Oh 9.

We have high hopes for you, if you’re listening. And if you’re not, we may shout at you to get your attention. I think we’re all feeling hopeful, weary, leery, and more plucky. And aware.

So this is how oh 8 finished out for us here.


No fireworks, no parties, just a quiet moment in another day and a farewell to an era not any too soon.

We planned  house projects that ideally are best done when the Christmas Winds blow through here and keep the temperature and winds in the perfect zone for heavy lifting. We set aside these past few weeks to get grunt work done.

Unfinished back yard + 2 dogs that love to dig + endless dust blowing like a scirocco around the house + too many years looking at it = one woman on a tear. Pavers! The answer to the problem.


Except that our backyard is two full sets of steps DOWN from the driveway where they waited in the back of our truck. Pavers! They measure 16″X16″ and weigh about 25 lbs each and we had 60 of them. Bang out the number of trips up and down the steps ( 26 of them )  on your abacus. And add to that the buckets of gravel we shoveled at the quarry and carried down. Pick-ax the ground to break up the rocky surface, sift, smooth, lay in a paver, a spacer block, another paver and on it went. We had a good rhythm.

A gym? Nah.

A chiropracter maybe, or an orthopedic specialist.


Site inspector comes with level and football. Never can tell when it’s work or play and you should always be prepared.

There were activities that included and involved one of my favorite items of nutritional content: Pies-



Meals at friends, meals at the house, dishes, cooking, casseroles transported, cakes under plastic domes in air conditioned back seats, the island in full holiday spirit with minimal tinsel and abundant spirits. Simple, really.


Learned a feature of my camera that enables very low light photos to be taken without flash. I found these two curled up together for the first time in the dog bed during the night.


Enough fluff. I know, you’re all saying it. ” Where’s the damn paintings already”?

Mike Rooney wrote about the malaise of painting to produce works to sell instead of painting to learn the process and feeling good about the bad ones. I read it and re-read it. That’s where I’m at. He refers to it as pontificating as if he needs to be apologizing for being right and practical.

Oh 9, you’re gonna be the year I get over this hurdle.

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31 Responses to “Oh 9.”

  1. maryschwalm Says:

    Looks like the outdoor shower access has improved greatly!

  2. w1kkp Says:

    Oh, thank you jesus, you are back. I get evangelical sometimes, yes, I do!

    You may consider this fluff, I do not. Pies that have palm tree crusts are NOT fluff. How many times do I have to tell you this?

    I’m going to go take an Advil on our behalf just reading about this patio.

    Oh, yeah, ’09, hurdles we got–but daily creativity and sweat will launch us over them.

  3. Wreggie Says:

    Bonnie, how many years has your poor dog had narcolepsy?

    Beautiful views and descriptions.

    I love the water and light. I consistently get shots like this on the south shore near Divi.

    See you soon.

  4. TerryC Says:

    Sounds like you guys would need massages after all that work 😉 .

    Looks great, Bonnie! The site inspector did a great job! (Laborers never get any glory, sorry 😉 .

  5. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Mary- maybe a privacy screen too? Whaddya think? Although the neighboring house seems not to mind.

    Pat- oh I laughed a good one. I’m afraid to post without a painting for fear of being yelled at by you and here you’re exonerating me ! That and an Advil and I feel relief.
    Thank you.

    Wreggie- she’s of that age where movement that isn’t necessary, is edited out. Using aging as a pedestal for her wisdom.
    Took that shot at The Waves on the North Shore. At sunset.
    Get ready……..

    Terry- we do, we do……
    Must consider that. Can your van get up our hill aka: The Face of God as the local residents refer to it!

    Funny, I thought at first you said Labradors and then realized it was Laborers. Surely not the same thing!!!!
    Happy New Year.

  6. Don Says:

    Well, now we know what you’ve ben doing all this while! Looks like a successful project.
    Thanks for the reference to Mike Rooney’s bit of artists’ wisdom. I think we all need a dose of that from time to time.

  7. S. Le Says:

    It appears you are living a tough life there. Wish I could take your place for awhile to ease your discomfort. And your dog looks bored. Let me know how I can help. (sarcasm intended)

  8. w1kkp Says:

    Oh, now, really! Afraid to post without a painting for fear of my yelling?? I must review my words. Oh, hell, I won’t do that but here’s what I meant to say: every day (ok, 2-4 at least, something..and if that means taking a photograph of a creature or landscape or empty paint tube or brand new paint tube in your life, that’s fine with the creative gods. I am implacably against more photos of anoles, however. On that, let there be no misunderstanding, that could induce yelling. And, I never yell. Ever. Well, Ok..once.

  9. nancy Says:

    Hmmmm. Am I the only one who got a bum Mike Rooney link? Would love to visit. If you are the brains behind the palm tree pumpkin pie, we have reached a whole new level of intimidation. Gorgeous photo.

  10. JoAnn Says:

    Great job on the patio, nice, pie, and happy, hurdle-dilly, new 0h, 9.

  11. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Don-it’s a project with legs….and an aching back, we’re still adding and doing sections at a time. Glad you got to Mikes’ blog thru his link- others had problems with it.

    S.Le- and sarcasm noted. How about coming down when the next load is brought home? See above comment. You can play with the dog on your break.
    Happy New Year.

    Pat- I hear you, I grok you, I feel you, I get you annnnddddd…..you are right!
    I can only picture you yelling at that plastic bubble package that wouldn’t open under threat of samurai sword.
    Do you remember that long ago post of yours??

    Nancy- no missy- a new level of intimidation would be the volume and content of your body of work. Yes, it’s my first attempt at pastry cutouts. Maybe pies and not paints…….

    I sent you the link to Mikes’ blog by email. Don’t know why it didn’t work or why it said not available. It sure is.

  12. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Thanks JoAnn. You got me on the hurdle-dilly but I like the sound of it.
    Hope the year continues to feed your creative outpourings.

  13. solvay Says:

    That pumpkin pie a la palm tree – fabulous!
    That table – fabulously inviting and oh-so Martha Stewart (I like Martha, but if you don’t, replace her name with one you admire, because it’s admiration I’m after)!
    The doggie and cattie: fabulously fluffy (and I like fluff – that kind of fluff)!
    The comment about work or play – football and level: fabulously funny! (I assume that requires no parenthetical apologia!)

    Oh 9. Well, we’ll see. I think things went wrong (if you’re referring to the U.S. leadership) long, long, long ago – it’s like when one decides one needs to lose weight – it wasn’t the most recent 5 pounds that are the problem, but the very first five that went along ignored or justified and comforted by the next 5………………..and a fad diet usually just makes things worse, e.g. Oprah. But, I’ll hope along with you that this fad diet will quickly fix decades of wrong that everyone’s blamed the other side for, back and forth and back and forth, like a yo-yoing scale, year after year. And the Oprahs of the world just get fat bank accounts from the insubstantially hopeful.
    But, back to fluff and nice tables and pumpkin pies a la palm!
    Great post!!!!
    Just paint – forget the thinking. Just push the paint around and laugh aloud about it all!!!

  14. Marian Fortunati Says:

    We only say “Where’s the paintings?” because yours are always such a yummy treat to look at and drool over and fantasize that we could actually create something remotely like them…
    Then again there are the gorgeous photos of your gorgeous island home/animals/plants/people… Those are yummy too…. but still we yearn for your other talents…
    And then….. WOW…. talk about yummy!! It’s a BEAUTIFUL pie… Now if it tasted as good as it looked…. Sooooooooooo wonderful..

    No doubt about it………’09 WILL be your best year yet!

  15. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Solveg– thank you.
    Are you trying to make my blog look good?

    “Parenthetical apologia!!! ”
    Really- your remarks are so unique and filled with thoughts to mull and digest.

    I like your analogy of the history of weight loss to when it all went sour in the political/human relations arena.
    And then there’s the expression ” insubstantially hopeful ” ! See what I’m referring to?

    Best of all is your reminder to paint and stop thinking. I can think myself into paralysis faster than I can think myself into progress. So for all of that, I thank you.

  16. w1kkp Says:

    Yes, I remember and the youtube movie I made of it! Good Lord.

  17. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Marian- you put as much thought into your kind comments as you do in your paintings.
    It’s a balance, I’m learning, to realize that creativity eeks out in many forms and that it’s not always by being at the easel.
    When I’m not, I miss it, though.

    So maybe a hint of what sounds like a resolution- more practice, less stressing over producing.

    Thanks for being a frequent visitor- it keeps me inspired.

  18. wrjones Says:

    Beautiful pie and photo of the ocean. I think a little whipped cream could be made to look like surf across the top of that pie.

  19. planetross Says:

    oh 9 is gonna be a yowzer! The best ever!!! It’s gotta be since the cat is laying down with the dog and everything. (I heard that somewhere or … saw it on TV or something)

  20. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Bill- your imagination in all it’s lively inventiveness would have been a great addition as you’re right!
    Wish I thought of that-it would have been pretty.

    PR- if they can do it why can’t we! The collective, human, we.
    I like yowser.
    And hi- glad you checked in….

  21. Jala Pfaff Says:

    Great photos. Warm fuzzy feeling from seeing the cat and dog together. 🙂 About painting vs. thinking: I often start thinking of everything that can/will go wrong with a painting, and get paralyzed before even starting. I like to try to remember Van Gogh’s words then: If a voice inside you says you cannot paint, then by all means go and paint, and that voice will be silenced.

  22. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Jala-Van Gogh may have lost an ear but he absolutely had some words, didn’t he.
    I hear them and thanks for stating them here, they’re inspiring.

  23. Sharon Crute Says:

    It’s Jungian collective consciousness thing. If we’re all anticipating a better oh 9, then a much better oh 9 it is.

    Why can’t we do both, paint for commerce and push the envelope of creativity too? If the paintings are deemed “bad” by you or whomever, there’s always someone who will come along and appreciate them enough to buy out the whole lot (perhaps at a substantially reduced price, but hey, they’re the “bad” ones). Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. “Bad” paintings are affected by too many variables to be point-blank labeled. And then there’s…..this is a subject that can go on and on.

    Pontificating (I had to look that one up) becomes a moot point when it’s just business, nothing personal. When it’s personal, become a lioness to protect the joy and anticipation upon entering the studio. Let nothing hinder that feeling.

  24. planetross Says:

    Check … Check. Just checking in again. Things seem to be working normally. hee hee!

  25. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Sharon- your wisdom again.
    That subjective condition is funny. If I don’t like something I’ve done, but someone else does, I still don’t like it any better but recognize exactly what you’ve described. I won’t show what I don’t like. I’ll consider it an exercise.

    I can do that lioness thing very well. I’m a Leo!
    You leave such meaty, sincere, wonderful comments.

    PR- checking again,,,,thanks. If I could only post and write and prolifically and nuttily as you.
    I’m over due for comment leaving on yours. You’re just too damn witty to keep up with.

  26. Nava Says:

    Ahhhh, Christmas at St. Croix – that brings up some memories!

    The right paintings will come when it’s the right time. I’ve learned that lesson.

    Absolutely loved the title of this post, by the way. Happy oh 9, then!!

  27. Paz Says:

    Happy New Year! I’d love a taste of that pumpkin pie. 😉

    Paz xoxo

  28. wrjones Says:

    Are you waiting for Oh 10, to produce a painting?

  29. Theresa Rankin Says:

    Wow Bonnie!! Fantastic projects and photos…the pie looks absolutely delish! You are a fabulous writer, painter and all-around Renaissance gal!
    With much admiration and screaming at ’09..lol!

  30. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Nava- that’s right, I forget that you’ve been here. And yes, the paintings are starting to come. Just finished my bathroom with two coats!

    Bill- ahem…… I know I’m not fast enough for you ( my mother warned me about girls that were ” fast ” ) but when you check back here, you’ll notice I heard you.

    Theresa- thank you for your spirited and very sweet words, coming from you, compliments carry heft.
    I just posted a new one and mentioned you, and now here you are!
    I’m always happy to know you keep a peek in here from time to time.
    And to you, I say, it takes one to know one.

  31. Mary Sheehan Winn Says:

    I love your beautiful house! The studio mates are precious, too.

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