Category Archives: Getting Organized

Cape May N.J. To Rock Hall MD.

Cape May was great, which was lucky because we had to stay there several days to wait for better conditions. We were well situated in the marina, comfortable dock to get on and off, especially with Tigger and close to the showers. It was time once again to do some laundry and that was right there too. These layovers, while a bit annoying do give us time to regroup, do some chores and tour some.

The weather on land was fine the first two days. At first we ventured out on foot, stopping at The Oyster House for lunch once laundry was done. We didn’t get too far when we realized getting to town on foot wasn’t the best option. The next day we rented bikes at the marina and rode into town and down to the beach. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. It was a delight seeing all the Victorian style houses along the way.

The next day it was going to rain so that was the day to reorganize things on the boat. I thought I had anticipated the best way to store things but there were some improvements that were needed. We had moved on from the cooler of food I’d cooked ahead of time so we ditched the cooler in Mystic. It was an inexpensive one and we have a few. That freed up some space. Now I could better organize things for easier access.

The weather was clearing on Sunday so that was our window to move on. We did 87 nautical miles that day. We went through the Cape May Canal, up Delaware Bay, through the C & D canal and into Chesapeake Bay. By then we needed fuel. We went up the Sassafras River to Georgetown, Maryland. We fueled up and picked up a mooring. The folks at Georgetown Yacht Basin were great.

In the morning Tim was going to take Tigger to shore in the dingy to take care of his business. When we went to lower the dingy we realized Tim had secured it with a bike lock on a long chain. We got the key to unlock it but just couldn’t get it to unlock. We called the marina and explained our dilemma. They told us a slip to pull into and brought us bolt cutters. Problem solved.

I’d seen one report of small craft warning but other reports said it would be fine. With that we headed back down the river to the bay. It was raining, but that shouldn’t be a problem. A little ways into The Chesapeake, the waves started piling up. We went up Worton Creek to find safe harbor. We had thought about going there instead of Georgetown so I knew we could wait out the weather there. This time we anchored. By the time the weather cleared it was too late to move on so we spent the night.

The morning would be clear with waves building later in the day. We thought we’d give it a go to at least make a little headway. It was getting challenging when we got to Rock Hall. Fog, rain and waves were once again upon us. We ducked into a marina there. We never made it into town because of the rain but we would have like to, the description sounded nice. We did eat at Waterman’s Crab House next door. It was a good night and with the forecast being good for the next two days we are off again.

Getting Ready – Provisions

In two and a half weeks I’m heading west. I have signed up for a workshop with Lois Griffel, author of the book “Painting the Impressionist Landscape”. A couple of years ago I took a workshop with her when she came “back east” as they say. It had a huge impact on my work and me and feeling like I needed another does I looked at her web site to see when she would be back. As luck would have it, she would be on Cape Cod in September. But the first week in October she would be in Denver. Hmmmm, Cape Cod or the Rockies, which would I rather paint? For me, hands down, the Rockies. That’s when I started thinking of the possibilities and the problems.

The idea of taking a plane with all my painting gear and then bringing wet paintings home is a huge hurdle. Between security and hauling it all I started rethinking my plans. That’s when I decided I could drive out there. Also eliminating the need to rent a car, since we will be traveling to different places to paint. As is often the case with my thought process the idea began to grow. Maybe I could take a side trip to Wyoming. We had driven to Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons on a family trip many years ago. The thought of maybe being able to go back there was very exciting. As those thoughts grew I realized I was getting carried away. Time to reel it in and keep it simple.

I studied the map again and came up with a revised plan. Keeping in the back of my mind if I can drive to Denver this year, maybe I can head out to Wyoming next year. So, I decided to see who I could see along the way so I wouldn’t be alone my whole trip. Indeed, stopping for lunch with my family in N.J., a night with my cousin in Louisville and my sister-in-law outside St. Louis brought the whole idea into much better focus. Not the wild plan I initially came up with but an adventure nonetheless, full of great potential.

With enough time so I don’t have to rush at the last minute, I’m going to start making sure I have all the materials I’ll need both for the workshop and striking out on my own to paint before the workshop. Free shipping ends today at one art supply place so that settles it – today, art supplies get ordered, I just have to make sure I get everything I need in one shot.

Into the Mystic

"Coneflowers", 4" x 4", oil on canvas

"Coneflowers", 4" x 4", oil on canvas

With the world in turmoil, I was distracted from getting ready for the Mystic Art Show earlier in the week. It’s easy to let yourself think about things other than your work, especially when you’re your own boss. Of course you’ll have to make up the work at some point anyhow, since there’s no one else to do it so it doesn’t really pay off. But, it’s more of a state of mind and it is easy to become overwhelmed by all that’s around us. The trick is to stay focused, I can hear family members chuckling at that, my being focused, that is. And sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you to “snap out of it!”, in the nicest of terms, but you get the message.

It’s 6:30 a.m. and I have a long list of to do’s before I set out. It’s at this point I always think, I really should have a checklist. I’ve started one but I’ve never quite finished it. I never finished the course on getting organized either, that says something right there. To be honest though, I think it’s more important that I spend my time painting. I’ve gotten several completed lately, but alas not all are dry enough to bring to this show, so they’ll have to wait until Portland, ME in two weeks.

I’m also thinking ahead to next week. It’s the annual Paint Out with the Sharon Art Center, here in Peterborough. A Paint Out is when artists spend a period of time, in this case a five days (Monday – Friday) painting outside in designated areas and then gather at the end of it to offer the paintings for sale. In this case the opening will be at the Sharon Art Center on Friday evening. It called a wet paint sale with the work fresh off the easel as it were. The designated areas are all around Peterborough. I’m leaning towards painting downtown, it’s such a pretty town, but I should be focused on the Mystic show – see what I mean!

So, without further ado, it’s time to start running, so to speak. There’s no more time to waste. Into the Mystic seems to work here, between it being Mystic and all the unknowns that can happen with a show. So with a burst of excitement and an little anxiety, time to get moving.



Every morning I get my schedule through Google mail, and every morning it says “Nothing Scheduled”. Of course that isn’t true but that’s what it says. The fact that I don’t write down what I need to be doing has a lot to do with it.

It seems like it would be a perfect world if I planned my schedule, a month or even a week at a time and followed it. But it never seems to work that way. I’ll be working away at a project, say a painting, some design work or work for the Monadnock Area Artist Association and then suddenly something comes up and everything changes. Now that’s no excuse for not writing down what my plans were, as oppose to keeping that in my head, but some degree of flexibility is required. Although if I had a plan, maybe things wouldn’t sneak up on me.

Take last Friday for instance, I was planning to continue work on a web site I am designing for a client. Thursday I had developed a banner and Friday I could work on some page layouts. But then a deadline attacked me. There was a posting on Facebook by a friend about sending Christmas cards to men and women in the service. I copied it to share but was thinking in the back of my head that this same thing had come around last year and there was a problem with the address. I thought about researching further but didn’t. When another friend commented that she’d gotten letters back from doing that last year, I did the research. It turns out it was the wrong address. I re-posted the correct address but, as happened to me last year the deadline was the next day.

As is my want to do, I always have to make things more complicated than they need be, but I like to make the extra effort when I can. As with last year I wanted to make some hand painted cards. I just figure it’s something I can do to show service people they are appreciated. So instead of continuing with my design project, I painted three cards and rushed to the post office and brought them to the desk to make sure they were postmarked for December 1oth.

Now if I am ever going to reach that goal of writing down schedules and being organized, I should jump on my google calendar for next year, say, December 1 and tell myself to start painting Christmas cards  – done, scheduled December 1, 2011, Holiday Cards for Heros (; I’ll be sure and remind you too.