Wednesday, November 30, 2005

didn't I just say

I was tired of being keeper of all things "family" for my bunch?

Evidently my dad did not get the memo....on Saturday as we were packing and moving his and step-mother's house into storage, he informed me that he wanted me to take a table built by his father home with me to keep until they are in their new house (sometime next spring maybe) his father died when he was little so needless to say, I have no real warm fuzzy attachment to grandpa melvin at all other than he's my dad's dad and well.... that only accounts for so much.....this table was something he made (grandpa melvin) and that my step-sisters (damn them) had restored for my dad when none of us were actually talking (10 years give or take) how the hell did I get selected as caregiver? of them should be responsible or one of dad's SONS...not me and my girlfriend in our little house full of hairy animals.....and to top it all off it has his special bibles in it (dad's and grandpa melvin's)...

Friday, November 25, 2005

new tradition

for many, many years...I was one of the folks on the other side of BF shopping...I worked in those crazy places called department stores, big-box retailers and such...two now, for the first time...I'm not working (officially not working - not counting the actual jobless years a few years back) on black friday (and don't believe the hype about it being called BF b/c that's when retailers go into the black...we called it that b/c it reminded us of the stories around Black Tuesday when the stock market crashed and people jumped out of windows - desperation, that's what named it)....yesterday I said I was considering going to Wally world for a $400 laptop...I was temporarily insane...there is no way in hell that was going to price on anything would really ever be low enough to make me be one of the masses out shopping today, I don't like to shop under the best of circumstances much less today....

so what am I going to do today?

well, right now....I'm fighting with the monkey cat Spencer...he had a love attack and decided to roll around on me while I was running updates....

in about an hour, I have to get J's little brother and go pick up the yard trees, then take MIL to the grocery store for her first trip outside since the broken hip, come back to our house, rake the front yard and contemplate xmas decorations...

how is everyone else spending today?


Monday, November 21, 2005

IF - Free

Allow me a little childhood flashback on this one....The first thing I thought of when I saw the topic for this week, was/is a song sung by the greatest Southern gospel singer of all times (IMO) - Vestal Goodman.

My family was very Southern Baptist and as a result we attended church every time the doors were open and that didn't just include our church...we'd travel - preachers, singers, missionaries, camp meetings, didn't really matter....on occasion we saw The Happy Goodmans, a gospel quartet, and I was always thrilled when Vestal (in true Southern gospel diva style) would wave her white linen hankie during an especially emotional part in her song - I don't know if it was to help get God's attention or what ;) She completely filled a room with her amazing energy and big voice...George Jones says she saved his life after a bad fall from the wagon years ago...

So as an adult, my one religious/spiritual tendency is my attachment to gospel music...every Saturday night we watch The Gaither Homecoming Hour and Vestal and her husband Happy (both of which are now dead) are seated in these big throne-like chairs on the front row...and if we're lucky, Vestal will break out in that big alto voice with the inspiration for this illustration,

"Thank God I am Free"

Thank God I am free, free, free
From this world of sin!
Washed in the blood of JesusI've been born again!

Haleluia, I'm saved, saved, saved
By His wonderful Grace!
I'm so glad that I found out
That He would bring me out
And show me the way!

I hope that her after life is all she hoped it would be, because I think she truly believed what she sang about....after all that, hopefully these drawings capture a little of the woman I remember :)

P.S. no personal religous beliefs are implied or intended ;)


a little holiday tradition

okay so this is juvenile, but that's never stopped me before....I know I've mentioned the Land-O-Lakes butter trick before and nobody knew what I was talking about she is.....

and more importantly....


Sunday, November 20, 2005

keeper of the family history

that's my role in our family strangely enough....all the pictures, the grandparents stuff, the weird little stories that everyone's forgotten or didn't listen to in the first place...and not just the recent things, I know parts of the stuff that happened way before any of us were even I'm always a little giddy when I get a new tidbit or hint of a missing puzzle piece, but I almost let my stupid brother convince me he had uncovered the big skeleton this morning....

we're eating breakfast, unpacking groceries and the phone's stupid brother....not unusual for a Sunday morning, he'll call us while he's working extra duty guarding the Baptists....he has a new laptop and he's discovered wifi and amazingly enough he's found a hotspot....

super sleuth is looking at county marriage, I don't know why....and he says, "did you know Papa (our maternal grandfather) was married before Bama (our maternal grandmother)?"....I say, "you're full of shit, what are talking about?".....he goes on to read a marriage in 1933 - when our grandfather was 12 - between a man with our grandfather's name and a woman...."no, way stupid brother, that's HIS father"...."come on sis, they got married early then"....

so back and forth we go, until I am forced to pull out my genealogy folder and read off to him dates and names...finally he agrees that I am right, why this was a question to start with is beyond me....since he's a little interested I throw out a juicy tidbit about a great, great uncle I think we had and never heard about....nothing...silence...complete disinterest

one of the kids needs to show some interest in this because I am truly tired of being the one....

Friday, November 18, 2005


one of the ER sketches from last week...I always get in trouble for messing with their drawers of medical stuff and gadgets....

speaking of hospitals, MIL is better...she seems to mostly be using the cane instead of walker and J has instructed her to compile all errands for the weekend on one list to be completed at one time....LOL, I love it when she's bossy....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

weekend doodle

for the last few weekends, we've been grilling out and enjoying the chimnea in the backyard....I sketched J this past Saturday nite as she was (in her words) trying to figure out how to deal with her mother, LOL.....remember, "Throw Mama from the Train"?....J also says this is the first time in 15 years I've ever drawn her....she may be right...go figure....


Monday, November 14, 2005

IF - Strength

This is based on one of the photos in the book I talked about yesterday....according to the description, this was an AF Captain during WW2....the shot was used for an enlistment poster....definately a strong, manly statement on war meant by this, but he had to have a tremendous inner strength to do what had to be done....

Pencil and charcoal only on this one....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bound for Glory

Bound for Glory

This is the book I happened on at the library yesterday. It's a collection of early kodachrome pictures taken by photographers working with the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information in the late 30's and early 40's.

Unbelievable stuff...I've always been a big fan of the WPA photos and other New Deal art programs in general, but these are really special.

For the most part these were all 35mm shots and while I am no photo geek, I am really amazed at the detail and color. According to the introduction by Paul Hendrickson, these were all locked away and forgotten about in the Libray of Congress until discovered in the late 70's and only widely available until last year with the publication of this book. Good for us.

No other time in American history interests me like the period leading up to and including WW2...and what makes this book so interesting was that the photos begain as propaganda fodder for the displacement and mistreatment of the country's rural poor...see, poverty was hip way before Katrina...

I can totally see my grandparents and their families in these pages...some forced from agrarian lifestyles into a semi-urban mix of their rural roots and an entry into an economy driven by industry...I know women on my grandmother's side benefited...doors got opened that never existed before...

I wonder if the innocense captured in these pictures is finally starting to fade? WW2 vets will all be gone within my lifetime most likely...the war itself isn't revered the way I remember it being as a kid...that's really too bad in my opinion - think I'll go put on some Woody Guthrie and think on it.....definately check this book out if you have the least bit of interest in anything to do with the era...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

in spite of it all

it's been a nice few days...J's mom has driven us nuts when we've let her and she will again tomorrow and the day after that, but it is what it is and that really is okay...well not okay and definately worthy of a rant but not here and not now...

yesterday we made a trip to the local arts/crafts store to get paint, not that we don't have paint - there were just some colors and shades that we needed, LOL...we just love buying paint actually and hadn't done it in a while so here's what we a new set of cheap brushes with a canvas carrying case....

colors are good - especially when they're named things like "nasturtium" and "clematis" and "steamed milk" do you get do be a color namer?

and I cut out the first mini-gourd ornament and used some "nasturtium" (way watered down) on the interior...wonder if I can use each of the new colors? gourd is on my grandfather's driftwood lamp...chimnea-ish beginning

we also went to the library, got some really neat books for something J is working on and I found one I'll talk about later but I imagine it will be a good source of inspiration in the near future...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


after a struggle with broken hipped MIL's portable toilet, we got her home, were finally dismissed and got to enjoy a few quiet minutes, we decided to let the dogs in since we've hardly been home for days and Scout (the anti-social, flea market Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix) got in my lap and stayed for at least 20 minutes being really sweet...after a year she's finally starting to be a little social...this is the toughest dog we've had, really doesn't need any attention, doesn't respond, completely pack oriented - so for her to actively seek out my attention for that long was pretty cool...she's still an irritating little shit but lovable occassionally...maybe she's adjusting (don't know what to - but that sounds reasonable)????

speaking of which...

J's mom already has a grocery list and who knows what else for us tomorrow....all I can say is that I'm glad I'm not the neighbor on the open blinds-window-potty side.....I'm not a caregiver, really and truly not....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

hospitals suck

anybody disagree?....on the other hand, it's a great holding place for J's mom right now and I sincerely hope we get at least another day or two before they discharge her and guarantee our misery until K is up and around on her own....

so, we're off again tonite to go visit and watch her talk on the least little brother is coming and we can hang out with him for a while....

I did realize what a fertile place for sketch subjects the hospital is and will post some when I have a chance....nothing gross;)....even though there was a kid with an epi-pen stuck through his finger and nail when we were in the ER on Monday....ack.

Monday, November 07, 2005

IF - Night

Had the colored pencils out playing yesterday....took a literal approach to this week's topic... however, J did point out that there aren't 3 cats sprawled across us so it's a rough estimate...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

deadhead Sunday...

what a perfect day, bluegrass in the morning, Grateful Dead in the afternoon, spent a few hours sitting outside (in shorts ;)) working on my IF sketch and just enjoyed a beautiful sky...and only 4 days of work this is not too bad right now...also got a base coat on the sea creatures and here's where we are so far...

speaking of the Grateful Dead, if you don't know - I love them - growing up it was forbidden music, but once I heard them I was hooked and while I'm not a manic deadhead by any means I know enough to appreciate their influence, we've been contemplating a move to MP3's and being able to collect dead boots alone would be very cool...Jerry would love the new technology I'm guessing...

GRATEFUL DEAD lyrics - "Ripple"

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshineAnd my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,Would you hear my voice come thru the music,Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,Perhaps they're better left unsung.I don't know, don't really careLet there be songs to fill the air.

Ripple in still water,When there is no pebble tossed,Nor wind to blow.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,If your cup is full may it be again,Let it be known there is a fountain,That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,Between the dawn and the dark of night,And if you go no one may follow,That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,When there is no pebble tossed,Nor wind to blow.

But if you fall you fall alone,If you should stand then who's to guide you?If I knew the way I would take you home.

La dee da da da, La da da da da, Da da da, Da da, Da da da da daLa da da da, La da da, Da da, La da da da, La da, Da da.