Spring Break 2020 – Day 28

The latest lessons with my software lessons. The changes are a bit stark that I am doing so I have a good reference on what they do when I am working with them in the future. I do like what the results were in the flower though.

My project today was to clear 1 garden area to plant some of the irises in I had brought from a friend’s house yesterday. I wound up clearing four areas. Not looking forward to how my shoulders are going to feel tomorrow, but am looking forward to seeing the flowers bloom.

Plants in the ground, all tucked in and ready to shoot into life. We have no idea what color any of these are going to be. So, it will be like Nature’s present as they bloom and unwrap.

And the other areas that were planted before are coming along just fine. I even have some tulips about to burst forth that got planted last year. It will be nice to have colors in my yard again. I let it go for far too long. I forgot how much I love working in the garden.

And the highlight is the tulip about to burst forth next to my Dancers to the End of Love sculpture. I think it is and may always be one of my favorite pieces of art I have.

Spring Break 2020 – Day 25

The day began with breakfast. Not so very interesting. Oatmeal, banana, and a boiled egg. *sigh* Then I did a couple lessons on photo editing. The second was color pop in black and white and the results are above. I think I did pretty good on this one. I am slowly starting to understand how the controls work and how to manipulate things. This is one lesson that I can see me using often. I love photos where they are monotone with just one item left in color.

I realized that I forgot to give treats to my feathered buddies. When I went out though, there was only one there. Greedy little bastard took every single one for himself. He’s a cutie, isn’t he?

And Her Little Self thinks she should be a part of everything. Here she is trying to tell me how to edit my post before moving to the other side to hope for a portion of my dinner. Yes, she was able to talk me into sharing.

Jay Butt!!!

And last night I ground up some graphite and charcoal to try playing with reverse drawing. This is the first attempt. I think its kinda cool but I definitely need a lot more practice with this medium and probably need to grind the powders up a bit more than I have. And once this lockdown is over, maybe invest in some from the art store that is ground super fine. We shall see when that time comes.

Well, I think that is it for the day, other than I did get my hammock chair put up today and will try and enjoy some of the sunshine just relaxing in it before it turns again. Its still Spring here. The sunshine is a temporary thing in the Spring.

Spring Break 2020 – Day 24

I didn’t get a post done yesterday, so I shall catch up with a double day entry. I made a double batch of Vile Brew yesterday. You know the horseradish is good when your eyes are watering and the inside of your nose feels like you inhaled fire. The house still reeks of it today. Yummm! I think I found another name for it that I may start labelling it with. HellFire Brew!

Made the mistake of walking out the door before breakfast this morning and my stellars started screaming at me. So, I had to turn around and go back in to get them their peanuts. Didn’t think to grab the camera, but I do need to do that in the next few days. They so love their treats!

God some more work done on the garden today. I started moving the border out to make it bigger and dropped in the plants I got from the nursery yesterday. 6 of them came from the sad plant rack. One of my favorite places to get plants. I rarely lose one of them. And these all looked like they had enough life that they will save. I still have two more plants to get in the ground, which I will do in the next few days.

I also put a few herbs in planters out front. I got hover-buzzed by one of the male Anna’s because I was in the way of his feeder. What is it with the ungrateful birds today? Yelling at me and buzzing me. Plllttthhhzzz!

And the editor says it is time to go for now as she needs to be brushed and petted. So, till the next time!

spring break 2020 – day 22

Worked with the perfect mask tool today. Got all the way through the lesson and then realized I had done something dumb because when I pushed the “finish” on it, it went black. So, I stormed off in a huff, stamped my foot a couple of times and then realized that really hurts! When I returned from my walk, I tried it again and got it right. Okay, the masking needs some work and it could be this was the wrong technique for trees like are in the picture. But, I got the principle and learned a lot.

It does make it easier to get yourself out for walks when you have views like this!

The first flowers of Spring are out. It took a great deal of self restraint. Yes, I do possess some of that. Not much, but a little. But, I didn’t set the fairies free from that one. Tis fine. There was a breeze this afternoon and I have confidence that they were freed by the kiss of the winds.

This is my neighbor’s dog. She doesn’t think her dog photographs well. I completely disagree. Don’t you? On my way back, we ganged up on her husband about the joys of misbehaving. I don’t think he realized what a bad influence he had living so close. hehehehe

The end of the day was finishing up restringing these. One was sent to me for restringing, but when I pulled mine out to use as a reference, I noticed it had a break as well. So, I had to do both of them. Luckily, I had 2 cords and didn’t lose one in the process. I have a few friends out there that know what these truly are and what it takes to make one, Each is unique to the person it is for. And there are only a handful of them. But, I don’t think I have ever shared pics of these two.

That about covers today, other than I am still waiting to get approved for unemployment. I have my stock partially chopped for a new batch of “Vile Brew”, but I need to go into town for a few more ingredients. The local herb store can’t let me inside, but she is putting my order together and will place it outside the door when I tell her I am on my way and she has an honor box for the cost. I so love living somewhere that there are such things as honor boxes!

Till tomorrow.

spring break 2020 – day 21

Today, I was playing with the Color Range and Luminosity Masks in the software. The first photo is the original, the second one is applying a gradient mask to certain colors in the photo and the third one is replacing the sky.

I am partial to the as taken version, however, it was great learning what I could do with the tools. I doubt I will use them to the extreme these examples are done in, but I can see how I can use them for minor corrections and adjustments. Fun! Fun! Mostly its not so hard to keep from getting bored when you are housebound.

And here is the spice cabinet from yesterday. And yes, they are alphabetized as much as possible. Not the blends. But, I did make one of my own to add. A Baharat spice I had a recipe for. Gonna try it on some baked chicken sometime in the next few days.

On to the garage. They can oft be scary places with strange spills and buildups. I, however, was prepared and did have on my handy dandy medium level work gloves. I did forget to wear a head covering, but my spell wishes that creatures which belong in the out should not hitch a ride in my hair into the in seemed to work as I returned to the house without any new friends. Cassie said she would have liked one or two though and could I go back out and bring her one. Such a silly floof!

Well, as you can see in the pictures above, I did get some arranging done on some of the shelves. I also discovered that I do, in fact, have an extra jug of white vinegar, so that is no longer an active search at the store. Still need the rubbing alcohol, bleach and hydrogen peroxide.

And above is much of the stuff that needs to be rehomed through local thrift stores, if they ever reopen. There are some exceptions, such as Cassie’s poopie dirt, my mat cutter and the things further back. But, all in all, I would say it was a job well done today and it will take at least 2 trips to clear all the offerings from the garage.

I didn’t intend to do any organizing in the bookshelves, but decided to pull out some magazines I didn’t see any need to keep around. In the midst of pulling them out, I found a book of writing I didn’t remember existed. There were only a few things in it, but one was something I had written on the 10th anniversary of my father’s death. I think that was the first time his death truly hit me. And it hit me like a sledgehammer. I remember having to leave work that day because I needed to be alone. I went to the local park and after having a good cry, I wrote this. Funny that I didn’t remember I had written something that day. But, seeing it, I remember it.

Ten Years After

It’s been ten years today you’ve been gone from me. I have little to remember you by save one small picture and a few small mementos. I wonder what you would think of me now, your youngest one with the rebel spirit and eyes of fire matched only by yours. Would you praise or condemn me for what has come of my life? I have made many mistakes, severe ones as in all I do in life.

I wish you could have found a way, a reason to have stayed around just a little while longer. You left me when i needed you most. I wonder, would I have made those same mistakes if you had not left?

My children shall never know you, and for that especially I grieve. They will know only what is said of you. the beauty and darkness of you can never be taught to them.

You made me who and what I am. If you can look upon me and mine, I hope that you do so with gladness in your heart. I know I never said it often enough, but I love you and hope that whatever god there is up there granted yo forgiveness and allowed you to enter that part of the netherworld I feel you to deserve to be in.

October 15, 1990

Well, that about covers it for this day. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to find hidden and forgotten treasures. Or maybe make more to be found at the next Spring Break.

Spring break 2020 – day 20

I actually started the day organizing the smaller spice cupboard, but I seem to have accidentally deleted the picture from it. In lieu of the missing picture, I have substituted my favorite stump just past the end of the street. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

I went through a couple lessons on my photo software (didn’t use the cool effects on these. Will get to those on another day) Then I went for a neighborhood walk. The cherry trees are in bloom. And luckily, I don’t have to go into Seattle to see them. We have plenty of them around here! Pretty, aren’t they?

There are also a couple of people who have been going for walks. The lady carries a walking stick with a net bag of big jingle bells. She wants to get the people in the neighborhood to join her and this is her way of retaliating because she was told we won’t post it on the website. She complained about it to me today, telling me that the secretary turned her down. Told her I knew that. I told her that if she said yes, I still say no and I am the one that takes care of the site. She wanted to know why. I told her because it was stupid and I have already lost access to the parks, I wasn’t going to let her cost me my neighborhood walk. I’m thinking she doesn’t much like me anymore. 🙂

The robins are out foraging. People are digging for gardens, grubs are easing pickings. And look! One of my neighbors down the street has a bat house. I am soooo jealous!

Oh, the lady in the above paragraph was complaining about one of the neighbors up in the area from these pictures. Seems they told her it was a private road and they shouldn’t be up there. Funny, they never complain to me. Many of them come out to visit, from a distance. And the guy with the bat house asked me to tell him when I get my own up.

And I live for the views along the walk!

This is the lodge at the end of the road. It’s called the Rainbow Lodge. Truly, that is its name. Their website says you have to book the whole lodge and its for spiritual retreats.

And this is my favorite tree on the walk. Cool tree, huh?

Mustn’t touch! Stinging nettle. I am a bit sensitive to these plants. Touched one with my thumb and felt like I had a blister on it for 3 days.

Just a weed, but isn’t it cool the way they wrapped around each other? It must be love and they are certainly not observing the 6 ft. rule.

More views. Pretty up here, isn’t it?

A Pacman cloud! How cool is this?

And now we are back to the homestead. And the flowers that are blooming here. As you can see, I also have a cherry in bloom. It’s only a mock cherry tree. They castrated it or something. I have two of them. One white and one pink. They bloom, but no cherries.

And the garden that is my main project for this year. There is still a lot of cleaning to do in it. Unfortunately, I am waiting to see what comes up first. I forgot where I planted things last year. There wasn’t much, but a few things. And there is my wonderful garden dancers sculpture! And yes, they are anatomically correct.

And the amazing dandelion root I pulled up. I am quite impressed!!

And when it is time, this it what it looks like inside of my bed. I thought that scarves would be much more interesting than blackout curtains and I can still have my windows open to hear the birds outside.

Well, Cassiekins is hiding somewhere so she gets to miss out on this one. She’s probably in the bedroom since I turned on the mattress warmer and lights. She wants her bedtime treats.

Till tomorrow!

Spring Break 2020 – Day 19

Spiderweb on my garage.

Greetings and Salutations!!! It’s been quite a while since I have written anything here. I wish I had started this in the beginning. Don’t know if it was that I didn’t think it would go this long. Though I did think it would go longer than most thought. Missed the ability to tell some amusing stories of my exploits in the garden. Well, better late than never. So, here goes!

Early work on one of the flower gardens.

We began as the epicenter here in Washington, but are now in 10th place. I like that we are moving down. Says we are doing something right. At day 19, we have 7891 confirmed cases and 291 dead. I hear there are people who question whether its all a hoax. If it is, it is the greatest hoax ever pulled off. Is shutting the world down necessary? I don’t know. But, I am trying to make the best of the situation. I just wish they hadn’t shut down my parks. Next week promises to be better weather.

Today is day 19 of being home. It was cold and drizzly today, so there was no working outside in the yard. My house is starting to get more organized than I thought possible. You know you have too much time on your hands when you are organizing your herb and spice cabinet. Only one. I suppose I shall find myself organizing the other one tomorrow.

And yes, I did in fact alphabetize them.

There has been a lot of fun with this time off though. Gardening and art and learning how to use my photo processing software. I shall be showing some of that off as I continue this blog. Today, I made it through the 4th lesson on masking. I also went through a bunch on Black and White processing.

I did some reorganizing of my studio as well this week. There is still some work I wish to do on it, but can’t until I can find a way to get the squish out of there. The squish is a 6′ diameter foam bag that is taking up far too much space by one of the windows. I leave the taking of pictures of that corner till I can clear that area out.

And the day wouldn’t be complete without a shot of the Floofster.

Oh, I also finished Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. Its the first book I have read of his in many years. I have to say it was quite good.

And I shall leave this until next time. And for those that don’t know, my art is predominantly on the new art site which can be found at www.piderwitchcreations.net. Take a moment to click over there and check it out.