Friday, September 28, 2018

Hawaiian Tiki's and ancestry questions...

Still waiting for things to be fired at the studio. Hopefully by this Saturday I will be able to post some pics of finished pieces. At the moment I'm working on a Tiki mask and small pocket Tiki  for my son in Hawaii. He mentioned I could make him a Tiki as he is creating a tropical paradise in his backyard on Oahu. He could have possibly meant a Tiki statue, but clay is heavy and I can't imagine how he would get a statue to Oahu by plane. So I'm making a Tiki mask to hang on his fence... and a tiny Tiki to carry in his pocket.

Tiny Tiki

If you don't know what a Tiki is... (I didn't), it's a Hawaiian good luck piece. They represent Hawaiian gods and are supposed to bring the owner protection and luck.

Anyway, it gives me something to work on while I wait for my other pieces to be fired. The bird soap dishes should soon be ready and possibly some of the windchime pieces. Windchimes take so many little pieces and beads that it takes a bit of time to get everything ready for assembly.

I also added a coat or 2 of a clear mat glaze to the black and white cat planter... since it might end up outside in the elements. 

BTW, I'm curious... but have many of you done the ancestry DNA test or possibly the 23andme one?  DH and I both did the ancestry DNA about a year ago. Just recently we got an update on the results. My first results were 60% British.... (which is possible since my dad and grandparents were from London) but dad's grandparents were Irish and the first results were only 6% Irish (maiden name is O'Regan??) Again... guess this is possible as I've no idea how these things are done and perhaps the Irish has been diluted out over the generations. 

But the new update has me now 48% Ireland and Scotland and 44% England and Wales - with a tiny 6% France (mom's entire side comes from French - New Orleans, Jamaica, and France) - only 6% seems odd (and of course there's 2% Spain?). Just makes me wonder why so much of my father's side shows up in my DNA and so little of my mother's.  Anyway, I guess I should be happy that the basic results were pretty much as expected - English, Irish, and French - no big surprises there.

It's Friday! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Our Cats!




Our inside cats!  These 3 are the ones remaining from the picture at the top of my blog. All were feral kittens. The black and whites are both 14 now, siblings (of a litter of 5 we took in when the mama cat brought them to our back porch and promptly left. They were about 4 weeks old at the time - barely walking and had to be bottle fed for a short time).  

The grey we took in when she was possibly a few weeks older. Her mama and siblings came by one day when the kittens were about 6 weeks old (they could move quite fast).  However, when they all darted off - the little grey kitten just sat there looking around. The others never came back... and we finally decided that we'd better take her in... as she seemed a bit lost and confused.

She did have some genetic problems -  neurological and physical.  The Vet didn't think she would make it past a year as she was seemingly a bit retarded and has genetic kidney probs (she hears OK, but I don't believe she sees well).

However, she is now 12 and although she does have some flare-ups (both neurologically and physically) from time to time, she has done exceptionally well. We call her our little psycho kitty as she is a bit unpredictable. But we accept her as she is... as do Tux and Julie. 

But they are all getting up there in age (as are we) so we don't allow ourselves to take any more inside.  Since most of our cats live to be 19-23, we feel that fits into the 10 years we have left to give them. Not to say that we might live longer than that... but it just seems practical. And besides, since retirement... keeping up with vaccinations and occasional Veterinary bills for 3 is about all we can handle.

However, we do provide food, water, and a safe environment for the feral cat families that do show up in our back yard. Truth be known, we would probably still vaccinate them (like the catch and release programs advocate) if we could. We used to do this when we were younger, but don't anymore...  can't catch them. 

And besides, it got a bit expensive as we used to keep them upstairs in a closed off room for weeks to get them friendly enough to go to the adoption room at the nearby Animal Shelter. They knew us there and our feral kittens came in clean, flea-free, vaccinated, and friendly. But despite our best efforts to keep our own cats separate, the ferals always brought in fleas and we had to de-flea the house and our cats after each litter.

But all in all, we do love cats. And it's difficult sometimes not to want to take them all in. But like with everything else in life, you  simply do what you can... and hope its helpful... even in some small way. 

Other outside ferals:

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


I have been binge watching a show called "Atypical" on Netflix about a teen age boy with high level Asperger's. I'm amazed at how well he handles himself and how aware he is of his condition... not that he doesn't have melt-downs at times. But he seems to know his limitations and takes notes that help him react appropriately when  he can't comprehend the emotion or situation that confronts him.

At one point he is brought into a group of teenagers to discuss what their future may hold after high school. The group is composed of boys and girls with different levels of autism. At first he doesn't think he will like being in the group... but later says that he does... and realizes that he is better off than some of them and if they can get by and aim for college or such, then he certainly can too.

I find this series very well done... and educational as well. People need to know how to assimilate these individuals into the population. Their brains work differently - yes, but in many cases, they work very well.  Most of us feel awkward around people who have this condition because we are at a loss as to how to interact with them - not that different from their inability to read or understand our facial, physical, or emotional responses. It's something that we all need to work on so that we can better ourselves.

I found it hard to put into words what I want to say here. I think we learn from each other and those with Autism or Aspergers (and/or other conditions that may or may not be a handicap) definitely have something to contribute. Even though their brains work differently - we can learn from them - and vice-versa.

If any of you out there have seen this series and have any comments, I would love to hear them.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

nothing to post about...

I've been wanting to post... but have nothing significant to post about. This is both good and bad, yes?  At our age, I'm happy that life is quiet (for the most part) and content. Since the car accident a few weeks ago, we've been dealing with our insurance company and trying to decide what to do about our totaled car. But besides that (which is enough in itself), things have been relatively quiet.  

With only DH's truck (which I prefer not to drive and which we share at the moment with our grandson who uses it for both work and classes), I dropped my Tuesday and Thursday exercise classes and kept only my Saturday pottery. 

We will get another car... in fact, we looked at one we both like this week. It's a 2015 pre-owned. However, I will say this. Since I've been driving my mom's 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis since she bought it new 23 years ago, the new cars with their keyless entry, phone hook-ups, navigation systems, etc. look like space ships (besides the fact that I haven't driven at all since the accident).

I've a tiny bit of PTSD (I think).  Beings it was my first car accident and both the impact of the cars and the explosion of the air bags replays in my head, I'm a little leery of driving now. This is foolish as I've driving for 57 years with no problems whatsoever.  Everyone says this feeling will fade. I'm sure they are right.

The cats are fine - our three inside spoiled babies as well as our outside feral families. Took a picture of one of the families that stay close by as they were looking in the door this morning. You can see the mom and dad in the back and the 2 young ones with their heads looking in. There's another Siamese looking twin that has recently decided to go off and wander a bit on his own. He's the more adventurous of the 3 kittens. The other 2 still stay close by their parents although they are half grown now. 

feral cat family

That's my Sunday contribution. If you'd like to see what I've got on the greenware cart at the pottery studio (bunny windchimes, ceramic beads, and small bird soap dishes), click here  (and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions regarding any ceramic creations on that site) Otherwise have a great Sunday and as always... thanks for dropping by!