Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fancy Nancy Tea party 2008


Fancy Nancy Tea party 2008, originally uploaded by emily999.

tea with their cousin

After the tea party


After the tea party, originally uploaded by emily999.

Fancy Nancy Tea party 2008


Fancy Nancy Tea party 2008, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Raining...

Finally, rain has come back to Altoona. We've had a terrible 3 weeks without a bit of rain and only a tease of dew, now and then. Too much like Southern California, if you ask me. It's a bit funny as the rain is extremely strong right now, and I can just imagine the Earth absorbing it like a dry sponge. Poor trees and plants. Several of my plants died because I just forgot to water them between this dry spell.

I've been feeling a bit tired and overwhelmed...partially normal pregnancy stuff and then the other is life stress. Nothing can really be done, so I have to wrap my mind around it in a way that I don't become overwhelmed and have a freak out. Mostly, I've resolved to just daydream and then clean something...usually this works.

At the moment, I've got a nice event for Saturday coming up...a tea for kids at the museum. I think it will go well. It will be especially nice if we can get the oven to work and I can bake some cookies besides having some tea/punch for the kids. I was starting to dread it and feel that whole "What if it's not what they expected and I fail?" feeling. But I know this is a mixture of being tired (it's late at night) and being a tad stressed out. I'll just do my best, be happy that I can do something like this and hopefully people will feel good. I'm hoping as long as there are M & M's people will be satisfied (they work for me).

We cleared up the gals rooms as they were getting really messy and cluttered. Jon moved several big things upstairs and they have more space. We're trying to make the 3rd floor into a sort of den. I don't know if this will work but we shall see.

I'm so happy it's raining! It's like a dream of rain...even though it's pouring and a bit cold, it makes me feel happy that it's back. In a few days, it's supposed to warm up and I can only imagine how it will be...gorgeous and fresh.

Mr. Nelson is back to his old doggie self...even more frisky and happy then ever. He's great even if he's a bit annoying when he's a bit bored (had to stay inside all day from the rain). He totally needs a trim and this is on the top of my agenda. I want to bring him to a new doggie grooming place and hope they are nice to him (he can be a bit taxing on your nerves).

Otherwise, things are going well. My sis-in-law and her family are settling in. She just got a job and starts on Monday (in nursing). And next, I imagine, is a house search in earnest. The kids are doing well...had to have some yearly booster shots but otherwise, are fine.

I have lots of things to do and of course, I don't want to do them. Mostly, get ready for tomorrow...opening up the museum and so forth. I'm tired and what I need is a good sleep after a cup of mint tea. Mint tea is my probably one of the things that keeps me sane.

Still need to get a battery for my camera and then, I won't have to write so much. My wrists are killing me from typing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chipmunk has been caught and released!

It definitely was a chippie in the house and we caught it in a havaheart trap we borrowed from the a wildlife rehabilitation center. Thank goodness! It was driving me crazy having that little fellow in the house and the fear of it being somewhere near you.

A few days after we caught the chippie we started to notice a strange odor. We thought it was chippie stinkies left over or something. It got stronger as we went upstairs and I started to think, there was two chippies or something. Then, the smell got really bad and I thought something died up here. We pulled out the furniture, picked up any laundry (thought it was wet towels or something), changed the trash, washed the floors, dusted/vacuumed everything and still, the stink persisted. We gave up and I was moving a pile of books and my hand touched something furry under the pile. I screamed to high heavens as I realized it was a dead mouse that had gotten pinned between some books and the wall. Poor thing...but ugh! Now, I know why everything was crazy upstairs...the cats were chasing a mouse! I'm pretty sure this fellow and the chippie got in the house when Jon was vacuuming the front porch before we painted it. They must have darted in between the screen door when he started that thing.

Anyway, it was in our room which is pretty clean now...but my, God what a stink it was. I'm glad it's been discovered but am annoyed I had to find the poor thing. Reminds me of the time when my cat, Simone, would go hunting outside. Once I was sitting to play the piano and I felt a furry back under my feet...thought it was Simone and started playing. Much to my surprise, she didn't run off (I play a bit loudly) and when I looked under there...there was the biggest gray rat I'd ever seen. Yuck! A present for mom, I guess.

I really hope this is the last of the mice/chippies in the house. It's just too much excitement.

It was interesting, however, when we released the chippie. We let him go by the hydrangeas and mulberry trees. To our surprise, he circled back, scooted under the bird feeder and zipped into the garage! So, it was that little chippie (I've watched this one go in there many times) that got into the house. Strange animals...oddly, he probably was pretty content to an extent with having a big old doggie water bowl and dog food everywhere...at least for a few days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A guest at our house

For the past 3 days we've had someone visiting us. An unwelcome visitor who snuck into the house. The furry kind but not a mouse or rat. We have a chipmunk at our house! The cats have been unusually interested in the kitchen area (it was in the living room before, apparently) and I take it, this little fellow has been sharing dog food with Mr. Nelson. This Chippie is wandering my floors (at night, I'm guessing with an occasional appearance during the day), looking for a way out of the house. At least, that's what I hope! I still can't believe it's in the house somewhere.

I first saw it on Sunday before we went up to the in-laws. It made a mad dash under the furniture by Odie's (our pet bird) cage. I screamed louder than I have in some time. I was surprised by my reaction...and when it darted out again, I screamed again. I love small animals...heck, most animals. This was an uncommon feeling I was having towards what I usually think as cute. I guess the cute line is drawn fairly thickly with the animal being outside and not inside the house...free to wander about and jump on you or near you when you least expect it. The cats are having a ball...

I think it may have gotten upstairs at one point as there was utter chaos (we left the Chippie to the cats on Sunday) and strange happenings (clothes all over and wall hangings pulled down). I can only imagine that the little fellow was trying to flee for it's life. It's settled into the kitchen, which I guess is safer (mostly dog territory).

We're trying to borrow a live animal trap. I'm hoping between the time we get this guy in a trap and having it roam free range, it's not a pregnant gal chippie. That would just be scary and kind-of, sort-of cute.

Monday, August 18, 2008

INKHEART trailer

I can hardly wait to see this! Got to get the books on CD...for my gals, ahem. :)

Dinosaurs-Im The Baby Song

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday...

Ah, Sunday. I love Sunday mornings...today is especially as it's beautiful with the sun shining and the weather is supposed to be in the high 70's. Wonderful. I had a bit of a early morning attack and got up at 6:25 am...got to see the sunrise. A few wispy clouds were touched with pink, yellow, purple against a light blue sky. I wish my camera batteries weren't used up or I'd be able to share a pic of this. I'll have to try a painting of this to show what I saw...

Speaking of painting, the gals and I sat outside with the kiddies table and did some paper clay (the kind where you add water) and for an hour we had a great time. It was very relaxing as we were the only ones outside in the shade and got to chat and enjoy each other doing something creative. I love moments like these.

At the museum, we painted a big chalkboard on the front porch (it needs another coat) for kids to do hopscotch or just color with chalk. I noticed some of the volunteer kids drawing on the cement up to the museum. You can't really see the chalk on the pale cement and it's not really safe (there are cars going by all the time). So, this will be a nice addition on pleasant days or even warm rainy days. I may border it with some paint to add some color/design.

Anyway, I also want to get a big 1 gallon (or two) of paint and paint the railings on the front porch and the front door. Red for the doors and maybe royal blue for the railing top. I noticed a lot of similar homes in the area do this two tone color for their porches with a very lovely effect.

Speaking of porches, we have to paint ours. We finally got the paint awhile back and the weather is cooperating, finally. Last weekend, instead of going on a mini-vacation (like I had hoped) we cleaned up 50% of the 3rd floor. It's starting to look really good. I want to paint the walls a mustard yellow with a white trim. The floors will be white too. This will be a big play/den area for the family. Jon will have a desk up there (my old art table will be his new desk...it actually came with the house).

While up there, I found the little Tiny Tailor my mom got me a few years ago and have been trying this out for sewing. I completely forgot about this and it's really good to have something to use while I eventually get the big sewing machine fixed. I also have a really old sewing model from a friend that needs to be repaired...maybe I'll try to get that fixed too (it's one of those that are connected to a little desk).

Anyway, bit by bit the house is getting organized. I'm really glad we're getting some much needed painting done...Jon has goals to have things painted by September or so. I don't know, maybe. I'd rather have new windows but this is a much more costly thing.

I've been reading my Simple Abundance book by Sarah Ban Breathnach’s and there was a month donated to how to enjoy home repair. One author she mentioned, said to think of it as a hobby. So true. It's made the house more of a fun project than something that has to be done...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Disney's Enchanted -

Yes, everyone needs a Happy Working song! :) Have a great weekend!

Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken - Live 1973

manga me...


manga me..., originally uploaded by emily999.

Couldn't resist making a manga avitar or two


My Jon...manga-fied, originally uploaded by emily999.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stresses...

We've been having a week of up's and down's over here. The up part is we had a great turnout for the Mystery Tour at the museum...about 130 people got to find out about the museum and get an idea of what we are about. They were very enthusiastic, interested and pleased with the changes made. I was very glad about that. It was a free tour, but the idea is to get them to see the wonderful space we offer for the community as well as children. It was really great and I'm glad we joined the Alleghany Mountains Convention and Visitor Bureau...it really brought people in. Many wanted to know the history and how to rent for events. So, a huge hit!

With all this going on, we slowed down a bit with the gals getting sick. Both have full colds and I guess I'm coming down with something. Lydia was throwing up and very sick the other night but is better. She looks run down. So, if she doesn't improve, to the doctors we go.

On top of this, Mr. Nelson (after catching a baby bunny, who survived, thankfully!), got stuck by a thorn or bit by a bug and his whole face swelled up. Poor guy! We took him to the vet and he's on antibiotics, now. I was really worried about him as he looked so awful...and his personality was like one quarter Mr. Nelson. Poor little guy. He seems to be perking up already after his shot, however...already starting to mooch more. :)

Otherwise, things seem to be calming a bit...hopefully. I'm going to put more auctions up on eBay for some art work. I've been creating like crazy and found more work I had done stored away...I forgot about a huge batch I must have done 3 months ago or so. Plus, I want to take a bunch of framed work to Tait Farms and display there. They're great as I always sell a few pieces of work. You have to go where people appreciate your style. I noticed this isn't the case in a few places I've displayed...but that's how you learn.

We are definitely doing cyber school for the kids. I started to have a panic feeling at first but feel better now. I think everything will be all right and will try my/our best. I've always wanted to do this and now that I'm actually doing it, it's a bit exciting and scary. I've gotten advice saying the 1st year is the hardest, so I hope I can at least accomplish the basics of each grade. Wish us luck! I must admit I am very lucky I have friends who homeschool and a great support network in homeschooling...so, this is a blessing.

Art-wise, I'm a little sad. I need to get my sewing machine repaired as it's broken. But will have to wait, I guess, till next month. In the meantime, I'll have to do stitching by hand...unless, I can save up for repairs quickly. I really need to get another working sewing machine, I think. I do a lot of work on these machines.

Otherwise, life continues on...I found out recenty that my aunt is now in a nursing home. She's safe and secure as she was found wandering the streets and may have fallen and hurt herself. She was incoherent but is stable now. I'm praying she'll be all right. I'm just glad she's safe and this happened when the weather was calm. This could have been a lot worse.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flies and more...

Today was an annoying day...first, the weatherman said it was going to be rainy and stormy. So, I didn't put any laundry out for fear of a down pour. It never happened and Jon was the one brave enough to put up a blanket or two and they dried perfectly. So, this was frustrating. Second, we had to cancel a trip to my friends house as the tire on Jon's car broke and this needs to be repaired as well as I feel sick-ish (I hope it's not the flu).

Oh, and this seems to be the month of flies as we have had the most annoying crop of flies I've ever seen. Jon went to get fly sticky paper and a swatter and they were sold out! So, he finally found some at the little neighborhood grocers...he swatted nearly 30 on his own.

Anyway, there was other annoying things...people basically thinking kids should be seen and not heard...Let's just say, I don't believe this and got upset about that attitude mainly because when I was a kid I had this annoying neighbor...I fell down while roller-skating on our block and was sitting on the grass of her front yard. I was crying and rubbing my knees. She called the other neighbor across the street and he came out and asked me to get off the grass. To this day, I think lawn care is a bunch of crap and kids are worth more than fancy yards and pretty things. I remember feeling so terrible at the time...he yelled at me for crying and denting the grass...and I wish I had taken my skates and kicked him in the shin!

So, I was annoyed by a bunch of flies and people who don't understand kids very well...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Frustrating...

Well, Mr. Nelson (our little Bichon) has been getting under the prickle thicket by the garage and I suspected he was up to no good. As it turns out, I was right...boy, I would rather have been wrong. I heard him barking all over and acting a bit crazed and went outside and there he was flipping something in the air, barking and attacking something. I run out there and grabbed the laundry basket and threw it at Nelson as I knew what it was...a baby bunny. I was really upset and Nelson ran away as soon as he saw me storming at him. He knew he did wrong and didn't even try to attack the bunny again...the poor thing was screaming...

I looked at the bunny and it's little eyes were half opened, it's sides where heaving and I really, really wanted to pick it up and comfort it, but I didn't want it to go into shock or something. It curled up under the grass in a patch of sunlight and tried to get invisible. So, I think it's fine...I remember reading somewhere that if left undisturbed (with no injuries) they have a better chance of survival. Jon told me the mama rabbit will most likely come out and get it once it gets dark as well...so, this was a relief. It looked close to being weaned.

Anyway, Nelson was repentant...he hide way over by the front of the house and I have him on a leash now. We're going to have to block access under the bush to keep Nelson out/away from rabbits and from bringing in thorns to the house. Sometimes, dogs are VERY frustrating.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ironing

That's what today felt like...I didn't actually iron anything, but it felt like I was getting the wrinkles out of various aspects of life. Phew! So, all is calm again (hopefully) and we can get things rolling along.

In other news, I'm really plugging away on these vintage strips of material I'm making into rag balls. They're for rugs I'm going to make...round one's. Not as good as my mom's or anything (she did the actually folding and ironing of the strips...I just don't have the time to do that, unfortunately). So, I just sew the ends together and will create a bunch of these rag balls to start crocheting. This is much better than the knotted kind as they just look too bunchy. I can't believe I did this nearly all day at the museum (great stress reliever and it should save my wrists).

It's great having the in-laws around...they dropped by the museum as well and it helped break the monotony for my gals. They really enjoy them. :)

We had a great turn out at the museum today...I expected this as it was a rainy day and this seem key to really good attendance.

I'm a little annoyed by the garden I planted this year. I made two big mistakes. The first one is I thought I had to plant the corn in the little space I use for delicate (in other words, rabbit fodder) plants. They are massive compared to the rest of the plants...Second, I planted gourds when I thought I was planting squash as well. I ended up with a HUGE plant that looks like something out of Frankenstein as it took over the whole garden. I can't even reach there to pick a gourd without being stabbed by the darn thing. Good grief. Besides all of this, the rabbits ate all the beans...but I'm learning to cope with this. I read this quote:

"All hedgerows should be planted with fruit trees, and those that picked it to satisfy their own hunger should go unpunished." John Tavener

I guess I should have planted a few bean plants for the rabbits to nibble on and not be tempted by my patch. I love that quote by Tavener...so true, really. I'm learning...

Of course, now I'm hungry too. I guess I'll have an apple. :)

Dear ones


Dear ones, originally uploaded by emily999.

New work available!

Off for Adventure...sort of.


Off for Adventure...sort of., originally uploaded by emily999.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Spicing things up...

Well, I was feeling a bit blah art-wise...or rather sort of stuck in a puddle when it came to inspiration. And, I thought, what's the best way to get yourself out of a puddle? Surround yourself by like minded artistic people and have some fun! So, I've signed up for 2 swaps: Black Crow's animal doll swap and Viv's Halloween Ball. What cool subjects and of course, I LOVE Halloween...hehehe.

So, I'm going to give it my best in-between doing a few other things. It's funny how you get comfy and it just seems like things are a bit flat. So, you through some spice into your life...something wholesome and not too jarring, at least! lol!

Speaking of jarring, my youngest has been going through a bought of OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) like behavior. I had read that it could be caused by strep and so I got her tested yesterday as she was really having some issues with the whole concept of germs. In an hour, she'd tell me this has germs and that has germs...it was getting very frustrating to say the least and I would imagine hard for her to do much of anything enjoyable. We talked about it and I mentioned that germs are everywhere but we need to wash our hands only before we eat and after we use the bathroom. She wanted to wash them ALL the time. I also tried to lighten things up with humor as she would be really frustrated if she couldn't wash or if a cat walked by and brushed against her. I felt a bit scared (we have had friends with severe OCD) it could lead to something worse, so I'm glad we went to the doctor and we have a plan to address this. They did some blood work to test for various things (strep, among them). Later that night, she threw up all over...so, I'm guessing it's some sort of illness related thing that makes kids start behaving differently than normal. I'm just grateful to have read the info I had...I hope the tests come back normal. This should clear up after she's done being sick...and come back when she gets sick again. So, at least I'll know when she's sick! Oh, my...poor baby. What she has, most likely, is called PANDAS. The doctor gave me the above link and it is quite excellent. And even if this is a phase, it's good to have a plan to address something like this and not ignore things until they get worse. At least that's how I feel.

Also, looks like there is some sort of a germ that is being spread around as Jon's sick and so is his mom. My niece was sick a few days ago...and it just seems like everyone is throwing up or feeling icky in the opposite end. I just hope I don't get anything either...or my eldest. I was feel gross the other day and thought I was having a bad feeling with the baby but I feel fine today. I will take it a little easier (I did carry 3 baskets of laundry down to the basement...I know I should have waited for Jon). I feel fine today. I, also, got 3 thorns stuck in my foot and that was horrible...my foot swelled and I just felt terrible. I got them all out this morning, thank God. It was Mr. Nelson's fault as he dragged it in after chasing rabbits under the prickle bush out back.

I have to download about 200 pics (well, maybe 100) as I haven't done anything since the B-day parties. First, however, I have to get all my old photos off which are making this computer run like a turtle on a sunny afternoon...hardly at all.

I did manage to finish 33 new paintings and put up 25 or so oldies on flickr...I'm going to list these tomorrow night, I think...or tonight. We'll see. I have to see as Jon came home from work early with an icky below feeling and is resting. So, I have double duty.

I have to get some paper work finished as well and I can, actually, see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was a long tunnel, believe me, and I was feeling frustrated. However, now I feel like things are starting to roll. It helps to listen to some good Benny Goodman as well...

Otherwise, things are calming down a bit. I was stressed out because of some craziness that was happening on my block. Nothing related to us, thankfully, but it was disturbing. I'm just really, really glad the local authorities are getting things worked out.

I'm also updating the art blog for the local paper...it's looking really good and I just need to add the pics. I think this should be very good. I love learning about local artists in the area and giving them some voice.

Well, got to get the rest of today done before it's the start of night! Have a great afternoon!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Guinea pig Pirate!


Guinea pig Pirate!, originally uploaded by emily999.

I couldn't resist...I may have to keep this one for myself! haha I will make it into a cafepress card, however. :)

Sociable

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