28 January 2014

it's still happening...

I looked out this morning and there they were, rows and rows of them, in dark green, neatly lined up on the pale green grass. Still on the WRONG side of the trees.

You'd think, after I'd been keeping a careful eye on them for nearly seven years, that they would have got it right by now.

North and South are still upside down, the hillside I live on is drawn on the opposite side of the map from where I am so SURE it should be, and those shadows?

Yes, those shadows are STILL on the wrong sides of the trees.


And you all thought that living in Italy was easy?

Today I am grateful for sunbeams. 

24 January 2014

i've come a long way...

I have just sent an email to my artist daughter with a link and the suggestion that she "google translate". Then it struck me that I had understood the article perfectly, accessing my translator brain for only the paragraph I particularly wanted to share with my daughter. I am a pretty slack mother, in that I didn't stop to translate if for her, but opted to blog instead. But I am pretty happy that I have come a long way with Italian, even if I still have a long, long way to go.

I am working with another artist on a project that could make July look as busy as May is looking. It's all good... but I must learn to leave the computer occasionally or it will be all planning and no painting.

Time to answer some emails, and then get some sleep. It's a cold night and the blankets are calling!

I don't seem to need to blog these days for myself so, for those who follow the blog, I give my apologies. Perhaps I will get back to it properly once a few more things are in place for other projects.

Today I am grateful for enthusiastic people.

17 January 2014

I was trying

I was trying to work on simply being. On being a human being instead of a human doing. I wanted to stop and smell the roses more, to have more time for family and friends. As I tick jobs off an endless list I wonder how I can change horses, and stay in the saddle.

I like what I do. Mostly. I enjoyed teaching yesterday, and was only a little pleased to have the day to myself today when my painting student cancelled. But I do like to just "be" as well. I'm pretty good at being, mostly on my own.

I have officially, as of today, moved apartments. Internet is functioning in the upstairs apartment. Downstairs is available for rental. It feels right. With less to do, I can "be, more". If I rent out the apartment (available after June or July when my last visitors head back down under) then I can be, be, be much more. I have a tenant in mind, cross fingers for me!

Now to sort out some mats and curtains, it's a little chilly when I move away from the heater.

Today I am grateful for progress with plans. 

7 January 2014

the big chill

It's minus 11 degrees centigrade right now, with the temperature still falling. I don't think I have ever been more grateful for central heating in my life! The wind chill factor drops the "feels like" to around minus 18 Celsius.

This is a record low for Auburn - and not a part of my holiday plan!

I am sorry that the Auburn Tigers lost in a really close game tonight, but glad that the fans will be safely home and not suffering from frost-bite after their traditional outdoor celebrations.

Auburn is a very attractive University town, with many lovely trees on campus. When the Tigers win it is traditional to festoon the trees with toilet paper. After a big game this is quite some sight, and I do wonder who it is that manages to toss the rolls up so high into the tree.

Tonight was the national final (played in California), and Auburn had a good chance of winning. It was a very tight game, and with only 13 seconds to go "we" lost the lead (it had changed a couple of times in the fourth quarter after the Tigers set up a healthy lead earlier), and Florida took the title. Very disappointing for Auburn, but probably a lucky save for many, as we are in the grip of the chill and with frostbite warnings in place.

I do hope that the homeless across the USA have all found safe and warm shelter for the worst of this big chill.

For myself, I hope that all flights in and out of Atlanta airport are on time and without incident.

Very cold? It's ffffffff freeeeeezing! (But lovely and snug indoors). Right now Italy is warmer than Alabama - it's time to go home!

100212Water boils
40104Hot Bath
3798.6Body temperature
3086Beach weather
2170Room temperature
1050Cool Day
0 32Freezing point of water
-180Very Cold Day
-40-40Extremely Cold Day (and the same number!)
(bold are exact)

Today I am grateful for heating.

ps: woke this morning to 9 degrees F, that's almost minus 13 Celcius. No walk today!

4 January 2014

just for fun

This is a one-day painting almost complete, painted for a friend who has been very kind to me this Christmas. She is, needless to say, crazy about owls so I hope that she enjoys this one. It is almost finished, but not quite bouncing enough yet.

 (light not ideal for photographing wet paint)
Today I am grateful for open spaces. 

1 January 2014

twelve minutes until midnight

New Zealand and Australia saw the new year in quite some time ago. Italy celebrated seven hours ago and is now sleeping peacefully. And now, finally, at my holiday destination, it is almost midnight. The house is quiet, all are sleeping. Tomorrow is a big day.

I have been reading a book about writing. It is excellent, and I keep stopping to think about things I have just read. I should have finished by now, but midnight is approaching and I feel that I should honour the new year in some way.

Two glasses of muscato with strawberries floating in it were delightful but not quite enough celebration to call it a party. Music, and company, would be nice but the silence has its own beauty and I appreciate it very much.

It is cold outside, far too cold to go out and look for fireworks. I doubt that I could see any if there were celebrations anyway, as we are surrounded by pine trees.

How different it is from my two homes, Italy and NZ. Here I don't feel at home, I am just staying for a while. I am glad to be here, and it is increasingly familiar, but I will be glad to be home again too.

I want/need to write, to paint, to create. Too many projects are unfinished, or still mere ideas. It is time to face my fears and simply "do it".

I am still contemplating the most appropriate word to live by in 2014, and I have twelve minutes to decide what it will be. No, I have four minutes. My word for the last two years (I didn't feel that I had achieved it well enough in one year) still remains my secret. Perhaps I will share it in a blog post of its own.

And now, as the midnight hour approaches, I have my new word. In fact, I have three. Why choose only one? And so my checklist will be a multiple one, as I review each day.

 I hear fireworks! Happy New Year, everybody!

This year I am so very grateful for the new additions to our family.