Today was laundry day, and my video below explains it all as far as how we do our laundry around here, especially in the Summer. Essentially, We soak our clothes in our tub with some detergent for several hours and use our feet to agitate like stomping on grapes. It is fun, but we really need a wringer. Rinsing and hand-wringing is exhausting, but sometimes we work hard and not smart until we get the tools to help us be smart.
Also, I received an email from one of my YouTube subscribers asking about how he could go about finding a lady who would settle down and live this kind of lifestyle with him. I hear a lot from people that it is hard to find someone out there, and that frustrates me. I want people to be happy, and if it is common for people who want to find someone but can't, I want to help with that. So, I have decided to address this issue in some upcoming YouTube videos, so stay tuned!
My solo show is coming up so soon! The opening reception will be the evening of Friday, August 11 (exact time still being determined, but I will announce that as soon as I find out), so if you are a local, mark your calendars. If you can't make it to the reception that evening the work will be on display for over a month.
I always think I have enough time for these events in the long-term, but as they get closer I never seem to have enough time in the day. I am not complaining! Just making an observation. I am so grateful and excited about the show, and I know I will pull it together in time, somehow. I always do.
Finding time to cook, take care of the garden, watch over and care for our injured dog, etc, all while painting and drawing takes serious time management skills that I am finally getting better at handling, though I still need a lot of improvement in that arena. That is why my overall theme to my site and Youtube videos is "choosing happiness one project at a time." Funny enough, I don't do all of my projects one at a time, but I focus on each action intensely. For example, I may be working on two paintings at the same time, decide to make soap, weed the garden, and add a couple of new boards to the outhouse all in one morning, but each little task is technically done one at a time! Right? Ah, multitasking is fun. I tell you the weeks go by so incredibly fast that it must mean I am keeping myself plenty busy. I couldn't imagine doing all of this without my husband around. Can you say Savior? Hero? All-around general best husband in the world? Because that's what he is. All of those and more! There would be no way for me to have the time to create if I were doing all of this by myself, and my feet and back would be a mess without those regular rubs and massages. So, Thank You. Thank you, Brandt!
The studio building is still not finished, but I can still work in there. As soon as August 11th passes I will be able to spend time finishing the windows and adding siding, and finally adding the awesome antique sliding pocket doors to the exterior. I cannot wait to show you all that!
I will also be participating in the Artists of South Whidbey group show at WICA on August 4th. There is a reception that evening as well, and I will be displaying some of my puppet paintings from a few years ago. My painting style was way different then, so to me it is very interesting to see the changes I've made. Anyway, it will be a nice show, and the other artists that are participating are very talented. It is nice to be involved with such a group.
That reminds me. I still have work up at the Flower House Cafe for the month of July, so if you are in Bayview maybe you can check that out if you want to go to that nice little cafe. The ball is definitely rolling for me. I remember a time when I was too afraid to get the ball rolling as far as showing my art and doing the hard work needed to make it all happen.
I have some more announcements coming up at the end of August as far as my website goes and my presence on social media. A lot of really cool things are coming up, so stay tuned! In the meantime please feel free to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. The links are right up there at the top of the pages of my site. Just click on the little symbols, and the internet will take you there.
Ok, Thanks for catching up with me. I will be back soon for more updates. Take care, and try your best to choose happiness one project at a time! Bye!
We bought Redbone this Outward Hound life jacket, so that we can get her to exercise her legs in the water. This livestock tub here is how we stay cool in the summer, so we thought we'd start by putting her in there. We are going to take her to the lakes nearby, so that she can have some deeper water to kick her legs around and not have to carry any weight. So far, do good!
The past few months I have been furiously preparing work for an upcoming solo art show on July 29 where I feature paintings and drawings of life here in the woods at the cabin. I will post images of the work here after the show and blog about the event itself.
In the meantime, I must update you all about Redbone's recovery from her recent trauma. What trauma this time? Well, she jumped out of a second story window from our room at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon. This lodge is the creepy set for the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in the movie, The Shining. Anyway, you can watch the video above to hear me talk about the ordeal, and I will blog about her recovery as a whole in the next couple of months. Just to let you know right now, she is looking great and is improving every day. She has her personality, is eating and going to the bathroom and starting to prop herself up on her own. Anyway, I will keep you posted. Thanks for reading and checking out my site!
At Noon, May 11, 2017 I will choose the winner out of my magic pitcher, so if you want this painting please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow the instructions in this video. Good Luck, and thanks for subscribing!
You can use pretty much any veggie you like, but here is what I do for this Pad Thai for two:
Approx 10 nettle tops
1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped or thinly sliced
1/4 cup zucchini, sliced into 2" long matchsticks
*add any other veggies you would like
Approx 3 TBS peanut oil
Splash of white wine (about 3 TBSPNs)
Tiny splash fish sauce (about 2 teaspoons) *obviously omit if you want this to be a vegan dish
3 TBSPN peanut butter
2 servings of pad thai noodles
2-5 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/4 red onion or scallions, thinly sliced
Chili Garlic Sauce "Tuong Ot Toi Viet-Nam" (the chili garlic cock sauce in almost every grocery store)
Black Sesame seeds
chopped peanuts or cashews
Boil the pad thai noodles until just about al dente, drain, but leave a little bit of water in the pot to keep noodles moist and to use in the cooking of the vegetables.
In a very hot skillet add 2 TBSPNs peanut oil and add your washed and dried nettle tops. Saute until they are crispy. It takes a few minutes and requires turning. The heat will remove the stinging capability, so don't worry about stinging your mouth. Set aside.
Add the last TBSPN peanut oil to pan and saute the onions and carrots for about a minute or less. You don't want them to get soft on you.
Add the wine and let it reduce a bit
Add fish sauce, mushrooms, and zucchini
Add a splash of the pasta water and the the peanut butter to the pan and mix with vegetables until a nice little sauce is created
Continue to saute just enough for mushrooms and zucchini to be al dente (approx 30 sec)
Add noodles and nettle tops
Turn off heat and mix everything together in pan
Divide in to two bowls and top with garnish, Serve!!!
Here is my video if you would like to watch:
It's that time again! It is the beginning of the month, so that means I am having another YouTube subscriber contest. All I ask is that you subscribe to my YouTube channel, leave a comment on this video saying that you want your name to be entered, and you have a chance to win an original one-of-a-kind work art from yours truly! Well, that isn't completely it. There is always a catch right? This time the catch is if you win I just ask you to please spread the word about my website to your friends, family, and anyone you think would be interested in what I am doing here. Not too bad of a deal, I don't think.
Also, I am very excited to announce that I am about to launch my own gallery and store right here on my site. That's right! You will soon be able to buy my artwork directly from me. I will still have an Etsy shop that will feature some work, but I am so excited about what is coming up here on allegrarosebrown.com. Stay tuned for the official launch of the store!
Thanks to all of you out there for your support. Building my site, making videos, cleaning up my cabin, getting the studio ready, blogging, and starting to share what I am doing on all the social media platforms I can, all while making new work, has been an arduous but rewarding process. I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of your encouragement out there, so Thanks again!
It has been a week and a day since I dropped my true love, Brandt, off at the airport to be gone working in the Dominican Republic for three months. Now, this is not comparable to a deployment that many of my brothers and sisters in the military experience for extremely long separations, but it is still very difficult.
This is the fifth season that we have experienced this separation since we started our relationship, and it doesn't get easier. I will say that the separation of 2015 went by the most quickly because that was the year we were planning our wedding. If any of you have ever planned your wedding, you know how time flies!
I made a video about little techniques I use to cope with missing Brandt, which I have included in this blog. However, there are some things that are not mentioned in the video that I will talk about here.
One thing I don't mention in the video is how having a pet can make a huge difference. Our dog, Redbone, gives me such great company and joy, and having her by my side helps to alleviate the loneliness and sadness. Not everyone lets their dog sleep on the bed, but when Brandt is gone I let our dog sleep on the bed with me. I have to say that we are very lucky with her because allowing her on the bed has not given her a bad habit of begging to get on the bed. She is always happy sleeping in her own. Plus, our bed is higher than most, so she doesn't usually jump up on her own. I have to lift her and tuck her in, which I totally talk baby talk to her and pretend she is my baby. Is that crazy?
That brings up another idea. I do behave like a crazy cat lady when I am alone. Why? Because it is fun! It lets off steam and makes me laugh at myself, which is an important ability to have. Just having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at things is good for us. I have been enjoying some stand-up comedians more and more because they deal with serious issues in a funny way. It seems these days that the pc police are out there judging and shrieking if you laugh at something dark, but I say laugh it up! Don't pay any mind to those social justice warriors. They don't seem like happy people anyhow. I personally prefer to laugh than to cry.
However, a good cry every once in awhile is a catharsis that we all need, so don't be afraid to allow the tears to flow. Let me clarify, though. I don't encourage public crying, but if you need to have someone's shoulder to cry on, ask a friend or counselor who can be there for you. And don't be afraid to ask! That's what friends and counselors are for. Understandably, sometimes it is unavoidable to cry publicly, like at a really tear-jerking movie, funeral, etc. Obviously those are times where crying among others is appropriate, but a level of emotional self-control is healthier than emoting whenever and wherever you like.
I pray. This is a personal topic that I have not elaborated on before, but my relationship with God is very important, and it helps me through the good, and it helps me through the tough times.
Meditation. I am not much of a yoga person, but I do practice intentional, deep, and purposeful breathing. Occasionally I find through stress that I have not been breathing properly, and suddenly I am developing a panic attack. I will talk more in detail about my experience with panic attacks, but spending time actually breathing properly is helpful.
Everyday I feel grateful. Even during down times I remind myself to have gratitude for my life. If one cannot have gratitude, one cannot have happiness. Do you know any ungrateful people who are happy?
I also decided that I am going to start sending out physical cards using the mail system to friends and family at random times just saying hello and that I am thinking about them. There! I just invented a whole new series of videos that I can do!
Well, I hope that wasn't excessively sanctimonious. I just wanted to share some tips in case it could help someone out there. Anyway, that's about it for now, but I am sure more will come to mind as I continue working on happiness one project at a time. I hope you will leave your comments below if you have any ideas. I would love to get a conversation going to help others who are lonely and maybe not feeling too happy. Thank you for reading and watching my videos!
Would you like three owl drawings by yours truly? Just watch my video (below) on YouTube and leave a comment on it before NOON on Thursday, January 12, 2017. You will be entered for a chance to win a little Thank You gift from me. I will record the selection video at noon on the 12th and release it that afternoon/evening, so tune in to see if you win! Thanks to all of you for your support.
Well, our tankless outdoor water heater broke, which means we have to go back to our very rudimentary ways of showering, doing dishes, and even some laundry. First off, the water heater breaking was our fault; we didn't unhook the hoses before a freeze. We thought we had extra time before temperatures got too low, but we were wrong. One of the elements cracked. Since it was user error, the warranty doesn't cover the damage, so Santa is bringing us a new one. Thank You Santa!
In the meantime, check out how we shower now. We fill up pots from the well (the far away well) and heat up the water on the wood stove or our hot plate. Living off the grid can mean a lot of physical labor at times. but it is worth it!
See video below: