Month: July 2011

  • Interviews, doctor’s appointments and company!

    It’s been a very lively week at the Matthews’ Abode.  Faron has had four – FOUR!! – job interview calls, counting one for Target, who offered him a job.  He turned it down after getting all these other calls (we’re hoping that was a good decision) and we’re hoping to hear more definitely about these other.  He has an interview to work at the Shikellemy State Park next Thursday – if it’s enough hours, that’s the job he’d really like although the other two are decent enough.  He’s also applied for a few others that seemed to be perfect for his skills and experience.  So please, everyone, keep praying for his job situation.  And for my nephew Justin, who is also job hunting. 


    One of the interviews had him going for a physical and drug testing as part of the interview process – he hasn’t been offered the job but that’s out of the way.  The physical went well (of course he’s basically healthy – heart is strong, etc.) but his blood pressure was 160/98. He’s been very stressed recently about the job situation so I’m not surprised.  He saw our Dr W on Tuesday and got a prescription for BP meds and after only 2 days his BP is approaching normal levels.  Of course, suddenly getting all these interviews helps a lot.  :)


    Our niece Elicia has been in town most of the summer.  Her husband is in Iraq (Army) and she and the boys (Zavier & Zander) came back home rather than stay at Ft Hood all summer.  of course, it’s been stinkin’ hot here so she didn’t quite escape the intensity of Texas summers.  :)   Anyway, the three of them came to visit last night and we had a very good visit. The boys are lively and energetic and latched on to Uncle Faron and amazingly remembered all sorts of stuff about our house from their visit at Christmas.  We very much enjoyed the visit and hope we get another chance to see them before the go back to Texas – Robert is due home soon. 


    Only one photo for you:

    My entry into the new monthly Challenge of the PCAGOE, “Under The Sea.”  It’s a lampshade I made from translucent polymer clay (I used the better park of a 12oz block of KatoPolyclay.)  I dyed the clay with alcohol inks and blended and rolled and pieced it together to get the look I wanted.  Then I made odd bits of stuff for the sea floor.  An anchor, several green, leafy bushes, a few pieces of coral and a starfish and a bunch of rocks.  Oh and the octopus.  :)   I’d made the fish canes last year for another project, a large panel of polymer clay art that is now hanging in Derek & Jared’s bedroom, along with a few smaller pieces and the mobile and light switch cover I made, all using the same base colors and canes. 

    This is actually a lampshade, measuring 6″ wide, by 5.5″ tall and 3′ deep.  The transucent clay, even dyed as this is, allows the light to shine through nicely.  Thing is, the idea i had for building the lamp didn’t work – or rather, we can’t find a lamp kit or supplies to fit well enough that I’m not endangering my grandboys by putting this in their room.  So we’re continuing to search for the right lamp guts and then this goes to the boys.


    That’s about it.  Remember, as of the first of the month you’ll soon be able to vote for the Challenge.  You’ll hear more about it right here, real soon.




  • A new project and a couple of photos I promised from the other day.

    First, our sweet, wee Emily getting mashed in the face with a cupcake by her great-grandma. 


    Hazel just held the cupcake.  Emily would mash her face into it, not wanting to miss a tiny bit.  She had cake and frosting everywhere!  :) But it’s lemon so you can’t really see how messy she was. 


    And I promised a photo of Ron when he talks about scary movies. (Which is where he is as I type – at his friend Bobby’s house, eating Chinese and watching scary movies.)


    Before I got that shot, though, he noticed I had the camera and waited expectantly for me to take a photo:


    This was at just before 6 am.  And he was rarin’ to go. 


    Faron got a new project to work on yesterday.  A friend had this old piece just hanging out at the back of his property, and wasn’t interested himself in re-building it, although he’ll be happy to use it when Faron finishes it.  (WHEN….)


    Anyone know what it is?  He got it from Hank Schoeneck if that helps anyone to figure out what it is. 

    His job interview went well this morning, as far as he could tell – they said they’ll call him by the end of the week for a 2nd interview.  I guess that means he made the first cut?  He didn’t like that they asked all those goofy situational ethics questions:  “You and a co-worker are working alone.  You see your co-worker steal something.  What do you do?”  Or, “You and a co-worker don’t like each other.  Do you ask your supervisor never to ask you to work together?”  Faron finds all of that stuff very silly.  He comes from an age where questions have a right and a wrong answer and you don’t take your personal stuff to work.  Easy. 


    We continue to search the web for other places to apply and today he applied for a position of custodian at Lycoming College. 


    I got out swimming yesterday but due to some kind of strangeness between Dr W’s office and Silverscript/CVSCare prescription coverage, I’ve been waiting 3 weeks for one of my main pain meds.  And today, I ordered a refill from the local CVS of the prednisone I’ve been taking and they gave Faron one of the scripts I’d ordered through mail order! Crazy.  So he has to go back down the road now to get the prednisone.  I’m hurting.  I’ve been claying, of course.  Currently working on my challenge piece for next month’s Challenge, “Under The Sea.”  It’s a piece for my grandboys’ bedroom.  They got all of the bits I did last year with that theme for another challenge, which I think was “Flora & Fauna.”  That’s all I’m saying for now.  :)



  • I am a DOOFUS!

    I uploaded the photos and video for this post days ago – I just forgot to write the post. 


    The weekend of the 4th got very pleasant indeed when Joe called to say they planned to come up sometime over the weekend.  He’d planned to stay overnight, but Amy had other ideas – ideas that didn’t include packing and lugging and lugging and unpacking, etc., etc.  They have been back and forth and across the state and up and down the coast several times since the first of the year and she’s had enough for now.  :)   She told him, “We can go, but you’re packing.  And unpacking.” So they came up for the day on Sunday and we had a terrific time.


    At nearly four, Derek is very conversational and funny and loves to laugh and be with the menfolk.  Several times he’d gather up Pappy and Grandpa Faron and Joe and they’d head outside (with Jared, too, of course.) He’s very athletic and strong and he’s always climbing or doing some kind of fancy footwork.  It’s amazing to see the differences between him at 4 and Jared at just over 2. Jared’s footing is mostly sure now, but there’s a heaviness to his steps and jumps that Derek has left long behind.  And anything Derek does, Jared is sure to try, no matter how scary it might be, although not much seems to scare him.  Derek’s still about a head shorter than other boys his age, and Jared is only a couple of inches (at most) shorter so Amy’s taken to calling them “Hoss and the Boss.”  It fits.


    Faron gets the biggest kick out of the things they both say now.  The guys were all out in the barn, which has a dirt floor, and the boys were digging and getting as filthy as only hot little boys can get.  Derek pipes up, “I get all sweaty when I do my jobs!” Jared follows with, “Do job!”  And later I said to Derek, “Hey, Derek, I hear you have a birthday coming up!” 


    “I do,” he says.  “I’m gonna be FOUR!” 


    Amy chimed in with, “What day, Derek?” 


    “July!  I’m gonna be four in July.”


    Amy coaches, “Sixteenth, Derek.  July sixteenth.”


    Derek shouts, “NO!  I’m gonna be FOUR!”


    Grandpa chuckles every time he thinks of it.


    Now for a few photos:



    I just love those sweet little necks.  :)   The box is one in which Hazel received a set of cast iron cookware several years ago from one of her kids.  She kept it for a while thinking she’d use it for something but finally, I mentioned I needed to get a hassock or something for propping my legs up on the porch and she produced this.  So it lives on the porch until the boys come and then it makes a nice little bench for the boys to eat at the coffee table. (And it’s the perfect height for my legs when I’m sitting on the wicker settee.)

     Play ball!

    I took this shot (and several others that show more of my big feet than Derek’s ball prowess) to show how Derek would lunge forward to catch the ball, then step smoothly back and fling it at one of the grands.

    I’m not sure who enjoyed that ball game more, the boys or the grandfathers!  The ball was flying everywhere and I had to remind them more than once they were INDOORS.  I emphasized that if anything got broken, it’d be the big boys who got into trouble. 

    Jared was a bit under the weather, although he was a little trooper – no whining, just a bit quiet and seemed to need a bit more snuggling, which Grammy, Grandma & Mommy were more than happy to provide!  This gave center stage to Derek the Wonderboy who soon discovered that the “bench” on which they’d been sitting several times in their last few visits, is indeed a BOX!  He knew just how to put it to use, too.


    He loved being toted around while he was all tucked down inside with the lid closed, then he’d pop up to discover where his dad had placed him: on the coffee table, in the hall outside my room, in the kitchen by the basement door – you get the idea. Grandma got the idea that if the lunch remains were cleared off the dining room table, that’d make a fine spot for Derek to be plunked down. He was so funny! “Heeeeeeey, I’m on the kitchen table!”


    Jared’s sleeping on Mommy.  I’m sure Amy’s very very thankful at this point for central A/C!


    By this time, Jared had fallen asleep but he awoke in the midst of the ensuing hilarity and Derek invited him along for the fun.



    As you can see by the expression of pain on Jared’s face, two little boys don’t fit so very well.  After that they took turns alone and much fun was enjoyed by all.



    Of course, they spent some time on the front walk with Bob the Builder. The Bob toys “live” behind Grandma’s chair in the living room and it’s always fun to get re-acquainted each visit.  Jared’s got a peppermint patty in this hand. He’d been holding on to it by then for at least 10 minutes.  On July 3rd.  Finally, a good 10 minutes after this, Joe says, he made to eat this slimy mess, which by now had acquired a few leaves and much dirt.  Joe stopped him and that’s when we kind of caught on that Jared wasn’t feeling well – he fell apart over that, even when a new mint was offered.


    Later, the guys were all outside again and Jared complained to Daddy that he was cold and needed a “B,” Derek’s word for a coverup, that has become standard usage in their house.  He looked so cute wrapped in the blanked Kim & Bill brought us from Mexico!


    For the record, the doc says Jared’s illness was probably a virus, despite his telling us that his ear hurt.  Amy thinks we suggested the ear thing and he ran with it.  He never had any stuff come out of his ears so this is probably true.  I haven’t spoken with them in a few days but I am sure he’s over his wobblies by now. 


    Monday was a picnic at Hazel’s with all the usual subjects and an embarrassment of riches in food.  Sometimes we show up and can barely fill our plates because we’ve all brought the same things or everyone brought desserts, but on July 4, the Meyer clan nailed it.  We had a fantastic array of food and everyone did it proud.  :)


    Here’s little Emily, Cathy’s granddaughter, being fed a yummy lemon cupcake by Great-Gram:  [I uploaded this photo three times and it's not showing up - gonna work on that one!]


    And this is little Emery, Hazel’s youngest granddaughter, in the water with her mom, Gretchen:


    And also, sitting on the bench, poolside, nibbling on some lunch, I think:


    Emery’s a very tall little girl – easily a head taller than other kids her age.  And Emily’s a wee, dainty little thing – quite a pair!  :)


    We had a good time but it was hot and buggy and I didn’t last terribly long. Faron had walked down with me as I rode my scooter, so when Jason & Tiana announced they were leaving I asked Jason to walk up with me. (We’re not sure the thing’s always going to make the hills – some hills cause it to stop dead and we’re a little leery of me being on my own if and when that happens.)  Tiana followed us and we headed out.  :)


    We’ve had a major/minor change to our routine the past few weeks.  Ron’s usual night-time companion, while Hazel works, was unavailable a couple of weeks ago so Ron slept on our sofa that week.  He liked it so much he’s still coming – this will be the 4th week and we’re all enjoying it.  He comes shortly before his bedtime, we all visit a bit. He and I argue about how to get to Alaska, (and he’s determined NEVER to fly!) which is where he has picked to go next, and then we have a snack and he shoos us out of the living room and that’s that.  Mornings are a bit less lively.  If we aren’t already awake, he wakes on or both of us around 5 or so and we all get up and visit while he plans his day/week/year.  He loves Halloween!  We go through all the months until October, “My faybrite haw-a-day.”  And scary movies.  I must get a photo of him telling us how much he likes scary movies!  :)


    Hazel picks him up around 6:15 and we all go on with our normal routine.  So while this is a change for us, it really doesn’t change anything about our daily routine.  And we’re really enjoying Ron in such a low-key atmosphere.  Because we most often see him when there’s a crowd, we forget how mellow he can be, when he’s not getting hyped up with all the noise and confusion of a huge, somewhat (!!) noisy family. He’s established himself quite well on the sofa, and has commandeered a drawer in the coffee table with things he likes to fiddle with, especially a flashlight, which gives him great peace of mind.  He hates the dark and our power shut off several times the other night.  Just knowing where a light is makes it ok with him.


    Tiana’s birthday was this past week and they came up for ice cream and cake and Haz and Ron came too.  Until he finished his cake and ice cream, Ron was fine with how things were (which is with J & T on the sofa, where they were when he arrived) but once the Big Event in his mind was over with, he sat on the edge of the wing chair’s seat, not QUITE glaring at Jason & Tiana. Tiana says to Jason, “Do you get the feeling we should be goin’ on home?” She was laughing, thankfully.  :)


    And, Faron has a job interview Wednesday morning – a first interview, as they called it when he got the call on Friday.  At Target, in their backroom.  So, please pray – he is SO ready to be working again he’s not terribly concerned about where.  But we’ve heard Target is a good employer and at least it’s not Tractor Supply or someplace he’d spend all his salary!



  • July’s PCAGOE Challenge

    There are half a dozen other things about which I could write, but this one is important.  I didn’t mention it at all last month, and voting was at an all time low.  So here it is – read this, then go and vote.  And if you’re really feeling supportive when you’re finished, go buy one of the mirrors!  :)



    July 2011 Challenge – MIRRORS


    This month our members were challenged to create an entry for charity for PolymerClayForACause.
    PCAGOE Guild Member Angela of PolymerClayForACause accepts donated polymer clay works of art and puts them up for sale in her shop. When she has collected a nice amount of money, she discusses with the guild which charity is to be given the donation. The reason Angela started this charity is this:

    “I started Polymer Clay for a Cause in honor of my daughter, Cortney.
    Cortney had an incredibly artistic mind, but due to her Muscular Dystrophy we were not able to find a medium that she could do. So in turn during her years of living at Childrens Hospital she would tell me GREAT stories and I would try to bring them to life thru polymer clay. Clay became both of our worlds, just in different ways. Cortney left this world at the age of 14 to go dance for the first time, but I try to continue her spirit thru clay and charities (Cortney would grow her hair out, just to donate it to locks of love – which for a girl in a wheelchair is rough to do – that was the kind of soul she was). I will list photos of her in the store, if you wish to see her!”

    The challenge this month is mirrors and each artist was permitted to choose any size or type of mirror.

    THE MIRRORS ARE FOR SALE IN EACH MEMBERS INDIVIDUAL SHOP. Each mirror is priced by the artist. When purchased, the money is donated to PolymerClayForACause.

    Please vote for your top three favorites in the pull-down voting box shown at the bottom of this page. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, it may take a few moments to appear. Only one vote per person, please. One (1) vote consists of choosing a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entry. If you choose an entry for 1st place, please do not also vote for it as your 2nd and/or 3rd place choice. Duplicate votes will not be counted.

    Voting is open to the public and to PCAGOE guild members. Voting begins July 1, 2011 and ends at midnight, Eastern U.S. time on July 7, 2011. The winners chosen in each category and the voter prize winners will be announced at and here about March 9, 2011.

    Five (5) lucky public voters, chosen at random, will also win a beautiful polymer clay prize created by one of our many talented artists. Please note that winning voters will have one week from the date we contact you and ask for your mailing address so we can send you your prize.


    Mosaic for July 2011 Challenge MIRRORS

    1) MIRROR, MIRROR by Angela of ElementalDragons

    2) PURPLE SNAKE by Susan of 11BoldStreet

    3) IKAT POCKET MIRROR by Jill of JKollmann

    4) FAUX WOOD KOKOPELLI by Becky of BeckySueCreations

    5) PEARL PAISLEY COMPACT MIRROR by Berit of ClayCenter (sorry, no longer for sale)

    6) POCKET FULL OF POSIES by Angela of PolymerClayCreations

    7) MY ROMANCE MIRROR by Cindy of ArrowdaleArtStudio

    8) FLOWER RIOT POCKET MIRROR by Kelly of KellyPlaysClay

    July Prize Pool:

    Prizes July Mosaic

    1st row, L-R: CreateMyWorld, HiGirls, LaurelSteven,
    2nd row, L-R: 11BoldStreet, MarciaPalmer,

    As this month’s challenge entries are up for sale for charity as noted, you will find each individual mirror for sale in our members’ etsy shops.