Saturday afternoon: We came home from having lunch out on Market Square today to find that the left front leg of my pastel easel (in the living room) had collapsed. The whole easel was on it's side, the drawer spilled, the painting on end ... worst of all, a box full of my best pastels had been on the open drawer. The box was upside down, with those gorgeous huge super-soft hand made pastels crushed and scattered in a pile on the floor. I gathered up what pieces I could, then divided the dust into two piles, one of warm-ish tones and one of cool-ish tones, and put them into jars. I guess I'll use the as my neutrals for a while! Fortunately the floor is hardwood, and I'd recently bought a couple of yards of canvas to spread under the easel to catch the dust ... which meant that only a three or four square feet of the actual floor got "dusted." But, boy, did that dust ever get down deep into the spaces between the wood on the floor! And the bright blue is really bright! I just don't have the heart tonight to finish this piece. Maybe tomorrow.
Saturday night: I get the bright idea that maybe we had a small earthquake, which caused the easel to slip. Checked the earthquake center's web site -- 2 little quakes this week, but none today. Maybe something else? D and I talk about checking under the house tomorrow.
Sunday afternoon: I was just getting ready to work on this piece some, when D comes in from outside saying he needs me to see something under the house. I crawl under with him (glad I'm not afraid of spiders and other DRY type bugs and creatures) to see that a portion of our duct work has fallen. Bad memories of possums from the past ... oh dear. And sure enough, it looked as though some sweet little wild animal had been doing a little something or another in that short piece of duct work. (Grrrr! That section looks like it was pieced together with leftovers and then wrapped with insulation and tape. THAT's a topic for another post, I suppose...) Anyway, the rest of it looked as clean as it could be for as far as we could see, so we put the duct work back together, taped everything up nice and tight, hung it a little more securely, and checked the rest of the crawl space. No problem. D said he'd heard that moth balls under the house really work to discourage possums and raccoons and other wildlife, and I agreed that it might not be a bad idea. He goes off on a moth ball search, while I clean up and start cooking a chicken.
Later Sunday afternoon: D is back from the store, working away. I'm just getting ready to start on this painting AGAIN, but first I go into the kitchen to check on the chicken in the oven, which should be about done. What a funny smell. Come to think about it, what a funny smell all over the downstairs of the house. It smells kind of like ... well ...
D walks in and says, "What's that smell? You cooking something?"
"Chicken," I answer. I know I have a puzzled look.
"No, something else. Smells like something my grandmother used to make."
Of course we figure it out. Moth balls. They are under our house and now our downstairs (but strangely, mostly the kitchen) smells like moth balls. The possums will leave. The raccoons will leave. Undoubtedly any mice, rats, chipmunks, shrews, skunks, moles, snakes, and, oh yeah, moths, will leave. That smell better go away soon, or I'll be leaving, too!
And for tonight, I don't feel at all like painting anymore.