A few years ago, I had an opportunity to go out to dinner with my cousins, the children of my mom’s sister. As we were eating, the topic of visiting Grandma’s (and Grandpa’s) house came up. I learned that my aunt had spent nearly the entire car ride coaching my cousins about what not to tell Grandma. I was shocked, but recounted that my mom, too, spend an inordinate amount of time cautioning me! This led to the topic of Grandma and Grandpa visiting one of our houses. We were in gales of laughter, describing the frantic cleaning, cooking, and other preparation that took place, as well as the testiness of our respective parents as “the big day” approached.

As an adult, I feel like I’ve kept a good balance between cleaning sanity and fear of judgement. I don’t keep a “white glove ready” house (I have a dog and two cats) but my house is usually tidy. I mean, you can’t eat off the floors, but who really does that? I really gave myself permission to let people see a dirty house after reading this blog post by one of my favorite authors, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot: Just stuff that laundry behind the piano.

I am saying that.

But my actions this weekend have told a completely different story.

As you know, I am going to Paris in JUST A FEW DAYS!!!!! To say I am excited is an understatement. While I meant to clean the house for my friends/house sitters before leaving, in my anxiety about, well, everything, I have been scurrying around, cleaning surfaces and tidying up like there is no tomorrow. I did the majority of my packing a couple weeks ago (don’t laugh) but I’ve got the suitcase and bag out, checking and rechecking that I’ve got what I need. When I’m not doing that, I’ve been working my way through a list of chores:

  1. Mop
  2. Laundry
  3. Clean refrigerator
  4. Winterize and bring in yard stuff
  5. Clean up email in-box
  6. Write directions
  7. Tidy up studio area
    1. Putting away paper
    2. Confiscating pens
    3. Sharpening pencils
    4. Organizing paints
    5. Cleaning palettes
  8. Set up areas for people to work if they don’t want to use my desk
  9. Trim cat and dog nails
  10. Make sure cat and dog food is completely full
  11. Clean garage
  12. Put down seed in new lawn area
  13. Finish art project
    1. Video for latest art project
    2. Blog post
  14. Set out garbage

My friends won’t notice or car that I did any of this. I know that. But I want them to be comfortable while they are here, and the best way I know how is to make the house hotel-like in its cleanliness (at least in my imagination).

In other words, I’m no more sane than Mom was on this topic. Humbling.

Meet Horiya

While there has been a variety of little art things happening this weekend, the big one is that I have finished Horiya.

Finished may be a strong word. I plan to train honeysuckle over her, and until that happens, she may look a little bare. Also, the “back” side is not filled in, only h er front. She may evolve a little more as time goes on.

Too Much Blue?

One of my tasks for this weekend was to finalize my painting gear for the trip. I have a little palette that I have had good success with when doing a daily painting challenge. So, I scooped out the colors I don’t use, cleaned it up, and refilled it.

Here are the colors I’m going with, clockwise from top left:

  • Cobalt blue (1 pan)
  • Ultramarine blue (1 pan)
  • Burnt umber (1 pan)
  • Yellow ochre (1 pan)
  • Cadmium yellow (1 pan)
  • White (1 pan)
  • Aurorean yellow (one pan)
  • Naples yellow (one pan)
  • Opera (one pan)
  • Alizarin crimson (one pan)
  • Ultramarine blue (2 more pans)

With my travel notebooks, a couple pens, a couple pens, and travel brushes, I think I’ll be able to sketch anything that strikes my fancy.

Of course, I’ve packed other things. Clothes (boring). A travel adapter. A paperback book (real paper!) My big camera. A few other things. But I’m determined to go with one carry-on and one small bag. Determined! I’ve researched the phone system and plan to take my own phone, but swap its sim card once I’m there. So, I’m hoping to post social media pics.

Next step, PDX carpet selfie!

2 thoughts on “Big Days”
  1. Have a great trip! I used the Internet to communicate with home while in Europe so I never swapped sim cards. I used WhatsApp instead of texting to both Europeans and Americans.

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