a relief

Jan. 11th, 2017 10:42 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
The results of Dave's prostate biopsy came back today and it's good. I know I said I wasn't going to believe it might be bad, or worry about it, but that was harder to do than I originally planned.

Onward to other things to (try not to) think (or worry) about!

sunday

Oct. 9th, 2016 10:24 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
A pleasant day.

Dave and I biked 10 miles on the Rail 66 trail - most of the trail is in the "planning" stage - just cinders with puddles that needed dodged. But I think I love this kind of trail the best. The weeds and wildflowers grow right up to the edge of the path and I like going slower - you can see the sights better. I am excited to get back over there and bike other parts of it. They paved 4 miles of it so far - we didn't go on that part. We went on an unimproved part. It was pretty cold - I needed earwarmers and gloves - but there was a bit of sun now and then to lend some sparkle. Lovely.

Afterwards we went on to Clarion and we took Johnny and Alison out for dinner at the local Sakura buffet. This buffet has dozens of different kinds of fresh sushi. Next time we go I am going to concentrate on eating that I think - a rare treat and so good.

Just an all-over good day - talking about plans for future vacations and for handling Andy. Hopes and plans.

friday

Sep. 16th, 2016 08:37 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Life is good - at least I woke up this morning feeling that way.
Last night when Dave and I were grocery shopping I got English muffins and elderberry jelly to have for breakfast this morning. Mmm.
We also went for a bike ride last night at sunset. Went down river to the Belmar bridge and beyond it to sit on a bench by the river for a while.
Today is another sunny but relatively cool day. It should get up to only about 75 F.
It's not even 8 am and I've already done a firing in my Quikfire kiln. More redoing of flowers. Will hopefully get around to painting the back of the frame that the mosaic will go into today.
Dreamed last night that Dave had a little tiny open-topped car - it had a seat in the front where he was and and a compartment in the back for me. We were exploring the country side, going down little paths, under bridges and navigating canals. Some were very small passages and I had to contort myself to get thorough them. It was a happy dream and I felt accomplished that we were making progress in spite of problems. I felt confident that we could get through anything.
Thinking about scheduling again. Scheduling my life and my time. I want to have at least 2 hours a day for "work" (jewelry and mosaic - etsy shop), 4 hours for hiking, biking and walking, 1 hour for art therapy. The art therapy is something I have not been doing at all but I know I feel better when I do it. Need to clear off my painting table to make that happen. I need to clear off a lot of surfaces in my studio - what a cluttered mess it has gotten to be while I concentrated on the basement.
I think I will take the tent down today. It will be a good day for that since it is dry. Goodbye summer retreat place.

Heather's-necklace-hand-9-16-16
Last week the grandkids brought me this necklace that I had made for Heather (the grandkids mom) before 2004 when Rossy was born. It has a big sapphire for Heather's birth month, a ruby for Hazel, and an amethyst for Sebby but no stone for Rossy. So I added 2 faux alexandrite beads on the chain for him and polished it up. They will be taking it back and giving it to her tomorrow as a birthday surprise. I was actually a little shocked when I saw it. I hadn't seen it for over 13 years and had forgotten all about it. I thought - that looks really good! A better photo of it. )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Where I can eat popcorn for dinner.
Where I have a kiln packed and started to fire (what I hope will be) the last of the glazed things for this mosaic. I will have overglazes to do still but the glazing will be done if this turns out well.
Where I can watch a 3 1/2 hour movie at my leisure (Exodus - another movie screen written by Dalton Trumbo).
Where it is dark and raining outside right now and I am dry inside.
Where I have a dog that woke up this morning in a loving mood and stayed that way, just like I did.
Where I biked this morning with a friend 10 miles on the Ernst trail. We started in the fog and watched it burn away to blue sky with puffy clouds - rich summer colors.
Where later I have calming business book work to do and a refrigerator to clean - but I am totally good with that.
summersgate: (eggshells)
IMG_6176-pier-and-pond
Pier and pond. One of my favorite pictures from tonight - taken at the Erie National Wildlife Refuge.

Dave and I decided to go out to the Sugar Lake Hotel for dinner tonight. Even though Sugar Lake is only about 12 miles away, amazingly I have never been there. It's just a small village - the only thing there is the hotel bar and lots of cottages around the lake. After dinner we walked around the lake a ways, then we drove north to see if there was a road that went around the lake. Eventually we saw a sign that said Erie Wildlife Refuge. Just the place I have been lately trying to find more information about - and we came upon it by accident! Very serendipitous. Lots of photos... )

happy?

Jun. 27th, 2016 06:56 am
summersgate: (summer)
Happy-6-27-16
I liked the wet texture and the runny-goo look of it this morning.

It's a moist morning - leftover rain drizzling down.

I didn't sort through the stuff in the living room yesterday - didn't have time before the party. But I did create a space for it and it's now up against the wall out of the way. Dave and I also carried the old exercise bike out and put it on the back porch in readiness to take to salval someday. That made more space too.

After everyone left last night I worked on the clay things in the basement some more. It is so cool and pleasant down there, compared to the miserable heat upstairs in the summertime. Long range goal (this is something we have wanted to do ever since we moved in here) - create a summer living space in the basement with couch, TV, table and chairs. Maybe that goal is getting closer. When Chloe gets moved into their new house (I hope this fall) we will have all that area where her stuff is now.

Dave and I both woke up around 4 am this morning - something we do a lot, even though we go to bed at 11 or midnight most nights. We just don't sleep that long at a time anymore. Need cat naps during the day.

Since I titled this "happy?" maybe I should think about that. Am I happy? Yes, as happy as possible today. My life is good and I do know it. There is suffering in the world but I hope I am not contributing to it. It might be my turn to suffer someday but it isn't now. I fear for the future but if I make an effort I can let go of that and live in the present - where all is good. My body is breaking down (besides the blister on my right foot I got injured on my left ankle last night when something in the garage fell on it) but I am healing and capable of healing. My right arm has range of motion problems, my left index finger has problems but I have faith that either those things will heal or I will learn to live with them and it will just become a minor part of life.

Something that was funny to me last night. I was with Chloe in the garage when the thing fell on my ankle. It was a heavy old cast gas heater with a sharp edge that tipped over and scraped down my ankle when it hit. I was in instant shock with the pain and everyone said are you hurt? I had a look and said, it's bleedy and it's hurty, then I checked to see if I could walk and I said it's limpy but I'm still walky. Don't know where that came from - probably being with Chloe - she brings out the lighter side in me.

andy

Jan. 28th, 2016 06:04 pm
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
1-28-16-andy

Yup, it happened. We got a dog. Andy is 11 weeks old - born on November 12. His name used to be Gunner but I think Andy fits him better. He's a sweetheart. Though we will need to work with him about jumping up at the kitchen counters. He seems to be pretty much housebroken (though not totally!) And he goes into his crate on his own when he wants to take a nap. Milo stays put and hisses at the dog when he comes to make friends - then Andy saunters away unfazed. Skye is keeping to herself in the basement till she can figure out if it's going to be safe to be upstairs.

~ EDIT - as of Feb 2, 2016 - We have found out more about Andy and it is likely that his real birthday is around Oct 15, 2015 - the woman that sold him to us we found out later was very much a liar. And he is probably not a full chocolate lab either, like she told us. But he has a lot of lab in him, that's obvious.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
12-28-15-kids-band
The grandkids got a drum set for christmas and Sebby got an amp for his guitar. I went over this afternoon to check them out. I was impressed by how fast Rossy is learning the drums - Sebby is already very good with his guitar - he has been practicing for about a year.

47. What was the best news you ever received?

Perhaps it was when Jules decided to buy the house next door after mom died - keeping the grandboys close to us.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
32. How and where do you prefer to study?

Where: my studying (learning about my work) mostly happens in "my room". Sometimes I call it my studio or my workroom but mainly I just call it my room. It has a bed, a laptop, 6 tables - each one dedicated to something different (art, fabrication, soldering, enameling, ceramics and polishing), art and painting supplies and jewelry making supplies and lots of tools. It is upstairs in this house and has WINDOWS - I used to have all that stuff before but it was downstairs in the cold basement with no windows and no bed. I feel like I have finally "arrived" as far as a workroom goes. I no longer dream about a better workroom.

How: reading on the internet, from books, trial and error. Music playing in the background - the ipod on shuffle. Sometimes I listen to lecturers on CD. Any time of the day or night I can go into my room and "study" - close the door, not bother anyone and be alone. I realize I am very fortunate right now and I am still amazed by it.

12-13-15-panorama
Milo lower left - in his usual spot.

While I'm at it - a SPAD - in my room:

12-13-15-webcam
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
_DSC0318-spad
SPAD - getting out of the car and getting ready to bike.

I had a very non-productive day today but a wonderful day! I took off this morning for the bike trail with the big girl nikon camera and the super takumar lens. I really haven't used that lens much after I got it so thought it might be fun to play with for once. 15 more glowy, dreamy and tangled photos here. )

yay!

Oct. 21st, 2015 05:38 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
basement-10-21-15clear
Yay! Clear! Though I'm not going to show where all that stuff went - basically to the other side of the room. But that's okay - at least now Dave can move his stuff into this spot. I did get rid of some stuff in the transfer to the other side of the room though - a couple boxes ready for Goodwill. This was once the area that I had all three of my worktables when the whole room was my studio back in the day.

Was LJ acting funny for anyone else today?
summersgate: (eggshells)
Still thinking about "what's the point?" Then I remembered this quote from the Dalai Lama about the purpose of life:

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

Okay - I can go with that.

maple-leaves-10-19-15

I am getting a lot of happiness from contemplating the wonderful yellow of the maple tree out front today. It has lost 90% of it's leaves - it's all so fleeting.

maple-leaves-10-19-15bluesky
summersgate: (eggshells)
2319-Bird1-above2x3
"Bird 1" earrings - sterling and Mars Moon CZ stones Listing HERE

Another pair of earrings that I made quite a while ago (2006) and they have never been listed.

Today is a day to stay home and putter. Though it looks beautiful outside - sunny and crisp. I may not be able to resist and could find something to do outside later. This is what I like about the idea of semi-retirement. I can do what I want most days. More money would be nice but the freedom is worth more. I suppose as winter comes on I won't mind staying inside all day. This makes me happy.
summersgate: (eggshells)
puddle
My favorite photo of the day - just after we got onto the AT.

On Wednesday we had a wonderful day - the best I can imagine. I actually got to walk a short distance on the Appalachian Trail. If you have been reading my LJ for a few years you will know that during the last years of taking care of my mom I became obsessed with the AT and wanting to walk it - or walk any national park trail - but the AT seemed like the epitome of hiking trails to me at the time. I think that was the main thought keeping me going - the idea that even though I was shut in a lot of the time then, someday I might be able to hike and be outdoors and the AT seemed like the perfect place to lose the malaise and depression that was gathering around me. Anyway, dream come true. On Wednesday we headed to Clingman's Dome - the highest peak in Tennessee and the second highest in North Carolina - and it is also a place where the AT passes through. They have set up a wonderful parking area with restrooms and spectacular views and there is a .5 mile steep paved path that you can walk up to the very top of the dome. At the very top they have constructed a spiral ramp that you can walk up and see even more. The day we visited the fog was getting thicker the higher we got and as we got to the spiral ramp the visibility became only about 300 feet. But I didn't care - the fog seemed as good as a view to me. Many photos of the paved path up, the spiral tower, the .25 mile walk on the AT and another .5 mile hike we took from the AT back to the parking lot. Lots of photos - HERE )

w w

Sep. 2nd, 2015 09:44 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Wonderful Wednesday. I named it that back in the days I was taking care of my mom. Sahlah used to do a thing on her journal called Wondrous Wednesday where she would post about interesting things - maybe they were about nature (?), not sure now, but the wording stuck in my head and I started to think of Wednesday as a wonderful day. It is a day of the week where at the most I take a quick walk with Berdella in the morning and then have the rest of the day free. My freedom day. Usually I use Wednesday as a day to putter in my studio.

The warm weather has returned - summer isn't over. A beautiful foggy morning at the moment.

The trip to Pittsburgh yesterday was very tiring to me. I drove Berdella's car while she directed me. I didn't listen properly (thinking the turn she was talking about would be the next road up) and that set us on a course of taking the long way home. I don't know Pittsburgh very well and to me it just seems like someone threw a ball of spaghetti down and then planned the roads around how it fell. Plus it was a hot day and being in a greenhouse on a hot day is the equivalent of doing something very hot. I came home last night and ate dinner at 4 then slept till after 7. Though in spite of the tiredness if I had it to do over again I would still have gone - it was really magical there.

9-2-15-nine-of-crystals
nine of crystals from the Inner Child tarot deck

My tarot card today is magical too. It is a story about a story teller and her little listener. Anticipation. Passing time and the time is nearly there. Instilling traditions. Stockings hung in hope. It seems like all is right with the world in this card. I'm thinking a good day ahead.
summersgate: (eggshells)
freedom-falls
Freedom Falls

I had a great day today - spent a lot of time around Freedom Falls and the Allegheny River near Rockland Station. In the morning Candy and I explored around Freedom Falls and then rode bikes through the Rockland Tunnel and about 5 miles south and back. Then in the afternoon the grandkids and I hiked Freedom Falls again before we went shopping at Walmart for last minute school stuff. Plus Rossy wanted to get some duct tape and learn how to make wallets. He's made 2 so far and he's pretty good at it. Lots more photos of woodsy stuff and bike trail tunnel stuff - HERE )

Well, tomorrow is the official end of summer for us. The kids will be back in school and I need to get back to work again and get serious about making jewelry. I have had perhaps the most active summer yet this year and I'm pretty happy about that.
summersgate: (summer)
breakfast-back-porch-7-7-15
my new breakfast spot

I feel like I am in my glory right now. Summer has always been my favorite season. I love being able to walk out my door without having to put on special clothing. But it has gotten hot around here and with no AC it can get uncomfortable by the evening in the house. It's fine in the morning though. Last night I moved a fan into the bedroom and aimed it at the bed - much better. If it doesn't thunderstorm later the women's group will go swimming in Berdella's son's pool. That will be nice.

Leaving in a few minutes to take Gabe to his driving lesson.
summersgate: (biking)
...for now anyway. And we have been getting out for bike rides. Last night Gabe, Sebby, Rossy and I biked the 12.5 miles around Lake Wilhelm in a clockwise direction and liked it so much Sebby, Rossy and I got up very early this morning and went around it in a counterclockwise way. Wednesday night Sebby, Rossy and I started to bike from Franklin to Indian God Rock but didn't make it. About a mile from IGR Sebby's bike broke and I had to bike alone back to the car while they pushed the broken bike as far as Belmar Bridge where I could pick them up. That was an adventure but the kids loved it. A real challenge instead of the video game problems that they usually are solving.

I imagine we look like an odd lot - 3 teenage boys and a senior woman. I am very grateful to have them.

In my attempt to take less photos and write more notes here is something I wrote last night in my little sketch book while taking a rest on the trail:

A great blue (heron) flying overhead, out to the water. I passed a maiden in blue and cap of white, mennonite, alone in the forest walking with a smile. Wood thrushes all around - the woods full of their song. My heart pumping like crazy. Black Beauty my only companion - the grandboys ahead and out of sight.

~ Anyway. Now everyone has gone off to the movies (Jules and his boys) or to work (Dave went to Chloe and Mike's house to do electric work) so I'm on my own. Big plans today to get some pendants polished and the stones set them. I will be able to start listing them soon.

my days...

Jun. 11th, 2015 11:50 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
frozen-charlottes6-11-15

More Frozen Charlottes to play with. The pendant I am making at the moment for a customer used the last doll from my old batch so I ordered these new ones. These came straight from Germany. Maybe they came from a person who actually dug them up - that would be cool. Today is a day of work for me - I made a promise that I would have the pendant done by the end of the week and that is fast approaching. I hope to have it done tonight to I can have it in the mail tomorrow morning.

rossy-sebby-rope-swing-6-9-15
Rossy and Sebby swinging on the rope swing Tuesday night. This has become a favorite destination - near Fisherman's Cove. It is four miles from the Belmar Bridge parking area to get there.

It seems every night I am going for a bike ride with the grandboys and I am very happy that that is happening right now. Days are filled with shopping, walking with and visiting with friends. Life seems almost too full, no time to rest - but still it's very good at the moment. I was reading back over my journals and it wasn't that long ago that for days and days on end I couldn't get out of the house or do anything except housebound things. I guess there is a time for everything. On a smaller scale of change the time for purple dame's rockets flowers has passed and now it is white daisy and multiflora roses blooming everywhere. It's magical in the evening to see them glowing beside the pathways as dusk descends.

2 mile run

May. 7th, 2015 08:56 pm
summersgate: (flower root)
nancy-morning
morning lake

Two Mile Run Lake seems to have been a big attraction for me today. This morning [livejournal.com profile] kyana and I had breakfast there - writing at the picnic table beside the handicapped fishing area after eating our McD's egg and cheese biscuits in the car. Then tonight for something to do Gabe drove Rossy and me out there for a walk along the lake. Gabe has his learner's permit and wants to go for a ride nearly every night. Seven More HERE )

It's hard to imagine a more beautiful day than today was. May is my favorite month. I feel so fortunate right now. I suppose at some point this outdoor stuff needs to put in balance though. I have been ignoring the basement for days and days and I have a pendant I need to finish. Hopefully tomorrow I will gladly stay home and work.

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