Monday, July 30, 2007

Autumn Is Fast Approachin'...

Ahhhh... My favorite time of year. I feel the crisp air, I smell the logs burnin' in the woodstove, I hear the crunch of the maple leaves under my feet, I taste a delicious Cortland apple just picked off the tree and I see the squirrels and chipmunks scurry about hidin' their acorns for the long winter ahead. Autumn touches all the senses.

I could walk these country roads for miles just takin' in the beauty of the changin' leaves around me. The good Lord above sure does have the best color palette, doesn't He?

To celebrate this wonderful season, I will be offerin' my one of a kind paperclay creation on The Humble Arts.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nature Can Be So Cruel...

I have a heavy heart. The other day as I walked out to my front porch, there sat a baby sparrow with a broken wing. I noticed not far from him were his parents. Chirpin' at him and coaxin' him to fly. They didn't know what was wrong.

So I sat down and started to talk to him. My first question was "What happened, did you get knocked out of the nest?" Boy how I wish critters could talk.

I was amazed at how unafraid he was. He came within a foot of me, just starin'. My Polish upbringin' kicked in and I immediately felt the need to feed him somethin'. So I brought him out some bird seed and a lil' bowl of water.

He started to eat the seed. He then hopped into the bowl of water and sat in it as he drank. What a precious sight that was.

All afternoon he hopped around the porch, venturin' down a few steps only to come back up to where he felt safe. His parents keepin' a watchful eye on him.

When dusk came, I said goodnight and closed the front door.

The next mornin' I went to let our dogs out and check on my new feathered friend. As I opened the door, there he lay lifeless in the same spot I saw him the evenin' before. His head was gone. My heart sank.

I knew the cat. I have been chasin' him off my property for weeks. I know, I know... "That's what cats do, its nature." That may be true, but as long as I'm on watch, I do my best to keep that from happenin'. He was so innocent, so sweet so vulnerable. I had failed my new lil' friend.

When I went out on the porch later that afternoon, I found a few of his tiny baby feathers. I took them out on our property, opened my hand and watched them blow away in the wind. He was finally able to fly.

Today as I walked around our land, I came upon this delicate and fragile empty bird's nest. It was just laying in the grass. Not a tree or a bush near it. It was so strange. I gently picked it up and smiled. Was it a "sign"? Who knows... But I'd like to think so.
:> )

Quit Supposin'...

Don't start your day by supposin' that trouble is just ahead,
It's best to stop supposin' and start with prayer instead,
And make it a prayer of Thanksgiving for the wonderful things God has wrought
Like the beautiful sunrise and sunset, "God's Gifts" that are free and not bought
For what is the use of supposin' the dire things that could happen to you
And the worry about misfortune that seldom if ever comes true-
But instead of just idle supposin' step forward to meet each new day
Secure in the knowledge God's near you to lead you each step of the way-
For supposin' the worst things will happen only helps to make them come true
And you darken the bright, happy moments that the dear Lord has given to you-
So if you desire to be happy and get rid of the "misery of dread"
Just give up the "Supposin' the worst things" and look for "the best things" instead.
By: Helen Steiner Rice

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Does Anyone Have A Sweet Tooth...

Here's another clay head I'm workin' on. This here one is a candy corn-head and she is quite jolly lookin'. The poor thing could really use a dental plan though.

Make sure y'all mark August 1st on your calendar folks. We at The Humble Arts are havin' our first themed eBay group launch. The theme is "Underneath The Falloween Moon". It is also the theme for our website "The Humble Arts" come the 1st of August.

Oooooh, I can't wait to see the wonderful offerins' from this talented group of artists. Just remember to type HARTS07 in your eBay search.

Looks like its time to raid my hubs trouser pockets and get my biddin' finger ready...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How Do Ya Spell Relief...

C-H-I-R-O-P-R-A-C-T-O-R. I bet you thought I was goin' to spell "Rolaids". These past three days I have been strugglin' with a pinched nerve in my neck and shoulder blade. I can't do a dang thing.

Ya see, back in my early 20's, I was crossin' a street in Lake George, New York and *smack* I was hit by a car. I didn't break one bone in my body, but I did need some stitches in my head which meant the ER doctor had to shave some of my hair off. What??? Then he pipes up, "You didn't break anything, but you're going to wish you did."

Gee thanks Doc, that's just what I wanted to hear. Not only will I wish I broke every bone in my body, I now have a bald spot AND a scar like Frankenstein. Great. Needless to say I was out of work for 4 months and Lake George is not on my list of favorite places to visit.

So here I am 20+ years later with the same pain in my neck. I occasionally have two pains in my neck, but my hubs hasn't been annoyin' me lately.

Usually my chiropractor does wonders but my visit with him yesterday didn't do much to alleviate the pain.

As I chatted today with my dear friend Blondie/Vintage Primitives she told me about an overdoor cervical traction device. She said it really helps. She also mentioned I will look like an idiot in it, but it's worth the blackmail from my hubs. Well heck how bad could it be? Besides I'm so desperate, I'm ready to try anythin'. I got on the horn and called into town to see if the medical supply store had one. They sure did, so hubs stopped and picked it up on his way home from work.

When he walked in the door he said "Oh, I can't wait to see you in this thing." At first it looked like some medieval torture contraption. My head is supposed to go in there? Its got metal bars, straps and pulleys. I don't think Houdini could get out of this one.

So tonight I will try this "device" and see if it helps relieve some of my discomfort. But first, I must hide the digital camera. I can't afford to be blackmailed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Green Tomatoes Anyone...

I know many of you are waiting for your tomatoes to ripen, but not me. I'm plucking some of them off the vine. That's because I love pickled green tomatoes.

Now before you wrinkle up your nose at the thought of 'em, ya have to try 'em first. Especially if ya like Italian flavor. This is an old recipe. They never measured anything back in the good ol' days.

Green Tomatoes In Olive Oil

Thinly slice green tomatoes.

Put tomatoes in a large bowl cover them completely in a layer of canning salt.

Place a plate on top of the tomatoes with something to weigh them down. I also place a towel over the bowl. Let set overnight.

Drain all water from the bowl and rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water.

Place tomatoes in a large bowl and cover completely with cider vinegar. Let stand for 4 hours.

Drain vinegar.

Then stack tomatoes in canning jars adding a pinch of oregano and chopped garlic (or more than a pinch if y'all are trying to keep the vampires or your in-laws away) on top of every few tomatoes. If using fresh oregano, add more than a pinch.

Fill jars completely with olive oil. (don't substitute with any other oil)
As you do this, gently place a butter knife down the sides of the jars to get out any air.

Cap and let stand for 4-6 weeks and ENJOY. These are delicious on sandwiches, hamburgers or top your favorite steak with 'em. But remember not to breathe your "dragon breath" on anybody after you have some.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nitey-Nite, Sleep Tight (If You Can)...

Here is my first Halloween Firewood Folks for 2007.

Do you recognize him?

If you're thinkin' he's that Freddy from Chico And The Man or the lead singer from Queen, guess again.

Why its Freddy Krueger from Nightmare On Elm Street, of course.

I'll be listin' Freddy on eBay in the future. So keep your peepers peeled for him and more from my Halloween Firewood Folks collection.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bats All Folks...

Country livin' is great, but sometimes you have unexpected visitors of the critter kind.

I never realized how fast I could move until we had a bat in the house. The only thing my hubs saw was smoke comin' from my heels.

I reckon I could have won an Olympic gold medal, beatin' out that Michael Johnson feller in the 100 meter dash if a bat was chasin' me. Even wearin' his gold Nikes, he wouldn't be able to pass.

But thank goodness for our badminton racket. It's not just for shuttlecocks.

So in celebration of my new found agility, I stitched up this vampire bat. He's bein' offered on my website.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Anyone Else Havin' A Bad Hair Day...

Man, this heat and humidity are doin' a number on mine. When is it goin' to end?

Try and stay cool folks.
:> )

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Autumn Leaves...

Some of you already know autumn is my favorite time of year. I'm what ya call a "leaf peeper". I can walk these parts for hours takin' in all the brilliant colors and textures which only autumn can bring. The good Lord above really knows how to use His color palate.

So my next Paperclay dollie will be a maple leaf-head.

I know she's lookin' a lil' pale at the moment, but I'll have her gussied up in no time. I'll keep y'all posted.

Monday, July 9, 2007

They're Baaaaaaack...

Well folks since I've had some requests, I decided to start a 2007 series of my Halloween Firewood Folks.
I've got all kinds of fun ideas swirlin' around this noggin of mine.

I've got the ol' ball and chain outside cuttin' up logs with his chainsaw and I'll be out there wieldin' my axe. Boy, that sounds like a horror movie doesn't it? Well I guess it could be if I go out there without a stitch of makeup on.

As always, my one of a kind Firewood Folks are signed, dated and numbered. You can scoot on over to my website and join my email list if ya would like to be notified of my new pieces. While you're there, click on the "My Gallery" button to see my previous Firewood Folks.

Oh and don't forget the first week of August The Humble Arts family will have our first eBay launch. Its titled "Underneath the Falloween Moon". In the eBay Search type HARTS07. Ooooh, I can't wait to see what this talented group of artists will have to offer.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Other Uses For Duct Tape...

As I sat lookin' at this middle aged face of mine, I thought "Gee, I bet I could strategically place duct tape around my hairline to give me that permanent "surprised" look so many of the famous maturin' Hollywood gals are doin' these days." Seems they use the same plastic surgeon though. They all end up lookin' like Madame.

The heck with control top Lycra wears, why not use camouflage duct tape for my middle section? Not only would it keep my stomach flat, you wouldn't be able to see it anymore.

If I could find duct tape in gold, I'd make myself a set of those stunnin' arm cuffs like Cleopatra wore. They would be attractive yet keep the flab under my arms from swayin' in the wind.

No need for a bra, I'd just make the letter "W" underneath 'em and I'm good to go. The same goes for my back end too.

Ya know as much as I complain about these tired old bones, I'm happy with them. They have taken me through life's journey, both good and bad. Besides, I'd much rather keep all these wrinkles on my face than look like I got shot out of a cannon doin' 100 mph.

But just in case, I'm off to the Home Depot for some duct tape...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

When Did I Get So Old...

Have you asked yourself that question lately? My brain is telling me one thing and my body is telling me another.

The first warm day of summer, I went to put on a pair of shorts. I looked down and saw a pair of wrinkly knees.
What the?!
Where did THOSE come from?!
For a moment there I thought I started taking off my pantyhose and forgot about 'em. Nope, those were my knees.
When did I get so old?

Same thing with "crow's feet" around my eyes. Well isn't that a "lovely" expression.
Now I've got a lil' bird stomping across my face when I least expect it.
Laugh lines? Who says they're funny.
When did I get so old?

Or have you found yourself singing along to the songs in the grocery store?
That's as bad as elevator music. Who would have thought I would hear "Stayin' Alive" as I strolled down the canned fruits isle?
But I did and I still can't hit that high note like those Gibb brothers.
When did I get so old?

So the bottom line (I guess) is you're as young as you feel. Well, I still feel like a kid but when I look in the mirror I keep seeing my mama staring back at me.


Monday, July 2, 2007


Look what I found.

Click here if ya loved playin' with Lite-Brite as a young'un.

A Beautiful Day Today...

It doesn't get any better than this. High of about 72 with NO humidity. That's unheard of here in the state of New York, especially in July. I almost had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreamin'.

Here's the Countryfolk homestead.

Here's a happy lil' Black Eyed Susan.

When ya can't beat 'em... join 'em. (I'm so tired of weedin')

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Childhood Toys and Books...

Ahhhh... I can still remember the smell of Colorforms and Play-Doh. I thought it was "magic" when that strip popped up in my GE Show'n Tell. Ooooh, how I loved my Light-Brite. Yep, I did have Barbie and Ken but The Sunshine Family ran circles around them. Speakin' of circles, that's the one reason why I didn't enjoy my Etch A Sketch. Circles were next to impossible to make. I much preferred my Spirograph. Y'all could make some very groovy designs.

I am truly blessed because my mama saved some of my childhood toys. I haven't gone through the boxes in awhile, but I think its time to go through them again. All sorts of emotions hit me when I do so I usually keep a big ol' box of tissues near me. I still hug my dollies like I did as a young'un and talk to them too. They don't talk back, but I know what they're thinkin'.

I have a very special bear. His name is Ted. Ted has been around longer than I have. Ya see grandma bought this bear for me when she heard I was comin'. But grandma passed away before she got the chance to meet me. Which is why I have this very special bear.

One of my favorite childhood books is called "Bonhomme" by Laurent de Brunhoff. Its a wonderful story about this adorable lil' feller who lives under a tree at the top of a mountain. I was thrilled to purchase a copy of it a few months ago. I have it displayed so every time I walk by it, I smile.

See, he made ya smile.
:> )

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