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Monday Missive – What Day is it Anyway?

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Another flip of the calendar has brought us into July. It continues to be that crazy mixed up world where there is so much going on and nothing going on. How is that even possible? But yet here we are.

So, just what has been going on in my world?

The end of June would have been my sister Rosie’s 70th birthday. It is hard to believe she has been gone 10 years. This week is the anniversary of my other sister BJ’s passing. She has been gone 4 years. It is all a blur, the years. My brother may need a biopsy, too, so lots of emotional thoughts these last few weeks.

My daughter’s birthday is this week so that is a cheerful note. It would be nice to see her, but that is not possible so we will celebrate with her from afar.

We are eating cucumbers, lettuce, spicy peppers, and tomatoes from the garden. We also have basil, cilantro, rosemary, dill and oregano. I have been enjoying cucumber sandwiches most days. The tomatoes are small cherry tomatoes, but they are delightful for salads.

The heat and humidity has been rough these last few days. I work in the garden when I can, but it doesn’t take long for it to be unbearable. Our walks have been early morning and less frequent. We did walk this morning. It was cool but SO humid. The neighbor’s horses were out grazing, but they were masked up which made me chuckle.

6EF13E75-2879-4C14-9296-B5BD06F47492My friend Molly made this beautiful necklace for me. Her husband is a potter and made the precious bluebird. It is a piece I will cherish for a long, long time.

We still are not dining out or even doing takeout. We are quite content to cook and eat at home. We have watched all seasons of “Doc Martin” and “The Split”. Not back to back binge watching, but over 4 months. Gardening has been a nice way to spent some time.

The cabinets are coming along. Base cabinets are in place as well as the wall cabinets. Hubby is making the surface because with our confined space we could not use a prefab countertop. Pics to follow.

I started a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I have most of the border complete but it is slow progress! I am also reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. Just things to fill up time.

I hope all is going well in your world!

 

 

Blog, jewelry

Happy Friday

Day 306

I have slowly stated to recover from my vertigo. I still feel a little on the edge, however it a huge improvement since earlier in the week.

Today was the final day of my workshop. I was much more capable and steady so it was much easier to enjoy the experience. Yesterday I was just not in my best frame of mind.

I still had hubby drop me off at class because I was still not feeling confident enough to drive. There was a little shuffling of space before class this morning which gave me a larger space in which to work.

The workshop was taught by Mary Karg who has an amazing process for applying color pencils to copper. We also worked making cold connections using riveting.

Today we were able to choose a project we wanted to work on. I decided to try and create a pendant by drawing a rough sketch of a giraffe. It was the kind of work I love to do. Slow, methodical work to lose myself in.

So, all-in-all, a very good day. I made some new friends and made some connections to the local writing community as well. Both things I love very much.

Hopefully tomorrow I will still be feeling well so I can get my house back in order. Hubby has done a great job doing all the chores and carting me around. It’s nice and I am thankful, but I am ready to get my life back on track.

How are things in your world? Hopefully not topsy turvy like mine.

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Still Foggy Headed

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Day 305

I made it to my workshop today. Hubby was kind enough to drive me and come back and pick me up later.

I wish I could say it was a stellar day. It wasn’t. I was a bit in a fog all day. I finished the work, but it was frustrating. No pictures today. Hopefully there will be some at the end of the workshop. I am hoping tomorrow will be better after a good night’s rest.

On a positive note, it looks like we may have two of our grandchildren next week. That will be fun. They have been with aunts, uncles, and cousins most of the summer. We will be the final stop before haircuts, physicals, and school shopping. Can you believe summer has flown by so fast?

More tomorrow — or Saturday.

art, Blog, Food, gardens, jewelry, snow

Life is a Whirlwind

Day 60

Well, here we are folks, at day 60 of our 365-day blogging challenge. I am finding that my daily blog is as much a part of my thinking as my morning cup of coffee. It has become something I do because I really want to do it. It has been good for me to talk about my day and remember fond memories from my childhood. That’s two months! Patting myself on the shoulder.

I also want to mention that I love the Grammarly Chrome extension I downloaded. I receive an email every week that tells me how many words I wrote, what my most common errors are and what percentile I fall in for various writing and grammar topics. I have learned I am not as bad as I once feared! Of course, I do not have the paid version which would do more sentence structure and complex grammar checking, but I will continue to use this free version for now.

Jewelry Workshop

IMG_7924 2My weekend workshop was superb! Our instructor is a kind and generous teacher. She is so helpful and supportive which is what you need when you are starting out. She never does work for us – but she answers questions and helps us troubleshoot if necessary. I ran into problem after problem, yet I persevered. I ended up with three pieces I was really fond of. They took a great deal of time and patience but I’m so glad I hung in there.

I really want a jewelry studio — just putting it out there in the universe. Hubby has carved out space in the garage for me to work — once he gets the junk moved out of the way of course. Then he will build me work surfaces and my job will be to figure out how to pay for the equipment. Stay tuned to see if I come up with any grand ideas!

Late Fall Days

IMG_7926 2Today was just beautiful. We went for our morning walk and the weather was perfect. Several neighbors were out walking as well. It was in the 50 degrees F range which made it warm enough to dress lightly and cool enough for the walk to warm us up. These perfect days will come to a close tonight as our weather is supposed to dip into much cooler temperatures. We even have possible snow predictions for the weekend.

IMG_7925 2We are having a salad for dinner with some leftover salmon. I picked the last bit of the lettuce in the garden and some fresh dill — my favorite flavor in a salad! I picked up accompaniments at the grocery store. And guess what else I found there! My childhood peppermint sticks. Of course, I bought a box.

With that, I will leave you and go about fixing dinner. It’s so much easier to write when I am well rested. The weekend wore me out, but I am so glad I went.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” 
John F. Kennedy

 

art, Blog, creativity, Lapidary, retirement

Creativity

Day 19

When I decided to retire, I did not give a lot of thought about how I would spend my time. I knew I would take some classes and do some traveling and visit family, but as far as how I might choose to spend the majority of my waking hours, I just did not consider it.

After working for so long, you imagine what retirement will be like. For me, it has been wonderful. I have not missed going to a full time job and working for someone else. Even when I had my own business, I was always working for someone else — my clients. Sure, I could set my own hours but there were still demands. I wanted my retirement to be as ‘demand free’ as possible.

Dreams Realized

I have always self-identified as an artist. I am unfortunately not disciplined enough to work hours on end, apply to shows, advertise and sell my work. I just love to create and I do it for my own satisfaction more than anything else.

meteredLearning to cut stones has always been a dream of mine so I was really excited when I discovered the arts and crafts school here offered lapidary classes. I have taken the same class many times because I do not have the equipment to do the grinding at home. It is also a very messy proposition, which requires a studio dedicated to this type of work.

This morning was my last lapidary class. I finished a few metered pieces and worked on a few freehand pieces. I am always sad to see my classes come to an end because I lose myself in the work.

Silver Jewelry

My other dream was to make more jewelry using sterling or fine silver. I have done a lot of bead work, but as I age and my eyes get worse, it is harder to work with beads. My mind usually goes to the more asymmetrical designs which is not always the design of choice for people buying jewelry. I still make survival bracelets for victims of sexual abuse, but not much else.

engagement ringsI took several classes in Florida before we moved to North Carolina. I even made engagement rings for my daughter and my now daughter-in-law. Talk about stressful! I have taken a few classes since, but again, this work again requires specialized equipment and a dedicated workspace. I love this work even if I do not have a studio of my own.

This coming weekend I am taking a workshop with Molly Sharp. She is an incredibly talented jewelry designer and silversmith. She is also a kind and effective teacher. I am really looking forward to the class this weekend – I’m sure you will hear and see more about it after the workshop is over.

The Urge to Create

Taking continuous classes is not fiscally possible so I have been looking for something creative to do when I am not enrolled in art classes. I have been so inspired by Maitri Libellule and her whimsical watercolors of Anna. They are bright and beautiful and unapologetically Maitri.

watercolor pencilsI have also been drawn to the sketches of Lisa Wagner, who writes an amazing blog entitled “Places of the Spirit”. She has also been spending some time creatively and sharing that work on her blog. So, between the two of these talented women, I have been inspired to try to do a few drawings. I picked up some new watercolor pencils at Michaels, so I will see where this takes me.

These are the activities that I dreamed I would have more time for once retired. So far, I have been successful, but I am really looking forward to having more rainy day activities that do not require a studio and an elaborate equipment set up.

Driveway
As I left for class, the view out my front door morning was delightful. I love this area and now that the trees are starting to turn, I especially love the view. The dogwood trees are finally showing color from top to bottom and it will not be long before the leaves are blanketing my driveway.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” 
Maya Angelou