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.
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.
Hillary R. Clinton won the majority of popular votes. And if you include the people who voted third party, even more of the people who voted voted against him.I am completely outraged and disgusted. But because of the Electoral College, she didn't win the election. I don't have final numbers, but here were some from yesterday:
231,556,622 eligible voters / 46.9% didn't vote / 25.6% voted for Clinton /25.5% voted for DT /1.7% voted for Johnson
My Tuesday evening Twitter post: "They didn't "drain the swamp."They voted their racism, hate, misogyny, exclusion and fear."
I finally got to sleep at 5:30 a.m. and when I woke up four hours later and realized what had happened, I nearly threw up.
I went to work at the non-profit for a little while, and I cried. Our non-profit helps people who are middle to low-income. And many of our community that we help are minorities. I will be asking for support in a following blog post.
My Wednesday evening Facebook post: "I am unable to be gracious at the moment: I am furious, heartbroken, disgusted, ashamed, and mostly so very very scared for so many of our citizens who are living in fear. Maybe some day soon, but not now."
Protests against him are happening all over the country. Many many people scared. Incidents of hate crime on the rise. I read that after Brexit, hate crimes increased 400%.
Thursday morning Facebook post: "FWIW: My outrage and disgust is not about being pissed that my candidate didn't win. I have been upset when others were elected but never before was I struggling so much with having hope for the best for ALL the citizens of our country (along with the treatment of immigrants, global warming, and many other issues) Politics are about compromise. I know that. My disgust and outrage is mostly about the person and his heinous words/actions/proposals. I hope I'm proved wrong but at this moment, I'm not feeling it"
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!
Had coffee with Evelyn, then visited her pet rescue pig.
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.
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.
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:
Empty chicken coop in the background - we need a new flock
What has happened since my last post? Two big things happened to England* recently, and with regard to one of those things I say - go Iceland!
And what has happened around here since my last post, you may ask?
Well, Chalk Walk happened. I wasn't chalking this year, just enjoying!
And beans are growing (on a discarded futon frame):
And Sephora went to the vet - she has a little bump on her eyelid that we're keeping an eye on (no pun intended) to see if it is an infection or something else.
We had dinner with P and M (the artists) at their place (you may have seen their place before,here) Friday night. Ahhhhhhh!
It's summer and it has been a beautiful one so far! We have a three-day weekend here in the US as Monday is the Fourth of July. I'm kind of happy that it might rain on Monday - the fireworks scare Sephora so a more subdued Fourth is okay with us.
*Yes, I know that Brexit affected the entire UK, not just England - and it affected much more than that, too.
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.