summersgate: (eggshells)
Two of Cups - drawing inspired by the Vision Quest Tarot deck. The little white book says this card means the harmonic convergence of male and female energies. Not sure how to relate to that today as this is the first day of buck season which means I won't see much of Dave for a while - he loves to hunt and will be gone most of the time till he gets one.

Candy and I took a bike ride on the trail that goes down the Allegheny from Belmar to Fisherman's Cove this morning. It was a little cold for a bike ride (below freezing) but it wasn't a good day to walk in the woods either cause the woods are crawling with hunters. Even staying on the bike path we saw 2 scared does running and 3 hunters. The weather called for overcast skies and no sun but I thought we might take that path anyway because if the sun did chance to shine we could get some of its light being on the north side of the river. And the sun did start to break through after we got going a few minutes. It was quite lovely. And warming. As we were nearing the car again clouds gathered and it turned dark. I said - thanks for the gift. Two photos. )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Strange old building.

I didn't take any photos on the way out - too busy just looking at stuff and peddling along. We didn't follow the trail the whole way. When we got to the part that goes through the game lands we only went about 1/4 mile and gave up - the ground was way too mushy. We backtracked then and went the rest of the way on a regular paved road to Shippenville. We stopped on the way back near this building and it seemed picturesque so I got out the camera. Then I started noticing more things to take photos of. Five more. )
summersgate: (eggshells)

Closer )

Not sure how much meditation I experienced but it was definitely more than usual. I kept on thinking of things I needed to get up and do - fill the bird feeder, take a picture of the candle (!)...

But it's a start - I want to make it a habit. Good habits are good!

Oh - and I tagged as spam all the political emails I had been getting so I don't get them anymore. I was enjoying hating on Trump but it was just yucky. Plus it made me feel guilty that I wasn't doing enough for my own party. So glad it is all gone now. Though I will vote on Tuesday. Oh, if we could only just go back in time to the primaries and get some different candidates!

It was nice to wake up to light and it was only 7 am.

Today the big plan is to take Sebastian and Rossy biking on the Clarion Highlands. There is a 6 to 8 mile section I haven't been on yet. It goes through the woods on a little cinder path that used to be a railroad and at the far end goes through the game lands. On the way back we will stop and eat at Taco Bell - one of their favorite places to eat.

fresh start

Nov. 5th, 2016 09:20 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
It's time for a renewal, time to refresh, have an attitude adjustment, start being open.

I started painting and collaging in a new Everything Book (#9) today. I cleaned off my painting table this afternoon and thought I would also like to use this space as a mini altar in the mornings. It will be easy to set the book and paints to the side. I got myself a nice new candle tonight (evergreen scented) and found a piece of cloth that I will lay down to make a little sacred space for it. I want to start a habit of meditating in the mornings. I always get up first and have quiet time to myself but usually I use it (waste it really) on interneting. I want to start meditating and taking the time to write in the mornings instead.

Went on a bike ride by myself (so of course I took lots of pictures) from Franklin to Oil City at sunset tonight.

More... )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Red spangles.

Such a nice afternoon today - warm and some sun. I couldn't find anyone who wanted to go on a bike ride so I went by myself - which gave me more time to take photos. Six more HERE )

There were a lot of bicyclists out today - I passed dozens of people. Saw a few blue jays, what might have been an eagle or at least it was a large hawk, some woolly bears, a woodpecker, heard some geese on the river. In all I went 16 miles. Thoughts I had as I went along: The natural world is dissolving, it is disintegrating, falling apart leaf by leaf. Passing by huge boulders marooned on the hillsides - some as big as houses - left behind by a million years of erosion. Why did they last and everything else get washed away in this river valley? A bird was squeaking, a weird sound that I had never heard before - it seemed to be coming from the hillside beside me. Eventually it was getting louder and then I thought the sound must be coming from the bicyclists coming towards me. There was a little boy in the front with a big smile on his face and so I smiled back.


Sep. 26th, 2016 02:33 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Candy and I did our usual outing this morning. We had originally thought we would bike the Clarion Highland trail beyond where we had gone before but the weatherman said that it might start raining by 11 or 12 so we went on a closer trip - from Franklin to Indian God Rock. It did start to cloud over and then lightly rain before we got back but it wasn't bad at all. 17.5 miles in all - which might sound like a lot but it really isn't. We met Mike out on the trail - a guy I know as a waiter at the local Eat-n-Park. He bikes every day at least 20 to 30 or 40 miles. He was telling us that there is a 90 year old guy who bikes 20+ miles every single day. I think we passed him today - he certainly looked like he could be 90 - a very spry 90. At Indian God Rock there was a man coming up from looking at the rock and we got to talking with him. He retired from the fish commission recently and has taken up biking now. He was telling us all kinds of stuff about raising fish and stocking the fish in the rivers around here. I wish Dave had been there - he would have liked to talk about that stuff. Not that I didn't enjoy talking about it but a lot went over my head.

I got a couple orders for little things like rubber cords and chains so now I need to make them up and get them ready to ship. This is the first time I will be using the new shipping boxes. I hope that the shipping labels will print small enough to fit them - that was my main concern but I couldn't find an answer and just went ahead and got the new boxes. The moment of truth is approaching. If they don't fit maybe I can just wrap the label around and it will be okay I hope. ....Later.... They don't print smaller labels even though I put in the number sizes for a smaller box. Oh well, the labels do wrap around okay.

The look of the future. This will save money for the customers so that is good - plus I can insure everything, large and small alike - even overseas.


Sep. 19th, 2016 09:39 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Candy and I biked around Lake Wilhelm today. I was able to peddle up every hill but 2 - that is the best I have done in a while. I noticed how strong the smells are right now. Smells of autumn, the woods, cut grass, mold and mushrooms, fallen leaves, fish near the lake, smells that I don't recognize at all but they are so intense right now. The trail is littered with millions of little hard seeded cherries that crunch under your wheels. I thought how wonderful it might be to be blindfolded and to pulled in a little cart - to just be able to hear the sounds and smell the smells without the distraction of vision overpowering everything as it usually does.

The docks at Launch #4. Two more pictures taken at the boat dock. )

I loved that it started out foggy and then when the sun broke through later everything was sharp and lacy. After biking we stopped for lunch at Grantham's Landing and I had my usual - seafood salad. They have the best coffee - or maybe it is the best creamer - anyway, always so good.

While biking I got a phone call that my friend Ron's mother had died so after I got home I changed clothes and went to the funeral home for the visitation. Deb was there with Ron. Visited for about an hour or so and then came home from that and took a tiny nap before Hazel and I went out to Walmart to get her some shirts she could wear when she starts school on Wednesday. So that was my day. Too tired now to do anything productive.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Jules and the boys and I biked up Oil Creek this afternoon. Saw 3 deer, 3 groundhogs, many chipmunks, about 30 Canada geese floating on the creek, 2 crows flying across the trail ahead of us, 2 possible birds of prey and a black and white striped jumping spider that I thought I had removed from Jules' bike when we got the bike off the bike rack but later he found it on his arm many miles up the trail.

We took a short detour and visited an old wood and iron bridge on a dirt road that is near the mid point of the trail. Three more. )


Sep. 11th, 2016 10:31 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Opened the kilns this morning and got to see the finished things.

Last night I had prepared two types of things for the kilns. I put frit into the ceramic "wells", and I painted gloss gold dots in the middle of flowers and brown china paint dots in the middle of other flowers. This morning it was exciting to open the kilns and see how things turned out.

My favorites are in the front 2 rows - I can imagine using them in jewelry. But first I need to test them for durability - put them in the freezer and run them through the dishwasher. If they can survive that without falling apart they will be okay to use.

Yesterday was the anniversary of mom's death so I was thinking about her a lot. The topic at our OA meeting was "change" and I thought about how my life has changed so much in the last 4 years (since she passed) and how during the 5 years before that when I was caring for her I doubted it would ever change. But it did. It does. At the time I was watching mom lose more and more of herself I was suffering with her - and suffering for myself from being shut in with her. But later reflecting on it those were some of the best years of my life. Luckily I had lots of support - Dave, Chloe, Jill and even the grandkids helped - especially Hazel. But saying they were some of the best years? Maybe every year can be one of the best years - always in different ways. Back then I did much more art. I had the time while I was sitting with mom while she ate her meals - she took hours to eat a meal. I had time while I sat with her when she used the potty - that took a long time too. I had TIME to spare, time to waste, time to watch TV (stupid stuff to pass the time), time to read, time to draw and paint, time to take indoor photos and post them on LJ. I chaffed at it, feeling like I was wasting my time. Would I ever have my life back? But that was my life! And I was living it to the fullest. I did fill it (with some wonderful things) and now looking back at it it was really all okay.

But of course - being me - I am looking at my life right now and feeling like it isn't good enough. I don't get enough done, don't play with my cameras enough, don't make enough art, don't get outside enough, my house needs cleaned, don't spend enough time with the people I love, don't train Andy enough...

Dave just now brought in this comic to show me. He is the one who reads the paper - I don't - and he finds things I might like and shows them to me.

We have been slowly working to get Andy used to the cats and them used to him. I have baby gates up so the cats have "safe rooms" in my studio, our bedroom and the basement. Every morning I bring him in to my studio right after the cats have eaten their breakfast. I put Skye in a cage so she won't bother Milo while he eats. At that point she is still trapped in her cage, Milo has moved over to my bed which is his favorite spot and I have Andy sit or lay down on the floor at my feet. He is getting better at being calm. One of the ways he calms himself is by chewing himself. This morning it was cute because after he had chewed himself for a while he realized again where he was (the forbidden room!) and scrunching down as low as he could he crawled across the floor to Skye in her cage with his tail wagging. He got about 6 inches away and stayed there whimpering, as flat and low as he could make himself wanting to play with her. That's all he ever wants to do - play - but they just don't understand. He truly is a good-hearted dog and would not hurt them. Too playful and exuberant - that is his problem.

Today is shaping up to be a good day. Planning to bike with Jules and his boys up the Oil Creek trail to Titusville and back. The weather has really cooled off and the sun is out. Last night we had a big storm - lightening, wind and the lights flickered but they only went out for a few seconds.


Sep. 9th, 2016 08:24 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
I spent most all day yesterday in the basement painting glaze on what I (once again) hope will be the last of the mosaic parts. Soon I will go down there and load the kiln and maybe by tonight I will be able to see how they turned out. It will be fun to take photos of all the pretties if they succeed.

I also want to go see the opening of the art show at the Graffiti Galley in Oil City tonight - my book will be in it and I'm curious to see the other art people have entered on the theme of healing.

I didn't get outside at all yesterday. Very hot day and in the evening we had a big storm - the lights were flickering.

It looks damp outside at the moment but the weatherman doesn't predict any more rain this morning.

Yesterday they reopened the bridge up the road from us. Since June first it has been closed. Having the detour made for a nice quiet few months. Now everything is back to normal with cars and trucks zooming by constantly. I have always found it annoying how long you might have to wait just to get across the road to get the mail. Well, I did enjoy the calm while we had it. One good thing now though is that I can take my bike back out on the little local roads. I didn't want to while the detour was happening cause there was so much more traffic on the little roads then.
summersgate: (eggshells)
I was puttering in the basement a lot of the day and it was getting late. Finally it was nearly 7 and I thought I am going to really regret it if I don't get out and do something today.

A bench I liked the look of but I didn't sit on it. Didn't think I had time - needed to keep moving so I could get back before dark.

A black snake I saw. I took it's picture then pushed the bike around it so I wouldn't disturb it.

The same bench as before - an hour later and it's nearly dark.


Sep. 5th, 2016 07:45 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Today is Jules' birthday. (Did I go into labor on labor day?) We will be having his and Dave's birthday parties together later. This morning though I will be going on a short bike ride with Candy. There are 2 short, easy rides to get to - both start in Franklin. One is to Oil City and the other is to Belmar. I imagine we will be going to Belmar - that's Candy's favorite. On the other hand Dave's favorite is to Oil City. We just did that last night. Dave and I had talked all day about going on a bike ride but then it just didn't happen till about 7 and we said now or never. It was dark on the way back and we used our flashlights.

Night falls - the sky was clear like water.

My mosaic customer understands that I really don't want to do commissions and am not looking for more. We joked about what she should tell anyone who asks about it. I said for heaven's sake don't tell them that it was me who did it. For a while now I have been considering making up a fake name for such cases - so I won't get any attention. My business name is Wood Thrush and I do like that but I want something I can hide behind locally. Sylvia Vogel. Sylvan = Woods. Vogel = Bird. I may start using that in the future. I do like it. This mosaic may be the first thing that I sign that way.


Aug. 7th, 2016 11:09 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
After getting up around 7, and having a coffee, I went back to bed and slept in till 11. Woke up and felt ready to start my day for real. I redrew the mosaic design all over again from scratch. Then I spent a long time on the phone with my sister - talking about happenings in her world and discussing my designs for the mosaic. It is good that I can email photos to Kathy so she can give me an extra eye to see with. After getting off the phone I cut and shaped the new clay parts that I had drawn. Lunch time came and I ate cinnamon almonds and chocolate almonds with coffee. Folded clothes in the living room. Andy likes to steal clothes from the basket while you are folding so you have to be on guard all the time. Dave said he would like to go for a bike ride, where ever I wanted to go - so I thought Belmar to Fisherman's Cove would be nice - he had never been there. A beautiful sunny evening - sun slanting along the river valley. By the time we were returning the sun was under the hills and it was getting dark. We saw a doe and 2 bucks in velvet on the trail, and driving home later we saw 3 more deer. Pink streaks in the sky and deep shadows. Home - more clothes folding. At the moment we are watching the film, The World Within. About Jung and his ideas - lots of stuff from The Red Book. I'm not paying it enough attention as I am writing here - will have to rewatch it later.

*Edited... later*
LJ wouldn't let me post this photo of the redrawn design last night but here it is now:


It's become more of a country farm scene now with a house and barn in the distance. I added that stone wall in the lower left too.


Aug. 1st, 2016 10:04 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Sebby in the sun on the wet Sandy Creek trail tonight.

Worked on redoing A LOT of the mosaic today. Made a new spruce tree out of fresh clay and I am redrawing the path that leads you into the picture and back hills too. Tonight Dave and Sebby and I had dinner at the Jumbo Buffet. While we were eating a rain came and wet everything but it was all over by the time we got out of the restaurant. Then we biked 5 miles up the Sandy Creek trail - water dripping out of the trees beside the trail but clearing blue sky and clouds scattering overhead. A mist was coming up in places. Coming back down the Sandy Creek trail is so easy - you barely have to pedal and I thought I would try and see how fast I could go. I got it up to 18 miles mph but then the front wheel on the bumpy pavement started shaking so much I got scared and slowed down. Came home - and here I am. We are watching the movie called, "A Brilliant Young Mind" tonight - about a gifted autistic math student and his teacher who has MS.

Learned about "stuffing a kong" today. That means putting food and treats into hard rubber dog toys called kongs. The dog has to work with their tongue to get the food out and that keeps them occupied. If you soften their kibble with water before you stuff it in and freeze it then it takes them even longer to get it out. We had a good day - Andy happily busy getting his meals out of his kong, with play and training times interspersed. We have switched to not putting any food in his bowl anymore. We carry his kibble in our pockets and he has to behave to get his food as "treats" as the day goes on. He had no time to get into trouble stealing things he shouldn't.



Jul. 25th, 2016 04:28 pm
summersgate: (summer)
Kathy asked me just now in an email if I was keeping busy. This was my answer: Not that busy right now. I did go on a bike ride with Candy this morning on the Clarion Highlands trail - very hot and muggy. Miserable really, but WE DID IT! I'm babysitting Andy at the moment and watching old Twilight Zones with the fan blowing on me. Last night and the night before I remade 150 clay leaves, 75 flowers and many more rocks to replace the ones I didn't like. Just waiting for the clay elements to dry now so I can bisque fire them.

Andy trying to find a cool place to be just now. I could hear the jingle of his collar tags as he was trying to dig a hole in the tub and went in to see what he was doing.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Doing a windows update so here I am sitting at the computer - which usually means since I am here anyway I end up writing something.

Rossy got a laptop last Christmas and Hazel got one for her recent birthday. They both have windows 10 so I have had a little look around that operating system now. I do not like it! Is the new way of the world to have icons for everything and do away with words? And Rossy's doesn't come with a media player. That's stupid. While passing time at Walmart yesterday I was checking out the laptops there. I saw one I wouldn't mind moving into (with 1 TB hard drive) when this one dies but of course it has windows 10. It will be a sad day for me when I have to upgrade.

It looks like it is going to be a very pleasant day today - high in the lower 80's and partly cloudy - 0 chance of rain. Makes me want to get out and do something. But I also feel like I might be getting into a groove with the glazing and want to spend time in the basement doing that. Will have to see where my heart takes me - I don't trust that I will have my head in control of it - I usually don't. That's why procrastination is so prevalent in my life. Hopefully I will find time to do both today.

*Edit - 3 pm afternoon addition:
Sebby and I did get out for a bike ride, soon after I wrote the above. I took the time to take photos of some info signs that are under the Belmar Bridge down on the Allegheny River trail. Photos HERE )
summersgate: (black and white)
Allegheny River.

Seemed like a very hot day today - I took it easy most of the day - reading, napping in the tent, puttering. In the afternoon Rossy and I swam in the creek - that was nice and cool. Then tonight Rossy and Sebby and I biked to Fisherman's Cove. That's the place that has a rope swing over where Big Sandy Creek goes into the Allegheny. I took the LX3 Lumix camera and had it set to dramatic black and white. Some more photos... )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Dave and I did another evening bike ride last night. This time we went from the Rockland tunnel to Emlenton where we found that the Little It Deli was closed on Sunday night - that was going to be our place for dinner. So we went on up the street to the Unimart and had pizza there. Photos... )

Today my plan is to get the car washed. It is the most filthy car I think I have ever seen - covered with bird shit. I park it under a maple tree near the bird feeders and it is a mess. I like having it in the shade but it is just getting to be too much. Later we are going to a friend's house with the trailer to pick up a couch and love seat that she is donating to Jules. Looks like another beautiful day. There are fireworks tonight in Franklin - we will probably go.
summersgate: (eggshells)
A snapping turtle that Dave and I saw near Franklin on the bike trail tonight. On the way back it was gone. We came back in the dark - needed to use our flashlights to avoid hitting little critters like toads. I really like that Dave and I do late evening bike rides. We also met a guy near Oil City walking 2 dogs - one was an old chocolate lab. Very calm sweet old dog.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Crazy Train - a new artwork under one of the bridges. Here's what it looked like before.

Rossy and Sebby and I went biking tonight from Belmar up the Sandy Creek valley trail. A few more HERE )


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