They are in Twin Falls now, at Mike and Barb's house. I didn't even ask how long they planned to stay. We have the driveway cleared enough to make room for their big motorhome. They will be pulling a pickup, and am not sure it will fit in the driveway, but Bill can unhook it and park it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Barrie's dogs were barking in the back yard this morning, and I looked out to see two moose eating my wild gooseberry bush. They weren't paying any attention to the dogs. I took these out the window.

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This young bull might be last year's calf.

The cow was thoroughly enjoying the wild gooseberry bush. The thorns don't seem to bother her.


I have never had anyone clean my house before. This morning I escaped upstairs to get away from Barrie's activities. I was afraid I was going to get run over. She did dishes, cleaned house, took out garbage, and did laundry. Earlier this week, she worked in the yard - used my electric chain saw on some bushes and did some raking.

I came upstairs and fought with some watercolor paper. I can't get it taped down and stretched. The tape just won't stick, no matter what. I have tried both the packing tape and the masking tape and it won't stick to the damp paper and it pulls loose and buckles. You can't use a stapler on the masonite boards. I do have a couple of special foam boards that I can use staples on, and it works great.

I think I will put the pastels away for a bit and work on the several watercolors I have started.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Comfort Zone

No pastel dust on my fingers today . . .

I think both pastel portraits are ready for the garbage. I have been really frustrated, but I know I need to remember it has been over 20 years since I tried them. It's not like riding a bicycle - you DO forget!

Anyway, I have climbed back into my comfort zone and have started a pencil portrait.

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The "Smell My Socks" Game.


Jennifer and Shawn

I have always enjoyed looking at this picture. I took this years ago at a family reunion. These kids are both about 30 years old now. Their mothers are sisters, and are cousins of mine.


I saw a couple of quotes in magazines I thought were worth sharing:

"A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth". (John Singer Sargent)

"I am a bear of little brain and long words bother me". (Winnie the Pooh)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Snow

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I have no TV this morning. It keeps attempting to acquire a satellite signal, but is not making any progress. I finally stuck my head out the window to look at the dish, and think I have located the problem! As I don't have anything to brush the snow off, I guess I will just wait until it melts.

My upstairs bedroom windows were plastered with snow yesterday afternoon.

What a beautiful snow - we got several inches with not much wind, and the snow stuck to everything. The way I take pictures of new snowfall, you would think I had never seen it snow before!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


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Dyeing Eggs

Finding Eggs

We dyed eggs last night, and started out in a very proper and neat manner. But we ended up with Kasey putting the eggs in the cups and taking them out with her hands, and colored water running down her arms.

Then Barrie took the raw eggs out of the refrigerator and we dyed them too.

Barrie hid the eggs around the living room and dining room this morning, and with a little encouragement, Kasey figured out she was supposed to find them and put them in a basket. She dropped them a lot, and even banged them together.

We had a dozen hard boiled eggs, but after Kasey had found them all, we discovered we had 13 eggs in the basket. Oh oh! One of those eggs is raw! Kasey loves fried eggs and scrambled eggs, but when Barrie gave her a hard boiled egg for breakfast, she didn't like it.


It's a very dreary, cloudy, and windy day. A good day for a nap and a good book.But the book I am trying to read is not good - it is kind of a cross between a murder mystery and a romance novel.
This is for Betty - if you can get your hands on the April Rendezvous Pointe newsletter, make sure Scott reads the joke on page 4. You can also see it online: