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I hope the 4th wasn’t too hard on you.  Mine was pretty quiet.  I did watch the fireworks at the White House and then the ones in New York,I am not celebrating until today.  One of my daughters and her husband came up from Florida.   We are going to a family get together at my nieces house.  We always have a great time and the best food.  Her husband, Jon, is smoking a turkey.  He is an expert smoker, my favorite being his smoked salmon.

I have been absent from the blog scene for a while.  At the end of May I went to Lowe’s to buy a piece of white (dry erase) board.  My truck was loaded so I went in my SUV.  I arced  the board over my back seat so I could close the back hatch.  When I got into the car to drive home the smell that hit my nose was nearly too strong to stand.  It took me about an hour to get home and by the time my head was splitting and I was nauseous. After about three days I found myself in the hospital in the critical care unit.  I was dehydrated, low white blood cells, low red platelets,  some pneumonia in my left lung and I was out of my head.  They had needles and tubes all over me.  They ran EEG’S, EKG’S,  all kinds of scans and pumped me full of strong antibiotics.  They never came to a conclusion about what happened to me.  I have a theory but, can’t say anything until the university completes their analysis of the board.  It affected my balance and my eyes don’t always focus very quickly so I can’t drive.  I have recovered from anything but the feeling of being about half drunk.  I have not worked in my wood shop since the end of May.  Your whole life can change in the blink of an eye.

I will leave you with this ponder: “Nothing should be prized more highly than the value of each day.—Goethe       Have a wonderful weekend.   Melanie

It is nearly 1:00am and I am so jazzed I can’t go to bed.  I just got home from seeing “The Lion King” in Nashville.  The stage scenery and costumes were amazing.  The way the actors made the parts of the animal puppets move just blew me away.  I have loved the story ever since I first heard it and have wanted to see it on stage for years.  It was the opening night and it is playing into June.   The members of the cast had beautiful voices.  If you like musicals go see it.  It is playing at TPAC, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.

_DSC0066 copyLiving on a farm makes it easy to see, hear and know the circle of life.  You can witness it everywhere but, on a farm things are always giving birth, new plants coming up and new life everywhere you look.  I have to remind myself that it is all a part of the circle when I see that one of my cats has caught a chip monk or my dog Rooti has caught a bird.    Everything is in the food chain from the tiniest one-celled amoeba that is eaten by something bigger all the way up to man.  We are at the top of that chain because, we eat nearly everything.  Nothing eats as much as we do.  They eat more in quantity but, not as much variety.

I was lucky enough to get to go to the Nashville Zoo with my camera club.  We knew the head photographer there and he took us on a tour different  winter2010 027 copyfrom the regular one.  Here are just a few of the images I took.

flamingoJust look at the color of this flamingo.  He is stunning.

_DSC0161 copyHave you ever seen a giraffe up close and personal?   Did you notice how precise the pattern of the spots are on them?   How about the zebras?_DSC0149 copy  Or for that matter, a white tiger.      _DSC0141 copyTalk about magnificent,  look at this elephant.     _DSC0182 copyThe Circle of Life is so huge.  It is overwhelming.  It is wonderful.   I hope you pay more attention to it as you journey through your life.   I will leave you this morning with something that William Shakespeare said:  One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.   We are all part of the web.  What we do to  any part of the web affects us.  We have to take care of it or we will cease to exist.  Have a wonderful day,  Melanie

Well, I think the last time I posted it was about the new kittens.  I guess there were too many people wanting to see the little things so, in the middle of the next night Momma moved them.  I have no idea where they are now.  Her Momma, Hissyfit, had babies a month and a half ago and I would have thought I would have at least seen them but, I haven’t.  I don’t even know how many she had.  This last weekend I spent in my shop making more items to replace the ones I sold at the festival in Crofton.   Here are what I made.    _DSC0004 copyThis is three letter openers, two seam rippers and one pen.  I made these Saturday.  There is four different kinds of wood in these items.  On Monday I made _DSC0006 copyone more seam ripper and four pens.  Tuesday I had to go to Nashville to get blood drawn and Wednesday I met my brother for lunch at Captain D’s.  He got a nice surprise there.   After lunch I went to work at the Saddle Factory.  I wish some of you would come by the shop and see what all we have there.  Right now we have a student art exhibit going that will culminate with a reception on Sunday afternoon.  It is a wonderful place to shop for yourself or to get a gift for someone.  Everything is hand crafted and very nice.  Yesterday, Thursday, I thought I was going to work there to fill in for one of the volunteers that was on a trip but, they got home and he came in to work.  I got to work in my shop and “turned” (no pun intended) out these two pens. _DSC0018 copyThey don’t all turn out like this.  I was making another pen called a “Saturn” that requires two pieces of wood and had nearly finished.  I was using cherry.  I was ready to begin sanding one piece and was nearly done turning the other when, all of a sudden, it split apart.  Both of the blanks were cut from the same piece of cherry and, even though I had more cherry it was different and I couldn’t use it.  I will have to start from scratch on that one.  Today I am working at the library in Lewisburg.  I always talking to the people who come in.  It is a good feeling when you are doing something to help others.  I hope you have had a chance to enjoy some of this glorious weather we have been having.  We fuss about it at times but, the Lord gives us what we need whether we can see it or not.  There is a kind of art that I have worked on all my life and I still don’t have it perfected.  That statement leads me to what I am going to leave you with today:  “The finest art, the most difficult to learn, is the art of living.”  John Macy.   Have a wonderful day.  Melanie

Surprise, surprise!

Let me introduce you to one of my cats.        _DSC0028 copyThis is Scaredy Cat.  She came to my house as a small kitten about a year ago after my neighbor passed away.  I inherited a gray and black tabby tom cat with 4 white feet, which I named Socks and a gray female with 3 kittens.  Socks is a terror and if I can catch him you know what I am going to do.  As Dolly Parton said in one of her movies “I’m gonna make that rooster into a hen with one shot”.  I named the female  Hissyfit because she was so skittish.   Two of her kittens disappeared and Scaredy  Cat was the only one left.  Hissyfit had more kittens about a month ago but, she has them someplace else.  I have not seen them.  Momma still eats here but, not the babies.  Yesterday morning when I went out to feed there was Scaredy Cat looking slim and trim.  I thought, “She’s had her babies”.  I put the food out but, Gunner was not there to eat.  _DSC0008 copy I heard some little squeaks and began looking trying to find where they were coming from.  I have a big blue barrel on my porch that I catch the water that drains from my air-conditioner in the summer.   It sounded like the sounds were coming from inside there.  I looked in and there sat Gunner with 4 new baby kittens.  I went back in to get my camera but, when I came back out he was not in the barrel.  Here are the babies._DSC0138 copy  Later I looked in there and both Scaredy and Gunner were in with the babies.  Gunner is not the Daddy but he is helping babysit.   I am late posting this because I was looking for a photo of Socks, which I know I have but can not find.  You will see him later.  As much as I don’t want anymore cats it makes me think of something that Aristotle said.  I leave you with this today:  In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.  Have a marvelous day, Melanie

HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!

What a GLORIOUS day it is today (they are all pretty glorious, some just more than others).  I celebrate Earth day everyday but, some only do that today.  Wasn’t it a fabulous weekend?  I hope you got outside and enjoyed the radiant sunshine and luscious greenery.  I had the most wonderful weekend in Crofton, KY at the Brushy Fork Creek Studio and Gallery owned and operated by Paul and Patricia Ferrell.  They have a website if you want to visit.  Every spring around Earth day they have a Festival.  There is food and artisans of different media.  I have written about this before.  I was honored to be one of the artisans this year.  _DSC0089 copy _DSC0090 copy _DSC0091 copy _DSC0094 copy _DSC0098 copy _DSC0105 copy _DSC0106 copy _DSC0109 copy _DSC0111 copy _DSC0104 copy _DSC0112 copy _DSC0113 copy _DSC0115 copy _DSC0116 copy _DSC0119 copy _DSC0120 copy _DSC0121 copy _DSC0114 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their studio and gallery are at their farm.  The entrance to the gallery is like an arboretum with beautiful plants and sculptors.  The artisans set up their booths along the drive going down to the gallery.  I had my pens, pencils, seam rippers and letter openers in the booth with my friend, Patricia,  that does extraordinary gourd art.  She had new items this time that were a huge hit.  They were “thunder gourds”.  They were beautifully decorated and when you shook them they sounded like thunder.  She also had bird houses and feeders.  There was a booth that had the most clever things made from sticks, stones and moss.  Her daughter did hand painted signs.  There was a metal worker that was making really neat things with iron and his wife had all kinds of yarns   They also had this baby goat pictured here.  She was only three weeks old and everyone wanted to buy her.  All the kids held her and a lot of the adults too.  Mrs Ferrell teaches ceramics and her students had a booth with some of their work and they also did demonstrations.  There was a man who has a vineyard in Hopkinsville  selling his fantastic wines.  There was a guy with a big cooker that sold pulled pork sandwiches, bar-b-que ribs and chicken.   The weather couldn’t have been better and the crowds were  looking for things to buy.  I met some wonderful people and made some new friends.  It was one of those perfect weekends.  Today I will continue to celebrate the earth by watching, listening, feeling and smelling.  It is GREAT to be alive.  Leaving you today with this thought:  To accomplish great things, we must not only act but dream, not only plan but also believe.  Anatole France   Enjoy this God given day and Celebrate.  Melanie

It’s raining.

When you were a kid do you remember the ditty “It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.  He jumped out of bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning”?  Isn’t it weird how things pop up into your thoughts.  Do you remember from my last blog I said what a gorgeous day it was and that I might have to take a break from my shop and go out with my camera?  I did that and here are some of the results.  First I sat in the front yard and watched my bird friends._DSC0015 copy _DSC0020 copy _DSC0039 copy _DSC0041 copy _DSC0043 copy _DSC0049 copy _DSC0055 copy _DSC0056 copy _DSC0058 copy _DSC0062 copy _DSC0064 copy _DSC0066 copy _DSC0067 copy_edited-1 _DSC0070 copy

Then I sat out by one of my ponds for awhile trying to capture some of the serenity of the setting.  I walked around my yard and photographed some of the remaining jonquils.  All in all I spent about two hours doing this and I can’t tell you what peace came over me.  No matter how scattered I may get I have always been able to gather myself when I am outdoors.

I don’t know how I put the photos all together like this.  I thought I was entering one but, the whole bunch jumped in.  I guess I need to spend more time learning about this set-up.  I won’t be outside today, I will be in the shop.  I got an order of new pen parts, new wood blanks and acrylics yesterday so, now I have to work.  I am getting ready for the Spring Festival at the Brushy Fork Creek Gallery owned and operated by Paul & Patricia Ferrell in Crofton, KY   This will be the Earth day weekend of the 20th & 21st.  Come join us for a fun time.  I will leave you with this thought today: Nature has given us the seeds of knowledge, but not knowledge itself.—Seneca    Love, laughter and sunshine,  Melanie

Open gate.

When a gate or a door is left open things can come in and they can go out.  As I went out this morning to take my big red dog to her pen I glanced up and noticed something that didn’t look quite right.  I had not had my coffee yet so, it took a moment for this image to clarify and me to understand what I was seeing.   The garden is on the other side of the fence to Sandi’s pen.  On one outside corner of that garden fence is an ancient pear tree that gives me tons of delicious pears every year.  I have been trying for the last two years to get a cutting from that tree and grow a couple more.  Standing by that tree was one of my llamas, Spirit, munching on the new tender leaves.  I thought “How is he doing that?”  Then I thought,  “He’s in the garden!!!###**&&!!!  winter2010 047 copyThere are three gates that you can go through and get inside the garden area.  One of them opens into the llama lot and it was open.  Luckily he was the only one that had noticed or I would have had a huge mess.  Part of the garden has been planted and he thought that luscious, green , tender grass was just for him.  He liked the pear tree too.  I went in and closed the gate so none of the others would go in, since they had noticed him and were trying to figure how he got in there.  I went to the barn and put grain in all their stalls to get their attention off Spirit.  I went back through that gate and left it open, walked around behind him and he went right out.  If they had all been in there they would have scattered and tramped the garden to death.    As I went to leave I noticed that another gate that opens into the yard was open also.  I said a great big “Thank You”.  If he had seen that one my neighbor up the road would have been calling me to see if I had lost something.    I will have to have a talk with the guys that were here doing some work for me yesterday about making sure they close the gates behind themselves.

Now I have had a cup of coffee and am getting ready to get on with my day.  I will be in my shop again today.  I wish I had started making pens and pencils years ago.  I really enjoy it._DSC0006 copy_DSC0028 copy

_DSC0003 copyIt is a beautiful day and these guys are really going to enjoy it.  I am too.  I may have to take a break from working, get my camera and do some photography.  I hope you have something that you truly love that you can do today.  If you are doing something that you don’t particularly like to do then, just decide that you are going to like it and see if it gets easier to do.

I will leave you today with something that Cicero said, “A happy life consists in tranquility of the mind.”  Love, laughter and sunshine, Melanie

Seesaw

With the weather behaving like a seesaw has your life seemed that way too?  Mine sure has but, the last couple of days have been warmer and sunnier and I have calmed down a _DSC0238 copybit.   I was soooooo ready for the sunshine.  I know a lot of you have had snow up to your ears (literally) and I hope you are finally getting a break.  It seems as though all the animals are very hungry.  My cats and dogs are wanting more food,  even the birds.  I am filling the feeders more but, they are singing more too.

My little business is moving forward.  Word of mouth is getting the news out about my pens,  pencils, seam rippers and letter openers.  I also have them at “Kentucky Artisans at the Saddle Factory” in Russellville, KY.  I have some new things.  This pen is made using an blue acrylic.  I prefer working with wood but, these are flashier.  A couple of days ago I decided to try some antler.  A friend had given me some and I wanted to see how it looked.  Here is a sample of antler in a letter opener._DSC0010 copy _DSC0226 copyI am trying a new format today and I may have to go back to my old format.  I can’t place my images on the side in this one.  When I post again I will probably have a different look.

I will leave you with this thought today:  Timing is as important as ability.  If your progress has hit a roadblock that you can’t get around,  it may not be your ability but, your timing that is off.  Back up, wait for the roadblock ahead to be completed, and try again.  Have a terrific day.  Love, laughter and sunshine.  Melanie

 

Try again.

As you know I had one FB account that was compromised so, I set up another one.  I haven’t figured how to get my blog to show up on the new one.  I will keep trying and in the meantime, here are more of my pens, pencils, letter openers, and seam rippers that I made in my shop.  _DSC0213 copyI hope all of you had a glorious day yesterday.  I watched the “Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston.  Here’s a thought – For art may err but, nature cannot miss. –John Dryden  Giving blood today.  Have a good one.  Melanie

Woodgranny Creations

Some of my new creations from my workshop.