What I Think About When I’m Not Thinking About Mexican Food.

We might do some painting today. . .

. . . but you know the rule here: Lead With The Cats.

You all remember Mr. Fluffy? The mangy, starving stray cat I found in my backyard last Spring, the one who was  filthy and full of tangles and crusted-on poop and stank so badly that I thought he’d been sprayed by a skunk, and who went to the vet and got all his expensive health issues taken care of and got cleaned up (but was still as skinny as a ferret) and got adopted by his forever family in Washington D.C. thanks to their seeing his story on this very blog? Well, it was chilly last week in our nation’s capitol, so Mr. Fluffy’s people lit a fire, and they sent me a photo of Mr. Fluffy checking out this strange new phenomenon called “getting cozy”. Is he one handsome dude or what?

I give you this picture of Mr. Fluffy because we all need a moment of Awwwwwwwww on this, the end of another bad, sad, and dangerous week in America. I don’t have to tell you the news, you all know it all too well;  how another angry  white guy with a gun and a grievance makes us all pay a revolting price for living in the land of the free and the AR 15.  I despair.

Now we need another cat to lower our blood pressure and maybe give us a reason to live, and here he is:

That’s Taffy on the kitchen patio on Wednesday morning, helping me look for our Perfect Fall Leaf of 2017, which we have not found yet due to the fact that Nature isn’t cooperating this year. Fall is very late in coming, and what has arrived, so far, hasn’t been spectacular. This is how the north corner of my front yard looks on a normal November 7, which is usually peak leaf time:

This is how it looked yesterday, November 16, 2017:

I reckon that Fall is 9 days behind schedule and counting.

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I had gone to see famous ghost writer Daniel Paisner talk about his wonderful career collaborating with celebrities in the sports and entertainment world. During his talk he used the term thought leader to describe some of the non-famous subjects of his books  (a billionaire businessperson, a hippy surfer/philanthropist, an economist who gives TED talks, etc.). Thought leader was a curious phrase to me, and as I had not heard that term before I wrote it down so I could think about the concept later. Well, you all know how it goes: now that I’ve become aware of it, I’ve heard or read that term about half a dozen times in the past two weeks. I never noticed it before, but it seems that the world is littered with thought leaders.

I’m putting that on my resume as soon as I have a resume: thought leader.

Here’s a thought: How about all those good Christians in Alabama don’t vote for a child rapist? Is that too much to ask of the godly men and women of the Deep South?

Or am I being naive, in thinking that people who want to make America great again might have morals that would prevent them from sending to the Senate a man who is unwilling to obey the constitution (and its mandate on the separation of church and state) AND sexually assaults young girls?

MOBILE, ALABAMA: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

Oh, right.


P.S. I got both these pix of Roy Moore and der Drumpf by googling “alabama morons”. I love the internet.

Let’s paint:

This is a very small view of Monet’s central flower bed at Giverny, a garden that I’ve painted frequently.

Painting flowers is so relaxing.

This time I want to paint the flowers on a very sunny day, and test my ability to paint in very dark and light tones.

As you can see, I prepared a background of bright green over which I will paint my deep green bits.

I got some nice blobby effects by working wet-in-wet, and letting the paints bled into one another — I do like seeing what watercolors does when you just let it do its thing. And I also like doing the persnickety details with my 00-size brush.

I put down a yellow background for the really bright areas, over which I will dab in some medium-tone greens:

Yeah, I got some sparkle here:



This is for New Reader Steve, who I confused last week by mentioning a tea bag that wasn’t there. It’s here now, Steve.

My Steve, waiting on my front porch wall, making a mind-meld with me to let me know that a little pre-dinner taste treat would make a certain kitty happy.

Thank you all, Dear Readers, Warriors to the heart, for your lovely Comments last week about my Uncle Rolly post. I hope we all have a good man in our lives, especially these days when we hear about more and more men who we thought were OK guys are actually real creeps. Et tu, Al Franken??

Have a great weekend, dear ones, and I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is a day of happiness and gratitude and meaning for you and the ones you love.

And here’s the photo of my favorite cheese enchiladas and retired beans and rice that never fails to make my day when I am in the dumps and need to feast my eyes on something good:


14 Comments, RSS

  1. Megan

    Oh you can’t hurry Mother Nature, autumn will arrive. At least you had help looking for a leaf… Love the cautious approach to the fire, Mr Jolly thought we were insane lighting a fire in the house when he saw his first fire, in a well contained combustion stove, but he grew to love that fire and worship it especially on the days it did not materialise. Looking forward to seeing Mr Fluffy at home and relaxed on the hearth rug. I have to say I am a bit over Christians who aren’t very Christian. Stop judging others and lead respectable lives, lead by example. Pin heads. I dunno it’s all to much. Do you watch Samantha Bee? Retired beans? I am intrigued. Thanks for the gorgeous Taffy and Steve he was channelling wasn’t he?

  2. Marg-o

    Alabama morons is a great name for the Republican party!

    And OMG how gorgeous is Mr. Fluffy??? And Steve and Taffy, too, all kitties are handsome and perfect.

    Love the little Monet garden view. And thanks for deciding what I’m having for lunch today. Enchiladas!

  3. Beautiful garden painting and so nice to see when my entire garden is now soundly sleeping for the winter months. Since you mentioned looking for the perfect leaf, I have been looking at oak leaves, and all are solidly brown, no color. I begin to wonder, is this the year of no color? Mr. Fluffy, Steve and Taffy seem content and happy in their perfect world. Also, the special treat must have made Steve’s day. It truly is all about the small things.

  4. Michigan fall is the same. I look out my windows and all I see are green leaves, except for those stinking little locust leaves that clog up the eaves. I actually don’t mind extended fall, except that it hasn’t been very pretty — a blob of color here, that goes. A small blob there. No splash. Unlike Monet’s garden which is seriously splashy and gorgeous to the max. Yay, Vivian is painting again!

    Loving the Taffy/Steve/Mr. Fluffy pix. I’m trying to get your innie-cats in my brain — Taffy, Steve, Candy and Lickety? Am I leaving any of the innies out? I ask for a reason.

    Have a great Thanksgiving. Personally, I’d prefer those yummy looking enchiladas to turkey and I can’t WAIT till I can eat spicy Mexican food again. This is worse than Lent. At least you can cheat on Lent and it doesn’t hurt. Of course, it’s been a long time since I’ve done Lent…

  5. As I prepare for Thanksgiving, I’m making a long list of the things I’m grateful for and this painting this week is on the list. My gosh that’s gorgeous!

    I’d rather look at your pretty cats doing their cat like business and leaving all of the young girls alone. And I think (hope) we’re turning a corner where guys understand that you can’t abuse your power over the powerless to sate a sexual urge. One thing I think we’re learning is that these creeps pray on girls AND boys. They prey on the powerless. Hopefully our culture is at a hinge moment in which things change forever.

  6. Kirra

    I’m sorry your autumn/fall is late but I’m happy you showed us your Monet garden painting instead! It is lovely and I am once again impressed with your skill with the small size of the paintings. The Alabama morons definitely suck but your cats are great. Hope you all enjoy a long weekend for Thanksgiving!? (I don’t know, we don’t have it here in the Southern Hemisphere, we do have a Queen’s Birthday holiday though.)

  7. Becky

    I love Steve. What a Heart breaker?
    Thank you for the painting. It is so beautiful to see you let the colors melt together. I am going to try this.
    As for Alabama….I was so disgusted and in disbelief over how many people still support the child predator until I read a letter submitted by various ministers of Alabama who wrote a letter saying Moore is unfit for office, and that the racist and bigoted things being said and done do not represent the Christian spirit that we should aspire to show. I am from Pa. and read this on line from an Alabama newspaper. It gave me faith in the state of Alabama ?
    I like Mexican food….but a plate of pierogies is what I love to eat!

  8. Thanks for the tea bag! NOW I understand! And a beautiful painting too — such detail!

    That photo of the Donald Trump rally really is priceless. Every single person in that picture is intriguing. The photographer captured just the right moment.

    And of course I agree with you on all your political points.

    It’s incredible how different the fall foliage in your yard is this year! Is the entire region experiencing a delayed or subdued autunn in terms of fall color?

  9. Your Mexican plate resembles the watercolor paintings of the Impressionists with some of everything running slightly together. (It looks yummy, by the way.) And I love your two cats. I have just photographed a big fluffy calico who comes by and drinks out of our birdbath. He’ll be on my blog probably sometime in the next few days. And I’ve added your site to my blogroll. It’s a good ‘un!

  10. I love when the paint can do it’s own thing. Does it also get out the paper, paints, and brushes.
    Like your painting with the teabag.
    Kittie is familiar here, always wanting a snack.
    And yes, we need our comfort food sometimes, but also on those days leave the news off I say!!

  11. ann

    You made my day.

    I had a grey cat which looked just like Mr. Fluffy. I’m so glad he got a happy ending.

    Loved your painting. I have three watercolors in progress, which I need to fix. Its funny that you did a summer/spring painting? I have two fall and one winter.

    I did find the perfect leaf this fall. It was an oak, and I live in the south!

  12. Joan Clarke

    Hi Vivian: It’s been ages since I’ve posted to your blog, however, I just wanted you to know that I’m still kicking and very much alive after the big C came to visit. I’m missing some of my innards but doing well. I’m back to counted cross stitching for my “in hand” work. I did this many years ago, made a left hand turn into knitting where I stayed for some 10 years, but now back to the needle arts. Love your wee paintings, kitty pics. So glad you’re still at it.

    • Vivian

      Joan! It’s so god to see your Comments again! I hope your needle work brings you many hours of comfort and peace — I know it’s done the same for me in the past. Please come again, any time you feel up to it!

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