Friday, August 31, 2007

things about me

you probably didn't know:
1. I have a mushroom log kit. Actually, it's Jon's but I like it too. The package said it takes NINE months to grow a mushroom. Jon started it about 2 weeks ago and guess what?!? There is a turkey tail mushroom on it already. I could hardly believe it. I'll take pics tomorrow. It surely has been hot/humid enough for turkey tail mushrooms! (actually, I just looked and there are about 11).

2. I just got 200 romance novels for free from freecycle (plus, a six man tent and covered type outdoor tent thingy). There could be a strange twisted story here or maybe a simple one of a person selling books under a protective tent?? Anyway, I'm in awe of the books...

3. I can catch moths with my hands in one swoop. I've always seemed to do this rather well to my disgust.

Other than that, I'm pretty normal, I guess...

Anyway, today went well. I had a two hour client meeting and I brought the guitar. He seemed happy to see it and I played while we sat outside. I hope it made him feel good. I felt bad I didn't play better and couldn't do very much in the way of chords. Plus, my voice is so dry all the time from my allergies. But otherwise, I think it went well. I hope I did enough to help his wife out. I wish I could do more.

We officially finished the 1st week of school. Much to my chagrin, the teacher highlighted a paper handed back to me. Apparently, I forgot to read about the snacks. I was supposed to pack a snack and didn't realize this until the last day of the week. I'm like, why didn't the teacher just tell me? Why did she assume I'm going to read that on the paper? I'm annoyed as word of mouth is a bit better then outlined papers...and my sweetheart had to suffer all week because I DIDN'T KNOW!! ARGH! I feel so annoyed about this. When I talked to the teacher, she just mentioned Lydia adjusting and nothing more. ARGH! Who cares about adjusting if your kid is hungry? Plus, a kid in her class had to share their snack as well...oh, the humiliation...

So, we'll have to give the kid who shared a thank you note/extra treat. I should write the teacher a note and ask her why she didn't just tell me with her mouth. I feel like she's got strange priorities and not very caring of the kids/parents. ANNOYING!! I may just write a letter to the principal too...

Anyway, besides feeling like I starved my daughter at school, things are okay. I have a doctors appointment for my cold/ear tomorrow.

I'm starting to realize how very important good communication is. I need to remember this in my life and not slack on this.

ear aches...

Having a cold seems to entail ear aches and I fear, ear infections. I think I may have to go to the doctors for a check up. Darn. If it doesn't clear up over this weekend, I have a feeling Monday I'll be going in.

I feel blah right now and irritable. I took some Dayquil and hoped I would be off of it but it's going on for a bit. Plus, I have to work this weekend. I feel a bit short of temper and irritable. Unfortunately, I'm yelling at my youngest instead of being patient. I hate when I feel sick. I have to try really hard to be patient but it's so hard when you feel icky. I hope the Dayquil starts working soon. I think I may just make an appointment at the doctors and maybe she'll see me this evening...wishful thinking.


On a side note, I must say giving kids good quality art supplies/paper really seems to improve their work; at least with my daughter's work, that is. I'm amazed at the feeling of colors and shapes she was able to paint. She used regular kid watercolors (actually these are student grade and are about 40 years old...I got a lot of supplies from when my dad would clean out homes. People threw away a bunch of art stuff and I was allowed to rummage to my hearts delight). The name brand is prang is very good. I may have to order some new paint sets as I notice it's still around. For myself, I use a variety of watercolors brands... Aquafine, lowe-cornell, Maries and of course Winsor and Newton. If I could afford it, I'd buy everything Winsor and Newton as it's what I really learned to use in my college days. My teacher was a bit of a snob and forbid the use of white watercolor. She'd probably shiver if she knew I also had metallic watercolors! But I love them and their effects...gorgeous.

I also like to get most of my supplies from acorn planet when I use Chinese ink. This is shipped from New York but the main supplies come directly from China. The ink sticks are made in the traditional manner and each piece is treated like an art form (which it is). I'm planning on doing some Sumi ink this weekend, just to stretch the old' muscles; freeform and loose.

My plans for a pit kiln have had to be take a standstill until the earth dries a bit. I also have to gather supplies and what not and decide on whether I want a covered pit kiln or uncovered. I'm thinking of going with covered as we get such bad weather over here...Next, is plotting where to put the kiln. I have one idea and would have to okay it with Jon and then start clearing brush and so forth. Plus, I don't like disturbing the rabbit/critter holes in the yard. There is still plenty of room to find a good kiln pit, however. Just need to find the location. The size is fairly small about 3 feet deep, by 3 by 2 feet.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Settling in...and appreciation

It's been a busy, busy week. So MUCH has been happening. Nothing earth shattering but the mobile is moving, the family mobile, that is. We have my eldest in a private school and it's a big adjustment in more ways than one. lol! I'm laughing because a lot of people would be a bit surprised to know she's in a religious school. Mainly because I lean towards, how shall I say this, a more agnostic pov. Oddly, my feelings about religion/beliefs have basically mellowed or gained perspective. Whatever one wants to call it...I've come to think of religion as a necessary thing and even a good thing for some.

Another part of growing a bit was being part of a nice little group of UU's and sort of seeing myself in them. I didn't realize how much I was letting previous experiences color of feelings/thoughts. And once I sort of let go of that old mentality, I saw that it's okay to be Christian, or in my case a very liberal Christian. I also feel like it's okay to be an atheist as well. The problem with either side is when one becomes dogmatic. Any one is vulnerable to this...regardless of viewpoints. So, once I saw this in myself, the whole church/religious part became real and meaningful. I still feel very Unitarian but I'm open to lots of interpretations of spirituality and kindnesses.

So, my eldest is in school and besides being God based, it's walking distance(can we say, saving on gas!)! This is a great feeling as I've talked to the gals about helping the planet and being very environmental. I feel like they are getting good examples in their lives and I don't have to worry about them being hurt or around mass commercialism; that's one reason why I like private schools. There are uniforms and very specific guidelines about this. Some people might think this is restrictive but really why should school be a fashion show just because commercials dump stuff on people to buy, buy, buy. Another point that a neighbor mentioned was uniforms take away class perceptions. There are many public schools that are doing this and I think that's a very good thing. It's just a bit much if a 5 year old or so is worrying about their shirts/dress/clothing because they won't fit in. I know this for a fact as I remember a friend in California who's niece nearly had a nervous breakdown because she didn't "look" like the other girls. She was only 10 at the time. I hope she grew out of this.

Another aspect of this school is the uniforms are actually given to you for free. I was surprised and felt like this was a really unique system. Talk about trading at the most simple level. Freecycle watch out! ;)

So, I was pleased and happy to see a real act of economic equality at this school. More of my prejudices washed away.

It's funny. For a long time, I felt like I had to do things alone, by myself as an independent. But there is an old saying that's probably used all too frequently and mostly neglected. "It takes a village to raise a child" and it seems like this is what's happening. I'm sure there are hurdles to jump and pitfalls to be aware of but for this first week, it's going smoothly enough.

And I have to say, going to kinder-camp was a great idea. We did this for two weeks in June in Juniata. Apparently, Juniata is a "bad" school as termed by locals and non-locals. Certainly, there were a few kids who just need more time to adjust to kindergarten and I wouldn't blame kids for economic problems (the real culprit here...if there aren't very many youth programs, the youth will wander). So, I felt this was a good primer for my gal. I'll do the same for my youngest too.

On a different note, when I was going to the local Unitarian group, I noticed there was this big push to be on campus. I was like, all right...there must be a huge out pouring of students going to the UU congregation. Instead, not one student was there. I was confused and then I started to see a pattern. Basically, the use of the facility was the highest priority, not so much the students. When I suggested going out to the community, this was given a cold shoulder. I was surprised and a bit disgusted. I felt like most of the group just wanted to have a little club to hang out at the campus and that was it. Which is fine, I guess, but not what I was looking for.

The other problem is lack of stability. I want to have a minister/priest/pastor/fill-in-the-blank be in charge of church/meeting/group. It gives strength to an organization to have someone be responsible for various aspects. When I was in California, I stayed at a convent with my best friend, Caroline. I was amazed at the efficiency and organizational aspect of this place. Talk about perfecting time. I loved every minute of it. And I had time to reflect and felt a sense of wellbeing.

My adopted aunt, Tina, would also bring me to Big Bear for a Women's Retreat based on Baptist perspective. And I loved every minute of it because there was flexibility and kindness for everyone there. I saw all sorts of women in all age and health. It just felt like a great environment...even if some of the speakers where a bit too focused on money for buildings (I remember one speaker was going on and on about millions of dollars for a building and the perfect table/chair set. What this has to do with Jesus and helping people, I don't know. At the time, it really annoyed me and I think other women as well). Anyway, these are some of the emotions I was having and thinking about this week.

Besides having these feelings/school treks, I started a new job as a caregiver. I basically take care of adults who have lost their ability to tend to house matters/themselves but want to live at home. I must say it is hard work but very rewarding as well. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have this cold (I got a full blown cold right in the middle of everything) and it sapped me of energy. But I'm mending up. I hope I can bring some comfort and spark into people's everyday lives. I even played the piano for one client and I'm considering bringing my guitar to another one tomorrow. I hope I can play a few pieces and not have the client tell me to put the guitar away! lol!

Also, I've been itching to start a large painting. I have to finish a few first, but I want to start a big new one. I have fish on my mind and green blue waters. I can see gold and bits of reds and yellows. Jon wants to take the painting (once I finish it) to a place in State College. I'm fine with that. I know it will have to be framed and I hate framing things. I find it tedious and so final, I suppose.

I have a few things I want to start on art-wise. I would love to find an agent, so I wouldn't have to do so much of the business part. But it's a good learning experience as well. Sometimes, I wish there were two of me...well, maybe not (thinking of all my messes).

When I started writing tonight, I felt a bit melancholy and tired. But now, I feel better. I guess writing out what I feel and think is a good thing. Speaking of which, Jon's planning to go to California for a short time to visit our friend who is ill. I have this constantly in the back of my mind and it worries me to no end. I know we all have our hurdles to jump and life is just not perfect. I need to light some candles.

I started to watch a few TV shows...I forget the names of them. One is about doctors and they make some good statements about life. I actually saw two programs of this show and now, it's starting to make more sense (it's hard jumping into any series and not knowing previous storylines). Anyway, one character says, "Life is so hard most of the time and it's so unfair." I can see that for many people this is so true. It's not fair. If we acknowledge it isn't fair and can take all the unfairness swirling around and contain it, maybe we can set it aside for a moment and see the bits of miracles in that moment. Focusing on what is there, meditating...I can see how looking at a flower and noticing the purple, the petals symmetry and the miracle of it coming from a seed, and rejoicing in it. Doing the whole 5 senses thing and allowing ourselves to feel for it. This is understanding life. It is very much taking time to smell the roses and listening to the wind in the trees. It's sewing and knitting and standing in a crowd demanding justice. And it's looking at your heart and being true to what you love. It's carving out of wood even in the heart of winter and taking care of someone even when you're the one who's sick.

I must say, I couldn't do this job I'm doing if I didn't have my kids to break my selfishness. I couldn't do it, if I wasn't married and didn't know what it was like to be loved. And I couldn't do this job if I didn't have my pets to give me their affection and gentle soft nuzzles. I know I wouldn't be able to do this job, if I didn't have the family I had growing up. They taught me so much by their openness even if it was traced in fear.

Well, I'll close for tonight. Tranquility is slightly tainted as Mr. Nelson has spotted me petting Kiwi (one of our cats). He's fiercely jealous of all the cats. sigh...

Oh, and on a quick side note, I tried these cookies by Starbucks which have coffee inside of them. Pretty good, though I didn’t check to see if there was trans fat. They reminded me of these cookies my dad would get that had coconut inside of them. They were pretty awful but for some reason so good dunked in milk.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

from our garden; Dr. Seus Carrot

from our garden; Dr. Seus Carrot, originally uploaded by emily999.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

She liked to throw stars into the sky

Monday, August 27, 2007


A family friend shared this with me and I thought it was ever so true...


At age 4 success is . . not piddling in your pants.

At age 12 success is . . . having friends.

At age 17 success is . . having a drivers licence.

At age 35 success is . having money.

At age 50 success is . . . having money.

At age 70 success is . .. . having a drivers licence.

At age 75 success is . . having friends.

At age 80 success is . . . not piddling in your pants.

New work on eBay!

Tonight at 7:30pm (PST), I'll have several new listings. Here's what a few look like!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nothing like a cold

to slow you down. I have one and now, I'm tuckered out. I think I got it from driving around in this wet damp weather and exhausting myself. I thought it was allergies but I guess it was a cold. Lydia is under the weather and I think Norrie is feeling icky as well.

I drove to Roaring Springs for the first time. I didn't realize how much farther away it was then I thought. For some reason, I thought it was closer. I guess every place seems further away until you're used to it but this one seemed esp. far because A. I've never driven there B. I drove thru 3 thunder storms (I could actually feel the hair on my arms rise and the smell of electricity zoom in the air) and C. I was getting sick. So, I think I survived pretty well...I would have liked it better if I didn't have to drive in near darkness from the storm and watching the lighting flash just in front of me. But I learned how to drive to a new place and that is a good thing.

Anyway, I feel tired and want to go back to bed. I don't know how the woman I'm tending to, feels about me. She seemed tired after all was said and done.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
~Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


So, I've been doing a lot of driving lately and in the worst rain storm I've ever been thru. Fortunately, I go slowly and people seem very aware of each other. Just hope it continues this way in the driving realm. Anyway, I drove past St. Drogo's cafe and they are a really busy place. I admit it was quite thrilling to see people sitting under my paintings. It was like a piece of my creativity right there and people are enjoying it. It felt great.

Speaking of rain, I've checked my basement periodically and it seems mostly dry...there are still parts that get water but for the whole, it's been good. Still, I'm weeding things out down there and just for my sanity trying to be neater. I had a bit of a problem today with a lost SS card and just felt awful. But the new place was all right with a birth certificate and I'll order a new one. Now, to clean up all the places I tore up in my search. To my dismay, I found out as I searched for this SS card, just how grimy my couch is in the sides...yuck!

Another part of my job was getting a beloved TB test. I'm being sarcastic. I hate shots and this is no different. Just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy...but it had to be done. I'll be working with elderly folk and it's good to know these things as well.

Well, another critter of mine is making her way to rainbow bridge. Rainbow bridge is a very sweet concept of animal heaven. I first heard about this from Sue Williams, a squirrel owner and advocate. She met my husband through a squirrel club. Our beloved Daisy rat is leaving. I hope she will be at peace and no pain.

I had a mild rise in emotions during the weekend. I almost got another Bichon. But the stars were against us and after a trip to the Animal Humane Society and waiting all weekend, I found out we were rejected. Mainly because Mr. Nelson's full shots weren't up to date...but his rabies are good (for 3 years). We were disappointed but it was probably for the best. We got to play with a very sweet girl Bichon named Sadie. She found a home immediately. So we had to let go of that little dream. I think Lydia was very disappointed. She’s having some bad thoughts about how rats are temporary…and I guess that’s true.

At the Animal humane society, the little dog, Sadie, was nice but not super friendly or affectionate. More like, “hello darlings…I’m tired of you now”. This was totally opposite of a massive black lab named Carl who looked very sweet and huge all in one. He gave the gals a kiss each and they were surprised as he is as tall as they are! If he wanted to he could have given me a kiss too...I'm 6 feet. Nelson has to jump for all he's worth to plant one on me. He was much more engaged then Sadie. If we had the fence up, I’d be tempted by Carl…though, I’d imagine he’d be quite a bit more to feed than Nelson. Nelson is still working on the dog food bag we got about a year ago!

I guess I wanted another dog because it's rather depressing having pets die on you. Rats make you feel so helpless and I don't like being so emotionally frayed. Or course, having another dog would mean another somebody rooting around in my trash cans...great. But that's not that bad, really.

Nelson has been pretty darn good lately...a few mistakes but everyone has mistakes. I have to say having a dog makes me very aware of forgiveness and moving on to the next special scent. Dogs are so funny and very much their own being and even though Nelson still drives me crazy I feel like he's my protector/heating pad/dear little friend. Strange to feel this way about a dog…now, if I could only teach him to carry in the groceries…

I've been reading a bunch of books lately, and one is called "For Love of a Donkey"
by Betty Bowan. It reminded me so much of this recent news story about a man who traveled across states looking for work. It's interesting what we will do to take care of these dear critters. In the news story, the man decided not to stay in one town because some kids were rude to his mule. More people should have that sort of integrity and people should learn to control their tongues or they may become the very ass they make fun of. It's just so biblical and cool that this man, even in his need for a job, just walks away from this town and wipes the dust from his shoes.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Constellations, originally uploaded by emily999.

Currently displayed at the St Drogo's Cafe in Hollidaysburg, PA. 48 by 36 inches, multi-media. email for more information emily at gottshall dot come

Made my day!

The Faerie Zine Award of Excellence!
You deserve The Faerie Zine Award of Excellence!
Please add this photo to
I got the above mention/award for this dear collage doll:
and Princess of Flowers

I made her for Nina. This doll is called "Princess of the Flowers".

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Chow, originally uploaded by emily999.

new work on ebay! :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

For Nina...Daisy

For Nina...Daisy, originally uploaded by emily999.


Reading, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A walk will do you good...

It's true. When stress beats at the door, go for a walk. And if you're just feeling blah, a little nap is a good thing too. I did both today. We went to the post and dropped off a few packages and then, much to my surprise, found out it's Farmer's Market day! So, I went over there with the kids and it was packed. A bit too much for me as I do not like crowds. This with having two kids and a dog (who got so much attention it was like he was a super star or something), makes me feel a bit cranky. But as soon as we got our nectarines and a cabbage, we had more space to breath. The Farmer's market is right by a retirement building and there are a lot of elderly who come over and get fresh foods. I wish there was a little shop (there used to be) in downtown, as I know it's very hard for them in the winter. Also, a lot of them were using some sort of food stamp/aid for payment. I felt sorry for these people who have lived so long and need this or else have nothing.

We walked around after that and Nelson seemed all right but may have gotten a bit of heat stroke. This might be from Sunday as well. We went to the Jaffa flea market and it was stingingly hot. People kept offering him water and I wonder if he got something from this or the heat. Still, I need to remember to bring him a little bowl/water bottle. Poor guy. He's sitting under my chair, just all droopy. If he doesn't clear up, I'll see a vet.

My rat, Daisy, is still hanging on. I started to feel like she might leave us this morning but she's taking bits of water/food. I just wish she'd get better but I know this is a lot to ask a pet that lives for such a short time. Still, depressing none-the-less.

I've been giving Odie free range lately. He'll come out and tweet, flutter his wings and watch me do the dishes or what not. I have to say, it makes me feel good to see him watching me and being social. I worry about him sometimes. I just don't want him to be lonely. Plus, I get a bit jealous seeing other people and their cockatiels going for walks and just hanging out.

It's funny. I got a beautiful cabbage at the farmer's market and Jon brought another one home from work. One of his co-workers grew these red cabbages and was sharing. I love that! I should look for more zucchini...Also, I apparently planted cucumbers and they're growing everywhere. I thought they were some prickle monster but they are definitely cucumbers. I'm going to have to find this one Bulgarian recipe that takes cucumbers, plain yogurt and a bit of salt or seasoning for flavor. I think I have to add mint leaves too...yummy!! This is such a nice summer dish. It can be a little soup like but it's got to be cold. Love this! My cousin Blagavesta made this for us one year.


In other news, my Photoshop is acting crazy and I can't scan any work! I'm going to have Jon look at it as I'm stumped and I need to scan things.

I started to feel a bit depressed in regards to eBay. It just seemed like I'm not doing as good as I'd like to be...but maybe things will turn around. I did try some new things and I need to remember that it takes time to build a base with new works.

I also have to start building my pit kiln but I'm nervous about zones/smoke. I know it would be safe and since it would be in the ground and lined with bricks, this would be more of a bar-b-que type pit. We're not allowed to do burn barrels and this would not be that. I guess I need to just select a spot and make sure it's either in the fence or on the outside (depending on safety, kids and pets). It's just frustrating when I think about all the work involved and time. I guess since Fall is nearly hear, I know Winter is right around the corner. Thus, all the dry/warm days will be few and so will baking clay. We shall see. Another part of me is afraid that I've lost all my clay making skills and I'll pop a pot in the pit kiln thus alerting my neighbors and freaking everyone out. I've never popped any of my clay things before but I had the perfect working conditions at the studio in college. So, this shtinks.

I wish I had ice cream. I know I'll feel better come Saturday...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Looking for pep

It seems to hit me around 3:30 to 4:30 pm. I feel utterly tired and exhausted from taking care of the kids and running around the house. I've been putting more and more time into prepping the house/cleaning/kid attending as I'll be starting a job next week. I don't know how things are going to take place but we'll see. Basically, I'm a senior care worker and this sounds like it could be interesting. I hope it's not too stressful but we'll see. I'm excited about it as it will get me out of the house and amoung grown-ups! lol! :)

I mentioned awhile back, that my parents took care of several elderly people. One was a Bulgarian man named Boyan. Basically, he had nothing at the time and my father (who is Bulgarian) brought him home to help. He lived with us for over 5 years and when at last he did pass away, he was about 88 years old. He was such a gentle soul...loved animals and would sweep the front of the house. I still think of him at times and love that my family was open to him, regardless of his needs.

There were other people as well and it was easier for us as we didn't have a language barrier (I can speak a few words in Bulgarian, but not much). I have to say, my parents were very kind and hard working when it comes to aiding people. My mom is an certified nurse assistant and this was right up her alley. I'm glad we could comfort and help people in this last period of their lives.


Coincidentally, I'm reading Pearl S. Buck's, Sons...very relevant in terms of dealing with death and comforting people. I think comfort is such an underrated aspect in our world. I just notice people being a tad too sharp at times (I know I've been like this, all too many times)...I'm going to aim to be kinder and think of ways to comfort rather than be defensive/afraid.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The day the Bichon's ran

The day the Bichon's ran

Years later, it was discovered that the great bichon once roamed the hills. His howl awoke the neighboring small dogs of the land and one sunny afternoon, they ran. It is said, that this is how Bichons spread about the Earth.
The great Bichon was satisfied and his plan to rule the world and create cuteness everywhere, was started.

Monday, August 13, 2007

a good day is...

What makes a good day? For me, a good day is one where I feel energetic and there is a calm to the weather. It is a day when I can balance my life with my kids and feel, though the world may be at it's worse or saddness lingers in the distance, a sense of peace. Today was one of those days. I did a lot of housework and didn't feel like it was a struggle, physically. I tended to my children and finally could do so without too much frustration and feeling I lacked gentleness.

I attribute this to walking with nature during the weekend and a sunny day that had a touch of cool breeze. I'm also learning to appreciate heat and humidity. Instead of fighting with it too much, I will slow myself down and all the warmth to penetrate my skin and bones. And hopefully, I'll be able to remember it during the coldest of winter days.

I still find it strange that there are rainstorms with massive lightening and thunder during the summer. This is unheard of in California. The heat, usually, in California is a dry heat so that when you come out from hiding from the sun all day, the cement is so warm and lovely you feel like laying down upon it and sleeping there under the stars. At least, that was one of my memories as a child.

I know it is nearly the end of summer and soon, all too soon, school will begin and the rush of life will slowly push it's way forward. But for now, I pause and dream...

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen

Using your voice...

Jon helped me clean up the basement...actually, he mopped it all for me. All I had to do was ask. Funny how these things fester in my mind and all it took was a simple "Can you help me?"

Also, I had a brief episode with a nieghbor...he trimmed my side bushes (the other bushes were trimmed by another neighbor). I sort of wonder why people do this. I surely wouldn't go around trimming peoples hedges...esp. without asking. I came home from the local flea market to find all my hedges trimmed. Very strange but after a burst of anger/swearing I went out and asked the neighbor what this was all about. Basically, he was just being kind. So, I'm left feeling confused and a tad annoyed. So, I give up on the side bushes. I've got a bigger yard to worry about and if people want to trim them so badly, then let them. My other thought was, maybe he saw me fall when I was trimming them (about 2 months ago) and felt bad for me. Oh, well... I do not need to be angry/control freakish about this.

The good thing is I've learned about a new neighbor, my world is expanding and I'm letting go of trying to control everything. It's hard to do but it's doable. And geesh, I really need to stop getting so angry. Instead, I'm going say, it was a blessing for them to trim the bushes. Maybe they did need a trim.

Another rat is ill. She's the one that's about 2 years old, I believe. I feel bad but at least with this one, she's older. I don't feel too horrible about it. I'd prefer she'd be healthy and now that I put her by herself, maybe she'll do better too. Rats have a tendecny to be too attentive to an ill rat by over grooming.


We went to Shaver's Creek this weekend. It was a relief to get away from the house after being so house bound w/ the rain. I also learned they got some rain but not as much as we did. But I'm glad they got some rain.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


sweetness, originally uploaded by emily999.


happiness, originally uploaded by emily999.


path, originally uploaded by emily999.

Even though we were flooded in Altoona, it's so worth it to see the GREEN!!! What a joy to know that it's helping.

water lilies...

water lilies..., originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

tomorrow will be better...

my basement flooded. It flooded from the outer wall to the complete other side of the inner wall. This is about 60 something feet or more. I could not believe it as I checked the dang basement less than two hours ago and then, Jon goes down and it's flooded! I was SO angry/upset. Most of my art supplies are down there. I thought for sure, I'd be safe but not so. I had to empty 3 boxes/4 paper bags. Fortuantely, 98% of my stuff is safe/off the ground. I was going to clean out anyway, but who wants to do it because of something like this. I started to freak out and was scared about electrical stuff and so on, but all was all right. The dehumidifier is going and should help dry things out, so I don't have to worry about molds. Still, I'm cleaning it all with clorox bleach for floors. Sigh...Plus, I'm tired as I painted the closet in my eldest's room.

I don't even want to think about what I need to do tomorrow. All I know is, I'm out of motrin.

I have visions of throwing half of my stuff in the garbage...another purge, may be due. I guess I'm tired and angry. But, I really do need to take a few things to the salvation army/freecycle.

I feel tired. This is the first time, I think, since I've lived in PA where there has been 4 major thunder storms with massive flooding in our basement (not counting the time the drain was closed and there was 5 inches of water with the litter boxes floating around. Simone (my gray cat) was really confused about that one!) and actually had the power go out 8 or so times. Actually, this was the first power outage we've really had.

Jon checked on his folks house (as they are out of town) and their basement wasn't so hot either...But they've got less junk than us, so it's easy to clean. Well, now so is mine. I guess a good rule of thumb is if you put off purging your home, something else will purge for you.


Pika double actually, they just met...the old one was returned/found! Let's just say, I'm happy when my little ones are happy!

On a side note, it is raining cats and dogs out there...fortunately, a certain bichon is safe in the house as are our four kitties.

Rain Video

I don't know if this will work...but I made a video of our back porch and all the rain pouring down. If this works, this may be a new fun thing to try. :) Also, apologies for the messy porch! lol!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Nelson and biscuit...he really, really liked it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

white flowers....

whiteflowers, originally uploaded by emily999.

I grew these from a seed set...I think it was Burpees.

a quick pic from the car...


Sunday, August 05, 2007

who wants a belly rub?

who wants a belly rub?, originally uploaded by emily999.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Been busy...

Plus, it turns out my allergies were a cold. I got it from my dad-in-law/mom-in-law, I guess. Or else, Jon brought them home from work. Fortunately, he didn't get anything...only a headache. I felt awful, however. But am better now

Anyway, looks like Jon's going to have the fence mostly finished! I'm thrilled and it's going to cost a quarter of the price of most other fences as well as being only unique. I'm happy about this as it's one of my fears about having so much open space with kids and a dog and cats that like to sneak out of the house on occasion.

On a slightly scary note, we had a huge rain storm on Thursday. Various parts of town were flooded and our basement leaked but nothing major. Our screen in the 3rd floor blew in and Jon found this open window. It was a bit unsettling as the cats could have gotten out but all were accounted for. My only real concern was a possible bat flying in. But all was well.

In other news, I sold a painting at the cafe in Hollidaysburg! I'm thrilled and am starting a new painting. I'm so glad my work appeals to people. It kind of surprises me, sometimes. When I paint, I usually paint what I like, what moves me...and it's a great feeling to know others feel something whether they like it enough to buy my work or share a positive comment as well.

I'm working on several pieces right now. I'm hoping to have one finished by this weekend and the others by this week. It's tough balancing life but very worth it. Today, I got a chance to play the piano for almost an hour or so. It was great to let loose. I also fixed a key on the piano that was always getting stuck. Basically, I tied a string to the base and the wonderfully! So, this has inspired me to sit and practice a few new pieces. I'm working on jazz as I've never really done this. Blue Roses, Kicking the Blues, stuff like it. Oddly, or obviously, it effects my own pieces. I notice a bit of jazz feel to my work. It's all my brothers will say.

On a sad note, our friend in California is not doing good at all. I'm planning to send Jon out to visit him, soon. I just feel so sad about this.

And basically, that's what we're, eating a lot of zucchini. I may have a pumpkin plant in the patch as well. I apparently, planted all the squash's way too close. I really need to plan the garden better. It's amazing to see the garden growing and thriving even with my mistakes.

The gals, Mr. Nelson and I went to a local farmers market. It was funny because I remembered two of the people selling there. There is a farm family of several boys and their dad. Their mom wasn't there this time and I remember them from two years or so ago. They've grown so much since then! And then, there was a nice new older woman I bought peaches from. I told her about my fungus problem on my peaches and asked about what to use and she gave me some tips. Most of her peaches had hail damage but I didn't mind...I made a cobbler after all.

Then, there is this old guy who sells baked goods and what not. I remember him too...because his peanut butter cookies were terrible and he called me, "Sir". So, I basically ignored him. It's a pity Mr. Nelson didn't feel the urge when we walked by. Oh, I can be evil in my thoughts...

Anyway, with the heat of summer and rain storms, there was bound to be one mishap. Basically, I left the windows down in the car and the insides got wet. This wouldn't be so bad except I had my books in there. Books for the kids to read and they got wet and smelly. I hope they dry out now and I can salvage them a bit. I felt badly about this. Now, I know why the car was stinking so badly. Good grief.


veggies, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Gray Helicopter

So, yesterday I was driving back from my allergy shot with my gals and out of the blue, I hear what sounds like a helicopter. I'm thinking, oh, an emergency from the hospital or some such thing as we don't get helicopters or planes so low. But as I'm driving along, I notice it seems like it's getting closer. I mean, really close! The gals are in the back of the car, pointing out the window and saying mommy, mommy helicopter, look! I'm shocked and my driving is getting a little wobbly as I'm like, what the hell?!? I continue driving as a car is behind me and I'm thinking okay, this has got to be a police helicopter...what's the protocol for this?? Can't think of anything. So, I continue driving and this thing keeps following our cars up the hill. I'm about to turn but decide to go straight up the hill and turn on the street above. I'm thinking this helicopter is going to A. crash B. is in trouble and is going to crash or C. is going to crash and land on my car. I'm getting really freaked out and as I turn, it follows me! I'm really freaked out now and am afraid as there aren't really any trees to be sheltered by but continue driving. I get to a stop sign (and trees and see the helicopter fly past me down the hill. It's gray, the door is wide open and a person is leaning out of it with something in his hands. I'm like is this a State police thing or what is it? So bizarre!

I see all the neighbors standing around, pointing at the sky, and waving their arms. I'm really perplexed but frightened and as soon as I pull into the drive, I rush everyone into the house. Scary.

So, I tell Jon, my sis-in-law and make a police report. I get an answer from the police saying they didn't have any helicopters in the sky. I'm really shocked. I start to think it's a State Police thing but look up their copters to find out they are black and white and very clearly marked with numbers. So, I'm wondering is this a publicity stunt? And if so, it's a very bad one as they could have easily hit a power line or given someone a heart attack.

Then, my sis-in-law calls today and says there are more reports of a helicopter buzzing people at a market. I'm relieved as I'm not going crazy and didn't imagine this. But it's still eerie as there is no reason for this helicopter to buzz people. I even started to think (when I thought it could possibly be a police car...maybe it's FBI, I don't know) it was in search of this robber that hit the State College area and is reported to have been driving a beat up black Mustang. I have a black truck...but this still wouldn't add up.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

all smiles

all smiles, originally uploaded by emily999.

Having a stressful day...headache and stuffy nose=stress.

Lord, grant me the power to be the person my dog thinks I am.


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