The joys of winter

Hi Everyone!

Hello to the new readers. Welcome. How is everyone doing? In my part of the world winter has arrived in force. We were snowed in over the weekend and expecting more snow and ice tonight. Hopefully not much this time. I am very tired of slipping and sliding my way to the goat shed every morning.

Our temps are not supposed to reach above freezing all day. Yuck. The wood stove is working hard! Even both of my kids who live at different parts of the East Coast are expecting significate icing tonight. One is having to spend the night at the hospital where she works and I’m sure my firefighter son will be busy with wrecks and possibly space heater fires.

I have been trying my best to use my winter confinement wisely. We won’t discuss the cookie baking and biscuits and gravy that have been happening! I finished the blouse I had started last week. The original plan was for long sleeves, but I did not have enough fabric so it became a summer blouse. I am happy with the pattern (the fabric was a beast and I will avoid such slipperness in the future) and am planning a dress in the future from it. If anyone is interested, it is the Rhapsody Blouse & Dress from Love Notions pattern company.

I am still working on DH’s sweater and am playing a serious game of yarn chicken. There are going to be some creative sleeves on this baby if the beige yarn runs out too early. Sewing and knitting have their share of drama! I am using the Flax pattern from Tin Can Knits, but not doing the garter panel on the sleeves.

For a long time I have been wanting to learn stranded colorwork, but have been intimidated. I have enough trouble controlling one ball of yarn much less multiple. But the time has come. I am joining a Knit Along in February to see if I can master it. I have visions of Fair Isle sweaters in my closet, but I’m starting with a hat. I will let you know how it goes.

Artwork is limited because it’s just too darn cold in my attic studio. I am still slowly working on a drawing. If I get this post done soon enough I am going to work on it today. The puppy is down for her nap and I have a heck of a time accomplishing any detailed projects when she is awake. We see glimmers of hope that she will eventually become a big, squishy puddle of pit bull lazy in the future, but we aren’t gonna be there for months yet. She is losing her baby teeth and that has been exciting. I haven’t had a puncture wound for almost a week now!

That’s about it from the frozen wasteland of North Carolina. We won’t discuss the mud levels either when the ground thaws. Double yuck.

Stay safe and warm out there!

Faith, Hope, Love and Peace,

Christel

Makers gotta make

Hi Everyone!

I am trying to sneak this post in quietly while the puppy is sleeping. Honestly it is just like having a two year old running around again. I can’t take my eyes off of her while she is awake because she will get into something and I try to cram all my work into her two hour morning nap. It’s exhausting.

So 2022 is here and I am juggling lots of things at once. How is your January going? Things are supposed to slow down in the winter, but I really don’t think that ever happens in my life. I am trying to do more cozy activities. The Scandinavians know how to do winter so I am embracing as many of their traditions as possible to get to Spring without diving into my usual Winter depression. Currently three pairs of socks on my feet, wood stove going, candles at night, more books to read and forcing myself out into the cold for some walks.

We are still working on the studio, but I now have three tables up there full of creative endeavors. Yours truly is spending at least an hour a day in her UNHEATED studio. I have one space heater and will probably move another up there soon. Yesterday I had my three pairs of socks on, a hat, fingerless gloves and three layers of clothing while just happily working away on three different projects. When it’s your thing you just do it!

The 2022 plan is to revamp my pitiful Etsy shop and hopefully my website. I am thinking in April I will have a one or two day sale of original paintings and drawings. I am also trying to post current work on Instagram and my Facebook page a few times a week (search for Bloomtown Studio both places) so you can see what I am actually doing in my attic hideaway. Currently I have two drawings in the works and a couple of unfinished paintings I need to get to. With it being so cold I don’t think the paint works as well as it should so I have been concentrating on my drawings. Here is a video of the beginning of one. Yes, to many people this probably seems pretty boring, but I’m processing what I want to do with this piece and pondering life.

I am also working on a knitted sweater for DH and sewing myself some much needed clothes. Yes, I know there are stores that have these things. First, I extremely dislike shopping (hate seems too harsh). Second, I “inherited” boxes and boxes of both yarn and fabric from DH’s Mom and Grandmother. Both ladies were talented makers and left behind very nice fabric and yarn. I kinda feel like it should be used and not wasted. Grandbabies have been getting blankets, DN is learning to crochet with some of it and I am using all of it that I can. There are also several quilt tops and quilt pieces that I am planning to finish.

I suspect many of you that read this crazy blog know exactly what I’m talking about. Makers gotta make. It’s our thing. It’s our sanity. It’s our duty to use our talents. Yes, those folks who don’t have this blessing/curse don’t understand why we will spend hours and hours making something. Something that may or may not be actually good or usable in the end. Something that may not be appreciated when it is received as a gift. I quit worrying about it and you should too. Don’t try to explain it and don’t get your heart hurt when a gift isn’t appreciated. Hopefully they will realize that if you put so much time into something it was given with EXTREME love. We don’t give people these things if we don’t love them! We can go to the mall for a gift for those people.

The grandbabies are wrapped in blankets made by my hands from yarn that belonged to their great-grandmother. DH will get to wear a sweater from yarn that his Mom bought probably hoping to make him one herself (the colors screamed DH). I get to wear clothing I made, that I like (can we admit that some of the styles out there are yucky and the quality is awful) from quality fabric and if it falls apart I can only blame myself. Making things is therapeutic, frustrating and satisfying. What’s not to like? You are going to spend that time doing something. I would rather be making than watching TV and not accomplishing anything.

Gotta get going. The puppy will be waking up soon.

Have a great week!

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace, Peace,

Christel

Hello 2022!

Hi Everyone!

I’m pretty sure some people gave up on me. I have been missing since mid-October so I can’t say I blame them. Life got CRAZY. My last post was on October 21st. Halloween weekend we took off to South Carolina to visit my daughter and her family. Their neighborhood is something to behold on Halloween. We didn’t get to go Trick or Treating with my grandson, but we had a nice visit and took in the ghosts and goblins.

The following weekend we hosted our annual family chicken stew. I pulled it together this year, but not at the level that I have in previous years. Normally I have the weekend before to get the last minute stuff like decorations and games for the kids, but barely got the food this year. For the record, I do not consider myself an Event Planner. I enjoy the people, but not the planning.

Our chicken stew was on Nov. 4th. On November 5th we went and picked up the newest member of the family. Meet Miss Phoenix aka Pheeney. I couldn’t stand it without a dog. It was too quiet in the house and I was getting depressed. I had Dinah, our niece’s dog, but honestly any dog that weighs less than 15 pounds just doesn’t count as a dog in my world. Dinah is also very squeaky and needy. Phoenix is a American Pit Bull (though we do not know what Daddy was) and is probably going to top out somewhere between 60-70 lbs! DH and I just adore her. She is smart, full of personality and very snuggly. If we can survive the puppy stage Phoenix is going to make a great dog. Right now we are in the toddler stage and having to take her out once or twice a night and keep her entertained and out of trouble. We are exhausted!

The following weekend DN was supposed to be gone on a trip so DH and I planned a weekend of fun for us. Then the trip got canceled. Well, she’s old enough to take care of herself for a while now so we packed up the pup and went hiking that Saturday morning. It was a gorgeous day and Phoenix made the 3.5 hike mostly on her own four feet. Saturday night DH and I went to a local theatre and saw the band Sythian. We NEVER get to go out to see live music so this was a huge treat. A much needed evening of fun. If you haven’t heard of them, look them up.

November 19th was the long awaited graduation of my son from the firefighter’s academy. DH and I loaded up the car with the pup and my ex-mother-in-law (we are still good friends) and headed to the coast of North Carolina. DN had the opening night of her theatre class’ production of Frozen Jr. She stayed with my sister and BIL who also got her where she had to be on time and was in the audience for opening night. At the same time we were sitting outside for the graduation freezing body parts off. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but you just don’t think the coast of NC could be that freakin cold.

After a nice celebration dinner we headed back to our Airbnb, got up the next morning and toured the house my son and his girlfriend were closing on three days later. I’m very proud of them. They have made some serious lemonade out of lemons in the past two years.

Back in the car before noon for a 4 hour drive home and settled in the pup, dropped the niece off at the school, a quick dinner and off to see her in the play. By this point we are thinking we are getting too old for this kinda crazy schedule and by the next week our bodies were telling us the same thing. It started out as a head cold that put DH to bed for Thanksgiving. My daughter and family came in, but he didn’t get to enjoy the fellowship. I served him Thanksgiving in bed.

By the first week of December I had the head cold and we were both on our way to bronchitis. Yes, we tested for the CV19 and it was negative. The rest of December we struggled to just do what we had to do. DH worked, slowly. I managed minimum decorations. DN took on most of the Christmas goodies. We got through but I can’t say we were thriving. Let’s just say there are a few Christmas presents that have not been given yet. They may be Valentine’s Day presents!

So, that’s where I have been. We are fairly recovered, but I don’t yet have my normal energy level back yet. It was fun and we got to spend time with both sides of the family, but I’m ready for life to slow down and get back to normal.

NEXT WEEK (as long as crazy doesn’t set in again) I will fill you in on my 2022 plans. Wishing you all a wonderful 2022. I can tell you that my one resolution this year is to take things a little easier and add in more fun. I worked too hard last year.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace and Peace,

Christel

Puppy photo credit Hope Animal Rescue. House photo credit Sam Hittle.

It’s been tough

Hi Everyone!

I really didn’t mean to disappear for so long. I hope you are well and life is at least calm for the moment. I thought after the garden wore down some I would have more time, but it seems to have sped up instead. Marching band season has kept me running up and down the roads with DN, crazy household projects that needed to be done and a never ending string of vehicle repairs have been messing with my schedule. I don’t even know why I have a planner. The plans go out the window every. single. day.

We have had a couple of especially tough weeks. One of our neighbors passed away unexpectedly. She was one of my extra Moms growing up. Our families went camping together, church, ice cream socials, etc. She was also one of the funniest, sassyiest (I have no idea if that is spelled right, but you know what I mean) ladies I have every known. When word got out that DH and I were going to get married, she came up to me at some event and said “I just want you to know that I approve of your marriage. I know you don’t really NEED my approval, but you have it anyway.” No, we didn’t need it, but we definitely appreciated having it from Miss Ann (where we live, ladies of a certain age, married or not, get “Miss” added to their first name as a sign of respect and affection). Now, every time I pass Miss Ann’s house I get a little sad. We lost a ray of sunshine when she passed.

The day after Miss Ann’s funeral we had to say goodbye to our pup, Odie. It was also very unexpected. Odie had been having seizures for almost two years and he went into a series of seizures the night before that really messed him up. We had him from a seven week old puppy and he was seven years old when he passed. He had been my constant companion and shadow since our pup Kato died in 2020. I still expect him to be at the door when I come in. I listen for his feet padding down the hall to jump in the bed with me and DH. I am still saving my pizza crust for him every Saturday on Pizza Night.

I don’t do life well without a dog. I’m just one of those people. DH has to have his horses. I have to have a dog (I would definitely have multiple if I thought I could get away with it). For the record, I don’t do small, yappy dogs. We have DN’s dog that falls into that category, though I just mentally don’t think she actually qualifies as a dog. So, when my heart heals a little and it’s time, the hunt for a new pup will begin.

I have been working in my attic studio most days. This week has been the exception. Here is some of my recent work and I am working on a commission that I will show later. Some are finished and some are still in progress. I had to put in some grief therapy time working on pup portraits that are still in progress. We have a good bit of sanding and painting to finish the attic, but I have a semi-workable space for the moment.

There are plans (ha, ha) to post more on Instagram (search Bloomtownstudio), redesign my website and start listing my original paintings on my Etsy shop (seriously neglected). I would like to say I would be having several listed before Christmas, but to be honest, according to my calendar it’s highly unlikely. I am starting an email list and hope to put out a newsletter maybe once a month starting in 2022. If you would be interested, please send me an email to: bloomtownstudio@gmail.com and ask to be added.

Take some time to get in some creative therapy time. I think we all need it right now. The world is more than a little crazy at the moment!

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Photo of Odie courtsey of our friend Alan Sieg

A revelation

Hi Everyone!

I think it’s time to accept that for the time being this blog is gonna be a little sporatic. My best laid plans keep flying out the window. I’ve had grandbabies to watch while their parents have to take care of life stuff and DN has been home AGAIN for the past week and a half for quarantine. Her entire history class got quarantined because of a few students that tested positive. God willing and the creeks don’t rise, she gets to go back next Tuesday. There are a few things that get pushed to the bottom of the To Do list when life gets crazy and this blog is one of them.

I hope all is well with you and everyone is working in some fun and relaxation occasionally. Over all we have been good here. I did have to take a few days off from the garden because I had just worn myself out. I desperately needed some R&R. Of course it was DH that pointed out that I was running out of steam and that I needed to take a break. I must have been complaining about being tired all the time and trying to weasel out of cooking dinner one time too many. He has gotten used to home cooked meals every night and if you knew my husband’s capacity to consume food you would understand why he was becoming concerned.

Along with the above conversation I was complaining that I just couldn’t find time to get upstairs and do any artwork. Like many women (not all, but I suspect the majority), my priorities start with the family and work down to myself. My schedule was to feed goats/horses, take care of the garden before it got hot outside, do the cleaning/bills/laundry/cooking and then if I was lucky I MIGHT (but rarely) have enough energy to do some artwork. So, DH said it was time I rearranged my schedule to the following: Goats/horses, garden, ARTWORK, cleaning, laundry, cooking. So I decided to try it even though it made me feel a little guilty.

Well, well, well, it has been working wonderfully! I get up to the attic (no, it’s not finished, but it is to a point I can work in it) while the temperature is still comfortable (no A/C yet and it’s been in the 90’s). I work until 11:30ish when it starts getting hot. It has been amazing how much I can get done in the approximately 3 hours of attic time. Currently there are 8 paintings in various stages including a commission of 3 small paintings. Top that off with the fact I still have energy to take care of the daily chores after I’m done and my mental clarity has been soooooo much better. No building resentment because my life is all work and no play either. Ok ladies (and any men who might have been doing this too) don’t do like I have always done and put yourself last. At least occasionally move yourself to the top of the list to save your sanity.

I have honestly felt like a new person. My day goes smoother. My brain works better. I’m not tired and cranky all the time. I get my much needed alone time.

The weather is cooling off and by George, I’m going to be spending more time in the attic. I need to reorganize lots of stuff along with doing the actual artwork. Then I need to a paint as DH puts the finishing touches on the drywall and trim. Oh Happy Day!! I love my people, but I sooooo need this now.

I will share some art with you next week, uh, next time I’m here. Stay safe out there and do something for yourself.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Photo by Raul Varzar on Unsplash

Heartsick

Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well in your world. Did you think I wasn’t coming back? To be honest I wasn’t sure either. I’m going to go ahead with the warning that this post is going to be long.

I have been busy with the garden and getting DN to camps and such, but I really haven’t been so busy that I couldn’t write a post. I’ve been procrastinating. Things have been weighing heavy on my heart for a long time now and I have been avoiding writing anything about it. My posts here have been lots of fluff for many months to circumvent what I really want to say. I have enough years in the rear view mirror to know by now that when something keeps nagging at me and just won’t go away it is the Holy Spirit (you can call it what works for you) telling me to do something. If I keep ignoring the message I will get a smack on the head instead of a gentle nudge (ask me how I know).

Several years ago, when I was still a single mom, I formed a friendship with another single mom about my age. We had lots of interests in common and started getting together about once a month for dinner or go to an event. I enjoyed her company and was looking forward to a long friendship. Then suddenly she started finding reasons not to get together. No real explaination as to why. I’m not stupid, so I quit calling her because obviously she no longer wanted my company. It hurt. I racked my brain trying to figure out what happened. Since we were still “friends” on social media I started to see political leanings on her posts and in one of those EUREKA moments I remembered a comment I made over dinner that she didn’t agree with. This one comment is the only thing to this day that I can figure out ended our friendship. To this day it still hurts that she chose politics over a friendship.

This is what is making me heartsick. People have become so polarized over politics, vaccines, the news, the frickin weather that relationships don’t matter anymore. Yesterday I saw an aquaintance’s post where she got the vaccine. What followed in the comments literally made me sick to my stomach. The ugliness that people were spewing out floored me. What has happened to common courtesy and respect?

Using the vaccine as an example since it seems to be the super divider at the moment, can we not try to understand the other person’s point of view even in the tiniest? Everything has gray areas. Virtually nothing is black & white. Yes, we can understand why someone wants to get the vaccine. Could we also understand that someone may be unable to take the vaccine? Could we understand that maybe someone had a bad reaction to a vaccine in the past and is slightly terrified to take another one? A personal example would be my experience when the MMR vaccine came out. I was in elementary school and they were giving the shot to every student and lined us up in the gym to get it. Thankfully my doctor was there supervising the vaccines, saw me in the line and pulled me out. Come to find out I was very allergic to one or more ingredients in the vaccine. What would have happened if he hadn’t been there? To this day I have not had the MMR vaccine.

This horrible, vile, rudeness is destroying our culture and social fabric, not to mention our close relationships. People, and I am definitely including myself here, can no longer carry on deep, meaningful conversations. If you only associate with people who believe exactly the way you do there is no growth or creativity. What if the square wheel people never entertained the suggestion to round off the corners of those square wheels? So, does it get to the point where we will only associate with people that eat the exact same food we do? What if they wear a red shirt, but we only like blue shirts? Eventually we find ourselves in a tiny box ALONE. Think nothing that crazy will happen? I don’t know. Keep watching and see. We are hurling down a very dangerous road.

Earlier this week I was with a group of people at an event. I know these people, but not well. So far I have enjoyed their company and have had fun with them during the event. We were just sitting and having some small talk (about all we are down to these days) and laughing when someone mentioned the vaccine. Dead silence. Everyone was afraid to make any statement. No one wants to suddenly find themselves being verbally stoned to death and in all likelihood ostracised forever from a group of people they like. Even if you THINK you know their leanings you can’t be SURE. We all just sat there in silence until someone steered us to a SAFE conversation. This is no way to live!

I have realized that I am now down to only my husband to openly discuss anything with. We don’t agree on everything, but we have the trust and respect for each other to be able to handle a disagreement. My fear of losing long time friendships and even some family relationships has now reached the point that I walk on eggshells all the time. More than once I have gotten off the phone and felt tears well up because I felt like I said something wrong. There is a barrier that used to not be there in several of my relationships. There are people I want to reach out to to check on, but I don’t because I know how easy it is to step on a land mine these days. This is not how I want to live my life.

We should all feel free to be who we are and in that freedom allow others the same. We don’t have to agree, but we should give respect, courtesy and grace to each other. This used to be normal. Now it’s the exception. How will we solve the big problems and make a better world if we are constantly at each others throat? Am I the only one who feels this way?

I can’t do anything about how other people act, but I can decide how I will act. I pledge to listen completely to a differing opinion, treat the person with respect, courtesy and compassion. I don’t even have to like them, but maybe if they don’t have someone immediately jump down their throat and tell them what an idiot they are, then maybe they will in turn treat someone else better. I can tell you this without a shadow of a doubt…if you are my friend, I WILL NOT dissolve our friendship over politics, vaccines, what you eat or what color shirt you wear! You get my drift.

I welcome thoughtful, courteous comments. You are free to express your opinions here as long as you do so with grace. Any vile, ugly, divisive comments will not be approved. I don’t have a huge readership here, but I value all of you and if we each go out in our worlds and stay calm and respectful we might start to turn the tide. You know…drop a tiny pebble in body of water and watch the ripples expand.

For Heaven’s sake, stay safe out there!

Christel

Photo by Timothe Blandin on Unsplash

Birthdays and good graces

Hi Everyone,

I took an unindended gardening sabbatical last week. I suddenly was inundated with corn, beans and cucumbers that had to be dealt with. I hope you had a nice week. Some of you are still suffering with horrible heat and wildfires. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Recently I added goat herder to my resume. I can assure you that 20 years ago I did not see that one coming! My Mom has been feeding the Kudzu Eradication Team since my sister and BIL brought them to the farm a couple of years ago. The goats get a little rambunctious at feeding time and kept bumping into her causing brusies and eventually the cranky one got her in the knee and caused a small fracture. Time to get Mom out of the goat pasture. I took over feeding in the mornings and my sister & BIL took over wrangling them back into their pen in the evenings. The same butt head goat (literally) tried to take me out on Saturday. I explained to him that there are people that would like to eat him for supper so if he knows what’s good for him he will keep his horns away from me. DH also made me a pointy whopping stick should Winston the goat forget our little talk.

I am happy to report that after a very long couple of months of doctoring a bad leg injury on Spark Plug The Donkey, he is almost healed up and should be able to return to his pasture and horse buddies in about a week. I’m even happier to report that SP has finally forgiven me for my part in the donkey wrangling/big shot ordeal when the vet first came to visit. He has sort of been “my donkey” since we got him and usually was happy for me to scratch his ears or brush him down. He would walk up to me in the pasture to have some visiting time. BUT NOT SINCE THE VET VISIT. I have not been allowed to touch him (when he wasn’t tied up for medical attention) at all. Finally this week it seems that he has pondered the whole episode and reached the conclusion that DH and I are not actually trying to torture him, but actually help him. Spend any time with a donkey and you will realize that they rarely make a snap decision and seriously hold a grudge. I am now back in his good graces and can resume ear scratches and butt rubs.

July is also birthday month here. DH, myself and DN all have birthdays within 10 days of each other. Our sugar levels are sky high by the 15th of July from all the pies and cakes. We finish up the last one this week then I get to go on a detox diet. Glad the fresh veggies are coming in. That’s what I need to be eating.

DH has a few extra days off for the next couple of months so hopefully we will finish the drywall in the attic, can add an air conditioner and I can start setting up my studio (I’m really being delusional because we have tons of joint compound, paint and trim to do after the drywall). At least with the walls up and an AC in I can work more up there. Right now we can only get in, at best, 3 hours before it gets too hot to work. I have a commissioned piece that I only have maybe an hour left to finish, but the heat is too much. If I can find a place downstairs to set up I will probably bring it down and finish it this week.

Well, sorry it has been another edition of Hoofs, Horns and Veg instead of Pencils, Paint and Paper. I guess if I have to put my favorite hobbies in order it would be art, garden and critters. So sometimes there is some shuffling of priorities. Because of DN’s birthday tomorrow this will have to cover last week and this week’s posts. Hopefully next week I can get back on schedule.

Have a lovely week!

Christel

Lighting bugs

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are well. If you are in the areas getting fried with the heat wave you have my utmost sympathy. We have been in the upper 80’s and 90’s (F) here and it is miserable enough. I have been getting out in the garden about an hour earlier to beat the heat, but still come in wringing wet with sweat. Though we are not as dry as out west we definitely needed some rain. Luckily last night we got some good storms and rain to keep the gardens and our farmers going.

Last week I did skip out on you. DN was away on a church trip and I took advantage of the time gained from not having to taxi around a teenager. DH took Tuesday off work and we just spent the day visiting some places we had been wanting to go and finally getting our anniversary dinner out. I worked on a couple of art projects and started setting up one corner of the attic to be functional. Today was cool enough to actually get up there and spend several hours working and discovering my long lost art supplies.

One evening last week we had a thunderstorm blowing in. I did something I have not done for years and years. DH and I went out on our porch and watched the storm. This was one of my favorite things as a kid. I would sit on our carport (no porch) and watch the wind and the lighting. We watched the storm well into the dark and when it had blown by we sat and watched the lighting bugs. If you have lighting bugs/fireflies where you live, have you noticed how few they are now? This was especially noticeable when I lived in town. It was one of the main reasons I quit using chemicals on my yard, flowers and garden.

I am happy to say that we have a gracious plenty of lighting bugs here. We only use organic products (except when eradicating poison ivy. Please let me know if you have a fool proof organic solution to poison ivy!) and we still have wild and wooly areas for bugs to live. It was just a wonderful thing to sit and watch the storm and the bugs. The older I get the simplier I want life to be. I am over the endless activities and social engagements. Here and there it is ok, but I spent many years running myself and kids to meetings, sports and other busy crazy stuff. I think I would have liked to have had more evenings on our front porch watching storms and bugs.

Last night was the opening of the juried art show that my piece was accepted into. It’s a nice show. Lots of variety of art. DH and DN went with me and then I was surprised to see my sister, brother-in-law and Mom show up. It was a nice opening. I’m going to try and get back to see everything a little slower. I felt a little rushed. It has been a long time since I entered a juried show. Like 20 years! They can be a little pricey and then if your work doesn’t get in you feel like you just flushed the money down the toliet. I am now set up on the site where the shows are announced. Maybe I will pick one or two a year to enter. I feel like my work has improved enough that my chances may be better.

That’s about it for this week…and last week. Hope you have a lovely week and find some slow time to enjoy something that brings back happy childhood memories.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Photo by Kevin Wong on Unsplash

Spark Plug, Stings and Shows

Hi Everyone!

Check it out, I’m on time this week. It has been quite a while since I made my normal schedule. This week has been calmer. Not without it’s crazy, but less crazy.

Along with my normal activities I have been helping DN get ready for a trip next week. That has involved some shopping and getting her a travel Covid test. Now we are to the packing up part. We also still have a donkey with a leg wound that requires DH and me to give him an antibiotic shot every evening. I cannot begin to tell you how much I look forward to that. NOT. Spark Plug the donkey is not happy about the shot or that he is having to stay in the barn 24/7 right now. Donkeys have long memories and ours holds a grudge.

I accidently found a yellow jacket nest with my wheel barrow. I escaped without a sting, but DH and one of the horses got stung. DH had a bad reaction almost immediately. No breathing problems but immediate hives. I gave him Benadryl for the hives and he kinda over reacts to Benadryl too. He slept through the majority of the day. In my opinion a yellow jacket is devil spawn. They are just evil. Luckily DH and the horse only got one sting each. Usually the whole hive will hunt you down. We took care to eradicate those devils last night.

Monday was riding lesson day for DN and me. Remember last week did not go so good for me? Much better lesson this week even though it was still almost 90 degrees. I did not over heat and almost pass out this time. My body and brain began to put back in practice all the little things you are supposed to do on the back of a horse. It’s been about 18 months since I last did any riding. The stable we last took lessons at was primarily English style riding. We are now at a stable that teaches Western riding. Much bouncier. Trust me, my body needs to speed up the muscle memory. Moving the next day is kinda slow. Of course the teenager is just fine the next day. ( Insert eye roll here)

Creak No More – colored pencil Copyright Christel Huttar 2019

Last week I mentioned that I had entered an art show and I was notified on Tuesday that my piece “Creak No More” was accepted. Woo hoo!! The show starts on July 1st. We have made some more progress on my studio. I now have one installed light fixture. This coming week I hope to finish painting that end of the attic and set up my easel. I will have light to work by! Talk about testing my patience. Where is my darn Fairy Godmother when I need her to wave her wand and get this done? Worthless. Absolutely worthless.

Have a great week. I should be doing a post next week, but it will be a semi-vacation week for me and DH. If I go missing it’s because we are either out having some much needed fun or I’m tackling a big project without teenager interruption.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel

Hot, hot, hot

Hi Everyone!

Yes, over the weekend we had another kid and grandkid invasion and I had to prepare food, etc. for their visit. We had two of the kids, two grandkids and one significant other. I need to start writing this on Monday instead of Thursdays in case of family visits.

I hope things are good in your world. I am trying to get this posted asap because a dear friend lost her mom last night and I need to clear my schedule to make it to the funeral.

So other than family visiting there have been a few other things going on. First, DN and I started our horseback riding lessons again. I had to stop back in January 2020 due to a medical situation. DN had to stop in March of 2020 because of Covid. She has gotten to ride our horses a few times, but I have not been on a horse for any significant amount of time in over a year. Let me tell you, at 58 years old, it is a shock to the body to bounce around on a horse again after 18 months!! The 14 year old is fine of course.

My lesson also got cut a little short because I did not prepare properly for the heat. Normally 45 minutes outside even in the summer doesn’t get to me, but I forgot to take in consideration what I did earlier in the day. That morning I was out in the garden for a hour and a half. Even though I went out early it was already hot and muggy. By the time I got done I was dripping sweat.

After a break inside in the air conditioning I headed back outside to tend to the bees. Since I was opening all three hives I donned the full bee suit. My new, fancy bee suit is vented, but that venting is three layers of mesh from head to toe to keep those stingers away from the skin. Even with the venting it’s a good 5-10 degrees warmer in the suit. Thirty minutes with the bees and I was drenched with sweat again. By now it’s almost lunch time.

I came in for lunch and worked on some chores until about 1:30 when I took DN to a local farm to see about getting her some part time work. She needs to start saving for a car. We walked around the farm in the full sun for another 45 minutes before heading to our riding lesson.

I thought I had hydrated myself enough before I saddled up and put the riding helmet on. Forty minutes into a 45 minute lesson while bouncing uncomfortably on the back of a horse (it takes some time for the back side to get used to a saddle again!) I started feeling pretty bad and started seeing black spots in my vision. NOT GOOD!. My lesson ended with the teacher (she is probably in her 70’s and handled the heat much better than I did) helping me off the horse and me head down in the dirt trying not to pass out. DN ended her lesson learning how to stand up on the saddle and sliding off the back side of the horse Roy Rogers style. I was jealous! Next week I will definitely not spend all day outside sweating out electrolytes before my riding lesson. I wonder if I have the nerve to stand up on the saddle? I will let you know if it happens.

The other thing I did was to enter a local juried art show. I don’t enter many shows, but sometimes you just gotta put yourself out there. I had to write an artist statement. Those are so hard. Probably most artists wonder why we can’t just exhibit our work and let the viewers decide what we are shooting for. Anyway, I entered two pieces and should know by the first of the week if either was accepted. I will let you know if it happens.

Entering the show inspired me to drag out the oil paint again and move back into the sunroom to hopefully get some paint on canvas. There is no AC in the sunroom. Maybe I won’t paint before my riding lesson, but try to sweat it out on other days! Gotta go for now. Have a great week!

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace

Christel