Archive for September, 2014

In the trenches!

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

My friend Peter Skipp looked at the 3 5-drawer file cabinets in the art room and commented what in the world we needed that many…. Well try owning 4 houses plus land, multi vehicles incl motorcycle, scooter, van, car, 4 wheeler, 2 boats…. all the paper that covers all that and the trips and conventions and organizations and insurances - just multiply it… … Brother do we sound like the Asterbilts. No… just people who accumulate and don’t sell anything. Meanwhile the dust bunny wars have gone into high gear only today it’s the paper wars!!!!! I have pretty baskets full of papers I’ve collected over the years. There are 2 bins full of the cast offs and files for the stuff I really will use one day… things like articles on drawing birds and butterflies, sun and light, inspiration, bridges, stairs and paths etc etc etc. I’d also like to try some practice with Wabi Sabi which is attaching stuff (metal, material, paper) to the paintings! I am now crazed with picking up bits of metal from the ground. My sister Sarah gave me that illness! Need boxes for the bits of metal, and buttons, bits, and old coins! Whoever ends up cleaning this up when I go to heaven… Well know that at least I tried to be artful. Today is breezy almost cool. I have the windows open and there are plenty of birds and boats on the lake. Chuck is on his way home a day early from Georgia and I screamed: “NO! this place is a mess! You won’t see the progress I’ve made!” I think I’ll finish a movie; I’m half way through Life of Pi. interesting…. he just got ship wrecked and he and the tiger are together with a dead zebra in the boat. whew! Life goes on and God blesses us! Thank God. Love Susie

Continuing the battle for the art room (Sue 94, Dust Bunnies 237, stuff 299)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Good day dear friends and family! When I began to write this particular blog about “cleaning up” it was September 15. Heaven forbid that I get in an auto accident and the fire rescue people ask me what day it is. Let me go check the calendar…. OK it’s (first find the calendar, then see what’s crossed off and what’s supposed to happen and what hasn’t happened yet and then zero in on TODAY!) Ah! today is Friday September 19, and, as scheduled, after much maintenance work done by our dear neighbor George on the van and the 4 wheeler, Chuck has left the building, and he is off to Georgia to plant corn for unsuspecting deer. Hunting season begins October 18 and it’s off to the races to see what deer are dumb enough to “come to the garden.”

Back to the dust bunny/stuff wars! On September 15, I wrote the current score on what was supposed to be my next blog, but which I never got to due to not being able to find the computer in the stuff)… At that time I opined the “score” was Sue 1, Dust Bunnies 452, stuff 357. I gave myself a 1 because well I’m smart and I have a broom and dust pan. As I carried a basket full of holy cards and letters to the dining room table, a dust bunny the size of my hand scuttled out from under my feet and made a break for the TV room. “Gotcha!” I yelled, hitting the bunny with the broom, and Chuck came flying out of his study (which is also a perilous place)… I had to explain, “WOW! Where does the stuff and dust come from?” My neighbor Cindy swears by her swiffer and I guess that would help me too. Any how… I finally emptied ALL the stuff into the dining room, and gave the art room a good sweep which continued around the house, bathroom, TV room… gathering escaping bunnies everywhere. Then Chuck yelped and started to cry. “What?” I yelled, as I ran for the kitchen, “What is that SMELL???” Our friend Mickey who stayed here for about 6 weeks, would probably weep with Chuck. While looking for mustard, a bottle of Cayenne Hot Sauce leaped out of the pantry and fell on the tile floor. Chuck said a dust bunny pushed it out. Yuck - the smell of that cayenne… I think the only person who wouldn’t weep but rejoice with the loss of a bottle of HOT sauce is me. I found some interesting “stuff and dust” as I carefully cleaned up the sauce and glass. Onion peels, apple cores, plastic bag parts litter the spaces hidden by kitchen cabinets. Once the kitchen was clean and sprayed liberally with both Clorox and 409, I removed my talents back to the art room. When we built the room, Chuck built me 2 closets. They are not empty yet; all I did was liberate some blank canvasses with a promise to get back to the stuff… and bunnies. The closets are the last stronghold (I actually can’t get into the second closet, 2 statues of the Blessed Mother needing painting, 2 cans of outdoor house paint (need to paint the house), and a hallowe’en witch, amongst some other to be determined stuff, bar that closet door from being opened. I don’t have the time right now to see what’s in there… (maybe I’m afraid). I don’t think this war can ever be won. Besides I have painting to do!!! I arranged the “shelf” under the window, spread out all the paints I have in Miami (a bunch are still in the Keys), arranged the canvasses by size, got out some greeting cards to paint and set to work! For two days now, I’ve been painting and it is bliss! I’m covered in paint… blue, red, orange, white… I have a big red stripe of paint spread just above my knee where I must have been hugging a canvas. On my facebook page is several photos by Mickey Foster, my 6 week guest. He inspired me with his photo of palm trees that I turned into “Barbara’s Oasis” and now his photo of a beautiful white flower he named “First Love” (right under a photo of a psychedelic crab he put on facebook) inspired me. Lots of things inspire me but these Mickey and Barbara things are special because Barbara is sick and we are praying so intensely for her that she is constantly on my mind… so this morning, fueled by high test coffee, (I made straight caffeine coffee for Chuck this morning (he’s driving to Georgia)… and he left me 1/2 a pot. I mixed it 1/2 and 1/2 with boiling water, milk, and a little chocolate so I’m not flying off the ceiling after drinking the other half pot of high test. But I think I’ll never sleep again). So fueled, I painted First Love and a butterfly on Barbara’s card. I finished the first “Barbara’s Oasis” yesterday and finished the second this morning while waiting for First Love to dry. I’ve offered copies of my paintings of “Barbara’s Oasis” for donation to Barbara’s bills to fight cancer at Boondocks, just south of Big Pine Key) Sept 29. You can see Mickey’s photo of palm trees taken from our dock and my first rendering of those trees (which have become “Barbara’s Oasis”) in a paper format that I framed and gave to Barbara. Both are on my facebook page. I tend to paint thick and in layers so I have to wait…. waiting waiting for paint to dry so I can paint over it often leads to painting several paintings at the same time. Need more room…… The dining room table is still covered with stuff from the art room, but I just can’t stop for stuff right now. God bless you and please believe He loves us and keeps us close! Sue

Thanks for the inspiration

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Our cousins from the north sent some amazing photos of the ocean, waves, beaches, and sand and said, “Sue might want to paint these.” How well you know me!!! and thanks for the inspiration… But First: I am settled into Miami for a week… to clean up my art room…. As of this moment you can’t really walk into the art room as you worry that something is going to jump out and grab your leg! … So. Chuck is leaving on Wednesday morning with his buddy Dave for Georgia and I already have 1/2 the contents of the art room (many piles of “stuff”) spread out on our bed and the dining room table (table is still without its leaves because we had the hospice bed there…leaves are under the guest room bed so table is a little puny) Table and bed covered and closets still full… It’s a challenge. …. I’m not quite sure if Chuck is going to be able to sleep with all the canvasses, tablets, paints, and frames I have piled on the bed. Details details. For storage in the art room, I envision a long shelf from wall to wall under the windows that face the lake for canvasses, drawing pads, water color tablets and frames…. I envision a place for an easel and a place for paints. Need a big garage which I’m not going to get… Chuck built me a shed but the 4 wheeler is in it; at least there’s a little space for gardening tools. my stuff is all over the place and in closets and piles and it’s hard to get peaceful to paint. So here goes!!!!! Me vs the stuff and the dust bunnies. Score so far 0-0-0.

OH! In case you like Kevin Costner and football. I rented a great Redbox movie last night called Draft Day. He’s so cute and it’s a good movie. Also rented The Other Woman which I hear is good too….I like Redbox because I get BOGOs and $1 off a lot…. Good viewing Keep you posted! Wish me well. God bless you!!! Love Sue

Moving on…

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Tomorrow we will move on back to Miami, but today is a “packing” day, it is also the day our dear friend Terry Bradshaw is coming to visit Renee…. No he is not the “old” Terry Bradshaw, but a friend we met who walked into a System One training class in the late ’80s and all the ladies in the room turned and swooned. What a lovely man, both in face and spirit! He is a true southern gentleman and he will visit with Renee until her next lovely friend comes, for Renee needs people with her as she recovers. Meanwhile… Knowing how hectic the last day is… I prayed before Mass for concentration. “Please let me pay attention.” and I did for the most part, but after a period of silent meditation and prayer, the priest said, “Let us pray” and I found myself planning how many easy to wash and dry dress shirts and casual shirts and light brown and black shoes Chuck will need for the big cruise…. I looked up and whispered, “Sorry Lord, you keep me straight (and sane)”..! We have put together the major puzzle parts for a long trip starting May 4 2015 with a transatlantic cruise to the east of England on the Brilliance by RCCL, then staying on board that ship, we’ll cruise Scandinavia and return to England May 30 and spend 2 weeks visiting English friends before boarding the Queen Mary 2 in Southhampton to return to New York. I still have to get an English rental car and a trip from NY to Tampa Fl where our car will be at cousins Laura and Dennis’ new house. Needless to say, planning this trip, finding out all our Home Depot charges put our credit cards at risk, ISIS killing Americans, remaking dentist and other appointments for the slabs of time we will be in Miami…. I NEED to concentrate for that little bit of time that daily Mass gives to focus the soul. People ask why I go to daily Mass. It is a time of joy, of silence, of prayer… Yesterday was a celebration of the Mother of God. Remember when you were little and you ran to Mom, or some lady who was a Mom substitute, a teacher or a nanny? did you realize she takes her lead from the Mother of God as our “anchor, port, support, comfort,” and as my Mother told me, when she knew death was near, “Mary will hug me, take me by the hand, and lead me to Jesus.” In Mass, I remember to thank and praise God for his love… for the moon, the stars and the sunlight, for the flowers and the rivers, for life… God bless you! Love Sue

Sticky hot and barbeque

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Today (Saturday) started cool in Orlando, damp with dew and maybe a hint of autumn? Or is it just my wish for autumn? I woke up early enough to get to both Rosary and Mass at a sweet little church near Renee’s and it was lovely. I sat right in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother and prayed for those many of us who need a little help, hugs, smiles, healing, and well, conversion. The Gospel was one we all must know from either school or hearing a preacher talk about “talents”… Before leaving town on a trip, a rich man gave one of his servants 5 talents, to the second, he gave 2 talents, and to the third he gave 1 talent. When he returned, the one to whom he gave 5 said, “I used the talents you gave me and have 10 talents to give back to you!” “Well done good and faithful servant; you are faithful; I will give you more; come share your master’s joy!” the master replied. The second servant said, “You gave me 2 talents and I used them and have 4 to return to you!” Again, another “Well done!” The third servant whimpered, “I knew you were a hard man, so I buried my talent and am now returning one talent to you….” And we all know what happened. That guy who buried his talent and did nothing with it was thrown out into the darkness gnashing his teeth. I always smile when I hear this gospel,. We know that talents are gifts (often people call talents “God-given gifts”) We have the talent from birth and we can refuse to use it out of fear or laziness or stubbornness or greed (for example one could become a teacher or an artist and not earn a lot of money, or one could sell things and make hoards of money… squandering the talent he was born with.) After reading the gospel (Matthew 25:14-30), the deacon strode forward and started to talk and I started taking notes! As he began, I wrote, “Am I using my talents; doing what the Lord has called me to do? Am I afraid to do something?” and the deacon said, “Jesus is always willing to help, just ask him. All you have to do is ask and then start!” He talked about how he went to visit a sick person in the hospital and that person said, “That lady needs you more, she’s dying and she’s afraid…” He said, he gulped as he was a new deacon without a lot of experience but he went and took the dying lady’s hand and talked to her. She said she didn’t believe in religion or Jesus, but the deacon kept holding her hand and talking. Soon, the lady started crying and asked for help. The deacon rushed to find a priest who just happened to be nearby who anointed the lady. She died very soon after that. How hard it is to wade into a difficult situation where someone needs us…. I often say “Yikes, I don’t think I can do that; I don’t think I can find the right words…” And remember the prophets who told God, “I’m too young, I’m too small…” I think this is all about service. When we see a need, we must wade in and take a hand… sit with someone and the Lord will come. I can’t make someone happy, or joyful, or believe in the Lord, but I can be the Lord’s hands and feet.

(Sunday) Mass began with “Here I am Lord, I will go Lord… show me the way.” (Is the Lord telling me something?) The first reading was from St Paul to the Romans 12:1&2… “renew your mind that you will discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” And the gospel was the one where Peter stepped up and tried to make Jesus not go to Jerusalem to die…. and Jesus said in a way that would be quite scary… “get behind me Satan!” (Matthew 16:21-27). Satan is so real! He enters into us and he is our “human” thinking… choosing the easy way, the profitable way; creating obstacles to the “good, pleasing and perfect.” We create obstacles to the grace God pours out on us and obstacles to believing in God’s promises. It isn’t easy to believe God’s promises when things are all going wrong! I can say yes or no to serving God with my faith… Let me say YES! Once we soften up and believe, then we can be sure that one day and maybe even in this life we will see his face! How can I be full of anything except Thanksgiving! Sow the seeds of peace and God bless you!

What does barbecue have to do with this? We have been eating very well at Renee’s barbecuing great steaks, ribs, and sausages…. and we ate a whole watermelon in two days! (burp) YUM. Happy end of summer.