One year ago, on March 16 2016, I took a look at my life and decided that Things Had To Change:
This was the day, last March 19, when I did my semi-annual bottle return on my empty Fresca cans. Note: I live in New York state, on the USA, where recycling empty soda cans and bottles is mandatory and for which we consumers pay 5 cents per container upon purchase, which we get back when we drop off the empties to appointed recycling locations. I think I made close to $170 on this haul.
This is when the reality of all those cans of soda, ingested one by one by yours truly, every morning (Ah! Is there is anything better than an ice cold can of Fresca with breakfast?) and once or twice during the day for the past three years, hit me as a regrettable life style choice on my part. All that ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, all those doses of brominated vegetable oil, all that gunky acesulfame potassium, not to mention the aspartame that breaks down into formaldehyde in the body (Wait. Isn’t that a preservative? And shouldn’t that help me look forever 57?) and the citrus acid that made me teeth hurt — that made for quite a swill in my guts. And I pride myself on having swill-free guts.
So I quit, that very day, cold turkey. Since then I have not had so much as a SIP of Fresca, going on for 368 days now. Yay me.
It’s not much, to kick a Fresca habit, but the news has been so very, very bad this week that I needed a win and this is all I got: Fresca.
Well, here’s some good news: Monet’s garden in Giverny opens to the public TODAY!
I know this because I read Ariane, Guide to Giverny, who lives in Giverny and wanders through the Clos Normand and the Water Garden throughout all the months of the year knows the ins and outs of this garden as well as Monet himself — catch up with her latest wanderings in her English language blog here. Or, if you want to really delve into the subject, try her wonderful blog in French, Giverny News. Whenever you feel like you wish you were back in Giverny, Ariane’s blogs will take you there, so what are you waiting for?
Speaking of Monet’s Water Garden, I took a shot at painting a lily pond view of his famous Japanese bridge this past week. The view includes the dreaded Copper Beech, so I did a preliminary test of color blobs before I began to paint:
The famous willow tree, working wet-in-wet:
Remove masking fluid, Phase I:
Paint in bridge:
I made the decision here that I can’t deal with all the vegetation in this view — it gets very repetitive and BORING — so I am going to mess around and use my pencil drawing to “fill in” the rest of the landscape. Also, I think that leaving so much white space makes the view more interesting, and makes me almost not hate that damn Copper Beech.
Now, paint in water. This is the trickiest part, because you have to paint in lots of reflections, and some how blob green paint into rose and blue watercolor, a color combination that will make a nice muddy brown if you don’t do it right. It helps greatly if you’ve done this kind of thing mucho times before, and you know both the saturation point of your paper and the timing of each blob of color so it doesn’t make soup:
Remove masking fluid, Phase II:
Paint water lilies:
Dear Readers, how you doing? It’s been a tough week. Don’t get me started. I knew it was going to be a tough year (or four) when I started a Happiness Jar on New Year’s Day:
Yep. That’s all I got. Two notes, commemorating two moments of joy so far this year. Oh, wait. I forgot to write about those Southern-fried pickles I had on Mardi Gras. So that’s three moments of joy, in 83 days. Actually, I think that’s pretty damn good going, for a Capricorn, in the time of der Drumpf. We have a habit of thinking the worst of people and things. Because we’re only being realistic.
But this is an amazing world so you never know how much things can get better, all of a sudden. You could be walking in the woods, on some fine Spring day, and you look up, and there’s a red panda:
It could happen.
Have a great weekend, Dear Readers.
And der Trumpf is still an oozing stinking pustule of scum.