Thursday, February 9, 2017

After the Harvest

Driving down the road the other day with my mother, we saw lots of cotton on the sides of the road where it had blown off the cotton trucks on the way to the gin. Mom remembered a drive with dad along the same road, which was near the area where dad grew up - son of a cotton farmer. She said there was cotton blown to the sides of the road then too and she remarked to dad that if his dad had been alive to see that, he would have ordered them all out of the car to pick up that wasted cotton. lol

I wonder what grandad would have thought of this cotton that was missed by the cotton stripper.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

DIY Silver Lamps

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I have been so busy getting bids and looking at building materials, that I haven't been getting online except to look up something. I've been quilting, but it's hand quilting and nothing new to show. So instead, I'm posting pictures of some lamps that needed a facelift before we listed our house for sale.

I bought these lamps at Target.com a few years ago. They were supposed to be white, but when I got them, they were more like bisque or off-white. And being made of resin, they looked pretty cheap. I bought a can of Krylon Sterling Silver Metallic and sprayed one coat on a lamp, and then used a black antiquing gel (sorry, I don't remember the brand on it) to age it.



It wasn't the rich silver of real metal, so I gave it another coat. Much better.



I wanted to protect the paint, so bought a can of clear satin sealer. On the can, it said a clear sealer will dull the finish a little. Well. It did more than dull it. It darkened the finish also, which wasn't the look I was going for at all. (on the right)  It made a great pewter finish though, so if I ever want a pewter, I know how to get it now.



So I sprayed it again (two coats) and got it back to the deep silver look, and then sprayed the second lamp and antiqued it.  FYI, the antiquing gel said to paint it on and rub off where you don't want it.  That didn't work at all.  Maybe if the paint had cured better - or maybe it still would have smeared everywhere.  Or maybe the instructions on the gel were not for a painted object.  In any case, the way that finally worked for me was to use a very fine artist's paintbrush and paint it on in the crevices.  Then, I let it dry a minute and wiped off the excess with a damp cloth, being careful not to wipe hard or in the areas I really wanted dark.



It took very little paint to do all this, and I had well over half a can left. But I never got to use it on anything else. Since we decided to put everything in storage, we had to get rid of all our paint and everything flammable. I hated getting rid of my collection of paint, especially that one.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Winterizing

We expect our first freeze Thursday, so Hubby and I went out to the farm to winterize my water lily tank.



While we were at the feed store buying the straw bales, Hubby picked up a sack of corn to fill his feeder. After filling the feeder, he noticed the neighbors who had come begging for a free meal. So he fed them.



The other neighbors were just as vocal, just too far away. I took these photos with his phone, fully zoomed, but they were just too far away for a good picture. I included them anyway because a) they had an impressionist look, and b) this is kind of how my vision is. Just enough distortion to be kind of pixelated and blurry.




Friday, December 2, 2016

Is No News Really Good News?

If so, have I got good news for you.  Because really, I don't have anything new to add here.

I am delighted to say that summer is finally over and the weather is terrific.  We finally closed on our land the Friday before Thanksgiving.  We had hoped to be able to get the building ball rolling immediately, but we've had delays here just as we had with both closings.

Even though I have more free time now, I have less internet time.  We couldn't use our last internet provider here and didn't want to sign a year or two contract for another one, so thought we'd just use the hotspot on our phones.  We burned through six gigs in just a few weeks.  We just bought a dedicated hotspot last week and started with six gigs.  I went to the library to read blogs and compose my answers and blog post and came home to post it.  Hopefully, that will work for me without using too much data.  It is a pain though.  I don't log into anything on the library internet.  It may be safe, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

Since we are living in such small quarters, I packed all my fabric and most of my quilting tools.  I did bring three sewing machines here because I didn't want anything to happen to them in storage.  I also brought my English paper piecing because it takes up so little room.  With my eye problems, I didn't think I'd be doing any kind of sewing though.  However, I found that the hand sewing is much easier to see than using the sewing machine because I can get it just the right distance from my eyes.  I can even thread a needle without too much effort.  I've been spending time every day working on my hexie project.



It is cat approved too.  Buddy has decided he likes being a house cat, and loves being a lap cat every evening.

I don't remember what I last said about my eyesight.  So a short review: I've had a retinal tear in each eye and now macular pucker in each eye which causes a blurry distortion even with glasses.  At my last visit, the doctor said the puckers were progressing rapidly and recommended surgery.  We left believing that without the surgery, my vision would continue to deteriorate until I couldn't see anything without this fairly risky surgery. His diagnosis seemed to prove correct as over the last month, I've noticed that it is harder to read signs while driving and even to identify things on the side of the road.

So today, I went to another doctor for a second opinion.  Another reason I wanted to see another doctor is because the first doctor doesn't explain anything and I wanted to know exactly what to expect.  This doctor not only explained what was going on, he showed me the pictures of my macula, and explained that, for me, this surgery is risky because it actually would be three separate surgeries.  Also, he said that the surgery probably wouldn't do anything for my right eye and only slightly improve the vision in my left eye.  One line up on the eye chart, he said.  Not enough improvement for three surgeries.  He didn't recommend surgery right now.  Good news though; he said even if the macular pucker continued to get worse, it wouldn't cause blindness, and if it did get a lot worse, then we could do the surgery.

In the meantime, he suggested an optometrist who might be able to tweak the refraction with glasses so I can continue to drive and read signs and maps.   I'm not putting a lot of hope in that, but it is encouraging.  We learned more in fifteen minutes with him than we had in ten months with the other doctor.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Living in Limbo

I had to laugh at allthingzsewn's comment. It seems like (and our backs feel like) we have been moving for a month. We finally closed on the house on the 24th, yes, just five days ago. The inspection wasn't bad at all, but the appraisal was a different story. That's where FHA is a pain. If I ever sell another house, it will be cash or conventional only! After the appraisal we went back and forth with the buyers a few times and finally worked out a deal. Then their realtor forgot to order a survey so that pushed us back another week. But it's finally all done and we are living in a friend's rental for a few months. It's in a Dallas suburb and not a great neighborhood, but it's not as bad as I originally feared. Or it wasn't, until our friend told me to keep the doors locked all the time, even if I just went to the car and back (to get to the car, I have to go out the front door, through the back yard and to the parking spots beyond that) because the guy next door just got out of prison, doesn't have a job, but isn't lacking for money. Great.

No pictures of a new house yet either. We should close on our land next Friday and there were some delays there too so we probably won't start building as soon as we planned. Until then, we are living in a 600 square foot duplex. I told Hubby that living here will make me appreciate our small barndominium home more than if we moved from our home. Buddy The Cat made the move pretty well and has settled into life as a house cat. Once again, he shares space with Hubby in the office, and he has a window seat for sunning and bird watching.

We have met several of our future neighbors. One of them developed a skin cream that is very effective on poison ivy. One weekend, we spent the afternoon clearing brush where we wanted to put the driveway and in a few days Hubby was itching. I ran over to a store that carried Cindy's cream and made Hubby use it. He has gone to the doctor with poison ivy before and pooed the idea that "Crazy Cindy's" cream could stop it. A couple of days later he was singing a different tune because the cream eased the itching, stopped it from getting worse, and then made it go away. So now it is "Clever Cindy's" magic cream! lol

No internet service here at our temporary housing. We will just hot spot off the phone until we can get out there. I wasn't sure how much data we have on our plan now since we share our daughter's plan. But she assured me that as long as i don't stay on the internet all day (and yes, I used to just leave it on all day), then I could get online every day without a problem. I'll watch my time, but I should be able to get online for at least thirty minutes every day, so hope to see you soon.