Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's a humid, hot day...

Went for an interview...felt it was pretty good and I felt comfortable with the folks there. Just wish my car has air conditioning as my hair felt really flat from the warmth and humidity. Jon was in State College and got in the middle of a storm on the way home. Apparently, trees fell and blocked roads, floods, hail, you name it! Over here, nothing. It would have been a relief and blessing to have that rain.

I'm a bit depressed as I think Fergi(our little rat) may be passing. She seems to be holding on and I've been feeding her bits of moist fruit but she doesn't drink any water! Very annoying and sad. I feel bad. Her tumor is huge and she is uncomfortable. But I noticed she is grooming. Maybe she'll get better...ah, hope springs eternal.

Anyway, I took a quiz on what type of person are you according to books. A fellow blogger took this and they got Anne of Green Gables. I was excited and thought maybe I'd be Anne too...not quite. I turned out to be:

You're Les Miserables!

by Victor Hugo

One of the best known people in your community, you have become
something of a phenomenon. People have sung about you, danced in your honor, created all
manner of art in your name. And yet your story is one of failure and despair, with a few
brief exceptions. A hopeless romantic, you'll never stop hoping that more good will come
from your failings than is ever possible. Beware detectives and prison guards bearing

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Ah, well...

It's finally starting to rain...though, this may be a mixed blessing as we look like we're going to get a lot of rain (which we actually do need). I hope Florida gets some rain because even though I'm not fond of alligators, they certainly look pathetic at the edge of nearly dried up river.

This weekend I'm starting art classes at the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts. Should be lots of fun. I hope, if this continues, to teach a few more classes this summer and Fall.

I gave Mr. Nelson a hair trim. But only did the front half. He had a HUGE amount of hair. He looks a lot cooler but I fear a trip to the dog groomers is still in order. At least I'm learning to blend the hair better. He just looks like he has a rather large bottom. I guess he looks a little bottle shaped from behind. Tomorrow, I'll try to fix that. My hats off to dog do they do it, and so fast??

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hot Days...

Not too bad, really. My allergies are flaring and I'm glad it's gotten to the point where nasal spray helps so much. Amazing.

Today the gals and I cleaned rat cages and was surprised to see the youngest one (Fergie) with double eye infections. I'm sad. I think this one's not going to make it. Actually, what seems to be the problem is a massive tumor between her front paws and another by her groin. Here sister (Abby) has two tumors too. It's the strangest thing. The mother rat (Daisy) and her sister rat (Jane), don't have anything like this. I don't know why Fergie and Abby have tumors. The sad thing is people (friends and such) thought they were little fatties or something. They aren't. They just have tumors on their undersides. I think, when I took them to the vet a few months ago, the vet knew they weren't fat but tumors. I feel a little depressed about it. I thought my gals would be sad at the idea of losing Fergie, but I think it's just me. Norrie said, take her away ( she didn't like her sick looking eyes) and Lydia said, We'll get a new Fergie.'s always the moms who feel the saddest, I guess.

On a brighter note, the eye drops I gave her seem to be easing the pain and she patiently lets me drop a few drips in. I just hate to see her suffering, I guess. I gave her some apple pie and she ate it up. So, at least she had a treat. I hate this worrying stuff. I know it's part of life and all things good or bad, come to an end. I sometimes wish I was a vet and could do more. But even then, there are limits. Ah, well...

I'm starting to get used to my contacts but now I feel like they're drying out my eyes a bit or that I have picked up the eye problems of Fergie. I hope not. Most likely the air conditioner.

I wish rats lived longer. Or at least as long as guinea pigs. I started to think of my little hamster I had when I was in my late teens. Her name was Baby Houdini. She could get out of all sorts of cages and was a lot of fun. I would let her run around a lot on the bathroom floor. Probably, this was what kept her alive for so long...she wasn't in her cage (those horrible plastic kind where the air would get humid and they'd all die of "wet butt syndrome" as my husband calls it. His hamster died of this too. I remember being so angry about this. I blamed my sister and brothers for not taking care of their hamsters (as I recall, mine died last) and spreading it to mine. Baby Houdini lived for about two and half years, so that was pretty good, considering.


I'm also sad as there was a horrible murder/suicide in Texas of a mother and her children. I have to wonder if it has to do with having little or no resources in a conservative state. Or was it because of all the rain or madness or what? It's very discouraging to think someone was so down they felt like they had no other choice but to die and to end the lives of their own children.

I've been depressed and yet, at my lowest I've always thought, "if I need help, I'll call for help." Why would someone do this to their children, too? Jon and I were talking about this and he mentioned something interesting. How some parents project onto their children...that their children are a part of them; are their flesh and blood and the children are devoid of their own personal feelings, souls, and self. It's as though, they can't separate themselves from the child and see the child not having a life/future beyond them. This helps to explain this action a little. I guess having a combination of bad weather and major depression would cause someone to do this. I feel so sorry for the woman who found her own sister and nieces like this. Just horrible. I'm sending a prayer to her and the only survivor, the infant.

Honestly, if a person does this, I do get angry at the officials/leaders. There needs to be some accountability for this and not just, oh, they were depressed. Too many people are slipping through the cracks because of insensitivity, carelessness, selfishness and lack of resources. People shouldn't think it's shameful to need help and to ask for it. But it's worse to ask, and not get anything or not be heard because other people don't want to listen.

I guess I believe in signs or subtle body language, etc. It's not that hard to notice these things, if one is willing to look and notice what people are or aren't doing. It's scary to do this because it means being honest and thoughtful. Honestly, I have lacked this a bit...watching out for others. I have a tendency to feel nervous about reaching out because I feel like what if I hurt their feelings or what if I'm wrong? But, really, it's about being kind and getting over shyness (for me). Saying hello and really giving some time to that person even if it's to hear a few complaints or joys is not that hard, really. Is it possible to help everyone? No. Can we try to? Yes, we can.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bichon Quilt

Bichon Quilt, originally uploaded by emily999.

New art quilt! It's 9 by 10 inches and for sale at ebay!

Mock Orange

Mock Orange

Lovely flower and fragrance. I'm still waiting for the peonies...All of our flowers are original to the house. I love that I can discover them each season. Mountain Laurel is soon to follow. Wish I had gotten a better pic of the lilies of the valley. Ah, well...

Yesterday, we went for a little drive to an Amish farm. It started off rough as the weather was so hot and muggy. But we cooled down with small ice creams (even Mr. Nelson got one). Then, off we went to the Amish Variety Store and got a shoofly pie and two tomatoes. We stopped at Fort Roberdeau and I was able to go down a path to see the sink hole. Last year or so, I was too afraid to do this but I think having the right glasses, helps immensely. So, I was proud of myself. We walked around admiring the plants, quiet and the birds. We heard woodpeckers and saw swallows. A mysterious song came out of the trees once or twice and we couldn't identify the bird. Very exciting and enchanting. We started to get a little afraid of ticks and decided to retreat across a handy bridge to the car. The smell of an intoxicating perfume from some plant above us, looks like a wisteria flower but white and is a tree, floated down. We looked into the water and watched. Next time we'll bring bug spray and better walking shoes.

It was a great day. I love quiet trips like this and I hope everyone has a few of these to escape to now and then. I feel, at times, that I've walked into my church when passing through these trees and plants. I'm listening to my choir, the wind and birds singing high above, around and near me. And the world is filled with love, gentleness and the present. I love these moments.

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."
Henry David Thoreau

wild rose

wild rose, originally uploaded by emily999.

This makes me happy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Honor amoung Men and Women

I hope you'll take a moment to read about Honor by Sister Joan Chittister. It's extremely powerful and moving.

I wish her article could be sent and read to every person in power in the US. Please share the above with others.

"The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within."

-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I AM TAZ, plus I tore up my dining room

in a mad search for some b-certificates. They were in the right spot but I was looking for them in a different folder!! ACK! SO ANNOYING. So, I have a huge mess now...I did find a bunch of missing things, so I guess that can't all be bad. Also, I found out the gals have been hiding things under the computer looks worse then the rats cage! Good grief. Thankfully, mostly dust/felt bits and no food/crackers. Just dusty and toys.

So, I'm going to clean under there and throw out lots of "artwork" or else staple them all together into a little folder. This works and is a great way to store them and look at their finger prints. I have about three of these. Not too bad, really.

My arches are hurting like heck and I need new sneakers/arch supports. I feel a bit better about finding the paper but I think pulled a wrist muscle or else the coming thunder storm is making me achy.

I guess it was good to have to pull everything out and take stock. Here I thought I had everything organized a bit. Yeah, right.


It's lunch time, I'm cranky and need to eat something or I will be unleashing the inner tazmanian devil. Just call me Taz.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I hate headlines in the news...

I really do. It makes me sick to read them...every person that has died in this war. I feel so sad for all the families and people. Plus, I'm worried about my cousin(s) who are about to be shipped off to Iraq...or maybe already has been. I'm praying for my aunt and uncle.

Spring Tea Tasting 2007

Spring Tea Tasting 2007, originally uploaded by emily999.

We went to a Tea tasting at the Albert Michaels Gallery presented by Tea Merchant 101. It was really nice and

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Art classes

I'll be giving art classes at the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts for the month of June. I'm excited about this as it will be in a great setting of art and lovely atmosphere of the gallery. The building is owned by the Rita family and John Rita is a local artist who is very prolific and talented.

The classes for children (ages 6 and up) will be in June for 5 Saturdays. I'll have adult for watercolor on Friday evenings in June from 6-8pm. For more information and to register call 944-6144 at the Gallery.

I may be giving another art class in July based on Altered Arts in which we will explore mixed media and creating a one-of-a-kind art quilt.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Feeling tired...

Did a whole bunch of stuff this weekend. Saturday, I got my contacts for my eyes. These are not what I expected in the about painful and annoying to put in. They are fine once in but I need to adjust to them (takes a few weeks) as right now, it's blurry. I wonder if it's a mind thing where I mentally see things blurry because I'm used to it. Today was a bit better in seeing things sharper but I still had moments of blurry feeling and panic that I didn't have my glasses. Funny how the brain works.

I also pulled the arch muscle in my foot. It hurts like heck and I'm walking with a limp. I think I need new sneakers and arch support. I'm doing some foot exercises to help with the pain. Not fun.

Also on Saturday, I volunteered at the Albert Michaels gallery and gifts. There is a Tea on Monday and I going. I can hardly wait. It should be fun and I hope I can get some work sold as well.

Then (also Saturday), we went to a puppet show of Alice in Wonderland. Very sweet and a bit creepy (the whole Lewis Carroll thing and photographing kids, I guess). But it was fun and just the right length of time for the gals.

We walked around the arts festival and I started feeling sorry for myself for not being in the show this year but there is next year to aim for. I also learned about an art exhibit in Bedford called Fall Foliage where artists and crafters get together and show their wares. I'd like to do this, this year. It would mean really pulling out all the stops...I have over a 100 paintings I could show and I could whip up some crafts/dolls to make as well. I have until July to register, so this is enough time to think about this.

All this is happening and I'm looking for places to show some of my bigger pieces of work. These are abstracts and I'd like to expand to a few galleries near Pittsburgh or beyond. It's funny. Ever since the road trip to State College, I feel like traveling is not that bad and is actually fun. Odd....

Here's a photo of a flower called Philadelphia Daisy....this is the one in our yard. I'm glad we didn't mow very beautiful!

Philadelphia Daisy

We made the Unitarian's this week but it was depressing. Only six people where there and it seemed like the kids where having more fun and bonding then we were. The speaker was annoying as you could tell she didn't really care what she was reading about (she talked really quickly through some of the creation myths) and then when it was time for us to read, she skipped me and two other quiet people. I thought this was inconsiderate and at the same time relieved. But still, if you're expecting to read...

Anyway, that was annoying. I guess I have problems with this group because there is a lot of down talk about other religions, mainly Christianity. I guess I don't find this very uplifting and it feels very high school or when I was a young adult and going through some emotional/growth feelings.

The premise of this UU group is based on Joseph Priestley's concepts of Unitarians. This is based on the exclusion of superstition and focusing on scientific reasoning/philosophy. This is fine but it lacks structure, warmth and a specific common set of beliefs. I don't think that science needs to be a religion and I don't think that religion needs to be a science...if that makes sense. :)

I know the UU's in State College are much more open to arts and connecting with emotions and why we feel a certain way. But at this one (which is lay lead; meaning each person in the group can stand up and share their findings in whatever direction), there is a lack of cohesion. I guess we're supposed to suppress feelings if they differ from the group or you're not a team player, as when I mentioned this I got questioned left and right like I was going to destroy the foundation of this group.

In some ways, I wish the group would just drop the Joseph Priestley thing, get a preacher type person (paid) to speak and follow the State College example. But that would be too much to ask.

Anyway, I could go on and on. Esp. how this group uses a chapel at the campus but doesn't have the right to use the microphone (apparently) so that only the loud voiced people can be heard. Or that this group only meets 2 times a month. Or that there are so many activates for such a few amount of people that we (me) get burned out. Oh, and one of the main reasons I went was so my gals could get some "religious" or Sunday school type atmosphere/experience. Instead of a Sunday school they have interns for child development show them preschool crafts. Another annoying thing...the students in charge are very nice and the kids like them but it's not Sunday School. Well, I've complained enough. We'll try out some other churches but really, I feel like my time is better spent going for walks on trails and reading poems and stories to my children. Or inventing our own creation myths and not feeling ashamed if I believe in it or not or want to believe in something or not.

I know I shouldn't be so picky, esp. after a 6 month leave, but I hoped most of these problems would have been worked on or changed or something. But, it's all the same.

Well, at least it gives me something to write about...even if it's depressing.

Beginning to create

Guinea pig Art Quilt

Guinea pig Art Quilt, originally uploaded by emily999.

I had fun making this little art quilt. I used felt, vintage fabric and contemporary as well. There are beads, and a fabric leaf.

the prayer for peace

the prayer for peace, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Put me in the drop box...

Apparently, there is a drop box for unwanted newborn babies in Japan. This was misused or ill-used or confused by a dad who dropped off his 3-year old. As a parent of youngsters, I'm willing to bet a drop box for parents would be a much better device.

This being said, my patience is worn thin today as I have a cold and have to tend to two froggy voiced children who sound like little old men. Not fun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tree Hugger Jon!

Tree Hugger Jon!, originally uploaded by emily999.

We love trees in our family. This one (getting a hug from Jon) is a 250 year old Sycamore tree on the Penn State campus.


Was reading an article about how the West Nile Virus had effected American bird populations. It's depressing to imagine so many birds are dying from this, let alone that 900+ people have died from this virus. I wonder what one can do, beside the obvious (emptying out water from gutters and various containers, using mosquitoes repellant and repairing screens). Stagnant water in tires are where most mosquitoes breed and these should be stored or discarded properly.

A good site for PA and finding out about local ways of preventing West Nile virus is at the PA West Nile Prevention site. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) offers info statewide.

The good thing about the Bird article is that these birds will come back and thrive. So, I didn't feel too disheartened. I found out that West Nile virus seems to be a seasonal flare up. It doesn't go away as some bird with West Nile don't die off and when mosquitoes bite these birds, it spreads the virus.

I guess the main thing is to keep your neighborhood clean of debris that collects water. This will limit the mosquitoes to areas where their natural predators (frogs, other insects and bats) can eat them. I'm really, really glad we have a few bats in our area. :) Hmmm, I think I may have to do some bat paintings.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fantastic Day!

Nearly a flawless day...started off a bit rough and anxiety prone as I was feeling a tad overwhelmed & overworked but in the end it all worked off well. Basically, I started a huge move around project in the studio (feeling a bit claustrophobic) and ended up missing a few backings for frames. I still couldn't find them today but had enough to show at the shops in State College.

We got a quick change of plans when Jon's folks offered to go with us (their car has air conditioning) and so, we scurried around and got that done.

We drove up to Tait Farms first and talked with the owner about showing my work there. She was lovely and hopefully, we'll sell a few things up there. Then, it was off to Stone Soup to bring in a few more things and talk with her about the art. Seems like they're going to have a consignment area and this sounds exciting. I hope we'll be able to have full "control" over our spot as I'd like to put in a string of lights to brighten up my spot. Actually, this would work for a number of art spots. Should be fun.

I'm planning to teach myself to drive up to State College and volunteer up there as well. Right now, I'll have to wait as gas prices are everyone should know.

We visited the Iron Masters, Moses Thompson, house by Stone Soup but it was closed.

This was all right as we walked around and climbed the hill and found the pigs of State College (research pigs, that is).

The girls found it exciting and Nelson was quiet as a lamb as he realized being merely 15 pounds against an 800 pound force is not a good thing.

Then, we drove home only to get into the 5:00pm rush hour. We got dinged in the back by another, too speedy driver but it didn't crunch anything, thankfully. For solace, we went to the Port Matilda's Lykens Market and got upside down Banana Splits for $.99...

When you think about it, we left at 2pm and got through everything by 5. Pretty productive for a day of traveling. I got a call from the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts and am setting up plans for art classes and some more volunteer work. All in all a good day.

Oh, and Norrie found a caterpillar...either a gypsy moth or tent caterpillar (both are not good for plants, unfortunately).

Mini road trip...

Going to be going on a mini road trip to show some of my artwork. Getting ready is the biggest part of this...frustrating (the framing bit) and hard to balance with kids and feeling a tad crabby because of the weather. My bones know it's going to be a rain storm tonight...

Wish me luck...

Signed up with the library to display some work. I think I'll ask about being on a list at the Hollidaysburg library too.

Been getting some spam mail from ebay. So, this is irritating.


Otherwise, will be enjoying the day after I take a motrin. :(

This is how I felt earlier...

Monday, May 14, 2007


ah, these warm it does make the sea monkeys come alive.

Well, my youngest is sick. Has a cold and guess what I think I'm getting...oh, well. I guess I was due. Plus, I think Norrie has an ear infection.

Tomorrow's a busy day...going to drop off some artwork at various places and see what's happening at some shops and such. I just wish it wasn't so far away...State College (about an hour's drive). The roads are winding and seem to twist in all sorts of directions. My eldest gets car sick really easily, so I'll bring extra clothes. She's thrown up a few times up there...

Went to the post office and it was packed...the postage change happened and people were lined up. Plus, it was Monday. The postage people seemed kind of crazy and out of it; like they never dealt with customers or various packages before. Crazy. It's annoying too because I use these CD type envelop to send my artwork in. For some reason, this bother's the post office people for some reason (they want to charge more money, basically). All very annoying.

I'd like to go to bed but I have a few things I need to do. Maybe I'll try a nap. I can't believe the rats cage needs to be cleaned again. The few warm days helps...that and I gave the little gals some fresh food. I wish I had some chocolate.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

To my mom, Happy Mother's Day! I love you! And Happy Mother's day to all mama's out there! :)


article on Atheism and Christianity.

This news story makes me very sad...

In Italy there were hundreds of thousands protesting a new law to give more rights to single, unwed people including gays and lesbians. Apparently, a whole lot of people in Italy are willing to protest this, of all things. It makes me sad because it's A. wasted energy that could be used to protest poverty or an illegal war and B. shows how much prejudice there is against gay people.

What is being taught by people who are supposed to be closest to God? Why would nuns and families run out into the streets holding signs about “protect(ing) the family” as if Gay people are the ones causing war and unfair wages? It does not make sense. It's like a willingness to believe a lie, regardless of how absurd. If someone told you that eating candy canes will make your nose curl like a candy cane, would you believe it? I hope not...

I guess I’m vexed as I had a horrible nightmare. It was really, really awful and a apart of me feels very depressed about it as well. I wrote it as soon as I awoke and turned on the computer. This is what I dreamt:

I had a nightmare. I dreamt there was a strange rise in the ocean…12 feet. The people on the African continent were most affected by this and built a massive wall of 12 feet high and 12 feet thick. Still, there was a strong wave and it pushed in the center spewing water, fish, animals and dead animals onto the Sahara desert. I dreamt that these dead things were consumed by the living; which were primarily reptiles. The lizards and crocodiles and alligators ate and ate until there was nothing left but themselves. Then, I dreamt they started to consume each other. The biggest ate the smallest and vice versa and the people watched in disgust, interest, and horror.

We all looked. The animals, everyone of them, was deformed. The bats were huge and had strange patches of hair. The snakes had swollen gums that their fangs could not be used and they could only eat small things or peck at people like a bird.

What caused this, we all thought. What is it? We traced it back to a small mining activity. This, I said, could not be the main cause. Then, we realized all the junk we polluted in the water had caused massive deformations in the animals and creatures in the ocean.

We began to walk and I recorded the events on a camera. We reached the mining site and everything to one side of the land was barren...all the trees were gone. On the other, was a strange overpopulation of life.

That's all I remembered. It was in color and very realistic as if I was watching a documentary. I think I dreamt this because of so much that has been happening in our world; everything from Katrina, an insane war, a strange neglect of our Earth and people and the future.

A part of me wants to illustrate what I dreamt, show people "look what could happen". But it makes me feel sick to think of it.

What a Mother's day dream....I really don't feel that hopeless. At least I don't think I do. lol A part of me wants to delete this post as I don't want people to get freaked out but another part of me wants people to read this and enact extremely strict controls on pollution and waste. I guess I'm disgusted that so many of our food/water/air/land is being tainted by chemicals. It's just so wrong and makes me sad for my children's future and my great-grandchildren's future.

It’s 6:17 and I need to go watch the sun rise. Have a good Mother’s day and don’t forget our mother Earth as she needs protecting and help. Peace.

Friday, May 11, 2007

She became alive

She became alive, originally uploaded by emily999.

the scent of lemon grass awoke another part of her self.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Been busy today. Cleaned the kitchen in what seems like the first real cleaning since we've moved here (4! years). I found I could move the little counter we have in the kitchen. When I did, I discovered a thick layer of icky dust (cleaned that up) and then, upon moving the metal shelves found a whole array of stinky things back there. Good grief. So, I did that and Jon was flabbergasted by the change. I also finished painting a two dressers in the gals room.

We, also, just finished cleaning out the rats cage as the warm weather really stunk the place up. Good grief. I'm thinking of moving them into the cool basement but would have to arrange a few things first. I know the rat grrls would love it.

Otherwise, it was a rainy day which is making my ear/wrists hurt. Pressure changes. The little (but very hard to put up) awning that Jon made is working like a charm. We'll probably put on a gutter to help ease the drips to the side. There is another project I want to do with the main gutters. Apparently, you can create a mini-pond/wildlife sanctuary with these. I'm very intrigued by this. Basically, all the run off water goes into a mini-pond (something like 2-3 feet wide and 5 feet long or so) and you put a rock base/wire mesh and a few other things to contain the water. Then, plant a few local plants for water, and voila! Supposedly, this will attract frogs, turtles, birds, and furry critters. Just such a nice idea. Hope we can do this.

Speaking of wildlife, we have a feral cat that has taken to our yard. Birds, chippys, voles, mice, pigeons, etc have all succumbed to this cat. I saw it two weeks ago, hauling off a rather large rabbit...very sad. There has been an unusual amount of bones and stinky spots on the border of our yard. But I must say, we're under control in regards to too many animals. So, I guess it's a good thing. Still, it's disturbing to find only the wings of a pigeon like an angel's wings ripped off. Poor Jon has been appealed to the clean-up task.

It was such a hot day but I knew it would rain and it did. Several down pours with a few hours in-between made the air clean and sweet. Yes, I'm achy all over but it's so much nicer than pure hot of California. Plus, my allergies are under control. Thank God! :)

I was stated I hate cleaning. I said this not because I hate it per say but because I do it so frequently. Lately, I’ve been reading Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance, and she has written about housekeeping. One thing she mentioned that I thought was very true was to think of housekeeping not as house work but as a hobby. This has given me a totally different perspective and made me feel more at peace with cleaning up, repairing things and finishing my projects.

Remembering our Dreams

Remembering our Dreams, originally uploaded by emily999.

In my dreams

In my dreams, originally uploaded by emily999.

She dreamt...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Orchid, originally uploaded by emily999.

Waiting for Wonka

That's what the gals felt like today. We were supposed to see the Willy Wonka musical but as the Goddess Fortuna would have it or the very confused driver Goddess, could not find the theater. I, embarrassingly, thought it was at the Mishler. I went there with the gals only to find the doors locked!

We then trotted over to the Blair County Arts Foundation only to find (what I dreaded) the musical was in Cresson at the Cresson Lake Playhouse.

So, home we went and I looked up various info/maps/phone numbers and such and off we went. I drove and drove and still upon reaching Cresson, could not find the theater. I drove around town but still nothing. I drove out of town and still nothing. Common sense would dictate, go and ask for directions. But for some reason (I think I was slightly sun stroked), I didn't. So, we ended up having a nice drive with little voices in the back saying, "Are we lost?", "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom." "Are we lost, again, mommy?"

Home again, home again jiggety jig. We came home, had lunch, went back into the car got my allergy shot. Came home, picked up paintings and some tags and drove off to the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts. Dropped off the paintings and finally, at last crashed for the day. This was WAY more driving then I cared to have but I must say I have more appreciation for the Loretto area and driving up the Buckhorn. Plus, I got to tell the gals about the White Lady and this entertained them for a bit. I promised another theater, I will be looking for one in the area shortly. Phew.

At one point, while driving about the farmlands, my eyes started to water as if I had cut onions. The winds are warm and heavy with pollen...oh, the irony!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Gorgeous day...

It's a perfect sunny day; beautiful and warm with a light breeze. I keep going very pretty but I can feel my allergies getting a bit clogged, so I have to watch out.

I've decided to just start illustrating my novel and even though it's not 100% edited, to just start. I need to do this or I will feel I can't move on. I'm nervous about Jon reading it...I feel so, I don't know. He'll be seeing it soon.

I shellacked about 10 paintings yesterday. They're huge. I'm thinking of making hooks that attach directly to the board as I paint primarily on massonite board. I don't know if this is what I want or not. I'll be experimenting with that.

I'm thinking of contacting the local museum in Altoona and seeing about showing some work there. I wouldn't have to have a huge space...just a wall for some of my smaller works...obviously, I'd do a group show. I know I need to just join the local art group, "Art Incommon". I'm just going to do it and get some inside scoops. Sometimes it's such a pain to be shy.

Anyway, I hope what I'm feeling is allergies and not a cold. I visited with our neighbor yesterday and it was a really nice time. I wish I had brought my sketch pad as the kids were adorable. I think I'll do, I helped a bit with the kids. I think one had a cold. Oh, well...I know I shouldn't be paranoid.

I'm applying to be a florist for a part-time job. I hope I can get something in this field. I know that sounds strange with me having allergies but my allergies are to grasses and trees and not, thankfully, to greenhouse roses. Plus, it's art related in color/display. I'm also going to start art classes on the weekends/evenings at the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts. I may have another place to teach as well. We shall see...

Well, I'm off to nasal flush and hopefully start planting seeds. I had two trays of seedlings until my one cat, Sampson, ate half of them, and then knocked another one down. Then, I tripped and really smashed up one to the point of having to toss the lot. That was depressing...I'll have to buy more lavender seeds. dang.

Some pretties that make me sneeze:

Quote of the day

Small beginnings, greater ends

-St. Francis

Thought of the day: Community

It's interesting. I've been thinking about community a lot. Thinking about how people work or don't work together. At times, I'm ashamed of how I've let my pride get in the way or else have not said anything in defense of people who needed defending. I will often feel guilty and start to see what I could have done differently and so on. And I know the best lesson is to learn from that experience and grow.

I read about a situation in Afghanistan where something called a sandfly will bite a person and cause them to have a sore that will take over a year to heal. Apparently, the sandfly has always been around but is growing because conditions are horrible in this particular area. The article talked about sanitation and having open landfills and having people who don't have anything (and esp. bug repellant) that are damaged by this fly. The sandfly will transmit a parasite that leaves the body disfigured where it has bitten and usually the face.

It's amazing to me how easy I take sanitation and community health as something that was always there. But it hasn't always been there. In the mid-1930's America suffered a huge blow to it's economic forces and lots of people lost so much. It was called the Great Depression. My grandfather, Melvin, and his family were actually ones that had to give up their farm because there was nothing. They all moved to California and eventually, with the new programs from the government, were able to get work. During this time, grandpa worked in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps. This was a program to employ youths and help the environment. Created by Franklin D. Roosevelt). While working for this program, Melvin was bit by a burrowed into his hip and he nearly lost his life. He survived, thankfully. I mention this because we have to have programs from our government for stability. If not, we risk having poverty, chaos and the richest ones get the most. Very anti-Robinhood, if you ask me.

This reminds me so much of what's happening to people in Afghanistan. When stressed or lacking in protection (like bug repellant) people get sick and are weakened. In the case with the sandflies, they need money to clean things up and get basic things like repellant/sanitation,etc. I don't think we can cure everyone or solve all the answers just by money or even by medication. But it certainly helps.

I looked up Doctors without Borders and they address this in more detail. I was a little disappointed that the article I read on yahoo didn't give a direct link to this or any other group that is doing something about this epidemic. I hate to feel like something is hopeless and there isn't a place for me to help/send aid. The Doctors without Borders has a direct donate button on the bottom of the page.

I've also thought about community. When things are extremely unstable there can be a lack of community, a lack of common decency and kindness. There can also be the extreme opposite; people helping people in the most kind and basic way. I hope to see more of this.

In our society, we have a certain amount of taxes to take care of things like road repair and having law enforcement. There are also basic rules we follow like driving and the biggie called the golden rule. This "Do to others what you would have done to you", seems to stretch above all borders and continents. Each society has this one, worded differently here and there but basically, the same. I've seen a lot of good examples of this but I've also seen huge deficits as well. It seems to me, we all need to work on this one...we all need to think about how when we vote, how does this effect our community and the bigger world community? When we have unresolved feelings, how do we work them out and not attack those who have those "weaknesses" we see in ourselves? It's a hard process but it's something that needs to be done otherwise we repeat mistakes and hurt each other. Very anti-golden rule, if you ask me.

On Tuesday (today) our trash will be picked up, we have bought this small service to discard our trash and recyclables. I will wash dishes and clothes with clean water that is piped in from city water. These things are sometimes taken for granite by me...they seem to have always been there. But they haven't. Our grandparents fought for laws to have clean water. We recently have had a huge change in the last 10 years in Altoona called recycling. People didn't do that before this. Change is everywhere because we caused it to happen. It's amazing really...we cause things to happen; good or bad.

I feel it's very sad when basic things like water and trash pick-up are not there in places like Afghanistan or poor areas. Or if they are there, it's only the wealthy who can afford this. This is wrong. And it's wrong for us not to do anything when we have so much. Even if we can't afford to donate huge amounts of money, a little adds up. And what's more, if people just talk about this and share what they've read or heard, more people can help.

When my cousin, Blagi, came from Bulgaria for a visit about 12 years ago, she was overwhelmed. She couldn't believe the choices at the supermarket. We'd stay there for nearly 3 hours as she walked up and down the aisles in shock. I had never even thought about the variety on the shelves more than if my I couldn't find a favorite brand of food or complained about the price.

It's important to apply that old saying of trying on other people's shoes for a bit, see with new eyes, learn from this experience and to help. We really make a difference. I know we can. Otherwise, what else is there? I don't want to get bitten by sandflies and I don't want people in Afghanistan to get bitten either.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

little witch

little witch, originally uploaded by emily999.

Available on ebay at :

Lots of new work!

Some new things on eBay!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Funny things...

I looked up rat toys on the net as I wanted to try some new things for the rat grrls and found one of my favorite rat sites, the dapper rat. Here is one that really made me laugh out loud:

5. Pin the tail on the donkey - ratty version
Place a litter tray in the middle of the room. Add rats. Whichever rat pees/poops nearest to the litter tray wins
a yogurt drop.

Things we have made for the rat grrls are:

1. the clubhouse...painted and all. I'll photograph that next while in play.
2. paper bag huts
3. sleeping bags out of fabric scraps
4. lots of boxes to dig and play with
5. Scarves, hats and boots(in theory, these would have been used by the Rats on cold snowy days...made by my eldest Lydia (who was four at the time)...I should photograph this one; very sweet)

Today was a busy day...had a picnic with the grand folks and we all had a good time. It was fun and I know I was tired. The gals didn't seem to want to stop and kept playing till 10 pm. I still can't believe that. We met new neighbors, went for a walk, and gave away a mini-fridge (which is going to a good home via freecycle). Very nice day. Wanted to drop by the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts but missed that with all the commotion. It's been great weather these few days. Next week is rain but we've got our sandbox prepped and all should be well. I'm starting to think about how we REALLY need a basement sink but that's coming soon.

Otherwise, all is good and I think everyone is sleeping. :) Amazing.

Nelson with a dirty snout...he was digging under the slides (or sliding boards as they are called back East) to cool off in the mulch.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Good day...

Still stuffy but NO headache! Phew. I feel really good actually even though my wrists are sore. I carried two fifty pound bags of sand to the basement. We've put the sandbox down there and the gals LOVE it! I love it as well as I can see/hear them, they are protected from the sun and bugs AND I can do my work at the Studio! I feel like crying. I'm so happy. It's the best feeling to just be able to sit for (was it an hour?!?) and finish up projects while the gals played. Such a relief. And we stopped at the library were I got the best book on tape called "The Witches" by Roald Dahl. It is wonderful! Funny, touching, sweet and an absolutely fantastic delight to hear British words spoken and with such's like having Wallace and Gromit in your living room! I hate to admit this but it might even be better than Wallace and Gromit. The Witches is narrated by Ron Keith.

I think I finally found a happy median in balancing children and my art...and all it took was $9.50 in sand. ;)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ups and downs

A few snags in life but nothing tremendous...just interesting how some people are very, very anal about rules and regulations. These folks should read Les Miserable by Victor Hugo...or at least see one of the films of it out there. Gees! I'd rant about this but it's not really worth it. Oddly, it's in several liberal groups too! lol! :)

Deep breath...sort of.

Anyway, I hope I don't start to become a bitter, old person...I know I'm feeling sad/annoyed because of this constant headache. Dang pollen!! grrr

Finished "Practical Magic" was pretty good but felt slightly let down. We did rent "Bell, Book and Candle", quite good! In fact, I liked it so much I want to get a copy of this movie. See, I'm not all negative!

Tomorrow, I'll clean up the rat cage and do some house stuff. Today felt a bit rushed/flummoxed (I even forgot my password for my debt card), and slightly stressful. I didn't even walk...just drove all over town it seemed. Plus, I had my allergy shot. So, it was one of those days where you just feel achy and sick but have to trudge on.

I know what I need to do...I need to splash some paint around, tear up some stuff and create something new. Plus, I need to dig in my little garden plot. I think I might take up wine or hot salt baths or something...

Favorite Movie

One of my favorite movies is "Tenant of Wildfell Hall" based on the novel by Anne Bronte. I always felt I could relate to the main character, Helen, because she is an artist and a mother. In the story, however, she is also a single mother which makes her even more compelling and sorrowful that she had to leave an abusive husband. Fortunately, I don't have that problem but I can understand having sorrows and a darker past to amend for.

Eventually, I would like to read (or listen to) the book. I wonder how closely related is the book to the film...

I've found that I really like listening to books on tape...I just finished "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" which is quite good. It's a children's book (though much darker at some points then most children's books) and apparently is going to be made into a film! Wow! I want to get this book for quite a few people...even the CD of the book. I loved it.

I'm nearly done with Practical Magic and then it's off to some Orson Scott Card's book on tape. I just love the library...makes you feel like there is wealth just knowing you can rent all of these things...for free! Glad to see some of our taxes go to something very good.

Well, since buying a few books at the library, we've been reading up a storm. The girls get at least 3 books read a day...some of the books are silly and others are quite profound. I'm so thankful for illustrators/writers. They really give you a sense of hope.

Hope everyone has a good day...we had thunder storms last night and a rush of rain. Amazing, wonderful and little bit frightening. :) I've got a slight headache from the pollen but it's not debilitating.

Next week is a show for Willie Wonka. I think the gals will like this too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Meet me in St. Louis

Tour of theater Jon after a litle tour with the gals (he got some programs)

Trolley scene

Meet me in St. Louis

We got to about half the performance and then the gals did what any other little kid would bored. Darn...I was getting into the musical too...Oh, well!

Meet me in St. Louis

For a dress rehearsal this was pretty good! :)

He's a happy dog!

Mermaid by the sea

Mermaid by the sea, originally uploaded by emily999.

She swam for miles...finally, she rested on some rocks in the midday sun. She did not care if anyone saw her for her heart was broken, scattered to the wind...


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