Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Standing in my garden eating tomatoes right off the vine.

Washing my car under the full shade of trees I helped plant years ago.

Riding my bike this morning by fragrant hay fields.

Finally seeing success in my sourdough bread. One-loaf-at-a-time.

This one must have been good.  Three slices were gone before I could get a photo after it cooled.  It was made without yeast, only using my sourdough starter for leavening.  WooHoo!

Monday, August 19, 2013


I received a request for a custom painting to be given as a birthday gift.  I usually stay away from custom jobs since they can turn into time-consuming re-dos as the customer asks for changes and adjustments.  As hard as I try I can't read the client's mind and too often they're not certain what they want.

But this was a special client.  Family.  My daughter and son-in-law (who I love as my own son--maybe better since I didn't know him as an adolescent) wanted to give a painting to said SIL's mom of their family vacationing in Southern Utah where she lives.

 They gave me some photos they took at Arches National Park.

 This is a shot of their family at Delicate Arch, except two kids are missing and Mom is taking the photo so she's not in the picture either.

So I put together a sketch of the whole family at the location and emailed it to my daughter for approval.
Then the real work began.

After finishing the background of the hills and mountains behind the arch, I began adding layers of watercolor to bring out the details of the foreground.

I built up more layers while leaving blank the area where the family would be.

Finally I was ready to paint in the people.  I sent an email to let my daughter know I was still working on the piece since the birthday was getting close and I still needed to send it to them for framing.

Finally the painting was finished.

Through the magic of art all six members of the family were posing at the base of Delicate Arch and ready to become a birthday present for Grandma S.

Daughter and Son-In-Law were excited to see the finished product and had it framed.  It took a while to get it shipped to Southern Utah, but I finally saw her post on Facebook of a photo she took of her present.  Mission accomplished.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


It took three grandsons to install the candles.

Three steady hands to ignite the cake.




Cake two--not as many candles but just as much power.
Unfortunately the camera miss-fired, but trust me,
he got them all out in one blow.

Grandpa gets a super-dooper high tech tablet with keyboard.


p.s. congrats also to the triathloners for a great finish!