Thursday, July 29, 2010

Full House Art Show

We in the Athens, Georgia area are very fortunate to have access to the Lyndon House Art Center.  It is a county operated facility that provides meeting places for many of the local art groups, including quilters, painters, photographers, wood turners, weavers and garden clubs.  Every two years they present a show that combines talent from all of these (and other) groups.  I have two pieces hanging in the gallery……

“Peacock Pavilion”


and “Casa Amarella”


I was in good company, with several hundred wonderful works of art.  These three are by fellow blogger, Anita Heady ……



And this one by fellow guild member, Cleo Ward……

The center itself is a lovely place and is so bright and airy……

_6305790 _6305787 _6305788

If you are in the area, it is worth checking out.  The show runs thru September 18th.  Hours are  Tuesday and Thursday; Noon-9:00 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Still no sewing going on here….tomorrow we move our youngest to an apartment in Atlanta where she will be working on a Masters at Georgia State University.  It will be strange for NEITHER of my kids to live here!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fieldwork – day 3 and 4

WOW….on Thursday, we found out what happens when you know the right people and can say “Tony said…..”.  

Back to the beginning…..Tony is the owner of the property that the Breton Sound Oil Recovery Staging Area is located on.  We were meeting with him at 10:30 to talk about areas on the property where my husband could transplant Irises. 

When we got there, he was in a Hurricane Preparedness meeting  (by the way, the signs said that the base was in “Stormcon 2”), and we were told to wait in the mess tent.  We were told that they serve about 3000 meals each day and the local restaurants are each in charge of a one week stint.  As soon as it was serving time, the workers started lining up to get their food.  It was truly a mix of people, ranging from officers in the various military branches. to engineers, to sailors, to boat captains, to deck hands. 

The meal that was being served consisted of soup, sub sandwich, salad (either small or HUGE), chips, fruit, Oreo cookies and a drink.  Everywhere around the camp there were posted signs reminding people to drink lots of water and to stay hydrated!!!!!

We met with Tony while he ate lunch and he expressed his excitement about the work that Michael is planning to do there.  He told us about a program that he is involved with to replant areas of St. Bernard parish to replace trees and vegetation that were stripped when the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over the area.  He was even more excited when Michael offered to send Iris rhizomes that could be planted as well.

After lunch, he commandeered a 4-wheel drive Mule and took us on a tour of some the land that he owns.  It was such fun watching him point out various areas of his property and to watch his excitement as he talked about the wildlife that is there.  It was very different to get away from the hustle and bustle of the military style encampment!!!!   He and Michael selected an area that could be used for a portion of the Iris transplants._7226418

THEN, he told us of an island in the marsh lands around his property that was also a potential site for transplants in an “affected area”, so he told us to tell one of the public information officers that we needed a boat to visit the island, and …..boom….we had a 35 foot open skiff at our beck and call.  The skipper took us around the marsh lands and finally was able to wind his way to the island.    It was amazing to watch him deftly maneuver 35 feet of boat in a canal that was only 6-8 feet wide!!!!   Unfortunately, we couldn’t get close enough to get onto the island, but it is a possible site as well. 

This is a map showing exactly where the oil is located  (the blue areas), with the green mark showing where we were.  

Presentation1 copy

We didn’t see any of the oil, but did see a number of the vessels that were carrying out the booms or bringing them back in.  The boat skipper told us that his job was normally one of transporting the booms, but he had been called back in because of the approaching Tropical Storm.   He also told us that the process of picking up the booms is very slow as they are heavy and slippery and very hard to get into the boat.  Then, once they are returned to the staging area, his entire boat has to be decontaminated before he can go out again.


I loved the name of this boat……the Goo Gobbler

_7226453 This boat is filled with oily booms being returned to the staging area…..

_7226454 These oil tankers were on a couple of barges….not sure why……


Our captain and his wife are both skippers and the boat that we were on (the Ave Maria) was built for Crabbing,  but it was completed just a few days before the oil well blew, so it had never been used for it’s intended purpose!!!  They are not having an easy time at the moment….. 


Here is some of the inter-coastal waterways that are currently under threat.  The oil is just a couple of miles away and who knows where this Tropical Storm will take it.    It will be such a shame to lose these beautiful areas._7226474

Today, we spent the day touring areas of Southern Louisiana and using the GPS to officially map the sites that Michael has been working in for the last 20 years.  It was funny to think of how technology has changed the way we do things… one point we were using a normal map, a Garmin road GPS, a data collection GPS, a digital camera and the internet on my cell phone.  But, I have to say that it sure made it easier to find the places that we needed and, even better, we can push a button and any of Michael’s students will have directions to those sites as well.

We finished up late this afternoon and will head back home tomorrow.  The plan for the drive is for me to type up all of the field notes from the four days….it make take the full 6 hours!!!!

Until next time……

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Two days in the life of a Scientist

These past two days I have been the “unpaid field crew” for my husband as he travels to Louisiana in search of oil affected sites.  His National Science Foundation grant is to study the effects of the oil and dispersants on populations of Louisiana Irises.  SO…..we have come down to search out possible field sites.

Yesterday, we left Athens, GA at 5am and headed South.  When we reached Mississippi, Michael wanted to check out a site that one of his students had found several years ago.  So, we left the main highway and started driving along a small road looking for Irises.  We found some and Michael got out of the truck to check them out.  After a few minutes, he called me and said for me to drive the truck down the road to meet him.  WRONG……the truck wouldn’t start!!! 

Thankfully, we had a GPS with us and were able to look for auto repair shops in the area.  The first one that we called said that they didn’t do road service, but that they weren’t busy at the moment and he would send someone out to jump off the battery in case that was the problem.  Thankfully, that was the only thing wrong, so after 1-1/2 hours we were back on the road again.

Our next stop was to travel south along a tiny road that led onto Lake Pontchartrain.   Michael said “lets not go any further because there aren’t any Irises here”, and almost immediately I saw a big clump.  As we went further, we found several more stands along this quarter of a mile section of road.  These aren’t necessarily good for the oil work, but it gave us a chance to learn how to use the new GPS/Data Collection equipment.


While we were on the road, an officer from the Louisiana Wildlife Service drove by and he stopped and talked for a while.  He suggested that we visit the National Wildlife office and told us how to get there.  He also suggested a couple of other sites that we should visit.  Next stop was to the National office where we met a very nice officer who requested a written proposal that could be given to the head person. ….we will see if anything comes out of this contact.

On Wednesday, we headed to the Breton Sound Staging Area which is a huge operation for keeping the oil out of the marshes.  There were Marines, Coast Guard, Local Troopers and hundreds of civilians moving around the post.  We went inside to get a visitor’s badge and were told that I would have to change into long pants before I could enter the area, so we had to drive back about 25 miles to a Walmart so that I could buy a pair of jeans.  

When we returned, we were told that all of the “Big Bosses” were in a "hurricane-preparedness” meeting and we would have to wait.  As we sat there, a woman named Lenore introduced herself and said that she had property not far from this area and that we could possibly use it as a site.  Also, she got us in to see the “Colonel” who is the Deputy Director of the site.  He got straight to the point and we fairly quickly decided that the areas that he was commanding were not the best places to transplant the Irises.  However, he did take us into the command center and showed us some photos of the area.   I am very much the “technophile" and I loved seeing all of the computers, streaming satellite images and other paraphernalia.

The funniest event of the day was that the Colonel was telling us about the “toothpick” cleaning where they use a stream of water to force the oil back out of the marshes.  After  he said “toothpick” several times, one of the techies said “you mean WATERpik”.  Is it really good to question a Colonel…..they may never find the body in all of that marsh land!!!!

As we were leaving, Lenore told us that she could give us the name of the man that owned the property as well.  Michael talked to him and now we are meeting him in the morning!!!!    Who knows what tomorrow will bring!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Photo Fun


Well, we are getting over our WONDERFULLY fun weekend where we celebrated our son’s marriage to this wonderful young lady……._7176214

Son, Brian, gives us his “Jazz Hands”……


Hubby, Michael,  and I are enjoying the hour prior to the event….. _7176198

May I present……Mr.  and Mrs. Brian Arnold……


Me with three of my very best friends…..thanks ladies for making it a special night……



Our two kids…..Jenny and Brian……we are so proud of both of them!!!!_7176264 

Bye guys…..have a wonderful Honeymoon!!!!_7176316  

Today we took the Mother’s back to the airport and packed for a trip to Louisiana starting tomorrow.  Michael has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to do research on the effects of the oil spill on a naturally occurring population of Louisiana Irises, so we are off to find OIL!!!

SOMEDAY, I will get back to sewing….. but I really dont have any regrets about how I have spent my time!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Sewing Here!!!!


Wedding week is in full swing.  Last night my husband and I sat and put together the favors for the Rehearsal Dinner.

3 1 2

Today’s task is to finalize the table decorations for the dinner.

So much fun… little time!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What is it about a wedding?


For those of you who haven’t heard, my son is getting married next weekend.  The service and all of the festivities are in Atlanta, so not much is happening at my house, except for the two Grandmothers spending a couple of nights with me.

Given  those parameters, can someone explain exactly why I am madly cleaning and clearing out my house!!!!!  One of my friends was getting ready for her son’s wedding and he found her under the desk, cleaning the floor with a toothbrush.  His question was  “who exactly will be sleeping under there?” 

I have no real reason to be in this cleaning frenzy, but I am certainly enjoying getting so much done!!

While cleaning my garage, I discovered a wonderful storage solution to a painful problem.  The problem…..I have several sets of dishes that I use through out the year.  Unfortunately, I dont have room in my house to store them so they have been in plastic boxes in my garage.  These were not the best solution because the lids would crush and they took up a lot of room.  They were also gangly to move so often I could not be bothered to get out a new set.

While I was busy pouring bird seed into an empty 5 gallon paint bucket, I started wondering whether the plates would fit inside the bucket.  Amazingly they do!!!  So, I discovered   that I can put the small plates and bowls in the bottom of the bucket, place a little crushed newspaper around the edges to hold them in place and then place the plates on top. 


Some of the plates are a very tight fit, so I put two lengths of ribbon under the plate stack so that I could use it to pull the plates up. 

The only downside is that the cups wont fit in the bucket, but, I normally dont use the cups and saucers anyway, so they are stored elsewhere.

So now, I have 5+ sets of dishes cleanly and securely stored in a very small area, AND they are very easy to get to!!!!



Who knows what else I will get into before the wedding is over!!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

How about a little weedin!!


We have had wonderful rains this spring and summer and all of the flowers and foliage have been beautiful.

HOWEVER, it has also meant that the weeds are completely out of control.  I always have these wonderful ideas that I will spend one day every 2 weeks and weed beds, but there are always other, more fun things to do.  Plus, if I spend an entire day in the yard I am so sore and tired that I dont ever want to do it again.

So, last week I had the brilliant idea to try to work for 15 to 20 minutes each morning (at least Monday thru Friday).  So, each morning I go to the gym, and before I even walk back in the door, I grab my gloves and trowel and head to the flower beds.

So far it has worked great….the flower beds are already looking better and, for some reason, it seems to energize my day and help me to get a lot more accomplished each day!!!! 

So, I guess the motto for the summer needs to be….”weed first, then play”!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Books Number 4 and 5 ….only 3 more to go


This week I have been able to continue working on the covered books.

The first one started with a piece of fabric that I used to soak up excess dyes.  I really liked the mottled pastel color and  added the four borders.



Next step was to fuse the design and add some threadwork…..


Here is the finished product……._7035911

The next book started  by going through a box of orphan blocks (those that were made but not used in a project).  I found a small hand painted design that I have NO idea where it came from.

I started by adding yellow borders and was just going to put another border around the edge.  Then I thought  BORING!!!!!!  so, I started angling the strips instead…..

 _7045912 Every so often, I would place a cut out design that is the same size as the book cover it to see how it was looking. 


Here is the finished product……_7045916

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Day With The Dogs


This morning, my husband and I attended a Dog Dock Diving competition.  It was fun to watch both the dogs and their owners!!!!

Here is a short video of several of the jumps.  On the first one, the dog delayed in jumping and I followed where the dog SHOULD have been, but had to go back to catch the dog.  I am obviously NOT a great videographer.

This dog simply refused to jump in the water.  She tried twice, and would RUN to the end of the dock and then sit at the edge!!!!



A successful retrieve……._7035884



Now that is a BIG splash………_7035895

A HIGH flying dog…..we wonder how the trainer managed to not fall in the water…._7035894

It was a fun way to celebrate the holiday!!!

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