Sunday, November 25, 2012

on being creative

i'm a person that needs to make things...with my hands
i need to see things in my brain and bring that out- down my arms and through my fingers
it's a real need 
like breathing
even eating will take second place to creating
when the muse descends i can forget (and do forget) everything
i forget to do chores (except animal chores) 
i forget to eat
to take breaks

all that matters is what is coming out.....the struggle of something new being born
once born i am interested in it for a short time
but then put it away for 'later'

when 'later' comes, i am more often then not surprised at what i see!
i don't remember all the little details although i was THERE 

i don't remember!

i have often wondered if that is part of the process...... as it comes through a human?
it's also why i am beginning to think that it isn't all me doing it

somehow something, which i will call the muse, works with me and through me
and a lot of times something amazing happens

it's almost like an addiction as well, because when i haven't been creating for a bit (like right now) i get unsettled, bored, depressed, life seems to lose it's luster, it's meaning and it's purpose.
i rattle around, unsure what to do with myself
my fingers need to be doing SOMETHING
my mind needs to be challenged 

and i get into a very bad bad mood
now all this being said...
i have work to do 
i am going to get off the laptop and wander over to my drafting table
i may draw
i would like to make some thing too.....maybe an ornament?
maybe an object?
i wouldn't mind bookbinding, that is always fun
making a box out of fabrics and cardboard is fun too
or possibly a pop up paper theater?
a cloth doll? with a trunk and wardrobe?
a tiny candy house made out of clay?

the possibilities are endless and fascinating.......

the hard part is choosing and starting

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

i's been a while

we again have been visited by the plague...this time stomach plague...
bernie was so sick sunday night.... he was vomiting and we were up all night cleaning up after him
monday he was so sick he couldn't go to school
today he went, and so far (2:30pm) he's still not home so i am thinking he's ok
not me however
i am getting very dizzy and very light headed and have a terrible taste in my mouth
so i am trying to eat very light...dry toast, jello.....water
i took the ducks out and brought the wood in

then discovered a FLEA on thaddeaus!
almost ten years i've had these cats, they not only do not go out....but we don't have carpets in the house and i find a FLEA
so i need to get a comb and some DE to spread around
and i could really use a vacuum (which i don't have)

meanwhile thanksgiving is on hold pending both bernie and me having the plague...
if he's ok, he'll cook
if i'm ok, i'll cook
if we're still both sick
well.....maybe then we'll cook sunday

and here we were saying how this would be the first year since 2006 that we wouldn't be on the road for a road call on thanksgiving!

meanwhile, today is gray and overcast, i can't get a good fire going in the woodstove, i am thinking we need to clean the chimney again
probably over the weekend
either way, due to pending plague, i'm freezing

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

rain, snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain........ grasshoppers....

what a mess
i took bernie to school today up in the mountains....we got there just as that delightful mess of weather decended....
and then i was to drive home!
i did make it!!!

to be greeted with a breakfast of fresh coffee and homemade yogurt

today i will be going to town, i have to do a few things. i had wanted to do a lot more cooking but that's ok- i'll get what i have to do done and paint more today

i still need to bake pumpkins and make cran sauce for the big holiday...... i can do that really any time prior
our feast has been carefully put by over the past few months as things came on sale.
so we're doing ok with that
i believe i even have a turnip in the freezer, already chopped and steamed
(gotta have turnip with turkey, and a bagel for the turkey the next day)

meanwhile i have been having an array of interesting dreams.... every single night
last nights involved a wheel chair, and pretty embroidered cotton voile blouses......
and a furniture store!

well there isn't too much else to say i just wanted to remember the bad weather...which turned into rain as soon as i got out of the higher elevations (i was going to say mountains but we sorta live IN the mountains sooooo it is the HIGHER mountains!)

oye again

Sunday, November 11, 2012

catching up after sandy and the plague

we got hot water back this week...... bernie did the laundry for me as i was exhausted with the flu/cold/ lifting all the stock pots of boiling water before we got the hot water back, sort of really did a job on my shoulders
i did however get the kitchen squared away
for the most part
melting the butter
and i even made chicken and dumplins yesterday --- which came out so perfectly that there are NO leftovers -- and there should be! i made a huge soup pot full!
it came out perfectly (that is my le creuset soup pot i got at an unbelievable price, as it was mismarked! i love that pot and recommend both staub and le crueset totally)

onions, celery, and carrots chopped
this was a simple classic chicken and dumplins....and the dumplins were a down and dirty fast bisquick type.....

ok fast, chop celery, onions, garlic and carrots, melt the butter, saute, then cover and simmer a while.
sauteed in butter then put the lid on
add the chicken, i had sliced frozen (remember that 120 pounds of chicken i did before rhinebeck?) boneless skinless chicken- i browned and cooked it for a bit then added something like three cups of my homemade chicken stock- covered the pot and let it simmer for a while.....until the chicken was done.
adding the chicken

i took the chicken out and cut it up into bite sized chunks.... more or less (about 1/2'' pieces)
put it back in and threw some salt and freshly ground pepper, and parsley

then made the dumplins,
chicken cooked and cut into cubes, stock added and simmered

a bunch of bisquick, some onions powder, dash of chili powder, some parsley and some milk and beat it up

when the stock was simmering nicely i dropped the dumplings in ...from the center out
let it cook for a bit then turned down the heat a tiny bit
and covered it for 15 minutes...... to steam the tops

it was out of this world
bernie had two HUGE bowls
i had one huge bowl and a second dumplin

finished chicken and dumplins in a bowl
sadly there is no more (there should have been another meal but.......ahem...........we ate it)
ok so there you have chicken and dumplins....i think it took no more prep time then about 15 minutes spread out over about 1.5 hours.....

oh and i painted too......9 crows is half way done

Thursday, November 08, 2012

and we were far

the storm appears to have bypassed our area
which is a very good thing
and we have hot water again
which is also a very good thing

now after all the hoopla of the elections
i am very happy to see that slowly we are inching towards equality
i was very fearful that women would have their bodies legislated! and the next step.....the vote taken away and any other rights we had to be free and equal
i still can't phantom any one even remotely thinking that they can have a say over the body, health and reproduction rights of another person!
or who they love and marry
whatever happened to 'free will'
and equality in the eyes of the law?
or america ......a democracy where all men are created equal?
and a biggie for me
separation of church and state

and to say i am dismayed by the gop which USED to be a true moderate voice, sort of the wise elder voice....... and is now something more akin to a fanatical fundamentalist freak show

now we the people have spoken
and we are inching toward equality.......

and we are inching towards maybe government as sort of a clearing center for all the people
we pay our taxes, and we collectively benefit from things like fema, the armed forces
and even the 47% (no mitt i will never forget that one....EVER) pay taxes....... they buy goods and services with thier money don't they? (and i don't want to hear that it isn't their money..... we take care of everyone else in other countries..these are our own.... and they don't want to be dependant either)
and they vote

is it a perfect
but it is a free system........... we are still free to disagree
we are still free to have our voices heard
to vote
to try and make a difference
to work towards a more perfect union.......

and i am very proud of our country......
things ARE changing... the face of america is's getting more diverse and more colorful
it's slow....but there are quite a lot of folks here......and this type of change takes time
and it also may take trial and error.......
and remember..... our nation is a GRAND experiment in self government.....
so everyone
we continue
and we try
one day at a time
we try to see where we can meet across our differences......and work it out

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

why .......6am, we meet again!

the good news......we have electric
we have no hot water
i have the plague, courtesy of bernie.....

oh and it's pretty f*ing cold out.....
and we are getting another storm tonight!
stick a fork in me cause i am so done

now storm notes...... the gen worked very well...... we got the food in the fridge and the freezers through no problem
i contacted our electrician about putting in the transfer switch
and we are still planning on a standby generator down the road

we need led lanterns....... with the budgies i didn't feel comfortable with oil lamps and candles..... or with bernie sick (he had the plague through the blackout period)
we need one for each of us and one for the chickens and ducks

hot water......we need it
i'm not sure how yet we'll get it figured for off the grid but we will

meanwhile we did do pretty well...... we were warm and had food
we did run out of duck/chicken water on sunday as well as flushing water but that was because i planned on a few days worth of rain as per the news people.....
(note to self: news people lie)

so we'll be putting by a lot more water for next time
today''s storm no....
i am way too sick to do anything more then i've done
i will put my ponds out to get rain/snow though
and hope for no loss of power

everyone stay safe

Sunday, November 04, 2012

post storm update

we got electric on yesterday...and lost internet
we also blew the heating elements of the hot water heater

meanwhile bernie's got a bad cold, and his school is pushed back three days.... to december 7th
i have taken a sponge bath today and feel better
not as good as a shower would be but better then before
bless my homemade soap as it is ok if you don't rinse it all off........ i love my soap!
i love my generator
i love my woodstove
and my little human/feather/furred family

i already started to cook for the next storm...which is next week
and we replenished some supplies....
mostly water.....
flush water we ran out of and yesterday we ran out of bird water right before the electric came back on
(the flush water was my fault.......i sort of react to crisis with gastric distress....)

we're not putting the extension cords/power  bars away yet however.... and i am sort of thinking i need to get a few more buckets for birds and flush water
although the full ponds sure did help me out with filling buckets (at least until the ducks had to go out and they jumped in the ponds)
this week after the election and all i will no doubt get out there and scrub my ponds very very well then refill them again

my emergency book has a lot of notes in it now
good ideas for alternate water storage etc
cause even with a transfer switch, we are going to need to store water
and we are going to look into a backup hot water system to run without generator power

ok now i have to do work again

be well everyone

Friday, November 02, 2012

still no electric-- BUT!!!!!!!

i started the generator ALL BY MYSELF
(and i think i threw my shoulder out doing it)

ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now i want to mention staten island..... those folks got nailed...... and they weren't getting the help they needed..
a 72 hour emergency bag wouldn't have helped either as they got slammed and a lot of the people totally lost their homes
one woman actually went hiking across the marshes LOOKING for her home
so no matter what we're going though
we have our little house...our animals
our food stores

we are truly blessed and very very lucky
a lot of folks were

jersey got creamed.....staten island.....brookyln...ny
so many folks were lost, so much suffering

there by for the grace......... go i

ok we are doing ok.... we are getting low on animal water and flushing water as i planned on using rainwater...... but we didn't get the rains (thank goodness) that were predicted
so tomorrow we're going to have to go find water for the birds if electric isn't restored.... i have conserved as much as i can ........
today everyone is out with the ponds
the ponds are a mess...... i can't scrub them until we have actual water running again
ditto on the buckets
falstaff dumped his bucket and i am bringing him our drinking water ....however he's only going to get a 1/4 bucket which is a half gallon...and it's got to last him
the chickens are drinking out of a duck pond (it's the only clean one so i let them use that pen)
food of course we're going well on
bernie found out his school has been extended a few days at the end...instead of saturday classes

meanwhile i am putting the woodstove to good use cooking
(last nights burgers were great and tonight's chili is most excellent)

i even was able to paint a tiny bit today.......when the skies got brighter..i saw patches of BLUE! but it's clouded over again now

ok folks i hope you are all safe and warm, fed and your loved ones are accounted for

Thursday, November 01, 2012

miracles great and small

well we have survived sandy........
by a weird miracle we not only got a generator on SUNDAY
but there was some sort of unusual temperature inversion thingie that kept the 70mph winds about 1000 feet in the air over us
we did lose electric
(we are still out of electric right now but i was informed we'll get it back tonight)

we are stinky a bit.... need a shower
but fine
well fed

now the other miracle was....... while bernie's school was closed a few days, he was able to relax and then retest and passed with flying colors......
the testing center was empty! not like last time where the general public was wandering around in the testing room!
he passed......then the electric in his school was restored.....and school is back today

we are so blessed

and i love my generator like i love my woodstove......

now checks and minuses in our storm prep for this time

i cooked ahead so we could reheat BIG plus
i had a ton of drinking/flushing/animal water PLUS
did not have enough washing water......minus
one bundt cake baked prior  PLUS
not enough cold milk to drink with it...... minus
headband flash lights PLUS PLUS PLUS
one battery operated lantern.....nope minus...i forgot to get it
we did have oil lamps, oil, candles...... etc
but i don't like that around the budgies (or us)

i did forget to cook the veggies ahead..... minus...... but as soon as the electric is on we're going to have a few veggie meals
i missed my popcorn, i do'nt have a woodstove popcorn thingie

other then that .....not bad at all

this was bernie's first real at home disaster, as every other time he would stay at work
i don't think he cared for it
but i think overall as things go we are living in the lap of disaster luxury due to the miracles that happened for us

i'll take it