Thursday, October 29, 2015

spirit week

I got a phone call Saturday evening from my grandgirl Jade and she called to say she and her twin Autumn didn't have to work on Sunday and they wanted to come out and do some crafts. This week is spirit week at their high school and they wanted to decorate some shirts to wear on different days. It was still raining from the storm so depending on the weather Sunday morning, I would come get them. As it turned out, it was still raining Sunday morning and to save myself two hours in the car I decided to just gather up all the stuff I had that I thought we could use and $50 and went to their house. A couple of trips to the nearby craft store and the girls got to work with a little bit of help and guidance from me. And I do mean 'little', mostly referring to the driving and paying part though I did help with the layout of some of the shirts.

Every day of the week has a different theme and Monday was something to do with pride in America or something so the twins and their friend wanted to do the American flag across three shirts. We measured the field for the stars and taped off the stripes and they sponged on fabric paint.

For another day's theme that had something to do with math or science (mathletes), Autumn and Hannah wanted to spell out NERD and GEEK using the periodic table. They found the symbols (though Autumn fudged a little leaving the 's' off the center symbol Es and Hannah settled for 'nerdy') they wanted, printed them out and then made stencils by cutting out the large letters and hand painted the other info.

while Jade made a referee shirt for that day's theme.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

the Mimi decapitated

I woke up Friday morning to let the dog out and looked up to see the flower head of The Mimi had fallen off. Again. It's been just a little over two years since we got it back after being repaired the last time. Which was the second time we had it repaired. The first time we had it repaired, I had gone outside to see the whole thing laying on the ground, broken off at ground level, the spidery fingers of the flower scattered all over. This was when it was still at the city house.

This was not my favorite of Lee's outdoor sculptures but at the time I bought it about 10 years ago, he had only three or four in the show and while there was another one I liked a little better, mostly because of the colors, I decided on this one because it seemed a little more unique. I guess I know why, now, he didn't do more like this one. I don't know if it is a bad design (the head is actually very light) or if the material he built it from was already too far gone (the wood at the break is very soft and spongy), but regardless, the Mimi is headless again.

We haven't taken down the stalk yet, no where to put it except over at the shop, and I'm sure that 28 hours of rain we got starting Saturday hasn't done it any good with the raw wood being exposed. In retrospect, I guess I should have covered the broken end with a plastic bag.

We're thinking of ways we might try to fix it, Lee certainly can't since he died shortly after repairing it this last time, but anything we could do won't make it look pristine. If all else fails, I'll figure out a way to mount the flower head somewhere in the garden.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

fall flowers

Now that fall is here some things have started blooming. The confederate rose and the morning glory bush are right next to each other.

Morning glory bush blossoms. I love these, they are such a delicate color.

The confederate rose is a volunteer from the two that became diseased and I had to cut down. Those opened light pink and turned darker as the day progressed. This one, the blooms open white and turn dark pink by nightfall.

The gingers are blooming again as well but it's been so dry, no rain for weeks (which has been remedied in the last 24 hours), it's hard to keep these water loving plants hydrated.

The yellow trumpet flower that I have been chastising all summer for growing well but not blooming finally burst into bloom and made the evening air smell so lemony sweet. There were over a dozen flowers.

And the tall orange cosmos which I have planted in three locations this year

and the Philippine violet

and it's white sibling that is new for me this year

and the toad lilies by the back door.

So if you have been watching the weather, the remnant of Hurricane Patricia has given us a lovely moderate soaking in rain that has lasted almost 24 hours. No flooding here though certain parts of the city had flooded streets and intersections earlier.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

puppy report

Minnie went in for her rabies shot and got weighed and got her nails clipped (again! third time) and she weighed 8.1 pounds about three weeks ago. She was also getting her adult teeth so at the end of September I declared her 6 months old. That means she was 3 - 3 1/2 months when she showed up in the yard. I've been trying to get a picture of her mouthful but she's not very cooperative. She's like a cartoon dog with all those new teeth.

She's grown but she's still small and long. Everything about this little dog is long...her torso, her legs, her neck, her face, her ears, her tail. She's the only dog I have ever seen that can sit on her butt and her head at the same time, literally. And this dog runs so fast, 'like a bullet' my neighbor said, her feet pound the ground like a horse on a racetrack. I take her over to the shop with it's fenced acre and a half and let her run. She tears huge loops around the yard and figure 8s with me at the cross point. Sometimes I think she's a rat terrier crossed with a miniature greyhound instead of a chihuahua.

yoga dog

Because she has a tendency to want to expand her territory and also because she thinks everybody is her best friend, we got her a collar and tags, rabies and one with her name and address on it. So far the immediate neighbors know where she lives because they hear me calling for her or at her as the case may be. She's a good little dog though...mostly. She does make us laugh. I can't get pictures of her antics because, well, movement.  Unless she's doing this:

shop dog

With the collar came a leash and the first few days she was confused about all this apparatus and what is this thing on me and what am I supposed to be doing here and where are we going. She's been a free range doggy up to now, (still is mostly, hence the collar). But now she's got the hang of the going for a walk on the leash thing and she mostly doesn't try to go faster than I can walk...mostly. On occasion she was determined go faster than I was and then she was doing that gak gak thing that dogs do because her collar is straining around her neck so I decided to get her a halter and now she's all, what the hell is this thing, I just got used to the collar and now you have me in this contraption.

She's so funny when we walk. She's got her head up, ears alert, tail up and she prances down the street.

The other thing is, she and the cat play! I kid you not. If you had told me before this puppy showed up that my cat would not only accept another animal, and a dog at that, into her house as a resident but would also play with it, I would never have believed you. But they do. They chase each other around the house and yard. Well, mostly the cat charges at the dog who runs in a big circle back around to the cat who sometimes chases her right up on top of Marc. Minnie will take a flying leap and bound up him to his shoulders or she'll stand on the back of the couch and put her paws on his head, like 'come and get me now, cat!'.

When I got back from Canada, Marc had her sleeping in the bed so now she sleeps with us. She starts out by our knees and as we shift during the night she creeps up til she is between us and by morning, she is sleeping on my pillow next to my head. But she is very good about not waking us up early. She waits patiently til she knows we are awake and then it's oh boy! new day! happy dog!

It's a good thing she makes us laugh so much.

the orange sheet is because we haven't quite given up the couch to the dog

Saturday, October 17, 2015

nothing quite so glamorous as a formal wedding or wine fair

The weather had cooled off finally after that hot August and September. We had a few weeks of days in the 80s but this week it has been hot again. Back up in the 90s during the day though it has been dropping down to 60 during the night giving us a 30+ degree temperature range. I used the opportunity of the cooler days to empty out the store room over at the shop in anticipation of pulling down a three section piece of the sheet metal that the shop is built out of that was up on the ceiling of the built-in part of the shop, the three small rooms which are going to be torn out and rebuilt. All the wood, including the support beams are soft and friable from termite damage.

 The (mostly) empty storeroom. The wall on the left is the back wall of the built-in part.

 Some of the stuff that was in there.

The demolition I started last year.

Even though the days have been hot, it does cool off to acceptable levels in the evening. I've been sitting out with the puppy running around in the yard. It's pleasant really as the humidity has dropped, that's how we tell if a front has moved in. There is just a slight hint of coolness in the air coming up from the ground, almost too subtle to feel unless the breeze moves a little. The pecan trees are dropping their brown and crisp leaves steadily and the Big Backyard is about half covered. They crinkle nicely when you walk through them.

I know all my readers are wondering why I haven't been writing about pecans yet because, of course, my life is intensely interesting and you remember everything, but no nuts though this year. When I got back from Canada I picked up 8 or 9 gallons of immature nuts from just the front third of the Big Backyard that had been falling since the beginning of July. After three years in a row of bumper crops I guess our trees are having a rest. To tell you the truth, while I will miss the home grown fresh pecans and the extra cash from selling the excess, I will not miss the chore of picking them up and shelling them.

I do have some left over from last year that I never got around to shelling.

Marc hauled the old truck bench seat, our first outdoor furniture we put under one of the pecan trees where we sat and watched the sunsets in the winter when we first bought this place, to the transfer station today. It was falling apart and had been colonized by fire ants on more than one occasion. I'm working towards getting a real outdoor bench seat but I won't put it back in the same place, I'm going to plant the azaleas that are currently in pots there. Besides, it's not really the best sunset viewing spot.

It looked like this when we first dragged it out there.

Here's the space now sans bench seat.

And I have finally started on some new waxes. Not my next body of work of course. Why the hell would I start on that next? These are just warm-ups since it's been so long since I did any model making, a set of three magnolia leaves that will have various stages of the flower to seed added to them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

the wedding

So, I married into a large family, my husband is one of 20 first cousins on his mother's side. That's large to me who has 1, yes, that is ONE, first cousin. My mother had two childless sisters, my father had one sister for whom one child was enough. And this family loves to get together and celebrate the life cycle events and while not every bris/naming, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and wedding is a lavish affair, many of them are and while there are still a few of the cousins' kids who aren't married, this was probably the last of the lavish weddings until the next generation gets old enough. But before then, there will be a round of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.

The groom, Joe, is the youngest child of a first cousin. He married into a family that is bigger than his but just as loud and boisterous so it was a great event. And a good match I think. Their story is kind of sweet. They met in pre-school but then Joe's family moved to Dallas when he was 9 and they didn't reconnect until college at UT in Austin. That was some years ago and they have been living together for a few years and finally decided to have a wedding since they were already about as married as you can get.

Anyway, it was a great weekend. Since it was a Jewish wedding, nothing could be held between sunset Friday to sunset Saturday so therefore the rehearsal dinner was Saturday night at a small restaurant Joe's family rented for the night with an open bar, a buffet of good food, and the mingling of the two extended families. Marc (my husband) and I along with his sister and her husband from Dallas sat with the bride's grandmother and one of her cousins and his family. After dinner the roast and toast began. Mostly they toasted Melanie, the bride, and roasted Joe.

It was late by the time we got home and then had an early morning as the brunch for the out-of-towners and the wedding party was Sunday morning. It is only about an hour's drive for us so we opted not to stay at the hotel. We spent the day with Marc's sister and husband which was nice since we only get to see them about once a year and then went upstairs to get ready for the main event.

The wedding was to start at 5 PM so we wandered down to the banquet room about 20 til and milled around, met up with our daughter and son-in-law and got seated.

Jewish weddings are full of rituals and symbolism. 

The bride and groom are each escorted down the aisle by their parents, the groom first and then the bride each preceded by their attendants. 

The groom waits for the bride in front of the chuppah (canopy) which symbolizes the new home they will make together but before he escorts her under it, she circles him 7 times symbolizing the new world or life they will build with each other (seven times just as the world was built in 7 days).

Two cups of wine are used, the first with the blessing of the betrothed, as wine is a symbol of joy, and they drink from the cup. Then there is the giving of the ring (traditionally only one and to her though she may give him a ring afterwards) and vows, then the reading of the Ketuba which is the marriage contract and spells out what is hers and his and what each is promising the other. After that comes wrapping the couple in a tallit (prayer shawl) symbolizing the two becoming one and the seven blessings over the second cup of wine from which they drink.

The final ritual in a Jewish wedding is the breaking of a glass which is wrapped in a piece of cloth that the groom stomps on and which symbolizes that even in the midst of happiness they should not forget that sorrow and death is ahead. Sometimes a light blub is used because they are easy to break and break with a loud pop. Apparently Joe and Melanie used a real glass as it took Joe three tries to break it.

Mazel Tov!

The bride and groom's first dance together was the last picture I took because after that I was too busy eating, drinking, and dancing.