dithering

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I’ve had an unscheduled hiatus from… everything. Some ‘stuff’ and illnesses (not covid) have invaded house and home and family so everything fell away – for a bit. All is not ‘back to normal’ but now there is naught for me to do except fret and worry. Two things I do gracelessly. It occurred to me – I miss blogging – however sporadically. I miss reading everyone’s posts. Hence my dithering return.

During this time I had a birthday. I asked for and received bunches of lovely books. Just looking at them all is pleasing. I have everything to both distract and entertain myself….a couple of old favorites like Kerry Greenwood and Elly Griffiths. Also, Mom dipped into my father’s stash with an Edmund Crispin and Yrsa Sigurardottir. I’ve never read either author, but Mom handed them to me with an undeniable reverence. Recently, my favorite genre has been ‘cozy mystery’. I strongly suspect Dad’s books are out of that category. Hmm. I guess I’ll have to focus.

As always, thanks for reading and keep well.

My Virtual Revisit

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From October 9, 1996 to September 28, 1999, the BBC ran a wonderful cooking show called Two Fat Ladies.

I love cooking shows. I remember Mom watching The French Chef – not the reruns mind you – but as a brand spanking new weekly series. Mom marveled that the teeny tiny kitchen that produced those French gastronomic beauties was indeed Julia Child’s actual kitchen. It wasn’t until I was much older that I came to appreciate the show: recipes, petite kitchen, not to mention Julia Child herself. After Julia came a succession of cooking shows I enjoyed and watch(ed) loyally. Among the many titles and chefs, there is one series/chefs that has a special place in my heart: Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson aka the
Two Fat Ladies.

The premise of the show is simple: Clarissa and Jennifer travel throughout the U.K. cooking for large groups of people. Each show has a food theme such as cakes or one episode is simply titled Meat. These two completely unscripted women are bold, intelligent, outrageous, funny, and incredible cooks. (They were also throughly unique individuals. Their lives make a fascinating read.). What’s more, this dynamic duo do their traveling via Jennifer’s vintage motorcycle with a sidecar for Clarissa – which leads me to my virtual vacation: Last Sunday, I dusted off my Two Fat Ladies dvd set and settled down for a nice little trip.

I rode with the ladies along the waterfront of Mevagissey, Cornwall sniffing the the catch of the day, moved on to Hallaton, Leicestershire and marveled as they creamed butter and sugar with just a spoon. The drive to Lennoxlove House in East Lothian, Scotland took my breath away – as did Lennoxlove House. I had just sworn (for the umpteen time) that I would make those chicken breasts with walnut l’aillade, (surely my cooking skills are up to that recipe?), when my DVD player hiccuped. Unfortunately, like all hiccups bouts, the pops and burps continued sporadically until I admitted defeat. Or rather an extended pause – I ordered a new dvd that afternoon.

I hope to continue my lovely journeys with Clarissa and Jennifer very soon. I say give them a try!
Thank you for reading and stay safe!

Breathing easier

Monday night, Ginger started sliding downhill.
She didn’t want to stand much less, walk.
She even ignored her favorite pastime – snacking.

Dave packed her off to our emergency center. Once there, the doctors decided on a course of treatment and a couple of days under their care. We brought her home yesterday evening.

Her improvement is astonishing. She is walking and eating and her breathing is nearly normal. She has two weeks of antibiotics and then a follow up. Her treating doctor, (I’m planning on shamelessly begging him to accept Ginger as one of his regular patients. Or at the very least recommending someone affiliated with the treatment center.), can’t be sure if this is pneumonia, bronchitis, or another lung disease until the follow up tests.

So. It is looking up here. Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Do over please…

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Ah… the long gone days of childhood. Playing outside and getting the frisbee stuck in the tree – or the ball in the gutter – and shouting ‘do over!’. Everything stopped, the ball/frisbee retrieved, everybody back to their assigned places and the game is restarted. But, come to think of it… there usually was one kid – the one who yelled ‘No, not fair! I’m winning!’ – even though all had agreed to their earlier do over. Hmmmm…. food for thought … for another time.

Anyway, my wish for a do over today is about our dog, Ginger. She has fallen extremely ill and is struggling to recover. When she came back from the vet on Saturday, she seemed to be improving. Yesterday, she was eating and drinking. Today. Well, not the improvement we had been hoping for but not necessarily worsening. I think this illness is unnerving both of us. She’s almost 13 and that is a big age for any breed. Well. I don’t know when or where this came from, so on a rethink, ‘do over’ is incorrect. I want an undo.

I almost forgot – my opening photo: I took a quick shot of some of my newly created polymer clay pieces. These will be part of my new jewelry collection.

Need to check on my girl. Thanks for stopping and reading. Stay healthy and safe.

The end of May

A happy bunny moment:

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It seems surreal that May is at its end.
It feels like I have been in a tunnel? Cavern? Or just in my own head?for this entire month.

I’m happy to say I’ve started working on my jewelry again. I haven’t touched the stuff for ages now and one morning I said “it’s time”. I just finished assembling four necklaces and completed a couple of rings. Here’s one of the rings:

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I haven’t listed any of the pieces on Etsy but will very soon.

I must say, it feels good to be updating my blog again. Perhaps my June resolution should be to update a bit more regularly.

Thanks for reading and stay positive!

A full circle…decades in the making.

An epiphany.
Or perhaps more like a sudden realization.
Maybe just a stirring of memories.

Whatever. I’ll get on with it. But first a bit of my personal history, if you don’t mind……

I grew up surrounded with art supplies and books. On rainy days Mom would cover the dining room table (and the floor) with newspaper and bring out the watercolor paints and paper. PlayDough, my favorite, was permitted everywhere. The 64 Crayola crayon box – with built in sharpener – a hoarded treasure. I loved to draw, but at a certain age, (most likely early in grade school), I was told I “couldn’t draw”.

My love of books has stuck. (According to family lore, I had cloth books with me in my crib. It occurs to me perhaps I should have at least one book cremated with me. Bit morbid. Sorry.)

PlayDough morphed into polymer clay. My jewelry is on Etsy and I put up my tent at local shows. I also love making small animal totems, especially bunnies.

Drawing. All these years and never picked up pencil. Cause I couldn’t draw right? So now I’m taking this class I keep blathering about. I’ve had varied successes in class. I seemed determined to clench up and disappoint myself – knowing what I’ve brought to the table, pretty quickly done. So today I asked myself, “what inspired me to draw all those years ago?” Easy. Dr. Seuss. I still have my books:

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I have found my happy moment! What a good morning/afternoon!
Have a great day and thank you for reading!

I feel dazed…..

The songbirds have returned. Standing in my yard, listening to their celebrations of an early spring and eavesdropping on serenades to potential mates, I’m too grumpy (distracted?) to enjoy their glorious songs.

Those last couple of weeks of January were bit too rough, a little too much, I’m still processing events. I think I’ll just talk about one such event today.

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Our Brandy died ten days ago.
A ball of light and love wrapped in silky red hair
Brandy was our heart: sweet, silly, ornery, and little bossy
All gone.

Still youngish, never ill, she was gone in a flash.

Now, this is the part that in time will be a delight but is still a bit difficult: She died chasing a bunny. Seriously.

Dave said she was chasing the rabbit then stopped and then started running again. Her usual. (We had assumed her arthritic shoulder hampered her chases of late.). This time, however, she laid down and was gone.

Anything heart/brain/vascular could have happened. She was current with everything at the vet’s. I do believe it was simply ‘her time’. And what standard dachshund wouldn’t want their last act to be chasing a bunny? (Except for those who want to be noshing on a bit of something.).

All that being said does not make this easy.

I know we will heal. I know, given the time to process her dying, we will be fine. Not quite yet.

Pleasantries

Pleasantries. I love that word.
You run into someone at the grocery and you exchange pleasantries.
You meet an acquaintance for coffee – pleasantries.
A friend for lunch? First come the pleasantries.
The last couple of days, I have been fighting a nasty cold. I have avoided the news, the bills, the house cleaning, and instead focused on taking vitamins and resting (and reading). In short – living the pleasantries.
My head cold adverted, I’m up and functioning. No more pleasantries.
Drat.
I had high hopes for today. My WW purple would have kicked in showing a lovely loss. I would have finished my sketch from last night, (we started charcoal. Which I loved), over a very sensible breakfast. Then yoga, followed by shoe shopping. A short break for an espresso then blogging and clay. Wonderful. In short, the pleasantries tinted version of life.
The truth – –
Had nightmares. The dogs woke me up far too early for an emergency bathroom trip. Recycling didn’t pick up today. Dragged the full bin back into the garage. Realized I left my charcoal pencils in the classroom last night. Added too much black to my turquoise clay and created a sickly mud. The news…cant even go there. The icing on my cake? A text from my sister requiring a specific time to receive her phone call. I’d rather study current affairs.
Now, sitting at my kitchen table with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on TV, I am reminiscing about the pleasantries.
Well.
It’s still earlyish. Come what may. Thanks for reading. Today’s photo, bold reds and all:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/736696186/very-bold-and-beautiful-red-and-burgundy?ref=shop_home_active_23&frs=1

Bits and pieces

I can’t believe we are halfway thru January. Did it speed by or creep?

I always think I should be accomplishing great things. Constantly. Yes, I know it is illogical and impossible and I’m working on changing this mindset, but there you have it. Unreasonable expectations leading to a general dissatisfaction. Yep. Well, I have managed to teach myself to look at the stuff I did do/start/maintain.

One thing I am truly delighted about is my drawing class. After all these years of wanting to take a class, I am actually doing it! This inspired me to also buy Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I was able to do a couple of the exercises before my class last night. I was thrilled at my progress. Our assignment was to bring in a photo to draw. I brought a photo I took while on vacation a couple of years ago:

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I drew one duck:

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For me, last night was all about the duck. But I think I’m making real progress. Slowly but surely.

I seem to be spending all my emotional energy on my class, leaving little – if any – for my Etsy site. I tried to sit down several times to create a piece (or several!). Nope. Nothing new or exciting perking in my head. Maybe once I feel a little further along with drawing I’ll be able to focus on my clay. Still, the earrings I have been working on are almost done and looking good!

Sooooo I’m thinking that even tho I haven’t leapt any tall buildings in any number of bounds, maybe I have done alright so far this month. Yes. I think I have.

Update update

Today seems a bit, well, unreal. Or is it surreal. I’m awake, I’m moving and doing and have that sense of accomplishment but I don’t exactly know why. Hmm. I have done a couple of nice things in last couple of days tho….

My drawing class was lovely. My instructor spoke briefly about drawing, pencils, shading, and course objectives. And then she gestured to a table cluttered with random objects and said “get started”. Um. So we did. And she walked around talking about our drawings. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the class. Of course, the more practice the better. Haven’t drawn yet today but the day isn’t over.

Oooo….Today was weigh in day for Weight Watchers. I lost! All is right in the world again! (Heehee). Yesterday I tried the WW site’s questionnaire to see which program I would be sorted into (I suppose it is just me, but in my head I hear a tatty hat crying,”Better be Gryffindore!”). It was purple. Change is good.

Maybe it that’s it… The weight loss has given that feeling of accomplishment! That makes sense. Still, from my to do list: today I am to finish the two pairs of earrings on my work table and start on a large statement sort of necklace. I should do that. Right. Best get started.

I did get these earrings listed:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/754459022/large-black-and-gray-polymer-clay-dangle?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

Off to work. Thank you for reading!