Beginning 2019

Hi All,

This is my first blog of the year, I missed January’s.  I was off getting  another sunny start to the year. Much like 2018 except this time we came home to record snow.

We left Washington on the 28thof December and what a month.  First of all the family flew down to Arizona the 5ththrough the 12th getting back in time to start the Christmas festivities.  We had a really good time, but it did make for a very busy few weeks.

Three of us drove down this year. The picture is of the three of us standing in the lobby of the London Bridge Resort where we stayed the night.

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The drive down was great. I loved the new Highlander with all of its safety features. It was hard to give up the Lexus, but after a lot of going back and forth between the two, the Highlander was better, at least for me.  Coming back the weather was iffy we finally took a chance on what looked like a window and left a week earlier than we had planned.  A good thing as we got back on Wednesday the 6th of February and record-breaking snow hit on Friday.  I managed to get to the grocery and bank on Thursday so was set for a week of pretty much being snowed in. Marie posted pictures of what the snow looked like here in the Pacific NW. It was pretty, and then it wasn’t. 🙂

This year was different in that Linda and I took off from Arizona and flew to Cancun mid-January. We met up with family there. Seven in all and we had a really fun time.  We did get some rain which is a first for us on the tropical winter vacations but it was still warm.

So now settling back into “normal”.  And, planning to stay home for a while.

I’m ready for Spring!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Snowy Valentine’s Day

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I know I’m a few days early for Valentine’s day, and as for the snow….Mother Nature is very pissed. I grew up in California, San Francisco to be exact, I’ve seen snow in SF once in my lifetime and then … Continue reading

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History Fair

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Jillian here. Happy February. I, for one, was happy to see January leave. I literally was sick the entire month. Kept the cough until February 5, but at least wasn’t sick. Today, I had the privilege of being part of … Continue reading

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Winter Cabin and my own Aquaman adventure

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We recently did our annual winter cabin with our children and grandchildren. There wasn’t as much snow, but there was enough. As always, the food was amazing, the games were fun, and the conversations…well, they’ll fill me with contentedness for … Continue reading

Paint and Snow

Apologies for being a little late with this month’s post. I blame Word 2010. It’s been playing up, crashing for no reason, changing fonts without my blessing and goodness knows what other mischief. It seems I’m not the only one either, from what I’ve gleaned on the internet. I was just about to load my post when it crashed again, so I gave up. Never mind. I’m here now.

What a busy month January turned out for me. If someone had told me a little over 12 years ago when I began painting that I would find myself being an art tutor, I would never have believed them. Likewise, when I accepted the opportunity to teach acrylic painting to a group in my art club, I never expected how much of my time it would take. Who would have thought teaching for 2 hours every Friday afternoon for 4 weeks would take over my life entirely.

I had no idea of the abilities of those attending, and without this information, I had to structure the sessions to fit all comers.  I found out at the first session at least six had never painted before. Others were already members of the art group, but had either never used acrylics or had tried them without success. What was I going to say? What would we paint? Could I paint a half-decent picture in front of an audience? Did I know enough to fill up 8 hours.

I made copious notes, and wrote my opening dialogue out several times, so it at least sounded as if I knew what I was talking about. I then played it back using TextAloud, to check I didn’t waffle on for too long and to make sure it made sense. I had several sleepless nights pondering on everything. Worrying, not that I couldn’t pull it off, but whether my nerves and my voice would hold out. It goes croaky and quiet if I talk too much.

I need not have worried. I had a full class: 20 people. More than anticipated but I didn’t have time to give as much individual attention as I had planned to. We had laughs, we had questions, we had fun, and they came back the following week, so I must have been doing something right. But again, I spent hours working on my notes and dialogue and order of the day. And I didn’t mess up once. My thanks in all this go to my writing group (the Ivy Writers) who, over the years, have given me the confidence to read my work out aloud. A nervous, shaking wreck the first time I had to read out anything; now I have no problems doing so. It all comes with practice. A bit like painting, as I told my acrylic beginners.

The third week arrived and painting continued, but I realised I had chosen a too ambitious a painting for my class. I should have picked a much simpler piece, for them and for me. It’s not easy standing at an easel because I always sit when I’m painting. I had to paint large too, so those at the back could see, and I had to work almost sideways at the easel. If I stood in front they wouldn’t have seen anything. Another week working on my final notes, closing dialogue etc. It was all I could think about all week.

The fourth and final day dawned, heralded by 5 inches of snow, roads blocked, schools closed, as was the venue we use. Disappointment all round. I had hoped to have a photo of my entire group. Pictures of the paintings they produced, and some feedback on the entire course. At this point in time, I do not know if we can rearrange to this Friday.

I’ve enjoyed it all. Learned a lot myself. Gained confidence. Made new friends in the art group. My notes haven’t gone to waste. The art group has asked me to run the course again later this year. I will know what I’m doing. I won’t have to spend weeks working on my lessons. I have time to find a simple painting for them to work from. I know what to leave out, what to emphasise.  And out of the snow day, a new painting is emerging. Watch this space!

Kit’s Website and BlogKit’s Kitchen,  Kit’s Art  Site

Adventures at the Movies…

I really love going to the cinema and get my fix twice a month during movie night with friends at our town hall. We see and enjoy a variety of movies ranging from romantic comedies to action adventures to the more highbrow art(y) films.

Last month, for a variety of reasons (ha!) I wanted to see Aquaman. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an available option at our local so I was happy to venture into the city (such is my fan-girldom for a certain Mr. Momoa) but none of my girls could make the dates. Not to be discouraged, I talked two of my neighbour’s little boys into coming with me. It was all set, until the oldest boy fell and hurt his leg putting him out of action (he’s currently doing very well, thank goodness, and well on the way to recovery).

Of course, I could have dragged AJ along, especially with the promise of some pick-n-mix chocolate-covered brazils to assist his long-suffering-ness, but couldn’t put him through it (he gets a kind of motion sickness watching action movies on the big screen). To be fair, he did bag me a consolation prize as you can see in the photo. 20190111_120440

So, I became resigned to going it alone with just popcorn and a fizzy drink for company. But then I was having a whinge to my mum about my forthcoming solo visit and “I’ll come with you,” she said. Now, Aquaman is not my mum’s kind of film and I felt compelled to point that out. Regardless, she was adamant she was coming with me. So, off we went. We had a lovely day in the city: shopping, having lunch, more shopping, afternoon tea and finally, with our (ahem) many purchases in tow, we headed for the cinema. We splashed out on VIP seats and settled in to watch the movie.

I knew my mum wouldn’t really be enjoying it, and checked in with her a few times, only to get a smile and a thumbs-up in respone. Satisfied she was fine, I got lost in the movie. When it ended, she asked if I’d enjoyed it. I told her I did and asked if she had enjoyed it, too. She looked decidedly mischevious as she smiled and said, “Well, it was far too noisy for me, so I turned off my hearing aid and had a little nap. Whenever I opened my eyes, I just looked at the screen. That aqua person was very easy on the eye.”

20181228_200148Gotta love my mum. She’s game for just about anything. And she was still smiling when I took this photo of her as we left the cinema foyer and I whisked her to the nearest bar for a well-deserved glass of her favourite vino before heading home.

Now, I’m counting the days before Aquaman comes to DVD 🙂

 

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Goals and my 2019 Plans

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After reading Laurie’s goal post I wondered if I should do mine and thought why not. Like Laurie, I set yearly, monthly, and daily goals. Yearly and monthly goals are around my writing and business of writing. Daily goals are … Continue reading