Jan. 21st, 2017 09:11 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Did not watch the inauguration yesterday. We couldn't have anyway since we don't have regular TV - can only watch DVDs. But I might have watched it just to see what he had to say and to try and decipher what it really means. Most the time I don't miss having broadcast TV - it is a real blessing not to have the news blasting into my world.

Took Johnny back to Clarion last night. We carried his stuff up to his apartment and while he sorted through his things I plugged in the fridge and cleaned it (Dave made a comment - you can do that?), then we ate dinner at a Chinese buffet and shopped at Aldi's before we dropped him off. Sad to see him go.

Very happy with my laptop and how nice and fast it is now. Maybe I should (could) invest in some new programs (Office and Elements). I saved a lot of money by not needing to get a new laptop at this time so I could spend some money on updated programs.

I've been invited to participate in an art show called "Diversity" at the Transit Gallery next month. I wasn't sure what I could make for it or if any of my older art would be appropriate but I thought of something neat last night that I could do. Kind of excited about that. My to-do list is growing and I'm feeling like I need to get more focused on work and creativity.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Johnny will be going back to college later today and I will be on my own with any future problems, though I think I've got everything I usually want to use back in place again. But I can't find my CD for Elements 11 to reinstall it. Which is a disappointment. I liked using 11 a lot. I have a copy of 5 that I have installed but I'm not liking it much. I might need to invest in getting 15.

I reinstalled my old Office 2000 programs. They have flaws in them that I was used to working around. That is another thing that someday I should upgrade. It is dumb to have programs that don't work right.

Johnny loaded a different version of windows 7 (the one on my recovery discs didn't work) into the laptop - took windows 10 out.

We went shopping at the website that he buys his computer parts from and chose all the components for a future super desktop - someday... Till then I'm going to just limp along with the laptop and make do.

A person is supposed to come today so I can look at a ring. I went to school with him though we weren't close at all. Anyway - his brother knows Dave and found out that I do jewelry so he wants to know if I can fix an old ring. I doubt I can - though by putting some epoxy in it I might keep it from falling apart worse. He had something happen to him and he is now a paraplegic in a wheelchair. I will go out to the car when he gets here to see the ring.


my day

Jan. 18th, 2017 08:38 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
As the day went on things started to seem a lot better. Even though I was ready to give up on my laptop and start grieving its loss Johnny wasn't, and he tried new things with it today. He quit using the recovery discs I had made for it and instead installed Windows 10. Not something I wanted to do - I like Windows 7 and didn't want to learn a new thing but as the day went on I got myself ready for a new adventure. Hopefully that is the answer. So far so good - we are still loading my files back into it.

Crocheted a while. That was calming. Went through the Christmas cards and made sure the return addresses matched the ones in our address book. Some of Dave's nieces and nephews moved to new houses last year. Did some business book work in preparation for figuring out state sales tax. Helped Johnny make templates and cut material for the chairs that he is reupholstering. Walked down to the creek and to the lake with Dave and Andy as dusk was falling. Made part of our dinner - the raviolis and green beans, while Dave grilled salmon. So all in all a productive day in spite of the blaas.

And now David Z is coming so Johnny can look at his old computer - to advise him if it can be saved...
summersgate: (eggshells)
I wanted to get Skye in the picture too. The left group of squares is for Johnny's blanket and the right group is for Chloe's. I'm alternating crocheting the colors so I will get the blankets for the siblings done simultaneously. Each blanket needs about 230 squares. I am about 1/11 of the way done now. It sounds dumb but I look forward so much to the times when I can just sit and do nothing but mindlessly crochet.


Jan. 15th, 2017 08:45 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Drawing of a made-up map - not of anything for sure but kind of patterned after the trail to the the Kennerdell lookout in the Clear Creek Forest Kennerdell Tract. I love maps. If I was to choose a nickname for myself it would be "Maps". Dave and I are taking Andy for a walk somewhere today - not sure where yet. I got out my map folder to show him some possible places with trails and we looked through it early this morning.

Yesterday afternoon we (me, Johnny, Jules and his kids) went to the remodeled Iris theater in Cochranton to see Doctor Strange. The Iris is a theater that used to be run by a old couple - they only showed PG13 or lower movies and it was cheap. It was a fixture of the community for 70 years but as they got too old to run it it finally closed. A church in the area took it under their wing and remodeled it and now it is reopened. It has a coffee shop in the front that is open all day long and the theater in the back. It looks like it is succeeding to give young people a place to go. I liked the movie - though usually I'm not into super hero movies at all. There were lots of Tibetan scenes and psychedelic magic, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the hero and Mads Mikkelsen as the villain made it fun to watch. Plus I think Tilda Swinton is fascinating. Afterwards we drove to Meadville and ate at the 100 Item Buffet. The 2 TV's on the wall played a loop of film showing a mini documentary of pandas. It was fun to watch. Two things in one day that were fun to watch.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Dave, Andy and Johnny.

I've heard it said that whatever you do on the first day of the new year you will be doing a lot of that year. I'm glad that we took a walk in the woods today then. We went to the Kennerdell overlook but when we got there I discovered the battery was dead in my camera. On the way back I remembered my ipod (it's battery was nearly dead with the cold too) but I put it inside my shirt to warm it up and it woke up a bit so I could get a few photos. Too bad I didn't remember it when we were at the lookout. Four HERE )
summersgate: (eggshells)
My drawing this morning. How I drew it it reminds me of Hazel - with her looking into the future - being offered a cup - hopefully the future holds good things for her. I was looking at the Knave of Chalices from the Golden Botticelli tarot deck - which is a quite beautiful deck with golden accents on every card. Here's the original card:


I woke up this morning having one of my "dizzy days". I try not to worry when I have one cause they seem to always clear up in a few hours but it is difficult to walk or move around. Annoying and I need to be extra careful.

Last night Johnny and I took Andy for our first walk to the creek in a long time. Usually Dave takes Andy on walks and I go along. Dave is the one in control of him - by voice and with the e-collar as back up. I quit walking Andy long ago with a leash cause of his jumping up on me and nipping at me. It was very out of control last summer and I just gave up. I do understand Andy and what he was doing. He wanted to play and saw the leash as a pull tug toy but he could be very hard-headed and not see that he was hurting us with his "playing" - if we yelled at him he just thought we wanted to play even more and it would get worse. That is why the e-collar helped. We stay calm, no yelling or excitement - and he gets the idea that we don't like what he was doing. Anyway - as I said, I had given up handling Andy outside the house and turned him totally over to Dave. But last night Johnny and I wanted to walk to the creek in the snow and Dave was busy so I got treats (cut up pieces of ham), the whistle and the e-collar controller and we went. It went amazingly well. If Andy ranged out of sight I whistled him back - gave him a treat and I never had to use the e-collar once. Sometimes I whistled and he came loping back and ran past us - didn't even want the treat - he was just coming to us to check in cause he had been called. Of course we didn't come across a deer or a goose or another person with a dog. All those things are more difficult to call Andy away from. But I did get a bit more confidence outdoors with him.

Some microwavable rice bags I made last night. Very easy to make (if you have a sewing machine). Each "fat quarter" made 2 bags - one long bag and one squarish shaped one. I put some lavender oil on the rice and they really smell good. Dave usually doesn't like things that "smell" but even he approved. That is about 30 pounds of rice sitting on that table.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Good morning Christmas Eve Day. It'll be a busy day today. First we will go over and watch the grandkids open the presents they are getting from their dad, then Johnny and I will go shopping, there will be foods that need fixed and cleaning to be done, dinner for the family tonight and present opening again. Then the grandkids will be heading off to their mom's house for the rest of the weekend. Actual Christmas Day (Sunday) will be rather dull I imagine. Holiday weekends can get me all mixed up as to what day it is. This year it might be good with the holidays happening on Saturday and Sunday.

Today's drawing. Taken from a small detail in the "#49 Honors" card in the Dream Inspiration deck. Lots of other confusing stuff going on in the image but these 2 hands clasped in trust seemed to be a good thing to concentrate on.

I got some beautiful yarn yesterday called Red Heart Unforgettable in the Polo color:
I want to make a granny square blanket with it and give it to Chloe as a gift. The colors remind me of her. As the yarn works up it is supposed to be self color changing and I won't have to stop to tie in new colors all the time like regular granny squares. Then after I see how that goes I'd like to make a blanket for Johnny in the Dragonfly color:
dragonfly unforgettable yarn
That should keep me busy for quite a while in the coming year.
summersgate: (eggshells)
It only gets lighter from here, and ironically colder...

The Four of Cups. A reminder to pay attention to what is being offered to us - it is right in front of our eyes if we are willing to see it.

Dave went out to Two Mile Run Lake with Andy last night to check the ice and he thinks it will be okay to go ice fishing there today. Andy had fun running and sliding on the ice. Dave said Andy would run at him as fast as he could then stop and slide past him - over and over.

I was busy yesterday - didn't even have time to do my morning meditations or make a drawing. Driving Jules to work in the morning, going with Dave to get Johnny, breakfast with Alison and her mom, shopping, picking up Jules from work, shopping again and then we all went to Sebby's Christmas concert, putting together cards for the mailman, newspaper lady and garbage man, gathering the garbage and taking it out. Now today seems to be a day with nothing planned. Will have to see what transpires. I could set up a little Christmas tree on a table in the living room. And/or I could clean up an area in the basement to make it easier for Johnny to work and fix some chairs he brought home. I'm not going to worry about jewelry for a while.


Dec. 17th, 2016 07:43 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Seven of Pentacles from the Tarot of Metamorphosis and my drawing. I could hardly figure out what the card was showing except for the little spaceman in the lower left looking at the broken old machinery or whatever it is in the sand. My drawing is an attempt to draw a skeleton from memory. My memory isn't that good. I guess I will take the meaning from of all this that it is time to wake up and sing - since I felt inspired to put a bird there. Even things that are dead can be awakened. My morning meditations seemed to be saying it is time to let go of the past and let go of harsh judgments. I can, and do, let go and forgive myself and others in the distant past - it is the recent past that I have a problem with.

Yesterday was another day where what I thought would happen didn't. The weather and life just don't go according to my schedule I guess. It is good to stay open and be willing to go with the flow. Johnny decided not to come home till Tuesday but Dave and I did get out for a drive and I picked up some more cotton yarn in attractive colors. We also had lunch at Valley Dairy. They have good fried fish.

Yesterday they were predicting freezing rain for this morning. I imagined all traffic would be coming to a stop but they are traveling okay on the highway out front. Of course the salt truck just came by about an hour ago. It might be worse on the little roads.


Dec. 16th, 2016 06:46 am
summersgate: (eggshells)

I woke up troubled this morning and was trying to figure out how to let go of some resentments and anger I was feeling. As I was pulling a card from the deck I was more curious than usual what kind of image I would get that would help. Kind of a shock to see this. But then it makes sense. The keywords for Death are traditionally supposed to be: endings, beginnings, change, transformation, transition. But of course to get there (to transformation) one has to let go (die). The ego (in me) has to die so I can finally let go of this resentment and attitude of blame. Treasures form underground from the rubble of past things and new growth comes up from there. I can hope anyway.

Death has another meaning for me today. Kathy told me about how one of her friends was killed yesterday in a freak accident. One minute everything is fine and the next moment her life is gone. Really makes one wonder about life. We have no control! We think we do but we don't.

Very cold this morning. 5F. I suppose I should put that in perspective as later this winter I'm sure it will get even colder - getting down to 10 or 20 below - it always does at some point.

We will be bringing Johnny home for holiday break today. Yay - it will be good to have him here for a while. Though we need to accept that all our monthly internet allowance to be gone as soon as he gets here. His computer seems to suck it all away almost immediately. It's at 68% right now - will see what it is tomorrow at this time. I hope I am wrong.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Dear FutureMe,
I am surprised lately by how little I want to write on LJ. It has really dried up for me - something I used to do daily, or many times a day even. I just don't feel the need to let people know what is going on with me. I feel boring. Same old, same old. So I am writing here, to you, instead.

On the verge of contacting M. V. to set up a meeting to finalize the mosaic details and the price - maybe I will make the call later today, after noontime. Though I need to remake the spruce tree one more time (the metallic overglaze I used for the pine cones on the top pieces made them dull and dark) I can still show her what I have so far and get her opinion on it. If I need to remake anything cause she doesn't like it then I can do it at the same time I make the new spruce pieces.

Johnny went back to college yesterday. Funny how just having him here for 2 weeks set up a routine with him and makes me feel like we have an empty nest now.

I'm hoping by next year when you (FutureMe) get this the commissioned mosaic will be a remote thing of the past and I will have moved onto something more original to my own style. I hope next to make some small mosaics - a size that will be easy to ship and then sell them on etsy - I have some ideas for that. Maybe by this time next year I will be deeply involved into that. And I hope the jewelry work will be going strong again with enameling and other original media. And as long as I'm mentioning my hopes - I hope Andy will have learned to walk calmly on the leash. Good luck with that FutureMe. I so hope you and Dave will have triumphed there.

All my best to you,

Maybe it's because I'm not taking very many pictures anymore - maybe that's why I have so little to say. Most of what I write here on LJ is about explaining photos.

Also I want to add another thought I had just now - I really look forward to reading [ profile] postsecret on Sunday mornings. If I had to mention a favorite site that would be it.

Edited - later:
I did call the customer and talked to her husband - she will be gone till later in the week but we tentatively set up for me to come to their house next Saturday and I will be able to show them both what I have so far. I feel much better now - he sounds like a nice guy.
summersgate: (eggshells)
A reading that I really appreciated from yesterday morning.

This evening Dave, Johnny and I walked out to see Rainbow Rocks. Johnny had never been there before. The last time I was there was in the spring before the greenery of summer came. The walk in looked so different. 3 photos HERE )

Johnny and I shopped on the way home for the ingredients for pina coladas. Drinking one now while watching an episode of Desperate Romantics...
summersgate: (summer)
I've been quiet for a few days. Not feeling up to writing about much - though I have been doing things - just haven't felt like taking any photos or writing about it.

On Saturday Dave and I drove to West Reading to pick up Johnny from where he has been spending the summer at his fiance Alison's dad's house. We are (stubbornly) proud of ourselves that we are weathering this hot and muggy summer with no AC in car or house. It's hard though - especially lately. Alison's dad also has no AC in his car or most of the house (though they do have AC window units in the bedrooms upstairs). We are kindred spirits! Anyway the 11 hour drive over and back was beautiful. We live in our own brand of Pennsylvania hills here in the northwest but mid and eastern PA has huge green mountains and vast ridges with great scenery and far vistas. On the way over the sun was shining and there were mounds of white puffy clouds everywhere - but none of them seemed to ever shade us. On the way back there was pyrotechnical sky activity (far away heat lightning and then as we got closer to the storms there were lightening strikes all around). Quite impressive.

While in West Reading we ate out at a Mediteranian restaurant and had something called Baba Ganoush. It is a smokey flavored mashed eggplant dish. We all loved it. So we couldn't wait to eat it at home. Just got back from shopping for the ingredients and Dave is cooking the eggplants on the grill as I write.

I got done with bisque firing the underglazed new parts over the weekend and will start applying glaze to them this week. I have them arranged in this photo by the different glazes that will go on each type of part.

Later: Baba ganoush done. Not sure it tastes as good as the dish we got in Aladdin's but still pretty good...

hi johnny!

Jun. 30th, 2016 12:28 pm
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
I was just reminded again that my son Johnny reads my LJ. That is rare in the family - I have many more people that I have never met reading then I do family members. As far as I know the only other family who read it are my sister [ profile] earthmother45 and her daughter Tracy. I always imagine that someday, when I am dead and gone that family might look at egg-shell just to see who I was. Was there more to me than I presented in daily life? Then they will be surprised at what I wrote here - my worries, interests, concerns and thoughts. "Hey, here's those photos she took all the time but no one ever saw."

Here's a "spad" (Self Portrait A Day) for you Johnny - a photo project I started last year on Nov 1st but I have neglected to do for 2 whole months:
Andy and your dad too.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
Really it says peds but I read it upside-down.

It has been over a month since I did a spad. I see the creative things others are doing and that makes me want to start up again. I guess I don't have to do it everyday - just if I feel inspired - it's up to me.

I had a busy day yesterday. Went to the dentist - I thought I was going to get my completed bridge but it was only for more shaping of the teeth involved and final impressions. Then I went to women's group (only 3 of us) - afterwards we went out to lunch. After coming home and getting a little nap, Gabe and I and Amber drove to Clarion and walked in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes thing with Johnny and Alison. There was a lot of suffering going on with the boys but for a good cause. Johnny was very stoic but Gabe couldn't take it and went barefoot some of the way. In all fairness Gabe shoes were hugely high and since Johnny had done this walk before he got himself some shoes that were more sensible. More - 3 photos. )

I digress. I wouldn't want to do it (wear heels for any reason) - that's for sure - I hate high heels. I don't care how ill dressed I might look I will never wear them anywhere again. At one point, long ago, I got myself a pair of low heels for dress on the advice of my mother-in-law. It was good advice - the small heels did make me look a bit more dressed up for weddings and such but I still couldn't take it and would go barefoot as soon as I was able to kick them off. Shoes have become a big issue to me now that I have bunions and I'm always searching for comfortable shoes.

After the Walk we took Johnny and Alison shopping at Aldi's and Walmart then back to their apartment where Alison cooked us dinner. She is a very good cook. She made zucchini parmesan for me and chicken parmesan for everyone else. We got home pretty late and that was my day.

Today I pick up our taxes - for the first time in a long time we owe lots of money. After paying that and our real estate taxes we will be hitting bottom - time to suck in our belts. I'm going to try a bit harder to keep up with the etsy store - try to list older things more frequently and finish and list some new things. I have 2 new things on the workbench at the moment.
summersgate: (eggshells)
1. Cleaned 4 birdhouse gourds - scrubbed them in the kitchen sink in bleach water.
2. Took a nap.
2. Went with Dave to get gas for his boat - he needs special gas that doesn't have alcohol in it and you can only get it at a station near Cranberry.
3. Ate Chinese at the Jumbo Buffet. It is my favorite buffet in the area.
4. Visited the Mall and went to God's Little Garden for organic foods - got "fake candy" - made with nuts and fruit and no sugar - pretty good.
5. Came home and took another nap.
6. Ate dinner of fried fish and roasted cauliflower.
7. Took a bath with my new bath pillow. It didn't help the stupid tub much - it still feels small and uncomfortable.

1. Lots of rain and mist all day.
2. Saw a big colorful spotted hummingbird in a dream. It was using the new cardboard birdhouse I had just put up for it. I had erected the birdhouse inside a chicken house (cause cardboard can't be out in the weather). I had forgotten to feed the chickens in the chicken house for many years but they surprisingly were doing well anyway. Kathy was with me and we were both so tired we sat down on a bench and I held her head so she could sleep. A group of women who were jewelry customers came in and were looking at the hummingbird hovering around the door of its house.
3. A bird flying forwards in the wind but actually going backwards.
4. Saw Andy tearing a play toy into pieces - white stuffing everywhere.
5. Saw many text messages from Johnny and his fiance as we tried to figure out what we will be doing tomorrow and how we will meet up with them. Gabe and I will be going over to Clarion to do the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" thing with them.
6. Watched some DVD videos about Monsanto and GMOs and corporate agriculture that the lady at God's Little Garden gave us. Disturbing. Feeling outraged and concerned now.
7. Watched Rossy cycle 10 miles on the stationary bike in the living room.

Two clocks ticking in tandem in a quiet room as I write this.

Dumb little sketch - the butterfly might be a pendant someday.

Another thing I did today - Dave showed me how Andy can catch treats in his mouth. So I spent time throwing treats in the air for him.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
Photo by Johnny.


Today is the last day of Johnny's holiday break before he goes back to college. I was glad that he was willing to spend some time with me and hike at Two Mile Run. He knew about a trail that I had never been on so it was neat to learn more about the trails with him. A few more photos. )
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
Skye, Rossy, Dave, Johnny and me. Rossy (trying out all kinds of poses) and I had fun setting the 10 second timer on the camera and then running over to get in the photo.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
Photo by Johnny. Dave in his usual spot in front of his computer.

Now time to watch Netflix, Doctor Zhivago. I remember watching it in the theatre with my mother when I was young. She really liked it a lot. I wanted to see it again to see what it was all about.


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