Crazy. Just absolutely crazy. Yes, it’s been some odd weather patterns this year, but still… not THIS odd. Hard freeze in early April after everything is growing? Yes, had that happen a few years ago. All the tree leaves turned black that year, and every wild animal that eats leaves was VERY hungry that spring. It all came back, though. Most trees can make a second set of leaves.
But snow in MAY? Not ever that anyone can remember, not here. Well, we got some. 2 to 3 inches in some places, and we were closer to 3. 8 miles south they barely had a dusting. I drove to work with snow all over my car and they had no snow at work.
I posted a photo similar to this on FB, but here for blog readers… :)
I was absolutely disgusted this morning. I was worried about my flowers: Peonies and such, I’m thinking they are gonna get clobbered by this wet heavy snow. But by afternoon only some patches of grass were still flattened. Everything seems fine, even my geranium in a pot by the front porch. Nothing really froze like if we had a week of that sub zero north wind.
Other news: the pink dogwood tree is DEAD. It was fine, with buds opening and now it’s just dead. The lady at one nursery told me they won’t sell them any more because they die… but I’ve seen mature ones around here in all their pink glory. We take good care of newly planted trees so I dunno what is up. Can’t find the receipt of course… or a replacement, either, from where we bought it. Dang it! If I can find one I’ll just put in another white dogwood I guess… but I really wanted a pink one for Sadie.
BunBun has tick fever, but good antibiotics will take care of that. It’s amazing how even just one dose of some doggy pain reliever and antibiotic will make a dog feel better. It’s like a different dog the next day… and yes, we know to give her all her meds. I was going to switch the dogs to a pill for fleas and such, but I didn’t know about a newer med that applies like TopSpot and also keeps all the internal vermin away. Plus that Trifexis stuff doesn’t do anything about ticks and that IS a bigger problem here than fleas or anything else. I’m not letting the dogs run off into the woods for hours anymore, either… never liked them to do that before and the cure is to leash one of them. The other dog gets to run free, but won’t go far without a partner in crime. :) Alternate them, so one pup gets a bit more exercise.
Anyhow. I blogged on my birthday but no one commented… which makes me think no one saw it, lol! Had a nice day, too, even if I was up early cleaning and cooking. Off now to find some dinner before I’m back here for chat in an hour or so…
Because I’m a slow typer I haven’t been posting much to the blog here. Most things aren’t worth blogging about, anyhow… and that’s what FB is for: short bits.
I haven’t been crafting much lately even though I have projects in process. I’m making a couple of clocks. One is to put out in the shed since I don’t wear a watch. That one has been in my head for a couple years now, LOL! I have the clock face background painted and that is all. Oh, and the bit cut out to fit the clock works into. Theme for that one is “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere”. Bottle caps and beer labels!
The second clock I just started on. It’s a replacement clock for my MIL Patsy. The one I made her years ago has quit working and instead of just replacing the movement for her, I decided to make a whole new clock. This one will have stamping and stickers and such. Not going to say more in case she reads here. :)
I’ve also got a picture frame in the works… one that I want to fill with photos of our grandson Aiden. He can be a hard kid to photograph as he always seems to be looking in another direction. Candice can help me out with photos, however. I’m thinking I’ll put pictures in from the time he was born up to now… and then as he gets older I’ll do more frames like that.
One thing I have finished lately is some sewing. I made a pair of pants for myself. They are HUGE. The measurements are WAY off on patterns and it’s been so long since I’ve sewn clothing for myself that I forgot that. Way comfortable, though. Nice cotton flannel in a midnight blue tiny print. I should have got a pattern with pockets, though. Maybe next time. At least I’ll know to go a size down, hah!
Beer brewing has commenced here at Wooton Farms. I boiled up a Red Ale a few weeks ago. Bottled it last weekend. Tasted the 1/2 bottle that was left over and liked it, even uncarbonated. If you aren’t familiar with homebrew then you probably don’t know that it needs to be “bottle conditioned”. That just means you add a bit of sugar at bottling to reactivate the yeast. The yeast create CO2, and because it can’t escape from the bottle you have bubbly beer. Generally takes about 2 weeks to condition fully, so there won’t be any homebrew drinking until then. Well, except that I put a bottle in the fridge to try out later today.
I’ve also got some wine bubbling along in a fermenter in the kitchen. Made up my own recipe: Zinfandel Blush and Cherry Puree. Only meant it to be a 3.5 gallon batch, but forgot that adding sugar would expand the volume. That’s okay, I do have an extra gallon jug. What I don’t have at this point is empty wine bottles. Not a big deal, it’ll be awhile before the wine is ready to bottle.
On the gardening front, well… it’s been a odd spring. Too cold and wet to plant potatoes on St. Patricks day. Too cold and wet to plant anything, really. Ron just got the garden started this week. Eight tomato plants, four bell pepper plants, four jalapeno plants and four cabbage plants. Plus a whole long row of potatoes. Then of course the temps drop down into the 30s, so we had to cover up the tomatoes and peppers with buckets and styrofoam coolers. Ground is still too cold to plant anything like corn, beans or squash. Very odd weather! Last year we had corn and beans planted April 1st!
We put in 4 fruit trees this year: 2 pears and 2 plums. Hopefully in a few years I can be making pear wine and plum wine, along with pear butter and plum jelly. Until I started making wine I wouldn’t have put in fruit trees because of what to do with all the fruit. I can only make so much jam and jelly. Really, I only started making wine in self defense to use up some of the blackberries. I’d already planted grapes, more for eating and jelly… and with the wine making I guess I’ll be able to use those up instead of selling them/giving them away.
For the flowering parts of the garden, well the news is that all 3 of my peonies have come up. I was worried about one of them, but it’s finally stuck some sprouts out. None of the three have ever bloomed so far, so back in January I fed them with super phosphate. One has buds. The tree peony that was gifted to me and then got stepped on… well, nothing is happening. It may still come up, it’s been pretty chilly. Not counting on it, though. Sigh. The pink dogwood that we just planted has buds that are starting to open, and the white dogwood that we planted last year actually set a few buds, too. Those are opening, also. Usually the wild dogwoods start showing in the woods about this time, so I am encouraged that maybe Spring is going to stick around.
Soon my clematis will be blooming, and that will last for weeks. Tulips didn’t do well this year, only 4 flowers from what was a dozen bulbs. The other patch of tulips didn’t come up at all! The southern tulips did okay, though. Those are widely spaced, I hope they multiply and fill in. Mixed daffodils that I planted last fall came up really late: they are still working on flowering! The tiger lilies are going crazy and have expanded their bit of garden bed to enclose a stargazer lily that probably won’t bloom after being choked like that, hah. Lunaria is starting to bloom and 4 o’clocks are starting to sprout… mostly outside of the flower beds, of course. Enough will come up in the beds that I won’t worry if Ron mows down the rest of em. Soon it will be time for the iris to bloom and that will be lovely.
Well. People are coming over later and I still have housework to get done.
Edit: Surprise, surprise! I was looking in the wrong place for my tree peony! It’s up and doing quite well, if a bit surrounded by weeds which is how I was missing it. I was looking where I’d stuck the broken off bit into the ground and 8 inches over is where the peony actually came up. I’m so happy! What a wonderful birthday gift! :)
I haven’t played with polymer clay in quite a few years. So long, in fact, that nearly all my clay was hardened up and no good any more.
Then, I couldn’t find my clay pasta machine. Whole box with it, tiles, toaster oven and a few odds and ends just gone. It should have been where I’d left it, but I remember my mom thinking that box belonged to someone else. I guess she let someone else take it.
Anyhow. My friend and rubber Sis Jambalaya sent me a pasta machine. She had extras. So, I’m back in business with a machine. I sent my husband to Lowes to pick me up a couple ceramic floor tiles to work on, and he did good.
Then I found a craft supply company online that seemed to have great prices. I’m sure their prices would be even better if I had a business and could get real wholesale prices. But they are reasonable compared to other online companies, and certainly better than buying at HL! I decided that since I was starting from scratch in the clay department that I’d get the different variety packs and a big block of translucent. Forgot to ask them to ship USPS, though, and yikes, the UPS fee was 1/2 of my clay order! I’ll try and remember next time, hah!
That first weekend I had the clay I did a chrysanthemum cane. It came out horrible, seriously. I forgot that using gold in something like that would be akin to using peanut butter color. So, that is all scrap clay now. Sort of. If you mix a chunk really well it comes out sort of tan, which is an acceptable color as you will see.
So, for a second project I decided to try imprint layers. I got a book at the holidays with projects and all. Seemed simple to try. I cut a chunk of the chrys cane off and started mixing it, running it through the pasta machine. It came out a nice golden tan.
For a second color I decided to go with a bone color… ecru, pearl and translucent mixed.
Turquoise pearl got mixed with a bit of white pearl, and so did Purple pearl. Just to lighten them both up a bit, they are both very saturated colors.
One of the most important lessons I picked up out of this book is layering light/dark/light and so on. No wonder so many of my canes came out looking like crap! I used lots of saturated colors together and didn’t have enough contrast.
So, you make a stack of repeating colors, imprint with things like cutters, straws, screwdriver bits, etc. Then you slice layers off the stack. Oh my gosh! It’s amazing… and easy. A lot easier than it sounds.
Of course I always have trouble deciding what to do with stuff like this, so I went with some big abstract shapes to make into pins or focal beads.. and some smaller cut outs, too. Tried to make sure I wasn’t leaving fingerprints on everything… those are a lot of trouble to sand off.
The piece in the second picture turned out looking a lot like a domino… so I decided to drill it like one, too. Only.. by hand, twisting the drill bit round and round. I’m not all that great at making jewelry as you can see. :) Funny, because that seems to be the most popular thing to do with polymer clay and I don’t even wear jewelry. Maybe I’ll make all new switch plates for this house, lol! Those are always fun and easy.
Well, I just wanted to share my revisit to an old hobby. Look! I don’t even have a polymer clay category! Yet! I always did want to do some of my classes over again, with photos, so maybe I will do that this time around.
Yes, I know this has been a long time coming. It was hard to do, though.
I miss my sweet Sadie Momma dog every day. For you that don’t know, she went to the Rainbow Bridge 2 months ago today.
When we first met Sadie she was a stray with no name. My friend Rabbit told me to just adopt her and get it over with, so I did. Went out and tried to coax Sadie on the porch. She wasn’t having any of that, the porch was occupied by cats. So, I picked her up and brought her in the house… to the chagrin of both Ron and the cats. That was back in February of 2008.
These first two photos are pretty much that first evening if I recall. Third one is a week or so later.
We had quite a few cats back then, including one young male whose name was Tarzan. Tarzan was allowed in the house some and he loved him some Sadie. Sadie herself was never that fond of cats, especially after getting zinged on the nose a few times.
What we didn’t realize when we adopted Sadie is that she was pregnant. Her belly getting fat was of course a Big Clue, so we took her to the vet to have her checked out. Couldn’t get any shots or anything, but that was the start of our relationship with the vet who took care of all our pets here, right up until he retired. Some young vets bought the practice and I like them just as well as the guy who retired.
Anyhow, I had to fix her a puppy birthing box and all, and here are some more photos…. This is only about a MONTH after she came to live with us.
Pretty soon she had her pups, all 7 of them. Life got crazy pretty fast after that, and I have a lot of puppy pictures, but will just put a few here when they were tiny. Oh, and a cat had kittens around that time, and the cat’s house was wet inside. Sadie heard them mewing and wanted them, so I brought them in and dried them off… and put them in with her. Hah, she decided she didn’t need any more babies after all. The look on her face was priceless.
Darn, I know I had a photo of her looking up all Help Me! but the only other photo I’ve found is just a close up of the kits. It’s okay, I will remember that look she gave me for the rest of my days.
Ron built us a dog yard and a shelter for a dog house, and whew, just in time, too. We had the yard since right after Sadie came to live with us, but not a good shelter or house… so we stole the house we’d made for the cats and gave it to Sadie and her pups. Momma and seven growing pups in the house was insane, so after the pups were bigger we’d take them all outside every morning and bring everyone back in at night. We had no way to contain the pups in the house and well, it was a big mess. Carrying all those pups out every morning was crazy, too. They were all so cute, though, and I wanted to keep them all even though I knew that wasn’t realistic. I got seriously attached to all of them. I have a few photos of pups eating my shoes out in the yard… and a nice one of Sadie looking over her herd while they were otherwise occupied.
Okay, so she’s checking out the food dish, but the pups weren’t after her. I think the one where she is looking over them might be in a different folder still on the back up drive. Oh well!
I did manage to give away most of the pups. We kept one, Bunny whose name has changed to BunBun. But only because we had to take one back (much later) that we’d given away. He answers to Buddy, and it was too confusing.
By the end of June it was just Sadie and Bun in the dog yard during the day. Here are some photos of them playing, and I still call BunBun a pup…
Sadie resting after that workout…
Well, after that, the photos get sort of skimpy. But I do have one of my favorites here. This is Sadie playing Laser Bug, or waiting to at least. She loved to chase the red laser spot around the living room. When the dogs would come in for the evening we had a few things going on… First I’d give everyone a small nummy bone. BunBun would gather them all up and go around the house hiding them. BuddyMack, when he came back to live here, would play with his and chew it. But all Sadie ever wanted to do was play laser bug, so she’d stand in the middle of the living room looking at the floor until the bug came out.
Sadie was a really sweet dog. We will miss her until we see her again….