Picture of the Week

Well, I actually have some new stuff to choose from for this week's picture. But I'm afraid there isn't anything particularly outstanding, the day was short, the shadows were long and the sun was too bright. But here's one that I like the best of the bunch:

The geese are walking on ice and the mist is that ice as it's evaporating.

Don't forget to keep checking out our smugmug. There's another site that I've been putting stuff up for sale. It's called zazzle. You can buy something made by someone else or make your own calendar, posters, t shirts, etc. Here's a link to our store!

Seeya next week!

Genesis of a Masterpiece

Well, actually this masterpiece also begins with a masterpiece.

Last year in Sarah's last year of high school, as an assignment of her AP art class she was to choose a past work of art and somehow transform it into her own work of art. Rick and I were beckoned to her house to help. She explained the project and showed us the picture she wanted to "copy":

This is Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s “Young Girl Reading” and Sarah wanted a similar look for her artwork. I have some renaissance costumes, one being just the right shade of orange and an artistically interesting chair, also orange. Rick and I are both fledgling photographers so we got our photo gear and headed up to my place.

I got out the dress and, as expected, it fit just right and the chair likewise had the right look. Now we just had to emulate the light in the original picture. In the picture I believe it must have been firelight, which we didn't have available. But a low watt incandescent bulb gave just the right look, I found a small lamp and ripped off the shade - perfect! OK, now we need a book. How about a small soft-cover bible? Perfect again! I have to do something with her hair, I'm not good with that, so I grabbed a black velvet scrunchie (Kramer's fav!) circa 1990's and pulled her hair into a sloppy ponytail with the hair pulled halfway through - voila! A neat bun similar to the look in Fragonard’s painting! Wow! How is all this happening?!? Here are some of the photos Rick shot:

Now Sarah could do her magic. I guess she started with the background, nice touch, very old masters look. Then the rest followed, great job Sarah!

And we weren't the only ones that thought so, she got lots of comments and good grades on it. Just last month it was also on display at an art show at the college she currently attends, Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.

It's rare that we get to take such a neat picture of one of our offspring so I also took advantage of the same shot. I've bee aching to try to make one of our photos look like an oil painting and this one was perfect. So I used the appropriate software and had it blown up to poster size, to replace the picture I had hinging in my bedroom, the inspiration for the decor. I knew that picture would go in the room because it was taken in the room! That hopefully made Rick feel more at home in his new boudoir. Here's how my artwork came out:

OK, I know I cheated, but I'm not the artist Sarah is, I only know how to digitally edit and transform.

Good News, Bad News...Good News?

Let's see, should I start with the good news or the bad news? Let's start with the good news.

Last week sometime Rach won a radio contest and got a holiday package as a prize. There were tickets for 4 to a Christmas event in Bellevue, Snowflake Lane or something like that. She planned to give that to Shirley, she gets into that stuff, they can take the boys. I think there's ice skating and whatnot. Then she also got tickets to the zoolights at the Point Defiance Zoo. And finally she got a $50 gift certificate for TJ Maxx. Neat package, not very useful ('cept the gift cert) but neat. Little did she know thought that when she won that package her name was put into a drawing for the grand prize that was to be given away this week. And she won that as well! That is a real good package. It's a hotel room in a swanky Seattle Hotel, the Alexis, and then tickets to view the fireworks and shmooze with the party on the observation deck in the Space Needle on New Year's Eve! I would love to go! I don't celebrate but just going up and enjoying the jazz and drinks, and being able to view the fireworks, some actually below the deck, they set some off the legs of the Space Needle! A photographer's dream!--

OK, so now for the bad news: Denny has a rental house down in a section of Tacoma called Lakewood. Not a great part of town. His dad bought it years ago as a major fixer-upper, made it inhabitable and rented it out. A couple years ago he wanted to open a restaurant so he worked out a deal with Denny so Denny now owns the Lakewood house, his dad bought a restaurant and then his dad lost the restaurant. So Denny has this house that was his dad's and his dad still does most of the dealings with it, since he's a property manager and lives nearby. Just recently they got new tenants, but soon after the renters moved in the house was broken into and some of their belongings were stolen. There was a couple weeks with no communication with the renters and then finally someone went by to do some work or something and found the renters had abandoned the house, thereby breaking their lease. So now the house has broken glass that needs to be fixed and no renters.

So Denny's stuck having to fix the place again and find new renters so he can make his mortgage payments (which is another nightmare altogether, never go with GMAC mortgage!). Last night he's here visiting and his dad calls him: "a pipe in the Lakewood house in the attic broke and flooded the place. The fire dept (or water dept?) was called because water was leaking out the
eaves. The place is totaled." Denny and Heather go this morning to meet with an insurance person. It's as bad as it possibly can be. Too bad it isn't a car, they would pay it off, total it and take possession of it. Here are a few pictures:--

So now for the ... good news? Once the contractors, etc have made their bids and the insurance pays off, Denny may end up with either some money in his pocket or some improvements to his home here where he lives. We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.--

One more note of good news. I was coerced by my mother to get Keith to a doctor to have his depression checked out and she found that he has very low vitamin D. She wants him to take 2000 i.u. daily. He may come out of this deep funk and start living again - another "wait and see how it all plays out."

OK, so there was one more "good news". Better than the opposite.

Picture of the Week

This picture of the week comes from my archives, I think I'll post one that I took when the ladies in the family visited Molbak's nursery last year:

Here again is a link to our smugmug. And here's a link to an interesting site Rick found, another blogspot site featuring 100 - 150 year old photography with stories and history for most.

Check back next week!

It All Began with a Text...

"Would you be willing to give tony a hair cut later?"--

That was how it all started.--

Sounds innocent enough, huh? But, no, can't you hear the sound of a can opener? And a canful of worms aching to get out? But nice worms, happy worms, sociable worms.--

Next suggestion after I replied "like around 5" was "maybe we'll bring the dinner stuff with us and cook it there". "Spaghetti and meatballs". "Only thing we didn't get is garlic bread". "Should I pick some up on my way home from mtg?" "That'd be cool, otherwise we could run to the store sometime". "Nah, I'll get it".--

OK, so now we have dinner going on. Just Rach and Tony? I dunno.--

Tony shows up about 5 with the spaghetti fixins and gets started in his own Tony fashion. Rach follows in a few minutes. Then maybe 20 minutes or so later the rest of the gang shows up, plus one - Denny, Heather, Gage, Hunter, Heather's niece that's staying with them for a while, Lacey, and her dad, Mike, who visits often while his daughter is staying there.--

Now starts the chaos! Nothing bad, just noise, activity, etc.--

Somehow a discussion about circumcision starts. "What is the tool that older Jews used to do circumcisions called?" "I don't know, they mention it in 'Robin Hood, Men in Tights'". We start the movie and search for that part of the movie. They mention the man's title but not the tool. The movie now has to stay on. Rach and Rick are both Googling the name of the tool. No one finds the answer but the searching leads to other interesting subjects.--

Hunter and Lacey play with the Grandma toys that live here and Lacey discovers some play Poindexter glasses. She has a missing tooth as well so I
had to get some pictures! (to be posted at a later time)--

Around the dinner table another discussion similar to the circumcision one started, I forget the subject but it was just as appetizing. I believe Mike started it, nice to know we're not the only family that discusses these things at that totally inappropriate time!--

When Tony first got here and looked for the big pot to cook spaghetti in I had to fish it out of the fridge, I had some Zuppa Toscana in it, the Olive Garden recipe (minus the spicy sausage). Tony sniffed it and smiled! We were having Italian soup to go with our spaghetti dinner! Denny and Mike just about cleaned it out, calling it "Awesome Soup".--

Good times, good company, good food! But what a raucous crowd! Mike and Lacey left first, then the others followed within the hour. We had our grandparents' house back. We've gotten used to the tranquility, it's hard to imagine that I used to live in that kind of chaos!--

Sometimes I miss it.

Picture of the Week

OK, here's a definite departure from what I've been posting:

I found this at the parking lot of the Puyallup Fair in 2008. I don't know if someone was pulling a joke on someone else or someone actually parked his bike there, for safekeeping!

Here's a link to our
smugmug again.

Seeya next week!

My Achin' Butt!

Last weekend someone got the bright idea to go to the snow. It turned out to be a pretty fun day but that term "snow" just wasn't quite what anyone would imagine. We've had a bit of cold dry weather, moreso
since last weekend but before as well. No - there was snow, snow of sorts. It was about a foot and a half to 2 feet deep. But the consistency was more like concrete. A case of multiple thaws and freezes I guess.--

It looked right, but was nearly impossible to penetrate. Awesome for some kinds of sleds, I think the kind with metal runners, the old-fashioned wooden toboggans. We had our usual plastic disks and toboggans. Don't get me wrong - they went! Like mad! Like in the Griswold's xmas movie when they sprayed the disk with anti-stick spray!--

First we went to the area we've been going to for years, a trailhead near the Snoqualmie ski area. The path back into the woods was slick. We slipped our way into the woods and found a pretty cool spot to sled, not too long, with a jump where a tree had fallen and been covered with snow. No good stopping spot but a cool spot nonetheless. For concrete.--

Both of Heather's brothers went along and TJ, the only teenager there was insane. Having fun insane.--

After Hunter finally got bored there we decided to move on to another spot Rach had been told about at the other end of the Snoqualmie hill, in the Hyak area. We found a small hill mostly unoccupied within walking distance of the parking. Easier to climb than the spot in the woods and someone had even built a little jump at the bottom of one spot. TJ had to use the jump, of course. He became airborn enough for a cheap thrill!--

This spot was tame enough that even the old lady in the bunch decided to try it. I don't know why I held my hands like that, probably because I'm still nursing a messed-up thumb from a little accident a decade or so ago. Rach says I thought I was on a roller coaster!--

Rach took Hunter down mostly, her and Denny. I got this great series of one of their trips down the hill.--

So now, Rach, TJ and I are all complaining of sore rumps, no doubt bruised from sledding on the slick white concrete.

Picture of the Week

OK, here's this week's entry:

This is my stepdaughter, Sarah. Rick and I were trying to get something Sarah could use as her senior photo. It was a beautiful September day and we were out on Green Valley Road.

And here's my weekly link to our smugmug. See you next week.

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.