Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Day at the Museum-- Sorry, no Ben Stiller pics involved

One of these mornings, I'll have to play around with the picture controls on here and figure out exactly how to put them where I want them, not just where the computer says they're going to be! But-- this isn't that morning! The bead in the pic was done around Veteran's Day last fall. I was inspired by reading Flags of My Fathers (might be off on the title; it was the book about Iwo Jima). I always loved the Johnny Cash song about Ira Hayes. It sounds so forlorn, which how I imagine it must feel to go off to war and then return. . . how do you get your life back? I am certainly grateful to all the veterans who've served our country. I thought about this Ira Hayes bead because I took the kids to our local Historical Society museum yesterday, and they were fascinated with all the uniforms that have been donated over the years. Their own grandfather was in the Army at the end of WWII when he met their grandmother in Germany. He brought her home to the States after the war. I wish I could've met him so I could tell the kids more about them both. Grandma Angie was one tough Angie Garren! She was fun, too, though, so I'm guessing living in a warzone influences your attitudes and personality. I guess you'd describe her as one of those people who express ev-ery-thing very dramatically. Oh, but those uniforms yesterday at the museum-- most were from the WWII and Korean conflict eras. I get could get lost in that museum if I were there by myself, gazing into old newspaper photos, reading old letters, looking people up in the high school yearbooks, finding out the stories behind the objects on display. . .
So, what all intrigued my two 5 year olds (nope, not twins, James just hasn't had his 6th birthday yet)? Well, they loved all the uniforms. They didn't pay that much attention to the details, but they were full of questions as they went from one to another: "What's the Navy? Is that a soldier, too? Uncle Mike's in the Air Force. Is his uniform here?? Look at the hat. That's a hat, too?"
They were also intrigued by the old freight elevator in the building. The building is near the railroad tracks in Centralia, and it used to be used as a warehouse. The volunteer in the museum yesterday bent a little rule and used the freight elevator to take us from the first floor up to the second floor. James and Kate were thrilled! (A big thank you to that volunteer!) Where there's a railroad track near a building, there just might be a loading dock, too, you know. The kids are always thrilled with a part of the building on the west side-- the wall has been closed in, but there is still a raised ramp built into the wood floor. Yep, they both have to slide down it every time we are at the museum.
Know what else we have to do every time we go to the museum? Go in the caboose and climb up into the window seats! I wish trains still needed cabooses. . . James and Kate would be thrilled to have the person in the caboose wave at them. Everytime we go in the caboose, I think about all the times we got a wave from the caboose guy when we were kids. It never lost its thrill; time after time, we were so excited.
And that was our day at the museum. Actually, given little-kid attention spans, it was more like our hour at the museum, but they were very good on this little jaunt! Can't wait to go again! Hope you re-discover something that intrigues you today. . . Ang

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yep, I'm Strange-- I Love to Go to the Grocery and here's why

Umm, yeah, the bead is a rerun, but the pic is new :)
Just wanted to tell ya I'm gonna put her on eBay later today.
She's Market Lady #1, because I enjoyed her so much that I'm just gonna have to return to her someday and make her sisters.
Kids and I are off to town in a few minutes. Gotta get a propane tank refill, gotta get bread and milk. Good grief, can you see a hint of my priorities in that last sentence. Don't forget the propane, and the milk and bread are afterthoughts!
Oh, but I do love going to the grocery, and not just because I love to eat!
The grocery is filled with sensations, which leads to ideas!
It is a joy to this artist's soul. . . and yes, I do feel like an artist when I think about it this way. We all have an artist somewhere in our soul, and that's a good thing, part of what makes us really live and enjoy life.
Not convinced? Here, let's go on a little tour of the grocery. I'll bet you can do the same thing in your mind:

Feel that whoosh of cold air as you step out of the sunlight and into the store. Grab a cart. See that repeating pattern all the handles make in the row of carts? I always liked the colored handles with the writing underneath a layer of clear. Push the cart through the door, walk past the airbrushed daisies (truly, those dyed flowers are a work of art in themselves; who doesn't smile at the bright colors?). What's in season in produce right now? Red strawberries, pale yellow ears of corn, a slice or two of not-quite-real-summertime-ripe watermelon. Wouldn't you like to just once run your hand all along the tops of all the different ruffley lettuces and greens? The apples are a little soft this time of year, but oh, what a treat a crispy Asian pear can be. Read the names of all the salad dressings as you stroll by them. Of course, I'd have to say Paul Newman's face is one of nature's fine works of art, but try to pull your eyes away from him for a second and read the names on the bottles. Doesn't it make you think of tiny rows of herbs growing in a window box, big hunks of cheese setting on top of wooden barrels, and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper on your salad at your favorite restaurant?
Lunchmeat, juice, cookies. Flattened out discs of cheap chocolate chip cookies, puffed up Archway circles, crisp white Pepperidge Farm bags holding crispy light and airy cookie wafers, plain old graham crackers and vanilla wafers shedding golden light from the top shelf. Canned vegetables arranged by color, jars of spaghetti sauce making you wish for a collander full of garden-ripe tomatoes to bake with a pan of celery and onions and carrots, all to be mashed into a flavorful puree'. Flour, sugar, oils, vinegars. I could spend an hour just picking up the different bottles of olive oil, all those different bottle shapes, all those different shades of oil, all those wonderfully ornate labels on the bottles.

Uh, oh, time to actually get ready and go! That was only the first four or five aisles, but I guess you get the idea. Mmmmm, gotta be thankful for the abundance we enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why I Think There Ought to Be Middle-Aged Fairies, not just Tinkerbells and Fairy GodMothers

Well, you just never know where your mind is going to wander while you're sitting at the torch. While I was making this fairy, I got to thinking about the physics of fairies. Okay, what I was thinking about was whether or not fairies are almost always shown as sexy, superslim little waifs because their wings wouldn't be able to get them off the ground if they had any real meat on their bones. See! I told you, you just never know where your mind is going to wander off to while you're sitting in front of the flame. So, since this girl with her thick wings and full body has her own appeal (despite the pigment problems with her wings), I have decreed in my own little world there shall be fairies of all ages! I know, I know, the whole thing about fairies is tied to their immortality. . . so why wouldn't they want to be young for eternity? Well, I can think of some good reasons. First up, did ya ever have that grownup's nightmare where you are back in high school? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease, the whole thought of being that young and not knowing about the world for an eternity? Oh, yeah, I've had jobs where I couldn't leave the building until the day was over, but somehow, it just didn't feel the same as the shackled feeling in that "Ohmygosh, I'm stuck in high school and I can't get out" dream. Hmmm, what else? How about the need to please everyone else when you are young? Bet Tinkerbell has asked many of her little fairy friends, "Does this dress make me look fat?" Well, grow up, honey, and tell 'em this instead, "Hey, I just couldn't resist this floating, wispy skirt, and I'm glad you noticed it"!
What else? Oooo, oooo, it's not all about looks, either! The joys of being old enough to really understand yourself, to really love yourself for who you are (not who you'd like to become)! And the freedom, the glorious freedom, to say what you think and realize that other people don't have to agree with it. . . and the freedom and wisdom to know you can exchange all those ideas without having to try to change the other person in the process.

Now, as for the Fairy Godmothers, I'm glad they found their way into all those fairy tales, glad they got to share their skills and wisdom. I just think they need to be accompanied by some middle age apprentices ;)

Hope you have a magical day now. . . I'm off to the torch before kiddos and hubby return from the park! In a moment of wisdom and kindness (but I'm leaning more toward the wisdom thing, 'cause he's starting to figure it out), the hubby actually decided to take the kiddos to the park first on his extra day off, instead of heading straight for his garage to enjoy tinkering with his toys. Tooooo-doooo-loooooooo, I've got torchin' to dooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's Market Day

Here she comes, home from the market with a bundle of goods balanced atop her head.
I made her last night, and I couldn't wait to show ya! She's almost exactly 4 inches tall! The mandrel hole runs all the way through this one, unlike my recent sculptures, so she could go on a terrific pendant if you're not a clumsy person like me. The bundle on her head is wound like a hollow bead, so you could also fill her with more things. . . oh, the possibilities are definitely running through my mind today!
We're getting ready to go shopping. Might not seem like a big deal for most people, but if you live in the boonies like us, you'll understand the excitement :) Okay, so it isn't really the boonies here. We do have 800 people in Irvington, and Centralia (with the Wal-Mart and Schnuck's and a few stores in the strip mall) is only 5 miles away. But if you really want to shop (and for me it really has become mostly just enjoying the looking over the years), ya gotta hop in the car for about an hour and head towards St. Louis. We usually stop at Fairview Heights, IL, instead of going on into St. Louis.
So what's on the list today? Nothing in particular for me, but the children are lobbying Daddy to buy them some "Spiderman gear". Heehee, bet he won't be able to resist! I like these trips because I can usually wheedle some treats out of the Daddy, too :)
So, we're heading out the door soon. Hope you're having a fun day, too!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Argh! House Hunting! I'm Starting to Think a TreeHouse Would Be Nice!

Let me just say this-- I'm starting to look for abandoned lots out in the country with large trees. . . it might be easier than finding a reasonably priced house that has the features we're hoping to have in a house. Yep, I'm thinking a treehouse made out of recycled junk and stuff. Nope, I'm not crazy. . .just frustrated. This could turn into a real rant, so let me just say this: I like ceramic tile. I like granite anything. I like hardwood floors. But, please, please, please! Don't install those expensive things in a cobbled together overgrown clubhouse and expect me to pay $***,000 (yep, 6 digits, and they don't start with 1, but I don't want anyone to know exactly what house I'm talking about) for an overgrown (and ugly) junky clubhouse with temporary horse corrals covering the front yard just because you have nice floors!!! A tent with a ceramic tile floor would still be a freakin' TENT. Do you get the idea here? How about another thought to get the point across? Would you put a 24K gold handle on the door to an outhouse??

Ohmyohmy, got stop the rant-train right here. Too nice a day to keep travelling down these tracks!! Hey, have a terrific weekend! Talk soon, Peace, Ang

Friday, May 25, 2007

Moochie and the Moonlight Masquerade

Aha! Here I spent a couple hours off and on last night after dark trying to think of a good name for this sculpture, trying to get pics of the moon without a tripod, trying to capture these two figures in a moonlit
pose. . . all that for nothing, except a picture of Moochie the moonlight meower, and she wouldn't even look at the camera! BUT while I was trying to think of a nice title for today, I stumbled across another possibility for names for the sculpture. Hmmm, moonlight masquerade? I've been thinking about these two ever since I made them last week, just waiting for the perfect names. Usually, I have names and/or stories in mind before I even get to the torch. These two I made while thinking about anniversaries and fairy tales. I really thought they were going to be the King and Queen of the Forest Dancing the Anniversary Waltz. . . eh, not quite right. Oberon and his Queen on a Midsummer Night's Eve? Nope, realized I never even read that one of Shakespeare's, realized many people have all sorts of faery kingdom stories, realized I just might offend someone with my ignorance. I still want a picture of them in the moonlight, though! But I was also planning on them for my next eBay auction, which needs to start today before Brigid's Healing Well ends. ~~~sigh~~~ You just never know when the glass is going to be obstinate and hide from your creative muse. . . See ya later, I gotta go run this around my brain some more :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Can I Get a Witness? P.S. Carol, this is your fault : )

I believe this is Carol's fault, this song that is running through my head. Well, anyway, I'm gonna blame it on her because she said "Can I get an AMEN?" and my brain connected that with that song that goes, "Can I get a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit-neeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssss?" Don't even ask me the name of that song, because you know I never get those things right. Hey, I'm the girl who grew up on country music, went away to college and discovered rock'n roll oldies, and thought there was a song about a Secret Asian Man!

So, seriously, can I get a witness here? I actually cooked and ate real food for breakfast! That's scrambled egg, sautee'd onion and red bell pepper, all on a whole wheat English muffin and topped with Sweet Vidalia Onion salad dressing. Mmmmmmmmmm, and those are some slices of a portabella mushroom sprinkled with lemon pepper & garlic seasoning and sautee'd in olive oil. All good food, and all good-tasting food. Hmm, another month or so, and this could've been topped with a nice ripe tomato, too.

Now, we got breakfast out of the way, what next? How about someone witnessing to my children that it was just the wind that blew the bathroom door shut just now? Katie just went to the door and knocked on it, and she's saying, "Hellooooo. Hey, who's in there? Oh, the wind blew it open. . . Maybe it was a ghost!" See, I told ya.

Can I get a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit-nesssssssssssssssssssssss?? Dang it, this is going to be running through my head all day. Of course, it's sort of an improvement over yesterday's "M-I-C-K-E-Y! M-O-U-S-E! It's the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! Come inside, it's fun inside!"

Hey, we're off to the library. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Snippets. . .Samplings of Random Thoughts

Ever have one of those random thought days where there are so many ideas running through your mind that you can't settle on just one? That's how I feel today as I sit here. Lots of different things to talk about, and lots more to say about each one. . . but here's a sampling for now:

  • I am so glad I grew up in the country, and that my kids get to experience that when we visit my parents in Kentucky. Katie has yet another nickname after this weekend-- The Chicken Whisperer. She slowly walks up to the new chickens and gently puts out her hand. They don't come all the way to her hand yet, but I'll bet they are doing it by the end of summer. James wanted to learn to drive a nail, and he did that, as well as watching Granddaddy dig some holes with the backhoe attachment on the tractor. Bet that little boy is going to be spending more time in the shop with the big boys as summer progresses.
  • Lisa, I hope all is going well for everyone in your family. Barb S. called last Thursday as we were heading out the door, and she mentioned how hard it is to keep in touch with everyone. Once again, here I am, writing during the middle of the day and hoping you'll see this and know I'm thinking about ya!
  • Our son is finishing his last day of kindergarten today! I am so proud of the way he's gotten into the school routine and learned so much this year. You know how you always remember special teachers, even decades later? Well, I think he will remember Mrs. Kathy Bergen for many, many years!
  • Oh, boy, this letting them go on field trips is scary! Yes, I do look forward to both of my kids being in school next year, but that doesn't mean that I haven't missed James during the day this year. It has been one of those things where letting go required a sense of detachment. How else could I keep from being in that classroom every single day and making suggestions and taking over?? Thank goodness Mrs. Bergen is such a wonderful teacher, or I think I would have gone nuts whenever I thought about it. Of course, don't we all have our own ideas about how and what children should be taught? If you know a teacher, give them a smile or a hug or a pat on the back next time you see them!
  • Let me just say to my online friends-- I wish Arizona and Michigan and Georgia and Illinois and all other points in between (and across the water) were as easy to reach in real life as they are to get to in cyberspace! You mean so much to me :) I think it's neat that we were drawn to each other by our interests, and then found we have so much to talk about!
  • The sun is shining, the house is a mess, gotta go into town to mail a package, gotta switch out the oxygen tank so I can torch later. . . BIG SIGH. . . wonder what I should do first? Don't know, but I don't think it matters. I think whichever I choose, it's one of those beautiful and peaceful days that just feels like summer vacation! HOORAY for LIFE!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Reason I'll Never Go Blonde Again. . .

. . . would be that my hair sucks up color! The year my blonde highlights kept getting lighter and lighter until they mistakenly turned out orange right before New Year's Eve, that was the year I decided I'd never dye my hair again. What was I gonna do? The hair stylist I'd trusted so much to artfully paint highlights on my dark brown hair finally went a touch too far. That would be the day I ended up with orange hair. Eeeeeeeeeeek! I tolerated it for a while, partly because I didn't trust her to fix such a monumental mistake and partly because I certainly didn't trust anyone else to do it to begin with. Well, that leaves fixing it myself, and "fix" it I did. I bought dark brown Clairol in a box (or maybe I was worth it and bought Loreal, who can remember that far back?), put it in my hair and was instantly transported from electric orange haired weirdo to deep black goth haired weirdo! ARGH!!!!!!! It took almost an entire year to get rid of the black. After almost ten years, the trauma still haunts me, so you can bet I will be going gray gracefully!

Well, I meant for this to be a little more fun and entertaining of a story, but it's true that it's been almost ten years and it still frustrates me to even think about the whole ordeal. . . good grief! But if ya wanna see some more pics of these blonde girls I finally made for Hallynd and her cousin Lacey, you can check out my gallery at :)

Anyway, the kiddos are busy discussing Shrek and Spiderman, and I better go finish a few things before early bathtime tonight. Ricky's leaving work in time to stop by here and pick us up so we can all go see Spiderman3. You have been forewarned--- there will most certainly be more Spiderman stories as the week goes on!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Too Many Brownie Points? For Husbands?? Not Possible, Boys!

Get this. Saturday at the Spring Fest, there were two men sitting on a bench in front of the antique store, waiting for their wives. Well, they were sitting right behind my booth, and they looked like they might be a little bored. . . I suggested that maybe they should look at the glass sculptures and beads on my table and pick out a surprise for their wives, which should get them some "brownie points". Guess what one of those rascals told me?

"I've already got so many brownie points, I'll never have to get any more."

Well, I just had to laugh and let him in on a little secret we members of the Wives' Club know. You can never have too many brownie points. If you are a husband, it's just not possible to have too many brownie points! Of course, I also ratted him out to his wife when she came out of the antique store :) She just laughed. It was fun talking to all of them! Both of the wives have had booths at the St. James Art Show in Louisville, and they were telling me about it. It's always fun to talk to people who've done things like that and find out what they make and where they sold it, etc. The wife of the brownie-points-champion used to make purses decorated with horses/Derby themes. She made so many (and they're all over the world) that she just got tired of it. Wow, though! Creating things you love is a great feeling, and to be that successful at it. . . icing on the cake!

Oh, and if you are a person who'd like to rack up some brownie points with someone who likes creative gifts, howzabout checking out my eBay auctions? (hint, hint) The water fountain in the picture above is currently listed, and I'll be adding new creations about twice each week. . .so go ahead, click on this link and save it while you're there ;) You never know, you just might run across a mega-brownie-points opportunity!

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Babies Are Both 5 Years Old for the Next Month!

Katie turned five years old yesterday, and now our "Irish twins" really do feel like twins again until James turns six years old in June. They were so cute yesterday! I watched James wake up yesterday morning. Right before his eyes opened, he started grinning real big. Then, his eyes popped open, and he blurted out, "Birthday! Kate! It's your birthday!" Last night, we went to McDonald's so they could add to their Shrek toy collection and play in the playland. One time, as they were climbing through the tunnels to the very tallest slide, we could hear Katie telling him, "James, you're the bestest brother in the whole world." When we got home, she let him open part of her presents and he led the "Happy Birthday" singing.
Now, in case you think I'm being more sugary-sweet than the half inch thick icing on the cupcakes we had last night, let me tell you I'm just excited because they've been fighting just about constantly lately. . . Hearing them laughing and chanting, "We're twins now!" is a welcome break from "James is always gonna be older than me. I don't like that, and I'm mad at him" and "Kaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaate! I'm gonna punch you". Hey, my brother and sister and I did our fair share of squabbling, so I know how it goes.
And that, my friend, would be why I shall treasure days like yesterday when they happen :)
Hope you have a wonderful weekend! We're off to Kentucky to see Grandma and Granddaddy and Soupie and Bubby and everybody else in the neighborhood. I'll be at Glendale tomorrow during the day. . . I'll take pics as long as you promise not to laugh at my low-tech display. Pop has fixed me a table, which will be cool because he makes great stuff. Mother dug out her yellow and white polka dot umbrella, which actually sounds kind of fun. Now, the challenge will be to keep myself from stopping at Wally-World to buy too much stuff to decorate it with. . . the stuff I have is either green or black/rust/gold, so maybe I'll just be unconventional and not use a table covering?? This one is just for the fun of spending the day outside and talking to people.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . You might have to write your own episode today :)

B oy, oh, boy, I finally got to torch something without worrying too much about oxygen (or the lack thereof) getting to the torch! And, I finally got to torch uninterrupted! And, I had ideas for what I wanted to make before I sat down at the torch! Make that three hip-hip-hooray's! The downside would be that I am awake at almost 2 in the morning, waiting to turn off the kiln. I guess I'll have to come back tomorrow and write you something mo...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

No Catchy Title Today. . . But I Am Back : )

Hooray! Good to see ya, everybody! I really had gotten into the habit of writing something here everyday, and now that the computer situation is resolved, I'm ready to jump back into the blog! Didja notice what other jump I took this past week? Plunged into eBay again. Yep, as much as it scared me, the truth is there is no better way to get your name out there and get people to notice your work. . . of course, what scared me so much about eBay is that there are so many wonderful lampworkers out there that you had better find a way to get your name out there and get people to actually notice your auction listings on the bay!
Oh, and the kiddos have been busy with Spiderman and Shrek and the cats and coloring and making plans to see Grandma and Granddaddy this weekend. See the pic of Katie and MeatyHead? That was the day that Kate discovered that when the humans leave a bowl of cereal and milk unattended for just a second, the felines certainly do notice! MeatyHead thoroughly enjoyed that strawberry flavored milk from Kate's Strawberry MiniWheats!
Okey,dokey, gotta get back to preparing more displays for beadalinas. . . the one in the middle with the ribbon-tied note is on eBay right now, and the other two are part of a group going to Glendale, KY, this weekend. If you're in the area, be sure to look for me Saturday in front of GreenTop Antiques from 9a.m. until 6p.m. Yep, they have a SpringFest, not just the big to-do in the fall. Talk to ya tomorrow, Hugs, Ang

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day
Angie, Susie, and William's
(and James' and Katie's Grandma!)


Friday, May 11, 2007

Let me tell ya about the "Lonely Ranger"

Yeah, I gotta tell ya about the "Lonely Ranger" and lots of other stuff from this week. . . as soon as I figure out if this is going to work this time. I can just see me writing a whole great big long story and then losing it all! Our dial-up connection started messing up Tuesday morning, and it still is not fixed. It dials up, connects slower than usual, then disconnects itself after 3 or 4 minutes. Guess what? That is just enough time for me to open my favorite sites, maybe get to a page I want to see, and then POOF! It all disappears. I finally figured out that what I am going to have to do is connect it, open Blogspot, choose "New Post", wait for it to come up, and then quickly check "work offline" in the main menu. Okay, if you are even slightly accustomed to working online, you probably would have figured that out the first day. . .so please have pity on my techno-challenged self :)

So, Wednesday afternoon when Kate and I went to pick James up from kindergarten, he buzzed past me in the school lobby, yelling, "Hi, Mom! Guess what? I'm the Loooooonely Raaaaaaaaanger!" Well, I couldn't figure out where that came from, especially since he and Kate haven't run across The Lone Ranger and Tonto yet. As we were walking out the door, the teacher aide explained it. "Everyone except James got a card flipped today, so Mrs. Bergen and I were calling him the Lone Ranger." In case you haven't heard the latest kindergarten buzz, getting your card flipped is not good. You get the first one flipped as a warning when you are misbehaving, the second one means you miss half of recess, you get the idea. Happily, James was "just a Ranger,Mom" yesterday since everyone else decided to behave throughout the day. . . ah, the trials and tribulations of kindergarten :)

And what has my daughter the Cat Whisperer been doing this week? Kate's been coloring in her Princess coloring books, as well as learning a few lessons about putting toys away when you're done playing outside. Lesson #1: If you are playing with the kid-size shovel Grandma got you, remember to put it away somewhere safe. The back bumper of the van is not considered a "safe place", especially later in the day when other people are blowing their horns and trying to get Mommy's attention while she's driving sot they can tell her, "Hey, you've got a shovel on your bumper!" Lesson #2: Cats can be very loving when they want to be. They can follow you around. They can rub against you and purrrrrr. They can sit beside you while you color. If one is a boy cat, and if you leave your prized coloring book outside overnight, that tomcat just might claim your coloring book as his territory. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!

Okay, we also made an extra trip to town to procure a few new coloring books, too! Now, on that note, let me try to post this. . . and keep your fingers crossed for me that the phone company and internet company get their act together real soon :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Connection problems since Tuesday morning,
and this is already Wednesday afternoon!
Yes! I think I really, really miss talking to you
every day!
or, as my brother the smarta-- might say, maybe I just miss listening to myself talk??
Oh, I do miss ya!
Hopefully this will be resolved in a few days. . .
Gotta run, this thing keeps disconnecting without warning
Peace, Ang

Monday, May 7, 2007

They're off and running. . . and I'm behind again!

Hi! Just a quick check-in this morning to let you know I'm still here! This is a pic of the kids on that Chipmunk Trail Saturday afternoon. The thing is, I zoomed in a bunch of times with the photo software. In the original, all you could see of them were a white speck and a yellow speck. The whole weekend has felt like I was running to catch up, too! Hopefully, I can talk Kate into staying inside with me for a while this morning. We're going to list the Kuan Yin statue on eBay (I'll post a link as soon as I remember how to list and get it done), and I think we might need to do a little laundry before it becomes a desperate situation. . . Have a great morning yourself!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Saturday Adventures

Here's a picture of that sculpture I've been trying to photograph. Thought she might cooperate if I took her out to Carlyle Lake to enjoy the view! I've been to the lake lots of times, so this was fun but not a "big adventure" for me. My big adventure comes later when I try to list her for sale on eBay!
James and Kate took off quickly up the steps leading to the Cub Scout's Chipmunk Trail. . . I think they thought the name meant they were guaranteed to see real chipmunks as soon as they hit the top of the stairs!

Oooooo, lots of pretty wildflowers blooming this time of year! There were bushes of these, some violet kind of things (maybe they were Johnny-Jump-Ups?), and lots of honeysuckle. Saw a few mayapples, too, but not big patches of them. It was nice just being out in the woods!

After checking out the water at the boat ramp, playing on all the equipment at that playground, and watching some fisherman fillet his catch, we drove around to the dam itself. We climbed all the steps to the top and were greeted with a hazy view of the gigantic lake. We counted 13 or 14 sailboats at one time, but I never got close enough to take a pic with my camera. We looked over the edge of the dam on both sides, too. Had to see the big gates, and had to look at the spillway side while enjoying the breeze from all that water rushing through the gates.
Hope you had a terrific Saturday morning, too!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Packrats Unite!

Whatever that is in your hand right now that you were planning on throwing away--DON'T DO IT! Unless, of course, you are reading this while holding a snotty kleenex in one hand and a rotten tomato from the bottom of the fridge in the other hand, then PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DISPOSE OF THE GARBAGE. Seriously, every time I start to gather an appreciation for clutter-free spaces, something happens to remind me of why I love being a packrat. Take these beads in the pic. That goddess head and body have been on my desk for over a month because I can't get into the eBay thing. Of course, the consequence of not trying too hard to sell stuff is that I have a humongous desktop covered with beads. Cool beads? Oh, yeah! Too many of them, though? Oh, yeah! So, for the last couple of months, this desk in the back bedroom has been sucking energy out of me every time I think about it. Actually, the whole room is a massive depository of beadie kind of stuff and boxes that I might need for mailing or packing. Just this week, I checked out a book about Zen, along with some other books about Shinto and New Age religions. Now, you know feng shui was mentioned in those! Once again, straightening and organizing my bead stuff made it to the top of my to-do list. Once again, I've looked at it every morning and immediately found something else on the list that needed my attention. . . and once again, my penchant for packing away sh-- has resulted in a wonderful thing! Guess what? Those two great big beads in the pic are ones I made yesterday to go with another bead for a sculpture. Unfortunately, or so I thought, these two beads are all wrong for the third bead. Wrong style, wrong size. Guess what/who looks beautiful dancing atop them,though? This willowy goddess! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeha! PACKRATS UNITE!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Moooooooooooooove Over and Let 'Em Eat Cake

Due to foreseen circumstances, there will be no pictures of the kindergarten trip to the local dairy farm from my camera, however, I will gladly tell you about it and offer a picture of the cake we had last night. What do I mean "foreseen circumstances"? I'll tell you exactly what I mean :) I grew up in the country, downwind of a dairy barn. Do you know how much manure there is on a dairy farm? It's everywhere, and it splatters just like in the funny shots in the movies, except you don't get the full effect from a movie scene. . . for that you would need smell-o-vision. Given the potential for splattering incidents, no way my good camera was going along for the trip. Me and the kiddos? Easy-peasy. If Kate or I got splattered, we'd just come straight home and take a bath and change clothes. If James got splattered, then we'd bring him home for a clean-up and run him back to school, no problem. Not so sure my sweet little Nikon would care for a dip in the tub, though. What's the big deal?? Oh, I forgot, you might not have the mind of a beadmaker. Here's the deal: 1.The teacher took pictures, and 2. a beadmaker's camera is sacred in this day and age. Gotta be able to take macro pics of those glass goodies so you can post them online and show them off to everybody :)

So, how did all the kiddos like the dairy farm? They loved it! They were greeted by dancing "teenager" calves, calves old enough to be in a big pen but not old enough to be milkers yet. They saw that line of kids walking down the driveway and started prancing and leaping around the pen like the cow who jumped over the moon. Ever notice that about kids and animals? The young ones seem to instantly recognize kindred playful spirits, no matter what the species. Walking into the milking barn was entertaining for them-- right there in front is the enormous holding tank waiting for the milk truck. (For me, it was like stepping back in time, because that front room seemed just like what I remembered of the Isgrigg barn-- all you notice is that great big tank.) Well, Mrs. Beckemeyer led them into the milking parlor from there, and you should've seen them, all eagerly crowding up as close as possible to see everything. There were cries of delight when one of the cows let loose a poop and it plopped down into the center pit where the farmer works. The cries of delight were not repeated when a cow much closer to them peed and it splattered, though. See, I told you; splattering is a given in a dairy barn. After watching those cows get milked, and seeing the milk gather in the glass tank, they watched another glass tank fill as the milk was sent back into the front room to go into the storage tank (well, it might have another name since it's really a refrigerator). Then, they got to watch Mrs. Beckemeyer bottle feed a calf. The bottle for the calf holds about a gallon of milk. They all thought that was funny, and then their eyes were glued to that calf as she sucked down the whole thing. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot another splattering potential-- COWS SLOBBER. Let's just be clear about that. I won't write it the correct way, slaver, and I won't say "salive". Cows slobber. That's just all there is to it. I don't know if I'm disappointed for them or not, but none of the kiddos got to hold out their hand and get it licked by a slobbery-sandpaper cow tongue.

So, that was our excitement yesterday morning, and then last night we had a bakery cake "just because". Now, how exciting is that when you are a kid? A miniature birthday cake? When it's not anybody's birthday? Whoa! And it even had "James" and "Katie" written on it! What a great way to end a spring evening. First, we sat outside, coloring pictures and petting the cats and enjoying the cooler air before the rain. Then, we went inside for baths. Last, we sat at the table and enjoyed slices of cake and milk. Ahhhh, life is good :)