Monday, April 22, 2013

Baseball and Bikes, Motorbikes

None of us were really up and at'em on Saturday.  Unfortunately that meant missing Bark to the Park which we'd all been looking forward to.  I didn't get much sleep but headed to the USC vs. Kentucky baseball game with Daniel anyway.  Baseball is my FAVORITE sport.  I love the game and I love a man sporting those uniforms.   It was a lovely spring day, lots of sunshine, cool breeze.  The Gamecocks ended up sweeping the series.   

 Sir Big Spur even crowed a few times during the game which was awesome.
My favorite part of the day might have been having a reason to walk across the Blosson Street bridge. I really should get out and walk around my city more.  I did have my professional camera with me but haven't downloaded those picts yet.  Maybe I'll do a season in review with all of those.

On Sunday I met Jamie and Janie in Chapin for a motorcycle ride.  They'd preplanned an early meeting and a ride to Clinton to have lunch at the Ocean Seafood House, then back.  The ride was about 2 hours total and lots of fun.  I just love seeing things from a new perspective and I promise you there are so many things that you can see from the back of a bike that you just can't see from the window of a car.   AND if there is anything that I like more than a man in a baseball uniform it's a man on a bike.  tee,hee. 

Ms. J leading the way.  She is so super cool on that bike it makes me want my own.

Jamie and I after the ride.  He's a great co-worker and buddy and is always looking out for me.

My motorcycle mama get up.  Do I look cool? Do I look biker chic mean?  lol Tried to add a little pink to soften it up.

"Fight Like a Girl. Drink like a Man"

On Friday night we all attended Flight Like a Girl, also known as FLAG 6 to support Penny as her Breast Caner has returned and metastisized to her liver.   Melanie's husband Glenn who somehow didn't end up in any of my photographs wrapped up the night with the title quote and it is perfectly fitting.

We'd been planning to attend this event for a while, as time passed our group got larger and ended up being oh so much fun.  Penny and Chris, Peggy and Steve, Melanie and Glenn, Rebecca and Ray, Ronnie and I were also joined by Lindsey who decided to puchase a ticket last minute AND a surprise guest, Meredith who drive in from Charleston and surprised us all, especially Penny.  

The night included delicious food, strong drinks, fun music, gambling and the best friends ever. 

 AND as the evening went on many hugs were exchanged.

Penny looked gorgeous and had a huge smile on her face the entire evening.  Afterwards we stopped by Nightcaps before heading to IHOP.  It was after 4am before Mr. P and I finally made it home.  

We were all sure to love on Penny a bit (read A LOT) to let her know we have her back as she fights this horrible disease for the second time.

                                                                  Unbelievable Cake

Elliott and the Untouchables, one of my favorite bands.

Mr. P who'd hung out with only a handful of my friends before this evening survived the night with the entire gang without being traumatized too much.  lol 

ROCK ON Penny Poo ... We love you and your gorgeous self. 

Friday, April 19, 2013


I met Mr. P for dinner and he commented that I seemed Pensive.  Great observation Mr. P.  Maybe it's the tragedies of the week around our country.  Perhaps it was the fact that as I was having a fabulous Wednesday a friend from high school was saying goodbye to his Mother who after two emergency surgeries just wasn't going to make it here on this earth much longer. 

It never escapes me that when something horrible is happening in my life that the lives of others are just going on as per normal.  It is the same in reverse I suppose.   After Kylie was pronounced dead, the shock still raw and my heart still hours later beating almost out of my chest I remember driving home from the hospital thinking none of these people in evening traffic, walking down the streets have any clue what just happened.  I remember even a week later making myself get up out and out of the house to attend a concert that I'd purchased tickets for long before and in a fog the entire time thinking at least one hundred times these people really have no clue what just happened. 

Isn't it ironic that someones BEST day ever can also be another persons WORST day ever.   Life is interesting.

I have no idea what makes people do the things that they do;  Why would three men ask me to give them change at a gas station and then proceed to fondle themselves and talk about what they would do do my curves.  Why would someone I know quite well walk into a bar and grab my private parts and when I asked them THREE times to not do that again decided it would be a good idea to do it once more.  Why would someone build bombs and place them at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to leave innocent people who've worked hard for YEARS to qualify for the race, limbless.   The World is a crazy place.  I don't even pretend to understand all that goes on and often I am glad that I am not a parent as I have no clue how I would even begin to explain (comfort) such situations to a child.  I am thankful that I have zero fear of death and have chosen to live my life every single day as if tomorrow may never come. I am thanful that there is definitely something/someone much larger than all of us who knows exactly what is going to happen and has it all under control.  That knowlege brings me peace and comfort and relieves all of my fears as I know that what is meant to be will be and worrying has no benefit. 

What happened in Boston this week will make most of us especially the victims stronger.  Unfortunately some will allow the circumstances to create new fears into their lives that will alter who they are.  Either way we are all different after this week.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pet Portraits - Funday Sunday

On Sunday I had plans that required me to be on Main Street in the afternoon, I'll get to that in a moment. I was happy to have definitive plans otherwise I would have most certainly wasted the day away on my sofa.  I did a little housework and then headed downtown with my camera.  

As I was tooling around practicing I ran into Berry, his children and their Mom.  It was fun chatting with them before taking a few more shots. 

I love my new camera and am excited about learning more about it and hopefully taking a class soon. 

A month ago Melanie and her family went to Grapes and Gallery, a painting studio and created portraits of their pets.  Of course I HAD to be a copy cat and do the same.  I told everyone that I didn't want Easter gifts I wanted to paint this portrait of Pepper in honor of his 16th Birthday.  My Easter basket consisted of the usual hot tamales and some cash for painting the portrait.  I signed up and set out Sunday afternoon.  

I love that this studio has more comfortable seating.  Most of the others have regular low tables with table top easles that move around if you are not careful.  

I sent a photo of Pepper before hand, my favorite of him and their resident artist sketched out the guidelines for me. 

This is what it looked like when we started. I thought OK I can do this. 

We started with the background and "shading" in the dog in brown.  I was so confused b/c my dog isn't brown except for a few areas where his white fur gets dirty.   It started getting very difficult for me here.  I just couldn't wrap my mind around it ... I was trying too hard I think.   The artist who led the class was very kind and patient.  She HAS to be because in a class like this everyone is painting something difference which MUST make it difficult for her to instruct.  When I've gone before everyone has been painting the same picture. 

After a while he really started to look like Pepper and I started to see the point in the browns  A) my dog has skin and B) it's important to layer the paint so that the painting doesn't come out looking like a flat black and white blob.  Adding layer after layer began to give it the furry effect.  Super COOL! 

It was difficult to get his eyes b/c you can't really see them in a photo so I went with just a "glint" or a sparkle.  Then I worked on the tail so it wasn't just some massive white blob of paint. 

THEN I was totally unhappy with my blocky looking background.  I decided to add legs to the bench but that didn't quite do it either so ... I went crazy and mixed the three layers together making it more of a "suggested background" than a solid. 

I liked that MUCH better. 

Here is my finished work space .... amazing that the mixture of all of these colors turned into a portrait of Pepper. 

I am really happy with the finished product and can't believe I was able to do this.  This was an important project to me because Pepper is 16 and he's my only child and I didn't want it to turn out looking like a generic dog.  I wanted it all to turn out just perfectly. 

When I've painted in these classes in the past I've always gone with friends.  This time I went alone and while it felt a little weird at first it did afford me the opportunity to really focus.  I loved the other people that were in my class though.  There were two friends that had never painted before and were nervous.  They were geninuely amazed at their outcome and it was so much fun to see them that shocked and happy.  The other two were newlyweds with four dogs between them.  They decided to paint two this trip and come back again.  They were great fun.  Everyone's paintings turned out really great.  From left to right I love the two dogs in the bed together, the pink background, the super cute polka doted furry outfit and the mallard duck in the mouth.  All really super GREAT paintings.

I will treasure this painting and highly encourage all to give it a shot.  I was there about 4 hours, longer than expected.  You can bring snacks and drinks and make a party of it.