Friday, December 28, 2018


Esme has started putting her own hair back in a ponytail, which is progress we've tried for years.  She said the new smaller string-like hair ties with her brush set for Christmas was easier for her hands.  I've never bought those for us before because they look so weak.  But, good!

She has also made progress initiating cooking her own meals, and not jut microwave stuff.  She made rice out of a package the other day and has made eggs and peppers and onions etc etc. 

She is really enjoying the art box we got for Christmas, took it into her room and up into her 'nest' in the loft bed.  I've kind of lost all those supplies now maybe for a while - but she promised to let me borrow them when I want to *heh* and she is following instructions out of her drawing books.

We went to the library last night and she completely found her own books and I just hung out in the adult fiction section keeping an eye on her.  I found a new Paul Auster book, 'Timbuktu'.. which is about a homeless man trying to find a new home for his dog and someone to give all of his writing to before he dies.  I read 'In the Country of Last Things' more than twenty years ago, which apparently, is not his 'usual work', and it stuck like a dart through my psyche ever since.  I bought a new copy a few years ago and have slowly worked my way through reading it (if you have ever read it, you know how it can be a whirlpool of dreamlike quicksand sucking at your temples) and have not brought myself to read the end of it again, yet. 

I'm hoping this book will be happier.. but it already has a bit of the same 'I'm running through a life with shards of glass at many corners but we don't look at the cuts because our eyes are on the future because that is all we can do, keep going on'... the poor character...  The story is told from the viewpoint of the dog, though... I'm about a quarter of the way in.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018

 a soft blue blanket she loved at the store

 Kif and Tansy and Hazel (in the chair) are with Grandma and Esme mugging for attention and ear scratches

 The art easel box that we bought from Grandma this year, Esme loves it!  It was empty but I filled it up with all of my art supplies that she can't usually find but it allowed to use.

 A spitting Minecraft llama

 Minecraft Lego and a keeper case (also from Grandma), we also bought her some Minecraft pajamas and a t-shirt from us this year.. so it was a very Minecraft Christmas as well as a Dinosaur one.

Rex is growing!

 A  very Dino Christmas!

 refrigerator art

 Mark and Esme looking over the art box.  I braided her hair last night wet and took it out this morning and it really looked pretty, as well.

 A few weeks ago we sent the letter to 'Sion Corn', the Welsh Santa Claus, since I am learning the Welsh language.  I jokingly asked Esme what she wanted to ask Sion Corn for Christmas, and she jokingly returned (while in the produce department at the grocery store), a watermelon.  So, the night before Christmas Eve I bought a watermelon and wrapped it up in the middle of the table from 'Sion Corn'.  She was surprised - thought it was a bowling ball!,.. but also she really liked it and the chickens loved the scraps, too.

These are the 'Tea Rex' and 'Tea-ceratops' tea caddies I designed on SCAD and Mark helped me print on our 3D printer.  I really wanted a little caddy that would hold a few of each flavor out to see on the counter.  Esme said to put the silhouettes facing each other, so they could say 'RAR' at each other all day long.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Spice and Pastel

 This is the pastel chalk drawing done by a local Paris, TN artist, Patsy Parks.  Esme bought it with her allowance at the art fair earlier this month, and I put it up on the wall today.  She chose a place she will see it every day :)

The spice holder on the left has a fork and column to hold onto the pepper grinder to keep it from falling onto our glass stovetop at every little tremor and movement.  The red holder was going to be the same thing, but with four slots for other spices next to it -- that is still a good plan, but the big printer was down so I printed the redesign on the little printer in three pieces (it has only half the space of the other one).

I go back to work tomorrow, closing shift.  Esme is still off until after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Vacation Bits

I've accomplished some of the things I had set out to do this vacation... not big things, but I've been putting some of it off for a week or more.

 I dyed my hair and started a book, sewed two projects, and designed a 3D printer item that we will try to print out tomorrow.  I did the laundry, and took Esme Christmas shopping, decorated the mailbox with decorations I had bought but had been procrastinating putting on.. and then took Miss Irene for her monthly shopping trip.  The girls have been on a sleepover here and they have fought tooth and nail twice... but hopefully they will go to sleep now (sigh) and we can start again tomorrow.  I might have to bake something tomorrow.. and that would be the last thing I had really thought of doing.. cinnamon donuts again?

Here is the pepper grinder holder spice rack thing I've spent a few days designing.
The base is separate from the spire in the print queue and will be glued in.

This is not our grinder - but it is very similar.  The handle sticks out like this one and causes big problems with keeping it upright.  It is always clattering to the stovetop or the floor and sometimes takes other things with it.  The base should fit in the bottom of one of the depressions and the fork will hold the handle - if I get the height just right...

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Ice Crystal Beauty, dogs and chickens

The netted chicken yard is surviving the ice storm - the netting is pulled way down but the chickens are all there and there doesn't seem to be any holes in the enclosure.  They have food and water and fresh pine chip bedding under their shelter.  We will have to use a bungee cord on the door for a bit as the ice has warped the door out of the frame and the latch clasp will not shut now.

 I caught some ice crystal beauty on the tree next to the yard - I love the mathematical structures inside each frozen drop and the way they look like crystal baubles with the light shining through them.

And the dogs were playing out in the yard.  I asked them to 'say cheese'.. and I think they did (the second shot).  Kif is on the left, Rex in the middle and Spud on the right.  Lucy is standing off in the background.

The viburnum (snowball bush) was also frozen in ice.. caught a couple of pictures of it, too.

Esme was at a sleepover last night, and Lucy was so insistent that I needed to find her so she could have the bedtime routine.. such a nose!  She circled the room every half hour or so for hours until she finally settled down with Minerva.  (her blue eyes really reflect the light weird, but Mark says she has a pupil shape disorder as well that only would show up in a picture like this - her pupils are oval not round)

Esme and I also went to the Lee School art bazaar in Paris on Saturday morning.. we saw a lot but couldn't buy much.  Esme did buy a beautiful pastel drawing by a local artist which is now in a glass box in her room.  We also were given a small black fish pottery  spoon rest which I put by our sink for Esme to put her egg washing sponge on.  She said the fish had a 'gentle line' which she loved.  I really loved some art by Donna Revelee, and Esme wanted me to buy a fox painting she had made - but it was a bit higher than we could swing with Christmas spending already a bit over budget.  I got her card and will try to see if there is anything we can support in the future.