• Gotta say,

    I love this photo!  


    Taken at Ft Meade at one of the several Christmas events the kids have attended there with Joe & Amy.

    Amy’s blog is full of photos and info about their most recent activities.  Amy mentions her mother’s family Christmas gathering a few weeks ago.  One of my favorite stories from that weekend didn’t make Amy’s blog.  Derek came running from the play room at Amy’s cousin’s house, crying, saying, “God’s not happy!  God’s not happy!”  Amy asked why God wasn’t happy.  Derek replied, tearfully, “Cuz he’s not sharing his blessings with us!”  (“he” being Amy’s cousin’s little boy, who was a bit overwhelmed with all of these cousins invading his space and his stuff.)

    We’re gearing toward Christmas, shopping done, wrapping caught up and most of the decorating done.  I have a bunch of Santas that need to be placed somewhere other than on the floor near the tree.  :)  Faron did grocery shopping today, and aside from picking up “fresh” stuff like fruit and some dairy stuff, we’re ready there, too.  Faron’s been great.  he isn’t wild about decorating, but with me so sick with the kidney infection, he really stepped up, mostly prodded by Ron, but hey, whatever it takes!

    I’m slowly getting back to my “normal”.  Have about 5 days more of antibiotics to take and hopefully that will be it.  Faron’s on the lookout for projects to do after Christmas until he gets called back to work, hopefully long before the projected date of April 9.  We plan a few days with Joe and family to celebrate Christmas with them on their turf, after the New Year, so I’m hoping to be fully recovered well before then!  And of course, my nephew Justin is getting married New Year’s Eve so that’s my short term goal for feeling really well.  

    Sorry my posts are so sporadic.  My computer really isn’t happy about me editing photos much these days.  I was happy to snag this one from Amy’s blog!  :)



  • Wow, it’s time to vote again.

    I can’t believe I haven’t blogged at all in the past month!  I’m sorry.  I will definitely try to do better.


    In the meantime, we can vote here - our new webmaster consolidated voting into our regular blog, rather than having two locations for you to think about.  :)


     The theme for the September PCAGOE Challenge is Pink. Yes, we are a little early for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, but when we heard that one of our own was diagnosed with breast cancer, we wanted to show our support. And this means that for those of us who are selling our pieces, they are in the shops in plenty of time for October remembrances!
    My entry is number THREE – 3 – just in case you missed it.  Number THREE!  :)
    Don’t forget to vote here.


  • It’s TIME!!

    August 2011 Challenge: Under the Sea


    Under the Sea

    Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri

    This month’s theme “Under the Sea” gave the PCAGOE artists a chance to explore their love of all things blue and watery. Members could create whatever they wanted within the theme’s context as long as the piece consisted of at least 50% polymer clay.

    And the entries are:

    1 – Love at Sea by Marie of YoungCreative
    “Waves crash over the lovers in this art piece based on an antique illustration of  “Manon Lescaut.”  I started by hand-coloring the illustration that I embedded in liquid polymer  to create a “canvas.” I sculpted a Mokume Gane sea, adding more coats of liquid polymer as well as regular polymer accents to build dimension. Alcohol inks and paints enhanced the colors.” 

    2 – Fish out of Water by Line of playsculptlive
    “Inspired by Cristi Friesen, my  hero!”

    3 – Under the Sea Trinket Box by Jill of JKay Jewelry
    “Viva Decor gave my guild some of their new artists’ clay to work with during our recent demonstrations days at the local fair, so that’s what this little box is made of. It features some miniscule real shells, while the rest of the little embellishments are molded from the same clay. I made the molds for the ship’s wheel, the star fish, and the sea horse.”

    4 – Mermaid’s Necklace by Randee of RMK Design
    “faux limestone pebbles” 

    5 - Shades of the Sea Cuff Bracelet by Susan of 11BoldStreet
    “My entry for the PCAGOE Monthly Challenge is another of my signature liquid polymer gauze bracelets. The base was tinted in sea shades of aquas, blues and greens, with silver accents reminiscent of sparkly waves. The polymer focal has patterns of “scales” and impressions from sea shells.”

    6 - Under the Sea Pendant by Maggie of Maggie Day Studio
    “Polymer clay, paint, and resin pendant”

    7 – Under the Sea Journal by Becky of  BeckySueCreations
    “It is made from polymer clay and put onto a spiral journal.”

    8 – Memories of Maine necklace by Lisa of HiGirls
    “Polymer clay lobster claws are accented with black paint and pearlized clay beads.
    Seashell is polymer clay molded from an actual Maine seashell in pale pink and translucent clay with mica powders.”

    9 – Clown Fish Desk Set by Angela of Polymer Clay Creations
    “Cute orange clown fish swimming in a beautiful aqua and blue sea to brighten up your desk.”

    10 – Octopus’s Garden by Kathy of ElPasoClayNation
    “This little tile is made for the July Under the sea challenge. I got to try out my new jar of Polypaste, too.”

    11 – Blue Coral Brooch by Amanda of Polyclarific
    “This entry for the August PCAGOE Challenge is a pretty little brooch. Its rough edges remind me of coral and its colour of the ocean. The brooch is 2.5cm in diameter and 2cm deep.”

    12 – Ocean Wave Lentils necklace by Janice of BlessedBeadJewelry
    “Ocean Waves mokume gane focal beads paired with pearls and mother of pearl.”

    13 – Ripples by Berit of ClayCenter
    “A business card holder decorated with polymer clay. My entry in the August challenge “Under the Sea”. The technique is mokume gane/mica shift with several layers of pearl clay. It is completely flat even though it looks three dimensional.”

    14 – Go Swimming with Me by Arlene of Ashpaints
    “This small tin canister has been re-purposed to simulate an underwater abode. Colorful fish swim in and out between blades of seaweed and coral branches up from the sea floor. Swirls in multiple colors of blue trim the edges and the lid to finish the look.”

    15 – Fishy Fish by Jackie of The Pleasant Pheasant
    “This is my PCAGOE “Under the Sea” Monthly Challenge Entry, a new fish cane that I made and really like! Being back to caning is awesome. :) This fish is from a tutorial by Desiree McCrorey.”

    16 – Polymer Clay Seal by Deb of Renaissance Gal of San Antonio
    “He’s a fun little critter from a class I taught.”

    17 – Lampshade Under the Deep Blue by Cindy of Arrowdale Art Studio
    “It is a lampshade for a custom lamp (which my husband has yet to finish – the parts have been more difficult to find than anticipated, but we will persevere!) The lamp shade measures 6″ wide by 5.5″ tall and 3″ deep. The “sea” is made entirely of translucent polymer clay tinted with various shades of alcohol inks and then blended and pieces to achieve the mottled colors. Each of the pieces are made from canes (the fish and sea plants) ore other shades of clay colored or blended as I went along. I used embossing powders for the crusty look on the stuff on the bottom, and used pigment inks to even out colors where needed. There are a couple of candles burning inside the shade, which accounts for the white-ish streaks and the subtle glow. A 40W light bulb will be used in the lamp, which is for our grandsons’ bedroom nightlight.”

    18 – Sealife by Els of Beadelz
    “Inspired by Helen Breil, with a shell (abalone/ zee-oor in Dutch) from the (southern) French coast.”

    19 – Pink Mermaid Figurine by Phoebe of Happy Creations
    “Mermaid figurine is hand sculpted out of polymer clay. She has long flowing brown hair. Her body is a pearly fuscia pink color with green scales. She is holding a real sea shell. She is wearing a necklace of a gold sea star and in the center is a pink Swarovski crystal gem. Her body is coated with a light dusting of glitter dust. I hand painted her face and scales with acrylic paints. She is coated with a glossy finish.”

    Several of the entries are available for sale in our members’ store. Please visit the individual shops to see these and other wonderful listings.

    Vote here.

    Note – I’m number 17. 




  • 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 www.pcagoe.com 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.



  • A couple of things I’ve made recently

    The first is the one and only request I’ve had from Jason for a clay item. 


    You might notice he doesn’t look happy.  Here’s why:


    I guess that would make anyone cranky.


    And this piece is my entry into the soon-to-be-opened-to-voting-June-Challenge:



    The theme is “For The Guys,” and this faux leather with copper accents (real copper, btw) was fun to make and looks even nice in real life.


    I’ve got another new piece – a grist mill for my collection  of wee buildings.  That was a lot of fun.  It’s all been baked as of this afternoon, now comes assembly and painting a bit to age the “wood”.  Took me forever to get the wheel right but I think it’ll even spin when it’s assembled. (Notice I am cautious – “think”)


    Still struggling with serum sickness, especially as the temperature rises – my temperature is always highly susceptible to changes in the atmospheric temp, but with this serum sickness it’s even more so.  A/C goes on tomorrow – were to hit 90.  We probably should have turned it on the other day but we’ve been trying to keep expenses low – we realized that some expenses can’t be avoided. 


    Faron still hasn’t gotten a job – we heard this week he didn’t get the forestry job for which he’d interviewed.  Meanwhile, he continues to get invitations to apply for still other state jobs so he keeps returning them indicating he’d be willing to work there.


    Next week is Jason’s and Tiana’s housewarming party, on Sunday afternoon – open house.  If you’re in the area, drop in! Call me for the address. 


    And finally, our good friend Anne Gordon Kane (Our former – and much loved- pastor’s youngest daughter) was diagnosed officially this past week with a Stage IV glioma, a tumor in her brain.  She’s already had surgery to reduce the size of the tumor and is researching clinical trials.  Anne’s the mother of 10 year old twins, Francis and Paul.  She’s a nurse who works for the Dept of Health and has the craziest sense of humor.  She’s a lovely girl (well, maybe not so much “girl” but it’s how I think of her.)  As you think of her in the coming months, please pray for Annie and her family. 



  • Easter

    I suddenly realized tonight I’d never edited and posted our photos from Easter.  Silly me!  At first I was in so much pain, I guess I just couldn’t be bothered.  After that, I was enjoying being able to move! 

    After the cellulitis – which included 6 days in the hospital and 18 days in a nursing home – I came home with terrible joint pain all the time.  I lived from ibuprofen dose to dose.  Finally I saw my GP for my 1-week post nursing home check and he took a bunch of blood for testing – a BUNCH!  Another week went by and I went back and he told me it was serum sickness, caused by a reaction to the protein in the large, large, large dose of antibiotics I got for those three weeks.  Good news is, he put me on a burst of prednisone, starting with 4 pills at once that first night, and by 2 am when I should have been craving more ibuprofen, I was happy to wake up with no pain!  And it’s stayed that way.   Just took the last prednisone tonight, and had more blood tests today to see if my SED rate is back to normal, which would indicate all is well again with that area.  Along with no pain, prednisone has given me this “‘roid” energy burst.  I have felt so good!  I am sure that particular part of things won’t last but it helped me to get back on the exercise schedule I started in the nursing home and had somewhat abandoned for all the pain. 

    I’m just happy to be slowly dropping medications – no more antibiotics, no more dreadful potassium supplements (which have to be among the nastiest pills ever created to swallow!) and now no more steroids.  For now.  The likelihood is that I will get cellulitis again in that same leg.  The amount of tissue damage done by repeated instances of cellulitis is extensive.  All of that damage makes me very vulnerable to infection.  And, I read this week that I’ll almost certainly get serum sickness when I take antibiotics again.  Sooner, even, than this past time.  Yippee!  :) But we’ll know what’s happening anyway, and how to treat it. 

    So back to Easter.  We’d planned to have the MeyerClan Easter Egg Hunt here that afternoon, but rain changed things.  We had dinner here with Jason & Tiana and her mom who’d flown in to see the kids’ new house and help get some stuff done with them, and Joe & Amy and the boys, who drove up for the day, and Joe’s mom & dad, Shirley and Bud – 11 of us counting the boys.  Dinner was great and then when Derek was saying, “I want to go outside!” I pulled the ultimate Grandma-distraction tool: bribes! to keep him and his brother out of the rain.  “Well, I want you and Jared to open presents!” 

    This was very well received. 

    I had all sorts of gifts for the boys – Jared’s birthday gifts, a Valentine’s gift, a leftover Christmas gift and some odds and ends for Easter.  First present they opened caused Derek to go into spasms of delight – he shrieked and carried on and then finally asked what it was.   He was excited by the packaging – all Woody from ToyStory.  They were a pair of red plastic harmonicas I’d gotten to fill in the amount on Amazon to get free shipping on some order or another. They LOVED them.  Here’s a bit of video of our two instant virtuosos:

    They also sat on these two chairs in front of the front doors and performed.  Several times.  Finally, it stopped raining and they took their show on the road.  Outside.  I think they mostly went to the barn to sit on Grandpa’s tractor and play their harmonicas to the tractor.  Jason & Tiana followed shortly to become groupies. 

    Both boys love playing on my scooter – as long as it’s not running.  Jared’s buckling in for a long ride, I guess. 

    Shirley and Bud had filled a couple of small baskets for the boys, with PillowPets that made Derek go even crazier than he did for the harmonicas.  And this time he knew just what they were!  They both really loved them, although I think Jared just loves stuff because Brother does.  :) There was also a bit of chocolate in the baskets.  Derek immediately opened his hollow chocolate bunny, but Jared opted for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg.  Which he eventually shared with me:

    You can see the next piece of candy was already lined up. 

    I just love Joe’s happy smile here.  I love Joe, too.  For the record. 

    After several phone calls between the crowd at Hazel’s (Kim and her family ate there as well as Hazel’s own true crowd – true in the sense that her kids’, their spouses, their kids and now their spouses and kids, are TRULY a crowd!!) and us, and we decided, with Tiana’s decisive help, to just have a quick “on the porch” egg hunt for Derek and Jared.  Kim came up, bringing the buckets and shovels Hazel had gotten each of the little kids, and Ron came with her.  Joe told the boys they had to use their shovels to scoop up the candy.

    At nearly 4, Derek tried very hard to chase candy around with the shovel and scoop it up. Jared, on the other hand, at 2, decided the best method was to pick it up with his right hand and place it on the shovel in his left.  After several minutes of chasing candy with his shovel, Derek looked at Joe and said, “Can I use my hands, Dad?” 

    Things did move much more quickly after that. 

    Ron had his own plan.  No bucket and shovel, but he was on a mission to get every full-sized candy bar available:

    He did quite well.  :)

    The boys both over-filled their buckets, but their mean-old mom sorted through it and sent most of it back with Aunt Kim when she took the leftovers down for the egg hunt going on in Hazel’s living room.  (The boys couldn’t have cared less, as you can see – here they are both sharing with Grandma.

    And of course, Jared felt the need to show that his belly got all filled up!

    It was a fun day, if a bit different.  It’s always fun having the Regels here.  The boys love it when Grammy & Pappy and Grandma and Grandpa are all in one place, and having Tiana’s mom, Alaine here was fun, too – both boys took to her instantly.  They’re always ready to have another grandmother. 

    Now that I’m home and life is getting somewhat normal – which will be even more normal when Faron gets a job…which should be soon.  He’s had letters of interest from four separate departments in the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry. He was interviewed so far for one department, and he should hear very soon about that one.  We’re praying and trying to be patient!  Anyway, now that things are getting back on a routine, I’m claying again.  The very first thing I did when I got home was to finish this guy:

    My Rich Dutch Doctor Bobblehead Doll – unofficial mascot of a blog I frequent, called, The Uncrushable Jersey Dress, dedicated to all things Neels, in honor of British romance novelist, Betty Neels. She wrote about 134 novels, and probably about 80% of her heroes were, you guessed it, Rich Dutch Doctors.  One day in a very silly discussion thread, it was put forth that we needed an RDD Bobblehead.  It seems there’s a firm online who’ll make custom bobbleheads for only $80 each!  I couldn’t let that go – I announced that I could make one for about $10 – the cost of the clay.  And yes, his head really does bobble. If you follow the link and scroll down to the 2nd entry, you’ll find a quick video I made to verify that fact.  :)

    The 2nd thing I did was to make this:

    My entry into the current challenge of the PCAGOE, Flora and Fauna.  Obviously, I went with flora. 

    Make sure you go and vote!


  • Haven’t stolen Amy’s blog in a while

    But this is so adorable! 

    That there’s lots of face time for two beautiful little boys is beside the point.