Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sometimes it pays to look up....

As it's Saturday, I got up a bit late but got dressed to go for my morning run/walk. The photo above is what I saw when I got to the field. Seemed like it was going to be a lovely morning.

I was later than usual so had hoped to avoid the sprinkler system, which drenches me every morning at 5:00 AM. Since I was there this morning at 6:00, I had high hopes of a dry run. But no such luck - got somewhat drenched. Actually, these past few days, getting drenched has felt good what with the awful heat that we've been having.

I was running along with my ipod blasting in my ear when I saw a flash of light. I thought I had made the camera go off by accident - but looked up and saw these amazing cloud formations.

I also took out my ear-things and heard BOOMING thunder. Well, the good thing is that I got to running faster and longer than ever before - because I was at that point of no return - I had 1/2 way to go around the field, and I wanted to get to my car before a stray bolt of lightning found me - aside from trees, the tallest thing on the field. So I really started running! not jogging...RUNNING!!

I booked it back to the car and just as I got there, a HUGE bolt of lightning seemed to strike the phone rang with an anxious DH on the other end so I jumped into my safe car and....

...giggled with joy.

While it was a bit scary, I felt rather exhilarated. Isn't it weird how outrunning danger can make you feel like a hero?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Animal Wednesday - desperate for a woodland animal

I love to take pictures of animals when we are out bike riding - but with our noisy approach they usually scatter before I can stop, get the camera out, focus and shot. The photo above is a perfect example - I swear there was a frog there but I can't find him in the picture. He hopped away and was so perfectly blended that I didn't even see him hop away. Well, at least you see my feet....

So, when we got back to the car, I found this glistening bronzy bug and decided that it would do for Animal Wednesday - I mean really - Bugs are Animals too!!

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

and thank you for your kind comments on my last post. More to come in that medium I'm sure

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tell me what you really think

Her forehead is still a bit wet so looks wierd - ignore that please.

This is really the first time I have ever painted a portrait and I still hate noses. They confuse me.

But really - whadda ya think? (just remember, I had a tough day at work, I'm tired and my car battery died yesterday stranding me at the walking field, and my feet hurt, and I'm just a human). Be honest!

love Mim

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday July 17th - a quiet day

The weekend had a wonderful start as I met my nephews for dinner and a movie on Friday night. We went to see Harry Potter - we've been seeing these movies together for the past 10 years and love our time together and the ritual of seeing a fun movie together. The boys were living in Ireland when the first movie came out and I went over there to see them...and we went to the movie and the ritual started. Other funny stories around that movie, but for another time. Now here they are going off to college and they were amazed that the movie series is over and they are going off to college. A series of 10 years certainly seems to span a lifetime -

We bike rode on Saturday (move about that below) but by Sunday I woke up with an awful headache and ended up back in bed until 11:00. I think it's simply a reaction to overdoing things - my body's usual response to not giving myself a break. My DH went off to kayak and was promising a picture of a Monsta Turtle when he returns. We'll see. (update - no picture - it's like the one that got away!)

But yesterday we drove to our favorite bike trail - a very easy one - and I took pictures at a local graveyard - really a peaceful beautiful place. Jacob Riis is buried here - read about him here - he did good work - he really did. I'm always fascinated by the fact that he is buried in tiny little Barre Massachusetts, in an unmarked grave. There is a small stone in the front of the graveyard, marking the fact that he is buried here. His book "How the other half lives" - is amazing.

Also in this graveyard there was this large headstone monument with toys all around it - it was loaded with toys. I thought "oh dear..." but went over to read it and found it to be the grave of the Naramore family. The story is on the back - in 1901 the family was literally starving to death and to end their pain and keep the family from being broken up - the mother KILLED all the children. Obviously out of her head, but from what I read - this horrible act actually changed laws in the Commonwealth on child abuse.

Gravestones can tell such a story - here is one that tells an abbreviated story - which I found rather touching. Lots said with few words.

I am hoping that they had other children who were not buried in this cemetery.

I don't mean this to be a sad post - I find it so interesting to go to graveyards and see the stories that people want to tell about themselves. In Italy, the graves often have pictures of the deceased etched onto the stone - I really like that! Pictures and a story - what could be better.

Today - while I stayed home I cleaned my studio and have GOBS of stuff going to Goodwill. I started a painting.....we'll see how I get along with it - as I have no idea how to do a face in paint.

All in all - a good weekend

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Southern Animals

I was down in Sarasota this weekend and came out one day to find this hawk in the back yard - looking around for his next meal. I got as close as I could before he flew away, these pictures are from behind the screen. He was quite magnificent as he spied something creeping around in the undergrowth and swooped down to try to catch it for lunch.

This mossy backed turtle was just hanging out on the road - you can't even see the pattern on his back for the moss and growth. One day I saw one about this size trying to decide how to get off a curb to cross to the pond. I was driving at the time - otherwise I might have helped it a bit - without getting my finger bitten off!

And then there's Scruffy - a very good-natured loving little pooch - albeit still with some house breaking issues. But he is cute and ever ready to play and talk. And in most cases is very well behaved - but he doesn't like having his picture taken.

NO NO NO...I won't hold my head still!!!

He's just had a grooming - notice the little bandana?

Let me push my head right into the camera OK?
What???? I'm standing still finally.....!!!!

And hopefully you will see a video below of him taking me for a walk - trotting along just as happy as can be. (he sniffs at a pinecone...I know what you're thinking!!)

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Button bowl

Yes...I have too many bowls (I am still hoping that YartBowl will help) but I got an idea the other night and just went with it.

I was trying to see what would happen with gel medium on a balloon - and ended up adding interference paint - the overall gel was too thin. But I let it all dry and then popped the balloon - and the gel first shriveled into a tiny ball - it was so odd. I coached it back into a shape, and blew up a balloon inside the gel - which again took on a bowl shape ( is this clear or way confusing?)

Then I said...what now? Buttons caught my eye and I was off.

I have hundreds of white buttons - some with thread, some without. All shades of white, and some new and some old. I started gelling them to the outside of the gel bowl. and kept going and going.

The inside is still gel and interference paint and while a bit crinkled it's sort of creamy and oyster shell reminder. Plus the overall bowl is can fold it up a bit. Why you'd want to do this I don't know but this is how it all worked out.

Then I trimmed around the buttons (more to do) and then I basically considered it done.

So - that is my button bowl. I'd love to see if filled with hundreds of blue buttons - wouldn't that be something?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Thank you Mother Nature

Last week - while walking - I saw this little rabbit on the road. I slowed down so that he wouldn't hop away while I got out the camera...but he allowed me to get closer and closer - finally I realized that something was wrong with the poor little guy and he couldn't hop away. So I took a quick picture and walked on.

Of course it worried me terribly. I hate to see an animal suffer but didn't know what to do about this guy. I wondered if it was sick (I saw no blood) or if it had been hit by a car or even dropped from the sky by a hawk! All the way on my walk I wondered what I should do - should I try to snap it's neck somehow to put it out of it's misery? and for heavens sake - how would I do that? The thought made me ill but I was determined to do something. I worried that it had a broken leg and would lie there suffering or would get picked at by dogs or birds - yikes.

I walked back and was steeling myself the whole way there. Luckily for me - when I got to was already dead. It was stretched out on it's side..not breathing...not moving. I nudged it with my foot and it didn't move. To be honest - I was very grateful as I really had no idea of what I should do with the poor little thing. I had thought of a shovel and a blow to the head. I had thought of getting my car and rolling over it. I had thought (gulp) of a step on the head. As you can tell, I was getting a bit stressed over this. Thank you Mother Nature for taking care of the problem.

Of course I got to thinking about animals and our responsibility to them as humans. It's easy with pets - we are supposed to care for them, and they are dependent on us. Our responsibilities are clear and well defined. With a wild animal - there are no guidelines aside from leave them as alone as possible, be a responsible human, etc etc.

We once had a raccoon in our yard that was acting very strangely - it was during the day and it was walking around, then taking a nap in the yard - way way odd behavior. This was at a time when rabies was rampant in the raccoon population. I called an old neighbor who came over and shot it (our town was much more rural 20 years ago) but then it was up to me to bury it and clean up the area. I dug a hole and using the shovel - put the raccoon body way deep in the ground, covered it with a metal grate and put back about a ton of dirt. Then - to be safe as rabies is so infectious - I BLEACHED my yard where ever the animal had been. Hey...rabies can be carried by saliva and I wanted no part of the rabies treatment.

So - those are my stories about my interaction with a wild raccoon and a wild rabbit - both ill or hurt and needing some kind of human interaction.

What would you have done??? I'm really interested......

"Happy" Animal Wednesday? Sometimes it's not so easy is it?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A beautiful July 4th

We decided to go kayaking on July 4th as the weather was amazingly gorgeous, hot and sunny. The lake and river we love to go to has some wonderful swimming areas, and beautiful paddling. So off we with my new iphone being used to take pictures. The day started out beautifully - with sun and some beautiful cloud formations building in the west. A few rumbles of far off thunder were heard - but it wasn't close to us so we ignored it.

At one point, I tied up on the shore while DH went exploring up river to the beaver dams...I sat in the sun and drew, read, ate my lunch and swam. The water was glorious - warm for the first top 5 inches and then COLD below that - very refreshing.

When DH got back to where I was he mentioned that the clouds looked like they were full of rain, so we started paddling back to our launch area - just in case there was thunder and lightning. Then the rain started - and to tell you the truth - it was wonderful. No thunder, just warm rain pouring down. I was wet already so who cares if I got wetter - we paddled along slowly just enjoying the changes in the weather.

Then - as is typical - the sun came beaming out again, making the last part of our journey warm and humid.
It was a wonderfully relaxing day - gorgeous weather, nice folk on the river, peaceful. Perfect end to a long weekend.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Silly me

Here is an excerpt from July 2nd - Daily Life

6:30 AM - Get dressed in new shorts with the zip pocket and Go out for morning walk/run. Realize that there are people on the tennis court who can see me stumble about and (in my opinion) can laugh all the rest of day watching my efforts. Complete 2.5 miles with 1 mile of slow jogging. Am quite proud of myself. Ignore onlookers slapping their knees and doubling over with giggles.

7:30 AM - Get home and start some gardening. Plant a bunch of stuff in the back and in the front pots. Vow to clean out shed this weekend after bumping shins on the wheelbarrow for the 10th time.

8:30 AM - Call a friend who I know would be up and have a lovely chat about "what are YOU doing today?" or "what are you doing tomorrow?". Titillating conversations. After agreeing that we both have no real plans for the weekend and neither of us has been invited to a fancy party at the Hamptons, or at least up at Lake Winnipesaukee - end convo and put phone into zip pocket of pants. Love the new zip pocket - it's the perfect size for a flip phone.

9:00 - finish gardening and go inside for a shower.

9:40 - Am now washed and dressed so I have a delicious cup of coffee and start to relax with knitting.

9:45 - DH recommends that we go to the beach today. Great excitement in the house, I adore the beach. Start a laundry cause I realize that there are no clean workout clothes for Sunday AM - and I'd better get it done now. Throw aside knitting, pack a lunch and a change of clothes for the beach.

10:30 - House Decision is made to go to P'town for beach experience. More excitement as I decide to phone KJ to see if we can stop by for a quick hello or if she and household are up for a quick trip to Race point. Frantic search for phone. Finally call phone and it appears to be OFF and not ringing - where could it be?

10:40 - Suddenly remember zip pocket, putting phone in cute little pocket and not taking it out before pants got thrown into the laundry. Run shrieking down to basement and pull phone out of dryer - so THAT was why the laundry was clunking around in the dryer. Phone obviously dead as a doorknob. No hope and...more importantly....NO phone number for KJ. Nada! not on other phone. not in my phone book. in fact....most phone numbers on phone will be lost forever.

1:30 - arrive at beach and walk along to our area while inspecting every face on the beach in hopes of seeing a familiar face. No serendipitous meeting with KJ and JB on the beach.

4:30 - Tired and sunburned we make our way home. Great day...but have been a tiny bit better. Make note to transfer any phone numbers and other info in address book to computer so that it will be backed up for the next time I make a bone-head move of washing and drying my phone. Hope phone numbers on clean phone can be rescued.

11:00 - Agree that for a boring couple who had no plans for the weekend that it was a relaxing day and perfect beach weather. Finish looking up new phones that are available to me as an upgrade. Get ready for next day's fun - kayaking!!