Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
So tropical storm Fay disappointed my nine-year-old. Not nearly enough drama. She wanted the power to go out. Ha, ha, ha.... That's the sound of me laughing at the idea of her going five minutes without air conditioning. Luckily for all in south Florida, Fay dumped lots of much needed rain and has done little damage. It's still blustering out there but as I looked out my kitchen window, I saw my new nemesis out for a bite in the rain. Iguana Joe. Joe lives near me and must eat A LOT because Joe has made our pool deck his personal restroom and judging from the olympic size poops, he has a voracious appetite. Apparently they favor mango and hybiscus. And guess what? Small dogs favor iguana poop. Yup. When Marty isn't rolling in it, he's eating it. And Bella likes a nibble too. So every morning it's a race to see whether me and my hose can beat the dogs to Joe's Diner. Yech. But I admit, seeing those foreign looking iguanas reminds me that I'm in the tropics and I love it, poop and all.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Here in South Florida, we're waiting to see if Fay is gonna say "howdy". She's visiting Cuba first to spread a little good will I guess and then she's expected to head to the Keys. After that it's not clear if she'll rake the western side of Florida or what but it seems clear that some nasty weather could hit our town in any event. So we are preparing. I went to the store last night and bought pudding snacks. Hubby recorded olympic events and Girlie set up her "Hurricane Fortress." A Hurricane Fortress is an indoor tent stocked with a sleeping bag, pillows, a lemonade pouch and her stuffed snake. Clearly Girlie is the only one of us who takes this storm seriously and is therefore the best prepared. Should Fay take a turn in our direction, I imagine you'll find us all huddled in the Hurricane Fortress sharing lemonade and getting lectured by Girlie. For hours, and hours, and hours... My guess is that she'll only stop when I threaten not to share my pudding snacks. Fay? I need you to steer far to the west please. Thanks.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I'm doing the happy dance today because I have reconnected with a bloggie buddy that I haven't "seen" in a couple of years. You too should toodle over and say howdy to the Liberal Banana. Go ahead, I'll wait here. La, la, la,.... Back? Great. In today's news, I am a hero. Girlie came in to the living room where I was napping, I mean, thinking really hard on the couch, and told me that for sure, her video game was irrevocably, completely, stuck and ruined. I know very little about this game but after a demonstration by Girlie, I was able to suggest that she blow the wind thingy the other direction and LIKE MAGIC, she wasn't stuck anymore. I'm taking that to the bank, folks. My nine year old is in awe of me, normally the useless second choice for video game consultation. Today, in my house, Michael Phelps has got nothin' on me.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Today, I rescued a baby possum. Or I didn't. It's hard to say. I heard Girlie's mutt barking his head off at something in the back yard and naturally I ignored it because he's barked that head off every day since we rescued him from the humane society. After a few minutes I went out back and we had our usual exchange: "Marty, knock it off." "Bark." "Marty, come on buddy, let's go in the house." "Bark." "MARTY!!!" "Bark." "Baby want a treat?" And in the house he ran only as I glanced back to where he'd been standing, I saw a furry something in the grass by the hedge. At first I thought that it was the headless stuffed ostrich that is the favorite of my Italian Greyhound, Bella. But it was actually a very small baby possum. Hmmmmm. I got a shoe box and an old towel and scooped it into the box. I gave it a couple of drops of water and it looked at me with grumpiness and fear. It had a twig firmly gripped in its tiny hands. I called the police, animal services, Pesky Critters, the veterinarian, and a wildlife rehabilitation company. They all were either unable to assist, charged a fortune, weren't available, or uninterested. Hmmmmm. At the rehabilitation company's website, I found that like most idiots, I had assumed that the baby had been abandoned. If possible, they should be left alone because mommy will come looking for them. So I took it back to its spot, turned the box on its side and kept my dogs out of the yard. A couple of hours later, it was gone. Poof! Thin air. No sign of foul play, no cats ever come in our yard (dogs, remember?), and I haven't seen any blue herons or other birds of prey around here. Furthermore, it was fairly protected and hidden by the box and the hedge. So Girlie and I have chosen to believe that Possum Mommy came to the rescue and all is well with the world. If you think differently, I don't want to know about it. (Hands over ears) la, la, la, la , la....
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The most agonizing decision when you move to a new city is where to send your child to jail. I mean, school. Then, after you've picked a few candidates, you have to apply and wait for a decision (unless you are lucky enough to live where the public schools rock -- we don't). We were sooooo lucky to find a great Montessori school that loved us and Girlie right back. Then I had to find a veterinarian. Not for Girlie, she's next, but for my pooches who have to be boarded when we go on vacation and need a good vet and a good boarding place for that matter. Since we are going on vacation before Girlie goes back to school, that took precedence over finding a pediatrician. Now that's done too. Yay. So then I went trolling for pediatricians in our area. I found one who is a woman doctor and mother of three young girls. Sounds perfect but more importantly, Girlie saw her picture and immediately thought that she looked nice. So we went. The nurse was probably six feet tall, African American and very friendly but Girlie could only see that she did not match the picture on the website. "Who are you?" Girlie demanded, fearful that a switcheroo had occurred. The nurse explained and Girlie relaxed. Then the doctor came in. Now, have you ever been guilty of never updating your ten year old business head shot? I have and I think perhaps our doctor had too. She is a very attractive (more importantly competent) doctor who did not at all resemble her picture. Girlie cried. And cried. And then she wept. It took several minutes to calm her down. She was nervous to begin with and I guess she just thought that this stranger doctor couldn't possibly be as nice as the doctor in the picture. Who knows. Luckily, said doctor is indeed the mother of three young girls and she handled Girlie like a pro. Now Girlie is happy, I have the medical forms for school in hand AND IT'S ONLY JULY!!! I have never been so on top of my game. We may even get a dentist visit in soon.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Today, for the first time in months, my daughter put on socks. Not for wearing with shoes, however. She only wears Crocs (ugh) in the summer months. She informed me that after a day and a half of playing Dance Dance Revolution (Mario version), she needed to cushion her feet. She's been stomping away non-stop in the back bedroom (now known officially as Girlie's playroom) and like the rest of the house, it has hardwood floors so her tootsies are sore. We've had the game for awhile and I've watched as Girlie and her cousins and friends feverishly "dance" in time with the music. But it's really just stomping. Have you noticed? Kids stomp on the dance mat as if they were crushing giant cockroaches (so she is actually developing a good skill for Miami). No doubt it's great exercise. Hubby and I have had more than one late night dance-off and I've come down late at night and found Hubby sans shirt dancing up a sweat with the blinds open and everything. Sorry neighbors. It hasn't happened in our new neighborhood yet but it's only a matter of time. They've got the fever, my family. Watch out cockroaches.
Monday, July 07, 2008
So I'm going to blame moving to Miami for my departure of late from blogging. Now we have been here a month and I'm thinking it's time to get back on the bandwagon. In the meantime: I have been in a wedding as a 45 year old bridesmaid (my daughter co-starred as a flower girl). I have had an art show in Miami. I found an art representative in Miami. My art is hanging at a gallery in Miami (thanks to the show and the representative). I've made new art (see one sample above). My last book, Letters From A Dead Armadillo got a 5 star review on Amazon from Midwest Review of Books. And of course I moved. We didn't sell our old house in Tampa. Instead we rented it to a lovely military couple and their kids for the next three years. Best highlight from the wedding? The lead singer for the Temptations and his latest group performed Motown hits and all the dance moves that go along with it a la The Temptations. It was truly a huge wedding with no detail ignored. One for the record books, my friends.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
So I won my first prize in an art show over the weekend. Best of Show/Second Place. I'd be a big fat liar if I said that I wasn't excited. Yay me! In other news: our house is on the market as of last week. That means I have to keep it clean. (Sound of laughter.) So far, so good. It has never looked prettier. But I can't wait until we move out of it and I don't have to be so obsessive about cleaning up after my nine-year-old. We've had three showings and some possible interest so I'm not as discouraged as I thought I'd be in the current housing market. Wish us luck.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I spent a Hen Weekend in New York City this past weekend. Okay, the bride is British so that's what it's called instead of a bachelorette weekend. We, the bridesmaids, took her to Tony and Tina's Wedding for a what-not-to-do list on Friday night and then lamely went back to the hotel and to bed by 11. Really. That's what happens when your bridesmaids are 45ish like me. On Saturday, the more cultured of the maids went to see a standing-room-only production of La Boheme. That left me and the bride alone for most of the day. Heh, heh. We spent most of that time at Bergdorf Goodman trying on impossibly expensive dresses by Etro and other designers. So fun. I had just devoured the latest In Style magazine and saw all the same dresses on display at the store. We dined on the 7th floor overlooking Central Park and each had a glass and a half of wine. That's it. Why we suddenly thought everything at Bergdorf was hilarious I'll never know but we laughed our way from the hair salon to the flu shore (what it will always be called now that the Bride mixed up "Shoe Floor"). Yes, you had to be there. Saturday night is a fog. Yay, not so old after all. On Sunday we went on the Sex and the City tour where the highlight was a cupcake from an amazing bakery in the West Village. And then home. Sigh. Already planning my return trip.
Join me and many other artists this Saturday at the Tampa Artist Emporium from 5 to 9 for a big art mixer (i.e., wine will be served) celebrating the new artists at the gallery AND the grand unveiling of the charity wall. This month's charity artists represent the MacDonald Training Center and you have to see it to believe it. The artists are fantastic and several pieces of theirs have already sold! I will be there and I'm bringing my latest piece for a preview. It's called "Westminster" and if I could find my camera/computer cord, I'd post a picture of it for you. But you'll just have to come on down to the gallery in person. It's in Hyde Park Village across from B.T.'s Restaurant (right on the main drag). See you there!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The best day ever was of course my birthday spent at the beach with Hubby and Girlie on Sunday. This picture is from last year because we never got around to shooting photos this time. The best "you had to be there" moment was when Girlie discovered that it only takes tossing one french fry into the air to attract about a thousand seagulls. This scared her a little but she still wanted to feed them. So she threw another fry in the air and then took off down the beach in a semi-panic while tossing french fry bits over her shoulder. There was a city block long flock of birds chasing after her and everybody was laughing so hard (and there were a lot of people because it's spring break and the beaches are packed). I haven't laughed so hard in ages. That was the best present. And in case you're curious, I'm 45. Exactly half way, if the palm reader at a party a few years ago knew her stuff.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Davis Islands, a neighborhood in Tampa, has a yearly Islands Fest celebration and this year they are having an art show too. I am going to have a display at the show so if you are in Tampa the last Saturday in April, come by and say howdy.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
You've got to be kidding me. Two garage sale junkies knocked at my door today to see what I would be selling at Saturday's garage sale. Dogs freaked, I complained about leaving my computer, Girlie (well, she didn't notice) but this is exactly the kind of thing I hate about garage sales. NEVER AGAIN. Now, with my rant over, feel free to come by my house on Saturday and relieve me of some junk.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I swore to myself that I would respect Girlie's privacy and not blog about her but let's face it, she's more interesting than me and has so much more to offer my blog. The latest: she wrote a letter to her Nana (my mom) and it started with a paragraph about how excited she is to move to Miami and after that she wrote that there was something else exciting! In a year or two, she's going to start puberty! Then, without further explanation, she returned to the subject of Miami. My mom is going to crack up when she gets that letter. By the way, Girlie is nine. Let's hope that it's more than a year or two (please, please, please...).
Monday, March 24, 2008
www.wendyboucher.com I'm doing something I have always sworn I wouldn't ever do again. I'm having a sale at my house of junk that we are not going to move with us to Miami. Anybody need a footbath thingy that's only been used once? I can't imagine that anybody will want our junk but it's worth it for a few bucks that we can use to get our house ready to sell. I might be able to buy a plant for the front yard. So my week will be spent alternating between doing artwork, preparing for the sale, and working on the house. And playing Toontown. Don't know Toontown? Ask your ten year old. I don't have a new art piece to show you today but just to decorate the post, here's an old one. I'm donating this piece to a cancer charity fundraiser. Ciao for now.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I used to be funny on my blog. Here's proof. Lately I've been art-centric and admittedly quite boring. I blame the fact that in the next two months I am: traveling to New York, traveling to California, having a garage sale, moving to Miami, bridesmaiding in a category 5 wedding (it's a society wedding that will be covered in a magazine), losing 10 pounds (see last list item), and there is still a little girl around here somewhere who likes me to feed her occasionally. So I'm busy in unusual ways and it's sapping my ability to blog correctly. But I will persevere! My art creativity (luckily) is not suffering. I'll just channel a smidge to the blog in the near future. Why the sudden perk-up? Somebody commented on my Market post and it reminded me that blogs are in fact public and somebody might actually look at it. So already you see improvement. See the linkies? Have a great day.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday night, we at at Six Tables Tampa, one of the finest culinary experiences one can have. Saturday night I went to the opening of Dominique Labauvie's sculpture exhibit in Tampa and tonight, we're going to hear the Baker's Dozen, an a capella group from Yale that my husband sang with when he was an undergraduate. Weekends don't get much more cultural around here. Yay!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Here is my very latest piece, Market. I started it a couple of months ago and just finished it this week. I love it and if history is any indicator, it will sell right away. So far every image I've made from my trip to Africa has sold. It really was the trip of a lifetime in some ways and I guess my passion for travel shows when I work on Africa-based artwork. The top image is the piece and I threw in three detail shots too. Enjoy. If you want to see a larger image of this piece, go to my website at www.WendyBoucher.com.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Such cute little babies. Bella on the left, Marty on the right. Wouldn't they be cuter without the giant "don't bark or I'll zap you collars?" Before you call in PETA, I'll tell you that they are made for little bitty doggies and I have them set at the lowest setting. I had to do it because the crankiest old bat in the universe lives nearby and has left all kinds of nasty messages on our machine about our dogs barking. The funny thing is, half the time she's complained, our dogs weren't even at home - they were being boarded while we were on vacation. I think it has taken her a long time to cotton on to the fact that there are about twelve dogs in the immediate neighborhood and many of them have barking habits and - here's the really funny part - her own little precious canine has been known to bark up a storm. But I want to be sure that my dogs are not contributing to the problem and thus the collars which work pretty well so long as the collar is fitted exactly right. Sometimes I think Marty just keeps on barking anyway: "Bark" "zap" "urch", "Bark" "zap" "urch" and so on. He's a little toughie. So what's this got to do with art or anything? Not much but I may turn that photo into an piece of art someday to commemorate Thing One and Thing Two.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Detail shot of Coach & Horses Coach & Horses I just posted about the above piece of artwork, Coach & Horses, but it occurred to me that I should throw in a detail photo so you can see the texture in the piece (which I love and is why I use paper instead of paint.)
Those who know me well, know that I'm a hopeless Anglophile. So it should come as no surprise that I am working on a London Series of artwork. The piece pictured here is my latest work in the series entitled, (surprise) Coach & Horses. Nobody loves a busy London pub more than I. So I had to capture one in my art. All paper and glue, as usual. It's pretty big, 36x30". I'm focusing on larger work lately both because I prefer it and it sells really well. This London Series will be featured in my September/October solo show at the Kotler Gallery in downtown Tampa. Want to see another? Okay. This one is called Covent Garden, London. It's 40x30" and it took me forever to complete. See all those railings? Phew. Now I'm working on a smaller piece that will be a wedding gift to my bestest friend in Tampa, H. She's British and happens to be the blond shopper in the Covent Garden piece above. That brunette is moi. After that I'm thinking of tackling a view of the parliamentary buildings as viewed from the South Bank. Stay tuned.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
My latest two pieces to sell are on their way to their new home in Venice, Italy. How nice to say that my art is collected internationally. And imagine someone from Italy coming to Florida and buying art. Usually it's the other way around. I suspect that the weak dollar might explain why buying art here in the US is attractive to foreign collectors. Whatever the case - I am delighted to have made the sale. One of the pieces is pictured above. It's called January Cote d'Azur. (We went to the Riviera in the off season when a family of three can afford to stay near the beach.) Ciao Art. Ciao nice art collector.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Come to the art mixer at Tampa Artist Emporium -- I'll be there too. It's from 5 to 9 and you can drop in any time for a glass of wine and a nibble of food. Meet artists and fellow art appreciators. Tampa Artist Emporium is located on the main drag in Old Hyde Park Village in Tampa, right across the street from Restaurant B.T.
Monday, March 03, 2008
On Wednesday, I had to take my 17 year old kitty to the vet to be put to sleep. (Long, dramatic pause). I blubbered like a baby even though I knew it was going to happen sooner rather than later. Girlie was sad too. Besides fish, she's never lost a pet before. She wrote an essay, made a memory basket, and fashioned a little room for Cleo's spirit out of a shoebox (it's now in one of Cleo's favorite spots). So cute. Luckily, I made a picture last year of Cleo and Max, my two cats. Cleo is the prominent one in the center. You only see Max's rear end because she was a feral cat and to this day (she's 12), she doesn't like to be held or pet, unless you are petting her right above the tail. Cleo was a lover (to me and Girlie) and till her dying day, Cleo was the boss pet of the house. The dogs recognized her alpha-ness and gave her plenty of space even when she weighed all of 2 pounds in her last weeks. Rest in peace, Cleo, and have fun bossing around the others in kitty heaven or wherever you are.
I'm going to start something new at my website, www.wendyboucher.com. In an effort to make my website more interesting and to give people a reason to come back - every month or two I will be offering "The Piece of the Month" - a 12x12" piece at a substantial discount. I picked this size because it's easy to ship, makes a good gift, and can usually be incorporated into any household or office. So without further ado, here is March, 2008's Piece of the Month: Big Pot. Like all my work, it is a mixed media/paper on canvas piece. It normally sells for $200 but I am offering it this month only for $140 (plus tax in Florida). Shipping the piece adds $14 and I take credit cards via Paypal at my website. So if you are interested, check it out. It's first come, first served!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
While on vacation, we discovered that the little girl who despises sports that involve balls, who in fact is flunking physical education at school, loves to ski. SKI! That's a sport that sends lots of folks cringing away. On her first day on skis, Girlie got so comfortable that she was doing the Chicken Dance on her way down the slope. No poles necessary on Belly Flop Run. It was awesome to behold. I took a few warm up runs on Belly Flop myself, being a beginner as well. On my first run, I ran smack dab into one of those orange mesh fences that keep ignoramouses like me away from more experienced skiers. I wasn't hurt in the fall but I wrenched my hip trying to extract my ski from the mesh. A very nice man offered to help me but my pride shouted "no" before my brains could act. So when my muscles thawed out enough to feel it, my skiing day was over. Arrrgh!
Friday, January 04, 2008
We're in Maryland at a ski resort. When we arrived last Sunday, there wasn't any snow on the ground but there was a little snow on the ski slopes thanks to modern snow science. The first night it snowed an inch or two, much to the delight of my young nephews who had never seen snow before. Girlie is a snow expert thanks to a clump of family in my home state of Oregon. Then it snowed an official 18 inches thanks to a well timed winter storm. So we have tubed, sledded, gone skiing, and even gone for a ride in a one horse open sleigh on an Amish farm (yes, we sang Jingle Bells). Tomorrow is our last full day here and I intend to take a snow-boarding lesson. I cannot wait. It will be the highlight of my week and yet none of the rest of my family group wants to join me. So of course I wonder who the crazy one is: me, age 44 and determined to snow board or the rest of the family who assumes that I will break a hip. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
So you'll notice that I had nothing to say in December. That's because sometime during that month just past, we found out that we would be moving to a new city. Miami. City where somebody thought that powder blue was a good color for a football uniform. The truth is that I'm very excited. I've lived in Hubby's hometown of Tampa for more than a dozen years and now that my art career is getting in gear, it will be nice to move to a city where people actually buy art. A friend of mine has described Tampa as a cultural wasteland and really, there is some truth to that. Tampa has been an awesome place to raise Girlie but there are probably more art galleries per capita in the arctic. There are so many awesome artists in Tampa and not enough outlets. Frustrating for those in the field. I've been very lucky. Speaking of Girlie, she has been informed about the move and has been practicing her uber-forlorn look ever since. I feel so bad uprooting her from her school in particular but there are lots of Montessori schools in Miami so she'll feel right at home. And we have promised her a house with a pool, something we lack at the moment. So when we move this late spring, she'll get over her angst after the first dip in the pool. So Happy New Year everybody. I'm tapping out this post while holed up in a large cabin in western Maryland where I've come with my husband's extended family. There is a winter storm warning in effect and we are expecting major snow tonight. Hello ski slopes! We went tubing today although Girlie thought it looked entirely too dangerous and opted out of the activity. Who is that kid related too? Hubby and I are all about the thrill-seeking. Anyway, we are enjoying our week-long visit to winter but I know that I will be happy to return to Florida, even though I have to immediately think of some clever way to attract a house buyer in this worst real estate market in history. Sigh, wish me luck.