Plaza Motel

Thursday, March 4, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
Plaza Motel

PLAZA MOTEL

4410 14th Street, West
On U.S. Hwy. 41 between Bradenton and
Sarasota at Cortez Plaza and DeSoto Mall
Bradenton, Florida 33507
Modern Air-Conditioned Efficiencies and Over-nights. Restaurants, Coffee Shop and Cafeteria in Shopping Centers.
Phone (813) 755-9032

International Graphics Inc, Hollywood Florida
Coml. Photography, 2809 Auburn Ave., Tampa 33614

This lovely card is not used, but someone has written 1976 on the back. I can smell this place in my mind…air conditioning and cigarettes. Get your ice from the ice machine and an RC Cola. Pop in to the coffee shop for breakfast.

Unfortunately, it’s long gone. Shame.

Painting #33

Monday, March 1, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
painting #33

A not-great study in gouache is painting #33. It needs more work. I need more work. I haven’t been painting much lately. February was hard and now we move into March. What will it hold? I am doing some practicing of the recorder. I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix. I think maybe that’s some of the trouble. I’m quite tired mentally at the end of the day, and doing much more than sitting passively on the couch, crocheting and watching Netflix, is more than I can handle. I had all of these thoughts and ideas on prepping for the Academy Awards, and while I have watched a lot of films, I’ve also spent a fair bit of time watching British crime mysteries. And just sitting and staring into space. Not great. Not great all around.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 13, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
valentines day

Oh, but doesn’t this card have it all? Cherubs, a bird, stars and moon, forget-me-nots, embossing and gilding. Every delightful trope of love from the 1910s or so. This card was not sent, but there is some lovely fountain pen calligraphy on the back. I’d like to think it was hand-delivered. This card is from a collection gifted to me by a friend.

I’ve always preferred Groundhog Day instead of Valentine’s. It’s the halfway point between the solstice and the equinox. If you are lucky enough to have true love, which I am, it should be celebrated every day…not just on February 14. And if you are not lucky enough to have true love, I doubt you need a reminder of it.

I’ll leave you with a favorite line of mine as a Valentine’s Day gift suggestion, no matter your love status:

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

― Ogden Nash

Too Cold

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
too cold

This is from Accuweather’s prediction center. Quite frankly, it’s too cold and I’m hating it. Average temperatures this week should be climbing, up to 35 for the daily high and 17 for the daily low. Next week should be up to 38/19. Honestly, I’d be fine with 32 for the high. That’s still freezing. We’d still have potential for snow and the snow on the ground wouldn’t melt. It’s still winter. We went out for a walk on Sunday (11 degrees).

too cold snowy walk

There was a decent wind, so it was cold on the face. The snow made it enough of an effort to warm up the rest of the body. It was a pretty day for sure. We are at 39 days now until the official start of spring. But normal temperatures still seem like a long way off.

too cold but sunshine

Work has been a stream of Zoom interviews for the front desk position, as Front Desk Sara is leaving the state to go home to take care of her family. Yesterday was her one year anniversary at work. It seems one year is about all we can expect for a front desk staff member. We also need about three kennel techs as well. It’s a hard time to be hiring for sure.

Mom, Aunt Suzie and Gail have all gotten the vaccine. COVID variants are showing up all over. Michigan opened indoor dining again. I can’t imagine it feeling safe enough to where I’d want to dine indoors. Last night I dreamed everyone around me had the virus and I was trying to get away from them all.

cedar waxwing

Over the weekend we had a large flock of robins and cedar waxwings, along with a couple eastern bluebirds, on the crabapple tree at home. Lovely creatures, I snapped a few photos. I’m sure they are regretting their early return. It is simply too cold.

Painting #32 – Twin Peaks Inspired

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 0 No tags Permalink

Painting #32 is a Twin Peaks inspired piece in gouache. As you know, Twin Peaks Day is February 24th. Hope you plan on celebrating with a piece of cherry pie and a cup of black coffee. You know I will be.

I’m not sure about this piece. Some of it is not bad. Other areas could use some work. It’s my first nocturne, which was a challenge. Maybe acrylic would have been better? I don’t know. My next piece is sketched out and is a sci-fi theme. I’ll probably do it in acrylic. I think the scale is a bit wrong already on the drawing, but I’ll adjust it as I go. It’s never about how the pieces turn out really. It’s about how I feel when I’m painting, which is pretty awesome.

I’ve been working on crocheting a baby blanket and have been watching a ton of movies in preparation for the Oscar nominations. The Golden Globe nominations came out today and honestly they sucked. Really nothing that I’ve watched was nominated, and believe me I’ve been watching a wide range of movies. Have you seen anything you’ve enjoyed lately?

Next week is supposed to be hella cold. The next two weeks will be well below average temperatures, maybe 20 degrees below normal. We’re supposed to get a bit of a snowstorm the end of this week as well. Things are somewhat stressful at work as we are trying to hire three positions. I predict I will have some Saturdays in my future to work.

Stowaway Motel

Monday, January 25, 2021 0 No tags Permalink

The New Stowaway Motel
“On the World’s Most Famous Beach”
326 North Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, Florida
Phone CLinton 2-6725
Ultra Modern Rooms and Efficiencies, all with Air Conditioning – Steam Heat – 21″ T.V. – Tile Baths, Tubs and Showers. Restaurants and Shopping Centers nearby. 1/2 Block to Boardwalk and Amusement Area.

Pub. by O’Brien Color Studios, Daytona Beach, Florida
Made by Dexter, West Nyack, N.Y.
17711-B

This lovely card was mailed using a six cent stamp from Daytona Beach on April 25, 1970. It was sent to Mr & Mrs Paul Serbak, 1048 Ardmore Manor Drive, Pittsburgh PA, 15221. This house, right here, from Google Street View:

The card reads:

Hi Ann & Paul
We are at Daytona Beach now everything is going along fine. This is a very nice place. We are staying along the area. Bye Bye for this time
Ella & Joe

Joe, or Joseph Cotyk, was Ann Serbak’s brother. Paul Serbak passed away in 1978, and Ann in 1989. Joe Cotyk passed away in 1988 and Ella in 2007.

The Stowaway itself was liquidated in 1986, with an assessed value of $320,000. It has since become another hideous condo.

Painting #31 and Weather Blues

painting #31

Painting #31 is an acrylic study of a photo I took some time back. It could use a little more work, but I will likely leave it as is. I’m doing an online class on painting nocturnes now, which is interesting, but I’m having some trouble finding reference photos I like. Am I improving? Who knows. But the time spent painting is time not spent fretting about stressful or unhappy things. It’s impossible to paint and mentally deal with anything else other than paint, brush, and paper. I’ll take it.

The weather is endless gray days and snow. We’ll have a few minutes of sun here and there, and thankfully it’s not been bitterly cold, but I’m feeling the strain just the same. It’s harder to get out of bed and damn near impossible to get off the couch. I did read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which is the first book I’ve been able to finish in some time. Like a year. I don’t know if it’s just my mood or if my new glasses are helping my eyestrain some. I know it’s only 61 days until the official start of spring and we’ll probably have a February thaw and the end of winter will happen. I’m trying to plan on bright things, like a surprise Twin Peaks Day package I’m sending out and Valentine’s gifts for the staff members. Still, it’s a struggle. It’s hard to write letters when I don’t have much to say. It’s hard to take photos when everything is the same color of gray all the time.

Pines Motel – Mackinaw City

Thursday, January 14, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
Pines Motel Mackinaw City

When in our Bridge Country,
stop at
THE PINES MOTEL INC.
Located on the Straits of Mackinac,
Mackinaw City, Michigan
A Fine Modern Motel with wall-to-wall carpeting, ceramic tiled showers, electric heat and free Television. Ferry Service to Mackinac Island from the premises. Restaurants nearby. A Deposit will hold your reservation.
Bill & Donna Battige
Box 736 Ph. 1-616-436-8251
811 So. Huron Ave.
Mackinaw City, Mich. 49701

Made by Dexter Press Inc
Pub. for L.H. Tuttle, Cheboygan, Michigan 49721

This beautiful card, featuring the AAA logo, is unsent. The motel is gone, having long been replaced by a parking lot. Wilbur “Bill” Battige passed away in 1997 and Donna in 1999. The Pines, with its 15 units, was listed for sale the summer of 1974. I would guess this postcard predates that time.

Painting #30 – Windsor Riverwalk

Thursday, January 14, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
painting #30

Painting #30, and the final painting of the Class101 online course. It’s a gouache study of the Windsor Riverwalk, though it was not painted from a reference but instead my imagination. It might have turned out better if I had painted what I actually saw in my mind’s eye and remembered instead of a stylized view of it. Maybe it would have more feeling and would be less flat? Though there are still things not right with this painting, I have learned some during the process. The Class101 instructor gave virtually no feedback; most of the videos were not really instructions, but videos of her painting. Not a lot of tips or helpful information, aside from setting up a color chart with all of your paint colors so you can see in advance what colors will work best for your image. Honestly, I am learning more by posting on the Facebook and Reddit painting groups I below to and asking for advice on my paintings. I’ve started up another class, this one on nocturnes, and the instructor is providing such good advice I’m actually taking notes.

It’s been a rather mild winter so far, most days in the low 30s for highs. We’ve had a few days now with partial sunshine, which helps the old mood for sure. And now we’re half way through January, with only 64 days until the spring equinox. The world may well be falling apart – Trump was impeached for the second time yesterday and COVID numbers are high, high, high – but the inevitable march towards spring continues. I’ve repotted my office plants, which I’m sure was a huge shock to them, and I’ve ordered seeds for the vegetable garden as they are predicting significant delays again with gardening supplies. Who knows what spring or summer will look like? People over 65 in Calhoun County can sign up to get the vaccine, but there’s a very long wait list.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Friday, January 8, 2021 0 No tags Permalink

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and actually I don’t feel fine. What a week it has been. Everything seems unreal, and I wonder if things will ever go back to at least where people acted normal out in public. Once we’ve seen this anarchy, it may always be just under the surface if not bubbling over. I can make an analogy to the shelter world. Once a dog chooses to bite and gets the reaction it is looking for, that tool will always be available. It’s why you can’t adopt out dogs with a bite history. Did you ever expect to see insurgents storm the Capitol building? Maybe yes, if you watched them in Lansing, Michigan. And now that they know it works and they can do it whenever they want to interrupt democracy? It’s anarchy.

Between the intolerable state of US affairs and the UK COVID variant that is quickly spreading in the United States, the world feels a bit unstable. The shelter will be closed through March but what will actually take place? Will people actually take the vaccine? Will it be available, and will it be safe long-term? Are we merely in the bubble between a constant stream of pandemics now, brought on by overpopulation and climate change? What happens when everyone is evicted and there are no jobs?

In the meanwhile, I paint. I am still finishing the Class 101 online class and will be starting a nocturne painting class after that. The Class 101 was good as it got me painting things I normally wouldn’t paint and using some creativity instead of just trying to reproduce an image. But in other ways, it’s not really my style of painting either. I always do like having assignments or prompts to work on accomplishing. It gives me purpose. The above image is painting #29, twinkle lights on a balcony in gouache. And here is my helper:

I am thankful for the life we have built at home: me, Bob and Maxy. I’m thankful for my extended family. I’m thankful that I can mentally get away from the world and paint, that I have a job that for the most part I enjoy. That I am surrounded by cats. That I have friends, and Netflix. That the days are growing longer and there are 70 days until the official start of spring.