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I really like how the mini bag turned out that I made to carry the little book I want to keep track of my food in. It only took a couple hours to make it (book and bag) last night. I think this little bag would make a neat gift. If I find a friend admiring it I will make them one too. It is a good size for a cell phone or wallet. I'm not going on a diet - can't stand doing things like that - but I figure it wouldn't hurt to be more aware of what I am eating. It might change what I am eating if I am taking note of it.

This is a bag that was constructed in a similar way, but larger, that I made a couple weeks ago. I ended up not liking it with the thin strap that I put on it. I originally made the bag to carry when hiking in the summer when I wouldn't need to take along extra clothing but after I put in a bottle of water it was too heavy and the strap dug my shoulder too much. Chloe loved the bag when she saw it and I gave it to her. It would be fine with lightweight things in it.

Dave and I went early this morning and picked up our taxes from our tax lady. We owe about $700. I actually made money again last year with my business. Though I doubt this year I will be making a profit. Since I quit offering the made-to-size rings and bracelets I am not getting near as much business as before. I still wouldn't go back to making to-size things. I like making what I want, when I want and making things for fun and to my own liking - even if they don't sell right away.
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Woke up feeling out of pace with the world. I was surprised to see the mailman cause it felt to me like it was Sunday. Feeling like I might have lost my past - the laptop isn't working at all now. Thinking thoughts of giving up and letting go. Is that what the universe wants me to do? I have things I could do. Taxes, business book work, the basement always awaits, jewelry that could be made - but nothing I *want* to do. Tarot cards and drawing are dead. Raining. Hazel slept last night in my studio bed so I don't have that space to retreat to. Dave tells me that they have named a species of moth after Trump. I just can not understand how I can dislike and be repulsed by a person so much and there are other people who love him so much. The way people can perceive things so differently in this world is such a mystery. Though I do believe it can be made better only by trying to put myself in other's shoes - by trying to see the similarities, rather than the differences. Unless he truly is the AntiChrist - then what?

Milo knows what to do. Posting this with my tablet. Playing around. Not sure how to get the right size of picture.


Sep. 11th, 2016 10:31 am
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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.
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1. Ate a power bar and banana for breakfast.
2. Played with computer manipulated photos.
3. Ate spaghetti and veggie meatballs for lunch - dessert was an ice cream sandwich.
4. Took a nap with Dave and Andy.
5. Put up 4 bluebird houses in the yard with Dave. I held the pipes while he stood on the ladder and pounded the pipes in and then attached the boxes. 2 of them we will be able to see from the house. One of them will be pretty easy to see from my studio window - the other with binoculars from the kitchen window. The other 2 are out of sight of the windows.
6. Ordered 4 dried gourds. I want to make them into birdhouses and hang them in trees around the yard. Excited about birds and bird houses right now.
7. Ate a dinner of sauteed onions, green peppers and veggie sausage, buttered toast and green beans.

1. The "snow light" this morning. There is a certain light that comes in the windows on sunny mornings when the world is covered with snow. I can remember as a kid laying in bed in the morning on a weekend, looking at the ceiling and just knowing that it had snowed during the night because of the quality of the light that came into the window.
2. That Dave is getting older - and so am I. But it is like I read somewhere recently, "I can't do the things I once could do - but I don't have to". I find that very comforting.
3. Watched a few episodes of Rumpole of the Bailey. We really like him.
4. Looked at the hummingbird migration map for this year. I see from previous years we can expect them close to the end of this month. It always makes me almost tear up when I think of the brave hummingbirds flying all this way, working their way northward to us. This is one thing I really look forward to - the hummingbirds arriving. And now that I have got a group of orioles feeding at our jelly feeders I look forward to that too. I think they will get here about the same time.
5. Saw lots of stuff in the basement while working there. Saw a kit to make a Boy Scout "talking feather".
6. Saw a ring I nearly finished making that had a tiny mosaic of stained glass in it. I never grouted it.
7. Found Kenyon's original Rabbit Rabbit - the one that got me started:
I think it is interesting how inadvertently the rabbits get expressions on their faces that you might not be intending them to have when you draw them.

Heard Andy barking at something when I got up from my nap. Came out to find him in a stand off with Milo. Milo was in the spot by the living room window that is a favorite for all the animals. I held onto Andy's collar and brought him closer to Milo. Their noses were about 4 inches away when Milo hissed and ran away.

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the cats will play - or at least get to lounge with mama on the couch in the living room. Dave took Andy with him fishing today.


Mar. 17th, 2016 09:17 am
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I put it on the calendar that I wanted to have my blood work done this morning but then last night I forgot to stop eating by 6 pm so now I don't want to do it - don't want to wait till noon to eat. That leaves this morning open. Maybe I will get the blood work done tomorrow morning and then Dave and I will have breakfast out and do some shopping.

Food. What have I been eating? Back a couple weeks ago when I mentioned egg and olive sandwiches I boiled 2 dozen eggs and we all went on a spree of eating them frequently. When that 2 dozen eggs were gone I boiled another 2 dozen and now hard boiled eggs have become a staple in the fridge. I just now ate one for breakfast, with butter and jelly toast. Another staple in the fridge at the moment is rice and beans. I figured out the simplest recipe. I cook the rice in a big pot - while that is cooking I am sauteing onions and peppers in butter in a pan while I preheat a large drained can of red kidney beans in the microwave. When the rice is done I put it all together and it is Rice and Beans and it is delicious with just a little salt and pepper. I think sometimes I am happiest with the simplest tastes. Though I do eat out a lot. I look at my weight gain and wonder why. Maybe eating out is one of the things - there are a lot of fried foods eaten - I'm not very discriminating. And I have taken to browsing while home - making a big bowl of homemade trail mix and grabbing a handful as I pass through the kitchen. That is definitely not a good thing for me to do.

My life lately. Doing a LOT of walking this week. With all the walking I wonder why I don't lose weight, but I don't. I worry about my knees frequently. They hurt. My left knee can't bend all the way - too painful. They got drastically worse after I fell with the dog on the hill last month. I think I might have twisted my knee then - maybe I'm just still healing up from that and it's not arthritis in my knees - I sure do not want that.

Andy and the cats update. Milo has come to cuddle in my crooked elbow a few times now in the evening like he used to. He is brave enough that if Andy is in the living room with Dave he feels like he can come to keep company with me in the bedroom. Many times Milo walks though the living room with Andy there. He keeps his head down and walks calmly through at a very steady pace. Andy just looks at him and doesn't move. Skye doesn't trust him enough yet to do that - she peeks around the corner over and over again to see if Andy is sleeping and then she runs through if he looks asleep. If he isn't asleep (really) he runs after her, with Dave and me yelling and adding to the commotion. He is much more interested in her than Milo and they whine and hiss at each other through the baby gates.

Yoshi is the family member who is getting the most neglected. It is easy to neglect someone that sits quietly in a glass box and who doesn't really ask to get out of it, ever. I do feed her of course - that isn't forgotten - but she hasn't gotten out to explore the floor since we got Andy. I need to make a point of getting her out soon.

Dave has taken Andy with him fishing in the boat twice. When he catches a fish then Andy likes to lick it. He has tried to pick them up in his mouth but that doesn't work. We are going tomorrow to get a halter for Andy so that when he is in the boat if he should fall out Dave can lift him out of the water easier.

Yesterday morning Andy needed his mommy and daddy time and we took these photos:


He's getting big - has gone from 26 lbs when we first got him to 41.
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We stopped at Sunset Memorial on the way to Franklin and Kenyon took my self-portrait-a-day photo. I'm holding his coffee cup so his hands could be free.

Feeling better about the happenings of yesterday. Not sure what even happened or what I was seeing - and I don't feel like writing about it here, but it was good to get Kenyon's wise views on it.

On a different subject:

Milo and Skye napping. One good thing about the cats hiding away from Andy in my room is that they are becoming much better friends with each other now. They never would have been seen napping next to each other before.

Andy Funny Face - while on a walk on the bike trail on Sunday. He was staring at people in the distance and wondering how he could get to them.


Jan. 28th, 2016 06:04 pm
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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.

milo n me

Jan. 27th, 2016 07:41 pm
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Taking a little rest after dinner.
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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.

Milo lower left - in his usual spot.

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

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Me and Milo - photo by Gabe. Milo does not like being held - can you tell?
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20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.

I don't think I am (as far as wanting fancy things, new car, lots of clothes - things, etc) but I asked Dave what he thought and he said I am moody and he doesn't know what to do for me when I get like that (depressed). I feel like I am quietly moody - not demanding. Not a drama queen. These questions can be hard. It's hard to be honest - honest in every facet when so many things can be hidden from ourselves, by ourselves. I know I am needy but isn't everyone in some way? I don't think I am abnormally needy. And is it wrong to need love and attention? Certainly not. High maintenance implies needs above and beyond the average. The fact that I am a melancholy person at core colors everything. It means that my set point will always return to a place that is slightly on the sad side. I don't know - maybe I am high maintenance - emotionally...

This might be my spad for the day - if so then I am done already:

Another sleepless 4 am on the couch, this time with Milo looking over my shoulder.

It looks like a dark day - with nowhere to go. I will probably stay home today and work. I have lots I need to get caught up on.
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The old folks watching TV in the evening. Photo by Chloe.

We had a good dinner. Earlier everything was going well, I was still cleaning, and Dave was fixing the turkey when he noticed that there was a bunch of water coming out from under the kitchen sink. The pipes had sprung a leak. I pulled everything out from under there - laid down towels, got a bucket under the leaky part and life went on. I was grateful that it was only that as our stumbling block. He will fix it tomorrow. But for now it's time to relax. After most everyone left I was so tired I crashed and slept on the couch for a couple hours.
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Milo in Indy's old spot. I cleaned off the table that Indy's tank was on yesterday, put a couple plants there and left a place for the cats to perch and look out the window. Milo has already claimed it this morning.

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

Good question - I would like to think I have the inner strength to stay sane and calm but I imagine eventually I would have a breakdown. But maybe after the breakdown I could arise better able to cope - I hope I would anyway. If I had books to read and materials to write and draw with and could send letters and receive them I think I could do better. I haven't said how many days yet though. In good conditions with even a little love trickling in I think I could go a long time - years even - with periodic breakdowns. But then there are other circumstances - if I was being held by people who hated me and I felt unsafe I'm afraid I would be one of those people who gives up and dies quite quickly. Hmm - maybe the question is about self-imposed solitary confinement - like a self-imposed retreat? Then I doubt I would want to be alone more than a week but I think I would get a lot of writing and thinking done and get to the bottom of some of my issues.


Nov. 1st, 2015 08:21 pm
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We were driving back from Clarion tonight (Dave was driving) and I was thinking. I finished my self portrait-a-day book recently - did a drawing/painting in it every day for the last year. I must admit I was very relieved when I completed the last one but now a couple weeks have gone by and I feel the urge to start another creative project. Perhaps do a self portrait photo a day for a year. It'll need some rules - something to tie it together. I might use just one camera - the little Sony TX9 which would be very easy to carry with me each day and easy to balance on a mini tripod if necessary. Generally I want to crop the photos to 11 by 8. It will need to have at least one part of my body in it but not always the face - a hand, foot or even a piece of clothing will do.

SPAD = Self Portrait A Day


Here's a start - in my room in the spot where I do my computerating. Milo by my side - as usual - rubbing and licking my hand as I try to use the mouse. This is "his" bed.

We had a nice day driving to Clarion and seeing Johnny. His fiance Alison had made quiche for their breakfast and then she had gone on to work but he served us the quiche for lunch. She is really a good cook! We sat around and talked politics and about our amazement that Trump is so popular. Unbelievable! I am just shocked that so many people in America are such idiots that they would want that man to represent our country. What is going to happen next? Frightening. Then we drove over to see the house that Chloe and Mike are building. On the way we stopped at the Helen Furnace. It is interesting that originally it was called the Highland Furnace but because of the Scottish accent of the local people it came to be known as Helen Furnace. Some photos of the furnace and at Chloe's - HERE )


Apr. 23rd, 2015 08:48 am
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Snowing - the fence across the road from us - spring is having a setback.

We watched the very last episode of Call the Midwife last night - going to really miss that show. It was our absolute favorite - along with Northern Exposure - and we are almost done with that too. Dave and I try to pace ourselves and only watch one or 2 episodes a night but everything runs out eventually.

PS - I've been corrected to learn that Call the Midwife isn't over. It continued but without the main character. Glad to hear that. We still will get to see Chummy and Trixy and the rest in next season.

Having problems with my computer - it won't do it's Windows Updates. I feel so dumb sometimes with computers.

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"Desert Dusk" pendant - sterling, painted jasper and black mother of pearl Listing HERE

I made this pendant before I went on vacation to Florida but it has taken me this long to get the ball rolling to start listing things on etsy again. It's time to get back to work. Not that I haven't been doing things at all - I have been working on the brass buttons and fooling around with brass bullet bells, but management of the etsy shop has fallen by the wayside.

Gabe and I cut *most" of Milo's fur tonight. I held him steady while Gabe did the shaving - till Milo just couldn't take anymore and nailed me. I was ready to give up then for the night. Milo looks very strange with a shaved back and sides, long hair on his back haunches and front legs. We even got his tummy - I was amazed. But I think it was the tummy that drove him over the edge - it was right after that that I got clawed.

I also took Gabe to take the test for his driving permit this afternoon. He didn't have the right papers so he couldn't get the actual permit today but he did take the test and pass it so as soon as he brings in the papers he will have a permit. He is very excited about driving. I suppose I will be doing a lot of the teaching. It should be interesting...


Jan. 10th, 2015 07:50 am
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Not much I want to write about - not much I want to say. What do I want to say? I wouldn't be typing here if I didn't want to say something.

Toothache. I'm full of fear of the pain coming back and I fear that I might be overdosing on ibuprofen. Just not feeling good at all. I have a dentist appointment for Monday. I'm going to tell him, just pull it. Goodbye old molar, sad to see you go but we all must die.

I've gotten into the habit of having my 2 fingers taped together and am managing pretty well.

Has Winter Depression started already?

Working (slowly) everyday to fulfill orders of rings and bracelets - things I need to make to size for customers. After new year's I started to get lots of orders - 7 rings and 9 bracelets and one special pendant needs made. I'm working on them all at the same time - batch working - making all the bezels first, then cutting all the bases, then forming things, etc, will be oxidizing and polishing them in a batch too.

I just feel so dull lately. No joy or excitement. I feel so fuzzy. Is the tooth poisoning me? Has the prospect of life stuck at home with no car (unless I ask someone) brought me low?

This is why I haven't wanted to write anything. I am so full of complaints and self pity right now.

I did line up the car from Jules this morning and I will be going to my meeting (if they even decide to have it) and then (maybe) lunch with friends and shopping for essentials. So very cold right now though! Minus 2 F (minus 19 C) at the moment. Do I really want to go outside today?

I spend a lot of time lying down over and over - up for an hour or 2 and then lying down for 15 minutes or a half hour. Can't sleep at night except a couple hours at a time. I have been up since 3.

I can see the light growing in the east through the window. A tinge of pink rimming the hill top.

I'm going to keep writing till I can say something good.

I read other people's journals and notice some people like to write about news stories - making commentaries - I'm glad they do cause that is where I get my news (I don't watch it on TV or read the newspaper). Some people write about thoughts and ideas and I appreciate that too - I want new ideas. Some people write about their experience of themselves. That is me. I don't feel like I add much to the world. But does that matter? Do I have to add to the world? Can't I just be? And record what it is to be me?

So what's good?

The grandkids had another snow day off from school yesterday and we had a nice day all day. I even cooked!

Lovely Milo liking to keep company with me is good. As I lay awake at night he crawls up under my arm, against my side. He did it last night again. And he is by my side as I type this right now.

A photo I took of Skye and Milo sleeping together on my bed yesterday.

The day is dawning for real now and the sky is clear - it's going to be a sunny day.
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cat kitchen cages

I keep rationalizing that this is only temporary so it's okay to fill the kitchen up with cages. After Oo-tapo is out of the picture (he is 19 and in bad health) this hopefully all will be gone. The management problem we are having at the moment is Skye is getting FAT. She loves to eat! When she first arrived over here she was a slender young kitty. Now she's beginning to waddle. When I feed the cats she gobbles her food so fast and then hovers inches away from Oo-tapo and Milo's faces while they are eating so she can swoop in and get their food too as soon as they are done. They can't take the pressure and usually give up before they are done with their portion. So I got the brainy idea to put her in a cage while the others finish their food in comfort. I have Oo-tapo's big golden cage (with litter box, bed and water) on the left where I put him when I can't supervise him (overnight and when I am out of the house) and on the right a smaller black cage where I lock Skye up (to eat her portion of food) while the other cats are peacefully and slowly eating their portions. I felt very clever when I got the idea.

And as another update - it is working out very well to keep Oo-tapo in his cage when I can't be supervising him. The peeing and pooping in the wrong places in the house has totally stopped. Many times he prefers to be in the cage - he's in it with the door open in the photo above.

Pet management can never be simple it seems. I love it when I can find solutions to problems.


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