Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Artist as a young woman

This week I worked two days at my new job. The first day I had the other cook with me, showing me the ropes. The second day I was by myself. All by myself. It was a little scary. I didn't know where much was, I had to come up with recipes by myself, and I had to choose what to serve for dessert. I serve breakfast (easy: cereal, toast, and oatmeal) and lunch, which is the main hot meal of the day. I made a cottage pie with two vegetables and gravy, and a choice of two desserts. I ended up making what is alternately called a custard tart or a baked egg custard, and fruit cocktail with ice cream. Not homemade ice cream, thankfully. But homemade custard tart. I had never had one, and had only heard of them the day before. But I guess it turned out okay, because most of them ate it. Oh yeah, did I mention where I work? I'm the cook at an old folks' home. I cook from scratch mostly and do baking as well as main meals. My first day I baked some jam tarts. They have little baked goods for their afternoon teas, as well as desserts with their lunches.

I'm getting used to the language around here, albeit slowly. At work, desserts are called puddings but at my old work, they were called sweets. Bathrooms are generally called toilets. That one was a hard one for me to say. The nurse asks you not to pee in the cup, but to wee in it; I almost laughed the first time I heard that. And people do not sit on their butts but their bums. To me, wee and bum are words a grandma would use to a child.

I've picked up my paintbrushes a little these past few weeks. Right now I'm making drafts for a big painting for our bedroom. It's of a red haired woman reclining on a fainting couch under a pear tree. It may or may not go up, depending on how well I like the subject matter. I really wish I had a model to paint from, but I don't know many artists' models. Plus, I couldn't pay one anyhow. It'd have to be an amateur and someone I know. However, I don't want it to be a portrait. So I don't want it to be someone I know! Maybe I should make it a red haired man instead and ask partner to pose for me. Last summer I did a few paintings of flowers from the garden. I have a nice one of some gladiolas in a vase. I'm quite proud of it. I might frame it and hang it up or give it away. I also went outside one day and painted our flower garden and the back of our house. I gave it to my mother when we visited in July.

It is my day off and father-in-law has returned to his home, so I get to clean. A thin layer of dust coats every surface in the house now, thanks to the sanded floors. I'm talking everything, from plants to curtains to walls. I have a major dusting and vacuuming adventure ahead of me.

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