Saturday, November 21, 2009

Life in the Tent

It's lovely having a tented retreat spot. The lettuce has been planted, the bloomers are blooming.
I went on retreat this afternoon. Here's a cactus that is in full bloom now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

S-H-E-D House

Or Tent City!

We had a busy weekend 'round the house.
I'd planned a work weekend as it's getting cooler and it is time to tuck plants into the green-tent and just generally button things down for the winter. But, mostly I wanted to add insulation under the house and needed help in doing so. Marsha was off work. I assumed Darrell would have some time to help also.

I forgot the part about Darrell being gone to a regional assembly. Oh well.... I scrapped the insulation idea and went forth on a backyard 'save the plants' mission. We have a green-tent. The green-tent is Marsha's territory. It's a tent style greenhouse that I bought on e-bay a few years back. It's a clear, well more like translucent, domed tent that does nicely for shoving the potted plants into. The only problem is, once all the plants are in, you really can't do anything except unzip the door and aim the hose in to water the plants. Simply not fun... we always made Darrell do it.
Sooooo.... I've tried something in addition to the green-tent this year.

There's a 'shed' in the backyard that my Father built. It's actually a nice little room now as I've cleaned it out. There's a twin bed, a couple of chairs and bookcases, and my hot tub out there. There's also an unused treadmill (it does make a nice towel hangar) but we won't discuss that.

The shed has a roofed patio. It's about 6 feet by 12 feet. A few years back, I hung a swing. The only problem with enjoying it is the mosquitoes. So mostly it has swung in the breeze by itself.

The brain gears started grinding in the past few weeks. "I wonder if I can enclose it with plastic for the winter?!?!" I checked things out and saw there was sturdy and ample room to staple plastic up. The only problem was... how to make room for the swing to swing as it is right at the outer edge of the patio. There's gotta be a way.

I decided that if I cut the plastic long enough that I could just anchor the plastic out a few feet away from the patio. It would hang at a gentle angle, but it should drain OK. Figured it was worth the risk. If it didn't work, it was only $20.00 worth of plastic.

Soooo... Friday, I unfurled 20 by 25 feet of plastic in the back yard. I split it into two pieces, each 10 feet wide and 25 feet long. I reinforced one edge with a duct taped hem. That would be my staple edge. Marsha came out to see what I was up to. She thought the project looked like a cool idea. She wandered around a bit then just as I was ready to take the first piece of plastic to the porch she decided to go clean the bathroom.

By this point I had realized just how big 10 by 25 feet is. This called for serious action. I whined. "OK, if you must clean the bathroom, I'll be fine, I'll get this plastic up all by myself.... you go ahead inside...."

It worked, she stayed outside to help. We draped ourselves in plastic and dragged the first piece to the patio. The stapling began. It was a messy job as Marsha soon found out. Palmetto bug turds from the gutter above rained down on us each time the staple gun snapped. I was very proud of Marsha who really, really doesn't like bugs, let alone bug turds.

As I was wrapping the wrapper behind the swing, she was down on the ground pulling the plastic farther and farther away from the patio. Before I knew it she had a tea olive bush inside the plastic. Then a lovely red verbena appeared inside. We discovered that if I pleated the plastic sheet that we could make our 'tent' even bigger. I pleated and stapled as she secured the lower edges with bricks.

Very soon, the first piece of plastic was secured. We stopped to admire. Way Cool! This may actually work! The second piece of plastic went up faster than the first as we had the technique down. We made an overlap door in the front.

We went inside to admire our creation. Getting Way Cooler! Marsha had arranged the walls so that two small flower gardens at the edge of the patio were under cover. It was getting dark so we went inside and washed the turds out of our hair.
Saturday I was on my own as Marsha had to work. I took the pressure washer inside and cleaned.

Probably backwards method... probably should have washed it down before hanging the plastic, but, hey, it worked. It made a really fun fog inside that lasted for a couple of hours. When it was reasonably dry I took in a garden table and chairs and some of the big potted plants that usually go in the green-tent.

Then I cleaned out the little gardens in the front of the patio. Sweet! I was on a roll. I went through the yard and started repotting summer long neglected plants. Got everyone tucked in with good clean dirt. I pounded nails into rafters and started hanging pots. It was turning into a masterpiece.

I sat and swang.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Month

Has it been a week already?

Is it July already?
Guess so.

I've been off work the past few days. Got an extra day off for the Holiday which was very nice. I took a full day of it to get laundry done. I got a week behind as there was a plumbing problem that had to be resolved on my usual laundry day.... I took the cheaters way out and just let it go for another week.

It wouldn't have been too bad except I hit the jackpot on Freecycle... and online, keep stuff out of the landfills by offering it to others for free. There was an offer for a bag of size small 'scrubs' and I thought what the heck, maybe I can be the first one to respond. I was. I got a nice bag full of pants and tops and jackets, perfect for around the house wear. I got them all washed and they're ready for wearing.

I've done a good bit of gardening the past few days also. I stacked a huge load of big rocks up in an open in the middle oval and created a raised garden area in the back yard. Darrell helped get it filled in with dirt and it's now ready for Marsha to plant.


The yard is rather wilted right now, we've had very little rain for a week or so with temperatures near 100. It's spitting rain right now, maybe it will get inspired and really rain soon.


In the meantime, here's my masterpiece of rock stacking. It was fun to do. I had to work in short spurts as I could only last for about 15 minutes in this heat. Marsha had the final say on the top layers of rocks, arranging them for artistic effect. There's more rocks in another spot in the yard, hidden under mulch. Perhaps they'll find their way to the rock garden... or perhaps not!



Today has been a clay day. I've made three little mirrors and two pens to take out to Flamingo Follies. The pens were a special request as this particular 'model' is selling well.


They're all doodle's in clay as creating that peacock necklace was such a major project. I'm ready to just mess around for awhile. The mirrors are all Christi Friesen Style.




The Flamingo is almost a direct copy of a project in her Bird Book. It was silly and fun project to do. The legs don't show up too well in the photo, but they're made out of seed beads, except for the knees. They dangle around nicely.





The next two mirrors are also CF style. I didn't follow any directions in particular, just used some of the methods I learned in classes with her.



The mirrors I used are just little pocket mirrors... two inches by three inches. It was interesting getting pictures of them without having reflections showing up. I held a big white lid plastic bin lid over them so that was all that reflected.


Looked funny, I'm sure but, whatever works!
And finally more of the cane and flower pens. I used a kaleidoscope cane that I made using directions from Carol Blackburn's book: How to make polymer clay beads. Lots of good ideas in her book and the directions are easy to follow.

Gena Jayne, who owns Flamingo Follies called and asked specifically for more of these pens. I've made two others. She sold one, refuses to sell the other one as she says it's HERS. So she's taking orders from people who want them.


These pens are made from Bic Round Stic pens, they don't melt at the required clay curing temperature. They're not retractable which is generally find for the ladies.


I've had some requests for retractable pens for the men. I've melted a lot of pens trying to find one that is 'bakable'. Can't find anything retractable in town.


I've found a source online of retractable pens made specifically for polymer clay artists... they're all metal and won't melt. My first order has arrived, but I haven't done any yet. They're got lots of parts that have to be assembled. I'll give it a go when I'm ready for a challenge again!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Micah Models

This is Micah, Marsha and Darrell's youngest. She came to town to sing at a funeral at the family's request.

Her voice is heavenly. Before she changed out of her dress-up clothes she took a moment to model the peacock.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

CF STYLE PEACOCK!

Yes, I'm yelling... I think it's done! I crimped and beaded and strung and beaded and crimped all afternoon. I even made a trip out to Flamingo Follies to try it on a few people to check the length.

I must say it was a project and a half but I had a ball making it. Christi's directions are fantastic!

As I was finishing it up, I started to feel like a dragon in her lair... I was turning my treasure this was and that, checking for sparkle and counting beads and in general enjoying my wealth.

Next I will make earrings. They will be a minor project in comparison. They'll be flower dangles with a few dangles and maybe another dangle added for good measure.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Peacock Patina!

I got the peacock necklace baked and patina-ed. First... I learned that Christi is right as usual(d*%^ it!!!!!!).... crappy sponges are much better than paper towels when it comes to wiping off the patina. I'd been using paper towels, fully convinced that it didn't matter. While I was roaming the dollar store I saw big sponges on sale for... one dollar so I bought one to humor Christi. I tore it into bits tonight and put it to use wiping off the patina. It's much messier than paper towels but it's instant success. The sink is splattered with paint but the peacock was done in a jiffy and is lookin' good.

I was in the bathroom working on it when Marsha came in. I told her about the sponge and also that I was not using browns to patina it, rather I was using bronze. She barely glanced at the color and said, 'No dear, you're using bright copper'. She was right... d*%^ it. She has a much better eye for color than I do. I used bright copper for the leaves and switched to silver; at least I think it was silver, I didn't ask for confirmation; for the peacock. Lovely mixing of metalics and it pops the peacock forward. He was a little too camouflaged before in my opinion.

I've planned the layout, nothing is strung yet, that will have to wait until tomorrow. It's a huge necklace, as Marsha says it's not a necklace, it's a shirt.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two Kats at the Follies!

I went to Flamingo Follies to visit Gena Jayne a couple of days ago. There was a lovely couple shopping there. I heard the gentleman call "Kathryn" and I turned to look. Seems the lady's name is Kathryn also and she spells it 'right'. So the only thing to do was to try on feathers and get our picture taken together. We had a blast choosing just the proper ensembles for our impromptu portrait. Aren't we the GRAND Ladies?


Today is my birthday. I'm 55! I celebrated by going to Walmart this morning. I bought a convection toaster oven for the kitchen. When I came home, I played musical toasters. I cleaned up the oven that was in the kitchen and brought it into the craft room. The craft room toaster will go to Flamingo Follies for demos and classes. Gena Jayne is going to let me keep some supplies at the shop so I'll be able to play while I'm there.


I've been making peacocks today. They're tricky little creatures. It took me several tries to get it just right, but he finally agreed to show off his feathers and is he every showy!


I think the necklace pieces are ready for baking but I'll probably wait until tomorrow to give it a last check before it goes in the oven. Then I'll have to figure out how to assemble all those little pieces. Then I'll have to make earrings....


then.....


Ahh well, it's time to move along.



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Peacocks are Messy


It's been a busy day. One last trip to Michaels to use another 50% off coupon. Then it was on to the dollar store. I found mirrors for $1.00. I'll decorate them with clay an put them out at Flamingo Follies.
I went out to Flamingo Follies for Gena Jayne's birthday party. I got to meet her family. I didn't stay for the whole thing, I wanted to get back home and play in clay. I'm going to start taking clay supplies out to the Follies so I can play out there while I'm visiting.
Ah well, I think it's time to head to bed....


Here's a picture of the peacock in progress. It's rather messy looking as there's many parts and none of them are connected yet. I'm trusting Christie that it will all come together! I'm having a bit of difficulty getting the peacock to look like a peacock. I think if I added an eye, it would help.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peacock Two



Working on the peacock necklace again tonight. It's growing! I'm not sure how this is all going to fit together but I'm following Christi's directions.... sort of...

Peacock in Progress


I've started making a CF style peacock necklace. She very generously allowed Fire Mountain Gems to post her directions for this necklace after it was used as the cover photo for their newest catalogue.
I started in on it two nights ago, only to discover that IF I had crimp beads in the house they were well hidden. Since Michaels has a 50% off coupon this week, I knew it would be faster and easier to buy more rather than search my craft room.
Of course I had to skip around in the directions and 'find' my peacock last night before I finished the beads or even started on the dangles. He wanted to watch his home being created he said. So I allowed him to start morphing into the scene.
That's one of Christi's tools to the left. If you don't have one, you should consider getting one. I know that they make plastic ones 'just like it' but really does make a difference to have it in high quality metal. http://www.cforiginals.net/
And now I've got to leave my peacock and scoot off to work!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Big Inro

New Penni Jo Style Inro is almost done! Find Penni Jo 'stuff' at http://www.sweetbrierstudio.com/
or visit her blog here: http://claylady43.blogspot.com/
The Museum of Aviation Foundation holds an auction every year. Huge fundraiser. I was asked to make something and donate it to be auctioned. I'd worn my portrait inro to work and my boss thought it was really cool. She asked if it could be made bigger and would I make it and donate it.

























Instead of a huge necklace I decided to make it as a small purse. It's been in progress for a couple of weeks...

I went to Michaels today to use my 50% off coupon and found a really cool way to display the inro during the auction. It's a wreath hook according to the label. It was in the wedding department. Whatever, I think it makes a good display method, it will get the inro up off the table and make it more visible.



Thank you Penni Jo!

Click on the pictures to see them BIG.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yes A Blooming Cactus..

... is an EVENT in my life!

I know this is redundant, but when a cactus blooms once a year, only at night and the bloom is wilted by dawn, I can't help but honor its efforts. We had two more blossoms last night. One of them was very unexpected. Darrell found it when he was taking out the trash.

When Marsha moved the big plant, it's in a pot, a piece of the cactus broke off. She stuck it in the ground and we sort of paid it no never mind. She figured it would either root or die. Last night the little thing bloomed. The flower was as big as the plant! I have to assume that it put down roots, but I'm not going to disturb it after its big night!
When I went outside to check on the big plant, I noticed there was a grasshopper sitting on the 'bud'. It's hard to refer to these buds as buds since they're about 6 inches long and as big around as my fist. I decided it was a good photo op, so I went and got my camera. The grasshopper hung around.

I snapped a few pictures and it was at that point that I decided I had to stay up for the bloomin' replay and settled in for a long evening.

Actually, it wasn't terribly long as Marsha gave me a Thai massage. That's the kind where you get 'walked on'. I bought some "learn how to do Thai massage" DVDs a while back and we've been practicing on each other. She walked on me for an hour. It was very good. I was relaxed enough that she was able to work deep muscles.


By 10:00 we settled in for

"The Event -
The Second Blooming".

We kept check on things and finally around 11:15 it was time for "Smelling the Flowers". As I said last night the scent is absolutely fantastic. We admired the little bloomer and marveled at it's ability to produce a flower "That Big". It opened first as it was in a darker spot in the yard. I took a few pictures of it.... do you want to see? Of course you do, because I want to show you!

The petals are chewed because every insect within a mile seems to be attracted to these flowers. This big blossom was close to the ground since it's on such a small plant. It was tucked behind the log when Darrell found it, so I pulled it out and propped it on the log.

After paying due homage to the little bloomer it was on to check the big bloomer. We danced around it getting the best angle for photos. Yes, it looks exactly like the other bloomers but with such a magnificent flower it just seems necessary to keep records of each flower.

Only.... this one turned out to be a little different. We have to keep the lights dim when we look at these flowers, otherwise they start to wilt. We do use flash on the cameras but otherwise it's dim lighting for this Event.
I downloaded the pictures to my computer to see what I got. I was very surprised to find that not only did I get a couple of good photos of the flower but the flower still had it's friend, The Grasshopper. It had stood guard as the flower opened.

There's still two buds left on the big plant. I think it will be a few more days before they are ready for their debut.

And, just because he's so cute.... Here's the Yo!Fred as I found him this morning. Yes, there's always bottles of paint on the sink, sometimes there's even more than that. You never know when you want to paint something... but first you have to get the cat's permission.





Friday, June 12, 2009

I know, I know....

I should have updated this long ago. I've been avoiding visiting here as I didn't want to see how long it's been since I last checked in.

OK... the very quick update.. I went to Durham, NC to the GBS/CIDP Foundation International Board meeting right after the previous post. Had a wonderful time. Talecris allowed us to tour their pharmacutical facility to see how IVIG is produced. Very impressive and I darn near froze! Many of the areas we toured are kept at 45 degrees. Fortunately, we only looked at the freezer building from the outside... as it is maintained at -25 degrees. Many of you know that I do not have hot flashes, I have cold flashes. Nothing like 45 degrees in the middle of a cold flash!

As I was returning home from the airport on the shuttle, I noticed I had a runny nose. I attributed it to atmospheric pressure changes and my return to Georgia pollen.
Not.
By that evening, I had a full blown head cold. I was certainly glad I wasn't sitting beside me on the plane. By the time I recovered from that, I didn't even want to see how long it had been since I posted here, so like I said, I didn't come look.

So, what's the flower picture all about you wonder? Could it be that she's been surfing and found a pretty picture to copy and paste as a means of distracting from how long it's been since the last post!?
No, Last night, we had a cactus bloomage... A friend gave us cuttings from her night blooming cereus a few years ago. It's always bloomed in early September before, but I noticed a few days ago that the buds were forming. Last night we had four blossoms open. Heavenly scent, even if we did have to wait until almost midnight for them to open. We had to keep all the lights off in that end of the house so as not to delay the grand opening even more. We're going to have another flower open tonight. I haven't decided yet if I will stay up to honor it or not.

Here's Marsha taking pictures of the bloomers.
I've also been playing in clay.
Hopefully pictures tomorrow. I'm making a large inro to donate to the Museum of Aviation Foundation Auction.
There Phyll, I've blogged.
Oh! Hi Clara!




Sunday, May 24, 2009

Flamingo Follies

http://www.flamingofollies.com/

My wandering Friday took me to Flamingo Follies. I went only to humor Ginny, my ceramics instructor and mentor on becoming a cool senior citizen. Flamingo Follies has apparently been around, on the other side of town for a year or so. They recently moved to 'my' side of town. Ginny had been to the grand opening of the new/old building in Commercial Circle. Commercial Circle was the first downtown area but had long been forgotten as the city grew. It was very run down and neglected. A few businesses had opened in recent years but mostly, the city was aiming to tear down the buildings.... the buildings that are part of the community's early history.

Gena, the founder of Flamingo Follies, seems to be heading up a one woman crusade to provide emergency CPR to Commercial Circle. She doesn't want to see it die. She has opened Flamingo Follies to give local artists a place to showcase their 'stuff'. That's why Ginny told me to visit... she thinks it's high time I start showing off my 'stuff'. She told me that Gena takes 'stuff' on consignment. I told Ginny I'd tried that once before many, many years ago and it had been a disaster. Ginny told me to go look around anyway.

I do as I'm told...

sometimes...

sort-of...

if it pleases me...

Marsha and I left Ginny's ceramics class early to visit the Follies. Figured we'd do it on class time if we had to go. Shhhh... don't tell Ginny that skipping part of class was the only way to get us there!

We walked in the door and were greeted by Gena. Gena Jayne to be precise. One woman crusade to save Commercial Circle and to produce smiles while she does it.
Gena doesn't like shoes.

She showed us around the shop, regaling us with stories the whole time. Stories about her adventures. Stories about her artists. Stories about standing in the street in front of the store - barefoot - while arguing with people who wanted to tear down buildings.

Marsha and I hung around for over an hour, Gena wanted to see some of our polymer clay 'stuff'. All we could come up with were clay covered pens from our purses. We left them for Gena to use at the register and promised to come back later as we hadn't had lunch yet.

Flamingo Follies - Fling Two, took place after lunch with Darrell along for the drive. Gena had mentioned wanting to find a minister who would marry people who had been divorced... and Darrell is willing to do so with premarital counseling. Here's Darrell's church: http://www.fcc-wr.org/. Ya really ought'a check out the pastor's corner link there. The story of the congregation 'peeping' him is there.
Gena has a sweet little area that could be used for small weddings. So Darrell and Gena chatted about wedding options while Marsha and I wandered around.
When we wandered back, Marsha and I pulled out the polymer clay stuff that we'd taken in as examples. Gena is ready to sell. I ended up leaving two of my elf babies there for her to show off, just to see if people would be interested. I am already making pens to take back to sell. I think I'm going to take in Dad's antique, child sized desk to use as a display area for my products. It's small, it's sweet and it's in the attic with no place to go.

There's also an area in the shop that would be perfect for small classes in claying.... Gena has already found my first student, one of her other artists. I think this is going to be a fine new, "to be continued" adventure...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Classy Elfkins

Here's pictures of the baked elfkins from the classroom. They will be finished next month with hair, wings and faces.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Elfkin Class at Last

It was a cool and rainy night...
A perfect night for making babies.
It really was.


13 of us gathered for a baby elfkin making class.

Ginny picked up a carload of us and drove us to Lizella in the pouring rain. We arrived at Linda's house, a beautiful 100 year old restored farm house.

She had workspace ready for us.... two big tables. One was her dining room table, which I was really hesitant to use but she said, "She uses it all the time for crafting, it's OK!" So we got our craft stuff unpacked while the rest of the class arrived.

Ginny and Marsha had both had a 'pre-class' so they acted as assistants. Besides them, there were 10 students.

We had two tables of baby makers so Marsha stood at one table and Ginny stayed at the other. I scuttled between the two tables and did demos for each step and just helped as I was needed.
The ladies set to work at making babies. Only a couple of them had done much with polymer clay but they were sculpting like pros within a few minutes. They worked for over two hours and then we took a break. Linda had made scrumptious carrot cake and we all pigged out.
Marsha, Ginny and I packed everything up. The babies were nestled into fiberfill for the trip. Next month they'll be ready to get their wings and hair.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's COLD

OK, so here it is May 18 and I wore a coat to work this morning. I know I'm a wimp when it comes to cold, but it's cold. It was 54 this morning with winds of 30 mph and a heavy cloud cover. Tonight it's going to drop into the 40's.... in middle Georgia, in middle May. Of course I took the electric blanket off my bed yesterday and packed it up. Oh well! I'll probably be fussing that it's too hot in a few weeks.

I just finished drawing a diagram page for making (clay) babies. The class is Thursday evening. I'll be teaching a group of porcelain doll makers to sculpt with polymer clay. Marsha conditioned the clay last night and I pushed little cherub faces out of the Sweetbrier mold: Let's Face It. http://www.sweetbrierstudio.com/faces.htm I got them baked so everyone will have a head start on the project.

I expect it will be a hoot of a class as I've never taught a class before and they're pretty unfamiliar with polymer clay. I also expect that there will be 11 sweet elfkin babies well under way by the end of the evening. We'll be making the elfkins in two sessions, the next class will be in the middle of June. I'll take pictures of the fun and post them if the students agree to 'go public'.

I finished knitting my purple sweater from the cotton yarn I dyed a couple of weeks back. I should get up and take a picture of it, but that would mean I'd have to come out from under my blanket. Did I mention it's cold? I've decided that it simple must be adorned with polymer clay beads. I want 'unique' beads, but I'm not sure just what unique looks like yet, but they've got to dangle.

Speaking of unique, I just watched Christi Friesen's latest video... a screwed up heart demo. It's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwiUbF3S09I&feature=channel_page

OK, I braved the 'cold' and got up and took a picture of the sweater. I like the mottled design that happened in the dyeing, but it needs some interest.... hence my idea of polymer beads. Neckline for sure and maybe more at the hem.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Little Fish Pond Video


video
Here's out little garden oasis in action. The goldfish are about a year old, they survived the winter easily and still seem to be happy little campers. I made the birdbath part, that pours water back into the upper pond, out of cement. It was a fun project last spring. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fishies and Fountains

I announced last night that today was going to be a yard work day, and so it was. I landed at Home Depot by 9:00 this morning. I needed a new pump for my little pond - or so I thought. While I was in that department I also weakened and bought a small 'water fall form.... yes it's that black plastic fake thing (just like our ponds) but I wanted a way to create a little 'upper pond' and figured I could blend it in.

For non locals reading this... Home Depot is in the same shopping center as Ross. I tried my best to not go in but somehow it happened... so there I was wandering through a clothing store in my grungy, "I'm fixin' to work in the yard clothes". I did my best to keep a low profile and since they had just opened at 9:30 there was hardly anyone there. I was very pleased to find a fully lined pants suit on clearance for $9.99. I'll have to take the pants side seams in just a smidgen in the upper legs but otherwise it's very nice. (Boring but nice and definitely practical as it's washable.) It may find it's way to Durham with me when I go to the GBS/CIDP Board meeting in a couple of weeks.
Anyway, after that little side trip I tripped on home. Darrell was already outside cutting back some over sized bushes in the front of the house. Marsha was at the kitchen table working diligently at waking up. She is NOT a morning person but by 10:00 she was outside getting dirty. I was very impressed.

I stared at the ponds for a few minutes waiting for the fish to tell me where to put their waterfall. They barely made a peep. It appeared the decision was going to be left up to me. I came up with a general location and then let it settle in on it's own. I built up the ground under it to create a tilt for flow and was pleased to find that I had a spot to stick in a few flowers.

The fishies were very happy when the water started to pour into their home. They came up to check it out. Then the pump that I'd bought started making a horrible sound and the fish took a dive to the bottom of the pond. Can't say that I blame them. I pulled the pump out and read the directions. I discovered that it could be disassembled and that it was the same brand as the one that had been declared dead last night. I disassembled and cleaned and it was still noisy.

Hummpphhhh, I thought, I'll have to interrupt my dirty day and traipse back to Home Depot. I got to wondering if the trashed pump was accessible in the garbage can. I went and looked and bless Marsha's heart, she'd arranged it so that the plug was ready to grab in case I changed my mind. I grabbed and the pump came back out. I took it all apart and lo and behold, all it needed was a good cleaning. I put it back in the pond and hooked it up to the waterfall and it was good.

When we 'broke' for lunch, I filled the kitchen sink with water and put the new fountain in it to see if I could figure out how to make it run quietly. I couldn't. About that time Marsha came inside and I told her the problem. She stood and glared at the fountain and told it she did not like that sound at all... and it suddenly got quiet. When she walked away it got noisy again so she went back and glared at it again. We let it run for over an hour and it never grumbled again.

I got the retaining wall in the right spot and finished back filling with dirt... making sure that each grain was perfectly located. :-) Marsha came over and suggested that we fill the waterfall section with rocks for a more natural look and she went and retrieved some pretty rocks from another part of the garden and washed them. It was looking good.

In the meantime Darrell had gone to Home Depot to buy more 'important stuff'. While he was gone the dark clouds started rolling in. Marsha and I commented on the fact that if Darrell were around he'd try to make us go inside.
Sure enough, as soon as he got back home he pointed out that it was thundering and the clouds looked really threatening and didn't we think that maybe we shouldn't be outside.... We merely acknowledged that he was indeed right about the color of the clouds but, "Oh well we thought they looked very nice" and keep playing with our rocks.

Marsha arranged a medicine circle of rocks last year near the ponds. The area where she put it had become overgrown and it just didn't seem like the right place anymore. She wandered around, stamped her feet and muttered occasionally.

Then she announced that it goes 'right here'. And pointed to a spot in front of the ponds. She was considering succumbing to the oncoming storm and going inside. I challenged her to get the medicine circle moved before it started to rain because the rain would help settle the rocks. She took me up on the challenge... within a few minutes she had the basic design laid out and it it lovely. She reserves the right to move things around a bit but I bet it got done right the first time!

If you want to see it better, click on the picture and it will 'blow up' big.