Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 22, 2018

Happy Travelers

After our second grandson was born in March, we decided that it was high time we go to Ohio and meet the babies.  I was talking about it with Val and she said how she'd love to go too.  I told her she was more than welcome to caravan with us, since we were taking Sagan.

We all left at about midnight and drove all night and the next day to get there.  850 miles one way, about 17 hours due to stops.  


After we got through the mess that is the Cross Bronx Expressway, George Washington Bridge and New Jersey, we pulled over for breakfast in eastern Pennsylvania at around 7:00 a.m.

Here we are on the road again.  I couldn't bear to leave Sagan behind.  He's never boarded here like he did when I lived in Washington, and having my friends come in to feed and walk him wasn't really an option cause he'd be alone for hours and hours in between, and for days.  Thanks to the website, I was able to find a dog-friendly hotel that allowed all breeds, and also allowed dogs to stay in the rooms unattended if they were in a crate.  Our hotel was the Red Roof Inn, in Middletown and it was awesome.  6 miles from Casi & Jeff's, so it was easy to swing back to the hotel every couple of hours to walk and feed him.  He did great on this trip!  But I digress.

My trusty chauffeur.  We took the Suburban cause it had enough room for all the luggage, crate and the presents we were bringing to everyone.  

Coming into the Appalachian Mountains of PA.  It was foggy most of the way.

There are four tunnels through four mountains.  This is one of them, going through Alleghany Mountain.

Pennsylvania is one long-ass state.  

There's Val moving over in front of us.  

Lots of farms, barns and silos.

This blue bridge is in Belle Vernon, PA and it crosses the Monongahela River.  It's kind of ironic that I shot this picture when Belle Vernon ended up coming into play later on.

 There is a sliver of West Virginia between PA and OH.  I think it's all of 15 miles border to border. 

Really loved the old buildings.

Wheeling is the capitol of West Virginia and on the border of Ohio.  

Jeff & Casi live on the western part of OH so we still had another 4 to 5 hours of driving.  It was in OH where we discovered the air conditioning in the Suburban doesn't work.  The temperature also shot up from the 60s on the entire trip to the high 80s.  This last leg of the trip was pretty hot and miserable, slogging through farm country with nary a tree in sight, heading west with the late afternoon sun in our faces.

We did get a quick, cooling respite when we passed through a rain and wind squall.  

The skies were so dark and it got so windy that I was looking all over to see if any of the clouds started to rotate.

I would not have been surprised if that had turned into a funnel cloud, but it didn't.  I admit I was a little disappointed.

We arrived at our hotel in Middletown at about 4:00 p.m., exhausted, hot, sweaty and hungry.  Couldn't wait to get all our stuff up the room and crank the a/c.  Sagan was a bit stressed but that's to be expected after such a long car trip.  Val went to the hotel with us first even though she was staying w/ those guys, cause we all wanted to go to Jeff & Casi's together.  So we changed clothes real quick and tried to freshen up as best we could before heading over.   

May 12, 2018

My Quirky Yard and Some Crafts

Finally got the yard stuff outside and also had the dump run guy come and take a bunch of stuff away so things are looking better.  We've had a stretch of great weather though.  Perfect to sit outside.  We got the new a/c units in and we're ready to usher in summer.  Time's just going by way, way too fast. 

Finally got the HP signpost put outside.  I wish the pole had been longer but it's good for a first try.

When I got that birdbath, it never occurred to me what a pain the ass it would be to keep clean.  It's plastic and lightweight and the scum grows incredibly quickly.  If I had known that, I never would have gotten one.  I'm on the fence if I'm going to bother keeping it filled this year or buy a plant and put it in the bowl.  I know the water is good for the birds and bees, but scrubbing it every couple of days is definitely not what I'd signed up for.

I saw a project where someone bejeweled a pink flamingo so of course I had to make one.  I used a clear silicone glue and worked on it over the course of a few days.  The weather was so perfect and it was really zen to stick the stones on while listening to the wind and the birds.  

This represents about 2 or 3 days of work, about an hour or two per day.

I really love how it came out.  

It's very sparkly.

My flamingo usually resides in the front yard but this was way too much work to possibly have stolen, so it's in the back.

My friend Jack sent me a Metal Earth Empire State Bldg. kit.  He had attempted the Chrysler Bldg. and got so frustrated he dumped it down his garbage chute.  I figured this one would be easy and quick.  Oh was I ever wrong.  The copyright year on the kit was 2011 and I could tell that this was of lesser quality than their current kits.  The tabs and slots were off by just enough to make one part meet and the other almost meet.  I had to force the pieces in and that caused the metal to bend inwards.  The pieces also broke really easily.  By the time I was done, I had abandoned the tab method and was gluing it together.  It was coming out so bad that I had to finish it to see just how awful it would look.  hahaha  

I call it the 'Day After Tomorrow Empire State Building, Post Flood'.  

I've been wanting to try some different mediums on the glass frames, besides doing beach themed. The gears and stuff on this aren't really pink, it's a reflection off my shirt.

I wasn't sure if marbles would work and stay put but they did and the effect is pretty cool.

And one with glass tiles.  

I did a couple more piece of organite but I wasn't happy with the results.  I have to figure out how to suspend the stuff within the resin because it all sinks to the bottom.

May 8, 2018

Printer Tray Project

I could not wait to get started on my tray.  I did a mock up real quick of ideas.  Some made the final cut, others didn't, like that red car.  The variety of sizes were perfect for my needs.

I started going through all my altered art supplies, and even small trinkets that were on my bookshelves as knick knacks.  I tried to stick with mostly vintage.  This is the first incarnation of the left side.

I looked up that Wonder Bread premium and it dates from the mid 1950s.  The old sewing things also date from that time period as well.

Whenever I needed a taller compartment, I broke the horizontal wood piece which came out easily.  I was literally waking up in the middle of the night with more ideas of things to fill in the spaces. 

This is the final project below with close ups of the sections.  This was a fun project and I'm sorry that it's already over.  But I love how it came out.  That alien near the bottom glows in the dark.  I had quite a start when I shut off the lights in the craft room and it was lit up. 

Kinda makes me want to get another one.......