Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Hi!

Last night I made pumpkin cookies. I haven't baked for years! But I was in the mood. Then I went out on my front porch and carved a couple of pumpkins.

Then a while later my doorbell rang. I had the cutest trick or treater ever!!!

I was a lucky grandma for the evening. I babysat while mom and dad went to the Halloween concert. We're going tonight. It will be awesome, I'm sure. After all, Abby's in it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Ponder and a Burr Under My Saddle

Item #1
Why is it that people with money seem to produce more garbage? Every Wednesday as I drive to work I notice all the garbage cans alongside the road. Our garbage cans are huge things with wheels that can be pulled to the curb. The garbage truck has a contraption with arms. The truck will drive up alongside the can and these arms will reach out and grab it and hoist it into the air and dump the contents into the belly of the garbage truck beast before lowering the now empty can back onto the road. It’s all very automated and fast.
So every Wednesday, our garbage day, I happen to notice that the humongous houses all have 2 of these monstrous cans sitting out front. Even the humongous houses that only have 2 people living in them. What are they doing to create so much garbage? If they want to throw their money away, they can throw it my way.

Item #2
I really wish the university where I work would address the parking situation. Every day I have to circle the lot like a vulture, waiting to pounce. If you see someone walking toward the parking lot you have to follow them in your car, even if there is a string of cars behind you wanting to get past. Then you sit and wait while they unlock their door, climb inside, start the car and drive away. The trick is to squish into the spot as quickly as possible without hitting the exiting car and before the car coming in the opposite direction careens in ahead of you.
Yesterday I had a weak moment and parked in a service vehicle spot. Those things are all over the campus and they are always empty. I parked there. And I got a ticket. $25.00. It made me angry about the parking situation all over again. I waste time and money looking for a stupid parking spot. Today, once again, I could not find a spot in our lot, so I drove to the next lot over. No luck. So I drove to the next one over. There was one spot, which I took. Then I walked to my building.
And I counted my steps.
940 steps.
I measured my gait.
3 feet per step.
Then I did a little calculation.
2820 Feet = 0.5340909090909091 Miles
I had to walk over ½ mile to get to work. Another ½ mile to get back to my car when I want to go home.
Something’s not right.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Excuse Me?

I went into the ladies room and found a stall. There were two other stalls already occupied. One of the ladies was talking. I assumed she was talking to the lady in the other stall. Then I realized she was talking on her cell phone. She continued to blab away (and why do people on cell phones always talk louder?) clear through the entire "process" including the flush, hand washing (at least she did that!) and out the door. Maybe she doesn't mind sharing her personal "private moments" with the person on the other end (it was her son!), but I was extremely uncomfortable. Should I have said something?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sky View

No day is complete without a look upward. In case you missed yours here is one of mine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Class Project

In class this week we were assigned to "paint a pumpkin using big juicy textures.
I always liked the image of the stack of pumpkins. The first image was what I came up with before class today. He hated the background I originally had. Today in class we learned about making the background have texture. I changed my background using the new knowledge. Which do you like better?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Colored Sky

My readership has dropped to about 2. I can understand why. I've been so busy with my classes and work that I don't visit very much. It gives new meaning to the saying "what goes around comes around". I don't go around, so they don't come around. ha ha

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm getting in the mood....

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Maybe because fall is my favorite season. Maybe because night is my favorite time of day. Maybe because I like the colors. Whatever the reason I just love Halloween. Tonight I got on Photoshop and just played around a little. This scared little pumpkin showed up. He's scared of a spider. Imagine! Scared of a spider. Ha! Spiders don't scare me. Now that snake I caught in the garage yesterday..... That's a different story.


We had this for dinner. Mmmmmmm

Baked Ranch Parmesan Chicken

6 chicken breasts halves
1/2 cup ranch style dressing
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
Marinate chicken in the ranch dressing for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 450*F (230*C).
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, sage and salt and mix well. Coat the marinated breasts in breading mixture and place in a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce to 350*F (175*C) and bake for additional 30 minutes or until done and juices run clear.
Makes 6 servings.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Teton Peaks

I found this photo at work today. Its a shot of the Teton Peaks, taken in the 1950's. I'm not sure who the photographer was, but I think it was Quincy Jensen. I think it's awesome.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tinted Twilight

Idaho has the best evening skies. People who move here tell us that all the time. I never really noticed the sky at twilight time until my college years. I was in Anatomy and Physiology. It was a rigorous course with a top notch professor. He expected and usually got alot out of us. There was so much course work to cover that we all became very good at accelerated note-taking. And yet every year, about this time he would say to his class as we settled into our seats, "put away your pencils and just listen".

What happened next was life changing. He talked to us about gratitude. About our wonderful bodies and how they were so extraordinary. How we should be grateful for the way the air we breathe and the food we eat was not only delicious to us, but that the wonderful human machine could turn it all into the resources it needed to thrive. He talked to us about being grateful for our surroundings. For the cold winters in Idaho. He said we should never complain about it because it was the cold that killed many of the germs that made everyone sick. He told us to watch for the winters when conditions were milder and see if colds and flu weren't more prevelant.

And he told us to look up as we hurry home to our apartments after class.
"Idaho has some of the best sunsets in the world. How many of them have you seen in the last 60 days?"

I realized that I hadn't seen any. That very evening I looked up. And ever since then I have been looking up every chance I get.

And boy have I been blessed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Caricatures - Flattering and Not

In my digital illustration class this last week we learned how to use the free transform tool. With that tool you can distort images. I was once again reminded that when you are in an art class you should check your dignity and pride at the door.
There were cameras on the computers in lab, so he instructed us to snap a photo of ourselves, distort it and then using it as a pattern, paint it in photoshop. Taking the photo was bad enough. Anyone who knows me will be able to testify that I hate having my photo taken. The fact that I'm posting them all on here, along with my terrible caricatures proves that I am fresh out of pride. Oh yeah, he also told us we had to use the eyedropper tool to get the colors for our painting directly from the photo. My first one was definitely purple. I never looked good in purple anyway, so that didn't help my self-esteem much.

The very next class period he told us to do it again. I hated my first one, so I snapped another photo.

Then I distorted it and started painting. Wouldn't you know it, purple again. And why did I make myself look like this. When I showed Joni later, she said, "why did you make yourself look like an ogre?"

Good question, Joni. I don't know. I didn't finish it, cause....... DANG, I'm UGLY!!!

Yesterday, at home, I grabbed my good camera and held it out in front of me and snapped another photo. I looked at the color. YEA! Flesh tones!

I took it into Joni's computer, cause it has photoshop, and tried to do a little more flattering distortion.

Then I painted away. This is the one I posted on my other blog, Mitchowl Studio. They bring my blog up in class and show it on the projector.

If you want to see some other fun caricatures, you can go to the Mitchowl Studio blog and click on the links on the right side. Those are all my classmates. They don't have any pride left either.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ballerinas and Trees

My daughter Abby is a photography major. She's just starting out on her quest to becoming a great capturer of images, but she's doing really well. She can "see". Those of you who are photographers know what I mean. She just needs more practice but she'll be really good. On her blog she showed a few photos of a photographer that she admires. Rodney Smith. The shots that Abby put on were Ballerinas. (I didn't know you wanted to be a ballerina, Abby. Shame on your mother for not putting you in classes.)
I went to Rodney Smith's website to see what other things he has done. I also love his work. I photograph a lot of trees. I'm fascinated with the way the bark can twist and the limbs curl. I found these images of Rodney's. I kind of like them.

Friday, October 10, 2008



1. My Family
2. The Gospel
3. Doing Art
4. Learning
5. Nature

1. Paint my caricature
2. Get Primary ready
3. Get the "To Do" list ready for the website
4. Finish winterizing the yard
5. Clean garage

1. Protein Bars
2. Sea Salt and Vinegar chips (but I try not to get them very often)
3. Swiss Cheese
4. Diet Pepsi/vanilla
5. Rye crisps (aka/poopy crackers)

1. I used to go into chicken coops and gather eggs from the chickens. I also had to pull dead chickens out of the cages. Yuck.
2. I once drove from Anchorage Alaska to Idaho with my sister and her 5 kids in a motor home.
3. I had scarlet fever as a child.
4. I love anything to do with medicine/science.
5. I am a science fiction junkie, but only the good stuff (Bradbury, Clarke, Card)

1. Rexburg, Idaho
2. Provo, Utah
3. Corvallis, Oregon
4. Hibbard, Idaho
5. Idaho Falls, Idaho

1. I like being alone.
2. I have so many things I want to do that I am always overbooked.
3. When I am with anyone I never want to control the tv or radio (maybe that's why I like being alone.)
4. Even though I got my first oil painting set when I was about 8 and I've taken art classes in jr and sr high school and at 2 colleges, I never considered myself an artist until the last year or so. I thought artists were people who were good at art. I always felt mediocre, at best. Now I think I'm an artist because of the joy that making art gives me. Whether I'm good at it or not is irrelevant.
5. I have this fascination with cemeteries. I like going to them, want to fix up graves that are run down, have always wanted to design headstones, want to create an on-line data-base about our local cemetery to help geneology researchers, and even helped dig and fill in a grave for my brother.

1. Nobody
2. Has
3. To
4. Do
5. This

Monday, October 6, 2008

Peaceful Evening

Tangerine rimmed sky.
Swirls of cloud wisps.
Cottonwoods silhouette against the dusk.
Peace inside.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I don't know why. I just feel driven. I see a class being offered and I just have to sign up. I get done with work and I find that I have a couple of hours that are not filled up and I know I can slip one extra class into my down time.

What's wrong with me? Why do I feel so urgent to learn, learn, learn?

Oh well, I guess there could be worse things. Like maybe I could feel driven to...



dang it! I can't think of anything else. I just want to learn new stuff!