Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I spy in my little eye

Except I don't. It feels like I have a rock in my right eye. I woke up yesterday with my eyes feeling grainy which happens when I miss a few days taking the krill oil supplement that the eye doctor recommended because I have some clogged glands in my eyes which turns out is genetic since my brother and my niece have the same problem. Maybe even my sister. But that's not what this is. I don't know what the hell this is but it hurts.

It feels better if I close my eyes but it's kind of hard to get any work done with my eyes closed. Yesterday, as long as I was looking down at the paper and concentrating on what I was drawing, it didn't bother me but as soon as I looked up or around, it returned to being painful and watering. I had Marc look at my eye, which by that time was pretty red from me rubbing it, and he couldn't see anything. I can't see anything because I can't get my eyes to focus through my glasses to see that close up.

I was hoping that it would heal itself and be gone overnight and when I got up this morning, it did feel much improved but the longer I was awake, the more it hurt. I've got my hair pulled back in a tight little bun because every stray wisp that touches around my eyes just maddens me and I mean mad as in insane.

So, what the fuck, life? I had months waiting for this work to come in when I had time to deal with some sort of ailment. Now, now that I'm starting on these drawings, you want to afflict me?

Well, after consulting the All-Knowing Oracle, I've determined I might be getting a stye but I have yet to see any little bump or I guess it could be pink eye.

Great. This is just fucking perfect.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

some wild things and some not so wild things

The bluebonnets in the yard are nearing full bloom I think

and the evening primrose too.

And the baby blue eyes.

The little red lilies are in decline. Not exactly a wildflower but they are the first things to bloom and they do spread like wild things.

The indian paintbrush has been in full bloom. I noticed two small clumps on the edge of the ditch on the shop side of the street.

Mixed in were these startlingly blue 'scarlet pimpernel' along with the more normal coral version. In fact, I've never seen them this color before.

Very few of the poppies, which were so abundant last year, came back this year or rocket larkspur either since I failed to throw the seed I had collected at the right time of year

but the mock dogwood is coming into bloom.

I have some volunteer sunflowers coming up from the seeds scattered by the birds from the totem bird feeder.

Meanwhile, this little finch decided the tea cup was a good place to take a nap.

This little frog was on the nun's orchid when I pulled the pot away from the wall

and these guys are snugged down in a bromeliad.

You can't see her but there is a bluebird sitting on three beautiful blue eggs in there.

And then there is this wild thing.

Friday, March 25, 2016

attempting to update the web site

I've been toying with changing the galleries on my web site. They work well now but it's an old fashioned look and I'd like to get them more in line with the home page. I started working on a new gallery page using the Jedit app which I paid for years ago but when I upgraded my OS, that app was no longer supported. Something to do with Java which Steve Jobs apparently had issues with. I downloaded the new version but it's only good free for 20 days, then I have to buy it again because I didn't keep or can't find my previous receipt or registration number. A friend recommended another free web editor app, KompoZer, which I spent a frustrating day yesterday using trying to get the links to work and the image buttons to appear. I did get the links to work, opening in a new window, but the images for the buttons won't appear. I keep getting the broken image icon. Not only that but the images for the links in the header aren't showing up either and I know the code for those is correct.

I'm wondering if it has something to do with KompoZer vs Jedit since I originally designed these pages with Jedit. Don't get the wrong idea. I am not a software writer, have never taken a single class in code. I originally designed the look of my web site back in 2000 using a graphics program and then paid someone to build it and publish it. Since then I have, with a little help...OK, a lot of help...from a friend who actually makes his living doing that sort of thing, learned how to manipulate and change the already existing code and, in fact, the way it looks today is completely different from the original version. Unfortunately, I can't ask my friend for help these days since he moved to NY state.

After my frustrating day yesterday, intermittently shouting that this is totally FUBAR, I'm thinking I should activate my 20 free days with Jedit and see if the problem still exists but I haven't done it yet because...big job. I wasn't sure I would have the time to use it more than a day or so.

And, as it turns out, I won't. The art consultant has asked me to go ahead and start on the art work since I have the deposit even though the client has not OKed the install yet. I don't think she has presented it to them yet since I got an email from her yesterday saying she wants to talk to my installer to have him walk her through the process. As if I didn't know what I was talking about when I explained everything to her. Fine. Whatever. He's just going to tell her the same thing that I told her.

Anyway, Monday, I am finally going to start on this small animal hospital job but at this point working with my FUBAR gallery page seems a lot more attractive.

edit:  Happily I managed to get it all to work by putting the index page in the main folder but not because I understand why it wouldn't in its own folder. It should have worked in its folder on the server just like all the other pages work in their folders. Oh well. All I care about is it's working now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

finally, some details

So, now that I have money in hand even though I'm not planning on cashing the check until this newest and last change regarding the installation is approved, I'll come across with some details. I've referred to the small animal hospital which is actually the teaching small animal veterinary clinic and hospital at Texas A & M University. We will be doing 3 large panels, 4' x 7' for a wall that extends out from the entrance and helps support a roof that covers the entrance to the hospital. 

At the beginning, I thought I would be able to do some fun designs of all sorts of small animals but, no. They were quite specific about what they wanted. One panel will have Reveille, the school mascot, one panel will have a male and female tech holding a cat and a dog, and the third panel will be a rescue dog and a rescue worker, the last living rescue dog that worked 9/11. Part of what they do there, I guess, is train rescue dogs. They did photo shoots and sent me the pictures to work from. In truth, I've never done anything like this before. I don't do people. Well, I've done angels that look like people and I did Jesus and the children for the cry room of a Catholic Church and I did those four portraits for the conference room a few years ago. Anyway, I have no idea how I am going to proceed. It will be a challenge.

While I'm waiting for the client to sign off on this last install change, I'm working on the residence. I'll be working on the full size drawing for the door panel today. I have to wait til my installer does a field measure of the cabinets before I can start on those drawings because I forgot to take a crucial measurement when I was there last week...the space between the glass panels. The drawing for the cabinets is not fully rendered. I personally think it's a little busy but I don't have to live with it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

day trip

I came home Thursday with a deposit check for the little residential job. Friday, the check for the big job came. But that one I'm not cashing yet.

So now, I am back to work. This little residential job is a full lite door to the bedroom and 8 cabinet doors in the kitchen. I'll start on the full size art work Monday, or rather, Tuesday. Monday is already accounted for. I'm having a 'well woman' exam. This is a big deal. I don't go to the doctor unless I need to and I don't get sick so I hardly ever need to. As my retired neurosurgeon friend told us, don't go to the doctor, they'll always find something wrong. But now I have insurance yay Medicare and it's been about 10 years at least since I've been poked and prodded. Just want to make sure the lady parts are still in good form.

But I digress.

So, Friday, my sister and I went to another estate sale up in the Hill Country. This one was beyond our usual radius, it took us an hour to get there, but we thought it would be worth the drive...a house, a barn, and a 2,000 sq ft storage building that was 'filled with antiques and all sorts of stuff'. Sounded like a picker's dream. In reality, not so much. 

It was filled with stuff all right, but mostly junk. Like this pink beaded and glammed up chandelier.

Or a skull decorated with buttons and feathers for $25.

The antiques were all in really bad shape and the rest of the stuff in almost decent shape was not to our taste.

I liked this old metal kitchen counter that needed lots of work that they had an outlandish price on.

The house was actually attached to the horse barn. Walk out the front door and there are the horse stalls with the tack room/barn at the other end.

Some of these sales just leave you scratching your head not only at the stuff they are selling but the prices attached to it. Like sections of cedar tree trunk or containers of rocks for $10.


When we left there we decided to go to another estate sale that was about 16 miles away, four houses. Siri took us on every back county road to get there

and I swear it took twice as long as just going down the state highway but it was a nice scenic drive and we got to see some cool stuff like this old church and cemetery out in the middle of nowhere

and this country store in Moravia, population 26 (the sign reads 'one of the oldest country stores in Texas'). Food, music, and pool; what more could you ask for. 

We would just stop in the middle of the road to take pictures

like this acacia tree in full bloom.

As it turned out, that particular estate sale didn't start until the next day oops. So we headed into Schulenburg (population 2,852) to find some lunch and stumbled on this cute little Garden Company and Marketplace Cafe. We ate on the patio out back. Wonderful atmosphere and great food. This dinky little town has a better place than the whole of Wharton with it's 8,000+ people.

After we browsed through the little nursery and gift shops we headed home.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

redux: yard stuff good, work stuff maybe not so bad

I worked in the yard again all day Monday mostly digging grass and weeds out of the old vegetable garden here at the house and lining the edge with bricks. Didn't get all the way around. It's a mess. I've been planting stuff willy nilly in there and have stuff in pots that I plan to put in the ground if I ever manage to get it all corralled. It could use a yard of dirt all by itself.

the azaleas have been blooming

this one didn't give me a single flower last year

this little frog was hunkered down in a bromeliad

the jasmine over at the shop is gorgeous and the scent is so sweet

tadpoles have hatched

a friend was digging these bulbs up and throwing them away. I have no idea what they are but I picked up a few and planted them in a pot. They have put up these cool spotted leaves and a bloom bud of some kind.

I talked to my installer Tuesday about the job-from-hell and none of it was good. The slot, it turns out, is plenty wide enough for what we proposed but the 3” clearance between the edges of the glass and the marble columns makes it impossible to do what we proposed since there is no way to seal the edges of the glass to close in the 1/4” gap between panels. I did put forth another idea which, as my installer says, is theoretically possible but he would not guarantee how it would look or work as he has never done anything like that or seen anything done like that. I'll spare you the details.

I sent all this info to the art consultant as well as an offer to put them in contact with a company that could provide the 3/4” laminated glass with a graphic interlayer that the architect originally specified since the only installation we could offer at this point is the carved piece with the etched side exposed and facing towards the covered side of the wall. So, after speaking with her yesterday, that is what we are going to propose. The job is still on but we have to get approval once again. And I have to wonder at what the architect was thinking, having that 3” of space between the marble columns and the edges of the glass. Some body, a kid or an idiot, is going to eventually stick their arm through that space and get stuck.

In the meantime, I'm working on a proposal for a small residential job, simple contemporary designs that the interior designer picked from my book of available designs so all I had to do was redraw them to fit the spaces instead of come up with something new. I'm presenting the drawings to her today in the city.

Monday, March 14, 2016

yard stuff good, work stuff bad

I think I mentioned previously that I got my two ! raised beds planted at the very end of February and maybe the beginning of March. The tomatoes were definitely in in February, the earliest I have ever got them in and even so, it may not have been early enough. It's an early spring, yes, but it is also getting hotter fast. Tomatoes stop blooming and setting once the nights and days get too warm. My tomatoes are just now starting to bloom and I'm already worried that I won't get much fruit off them.

I have beans coming up though.

Things have sort of gone to hell in a hand basket work-wise. I've been putting off starting my new work in the cast glass waiting for this big job to come through, expecting to be funded at any time which hasn't, so far, happened and now might not. Apparently there was a lack of communication between the art consultant, the client, and the architect. The change in the structure of the wall that was supposed to be made to accommodate the glass as we proposed it and was approved by the client, wasn't made and on top of that, the manner of installation which I had requested details of early on and never received until last Wednesday also put the kibosh on what we proposed, all of which I found out last Wednesday. My installer met with the architect last Friday to see if they could come up with a solution but I haven't heard the result of that meeting yet. We haven't even started this job yet and it has already become a nightmare. I've wasted months of time waiting on a job that may not happen now.

I was thinking about all this last night after spending all day working in the yard yesterday and didn't get even a third of the things accomplished that still needs to be done out there before it gets too hot, already the june bugs have hatched en mass. Thinking I should just get out my model making stuff and start in ernest on some new pieces. But while, normally I would have until about mid-June to be able to work outside, this year with such an early spring and early really warm days I may only have a month so I decided to keep working out in the yard. For today anyway, which I'm already late in starting because we slept til the sun woke us up at the usual time which turned out to be an hour later. I like DST but I hate the transition.

So, I mentioned it's spring here. The wrens built a nest in the birdhouse I put up on the outside of the barn and yesterday I saw a fledgling in the barn. I could hear the little cheeper and it's parent all day.

I discovered this little guy

hiding in a plastic pot when I was rummaging through them to pot up some cuttings I had taken for the garden club's plant show and sale next month. Also got my zinnia seeds planted in starter trays.

I dug some stuff up and moved it and put some other stuff in the ground. I had four huge fire ant beds to get rid of and several smaller ones. I use a Dawn dish detergent and orange oil solution, both biodegradable and it kills the shit out of fire ants. I weeded part of the old vegetable garden and need to reclaim it. I cleaned the filter for the turtle pond which is really murky right now as I guess I inadvertently killed the bacteria in the filter. It will recover but it may take up to six weeks to get the water clear again. I dug up sprouted pecan trees.

I got the little water plants back in the filter to the water lily pond which those wild dogs had torn up.

Saw this bee buzzing around the bluebonnets which are coming into bloom.

All the rain early last week has got the frogs all jazzed up and laying eggs. Saw this cluster caught on the chicken wire to keep the wild dogs out.

Another day planned for out in the yard today.