Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Random Thoughts

Somewhere in the Cascades, Washington State

The last pic I took of Coal, Carol's newfie

Chihuly glass exhibit at the Space Needle, Seattle WA
I haven't been posting much lately due to a long list of reasons. The main one is that my mind has been in a continuous state of chaos. An overload of information, grief, and sorrow. The least little thing will set me off into a whirlwind of panic.

Once I realized this, yesterday afternoon, the calming began. There are some things beyond our control, and yes, we make some horrible decisions at times. Learning to live with those facts is part of being mature, of growing. Today the world is better and I am once again somewhat in control of my feelings. Time will tell. But there are a few points to ponder:

The weather is changing because of what we have done to this planet. So yeah, it is hotter than hell in the Midwest, records are being broken with the amount of rainfall we have had this year, and complaining about it does absolutely nothing. Deal with it.

A dentist from Minnesota thought it would be a good idea to shoot a beloved lion to death. May that dentist have his teeth rot, fall out of his mouth, and lose every single patient in his practice. What an asshole. This proves that just because you have a medical education and money, that does not mean you have a heart or conscience. Idiot.

Sometimes your wake-up call comes in a sneaky little way, tapping your brain into action. This happened to me this past weekend. I have gained 20 pounds over the past 3 years that is causing me some health issues. I knew that. I understood that. I also knew that returning to Weight Watchers would take care of the weight issue. Did I do anything about it? Why, no. Glad you asked. Then I took a certification class for Silver Sneakers on Saturday, and had to sit facing the big mirrors in the aerobics room, instead of my normal position with my back to the wall of mirrors. Holy Shit. My food journal and counting points started this past Sunday morning. I've lost 3 pounds. Onward.

The only way is up. Enjoy the climb.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Starting a hole. Note the tongue.

Oh, crap! She caught me with that damn camera.

Pretending she isn't creating a hole.

I will not look at mom.

Why is she still taking pictures?

Makes you wonder what she's thinking

New lock on the gate
The above photos are from March 23, 2011. This was 8 days after Sarge was lured out of the yard and disappeared. I don't remember that March being that dry, that the grass was so thin, but evidently it was.

Gracie has always liked licking dirt. Because of this, she creates holes in the yard. If I see her starting to lick, I stop the behavior, but I'm not fast enough. Or my dog is too sneaky. There are holes all over the yard, now overgrown with the surrounding grass, and yes, I have lost my balance by stepping into one more than once.

Throw Back Thursdays allow you to reflect on what was, what might have been. I long for the days when Gracie and I could walk for hours. My back and legs can't do that now, but I am grateful for the time I spent with my dogs exploring.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ahhh, summer!

Lilies in front of house

Storm sky to the west

Storm sky to the north
This has been a very unusual summer. We started with an average amount of spring rain. Then we hit a dry spell where it was necessary to water the flowers and trees. I am always concerned with the trees having enough water, because it takes so long for them to grow and, hey! I am old.

When we had a healthy rain storm that ended the 3.5 week dry spell, everyone was happy. And it kept raining. So the pattern has been this: it rains, sun comes out, mow grass and pull weeds. Repeat. Constantly repeat.

This past Friday was hot, uncomfortably so. Very humid and hot, creating the ideal atmosphere for a late day thunderstorm. Except this storm lasted 4 freaking hours. The rain came in waves, 3 separate times, with the last deluge the heaviest. My town was lucky, but others in the area were not. The ground was already saturated from previous rains, so the water had no place to go except yards, roads, basements. When it was all over, the official measurement was 3.64 inches for Avon. Unofficially, I have 2 friends who said their rain gauges indicated better than 5 inches.

Climate change. Yep. It's real, folks.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I made this. Someone purchased it. Unbelievable.

The incredible Dyan Reavley.

3 wonderful and kind women from Chicago. We bonded immediately.

Peacock on the farm where we used to sheep herd.
Today I just randomly chose the folder marked April 2013. There were not a lot of photos, but the memories came flooding back.

That was the winter and spring when I bought a new sewing machine, and turned into a frenzy of sewing and stuffing primitive crafts. There is one doll left in the booth, everything else has gone on to find a new home. For a variety of reasons, I have stopped sewing and stuffing.

In April, 2013 I signed up for a day long workshop with the British artist and Ranger designer, Dyan Reavley. She was going to be at a scrapbook store in Moline, IL. I looked at a map, and thought, no problem. I can drive that. The plan was to drive over on Friday afternoon, take the classes on Saturday, and drive home on Sunday.

Have you ever driven across the state of Illinois? It's flat and goes on forever. FOREVER! It took about 2 hours to get from my house to Champaign, and for whatever warped reason my brain picked that as the half point. Uh, no brain. Wrong. 4.5 hours later I arrived at my hotel. I either didn't realize or didn't register that not only was I driving west, but north as well. When I got out of my car, I saw those 3 lovely ladies unloading their car and laughing, so I asked if they were there for the Dyan Reavley class. "YES! You, too?" Yep. That's all it took. We sat together at one table and became known as the trouble makers from Chicago. I laughed a lot.

The peacock at the sheep herding farm that spring was magnificent. I miss that farm.
Enjoy your day.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Mini album I made as a class project to teach at Allyscraps

Gracie on the leather ottoman in the living room

My girl
There is no date on this folder, so my guess is these are from the fall of 2010 or 2011. I know I was working for Cathy at the store in Avon, but not sure how close this was to closing that store. We tried to get some interest generated with classes. Just not enough traffic to accomplish the goal.

In the winter months, the dogs kind of fight over the ottoman with the sunlight coming in that living room window. If Jake is up there and he leaves to check something out at a different window, Gracie snags the spot.

Yes, they are spoiled. Why do you ask???

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Today we return to July, 2010 when Pat and I wandered the grounds surrounding the Indianapolis Museum of Modern Art. There is a name for this area, but I am old and don't remember it. Give me a break, it was 5 years ago. I do know that it was free when we visited, and that is no longer the case.

The house is huge, and the gardens leading to the house are magnificent. You can meander for hours, sitting in the shade or baking in the sun. We have been to quite a few older homes in various parts of the country, where wealthy people resided and had grounds such as this. I am envious. Of course, they also had hired help (who were paid next to nothing) to maintain all of this.

Times gone by. Enjoy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

alisaburke: lettering with makewells: the art of the ampersand...

alisaburke: lettering with makewells: the art of the ampersand...: Hi guys! It's Megan and I am back today to talk all about the ampersand. I have a love/hate relationship with the ampersand.  ...

There is another artist (Megan) posting on Alisa's blog today. A free download for coloring, as in an adult coloring book, is being offered. This is a trend I am seeing of late, and find it fascinating. Just thought I'd pass this along. Have fun!