topiary cats

topiary cats

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Everything at the same time

Everything is happening at the same time and I can't catch my breath.
I have to get through the next six weeks.

Daya's MRI results show a bone lesion injury and fluid in the joint, so she is on complete elbow rest for six weeks plus physical therapy. That means no weight at all on her elbow.  she can still dance but some warm-ups she cannot do, and she cannot do acro.

In addition Daya has been very high anxiety including panic has happened in school.  So she needs a little help and I am concerned.  The high anxiety is her personality, it is not from her schedule. It has happened both when she has had an empty schedule and a full one.  She prefers being at dance anyhow, it helps more than if she wasn't there.

I found a holistic functional neurologist (who is also a chiropractor) down in the Village. We went for the initial appointment.  He said her parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are out of balance and this makes a lot of sense to me.  He does not medicate; rather he works to strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system which is the one that should be active most of the time.

Daya has to go for 12 appointments over the next six weeks.  12.  TWELVE!! He does take my insurance but I have to pay for the last 4 because my deductible resets in January. So that will be $400.

Daya has physical therapy as well, they also want her in 2 times a week...I said no we can't.  She'll have to do it at home.  I was able to book 4 appointments for her through the end of the year.

We both like the arm bike.

She had a dentist appointment, then an orthodontist appointment (I never go to those).

Plus dance.

It is ridiculous. I do not like being this crazy-busy.

Thankfully I won't have to go to most of her neurologist appointments.  She can go herself.  Several of them are in the morning so we can take the train in together and she can go down to the Village and I can go to work.  Then she'll just go to school late with a dr note.

I did miss her dentist appointment-- I was supposed to work from home that day but I had an unexpected 8am meeting I had to be in the office for.  So I left early and told Daya to meet me at the dentist.  She got there on time and I waited 20 minutes for the bus and missed the whole thing. When I finally arrived Daya was finished with the appointment (perfect checkup), had filled out the postcard for next appointment, AND signed the insurance papers!! (I guess that was ok since the dentist said so)

Kids are so very capable when you delegate stuff to them.

Daya is amazing.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Birds & Mummies & Discovery & The Senses & Soup

I'm so behind's another catch-up post.

Daya and I made another trip to AMNH.  They have a new show about the 5 senses
So we went.

They also have a 3D Imax movie about birds and flying--- it was stunning.  The cinematography was pretty astounding.  Then I took Daya through the Mummies exhibit, which I have been to with Drusilla. (no pictures allowed in that one)  Daya got a cute Egyptian cat animal which she named Gypsy.

We had some time before we were scheduled to go to the Senses exhibit, so we went to the Origami Tree which is in a new location. (I think a better location)


Then we headed over to the Discovery Room.

Daya has literally grown up in that room.
It is one of the spots I always have to take a picture of her through the years.
When she was a toddler she loved this thing:

The Discovery Room has an upstairs area.  It is only for children 8 and up.  Being able to go upstairs in the Discovery Room is a NYC Child's rite of passage.  It's really fun up there. There are microscopes and specimens and puzzles and stick bugs you can hold.

I loved these wonderfully bizarre beanies...I think they are either strange sea creatures or different types of bacteria. Or viruses.

Then we went to the Senses exhibit which was pretty fantastic.

This is the story of my life. I have a super crazy sense of smell.

Here is the Last Handstand Daya did for the year, more on that later. She was not disoriented in the disorientation room.

And the holiday Brontosauruses were out.

The next day (Sunday) I went to see Rob and he made this amazing butternut squash soup with snow crab.  It was so amazing I need to have a pic here.


Friday, November 24, 2017


We had a nice Thanksgiving at Jackie's.

Then on Friday we put the trees up.
Two this year, but we haven't decorated them yet.


The cats hindered the process.


They like to sleep under the tree.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Stupid Wind

I went out painting in the cemetery again.

After not-too-much-looking-around, I found a really lovely tree with amazing clouds behind it.

In the time it took me to set up my gear- less then 10 minutes- every single last cloud had disappeared and the sun was shining directly in my eyes.

I paused.
Looked around.
Texted Carey.
Decided to move.
Changed my mind.

So I stayed and it was a bit of a struggle with the sun.
AND THEN... the wind started.

The wind was literally slamming into me on the right.  It was strong enough to move the brush.
My gear stayed standing but it was shaking, just like me.  When I was finished painting I realized I was half frozen, even with my hand warmers.  The wind sucks.  Or, as Sid would say, it blows.  :/

One of the things about plein air is you have to think about all the problem-solving and planning in the painting while in a state of pure physical misery. 

I have no idea why I do it.

I would have fared better with pastels (more control in the wind), and I might return to this spot and do it again in pastel.

8x10 oil on panel.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Block Island Beach

Here is a painting I did from a picture I took at Block Island over the summer.
I'm giving the painting to Rob for Christmas.

Block Island Beach
9x12 oil on canvas


Daya has an elbow issue that is getting worse and worse...a dance thing I am sure.
We went to a sports injury doctor who took x-rays and saw nothing.  So they ordered an MRI.

We had an appointment at 7am this morning.  Early.  Very early.
It was noisy but Daya did great.
She thought she would either die or lose all her teeth (because of her braces) but neither thing happened.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Daya turned 12.

She had a good birthday.


We went for sushi and Rob joined us.
There is a fish tank in the restaurant and Daya has a favorite fish which she named Brainiac.

Brainiac has lived for a long time so far.

Rob got Daya a gift card, a dragonfruit, and a weird fruit none of us has ever heard of. Rob wins the Weird Gift award.


This is what the weird fruit looks like inside.
It is basically green slime and seeds.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Blue Hair

Daya wanted to dye her hair blue, and I bargained with her.
There is something I want her to do that she refuses to do, so I said "Ok, you want blue hair then you do xyz in return."

She grudgingly agreed.

I bleached her hair (just the ends) then dyed it blue for her, and it looks pretty good.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Halloween was fun, we got a lot of chocolate.
Daya was a steampunk girl.

It might be our last year trick-or-treating...according to Daya.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Aerial Brush Farm

Here is an aerial shot of my Brush Farm. I am surveying Furball as she surveys me.
I took this picture while opening the window.

In order to open my window I have to climb up and stand on the table or the window sill.
Until I sent this picture to Dru and she gave me a heads-up on the matter, I never thought about this being a somewhat odd procedure. It seriously never occurred to me.

You get used to just doing what you have to do, I guess.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Today was nice. mostly.
We had a lot of heavy rain.
My housework is in good order.
I wanted to start clean, and that was accomplished.

Eva gave me an extremely generous gift, which means I can get a new tripod for plein airing.
Daya was supercool and wonderful until she had to go to a dance Halloween party and she wanted to leave but I made her stay. The dance teams sponsored the party and everyone had a job to do...her team's job was clean-up afterward...that's why I made her stay.  She's pretty mad at me for it but she must honor her commitments. If she hadn't been on clean-up crew I would have said fine, leave.

Rob got me a gift package to a fantastic upscale spa in Tribecca which I am really looking forward to.
Then we went out to a French place in Chelsea we love but haven't been to for a long time.  It was amazing. I love spending time with Rob.  Because of our schedules we don't get to see each other as often as we did last year, but we still talk all the time and he is always good company and conversation. I am very grateful to have him in my life.

We had nice desserts:

I didn't hear from my father (wasn't expecting to) and it is strangely ok. I have completely given up on that and it is the right thing to do.  I know this because I really am ok with no contact or acknowledgement. There is no looming expectation or question, no empty going-through-motions. The first time is hard and then it is fine.  I was wondering how I would feel and I'm completely fine so this is really good. It;s a hard thing to resolve and going through empty motions is much worse.
But you can't keep trying to be connected to someone who doesn't want to be connected.  Letting go is best.

In some ways I feel like I have a clean slate going into this next part of my I have cleaned out or resolved things that don't serve my well-being.  My 30s were really, really hard. But I learned a lot and I hope going forward I can move into positive changes and circumstance and not have to repeat any of the nonsense.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Squirrel of Judgement

I went painting in Central Park again.

Although I felt half-hearted about going out, I was committed to it so I went.
Destination: Turtle Pond but I never got there because I saw a tree I liked right near the Shakespeare Garden and it was away from people in general so that was a big plus.

The tree was not as great from my painting angle but I said OK I'll make it work.

There was a lot of foliage against foliage to resolve and in that sense it was a good workout.

Here's what I learned:
1. I prefer to have more sky in my view.
2. Just because a tree looks cool doesn't mean it is in a good spot for painting. It was just too dark.

The cool view (from the road):

But I persevered and then....the Squirrel of Judgement showed up!  Seriously, he came over and just stared at me.

it was very disconcerting.

NO ONE can make a good painting with the Squirrel of Judgement staring at them.

Ugly Painting, 8x10 oil on panel