29 September 2015

The Ransom Was Paid

Hello Readers!

Some of you are aware that I have been away from home for most of the month of September. I was released from my kidnapping earlier this afternoon. 
Better settle in for a long read.
I wasn't really ready to come home but truth be known I was getting a tad bored despite the fact I did have stuff to work on while the littles were in school and the bigguns were at work. And work, Miss Terah surely did!  They about killed that poor girl off with all the hours she put in during Fair week and beyond!  The State Fair ended on the 20th and Kroger, who owns  Kwik Shop where she works threw in an inspection on their store for this afternoon! She worked 17 hours yesterday! We stopped by the store on our way out of town so I could give her a big hug before my ransom was all paid! I do love that girl dearly! Boredom wasn't from the company I was keeping. I love the kidnappings! It was from the limited supplies of art fodder available to me. I really wanted to paint! I never take paints with me. The six year old's father insists the paint stays at home! So I played with fabric and my crochet hook most of the time. And if I wasn't crocheting something I was cutting fabric into yarn or drawing and coloring with my new markers and crayons.
I was rescued by Ma. She called me three days in a row from last Friday to Sunday to tell me my kitties were missing me and I should think about coming home maybe? But she also told me in one of those conversations I was grown up now and I could do what I wanted but my kitties still missed me. (I don't want to be a grown up just yet! :) ) I'm pretty sure she missed me too. 
She was right about the kitties missing me. Lola was all over me before we ever got all my stuff to the front porch and Tippy wanted lovin's before I even got out of Ma's truck. Murray showed up a bit later and insisted on some petting as well. All of them hollering at me at once. Last time I came home after being gone for six days none of them would have anything to do with me. I go away for 20 days and they want all of my attention all at the same time. Go figure.
Ma tells me that Murray went missing for about 10 of those days. Murray came home yesterday. No clue where she'd been. She's prone to go missing for a few days at a time, never that long of a stretch. I was glad she came home! Tippy roams but she usually comes home before it gets too late. And Lola seldom ventures far from the front porch.

You all know that beings I've been gone for 20 days you are going to see a boatload of pictures and have to 'listen' to me ramble on about the journey and the happenings back home. You'll also see a bit of  artwork and what have you.

The main reason I was kidnapped a second time in September is because my son RJ demanded I enter one of my fish pictures in the Kansas State Fair this year. The fair always takes place in my hometown of Hutchinson so it doesn't take much to convince me I need to be kidnapped. I have six or seven fish pictures hanging around the house wanting to find new owners so I figured what the heck, we'll give it a shot. I've never entered anything in the State Fair before and I wasn't expecting much to become of it if I'm honest about the expectations.  I don't know why this one was chosen. It was the newest big one so I thought I'd go with it. I have four smaller ones that were made after this one was.
The day I finished it --sometime mid May of 2014-- the resident art critic took a look at it and deemed it done. 
I loaded it up when it was time to come home but it didn't make it home. 
I was really glad RJ talked me into entering it after it took a blue ribbon in the Rooks County Free Fair in August this year. As I said there were no expectations of it doing anything grand at the State Fair. Well, call me a happy fool! It took 3rd place in the mixed media category (no arguing with old ladies this time) at the State Fair. I was more than a happy fool! 
There were many good things said about it and that made me feel great! 

As I said it did not come home with me, nor did it stay at RJs in Nickerson. (Nickerson is about 11 miles from Hutchinson.) Ma and I took a detour into Lucas where the Grassroots Art Center is, on our way home. It was after five already so we really didn't intend to stop, just drive around and see all the cool stuff all over that little town. While there we decided to take a side trip to the Bowl Plaza and go inside. The Bowl Plaza is a public bathroom open only certain hours of the day. It's a piece of art!  I had never been inside and neither had Ma. We had no agenda. Nobody keeps track of us! So we stopped and who else but Peg, who works at the Art Center was locking the place up for the evening. She unlocked it so we could take a look around inside. Here's a link to see some pictures of it. bowl plaza  But i have to tell you that the pictures do not do it justice! It's fabulous! We didn't use the facilities, we just looked at them. Boys side and Girls side. 

I told Peg I had something she might be interested in out in the truck. She was telling us about the Film Festival that is happening this weekend in Lucas and she mentioned an art auction! She now has possession of Fish Picture #11 and it will be a part of the auction if someone is willing to give my price for it. It has to hit that number or above or it won't be sold then. If it doesn't sell at the auction it will end up in the Art Center gift shop up for the selling price. I'm really hoping someone falls in love with it. I need some propane in my tank if I'm not to freeze this winter!
So my fish picture has me really really happy today.

The trip to the State Fair consisted  of one day at the fair, in two installments of time. Early on the third day, after we had got the kids off to school and his wife off to work RJ and I headed to the fair grounds. I was on my feet. No power chair for me this year. Walking is a chore on a normal day. I wasn't exactly looking forward to traveling on foot as far I knew I was going to travel that morning. RJ stuck with me all the way in the morning. We were there for four and half hours looking at all kinds of things that I didn't bother to take a picture of. 
I will show you what I did take a picture of though.

 A giant Red Wing Boot. This boot was made of fiberglass and was about three feet tall. 
 A new record holder for the Largest Pumpkin at the Kansas State Fair. Don't let that sign on the pumpkin fool you. That pumpkin does not weigh 10340 pounds. It weighs a mere 1034 pounds. IT WAS A BIG PUMPKIN!
Besides the petting zoo, which there are not a single picture, the Kansas State University Veterinary School's birthing barn is my favorite place to visit at the fair. The birthing barn is just what it sounds like. It's a place where they keep pregnant pigs, sheep and cows who will hopefully give birth during the fair. I fell in love in with the little pink pigs. 3 days old. They were adorable! I wanted to take one home with me. They wouldn't even let me touch one of them so there was no hope in slipping one in my bag! The lambs were pretty cute too. Baby cows were asleep when we were there, so not so entertaining. They were cute. I won't deny that. But I see lots of baby cows during the year.
 This was the entertainment! RJ and I sat on a bench and watched this spectacle, laughing a lot. There were a group of about 7 or 8 kids in the middle of the demonstration when we arrived. This guy is showing them how a calf is born. The kids got all gloved up with gloves that covered their arms, just like real vets, and delivered that rubber calf from his plastic mama. It was hilarious! We sat through that calf being yanked out by preteen boys three times.
The kids would get the calf out and this guy would put it back inside plastic mama to be born again and again. They lubed that rubber calf up with something similar to KY Jelly each time before they stuffed him back in. This guy brought out a gallon jug of lube and like a couple of teenage boys ourselves, my son and I giggled along with the other two gentlemen sitting on that bench watching too. That was the best part of the morning jaunt around the fairgrounds. Most fun I had the whole time I was at the fair! Sitting was a good major bonus! I sat a lot. Every ten minutes or so I was looking for a seat. Good thing the fair board thinks benches are important. I had a great many of them to choose from.

On the second jaunt of the day, after a break of about an hour and half (in which I needed a power nap) RJ and I returned to fairgrounds with the littlest little in tow; Annie.
There they are (circled in the picture) hand in hand headed for the hoola hoops to be had at the Expo Building...way the heck at the end of the street. I had a sit down on my way to the Expo Building. Annie had her hoola hoop and was checking out the oil exhibit. The Expo Building was pretty cool too. The local electric company were doing electrical safety demos. The natural gas guys were making those hoola hoops out of yellow half inch plastic gas line and handing them out to anyone who wanted one. The same electric company had a hands on deal where kids rode bikes to see how many light bulbs they could turn on while riding. Wind power was represented with a booth. It wasn't all that interesting though I think wind power is an excellent thing compared to others sources. Then the oil industry had a demonstration of how oil is produced. They had miniature versions of oil derricks and pumping stations. My youngest son, RW works in the oil fields on the equipment they were showing. It was very interesting to me and to RJ but six year old Annie was no where near as impressed. In the Expo building I sat most of the time at a table covered in coloring books and crayons while son and his girl explored the various things. RJ and I had been there earlier in the day to check everything out. In the morning I did my sitting in the Expo Building admiring the fine male specimens conducting the electrical safety demonstration. Something about grown men playing is delightful. And these five young fellas were enjoying themselves! I had a front row seat on the bleachers set up in front of the demo. I spent more time in the Expo Building longer than anywhere else.

We watched the tiger show. Again I thanked the chair gods that I got a seat for it! It was fun. One of the six tigers walked on a tight rope. It was actually two tight ropes, but it was cool. The tigers seemed like happy beasts and did everything asked of them with just enough sass to make it entertaining. Annie loved the tiger show! It was a delightful show.

Annie had a melt down when it was time to leave. We had been there for a couple hours. She and her daddy abandoned me at the Lottery building to go across the street to the giant slipper slide. Annie rode it three times while I was sitting in comfort, scratching lottery tickets. I was only down $2 when it was time to go. It took about 15 minutes for her to ride the giant slide three times. As we're headed out of the lottery Annie wanted to ride the slide again AND get some cotton candy. He daddy gave her the choice of one or the other. She choose the slide. Just as we get to the gate she has a melt down cause she didn't get any cotton candy. "Mama always buys me cotton candy."(at the top of her lungs!) And the tears flowed. And the old ladies at the gate heard it all. They looked at RJ like he was the meanest man in the world cause he wouldn't get her any cotton candy. We had about 15 miles to drive before we hit home. We also made a stop at Little Ceaser's to pick up some pizza for supper on the way. The girl didn't let up about that cotton candy even after RJ told her he'd take her to the China Star (Chinese buffet restaurant) on Saturday if she would just stop going on about the cotton candy. She settled down a bit while we waited on a red light before we got to the pizza joint. RJ went in to get the pizza and she had another meltdown while he was inside. I let her voice her concerns and did nothing to settle the situation. When he came back to the truck, he promised her cotton candy when he got home from work the next day. And then she had another meltdown about a mile from home! All about cotton candy and why daddy never takes her to China Star! She fell asleep about two minutes after we walked in the house! She got the cotton candy, not from the fair though. He went to Dillon's and bought it where they sell it every single day.   It's a good thing he didn't forget or we would have had another meltdown.  Her mama was tickled pink that we were going to China Star for lunch on Saturday. She didn't have to be to work till 2pm that day. The meltdown happened on Thursday. and early Saturday morning that little girl didn't let any of us forget that her daddy promised China Star for lunch! Her favorite food is egg drop soup! She had it for desert cause her mama won't let her have any until she tries a few other dishes first. I wasn't complaining either! I love Chinese Food!
They have a bird.
Jo Jo
He's a blue fronted Amazon and he's two years older than my daughter in law Terah. I do believe she is 32. She's had him off and on for the last 15 years or so. She's known him her entire life though. He belonged to her Grandpa before he passed away. Her cousin had the bird for a few years before he went back to Terah. Cousin had a baby. Jo Jo and baby equals disaster. He's not a sociable bird.

Annie would live off eggs if you'd let her. I probably shouldn't have told her that Jo Jo hatched from an egg. Eggs were the subject at the moment. She looked at me with her face all scrunched up and said, "We eat parrots?" It took some convincing for her to believe me when I told her the eggs she likes so well are chicken eggs. Then she says, "My eggs are chickens?" It didn't deter her from wanting eggs for breakfast the next morning. She likes her eggs runny. 
She is so funny!
I told you all about the mug rug she made last time I was there. 

Blogger is doing things its own way again. This picture was right side up when I downloaded it. Anyway I don't have a picture of Annie's very first sewing lesson but here's what she took upon herself to make while I was there this time. It is only laying on the white material. It's not attached to it. She cut everything out by herself and arranged it how she wanted. I pinned the pieces for her and she sewed it all together on her own. I only helped a couple of times to get the thread back where it needed to be. you can see where she's come around with the thread instead of going through the felt. She did a great job for the first solo run with sewing. Remember she is only six.
There's the little princess right there.
She and her sidekick, Half-Pint, were doing some gardening. She loves tools! RJ makes the kids move sand from around the yard to the driveway to fill in holes when they get into trouble. Doesn't work with Annie yet. She likes to dig in the dirt. Her daddy tells her he is going to make her move sand if she doesn't behave and she's like, "Yeah! I get to dig!!!!" It isn't punishment to her. Brenton on the other hand, he hates moving sand! He's 13. Notice she is wearing her princess dress to do gardening in. She wore that princess dress to Home Depot one evening when RJ and I had to go buy some staples so Terah could finish redoing the kitchen chairs.
 I made a few rugs while I was away. This is the rug I made out of yarn made from some of Annie's outgrown clothes. About 98% of the yarn is made from her clothes. Took me 'forever' to cut all that yarn! She loved her rug. So did BC the ragdoll kitten.
 Brenton's rug made from tshirts he donated to my rug making cause.
 I spent some time with my sister who lives in Hutchinson a couple days while I was there. One of those days we hit the thrift store while they were having a bag sale. $1.25 for anything you could stuff in one bag. I bought some clothes to turn into yarn and some other things. I bought only 1 bag. My sister gave me a bag of clothes she had taken all the buttons off. I turned all those clothes into pieces of fabric to be turned into fabric yarn at a future date. This is some of the seams that resulted from deconstructing all those garments. I ended up with 15 balls of seam yarn after I sewed all those pieces together to form them into yarn.
 Here's the first rug made from the seam yarn. It's the biggest of the three. I haven't measured any of them so all measurements are total guesses! I'm going to say this one is about 20 inches long and about 28 inches wide.
 They get smaller and wonkier. I was adding a stitch at the end of each row there for a bit!  This one is about 20 inches wide and maybe 18 long.
And this one is bathmat size for a tiny bathroom. I still have enough yarn to make one more seam rag rug.

 I made this footstool/ottoman/little chair while I was there.
It's made from trash. Literally. Inside are 19 diet coke bottles. 20 oz ones. They're taped together with packing tape. The top and bottom of it are rounds cut from a corrugated plastic sign glued to the bottles. It wasn't very sturdy so I cut some more corrugated from that sign into long strips and wrapped the bottles with it before cutting some fiberfill out of an old pillow to fit the top of it. That was glued to the corrugated and then I slipped an intact tshirt over the whole thing to sew it tightly around the bottles. The bottom has a piece of the pillow cover glued to the tshirt to cover the crappy sewing job and to give me something to sew the crocheted cover to. Once the tshirt was sewn in place (all willy nilly, I just wanted it snug.) I glued a piece of green material over the top of the ottoman to hide the fiber filling that was peeking through the neck hole of the tshirt.  The tshirt I used was red. I crocheted the cover out of leftovers from Annie's rug and tshirts Brenton contributed. It's sturdy enough that I can sit on it. I weigh over 200 pounds! Annie loves it. She hauls it all over the house and tells everyone I made it for her! I made it for the whole house. I'm going to make another of these out of some juice bottles. I think they will be work a bit better than 20oz coke bottles. RJ's father in law contributed the diet coke bottles. This project was a successful experiment.
The dry erase board says "I love you DaD." And her father wrote back, "I love you" And the boy sat on the stool to write his note! There's an "I love you" note pinned to the wall in the cutting room right now that's been in that very same spot since before Annie was born. I'm glad to see he's carrying on the sweetness. He is an excellent daddy!
I've already began collecting bottles for the next footstool. It needs a bit of tweeking to get it a might more less wobbly. I think I know the solution to that problem.
This is BC. Brat Cat showed up one afternoon on the first kidnapping in September. Half-Pint apparently chased him up the tree we found him in as that silly dog was at the base of that tree barking his fool head off!
You saw him earlier playing with a rug. He's a sweet sweet baby! Someone dropped him off and drove away is my guess. His poor little paws were a mess when RJ hauled him out of the tree. His pads were all scrapped and bleeding. Come to find out, he has no claws to speak of. RJ really wanted me to bring him home but Ma was adamantly against it when she came to get me. I had already agreed to take another cat shortly after the tiger show at the fair and she's none too happy about that. I knew 2 newww cats was out of the question! You'll meet Tom in the next post.
So BC stayed at RJs house where he lives until curiosity kills him! He's WAY TOO interested in Jo Jo!
Besides that, Annie and Brenton love him even though he does steal hair ties and socks.
I drew some kitties while I was there. A trip to Walmart produced some excellent art supplies from the clearance racks. I love after school starts clearance!
 I got a couple packages of 9x12 inch drawing paper, 200 sheets for $2. I tore some sheets into fourths and made more pictures for Annie's cat book.
Walmart also supplied the 21 pack of Sharpies I got for $5. I brought very little drawing stuff with me, so I couldn't leave the Sharpies there!

 I brought my crayons along. BC's paws on a half sheet. I did the crayon challenge on this one. Nothing but crayon on this one.
 Quarter sheet done in marker.
 Crayon, half sheet. Some of my  cats are not quite right!
 This one was done in Flair Marker. Flair markers were about the only maker you could get in different colors when I was in high school in the late 70s. They are writing instruments but work equally well for drawing. Annie's favorite color is pink unless she tells you purple. Sometimes it's hard to decide which.
 And then there are times when orange and blue are her favorite colors. I drew four kitties for her to color to put in her book. This is the only one I got back.
 Mel inspired me to draw a beet from memory. I don't do a lot of memory drawing. Things seem to work out best if it's in front of me, especially when you want folks to recognize it! I drew it in pencil first, outlined it in black, erased the pencil marks and finished it off in markers. It's done on drawing paper.
 cupcakes on drawing paper, markers
Blogger turned it sideways, not me.
 Another cupcake, done as the previous one. Both are adhered to altered envelopes. The backgrounds are a new toy found at Walmart in the crayon section. They're called color sticks and I'm betting they are pretty darn close to being gellatos. I don't think they're water friendly though.There were only the four colors shown. Green. Orange. Yellow. Pink,
I didn't think I had a picture of September's altered envelope. This is the ONLY picture of the envelope! Nothing of the backside. Backside is in the vein as the front side minus the man and lady.
I made Annie a new dry erase marker. It's just some old leftover tshirt from one of the rug making sessions, covered with felt and sewn tightly to keep its shape.
Annie and I made some cat toys too. I sewed up a football shaped wad of white tshirt scraps into a very dense mass and gave it to the kitten, BC. He loved it! Annie sewed BC a toy too. Her idea, her sewing. I don't think there is a picture of it. It's a couple of round disks of tshirt fabric with a puff of fiber filling between, sewn together. She didn't ask for any help with that project other than to thread the needle and ties the knots. BC loves it too! 
I promised Annie I would make her a purple doll when I arrived at her house. I accomplished that two days before I went home. I did'nt bring doll making fodder with me. Not intentionally. I had a bit of yellow poly rope, some heavy sewing thread and some leftover fiber fill from making the footstool. I fashioned an armature that resembled a human form and wrapped it with the fiberfill and threaded needle.
I wrapped her with that bright pink tshirt fabric and matching embroidery thread. Her skin was attached with as few seams as possible and hopefully in inconspicuous places.

I kinda missed that mark on her chin. Her dress is made from the cuff ends of sleeves from a blouse. The purple is strips of silk from a blouse folded and then sewn where I wanted them. Annie wanted bling so Purple Girl has some purple pearls on the bodice of her dress
She has no shoes. Her arms are a tad long. She's not the prettiest belle at the ball, but she has pretty cool hair! She stands about 7 inches tall. That's a rough guess. Once she was done, Annie said Thanks and I haven't seen her since!

I wish I would have taken good pictures of her hair. I was very pleased with my cording abilities on her hair. It's satin rat tail cord in dark purple. I corded it to her head with a lighter shade of purple to hide the seam there. BC was quite willing to fight her! 
I have to tell you all, that kitten was NO help at all when crocheting rugs! Nor doll making.
Annie now has two original Gramo dolls. 
I found the trim I used on her other doll that the dog ate off. I'll take it with me next time I visit and fix the other doll. I think I might needle felt a critter for the purple girl also.

Thursday morning I was awakened with a Goodbye, Love you from Brenton and a few moments later I was really awakened by Annie who climbed in bed with me to give me hugs and kisses before her daddy took her off to school. As she was leaving, she pointed to her dry erase board, saying, "I left you a note, Gramma".
We need to work on our spelling. I love it that she write it 'wrong' though. That is exactly what she calls me! Gramo. I love you, Annie.
I'm already home and it's been six days since I got here. About half the crap I dragged home with me is still in the livingroom waiting for me to deposit where it needs to go! 
I needed a long recuperation from this kidnapping. I did have a heck of a good time! Annie had a melt down when I was about 30 miles from home. It occurred to her that I wasn't going to be back that day. We face-timed in the truck. (Ma always drives. She's a good driver still at 82.) I promised her I would return before she turns 6.5 years old. This was good! She turned 6 in August, so I've a bit of time to recuperate before the next kidnapping. Without doubt, I am loved!
There were only six days between the two in September.
Very glad to be home.
Thanks for reading to the end! 
Be good to one another!
It matters!

1 comment:

A Mynah Production said...

Ha! It looks like you were just bursting to tell about your times with your family! ...love your beet! It turned out Beet-u-tiful. :) If I saw the fake cow being born over and over again...and the fear/amazement in kids eyes...I'd be the loudest laugher there! *snorting a laugh