Tuesday, August 28, 2018

May and June

It's been so long since I last wrote that I thought I'd break things up into months to let you know what we've been up to!
May was all about the end of the school year for Daniel and me working on commissions, some of which I can't show yet. 
However, Lola growing up was a big part of our summer. We all graduated from puppy school (and by now have forgotten much of what we learned). Lola is such a good dog - she loves to play with her toys, she doesn't chew on anything she isn't supposed to and she is the snuggliest dog we've ever had.
By now, she and Winslow are best buddies and love to hang out together. We have to make sure she doesn't get too wild with old Winslow, but other than that they get along wonderfully!
Other than that, May was all about the garden being at its most beautiful! 

Our fruit trees were coming along nicely as well. The kumquat tree has been blooming all summer and is full of fruit that will be ripe in the winter. 
Our quince tree, which had two quince last year, is full of slowly ripening fruit. We are looking forward to the winter when we can hopefully make a good bit of quince jam.
Which brings me to our fig tree and the month of June. 
In June, the figs started to ripen and we picked several pounds of figs every day, which had to be processed immediately. Luckily, they don't all get ripe at once!

We dried many pounds of them and made jam to last all year. My favorite jam from this batch was with added orange blossom water. So good! The dried figs we use in Muesli and a rye sourdough bread I make that is amazing!
We also gave many figs to friends and I baked a few of these gorgeous fig frangipani tarts. By the end of the month - and about 90 pounds of figs later - we were glad it would be a whole year before the next harvest!
And of course, there has to be some art in my post. These were two commissioned paintings I finished and sent off to France at the end of June.
I'm working on one more large one for this client, which should be done in the next few days. 
I hope you have all been well this summer and have enjoyed a slower pace, the joys of longer days and maybe a vacation. I visited Germany in July and will tell you all about that in my next post!


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Life keeps on moving...

I'm not sure anyone even looks at my blog anymore - it's been so neglected! I was going to post all the photos from the cruise, but it seems so long ago. Life just keeps on moving at great speed, doesn't it?

In the meantime, I finished another dog portrait using watercolor pencils, colored pencils and soft pastels. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out!
Lola keeps growing at warp speed. Just six weeks ago she was still a tiny puppy.
Now she's at least twice the size and is starting to lose her very sharp puppy teeth, which we are grateful for! 
Also, my sister, her husband and their two fantastic boys (12 and 13 years old) came to visit during their spring break. We had so much fun together and it was wonderful to spend so much quality time with all of them. When we visit them in Germany, our time is always so limited because we are trying to see everyone, so when they visit here it's quite different!
It's been a strange spring - much cooler than normal, which we are grateful for. The cats (peabody in this picture) are happy though that its finally warming up some. They love to just lounge around in the garden.
So now that taxes are behind me and my time is my own again, I am hoping to spend much more time in my studio again (if Lola lets me...). I have several commissioned paintings and drawings to work on and hope to show you progress as I go along. I hope you are all doing well!! 


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cruise 2017 - San Juan, Puerto Rico (Part 1)

We have so many photos from San Juan that I'm showing them in two blog posts. Our arrival started with a cloudy and very windy morning. It looked like we might have to take the umbrellas.
Can you see me by the railing? I was holding on because the wind was unreal. 
As we got closer, the weather improved and we were eager to get a good look at San Juan. 
It had been hit so hard by Hurricane Maria (who also hit us as a strong tropical storm) that it devastated parts of the island. And they still haven't fully recovered.
However, San Juan was ready for tourists again, which is great for the revenue of the island. 

A view of the beautiful fort El Morro. 

Once off the ship, we just walked around town and took in the sights. 
There were places we could see some of the effects of the hurricane, but in general the town was as  beautiful as I remember it from last time!

Another big cruise ship that was in town that day. I think there were three altogether. 

Finally it was time for a libation and for cooling down in the beautiful Convento, an old convent turned into a gorgeous hotel. 
After this, we wandered some more and had lunch in a local restaurant. Daniel then went on to explore El Morro and I went back to the ship with the rest of our party. I don't do well with heat and humidity, so often Daniel explores more then I do. I'll show the photos he took in my next post! 


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Soooo....this happend!

Meet Lola, the latest addition to the Powers family. She adopted us about 10 days ago and is keeping us busy, busy, busy!

But she also keeps us laughing and playing, which is always good.
Winslow was not so sure at first about this little thing trying to play with him.
But then he quickly moved into the roll of the big brother and is teaching her everything good and also a little bit of mischief. As it should be!
Even though Lola sleeps in her crate at night, she tries to catch as many naps with Winslow as she can.
She is a retriever/American bulldog mix and we think she'll get to be a midsize dog. She's met all of the cats and they are surprisingly sweet with her, only bringing out the claws when she gets too wild.
I hope you've all been doing well! As we settle into our new routine (as much as that's possible with a puppy), I hope to get back to my blog more often...