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Sunrise in the Valley

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASunday morning, just yesterday, it was about 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. and I caught this sunrise with my little indestructible camera. These skyscapes are so fleeting and yet glorious to take in.  Later by another half hour or more it was gloomy as if this had NOT happened with the promise of sun for the rest of the day.  In fact, it rained a bit and then later in the afternoon it was sunny again.

Because of all the harvesting in the Valley, we have grain straw clouds hanging in the air that look like smog in the evening dusk.  The farmers are in earnest to get their grain into the storage silos once in the big semi trucks.  Then these monster trucks trundle down the road and churn up more dust from gravel roads that have not had rain for several weeks.

grain harvest

I am busy harvesting on a much smaller scale in my two vegetable gardens. I have basil like NEVER before.  How I love to make pesto but having had enough of that, I am giving basil away.  I LOVE my yellow beans and will give some to my Mom. She is getting all of my tomatoes and I give her beet tops so she can cook that up.  The beets have needed thinning out so she got the baby beets.

I have been picking lettuce and some snow peas.  Swiss chard too is always good.  So much of a good thing, it is the time of bounty now.  Nothing to complain about here. I enjoy the cooler temps at night…you can tell that fall is around the corner. Oh, did I mention the Haralson apples we have? I made two pies already but I dare not look at the plum trees because they are heavily laden with plums. I’ll call my friends over to come pick their fill of plums.

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School is starting up next week so I will have to turn my focus to that.  Looking forward to meeting my new students for this semester.

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Cleaning and MORE cleaning

Yes, we are getting ready for an auction of my Dad’s stuff.  There is still much to clean and it has been a family effort.  I’ll show a few photos of signs that were in his shop that are 1941 and another is 1954. They are relics and sure to go for a high price next Saturday. My two brothers were up this weekend and my one brother and another sister will be up for the first of three sales.

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First, my Mom and I had been cleaning big, lunky riding lawnmowers in the basement. Cool place but dirty with dust and grime build up. Today I adventured in the attic and cleaned these old signs.

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Much has to happen between now and next Saturday. HOpefully my Dad will make some money on all that he has stored for such a day like next weekend.

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Stained Glass window

I guess I was angry last time I blogged and now those feelings are replaced with other vexed thoughts and ideas.  Yesterday I sent an e-mail to people on my committee for the restoration of an old building’s flooring on the lower level. We have 20 days left before we open this historic building to the public. Much energy has gone into getting the posters up all over town and postcards sent out to people who have donated to our cause in the past.  However, there are some people connected to our historical preservation society who do not care one iota about the work that archivists do, they do not read or study old documents…what they do is build, construct, create with wood, etc.

So, this kind of procrastination has happened before when we needed a project done but we had to wait on this person’s timetable. Then this person’s kitchen sink got put into our kitchen nook area of this old building.  Indeed, it helps with watering all the plants that I have on the second floor. It is nice to have it upstairs, we also have a bathroom on the lower level, that helps too.

Now we have an annual event coming up in three weeks and this person is putting up the smoke screen that we have to pay someone to be given their written approval that we can go ahead with cosmetic changes on a dropped ceiling and also putting the floor in.  What gets me is that the board had agreed to having this flooring done last fall. Not only that, this person also went ahead last October and bought the flooring without asking any of us on the committee. He is now stalling and does not want to do the floor because of moisture problems in the coal bin area. We have needed a storage area for bucket, mop, snow shovel, pail, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.  Two reasons this person gives who does not want to be laying the floor in order for our committee members to be ready for our three day event! Power play!

Okay, I vented and have had help from another person who was a second pair of eyes to see what I wrote to our committee about this new development of no new flooring but using just the plywood.  Very upsetting that a retired guy who can’t hear at the meeting sits up with us as if he is a board member, he is not.  How does he get all this power to change things or give excuses to delay the process?  At our next board meeting, I am going to make a motion that we find someone else to take on the mantle of “groundskeeper” for our building instead of this guy who does not care one bit about our deadlines or the fact that this is our biggest fundraising event of the year!!!

Well, I’m putting a nice stained glass window up to show that there is beauty despite the angst that has been created by this ONE person who is old, retired, hard of hearing and doesn’t have the energy to volunteer anymore.  We are ALL volunteers and there are people who have donated money to have this project completed.

stained glass window Carnegie

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Amber Waves of Glass and Broken Pain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI knew I needed to get something done with all the glass and shards and ceramic pieces I am finding in a nearby field.  I’ve found buttons and marbles as well as old bones and teeth from long decayed animals from when this was a working farm with sheep, cows, horses and other critters.

What I find fascinating are the pieces that you turn over to find the name brand of the plate or that it was hand crafted or painted.  What did people do with this fine china if it was chipped or cracked?  They threw it out but sometimes it went into the outhouse. Well, now we have an outhouse remains that have surfaced after 60-70 years of being all covered up.  We had indoor plumbing for a long time but this century old house used to have an outhouse and my grandparents and aunts and uncle with my Dad used chamber pots as well.

I’ve needed to be creative lately, we are going through a family crisis period right now and it is NO fun to have personalities clash over what they deem as necessary in getting my 87 year old dad out of business.  Some of my siblings will have nothing to do with this, others are over involved. I’m the bystander that is closest to it all and I see what is happening. I’m sad by it all.

This too shall pass. I’m glad that I have an understanding husband who listens to me when I feel hurt or betrayed.  I’ve volunteered by hours and then when I show up to see how it is going, I’m accused of interrupting work in progress. AS IF I WAS THERE FOR HOURS when in fact it was only 15 minutes. I was checking to see what I could do the next day but this stop that I made seems to have been amplified and reported to another sibling. So then I hear “time is money” and I was wasting money by stopping to see how I could help and volunteer the next day…which I did.

I am willing to get my hands dirty and do some fairly bad chores…especially when I was cleaning out the furnace room. I finally had to use a shovel to scoop up all the debris, it was a hateful job.  But so is a LOT of other things that are left behind by a hoarder. I was going through one area in the main lobby and I found empty containers, about 7-10 of them that should have been trashed but instead were chucked away in a certain area. This same place had gallon containers that had a little bit at the bottom of it, not thrown. Glass, aluminum, scrap metal, paper, plastic…all of this has to be decided on and it wasn’t  done for 30 plus years.

So, I do the dirty work of a volunteer and I look into other options of selling inventory that could make lives living easier, especially for my parents. However, I hear the refrain that I stopped progress one day when my brother was sorting and wasted money. Wow, that is quite an accusation when I feel like as a volunteer I am not being recognized for the work I have done. I stopped by for 15 minutes and this is what I get?  Yet my brother can talk to me on the phone for over an hour or so and that is okay?  Time is LOVE, not money.  I keep hearing this that Time IS MONEY. I want to scream.  People are to use things and LOVE people but instead I see that there are those in my family who USE people and LOVE things!

Okay, that is why I do art to ease the pain. I’m accused of being domineering and trying to control.  Well, the person who makes that criticism is doing that in spades!  So, I will continue to be creative and NOT let this negative energy get to me. I need to be praying for these people who are hurting and angry and are striking out against those who are there to help.

Here’s my art so far!

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Sweet Pea Power

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe days are still long and so I went out to do the watering of gardens and potted plants which I have many of…three hours later I was back inside.  What did I have to do?  Since it might rain tonight, I needed to take out water from our large rain barrel and water the vegetable gardens.  That’s when I discovered in ONE of our gardens that the deer had been eating off the top of my yellow beans!  That is a BIG mistake on their part because those are my favorite and my husband knows it.

Then I went around the perimeter of our property to talk to the deer and sometimes yell at them hiding in the woods that they don’t belong here.  I see too many hoof prints from a big mama deer and her baby deer.  Whoever came up with Bambi did NOT do us any favors because these creatures can be spiteful with eating our maple trees and other young trees.  We have a LOT of other trees they can munch on, why go for the young ones?  I wish they would eat the walnut trees, that would maybe kill them!

Oops, did I really write that?  Yes, I’m glad for deer season when hunters can actually kill these animals and harvest the meat.  People eat venison around here, we did not grow up in a family of hunters but we are surrounded by those who love to hunt and fish.

Then the other thing I did was pick asparagus and also weed around the sweet peas. That was my LAST thing to do before I turned in for the night at 10:15 p.m. that is how long our days are still though they are getting shorter.  Sweet peas have a nice fragrance and they can be quite colorful. The more you pick, the more you get.  So, I intend to give many different bouquets to people throughout the rest of the summer.  Nice to be able to bless others with my abundance.

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However, the deer do NOT fall in that category, nor do the gophers.  I have my battles with them as well.  Their mounds of black soil they churn up, I put them into garden patches but it is not fun to mow around these mounds…thus the extra work that is created from them.

Yes, deer and gophers, those are our nemesis this summer along with the awful weeds.  No mosquitoes though!

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Respect and Equality painting

which one is mineOn a whim I went to a free class for two hours to do a painting about Respect and Equality for all.  I knew what I wanted to do even before I saw the materials.  I wanted to paint black and white squares like a chessboard and then from the left moving right, the lines would be less rigid.  The idea behind that was to show that all different colors of people are involved in our world, it is NOT just a black and white issue.

In fact, I put two red pipe cleaners on the left to show that it is wrong to think in only those two colors.  Little did I know that there would be so many different things provided to add color and 3D look to my painting.  I used a LOT of buttons which you can’t tell by looking at these pictures, I also used a feather or two.

Other people visualized it differently and the result was good.  Someone took about 5 minutes to blob on different shades of brown.  I took the FULL two hours to do my painting. Some have no respect for what it takes to be artistic, time and patience.  I’m no artist but I have been feeling very artsy lately. I want to be creative.

EGRFKS art display

Can you tell which one is mine based on the clues I gave you? My husband and I will go tomorrow to see this gallery of about 60 paintings. I’m looking forward to it!

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Not on jury…this time… next week maybe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday, I went to be on a jury at 9:15 a.m.and there were 49 other people there waiting for the inevitable. Some were busy farmers, others busy professionals or housewives.  I had asked for a deferment already so no time was convenient but better than when I am teaching during the school year.

It was a sad case of a rape that happened in 2008 and it is come to light now?  Well, the “innocent guy until proven guilty” was sitting in the room the whole time as we were asked questions of the judge, of the two lawyers and finally, I was part of the 20 people to be potential candidates. I was eliminated at 5:15, so it felt like a long process just to be rejected.

When I got home after picking asparagus in the ditches and picking flowers and watering other new plants, I went to pick more glass and enjoy the great outdoors.  I have a garden that is coming along and that needs tending.

Right now I am tired and want to go to bed. My family is coming up for the week to help my Dad de-clutter his shop…he has a LOT of inventory and he IS a hoarder.  As an 87 year old, he grew up as a Depression baby so he holds on to things…just in case.

Well, we will see how much we can fill a BIG dumpster with all the things he has in his shop.  I may post pictures of that later.  I should have gone out to pick gooseberries. I’ll have that for my nephew from Russia, he LOVES gooseberries!

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