Tuesday, February 28, 2023

T Stands for A Happy Little Time Waster


Last Tuesday, I showed some images of the Skylink satellites visible in the night sky. Thanks to my friends, Teague and Andy Fish, telling me about the app, Skyview, I can show you a happy, little, time waster. With this app, you can point it at objects in the sky and be shown constellations, planets, satellites, the International Space Station, etc.

The cool thing about the app is you don't need to be outside to use it. I was in the studio playing with the app. There's a setting for augmented view so you see the objects as if they were in the night sky instead of the background of my untidy studio.

The above image shows the constellation, Aquarius, the water bearer (and my drink reference ticket for T Day) as the constellation appeared at approximately 11:30 AM on 22. February 2023. Look what else is also in or "near" the constellation, Aquarius. From left to right, the blue dot is the planet, Neptune, the white dot that looks like Aquarius' belly button is Sol, the sun, next is the planet Saturn, and the dot just below the  water bearer's elbow is Mercury.

For Iris, the constellation, Leo (also my Zodiac sign) With the app, you can focus on an object and the app will tell you what it is. The object in Leo's rump, is Seasat 1. Searching, I found Seasat was an early satellite launched in 1978 from  JPL and was "designed to test various oceanographic sensors and gain a better understanding of Earth's seas."

All the little stick like things in the image are various satellites from the US and other countries, and bits and pieces of rockets. I was surprised how many satellites and space junk are floating around. It's a wonder there aren't tons of collisions with all the junk circling the earth.

Skyview is available for both iOS and Android. There is a paid version (for less than a cup of coffee or tea) and a Lite or free version.

There's a Skyview Lite tour on Youtube so you can see some of the features of the app.

Okay, I'm going to geek out some more and play because traveling in the augmented Universe is way more fun than cleaning or going through storm prep.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Book of Marks - Cover Reveal

I received several requests to see the Book of Marks when it was completed. It's pretty much done so in strip tease fashion, here's the reveal. Be careful what you wish for. 😉

The book closure was supposed to be a ribbon and button wrap. Having to buy supplies without a clear idea of what things would look like was difficult as well as Michael's having an extremely limited supply of ribbon. The ribbon I bought was not going to coordinate with the book. 

I had some crochet thread that matched the colors of the book so I opted to use that. Last Monday, I posted about rummaging through the button box to find a suitable button to use. There were a couple of teal buttons I liked but they seemed too small. 

I opted for a grey button which tied in with the grey of the background and let the multicolor thread shine. I attached a charm shaped like a hand which is stamped "hand made", but I'm not sure I really like it

The thread wraps around the back of the book.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Who was the one who put all their Winter things away and brought out their Spring and Summer clothes? Or the one who said it wasn't a bad Winter. At least we didn't get a lot of snow? Well, thanks a lot, pal, because you jinxed it. Winter is making a come back

A red sky morning

I'd rather have a glazed donut instead of a glaze of ice

The ice was like concrete and hard to scrape off

After the first pass on and salt on the front walk. One of the best home improvements we did was to have the stairs at the house electrified.

The salt did its job on the walk, and the electricity melted the ice from the stairs. Safe and dry to walk on.

Cold kitty

Ice encased rails. In the background, Calli watches me take a photograph

Fire and ice

Another red sky morning.

I know, Dedo. I know. Hang in there, only 115 days until the Summer Solstice.

Aw, 🤬

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Fun Facts About the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


From 1998, the official state polka, Say Hello to Someone in Massachusetts, written by Lenny Gomulka

Friday, February 24, 2023

The Friday Five Good Things

 Five good things that happened this week.

1. We enjoyed a lovely brunch and tea at the UxLocale 

2. Up early and done with shopping before 9 am on Sunday

3. Hung out with Teague. Like minds think alike. I brought a Boston Cream Pie, and she made decadent brownies with a fudgy sauce.

4. Because of the unseasonably warm temperatures this Winter, we saved some on the heating oil bill this month.

5. We didn't lose electricity during the storm

How was your week?

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Happy Mail


This is the adorable Valentine my tablemate, L sent to me. I love the little dimensional heart. L has been sending me Valentines since our year long calligraphy class in 2017 with Reggie Ezell

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Whatcha Doin?


Seems Old Man Winter is going to rear his ugly head. My area is under a Winter Storm Advisory of mixed precipitation. Total snow accumulation of 2 inches and ice accumulation of around 1/4 inch.

While the snow is a pain in the ass. The ice accumulation is a worry. At that thickness, tree and power lines could come down.

Fortunately, the solar panels will charge the solar battery backup so in case of power failure. But I have a superstition that if I go through the process of storm preparation (mainly filling some buckets of water so we can flush the toilet. Before the solar battery, no electricity meant no power to the well pump and no way to flush the toilet), then we won't lose electricity or lose it for very long.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

T Stand For What's That Up In The Sky?

What's that up in the sky? Is it Orion? Yes, but that's not what I'm talking about

Is it Venus (top) and Jupiter (bottom)? No. Or if you look to the right of Venus, the bright object and the one below it in the tree without branches? Those are two of the stars that form the Great Square of Pegasus. Nope, not what I'm talking about.

It's the SpaceX Starlink satellite that provides Internet access (that straight, diagonal line in the middle of the picture) Traveling from West



Hurry and drink you tea before it gets cold. What else can we see in the night sky?

That straight line of stars between the two tree tops is the constellation Andromeda.

Just above the tree and slightly to the right, is the W that forms Andromeda's mother, Queen Cassiopeia.

We can look South, back to Orion. We can see Betelgeuse that forms his right shoulder, Bellastrix that forms his left shoulder. His right knee is Saiph, and his left knee is Rigel. The three stars in his belt from left to right are Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. Hidden behind the trees if you follow the stars in Orion's belt to the left would be the brightest object in the Winter sky, Sirius in the constellation Canis Major.

From Betelgeuse follow a straight line to Aldebaran, which forms the horn to Taurus, the bull. Just above the right side of the V is part of the constellation, Auriga, the charioteer. To the right of Taurus, you can see the clump of stars that form the Pleiades or the 7 Seven Sisters. Just above the Pleiades is the start of the constellation, Perseus.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Book of Marks Process


After the book was sewn, time to go through the button box to find a button for the closure. I like the teal buttons, but I think they may be too small for the 8 in. x 10 in. book.

I had to leave class early so I missed how the closure is done with button and ribbon as well as some of the decorating and ascemic writing inside the book. I'll have to wait until the video of the class is available so I can see what I missed.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

How Does Your Garden Grow?

A confused, little snowbird hangs out on the raspberry vine

because it was sunny and 59 oF. in the middle of February.

A day later, the temperatures dropped enough so the rain

turned out to be an evil mix of snow and ice. The ground was too warm so nothing accumulated

A nice day and the Frau came out of the house

It was sunny with seasonal temperatures. Such weird weather.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Fun Facts About the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Blue hills in Conway, Massachusetts; photo by Jeff Forcier on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Last week, and ode to Massachusetts. This week, the official poem of Massachusetts designated in 1981.

The Blue Hills of Massachusetts
by Katherine E. Mullen

Massachusetts! Massachusetts!
Lovely Bay State by the sea,
Chosen by the Pilgrim Fathers
In their search for liberty.
Massachusetts! Massachusetts!
How we love your Indian name!
Meaning "Great Blue Hill" in Boston,
Named before the white men came.
High locations in the distance,
Are serene, majestic blue,
Like Mount Greylock or Wachusett,
They are fascinating, too.
But from Boston to the Berkshires,
Lesser heights are bathed in blue,
In early dawn or distance,
Like the "Great Hill" Indians knew.
Close to Nature lived the Red Man,
Keen to every form and hue,
Knew the paths, and streams, and wildlife,
And the hills around him, too.
On the wide base of "Great Blue Hill,"
Lived the Massachuset tribe,
Kept their Great Chief's Pilgrim Treaty
While the good man was alive.
Made in faith with Governor Carter,
Sixteen hundred twenty-one,
Kept for forty years, sincerely,
Till his death in sixty-one!
Show the Chief in deerskin brown,
Proudly holding firm his strong-bow,
And one arrow, pointing down.
With our State Star just above,
Tribute to a noble Indian,
Loyal history that we love!
Gentle hillsides and green valleys,
Make our lives so pleasant here,
While the ever-changing seasons
Bring glad contrasts through the year.
Autumn foliage is so brilliant
It is known throughout the world!
Crimson, gold, and blazing orange
In exultant praise unfurled.
But by Christmas time in winter,
There's a wonderland of snow!
Everywhere, a lovely picture
Anywhere that we might go.
And the vigor of the climate
With the challenges we meet,
Make our lives in Massachusetts,
A delightful bitter-sweet!
Massachusetts! Massachusetts!
What a splendid history!
Like our great and glorious Nation,
In its strength for Liberty!
Massachusetts! Massachusetts!
Keep the faith true pride instills!
May our trust in you be steadfast,
As the everlasting hills!

Friday, February 17, 2023

The Friday Five Good Things


 Five good things that happened this week.

1. I received a Valentine from my Reggiment '17 (year long calligraphy class) tablemate.

2. The Home Depot delivery man kindly carried the 10 bags of salt for the water softener into the garage instead of leaving them in the driveway.

3. The Eldest's next traveling lab tech assignment starting April 3, will be at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston! Hopefully, we'll get to see her a few times.

4. Calli's new trick if I'm sitting to come up behind me, stretch up on her hind legs and pat me with her front paw. She lets me know she wants attention and a cuddle After watching Calli, Quill is doing this, too.

5. Thanks to my Lady for blogging about her experience renewing her license. It made me go look at my license to see that it expires this Summer

How was your week?

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Book of Marks Process


The Strathmore watercolor paper ( 22 in.x 30 in.) was cutdown, folded, and sewn with a simple 3-hole pamphlet stitch. (See Teesha Moore's Amazing 16 Page Journal)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Whatcha Doin?


I'm watching the video for the second class of the Book of Marks. I had to leave class early that day so I'm watching what I missed so I can begin working in the book.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

T Stands for Stroopwafels

Not long ago, a few of the T gang were talking about Stroopwafels. I had never had them so when I saw them in the impulse buy area of the checkout lane, I grabbed a package. As per instruction, the waffle is placed over a steaming hot beverage where the heat does it's magic and turns the caramel filling into gooey goodness.

Mmmmm, perfect while watching Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. If you look carefully at the lower right of the picture  you may be able to see Calli asleep in her Christmas Tree house.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Book of Marks - Last Two Pages Reveal

The last two pages

The left side with collage and Ascemic writing

The right side. "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." - Anais Nin

If I had waited until the button was sewn to the flap, I could have punched the hole so the button would be centered in the square. Oh, well. It goes with the Ascemic writing on the opposite page.

Book of Marks Process


After the ink marks were dry, time to add a bit of color, again, to both sides of the paper. You could use anything you had on hand. Watercolor, watercolor pencil, pastels. I used Inktense, watersoluble ink pencils.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The water in the swale flowed too slowly and froze solid in the sub-artic temperatures of last weekend.

High winds

hurled the wall and door panels of the greenhouse around

Temperature swings from one end of the spectrum to the other has us all confused.

One bunny nibbling the grass

followed by another bunny

A red sky morning

We started last weekend, way below freezing, and we ended this weekend way above freezing.

How does your garden grow?