Saturday, September 27, 2014

books and cats...

So true...

DH and I weighed in this morning here at the house and he has now lost 6 lbs (we are still on our SouthBeach diet).  I am gradually catching up as I've lost 5 !  It really hasn't been too hard, but I can feel that he is missing his sugar more than me. He's starting to whisper his beloved mantra, "I need pie...". Told him that once we hit the 10 lb mark, I'll make him a pie. In the meantime, he's have to do with our weekend ice-cream cheats. And since we've been good for 2 weeks, I'm considering making our home-made granola later in the week. I know it's healthy, but I'm afraid it might be too much carbs (with the oats).

And it's time for those annual flu shots! I actually called our doctor's office last week to make an appointment, but apparently the flu shots for those over 65 aren't in yet.  DH had gotten that one last year. I got the regular one... just because I was unsure about getting something more powerful. This year... we'll see. Since I had the real flu back in 1997 and don't ever want to get that again... (was sick for over a month)... we're pretty good about keeping up.

ready for final firing

This is the last load for the kiln that I'll be doing this semester - 11 pieces. They are colored with underglaze and then a clear glaze over all. Some (the plate and cups) were left over pieces from last semester's dinnerware project. Others (the bowls and one small square box) were done these last few weeks. Next semester I will resume with throwing larger bowls and bigger pieces.

ceramic books - top 4

These are the clay books I made as part of last semester's project. They're sitting in the middle of our game room table at the moment. Only the top 4 are ceramic. The bottom book is John Folse's Cajun Cookbook which is a wonderful (albeit a bit large) cookbook as well as informative articles and pictures of New Orleans.

The Fall weather hasn't really gotten to Texas yet... although we seem to be done with the triple digits. I'm actually enjoying these 60 degree mornings and generally 80 plus evenings (still some 90's). I'm just hoping that our winter isn't like last year since I don't do well in ice and snow (guess it's a good thing we live down south).

Tux and Ghost cuddling
Rose (one of our 20 + cats)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Grocery day at our house...

It's Friday and DH and I just got home from shopping.  As you can see, our cats like to "help" with the bags and putting things away.

BTW, DH and I started our "healthy diet" - no sweets, no potatoes, no rice, very little bread... mostly chicken, fish, and veggies.... and as of this morning (started Monday - 4 days ago)... DH has lost 4 lbs and I've lost 1 !

(OK... I said no sweets, but you can see the York mini mints right there on the counter. We do allow ourselves to have one after supper at night!)

Monday, September 15, 2014

clay bowls... and a cat

I have decided to finish working on the bowls that I started this semester. Then I will drop this class and re-register in the Spring under Continuing Education. And I plan to investigate getting hold of a pottery wheel so I can practice throwing at home. Who knows? Small steps...

Here are a 3 of the 4 bowls that I'm working on. Nothing special... just playing around with different underglazes.  These are blue and green underglazes on Cinco Blanco greenware. I will fire these next week and then do a clear glaze over them... and fire again. So the tops will be colored and the bottom halves will be the natural fired clay.

And here's Julie... on the kitchen counter (I know... we try, but she's a stubborn lass).

See that look in her eyes... it's like, "yes... it's my counter too."
DH and I also started on a more healthy diet this week. It's not that we don't eat healthy most of the time - as we do - small amounts of meat, chicken, or fish... with fresh veggies, fresh fruit, and always whole wheat bread or pasta, etc. But we do tend to have at least one sweet (cookie or cake or pie slice) serving daily. So we're cutting back on the bread, pasta, and potatoes, and cutting out the 'sweet' for at least the next week or so. We're also 'up-ing' our exercise a bit.

BTW, anyone out there watching "The Outlander" - the new Starz series. It's been a while since I've read her books (Diana Gabaldon), but they were really a good read. I believe that she had 6 when I read them, but there may be a 7th out now (and there may have been some character spin-offs too).  Anyway, we're really enjoying the new series so far.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

days of my life...

After winning game
Last Friday DH and I had the opportunity to attend one of the local high school's first Football game of the season. My grandson is in the band so we were anxious to watch him perform at Half-time. Also a friend of his is on the Football team (#74), so we were happy to be able to watch him perform also. Both did extremely well and the game was thoroughly enjoyable... with a win for their team of 21 to 0!

Grandson is in middle with baritone sax

Sometimes it's great to be a grandma...  you get to share their joy on occasion.

As far as my pottery dilemma is concerned, I haven't made any decisions yet (although I have discussed it with my Instructor). I'm leaning towards dropping the class and registering for Continuing Ed in the Spring.  It would mean going another semester without throwing, but there's a lot that needs to be done at home that we didn't get around to this summer (like painting the bedroom, cleaning out the Computer room, etc.) So... we'll see. 

She did suggest that possibly I should create myself a *home studio* with a pottery wheel and a small kiln - so that I could keep working at it. She also said that this could be done for about $3000 ...or less if buying used. I'd love to do that, but $3000 spent on something just for me seems a bit much right now. There are other things that need doing that have been sitting on the back burner.

By the way, youngest grand daughter will be 2 soon.  Her mom took this picture at Barnes and Noble of her reading a Pete the Cat book (yes, she loves cats too).

News Flash: My mother-in-law will be 97 next week. She lives by herself (but with grandkids nearby that keep watch) in Louisiana on 15 acres. She is still mentally alert and although she has health care professionals who check in on her, does pretty well on her own. She does use oxygen and a walker, but has a very independent personality that refuses to be coddled. She had 5 boys (lost one at the tender age of 3 to anesthesia during a tonsillectomy), divorced, but raised her remaining 4 boys on her own - and all graduated from LSUBR.  She is a strong lady and I think the world of her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

there and back...

taken from my window seat on Southwest

Just returned from a week back home in Louisiana. Spent part of it with my cousin in New Orleans and part with my other cousin who lives on the coast in Mississippi. We planned to spend it all together, but first cousin came down with a miserable cold and wasn't feeling well... so she didn't go to the coast with us. But luckily, she was much better by the end of the week and we all got together Friday and Saturday.

But Cousin D and I went to Ocean Springs to walk and shop, then drove along the coast through Bay St Louis, Waveland, Gulfport, and Biloxi. I got to put my bare feet in the sand (miss that) and walk along the water (lots of live conchs and hermit crabs). We picked up shells and I simply reveled in the smell of the salt air and the feel of the sand and water between my toes.

When we were young, we spent many a summer at our Cousin R's place in Waveland; swimming in the Gulf, playing in the sand, running along the pier. There was a Dairy Queen (or Dairy something) in the little downtown section (long gone since Katrina) that had *the best* ever Chocolate Malts! And a combination gift/bait shop that had an alligator pit that we all loved.  There were 4 of us (3 girls and 1 boy cousin) and those summers were very memorable. It was a small house (but big lot full of pine trees) with only 2 bedrooms (which the adults used). The kids slept on cots on a screen porch. We loved it! (You could smell the pine in the air) We would spend the days swimming, chasing each other with the hose, and having watermelon fights.

Gil, Darnell, and I in Waveland, Mississippi

The house is gone now... but the land is still there. While we drove, D and I traced our old route from the house to the water - remembering landmarks along the way. At the end of the week we all met  for dinner at a local Seafood Restaurant and then to B's house in New Orleans to reminisce some more. And the next morning before I left we did the same with more family members. And luckily (although it was the 9th Anniversary of Katrina) the weather was fine the whole visit except for a bit of a downpour  (B and I got soaked loading the car) when leaving to catch my flight back.

All in all it was a good trip. And I truly enjoyed being with my cousins again. We may all be *old* now, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy the camaraderie we once shared. And I really appreciate all the effort and thought they put into making my visit such an enjoyable one. Next year we may do it again... possibly in Dallas!

In the next picture taken this past Friday evening, Gil is in the front and Darnell and I are sitting together in the back. My cousin Barb is taking the pic.. and while she was there in Waveland with us many a time, her dad was in the army and they traveled a lot. The blonde in pink on the right is Gil's wife, Sharon, and the dark haired young lady is my cousin Barb's daughter, Alicia,... and then there's Kenny, her husband and Braden, their little boy sitting across from each other.

And this next pic is Titan, my cousin in Mississippi's  little Yorkie. Isn't he adorable? He really isn't blue. For whatever reason the darker grey around his neck looks blue... (it was taken with my iPhone).

Now... on to other things. I'm back in Dallas. Classes have started. I missed the first week due to my N.O. visit, but went to the studio yesterday. Since our Instructor was busy with the Ceramics 1 class... they had projects done last week to critique, I just pulled out my Cinco Blanco clay and started throwing. Made 2 semi-large bowls and 2 smaller ones, 2 soap dishes, and one small clay box (out of leftover clay). By the time she came over to speak to me about our projects and syllabus, it was halfway through the session (which was fine as I was busy).

But after she explained what the projects are this semester... *Asian armour* to be reproduced in clay as well as researched.... I had pretty much decided that I wouldn't participate this time.  I'm not doing this for the credit, don't need the Art research, and not doing it just to keep busy. I really want to throw on the pottery wheel.  Some of our previous projects could be done on the wheel (the sets of dishes, mugs, etc.) but not all (the animal busts, chess set, etc.). However, the latter at least could be considered *usable* or functional to a point. I just don't want to spend all my time (and clay) on something like Asian armour...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!