Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

What is it?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Cooktop

It is not solder on metal.

Cooktop

It is burnt sugar on a glass cooktop. Burnt sugar is quite beautiful.

Cooktop

It appears that the pan had come in contact with the strawberry pie dish. Why was the bottom of the pan left unwashed???

Previous post on sugar and its possible use as an art material.

Burnt Sugar


Happy Holidays, Bob, and The Bird

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Happy Holidays Bob


How I rescued the lovebird, who came to be known as Bob–

1. Opened upstairs bathroom window, removed screen, placed towel over window frame.
2. Placed The Bird, our cockatiel in his travel cage, placed cage in plain view in the bathroom.

The Bird

The Bird enjoying our tree. Yes, his name is The Bird.

3. Played a Youtube video of Lovebirds singing.

Then I waited.

The lovebird flew to the window and looked in. Then he flew back to the top of the birch. Then he perched on the window ledge. He would not come in the bathroom.

After a couple of hours, yes a couple of hours of him flying to the window and hovering, I had an idea. I turned on all of the lights in the room. Immediately he flew into the room and landed on our cockatiel’s travel cage. John was home by then, he closed the window. Success.

What did I learn? The towel on the window ledge was a good idea for the bird to grab onto and enter the room, but a really bad idea for closing the window. Patience is a good thing to have. The entire rescue took only 4 hours.

Why is his name Bob?
It took a long time to name him. We noticed he has a habit of bobbing up and down before flight and when he is attempting to escape from his room. The bobbing is funny, almost dance like. So, Bob he became.


The frames and text applied to the photos were an easy peasy couple of clicks in Snapseed.
The Snapseed app is on the App Store.


Squirrels in the Garden

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

If you are seeing plants eaten to the ground and holes in your gardens;

Squirrel Hole

and if squirrels are vacuuming up birdseed in and around your bird feeders;

Squirrel

Squirrel

you might have a squirrel problem. How do you solve the problem?

Past Squirrel Problem
We had a problem with squirrels several years ago when we lived in New Jersey. I naturalized the backyard with a variety of bulbs. It was fun to see the bulbs peak through snow and the buds begin to develop. Just as the buds were beginning to bloom, every one was bitten off and left next to its plant.

We talked to gardeners and folks at nurseries. We tried everything that they suggested. Eventually we gave up and accepted we would not see hundreds of flowers blooming in our yard.

Now we have at least five squirrels living in and around our gardens. I will admit they are fun to watch. They run up and down the wisteria that covers our deck, stopping for a taste of a Norfolk pine. I watched as a squirrel sat in a pot of mums eating every leaf. That may sound strange to watch, but it is amazing how they use their wee paws, to see their dexterity.

We decided that we must relocate the squirrels. We tried this trap, but the squirrels could snag the bait and run out. And a larger trap can capture larger animals. We forgot to close the trap one night and found this critter–

Skunk

We purchased a smaller humane trap and again forgot to close it one night. And found this critter–

opossum in Trap

opossum in Tree

After we released the opossum it ran up the bottle brush and eventually disappeared.

What have I learned? When you make gardens that are woodland-like they are inviting for all kinds of critters. Also the drought conditions have forced critters to find food and water for survival and we offer that in our gardens.

Perhaps one day we will be free of squirrels. Actually that is rather interesting. We live in an area where you just don’t see squirrels. Ground squirrels typically are seen in the surrounding fields and on and around the mountains. But in the our neighborhood it is rare to see them. The 20 plus years we have lived in SLO we have seen two squirrels in our neighborhood. Five squirrels, together is definitely unusual.


Vegan Replacement Boots

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

It is often difficult to find vegan friendly footwear. I have been wearing the same vegan Garmont boots since 2002. Recently the soles began to crumble and fall apart. I would have purchased a new pair of vegan Garmont boots, but a replacement does not exist.

I was unable to find someone to replace the soles of my Garmont boots, so I gave Shoe Goo a go. After the adhesive cured I noticed that the areas around the adhesive began to crumble. I suspect Shoe Goo would be great for making certain types of repairs, but it is not really intended for making new soles.

I went on a search for replacement boots. It is easy to find hiking boots, but not vegan hiking boots. Finally, I found a pair of Merrell boots that are vegan friendly.

All of the reviews that I read stated the Merrell boots were true to size. I ordered a pair from Title Nine. Unfortunately, the pair that I ordered was a tad snug.

The boots were on sale and when I checked the website for the larger size, many of the sizes were no longer available. I phoned Title Nine customer service. The person I spoke with was quite helpful. I placed a new order for a half size larger, and then I packaged up the original pair for shipping back. The new pair arrived in a few days.

Merrell Boots

When I slipped them on they fit great. I wore them around the house for a couple of days. Yesterday I wore them on my first hike.

Yeah, they really have bold and bright colors…


While on the hike I noticed this cool bark. At first glance it appeared to have been deliberately attached to the tree.

Cool Bark


Stone Church and Earrings

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

I recently returned from three weeks in Maryland. I was visiting my sister and her family. While I was there I attended a holiday bazaar at the church near their house. The exterior of the church is stone, has a slate roof, and was founded in 1784. It also has a great cemetery.

Exterior of Church

I was hoping that the interior of the church would be as interesting as the exterior. I was a tad disappointed that the interior wasn’t stone, but there were some great details.

Just inside the front door there is a narrow door that spans the wall to the ceiling. The curious person that I am; I opened the door. I found a rope. Yep it is the rope for the bell.

Church Bell Rope

I bought several things from Jim St. Germain at the holiday bazaar. He makes jewelry from found metal bits–typewriters, hang gliders, sewing machines, radios, computers, VHS tapes…

These are a few of the earrings that I purchased–

Earrings

Sewing Machine Parts

Earrings

Hang Glider Parts

Earrings

Radio Parts

I like that Jim used found objects and gave them a new life.

I am always on the lookout for potential art materials and tools. Also at the holiday bazaar I found copper cookie cutters and a large bag of vintage yarn. The lot was a steal for $5.00.