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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Night's Dream; Astronomy & Shoe Trouble?

I was with others at nighttime. They were pointing out a new Messier object (a globular cluster or some such,) but it looked like the Pleiades to me. Later a woman was definitely in trouble, but she deserved it. Something about shoes?

I've been up late nights working on a painting, so I've been needing my sleep (thus the short-ish dream snippets lately.) I only remembered the part about the Pleaides late this evening (when I stepped outside & saw stars for the first time in a while.) I don't remember the M number assigned, unfortunately.

Another picture of the sky at Lake Ramsay yesterday.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Birds of Lake Ramsay


Crow


Ducks


Canada Geese


Egrets;


Lake Ramsay

I found another local nature spot online today, so we went to check it out. Much of it is typical of the longleaf pine savannah of our area. I'm glad to see the Nature Conservancy doing so much for these local ecosystems. As you can see, the day started out rather gray.
There were chickadees & other small birds, but I hadn't brought our binoculars. I got pictures of a hairy woodpecker & various water birds. There were also plenty of tracks; raccoon, deer, dog, some kind of bird & this relatively intact spinal cord (probably from a coyote or small deer);

As our hike progressed, the skies broke & cleared;


We saw quite a few of these very strange fungi.
If you can identify them, please do;

Last Night's Dream; Haircut & Robo-prison

I was at work. My manager told me she'd spoken with our mutual coworker & they'd decided I needed to trim my hair. As it's more than overdue, I complied. Later I was in a strange prison run by a robot. It was like an abandoned city with buildings filled with various flotsam & litter. I was free to devise a plan of escape, but the area was so large it was doubtful I'd ever find my way out, anyway.

I think the robot jailer was inspired by a Futurama episode I watched before bed. The haircut I really do need, but I'm hoping to donate to locks of love. Although I have the req'd 10" at this point, I'm hoping to hold off until June, when I'll have more.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pine Sketch, Dream & Astronomy

Last night's dream; I was wearing a nice dress on a luxury worldwide airline cruise with stopovers at different countries. During one stop, I overheard a stewardess mention a deathly serious mechanical problem with the plane. By the time take off came I'd convinced myself that there'd be nothing to worry about (at least through this flight.) As the plane made its final approach to the next stop I put my winter boots on. After landing I tried to put my booted feet into pointy, high-heeled dress shoes I had, but they wouldn't fit.

At least one thing's right--pointy, high-heeled dress shoes don't "fit" me.

Tonight Saturn is in conjunction with the Moon. It'll be the bright "star" nearby.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Goldfinches & Others


I was delighted to see goldfinches at the feeders today.
This is the first I've seen of them since I moved here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mrs. Towhee & Last Night's Dream; Ramsay Shows & the Keyboard

Heather won Hell's Kitchen, but ended up at a restaurant named "Purnima" in India. A map indicated the area it was in. She was still happy & doing well. I wondered how her family felt about having to move to India, & what had happened to the restaurant in Las Vegas. Later I had a small, electronic keyboard. While away from it, a man came & took it to an adjacent room. He started playing Xmas hymns & carols on it. I was annoyed because he didn’t ask me if he could use it.

Another dream at least partly influenced by "real" life, as I watched Heather win Hell's Kitchen last night. I didn't realize until composing this post that she didn't actually end up at the restaurant she'd been promised. I don't know how I got into Hell's Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares. I'm not all that into cooking or the restaurant business, but somehow I'm hooked.

I was delighted to get the picture this morning of the female Eastern towhee. Although the male is a fairly regular visitor, I rarely see the female--perhaps once or twice a year. I was extra fortunate this morning as she was enjoying the seeds closest to my "blind" (the narrow window in my back door.) As these birds are said to be in decline, I'm particularly glad to see them at my feeders.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Quiz & Last Night's Dream; Business & the Black Building

An old client from my former job looked me up to help him with a project, as he knew I'd do a good job (& old company wouldn't.) I told my new employer about it & they were pleased that my reputation brought in new business. Later I was at a college, between 2 big buildings. The one on the right was generic & nondescript, but the one on the left was made of black glass. A small group of young women were near the generic building. Another young woman was on a set of concrete stairs outside the black building. I went up to speak to her. She told me about a woman who had killed herself. I continued up the stairs & went into the building on the 2nd floor.

The picture is of saw palmetto leaves outside of my bank yesterday. I not only loved the colors, but the way some of the fronds weaved themselves together like bright ribbons.

Even if you're not an artist, give the Right Brain/Left Brain Quiz for Artists a shot. If you're not an artist, replace art-related words with those that apply to your own, preferred hobby. I wasn't surprised to see I came right down the middle, 50%/50%. How do you rate?

Mandeville Trailhead Community Market

As previously mentioned, today Charles & I went to vend at the MTCM. Although it was breezy & cloudy, temps were in the high 70s & the rain held off. I managed to sell a couple of paintings, both to one person. One was the yellow abstract with the red stripe (hanging on the gridwall in the picture,) the other was "Inner Child." My faith in humanity is restored!
The boy in this picture was with the people in the booth next door. He wasn't terribly outgoing or friendly until Charles mentioned Harry Potter, when he suddenly jerked to a stop & hung around to talk a bit. Kids are funny.
Although I'd remembered some of my dreams from last night, the speed at which I had to get conscious & moving this morning banished them to obscurity. Tomorrow will undoubtedly be better, as I'll be sleeping in & taking my time getting up. Ahhhhh...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Astronomically speaking...

Saturday; The Ursid meteor shower (named for Ursa Minor, aka the little dipper & home of polaris,) is likely to be washed out by the Moon. This is particularly unfortunate, as an outburst (sometimes referred to as a meteor storm,) is expected. North America is not the place to be this year, but those in Europe & Asia may see at least something. A side note regarding polaris; Although it's the brightest star in Ursa Minor, it's not a very bright star in the sky, overall (contrary to popular assumption.) An indicator of North, it's a good one to be able to locate accurately. You never know when you might get lost while looking for a Christmas tree, after all...
Sunday; Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun and pumpkin-orange Mars is in conjunction with the Full Moon. Disclaimer; DO NOT try to view any solar conjunctions without proper ocular protection, ever, as you risk blindness!
Monday; Mars is at opposition, meaning it is directly across the sky from the Sun (as seen from our planet.) Considering Mars' still relatively close proximity to Earth, it will appear particularly bright.

My Deck & Last Night's Dream; Another Frustrating Market

I was vending at an indoor market with A.B. I hadn't put everything I had out on formal display, some things were still tucked away in bags. I had to step away for a moment to take care of something & when I got back, she & another woman had taken everything out & put it on display. Although it looked good, I was afraid it was for naught. More people stopped to look & ask questions, but most of them were critical. Although I did manage to sell a few things, soon I decided to pack it in. Shortly after we left I realized that A.B. had forgotten some things, so I went back to get them.

This dream clearly reflects my doubts about tomorrow's market. At least their fee is a very reasonable $15. Most places around here charge $75 or more.

Unfortunately we never did get that dense fog last night, but that didn't stop me from sitting out on our candlelit deck last night (see picture,) listening to the frogs. Our deck is my sanctuary from the insanity of everyday life, where I can sit in peace, surrounded by the woods, & relax. Where or how do you get away from it all?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sunset & Last Night's Dream; Hubby, Art & $5 Shakedown

I was in a short, dark hallway with my husband, a younger man. Someone came along & said I needed to give them money. I went to D.D.'s. I'd given him many paintings & colored pencil sketches & thought that maybe I could get one back to sell. I was insulted that they were still on the floor, piled up, not displayed. As I looked through them I got upset. I found one that had even been altered by his friends with a black magic marker. Someone brought me the phone. My mom was on the line. I took the call. She insisted that I stop having sex with my husband. I knew the request was coming from his mom, originally. I got more upset than I already was & growled, "I'm a 40 year old woman & he's my HUSBAND!" As I argued that I wouldn't comply, an angry man came & demanded $5 in a threatening way. I insisted that I didn't have it. He kept shouting at me & threatening me, so I put mom on hold. I took the man to a nearby table where some people were eating sandwiches. I picked up a jar of mayonnaise & showed him that it was $3.

Sometimes my dreams are far more frustrating than my "real" life. I put that in quotation marks because sometimes I'm not entirely sure which is the "real" life. In this dream we see again that mom still hassles me, even after death, haunting me from the depths of my own subconscious (which is probably exactly what she would have wanted.) Again, too, others' disrespect for my art, probably stemming from the frustration of last weekend's pointless market. Being hassled for $5 probably comes from my desire to pull in extra money for my tranny rebuild, particularly as the market was a failed effort at that.
I have another spot set up at a larger market for this weekend. My confidence is not high at this point (<--understatement.) Tomorrow I'm going to drop off a resume at Insta-gator Ranch. One day a week in their gift shop will not only bring in extra money, but will give me an opportunity to handle & learn more about alligators. As I love animals, this could be fun. Besides, alligators are probably far more amenable that those in the local art community.
(Update, 2008; Insta-gator never got back to me at all.)

The picture was taken from my back yard yesterday. It rained pretty heavily all afternoon today (with tornado warnings most of the day.) Its still cloudy out now, but I'm not complaining. We've needed the rain & its still in the 70s these days. The forecast calls for dense fog overnight again, although the local hiking grounds may be too swampy after all of today's rain.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Moon & Art Quiz

Took this picture of the clouded-over moon through the pines this evening. Although I have no tripod, I kind of like the artsy way it came out--kind of surreal & ghostly. Speaking of which, here's a bit of fun; "Is it Art or is it Just Plain Old Crap" quiz. I got 13/16, how about you?

Drawing & Last Night's Dream; Business as Unusual

A union or other organization was touring a factory to take down a corporation that was abusing it's employees. Later I was handling a young man's business (via his cell phone.) One call involved his boat. When he joined me he took his phone back, but seemed to expect me to continue to make decisions for him. At one point we'd gone to a young woman's house to buy something. She opened the front door. He was bent over, as though tying his shoelace. I asked him what he wanted & he mumbled something incoherently. The woman tried to guess what he wanted, looking at me. I just shrugged, not knowing, myself. I was getting annoyed with the young man.

I did the pencil drawing back in 1985 (I think it was.) Does anyone besides me recognize this musical duo?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Favorite Picture Meme & a Laugh at Work

Julie (see "Virtual Journey" among my blog links,) suggested a meme in which people post their favorite pictures & create a story about it. This is my favorite picture, from Forest Lawn Cemetary in Buffalo, NY. My story is more a caption, but I'm no writer;
Basil had said it would be a cold day in hell before he'd allow his wife a divorce. Basil was right.
I'm not really sure why this is my favorite picture. There's something about the starkness, the dead weeds & plants, the classic black & white like the contrast of life & death, itself.

In other news, I had a chuckle at work when I tried to access my blog today. It's never been an issue before, but suddenly some of my pictures were coming up as broken jpgs, & when I clicked on them I got a message saying the firewall blocked them as pornography. I e-mailed our Net Admin about it; "I realize that 'titmouse,' 'white-throat' & 'my head shot' might sound dicey, but I promise that there's nothing pornographic about them." He was kind enough to adjust the filter to allow my pictures to display. I hope he got a chuckle out of it, too.

Last Night's Dream; Synagogue, Work, Religious Group

I went back to the old Synagogue. As I wandered around, I found small things from my past, which I gathered up to take with me. I went back again later. Rabbi Fogel wasn't there & I knew he'd died. There were a couple of women in a large meeting room; one thin, one fat. Then I was at work, taking covers out of the new easy reader books to put in the back room. Later I was part of a religious group, getting ready to attend a meeting. I was trying to find something to wear. At first I was going to wear a teal colored polar fleece jumpsuit, but I realized that it'd be too hot & too much of a pain to deal with if I had to use the bathroom. I ended up putting on a white shirt & red pants. I considered wearing a light blue denim shirt on top of the white one, but decided against it, as it would be too "red, white & blue." I went to the meeting. The group was friendly & the leaders were pleased; they all accepted me. Afterwards a few of us were walking home. We all lived near one another in a longleaf pine forest. Everyone had brought dead tree limbs from my place. Most of the people ret'd the limbs where they'd gotten them from, as they were supposed to. One man puts his down nearby, but not in the right place. He didn’t think it mattered much. I didn’t think he was very nice.

I was raised Jewish, but I haven't had anything to do with Judaism since my Bat Mitzvah (at age 13, for you goyim out there.) Rabbi Fogel was the head guy at our local Synagogue when I was a kid. It was strange to dream of the Synagogue--almost like I was just there yesterday. I remembered the entire layout. Amazing how deeply things from childhood stick in one's mind. I even still remember how to sing "the 4 Questions" in Hebrew for Passover. I also remember the blessings for the wine & the bread. Oy vay!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Spray Paint Space Art

These guys amaze me...


If you don't have time to watch the top video, here's an example of one of these paintings done in a minute;

Robins

Not only were there dozens of robins in the front yard (as mentioned in the previous post,) but there were dozens in the back yard, as well. I use the past tense because our yard guy's here to cut the grass, so all the birds have moved on to quieter pastures for the time being. There are 7 robins in the top shot, which I had to take through a window. When I opened the door for a better picture of the whole crowd, they all took off (as evidenced by the 13 robins flying in the bottom picture.) Still, nice to see them back again. Although many people consider them "common" birds, they're migratory down here--we only get them for a couple of months--so they're always a delight to see. A bit of an adjustment, however--up in Canada they were a harbinger of Spring. Here in southern Louisiana they're more an indicator of Winter's arrival.

Robins & Last Night's Dream; Accident, Last Meal & Iraq

I had been called to serve in Iraq. My last meal had been set up at a nearby hotel. On my way there, I decided to get my car washed. On the way to the car wash, a patron from our library cut me off, causing an accident. She admitted fault & apologized profusely. I told her she needed to be more careful when driving, particularly as she had a young girl in the car with her. The car wasn't damaged beyond repair, so I continued on & got my car wash. Afterwards I went to the hotel, where Tony Bennett's table had been reserved for me. I had a good meal & there was free entertainment. When I was finished, I went up to the counter to pay. The waitress there explained that the evening was provided completely free of charge. I was impressed & appreciative, & continued on to Iraq. On arrival, I met the rest of our small group. There were only 4 of us & it was unlikely that we'd ever see any action. I was relived & gladdened. The man in charge brought me outside. We had to install my phone line. He located the spot where we needed to dig. It was near a couple of pipes that protruded from the ground. Something about it made me nervous, however.

Lots of birds today. As Charles suspected in a recent comment, the robins have returned. There are at least 30 of them hopping around my front yard at present, with more coming in every few seconds. The picture, however, is of a titmouse who was kind enough to pose long enough for me to snap the picture. He's usually almost too kinetic to photograph, stopping only long enough to grab another sunflower seed before taking off again. By the end of this paragraph, there are probably 50 robins out front. Unfortunately my camera insists on focusing on the screen in my window, so I've been unable as of yet to get any pictures of them. I'll work on it, though.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This Morning's Birds

A small sampling...


Cardinal, towhee and chipping sparrow.


White-throated and chipping sparrows and a pair of cardinals.


2 male cardinals.


20 chipping sparrows (roughly.)

"Inner Child" & Last Night's Dream; Goodbye, Transformers & Books

D.D. & I had been hanging out a lot again but he had decided to move away & I had to say goodbye. It was hard. Then there was something about the "Transformers" movie. After that I was with one or two other people, driving from place to place (particularly gas stations?) searching for books to add to our collection. At one point I came across a Pern (Harper Hall) novel by Anne McCaffrey & took it.

As evidenced by ommission, I didn't remember Friday night's dream (actually I did remember a fragment, but didn't write it down in time.) This was because I had to get up too early & hussle to bring my art to a local market. I sold nothing & got a sunburn (it was 75F & sunny,) but at least I reread "Swords of Talera." Friday night's dream would've been the 30th night of dream recall in a row, but 29's still pretty good.

We watched "Transformers" last night. To put it succinctly, if you're a young teen (particularly with ADHD,) you'll probably like this movie.
The Pern novel is also a "hold over" from real life--I mentioned something to Charles about them yesterday.

The painting ("Inner Child," which has since sold,) was done around Halloween. I wanted to do something in the spirit of the holiday, something haunted or monstrous. Originally the figure was going to loom in the middle of the painting, reaching, but at the very last minute I decided to make it hunched & malformed, cowering in a corner. I've noticed that much of what I paint has an element of symmetry to it--this is a rare exception & in this case I think it works better.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Astronomically speaking...

Last night (or early this morning); Did anyone happen to catch the Geminid meteor shower? We were clouded out here (& still are,) unfortunately. I'm not really complaining, as we need the rain. At least we caught some Perseid meteors this past August.
Today; Neptune is in conjunction with the Moon, meaning they're within 30 degrees of one another. Unfortunately Neptune & Uranus aren't among the "visible" (with the naked eye) planets. Speaking of which...
Sunday; Uranus will be in conjunction with the Moon. If you happen to have a telescope, you may want to have a look.
Monday; 1/4 Moon. You can tell what the moon's doing by which side is lit. Right side--waxing. Left side--waning.
Tuesday; Mars' closest approach to Earth this year. If you have clear skies, it will seem particularly bright (although the size difference probably won't be discernible to the naked eye.) Not truly the "red" planet, Mars is more pumpkin-colored.

("Moonset Over Fog Lake" was inspired by a Halloween night spent at a quarry in Canada. It was a peaceful & beautiful time, if kind of chilly.)

Purple Mountain & Last Night's Dream; Nip/Tuck, Garage Sale & Trapped at Wal*Mart

I was in a ground floor room w/large windows (kind of like a store,) watching Nip/Tuck on TV. I thought about someone in the area who everyone recently considered a hero. Soon I had to move to a different TV, outside, down near an uninhabited cul-de-sac. The area was overgrown with weeds. I mentioned the show to others I met on the way, laughing about it. Soon a man came to tell me about a garage sale nearby. I turned around to find the street area filled with furniture & other things. The man mentioned that a wooden desk for sale had been reduced by "5 figures." I went to check it out—it was small with few drawers (if any,) & it was still over $500. The man was standing by a woman, smiling at me. Considering the desk was still way overpriced, I moved away (at which the man's smile faded.) Later I had to go to Wal*Mart for something. The only entrance was a shipping entrance in the back. No one was there. I went through the first shipping (metal, roll-down style,) door & as I headed toward the 2nd (which opened into the store,) it started to close. I moaned about not having made it in time as I reached the closing door. When I turned to leave, I saw that the other one had closed, too, leaving me stuck in an empty space between the doors. I started getting upset pretty quickly, but knew that kicking & screaming wouldn't do any good. Considering how quiet the area was, I had no idea how long I’d be stuck there. As I considered that they might be closed for the weekend, panic started setting in. I went to the 1st door (to the outside,) & started kicking & screaming. Although no one came, soon I realized I'd be able to push the bottom of the door out enough to squeeze through, which I did.

Charles got me into Nip/Tuck, somehow. I remember seeing previews when it was first coming out & thinking I would never watch that show. It's not what I had expected, however. Very strange. Sometimes very funny. I'm not entirely impressed with this season so far, though.
Although I love "garage sailing," I haven't done it in years.
We avoid shopping at Wal*Mart at all costs, as we don't want to be part of the problem. Unfortunately Wal*Mart's the only place in town where you can get certain things. It's hard to be socially & environmentally responsible when the only choices you have are Wal*Mart or a 35 mile drive (one way.)

I did the painting ("Purple Mountain,") back around Halloween of this year. It has since sold.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Last Night's Dream; Avoiding Mom

I went to Canada for a visit. In a building I ran into R. I told him not to tell Mom he’d seen me. I wasn’t sure he had the mental aptitude to keep the secret, however. Soon I ran into my Uncles & a couple of Aunts, most of which who had died. I was glad to see them & spoke with them happily. I also told them not to tell Mom I was in town. Then I realized that Mom was in the back of the group. She didn’t take my rejection very badly, but I had to leave with her.

Mom & I didn't have the best relationship when she was alive (to put it mildly.) Except for one of my Aunts, all of the relatives in the dream died years ago. It was nice to see & speak with them again, even if it was just a dream...

I drew the panther above for a friend in Canada some years ago. I like how it came out. Prints are available for sale.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Birds & Last Night's Dream; Breakfast, Pythons & Bad Men

My coworkers & I went for breakfast at a restaurant with a large patio. Later I was in a neighborhood I used to live in. There was a path into the woods. A large python was there. It was strange in that it had 4 stubby legs. Somehow I knew it was harmless. Going back to that area later, that snake was gone. There was some kind of white, plastic container there. Looking in, I saw an actual python (without legs.) It was also very large & in this case it wasn't harmless. I left before anything untoward happened. I was stopped by a bad man in the area, who demanded directions to a nearby quarry that had been converted to a lake. He intended to commit a crime there & I knew he wouldn’t hesitate to hurt me. Referring to a map, I saw numerous entrances to the area (& a couple of houses nearby.) I asked, repeatedly, which way he wanted to go in, but he was too busy talking with a cohort. Finally I snapped & yelled at him, at which point he finally told me he wanted to take Oak Street in. Later I was overlooking a parking lot with a few cars. A bad young man there was attracting attention. I said, "Uh oh," to someone else who was there.

Neither my coworkers nor my old neighborhood were "real life" people or places. Recent themes include white things, dangerous/bad/criminal people, restaurants, woods, spiders and snakes.

The picture I took this morning includes a male white-throated sparrow, a pair of cardinals & a female red-bellied woodpecker (who hasn't been around much of late.) The sparrow kind of blends in. If you can't see him, he's on the same stumplet as the male cardinal (& not far from him.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boating on Bogue Falaya

While enjoying the park the other day, Charles found a leaf that would make a good boat. He put a couple of sweet gum balls in it as passengers & off we go...

Unfortunately, on our first launch, one of the sweet gum balls fell out of the boat. It reminded me of Cast Away, when Wilson falls out of Chuck's boat.

With me crying "Willlllsoooooon!" in the background, Charles just had to "save" the 2nd sweet gum ball.

Relaunch...


The boat soon started taking on water, as the 2 sweet gum balls were positioned too close to one end, but it beached itself before it sank, anyway. The experience made me think of people who have viking funerals for their small pets...Like these guys;

Geminids & Last Night's Dream; Invention

An engineer was working on an invention. Part of it would say; "Wile E. Coyote—Suuuuuper Geeeeeenius."

I needed sleep again, thus the teeny dream fragment. Both parts are from real life; last night I read a couple of Dilbert books & the day before I'd said the Wile E. Coyote bit to Charles.

The Geminid meteor shower is coming up. It's probably the best shower of Autumn. I highly recommend it. If you need it, NASA provides conversions from UT to US Time Zones.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last Night's Dream; Reality TV House & Flags at the Store

I lived in a house with others as part of a reality show. One guy (Danny Bonaducci?) constantly acted like an idiot. At one point the producers build a tall, black, antenna-like tower near the house. It had an attachment toward the top. The idiot guy climbed it & tried to tear it down. He was yanking on the attachment & yelling. Nothing was breaking & we all just wished he'd just shut up & come down. Eventually he leapt to one side. He flew a considerable distance, over to some trees at least 100 yards away. He fell down through the trees. Regardless of the distance, we could hear his cries of pain as he crashed helplessly from branch to branch on his way down. He landed on a concrete pad at the bottom with a thud & laid there, unmoving. We knew he was only hurt & not dead, but no one went to help him & we all hoped he might have learned a lesson. We went back into the house. I watched birds outside through the back door. A male housemate was trying to paint over a mural on a wall in 2 rooms. Soon he decided to leave the mural, but to paint out the border, instead. He was having a hard time when it should have been easy. Someone came & pointed out that what made the mural interesting was that it was done in translucent paints. Later I went downtown at night. I ended up in a line at a store's cash register. 3 different sports logo garden flags were nearby. Someone took one. A man came to get me. I made him stop so I could look at the flags.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bogue Falaya Park

We went for a picnic & walk at Bogue Falaya Park today. Considering the beautiful weather (77F & partly cloudy with a nice breeze,) I thought it might be busy. Instead it was practically deserted.



For scale, the opening under these bamboo trees is tall enough to walk under.


Also, if you're keeping track, this morning was the New Moon.

Last Night's Dream; Claves & Restaurant

I looked at a poster of claves of the world. The background was white. It wasn't terribly interesting. Later I went with others to a restaurant. A woman with us (R.M.?) wanted a powder dip they have. There were coolers (like at convenience stores,) along a couple of walls. I went with her to look for the power dip. It wasn't where it was supposed to be. She found some behind a containers of peaches. The food was good, so I decided to go back to the restaurant again later. They were so busy I had to park up the street.

Most people I know have never heard of a clave, so I've included the picture above. I was given a clave while in Austin, TX during our evacuation from Hurricane Katrina. I thought it couldn't be hard to knock a couple pieces of wood together, but I was wrong.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Shameless Plug & Egret Painting

With the holidays fast approaching (& a transmission rebuild still to pay for,) I have a number of prints for sale for $10/ea (including shipping to the continental U.S.) Apologies about any pop-up ads over there--getting our own domain name set up is next on my "to do" list.

As promised, the egret painting I've been working on. I'm not entirely pleased with the digitization on this one, as it's lost some of it's detail. I tried using the camera or my scanner, but this was the best I could get it. This painting has been gifted to my friend.

Treats for the Birds...Allegedly

Charles was kind enough to gather me up some pine cones the other day, so this morning I filled a few of them up with a peanut butter/mixed seed/leftover cookies/crushed egg shell mixture & hung them out back. I know they'll all be stolen by the raccoons tonight, before the birds even check them out. The birds here are suspicious of anything new, even when it's for their benefit. The few times I've chopped up some fruit to put out with the seed, all it did was prevent the birds from even coming for the seed. They'd swoop in, see unfamiliar bits & head elsewhere. A braver bird or two (usually larger ones; blue jays, crows or woodpeckers,) might take me up on my offer, but the songbirds take a few days to "come around." Unfortunately, this time of year they don't have time to "come around." The raccoons have returned en masse to fatten themselves up for "Winter" (in quotes because South Louisiana doesn't even get a real Winter.) Although I would like to see the birds enjoying my treats, at least the raccoons will be more immediately appreciative. Everyone's gotta eat, after all...even the rat bastard squirrels.

Update (12/9/7); The pine cones survived 2 raccoon visits that we noticed--the chicken wing bones we threw out after dinner were a good deterrent. However, overnight 4 out of 5 pine cones were filched. I caught a squirrel enjoying one this morning & found another one already finished with on the ground. The other 2 are just gone with the wind.
Update (12/10/7); The last pine cone is gone.
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