With more sunshine and blue skies above this past week, it was definitely time to drag out and fill up my “Hillbilly hot tub”! With it strategically placed in the best location to receive the most sun on the front porch, I filled it up with water and anxiously waited a few hours for the water to get warm! Ah . . . it felt delightful as I slipped in, that all familiar feel of the silky water caressing your skin! I absolutely love the water and swimming and this is the closest thing I’ll ever have to a “real” pool in the yard, so I “swim” but mostly relax and just royally enjoy this little indulgent treat in life! I got the hillbilly hot tub for my birthday three years ago, when my nephew Tyler and niece Haydyn were visiting that summer. After enjoying it immensely with them, I have enjoyed it each summer since then! This past week, Wes came up with the brilliant idea of covering it with a plastic shower curtain to keep out the rubbish, during our almost daily storms. Well it did that and even better, it works as a super solar blanket and makes the water nice and warm! When I pull back the plastic cover, you almost see the steam rising out of it. “Sweet!” I thought the first time I got in after using the cover, as it felt like the water in the Florida Keys during the month of August!
Besides soakin’ in the hot tub, we’ve been painting a lot this past week, and enjoying our daily bike rides and sometimes, walks around town. We also enjoyed playing Canasta at our neighbor friends, Beverly and Avery’s house, along with neighbors, Jim and Uschi, one evening this past week. Beverly made delicious homemade white pimento cheese sandwiches for supper and a scrumptious Butterfinger pie! The boys won the first game, but the girls were well on their way to winning the second, when we called it quits after a fun evening of camaraderie and good food! The next evening, we met neighbor friends, Paul and Norma, as well as Fran and Doug at our local Pizza Hut, where we all enjoyed delicious pizza before returning to our house to play Mexican Train dominoes. Wes won again, and everyone wondered if it had something to do with him being the scorekeeper . . . hmmmm. Last night we went to friends, Fred and Barb’s house to enjoy a taco party along with Bill and Darlene. The tacos were as much to make as they were to eat, and totally yummy! Darlene made a homemade peach cobbler which we enjoyed with vanilla ice cream . . . Yum! Fred won this time at Mexican Train, beating me by just a few measly points! Now we’re planning to hike to a waterfall this Tuesday, to hopefully burn up a few of the yummy calories we’ve eaten this past week, but mostly to enjoy being in the woods once again!
Although our baby Bluebirds fledged this past week, the yard is still full of young Titmice and Carolina Wrens. So as you can imagine, I make numerous trips out onto the back deck to put out peanut crunchy treats for all of the hungry mouths. I guess they must know that they are welcome and loved, or perhaps they think Snow White lives here, but many times, birds that are getting old, sick or are injured in a non-threatening way, seem to flock to our yard. So even though my heart is broken occasionally when we lose one, I love the fact that they feel so safe and welcome here. This being said, we currently have a Titmouse, which I affectionately call Stubbymouse, as he is missing most of his upper beak. I feel so very badly for him, but he seems to do just fine eating his peanut butter treats and peanut crunchies. He loves it most when I sit the bowl down on the table and let him crawl down into it and eat until his tummy is full! He is so precious and I have become quite attached to him to say the least! Sometimes, he lands on the back door and looks in at us, as if to say “Hey, in case you didn’t notice there’s a hungry Titmouse out here!”
Fresh off the easel ~ Wes finished a couple of miniature paintings this past week. One of three turkeys in the snow, he had painted mostly some time ago, but put the finishing touches on this past week. He also finished two paintings of frogs, which will be exhibited in an upcoming show, showcasing amphibians.
Currently On Our Easels ~ I’m still currently working on a commission featuring one of Renoir’s paintings, with me looking at it. I will continue painting on my miniature landscape painting of Yosemite, after I finish my commission.
To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html
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Until next time ~ Rachelle