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the cow jumped over the moon

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good things

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+!

good things
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.


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



Aren't paint palettes some of the prettiest things?
One of my cheap sloppy watercolor palettes -  bought it for a dollar or two years ago.

Still making cards...
Blanks/backgrounds - haven't doodled on them yet.

My sister M is taking a watercolor class starting tomorrow!  Cannot wait to see her work!! She is so talented.

One of these days I hope to take a watercolor class, too, and not just screw around like I have been doing (though I have to admit I am having fun). A perk of teaching where I do is that we can take a class for free!

I am getting ingredients together for a majolica glaze recipe. Found some old terracotta clay in a bucket in the basement - it has been in that bucket for about...ummmm...ten years....more? Wedged some up today, will throw and/or handbuild some pieces so when I make the glaze, I can test it all together.

I haven't done proper majolica in years.  Here is a bowl I made back in college (1986?). I cannot believe I still have it.



And here's me, testing out one of my mugs...or am I just kissing it?



easter

easter
I just had to dye and decorate some Easter eggs
(dye, markers, crayons and wax)
I have always loved Easter.
The Easter Bunny would hide our baskets - 
we would tear about the house Easter Sunday morning trying to find them.
And when we had our morning newspaper route, those of us kids who got up early to deliver the papers had a hard time being good on holidays by not looking for our baskets (or under the tree on Christmas) before everyone else was up. Sometimes we did sneak a peek. We hurried to deliver the papers on holidays.
Candy was a special treat three times a year - Easter/Halloween/Christmas.
Dad would buy us girls (and Mom, too!) corsages.
We usually got a new Easter outfit.
I was so into that blue and green color combination. And I remember loving those tights I'm wearing.
A lamb shaped cake, too, for dessert after dinner.
Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate. I'm celebrating Spring!

easter
1967 or '68 because brotherD isn't in the picture.
SisterM, brotherM, me, brotherC and sisterD
Thanks to SisterM for finding this photo!

leap day monday

leap day monday

It's been a weird a weird warm winter, but I'm not complaining - after the past two, this has been a nice reprieve.
leap day monday
Photos from Friday:  Leaving the hospital/Nearly home/Home!
Robert is doing very well!  I cannot believe a week ago I was waiting with Denise (she was with me for a big chunk of the nearly 12 hours I was there while Robert was having the surgery - thank you sweetest friend!) in the Ugliest Waiting Room Ever. Waiting for a loved one while they are in surgery is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. But I have to say,  modern medicine is amazing. And he and I are both very very happy he is on the mend and home.

leap day monday
Denise waving - the cheeriest thing in this, the Ugliest Waiting Room Ever.
During the week, Mom and SisterM came to visit Robert at the hospital, then they took me to lunch! Then BrotherC brought over some home-made soup on Saturday! We have received soo many well wishes from family and friends and here on the blog and on FB!  We also had an on-line fundraiser that our dear friend Mike did for us - what a help that has been and will be since Robert will be unable to work for 2-3 months. People are awesome.  

Revving back up to go back to work at the non-profit tomorrow. Re: pottery teaching -  I'm not teaching any full classes this month, so will try to get more private students and do a few evening open studios.

I love the way this un-bisqued piece looks - need to figure out how to get this look as a finished piece. I'm going to pop out to the community arts center to unload a kiln and glaze this piece in a few minutes as R is taking a nap.

leap day monday
Sgraffito-ed tumbler
I'm applying for a spot at the famous and most amazing Hessler Street Fair, which will be held in late May. I have been a vendor there years ago and wow were those times a blast.  I'm applying because 1) well, it will be fun (especially if I can get a space next to Joan) and most importantly 2) having this scheduled will kick my butt in gear to get moving and do more art! 

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

Drat, a bunch of bottles of perfume have gone off.

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

The first Saturday in January, we went to my sister D's house to meet up with her and her family, and sister M and her family, for a holiday-type get-together. I decanted a bunch of perfume and brought some bottles to give away because there is no way in hell I'll ever be able to wear all of it, and given that so much went off and I had to throw away, I better share the wealth before more bites the dust. Plus it is difficult to mail perfume - the only ways you can do it is to lie or to mail it ground. And I don't want to do either. Last time I tried to ship something ground it was more expensive.

Bowie and Rickman are now off this mortal coil. I rarely get upset when celebrities die, but Bowie especially made me sad - wow did his early music affect me. And if you haven't seen Rickman in The Song of Lunch, check it out. And I need to see Die Hard - can you believe I haven't seen it yet?

Plus now I'm afraid of the age of 69. I used to be afraid of turning 43. I had my palm read when I was 20 or something like that, and the palm reader said something ominous about being 43. Well the thing that did happen at that age was that I got engaged to Robert, and that wasn't such a bad thing!

Today I threw some bowls and tested out some new ribs. And we're watching the NFL play-offs.

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

Oh and I did order those glasses!!

gone off - scented sunday and some other things


games and puzzles

Last year, I received this puzzle for the holidays and we only opened it last night. Yikes! Since we haven't done a puzzle in a long long time, I'm not sure this is the one that we should have started on.

games and puzzles

Many families and friends in the US tend to play games over the holiday season (as well as throughout the year, but it seems that the holidays have more game-playing sessions than at other times) - or at least in my circle of family/friends they do. Maybe because, unlike in the U.K. where I understand that over Christmas there were and are Christmas Specials, slim pickings were on regular TV. Plus usually during the holidays there would be snow and cold in our neck of the woods (unlike this year as we haven't had real snow yet and currently it's raining again) and being inside and warm was a nice thing. Or maybe it was a good way to keep the peace! For whatever reason, I remember playing a lot of games during this season when indoors!  Also when I was a kid, we often received a new board game from Santa. I remember getting Masterpiece in 1970/71, for instance. Santa used to bring my son games often, too!

I have to admit that I got bored easily with some board games - after playing a few times, I was ready for the next one. But cards on the other hand I seemed to enjoy more. Rummy was a favorite of mine. And pre-packaged card games are fun, too - I heard that there is a new game called Cards Against Humanity - this coming weekend, I'm meeting up with my sisters and I think we'll be playing that one.  I also recommend Aquarius - it is a fun Dominoes-type game.

Here is our current stash of games in our home (which means these are games that still interest me!).

games and puzzles
The two cases are - fancy poker set and backgammon.
There is also a checker/chess board in there somewhere,
but I don't have any checkers or chess pieces anymore for some reason.
Did your family and friends play games at this time of year? And do you have any game recommendations?

And once again I say:  There needs to be a word/term for this week between Christmas and the New Year!  EDIT 12/29/15 - I read that in Norway the week is called Romjul.

the wayback machine and marmalade re-do

Cool!  I found my old site, TaraKnit, through the Wayback Machine! Now I have heard about The Wayback Machine before, but I never thought to search it for my site - but my sister Maria recently sent me a link to this article from the New Yorker, so that made me look for it.

Ten years ago, I started an on-line store. I sold used knitting needles. I had been obsessed with pink knitting needles, so I would buy lots (literally - many a 'lot' of knitting needles) from Ebay, specifically from Australia as they had all these amazing plastic needles that I had never seen here in the US.I had so many extra knitting needles that I wasn't using or giving away, that I started the business. No, I didn't make millions, but it was a lot of  fun.  And I never did compile a full set of all pink ones - so I allowed purple and red ones to join in.

the wayback machine and marmalade re-do
DPNs on the left, straight needles on the right
Today is a day off, so I was re-working the lime marmalade fruit leather. First I scraped all the rubbery 'marmalade'out of the jars, put them in a pot, poured boiling water into the empty jars that still had a lot of stuff in them, and dumped that into the pot.  Once the 'marmalade' was more liquid, I took out all the rinds as they never cooked properly in the first place.

It took me two tries - the first time, it ended up being lime syrup. Then I started over, and did the cold plate test.  Why don't I follow all directions and helpful hints in the first place!?  I also splurged on a new thermometer the other day.

Well, I was able to resurrect it somewhat - it still isn't perfect, but it does tastes good.  The best thing is that I am more confident now that I am not winging it and actually following instructions.  I have two bags of Meyer lemons and some grapefruit so I'll be making more marmalade this weekend, and hopefully hopefully I won't have to try three times to get it right..

the wayback machine and marmalade re-do
It was a bit of a struggle getting everything out of the nearly four jars!
I ended up with a two jars in the end...better than nothing, right?


photos of photos

Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes to my mother.  She is doing very well after her hospital stay! It is amazing what modern medicine can do these days. My mom received a lot of visitors - my siblings Chris, Diane, and David (who happened to be nearby as he lives in California.  Marc is in Minnesota now and was unable to come due to work), my nephew Stefan, and my sister Maria and mom's sister Marilyn are driving up from Pittsburgh today to spend the weekend with her.

I didn't have time to do much knitting, but I did browse through some old family photos while I was there, and took photos of the photos because there wasn't a scanner around.

At the first house we lived in as a family; the upstairs of a duplex in East Cleveland:  Since it is April 1963, I'm three years old (would turn 4 in October), and my Gramma G (mom's mom) is probably there because my brother Marc was being born.  My sister Diane isn't in this photo - she would have been a year and a half or so and was most likely in her crib.

photos of photos
Gramma G, my older brother Chris, and me.  What game are we playing? 
This next photo in particular jumped out at me. See, I loved pickles from an early age! And as it was the holiday season, you see us with pop because pop (especially the well-loved Little Toms which I am drinking) was an extra special treat for us.  I wrote about Little Toms here).   I loved my sailor suit outfit.  I heard from a friend , who was born in Ireland, that sailor suit outfits were all the rage there at that time, too! But why is Chris wearing his football gear? Oh, maybe he received it as a Christmas present?

photos of photos
Me and Chris - December 1963.  I am four years old, Chris is 6.
Our family had just moved into the house where my mother still lives in Cleveland Heights..
Mom told me that we moved to this house the day JFK was assassinated
Gramma E with Chris, Diane and me.  It says May 1964, but this must have been taken at Easter.

photos of photos
Gramma E - my dad's mom.  She was quite stylish, and was a nightclub singer for awhile.
And the same day, this time Dad and Mom with me and Chris.

photos of photos

Okay enough tripping down memory lane.  I need to get some knitting done.  I didn't go to the Winter Market today but Robert is there, subbing for the cheese guy.  Which means he gets paid partly in cheese - whoot!!!

good thingsapp for that?microburstseasterleap day mondaygone off - scented sunday and some other thingsgames and puzzlesthe wayback machine and marmalade re-dophotos of photos

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