22 April 2017

an odd bug

Lately we have been overrun with bugs of various types. Because of Bill's spraying near our home to get rid of the flea problem, all other bugs soon end up dead as well. As soon as I sweep all the dead 'love bugs' off of the patio, it is covered again. (Driving home from College Station on Thursday, they were so thick that drivers had to pull off to wash windshields!)

But this interesting yellow bug was found resting on a window screen, having recently emerged from the shell on the right. I looked him up through Google -- he (or she?) is called a Guadalupe fly, Wiley's fly, or a yellow drake mayfly. Whatever his name, he was fun to draw . . . even though I ran off the page trying to draw his _two_ long tails!

21 April 2017

a bigger cabin

When we purchased this wee cabin, the former owners took the curtains with them, leaving some bamboo roller shades --- which offered NO privacy at all. So we quickly bought the only curtains we could find locally.

Now after over three years, we were able to remove the curtains and replace the old shades with shades that have a privacy liner. And they make the cabin look HUGE to us! 

13 April 2017

silly wee kitties

I'm waiting to hear if I will get to adopt a certain red tabby kitten . . . As I wait, I've been reading up on the breed and drawing from photos found on line. These are Scottish Fold kittens, which pose in the silliest looking positions! There are long waiting lists for kittens with folded ears. Some of each litter are born without the dominant gene that causes the ears to fold; these are known as Scottish straights. That's what Bill and I are hoping for: a Scottish Fold with straight ears. Easier to find and usually costing less. And we think they are cuter than their folded siblings.

One of the breeders I have been in contact with has a 2 week old kitten that might be ours. Ears don't fold until the third or fourth week; if hers stay straight, I can have her. If they fold, she will go to someone on the long waiting list, and I will continue my search.

10 April 2017

a destructive plague

Bearcat has been gone awhile . . . yet we are still battling fleas in our wee cabin. And he was an inside-only cat! Feral cats try to claim our land as their own territory, bringing lots of fleas which we then carry inside on shoes and clothing. Bill is hard at work treating the yard.

And I am extremely allergic to flea bites! So we continue to spray, vacuum, bomb, vacuum, spray . . . I am literally covered with inflamed sores that itch like crazy. Bill suggested that I find some Dead Sea salts to soak in after hearing on a news program that it helps clear up psoriasis. Not finding any at local stores, I ordered some on Amazon --- and it works! I also found some natural flea & mosquito repellent soap that seems to work as well. 

05 April 2017

an iris found along our fence line

We have lived here three years now, and the iris leaves in a mass at the edge of our property have never boomed . . . until this year. Bill picked one to bring to me to sketch but we had errands to run in Brenham. By the time we returned, one of the blossoms had already folded up in a paler, bluer shade.

04 April 2017

cats on my mind

Since the recent loss of my Maine Coon, Bearcat, I sometimes think I hear him playing in the loft (it's just the cabin walls setting) or find myself looking for him to greet us as we come home (he used to always do this). It's time to find another cat . . .

I've decided to look for something different this time. Being allergic to average American shorthairs found in shelters, I've been reading about other breeds with a lower level of the Fel d 1 protein that causes most cat allergies. One breed with a naturally lower protein level is the British Shorthair --- I'm currently on a waiting list for one with a breeder in San Antonio. The other breed she raises, which has British Shorthair in its lineage, is the Scottish Fold.

The more I read about Scottish Folds, the more they fascinate me. Their personality traits are very much like the Maine Coons we are used to but in a more compact body. While looking for a book about the breed, I found this three-volume book in the used book market. Reading about the Scottish Fold kitten, Norton, given to a man who hated cats (but fell in love with this wee kitten anyway), I've just about decided that this is the breed I want. I've contacted several breeders; none available yet so I wait and keep checking back with them.

31 March 2017

revenge at the eye doctor's

Today I went to my eye doctor's for a regular 6-month checkup and a laser treatment on my eyes. The waiting room was "standing room only", yet this lady took the last remaining seat in the room for her bag. So I stood right across from her . . . and drew her! She was so absorbed in her electronic reader that she never noticed me.

By the time I had finished adding watercolor, she had left, leaving two chairs available. Dr. Horton's office is in a log cabin __very small waiting room__ and she spends LOTS of time with each patient so there is usually a wait . . . and she is worth it!

I have glaucoma, requiring regular monitoring and daily eye drops, and I had cataracts removed three years ago. The doctor told me at the time that I was young to have cataracts and that there would be some cloudiness later on that would require the laser treatment (removing the back section of the "capsule" holding my implant lens in place). I walked in today with cloudy vision . . . and after about 5 minutes per eye, I'm back to 20/20 vision!

30 March 2017

waiting . . .

A sketch of Scott & White Clinic's uninspiring waiting room as we wait for one more after-surgery follow-up. I forgot how much this water-soluble ink would bleed.

Bill's incision is healing, though the neck muscles are swollen, irritating the nerve that the surgery was supposed to free up. So he is still in pain, though with greatly improved mobility. Hopefully the pain will be gone when the inflammation caused by the surgery calms down.

27 March 2017

a new toy

Last year Bill's cousin Mike gave me a mechanical pencil he had made of bird's eye maple. A few days ago, he surprised me with a clutch pencil to go with it, made of "Arkansas ebony" that Bill had given him, and he even included three color refills to go in it. 

I played with both the graphite and the colored leads . . . I thought the colors were plain colored pencil leads but when I added watercolor I discovered they are water-soluble, like watercolor pencils. The super-fat graphite works great for thumbnail value sketches! Maybe I'll even start doing them before diving right in to a sketch.

22 March 2017

back again . . . and now home

While Bill's neck surgery in January successfully repaired and fused his bulging discs, he still had no relief from the arm pain he has lived with for over three years --- in fact, it increased. After some healing time and physical therapy, they were able to do another MRI and a CT scan. And this time an additional problem was found: a bone spear, actually shaped like a spear-head, was directed straight at the nerve. So back again for a different surgery, this time from the back of his neck.

That was yesterday; it went well and we just got home. Good results showing already with increased arm motion, greatly reduced pain, and less pain in the incision site than expected. Praising the Lord for bringing him through! Just some ongoing therapy to do at home and let the new surgical site heal.
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