Saturday, March 17, 2012


The days have been like beautiful June days.
All the snow is melted...
...except for that snow pile that used to be as tall as the tip of the garage roof...
...that has been shrinking day by day.
This last shot I just took on this cloudy morning. Won't be long and it will be completely gone. They're talking 70s today and 80s the next couple days! Totally bizarre weather for mid-March.
I got my first birthday card...(extra early--not till the 28th)...that absolutely cracked me up! Doesn't the old man look like he's straight out of a Charles Dicken's book?
"You're at the perfect age..."
"...not Dead." LOL!
The card is from my first love, Alan. He emailed me this picture of us he found quite a while back. I don't know who took the picture, but it was in my parent's living room. I didn't want my picture taken so Alan forced me to turn my head to the camera. Get those cat glasses! I was a 16 year old senior with my bouffant ratted bubble hair. We graduated the following spring in 1968.
Anyways, Alan and I have stayed in touch over the years...Christmas cards and the occasional email or letter. He's happily married and has been for many years. We ran our course a long-long time ago and were not a good fit, but it is nice to have friends who knew you when, you know? I am still friends with Linda--the girl I grew up next door to and have known since I was five. :) :)
Okay. (I am already giggling.) I picked the white church on the hillside to try to draw. I was pencil sketching away a couple nights ago.
But when I woke up the next day and looked--ROFL!--the whole church is leaning in the wind! Sad!
I haven't decided yet if I want to paint the leaning church as is or start over. I suppose it doesn't make any difference since we are just doing practice work. Way too sore to do anything today, anyways. Maybe tomorrow or Monday I can continue with drawing and painting.
Dagan didn't come over on Wednesday. He asked me if I still wanted him to come over on a Friday (he works half days Fridays) and help me clean the aquarium? Yup! So he said he'd just bring over the sewing machine on Friday. Good deal!
So, I filled my two blue "reserved for fish only" buckets (never have had soap in them)...
...and the three ice cream pails I had around... of which was for the fish after I scooped them out before Dagan arrived.
I got some of the water out, but I was already hurtin' by that time so I left the rest for when Dagan was here.
We were so busy working for about 2 1/2 hours that I never remembered to take any pictures. We emptied the tank and I scooped out dead plants and found the few live ones left after the heater went berserk and practically boiled the fish and plants--too long ago to admit to. While Dagan cleaned the gravel and the tank I scrubbed off the plastic cover on the top of the dresser. It was hot and windy, so we put aquarium parts out on the porch to dry.
The tank was cleaned, the gravel returned, the plants planted, the rocks arranged, and the aquarium was slowly filled. Used one of Karma's bowls to set on top of the gravel to keep the cascading water from disturbing the arrangement. Looking pretty good. Sparse, but good. I am so used to a tank filled with live plants. Going to have to make a trip to the pet shops in April. ;)
I set all the rinsed buckets and pails out on the porch to dry and Dagan headed out. They are going to come over on the last Wednesday for my birthday. Dagan said we can order something for choice. Probably Chinese. :)
Last night Karma was lolling about enjoying the summer weather. So warm we can have the porch doors propped open! In mid March!
In fact, I took these this morning. Got out Karma's wooden TV tray...her spy perch.
All morning we have heard flocks of chattery Canadian geese passing overhead. Love the honking symphony!
The tank is a little milky. They always are when they are first set up and run the bacteria cycle. Gets worse and then clears up.
One of the four tetras died of shock in the ice cream pail. So I am down to three fish. Am looking forward to buying some plants and a few fish next month. :)
I had thought of just waiting till these last few fish died and then taking a fish break...but even the near-boiling only killed about half of them off...and they are so unhappy without some plants to hide in...and if I am going to by them more plants anyways..... ;)
I am very sore today...non-funtional. I forgot the stool had two steps and kind of fell through space jarring my ankles, knees, and hips--not once, but TWICE--duh!! Dagan thought it was so funny (despite his genuine concern) and we were both laughing at me. We have a similar sense of humor. Then later, in the process of filling the tank, he did the same thing!! We roared! I laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes. But I am sore today and the jostling obviously didn't help--ROFL!
So, I am on R&R for a day or two. Looks like I am going to be perpetually behind on Cathy's class. Oh well. I have all the info and they say you can go at your own pace. Well, mine is snail--LOL!
I am giggling out loud (annoying Karma who is trying to snooze) just thinking about my church in the wind and my flopping about and landing on the foot of my bed...twice! Ahhh! God protects children and fools, right?
Have a wonderful weekend! :):)
"I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances."
Martha Washington


TexWisGirl said...

must be a prairie church, for sure. that straight-open dakota wind... :)

get some rest!

Queenie Jeannie said...

I hope you are feeling better soon! I know how much work fish tanks are which is why we don't have one!!! All three of my kids have begged for one at one time or another, and I've been FIRM!!! Besides, I usually manage to kill them trying to clean the tanks anyway.

I didn't realize you had a birthday coming up!! I better get busy - *wink*

Karma looks very happy on your balcony! I can't believe your crazy weather this year!!!

Beth said...

I am sorry you are feeling tough Rita, I hope you feel better soon.

I think you did a good job on your drawing of the church.

Toriz said...

Love the words on that card, and it's good that you still keep in touch with him. :)

I'd paint the church as is and call the piece something like, "The Leaning Church Of Fargo" or something... Just 'cause you can! *Grins*

YAY for warm weather; hope it continues for a while for you.

AliceKay said...

I like Tori's idea about the church. *winks*

That's a cute birthday card. Cute picture of the two of you, too. :) I was looking at old pictures the other night. Iggy thinks I should blog the one I showed him. LOL

The weather has been crazy all over. It was so warm in here last night, I took the storm window out of one kitchen window and one living room window so we could get some air. This afternoon after I got home from work and ate some lunch, I went outside and picked up some pine cones and a few branches from the yard, and then pulled some weeds that were already growing in my flower beds. My day lily and one of my Asian lilies are already growing, too. Lots of green coming up out of the March! Later on this afternoon, I took out two more storm windows and got two more ceiling fans cleaned and running...needed some air movement in the rest of the trailer. It was in the low 80s here this afternoon. Just plain crazy!

Your aquarium looks nice. Sorry to hear one of the tetras died.

Thank goodness you didn't break something when you "fell through space". I can almost picture you and Dagan having a good laugh with each other, tho. Karen and I do that once in awhile. :)

I hope you have a good weekend and get that rest your body needs. *hugs*

betty said...

That is warm temps for your neck of the woods; enjoy them when you get them! Lots of work to clean out the fish tank and what an adventure you and Dagan had doing so! I like your leaning church, adds character I think!


DJan said...

So sorry to hear you are hurting like that. Of course, rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL) probably doesn't help at all. :-)

Karen Smithey said...

Rita, it sounds like cleaning out the fish tank was quite an adventure! It's wonderful that you can laugh at the mishaps!

Hope the soreness eases and functionality returns. No fun not feeling well. Sounds like the weather is unusually wonderful for March! We are getting lots of rain, here, which is great since it's been a very very dry winter (we don't get any rain in the summer).

Your story about the fish tank made me think of the two goldfish that Joel had when he was little. Joel was thrilled when Jack and Thomas spent their first night here in their little fish tank. The next morning when I got up, Jack was swimming a little bit cockeyed. I couldn't figure out why, until Joel told me that he had been "petting" him. We had a big talk about petting our dogs and cats but NOT our fish. Amazingly, Jack the fish lived to a ripe old age--we called him the fish who wouldn't die.

Dee Ready said...

Dear Rita,
I do hope that you'll feel well enough sometime before your birthday to treat yourself to a trip to the pet store so that your aquarium will be just what you want it to be by the time the big day rolls around.

Sorry to learn that you are feeling sore and stiff. Those two falls through the space surely didn't help. But it's good that you and Dagan can laugh out all this.


laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

about the church...i was going to say the same thing Toriz said..."the leaning church...of...fargo" haha! oh well...that's what i get for being late! your pencil sketch ,looks good so far...

it's been a couple of days since your post, hopefully by now you're feeling not so sore...and healing!

sounds like the temp there is about the same as here in north florida! weird weather!

i have a fish tank too! always have. love relaxing to watch the fishies swim about! but they can be a bit of work when you have to empty & clean. if you have a really good can get away with changing the pads (and rinsing a couple of times rather than replacing so often), and just change out like half the water once in a (great)'s worked for me anyway.

Happy Early Bday Rita!! enjoy our nice weather...although i know you prob wish for more snow...and if you get it, you can blow some of that cooler stuff my way! :)

OH, HI karma!! *pet* *pet* *scratch*

Carolyn Dube said...

I love those cat glasses!!!! How cool that you know people from "in the day"!!

Anonymous said...

This was a delightful post Rita! I'm sorry you are sore though. Your church isn't to bad. Just keep practicing!

Cowgirl Red said...

How fun to get a card from an old beau! Your fish are lucky to have you. Others may have flushed them already. Terah

giddy up said...

Hi Rita.... I haven't had much time to visit, I have this new position at work and I have been working too much. Love the picture of you in high school... the glasses are great! You're drawing is good too, keep on working on it! Aren't you lucky to have such nice weather... we are supposed to have snow here tomorrow morning. If I not get to come back soon... have a happy birthday!

carol l mckenna said...

Hmmmm ~ don't know where the time went ~ busy ~ You also ~ lots of great pics and birthday coming up ~ hope you will be feeling better ~ Church drawing is good ~ it is like anything ~ practice, practice, practice ~ that is what I do anyway ~ Hugs to you and Karma ~ ^_^

pauline said...

Love the card! Hilarious...

A few words on the church me crazy, but rather than re-draw the whole church, is it possible to change the base? (as in, the earth, the ground) in your sketch and cut the page (or canvas) so it would be parallel to the church? Just seems like so much work to re-do the whole church, and from what i see, it looks quite good as is (except for the howling wind, of course). :-) It's the ONE mistake we all make as artists - not pull back often enough during the process to just "have a good look" before it's too late.

Good luck Rita! Let us know what you decided to do with it. xoxo

Crazy Life of a Writing Mom said...

That card is awesome! I absolutely love it LOL! And your birthday is coming so soon. That's exciting ;)

Unknown said...

perhaps you could trim and square up the edges of your paper and make your church more perpendicular ....

I'm glad you had someone to help you with that huge job - but sorry you hurt yourself - rest up!!

thank you for stopping by my blog today and leaving such a nice comment ... enjoy your day!

Intense Guy said...

Oh I LOVE that photo of you and Andy!!!


Those surviving fish are like you! Strong, plucky and determined!

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Enjoyed seeing a picture of you from high school.

I use to have fish for awhile too, but took a break. Would enjoy having them again. Those salt-water tanks with tropical fish always look so beautiful. However, they seem a bit more labor-intensive and costly than a standard tank.

The weather is crazy, isn't it? That snowpile really went down fast.

Anonymous said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better my cabins are always sinking. Hope you feel better soon. I think I finally make it through the horrible headache season I was in. *cross your fingers and toes* so far so good today.