Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Male and Female Figure Studies

I'm going through the paintings I've done over the last two years. This life study was finished in one of Andriulli's painting classes. It's funny, but the gallery where I exhibited last year did not want any nudes. (Please excuse the bad cropping job).

I love my nude paintings but nobody seems to want to hang them in their homes. My children do not want me to leave them around. The human body is a beautiful thing. These models were middle aged.

It is the end of the year and I am going through my "unsuccessful" paintings and obliterating many of them. I am not obliterating this one even though no one wants it. I am obliterating the many crappy and overworked paintings that are cluttering up my old Amish shed. Its the end of the year I can destroy! Destroy! Obliterate! Time to start the new year fresh!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Christmas Boot! (With Balls)

It is time to participate in our annual Christmas Eve festivities including everybody's favorite: The decoration and passing of "The Boot".
Doug and I were the holders of the boot over the last year and added "balls" . Disco ball ornaments to be exact. Each guest also will receive their own full sized disco ball compliments of our favorite store: Five Below! Each family has had one turn to hold the boot and return it with the decoration of choice. We contemplated "blowing up" the entire thing this year. We couldn't bring ourselves to do it without adding our balls.
However, we did not make our annual trip to the wilds of West Virginia to purchase our illegal cache of explosives. Unfortunately we fired all of our fireworks on the 4th of July. One of the advantages of living in a rural area is that we can get away with setting off impressive displays of mortars and finale combination sets before any neighbors could report us the the authorities. (Besides we always invite our closest neighbors to see the show!)

So, here is a final look at our ballsy boot before we passed it off to the next victim. Please note that our abode looks fairly tidy. (This was taken just before the evening's festivities).
We can only imagine what next year will bring.

Disclaimer: This post was written after the festivities, but the photos were taken in anticipation of the great event. So if there are some inconsistencies in tense (I am talking to you English Language Nazis) please forgive me. It is Christmas morning and I am too tired to bother with serious editing problems.
Merry Christmas Everyone! Have a ballsy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tacky Holiday Thoughts

I've been slacking here. It seems that the days are flying by.
I haven't stopped long enough to hold a coherent thought, let alone a thought coherent enough to blog about.

So here are some semi-coherent thoughts. Sorry. It's the best I can do tonight.

The best holiday party we have is on Christmas Eve. We invite our closest friends and neighbors. (Glenn and Sue, Sam and Leslie, Lark, Keith and Bob)
Sue and Glenn moved here from Long Island. Leslie (originally from Long Island) was my roommate in Philly. Lark and Keith are our next door neighbors. Bob was our neighbor in the old apartment complex. (We helped him survive his divorce from Pam the psycho woman.)

All of these folks live close enough that we don't have to worry about them driving home intoxicated.

We've established silly traditions. One year we bought a totally tacky ceramic cowboy boot. We held a drawing. Bob won the first year. The winner takes the boot home, decorates it and returns in the next year. Bob added a bandana to the boot.

The Tilleys "won" the second year. Sue and Glenn added branches and Corona beer cap ornaments.

The Myers added a garland. Sam and Leslie added lights.

This year the boot came home. Our turn to decorate! We have a theme in mind and IT IS TACKY!

Stay tuned for some fun photos!

P.S. Please get on my case if I don't post them![

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tangled Trees

I promised myself that I would post a painting this week. I did it!
I painted this about a year and a half ago. It is very large (approx. 52x47). I tried posting this before but had difficulty due to the size of the file.
I was waiting for sunshine to re-photograph, but it has been quite elusive lately.
I took a chance and photographed it using the natural light in my great room. It didn't come out too bad.
Anyway. This painting was developed using a photo that I took during a winter walk through our woods. I love "nekkid" trees and find them to be very expressive and beautiful. I particularly like the negative space between the branches, vines, tangles, etc. thus the inspiration for the name of my blog.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ichiban Kan!

Unlike most women I know, I hate shopping. I absolutely abhor going to the malls around the holidays. I despise Walmart, Black Friday and Manufacturer's Outlets. (I do like interesting stores in cute little neighborhoods) I am not one of those women who will take a shopping trip to cure a lousy mood.

My daughters seem to have inherited my distaste for"normal" mall shopping. While they enjoy trips to the mall to buy Bubble Tea, and hang out with their friends, they refuse to venture into the normal teenage uniform retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle and Aeropostale.

Last year we flew out to the San Francisco area to attend my brother's wedding. We encountered the worst weather the area had experienced in recent history. Four full days of rain and wind. The redwoods were off-limits. Our trip to Alcatraz Island was cancelled due to 50 mph wind gusts. We were basically forced to find indoor activities!

To our delight we found Japantown in San Franciso. Japantown is home to three connected indoor mall type shopping centers. In these "centers" the visitor finds a wealth of everything Japanese. There had to be at least 10 competing Sushi restaurants. We found a wonderful bookstore and lots of cute stores. My daughters stocked up on manga, and toys, and all sorts of neat stuff. The best of these stores was Ichiban Kan. Ichiban Kan is similar to a dollar store. Everything was adorable and inexpensive.

My daughter "D" requested a Bento box for Christmas. We saw them at Ichiban Kan. I wasn't about to travel back to the west coast for one so I began a google search. Sure enough, Ichiban Kan has website and I was able to purchase the bento box online! (I think it cost about $2.00) I had so much fun I contined to shop. The largest ticket item was about $3.50. I did my holiday shopping on my laptop and did not spend a huge amount of money! I can handle shopping like this! Check it out at www.ichibankanusa.com/ or click on my title.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Honoring the Fowl Carcass/Black Bean Soup

My favorite post Thanksgiving ritual involves the lowly turkey carcass. One Thanksgiving we trekked down to my sister-in-law's house in Virginia. After a lovely dinner, sister and brother-in-law gleefully trashed the unsightly remains of the once glorious bird. D and I were horrified! We both agree that the carcass is the best reason to cook a turkey in the first place.

This past Thanksgiving, Shazza and I decided to cook the dinner at our dad's house. I offered to provide the turkey, knowing that I would have first dibs to the bones. As soon as we returned to Pennsylvania, we loaded the bones into our largest stockpot, added vegetables, seasonings water and let it simmer for several hours. When the meat fell off the bones, I put the pot on the back deck to cool.

Today was a cold, miserable mess of a day. We had a bit of morning ice and sleet which turned into a steady, nasty rain. The temps hovered just above freezing all day. Needless to say, I had no desire to or reason to go anywhere. D made a nice fire and I decided to use my turkey stock.
My favorite turkey stock recipe follows. I do not know where we found the original but I've never tasted a better black bean soup. This is slightly altered from the original.

Black Bean/Turkey Soup

6-12 cups turkey stock
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup shredded carrots
1 16 oz. package dry black beans
1 bay leaf
Oregano to taste
Salt, pepper to taste
1 cup shredded potatoes
2-3 minced garlic cloves
2-3 T butter
1-2 fresh limes
Crystal Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Leftover turkey meat

Soak beans overnight. In large, deep pot bring beans and turkey stock to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1.5 to 2 hours.

In large skillet melt butter. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Add sauteed vegetables and remaining ingredients (except lime) to beans. Stir well. Simmer covered for one additional hour. Just before serving stir in 1-2 T fresh lime juice. Garnish with lime slices. Sour cream is a nice garnish as well. Enjoy

BTW After making this soup I still had enough leftover turkey stock to fill 2-3 containers for other soups and recipes. I never did get out of my pajamas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a Weekend!

Whew! I used to say that "back in the day" after a weekend of parties and barhopping. That lifestyle is long gone for this old "has been". I am experiencing a different kind of exhaustion.

Daughter D had her first Junior Symphony concert today at 3:00 p.m.

Her grandfather, a.k.a. the "Semi-conductor", wanted to see her play but could not come to the concert. (It is a four-hour drive from southern New Jersey). I suggested that he could perhaps come to D's dress rehearsal on Saturday.

Turns out, the semi-conductor met a "charming and delightful" lady from York on his singles tour of Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Dad contacted this lady, invited her to the Saturday dress rehearsal along with dinner on Friday night. I had to take a personal day to clean and mentally prep for this visit. Needless to say we had a lovely time dodging snow squalls and feasting on Vito's cuisine at the Moonlight Cafe.

On Sunday (today) Shazza and M came in to see the symphony. My husband's brother, sister-in-law and niece also came down from Northeastern PA. Thanks to everyone for coming and supporting D. The kids sounded great. (except for a few minor mess-ups) Needless to say, I am proud of my daughter, thankful for the support of family and down right exhausted. I am not used to so much company and excitement! Tomorrow it's back to school, Tuesday night I stay late for parent/teacher conferences and Wednesday we will be on our way to New Jersey to help make Thanksgiving dinner for the semi-conductor. As far as I know, he has not invited any of his lady friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Online Graduate Class Rant

Hey everybody!

I am finally finished with my online class! What a pain in the arse. I would rather take a "real" class any day. The on-line work was not difficult but it was constant!

Every night, after work, commuting, making dinner and schlepping the kids around I had to sit down and work on my classwork. I had to post in classroom discussion or check in with my little group. Why do academics insist on "group work"? I would much rather work on my own, thank you.

I I had my druthers I would not take another "on-line" class. I have three more classes to go before I earn my masters.

Upon checking the schedule I realized that there are very few "live" class offerings. The vast majority of the available classes are on-line. I found a "live" class in January. The other ones either run during the same time or are over daughter D's birthday weekend. So I will probably have to take at least one more.

At the moment my motivation to finish is greater than my motivation to take "live only" classes. So if I disappear from blogging again you'll know why. At any rate I am finished until after the holidays. Hopefully I'll get a painting or two posted in the meantime. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Election Glee

I'm in a good mood after the Obama win so I thought I'd share some more fall foliage photos.

I will be looking at them for potential painting ideas.

You can thank Pennsylvania for helping in the effort.

I can't say things will be wonderful now. Obama certainly has his work cut out for him. Obama does possess that rare ability to inspire people. I hope he uses his gift to work with all the American people.

Cheers to you all. In the meantime, enjoy the foliage!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thoughts on Election Eve

Here it is Election Eve! The good news is that W will be outta here no matter who wins. The bad news is the extremely nasty anti-Obama sentiment. I have taken a few photos from our idyllic setting in York County, PA to show you what vandals have been doing to our Obama signs.
The campaign offices have been very nice about giving us replacements signs.
As you can see by the photos that the tire tracks are not unintentional.
Because we live in a "battleground" state. We have been bombarded by phone calls and mailings from the McCain camp. "Obama is a terrorist. Obama will take your guns. Obama is a socialist. Obama wants to redistribute your wealth.
Our fall foliage has finally peaked! This is a view about 1/4 mile down my road. More fall photos will be uploaded soon.

This taken directly across the street from our lane.

My students are afraid that if McCain wins, he will die and we will have Caribou Barbie. She seems just about a dumb as W.

When I polled my Art One class today a few said they liked Obama, a few said they liked McCain. The large majority of them felt very strongly that Obama would be assassinated if he were elected.
Scary thoughts.

Friday, October 31, 2008

View from my School

I love everyone's fall photos. Here are a few of mine from my brand new school. I have been waiting for the leaves to turn so I could photograph the extraordinary view from my school's faculty room. These pictures do not do the scene justice, so please click on them for a better view. (I should have uploaded them in the larger format). The leaves are turning a little, but I think they have a way to go. (This has been one of those weird autumns) I may snap a few pictures next week. I would like to do a painting of the view, but I do not feel like dragging my easel, paints, etc. to school on a Saturday. (I'm getting lazy in my old age). There are some dramatic shadows in the morning that I can't quite capture if I paint on location. I used to be a purist when it came to painting a landscape from life. I am warming up to painting from photos because they capture the moment. I drive to work and see such beautiful lighting that can only be caught by camera. (I will justify it because I taught traditional b&w photography for years). I will play with these different images and try to come up with a good composition. I will probably take out the electrical towers and fences, but I think sometimes they can be interesting additions. Your suggestions are welcome! Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rex the Gardener (Work in Progress)

I have emerged temporarily to share with you this work in progress. This was commissioned to be a portrait of "Rex" and his grass garden. I was invited to the premises to photograph the wonderful garden. I was given two photos of Rex. I was to place the face from one (in a squatting position) on the body of the other. In the standing photo, the legs were covered by plants and the gentleman's hand was resting on a fence rail. I was to combine the face/figure and magically make it appear as though he were occupying the space in his garden. I am still having difficulty with the hand. I placed it on a shovel handle but I have repainted it several times. It now appears as a blob while I wait to rework it once it is dry. I invited Miss B (my daughter's former first grade teacher) to have a look and let me know how she thinks it's coming along. If any of you wonderful people in Blogville have any suggestions as to what to do, please send me a post. Thank you!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dublin "Chimbleys"

I found on my school computer a painting inspired by a photo taken from our hotel room in Dublin last summer (2007). I do not normally gravitate toward cityscapes as I am challenged by perspective and drawing straight lines. (At least one of my chimbleys are out of kilter!) I was however inspired by the beautiful soft evening light. This was about 10:00 p.m. on a June evening. My dad bought this painting from the Lancaster gallery where I used to exhibit. (I would have given it to him!) I had giclee prints made for Shazza and Monkeytooth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Entangled Emergence (Slightly Larger Version)

Hello friends. If you were hoping for something brand new, I am sorry to disappoint you. The good news is that I managed to find a different version of the photo to upload. Believe it or not I tried to upload this painting yesterday and failed. But I try to keep my promises. The photo of this painting still looks dull compared to the original , but I hope you can at least see it better. I am now inspired to paint an entangled Sarah Palin. I know there are no trees on the tundra but I would like to see her tangled up and dangled in front of one of the polar bears she wants to take off the endangered species list. Sorry to bring politics into this, but "tis the season." Have you noticed that I am not particularly fond of Sarah?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Emergence of A

Since I haven't gotten to post any new finished paintings, here is one of my favorites. This is a painting of my daughter (she was about 13). This was an actual class assignment. I had to divide up a large canvas into 16 sections. I underpainted each section with a different color. I then started the composition over the 16 multi-colored sections. I was supposed to use a different technique or approach in each of the sections, which I actually did, but it is hardly apparent in the final painting. This is quite large 30x40 or (something of the sort). Shazza, I know you've seen it. I have been struggling with the title. It was originally Entangled Adolescent, but I've been thinking that she really wasn't entangled, she was just emerging from the winter branches. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I will never sell this piece, but I will probably give it to daughter A some time in the future.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Too busy to breathe

I have been so ridiculously busy that I have not had time to post anything. I had "back to school" night from 7:30 -9:30 on Monday night. I started a graduate "online" class Tuesday. I had to go to my kids' Back to School nights on Wednesday and Thursday while checking in on my online course every night. I am working on a commissioned portrait painting in my "free time" . My youngest daughter auditioned for and was accepted into the York Junior Symphony Orchestra. She is one of four flutists in the county. (Thank you Shazza for appreciating her efforts). My oldest daughter qualified for National Honor Society based on her grade point average but she is not involved in extra curricular activities. She joined up with my school's art club to monitor the moonwalk bounce at a Septemberfest . My awesome art club was the only group well represented and the community thinks my art kids are the nicest in the world, despite their piercings, blue hair, etc. I have art to post, but my photos are not as good as they should be. I will post them when I have time.

Question: Have any of you taken an online college course? I thought it would be convenient, but I think it is more work than going to a class. I would appreciate any thoughts or opinions..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mammatus Mia!

The inspiration for this post came from Shazza's amazing storm clouds. We were driving back from a family reunion in August and I spotted these cloud formations. I am such a weather geek that I ordered Doug to pull off the exit so that I could snap more photos. I recalled seeing these beauties way back in a Meteorology 101 textbook. Yes, they were named mammatus because they were thought to resemble mammary glands, as in a cow's udder. (I personally think my mammaries are cuter than the average cow udder, even with the devastating effects of age and gravity). The mammatus are an indication of severe weather. We certainly went through it about 30 minutes down the highway. Click on the photos for a large view.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Ex Mrs. McCain (Article I read online)

Add to My Stories
Now that Hillary Clinton has at last formally withdrawn from the race for the White House, the eyes of America and the world will focus on Barack Obama and his Republican rival Senator John McCain.
While Obama will surely press his credentials as the embodiment of the American dream – a handsome, charismatic young black man who was raised on food stamps by a single mother and who represents his country’s future – McCain will present himself as a selfless, principled war hero whose campaign represents not so much a battle for the presidency of the United States, but a crusade to rescue the nation’s tarnished reputation.
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Forgotten woman: But despite all her problems Carol McCain says she still adores he ex-husband
McCain likes to illustrate his moral fibre by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children.
But there is another Mrs McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator’s presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children.
And yet, had events turned out differently, it would be she, rather than Cindy, who would be vying to be First Lady. She is McCain’s first wife, Carol, who was a famous beauty and a successful swimwear model when they married in 1965.
She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam’s infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.
But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.
When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons
had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter.
Through sheer hard work, Carol learned to walk again. But when John McCain came home from Vietnam, she had gained a lot of weight and bore little resemblance to her old self.
Today, she stands at just 5ft4in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.
For nearly 30 years, Carol has maintained a dignified silence about the accident, McCain and their divorce. But last week at the bungalow where she now lives at Virginia Beach, a faded seaside resort 200 miles south of Washington, she told The Mail on Sunday how McCain divorced her in 1980 and married Cindy, 18 years his junior and the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune, just one month later.
>>>Who do you want to see as the next US president? Leave your views below...
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Golden couple: John and Cindy McCain at a charity gala in Los Angeles
Carol insists she remains on good terms with her ex-husband, who agreed as part of their divorce settlement to pay her medical costs for life. ‘I have no bitterness,’
she says. ‘My accident is well recorded. I had 23 operations, I am five inches shorter than I used to be and I was in hospital for six months. It was just awful, but it wasn’t the reason for my divorce.
‘My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens...it just does.’
Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centred womaniser who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.
McCain was then earning little more than £25,000 a year as a naval officer, while his new father-in-law, Jim Hensley, was a multi-millionaire who had impeccable political connections.
He first met Carol in the Fifties while he was at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was a privileged, but rebellious scion of one of America’s most distinguished military dynasties – his father and grandfather were both admirals.
But setting out to have a good time, the young McCain hung out with a group of young officers who called themselves the ‘Bad Bunch’.
His primary interest was women and his conquests ranged from a knife-wielding floozy nicknamed ‘Marie, the Flame of Florida’ to a tobacco heiress.
Carol fell into his fast-living world by accident. She escaped a poor upbringing in Philadelphia to become a successful model, married an Annapolis classmate of McCain’s and had two children – Douglas and Andrew – before renewing what one acquaintance calls ‘an old flirtation’ with McCain.
It seems clear she was bowled over by McCain’s attention at a time when he was becoming bored with his playboy lifestyle.
‘He was 28 and ready to settle down and he loved Carol’s children,’ recalled another Annapolis graduate, Robert Timberg, who wrote The Nightingale’s Song, a bestselling biography of McCain and four other graduates of the academy.
The couple married and McCain adopted Carol’s sons. Their daughter, Sidney, was born a year later, but domesticity was clearly beginning
to bore McCain – the couple were regarded as ‘fixtures on the party circuit’ before McCain requested combat duty in Vietnam at the end of 1966.
He was assigned as a bomber pilot on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin.
What follows is the stuff of the McCain legend. He was shot down over Hanoi in October 1967 on his 23rd mission over North Vietnam and was badly beaten by an angry mob when he was pulled, half-drowned from a lake.

War hero: McCain with Carol as he arrives back in the US in 1973 after his five years as a PoW in North Vietnam
Over the next five-and-a-half years in the notorious Hoa Loa Prison he was regularly tortured and mistreated.
It was in 1969 that Carol went to spend the Christmas holiday – her third without McCain – at her parents’ home. After dinner, she left to drop off some presents at a friend’s house.
It wasn’t until some hours later that she was discovered, alone and in terrible pain, next to the wreckage of her car. She had been hurled through the windscreen.
After her first series of life-saving operations, Carol was told she may never walk again, but when doctors said they would try to get word to McCain about her injuries, she refused, insisting: ‘He’s got enough problems, I don’t want to tell him.’
H. Ross Perot, a billionaire Texas businessman, future presidential candidate and advocate of prisoners of war, paid for her medical care.
When McCain – his hair turned prematurely white and his body reduced to little more than a skeleton – was released in March 1973, he told reporters he was overjoyed to see Carol again.
But friends say privately he was ‘appalled’ by the change in her appearance. At first, though, he was kind, assuring her: ‘I don’t look so good myself. It’s fine.’
He bought her a bungalow near the sea in Florida and another former PoW helped him to build a railing so she could pull herself over the dunes to the water.
‘I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after,’ says Carol. But as a war hero, McCain was moving in ever-more elevated circles.
Through Ross Perot, he met Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California. A sympathetic Nancy Reagan took Carol under her wing.
But already the McCains’ marriage had begun to fray. ‘John started carousing and running around with women,’ said Robert Timberg.
McCain has acknowledged that he had girlfriends during this time, without going into details. Some friends blame his dissatisfaction with Carol, but others give some credence to her theory of a mid-life crisis.
He was also fiercely ambitious, but it was clear he would never become an admiral like his illustrious father and grandfather and his thoughts were turning to politics.
In 1979 – while still married to Carol – he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii. Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage.
Carol and her children were devastated. ‘It was a complete surprise,’ says Nancy Reynolds, a former Reagan aide.
‘They never displayed any difficulties between themselves. I know the Reagans were quite shocked because they loved and respected both Carol and John.’
Another friend added: ‘Carol didn’t fight him. She felt her infirmity made her an impediment to him. She justified his actions because of all he had gone through. She used to say, “He just wants to make up for lost time.”’
Indeed, to many in their circle the saddest part of the break-up was Carol’s decision to resign herself to losing a man she says she still adores.
Friends confirm she has remained friends with McCain and backed him in all his campaigns. ‘He was very generous to her in the divorce but of course he could afford to be, since he was marrying Cindy,’ one observed.
McCain transferred the Florida beach house to Carol and gave her the right to live in their jointly-owned townhouse in the Washington suburb of Alexandria. He also agreed to pay her alimony and child support.
A former neighbour says she subsequently sold up in Florida and Washington and moved in 2003 to Virginia Beach. He said: ‘My impression was that she found the new place easier to manage as she still has some difficulties walking.’
Meanwhile McCain moved to Arizona with his new bride immediately after their 1980 marriage. There, his new father-in-law gave him a job and introduced him to local businessmen and political powerbrokers who would smooth his passage to Washington via the House of Representatives and Senate.
And yet despite his popularity as a politician, there are those who won’t forget his treatment of his first wife.
Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.
‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.
‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.
‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’
One old friend of the McCains said: ‘Carol always insists she is not bitter, but I think that’s a defence mechanism. She also feels deeply in his debt because in return for her agreement to a divorce, he promised to pay for her medical care for the rest of her life.’
Carol remained resolutely loyal as McCain’s political star rose. She says she agreed to talk to The Mail on Sunday only because she wanted to publicise her support for the man who abandoned her.
Indeed, the old Mercedes that she uses to run errands displays both a disabled badge and a sticker encouraging people to vote for her ex-husband. ‘He’s a good guy,’ she assured us. ‘We are still good friends. He is the best man for president.’
But Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.
‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said.
‘After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.’
Additional reporting by Paul Henderson in Virginia Beach and William Lowther in Washington k

(Sorry from Neetzy - I think I fell asleep while trying to copy and paste some of this article) I didn't realize I posted the entire magazine)


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Birthday Rant - Sarah Palin, RNC

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to. Thank you Blogger for updating my age on my personal profile today. You could have sent me a card. Thank you Dad for sending me two birthday cards. Thank you Dr. Dentist for sending me two cleaning appointment cards. Thank you hubby for a delicious dinner at the Moonlight Cafe.

According to the semi-conductor, I am one year from geezerhood. I am already receiving solicitations from the AARP. This is the last year of my forties. Ah, youth.

I watched part of the Republican National Convention last night. Why? I have no idea. I could not stay up long enough to watch Sarah Barracuda Palin. I watched a convention center full of idiots in cowboy hats in Minnesota. Minnesota? We're not in Texas anymore. Last I checked, Minnesota was on the northern border of the USA, Texas was on the southern border. Cowboy hats?

Did you ever hear the joke? What is the similarity between a cowboy hat and a hemmorhoid?

Sooner or later, every asshole gets one. Ta-dum.

They were carrying signs that read "Prosperity" . Prosperity? More Americans are losing jobs, are without healthcare, are losing their houses than ever before. Prosperity? What the F.

Oh yeah, prosperity...John McCain knows prosperity.

There appeared to be several "token" black dignitaries and supporters speaking. One riled up the audience to a chant: "Drill, Drill, Drill. We need to drill Alaska. We need to drill the Oceans. We need OYHL, OYHL, OYHL." If you add phonetic spelling, you can get all the illiterates to pro-nounce it. We need everyone to drill every inch of the earth so that we can fill our SUVs. We need the votes of the stupid, the illiterates, the marginally educated.

Sarah Barracuda Palin. The "family values" vice presidential candidate. Her husband works for BP. (and owns a commercial fishing business). Alaska is an "OHYL" state. She does not want the polar bear on the endangered species list because it would prevent oil exploration.

What are family values anyway? As far as I can tell, the "American conservatives" have only two things in mind when they tout "family values". Those two things are anti-abortion and anti-gay. Oh,yeah and anti-public education. McCain HATES public education. That's great. I hope you have extra money to afford that private education for your family. Save up those gas pennies!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tomato Harvest

Today we harvested most of the tomatoes from our garden! We planted loads of tomatoes in May but lost about 40% of our early crop due to blossom rot. We had a very dry August and a resultant bountiful Labor Day harvest. I spent my entire school holiday cooking! I borrowed some recipes from several cultures! Today I made a lovely Italian tomato sauce. (Jeff Smith's recipe) I slowly pot roasted a beef chuck roast and and added this to the sauce. (Now I have some very rich beef stock for a future meal) We enjoyed an excellent dinner with shredded beef and pasta. I made a delicious Tabouli salad last week with Arrowhead Mills Organic bulgur wheat, my own homegrown tomatoes, onions and mint. I had to purchase lemons and scallions. The tabouli was so good last week that I made a double batch today. I also made a delectable Gazpacho. The tabouli and gazpacho recipes came from the original Moosewood cookbook ( the hippy cooking bible). We still have lots of tomatos around for tomato sandwiches. Whatever remains goes into a plastic container with garlic, basil, and olive oil for bruschetta. I am looking for more tomato recipes! If you have any, please comment!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Whelks and Leaves, Oil on 11x14 Canvas

Here is a little painting which was one of three selected for a local juried "small works" painting show this past summer. This is only 11x14. I have been doing more of these little ones inspired by the Daily Painters Blog. I have the two others from this series to share. I find it good practice to set up still lives. I was intrigued and challenged by the shape of these shells. These were shells gathered from the Longport, NJ beach after a Nor'easter. I grew up going to this beach and it was fun to pair the shells with my Pennsylvania leaves. I don't know if I caught the shape of the shells exactly, but I had fun trying.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Visit Bob! (Robert) Andriulli,

The school year is starting on Wednesday so you may not see an original post from me for a bit. I have a ridiculous schedule. I am teaching eleven classes during the first semester. I also have a student teacher. The poor soul. She will probably never want to teach high school after witnessing my load I'll self-medicate with Prevacid and Maalox. Nothing too exciting.

So, I will treat you all to a link to my mentor and painting instructor, Robert Andriulli. The man is amazing and an inspiration to me. I have been a student of his (off and on) since 2000. Lately, I've been too "overscheduled to drop in on his classes. Enjoy Bob's site . I believe you can just click on my post title to get to there. (My technological impairment is showing). If that doesn't work, click on his Artist link. Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Painting "Pear Trees and Cabin" (WIP)

This is one of my love/hate relationship paintings. I don't know if I love it or hate it or both. I love certain things about it, but I think I may have killed it by overworking it to death. I was experimenting with thick applications of paint, layer over layers and scumbling light over dark. As you probably can tell, I started this in the spring, hence the amazing pear blossoms. I was captivated by the energy of the moment. There were bumblebees and honeybees buzzing around the pear blossoms. This is viewed from the back of Sam's old 18th century log house, which is literally falling down and has been patched with barn siding. The siding is also falling off. I am looking for feedback. Should I paint over it and start afresh?

Monday, August 18, 2008

If you want to LOL....visit "Cake Wrecks"

Attention all bloggers who are bored enough to visit this site: Please visit the above-mentioned link. Just click on my title and you will get there! This is the most hilarious site I've visited in blogville (except for Dive! of course). I lol-ed and Lol-ed. I give credit to daughters A & D for introducing me to this site! If you LOL as much as I did, please leave me a comment!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Otakon Fun 2008

As promised here are some pictures from Otakon 2008, Baltimore, MD. My daughter is one of the Cosplayers. Hint...She is dressed as a male character. A bunch of fan girls found her at the convention and would not leave her alone! They are still hounding her on line.

Hubby and I had fun too. I have a lot more pictures. The ones selected are pretty tame.

I only wish Otakon was around when I was a teenager...many moons ago.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For Dive and his Brit Friends

This post was made for Dive! and all of Dive!'s friends in bloggerland.

I told my daughter that you were poking fun at us (lard ass yanks). She wanted me to pass on a bit from her frequently viewed anime collection. There is a longer version that you should really watch, but being the kind soul that I am, I will save you the certain humiliation of the ending, and besides, it would take me forever to upload.

I will get back to pictures soon, I promise. I could not resist making this post today!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fun Video from Otakon - Enjoy

I've been serious for too long. You've seen the Olympic synchronized swimming and diving. This is better! Time for Fun and Frivolity. Do watch until the end! Apparently they were playing this throughout Otakon in Baltimore on large screens. My next post will be some cos-players, but daughter "A" wanted me to post this first in honor of her birthday today! And yes...the tune it rather "catchy".

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reforestation II Painting

Sorry...This one looks out of focus, but since..I had nothing meaningful to say I decided to upload a painting. This is a 16x20 follow-up painting of Reforestation I. Reforestation I is very similar but much larger at approximately 44x47. This is a painting of the acreage between our house and my neighbor Sam's. Yes I am a bit of an old hippy and nature nut and If you haven't guessed, I like trees. We have preserved a little bit of forest here along with our dear friends and neighbors who own 24 acres of woods and meadow. The irony is that I visited an allergist for the first time last week and found that I am highly allergic to the trees around here...oak, hickory and birch. (I think I need to move back to South Jersey and paint pine trees). Note the little Charlie Brown pine in this landscape.

I enjoy painting the landscape around the property in fall, winter and spring but in the summer it is too green. I have difficulty differentiating between the greens when I paint and everything tends to appear too similar. I think the trouble is that I get bored with green. I had to get a different shade of green for my paintings of Ireland! I felt that there was quite a "variety" of greens there where our midsummer green tends to be a warm sap green which I mix with various colors to get a range. I see a lot more color in the fall and even in the winter. This is a winter scape. Sam's pond was also a winter scape.

On Friday I set up my easel outside and attempted to paint the sunflowers in the garden. I got a bit frustrated with the greenery in the background. The sunflowers are beginning to wilt and fade but the seed clusters are ripening and I find them quite expressive. Hopefully I will resolve my green issues and upload a work in progress soon.

Oh, one complication...Daughter A took the camera and two memory cards to Otakon. We had to order two more. She promised I could have some pictures to share with my blogging friends.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rose Marie Harrison Murphy

It has been two years now since Mom has passed. I thought that I would have time to spend with her and tell her about things I never could when I lived through them. I imagined a time after my kids were old enough to leave for a few days... I pictured Mom, Shazza and me, drinking wine in some cheesy hotel room and laughing about adolescent angst. I wanted Mom to forgive me for all the hurt and pain that I caused her when I was an obnoxious adolescent. I always thought that I would have that time but I didn't. I thought we would have time to talk. We didn't. I'm sorry. I love you Mom.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sunflowers with Aloe and Mango painting

As promised, here is the "other" sunflower painting. I personally like this one better. I reduced the flowers to more simplified shapes. These were the same flowers as the first painting. I worked on both simultaneously. I hope the picture is okay. I had to reduce the resolution because some of my photos were taking forever to upload. I will get to the works in progress soon, but this week I have been working on making a cosplay costume for my daughter. She is going to Otakon in Baltimore this weekend. She is dressing as a male video game character, but I am okay with that. Hopefully some fun pictures will follow!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunflowers in Vase

Hey friends. I am still uploading and happily revisiting the paintings I completed in the last year. I did two sunflower paintings. This is the first. I will upload the other soon. I love sunflowers and I have beautiful yellow, orange and blood red ones growing in my garden at the moment. I do not have the heart to cut them just to paint them. They honeybees have been been very busy "gathering" from these amazing flowers. I am currently working on about four paintings. I think I might have "overpainted" the one. I plan on uploading within the next few days and I would appreciate opinions. Some of the newest ones are causing me fits and refusing to upload! What will I do with these rebellious children? Also, most of my paintings are for sale. This is a 16x20, framed oil on canvas. Please email me @ anita.williams26@verizon.net if interested in any of the paintings I have posted.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meme Tag!

I've been meme tagged by Shazza! Oh my! I am a total newbie here and I will sink to utter self-loathing and embarrassment to reveal to the blogosphere the following:

Ok...here are the rules:The rules:

1. Post the link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 5 songs you are embarrassed to admit to others that you like and tell why.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post.

Ok, here goes. I am putting my reputation on the line....Shazza thank you!

1. True by Spandau Ballet. It was the song that played at work when Doug and I were first dating. It made us think of "each other" but we were too embarrassed to play it at our wedding.

2. Brandy by Looking Glass. I always had a fantasy that I was "Brandy". Only I was a boardwalk girl, not a seaport girl.

3. Mandy, by Barry Manilow. I have no idea.

4. Lonely Days, by the Bee Gees. This was my favorite song in like 6th grade, long before my Dad started the Boris Karloff version.

and....last but not least, but probably most embarrassing....

5. Wake Me Up Before you Go Girl... By Wham, or actually George Michael. I never saw the video, but the song would come on the radio in the morning and I would kinda rock out to it. (This was my insurance agency days and Warm 103 was the only music we could listen to) and George Michael's ass was a "perfect circle".

Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Gow-

And I don't know enough people to tag, but I will pick:



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sam's Pond Painting by Anita Williams

This is a 16x20 oil painting of my neighbor's pond during the winter. I completed it in the spring. This was started on location as a sketch, but because it was a winter scene, I also used a photo reference. I consider this one of my semi-abstracts, as I used the photo reference as a "point of departure", and became intrigued by the colors and spaces created by the intermingling of weeds and trees, water and sky.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Aloe, Pomegranate and Mango Painting by Anita Williams

Just so you all do not think I am all wild colors, here is one of my calmer, still life paintings. I have been exploring textures, and getting into heavy scraping lately. The result is often more abstract than this. This one was actually completed about a year ago.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Autumn Interlude painting by Anita Williams

Just thought I would add another painting from my "psychedelic period"। (Kids, no hallucinogenic drugs were abused during the painting process।) This is just the way my mind works. This one also started plein air. I was unhappy with the original on site painting and brought it back to my lair/studio/shed. I'm thinking maybe Miles Davis joined me in the studio that evening. The trees are "Kind of Blue". The oranges and yellows were inspired by the actual colors of the autumn leaves which were illuminated by the sun shining through them. I was really going for the relationship of the trees to each other. These three trees are literally interconnected (growing into each other). Now that you see the inner workings of my mind I hope I am not scaring you much. I have other paintings that are not this wild. I meant to upload one today, but it was too large. I will have to play with the resolution a bit.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sacred Grove Revisited, Painting by Anita Williams

This was my original swirling vortex painting. This is fairly large 29x29. I started it on location and the original title was called the Sacred Grove. After looking at it for six months or so, I decided it needed more depth. I took it into my studio/shed and turned on some music (I can't remember what), started painting away and this is the result. This is obviously not a purist plein air piece, but I definitely had fun painting it. Please click on the painting for details and brushstrokes!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bird on a Wire Painting by Anita Williams

This is a test! I am posting one of my paintings for comments. This is an oil on canvas, 18x24. The view from my house painted on location last fall. I appreciate any and all comments.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Professional Yo-Yo Dieting

Hi, my name is neetzy and I am a professional yo-yo dieter. I am an expert lifestyle changer. (The word diet is not allowed at Weight Watchers). We are changing our lifestyle. I am making good choices and eating the good food. I love the good food... In the Core program you can eat it without counting the fricking points. I hate counting the fricking points. I have to count points if I eat bread, or white flour or anything artificial. I have been teaching at a summer camp for a week and I believe EVERYTHING served here is bread, white flour and/or artificial. If I was a GOOD DIETER I would PACK. But....I confess....I suck at dieting. I have succumbed to cafeteria food and I DON'T CARE. Today I ate hot dogs and baked macaroni and cheese. For dessert we had jello. I ate all of it. I feel good. I think I want a cigarette.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

About Negative Space...

As an artist, negative space is the space between the objects you are painting. I love negative space. I like to paint in negative space and make it come alive. Do not think the purpose of this blog is to post negative things. I like to look at negative spaces as the places for possibilities....negative space is alive, real, exciting and open to interpretation.
Negative comments are allowed as I will post them . I just do not want to limit this blog to only negative coments,.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I remembered my password! I have four passwords that I use on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they are 4-6 letters/numbers in length. Blogger required eight! Major brain fart here. I made up some lame combination of my dog's names and apparently mispelled one of them as I could not log in for several days. I am not sure if I am psychologically and intellectually capable of memorizing eight alpha/numeric combinations. Please forgive my ineptness. I usually sit down to the laptop after I have had dinner and a glass of wine or two. I do not believe in drinking wine or posting pictures of my artwork before its time. These things take time to evolve. Patience friends. Focus grasshopper. Negative Space is slow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Just started my blog. I have a lot to add, but it is too late at night to be that focused. I hope I'm doing it right. We took the kids to Hershey Park today and we are very tired.