Getting Ready to Go

Spring is popping out here in Western North Carolina. I am trying not to succumb to its fever as I tie up all loose ends to leave Tuesday for a month in Australia. My mind bounces from one thing to another and then back again. Tomorrow is the art group meeting. I need to pick up the studio. My small piece of checked luggage has everything I need for students and then some….but no clothes yet. Monday is time enough for that.

The artwork for an exhibition has been delivered to Asheville to be taken on from there with other artists works using paper.

All those who are helping to keep an eye on Lee have been documented and scheduled. Whatever they need is somewhere in the house and directions for how to find it, how to use it and how important it is to keep things running smoothly. Photographed instructions on how to use the DVD player, the washing machine and pictures inside of cupboards on where things go….even how to fold Lee’s underwear so it fits in the drawer and will be where he looks for it.

But I did get to watch the Olympic curling match this morning after taking photographs outside of a few things the deer are not chewing on….like these small bushes with blooms in white and pink.

They are not eating the forsythia and jonquils….not yet anyway. Saving their appetite for the first sprout of hostas I imagine.

The fish pond with budding Japanese maples along its edges.

And Jay, an elderly goldfish that we named after an elderly friend who passed away many years ago. Our Jay gets lighter and lighter each year as his color falls away. I am always happy to see him wake up from the winter sleep they all go into just below the surface of ice.

The river birch’s skin is very pink this morning as its bark falls away.

Just outside the front door the creeping jenny is thriving.

One of those “know it all” acquaintances that we all have said we would be very sorry that we ever planted it. We are not. I fills in with all the other ground covers and the color is always so fresh….and so welcome after a dreary winter.

One other thing I did this morning was get out my small cans of wall and trim paints. I take a small brush and starting with the walls and corners, I cover up all the dark marks from cat rubbings and chips on the outside corners of drywalled archways. Next the oil based trim paint catches all the dirty fingerprints and scrapes from moving things about.

Now when I get back from Australia and check on Lee, unpack and do laundry I won’t have to look at those marks and wonder when I will get the time to do what I just did this morning. Instead I have just a few days before teaching a five day class titled, Prints, Pigments, and Pages – A Collaboration with Nature. Earlier this week I wrote the syllabus and checked to make sure I have all the materials and equipment needed to keep eight students satisfied.

It will be a fun class. They always are. This time I get to add marbling papers with earth pigments. The walnuts students will be using have rotted to perfection. We will make small gelatin plates in class for printing bits of Nature. All equipment for contact printing leaves from around the site is ready to go. Feathers are coming soon to make our paint brushes. I think I am ready and just hoping a friend comes along to look in on Lee while I am busy in class.

The other thing all set to go are those infernal taxes. This was always something Lee did. I really hate numbers and kept myself to just balancing the checkbook each month. Now it is this plethora of papers that need to be collected and delivered so that our tax lady can get started long before our appointment mid April. Why people actually choose this as a profession is as beyond me as those who make a living by looking deep into our other private areas.

Last night was lovely wine, scotch and company on the porch. I am sure there will be more bits of nasty weather before Spring is officially here, but it is so nice right now.

In one week I will be finishing up my two day white line printmaking class in Hobart, Tasmania. I will do a blog then.

Now I am off to pick up the studio and do my physical therapy exercises before having a bit of Stone’s Ginger Wine and thinking about dinner.

Til next week.