A year ago, Robert had his heart valve replacement surgery.
Here he is, about a month ago, at the local record store (owned by our pal Aaron).
A carefully placed album :)
Thank goodness all went well, and is well! I don't know what I would do without him. Thank goodness for ACA/Obamacare - if we didn't have it, he wouldn't have gone for a regular check-up (he had no real symptoms; but we had insurance and a low co-pay), and when his valve would have failed, it would have been catastrophic! We'll see what the powers-that-be replace ACA with - but I'm not feeling very hopeful. Thanks to everyone for being supportive, esp Denise who was with me all day long that very very long emotional stressful day.
And look! The crocuses are popping up in our front yard. It's been oddly warm for the past week.
And a pretty sunset last week at the old reservoir in town:
Hello everyone: I had to take a little break from some social media. And I'm back, with a few good things as of late:
Denise and I went to see Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Cleveland Museum of Art two Sundays ago. It was absolutely fantastic. I never got to see his work in person back in the '80s. Gosh he was (we were) so young then!
I stopped by the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on the way - what a serene and sweet place:
A few years ago, I promised myself that I would either use up a bunch of fabric I have sitting around, or donate it. So I started my first scrap quilt. I am going to make a few minor changes to the layout, and I am a bit nervous about sewing it - I am not at all precise so we'll see how it turns out. I also promised myself that I wouldn't buy any new fabric, and I did keep that promise. All I bought was spray basting and batting. Once it's done, I'll post the finished quilt. It's quite small - only 9 - 5" blocks by 10 - 5" blocks - it (will hopefully) fit on a piece of fabric I have had for years that I'm using as backing:
Another thing I have wanted to learn for a long time was fair isle/color work/stranded knitting. So I am knitting this hat - the pattern is here and yarn by Candice at The Farmers Daughter Fibers who I happen to follow on Instagram. It's quite fun and I'm happy how it's turning out! Since it's my first time, I am really twisting my yarn a lot so I'm knitting very slow. Between the quilt and the knitting, I am checking the news less often, which is good for my mental health. (I'm still making phone calls, writing letter, etc, though)
And last but not least!! Happy Valentine's Day (early) to us!! A darling new flock of chicks!!! It's so good to have chicks again - been too long (I think it's been over two years since we have had chickens Robert reminded me that it has been three and a half years since we have had chickens! Wow). We named them (and this is not in the order of the photo) Bettie, Hettie, Lettie, Nettie - and Myrtle! (I cannot stop laughing when I say "...and Myrtle!"). Beware that I'll be boring the pants off of you all by posting lots of photos of them in upcoming blog entries :)
EDIT: If you have never seen a baby chick fall over falling asleep - well, you have to!! When we first had chickens, and saw that happening, I thought the chick had died. Now I am laughing all the time when I see them do it. Ahhh good things :)
Heart-swelling. Mind-blowing. Hopeful. Inclusive. Positive. Empowering. So many more words that my soul is exploding!
It was a trek to get there! We left our town at 12:20 a.m. Around 4:15 a.m., we stopped at a rest stop and there were SO many people there, with pink hats and without, we were overjoyed!
At 5:30 a.m., our bus broke down in Pennsylvania. Our bus driver was able to notify some busses that were passing by to stop and load more than half of us. There was about a dozen of us left, waiting for a mechanic to arrive. About five hours later, with the heroic efforts of the bus driver and another mechanic, we were on our way again to DC. We watched the speeches on cell phones - the bus had WiFi and we could charge our devices, too!
We arrived at 2:30 (if you're counting, that was 14 hours on the bus - it would normally take half that time to get there). As we got off the Metro/train, we saw a TON of people leaving. Oh NO! We missed everything. Some folks told us that they had cancelled the actual march because there were too many people. We went on, thinking we had to get to the area anyway; there had to be people still around. We saw the photos of the crowds when we were on the bus.
Once we got there, we were told that indeed the March was on!! So we joined in.
It was a very positive atmosphere. My favorite chant "This is what democracy looks like." I should upload some of the videos I took somehow - maybe on my YouTube channel. Of course, there is more to do - phone calls, emails, letters, petitions, meeting with groups in our area - esp in light of the Press Secy 'alternate facts' reality. So many phone calls today that the White House comment line was turned off for awhile - perhaps it still is?
Thanks to everyone who supported me on my trip, and cheered us on on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks to everyone who marched either in a sister march or at home! The MILLIONS of people who marched across the globe!!! We are NOT alone.
Let's see - we saw Rogue One and enjoyed it. It's always nice going to our town's theater. Plus you cannot beat the $4 tickets.
I knitted mittens and a kind of matching headband. The pattern for the headband didn't have cables so I changed the pattern, adding some.
I was sick for a few days- better now, but now Robert is ill :(
We bought a cheap electric yogurt making machine. Man, why did we wait so long to buy one of these!? It's wonderful! And I am trying out herbal infusions. My first is nettle. It tastes like spinach water and actually isn't bad at all. All part of trying to see the small beautiful good things in life every day. And being healthier.
I'm going to the March on Washington. I have to shout out thanks to some of you blogging friends - I'm able to take the bus from my town and back! Your help is awesome in every sense of that word! If you're on Facebook or Instagram, I hope to be posting while I'm at the March. I won't be able to blog about it until I'm back, and have slept.
Why march? Read the Mission statement here. Pretty much sums up what I would say. This POS, and this government, this WORLD, have to see that we won't stand by when we and our fellow humans are treated as less than, who are bullied, ridiculed, demonized, and marginalized. That those officials who emboldened racism, hatred, xenophobia and prejudice in their followers will not be respected, but will be challenged.
The other night, a bunch of us got together for dinner. It was really wonderful. Being with friends these days is truly nourishing and important.
Oh and I would like to recommend again watching Deutchland 83 if you haven't seen it yet.
I celebrated the Winter Solstice with Denise and a bunch of her friends. Women only. It was fabulous. I got there early (hurrah for a reliable vehicle!) so I could spend some time with Denise, and we talked and talked while she was cooking, and then her friends started to show up around 6:30, with lots and lots of good food. We ate and talked. Made our head wreaths and then wrote our New Year's wishes on small pieces of paper, and then burned them as offerings in her wood stove.
A pottery student gave me a selfie stick on our last class (when we took that photo of us all with our Empty Bowls, I had joked that we needed one to take a good photo of all of us) so I was playing around with it, and finally got a good photo of us all!
That's better - but now I have to figure out how to take a good photo in low light on my phone.
Here's Sephora on Christmas Eve Eve:
Christmas morning, I picked up my Mom from Mass. She was staying with my Brother C and his wife for the weekend, and since they were at their church, I was able to pick Mom up and take her back to their home. Again, thank goodness for this reliable vehicle!
Before we painted our bedroom, there was a built-in cabinet on one wall. When we tore it out, we found some old wallpaper still on the back wall. So we saved the best square of it. For my holiday present this year, Robert found a frame, and without the glass, attached it to the wall. Then he mounted a cross-stitch portrait of Clara Bow that a friend had made years ago. I love it!
We keep our holiday decorations up until the Feast of the Magi. Today, I am doing laundry, putting away paperwork, and we watched the Liverpool/Stoke game on TV. Here's a view from my chair.
Wishing you all the best during this
Dried tangerines for stained-glass-ish decorations
#tbt - me in October 1961 - two years old as my birthday is in October
I have been going through all the plastic bins of holiday decorations, which have been stored in the basement. Picking out what I want to decorate with this year. Making sure everything is in the correctly labeled bin "holiday lights" or "nutcrackers/stocking" or whatever.
I was able to fill two boxes of extra holiday decorations I'll never use and will donate to charity. In the meantime, I found a un-labeled bin tucked away among the holiday bins, and inside was a treasure-trove of things I have been looking for for years!!!! Most importantly, I was looking for some low fire glaze recipes, and glaze notebooks and sketchbooks, and found not only the majolica recipe I used thirty years ago, but also the clay recipe, too. I am so incredibly excited about this!
I tried to do an artsy-fartsy video on my phone of me flipping through my notebook, but it just didn't work. This photo is a mistake as I hit 'photo" instead of "video" and didn't realize it until later.
Looking forward to mixing up that majolica recipe and trying it out again. I believe that all the ingredients are still available. I'll post about this process.
Here's the promised photo of me in our new-to-us car, with our cool peace sign seat covers that were part of the deal!
Today, a bunch of my former and current students (some of them made the bowls last Saturday) came to the studio in the morning to help glaze the Empty Bowls bowls. I loaded them into the kiln for the glaze firing; will unload on Monday and get them to the community services center for their Tuesday event.
Some of the bowls getting ready to be put in the kiln.
Afterwards, I came back home, and Robert made us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and we have been watching soccer all day long. I did do a load of laundry. The MLS Cup starts in about 45 minutes - I'm not sure who to cheer for, so I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the game.
I really need to finish painting the woodwork around the windows. Sheesh! Seriously, it's been five days just to paint this one window! I'm hopeless. My excuse is that I can only paint when it's light, because it's hard to see at night even with the lamp on. (hahahaHAHAHAHAhahahaa) I only need to do touch-ups! Okay maybe I'll finish tonight when I'm watching the game.
The top photo shows the light-green color of the woodwork; we, or I should say I am painting it off-white instead.
Although it has only been a month since election day, it seems likes years. I try to post here, and when I'm about to hit 'publish' something else happens to talk about; I make changes/additions and then it all starts again, and I got so frustrated I just took my blog down because I was just, well, so frustrated!
He'll never be my president. He continues to be a disgrace, a danger, and an embarrassment.
But onto good things:
A few weeks ago, someone hit me from behind while I was driving to meet a friend for coffee in our little town. I was okay for the most part. The car was totaled.
Well that ended up a good thing, because one of the students I am currently teaching was selling her car, and with the insurance money from the guy who hit me, it nearly covered the cost of buying her car!! And it is in great shape so I can actually go visit Denise, and my sister M in Pittsburgh (M and I are doing to the protest in Washington DC the day after inauguration day) and other family and friends now!! I can drive out of our little town without worrying that the vehicle will break down! WHOOT!!!
Darn, I meant to take a photo of the cute little thing. It's a Ford Focus, and it reminds me of my beloved Honda Civic hatchback.
Other good things: Some former and current students of mine got together last Saturday and we made a bunch of bowls for the community services center here. The Empty Bowls project! This Saturday we'll glaze them all. We made a total of 22+!
Sara, Swapna, Becky, Mary, Kristi and me!
Oh and one last thing - please feel free to follow me on Instagram or on my art page on Facebook. I post there a lot more than on my blog. (Links are in the side column, I think)
Hope everyone is doing well. It's currently 22 degrees here! And I'm off to teach a pottery class - so I better get off the computer.