Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nothing To Sneeze At


 Since not a lot has been going on around here you all know that you are going to get either bird or chicken pictures!  Ha!  Actually, a fair amount has been going on around here but I don't think ya'll are really that interested in seeing my organized bookshelves, clean bathroom or piles of stuff going to a flea mall, E-bay, the recycling center or Goodwill.  As I mentioned in the last post, I have been feeling somewhat better and my little bit of new energy has been going towards cleaning, purging and organizing.  January is always good for that sort of thing.  And, it's the only thing I know to do when my future is uncertain and I don't know what my next steps are going to be.  By this I mean my job, or what I'm going to do now that I can't do pottery anymore.


I am considering trying my hand at slip-cast pottery because you can better control the growth of mold in slip and drastically reduce your exposure to such things.  I have been playing around with it some but so far I'm not real enthused.  I think I need to make some molds of my own work and then it might be a bit more interesting to me.  Slip cast work can be just as durable/ usable as any stoneware, as long as it's made of stoneware slip and fired correctly.  So, the quality is there.  I mean, after all, all the CorningWare you buy is slip cast.  Heck, even toilets are liquid clay to start with!


 So for now I am selling a bunch of stuff through E-bay and Allen has gotten into the flea mall scene, so I'm sharing a booth with him selling collectibles and some handmade crafts and such.  I've been lugging around boxes and boxes of stuff for 20-something years that belonged to my brother and an aunt and something needs to be done with it.  Fortunately, my brother had excellent, expensive taste and I've made a fair amount off some of that stuff.  In case that sounds kinda harsh, I have kept a few things that were his.  Mainly I just wanted his photos and things of that nature.  None of my other family was interested in keeping his china or such and he had a huge sci-fi collection of books and all sorts of things that didn't really interest anyone either.  So, whadya do? 
It's also a good way to get rid of some of my pottery I consider seconds and make a few bucks.  This particular flea mall we are in has very high traffic and I've been selling a decent amount of old books, tableware and other collectibles I had from my first marriage that I have no interest in anymore.  I always feel better after I clean and get rid of stuff!  Even better if I make a little money!

Jack and I are also gearing up for spring and gardening again.  He thinks he may want to do a little selling at the local farmer's market this year and I think that would be fun too.  I have sold all my show stuff (tent etc.) and sold my big clay slab roller back to the guy I bought it from, so that gave us room to build some shelves in the basement for starting seeds with grow lights and such.  I have never really been satisfied with the veggie starts I buy at the local co-op or whatever and this way we can start the exact types we want here.  Because of my allergies now I am having to eat a little bit of a different diet, one that includes many, many fresh plants and not so much meat, so expanding on my own gardening is about a necessity.  For example, I cannot really eat red tomatoes but I may be able to eat white or green tomatoes.  And yes, there is such a thing as white tomatoes.!  I also need to eat a more diverse selection of greens and herbs and about the only way to do this sort of thing is to grow it yourself.
So, it's all a lot of change- out with the old and in with the new!!  But all you can do is just go with it and try to make it into something interesting and fun.

One other note:  JO, sorry if it looked like I skipped your comment in the reply section and that it took me so long to post it.  For some reason, a very few of ya'lls comments do not show up in my email and I don't know that a comment has been left unless I check either the blog or the blog dashboard, which I forget about and don't do a lot.  Trust me, I really appreciate ALL comments left here and don't mean to ever skip or overlook anyone.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Something To Talk About


 First, a big thanks to all of you that left a comment on my last couple of posts.  I appreciate hearing from you and I do want to revive my posting a bit.  I don't think I'm through with this blog by any means.  Maybe just taking a breather.  I am feeling a bit better.  I think I have made some important discoveries in my health issues and I'll tell ya'll all about that.  I'm still learning and experimenting though and sometimes stuff backfires on me and I end up feeling like crap for a few days, so I still have that to contend with.

I'll also admit I just got kinda fed up with a few things here that I have not mentioned..  Social media can be a great way to make friends and connect with people and it can also astound you with people's pettiness and hateful attitudes.  After my post in October I had a couple people send me some fairly smarmy, sarcastic emails as if they knew anything about what was going on in my life.  Then this other "acquaintance" was reading my blog posts and then running back to her Facebook page to post lengthy ramblings about how my post was totally stupid and wrong.  Didn't have the backbone to disagree with me on my blog.  And the subject matter and timing was so specific it was not coincidence or such.  I'll admit that being in pain every day shortens your temper and patience quite a lot and that was part of the reason I just said "f**k it" for a while.  Plus, I just did not seem to be contributing anything constructive with complaining about how bad I felt all the time.  Long time readers who also disappeared seemed to back that up.  Who wants to hang out with a crank all the time?

 We also lost about 6 of our girls this year.  Some of that has made me very sad.  You may remember in one of my last posts that Little Red had been injured badly by a rooster we had and I was trying to nurse her back to health.  Well, it just wasn't meant to be; she wasn't going to be able to walk again and had stopped eating so I had to put her down.  We had a couple more die just suddenly (not sure why) and the rooster got taken off to another farm.  Then, one of my favorites, Susie, finally lost her battle with some kind of internal issues she had been having for over a year.  The medicine just seemed to stop working and she died.  She was one that loved to sit in my lap and be petted.  Jack found her down early one morning and held her and petted her until she passed away, so she wasn't alone. 


 So, we have about 15 hens left and thankfully they all seem real healthy.  The two little Silkies we adopted are doing great and are fitting in real well with the big girls.



This past year was very hard to say the least.  A lot of bad emotions and hard times but I am leaving it all behind and looking forward to a much better year.  I'm trying out some new stuff as far as making a living and art and I'll tell ya'll more about that soon.  And, I will post some more about my health discoveries and how I've been feeling better.

You may have also noticed that I put up a link to the new 2016 calendar I made this year.  I'm not sure why I make those things other than I like to use them and my Mom always gets a kick out of the one I give her!  Anyways....here is one of the only sales pitches you'll ever see me post or allow on this blog:  if you have enjoyed my blog for some time and have the money I would certainly appreciate any purchases.  I don't allow ads here or ask for tips like a lot of bloggers do (which is fine) but I'll be honest, writing this blog over the years has taken a lot of time, especially with the photos, and it would be a help to me if you could purchase a calendar or two.  They are very reasonably priced and very well made.  Just like the kind you would buy in a book store.  In fact, they are printed nicely on thick card stock and many of the photos would be suitable for framing later.  For those that just can't afford it though, I completely understand.

I've heard a number of folks say last year was pretty crappy and I hope we all enjoy a better year in 2016!!
So what have ya'll been up too?  Any big changes?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Tis The Season


And so it's the Christmas season again.  I meant to post before now but time has just gotten away from me.  As with most people this time of year I guess.  Actually, I started this post several days ago but it has just sat in drafts since then and tonight, as in most nights I try to write, I just stare blankly at the screen, not sure of what to describe.  Not sure of what people really want to hear or respond to these days.
 I don't have a lot of new things to post about.  There have been a number of discoveries this year and I am working as best I can to correct or recover but not much progress has been achieved so far.  Some days I feel pretty good for a few hours and then it all crumbles into a blurry heap of fatigue and/ or pain.  I do truly expect things to improve healthwise but I think it may take a while yet.  I'll try to explain later on maybe.

This Christmas is a bit odd; it's unusually warm here, even for the South.  May be the same where you are.  We've been running around all day in tank tops and having the air going.  Feels weird baking Christmas cookies but I won't let that deter me!
Anyway, I just wanted to let the few of you still reading know that I'm still kicking! and to wish you all a very merry Christmas, happy Solstice, Joyous Kwanzaa or whatever other winter holiday you may or may not celebrate.  At any rate, I wish you all peace, love and happiness.  I'll be back before long to give a more lucid update but until then...may we all celebrate the season with those we love.  Peace.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good Times, Bad Times

 Well, sorry that I have been so lax on posting lately, but to be honest, I have lost all interest in it.  Now, it is not that I do not enjoy hearing from you lovelies, I certainly do, but things have just gone downhill and I've withdrawn from a lot of things.  Computers and social media and the internet can be wonderful, miraculous tools sometimes.  And sometimes they can be the worst thing ever created.  I've been trying to read more actual books lately and just do other things.  I SO enjoyed the week in Florida with no online activities that it really impressed upon me that maybe life would be better with a little less of that stuff.  So far...no!...lol! but it never hurts to try!

Another thing is that while we were in Florida, you know I pigged out on all sorts of seafood.....and apparently that is another thing that I am allergic to or just contains so much histamine that my body cannot process it correctly.  So.  It took me over a week to get over the side effects of that and I still am not feeling much of any relief in just the general symptoms I had to begin with.

And on top of all that we had an incident with the rooster.  He had gotten very large and very aggressive apparently.  I'll admit I did not notice much because I have felt so bad lately, but he jumped on Little Red and somehow injured her back (or something) to the point she can't really walk anymore.  The confusing thing is she was able to walk around pretty well right after it happened but by the next morning she was just unable to get around at all.  She can sit up about what you see here and is very alert and with a pretty good appetite, so I don't want to.....well, throw the towel in for her.  It's been about 2 weeks though and not any improvement.  I've given her aspirin and even a little muscle relaxer and that seems to help her being able to sit up more.  But nothing even remotely like walking.  I want to give her a little more time though and see if she can't recover.
And Susie has been sick again with some kind of internal thing that gets her about every 6 months, so I've had 2 chickens needing full-time doctoring or looking after.
*The rooster was taken to a farm in the next county to be sold.  He came real close to the pot but Jack decided to spare him.

The fall garden is doing well though.  Thankfully.  The weather has been really nice lately.  I've read about 3 books that I enjoyed.  And that's about it.  I've been researching job possibilities because that has become pretty important.  I've got to get back to some kind of paid work.  An old carpenter buddy that I worked with for years passed away suddenly a few weeks ago; just after we got back from the beach.  I was pretty sad to hear about it and did make the 3 county trip to the funeral.  Was nice to see some of the other guys though.
So, there you have it.  Not a lot that I've really wanted to talk about lately.  And may not for some time.  I'll see ya'll around though.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Alive An' Kickin'

 Yes, we are all still here and with the living!  We just got back from a week long vacation down in St. Andrew's State Park, in the sunny state of Florida, where we had a fabulous time!  As you can see, I finally got to try paddle boarding, which I had wanted to do for some time now, and it was great!  I enjoyed the hell out of that.

 It is a little harder to stay upright that some might think; I was just mildly surprised.  But it's not terribly hard.  It is a great workout on your legs and stomach though. I did fall off one time, in shallow water, and my big butt went straight to the bottom and hit pretty hard!  That didn't do a whole lot of good for my hips and tailbone but it didn't seem to bother me too much later.

 The waters are beautiful and so clear at St. Andrew's so I could see all sorts of sealife below me.  Fortunately, no sharks but I did have 2 dolphins swim right under me!!  and several large schools of fish and a stingray.  The dolphins were feeding on the fish so we all went back and forth and round in circles.  It was great!

 Since we were camping in the park we had time to do all sorts of other things, like hiking.  Their trails are very short but it was interesting and we saw lots of stuff.  I was trying to photograph a squirrel here and just almost got an unintended shot of said squirrel being snatched up by a hawk.  Me and the squirrel were both very surprised!
 Tons of dragonflies but I was not able to get a good shot of any really.

 The beaches here are some of the prettiest I've seen anywhere in the U.S. and I've been to both seas and all around the Gulf.  I also did a fair amount of snorkeling and swimming and had a little group of my own fishes that followed me around anytime I did.  They apparently liked for me to stir up the sand for them because there was something there they liked to eat I guess.  At any rate, they stayed with me every step of the way.

There are tons of various wildlife at SA, as you can see in the following photos.  Most of the creatures are fairly used to humans too, so you can get some good pics.





Did I mention we had a great time? lol!  Those of you that have followed for a long time know that Jack and I have not always had the best luck camping but this trip went real well.

Our mattresses stayed blown up, we had a nice, shady, quiet camping spot, the amenities here are great; nice showers etc.  The weather was outstanding.  Warm in the day and just cool enough at night to sleep good.  I cooked a nice breakfast each morning but we had dinner out each night so I got lots of great seafood!

And to top it all off, we saw this bald eagle on our last day there!  Almost everyone else on the beach was too busy checking their phones or taking selfies to notice it, which was truly discouraging, but Jack and I were thrilled to see it and get one half-way decent photo.


One thing I really enjoyed about being there was actually....no internet, no electronics of any kind.  I'll tell you I did not miss it one bit.  We both took books to read and just enjoyed being together.

I'll be back soon with another post I think with what little has been going on around here..  Honestly, I have not had a lot of interest in posting this past month, for various reasons I guess, but I think I have a couple of updates for ya'll.  Just lots of busy work getting out of clay and cleaning up, checking out new work leads etc. and the regular yard, garden and chicken work.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Blur


I know ya'll are probably getting tired of my hummer photos but I just haven't been able to get anything decent of much else.  This has been a very wet summer so seems like it's been cloudy forever.  I went out yesterday after the sun came out some and really tried to get some new pics but it just didn't work out.  I only got a few and then it clouded back up again and I just gave up. 
Things are going fine though.  Just been real busy trying to get ready for this last show and that doesn't leave me with much to tell ya'll about. 


And of course, it seemed like I had more that I wanted to write about but now that I finally have time to sit down at the 'puter I can't think of what I wanted to say.  I've been doing better as far as the fatigue goes; not quite as tired through the day, but seems like around 8:30 at night I just poop out and my mind goes on auto-pilot.  I will really be glad to get this show over with and a few other little orders done so I can just get away from clay for  6 months or so and see if that won't help things.  I suspect I will feel much better.  I also suspect that the wet summer we have had is contributing to things because there are tons of mushrooms all around the house and you can just smell the dank, mustiness everywhere.  When I go outside it's like I can't breath good. 


It's been so wet all my cantaloupe rotted and several of the watermelons busted.  The girls get to enjoy the melons, such as they are.  Most of them did not turn out to be very ripe so I don't know how much the chickens really like them but they eat them anyway.  I hope we get 2 or 3 ripe melons at least.  Some of them are pretty big so you'd think they would do something. 
Jack has done an amazing job of cleaning out that awful, over-grown garden so we can maybe plant a few fall crops.  I've felt really bad that I have not had time to help and he fusses if I go out there and start pulling up much because of all the grass.  I did prune back some of the herbs and clear out a couple of things there that have rotted due to the wet.  Half of my big sage bush died and I think my beautiful lemon thyme is gone.  Also, that new variegated mint croaked and I thought they usually liked a little damp.  This has just been an awful year for the garden.  Maybe the fall will be better and we can actually harvest a few things.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Small Swift Birds


An absolute favorite song of mine.  Lot of truth in it.  Don't neglect what you have in your hand.



I've been told that it's just the way life goes



Once the wildest river is now a trickle to the sea
The peak we risk our lives to scale becomes dirt beneath our feet
The wisdom of a life time always disappears untapped
Paradise once given will always be taken back
And the love you hang your life upon will start to slowly crack


I have seen people suffocate the dream
Forgetting to turn that one last time while she 
 watches through the door
Focusing on the garbage that she use to ignore
Thinking she looks so beautiful but not yelling it out loud
He should have thought to kiss her before he headed out
Just forgetting how fucking lucky you are to have found her in such a crowd


But we've seen a cloud of starlings rising on a crisp autumn day
We were handed the weight of a child sleeping and bore her away
We've tasted the tears that fall when saying goodbye forever
And we've seen the silver from a waxing moon wash upon the shore


I have heard about the lives of small swift birds
They dazzle with their colour and their deftness through the air
Just a simple glimpse will keep you simply standing there
Legendary journeys made on fragile hollow wings
The night skies rich with whistling each and every spring
And then there's the day we look for them and can't find them anywhere

I've been told that it's just the way life goes