Sunday, December 04, 2016

Painting Trees and birthday

Art Perseverance : Painting Trees
I have two 11x14 paintings now.. a few more to be made after I buy some more paint this week.

I'm hoping to go make the cookies now.  We decided to stay at home all day and try to keep warm and occupied.  I've wrapped the gifts I have so far for Mark's birthday.  There is still something coming in the mail and something Esme wants to get for him.

Saturday, December 03, 2016


We went out to an event for Esme's school district this afternoon, with G and her mom.  It was a winter carnival type thing, indoors with games and activities.  The girls had a fairly good time - Esme a bit more.  She made an ornament to hang on our tree.  Then we went and looked at a house they are fixing up, to see about the plumbing situation at it. 

Esme and I have a package of cookies to make tomorrow.  I finished reading 'Tales of a Traveller' and the sequel, both by NJ Layouni.  I put up a Niume book review about it.  The first book, Hemlock, was free at Amazon.

I've also been working on the Christmas project, and did a first stab at painting the slightly abstracted tree painting I was thinking about.  It didn't turn out badly.  I'll see if I have patience/inspiration enough tomorrow to make a second try at it.

Just about ready for Mark's birthday - have to wrap some things, and Esme has to pick up what she intended to buy for a gift.  I have tomorrow off, but then work all week until I have next Sunday off after that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


The Christmas project is going along well.  I've decided to build the toy instead of buy it.    Most of the ones in this class available are for younger children, and shorter than would be useful for Esme.  There are a few 'her size' out there, but they get into the hundreds of dollars and as Mark and I talked about the other night - she probably won't be wanting it for more than a few years.  We decided to spend the money on some thing she would use longer.  But, I still wanted to build her one, even if it will only survive for a year or two.

So, I've been using what we have on hand, some cardboard, pvc pipe pieces, a storage bucket, wire, magnets, glue, paint etc...  All that would cost money, too, except that we have it already and it is sitting around unused.  And I think it is turning out okay.

I can't post pictures because it is supposed to be secret - and Esme can see the blog!  She's been good about not peeking under the sheet to see what it is, so far...

We're also encouraging her to watch and participate in cooking more (hint hint), and buying a few more cookbooks.  I made biscuits for the first time in a long time last night, from scratch, and they turned out pretty good.  I had one of the leftover ones this morning smeared with butter and maple syrup. I'm trying to collect the best basic recipes to make a 'goto' book, like we had in my mom's cupboard at home.  I was Esme's age when I began to make parts of the meal on a regular basis, biscuits, macaroni 'hotdish', rice, gravy, cake etc.... She can make scrambled eggs, corndogs and cook things in the toaster oven, but she's still afraid of it.  She is usually willing to watch me do it step by step.  I want to transition her from 'me' to 'you'... but if she doesn't see me do it enough she won't feel it is a necessary skill.  There might be a day for her - in all likelihood will, that she doesn't have the ease of going and picking up whatever she wants to eat whenever she wants it.  And it's better to learn earlier than have to struggle through it later.

Esme and I are halfway through 'Wildwood'.  We've just gotten to the part where Prue is meeting with Owl Rex and finds out about the Dowager Governess' past.... creepy!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lake Walk

 Took a walk to the lake with the little camera (Cupcake) today.  More pictures at the Niume post "Gathering Inspiration".  When I get a little more time off (coming up this week) hope to sketch some of these ideas in paint.  One of the grass shots (in the post) is really spectacular.  These two are a few little bonus images from the camera roll... I like the way everything is 'reaching up' in the pic below, and the little tendrils of vine curling around the twigs up above.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Making Dragon Pork Spice

Esme helped with all of this!  See article above.

We're getting ready for the big day tomorrow!  Esme  and I have planned and gotten ready our clothing.  We took Grandma out today and she got her own groceries and some things to add to the feast.  And we are making dragon pork spice and porkchops for the meal and to bring to our friends afterwards.