A Rainbow Connection

Friday morning rainbow surprise

When last I wrote, a week ago, I was nearly finished with a puzzle of a wizard riding a dragon defending a castle. I finished it Monday afternoon. I corresponded briefly with my daughter about the process to preserve the puzzle as a poster so I could hang it in our Purple Room. Yes, my house is like the game Clue. I have a Blue Room (aka Family Entertainment Room), a Green Room (aka my daughter’s former bedroom and now my home office) and a Purple Room (formerly my son’s bedroom, but when he moved to the basement, my daughter commandeered it). I’ll let you guess which rooms were painted by my daughter and which were painted by me.

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Puzzling Times

A puzzle of fantasy tropes including a wizard with a staff blasting something with magic while riding a dragon and protecting a castle with a comet and a moon thrown in for good measure.

I had to end my post yesterday rather abruptly to run my Saturday morning errands. During my jaunt around Leavenworth, I stopped in at Wal-Mart for the second time in a week, which is very unusual as I avoid shopping at Wal-Mart. If I can’t get it at Dillons, my only other option in Leavenworth/Lansing is Wal-Mart, outside of places like Dollar General and large pharmacy chains like Walgreens or CVS. K-Mart/Sears closed over a year ago and is now a very large U-Haul dealer next door to Home Depot.

This week they demolished the Payless Shoe Source store that previously resided in the same plot of land as K-Mart. And the biggest development project of the year is wrapping up. Quik Trip is nearly ready to open where the Leavenworth Co-Op was for decades on the northwest corner of Eisenhower and Main Street (US-73/K-7). I’m not looking forward to the traffic headaches that configuration is going to cause especially in the mid-afternoon when all the people on Post head home (to Lansing from Fort Leavenworth).

The other large roadwork improvement project that was causing me inconvenience completed last week as well. My alternate route to Dillons using 4-H Road to DeSoto is now open and the northern half of DeSoto now sports a middle turn lane and wide sidewalks. The intersection of Eisenhower and Desoto (on the south) and Shrine Park Road (on the north) also got a complete makeover including left turn lanes and signals for all directions and right turns lanes in some directions. Traffic should flow better in the mornings and evenings now.

But back to my second trip to Wal-Mart.

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Spring House Guests

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Three robin’s eggs in a nest on top of my back porch light. This is the second time since we’ve lived in this house that a robin has nested in that exact spot. The last time it didn’t end well for the robin chicks.

Robin’s Nest Flickr Album

I took these photos using my Samsung smartphone standing on a step ladder inside the house with my arm sneaking around the top of the patio door. I could not see the screen when I snapped the shots. Two of the photos I adjusted afterwards to enhance the visibility and vibrancy of the eggs (which were hidden in shadow inside the nest).

Porthos is lounging in the background (on the step watching me taking the photo above).

Resurrecting My Inner Artist

The first snow and winter storm of Winter 2019 finally arrive the second Saturday of January. In my experience, that’s a delay of nearly ten days from when we usually have snow or a winter storm or if nothing else bitter cold below zero temperatures and wind chills. The snow we received was wet and heavy, perfect for making a snowman but not so great for my back when I went out to shovel the driveway.

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Monochrome Mania

A friend and work colleague of mine who also happens to be a photographer started posting snapshots in her Facebook feed last week.  The challenge was to take a photo a day from your life with no people featured in them and provide no explanation.  Oh, and they must be black and white photos.

This intrigued me as my first camera back in the early or mid 70s had been a small inexpensive fixed lens camera that used small rolls of black and white film.  My dad had a dark room at home but I don’t think we ever developed film that I shot in my camera, at least not until I was much older and part of the yearbook staff in high school.

I decided to revisit my youth and took up the challenge.  I also happened to be on vacation this week so I had plenty of time to think of what sites in and around my home would lend themselves to good black and white photography.

Here’s the seven I posted daily on my Twitter and Facebook feed:

Day 1 Day 2
Day 3 Day 4
Day 5 Day 6
Day 7

And here are all the photos I took in the last week that I used as the pool of photos to choose from:

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Autumn 2017

Portable Puzzling

I remember spending time with my grandmother putting together large landscape jigsaw puzzles as a child.  I have always had exceptional pattern recognition abilities, probably a direct result of my photographic memory.  Whether it’s puzzle pieces or star hopping using binoculars and a telescope, I can look at the missing space once and sort through hundreds (or thousands) of pieces and match it in my memory before confirming it by snapping it into place.

But with the advent of my own children, and then followed by large dogs who think puzzle pieces are dog treats, I just haven’t thought it was worth it to do jigsaw puzzles at home for quite a long time.

Spurred on by the “Exercise Your Mind” Bingo card challenge, I went searching for a 21st century alternative to thwart my Rottweilers.  I found an app for my tablet that allows me to complete a puzzle and never worry about dropping a piece to be snatched up by the mobile black hole on four feet padding around my kitchen.

Here’s the Flickr album I created today to track my progress while completing my first virtual jigsaw puzzle of “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh:

Jigsaw Puzzles

This satisfies my love for great works of art, astronomy and puzzles. My mind is doing mental cartwheels right now.

My First Zentangle

I learned about Zentangles yesterday, which is a more focused form of doodling (in a nutshell).  Also, you’re supposed to do them in pen because you are not allowed to erase any ‘mistakes.’

Here’s my first attempt at a Zentangle:

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I may color parts of this one with colored pencils tonight.

I updated my “Exercise Your Mind” Bingo card to reflect my progress.

Next up:  Jigsaw Puzzles.

Abstract Art Juxtaposed With Muralist Book Discussion

Tour for FYI Book Group Saturday 3/19/2016
FYI book group given tour of relevant art by Nelson-Atkins Curator of Modern Art, Jan Schall, Ph.D.

I received an invitation from Kaite Stover, Director of Reader Services for the Kansas City Public Library, a few weeks ago, asking me if I would like to read The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro (also author of The Art Forger) and attend the discussion to be held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Saturday, March 19th.  I readily agreed because the book sounded interesting and there was the added bonus of a special tour of the Contemporary Art gallery conducted by the curator, Jan Schall, Ph.D. Continue reading “Abstract Art Juxtaposed With Muralist Book Discussion”