Wednesday, April 30, 2008

(Wish It Were Really) A Lazy Day

I love tulips--mine are just about done for the season. Wish they lasted longer.

Today's my between-auctions day off--the auction ended at 11 last night. I didn't get home til after midnight and am a bit punchy as a result. 6:30 comes entirely too early.
It's a lovely warm, sunny day and I've been drawing and Etsy-listing, while doing laundry and other domestic occupations. I had an awesome lunch of melon and slices of manchego. I found a really good manchego at the foo-foo grocery near Esther's school--spendy as hell, but SO GOOD. Nutty and mild and WONDERFUL with pears.
I'm out of pears, though. So I had cantaloupe instead.

I went to the nursery a few days ago and spent the last of my gift certificate on some herbs--cilantro and marjoram. I never use marjoram in anything, but it smells so good that I just pick bunches of it.

My lavender is happily coming back--I thought this winter would have been the end of it, but it's in a sheltered enough spot that it has survived. I've got five or six English varieties planted all together under our west window and they smell heavenly.
I'm starting to plan the vegetable garden--I think we probably had our last frost night before last, but I'm not setting out ANYTHING until mid-May. I think I'll do four tomatoes (Jetstar, Beefmaster, probably a Brandywine, and not sure what else), a ton of basil (we go through it like crazy in summer--huge batches of pesto), some Japanese eggplant, probably some string beans, and I'm holding off on melons and squash this year: No room in the new patch for them.

I already planted lettuces and strawberries--I hope they're ready to eat soon!

If I were smart I'd plant the entire backyard with veggies this summer--for the last month I've seen grocery prices increasing steadily. I'm the kind of anal, crazy budget shopper that knows prices down to the nickel and nearly all the staples we buy have gone up by a least fifty cents and some more than a dollar or two. I regularly buy the big container of shredded grana padano at Costco and the last time I went, the price had literally gone up 4 dollars. The big bag of pine nuts that I buy at the start of every summer has gone up 4 dollars also. My favorite bread has gone up, my favorite coffee has gone up, Esther's favorite mac n' cheese...

Okay, enough ranting. I'm sure all of you have been to the grocery store in the last month, so you know the song.

I DID find a great Pakistani-Indian grocery with amazingly cheap nuts, lentils, rice, etc. And they have a HUGE variety of heat-n-eat Indian dishes. They're so perfect for last minute meals, and Esther loves curries.

Monday, April 28, 2008

House Painting Update

Keep y'all's fingers crossed--I got an email from our painting company rep friend, and she finally pinned the painter down and he's supposed to start on our house the week of May 12th!
Of course, we heard this before, over a year ago, so I'm not holding my breath. But I somehow feel like it might actually happen this time.
Thanks to all of you for the nice comments! I hope the next time I post a photo of the house, it'll be a lovely pale green!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Well, this is one of the MOST frustrating things in my life right now. I'll fill you in briefly:

18 months ago we made a deal with a local Benjamin Moore rep (she happens to be a friend of ours): she needed a space for some paint demos and we needed our house painted. So we lent her our small warehouse and in return, our house would be painted. Awesome, awesome deal. Well, fast forward to today--the house is STILL unpainted. Apparently the painter the company has hired for this job just hasn't had time, or the weather's been bad, or he's got too many jobs lined up, etc etc. This has gone on and on. It's been a major bone of contention in our household for the last year or so. It's become painful to even mention. So we call the painter and leave messages, and the rep calls the painter and leaves messages, and nothing happens.

And this morning I was up in the studio painting and I see a city car pull up to our driveway and this guy gets out and starts taking photos of our house. I lean out of the window and ask what's going on and he says we have 30 days to get the house painted or we'll be fined. It's an eyesore. We'll be getting the papers in the mail next week.

I just felt like exploding.

Mostly because our house is pretty ugly, but it's not THAT bad--there are houses in our neighborhood that are literally falling apart and are an actual danger to people. Plus there are crackhouses and all kinds of awfulness everywhere in our neighborhood. And the city comes to MY house to bug ME about some paint!

But mostly I just want to scream because we want our house painted too--we HATE the way our house looks now.

Grrrrr... I'm gonna go make some phone calls.

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Little Paintings

Here's some little paintings from the last week or so. We've had houseguests on and off for a few weeks, so I haven't worked on my big stuff.

"The Would-Be Starlet", oil on illo board, 4x6 inches.

"Caught Up in Books", ink and watercolor on paper, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

"Caught in the Undertow", oil on illo board, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

"Bubble Bubble", ink and watercolor on paper, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

The weather has been gorgeous over the last few days. I actually got sunburned yesterday afternoon! *marvel*

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Garden: After the Snow, Before the Freeze

I cannot freaking believe we had snow yesterday--a steady snow that lasted for a big chunk of the day. Fortunately, the ground was warm enough that none of it stuck. But tonight we're supposed to get down into the 20's and the few perennials that are blooming are probably going to lose their flowers--I'm too lazy to cover 'em all up. I bought some pansies and violas last week and they'll probably be okay--they don't mind the cold. But still, GRRRRRR. Winter, take a hike already!

Oooh, I just realized you can see a neighbor's magnolia tree in the background:

Here's some linaria I bought impulsively when I bought the pansies--I'll bring them in tonight.

I did a lot of painting today and listed a few things on Etsy and eBay. I had a strange dream the other night about a dead artist and his widow, who had a huge, pale green moon (with sad eyes) for a face. She was standing in front of a HUGE painting of a medieval hunting scene in a snowy wood, and sighing because she hated the painting so much. Anyway, I painted a little ACEO of the moon-faced girl and it'll go up on eBay tonight.

Here's a link to my eBay page, but it won't be viewable until after 8 pm central time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Birthday Stuff

Esther's party was Sunday and the kids all seemed to have fun. I'm completely out of my element when it comes to parties--especially throwing one. I was a nervous wreck for most of the week, almost dreading it. But it all went pretty smoothly--the cake turned out okay, Esther was great (not a completely overstimulated mess like I feared), no one barfed or needed a trip to the ER, and no one was overly bored--SUCCESS!

On another note, Spring is waddling in like some tawdry old slut--there's a pancake-make up smear of green over her craggy features, and all the imperfections of winter are glaringly apparent. It's supposed to snow Friday, so that just adds to the trainwreck. And I've been so looking forward to Spring--I wish she'd quit dragging her ass.