Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Doorman for the Dogs

One of these days I’m going to count how many times the dogs go in and out of the house in one day. I’m sure I’d be amazed. I’m also amazed at ME getting up every time to let them in and/or out. I’m sure you have questions as to why I’d be such a slave to the whims of my dogs. . . Why don’t we put in a doggie door? Well, since the largest is over 100 pounds any doggie door big enough for him is big enough for a human being and I just don’t want to leave the house vulnerable like that. . . Why don’t I just ignore them and leave them out and/or in? Well, they can be pretty darned annoying is why. Have you tried to sleep with a dog whining and whining and whining? . . . I can’t either. . . Another ‘trick’ they have is to hit the cat door with their paw or nose. This makes a clicking sound as the magnets in the door react to the magnets in the frame. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click….. and sometimes even Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Who can ignore that? So, long story shorter, I am a self-proclaimed doggie doorman.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

The cold weather puts me in a Christmas mood. Secretly I always wish for a white Christmas even with the driving problems associated with snowy weather. One of my favorite Christmassy things to do is decorate the Christmas tree, and I especially love handmade ornaments. In recent years I have given my handcrafted ornaments to everyone in my family and I hope that they are something they will cherish for years to come. Other things I like at Christmas time are the stories and legends that are told at this time of the year, so it makes sense that I would want to combine my favorites by making ornaments to tell the Christmas legends. Last year I made Christmas spiders. This year I’m making Christmas dragonflies. I don’t even have the legend written down yet, but that will come soon. . . meantime, here is a peek at my dragonfly ornaments.

I will post these in Etsy my Etsy store in the next day or two, so watch for them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Star Light Star Bright

First star I see tonight. . . and what a night it is for stargazing. The cold front has cleared the air and the sky is crystal clear. The night is cold but there is no wind so it wasn’t too uncomfortable to take a few minutes while walking my dogs to turn off the flashlight and gaze up at the heavens. I could see the Seven Sisters clearly, hunted by Orion. The big and little dippers were showing, too, which is unusual because light pollution makes it almost impossible for me to see the little dipper any more. I wish I had a comfortable chair to recline in with a really warm blanket and I would have stayed out in the cold and stargazed for a while.

I remember our whole family lying on blankets in the front yard looking at the stars oh so many years ago. Daddy would point out the different constellations and I would try my best to see the animal or person he was pointing out. Later, as teenagers, my friends and I would while away some time looking at the stars. Someone would tell the tales associated with the constellations and I would dream of the people and places so long ago who made up those stories. Do parents still stargaze with their children, or is that too mundane an activity? Do teenagers still enjoy the stories in the stars? I’m glad that I got to stargaze with my parents and my friends when I was younger. Those are the best of memories.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fall Inspiration

Here are the some of the beads I made this week that were inspired by the fall color outside my studio window.

Lampwork 'fall' beads.
I'm thinking of making earrings with these. Guess it's time to get to work!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chill Out!

Cooler weather has arrived and the change is nice. I did enjoy the Indian summer we had in October, with temperatures in the 70s and even an 80 or two, but having cooler weather is so stimulating. Not just the goose bumps but the creative juices, too. It is so much easier for me to torch when the weather is cooler than in the heat of the summer. And most of that is not just a reluctance to fire up the torch and kiln because it’s hot outside, I really do think the cool weather fuels my creativity. Perhaps part of it is the ‘holiday’ feeling that comes with cooler weather, but I’m not convinced that is all it is. Today I made beads but none of them were Christmas beads. I just played, being inspired by the colors outside and a recent beadmaking class with Trey Cornette. I just can hardly wait to see what comes out of the kiln! That’s what creativity is all about!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Teeny Leenie Spamaleeni….

Let me apologize right now if I sent you spam. It was unintentional. I was surprised to see several emails in my inbox stating that the email I sent was not deliverable. Thing is, I didn’t send any emails to those addresses. I think I figured out who did it, though. Leenie, my kitten.
Apparently she’s a very talented kitten. She’s tried to order pay-per-view (is there an all-kitten channel I’m not aware of?) from our dish remote control, and she’s recorded more than one program. I guess you can tell that she’s everywhere and into everything, on the tables, the counters, and the keyboard. We put an alarm pad on top of the DVR to keep her off there, but she just sits on it, alarm blaring! I’m sure she’s asking, “What is that noise? Did I do that?” All while looking so innocent.
I have tried to keep her off the keyboard. My computer is in a cabinet with a drawer slide for the keyboard, but it only works if I slide it into the cabinet. Now, if I could only teach her to type. I’m sure she’d be great at some of those work-at-home schemes.

Leenie laying on her favorite bear skin.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today is THE Day

The one day of autumn when the Blackjack and Post oaks show some fall color. After today they will be brown, just shades of brown. But today, I see oranges and rusts and touches of yellow. Yes, today is a great day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Serendipity

We never know what the day will bring, even though most of us live our lives with schedules and anticipation of what our day will be like. I certainly didn’t think I would get a great surprise on Saturday. I was working around the house, cleaning and puttering. My brother mowed the field between the house and the road and around the garden. When he got back to the house he mentioned seeing a pepper plant growing near a pile of lumber stacked outside the garden. I walked up to see what was there, thinking that I might actually find a pepper or two. I was pleasantly surprised to find a tomato plant loaded with tomatoes, most of them ripe and ready to eat. Serendipity indeed!

The plant is a volunteer, probably planted by an animal that sneaked into my garden and stole a tomato. It is certainly the Amish Paste tomato; since those were the only paste type tomatoes I planted this year. If you love tomatoes and need a paste-type tomato, this one is for you. It was the first tomato plant in my garden to bear fruit and ripen. The plants were loaded with tomatoes all summer, with just a bit of a slow-down in growth when we had those 100 degree + days mid-summer. The fruit was clustered like grapes and the flavor is great. I use them sliced in salads, on sandwiches, and to can, freeze, and make tomato sauce. Overall, it is a great tomato, and one I plan to plant every year.

A friend of mine ordered the seed from  Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and started the plants in her greenhouse. I can attest to Baker Creek's great selection and customer service. They have a great selection of tomato varieties, but I recommend the Amish Paste. Try them and see what you think, I believe you'll love them too.

Harvested last Saturday from my volunteer plant.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will things ever be the same?

Yes, I really did see it. It wasn't a figment of my imagination, nor is it an urban (make that rural) legend. It has been so long that I had actually forgotten what it looked like, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It actually felt good to see it again. I was afraid that the memory of it was actually better than the actual experience, but, thankfully, I was wrong on that count. When it finally happened it actually made me wince a bit and brought a touch of warmth to my heart. Unfortunately, it might be the last time I see it for some time again, but I know that if I have been able to survive without it this long, I can do it again. It might be a struggle, and I might wonder if things will ever return to normal (whatever that is), but I know eventually all will be all right. Yes, I did get a glimpse of the sun today, and it was a welcome one!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A laugh a day.

My best friend Lynn sent me a link to a great site.

It has photos of with captions to make you laugh. I especially enjoyed the cat and dog pictures (go figure!), so many of them could have been taken here at the Farm. I just can't imagine life without a dog or two (or seven!), and (of course) cats, too. And aside from the humor they contribute to life, they give us so much more: a foot warmer at night, a morning wake-up call, an invigorating walk around the pond. Each of our animals has a different personality and temperament, and, of course, their own quirks. Willie, the Doberman, is either reserved or running wild. He will sit and stare at me waiting for a pet or a scratch between the ears. Sometimes he will get impatient and lightly touch my arm with his chin so I’ll know he’s there, as if I couldn’t see an 80 pound dog sitting at attention by my chair staring at me. At night, if he doesn’t get one of the doggie beds right away he will pace up and down the hall, his nails going click-click, click-click, click-click on the floor, until one of the other dogs moves or he decides he didn’t really want a bed, anyway (ok, I've been known to make another dog move on occasion, too, if I get tired of hearing him pace). On our walks he literally runs in circles he's so happy with life, and he loves to run and chase the other dogs. When he came to us he weighed about 40 pounds and we weren't sure he would make it through the night. He was starving and sick with parasites, and could hardly walk. He had been eating roadkill beside the road where my brother stopped to check on the trailer he was towing. Willie came over to Mark and sat at attention in front of him, all bones and skin, looking up at him because he knew Mark couldn't turn away a dog in need.
Nope, I can’t imagine life without having met Willie, getting to know his devotion and his joy for life. He has given me at least a laugh a day, and has certainly added to the quality of my life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Every journey begins with a single step....

Ok, that's a bit trite, though true, but my blogging journey starts here.

My intent is to post interesting information on my life in the country, including living with my brother, 7 dogs and 4 cats; the weather (sure!); gardening; what's blooming (wildflower-wise); and other topics. I will also post information about my lampwork beadmaking and jewelry, hopefully sharing some of the fun and the tricks I've learned along the way. My intent is not so much to teach, but to learn. About myself, my craft, and the world around me.

You are welcome to come on my journey, to walk with me for a few steps or more; wherever it takes me.