Friday, March 19, 2021

All my news, such as it is.......


Well, it's been awhile since I wrote and I can't really say why.  Actually I have been doing nothing but painting and reading...mostly painting.  I gave up on Watercolor despite my fast fleeting interest and took up pastel again.  I was inspired by my monthly magazine, Pastel Journal.  It's something I return to over and over again, though I guess I return to every medium sooner or later.  I can't say why, other than thinking I will be better at something other than what I'm doing.  My enthusiasm is always temporary, though and I flit from one medium to another, always thinking I will be better at something other than what I'm doing.  

I have produced about ten new paintings over the last few weeks.  My studio is covered with pastel dust, as well as my clothes, my hands, the floor of my studio, and my dog.  As is always the case when I switch mediums my enthusiasm soars with each change.  I am partly convinced that it is the change I crave,  I am a person who constantly moves furniture, basking in the newness of where I sit in the living room, where I read, where I sleep, where I eat, what I eat.  My useless hip has not prevented me from tackling any piece of furniture (except the piano).  I seem to bask in the new arrangement for a few months, then start planning how things could be different (and better).  A few items are very hard to move, especially for one five-foot tall 76 year old woman using a walker, but it doesn't even cross my mind to leave well enough alone, or ask for help.  The TV is the worst thing.  I can't begin to lift it, so I line various pieces of furniture up between where it is and where I want it.   Then I transfer it one end, then the other, risking disaster the whole way. The couch is a huge thing, too, and don't even ask about bookcases.  Even the birdcage is not exempt, even the room where the birds live.  Right now they are in the living room having spent the last year or so in various places in my dining room-office. I have also recently moved every piece of furniture in my bedroom: bed, nightstand, two large chests of drawers, rug, two chairs.  The studio, of course is subject to continuous re-arrangement, about every week.

Well, so much for my wanderlust within this house.  I have begun to think about moving again. It seems to be the only thing I can do.  I simply do not have enough money to stay in this house.  The latest disaster involves my car repair.  I left it  at the garage in November, since I can't drive anyway.  It has been repaired now to the tune of 1700. dollars.  There is no way for me to pay that.  I only paid a thousand dollars for it, and I borrowed that from my brother.  If I move to Boynton Manor (a home for the old, poor, and decrepit)in the downtown area). Rent is based on income with all utilities included.  I will have very few of the expenses I have, heat, water, trash, plowing in the winter, etc. In fact, I haven't paid my rent for months, taking advantage of my SO WHAT? landlady who loves me.  She won't forgive me forever.  I was accepted at Boynton Manor a couple of years ago, but I decided I just couldn't leave here.  I love my house and its view of the ocean.  I will have two rooms and a bath, with a kitchen area off the living room.  The place is very nice, but so small compared with my spacious three bedroom house.

Well, I guess I caught up with the time I have spent since my last entry.  Missing is of course my troubles over getting my hip replaced.  I can't afford the several medical pre-requisites (dentistry among them) so it hasn't been scheduled.  It's been almost two years since my first surgery was planned.  Well, it's the least of my problems, I guess.  Luckily I roll with the punches.

I'll post a few of the pastel paintings I've done lately.  These are fairly big, 18 by 24 I think......all Eastport scenes.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Good-bye, Sarah

 I hardly know what to say about Sarah,adog I've loved even though I never met her..  Only today did I find out about her dying ,  even though it happened  a little while while ago.  How did I miss it?  I am just recovering from a prolonged  cry, partly of regret that I wasn't able to respond to the post by my blogger friend sooner and partly because I will miss Sarah myself.   It is certainly a mixed blessing to love an animal so much, since their little lives are so short compared with ours.  Not too long ago I read an article in some magazine....I can't remember which one......written by a man who had just lost his collie dog.  He described the event, telling us readers first of the joy of puppyhood, the years of companionship and love, then old age and loss.  His final sentence was "Getting a puppy is the first step to devastation."  How well I understand.  But we do it over and over again, knowing the devastation their loss will cause us.

Well, my dear Blogger friend, I am so sorry.  I hope I will soon be reading some happy post revolving around a new, wonderful puppy.  I so recently lost Patrick, but I thank him for giving me his long happy life, them leaving me to love  Elliot.  I see him as Patrick's farewell gift to me .

Now, if I can pull myself together, I will turn my thoughts to Christmas Cactus.  They are very easy to propagate.  Just cut of a few branches and stick them in a glass of tap water.  Before you know it little white threads will appear at the cut edge(and sometime on the side of the cuttings.  Once these little hairs are half an inch  long, or more (sometimes I have left them in water for weeks--sometimes just days).  They will live in water for a long time.  I've forgotten about them sometimes until the roots fill up the glass I put them in before I  think to put them in soil.   These guys live forever, which is why I have so many of them.  I still have the original from the seventies. One of my neighbors has one that fills her whole picture window.

Well, I will go and console myself with my puppy.   My heart goes out to you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Christmas Cactus


I have several of these plants that all originally came from cuttings that I got from Roberta Belgarde.  She was my elderly neighbor when we lived in Newburgh in the early 70's.  Jesse was a baby, and Carrie was two years old.  She often invited me for lunch and babysat when I had to go to the doctor.  In front of her kitchen window was a dry sink bursting with Christmas cactus.  She gave me a cutting so I could start my own plant.  Over the many years since then (Jesse was born in 1974) I have continued to root cuttings from that plant and although the original doesn't bloom much anymore, its children thrive.  

I think fondly of Mrs. Belgarde (I always called her that) every time these plants blossom.  This year they are particularly prolific.  The mother hangs in the kitchen, and its offspring are scattered around in the dining room and living room.  This year they seem to think Christmas is coming early.  I can barely take my eyes off them.

Carrie has one of the offspring in her office in New Hampshire.  She has never been interested in plants, but I guess to humor me she consented a few years ago to take one  small cutting.  She named the plant Rhonda and has become quite fond of it. It happily blooms for her around Christmas every year.

You never know how you are going to be remembered after you die, and I'm quite sure Mrs. Belgarde never thought that she would live on in our minds and hearts because of these plants.  Another plant I have is a memorial to my aunt Faith, my father's sister who died many years ago.  Her daughter, my cousin, inherited the Begonia she had on her dining room table for years and years.  It was huge, and Beth divided it up among the cousins,  I have since divided mine so that I have Begonias  all over the house.  Faith lives in my memory because I never look at one of them without her crossing my mind.  


Monday, November 23, 2020

Time with Annie Dillard, May Sarton, and Elliot

 This is the latest attempt to regain my expertise in watercolor.  I'm getting there, I think.  This is from a photo I took down on the beach below my house....I don't remember when, but I was obviously walking under my own steam, so it was at least two years ago.  My hip surgery has been postponed yet again, so I guess I will be grounded for the foreseeable future.  I am not upset by this development, since having surgery during this pandemic is a risk I don't really want to take.  I am so used to using my walker that it hardly seems like a handicap anymore.

I watch the developments surrounding our presidential election with some trepidation, but I have some vague faith that all will work out in the end.  The only lasting consequence for me personally is my disbelief that the country could get into such a mess. I guess I could have anticipated that Trump would behave badly if he didn 't win the election, but not how badly.  The other depressing thought I have is that so many people supported him and, unbelievably, still do.

Meanwhile I go along with my reclusive life, pretty much unaffected by anything that goes on outside of this house.  I have my wonderful little dog to keep me company, my books and my paints to entertain me.  I ordered a new Kindle which came a few days ago.  I don't know what I'd do without it.  While I waited for it to come after my old one died, I amused myself by re-reading "An American Childhood" by Annie Dillard.  It is one of my favorite books of all time.  My Kindle died in the middle of May Sarton's journal at 80.  I look forward to returning to it where I left off, but I must say I find the woman a little unlikeable at times.  So what, though?