Monday, July 29, 2013

Wisconsin Dells

We arrived in Wisconsin Dells early this afternoon.
We are now all settled into our rooms.  
I will blog all about it after we go home on Friday.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Lauren arrived safely on Tuesday afternoon.
She brought a cold with her but she isn't too bad.
When I came home from work on Wednesday I asked her if she felt up to going to River Rhythms as I didn't want her to feel she had to if she didn't feel well.
She decided she did want to go.......which was just as well.
She has become a great fan of Green Day and various other 'punky' bands.
She has some fab clothes as well.  She looks really good in her skinny black jeans, studded belts and chains.
The band turned out to be something we have never seen there before.

Fatty Acids - a punk band.
Lauren was in heaven.
There was something called "Moshing" going on.
It seems to be alcohol induced and rather strenuous at times.   I think my moshing days are fact I do not believe they ever arrived.  I have led a somewhat sheltered life.
Mosh free in fact.  

Gary, it has to be said, didn't do an awful lot of moshing either.
But we enjoyed watching others 'mosh'.
Philip was not one of those "others".

And then a very elderly wolf walked by.
At least I think it was a wolf.  It isn't the sort of thing you go up and ask, but whatever he was he was a cutie.

The next to arrive were the hippies.
They seemed to enjoy the Fatty Acids too!!!!
This guy reminded me of Prince George from Black Adder and his 'enormous' trousers.

We had our picture taken by a representative of the West Town association, presumably for a local paper or something.
I wish I knew which one so I could see how bad it looks.  No one remembered to suck their bellies in or anything.

The punk gods must have been looking after Lauren.  She had a fabulous time.  We bought her the cd, of course, as it is nice to take these things home.
Tomorrow we are off to the mall.
Lauren wants to look in all the weirdo, oops I mean, punk shops.  She has grown up alarmingly since I saw her last.........which was only at Christmas.
It is odd to have a teenager in the house again.  I have to admit I am rather enjoying it.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Zoom, zoom, zoom.....there she goes.

This is the most recent photo I have of Lauren.
She should arrive here on Tuesday afternoon.
It is hard to believe that she is now 14 years old.  Where did that time go?
She has grown up a lot in the last few months.
She has gone from being a little girl, to being a teen with a crush on a band - Green Day - and wanting to wear punky type clothes.
Her thing right now, so I am told, is black.......skinny black jeans etc.
She has found a favourite shop in Canterbury - Third Eye - which I can remember shopping in.
No more pinkies, purplies & sparklies.
She is learning the guitar and plans to use Philip's to practice on while she is here.
I must remember to dust it before she comes.
Philip bought her the Green Day version of Rock Band and has secretly also bought her some cds.
He is picking her up from Chicago airport as it is close to work.
He will play the cd on the way home to surprise her.
I am sure she will be thrilled.

Anyway, we cannot wait for her to arrive.   She wants me to take her to a tattoo parlour to get her ears pierced while she is here.
Donna is still laughing about this.
She has tried taking her to get her ears pierced a dozen times or more but she always chickens out at the last minute.
Usually just as they are getting near to her ears, she makes a run for it.
Donna has told her she will never get a tattoo if she doesn't get her ears pierced.
So, she now says she wants Philip and I to take her to a proper tattoo place where they do piercings.
I phoned one today.
He was a really nice guy but needs to find out if they can do it without her mother being present.
Apparently you should have a legal guardian there when it is done.
I may not be enough.
He thinks, as it is only ears, that they may do it but needs to ask the boss.
We shall see.  

Meanwhile Donna is still adamant that the only way Lauren will stay still and have her ears pierced is if Philip sits on her.
Now that would do it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Whine, whine, whine.

Firstly I am going to have a quick moan about the heat.
I know, I seems like just the other day I was complaining about how bloody cold it was.
I am still going to though.
Too blooming hot.
I was going to venture out to the mall until I ventured out as far as the dustbin and nearly wilted.
95F - 100F heat indices.........whatever that means.
That is what the weatherman said and he wasn't joking.
I suspect it means ' Crikey where's my thong it is chuffing hot'.
I am going to try to find a ride home from work tomorrow as it will be a nightmare in the afternoon.
Walking to and from bus stops and waiting for buses is no fun in this heat.
It shouldn't be so bad in the morning, as I go early before the heat has really kicked in.
We shall see.
I am glad I shall not be going to the Ska, Reggae & Hip Hop band at River Rhythms now.
I doubt they will have much energy to hippity hop at all.

I have been trying out a couple of different frames.
I personally do not think a picture is finished until it is framed.  They look sort of naked without one.
Just my opinion.  I know some people think they are fine left unadorned, but I think they look a bit neglected.
Funny how a frame can change the feel of a painting though.

I actually like the dark one for this.

This one I think I prefer the gold one.  It looks sort of older and more in line with a dragon's treasure.

Just my thoughts.

I am currently working on another portrait, which is a surprise, so I won't say anything here until I have finished it.
I also have lots of different ideas in my head for paintings.  Philip bought me some water colours, water colour paper and water colour brushes recently.
That was so kind of him.
I have never tried water colour painting.  I know it isn't easy, as the colours are transparent and you have to work backwards.  That is - in oil & acrylics you work from dark to light.
Dark tones first, then mid tones and finishing in the lightest tones - highlights.
Water colour is the reverse.
Light tones first, progressing through all the mid tones until you reach the darkest - shadows.
I know this doesn't sound very terrible but I think it will prove to be quite the task.
I hope I don't make a complete pig's ear of it after Philip bought me the stuff.
Actually, I can't start yet as I forgot to get masking fluid.
You use this to block out (mask) areas you have already drawn in but don't want the paint to touch.
Then when it is all dry you go back, rub it off and paint the areas it masked.
Oh....this is already sounding tricky.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oh Brother

My favourite band,  Brother, were playing at River Rhythms last night.
Oh in leather kilts.
Actually, they play really fab music.  They call it Tribal Rock, which just about sums it up.
They play guitars, drums, keyboard and didgereedoos.
They are Australians that are of Scottish decent.
This makes for a very interesting mix.  With names like - Angus, Fergus and Hamish, there must have been some Scottish influence.
They are at River Rhythms once a year and it is always a good crowd when they are playing.
There are always a few oddities at River Rhythms.
This one made me feel a little sad.
He was all on his own, wearing his little kilt.....and just has such a sad face.
Hopefully he was having a good time.  Bless him.

They are brilliant musicians.
That guy playing the didgereedoo is also playing the keyboard at the same time.
A beautiful, warm evening, with beautiful cool wine.  It cheered me up no end.
Next week Gary will be away and Philip looked up which band would be playing.
Can't remember the name but the description was a mix of    Ska, Reggae & Hip Hop.
Oh well....I think we shall be giving that one a miss.

I bet that Ska band doesn't even have any leather kilts.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Flap Flap

Donna is poorly again.
Those of you who have been interested, know that she gave us quite a scare a couple of months ago.
She had an MRI and an MRV just a week or so ago.  These were the last of her tests.
We have been waiting for the results and happy as each day passed with no news.
You never want to hear too quickly.
The longer it goes on, the more likely it is nothing serious.
Yesterday she phoned me to say she was feeling really bad.  She could barely stand.  The room was spinning every time she moved her head and it was making her nauseous.
It was so bad it was making her throw up.
I wanted her to go to the hospital but she wouldn't.
Today she went to the doctor.  Her friend took her as she can't drive like this.
She has labrynthitis.  This is an infection of the inner ear.
I have had this and it is awful.
Anyway, she now has the meds to treat it and, whilst there learned that the results of those last tests were clear.
What a relief.
My mind had been all over the place when she started having these new symptoms.
Once again I was ready to get a flight over.
The doctor thinks she should feel better in a week although, of course, she can't go to work as she can't drive.
At least she has stopped up-chucking.

Other things.
The weather here is very hot again.
I saw the fireflies were back a couple of nights ago.  Oh I love them.  They are like little fairies lighting up the night.
I could sit at the window and watch them for hours.

Bit of a punch up going on here - we call it "bonding".
Tootsie is big, much bigger than Sally, but Sally is quick, nimble and bitey.
Tootsie is a gentle giant and tends to come off worse.
They remind me of American football players.
Tootsie is like a big, ole  defense something or other, and Sally is like the nippy, little running something else.  I am sure Alan knows what these are called but I do not.  I know there are a couple of 'tight ends' in the team but that probably pertains to something else entirely.
Fortunately it is play and it since they have been wrestling we have noticed them becoming closer.

Looby Loo is now giving us cause for concern.
She hasn't been herself lately and I am worried she is going the same way as Lollipop.
Fortunately she has an appointment with the vet on Thursday for her rabies shot so we can get him to give her the once over then.
I really can't face losing another one.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Smelling the roses.

HRH Princess Lilibet III is happily smelling the roses I brought in.
I must admit that creating an arrangement of beautiful roses, gently floating in a crystal bowl had not been my intention.
Far from it.
My intention had been to water the Basil plant that the poxy chipmunks keep digging up.  I was also watering the chives and the sunflowers that the rabbits seem to have a passion for.
As I flipped the hose, which had kinked for the 99th time in five minutes causing me to mutter softly, "Oh dearie, dearie me.  What a to-do.", the hose took the heads off 3 of my roses which had just come into bloom and were tarting up my front garden.
"Oh, Shut The Front Door.", said I, and, "Pee, Po, Belly, Bum, Drawers."
So, to make the best of a minor disaster I brought them in and arranged them thusly.
Here they will stay until Bubba discovers them and eats them.  Such is life with cats.

I do have some lovely roses though.
I love this rose, I think it is called a not Cowabunga (that is from the Ninja Turtles).
It means the rose produces a whole bunch on one stem at the same time.
Sort of like creating a bouquet in one go.   I think it is gorgeous.

Tootsie was not as impressed with the roses as Lily was.
Bubba still hasn't spotted them.  He is getting a little slow as he ages.

Yesterday was Independence Day.
Fireworks up and down the country.
There is a  huge display over Lake Michigan every year.   People camp out by the lake from a couple of days before.
When we lived Downtown, we used to go as we could just walk from home.  We don't now as parking is a nightmare. 
Anyway, this year was a damp squib.
Thousands of people were waiting for them to start.  Fox 6 News were there, as usual,  when a huge fog bank rolled in just before it started.
Apparently, you couldn't see a thing.  They televised it and I had recorded it.
Truly, all you could see was fog.
The booms and bangs were clear enough but barely a spark was visible.
At the end the broadcasters said,  " sounded good."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

White Tiger

The white tiger painting is finished. Well, it is if I can stop fiddling with it.
The rule is that once I have signed it I don't touch it again.  Ha, but I haven't signed it yet.
Actually, I have to wait for it to dry a bit more before I can varnish it so it isn't technically finished.

I haven't named it yet.
I might choose to use this as my Christmas card this year.
So, those of you on my Christmas list may have this to add to your collection.
I hope you like it.

Yesterday I went to the dentist for the first part of a crown.
I hate it.
My dentist is lovely and sweet but it is such a long process.  I was in the chair for almost two hours.
The root canal had already been done so it was a matter of  impressions ( I do a fair Mrs Slocombe but I wouldn't be able to go on the stage with it) ok....impressions of my teeth so they can make the crown.
That is horrid.  Stuff your gob full Play Dough which sets and then he tells you to open your mouth.
Almost impossible - your jaws are stuck together.
The next bit is worse. He has to grind the tooth right down. 
But, my worst bit was when he had to pull the gum away from what's left of the tooth and wind some stuff around it so it keeps it away.  This is so the crown can have room to fit snugly. 
Anyway, now I have a temporary crown and have to go back in a couple of weeks for the pucker one.
Needless to say, but I am saying it anyway, my gob was sore last night.
A brandy or three helped though.

4th July tomorrow.  I can't believe we are in July already.
In three weeks Lauren will be here.  Fabulous.
She can play with Sally and the poxy Da Bird toy.
She wants me to play with it all day.  I keep putting it in the closet in Alan's room.   Trouble is she knows where it is and meows and meows at the door until I get it out and play again.
Hee hee.....I have visions of poor Alan, sitting like a demented fishing gnome on the end of his bed all night, playing Da Bird with Sally.
Bless him.   He would do it too.