Monday, October 27, 2014


Late yesterday evening her breathing became ragged and she started leaking ice water.  We gathered the softening food from her freezer and stashed it in our big upright freezer in the basement.

 This morning we put the rest of the food in an ice chest with ice from the big freezer, said our goodbyes---

---and pulled the plug.  Old Sandy had been with us through big parties and weddings. 
She’d patiently cared for our lettuce and leftovers while humming quietly along for a couple of decades.

She couldn’t have chosen a better time to go.  I had planned to clean the spilled syrup, soggy lettuce and fuzzy unidentifiable food objects off her racks this week.  We are expecting kids, spouses and grandkids to rock the place on Halloween and then an even bigger gathering is planned for Thanksgiving Weekend.

Like Sipsey told Idgie when Ruth breathed her last, “She was a lady and a lady always knows when to leave.”

Our next task was to find a replacement before the Major Appliance Virus which caused Sandy’s demise spread to the dishwasher or the dryer.  In fact we didn’t even speak of the incident in the car for fear of an outbreak.

We went to visit our neighbor who, over the years, has given us great deals on a water heater, washer, dryer, and recently sold us a wonderful stainless steel gas range with black trim. 

She had several refrigerators in stock the same size as our old one. We said no to the one that was toilet white.  There was a floor model waiting for a replacement handle that had been broken in shipping.  It was in our price range but it was black. For another three hundred dollars we could have it in stainless.  If we wanted to spend even more money we could have a fridge big as a walk-in with ice maker, filtered water dispenser in the door and a freezer big enough to stash a body.

 We made our choice and, almost before we could get home to clean up the gunk and leaked body fluids, two buff guys arrived, picked up Sandy and carried her to their truck.

 Then just as skillfully they carried our new refrigerator up the steps—

 --and into our kitchen.

 The guys put on the unbroken handle and promised they’d have a replacement for the broken freezer door handle delivered in a couple of days.  The new fridge looked good next to our black trimmed stove and black dish washer.  We plugged it in, filled it with food and stuck the photos of our kids on the door with magnets, something we couldn’t have done with a stainless fridge.

 I think we’ll call him Darth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Often I wonder what happens to my paintings after I send them off to customers, especially the ones that feature people. Occasionally I use photos I’ve taken of unsuspecting individuals for reference and then hesitate to put any kind of likeness to a figure without permission.

Such was the case for the baby spontaneously dancing to banjo music at a farmers market in Bellingham, Washington.

I’m pretty sure the baby’s family would’ve at least liked to have seen this painting but I have no idea how I could find them. This work went to a customer in Kansas. They wrote they just enjoyed the happiness of the moment I captured.

The same goes for this painting of street musicians in Coos Bay, Oregon. It went to buyers in San Antonio, Texas who didn’t indicate they knew any of the performers.

Another picture or two I’d like to match up with the subject is this catching of a big salmon.

I took these shots with a zoom lens from the Deception Pass Bridge near Seattle in 2012. I’m guessing the fisherman would like to have a record of his catch unless he told his boss he was in bed with the flu that day.

One evening this summer on the Oregon coast I took my camera to the beach. 

There were a few others there enjoying the end of the day but I was charmed by the lady with the little girl and boy watching the sun set.

I don’t know their story but I couldn’t help but take a few photos which led to this painting:

Out of respect I didn’t work too hard on creating a likeness of the children. Although the lady’s friends might be able to identify her. Just a fine way to end an August day on the beach at Manzanita, Oregon.