Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday Bluesday

Muddy Waters' Mississippi Delta Blues is appropriate for this Tuesday Bluesday.  Another year, another flood. I have no flood pictures to share from this year because I'm starting to get the attitude that after you've seen one flood you've seen them all. Speaking of seeing them all....



 Yesterday I was at the post office, waiting in line for my turn to mail crap. As I was waiting a short, hairy, highly energetic man came bursting through the doors. He took an annoyed glance to the old hag who was at the head of the line. I understood his annoyance, she was first in line but she was standing in the middle of the queue. I think he took this mutual annoyance as some sort of new comradeship so he decided to lay his issues on me. I didn't care, I had to wait anyways, plus I have an outer ear infection in my right ear so I can't really hear anything, so what was the harm in letting him vent. He was having issues with obtaining an identification card. This man looked like an authentic American so I gave no side glance at any illegal activity. He told me he's originally from New York and that his birth certificate had burnt up. Whoops! So the driver's license station told him he can't get an ID without any prior ID, birth certificate, social security card and all that. He chuckled at the ridiculousness that he basically needs an ID to get a copy of his burnt birth certificate but can't get an ID without a copy of his birth certificate. As a person who was told, by the IRS, that I don't exist, I can empathize with the man. I nod my head and smile as he gets more dynamic. He then tells me that the people at the driver's license station told him that he needed to go to the post office and ask for a "Q Form", fill it out and it should take care of his issues.  I thought that sounded easy enough. Then it was my turn to step forward and mail my packages. As I was being waited on another employee opened the window next to me. The spirited man from New York stepped up and said zero of what he had just told me. He looked the employee straight in the eye and said, I need some form to fill out so I can get my birth certificate. Then he becomes irate when the employee's jaw drops to the floor and gives a blank stare. She had no idea what he was talking about. Needless to say the man stomped out of the post office, no form, no birth certificate and no ID. Why am I sharing this man's embittered tale? Just to remind us that when we need help we need to ask for it in a way that's going to result in success. I believe if that man had taken a deep breath, asked for the "Q Form" and gave a brief summary of what he was after he would have left with something. If he hadn't left with a solution to his problem he may have left with more information to help him get what he needs. Instead he blew up, at people who had nothing to do with his initial problem, and walked out with less than what he walked in with. Sometimes we just need to stop, meditate for a moment and then continue.
I know I was going to share the next recipe on that list of summer cocktails that I found but I have to share the "Wine Slushy" instead. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to participate in a garden tour. I painted in some gorgeous gardens and then ended up at the last stop which happened to be a winery. They have really great wine and were offering up the wine slushies. I took this picture of a woman taking a picture of her wine slushy. If you think wine slushies sound a little white trash your ears probably aren't deceiving you, but on a hot day they're kind of fun. The winery had a machine that was keeping the wine slushy but a quick search on the internet and you can find hundreds of recipes to make some at home.
This recipe I found at Cooks.com sounds like it might be worth trying.
STRAWBERRY-WINE SLUSH 
1 (6 oz.) frozen lemonade
1 1/3 c. Sauterne wine
16 ice cubes
1 pt. fresh or frozen strawberries

Put all in blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately or pour in freezer- proof pitcher. Cover and freeze. Makes 5 cups.
Here's the painting I did of the vineyard. It's a small, 9x12, oil on canvas panel. Oil paints are not my strongest medium and the painting of green on top of green is a struggle most artists have. I'm slowly getting the hang of it and I had some good friends to keep me company and a bottle of wine in my bag for when I finished. It was a good time to say the least. Good painting, maybe not, but good time indeed.
This is a pastel that I did earlier that day. Another small, 9x12, on Art Spectrum. I set up camp in an amazing garden. The nice couple who owned the garden were generous and let me paint several scenes on their property. They had tried this new thing called bag gardening. You simply buy a bag of dirt with fertilizer, cut a hole in it and plant your vegetable.  GENIUS! She said it seemed to be working really well and that the best part about it is that there's no weeding, just watering. It's not the most glamorous looking garden but who cares?
Here's the book I read this week. It's horribly smutty and oh, way so trashier than I expected, but it was fun.  This is one I got at the dollar store. I've got a box of books I'm getting ready to take to Goodwill and this one is destined for said box. I wanted to read it before I got rid of it so that's the reason for reading this "romance novel". I don't read romance novels so I'm guessing at what they are and this is as close to what I've heard they're like. It's about a 35 year old woman who's newly divorced and living in LA. She's trying to get her social life back on track and makes friends with some odd ducks, one who's affectionately referred to as "Psycho Girl". In order to sound smart the author throws in phrases like, "masochistic sycophant" and a Harry Dean Stanton siting. In all honesty the way it's written it's pretty entertaining. Definitely worth a dollar, I just hope Goodwill doesn't charge more than that.

Daily doodle time. This is a quick sketch for something I'm working on to, hopefully, submit for a juried show.
One last bit of info for any artists reading this.

I had some brushes that needed a miracle and I found it. When I went to the store to find a good brush cleaner my brain nearly overheated. There are about 2,147 brush cleaners to choose from. I took a chance on this Winsor & Newton and am over the moon with the results. It cleaned 15 year old brushes and made them practically like new and in a very short time. I thought they were going to have to soak for days, but most of the brushes were good to go after 4 minutes. OK, no more free advertising from me this week. Go out and get your paint brushes dirty!

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