Back On Track

I walked through the meadow a couple days ago to check on the house and deliberately get close to this pile of red soil near the gym. I pause there to appreciate how much it reminds me of being in Australia.

And you can see where it was dug from the rise behind under the trees. So there is more where that came from. I love it. And when I got to the new house, the drywall had been delivered to every room.

Naturally the following day I walked back over expecting it to be hung, at least in one room….not so. But one of the men I stop to have coffee with told me that if the drywall hanger is still the tall worker (6’8″) then it will be hung quickly. So tomorrow morning I will go back over to see if it is underway.

Last week I also had a chance to walk along the river. I took the down stream side and endured hundreds of mosquitos just to see how the high river was affecting the shoreline.

Geese swimming close to the path,

With so much soaked soil, a tree toppled taking some of the trail with it.

The mimosa trees are in full bloom. Pink powder puff blooms that don’t last long before covering the ground beneath.

Today I packed a couple more boxes and told the cleaning lady to not come back for four weeks instead of her usual two. By then the big moving truck that my son is going to pack full will be gone with much of the furniture and artwork.

I had some time to draw in my building book.

These two by fours are getting tedious. The book is close to the halfway mark and things should get more interesting once the drywall is in. Next will be shelves, shower tiles and doors, texturing walls and painting before flooring and cupboards arrive. The appliances are waiting in storage.

Packing so many of my books to take with me. I have had the grocery store bagger bring out sixteen boxes that held four gallons of milk each. Any larger than that and it is hard for even movers to pick up when loaded with books. Those sixteen should hold just the ones in the living room. Those big coffee table books that were in the den took three boxes. They are so heavy! I even found an old hardcover Australian cookbook. I might make myself a Pavlova with my new oven once I get settled. Too bad we don’t have passion fruit here….

Til later…..

Off the Walls!

Late in the day, a very busy day. Just downloaded pictures and poured a gin and tonic. Yesterday a workout at the gym and walk over to the house.

Insulation is complete and the builder told me the drywall will be finished by middle of next week.


Today a shortened workout and walk at the dam…..

Humidity and restless sleep seemed to have gotten the best of me….until…

The helper with no fear of heights and a willingness to clean walls and touch up with paint have resulted in this.

Tomorrow it all goes into boxes. Today it was enough to wipe off years of dust on all the high hung African masks and foundry molds.

Most everything has a planned place in the new house. I drew up sketches of wall spaces with the pieces that go on those walls. The first thing I see when walking into my new house will still be the Australian Aboriginal art woks. The fun is working out new configurations.

And because I was exhausted before even driving home this morning, there is nothing like a car wash to cool you off and make you feel something is being taken care of.

Til later….

Moon, Books, Walks

I did get up at five a.m. to photograph this rose-toned moon the other morning. It hung so heavy in the sky before it gave up any more ideas of floating and sank into the trees.

Walking over to the house paid off two days ago with the discovery of insulation being almost completely installed.

But while there was nothing new happening I did find things on the site to draw in my building book.

This morning I headed over to the river. It was so high with not much movement, that there was a smell of rotting plant life. But still beautiful to see early in the morning. I won’t even bother to walk on the downstream path because that is bound to be covered with overflow.

And the garden at the foot of the bridge.

On the walk this morning a couple passed me from behind. From under his t shirt flowed the perfect pattern of diagonally plaited basket weaving….down both arms to the wrist. I couldn’t help but wonder if the pattern curved around and down his chest to finish in a large potato basket on his stomach. But enduring the pain of all that to end up with potatoes just did not seem logical, and I was happy not to have asked him. Tattooing is beyond me. The pain and that creepy blue of impending doom…..

I have called the moving company wondering if I should get on a list for an undetermined date in August. They said not to do that yet and to wait til mid July to see if I have something affirmative from the builder. So far no one is scheduled in August. They have worked with my builder before and know he is pretty accurate in his estimates.

Then I asked my electric company how I change accounts from here to there and what could they recommend about their internet service. Simple, just call when I am ready and they have a plan that is sure to give good internet at a much lower rate than I now pay for an outside company. This moving just gets simpler and simpler. All I need to do is tape together more boxes and fill them.

And before I could stop myself I bought two more books this week. I read about Suzanne’s on a FB feed from an Asheville, NC gallery where she will be giving a talk. I had seen her work and admired her dedication to documentation. In fact while I was doing a two week artist residence she came down for one week to record the Nature of the area. So, while I was on the internet ordering her book, I added my one and only Beatrix Potter. One artist draws the brutal reality of road kill and the other dresses her little animals in perfect attire for wandering about in their homeland.

Both of them make me want to draw, draw, draw. I think the last thing in a box to be moved will be my pencils and watercolors. I am missing Burke and Wills while they are safely tucked into that old field portfolio. But I need uninterrupted time to get back to their story.

I started to read Suzanne’s book this morning. Only meaning to read the preface…but found it hard to put down. I can appreciate how she says the art is not enough and needs her words to complete the story. And I so admire those Nature artists who spend so much time with research and live (or dead) specimens. It is a good book and more than worth the twenty dollars it costs.

It makes me wonder if I should take one of my blank journals, made before I packed up the studio, and dedicate it to documenting all I see in the meadow between my new house and the gym. In just the few months I have been walking through there it has changed so much. And it would be perfect timing to start in late summer to see the landscape and all it supports die off only to re emerge next spring and peak into full bloom like it was earlier this month.

It is going to be another hot humid day…..pack boxes or read?

Til later….

Time Again…..

Where did the four days go? If I don’t write a blog today then the photos and thoughts just pile up.

Saturday was my birthday. I usually make my bed as soon as I vacate it, but was so taken by how inviting it looked to just get back in… I didn’t.

I am in the third day of my 79th year.

So I have watched the second hearing of the January 6 Insurrection, had some lunch or maybe just some crackers, washed the dish detergent¬† bottle because there was some dirt in the grooves, thought about packing some more boxes, books preferably, but instead just ordered two more books…Suzanne Stryk’s In the Middle of Somewhere, and a hardbound on the drawings, illustrations and artwork of Beatrice Potter. They will come in two days and sit next to a book I bought last week, Making a Life by Melanie Falick. I can’t settle down to just opening them up and reading…I just wanted them to give me places and things to think about when I can get back to drawing in a designated place.

But in my defense, I worked out at the gym, walked the dam, grocery shopped and picked up a breakfast drink before settling in for the hearings.¬† Now I poured a glass of wine to prattle on here. Speaking of which, I found these in the grocery store and had to bring them home at only $7 each. This was the first Australian wine I ever had a chance to buy here in the states and although it probably is not the best, it does have a sentimental value. But it is true what that snooty wine shop owner told me years ago in New South Wales, “You Americans will buy anything with a critter on it.”

Aged in barrels it says…probably its second week of fermentation and then bottled for the US. And can you believe I am saving these for a special occasion while I sip a box red.

Back to the last few days….Walks. This morning the dam…

And a couple of days ago over to the house,

All lined up correctly.

Hot and cold for master bath shower. And drawn in the book…

Getting older makes me think about holding onto memories. Probably has something to do with leaving this house…Anyway I did write a very short short story and if it was not so terribly hot and humid at noon today, I would have gone out to lose myself like Lillian in the grasping of memory with shadow. I do have two shirts to iron so I can touch base with her that way.

Four more boxes were packed yesterday. About all that is left in the studio is the empty shelves that will follow me over to new walls only to hold the same old things.

The fixit man came the other day and did everything he needed to do, and a new bathroom faucet has been ordered for the guest bathroom vanity, so he will be back to finish this week.

Tomorrow I will go back to the house to see what might be new there. I am hoping insulation at least. It is getting harder to find things to draw.

At 4:30 this morning there was the most beautiful big fat orange moon setting on the horizon while giving a wonderful glow to the bed. I am going to watch it float about tomorrow morning before making the bed, feeding the cats, taking my shower, dressing, wondering about makeup and hair, remembering that splash of Jean Nate before heading back off to the gym, a visit with old men and coffee before coming back to the ironing I just postponed while doing this blog and drinking two thirds of the glass of wine.

Til later….