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

Friday, April 28, 2017

Grandpa’s Back Gate

My grandparents lived in a small town in upstate New York. They lived in that house from the time my mother was born until their deaths.
It was on a narrow but very deep parcel of land. It had a small front yard but a HUGE backyard. Most of the backyard was devoted to a victory garden.
Rows and rows of vegetables……tomatoes, carrots, corn, peas, green beans, lettuce, beets, onions, potatoes……you name it, and Grandpa grew it. They even had fruit trees next to the barn.
At the very back of the yard was a white picket fence. And on the gate of the fence, on the alley side, was a mark carved deeply into the wood.
A strange shape with lines. I remember my grandfather showing it to me and asking if I knew what it was.
Then he told me a story.
About the depression and how during the depression many people left or lost their homes and would travel from place to place looking for work and food. He told me how the hobos would never come to your front door. They would ALWAYS come to the back door. They were polite and respectful and for the most part would not take a handout but would always ask to do a chore for any food given. And on back fences all across America were marks that the hobos carved so those who came along after would know what to expect at the marked houses.

The mark that was at my grandparent’s house was this: 
It means ‘food for work’.
My grandfather was out of work for four years during the depression. I think there were times they were afraid they would lose the house. But even through hard times they never turned anyone away looking for food. Grandma always found something that needed doing. He was very proud of her for that. And proud enough of the marks carved into his back gate that in all the ensuing years he never replaced that picket. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

I’ve been thinking…..gasp….I KNOW….she thinks! LOL
Anyway, since my father’s WWII photo album has ended and I think you must be sick of looking at my old family photos (don’t worry, I’ll probably go back to them when I run out of ideas to write about) I thought I might share some of the random things that pop into my head from time to time.
I’m still looking for a title.…. Thoughts on a Thursday…..Theoretical Thursdays…..Thoughtful Thursdays  (or Thoughtless…) we can work on that later……

The first one: I was thinking about where we come from. You know…..BIG THOUGHTS. I’ve heard a lot of theories on this one. I like the extraterrestrial theory best. I still think we’re an extraterrestrial’s fifth grade science fair project. Like sea monkeys in an aquarium. But now that she’s in high school and she’s lost interest she forgets to tend to us so we are running amok.
And I kept on thinking in this vein…..maybe the Soylent Green theory is right. Except we’re food for ‘them’. But then it begs the question….are we the appetizer, the entre, or dessert? Or are we some very rare delicacy like Japanese fugu? Or maybe we are to them like carbs are to us. We taste really good but we’re bad for them.....snack food. And the reason they haven’t come back for us is because they’re trying to clean up their act and eat more healthfully.

Oh, the possibilities……

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Organization is a Bitch Update

I finally finished! (and have the aching hands to prove it....)
I fit everything into four cases:
1. Copics
2. pencils
3. black pens/markers/brush pens etc. 
4. colored pens

I'm happy with the consolidation. I've only used this new system once so far. It was easy peasy. Grabbed the Copic case and lugged it over to where I was working. 
I like that they take up less space (look at all that shelf space just waiting for more books!) and that I don't have to dust them! Dusting your pens is a pain in the ass and just plain stupid, IMHO. 
So there you have it! Job well done. 
Just thought you'd like to know.

 The spaces left between pens is because the loops are so tight it's sometime difficult to get them in and out so I left myself some 'wiggle' room. 

 And I kept brands together...it appeals to the OCD in me! 

I even put my charcoal and smudgers in there! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Punny Monday

What is Donald Trump telling Independents? Orange Is The New Black. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Organization is a Bitch

In all this house remodeling we are doing I have decided some downsizing and purging in the studio is in order too. I watched a video the other day and was inspired to wrangle my pens/pencils/markers into some sort of cohesive order…… {snort}
So I went on Amazon and bought myself some cases. 
I did a quick estimate and figured one 80 slot carrying case for the Copics would work and the 120 slot pencil holder would work for my pens/pencils.
They arrived yesterday and I happily lugged all my “stuff” out to the living room and began the organizing.

I may have more of a problem than I thought. :-/

The 80 slot case for the markers is about 100 slots too few….and we won’t even discuss the pencil/pen case.
I’ve decided I’ll donate all the markers that aren’t Copics and just divide the pens/pencils in half and donate them too…..wait……maybe I’ll keep the pens but donate the pencils….no wait……I may need those pencils someday……but wait……where am I going to keep them……sigh…..

I’ll be right back…..I have to go order something from Amazon………….
This is all the 'left over' stuff I don't have room for, hence the emergency order from Amazon. (And I'm not even showing the stuff  I'm donating to the art teacher......)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday

And so concludes our stroll down the memory lane that was my father's time in service....
Thank you for all your lovely comments and making me realize what a wonderful treasure I have in his scrapbook.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Best Pie EVER

I only make this once in a blue moon. As a matter of fact, the last time I made it was fifteen years ago.

It’s delicious, fattening (not fussy to make) and just plain decadent. Throw your diet and food restrictions out the window and just enjoy!

(for some reason Blogger won't let me change the type color to pink to let you know that's a hot link. But click on ANGEL PIE and it will bring you to the recipe.) 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Punny Monday

Why did the rabbit jump? No bunny knows! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

For Your Amusement

The week got away from me somehow and now it's Friday and this is as good as it's gonna get, so.........here ya' go, lol.
Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Big ‘Ole Fail

Sometimes the best laid plans blah blah blah……..
I had a scathingly brilliant idea for the small wall on my side of the bed in our newly designed bedroom.
I thought it was brilliant.
So I bought all the necessary hardware, had Husband install the wires and proceeded to hang prints of my artwork.
I thought I would enjoy seeing the fruits of my artistic labors on a rotating permanent display.

As it turns out…...not so much! LOL
(Sorry about the blurry exposure.....)

Scathingly brilliant idea, take two…..
Have Husband build and install floating white shelves.
Add a touch of greenery, caricatures of the boys, pepper it with a piece or two of original artwork, add a giraffe and a tchotchke (or two) and there you have the perfect wall decoration (it’s still a work in progress but you get the idea.)
MUCH better! 

(I'm beginning to think we might actually finish the bedroom.....someday.....lol)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Punny Monday

Do they have blood banks in England? No, but they have a liver pool! 

Friday, April 7, 2017


I haven’t been sketching much lately. Sad, but true.
I have two sketchbooks sitting on the couch next to me every night and I look at them forlornly. I’m just not motivated. And every time I pick one up, pen poised over the page, I just can’t think of anything to sketch.

It’s stupid, I know, but there it is. 

Fast forward to ‘Draw Tip Tuesday’
A weekly video posted by Koosje Koene co-founder of Sketchbook Skool an online venue offering classes from some of the best sketchers worldwide. 

Every Tuesday she offers tips on sketching.
This past Tuesday she was demonstrating ‘foreshortening’……on feet. Or more specifically toes.
I don’t know why but I am fascinated by drawing toes.
Fat toes, skinny toes, baby toes, big people toes, animal toes…….
They just make such a great subject.
Always available, just sitting there at the end of your legs (and still in focus with my reading glasses perched on my nose!)
So I took a few quick pics with my phone and got to it.
Hopefully this will break my slump.
Or…..I could make it my life’s work…… A STUDY IN TOES……..
Some are my toes and some are Husband's......I defy you to tell which is which....cuz I'm not even sure anymore......lol!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

In Dribs and Drabs

We’ve been taking a break on the home improvement front as of late. But because I know you’re waiting with bated breath (snort) to see how it’s coming along I’ll show you an update on the bedroom.
I want to lighten things up….not only in color but in attitude.
I am by no stretch of the imagination a ‘bling’ type girl.
But for some reason I wanted a ‘bling’ mirror for the bedroom.

So I went out on a limb and bought a mirror….a totally not in my usual style mirror. 
The juxtaposition of the mirror with the antique chest just tickles me! 
I smile every time I walk into the bedroom!