summersgate: (eggshells)
I really liked how the colored xmas lights looked around the front window this winter (you could see them from inside during the night) and left them burning till just recently. Then I got the idea to get some strings of white led lights for inside to brighten things up around here.

night-living-room
Last night I woke up around 4 am, like I do so often, and sat and crocheted while listening to music - enjoying the lights. I thought to take some pictures of the lights as dawn was arriving. You can barely see Yoshi up on her haunches looking forward to the sun rise.

studio-art-table
Just now I put up another string under the shelves and around the ceiling in my studio room.

Tomorrow is the operation. Supposed to be at the hospital at 10. Nothing after midnight tonight. I have felt kind of stressed out and dull today. Though I did get some things done that I wanted to do. Washed two loads of clothes and changed the sheets on the bed, cooked a dozen and a half hard boiled eggs and made a big pot of vegetable soup. Jules invited us over for tacos for dinner - that was nice. Afterwards we looked at his car, which had hit a deer yesterday while Hazel was driving into town. The car might be totaled. That could be a good thing. Jules has been wanting to get a new one. Just before dark Dave took Andy in his truck and I drove my car so I could drop it off to be inspected tomorrow. On the way back we were all together and stopped at an intersection when a fire truck went by, siren blaring, and Andy howled along with it. Funny. Earlier I wanted to go biking and Dave and Rossy put a new tire on my bike but then I felt very tired and my chest hurt - I had no energy so we didn't go. I feel like my traveling pain has traveled into the middle of my chest and put its ache there now. Any exertion makes it hurt. I think it is "fight or flight" time and I can't do either. Talking to my sister tonight and that helped me relax. Maybe I just need to BREATHE more.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Hiking. Two different places. Sunday it was Dave, Rossy, Andy and me going out on the game lands to a hill overlooking Polk. We went out the wide open trail till it came to the woods. From there the trail winds its way through the trees and is harder to find, but all you have to do is stay on the top of the ridge till you get to the end. That's where you can see Polk far off in the distance. An interesting thing about yesterday was it was a day when the snow fleas were out. On the way I noticed that the snow looked kind of dirty but it wasn't till I looked beside a fallen log at the "dirt" that I saw it was snow fleas. They come out in droves on certain days and hop all over the snow. By the time we were starting back at 4 pm they were all gone back into the snow again.

Today Candy and I went out to "Window Trail" over the Allegheny River at the Kennerdell Tract. Which is another place I love to go. Sunday's hike was only 4.5 miles but it felt much longer - I got to feeling so exhausted and sick. Maybe I was coming down with something - or maybe it was the chocolate chip mint milkshake that I had on the way home that made me sick. Came home and went to bed and slept 12 hours. I got up this morning feeling much better and the 6.5 mile hike today felt good.

Pictures HERE )

Sometimes it seems like all I write about are these outings. I do love them. I love seeing things in nature. I love taking photos too. When staying home there seems to be nothing much to say or write about.

Tonight: watching Rectify (end of season 3) - now we will have to wait who knows how long to see what happens next.

I made a big pot of red lentil soup tonight and invited the vegans next door to come over for supper. After we ate I showed them the laser light machine I got. It shines red and green lights that move in patterns - you could shine the lights on the outside of your house or inside your house on the ceiling. Before Christmas they had them for $50 at Joanne's but the last time I went in there they were down to $15 so I got one. I shine it on the ceiling in the living room. Andy doesn't know what to do and tries to leap up and get the lights off the ceiling. Funny.

maps

Jan. 15th, 2017 08:45 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
1-15-17-made-up-map
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)
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.

9-11-16-bridge
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. )

sunday

Sep. 11th, 2016 10:31 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
opening-the-kilns-9-11-16
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.

finished
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...

bizarro-dog-god
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.
summersgate: (eggshells)
1687-SeekingTruth-hand4x3
"Seeking Truth" pendant - sterling, ceramic and iolite Listing HERE

It was good to get back to the jewelry workbench. I made a number of ceramic elements when I was doing the mosaic things lately and now I am looking forward to making pendants with them. I want to balance my time now with upstairs jewelry making and downstairs finishing the mosaic commission.

Yesterday Candy and I biked the short ride to Belmar and we saw 7 dead moles laying on the trail and 2 dead shrews. It looked liked they had just mowed the edges maybe the day before. I was sad for the little things - I would have thought they would hide in their holes when danger approached but maybe they were trying to run away and they got caught in the blades.

We had a nice party last night. It seems like things are shaping up that we will be having our family parties over in Jules' house now. At first I felt a little disappointed that they aren't happening here at our house (I am the matriarch) but it seems good that Jules takes over as the oldest son. And that house is so familiar to us all as being the "original homestead". It's nice to see Jules making it his own now and a welcoming place to get together. Plus it makes it easier for me - don't have to clean so much for family parties. That's his problem now. :-)

Today - life back to normal after the long weekend. It will take a while to remember that it is Tuesday and not Monday. The good weather is still holding. I have many choices of things to do - working in the basement, working up here on jewelry, get out and bike or do something outdoorsy...

renovate

Jan. 16th, 2016 08:31 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
The first thing that comes to mind with "renovate" was when we moved back into this house in 2013. We painted all the walls colors that I liked (got rid of the all white walls from before), tore up the nasty carpet in the living room and hall and exposed the hard wood floors, tore up the carpet in the kitchen and put down linoleum. A lot of work. Dave took out bushes and shrubs that were close to the house and opened up views from the windows. All in all I am very happy with the house we live in now. I would like to renovate it even more but at this point it isn't something I feel driven to do. Someday if we can we do want to replace the electric stove in the kitchen with a gas stove and replace at least the lower cabinets with newer ones and put in a new counter top. A new "relaxing" style bathtub would be nice and move the washer and dryer upstairs to the bathroom while we're at it. The roof over the back porch needs replaced someday. Dave wants an outside garage and workshop. And put in a gravel driveway on the other side of the house - it's where we park in good weather anyway as it is. That's the big plan. Except for all the lawn mowing this could be a house we could grow old in. I like living next door to Jules and his boys and after the kids grow up I like the idea of having my son as a neighbor.
summersgate: (eggshells)
48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?

I would have a hard time being honest if I knew it was going to hurt someone. I think I would try to be tactful though and diplomatic to find a way to say something if it was important.

~
Raining. It has been raining for days now. The rain even washed out part of the road on 322 between here and Meadville. The rivers and creeks are very high. Dark skies. I don't know if it is the rain or the build up of dark days but I'm starting to feel winter depression. Lack of interest in things, hope seems gone, everything looks bleak and pointless. Maybe I haven't been spending enough time in my room - there are daylight bulbs in all the fixtures in there and I think that helped in years past.

Yesterday Dave and I did a lot of driving around from town to town getting parts for him to help Jules fix the plumbing in the house next door. Dad, when he built the house in 1953 had all the plumbing embedded in the cement floor. I think he hoped it would last his lifetime with no problems - and it did. But now 10 years after dad is gone the pipes under the floor have sprung a leak. We don't even know where the leak is (cause the water is not coming up into the house) but the hot water pressure has gone down and the hot water is leaking away somewhere after it is heated by the hot water tank. The only solution really is to re-plumb the whole house and this time put the plumbing up where it can be worked on.

Yesterday we had a load of gravel delivered for the driveway - it was starting to look like a mud pit in certain places. Johnny and I shoveled and raked the gravel into the low spots and that was some good exercise for me. Probably lack of exercise is another reason why I haven't been feeling well. I need to get on the exercise bike daily...
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
12-14-15-jules-and-me-swimmeet
The Oil City H S pool. Jules and I are waiting for Gabe's swim meet to start. I wish all the pools were as nice as Oil City's. Lots of bleacher seats, ceiling fans to keep the audience cool, and great acoustics so you can understand the announcer.
summersgate: (eggshells)
1660SeekingTheHiddenHeart-hand3x4
"Seeking the Hidden Heart" pendant - sterling, rainbow moonstone, carved bone and white moonstone Listing HERE

This pendant uses up the last of the carved rainbow obsidian stones that I got recently. I really like rainbow obsidian. It is a subtle stone but I just like seeing the shapes in there as a little hidden surprise.

Now for what to do with the rest of the day... A quiet Sunday. Today is Chloe's birthday - 28 years old. This morning Dave and I were remembering back to her birth day. It was snowing hard and the roads were bad. Dave, Jules and I got to the hospital and the nurse examined me and told us it wasn't time yet and to go home. I knew it WAS time though and we just went to the waiting room and waited there for a few more hours. When we went back later it was a quick birth after that. I had had a dream earlier in the pregnancy where I looked inside my blouse and there was a baby girl hanging there on my breast - from then on I knew it was a girl and would have been very surprised if it wasn't. When she came out and the doctor held her up I said, look it's Chloe.

jules-and-chloe-11-22-87
Jules and his new little sister.
summersgate: (summer)
backporch-7-5-15.3jpg
trying to grow morning glories - not doing so well - maybe it was all the wet weather

Foggy morning. Dave threw another log on the fire this morning to keep it going. I cleaned up the back porch a bit more yesterday so we could have Jules and the boys over for a barbecue. It's not totally cleaned up yet but it's at least a lot more pleasant. I shuffled the junk into out-of-the-way places. It was really nice to sit out there this morning - something I have been looking forward to doing this summer but hadn't got around to. The wood smoke is like incense to me. We have 2 gourd birdhouses hanging on the porch poles. Wrens raised a set of babies in the one and now they are raising a second brood in the other. I enjoyed hearing the birds singing. Last night after Jules and the boys left Dave and I sat and watched the fire into the night - listening to see if we could hear when Franklin's fireworks started. I felt sure we would be able to hear it cause it is only 5 miles away but I couldn't. We walked into the front yard to see if we could hear better there and saw that the neighbors across the road had a fire too. Dave being the friendly person that he is wanted to walk over and say hi. Their daughter has cancer and it was sad to see her in pain now and a lot thinner than she was. She has had 3 operations and they have taken out 3/4 of her intestines. Really brought it home to me how precarious and precious life is.

Looks like it is going to be a super beautiful day today. Plans: hopefully a bike ride at some point (another try for Indian God Rock?) and later get out the tent and set it up down back by the creek - maybe we can sleep out tonight with the grandboys. An easy camping experience.

monday

May. 11th, 2015 08:56 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
5-11-15-8-of-cups

I drew 2 cards this morning - both from different decks and it was this same card, the 8 of Cups. Must mean something. The card looks like a rejected person going off by themselves. Because it has both a full moon and a crescent moon I think it might mean some time will need to pass - 2 weeks? The main thing I have on my mind this morning is this stupid toothache. Pretty sure it is an abscess - it's not affected by cold but it hurts all the time, especially if pushed on so I can't chew anything with it. At the moment waiting to call the dentist at 9 to see when I can get in. I just don't feel well.

We set out for the bike trail in Meadville last night but by the time we got there it was pouring rain. Went back home and unloaded the bikes and then headed to Walmart and decided at the last minute to try a walk on the bike trail in Franklin. Which was a nice time of talking with Jules and his boys while we walked. We went as far as the door in the stone wall in the hillside and then came back.

rossy-in-wall-door-5-10-15
roswell

sunday

May. 10th, 2015 03:14 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
1612-plus-evening-goddess
"Evening Goddess" pendant - a special order, and "Ancient Flowers" pendant - sterling, agatized fossil coral and carnelian Listing HERE

Another hot day. Summer feels like it is here! Jules called me up and asked me what I would like to do with him for Mother's Day - I said go on a bike ride after it cools off a bit this afternoon. So I have that to look forward to. :-) Dave dug me up a batch of daisies, potted them and wrote me a nice card to go with them - sweet.

Jules first of all wanted to know if I wanted to go out to eat but I said no, I have a tooth ache. It is in that same area that the tooth was that bothered me so much back in Jan. I think it is the tooth beside that tooth though. Blaa.
summersgate: (biking)
belmar-bridge-3-5-3-15

We went to Belmar Bridge and up the Sandy Creek trail - the same place I was on Friday. Even in 2 days time you can see a big change in how much spring is greening everything. 2 more HERE )

Afterwards we ate at the Chinese Buffet and saw [personal profile] kyana and her husband, Wayne. It feels like the world is coming together right now.
summersgate: (big girl camera daily)
hairy-bittercress-above-4-19-15
hairy bittercress

These little (6" high or less) flowers are everywhere in the yard right now. I read something about a wonderful older lens called a "Super Takumar 50mm f1.4" that can be adapted to modern DSLR cameras and spent some time last night researching it and wanting one but then I thought this morning, why not just get out my 35mm f1.8 and use that instead? So I did - on this little flower. Maybe not as awesome as the Super Takumar would do but still okay.

Jules and I just got back from another bike outing - this time from Franklin towards Oil City. Didn't have time to get clear to Oil City though. He saw a pair of Mallards swimming in a ditch beside the bike path and called to me to see them.

mallards-4-19-15-bike-trail-ditch.small
Not a very good photo - just the ipod - they were about 15' away. They weren't very scared of us but we didn't push it either. There were also a lot of red winged blackbirds in the trees beside the river. A nice sound of spring.

sunday

Apr. 19th, 2015 10:54 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
bike-shadow-4-19-15.2
this morning - getting ready to adjust the brakes and noticed the shadow

Jules and I biked the Ernest Bike Trail near Meadville yesterday - a most beautiful spring day. Jules' favorite style of biking is just get on and go - no stops. He has more stamina than I do anyway. My favorite way to bike is go a mile or two, stop, sit on a bench and enjoy nature, talk to my partner, go off into the woods or down to the water and explore, eat a snack. So we both need to make compromises when we are together. In spite of that he is one of my favorite biking partners and I had a wonderful time yesterday - mainly "going" with a couple good talks while resting.

Spring takes a long time to arrive around here. Mostly we still have last year's brownish-gray leaves carpeting the woods with yellow trout lilies and coltsfoot here and there. Some maples are getting their red and orange flowers which adds a blush to the hills. Shadbush's white flowers like little clouds seen far off in the woods. Fine green grass sprouting beside the trail. Yesterday we saw a female wild turkey too! We were sitting and talking and she came through the woods towards us, picking her way slowly looking for stuff in the dead leaves. She got about 50 feet away and then started heading around us. That was pretty neat.

Today is another beautiful day and I want to go biking again but will have to wait till the afternoon. In the meantime I have lots of other stuff to do. An etsy order to pack, earrings to finish, real estate taxes to pay, NetPositive to do in the basement (I have been keeping up with that - I am so pleased with myself!)

my day (s)

Apr. 13th, 2015 10:24 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Yesterday was a strange day - spent most all of it alone. Many days like that when I am alone I get a lot done in my studio but I was very lazy yesterday. Wanted to DO something but nothing seemed right to do. I went outside for while and sat on a chair in the shade (it was a beautiful spring day). I saw some birds circling very high up but couldn't tell what they were. I went back in the house and got a pair of binoculars and found out that they were ordinary vultures, not the bald eagles I thought they might be. We have a pair of bald eagles nesting about 1/4 mile from here. I painted a little self portrait picture while outside in my self-portrait book. After coming inside I filled the dishwasher - the only productive thing I did all day. In the afternoon I watched The Theory of Everything, twice. Around 9 pm I became sure I was nauseated and started waiting to throw up. It took so long to build up to the throwing up part. Waiting and waiting, hoping and hoping. Around 10 I did throw up - thought that might be it but then I threw up 2 more times before midnight. Such a relief to be able to go to sleep finally. Dave come home late - he was fishing with his brother Bruce.

Woke up this morning with very sore ribs from the retching. I have no idea if it was something I ate or what caused the sickness last night. Hiked on Oak Hill this morning with Candi - took it slow and it was good. Came home, had a quick lunch then Candi came over to buy a piece of jewelry for her daughter-in-law Mara.

allegheny-river-4-13-15
Hipstamatic picture of the Allegheny River from a bench Gabe and I were sitting on.

After Jules got home from work he and his kids and I all went biking - this time from Franklin to the Belmar Bridge. Coming back you could see a very dark storm (which we had no idea was coming before) approaching from the west - blowing cold air in our face. It was like a big race to get back before it struck. Exciting. And we did get the bikes all loaded just in time before big fat drops of rain started to fall. Hovis Ice Cream has opened up for the season and we went there for our usual after-biking ice cream cone, standing under the awning in the rain to order. They have the best in Franklin, really.

When I was taking my shower tonight I found a tick on my leg - probably picked it up on Oak Hill this morning.

selfie

Apr. 11th, 2015 09:19 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
me,-sebby,-jules-biking-4-11-15
at the Oil City campus gazebo - Sebby and Jules in the background

It was chilly today but sunny. I had a feeling I probably looked pretty dumb with my hood on under my bike helmet but I took a selfie just so I could see for sure. We went from Franklin to Oil City again this afternoon and it was much easier (no head wind). I adjusted the handlebars down on the new bike - I think that helped too. I feel like I am finally getting it adjusted to my liking. Rossy is becoming quite the biker this year - I am so happy that he is enjoying himself. Last year he could only go a few miles - today after going 11 miles he said he could have easily gone farther. This really opens it up for many more places we can go.

high water

Apr. 10th, 2015 07:57 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
allegheny-river-4-10-15
The river is very high right now - lots of rain in the last few days and the ground is still saturated from the winter snows.

Jules and I took Rossy and Sebby biking this afternoon on the bike trail from Franklin to Oil City and back. I rode my new bike. We were facing a very strong wind coming back and even though we were going in the downstream direction and it should have been easy, it felt like we were going uphill all the way. So I got a good workout on this first trip of the new year. Tired now...

Dave pointed out to me yesterday that seemingly overnight the grass is now greening. Our gray world is starting to get it's first tinge of color. I love watching the pink, orange and yellow buds of the woods start to blush the far off hills.
summersgate: (eggshells)
I fully expected to find Oo-tapo gone this morning, but when I turned on the kitchen light he jerked his head in my direction. I petted him for a long time. He moved his head some and his legs a tiny bit - I'm sure he can't sit or stand up though. I gave him some water with the eyedropper. It seems like I have watched so many people and animals die. The weight of them all is so heavy. For some people it takes an awful long time to die. Oo-tapo has been doing it since 2010. The vet told me then not to expect him to last much longer and would have put him to sleep on the spot but I wanted a little more time with him and took him home. She gave me a bunch of pain meds to give him in case over the weekend he started to be in pain and I wouldn't be able to bring him in to be put to sleep. She thought he had a large tumor in his abdomen. I know the date cause I found this page in my AYOA book where I first drew Death approaching:

ayoa-4-2-10-death-approaching
4-2-2010 Friday

Five years later - it just goes to show the medical/veterinary profession doesn't always know. Though the meds they gave me did help and have probably kept him going all these years. Without them he would not have lived at all.

Easter Sunday - the awakening day, the day of rebirth - the day the spirit defies death. I hope Oo-tapo can die today. It really is time now. Dave said yesterday, "Pat, come and help Oo-tapo." Oo-tapo doesn't know how to let go. Pat, Oo-tapo's original owner died in 2005 and we have had Oo-tapo ever since. If there is such a thing as life after death it will be wonderful to have them reunited. They did love each other a lot.

On a brighter note - the kids (not the grandkids though) will all be here today. Johnny and his girlfriend Alison spent the night last night and are going to cook an Easter dinner for us. They both love to cook and I am happy to turn the kitchen over to them. I did the dishes this morning and it's all ready for them. Chloe and Mike will come later and Jules will come over too.

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