Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Art School Confidential

I was approached about a month ago by a woman from church who asked me if I'd give her daughter some art lessons.  I thought she was kidding AND I wasn't sure how she knew I had studied art.  Certainly didn't hear it from me.

People have this weird habit of asking if I'm an 'artist' once they find out I've studied art.  I just can't get that word to come out of my mouth.  Getting a BFA for me was really just an expensive hobby.  I can hear 'artist's' rolling their eyes at this.  Deal.

So it's official.  I am now teaching art classes.  To 4 very energetic 10 year old girls.  Kind of feels a little daunting but, we're still in the beginning stages so we'll see how this plays out.

Our first class was on the 12th and I completely forgot about taking pictures.  I snapped a few yesterday so I've got a few to show.

Every teachers dream...student in focus-mode

Lady E is admiring her squiggle work

Ladies S and J also in focus-mode

Lady C is trying not to be distracted by my snapping pictures

Lady J's handy-work

...and some more...
 I think the Ladies are having fun.  Which is wonderful.  Sometimes a little too much fun, I have to reign them in at times to get them to pay attention.  The first class I'm still not too sure how much they got out of it.  And I'm sure their parents see what they're bringing home and wondering if they made the right choice.  Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day!

I'm teaching them some pretty technical stuff.  I'm using stuff from old college text-books so it's interesting.  But I want them to learn something real and not just from a coloring book.

The first class we had I taught them about gestural.  (And there's 5 kinds of gestural but I only showed them two.  And I still think it all went over their heads).

This class I taught them contour, focusing on 'blind contour' drawing.  Which is why their sketches look so funky.  I thought they did great.  It's kind of a challenging concept trying to draw what's in front of you while not looking down at your paper.  I'm hoping that all these exercises will get them geared up for doing some more detailed artful drawings.  Once they've learned the basics.  AND if they do their homework!!

There's one girl in particular whom I think has some promise.  At least she has really good focus.  The others do too...when they're taking it seriously.

Overall I'm glad to be doing it.  It's something else for me to think about other than laundry, dinner and diapers.  Yay for me!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Yes.  We went to Hawaii!  We celebrated our TWO YEAR anniversary.

'The Man' and I were discussing our options for how we wanted to celebrate and for some reason the both of us had Hawaii on the brain.  So we went.  Random!

So here's how it all went down:

We stayed at the Turtle Bay Resort.  I was surprised by how awesome our view was.  Then noticed that every hotel room has a great room.  Obviously they planned it that way.  It was a great plan.  Waking up to beautiful views and the sound of the ocean?  Priceless.

Disclaimer: We used an old point-and-shoot and our phone camera's.  Not the greatest quality.  Spellings probably off too, sorry.

There's a father-son pair in the water here.  The son is surfing on his own.  He looked to be about 5 or 6 years old.  He is officially really cool.  

The first thing we did after getting off the plane (and getting a rental car) was drive down to Lae'i for some grub.  Apparently Giovanni's is the place to be.  Long line, but good grub.  And they use A LOT of garlic.  I was tasting that one for days.

Giovanni's specialty: Shrimp Scampi
I tried the garlic hot dog (background).  It was big.
These next three are taken at Lae'i Point.  There's some story about the five little islands out there.  Apparently the islands are the five pieces of some giant lizards head that some warrior chopped off.  For some reason or other.  That's about all I can remember of the story.  Not very impressive I know.  Google it.

We visited Kualoa Ranch on our last full day on the island.  That was fun.  We took the 'Movie Set Locations' tour.  On a bus.  Off-road.  It was a little scary.  But we made it out okay.  

The wheels on the bus go round and round...
'China Man's Hat'  It's got a Hawaiian name too but every body just calls it that. 

This is the log that the two kids hide behind in the movie Jurassic Park.  It's seen better days.  But I love that show!
Another view of the log

Where the cast 'played golf' on the show LOST.  Man I love that show!!!
The submarine used in LOST.  Apparently this isn't the one Locke blew up.  Phew. 
Outside one of the bunkers that is featured in an episode of LOST.  Kate vs. Juliet...epic.
The list of movies that have been filmed here goes on and on.  I'll spare you.  These were just a few highlights.
Two gorilla's kissing.  I think there's a view of it in the movie 'George of the Jungle'.  Can you see it?

I think the second day on the island we went to Waimea Valley Falls.  (And according to my brother is the only botanical garden that you actually have to pay to get into, which he thought was ridiculous).  But we didn't know that.  And we still probably would've gone.  A very pretty walk/hike.  Not quite a mile.  And then the falls.  It looked VERY familiar.  Later we found out it's Kate and Sawyers Falls.  Well, not really.  But that's what I'm calling it.  In the LOST episodes this is where Kate and Sawyer find the Halliburton case.  You have to watch it!

I totally smoked Evangeline Lily in this shot.  Hands down!

I really wasn't in the shutter-bug mood while on vacation.  And I have this tourist-complex.  I feel really self-concious about taking pictures/having my picture taken.  Especially as a tourist.  So we don't have pictures of everything/everywhere we did/went.  Lucky you!

We went to the Hukilou Cafe.  I had some seriously large blueberry pancakes that weren't bad.  I guess this place was made famous because of the movie 50 First Dates, though nothing from the interior was looking all that familiar.  Oh well.  It's the experience that counts.  

We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  I'm SO SO glad we opted for the shorter day trip.  By the time we got to Tonga I was pretty much done.  It was a lot of fun.  I know the jokes have been going around there for years, but hey, they were new to me!  So I thought it was pretty great.  And that place was huge!

The day of departure we had some time to kill and I was told we HAD to go to Hilo Hatti's.  So we went.  It was pretty much like seeing all the other gift shops we've been in...only bigger.  I don't really get into gift shops.  We found a car for 'The Kid'.  'The Man' bought a map of Oahu when we went to Kualoa Ranch so he was set.  I found some earrings and some chocolate for 'The Parentals'.

He likes it.

We did some swimming.  (And snorkeling).  I was surprised the water was as cold as it was.  I have this weird notion that when you go to a tropical island the water will be warm.  I'm such a wimp.  But it was really great to relax on the beach some.  Swim some.  And eat some.  'The Man' did all the driving.  He's so good to me.  I think he's done driving for awhile.  

All in all, not a bad way to spend an anniversary.  We've decided though that next time we visit the island we're taking the kids.  It seems like a great place for families to vacation.    

Saturday, March 10, 2012

End of Week Wrap-up

This should be short.  Because I can't remember anything out of the ordinary that we've done this week.  Vacuuming.  Meals.  Diapers.  Nap-times.  Dinner.  Bed.  Then repeat.  Over.  And Over.  And Over.    

Maybe I should call it week-end wrap up.  

We (meaning 'The Man') filed our taxes.  Woo-hoo!  Pretty exciting.  Oh, and we fired our tax guy.  That's an awesome story.  Let's just say, our tax return refund money we'll get this year won't be sufficient enough to cover our bill for back-taxes for 2009.  I LOVE financial set-back surprises, don't you? 

I finished a project that I've been putting off for a few weeks.  Remember that surprise I mentioned I was going to...mention?  Well, it begins Monday.  And I'll tell you ALL about it.  Later.  

Friday we walked to the ice-cream store which we haven't done in a long time.  I've missed that tradition.  And it was the first time we took 'The Kid' inside.  And shared.  He's getting old enough now to recognize when he's missing out on a good thing.   

We also began a MasterPiece Theater series that every girlfriend I know has been talking about.  

A few episodes into it and I can understand why it's addicting.  Though I'm a little nervous.  I hate starting these things.  Then I get involved.  Then stressed.  And I can't let go!  Anyway, it's something new 'The Man' and I have started.  And I love that he'll watch it with me.  And he seems to enjoy it.  

Today, Saturday, I went to the Farmer's Market.  I swear it gets busier and busier.  A very good thing.  Just not so good for parking.  Anyway, tons of produce and...

...these.  Mmmm.  

'The Kid' LOVES them.  Here he is at 4:55 p.m.

And here he is at 4:55 p.m.  I'm pretty sure he didn't even bother chewing.  

We took a trip to Andrea's Fish Market today as well.  There's something so comforting about a hot bowl of clam chowder on a crisp sunny day at the beach.  And let's not forget the fish and chips either.  'The Man' and I have decided though that going seldom makes the trip more of a treat.  And probably better on our cholesterol levels as well.

And the latest in EGG news.  ANOTHER double yolk-er.  I don't know why I find this so exciting.  Or maybe just fascinating.  And all our hearts go out to the poor dear that pushed that sucker out.  OUCH.

Another odd, but fascinating of the other hens keeps laying these goober eggs.  I scrubbed this baby forever, until I realized it's part of the egg.  That can't feel good coming out either.  It's like the elephant man egg.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I wouldn't say I have a 'favorite' season.  But there are some I prefer more than others.  Spring is one of the preferred.

And, yes.  California does have seasons folks.

And I can prove it!


El Nino y El Gato

Only a few of these babies this year

Camelia Heaven.  There's a zillion.

The first blooms from the new Camelia bush.  A saucy magenta.  It's a party.

Squeaks gift to 'The Dogg', a semi-dwarf plum.  I'm just excited it's survived this long.  It's teeming with the weeds.

Pomegranate tree or the Whomping Willow, since that's what it reminds me of.  I'm an HP fan.  Sorry.

The Raspberries are coming!

And the Boysenberries! ('Everyone loves berries'.)

The oranges are in season and the blossoms smell DIVINE.

Figs.  I might attempt fruit leather with them this time around.

Pink Jasmine.  And at twilight they smell deliriously wonderful.  

Nothing says 'Spring' like a rota-tiller.  Just saying.

Until next time!

Monday, March 5, 2012

We're Back....

So glad to be home!  'The Kid' and I went on a little road trip to see some family.

And snow.

Here are the highlights:

(please excuse the picture quality...I only had the use of my camera phone).

Departure date, February 25, 2012.

Remember those Halloween costumes I posted about?  Those got re-packed in their trunks (all 6 of them) and put in and on the car, among the other various items of junk that we packed.

Which meant that Lady Chan's designated travel seat felt much like the one traveling from LA to KLA on China Air.  Except this trip there was no tv monitor to watch movies on.  And no in-flight meals/drinks brought to me by a well dressed airline attendant.

This kid was up for most of the 12 hour car ride.  Thankfully he was too tired to fuss.  So he just sat there with a blank look on his face the whole time.  Got to the MB's place around 2 a.m.  But so cute...Sister #2's oldest two kids went over there earlier and set up a bed for me AND 'The Kid'.  It was so nice to come in and just crash.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012.

Went to church with a bunch of family.  Had dinner at #5's place.  I think everyone was there except 'The Man' and one other spouse.  That makes (calculating....) something like 34 people.  And that's immediate family only.  Oh ya.

And the MB wanted to take pictures.  Which we were all VERY excited to do.  Someone got ahold  of my phone and took some really blurry pictures.

The Boys
The Ladies
And because I LOVE taking pictures....See ya!


After the party was the AFTER-PARTY at the MB's.  Again, someone got ahold of my phone.  
Zero adult supervision

After that the days kind of ran together.

From February 27 to March 1 I did little.  

Because it looked like this outside....                   
Pretty, but, cold.  There was an occasional trip to 'The Dog House' (that building in the background) to help Squeaks on the table saw.  My most favorite thing to do in all the world.  Working with dangerous sharp fast-moving machinery.  (You're welcome). 

It was fun to see 'The Kid' see his first snow.  I think it snowed a couple days after we got there.  I bring good snow-luck.  Apparently it had been a fairly mild winter until I showed up.  The Ice-Queen Arrives!!!     
The Kid's first sight of snow...awww.  Too bad he won't remember it.  
About mid-week 'The Kid' got sick with a fever.  He wasn't very enthusiastic.  About anything.  But the MB and I ventured out on the porch for a few minutes to introduce 'The Kid' to the falling snow.  He was interested for a few seconds anyway.


Friday March 2, 2012.

Leaving for Big Sister's house.  This involved going outside.  Me no likey.  AND 'The Kid' was not in a good mood.  But his hat was so cute I HAD to get a picture.  The MB helped.  :)     
Not even little kids like to be bossed by the MB

This is a tantrum in progress
While at Big Sister's I took some pictures of some of her kids.  That's #5 and #7 with me.  Didn't do a whole lot there either.  I love doing nothing!  Actually Sis and I took an excursion shopping.  I helped her buy a new wardrobe complete with big girl shoes.  #5 almost wet her pants with excitement over those shoes.  (I thought I loved shoes).  

Saturday March 3, 2012

Departure morning.  My nephew let me commandeer his room.  And closet.  'The Kid' and I didn't sleep well at the MB's.  So at Big Sis's house we put 'The Kids'' sleeper in the closet.  Best night sleep all week.  He took a nap in there for 2 1/2 hours.  (We were clocking 1/2 nap at the MB's).  And through the night that night.  Sweet.  Felt a little weird about putting him in the closet but, hey, whatever gets him to sleep!
Still waking up

What a difference a good night's sleep makes

I met all the fam-damily at Brother #3's for a baptism.  Another whirlwind affair, but sadly, not long enough.  Me, The Parentals and 'The Kid' left soon after.  I didn't even get a waffle!

'The Kid' actually sleep like a normal kid on the way home.  I suppose lack of sleep and being sick will kind of do that to you.
Finally asleep!  

 Sunday March 4, 2012

Home at last!!!  And what an awesome homecoming!  Sunday met us with blue skies and 80 degree weather.  I almost cried.  It could've been because of a blissful nights sleep too.  We made good time.  11 p.m. Saturday night.  Not bad.  'The Man' stayed up long enough to give me a hug, ask me about our trip  then say good-night.

We, Lady Chan and 'The Kid' had a great time.  I loved watching 'The Kid' play with all of his cousins. He LOVES the action!!!  And he's less crabby with me and I barely have to keep track of him when he's so busy playing with the other kids.  Wish they all lived closer to us.  I just can't do the snow.  I treasure being warm.  So good to see everyone though.  I miss my family.  But, I'm also VERY glad to be home.  My own bed, temperatures fit for human existence and best of all....'The Man'.