Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Witch Of A Day!

Good Evening All!
Hope you've had a great week.
This weekend seems to have vaporized into thin's already time to go back to work. BLAH!

Short update this week.....
My wife and I have decided what and where we are starting on this year. The fire pit (has already gotten a lot of use) will be finished. We will be adding stone around the pit. I think we are going to use a form to create the stones and then seal it with polymer sand to set it. Our neighbors are letting us use their form so that's one thing off the list I won't need to buy! YAY for great neighbors!! I think the 'third bench' will be slightly different than the other two. We saw are really cool design at Home Depot and I'm looking at how I can incorporate it into the layout. We are also looking to extend our back deck. Almost like a second deck. It will be much closer to the ground and much more yard accessible. That's the outdoor projects list as of this moment. We also got to work today on cleaning up some more of the backyard. We raked and pulled weeds (mainly because of the dogs - poison ivy and all). Who knew pine needles and leaves were so heavy? Mostly because they were wet and soggy...and stinky! I loaded up the fire pit, and loaded and loaded and loaded. Thirty plus wheelbarrows full and we didn't even make a dent. Oh yeah, I got a pretty little yellow wheelbarrow too! HA! I'm really glad we did. Cause raking this stuff across the yard would have killed me! It took forever for this soggy mess to burn. Hopefully we (I) can make some headway this coming week. Oh well, the saga continues....   :)
isn't it purr-dee?!

stinky smoke is what comes from a wet mess

I've been sculpting this past week! HURRAY! 
However...the piece that I was working on was giving me major fits. I could not get what I had in my head into the clay. So I set it aside and began working on another one. It has been great so far. I've been wanting to try silicone for quite some time now. I've seen a few videos on silicone and how hair is 'punched'. It got me really excited and I can't wait to put it together! It will be a new character for my Halloween display - Yes, Halloween has already slithered into my thoughts. I told my wife we could burn wet leaves for Halloween this year - it creates enough smoke to cover everything. LOL
Anyway, I have been sculpting my witch's face / head this past week and I am really happy with it so far.
Wanna see? Sure you do!...
started with a foam head 

i think she may be alien  

see, i told you...she's alien

beginnings of 'the nose'

further along. covered the entire head
so that i can add ears and crinkles.
yes, want to tell a witch
she has wrinkles? i don't  HA!

the other side

and this is where we stopped
next will be the ears and flesh the neck out,
which i started and must not have taken
any photos

This past week was kinda crappy for the exercising. I only got in four days. No motivation to get my butt on my bike. Hopefully I can have a better week. It seems weird that I'm starting on week 5 already. It doesn't feel like it's been five weeks. Time sure has been flowing like a river. :)

I think that's all for now. Maybe this coming week will be more 'exciting'. Creation wise...don't need any more excitement of the dramatic kind. :)

til then....
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Memories

Yeah, ok,'s Monday. How happy can it be? Right?
I'm sure there are many reasons it is....can't think of one right now though.  :)

Hope your week is off to a good start!
Didn't get the opportunity to post yesterday, so here I am....Miss me?

Let's start with Friday!
Friday morning was Tax Day. Yippee...aren't you glad we started with Friday?
It was fairly uneventful. Not nearly what I thought we would get back but not terrible either. No where near enough for the we are going to have to go a different route to get them done. More on that as it comes.

Friday night was great! Go dressed and we left the house around six thirty. My wife drove, I just got to relax and not worry about where we were going or the dinner bill or nothin'. It was nice. :)
Half way there I thought that we were headed to the new Olive Garden, but my wife suddenly turned in the other direction. And for the life of me I couldn't think of one restaurant that was in that direction. Up the road a bit, around the corner and we pulled into Longhorn Steak House. Not somewhere we go very often - can not honestly remember the last time I was in one. The parking lot was slammed. People standing in line, from inside the door out and around the sidewalk. As if reading my mind, my wife says 'I made reservations'. So I just smiled. We parked and I followed her through the thongs of people, weaving and bobbing around them. She says 'come on' I came around the corner what do I see? Lots of people! Many of whom I know! It was a surprise party...for me. :)  I have to admit that I was surprised, really. They had pulled 4 or 5 tables together right in the middle of the room. Barry, Amy and Barb were there - Sally somehow conned them into coming and holding a table, as Longhorn doesn't take reservations - for an hour and a half, I found out afterwards. And Yvonne (no Eddy, he had to work) and Adam, with Yvonne's friend Laura and her son Gage. My daughter and her fiance too! My son, his wife and my two oldest grandchildren as well. And with Sally and me it made 15. We had a great meal, ate too much (like that's a surprise). I had Sirloin and Shrimp with a salad and bread. And a couple of amaretto and 7-ups. I got some really nice gifts....including a complete set of Dr. Ph. Martin's concentrated water colors. And lots of conversation. After dinner we had cake, that my daughter picked out and my neighbor, Amy, baked. They actually put 47 candles on it. Adam burnt his fingers trying to light them (because they started lighting them from the outside in). Lawton (my oldest grandson) helped me blow them out....I really thought we were going to set off the fire alarm, sprinklers and all. A huge cloud of smoke went up, up, up and straight for the fire alarm. I just closed my eyes.....guess what I wished for. :)
Immediately after cutting the cake and passing it around, the waitress, with lots of help, brought me ice-cream and of course had to sing for me. I cringed, but it was good anyway. It turned out to be a pretty damn good night. I just want to say 'thanks' to everyone who came out and helped me celebrate!
I have some photos, but can't get them to load. My phone doesn't want to let me keep photos that people send me. It's really becoming an aggravation. As soon as I can get them on my computer I will post them. Thanks to all the people who called, emailed, texted and sent me cards too! Who knew I'd get so much attention for being old? LOL
wait...i one of the balloons (this was
on the table at longhorns)

Last time around I had taken my dogs to the vet. Turns out it was poison ivy or oak. I had to take them back on Saturday for a follow up. They are doing so much better now. Pixie isn't bright pink and they are scratching themselves bloody any more. I went looking for the culprit on Sunday, but found nothing that even resembles poison ivy or poison oak. Going to look again this weekend, got to find it and get rid of it.

I got the curtains for the kitchen finished and put up. And then realized, while writing this, that I had only a picture of the back door and not the sink (must be old age). So here it is....
little chefs with black and white checkers

I got my table set up to sculpt this past weekend too! I started working on a new project - no photos yet, not much to photograph. I should have some this week though.....assuming I can actually work on it. It felt good to have my hands in clay again. 
all ready to go....

Had dinner with the neighbors on Saturday...and a few drinks. Barry made chicken and pork chops on the grill. Yummy! Amy and I discussed our plans for our "YuleMas" party as well. I think we're going to have Barry cook on the grill and Eddy come and make some of his fabulous mexican dishes. It ought to be memorable! I've been working on the invitation, still in the planning stages but I will share when it gets a little further along. 

I've been plugging along with the exercise as well. It dawned on my last night that I had read 3 books and started a fourth while riding my bike. YES! Two birds, one stone. :)

Been doing some research on Jack the ripper too....not sure exactly where that one is headed yet. Possibly a new painting. I'll have to wait and see what pops into my head.

Well, folks...that's all!

til next time,
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The best kind of VD?...

Hello All!
Hope you are doing well and things have been great on your end.

Where to start...hhhhmmmmm......
I think we'll start with this late post. Last Friday, after a typical crazy day at work, I got home to discover that our cable modem was..well, dead. No ifs, ands or butts! After a semi-lengthy telephone call to the cable company - after finally making them understand it was the modem not the cable - we are up and working again. They couldn't get anyone here until Monday. So I was without internet all weekend. It's amazing how much you don't realize you use something until you have to do without it. Now we have a nice new little black box. And I am connected again. YAY!
That was the reason there was no post this past weekend. I didn't die, despite popular belief. :)

Can you believe another year has flown by? I can't believe it's my birthday again. Wow, I'm a whole 2 this year. Don't roll your eyes (I saw you). It's true....4+7=11. 1+1=2. See? Yes, it's 47 this year. Creepin' closer to that half century mark. And to be honest, I'm kinda feelin' it today. The first thing I did this morning was to promptly dump my coffee all over myself. I banged the cup with the door and whoosh, I was wearing it. Not a good start to the day. The trip to the tag office was pleasantly uneventful. However on the way home, I was given a minor heart attack courtesy of the local fire department. It was at a crossroad, obscured by trees when they decided they should turn on their sirens. I swear I jumped so hard that my truck came off the road. Other than that it has been a quiet day. The wife is taking me out for dinner tomorrow night. Reservations and all. :)  Not a clue where we are going. Surprise!
And it's Valentine's Day again. :)  May the Love in the World find it's way to your door! How's that for mushy sentiment? LOL
Happy VD to YOU!!

I've been trying really hard to stay on track with my exercising as well. I've missed a day or two in the past few weeks but I've managed to keep going. So far it's simply been the stationary bike but that's better than nothing. Right? Sure it is!! You can check out how I've been doing here or by using the link on the right hand side of my blog. I still can't believe it's been three weeks since I've started back to this.

A few weeks ago I had to take my puppies to the vet. They were itching to the point of making themselves bleed. Roxxy had scratched the hair off her sides and Pixie had chewed most of the hair off her bum. She was also bright pink on her belly. They gave them both shots and medication. It helped for about three days. They were getting baths every other day. On Monday, my wife called me to tell me that Pixie had chewed herself raw and was bleeding again. So after I got home I packed them in the truck and off to the vet we went...again. I saw the 'senior' vet (also the owner) this time. He walked in the room and said "you haven't figured out what this is yet?"  I said NO. He says 'it's Poison Ivy' (possibly poison oak).  He then told me that he knew that from experience. That was why they thought it was an allergy last time. They seem to be doing better now. They have to go back on Saturday for a follow up. So I will be spending the weekend in the backyard trying to find it and get rid of it. Wish me luck!

Normally on my birthday I get a new pair of boots (from me). I found some that I really liked and was considering which of them I wanted (narrowed it down to four pair). I finally made up my mind and then discovered that three of the four didn't come in a double E width (fat foot). So I thought I would stop by the local boot store, they too did not have any that I wanted in my size. Bummer!! So, no new boots this year. Instead I got Corel Painter 12!! Got it loaded, can't wait to use it! Who knows, maybe you'll see some new work soon!
Speaking of...I got the table ready to be used for sculpting! Just before I sat down to write this. I've had a huge urge to sculpt this past week and now it's finally time to get busy!! I invited my daughter to come and join me, I hope she does. It will be fun!
down to four choices...
alas, no boots this year  :(

got this instead!

And now for the slightly creepy.....
This past Tuesday, around ten pm, I was standing at the back door having a cigarette before going to bed. I was facing out and I felt someone put their hand on my back/ they were trying to get around me. I turned thinking my wife had gotten up and came into the kitchen. Wrong. There was no one there. But it wasn't an 'OMG' feeling. It was just 'like wow that was wierd'. The following night I was telling my wife and daughter about what happened...the dogs were outside and I stepped out on the porch to check on them and realized that the 'kiddie' gate at the arbor was knocked over. So I ran down the stairs to close it before my daughters dog could get out. As I got to the arbor, I realized that the swing gate was open too. Which means it had to be unhooked and opened. Both gates were open and none of the dogs would go over there. I think we had a visitor. Not sure if they left or just went visiting down the street. Haven't had a weird one like that in quite a while. Just a little freaky.

I think that's all for now. I will hopefully be back on schedule (post on Sunday) and will hopefully have some new artwork to share next time around.

Have a Great Valentine's Day! Be sure and let those you love know it!

Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Mead! Huzzah!

Good Day Everyone!
Hope you've had a fantastic week!
It's hard to believe that another week has past. Time flies when you're having fun....That's a weird statement since I don't remember any fun. Hhhhhmmmmm.

Anyway, I promised some photos last time around so here they are.....

My mead was ready to be bottled last weekend, so I made a trip into Atlanta to get the corks and shrink caps. Man, what a long trip. I decided that I would make the trip from work, as it would be shorter. Still a 25 minute drive from there. It took me forever to get home...traffic was horrible! But I prevailed! Yay!
I got synthetic corks (which allows the bottles to be stored upright). The shrinks that I got have a gold foil center...I really don't like them. Live and learn. I think the next batch will not have shrinks. Maybe 'wine wax' instead.
When I thought the mead was completed I asked some of my wife's friends (wine drinkers) to taste it. They all said it was good. We have decided that it is 'dry' mead. Not sweet. A heart felt Thank You goes out to Joyce, Janie, Melanie and Charlene! Thanks for your help and honest opinion!
So after we decided it was good (and I wasn't going to poison anyone) I bottled it! I got nine 375 ml bottles out of a gallon of mead. Not too bad. I am fairly happy with how they look. My corker leaves a 'bulge' in the top of the cork and the shrinks sit a little oddly because of it.
Here's a little information before the photos.....
I used Lalvin EC 1118 yeast, 6 oz of blackberries and 1 pint of blueberries. And for the honey I used 1 lb of blueberry honey, 1 lb of blackberry honey and 6 oz of meadow farm honey. The honey all came from "The Bee Folks". They have a great selection of honey (and other things) and ship quickly.
The mead was started on 6/11/2012. It was racked once (in July) and then bottled on January 28, 2013. For a total of just over seven months before bottling. It needs a few more months before drinking. The owner of the wine supply store I go to told me that if I could leave them for four or five years they would be 'incredible'. Apparently this is the conclusion of the other mead makers that frequent his store. Good to know.
Now that you know the details, here are some photos....
375 ml bottles being 'sanitised'

part way through bottling

you can see the cork 'bulge' here

corked and shrink capped
see the gold lump on top? blah!

pretty little bottles of mead.
Black and Blue Mead from Blak Faun.
Almost professional! LOL!

I also said that my wife and I were looking at redoing the floors. We had been out to look at wood flooring and have come across a few that we like. Nothing definite yet but a good start. I saw a floor that I really liked that was a 'white wash'. However, I have been unable to find the flooring. The man we spoke to said that it was likely a 'raw wood' that was actually white washed. Custom...of course. Can't ever do anything simple. Oh well, what are ya gonna do. Of the two pictures, I think I like sample #1 best. Going to keep looking until we find one that we really like (as it will be there for a very long time).

sample #1

sample #2

I have been posting to my 'exercise page' this past week as well. I've been doing fairly well, I only missed one day this past week. This coming week I hope to add other activities to the list. Wish me luck!

This past week we also picked out some new material for the kitchen windows. One over the sink and the one on the back door. The ones we found at first were not what we wanted so I decided I would make them. I'm going to use the existing ones as patterns. I think they will look great when they are completed. 

lil' chefs and black and white checkers!

I've been getting the urge to do some sculpting too! So maybe by the next post I will have something to show you. I've had rabbits and foxes running through head. Lots of ideas to work from! Not sure if I want to do something that can be molded or something that can be fired. Still thinking about that one. I'm kind of leaning towards fired at the moment. Maybe I'll look up some kilns - I have no doubt that the prices will probably scare me. :)

Guess what else I got this week? Give up? My first notification for ticket sales to the Georgia Renaissance Festival! Huzzah!! It's coming up quickly. Good thing I already have my costume (didn't get to go last year). Can't wait. My wife's friends said they wanted to go, so maybe this year we will have a group! Sally told them that I dress up for the festival, not sure what they had pictured in their heads but the looks were "are you crazy?". 

That's all the news for now...
until next time...
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!!