Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Holidays . . . . .

123012_001 123012_002

The holidays are almost done.  Above are all of the drawings and paintings that had to be done and in my customer’s hands before Christmas.  I still have a couple to go that were ordered too late to make it for Christmas.  ■  Aaron was home for Christmas.  It was so good to see him.  He’s back in San Diego now from his deployment to the middle east.  Libby and Jay made it up here after Christmas.  We had the whole family together.  ■  Now we’re just about to leave for our cribbage group’s holiday party.  Tuesday, new year’s day, we’re hosting our annual Bullfrog Family & Friends brunch.  ■  Got to go.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lots of drawings to go . . . . .


. . . . this one went on its way today headed to Alabama.  Beautiful home with gorgeous staircase leading to the front door.  ■  I’ve got a lunch with an old friend and auditor today (since today is now Tuesday.)  It’ll be nice to see him.  ■  Short post, I know, but it’s time for bed.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cards–my Comfy Cottage collection . . .


With more to come.  ■  Watched the Wisconsin-Nebraska football game tonight.  Wisconsin just ran over Nebraska.  ■  Lots of drawings to complete.  ■ TFB.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving … great day……


Had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our daughter, husband, and our new grandchild drove up from Louisville.  It’s wonderful to see our granddaughter again.  ■  We had our next-door-neighbors, our good friends-forever from Crystal Lake and their daughter and son-in-law-to-be for dinner.  A nice sized crowd.  ■  The food was more than plentiful.  Three turkeys (you can see two of them there – mine done on the grill and Holly’s done in the oven.  Jay brought up a smoked turkey from Louisville.  All were delicious. As were the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry-apple dish, grandma’s green Jell-O (if it just weren’t green!)  And on and on with the food.  Too much.  I know I’ve left some dishes out.  I couldn’t fit one of everything on my plate.  ■  And we learned that the daughter of our good friends in Lombard got engaged.  Congratulations, Devin.  ■  As usual, I’m up too late and it’s time for bed.  ‘Night.  ■

Monday, November 19, 2012

Some company is leaking info . . . . .

. . . . when I get advertisements for The Scooter Store.  Hmmmm ………

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back in the saddle again . . . .

Or close to it.  Saw my cardiologist’s nurse on Tuesday.  She tested my defibrillator/pacemaker (it handles both functions) and everything is OK.  At one point in the exam she said she was going to make my heart beat faster – and it did!  I could feel it.  Strange feeling.  I’m restricted from any heavy lifting – mostly on my right side for a few weeks.  But I’m back to work at Dr. Wood’s.  It’s good to be back.  ■  On the drawing side I still have a few orders – just got another one today, so that’s keeping me busy.  ■

111512_001  111512_002

Also have finished some Christmas cards.   

111512_003  111512_004 

Lots of stuff to do this week.  TFB.  ‘Night.  ■

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting better . . . . .


Woke up this morning very sore.  As the day wore on the pain lessened.  They said it would get worse before it got better when I left the hospital.  I think I’m over the worst.  ■  Home health care nurse visited me this morning.  We went over instructions, etc.  It was a very valuable visit.  ■  Got an order for a drawing of a building that an accounting company resides in.  That’s a quick pencil sketch of it above.  I’ll probably do at least one more quick sketch to get a better feel for the project.  ■  IM’d with Aaron last night.  He should be coming home from the middle east in the next couple of weeks.  ■  Got to get to bed.  It’s getting on to 1:00am. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Home . . .

I forgot to push the “Publish” button yesterday on the previous post, so while it says it’s from November 6th it’s really from the 5th.  ■  At any rate, I’m home from the hospital.  The installation of the defibrillator went well.  I’m very sore in my left shoulder, but that should subside gradually over the next week.  One of the nurses told me that it takes a week for the pain to disappear.  In the meantime I can’t lift my left elbow above my shoulder for the next six weeks and I can’t life anything heavy for a few weeks.  ■  I’ve got an appointment with the surgeon next Tuesday for him to check it and to see if I’m able to return to work.  ■

Defibrillator this morning . . . .


On Saturday I worked while Holly and Ellyn tore the carpeting off the stairs.  Still some pieces to get off that are stapled into the joints, but it’s lookin’ good.  ■  Cheryl and Stephanie stopped over and Stephanie asked me if I could play a song at her upcoming wedding.  I’m honored to be asked.  Now I’ve got to learn the song, but I’ve got time to do that.  ■  Saturday night Holly and I and Ellyn and her sister Nola went to a local restaurant/bar to have dinner and hear the Wiggelos play.  It was fun.  ■  Sunday we went to our friends Dave & Debbie’s home for cribbage.  We don’t play cribbage anymore – haven’t in years – but it’s an excuse to get our cribbage friends together once a month.  ■  And that brings us to today – Monday.  I’m leaving home in about 15 minutes to go to our local hospital to have a defibrillator implanted in my chest.  It’ll help control the afib that I’ve had a couple of times.  Am I nervous?  Yeah, a little.  The surgeon has to fish a wire through a vein into my heart.  Yes, that makes me a little nervous.  ■  If you don’t see anymore

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yet another thing .. . . . .

If it’s not one thing it’s another.  Had an echocardiogram done last week.  Cardiologist’s office called today with the results.  Seems my ejection fraction had dropped from a high of 45% a couple of years ago to 30-35% now.  This apparently 102412_001makes me a candidate for an implantable defibrillator.  I need to make an appointment with the cardiologist they call “The Electrician.”  The Electrician did both of my electrocardioversions – where they stop your hear and then shock it to start it again.  Last time he had to try and turn the motor over twice.  I could feel the burn from that one.  ■  Kind of scares me.  A while ago I went into afib and after that had a short stroke.  The stroke really freaked me out.  Thank goodness it was what they call a TIA (I think) and there was no permanent damage.  ■  Finished one drawing this morning and then worked more on one I had started yesterday.  A couple of more hours on that one tomorrow and I can ship it.  ■  Late and time for bed.  Just have to get the girls off the bed.  ■

Monday, October 22, 2012

That’s my granddaughter with


  the Halloween card I sent her.  I think it’s her first card.  Libby say’s it’ll go in her baby book.  ■  This past Thursday Holly and I manned my pen & ink business booth at our chamber of commerce’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” event.  It’s a very well run event – kudos to our chamber – and I got about 50 people that showed an interest in my work.  Hopefully some of those will turn to orders.   I’m thinking next year I’ll do a little demonstrating on digital painting on my ipad.  That may generate more interest.  ■   Man, it’s late.  TFB!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Painting of a dog . . .


I think I did alright with this one. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finished card #1 & #2









Two cards done.  One was actually done last year, but I was requested to add their new dog Gracie to the card for this year.  ■  Finished a drawing and shipped it today.  So far 3 drawings done and lots to go.  ■ 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Afghanistan . . . . .

100712_001 - Copy

Ok, we’ve gone from Kuwait to Kandahar.  He’s moved east quite a bit.  Not pleased with it, but I support his decision 100%.  And he hasn’t told us that it’s his decision, but I strongly suspect that it is/was.  ■  Now we’re just waiting for word from him..

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pen & Inks and holiday cards . . .


Working thru a list of about 10 pen and inks and 2 digital paintings.  Of the digital paintings 1 is for a Christmas card and the other of a dog – half cocker spaniel and half golden retriever.  I’ve started the Christmas card (it’s the one in this blog post), but I think I need to start it over.  I’m not happy with the relative sizes of items in the painting.  ■  Tomorrow the girls and I (Abby & Zoe) need to run to UPS to get some note cards printed and then onto an art supply store for some more 11x14 drawing paper.  ■  I also need to order some special paper from UPS for printing and framing these paintings.  That’s $80, so I’ve been putting it off.  I’ll have to order that tomorrow.  ■  TFB.  Night.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another drawing almost done . . .


and more to go.  I’m working steadily to get all the orders done.  It’s a challenge.  ■  Not only do I have orders for pen & inks of homes, but I also have 2 digital paintings on order.  .■  Wednesday morning starts off with our Lighthouse Networking Group meeting in the morning.  I could use more sleep and it’s almost 1:00 am.  TFB.  ‘Night.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chili Fest is over for another year . . . . .


. . . and this is the poster I used for it.  The drawing depicts Bill, Steve, Jac, and Jean working on our garage.    They’re drywalling, painting, putting in electrical and sweeping up.  The garage looks great!  It’s got to be the envy of the neighborhood.  ■  Chili Fest went great.  Good muisic, food, and friends.  And the weather was great too.  ■  I’ve had a booth/tent at our town’s farmer’s market for the past few weeks.  It’s been good for business.  I’ve earned a few orders from it.  I’ll definitely do it next year.  ■  And speaking of orders I’ve got about eight orders between pen & inks and Christmas cards – oh and one of them is of a dog – half cocker spaniel and half golden retriever.  ■  Time is flying and I’ve got to go to work in a few minutes.  ■

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Snow . . . not yet . . .


The snow on the ground in this painting looks deliciously cool.  Not that I’m wishing for snow, but it was hot today.  ■  I’ve been coming down with a cold for the past few days.  I’m tired, I’ve been running a fever (just checked and is very slightly over normal right now), sweating, stuffed-up, and a never-ending headache for the past 3 days.  ■  Getting some orders in – one today from a previous client.  I drew their home a year ago, they love it and have it hanging in their in their foyer.  Love to hear from past clients.   ■  Now I’ve got a bunch to get done.  Finished one yesterday and delivered it today.  That’s one down and more to go.  ■  Chili Fest is coming up in another week.  Got to get prepared for that.  ■  TFB.  ‘Night.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Workin’. . . gettin' ready . . . . .


Lots of work going on at my house – 99% of it by Jac, Steve, & Bill.  Here Jac and Steve are putting up my parent’s old jewelry store sign.  Jac figured out how to fix it, mount it, and put lights in it.  What a job.  I’ll post more pics of it in the next post.  ■  090412_002We also bought new lights for the patio, which Jac installed (pic on right).  Thanks, Jac.  I’ve got to learn how to do some of this stuff.  ■  Just finished one drawing and already have another to on the drawing board.  Lots to do.  ■ 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Up and down . . .

A ladder today – painting our garage.  The garage has gone from one with just 2x4s to one with insulation, drywall, and now painted.  Painting was what my neighbor and I did today.  I’m sore from going up and down the ladder and I even managed to fall off of it once.  No damage – just sore.  I want to thank my neighbors and friends who not only made the garage update possible, but who also did 99% of the work.  Thanks to Steve, Jac, and Bill.  Thanks, guys.  ■  Garage:  next – clean up.  Clean-up will take awhile.  I have stuff I need to throw out, or give away, and lots of sweeping, etc. to do.  ■  I’m extremely tired and sore.  It’s TFB.  ‘Night all.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Doesn’t that look cool? . . . .


Doesn’t the painting on the right look nice and cool.  With all the heat we’ve had this summer it actually looks inviting.  When we actually get to winter I think we’ll be wishing for some warm weather.  ■  The garage is coming along beautifully.  I can’t believe all the help I’ve been given.  Most of the help I’ve been is to stay out of the way.  A big and continuing thanks to my neighbors Jac and Steve and to a friend Bill.  It’s lookin’ great, guys.   ■  Tomorrow I’ve got to open the store at noon, but I really need to go in much earlier to contact our DSL provider to get our DSL back up and running at the store.  ■  TFB. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Onward with my Brushes paintings . . .

082212_001Yup, onward with the digital painting I’m doing with the Brushes app on my ipad.  I’ve been having fun with it, but it may turn out to be a money maker.  ■  Last Sunday I did a booth at our Cary Farmer’s Market.  While it wasn’t a whopping success, it does show potential.  I bought a canopy for it and will do it again this Sunday.   Hopefully I’ll get some more orders out of it.  ■  The dog painting on the left is a commission I received from a neighbor.  I’m pretty pleased with it.  ■  Been working on our garage – more like staying out of the way while my neighbors worked on it.  What neighbors.  Best you could ever have.  ■  Lots of drawings to get done as well as other stuff.  It’s making me a bit nervous with all I have to do.  Such is life.  ■  More coming in the next day on the garage, drawing, painting (oh, I’m planning on painting a mural in our garage.)  More later . . . . . – Now it’s TFB.  ‘Night.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Busy . . . . .


Here’s a painting of our dogs – Zoe with the red collar and Abby with the blue.  I kind of like it.  ■  Holly and I worked on getting the garage in order – at least a little better organized than it is now.  We’re in the midst of insulating and drywalling it.  My neighbors – Jac & Steve have done 98% of the work – heck maybe 99%.  The insulation is complete and some drywall is already up.  Tomorrow we’ll go and pick up the remainder of the drywall and a couple of minor things for electrical work.  I want it all done by the time chili fest rolls around.  ■  Time for bed.  ‘Night.  ■

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fire truck to the accident!

Accident ahead

It appeRs that there's an accident ahead of us. We're just a bit
north of Indy on our way home.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lots going on . . . . .


My next door neighbor, Steve, and I began insulating my garage.  After the insulating is done I’ll have drywall put up.  It’ll make the garage look so much better.  Much thanks to Steve and to my across-the-street neighbor Jac.  Between these two it seem like they know how to do everything.  Especially Jac.  He knows how to do everything and why it should be done in such a way.  Thanks, Jac and Steve. ■  I went down to the Cary Farmer’s Market today to help with cleanup – which actually just comprised taking down one tent and gathering up parking barricades.  Our local chamber of commerce sponsors the market and they asked me if I would come and display my wares.  I’m going to try and start doing it on Sunday, August 19th.  ■  Next in line is being a vendor at a local “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” event in September and after that being a vendor in October at a “Girl’s Night Out” event.  ■  Lots of prep to do – new business cards, creating note cards, brochure, or handout – not sure which I’ll go with – and a ton of other things.  TFB.  ‘Night.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Still hot . . . drawing done . . .


It’s still hot out.  Can seem to get some relief from this heat.  This has got to be a record summer for temps.  And rain . . . . heck we’ve hardly had any of that.  ■  Finished a drawing tonight.  I’ll get note cards printed tomorrow and send it out either tomorrow, or Thursday.  Then it’s on to the next drawing.  ■  Aaron called from Kuwait yesterday.  He’s doing fine.  He says the duty is easy.  We talked for about 10 minutes and then got disconnected.  It was good to hear his voice.  ■  Lots going on this summer.  I didn’t think it would be too busy, but I’m wrong.  ■  I planning on insulating and drywalling my garage.  I only have 2 walls to do since one is already done.  I’ve got my Lighthouse Networking Group meeting tomorrow morning.  That means I have to get up early. ■ 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dang, but it’s hot!

Will this heat ever let up?  And will we get a decent amount of rain?  Stepping outside it feels like a blast furnace.  Funny, but the dogs don’t seem to mind the heat.  It’s midnight and it’s 84º out.  Too dang hot.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blues, booze & BBQ . . .


It was hot yesterday.  The temps were up and the music was hot.  Had a few guys over for some jammin’ in the garage.  Some good, fun, music.  A few cold beers and brats on the grill went down well.  Hope to do it again soon.  ■  The hot, dry weather continues here.  It’s 94º out today.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 100º.  And do we ever need rain.  Everyone’s grass is brown.  I’m sure there are watering restrictions.  The Fox River is down and I think Fox Lake is down a good couple of feet.  Very strange for this time of year.  ■  Now we’ll have to see if the air conditioner can keep up with it.  ■  Off to work in a bit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cary Farmer’s Market . . .


Three digital paintings of our farmer’s market in Cary.  And, yes, I did them.  I’m working on getting them printed in a suitable size.  They do look great framed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Busy . . . yes and no . . . . .


Busy – yes at home, but no at store.  I’ve only worked a couple of hours this week so far.  That really hurts on the income.  ■  The picture is of the Cary Farmer’s Market held on Sunday mornings during the summer.  Lots of good produce, etc.  ■  Working tomorrow (Saturday).  Sunday maybe some blues, booze, and bbq.  We’ll see.  ■  And I should mention that it’s been HOT!  Driving home from work Holly’s car thermometer showed 111º.  Our new air conditioner for the upstairs isn’t keeping up with the heat.  It’s way too hot.  ■  TFB.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pens, painting and paper . . . . .

First THE pen.  It’s the one in the picture.  Our friends Eileen ↓062512_001& Ron gave Holly and I each a hand made pen.  Each pen they make is unique.  Ron and Eileen have been making these for some time and have sold some in Door County and they’re looking for other outlets to sell their pens to.  They’re very nice.  I love ‘em.  ■  Painting:  I’ve been working on some paintings of the Farmer’s Market that we have in Cary every Sunday.  Lots of good produce and other goodies.  And lots to paint.  By painting I mean I’m painting on my iPad using an app called “Brushes.”  062612_001The first one is to the right.  I’ve begun the 2nd one (there will be at least 3), and should finish that in the next day, or two.  Paper:  The copy machines at UPS are having a difficult time working with the paper sizes that I use.  That’ll take us (me and UPS) a little bit to figure out.  ■  Libby and Maggie Bryd (our new grandchild) are in town.  Libby and daughter are staying with one of Libby’s dear friends, but she’ll be up to our home Tuesday.  Now I need to prepare the house for more company.  ■  And once again I've stayed up way to late.  It’s way past time for bed.  ‘Night.  ■

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Party was a success . . . . .


We hosted a surprise birthday party this past Saturday for multiple friends’ birthdays.  It was a fun party with a lot of fun friends.  ■  Working on getting another drawing done.  I’d like to get it out this week.  ■  Tomorrow morning, if I wake up in time, I’m heading up to Lake Geneva to take some pictures.  Then I’ll try drawing some of the buildings that I’ve taken pictures of.  We’ll see how that goes.  ■  No work today.  Summer is really slow at the store.  I’d love to see business pick up.  ■  We’re having company this weekend.  Should be fun.  Haven’t seen these folks, Eileen and Ron, in quite awhile.  They’re on their way out to Washington D.C. to see Eileen’s daughter and husband and grandkids.  ■  Time for bed.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Getting carpet cleaned . . .


Finally got our area rug cleaned.  Between dogs and time it badly needed cleaning.  I wish the rest of the carpet in the house needed cleaning, but it needs to be replaced – not cleaned.  ■  Learning to play my square-neck dobro is coming along.  A lot depends on the picking hand with learning various picking patterns.  The finger picks, as I’ve told people, make you feel like you’re a 5 year old trying to walk around in your father’s galoshes.  I’m starting to feel like I’ve grown to 10 years old, but it’s still hard to walk in ‘em.  ■  Cleaning the house this morning.  Getting ready for some company.  Gotta run.  ■

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sold a Larrivee!


Sold a Larrivee guitar today.  Larrivee makes beautiful, but rather expensive acoustic guitars.  It’s been a standing question from my boss – “sell any Larrivees?”  This afternoon I could finally answer “Yes.”  Nice close to the Saturday work day.  ■  Our next door neighbors invited me over for dinner tonight seeing that Holly is up in Green Bay visiting her mom.  Had steak, salad, potatoes, and corn on the cob.  Delicious.  ■  After I fed the girls (our dogs) their dinner I gave them their “treat” – each a small rawhide bone, which they love.  Zoe, while working on her rawhide, started to shiver and shake and tried to stand up, but couldn’t get her legs working correctly.  This episode pass in about 15 seconds and then she was fine.  I’m guessing that she had a small stroke.  I’ll give the vet a call Monday morning.  Right now she’s in our bedroom after digging out a nesting spot in a pile of cloths destined for the washer.  I’ll be watching her carefully tomorrow.  ■  TFB.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Where does the time go?

I see once again I haven’t posted for awhile.  Where does the time go?  ■  Today plumbing occupied my day.  The outdoor spigot that we always use to water our plants has been dripping – worse this year than in others.  I decided to try and fix it with my neighbors help.  What I thought would be a 10 minute project turned into a hunt for parts.  Turn off the water; get spigot apart;  need at least a new washer if not total new part; run to Ace in Cary, Ferguson Plumbing Supply in Crystal Lake (closed at 5:00 & I got there at 5:15; Home Depot; Menards; and finally Ace in Fox River Grove.  No one had the washer I needed.  Headed home and Jac (our miracle man neighbor) had left some liquid silicon which would help the bad washer hold up.  We reinstalled the old parts and it worked!  By saying “it worked” I mean that when I turned the water back on there were no leaks.  ■  With that said, I’m beat and going to bed.  ‘Night. ■

Friday, June 1, 2012

Quick drawing of an Indian home . . .

060112_001It’s a quick pencil sketch of a home in India.  I’ve since added palm trees, but I need to darken the house lines before I send it to my customer.  ■  Two cold days in a row.  What’s spring/summer coming to?  It’s 43º out – and it’s June 1st!  ■  Work tomorrow and then Cribbage.  It’ll be good to see our Cribbage friends.  ■  I need a few more “Abby & Zoe” cards before I can start the “Abby & Zoe” book.  Got to get busy.  ■  It’s time for bed – TFB.  ‘Night.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Been a long time since I posted . . . .


It’s been a long time since I posted.  I didn’t realize that it had been almost 2 weeks.  ■  Since my last blog post I’ve been sick for a week with a fever and body aches.  Felt like someone had worked me over with a baseball bat.  I over that – all better now.  ■  I’ve also been working on a couple of drawings.  Time to wrap those up and get on to new ones.  ■  Our new granddaughter is now over 2 weeks old.  I’d like to get back down there and see her again.  Sooooon.  ■  We’re in the process of totally rearranging the store are the guitar emporium.  It’ll look a lot fresher and is totally needed.  ■  Memorial day weekend.  Time for all of us to remember all of the people that gave their lives for our country.  ■

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maggie Byrd Hatcher . . . .


Just a few days old.  Isn’t she beautiful?  Yes, she is.  ■  Our microwave quite working properly today.  About 8 seconds after you put something in it starts sparking inside – and no, there’s no metal spoon, or any utensil in there.  Now I’ve got to look for another one.  Just think how often you use a microwave on a daily basis.  Bummer.  Any suggestions for a good one?  ■  I’ve got a chamber meeting early tomorrow morning, so it’s time I got to bed.  ■  Night.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mom, Dad, & Baby makes . . .

Three in the family! Now we're grandparents!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grandma & Maggie

Here's a pic of Grandma holding the newest member of the clan.

Just south of Indy

Maggie Byrd

9:46 am est
7lbs, 9 oz

On the way to Louisville

It's grand baby time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Display @ Harris Bank is up!


A display of my drawings and digital finger paintings is up and going at our local Harris Bank branch here in Cary, IL.  ■  Worked on getting it ready last night, then packed it up, drove to Harris and set it up this morning.  ■  I decided that it needed a Guest Book to try and collect names and email addresses, so a quick trip to Office Max solved that need quickly.  Tomorrow I’m going to bring down a couple of coffee cups I’ve had done from drawings and some more/different note cards.  I’m thinking that I may swap note cards in and out all week just to keep the display interesting.  ■  More on the display as things develop.  ■  Time to get ready for work.  ■