summersgate: (eggshells)
Sunday - the day that Dave and I usually drive somewhere and take Andy for a walk. But Sebby agreed to go along today so we wanted to take him somewhere special - not just for an ordinary walk in the woods. We thought it would be neat to go back over to Kane to see the railway viaduct bridge that used to cross Kinsua Creek. It stood and was used until it fell in a tornado in 2003. I couldn't find the regular camera I usually carry on walks so I took the infrared camera instead - it made the rusty steel look nice and dark compared to the snow on the ground today.

Looking across the valley. More... )
summersgate: (eggshells)
I had a busy day yesterday. I went to my usual OA meeting in the morning (we had a newcomer! - good news cause our meeting is so small (2 to 4 people) normally) and then came home to change vehicles with Dave. I had taken the car by mistake and I should have left the car for him to pick up Johnny and Alison later. From there I took the truck to Oil City to gallery sit with Chloe from noon to 6. Such a long cold sit. The recent unseasonable warm weather is gone now. I wore just a sweater that morning and should have worn a winter coat. The gallery is down a little flight of stairs from the street door and there seems to be a big leak of air coming in that door. Three people came in to see the show. I crocheted on the granny square blanket I'm making for Chloe - made 6 squares in 6 hours. She read two and a half graphic novels. Chloe left with her friend Kiyomi to have lunch and I made myself a bracelet with the beads there while I was alone. It is an interactive art project and when I was finished I thought it would make it easier to have the beads sorted into separate trays for the people who came after me and started to do that. I put the other bottle caps out and started to separate the 3 colors into them. Then I looked up and saw the title of the art piece. It is interesting to see how we want to compartmentalize things - we do! I did. So I dumped them all back in together and put the caps back on the other 2 bottles.

How I left the piece.

At 6 we headed over to the A and C Buffet for Sebby's birthday dinner. Afterwards we came home for cake and presents. I had difficulty with this cake - the recipe I found did not make enough to fill a 9 by 13 pan (I found that out after I baked it) so I made a second cake and made a double layer cake out of the 2 of them. Sebby's main interest is music and guitar, bass and keyboards now so I put a guitar on the cake.

His favorite color to wear is black so I got black candles.

I love Sebby's looks.

We sat around the rest of the evening talking and watching Andy catch things and bring us things. Some people wanted to see what the shock collar felt like and had a contest to see how high they could stand it. Most people didn't want to go above 6 but Johnny went to 10. Lots of laughter - are we backwoods rednecks - shocking each other for entertainment? Maybe we just had a lot of young people together...

Also I want to mention a movie we watched a couple nights ago - very strange and odd, but something to really make you think. I'm going to put it on the list of my all time favorite movies but it probably isn't for everyone. The Lobster.

oh my gosh

Feb. 24th, 2017 10:47 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Oh my gosh - it is already 65 F and it's only 10 am! The sun is shining and the weather is too beautiful! And this is the stupid day that I need to do stupid cleaning. We are having Sebby's 16th birthday party tomorrow and this is the only day that I will have time for cake baking and house cleaning. The house really needs it. Hazel used to clean for me to get extra money but we let that lapse for a while and I haven't picked up doing the job myself for many weeks. It's not just cleaning that needs done - many surfaces need de-cluttering. Blaa.

I'm in avoidance mode of course and lingering on the internet. I just ordered a new back tire for my bike and new inner tube. In the 2 summers I've had that bike I wore the back tire bald. I guess I am kind of proud of that. Though it is nothing compared to a guy I know named Mike - he is a waiter at the local Eat-n-Park and we always talk biking. He bikes at least 20+ miles every day that it isn't raining and biked all winter when the snow was off the bike trail (which this winter was a lot of the time). I'm not that dedicated. Anyway - I'm glad it's time to get ready for a new season of biking.

I also ordered more of the little things called floral wafers for enameling. While looking through my drawers yesterday morning I found some and used them to make this:



Now I'm excited to do more with them and I want even more colors - looking forward to getting them soon. I have a neat idea for a series of seasonal trees - putting flowers at the bases of the trees - pink and purple for spring, red and blue for summer and orange and yellow for fall.

Okay - enough time wasted - time for cleaning.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Strange old building.

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

Closer )

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

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

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

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

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

Last evening Rossy, Sebby and I drove up to the headquarters of the ENWR near Guys Mills and walked the 1.6 mile Tsunga trail. It was pretty neat - mostly all deep coniferous woods with some stretches of open areas with boardwalks going over swampy areas. I took the infrared camera but I don't feel like I got any good photos. In real life it was so beautiful with the sun was peeking thorough the woods and illuminating just a few trees here and there. But the IR camera seems to pick up much more light in areas that to us look like they are in shadow. The infrared light bounces around within the woods lighting everything so it doesn't make dramatic shots of scenes like that. Here is an example:

Looked much more beautiful and dramatic in reality.

I need to go up to Meadville to pick up my bike this afternoon and I hope we can walk another trail at the ENWR near there called the Beaver Run trail.


Aug. 5th, 2016 12:06 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Spent most of the day in the basement - making 200 new clay leaves for the pear tree, 150 little cobblestone pieces and 100 new flowers - daisies this time. This evening Sebby and I biked around Lake Wilhelm. Then tonight Dave and I watched the movie, The Finest Hours. Pretty good - (the story of bravery was inspiring) but some parts were distracting - the fakey way the snow looked, the fakey way some people acted and some of the lighting situations.


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

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

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



Jul. 28th, 2016 10:08 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
I only went back to bed for about an hour this morning and have been up all day. Strange for me. Getting by on about 4 hours sleep - and no nap - not my usual. I felt like I had an eventful day - see if I can remember it...

Dave has been busy lately so I have been Andy's primary master - just me and Andy all day long. Taking him for a walk is not easy or satisfying for me so mainly I just sit outside on the back porch while he is on his 50' run and throw his ball for him. But I did work with him with the clicker today. The dog training video seems to push that as an aid in getting a dog's attention. I guess I am just plain lazy though. I do work on training for a few days then it lapses. I never had a dog that required it be "trained" before. Tenzing was born a little old man, set in his ways. Basically a very easy dog to live with. Let him be himself and he was just fine. I find myself comparing Andy to him all the time - probably shouldn't. Andy has a lot of energy and is very playful (which equals always trying to stir something up).

I wanted to work in the basement glazing those new rocks, leaves and flowers so I took Andy down with me - leashed him to a door knob so he wouldn't get in trouble eating the cat's litter. He loves cat poop. If he can escape down there alone I will come down later to find that all the litter has been scattered out onto the floor and the litter boxes are clean. He didn't like being on the leash while I worked so I switched him to a crate that we have down there and he liked that better. I got all the first coats of glaze on the elements. Then it was time to take Sebby to his band practice. He plays guitar in a rock band with some kids from school. While he was at his friend's house David Z and I went shopping at Walmart. I had to exchange a defective Britta water pitcher that I got yesterday. I got one cause I just don't like the taste of our well water and hoped Britta's charcoal filter would make it taste better - it does. Came home, ate dinner and then went back to the basement to put a second coat of glaze on. This time Andy didn't like the leash or the crate in the basement so he ended up in his usual crate upstairs while I worked. I came up around 8 and we have been playing tug, catch and clicker training till a little while ago. Time to wind down from that.

I think I'm going to pour myself a big dollop of brandy tonight and hope to get to sleep, and stay asleep. This medicine (dexamethasone) makes me feel hyper.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Doing a windows update so here I am sitting at the computer - which usually means since I am here anyway I end up writing something.

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

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

*Edit - 3 pm afternoon addition:
Sebby and I did get out for a bike ride, soon after I wrote the above. I took the time to take photos of some info signs that are under the Belmar Bridge down on the Allegheny River trail. Photos HERE )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Two outings today. This morning Jan and I hiked 2.5 miles around McKeever. Hot and sweaty but we found a shady, breezy place to rest at the half way point - a bench on the upper swamp. It was easier coming back down the hill. And tonight Sebby and I biked around Lake Wilhelm. Beautiful. Biking into the dark. Fireflies. Flashlights lighting our way. I love the feeling of movement while biking. On the way there and back in the car he plays me music from his tablet. He likes Incubus. Some songs I really like, others too angry. That's part of our time together when we go places - I get to hear his music.

At the moment we are watching the 1971 film, Johnny Got His Gun. What an amazingly sad and excellent antiwar movie! Another story by Dalton Trumbo and directed by him too.

Raining. Hard. The rain sounds in waves across the back porch roof.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Sebby and view of the Allegheny.

I also set the LX3 to double exposure mode for a while tonight. Photos here... )
summersgate: (black and white)
Allegheny River.

Seemed like a very hot day today - I took it easy most of the day - reading, napping in the tent, puttering. In the afternoon Rossy and I swam in the creek - that was nice and cool. Then tonight Rossy and Sebby and I biked to Fisherman's Cove. That's the place that has a rope swing over where Big Sandy Creek goes into the Allegheny. I took the LX3 Lumix camera and had it set to dramatic black and white. Some more photos... )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Crazy Train - a new artwork under one of the bridges. Here's what it looked like before.

Rossy and Sebby and I went biking tonight from Belmar up the Sandy Creek valley trail. A few more HERE )
summersgate: (eggshells)
Bright lake on the right. Photo taken while riding.

I've been to Lake Wilhelm twice today - this morning walking with Berdella and Jan and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to go back with Rossy and Sebby tonight. Some pics from tonight )


Jun. 16th, 2016 10:30 am
summersgate: (eggshells)

Red water at Toby Creek. This was caused by the strip mining years ago upstream. It is uninhabitable to fish - though I did see a frog jump in so it's not like it is instantly poisonous - just not a place to live and breed if you are a fish. Maybe in another 100 years it will be okay?

Yesterday we went hiking again - on a NCT trail that would bring us back to the point where we left off the day before near the old strip mine. The start was good - we were in a beautiful deep woods area that seemed safe to let Andy off his leash - no houses around and no others on the trail. When we nearly got to the place where we were planning to end the hike Andy went off by himself and came back limping on his right front foot. Could barely walk and seemed extra tired - just flopped down on his side and didn't want to move. We decided Rossy, Sebby and I would hike back to the car and Dave and Andy would walk ahead a short distance to the main road and we would come and pick them up. The boys and I walked as fast as we could - we were about 2.5 miles from the car and Dave had only 3/4 of a mile to go to the road he and Andy were going to wait at. So we were surprised when as soon as we got in the car and headed in Dave's direction here comes Dave and Andy walking down the road towards us. After the boys and I had left them Andy started to recover so Dave figured rather than sit at the main road waiting he would come in our direction. Andy was still limping a little. Maybe it was a bee sting? That was all we could imagine at that point - there was some slight swelling. After that we went to the place that we would be camping on the Clarion River if we had gone ahead with our earlier camping plans and fixed dinner over a camp fire. It was too cold to do any swimming though Andy did go in and seemed to like it. It was good to have a look at the camp site for later - we will go camping eventually - hopefully it will be warmer and drier at the end of the month. A few photos of the Clarion River HERE )
summersgate: (eggshells)
North Country Trail Wildflower Walk

It was a beautiful day today and it seemed like a good idea to get out there and hike over in the Clarion area even if we weren't going to camp and spend the night. I have always wanted to check out the section of the North Country trail called the "Wildflower Walk" so we did that. More photos HERE )
summersgate: (biking)
Yesterday morning Rossy and Sebby and I started early and did the bike trip from the Rockland tunnel to Emlenton and back. We saw a black bear ahead of us on the trail soon after we came out of the tunnel. At first glance you think you are seeing a big black dog with its head hunched forward in a threatening way. Then you realize BEAR. It's not threatening you - it's just looking at you, wondering if it should run and which way to run. We also saw one the same size in nearly exactly the same way on a bike trail the night before near Franklin. I don't think I am that good at guessing a bear's weight but I would say 200 lbs. Just young ones. We also saw about 5 deer in the last 2 days. One fawn even ran straight at me till it got about 10 feet away. I think it thought I was its mother and was glad to see me till it realized I wasn't. We had seen a doe about 1/4 mile earlier on the trail and I bet that was the mother it was looking for.

This is an area right before Emlenton. They have put up a long white fence to discourage people from getting off the trail and wandering around in what once was an old oil refinery. All that seems to be left are big slabs of concrete and foundations of buildings. Rossy mentioned that this was his favorite part of the whole ride cause it was so open and you could see all around. Most of the way you are enclosed by shady trees.

Yesterday's trip was especially good cause we didn't have time constraints and we could stop and look around at things here and there. The boys liked the little pizza shop in Emlenton too. But I can see it's going to be hard to eat as a vegan with them. They finally found a veggie calazone that they could eat without the cheese and I had one with cheese. No ice cream on the way home as we usually do. They waited till we got home and made fruit smoothies with almond milk. It probably would help my health (weight) a lot if I went vegan with them. Well, it will still help a little if I do eat that way while we go out together.
summersgate: (I R = infrared)
Rossy peddling ahead of me.

We didn't have as much time as I would have wished before Sebby had band practice but we did have enough time to go from Franklin to Belmar and back. More... )
summersgate: (eggshells)
River's edge.

Yesterday I had two chances to explore the river's edge on the Allegheny. In the morning Gabe (since he is a senior now he doesn't go to school every day) wanted to go on a walk and go shopping so we stopped at that place (the mouth of Deep Hollow creek) that Jan and I discovered on Wednesday and went down there. More... )

Later, after school Rossy and Sebby wanted to go on a bike ride and this time we went upstream on the Allegheny to another place I've always wanted to explore. Along the river there are grassy areas below the bike trail where you can see groves of trees beside the river. Sometimes there is a path leading down to them but we are just speeding along on our bikes and don't go down. I always want to go down though. Last evening seemed like a good time to do it and everyone was agreeable.

Rossy watching the river go by. The River Ridge gate is behind us. More HERE. )


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