Chocolate & Chrysanthemums


Hear now a tale of the not-so-great chocolate mystery:

So here’s the thing. My mother decided to be sweet to my family (literally) by sending us chocolates for Valentine’s Day. So two different bags of mixed chocolates; one for my husband and I to share, the other for The Girl. However, as they came from Amazon in the same box, no one was sure which one was whose. Since the entire house has been ill for entirely far too long, figuring out the complicated question of who owned which chocolate was beyond our addled brains, so we put them in the pantry closet to kick that particular decision down the road a bit.

Chocolate was forgotten in favor of supremely important things, like making sure we all had our own personalized boxes of Kleenex. We’d have tried to have a contest to see how many tissues we could go through over the course of our various illnesses, but none of us were in any position to count that high. Remember the rat photos? I think this one accurately reflects everyone in the house – buried under Kleenex and blearily wondering why we spend so much time and effort on making electric vehicles when mucus is apparently an endless resource.

Days later I went into the pantry to get something and discovered that one of the bags of chocolate had been opened, and then very carefully placed back to look like it hadn’t been. Hmmm.

Now, there are only three potential culprits, and (this time) it wasn’t me.

I informed my mother of my new game, where I try to catch the culprit in the act. She chose to play/help/derail this by texting The Girl and asking if she liked her chocolates. The Girl responded stating she hadn’t opened them yet, so she didn’t know.

The Girl only has a year and a half before she leaves for college and my lovely spouse no longer has her to blame things on.

So I shared this with The Girl, because why should I laugh at my husband all by myself? My intent was to see how long this game could proceed before it was either obvious, or he was forced to admit the chocolate was gone.

The days passed, and the bag got lighter, and eventually I opened it and looked inside to find that the only chocolates left in the bag were the super dark chocolates which my husband does not like (and one lone non-dark chocolate that apparently hid in the bottom corner). Thinking this is hilarious I brought my daughter in to view the evidence of her “sneaky” dad…. Only to have her sheepishly admit (since she is as bad at keeping secrets as her mother when confronted) that since finding out the package was opened she had also started occasionally helping herself to a chocolate or two…or maybe more.

My family are both scallywags.

Now, I like dark chocolate and they don’t, so no matter how you look at it, the remainder of the bag is mine. However, in retaliation or defiance or some other absolutely adult-type reaction/response for their absolutely inexcusable behavior, I have stolen and consumed the last of the non-dark chocolate pieces.

So there.

Between February and Covid all painting endeavors have been even more disjointed than normal. However, after switching back and forth to other non-finished paintings at random I finally managed to complete this one – and it is no surprise this feat was accomplished by the rare event of my entire family being gone at the same time so I could work uninterrupted. So I offer it up as proof that none of us has died of either illness or chocolate related outrage.

A very dear friend went to visit her family and while walking came across and posted this image to Facebook:

And her entire friends list (including me) lost their minds over the unique center flower. Apparently, this is an example of transposable elements at work. Science isn’t my best thing, but the way I understand it from my science-y friends, this means that genes in the flower “jumped”, and because knocking out color is easy, the petals reverted to their default color. I don’t claim to know how it all works, but I think it is beyond cool. So I painted it.

The grass at the bottom isn’t part of the painting – but I got better color when I took it outside to photograph than in my kitchen. I have really got to figure out how to get decent images! Also, still haven’t decided if it is done “as is” or if I will lighten the orange a bit. But for now, “done” is good.

It’s mostly a blatant copy, took WAY longer than expected (even factoring in how slow a painter I am) to get the shading/colors right/the way I wanted them, and is unlikely to win any awards – but it makes me really happy, and I can’t say that about all my art, so I call that a major win.

Compare and Contrast:

In other news, these still aren’t professional scans, but at least I finally got decent quick scans of the Skiathos pomegranates.

The other one is better, but I really liked the “spideryness” of this one. 🙂

Done after a week of instruction. Can TOTALLY tell the difference, right? And this is why we never stop learning!

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