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the cow jumped over the moon

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good things

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 :)

app for that?

Why isn't there an app for blogger? Now that I have this fancy phone, all my photos are on it, and it would be so much easier to just write a blog post from the phone, instead of the computer.

Happy Halloween for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!

app for that?
At the old reservoir in town yesterday, early evening 
The Cleveland Indians are in the World Series -  1) Chief Wahoo is horribly racist and has got to go and 2) everyone outside of Cleveland fans want the Cubs to win.  But I am a Clevelander through and through (even though I have lived in this little college town about 35 minutes outside of Cleveland for 18 years) and it would be great if they would win - haven't won the World Series since 1948.   Keeps my mind off of other things.

My sister M and brother D went to one of the games; and the next day, sister M came to visit!

app for that?

Robert went to TX for three gigs, and while he was gone, Denise came by to take me out for my birthday - we went to a public garden, and then to lunch.  It was a gorgeous day and a wonderful time spent with such a dear friend.

app for that?
Denise next to the river
Life continues in its little ways. I teach pottery, work part-time for the non-profit. R and I did some much need yard clean-up the other day, but our lawn mower is on the fritz again.  I haven't knitted much these days but will remedy that once I pick a new project. I have been watching way too much sports on TV, and posting nearly daily on Instagram. Will be pickling a bunch of peppers my brother C and his wife K grew and gave us over the weekend.

app for that?

Today Sephora is at the groomers.  She has a growth on her eyelid, but fortunately we found out it was benign earlier this month, and she'll have that taken off when she gets her teeth cleaned in November.

app for that?
The growth is on her left eye, so you cannot see it in this photo
I'll post next week when I am celebrating the first female President of the USA!

Have a great week everyone!

microbursts

Two Saturdays ago, our town was hit by a microburst.

Fortunately no one was injured.  From what I have read and seen, hundreds of trees were knocked down or damaged. A few houses and cars were damaged. Nearly the entire town had no power. Oddly, and fortunately, we weren't hit at all and had power. We offered our electricity to those who needed to charge their phones.

microbursts
The top photo is representative of the kind of damage that happened all around us.
The bottom photo is one of two branches in our yard from the storm.

Not sure why the photo is blurry...hmmmmmm
And then another microburst:  On Robert's birthday last Wednesday - he turned 61, and Wednesdays are his usual day off -  we (with a borrowed car - our car cannot be trusted to make it that far) drove into Cleveland to celebrate his birthday and to visit my Mom in the hospital (she is doing much better, and is back home).  His cell phone rang - his work - but he didn't get to it in time and because he had never set up his voice mail, there was no way to know what they were calling about.  I joked that they were calling him to with him a happy birthday!

We first stopped into the West Side Market as he had a hankering for Moroccan olives. We picked up some other goodies too - enchiladas, blueberries for Mom, and we got a flat of strawberries for $5 because it was the end of the day!

microbursts

We visited Mom and she was doing so much better, and we had a great time, and sang Happy Birthday to Robert.

The next day, Robert goes to work, and comes back home 45 minutes later.  He, along with nearly 30 other people at the warehouse, were laid off.

We were (and sometimes even now) in complete shock. So what did we do?  We made jam with those strawberries. When life gives you ______...well you know the old saying

microbursts

Sunday, we went back into Cleveland to visit Mom again (at home) and were there with my brother C and his wife, and my sister M!  Happy early 86th birthday, Mom!

So, yeah, that is that. We'll get through this - but it is a tough thing to have your life changed around. Especially at our age. And especially that many people in and around our small college town now without work, too.

Of course, sometimes when we are blue, we think "just when things were finally looking up for us, then this happens!?!?!" And other times, we are strong in hope and us together being able to face this huge change in our life. The roller coaster of emotions these past days!  But it could be worse, right? We didn't get hit by the weather microburst, for one.

What is weird about all of this is that we usually don't really make huge plans for the future. But recently we had been talking about the next five years or so. We were quite happy with the way things are and that things were looking up, and thinking that perhaps we could put down a down payment for a better vehicle soon. Then BAM!

I don't usually like to write about negative stuff in this blog, but oh well.

Here is a happy photo of breakfast (actually the photo was taken yesterday, but we're having the same thing today) Robert made the bread and that's the jam we made.

microbursts



summer so far


summer so far
Rose of Sharon in our back yard/garden
It has been hot! And we need more rain. We may have a thunderstorm soon - I sure hope so.

And I have been distracted.  Mostly by politics and negativity and hate - oh, a shout out to Cleveland for shining during last week's RNC  - but also by other things.

I am also incredibly lazy these past two or three days. Haven't had much energy to do anything but read books (The Miss Peregrine series) with the A/C blasting, and watch You Tube videos of people talking about tarot.

Yes, I'm seriously studying the tarot these days, and I am fascinated! In 1990 I bought a tarot deck but didn't do much with it until recently, being spurred on by an on-line friend of mine that I have known from the old ATC (artist trading cards) and mail art days.  She has a YouTube channel, and that's how I (gladly) fell down the rabbit hole!

summer so far

Other things?

Had coffee with Evelyn, then visited her pet rescue pig.

summer so far
Oliver is a movie star - but I keep forgetting the name of the movie he was in!
Then later in the week she let us borrow her truck so we could get some fencing home. Free fencing! Yes! We have plans for the back yard. We had to cut the fence pieces in half because they were too long for the truck.
summer so far
At the community garden. 
As you can see, Robert is doing very well after his surgery in February!
I am not teaching pottery for a few weeks, so I have time to do some pottery things for myself. Though my majolica glaze experiment was a flop - but I'll try try try again.

summer so far
Top photo of glazed test piece before firing.
Bottom is of after firing - the glaze was either mixed wrong or
not fired to the optimal temperature
Another fail - tried using rubber cement as a resist for my watercolor greeting cards but while taking the glue off, the paper ripped. In the past, I used masking tape. Will try try try again.

Here's me off to buy that darned rubber cement.  See how hopeful I was:

summer so far
Empty chicken coop in the background - we need a new flock

I took a walk through the reservoir last week...it's just a few blocks south of our home and I don't take nearly enough advantage of it.



The moon - the night before the Summer Solstice (taken from our back yard)


Watching too much soccer - both the Euros and Copa (ughhh, US got beat by Argentina - I had hoped that they would have scored at least ONE goal...sigh.)  and not getting enough done around the house. I think it's just a way for me to zone out - been quite concerned about current events, upcoming elections and thinking about all my British friends with this upcoming Brexit vote.

A brother (Brother M) and a nephew flew in from Minnesota for the big Cavs parade in Cleveland today!  I won't be at the parade - too many people, plus Sephora needs to go to the vet (she has a stye on her eye lid that needs looking at) and I have to be at work, too - but it will be fun to see all the photos and videos and TV coverage about it!

The win by the Cavs was a HUGE thing for Cleveland - we haven't had a major championship win in ANY major sport here since 1964. (Though this year, our AHL - minor league hockey- team won their championship, and they'll be included in the parade today!)


I joined Instagram - I'm challenging myself to post a photo every day and having a blast using my new fancy phone- so if you are also over there, here's the link to me.   I'm also reacquainting myself with focusing/calming/attention techniques, using a few decks like a hand-made oracle deck that a bunch of us made about 10 years ago, my 1990s Universal Waite tarot deck and my new Lenormand deck.


The morning is flying by, so I'll post this now and get ready for the day.

we saw...

We saw a happy horse in town last Saturday!  The Mennonites were selling their baskets in town (remember this post?), and this is a perfect shady spot for the horse to relax, in the shrubs next to the parking lot of the community arts building, where I was unloading/loading a kiln.

we saw...

We saw some of my family.  Brother D came into town from CA to visit our Mom; we went with my Brother C and his wife into Cleveland last Sunday to meet up at Mom's house. On the way home, we drove through a thunderstorm and look at the colors (no camera filters used) afterwards!  Maxfield Parrish skies.

we saw...

we saw...

We saw and are seeing some of our garden in bloom:

we saw...
Peony

we saw...
Salvia - and I see some weeds, too!
Speaking of seeing, I am reading Asimov's The Naked Sun in which people on the plant Solaria get completely grossed out by seeing people in person, and feel more comfortable viewing them (through a device like a hologram).

We will be seeing a lot of our yard this weekend - I have a ton of weeding to do!

what's the buzz...

Weather: It's been a chilly April so far - we had snow over the weekend, and yesterday the powers-that-be cancelled the Cleveland Indians (baseball) Opening Day.Windchill of 18 degrees and snow/rain.  Not that I was planning on going to the game.  Baseball isn't my favorite sport to view (same with basketball), though if I have to watch any baseball, I prefer minor league, or folks at a pick-up game.

Television: Over the weekend, there are so many soccer and hockey games on television, esp. now that we have access to NBC Sports Network. By Saturday evening, after watching a ton of soccer, we started watching a hockey game, and I was fed up with myself. See, usually I knit while watching TV but I'm in between knitting ideas, and I had to do something, so I started making some very simple watercolor greeting cards, using masking tape, round stickers, and micron pen. I felt better about myself.

what's the buzz...

I enjoy sending and receiving cards in the mail, so I'll continue to play around with this idea.

Oh, and regarding television shows - I'm still not happy with the season finale of The Walking Dead- I am this close to being done with it, but I have to say I'm a bit interested in The Kingdom. Hinterland season 2 is on Netflix, so we'll be watching that at some point. Happy about Grantchester (season 2) and another season of Call the Midwife. And I'm still enjoying some sitcoms.

Pottery: I'm teaching some at-risk high school students on Tuesday afternoons for six weeks, and starting Wednesday night I have a new four week hand-building class.

I splurged on a new book - 500 Cups! I was able to find it for $10.00. I really want 500 Bowls, but cannot find that one cheap (yet).

what's the buzz...
My favorite mug at the moment.
Reading: Just finished a Mrs. Pollifax - enjoying these cozy mysteries these days.  Still reading The Art of Eating - I started it in August of last year. I'm on page 687 and I'm only now warming up to the author.

Garden: I'm using the weather and other (stressful) things as excuses, but truly, I should have started seeds weeks ago. Maybe this weekend.

Politics:  Don't even get me started.

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.

what's going on

what's going on
Ruffled cowls- I have been making a lot of these!
Guess what? We actually went to a party last weekend!! An annual gift exchange party (you know, where everyone brings a wrapped gift, and then we all pick a number, and you choose a gift and open it, then if someone else wants it they can take it from you and then you have to choose another gift - either a wrapped one or 'steal' from someone else ?) - we had been invited by Danyl and Louise for years and finally were able to attend, and we had such a good time!  Denise and her husband Jonnie, and Joan were there too!! EVERYONE wanted Brandon's Coveted Cast Iron Rabbit that he picked - I got it once and had to commemorate the moment as I knew it would be 'stolen' from me. We left early as our drive back home was an hour, and Denise later told me that it was 'stolen' by a few more people before it ended up with Devlin.
what's going on
Top Left: Devlin handing out numbers (Joan is in that photo - she's looking at Devlin's dad Danyl)
Top Right: Jonnie making that face on purpose and Denise
Bottom Left:  Brandon seeing if anything else is in the box that held the Coveted Cast Iron Rabbit
Bottom Right: Me and Robert with the Coveted Cast Iron Rabbit
Then Wednesday I met up with a very dear friend - Steve and I have known one another since our teens, and we have kept in touch since he moved to New Orleans thirty years or so and met his partner Warren, but we haven't seen one another in yikes, about 15 years? My only time visiting France was with him and other friends who were at college and I went along with them in the two weeks around NYE 1980.  How times flies, doesn't it? We had SUCH a blast - lunch lasted three hours! Robert and I have got to go to NOLA to visit one of these days soon.

what's going on
I'm wearing one of my ruffled cowls!

Pottery classes started this week. Oh I believe I figured out how to extend the firing times! WHOOT!!!  I'm off to load a kiln now.

Have a great weekend, folks!


#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 .




good thingsapp for that?microburstssummer so far we saw...what's the buzz...first week in marchwhat's going on#TBT - summer activities

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