Friday, October 17, 2014

oh the joy of home ownership and...yup, the selfie

I woke up yesterday morning to find that the rug in the little bathroom was wet. As was the floor around the toilet.


Turned off the water to the toilet, took the rug outside, got a towel and wiped up all the water which kept seeping up from beneath the linoleum tiles and from the bottom of the wall. Eventually got it all dry and stuffed another towel around the baseboard and went about my business waiting to see if more water appeared since I wasn't sure if it was really the toilet leaking or we had a leaky pipe in the wall.

and then I promptly forgot about it

Fast forward to evening when I checked on the towel which was wetter. Not a good sign.

I worried about that all night envisioning having to tear out the wall to get to the leaky pipe. Just what we need. I finally got up a little after six and checked on the little bathroom. The towel was soaking wet and there was water standing on the floor and I could hear a drip drip drip. Checked the toilet and both the bowl and the tank were full.

shit crap damn fuck

Went and got towel number three and while I was wiping up the water I noticed that the base of the toilet had water on it which struck me as an anomaly if the leak was in the wall. Then I noticed that there was a trail of water from the handle on the tank downwards and that was the dripping I heard. Looked at the water level in the tank again and it was up to the handle so I removed enough water from the tank for it to be at it's proper height. No more dripping water noise.

well, that's encouraging

I've been checking on it about every hour or so, wiping up the water that is still seeping up from under the tiles. I went in a minute ago and the towel was wet and water was starting to accumulate on the floor.

shit crap damn fuck

Looked at the handle and once again, water was dripping out. Remember, I turned the water to the toilet off yesterday morning and now the water level has increased back up to the handle.

OK, maybe not so bad

So now I have emptied the toilet bowl and tank, I'm on my fourth towel, and I'm waiting to see if the tank fills up because either I didn't crank the valve off hard enough or the valve is faulty and for sure the innards are faulty since the water level is not supposed to get so high it leaks out the handle.

Of course, it still could be a leaky pipe in the wall.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

one day has been pretty much like the next

This has been the content of my days for the last few weeks...sculpting wax and foraging for pecans. Doesn't make for great blog posts.

Oh, another one of those.

I have one more to go and then we will have 7 new pieces to cast. I've narrowed the selection down to two images, neither of which is remotely like the one it is replacing. I can't really remember the criteria I used when I made my original selections except that I really liked the image. I still like it but I couldn't make it work in the wax to my satisfaction and I'd rather try something new than try that one again.

We have amassed quite a lot of pecans. A big storm blew through last Monday and did an excellent job of knocking them out of the trees. It seems as if the tree that lost three large branches last year is trying to outdo itself and the other two this year. I started shelling them this week and now that I learned how to actually use the fancy pecan nut cracker I bought last year (thanks to a youtube video that I stumbled across earlier searching for nut crackers), it's going much easier. When I asked the guy at the place where I sell my extra pecans how to use it he showed me a technique that I could never get the hang of. Turns out it was completely wrong. OK, not completely wrong, just half wrong.

Last week, we had a couple of days of cooler weather and I dug up more grass along the concrete bunker over at the shop and planted some of the things I moved from the city property. Well, two things. The spider lilies and one of the rooted cuttings from the yellow angel trumpet. The little angel trumpet went into immediate wilt since it basically went from shade to full sun so right now it's being protected by shade cloth while it recovers.

We don't usually have commission work in the summer because it's too hot for one thing (and we have the grandkid visits) and our clientele is on vacation or has kids out of school. That's fine with us as long as it picks back up in the fall. Which it usually does except when it doesn't. So far this fall, there has been little activity and no results. I'm not too worried because of the sale of the city property this summer and I did want some time to work on my other work. I don't want no work, just not 6 months worth dumped on me at one time. Or maybe even that. Now that we are out here and not wasting two days out of the week traveling, it would be easier to handle.

This sweet little rain lily popped up around the yard of the new shop after one of our rains.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

another encounter

This is the front door of our house. ya, needs repair and paint

I was sitting in the back part of the house in the big room earlier today where I work and spend most my time when I heard a loud crash sound.

What was that? I hollered to Marc in the living room.

The screen door, he hollers back.

I went into the living room and we both peered out the screen.

I wonder what that was, I said.

He looked down and said, The hawk! It's there on the step.

I looked down to see the red shouldered hawk which was looking up at us and he spread his wings and flew off.

As you can see, it's not easy for a bird to fly into that door, tucked into the corner and camouflaged by the yew tree.

This picture is from this summer when it came and tried to figure out how to take a bath in the turtle pond.

Friday, October 10, 2014

models (yeah, again) and the selfie

So, here's the finished model from the last post. I'm totally into the stippling for texture on these last ones.

I'm working on the last 6” x 6” model now. Each one of these is so different I need to come up with a strategy every time it seems. This one is from a picture I saved off the internet and I have no idea what kind of flower it is. Here's the pic. Anyone know what this is?

Here's my progress so far.

I try to get a few chores done in the morning or very early afternoon because once I start working on the models, I'm there till 7 PM or so, getting up now and then to rest my eyes and collect pecans.

one cubic foot of pecans so far this year

Tomorrow is the annual Wine and Art Fair on Monterrey Square. Attendees will be able to sample and buy wine and craft beer and view art in different locations and of course there will be food vendors and a band. It will be a very long day for me as I have to open the antique store at 10 AM and the fair starts at 4 PM and runs til 10 PM. I'll have help as the other two employees will be there as well as some of the vendors so I needn't stay the whole 12 hours.

Since I agreed to set up a display of our art again this year at the store and I have done everything nothing to prepare for that, that's what I'm doing today, rummaging around in the shop trying to come up with something.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

the last 10 days in pictures

Besides the visit from the heron.

Not necessarily in sequential order but in alphabetical order mostly...

I love the baby anoles. This one hasn't been hatched for very long.

The confederate rose has started blooming. Just one or two a day right now.

The crepe myrtles shed their bark in the fall. Thin layers curl up revealing red fresh bark underneath.

She's back! Or else she was so well hidden that neither Marc nor I could find her for two days. And looking quite svelte I might add. Much slimmer so I guess she has laid her eggs.

The mist flower is putting on a nice show this year. The little sprigs I brought over from the city house years ago have grown to a decent size. It will continue to spread.

These inverted mushrooms appeared in the yard one day after a rain.

The mature pecans are falling decently now.

The sparrows have been mobbing the birdbath.

I was trying to get a picture of the spiderweb but the stupid camera kept focusing on the ground.

The surprise lilies are up. I always forget where they are and they always surprise me. There is a small clump on the side of the house and a new little clump out by the turtle pond and the mistflower that I planted. I found some bulbs I had brought over and never planted and couldn't remember what they were so I just stuck them there in the ground and forgot about them. The bloom stalk shoots up out of the ground very quickly in the fall before the foliage appears and you don't notice them til they open, hence the name surprise lily, though some people refer to them as hurricane lilies because they bloom after late in the season hurricanes.

The swamp lily in front bloomed this year. It is getting crowded out by the century plant whose big gray green frond(?) that is.

The morning glory bush is one of my favorites. It roots easily from cuttings.

I've also been working on a model, one of the 6” square ones. I'm working on this one a little differently. Instead of stacking all the layers at once and then carving and finishing them, I am carving and finishing each layer as I go. This design has some small recessed parts in tight areas and I was concerned about being able to get to them and this seems to be working out very well. I still have the forward section of the petals to do (3 layers) and the background of the petals.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

a visit from a small heron

Monday in the late afternoon, I rounded the garage headed for the general vicinity of the ponds, turtle and water lily, that are adjacent but separated by the fence around the Little Back Yard, and startled a rather big bird. It flew into the tallow in the Little Back Yard where it stayed long enough to go fetch my camera and come back and take a few pics. Later, I looked up and noticed it was perched on the gate next to the turtle pond looking intently into the water.

It was a small heron and so after consulting the All Knowing Oracle I learned that it was a first year yellow crowned night heron. Cool.

It moved slowly towards the turtle pond and eventually got up the nerve to move to the edge of it from which position it continued to peer intently into the water.

It moved back and forth between the turtle pond and the water lily pond on the other side of the fence.

It found something to eat over there but I couldn't tell what though I don't think it got it from the small pond. They eat snails and things like that, small fish too and frogs. It drank from the water lily pond.

It returned to the gate and preened.

The next morning it was still here hanging out at the two ponds and eventually flew up into the tallow.

Later I noticed it had gone but it showed up again that evening. It was sitting on the clothesline pole just on the other side of the fence where I hung one of the oyster shell wind chimes that Jade and I made this summer. The wind chime was hanging askew so that the piece of driftwood was angled vertically. The heron would bend down and grab that driftwood with its beak and give it a good shake. Then it would intently watch the oyster shells clang around. It did that four or five times in a row and later Marc saw it doing the same thing.

After a while, it was gone and I haven't seen it since though I do sort of watch for it now around late afternoon.

Friday, October 3, 2014

it's like the Wild Kingdom out here y'all

Our resident praying mantis, which I have posted pictures of previously, attracted herself a mate.

She apparently got tired of his 'mansplaining' everything to her and took matters into her own hands. Or head into mouth as the case may be.

Later, she had herself a fine meal.

I'm expecting some egg laying before long. Her abdomen is getting quite large.

I couldn't get the third picture of her as she is no longer on the shrub where she has resided all summer so either I finally annoyed her enough or she has gone to lay her eggs. In any case, she is gone.