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Archive for November, 2007

Almost Turkey Day!

Tomorrow is the big day. It is our first turkey of the season. And as such all 18lbs will be consumed at an alarming rate. The Christmas bird lasts much longer and occasionally some of it even gets frozen. But the first bird always gets devoured. On the farm, Thanksgiving (and Christmas for that matter) are days of celebration for everyone. The horse gets extra apples. The goose will get some celery (which he likes almost as much as watermelon) and our dog Cisco and Ollie the gallery cat will get some turkey. By the time it is all over, everyone will be laying around belching with their tummies pointed skyward. Ahhh, so much to be thankful for.

The barn cats get the large pot of fat drippings and skins and such. They smell it cooking and will all be lined up in the windows watching and waiting. The are so ramped up by the time I bring it out that they are a snarling pack of wild beasties. As I trip my way through the dozen or so rabid looking felines. I speak softly to myself, “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of death shadow … No that’s not it, through the shadow of death valley… Ummm, …damn, I used to know it! ”Occasionally I wonder if at some point they aren’t just going to climb me like a tree and take me down.

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Christmas Comes Early

So I was playing with my Christmas present this morning. Ahem… yea, I know. Christmas is still 5 weeks away. But I mean, come on. I had to try it out to make sure everything worked the way it was supposed to, didn’t I? Warranties don’t last forever.

Now I’ll let you in one of my painters secrets. I am a gamer. They actually help me be more productive while painting. Now I would really like to say I play something more age appropriate like trivia or Brain Age or even mahjong (well, maybe in another decade or so.) But the truth is, I love first person shooters. Blood and Gore, Bring it on! As a woman of 40 it is slightly embarrassing that a PS2 was my Christmas wish. (Mind you, I didn’t go for a PS3. Which just goes to show you that I am sooo…not cool. Do they even say cool anymore?) Currently I am playing Black by EA Games. It had been advertised as gun porn. It is an older game (Once again my uncoolness showing through.) I love it.

When I think of gamers, I tend to think of pimply faced teenage boys staring glassy eyed at the TV for hours on end. And Ummm, yes I have been known to play it until I think my carpal tunnel can’t take it any more. I wonder if arthritis pills would mean I could play longer. Hmmm.

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Feeling Crusty

I am dragging a bit this morning. I’ve had my usual jolt of caffeine courtesy of diet coke. Ah… sweet nectar. Still not 100% yet. I went to bed last night at a moderately reasonable hour. But still I tossed and turned and couldn’t quite pass out. I usually try to squeeze as much out of everyday as possible. And so sometimes when the day is done I rehash How I could have sqeezed just a little bit more out of it. Now, thats not to say I don’t take any me time. I try to walk 2 miles everyday and I enjoy a hot (as in scalding my butt pink for 20 minutes after its over, hot) bath. So I lay awake last night wondering how I’ll manage to get it all done and make it all work. I tried to do some relaxation techniques with moderate success. Anywho, somewhere in the wee hours I faded off.

WARNING! The following paragraph contains muttering and whining. Please move on to the next entry if you don’t want to have the seeds of a crusty attitude implanted.

I recently finished reading The Secret by Byron someone ( think his name was Byron?). Some of my artsy friend had been talking about it and got my curiosity up. The jist of it is visualize what you want, Send that thought energy out into the universe and it will manifest itself unto you. The catch is you have to Believe that it will work, for it to work. Your cancer will be cured if you believe it enough. You will become rich beyond your wildest dreams…just believe. I follow some practices of visualization but it is the Believing that I struggle with. Making small things happen like a cup of coffee or a parking space easy enough. That I will be healed of being a diabetic. Hmm… can’t quite muster the blind faith. And yes, I think in many ways it really is just a spin off of religion. Both require faith and a certain amount of ritual. And if things don’t work out the way you want, well then there is no one to blame but yourself. You just didn’t believe it enough. Try harder.

Apologies. I really do employ visualization techniques for my personal life as well as business. And I believe they are successful in most cases or I wouldn’t continue to do them. There was just something about the book that smacked of a marketing ploy on the desperate. Probably just my mood and tomorrow I will be extolling the virtues of it. Fickle woman that I am.

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Beware the Bad Cat Who Holds A Grudge

It is a cold and drizzly day today. It is Sunday, but I came into the gallery to get some painting done. I love Sundays. I get to keep my doors locked and work in undisturbed tranquility. Well, except for the cat.

The lighting sucks, but I am still determined to get some actual work done on my latest painting. Taking a break here to plug in a few words for todays entry. My cat Oliver, has obligingly followed me from my drafting table to the computer. And is hunched over my shoulder purring loudly. His little eyes are closed and he looks completely adorable. Every few minutes he gives me a gentle head butt and increases the volume of his purring. This is his way of reminding me that he is there and that he has nothing but good intentions.

Oliver has a Jekyll and Hyde personality, so it is important for him to be as sweet as possible when he wants something. The Evil Ollie is someone to keep your eye on. If he is in a mood or if you have offended him in some way. He will wait up to half a day for you to be unaware, so he can dish out his punishment. Punishment usually comes in the form of a slap and fake bite to the leg accompanied by a stern Meow! But so far today he is all cuddles and sunshine. Trying to sit on my lap while painting, to sit on my lap while reading and currently stealthily trying to get to my lap while on the computer.

A while ago, I was sitting on the couch in the front room with someone talking. Oliver jumped up on the couch and placed his front feet on her chest and examined her closely. Then for absolutely no reason, he slapped her! You could actually hear the tiny pads smack as they connected with her cheek. I nearly fell off the couch in laughter but then quickly scolded him for it. He always meows as if to say sorry, so sorry. But then he sits down smugly, looking quite proud of himself. Oddly enough, the Evil Ollie behavior seems to be quite attractive to actual cat people. A type of person that I don’t consider myself to be. He has his own admirers who come to visit him regularly at the gallery. They seem to find the snubbing and the biting and the slapping quite charming. They try to garner his favor with toys, treats and compliments. He, like any good ruler of the universe, looks them over, blinks, then slowly turns his head away as if to say, “I’m bored, you aren’t even worth the effort it takes to look at you.” and promptly ignores them.

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New Kittens

It is November in Iowa and so the weather has turned decidedly chilly. Our main barn cat, whom we call Little Gray has had a second batch of kittens this year. This late in the year, they don’t stand a chance of surviving outside. So, we moved the whole family into our west porch (which by the way is soon to be ripped off and replaced.)There are four kittens in all. Three tabby grays and one black. Currently they are tennis ball shaped and staggering around like little drunks. Sooo cute.

Little Gray has single handedly (pawdedly?) doubled our barn cat population this year. Her first batch was seven in number. When one of our other females was accidentally killed we took her kitten (one mind you, only one) and put it in with LG. She took it in as one of her own and her whole brood has thrived. So now we have 4 more, which brings her total up to 11(or 12 depending on how technical you want to get.) Shesh!

LG is queen of the farm. Being one of her kittens means living a privileged life. Well… that is until she pops out another batch. Then they are smacked down like all the rest of the riff raff. She owns the yard. Cats don’t even dare step into it or she freezes them with an icy stare. Thats all it takes. One cold look from her emerald eyes and they hiss at her and run off like they’ve caught fire. Or when two other cats are squabbling in her space, she promptly runs over and kicks the tar out of both of them, and tah-dah! peace is restored.

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