09 June 2017

Driving Lessons and a touch of art

Hello Readers! 

Not a whole lot to show in the art department today. I've been busy with driving lessons instead of doing art. That and the old body doens't want to do art these days. I'm trying to enjoy going out everyday to do the lessons but making art has suffered because of it. Nine more days of driving lessons and I'll be back on my own again. 

I like my solitude. I've liked having my 18 yr old niece Allison here since around the 28th of May. We've had some adventures! 

Lets get busy with this and let me ramble through the pictures which blogger put up any ol' way they wanted. It will seem somewhat disconnected, but go with the flow! I find 'going with the flow' is sometimes the sanest option.

I was digging through a box the other day and came across this unfinished little blank book. What you see there is the caterpillar stitch done very badly. It still looks really cool tho! I need to finish sewing the caterpillar on the cover, through the page block and on the back cover. This actually appears to be the back cover so just reverse everything and you get the idea. This book is about 4 inches square. The cover backgrounds are painted newspaper on game board. It has copy paper pages. I'll show it to you all again when I get it finished. Whenever that is.

It has been awhile since you all saw the wheat field. It's the yellowish patch in the far distance. I have no clue what  kind of trees those are, except for the one in the foreground that you see a tiny bit of its trunk. That one is an elm three. I think the others are hackberries but don't hold me to that. 
The big clump of grass is pampas grass. The clump of unmown 'grass' left of the pampas grass is a stand of wild garlic being taken over by bind weed. You can't see it too well, but dead center, about a fourth of the way from the bottom is a baby evergreen tree with a wire fence around it. My brother, who does the yard work around here, has been babying that little tree for going on three years now. It has a cage so he doesn't run it over with the mower is what he says. I'd think knowing it was there for as long as he has known it is there, he wouldn't need to cage it. I could be mistaken though!

This picture was taken a few days ago. I'll get a picture off the front porch in the next couple days and show you how it's slowly changing from my favorite green color to a lovely shade of golden yellow. They'll harvest this wheat late June/early July. I hope the wind is blowing north when that happens! 

This is Dennis, the Bulldozer! He's a huge boy, sweet as treacle, quite entertaining and a mess of a cat! You see him here on the tote I use as a table when I'm sitting in my recliner. He's cleared the top of all the big things in his way and snoozing quite comfortably.

He's rearranged atop the tote and is working on knocking everything off the tote to the floor.

I found him laying on the keyboard the other day, stretched out like he is in the picture. I pulled the keyboard out from under him and he barely budged. Look at the monitor. He's managed to turn everything on the monitor upside down. I gave him a good talking too....not that it helped in other areas, but he's not been back to sleep atop the keyboard again. 
He plays the lava game. You all know the lava game, yes? The floor is made of lava and if you touch it, you're dead-out of the game. Dennis wins the lava game! One cannot be mad at Dennis for long though. He loves cuddles, headbutts and talking. He has a lot to say! Anytime he hears someone talk, whether you're talking to him or not, he will have something to say. 
He learned headbutts from my youngest son, RW. It is rather sweet when Dennis wants a headbutt. He'll get up in the your face and stick his forehead on yours and bonk you gently. He's a funny boy.
Mo and Lola have mostly come to terms that Dennis isn't going anywhere so they might as well stop fighting it and just embrace the new addition. Dennis acts like he doesn't even hear Lola's low growl as he walks by nonchalantly. Mo has decided he doesn't mind another friend even if he is a little indifferent to it all. So long as Mo gets his fair share of pets, he's happy. 

Toby dog hasn't arrived as of this writing. Soon though I do believe.

This granny square bag is the only artful thing I've done since the last post. It is the smaller of the two granny square bags I've made thus far. I ain't overly crazy about it myself.  It was an easy project and I already have another one this size in the works. I have 7 granny squares out of 13 in various stages of completeness. The new one is red white and blue. I ain't crazy about it either. It will get finished in the next few days or so.

Driving lessons are a chore. I volunteered to be the instructor and I have given it all I have to give most days Allison has been here. We had to take a week off when the hose in the engine blew and grounded us. The longest lesson lasted almost 4 hours. We average about an hour and a half each session. Her driving doesn't scare me usually. She takes direction pretty good and gets away from the edge of the road when I tell her to. We've not driven in town at all yet. Not Stockton anyway. She's driven Woodston a couple times. They have wide dirt streets. She didn't do so great on her first drive in Woodston, but we made it out alive and no new dents on the old blue beast.  She drove #9 highway from Woodston to Kirwin yesterday and did a darn good job. She needs to work on her parking skills,stopping and starting, keeping her speed steady and perception. She needs lots of practice with making corners. She does better with left had turns than with right hand turns.

We go driving out in the middle of nowhere on the chalk roads. We don't generally get much more than 30 miles from home. We've been north a few times, east a few times, south a time or two and west, but only a few miles to the west. I don't know that country very well. The picture was taken just south of the Ellis county line (if my reckoning is correct). We were lost. I had no clue where the heck we were. I knew 183 highway was somewhere in front of us, but I had (and still don't) no clue how far south we had traveled. It was beautiful country!
That big hill, not the one in the picture, about done me in. There were huge ruts on the downhill side and the girl hit every stinking one of them! I thought the car was going to fall apart! She bonked her head on the roof, I held on for dear life while hollering, Hit the brake! Hit the brake! She did a good job getting us out of that mess. She refused to drive much farther after the fact though. She knew I didn't know exactly where we were and we'd had a nail biting experience with a tanker semi on one of those roads 15 minutes earlier. So I drove until we found Plainville. Then she drove us home on a road we'd visited several times.
She's making progress. We've done some parking lot driving at the ball field and the fair grounds also. I guess her mama is just gonna have to suck it up and teach the girl city driving or send her to driving school. 
We didn't go out at all today. My old body said, "NO NO NO NO NO!" I hurt from the top of the my head to the tips of my toes today. Tomorrow we will get back at it again.

I started some paper mache birds a week or so ago.

Newspaper wrapped in masking tape

Here they are with their first second coat of newspaper and glue, waiting for their wings and tails to be attached. The wings and tails are cut from dog biscuits box chipboard. 

All but three of them have wings. They all have their tales. The painting muse hasn't shown up to proceed with these. As soon as she arrives, the last three will get wings and the others will get some paint. And everybody will get legs.

The little wires at the bottom of the picture are all their legs. 

Things I should do:

Start taking pictures of all the scenery on the driving lessons!

Finish the paper mache birds in a timely fashion.

Do some laundry.

Have more fun!

Write every day! Not necessarily here at the blog, but somewhere!~ Be it my journal or 750words. 

Thanks for hanging in there for this one. That's all I got today.
be kind to one another!
it matters.

02 June 2017

A harrowing Tale, A New Cat, Some Crochet and a few little birds

Hello Readers!~

It's the first of June.
I got a no seat belt ticket in Plainville on Saturday. Dang it! He caught me red handed. It is the law to wear your seat belt in Kansas and I do understand the reasoning as to why it is law. No one WANTS to peel someone off the roadway. I don't like wearing my seat belt. Had I been wearing my seat belt when my eldest son and I rolled four times through a barbwire fence, I would not be here to tell the tale. Therefore I sometimes don't wear it. I'll pay the $10 and try to remember that I could of used that $10 for some new art materials instead of being obstinate!
I truly wouldn't be here had I been wearing the seat belt on Christmas Eve of 2000. There was nothing left of the front passenger's side of that Bronco. That's where I was sitting when the boy, he was 17 at the time, hit black ice on the highway and we went spinning into the ditch at an intersection to a dirt road off the highway.  We plowed through the stop sign, over the culvert, hit the grass, rolled, taking out seven fence posts and landing on the wheels, much worse for the wear.  I remember rolling four times, might of been more. I was in the back seat with my head stuck halfway into the plastic panel on the back passenger's door. Knocked out. I came to with the boy hollering, "Mama! Mama!" cause he wasn't sure where I was. I could not move at all. I was face down on the back seat.  He held on to the steering wheel for dear life throughout that terrible ride. He was on his feet, but he was hurting. He had dislocated his shoulder not a week before. A car came by quite quickly and RJ flagged it down. The lady was a nurse so I was in good hands till an ambulance arrived, along with the fire department to cut me out of RJ's mangled, beloved Bronco. They were 14 miles away.  We were about 75 miles from home, on our way home from dropping the other son off in Oberlin. RJ wasn't badly injured, but I wasn't doing so well.
All turned out as it should have though. I'm still alive and kicking. I will try much harder to remember to put my seat belt on, even though I won't like it.
I need to stay out of Plainville. I've only gotten 2 tickets for driving in my entire life and both of them were handed to me by a Plainville policeman. The first one was for speeding, I was doing 40 in a 30 at 6 in the morning. I was late for work, not cause I got a ticket, but because I slept through my alarm that morning. I would have made it on time if I hadn't had such a lead foot that morning. That happened almost 20 years ago!

I got a couple of new pets since the first of May. Another will be arriving in a few days. Toby is coming to live with me cause he's not a city dog. He is way too protective of his people and RWson is afraid he will end up getting into trouble with his over protectiveness. So he's gonna live in the country with me instead. Toby is a cross between a beagle and golden retriever. He's a sweet boy and should do fine with me. He's always been a country dog.

This is Little Turtle. His name was Donnatello when I got him. He has no name at the moment. I think he might actually be a she though. At any rate, I now have an aquatic turtle. He's a red slider. He's about 3 inches from front to back. I acquired him while at my eldest son's house one week ago. He was in need of a new home so I said, "Sure. I'll take him home." He came with all the equipment needed to keep him healthy. I hope he stays healthy. I've never owned a turtle before.

This is Dennis. He and Toby know one another well. Dennis came to live with me for the same reasons Toby is coming to live with me. Well, except for the over protective attitude. Dennis could care less who shows up. He's always been a country cat and RW didn't think he would do well in the city. And besides that, they have two other cats and another dog. Darlie is a tiny little Chihuahua. She'll do fine in the city.
Dennis is a big lush. He likes giving head butts, sleeping on my keyboard when I'm not using it and sleeping on the empty spot on the shelf behind my desk. He and the other two, Lola and Mo, have come to terms and the yelling, yowling, bitching and moaning have ceased. Everybody gives everybody a wide berth and they seem to get along just fine. Dennis hasn't earned a spot on my  bed yet, but I am sure he will claim a spot eventually.   

I found the picture of the baby spiders leaving the egg sack. I do hope the majority of them survived.
I made 8 little books yesterday.
Matchbox book with accordion pages.The pages have cancelled postage stamps from around the world with animals on them. Both sides of the accordion folds have a stamp on them. I painted the box with gesso and then sprayed it with two different colors of dye.

I had never made an accordion folded matchbox book before. I made another one with flower stamps. The box is covered with flowered duct tape.

this one is made like the one below, with sewn pages. 18 pages in each of 3 signatures. The book cover is made from chipboard and scrapbooking paper. Along each edge I put some copper foil tape. 
There are actually three that were made this way but I forgot to take a picture of one of them. 

They each have different papers on their covers and in the bottom of the box.
Allison filled all the pages in this one with pencil drawings. 33 little drawings.

I chose a few randomly to show off.

This one isn't too good on the photography end of things.

I like the right one.
The matchbox books are tiny things. They fit perfectly in the matchboxes though.

This book is about 4 inches square, though it's a tad taller than wide. This one and the next one were made from boxes that prenatal vitamins in. The mustaches are duct tape. It wouldn't stay closed on its own so I sewed on a plastic gold button and some skinny elastic.

This one is exactly the same as the mustache book except it has painted newspaper scraps for its cover decoration. 
I made another one from a box that smoke bombs came in at Independence Day, back in July. It's roughly the same size as these two, but it has green glitter tape and copper foil tape on its cover. I forgot to take a picture of it.

Twinchie on cardstock. Feather

this was supposed to end this post!  The north field at sundown a few nights ago. The wheat is growing nicely. I had hoped the late snowfall in early April wouldn't kill it. The farmers were a tad worried about that snow storm. The wheat was at the stage where the heads start growing and a hard cold spell could have been its demise. Thankfully it wasn't. The loss of the midwest wheat crop would have caused baked goods to go sky high. 
I'll take a walk out there tomorrow and get a picture of it close up so you all can see what wheat looks like when it's almost done growing. Harvest will start in about 3-4 weeks.

I crocheted some.  this is one side of the hot pot holder I gave to Ma this morning.

Here's the other side. I crocheted this a couple days ago.

Another hot pot holder. It's the same on both sides. Gotta have two layers of acrylic yarn if you want a hot pot holder that will not burn you while in use. I crocheted this one early this morning.

After I finished the pot holder, I made the beginnings of some paper mache birds. I see only 7 in this picture but there are 9 of them laying on the table on the front porch covered in newspaper strips and watered down glue, drying overnight. Tomorrow, they get wings and tails. And maybe their legs too. I forget if I should put the legs in before painting or after? Saturday, they get painted.

I guess that's all I have for the time being.....
Thanks for hanging in there till the end.

be kind to one another,
it matters!

29 May 2017

happy new year


Hello Readers!
we are almost half way through 2017 already and I am just now getting around to my first post. There is a good reason for this. My computer died early December and today I buckled down with the determination to get a post done.
Let's try some pictures.

I somehow succeeded in publishing this post from my phone on the 2nd of april this year. Today is 29 May 17.
I have a computer but have yet to figure out where the hell I can find the pictures I think I downloaded earlier this afternoon from my phone.

Lets see if we will have any pictures today or not.  Cause you all know pictures are essential. They cut down on my useless rambling somewhat and as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

This appears to be the only picture downloaded on the new pc as it is the only picture that showed up in the pictures file.  I will have to figure this picture business out soon as I have to get busy with the etsy store again.

This picture was taken this afternoon, shortly after that crop duster scared the bejesus out of Mo Cat. We were dead asleep in the bed, Me, Mo and Lola. I heard that airplane buzzing over the house. When I first heard I thought, "Oh man, the Russians are invading!~" and then just as quickly I thought, "Don't be stupid. That's a cropduster." As I was having these thoughts Mo was patting me on my closed eyes to let me know there was something big going outside and I better get up and figure out what it is. 
He was flying low!  He was spraying the field just west of Ma's house. Bout a 1/4 mile from my house. Moses and Lola both ignored that plane after I got up from my nap. He buzzed the house a dozen times or so.

Ma and I went to Plainville around 5 this evening and saw two more crop dusters out spraying the fields.

OK. I figured out the picture business, I think...I found them once, but the true test is can I find them again! lol
I got a new cat since the last post back in December. He's quite the hunter! He's cleared the house of mice...thank you, Moses! He's trying real hard to clear the yard of skinks aka little striped lizards.

two in one day, about an hour apart/

This is the last known picture of my Murray cat who keeled over dead sometime back in March. Never lost any animal the way Murray went. She followed me to the bathroom, like she always did, cause everyone needs an audience to do their business. She sat on the little cabinet and meowed at me and followed me into the bedroom. I kept going and when I got a few steps to the coffee pot in the kitchen, she let out a horrible yowl and by the time I got back to the bedroom, she was dead on the floor at the foot of my bed. RIP sweet Murray.

You all will meet Moses in this post. I got him a few days after Murray died.

The crop dusters were out hot and heavy today. This one came buzzing the house about 1 o'clock this afternoon, waking me from a deep sleep. That Moses cat helped the buzz of the little plane to wake me. He was patting me on my closed eyelids when it came buzzing over the second time. I wasn't quite enough awake yet to realize what it was. He buzzed the house a dozen or so times. I just like this picture. I'm not sure why that blob of light is in this picture. The sun was already high in the sky and shouldn't have been where that blob is at 1 in the afternoon. I shouldn't have been able to even see it out the front door. It's a cool looking picture. I like it.

And then there is this one, taken on a different buzz by than the one above. It is even stranger than the first one. I've no clue what the streak to the left of the plane is. No other pictures show that streak. I haven't edited these pictures in anyway. 

Miss Lola, looking pretty

drawings in marker on book pages
practice makes perfect, or so they say...I think I need more practice.

One of the MANY bags I've made since last I was here. This one is about 10 inches tall, 11 across and probably 3 inches front to back. It's crocheted out of quarter inch satin ribbon.

Son called me one day end of March and said Annie had requested I make her a book with lined pages. This one is made from a cake box, notebook paper and whole lot of different tapes. The closure is a braided string of embroidery threads, a pink button and a plastic rock. The inside is covered with the pink tape, closest to the spine with kitties on it. 
This book is the reason I have a new computer. In a round about way at least. I hand delivered this book about a month ago. A kidnapping that was supposed to last 4 days (cause that's all I packed for) ended up turning into 11 days. I am not complaining! I like kidnappings!
I've been back to son's house since the book was delivered. Another kidnapping that lasted a few days longer than I had planned.

I have no clue what the name of this plant is. It's a ground cover that grows nicely around the propane tank.

dandelion flower

The garden spider egg cases have me perplexed. They haven't changed a lick since the spider constructed them back in September. I thought they would have hatched by now. I'm still keeping an eye on them, hoping to be in the right place at the right time to witness the birthing of a herd little spiders!
I tried to find the picture I took of the babies emerging from the egg sacks but for some reason it is not in the file with the rest of the pictures downloaded off the phone a few days ago. So I guess there won't be a picture of the babies. There were hundreds of the little guys! Pin head sized little yellow spiders. I hope the bulk of them survived.

A little bag I made. I don't have a finished picture version, but its done now.

Loom flowers
I've made quite a few loom flowers since December.

New chickens, I think the red one out front is Henrietta, she's not a new chicken. The new chickens came from youngest son, RW. He's moving to the city and can't have his menagerie where he's going. He gave Sammy all but 4 of his chickens and a black duck, I think RW gave Sam 3 or 4 ducks too. Sammy didn't want the black duck cause it"s a boy.We already have a  boy duck. RW's chickens were truly free range, they either come home at night to the coop or they slept in the trees in the woods. Four chickens were missing the evening they gathered them all up to come home with Sammy. Not to worry though. All chickens and ducks have a found a home!

Leading edge of a thunderstorm

making crazy birds with Annie

I'm not sure where this picture was taken. I like the scene though. Must of been dusk, but where? Your guess is probably as good as mine. Somewhere in Kansas. 
I'm sorry there is no rhyme or reason to the order of these pictures.

I found some tulle on clearance at Wally World after Easter. I bought quite a few rolls of it and made this basket and started another one while at my son's house last month. Yes, that is the Christmas Tree still standing in the playroom at son's house in the middle of April. It was still there the second week in May too. DIL says she's not going to take it down this year.  I told her she should decorate it for each successive holiday. That hasn't happened so far though. It was naked through Easter.

Watching the Junior Varsity Baseball team play a game in Nickerson back in April. 

Cottonwood tree seeds on the tree at my son's house. I don't have a cottonwood tree in my yard but there are tens of thousands of them along the riverbank less than a quarter mile from my house so there will be days where it looks like it is snowing once the seeds pods pop open and release the cottony seeds within. I'll try to get a picture when that happens.
Prairie dogs at the mall in Hutchinson. The mall sits in the middle of town but all around it is open ground where the prairie dogs live. Thousands of vehicles enter and leave that mall on a daily basis but very seldom does a prairie dog become a victim to a vehicle. They are pretty good about staying off the roadways. Right now is baby season and there were tons of little ones but I didn't get a picture of any babies.

No clue what this is either. It's a pretty cool picture though so I thought I'd show it off. Says AIR on that right lower corner. Might of been taken in a car? I really don't know what it is.

Rain at my son's house.

Fluffy Frank! 

Still working on the Granny Square project.

I have somewhere around 120 of them completed at the moment.

One of Moses' gifts to me sometime in April. Don't know what species this little fella is. He's not a six lined skink like the other lizard in this post.

Lola showing off her belly.

Another photograph with an annomoly. There was smoke in the air the day this one was taken but the smoke was not thick in my back yard. You can see the column of smoke in the distance but the blob of smoke over the tree wasn't there when I took the picture.

We had wildfires in my neck of the woods back in early April. This is out by the State Lake. That's a homestead on fire. Every building on that place burnt to the ground. Thankfully there were no injuries to the folks who lived there.

A longer view of the same fire as in the previous photo.

I don't remember how many acres burned then, but the fires burned for a few days before they got them all extinguished.

Sitting at the only stoplight in Stockton, Kansas.

They closed Hwy 183 heading south out of town during the wildfires.  You can see the hills just south of town ablaze. 

Here's Moses. Or Mo, which is what he's  called more often than not. 

Large market bag crochected with vinyl tablecloth yarn. The handles are made from the sleeve seams of a fleece jacket over crocheted with acrylic sock yarn..

this picture was taken the end of January on my way home from a Dr.'s appt in Wakeeney. My youngest son, RW, was driving. We counted 16 deer crossing the highway right in front of us. The herds of deer aren't usually quite so many individuals. It isn't uncommon to see 8 or 9 in a herd, but 16 is a lot. Though I have seen a herd of 22 in the past. This was on Hwy 24 out by Webster Lake.

This one was taken the same day as the deer herd above. The big tree in the middle of the photo is a cottonwood tree with a band gnawed around the bark. That band of missing bark killed the tree. That's the work of a beaver. Beavers usually go for much smaller trees than this huge cottonwood. I couldn't put my arms all the way around this tree, it's that big. I didn't actually try to put my arms around it, I didn't even get out of the car to take the picture....but it's a huge tree for a beaver to try to fell. Just out of view to the right of the photo is a branch of the Solomon River. It was a cool find and not something you see everyday so I shared it.

Another failed picture that I think looks pretty cool. It's a picture of a crocheted plarn bag that did not turn out as expected. I've no clue what the red thing in the bottom of the bag is. 

this is part of a farm implement. Someone took it off the wall above the old sofa it's sitting on. The wall behind is the west side of the burnt house. It has hung there for several years. It's a pretty cool piece of iron. I got it at a junk yard on a foray into mischief some years ago. I wish I'd of taken more than one. They've all been shredded and turned into something new by now. 

It's been quite some time since I've shown the field out north. This one was taken way back in late March. It's planted to wheat this year. 

I made some CD weavings. There are probably this many and more in the paper sack by my chair where I put them when I finish one. Something will happen with these eventually. I've been rather remiss in keeping up with the creative endeavors thus far this year. I hope to change that.

Ralph. The jumping spider who over-wintered in my livingroom. He's about a half inch long. He earns his keep by killing flies and other undesirables. 

Lulu, one of the mama cats at son's house.

And here's Lulu again with the kittens. Not sure where Midge was, shes' the other mama. There are 8 little kittens. Cute little buggers! I can't have another cat though....
I got a new one yesterday. Late in the evening, Dennis came to live with us. He's a cool cat. My youngest son is moving to the big city of Hays and Dennis has always lived out in the country so RW figured he'd do much better at my house than in the city. He's a big ol' lover boy of a cat! Lola hates him, but that, I expected. Moses doesn't like him either but that, I too expected. There was a lot of yelling and hissing and general 'stay the hell away from me' noise throughout the night, but there were no spats that turned into fisticuffs so I think the three of them will figure out the hierarchy and all will end peacefully.
I will get a picture of Dennis up the next time I make a post. 

There has been much that has happened in the first six months of the year, but we'll just visit those if the need arises and go from here....my brain aint up to telling you about it all and you probably are not up to reading it either. 

I hope my rambling didn't hurt your brain too much while reading this mish mash of words. I really don't have the energy to go back and take the parts where I'm repeating myself.

Thanks for hanging in there till the end of this one....you deserve a medal!

be kind to one another
it matters!