Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Here's hoping for smooth sailing in 2014

                                         "Trio" copyright 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I was wrong

I was wrong.  Christmas was not a Booth cartoon.  It was more of a Quentin Tarantino movie.  Violence, blood, excrement, carnage, hysteria and a lot of bad thoughts about otherwise good dogs....

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Christmas in a Booth Cartoon

   Family occasions often remind me of one of my favorite cartoonists, George Booth.  Such mayhem.  Christmas 2013 will be rife with Booth.  For the past 22 years, we've had dinner with our neighbors.  The kids grew up together, (well, they got drunk together...) and dinner at the Bartletts is de rigueur.  This year I agreed to watch my brother's two dogs (a bull dog and a large chocolate lab) for that week.  My son leaves his two (pitbull and loon)dogs Christmas Eve through Christmas dinner.  And my daughter will be bringing her rescue pitbull.
    48 hours fraught with hilarity, to be sure.  But here's the rub.  The hostess needs back surgery.  She is not allowed to bend over, much less host 14 people for dinner.
    Last time we had it at our house, it didn't go so well.  So much so that no one suggested having it here again.  I'm sure it will be far better this time.  What could be more festive than five quarrelsome dogs circling the roast beast?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound

Sibley, who I thought was the 'good' dog, has freaky leaping skills.  From a dead standstill, she can levitate up and over our fence.  Usually she performs this act in pursuit of a dog, a deer, a squirrel or maybe a passing butterfly.  She also tends to shred the hand that feeds her.  All in good fun.
 One of the many reasons that I enjoy dogs, is that unlike certain nameless children, dogs don't complain.  They don't whine, "I'm bored."  I had a black lab who was able to amuse herself.  When she couldn't find someone to throw the ball, she'd drop it at the top of the driveway and run to the bottom to retrieve it.  Dogs would walk by and she would barely look at them, much less chase them.  Once, when I was recovering from back surgery she joined me on the bed.  I smelled necrotic flesh and discovered she had a large gash on her leg.  Never said a word about it, just soldiered on.  I asked my husband about it and he said, "Oh yeah, she ran a little slower this week."
    Sam, my son's other dog, is a nudge.  If he's not barking or baying, he's grumbling.  I want to tell him to go read a book.
    On the other hand, both Sibley and Sam are excellent cuddlers.  My black lab was more of a, "oh, if you must pet me, go ahead."
    My son returns tonight, God willing.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why my back will not heal

    Sibley (the blur on the left) is a pit bull/boxer mix, yet another of my son's rescues.   Sam (the jaws on the right) is a leaping loon and has been discussed at length in previous posts.  Sibley is exceedingly sweet unless she comes across a smaller dog, then she becomes a threshing machine.  They actually get along well.  The above fray, with gnashing of teeth, usually is in good fun.  The kind Cain and Abel had.
    My son is away in Istanbul, Budapest and Vienna, leaving the little dears in my care. The double leash my son supplied extends six feet in opposite directions.  Using this,I  become the object of a truck pull.  Or the rack.  Then they run laps around me as if I were a May Pole, neatly ensnaring me.  One good push and I am down for the kill.
    In anticipation of their two week stay, I purchased a combination "wacky walkr" that claims to reduce pulling.  It does keep them abreast but that intensifies their ability to drag elderly objects. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


   How much backup is too much backup?  As a person who spends most of her waking hours searching for lost items, I believe in backup. I wish regular life had a search engine.   Last year I bought a 2 tetrabyte external hard drive.   (Mathematically speaking, I think that means a gazillion-willion bytes, more that a mortal could possibly use.)  I admit I was smug about my backup.  To free up space on my hard drive (I have an extraordinary number of images stored), I would just transfer files to the external hard drive and put the originals in the trash. 
   It will come as no surprise to anyone but myself that my external hard drive died.  The tech said, 'well you have backup for it, right?'
   'Back up for my backup? How could I, every damn portal on the computer is filled, where would I plug in another back up?'
   'No,' he replied, 'backed up on your computer.'  This  rapidly devolved into a bad "who's on first?" routine.
   It has not been a good day.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Minimalist Me

                         The Shape of Things #1 ©2013

    No one of my acquaintance would consider me a minimalist.  In any regard.  It is probably too late in life to try to curb my 'enthusiasms'.  The other day, Sheep Jones, a friend and an artist of the first rank, was looking at a photo of an intended subject:

I wanted to make the composition more cohesive.  I had the red of the life jacket in one, the red of the oar handle in another, and the reddish wood in the third.  But how to introduce the green into the other two?  Sheep suggested I remove the green altogether.  Remove the oars, ropes and life jackets.  Go minimalist.  Be more contemporary.
    "The Shape of Things #1" was the result.  Sheep agreed if that it doesn't sell in six months, I'm allowed to revert to detail. And if it does sell, I have to do a minimalist series.  Win win.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Unexpected Physics

It's an odd day, violent rain and a husband home, furloughed by the government shut down.  As I exercised in the basement, I listened to a Jay Mohr podcast with "E" of the band  Eels.  Turns out "E's" father (Hugh Everett) was a quantum mechanics physicist, who, at 24,  discovered the concept of parallel universes.  The theory was shot down by a contemptuous Niels Bohr in the late 50's and Everett's academic career ended.  Hugh Everett died at 51, before the parallel universes theory gained stature.   "E" never knew his father was a "physics rock star", in fact knew little about him.  Disconnected.  His search to understand his father's life and work resulted in documentary "Parallel Universes, Parallel Lives".  Like "E", I knew nothing about physics.  This film,  available on www.eelstheband.com, explains quantum mechanics in a way that even I understood.  His journey is fascinating and endearing.  Towards the end of the film, "E" finally looks through the boxes of his father's papers that have  been moldering in "E's" basement and discovers tape recordings his father made.  It's been 25 years since he heard the sound of his father's voice.  He is reluctant to listen.  He hits 'play' and hears his father talking about the theory to a visitor and, in the background, the sound of "E" playing drums in the basement.
   You never know where exercise will lead you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Revenge of the Chipmunks

    After four months of tending the vines and fending off hordes of chipmunks, we harvested the tomatoes.  Or rather the forty percent of the tomatoes that hadn't been gnawed or dragged off to the provinces.  Victory was ours!   We gorged on the tomatoes, noon and night.   Turns out my innards are tomato intolerant.  Acutely so.
  There's a lesson to be learned here, but I'll be damned if I want to think about it. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More than Enough

                            "The Bend, Again"  ©2013

   Years ago, I had an epiphany of sorts, courtesy of a piece in The New Yorker.  It told of a conversation between Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller at the home of a very wealthy man.  Vonnegut asked if it bothered Heller that the host had made more money in a day than Heller had from all of his Catch-22 royalties.  Heller replied, 'No, because I have something he'll never have.'
   'What's that?' asked Vonnegut.
   'Enough,'  Heller answered.
   I have 'enough' but I need to remind myself periodically.  In my frenzy to sell more paintings, I have ignored Heller's message.  It isn't what I want to sell, but that I can paint.  Fifteen years ago, I was a writer.  I dabbled in art to feel closer to my recently deceased mother (herself a professional artist).  My whole life changed.  I studied at the Art League of Alexandria, never allowing myself to hope I would be good enough to make the leap.  Years of classes, encouragement and passion, drove me.  In 2006, I was juried into the Torpedo Art Center. I am a resident artist.
   Even though I grouse about nearly everything, I can write and I can paint.  And, surely, that is enough.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The tenants called. There are bats everywhere in the Vineyard house.  The men of their family are away, and the ten women and babies are not up to shooing bats with brooms.   The animal control warden, called by the tenant, exhorted them to abandon the house. There aren't a lot of places to seek refuge in the high season of August.  Odd  things happen whenever this family rents the house. The caretaker helpfully asked them why they keep coming back.
 Replacing the ajar attic hatch would not be too much to expect from a caretaker.  But alas, ours has a bum leg and will not climb a ladder. Reputable repairmen, (though not apparently animal control agents), are loathe to wait in ferry lines to come over to Chappy.  Obama is at the other end of the Vineyard but appears to jam traffic at our end as well.  We called everyone who has worked on the house with its storied past but no one can get there for 'weeks'.
One sister in-law thought we should explain what a vital role bats play in the environment.  Did I mention that one of the tenants had previously been bitten by a rabid bat?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tomato Debacle

   I love summer tomatoes, so meaty and juicy.  What could be more fun than growing your own?  I admit I have a spotty history where gardening is concerned.  As a newlywed in the 70's, I tried to grow vegetables.  The zucchini developed a manifest destiny complex, over running all other plants, indeed, other yards.  And, I'm quite sure I was the only gardener in upstate New York who had to stake her corn.  It keeled over with near passion.
   In recent years we grew just tomatoes.  We tried the front yard, the side yard, the back yard.  Something was truly enjoying our tomatoes but it was not us.
   This year, my husband erected a six foot wire mesh fence in the back yard.    When we left for vacation we had several plump tomatoes that we were sure would be ripe by our return.  On return, it was  a bit surprising to discover there were no big tomatoes in the garden, ripe or otherwise.  I suspected the neighbors. 
    The culprits, we soon learned, were swat teams of chipmunks. ( I always hated that Alvin song.)  People think chipmunks are cute.  They are not.  They are rodents with good PR.  We doused the ground with fox urine and liquid fence.  They practically laughed in our faces.  In  past years, animals would eat ripening tomatoes.  Now they dropped big green tomatoes to the ground, ate half and left the rest for us.  I can't tell you how depressing this was.
   We tried every humane method possible to dissuade the chipmunks, but they kept coming in waves, like they were being bussed in from the Virginia battlefields.  We resorted to some not strictly humane methods.  So far, so good.  Except this morning in the Washington Post there was an article about evil hornworms devastating the local tomato crop.  How do farmers thwart the vermin and get those juicy tomatoes to the market?
    Next year, we are planting wildflowers.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Will Bleed for Art, part two

                              "White Shutters"   ©2013

   What vacation is complete without a trip to the emergency room?
    I was on the Vineyard, scraping the stairs again.  If I thought about it seriously, I would be tempted to believe the wretched stairs spend each winter shimmying and bucking off the paint like an ornery uncle.
    Last year, when kayaking, I found a hidden inlet that I wanted to paint.   So with the scraping done, my son and I took the kayak across Poucha Pond.  My sense of rhythm is irregular and clearly not suited for team sports.  There was much zigging and zagging.  And muttering from behind.
    The inlet was as I had remembered it.  (Sadly, the photos bear no resemblance.)  On the way back to the kayak, I stepped on something sharp in the water.   I know I am a gusher. My skin is very thin.  It's not a problem as I'm not heir to a throne, and the blood clots eventually. Last year I got knocked down by a roguish wave, managed to keep my camera above water but gashed my knee.  My daughter panicked at the sight of so much blood.  As did my son.  He may have mentioned sharks, but by then we were on land.   I took care of the wound at home and slathered it with anti-biotics.  Two days later it was off to the hospital with an infected foot.

Monday, June 24, 2013

No Hands on Deck

"Mellow Yellows"  (c) 2010
"dinghy jam" copyright 2013     

I am mystified by my attraction to dinghies and sailboats.  I don't want to sail or to dingh, if that's a verb.  When I was a child we had a small sailboat and Boston Whaler.  My father taught me to sail much as he taught me to swim (as one might a dog, with a mighty heave ho.  I don't even dog paddle well.)  My memories of sailing are sketchy, involving mishaps  of one sort or another, becalmed, stranded on a sandbar, blown out to sea etc.  Once I was out with my brother, Randy, when the day dissolved into a windless fog bank.  We had no idea where shore was but Randy figured that wasn't catastrophic as there was no place deep enough in the bay to drown.  He was taller but I was the one forced out of the boat into the bay to pull us to land.  Or in circles, as it happened.  He still sails to this day (it wasn't his feet stepping on squishy marine life).
    The Boston Whaler was supposed to be invincible.  The ads said you could saw it in half and still float.  But like all things nautical, it wouldn't stop on a dime, leaving me forever leary of brakeless transportation.  The only way to stop it was to bump into something solid.  This was frowned upon by both my father and the owner of whatever solid object I butted .(My older brother, Vance, would occasionally run the whaler onto the beach to stop it.  Vance was the only one who knew how to fix the boat, so I guess that gave him certain privileges.)  My worst solo trip involved a problematic gear box.  I couldn't get it to go forward. I had to navigate through the harbor full of  yachts backwards.
   That may explain why I don't paint motor boats, but none of it explains why I  paint so many wooden boats.  Nor, why I am so very fond of my brothers.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Oyster Strewed

                            "Oyster Strew" copyright 2007
    In England, after a long day in museums and maneuvering up and down the seemingly endless stairs of the Underground, we boarded a crowded train.  I held on to a pole.  Suddenly, a young woman stood up and offered me her seat.  I used to do the very same thing in New York City in the 70s.  I did it for old people.  Rather than being grateful, I gasped, "Do I look that old?".  She smiled.  I took the seat under protest.
   This week I bought annuals for the garden.   Later  I noticed the clerk had given me a "seniors" discount.  She hadn't asked if I was over 60, she just assumed.  Isn't that a presumptuous social gaffe?  Shouldn't she ask and then look stunned or at the very least surprised that I am so old?
  I feel like I'm forty-five.  Perhaps I should look in the mirror.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Museum Death March: London Edition

My husband doesn't believe vacations are for lolling about.  If we were stranded on a beach he would tunnel all the way to China or build a bulwark out of clam shells.  To his credit, he has great curiosity about the world.  We are just back from 8 days in London.   We saw two palaces, the Cotswolds, the Tate, the Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the National Gallery, Tower of London, Museum of London and the British Library.  And those are just the places I remember.  I have so many images ricocheting through my head I am dizzy.  I may have stopped paying attention.  At one point in the National Gallery my husband pointed out the room was full of Titians.  I am the artist of the family.  I should have noticed that but I was busy sidestepping munchkins.
  I am all for introducing young people to art, but not in bulk.  Platoons of youngsters, with identifying fluorescent caps or vests clotted the galleries in every museum we visited.  Invariably, they were parked in front of an image that I would have liked to study.  Some sat, others splayed out on their stomachs writing on their worksheets,  forming a ten foot barricade.
  London has an efficient  underground system.  Trains were astonishingly clean considering that so many people eat entire meals while rocketing about underground. I was struck by the number of beautiful women eating pastries.   What London doesn't have, and I'm amazed they can get away with it in this day and age, is handicapped access.  So many stairs between platforms and exits. My knee threatened to buckle.  My husband pointed to a woman pulling herself up the stairs by the railing while her son followed with her crutches. That pretty much ended my whining.
   London was on my husband's bucket list.  I had been twice before.  It's odd being somewhere and knowing you'll never see it again.  There are too many places still on his bucket list to consider revisiting those crossed off.  He asked what was on my list.  Some place flat, I answered.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tempting the Fates

                   "Wretched Excess" ©, oil and gold leaf on linen

No sooner had I announced my triumph over lymphocytic colitis then the gods took offense and whacked me with another bout.  I am gluten intolerant and still have lymphocitic colitis.  I hope the gods are happy.

It was actually two days before I got the attack.   I have been known to embellish.  No really. 

Perhaps exaggeration comes from being a novelist.  But it has begun to haunt me.  There are parts of my first, partially autobiographical novel (Hell's Bells, available on ebay for a penny) that I no longer know if happened in the real world or in my head.  We did have a shark scare on the Vineyard one year.  My mother didn't particularly like to swim, but was stalwart about daily exercise.  Katama Bay was mostly murky with an abundance of squishy vegetation.  You wouldn't have caught me in there before the shark scare.  Time Magazine had published an article that (I believe) said sharks avoid  yellow and should be deterred with a blunt instrument.  I wrote that the mother character swam in a screaming yellow tank suit and carried a hammer.   I assume that was fabrication, although I know she often swam in a leopard skin patterned tank suit.  My parents were great characters and had no need of embellishment.

I tell people how my father's office (he was a writer) was next to where my mother painted.  One day he made a comment about a painting. She took it off the easel and hurled it at him.  Subsequently he moved his office to the other end of the house.  I believed this to be one of my fictions, so I was startled to learn it was the truth.  In 1958 or thereabouts, my father was interviewed on Person to Person. I watched a grainy tape of the show recently.  My mother, who went gray in her late thirties, looked like a bombshell blonde on black and white television.  She introduced me as her "chatty" daughter. And then she told nation the story about lobbing the canvas at my father.

Does it matter if a story is true?  I think it should, but I'm pretty sure that as the embellisher, I am ill equipped to judge.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Unkindest Cut

      Too Much Information Alert: bodily functions discussed.

Two years ago I got the runs, the kind where you visit the commode 12 to 18 times a day.  Machines thoroughly ransacked my innards for information.    The doctor ruled out celiac disease.  I remember being so glad as I couldn't imagine a life without wheat.  He told me that celiac patients can not even use the same toaster as normal people because of cross-contamination.

 The bad news was that I had lymphocytic colitis.   The doctor told me I fit the disease's demographic. I guessed he meant old, white, overweight and female.  He chuckled.  Even worse news, there was no proscribed treatment. All he could offer was hand-me-down medicine.  We'd pretend I had Crohn's Disease.  Whooppee!

The treatment involved taking 3 steroids a day for a month, then 2 pills a day for a month and finally 1 pill a day for a month.  The doctor said I could expect 3 to 4 attacks a year.  That is 9 to 12 months of steroids a year.  I've never known anyone to advise long time steroid use, but I had no choice.  I did my first three month cycle, went steroid free for 6 whole days before I had to start another three month cycle.  It was insane.  The steroids made my voice squeaky.  The slightest pressure on my arms would create angry, red, puffy bruises. Seeing my hands, people would look away quickly, embarrassed by my condition.

I tried to outsmart the colitis.  I went to acupuncture. I drank vats of Aloe Juice. I meditated.  I took Vitamin K to stop the bruising.  I took Curcumin to reduce inflamation.  I took dreadfully expensive pro-biotics.   And still I had to take steroids.  I played little games, shortening the cycle of the pills.  I gave up fresh fruit.  I gave up nuts.  I gave up liquor.  I gave up chocolate.

Then one day I gave up wheat.  I almost hoped it wouldn't work.  But it did.  I may not have celiac disease but I am gluten intolerant.  I have been off the steroids for two months but I still erupt in weird bruises.  Is it too much to hope that long gloves come back in style?

Monday, April 8, 2013


                           "Provence in a Bottle"

It has previously been noted ("Oh say, Can I see?" January 3, 2012 blog) that I have trouble seeing that which I am painting.  Several teachers have chided me for "not looking."  A recent critique accused me of greedily rushing ahead when I should be pausing and focusing.  All of this is sadly true.  Another comment, "Cindy mistrusts her eye and inner makings of balance,"  got me thinking.  Well, that and the fact that I have fallen twice in as many weeks.  My physical therapist, who is all that stands between me and back surgery, says I am "a crooked old lady."  Uneven hips, collapsed cartilage, a touch of scoliosis.   I do fall more than the average adult.  And without grace.  My husband remarked, after I went face first into the Palantine Hill in Rome, that I "went down like a tree."  I don't think he was talking saplings, either.

I used to enjoy a walk in the woods.   But Nature is  lost on me as I can't afford to look.  I am  focused on the ground, where tree roots, mud and tangled vegetation try to bring me down.   Ironically, my last two falls were on  sidewalks, where I was silly enough to think I was safe. 

So maybe my physical imbalance has rippled into my creativity, causing me to rush ahead as I paint.  To finish before I fall...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring has sprong*#^!

                              "Broken but Unbowed"

   Spring has sprong and so has my back.  After a month of limping and climbing stairs one leg at a time as if I had a priceless tea cup on my head, I saw my doctor.  He sent me for an MRI which was done at 8:30 at night.  (There is something very creepy about medical procedures occurring after normal business hours.)  When the doctor called  with the results he seemed in awe of the collapsing cartilage, advanced degenerative arthritis and scar tissue.  This is a man who had replaced my left knee twice within a matter of weeks so he should have been prepared for havoc.
   I am fervently hoping to avoid further back surgery.  I had two disks removed 20 years ago.  My husband wasn't a 'hands on' attendant'.  I was flat on my back, stranded in the guest room. He would check on me before he went to work and when he returned asked if I might need something.  I learned a valuable lesson, when surgery looms,  keep a jar of peanut butter and a bag of prunes by the bed.
   The big 65 is just around the corner.  I had hoped to be in better shape.  Optimism is for the young.  I feel like an old car swaying down the road with bits and pieces falling by the wayside.  A muffler here, a rusted bumper there, the rest is duct taped.  And there is an 18 wheeler bearing down on me at warp speed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

lease lessons

  My mother used to grumble and fret for a good three days before she would hole up in a closed room to pay the bills.  But her real stress was her role as a landlord. My father claimed he was unsuited to handle such matters.  My mother often lamented that she wished, just once, to live in a house that did not need to be rented.  We lived in Connecticut for nine months a year.  When we moved up to the Vineyard for the summer, the Connecticut house had to be rented.  Readying the house for tenants was also my mother's job.  My father would disappear to the golf course.  I was supposed to help, but cleaning was never my ambition.
  If it were but one house, she could have handled it.  My father was a writer and my mother an artist.  In the early years, there was a certain herky-jerky quality to their financial stream.  My father's grand idea was to invest in real estate.  He had lucked out in 1953 by purchasing a Victorian house on 25 acres on Chappaquiddick for $8000.  To improve future cash flow, he created more rental houses.  First, he moved a goat shed, an art studio and other out buildings on the property across the way, paid $500 for a foundation, and voila, a rental house.  Later he made my brother Randy climb trees to find the highest point on our land.  He then had a house built of his own design.  It had no inside stairs, a widow's walk on top, and electric heat, which extended the rental season.  Mother, quite reasonably, hated being a landlord.  One year tenants in the goat shed house complained that there was a wretched stench in the wall by the fireplace.  Something big had died and they wanted it out. Now. Or a rebate on the rent.   So, Mother hired a team to remove the wall at no small cost. They found nothing.  It was later determined that the offensive smell came from a pretty conch shell, placed on the mantle by the tenants.  There was nothing pretty about the dead conch inside.
  I have inherited her dread of tenants.  And leases.  Which makes me wonder what sick impulse led me to volunteer to be lease chair at The Torpedo Factory. There are 70 or 80 studios rife with paperwork and problems.  And mine for another 21 months and 27 days.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Slippery Slope

One may be forgiven for feeling creaky when it's time to apply for Medicare.  It is after all, a watershed moment.  Luckily, someone alerted me that it must be done within three months before  turning 65.  I'm not sure what happens if you miss the deadline.  Perhaps you have to wait until you are 130.

I came upon a true indicator of advanced age in the dentist office while waiting to have a tooth extracted, the hole packed with cadaver bone, all in preparation for an implant.  It used to be the only benefit of visiting the dentist was the wait room filled with copies of People Magazine.  Imagine my dismay when I realized I have no idea who the featured people were.  I am so removed from hip culture that Nicki Minaj might as well be the new pomegranate flavoring.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Books of a Feather

                     "Take your Choice" by John Frederick Peto

   I love books.  Who doesn't, you might suppose, but there are those among us who do not read.
   I come from a family of writers.  My father wrote best sellers.  My mother wrote and illustrated "Jerry the Giraffe" in 1945. (The copyright page affirms "This is a wartime book produced in full compliance with government regulations for conservation of paper and other essential materials.") One brother has written several well-received scholarly books.  And then of course, I added to the pile of felled trees.
  My daughter, a voracious reader, designs books.  She could make more money if she took her skills elsewhere, but she loves finding 'her' books in stores.
   Last post I was de-cluttering the house.  If I were serious about purging, I would start with the books.  But I can't.    Books aren't 'friends', as some have claimed.  But the good ones become a part of you, echoing throughout your life.  I would never treat books as they are pictured in Peto's painting (above) but I do mark passages and turn down corners.  Some pages may sport the occasional food stain.  My father was even more vigorous with his books, sometimes tearing whole chapters from the binding (to be used as research).  Not just for the mind,  books are visceral, meant to hugged or even thrown across the room.
   My husband is a steady reader.  We used to share books.  No more.  I bought him a dreaded kindle for Christmas as his heavy computer bag was tearing at his joints.  Secretly, I hoped he'd hate it, as I know I would.  He loves it.  Bastard.
   In the late 80's I could not find a publisher for my fifth novel.  My agent called to say I had been offered a contract for an electronic book.  I laughed and said, don't be ridiculous. No one is ever going to read a whole book on a computer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Four Bags Full

People like pear paintings, or so I hear.  Not only do I have several pear paintings languishing in my inventory, I still have all the artificial pears from the above painting.  Multiply that times countless still lifes and then add 'possible' still lifes.   My husband has complained often that our house is stuffed to the gills.  He issued a directive: 'nothing comes in unless something goes out.'  For years I have smiled and nodded and then snuck in still life objects while he was on the golf course.  When bad weather strikes, and my back is turned, he de-clutters.  He doesn't tell me what he has tossed. This is insidious on so many levels. I spend months searching for something never knowing if it is even still in the house.
   This weekend I bought a French tin ribbon wreath at Great Stuff by Paul.  I tried to hang it and realized to my horror, my husband was right.  There is not a blank 14" wallspace left in the house.
   So I am purging.  Emptying drawers and cupboards with abandon.  It feels great, until a month from now I need something I tossed.