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Off to see the . . . Rocks?

Our latest class at Olli (Athens, UGA) was a study of the geology of the Colorado Plateau taught by Dr. R. David Dallmeyer.  I don’t know a rock from a button, so I was a bit nervous. Add to this I needed to explain to David that it was necessary for me to knit during class in order to stay focused. Well, it all went smoothly and David is one of the best teachers I have ever seen.  I didn’t need help staying focused.

We not only signed up for the class, we also joined the group going to Arizona and Utah to see in person the real strata we had just studied.  ( Actually, pre-class, I was just planning to paint my way from A to U. )

Two problems had to be solved.

1.  How many art toys do I need to take?  How few can I get away with is a better question.  Best I can tell, there are no art supply stores in the National Parks.  To start I filledthe dining   room table.  After a week of slow, steady deletions, I am packing these:

Luggage space is limited in our vans, so I may have to wear all my clothes on the plane and find a paper bag when I get to Phoenix. 

2.  Getting to the airport and finding a parking place.  

We flew to France from Atlanta a few years ago and almost missed the flight because we couldn’t find a place to park–and then there were the fees!  Not doing that again.  Also, I’m not in Charlotte anymore and the airport isn’t 18 minutes from my house.  We are going to Atlanta today and spending the night, leaving our car at the motel (free parking) and taking their shuttle to the airport Sunday am. Yes, the hotel fee and the airport parking for 12 days balance out,and it’s much easier emotionally.

  The trip will be far less boring than this blog. There will be opportunities to fall off a cliff, tear up a knee on a trail, or meet a wild animal. 

Keep me in your prayers.

More later–

Thank you, Cat, for asking

(Reposting to get this to Facebook friends.  I hope.)

Moving, especially when you are a senior, is not easy. No matter the draw to new places or the excitement of an adventure, leaving lifelong friends of all ages leaves a hole in your heart.  I’m going through the normal depression of that now. I was feeling like I was purposeless and worried at how little I left the house. I thought my creative life was stagnant. 

Then Cat wrote and asked “What are you making?”  This young woman is clearly clairvoyant. She made me look around and see that I had indeed done some things. Even some I liked. 

I thought I would share them with you. 

Took a drawing class. a 2 min. sketch.

Still collecting lichen for dyeing.

Slowly planning a village street scene.

Some scarves unblocked of course.

Drawing birds to make note cards.

making small notebooks out of marbled paper.

Marbled more paper in 90 deg heat.

Watercolor of one of the millions in the backyard.

Practicing watercolor sketching on back deck.

Trying to spin like Jan Smiley. Failing.

July visit to Philadelphia.

Practising for Fall trip to Arizona and Utah.

watercolor and ink sketch this morning

Steve made this barrier to keep Lexie out of his Bat Cave.

And——I rowed 6 miles on the Broad River in a solo kayak. 

But I still miss my Charlotte friends. All of you. Have not met anyone here yet that comes near to you. 

Maybe today.

More later . . .

Good news from Athens

Lexie and her cow.

This is Alexandra Elizabeth, a rescue Chihuahua from Colbert, Ga.  She is 3 or 5 years old depending on which expert guess you like best. She has Olympic caliber athletic skills and loves to dance on her hind legs. She is NOT house broken. Thank heaven the fence will be installed Thursday. She has made lots of progress since December 24 when she came to her forever home.

February in my backyard. The yard is also filled with cardinals, goldfinches, bluebirds, finches, and Carolina chickadees. I wish I could get a decent photo of them.

We also have deer.

This is Margaret Agner. She is a neighbor and friend. She is an artist who primarily does silk paintings.

She joined Erica and me at a fashion show for independent designers held at the loading dock of the local paper.  My new hairstylist tells me that this is a typical venue at New York fashion week. She works the shows each year.

 My design hero, Natalie Chanin, came to town as part of the Georgia Sewn Conference and I was able to talk with her and participate in a mini-workshop. This is the newspaper photo from the local paper. I had a very nice seat on the floor of the Atrium in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. UGA.

There have been other activities:  meeting Charlottean Meta Thompson at the Fibercraft Guild,  seeing “The Graduate” at the Town and Gown Theatre, a drawing class at OLLI (Google this if you are 50+), et. al.

There are at least six special activities every day, most of them free.  I just wish I could bring all of my friends and family down here to play with me.

There will definitely be more later–

Bella ?-2007 —12/3/2015


Bella’s favorite place. Mine. , too.

We lost Bella to cancer just a few weeks ago.  I haven’t been able to write about it until now.  We are devastated.  She was my best friend, my confidant, my shopping consultant, my baby.  She was so loved and she gave back even more.

Bella christmas dress

12-23-2010 Bella came to us in a velvet Christmas dress. Turned out that she hated clothes.

12-1-2015 Walking a bit near the end

Near the end she still tried to walk, but needed a coat for warmth Still didn’t like clothes.

I’ll share happier news later.  Have a happy holiday.

Update on moving to Athens

Unpacking chaos

Unpacking chaos

Out of the boxes and put somewhere I can see it. So many decisions about what goes where. Brain scramble.

Out of the boxes and put somewhere I can see it. So many decisions about what goes where. Brain scramble.

Three house down, turn right, this is the view. Much better than the chaos at home.

Three houses down, turn right, this is the view. Much better than the chaos at home.

This guy watched me until I raise the camera and then he looked away. The pond just glistens. So serene.

This guy watched me until I raise the camera and then he looked away. The pond just glistens. So serene.

Discovered this sheep on the horse farm mailbox. Think I will like this place.

Discovered this sheep on the horse farm mailbox. Think I will like this place.

More later—

The Fine Art of Packing

191cd654d1af6eb40670b5e244d08b8cThe first rule of moving your household is to sort your things and get rid of things you don’t use or like or need.  Whoever wrote that is NOT an artist.  I don’t own many clothes.  I mainly wear jeans or black.  I don’t have a lot of furniture except for shelves.  I have lots of bookshelves, wire cubes, ikea storage, etc.

To my rules of 1.  Never throw away anything made of 100% linen, and 2.  Never throw away a picture frame. add 3.  Never toss a bookshelf.  Number 3 is not my problem; the movers take them.  But the other stuff . . . .

Studio and studio storage

Why is it that most of the boxes are labeled Studio or Storage (the room off my studio)?  I swear I threw a lot of stuff away.


We are taking most of the breakables down early in a truck?  Where did all these breakable and “Necessary” items come from?  I did get rid of the cheap glass vases.  Many of them.

For over 20 years I have lived in a house with plaster walls that have hardened to the consistency of steel.  It’s almost impossible to drill a hole in them.  Therefore I have hung not very many pieces of art.   Most on nails left by former owners.

Pictures breed in an atticCheck this out.

Their packing estimate = $600.  ROTFL

Would you believe we already took a carload down?

I don’t know if I am taking things I will regret paying for.  I don’t care.  I am exhausted and my brain died two days ago.

What I do know is that I am hanging every #*@^%  one of those pictures because if you put them in your attic, they BREED.

More later–

New House–New Life

I’ve always wanted to live in a university town where town and gown really like each other. And now I will.

Steve is retiring and we are moving to Athens, Georgia. We are as giddy as teenagers.

We close on the new home Friday.  It is perfect for us.

 Lots of natural light.

 A screened porch and a deck.

 A studio with skylights.

We will move ____???? Retirement is in January. House has to sell. Donna Harding is my incredible real estate guru, so hope it will be soon.

Where we live in the meantime? We don’t know. Everything is day to day and I don’t care. Strange, coming from a planning Nazi. It is just part of how right this decision is.

Did you know that people over 62 can attend the University of Georgia for free? I am checking off classes in the catalog nightly.

We have spent a lot of time in Athens with my older daughter and my older grandson and their friends.  We love the foodie culture, the many arts groups and the amazing cycling. So many good things await us there, and I hope all of you who have so richly influenced my life will wish us well. I wish everyone could feel in their own lives as much joy and excitement as I feel today.

Y’all come on down. Real estate and taxes are cheap!

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