Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lightbulbs turning on

Rambles, goals.

When i get very excited and happy during contemplation, i have noticed a trend in my thoughts. I am most happy when I have planned some detail about my future. Is that a girl thing? Perhaps, but i would bet money that guys do it too. Once I mentally solve a problem, decide on a goal, or plan any new idea, I get internal happiness that lasts at least a whole day. The neat thing about this blog is that i can put it down in ink, share my ideas with others, and fine tune it.

Today I was thinking about last years summer goal, the triathlon, and how fit and trim I was. I am doing different things this summer: painting, duck raising, and remodeling the house. I was also briefly thinking about how depressing it is during the long winter months of teaching (I try not to think about teaching at all during summer). This previous year I would work, carpool home, then eat a huge meal and lay down until bed. It was a true downer, and I was exhausted every day. The house was small and cold. I would literally turn on the space heater and hole up in bed until the next morning I had to get up for work again. So one obvious problem is that we need to use our heating system more, the other problem is that i need something to help me survive the school year physically and mentally. I realized that doing my triathlon activities during the winter months might be just what I need. What better way to fight off career lackluster than to stomp it out an a treadmill right? Haha. Even better, we have a punching bag in the basement!

So the school year is nine and a half months long, I will schedule about three triathlons during the year. The first will be In the fall, just a small beginners tri to get me going. The winter tri will be only slightly more intense but enough to keep me in shape during early snows. I might throw in a 5k or 10k during early spring, and this will end in April with the big tri. My birthday is April 30th, (the big golden 30!) and before then my winter fitness deluge must officially be over. Done. D. U. N. Senior trip will be the following week, and summer will start a week after that, then I am back to happiness, where I am right now! Ahh a teachers life revolves around summer, what else would keep us going? With this plan I will stay fit thru the winter, have stress release outlets from work, and be able to relax, party, and travel all summer long. The only thing that could ruin this plan might be financial obstacles, which I fear might be around the corner, but when that happens I will just happily brainstorm a new plan! What do ya guys think??

Summer travels

Rambles, sitting by the pool

I have been on summer vacation for five weeks and I am finally sitting by the pool, reading, writing, swimming. The cat is sleeping next to me on the deck, the ducks are eating bugs by the pond. Darrin bought a pond fountain that shoots twelve feet high and the sound of waterfall is so relaxing. This country home is just glorious. I recommend it to anyone that dreams of getting out of the city. I didn't know i would enjoy this house, actually did not expect to, and it's just great.

While I have avoided the pool I have been traveling. After the kc trip, I booked a flight to Boston to visit Kelly petree. Boston was another unexpectedly wonderful experience. The first day we joined the whole city in celebrating the local hockey teams winning of the Stanley cup. If you can imagine the chiefs winning the superbowl or the royals winning the world series, that's what it was like when the Boston bruins won the Stanley cup. We stood three hours at a sports bar before getting a table, our friends waited outside for two hours and never got in. After the game, crowds of people thronged the streets, and Kelly and i were right in the middle of it. I had never heard of the bruins before that day, but we were both hooping and hollering and high fiving people in cars, honking horns, and even climbing a building, hehe. We took our chances in the celebration riot then escaped out of there unharmed. Luckily ;)

The rest of Boston was good quality time with kel, court, their dogs, and the city. We drank beer at the cheers bar, ate at a dive college pizza bar, toured Harvard, museums, parks. Just an awesome trip.

So the other summer trip, Chicago! Darrin and my stepdad wanted to go to Illinois for the annual corvette car show. We planned it as a road trip and stayed in a shady hotel to save some cash :) so Saturday, my mom and I dropped off the boys and took off for downtown. We went straight to the art museum and I saw the most famous paintings I have ever seen. They truly had iconic images from any art history class, what some people might not realize is that these are the originals. You can actually stand face to face with the exact original brushstrokes of a famous Picasso, de kooning, Monet, etc. I got to stare, from inches away, at one of van gogh's bedroom paintings. It's very neat. The museum also has mummies, statues, etc.

After the art museum, mom and I took a cab to navy pier and boarded an architecture cruise. The most educated tour guide took us thru downtown by river, directly below the historic skyscrapers. Just an outstanding experience and we learned about Chicago history. We returned to the corvette show, picked up our boys, and enjoyed great family time with only a little road trip bickering.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unfinished Painting: Blessed

Unfinished painting

Blessed

My summer goal this year is to paint and build my artist collection. Last summer my goal was to complete in the big triathlon, i trained every day. So now, I need to spend a lot of time in the basement studio painting. Until a couple days ago, I had not even stepped foot into the studio. My time had been spent so far taking care of ducks, my mom, and doing some annual chores. I also spent one lovely night catching up with Tino, my true friend in KC. Tino and I both have summer career goals, and she was already well aware of my painting goal. When i said I had done nothing, Tino was let down. She gave me the best positive encouragement and advice to get me on track. She recommended allotting just four hours a day to my art, 10-2 pm. We also decided she can hold me accountable, and I will send her pictures and updates. I really needed her support and push!

Two days later, i grabbed all my ideas and combined them to create the first summer painting: Blessing. I sketched it, journaled, titled it, and the creative process has begun. The painting started with a sketch of a heart from two years ago, some color schemes from magazines, and the following mindset: I have every thing I could want, I am truly happy, and I need to do something with that. I love darrin, this house, this summer, my education, my job, family, friends, the ability to travel, learn, and relax. I love the nature around me, the animals and frogs and owls and deer. We have a freaking cherry tree! An apple tree, a peach tree, roses, berries, a pool, a giant hammock, I have an art studio, so much to be grateful for! So yes, this first painting is called Blessed. Pictures to come.

Ducks

It's been a little while. I am in summer mode and loving it! I am in the middle of my third week of summer, and I hate to let a single minute of it go to waste. During the first week I inherited two teenaged ducks from my brother Jesse. They have melted my heart. They are so floppy, stupid, and cute. They are also happy, and I will be heartbroken when any trials come their way. Today was the first time I forgot to let them out of their pen in the morning. One time I forgot to shut them in at night, and I felt so guilty. So today I returned from the pool at one pm, and Darrin had just let them out. It was a cooler day so they were not hot, but they had knocked over their water.

Here is where it gets interesting. . Darrin pulled out of the driveway for work, and I went to the ducks to apologize. They were happy and fine, so I checked their food and water. I lifted the lid to their covered section of the pen, and discovered a six foot long black snake! The snake and I both froze, just looking at each other. I wondered if the ducks had been scared, or even noticed? The snake was not going anywhere, and I am not afraid of snakes, so I ran to the car to get my phone, of all things, haha. I snapped a full set of photos as the snake slithered out of the pen and under the storage shed. I do kinda wish i had killed it, but I have never used a shotgun before. Time to practice. We also have two giant snapping turtles in the pond. At this point, I am only wanting to protect my helpless little ducks.

After the snake ordeal, we went to Columbia today, and bought a small kids swimming pool for the ducks while visiting ToysRus. Yes, they are my kids now ha. It's been a drought and the ducks are scared of the pond still. They had also been out all day while we traveled, and I wanted to get home ASAP to check on them. So we are driving . . . And it storms like crazy!! I imagined my poor ducks going thru their first ever thunderstorm. We got home, and they were having a heyday in a six inch puddle! They loved it! Hahaha. After plenty of playtime, we put them in their pen with fresh food and water. An hour ago I checked, and no snake, yet.

Pic of my ducks

Duck one and duck two

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First week of summer

It's been a while. I am happy to say I am typing this on my new Ipad2 from home. I have some details to work out but so far this device is amazing.

Summer started a week ago, and I have been quite the nurse for the first week. I inherited two baby ducks, mom had full surgery, and darrin and I are taking care of cats and house projects. I can not say I have done much personal goals yet, but I have plenty on the list. The Annual chores are finished, as well as some house cleaning. I have also taken my car in for some much needed maintenance.

Now what? Party time! Ha. Swim in the pool, drink some beer, plan some camping or float trips, visit the gals in kc, etc etc. Art night should be at my house ASAP, and hope I get some projects started. Before then though, more nursing. Tomorrow I clean the duck pen and take mom to more doctor appointments.......hopefully a more exciting post in the next couple days!