Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
My creativity has been limited to a little knitting. I have not spent more than a few seconds in my studio; it is going to take a real block of time and effort to get it straightened out first, but I'm so busy feeding and diapering the new lazy.
Jim is as well as can be expected since we now each have a lazy of our own.
I'd like to thank Heather and Susan for all their efforts to save me from myself over the past couple of months. And much gratitude to Joy for saving me an additional three hours of driving after having wrestled the land yacht 17 hours + from Tampa to Illinois. And she brought me gifts! Now THAT'S a sister.Hopefully I am on my way to recovering and will birth some energy and creativity soon.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Today, however, I needed to make a little visit to Jared. Or rather, I have a ring that needed to make a visit for a six month inspection and cleaning. And a pendant that needed cleaning. And an omega that needed fixing. Got to wonder about all this fixing and cleaning for jewelry I don't wear, eh?
Anyway, my BFFFF and I went to Jared today to take care of business. It's the only retail store I know of where Peanut is not only welcome but fussed over as well. Yeah, and there's Petco and Petsmart. But back to Jared . . . I've always thought they had the best and most beautiful of the unusual, fabulous items not to be found in a mall store. And today was no exception.
While waiting for my items to be cleaned I found a group of items to be drooled over and maybe to die for. They are part of the LeVian collection stocked by Jared and probably my most favorite pieces. Today I discovered the "chocolate diamond."
Maybe the rest of you are familiar with these but, hey, I don't get out much. Not a shopper. But when it comes to high quality "chocolate," I'm THERE. Here are a couple of the treats I found irresistible: The watch "bezel" is two entire rows of chocolate diamonds. $2,495. Worth every penny. And this necklace:
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Life's about friendships, the way you love your partner, the way you care for your children. That is what life is about. Not anything about earning a hundred zillion dollars because you toured America more than anyone else. I want life to be about creativity.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Pygmy rattlesnake bites man mowing lawn Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Lutz -- A pygmy rattlesnake bit a man who was doing lawn maintenance in Lutz Wednesday. He was working in a yard off Lutz Lake Fern Road when the snake latched onto his foot and injected him with venom. This is the 9th venomous snakebite that has been treated at UCH in a few months.
Some people think snakes are fun:
It's snake, rattle and hole at Pasco County festival
PASCO COUNTY -- It's snake, rattle and hole at the rattlesnake festival that takes place Oct. 20 and 21st in Pasco County, FL. The 41st annual Rattlesnake ...Festival in San Antonio started out in the 1960s as a rattlesnake round-up, but has evolved into an eco-friendly lesson about Florida's wild history.
Mother faces charges in python strangling case
OCALA - The question of accountability for the death of a 2-year-old Sumter County girl strangled by the family's pet python remains on the table.
Prosecutors met Thursday at the State Attorney's Office to determine whether or not to file charges in the case that garnered international attention.
Almost a month after a Burmese python strangled Shaiunna Hare, 2, at her Sumter County home, prosecutors said they have some unanswered questions about the case.
Earlier this month, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office said it was possible that both the little girl's mother, Jaren Hare, 19, and her fiance, Charles Jason Darnell, 32, could face child neglect charges.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This is one of my all-time favorite episodes of Golden Girls.
One of the things I will miss when we no longer have our home in Florida is the dramatic weather. The skies are amazing, the LOUD cracks of thunder would cause even Superman to dive for cover and the lightning! Oh, the lightning! There's no other place to see lightning like Tampa.
Sorry about the little dots on the photo, it had just begun to rain. Leaving the weather and the pool -- heartbreaking!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Human Rights Watch: Iraqi gays tortured and killed
Monday, August 17, 2009
"Social cleansing" is going on in Iraq supposedly due to a youtube.com video showing Iraqi men "partying." Correct me if I'm wrong, but have we ever heard mention of Iraqi women being invited to the party? Care to read more?
'Deadliest Catch' stars help out charity event
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Jonathan and Andy Hillstrand of the Time Bandit were in Bradenton on Sunday. Damn, I missed seeing them. I heard they are introducing a new Bloody Mary called "After the Storm." More:
Thai elephant hurt by mine gets artificial leg
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Here's one for you animal lovers: http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2009/8/15/508834.htmlAnd now, the weather.
Bill upgraded to hurricane; Claudette moves inland
Monday, August 17, 2009
Check out this website for awesome satellite photos and more:
And, finally, the OCD Cleaning Woman continues her tasks in Lutz, FL. We hear she has spent so much time standing in bleach and other chemicals while cleaning the tub and shower that she has the cleanest feet in the universe.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Today marks fifteen years of marriage to my beautiful Jim, the kindest person I have ever known, and I thank him with my whole heart for his unwavering and unconditional love. Throughout the trials and tribulations he has remained loyal and committed and I have not appreciated him nearly enough. Did you ever know that he's my hero and the wind beneath my wings?
Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
So here's my question: following the scorching of the earth by the giant solar flare, what are these people to do when they finally deem it safe to leave the cave? My best scenario, which I've thought about for a really long time, is they have to break into the local Walgreen's. They may be able to find some Coke and chocolate bars that haven't been destroyed. They could play a couple of games, read a magazine and try on different colors of nail polish. When they've had enough, they could climb over the remains of the pharmacist and find enough drugs to bring about their own peaceful ending.
To me, it would make more sense to heed the warnings by partying large. How about you? Leave a comment, tell me what you would do if all life on earth would end tomorrow. And I'll email the uplifting end of the movie to you, in my own words, of course.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
No time for photos, gotta run!
Some time ago I posted the first of my lost wax casting foray. Not done posting about that one yet, but today is not the day. Then there was the fabrication class. Have to write a post about that one as well. Again, not today.
Today I am much too excited about the results of my pottery class. Several people asked whether I was making pots or other containers on a wheel. No, I wasn't interested in "throwing," as it's called. Maybe another time. This time I wanted to work in porcelain and make a few personal trinkets and some pieces for jewelry. I have a few larger items in the works over at the guild; one in the kiln and two that still require glazing and a final firing.
Our instructor, the very knowledgeable and talented young Jacob Grant, has provided me with a firing schedule for finishing small pieces at home in my glass kiln (it doesn't get hot enough to fire the larger items). I just brought my first few pieces up from the kiln and I'm pleased with the way they turned out:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Although I often think I'm the laziest person in the world, I'm beginning to see that at least some of the time it is more a matter of my not being patient. My excitement on receiving the tiny jars of enamels was somewhat tempered by the fact that they have to be "cleaned." Enamels are powdered glass which, due to the manufacturing process, come to one in an ever-so-slightly contaminated state. They have to be dumped into larger containers, each color by itself, and mixed with distilled water. The enamel particles fairly rapidly settle what are called "fines" suspended in a now milky-looking water. This water is poured off into a container lined with a coffee filter -- not good to fill the drain with glass! The watering, mixing and pouring off procedure has to be repeated until the water is clear.
If you're thinking, "Yeah! Now I can get on with the enameling!" you are incorrect. Next you have to spread each container of damp enamel on sheets of paper, each color by itself again. And now we wait for this to dry. Since, in my case, impatience is the mother of invention, I dragged out the old electric food dehydrater, inserted the trays of paper and glass powder, and not so patiently waited for the enamels to dry.
All in all this process took approximately 24 hours. By Sunday afternoon I was chomping at the bit, as they say. It was time to pour the dried powders back into their original (but now cleaned) little containers.
The rest of the process, to make an already long story longer, was to cut and dome copper disks, cut copper wire and solder it to the back of each disk. Next the disk has to be scrupulously cleaned which basically means a soak in hot acid (the pickle pot) followed by wire brushing and a bit of sanding to give the surface to be enameled a little tooth.
Now we brush on an even coating of the enamel adhesive and immediately sift a layer of enamel powder over it. This, then, has to dry. Are you beginning to see the necessity for producing more than one pair of earrings at a time? Hurry up and wait.
Finally, the enamel coated disks are positioned (level) on the wire grid of a soldering tripod. The torch is lit and heat applied from below so as not to scorch and ruin the enamel. Here's the final product:
I've very happy with my first attempt. Learned a few things and now I'm ready to go on. Any requests?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
There are a few things I need to post here but this is what I have for today:
It's great to be able to step out the back door and snip fresh lettuce! It tastes entirely different than the store-bought kind. We've been inundated with cucumbers and I've taken to hiding them in other dishes. Today it was the egg salad I prepared for lunch. If it looks like the green beans have been let go a little too long it's only because they hide from me until they're really big.
One of the miracles of the universe that I'm thankful for -- that the tiny seeds I so hopefully started in April have begun to provide us with wonderful fresh food! Now if only we could grow our own seafood . . .
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I'd like her to imagine getting a dog. Of course she'd have to clip its nails, take it to the vet once a year, make sure the food and water bowls weren't empty. In return she would have a non-judgemental companion, one who would happily greet her with wagging tail each time she returned whether she had been gone for five days or only for five minutes. A furry friend to cuddle with whenever she wanted, one who would be there to provide unconditional love 24/7. And should she raise her voice over some misbehavior the dog wouldn't go away and sulk or turn and say "I hate you."
Now I'd like her to imagine that she's had this dog for about ten years or so when it runs away or dies. I really think in no time at all she could "just let go." Right?
After the motorcycle incident reported in my previous post my daughter sent me a photo of herself that she said represented her "satisfied mind." When I asked if that meant the racing around on the bike was now out of her system I got another email. This one said something like "Mom, I'm doing what I love. Learn to just let go."
So we've talked about responsibility for a pet. Now let's imagine we're responsible for a tiny human. Yeah, you'll have to clip this one's nails for sure. And you'll have to take it to the doctor maybe multiple times each year. It won't be able to feed itself or move itself to a safe place. And oh, by the way, it won't be able to clean its own butt.
Imagine you sit by the little one's hospital bed when she has to have tubes put into her ears or have the cyst on her neck surgically drained. There will be a sunny day when the sounds of her playing outside change just enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and you'll know she needs you. You sit with her holding ice on the golfball sized lump on her forehead and hope that what you know is coming won't -- two black eyes.
Next, you send her off to school. You hope that she won't be scared, that she'll get along with the teacher and the other kids. You're unexpectedly allowed to be proud when the local newspaper shows a photo of her (on the front page, no less) reading a book to her peers in kindergarten. You diligently make the Halloween costumes every year and pay attention to what she's hoping Santa will bring. You make sure the Easter Bunny shows up. And don't forget the birthday parties.
She's gotten older and now can trim her own nails and wipe her own butt, although you still have to take her to the doctor every now and then. You have to fill in the blanks left by her teacher and her friends when it comes to the "birds and bees." You're responsible. You worry about her academic progress and you participate, like a good parent, in the high school marching band's activities. As if Girl Scouts wasn't enough, camping and selling those cookies . . .
High school graduation comes along and you feel lucky she made it through; the divorce has taken its toll on both of you. Still, she's a lovely young woman with good friends and now has her first serious relationship with a young man. You work with her on making the decision whether to go to college or find other appropriate work. You probably shouldn't still feel responsible, but you do.
You take the time to look at housing possibilities for the happy couple. Maybe you donate some towels or a blanket to their effort. Over the years you've had a couple of ambulance rides with her but she's come out all right; this time there's no ambulance but her hurt is very real and you take her home hoping her wounds will heal. Maybe they never will.
She's grown into a woman capable of taking care of herself. She's moved out of state, bought cars, found jobs -- become self sufficient. You're not responsible any more. Chicken pox, strep throat, flu, braces, a dislocated knee and bad hair days. It's probably a good thing you were there. Now she's bought a motorcycle and wants to race around a curvy track at speeds in excess of 100 mph, but you're no longer responsible. And she's doing what she loves. So come on, mom, "just let go."
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Great timing -- we arrived and found our spot just before the US Air Force Thunderbirds put on their show. I can't recall ever attending an air show before and assumed I would be bored. Not the case! Words can't describe the experience of watching (and HEARING) these F-16s do their thing. I was blown away by the fact that you don't even know they're coming until they're right on top of you. Although LOUD doesn't come close to describing the noise from these birds, it apparently trails behind them due to their warp speed. Were they to drop a bomb on us, we'd only hear their sound from heaven.
It was an incredible show and I highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to see the Thunderbird's demo should GO. It is unbelievable.
Today's excitement began typically enough as I was sitting at the computer checking out my favorite blogs, none of which had new posts, by the way. You know who you are. Something caught my eye in the front yard outside the neighbor's house; for a moment I thought it was a large fox I was seeing through the trees. On taking a closer look I realized it was a dog not walking its human. When it showed up again in the same place a few minutes later, I went out for a closer inspection.
She was a youngish-looking boxer with tail docked but ears not cropped (thank you). I took our leash and a bag of treats out with which to entice her to be captured. She wasn't having it. She took off and circled the block again. On the fourth circle when I encountered her once again, she took off, obviously not wanting any part of the treats, me or the leash.
The spousal unit was by now in the car so I jumped in and we began to follow her around the neighborhood. Each time we would catch up to her and try to get her to come to the car, she'd throw us the "stink-eye" over her shoulder and run off. At last she was trapped in a small yard and Jim was able to hook her up to the leash. She still wouldn't accept a treat but hopped into the car quite readily.
Wearing a collar and current rabies tag, we're hopeful the owner(s) will claim her. If not, is there anyone who'd like a sweet, docile, lovely little female boxer?
Now that I'm coming off of the weekend's excitement I can devote the next 24 hours to worrying about my wild daughter madly racing her motorcycle around the Elkhart Lake race track tomorrow. Wish us luck!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Earlier in the day the spousal unit and I went to the local farmer's market to score more of Harry's delicious hydroponically grown tomatoes; it's too early here for the REAL ones. Still, Harry's tomatoes actually TASTE like tomatoes, a real luxury for us.
And since we're on the subject of produce, here's an update to my efforts back in April to start plants from seed. Basil . . .
. . . and lettuce . . .
growing in boxes attached to the back porch railings. Our very first cucumber of the season . . .
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
On Sunday we attended an art show in Bartlett, Illinois. It was a smallish show with about 50 artists, sponsors and food vendors. We came upon a table with jewelry that I immediately recognized as Wendy Witchner's signature style. She has been creating with sheet metals, wire and buttons for many years and her work has been published several times. We chatted for a very long while; she is wonderfully friendly and sharing and will teach her techniques at the drop of a hat. A most generous and creative woman! Please stop by her website and look at her fabulous work and read her interesting story. Look for her next at the Hinsdale (IL) July 4th Arts & Crafts Show. Here's one of my favorites from Wendy's bracelet collection:
Tucked into the MOUNTAIN of email we had this morning was a quick note from my friend Sankofa. He is another veteran of the art show circuit and one of my favorite exhibitors to hang out with at the shows. Here's a quick interview with Sankofa from You Tube; it's not the best quality but you might find it interesting. BTW, the customer he talks about who collects his OOAK shirts is very real and can often be found shopping with Sankofa at Miami area shows -- her name is Stephanie and she's great fun to be around as well.
Here's Sankofa's website address: http://www.nothinbuttaylormade.com/
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
After a quick walk with our furry friend we decided going to the zoo was out of the question and we've been here just chilling all day, eating grapes, playing video games, watching TV. Sure hope we have more to report later in the week!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Heather and I visited the farmer's market along the river after the race where we picked up some REAL tomatoes, honey, yummy pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins and the best cheesy garlic bread I've ever tasted.
It was a weekend of just hanging out and enjoying time together, good food, a couple games of gin with Uncle Jim and maybe just a little jewelry making.