Sunday, April 29, 2012


I bet not all of you know the story of the ship painting, am I right? It's very large, this painting. And full of ships. Ships firing cannons at one another and burning. Also, do you think we have enough fishing poles?  No? Oh, don't worry, that's only some of them. Anyway, back to the ship painting: it made the trek over to the new house last night. I had high hopes that it was going into the Goodwill pile, but no such luck. Since I guess it's here to stay, I thought it would be fun to revisit the story of its genesis, circa 2008/2009:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Will someone please poke me in the eye with a sharp stick?

Please, I beg of you! Someone, anyone? Lloyd is buying 'art'. Yeah, yeah, yeah, blindness is no joke, blah blah blah. My apologies to all the blind people reading my oh-so-popular blog. Now, if I may continue. Lloyd and I have TOTALLY different tastes in, well, everything. We never, ever like the same furniture, housewares, decorative items, clothes or anything else. Marital fealty prevents me from fully exploring my true feelings about Lloyd's taste in art here, so let's just let Lloyd's own words speak for themselves.

But first, a little background: Lloyd has commissioned a local artist to paint a picture of an epic naval battle, circa 1700's. He has been down at the gallery at least twice a week, giving direction: A little more tattering on the sail, please, and there's not quite enough orange in the cannon fire, and so on. The artist doesn't seem to be annoyed by this, but I guess when you are a big-shot art patron paying over a hundred smackers for a custom piece, the sky's the limit, right?

A word about the gallery- outside, as advertising, they show paintings done from photos. The paintings remind me of the 'King of Queens' episode where Deacon and Kelly give Doug and Carrie a hideous painting of themselves (Doug and Carrie, that is) for their anniversary. Doug's teeth are huge, and Carrie's arm is freakishly misshapen. Doug and Carrie hate it so much that they stage a robbery to get rid of it.

And now, here's Lloyd:

"The artist used to paint in New York and he said this size painting would sell for $19,000!" So I guess we're getting a real bargain. I didn't know paintings were sold by the square inch. 

"I told him that it had to be just right because we're going to hang it in a place of honor and pass it down from generation to generation!" Forget the sharp stick; just put me out of my misery entirely.

And, the absolute worst, the one that sent chills down my spine: "I'm going to get him to do another one, this one of a New England scene!" When I suggested maybe we get a New England scene from a New England artist, he said, "But do you know how much that would cost?" Umm, no, let me get out my measuring tape and calculator and figure it out!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The masterpiece has arrived

Lloyd picked up his painting today from the shop. I'm not sure when the big unveiling will be but I am all aquiver with anticipation. I will put up a picture as soon as possible. In the meantime, this photo is of the very alarming painting outside the gallery. Is it just me, or does the woman look like she has a combined shoulder and elbow, or shelbow, if you will?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The moment you've all been waiting for....

Without further ado, here is the painting. I have to say, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. It is, however, very large. And, we discovered it does not have one of the agreed-upon modifications: a third ship, smoldering and foundering in the background. I'm not sure if Lloyd plans to take it back for alterations (revisions? restroking? insertions? Not sure of the correct terminology, or if such terminology exists). Also, we do not have the necessary hardware to hang it on the wall. So for now, it has found a happy home in the laundry room, propped up by a gallon of antifreeze. Hehehehehe.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Here are some photos of Shane playing in a box that came in the mail from Grandma the other day. Weston went to Vacation Bible School this morning at church. He had a good time, though he didn't want to go beforehand. Lloyd stopped on the way home to check on his painting. It has the third ship burning in the background now, but the smoke is not quite right; it should be drifting with the wind and not going straight up into the sky. I'm pretty sure I could have learned some Korean swear words today if I had been paying attention, but they were hard to make out through the gritting-teeth smile.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Bad Penny Turns Up, and it has a friend

Well, it was inevitable. You may recall that Lloyd had taken his painting back to the shop for modifications. If you're unfamiliar with the painting saga, you can read about it herehere and here. Yesterday, we had a sitter so we went downtown for lunch. After a delicious meal of hot shredded beef soup, bibimbap and kimchi dumplings, Lloyd said, 'Hey! Let's go check on my painting!' I died a little inside, but I pasted a smile on my face and off we went to the 'Blue Boy Gallery'. The painting was done, and Lloyd was very pleased with it. The smoke is apparently just right now. I asked him how he was going to bring it home, because it's quite large (and valuable!) and we were on foot. He said, 'Oh, I'm just going to wait until the other one is done and get them at the same time." My head spun, I blacked out just a little, and everything started moving in slow motion. I understand that's a common reaction to shocking and traumatic incidents, like car accidents or when you fall through the ceiling. Not that I would know. Anyway, I said, 'Whaaaaaa?', and Lloyd pointed to an easel where a small canvas rested. Clearly visible were the outlines of the two ships, and it was obvious even in my discombobulation that there will soon be another, similar painting released into an unprepared world. If you're getting a little nervous, I totally understand, but you can rest easy. It turns out that his mother admired the painting, and so he is having a similar, smaller one done for her. Whew.

Cue the Spooky Music

Well, my friends, the day has come. The paintings are back from the shop, propped up in the bedroom, awaiting the unwrapping. They don't look so bad with that pretty paper covering them up, do they? If only the paper could remain... But no, I mustn't give myself false hope. Fear not, I do have options: I can always throw myself to the badgers.

If you are not familiar with the sad saga of the paintings, you can read about it herehere,
here and here. Then you can send your condolences to

So! That's the epic beginning of the infamous painting. I'm still plotting its ending. The Goodwill thing didn't work out for me, SO FAR, but I'm a resourceful girl.....

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Heheheheheheeheheh..... that's the sound of me laughing hysterically, in order to keep from crumpling up into a fetal ball and whimpering until I fall asleep in a sodden, tear-soaked heap. Remember last week, when Lloyd was going to move us while I was out of town? Well, he did. Sort of.  When I came home, I took one look and then had an overwhelming urge to light out for Mexico and consume mucho, mucho cervesas, but sadly all the cars were jammed full of garbage bags, boxes and miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam. No beers, either. Truly, it was..... well, here, see for yourself: 

So, yeah. It's pretty daunting. The garages at both the old house and the new house are full, there is a huge pile of junk awaiting a dump run, even more that needs to go to Goodwill, and nothing is where it belongs. For example, it's obvious that weapons, antlers and pilot crap all belong in the garage, right? But funny, that's not where they are. Hmmmmmm. 

On the plus side, the outside is awesome, and I haven't even been to the swamp yet. For the first time, my kimchi pots have a proper home. Oh, if you click on that link to read about when I bought my pots, just ignore the extraneous story about how I accidentally got trapped in the men's room in a Korean discount store, okay? Thanks in advance.

Here are some pictures of the outside. The garden is going to be in the front where the blueberries are; that's the spot that gets the most light. There are also empty beds all along the front. The dirt doesn't look super good but luckily there is a big pile of old rabbit poop next to the garage. Seriously, how fantastic is this place?!?!?!? You can almost NEVER find a house that comes with rabbit poop. 

Weston really wants to get some chickens right this very second but I'm pretty sure I'm not quite prepared for that. I have to go out of town again soon, though, and I never know what I'm going to find when I come back. Hell, we might have emus or something.  I'm a little concerned about the french drain that runs the entire length of the uphill side of the house, but oh well, we need to get rid of a bunch more useless stuff anyway, and flooding is as good a method as any.  

Have a good weekend, my friends, I am heading out to work in the garden!

Huckleberry in front yard
Storage building, blueberry bushes, and wellhouse
Kimchi pots
Backyard with salmonberries

View from wine drinking spot deck

Saturday, April 14, 2012


****Updated: in retrospect, I feel the tiniest bit sorry and guilty for what might be construed by some as Lloyd mocking. By 'some', I mean Lloyd, of course. Not quite bad enough to take this post down, only bad enough to add this disclaimer, and to state that I did, in fact, probably agree to undertake the moving methods described in an unflattering manner below. I might even have helped. But I was under duress.****

Yep, we've been in the same house for a full eighteen months now, time to move! I counted them up today, we've moved ten times in a little less than ten years. This time is a little different, of course- it's the first time we will have to pack ourselves. By 'we', I mean Lloyd, because I will be working out of town. See the picture up top? It's part of the garage. I stopped going in there, as you may recall, some time ago when I noticed Lloyd had the corpse-stashing cooler, some hefty bags, a mop and a case of bleach staged by the door. I sucked it up today, though, so I could illustrate what a daunting task the move is going to be. The first thing I noticed was the pile of firewood the size of a small sports stadium; it's much larger than it used to be. I mean, I like wood as much as the next girl, but there's a limit, am I right?

So, okay, now it's Sunday night. I started this early in the weekend and had big plans to finish up a nice long post about the new house and how I didn't see it first, which gave my sister conniptions but all my military spouse friends will know that you get to see the new house before it's picked out only about half the time, which in my experience is about the same ratio at which you get your husband to be present at the births of your children. But let's face it, I'm well into the second glass of wine and the posts don't write themselves, even though it seems like it sometimes, so I'm going to finish it up combat style:

  • The new house is awesome. It has about a million huckleberry, salmonberry and blackberry bushes, its own stream and swamp, ample hoses and limited carpet, among many other fine features.
  • I can't decide if I feel sorrier for Lloyd, or for myself. He has to move however many millions of pounds of crap we have, but I have to live with the aftermath. I'm thinking of the time he drove my car into the back of a U-Haul and then tossed a crib on top of it for a move from Florida to Louisiana and scraped up both sides AND the top. Oh, and also of the time he put my ridiculously-expensive-purchased-foolishly -for-a-first-child leather glider in the back of his truck and didn't secure it so it rocked back and forth until it rocked right out onto the road, and then tried to throw it away. Oh, sorry, is my bitter showing? And I changed my mind. I DEFINITELY feel sorrier for me.
  • Don't worry about me, though, I have all my important junk stuffed in plastic bags in my car. I am not even kidding. I could live comfortably for quite some time.
  • We had a nice picnic at Grandpa's house over the weekend. Well, nice to everyone except Shane, who informed me that it was the worst bad picnic ever. I'm not sure, but I think it was because Aunt Jennifer called a premature halt to the dirt clod throwing. Doesn't he look TRAUMATIZED? You'd almost think he was about to move.
  • I'll keep you posted; I'm pretty sure I can blog from the car. Have a good week, my friends!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


****WARNING for Helen: immediately below this warning is a picture of my foot. It probably won't traumatize you as much as this one, but you are likely to suffer moderate discomfort. Please click here for Hilarity in Shoes, which I think you will like much better than feet****

Well, I guess the Easter bunny can live to terrify small children for another year. I caved in and bought the yellow coat this morning, so there will be no need to skin his yellow fur off for a cape. Wait, if you didn't read yesterday's post, you will probably have NO IDEA what I'm talking about, even though it makes PERFECT SENSE. So, let me explain. No, there is no time. Let me sum up. See, I had this brilliant plan to..... Oh, NEVER MIND. It's a long story, and trust me, the scheme was genius beyond words. In any case, it ends like this: I have a beautiful new yellow coat. So beautiful that I painted my toenails to match it. I do like sandal season but sadly, it appears that boot season may be behind me. Bittersweet, I know, and as a result I have been thinking ALL DAY about my motorcycle boots that I lost in the great Osan mold epidemic of '08. Oh, those would have been SO AWESOME with my new yellow coat.

Also, I noticed another problem caused by the fantastic new coat: it's sort of like when you put in a new kitchen floor, and then you realize how ratty your cabinets and countertops are. Then you replace those, and start noticing the chips in your china and how your pans are all scratched up and how you don't have NEARLY enough wine. No? Maybe it's just me. In the case of the coat, I decided it would look stunning with navy, and I don't have any navy. And maybe some blue and green toned scarves. And a crisp white shirt, and DEFINITELY some new purses. And probably a lot of new open-toed shoes. So you know what happens next, right? Yep, I am for sure taking that sucker back tomorrow. Okay, fine, I am totally just kidding. Wanna go thrifting with me? I will be there every day for AT LEAST the next three weeks. Maybe I will even find some new motorcycle boots!

Well, that's all for now, I have to go rest up for all that shopping. Have a good week, my friends, wherever you are!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Happy Easter! Oh, I know Easter is not actually until tomorrow. I have just never felt especially bound by convention, and besides, my sister did all the work and she said we were having Easter today. If she hadn't done all the work, we wouldn't have even HAD Easter. I told that to some people in the office the other day and they looked at me as if I had two heads, both with horns. I didn't realize not wanting to tell lies to your kids about some giant imaginary rabbit and then bust your ass to hide eggs full of sugar and chemicals for them to ingest was so controversial. But I guess it is.

So, we went to Grandpa's house, he cooked a ham, Jennifer made all the kids lovely baskets, Stefan hid about 4,372 eggs and a great time was had by all. Even the dogs and the garden statues were all decked out for the occasion. You'll note Ranger has a yellow Easter bunny attached to his collar. Do you guys think the Easter bunny really is yellow? I'm not a huge fan of holidays in general, especially ones that create work for me, and I've been coveting that snappy lemon-colored coat, you know. But I could go with a fur cape, too. The ears could attach around the front in a jaunty bow, what do you think? I've seen pink and green Easter bunnies, too, though, and those aren't really my colors so much. At least this season. Oooh, that gives me an idea for winter, too: can't you just see me in a deep red velvet? With white trim!

The kids especially enjoyed playing in the dirt pile in the driveway- they got out bowls and dumped in some pond water to make concrete. Something about the Easter bunny sleeping with the fishes, I dunno. You don't think my cape will be ruined if he gets waterlogged, do you? One thing I really require in a garment is that it can be easily laundered. I suppose he has to shower, what with all that hopping and egg-delivering, so you'd think it could go in the wash. In any event, all four of the kids got all muddy, marked up the garbage bins with dirty handprints to trick Grandpa into thinking there were aliens there, dug holes in the lawn, made piles to look like poop and threw dirt clods at each other. Then Jennifer came out and gave me the stinkeye for letting them get so dirty. I keep thinking she'll stop letting me watch them one of these days but no luck so far. It was BARELY questionable activity, anyway, not like they were chasing each other with sharp tools. At least not for very long. Then Stefan finally got sick of the mess and gave them an involuntary hosing down; they threw fits and we all went home. About the usual holiday outing, all things considered.

On the brown sweater front, I have been shopping multiple times with very limited success. I went to Goodwill today and while THE sweater continues to elude me, I did see two things that I dropped off the week before, which always amuses me. I'm not sure why, except that I am apparently very easily entertained.

And that's the Easter report from here; I hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Haha, fooled you! This isn't a real post. I WOULD write a real post but ***insert whiny excuse here***. Also, I can't find a brown sweater that suits my exacting specifications and I can think of little else. I keep expecting the universe to drop one in my lap as reparations for the scarf episode but no such luck so far. In fact, the desired sweater has so thoroughly crowded everything else out of my head that I successfully resisted purchasing multiple cunning coats while sweater shopping, if you can believe such a crazy thing. Even a delicious-looking lemon-yellow one with front pockets and..... soft, smooth, mahogany-colored....wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, instead of an actual post, the latest and greatest:

-Shane has decided he is going to be both a jet pilot AND a swordfighter. Thanks a lot, LLOYD.

-The boys are working on a secret club called hmmmm hmmmm doodle. Oops, I hope I didn't blow their cover. I would make a terrible secret agent. I'm not really clear on the full scope of this effort but there is going to be fish. I'm a little scared, because these big bowls of water with rocks and small dishes in them are appearing all over the house.

-Jennifer has some beautiful spring pictures up at her blog, check them out. I WOULD have put up some beautiful spring pictures only insert whiny excuse here I am lazy as hell I am too obsessed with my imaginary super soft, rich chocolaty-brown sweater to even consider taking pictures or doing anything else productive in any way I don't have any.

And, that's all the news from here for today; let me know if the universe accidentally gives you my sweater! I'll take that yellow coat, too, if you don't want it. Have a good week!