Friday, July 20, 2012

California to France and Home Again

I am feeling a bit guilty for not updating my blog since I returned home from France. As we all know life has a way of redirecting our time, energy and talents. I am no different.

To start off my husband decided to do a complete kitchen remodel while I was in France. We spent two months making plans. He planned to knock out two walls, move a door, remove two windows... We selected tile for the floors and back splash, counter tops, cabinets, lighting...  he also decided it would be a good time to replace the carpet in the entire house!!! I spent two weeks prior to my trip packing the house.

On June 19th I was off to Paris. I was so excited to spend four days in Paris doing nothing but sketching, eating fine food, sightseeing, relaxing... A girl friend and I had a lovely apartment in the Montmartre region. We  covered a lot of ground in just a few short days. The summer days are long and it doesn't get dark until 10:30 at night. I sketched  during the day and wrote in my travel journal at night. I hope to share these sketches soon.
On Saturday the 23rd it was time to pack-up and catch a flight to the South of France. I spent the next two weeks with a group of people from the U.S. I was the instructor for a watercolor workshop. Every day we packed up our supplies and head out to sketch and paint. The quantity and quality of work the participants did was great! I worked hard too. I was up before 5:30 a.m. and rarely shut my eyes before midnight. During the day my attention was on my students so I had to use the evening to finish my pieces. I hope to share these sketches with you soon.
I returned home from France on July 7th. This is when life got complicated. When my husband picked me up at the airport I noticed his left hand. In his haste to corner one of our cats (the day the carpet was installed) he was bit. His hand instantly swelled and the doctor put him on a antibiotic. It was two days later and I could tell it wasn't working. The next morning he went to urgent care and they put him on a I.V. with a very strong antibiotic. For four days he was hooked up to the I.V. The good news is his hand is looking normal again.

While in France I was blessed with my first granddaughter. Her name is Nevaeh. She is 7 pounds, 13 ounces. I was torn with the news...excited at her arrival but sad I wasn't there to greet her. A short time after I arrived home I got a chance to know her a lot better. She has a 13 month old brother named Joshua. Early one morning I received a call from my son Daniel. Joshua had been in the emergency room since 3:00 a.m. He was being transported to another hospital by ambulance. Little Nevaeh now needed me to care for her. Daniel and Heidi rotated shifts staying with Joshua day and night so he would never be alone. They did a great job! The best news of all is Joshua was released from the hospital. It was a virus that made him so ill. He is gonna be okay!!!
Now back to the kitchen....it is almost finished. It has been 6 weeks since demolition and they are making quick work of it. The guys are downstairs working in the kitchen and it wont be long before I can do dishes in the sink again (instead of the bath tub). The good news is the kitchen is BEAUTIFUL!

I am still unpacking boxes and I imagine this will go on for a while. But my family is safe and sound, I had a wonderful adventure in France and I will soon be back in my studio happily painting away.

Happy Painting!
Brenda

23 comments:

  1. Talk about stress! Glad to hear you and yours have survived so well!

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  2. My goodness...I'm worn out just reading your post...glad to hear all the kids are safe and sound and that husband is recovering from the cat bite...Yikes. This must have seemed like an avalanche when you got home.

    We remodeled (gutted) our kitchen some 15 years ago, one of the most stressful things I've ever done...nearly ended up in divorce court. We were not able to use the kitchen for nearly 5 weeks...never again. This place can fall down around me. I will not remodel anything.

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    1. Joan, I was warned about the stress factor of a remodel...they were right! I see a different side of my husband each time we do work on this old house (1904). I'm sure an unflattering side of me comes out, too. I am eager to return to my regular life again.

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  3. Wow, Brenda, such drama,

    So glad that life is returning to normal and can't wait to see what you've done while you've been gone.

    Be well,

    xoxo

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  4. So happy to hear that Joshua has been released from hospital. I didn't mention earlier, while he was so sick, but my goodness! what a handsome boy he is. And congratulations to all on little Nevaeh. So, I'd say you have earned some substantial down time. Even so, I can't wait to see your sketches from your trip. So glad you are all well now and that the kitchen will be gorgeous! Best to you and yours. Jay

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    1. Thanks...I think he is a cutie, too!
      I am eager to have a little undisturbed time for creativity...it might be a little while yet :/

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  5. Brenda,
    I am so glad all is well with your family now, seems like you made it home at the right time. I can't wait to see your sketches and pictures of the new baby! See you soon, Karla

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    1. Karla, I sometimes think the family waits until I get home to fall apart. Just glad I was here when I was needed most. I am soooo ready for the kitchen remodel to be finished. I want my house back to myself.
      See you soon!

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  6. Wow, what a saga. Just wonderful news little Joshua is out of the hospital, and you have a new grandbaby! Looking forward to seeing artwork when you have a chance.

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  7. Never a dull moment! I'm glad your family members are safe and well. Your kitchen sounds lovely and I can't wait to see your latest sketches. Also: Congrats on your new granddaughter!

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  8. OH Brenda! I've been checking every few days for your France update and WOW...when I read everything that has been going on...you are totally forgiven for not posting for awhile. MY gosh. Everyone is waiting to see your sketches from France whenever you are ready to share. Check out my blog sometime (like you have ANY free time to see what I am doing with my watercolors right now. You will laugh. http://ginnystiles.blogspot.com and take it easy and enjoy that new kitchen.

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    1. Thanks, Ginny! I'm looking forward to sharing.

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  9. Brenda,
    Certainly am glad that everything is on the upswing now. Looking forward to seeing all your sketches of France and, of course, seeing you in August. Can't wait for the Illustrated Journal. Kay

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    1. Yes, I am looking forward to the workshop, too!

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  10. Brenda, I can't wait to see & read more about your trip! What a homecoming you had. I'm glad things are calm now...~Rita

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  11. Oh Brenda! Your July has just been one thing after another. The stress of the remodeling, huz's hand and Joshua's illness balanced by being blessed with Nevaeh. Congratulations!

    The images of France will wait. I hope you're able to take a few minutes of each day to recharge!

    And... thanks for my "artistic license"... it arrived in the mail yesterday. My husband was suitably impressed... I put one of those ID badge clips on it and hung on my inspiration wall. I may wear it to work one day and see who notices.

    Dana

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  12. Dana, thanks for your sweet and encouraging note. July has been a month not to forget. Many milestones and a huge one I haven't mentioned yet! Congratulations on earning your artistic license...your husband is a proud guy!
    Happy sketching!

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  13. I've been eagerly awaiting a blog update about your trip to France. These past weeks must have been strenuous for you. But I'm glad you and your family are well. Congratulations on your granddaughter. Neveah is a beautiful name! Enjoy your special time together.

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    1. Hi Juliana! You always say the kindest things. Life is less hectic for sure...we have a few obstacles yet. Please keep my newest grand child Nevaeh in your prayers. We hope to have her seen by two specialists soon =(
      Hugs!

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  14. Brenda i just took a trip through the artist journal and am wanting to get back to sketching soon. I read your blog and sorry to hear about Mike and the cat, hope all is well by now. Your grandaughter will be in my prayers and hope there is nothing to seriously wrong. Take care and hope to see you soon, maybe on a distant Thursday.

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    1. Thanks for your concern and prayers, Julie.

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  15. Congratulations on the birth! You will have stories to tell her when and a beautiful watercolor sketchbook to share with her. Welcome back

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