Saturday, September 13, 2014

Like It Never Happened

 Ya'll will have to excuse me for doin' a little braggin' but, since I had shown ya'll the beginnings of that restoration project, I wanted to show the final results as well.  I was quite pleased with the way things turned out.  The first image is a before and after collage of a couple of areas and then the finished pieces on the end.  The individual photos are just larger versions of those in the collage.

 I do have to admit though, unglazed ceramic is probably one of the easiest materials to repair.  The non-shiny surface is easily matched with paint and so repairs become virtually undetectable.  It still requires good attention to detail though.

This is the only restoration job I've ever done where the artist was still alive and I was able to communicate with them.  That was cool.  I emailed these images to Mr. Fleming with a little note and he replied with a very sweet response.  He said he was amazed at the quality of the repairs and forever grateful that I took the time to do such a good job.  That was really nice and I'm glad he seemed pleased.

The school also seemed very happy with the work and quickly accepted my second bid on another broken sculpture when I got it sent in.  This next one though is going to really test my mettle.  It's a large chunk of cast glass, something I've rarely worked on, and has to be done just so, or else the repair can be easily seen.

When I was still in construction I joked often that I could fix anything from a busted ass to a broken heart and there were a couple of times that I was really sweating bullets to pull some repairs off.  Ha!  But I always managed to do it.  This is gonna be one of those times too, I think.  But I enjoy it.  It's a challenge to restore these objects to their original appearance.  Jobs like this pay pretty good too and I think I may treat myself to one or two modern textbooks I found on restoration.  I have several books on the subject but most of them are quite old and many of the materials and techniques are not used anymore.  I may not be able to attend a school for restoration but I can certainly buy their books and keep myself up to date.

So, not much going on around the house right now.  We are trying to get the garden cleaned up for fall and maybe plant some stuff.  I am way, way behind on fall crops but I might get something before winter.  I hate to not have something growing at all times.  Even salad greens can add a good zip to meals.

The little Buff Orps are not so little anymore and we are letting them out into the yard now to try to get integrated with the big girls.  The youngsters are still pretty shy but they are doing good and really having a blast being out free-ranging.

We are finally getting some rain now so maybe I won't lose any of my dogwoods.  I've got to get my flower beds cleaned up too.  I've just let everything go to poop lately.  Oh well, needing to get everything cleaned up is just a good reason for me not to sit around, which is still incredibly painful to do.  Hopefully everything will be resolved by winter.
Hope things are cooling a little where you are.  I walked outside this morning and it was almost like fall.  I admit, I really hate to see summer go, but the cooler weather is delicious.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

What's (S)he Building?

  Unbelievably enough, I'm actually still keeping up with the "word" posts that I started so very long ago and am down to only 2 words left on the list!  One word after this post because we are going to explore the word "architecture" for Rich, who wanted to know how I designed and built my house.  And as you may have guessed, yes, I saved the harder words for last!  Or I guess I should say, words that involved the most time and effort to elaborate on in a blog post and I really wanted to do this one as well as I could.  It's not going to involve all that I originally wanted to but I think it will be fairly complete.
  Now, as far as how I built my house, well, that's the majority of the blog and you can just pick what part you want to see over in the 'labels' column, i.e. foundation, framing, electrical and so on.  And for any newcomers, yes, I am a woman and yes, I built my house.  Of course I had help! or you could say I was the help in some cases as Allen was in charge of framing and such but I did the formwork, the steelwork and all the interior after it was dried in.  I even did a long post on how I saved for and financed the house, which is somewhere in finances.
  Now, as far as how I designed the house, well, I didn't.  Okay, I kinda started out doing it and knew sort of the footprint I wanted but you all know by now that the BFA (big, fancy architect) had a big part in the design of the house.  I did use The New Natural House Book by David Pearson and The Solar House by Daniel Chiras for technical information on passive solar heating and cooling, correct placement of windows and all that and just general inspiration for a naturally built house and I highly recommend both books if you are interested in doing something similar.  I would also recommend any of Sarah Susanka's Not So Big House series for the sensible, actually livable designs and beautifully crafted houses she spotlights.
  So, I admit flat out I used, and still do use, an architect... and I've been really taken back by the amount of crap I've received over that.  I think I can kind of guess why in the blogging world.  From my reading of the popular homesteading/ DIY/ prepper/ doomer blogs I have gotten the distinct impression that if you don't do absolutely everything yourself and/ or you dare to use any conventional element from normal society (like a contractor or architect) you are not authentic and are pandering to "the Man".  Because you know, I didn't manually shred and chew 1,000 pairs of old blue jeans into natural cellulose insulation and I let a real cabinet maker make my cabinets so I'm just faking it all!  So to employ a honest-to-goodness architect!!  Holy shit! I might as well turn in my anarchist card immediately and cancel my subscription to Mother Earth News.  What the hell was I thinking!
I think what it boils down to is the idea that if you actually use an architect, you must have money and no real homesteader/ doomer/ prepper has that kind of money, so you are not one of us.  This theory is backed up by the fact that I've had a number of people ask me, to my face, "what, you think you're better'n everybody else?"  "Why can't you just do like everybody else?"  and let's not forget.."why d'ya even want to use some ol' architect?"  Well, let's ponder those questions for a minute...Some people could accuse me of an ego trip but I can't really see how because I can't say who the architect is and to me, that's where the bragging would be.  And no, it's not Frank Gehry.  Hah!  I'm not a big fan of his designs anyway.  I mention using an architect because it is something more people should consider, it's more possible than many believe and I don't want to give people the false idea that these cool designs are mine!  As far as why?  Hhhm, let's see...I found a notable, very experienced design professional who was willing, and even considered it fun, to design a unique little house in exchange for carpentry/ manual labor on my part...but nah, no thanks, I'll just use some layout I found in a magazine.  Yeah right.  I mean seriously, if I'm going to go to the extreme physical effort to build my own house, wouldn't you want it to be something awesome and reflective of your personality and life, rather than just stick something together that looks like some damn Jim Walter home some half-ass contractor could throw up in 3 months?  Of course, I know there are those out there now saying, well yeah, but the Jim Walter crap would be done by now!!! and you're still slaving away on only half of your fancy-smancy house.  Well, you got a point there I'll admit.  I'll also admit I've had some unusual physical problems and such that have seriously impeded my progress and it has caused me to question what I'm doing more than once, I assure you.  In the end, it's up to the individual and what matters most to them.  Some people want 4 walls and a roof and be done with it and there's nothing wrong with that.

This is an example of why I enjoy the route I have taken.  I could have never come up with this design myself.  Or the large steel beam that holds up my roof, or the rafter tails inside and out and how it kind of, in the back of your mind way, makes you think of a church when you see them.  The column in the drawing above is a recent thing that the BFA came up with and these will support the covered walkway that I've started and will extend further down the house as the next half is built.  The bottom half or less is stone around a concrete base with filigreed steel extending up to the roof.  The cool thing is that the steel design is cut from three flat plates and joined at ninety degrees so that a cross-section would look like a + sign.  It's still very strong structurally but does not employ the normal hollow tube used for steel columns so that you can have this really cool, open design but not have to worry about wasps and other horrible critters making nests up in it!  If the design looks a bit, erhm, intricate to you...then I would agree and we figured this will probably be simplified a bit to keep me from losing the rest of my mind trying to assemble these things.  There will probably be 5 or 6 of them when the house is totally finished.

Now, here is an old, original drawing of the entire house footprint.  You may notice that it's been marked on quite a bit, changed, and that there are no dimensions!  Well, there are some concessions you must make when working with a BFA in a barter situation.  If he had to work hard enough to put actual dimension on there I'd still be a slave to this guy! Ha!  Well, I laugh but those fancy columns just bought me another round of labor and sweat.  One good thing about taking a while to build a house is that you really, really figure out what is essential to what you want in a house and where to put it.  This drawing shows a 3 bedroom house but it will probably wind up being only 2 bedrooms and a really honkin' great craft/ sewing room.  And a much bigger master bath...I don't know what the hell he was thinking on that.  When I'm old and decrepit there's no way I'm gonna try stepping into a tub to bathe.  Hell, I'm half decrepit now.  I want something I can just cruise into and sit down.

This is the elevation drawing from the south side and it is somewhat different from reality in that not that many windows actually went in the existing part.  But that's okay.  Since we were experienced builders we really didn't have a problem building with drawings that were....not quite finished, let's say.  I would not recommend that if you are not experienced in construction.  Most people also have a hard time seeing in their mind what the finished house will look like from some drawings, so I found this actual photo of a contemporary dogtrot house.  Of course, this house does not look like mine is going to but you get the idea.  Their trot area is wider than mine is drawn now, and I'm thinking about maybe making mine a little wider, but overall it gives a very similar feeling.  Long, rectangular footprint, high windows, metal roof and a deck that bumps out on one side.

When you are building your own house, and it ends up taking a while, I think you also begin to think about other scenarios.  "What if I go to all this trouble and then don't end up staying here?"  "What if some giant storm comes and destroys my house just about the time I get it finished?"  Due to circumstances beyond my control in the years I have lived here, I have seriously considered the idea that I may not always live here.  What if I found some beautiful, secluded property with a gorgeous mountain view?  Well, no one knows what the future holds and how things are ultimately going to work out.  Often times it's quite a surprise.  I know it would break my heart to leave this house due to the sentimental value and I'm not kidding when I say I would rip out certain parts to take with me!  But, it is one thing to consider when building.  At least if I finished the house and needed or wanted to sell, I could be pretty certain of getting a good price in order to start over somewhere else.  Because the house was designed by someone who does that for a living, most everyone* that comes here raves over the flow and comfort of the place.  And it's not even all here yet.  People find it very homey and comforting.  It's personable, not some sterile, catalog ordered floor plan. So, it's an investment one way or another.

This post may not have answered your question Rich, if you even remember your question, so if it didn't just let me know and I can hopefully address what you really wanted to know.

*Everyone except my stick-in-the-mud family who hates everything.  Ha!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Something's Got To Give

So, this is the third post I've attempted to write since the last time I posted.  Maybe the charm will do it's thing and all that.  I think every time I tell ya'll I'm gonna try to be back soon I end up waiting even later than I did before.  I don't think that's a conscious effort but who knows at this point.  My ass is dragging and according to many, that must be what's causing these headaches and awful brain fog.  I have a few things to write about, more if I'd put my mind to it, but I just don't have any desire.  I think at this point I've kinda said it all when it comes to my current situation.  I hurt a lot and I'm bored slap out of my mind.  Sometimes the simple life ain't so simple.

However, I'm not gonna let this post turn into a morose quagmire of despair!!  So, I'll keep it short.  Seriously, I've been doing some research into art restoration programs/ education etc. to see what is available.  Unfortunately, there are only about 9 universities in the U.S. that offer any kind of restoration program or degree and none of them are anywhere near me, of course.  I suspect now days you might can take some courses online but I will have to look into that more.  There are a few places that offer short term courses or workshops for certificates in specialized areas and I will look more into that.  Again, they are usually no where near my home but it's not an impossibility to travel somewhere for a couple of weeks or so.  Most of the courses I've seen so far are for building restoration though, and I'm not really looking for that, but there could be some specialty subjects where that might apply.  I've always done pretty well teaching myself in the subject but I would really like to take an actual course somewhere to get some kind of real accreditation.  I think one of the main things is that I really need to get out more, professionally speaking at least.

I'm also waiting on one last MRI of my tookus.  Exciting isn't it?.  Just what you wanted to know.  Blue Cross initially turned me down for the test, which is not terribly uncommon, but the BFD (big, fancy doctor) is working on getting it passed.  I guess Blue Cross didn't feel that 15 years (or more) of extortion level monthly premiums was enough to warrant them actually covering what they say they will.  Oh, I know that they have to check stuff out because there are people who will happily defraud an insurance company but it makes me feel a little better to gripe about them.

Sorry I didn't include photos but I didn't figure you all would be too interested in seeing pics of dried grass and half dead trees.  We did actually get some rain a couple days ago but it did not last as long as we had hoped and was sucked into the earth so quickly you could barely tell it had rained at all by the next morning.  I will say this; the chickens are having absolutely no trouble taking dust baths.  In fact, I think at this point they are digging the holes to mainly try and reach some cool level of earth, more than trying to bathe. 
Hope you all are getting by okay and I will try to post again soon!  Ha! Maybe with some actual photos.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hot Mess

And I don't mean that in a good way!.....Haha!  Well, within hours of posting my last scathing rant I was drenched and wracked in the feverish throes of some GawdAwful sickness.  I don't know if it was a food-borne illness or a virus (I suspect the latter) but it was horrible and lasted until the early morning hours of Sunday when I awoke to feel my fever had finally broke.  I guess that's what I get for my rampage.

And at the same time the awful, relentless heat and dryness continued on outside.  It was good we got so much rain early in the spring because we are way short now.  Dry as cracker juice.  The poor chickens have dug fox holes under the deck and just lay there most of the day trying to stay cool.  They do come out for treats of watermelon and such, as we do try to come up with things that might help them through the heat.  I tried putting ice in the water trough but they were scared of it.  And it melted immediately anyway.  Tried a fan for them but I guess they don't like air blowing right on them, so we just try to keep plenty of water and some treats out for them.  As you can see, they really enjoy the watermelon.  Jack goes to the local farmer's market a couple times a week where you can pick them up pretty cheap.

This is little Tilly!  Or, the Big T, or Tillis as Jack has decided to name him.  They get watermelon juice all over their head and then all kind of dirt and such sticks to them.  Makes me want to get after them with a washrag.

Till' is still sweet as a bug though.  Still loves to snuggle in my lap for a snooze.  Still doesn't understand what the little box is I point at them or why I want him to stand on the bucket but he goes along with all of it.  I just hope he and George remain so sweet.

And George is getting to be quite the fellow.  His crowing is slowly improving but he really doesn't practise that much.  I only hear him every once in a while.  I hope that continues also.  He loves to get in your lap too for some petting.  Very sweet and calm.  The only problem is with all 3 of them trying to get in your lap at one time, as they are getting so big!  Somebody inevitably ends up stepping on somebody else, or just trying to stand on them, and then it all erupts in screaming and squawking.  I try not to do much screaming but if one of them jumps up on my jumblies with those sharp claws, well, it's hard to contain yourself.
I say all 3 because we found Elenore dead the other morning in their little apartment.  Not really sure what happened there.  She was a good size/ weight and seemed healthy.  Good appetite or so it seemed. 

The garden is a dry, creaking mess.  I've just let everything go at this point, especially after getting this virus.  I hope to get it cleaned up a little at least and maybe plant a few fall crops but I'm not sure how much of that is going to happen.  I still have some pumpkins coming on though!  Up to three now!  And I discovered I have a very large sweet potatoes crop waiting to be dug.  I pulled up a good many in one hill but need to do the rest.  First year I ever planted those also so I was happy they did so well.  If hot weather makes a good sweet potato then we should have some good ones.  I can't really complain though; we haven't even broke 100 F this year.  We did have a good run of 90s this past week but I've seen it much hotter for much longer.  'Course, the summer ain't over yet.  I remember the year we worked at the railroad it was over 100F for 10 days straight in September. 

I've got some cool stuff to show ya'll and really meant to post before now but was too sick to sit up much or too drugged to write anything comprehensible.  Or at least, close to what I normally do.  So, I hope to be back sooner this time with a good post, or at least something a little more interesting.  And it's about building!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crabsody In Blue

   I'll warn you straight off the bat that this is going to be a rant.  And it will probably contain some ugly language.  You know, I realize I get cranky sometimes when I'm hurting but if one more person tells me that I'll just feel all better when I "go back to work", I'm gonna knock the livin' shit out of them.  You'll feel better when you go back to just need to work.....when are you going back to work?....  No, I'll feel better when I knock the livin' shit out of you.
   First off, this is one of the most idiotic statements I've ever heard.  If you feel bad due to injury or illness, rest is what makes you feel better.  Right?  Not driving almost an hour one way to some town job when your ass hurts so bad you can't stand to sit for long periods, "working" some job and then driving that hour home.  Of course, I know activity does often help, as does getting out a bit, but it implies that I feel bad because I've apparently become so depressed and lazy laying around all day.  I feel bad in my mind, not in my body because you know, if it was my body actually the problem, well then rest would help.. 
   As many of ya'll know I've been working on a restoration job lately, which I'm really enjoying and happy to be doing, but has it made me all bouncy and pain free??  Hell no.  I hurt like shit sometimes.  Still.

Secondly, it implies that I've been laying on my ass the past 2 1/2 years, not working.  You know, I don't know what it is about people that they want to insist if you work at home you are not really working.  I suspect it has a lot to do with jealousy that they don't have the back bone to work a job that makes them happy or they let somebody ruin their life by bullying them out of a job they really wanted.  Gotta conform!!!  Gotta do work like everybody else where you hate your job and can't wait for the weekend!!  Yes, the truth is out...I've laid on my ass this whole time.  I have no idea how two loads of pottery makes it into Birmingham every 30 days about and the garden gets planted and worked and harvested and the animals looked after.  And if people don't think that's work then they need to come spend a couple days with me, especially in this summer heat.  They'll be running back to those weeny office jobs in no time.  Granted, I do not work like I used to (not yet) and Jack does a lot of work around here to take up slack for me.  I used to do 3 loads of pottery a month or more.  At times the garden gets let go a little and I've not put up as much food as I would have liked to, so I'll be the first to admit I'm not as productive as I would like.  But I thought a job was something you made money from and I get 1-3 checks a month from my sales.  But it's apparently not a "real" job.  It's not work, because hey!!  work makes you feel good!!  It miraculously unfuses the vertebrae in your neck.  Well, that or it makes you vomit from your head hurting so bad because you worked on something overhead for just a little too long. 

I'm not really sure where it comes from or when it started but our society has a real problem when it comes to people who have physical issues or maybe need a little assistance and I have often found that the people that claim to be the most compassionate are actually the most mean-spirited.  Of course, all of my good readers are kind, caring folks but I wanted to include a link to a great article I read that explains a lot of how I feel but in a polite manner.  Here is the article.  It's very interesting because they include a small bit of an interview with Kevin Sorbo (played Hercules) and his health struggles and how people so unfairly judge younger folks especially who struggle physically.  People seem to think that if they have never heard of a condition or if "you don't look sick", well, then by God, you're lying and just want attention!!  Well, I think if that was the case we would figure out pretty quickly that once almost everyone immediately abandons you when you feel bad, then ooh.... hey, we're not getting attention so we'll go back to being normal.

I also love it when they try to tell you why you feel bad.  It's especially maddening considering my past employment.  "Well, you just breathed some fumes when you used to work construction".  Yes, I breathed fumes and it fused my neck bones together.  I'll be sure to tell my doctor that one next time I go in.  Oh, oh, oh!!! and then they say, "well, you just worked too hard when you were younger!" and then in the next breath tell you how you apparently need to go back to doing that kind of work because, you guessed it!!... "you'll feel better!!"

I know that I actually have a mild case of Klippel-Feil and I really feel for those that are worse off than me.  Some of those poor people, I don't see how they even get around, but then they do have the advantage of having such deformities that people don't question whether they feel bad.  'Course, that doesn't help their pain.  I also feel for the ones who have no family or friends that support them and you'd be surprised at the number of them that don't.  I have found out first hand, if you can't do for people any more, you are quickly forgotten.  I'm fortunate to have a couple of great friends (Rurality and the BFA) and Jack, who is very helpful to me.  He never complains about the umpteenth time I've asked him to rub pain lotion on my back or neck.  Never complains if I say I don't feel like cooking supper.  If I were still married to my first husband and found out I had this, I would just go ahead and move into a box under a bridge. 

So please, if you know someone who suffers from an invisible illness or disability, please cut 'em a little slack.  You don't have to understand their condition or have even ever heard of it before.  Invite them out to lunch or take them lunch one day.  Just sit and have a cup of tea or offer to stop by the grocery store for them.  I KNOW they would appreciate it.

And here's a picture of a nosy little chicken because I like it and I'm cultivating that same expression for the next time somebody says something stupid to me about my health!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Art Of Falling Apart

 Although it may certainly sound like it, the title of this post is not about me!  This is the new restoration job I have in Birmingham.  And yes, these are some peculiar sculptures at first glance but I think with a little knowledge of their history they make more sense.  These are two (see below also), wall-hanging sculptures that were created by Southern artist Frank Fleming for a particular private school in Birmingham.  If you check out the link you can see much more of Mr. Fleming's work and the wonderful animals and iconic southern imagery that runs through all his work.  You an also get the idea that his work is quite pricey, and you'd be correct.  Most of his work is cast bronze but he does do some work in clay and these are made of a mid-range, white stoneware.  So, how did a school come up with the funds to purchase work of this nature?  Well, basically, it's a private school for rich folk to send their kids to and the campus and buildings are full of sculptures and paintings, mostly by Southern artists.

I have long been a fan of Mr. Fleming's work and, if you once again check out where and who collects his work, you can guess that this is an honor and a privilege for me to be able to restore these pieces.  I really enjoy doing this kind of work and always feel great satisfaction in completing a job where you can no longer tell there is anything wrong with the piece.  I've joked around that I have always thought I would have made a great counterfeiter, because I can usually replicate the style of anything I repair, but since I don't really want to go to prison I'll stick with this.  I would really love to expand and do more work like this, maybe even outside of Alabama, but it's not every day that somebody busts a big sculpture, thank goodness.

The school recently did a large remodel/ addition and during the transition of moving these pieces were damaged.  As you may be able to see, they are rather delicate in construction, extremely heavy and awkward to move, so it's not surprising to me that this happened.  And when you throw in some construction workers that are not used to dealing with such it can end badly.  Having been both an artist and construction worker I can see both sides and understand the issues involved.  And I have sympathy for both sides involved. 

When I work on things like this I also have to laugh a little at all the times I was ridiculed for getting a degree in art and for working in construction.  "What can you do with an art degree?"  "You ain't got any business working in construction"  Blah, blah, blah.  Then all the people that laughed at me go on to complain about how they hate their jobs but can't quit because they owe so much money and don't have time for this or that.  And I just laugh as I enjoy my day and the satisfaction of doing a good job and then I go home to my paid-for home that I built.  Haha!  When I was graduating from high school I would have never, ever thought I would have ended up in the careers that I did but it's been almost magical how things have worked out for me once I decided to follow my heart and not what other people said I should do. 

I have found all the connections to this job interesting also.  Most of you all know that the construction firm I used to work for went completely out of business.  Well, a few people such as myself, just retired from the business but most of the others went to work for other companies or in related fields and one superintendent that I worked for several times is now this school's head of maintenance and construction.  I had done one large restoration project on one of his jobs for Brice and so he knew I could do the work.  He told the school officials, you need to get this lady to do the repairs and so they contacted me.  It's also another great example of how the men I worked with have always helped and promoted me.  If you always really try to do your best and produce a good product I believe people will notice and they will remember.

So, the first thing on a  project like this is to clean everything well.  I also requested that they go ahead and install the pieces in their new location so that I could do my repairs in place.  That way there would be no chance of things being broken again when they were moving them to install.  And as it turned out, there were a couple of new, small breaks in the moving. 

After cleaning the puzzle work begins.  Mr. Fleming requested a certain type glue to be used and turns out it was what I use anyway.  The trick to putting something like this back together is that you use very little glue.  If it squishes out when you put the two pieces back together then you used too much and not only is it messy but the volume of glue will keep the pieces from fitting as tightly as they should.  Sometimes the crack is going to be visible and sometimes it will virtually disappear.  There is also the inevitable chunks that end up missing on a project like this.  I use a two-part paste epoxy to fill in these areas and the cracks.  Works great and you can usually never see the finished repair.  Well, if you know how to work it that is!

After the broken pieces were reassembled I then started reattaching the pieces to the main structure.  That is painter's tape you see holding pieces on until the glue sets.  The glue is also a fairly quick setting type but I like for something to be holding it until it is completely cured.  Now, the epoxy paste never quite matches the color of the clay or material so I use a color matched paint to hide the repairs.  I hate to use paint on a piece but that is usually all you can do.

Oh, there was one other fun fact of this job:  If you have read my blog from almost the beginning, you may remember when I worked on The Big House.  I did a number of fun restoration projects on that job and it is just down the road a piece from the school I am working at now.  (That'll give you an idea of just how wealthy this area is) In fact, the man that owns that house now went to this school and as he used to walk by the Big House on his way to class he would tell himself that he would own that house one day.  Or so the story goes anyway.  When I was browsing through Mr. Fleming's website I looked at the "news" section and recognized The Big House from several photos showing some large, outdoor bronzes he has done on commission recently.  I have also done work at several other houses in this area over the years and it's kinda funny how I keep getting work to come back to this particular area.  I am as poor as a church mouse compared to these people and it's an interesting world to occasionally work in.  I'll try to get a few photos of the surrounding area next time I'm over there.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Summer Day

I should be down in my studio glazing and getting the kiln ready to fire tomorrow morning but I am just pooped out.  I feel okay in the mornings but by about 6:00 pm I am just worn slap out.  That's an old southern saying for those of ya'll not familiar; "slap out".  Why, there's even a town in Alabama called SlapOut.  I think it's down below Birmingham or some such.
Anyway, I have an appointment Wednesday with a new cardiologist so we'll see what he has to say.  The one I used to see retired a couple years ago and I just put off finding a new one.  In some ways I feel better but the fatigue is just overwhelming at times.

I think the peas have done about all they are going to do this year and I picked and shelled until I had a enough to finally can and it be worth the trouble.  I still only got 5 pints but we may buy some from a local farmer, if they still have any, so I can put up a few more pints.  The girls helped me shell peas too.  Well, I throw them the dried up ones and they can easily crack those open to eat the peas.  It's funny, the Ameracaunas, the Hamps and the Partridge Rocks just love the peas and know how to shell them.  The rest of the girls are just like, meh....even if I shell them for them they are just not too crazy about peas.  They all love the oats though and every day I'll throw them a handful of the oat sheaves.  They go through them and pick out the oats.  It's kinda like the peas; it gives them something to pick through and work on with a reward at the end.

Couldn't resist getting a shot of Missy's bloomers while they were all working over some culled tomatoes.  Missy is always so prim and neat.  She keeps herself very clean.

I've been making a list and trying to think of some interesting things to write about here but when it comes time to post I just lose interest.  I think it is just complete lack of energy.  Still having the foggy-headedness and such.  Posting in the morning might help but I feel like I need to use my energy then, because it's so precious, to do things around here, rather than just write a blog post, which does not pay me.  I guess that's kinda blunt and callous but that's the way it goes right now.  I know I've said it before but I appreciate ya'll who still come here to read.  I guess I've been kinda sad and maybe even a little hurt at how many have dropped me since I became sick and the blog changing slightly because of that.  But, from what I've been told by others who have gone through, or still deal with, long or unexplained illnesses, it's pretty common for folks to wander off and leave in real life too.  Funny how that is.  Even in my family, my Mom is the only one that ever asks how I'm doing or anything.  Of course, over the last 20 years I've come to realize just how dysfunctional my family is, but it's still kinda sad.  I know some of you also have health problems so you know what I mean.
At any rate, I'm doing the best I can at the moment and I'm working on getting better.  I will get back to building eventually.  I have to.