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pix from Maine

Historical Pilings

I got as far as Portland Maine on my long drive but it has been real difficult. So bad that I probably shouldn’t try to write about it, and so complicated, omg. Don’t worry, I’m ok. The car is ok. I didn’t get arrested. It did manage to rattle my nerves a little, stoic as I am. Hardest damn drive I ever did, and I did a bunch of long drives.

I wanted to get to Acadia a few days before art camp starts so I could hike and drive around but it didn’t work out. I’ll be there in time for art camp. Then it will be fun.

These old pilings are right in front of a huge cruise ship. I walked down Commercial St. and back. It was crowded with 2 cruise ships and busses. The lines were down the block for the restaurants. Probably not a good place for me to sketch.


This is the nonpoisonous Eastern variety of sumac. It’s just a weed but it’s pretty in the fall.

The first 3 days of my drive it was raining off and on the whole way and cloudy. Today the sun came out when I got to Maine. It looks like we might have nice weather for art camp.

I shouldn’t complain. How about all those people who paid for a beach vacation and the hurricane ruined their vacation and took the beach house too. They might not get their money back. And it will take years to rebuild.

More Sumac

The fall color isn’t at its peak, as far as I can tell, but I saw some real pretty places in the rain. When I’m driving it goes by so fast and there’s no place to stop for a photo. The sumac is between the hotel parking lot and the highway.

pix of the princess and candy from Hershey PA

My granddaughter, 10 months old

My Mom, 100 years old, my daughter and my granddaughter.

My Mom turned 100 on July 3. I think she might beat Charleton Heston who lived to 103. My Mom never smoked or drank, seemed like she didn’t have a stressful life. Now she’s in a 5 star old folks home where they’re taking better care of her than I could. She has dementia. She never did talk much but now not at all. She’s blind and deaf, so that contributed to her getting dementia. I don’t think that will happen to me. I don’t drink either but I’m going to continue to smoke to be sure I don’t live that long.

She did say hi to the baby and that’s all she said. She seems to know a baby came to see her but she doesn’t remember us, which doesn’t hurt my feelings, but I can see how that would hurt other people’s feelings.

I made the drive to PA from VA every month for around 30 years, now I’m off the hook and relieved that I didn’t have to drive it in heavy traffic. My daughter, granddaughter and son in law and her cousins went to PA for Mom’s birthday.

My granddaughter and my son in law

Special candy they brought back for me from Hershey PA.

They were undecided if they wanted to go to Hershey or Philadelphia and then went to Hershey and were glad they missed the panic in Philly when some asshole shot up a parade. I’m not watching the news, so tired of people shooting all the time.

These are special candies from Hershey that you can’t buy in the stores here. The kisses in the purple bag are hazelnut and marketed in Asia and the Middle East. The kisses in the green blue bag are chocolate truffle and marketed in Latin America. The kisses in the blue bag are yogurt filled and marketed in Asia. The kisses in the pink bag are strawberry filled and sold in Asia and the Middle East. Then we have the blueberry muffin Kit Kat limited edition, the dark chocolate Rolo and the Hershey cookies and mint bar.

So much good candy for me to savor!!!

rhubarb sponge pie … finally

I say finally because I tried a bunch of times to make it over the years and it didn’t work out right. I thought I had my Dad’s recipe. It’s my favorite pie and they don’t have it in VA. so I guess it’s PA Dutch. Here they have rhubarb strawberry pies.

Rhubarb is only available in the spring and you have to go to the farmers market to find it. I searched the stores where I bought it before and they had rhubarb strawberry pies in their bakeries but no rhubarb on the shelf. I found some at the farmers market and I had enough for 2 pies and froze some. I don’t know how it will be when I use the frozen rhubarb but I’ll try it out soon and if it works I’ll go back and get more to freeze.

The first pie I made this year came out runny but I ate it anyway and this time adjusted the recipe. Now I think I got it down!

This is $25 worth of rhubarb. Did I pay too much? I don’t know. I was just glad to find it. 4 big stalks is plenty for 1 pie.

Here’s the recipe.

1 pie shell

2 cups diced rhubarb

2 eggs

Beat the egg whites until stiff, save the yolks for the mixture.

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 egg yolks

4 tbsp flour

2 tbsp melted butter

Mix the milk, yolks, sugar, flour and butter together and add the beaten egg whites to the mixture.

Put the rhubarb in the pie shell and pour the mixture over it.

Bake it for 1 hour at 350.

How to predict financial ruin, from my perspective / stupid commercials

I was never really interested in the money market, except that I saw in advance Enron was a bit off, and I’m not psychic. I’m putting this out there to warn others who might be investors. Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. I see a trend with banks and stupid commercials.

Do you remember Enron’s commercial where a knight in shining armor is crossing a bridge? He looked like he could barely walk in the armor. They gave the slogan, “Why Ask Why”. I wondered what they were selling. The commercial made no sense. Then big surprise, they went under. Seems like they weren’t as smart as they thought they were.

Do you remember Wachovia? I was glad I wasn’t using that bank because I didn’t want them watching over me. The name sounded like watch over ya. They had a commercial where some people were walking through snow and came to a hot spring and got in the water. And they had a commercial where a kid was hula hooping and they asked you, “What can a hula hoop teach you about investment banking?” What can a hot spring teach you about investment banking? etc. Each situation in the commercials gave them some kind of lesson, but they were just so much smarter than me, because I had no clue.

By that time I had inherited an investment and the broker wanted to know how much risk I would feel comfortable with and I told her none. I asked her if any money from my account was in Wachovia and if so pull it out because their commercials show the same hubris as Enron. She told me it’s a mutual fund so the money is spread around and if one bank goes down the money is still relatively safe.

Guess what happened to Wachovia! They got fined like, $300,000,000 and went under! I laughed.

OK. Here’s the scary part. Suntrust merged with another bank and now the name is Truist. OMG. Does the new name mean they never lie? They’re the true ones? And yesterday I saw their first commercial. It’s another one that shows their creativity. A huge ball of stuffed animals is rolling down the sidewalk and stops when it comes to a little girl and a fuzzy stuffed animal arm reaches out of the ball and gives the little girl a flower. I had the TV on mute so I missed the wisdom of it but I get the message. Another bank that is so damn smart and creative. This does not bode well.

One big bank with a stupid commercial fails, no sweat. Two big banks with stupid commercials, and both of them go down, that’s a coincidence. Three big banks with stupid commercials, that’s a trend.

Investors, you’re warned.

weird things I found in my oyster

Sometimes I tell people that weird things happen to me on a pretty regular basis and that I see weird things that other people don’t see. They act like I’m making it up. Here’s proof.

I ordered 6 steamed James River oysters. They were so delicious like a real delicacy but overpriced. I doused them with hot sauce and inhaled them and wanted more but next time I’ll buy regular oysters.

Anyway, when I was looking for another morsel but there were no more morsels, I found these two baby crabs in my shells. Did you ever find a baby crab in your oysters? Just me? did you ever figure oysters would eat baby crabs? I never knew!

I’m not one who believes in omens. I’m not at all superstitious and I’m PA Dutch so I know about superstition in PA. If I did believe in omens I’d think this was a good sign. Two free crabs?! Hell yeah! I’m not eating these babies. I wonder if they are really crabs. I don’t see claws. hmmm.


corona vaccine side effects

This tattoo is a joke on the people that think they’re giving you a microchip. They don’t need to microchip you. Your phone tells them everything they want to know about you.

I had my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday at Walgreens and I’m just fine today. I had my name on the VA Dept. of Health site and they didn’t get back to schedule an appointment that week but Walgreens took appts. so I went there. Then the next few days the Dept. of health got back to me but I’m glad I went to Walgreens because they want you to wait 28 days between the shots instead of the 20 days recommended by the CDC.

The first shot was nothing. The guy stuck me without squeezing my arm like they do on TV. The second shot hurt because a different pharmacy tech did squeeze my arm. I thought, oh yeah that microchip did kind of hurt. hahaha

I saw they recommended you get some vitamin C and D which is easy enough to do. Go outside in the sun for the vitamin D. Drink orange juice for the vitamin C. I do those things anyway.

Also, they say hot sauce is a good deterrent to the flu. I don’t know if that’s true but yesterday after my shot I had a crab cake for lunch and smothered it in hot sauce. It was delicious.

I took a Tylenol before the shot and one after the shot. Then I took another before I went to sleep last night and slept great.

The pharmacy lady told me about the possible side effects but I don’t feel any. I’m not normally a person that gets the flu shot but I wanted this one and it’s free.

If you are hesitant about the vaccine I’d say, get some fresh air and sunshine the week before your shot, drink orange juice, eat hot sauce, take Tylenol, and wait 28 days between your shots. Also, get Pfizer.

In two weeks I’ll be able to travel if I want to without worrying about it.

Vermeer / real VS forgery

Sisterhood of the Muse

Girl With a Pearl Earring Girl With a Pearl Earring

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft) Study of a Young Woman, ca. 1665–67 Oil on canvas; 17 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (44.5 x 40 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, in memory of Theodore Rousseau Jr., 1979 (1979.396.1) Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)
Study of a Young Woman, ca. 1665–67
Oil on canvas; 17 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (44.5 x 40 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, in memory of Theodore Rousseau Jr., 1979 (1979.396.1)

Do these two paintings look like they were done by the same artist?

Did you ever hear the story about the artist during WW2 who did paintings trying to forge Vermeer because Vermeer had recently been “rediscovered” and was suddenly popular? The forger had a respected art dealer who was in on the con game and convinced his wealthy art patrons he found early Vermeer paintings in an attic. The rich people wanted to own a Vermeer so badly they believed what they were told without question. The forger made a nice living during the war…

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2 pastel studies of butterfly ginger

So many subjects I want to draw, so little time.

When I can’t decide on which subject I want to paint next I go out and do more sketches. It could take the rest of my life and I’ll never run out of interesting things I want to draw and paint around here. I’ll never get too much drawing practice. The more I sketch the better the chance my painting will work out.

I’d like to paint these flowers some time.

I’ll probably do a few more sketches of these flowers before I try to paint them. I’ll need at least 5 and I have 3 sketches. They’re big flowers so I will use a big piece of paper. This is a project I might be able to work on at home if I mix my greens in plein air because it’s a monochromatic color scheme, all green and white.

But, then again, I might put this project off until next year like I did with my magnolia painting. I started sketching magnolias one year and sketched more the next year then finally painted it.

It’s ok. I’m playing the long game. I have the patience and will probably live through the pandemic.