Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scare for a Moment

We had a scare. For a short time we thought our favorite Asian food restaurant in Topeka had closed down. It wasn't until that moment that I realized how much we loved it and would miss it. Then I thought of life without Jade Garden. Was it possible? Ah, that's just plain silly . . . or is it? We have a few good Mexican restaurants, and three descent Italian restaurants. Between Topeka and Lawrence we have some good choices, but only one really good Jade Garden. That put me into a funk. You don't know what you have until it's gone.

Then we found it wasn't true . . . and I feel great!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sketch Crawl Oct/2012

Our sketch crawl this month was at The Elms in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The group has been there many times, but I don't make it as often as I'd like and it was my first trip there. I fell in love with the stone masonry on the front porch. Wish I would have fallen in love with something in the lobby, which had a big fireplace going on this cold day.  I huddled with my warm coat on my three-legged stool and sketched away.

After the masonry I looked inside and it was part of the Kitchen. The wait staff was walking briskly through the room and gave me the eye through the window, but were nice or neutral. A couple came to say hi and see what I was doing. They seemed to like the sketch. One even asked if I needed anything to stay warm! I'm not sure exactly what my options were (a coffee? a bourbon and water? a blanket?), but I declined and thanked them anyway.

Talked to an employee who was cleaning the brass on the luggage cart. He was young and we talked about the Brasso he was using and got into its uses in guns, which I found we both had an interest in. Luckily the guests weren't needing help, because I was sure slowing up their staff. They have a nice coffee shop where I bought an espresso drink to nurse as I sketched. Then we all went to a local restaurant to grab a bite and a talk and pass around sketchbooks. A good day by any measure.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bike & Sketch

These Fall days have been great! The colors make me stare, which can get dangerous when driving. That's why I decided to pull a day's vacation and pedal around Topeka for a day. It's been TOO long since I've sketched (please don't look at the posting date of my last entry) (I told you not to!) so I wanted to merge the two activities into one meandering day sketching through the urban and rural bike trails.

We live southeast of town, and we're lucky to live close to the Landon Trail (a rail-to-trail). I can catch it into town and pick up the Shunga Trail along the Shunganunga Creek to spread out around town. This ended up being a full day's jaunt. I need to do this more often. Temperature was moderate, air was filled with the smell of dropping leaves, and the trails don't have much traffic. Coffee breaks are required and my pace is casual by design. Too bad this isn't a paying gig.

I did the pen sketching and color work on-site and added text once I get home, after I've had time to absorb it all. Like I said, it's been too long. Really miss the sketching routine, so maybe I can motivate myself to get back in the saddle. I've determined that I'll be sketching the rest of my life, but I just don't know how often since other duties call, too. Choices no different than everyone else has.