February's chugging right along! My youngest endured a bout of dehydration and pneumonia last week and spent a night and day in the hospital. He lay on the couch listless and had no interest whatsoever in video games, our biggest clue that he needed medical attention. The school nurse checked him over and his temperature registered 104.5F. The next day our local doctor ordered chest x-rays: after another listless day, we took him to the hospital in the early evening. Our wonderful doctor Paula met us in the ER and ushered us into the pediatrics ward, where IV fluids were started immediately. We felt fortunate to receive prompt attention and to be home the following night. We've been recovering at home this past week, staying away from school and a possible relapse at the doctor's and school nurse's recommendation. D brought J a model to construct and he enjoyed gluing it together, proof that some old-fashioned fun still captures the interest of today's youth. However, I'm happy to report that he's back to playing WWll xbox games, and the annoying sound of machine guns is music to my ears (this week)!
I treated myself to a dozen Valentine roses from Aldis.
Another positive result of our enforced time at home, is the completion of my series of wallhangings featuring twenty years of my Farmhouse greetings' calendar art (1990-2009) I've been designing calendars since I drew individual ones in high school (in the early seventies) for friends and acquaintances, using steel tipped pens, repeatedly dipped into smelly India ink. I 've even hand carved the designs and dates (reversed) for a very limited edition linoleum block calendar back in 1983. Each year, since 1989, I've drawn a calendar, mainly of whatever strikes my fancy during a particular year- cats, gardens, horses, barns, wildlife, birds and my children. 2010 will feature trains, and I'm plugging away at my drawings, a little each day. I'm a believer in persistence, practice and patience. These days I use a .01 technical pen, Staedtler, made in Germany.
Anyway, I've been using our printer/copier/scanner to copy and reverse my original drawings and print them onto a special heat transfer paper. I then press them with hot iron onto muslin panels, which I've sewn into calendar quilts, a dozen panels per quilt. I've machined pieced them together and hand quilted around each of my 240 images. (Have I mentioned I'm persistent?) I started this project early in 2006, and completed sewing labels on two days ago. I still have to work on cutting, sanding and drilling holes in the firring strips I bought to hang each panel. I install them on March 2 at the Sidney library for a month long exhibit. It will be fun to see all my drawings in one place, since I keep them hidden away in black binders.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Our cat, Jazz, lives in our attached woodshed, and slips in mornings as D carries in an armload of wood to stoke the stove. Jazz usually patrols the house, which includes checking sink and counters, tabletops, perimeters, unmade beds and upstairs. He loves slipping through the quilts that portion off the upstairs because he knows it's harder for us to find him- too many good hiding places, under beds, etc. After he's ponced on us unexpectedly a few too many times and satisfies his morning thirst and hunger from his feeding bowls by the wood stove, he starts phase two of his morning rounds, monitoring the bird feeders from the back of the couch. Then he'll spend what seems like hours, frozen, on guard, watching by a seam in our woodwork, for cellar mice, nimbly scaling the interior walls on their daily rounds.