"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In case you NEED some inspiration

Hey Y'all...
First of all, I'm thankful we did NOT get that snow that is paralyzing the East coast.  We may even be in the 40s by New Year's with rain...but at least it won't be snow.  Should melt the snow we have, too...now THAT would be a great way to start the New Year.

Next...while I usually like to work by myself when I'm creating, I've been quite interested in taking an online class that the wonderful Los Angeles artist, Mary Ann Moss, has been offering for some time now.  I've never had the "extra" money...and it seems that everytime we do splurge on something we want instead of need, something needing major repairs breaks.  Well, I'm keeping fingers & toes crossed this time, because as a Christmas/Birthday/Valentine's present, I am now signed up for her Remains of the Day online class

If you click the class link on her blog, you will see that Mary Ann is offering her journal class, as well as her Stencilry class at reduced prices until 12/31/2010.  Thanks, Mary Ann!

If you need a creative gift for yourself or someone you love, the time is right.  I'll be creating & journaling my way through the depths of winter here...and I'll share my adventure results...but NOT the class info...as I go along. 

This is a perfect class for me, as I can still work by myself, whenever I want to...which is most often in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep. Now to go clean through my piles & piles of paper & ephemera in preparation for assembling my first journal...yea!!!

BTW...my art piggy bank now has the goal of saving enough to be able to sign up for Kelly Kilmer's class, An Artist's Journal:365.   Kelly's blog is another one just jam packed full of inspiration & information...she has info on tape, pens, acrylic mediums, books, and art journals...and she shares it all with us through her blog.  Thanks to you, too, Kelly! 
***Update...Many thanks to my friend Bev for her gift to me of Kelly's class!!!  Love ya, Bev!***

Now go forth and seek artistic inspiration to start the New Year off right...I did.
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all!

We're still trimming the tree and have lots of yummy munchies & libations for grazing tonight for Christmas Eve...and scrumptious food & libations for the entire weekend, actually. 
It will be a quiet Christmas with Phil, Me & Sophie Cat, just the way we like it.

With Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas to Y'all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting better...with a Christmas update

***UPDATE***  I spoke to Kimber on Christmas Eve.  She is spending a few days in an extended care facility & hopes to be going home soon!  It was great to hear her voice & get to speak to her directly.  A great Christmas gift, for sure!===^..^===

Just a quick update, a few days overdue.  Last I heard, Kimber is still in the hospital, but has been moved out of ICU and into a private room.  She's still in the hospital, but improving, it seems.  I'm hoping I can actually talk to her soon.

Thanks for all your prayers & positive energy...and Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prayers & positive energy are needed...

I just found out that one of my best art friends is in the hospital & needs our prayers & positive energy.

Kimber and I have been exchanging mail art & email for at least 9 or more years.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest & I was in Southern CA when we first met on-line & we've continued our correspondence since my move here.  Kimber has a blog, A Journey in Creativity, which is always inspiring to visit.  Many of you will know her from Yahoo groups & art swaps, too.

Kimber is in ICU, and has quite a battle ahead of her.  If you are inspired to send good wishes her way, please email me for her address.  I was the lucky recipient of many postcards & goodies from Kimber, as well as her Mom & niece during & after my hospital adventure in October & I know she would enjoy hearing from art friends.  I'll post updates here from time to time as I get more info.

Kimber...we're pulling for you to fight through this & get stronger each day.  I love ya, Kiddo!  Sophie the Cat sends purrs & head butts, too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'd rather be in Southern CA...

It's now all of 15 degrees F. here in Parma...with the wind chill it feels like 4!!!  Winter snow storm warnings through Wednesday morning...it won't stop snowing & now the winds are blowing in off Lake Erie. 

It's 77 today in Corona, CA...headed toward a lovely 85.  Sunny, of course.  A little warm for December for some, perhaps...but perfect for my liking.  The photo here is Sophie the Cat enjoying a little sun on our balcony, which faced West...if you look closely at the railing above her, you'll see it's almost Christmas 1999, as the garland with it's big C9 bulbs is up, complete with red velvet bows.  December & Christmas as it should be.

I'm trying to get into the mood to shape & then decorate our Christmas tree here...it sure would be easier there with the windows open, sun shining & warm breezes.  We have no sun, of course...it's Clevetown after all.  Snow is still falling & blowing around.  I'm keeping the curtains closed so I don't even have to look at it.
This is our front porch today...as "decorated" as it's gonna get...I'll bet you can't even see the big candy canes with their red velvet bows from the street today.  What a pathetic place to live.

Have I told y'all lately how much Ohio sucks???  Hell has truly frozen over & we live in it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Make it STOP Snowing already!!!

OK...enough with the SNOW already.  It's the beginning of the worst possible nightmare I can have...well, aside from that one where I'm forced to be a daycare/preschool teacher...that's the absolute WORST! 

I hate hate hate SNOW.  I know many adore it...come & get all you want.  FREE!  I won't help you cart it away, sorry...it's way too cold out there for me...but I'll smile in delight as you get what you want & our snow goes away.  The scene above is how ugly our backyard has become.  Snow...dead trees...gloomy...no sun...simply depressing.  If I could, I would hibernate until Spring.  The big problem is, here in NE Ohio, this sh*t will be around through April...winter lasts half the year here. 

Our Christmas should be sunny & warm...snow where it belongs to the north & east of us in the mountains of southern CA...with the windows open, dinner on the balcony, perhaps prepared on the grill...not here.  But here we are...stuck in hell & it has frozen over.  I've escaped from Ohio twice before...I just need to do it once more & I'll NEVER come back.  Won't even think about it. 

Maybe I'll wake up & all of this will be a bad dream...a horrible nightmare.  Please, Santa...just take this nightmare away & give it to someone who wants the stuff.  If you don't like to read whining about how disgusting snow & NE Ohio are...it's probably best you stop reading my blog until May...hopefully Spring will arrive by then.  If not, I'll be raising whining to an art form!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Hanukkah

Or Chanuka...anyway, it's the Festival of Lights and we celebrate it as Phil is Jewish.  We've had this brass Tree of Life Menorah for years...I bought it shortly after Phil & I started living together in Columbus, OH.  It's covered in multi-color wax drippings from lighting the candles over the years, but that simply gives it character.  This year it sits on front of a small curio cabinet in the living room & at night you can see the reflection of the flames in the glass.  Very nice.  Our Christmas will begin after Hanukkah ends.  Phil's Dad was not Jewish, so he grew up with both holidays, and, of course, Christmas is what I always celebrated.

The first year we lived here in Parma, OH, it was a challenge to find Hanukkah candles.  Parma is so NOT the Jewish part of the Greater Cleveland area, but I had no idea it would take me going to multiple grocery stores to locate the candles.  When I finally found them, I bought a bunch & we still have some.  Phil's brother & SIL gave us some candles, too...so we're set for a couple more years. 

Tonight is the third night of Hanukkah.  I do believe Latkes will be on the dinner menu.  The first night was a beef brisket, which ends up with a sweet & sour BBQ type sauce that it has braised in for hours.  I'm simply not a fan of most meats...beef being my least favorite...but Phil enjoys it so I make it.  I found the recipe in a cookbook written by Doralee Patinkin, Mandy's Mother.  I tweak it, of course...I always do.

Basically, it's easy to prepare.  I take a beef brisket...season it with garlic salt & pepper...slice a couple huge onions, usually red onions...put the onions in the bottom of a LeCreuset Dutch oven...place the brisket on top, fat side up.  Then cover the fatty top with a bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce...some brown sugar...and sprinkle that with cider vinegar...we like the vinegar, so I use quite a bit.  Then I add a couple cans of beer...just a cheap light beer like Milwaukee's Best Light...so that the brisket is half submerged in the beer.  Cover & braise in a preheated 325-350 degree oven for as long as it takes to get the brisket tender.  Check every hour or so to make sure there is still enough liquid in there & add beer as necessary.  Our 4lb. brisket braised for about 6 hours & took maybe 5-6 cans of beer during that time.  Be sure to slice the brisket against the grain so it's not stringy & reduce the "gravy" to a BBQ sauce consistency.  We like this served with mashed potatoes.  I forgot to take a pic of the finished brisket...maybe next time.

So to all of our Jewish friends & family...Happy Hanukkah!