Friday, August 30, 2013

Help!! Who are these artists?? Does anyone recognize them?

I am trying to help my ex-husband who lives in Utah, find out about the artists who painted the works of art you see here. He believes that these works are good enough quality that they may have some value. But, only one is someone we have been able to find and even that one has brought up a question in my mind.

If any of you has studied fine art or collects fine art and knows anything about contemporary fine artists, I sure would appreciate a helping hand. Let me go through these one by one to explain them.

 The first one is the only image I have of the painting. The signature simply says "GARO". It appears to be a landscape. There are apparently multiple artists named Garo, but I've only eliminated one of them. He is Japanese and his artistic styling is completely different.

Brunatti Gallery Registry

Brunatti Oil Painting - Looks like Italy coast
 Next is Brunatti. I love this one. Personally, I believe that this was done by a woman who passed just a year ago at the age of 101. She was a devout Catholic whose parents came from Italy. She lived all her life in Utah. The woman I think painted this was an accomplished accordion player, the first professional female accordion player in the West. But, she was also an accomplished oil painter and did display her works in various galleries. So far, none have responded to my inquiries, so I still don't know if this is her or not. The gallery inventory is still on the back and is pictured here.
Nelson signature

Nelson Ranch landscape

Second Nelson Ranch landscape
Next is an artist named Nelson. I believe that this is a man who is known in the Nevada gallery scene as a western landscape artist. But, as before, no one can confirm that these are his paintings or that this is his signature. Both landscapes of ranches are his.

Sullivan Watercolor - signature bottom right
Then there is a watercolor signed by N. Sullivan. I have found more than one N. Sullivan and one of them has a similar signature, but this one is all capital letters and that one only has the first letter capitalized. That is another one without response to my inquiries.

Raymond Naha Acrylic on Board

Raymond Naha painting Gallery Registry
Finally, there is my other favorite done by Raymond Naha. Now, we can easily find information on this artist. My ex was told that this was done by the Raymond Naha, a Hopi painter, who died in 1974. But, you'll notice on the gallery inventory, the date is 10-01. That's quite a few years after his death, but it isn't impossible since galleries in New Mexico still do show his work. However, he also has a son named Ray Naha who also does painting of acrylic on board, like this one, even though he primarily carves intricate Kachinas. Is this the deceased Naha's work or the son? Their signatures are very much alike, but to me, this signature looks more like Junior than Senior.

I would love it if someone could identify any of these artists definitively. Yeah - maybe my odds are long that someone here can do that, but we all have different kinds of hobbies and there could very well be an expert on contemporary American artists here on Blogger. So does anyone here recognize any of these artists? Do you know someone who might that you could share this with?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My daughter had a root canal done yesterday

My daughter has been on the miserable side lately. You know the kind of mood I mean - where no matter how you try to say anything to the person, they snap at you for daring to interrupt their life cycle. I knew she'd been having cramps and I knew she's stressed about finances, but I didn't know she had a toothache so bad that the dentist said she'd need a root canal. 

She finally admitted having a toothache Monday. She asked if my friend could print her insurance forms because she forgot hers at work and had a dentist appointment Tuesday before work. I don't think she'd have told me if she hadn't forgotten the forms, to be honest. She holds so much inside herself.

So, yesterday morning was her appointment and her dentist told her she had an infected tooth AND jaw, needed a root canal and crowns on several teeth. She then told me they were going to do the root canal that afternoon. HUH? Dentists don't like to work on teeth while they are still infected. I believe it's because they don't want to risk spreading the infection, but I'm not sure. Well, she managed to convince them to do the root canal later that day instead of making her wait several days. She picked up her antibiotics and began taking them, but she was at the dentist right now and, I'm sure, in the chair being prepped when I began writing this yesterday.

When I needed a root canal, it was the most painful thing I'd ever experienced. Nothing I took numbed the pain. But, there was no infection and I wasn't about to wait to have the root canal done as badly as it hurt. I told the dentist to just pull the tooth. LOL Pain gone!!! I loved it. But, I do need to get to the dentist as soon as I am insured again because all the teeth that had cavities for years are literally falling apart on me and the silver fillings are coming out one by one. Luckily, I have little to no pain, but I did have a couple of abscesses earlier this year. I'd like to avoid that. 

Still, as much pain as the dying tooth and the abscess were, I can't imagine what kind of pain my daughter's been in for the length of time it takes to infect her jaw, too. It does explain why she hasn't been eating much lately except ice pops and Cup-o-noodles. She never gives in to pain. I thought she had a migraine when all this time it was probably her dental infection. And, SHE has insurance! Plus, she's not afraid of seeing a dentist like her mother, so I'm surprised that it got as bad as it did.

So, by the time she got home last night, she was feeling much better than she had been. Her mood was so much better because of it. That was definitely a good thing for both of us!

This was previously published on as it was happening.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Z is for Zero Tolerance

There is a policy that has become very popular throughout the United States in the past 10 - 20 years or so and that is the Zero Tolerance policy. Because of the fears of gun violence, drugs and sexual misconduct, schools and other organizations have instituted a zero tolerance policies aimed at curtailing the cultures of drugs, violence and sexual harassment. Unfortunately, those in charge of enforcing these policies have tended to go above and beyond the original scope intended. Take, for instance, the case of the child who was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade while playing heroes and villains. It didn't matter that the weapon didn't exist. It didn't matter that the villains didn't exist. All that mattered was that this 7-yr-old had PRETENDED to have a weapon and put it to use. (

Gone are the days when kids could play "cowboys and Indians", "cops and robbers" or "war". We lament the advent of video games which eliminate the need for children to develop their imagination and, at the same time, punish overly severely those who DO use their imagination. Imaginary play is an important part of a child's formative years. Punishing them with policies that will forever mar their school records is beyond fair and reasonable. It's cruel and abusive.

How about being suspending for hugging a friend? Yes, it did happen. The school actually has a no-hugging policy in place. Apparently, encouraging students to avoid all displays of affection is considered sound policy. I'm not talking about locking lips and engaging in what amounts to foreplay. I'm talking about hugging a friend for any number of reasons or even holding hands!! and show how extreme some of these policies have become.

When I was in school, girls regularly carried Midol in their purses. It came with the territory of female adolescence. We didn't always have time to go to the nurse between classes. Our parents knew and the meds are legal and over-the-counter, not prescription or controlled substances. Today, that would become a crime, punishable by either suspension or expulsion, possibly even to having the police contacted. We have criminalized our youth for everything imaginable - and apparently, EVERYTHING IS IMAGINED!!! I guess you can't even be a Boy Scout these days without fearing that your scout knife will get you arrested.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Y is for Yearbooks

I used to have yearbooks from my three years in high school (I'll explain that later) and one of my two years in Venezuela. I had them clear on up until I decided it was time to move back to New Jersey because of my mother's illness. So, I packed everything I could fit into my 4-passenger Subaru hatchback as well as two kids, two cats and a roof rack full of items. My yearbooks were on the roof.

We left Arizona on February 5 after selling as many things as I possibly could and waiting for the mail to arrive so I would have money and food stamps allowing us to eat and put gas in the car. I had mapped out our journey, including mileage and cost of gas, so I had a reasonably good idea of how much money I'd need to drive from Sierra Vista, AZ, to Barnsboro, NJ. I had just missed a major snowstorm back home, so I was pretty sure that snow wouldn't be a problem when I got out of the sunbelt.

I hit I-10 in Benson, AZ, and drove East into New Mexico. After passing El Paso, I began following I-20 which took me past Pecos, Abilene and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. Somewhere along the highway southwest of Pecos, we heard a loud tearing noise and I saw and heard things hitting the back of the car. I had no idea what had happened, but I pulled over on this long lonely stretch of road to assess the situation. That's when I discovered that a large section of the tarp that I had purchased in Arizona had disintegrated and the rope that I had tied it down with was in pieces. In fact, the entire tarp looked more like ribbons of plastic flapping and blowing in the wind. My daughter's bike was still there as was her desk, but there was one section on the right rear that was mysteriously empty of belongings.

While I was trying to determine just what we had lost, a truck with Texas plates pulled over behind us and a weathered Texas gentleman stepped out to greet us. He said, "Howdy ma'am. Did youall (one word, yet not y'all) lose a set of speakers?" I just stared at him repeating, "Speakers? Speakers. Speakers. GASP!! My stereo!!!" He then told me how far back down the road I needed to go to retrieve them. I knew there was more than just that stereo, but hoped I'd see the other things when I got there. I didn't. There on the side of the road was my relatively intact quasi-boombox with detachable speakers, detached by now, but with control buttons missing. They, along with everything else that should have been in that corner, were nowhere to be seen. I still had too far to go to be doing a scavenger hunt in the desert, so I left my stereo, like a decaying carcass, along side the road and continued on to go into Pecos to purchase another tarp and sturdier rope. Fortunately, the next exit offered us both a Walmart and a McDonald's. I bought the tarp, rope, and collars and leashes for the cats. We then took a one time break to avail ourselves of the hot food offered by McDonald's since we'd been eating out of cans with pop-tops and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I figured we needed a little "comfort food" while I repaired the damages.

At any rate, to shorten this long story of our little band of gypsies (that's what a friend called us) traversing the continent with limited funds while on our adventure, we managed to pull into my parents' driveway at 12:05AM on February 11 after staying with friends in Louisville, KY, for a leisurely three days. It wasn't until we were off-loading everything that I realized that I had lost every one of my yearbooks in the Texas desert. All those memories, the signatures and good wishes of friends, it was all gone. 

It was all brought to mind this week when my lifelong friend lost her baby sister to cancer. We talked on the phone quite a bit and she mentioned having all of her yearbooks right near her. That's when I asked her if she could scan my Senior picture. I've shared it here. The other picture is of my Sophomore homeroom and I'm in the front row, second from the left. That one I found on a fellow schoolmate's Facebook page.

I can't help but wonder if someone in Texas ever found my yearbooks and if they enjoyed looking through them. It'd be great if they were found and someone actually sent them to my high school for

safekeeping. But, that's not likely. My name was in them and I have classmates who work for the school board and school. I would have heard by now. Oh well.

Still, I've enjoyed going over my little adventure here with you. I might not want to do it again, but I actually did enjoy traveling on a wing and a prayer like that. I actually had enough money that when we reached Memphis, we were able to stay in a motel. We lived it up - we bought TV dinners and used the microwave to have hot meals that night. LOL It actually was fun. We saw a lot of country on that trip.

I just realized that I didn't explain about three years of high school. When I started 7th grade, we were on split sessions. The high school went in the morning until noon and the junior high came in at noon and stayed until 5 - later if you had extra-curriculars. We had outgrown the school they'd built just seven years earlier. A junior high was built and we moved into it January 1969. The ninth grade was one of the grades in the junior high, so we didn't have a yearbook for my first year of high school.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

X is eXtremely Hard to Write About

Other than Xanthan gum, there is no food that I'm aware of that starts with an X. I mean, I could write about that, but I wrote about that during the 2010 A-Z Challenge. 

I could write about Xylophones or Xrays, too, but really, do you want to know any of that? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Nothing X-rated is appropriate for my blog (nor would I be comfortable if it were), so there goes another X topic down the drain. It's time for a bit of creativity, I guess.

I'm sure there are eXcellent topics out there that fit this letter of the alphabet, but eXactly what they are is a mystery to me. I don't eXcel in knowing words that begin with X. I'm sure I could eXamine a dictionary to gain some knowledge of other X words, but it's not likely I'll ever really use the vast majority of the ones that eXist.

Therefore, I will stand on my creativity and eXit with my head held high and my blog challenge remaining without blemish. I hope your eXperience here has been satisfactory and that my eXplanation is to your liking.

This post was previously published on my foodie blog as well as on Bubblews.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

W is for Wake up Call Today and a Wake Tomorrow

A different kind of wake up call
My wake up call this morning wasn't quite like the one depicted in the photo (thank you Wikimedia Commons!), but it sure felt that way. My friend TG decided that we should go to breakfast and then drive to the college so I would know where to take his notebook on Monday because he's going to AZ tomorrow for a few days and it has to be turned in. It is the final assignment of his internship for the Paralegal program.

I was still asleep when he called at about 8:40, and considering he and I had been talking on the phone until after 3AM, I was pretty tired. He said he'd be over as soon as he got dressed. Ugh. It takes me longer than that to wake up, but I managed to pull myself together and be all ready except for my glasses by the time he got here. That doesn't mean I was actually fully awake, though.

We went to Metro Diner for breakfast. He had eggs benedict with a side of scrapple and I had eggs with scrapple and grits and a side of well-done bacon. We split the bacon. He got potatoes. I can't eat potatoes much any more, so the grits were perfect. I'm glad they're an option because I feel so much better after eating them than I do when I eat potatoes.

Then we drove to the college so he could show me where I had to go on Monday (he's leaving me his car) and then we went shopping at Target. They actually had some really nice tops my size that I liked, but even on clearance, they were $18! So, they stayed on the rack. :-( They didn't have the brand of bra I wear, so I wasn't able to buy any of those, either, although I do need to buy some somewhere.

I forgot that they had a Starbucks in the front of the store, so when he was checking out, I went there and ordered myself a trenta Orange Spice Iced coffee. It really is very good! I'll be doing that again soon.

Then we stopped at ShopRite on the way home because he wanted to buy some orange juice and now we're back at my house. He's napping (it's usually me still asleep on the couch at this time of day) and I'm taking advantage of the silence.

When he finally wakes up, we have to finish (yes, we - he dictates, I type) the summary for his Internship Notebook so that he can print it out and put it together. I'll be taking him to the airport in the morning for his 7AM flight and that's when he'll give it to me. Then at 11AM, I have a funeral memorial service to attend for my friend-since-diapers' baby sister who passed this Monday from metastatic lymph cancer that spread to her brain. 

I feel so bad, yet she refused treatment when they discovered it. We don't know why. She never even told her sister, so when she came to see her before she passed, she was shocked to see that she was literally just skin and bones and was blind and mostly deaf. She just kept it all to herself, so it was really hard for my friend to process. When the call came that it was almost time, they left home for the six hour drive to come up, but didn't make it on time. Her brother-in-law kept her sister's body in the bed until she got there because they weren't going to have a viewing. I never had any brothers or sisters, so I'm not sure how I would have handled it - but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done what she did when she got to her sister's room. She told me she grabbed her sister's leg, shook it and told her to wake up! But, then just stood next to her and talked to her. I have no idea what she said, but I'm sure it was all about memories and such. Each of us has our own way of dealing.

Anyway, that's my W topic for the AtoZChallenge. It kind of thrust itself upon me

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This was previously published on Bubblews.

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Friday, August 2, 2013

V is for Variation and Vegetables

I decided to make some Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, but I didn't want just what I'd get from the box. I also was going to use more than a pound of hamburger, so I grabbed a box of Larry the Cable Guy's Bacon Mac-n-Cheese to expand the quantity as well as a can of corn and a can of tomatoes with mild green chiles. Of course, the box of mac-n-cheese had "liquid" cheese in it instead of powdered like the Helper, so I had to change things a bit in how I put it together. I also increased the quantity of water the Helper called for because I was going to be adding more uncooked macaronis to the pan.

I browned the meat and added the cup of hot water plus the pasta. Then I added the two cups of milk plus the cheese seasoning mix. Realizing I'd need more water to cook more pasta, I added another almost two cups of water. In hindsight, maybe half of that should have been milk for more flavor. But it still turned out OK. When the pasta was all cooked, I added the can of tomatoes with mild green chiles (think Rotel mild) and a can of corn that I had drained. I stirred it all together and then opened the package of "liquid" cheese from the second box into the mixture and stirred it until that had melted into everything. (If you've seen Cheez Whiz, you know what consistency I'm talking about.) I let it simmer on the very lowest flame I could (and the pasta STILL stuck to the pan!) and finally turned it off and served myself a bowl. I texted my daughter to come eat, too. I had made so much.

We have often added vegetables to our Hamburger Helper. It saves on having multiple pans that

need to be washed afterwards. Our favorite veggies to add are: tomatoes, corn and green beans. I wouldn't mind adding limas, but Deb's not a fan. Broccoli is also a possibility, but I'd probably have to partially cook that before adding it because HH is a quick meal and broccoli isn't quite as quick to cook.

By the way, despite my love of bacon, this particular kind of thing with added "smokey bacon flavor" is NOT improved by the addition. I'm glad I opted to add other items to the combination. 

But, that's where my variation and vegetables come from for this A to Z Challenge!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

U is for Ungrateful

I got this idea from another Bubblewer. I needed to write my "U" and the one I wrote yesterday vanished because of site maintenance. So, I decided the comment I left her on her post could also be my article.

I've been accused of being ungrateful. I'm sure at times it was true - I'm human and I make plenty of mistakes. But, one person who frequently makes it a point to claim that I am ungrateful is someone for whom I am the MOST grateful to have in my life. But, sometimes, he doesn't think he gets the recognition he thinks he deserves. I know that part of it is that he has developed some insecurities, so he needs constant stroking to feel legitimized, But other times, it's just plain annoying. I really hate having to quantify my actions in order to prove gratitude. Like today, he called and asked me if I wanted anything from the store. I sent him a text with the few things that were on sale that I wanted and one thing that I needed. He brought them over and I do appreciate it since I don't have a car. But, I had told him I needed sandwich bags. He got me snack bags. I can't use them at all. They're way too small. But, I hated to bring it up to him because he views that as not being grateful since he went out of his way. First of all, he offered. I didn't ask. Secondly, he didn't get what I needed. He got something totally different that I can't use because they're too small. But, because I point that out, I'm not sufficiently grateful. I don't know how to even break even with thinking like that. It isn't that I don't appreciate the effort, but when I can't use the result, I'm stuck.

Fortunately, I have the receipt and as long as I get a ride to the store, I can exchange these for the size I need.

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