Thursday, January 28, 2016

This Week Mostly at Hospital

Our weekly RCIA Meeting on Tuesday night with Fr. Isaac and others, learning about the dignity of life in its many forms. Official Vatican Network published the gist of our discussion here; timely for the discussion.

It was my birthday Tuesday, with my husband providing some carrot cake refreshments that evening.  Thank you for birthday cards sent by Kathy M and Kathy W, Madge, Mary Kay, Pam, Sharon, Lynn and several others I cannot recall as this is being typed!

Knitting continues on two projects while sitting beside that hospital bed.  

I finished two books read aloud to Julie this week.  It makes time go by more quickly, although my voice sometimes gets froggy.

We have completed Karen Vorbeck Williams The House on Seventh Street and are rapidly getting through her other book, My Enemy's Tears.

Gene reads Mark Sweizer's Liturgical Mystery books to her (his second read aloud book now underway).  Gene has read them all and highly recommends them as light fun.

And Julie began her third week at St. Mary's Hospital...

She had a reaction to her antibiotics, enough to have it discontinued. It was changed to another one by IV last night. Her wound looked in order yesterday when they changed out the wound vac and put on another one. The wound care nurse at the manor came over to observe how the nurses changed it out so that the manor nurses could learn how to do it there. Julie will have it changed again tomorrow, and maybe she can go back to the manor late Monday on oral antibiotics. Maybe.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jac Kephart Workshop Jan. 23, 24

Jac Kephart provided a two day workshop over January 23 and 24 to a packed gallery of 18 eager participants (sponsored by the Grand Junction Brush & Palette Group).  As Bob Martin said, "He is one of the most benevolent artists I have encountered," and never were words more true.  Jac taught, shared information and knowledge and was an all around wonderful presence over the two days.  Lucky were we who enjoyed and benefited from his tutelage.

Jac's work, three dimensional interpretive art, goes for about $250 per square inch.  Some of his works are gigantic, so you do the math (several pieces are upwards of $150,000 per canvas).

Below is Jac and you can find his artwork here in Santa Fe, here in Breckenridge, and a famous work "Vegas Mars" here at the Wubben Sciences Center in Grand Junction.  Jac brought that piece as a display.

Below are a few pictures from the workshop.

Above: Jack showing embellishment with foils and copper wiring

Above is Claudia Crowell hamming it up with her pastels.

Jac demonstrating using foil adhered to his canvas.
Above picture is that of Mark Chioni who shared his techniques of macro photography.  Mark uses Jac's works, among other beauty seen if one is open to looking for wonder, and photographs macro images, choosing most pleasing compositions of shadow and light for his work.

Lee Golter also shared his expertise of macro photography and picture manipulation.  I failed to have my camera when Lee presented, but hope to share some of his work in a future post.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Poured Watercolor

Brush & Palette welcomed Cheri Isgreen with a record attendance at our January meeting at the Art Center.  The picture below is watercolor artist Cheri prior to her presentation when she explained how she used watercolor in tubes, thinned with water (to consistency of cream).  She applies frisket in three or more layers, then pours watercolor in similar intensities over the frisket, removing the layers as each is dried, often reapplying  the frisket.

A few pointers Isgreen presented were:

  • Draw the idea first; where will lines be emphasized?
  • How will I use negative spaces?
  • Develop a value study of light using three values: light, medium, dark
  • Edges matter in watercolor, so use masking, also spelled "masquing," aka frisket, for sharp, clean edges
  • Use lost and found edges
  • Counter change space: when light hits and makes a dark or a light image
  • Avoid details until the end of the pouring process
  • After frisket is removed, soften some of the edges
  • Do not shake or vigorously stir frisket at air bubbles may appear
  • Do not expose frisket to heat or sun, do not use hair dryers on frisket; allow the product to dry naturally
  • Always pour masque (frisket) onto dry paper and outline with a fine brush, filling in the frisket with more from a larger brush
  • Always use good, sharp, frisket brushes (do not use fingers for this process)
  • Clean frisket brushes with liquid soap first, then dip brush into the frisket while wet
  • Always immerse used brushed immediately into water
  • Isgreen uses 140# Arches cold press paper, but any good watercolor paper will work

 Be sure to visit her website to view her striking art.

Several new members joined B&P at the meeting, and one new member, Michael Davis, won the mini show.

Welcome to Mike and all new and returning members to Brush & Palette.  Be sure to catch up on news here.

Julie Update:

Julie returned back to the hospital in the early hours yesterday morning and spent several hours in the ER before being re-admitted for infection in her abdomen.  She is resting comfortably and is on IV antibiotics.  It was disappointing that she was able to spend only a few hours back at the manor before an alert nurse caught the infection in its early stages.  But we are pleased she has received and is continuing to receive good medical care. Thank you for all your prayers.  I know friends Sharon, Kathy, Jody, gretchenjoanna, Theresa, Stefanie, Elizabeth, Karen, Carol and others are following her progress; thank you.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Juliet Update

Daughter Julie had a major surgery, planned, three days ago.  It was a GI thing, a procedure removing some bowel and a urostomy revision, among other cuttings.  For those of you who might have encountered this sort of thing, you know pain, quite a bit of pain, is involved.

For the first 48 hours after surgery, she was in pain.  She reported most every time that on a scale of one to ten, it was a 10.  Finally the on-call doc came in late yesterday afternoon and increased her medicine by 400 percent (gradually, of course).  The analgesic is Fentanyl, which the nurse said is one hundred times as strong as morphine.  When I left last evening, they were administering it and assured me she would be closely monitored.  She is on a cardiac unit now where she gets more intensive monitoring and nursing care.

Three angels from the manor staff came to see Julie the day after the procedure.  She laughed, talked, joked and thoroughly enjoyed their visit before crashing with low BP.  So she could not have been a 10 on the pain scale when those staff Angels came with a card signed by many people at the manor.  Julie was extremely touched by their caring (I was also). The pink stuffed creature they brought her is on her pillow most of the time.

Thank you for all your good thoughts, prayers, and warm spaces in your hearts for Julie.  This pain will get taken care of by today so the healing can begin.  I am sure of that.

Today is the second Sunday in Ordinary Times.  I am looking out for the extraordinary, seeking blessings as they occur, keeping eyes open for God's goodness, praying you are doing the same.

"For this very reason, make every effort 
to supplement your faith with goodness,
goodness with knowledge,
knowledge with self-control,
self-control with endurance,
endurance with godliness."

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ephipany House Blessing

Our house was blessed last night! We were privileged to have Father Don Malin from Immaculate Heart of Mary blessing a box a salt, a gallon of water and some chalk, then marking our doors with chalk.....reading scripture, and sprinkling all the rooms in our house with the Holy water and blessed salt.

Above the front doors, the markings are this: "20 + C + M + B +16". This symbolizes the three wise men who worshiped Jesus: C for Caspar, M for Melchior, and B for Balthasar who followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and sixteen years ago, and + meaning "May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year." 

This is Fr. Don writing above the lintel of our doors:

We then shared a meal together in our newly blessed house.

Gene concocted a luscious lamb stew and made crusty bread.  My contribution to our shared meal was a King's Cake because it was an Epiphany blessing.  The King's cake signifies and celebrates the arrival of the three wise men in Bethlehem and the day Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Most of the King's Cakes I found on Pinterest and the internet called for a dozen jams to make pretty window paned, stained glass effect atop the sweet dough.  But with just two of us living in this house, we would never get through twelve jars of jelly or jam in our remaining life times.  Not even if we each ate a tablespoon of jelly a day!  

Further looking showed up another, simpler cake used in France sans all those jams.  That is what I made with puff pastry.

(using David Lebovitz' recipe here for Epiphany Cake with an almond filling).

Post Script: the Church calendar is sung here.  I had never heard of this solemnity, but it is beautiful (part of the January 3 homily by Father Isaac Karuiki follows).

We feel truly blessed.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Into 2016

Onward and upwards.  Yesterday was quiet on the home front and our activities included an 8 AM Mass to start off the new year, followed by a Mexican food lunch at a quick food place that uses fresh ingredients.  My all time favorite salad is Cafe Rio's sweet pork salad with a cilantro and lime dressing.  HERE is a link for this recipe, a copy-cat one, but it looks like the original.

Julie was quarantined to her room yesterday with the noro virus. She had her first symptoms while visiting us on Thursday, and had to be immediately taken back to the Manor (her nursing facility). A quick phone call a moment ago says the entire Manor is now under quarantine, so I will not be visiting again today. All the halls are closed and patients must stay in their rooms. She said she felt pretty lousy yesterday, so hope by today she is improving.  We are so thankful the Manor is on top of this crazy bug and that she is well cared for.

"Look for the presence of God in your life," Pope Francis says on New Year's (LINK HERE)  It is a good message, and I will be on the lookout for His presence.  Take a look at the homily if you have a chance.  Gene and I are enjoying our new church home at IHM. This is my new app for my phone: The Pope

January 3-17 are the dates our parish will host homeless men overnight, providing food and shelter.  This is the link for the sponsoring shelter.  I am looking at all recipes to make inexpensive but nutritious trail mix, stored in give-away zip lock bags.  Please email or comment on this post if you have a recipe your would recommend that would make 25 or so cups of mix.  Here are a few I found: link

OK, today's update must include a new knit I made from left-over yarns.  It is the Interrupted Striped Cowl by Gretchen Tracy.

It is my first 2016 knit project, made to go with my new Eddie Bauer flannel shirt:

Although colors are not accurate on my monitor screen, the colors really DO coordinate!