New critter – arrrgh!

Well, this definitely must be the year of the critter.

There have been multitudinous amounts of mozzies (Australian slang for mosquitoes – more on that in a later post!), a forlorn baby dear that sounded just like a human baby crying, the previously blogged about spa mice and now….

Notice the strange 'stick' in the window???
Notice the strange ‘stick’ in the window???
Look closer at the bottom of the open window and/or the top - anything not a window frame???
Look closer at the bottom of the open window and/or the top – anything not a window frame???












… a rat snake pressed up against the screen in the kitchen window above the sink!  Had my back to the window for about 30 minutes while I ate lunch and checked email yesterday. When I put my dish in the sink I noticed that thick thing sort of falling out of the frame and thought how odd that the weather stripping was so thick… and then I realized what it was! (Sorry the pictures are not so clear, but trust me, the snake was there!)

Our ever-so-helpful neighbor came over to inspect this newest ‘pet’ and was able to prod it out of its comfort zone and down off the deck. Have to admit, I kept scanning all surfaces for snake signs the rest of the day!

Really, I’m glad to know there is a snake around to hopefully take care of the mice, but I’ve never seen a mouse anywhere near the window frame and definitely not near the kitchen sink so I have no idea what smell brought it to that spot.

Sure hope that is the last of our critter escapades this summer! Love living in the country, but sometimes it gets a bit more intimate than I appreciate.

In the news!

I’m thrilled with the article in today’s paper concerning the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen member exhibit at the Carnegie Art Center in Covington, KY.

Thanks, Jackie, for the great write-up and Liz, for the cool pictures!!

A drive of my own

For a rainy Saturday, here’s a story from Tasmania, picking up where I left off on March 13:

After our excursion up the east coast of Tasmania seeing the beaches, I took off the next day – ON MY OWN! Chris’ old car was still serviceable, and he didn’t mind if I might have any accidents with it. I had practiced, with both Chris and Di in the car, a couple days before, so I felt as ready as I ever would.

The drive likely would’ve taken a normal Tassie driver about 15-20 minutes, but I poked along doing my best to keep to the left side of the road. Destination: Marian Bay.

In the protected shoreline of the bay there were a number of black swans, very regal and elegant looking. A very small community populated some of the shoreline with a single lane road and bridge going over a causeway to get to the furthest point. I was really glad no one drove towards me as I was crossing it!

At the very end of the road leading to Marian Bay is a nature preserve – lots of sand dunes and wildlife – and paths leading from the small parking lot to a number of spots on the beach. Rolling dunes covered with a prickly grass and lots of evidence of wombat activity – their poo is in little cubes! – the better to stay in one place and be noticed!

Just as I came to the top of the ridge of sand closest to the beach I almost stumbled over a very elegant older woman – tall and thin and wearing a long flowing skirt, sun bonnet and carrying a parasol. During a short conversation I learned that she had been helping a young girl (maybe aged 8-10) all day. They created two large scale sand sculptures – Tony and Sue. Actually, I’m not real sure if it should be spelled TONI or TONY – hard to tell which gender it was. But Sue was the mermaid – complete with seaweed hair and shell scales and bikini top. Toni/y was framed with quite a bit of seaweed and had a lot of detail but was not as big as Sue. All in all, quite a nice addition to the beach! And it looked like the tide wouldn’t hit it for quite some time. (Pics up soon.)

I almost made it to the very tip of the beach where the inlet for the bay started. Along the way I came across some sea critters (can’t quite remember what they were but shelled and fairly good-sized) that looked to be still alive, stranded by the outgoing tide. Not wishing to see them perish, I did my level best to throw them as far out in the surf as I could. Didn’t see any wash back in, so I’m hopeful they are still enjoying a watery life.

On the way back home to Chris and Di’s, I stopped to fill up the tank. Pulled into the little gas station/quick stop shop and before I could get out of the car there was a gentleman ready to ‘fill-er-up’. Pete, the gas station owner, was a little more than curious – he recognized the car but not the driver!

After I explained who I was and why I had the car and that this was my third trip to Tasmania, he proclaimed me almost a resident!

Overall the driving was uneventful, which was really good. Only drove one other time after that, but felt fairly comfortable with the process.  And NOW, back at home, I’m catching myself thinking about which side to stay on!

Relevant pics are now online.

A day of gooseberries and mud…

Two weeks ago our town started a summer Farmers’ Market. A small initial gathering of farmers and crafters showed up with plants, eggs, home made breads and candies, jellies/jams. This week a few more stands were set up and included actual garden produce. I intend to support the market every week that I can (only on Thursdays); last week a dozen fresh eggs (browns and greens) came home with me. Today I scored a quart of gooseberries (that have already been cooked in a ‘crunch’ style dessert), a Thai sweet basil plant (now happily living with our other basil plant on the deck) and 2 small cukes that are really tasty – only one left! It should keep the summer interesting.

What was also interesting today was teaching 22 kids (ages 5? thru 8?) about mudcloth at a day care center. I had one energetic boy who insisted that he would be the hunter as I told the story of how the technique started. No speaking parts; I think he just wanted to stand while everyone else was sitting. The kids did really well in spite of two spills, one tearful rejection of a misplaced drop of mud and boundless energy that youngsters seem to display as it gets close to lunch time!

R. R. O.s

Some Recent Random Observations:

– Humidity in the depths of a cold, dry winter is a good thing. If the winter in question is in your artwork, try humility… and some creativity exercises.

– Blacktop under snow and ice is nice, especially when the sun shines.

– Ninety degrees with several layers of clothing on is waaaaay too hot, but just right without the clothes.

– The average business attire is more than a little drab.

– Your own work looks better through the eyes of another.

– Anything seems more attractive than taking care of taxes.