Friday, August 29, 2008

......more new library here............

This is the entrance facing south/Franklin Street..... there are supposed to be 58 parking spaces on three sides of the building (there is NO space at the back side of the building for anything). And I'm hoping those 58 spaces will include more than one handicap space like we have now.

This is the north entrance; we were told all entrances will have attractive round white columns in keeping with our historic little town. I don't know about shutters or other "traditional"/"historical" additions......will have to see as they are added. I do hope some more detail work is in the plans so we don't have another ugly, "modern" brick building.

And this is the main front entrance as seen from Franklin Street.......notice how narrow the driveway is; this truck is parked at the edge of the property line near the street.

This is the nice big foyer/entry hall as you come into the main front door, and there are some large rooms all around and some small rooms. At least there are some windows and we will get more daylight than in the old building. Notice the dropped ceiling with lots of blocks of fluorescent lights and all the black space above is filled with ductwork............more indoor shots tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

disappearing flowers...........

This is one of the last of the beautiful pink cone flowers from this first year's crop........I've saved the seeds, hopefully to help a new and larger patch of them come up next summer. They are truly one of our more drought-resistant flowers for this area, and can live weeks with no rain!

And this lone little purple petunia is a volunteer all by itself among our new bed of peonies! It has bravely bloomed (with little water or help from us) all summer; another good choice for dry areas. I don't know if these white patches on the petals make it a "mutant", or not, but it's really pretty with the contrast to the dark purple!

And last, but not least at all...............your royal highness, Mister Buddy Cat. Or Butt-cat! Or Bad-cat! Or Bubba-cat.............sheesh! Are we sickening with our pets, or what????! This is Baby Sister's pink bed he has taken over. She is ticked off, of course. So this week we found her a new little round bed at the dollar store and put it down in another room...........she got in it and loves it. And how long do you think it took this little boy cat to try it out the first time she got up to get a snack???!!!!!! She's old and arthritic and cranky (like me) and wishes we would take him back to wherever the hell we got him from.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

......the old and the new.............

This is our little local public library........I've been reading here since before I started to school. I loved to sit in the little chairs at the little tables in the "children's room". And I have checked out thousands of books and magazines from this building over the years and now the "powers that be" have decided we need a newer and larger building. They could have added another story above; and another wing in the rear; and another wing to the right that would connect/butt against the beautiful old courthouse. this is going to be the "front" entrance to the humongous new library building, only one block away. With very little parking. And no "character" at all. But it has LOTS of space and little rooms and big rooms and computer rooms and research rooms, etc. And three entrances! And all that high-peaked roof space up there?.........well it's not another story to be used for's FULL of miles of ductwork for the heating and air conditioning units.
I'm just too old for this and don't like change anyway. Especially to the tune of millions of dollars from us taxpayers and property owners, who can ill afford this new luxury building. By the way, our Warren County is about 97th down the list of North Carolina's 100 poorest counties! I only hope when they move my beloved books they will also find space for the memorials that were given in honor of loved ones, like the main counter and wonderful old original oil paintings and the children's little chairs and tables with the memorial plaques attached. I'll go sit there and do my reading and grieve for my beloved "old" library building.

On a happier note, I took off across the farm to a neighbor's house the other day and saw what our "farmer/cousin/neighbors" next door had done in their old vegetable garden space! Aren't these the neatest corn shocks you ever saw?!! I thought for a minute I was in Williamsburg, VA! But they assured me there were more shocks to be made, and pumpkins growing down further in the field........won't they be ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving?!! I'll keep you posted..........

Monday, August 25, 2008

Autumn's coming!

The squirrels have been having a big time eating the pecans, hickory nuts and everything else in sight here on the huge field rocks along the driveway. And they are all nice and fat and sleek, so if they're storing some of this food away for winter, they will not go hungry!

Click on this photo to enlarge it in order to see how overcome my hummingbird feeder is with honeybees! And the ones inside have drowned when they couldn't get back out! This is the first year in the 40 yrs. here that this has ever happened on my feeders............I'm wondering if there is a wild or "humanized" colony of the bees nearby that has not been living there before now. I'm trying to decide whether to just take it down and let the poor hummers find food elsewhere in the neighborhood in order to save the honey bees. Or to keep feeding what few hummers come thru the bees and let more bees die! And hummers get stung only to die! What a mess.......the hummers in this region usually feed through October; we have many "stragglers" coming out of Canada and states up north that pass thru here on their long and arduous trip to South America for the winter. Thank God we've heard of a new kind of feeder for next year that is designed to keep all bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets OUT!

Now for some beautiful beading going on at our Sunday afternoon "beading bees" recently.......this gorgeous shell cabochon above has glints of pink and gold and greens in it. My dear artist friend "Dee" is doing wonderful rounds with the tiniest beads to make a nice brooch....... and left-handed, at that!!! I'm amazed................
And the other artist friend, Betty R. is working on this humongous, gorgeous dragonfly........with aqua water and green leaves and pink lotus blossoms! And what amazes me is that she's using those wretched teeny-weeny size 15 delica seed beads!

We laugh and cuss and drop beads and eat snacks and have a great time; and most of the time we EVENTUALLY finish our projects and it's always nice to get compliments on things we've put so much time and effort into!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Now and "then"...............

These koi/goldfish of DH's at the back deck are getting huge! We're still feeding them twice a day; I guess when they get the signal from Mother Nature they'll slow up on eating for the winter months. I don't know if he will put their heating elements in each pond this winter or let them freeze over. Either way, the fish begin to slow down eating in October and finally stop altogether, so their systems can go into "hibernation" mode. Heck, we humans should/could learn a lesson from this fish lore, couldn't we?!! Heh, heh......... I tend to just "hibernate" all winter and KEEP eating!

Each and every week we can see more and more mud at the edge of the big farm pond. DH cut the grass last week down there and was able to mow a wide strip of the dark green grasses that are usually under water! We were counting on getting the remnants of the weird "Fay" storm that sat on Florida for a week, but that may not happen now. It's pretty bad when we pray for rain ............. even from a hurricane!

This is a newspaper from 1945 telling of President Roosevelt's death, and Truman taking over . I came across a slew (that's a LOT!) of old newspapers that my mama had saved and packed up very well over the years recently in the old storage building on the farm. She always loved to read, both newspapers and books and magazines, and saved the issues of important happenings of the times. I also have papers of President John F. Kennedy being asassinated; also his brother Robert Kennedy's asassination; and others of Oswald's being arrested and then his being killed. And some about Winston Churchill's death and something about General McArthur........surely there must be someone wanting these types of things for safe-keeping!? I don't know enough about ebay, etc. to find them homes, but if any of my readers know any collectors, please let me know! Thanks very much! If nothing else, the pictorial advertisements in these newspapers would make for GREAT art in collage and mixed-media!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Read, read, sew............

I just finished this new book by James Frey, and it was no way as good as the others of his. Of course the very first one was the best; the one he later had to admit to being all "made up"!!! We "hard core" readers will read
anything sometimes!

Now this new novel from Joyce Carol Oates is very good, and you can see who is learning to read with me every afternoon or night! This child is turning out to be very sociable; that's why when he was an "outdoor" cat, he worried our other old yard cats to death, wanting to play with them. Or he'd go across the road to bug my cousin's cats......they didn't want to play either. So now he follows us and Baby Sister cat around the house to "help" with everything we do.......shower, brush teeth, nap, sew, read emails.......and he's finally chosen "his" corner of the bed for night-time. MOST nights go smoothly; once in awhile he decides to play under the bed around 3 a.m., so he gets put into the hall 'til the rest of us get up!

Here's the finished mermaid pin........and I'm blessed enough to have already sold her to one of my dear friends here in town! This was a joy to make with the bright colors and the clay mermaid bead and little glass fishes. I already have another slightly different one started for a gift ......don't forget that four months from now it will be Christmas week! Ho-ho-ho!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Garden goodies............

I don't know what these little pumpkins are officially called, but I've always loved them and "had" to buy a few in the fall when they showed up in the local grocery stores. Well, this year my dear cousin Boltons next door grew their own (!) AND shared them with me! I've got them on the screened-in porch out of the weather where I see them in passing several times a day. I've already gotten nice comments on them, Ann and Don, so watch out! You're gonna have your summer produce in demand again! Halloween and Thanksgiving are coming! Many thanks for mine....!!!

I could not believe DH brought home MORE pretty little string beans yesterday for the new little freezer! But he does all the preparations, so I won't fuss too much........we had a little batch of these tonight with supper, but I never got them soft as we like. Hmmmmm..........and these green beans have a "sheen" instead of being dull, right off the vine. Don't know what kind they are, but they'll be pretty durn good next February, I'll bet!

Dear Husband (DH) brought home this tiny Eastern Box Turtle last night; we ALWAYS stop to get turtles out of the road. This one was so cute and smaller than what we usually find in this area, he turned the car around and brought him back home to me, and we both took photos of him/her/it.

The underside of the shell is just as pretty with the design as the top; and the little bugger wasn't but about 2 1/2 inches long. I took him down to the farm pond and put him down near the water so he could either go swimming or hide in the grasses/woods. At least he's got another chance at life!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

......two surprises!

WOW! Is he a surprise, or what??!!! I don't think trees would pick these concrete "faces" for themselves, if given the option, do you? This tree might be a girl tree, and she certainly wouldn't want THIS face! That's okay; it's not my tree nor my "face" and I don't have to see it often.........heh, heh.
My second surprise that day was these fat black walnuts, and loads of others filling out on this walnut tree! On my walk I couldn't believe all the walnuts and hickory nuts and acorns around the place.........and with the drought and no more rain than we've had all summer. I hope it isn't a sign of a harder/ longer/ colder winter than usual. At least the wild creatures will have plenty to eat in these parts!
I actually had yet another fun surprise left on my doorstep this week by my cousin/neighbors who were kind enough to share their watermelons and beautiful little decorative pumpkins with us! But I'll tell you more about them when I cut the melon and get photos of that and the cute little pumpkins...........and hopefully by Halloween, their lucky and cute grandkids will have some BIG pumpkins to play with! These folks have "green thumbs" all the way up to their elbows! They have a beautiful garden every year; can root anything from a sprig off a tree or bush; and get any kind of seeds to produce beautiful flowers and veggies! Thanks again, my Boltons next door!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two "treasures".............

I am having the most fun sifting through this bunch of vintage treasures I found this past week! Five plastic baggies filled to bursting with jewelry parts, lots of rhinestone pieces (my favorite!), buttons, glass beads, Cracker Jack toys and little thingies to make new jewelry from! And to sew onto beaded/embellished art wall quilts! I met a new friend, Stacey N., who has a great web site:
Thanks, Stacey! More goodies from her to show another day: wonderful German scrap paper hearts, stars, valentine boys/girls, bunnies, and pumpkins just in time for decorating handmade Thanksgiving cards!

.......and check out this new "treasure" that just came into the lives of my cousin Susan and her DH, Bobby, who live across the road from us. They are "animal people" like we are, and literally saved this baby's life last week when it was abandoned at the local shelter AFTER closing time! The poor bitty pup only weighed ONE POUND, and was covered in ticks and fleas and starving/dehydrated to the point of death. Quick action and a good vet's care saved it, and look what a darling (part Lab?) puppy they have now! Thank you, cuz! Don't you just love happy endings?!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tough love flowers..........

Our crepe myrtle tree is full of blooms, but most are not lasting long and have brownish areas from lack of rains. This color is "watermelon", and it really looks it........hmmmm. Which reminds me, we haven't had a watermelon this summer yet! I wonder if they are sweet with no rains.
And this is another new lily of DH's from the bag of unknowns that he bought on sale in late spring.....I love this color; it's more of a dark red or burgundy than this photo shows.
And this lily just popped up on a perfectly straight little stem and had one huge bloom, again with no watering! We forgot the bed of lily bulbs when the first ones bloomed and got no rain, but when I saw buds coming from these last two, I took buckets of water to them quickly! Also my durn zinnias, which I LOVE, are laying all over the ground twisting up into knots and once in awhile give me (begrudgingly) a gorgeous bloom or two..........but never but one at the time! Next year I'm going to be the first customer at the nursery near here and just buy zinnia PLANTS already blooming and fill up the bed! That way I won't have to agonize all summer long wondering IF and WHEN they MIGHT decide to bloom from seeds.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

funny feline..........

.......his face needed washing before I took this one! But click to enlarge, and check out his nose "sweating"! he's just about ready to smack me so he can get back to his nap. .....and he was "stalking" me from behind the storm door while I was sitting on the top step of the porch! When I noticed him, he had scrooched down low and squinched his eyes to slits and lowered his ears...........glad I wasn't a bird and he was wasn't outdoors! I'da been a goner!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A morning's walk...........

I always carry my smallest digital camera on the daily walks; I've missed too many "perfect shots" by seeing something gorgeous and not having it with me! This week we've been blessed with COOL mornings, and low humidity.......just wonderful for a change. These passing storm clouds brought us a whole 3/10ths of an inch of rain! (Better than none.)
Within one stretch of road, I found these three large spider webs! They are a sure sign that fall is on the way........for some reason known only to Mother Nature, these spiders KNOW when the season turns and it's time for them to start with what we call the "spider months".......being usually the beginning of September. So this year they're about three weeks early.
.........this web had torn loose some at the left/top section, but be sure to left-click on this picture to enlarge it and see the thousands of tiny dew drops all along the "architecture"! The hole means something flew into the web during the night and probably fed the spider. Yuck. I have arachnaphobia and cannot look at spiders. Not even pictures of spiders. Much less get close enough to kill one.......I don't bother them unless they get in the house. Then they're dead meat. But usually DH has to come smash them before I faint or the cats eat them...............
I was lucky on this day's walk to find all three webs empty of their occupants, or I wouldn't have been able to take the photos. We had oodles of black widows in the yard when I was small, and our parents killing them and clearing our toys left in the yard every morning before we could go out to play evidently stuck somewhere in my brain cells and never left!
Spiders eat mosquitoes and other insects we don't like; and I certainly admire their artsy webs, but I always give them a wide berth (and love my telephoto camera lens!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shrinking pond............

Our three-acre farm pond full of nice big large-mouth bass and bream and a catfish or two is steadily evaporating and without any significant rains this summer, the ongoing drought in this area really shows its damage.
All of the dark green grass to the left in these photos used to be under water; as did the muddy areas where the round bream beds used to be. And the poor pier's "legs" are barely standing in the edge of the water. We shall just keep the faith and keep praying for rains; sometimes we get the edges of hurricanes passing by the Carolinas' coasts this time of year, and they bring heavy downpours and flooding of creeks. I guess that's what we need this year. (There's nothing like being picky with my prayers! Asking for the heavy rains, but no actual hurricane damage!) We have been known to get it ALL, at one time or another.
How many babies in this wren nest?! I can't tell, but at least three, and the parents are stuffing the BIGGEST insects into these little mouths I ever saw! This is the nest the wren built inside DH's work shed; today he had the air compressor going and the electric drill and doing some hammering.
None of his activities seem to bother the little mama wren.........she just keeps on truckin', stuffin' I mean.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I love color!!!

This is a new beading book I got last week; aren't the colors of beads gorgeous and make you feel good just looking at them?! The book has lots of great projects that even I might be able to do! (But not that wonderful neck piece quite yet!)
And just check out some of my markers and colored pencils at my work space........loud colors again! I just can't get least it's a cheap obssession to feed!
.......and here's you-know-who "helping" me find my pens and paints. Check out the hot pink duct tape holding down the glass worktop! It comes in blue and purple and great colors now! And in the home building supply stores you can find all kinds of neat stuff in colors now that used to be plain old black or white. Check them out next time you need some inspiration!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Assorted trivia............

I'm getting through this funny book slowly. Not because it's one of those books you have to "wade" through, but because it's so full of actual facts pulled from the bible. This author (Jacobs) spends a year of his life trying to live as "literally" as he can, according to all the rules, regulations, laws, commandments and so forth that are listed in the King James version of the holy bible. One of the interesting things I hadn't caught during my perusing thru that book twice in my lifetime is the rule about Christians aren't supposed to wear clothing of "mixed" fibers! Holy moly! My closet is FULL of sinful clothes!!! But it's better now than back in the '60s and '70s when we had "double knit polyester" and mixes of unknown origins! I love pure cotton anyhow because it's simply much cooler in the summer and if I take the pieces out of the dryer and hang them up right away, I don't have to find the iron. Linen is nice, but I can't afford it and it also wrinkles very badly. Silk is super-nice, but has to be hand-washed AND ironed, plus it's also pricey. Wool (winter is coming) itches. Plus I still have hot flashes and don't have much PURE wool in my closet. So. What's a good Christian to do?!! I'll let you know when I finish taking lots of notes during the reading of this book. At my age, I guess it's too late to worry overmuch about it.
Isn't this the sweetest little pitcher?! I found it (cheap) at the local vintage shop and don't need it or have anywhere to even display it in our little house. But I kept carrying it around and just felt like it wanted to go home with me. It'll hold a few tiny flowers if we ever get any rains. And it might end up being a gift for someone I like a lot. Or not.
.......isn't this the cutest bar of SOAP you ever saw?!! I am blessed with the sweetest girlfriends EVER! One of our Sunday-afternoon gang, Betty R., is an artist in her own right, and a quilter, among her many talents. (She's also a NASCAR race nut. She just got back from the race in the Poconos in PA and had a ball; we'll probably have to hear all about it tomorrow afternoon!) But this gal is one of my most dear pals ever, and we have shared lots of good and bad times together. And she brought me this cute Mary Englebreit bar of soap one day, just because she knows I'm a "chocoholic"! Is that "sweet", or what?!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

.......more cat pix! this child comfy taking his nap, or what???!!!!!! He never even knew I took his picture several times. be able to sleep like that again. Only the young can do it..........
........and he is fascinated by the front-loading washing machine! He entertains himself just watching the clothes go around and around when I do a load of laundry. Sometimes I get a chair and watch with him! I'm not used to this new washer yet and we've had it a year, but it does strange things. Like turning the clothes clockwise. Then reversing and turning them counter-clockwise. And it's so quiet, when the buzzer goes off and I'm sitting next to it here at the computer, it scares the daylights out of me!
And finally: a new sewing project......(don't look if you're under-age; this pin has a "nekkid" mermaid on it!) It's a heart shape that I cut from a nice piece of thick felt and I'm adding beads and little glass fishes. I hope it turns out to be a cute pin/brooch when finished.