Thursday, March 09, 2023

Dogs, Cats and a few humans...

 That's what I've been painting. Mostly dogs it seems....I've done a few florals and a great pair of workboots! That was a nice change and I'm very pleased with the result!

I can't even tell you how much I'm enjoying painting and I LOVE watercolors! I still can't even believe that I'm able to turn out work that I like as much as everyone else does, since I'm so hard on myself!

Anyway, I'm learning to have confidence in myself as well as not be so much of a perfectionist. Watercolor is mostly WATER and can't totally be controlled. That is the mystery, the challenge and the joy of this kind of painting! At least for me!

Now that I'm remembering to come here to post more often, I also feel better about this blog. :) I still haven't been inviting people over here because I feel like it's "all over the place" as far as having a direction and therefore something to help people WANT to come here to read what I have to say. I don't really like baring my soul online, but I sit and read other people when they pour out their deepest problems. I'm more likely to think about how well they write or spell. Guess I shouldn't so critical, but it's very distracting when you have to "correct" their use of certain words in your mind while you're trying to determine if you have anything to offer this person. Most of the time I just use an emoticon as my "opinion" and ever that is rare if the person has a lot of response already. I do hate to see someone make a nice post and then no one responds.

Same thing with this blog! I need to decide if I'm going to open it up or just use it as my own private "boo hoo" session or to brag on myself! :) 

Anyway, I'm working on a family's 3 dogs at this point, plus trying to "re-do" the only painting that has come back for changes...from now on I will ALWAYS send a digital copy first before mailing the actual painting! :) I also have two darling cats to do as a trade for a birthday gift I'm putting together for my granddaughter! I will post all of that when finished with everything!

Here's my last commission and a very happy client! If you read this, let me know!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Thank goodness for Watercolor!!

Years (like MANY years) ago I would get lost for hours writing in my journal. I kept a daily journal for 22 yrs...

For the past 20 yrs. it was drawing my cartoon (MinniePauz) and working on the website

From 2013 to 2020 I wasn't able to find my joy, except for being able to enjoy and make memories with my grandkids in Texas.


In January 2020, joy came back to me after getting settled back in Michigan and my own apartment!  


First it was being able to collect houseplants that gave me so much joy! I went from one (from my Daughter) to this: 
Then in April of 1921, on my birthday, again my daughter added to my sense of joy by gifting me the watercolor supplies I had been wanting! Ever since then I have been absorbed in learning to paint with watercolors!

So, that brings me up to this moment and I really hope anyone reading this has also found a source of joy! I feel this is going to last me a long time because there is so much to learn and so many paintings I want to do! To end this "session", I will share a few of my paintings that also brought joy to others!! ♥

Leave a comment and share the source of your JOY! Until next time....Dee

Friday, February 10, 2023

February 2023 Musings

*Started this on February 1...adding to it on Febrary 10...still trying to finish it*

Hard to believe I'm actually posting so soon after my last post!! LOL!! Happy February! Today is my sister's birthday, so I thought I would write about her and our relationship...maybe I can figure out what that is.

I was born 4/27/48 and she was born 2/1/50 so almost 2 yrs. apart, but in our adult years I would tease her for a few months that she was "catching up to me". Then at the end of April, I'm nearly 2 yrs older again. :) So, this leads me to the topic of this post today. We have spent 73 years as sisters...never being apart until I was a Senior in high school when I went to live with my Aunt in Missouri and she stayed with Mom & Stepdad in VA.

I'm not sure if I can condense what I want to say into a reasonable post here, but the last few years have been like not having a sister at all. After many times of asking what was wrong, what happened...I narrowed it down to politics. That was a shock to me because although we did lean different ways, we never argued or even discussed our differences. 

<Here we were in our younger days.

In October of 2019 I moved back to Michigan after 7 yrs with my kids in Tx. Each year while in TX, I would drive 10 hrs to my sister's place in IL and after a day or two, we would make the trip to our parents' home in TN. Then back to IL and I would head back to TX. I made one trip when she was having surgery after cancer, 2015 I think.

When I moved back to Mi....I didn't feel comfortable on those long drives again. She was going to visit me in 2020, but would have to bring her dog and the apartments I'm in wouldn't allow doggie guests. Everything between us seemed pretty normal with phone calls and video calls until sometime in 2021 I noticed that she never called or made any comments or posts to me on FB like we had always done. Finally, to cut this short, she said it was because of our differences on political issues. I guess it was because I voted for Biden in 2020...remember, I voted for Trump in 2016. 

It's been really hard for the past 2 yrs not having a sister to share things with or feel like someone has my back...especially someone close to me for 73 years! It has helped that I've been able to "let it go" and not fret over it. Then yesterday I'll be damned if she didn't call me to say I should start a YouTube channel! Out of the blue! LOL! She'll probably never know that it made me happy that she called me, but I will keep my fingers crossed that it's the beginning of a renewal of our sisterhood. Most likely it will never be the same because of the break from our "norm", but hopefully something comfortable that will carry us through now.

So, I finally got these thoughts written down and preserved. I'm going to try to not fret over our "distant" relationship and maybe we will someday feel close again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

New Year, New "Career"...

Happy New Year, my Friends....if anyone still reads here! :) That is my grandson who made it on the big screen at a Detroit Red Wings game/match. Evidently a goal of his!

So what is her new "career" you ask? Well, my hobby I wrote about last year, watercolor painting, has become more than just a hobby. I'm still retired of course, but have found a little side hustle by painting peoples' pets! When I got my first paints and brushes from my daughter as a birthday present in 2021, I had no idea I would become good enough to actually get PAID to do it!

I started by just doing gifts like my granddaughter's cats and then I did (as a gift) for a friend who's dog had to be put down.


After a few more of these, I started getting requests to do other people's pets and by Christmas of 2022, I had orders lined up for people to give as gifts! No one is more surprised than I am of this hidden talent! I knew I had some creative abilities, but I didn't know I would be good at watercolor!

So it's not really a "career", just a more extensive hobby! I'm learning more each day as I watch youtube videos and practice painting flowers and landscapes. I love doing it and cannot walk by my "studio" (my table) without touching up something I'm working on or even something new!

It's great to find something at my age (almost 75) that gives me something to look forward to each day especially since all of the grandkids are grown and doing their "thing", or even the younger two are so busy with their activities!

That reminds me...I've even made a few attempts at doing portraits of kids! I will end my first blog of 2023 with a collage of my people portraits! Until next time... Dee

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Still falling behind...

 But at least I'm not falling!! Oh wait...I DID fall! Story and photos to follow!

Well, here we are nearly at the end of August! I completely misplaced case you didn't notice, I posted in June! :) I have an was FREAKING HOT out there! I hope no members here have had any heat related mishaps. I also hope you've not experienced Covid or MonkeyPox! Please check in and let me know you're all doing ok. If you're not we can offer some prayers, cards, virtual hugs, etc.

Ok, so I guess I should tell you about my fall. First let me say that I am SO lucky I didn't break anything. I could possibly have a few fractures, based on the pain I'm still experiencing in a few places, but I didn't go to a doctor at the time. I may ask for a few xrays if I continue to have problems. Strangely enough, it would be my left hand, my right knee and right shoulder. Kind of odd, but so was the fall...

I was out for a morning walk along the creek near my apartment and was looking for the newest baby ducks. I had my cellphone in my left hand (with one of those pop-socket buttons on the back) this: 

I can't remember exactly what I did with that hand, but those two fingers are very sore and it's hard to hold things for very long in that hand. For instance, my coffee cup or a shopping bag. Could be just the ligaments or something, but thank goodness my phone didn't break! 

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for my beloved camera! It was hanging around my neck and when I fell, the lens part hit the deck and now the lens will not zoom out. The 30x zoom was why I wanted this camera and it was a birthday gift from my son and his family. I'm really bummed about it. I do have an old Sony camera that I've been using, but it just doesn't do the job I want! :(

The reason I fell was because I was paying more attention to finding the ducks than on the dragon sculpture behind me. I will post the pictures (of course!) taken immediately after....with my cellphone. I was very lucky that 3 firemen saw that I didn't get up right away and came to help. 

Ok, so to explain the photos, which are a little mixed up...the first one is the location where "IT" happened. I took the picture from a bridge that goes over the creek (where I always see the ducks). The grey building is the Art Center and the building with the two garage doors is the firehouse. The deck (in the 2nd pic is the home of the evil dragon that tripped me) is just to the right of the grey building.

These are the firemen after they made sure I was ok.

These are my I said, thank GOD I didn't break anything

One photo I'm not posting here is the huge bruise on my right hip. Also the injury to my right shoulder was not visible, but 1 1/2 mo. later I can finally raise my arm over my head. 

Jeez....all that just to get MORE pics of baby ducks! But, as you can see below, it was well worth it! :) 

So that was why I didn't post a blog in June! Good excuse, huh? 

Oh, and the crooked pinky is from arthritis, not a fall.

I will leave you with this picture of the precious ducks and will try again to post more often. 


Monday, June 06, 2022

The Aging Process and Photos

 What do you see when you look in the mirror today? Do you see the aging process as it is or are you shocked that it seems to have come all of a sudden?

A few years ago I was kind of in denial. When I looked at pictures of people the same age as me, I thought they were much older. But today I see that I have caught up with them!

It was this particular picture that made me see how people would could see me as an old person! I was outside for a walk and have my camera hanging on my neck. While I'm glad I'm still able to walk (most days), there's something about this that made me say "yup, I'm an old lady"! Maybe it's the natural light that shows the reality? Maybe it was the "grandma looking" shirt I had on. No, I'm pretty sure it's the wrinkles and creases in my face and neck, and the windblown "un-hairstyle", in addition to the fact that I'm 74! :)

So now I'm trying to be more realistic and "in the moment". I don't really know what that means since I feel like I'm always acting my age and taking advantage of all senior discounts! hahaha!! I'll probably still keep taking selfies to try to get a "good one", but now I'm more aware that what I get is ME at 74. 

It IS fun to use all the filters available though! Some will smooth the face, some will make me even look like a baby, but surprisingly, I really like the one that ages me even more! Anyway, I hope to just be comfortable as I am!

I would love to hear how all of you are handling your age and how you keep yourself feeling the best you can!   ....Dee

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Ooops! It's April...

 April Fool's Day is perfect to admit that I forgot to post a blog in March! I did THINK about it a few times in March, but never quite got here to write. So I should have double the news/stories/complaints for this one, right? Well, we shall see...

Actually, everything I have to tell you today would have happened in March, so I will have to post more often this month as things happen. :) As always, I will try!

So today is my Granddaughter's 19th birthday....yup, born on April Fool's Day! She's always been the most photographic child and has just become more beautiful each year! She's like a chameleon...always changing her look! :) 

Here's a collage I made showing her "then and now" with her Great-Grandmother, my favorite "peekaboo" picture, and her 1st bday vs last year's 18th cake. :) 

But NOW she has fake eyelashes and hair extensions! It's really hard to accept what we consider fake beauty when it's our own grandchild, but she's old enough to make her own decisions now and those things are the most current trends. Most of us participated in the trends of our generation, so I guess we have to let these "kids" have theirs. She's still my beautiful Claudia! :) Here's her current look!

So! That was my most current issue...the first of many April birthdays! I'm sure we all have certain months like that! Claudia 4/1, my Mom 4/3 (she'll be 92), Grandson Jude 4/6, 2 ex-husbands 4/9 & 4/12 (no, I don't celebrate those), DIL 4/23 and mine 4/27, plus my Niece 4/27...we share our birthday!

So I've been doing watercolor paintings and taking care of my houseplants. These hobbies have really helped with feeling "shut in" for the past 2 years, but I think I would have been fine anyway because I'm a very good hermit! Enjoy my time alone and do my visiting online or on the phone. I'll end this blog with showing you the paintings I did of my Mom's cats....Millie has passed on, but they had her for many years. Miner just wandered onto their deck and then stayed. :) This collage shows the photos I used as reference. Mom loved them!

Until next time...whenever that will be...Happy April!