Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I woke up Monday morning with a plan of sorts: get the laundry done, call off the 4 PM meeting with the insurance guy (who was trying to sell us on an annuity; good idea, but a costly one in the long run according to our financial guy---but that's a whole 'nother story) and go for my walk.  Did I mention I try to walk as much as possible every day, with five miles being my goal?

Back to yesterday morning, gave myself a pep talk, first things first.  First thing was my foot.  I didn't realize when I tried jogging a short distance last Wednesday (between power poles on our road, hey, I'm outta shape and I'm not trying for a marathon) that stepping in a hole in the black top and then skidding on ice would cause me long-range consequences, but it has.   By Thursday morning the pain announced itself before I got out of bed, but I thought I could simply 'walk it off'.  After some gentle stretches, it felt better.

All last week was bitterly cold with a sharp west wind, so on Thursday I dressed for the elements and had Dave drop me off two miles west of home instead of three.  I got out of the car and the pain was there right away, but I figured a slower pace would help.  I figured wrong.  At the quarter-mile point, my right foot was screaming at me with every limp.  I did my best to fake it and stride purposefully past the neighbors (never let 'em see you wince) but by the time my back door was in sight, I was hobbling.  Trying to work down in the basement stained glass studio on the concrete floor after this fiasco was also very painful, and I used a bar stool whenever possible, though perched on the bar stool in front of the grinder gave me a back and neck ache.  (Gads, I'm pathetic!)

So, the walk was out, figure I should rest the foot a bit.  I made the phone call to the insurance agent which didn't make his day; and then headed to the basement door to the laundry.  But then I spotted the dogs.  Shih Tzu's are adorable dogs and they don't shed, but those coats grow at an amazing rate.  They are truly like the commercials that used to be on TV for Chia Pets where the product was shown growing at a rapid rate due to the magic of time-lapse photography.   I swear if we put a time lapse camera on the dogs, it would look the same way.  They undergo grooming treatment at my hands every other week which involves six towels for the two and then at least an hour to groom each dog.  All over clipper cut to their coats, toenail trims, ear-plucking (the vet said it doesn't hurt them, but someone forgot to tell my two dogs that) and the dreaded trimming around their huge eyes trying not to cause them any injury as their heads go up and down like a bobble-headed statue on the dash of a car with bad shocks driving down a speed-bump infested alley.  I'm always sweating at the end of the session and when I finished there was enough hair on the floor to make yet another ten pound Shih Tzu.

Then I headed out to tend to my ten little hens in the chicken coop and feed the wild birds and the cat, but I'll spare the details in the interest of time and space.

Before heading to the laundry, I decided to check my email and discovered that Don Conti had written to say he liked the Floral Bouquet very much, but wondered if we would retake the picture because the border came out black. Don had some suggestions we could try, as he has a vast amount of experience with this.   I was so amazed they would take the time to send us an email requesting a retake; I can't even imagine how busy they must be with all of the quilt panels and the calendar submisssions coming in, not to mention the fact that Don photographs any shade that a member will send to him for the calendar, too.  How very, very nice of them to give us a second chance!

So, forget the laundry, back to the photo shoot.  Carl came home and we got the table shoved back up against the wall; all of the photo paraphernalia, tripods, cameras, filters, spotlights, fabric, alligator clips, etc. set up.  We tried Don's techniques, some new ones of our own and still not much of an improvement.  Finally I put a mirror underneath the shade and the reflection lit up the bottom border a bit better, so we covered a piece of 28" cardboard with tinfoil and set a bare 60W lightbulb on top of the tinfoil which finally lit the border a tad.  The problem was/is my selection of the border glass.  It is way too dark, just one of the things I would have done differently now that I know better. It is a beautiful cranberry-reddish purple when seen with enough light, but we don't have enough light on the borders.  Oh, well, stained glass work is a learning process.  By one in the morning, we finally had a picture to resubmit, but sure wish it could be better.  There it is below.

 The borders on the side still refuse to be lit and go to black, and I'm thinking it's a bit over-exposed, but short of replacing all the border glass, this is as good as it gets, I'm afraid.  I just hope I haven't wasted too much of the Conti's time.  Carol Conti also wrote and told me the quilt panels hadn't arrived yet, so who knows what befell them on their trip to Washington?  Procrastination is our problem.  (Why is it spelled PRO crastination, shouldn't it be CON crastination, since nothing good comes from it?)

Here it is, the 2nd of February and if the groundhog doesn't see his shadow, I'll be lucky to get the poinsettia done before seed-starting time. 

Ok, off to the laundry.....

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