I love it when my real life reads like fiction! This past Christmas Eve, I went to my local bakery (Fosdals...which has been there over 50 years) to pick up a Cherry Persian I ordered the week before for Christmas Day. Naturally, there were a lot of other people coming in to get their goodies as well. The windows were slightly steamed up and the two women working behind the counter were wearing Santa hats. There were at least four people ahead of me and one behind me and everyone was in a good mood. As I stood there, I noticed little Bella, (she's about seven or eight) sitting at the table alone with at leastsix or seven of those little french vanilla creamers open and empty...she drank them straight, no chasers! Her Mom Rachael was at the far end of the counter discussing something over a big white bakery box. The air behind me chilled as a man came through the door. He had white hair, a soft white beard, blue twinkly eyes and yes, a Santa hat. Well, this is Stoughton don't ya know, and a voice pipes up and says "Oh there's Santa!" We all turn and he smiles as if to say, why yes he really IS. Then someone else says "There are two Mrs. Santa's!" Then someone else says, "Uh-oh!" and we all look back, smiling, at Santa again. Swear on my father's grave, his eyes DID twinkle...as if he didn't mind one bit that he had two wives and everyone knew it. It was just fun for the grown ups, but Bella REALLY wanted to talk to him! I had never seen him before and I had to scadattle to run a few more errands but later the same day when I talked to Rachael again she said she'd never seen him either but Bella did talk to him. She had asked him where he came from and he proceeded to show her the stitching on his shirt that read 'North Pole'. I wonder where he hid the reindeer?
I just had to share some of the amusing things I got to witness these past weeks...just every day life stuff, like in my bank parking lot, (Home Savings) there is a very real looking fake owl perched in the lower branches of a tree. Thing is, sitting right on either side of it were two squirrels, one grooming itself, the other, tail waving...what exactly is that owl supposed to keep away with those two fellows blowing his game? I was just driving down Main Street, also downtown Stoughton, and a truck goes speeding by and its back left hubcap just dropped off and kept on rolling right after the truck! Just like that children's story "The Runaway Pancake." It just kept rolling down the road! But the best one was in a grocery store parking lot up in Troy, NY, over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was not the first time I've heard the horn going on an empty car, but when we went by it there was a little dog, its two paws jumping on the horn!
I like to reflect on Thanksgiving by finding the best part of it every year. Gregg and I went out to NY this year. Actually, the best par of the holiday was the night before. All the cousins were laying on the living room floor playing cards and laughing. I had been baking pies all day and ALWAYS growing up we were never allowed to touch the pies before Thanksgiving. However, this year we just looked at each other and said 'who made up THAT stupid rule???' WE were the grown ups! We made a fresh pot of great coffee and that first apple pie was gone in two minutes. At first it felt like we were playing hooky from school or something, but by the time there were only crumbs in the pie pan we had made a new tradition. Next year, cherry for the pie the night before.
I am really pleased that I can sit at my desk and have my supplies ready to paint ANY time I wish. My new student, Seren, who is 12 going on 28, is very talented and a total joy of a 'sponge mind' student. It is rewarding to know she is grapsing the fine points of cubisum and the difference between tones and colors, but it was just a hoot to show her a new way of mixing the metallic power with a new ink color. We both turned to each other with big eyes and said WOW at the exact same time. I have to admit, it is one of a teacher's best moments! I am helping her to eventually be able to paint a dragon. Two hours seems like 10 minutes when you are doing it right.
Joe is up to his tricks again...I had been looking through a sea of papers for my pumpkin pie recipe on top of the fridge. I must have put one (of the many I have up there) vases on the floor and completely forgot about it. However, the other day I was sitting on the couch, journaling, when I heard this bizarre sound. It was like a growly-rumble but it was very soft. I'm like, "What tha??" I looked into the kitchen and there is Joe, one foot up pushing the vase. How it got on its side I will never know, but the floor is on a little of an incline, so, it would roll toward him and he'd push it back. He'd push, it would roll back and make this sound. I wonder what turtles do for fun out in the wild if he does this indoors? Lately he's taken to sleeping on my old purse next to my bed. The strap broke and it's useless to me but it's really nice leather so I thought maybe I could have it repaired rather than part with it. Joe thinks it's his...I guess now it is...
Well, having won five Emmy awards makes me even more thrilled with the "Temple Grandin" movie! Pam Jahnke (from our sister station WTDY) actually had an up-close interview with the real Temple Grandin and sent it along for me to hear. Here's the interview - it might take awhile to download, but just be patient.
I am also really happy to report that the money earned for the Habitat for Humanity was at least $5,000! Every cent was donated from the artists and I am proud to have been a part of such an awesome venture.
I only have a subscription to two magazines: "Taste of Home" and "Cowboys and Indians." Now a lot of people laugh at me and say, "Only you, Vaughn, would have a 'Cowboys and Indians' magazine!" They always assume it's like old-time cartoon characters or something. But, this is a VERY slick, very savvy, highly intelligent magazine. It is about the southwest but it's published in Chicago and the photography alone was the main reason I got the subscription. A few issues back there was an interview with Claire Danes who plays the part of real life 'cattle hero' Temple Grandin. To be honest, I don't think I would ever have thought to watch that movie. But it's also the very reason I keep my subscription...it was a fascinating article! I knew precious little about autism. The movie was riveting, thrilling and very moving. The sheer courage of what that woman (and her mother) were able to surmount was staggering. It was sooo uplifting to see how far we have come over time in embracing people who are brilliant but misunderstood so often. If I were you I'd get it on your cable station or pick it up at Redbox and watch it tonight!
What a sensational turnout we had at Robert Rae on Friday night for the opening reception! There was elbow room, that's about it and it's a big gallery. I had no idea Clausen's made to- die-for quiche...there was tons of it, too; they are so generous! Fosdals contributed the carrot cake...there may have been a slice or two left...I'm certain that only happened because there were two people who just don't like cream cheese frosting...it was scrumptious. Chessers always does an amazing job on their trays. They update the bids once a day and we have until the 29th of this month. Then there is a closing reception (you can join us if you didn't get to go on Friday). If you feel so inclined, the auction web page address is on the front page of www.Magic98.com for bids. The Robert Rae Gallery is open everyday, too, if you wanted to go there to see the things up close and personal. With all the monies going to Habitat for Humanity it is nice to see such great support. I only wish Turner would have played all his flutes, too, but frankly the crowd had the poor fellow really quite squished into his corner and he didn't have much room to perform. I highly recommend seeing him if you can when he's around town!
Tomorrow we are getting the Robert Rae Gallery (184 W. Main St. Stoughton) set up for the "Habitat for Humanity" fundraiser exhibit. There are 44 artists who have donated work for the benefit. Some of us also have made a piece of art from recycled material. My friend Lynn had dropped this absolutely gorgeous cabochon of wild horse turquoise and was heart sick over it. So, I built a bi-level painting to show it off. You can go online to see it and some of the other art that will be there and even do some online bidding at www.restoredane.org. The show will be at the gallery the entire month of October, but the opening reception is October 8th from 6-9 pm. I love Celtic music and Turner Collins and Friends will be performing! There will be noshing and libations to add to the festivities. Everyone is welcome! It's really very low key and a lot of fun to see what things artists can do! The closing reception is October 29th to tally the final bids and of course have another reason to have a party! Hope you can make it!
I am always amazed at how the criss-cross of technology and nature seem to show up in my life. When I was at my Aunt Lisa's in NY, there were a lot of people there for the family reunion. I was thrilled to use her fantastic coffee maker which not only grinds the beans freshly and then make a perfect cup of coffee with the push of one small button, I made eight pots within moments! Everyone could drink it the moment they hit the kitchen. The kitchen outlets all looked like octopuses, what with everyone's phone and cameras being recharged overnight. At the Dane County Airport I had to have someone show me how to use the new hand dryers! They look like a figure eight sticking out on its side. You just have to dip your hands slowly down and then up and you're completely dry!
Yet at home again, here in the little city of Stoughton, I go usually go out about 5am on Sunday morning to head to the radio ranch to do Sunday Smooth. I park my car over the sewer grate and to my surprise, a raccoon was popping its head up just under my car! I always walk very quietly so he didn't see me until I was near the car. Dove back under. Then there was the bat, hanging right outside my door to my apartment. I called him Skippy. Every time I'd open my door, he'd be doing something new. One time swinging on one leg, next time, the other leg, then the next time, his butt! The last time I saw him it was his face! Little fangs! Percy (my landlord) came and took him out after that, but I kinda miss him! Then on Labor Day, there was a great blue heron right along the riverbank, not ten feet from me. I watched him take off then go land on the boathouse down the river. Further up, by the train trussel, I saw two sandhill cranes, walking very fast and making so much racket! They always have a kind of prehistoric sound you can hear from a distance but at such close range, it was really loud! I had to cover my ears. Between the woodpeckers and blue jays and cardinals, the path is always a nice mix of sound and color.
But the big surprise for me was actually on the plane on the way home. The stewards now give instructions as to when you can have your phones powered up or on airplane mode. I usually fly at night and often it's the last jet in. There was no empty seat on that flight so when the captain gave the OK to power up again, everyone's phone (ipods) all came alive together. It was a brand new, absolutely lovely sound; like a concert of at least a hundred cyber birds! It was already great to be coming back home but the new voice of technology really made it very special.
What a wow and rewarding Saturday it was at the Agora Art Fair! I can't even recall how many times people said its name wrong...Angora, like the rabbit...Ancora...like the coffee and finally we were all calling it the rabbit coffee fair. I even have made a little character rabbit, drinking coffee, for the 'someday' banner the fair will display! It'll read Agora Art Fair but the rabbit with the coffee will be what everyone will remember. It was really hot but so many nice listeners came to booth 49 to visit and buy my new mini-masterpeices I went home a very happy (if exhausted) camper! Not far from us was Yum-Yum ice cream (HOMEMADE!), the beer tent, music and food. Becky and I hope to have the same booth next year. Those grounds are just perfect for an art fair event. It was a tightly run ship and I tip my hat and make a bow to both Nikki and Steve for doing a very very fine time for everyone!
Back from the family reunion...amazing to see so many of us in the same place. The gathering came from Ohio, Alabama, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and me from Wisconsin; it was really a tribal thing! Besides seeing all the gang, going swimming and eating great food (I have a FAMILY of foodies) I did get to the Clark Museum (in Mass.) to see the 'Picasso Meets Degas' exhibit. That was just amazing and awesome rolled together. I got a lot of photos and there were hardly any mosquitoes there so we could sit outside on the patio in our dressing gowns and drink coffee while we talked and watched the sun come up. NICE!
I have really enjoyed making all my new 'mini masterpiece' jewelry. The idea and the title (mini masterpieces) was initiated by Becky Guzman. She is an artist friend who makes clay beads in her own shop. First I paint the paintings, then cut them into miniature shapes, seal them in the bezels and then pour the resin over to preserve them. Some of the pieces have leaves, moons, birds or filigree flowers right in the resin. Some (which are my personal favorite) I have leaves in and out of the resin so they are a 3D effect! The resin pour takes 72 hours and it is really rocket science to be sure every variable is thought of to ensure a good 'pour.' I always feel like I am hatching dragon eggs...each piece is totally unique and an original creation. The Historical Museum is now selling them in the gift shop! The jewelry is in its own case right by the register. In the spring of next year, I will be teaching a painting/resin class at the Shake Rag Alley art community in Mineral Point. Check out www.shakeragalley.com.
It is a lot of work but rewarding to be able to preserve art in such a unique way!
There are also several sets in "The Cornerstone Gallery" downtown Baraboo and at "Bianca" which is in Fish Creek, Door County, in the Settlement Shops.
I am so glad that Door County is really so close as I can whisk away, even just overnight so I can still enjoy the entire day up there, too! All work and no play is really not good. The latest exhibit at the Hardy Gallery ends this Sunday. I REALLY wanted to see that show. After all the work and energy of making this new jewelry and working for two months on painting (both of which are in this show) I just had to see it for myself. It's also a rush to see the other artists work who made it to the show, too, some of whom are my friends. I was lucky enough to have perfect weather. I found a great new place to swim, went to my favorite antique stores and got to two new galleries I had never visited before. The mosquitoes were really bad...but they're bad everywhere. I made the mistake of opening the hatchback of my car and invited a whole slew of them in. With the humidity like this, I just try to focus on how lush all the trees are instead of cursing the vampire bugs. Coming up Friday the 23rd, downtown Stoughton is having an Art Walk. Lots of stores will be open until 8pm with guest artists sitting in with their work. Eighteen artists within four blocks...I always have my art in the Robert Rae Gallery but I will be sitting in at Main Street Flowers from 5-8pm with my new jewelry. Be great to see you!
I love my place but I do miss having a garden. I have to make due with a few pots of flowers outside my door. So going to Eberts...the huge and gorgeous greenhouse village in Ixonia...is especially fun. Recently they arranged for a bus to go to Chicago to enjoy a tour of the Botanical Gardens. Last Thursday, my best buddy Lori and I stopped in Lake Mills for primo coffee and scones, then got to Eberts where we hopped on the bus and headed south. The tram driver was quite the wit giving us the 40 minute slow ride. He would stop for excellent photo shoots, one of which was a pair of white swans with 3 signets in tow. Then a really nice box lunch we ate out on the deck and then a few hours to noodle about on our own. Then to the gift shop and then back to Eberts. They treated every person on that bus with a huge box of flowers just for going! The English walled garden was my favorite but for photos, the lilly pads where sensational. Also, in the arbor of the rose garden hung ginormous white begonias. They were just gorgeous. Lots of places to sit and cool off in the shade, too. There are over 340 acres so I do plan on going back another time.
This Saturday are the Art Fairs on and off the square, but also my own new jewelry trunk show (10-5) at Hand with Seeds in downtown Stoughton. It's right across the street from Catfish Arts and Antiques. I'll have seconds and pendants only and some holiday things, too. Be nice to see you!
Was Saturday morning beautiful or what? I was up and out in time to take my walk as the sun rose. The were so many birds singing and chirping at the same time I wondered if there was some bird event they were all talking about? Baby bunnies, all out close to the path, at least seven of them...when they turn to run away, half of them are white tail! Lots of geese with their teenagers and ducks with their little ducklings. One Mom must have been ducky day-care...she had no less than at least 14 behind her, all in a row, waddling across the road heading for the river. There was a nice breeze blowing which was especially great because it swept away ALL the gnats that usually swarm over the top of the foot bridge. No mosquitos, no dogs, no people, no bikes, just the sunshine filtering through the wooded walk path and a lone dragonfly that zipped over my shoulder. It's interesting how the birds take turns at different times. That early it's the baby hour. Usually about 9 is when the cranes start in. Even if you don't see them, there is no mistaking the almost prehistoric sound they make. There is one little clearing, close to the railroad tracks, where a pair of cranes walk their carefully placed, long strides. I am always astonished at how BIG they are and even more amazed that they stop and check me out, too.
I'm now working on the jewelry for the trunk show I'll be having at "Hand with Seeds", a lovely new shop in downtown Stoughton, on July 10th from 10-5. I'll be there all day with my tools and doing some demonstrations. I am also working on a new, big painting that will be hanging in the courthouse. How cool is that!
So, did you have a nice relaxing weekend up North? I had to laugh when I got asked that...that was the plan...sort of. I got back from Door County Monday as the sun was going down over the rolling green fields. There were huge, freshly rolled bales of hay, lined up like big shredded wheat cereal dotting the landscape. There was a lovely hot air balloon drifting low and silently across the field. It was funny because in one field, there where all these tiny brown cows and I thought they were a very unusual species until I noticed that there was one Mom off to the side and all these were the baby cows! I just never thought to see such a big group without their moms! (Recall I am a natural blonde.)
But that was the only 'relaxing' I had for the four days! I spent a lot of time visiting with my artist friends, shopping for beads for my new jewelry and antiques for my soul, and of course the main reason for going, getting jurried into the France Hardy Gallery (yes, both my entries were accepted in!) and being at the Paint Box Gallery opening Sunday morning where my new work is up on display. Not only did I stay at the Inn on Maple again (I love that place) my artist friend Bobby Spencer (she does lovely watercolors) taught me how to make pie crust from scratch. Before, whenever I'd try my hand at it it would either become the shape of Italy and stick to the rolling pin or Asia and be too out of shape to get it properly in the pie plate, or once when I rolled it all out and baked it, I needed a saw to get through it. But now I've got it down!! We made it with rhubarb that she just yanked up out of her garden!
Next time I go up I'm bringing a few books and my journal and plan on catching up on sleep! It's all good!
It's amazing to me how when I get engrossed in an art project the hours are like minutes. I get so focused it's very easy to lose track of time. I've already burned two dinners and Joe pushed the cardboard door open and made his way all the way down the hall before I realized he had escaped. This new Bubble-Check jewelry I've been working on is coming along just beautifully! I can now do the whole process. Paint the picture, select the proper shape, then the proper bezel, then Mod Podge it 3 separate times, then the resin pour (which takes 72 hours to set (bubble-check and top-em off) then find the beads, glass, findings and assorted chains, ribbons & leather and then closures to finish off a piece of wearable, very unique original art! Whew! This year I plan on being part of the Agora Art Fair, (Aug 21) as Avalon Blvd. Studio (me) will be part of Diakonos Design Studio booth. What a fun event that is! Live music this year, too. You'll want to come see it!
It seems I am always in the middle of so many projects. I really, really enjoy the time I get to spend with my son, Gregg. He has become a real foodie too, and at least half of our conversations are taken up with some nummy, new ways to prepare meals. He's making circles around me these days. We went out for Thai food not long ago. I cannot recall the name of the place...it's on PD by the Barriques coffee shop. In truth, dry cleaning stores have more atmosphere but the food was amazing. We both love curry.... Gregg always goes for the hot, hot stuff. He had shrimp in some pastel green sauce, I went for the duck in pinky-peach. Both were really, really good! Next time, we get it to go....
Well the two new artworks are painted, framed and delivered to the "Secura Art Exhibit"
(in Appleton )Tuesday, jurried and hung for the opening tonight. The show ends on Sunday when I have to zip back up there to pick them up again. I know, I know, it's a lot to do for such a short space but the caliber of the work in this show is so high I am very honored to even be in it. (That I won an "honorable mention" ribbon last year has nothing to do with it....haha) Actually I find a quiet car ride helps me relax. All the flowering Almonds and Crab trees blooming are superb and Wisconsin is a lovely state to traverse in!
Last Saturday I was in the kitchen of the house I just finished wallpapering. Beautiful Victorian here in my town of Stoughton. I had a lot of patching up to do, which of course means a lot of sanding is needed. That dust gets everywhere so I decided to use Peg's vacuum. If I had any doubts of its origin, they were quickly dispeled once I figured out how to turn it on. It was R2D2's great, great, great-grandmother, I'm certain of it. It was called a Queen Anne or was it Queen Bee? Anyway, it had a long metal hose in two pieces and a long nozzle on the end. I was just holding it up and turned on the vacuum...wow, it sucked the curtain right up! HOLY MOLY, I pulled on it and took the curtain rod right off the window...O-my-God...I quickly turned to move the vacuum to shut it off but it fell over! O-my...the little wheels spinning like some sick robot...I turned it back upright, but in the process, the vacuum got hold of the thin plastic sheet covering the table! O-my...I got a hold of it, still keeping the vacuum upright, before everything went sailing off the table, and held it really low so I could reach the turn-off button but not before it snarfed up the plastic sheet that was covering the cabinets! I was like, OK, where's Ethel? Where are the TV cameras to document this??? When Peg called to see how things where going, she laughed her head off and said she never uses it ALONE.
NOW she tells me...
Well my life is never boring...my friend Becky Guzman (a bead artist-she actually hand makes clay beads) came up with a way of framing small parts of my art work into bezels and coating them with resin. Who'd a thunk! Kathryn Vaughn art framed and worn around your neck, arms or dangling off your ears! We have been working feverishly to make as many as we can for the bead show coming up this weekend. The resin process is slow (72 hours). It takes constant vigilance, melting out the trouble-some bubbles and keeping the temperature warm enough so the resin won't cloud over. I am a total goofball to begin with, but get me really tired and working with a great friend, well let's just say I know where the expression 'slap happy' originated. This brand new line of jewelry is now called "Bubble-check." You know the place, right below Romania and just above Bulgaria? Yeah, and the president of "Bubble-check" is "Top-em-off" and we can't forget his twin brother "Top-it-off." We spent a lot of time by the river "Bubble-watch" that runs through the heart of "Bubble-check." I've made hearts, ovals, squares, circles in all the designs I've been painting for years. It's like discovering I've got a tail and didn't even know it. I like it!
Last Saturday I had just a really nice evening over at Lanette and Marc's place. Back in January, I had a flat tire right on the busy Beltline. I was really rattled and God bless her soul, Netty sent her Marc over to help me out. She and I were scheduled for an appearance at Sentry for the "YWCA Baby Shower" for 5 o'clock! This was 2ish. Well, Marc was Mr. Chipper, telling me all about righty-tighty and Lefty-Lucy as he cheerfully taught me how to put that skinny tire on my car. It was damn cold out but he was like 'bah' and proceeded to follow me to Comstock Tires not too far from where I had blown a hole the size of my pinky in a brand new tire. All of a sudden the chopped-meat shreds the salesman showed me off the inside of my tire was just funny instead of terrifying. He just said it was nothing and sent me on my way to meet Lanette at the store.
When someone is able to do something so nice and helpful, the only thing to do in reply is to make a fab dinner. It took some time for us all to get our nuts schedules to match (they are getting married in April as you may already know) and to snag them for an evening is a good thing. Well, I made chicken Parmesan, stuffed shells, Brussels sprouts a la Marsala and a vanilla Butterfinger ice cream cake to top it off. Of course I made sure all the fat, calories and carbs where carefully cooked out. And then, Netty insists it be a sleepover party as well! Piper (a big fluffy cat) stayed in her drawer all night and Luna (a big happy dog) brought me all her toys to share. We yakked up a storm and let the dishes soak. Friends like family, how much better than that does it get????
Yesterday I managed to finally get out for a long walk. What a triple treat! No wind, freshly fallen snow on the trail and the trees bare enough I could even see the female cardinals flitting about. With dreamy snow reflections in the river and bird chatter and a rare visit by a HUGE raccoon I stayed out until it was starting to get dark. I am very lucky to live so close to such a nice trail. Best part is hardly anyone else seems to walk about it on Saturdays so it was incredibly peaceful and stunningly lovely. Claude Monet was famous for always painting outdoors but I just I can't paint with gloves on...
Well, I finally did it...I've been painting so many other people's homes and never my own. I have been in my latest apartment for eight years now; whenever I find a color I think my suit my bathroom, I splash a little on a wall to 'see it up' and so far, all I had was a clown pants variety of colors that look just awful! My bathroom has no windows, white wainscoting halfway up the walls and an old, claw-foot tub. I found the sweetest light peach and have begun the transformation. All the funny photos and art work look so much better. Hopefully I'll get it done this weekend!
This week I am beginning to paint a dining and living room for my friend Bev. She liked the green when she painted it that some time back, but, she wanted a change. Ta da, enter KV! We had a major pow-wow of what she had, what she wanted to do (and didn't want to do) and off I went to get the color swatches for her. By next week she will be one happy camper because soon the colors will be warm and very inviting. It seems it is just about February that people want to change things in their homes and also buy art. I'm sure it is a mild form of cabin fever. She has chosen a pair of Tuscany yellows for the living room to go with her red chairs. It is going to look marvelous!
I always get a kick out of changing all the calendar pages when the month changes. But boy, this month is so busy! Several listeners called me during yesterday's "Sunday Smooth" and asked me just how many things do I do. I had to laugh...somewhere around a million and a million and a half!
Seriously, besides being on Magic 98, I am a painter (ink, cold-water dyes and metallic powders), I write, I make earrings, I design and arrange flowers, I do interior decorating and repair and I teach art classes. In my spare time...
It is a strange little thing that happens here at the Magic 98 building. In the ladies room, close to the studio, there are these very tiny black bugs that show up now and then. (Ever hear that expression "as cute as a bug's ear"? What in the heck does that mean? Bugs don't have ears...). Well these little critters are actually pretty. Lanette Hansen and I were even talking about where in the heck they come from...the building is nearly hermetically sealed. Well there was one on the floor this past Sunday morning, on its back. At first I thought it was trying to fly because it was spinning around in a circle. I even thought about turning it over so it could get up. But then I noticed it was kicking its little legs in such a dramatic fashion that it reminded me of one of those super dramatic operas and this little guy was in the throes of some passionate aria and I didn't dare disturb him. Then, as I was on the air, of course, I had to leave but all of a sudden it seemed it wasn't a operatic performance, but more like Seinfeld pretending to sing an opera to get my attention...I like working at Magic 98--even the flies are great.
If you want to have a great lunch, not counting anything so boring as calories, fat, carbs or sugar, I can highly recommend David's Jamacian over on Monona Dr. My son, Gregg, and I went there last week and I don't think there is a better meal in Madison. Mango peach juice on the side! Gregg only has a brief lunch hour, good thing, we would probably still be there going for 4ths...
Just when I think Joe can't surprise me anymore, there he goes again. I was sitting in my kitchen working on my book and I heard the French doors creaking open. I had left Joe sitting on his little tropical island catching his rays. Joe is a little turtle. If he's in front of the fridge, with his head up, if I open the door, he's in the clear. Sure enough, he does his 'swnk' 'swak' shuffle over the carpet through living room all the way to the kitchen to sit by me while I work. So next time, I stay out in the sunny studio, too, and I watched him. He puts up his little right foot on the door, pushes until it starts to move. Then he pushed his shoulder shell against the door, getting the back leg action going and by golly, the door creaks and he is through. Next day I'm in the kitchen again and I see the empty gallon water jug moving across the floor. It looked as if it was moving on its own at first which really cracked me up. I just wonder, does he do things to entertain me or himself? I mean, do turtles think?
Just got finished hanging the last of the paintings for my latest show at the McFarland Coffee Cafe (5923 Exchange St.). It used to be a flower shop until the owner, Fern, had a stroke and had to let the business go. Now Ann and Bill Barker have completely redesigned the inside and left all the lovely garden things outside as they were. It'll be gorgeous in the spring! They are having a special dedication to Fern on Saturady, January 9th, at 2pm, naming the front room after Fern. She will be there for the ribbon cutting and cake and coffee and I will be, too, as I have 16 paintings of mine up in that honored place, too. My show will be hanging there until Feb. 18th. The shop is closed on Sundays but open until 7 most nights...if you get a chance, stop by. Food is great, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream and pastries are always available, too.