Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Throwback to childhood

We were at the dog park on Saturday morning, by ourselves on the south side. There were too many dogs and owners on the north side for my two to behave. Sigh. Anyway, I walked the dogs all the way to the far west end, which is a shaded alcove. Walking along the north side fence, I saw berries. Lots of berries, so I took a photo with my phone and sent a text to Cathy. I wanted to know if they were Black Raspberries, or Blackberries? She said yes. So helpful, Miss Cathy.

The black chain link fence you see in the photo is part of the dog park. There is a foot of space, then a barbed wire fence that must be 50 years old. The foliage is left alone from the dog park fence all the way out to about 15 feet. This belongs to the State of Indiana, and they have told Hendricks County not to touch it. (The dog park is bordered by a US highway, US 36). Within that realm there are hundreds of berry bushes. They have grown so tall and wide, that some of the branches are coming through the dog park fence.

On Sunday I showed this to Cheryl, another dog mom. She said for sure they were black raspberries, and told me to try one. I picked it and popped one into my mouth. Cheryl then casually said, "You are going to die", which is what reminded me that THIS is something we would have done as kids.

Obviously I didn't die, and oh, boy golly, are those black whatever type of berries sweet. Wish I could get ahold of more. We grabbed about 2 dozen. And for my efforts, I also received a thorn prick in a finger. Hurt like hell, but the berries were worth it.

May the birds of Hendricks County have a feast. With all the rain we've had, these bushes are loaded. I will try to grab a few more. By the way, Cheryl's little terrier, Libby, ate one. Mine were waiting for steak.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Walking the dogs

Yesterday morning was a relatively pain free day, so I took the dogs for a walk at Avon Town Hall Park. My favorite walking park. It is just so pretty and peaceful. There are sections where Indiana wildflowers are allowed to grow, along with the prairie grasses, and then there are planned flower beds. Hundreds of trees are scattered, with more being planted every year.  We walk at a slow pace because that is all I can do now, and stop when my leg and back say it's time to stretch. But I did succeed in wearing both dogs out.

Later I went out for a bit, and came home with the green stuffed frog. Gracie and Jake ignored it for hours, then finally took notice late in the day. Gracie barked at it, Jake grabbed the frog and laid down on top of it. He will walk through the house with it in his mouth.

Gracie is waiting. This happens with every toy every time. When someone comes into the house, and it doesn't matter who it is, she will grab this toy and rip the stuffing out in minutes. Jake will then be sad.

My life.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Color Inspiration

Part of my garden

One of the potted displays at Avon Town Hall Park

Gracie and Jake checking out the potted display
Do you know how hard it is to try and take a photograph with your phone while holding the leashes of two dogs? I am fortunate that a squirrel was not in the vicinity, or these two nutcases would have been off and running.

Life is good.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

10x10 Canvases

One of my originals from 18 months ago

First of all, sorry for the cluttered photos. I should have edited these ahead of time, except my Mac is acting a bit funny today. As long as it isn't dying...no more expenses for awhile, please.

Almost 2 years ago I took an online course from Donna Downey called "10 Canvases in 10 Days". It took me longer than 10 days, but I did do all 10 of the proposed canvases. They now hang in my computer room. A friend saw them, and asked if I would make a set for her. The above canvases are the ones I did this summer, and I was surprised at how much easier it was. My understanding of subtle color is developing, and it is obvious if you look at what I did originally versus now. It's all a learning process.

I have an idea for a much larger canvas with old book pages and numbers. Going to try that within the next few weeks.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July

The new end cap on my dryer run, complete with bird guard

Just one of the clogs removed from the dryer vent run
I live in a subdivision. Like most subdivisions, this one was designed by men, or a man. I really don't know for sure. I would like to know, so I can go and kick that man's ass, but hey. Not necessary for my sanity. I have explained part of this before, but here is the recap: my utility room is off the living room. The vent opening for the clothes dryer is on a wall shared with the garage. Said vent goes into the wall, 90 degree turn straight up approximately 10 feet, 90 degree turn to the right and across the 15 or so feet of the garage to exit the house on the north wall, some 10 feet off the ground. Above the air conditioner.

I called a professional to clean it out. Now I can safely say this was money well spent, because there is no way in hell I would have ever been able to remove the clogs. Plural. As in more than one. The young man hooked up a high powered blower to the inside vent opening. The above birds glob popped out, along with about 10 cups of dry lint. So far so good. Then he ran a wire brush attached to a drill into the long run from the outside, to loosen the packed glob. And we have water! Wet lint, wet everything, due to the high humidity content inside the vent because the birds nests had blocked the air flow. To shorten this saga, the young man, let us call him Warren because that is his name, had to go into the attic, locate the vertical pipe from above, cut it open, pull out the crap that was packed in there for approximately 13 years, then duct tape the pipe back together.

My clothes have never dried this fast before. N-E-V-E-R!!! The lint trap on my clothes dryer has never had this much lint caught in it's screen before.

To try and prevent the birds (2 flew out of the pipe when I put the extension ladder up against the house) from returning, I purchased a new end cap with a bird screen. Warren installed it, very tight to the siding. Yes indeed. Warren and I have bonded. He will be back. Told me that everyone should have their vents cleaned on a regular basis, but because it is only me in the house (Gracie and Jake don't do laundry), I can probably wait 18 months. We shall see.

If you are reading this and saying to yourself, "Self, when was the last time I checked the dryer vent run", and Self doesn't know the answer? You are overdue.

Have a great 4th. I spend my time telling my Aussie the world is not coming to an end, and my terrier that NO! he can't attack the fireworks. Settle!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Random Thoughts

The above are from my garden on the north side of the house. Gloxinias? I doubt I am spelling that correctly, and have zero idea how to even find it in the dictionary. I did try. Deal with it.

I saw these beauties last night when Melissa and I were out on that side trying to clean out my dryer vent. Let us start at the beginning. Some asshole designed this house to run the dryer vent up an interior wall to the attic, then do a 90 degree turn and run it 20 feet to the north wall of the house. The vent is approximately 12 feet off the ground, so an extension ladder is needed to reach it.

I have tried numerous ways to keep the birds from nesting in this long run. NONE OF THEM has worked. Melissa was not able to completely clean out the vent because it is packed solid starting about 6 feet back from the opening. Today I am going to disconnect the clothes dryer, pull it out, and try to blast the blockage out from the inside with a leaf blower. Knowing my luck, this will not work. One can only try, and hope. This type of blockage can burn your house down. And you only know that it is bad when the clothes will no longer dry, because the vent can't vent. This type of house problem drives me nuts, for several reasons. I am limited in what I can personally do due to health issues. Second, if you hire someone, is that someone going to do a half ass job of cleaning this out, then tell me it's done? Because there are now 4 women scratching their heads trying to come up with a solution on how to reach the clog. And if 4 women can't do it, then one lonely little man is doomed. I'm serious. A man undoubtedly drew up the blue prints for this style house. He should be made to wear wet clothes for the rest of his life, because if he lived in one of these houses, his wife/significant other would not be able to dry said clothes.

And the rant goes on. Not only is the venting on too long of a convoluted run, it is directly over the air conditioning unit. Yes. So convenient. What the hell?

Repeat after me: some people are idiots when it comes to common sense. Yes indeed.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Hosta and Purple Heart in my garden


Not sure, I think this is Impatens in Melissa's yard

Same plant

Dega. If all else fails, piss on it.
I had to run by and spend 30 minutes with the dude this week. Melissa was going to be late, and he needed to get out mid-afternoon. We had a great 10 minutes, lots of kisses. Then I sat under the umbrella on the patio, Dega sat on the patio table, and starred at me. Waiting. For me to leave. It seems that Mr. Dega has a day time agenda. He is alone, he can do whatever he wants, and he doesn't want some woman interfering with his plans. Melissa told me he pulls this on her as well, should she be home on any particular day. But I made him stay outside for 25 minutes because it was nice, and he wouldn't see his mom for another 5 or 6 hours. Dogs. I love them.

I have been wanting to try some flower abstract style paintings, so using my own garden and Melissa's for inspiration. Not sure yet what I am going to do, because the idea is still floating around in my head. The gardens are beautiful right now.

Have a great day.