We are leaving for Wisconsin on Friday. Jim's daughter, Randi, will be taking care of the kids and the house while we're gone. I'm looking forward to seeing my dad and my sisters.
We did some running around today - went out to breakfast, bought groceries and picked up a new cat carrier. I hope I will have good luck catching Chip Hilton, All-American Boy, and getting him into this carrier without injury (to either of us). The kittens are a little over a year old and it's time for annual shots. Chip is afraid when he thinks there is something up. I've had open cat carriers sitting around in the computer room since Friday. The kittens have been playing in them. They seem to like the new one, too. Chip really slashed me the last time he was scared. (We had workmen in the house and he was very scared by the noise. I wasn't too crazy about the sound of the fans and jackhammer myself.) Cary Grant is very gentle even when he's afraid. Anyhow, wish me luck.
Rosie has to go in for shots on Tuesday. This is no problem. She is in love with the vet.
Now that I know that a "moleskine" notebook will not mean death for any furry little creatures, I want one. I think I'll treat myself to one and do some early morning watercolor sketches (inspired by Robyn Sinclair, although not 1/100 as good as her lovely little sketches) while I'm on summer vacation after we get back from Wisconsin. When I say early morning, I really mean it. As I've said before, it's verrrry hot here right now.
This is the desert, so we expect it to be hot in the summer. Last weekend it was 114 degrees. I accept that. (What choice do I have?) Jim and I start walking the dogs at 4:30 a.m. to beat the heat. That's fine with me. I do complain about the heat at times. I also brag about our great weather from September to May. However, last weekend, the local weatherman told me I should put things into perspective by thinking about Death Valley's temperature of 128 degrees. Hmmmm... I don't want to.
I decided to try the July art challenge here http://windowstothewords.blogspot.com/ . I'm posting a photo of a girl named Tweedles who was kind enough to submit her photo for us to paint. (She is a very computer literate pug. She even has her own blog.) I'm doing a watercolor of her pretty little face. Here is a preliminary watercolor sketch. When I've finished the painting, I'll submit it to James Parker and also post the finished piece here. Don't worry, Tweedles. I'll adjust the left side on the painting.
Last night, Jim insisted that I watch this video and listen to this song. He is crazy about the song. I understand why. The boy and girl are terrific and I now love this song, too! Seeing them perform it live gave me a kind of wistful feeling - wish Jim and I were college kids singing and playing on campus. I really am happy where I am now, but sometimes it's fun to imagine doing other things. I tell my granddaughters we're going on the road as a rock band as soon as they're old enough. Grandpa will be our roadie... Here's the link.
Since I posted photos of the dogs on my blog, the cats have said it's only fair that I post their pictures, too. Pictures of Cary Grant and Chip Hilton, All-American Boy were no problem. However, every time I try to get a shot of Ben Hogan and Smitty, they move out of the frame and come to me. Photos of Ben and Smitty will be posted later. I'm tired of running away from them. The "sit - stay" command just doesn't work as well for our cats as it does for our dogs.
A little over a year ago, Cary Grant, Chip and Ben were feral kittens trapped under a portable classroom by the women where Jim works. When they trapped the first kitten, Jim called me and asked if we could take in a kitten. I said sure, but we would have to take it to the vet before bringing it home because we didn't want to expose our cats to any possible diseases. Then he called and asked if we could adopt another one because the women had caught another kitten. I said ok. Then they caught another one. I said one cat, two cat, red cat, blue cat, what the heck. So that's how we ended up with 3 kittens.
Charlotte, are you familiar with Brent Perkins' work? I saw his watercolors on his blog. Most of his subject matter is in Nevada and Utah. Very nice.
We sealed the grout today. We still have to install the transition strips and put the molding back up and we'll be done.
I've started a sketch for a watercolor of a tree in our neighborhood. I'm not sure what kind of tree it is. I know most of the trees around here, but this one is a mystery. I hope my painting will do the tree justice.
After Jim and I set our last piece of tile today, we went over to Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery to see Mary Warner's show. The title of the show is Angels & Insects. I liked almost everything I saw. She did some really big pieces (65"x46", 44-1/2"x96", 65"x48", etc.). There were paintings and drawings in gouache, graphite, charcoal, acrylic and oil. She worked on paper, canvas and plaster. She did all florals. If you're in or near Las Vegas, go check out the show. You won't be disappointed.
Did I get your attention? Well, it's not exactly what you think. Jim and I are replacing the wood flooring that was damaged during our Spring Break flood. We're almost done setting the tile. It's beautiful - Venetian Stone porcelain tile (really and truly made in Italy). Neither of us has set tile before. Jim has worked with vinyl, but this is different. If you ever decide to do something like this yourself, be sure to buy knee pads. Also, buy gloves and use them. I didn't bother using my gloves the first day we were working on the project because it was easier to handle the tiles with my bare hands. However, thinset is very hard on your skin. I now wear my gloves. Here are some pictures of our work in progress.