Floating Belties and Strong Daisies

Why has one of my latest paintings mysteriously changed position in my art bin? Floating, so it appeared to be, instead of sitting in proper position with the rest of the paintings.

“Hmmm.  Did Charlie (cat) jump into the bin and snuggle under the painting? I hope not!”
I investigate the other paintings. No paw prints, no chewed paper, not cat fur. That is strange. I adjust the painting so it is now standing as the others are in a vertical stack.

English: Belties at Old Bridge of Urr Belties ...
English: Belties at Old Bridge of Urr Belties (belted galloway cattle) in field by B794 above the hamlet Old Bridge of Urr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hubby walks in from his office. “I have to tell you, Hun, your latest pieces are really interesting. You are really good at revealing relationships in your paintings.”

“Thank you. I didn’t think you liked the last two.”

“Oh, no. They are really good. You’ve captured the feeling. The relationship between the two belties in your water color. You can see the affection shared between the two in your composition, and the posture of both cows. It really like it.”

I look over Hubby’s shoulder as he edits his latest letter to all his friends and relatives. He loves writing. Been at it for years. In my former employ as a teacher, I used to mail his stack of weekly letters as I arrived at work. I’d hand the collection with handwritten addresses to the receptionist  “It’s nice to know someone still writes letters,” she had smiled.

“Here, review my latest letter,” Hubby turns in his seat.

As I sort through the four pages, I am shocked to see my two latest paintings in his current letter.
“You photographed my paintings?”

“Yes. They tell a story. You captured the subjects and expressed more than the image.”

“Thank you. But you never asked.”

Hubby’s smile disappeared. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know it would be a problem.”

“I thought the cat had been in my bin. But it was you.”

“Uh, yes. Is there a problem?”

“Well, no one has seen my latest work and now you are dispersing an image of them to several people who either won’t care or will share it with others. That is not fair. You must ask first. If Jamie Wyeth’s new creation were shared that way, you would be sued. There is such a thing as copyright infringement.”


“Why did you photograph the daisy as well?”

English: Daisies
English: Daisies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hubby, smiles. “You captured something I didn’t notice. As we worked at logging, moving the branches out of the way, piling the logs and cutting some into firewood, you found a little daisy struggling to survive through the disruption we imposed in its environment. You plucked it up, placed it in a tiny bottle and gave it another life.

“Then you painted it. You captured its inner being, wanting to survive, reaching for the sun. It demonstrated strength. It spoke to me. It is a simple painting, but it caught my attention—I had to write about it. You have to keep painting because you are good at it.”


“I hope it is okay to send the letters as they are.”

Hubby’s words soothe and encourage me. They were simple paintings, not complicated as some seem to be at times. I am my own worse critic…isn’t every artist?

The printouts don’t really do justice to the colors used in the original artwork. But that is the printer’s fault. Too many browns I told Hubby as he first tested our new printer. He likes brown, I suppose.

“Okay. But ask me next time. Also, I recommend you crop the daisy better. You left one border in the painting. It distracts from the subject because it is not part of the composition.”

“Thanks, Hun.” Hubby happily edits his narrative.

“Charlie. You want some milk?”

“Meow,” the cat smiles. I swear it sounds like ‘Meowilk’. Charlie is almost human. Therefore, he wouldn’t nap in my art bin. My artwork speaks to him too: He’s afraid of cows. :-)

Stubborn Hubby

“Stubborn 4 Life” LosAngeles Graffiti Art (Photo credit: anarchosyn)

Jo, where have you been?
Oh, out chasing my paint brush and writing when I can. Lately, I’ve been helping Hubby cut trees, removing limbs, piling limbs, chucking limbs. We have such a huge pile. I suppose you could call it a wall. A very long six foot high wall of pine needles, spruce boughs, birch branches, roots, rotted trees and lots of twigs.

Exhausting work. Hubby is not as youthful as he believes he is. Nor am I. But he still impresses onlookers when he fells two trees at once. Scary and awesome. In the end, we toss and turn as we try to sleep. His knees, his calves, my knuckles, my feet, my back hurt. I offer to get the turmeric.
He replies, “It’s okay. I’ll be fine.”
 “Are you sure? When was the last time you took a turmeric capsule?”
“But you’re hurting tonight.”
No response. So I rise making my way to the medicine cabinet where I store my home made turmeric powder capsules. Dark orange turmeric powder in veggie gel capsules. Organic. A local compounding druggist taught me how to make my own capsules.  Quite simple. Messy. But simple. I pour eight ounces of water and pad back to the bedroom, in the dark so Hubby won’t be disturbed.

English: A variety of Turmeric Flower found in...
English: A variety of Turmeric Flower found in Maharashtra, India. Turmeric or “Indian Saffron” is one of the most commonly used spice in India – a key flavoring ingredient in any Indian cuisine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Here is your turmeric and lots of water. Be sure to drink plenty.”

Turmeric powder 薑黃粉
Turmeric powder 薑黃粉 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It’s okay, sweetheart. I took some yesterday.”
“I know. I take one every day. Some times more. You need to take one tonight.”
“I’ll be okay.”
“You aren’t okay now and I want to sleep. I ache, I’m taking my dose and if you don’t take yours I’ll be up all night listening to you toss and turn… and snore.”
“All right. I’ll take it. But just a sip of water. You brought too much.”
“Oh. I forgot you like being dehydrated as well as being in pain.”
“Aww. C’mon Hun. Be nice to me.”
“What do you think I’m doing? I am nice to you. Why else am I walking around in the dark risking a broken toe,  hauling water from the well along with this ancient two thousand year old remedy for inflammation?”
“Well? Shall I pour it over you or will you drink it?” I laugh.
“You are a good wife and great caretaker. Okay, I’ll take it.” Hubby takes the pill, sips about a tablespoon of water. Enough to possibly choke on the capsule.
“I think you need to take more water, Hun.”
“You think so?”
“I know so.”
“Well, okay. I’ll drink some more.”
“Thank you. If you finish it you’ll find a prize at the bottom of the glass.”
“What prize?”
“Me looking at you from the bottom. Smiling at you.”
Hubby guzzled the eight ounces of water, grinned and handed me the empty glass. “You are a caring wife. I love you.”
“I love you too. Now lets get some sleep. We’ll both feel better in the morning.”

Next morning, we were free of pain and Hubby thanked me for the turmeric.

“You should take another capsule before we start cutting more trees today. Six hours of hard labor is too much for seniors like us. We aren’t young anymore.”
“That’s okay Hun. I took one yesterday.”
“How can I forget.” I smile as he walks out with his chain saw and ear protectors.
I take a turmeric before I join him and tuck an extra one in my pocket. Just in case. I am a good wife and he’s a great hubby. Just a little stubborn is all.

PS: Sometimes, when I run out of capsules, I stir turmeric in hot bouillon or in my mashed potatoes. A capsule makes it easier to swallow.