Monday, September 25, 2017

Taking Time...

I'm taking another blog break... probably an internet break.  Don't know how long and at this point don't care.

It's time to heal.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Selection of Succulents

Still working on my fluffing my blogging mojo.  I am getting other stuff done around here, including a lot of good work in my studio.  Now is a lot of tweaking and setting up for decorating (things like getting the base coverings on container boxes and so on).

Yard work has stalled... when the temps were nice, it was pouring rain and then muddy.  Now that it's not raining it is hot and humid again.  

However, I have these beautiful succulents to show off.  They were at the produce auction and you had to buy the entire cart you see here.  No thanks (even tho the price was spectacular).  


We did come home with the little lovely.  The man who bought the the lot of them sold this one to me for $2.  Bargain!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Create: Geisha ATC

Not feeling like much like writing so I'll show off an ATC I made.  She was the prototype for a series I was going to make for a swap.  Decided not to do the swap but I really like the card.

It is all hand drawn, with the geisha done on a separate piece of card stock.  She was cut out and attached to the background.  The written character is from a piece of scrapbook paper.  And the dragonfly is a brad.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Rambutan ... Don't Think I Can...

I like trying new foods; especially vegetables and fruits.  So when I saw this package at the local Wal-Mart I had to give it a go.

The packaging was silly...

...but what was inside was very intriguing.  It looked like an alien egg or something.  Since I'd never heard of it, I Googled "rambutan" to see just what I was supposed to do with it.  was a quite interesting!  Found out it is in the lychee family (you see those on Chinese buffets in the fruit area).

The hairy covering is called a 'rind' and it is soft yet firm.

You cut around it with a knife, then pop it open.

That is the last easy part of the process...

The white flesh is rubbery to the point of being difficult to cut.  Once it is finally open, the husk around the pit sticks to the fruit's flesh.

You're not supposed to eat this (the husk).

After much hacking, I had this left.  I was so DONE!

So Himself decided to try it...

They all ended up here...

Total waste of money.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fidgety Cat

On one of our recent trips to Nashville, I found these cool fidget spinners in one of our favorite ethnic restaurants.  I quickly selected the dragon wing spinner on the right and Himself picked the 'ship's wheel' on the left.

They are the best spinners I've seen.  Great iridescent color and well balanced; they spin a long time.

When we got home, I set mine on my bedside table.  Miss Persia was very interested and it didn't take long for her to come check it out.  She had played with one that Little Bird had so she knew what to do with it...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Potato Tower Report

Remember this spring we planted some sprouting potatoes to try growing in a 'tower'?

They grew larger and larger.  Pretty much filled the top of the tower (I can not find the photos I took...).

When the time was right, Himself pulled off the wire and tipped the planter.

This is our harvest...


But you betcha we cooked them up and had a tasty meal!

We've decided that the time and effort we have put into vegetable gardening doesn't justify the results.  It's too easy to travel up to the Amish produce auction and get exactly what we want at a good price.  And it's a whole lot more fun than weeding and de-bugging.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

And The Sun Disappeared

Were you in the path of the eclipse... or travel to see it?

I was amazed and dubious at all the tourist predictions that were being touted for both Clarksville, TN (population about 150, 00 with a predicted 500,00 tourist) and my hometown in MO (population about 6200 with a predicted 90,000 tourist) which happened to be almost dead center.


A local highway sign.

In "the swath" residents were told to get their groceries early and STAY OFF THE ROADS on Monday.  You'd thought we were going to have an ice storm.  No... they are calmer for an ice storm.  

Driving past Clarksville hotels on Sunday night, the parking lots were mostly full.  But not completely full.  

The next morning I pulled up the C'ville street department traffic camera that are installed at major intersections.  Expecting to see the predicted bumper-to-bumper traffic I was surprised to see it was quieter than a Sunday morning.  So much for hoards of tourists.  Same with my home town in MO.

We were comfortably at home, sitting out on our deck.

Unfortunately, a bunch of drunken red-necks decided to park their boats right below our house.  They were wasted.  About halfway thru totality, as they partied hardy - one of them yelled "HEY!!  The sun is gone!!!"


I was extremely scientific in my eclipse photography... I held my viewing glasses over my camera lens!  It worked great.

Next time I'll have a better set up tho (next time being April 2024 in the SE Missouri area).

Moments before totality!

I love this photo!!

Beautiful corona and 'Bailey's Beads'.

And yes, the stars did come out.  (Actually, I think that was Jupiter...)

And with this ring... it was over.


As it disappeared Himself fixed up a viewing for us using his binoculars turned backwards.  WAY better than the pinhole cereal box.

See that dip?  That is the temperature drop during totality.

I didn't see or hear any odd animal behavior, except the katydids starting to chirp.  They quit when the sun came back out.  Otherwise birds continued to sing and the cicada kept trilling.  No dogs howled (and there are a lot around here).

Oh... wait... the red-necks did get quiet...

Monday, September 4, 2017

Create: Autumn

I've been working on artistic and creative projects a lot more.  Creating seems to 'open' my mind more in every day situations... decision making, memory, problem solving, etc.

You might have noticed that I'm posting only on odd days (for the most part).  So when I have something to show (off) I'm going to use the even days for that.


Artist Trading Card (ATC)

Hand carved maple leaf (alas not by me) and mulberry paper & SB paper.  Chipboard "A".

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Hurricane at The Sticks, Tennessee

It is hard to believe that Hurricane Harvey traveled all the way to Tennessee... and beyond.

As it approached local weathermen had no idea what would happen.  Their rainfall predictions were 2 to 10 inches.  Seriously?  

We did what was needed in case it "was" 10 inches with high wind (making sure the downspout extenders were in place, putting away outdoor items, etc).  Then we waited.

After some on and off rain all day Thursday, it finally hit around 11pm.  

It poured.  It was like there were more raindrops falling than should be...could be.

It didn't take long for it to be sheeting down the road, driveway, and our hill.

 It rained and it blew all night long.  Next morning the wind had died back even tho it was still raining.  We decided after our morning cuppa (yes!  We still had power!!) that we would drive around the area and see what happened.

First we cleared small branches out of our driveway and drove carefully over the new 'ditch' across the drive (you can see it forming in the above photo on the left side).  But there was nothing major amiss.

We didn't go far before we came to this washed over area.  Himself moved the branches so we and others could pass through.

Went around this fallen tree...

...but this one turned us around!

Here the river overflowed and pressed down this entire field.  You can see the river back in its banks on the upper right.

Upstream was a MESS!  Look at how the river scoured the side of the bridge!

It was worse on the other side!  Wash out!!  It's going to take quite some work to fix the road here.

Closer to the Cumberland River, the water flowed across from a field into a park.  We stopped here and watched this truck cross to see what the depth was.  As you can see, it was just at his hub caps and not moving fast at all.

Although it LOOKED more impressive than it was.

Where it wasn't muddy from the field, this is what it really looked like.

When the rain finally stopped, we did an 'official Harvey reading' from our rain gauge.

The total of the entire storm here at The Sticks was 8.75 inches in about 30 hours.

If you are looking for an excellent charity to give thru for hurricane relief in Texas, I would suggest Samaritan's Purse  ( )

Friday, September 1, 2017

Look At The Sky: September

The Planets for September:
Mercury - Mercury is rising in favorable view by the 15th, about 5:45 a.m. local time just as dawn breaks.  Look for equally bright MARS just to the east of Mercury early in the month, but actually passing less than a fraction of a degree from the Red Planet on Sept. 16 - in LEO

Venus - our brightest planet will make its debut early this month, in eastern skies.  You can see Venus in dark skies as it rises about 4:30 a.m. local time at mid-month.  The planet continues to keep pace with the horizon all  month as it moves slowly eastward and appears rather stationary at any specific time from morning to morning. - in LEO

Mars - Now just east of slightly dimmer Mercury and slowly moving eastward to increase that distance every successive night in September. Compare the ruddy red color of Mars with the white color of Mercury.  SEE MERCURY above, very close pass on the 16th!  - in LEO

Jupiter - Now setting only minutes after the sun, our largest planet is embedded in strong twilight and will not be visible for several months; you can cross Jupiter off of your observing lists until winter and Spring 2017 when it will reappear in early morning dawn skies - in VIRGO

Saturn - Now nearly overhead just as dusk approaches, in bright skies overhead at 7 p.m. local time; look for the star ANTARES  just west this bright planet on the 8th; PLUTO is only a short distance to the EAST (left) and the distance between the two of them increases as the month progresses; setting around midnight this month and fairly unfavorable due to the low altitude. - in OPHIUCHUS

Uranus - distant planet Uranus rises about 9 p.m. local time and is south of overhead by dawn's fist light.  It shines at magnitude 5.9, bright enough to spot in good binoculars if one knows where to look; use a good planetarium sky program or GO TO telescope to locate this distant world; by sunrise it is high in dark skies and will show a faint, blue disk in large telescopes - in PISCES

Neptune - At OPPOSITION on Sept. 5 (see below) - look for faint Neptune in large telescopes at midmonth rising in the east as the sun sets. local time.(mag. 7.6). - in AQUARIUS

Pluto - at magnitude 14.1, our most distant planet is very low in southern skies, southwest of overhead about 8 p.m. local time; note that at mid-month this distant planet will appear just a couple of degrees to the right (west) of the familiar star pattern "The Teapot - only 12 inch and larger telescopes can spot this world visually.  - in SAGITTARIUS

METEOR SHOWERS for September 2017:

Observe when the moon does not interfere and attempt to observe AFTER midnight for most meteors to be seen!    However, as with all months and times during the year, observers should always be aware that new sporadic meteor showers can occur at anytime from seemingly unknown sources and radiants. 

The advent of crisper skies and cooler temperatures lure many sky watchers outdoors during September to view the impending autumn splendors of the Heavens.  While the day of September, worldwide, can be hot and unbearable, the nights can cool remarkably, resulting in some long glances and time spent among the cosmos.  Most of the meteor showers for September are modest, minor streams with few meteors; however some are unpredictable and thus the sky is worth monitoring during the times posted below!

September 1 - AURIGID meteors (??) - The moon will be first quarter and not set until around midnight.  The meteor stream "should be" highest in the sky; rising in the NE sky about end of dusk.  Note however that meteors from the Aurigid shower have ONLY been seen one year!  That was 1935 when about 30-34 meteors per hour were seen, all very bright and quite rapid as they transited across the sky.  Observations of this curious "one-time" (?) meteor shower, centered at about RA 05h 38m / DEC +42 degrees (in Auriga) are obviously very desired.  Get out after midnight and confirm this meteor shower for us!  Most are calling for this to be a good shower this year, but do plan to observe throughout the night of August 31 and morning of September 1!!

September 6  - LYNCID meteors - from the constellation of LYNX, the meteor shower is about as small and sparse as the constellation from which the radiant of these meteors appears to originate.  This was once a magnificent sky show, literally raining meteors through the sky; in 1037 and 1063 it was logged as "the rain of stars" by Korean sky watchers.  However, little of this seems to be left.  High in the sky during morning hours, look for the meteors coming from RA 06h 40m / DEC +58 degrees; the moon will be absent from the sky when this shower should be at its best, so observers will likely have a good opportunity to see if any revival of this meteor shower can be seen; note that the radiant does not rise until well after midnight, well after the moon has set.  Please report any significant sightings of Lyncids at once to the ASO!

September 7 - EPSILON PERSEID meteors - This is usually a fairly dependable group of meteors producing perhaps 12-15 meteors per hour very low in the NE sky about 10 p.m. when the shower should be its best.....moon sets at midnight, so plan to see what you can of this, and observe this shower pretty much before midnight since it is "circumpolar" and high in northern skies throughout the night for northern hemisphere observers....remember that there will still be some stray PERSEID meteors (see August calendar here on ASO) coming from near the same direction, so it is very easy to get these confused with the Epsilon Perseid shower unless one is very familiar with the sky.

September 14 - SEPT. TAURID METEORS - This is an "iffy" meteor shower, and most experts are calling for a poor showing, particularly with the full moon in the sky;   look for these meteors emanating from Taurus in the early morning hours of Sept. 14, which will be about midway from the eastern horizon to overhead after midnight.  About 13 members of this shower were confirmed in 2002, nearly three quarters of which were about 3rd magnitude; there are actually TWO radiants to this unusual meteor shower, both close together in Taurus;  a very poor year for these elusive meteors since the moon will be full and dominate the sky;  This shower rises in the east about midnight

September 21 - KAPPA AQUARID meteors - this meteor shower is also directly south of overhead (northern hemisphere) about 11 p.m. local time, and continues until the 22nd way past dawn. This is a poor year to observe this lesser meteor shower, since the third quarter moon will be in the sky after midnight.

September 23 - ALPHA AURIGID meteors - moonlight will be a factor in morning skies for this year's Alpha Aurigid meteors and hence even the faintest of these meteors are likely to be not seen in early morning hours; evening and around midnight are favored.  The radiant  rises in the NE sky about 8 p.m. local time and reaches nearly overhead about 5 a.m. very close to the position of this year's 3rd quarter moon and when the most meteors are usually seen.  These meteors are very fast and frequently leave fantastic trains of smoke in their wakes....Because the shower is in high northern skies, US observers can plan to view these high northern meteors all night long.