First swim of the season

First swim of the season

Like a little old lady, the dog only went in up to her knees.

The Easter pineapple

On Easter Sunday, I brought my parents a pineapple.

Normally, I would have brought them flowers on Easter. A nice lily, maybe some tulips, something with a bulb that they could plant in their yard. But as I mentioned yesterday, I'm trying not to spend money on non-essentials this month. I decided that food is definitely an essential, so I went grocery shopping on Saturday, and I bought this pineapple. It has leaves and it smells nice. So I brought it to my folks' house, along with a Peanuts Easter card that I bought for them when I was in high school but, for some reason, never gave to them. The envelope was a little tattered, but other than that it was perfectly fine.

Damn, that Snoopy still makes me laugh.

Anyway, I thought that we might eat the pineapple. Silly me. Instead it got pressed into service as the subject of a future painting. Inspired by its lopsided shape, my mom grabbed a small table and a tablecloth and dragged everything out onto the porch, where she started snapping pictures of it.

Photographing the Easter pineapple Portrait of the artist arranging pears

Next thing you know she's got some pears (she's been doing some sweet little still lifes of pears lately) and arranging them on the plate, too. The dog, though you can't see her in these photos, watched with interest, probably hoping some of the food would roll off the table and land on the porch floor. My dad watched with something closer to bemusement.

Portrait of the artist contemplating a still life

He looked at the dog and shook his head. "Poor Sadie," he said. "Remember when they used to take pictures of you?"

A Little Birdie Told Me

Last weekend I bought a painting from artist Julie Kramer (detail at left, see the full image here) at the 2007 Melrose Art Festival. It's a really beautiful portrait of a woman with an interesting expression on her face and a little bird on her shoulder. The pictures don't really do it justice.

Looking at it makes me think of stories.

I couldn't really afford the painting, even though it is small, even though it is unframed, even though I paid a very modest and fair price, but I decided that, to make up for the splurge, I wouldn't spend any money for the rest of the month. I would try not to spend a penny, not even on groceries.

Naturally I ran out of toilet paper the next day. And milk doesn't last a month, so I'll have to buy milk. But other than milk and toilet paper, I'm on a spending diet. We'll see how that goes once my on-hand chocolate supply is depleted.

Speaking of diets, I was looking for some information online about this year's show, but instead found some pictures from last year's show. I am in one of them, and I actually didn't recognize myself. Who the hell is that fat girl in that picture? Oh, shit. It's me.

But next week at Weight Watchers I expect to hit a big goal--I'll have lost one pound for every year I've been alive. And I'm less than 10 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight -- a number I last saw, oh, about 10 years ago.

Sometimes it's worthwhile to sacrifice short-term for something you really want.

Chicken and rice again?

Yet another pet food recall in the news today, this time involving dog treats from Del Monte. Having trouble keeping up with all the frightening news? Check the FDA's list of pet food recall notices.

I'm seriously considering cooking the dog's meals. Apparently, I'm not alone.

For Betty: A list of dog food cookbooks.