Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stolen artwork -- recovered!

One of the owners of The Comfy Cow called me today to say that a lady had called him to say she had my drawing that was stolen last February. He gave me her name and phone number.
This evening I called her, and then went to her apartment near the river in New Albany.  She gave me my drawing, in great shape and undamaged except for some stains on the backing board of the frame.
She told me that up until the middle of last summer, there had been some teens, eighteen or nineteen years old, living in the apartment behind hers (She didn't say so, but I think she meant it was a boyfriend/girlfriend).  Last June they had a big fight, and the place was trashed.
The landlord told this lady that he would knock off some of her rent in return for her going over to this apartment to clean it out. She found my drawing on the wall there, liked it, and hung it up in her apartment.
Then, yesterday, she and her roommate were watching "Antiques Road Show" and saw them discussing artwork appraisal.  They looked at my drawing on their wall and wondered if it was worth anything.  My name is on the drawing, so they Googled me and found my web site, on which I have the drawing listed as stolen with a request to contact The Comfy Cow with information.
So she called The Comfy Cow.
I am very grateful to her and to the owners of The Comfy Cow; I never expected to get the drawing back, especially now that a year has passed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Winter croquet

It's been goshawful cold this past week, but just before the current cold spell set in -- and after things had dried out from several days of rain -- we were able to break out the croquet set the girls got for Christmas.

I tried to set up the stakes and wickets at the distance noted on our rules sheet, but our back yard wasn't quite wide enough.  It was only short by a few feet, really. However, I think next time I can make it appreciably smaller just to make things a little less demanding on small-framed croquet beginners. It took quite a lot of poorly aimed whacking to get the balls around the whole circuit.  The unanimous verdict, however, was "Fun!"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January hike

I'd been wanting to for a couple of months, and finally yesterday I was able to get out to explore a rather secluded wooded area here in Jefferson County.  I was hoping to find some old house or building sites for metal detecting, but I also really just wanted to hike in the woods.

The woods are large enough that I had to hurry to get to my goal (a structure I could see in satellite photos, on a ridge far from the road) and back to the car in three hours.  I only saw a fraction of the area.  There was no real danger of getting lost, since I knew from maps what I would run into in any direction, and there's a creek that runs through the middle that leads right back to the road near my car. However, once in the woods, it was hard to figure out exactly where I was or where I was in relation to the structure I was looking for.

I finally found it--I'll probably post a photo of it later--and there wasn't much to it. It looked like an unfinished building foundation, post-1970.  I think there are other very old building foundations or cellar holes nearby, but I didn't spot them; by the time I got to the area, I was getting tired and I knew I had to turn around to head back.

I used trails as much as I could, but I also headed directly though the woods every once in a while. There were ATV trails as well as poorly defined trails that looked like there were made more by deer than humans. The edges of the woodland were a tangle of weeds and thorns that were a little hard to navigate, but once I got a little farther in the understory was open and easy to traverse.  After the heavy rains of last week, the spring-fed stream that ran through the middle was noisy and pretty, but still small enough to hop across (there were a few pools that looked like they might even be big enough to hold catchable fish, although I don't know if the water level stays high enough.

There were deer hoof prints everywhere I looked. A few sandhill cranes flew over while I was out, but I never saw another human.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Foods Mark doesn’t like to eat:

Last year my blog post quantity dropped quite a bit. I’m not sure why. For 2013, I will work harder at writing about more things that don’t matter and no one cares much about, just because, dammit, I have made a commitment. Even though I actually haven’t made a commitment.

There aren’t many foods I don’t have any interest in, and even fewer that I truly dislike. And I’m not talking about things that are actually bad—poorly cooked food, things that aren’t actually food, etc.  I’m talking about foods that are commonly bought or cooked or served around here.

It’s actually hard for me to think of things to put on this list. Here are a few:

Eggplant: I’ve rarely had eggplant, and I can eat it, and I actually don’t mind eating it too much. However, eggplants themselves sort of weird me out.  They are purple and look squishy, and I just don’t trust them for some reason.  I don’t think I would ever intentionally order an eggplant dish, and would only eat an eggplant dish if it ended up being set in front of me and there just weren’t any other polite options.

Semi-wet chicken dishes: I like baked, fried, and grilled chicken. I also like chicken in soups or stews. However, there is a disappointing category of chicken dishes right in between those. I’m talking about baked chicken dishes that have a heavy sauce, in which you have a chicken breast that is all wet and slimy, sort of sitting in a puddle.  In these dishes, the sauce is always flavorful but runny, and the chicken itself has an unpleasant texture and not a lot of flavor.  I can eat this, but I can never figure out why someone would choose to fix chicken like this when there are other methods.

Overly earthy bread: As the years have passed, we’ve moved to increasingly healthy bread, with varied whole grains and less sugar. I’m fine with it, even though I do usually enjoy lighter breads more. A few times, though, we have had some brand of bread (and I can’t remember what brand it was) that I swear had twigs and gravel in it. Too far. Yuck.

Some internal organs and parts: I think I’d be willing to try most of the ones that people often cook and serve, like kidney and liver, and maybe even heart and tongue. I wouldn’t be excited about the chance, but I’d try it just to see if I like it, if the opportunity arose. However, pig brains and pig feet will never be on my list of potential candidates.  There are probably other things like that, but I’m not going to spend time trying to think of them.

I guess that’s about it. Maybe I’ll think of something else later.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Mural section - completed

 Last night I finished this first section of the wall. This is an art & craft area of a children's play room.  The next section will feature a large tree.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Mural progress

I worked on the mural for a few more hours last night. The Crayola box is pretty much done; I am pleased with it.