Monday, November 23, 2015

only 3 days to Thanksgiving...

Rose (and Ghost)
This could be Rose's last Thanksgiving... although she's doing fine. She is up there in age and has gotten thin lately, but carries her 21 - 22 age well. She showed up in our rose garden back in 2001 and the Vet told us that he thought she was about 7 then. She remained an inside/outside cat until a dog caught her and broke her rear leg... which was in a cast for a long time.  From that time on, she became inside only like the rest of our cats.

BTW, DH and I found a huge beautiful Bobcat sitting on our front lawn this past Thursday. His color first surprised me as almost all of our ferals are black... and this cat was spotted. Then we noticed his size and his ears... and we both said at the same time "Bobcat!" DH got out (we were in the car returning from grocery shopping) and chased him back into the creek area. We were worried about the kittens that hang around our yard (especially Skita).  We haven't seen him back, but apparently he's been spotted elsewhere in the neighborhood as others are posting on our neighborhood blog that he's been seen (as well as a few coyotes and coyote pups).
I have put away most of my pottery and quilting projects until after Thanksgiving. I've a house to clean, preparations to make, and food to cook... and I'm slow... always have been and with age possibly slower (if that's humanly possible). When I was growing up, I had an uncle that called me *Pokey*... and things haven't changed much.

Here is a picture of the finished (almost... still have to blackbird and re-fire) clay projects:

hand-builts: clay bird, pony, chicken, hound dog, and elephant

assortment of clay goblets
(wheel-thrown: some in one piece/some two)

The cat head sculpture has not yet been fired and I'm undecided how to glaze the carved vase... (may just blackbird it). I had thought to use a technique where you under glaze with colors (in this case shades of green on the leaves) let dry, then wash the whole thing in a black under glaze... ending up with a washed appearance with a hint of green underneath. However, the studio is closed next Saturday and then the only Saturday remaining is the last day to fire this semester... so there may not be time for this technique.

This morning someone posted their Thanksgiving Menu and it was very similar to ours. I guess most people have traditional recipes that they use each year. We usually have Smoked Turkey, Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Oyster Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, and 2 desserts that the kids always want (chocolate pudding with a cream cheese and cookie crust and their dad's Philadelphia Cheese cake). I know that pecan pie and pumpkin pie are the norm and although we like these too, prefer the pudding and cheese cake.  The last few years we've added a Pecan Hatch dressing made at Central Market that DH and I love.  The type of bread sometimes varies... (from home-made cheese biscuits to crescent rolls) and we like cranberry sauce... either in the can or home-made... both are good.

So... since there probably won't be much computer time available this week, I will say, "Happy Thanksgiving" to all of you now. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Please post pics!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday plans...

Took my clay projects to be fired yesterday.  Just finished this little clay lop-eared bunny... (well, actually have one more coat of under glaze to do on flowers and I need to finish his eyes). Will take it to be fired later this week. I almost gave up on this little one several times as it wasn't coming out as I wanted, but now glad I didn't. She's kind of cute...

side view

rear view

top view

My plan is to start cleaning today for Thanksgiving. If I do a little each day, it won't seem so much. I used to do it all in one day... never stopping until it was done... but realize that I can't do this anymore. And the truth is, I really like to do it. But I know that if I push too hard, I'll end up with a migraine and then I'll lose even more time. So... easy does it. 

And I really must say something about what happened in Paris... but what to say about something so horrific that it defies words? Any violence done to innocents in the 'name of God' is beyond my power to understand. I want to say that these actions don't further their cause... unless their cause is to create hate (as hate tends to beget hate).  I'm not a religious person, but do believe that thoughts and prayers are powerful - and that 'love is powerful' - more powerful than hate. In my opinion terrorist attacks only bring the victims and compassionate people (and all people who value human life) together to stand more fiercely united against the hate (which must exist in the heart of Terrorists?)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Problem with buying early for Christmas...

This morning when DH and I went grocery shopping,
 we picked up a few little things for Christmas... 
and unfortunately one of our inquisitive cats
 found something he wasn't supposed to.

'there's something in here...'

'Oh.. oh, caught!'

'but look what I found...'

'Catnip mice!!'

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Forgot to post...

small hand apple pie
Today was a cool sunny Sunday. I made small apple, caramel, and pecan hand pies to go with our coffee this afternoon. Haven't made these in a long time. Besides, I needed to cook down some apples to go with our pork chops this evening. 

I also spent part of the day de-cluttering so we can start cleaning for Thanksgiving this coming week, worked a little on my clay critters, picked up some batting that was on sale for quilting at Joann's, and then read for a little while with the cats.

If you look at the next picture, you will see that as I was reading a cozy mystery called "Cat Seeing Double". I looked down at the 2 cats laying by me... and thought, "How apropo...'

In the evenings while DH and I watch TV, the 4 cats generally have their specific places in the room. Ghost stays pretty much on the rug if she doesn't ask DH to give up his armchair for her (she will go sit right by his chair and demurely look up at him waiting for him to move - which he will).  But if she's lying on the rug, I tend to play with her (if Tux is not sitting on my lap and wanting my undivided attention) by throwing sock balls at her. In this next pic you can see she is gathering together her catch.


Oh yes, this is what we found this weekend after all the rain lately... the seed in the birdfeeder has sprouted and the birdfeeder out front is actually growing it's own birdseed.  How about that? 

Guess it really needs a good scrubbing out....

And I will close tonight with a picture of one of the feral cats in the bushes out front.

"You can't see me... can you?"

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

a few days late...

Happy Halloween... a few days late! I've been off the grid lately. Sorry about that. Life has a way of keeping me away from the computer.

Here's our little grand daughter in her 3 Halloween costumes from ages 1 to almost 3!

Halloween Bat
(First Halloween)

Halloween Cat
(Second Halloween)

Halloween Witch
(3rd Halloween)

We did decorate the front some... not a lot. We do basically the same thing each Halloween.

... and we did get quite a few more *trick or treaters* this year... mostly young ones between 2 and 10. Some of the costumes on the little ones were really adorable.

Our yard has a 6 foot fence and offers some sanctuary for the feral cats at any time, but we also left the garage door open a few inches to give them a safe place to be... not only during Halloween but during all the heavy rainfall lately. 

Here's a picture of one of the big male ferals that comes around occasionally. He was here yesterday.

good looking cat

And of course I need to show you what the art (ceramic) department has been working on at the college this semester. They did several thousand red poppies to honor the Texas Veterans - a smaller tribute than the European one that was done to honor their fallen - but lovely and very effective. 

poppies along the water's edge on campus

And of course I need to show you some of the projects I've been working on. We were each asked to do a large piece to put in the gallery window.  I started a carved vase and a cat sculpture.... not terribly happy with either, but then that's sometimes the case. 

I'm practicing carving on the vase... and just wish I had done my vines and leaves  with a little more flow. As for the cat sculpture, I know his ears are big ( I call him airplane ears)... but for whatever reason, DH and I liked him and didn't want to cut them back...??

The other things are just me playing with clay at home...

under glazed free-form critters

just put together this little clay pony

And now I will close this overly long post with a picture of Tux and *the look* he gives me on occasion.  I really think he gets terribly annoyed with me when I'm not paying attention to him (I was knitting yesterday evening).

*the look*