Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We're Blogging!

My friend and fellow blogger Jasini clued me in to this Blogging 101 course.   Even though I've been blogging for almost 9 years, I'm always looking for ways to improve the blog.  They also have a Writing 101 course that I may do after this one is over.  I hope that I will be allowed to participate, even though my blog isn't on WordPress. 

The topic of the first post is to introduce myself and to give a brief statement as to why I am blogging.  OK, here goes...

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Becky.  I was born and raised in Texas, and hope to go back there some day.  Soon.  I'm not married -- or I should say, I am no longer married.  I have one son, who will turn 21 next month and is going to college to become a minister.  Myself, I'm going to hit the half century mark in November, and no, I'm not embarrassed to tell you my age.  Growing old is a privilege denied to many. I also have two dogs, a cat, seven snakes, and one fish. 

I started this blog back in November 2005 in order to post my sketches.  I thought if I had to be accountable to readers, I'd be more disciplined with doing them.  It didn't really work out that way.  Then, I was thinking that since my family is so scattered, a blog would be a good way to keep in touch with all of them. That didn't work out either, as most of my family doesn't even read my blog. 


Other topics of interest over the years have been my adventures in the martial arts, photography, football, knitting, and weaving.  I've kept at it, because I really enjoy writing.  I do keep a private journal, but I also chose to blog publicly because I enjoy the interaction I have with my readers.  Being a classic introvert, I've always expressed myself better in writing.  When I sit down to write a post, I imagine myself sitting down with a couple of best friends over coffee and chat about my day.   

Successfully blogging over the next year will bring me not just new readers and new blogs to read, but also new friends. 

Now, since technically, I was supposed to start yesterday, but didn't know about it until today, I'm going to also do today's topic, too.  The assignment for Tuesday is to edit the title and tagline of my blog.  I won't be changing the title, since it was chosen in a contest several years ago.  My first title wasn't all that appealing:  Sketches And More.  I was a bit bumfuzzled at choosing a new one, so I had a contest on the blog looking for suggestions. 

The winner was Fine Martial Fiber, suggested by Sus, who no longer blogs.  She said, "because you're a fine artist, a martial artist, and a fiber artist." 

I was going to try to come up with a better tagline, but on second thought, I think I'll keep it, too.  Chronicling The Arts Of My Life. 

Because it just fits. 




Monday, September 15, 2014

At Last

Let's see, where was I? 

Hmmm, half day for training Friday.  The Great Fish Quest Saturday.  Church and football Sunday, after waking up from strange dreams...ah yes, here we are at Monday...

It was a crazy day at work today.  So many people were out that even Supervisor Ronnie put on a pair of gloves and worked on the lines.   I had to go help out in another area, but before I went, I wrote on our rate chart the following:

STANFORD - 35
ARMY -- 0

In large letters.  Very large letters.  Then, I loudly explained to a co-worker, "Navy and Air Force both won their games this weekend.  The only service academy that lost was ARMY." 

Group Leader Fernando said, "You just made your day a whole lot worse!" 

But it really wasn't, other than everyone being so shorthanded.  I had to run back and forth between my work station and one over on line 1, because they had so many people out. 

After work, I had to run to the store because my milk was getting sour.  I was trying to hurry up and drink it all up, but this morning, I realized I wouldn't make it.  While I was there, I found these:


 They taste OK, but are hard as a rock.  It's a bit like gnawing on a hockey puck.  I like soft cookies.  I won't be buying these again. 

And last...

At last, I have finally picked up the long neglected Kyle blanket.


Poor Kyle has been waiting forever for this thing.  It didn't help that four rows in, I decided I didn't like the way it looked and started over.  Yeah...

I'd started doing it in entrelac, but I felt it was puckering too much.  So I ripped it and am now doing it in mitered squares.  It's going much better now. 

I dreamed Saturday night that I was going through some kind of Army training (?), and they'd taken my glasses away.  I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be doing, because I couldn't see.  I got so frustrated that I started crying, and the instructor said, "THERE IS NO CRYING IN THE ARMY!!!!"  But when he left the room, I said, "I don't care what he says, I'm going to get my glasses."  So I did. 

I still woke up crying, though.  I haven't done that in a while. 

There was something else I was going to tell you, but I can't remember what it was now.  I guess that means it's time for bed.  Maybe I'll think of it tomorrow. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

We Has Fish!!

The day dawned chilly and overcast.  It was so chilly, I had to put my sweat jacket on this morning.  I've had the windows open all day.  I'm loving that fresh air in the house.

But first, I had to go on The Great Fish Hunt.

Most Wal-Marts have male Bettas.  Ours has a space for them, but alas, that space has sat empty for several weeks now.  I kept watching, hoping they would get some in, but no...

Finally, I decided I'd go check the Wal-mart at Batesville. I was really hoping they would have some, because I sure didn't want to have to drive all the way up to the Petco in Southaven.  So, it was with some trepidation, I began my journey...

Upon arriving in Batesville, after a trip slowed by construction, I discovered to my delight that they had plenty of Bettas. 


They had red ones, blue, ones, green ones.  They even had one crowntail, but I decided just to get a plain one.  I knew I wanted a blue one.  Really, I wanted one that was TARDIS blue. 

There was also a lady in the aisle who told me she wanted an aquarium, but was afraid of fish.  I wonder how that is going to work out.

Back to my quest...after much deliberation and decision making, I finally chose this one.  He isn't quite TARDIS blue, but he was as close as I could get.  I put him on the dash of my car to take a quick photo before tucking him safely into the passenger seat and bracing his little bowl with my jacket. 


After a return trip also slowed by construction, we finally made it home, and into his little tank he went.


He seems to be adjusting well, and has even eaten a little bit.  I'm going to have to get him a heater, because I'm afraid he'll get too cold this winter. 


He also needs a name, but that will come in time.

Rylea says, "Why you get fish, Mama.  You not love me any more?"



Of course I do. You're my Baby Girl.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like

AUTUMN! 

The first cold front if the year blew through last night and has lowered the temps a little.  And what with the dreary, gray, overcast day, it almost feels like fall.

Not quite, but almost.

Today was our annual training day at work.  It only last half a day at the most, and today we got out at 10:00ish.  I went straight to Wal-mart from work -- because I knew if I went home first, I wouldn't leave the house again-- and got that leaky tire fixed.  Finally.

Turns out it wasn't a flat at all.  The seal around the valve stem had come unsealed, or something, so all they had to do was reseal it.  I got the tires rotated and balanced while I was there, and since I'd bought all my tires there, they didn't charge me anything for all that work.  Because I'd bought the road hazard/rotation/balance insurance and stuff. 

So, the tire is fixed.  Now I just need someone to make sure I get up an get moving in the morning-- to go get a fish.  

More sure signs of fall, I bought a pie pumpkin.


I'd wanted to get one last year, but waited too late and they were all gone.  I'm going to stew it down and make some pumpkin pies.  My mini pie pans have sat idle for far too long. 

Here is some candy corn, just because. 


 Now, I'm just waiting on pumpkin spice marshmallows and my spider lilies, and it'll be fall for sure.  

Thursday, I was getting buzzed by the Army again.  I'm not sure what this one is. 


I think it's a C-130 Hercules, but I'm not going to bet my life on that.  A couple of times, it flew right over the house.   This one is cool, but my favorite is still the Apache -- um, I mean the Fuzzy Kitten-- helicopter. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Whiskers On Wednesday

Since I still don't have a life, and nothing really has happened to talk about, and no, I still haven't gotten that leaky tire fixed (hey, it's been exhausting at work lately), here is a knitting update. 

Here we see a scarf in its natural habitat.


Seems like I've been working on this one forever.  The pattern is Trekking Is For Necking, and it's one of my go-to patterns.  Unfortunately, it looks like the website I found it on has been taken down.  Good thing I've got it memorized.  It's only three rows-- well, two rows and a wrong side row.

Next we have a partially finished sock in its natural habitat.


Will you look at that?  It looks like socks and scarves live in the same environment. 

Boy, do I really need to get a life. 

Here is something else in its natural habitat.  A cat.  Showing us her best side.  That is, the side without the claws.  Which have recently drawn blood.  My blood.  I don't want to talk about it. 

Squeaky says, "I thought you'd given up this nonsense." 


Seriously. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ten On Tuesday

I know, I know.  I'm kind of hit and miss on Ten on Tuesday.  More miss than hit, as it were.  I might do it more often now that Chats has been moved to Wednesday.  Or whenever Patrice gets to it.  Unlike me, she actually has a life. 

Nevertheless, this week's topic was very interesting to me.  It was taken from something that has been going around Facebook.  And the topic is:

Ten Books That Have Stayed With Me Long After I've Read Them (in no particular order).

1.  Watership Down, by Richard Adams  --this one has the singular honor of being the only book ever that I've finished reading and immediately turned back to the beginning and started over.

2.  Island Of The Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell 
3.  Julie Of The Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
4.  My Side Of The Mountain, by Jean Craighead George--
5.  Call It Courage, by Armstrong Sperry -- These four books about young people, running away from society and living off the land  always appealed to my inner mountain man hermit.  (Yeah, I know technically in Island of the Blue Dolphins, she went back to save her brother, but still...)


6.  Follow My Leader, by James B. Garfield -- I learned to read Braille (with my eyes, not my fingers) because of this book, and it sparked a childhood desire to work with the visually impaired.  That is a desire that has never completely left me, even though it's been supplanted by my desire to learn welding.

7.  A Tale Of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens -- still the greatest lover story ever written  "A life that you love"  That line brings tears to my eyes, even typing it here. 

8.  The Dragonriders Of Pern, by Anne MacCafferey-- the whole series, including the Harper Hall books

9.  The Little House books, by Laura Ingalls Wilder-- I wanted to be Laura.  I even wore my hair in two long, brown braids for years, just like Laura.  For a while, I started calling my parents Ma and Pa.  My mother didn't appreciate that and made me stop. 

10.  The Little Prince, by Antoine De St. Exupery -- just read it. 

 And because I could not stop at ten...

The Chronicles Of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
 Nobody's Boy, by Hector Mallot
Little Black, A Pony, by Walter Farley
The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley
Redwall, by Brian Jaques

Pretty much anything by C.W. Anderson or Marguerite Henry

You know, I could go on and on, but I've already gone past ten, so let's just leave it at that. 

In other news, I did not go get my tire fixed today.  The other brazer had car trouble and didn't come to work until lunch time.  I worked half a day by myself.  Thus, I am plum knackered.  I checked my pressure when I got home, and decided it could wait one more day. 

Then I went and sat in my chair and didn't move for two hours. 


Monday, September 08, 2014

Not Yet

No new fish just yet.

Saturday, I just didn't really feel like going.  I did go down to the corner gas station to air up my passenger side rear tire, but even after I'd finished, I heard the telltale hissing of air escaping.  So, no trip to Southaven.  I felt it was too risky even to go to Batesville.

It held enough air to get me to church yesterday and to work today, but tomorrow I'm going to have to go get it fixed.  One of the rare few times I wish I were married.  Then I could say, "Honey, go get that tire fixed while I sit here and heat up a frozen pizza for your supper."

Back to Saturday....I was relaxing at home after I'd talked myself out of going fish hunting, when I heard a strange noise.  Sounded like someone knocking on my door.  When I went to see who was there, I found it wasn't a person, but a branch.  


I have this gigantic oak tree in my front yard.  It has got to be somewhere between 200 and 300 years old.  Every once in a while, it drops a limb.  Several years ago, it dropped a huge limb on my front porch.  It sounded like a cannon shot, and scared the patooties out of me.  James and Beverly got quite a haul of firewood out of it.  And that was after I took several pieces out to a cub scout campout.

Tonight is the last Supermoon of the year, and it also coincides with the Harvest Moon. 


When I was a kid, it was always one of my dad's annual rituals to go out and watch the Harvest Moon rise.  I always forget now, mainly because where I live now has too many trees.  I can't even see it until it gets well up into the sky.  When Cody was little, we did it for a few years.  We'd watch until it rose over the trees, then we'd go inside and eat Harvest Moon* cookies and drink hot chocolate.

And somebody would sing Shine On...



*Harvest Moon cookies were just large, round sugar cookies. 

Friday, September 05, 2014

We Are Go

We are go for fish! 


Tomorrow, if I get moving soon enough, I'll head out to try to find a fish.  I hope I don't have to go all the way up to Southaven, but I might.  On the other hand, a nice leisurely drive might be good for me.

In the meantime, I'm getting buzzed by the Army. 


See, and some of y'all didn't believe me, but I got proof this time.  That's one of them there fuzzy bunny helicopters. 

While I was watching the helicopter, I looked over and saw this: 


The bed is still looking pretty good, but I've lost a couple of my Marigolds.  I'm not sure what is killing them, whether it's parasites or what.  I'm not going to worry about it, though.  It's too late in the year.  They'll all be gone soon enough anyway.  It's Fall now. 

Yes, it is. I don't care what the calendar says, when candy corn hits the stores, it's Fall.


And when football season starts, it's Fall.


Now, I'm just waiting on my spider lilies. 

Then it'll really be Fall.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Step Two



I got a corner of the kitchen cabinet cleaned off and got my little fish bowl set up.  I still want to get some plants to put into it, and maybe a rock decoration or two.  I'll get those when I go Friday.  One good thing is, I remembered an unused plug multiplier/surge protector in Cody's room, so I didn't have to buy another one of those. 

Well, I wouldn't have had to buy one, but the light and the air pump took up both outlets in that corner, so it would have been really inconvenient not to have a plug there.  Especially since that's where I plug my phone charger in.

On the other hand, if I put a little heater in there during the winter time, I will need another plug.  So, yeah...

Saturday I'll probably head out to find a fish.  Texas and LSU both play at 6:30, so there's no conflict there -- except for those of us who want to watch both games, that is.  

It's a conspiracy, I tell ya.  

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Enabler!

I have this friend.  Her name is Sue.  But in our circles, we call her The Enabler.   I have spent many a dollar thanks to her.

Recently, she got herself a Betta.

I used to keep aquaria, but I got out of the fish business when I decided to get back into snakes.  When The Enabler posted pictures of her new pet, Peeve, on Facebook, I started thinking that it would be nice to get a fish again.

"Oh, go on," The Enabler whispered.  "You know you want to.  It's just one little fish.  They don't cost that much."

Sigh...


You see what followed me home from the store today.  I still don't know where I'm going to put it.  I want to put it where I can see it, but where the dogs can't knock it over.  I'm thinking I might clean off one corner of my kitchen counter and put it there.

I don't have a fish yet, so I have plenty of time to get my tank set up.  The local pet store has closed, so I'll have to go to Southaven.  The Wal-mart in Batesville used to have fish, but I'm not sure if they still do.    I reckon I might head on up there Saturday and see what I can come up with.

Speaking of snakes, here is the next one in my series of portraits:


This is Blaze, a 9 year old amelanistic corn snake. 

I tried to talk Sue into getting a snake, but she wasn't having any of it. 


Monday, September 01, 2014

Every Day

You hear it all the time.

Every day is a gift.  Appreciate each one.  Live life to the fullest, because we're never guaranteed an tomorrow. 

It's almost become a cliche'.  Then something happens that drives it home.  In a hard way.  

I found out today that one of my coworkers had a heart attack yesterday and died. She was young, too.  Younger than me.  She seemed to be in good health, as far as I knew.   Happily married, with at least one young child. 

I didn't really know her all that well, but she was always very nice to me.  I'm still in a bit of shock and disbelief. 

So, even though it's a cliche', I'm going to say it again.

We aren't promised a tomorrow, so live each day as if it were your last. 

It very well could be. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tuckered

When Group Leader Fernando asked if I wanted to work yesterday, he said it was to clean up.  I thought he meant sweep a little and straighten up.  Wrong.

I can't remember the last time I worked so hard.  Sweeping and straightening was just the start.  We were climbing on top of stuff, scraping stuff off the floor, cleaning stuff I didn't even know was in there.  By the time I got home, I was so tired and sore, I could not move.

I did get home in time to watch the second half of Navy vs. Ohio State.  Yeah, Ohio State won, but Navy looked really good against them.  Things are looking up for December 13.  I don't like the new helmets, though.  The old ones looked better.

New:


Old:


But that's just me.

Once again, the powers that be scheduled Texas and LSU at the same time.  Sigh...I did watch both games, but it took some creative thinking.  

Texas is looking better than they have in a long time, even if it was against North Texas. 

LSU looks the same as ever.  They don't seem to remember that they are in a ball game until somewhere in the 4th quarter.  They came back from a 24-7 deficit to win 28-24.  My old heart can't take much more of this.

While all these ball games were going on, I decided that the loom had been left unwarped for far too long, so I chose this yarn.


It is Cherry Tree Hill Supersocke in Country Garden.  I quickly un-chose it, because when I was winding it into a ball, the yarn was broken in 4 spots.  There were a couple more spots where one ply was broken, but the yarn wasn't completely separate.  I could have still used it to warp with, but I just didn't feel like fooling with it.  Maybe someday, when I'm less tired.

Instead, I used this Sockittome Select in Old Rose for my next scarf.  


It's working out well, don't you think? 



This morning, I slept right through church.  Well, not quite, but I slept too late to get ready to go.  I really must have been tired.  So, I went to church on the computer, then spent the rest of the day watching Criminal Minds reruns on Netflix.

I have one more day off tomorrow for Labor Day, and I plan on doing the same thing.

All day long.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday

Guess who volunteered to work tomorrow? 

Yep, me.  Only half a day, cleaning up.  But hey, it's overtime, and I need all the overtime I can get.

So, tonight's post will be brief.  And consisting mostly of pictures. 

The Dallas Cowboys fan club has been restructured.  It's no longer True Blue.  It's Cowboys United now.  They sent me a few things when I renewed, but I still don't have a card.  I guess I'm going to have to contact them and ask about it. 

A drawstring bag


Vinyl decals


A license plate frame


And a car flag.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

Yay!  I'm posting Chat, and on the same day, no less.  So, let's get to it.




 1.  Please tell me something you have done recently that was really fun. 

Nothing, really.  We're just coming off of peak season at work, so all I've been doing is working.   The last fun thing I did was going to the Zoo, but that was way back in May. 

2.  Do you worry about any issues regarding food/food quality/food production? 

 No, not really.  A lot of it is hype and you'd be surprised at how much of it was started by competitors.  For example, the whole "red meat will kill you" fear frenzy was started by pork growers trying to boost sales of pork.  The same with the "cow's milk is bad for you" thing.  It was started by soy producers -- again trying to boost their own sales.  Even the current GMO hype was started by one person, who had not a shred of evidence to support his claims.  This stuff isn't new.  Back in the 70s, a fast food chain franchise owner started a rumor that a competitor nationally known fast food chain uses worm meat in its hamburgers.  When you really think about it, our food today is cleaner, safer, and healthier than anything our ancestors could have dreamed of. 

3.   Have you painted any of your walls with colors other than white, beige, or tan? 

 Not since I've been grown.  When I was a kid, my bedroom walls were blue.  Now, I live in a trailer house, and they come with wallpaper pre-installed.  I know you can paint it, but I've never bothered.

4.  What is your favorite way to have a hamburger? If you do not eat meat, what is your favorite sandwich? 

 With cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayonnaise (which I can't eat any more). 

5.  Please finish this sentence. If I could, I'd like to play_____________________. This could be a musical instrument, a part in a play- use your imagination:) 

I'd kind of like to play the piano, but I don't have the passion to pursue it.   I think it'd be fun to play a part in a movie or TV show, but I doubt I'd ever watch anything I was in.  I can't even stand to look at pictures of myself.  I'd hate to see myself on a big screen.  If I were younger, I think it'd be fun to be on one of those reality competition shows, like The Quest. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Surprises!

Before we begin today's post, let's all take a moment of silence in remembrance of my favorite glass.


A limited edition Dallas Cowboys glass with an American flag star.  I dropped it and shattered it all over my kitchen, including on the grilled cheese sandwich I'd made for supper.  Thinking that discretion is the better part of valor, I tossed said sandwich, scrubbed the skillet, and started over. 

The instant I saw the glass shatter, my first thought was, "I hope that's not a portent of the season to come."

Now the good news...

When I got home from work today, there was a package waiting for me in my mailbox.  And what was in said package?  Well, I'll tell you, but first you need the back story.

A while back...a long while back...I'd found a necklace for sale with the saying Who Is John Galt? on it.  I liked it.  I wanted it.  But I didn't want it enough to pay what they were asking for it.  I posted a picture of it on FB.

I have this friend, Kristine, who is really very crafty.  She popped up and said, "I can make you one of those."

Great!  I was looking forward to it.  Time went by.  More time went by.  Still more time went by.  I thought about the necklace every now and again, but figured Kristine was busy with her own life.  Yarn and pottery shop (which she has since sold), craft shows, comic cons, candle making...I didn't want to be a pest.

Today, out of the blue, the necklace arrived! 


Just for good measure, she threw in some of her Bilbo Baggins acorn button magnets.  I have the best friends in the world!!!!

Thank you, Kristine!!!!!

I kind of want to wear the necklace to work tomorrow, but I don't want to spend the entire day explaining who John Galt is.  Chances are very good that nobody who works in there has read Atlas Shrugged. 

By the way, Kristine's latest venture is making candles.  If they smell as good as she has been describing them on Facebook, I'm going to buy them all!  I'll let you know when she gets her ETSY (or whatever) shop open. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Scarf

It's going to be a short post tonight, because I think I'm going to try this here going to bed early thing and see how it works out. 

But first, my latest scarf off the loom.


The yarn is some Plymouth Encore I bought on clearance.  It's red and green plied together.  I was uncertain how it would look woven, but I think ti turned out pretty cool. 

And next, sock progress.


I'm past the gusset decreases and on to the foot. 

One of these days, I promise I'm going to get a life.  Then I'll have clever and interesting things to post about. 

Yeah, right...

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Humor Infusion

Yesterday the British Embassy posted this picture.


Personally, I think it's hilarious.  But here in the land of the perpetually offended, enough thin skinned, humorless fuddy duddies raised such a hallacious ruckus that the Embassy was forced to take the photo down and apologize.

Seriously?  Apologize? Come on, people, get a grip!

Sure, they burned the White House.  Everybody knows that.  They also know that we rebuilt it, bigger and better.  And they should know that, even though we lost D.C. for like, half a day, in the end we won the war. 

Sounds to me like some people need a humor infusion. 

So, the British Embassy fired the first shot, and I respond with this: 



And just so nobody forgets:



And all God's people said, "BOOYAH!!"

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Balloons Over Grenada

This weekend was the third annual Balloons Over Grenada thing.  I didn't go out to the lake this time, but I did get to see the balloon races. 


They started in a field over by the church, and went right by the house. 


I didn't get pictures of all of them, but I did get a few. 


With my phone. 


"Hi there." 


"Gotta go.  I'm on my way to the lake." 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch




1.  What are you most looking forward in the remaining months of 2014? 

Cooler weather, fall colors, crisp days and frosty mornings, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

2.  Tell us about the last movie you saw, or book you read.

 The last book I read was God Less America, by Todd Starnes.   The last movie I watched was God's Not Dead.  Both are very good.

3.   Do you ever make smoothies or juice? 

 I used to make smoothies a lot when Cody was younger.  I haven't made one in a while, though.  One of our favorites was chocolate banana-- like a milk shake, but healthier.

4.   Who do you wish you could talk to right now? 

 My dad. 

5.   Please finish this sentence. "If I could spend a week in a lovely cabin in the mountains I would like to_______________________." 

spend the week fishing, walking in the woods, and knitting in front of the fireplace.  

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