Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Like I said--all plans with Leah are tentative. She was so busy on the computer and on the phone taking calls last night for work that we didn't even get over to the art building until a little after 9pm. Well, my being on the really early days can have its drawbacks--I was already yawning before we even got there. The teacher was still there to let her in the building (doors were locked) and one other lady student remained for a short while. He showed Leah what glazes were available, the iron oxide, the color glaze to spatter a pretty green over other colors, etc.
Then--Leah got a call from her second job and they wanted the keys back right then because another part-time person needed them. She thought she could bring them back in the morning. Leah had just showed me the first step--how to paint on the iron oxide on the bottom of the pots--so I did that while she was gone for 15-20 minutes (the Valley Video shop is closeby where we were). The teacher left when Leah came back--he let her back in the building on his way out.
Oh--and I got to see what Leah had been carving away secretly last time on the bottom of my rice bowl. :) She said she knew I would see it this week when we did the glazing--hehe! What a sweetheart! I will treasure it!
Anyways, I only managed to do the bottom of four dishes while Leah was gone and had to quit right before she got back. My weak arm was starting to burn already--just from holding the bowls while I painted. I chatted with the teacher--he is such a nice man. Loves what he does, you can tell. I didn't get a picture of him this time--but back when I took a picture of Leah kneading the clay two weeks ago, he was at the end of the table talking to a lady student.
Leah told me the iron oxide was going to change the color of the bottoms so that they didn't just stay white. Something new for her and she wanted to try it. ?? Be interesting to see how it turns out.
The next step was to brush on wax over the bottom of the bowls. This prevents the bowls from sticking to the bottom of the kiln.
The weird wax burns off in the kiln. You don't want the glaze to go all the way down to the bottom of the bowl--can drip down and adhere to the kiln. Leah had that happen last time to a couple of them. A blob stuck and then it has to be broken off to get it out of the kiln. So, hopefully she'll have better luck this time and not a single one will do that, right? :)
Now--things have changed a lot since "the old days" when I was glazing 30 years ago at the ceramic shops. Nowdays, you only use a brush to paint on the iron oxide and the wax. They dip the bowls into the glaze--no painting. ?? I was surprised! And a little disappointed, I guess. Handwork is what I love. But--as it turned out--didn't matter anyways. I was too tired to last long and I did get to "paint" on the iron oxide--hehe! And it is much easier to dip pots than to hand brush glaze all over them--that's for sure. Leah said she wouldn't like doing them if she had to hand paint all the glaze on. Doesn't have the patience. But she has the patience to sit at the pottery wheel--chuckle! I guess we each have patience for certain things and not for others--hehe!
Now all this makes me want to visit Clay Your Way in Fargo. That is the only ceramic shop in the area, I believe. Leah has been there. They don't have the customers clean the greenware anymore, she told me. It is already bisque fired and you just glaze it. I forgot to ask Leah (didn't think of it till this morning) if they dipped stuff over at Clay Your Way, too--or did they hand brush the glaze on? Now I have to go there one day--just to snoop at what they have, if nothing else.
Anyways, I bet Leah was there pretty late last night finishing up. She called me once to ask me about colors for Karma's bowls. The low bowls in the above picture--she made two sets of water and food bowls (one set for the porch) and a treat bowl. The water bowls are a bit deeper and curved toward the inside at the top to prevent spilling as much. And-BTW-the two tiny, tiny low bowls--we were trying to make little white dishes for painting--just to see if it would work. Not porcelain, obviously--but will be fun to use something Leah made--cool!
The fish--the clunky Koi--didn't survive the trip to the art building. Did not break my heart, to be perfectly honest. By the time we got there--three side fins were off again and his tail fin had been crumbled half off. So--he shall return into a ball of clay, Leah said. Never fear--he will not go to waste. He will be transformed into something else--like maybe a nice little pen holder cup!
I had pre-arranged for Dagan to come and pick me up about ten o'clock. He stopped by the grocery store and picked me up some milk and candy for the kids--because I was already so tired and he didn't want to be out late, either. Wouldn't take any money from me. He is good to his old mom! That was so nice of him! :)
Now today--we shall see how things are going for Leah. She had a conference call this morning and whether we get to go shopping or not this afternoon depends on how busy she is today.
Oh--and Caroline switched to Thursday at 10:30am.
Busy, busy--for me. Keeps me out of trouble--ROFL!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I am waiting to get a call back from Caroline. She called me while I was in the shower and said she had a migraine and could she maybe come tomorrow? I left a message and told her not tomorrow, but Thursday or Friday would be okay--but they might not work for her wth her class schedule. She's in her classes right now at the college, I imagine, and will call me after she gets out. Or she might show up--who knows?

Tonight I go with Leah for the glazing part of the pottery process. My fish has already lost its feelers--again! They, like all the side fins, have also fallen off twice now. Poor thing--hehe! Doesn't look like it cracked yet and it looks quite dry? So far, so good--or as good as this fish is going to be--chuckle! Might try and add feelers again at the class tonight before I turn it in--maybe shorter fatter ones wouldn't break off so easily?

I realized a couple of days ago that I forgot to order Halloween candy with my grocery order this month. So, I am going to ask Dagan if he could bring me to get some after he picks me up from class. Better safe than sorry.

I never know about Leah's schedule or how her day is going to be going. We always make very tentative plans--and tomorrow the plan is Hobby Lobby (and maybe Target) in Fargo and K & Krafts in Moorhead--if all goes well. We are going to figure out what to make for Christmas cards this year. Looking at brass stencils first, since we loved the look of that spackle she got at Target. But--we might not go anyplace. Never know. Some days she is busy as can be and other days are slower. So, I best get the candy while I can. I would feel badly if kids come to the door and I had nothing for them. I actually had several kids last year. None at all the first year I was here. So, I want to have my bowl ready! :)

Guess it wouldn't hurt to go gather the trash and pick up cat toys-whether Caroline makes it or not--hehe! Bye!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Okay--now you can get a good chuckle! This is what I started with yesterday. The sponges in the bag kept it pliable enough to work with.
And here's the best I could do...
...other side. He's supposed to be swimming and I tried to curve his body a little. Hopefully paint will snaz 'em up?
I do not have high expectations. While I was working on him all six sides fins fell off--twice! I envision them lying at the bottom of the kiln--or the fish might explode, too (air bubbles inside)--and I am waiting to see if it cracks as it dries. Leah has had pots crack during the drying process and never make it to the kiln. But, anyways--that is my clunky looking Koi. ROFL!! If he is meant to be--he will survive, right?
Now--I wanted to show you that I am actually capable of doing delicate, small projects in clay...
...when I am using the polymer clay. These were all made only with my fingers while watching TV. Took me a long time, but I really liked how they turned out. They are already baked.
So, that was my start to my rose bouquet that I never finished. I remember another reason why I stopped--besides the leaves, which I have now saved and dried from real roses for examples--I forgot to put a small hole in the bottom of some of the flowers for the wire to be glued into the bottom of the flower----I was waiting for Leah to buy her tiny little hand drill she wanted. She has had one for a long time now--hehe! I will email her about bringing it over on Wednesday (if she doesn't have to work her second job--sometimes her boss calls her on Wednesdays).
Whew! Talk about rambling sentences. Well, I write like I talk and think--hehe!
A beautiful sunny morning--34 degrees. I have still remained on days. Nice! Tomorrow is pottery class for the last time. Glazing!! Whopee!! I will have pictures!! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Karma never paid any attention to the computer screen until a couple weeks ago. I am trying to teach her that she can get right in front of the screen (her favorite spot) if I move the keyboard over and am playing games or doing something where I am only using the mouse. If I don't move the keyboard she has to back off. She seems to be getting this concept.
One of her favorite games is Bejeweled 2.
Confession: last night I actually played YouTube videos of cats for Karma. She was fascinated by this cat chasing a laser dot and watched it three times before she got bored.
Well, I tried my hand at the pottery clay yesterday--several sessions. Not going very well. At first I tried to make a box turtle--using a cut up dixie cup, cotton balls, and tape for a base. (because they are supposed to be hollow). It was a disaster and ended up a ball of clay again.

Then I tried a fish--making it solid and then scraping the inside out once I had the basic form. Semi-disaster and too ugly to even post a picture. I left it in a plastic bag with wet sponges all night. We'll see if I can still manipulate the clay today. I can't figure out how to attach the fins decently. It is way too big and very clunky looking. Might end up back in a ball of clay again, also.

My problem is I am not used to this type of clay. It dries out so rapidly that it becomes hard to work with. When I try to make something thinner (like the fins) it dries and splits and crumbles. Add water and it turns to slip. I, obviously, do not know how to work with this pottery clay very well at all. I am thinking that I might have to try to do this project with the polymer clay.

Polymer clay stays pliable until it is fired. I know I can get thin and delicate pieces without the splitting and crumbling because the one thing I had tried to make was roses. I had gotten just so far and quit. Was something I was doing while I watched TV a couple of years ago. Planned to make a bouquet by using wire stems and florist's tape. Kind of got stuck on searching for leaf samples, actually, and never tried the leaves. Now that I have tried this pottery clay--it makes me yearn for my polymer clay again--hehe!

Well, I will give the pottery clay another shot today. If I can't come up with anything worthwhile, I will try it with polymer clay instead. That I can make and bake right at home (in a toaster oven I have just for that purpose)--so no rush, either. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Well---the best laid plans, as they say. I didn't make the doctor's appointment. Not a good morning (IBS/fibro). Rescheduled for January in the afternoon--soonest appointment they had open. Afternoon next time--good! Mornings are not usually good for me physically--on many levels--hehe!

Not the best day. I trust tomorrow will be better. Just a quiet, noodle day today. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Leah came by for a while in the afternoon. She was busy with calls from work, so we didn't do anything with the clay--which was okay with me as my back does get very sore from the pottery class stools. Before she left Dagan called. They finally got the second approval for the house--the green light! Hurray!

Since the house didn't fit normally with the original floorplan on the cul-de-sac lot, they had to redesign it and have the blueprints redrawn. Then they had to have another assessment done, too, for the bank. They have been thru the process twice now. I am glad that they finally got the go-ahead and construction will be underway soon. This is what they have been waiting for. There should be no more roadblocks for them, hopefully. :) Better not be!

I have until Monday to play around and attempt to make figurines to use for paperweights for the brush painting. Tomorrow morning I will be out on the buses to go to my Rheumatologist's annual appointment (for the osteoarthritis and the fibromyalgia). Busy weekend for me--hehe!

Another sunny day today! Sorry to hear about all the fires in California and all the dispossessed people. There sure have been a lot of large scale natural disasters recently around the world. :( Hope everyone is well and safe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Since I don't have video, I was trying to take progressive shots that would show you how Leah was carving the footing out for the rice bowl. She had already angled in the sides of the bottom--and then started on the very base of the bowl.

I had wondered how they kept the bowls from flying off the potters wheel when they flipped the greenware over--hehe! It has to be "leather hard" before you can do this part. They center them and then use little rolls of clay, as you can see. I find this endlessly fascinating!!
Here are some of the racks. There are a lot of things ready to fire and some that have been fired.
Here is the rice bowl after Leah finished the bottom of the bowl. This is the one that I tried to work on--hehe! Like I said, it's 98% Leah. :) I watched her put the notches in (so you can lay the chopsticks across the top of the bowl). I could have tried, but didn't want to wreck it.
Next week is the glazing! So I'll have to decide what color I want the bowl to be. I am actually thinking something bold--like maybe red and black--but then I love the earthtones....we'll see when I can see what colors we have to choose from.

In the meantime--we asked and, yes, I can turn in things for just bisqueware next Tuesday. (Bisqueware is only fired once and then can be hand painted instead of glazed and fired again. I used to do that when Dagan was little when ceramic shops were so popular.) I have been puzzeling and even waking up thinking about how I could make some hand-formed figurines and turn them into paperweights for the brush painting--possibly a fish, turtle, salamander, or toad. They have to be hollow inside and Leah said you have to use crumpled paper, a balloon, or something that will burn off in the kiln later.

[I had been thinking a rock inside, but that could explode in the kiln, Leah informed me--not good! Could use a rock with the polymer clay, tho--bakes at such a low temp. I can try that any time in the future.]

Then we were trying to think of how to weight them and seal them off on the bottom. Had thought of filling them with sand--but then you have the problem of how to seal the bottom?
On the way home with Dagan last night I was telling him about it and the light bulb went off!! The Plaster of Paris we bought that didn't work with the brass stencils! Could fill them up solid with that, I would think? I have to tell Leah this morning when she comes and see if she thinks that isn't the perfect solution, too?

Leah is coming over for a short time and we are going to play around and see if we can figure out how I could make the figurines--what to use to form the body around that will burn off in the kiln? Newspaper? Paper towels?

Leah can't stay too long today because she is busy getting ready for ValleyCon this weekend. She and Dagan always are involved running a booth for the event. Dagan has been busy getting three games ready that he will be hosting. I am probably not using the proper descriptions for these things--hehe! Anyways, got to go....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Once again I was in bed early and up really early. Tonight is pottery class with Leah. I have been busy washing clothes this morning. Another chilly day, but the sun has been peeking out here and there. Dagan thinks he got the web hosting thing sorted out. The company's website was very confusing to him, too--so it wasn't just me. He even called them--and they directed him back to the same link via another email. *sigh* So, hopefully we picked the right choice and my domain name is okay till next May? Anyways, just popping in...and out. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007


Now that it has been colder out and the door isn't left open--Karma parks herself in this position until I notice her and let her out. If I don't see her for a while, she will meow at me and let me know she needs human assistance. She was annoyed with me because I didn't come over to let her out right away and went and got the camera instead--hehe!
Dagan is coming over his lunch hour today to help me with my website host issues. I was using 1& and they cancelled me without any warning whatsoever. I emailed them to ask why--and got an email back that just basically said, yes, you are cancelled--with no explanation. Then, believe it or not, I got a questionnaire about their service!? I said I was very unsatisfied with the recent turn of events and told them I have another host. (Dagan is going to host it, I think?) So then I get an email saying--you are not cancelled, ignore previous email--!?! I emailed back and said I wanted to stay cancelled. They sent me a link that I have to use to cancel and said I have seven days to use it to cancel. The information and choices are so confusing to me--I am having Dagan come today to check it out. Dagan might have to call them--because he told me the domain name is separate from the website hosting. My domain name is supposed to be paid up until May of 2008. But it sounded like they were going to cancel my domain name also if I cancelled their hosting service. Confusing? Yup!! I hope Dagan can sort it out this afternoon.

I am making us a beef and cashew stir fry! Yummy!

I have been going to bed at like 8-9pm and getting up around 4am. Days it is, eh? :) The sun is actually out today--hurray!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Since I took this photo--one of the really long pieces curled up on the ends and broke when I flipped it for drying. So, they may be just too long to work--hehe! We have rolls of practice paper that wide and were going to try to make a single paperweight. Might not have been a good idea--chuckle! Live and learn. I wanted to get all the longer, larger ones made while Leah was here. I might try some smaller ones today on my own. Just an idea. If they work, fine. If they don't, fine. Can't say we don't try new things. :)
My replacement cover arrived yesterday from OAS! Looks so nice! They were very good about it and sent this one out right away. Glad I had pictures to send them, eh? So now I have a beautiful wooden cover for my large grinding stone!
The wooden spoons you can see in the picture--we used those to roll against to end up with an even depth to the paperweights. Had to think of something, right?
Anyways, I have had people asking about what some of these items are that I have been purchasing for brush painting and how are they used? So, for the grinding stones and ink sticks--here are some videos from Haiying:
When Haiying came back from Beijing she made some videos to show what she had brought back and could sell to us. I purchased a slender wolf brush--the shorter bristled one. Wish I could paint so freely. One day!! Keep practicing, right?
Here is more about how to go about grinding the ink:
This is the cheaper ink stick I ordered. I got one oil and one charcoal ink stick.
So, there's some information from Haiying about the grinding stones, one of the brushes I bought, and the ink sticks. Sometimes it is better to see things being used and hear someone explain them than to just have photos. :)
It is specifically because of Haiying's videos that I decided to try brush painting. I learn art techniques, especially, much better by watching somebody than from books.
If you like the links to videos let me know. I can use links more often. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I finally got all these winter clothes and shoes switched with the summer ones. Leah came by later last night and she helped me get the rack back down the long hallway into the storage area.
I tried to take pictures of the fish and that is an awfully difficult undertaking! I'd need a better, faster camera--hehe! I must have taken 80 pictures just to get these. They move so fast that usually all I ended up with were blurs!
Here's the new little tetras that I cannot remember their name.
These are the black tetras. And the lone rummy nose is down in the bottom center of the picture. The plecostomus is hiding under the heater behind him.
In the center of this picture is the rather homely, deformed, hunchbacked killifish.
Here's the best picture I could get of the pleco. They are so prehistoric looking!
I need some taller plants--but when I bought the ones in the far right of the tank--they took over the whole tank and blocked out the light for the rest of the plants. Which is why I now decided I have to trim them regularly--and hope I don't end up killing them.
Anyways, Leah came by last night and we worked on trying to make simple paper weights for the Chinese Brush Painting from the clay she uses in her class. Leah did most of the work. (My arm has been bothering me a bit since I tried the pottery wheel and I didn't want to overdo it.) Not sure this idea will work. We tried making several sizes/lengths--and I see that they are curling up on the ends now this morning? I will have to figure out a way to weight them down without preventing them from drying--hummm???
Only slept from midnight till 5am. Couldn't get back to sleep. So here I am blogging in the dark--hehe!

Friday, October 19, 2007


I was so tired that I was in bed from about 8pm until midnight. Then again from 7:30-11am. Kind of days, I guess--hehe!

The laptop healed itself and started working again today. Connected to the Internet with no problem? So, Dagan didn't come over after work.

I thought of something I'd like to try to make with the clay--some paper weights for the Chinese Brush Painting. :) I think I have to have them done this weekend so they'll be dry enough to move on Tuesday.

Another dark and damp day. It has been raining so much lately that the field beyond the garages has standing water puddles all over the place. Stay dry and warm!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Yesterday Leah worked on cards. She did this new thing where she used brass stencils and spackle! Gives a 3D effect. (We had tried this with plaster of Paris when my folks were here and it was a disaster--wrong stuff.) This shows you the spackle (pliable and cleans up with water), spatulas, stencils, and paint.
We have no idea what this says, but it looks cool! Leah mixed some red acrylic paint with the spackle and that worked, too! So cool!
She tried the detailed angel for me to see if it would work on such tiny spots--yes! And it stays pliable so it won't crack or crumble in the mail!! So exciting!
Right before she and Dagan had to leave for dinner with friends Leah was hand painting the cake with tiny brushes to see if that worked--yes!
Here's what it looks like when we really get going on cards.
See--it is not always clean and organized--hehe!
Leah has to have the laptop set up near her because she is on call for work. She got a little Gateway laptop at Best Buy for really cheap--like $350! So now she doesn't have to borrow mine (hers died many months ago). The various buckets on the floor have clay and slip and various tools for claymaking. We can still make things by hand this week, I guess, and still get them fired twice. I was too sore to do anything yesterday--and today. But maybe tomorrow?
Meanwhile, Dagan came over after work and was on the desktop computer while Leah made cards.
Now today, I can't get on the Internet on my laptop. I think when they got Leah's set up it bumped mine off. Dagan will come over after work tomorrow afternoon and look at it.
Today--up at 7:30am--TADA!!!! Happy to be back on days! Is a dark, cool, rainy day again.
The new little tetras look happy. The rummy nose is out all the time now. The fish are very happy!
I am a little less sore today than I was yesterday. Slept a little better. So, tomorrow will be even better, right? I can relax today and look at my bright, clean aquarium--ahhh! When I am up to it--Tuesday I had Caroline bring down the winter clothes in the rack so I can switch clothes for the season. It will stand here in the living room until I can deal with it--hehe! Glad to get it over here from the storage area, tho. Always something waiting to be done, right? :)
Have a great day!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


This is the art building where Leah goes to her pottery class.
This side of the huge room has large tables where people can knead the clay--and can sit and do hand work, if they want to.
This side of the room has all the pottery wheels. Here's Leah setting up.
Just starting--she put the clay in the middle.
Centering the clay...
...and here she is working up the sides of a pot.
This was all fascinating to me and I sat way too long on a stool watching Leah make several pieces--was just too cool! I tried doing a little something on the rice bowl I wanted to make. Leah got the clay centered and the well in the middle going for me--but with my gimpy left arm--well, just didn't work. Couldn't press in hard enough with my left arm, so nothing much would happen. Like trying to clap with one hand, I guess--hehe! But--it was a lot of fun! I am very sore today, of course.
I can go with the next couple weeks when she works on the bottoms and does the glazing! Cool! Now that I can probably do! So, I am planning on going with her the next couple of Tuesdays.
Anyways, I called Dagan from the art building and he came and picked me up. We made a quick, right-before-closing trip to Petco. I picked up a small school of tetras to keep the lonely rummy nose company--hopefully. (They didn't have any rummy noses at Petco--and since the one I have left is pretty old, I figured I'd get some tetras closer to his size that maybe he could hang with in his old age--hehe!)
I was exhausted and slept thru the night again--tada! Leah is coming over today to make some birthday cards. She is also bringing some clay so we can do some hand-work. Not sure we will get to that today or not--we'll see. Or, I should say that I'm not sure she will get to it. I am not in any shape to do clay today. But I can fiddle with something and I love her company! And Dagan will come over after work, too! They are meeting friends for dinner at 7pm. Be a nice day!
Oh--PS--I did decide to email OAS and sent a photo of the scuffed up cover on my grinding stone. They are sending me a new cover free of charge! My faith is restored!! TaDa!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Finally finished! The tank looks so nice and clean! The fish look very happy!!
I did lose the runt rummy nose tetra. The other two looked fine, but now I can't find one this morning? Could be hiding in the new hiding spots? I hope so. I'll keep an eye out for it. The six black tetras did just fine--they're a hardier tetra--even the smaller ones look fine today. My lone killifish (I'm not sure if that is how you spell it) was fine--but they can live in a bowl, so I knew he'd be fine. One very old white cory (she must be about eight years old now) and the pleco--all fine. I don't have many fish. Have just had these few for over a year. Maybe now I might buy a few more eventually. I know I'll feel sorry for the rummy nose if there's only one left...
Caroline comes today, so I have to get moving here--gather up the trash and pick up the cat toys. I am just so happy that my plan worked yesterday!! I stayed up all day--forced myself. Went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 10am!! DAYS!!!! So, I should be fine to go with Leah to the pottery class tonight!! So excited! Hope I stay on days now for a while! Hurray!

Monday, October 15, 2007


I had to shut the buckets with the fish and the plants in the bathroom while I slept yesterday. Guess who slept in the hallway--hehe!
This is the Python that hooks up to the sink. What a fantastic invention!!
You can suck the water out of the tank (and the crud) and fill it up again without carrying buckets!
Since I emptied the tank of plants and fish I could raise and lower the water several times and get every inch of the gravel cleaned for the first time in over two years. This was during a break--you can see I had made it over 2/3rds of the way across the tank by looking at the gravel--hehe!
And here it is mostly filled and put back together. Room left for the large plants that are in the bucket with the fish in the bathroom. (I trimmed the long plants that float across the top of the tank--hope they don't go into shock now?) Bubbles all over the sides of the tank. Pump running and I hope the heater is working.
I never had a submersible heater until I bought this new style of tank that has the pump and filter in the hood. No place to hang a back heater. So--being unfamiliar with the submersibles--I hope that if I didn't touch anything it will just do its job and warm the tank up. ??
What a job! Now--just wait for a good while until the temp is right. Then I can add the last of the plants and the fish--and just fill it up the rest of the way. TaDa!!
As for me--I am ready to take a shower and relax for a while and go to bed. (Have been up since 10:30pm last night.) I think Karma will crash, too, after all this excitement--hehe!
Whew! That's it from Fargo for today. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007


This is a really gross project to be doing on a Sunday morning--hehe! Complete tear down of a fish tank! I figured I'd get half done now when the sun came up--but it is an overcast morning today. I removed the cover--which holds the pump and is not easy to remove, I must say. Scrubbed that down...
Started yanking out the live plants--whew! What a mess of floating bottom crud that created!! Both these buckets are filled with plants and I still have more to pull out of the tank. The one with the towel over has most of the fish in it. I have a few more to catch, but am exhausted and taking a break. The towel keeps them quieter and prevents them from trying to escape into the jaws of the cat--hehe!
Big rocks, filter, pump, and heater..scrubbed as best as I can muster. The algae is firmly attached to that fake rock especially.
Hard to see to catch the littlest fish and the pleco is hiding someplace and I haven't discovered where yet. I am saving him for last because he is going to be really difficult to catch. I wish I had a larger net than I do.
As you can see--the bar across the middle of the top of the tank makes catching any fish a real challenge. I am pretty good at two-netting fish, but a bit out of practice. (Used to work pet shops for many years.) It is a real trick with that bar up there--and harder with the smaller nets, too. Slow work. Have to try to keep the fish pretty calm. As soon as they get too edgy I just take a break for a while and let them settle down. I think I have maybe four left hiding in there--counting the plecostomus--and the rummy nose tetras are hyper to begin with--hehe! Patience! Patience! Going to try to get them all out before I go to bed. Yes--I am still on the crazy hours. *sigh*
Confession: I used to tear down my tanks about once a year and it has been over two years since this one has been torn down. Not counting the cleaning with the python, of course--which I also do not do as often as I should.
Well, I am off to hunt and capture... :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007


This sleeping all day and being up all night is a bit disconcerting. Throws me off my game, I guess. I haven't been at the computer much. Did bake chocolate chip cookies and made a meatloaf yesterday. Still going with the cooking and baking. I played again with the brush painting supplies, too--but I can't do some of the other things on my "to-do" list in the middle of the night (like clean the fish tank). Makes too much noise in the water pipes to be running water for so long in an apartment building--and it is harder to see the fish without some daylight in here when you take the cover with the light off the tank. I think it throws Karma off, too--a bit. Cats are more adaptable about sleeping schedules--they sleep 90% of the time in the first place--but she is confused about when her morning treat is coming--hehe! (I give her about a tablespoon of canned cat food.) It made no sense to her to get her treat when it was actually morning when I had been up all night--she didn't even eat it. She wants it after I wake up--whenever that happens to be. She prefers her routine, eh?

Well, I am still getting some things done, I guess. I do have to be up during the day by Tuesday when Caroline comes to clean--so I will have to try to switch around a bit before then. Not easy to set an alarm when you are actually getting sleep--and having good dreams instead of pain dreams. I was having this great dream where I had joined this group of people dancing down the sidewalk--just joyously moving and dancing down the sidewalk--a long line of people. We were having a great time! Spreading the joy! Spreading the joy! Ahhh!

Maybe Monday I'll set the alarm and try to start switching my hours a bit...hehe! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I have been up all night--again. Took banana bread out of the oven at 5am. I seem to be regaining my enthusiasm for baking and cooking. I had "lost the love" for many years--living alone and all--and couldn't even get things to work well. Lost the knack. Have been enjoying it again lately--and when I can put the joy and the love back into the mix--things turn out well and taste better, you know? I might have to finally get myself a stand mixer and a food processor this winter. I have needed them for years--but when you don't enjoy the process, what's the point, right? Now--we'll see? It might have returned for some unknown reason--hehe! And if it has, then it would be worth the investment.

Played with my new grinding stone and the long bristle wolf brush in the middle of the night--LOVE them both! Am getting very tired and will be laying down for a nap soon--or a good long sleep--whichever I am blessed with today. :)