It’s 20 degrees F here on the north shore of Long Island (that’s a billion degrees below freezing in Celsius I think) and Taffy is out back, under the dogwood tree, rolling around in his favorite dirt bath. The sad thing is, Taffy’s the smart one.
Oh, well. You gotta stay true to your code.
Steve, on the other hand, involuntarily took a little bath last Friday because, Hoo boy, what a week. Bitter cold, then pouring rain, then thaw, then snow, then back to bitter cold. It was the rain that had me fretting AS USUAL about the Steve Situation by the front stoop, not least because I knew I’d have to haul out the bale of hay (again) and change out his damp nesting material for new, clean, dry stuff (again). I was not raised on a farm, or in a barn. I can’t tell the difference between hay and straw, but let’s say it’s hay and hay is messy, especially in a house.
Hay also tends to break into teeny pieces that lodge in the sleeves and pant legs of one’s clothing in order to pierce and stab you from many simultaneous directions. Hay is Nature’s fiberglass. I am not at all fond of hay.
The good news is that on that very same drenching day I got a soggy parcel delivered to my doorstep that made my day shine bright and, well, bright:
What would I do without the internet? I found these “stackable” lucite end tables for sale in Massachusettes (for a price that I haven’t told Top Cat about) and they are just the thing I need to solve the Steve Situation. Now, as you can see from the photo, these pieces are total crap as “end tables” (unless you’re a Hobbit) BUT repurposed as modular cat housing, these end tables are JUST THE THING.
After I had pawed all the old, damp hay out of Steve’s nest and re-stocked it with new, dry, hay, I installed Steve’s special outdoor heating pad into its cat-shaped hammock position. I then took the smallest “end table” and wedged it back against the rear wall of Steve’s Situation:
Next, I stacked the next-largest “end table” against that first unit:
The third and largest “end table” is positioned so that it forms a little vestibule so that rain will never again slosh off the stoop and run down into Steve’s Situation:
Naturally, after Steve inspected the new digs . . .
. . . he refused to enter it to get out of the rain. Not while there was still day light, and not while I was looking. But lo, when I checked up on him the next morning I discovered that Steve does have sense enough to come in out of the rain after all.
The “end tables” work! The Steve Situation is dry as a martini and this joke:
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
And then it snowed and I did not lose sleep, knowing that my Steve was in a good Situation.
Aug. 19, 1943 – Jan. 15, 2018
No man ever put 12 words to better use. He almost makes me believe. Somebody say “Amen.”
What is it about obits? Why are they the best source of information about people who you wish you’d known more about? For instance, I read about Barkley Hendricks in the New York Times’ year-end obit wrap-up:
NYT: For 38 years, Barkley Hendricks, a renown African-American portrait artist who died in April 2017, began his Art classes at Connecticut College (USA) by asking each student to bring in three small objects that meant something to them. The items varied, but he dubbed this the bottle-shoe-and-plate project, because these were the objects most students chose.
Over the semester, the students would draw and redraw them — in different styles, in different media, in different orders — until he was satisfied. While each student worked, he circled the room, clutching his thermos of tea with honey and lemon, peering at their papers. He was known to harangue students for not-perfectly-rounded teacups or loudly harrumph at overdramatically shadowed plates. “You’re in college,” he would chide those who disappointed him.
It was a class people cried in.
I don’t know if this is a great or a terrible way to teach painting. But I think I’m pretty OK with the concept that learning to paint should be painful. Lord knows my learning curve has not been the least bit fun and you know how misery doesn’t like to drink and whine alone (it loves company).
If you remember, my most recent source of artful misery was this:
It now looks like this:
I painted the shadows blue, and blue does not pick up well in reproduction — it looks darker in person. Just saying.
Next Friday, I will be painting my final picture of Claude Monet’s Giverny garden:
Until then, keep doing what makes you happy . . .
. . . stay true to your code.
Keep Being YOU.
And for Heaven’s sake, Australia, stay cool (like Taffy).