Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wrapped Up

Yesterday I had my first go at wire wrapped jewellery.
It isn't as easy as it looks.
I had a rose quartz kicking around so I thought I would use that.  It probably wasn't the best one to start with as it is a polished stone.
I think a more rough stone would have been easier to wrap in the wire.
Being polished, this stone kept slipping about all over the place causing me to exclaim "Pee, Po, Belly, Bum, Drawers on more than one occasion.
Anyway, I added the crystal to make it look exciting and it is fixed in there fairly solidly now.  I didn't use glue or anything barbaric like that and I am sure any others I do will be better.
My hands have been hurting quite a lot so that doesn't help.......pants...I am not making excuses.
It is ok for a first go I think.

Today, despite hurty hands I did a bit more to the kaleidoscope dragon.

He is now looking a bit more buff.
I have been working on his muscles and general definition.

Dragons have their pros and cons.
Con :-   There are no real dragons so there is no way to follow the anatomy using photographs.
Pro :-     There are no real dragons so however I choose to paint him, no one can say the anatomy is wrong.

I haven't even started on the wings yet really.  Just a bit of underpainting.
I will have to start defining the scales too soon.  That is a job and a half.
Especially with hurty hands.

I may take myself off to the mall tomorrow.
Who knows what adventures await me there?

Thursday, April 23, 2015



This is graupel.
No, I am not still banging on about the pretentious words in the book I am reading, this is real stuff.

We had to have the air conditioner replaced.
Last year it had struggled to try to keep the house cool during the summer.  We had been told that,
a, it was old.
b, it wasn't powerful enough.
This was true.
Although it is chuffing cold here for much of the year, in the summer it is chuffing hot.
The air con should come on and off automatically, keeping the place at a set temperature.
Last year it just kept going constantly as it could not keep the heat down to a comfortable level.
It must have cost us a fortune.
So, it had to be replaced.
On Tuesday, while the men were removing the old unit and installing the new one, it started snowing.
Well, I thought it started snowing.
Then it seemed to turn to hail.
Well, I thought it was hail.
But I was wrong.
On the evening news the weather man rather proudly told us all that it had been graupel...pronounced 'gropple'.
I thought he was having a laugh, but he wasn't.  He really liked this word.  Apparently, graupel consists of snow pellets.
Hail is ice, snow is snow and graupel is snow covered in a crisp candy, I mean it is snow covered in a shell of ice.
The most marked difference is that where hail bounces around, graupel, when it hits the ground or, as I found out, someone walking to and from work, it sort of squishes.

Here is proof.
It graupelled on Tuesday and again on Wednesday and it was perishing cold and blowing a gale.
Still, we are not into May glad we paid an arm and a leg to get the air con fixed.

I went to the mall today.
My idiot magnet was in over drive.   On the bus going there was a woman who talked non stop standing next to the driver.
She drove me nuts.
After a quick once round the mall I went to the food court for my customary coffee, to sit, relax and people watch.
Huh...some chance.   A whole bunch of unruly kids came in and sat at tables either side of me.
They were getting up and down and knocking my table so that I had to hang on to my coffee for fear of wearing it.
The adult with them had little (no) control.
I tried to sit there for a bit ignoring them but it became impossible.  This was not a relaxing experience at all.  So, I had to move.
I then made my way to the bus stop for the journey home and sat on the bench.
There I was joined by two women.
The younger of the two asked me if  I would mind if she squeezed in the middle.  She explained that she was on the big side.
She then told me all about the other lady...."This is my aunt", she smiled, allowing the sun the glint off of her tooth.
Goodo thought I.  She then asked me if I had seen the bus go by.
I refrained from remarking that as I was waiting at the bus stop, chances were that I was waiting for a bus and would not still be there had the poxy bus gone by.
No, not I.  Polite to the point of ridiculousness, I just said no I hadn't seen it go by,
She tried several more times to engage me in conversation, mostly just to point out her aunt, of whom she seemed inordinately proud.
Maybe I was having a bad day but all this seemed to irritate me more than it used to.
Having said that........

I think he was having a worse day than me.
We live in a corner house.  This is a neighbour across from us....not Merv's side.
Ye gods, if he has to take out a pooper scooper, nay, two pooper scoopers that size, when he walks his dog then I consider his day worse than mine.
It must be like walking an elephant.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


This is the hole in the side of the house made by the Yaffingale.

Some of you may be wondering what the %$#@ I am talking about.  Well, to save most of you looking it is another word for Woodpecker.
What a beautiful hole the little sod has made.   It is right at the top of the house where no Philip laden ladder will ever venture, so I suppose we shall have to get someone of a more picayune build to mend it.
The reason I am using obscure words is the result of my annoyance at the book I recently started reading.
On page two there were these two words -  Quondam and Embonpoint.
Now I don't consider my vocabulary to be poor.
In fact I spent many years trying instill literacy into dear little souls who frequently used terms like "could of" instead of "could have" and never could tell when to use "their or there" or "to, too & two"......oh ok...I won't get started.
Anyway, this author irritated me enormously with the use of these obscure and possibly obsolete words.
They story is set in modern day, so no excuse there.  Nope, she is just trying to be clever.
I have since been treated to - Agitrop and Barratry.
We shall see how many more times she tries to make me feel stoopy........I bet stoopy won't be in there.

I went to the mall today.  I found a couple of 'Billy Bargains' in Sears for Philip.
Well, actually I found a couple for myself first.
I got two pairs of good jeans for $11 each.  Lubbly jubbly.....look that up Mrs Author Lady !!!
For Philip I found two really lovely sweaters.
They were in the clearance section and started life at $30 each.
They had been reduced, just for today, to...........$3.99 each.
Which takes me on to my next rant.
Some men shouldn't be allowed out shopping on their own.

As I queued to pay for my treasures, there was a man in front of me.
He was returning some pants.
He said he had bought them but his wife didn't like them and made him bring them back to change them.
He wouldn't have got away with this in England.  Although he had the receipt, the labels and tags had all been removed.  He may have even worn them.
But the assistant calmly agreed to change them.  He then got all bent out of shape because the ones he had picked now were $2 more expensive.
I waited patiently, with a fixed smile on my face, while he whined about the price and how his wife said he had to change them.
He eventually had to pay the extra money and left after trying three times to use the little credit card machine and messing it up.
The cashier and I smiled indulgently at each other as he bimbled away.
It was all so unnecessary.
Surely everyone knows that married men are never, ever supposed to go shopping for underpants.
Wives buy their husbands' pants.
"sic semper erat, et sic semper erit"

Oh and in case the title of this blog escapes you.  This might help.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Irony........what's that?

 I have been busy making more jewelry.
It is a kind of stress relieving therapy for me.

That is true up to the point when my poor hands don't work so well and I drop teeny, tiny little beads or chain rings all over the floor.
Stress levels start to rise then.

But, having said that, I am reasonably pleased with how they are turning out.
I have made a new facebook page to showcase them.

It is called Dragon's Kiss and I am adding stuff to it as I get it done.
There are paintings on there too.
I have already sold a couple of things so at least it will have covered my costs so far.

My friend's brother rang me on Thursday, the day after I had been there.
He said he just needed someone to talk to as she was driving him crazy.
She was, apparently, still carrying on with the temper outbursts and he could do nothing right.
I suggested he talk to her doctor as all this couldn't be doing her any good and she could end up having another stroke.
He sounded so down.  I forgave him for all the nonsense he had previously told me about how wonderfully so was doing and that she was fine looking after herself.
Now he was saying she shouldn't be working and should have someone there with her all the time.
He obviously has no idea what irony is.  I have been telling him this all along, but he would just lie and tell me she was talking etc.
I felt quite sorry for them both and, against my better judgement, I was going to call in to see them today.
But, as she had previously made it clear she didn't want us visiting, I thought it would be wise to check first.
I texted him and asked how things were.
His reply...."Much better.".
Nothing else.
Ok. I told him I would be there as usual on Wednesday.  I shall see how 'much better' things are then I suppose.

On a lighter note.  We have brekkie most Saturdays in is a sort of coffee shop.
Every Saturday there is a group of retirees, mostly former teachers, who have a corner reserved for them.
I love seeing them and they seem such good mates. One guy has a particularly dry sense of humour.
This Saturday there was a lady with them we hadn't seen before.
Oh my goodness was she loud.   She didn't mean to be but she had one of those stereotypically strident voices.
She was sounding off about lots of subjects, including immigration.  We heard one of the others call 'bullshit' on something she was banging on about and then she started singing.
This is a very popular coffee shop and it is always full.
Anyway, she was singing, what sounded like very old songs, that we had never heard before....rather loudly.
I heard one of the men say,
 " You are going to have to find another table Shirley."
to which she replied, "Oh but you never hear songs like that any more.",
We all then heard the guy with the dry sense of humour say quite quietly,
" Well, I am glad about that.".

The whole place erupted in laughter.
It quite made my whole week and we were still smiling as we left.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Storms x 2

This is what a squirrel looks like when he has been out in the rain without his mac.
The photo doesn't really show it properly but he did look so funny with his fluffy tail all soggy and bedraggled.
Oooh.....I like that word....bedraggled........I must try to use it more.
Anyway, he made me giggle.
As did Donald & Daisy, or it could have been Tich and Quackers, who found a big puddle and were having a crafty wallow.
I wasn't quick enough to get a picture unfortunately.
You see we have had terrific storms all night and now most of the day today.
The thunder shook the house on several occasions.
Won't be long before we start getting tornado warnings.  T'is the season.
Wisconsin doesn't muck about with wishy washy weather.
We do weather in a big way.

My friend was released from hospital on Monday.
I walked round there (long walk) in the morning to check that everything was in order in the office etc before she came home.
I heard her brother telling people on the phone that she could talk......oh really?
He lives in a fantasy world and it is driving me crazy.
Stop bloody lying.
I don't think he can.

He told me to ring her as he thought she wanted me to do something.  So I did.
All she could do was to make noises into the phone, which I knew would happen.
In the end she gave up and hung up.
I told him and I told him I knew it was a waste of time before I phoned.
What doesn't he get?  What planet is he on?

I went yesterday to do my usual stuff.  Accounts etc.
I had been told that she would be at speech therapy every day, Monday - Friday.
Apparently a fairy must have made that up too.
She was there.  Poor thing, she was trying to tell me something on one of the schedules.
I tried so hard to help her.  She couldn't say a clear word.
I kept suggesting things and she just kept getting angrier because I didn't understand.  She tried to write it down but all she could write was,  "Jim  got  got".
I read it back to her and told her I didn't know what that meant.  I was being very quiet and calm.
She got so mad she threw the pen and the schedule board around the office.
She got her brother, who of course, also had no clue.
It was a nightmare.  She slammed doors and threw things.
I know, probably 75% of it is she is frustrated with herself that she can't communicate and maybe 25% annoyed with us that we cannot understand.
She then slammed the door and went back to bed.  I didn't see her again until I let her know I was leaving.  I asked her to try not to get so stressed as it isn't good for her.
Her brother said she is like this all the time.  I actually felt quite sorry for him as he had been extremely patient.
I was shaking the whole time I was there.
I am worried she will have another stroke the way she is carrying on.
She has also started doing massages again.
I really don't know how she is doing this. They must think a stroke is some minor condition.
I wish she had given herself more time to recover.
She is constantly on my mind but I realised there is nothing more I can do.  I can't phone because either she can't talk to me or her brother will tell me a pack of lies.
I will call in there on Saturday to see how things are but I am going to have to take a step back.
They won't listen to any advice and will just do want they want to do.
This is my mantra now.
I will watch from a slight distance.  I will continue to do my work but I will not get drawn in to things I cannot change and cause me so much stress.

On a lighter note.   I have been doing a bit more on the painting.   I have been through the "I hate the bloody thing" phase and it is always a relief to get that over with.

A long way to go yet.
Still putting in base colours but it is going the way I want it to go, which is helpful.
This should be some good stress relief I think.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pants week

Still trying to find time to work on my latest commission.
I have most of the background in and the under painting of the dragon done.
There is a long way to go yet.
No 'Bob Ross' dabbing a tree in here and there in about 30 minutes for me I'm afraid.

Most of the week has been spent sorting out my friend's business and appointments and, of course, going to and from the hospital.
I am so tired of her brother lying to me.
The number of times he has told me how much better she is and that she is coming home is unbelievable.
Of course, when I get to the hospital she isn't better, still cannot talk and isn't coming home.
The last time he did it I snapped and really told him off.
He has been a bit more careful since then.

When I saw her Thursday I was a bit more optimistic.
She has got a lot of her strength back in her arm and leg but she still cannot talk.
Her brother had told me she was coming home the next day but of course when I spoke to the nurse there was no chance of that.
But, having said that, she was in really good spirits and we had a lot of laughs.

I went again yesterday.
Different story this time.
She is now getting very annoyed at not being able to speak and also getting irritated because we can't understand what she wants to say.
She has tried to write things down but doesn't have the words to express herself.
I am only just beginning to grasp how this works.
It isn't that she just can't speak or she would write the words/sentences she wants to say.
She just can't find the words.
Like when you can't think of the name of something.
She kept writing Jan 1 2 3  Feb 1 2 3 Mar 1 2 3 etc but could't put what this meant.
We eventually guessed it was to do with work schedules but she couldn't write a sentence to say what she wanted us to understand.
If the blood thinners are working they may let her go home tomorrow Monday.
She will also go to therapy every morning, being picked up and brought home.
She still thinks she will able to do massage.........sigh.
I am very concerned.  I have been depressed all weekend.
She is going to be very difficult to deal with I think.  I have done as much as I can.  I have phoned lots of  people to cancel their appointments and explained what happened to some.
This is easy to say but when you can't read someone's writing and there are no phone numbers - it isn't easy at all.
I surprised that not many of her 'friends' have been visiting her and family has been almost non existent.
I am very worried.

In other news.   A lovely young man came knocking at the door to tell me about the company he works for.
He went up and down the street.
Then he knocked on Merv's door.
Ha...I bet he was sorry.

Oh...and the squirrels are driving me nuts emptying the birdie feeder within minutes of me filling it.
They have been busy this spring.  There are lots more of the little buggers.

Nearly forgot.
It snowed yesterday.....just a bit.