Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

I wanted to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'm sorry to say I (probably) won't be posting over the next five days as I'll be at home with my family and I want to spend as much time with them as I can rather than spending time on the computer. I know this may leave some of you feeling bereft and desperately missing my blog, but I'll be back soon!

On a side note, I am nearing getting caught up with events/pictures from October (now that November is nearing the end). I had hopes of at least getting through October, but I had to put that aside to work on some Christmas gifts as I wanted to take as many as I could home with me now so our vehicle isn't so crowded at Christmas. Incidentally, a lot of my gifts were handmade (no one need worry about getting a Barbie sized bedspread) and took some time to complete (which is why I'm still not totally done with gifts, just mostly done). We'll decorate the house and put up the tree while we are at home. It truly will be beginning to look a lot like Christmas (hopefully without the snow, though--I'm just not a big fan of snow--too cold for me!).

A shout out to Pooker and his peeps. He went to be with his family this Thanksgiving (and who I miss and have called at least four times today (in my defense, he was driving all day and I thought it might help break up his drive and I could somehow be a part of his trip)). I am going home (with Brownie who has stuck close to me all day so she doesn't get left here by herself) to see my family, especially to get a visit in with Grandad who, according to doctors, is in stage six (of seven) of dementia. He was fine before surgery in September and now he is in stage six of dementia and had to be put in a nursing home on Friday because they cannot regulate his medication and he isn't able to function normally. Bizarre. That would describe this whole roller coaster (which I want off of). I'm hoping he recognizes me and we can visit and I can tell him how much I love him and he can tell me how much he loves me. I hope I'm not too late (not too late in that I put off telling him I loved him--I always told him that and he told me he loved me, too). I mean I hope I'm not too late to say that one more time and be told that in return. That's all we want, isn't it? Just one more time.

So, with all that, this Thanksgiving I'm just thankful for everything--God, my family, friends, Brownie, health, life in general. Just to be alive, to have one more day of possibilities, to sit in the sun and stroke Brownie's beautiful fur, to create, to love. May you, too, see the many things you have to be thankful for and all the possibilities that are open to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Glowing Caterpillar

I'm sure you've probably noticed by now that I tend to lump living, moving things (such as above) in the broad and not always accurate category of "animals." I suppose since I've now showed you pictures of several caterpillars that I could go in and create a category for caterpillars, but I really haven't had the time nor the inclination. But it would be neat to have them under their own label so those of you caterpillar lovers could go straight to pictures of caterpillars rather than wade through ducks and cows and whatever else I've stuck under "animals."

I absolutely loved this lovely, glowing caterpillar. The sun was reflected off him just so and made me gasp and immediately stop to get his picture. I love the little touches of orangey-brown on his back (presumably the spots where the hairs grow out of). Amazing.

Playing in the river

We managed to get one more time of playing in the river this year! I loved the way the sun was reflecting off the water in the first picture. It always bring a smile to my face to see her having so much fun.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dragonfly sitting on a log

I've been trying for a while to get a picture of the dragonflies we see out on our walks, but (as you know), I haven't quite mastered the art of capturing things/animals in motion. Therefore, when I saw one at rest on a log, I crept up to it and snapped a picture or two. He either was really tired and didn't bother to move or he didn't sense that I was a threat (which I'm not) or I was just that good at quietly creeping up on him. (It helped that Pooker was on our walk with us and he was holding Brownie's leash while she played in the water, leaving me free to creep!)

Art in the Square - 10/18/08

Here are the pictures from my booth at Art in the Square on October 18th. This one was juried to get in, so I felt really happy (and honored) to be a part of it. It was a beautiful day and was a lot of fun. It also happened to be my niece's birthday and her (and her parents and her brother) stopped by my booth. She picked out a Barbie sized bedspread and a matching throwpillow (which you see clutched in her hands) and pulled money out of her little tiny pocket to pay me with. Incidentally, it turned out we we both wearing the same color of jeans (which she announced to me after sidling up to my leg to get her pants as close to mine as she could to confirm that indeed, we were wearing the same color).

My art teacher from college stopped by to see my paintings (he was the one who taught me watercolor and oil painting--not at the same time). It was his enouragement of my work, of the "wet-on-wet" technique, that gave me the freedom to explore what was inside me which results in a lot of what you see today. He was very complimentary on my paintings now and he graciously purchased a painting from me (becoming the first person to actually buy a painting from me at a show) entitled "Infusion of Grace." I'll always be grateful to him for being such a wonderful, encouraging teacher and I'm glad to be back in contact with him again.

All in all, it was a wonderful day and I'm looking forward to this show again next year (once you get in, you are automatically invited back!!!! Yeah!!!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

A beautiful centipede

What a beautiful centipede! (Or I guess it could be a millipede?? I'm not up on my 'pede's'.) He's quite striking resting there on the leaves (incidentally in the middle of the path where we were walking, which is how we ran across him).

Brownie's hiding place

This is where my Brownie dog hides when she is scared. She never really used to be scared much (only during storms with thunder and lightening), but last winter we had a terrible ice storm that was so bad it knocked out power to over 250,000 homes. Well, you can imagine the trees that had to break to cause that many power outages (not to mention substantial damage to houses and vehicles). I could hear some breaking nearby, but she could hear them a lot farther than I could and to hear that horrible snapping sound constantly for more than three days was really more than either of us could handle. Plus, we were stuck inside for at least a week and we both had a little cabin fever.

To top it off, our power will sometimes flicker which will turn off the tv and vcr and computer, etc. When those things go off, they make a small noise which sounds a lot like the noises we heard during the storm. She will go hide in the bathroom for a while until she feels like everything is okay then she'll come out. I think it is interesting that she automatically hides in the one room in our house that is the "safest" (no windows, center of the house) without anyone telling her, "Now Brownie, the bathroom is the safest room in the house."

She's a smart one, that one. Of course, I don't want her to be scared of those things (it is amazing how powerful the mind is), so I'm praying over her and believing that she is healed and whole. And yes, prayer does work over little doggies!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dried apricot mushrooms

These mushrooms really resemble the pancake looking mushrooms, but we actually ran across these on a different day and in a different place. I'm sure they are the same type of mushroom as the pancake ones, but these look more like dried apricots, especially the smaller ones toward the bottom in this second picture.

Fall's fallen leaves

Of course, there are a lot of leaves on the ground now. I like to take pictures of the ones that catch my eye during our walks. I especially like the ones with the droplets of water on them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lonely hat

We saw this hat sitting by its lonesome on the side of the road waiting for someone to hitch a ride on.

Bird's nest in my wreath

A mama bird built her nest in my wreath. It was a great location, really sheltered from the wind, except for the fact we had to open and close the door. She ended up going somewhere else. And that was after all her hard work on this cute nest. I wish it had been a safe place for her as I would have loved to seen baby birds nesting in my wreath on my door. This wreath is really past its prime, but I'm having a hard time letting go of it because I just love the nest and I appreciate all the hard work that went into it. I'll eventually let it go, but a new wreath hasn't made its way to the forefront of my mind yet, therefore not making it to my actual shopping list.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No more hair dryer

Well, my hair dryer quit on me. I was drying my hair with it and all of a sudden I smelled a burning smell, then saw smoke coming out of it (while I was still holding it), then some blue sparks flew and it officially died. I couldn't believe it. It's not like I've had it for more than four years, either. Is that a good dryer's life span? I don't know. I'd love to say this is the first "appliance" I've had that has done this to me, but it isn't.

A little more than a year ago, I was vacuuming and I smelled a burning smell and saw blue sparks and smoke come briefly out of the electrical outlet it was plugged in to and then my vacuum cleaner died. Granted, my vacuum cleaner was at least eleven years old. I felt a little better about over ten years of service, but still.

And again, while I was still working full-time I used a heat sealer to seal packages closed before shipping. It had been giving me trouble for some time, so my boss came over with his screw driver to open it up to see if he couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. He wanted to poke something inside there and asked me if it was okay (okay because I did have a back up sealer) and I said sure. Well, he poked and orange sparks flew up and we heard a very loud "POP" and there was a lot of smoke coming out of it. All we could do was laugh. It was truly awesome (it wasn't my machine, so therefore didn't cost me anything leaving me to fully enjoy the moment).

My sister and Grandma have these types of challenges with hand held mixers (they've each burned up the motor on at least one). But I don't think anyone else in my family has shorted out any of their machines. Or if they have, they haven't mentioned it. I think sparks and smoke are definitely worth mentioning. I did end up replacing the vacuum (very necessary as both Brownie and I seem to shed a lot of hair), but I haven't replaced the hair dryer. I'm still disgusted about its lack of service and don't know that I want to shell out the money to get another one. Do they make them in pink? Now that would be cool (but I won't pay more than $20 because I don't need one that badly).

The geese's own private pool

The geese that have lived in our park all summer cross the street (sometimes in a line in front of vehicles rather than fly across) to their own private swimming pool/drinking water source. It's no wonder they chose to live in this area. The livings good and the eating and drinking are even better!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One of our paths to the river

I know I tell you a lot that we walk by the river, but I don't think I've actually shown you one of the paths we use to get down there. This is one of the ones we usually go down. I thought it was so beautiful with all these sunflowers waving at us, encouraging us. These sunflowers were not here in the spring or the summer, but just for a few weeks in October. I loved threading my way down through them. With just about a foot to step down, then you can walk along the bank of the river. How far depends on how much water is in the river at the time.

Interesting Clouds

I took these cloud pictures on our walk the morning of the Indie show. I am fascinated by clouds and love to look at them. They remind me that there is a bigger picture than what is going on in my own life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Indie Fashion Show, part 2

Indie Fashion Show, part 1

This is the fashion show that took place at the Indie Emporium (we took our booth down early along with everyone else in the middle so they could set up the stage). I put half the pictures in this post and I'll put the other half in the next post.

This was my first fashion show to attend (besides being in Fashion Shows while I was in 4-H and those were usually garmets made from wool). I can't say I'm really up on fashion as I tend to buy what works well on me (and even stuff I like that doesn't work so well on me).

It was a very interesting experience to be at a fashion show. I enjoy watching America's Next Top Model on TV (and sometimes catch Project Runway), but I didn't know what to expect at this live show. I have to say that the designers were all excited to have their collections revealed. And the models, well, it looked like it was some of them's first rodeo. Some of them were really trying for fierce and ended up with what looked more like farce.

I enjoyed Tony Li's collection the best as they looked classy, yet like something you would choose to wear (although to a dressier event than I usually attend). As these pictures are in no particular order and I'm not even sure we caught every model (some of the pictures just really didn't turn out well), I couldn't point to every picture that was his, but his collection was centered around basic black. For those of you up on fashion, you may be able to tell which ones are his by looking at them.

Unfortunately, I missed the really wild crazy designer whose clothes centered around 80's fashions (that I had a blast with in the 80's, but wouldn't choose to wear again today) as it never entered my mind to take pictures until Pooker poked me and said I should be getting pictures of this. Probably because he was as stunned as I by what is now in fashion and by the farce of some of the models. All in all, an enlightening experience. And one in which I had my first taste of the local fashion scene.