Monday, March 27, 2017

Old sketchbook things

I've been going through some of my old sketchbooks and portfolios and picked out a few things I liked.

double exposure photograph from my portfolio of me entering the front entry of a house I lived in Fargo and one of the campus buildings at the North  Dakota State University.

 a self-portrait drawn in 2004 at age 25

'Shoot the moon' sketch from automatic drawing in pen and ink

'I am June'  (poem by Marie Lamb)
this was a bit of poetry in one of my sketchbooks

And what is your name?  The bird asked the deer.
"I am June", the creature responded.
And where are you from?
"The Land of Spring Rain and Summer Sky."

There was a time when I was young --
A time I remember but it was long ago.
I cannot describe what it was like --
Except my mind, my body, my soul were all growing at once.

I'm not sure how much of me grows now, or when.
But the young green leaves that I had been now taste summer rain.

I wait for the flowers -- to tell me how far I've come in all this time.

Brown these leaves have not yet seen nor the cold of autumn night.

But here in June, we remember early April, the melting of the snow that kept back the sun -
We remember growing - all at once - and watch the skies clad in their Summer blue.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

bits drawing with a Micron again

Drew this from a stock photo of a Swedish farmhouse with a stone wall in front of it.  I had a lot of fun putting the little garden out front and doing the ornate gate (which there was one in the photo, but not quite like this) and the cat overlooking it.  I'm not sure if I'll add color - although my brain already sees turquoise in the curtains and that the house was red with white trim and a red roof.

Drew this with a Sakura Micron 0.5 black pen, one of the ones in my set, and the favorite width I would always buy in the art store.  My hand will probably hurt some from all the little leaves - but they were worth it. 

I've been listening to Fortune's Favor by Great Big Sea all day... although as I finished the last of the drawing I switched back over to Something Beautiful.  Mark was kind to put all of the new music on my portable player :)

Also went out and planted the hollyhock roots to the sides of the daffodils in the perennial garden.  I'm not sure how well they'll do, but it was worth a try.  My mother always had beautiful hollyhocks - but the weather was cooler up there and they don't like the heat.  We'll see. 

Esme cleaned the hamster cage today, and is trying to build a 'car' for the hamster ball to go in. 

I thought I might write a bit in my journal about what I remember about my grandmother's family from stories I had heard.  I still don't know for certain about the orphanage in Owatonna and don't even know my great grandmother's first name because of the records being sketchy from that.. do know her father's name so it should be findable... I'm sure the info is out there if I dig some more.  But, I'll hope to write down what I remember hearing in case I never get any more info and I'm the last one who remembers any of it at all...

Friday, March 24, 2017


Working a bit more on the little playful landscapes in my sketchbook.  The one on the right is about half-colored in now.. update a bit more when they are further along.  The locations are bits and pieces of mental pictures I have from driving back and forth to work.  There are several farms that have silos like this on the way to Paris, TN.  Mark and I had talked about the possibility of a calendar to be made from a set of these...

My Micron pens arrived in the mail yesterday, and I am looking forward to playing with them in this fashion, as well.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

archery and tulips

 Esme and I have been out with the bow doing target practice.  She actually hit the target just before I snapped this picture and it is in midair! 

Our red and white tulips bloomed as well!

Mark has been getting shortwave frequencies on his antenna.  I've been drawing some pastoral pictorial drawings for practice - maybe will post some of that later.  We've all been out on the bikes today.  Esme almost has the hang of her new one, and she might go riding with a friend this weekend one day if we can get them together.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

bits and pieces

 Mark on the roof, working on his antenna for radio reception.

A picture I asked Esme to take of me since my profile was about two or three years old...

 Esme downstairs before I gave her the camera.

When Esme gets home today if the weather is nice she can try riding her new bike again.  I've finished one of my books and back into another.  I'm also sketching down a few things in a journal that I've meant to write for a while but haven't been in the right frame of mind for it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

of cabbage, pens, and antenna receivers

 I decided to draw a picture of Esme's school cabbage.  It is growing so pretty, as Mark gave it some fertilizer.  I went through all my pens the other night and kept only the ones that worked in my drawing case.. which was about a quarter of them!  I have a new set coming from our work bonus - Microns from Sakura.. I love those, they can get all the fine details.  This was drawn with an InkJoy gel pen.. not fine detail, but it is very smooth.  Mark said the other day that I should go through my pens like water - because I don't, they dry up.. and he's right.  I need to draw more but instead I just keep myself from doing it.  It's like that thing I do with the last smidgen of milk... let it sit in the container saying 'I have milk.' and not drinking it.  My mom taught me to do things like this.  Inadvertently, I have taught Esme to do it, too.  *sigh*

This is the pattern for my lunchbag, in case I forget again.  It is another thing I should do more often.  I had forgotten what I did the first time to make it, and waited until it was in sorry shape to make another one.  It is a fat quarter laid out like an 'H', with two small squares cut out.  Then, the two top lines on each side are sewn tog3ether.  Then, the remaining parts get sewn together in a gusset like shown below.  Then, a drawstring seam is made all around the entire bag and it is finished.

Mark is working on his antenna for his radio receiver.  I need to work more in the garden  if it is truly as warm as they say it will be... I did go out and clear the garden almost entirely.  Mark also got up on the roof and put his antenna up.  I got some pictures of him on the roof I'll post tomorrow.

We went to the store tonight intending to spend some of the bonus on a bicycle for Esme.  She had outgrown her old one last summer.  We got a remarkably good deal on it because it had been put in the wrong place.  We didn't expect that - we actually thought we were going for a cheaper bike than the one we originally looked at.  That seemed to be the best one for the money.  When it turned out to be actually more expensive at the register we did get to buy it for the price tag that had been on it (but wasn't correct).  We felt really lucky and also glad we didn't have to go back and have Esme choose again after going through everything the first time.  This bike will give her some room to grow - although she almost has to learn to ride again it has been so long.  Mostly, just get over the fear of falling off of it and the fact that the brakes are only on the handles and not also on the pedals.

Monday, March 13, 2017


Mark and Esme helped me some with a complicated but pretty puzzle I had started a few days ago.  Last night, at about 10 o clock, all that was left was the sky and clouds.  Mark said it was breaking his brain and he was ready to get out the krazy glue and make it work.  I said 'Step away from the puzzle and give me my Irish music.'  I was kidding.. but he did (ha).. and I listened to that and finished the sky in about an hour.   All the pieces were there - which was a shock, since it was a secondhand store special for fifty cents.  Mark said we should frame it.  I dreamt during the night that I had all the pieces in front of me again and I couldn't believe they all had fit.. was trying to do it all over again in my brain.

I made kale and bean soup out of cans and spices and the kale I had bought last week.  Will have to make it with a purposeful recipe at another time - it has cannelloni beans, black beans, a dried vegetable soup mix (which is why I have no recipe now) that had some bouillon and pearl barley in it, oatmeal, kale and garlic in it.  Minerva said it was very good - she wanted more than the little bit I gave her. Mark and Esme liked the broth.. but I didn't expect them to be brave enough to try the vegetables in it.  I have enough for about three meals.. and ideas that some beef and potatoes would be a good start next time when I don't have the soup mix packet to use up.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pink Daffodils

I bought these a few weeks ago and they have bloomed.  They are a little peach pink, but I'm very happy with them.

My tulips are coming up behind these, and the hosta plant I bought on clearance one year will come up behind those in the summertime.  I'd like to find maybe one more hosta with variegated leaves to add to that later.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

bits of thursday going into friday

It has already been a long week, and I close again tonight.  I have opened three mornings, two of them with freight.. and really sometimes I wonder how someone my size moves that much heavy stuff even after I have just done it.  I'm careful not to do anything I really cannot do - but I also am very good at physics tricks and using every weapon in my arsenal.  I moved something like thirty toilets over the course of three days (only counting freight, no customer orders), along with showers, vanities and of course all of the other goods we sell in our department.  I absolutely said I would not move a cast iron sink down from above my head on a pallet where they had stuck it up there on the truck.  I could have done it with one of the portable lift machines if I didn't have any help at all - take about five to ten minutes extra to maneuver it up to the pallet and lever the box into an upright position, then slide it on the lift inch by inch - but the delivery crew came back over and I thanked them as they put it down on a cart.  I can handle a lot - but a hundred pounds above my head is not one of those things.

The pink hyacinths are in bloom - Mark took a picture of them.  The white and pink daffodils are getting ready to bloom, if the snow in the forecast this weekend does not knock them out.  Esme is going to a play for school today, and she was excited about that.  She thought I was mad at her the other morning when I was really just tired and trying hard to keep us on schedule.  We've both had to be up and get ready at the same time three days in a row... and I have to leave when or sometimes before she gets on the bus, so Mark has had to get up a few of those mornings and take over that part at the end.  The stress was coming through in my voice and the way I brushed her hair, I guess..  made me think hard how these mornings and not getting sleep affects her, too, if she goes through the morning thinking Mom was mad at her.  We haven't had a lot of time for other things lately, either.

The greenhouse things are not yet coming up, but they are moist.  Esme's school cabbage is doing well.  I have put the laundry in and plan to make some rice to bring to work after I nap a bit.  Reading 'Rhapsody of Dreams', which is an interesting past-lives, what is the Universe about book.  Just finished 'Highland Vow', by Hannah Howell.. another of the Murray family saga.  I've had that on my wait list for a few weeks.

I don't know if I'll be able to get the garden cleaned up and ready to till tomorrow on my day off.. we need groceries, too and Grandma probably does, as well.  In many other things we are doing well - I got that guillotine off my neck for the month by getting the app at work I needed to get... and Pumpkin's kittens are doing well, the hamster is still friendly and enjoying her treats and her exercise wheel.  We got her a hamster ball coming in the mail, and I'm sure Esme will have fun with that if we can master the trick of getting her in and out of it.

 tree blossoms

 pink hyacinth
 not a blossom.. a bluetick coonhound named Nova

Sunday, March 05, 2017


I planted a bit in the greenhouse today, jalapeno, tomato, cabbage and Mammoth sweet peas.  I intend to start some of my bean seeds before they go to the garden this year, but not until later.  I went through all of my seeds.. quite a lot there. 

Was starting to write some on a story about a magical house, and it's funny... at least, it makes me laugh.  So, that's good.  Have a very very early tomorrow and several days this week.  Going to try bringing cottage cheese with me for my morning snack to stop the 'crash hour after break' issue I was having on the turnaround shifts.  I'm thinking it is a sugar crash problem after not getting enough sleep.. and some protein might help make it better.

Esme got a cabbage from school the other day.  Mark helped her repot it and it looks much happier.  It is still a bit cold outside for even that type of plant to go in the ground, not to mention we haven't done anything to prepare the garden yet.

Thursday, March 02, 2017


The power lines were down in part of the town yesterday, and the school called off all classes for Esme.  She stayed at home and played outside in the nice weather that followed the major thunderstorm.

I have been more than a bit worried about some new programs they are trying to implement at work - again - and the ethical concerns I always have over this particular program.  If it comes right down to it and I can't do this part the way they want me to - because ethically I just can't do that to my customers and I can't 'make it a behavior' when my heart feels it is not quite right... well, I guess we'll see what I have to do then.  Until then I won't remove myself from everything else I do that is good for my community.  I'm there to help and if they really are looking at the situation they would see I do more than three people could ever do in my place.. three diversely talented people who can lift twice their weight daily and really care about if they are doing the right thing to help this customer AND make sure they come back for the rest of their needs and don't feel like we are only taking as much money as we can and running and not caring what happens afterwards.  The last few years I really thought my store had turned around on that and cared more about the customer.. and now they pull this little thing out again and I just have to roll with it.  A neighbor I work with says I should open my own can of 'whoopa**' when they talk to me about the program again - and I've been thinking about what to say.  -- It's not like I _won't_ talk about their program, but I won't do it when its obviously not appropriate, or finagle and pressure someone, that is not right.  And I absolutely will not pounce on someone who may be in a bad situation or weak of mind or heart right now because of something in their life to make them go make an application to 'make it better'.  That is absolutely without a doubt against my religious beliefs.
[[end rant]]

My new music CD came and I've been listening to it.
It was cold again this morning, 27 at the bus stop.
I work late today so I was playing the farm game on my computer again.

Accidental Demon Slayer was very very funny... the author said she started writing it at night when she was up with her baby, sketching it down on envelopes.  Good on her.  It showed the love.