Sunday, 27 February 2011

Jumble Post

Today is Sunday and I am planning to take Kenya for a good long walk, water the plants, continue work on my little table and chair set, and continue reading The Brain that Changes Itself.

This last is a highly readable book about the plasticity of the brain written as a series of stories about the research and the people who have been helped by this relatively new understanding of the brain.

I just finished reading Cutting for Stone and recommend it.  The novelist is a medical doctor, the story is set in Ethiopia and the USA, the characterization is very good and the plotting is flawless.  It also allows us to learn a great deal about surgery and obstetrics that I found interesting.  I like books that give me new knowledge as well as entertain me.  And this novel is also beautifully written.

The table and chairs have been primed and painted and the table top is just about finished ... four plates, each sporting an African animal.  My favourite is the zebra.  I wish I were good enough to produce consistently pleasing drawings and paintings ... but I am not ... so we have an dull little hippo, a dainty giraffe and a cute lion ... and a zebra with whom I am satisfied.  Today I want to get the legs and trim parts completed. Usually I start with the trim work and do the pictures last.  I am not sure why I didn't do that this time ... but the effect is that I really want to finish it now that the tough part has been completed.  These pieces have so many stages ... everything from the ugly work of cleaning up the pieces to doing the boring work of priming to choosing colours and applying them to designing and executing the main images ... and then the really fun part of playing with the rest of the piece -- lots of colours and shapes ... lots of experimentation goes on ... and I enjoy myself.  I am best at trying and seeing and building bit by bit.  The chair is going to be a suggestion of a teddy bear  ... so the whole set will be my version of the teddy bears' picnic.  I hope the little boy and his family like it.

My eye is almost completely healed.  I won't get any results till the end of the month so I am still a bit nervous ... but what can we do, eh?

Kenya met two golden retrievers yesterday ... and scared the owner, a friend of Peter's.  She and the male, Toby, sniffed each other and were okay but the little female, Molly, jumped on top of her and Kenya reacted nastily.  She never bites but she snaps nearby and gets the fur wet with slobber ... and sounds as if she is going to murder the other dog.  We all decided to leave it for now. 

Kenya was terribly unhappy when they all disappeared and I said, "Well, you were too damned stupid to see that you could have had a couple of playmates if you hadn't been so damned bitchy."  She hung her head, and I headed over to deliver Peter's food without her.  I played with both dogs and had a good time ... I think they could all have managed to enjoy each other eventually ... but we are going to have to figure out how to facilitate that.   I am thinking of approaching a dog trainer and seeing if  s/he can help me train Kenya out of this kind of initial nastiness when she meets a new dog.

Not much else is new ... I have spent the last week doing what I always do (teaching ...  preparing meals ... etc) but basically taking it easy recuperating from that flu bug and the small surgery ... more when I have something to say ...

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