Busy Monday – kittens and watercolor

Today was the day the two kittens (now six months old) went to the vets to be neutered. Got there messy and stinky, even though I tried as best I could to clean up the carrier using some paper towels I had and the doggie clean up bags outside the office… Anyway, lots of paperwork and then I was off.

Drove the same road I went down the other day and took a few more reference photos of the hills and barns that I like there. The brush and grass was covered with a light coat of ice so things were quite sparkly.

Cruising For Clouds 29 Jan 2018//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Then I got a bagel and coffee and headed to Hand Hollow. What the heck – it was 42F so I sat at a picnic table and painted awhile. Gotta say that ice covered pond still eludes me. It’s openings are dark – no – filled with color, yes but dark, grey areas – no white. And of course like water the colors change with the light. Ack.

watercolors //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Oh well, painting that didn’t quite work is better than no painting at all, right? Learning through failing. Got it. Mainly I get that I need to re-find my darks – which I had, but they seem to have vanished. Also wishing i had a palette with bigger mixing areas. Hard to mix up enough on the tiny watercolor box. Hmmmm.

The kittens came home around 3 pm and were wobbly and funny and no way were they going to “be quiet”. Now we’re all ready for some sleep.

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Frost

It’s not winter without stopping to smell the… no… sniff the… not that… admire the frost crystals!

Frost January 2018//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Underpainting

Sometimes I just really need to paint. I knew that was true this morning when I heard the price of something and my brain did a painterly conversion: that would be ten blocks of watercolor paper. What would give more pleasure, for longer? Puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?

Anyway this needs to really dry before doing the dark distant trees etc.

the inspiration:

Weather of January

Poured all morning, windy, dark. I look up this afternoon and the sun’s out. I stick my nose out the door, as they say, and there’s a monster rainbow to the north so I hop in the car and take off to chase some clouds. Here are most of those photos.

23 January 2018//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Kittens Becoming Non-Kittens

I had this head-jerk, omg moment the other day. For the past week plus I’ve been all “ooooh, my sweet snuggler, my adorable little hugging kitty boy/girl, you want to give me smooches and I’ll give you smooches right back, all the head butts you want, oh so purry, I love you, all the eyeblinks and more, oooh let me give you kisses…”

Wait.

It’s been awhile but suddenly my head jerks up and I think – wait, this I have known before. I’ve been here, seen this, and have already scheduled the little operations that this is all about.

My kittens are growing up! Waaaah!

You know kittens – those adorable little fluffernuts of brainless fun and excitement. Not to say that kittens aren’t adorable and often snuggly etc but most of the time they’re already off on their next adventure. That’s why so many of my photos of them are them blissfully asleep, so perfectly beautiful and peaceful and sweet. (and why last week I did my first Facebook Live episode – five minutes of adorable cat siblings snoozing together in all their snoring, twitchy loveliness.)

But this week – this week Harry’s like ‘come on, I’m here to lick your face because I love you so much. I’m going to wrap myself around your arm and purr. Hey, can I follow you up the stairs and hey will you pay attention to me. Like NOW?!” Meanwhile Ginny is oooh I’m going to reach through the banister and watch while you hang up your backpack because I love you so much and am so excited you’re home and I love you so much. Hey and can I sleep right by your knees? And don’t I look adorbs while I’m running into the cellar where I’m not supposed to be?

Yeah. That first rush of hormones. Super adorable. Super loving. Yup. Please let it stay just like this for one more week.

A Generation – a musing

I was thinking about generations yesterday as most of the country observed Martin Luther King Jr Day.

My parents’ generation (and mine were on the younger side of it) – The greatest generation – born in the depression, fought and sacrificed in a world war. They buckled down at home, rationing, recycling, women working while men were off to war, building and gathering around a common cause. Were things perfect? Totally not so. There was much discrimination and inequality and when the men came back, women were sent back home or relegated to lower wage jobs.

My generation (and I’m really on the tail end of it on most scales) – The baby boomers, the kids of that generation. We grew up during the “korean conflict” and “vietnam”, neither popularly understood or supported war actions and the cold war which had us hiding under our school desks so we’d know what to do if someone dropped a bomb on us. (PS I am pretty sure the answer to that question is die, perhaps mercifully die.)

But here’s what I was really thinking about. I was pretty young when John Kennedy was assassinated. Such a clear moment even so, with all its somber ceremony and the unexpected killing of his accused murderer. Ruby died long afterward almost an afterthought. The young president, full of hope and vigor was not perfect by any means either but he was inspirational as a leader, even supported the arts. We remember his words today and his promise as a leader taken away too young.

His successor, Lyndon Johnson took on the social missions that Kennedy had set out and accomplished much while simultaneously getting mired in Vietnam. He and his wife underscored the beauty of our nation and pointed out that we needed to preserve and appreciate it.

Then Martin Luther King Jr was killed.

Then Robert Kennedy was killed.

I was older then, old enough that I was taken with the message of both men, too young to do much about it other than being inspired by the ideas. It was a blow to think that someone would remove such leaders from a world that so needed them.

Then Nixon. Seductive in his promise of ending Vietnam. Slimy in almost every other way. There was a summer of his VP being against the wall and leaving. Then it all began to crumble around him. It was scary and yet the process – the hearings, the news reporting, and ultimately his resignation and replacement – was all orderly and reassuring. The constitution holds because people want what’s right and this isn’t.

Like the assassination of Kennedy, everyone hoped we’d never go through anything like that again.

In the years since, government has really faltered. Too much lobby money, too much money behind elections, obviously no need for government experience to rise to a high office. Much political finger pointing, too little discussion or interest in seeing the needs of the nation. Can you imagine anyone saying right now – we should start a new space program. Or invent something that will really clean the air or oceans. We should develop non-polluting transportation and power…

I heard about a guy who wants to run for senate and he’s freaking 95. Come on – surely there’s someone younger available, and frankly I’d like to see some folks younger than me starting to come up. We need new ideas and energy and they need to start getting the experience.

We had a young fellow recently as president and he got shut down by the politicos at every turn. And the current administration would apparently like to erase all traces of its predecessor for no other reason than he was black and young and smart.

Anyway, I was wondering about the impact of losing those three leaders on our generation, with the dollop of September 11, 2001 on top. I think we are in need of new leaders to help us to action but in the meantime we only have us.

Sunday Off

I had breakfast and then drove home the long way through Chatham, enjoying the sun even if it was in the teens. Felt warmer. Stopped for gas at the Stewarts in Chatham and cleaned my windshields and put the end of the wiper fluid in the car hoping it might warm up the front nozzles (and it did). I did a little (emphasis on little) vacuuming with my cute little yellow vacuum cleaner. The cats didn’t think too much of that, even though it’s much quieter than my old vacuum.

When the cats returned to their perches (purr-ches?) I admired Harry’s ability to spring back from vacuum-induced-panic.

I did a little painting:

And now I’m writing. All in all a good day off!