Monday, April 28, 2014

Think it's safe to plant now?

Now that Easter has come and gone...  I'm feeling confident saying that spring is really here and it should be OK to start planting my hanging herbs, yes?  My plan is to do it anyway. Guess I could always take them in if a freak *winter blast* hits us this late. It says something... not sure what... when everyone is afraid to even think that winter might be over?  I actually saw some squirrels picking up acorns over by the school this week and thought.... "Oh no, you can't be preparing for next winter already. What does that mean?"

Anyway, I'm planning to buy some basil, rosemary, spearmint, lavender, and thyme. These smell wonderful when blowing in the breeze!

Wrote that first bit a day or so ago and just got around to the nursery this morning. I didn't get all the herbs I wanted, but did pick up some dill, spearmint, and chives. I will have to check another place for the rest.  It was rainy and overcast earlier - with threats for severe weather. But the sun has since come out and I think the threats have moved eastward.

This next picture is one my friend sent me this morning. She had seen these bunny pancakes somewhere and was determined to make them. They ARE cute...

I believe they are decorated with whipped cream and coconut for the tail and bananas and chocolate chips for the little paws.

And this next shot is one I took while watching this squirrel eat from the catfood dish as the black cat carefully watched him. The second that squirrel turned his back on the cat, that cat pounced... just as I took the pic. And no, he didn't catch him.

Monday - continuing with this post. Apparently the bad weather  that missed us didn't miss some of the states further north and east of Texas. Was sorry to hear that tornados did do a lot of damage as they went through Oklahoma and Arkansas. Will pray that no more occur as the weather continues northeastward.

I came across this *tornado with lightning* picture on Pinterest the other day. Isn't this the strangest thing??

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Saturday, yummy flowers, and a surprise visitor!

Julie checking out Easter Flowers

Happy Easter Saturday!  Oldest son sent Easter Flowers... which are beautiful... (and cats love to nibble).  They will have to be kept in a protected area when we are not around. As you can see, Julie is already interested.

AND... we have a new cat in our yard! We don't believe she is feral as she looks too well taken care of, but she has a sweet face and has spent the last 2 days here (no collar and while not *afraid* she is *cautious* and backs off if we get too close.

And lastly I'm posting some pics of my dinnerware project which is still in underglazed greenware. My semi-famous person is someone who was one of the early founders of Forensic Medicine so my theme is Death, Crime, and Medicine... using the colors; black, red, and white. Since I'm a pretty practical person, I didn't want the plates, bowls, and cups to be too gruesome as I'd like them to be functional (and not gross). I thought of using fingerprints or blood splatter, but the fingerprints never came out to my liking and the blood splatter is still *up in the air*.  But I did put a *gunsight* on this sample plate - both to link it to crime and add a little color. Once it's fired, I'll know if I like it... or not.

I'm planning to add a small black clay cookie in the center of the gunsight... one that looks like the outline of a human torso with holes in the head and heart areas (like at a shooting range).  And then my clay sculpture that is for the centerpiece is a stack of very old medical and mystery books.  This semi-famous person was influential to two crime/mystery series - Perry Mason and Murder She Wrote.

I will take some pictures of the various projects once they are finished and set up in the studio. Some are really wonderful.  Mine is fairly simple.  But it's still a constant learning experience for me.

Have a Happy Easter
 (in case I don't get a post in tomorrow
a wonderful day!

Our Jack (who we lost this year) with his bunny last Easter
We really miss you...

Monday, April 14, 2014

a new activity...

Grandson teaching me to play pool

Yes, this is me playing pool with grandson.  He loves pool and was determined to teach me.  Since I have never even watched anyone play, it was truly  a new experience for me... just learning how to hold the cue was interesting. But it was fun and learning a new skill is supposed to be healthy, right?

The following are backyard photos:

Blue Jay with crouching black feral
Squirrel in feeder

Crow with mouth full of catfood

and then there's Julie... sitting on the table in the kitchen:

We had a visiting artist at the Studio this past week.  She held a workshop for 2 days.  And she used a tool called the Hax mudtool that was interesting and seemed very versatile.  I went to Trinity Ceramics this morning to pick up some underglazes and asked about this Hax. The person who helped me wasn't sure what it was and when he checked it online, said that they should have some somewhere. Well, they did... one (which is really a package of 2)... so I bought it. Told him that if they planned to order more, I'm sure there were several people in the workshop that would like to get one.

My dinnerware project this semester is almost completed. Mine is not that spectacular as it is totally thrown and fairly simple whereas some are all hand-built, etched, carved, etc. They are really beautiful, but beyond my expertise. My goal is to learn to throw on the wheel and maybe one day branch out to combine both wheel throwing and hand-building. But for now, throwing the piece itself is a chore... but getting easier. And we have to have a sculpture as the center-piece. That part of the project is due this week. Once everyone's project is completed (in May), I will take some pics and show you the finished works. Then I will take the summer off, and continue again in the Fall.

BTW, it's actually cold again this morning here in Dallas... was in the 30's this morning!

Monday, April 7, 2014

After the road trip...

Grand daughter looking at the Mississippi in the New Orleans French Quarter

Well, I'm back home in Dallas and my pics post just fine here (?).  So I will post a few taken as we walked around the French Quarter and visited some of the shops.

Mule pulling carriage
Trying on Mardi Gras Mask

As I mentioned before I stayed at my daughter's house in the Hill Country around San Antonio from Wednesday until Saturday morning. The weather was wonderful (there's always a breeze on their porch - which runs all the way around the house). While they were all at work and school, I cleaned a little, cooked a little, crocheted some (is that right? or is the past tense just crochet?), and read some... also sat with the dogs on the front porch, watched the horses, and talked to the chickens.

The chickens are so-oo cute. They are Cochins... and have those feathery legs. They are small and fat and lay small (but delicious) eggs. Here is a picture of *Frizzle*, one of their brood that they didn't think would live as it was very small and looked strange even as a chick.  But Frizzle is doing fine. Her feathers are very curly which make her look a bit *frizzled*, but we think she is adorable.

Rooster and friend on porch rail

And of course I have to post a pic of grand daughter and her horse.  They were practicing their jumps in the arena and I was taking videos. Apparently you can take a pic off a video... also something new I learned this past week.

Well, guess that's the news for today. My back has been bothering me from the long time riding in the truck. But I have to say that the truck itself was very large and comfortable... (love those heated seats!), but my old bones seem to be protesting a bit. They will adjust.

This morning DH and I went to the mall to walk and buy some new pods for my Nespresso machine. We also stopped by Godiva and picked up our free chocolate. If you join the Godiva club, you will get free chocolate once a month.  It's great! Of course they expect you to come in and buy other stuff, which is generally what happens.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

road trip...

Apparently I'm not able to get the pictures from my iPhone onto this site... maybe because it's my daughter's computer and it can't switch or attach to my info? Oh well, I'm going to blog without pics it seems. But I'll ask my grand daughter later is she knows how to fix the problem. Kids today are very tech-wise.  I learned a whole lot of other tasks that my iPhone could do while on the road trip with her.
I flew into San Antonio last Saturday morning (DH stayed home with cats)... and the 3 of us (daughter, grand daughter, and myself) left early Sunday morning for New Orleans. We stayed with my cousin who had her home rebuilt after Katrina.  She lives right where the levee burst and both her home and my aunt's across the street were demolished. But she re-built (high - up 10 feet off the ground). She really has a nice comfortable place... and Barb, if you're reading this... thanks again for the hospitality!
We were there for a sad occasion (the death of my sister's sister-in-law's son - I could just say my 'nephew by marriage' I guess).  Anyway, he had been in a motorcycle accident about 13 years ago that had left him bed-ridden and in a lot of pain. He passed last week and the family gathered in Covington (across the Lake Pontchartrain) for the funeral. It was sad of course as he was such a handsome fun loving young man. I hadn't seen him in some years, and he was still very handsome. But he is *free* now and no longer in pain.  His 2 younger brothers gave the eulogy and it was comforting to hear their loving memories of times past.
Also because we had my grand daughter with us and she had not been in New Orleans since she was very young... she wanted to see the French Quarter, the Mississippi river, and the lake front. Actually she wanted to see a lot of things that we just didn't have time for as her mom had to be back at work by Thursday. But we did go to the French Quarter and had some beignets and coffee, walked around Jackson Square, went to Aunt Sallies' Pralines, tried to get to Central Grocery (but it was closed for some reason).  You can buy all sorts of things there... like stuffed artichokes and Italian seeded cookies, etc. And we walked out by the Mississippi. I *would* post a few pics of this, but apparently can't do this from this computer.  But I will when I get back home Saturday.
We left Tuesday morning from New Orleans for Ethel, La.... where maw-maw (husband's mother who is 96) lives. Visited with her and niece for a bit, then headed out for Houston where we spent the night with more family.  It really was nice to see everyone.
Wednesday morning we were heading back to San Antonio where I will spend a few days before returning home to Dallas. So... today everyone is back at work or in school and it is just me... and the cats, dogs, turtles, horses and chickens... but fairly quiet on the home front.
just us chickens...
(old pic)