Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rock Of Ages

The past few days we have been exploring the Anasazi ruins of Wupatki and Mesa Verde National Monuments. I was quite impressed with the ancients stone laying abilities. Not only are the stones laid with a great technical proficiency but there is a true artistic sensibility to them also.

Even a playfulness in some cases it would seem. They just built around anything they couldn't move and would even throw in an odd colored rock here and there to break up the pattern.

This particular wall is at Wupatki and I just loved how they flushed up their wall with the line of the natural stone foundation so perfectly. It's like the laid stonework just grows out of the earth.
Just beautiful.

This is at Canyon De Shelly, pronounced like Canyon De Shea. A absolutely beautiful place but with horrible history. I felt odd here. This was the start of the Canyon del Muertos (Canyon of the Dead). I believe so named because this is the area where Kit Carson and his men slaughtered so many Navajo as he was trying to drive them from their land. He finally did drive them off to another state, then, the federal government decided the land wasn't worth anything anyway and so they let the remaining Navajos come back. Seems the logic and efficiency of our government hasn't changed much over time.

And this is the ever famous Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde. It was impressive but this is the closest you can get unless you pay the park rangers $50 a head. You can walk through a couple of the other sites by yourself though. You will also hear a lot of French and German being spoken at these sites as those countries seem to have an almsot cultish obsession with our ancient southwest. I found that very curious but the phenomenon is large enough that it has even been written about. Who knew?
We also made a trip through the Navajo and Hopi Reservations an a quest for me to find Honan, the Badger. The Hopi reservation is smack in the center of the Navajos so I had to go through them to get to the Hopi. It was very interesting though and the Hopi are very kind and friendly. The Navajo a little less so but we had a great time. We finally stumbled upon a little store on Second Mesa and met a wonderful Hopi lady and her husband, an Anglo. We talked with them and browsed their store for over an hour I bet. As the Hopi do not like photographs to be taken, I have no pictures but I have recorded the experience in my heart as they say we should. I will introduce you all to Honan the Badger when I return home.
Tonight we are in Durango, CO and will head out for Aztec and possibly Chaco Canyon tomorrow. From there I'm not sure. We are getting tired and missing home a little at this point but are still having a great time and seeing so many wondrous things. Oh, we finally got to try Indian fry bread; it is very good. Something like our southern funnel cakes if dunked in honey.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bright Angel

You that have been to the Canyon may remember that Bright Angel is the name of this trail, the one that I descended to some depths on. It is also the name of a song performed by Paul Winter on an album he and his group actually recorded in the Canyon some years ago. They rafted down the Colorado, stopped here and there to record various pieces. It is one of my favorite albums and now that I have been there, it really does capture the feeling of the place. If you enjoy soulful, instrumental earth-type music you may enjoy it also. Check it out.

This is also the trail that the mules use but did not pass any coming or going. After I came back to the rim I did see a mule train below. I was slightly surprised at the size of the mules. I had in my mind the smaller slim breeds that I remembered from childhood but these are the larger, stocky mules that come from crossing with a Belgian horse. You can tell partially by their coloring and their very striking Roman nose, in addition to the size. They still have a 200 lb. weight limit on who can ride the mules though. I thought this was interesting. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the mules when we passed by the barns. As we crossed through that area I looked up to see a tall man approaching. He had a white beard with a cowboy hat pulled down slightly over his eyes. Very handsome in a rough kinda way. I thought to myself, 'that's the mule handler'. Turns out I was right, as I later saw him organizing the mules for the trip.

Another thing that I thought was interesting was that anytime we were out on the rim trails, where you had to do a lot of walking, you rarely heard English being spoken, only foreign languages. And many, many different ones at that. However, whenever we passed by the eating establishments, or when I was down in the Canyon on the trail, you heard English. That was interesting also. And not to say there were never any foreign visitors near the restaurants but the Americans seemed to flock there.
This was on the way down Bright Angel. There were a couple of these pass-through rocks. I was also surprised, although I'm not sure why, at how close to the edge of the canyon you could get. Of course, they can't block everything but you know how sue-happy people are and afraid of everything these days. But you could just walk right out on the edges and if you slipped just a little...well, nice knowing you. They actually had a sign up that said very few people fall over the edge but there has been about 600 people die in the Canyon since it became a tourist destination. They have actually published a book about it although most of the incidences are quite grisly.
If you look close to the lower center of the pic you my see some hikers who were coming up the trail as I went down. You can see how close I am to the edge and how far it is but there were only a few times that I felt uncomfortable and that was on the rim above, not on the trail.

Well, we are still in Flagstaff just enjoying a day of rest and milling around town. We are also planning where to go next. Probably Mesa Verde or somewhere similar.

Mountain High, Valley Low

Well, these pics are just not going to do these places justice. I know I keep saying that but it's true. You just have to experience this place. These first two were taken in the Painted Desert/ Petrified Forest National Park. This place was very cool. Well, actually, it was quite warm but you know what I mean. We enjoyed the area very much, taking most of the day to wander through it..

We went on about a mile, mile and a half hike near Blue Mesa. That is my favorite area. I think it was the most colorful and there were quite a lot of the petrified tree remains there. Reading about how much of the Petrified Forest was scavenged and destroyed before it became a national park was somewhat disgusting though. This place would have been literally covered up with trees were it not for profiteering white people.

The remaining photos here are of the Grand Canyon. When I first looked out over it my eyes literally could not seem to take it in. I could not focus on what I was looking at. It seemed too much. Gradually though, I adjusted and things became clear. I hiked down about 1 mile into the Canyon while Jack waited above for me. He's good to let me go off to do other things if he doesn't feel like joining in. I would really love to hike all the way to the bottom. I believe I could do it and hike back out. You must camp at the bottom though; you can't make it up and down in one day. This pic was taken on my way back up.

The rim of the canyon is very noisy and crowded, as you would expect, but the further you descend the fewer people you encounter. This was nice. After I had gone down about 800 feet there were often times when I could not see another human. I sat down several times to rest and take it all in and then it struck me. It was completely quiet down there. There was the ever so subtle rustle of the wind and every rare once in a while you might hear a bird but other than that, it was so peacefully, tranquilly quiet. I did not expect that for some reason. It was hard to make the decision to turn around and go back up to the people.

I will put some more photos of the Canyon up, I'm sure. Maybe when I get home. We spent the whole day there and even watched the sun go down. This is something I will not forget anytime soon and I appreciate so much that Jack would make this trip possible for me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'll Take The High Road

Here is one more photo of Santa Fe, in from of the Palace of the Governors, I believe it is called. Many of the native artists from the local pueblos will come down and sell their work to the public. Of course, the are scads of high price galleries in town that many of the preeminent native artists sell through but most people would have trouble affording much in those places. I do agree that most of the work warrants such prices however. The technical precision and expertise of their work, especially the pottery , is astounding.

The remaining pics are of Kit Carson National Forest. Always has pissed me that these places are named for the white men that exploited them and not for the native people that revered them.

I fully expected to see some elk or something but we didn't.

This place was gorgeous. We took a short break here and enjoyed the creek.

This is towards the end of the park.
Well, we are in Flagstaff tonight after visiting the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest all day. What a site those places were! I took loads of photos but I will not inflict too many of them on you all! Tomorrow we are off to explore the Grand Canyon and hope to hang around here for a couple of days.

The Way To Santa Fe

Yeah, I know that is supposed to be San Jose but we are going with that! Sorry about these crappy pics but me and this laptop and Blogger are about to go 'round and 'round, so I'm going to quit before I kill something. I don't know why this thing is being such a butt. Anyway, I had a few more pics of Santa Fe but maybe when I get home I can post those. This was a parking deck! I just thought that was so cool. We never build parking decks that look this nice.
Santa Fe was very nice but also very expensive and exclusive. We spent one day and night there before moving onto Taos, which we enjoyed much, much more.

The was part of the Rio Grande on the way to Taos. The high attitude in Santa Fe was also taking it's toll on me. Well, both of us I guess but I felt especially bad. I had to sit down several times during the day just from walking around. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. It was very odd and somewhat disconcerting.

Taos was very nice, the weather was beautiful again and the people were very nice. We said we would like to go back there and stay for a week or more. It was a much more relaxed place and not nearly as crowded, even with a art fair going on. But there was still loads to see and do.

This was one of the many side streets with shops and restaurants. We ate at a place near the end of this street. Very good food too.
We stayed a day and night here also and then drove out through Kit Carson National Forest. That is a beautiful area. I have pics of it too and will try to get those up if Blogger will cooperate. We are in Gallup right now, about to head to Flagstaff, AZ I believe. Just one note, if you are ever in this area, don't stay at the Roadrunner Hotel. We thought we were going to pull a smooth one by staying at a small, mom and pop place, just to sleep basically. Save some of his points for Flagstaff and later. Eeeeeeh. So far we have not heard any gunshots but the trains running all night long were interesting! well, got to go! The Grand Canyon awaits!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Going Down Slow

Hey Folks! I'm writing this from Santa Fe, NM tonight. Wasn't sure for a while if Blogger was going to let me but it finally went through and let me load these photos. After we left Big Bend we headed up towards Carlsbad Caverns. Capt. Jack had been here years ago but had only done the quick tour of the place. I talked him into hiking down into the caverns through the natural entrance and wow, that was interesting. Kinda just a giant hole in the ground that you can't see the bottom of. It was quite a hike, took a little over an hour but was way cool. We were very glad we did it. Then, once you reach the bottom you hike for another hour or so to see the rest of the caves. There were not too many people there, which was nice.

This is another place that these photos just don't do justice. We also had a nice chat with a couple of the Rangers here. Capt. Jack always knows the good questions to ask. I never can think of stuff. However, I do often get the young, male Rangers who approach me and just start talking about the area. That's nice too. This photo was taken down in the cave a bit but where you can still see out. This is also the entrance where the bats fly out in the evenings. And you can tell by the smell.

This is way down in the caverns. We spent most of the day here just tooling around and then had lunch above ground and browsed through the bookstore and photography exhibit of Ansel Adams' work.

The rain we picked up in the Chisos followed us up to Carslbad and when we came out of the cave it was raining again. Only Jack and I could go out into the middle of the Chihuahuan desert and get caught in a flash flood. We made it out of the park okay but really got into some rough stuff in Carlsbad proper. Apparently, they don't build storm drainage systems into the city streets like we do back home and it makes for some interesting driving. There was a couple of times that so much water washed over the windshield that we were completely blind. Fortunately, everybody was going pretty slow and no one stopped, which could have caused us all to stall in the water.

We eventually made it out of town and out of the storm. One of my first good sights in New Mexico was this full, double rainbow. You could see the entire thing stretched across the valley. It was quite a sight. There was a smaller, double part on this end but it may not show up on the photo and I could never get the whole rainbow in one shot.
We stopped overnight in Roswell, NM and puttered around there a little this morning taking in some alien sights. It was fun. Roswell is a much larger city than what most people imagine.
So, we are going to spend a couple of days in the Santa Fe area and then head for Flagstaff, I think. I'm kinda confused about itinerary at this point and what day it is. The 7,000 feet elevation is also interesting. It is making us a little tired but the extremely low humidity here feels wonderful. We are still having a blast and enjoying each others company. Oh, and I saw a bunch of antelope by the highway on the way here. We also saw several of those God-forsaken cattle feed lots too. I am going to try very hard to change my beef consumption after seeing that. I knew what they were like but it's disgusting to see in real life.

*Eric Clapton

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bedrock Cathedral

Hey Everybody! I intended on posting abut San Antonio next but time and circumstances just got away from us so you are going to get Big Bend next. I might try to put up a few pics of the Riverwalk later. We spend half a day and all night in San Antonio ad had a fabulous time there. Also had the best tamales I have ever eaten. Actually, Capt. Jack ordered them but he shared. If you have never been to the Riverwalk I would highly recommend checking it out. We had a lot of fun and ate way too much.
So, we took off for Big Bend National Park next and even though I was highly impressed with San Antonio, Mother Nature always has a way of upstaging anything man can build and this was no exception. What an incredible wonder this park is. I have seen Mt. Hood in Oregon, the Hudson Valley in upstate New York and various other places but this was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Of course, we had to stop and take the obligatory photos in front of the sign going in. Can you tell Capt. Jack was in the military? lol! I've been trying to get him to loosen up a little.

This was the view from our campsite in the basin. It just doesn't come close to the real thing though. This was taken very early in the morning as the clouds rolled over and down the valley. We had planned on staying two nights but rain started coming in and we were really not prepared for camping in such. Our first night was mercifully cool, not cold, and clear. Absolutely beautiful weather. I swore to Capt. Jack I would not reveal any details but let's just say, camping was an experience we will remember for a while. I told him one day we will look back on it and just laugh...Actually, we laughed ourselves silly Monday night in the midst of some trying circumstances but we got through it. I figured I would be sore this morning. Well, we both were but not from laughing and I found out that Jack's occasional snoring sounds just like a bear growling! At least to my imagination anyway.

We spend the late afternoon yesterday doing some short hikes around the area and then went on about a 5 mile round trip hike today, to Window Rock, a vista that looks out over the desert valley. We did not encounter any lions or bears thank goodness. I did hope to see some javelina but didn't get to. We did get see a few other odd critters though. If I get time I will put up some pics. OOOh, and on the way out, going down the highway to the park, which is just long stretches of desert and arid countryside, I saw this thing run across the highway in front of our truck. A little scurrying thing. Jack said it was a spider! A freakin' spider big enough to see from a moving vehicle! That just ain't right. God help if I were to see one right next to me.

This was about half way to Window Rock. You can see that many of the peaks stayed shrouded in the clouds. On our way back it started to get a little warm but basically was fabulously cool and sunny.

This is the view right at Window Rock. If I'm not mistaken, the area waaay in the distance is the desert that you must drive through to enter the park from the north. It takes about 2 1/2 hours maybe to get from Fort Stockton into the park. If you love hiking and places such as this, I would most definitely say. go here! You really need about a week to see the majority of the park though. As I said, we were going to stay another night and hike at least one more trail but the weather turned kinda ugly. The ranger we talked to said the rainy season was supposed to be over in August but some of the hurricanes had brought in some unusual moisture.
Well, we are off to Carlsbad Caverns and New Mexico next. This has been an incredible amount of fun so far. Of course, we have had a few aggravating moments with circumstances but Jack makes me laugh so much it's hard not to have fun anyway. He wanted to pick where we had supper tonight because he thought he remembered a very good rib place from years ago out here. Well, the place we went to weren't it. Our first clue should have been the DeWalt grinder discs that served as bottoms for the paper towel holders. Lets' just say it sucked and poor Jack felt awful but he stopped on the way back to the hotel and got me a salad to help make up for it.
I hope I'm being as good a sport about things as he is. Well, I'll be posting again as soon as I can.
*Paul Winter / I think this is the correct name his song but I'm guessing and don't feel like looking it up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Waltz Across Texas

We are in Houston! Although by the time many of you read this we may be in San Antonio or beyond. By the way, from what I've seen, driving friendly is not exactly the Texas way. Just saying. Driving fast is their way apparently and this from somebody from a state that hosts Talledega and many of the residents think they are race car drivers.

We stopped at a BassPro Shop in LA. Jack was discussing universal cosmology with this catfish.

Crossing the Mississippi in LA. I've done this several other places but not here before.

A giant bronze turtle at a really cool welcome center whose name I cannot pronounce at the moment. It's Cajun. The sun was very much in my eyes here so that's why the bad face.

That's all for now folks!! See you soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hit The Road Jack

But not without me!! Ha! Well, I'm officially laid off again and enjoying my first day of vacation. Well, sort of. Been running around like the proverbial headless chicken trying to get clothes and supplies together. We are planning on leaving out early Friday morning. We will head down to Mobile first to visit Capt. Jack's brother and then shoot over to Houston to see his sister. Both will be short, overnight stops so as not to inconvenience them and to make as good a time over Texas as we can. From Houston we are going to stop in San Antonio to see the Riverwalk and such; maybe take in the Alamo. Then on to Big Bend National Park and do some camping in the Chisos Mtns. From there we don't have any hard and set plans. I'm so freakin' excited.
The timing on work, the moon, everything has worked out great so far. Allen is going to babysit Grendal while I'm gone and generally look after the place.
My sister found out today that I was doing this and she had a fit. How could I run off to some remote part of the country with this older man I've only known for 5 months?! He could be an axe murderer! I need to stick with guys my own age! blah, blah, blah...And I said yeah, the vast majority of the guys my age are smack in the middle of a 15 year marriage with 2.5 kids and if they are not married, or taken or very recently singled, then they are usually of dubious standing. Whack jobs. Yeah, I know, there are exceptions to every rule but I'm saying for the most part, of the ones I've met. It's very hard to meet someone single and not a complete weirdo. And if Jack was an axe murderer, or any other type criminal, they wouldn't have let him around the Presidents. Of course, if you've never been caught, you wouldn't have a record! lol!
Anyway, it just astounds me sometimes how many people go their whole lives living in a manner prescribed by other people. Doing only what you are 'supposed' to do. You know, grow up, go to college, get married, have kids, plant flowers and die. And not to say that's a bad thing really, if that's what you truly want to do but what is wrong with taking the road less traveled? We celebrate such a thing in literature and cinema but when someone actually does it we say 'wooooo, they're crazy'. I said, well what am I supposed to do? sit around the rest of my life pining because I never met some certain guy that fits in some certain category and never get out and see anything? Screw that. Hey, once you get to our age, what the hell, you know? Capt. Jack and I know the score.
So, I loaded the info I need to keep blogging onto Jack's laptop last night and hopefully will keep ya'll informed of my adventures when possible. See ya!!!!

*Ray Charles

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Come Again

I basically finished the weathervane today so I just have to get it ready for transport tomorrow. Just a few things left to do so I don't have to be present when the vane is actually set and then I can use Thursday to get ready for the trip. One of the last things is to add a new ball bearing to the bottom of the main pole, so I stopped by an industrial supply on the way home today to purchase said piece. It took them a while to correctly size it but I believe I got something that will work. This business is just off the main highway I use but if you continue down the winding back road you dead-end into a old highway where the entrance to the main highway is. As I approached the old highway, where I had to turn right, I stopped to check for traffic and lo and behold but who do you guess was also stopped at the light, waiting to go in the same direction? Even though it's been over a year since I've really seen him, the timing between me and the Switchman is still dead on sometimes it seems. We waved and I pulled out, him behind me as we traced the same route to the main highway. We travel the same direction to our separate homes for several miles but I must exit first to go home. I wound my way through the neighborhoods until I got on the highway that leads to my house. It is the last leg of a sometimes tedious drive through farms and woods. Beautiful scenery but it often makes me sleepy, watching the rolling hills fly by. I felt myself falling into that hypnotic state when my phone rang. It scared the crap out of me to tell the truth. I jumped and the my heart jumped again when I saw the number displayed. I hate to say it sounded so nice to hear his voice again and we enjoyed a very animated conversation for several minutes. He sounded happy. I told him of my upcoming trip and yes, I told him that I was traveling with a man. He did not have anything to say about that but seemed genuinely happy for me to be able to go on such an adventure. He expressed the desire to do something similar.
Capt. Jack has actually done a pretty good job of taking his place amongst my thoughts but speaking to him again struck a nerve. I still miss his smiling face. But Capt. Jack and I are going to have a great time and I will bask in the attention that he so obviously enjoys showing me. I certainly enjoy his company too.

Thanks for all the suggestions of things to see in Texas and Arizona. We will definitely check them all out and see if we can get them in our route. If anyone knows of any other great places please let me know. We are planning on hitting San Antonio, Big Bend National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, Sedona, Flagstaff, maybe Taos, Winslow, the Grand Canyon but the trip home is still up for grabs. If we are passing near to your location and you want to meet a half-crazed female construction worker, just drop me a line and maybe we can do lunch, as they say.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Enjoy The Ride

Well, I did manage to get a little done on the house this weekend. With Capt. Jack's help I got the rest of this siding run on the clerestory wall. I needed to run a full 12' length of siding over the windows, which also has notches cut out for the rafters, and such a piece is very difficult to install by yourself. Having a second pair of hands was very helpful. I also got over half of this area caulked but didn't finish that or get the other side of the clerestory sided. I might have time before we leave for our trip but work may take screw that up also.
At any rate, we got some stuff done and had a good time and that is what is important.

We took a little time Saturday to enjoy some archery practice. I have a recurve bow and love to shoot just for fun. Capt. Jack recently bought a crossbow, which Alabama made legal for hunting last year or the year before, I can't remember. Crossbows have been legal for handicapped people for some time but now anyone can use them. Anyway, he has not had much opportunity to shoot the bow but my land is very conducive for such, so we set up the target and Capt. Jack worked on sighting the bow in, as that had not even been done. After he got it shooting what he thought was pretty close, he let me shoot some. The bow has a draw weight of 150 lbs. I can't even pull the drawstring back, so he has to load it for me. Anyway, I shot several times and had various results, sometimes missing the target. Then, he went inside to get some water and I shot again, this time placing the bolt right in the bull's eye. I assure you, it was just pure luck. He came back out and grabbed up his binoculars to see. The target was about 150' off, so I couldn't even see the bolts once they were in the target. Now, Capt. Jack had placed the two bolts in the lower right hand corner but he quickly spied mine in the center. "Sonovabitch!" he exclaimed. "that was pure luck!" We both laughed and he teased me some more and mumbled something about damn women. He was a good sport to pose with my shot, knowing I would put this on the blog. We had a good time. We also set up his tent to make sure we knew what we were doing before getting out west with it and planned a little more where we are going. I am so excited about this trip.

More and more wildflowers keep sprouting up around here. It's kinda funny that they seem to be getting closer and closer the the house. I don't remember seeing these flowers just outside the kitchen windows before. It's sort of like the house is drawing the flowers to it. I know, that sounds all woo-woo. Well, so what.! Sometimes I'm kinda woo-woo.

I have a little more work to do on the weathervane tomorrow and then hopefully I can start packing for the trip and getting that in line. I so need this. It is all like a dream come true. I have wanted to explore that area for such a long time and I think Capt. Jack is going to be a great guide and partner. He is a hoot. Oh, and he said we are going to go by Winslow, AZ and stand on the corner; get somebody to take a picture of us too! I will definitely post that!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pure Morning

Another one of my failed attempts to capture the ethereal quality of the morning light here. You just have to see it in person I guess. I went out for a quick morning walk today, before I get started with some work. It is a little muggy but still a nice day, although it may get rather warm later. I hope to get the last little bit of siding up over the clerestory windows this weekend before Capt. Jack and I leave on our road trip. He is going to help with the siding, as he does with most anything I want to do, so it should not be too much trouble. I don't know that I'll have time to get it painted but just having it installed will be great.

Capt. Jack likes muscadines so I picked a few for him. One more harbinger of fall, these ripe grapes. Their smell is atrocious to me so I don't eat them, although I wonder if the jelly made from them would be good.?

And the black-eyed Susan's are blooming again. I like them because they bloom in the spring and again in the fall here. Lots of flowers are blooming right now actually. Ugghhhh, I dread winter. I know it is still a ways off but I hate cold weather. I am definitely a southern girl. I wold shrivel up and die if I had to move to a northern climate. When I get back from my trip I am going to have some spend some serious time and effort splitting firewood.

Restoration on the weathervane continues. You can see here where I have cleaned and straightened this piece and am applying a new coat of sealer, which is just beeswax and linseed oil. The upper part that looks darker is where I have finished. I hope this church is happy with what I have done. I think it is going to look good. I have to install new ball bearings for this thing to rotate on and finish the sealer and it will be done. I spoke to our general superintendent and he said as soon as I complete this project I will be laid off again for a time but we do have some work on the horizon at least. They want me to help set this piece back on the roof of the church, which should happen Wednesday or Thursday and then I am off and free to go on the road.
I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and southwest states so Capt. Jack and I will be heading out to Arizona by next weekend hopefully. He lived there years ago and knows the areas well, as well as New Mexico and Texas. I have been all over the U.S. except this area, so I am anxious to see it. It should be a great trip. We are just kinda going to wander aroud Arizona, over to Carlsbad Caverns, maybe a couple of places in Texas too. Due to his work he has many free hotel stays accumulated and he has promised me we will camp out at least one or two nights also. I want to see the stars from the desert at night. They say it is something to behold. He has camped and hiked many of the national parks and other areas of those states also, so I think I have a good guide. And being a former Marine helps too! I think we will be safe and have a fabulous time. He will be taking his laptop so I hope to post some from the road as we plan on being gone 2-3 weeks. We are planning a few things but are just going to explore and see what strikes our fancy. I guess if we don't kill each other by the time we get back we may be a pretty good match. Now, even though Capt. Jack and I have only been dating about a month and a half, we have known each other since April. He contacted me shortly after that article came out in the paper, after Mama showed it to him!, and we have been talking, emailing and visiting with each other ever since. So, we believe we will get along well enough to do this. We'll see anyway!

Hopefully I will have some small progress on the house to post soon also. Hope you all have a great weekend too!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Catch The Wind

This is my new project that I started on today. Biggest freakin' weather vane I've ever seen. It will be about 20 feet tall when I am finished. Did the cleaning today and straightened out some of the bent up places you see. It's a combination of stainless steel, bronze and copper.

A big storm did this. It's not taking near the time I thought it would so I may be finished with it by Friday afternoon. If I do finish it early and they have no immediate work for me, which is very possible, I have decided that it is time for a very big adventure. Everybody say, "Road trip!!!!"

Best I could do to show the whole thing. It's a very interesting piece. When I restore an original sculpture like this I always try to take the care with it that I would want somebody else to take restoring a piece of mine after I'm gone. I think it is going to turn out well.

This afternoon when I got home, I felt compelled to walk down to the spring, just to see how things there were doing. When I got there I was a little surprised to see that the water was so clear, you could see rocks about 18" below the surface.
Been a long time since it's been that clear. As I crept closer to the edge about 8 little frogs jumped screaming into the water, probably peeing all the way. Oh well.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The More Things Change....

It's that time of year again and the sun made it's annual return to the house on Sept. 1. Just this little sliver is coming in now and it's gone by about 11:00 a.m. I'm always a little sad to see it return to the house although it does add cheerfulness and warmth. I finally have come up with a decent idea of how to finish that plywood wall and I think it will be pretty darn cool (actually warm) and be functional also. The architect wanted me to cover the wall with a fine grade of plywood and stain it in a grid pattern. This would look nice but be quite expensive and take a great deal of time. I think instead I am going to make it into a heat well by installing dark corrugated metal decking furred out about 2 inches from the plywood with small vents cut in the upper portions. The dead space between the decking and the plywood will collect the heat when the sun shines on the metal and it will then vent out the holes further up. It will go up rather quickly and be much more affordable. Even if it doesn't heat a lot it will not hurt at any rate and I can still install some grid shelving over the decking to display sculpture and pottery.

Some of you may have noticed that this is posted when I should be at work but we had a little glitch about being able to get to the weather vane on this new project, so I will start tomorrow. Kinda nice to have a little holiday and I am almost finished with the pantry cabinet and ready to pour the countertop.

Ok, here is a little snakey for ya'll to help me ID for Capt. Jack. He found this little baby at his place and was wondering what it is. I said my readers would surely know and never fear, he took it out to a secluded area on his property and released him unharmed. I was up at Mama's yesterday for the holiday and since Capt. Jack is Mama's neighbor, he came over and had lunch with us and met some of my family. They acted decently enough but when he left they jumped me about his age and such. He doesn't look past 50-something to me and is in waaay better shape than guys half his age, in a lot of cases, but people always have to question you. I'm still not sure how I feel. I always get a strange feeling when he leaves. I miss him, but I feel sometimes like this is all too hard and maybe I shouldn't even try. I'm used to being by myself. I could learn to live with it. Men are scary and I don't trust them easily. The nicer they are at first, the meaner they often turn out to be later. And not to say at all that Capt. Jack makes me feel uneasy or anything. On the contrary, I feel like he would protect and stand up for me before just about anybody. I was just afraid I would feel this way if I ever met anybody that I actually could relate to and feel I had many common beliefs with, which I do with Jack. Maybe the age difference is too much and I'm just coming up with reasons why it won't work. *sigh* Maybe I'm just thinking too hard. Need to take my own advice and just wait and see.