Don Choate: September 12, 1940 to October 1, 2014


My dad, Don Choate, passed away early Wednesday morning. While his passing wasn’t a shock, it was more sudden than expected.

My mom and I have taken care of the immediate arrangements and are planning a memorial service sometime in November.

Thank you in advance to all well wishers and fellow mourners. Both Mom and I would like a few days of quiet to recover and gather our thoughts. Please hold your phone calls. If you are inclined to send flowers, please contribute to your favorite charity instead.

Thank you.

O.F.F.F. (the photo essay)

Clearly I shouldn’t be leaving the house as early as I did today; I forgot my camera. However, my wonderful friend Arminda played photographer today. Also, she gave me a ride (no parking hassles) and loaned her daughter, Clover, to pack things. I totally lucked out on this deal!



At $1200, this goat was arguably the least expensive animal there. I won't even speculate on the true cost of the kid...

At $1200, this goat was arguably the least expensive animal there. I won’t even speculate on the true cost of the kid…


Speaking of children… Francis “The Destroyer” and Clover


That’s really the best you can do?

Back to yarn and fiber... clearly a more understandable subject.

Back to yarn and fiber… clearly a more understandable subject.



As though tons of yarn, fiber, and fleece weren’t enough fun, you also have to keep an eye on the other humans (or, as I like to call them, walking models.) This is “Barbara’s Cape.” This is going in the Ravelry cue.

Best tatoo ever!

Best tatoo ever!

When I first saw this, I honestly didn't know what it was. I was a little freaked out because I thought it was just wool, but it kept moving...

When I first saw this, I honestly didn’t know what it was. I was a little freaked out because I thought it was just wool, but it kept moving…


… turns out, it’s a bunny!

Is this not the most smokin' spinning wheel you have ever seen?

Is this not the most smokin’ spinning wheel you have ever seen?

That’s really the best you can do?

-2 -1 +3 -1 = forward steps

Today I spent the largest part of the day running errands, mostly involving art. And when I dropped off the painting to go to Medford, it was a little like seeing a a child go off to the first day of kingergarten. Here’s hoping that nothing goes wrong and it gets in (occasionally something breaks or there is some other kind of problem and a painting is held back from the show.) Fingers (and toes) crossed.

fritzAfter dealing with the must dos of the day, I headed out to SEO to play with the horses. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I had been out there until I noticed how many of the horses were new. I played with an absolutely adorable new arrival named Jesse and cuddled a little with my favorite long term resident Fritz (why hasn’t he been adopted? He’s wonderful!

chevyandtumbleweedI also admired a new addition to the barn… Tumbleweed. You can see her, sitting in the paddock behind one of the owner’s horses, Chevy.

It’s finally cool enough that Finn can ride around with me on errands, and on our way home I decided to stop at a new area and explore. It’s marked as a nature area under restoration, but there was a trail and no “No Tresspassing” signs, so Finn and I headed off.

trailWe saw a red tailed hawk and rabbits (it wouldn’t surprise me if they had something to do with each other…) as well as heard a variety of birds including a spotted towhee.

But the real star of the show was the sky. It was just turning into dusk and the sky went from overcast, to sunlit, to blazing during our hike.

I got home and did do some painting. I have been working on this painting of the duck family I saw earlier in the month during the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus.

tealducksI’m happy with how it is progressing, but I’m also tired, so I cheated a little. I just a little extra background and whipped off this painting for my “painting of the day.”


Speaking of Hillsboro, I hope you have marked your calendars to attend the opening of the exhibit!

image001And tomorrow is OFFF!

To pieces

26 - to piecesThe title of today’s painting, “To Pieces”, is also sort of a commentary on my day. And the less said about that the better.

Thankfully, it’s Friday and I have two days to recover.

Today I dropped off my collage piece for the 6″x6″ Wild Arts project.

Tomorrow I will drop off my painting “Sizing Up the Competition” to a fellow WSO member who will take it down to Medford.

I will also drop off my pieces (and Sandra Pearce‘s piece) to the McLoughlin Memorial Association show (from my plein air at Rose Farm day).

I will also pick up my pieces from the Three Rivers Artist Gallery so they can start a new rotation.

So, it will be a big day for art.

And Sunday, I’ll head to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival! Pretty cool. I’ll get my knitting geek on…

Six days to go

With today’s painting, I just have six days left in my painting a day challenge. While this has been fun, it’s also been very tiring and I’ll be glad to go back to painting on a less competitive schedule.

24 - hummingbirdAfter work I headed out to Canemah, and while hiking, I saw the inspiration for this painting. He was talking up a storm and I admired him for a while before heading off.

Fall rain has started, and the flower and leaves that have been hanging on but getting brittle, are now hanging in tatters. Also, all the small animals that have been hanging around were seen: a frog jumped out in front of me, I saw a snail along the trail, and the birds are definitely talking again.

The sky was just starting to turn to sunset when we headed home.

endofwalkThis evening I worked on the hummingbird, started the background for another painting, and finished my Wild Arts Festival piece. I will turn it in tomorrow.

17 - ospreycollage_final

Day 23…

[image removed]

I really wanted to focus on creating a light, airy background, but by the time I got there, I was kind of out of steam. I might try a little more tomorrow.

I guess we all forget something

So yesterday I forgot to post my painting. I did it. I took a picture. I got all my images together to create a post. And then… I guess I wandered off. Now you’ll get two days together!


Other than a meeting, I did not have anything too exciting going on Sunday. I did a bunch of errands and then went for a hike. In the first few minutes, I saw a nice red tail hawk.

I also had another item of interest on this hike: Edward. I had AirBNB guests this weekend, and they had a lovely Spring Spaniel named Edward (they also had an 18 month old girl, but I never got her name, and who cares about her anyway…)

edward edward2









As you can see, Edward enjoyed our hike too. Finn, as though in competition, was especially photogenic.

When we got home, I sat down and used one the reference photos above to do my daily painting.

21 - edwardMonday

I just worked today, took the dog for a walk, and went to Weight Watchers (minus another .8) Frankly, I’m tired and didn’t feel like painting. But I wanted to give it a try…

22 - soarOkay, the hawk needs some serious work, but I am really excited by the technique I used for the sky. My thought for this was to devote some feeling to the air under the wings of the bird… and I really like the way that part feels. But if I did a larger version, the actual raptor needs some attention.

opsimath (or me dealing with the aftermath of shopping)

opsimath, n. [‘ A person who begins to learn or study late in life.’]

Today was a busy one for me. I got up, made a quick run to the Farmer’s Market, went to a class, then ran to the TRAG gallery for a shift. After that ended I picked up my friend JJ and we (well, me, but she had to approve) went clothes shopping.

Finn&meOn Monday when I weighed in, I had officially lost 63 pounds and another “watcher” took me aside and told me that I NEEDED new clothes. It’s been on my mind this week, and with several art events and my Kentucky worshop coming up, I felt it was as good a time as any to take the plunge.

This is the second time I’ve purchased clothes for my newly skinny body. I am now “thin enough” that I can shop in “mainstream” stores (albeit in the larger sizes departments) and JJ talked me into going to Lane Bryant, rather than Catherine‘s which has been my go-to store for a while. I totally thought Catherine’s would be okay, because I still fit there in the 1-3x’s, but JJ felt Lane Bryant would have “more youthful” styles.

Now, if you had asked me before going to this, I wouldn’t have said I particularly had any issues about shopping. You get clothes that cover you up and off you go. This is not the way JJ and the sales person allowed things to happen.

First, I had to get a new bra. I won’t go into the details on this, but if I had known this was going to happen, I totally would have procrastinated and/or avoided this excursion. But, let me tell you, it does make a difference. With “the girls” arranged differently, I really see the weight that’s not there anymore.

Second, brights, florals, and cotton were “old lady” clothes. Stripes and asymetricals were “in.” And pants that actually touch the body. And tops that require a little tank top under them. It’s all very traumatic. But I did look pretty slammin’.

Finally, jewelry and accessories were pronounced necessary. Luckily, I have jewelry that I never wear, so that’s not an issue, but I can just see that my normal, pre-coffee self is going to have a shock come Monday morning.

While I only purchased two new outfits, with the other two outfits I purchased in July I think I’ll be able to walk around without looking like an old lady/gang style hybrid.

I think the next step will be to weed out the insanely baggy outfits in my closet so I don’t go back there. However, I’m already plotting on letting the new outfits hang out for a while… just to get used to the way things are. I wouldn’t want to rush into anything…

So next week, in theory, I’ll be walking around with a newer look. And, if I keep working on it, in another couple months there will be new clothes again. And each time I have to learn a little something new, which is why I decided to use the “word of the day” as my title.

Painting Challenge

After all this I am sure you are waiting with bated breathe for my painting of the day. Well, I won’t disappoint you.

20 - rhodieI felt like the last few days I had been “phoning it in” for my painting, so I sat down tonight with the intention of truly giving it my best shot.

This is from a reference photo of a rhodie in my yard (‘Pink Pearl’) that I took this spring. I knew it would be a challenge, because the difference between the lights and the darks would need to be emphasized in order to get the correct effect.

I’m please with this and may do a bigger one. My mom’s favorite flower is the rhododendron and Christmas is coming…