Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paintin' Flowers on the Wall

Paul was feeling guilty for not going to the KP celebration with me, so on Tuesday he brought my flowers (above). Which would have been Ok, except that he then expected me to paint them. So, I did.

The painting on the right (2nd picture) is the one I painted Tuesday. I was tired and had a headache so  I really didn't even look at the flowers. The picture on the left (1st picture) is the picture I painted today.  I did study the flowers a bit, and made a thumbnail sketch before painting. I don't know why, but it was hard for me to actually 'study' daisies, but I forced myself too.

I know the study is better painting, but I don't dislike the 1st painting as much as I should, and I don't like the one I did today a much as I should. How am I ever going to get to be better painter if I don't feel what would make be me better?

25 Years with KP

On Monday I went downtown to celebrate 25 with KP. Paul was under the weather so I went alone.  I and made arrangements to met up with one of  the gals I work with.  I would like to say it ws nice see  folks I had not seen in the last five years, but every year there are fewer and fewer of us.  I knew the gal in my department I met up with (her husband was able to come) and the gal I sat with at my 20th union dinner (her husband was not able to come so she brought a co-worker).  For those of you who remember Bill, Veronica (the lady who brought the co-worker) is married to Bill's brother, Dean.  I did recognize a few other faces, and the ballroom was lovely, the program entertaining and the food ok.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Snugging Bugs

Paul keeps harping on me to save money and in the mean time he seems to be a major shipping spree! He has gotten us four new carpets. He says the carpets make the house feel more like a home. So, we have 'em everywhere. Here is the one we put in the office. Now we can feel snug a bug in every room.

then he got us a used fire pit. Now we don't have to go to the woods to go camping.

and finally he got a new (2000) Honda Civic.
He seems to think we need the stuff he gets (you need vacation, why else live?). While the stuff I buy is not so necessary.

On the other hand, I did get kind of carry away with the art supplies. The creative process is not cheap. Artist starve because they have to feed their addiction, art supplies.
 Anyway as promised I am posting some of the stuff I have been working.
My first project, The Aspens. I got a frame at Goodwill ($2.50) last weekend, but I still haven't located a mat. I might have to take it to my class and ask them to make me one. Anyone know a resource for cheap mats?
Devin castle. I hate this picture, but I am posting because I want see if I get better.This is the first piece I did where I did everything myself. I designed, and executed with no outside influence. Of course, I wish I would have asked for help. One the other hand it is true reflection of my skill level.

The painted desert. I was experimenting with colors so when I get the nerve to paint delicate arch.

Notice the Honda has a CO license.

We went to the DMV together today, Paul telling me to let him do the talking and if it is over $300 we are going to register in Oregon, Thank goodness the license were $250.

I was thinking I didn't do much this weekend, but I did pull about six bushels of weeds. First, the rain and then the heat, all the barometric change made me extremely sleepy.
In the mean time, Paul worked on cars and re-stacked our wood chip pile. The winds were so strong last week that we had wood chips everywhere.

We also drove all the way to Greeley to buy the Honda, it was a pain, yet beautiful drive.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pristine and unspoiled

I was half listening to the news last night when I heard Brian Williams referred an oil spill in one on the country's most pristine areas. Image my surprise when it became clear he was talking about was an oil refinery in Laurel MT.Pristine? Isn't this where we use to picnic when Dad had to go to Belfry? It's not like I don't recognize this as a catastrophe and I don't think the area is pretty, but pristine? What's with the hyperbole?

In case you have not heard I found a Reuters article concerning the spill.

Environmental officials scrambled on Tuesday to assess the extent of contamination from a weekend oil spill that has fouled water supplies and ranch lands along a scenic and otherwise pristine stretch of the Yellowstone River in Montana.

An Exxon Mobil pipeline ruptured on Friday night about 150 miles downstream from Yellowstone National Park near the town of Laurel, Montana, just southwest of Billings, dumping up to 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, of crude oil into the flood-swollen river.

Toxic fumes from the oil overcame a number of people who reported breathing problems and dizziness and were taken to local hospitals. But state and federal officials on Tuesday said they lacked a tally of health problems or the number of riverside homes that were evacuated after the accident.

The spill also has wreaked havoc on ranching and farming operations along the Yellowstone, the longest river without a dam in the United States, which provides irrigation and drinking water for communities along its banks.
Cathy Williams, who raises livestock, wheat, alfalfa and hay with her husband Jerry on some 800 acres of land around Laurel, said high water from the river has washed oil across much of his property. "It was the night the river peaked, so the river water was flooded all over the place, and that brought oil all over both ranches," she told Reuters. "All of our grasslands ... have just thick, black crude stuck to all the grass, trees, low lands." Williams said their spring wheat crop and alfalfa are both in need of irrigation, but farmers in the area were advised not to take water from the river for the time being. Drinking supplies also are in limbo, she said. "We get all our drinking water from our wells and for our animals," Williams said. "We don't know if we'll be able to use them since the river was high. All the groundwater, I assume, is probably contaminated. We just don't know."

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said on Tuesday he has told Exxon and federal agencies overseeing the spill response that the state alone will decide when the cleanup is done. "The state of Montana is going to stay on this like the smell on a skunk," he told Reuters by telephone as he toured areas hit by the spill.

State and federal authorities had few answers to questions about the extent of oil pollution or the potential impacts on human health. Environmental experts said it will likely take months, even years, for the ecosystem to rebound from the influx of crude. "It will be unclear even next spring as to what kind of recovery has taken place," said Ronald Kendall, chairman of the department of environmental toxicology at Texas Tech University and head of its Institute of Environmental and Human Health.

"It's a very significant amount of oil moving downstream right now, and oil is a toxic substance in itself," he said. "A whole suite of organisms, from mink to herons to sturgeon to dragonflies, are going to be affected as waves of oil come through." Concerns about petroleum contamination prompted downstream communities that rely on the river for drinking water to shut off their intake valves, but it was unclear whether residents who depend on well water had been urged to avoid drinking it.

Many state health and emergency workers had been told to direct inquiries about environmental contamination and health concerns to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA officials said on Tuesday that readings were not yet available from air and water monitors mostly downstream of the spill.

Some Montana residents have reported symptoms ranging from shortness of breath to fainting spells linked to exposure to petroleum-based chemicals. Stacy Anderson said on Tuesday her parents, Bob and Patty Castleberry, are still living in a hotel after their home was evacuated Saturday along the Yellowstone less than a mile from the site of the ruptured pipeline. She said her mother, who suffers from a respiratory condition, passed out several times even after the couple left the house. "All their clothes, the suitcase -- everything smelled like solid crude oil; when my mom got away from it, her symptoms disappeared," Anderson said.
She said Exxon is paying her parents' hotel bill as well as covering the cost of feed for the couple's 10 goats that have been steered away from oil-soaked grasslands.

The cause of the rupture was under investigation, but possible damage from erosion caused by unusually heavy river flows following a spring of heavy rains and runoff from record mountain snows are likely to be examined as a factor.
Exxon shut down the pipeline in May after the city of Laurel raised safety concerns due to rising river levels, but the company said it restarted the line after conducting an inspection.

Shares of Exxon Mobil fell slightly on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange as investors worried about the bad publicity from the oil spill. Exxon said its Billings, Montana oil refinery cut back production over the weekend as a result of the spill but other refineries in the area were operating normally.

The Montana oil spill is far smaller than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year and the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989. The BP spill spewed 168 million gallons of oil and the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil. By contrast, Exxon estimates the Montana pipeline has leaked only 42,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River.