Sunday, September 17, 2017

'monkey mind' at it again'


It's Sunday morning... 7 am. Just finished letting Ghost out of the bedroom (she sleeps with us) and making myself a cup of tea.

My 'monkey mind' is busy this morning thinking about too many things to allow me another hour of sleep. Hurricanes, politics, nuclear tests, racial unrest, not to mention standard aging concerns regarding family, finances, and health. 

There was a time where these things never entered my mind... or if they did, they fluttered by briefly. But now they tend to linger... and prevent that carefree sleep of childhood. I know it's useless to worry or dwell on things one has no control over... and I used to have better control over these thoughts. Now my aging mind seems to keep returning to them. 

But I realize that this is not a good thing.... as it only makes one anxious... which serves no purpose.  So I strive to focus on the good and the 'now'... not future possibilities. I've learned over the years that just because something has never happened before, doesn't mean it won't... but worrying about it won't change anything. Not saying certain preparations shouldn't be made just in case, but worrying in advance is useless and detrimental to health. 

So I will go on with my day deliberately focusing on the good... the little things that bring joy ( family, cats, friends, creating, giving, a good cup of coffee or tea, chocolate, etc.). 

There's a saying or a quote that runs through my mind occasionally- 

"the world is so full of wonderful things, you'd think that we'd all be as happy as kings"...

and there's another -

 "Beyond the gloom of this world lies joy, Take Joy!"

Sounds like good advice to me.

Monday, September 4, 2017

When all else fails...

Ghost napping during teatime

Ghost opens one eye when flash goes off

Ghost soon goes back to napping

When all else fails,  post cat pics. While I was reading and having tea yesterday, Ghost was with me. Usually all 3 cats meander into the bedroom around this time of day. So after taking Ghost's pic, I went looking for the other 2.  I found them both in the den - also napping, but in their respective baskets.

Tux in his

Julie in hers

Since Julie spends most of her time on the kitchen counter, she never really had a basket of her own until recently. DH picked her up one when we were shopping the other day. I was skeptical that she would use it. But she does! Actually since it's new, they all use it... and play 'musical baskets', but technically Julie knows it's hers.

Also came across these cat posters that made me laugh. You may have already seen these, but they are funny... 



And since the gas crises that doesn't really exist is still upon us, we haven't done much running around this weekend. The gas stations close to us still have no gas, but we did see a few stations on a quick  run to Walmart (to pick up DH's meds) that had cars and it looked like people were pumping (but it could have been diesel). 

While at Walmart, I picked up a few things to add to our supper tonight (meatloaf) and then headed over to Customer Service to give a donation to the Red Cross. Guess I wasn't paying attention to the lady when she rang me up (only had 3 items) as when we arrived home... no asparagus in the bag! Checked the receipt to see if she charged us for it... (yes). We looked outside, then back in the car to see if it fell out, but no... must not have gotten into the bag in the first place. Oh well, we weren't going to go back, so.... 

I did try my hand at sculpting the human figure this weekend using a video as a guide. It was one where you make the parts separately and then put them together in whatever pose you like. I chose a yoga pose, but had trouble with the feet. Then I decided he looked more like he was reading then doing yoga, so I added a book. Thinking about making a bookend out of it...

thoughtful reader

That's about it... unless the news that my bell pepper plant has 3 new peppers is worth sharing. In the container garden, the basil has pretty much all gone to seed... and something is eating what parsley we have left. 

Hope everyone had a nice safe Labor Day weekend!

With Hurricane Irma threatening the coasts, it's going to be another week of watching the weather... 

Friday, September 1, 2017

playing around with clay again...

Today is Friday, Sept. 1 , 2017 (Yes, white rabbit!! or rabbit rabbit!).  North Dallas as well as surrounding areas are having a gasoline crises. Apparently the news on Wednesday announced that several oil refineries that were flooded due to Hurricane Harvey will be closed until things were back under control. They announced that this "may" cause a shortage of gasoline as well as price increases throughout the areas. 

Well, of course everyone panics and runs to the gas stations for gas to fill up everything they own. Lines were ridiculously long with stations running out of gas (probably more due to the ridiculous numbers of customers than any gas shortage). The gas shortage is most likely real... but was made worse by the panic. Anyway, supposedly whatever shortage there is should be taken care of in a few days.  For the moment, the weekend is here... so we can just stay home and conserve what gas we do have.

Now... what I'm doing while home today is playing with clay. It's the Labor Day weekend, so no class tomorrow. But I've hand-built a few more 'chickens' and created a new silly looking rooster - not entirely happy with him, but he'll do until another idea pops up. 

And I also tried my hand at a small figure sculpture... nothing too detailed. At first it was going to be in a yoga position, then as it developed, it looked more like one of those victims from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Anyway, it's a first attempt... so definitely not without fault. Please feel free to critique... 

new clay chickens and silly rooster

first attempt at figure sculpting

These (rooster and figure) are also first attempts at sculpting without a picture to give me an idea of what I want. Usually I do best when looking at something similar to what I'm trying to achieve and then making it my own.

I hope everyone has a good Labor Day weekend. Remember to keep those in harm's way in your thoughts and prayers. There's going to be so much to do in the next weeks and months. And now there's reports on Hurricane Irma somewhere in the Atlantic... can't even think about that now. 

Closing with a picture of Tux, Julie, and Ghost as they spend their days napping and not worrying about gas shortages, etc.

From top clockwise: Ghost, Tux, and Julie

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday after Harvey...

Just a thank you for all your comments on my previous post concerning Hurricane Harvey. Yes, our families in the hill country and south of Houston faired well. Daughter had some flooding at their place, but nothing that they couldn't handle. She said that the animals (horses, chickens, dogs, cats) were freaked, but they all survived it. Haven't talked to BIL in Pearland (South of Houston) this morning yet... but yesterday, they were fine too.

Seems like some areas were hit hard, others barely hit. The pictures look awful along the coast, but these were probably the hardest hit. They will definitely need help and prayers to get through the next few weeks or months.  

My daughter told me a strange story this morning. She said that they were preparing for the hurricane Friday evening (getting the dogs inside, making sure the chickens and horses were Ok, etc.) and she was on the phone when their cat 'Cocoa' (who is brother to our cats, Tux and Julie) suddenly started howling loudly in the doorway. Then he ran at her, grabbed her leg, and bit her. She dropped the phone and pushed him away. (He is usually a very sweet calm cat - same age as our cats - 14) He ran off and then came back and did the same thing. It was like he was freaked by something. Later he was fine... acting perfectly normal. I told her that animals sometimes sense things... and apparently the incoming storm was responsible? I don't know. Possibly the eclipse and the storm affected him??? 

(Cocoa is the white 'siamese looking' kitten in the pictures on the right sideline of this blog. My grand daughter is holding him... but this is an old pic -14 years ago)

Anyway, to get off that subject and onto another: I made a new recipe for buttermilk biscuits this morning. DH has been after me to try it. He loves biscuits. So I did... and it was a keeper. I'm posting a picture of the magazine it came from, the biscuit pic in the magazine, and the recipe for any who might want to try it. I don't think it's an unusual biscuit recipe, but I don't make biscuits often, so am happy to find one we like.

magazine recipe came from...
picture of the buttermilk biscuits
might have to enlarge to read

I will say that I halved this recipe since I was only cooking for DH and myself. It still made about 7 medium sized biscuits.

And the Fall semester pottery classes resumed this week. It was good to be back. After a whole summer of not working with clay, I wondered if my muscle memory would work when I got back on the pottery wheel. Luckily it did. Now next week is Labor Day weekend and the campus will be closed... so I hope to get a few days in the studio later on this week to finish what I started yesterday. 

Have a good week... stay safe, and please keep those who were affected by Hurricane Harvey in your thoughts and prayers. 


Friday, August 25, 2017

Thursday... pre-Hurricane Harvey

It's Thursday evening here in Texas and the news today is all about Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf. It seems that it has suddenly gone from a tropical storm to a hurricane with the potential of causing havoc due to the possibility of it hanging around over the area for a few days.

I just spoke to my daughter in the hill country and she said that people are acting crazy and buying out the grocery stores - almost all the bottled water was gone when she stopped by on her way home from work. 

Their area does have flooding problems so there is cause for some concern. Lots of road closures due to flooding is an issue.  We are a bit worried as not only is there a problem for the next few days, but we had all planned to go down next week for our grandson's Air Force Basics Graduation in San Antonio. I really hope the weather stations are exaggerating and giving worse case scenarios that won't come true.

But since Harvey is supposed to reach landfall this evening (it's Friday morning here now), I guess we will know soon enough. I truly hope that those on the coast have evacuated, but knowing the South that I grew up in, many will not. 

Please keep all this area in your thoughts and prayers... 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

need to laugh? Try these...

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at the Vet

I love this last one as it looks like the black ferals 
around our neighborhood...

OK, just a few more

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OK, that's it. After hearing some of the news this evening, I desperately needed a distraction. And although many of these are probably ones you've seen before, they are still funny... 

 And this was our last year's calendar we had on the kitchen wall:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Photos that speak... and other things

Have you ever noticed that certain photos seem to capture a feeling, or a moment? Something someone wrote recently made me think of this. So..oo I went through some of my old photos trying to find examples of this and here is what I found:

Ghost holdup in her favorite spot

Ghost helping me read
Ghost as a kitten in the front window
my work station in front room (with Tux)

Jack on top of ship shelf

Photo taken after our slate floors were put in 2005

cats in computer room

Rose in blinds' shadow

Now I realize that possibly these may only speak to me - but I thought I'd share anyway.

And for those of you who enjoy tea and teacups (which I do also) here's a few more - usually taken at teatime here at home (which is also reading time).  

 First a poster that says it all...


As you can see, I like tea cups... and have collected quite a few which I use daily. However, I also have some others that I don't use as much anymore because they have the gold or platinum trim that cannot go into the microwave. I do use them for company on occasion, but the occasions have become fewer as time goes on.  

But I will show you my MIL's tea service that I had given her years ago, and was returned to me after she passed. It's one of my very favorites. She and I were probably the only ones who ever used it when I visited.

Post note: the books that you see in the photos with the teacups are not necessarily good reads (of course 'some' were), but my dear friend keeps me with a constant supply of books since she knows I read daily (in the afternoon and at bedtime... as well as anytime I'm stuck somewhere with time to spare).  However, I did just read one that surprised me... because I didn't care for the cover... but the book itself was very good. It was "The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adriana Trigiani.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and hopefully I didn't bore you too much with things that possibly 'only speak to me' but...

Perhaps you have photos that 'only speak to you' that you might like to share??