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text 2018-09-18 03:07
Holy Shit

It's a little before 7:00 p.m.  The sun has gone down, but it's not dark outside.  This afternoon's high temperature was 107, so I wanted to wait until it cooled down a little bit before I let the dogs out.  It's all the way down to 101.


I went outside with them and to take some items over to the studio.  I had been there for a few minutes this afternoon and it nearly did me in.  But this time I only needed to put a dish in the fridge and drop a book on the desk.


The T A R A N T U L A in the corner by the steps blocked my path.


Oh, it wasn't exactly in my path, but there was no way I was going up those steps.  I hollered at the dogs -- scaring Moby -- and got them back in the house, too.


Two T A R A N T U L A s in two weeks is two too many.


And this one was huge.  I mean really huge.


I will be sleeping with the lights on again tonight.

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text 2018-09-17 17:39
Daily Special - An Almost Free Giveaway!
Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads and Extras - Moosewood Collective

For the price of postage only.





I'm not sure where this came from, but possibly it's one of those "I forgot to return the card that said don't send me this" book club editions.  At any rate, it's brand new even though it's been sitting on a shelf in the workshop for almost 13 years.


Neither of us is much for soups or stews, so even though there are some great recipes, they're not going to be made here.  Someone else might as well get some use out of it.


I'm determined to clear out stuff I'm not using.  If no one claims this by Thursday, it will be donated to the Apache Junction Public Library.


The little Washington State Ferry ornament was a gift from my husband's brother and his (Tasmanian) wife years ago.  Not forgotten, because I knew exactly where it was.  I just didn't remember that the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special was sitting right beside it on the shelf in the workshop.  I brought both of them in the house.  The ferry now sits beside my desk computer screen.


There's a method to my madness.

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text 2018-09-16 20:10

When I was at Arizona State 1998-2000, as both a student employee and honors college student I had virtually unlimited access to photocopying and academic database printing.  I took advantage of it.  Then after graduation, I had a weird little job for almost two years that gave me free photocopying as long as I supplied the paper.  I took advantage of that, too.  Obscure, long out of print books were my favorites.  I copied a lot of them.


Before I moved in 2005, I went through a 20+ year collection of craft magazines and tore out the articles I wanted then threw the rest in the recycling bin.  Instead of five banker's boxes full of magazines, I whittled it down to four very fat 3-ring binders.


Since at least 2008, I've had a scanner that will do PDFs, but it never occurred to me to scan all these documents and eliminate the paper.  I've always had plenty of storage space so there was no urgency.


In the past two days, I've converted over 1200 pages (600 sheets of paper) to PDF files. As soon as I review the PDFs, all that paper will go into recycling.


There is a method to my madness.

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review 2018-09-14 20:18
Sea Glass Crafts . . . and other options
Sea Glass Crafts: 28 Fun Projects You Can Make at Home - C.S. Lambert

I bought this book at The Whale's Tale gift shop in Cape May, New Jersey.  Over the course of my various visits to this charming resort and its wonderful beaches, I had picked up a few bits and pieces of genuine sea glass and thought surely I can make something out of it . . . .


Most of the projects in this book are fairly simple, but some are more complex and therefore provide a worthwhile challenge for the not-so-much-a beginner. 


Author Lambert provides substantial background information as well, such as a sidebar on ceramic shards that also wash up on beaches.  I found one of those on the beach at Cape May, a small piece of what might have been a child's cup decorated with a picture of a whimsical kitten.



She also gives excellent directions for making the projects, including detailed instructions for drilling holes in sea glass using a drill press, regular drill, or Dremel tool.  Holes are essential for turning glass pieces into earrings and other jewelry or sun catchers or any of several other creations.  In fact, when I took this book off the shelf this morning that was the first thing I looked for: how to drill holes!


Of course, it's not always necessary to drill holes.  Some pieces are shaped just right that they can be made into something without drilling.  This is a pendant I made with just a piece of Cape May sea glass and sterling silver wire.  It sold right away!



I've only found a few very tiny pieces of glass at the beaches on Whidbey Island, Washington, but one thing I did find was one of my coolest discoveries ever.


During a visit in 2009, I had gone with my daughter-in-law and grandson to the beach at Langley, WA in search of rocks or shells or glass or whatever.  We found none of the first three, but I did find a whatever.  Lying on top of the seaweed-covered rocks at the tide line was a small round grey thing with blue circles on it. 



I could accurately describe it as the size of a marble because after we left the beach, we stopped at the grocery store and there was an ordinary glass marble in the parking lot.



Although I don't exactly collect marbles, I do pick them up when I find them, and have acquired maybe two dozen over the years.  So of course I picked up this yellow one and dropped it in my pocket.


After we got back to my son's house, we did some quick research and determined that the grey thing with blue circles was in fact an antique clay marble!  They're not particularly rare or valuable, but I did think it was kind of cool to find one on the beach, followed by finding a modern one!


But now it's nine years later, and I still don't believe in omens.

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text 2018-09-09 17:20
Everything is just getting weird (more thinking aloud)

Maybe this is just the season for weirdness.  Or maybe it's that phenomenon of once you see a thing, you see it everywhere and then you wonder why the hell you never saw it before.


Last night after the encounter with the T A R A N T U L A by the back steps, I stayed up for a while and finished a few small tidying chores.  When I did finally go to bed, I did indeed leave the light on, knowing full well that it was more likely to attract creeping and/or flying creatures that deter them, but at least if I woke up from a nasty snakes and spiders dream, I'd know right away where I was and not be disoriented.  As it turned out, I had no creepy dreams but did wake up around 2:00 long enough to ascertain there were no monsters lurking and to turn out the light.


I slept until shortly after 5:00.  Moby wanted outside, and BF was making all kinds of noise in preparation for another day of umpiring girls' softball games.  He will be going to watch football games with his friends afterward, so I have the house to myself until about 10:00.  Yay!


I've already crossed a couple of small tasks off The List for today, but there is much, much more.


I've also already had another issue come up related to the do I move or stay decision.


In cleaning up some of the loose paper this morning, I came across some material related to last year's Studio Tour and it got me to thinking.  As impatient as I am to discuss this whole thing openly, I really do want to wait until Wednesday's meeting, just to see how things are going with the group.  And the paperwork I found this morning reminded me of some other things. . . .


About a year ago, one of my (few) friends in the artists' group decided to move.  Like me, she had no family here and had issues that made her want to be closer to family.  She loved Arizona and wasn't crazy about going back to a part of the country where there was occasional snow and ice, but there were too many other considerations. 


Among them was her own physical health.  She had had both a hip and knee replacement due to an accident and was strongly encouraged to walk as therapy.  Her husband also had health issues for which his doctors recommended walking more.  And in this part of Arizona, outdoor walking is simply not feasible for several months out of the year.


As she told me, the choice was between moving to a location where walking/hiking was reasonable most of the time or buying a gym membership.  Here, those memberships aren't always cheap, and her husband is a loner who doesn't like socializing much anyway.  He flat out nixed the "fitness center" idea, and since she didn't want to have to get up at 4:00 in the morning to walk when it's only 95 outside, and since she both needed some family assistance and also wanted to be closer to several new grandchildren, she made the decision to move. 


Even as an artist whose paintings and drawings of western and desert landscapes are absolutely phenomenal, she knew that gorgeous scenery just isn't enough to live on.


Her financial situation was very different from mine, and she was able to make several trips to her destination for the purpose of locating a place to buy and negotiating the deal.  I don't have that luxury, at least not yet.


But thinking about her decision highlighted something else about mine that I hadn't thought of.


I, too, tend to sit too much during the summer, which creates (esp. at my age) a need for real physical recovery before the show season's requirements of loading, unloading, hauling, setting up, tearing down, etc.  Part of it, I'm sure, is just global climate change that makes the triple digit weather hang on a bit longer every September and arrive earlier every May.  But I simply need to move more, and it's almost as dangerous to get out and walk around the neighborhood as it is to sit and do nothing.  There's the heat to contend with even before full sunrise, plus the snakes (they're not easy to see in the dark/dusk).  I'm not worried about the coyotes, but we do have javelina and they can be really nasty.  And to go walking alone in a sparsely populated area is also not safe.


More and more and more, the scale is being tipped in the "move" direction.

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