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the cow jumped over the moon

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happy holidays!

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!

happy holidays!
oops!

happy holidays!
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:

happy holidays!

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!

happy holidays!

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!

happy holidays!

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.

happy holidays!


Wishing you all the best during this
holiday season!

happy holidays!
Dried tangerines for stained-glass-ish decorations


august

I cannot believe it is August already. Actually, I guess I can - it has been so dry and hot it has been like a typical August 'dog days' since, well, for awhile now.

I am really glad we didn't plant a large vegetable garden this year. Our water bill would be huge! We planted late - corn, beans and melon, and I also planted a few kale, chard and Brussels sprouts. Robert recently cleaned out our rain barrels - they were clogged at the bottom.  He was able to siphon the water out so we got two days of  'free' water for the garden.

We have one baby melon so far!

august

Here's a sweet photo of Sephora. As you can see, we still haven't put up that fence. You can also see Robert's corn growing in the enclosed little garden bed.

august

With regard to pottery, I am still making my sgraffito things - tumblers and tea cups this time around. They go into the kiln for their first firing tomorrow.  Then I'll glaze them. I'm also teaching a few private lessons. My next class offering is in a few weeks, and then more in late September.

august

This was breakfast this morning (I posted this bowl a long while ago, I think).  The tumblers above will be glazed with this celadon glaze:

august

The part-time job at the non-profit is going very well. We have a wonderful student garden manager this year, so I do not have to be at the community garden all the time, and can focus more on reports/grant writing/fundraising, etc.  Plus the office is air-conditioned ;)

I think that is about it for now. Hope everyone is having a great summer (or winter, for you down-unders!).  I'm looking forward to the county fair in a few weeks!! Whooot!!!

what has happened...

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!

what has happened...

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!

what has happened...

And beans are growing (on a discarded futon frame):

what has happened...

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.

what has happened...

We had dinner with P and M (the artists) at their place (you may have seen their place before, here) Friday night. Ahhhhhhh!

what has happened...

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.

health insurance

As some of you know, Robert needs heart surgery. We have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what health insurance plan we can afford and what covers the doctors that he needs. We had signed up for a plan at the beginning of re-enrollment, but changed it today (re-enrollment was extended - whoot!) due to the fact that the surgeons his cardiologist wants him to use aren't on the previous plan.

Thank goodness for ACA (Affordable Care Act)/Obamacare, and thank you so much for the best customer service rep at our Ohio health care exchange.

This new plan is more expensive, and our finances will be VERY tight this year - even more so than last year, but not as bad as 2014. But Robert's health is most important.  He will be off work for probably two months.  Another thank you for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) - he won't lose his job for having this surgery.

Any guesses for which political party was instrumental in both FMLA and ACA? And today, President Obama vetoed a bill (voted on by nearly all Republicans and one Democrat) to REPEAL ACA!  Between this and his executive action regarding more background checks for guns, I am very thankful for our President!

Oh we finished the puzzle - he did most of it, but I halped! (Two pieces missing - we think Sephora ate them):

health insurance



mid-september highlights / mostly photos

mid-september highlights / mostly photos
Sephora went to the vet recently for her check-up and all is well, and she also got groomed! 
Picture taken on the steps to our back porch.

mid-september highlights / mostly photos
Robert turned 60!  His friend Aaron had an in-store surprise happening/jam at his record store which just happened to coincide with R's birthday, and then onto a planned birthday bash at the local bar with a bunch of his friends.  Robert said that it was the best birthday ever!
mid-september highlights / mostly photos
Pottery classes are going well - here are some of my students, throwing cylinders on the wheel.

mid-september highlights / mostly photos
P and M (the gardeners) were out of town for a bit, 
so I helped with taking care of their cat, garden and seedlings.

mid-september highlights / mostly photos
Go Cleveland Browns!

pals

I posted these on my FB page, and thought I would share here, too.  I have been trying to capture this for years, but usually by the time I find a camera, Sephora has had enough.

Charlemagne likes to groom Sephora, but Sephora seems like she is just putting up with it.

pals

pals

pals

They grew up together and are nearly the same age, along with being the same color!  Here's a post I did about these two awhile back. And here's the photo of the two as youngsters that my son took of them:

pals


yesterday and today

Yesterday afternoon, after I let Sephora out in our fenced-in back yard, I noticed that one section of the fence was down!

yesterday and today
I took this photo after Sephora was safely inside the house
I freaked out! Sephora is a runner, and she's the main reason we built the fence in the first place. I ran out to the middle of the yard, calling for her, and she came happily - phewww - she hadn't escaped! She was probably nosing in a collection of branches where there may be some rabbits living, or she was looking for frogs (or toads - not sure which live in our yard).

Grabbed her by her collar, and brought her into the house.  Then I went back out to see if I could lift the section of fence back up. I couldn't wrangle it by myself, so I called around to a few friends who I thought were at home to see if they could help. At first I couldn't reach anyone, but then E texted about something else right before I was going to call her, and came over, and a bit later P did too. They both helped me get it back in proper order.

Thanks to friends who can come by at the drop of the hat, and  thank goodness Sephora didn't notice that huge gap.

Today I went to a meeting for the non-profit - it was held at one of the College buildings - the AJLC - look, the building has a Wiki page "...one of the most advanced examples of Green building in the United States." They have a room called the Living Machine, and it filters waste. Yeah, that kind of waste. It is actually a pretty room, and it doesn't smell. I wasn't able to take a photo of it because the meeting was about to start.

yesterday and today
The AJLC atrium
Afterwards, I went to the community arts center to fire a bisque kiln. Although I'm not teaching this month, I stop in once a week to check the room and fire the pottery because my students are able to use that space as an Open Studio.

I walked back home, past the square, where the College is tapping the maple trees.

yesterday and today
"Tappin' at Tappan"
The square is called Tappan Square

yesterday and today
You can barely make out the white buckets next to the maples in the distance.

I cut through part of the campus on my way home.

yesterday and today

The only snow left is in the big mounds left from snow plows (see the first photo - way in the back of the parking lot next door). We may get a light dusting later this week but Spring is nearly here. As evidenced by the students I saw playing frisbee in tee-shirts and shorts in 45 F weather.


happy birthday!

Happy Birthday to Sephora! She's 8 years old! We are not sure the exact date of her birth - we got her from a rescue shelter in early January of 2007 - she was around 8 weeks old, so we settled on 11/11 as her birthday (probably because Robert's favorite number is 11).

This morning she helped me process a huge bag of apples to be dehydrated.  She loves apples.  She loves food, period.  The dehydrated apple slices will be eaten by us and used as her treats.

We are really happy that we have her in our life! Our home just wouldn't be the same without her.

Here's some back story

happy birthday!
Awwww - see why we could't resist her? 
Photo of her as a 'baby' about the time we brought her home

farmers market and chin dog

This morning, Robert and I got up early as we were substitute managing for the Farmers Market.

When we got home, we watched the Manchester City v Aston Villa game, and ate some sunflower seeds. Here is a photo of Sephora - Robert calls her "Chin Dog" when she does this.  This happens when she wants some of our food, and it is one of my favorite ways she begs.  And see the TV?  Man City had just scored their first goal.  She will also puts her chin on my knee when she wants to be petted. So it's not all about the food. But boy oh boy, is she food-driven!  At least she's not drooling.

farmers market and chin dog
Our Chin Dog - with her chin on the arm of my chair
happy holidays!augustwhat has happened...health insuranceinterruptions of the sweet kindmid-september highlights / mostly photospalsyesterday and todayhappy birthday!farmers market and chin dog

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