Monday, December 31, 2007

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Decorations...

I'm having a bit of a feeling for change this year when it comes to what I want to keep or give/throw out in regards to decorations. I have quite a few decorations from my single days and I feel like I just like them any more...I don't think it's too strange to want to purge a few things like this, is it? Also, lots of things have not made it past the little hands test and have either broken or look sort of battered. So, I'm thinking of letting a few things go. Anything salvageable, I'll give away.

We had a sad moment today. Another one of our pet rats has got to rat heaven. She really lasted a long time with the tumors and such. I felt sorry but knew it was time two days ago. I was agitated and started to wake up at 4 in the morning, again. Plus, I had some nightmares about it...but I knew it was time. Jon made a very sweet coffin but I didn't have the heart to photograph it. It was very sweet...the gals helped him cover it in Kleenex and there was a little bed with a sheet. Jon placed her on her side so you could only see the back of her head and an ear sticking out. Very sad and sweet...I think I'm totally burned out when it comes to pocket pets. We still have one rat left, Jane. She was the healthiest one too. Plus, she had a moment of fame being on the cover of the Altoona Mirror. I must say she did look good...:)

I wasn't at the funeral but my heart was with her. I was just glad she wasn't suffering...not that she did (only about 2 days). She was rather frisky till the end. I liked that. I was glad she died at home instead of being put down as I was planning to do, at the vet. Jon buried her next to Fergie and Daisy. I may make a little rat monument in the summer cast in cement. They were very good rats and the most gentle pet I've ever had. And I'm not just saying that...not once did they scratch and I think maybe twice have nipped if they thought they smelled food (rats have very bad eye sight but very good senses of smell). Here's to you, Abby! May you join your mama and sister forever nibbling on bread houses and cheese trees in your little rat heaven.

I think I'm content with my dog, cats and bird for now. I think, in a detached way, it's interesting about life and death. It's always there and constant, like time. In some ways, questioning it is good but also part of the process of accepting it. I remember once talking to a man who had to put his dog down. He said he'd never get a dog again because of that. I was surprised. I think I would get a dog again...certainly, I'd wait to heal and do create a tribute, but it's much better to feel the love of a dog then forever mourn them. Now, that I have a dog, I don't know how I lived without one. I think that's much better than to not open your heart. But with rats or pocket pets, they live for such a short time. A part of me feels sad that I didn't get a few baby rats to balance the inevitable. It's true, you have to keep getting another rat, or your life will be a bit sadder if you don't. Maybe I'll try hamsters next (though, Jon is afraid of them). :/ Maybe, I'll just wait on that for a bit...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mary homage


Mary homage, originally uploaded by emily999.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Furberries and handmade doll from grandmom




Well, the Christmas glitz is over and we can all relax, reflect on the blessings around us and get ready for the New year with our loved ones. I have a few things I need to mail out but now that the hustle and bustle is calmed down a bit (I hope) things should be returning to normal.

I finally realized why I was so out of it about a week and half ago...a major head cold. I was achy and felt irritable and grumpier than usual. Plus, I had hardly any energy. But things are starting to come back. Also, on Sunday I slipped on some ice and bashed my arm on a car and twisted my foot/ankle. I'm glad I smacked onto our car or else I'd have went head first and probably would have gone to the hospital. As it was, I just got mildly hurt (pulled a few muscles) and felt even worse with my cold. But I'm coming back up and am not so dire. This seems to be a Winter thing for me...slip on ice. Of course, this was right after a thaw, so there was very little ice which is probably the most dangerous time to walk around because you don't see the ice and you don't wear your trusty yak treks. Ah, well...

So, of course, I fall on my right hand and that hurts for ages and I don't feel like painting or anything. That's about to change as I'm starting to feel a lot better and I am practically feeling itchy to paint/create some art.

On the down side, I stuffed myself with all sorts of sweets (under the illusion that it felt good on my sore throat) and am feeling a tad guilty about that. Salads and lots of water are on the menu for the next few days and I think it's time to dust off the recumbent bike (taking a break when there is good weather). It's back to this till I feel 100%...plus, it's inside and I won't aggravate my cold.

Otherwise, everything is mostly stable. The kids are happy with lots of goodies, they both got two handmade dollies from grandma and a pair of washable babies that wet themselves. This is a good learning device, I must say. I got some nice things; an organizer and fairy kit from my mom/sister. And Jon got lots of food.

We went to a Christmas Eve party and this was fun. Jon got sick, however, and suffered the rest of the night. The gals made out like bandits and then we went home after a quick Santa run to the store. All in all a very good Christmas. It was esp. nice when our eldest said this Christmas was perfect. She got the goodies she wrote to Santa for (nothing elaborate, fortunately) as did my youngest. Furberries were the highlight. :)

I felt like I got a great gift, a beautiful sunrise to capture and a few moments peace while I got better from all my owies. Now, if a few other things happen, I'll be quite happy...I'm all for late Christmas gifts! :)

I finished reading a children's book on Hans Christian Anderson's life. I must say, I had never known how much he struggled and how much more meaningful his stories are because he suffered so much. Oddly, my mom gave us a DVD with "The Ugly Duckling" on it (among other stories). I love it and it has inspired me to keep my dreams alive for writing children's books and an illustrated novel. It's keeping the flames alive.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A beautiful Christmas morn...

Blue skies and sun, a wisp of white touched with purple and pink and gray...
I stand on the steps, bare feet, cold and for a moment capture this time. Hurry into the house and stare again at canvas up above. For this moment, I'm thankful and content. A hope passes my mind, I hope others can gaze upon a similar view and have a moment to wonder, pause...

I wish all days could start as this, slowly stretching into morn and still. Last night as we drove about, shops were closed (very few open); fast food places; their lights off. And it seemed like the land sighed with the joy of this....One day of rest is not enough, but I will take this moment.
Christmas morn

christmas scene


christmas scene, originally uploaded by emily999.

All is quiet in the house...I'm the only one up at 7 in the morning...I guess I still have the Christmas excitment even though the kids are all sleeping.

Last night we went to a Christmas party at our friends house. It was fun and the photo (though blurry) is of one of the fantastic Christmas scenes our host does. I wouldn't mind creating something like this some day...

I should start some coffee...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pink Christmas Tree


Pink Christmas Tree, originally uploaded by emily999.

with a few lovlies. The mouse art I got from a thrift store, the Dog painting from a summer flea market this year and I finished the little painting on the upper right recently.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Little Angels sing


Little Angels, originally uploaded by emily999.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Advent Program...

Today was my eldest gal's Advent program...Oh, how sweet! I love those things...the excitement, the feeling of unity and just the spirit of Christmas to me. I had a good time and it was so sweet to see the little ones proudly going up to sing. I'll have pics shortly as my battery gave up at the end (fortunately, after the program).

I hope to get some baking done today...Gingerbread and maybe another type of cookie. But really, the gals love gingerbread, so I'll probably just do that. I wanted to make some banana bread and put it in little star shaped tins I found at a shop yesterday but I don't know how time will be in doing this. I have to work for two hours tonight.
Altoona in blue
Fortunately, I don't work tomorrow but do on Sunday. Also, it's supposed to rain instead of being ice/rain on Sunday morning...so that will be a safe drive.

I got a great movie for $1 yesterday...My Man Godfrey. This is quite excellent and is such an interesting portrayal of what one man learns by walking in the shoes of another. Plus, it's a good love story and I can not resist a good romance! lol! :)

local Starbucks

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Santa hat and boots


Santa hat and boots, originally uploaded by emily999.

Being a little elf...he's a very good Santa's helper!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mr. Nelson says, Merry Christmas! :)


"let's have a kiss, honey!" actually, he was eatinga bisquit.

Phew...

Hello, from the land of the cold!




I can't believe I just did 16 Christmas cards...all of them are pretty much originals (or original paintings that I mounted to colorful paper w/ a note on back). About 10 or so where hand drawn...not too big of an expenditure as they are line drawings/cartoon look. They are meant to be funny and hopefully, people will get my humor. We shall see...

Anyway, I'm having fun getting ready for the festivities. I have to see "Elf" which we have on DVD as my Christmas film. I love that movie. It's got to be my favorite. I guess I relate, being tall, rather productive and still retaining my joy of life (I hope). We watched a few Christmas tapes with Frosty and Rudolph...not too bad, actually. Also, I found the rest of our Christmas ornaments which were hidden in the big box under the basement steps. I've really got to be more organized about this as the boxes are spread about the basement...one spot for all might be a better idea. So, we have the stockings out, 7 trees (since last I counted) up and either lighted or decorated, and most of the house decked out in shine or glitter or simple wooden stars. I made these wooden stars and just love them. Unfortunately, if they drop on the floor, good-bye stars...too fragile. I'll need to wrap the ends in wire, really.

I'm really please with getting the cards out. Presents can come later...for nieces and nephews and so forth. I think there is too much commercialism in Christmas but I still think it's good to give gifts. I do not want to be like Scrooge and grumble about money, too much, at least. If I could, I'd send everyone a box of chocolate peanut covered pretzels (except my nephew as he's allergic to peanuts...so he'd get a toy or book).

Today was cold, still. There was a bit of rain and things got a tiny bit slippy but not much. Norrie is officially sick. Lydia is getting over the cold and looks better already. I'm starting to get a cold and Jon is achy. I did some exercises and I think I over did the arm stuff as now my neck hurts.

Art wise, besides the cards, I did some paper Mache. I made a few forms and did some work last night. Not too bad. I want to translate some of my illustrations into paper Mache form...hopefully, I can do it. I LOVE paper Mache and used to do it quite a bit but had an unfortunate discovery around 1994. Mind you, this is when I was a young kid and didn't have access to the internet. I used water/glue and flour for the base. Yes, flour. After a few years, all my beautiful paper Mache dolls (I did skater dolls...I was really into watching ice skating...Brian Boitano! lol!), cats and animal dolls all corroded and I had to throw them out. I was very sad about that. I might have photos of them somewhere but, for now they are but bittersweet memories...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Busy...

Taking a break here...It's a busy day, as the crunch before Christmas is arriving. And I'm not too worried as I'm going to mail most of my cards/presents late. I don't think that Christmas ends/begins on the 25th. Besides, I don't get paid till around the 21st and that's a #1 factor in being late with everything. Sigh...

The good news about my current job is I've been taken off of the smoking family members and won't have to be subjected to lung problems the rest of my life. Apparently, this was an issue so, I'm glad the nurse took care of it. I did try to compromise but the client didn't want to even try.

In other news, I was checking out my local papers website, Altoona Mirror, and was glancing at their blogs. It surprised me to see out of 15 writers, 11 were men (one was even doubled up with 2 men!) and only 4 women. The next annoying thing was most of the men were about sports (or their version/ideas about sports). The women have much more interesting blogs (though, a tad hum drum at times): being a mom, about dogs, life of a newborn, & locality. It just seems so unbalanced...only one person talks about local happenings with shows/bands. I don't know...if I were to write a blog and have a spot on the Mirror, I'd write about things that have more of an edge like economy and how it effects us emotionally, financially and time wise. I'd write about how people are struggling with hourly wages that have not kept up with inflation, that to buy a loaf of bread on $6 an hour is nearly 1 quarter of your hourly earnings and let's not even go into how much gas costs $3 & is nearly half of your hourly wage if you're even paid $6 (after taxes). I'm sorry but this is wrong. It is an outrage and people who have to live on this should be protesting this or at least writing to their congress person. Even if somebody is earning more than this, we should all support each other to make everyone have a living wage. We certainly can do at least this.

I love stories and there is a very good one about fishing. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, and he will eat a life time. I really believe that people, given fair wages, live 1000 times better/longer/healthier and are such in return, to the community. Certainly, there will always be examples of "rotten apples" but there is always some in the bunch. I think it's much better to think about the whole, than the few, of a group of people.

I guess you could call this Love thy neighbor, really. It means really, watching out and taking care of your neighbor because in return, they can do the same for you. I remember when we first moved to this house and we had a bar-b-que on our porch. We were enjoying it and for one reason or another, left it unattended. Our neighbor across the street, came over and told us it was smoking and was worried it was going to start a fire. I was so surprised. It amazed me that someone would care and come over to warn us. Usually, most people are too busy and rushing around to notice such things. To this day, I'm grateful there are people watching out for us and I hope I can return the favor.

If we watch out for our neighbors, we must watch out that they are earning fair wages as well. We might not see what's in their pockets/wallets and that is all the more to care. I remember a time when there were stories of elderly eating canned cat food, because that was all they could afford. I don't want that to ever happen again. Or people feeling so desperate they steal food. That is very sad to me...and really it makes me angry we've cut programs where people have to chose between warmth or a meal on the table (I've heard of this too). I've been fortunate to have family near to help us, but there are times when I wonder about those who don't have that.

I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" last night. I hadn't seen it in a few years and to be quite frank, this needs to be put on television again. It has so much relevancy...esp. for myself now that I have a family and a small business. What it's about, interestingly enough, is about both watching out for your neighbor as well as good business practice. Imagine what a world we'd have if more people were like George Bailey. Imagine how much better our products would be and most importantly, our quality of living would be. I sometimes feel we've allowed to many Potter's to take over so many things. We need to stand up to them and say no, here's an alternative, here's a different idea, a different way of doing something without all the negatives. I think this is why "It's a Wonderful Life" is such an honest movie...it talks about concrete ways to make positive changes in people's lives.

Anyway, this is what I'd write about on a blog for the Mirror. I don't know if that would ever come to pass, but I'd like to think someone will write something like this. It surely would catch my attention and many others I'd imagine.

Yesterday...


, originally uploaded by emily999.

Had an interview and feel pretty good about it. It was a good experience and I felt like, even though I got nervous, I did all right.

On the drive back, Jon mentioned how he liked this one field with a lone tree. I had my camera and we stopped...the winds were very strong as there is nothing to really break them (like trees) but I managed to get this shot. There are bits of snow flying about and in the distance are a flock of birds. I did take out some of the snow but couldn't take out the rest as it just seemed right with snow flying about.

What I would give to spend a day out on the road...photographing as much as I can. I really enjoyed it. For the record, there were 4 other trees spaced out about 200 feet or so. Very poetic, actually...

Cardinal...


, originally uploaded by emily999.

Took a moment to get a pic of a beautiful Cardinal in our feeder. This was also through the screen on our back porch...I like the effect (soft glow around the bird) as well as ability to zoom in so close to the subject.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow storms...


Yesterday was cold and had a feeling of pregnant clouds over head. Boy, did this come to pass last night! Sleet, rain, snow and ice...fell from the heavens and froze my car. I couldn't get it unstuck and actually had to cancel with a client. I felt bad about this...but there was no way I could get that thing out. Also, the alleys were frozen/unplowed and least I risk crashing the car into a fence, I was stuck.

Fortunately, I was able to go to a lot of clients (10 hours straight) yesterday, I felt I had done a good job. Surely, I was tired but I still had energy to make two banana breads for the kids and before the snow really came down, had Jon get some emergency supplies. I couldn't believe how much sleet we got. Thankfully, my client is in a care facility and is all right. I had told her if anything happened, I'd call ahead. So, that was a relief. Why does it always seem to be a storm on Saturday night. VERY annoying.

Anyway, after all the driving/worrying/helping of yesterday, I was beat and started to get another ear/sinus infection. Jon got the heating pad out and before I knew it I was asleep with that tucked under my ear. Much better...If I stay outside, I do feel the pain seeping into my head, so I have to limit that. Apparently, I'm not too cold tolerant...Ear muffs, glued to my head, might be called for.

I have another client today and of course, another storm. I hope it's mild. This weather is so harsh at times.

Anyway, I did a lot of catch up today...cleaning, making some food...my eldest daughter threw up all over the car, yesterday but is better today. So, I'm glad it's not the flu...just got a little car sick.

Of course, I didn't do any artwork, yet. I've just been so tired this whole weekend...when I have sinus pressure there is a headache as well. So, I had to do a lot of grin and bear it.

I was really happy I made one woman exclaim, "this is the best egg sandwich!" That was a highlight, I must say.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Scary moment...

As I left to go and pick up my gal from school, I could hear Mr. Nelson barking from the yard. I wasn't too amazed by this but for some reason it sounded sort of urgent and I looked up and started to say, "we'll be right back, Nelson!" when I saw a flurry of light brown feathers flapping over Nelson. To my surprise, I realized Nelson was being attacked by a hawk or an owl! I didn't realize that hawks would do this (let alone owls). At first, I thought it might have just thought Nelson was smaller than he was, as he was by the garage...but now (after Jon and I looked up bird attacks on dogs), I'm not so sure. Apparently, this is more common then I thought. I'm going to have to watch out for Nelson now...Maybe this is why he's been reluctant to go out (I thought it was the cold, but maybe not). I have watched hawks in our yard...but they are about half the size of Nelson and go for pigeons or rabbits. Still, I didn't think this could happen and will be more careful. How easy it is to think one is safe, and then something like this happens.

Maybe once things whiten up, he'll be less of a target...still, it's scary.

Sorting...and then some

I decided to add a little music list. Some of the songs are pretty good, a few might be a bit sentimental on my part...I couldn't resist adding Totoros and Never Ending story. I really love adding these music bits on here. At first, I thought it would be annoying but when I look at other people's blogs, I like hearing what people listen to. And if I don't care for it, I can turn the volume off. As long as it doesn't interfere with page loads...Anyway, I hope the music playing gives a nice Winery feel laced with humor and joy.

I also added a link to my book, Emily and Mr. Nelson, on the sidebar. I'm glad to see this one finished.

Now, onto some fun things. I visited Carolee's blog and found 8 wonderful things about her. And to my surprise, was asked to share some as well. We shall see what happens!

8 things I am passionate about:
Family
Art
Peace
Education
Environment
Human Rights
Books
Friends

8 things I want to do before I die:
Write more books; poetry and perform it with piano accompaniment (either my own, or someone else)
Start a fund(S) in the names of loved ones who have passed away for kids in need
Travel to Bulgaria/Scotland and visit my dad/mom's homeland
Get healthier; be there for my kids/adopt a child
Be apart of countless Peace marches
See my own line of art in a catalog & my own gallery
Get my whole family/friends together for a celebration
Join a local theater group and do some local plays (I liked doing that in college)


8 Things I say often:


Oh, for Pete's sake
Crap (I'm working on this one)
GGRRR
Nelson, No!
Go sit on the potty
I love you
Can I have a hug?
All right, everybody off me now; you'll hurt my back! (we do a lot of wrestling)

8 books I've read recently:

Sons Pearl S. Buck
started Harry Potter (the last one)
a bunch of kids books...Eddie Dog Holder
I know there's more but I can't think right now...
Tove Jansson, Moomin’s (out loud)
Craft books
Design Books
Madeline series (a general theme of children, around here)

8 songs I could listen to over and over again:
Row, row, row your boat (I'm just kidding!)

Winston George's work (Velveteen Rabbit reading...I love it)
Music from the Snowman
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Andrea Bocelli (pretty much anything by him)
Mozart (Magic Flute)
Peter Paul and Mary (this is love)
John Denver Calypso, or anything by Denver
Shine by Take That
Headlock - Imogen Heap
Pet Shop Boys (nearly anything by them)

8 things that attract me to my friends:


Passionate about something positive
Sharing
Funny/Humor
Thoughtful and kind
Takes time for quiet time
Knows when to relax and when to work
Sees beyond stereotypes of people
Compassionate

8 People who should do this "MeMe":

Carol
My sister (just email it to me...Hey, I like to know stuff about you too)
My mom (ditto, as above...they're both shy.)
Penny
Johanna Parker
Kim
Kitty
random york, John

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The sleigh ride


The sleigh ride, originally uploaded by emily999.

by L. Gottshall

snoozing


snoozing, originally uploaded by emily999.

it's one of those days...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

John Denver - It's In Every One Of Us (1983)

November so far away...

I can't believe I forgot to mention I've been writing on this dear blog for 3 years now. Amazing. 3 years of my humble life and a few of the events that have happened. I'm grateful to have a place to share my thoughts and ideas...and I'm very grateful to have met people from all over the world because of this. I also feel glad my family reads this little blog on occasion (wink) and can keep up with the happenings in our lives. Now, if they'd only write a blog, I could do the same! :)

Right now, we're expecting an "Ice storm". We shall see how that one goes as it was supposed to hit this morning but now it's already moved to tomorrow. I'm not being too cynical, just don't feel the need to pull out my hair in fear, I guess. I've decided to worry when I need to. For that reason, I'm glad I don't really watch TV that much (although, I did see a cute show "Life according to Jim" the other night. It was so funny as there was a whole episode about a guinea pig and Jim's conversion to seeing things beyond the money factor...this is a hard one for me too, at times. It was just so fun to see that little piggy...esp. the scene where Jim is cooking food for the guinea pig and he's got the little critter in his apron pocket! I'd love to have a print of that!). Anyway, that was pretty lucky to see something I actually liked on TV.

Today was an up and down day...The kids are doing fine, just a little tired...in fact they're sleeping already (I guess, the cold and getting better from the tummy stuff is having an effect). I doubt they'll stay asleep all night. I did some art and getting my portfolio together for an interview.

Then, we got an email from our friend, D. She's the wife of Jon's b-friend, John W., who passed recently. Today was his birthday and she asked we take some time to send him a prayer/thought, where ever he is. I did. My prayer thought was that he bring comfort to his loved ones. I truly believe this is possible. Often, when I was a child, I'd think about my adopted Grandma Verda looking down from heaven and watching over me. This made me feel better as a child...though, guilty if I did something bad! :) Still, I think John is watching out for us, whispering words of encouragement and bits of humorous wit about the nature of life into our ears.

Another part of me feels like we are reborn into something else entirely. The world is so huge and large, why wouldn't souls be reborn into another being? And if this isn't the case, I do believe we do carry on that person inside of us...hopefully, the good bits and can make our loved ones come alive again by doing those good actions/thoughts. Maybe that's why I feel a thrill when I play a piece of music by Bach or participate in a march for peace. The spirit of that artist/movement becomes alive. Yes, I think that's it...It's the same when I crochet or paint...something is there and becomes alive from the action. I guess the way to make this "living on" is to do the good works our forefathers and mothers did...or our friends and loved ones did/wanted to do.

It's In Every One Of Us

It's in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why

It's in every one of us
By and by

It's in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why

It's in every one of us
By and by
By and by

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

silver dreams


silver dreams, originally uploaded by emily999.

tree from the garage and previous owner. This was a lot bigger than I thought...about 5 feet high. Next, decorations! I almost nabbed some lime green ones from freecycle but somebody beat me to it. Darn! Oh, well...I'll keep hunting, hopefully something non-breakable.

New day...

Santa, yeah...

My eldest is at home. Tummy upset; poor kid. I'm feeling a bit better, just tired though I slept well. It's a wet damp day and I guess my shoulders/wrists fell it all. achy.

We had to take Kiwi to the vet for her tooth and now I have to give her awful smelling anti-biotic. P U! What a stink. The good thing is they were able to vacuum it right off (the tooth) and she didn't have to be put out for this. Plus, it wasn't as expensive as I thought it was going to be, thankfully.

I have a few things I need to finish up today and then go to the post office. I guess I feel tired about that...well, and I did a bunch of work last night. I cleaned off the other 1930's style bed and getting it ready to prime. Will be giving it a shabby chic look in white or antique white. I already have one primed and it looks 100 times better. We've had these bed frames in the garage/basement for 4 years and it was time to use them. I'm not too fond of the dark stained look...if we had more light in the house, maybe but I love the feel of light colored furniture. It's refreshing and upbeat. There are few things I wouldn't paint but for the most part, I do like painting furniture.

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=2102679359&size=m

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Jon was saying how he wished there was a Fairytale zoo like the one he remembered when he was a child. So do I! Apparently, there was a small zoo that had forest animals and more that people could visit around here. I wish something like that was close by for the kids. As it is, we haven't been to a zoo in a long time. A trip to Pittsburgh may be in order (2 hours to get to the zoo, good grief).

****************

We went to Baker's Mansion and it was all dolled up for the holidays. Can we say utterly charming? I loved it! Wish I could have stayed for hours but was glad I at least got to go. I'm going to join the Historical Society and be an active member. There is a Women's club...I never checked this out before, but perhaps I will. I have no idea what they do...it sounds so nice and old fashioned, though! :)

*********************
 christmas tree in room
I took a bunch of photos as Baker's Mansion but most were a tad blurry. I should have brought my tripod. Ah, well...

photos

**************

Well, I need to get a few art things started before the gals awake and my time is given to the life of domesticity.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Smoke gets in your eyes...

and mouth and nose. I worked on Saturday at a clients and to my horror her son, smoked but a few yards away in the same building/room. This is pretty awful as I am allergic but it was more so for several other reasons. One being there is oxygen tanks everywhere and two the grandkids. This parent didn't even see the kids as anything, apparently. I couldn't breath practically. I'm going to have to request not to go to this client any more...I still feel sick to my stomach, let alone my lungs hurt and I can smell cigarette smoke everywhere still. Disgusting. I think my coat smells too and I have to wash it now. I really think some people are totally ignorant about smoke.

Then, I complained to one of the nurses and she didn't really care. Her main concern was the writing down of what happens during my shift. My client is literally being exposed to chemical pollution as well as I. The nurse even said "was he on his side". As if smoke stays on one side of a room! I'm sorry, but that's insane. Plus, I have a bronchial infection as my lungs hurt. The nurse should listen to her care givers and client a little more...my client, P.,told me that some of her care takers just sit and watch TV nearly the whole time there and that I'm the hardest worker she's seen in a while. Isn't that sad? I don't doubt it. I esp. don't doubt it since the time I saw that other client and her house was deplorable.

I'm really surprised at how people will just be so gross about things like smoking near sick people and children. I'm going to have to cancel my work there as I HATE being ill from this and I do not want to get cancer from something as stupid as second hand smoke.

Apparently, the legislation is trying to pass a bill that would stop smoking in public places in PA. I hope this passes soon and urge people to write to Congress about this.

Besides coughing up phlegm, I'm doing all right. I had a better time with my one client on Sunday as she is very interesting mentally. She is totally on the same page as I am about smoking and is for the employee rights as well. She's 93 and is quite fascinating to listen to when she feels good. It's sad not enough people know the history of some of the things she talks about. She's mentioned John Llewellyn Lewis and how he was one of the greatest forces in American history for the rights of laborers. Fascinating and something we could surely use now for most people working at minimum wage.

Besides all this, I had to take Kiwi to the vet. Her tooth became loose after Mr. Nelson chased her and she bumped against a wall. Turns out it was slightly corroded and this is why it got knocked out. So, we have to do a tooth cleaning sometime this year. I'm guessing all the kitties are probably due.

It just felt like a long day, today. I actually fell asleep face down on the bed for about 20 minutes, I was so tired. When I woke up, I had two cats on top of me...it just figures that would happen.

I'm working on several projects...and I'm going to send a box of designs to a local company. I hope this works out well. We shall see. I'm nervous but they seemed very friendly in the email. I'm starting to value companies that sound friendly in writing and on the phone. The last company I submitted to was so strange and sort of manic about submissions. It just seemed like so much time was lost...I hate that.

Anyway, I'm going to do my best and see what happens. I'm also going to really get my GN done...I got some more info I needed and feel more confident about fine tuning the story. Now, for the illustrations. :)

I feel like good things are happening...one of which is our gas bill has been decreased because they had us on the wrong payment plan. Apparently, we have a huge amount to our credit. So, that's something positive.

I can hardly believe it's about 2 weeks till Christmas. I have so much I have to do...little things I want to do for my elderly clients and lots to do for my little ones and family.

Friday, December 07, 2007

What is Art?

pidgie


pidgie, originally uploaded by emily999.

An older pic of one of my pigeons. :)

Little Things lead to big things...



for Illustration Friday

Thursday, December 06, 2007

one more...

Couldn't resist another Bumpkin photo. This is also one with Penny, a beautiful cat that knew we needed her. :)

Bumpkin and Penny (Simone's mom)

Bumpkin nibbling my toe


Bumpkin nibbling my toe, originally uploaded by emily999.

I thought I'd share one of my Bumpkin pics. Here she is nibbling my shoe and toe. Crows are very inquistive and seem to have a sense of humor...they like to push your buttons and tease you. Very sweet birds, actually and quite gentle to their "flock".

Nelson barking at man

This is my yard!!!
This is my yard!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It is snowing! :)


It is snowing! :), originally uploaded by emily999.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Blah, yeah, blah, repeat.

That's how I felt today. I was planning on going to the CPR class but didn't feel good. I guess I got a little stressed out from driving on icy roads. I hate that. Yes, I'm sure there is not one person out there that really loves to drive on ice, but I had to state that I really do not like to drive on ice. Today, when I drove out of the alley and stopped, the car kept going. Boy, talk about a feeling of no control! So, I sort of felt all panicky and nervous for the rest of the day until I noticed the ice has melted a tiny bit. This is not good for someone trying to get over a cold, let me tell you. I had nervous energy and then I'd get sick feeling and have to collapse on the couch. Oddly, I got a lot done but I really need to relax a bit.

I wonder if the roads weren't salted and people had to have chains on their tires, would it be safer? Probably not or about the same, I'm guessing. Still, it was making my hair stand on end.

*******************

After I picked up my eldest, we played in the snow (or they did) and must have gone down that hill 12 times or more. Then, they went in, got dried off, had warm coco and relaxed till dinner. It was really sweet. Then, my mom/dad-in-law came by and dropped off a big bowl casserole. So, that was really good and saved me from making grilled cheese sandwiches. I wish I had a few cans of tomato soup...this sounds good for a cold day. Yesterday, I made turkey soup (I froze a bunch of it from T-day) and it came out pretty good. I added frozen broccoli, a cup of rice, some beans and mushrooms. I did add one cube of chicken bouillon as it was too plain with out it. This made for a great dinner/lunch with a squirt of lime or lemon. Yummy! I think I might try a more meatless version of this but I'll have to think about the combinations. I love soups. I think they are such perfect things for these cold, cold days...

I made two loaves of banana bread. Thankfully, everyone loves it and we already finished one loaf! I'll put some of it in Lydia's snack for tomorrow. Hopefully, it won't be too snowy.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I saw a spider today. I was surprised to see it as we don't get any bugs this time of year. I felt a bit sorry for it, as I could tell the cats had been enjoying playing with it, so I said good-bye to the little fellow. I don't mind them really as they're good for the plants but this one was really pathetic looking.

We've been playing marbles since Lydia was taught how from her school. This is really fun and we've had a game or two a night. I need to find more games to play. There is a bunch from Jon's side but they're for older kids (or kind of boring...sorry, Jon! lol).

_________________
Lately, Mr. Nelson has gotten the bathroom thing done pat. The whole fenced in yard is the key to happy doggies, apparently. I love it. The only problem now is he is becoming a stealth food snatcher! He steals all the time! It's not like his bowl is empty or anything. I do notice it might be due to lack of dog biscuits (we finally finished the Sam's club giant box) and he might feel like he wants more other food, I guess. Still, it's annoying. He's stolen poor Norrie's cookie, ate Lydia's pasta leftover, drank Jon's milk and will steal my stuff if I leave it at Mr. Nelson level. Maybe it's the cold or something...I don't know. Is he bored? Strange...
Otherwise, all the pets are doing good. The cats even enjoy batting marbles around. The rats are stable for now and Odie (our cockatiel) is glued to the heat vent again. Today he did a happy chirped sound when the heat came back on...almost sounded like, "Thank God, Thank God, it's back...the heat is back!!" He was really happy sounding and when I peeked out at him, he just sat there like he had no idea why I was staring at him.

I wish I had taken that CPR class but if your coughing, this can't be a good thing, right? And I know I'd have bee stressed out by the drive and most likely would have gotten a headache. Also, there was going to be a tea party but that was cancelled, so I feel like this was all right to do considering the ice.

Well, it's late and I really need to go and sleep. I didn't get much cleaning done but at least I did make the bread. Banana bread is surprisingly very low in fats and not too much sugar either. I'd like to make some with cranberries...though, that might be a bit tart for the gals.

Tomorrow I'm going to try and bake some polymer clays...but it's supposed to be really well ventilated...yeah, in 20 degree weather. Hmmm, maybe if I block off the kitchen for a half hour. We shall see...

Monday, December 03, 2007

My first book, finally is out!


My first book, finally is out!, originally uploaded by emily999.

I finished up my 1st book...had a few glitches but they are ironed out! You can view it here. And here are some other pics of the inside:

Mr. Nelson; a paper dog w/outfits

and

A book about a girl who decides to make her dog a raincoat

Feeling better...

After sleeping countless amounts and having my routine mixed up, I'm feeling a lot better. Yes, sleep does a body good. Also, wearing the correct glasses. I thought about my older pair and wanted to wear them for a bit and did. I didn't realize they were so different from the new ones...esp. at night. Either the lens is too shiny or I was on the road to migraine-ville but it made the headlights of on coming cars flare out and look 50% bigger/brighter. Very annoying. So, back to my new pair.

It's a blustery day with snow flurries everywhere. It still feels like we live in a snow globe when this happens, which can't be all bad. Of course, I'm not driving at the moment, so that's a rather relaxed answer.

I got up about 3 in the morning and did a blog post and had tea. Then, I tried to go back to sleep but got some ideas for something’s I want to work on for 2008. I can't divulge too much as it's in the beginning stages but I'm excited about it!

Tomorrow I'm taking a CPR class. I've never had one and since my work is offering it, I might as well take up on this. It's very important to know what to do and I think this will help me feel more comfortable when we go swimming. I also want to start trying out the campus pool and see if I can handle it with one kid at a time.

I'm still pleased with Saturday's art show and having lots of positive feedback. It's a great feeling, really. Now, to develop a good list of things to do for future shows, etc. I wish there were two of me sometimes...Ah, well...

I also have a lot of cleaning up to do...having this mild cold threw a lot of housekeeping off track plus, all the Christmas goodies need to be put up. I did manage to set up on shelf in the living room...I used two crow models in it and this got me thinking about my little crow, Bumpkin, when I was in my late teens/early twenties. She was such a sweet bird and so intelligent. My dad had found her, under a car. Apparently, she'd fallen out of her nest and her parents were trying to help her. But she was frightened and before she could get hurt too badly (her wing was damaged), he brought her home. I began to take care of her and even though I was limited in my knowledge of crow/bird care, she managed to survive. Eventually, she got to the point of living outside and I got her to flex her wings everyday. The amazing thing is though we had her for about a year (or maybe less) her family always visited her and called to her. Amazing. The day she did leave she flew to them and it was an amazing feeling. She came back once to visit and drank water. After that, I never saw her again. I hope she did well. Crows are very devoted to each other...and apparently, to other animals as well. I saw a recent video of this crow that adopted a cat and it made me think of my Bumpkin as well. It couldn't possibly have been my crow (though she did hang out with my cat, Penny, at the time). I found some pics and will be scanning them today and sharing them. I wish I had the one of me holding her, but for some reason, can't find it. It was fun to look at a lot of the old photos...I finally could look at them, actually, without feeling sadness.

Some pretty things...


, originally uploaded by emily999.

I thought I'd share some close ups of the artwork I was selling. I can proudly say all of it was hand made by either myself or my mom.

I'm so glad everything went well...just wish I wasn't so tired and had more pep. I think if I had loaded the car the night before, this wouldn't have been a problem. Next time, listen to your instinct (not your husband...sorry, Jon!)

I also ended up getting sick even though I wasn't as cold as the last time. I guess it was from lack of sleep and doing a lot of activity. I felt really overwhelmed at some points and it's a good idea not to get so filled with mental lists. I wrote as much as I could but I wasn't sure about quite a few things (being the first solo show and all). I was a bit jealous of the women who had mom's, daughters or best friends to help out. Jon is a good helper but he had to corral the kids up to the in-laws. The in-laws are great but they dropped the kids off 2 hours before closing and I had to walk them home and back again (I needed to get a dolly to carry things because I pulled a muscle in my back).

So, I was achy and got a cold. Thankfully, Jon let me rest in-between working on Sunday (I had two shifts). Still, I got a headache...The good thing is there wasn't any snow/ice...or very, very little ice on Sunday and I didn't have any problems getting to work. I had a lot of concerned family/friends telling me to be careful and fortunately the Midwest snow/ice didn't hit us full blast; it mostly rained.

So, all in all I feel blessed and even if my ear aches, I know a lot of people helped out and for that I am very grateful. :) Now, I will go and get my tea, and go back to bed as it's 3 in the morning. Just one of those nights where I had a lot of naps during the day...

Oh, and look for a lot of my goodies on eBay or Etsy. I hope to list quite a few delights there as well. 

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Art Show


, originally uploaded by emily999.

A huge success compared to last years show! I really want to do this again next year and possibly sooner. It was really fun, actually. If I wasn't so tired I'd have been more perky and upbeat. Shame on me working the night before till12:30 and then getting up at 6am. I won't do that again! Sleep is a good thing.

Tired but feeling good

The art show was a success! We sold way past what I expected and I was pleased with the response of customers. I felt like my table was one of the more unique and original tables as well as being professional. I was a bit disappointed I didn't get access to a computer so I could use other payments besides cash. Still, on the whole it was good.

It's interesting to see what different shops there are and what people do to make their spots look unique or fun. I wish I had gotten some business cards but only now I'm thinking of it. Of course...good grief.

This was a mix of different things...jewelry, baked goods, stuffed animals, even a massage thing, etc. I wish I had done the massage thing, but I was so keyed up and really, just feeling tired. If had a massage, I'd have probably fallen asleep.

There were a few annoyances but nothing major, a slight confusion in plans, but on the whole a much better experience all the way around. Plus, the building was heated! Thank the stars. Last year, my 1st show was so not good (well, good in learning what not to do, actually and what to aim for). I got sick, was in a room that was freezing, etc.

This time, I did a lot better. I do think I will limit what I bring (not just bring EVERYTHING I have...too many choices for people). And I think I will organize all my animal paintings in boxes for specific animals (in other words, rabbits, rodents, birds, etc). And again, a much better experience as well as good to learn from.

Now, I really, really want to close in my front porch and convert it into a little shop. I think this would be good for various reasons...1. This neighborhood has great flow traffic wise 2. it would be very convenient for me 3. I could have my own shop! :) So, these are my thoughts as of right now. I think I ought to take a business course or two (I've had a few and refreshers are a good thing).

Photos are forth coming. I also learned that I'm pretty good at making displays...though a third table would have been better, I think. I just have A LOT of work. Now, to start listing things on eBay and Etsy. :)

Sociable

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