Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 52

I’ve now lost 20 pounds. It is frustrating, a bit, that I gained that much over the school year, but I am thrilled that I didn’t gain all 45 pounds back and that I’m only five more pounds till I’m back to 160.

The best thing about it is that I look better and feel more energetic. (Even when I’ve forgotten to take the caffeine pills.)

I hope that the rest of the weight comes off this easily.

I also hope I start feeling better. I’ve had really bad allergies this weekend. I am feeling better now, though. And I haven’t had any drugs in six hours, so I must be much better.

I got all my food in today except the margarine. (Since I ate one meal yesterday, that’s amazing.) But I missed most of the pills. It’s just been one of those days. Not hectic, but not organized.

I am thrilled with my progress. I hope to continue this well.

Goals

I do have some short term goals right now.

1. Get M’s handwriting up to grade level.

2. Get M’s school books. (Monday at the ABeka sale.)

3. Get E through algebra, one way or the other.

(He says he wants to go to public school so he doesn’t have to do algebra. The problem is he’d have algebra for a year if he went to public school.)

4. Lose weight. Get to where I look good naked.

5. Help the boys develop good personal hygiene habits.

6. Get the yard looking nice and keep it that way.

7. Keep the house looking nice.

8. Get the dog house trained.

9. Get M’s spelling and punctuation up to grade level.

10. Help M learn his math better.

I have some long term goals, too.

1. Keep the weight off. Stay healthy.

2. Get the kids through high school in a healthy environment.

3. Get out of debt.

4. Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary.

5. Be able to retire and well enough to travel.

I guess goals are good things to have.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 49

This morning I weighed in at 166.6. That’s 19.2 pounds that I’ve lost in the last 49 days.

If I continue to lose 2 pounds a week, by the end of the month I will be back to my several year low of 160. I will continue on after that, but I tell you, despite the food choices being severely limited, this works. I eat food which is good for me. Now, I also have supplements and pills, but I don’t mind those. Work with what works. Do what you can do.

I was discouraged three days ago, having been sick for several days. Now, though, I am just thrilled by my weight loss. (BTW, I didn’t lose any weight while I was sick.)

You know, two years ago I got down to 160 and stayed there for about 6 months. Then I switched food plans for eight to ten months, but never really got lower. Then I started teaching at the high school and gained 25 pounds in four months. (I guess that means I am stressed when I teach there.)

I am excited about the weight loss and hope it continues and that I can keep it off if I end up teaching at the high school again this year. (Which I need to financially, but right now it’s up in the air.)

Do you know more than you thought? Design

Ever owned or seen one of those black leathery-vinyl chairs with the silver hoops that loops and is very hard to get out of, especially when you are pregnant? Those are the work of Alvar Aalto in 1936. Of course, it was the depression, so you wanted light and airy (read easy to assemble without expensive goods).

Ever seen what I think of as the 60s sofa in a chair? You know, two tufted squares of foam on a curvy x stand? Apparently that’s from the flapper era. Van der Rohe created the chair and ottoman in 1926. So I guess it wasn’t really “modern” then. It’s almost an antique now.

Remember those all of one piece plastic chairs which have arms that come up and a little half inch pad of vinyl cushion in the bottom? And the similarly shaped one piece plastic tables? That’s the work of Saarinen. Was it my destiny to be born in the era of uncomfortable and ugly furniture?

How about the square leather and metal chair? Also impossible to get out of pregnant? (We owned both of these chairs when I was pregnant. And got rid of them then too.) That was the work of Breuer.

Every school child of the 60s knows the Eames chair. It was the model for uncomfortable child seating at numerous tables. Yuck.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that I know the work of many 20th century designers, even though I do not particularly care for their work or style.

Of course, I love Phyfe and even American Empire styling. So, I don’t think I’m going to love metal, vinyl, and plastic. I much prefer fabric and wood, even to leather. So, for my own place, I probably wouldn’t have leather unless it was on top of a table. However, since I share, I’ll probably eventually have leather furniture.

Posted in Art

Tables

I talked to Henry about having a coffee table built. However, the dimensions he suggested (except height) seemed more to me like a sofa table than a coffee table (34 by 18). When I told him the dimensions I was thinking, he was freaked. He told me to go home and measure. I was about right (48 by 36).

I went looking for “map table” on the internet. The only one I found, that was actually a map table, was at Star Furniture from Martha Stewart. Now, I have never cared much for her style, much too fussy for me, but I do like that map table. I would like it instead of the brass and glass (very nice, but clearly modern) coffee table I have now. Of course, I never go to Star Furniture. And all the highways are labeled with names rather than numbers. I would much prefer N59 Houston rather than EastTex freeway or S59 Houston rather than SW Freeway. Some of these freeways I don’t know by name. And they aren’t labeled that way on a map.

(On an aside, shouldn’t people think about visitors when they decide to label streets? I was trying to get directions from 63 to visit a friend, which, it turns out, everyone in town calls “the Brownfield highway.” Drives me crazy. Austin does the same thing, so it’s not just Houston or Lubbock. 183 is Research Blvd.)

Since I only found one map table, although I found several DIY tables with maps decoupaged on them, I wondered if they had another name. But I couldn’t find anything on map tables’ history or a definition of them. Couldn’t find much on coffee table def. either. Coffee table history simply nets you coffee table books of a historical nature.

Where do map tables come from? Why have coffee tables gotten so big? And why do we have low coffee tables anyway?

Anyone know?

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 47

I weighed in this morning at 168.6. That means I’ve lost 17 pounds, plus a bit. It’s not as good as I’d hoped to be by now, obviously, but it is great comparatively. I mean, I weigh 168.6, not 185.8-or more.

I’ve been sick and actually I still feel a bit “off my feed.”

I am sure, though, that it’s not the food, since what I am eating is so good for me.

However, I am missing my bread-potato-pasta staples, with the odd sweet thrown in. I’m not a big sweet fan but tonight I was missing oatmeal cookies. I was also missing pizza, nachos, and mashed potatoes.

There is lots of food on this diet; it is just mostly food I don’t like. And even the foods I like are either limited or there are so few of them that it’s becoming “too much of a good thing.”

I do, however, know that going back to doing nothing is not going to help me, so I am hanging in there. Hopefully I will get feeling better quickly and I can get some good foods going again.

The herb/caffeine mix QWLC sells, for $135 a bottle, is very like Metabolife. However, I often went to sleep after taking QWLC’s, which have caffeine in them. On the other hand, I can’t take the Metabolife like they say (an hour before eating) or I will puke my guts out. So… $135 for caffeine that puts me to sleep or $20 for caffeine I have to take with a sizable meal (not just fruit). Obviously my choice is in. I’m sticking with Metabolife.

You know, I am getting so frustrated with the ads for QWLC on the radio. “For only six dollars a week…” And “no shakes or funny supplements.” Then there’s the “no pills” promise. First, $6 a week is only $320 a year. My year cost well over $600 and that was with a discount. So that’s not $6 a week. Plus, you have to spend a MINIMUM of $22 a week on “shakes and funny supplements.” That’s the cost if you buy lots of them at the same time. Then you add in $12 for a month of vitamins, $39 for a month of Carb Blockers, $135 for a month of caffeine, and how much ever the herb stuff costs. Divide by four weeks and you’re spending a minimum of $50 a week. What happened to the $6? I don’t know, but it isn’t true.

If I were starting over again, I might still do it, because I have lost weight, but if I stall out and don’t move anywhere, I am going to be very frustrated. I don’t trust these people, though.

Day off

Today we cleaned the house, rearranged furniture, and got a whole carload of stuff ready for Goodwill, or some such place.

It took us several hours and we all four worked on it. I actually like the results. I don’t think M is too thrilled, because we took the bunk bed out and just left one bed, but…

I think the teen room is turning into the “all the furniture we aren’t using” room. That’s not really what I had planned on doing with it, but so far there’s still room in there. Scary thought.

I still like the living room rearrangement. I did finally move the end table out.

We went and saw Michael’s new media room. He’s built a riser to put in there. It looks very good. If we had two couches for our media room that might be a good idea, but as it is the one couch in there is falling apart. We may actually have to buy a new couch. (Though I will probably try a slipcover first.)

I don’t want to buy a couch.

Of course, if I were prioritizing what I would want done on/in my house, by my choices,…

Lots of money:

new a/c

new siding

$1000 or less (at least I hope so):

fireplace

lighting in media room

Wow, you know, there’s just not much I want done to the house.

Smaller amounts:

Someone to paint my bedroom. Mostly because I don’t want to.

Crown molding in the media room.

Furniture:

I don’t actually need any furniture. (Except for a couch. And I keep hoping my sister is actually going to replace her leather couches, like she thought she would, and will give those to me. Then I won’t need any.)

I found a beautiful plum pudding Mahogany dresser in Empire style that I like. $800 It doesn’t match the things we have now, but it is in great shape and is totally handcrafted mahogany wood with mahogany veneer.

I also found a Duncan Phyfe dresser, $400. But it is a bit more ornate than I like. So it’s the right style and color to match with the furniture I inherited from my grandmother via my parents, but it doesn’t match perfectly and I prefer the style of the stuff I have now.

I’d kind of like a headboard for our bed, but R and my styles aren’t exactly alike.

I would like to get a new coffee table. Once I even went to buy one with my birthday money, but Pier 1 quit selling the all wood map coffee tables, which is what I wanted. So…

Anyway, it’s good to know there just isn’t much out there that I really want to get.

Besides art in the form of wood, glass, and the rare piece of furniture.

Artists I like

Gary Benfield

Janet Treby

Itzchak Tarkay

Csada Markus, some

Roy Fairchild-Woodard, his sepia

Rebecca Hardin, her cherry blossom piece

Hailan, one

Fressinier

Peter Nixon

-and someone I can’t remember their name

Posted in Art

Picassos and forgeries

I was looking for leather couches. How I got from there to Picasso is an uninteresting and short tale.

Then I went to Costco’s Fine Art and was amazed to see “La Folie” by Picasso for sale there. It is a serigraph. My husband’s boss owns one. It is actually the only Picasso I ever particularly liked.

Looking on the same page they had a Maimon “Marie: Le Courtesan” for sale for $919. I like Maimon. I decided I would go to ebay to see if it was available there. It was. For $99.

I then went to eBay to see if they had “La Folie,” since I had found the Maimon there for $800 less. They didn’t. (BTW the only other serigraph of that for sale was $15,000.)

I found a purported Picasso original oil for $750. Okay, let’s think on this. Original oils of Maimon and Tarkay, whose work I admire but who are still alive, go for $3,000 to $15,000. Picasso died in 1973. Why would one of his oils go for $750?

If I genuinely believed I had a Picasso oil, I would find an art appraiser. The $100 fee would be little compared to the difference of ten thousand dollars or more. I think the seller would do the same thing. But he didn’t. He did create some provenance (story behind how he got it), but not the other. So I don’t think this is a real Picasso. What is it then?

I found an interesting article on forgeries. It includes discussions of Picasso forgers. Apparently his erratic style and changing modernism is easy to duplicate.

This article gives the life story, with way too much attention to his sex life, of a notorious forger who spent decades hoodwinking the international art world.

An hysterical anecdote about Picasso himself saying his own work was a fake can be found here. If he said it was a fake, surely someone else could make a fake and say it was his? –No, I guess not.

And here’s an article on one of the most famous fakers fakes being faked. Imagine. People selling fake fakes.

Apparently the Picasso Estate isn’t interested in knowing if works are genuine Picassos or not. Or perhaps, they are not interested in having a genuine work which they do not control “out there.” An interesting reaction to a Picasso? work starts here in Art World Reactions.

I am not sure, because I couldn’t find the back link, but this may be talking about the same work as above. It does suggest DNA testing, but I would think that would require defacing the work. And if it were to be found to be a Picasso, the Picassos would have to agree to DNA testing as well. Since they won’t even share a fingerprint, I doubt they are up for that.

I found an interesting article on the use of eBay to sell fakes. There was even a Picasso fake in there. (Not the one I saw.)

Then there’s a short article on fakes showing real and fake works. Of course, the real Picasso is shown next to a fake Braque. Whatever the heck that would mean.

Here is a transcription of a conversation with Picasso that is an excerpt from a book. In it he refuses to sign his own work, saying that would be forgery. –Also note that he says before 1914 he did sometimes sign his work on the back, but only on the back. It says nothing about signing both sides, which would be a bit strange. But the $750 “signed Picasso” has signatures on both sides.

This article is actually about a different artist but compares him to Picasso. Then, the article says Picasso would counterfeit himself to confound critics. What the heck does that mean?

In a discussion of a “museum for forgeries” there is an offhand mention that Picasso once signed a forgery, saying it was in essence a Picasso. The Memetic Museum

In this article onwriting an entire book on women’s breasts the opening has a story on Picasso and counterfeiting. Perhaps this is the same story as the hysterical anecdote mentioned above. Or perhaps he did it often. My son tends to tell the same joke over and over and find it funny. Perhaps Picasso did too.

I guess that’s really all I have to say about Picasso and forgeries and ebay.

Posted in Art

Happy birthday, America!

Today the Declaration of Independence is officially 228 years old. So, no, 40’s not old.

I am very grateful and proud to live in this country.

I am astonished at the good fortune and blessings we have had here over the last 228 years.

God, please continue to bless the USA.

Sick

I got sick tonight. Throwing up. Hurt my back, my chest, my throat. When I lay down I feel sick again. I don’t like to be by myself when I’m sick, but R doesn’t like to be there when I’m sick, so I’m by myself.

If I lay down I get sicker.

If I sit up I get cold

I am tired and want to sleep. But I feel bad so I can’t. That’s not good.

Janet Treby

I own two signed/numbered AP serigraphs by Janet Treby. I really like her style in some of her pictures. She appears to be working in three different styles. I like one of them a lot.

One of her s/n AP serigraphs is on sale on eBay. I like it. No one’s bid on it. But they don’t say what shipping and handling is and I don’t want to order a piece and find out that I owe $150 or some such extra. (That’s the shipping for a different print.)

If I had Blue Dress, I’d move the two I have now to the same wall and put Blue Dress on the other wall.

Posted in Art

New Living Room

I went to my girlfriend’s up in Dallas to pick up the Art Deco bookshelf I bought while antique hunting with her. I wasn’t looking for an art deco bookshelf/curio cabinet, but I really like it. My husband isn’t thrilled because it doesn’t match the Duncan Phyfe in the rest of the room, but…

I have my great grandmother’s rocking chair in the living room, which is far more rustic than any of the other furniture in the room but which has seat cushions which partially disguise the fact. It is actually similar in color to the lighter wood in the bookcase.

Also, the chair I am sitting in is not Duncan Phyfe and is actually a much browner wood color. So, I am not as convinced it doesn’t work. Also, the wet bar in the same room is light oak.

However, since I got a new piece of furniture, I had to move/rearrange.

I eliminated the glass end table which had a plant on it. Moved my grandmother’s table there and put the plant and a big blue vase on it.

Then I turned the couch to face the fireplace. It cuts off the opening into the living room from the entry, but that actually is better, I think. It makes the living room feel like one room instead of kind of like two. It doesn’t close the room off, it just means that when you walk in the front door, you see the back of the couch. Since it is a good twenty feet in front of you, I am not too worried about that.

Since the couch is now in the middle of the room, I broke up the two chairs I had paired together with a table to try and balance the couch. It works much better this way. I don’t know why I didn’t try it before. I put my grama’s rocking chair on the side away from the bookcase, to draw some light wood over there.

Then I put the darker brown chair on the other side, with the Duncan Phyfe sofa table. It’s round and has a drawer. I like it a lot. I think my father gave it to me without my mother’s knowledge, but she doesn’t have room in her house for another single thing.

I had one book and some knick knacks on the round table. But I decided I didn’t like that look.

I took two of the pieces and retired them. (Which means I will be giving them away.) The third I moved to the top of the new bookcase. I put the key to the rounded glass doors in it. I also added two very different vases to that set, to give it some variation in height and bring the blue over to that side of the room more.

Now there are three books on the table. All of which I like to look at or read. So it’s perfect because they are right at my elbow now.

I also took the books and bowl off the coffee table. The bowl is now in the china cabinet being shown off. I retired four pieces from the china cabinet. So, I am making progress in replacing good with better.

(I told R that if I bought more furniture I would get rid of furniture and that if I bought more glass, I would get rid of glass.–The only thing is, he said if I buy another piece of furniture, he’s going to buy a TV. But I found a Duncan Phyfe dresser that I would love to have. And it would only take a couple of months of saving my allowance to get it. And I could trade the dresser in our room to my son, get rid of his white painted one without handles, and have a beautiful piece I love… Drats.)

The living room looks and feels much better in this position.

In the bookcase I put… Guess? Books. I thought I would fill it up with knick knacks, but they don’t look right filling it. So I have one shelf of books. One shelf of mostly books and one shelf of some books.

On the shelf with mostly books I also have a beautiful piece of stand alone Texas Ebony which I bought today at a wood place. (Got to stay out of there if I’m not going to spend money.) I also have three rocks which my great uncle polished. One looks like bone. One is a triangular piece of green malachite, with the veins and everything.

Then on the shelf with a few books, I have a large piece of quartz which a friend gave me acting as a bookend. Then on the other side I have a spalt bowl, beautiful light wood with black inside that looks like a map outline, and a black handcarved bear which belonged to my grandfather. It sets off the light spalt bowl perfectly.

The living room is much better now. I need to vaccuum. I don’t like the coffee table still. And my stereo doesn’t really match the decor. Also, I need to clean off my desk. But I like the room much more now and it seems much more user friendly. (Me being the user probably has something to do with that.