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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Life is a Bowl Full of Bacon

Sisi was supposed to photograph our beautiful bowl full of cherries yesterday before they were eaten.  Somehow she did not accomplish that task.  I think she got distracted eating cherries.  In any event, this morning life took on a beautiful new meaning for the kids:  BACON!

We have bacon about twice a year at our house, so it's right up there with Christmas and birthdays on the This Is a Good Day scale.  The Player made the bacon today, which made him a Good Person as far as the kids were concerned.

This is the last photo I was able to take of the bacon.  Kind of like the cherries.

I went out to the garden a few minutes ago.  Here is the bad news (in spite of watering and one-tenth inch of rain last week):

The Plant Formerly Known as Sugar Snap Peas.

No Longer Bleeding Heart

Here is the good news:  HIBISCUS LIVES!

and The Cubs beat the Cardinals yesterday in the bottom of the 10th!  Oh Yeah!  Life IS a bowl full o'bacon!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

In Which God and I Show Off

Whenever there was a beautiful sunset my friend Arthur would say That's God showing off!  Just the other night after the double rainbow, God outdid herself:

Today she reminded me of more subtle signs of her amazing-awesomeness:

Slurp Slurp = Praise the Lord.

I am not nearly as awesome but I am going to show off my latest project.  No more about God, so if your are just reading my blog for the fabulous spiritual insights (and I feel sorry for you if you are) then you may stop now.  But if you want to see my art skills advance to the level of a somewhat inept ninth-grader, keep on keepin-on.

When we last saw this project it was a partly glued mosaic design.  Here it is at stage 2, all tiles glued on. 
At this point I realized some of the border tiles were over the edge, and my original plans to use the shadow-box lid frame were now kaput.  But I learned to do this from a book that had an entire section called Mistakes.  So I don't feel too badly.  In fact, I don't feel badly at all.

Here is the stage that makes me bite my fingernails like it's the ninth inning and the Cubs are up by 2 runs and the man whose name we no longer speak aloud in our house is coming in to ruin the game pitch.

I actually had to go lie down and stay away while the grout settles a bit.    Then the fun part, wiping off the extra grout to see what it will really look like:

It's not completely done, another grout wiping session coming up, but you can see what it will look like.  I'm happy. Cubs Win.  Cubs Win.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Does It MEAN?

Sisi and The Player called me outside tonight after the little rainstorm we had.  Welcome precipitation!  And this is what they showed me:

Sisi repeated, about 40 times, "A double rainbow!  What does it MEAN?"  Until The Player looked like he might start to cry.  "Don't cry, I said."  Oh wait, that's not what I said.  I said, "You're not the boss of me."  That's because first he said to me "Don't say What does it MEAN?"

Well, anyway, I took about 100 pictures of the rainbows trying to get the entire thing in the frame, and failing.  So here are some other shots of this natural beauty.

and one more for good measure:

I hope it means a promise of a little more rain sometime in the next 40 days or 40 nights.  We need more of that sweet wet stuff!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Latest Project Underway

Here's the start of my next mosaic.  Thinking to do the rest of the piece in the cool irridescent white tile I got on Saturday at Keen's.  Or maybe make a dark blue border around the very edge of the piece.  I haven't decided yet.  I have decided to grout in a light blue.  This is the top of a box (about 8 inches square) that has a frame that will go over this piece to make a removable lid.

I started out with a much more complicated idea, then kept simplifying it into something I could actually do. 

More photos as we progress. 

Maybe I will learn to make grout out of hummus. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The End of the Season

First, to answer my Gentle Readers' questions about what happened with the Mountain Dew Code Red.  Oh, if only it had been a spill or a fizzy eruption of gooey red pop on my new carpet.  I would have been much happier if that were the case.  No, no, it was more along the lines of a Mt St Helen's explosion of bad behavior, fueled by caffeine and sugar in never-before-seen amounts.  It was a record breaking moment of 11 year old defiance of all that it right with this world.  It was...

I think I am suffering from PTSD and cannot really say what happened without years of counseling.

Ok, it wasn't that bad.  But it was still pretty ugly.

So no more sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening nor sugar at suppertime.  And definitely no caffeine until he has grown up and moved to Alaska.

Speaking of Alaska, we watched the movie Big Miracle on DVD last night and it got 4 thumbs up at our house!

Ok...end of the baseball season for J-dude was today.  Because his team lost in the semi-finals of their league.   Game one was an easy win for the boys of Carls Ice Cream (what a great sponsor, eh?).  Game two was a nail biter and J-dude scored the winning run in the bottom of the last inning!  Today, game three...Carls' team played a team that had not lost a game all season and the last time these two teams met we lost 15 to 1.  But today we only lost 4 to 2.   J-dude pitched 2 innings and did very well pitching.  I was really proud of him.   Good season J-dude!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Piece of Good Advice

When your son has been really really sweet for a day or two, he might ask for something out of the ordinary.  He might ask for something that you normally would say No to without even giving it a second thought.  But when your son has been sooooo sweet, you give it a second thought.

When you give it a second thought he seizes that opportunity, gets his sweet size 6 foot in the door, and convinces you that it would be fine to buy him a soda pop while you are at Jewel-Osco.  He convinces you that he wants to try something new.  He wants to try Mountain Dew.  But not just any Mountain Dew, no, he wants to try:

All I can say, is

Don't even think about it!

That's my advice.  Based on experiences too horrific to mention.  Shudder.

Monday, July 16, 2012

In Which the J-Dude Gives ME a Gift on His Birthday

Yesterday J-Dude turned eleven!  He spent the day at his dad's house, so I didn't get to see him until the evening.  He did receive several gifts from the grown-ups in his life including a Wii soccer game, a very cool wiffle-ball set that has a ball that can be thrown for a curve, slider, knuckleball, and change-up, a real Whammo frisbee, and an indoor over-the-door basketball hoop.

While he was playing in the backyard with the wiffle ball, I was on the deck working on my next mosaic project.  For project number 2 I decided to do something a little easier.  I found 2 mirrors with large wooden flat frames at Goodwill, and I bought some leftover tiles at Keen's Wholesale Tile Store in Normal (the wholesale seems to have expanded into smaller amounts for individual projects since the economy took a downturn.)  This project is "self-grouting" which means the black background serves to separate the tiles in the design and no real grout is needed.

Here is the finished product:

After it was done J-dude asked me if was going to hang it up somewhere in the house.  I said I might, or I might give it away as a gift to someone.  J-dude said "Would you give it to me as a birthday gift?"

Would I?  Heck Yes! 

Thanks birthday boy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The All-Star Break

It's mid-season for Major League Baseball.  Last night was the Home Run Derby (Prince Fielder won for the second time.  His first title was for the National League when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers and now he's won for the American League while playing for the Detroit Tigers.)  Tonight is the All Star Game. 

For the Cubs:  Starlin Castro short-stop, and Bryan LaHair, formerly the first baseman and now the right fielder. 

But the big stories of the All-Star Game include

     1.  5 runs in the first inning for the National League (yeah!) against Jason Verlander (some kind of phenom pitcher for the Tigers)
     2. Two young players:  Trout (American League) and Harper (National League) that are both the "future of the game."   Veteran players were asked which one they like better (as players of course.)  Chipper Jones, a retiring outfielder for the Atlanta Braves (he's 40...holy moly...still an All-Star) said he loves Trout but has a man-crush on Harper.
    3.  Did I mention that Chipper Jones has a crush on Bryan Haper.
    4.  Still 5 to 0 National League (yeah) after 2 innings.
    5.  The Player To Be Named Later is watching the game with me, but now he is going to make popcorn.  I love that guy!
    6.  All-Star Game commercials are no longer the premier events they once were.  Once, All-Star Game commercials were as exciting as...Super Bowl commercials.    But now they are just...regular baseball game commercials.  With no capital letters involved.  sigh.
    7.  The Negro League museum is in Kansas City.  Now I want to go to Kansas City and visit that museum.
    8.  I am dreaming of travelling to cities all over North America and going to a game at every stadium.  (Yes, the game has slowed down a bit...3rd inning and still 5-0.) 
   9.  I can smell the popcorn downstairs...where is that guy?
  10.  zzz,,,huh?  Huh?  Oh...no, not sleeping.  Definitely not...where is my popcorn?
  11. Popcorn here and now National League up 8 to zip.  Discovered that the shortest player in all of Major League Baseball is Jose Altuve, 5 feet 5 inches tall, and is playing the All Star Game.  For the National (oh yeah!) League.
  12.  Lots of boring car commercials.  Definitely not premier clever or funny ads any more.  So sad.
  13.  It's good to blog during the game so you don't get annoyed at the BOring commercials.
  14.  Did I mention it's now 8 to zero?  In favor of the National League? 

Oh the popcorn was really good.   Yummm.

Through 7 innings and it's still 8 to zero.  The good news is that there are no relief pitchers for the Cubs coming in to either
a.  lose the game or
b.  walk a bunch of guys and then just at the last minute get 3 outs and win but in the meantime you've bitten your nails down to the cuticles. 

Wait, not you and your nails.  Me and my nails.  Ah.  Still I do love this game.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Out of the Grout Cocoon

Just after I mixed the grout and added some brown acrylic paint, I got CollageMama's advice to stick with white!  "Shoot!" I thought, but then I looked in one of the library books (that I had checked out again today to be sure I had some idea how to grout my butterfly) and there was a moon made of blue tiles in similar shades to my butterfly grouted with a nice brown grout. 

So I proceeded.

Here's what my morpho looks like now:

So I have learned a few things and next time I will do a few things differently.  But overall I am pleased with my first project.  Next up is to figure out a way to frame it.  I have some ideas....of course. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Old Dog Needs Help with New Trick

One day I was snooping around the new non-fiction section of the Normal Public Library when I ran across a book about crafts that had a relatively easy looking mosaic project in it.  I thought I might be able to handle that project.  But I didn't check out the book and kind of forgot about it for a while.

A month or so later I was in the library again and decided to go looking for that book.  I didn't find it but I did find some books on mosaics for beginners so I checked out two of them.  I looked at them and got pretty interested in learning how to make mosaics.  I realized I'd have to invest a little money in the materials and tools and I didn't get around to it before I had to return the books.  So again...no new tricks.

A month or so after that, I checked the books out again.  I looked at them and looked at them and...suddenly they were a week overdue!  So I returned them without starting a project.

BUT after looking at these books so long, I had in my mind what I needed and what I wanted to do. 

I went to Hobby Lobby.  I spent a little money.  I came home.  I went to the garage and found a piece of material for a base.  I went out in the back yard with my tile cutter and my tiles...I found my hands were too weak to cut the durned things!

I recruited The Player to cut my tiles into little tiny pieces.  I drew and glued and later figured out the secret to easy tile cutting myself and cut and glued.  I finished the gluing yesterday afternoon, and I'm pretty proud of my first effort.  BUT now I need some advice Gentle Readers.  What color to use for the mortar?  (Okay CollageMama I am counting on your trained eye here.)  I'm thinking a beige-ish brown.  But I am open to suggestions! 

Here's my project so far...not bad for an old dog, don't you think?