Unless you were vacationing in some tropical paradise this past week, you probably are aware of the big arctic event that blasted through the center of the country this past week. After a relatively balmy fall season leading up to the holidays, this is what my little corner of the Midwest experienced this week.
The weather forecasters were urgently warning much of the nation to pay attention and take appropriate action. Which we did. The cellar was loaded with firewood in anticipation of the deep freeze. The fridge was full of the usual supplies. Our son and his girlfriend were rushed to Louisville on Thursday in anticipation of their very early flight back to the west coast on Friday. (Fortunately, they experienced only a small delay.) We made it home by early afternoon before the big blast and battened down the hatches in preparation.
By early evening, the temperatures began to drop, the misty rain turned to driving snow, and the wind cranked up the volume. It didn’t stop until today. The high here yesterday was zero. I didn’t even step foot outside the house until today when I went for a walk and to catch up on outdoor chores.
The sun was out and everything was sparkly. The bird feeder has been popular. We’ve gone through forty pounds of sunflower seeds in the past two weeks. I saw plenty of tracks here and there, especially around the mulch pile. I was looking for another visitor, too. I spotted a mink skulking about last week which was the first that I’ve seen around here. Haven’t seen any deer or turkeys but I’m sure they’re holed up somewhere. Leo the cat has been taking marathon naps and very quick trips to check the weather. The dog doesn’t care and is always ready to play with anyone who ventures outdoors.
We haven’t had a big freeze like this for many years so it’s been an adventure.
Anyway, I hope that wherever you are spending Christmas day that you’re warm and cozy and safe. Enjoy your families if you’re near, or your friends if you’re not. Or better yet, make your friends into a new family.
Let the warmth of your hearts extend to those in need. Stay safe.
So how’s your holiday shopping going? Sending and receiving? Do things seem a little delayed this year?
I asked my Facebook friends if they’ve noticed any delays in deliveries this year. Well, guess that was a hot button. Everyone has a story or complaint.
Fortunately, I ordered my gifts online pretty early. And have actually been surprised by the speedy delivery of a couple that I’ve ordered to be sent directly.
But as an online retailer (very very small), I’ve noticed a considerable slow down of pieces that I’ve mailed. I usually ship the day after I receive an order but this year when I check the tracking, the packages seem to spend days in a regional center, and then….where did they go? I can only hope that they eventually show up at their destinations.
I spoke with my local post mistress who showed me a photo of the regional center. Total chaos! They are overwhelmed this year, as, I expect are all the other delivery companies. Everyone is doing the best they can.
I know that my UPS deliveries have been arriving after dark by a temporary seasonal employee. And my father said that his mail sometimes arrives at eleven p.m! Whoa!
Anyway, with so many people ordering online this year and the dramatic increase in volume of packages shipped, I resolve to try being a little more patient. I guess we all could practice that a bit more at this time of year.
The holidays are often a busy time for artists. Although I don’t seek out the sales that I used to – I’m too busy with my day job – I still get busy around Christmas time. I sold Dos Palomas which was exhibited in a small, local exhibit. That was a nice surprise and the person who bought it was totally smitten with it. I’m so glad she has it.
Last month I received a call out of the blue from someone asking if I’m the Kit Miracle who does house portraits. Yes, but I don’t do many any more. I really don’t have the time. As an aside, this used to be a big part of my bread and butter painting business. I’ve done a lot of house portraits! So the lady who was interested in one more house portrait was a client for whom I’ve done four others in the past. She wanted the final one to be by the same artist in the same style. So….I agreed. This was a simple watercolor with pen and ink overlay. See the photo and the details.
Watercolor house portrait with pen and ink overlay
House portrait detail
Small Christmas paintings, w/c – pen and ink, painted in multiples
This year I also decided to create some small paintings as Christmas gifts to my staff. I used to do these a lot, also. They are 4×6. Although they’re all hand-painted, I do them in sets of four. It’s more efficient that way.
Framed mini paintings
Painted child’s sneakers
Finally, I decided that my granddaughter needed some hand-painted shoes. These are just cheap canvas sneakers with dinosaurs, dancing lady bugs, butterflies and flowers. She’ll outgrow them before the paint wears off.
I'm a professional artist, retired director of a performing arts center, bona fide book addict, and enjoy the quiet life...most of the time. I'd love to hear from you or get your ideas for future posts. Come back soon!