Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Animal Wednesday - a colorful bug

We saw this bug while bike riding in Florida - it looks like a grasshopper to me but didn't fly away.

I was listening to my ipod, just ridin' along when I saw him (or her). My ipod is one of those little ones that has a video feature but it's hard to use (for me) or to figure out how to use, or to turn on or off - I needed a 10 year old to help me. Anyway, I got it going in order to take this video. Can anyone identify what type of buggy this is?

Happy Animal Wednesday on this first day of September.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mitzvah Friday - on Saturday

Well, yeah - I'm in Florida and that is a mitzvah in and of itself. I had to get up at 3:00 am to leave the house and by last night I was so tired I was hallucinating at dinner. I kept thinking I saw cats outside the pool. Got ready to send myself to bed and then found out it actually was the cat from next door. So I wasn't hallucinating or maybe I wasn't so tired? I don't know - I was too tired to figure it out.

Anyway .....back to the topic.

I have a cousin who is an Occupational Therapist and she specializes in Hands. I made her a little niche/shriny thing in the shape of a hand. There is a little glass box in the palm in which I put small tiny hands and arms. Sounds odd and it is but she liked it and was very happy to get it.
This isn't the one I actually did for her, but just an image that I found on line. I filled the little niche with hand and arm things and she loved it. So that was my good deed/present giving thing for the week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Going back to Florida

Going back to Florida tomorrow and planning on bringing my DH back home. He needs to come home - at least for awhile. MIL is stable for now and Mr. T is exhausted.

Be well....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Animal Wednesday - various

I'm finally getting caught up - mentally and physically and have been going thru some old files while cleaning out the basement. I found a few Fishy items that I don't think I've posted before

A sketch for a Sailfish

Sketch for Kingfish

And some Dogfish art and sketches.

DH is still down in Florida and I go down this weekend to scope it out. I hope he comes home with me for a few weeks, I miss him awfully.

Happy Animal Wednesday everyone - go kiss a pooch.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday night - wow... already?

Friday night I went out to dinner with my BFF, her hubby and their two wonderful sons - and my two wonderful nephews (yup, same kids). They had turned 18 the day before so we went out to dinner to celebrate and reminisce a bit about the day they were born. Of course, Grace has rather vivid memories of that day, and my memories were a bit fuzzy. I remember getting the call that they were born safe and sound then letting the tears of relief and joy come. I drove to the hospital that day as soon as possible, and I do remember their other aunt and I changing their diapers, and trying - unsuccessfully - to reswaddle them. Babies like to be swaddled - they don't like to be loosely wrapped by loving but inexperienced hands. But they got over it and have been just the greatest kids every. We had a lovely dinner and wonderful home made chocolate cake for dessert and then I drove home. I was of course, welcome to spend the night but wanted to get home and be in my own bed waking up on Saturday morning.

I hit the ground running on Saturday, so much to catch up on after this past week. Postoffice, groceries, gas in the car, bank, hardware store...and then - opps - I went to the local thrift shop where I found a child size wooden table and chairs for $15.00. Bought it and it's being painted and will be for sale or for something.

This is with their base coat of white primer on. They'll be decorated with lovely colors - just wait and see. Did I really need to take on another project? Nope, but I simply couldn't pass it up. I have another one I'll show at a later date, it's a bit odder but you'll see.

I also found a child's fork, knife and spoon set and it was tarnished so I figured it was silverplate and brought it home. When I cleaned it off I saw that it has a Germany stamp, and a stamp of RB - 90. It was in a box with the name of the manufacturer on it, so I've emailed them to see if it is silver or silverplate. I did see that a child's set of silver from this manufacturer goes for 350 euros and a silver plate set goes for 150 euros. I paid $10.00 - so either way I didn't get a bad deal. So, my great niece Isabella might get "Babies first Silver" for Christmas this year.

So no, I haven't gotten all my chores done. I've relaxed, done things I like to do, slept in (till 8:00 am -woohoo!!) ate when I wanted to, talked to DH on the phone and then relaxed some more. I miss my Mr. T but this break has been good for me. Now he needs one....

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I am home now for a few days, and am settling back into the strange rhythm of being home alone. Poor DH is down there in Florida dealing with Doctors and case workers and confusion and frankly, I'm glad to be here. I have simply vegged out for the past few days - working on a sweater that I started in Florida, sorting out laundry, working etc. All the normal stuff.

I think that everyone knows that no matter how old you are, and how old your parents are, and how independent one is....the fear of change and loss is always the same. Sure, it's easier to rationalize death when someone is 85 years old - but all the old adages of "she lived a good life" and "she's no spring chicken" fall flat when it is a parent. When my dad died, I certainly expected it, and it was no surprise to any of us but we would have given alot for a few extra years. (I miss dad - miss seeing him at the house, miss his snarky comments)

My MIL has been a widow since she was 42 years old with two teenage children at home. She lost a baby when it was two days old. She lost a daughter who was 53. One sister died, the other lives in Long Island but it's "too far to travel". Neither of her sisters ever had children so no nieces and nephews. But the past 4 years have been a time of relief for her in many ways. Once Lucile (her daughter) died, MIL moved away from Washington where she had been helping Lu with her kids and with a lousy illness. We rented her a lovely apartment near my parents, and she has made friends, goes to the movies every Sunday, plays tennis and bridge and goes to the gym. I think that despite everything in her life, we've helped her live the past 4 years free from worry - and I'm so glad we did that. She's friends with my mom, they get along great.

What am I trying to say? I'm not really sure. I just know that the next few months are going to be an interesting journey for us all. My optimistic side says "she's go on for a year and not have misery or pain and things will be OK". My realistic medical side says "nah - not so much".

I'm going to learn alot about myself, and my hubby that's for sure.

Thank you all again for your support and good wishes. Some of you have gone thru this already, some haven't - and while there certainly is no rule book to follow - it helps to know how other have navigated the elderly parents waters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home for Awhile

I got home last night. Late.

I have the house to myself which I normally love, but had bad dreams all night so didn't sleep well.

More later.

This is going to be an interesting journey and I wish I could ask Renee how it was with Sheldon cause yes....this is very much shades of Sheldon I think.

Thank you ALL for your good wishes and for your lovely birthday wishes. I appreciated all so much, you can't imagine.

Off to work now

Sunday, August 15, 2010


It's two am and I can't sleep. Took us 2 days to get down to Florida but we had fun and stayed at a nasty hotel in Myrtle Beach but got to laugh at it - so that was good.

We got down to Florida to find MIL looking great, feeling great but being told that what she has an inoperable, aggressive, nasty cancer and they can try to help control it but there is no cure.

She's stoic.

I'm perplexed.

How does this all come about? How are you told that there is Nothing That They Can Do? Why didn't we know that she had this before it got so bad?

I want to place blame somewhere and there is no where to put that blame. No one screwed up. No one missed reading a test. This just happened.

I'm so used to medicine that works - mechanical solutions that fix-it. Will to live, and will to survive. Push yourself and make it better. To have the Doctors say "we can do little" is unheard of in my family.

To be fair, they aren't really saying that they can't do anything but it is clear that all they can do is help (hopefully) control a growth of an aggressive cancer. Maybe for 6 months, maybe for a year, maybe more.

So we are left simply scratching our heads. We will evaluate all the options, be aggressive enough to be hopeful, yet not so crazy as to make this life a living hell for an 85 year old.

I feel bad for my husband. He lost his dad early on, his sister 5 years ago and now his mother is facing this. Soon there will be no one who remembers him as a little boy in his PJ's. No one who remembers dropping him off at Vic Tanny's for a day of bowling. That last little thread to his nuclear family will be snapping.

And I feel bad for me! I met my future MIL when I was 18 and she was the mom of my college roommate. She's never taught me how to cook anything, or any crafty thing, but she's taught me alot about patience and loving and letting go. She's been thru alot in her life, but she's pretty much always happy, and certainly always ready to have a good time.

I hope and pray that we have some more good times. This past year has been tough for us all, I thought we were coming out of the woods only to find another deeper darker forest in front of us.

But I guess I'll look for a path in those woods...

Saturday, August 14, 2010


KJ and JB are hosting a Yard Art Thing that they call "YART" in October and they have kindly asked me to attend and show/sell my stuff. I was (of course) thrilled to be asked and said (offhandedly) "sure".

So then I started thinking "What will I show/sell?". Who would buy my little drawings? If you don't know me you don't know silly Miss Em, so why would you buy a picture of her...or fish with legs...or anything like that. I have my decorated mirrors, and some other stuff but not enought. I felt I needed something additional - so I started making some more paper mache bowls.

Here is the thing - I love paper mache bowls. They are easy and quick-ish, and you can experiment with different papers and different shapes and embellishments. I have a bunch that I made last year and am planning on bringing those to YART but needed more.

So I made more, and here they are.

( As usual, without sunlight, my camera tinges everything yellow since I can't get the flash to work)

here they are from the side....

And from the top. The one in the back is copper leafed and not really completed yet.

These are tissue paper and embellished with beads and handmade cord from ribbon, sewed on with both metal and metallic thread. My sewing machine was like "what's this??"

The one on the right is cloth. Not overly fond of either one of these, I don't like neat edges. But other people (in my house) do like neater edges....

These are my favorites, and of course you can't see them too well. They are brown paper and leaves. I did the first one (on the left) and liked it so took it a step further with the second one by cutting around the shape of the leaves, and putting copper leafing inside. A bit more work to do on these.

What do you think? Too kindergarden? Good for a "YART"?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mitzvah Friday

Does it count as a good deed if you give up something that you wanted to do in order to do something else?

My MIL is sick again, back in the hospital only this time she's been diagnosed with a possible stomach cancer. Poor thing is not very happy about this; neither are we. So we are giving up the 100th birthday party in Atlanta, and going down to be with her and to see what has to happen next. If chemo - how? How do we support her and be there for her when we live 1500 miles away? We have discussed DH staying there for a few weeks, or even a few months. We've discussed having her come up here for a few months.

I guess we'll figure it all out.

I just hope that she can be comfortable thruout this whole ordeal.

Shades of Sheldon is (are?) worrying me.

So...my good deeds for the forseeable future is being with my MIL - supporting her and DH and myself. And maybe looking for a job.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Animal Wednesday - from the river

More from the River float on Sunday - as I said - the sky was cloudy and the colors were intense. This river is very close to our house, only a 5 minute drive away, and it's just about my favorite kayaking route. As I was paddling on Sunday I amused myself by thinking about growing up in Brooklyn yet here I am floating down a gorgeous river. Sometimes it amazes me that I'm in this spot - how easy it would have been to stay. Not bad, just different and certainly none of this scenery.

I crept up on this guy and got a good shot. I have to get close with my little point and shoot as it only will zoom 3x. But this guy stayed still until....

...he got spooked and flew away.

This little family was nesting under a bridge. The mama and papa are shown here but when the mama bird left, there were two tiny heads peaking out - so adorable. Hard to get a photo of them, as the river was pushing me along, I had to hold onto the bridge to stay in place and take a picture with my third arm - at least that's what it felt like.

Along the river bank were houses and barns and gardens. These guys were resting on the riverbank until I came close and then they hustled away. Cute picture tho' don't you think?

Have a happy Animal Wednesday!

Sunday River images

River kayaking on sunday - or maybe I should call it river drifting. It was a beautiful overcast warm, slightly breezy day - perfect for being on the river.

These first set of images would be perfect for AW - but I can't resist posting them. The turtles on this river are shyer than the ones on the river we usually go to - less speedboats on this river so they must not be used to noise. But it's a cute series isn't it?

The colors are just wonderful at this time of year - look at these gorgeous reds, yellows, greens - I couldn't get over the richness of it all.

Let's see if Blogger will let me upload a video that I took yesterday....it wouldn't do it last night. Right now it's looking good....it loaded and it's Processing....OK - the twirly thing has stopped so I hope this short drifting video conveys the absolute sense of relaxation I had on Sunday.

In my book, since I didn't think of much else...it was an A+ day

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Books

Where have I been? I am SO hooked on this book series! I heard of it thru a passing reference from Suki - went out and got one...and boom!! have to read them all NOW. Have to watch the HBO series (haven't done that yet - but am gonna do it soon)

I just love a good read series - if you like vampires, and werewolves and things that go bump in the night - this is for you.

I'm going back to see if he bites her....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

playing on the plane with colors

Before I left on my last business trip I printed a picture of a barn onto hot pressed WC paper and on the way home worked on it a bit with colored pencils. Just trying some fooling around with colors.

I'm going to do it again with my own barn photo, or maybe a woodcut type picture of a barn. Fun to experiment

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Geese

It's just the beginning of August - why are the geese flying in formation?

I've seen two sets already honking their way somewhere. I didn't really check to see if they were going north or south but the geese are the first harbingers of autumn and hey....it's WAY to early for migrating geese. So I will choose to ignore their subtle message and enjoy the heat and August sounds and smells.

Check out these posts with geese messages.... Kates Geese Artwork
and KJ's poem reference

Happy Animal Wednesday all.....