Sunday, December 14, 2008

We got snow!

We got snow this past Thursday! It was quite exciting, because we just don't get snow in Mississippi this far south very often, especially before January. Normally we are still in shorts at this time of the year. And the strange thing is, areas farther south than us got even more snow. According to the news, Florence, a little town about 10 miles south of Jackson, got almost a foot of snow! Although I did talk to someone who lives in Florence, and she said she only got about 6 inches. Still! That's a lot of snow for us! LOL

At my house, Thursday morning started out with rain...a lot of rain. Then the temperature started dropping, so the rain changed to sleet and we started getting ice on our cars. Ice is not good! We do get ice here, and it always causes major problems. Ice was not what I wanted!

But then, fortunately for us, the sleet switched over to snow. Big fat white snowflakes! I was so excited! I grabbed my camera and out I went to celebrate the beautiful snowiness.

See what I mean about all the rain we got? The water is gushing up from the manhole thing over our sewer lines. I just refuse to believe that is sewer water though, in spite of what my husband says. I just believe it is run off rain water.

This is another one of those man hole sewer things, in the middle of some bushes. I thought it was cool - it looked like a waterfall in the middle of the woods.

The pond was flooding too!

The normal bank is on the other side of the grasses.

The other bridge had a raging torrent under it, almost ready to go over it. I thought it was quite exciting. :o)

And the path to the other pond was totally under water.

Look at those big fat snowflakes! And how fast they were coming down too! They weren't drifting lazily, they were coming down like rain.

Here is my house, all purtefied with the snow on the roof. :o)
And me, little snow bunny that I am. LOL

Unfortunately, not long after I took these pictures, the snow changed back to rain. And it rained and sleeted all afternoon, so it turned all of our beautiful snow into icey slush. I was very happy to remain inside knitting, cuddled up with my dogs and kitty baby.

The temperature continued to drop way down into the 20s Thursday night, so Friday morning we got up to ice. Even our pond ended up with a thin coating of ice, which I thought was very unusual. Just in the shallow parts though, the deeper parts didn't have any ice.

We got up to 50 on Friday, and it was 50 and sunny yesterday, so everything is gone now. And today we are supposed to get up to 65. Just gotta love our crazy southern weather!

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Tarot Card Am I?

I love tarot cards, and I have quite a few decks. I love looking at the different ways artists have interpreted the cards. I also enjoy studying them. So when I saw this test, I thought it was a lot of fun. :o)

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

No way to treat needlework!

This is a piece of crewel work that I did for my mom when I was around 14 or 15...if I'm honest I would admit that was 31 years ago. Ouch...I would rather not do THAT math! LOL You can click on any of the pictures to see a bigger image.

Anyways, some of the wool has deteriorated and come loose, so I decided that I would take it apart and redo it. I was just horrified when I took the back off. This is a piece that my mom had professionally framed, and it is very obvious the framers knew NOTHING about framing needlework. This horrid foam stuff was under the embroidery and was glued to a piece of cardboard.

Then the embroidery was glued to the cardboard.

Then nailed with these nails, many of which are rusted.

Look at all this damage from the glue and rust. What a mess!

I am going to take all of the yarn out and wash the material. Fortunately it is some kind of heavy material. I hope I can get all the yuck out. If not, at least there is enough material that I can cut off the damaged part.

This just goes to reinforce the good advice to make sure any framer you take needlework to knows what to do with it! We put way too much of ourselves into our precious pieces for them to be treated like this piece was. :o(

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Busy, busy me :o)

I have been crafting, gluing, stitching, and embroidering up a storm lately. :o) I have several things to share with you.

I finished the embroidery for the Cottage Tree basket. I am in the process of putting it all together, but here are pictures of the finished embroidery.

This is a closeup of the cottage. It will be the top of the basket.

This will be the pin cushion...

The scissor case...

And the scissor fob...

I finished my Sunflower collage that I started during the Brett Barker workshop. I think it will make a very cool art quilt, and I have a definite vision in my head. This is the plan I will be working from. I went to kinkos and blew this up to 24 inches long. We shall see how it turns out. :o)

And I also made this cute little goddess doll the first of the month. She was lots of fun to make, but I am going to have to enlarge my pattern if I make some more. Her arms and torso are too small; it was very difficult to turn and then stuff her. But I love her, and Megan has claimed her. :o)

This is her front...
And this is her back...

Much fiber fun!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What kind of flower am I?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fearless Composition Workshop

I attended a workshop through the Mississippi Quilt Association by Brett Barker called Fearless Composition. I had a great time, and I learned a lot.

We started off by using India inks and different tools to paint paper. I used various paint brushes, a wooden stick, a feather, and some sponges. It was such fun. I am going to try painting fabric using these inks too.

Then we cut out some kimono shapes and some rectangle shapes our of our paper.

This is my favorite rectangle. It makes me think of two moons over two mountains. I may have to do something else with this.

After we cut our our shapes, we had to choose one of our kimonos and interpret it with fabric. We glued the fabric to paper.

I used strings for skinny stripes, and it about drove me nuts because I had glue all over my fingers and the string wanted to stick to me instead of the paper. :o)

The next day we took our picture we brought several copies of and used it to make a collage. I had a picture of a sunflower. After we made our paper collage, the next task was to interpret it with fabric. It took me a while to wrap my head around using fabric to make the picture. I am so used to thinking in terms of thread and stitch techniques, my brain had to adjust to using blocks of fabric. Again, we glued the fabric onto our foundation.

I am having a lot of fun with this. I can see beads, stitching, and other embellishments on some of these pieces as I place them. I have already changed it up just a little, as I went fabric shopping and added some new fabrics. :o) I plan on finishing my sample and working it up into an art quilt.

We had a show and tell in the afternoon. Rhonda brought a lot of her gorgeous art quilts. I really love her work. Her friend Dorinda had lovely traditional quilts. I met a very nice lady from Brookhaven (where Mark and I are from, an hour south of Jackson), and she brought some pictures of her beautiful work. She had some landscape quilts that I just loved. Another lady had some beautiful paintings as well as quilts. I enjoyed looking at everyone's stuff. :o)

Brett is a very nice lady, and I really enjoyed taking this workshop from her. I am so glad I didn't get the job with Blue Cross, because then I would have missed this workshop. It all worked out for the best. :o)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am a Goddess :o)

Isn't my Goddess avatar just too cute? I love it! Grian at Panthea put this on her blog. You can go in to Panthea's Create-A-Goddess and create your own Goddess avatar. It's a lot of fun! I think she looks just like me. :o)

Weigh-In update - I forgot to mention that at my weigh in on Tuesday night I had lost another two pounds. That makes 13 in all! Woo-hoo! I'm so very happy about that! :o)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finished Crewel Choices

I finally finished Crewel Choices on Friday and got it stretched out. I will be taking our projects to the post office today to send to Judy Jeroy for evaluations. I'm very happy to be finished! :o)

Now I'm working on Cherry Tree Cottage basket, because I would like to be able to use it at the seminar the first week of September. Then next I have to work on the embroidered bear I agreed to pilot stitch.

I got home yesterday afternoon from the dentist to find visitors waiting in the yard. Evidently, they thought I should provide a snack for them.

They were just too cute to resist. I ran inside and got some bread and my camera. While tearing the bread for them, I dropped some crumbs on my toes and got nibbled on. :o) I really wanted to pet them, but when I tried to get too friendly they took their leave from me.

Megan went to a dance thing Saturday night put on by the local SCA. One of the requirements (other than your money) was that you come in costume. I think she looks beautiful.

I love the way she poses. :o)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gentle Yoga Teacher Rissa

Rissa taught the gentle yoga class today, and it was great! :o) I really enjoyed the class. She is a natural-born teacher, whether it is computer stuff, spinning, needlework, bellydancing, or yoga. Okay, I'm going to toot my friend's horn just a bit, even though she will pooh-pooh me. :o) She has so many talents, gifts, and skills, it is amazing. Everything she turns her attention to, she becomes an expert at. And she freely shares all her knowledge, all you have to do is ask. And a more humble person I have never known. I am so grateful to call her my friend. :o)

Anyways, in the gentle yoga class we used a chair to support and help keep our balance. I got a lot of really good stretching in, without having to worry about falling over. LOL I am finally getting to a place where I actually enjoy doing yoga poses. But the most useful thing I have learned is it is okay to come out of a pose when your body tells you to, whether the teacher releases the class out of the pose or not. That way I don't end up in tears and hating the my body, the class, the teacher, and yoga in general. I have learned my limits and how to GENTLY stretch them.

On the employment front, I heard back from Blue Cross on Monday. Although I scored very high on the tests, evidently BC has decided that rehiring former employees is not a good thing. So I am ineligible to apply for a job with them. Oh well. I guess that means I will be going to school with Megan this fall. Although hearing that BC didn't want me was just a little upsetting to my little ego, it makes me very happy that I will be going to school with Megan for one more semester. :o)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sometimes I think too much

Well, I may be going back to work sooner than I want to. I sent my resume to Blue Cross for a couple of positions they have open, and they responded back already. I was kinda hoping the jobs had already been filled. :o)

The good thing is, both jobs actually sound interesting to me. The bad thing is I wanted to wait until September to go back to work. But, I happened to look on their website, and the jobs are available now. So I had a telephone screening yesterday, and I will go take the personality test thing tomorrow. If I pass that, they will interview me. I do intend to go to national seminar over labor day week. I will discuss that with them, IF I get a job offer.

But now to the thinking too much problem....I thought myself into a mini-depression because I really, really wanted to take more art classes with Megan this fall semester. I can always take an art class later, but not with my daughter. I had a blast last semester in class with her. So I got up all depressed this morning, and there was Mark, sitting on the couch. I added anger to my depression. I got all mad at Mark. I know that is an irrational thing, but there you have it. I am mad at him because I have to go back to work. I know it's not his fault, but I'm mad at him anyways.

So, in tears, all sad and mad (with Mark asking, "what's the matter? are you mad at me?," which only makes it worse - makes me want to punch him in the face), I got dressed to go take a Pace Group exercise class at the Y. The pace exercise was actually fun! You go from exercise station to station. The stations alternate a different weight machine with either a step or a kind of bouncy platform, and you only have to stay on each one 40 seconds. I really enjoyed it, and the other ladies there were discussing Jackson's mayor, and all the political, legal, ethical, and moral trouble he is in, and that was interesting in a train wreck kind of way. LOL By the time the class was over, I was sweaty and tired, and my mood was much, much better. I guess what they say about exercise being good for your mental and emotional state really is true. :o) I feel much better now.

I had a visitor in my yard the other day. I took this picture from my studio window.

Isn't he cute? I love the little wild rabbits running around here. They really are fun to watch. They make me smile, even when I think too much. :o)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bringing Width and Depth to My life

I am using Spark People, a diet community, to help me in my effort to change my lifestyle. I receive perky little messages and recipes through my email from the site. The one for today really touched me.

“You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. Shira Tehrani

Life is like a marathon. We run and run, not knowing where (or how far) the finish line lies. We focus so intensely on prolonging the race but sometimes--despite our best efforts--the race is cut short. Too often we don't relish the path of and enjoy the details instead of just pounding the pavement of life. What personal boundaries can you expand to help you enjoy your life? Today meditate on the simple joys: a warm bath, reading a book to a sleepy toddler, or spending quality time with your family and friends. All of life contains bumps in the road such as losing your job or an unforeseen illness. But it is up to us to determine the quality of our lives. Remember, we don't always determine the distance, but we can determine the path."

To me, it’s saying you don't necessarily know how long you will live, so you shouldn't worry about that. Instead you should focus on the here and now, today, and enjoy it to its fullest, and live the healthiest that you can.

It also makes me think about not just focusing on the end of my journey, or reaching my goals. Like my weight loss goal...I have about 90 pounds to lose. I shouldn't let that be my total focus. Instead, I need to enjoy each step of my journey. I need to be proud of the fact that I am making the effort to learn about nutrition and proper food choices, and celebrate the good choices I do make. I need to enjoy learning about my body and exercise, rejoice when I take that morning walk, and take pleasure in the feel of my newly re-awakened muscles.

And the flip side to that is I don't need to be devastated when I think I have screwed up my diet. If I'm focused on the weight I have to lose, that can be discouraging. If I am focused on me, here and now, than I can enjoy whatever I have made the choice to eat. Savor the taste, the flavors, the sensation of eating it. Then recognize that maybe it wasn't the best choice, although an enjoyable one, and move on. Same thing with exercise. Some days I may not be able to get myself out the door. So I should honor whatever I am feeling. Perhaps I should just pamper myself by meditating, by allowing myself to get a little extra rest, or by giving in to my yearning to just putter around my nest. I should not berate myself for being a lazy fat ass.

To me, this quote is all about being in the moment, being present in my life right now rather than one year from now when I think I will have lost the weight. That is what will give my life width and depth.

This morning I walked to our pool. The water was heavenly! Just warm enough to cool me off from my walk over, but not devastatingly cold like the indoor pool at the Y. LOL I should have brought my camera, because on the walk over an egret let me get quite close. I would have loved to have snapped his picture. Oh well. I enjoyed the moment. :o) Then there were two toads in the pool, poor little fellas. I fished them out and put them in the grass, and nudged them towards the pond. I hope they will be okay; I know chlorinated water is not good for toads and frogs. :o( But getting them out made me feel good. I enjoyed the moments of my walk and swim this morning. Width and depth! That's what it is all about!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Weigh In Update

I lost 6 pounds. Woo hoo! I'm doing the happy dance! :o)

Come Walk With Me!

Woo hoo! This is the last day of the first week of my weight watchers diet, and so far, so good! I weigh in tonight.

Not only have I been dieting, but I have been forcing myself to get some form of exercise every day. On the days I don't go to water aerobics, I go for a walk. Would you like to come with me this morning? Come on, its a fine, beautiful Mississippi morning!

Here we go, leaving my garage. Damn, its only 7:30 and already hot!

But the birds and cicadas are singing, and I can hear the dull roar of Lakeland Drive ever present in the background, so come on. It will be nice.

Here is where we begin our walk, which is, coincidentally, right next to my house. :o)

The fence you see to the right is mine. And that is the back end of my husband's little fishing boat that I told him to put up days ago. Men! You just have to keep on them or they never put their toys up. Sigh.

The walking trail goes around the neighborhood pond. That's not a mist in the pictures, its a heat haze.

These are the good neighbors, coming to see if maybe I brought some breakfast along with me. I love it when they have little fuzzy ducklings. The ducklings are now all adolescents, and it is hard to tell them apart from the adults, but they are in there. (you can click to enlarge)

Onward, because we brought no food, and that tends to make them cranky!

Right before you cross the little bridge above is the path to the second neighborhood pond. It doesn't have a walking trail around it. It has been left more to its original state. In fact, last year the wildlife people caught 2 rather large alligators out of it and moved them to the reservoir. I will take you to that pond another day.

Path to the second pond.
After crossing the bridge, we come to the bad neighbors.

Mean, vile, nasty, evil-tempered Canadian Geese. I always thought they were such beautiful birds (and they are), but now that I have met a few way too up-close and personal, I avoid them when I can. See the evil fella still on the side walk? He wouldn't move, and hissed at me. So I walked in the grass, while we both gave each other the stink-eye. Doesn't he realize I could eat him?? Stinky bird.

Here is another neighbor. A beautiful great blue heron (you can click and enlarge the picture). We also have a white egret, but I didn't see him this morning. Blue was not happy with me for disturbing his breakfast, and sqawked at me. For such a beautiful and graceful bird, he sure does make an awful noise. LOL

Around the curve is the neighborhood's club house and pool. There is a second club house and pool, in the "new" section of Laurelwood. But this is the pool I go to, when I go. :o) I think the little light thingy-effect is kind of cool. I'm not sure how that happened though. :o)

Before we get to the club house though, we turn onto my favorite part of my walk. Its all nice and shadey. :o)

But it doesn't last very long! Here we are, through the woods and onto the road.

Now, down this street. Look, people have set their garbage out. Oops! Its garbage day, and I forgot! I hope they don't come before I get back! :o)

Turn and go down this street. Into the full sun, damn its hot! And not even 8:00 yet! My goal is that little patch of shade.

Whew! Made it through that street. Its the worst part. Now down this street, with a little more shade. And we aren't heading straight into the sun either.

Here we go, this is my street. Almost home!

Home! Yay! We made it!

And see, this is where we began. I told you the walking path was very conveniently located for me. :o) And I made it home before the garbage people came through.

Thanks for coming with me. I enjoyed taking you on my walk. :o)