.....and other random stuff......

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dinner at the El San Juan

We also had dinner at the El San Juan.
I t was supposed to be a very good restaurant.
I beg to differ.

First of all they sat us, alone, in a room at the back of the restaurant.
Not a nice private party room. No! A room that had chairs piled on top of the tables in the back.
Then they proceeded to ignore us, bring the wrong food, and when they did decide to bring the food it was cold.
It was without a doubt the WORST service I have ever encountered!
I was livid!
And to make my point I left a penny as a tip.
Mind you, we had voiced our displeasure (kindly, but firmly) throughout the whole meal.
I guess because we were young they just didn’t take us seriously.

Until we were walking out of the restaurant.
Only THEN did we receive any attention.
 The waiter, after seeing the penny, came running after us saying, “This!? This is what you leave me?”

I think if he had stopped there that would have been the end of it and I would have slunk out feeling rather shabby.
But he didn’t stop there.
He followed us the whole length of the restaurant yelling!

Something in me snapped.
I spun around and started back towards him yelling just as loud as he was, “YES! THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I LEFT YOU BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DESERVE! AND IF YOU KEEP THIS UP I’LL TAKE THAT AWAY TOO!”

….now, in my head I remember hearing applause as we walked the last few yards to the door, but that may just be revisionist history.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

El San Juan

Then there was the Time……..

I pretended to be a prostitute and was TOTALLY ignored!
(I’m still not sure if I was insulted or relieved! LOL)

It was said that the lovely and ‘high priced call girls’ frequented the lobby in the El San Juan hotel.
Since we were waiting to see the floor show anyway……
I thought it would be kind of funny to sit and mingle with them and see what would happen.
So I meandered over and sat down and waited.
And waited.
And waited (all the while the other ‘ladies’ were being ‘engaged’!)
The guys tried to make me feel better by saying it wasn’t how I looked exactly….it was just that I looked too young and that scared any potential ‘customers’ away.
(I give them credit for trying to make me feel better!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program….

So, after a trip to IKEA

a little elbow grease (and a lot of help from Husband) here’s the finished product!


My studio!
Transition from the 'rough and tumble' area into the actual studio.

The desk/red chair and bookcase were all IKEA additions. I now have drawers for my sewing stuff right there accessible AT the sewing machine!

Shelves raised to accommodate my new light tent for ‘photo shoots’. 

Over the door shoe pockets (left) hold odds and ends.

Display shelves.

These little jars were an IKEA purchase, $8 for all of them!

My 'Wall of Friends!"

Big overstuffed comfy chair to sit and sketch or read or just contemplate my navel! (There should be a side table next to the chair but it was damaged when we opened the box. Oh well, that just means I have to make another trip to IKEA!)

Organized closet (take note, it will NEVER look this good again! LOL)

And there you have it! 
I hope you enjoyed this interruption of our regularly scheduled programming! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Puerto Rico

Once upon a time, Husband invited me to Puerto Rico.

Before he became Husband he was on summer duty (Air Force) and I got to be a guest of the ‘state’.
There were an odd number of men in the company sharing rooms at the hotel, which meant Husband had a room to himself.

Free vacation! I’m THERE! (I did have to pay for airfare.)

I got to hang around the pool all day while he worked and then in the evenings I was escorted to dinner with seventeen of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet!

I was there for a week and had many fun escapades.
Let’s just say high school Spanish does not prepare you for travel in Spanish speaking countries.

One day I decided to go to old San Juan and tour the fort.
I was told at the desk to wait for the blue ‘vehicle’ (at least that’s how I understood it to the best of my Spanish speaking abilities.)
So I stood at the bus stop and waited for the blue ‘vehicle’.

Along came a blue station wagon.
Everyone else got in and put a quarter in the ashtray.
They all sat looking expectantly at me so I got in and put my quarter in the ashtray.
They started chatting and laughing and I got the distinct feeling I had made a faux pas.
It turns out it was a private carpool taking them to work!
But they were kind enough to drop me off at the fort.
I guess they took pity on me and my lack of ability to speak a foreign language!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It Was a Good Day

So, you know how I got the new workbench right?
Well, cleaning up that part of my creative space led to cleaning/purging the studio.
This led to the need for a new desk and a new bookcase….
Which necessitated a trip to IKEA.
This just happened to coincide with my birthday.
So, we met up with the boys, went on a shopping spree to IKEA and then the boys took us all out for dinner to celebrate my birthday!
It was a good day ‘tater! 

Friday, January 25, 2013


The last time I was upset about a birthday was when I was 25.
I know that sounds silly but I was sure that by the time I was 25 I would be burning up the world.

I would be a well know writer, published several slim but notable and profound volumes.
Be sought out by the ‘in’ people.

Ah, youth!

It’s not that I’m upset about being sixty. I don’t feel like sixty. I’m told I don’t look like sixty, or act like it either!
I guess I should be grateful I got this far!
I just don’t like the SOUND of the word.
It sounds much too final somehow.

So I’ve decided NOT to be SIXTY but PINXTY!
To paraphrase:
Do not go gentle into that decade…….

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Light Tent

One of the ‘chores’ of having an online presence is taking photographs of the things I want to share.
I always wanted a professional light tent but the ones I was finding were too expensive.
So I resorted to a homemade version, which was a real pain to store and set up when needed.
The other day as I was perusing the web I ran across this.

As soon as the mailman rang the doorbell I was looking for something to shoot!

I don't have to drag out the huge backdrop and poster board and lights anymore! Just take it out of it's bag and it pops to life. Easy peasy!

(I didn’t even take the time to dust it off first, so excuse the fuzzies!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Am a Grammar Snob

I am a grammar snob. Not that I am, in any way shape or form, GOOD at grammar.
Just read this blog for proof.
No, what I mean is when I spot a grammatical error in something I am reading I get all snobby and judgmental and feel sooooo superior that I found a mistake that the PROFFESIONALS made.

I only feel this way with printed material, a book, magazine, or newspaper.
(Okay, maybe online professional publications too.)

But I don’t get all judgey with blogs or other non-professional printings because, hey, I’m right there with ya’!
I could probably be one of the top ten worst spellers in history, if they ever compile a list. And I think I slept through all of my English classes in school.

What set me off on this tirade you may wonder?
Wither…that’s what!
In a magazine I came across this sentence, “I whither away without my friends camaraderie.’
Even as I type it Word highlights it as a misspelling!

Does this drive anyone else crazy? (Or is it just me? LOL)

Monday, January 21, 2013

In a Mood

I’m in a mood.

I don’t feel like writing, but I should.
I don’t feel like painting, an unfinished one sits on my workbench.
I don’t feel like cleaning, but the house is a mess.
I don’t feel like cooking…..
I don’t feel like doing anything.

I’m in a funk.
I hate this feeling.

My mother used to call this ‘I’m gonna go out in the garden and eat worms’ feeling.

Thank you for listening.

This now concludes the whining portion of our program.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I HATE When This Happens!

I buy a magazine, read it, enjoy it and then put in on the ‘pass along’ pile.
The next time I’m at the store I see the magazine, it looks interesting, I thumb through it but don’t recognize it so I buy it.
I get it home and start to read…..NOW it becomes familiar!
I go to the ‘pass it along’ pile and sure enough, there it is!
Once again I’ve spent $14.99 for the same magazine!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


She's still working on what she wants to become.......

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The New Workbench

This is the first draft, so to speak.

I’m not sure I like where I’ve put everything.
I need to work on a few projects to see if it’s okay, but this is what it looks like for now.

(Ignore the god-awful wallpaper!  Someday, maybe, when we have the time/$$$ we will renovate the kitchen. LOL)

It’s a small-ish space in the kitchen (sort of) between the main bathroom (to the left) and the studio (on the right.)

The string with the  clothespins is my 'drying rack". Not pretty, but effective. I clip my painted papers together with binder clips and hang them out of the way on the walls. Again, not pretty, but it works.

This sign I made hangs above the 'studio' (aka Son2's old bedroom) just in case you can't tell what it is from all the crap inside! LOL

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hot Date with Husband

Husband really knows how to treat a lady when it comes to date night!

He took me to the coolest place.

I’m not kidding. It was one of the best places I’ve been in ages!

They have the coolest stuff, plus they were having a HUGE sale!
I couldn’t believe the prices!
I was like a kid in a candy store!

He bought me this 

as an early birthday present.

I’m in heaven!!!!!!
A new workbench, with DRAWERS! 
It’s solid finished oak (not particle board!)
And at a height where I can stand and not have to crouch over! 
My back is just as thrilled as I am!

I do a lot of my art in little snatched moments; standing at a table, painting, gluing, putzing. This is going to be bliss!

I’m doing the snoopy happy dance! LOL

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Self Imposed Conundrum

I put off taking a shower in the morning for as long as possible (sometimes until right before dinner! LOL)

Being retired I have that luxury.

I’ve thought about this and I think I’ve finally figured out why.       
Because I’m lazy.
Because I can.
Because I hate drying my hair!
I think the hair is really the crux of the problem. 

I hate drying my hair because:

While I’m drying my hair I’m 'glowing' (my mother taught me this is the polite way a lady says sweating like a horse!)

This kind of defeats the purpose of showering in the first place because when I’m done I need another shower!
The solution to this quandary is that I cut my hair in frustration.


Husband doesn’t like me with short hair.

I love you darlin’ but I’m the one in puddles here so short wins!

Friday, January 11, 2013

That Clinches It!

Well, it appears that 2013 is destined to be ‘my’ year.
That is if you’re superstitions, which apparently I am!

They say if you step in s**t something good is coming your way.
This morning as I went about my daily routine, I stepped into it alright!
Not only did I step into it, but not knowing I had done so I tracked it all over the house!

I guess I’m in for a REALLY good year!
If you don’t count cleaning the cat s**t out of the carpeting, that is!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Step Away From the Stuffie!

I heard a quote on the movie channel the other day.
It was from director Nicholas Ray. He said, “It’s not all in the script. If it were, why make the movie?”
And I TOTALLY get it!       

I feel the same way about my stuffies.
It’s not all in the sketch/pattern/idea.
If it were why bother making it?

But sometimes I get thoroughly stuck when making one of my little friends.
Like today.

I was having a hard time and nothing was going right, and in my head I heard Husband say, “Step away from the children.”

I thought that sage advice could be applied to this situation.

So I am stepping away from the stuffie.
For now.
Until she is ready to tell me what she wants.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jekyll & Hyde

Have I mentioned Son2 was a bit of a smart aleck when he was little? (I have NO idea where he gets it from!)
Well, keep that in mind as this story unfolds.

When Son2 was about six years old we heard about a fun new restaurant in the city called Jekyll & Hyde.

It’s an ‘interactive’ themed restaurant based on the story Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The one we went to (now defunct) was in a building with three or four floors and each floor was a different ‘theme’.
One floor was the laboratory, another the library….etc.

We were seated in the library at a table against the wall, and on the wall above us was a mounted Rhino head. (I guess Dr. Jekyll was also a big game hunter.)

Well, Son2 was complaining about one thing and another and ALL OF A SUDDEN THE RHINO STARTED REPRIMANDING HIM!
Not just vague comments but specific responses to what Son2 was saying! AND telling him he was being rude and disrespectful!

The look on Son2’s face was PRICELESS!
AND it actually shut him up!
(Something we were never able to do!)

He sat quietly through the whole meal but never took his eyes off the Rhino as she continued to talk to him.

I found out later that they have cameras and microphones placed strategically around the restaurant and that the waiters and waitresses are actors. They listen and improvise as they serve the patrons.

I think I left the biggest tip in my life that night! (And I also thanked the Rhino for her help.)

We used that Rhino for months after to keep Son2 in line. (Sort of like when you say Santa is watching as a threat, we used the Rhino! LOL)

Later, when he was old enough to know how it worked Son2 still didn’t think it was funny, but it’s one of my fondest family memories!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dipe! Dipe!

As a first time parent I had many doubts and insecurities when it came to Son1 and I guess that somehow kids feel this.
When it came to potty training I was just as stressed and unsure as he was.
(After all, my father always said all his problems stemmed from his traumatic potty training experience!)

It was a struggle to get Son1 to use the potty for #2.
He loved peeing in the potty! (I think it’s a boy thing, any excuse to play with it! LOL)
But pooping was a whole ‘nother thing!

He’d wear his training pants all day long, but in the evening when he couldn’t hold it any longer he’d cry for a ‘Dipe! Dipe!’ (Diaper) and after we’d put one on him he’d run behind the chair in the living room to do his business.

What makes this so funny is that the chair only came up to about his shoulder, but he must have thought he was invisible to us.
 He would hold on to the back of the chair and make the most ‘interesting’ faces!
Then come out from behind the chair and ask us to change his diaper!

My mother used to say, “Don’t worry about it. They all go to college potty trained and able to feed themselves!”

There was a period of time I thought, just maybe, Son1 would be the exception to that rule!

Note: Posted with Son1's approval. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sometimes It Takes A Long Time!

From conception to birth, gestation lasted…..seventeen months!

Meet FishLips!

I made FishLips as a gift. 
He had to be kid friendly (meaning no toxic markers, paint, fixative spray, artisit's pastels.....a.k.a. my usual tools!) 
Now THAT was a challenge! 
AND I am still not satisfied with his eyes, but I have to admit after a day or two away from working on him he is beginning to grow on me! 

He was loosely based on this sketch:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

So, I Was Thinking………

Husband hates when I say this because it usually involves something for him to do.
But this time it doesn’t require anything from him at all! LOL

I had an idea…….
I started making the bits and pieces that the idea required.
And of course I had ‘extra’ material, so while I was at it I figured I might as well use it up and make extra’s (just in case.)

As they piled up and I tossed them onto the table this little tableau formed.

I kind of liked it so I started to fool around.
I’ve always been drawn to the combination of black and white and red.

I like how the three red lips formed abstract eyes and mouth. It was totally unintentional!
I didn’t even see it until I started to photograph them.

Stay tuned………………..