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the cow jumped over the moon

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2017 so far

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.

2017 so far
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.

2017 so far


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.

2017 so far

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.

2017 so far

Oh and I would like to recommend again watching Deutchland 83 if you haven't seen it yet.

Anyway, enough for now.  How's your 2017 going!?

24 in '83

Thanks to Vix' recommendation, we're loving Deutschland 83.

24 in '83


The lead character is 24 in 1983 - I was, too. Makes me think about what little I was doing as an angry anti-Reaganite American at that time. I was involved in an anti-nuke protest, but other than that...? Preached to the choir - lots of conversations.  But did I write letters or call the government? I may have.

Which makes me think of politics here now, which makes me angry and disgusted. I have written emails, but what more can I do? Of course I'll vote, I always vote; but is that enough? I don't think it is.
24 in '83

first week in march

We recently watched Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, and all I have to say is - what? (apologies to anyone out there who is a huge fan), though there was something about them that I did enjoy. I'm reading an Inspector Gently book now - to see if I'm just 21st century jaded. I'm also getting annoyed with television shows recently - for instance, I cannot wait until we are done with the last episode of Downton Abbey (we DVRed it) - I think it jumped the shark years ago. EDIT:  We just watched the final episode - very well done! And The Walking Dead, which I normally enjoy, is bugging me too. In case you all think I'm a total curmudgeon (I'm only partly curmudgeon!), there are some television shows I find enjoyable. Like Life in Pieces and Brooklyn Nine Nine. Guess I need some light-hearted laughs.

And speaking of TV, we found out that we now get NBC Sports Network and oh dear - we watched soooo many soccer games this weekend. But that's really okay for now as you know I knit while I'm watching TV, and it is nice to sit and relax a bit with Robert. What else?  Oh, we went to the hospital again on Wednesday because Robert is having severe muscle/neck/head pains probably due to how he's holding himself since his surgery. The PA (physicians assistant) told me to stop following him around all the time - that there is really nothing I would be able to do if he fell, anyway. I'm in such fear of R falling down and splitting open his sternum, and I would trail along after him in the house.  He had a few tests done at the hospital, and I waited in a pretty waiting room at that hospital.  Another good thing about his check-up on Wednesday - now that he has been given the go-ahead to walk around freely, he can also cook a little.  Whoot!

first week in march
See, the hospital can do nice-looking waiting rooms.
The PA gave him the go-ahead to have massages, so we went on Friday (our pal Scott has his office in a building overlooking the square) and while R was getting his massage, I took this photo of the square, and then went to the post office. I don't think I have posted any photos of the so-called winter we have had this year. In fact, I think we had the most snow this winter on Friday, and by Sunday all of this snow was melted away. Hey, I'm not complaining.

first week in march
Friday: early March snow in the town square
I was asked to teach a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute once-a-week for six weeks pottery class to some high school students from Cleveland. Now to figure out what high school students like. I haven't taught that age group in a long time. This class starts in two weeks - better get researching.

Went back to work (at the non-profit) on Tuesday after some vacation time/being with the husband, so I took some photos in the bathroom there. Linked to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style blog for her Visible Monday post.
first week in march
Second-hand top (long-sleeved shirt and vest) and very very old scarf from somewhere, 
and matching brown specs.I had a good hair day and had to document it.

#TBT - summer activities

The other day, while eating ice cream at Dairy Twist, I asked my husband what activities in his youth were specific to summer.  Which was actually a silly question because he grew up in California. Summer didn't mean quite the same for him as it did for me; we had the school's-out-for-summer in common but that was about it.  Here in the Midwest, summer was special - we only had a few months of warm weather.

There are activities which I don't have photos to illustrate - like how I used to sit on the front porch of our house, with a glass of lemonade and some saltines, reading books in the shade.  Playing kick-the-can with the the kids in the neighborhood, and sometimes with our parents which was quite fun!  Riding my bike for hours in the streets or in the parks alone or with friends. Swim lessons and then swimming every year at the local pool (there is a great photo of me in a swim show but it's at my Mom's house -I'll have to find it and scan that one). Eating soft-serve ice cream! Oh, and I just remembered -  annual church picnics out in the country by a lake most every summer.  And our street would have a block party once in awhile.

We would go on vacation - either a few days to visit relatives in Pittsburgh, or a day trip to an amusement park:

#TBT - summer activities
1964 at Cedar Point, and I absolutely loved my cowgirl hat!
And I still love carousels.
We visited friends in Erie, PA and this is where my dislike for beaches started - I got sand in my swimsuit and we drove all the way home at night, and I was so uncomfortable. So very uncomfortable.

#TBT - summer activities
Also 1964 and the last time you'll see a photo of me smiling at the beach. 
With my sister D and brother C

#TBT - summer activities
1966 with  three siblings (C, D and brotherM) and five cousins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - I'm the one with the ponytails.
As teenagers, we were allowed to drive an hour or so away to go to a man-made lake/water park called Holiday Sand, and most of the time I would take my younger siblings with me.  We teens also went to amusement parks (Cedar Point or Geauga Lake), festivals, and outdoor concerts (usually at Blossom Music Center) often times without adult supervision. It was a much freer time to be young back then. We always had money in our pockets because we always had some sort of job or another. For instance, I helped with the family newspaper route, babysat (which I hated), worked at the farmers market and a golf course.

Young adulthood - well that is a whole 'nother story. Maybe for another post. But for now - I have had my soft-serve ice cream this summer and have ridden my bike (maybe not for miles and miles, though). I have yet to go to a festival or an outdoor concert (even though every Friday here in town they have concerts in the square) or a county fair. I didn't start going to county fairs until after my son was born - it wasn't something we did growing up as we lived in a suburb very close to the city - but it has become a must-do summer activity. Which reminds me - we once stayed at a farm in Pennsylvania for our vacation and I absolutely loved it and named a newborn calf Elizabeth -  have to find that photo, too.

The county fair is coming up soon, and I'll definitely be going with Robert. But I won't be going to the beach.

#TBT - summer activities
1990 - bored to death and still worried about sand in my swimsuit.
But the suit was vintage!
 And I was inspired to post this photo by THIS post of Melanie's .




some summer things

We spent Friday evening with some friends - wonderful conversations and food and spectacular views. So good for my soul.

some summer things
D didn't know I was taking this photo of her. 
 We were at P and M's place, a few minutes outside of town
As the sun faded, the bullfrogs were stating their positions on matters of territory, and I had never heard that fog horn noise they make before.

I love this idea - window wells put together to form a huge raised bed. Would love to do this surrounding a stump in our yard. There were a few strawberries left - yum!

some summer things
Michael said he found and bought these at the dump - I'm going to have to try to find some.
What else?  Oh, I'm joining a Fantasy Football/Futbol/Soccer league - hahaa, we'll see how that turns out!

Jackie mentioned that she would like to see the before/after photos of the hallway - so here you go!  This is the front hallway - the first thing you see when you enter our home.

some summer things

The first photo of the front hallway/stairs was taken when we first took a look at this house before we bought it - yes we bought it even with that god-awful blue on the stairs.

The second/middle photo is when we had a hair-brained idea to strip the wood and stain it - our house is over 140 years old and the wood of the stairs isn't the greatest. Plus I was testing that green paint color out. So it sat like this for a long time - no wonder we rarely had people over.

The third photo is the front hallway complete!  Robert did an amazing job (I helped, a little). We stripped the white paint off and stained the banisters, but just painted the stairs, doors and the walls. I never liked the color yellow much but it is growing on me and the paint color I picked out is fabulous if I say so myself.  (See the brown door in the last photo?  That is our only actual closet in our entire house; we have a sort-of closet off our bedroom but it doubles as a walkway to the bathroom.  Old houses can be charming, annoying or weird, depending on the day.)

This morning (Sunday) Robert needed some peppers as he is making breakfast, and I was able to pick our first tomatoes of the season:

some summer things
First tomatoes of the season
Time to water the garden as we haven't had a good heavy rain in awhile. But we are fortunate that in general our summer has been very very good - we haven't had that extreme heat that a lot of other folks here in the US have had.


sunday gardens

We had a 'rain date' for the Garden Tour today since some people were confused because it rained so much last Sunday. It was a lot of fun for me because I didn't have to do as much work (the hours were shortened) and I was able to dress up and hang out with some of the gardeners.
sunday gardens
Peter, who is our main volunteer gardener at the community garden,
and Alan, my boss at the non-profit which oversees the community garden

sunday gardens
I was hanging out with Sarah; here she is watering part of her garden
sunday gardens
I decorated my hat with one of my pom pom headbands.
I'm going to make a pompom headband for Sarah to match the dress she's wearing

sunday gardens
A bit of Lisa and Ken's garden, next door to Sarah and Tim's

sunday gardens
A Japanese-inspired garden on the tour - today was the first day I was able to visit it!

sunday gardens
I liked what I was wearing today, so I took a photo on our front porch and sepia-d it.
I still feel silly taking 'fashion' self-portraits, but oh well.
Those with a keen eye can see the crocheted doilies that Jayne sent me last year!
We're going to have a busy week - as I mentioned last post, two of Robert's friends from Denmark are visiting mid-week.  And we still have some cleaning up to do before they arrive. Hope we get it all done on time.

what a week!

 After a few months of teaching, I had a bunch of clay to reclaim, and a few of my students volunteered to help me. I really appreciated their help! We took a break from watching the clay dry and went to a Local coffee shop - honestly, the name of the coffee shop is the Local!
what a week!
Jaffe wonders if waiting for clay to dry takes longer than waiting for a pot to boil.

what a week!
Evelyn, who also works with me at the nursery/garden center,
was explaining why she likes her apron.
Then on Thursday at work for the non-profit, we headed over to the community garden as we were meeting a newspaper reporter and photographer there.  Check out this article (Alan, in the video, is my boss at the non-profit, and we oversee the community garden. I'm in the middle in that little photo along with two other gardeners.)  It occurred to me that this is the fourth time in six months that I have been in the local newspaper! I'm not sure what to think about that - fortunately none of the times were because I ran afoul of the law.

After that, we headed over to the 'green' house the non-profit is building for a family in town as the reporter was interested in that project, too.

what a week!
We're hoping that it will be complete by Mother's Day
what a week!
I was using my camera phone, which isn't very good, plus it was very overcast on Thursday
Friday I started back at the garden center/nursery.  I won't be able to work too many hours this month because of my schedule - especially with the three pottery classes I'm teaching this month.  But you know how much I enjoy working there. During early spring, there is seed sorting and packaging to do, onion sets and seed potatoes to sell, and general clean-up from the winter. We may be starting some seeds - our last frost date here in this area isn't until May 18th or so, so we still have some time. In fact, I have to start some seeds tomorrow for our garden here at home.

I also received a surprise package from Northern Mum Down South!!! She had also included some cookies/biscuits with a little packet of icing, but I ate those up right away so they aren't in the photo.  Isn't that the coolest and so thoughtful? Thank you again SO much, Jayne!!!

what a week!
A tea towel with a Yorkshire pudding recipe printed on it - we'll try that tomorrow -
along with a gorgeous scarf, a knitting booklet, and lovely card and a crocheted flower brooch she made!!!
So I am juggling three to four part-time jobs:  the non-profit, teaching pottery, the nursery/garden center, and managing the farmers market starting in May. I don't think I'll be teaching any pottery in May - I'll be meeting with the Education Director at the community arts center soon to see what classes and workshops I can offer in late spring/summer. But I'll have more time to work at the nursery then.

I mentioned last year around this time that my biggest problem or should I say my biggest challenge is not getting overwhelmed with my schedule, and making sure that I include downtime in it. Wish me luck!

It's SPRING!!!!

PS:  One last thing - if you had asked me years ago what I want to do with my life, I would say something like "work for a community organization, and be involved in gardening, and do my art".  Well I am doing just that these days!  Even though it is all part-time and I'm not making tons of money, I'm pretty darned happy.  Any unhappiness I may have is that I can tend to get a little overwhelmed and get stuck, but if I make sure to schedule in that downtime like I mentioned, I think I'll be okay.

thoughts and stuff

I have been busy clearing and cleaning out the basement art space - a 6' x 8' room that Robert built for me a few years back - to house my pottery wheel and clay tools. I used that room quite often a few years ago, but then it just became cluttered, especially since I stopped doing mail art and swaps.

I was able to toss two huge garbage bags full of junk, filled two grocery bags of paper recyclables and a bunch of plastic to recycle, and have a large bin/tub to go through for donation to a charity or for re-sale.  I still have some other art supplies to sell or donate - things like beads and beading supplies because I'm really crap at making jewelry. I cannot wrap wire properly to save my life.

Back when I had full-time employment, some of the jobs I had were quite stressful. I would spend money to make myself happy, and one of the things I spent money on too freely was art/craft supplies. Not that I had much time to use them either. I had accumulated way too much stuff. It was overwhelming and head-shaking. Coincidentally,  Tilda was just talking about hoarding in this post.

And it made me think about Farmville.

Yes, Farmville. Some years back, when Facebook had launched that game, I loved it- plant some seeds, take care of farm animals - nice and slow (like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, two other old time video games I liked).  I played it for quite some time.  Not sure why I stopped - probably because the computer I have now is quite slow.Or maybe because I was actually gardening and raising chickens in real life. Now that Robert is gone (he is on tour in Denmark and Germany for two week) I'm using his computer which is faster, and because I'm a little bored or actually I'm a lot procrastinating, I clicked on Farmville again. It's like watching a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video! Sensory overload!  More and more stuff, have to have more stuff!!!! After a day and a half, I had to delete that app. It was making me nervous and slightly melancholy.

thoughts and stuff

Not sure what this post is about other than I have been thinking a lot about stuff... I could continue to talk about this, and one of the reasons I hadn't done pottery in a long time is because I think 'how many pieces of pottery does the world need?'  But I really enjoy clay. I don't know - sigh - I think I need to think about something else. And take out the recycling.

And in other news, today was the first day I actually saw the ground in the yard, between melting piles of snow!

what i wore to the interview

I don't know how you people who take fashion self-portraits do it!  I'm constantly cutting my legs or head off. And totally losing my patience.

I tried to take a photo in our bedroom.  No legs, and gees I have to clean that mirror:
what i wore to the interview
I made that vase, btw
Then on the front porch.  I took off my scarf, which kind of matches my tights.  No head.

what i wore to the interview

Then after the interview, I tried taking some photos out in the back yard.  I was looking down at the dog in this photo. The camera was propped up on the fence.  Well, at least you have a blurry look at my hair trim and re-bleaching:
what i wore to the interview

By this point I'm finally totally fed up but I took one last shot.  I was so done with taking self-portraits I couldn't really smile - I wanted to scream.

what i wore to the interview

None of the clothes I'm wearing are thrifted.  The coat I bought on sale at Bead Paradise here in town years ago. The jumper/dress I also bought on sale there. I'm wearing a 3/4 sleeve grey tee-shirt under the jumper but you cannot see that, and I think I bought that at K-Mart or someplace like that.  Tights - hmmm, not sure where I got them, but also on sale at the end of the season. Shoes are Clarks I got from Zappos. I purchased a few pairs of Clarks full price years ago and they're still going strong. Everything I'm wearing is 3 years old or older.

The amazing yellow leather bag is a gift from my friend C who gave it to me for a birthday present - she made it herself!!  I absolutely adore it.

I'm linking up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday.
2017 so far24 in '83first week in march#TBT - summer activities some summer thingssunday gardenswhat a week!thoughts and stuffcolor!!!!what i wore to the interview

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