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the cow jumped over the moon

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it's still spring, isn't it?

Every time I start a post, something else happens and I drop that post, and start another.  And then something else happens ... gah!!

Since it's been nearly two months or so since I last posted -  check out the chickens:

it's still spring, isn't it?
Bettie isn't in the photo - Lettie, Nettie, Myrtle and Hettie
I went to the March for Science in Cleveland on April 22nd (Earth Day), with my friends Evelyn (we worked at the nursey/garden center together for a few years) and her husband Don.  Their signs were photographed so many times it was awesome! Oh and Viva La France!  And we still have work to do with this administration - esp the current joke of a health care bill.

it's still spring, isn't it?

Finished my quilt!! It only took three months.  I learned a hell of a lot about myself with this project. Doing anything with precision is very hard for me, but I stuck with it. There are a lot of mistakes in this, but I did have a lot of fun and a lot of yelling-at-the-sewing machine; but I'll do another in the fall.

it's still spring, isn't it?


it's still spring, isn't it?Robert and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on May Day, and then last weekend, we went away for a night. It was the first time we were able to get away in a L O N G time. That whole week it was raining nearly every day, so it was wonderful that on Saturday, the skies started to clear and we were able to see the sun.

We just went to the Lake Erie Islands - I have lived in Northern Ohio my whole life and I had never been to the islands before. It was really really sweet and necessary. We walked along the beach - I was looking for sea glass, but we found a lot of cool stones and shells;saw a lighthouse; and an egret; took the ferry to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island.  We didn't think we'd be staying overnight on the island because lodging is expensive, but we saw this adorable old-fashioned hotel (no TV in the rooms, the bathroom was like a boarding house, down the hall) but the price was right so we took it!  We hadn't brought our overnight clothes with us (they were in the car on the mainland) but what the heck.  We were only going to be there one night.  It was fantastic. I won't bore you with all the photos, but you can see many more of them on Instagram.

it's still spring, isn't it?
The ferry Sunday morning
Busy with work at the non-profit - the community garden is getting ready for the season, and we had a Spring community clean-up recently where we helped folks rake old leaves, clear brush, and clean gutters. We also had a ribbon cutting for the rehabbed home we did for a family.

This month I'm not teaching pottery so I hope to get a lot of my own work done. Plus all the spring gardening stuff - weeding and prepping beds, transplanting seedlings.  I'm planning a special herb garden this year.

Oh speaking of herbs, I am still doing a lot of herbal infusions, and just started a tincture of cleavers. Along with studying herbalism, I'm still learning the tarot, and I'm still enjoying it! Fascinating.

it's still spring, isn't it?
Cleavers tincture
And a final photo - our house covered with wisteria! Last year, it didn't bloom so here it is, going insane!

it's still spring, isn't it?



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


#tbt and lost/found!



#tbt and lost/found!
#tbt - me in October 1961 - two years old as my birthday is in October
I have been going through all the plastic bins of holiday decorations, which have been stored in the basement. Picking out what I want to decorate with this year. Making sure everything is in the correctly labeled bin "holiday lights" or "nutcrackers/stocking" or whatever. 

#tbt and lost/found!

I was able to fill two boxes of extra holiday decorations I'll never use and will donate to charity. In the meantime, I found a un-labeled bin tucked away among the holiday bins, and inside was a treasure-trove of things I have been looking for for years!!!! Most importantly, I was looking for some low fire glaze recipes, and glaze notebooks and sketchbooks, and found not only the majolica recipe I used thirty years ago, but also the clay recipe, too. I am so incredibly excited about this!

#tbt and lost/found!
I tried to do an artsy-fartsy video on my phone of me flipping through my notebook,
but it just didn't work.
This photo is a mistake as I hit 'photo" instead of "video" and didn't realize it until later.
Looking forward to mixing up that majolica recipe and trying it out again. I believe that all the ingredients are still available. I'll post about this process. 

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!

scented sunday

Lots of awful stuff happening in the world and especially my country, and I don't know what I can do about any of it. So I decided this morning to stay off some social media and news sites, and hunker down at home. It is also Midsummer, so other than writing this post, I will attempt to do some work in the garden if it doesn't rain. And I'll probably nap. I have been sleeping a lot.  Mother Nature can be cruel, but not near as horrible as humans can be.

Dior Dune (1991):  I believe I bought this sample back in 2010. I never really did anything with it  - this was billed as a 'fresh oriental' and it didn't seem very oriental to me, plus it has aldehydes.

When I sampled it a month or so ago, I was quite impressed and I laughed at myself thinking "yep this is exactly what I couldn't and wouldn't pay attention to years ago."  I can now see why it gets rave reviews. Check out Perfume Shrine/Elena's review here.  Just because a perfume is popular doesn't mean it isn't a damn good and interesting one - yeah, I need to say that to myself often as it is very easy for me to dismiss mainstream anything.

Montale Attar and Black Aoud:  I cannot find release years for these two. Montale was founded in 2003. Both of these are solid rose powerhouses, Black Aoud being more dominant, Attar a bit more subtle and nuanced. *Thanks to Suzanne for the sample of Black Aoud and read her magnificent review here.

Domenico Caraceni Domenico Caraceni 1913 (2007):  A fragrance for men that can and should be worn by women. An interesting and finely layered take on the aftershave/barbershop cologne.  Notes of neroli, styrax, petitgrain, geranium, rose, bitter orange, tobacco, incense and cypress.  Here is a review by Michael and another from Nathan Branch. I'm not sure if this is even available in the US anymore.

It's also Father's Day in the US which is another reason I'm not my bright cheerful self - my father passed away in 1993 and he is missed every single day.

scented sunday


*I don't always remember who has sent me some of the samples that I am reviewing and I apologize. I can usually tell by the handwriting and/or labeling of the samples, but sometimes I have a difficult time remembering. I should have written all of this down but in my arrogance I thought I would be able to remember without taking notes.  I am upset about this because I am doing a huge disservice to those generous perfume-pals out there.

may days

Ahhh it's May, and I'm relaxing this weekend as it is two full days off for me in a row!  May will be a bit slower as I am not teaching pottery this month, but will pop in to the community arts center to check up on things and fire bisque and glaze kiln loads as Open Studio continues.

The nursery is super busy, and I'm also working more hours for the non-profit.  We only have one plot left for the community garden - it's the most full it has been in a few years and we all are quite pleased!

Friday:  May Day was our 11th anniversary! I gifted Robert two big bags of peanut M&Ms earlier in the week, and he gathered this beautiful bouquet of flowers from our yard, and then made us my favorite meal - steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans. Just perfect.

may days
Anniversary bouquet in a Hull Pottery vase
Saturday: I missed The Big Parade though I heard it go by on the street south of us. I was just so exhausted from April that I stayed home all day and didn't change out of my pyjamas until 3:30.*  we watched some hockey (Stanley Cup play-offs - not really rooting for any team except that I always root against any team from any sport that is from New York!) and caught up on some other programs that we had taped/tivo-ed.  But at 8:00 p.m. I mowed some of the back yard - it was a jungle back there -  as by that time I felt that I needed to do something constructive.

Has anyone seen these before?

may days
Window screen hole fixers
They're cute little flowers to cover up the holes in your window screen. (I opened up the green one so you can see how they work)  I have no idea how I found these - I think I got them off Ebay years and years ago. The weather has been so nice - sunny and in the high 60s and low 70s - that I want to open all the windows, but stink bugs and wasps and ripped screens are keeping me from doing that.  Today we may fix a few screens - the old-fashioned way and with these flowers.

Happy May everyone!

* Around 12:30 on Saturday I was trying to nap, and my bed shaked so much that it woke me up. Items on the shelves clinked together. I thought it was an earthquake but nothing came up in Google news, so then I figured it was just a large truck rumbling by in front of our house.  Robert just informed me that there was indeed a 4.2 magnitude earthquake - in Michigan!

hallowe'en

We think our home was built sometime in the 1860/70s. Additions such as the front and back porch were probably added on later. We say "we think" because there are no records of the house before 1900, which is pretty typical here in the US.  But because of the architecture and building structure (using tree trunks instead of milled lumber as joists beneath the first floor, etc), and the fact that our town was founded in 1833, a few people who know their stuff have suggested that the house was probably building around the time of the Civil War.

From 1904 to 1908, the Peabody family lived here.  In fact, if you check the records at our local historical society, the name of our house is the Peabody house.  The Peabodys had a daughter named Hallowe'en who was born on October 31, 1895. She went to the Conservatory of Music, and was a music teacher before her marriage, and later moved to Tennessee.  She is buried in the cemetery here, though (shame on me!) I haven't visited her grave yet. I wish I could find a photo of her.

So instead of a photo of Hallowe'en, here is a photo of me dressed up for Halloween, in a cave-girl costume that my Mom helped make, which was a huge deal because my mother didn't often sew.  With six children, she had her hands full!

Happy Halloween/Merry Samhain/Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
hallowe'en
1970  at my friend MJs house - I had just turned 11.
I am the same age as Hallowe'en when she lived in our house!

to Spring!

For many years now, on the first day of Spring, I watch "To Spring" - a gorgeous 1936 MGM animated musical short.  My Spring Equinox/Ostara tradition.

I first saw this cartoon as part of a collection on a VCR tape (25 Classic All Star Cartoons: Volume I) that I had bought for my son years ago for a dollar or so from a cut-out bin or an outlet store or something like that. It's the weirdest collection of shorts - some Little Lulu, Daffy Duck, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Superman, and oddly The Three Stooges. The hidden gem on this tape I'm sharing with you all today. 

Enjoy!  


it's still spring, isn't it?happy spring!happy holidays!#tbt and lost/found!easterscented sundaymay dayshallowe'en

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