Saturday, June 30, 2012


We have had a relatively smoke-free two days.  The fire is now burning only about 17 miles west of Big Piney, and has consumed 37,000 acres,  It is 5% contained.  So far, no structures have been lost, and no rigs damaged.

I did, however, read on Facebook this morning some posts from friends in that area about sheds burning, and some hay stacks.

Tracy called this morning from Colorado Springs.  She is the Public Information Office for the Summit County Seriff's office, and has been sent over there to help out for the weekend.  She basically is helping man the phones, giving our information.  She says a couple hundred National Guardsmen have been brought in, partly for traffic control and partly to guard against looting.  It makes me sick to think we have to guard the homes that have been evacuated to prevent looting. 

Barrie brought the three puppies to town today.  They are almost a year old, and wild and crazy.  They played and chased each other around the yard.  Barrie  brought her big water tank in to fill.


This is for my friend Rollie, who is a math teacher.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I felt like I was living  in a Stephen King novel yesterday.   The sky was downright spooky.

This is what the sky looked like at 4:30 yesterday afternoon.

And here is what it looked like two hours later, at 6:30.

Barrie posted some excellent photos on Facebook yesterday.  She took pictures of ash, the sky, and the street.  It became so dark that the street lights were coming on. 

Barrie wore a mask yesterday while she worked.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Day 3 of smoke and ashes.  This photo looks like I retouched it, but I didn't.  The sky is really that color, and the air is full of smoke and ashes.  I am keeping all my windows closed today.  It's so dark in the house that I have several lights on.

The fire has now burned 25,000 acres.  A few summer homes and a ranger station are being watched.  Gas wells have been shut down and personnel evacuated, and the fire is 0% contained.

I am wondering how the wildlife in the area is faring, and also, how many ranchers are losing their summer pasture?  Are all the cows moved out?


I did learn today that my step son-in-law closed on his house in Colorado Springs, and is already moved out of Colorado to Cheyenne.  I'm glad he is out of there.


It's hard to concentrate on reading, or drawing or painting.  I keep going to look out the window to check on the conditions outside.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Okay, that does it. I am definitely ready for winter. I've had all the smoke and ashes I need, and then some.  Come on, snow!

The wind brought the smoke and ashes from the Fontenelle Fire to us yesterday afternoon.  It cleared out last night before dark, but it's back today.

This is what the sun looked like yeserday afternoon.

Here is the reflection of the sun in a puddle from the sprinkler in the yard.

And the sun reflecting off the blue metal roof of the ranch supply store.

The fire has now burned 12,000 acres northwest of Labarge.  The fire is being fought by 3 helicopters, 5 engines, and 2 crews of 20 firefighters each for a total of 92 personnel.  The news yesterday said the wind blew too hard to be able to use any aircraft.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I put a chuck roast in the crockpot this morning with some good spices and flavorings.  I usually end up with mushy vegetables (yuck) if I slow cook them, so will wait until tonight and add carrots, potatoes, and onions.  Then turn the setting on my handy dandy machine to pressure, and pressure cook the roast and veggies for five or six minutes.  Can't think of any reason why it shouldn't be good, but you never can tell how my cooking will turn out.


I thought the wind blew a little hard here yesterday afternoon before we got the rain.  I didn't realize how hard it blew around the county.  I think my place must be pretty protected here under the edge of the hill.

I used to have this sign up in my classroom when I taught kindergarten. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


Looks like Utah's smoke has arrived.

After Barrie mowed the lawn yesterday, Kasey played in the sprinklers.

Then they planted the rest of Kasey's flowers.

KC planted some of the planters all by herself.  She is a natural born gardener!  I love her "water hat".  I thought maybe it hadn't made it through last summer, but she still has it.  She's used the hat to pack water.  Tough little hat!

Maddy noticed me taking pictures from the upstairs window.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Poor quality picture, taken through the glass of the window I haven't washed yet! I haven't had any humming birds at the feeder yet, but a big butterfly was there for a while yesterday.  And the little red headed finches are very interested in it.


I just ordered a new DVD on drawing realistic animals.   I've been thinking about it for some time, and it just went on sale.  So of course I had to have it!


Warm summer afternoons.  I don't know if it's an out-of-body experience, or just deja vu.  I am sitting here drawing and listening to music.  All the windows are open, and I am picturing myself laying on my back in the grass, looking for animal shapes in the clouds, or eating fresh tomatoes from my Mom's garden, or walking down to the river with my dog.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's going to be hot today!  I think I better look through my downstairs bedroom for some cooler clothes.

I not only thoroughly cleaned my bathroom yesterday, but I washed windows.  I got five done, and two left to do.  I love my windows.  The frames swing out and down, so I can wash the outside at the same time.

I asked Barrie if she would look through the basement yesterday and see if she could find this little hand held electric vacuum.  She brought it up to me.  I bought this years ago when we still heated with wood to clean up around the wood stove,  It's pretty powerful and has a brush roller, so I can vacuum the cat hair out of my chairs without hauling the big upright up the stairs. 

I'm working on organizing and putting things away up here.  I feel more relaxed if things are neat and ordered.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I'm not sure I have the right number of tails and legs here.  It's hard to tell when she curls up like this.  Also, I'm not sure about the dark under her, but she looked like she was floating before I added it.

I have finished two drawings this week.  I'm on a roll!  I have a few other drawings started, but I've kind of lost interest in them.  I almost wonder if I should just throw them out and start something new and fresh.

I'm also thinking of doing something with my pastels or colored pencils.  I need longer days!


I am cleaning my bathroom today, poor me.  Barrie has spoiled me by doing it for a long time, but she is so busy with yard work right now, she can hardly keep up with it.


Definitely a summer day today.  If this keeps up, I will have to haul my litttle portable air conditioner out of the closet and set it up.  I know I'm going to really miss the shade of those two big pine trees on the house in the afternoons.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Yesterday I thought I was hungry, but my stomach boomeranged the first bit of food I tried.  Needless to say, I stayed away from food the rest of the day. 

This morning, I had sausage, two eggs and toast for breakfast.  It tasted so good, and my stomach welcomed it.

I went to bed early (for me) and slept all night. 

Although she does't look it in this photo, Kasey approved of her pencil drawing and told me she liked it.


Yellowstone National Park joins the nation in observing the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.  I don't give a hoot what a person's preferances are, but really?  Maybe Yellowstone Park should be taking care of business. Don't they have bears to count or something?

Barrie heard a racket in the garage the other day.  She had left the garage door open, and a young robin was inside and couldn't find his way out.  Big wide, gaping garage door, but he was fighting the glass in the window in the loft.  And his parents were both there, throwing a fit.  Barrie rescued him. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Would you like to hear something that will make you laugh?  My horoscope says "Today, your brain is operating like a well-oiled machine, and your intellectual skills have reached a perfect balance point."


Barrie took Kasey to the elementary school for kindergarten orientation.  Barrie picked up both KC and Garrett afterwards.  Garrett is Kasey's best buddy from day care.  They have played together since KC started going to Julie's - I think she was less than two.

Of course Kasey said she couldn't remember what they did at school, but she had a good time.


I woke up feeling a little nauseous and dizzy this morning.  Didn't feel any better after a shower, so I put on clean pj's and went back to bed.  I slept blissfully until noon!  Now I'm very hungry.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Today is International Sushi Day.  For some reason, I don't believe I'll celebrate it.  I've never had sushi.  Who knows?  I might like it.  But there's just something about the idea of eating raw fish that doesn't appeal to me.

Years ago, there was a sheepherder in Shoshoni we called "Geranium Joe".  I'm not sure why, but seems it had something to do with uranium, which was being mined heavily in the area.  Joe herded sheep for years in the area, living alone in a sheep wagon.  He just quit one year and stayed in town, swamping the bars.

Nick let him sleep in the old gambling room at the Derby. He could work a crossword puzzle faster than I thought possible, he could speak three different languages, and could quote poetry for hours. He was familiar with the works of Shakespeare He always took off his hat and bowed to a woman. He was definitely a smart man, but pretty eccentric.

Back to the point of my story.  Joe was sitting at the bar in the old Shoshoni Bar one afternoon, and somebody came in who had been fishing at the lake.  He asked Joe if he wanted a fish, and Joe said yes.  The guy brought a fish in for Joe (it had been cleaned) and left.  A few minutes later, we noticed Joe was eating something - it was the raw fish. 

The bartender made Joe leave and take his fish.  And that's why I've never tried sushi.  I always think of old Joe sitting at the bar eating that raw fish.


Sunday, June 17, 2012


Finished, and sprayed with fixative this morning.  It could use some more "tweeking" but I'm tired of working on it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I worked on the pencil drawing of Kasey today.  Funny, but it's exactly the kind of pose I don't like -- full face view, and reference is a photo taken with a flash.  Must be the subject matter that keeps me involved!

I made a macaroni salad and have it in the refrigerator now.  The recipe sounded so good, and I love macaroni salads.


I just got another three e-books for my Kindle. 
I haven't bought a book for some time - there are tons of free ones, and I get an e-mail daily with about 20 new free books listed.   When you click on a book title, it takes you to Amazon, where you can purchase it with one click ($0.00).

Friday, June 15, 2012


The sprinkler is running at the bottom of the steps, and the wet concrete reflects the blooming poppies and the gate.  I had to grab my camera.


I finished the background of the pencil portrait I am doing of Kasey.  Most of the facial features are finished also.

Mystery!  The Bandysnatchers have been loose in my house again.  A few weeks ago, I finished a watercolor of an old rusty pickup.  I did it at Rendezvous Pointe.  I know I brought it home, because I photographed it.  I wanted to darken the shadow on the ground and mat it.  So where is it? 

Blogger is in a good mood today.  It actually uploaded the video I took after dark out my bedroom window, and you can hear the happy frogs.


I watched Tommy Lee Jones in a cute movie last night.  He is a middle age Texas Ranger assigned to protect five cheerleaders who witnessed a murder. 

The movie "Jonestown" almost ruined him for me, when he played the part of the religious cult leader and all those people drank Kook Aide with poison in it.  But he was a good old boy in this film.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Barbara S. stopped in the art room this morning at Rendezvous Pointe and asked me if I would photogragh the quilt the Fiber Guild is making.  They are using wall space in the art room to arrange the blocks.  It's going to be a beautiful quilt.  I love the colors they are using,


I started a new watercolor this morning.  I knew the minute I started that it was not going to go well.  I got the sky done and a mountain.  Then I came home and gave it a bath.  I read somewhere that a Mr. Clean Eraser sponge was great for lifting watercolors.  I've never been able to find these at Ridleys, but Alco had them. Gave it a good bath, and got rid of all the ugly.  Ready to start again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I'm surprised every year to see a few poppies blooming along the fence of the back yard.  I transplanted some there years ago, and they are not taken care of, but still manage to live.  Tough flowers!

There is a large patch of these down by the front gate.  They aren't blooming yet, but are covered with buds.

Barrie mowed the lawn yesterday, and it looks beautiful. 

Someone is trying to repair the fence that fell down behind the old B&B building.  But the level of the "lake" is rising.  I've never seen this area empty before, so it will be interesting to see just how big the lake gets.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Another chilly night.  I'm not sure it got below freezing, but it was in the low 30's.

No news, nothing happening, and that's fine with me!


I'm working on four pencil drawings all at the same time, so it seems I'm not making much progress.  But just think!  Some day, I will finish all four at the same time!

This is a work in progress.  I worked a couple hours on the background this morning.  I haven't done any blending yet.  It is on smooth Bristol board with a mechanical pencil (HB lead).


Sunday, June 10, 2012


I don't know how cold it was last night, but definitely frosty.  The report I saw said it was 28 degrees,  I hope Kasey's flowers in the planters all survived.  Flowers are taking a risk living in Pinedale.  If the frost doesn't get them, the deer will.


I have spent a couple hours trying to upoad a video.  Really nothing on it, because I took it out the window after dark.  What I wanted was to capture the sound of the frogs in the hayfield across the highway.  The camera picked up the sound very well, but Blogger doesn't want my video today.


Kat ignored the grass for about a week. Then for some reason, last night she tried nibblling on it.  Maybe I've found something she actually likes!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


This is something totally different for me. I saw this type of work done by an artist in the Wet Canvas Forum, and had to try it.  I mixed some instant coffee, very strong, and literally "threw" it on a piece of watercolor paper.  After it dried, I drew a longhorn steer on it with charcoal pencils.  Lots of fun!!  I want to do another, but I guess I better complete a couple of the "traditional" pencil drawings I have started.


Cold and windy outside.  The forecast says we can expect wind and rain.


I bought a new hummingbird feeder when I went to Alcos.  I put it up in my upstairs window yesterday, but I know it's too early.  I just want to be ready. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


I'm so disappointed to hear that I'll Have Another scratched from the Belmont Stakes this morning, due to an injury during training. 


My morning routine of reading the news and checking e-mail is now so much simpler.  I turned on the Spam Block feature of CenturyTel's web mail, and it works perfectly.  I counted, and yesterday there were 12 messages sent directly to the spam folder. 

A friend of mine, and close neighbor to my brother near Shoshoni is  running for the House.  Good luck, Lois.

Can I get this for Barrie??

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I felt like I was in the big city this morning.  Well, almost.  I went out to the new Alco store south of town and did a little shopping.  Very nice, neat, good lighting, and things were easy to find.  They carry a lot of things.  As I am very poor at keeping track of what I spend, I have no idea if I saved money over Ridley's.  I'd like to think so.

Saw Cierra, one of my all time favorite kindergartners working there.  She is now the mother of three.


I watched the Country Music awards on TV last night.  I don't even remember who won what, but I am always amazed at their attire.  The men wear tee shirts and faded jeans, and a ball cap.  If they are wearing a shirt, the shirt tail is not tucked in.  The women, on the other hand, are dressed to the teeth in dresses that barely cover their crotch, and high heels. 


What do sunsets, first snowfalls of winter, and moose in my yard have in common?  I can't resist taking pictures of them.


I guess maybe illegal immigrants have been a problem for a very long time!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


There were only four of us in art group today.  Our coffee pot died, and Vicky went over to Ridley's to buy us a new one so we could have coffee with the yummy treats she brought.

Part way through the morning, a couple from Florida came in.  She had her watercolors with her and sat down and painted with us.  They stayed in Pinedale last night in their camper trailer, and were not happy campers.  They ran out of propane last night, and their pickup wouldn't start this morning.  They were cold, and their truck was cold.  They couldn't believe it got down to 30 degrees here last night.  They may be headed back to Florida by now.

I worked on the trees in my elk painting, and did a card with Square Top.  Then I came home and started a drawing of a Long Horn on the paper with the coffee background.


I never watch TV, but there are a couple things on tonight I would like to watch. One is the Country Music Awards, and the other is a TV series that has been on before, I think.  It's "The Hatfields and the McCoys."

And of course I HAVE to remember to watch the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.  Wouldn't it be exciting if I'll Have Another won it? It would be the first time in almost 40 years that a horse wins the Triple Crown.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I think I am getting e-mail now.   At least I had 31 new messages this morning, of which at least half of them wanted me to buy something to enlarge my penis.  Where does all this crap come from?

My old e-mail program wouldn't let me block those addresses any more.  Even when I went to the 'blocked messages" list and entered them by hand, they kept coming to my inbox. 

I'm using Century Tel's e-mail program now.  Seems to work just fine, and I am marking those types of messages as spam, so maybe they sill start slowing down.

I yelled downstairs to Barrie to send me a short e-mail to see if it was working.  She yelled back, "I sent you one word, and it is spelled wrong."    Here is the message:



Starting to get really warm in the afternoons in the house, well upstairs.  I am going to miss the shade on the house from the two big pine trees we had cut down last fall.


Tracy saw the picture of the little buckets the bulbs came in that she sent me for Mother's Day.  She called and said that wasn't what she had ordered.  She had ordered some daffodils in a rustic basket.  She said she would complain, but I liked what I got.  I thought she sould call anyway, and maybe get what she ordered, plus the bulbs I got.  She did, and they are refunding her money, including postage. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


Ho, Hum.  This photo pretty much sums up what is going on around here.  The cat sleeps and I read.

I did paint a couple of quickies in the little Moleskine book. I thought the book was 4" x 6", but it's not quite that large.  It's almost full.


I have been fighting with my e-mail program.  I am supposed to be able to block senders, but that feature has quit working.  I was getting about a dozen e-mails every day wanting to sell me something to enlarge my penis, and it seemed like the amount of spam I got was increasing every day. 

I finally removed the program, and thought I would download and reinstall it.  When I did that, it told me it was dowloading 41 new messages, but nothing appeared.  The folders where I had mail I wanted to save are still there, and the messages listed, but I can't open any of them.

So .....I am using Century Tel website directly to get my e-mail now.  If anyone has e-mailed me in the last couple days, I probably never got it.


Saturday, June 2, 2012


I opened my window this morning to the smell of freshly mown grass.  What a nice smell!  Barrie is hard at work.

Picking up a pile of previously raked stuff

Barrie sprayed our lawn with something to kill the dandelions, and it really got them.  I took this picture before she mowed. 


Didn't get any drawing done yesterday.  Of course, I guess you actually have to pick up the pencil and make marks on paper to draw anything.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Last night I cut up half a head of cabbage, some carrots, and put them in my pressure cooker with some brats.  (Couldn't find any kielbasa.  Pressured them for 9 minutes, and had an old fashioned comfort food meal.  Tasted so good!


I didn't do any drawing this morning, but painted some trees in the background of a watercolor I am doing of elk. 

And worked on a sheet of hot pressed (smooth) paper that I am trying to do the background for something.  Don't know what yet, but the background has coffee splashes.  Interesting.  And that's all I can say about it - just interesting.

This is the corner of a garden belonging to a fellow photographer/friend of mine in California.  Isn't it amazing?