Friday, October 31, 2008
► Midnight: Moderately gusty south wind ... clear skies ... 59F/15C ... didn't even need to build a fire in the wood stove this evening.
► My ISP abandoned me during the early morning. Without the Net, there was nothing for me to do except go to bed.
► High, hazy overcast ... 20% chance of rain ... moderately gusty south wind ... 64F/17C @ 10 AM.
► Overcast continues. In fact, the sky is darker right now than it has been since dawn. (68F/29C @ 1:30 PM)
► Light rain showers off and on for the past couple of hours. Not enough rainfall to amount to anything, though. Patches of blue sky here and there now. Clearing is underway, I think. (64F/17C @ 5 PM)
► Jo and I decided to go ahead and risk getting wet on a walk, but didn't take the camera. No problem.
► Rain over. Sky clear. (62F/16C @ 7:30 PM)
► Started Jo's kiln on another bisque firing. (59F/15C @ midnight)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
► “Started Jo's kiln on a bisque firing. It's not supposed to get nearly as cold tonight as it has been. (54F/12C @ midnight)” -- Thursday at 12:19 am
► “Light south breeze. Temperature not continuing to fall tonight. (53F/11C @ 4 AM)” -- Thursday at 4:18 am
► “Last cold front is now but a memory. Temp heading for the mid-seventies today. Sunny, light south wind and 68F/20C @ 11 AM.” -- Thursday at 11:01 am
► “Sun still shining brightly, but south wind picking up. (75F/24C @ 2 PM)” -- Thursday at 2:07 pm
► “Serviceman from the water district came down and opened up the fireplug-style cleanout in front of Jo's studio. Not sure what that was all about. Maybe just getting a water sample from down here at the end of the line, but he ran enough water to float a boat. Soggy in front of the studio now.” -- Thursday at 2:54 pm
Later: I checked and discovered he'd also installed another meter box on top of our existing meter box. Our meter is now about two feet down from the top of the box. I suppose he constructed the double-decker arrangement because the existing single box was getting covered and filled in by dirt washing downhill. The tiered arrangement will certainly prevent the meter box from getting covered up, but no better than the fit between the two boxes is, I'm not sure it will stop dirt from washing inside.► “Afternoon Walk: Neighbors hay barn over on the county road.”
Thursday at 4:58 pm
► “Fixed a double batch of pancakes for Jo to warm and eat for breakfast over the next couple of weeks. (61F/16C @ 8 PM)” -- Thursday at 8:19 pm
► “Midnight: Moderately gusty south wind ... clear skies ... 59F/15C ... didn't even need to build a fire in the wood stove this evening.” -- Friday at 1:54 am
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
► 10 AM: Clear, sun-filled skies and 55F/12C. Need to finish up my "chores" on the computer so I can make a trip to town.
► Up to 67F/19C @ noon. Warmer outside than inside the house. I reckon I should open a few windows.
► Blog Post: Nature in the Ozarks: A Little Miscellaneous
► Re-provisioning required. Heading into town in T-shirt weather. 74F/23C @ 2:30 PM.
► Back from town. Expensive re-provisioning trip since neither Jo nor I made the run for almost two weeks. 57F/14C @ 7 PM.
► Nothing exciting going on in town. I made all the usual stops: Bank, post office, feed store and grocery store. I also filled up Jo's kerosene jug since it's getting chilly enough she needs the kerosene heater in her studio. Gasoline at the grocery store was $2.29/gallon, but the price of kerosene has not fallen. It cost me a few cents shy of $20.00 to purchase four-and-a-half gallons.
► Started Jo's kiln on a bisque firing. It's not supposed to get nearly as cold tonight as it has been. (54F/12C @ midnight)
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
► Jo's kiln is up to 1034ºF/556ºC. All the wax has burned off and the fumes vented. Shut the lid fully. (36F/2C @ 3 AM)
The area right behind our garden. This area was cleared only a year or so before we bought this place. The previous owners were trying to make a pasture out of it, but Jo and I decided it was much to steep for that purpose. We've let the trees grow back.
► Time for some sleep. (34F/1C @ 4:45 AM)
► First cuppa coffee is so-o-o-o good. (They're all pretty darned nice.) 41F/5C, sunny skies, light wind @ 10 AM.
► Time to move on to off line projects. (51F/10C @ 1 PM)
Our garden for 2008 is over. Temperatures a few degrees below freeze did in everything except for some dill weed. Of course, there's still a lot of work needing done out there, but no more produce to harvest.
► Back from a pleasant afternoon walk up the road. (55F/12C @ 5 PM) Temps forecast for tonight not quite as cold as last night's 30F/-1C.
► Midnight: Clear skies ... calm wind ... 39F/3C. A perfect time for a midnight snack, I'd say.
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Monday, October 27, 2008
► Midnight: Down to 47ºF/7ºC and dropping. Gusty north wind has not abated. Chilly out considering I'm dressed for our mid-day 77º.
► 3:00 AM: Down to 41ºF/5ºC outside and 65ºF/18ºC inside. Time to crank up the wood stove before the house loses any more heat. Surprisingly, the north wind seems to have mostly laid, at least for the moment.
► Sunny, breezy and 42º/5º @ 10 AM. Thermometer says temperature only fell to 36º/2º overnight, but there's a thin ice layer on the birdbath. Methinks the thermometer pickup is located too close to the house.
► Sunny and 51º/10º at noon. It would be almost pleasant outdoors were the north wind not gusty so strongly. Always staying in the sunshine and out of the wind is tricky.
► Back from PM walk ... 51F/10C @ 5 PM. The north wind that came up again this AM seems to be laying now. Seems warm inside the house after walking. Wish I hadn't thrown those last couple of logs into the wood stove.
► After our end of season harvesting over the past couple of days, we didn't bother turning the electric fence back on. There really wasn't anything needing protection from the deer left out in the garden. This afternoon I saw a doe cautiously approach the garden and then slip inside. She never made it as far as any ot the plants before getting spooked. Now, does the deer entering the garden on the first day the fence was off demonstrate how well the fence is keeping out the deer? Or, was it just a coincidence? I don't know but suspect a little of both -- and probably more of a coincidence. The fence has been off many times.
► Spent some time in the basement getting som spoons made.
All photos take on today's afternoon walk.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008
► 68ºF/20ºC @ 10 AM. Temperature climbing fast with moderate south wind blowing. More "seasonable" temperatures on the way, though. A dry cold front is supposed to bring 30 for tonight and 20s for tomorrow night. Our chilliest temperatures of this fall.
► Noon: Sun shining brightly in a cloudless sky. South wind picking up a little. (76ºF/24ºC)
► With below freezing temperatures in our forecast, Jo did a large, last harvest of tomatoes (mostly green) and peppers. The peppers plants are currently looking better than they have all season, but won't be in a day or two. (75ºF/23ºC @ 3 PM.)
Growing peppers is usually a no-brainer. You just stick the plants in the ground and they grow, producing lots of tasty chilies -- not this year in our garden, though. The poblano chilies eventually produced a decent crop of peppers late in the seasons. We got a handful of jalapenos and no bell peppers.
The cause of our pepper growing difficulties is a mystery to me, but as you can see by looking behind the poblanos in the foreground, the other pepper plants barely grew any larger than the transplants we set out into the garden in June. Several times during the growing season, the plants looked as if they were going to take off and start growing, but then they'd suffer a set back and lose most of their leaves. Now that we are at the very end of the growing season, the peppers are looking better than they have all summer. The bells even have dozens of tiny peppers on them. A lot of good that's going to
do with below freezing temperatures in our forecast.
Another concession made to the upcoming freezing temperatures was bringing a hanging basket of impatiens inside. These were another of the dollar-a-plant closeout bargains Jo purchased from the grocery store in early summer. Normally, we leave annuals outside to suffer their predetermined fates in late fall, but these impatiens were looking so beautiful Jo just could not stand to let them freeze. She brought them inside even though with all the other houseplants now inside the house, we really do not have room for them. They are sitting atop Rusty's dog crate where they will no doubt fade rapidly in our too dark house. Still, they will be pretty to look at for several days.
► Back from PM walk. Methinks the wind direction may be shifting to the north. Kinda swirling around in our holler. (72ºF/22ºC @ 5 PM)
► Gusty north wind has dropped the temperature to 56ºF/13ºC @ 8 PM. Temp heading down to 34ºF/1ºC tonight NOAA says. I doubt it gets quite that cold up here on the ridge.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008
10 AM: Sunny ... no wind ... 53ºF/11ºC. Jo says there was a little bit of frost around earlier. Our first of this fall.
Noon: Not a cloud in the sky. South wind picking up a little. 62ºF/16ºC What am I doing still indoors on this beautiful day.?!!
Jo harvested a half bushel of crowder peas. Anyone want to help shell them? (71ºF/21ºC @ 2 PM)
Photo Tip: Putting a fresh battery pack on the charger and sticking the low one back into the camera will not extinguish the low battery warning. Doh!
A few clouds moved in during the afternoon giving more interest to this shot of the woods and pasture along the road about midway between our place and the gate. Unfortunately, the power lines ended up in the photo too.
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Friday, October 24, 2008
Started Jo's kiln on a bisque firing. 49º F (9º C) at midnight.
Sunny, but a gusty south wind trumps the sunshine if you are outdoors.. 54º F (12º C) @ 11 AM.
Jo just toted a jug of hot water over to her pottery studio. It's chilly enough she wants her throwing water warmed. There's no hot water in her studio so she usually puts a kettle atop her kerosene heater, but that water isn't warm yet. 60º F (15º C) @ 2PM.
Back from PM walk. South wind has laid a bit. A few cumulus clouds scattered around, all the better for adding interest to pix. 60ºF/15ºC @ 5 PM.
Losing the ball yesterday meant today's session of fetch with the dogs was played with a new tennis ball, a ball that still bounced. We usually play with the same ball until it's way, way past dead -- until the cover comes off.
This maple is one of the prettiest trees along the road we walk most afternoons.
(Speaking of playing fetch with a tennis ball... The Chuckit is one of the greatest inventions I've run across in a long time, unless you enjoy having hands covered with dogs slobber, of course.)
Another fire this evening. The temperature was down to 44ºF/6ºC at midnight.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Light to moderate rain continues. No storms just soggy fall funkiness. 52º F (11º C) @ 1 AM.
Blog post: Hodgepodgery: Journal: Tuesday, 10/21/08
(Features photos of monarch butterfly and bumble bee.)
Since most of our fall wildflowers have already bloomed out, the zinnias in our garden are a very popular place among the butterflies and other pollinators.
Light rain continues falling at 4:00 AM. Temperature has only drop another degree to 51º F (10º C).
Bedtime. Very light drizzle falling at the moment, A 60% chance of showers forecast for the remainder of the day. 50º F (10º C) @ 5 AM.
Sunny and 50º F (10º C) @ 10 AM. Rain moved on through dropping only .5" precipitation. More clouds and slight chance of showers forecast for tonight and Friday.
Since the sun is shining, Jo washed a load of clothes and hung them out on the clothesline. South wind coming up. 58º F (14º C) @ noon.
Blog Post: Nature in the Ozarks: Bird's Foot Violet (Viola pedata)
Normally a spring-blooming wildflower, a few bird's foot violets along the road out insist upon late summer or early fall blooming too.
Took our normal walk up the road to the gate and back. It still hasn't gotten cold enough for Jo, Rusty, Bucket and I to start venturing back out into the woods. And, when venturing into the woods, there's always deer hunting season to keep in mind. Deer seasons of various types will continue for a while. That concern isn't as bad as it once was since our neighbor became much more restrictive about allowing others to hunt on his land. Still, there occasionally hunters unknown to us on Jerry Joe's property, not to mention the possibility of a trespasser.
Fall color progressing, but it's a race to see how many leaves change color before others just fall off. My guess is this year's fall color is going to be below par, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
Fired up the wood stove for the first time this fall -- just a little fire to keep the house from being nippy inside tomorrow morning. We might have had a fire a couple of evening last week had I gotten the stove pipe cleaned out sooner. (65º inside and 50º outside at 11 PM).
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
“Mostly cloudy and 63º F (17º C) @ 11 AM. Damp south wind, too. A little rain in PM forecast. More rain forecast for tomorrow.”
“Noon: 68º F (20º C). Clouds decreasing; south wind increasing. With cooler temperatures on the way, I really ought to get the stove pipe cleaned out this afternoon. Without a good cleaning, we cannot stoke up a fire in our wood stove, and wood is our only source of heat.”
“Toted another box of clay over to Jo's studio. It's the least I can do since she's chained to her wheel preparing for our next art fair. Skies fluctuating between partly and mostly cloudy. South wind starting to gust. Great weather for climbing around on the roof. 70º F (21º C) @ 1 PM”
“Stovepipe cleaning in progress, but took a break to go on our afternoon walk. Dragging out the extension ladder and propping it safely against the roof edge is not the hardest part of this chore, but it is the point of maximum inertia. Now that I've passed that point, I'll finish the job. The pipe is cleaned out. Now I just need to replace the cap and flange up some other odds and ends."
“Stove pipe cleaned. The weather can turn cold and nasty whenever it wants because we can now fire up the wood stove whenever we want. We even have an atypically large supply of firewood remaining from last winter. A firewood supply of a half dozen sticks or fewer is how we usually enter fall.”
“Rain's been in our forecast for the past two days, but NOAA kept pushing back the start time. Light showers have finally begun falling. No heavy rain or lightening thus far.”
“Hot water heater is suddenly producing scalding hot water. I cranked the thermostat down, but it may need replacing. I don't like the idea of a hot water heater thermostat choosing it's own setting. At least, it is still shutting off the element.”
(From my feed on FriendFeed.)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
After several days of abundant sunshine, today began overcast. Several days of fall funk in our forecast. 63º F (17º C) @ 10 AM.
The sun partially burned through our overcast, producing a bit of hazy sunshine -- more sunshine than I expected. 71º F (21º C) @ noon.
Dug potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potato harvest was on the low side of pathetic. Yukon Gold potato yield was worse. Read about our potato harvest on Nature in the Ozarks.
Twas and outstanding day for creating dirty dishes for me to wash. This happens when Jo cooks a big meal. (Which doesn't happen often and that's fine by me.) A counter full of dishes needing washed also happens when everything we eat during the course of the day empties a leftover's container. Today was definitely an empty container sort of day. I thought I'd never finish washing all those dishes.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Researching, cropping photos, etc. for a blog post on squash bugs, but I need to get on with my day leaving the post unfinished until this evening.
Afternoon: Lots of little projects. None of them really worth talking about.
Dogs: Play with the dogs for a while again this afternoon. When I discussed playing fetch with Rusty and Bucket yesterday, I made it sound like a purely altruistic activity. It isn't. Yes, I am concerned about them becoming total couch potatoes and preventing that is one of the reasons we play, but we also play fetch to burn off some of their energy. Someone once said, "A good dog is a tired dog." There's a lot of truth to that. Our cooler fall temps have boosted the dogs' energy level several steps. We burn off a little of that excess energy playing fetch, helping protect the inside of the house from being totally destroyed when Rusty and Bucket play with each other.
Cucumber: Jo harvested a cuke this afternoon. That's got to be a late season record for our garden. Of course, this cuke did not come from one of the vines we planted. Those sucuumbed to wilt before producing more than a half dozen fruits. A volunteer cucumber vine in the strawberry bed produced several cukes and this is the latest of those.
Temperatures: 79º/55º. 61º at midnight.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Early Morning: Blog post on Nature in the Ozarks: Cloudless Sulphur butterfly (Phoebis sennae)
Late Morning: Getting into the downside of our last cold front: A little warmer, a few high clouds around and south wind picking up. 64º @ noon.
Afternoon: South wind picked up some more, but the day was still what I'd call nice. We've really enjoyed these sunny days, which is good because rain moves into our forecast by mid-week.
Played with the dog: During the longer days of summer, I figure Rusty and Bucket get enough exercise. They spend more time outside and come out into the garden with Jo and I in the late afternoon. While we work, they play -- at least part of the time. However, starting about now and through the winter, the dogs spend almost all their time just laying around in the house. So, in the winter when the weather permits, I spend a little time playing fetch with them after our afternoon walk.
What's amazing is how much Rusty and Bucket remember about our little ritual, not just the basics of chasing the tennis ball and bringing it back, but also which dog plays first, where we play, how we end a session and, especially, when I dispense dog treats. You'd think we last played yesterday instead of six months ago. I wish they remembered how to behave even half as well.
Evening: I often take a little nap in the early evening which is my mid-day. This evening I didn't get my timer set right and ended up sleeping for two and a half hours. I guess that was good since I evidently needed the sleep, but I didn't get much else accomplished this evening.
Temperature range: 71º/49º. 56º @ midnight.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Late Morning: Another beautiful fall day in the Ozarks. (Yes, that's redundant, but I will never tire of saying it.) A little warmer than yesterday. The wind has become variable and picked up a little -- probably in the process of shifting around to the south. 66º F (18º C) at 11 AM.
Houseplants: Jo finished transporting all our potted plants and hanging baskets into the house for the winter. I helped by carrying a few of the larger ones.
Young Buck: A young buck came down for a drink at the small pond visible from our kitchen window. Doesn't he know this is the fist day of muzzle loading deer season and he should stay hidden in the woods? Having never been a hunter, I am not familiar with the terminology describing a young buck's antlers -- the degree of antler formation necessary before he can be legally shot. This one had a long and a short tine on each side of his head.
Another Fall Art Fair: Both Jo and I applied to the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Covington, LA. Jo did the show last year for the first time. Considering the distance from our place to southern Louisiana plus all the great things we'd heard about the show, Jo's sales were not up to our expectations, but they were good enough for us to give it another shot. However, neither Jo nor I got into the show this year. Both of us were placed on the standby list. Today, Jo received an email saying someone had cancelled and inviting her to exhibit in the show. Jo accepted.
Blog posts from last year's Three Rivers show:
So, it looks as if Jo and I will be heading south in a few weeks. That means Jo will be busy, busy, busy in her pottery studio. It also means that we need to find a new place for boarding Rusty and Bucket that's south of us. In years past we boarded the dogs at our local vet's. Her office was right on the way if we were heading south and only slightly out of the way if we were heading north. However, due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances, she was forced to close her office early last spring -- and we were forced to find new places for boarding our dogs. We found a vet up in Harrison that we like for boarding, but that's an extra 80 mile round trip if we're heading south. We also used a vet's office to the south for boarding last spring, but did not think our dogs received adequate care. We must find a new boarding facility.
Weather: Temperature range = 74/48. Clear skies. Light and variable wind.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Blog post on Hodgepodgery: Trying out the slide in the playground at Sequiota Park in Springfield, MO.
Chilling down tonight. 45º F (7º C) @ 3 AM.
Blog post on Nature in the Ozarks: Spider Wasp.
A beautiful, cloudless, windless fall day going on here. 65º F (18º C) @ noon. I need to get off this computer and get outside to enjoy this wonderful weather.
It seems strange: Here it is Friday and we're not driving to a show. Nor must we set up a booth later this afternoon. Woohoo!
Jo began the process of migrating our potted plants from the porch to various places inside the house. She washed off their leaves and made room for them inside. In my capacity as the strong-backed, weak-minded member of our family, I assisted in moving the heavier pots out into the yard for their baths. Tomorrow they will again become houseplants, a status they do not appreciate. Many will drop most of their leaves in protest. Little do they know how much worse it would be if we left them outside.
Jo also blanched and removed the skins from a few tomatoes so she could freeze them. In 20+ years of gardening in Arkansas, this is the first time we've had excess tomatoes in October. Most years, the majority of the plants succumb to the heat and arid conditions of August.
Mystery smell solved: All week we've been catching whiffs of a slightly sweet, slightly acrid smell, but could not figure out its source. On her way out to the brush pile this afternoon, Jo discovered where the smell originated: A large quantity of persimmons have fallen to the ground and fermented. I'm sure Rusty and Bucket would love to clean up the fallen persimmons, but I'd greatly prefer some raccoon, opossum or coyote eat their fill of fermented fruits. Cleaning up after wild critters is not my job.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Light rain continues off and on. 56º @ 3:00 AM.
Woke up to a ruckus of dog barking. Rusty periodically checks the windows, seeing if there's anything outside requiring a barking session. Bucket readily adds her voice to the din. Seldom does she know exactly what she's barking at, but never lets that curb her enthusiasm.
We received a new cool front ushering in more fall-like temperatures. A half inch of rain fell last evening and overnight. 58º @ noon.
Made a routine trip into town. We needed a few groceries and I needed to get the checks from our last show into the bank. Absolutely nothing in town has changed since I was last there. I lie! The price of gasoline is down to $2.79/gallon. It was $2.49/gallon in Missouri on Monday.
An odd aspect of shopping in a small town in a rural area is that you often keep encountering the same people as you visit various businesses and services. Most everyone saves up his/her errands and combines several stops into one trip. And, there are only a limited number of places where one can go when in town: Feed store (1), grocery store (1), library (1), lumber yard (1), auto supply (2), bank (4). (I don't know why we have so damned many banks in town. You'd think there was a lot of money in the county and that's certainly not the case.) Anyway, it's not at all unusual to encounter the same person in more than one establishment while in town. Today, I saw the same friend three different times.
The temperature dipped down to 47º. I really ought to start thinking about cleaning out the stove pipe so that we can have a fire in the wood stove.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Nearly caught up with my online activities -- at least, as caught up as I'm going to get. The rest I'm going to let slide and start all over again.
Blog Post on Nature in the Ozarks: Seed caught in spider web.
Noon: Overcast skies and 75º. NOAA says we have a 40% chance of rain after one o'clock. After this little cold front moves through our area, the weather is supposed to feel a little more fall-like with high temperatures in the sixties. That's still warm for mid-October in the Ozarks. In years past, we'd be anticipating our first hard frost by now. Several light frost would have already occurred. We haven't even gotten close to a frost yet this year, though.
Cooked up a big batch of waffles and cleaned up the mess from that activity. So went the majority of my early afternoon.
Walked up to the gate and back. At 77º and around 80% relative humidity, that was a sticky trip.
At five o'clock it looks as if we may finally be getting the rain forecast for earlier in the PM. Light rain falling and hearing thunder in the distance.
The light rain persisted for a couple of hours and then ceased until late in the evening when we received more showers. (I haven't made it out to the rain gauge to check the exact amount yet.) No heavy rain or storms occurred in our area. Our temperature began falling during the evening and was down to 59º at midnight.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Woke up to overcast skies and a very light drizzle. We received a light rain shower around ten o'clock -- maybe .1" of rain.
Skies have cleared to mostly cloudy and the sun is breaking through occasionally. Temperature is up to 76º.
Not that you can really tell much from this distance with our camera, but the geese are heading south. There may have been others, but this is the first flight I've seen this fall.
Spent the morning on the computer updating my journal posts to include the past weekend at Art in the Park in Springfield, MO.
Unloaded most everything out of the van for the first time in four weeks. The shelving boards and canopy frame are the only items remaining inside.
Jo is back to work building up inventory. She says she's teaching herself how to throw pots again. She had very little time to work on pottery between shows. What little time she had was devoted to either bisque firing pots already thrown or glazing and firing pots already bisqued. Jo hasn't actually thrown a pot in a little over a month.
We walked to the gate an back. While in Springfield, we walked ever day, but walking on flat land is not the same as hiking in our hills. A little more fall color is beginning to show, though you cannot tell we are well into fall by the temperature, which made it up to 77º today.
Skies continued alternating between partly and mostly cloudy. At day's end, partly cloudy appears to be winning, though there's a high chance of rain in tomorrow's forecast.
Heard from a friend of ours concerning the medical condition of her little Yorkie. Marsha Becker-Kyle was set up next to Jo and I at the Art in the Park show in Springfield, MO. During most of the show, her two little Yorkies (Baby and Roxy) stayed in her van, but she had them out Sunday afternoon. To make a long story short, Roxy fell of a plastic tote. She yelped quite a bit at the time and wouldn't put any weight on the leg for the rest of the afternoon. Marsha took Roxy to the vet on Monday. One of her front legs was dislocated at the shoulder. After being anesthetized, Roxy's leg was popped back into place. Her leg is sore, but she's doing okay. Marsha and her husband Jay will be in Arkansas Wednesday setting up for the Bella Vista Art Fair. The girls will be boarded at the vet's this time around.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Art in the Park, Sequiota Park, Springfield (MO): Bari Precious of Precious Pots.
Driving between Springfield (MO) and Harrison (AR) was not fun. The wind was blowing fairly strong and hitting the van and trailer at a bad angle. Holding the van on the road was difficult at times, especially when passed by a large vehicle. Getting passed happens quite a lot when pulling the Scotty, especially going up hill. I was glad to take a break when we got to the rest area outside of Harrison. The wind caused fewer problems on the remainder of the trip home.
Leon Von Weelden: In addition to his unique line of pottery (Cracked Pot Clayworks), Leon is also a puppeter and clown. I think he even has a "real" job, too.
Jo and I arrived home around 1 PM. We ate some lunch followed by a short nap. (The nap might have been longer except Rusty and, especially, Bucket decided we ought to get up and get moving.) We unloaded our personal belongings from the van and trailer. Then, I moved the Scotty back into its parking spot.
Aside for some cleaning, straightening and washing up, that's about all we accomplished after returning home.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
After the show got going, the crowd and sales were fairly good Saturday morning. The crowd fell off around noon, but picked back up in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the afternoon crowd wasn't into doing a lot of buying, at least, not from Jo and I. Our Saturday sales were way behind last year.
Art in the Park at Sequiota Park is a small show and our sales have never been terrific. Jo and I continued doing the show because our expenses are low. Our bottom line is better than gross sales indicate. However, this year the gross sales were just too low. We'll give the show another chance, though. The show is easy to do and we know most of the exhibitors. We are also members of the Southwest Missouri Art Guild, the promoter of the show.
Galloway Station Bar and Grill provided the food concession. Artists were given free meals both Saturday and Sunday. The bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut were good.
After the show on Saturday, a group of us went over to a friends house for supper: Pinto beans, jalapeno cornbread, apple pie and ice cream. We ate, visited with friends for a while, the headed back to the RV park and walked the dogs. Jo and I were in bed by a little after ten o'clock.
Friday, October 10, 2008
First stop: Searcy County Courthouse. We'd forgotten our county property taxes when Jo went into town on Wednesday. They are due today. We had to get our taxes paid before leaving town for the weekend. Didn't take long.
Second stop: Wally World in Harrison. A couple of items bought, but mainly needed to stretch our legs and use their facilities. A rest area is just a few miles up the road, but it's on the wrong side. It's sometimes very difficult to get a break in the traffic so one can pull back onto Highway 65 heading toward Springfield.
Got to Ozark Highlands Mobile Home Park a little before noon. (135 miles) The mobile home park has around 300 spaces for mobile homes. When we first started using Ozark Highlands, all these spaces were used by permanent residents. There was a gravel lot with hook ups in the back of the park for three dozen or so RVs. Many of the RV slots were always taken by long-term occupants -- construction workers and the like.
In recent years, more and more long-term occupants are assigned spaces amongst the permanent residents. I supposed the demand for mobile home spaces has fallen over the years as it became easier to finance a non-mobile home. Now there are always plenty of spaces available in the RV lot whereas in the past, reservations made well ahead of time were necessary.
Jo and I got the Scotty situated in its RV slot, which doesn't take long, and had a sandwich for lunch. I tried to catch a quick nap, but Rusty and Bucket went off on a barking session about the time I fell asleep, so that was the end of my nap. We drove on down to Sequiota Park to set up for the Art in the Park show. The show site is only about three miles from the RV park.
Since we had only one booth to set up and most of the afternoon in which to accomplish that task, we didn't get in any big rush. We piddled at setting up the booth and stopped to visit with several new arrivals as they pulled into the park. By seven o'clock we had the booth set up. Since there was no bad weather in the forecast, Jo even put her pots out on the shelves. (She doesn't usually do that until Saturday morning.) We headed back to the trailer for the remainder of the evening.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
On the computer until noon.
Threw one of my favorite pair of cutoffs away this morning. Jo said they were grossing her out and not worth the soap needed to wash them again.
Worked on making sure the Scotty was ready to tow to Springfield, MO, Friday morning. Tightened the trailer ball on the van's hitch. It had worked loose and was sliding around the last time I towed the Scotty. Aired up the trailer's tires. Made sure the lights were working.
The Scotty is hooked to the van and we're ready to head out -- after we spend a couple of hours taking care of last minute details, of course.
Not having to make a trip into town to purchase a new tire this week was nice -- and cheaper too.
Worked on end of quarter bookkeeping and tax payments.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Jo was gone when I awoke this morning Jo was gone. She left a note saying: "The truck is arriving early so there is underwear in the washer."
Translation: We are members of a bulk food buying group. Jo was scheduled to help unload the truck when it arrived in Marshall mid-morning. She'd planned to wash a load of white clothes and hang them out on the clothesline before leaving for town, but received a phone call informing her the truck was running ahead of schedule. She didn't have time to hang out the clothes, so I needed to take care of that little chore. I did. She later informed me that I'd hung our socks upside down, but they got dry nonetheless.
We've been a member of a bulk natural foods buying group for several years. In fact, our group is currently on it's third vendor. For many years there was a natural foods coop over in Fayetteville, AR, and we bought from them. Three or four years ago, that coop suffered a variety of financial problems and ended up folding. Another coop formed and serving much of the same area. It was struggling along trying to make a go of it when fuel prices skyrocketed. It went belly up too. For several months our buying group did no buying because we couldn't find a supplier that would deliver in Arkansas and also had a low enough minimum order for our small group. This order was placed with a coop that's affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They only deliver to Arkansas every couple of months and have a limited inventory, but are much better than nothing. Our group of old hippie-types associating with a relatively strict religious group is kind of weird, but a desire for bulk natural foods makes for strange bedfellows, it seems.
Besides hanging out the clothes, I spent most of the morning playing catch up on the computer.
I moved our ancient little camper trailer from its parking place to a location more accessible for cleaning and loading. We only use the little Scotty trailer a couple of times a year these days. It's just too much of a hassle and extra strain on the van to use the Scotty for doing shows unless the show is relatively nearby. This week's show is up in Springfield, MO, and that qualifies as relatively nearby.
Later I partially unloaded and reloaded the van. We brought about seven empty boxes back from St. Louis. At this point, Jo only had the inventory to refill one. In one way, loading the van for our upcoming show should be easy. We have less inventory. Plus, all our food and clothing can go into the Scotty. One the other hand, because of its venue in a park and cooler weather, we take Rusty and Bucket with us to this show. Working two large dog crates into the van requires quite a bit of re-arranging.
Rehung the repaired rabbit cage and moved a young buck into it.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
► Rain began during the evening -- light at first, but heavier at times overnight.
► Catching up with my journal posts so they include last weekend at the Historic Shaw Artfair.
► Rain stopped a couple of hours ago. (So Jo says.) We've even seen a few patches of blue sky. There's still a 70% chance of more showers in our forecast, though. We've received an even one inch of rain thus far.
► Sky keeps alternating from partly to mostly cloudy, but no more rain yet. 69º @ noon.
► A lot of piddling little chores accomplished, including washing up all the dirty dishes, ice chest trays, sandwich containers, etc. brought back from our road trip. Fun, fun, fun.
► Walked up to the gate and back. A few leaves are beginning to turn, but not really fall-like yet. We may not have very much fall color unless our temperatures start chilling down a bit more. (Yes, I've read experts who claim that day length and not temperature governs when leaves change color. Based on personal observation, I believe temp has a large influence too.)
► Finally finished replacing the bottom in that rabbit cage.
Flora Place is a tree-line boulevard in the center of the Shaw neighborhood. The largest houses in the neighborhood were built here in the early Twentieth Century.
More Shaw photos on Brightkite.
Historic Shaw Art Fair ... St. Louis, MO ... October 4 & 5, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
I'd hoped to make it all the way back to Ozark, MO, before stopping for "the cheapest gasoline in Missouri." However, we encountered a strong headwind along the way and the van began gulping gasoline even faster than normal. Paying a little more for gas was preferable to running out along the way. We filled up at Redmond's Candy Factory about fifty miles east of Springfield. The Candy Factory and adjoining Gift Store are really out in the middle of nowhere and I've never seen more that a few cars around. I don't see how they stay in business, but they've been open for several years. Their gasoline was $2.99/gallon. (Gas in Ozark was only $2.79, but we didn't need any.)
Around one o'clock we made it to the rest area just outside of Harrison, AR, where we ate lunch. After eating, we drove a bit further down the road to Wally World and then to the vet's. Bailing out Rusty and Bucket was expensive. In addition to their boarding, both had a heart worm test and we picked up a three-month supply of heart worm pills.
After driving on into Marshall and filling up the van's gas tank one final time for this trip ($3.29/gallon), we finally made it home around four o'clock. (772 miles round trip, plus to and from show.) Jo and I unloaded our personal stuff from the van. A light mist began falling while we were unloading. The mist progressed into rain overnight.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
As usual, Jo booked our room using Priceline. We are staying in a Fairfield Inn by Marriott. It's layout is typical for a hotel, meaning that one enters through the lobby. I prefer a motel arrangement where one can access one's room without undergoing scrutiny by the desk clerk. It's not that Jo and I are involved in anything elicit, but our "luggage" is a motley assortment of plastic totes, duffel bags, canvas totes and the like. And, because we very seldom eat out while on the road, a couple of ice chest are also part of our travelling paraphernalia. Our gear works well for loading into the van and doing shows, but is on the shabby side for carting through a hotel lobby.
Our daily trips to and from the show don't make better presentation. These usually include a large green tote, ice chest and plastic basket transported on a two-wheeled dolly.
Our worst situation occurred at a Hilton in Huntsville, AL. Rain fell all day on Sunday. We packed and loaded in the rain. We -- and all our belongings -- were dripping wet. The Hilton's lobby was long and narrow with the desk on one side and entrances to a fancy restaurant and bar on the other. We carted our belongings through that long lobby while looking like a couple a drowned rats and dripping water all the way.
Motels are better, but we stay wherever Priceline finds the best deal.
Breakfast: At least the Fairfield did offer a great breakfast: Bagels, donuts, waffles, fruit, cereal and sausage or bacon, cheese and egg biscuits to microwave. We ate at the hotel since the show wasn't doing a very good job with breakfast munchies.
Down to Shaw: Since no rain was in the forecast, we removed the canopy sides -- one less thing to remove, fold and pack during teardown. We moved the pottery boxes from inside the canopy where we store them overnight and stacked them behind the booth for the day. Jo restocked her shelves as we moved the boxes. (Whenever possible, keeping Jo's boxes of pottery near the booth is preferable to loading them back into the van. She has a backstock of some items and restocks during the day.)
Sales: Sales were good again, but just not quite up to this show's potential.
Tearing down and packing up: The show closed at 5 PM. Despite the fact we had only had one booth, it still took Jo and I until 7:30 to get everything packed and loaded into the van. There's just no way around the fact that we have a lot of STUFF to pack and load, and the majority of that STUFF belongs to Jo. Still, we were not the last to leave as we usually are. Several other artists were still packing up when we headed back to the hotel.