Tuesday, November 30, 2021

deadline looming

It was sunny and not humid Monday which was helpful. Even so not everything went smoothly. Actually nothing went smoothly. First I spent about an hour and a half sanding down as much of the black paint off the shadow box as I could, all by hand, but getting into corners and the seams where the trim meets the plywood was difficult. I finally decided I had done as much as I could and sprayed it with the primer. It dried fairly quickly and looked OK so I sprayed on the first coat of black. In the meantime waiting for the primer to dry I decided to put the second shadow box together. First, second, and third sides went on, fourth side did not. It was too short and the third was too long. Had to quickly pull it all apart before the glue set and wash it all off. Ended up having to cut two new pieces, drill new holes, and figured out a better way to glue the trim pieces on. Then I nailed in the little nails, so far so good until I turned it over and while everything lined up and met on the front, not so on the back and corners. So then I filled all the gaps with wood putty and sanded it all down again. It looks good. Ready to paint with the primer. By this time it was dark in the big shop and I couldn't see how well the black on the first one looked. I know I'll have to touch it up a bit.

Oh, and the roof still leaks where I made my repairs. Not as much as before I don't think but I don't know where the water is getting in, perhaps from the seams of the metal panels so I'll have to get more stuff and try again.

Today, got the second shadowbox primed and the black looks good on the first but will definitely need a second coat. Ordered my hangers today and picked them up. Got the second coat on #1 and the first coat on #2 though I think #1 is going to still need a few touch ups, especially in the corners, and of course I'm looking at the paint job with a very critical eye. Stop that! My fear is that the shadow boxes will look amateurish.

I'm starting to stress out about Saturday. Not the day but getting everything done by Friday evening. I have to decide which pieces go on the board on my display stand, which other pieces I'm taking, pricing everything (I'm going to low ball the oldest work to hopefully get rid of it), getting price tags, finding my business cards, getting packing materials in case I do sell something, getting everything packed and ready to load in the car very early Saturday morning, make sure I have what I need to put my display stand together when I get there, etc. The usual stuff. Fortunately Kathy is doing the work of deciding how all the furniture (display stands, shelves, and tables) will be arranged in the booth and still allow for traffic flow.

OK, deep breath, breathe in, breathe out. It will be fine. You are going to get to hang out with your friends all day.

And when Saturday is over, I'll have the luna moth mold to fill. A meditation of sorts. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

progress, no progress

I hope everyone had a drama free gathering with family and friends whether large or small or formal or informal. We are masters of the informal ourselves. Food and family is what matters. We raised our two kids in a small house, our daughter and son-in-law raised their four kids in an even smaller house. Their current house isn't much bigger if any at all and contains 5 adults, 1 baby, 4 dogs, 3 cats, 1 lizard, too much furniture, and no room for a table. They are experts at balancing plates on laps. Food was plentiful and all the family was there minus two, our son who stayed in the city and grandgirl Autumn who is in the rainforest of Ecuador working on her final research paper for her semester of study abroad. So it was a good day.

Decisions have finally been made and progress is happening. I decided to stick with my standard, painting the shadow boxes black. I also decided to float the trumpet flower pieces in the shadow boxes so Friday I cut 4” lengths of trim and used the liquid nails to attach them to the plywood intending to paint the first one on Saturday.

the blue tape on the trim pieces is to keep them from being painted

I want the plywood behind the glass to have a matte finish, the trim glossy, so after the paint dries I'll have to protect the trim, probably with painter's tape (fingers crossed) to spray the painted plywood with clear matte acrylic. I'll see how that works on the one that's already put together before I put the second one together in case I may have to paint the pieces first.

So, Saturday, dawned cold, gray, and wet, a light rain but steady and supposed to be this way all day, currently 44˚ and not going to get much warmer. My desire to get the first shadowbox painted was at war with my desire to not leave the warm house for the cold shop. Well, I've waited this long to get those trumpet flower pieces finished I guess I could wait another day. Besides, it would be a good day to watch part 2 of Peter Jackson's new documentary Get Back on the making of the Beatles' album and documentary film, Let It Be (Abbey Road was the last album they recorded together though it was released before Let It Be). The first part was just over an hour long and we watched it Thursday night. We were going to watch part 2, which is about 3 hours long, Friday night but things happened and it was 9 PM before we were through with dinner and settled on the couch. And so that is what we did.

I got over to the shop today to start painting the first shadowbox and applied two coats but it's not going well. The spray paint is supposed to be paint and primer in one but it's not working. The soft wood of the grain is soaking it up and the hard part is not.  I went out and got some primer but any other work will wait til Monday. I'll have to sand the black paint some before I apply the primer and also next week I have to put my display together and figure out what I'm taking and get it all packed for next Saturday. So another day with two steps back. I hope I get one of the trumpet flowers finished by then.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

indecision and preparation

I'm no closer to deciding what to do about the shadow boxes than I was a week ago.

I pulled out the four stains I have and stained wood samples,


red oak

I found a small black frame I haven't used yet and held the glass over it,

I painted a piece of trim white,

I painted a piece of plywood and trim black.

In the past I have always framed my work for hanging with black frames, custom made for each piece, as it sets the colors and luminosity of the glass off nicely though most just show a 1/4” edge of black around the work.

There are a few exceptions like this blue jay feather for which I bought a cheap commercially available frame

and the shadow boxes my brother made for the feathers.

I suppose I could try one of the stains and then paint it if I didn't like it.

Any decision will have to wait for another day or so. I spent yesterday making the cranberry sauce and all the prep work for the dressing which I need to get in the kitchen shortly to put it all together and get it cooking for our family gathering later today for Thanksgiving at our daughter's house.

Also yesterday I trimmed and cleaned up the mold of the luna moth that Marc made on Tuesday and did my volume measure and repaired some pretty deep holes where bubbles didn't rise up or got caught.

While my glass blowing friends Dick and Kathy opted not to do the open house again this year for various reasons, they and our friend Gene who does fused glass and myself are going in together for a booth space for a one day Artisan's Market show the first Saturday in December so I need to figure out which pieces I'll take and what I can fit on my display board as I'll only be using half my regular set up. I don't think I'll actually sell anything as my price point is mostly out of reach for this particular market but I'll enjoy hanging out with my friends whom I haven't seen in two years.

Wishing everyone a loving gathering with family and friends today be it small or large.

Monday, November 22, 2021

blast from the past

My last river trip working as a guide was October 2002. The last time I was in a canoe on the water was an overnight on the Colorado River as a guest on a trip the following spring. My first canoe trip with Don Greene's Whitewater Experience was on the Rio Grande Memorial Day weekend May 1991, the 3 day wilderness canoe camping trip through Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend that later became the trip I guided on four times a year.

My second canoe trip was 5 days on the Pecos River in the fall of 1991, also as a guest and I was hooked. Nineteen ninety two was a busy year for us in the studio and so I wasn't able to go on any trips but in '93 I went on the Memorial Day weekend Boquillas Canyon trip again and at the end Charles, one of the guides, asked me, well, Ellen, when are you going to become a guide and with the encouragement of the rest of the guide staff I did. I signed up for a Red Cross first aid and CPR class during the summer and Labor Day weekend I went on the Boquillas trip as a helper. In February '94 I took the Advanced Wilderness First Aid class that Don sponsored every other year and got my guide certification in March and worked three trips that year and it just ballooned after that. Working trips on the Rio Grande (Boquillas Canyon, Lower Canyons, Mariscal Canyon), the Colorado, and Buffalo Bayou day trips in Houston, private trips on the Brazos, the Pecos, the Rio Grande (Boquillas and Santa Elena), the Guadeloupe and the San Marcos in the Hill country. I took lessons and assisted others in giving lessons. I eventually acquired a 16' canoe, a pedestal play boat (an open canoe, rounded on the bottom, with a pedestal that you sit on while kneeling, strapped in across your thighs, the boat becomes part of your body responding to hip movements as well as a paddle), and a kayak.

I'm a little fuzzy about when I first met John, could have been the second trip I took through Boquillas Canyon in '93 if he was on guide staff for that trip or maybe the Labor Day trip, I'm pretty sure it was sometime in '93 though. At any rate he became a very close friend and over the years we worked together most every trip and took private trips with other friends as well as many weekends up in the Hill Country. John helped see me through a very rough time in my marriage when I wasn't sure if Marc and I would make it. He listened to me talk, he provided me with some safe time away doing something I really enjoyed, was never inappropriate, and helped me hone my paddling skills and later when he and Elise were going through a rough patch I was able to return the favor.

At some point Elise joined the guide staff and he and Elise hit it off and eventually married and even later Marc joined. But all good things come to an end. Don's health started to fail, drought conditions were pretty severe in Big Bend and not enough water to float a raft and in some cases a canoe. He stopped doing the open to the public trips, the last trip I did was a 5 day private trip through Boquillas Canyon which may very well have been his last outfitted trip out there. My guide friends scattered; John and Elise moved to Tennessee in 2004, Charles and Renee moved to Rochester NY, Dee moved to Utah, and the rest we just drifted apart though I'm still in touch with Charles and Renee and John and Elise.

John and Elise are both retired and now they RV around the country in their Airstream and were staying the weekend at the RV park on the beach in Matagorda on their way to San Antonio to see their youngest grandchild for the first time and then on to points west so I headed down on Sunday to spend the day with them. I really really enjoyed it. It was...comfortable and really wonderful to see them again.

I know I have a lot of pictures of John and Elise though towards the end I stopped taking cameras on our trips. These are a few pictures that floated to the top via a cursory rummage through some of the pictures I took over the years. None of them do my friends or the places or the experiences justice. And as for the quality, they are pictures of pictures because I'm too lazy to scan them.

John, Boquillas Canyon

Marc, Elise, John on the Pecos

John and Dee, Rio Grande

John and Elise, not sure if this is Boquillas or the Pecos

Marc and I, John and Elise, Dee and Bob putting in for a week long Pecos River trip.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

more progress, rethinking, and other miscellanea

Thursday, my SHARE volunteer day, was the last time we will be open before Thanksgiving and it was our busiest day so far with 35 families. We also had had a big food drive donation come in the previous Monday and another one come in Thursday. There was so much food and nowhere to put it as we had had a big delivery from the food bank the week before. I guess it's a good thing we had so many families because Jan kept bring cans into my station apologizing because there was no where else to put it but it was fine as I was loading it into baskets as fast as she was bringing it in. Robin was helping me the first two hours but then it was time to take her to work.

Friday about the only thing I got accomplished was cutting the new four pieces of trim and fixing dinner which was stuffed bell peppers, vegetarian version. I used a blend of barley, lentils, and split peas cooked with a little chicken bouillon, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and some leftover spinach mixed in. Sorry, no pic.

Today another day in the shop and I got one of the shadow boxes put together. What I didn't mention in my last post was that I went into Lowe's on Monday to get the new piece of trim and hopefully find a teeny tiny drill bit. No such luck but when I got home and rummaged through the little plastic box of dremel tool accessories, I found exactly what I needed and yes, I had already looked through that very same box before I headed out. Anyway I fit it into my hand drill and that's what I used to drill the holes in the trim pieces today.

a little suggestive, don't you think?

The plan was to leave the back piece the natural wood color and paint the trim pieces. In retrospect I should have just left 3/4” clearance around the cast piece instead of an inch (going with it anyway, not redoing it) and I'm not sure painting just that narrow border trim will be enough to offset the wood wood behind the cast piece. Right now it doesn't look 'finished' and I'm thinking maybe the whole thing needs to be painted. What I wanted was birch plywood, not pine, which is prettier and I think I would have been fine leaving the birch unpainted. 

I don't know, there's just something about pine that looks cheap, unfinished. I haven't glued the glass in yet and the background color is a little off because there's blue tape behind it (I don't want that part to be sealed or painted). If I don't paint the whole thing, just the trim, I was thinking white or yellow, but maybe it needs to be black. Fortunately, Rocky cut me two of each of the plywoods so I can play with the other ones.

I've got all the holes drilled in the trim pieces for the other one, the one on the red oak plywood and Rocky mused about staining the trim pieces instead of painting them. Something to think about.

Tomorrow I'm heading down to Matagorda to the beach, about an hour's drive each way, to see two of my river guide buddies whom I haven't seen in at least 15 years, probably longer. John and Elise moved to Tennessee after we all stopped guiding. Now that they've both retired, they RV all over the country and they're parked for the weekend at an RV park on the beach, heading west on Monday. 

As I've repeated ad nauseum, the arctic freeze did a number of everything here and things either didn't bloom or bloomed late. I got a few puny attempts from the yellow butterfly ginger earlier but this week two have bloomed nicely.

And I've noticed on my walks with the dog that my neighbor's live oak has produced an enormous amount of acorns this year. Live oaks are evergreens and all the ones here lost all their leaves from the freeze, so apparently they thought they're dying (they're not).

a typical sample of the ground beneath that tree

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in...

You might remember that when I had the studio room built out in the shop last year, Rocky was supposed to have repaired the leaks in the roof and whatever he did did hold for about a year but after that two months of rain we had last spring, some of it torrential, when I finally went over there to get started on some work it had leaked and the ceiling there was all mildewed and you could see where the water had run down the wall. Rocky cut out the sheetrock and got up there and marked the three places where he could see daylight coming through but I haven't been able to get him back here to fix those spots though he has said several times he had time to replace the sheetrock. Can't do that til the holes are fixed and obviously, he didn't want to do that. So, I finally got up there and did it myself. First I got some Ospho rust remover and sprayed that on Tuesday and today I used a paint brush to brush away as much of the dust and loose rust as I could. I had bought the small container of FlexSeal putty and got up there and smeared and glopped as much as I could push into that small space until I couldn't see anymore daylight coming through the three holes and a couple of seams of the metal sheeting, ended up using the whole container. It had to be done from the inside because of the overhang on that side of the building.

up I go

before, the biggest hole


So I guess I'll see how well it worked the next time it rains hard.

Then I cut a piece of sheetrock that was left over from building out the room. The opening basically 24” x 40” but is out of square so I took measurements, made a little drawing, marked the sheetrock, and got about 4” into my first cut when I realized I needed to flip the measurements longwise, cut the piece, and then only had to trim one edge once. So now I have to figure out how to prop it up using the ladder or get someone to help me hold it up while I screw it in place. So that's as far as I got today. Now that I think about it, I won't put it in place until after the next time it rains. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

two steps forward and one step back

I mentioned the last few days have been busy. I'm still taking Robin to and from work 4 days a week, about a 35 - 40 minute round twice a day. Thursdays are my volunteer day and Friday is one of my days to fix dinner and last Friday it was also my turn to do the dishes plus we went and got our boosters so neither of those days allowed me much personal time. Saturday though, I had all day. It was such a gorgeous day, clear blue sky, warm, not humid. I did my yoga routine, I managed to get a post up, I emptied the truck full of downed branches again and the burn pile is getting bigger and bigger. Rocky came by with his table saw and cut the plywood for me. He had bought a brand new saw blade just for that purpose so he would get nice clean cuts. He's going to get a 6-pack of his favorite beer for his thoughtfulness. Then I set up the wax pot and set up my forms to pour the bases for the next two models and while I was waiting for the plaster bat to finish absorbing water I washed all the little cups from the last mold I filled. Then while I waiting for the wax to cool I scraped the foamy parts off the wax that's been piling up from steaming out molds and added the clean wax discs to the wax pot.

Then I got out the chop saw and miter cut the trim pieces that will go around the plywood bases that Rocky cut for me in the morning for the trumpet flower pieces. 

Then I dismantled the forms around the cooled wax blanks, cleaned that up and then trimmed up the wax blanks and then cleaned up after that. And then I walked the dog and of course she wanted the long walk, and then finally I caught up on all the posts I've missed the previous three days. Finally fixed myself a drink and sit down with my book. I didn't realize how tired I was until I had sat for about 15 minutes.

And the night was full of dreams. I went on a tour of some city. There were only three of us, the tour leader, and her daughter. When we got to the first stop after getting to the city, the two others left, apparently they just wanted a ride home. We stopped at a beach of some sort but we weren't to go in the water but then I looked up and the tour guide was neck deep in it. After she got out I stopped at a group of faucets to wash the sand off my feet and then I had to go to the bathroom and the toilet was on a steep slant and then slid out from under me. Another stop was to see some jute (?, something coarse) weavings piled up in a big attic that we had to clamber up into on a precarious ladder of sorts and then through a hole in the wall and I took a bunch of pictures to show blogger weaver Joanne. There were some other stops that I don't remember now. We drove past the tour guide's house which was a big three story tudor looking place and finally we had to slog up a steep sandy hill to get to the parking lot where the van was for the ride back and I didn't think I would be able to make the last three or four steps but then I was at the top.

As productive as Saturday was, Sunday was not, and in fact I took a step back. I did get the plywood and trim pieces sanded, sprayed two cut off pieces with matte clear coat for testing. Then I decided to construct one of the shadow boxes but first I got the cut off piece of pine, cut a mitered trim piece for one edge, applied wood glue to the edge of the plywood, positioned the piece of trim and after It had time for the glue to set I tacked in three 5/8” little brads through the trim and into the edge of the plywood. Worked great.

Started on the real deal for the pine shadow box, glued a long and short trim piece on at the same time and the first little brad I tried to nail in split the trim. Well, fuck. I took that one off, I had enough left to cut a new one, and attempted to nail in a brad in the other piece and that one started splitting too. Well, double fuck. I gave up. So today I'm heading back into Lowe's to get a new piece of trim and will probably have to cut all four pieces again. But, I know what to do to prevent the trim pieces from splitting. I'll have to drill tiny holes in the trim before hammering the brads in. Anyway, I closed up the shop, walked the dog, and that was the end of my day.

The desert willow vine/shrub is blooming. It's not really a vine in that it doesn't climb on anything. It blooms on the ends of long branches it sends out. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

more of the same

Lately, every time I wake up during the night and in the morning there is a different song in my head. I have no idea why my brain picks the ones it does and it's usually just a refrain repeating over and over. Last night one of the times I woke from a dream or to change position the name Boo Radley was there repeating over and over. I knew it was a fictitious character so after I got up to go to the bathroom I picked up my phone in the middle of the night to google the name. Boo Radley, the probably abused quiet man who refused to come out of his house except at night to walk when the town was settling down for sleep from To Kill A Mockingbird. Now why the hell did my brain drag that up? I read that book probably over 50 years ago and if someone had asked me point blank yesterday the name of that character I doubt I would have been able to come up with it or even remember that character.

Marc and I got our Moderna booster shots yesterday and my arm was sore and I was a little achy during the night but I feel OK today so far. I was reading yesterday that the general consensus among scientists is getting to the position that covid is here to stay, much like the flu. One scientist said he would probably wear a mask in the grocery store and on airplanes for the rest of his life but that otherwise life needed to get back to normal and normal now means another virus that just is. It will probably have seasons much like the flu with colder weather and more indoor activities but with vaccination and the new developing medical treatments it probably won't be any worse than getting the flu. In fact, the report said there are areas where the death rate is lower than that for flu but also areas where it is much higher. I guess it remains to be seen if the vaccine for covid will have to be administered yearly like the flu vaccine.

Butterflies have been migrating through...sulfurs, long wings, monarchs, fritillaries, the buckeye, and this red admiral also a bit tattered.

I think I've finally got the design for the comet moth done so I'm ready to make the wax base for it and the small pink trumpet flower. Maybe today. Rocky's supposed to come over later and cut the plywood for me for mounting the two trumpet flower pieces.

A bit of good news yesterday on the political scene...the Justice Department indicted Steve Bannon for contempt and issued a warrant for his arrest for his refusal to comply with the subpoena from the January 6 Commission to testify and provide documents. It seemed to take far too long, that maybe Merrick Garland was not going to enforce the congressional subpoena but the wheels of justice turn slow and Garland has said that the Justice Department will abide by the law. The indictment and subsequent warrant for Bannon's arrest can't compel him to testify but if he doesn't, he's likely to be fined up to $2000 and spend two years in jail. As Heather Cox Richardson says, if he's in jail he won't be able to record his podcasts and further whip up Trump's base and that would be a good thing. Trump's Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows deadline to abide by his subpoena ran out yesterday so we'll see if this changes his mind or if he will be the next to be referred for criminal contempt.

Thursdays are very busy days as are Fridays pretty much. I can write or read and so I find myself behind. Today is busy too but I'm trying to, if not catch up, then at least get current. We'll see. I'm working in the shop today.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

faded and tattered

a buckeye butterfly, it's wings faded and a little tattered, sort of like me

Had a hard time falling asleep last night so I got up and read to stop my brain from going down useless paths. I'm 71  and my thoughts are turning more often to how much time I don't have and the inevitable end of us all, which of us will go first and if it's him will I be able to make sense of the bills and finances or know how to run the kiln (as if that will even be happening by then), will I still be able to wipe my own ass or be wearing diapers unable to get out of bed, will my ingrown toenail have made a complete circle and cause constant pain. Like I said, useless paths.

I think about my friend Kathy who is younger than me and whose husband is in his 80's and whose health has taken a serious nosedive this past year. I think about my friend Gene a year or so older than me who has several stents and whose longest friend died in his arms last year. I think about the trip my grandgirl Autumn wants me to make with her and Jade and it fills me with anxiety, the traveling, the being gone even though I would like to see other parts of the world. I think about the old man who walks his old dog down my street whom I haven't seen in a while, but there he is this morning so I'm relieved to see him, a man I don't even know.

It's silly, I know. I'm in relatively good health, I'm active, I'm interested in life, I still create, I could possibly live another 20 years. Twenty years sounded so long when I was in my 30s and 40s but now, it's just a blink of the eyes, and the body is irrevocably breaking down. My skin is thin and so crepey any flexing at all produces a sandstone canyon of wrinkles and ridges easily pulled away from the body, not to mention the general wear and tear of old scars and age spots and scaly patches. White hairs keep sprouting from my chin, upper lip, eyebrows, and even in my nose which I repeatedly yank though the hair on my head is still holding on to its color. I no longer grow hair in my armpits. My eyes are developing cataracts (fixable) and macular degeneration (not fixable). Not a pretty picture.

Well, today I'm alive and I have pansies to get and plant, an azalea to get in the ground, a drawing to finish, wax forms to make, yoga to do, birds to listen to and flowers to admire, a shower curtain rod to install, a dinner to fix, a dog to walk, a garage to organize for wintering over tender plants. Life. I'm not frail, not yet.

Time to get on with it.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

getting stuff done, or trying anyway

Friday I made the drive through the Gauntlet (though it's not nearly as bad and all the roadwork is nearly completed) to Rosenberg to Lowe's for a 2' x 2' piece of 1/4” finished pine plywood I wanted for mounting the trumpet flower pieces and some trim to go around the edges so of course they didn't have it. They did have a nice piece of red oak in 1/2” so I bought that. Also bought the chrome curved shower curtain rod I've been wanting for the big bathroom which I haven't been able to find locally. Next was Home Depot to see if they had the plywood I wanted and yes, not quite as finished as the red oak but also only in 1/2” so I bought that too then to Target to see if I could find a tension pole shower caddy in Chrome (can find satin or bronze tone locally but that's not the finish in that bathroom and forgot to look at Home Depot) and also a flannel shirt. Found a shower caddy but didn't like the shape of the baskets but I bought it anyway (and it's going back as the baskets are way too big) but no flannel shirt and OMG, I don't know what happened to Target but the clothes they were displaying were just downright UGLY. And stupid like midriff length long sleeve sweaters, cover your arms but expose your belly...in winter. On the drive back home they had three lanes closed down to one but it only took an extra 10 0r 15 minutes to get through.

Saturday I went over to the feed store and got 3 6-packs of pansies and spent the afternoon getting all the weeds out and turning the dirt in the little bed that I plant them in every fall. I got them in the ground today but I'm four or five plants shy so I'll be getting some more.

The other thing I did yesterday was test out the two pieces of plywood with the trumpet flower pieces and decided to use the pine for the first which is all yellow and the red oak of the second to bring out the pinkish orange of the small flower. The trim will have to be painted and I'm thinking maybe just white. Once I determine the size I want the plywood to be Rocky's going to cut them for me on his table saw.

These pictures are just a quick approximation of what I have in mind. About 5/8” - 3/4” exposed wood which I'll seal with the trim on the right going all the way around making a sort of shallow shadow box. I need the trim on the edges to hide the edges of the plywood.

I also converted the two photos of the comet moth that I had been considering to line drawings yesterday but decided to find a picture with the two long 'tails' without a gap and there's also a version with shorter 'tails' though I do like the long ones better. So I did that today and got the picture converted to a line drawing and decided on size and shape. Now to add the larval food plant leaves and caterpillar.

The fall back to sun time had the dog wanting to eat her dinner at 4 and my body thinking it's an hour later than it is by the clock. I prefer DST because I'm not an early riser and I like that it gets dark later but I hate the fucking transitions.

Friday, November 5, 2021

general stuff

Missed my day at SHARE Thursday to get my new crown seated. It was 11 on Thursday or another 4 or 5 days before I could get in so I hope they weren't busy (they weren't). The weather was pretty icky; cold, overcast, and wet from the rain yesterday when the front came in so maybe not too many people showed up.

The crown went on and I left though it felt a little high but it's not always easy to tell so we decided to live with it a day or so but after lunch I knew it would need more adjusting so I called and they got me in right away and now it feels perfect.

We turned on the heater last night as the temp in the house had dipped below our heat setting of 68˚. This morning it was 44˚ at 8 AM and supposed to get down to 41˚ tonight so we're have our first days of winter weather. But the sky cleared and the sun is shining so my mood, predictably, has improved.

I worked on the next design for the last stand, or rather I choose my subject and scrolled through many pictures of the comet moth, comet moth caterpillar, and eucalyptus leaves but I selected a few images and am now ready to work on a drawing.


I had thought to use the same format as the luna moth with the wings extending beyond the sides but if I do, it will have to be taller as the comet moth's trailing wings are longer.

And really, that's all I have to write about. Politics is too depressing, can't even read Heather Cox Richardson's newsletters in which today's she reports the Republicans are tightening their hold on state and national seats through even more extreme gerrymandering especially in states the Democrats won this last time around and the Senate Republicans have squelched even discussions of the voting rights act through the filibuster for the third time.

This is the happiest thing I can think of right now.


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

funky mood today

Sunday was a day of physical labor. I emptied the truck of fallen branches and then filled it up again with various piles I'd been making and then with those in the yard that hadn't been picked up yet. Then I cleaned the filter to the turtle pond which was totally gross and nasty as I hadn't cleaned it since early summer. After that I got the long handled nippers and went to the back of the property and proceeded to cut down rain trees from about 6” high to three or four feet. Unfortunately they'll all come back unless I had pulled them up so I'm just going to have to spray poison. Those things are more like weeds than trees. Then I pulled grapevine out of the cedar. Then I went and got the machete and started in on the big rain tree beside the dilapidated shed on the back corner by the wild space. It was about 3” in diameter. I kept thinking for a couple of years I would get the chainsaw and cut it down but I don't think the electrical cord is long enough so hence the machete. I was determined to take it down and hacked at that thing with two handed swings and eventually succeeded. Then I hacked away at one of the thick woody grape vines and got that done too. And then I was done in.

Monday I picked up the debris from cutting down all those rain trees and threw them in the wild space and then about all I accomplished the rest of the day was finishing the book I was reading.

I've been dealing with an ingrown toenail on my left big toe for a couple of years but the last several months it just got worse and worse. Sunday evening it started hurting and by bedtime it hurt so much I doused it with hydrogen peroxide, slathered it with antibiotic ointment and wrapped a bandaid around it. It hurt so bad, throbbing and shooting pains and just the touch of the sheet was intolerable, one of the reasons I stayed up late Sunday night reading because it hurt so bad I couldn't sleep anyway. It finally calmed down enough I got about 4 hours sleep and the next morning it seemed better but I washed it again with antibacterial soap, more antibiotic ointment and another bandaid and as long as I didn't bump it against anything it didn't really hurt very much. Then Monday night after another wash, etc. and I went to bed it was hurting just as bad as before. I finally googled ingrown toenail and following instructions I took some ibuprofen and then soaked it for about half an hour in very warm water, more antibiotic ointment and another bandaid and the pain subsided to let me sleep. Yesterday, soaking the foot in very warm water several times a day and trying to lift the nail corner from the skin (painful!) and of course antibiotic ointment. It's getting better and didn't bother me at all last night but is still tender in one spot. I think it must have gotten infected from my Sunday activities being barefoot or just wearing sandals.

Anyway, yesterday was mundane household activity day...ferrying Robin to and from work, grocery shopping, dishes, library, my night to fix dinner which didn't go as planned because it turned out the leftover sausage I planned to use had already been eaten.

I did make some decisions on Tuesday about mounting the trumpet flower pieces. The plan now is to glue them to a piece of finished birch plywood with about 1/2” showing all the way around and finishing the edges with some small trim which I may paint or stain but not sure of the color.

But I woke up this morning from a weird dream...I was going on a canoe trip with a group and it had been a long time since I had done that (and yes it has been a very long time) and I showed up without a PFD (personal flotation device aka life preserver) and they managed to outfit me and a couple of others with one and then it seems the food had been forgotten so we stopped at a place to get some and also a sleeping mat for a couple of the others which was when I had realized I had not brought my own sleeping mat or a sheet or a blanket or any other clothes for that matter and the trip leader was looking at me like he couldn't believe how stupid that was and then I woke up when I was trying to convince them to go by my house so I could get my stuff on our way out since it wasn't really much out of the way...and what the fuck was that all about? So I've been in a funky mood all day not feeling like doing any of the things I planned, just wanting to go back to bed and sleep which maybe I'll do after I pick Robin up from work.

The heritage rose bush busted out in bloom.