Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hi again.  November around here started off so beautifully, it was in the 70s and no storms or rain.  We were scheduled to make a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the US to visit Mr. C's Dad and Step-Mom.  Mr. C's fun sister, J, also joined us for part of the week.  Boy was I surprised when I checked the weather out there to find it was quite a bit colder than here in Illinois.  It was to be in the 50s F during the days and 28-32* F at night.  That changed our packing a bit as we added heavier jackets to the suitcases.  We planned to stay for 6 days.  Our flight out was uneventful, with the exception of as we were approaching Albuquerque, we went through some clouds which were really pretty, like cotton candy, until the lady next to me said, no, I think it's rain, not clouds, and we looked more closely.  It wasn't really rain, either, it was sparkly, and we finally came to the conclusion that we were flying (with the speed of the aircraft figured in) through the equivalent of a blizzard.  It was so pretty.  So we arrived safely in Albuquerque, had dinner with the folks and J and went to our motel for the night.  

During the week, we made a couple of treks to Sandia Casino (where none of us did great, but at least Mr. C and I broke even on our "spending allowance").  We don't happen to be big gamblers, although we do enjoy the video games.  We play penny machines only, LOL, but even those aren't really "pennies" anymore as some of them the least you could "bet" was 50 cents.  We searched out the older machines that let us use less, although there are no longer any 9 cent ones, the best we could find was 25 cents to play all lines.  Since all I really want are the fun to play bonuses, I have to play all lines.  To make finding "good machines" even harder, since I'm horribly allergic to smoke, we are limited to the small non-smoking areas.   Mr. C and I aren't big shoppers, either, neither of us get clothes just for the fun of it, we buy what we need when we need it, I  think we've only been to the "mall" one time in the past 2 years (although we go to WalMart or Meijers for groceries and whatever we need while there).  So when we go gambling, we treat it as a "shopping trip to the mall" with a fixed amount we allow ourselves to "spend", knowing we will probably be spending (or losing) it, LOL.  When we have "spent" our allowance, we move to the penny video poker machines, where I can play on $5.00 for hours, LOL.  

One thing we do spend too much money on, is eating out, and we do have our favorite places to go, one of which is Golden Corral.  When we travel with the 5th wheel, we even plan our travel time and routes and over night stays around Golden Corrals, LOL.  Boy were we impressed with the Golden Corrals in Albuquerque.  They were HUGE, about twice the size as the ones (even the newest ones) here in Illinois.  Mr. C prefers buffets because he is a big salad eater.  I prefer buffets because I am a picky eater and I can pick and choose what I want.  Many people hate buffets because they eat too much, I actually lose weight when we eat at Golden Corrals because they offer so many "fresh" vegetable dishes and indeed, I lost 5 lbs on this vacation.  

Besides some wonderful meals (both out and at the folks home) we had a good time visiting with Mr. C's Dad and Step-Mom and sister.  Mr. C and J spent a lot of time on their laptop computers while at Dad's and I finally got fidgety (ok, Blogger likes the way I spelled it that time, LOL), so Mr. C took me to Michael's and Hobby Lobby and I got some basic clay stuff and a very simple variety of clay tools (I didn't want to spend lots of money on tools I already have at home).  

I got a wonderful cutting mat that I will also use at home, although I discovered I have to work on the back side, as the black paint comes off somewhat on the clay, but that's okay, it still gives me rough 1/4" and 1" markings to work with.  So, besides the cutting mat, I got one blade, an acrylic roller, several knitting needles, a few "jewelry bits" and from Golden Corral, a straw, toothpicks and skewers.  Then I started playing.  I was still wanting to work on making my dragons smaller, so that's what I played with.   

These new dragons don't have the "decorative scales" canework, but still have the muzzle like I wanted it.  They aren't very decorative, as I was very limited on my available embellishments, but I had fun and it was good practice.  It was also fun to see what I could do with such a limited tool selection.  So, without further ado, here are the 4 little dragons I made one afternoon.

Here are some close ups of each one.

First came "Crystal", holding her crystals in her hands and tail, she sure is a greedy little thing.

I took her picture on my hand, so you can see she is barely as large as my fingers (and I don't have very big hands, LOL).

After Crystal I made "All Mine" who, as you can plainly see, is holding on to his ball for dear life and isn't about to share it with anybody else.  He is only about half the size of my fingers.

This is what he looks like from the back.
I'm still having trouble getting the eyes to look the way I want them, but I'll keep working on it.

The third one I made that day was a sleepy little pink pearl with striped wings.  Her eyes look pretty good, nice and sleepy, maybe even half asleep, LOL.  She too, is guarding her crystal pretty closely.

The final one I made that day is this little green guy who is getting into the holiday spirit with his candy cane.

He still has his own little crystal which he's guarding with his cute little spiky tail.

I find it interesting that the sleepy pink and this green one have the exact same wings and ears, but the wings and ears look different between the two because of the background color or the dragon.

Then it was time to return home, where the weather has finally settled into typical November weather, 40ish during the day and 30s at night (although last night it got below 28*F with possible snow flurries).  It did not snow that we are aware of, but brrrrr.  I hate being cold, it makes my Fibromyalgia so much worse, especially when it's windy and cold, so I'll be hibernating most of the winter by hiding in my house and not going out unless I absolutely have to.

Our chickens made it safely through the vacation, although we had quite a scare right after we got home:
Before I tell that story though, I've had a request to show that most of our chickens really truly lay blue/green/pink eggs.  They are Americauna chickens and they truly lay colored eggs.  These are not dyed eggs, they are fresh out of the chickens, and they taste so fantastic.  There is so much more yolk and flavor from "home grown/layed" eggs than from store bought, in my not so humble opinion.  (We do have 4 old Brahma hens that lay the big brown speckled eggs like the one in the back and they taste good, too, LOL).

I've shown pictures of our beautiful chickens in previous posts, but never showed a picture of their eggs (probably because they were too young to be laying when I posted about them previously.)  The big brown speckled egg in the back left corner is from an old Brahma hen (they have funny feathered feet, LOL) and I included it to show the difference between a "brown egg" and the pinkish egg, right in front of the big brown one, from the Americauna chickens.  I think we only have one that lays the pinkish eggs, but you can see the others are every shade of blue/green from robin egg blue to an olive green.

So, we kept our chickens penned up while we were gone, while we usually let them run loose during the day, when we're home.  From a previous post, you may (or may not) know we had a problem with leaving our chickens loose 24 hours a day, as some predator ate, chased, or carried half our flock away earlier this summer.  Now that the Farmer has harvested his corn and there is no cover for predators we let the chickens loose during the day, again.  When we got home, we started letting them out during the day, again, and when evening comes they take themselves back into the coop, we go close and lock up the gate and they are safe for the night.

Monday we let them loose and then took my Dad and Mr. C (and my Mom and sister, G, and I) down to Golden Corral in Springfield, Illinois for Military appreciation day.  Veterans (and active Duty) got free meals that day.  We went early (3:20 pm) so my Mom got early bird senior price, Dad and Mr. C ate free and G and I got regular lunch price, and we hoped to beat the crowd.  It was plenty busy even at that time and we had a short wait to get in and get seated.  But when we came out, the line was over a block long, OUT THE DOOR.  We were very glad we went early and everybody enjoyed themselves immensely.  However, back to the "Great Chicken Scare" (only it should be titled the "Great Susie Scare"--yep, ME).  Between the shorter days of winter, daylight savings time change, a cloudy day, and the hour and a half to and from Springfield, as well as waiting and eating time, we misjudged the time and didn't put the chickens away before we left.  So by the time we finally got home, it was well past dark.  The chickens had put themselves to bed, as usual, but we still had to go get the eggs and close the gate.  (Another side note here, we live in the middle of nowhere and it is DARK, DARK, DARK out here in the middle of nowhere, LOL).  We grabbed our flashlight and headed back to the chicken coop (which is at the far back corner of our little acre (in the middle of nowhere!!!).  As we got about halfway to the coop, I heard the chickens were really agitated (usually once they put themselves to bed, they just sit on their roosts and quietly go to sleep).  They were moving around and squawking and grumbling, I mentioned to Mr. C, "I wonder what's got the chickens so upset. . ." and then I heard it, somewhere out in the field behind our house, came howling, growling, snarling, yelping and it was CLOSE (we truly thought our flash light would show them, but they were just out of light range).  They couldn't have been more than a half block away from us, whatever "they" were.  There were at least a half dozen, perhaps more, several were howling, and some were fighting, snarling, growling, or yelping).  We know we have wolves, coyotes, and possibly wild dogs around here, we've seen the coyotes and wolves.  I was so scared, if I had been alone, I'm afraid I would have run right back into the house, but fortunately, Mr. C was there and he led the way and we locked up the gate and got the eggs and then high tailed it back into the house.
Our Puppy (who isn't a puppy anymore, she's 2 years old now, LOL, but we still call her puppy, she's so cute and little) who you've all heard way too much about, remember?  This puppy:
Snuffles started barking at the back door and pacing, then she got up in her window (we have a garden window at the back of the den with a ramp for her to get up into--it's no good for growing flowers, it gets too darn hot :-(  )  So, she got up in her window and started growling, a low continuous growl for about a half hour.  I'm soooo glad I wasn't home alone, I'm such a chicken s**t, LOL.  So I suspect our predators were back again and hung around for awhile trying to get into the chickens.

The next day Mr. C kindly put up motion detector flood lights on the back corner of our house and at the back of the chicken coop.  (We already had one on the side of the garage/barn, but it doesn't shine as far as the back of the house or the chicken coop).  He also set up a "Google" reminder alarm to go lock the chickens up and get the eggs before 4:30 everyday.

Now, I'm all caught up and so are you, whether you like it or not, LOL, so I'll get off here and go get dinner started, then I can "play clay" for awhile.  Oops, I almost forgot, I have to walk on the treadmill before I can play, too.  I just HAVE to get some of this excess weight off and get back in walking shape again.  I promised myself I'd walk on the treadmill at least twice a day (with my back injury I can't go for very long at a time, but I can walk more times to make up for it).

Until next time, have fun.  Smiles, S

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I'm in love with these little guys!! Beautiful, beautiful work. You are so talented.

    P.S. Thanks for the shout out. ;-)