Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Puppies and Pears

My blog has gotten so dull lately. I can't think of a thing to post. I've been caught up in the Olympics for the last couple of weeks, and there hasn't been much else going on. Cody is sick again, and stayed home from school today. He is still running about a 99' temperature, so I'll probably let him stay home one more day. I ordered a bunch of snake supplies from Petco online. They should be here in a couple of days. I have a grotesquely swollen knuckle on my right hand with a bruise that covers most of the back of my hand. I guess I'd better lay off the breaking boards for a while. Or at least palm heel them. Gotta head for karate now.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cherry Tomatoes

I could eat these like grapes.

Just don't pick them in the rain...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lesson For Today

Never, but never, dissolve your Echinacia Plus Vitamin C in your Diet Dr. Pepper, no matter how badly your hiatal hernia is acting up. Trust me on this one.

I kind of like the way this bear turned out, though the shape of the head is a bit narrow.

And for your dose of humor for the day, check out this sign:

Friday, February 24, 2006

Same Duck

This time just the head, and this one drawn from memory. I have this one sketched out to do a detailed drawing, but I haven't done it yet. After gridding and doing the line drawing, it suddenly seemed too indimidating. But I may do it soon. I've got some exercises from D for D that I'm working on now, though. This section is on drawing people, and I'm determined to finish the book. I have never been able to draw people, though. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

My mother sent me several boxes of yarn that were hers and my grandmother's. I've already sorted and databased one big black garbage bag full of worsted weight, and I've still got the sport, fingering, and thread weight to go. I think I am officially SABLE. For those not in the know, that is an acronym for stash acquired beyond life expectancy. I need to get busy knitting....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Running out of Ideas

of what to sketch. So I worked on some technical exercises. I was trying to sketch a realistic leaf, and make it appear to be floating off the page. It took four tries to get this one. Sometimes I dispair of ever being able to sketch the way I want to.

This is Chad. He is 11 years old, and a high purple belt. He will be testing for his third degree brown belt soon. He is in the adult class because he simply was not being challenged in the children's class. He is that good. Last night, Chad led his group in kata for the first time. I think he was amazed that these adults were doing what he told them. As the highest rank in his group, it was his place to bow them in and begin the kata. It was good for him to get a little taste of leadership. He's a bit on the shy side.

Speaking of karate, sensei told me I'd better get started on my black belt essay.

This made me laugh out loud:

Squirrel Revival

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Playing with Light and Shadow.

I was trying to make this look three dimensional. I've got to find time to do some detailed drawing.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Missed the Worst

of the ice storm. It didn't get nearly as bad as they had predicted. However, it was bad enough that the schools closed for the day. Work didn't close, though, even though about half of the employees didn't show. Most of the roads were pretty clear, but the bridges had ice on them. There were lots of wrecks on the bridges. Fortunately, the power never went out, and I didn't lose my water. I was hoping to get some good pictures, but since I didn't, I'll leave you with this link to some I took 7 years ago:

Ice Storm 1998

Speaking of crazy, the daffodils think it's spring, and my Christmas cactus has finally decided it's Christmas. The crazy thing is BLOOMING!

I'm going to go take a hot bath, now, before the Olympics come on.

Oh, before I forget...my weight was down to 130 this AM. Yippee! I'm at the high end of my target range, which is 125-130.

Friday, February 17, 2006


in the dead of winter. I needed a little pick me up today, and this daisy did the trick.

And it seems winter has finally arrived with a vengance. We are under a winter storm warning, with freezing rain and power outages expected. It really bites. We never get snow--just ice.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Need This

after the week I've had. A nice, comfy chair to relax in. A roaring fire, an afghan, a cup of hot chocolate, and a good book to read would make it all just about perfect...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Another No Sketch Day

There's been so much going on lately I haven't been into sketching. My electricity still isn't fixed, though I'm beginning to think it has something to do with my heater. It has been unseasonably warm these last couple of days, and my power hasn't gone out nearly as much. It stayed on all evening yesterday, but this morning when the heater was running, it flickered ominously and went out some. This afternoon, it hasn't even flickered, but then it is 65 degrees and the heater isn't running at all. Friday when it was so cold, the power would hardly stay on at all. JB came over and found a very loose connection and tightened it up. Maybe that will finally fix it. I don't know. We'll just have to see.

Karate last night was a little wierd. James had just found out about Nina's death that day, and sensei didn't know until James told him. He just kept saying things like, "hmmm", "whew" and "well". James was very upset over it. All he said was, "Now I don't have a dentist," but there was a world of hurt expressed in those few words. Her funeral will be Friday, but I doubt I will be able to go. Sensei is sending flowers on behalf of the dojo.

Monday night I got a call that my brother in law, who lives in Alaska, was lost in a blizzard. I found out yesterday that he'd been found, but I didn't know his condition, or even if he was still alive. Today I learned that he'd managed to turn around and go back to the village he'd been working in. He was able to build a fire and had some MREs to eat. The next morning-- yesterday--, he managed to drive back down to where the snowplows were clearing the roads, and followed the plows back to Fairbanks. So he is ok, just very tired. That was a worrisome couple of days to add on to everything else that's been happening.

Now for some better news, I got home and Slider was out and about in his tank. I was able to get a better picture of him, and here it is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Meet Slider

Meet Slider. He is a ball python, about 1 1/2 to 2 years old. Robert brought him to me Sunday evening. His new landlord won't allow pets--not even snakes. So we have him. I told Robert that if he ever wanted him back, just let me know. But I told him not to leave Slider with me long enough for me to get really attached to him, then decide he wants him back. We've pretty much been leaving him alone to let him get used to his new home, but since he's in the same setup he's always been in, I may try to get him out tomorrow. I need to measure him anyway, and check him out for any potential health problems.

I forgot to post my weight again yesterday--133. Slowly it's coming down.

I'm still having problems with my electricity. I though replacing the main breaker would fix it, but after a couple of days, it started doing it again. So I called the electrician again, and he came out and worked on some more stuff today. We'll see if this works...

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Taught Her Seisan Kata

Nina Evans Dies at 41

Grenada dentist and community volunteer Dr. Nina Evans died Sunday.

An autopsy has been ordered, according to Grenada County Coroner Richard Crenshaw, who said Evans was 41 years old.

Jan Carter, Grenada Exchange Club member, says Evans had served as president of the Exchange Club and she and her husband Kenny Mitchell were the first husband and wife to serve as president.

"She was big on crime prevention and child abuse prevention," Carter said. "Nina was a good person and she loved to hunt."

National Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, which were incomplete at press time.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My Sister's Kids

This is Andrew, who is 8 months old, standing for the first time.

And Nate, who is 5. Napping with the dog, and with his dad.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Northwest Passage

The Memphis Zoo is opening a new exhibit called Northwest Passage. It opens to the public next month, but members are allowed in early for a sneak peak. It is going to be such a cool exhibit. Right now, the only animals in there are the polar bears, but when it is finished, it will also house seals, sea lions, eagles, and three black bears. There is an underwater viewing area for both polar bears and the seals and sea lions.
Not together, of course. There are plexiglass windows where you can get up close and personal with the bears.
And the whole thing is decorated with beautiful Native American artworks found in that region of the country.
It's going to be great.


Daily Rant lost her father last week. He's Dead, Jim has posted A beautiful post on losing a loved one.

I lost my father July 14, 2005. He had many health problems, including cancer, that we didn't know about.

He didn't tell us.

It was his effort to protect his children. But I wish I had known.

It is the custom here in the South that when a funeral procession approaches, you pull over and stop. Trains don't. My father was fascinated with trains. Many a time as a child, my dad would drive us down to the parking lot of a local church to watch the Sunset Limited passenger train go by.

Riding in the limo during the funeral procession, I heard that lonesome, yet comforting, and all too familiar sound of a train whistle. We had to stop and let the train pass. I couldn't help but smile.

Dad would have loved it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

My Other Brother

Scott. My cousin took this picture when they went to Texas right before Christmas.

Well, I finally got Cody back onto the bus. I took Perpetual Beginner's advice, and parked my rear in Dr White's office until she showed up and talked to me. I took a thick book with me. (Actually, a series of 5 novels in one volume. The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. Highly recommended.) She still gave me the royal runaround, though. I swear the woman should go into politics. She made it absolutely clear that she was not going to make a decision on this matter. Anyway, she sat there with her arms figuratively crossed, refusing to talk to me until I said, "it's getting to the point that I'm going to have to withdraw him from school." Boy, you should have seen her falling all over herself to help me then! I ended up talking with the bus driver, and he told me that Cody was more than welcome to ride the bus and that he'd never had a problem out of him other than that one incident. He also took my phone number, and said that next time he had a problem, he'd just call me. So that is settled and Cody rode the bus home this afternoon. And guess what happened...on his very first bus ride in two months, he gets punched in the face by another kid. The kid was poking Cody with a tree, and Cody tried to take it from him, and the other kid punched him. So I called Cody's principal (Mr Craven, NOT Dr. White) and reported the incident to him. He said he'd call the other kid's principal Monday and talk to him about it.

I didn't think I'd get to post today. My main breaker was going bad, and my power kept flickering off. Very annoying. We ended up turning the house power completely off and spending the night with my cousin. Today I got an electrician out to replace the breaker, and so far so good. It's been over two hours since I reset the microwave clock, and the power hasn't flickered yet. So I'm hoping that fixed the problem. The neat thing about the electrician I called is that he didn't bill me today. He said we'd wait until we were sure that would solve the problem. He's a really nice guy. He also does plumbing work and replaced a busted water pipe for me last winter. He remembered, not only my name, but that we keep snakes and take karate. Really nice guy. You can bet I'll be calling him when I have the money to get my plumbing fixed.

Ok, I just realized that some of you may be wondering why a kid had a tree on the school bus. The elementary school has its arbor day program today, and they gave out seedling pine trees. Cody got one last year, and planted it in the back yard. Remarkably, it didn't get mowed down. I'm bad about that...

I'm off to watch the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Three Things I've Learned

since I've lived in Mississippi:

1) The past tense of the verb to set is "sot".
2) The proper pronunciation of the word spelled P-O-I-N-T is "pernt".
3) The past tense of the phrase let it go is "let it went".

My lunch break ran out before I could finish this sketch of a beautiful seagull. Stupid buzzer! In the not too distant future, I'm going to do a detailed drawing of this bird.

I was reading a flier I got in the mail trying to get me to buy a weight loss book. In one paragraph it said that if you sleep cool, you sleep better and therefore lose more weight. So I turned my heated matress pad down a couple of settings. And froze. Wondering why I was still so cold, when the matress pat was plenty warm, I had a DUH! moment. I still had my light cotton summer blanket on the bed! As soon as I got home, I dug out my heavier fleece blanket from the closet. I expect to be toasty warm tonight.

Well, I'm off to karate. Tuesday night, sensei had me and James teaching some of the lower ranks. We were both fighting over who was going to get to teach Sally. And Sally is a great lady, but it was really more because neither of us wanted to teach Brian! I ended up getting stuck with him. Brian is very mouthy, rude, and disrespectful. And I don't think it's because he intends to be that way. He just doesn't realize how he sounds to people.

Just one thing before I go, ya gotta check out this darling picture.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

No Sketch Today

I bought a newspaper--which I rarely do--and opted to read it on my lunch break instead of sketching. I did, however, find an absolutely gorgeous photo of a seagull in flight that I will be sketching in the very near future.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

An Apple A Day

keeps the doctor away, or so they say, but I don't believe it.

I forgot to post my weight yesterday--134 on my home scale. It reads about 6 pounds lighter than the scale at work, so I'm going to go by that one from now on.

Today marks my 11 years at my current job. It was only supposed to be a temporary job to build up my savings, but it didn't work out that way.

Yesterday we were watching Dr Phil, and the show was on bridezillas. I said something about them needing to lighten up, those little imperfections are what makes a wedding...fun! Cody replied, "Weddings aren't supposed to be fun! Well, I guess the groom has fun. He gets to kiss the bride."

The reptile board told ME that I shouldn't be talking politics on the board. Typical Europeans--all honorary moonbats. You can only speak if you agree with them. I think I'm about done with that board. I've left it before, but keep going back because they are the only ones with an active kingsnake forum. I don't think I'll go back this time, though. Even the snake talk is rude, insulting, immature and inflamatory.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Round Three

It has again rained ALL DAY LONG! And turned cold, too. The highs were in the upper 40's and believe me, for this part of the country, that is cold. It is supposed to get down into the 20's tonight. The weatherman said, "If it's still wet, it's gonna freeze."

My "friend" from the reptile forum finally posted again and informed me that the 51st state is Israel, so Great Britian is indeed the 52nd state. I responded by saying,

Israel is not a state in the United States. It is an independent country of its own, as is England. Neither is a part of the US, nor will they ever be.

We'll see how that goes over.

We had a bit of a tragedy last night. Our last large fish passed on to that great pond in the sky. I took the five small corys that are left, and moved them to a 10 gallon tank. As you can see, Squeaky thinks I got her a new toy. She just loves sitting there watching them.

I'm going to clean out the now empty 40 gallon tank and make it into another snake enclosure. Which means I get to get another snake! Now to decide what kind....I'm like a kid in a candy shop. There are so many to choose from. This site, South Mountain Reptiles, has over 100 morphs of corn snakes. There are also kings and milks to consider. I'd love to have a Mexican Black king, another speckled king, a Blair's Phase Greybanded king, or a tangerine Honduran Milk, or an apricot phase Pueblan Milk, or, or, or Oh too many to decide from!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sunday Morning

It was 24' when I got up this morning, just about the coldest morning this winter. Hanging out laundry in below freezing temps is no fun. My fingers are froze, my toes are froze, and I got the ol' coat out of the closet for the first time this year.

I've been involved in an interesting debate over on one of my reptile forums. This guy from Great Britian made the following comment:

I am in Europe depending upon your point of view, because I am in the United Kingdom or Great Britain which is theoretically still in Europe last time I looked. Though I am begining to suspect we are the 52nd state of the United States of America.

My response:

Huh? Did I miss something? Did we get a new state while I wasn’t looking? The US has 50 states--that would make Great Britain the 51st in your metaphor.

So he so kindly informed me:

Trust me when I tell you that you did indeed miss something. The 51st State already exists it has done for the past 53 odd years. So Britain would indeed be the 52nd state!

Fancy that! All this time our flag has been wrong, the senate has two too few members, and the state quarter issues are one short! Not to mention all we've been incorrectly taught about geography and history in school. Again, I responded:

Uh, no. There are only 50 states. The last state admitted to the US was Hawaii, which became a state August 21, 1959. It is the 50th state. There are no more.

Even a couple of people from Canada and Sweden jump into the mix with the following comments:

I got curious about this 51 vs 50 state debate. I live in Canada, but I am sure that I have read and/or heard that there are 51 states. So I googled it, and for those who are wondering, it is 50 states AND the District of Columbia. That doesn’t count as a State.

I’m not American, but I was tought in school about the 50 states of the U.S.

The original poster has not been back. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out. Will he still insist that there are 51 states?

It surprises me when I realize how many people actually do think there are 51 states. This conversation came up at work several years back. One lady insisted that there were 51 states, because she'd seen a map which had the U.S. Virgin Islands on it, and thought they were a state. So I did an informal poll, and asked several coworkers how many states the U.S. has. No one knew the answer. Some did indeed say there are 51 states, but when I asked them what is the 51st state, I got varying answers. Some said D.C., others said Puerto Rico, and the one lady said the Virgin Islands. It's no surprise to me, though, how many people are ignorant of their country's history when you consider that in the town in which I live, 75% of adults cannot read or write beyond and 8th grade level, and 50% cannot read or write beyond a 3rd grade level. Speaks volumes about our public school system, doesn't it?


A few little known facts about Chuck Norris:

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris died ten years ago, but the Grim Reaper can't get up the courage to tell him.

Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas.

Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.

Achilles was supposedly the greatest warrior of all time, but he died because of his weak spot, the Achilles tendon. There is no Chuck Norris tendon.

And my favorite:

When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My Son

killed his first squirrel today. I told him that makes him a man now, because he can put meat on the table. He was very proud of it. I"m supposed to be getting a picture of him with his squirrel, but knowing my cousin, it may be next year before I do.

I need lessons in drawing goose feet.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I Feel Like Bill Murray

in the movie Groundhog Day. Today has been pretty much a repeat of yesterday in that it has rained ALL DAY. It was raining at 5:30 this morning when I left for work, and has not stopped. According to the Doppler Radar, it doesn't look like it will stop for a while. Cody said this is a good day to stay inside and watch movies, and I'm inclined to agree. I think I'll go sit in a hot bath for a while first.

Good news! A friend of mine has offered to give me his ball python. He has moved, and can't keep him where he lives now.

This buffalo was surprisingly easy to draw. I just drew the nose, eye, horns and lots and lots of squirkles.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Groundhog Day

Neither this squirrel nor the groundhog saw his shadow today. I guess that means we won't have six more weeks of winter, but hey, we haven't really had a winter this year anyway. I've got flowers blooming in my front yard! See yesterday's post for a lovely photograph of some yellow daffodils.

I'm a bit aggravated at sensei today. I guess he just doesn't realize how much his playing favorites hurts his classes. See, James got his san-kyu in November 2003. That is third grade brown belt, for those that don't know. I got my san-kyu in August of 2004. Barrett got his san-kyu tonight, and Josh just got his purple belt. Purple is the rank right before san-kyu. Yet sensei is saying that Josh and Barrett will probably test for shodan before the end of the summer! By the end of the summer, I will have been a brown belt for two years, and he is going to let them go through all three grades of brown--and purple for Josh--in 8 months. James has been a brown belt for more than two years already. Even Mr Tedder spent a year and a half at brown belt. Barrett has only been training for two years total, and Josh for just over a year. And sensei is going to let Josh get his shodan after only 18 months of training? Hardly seems fair to me.

Another thing...I've been teaching since I was a blue belt, even leading entire classes, yet neither Barrett nor Josh has taught at all. When I made brown belt, sensei told me that a big part of my promotions from then on would be based on how well I can teach proper technique, not just perform it. So will them two start teaching? Somehow I doubt it.

If this weren't the only dojo in town, I'd have quit a long time ago.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Yes, you see the date on this picture--today's date. These silly flowers think it is spring! No wonder they call them "Daffy-dills". Oh, well, they are still one of my favorite flowers.
And this pitcher and cup are just right for some fresh lemonade.


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