Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Garden Planting Guide

I adapted the Backyard Garden planting guide shown in its blog to where we are now in the planting season. For instance, it is too late for garlic and spinach will not do in a Central Texas summer. :D I'm taking a bit of a chance in planting arugula, but maybe it will survive our heat. Since I've never planted vegetables, I am curious if I have over planted. I am in the experimental stage on all things pertaining to a garden.

The only chore left is to mulch which will be done tomorrow. This promises to be an interesting summer, or year, really. By this time next year, I'll have enough experience with this garden to know how much to plant or not plant. lol One thing for sure is I'll have to learn how to prepare certain veggies for canning or freezing, provided, of course, we have more than we can eat as the veggies mature.

FWIW, I used Paint Shop Pro X2 to make the drawing. I took a six-week introductory class last month and am registered for the second level. If you haven't heard of LVS Online Learning Center, you might check it out. The instructions are good, the classes are inexpensive, and you do it at your leisure.

Until next time, God bless.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garden Progress Report #9 - Maggie Proof

The extra garden space for more tomatoes and whatever is Maggie proofed -- I hope. I tied the extra fencing material very tight at the bottom and am hoping like crazy that Maggie cannot slip under the fence. Maggie is a sweet dog but takes her sentry duties too seriously in that she considers all plants with the exception of rose bushes as intruders. Her self-assigned mission is to police the area and destroy enemies crossing into her territory; plants apparently are an enemy according to Maggie.

The extra fencing doesn't look too pretty; but if it will do the job of keeping Maggie out, then that is all we care about. :D

Today I picked up some cantaloupe, cucumber, arugula, yarrow and lemon balm. I considered doing seeds but will only try that with green beans. Next year I'll try seeds and possibly some in the fall. I've not had what is called a green thumb, more like a black thumb, but this year is going to be different! lol I just know it.

Luc checking to see what I planted and if I planted correctly. I also picked up a little bling for the garden; the copper butterfly, far right in photo.

Luc was satisfied with my progress and stole my glove to let me know that it was time to throw the ball.

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu

I just received an email from a friend who as a lawyer has worked with various pharmaceutical companies. While he indicated that as far as his information is concerned, there is no vaccine, but Tamiflu may be helpful if you come down with it.

Check out the Tamiflu site so you will know what to ask your doctor. The site also gives a review of flu symptoms.

Stay well and until next time, God bless.

Garden Project Report #8 - Recycling At Its Best

Isn't it great when you discover that you did something right without knowing it until later down the road? Yesterday was one of those days. When deciding on where to put the Backyard Botanical Garden, we walked all around discussing this place or that to finally decided to put it here, the back right corner of the yard fence.

The garden has 64 square feet of planting area, but naturally, we need more planting area for everything we want to plant, specifically hubby wants a lot of tomato bushes. Here is where some recycling comes in: we have empty molasses tubs -- molasses is a cattle feed supplement. I drilled some holes in the tub bottoms. We next had to answer where to put them and how to protect them from Maggie, Luc's lady friend. Maggie loves to dig and destroy all plant life except rose bushes.

It came to me that we had to fence off the tubs, but then I needed to get in and out without a lot of effort, i.e., conveniently. It was then that I realized there was a gate in the corner -- this gate has been in that corner for 27 years and never used. The aha! moment came with the discovery of the gate and the realization that we inadvertently placed the garden just a few feet from the gate, or in the perfect spot.

As my Dad would say, "Never, ever throw anything away if it can be used again." The recycling materials on hand were empty molasses tubs, used plastic weed protection, used T-posts brought home when Mom and Dad's place sold, Dad's T-post pounder, and left over fencing from other projects. I was suppose to wait to pound in the T-posts until hubby got home from work today but I couldn't. The T-posts are in and ready for the fencing, the weed protection is down, and the tubs in place and filled with "Double Thunder" dirt. We have three tomato plants in the Backyard Garden, but the last two tomato plants will go into the tubs as soon as the fence is complete. It will take a few minutes to attach the fencing material to the T-posts, and we can keep rolling along towards a Gardenville on the Ranch. :D

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Glass Fusing - The Perfect Edge, Coldworking #1

The first coldworking class was every bit as informative as I imagined. Paul, our instructor, had a slide show with the different methods in coldworking glass. I had no idea there were so many different ways, but we will learn the most basic. Glass fusing is a very narrow craft and most of the machines that are used in coldworking glass are manufactured for the stone and woodworking industries and are adapted or modified by individuals to achieve desired results on glass.

This is the demonstration piece which you can see has a very uneven edge.

Paul of Helios is hard at work using a diamond grit sponge to take off the protruding glass. It takes some elbow grease for sure, but you start with a 60 diamond grit, wet sponge working up to at least a 600 or 800 grit. Depending on the edge you want and the desired effect, you can keep going up to a higher grit. The 60 and 120 grit sponges are used to shape the glass with the higher grits smoothing out and refining the edge. I did not think to take a photo of the end result of this demonstration because he put us to work on our own pieces. And, frankly, I was too anxious to get to work to remember to take a photo.

Paul is an excellent instructor. I knew the class was going to be great and it is!

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Uber Amazing Blog Award

A blogger friend, Judie, passed the above "Uber Amazing Blog" award to me. Judie, The Epitome of True Beauty Lives Within, is a lovely, young lady residing in the Philippines. I thoroughly enjoy reading her blog and you might also. Go over and visit. :D

Now about the "Uber" in "Uber Amazing Blog." Uber means super -- and hey, isn't that neat that Judie thinks my blog is super. Below is the criteria the award and the rules if you accept::

Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who

~ inspires you
~ makes you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:

* Copy the badge and put the logo on your blog sidebar or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to this this post and to the person you received your award from.

These five blogs - not in any particular order - are my nominations for the award:

Mary-Austin, Organized Chaos - Mary-Austin is a delightful lady with many talents. She is a great photographer and shares her life and those of her husband and three children with us. As Janice Woods Windle, author of True Women, says, "every woman has a story to tell." Mary-Austin tells it well.

Daisy, Daisy Soap Girl - Daisy of New York has a wonderful writing style and a passion for making soap. Since I, too, have made soap, she and I had a big laugh over finding Red Devil lye before it was banned from the grocery shelves. We have to have lye to make soap! Visit her site; she has a wonderful selection of hand crafted soaps.

Jean, Thoughts on Jane Austen and Other Cultural Icons - Although I haven't read all of Jane Austen's books, those that I have I love. Jean has devoted this site to all things Jane Austen. It is a wonderful site and a joy to read. Jean makes some lovely jewelry with a Jane Austen theme. If you love Jane Austen, and even if you don't, visit Jean's site because it is truly a delight.

Donna, donna-madeinheaven - Donna left a comment on one of the blog entries. I visited her site and it is fun, full of interesting tidbits, as well as uplifting. Donna authors several other blogs concerning cooking, photography and politics - links to all. Check her out - it will be a treat.

Jean, Jean Levert Hood-Texas Hill Country Painter - Jean is a wonderful painter and photographer. Her paintings are to die for, well, almost, but they are marvelous. Her paintings are uplifting and serene. She is a woman of many talents - she crafts jewelry too. Take a look.

I hope you will visit each of these wonderful blogs for each one is a special treat.

Until next time, God bless.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kiln Shelf Stacking

Stacking shelves works in my kiln! Hooray! Since I have a kiln with the heating element in the top, I've haven't tried stacking shelves to fuse. I have only seen stacked shelves in a kiln with the heating elements on the side. Yesterday, though, I tried stacking shelves in my kiln, and both pieces came out just fine.

You'll notice the top shelf overshadows part of the one below, but apparently, there is no problem in the fusing.

This is the piece below the multicolored piece. I had hoped the lacy white glass would be more transparent for the cranberry streakie to show. However, the lacy white glass fused more opaque than I had hoped. Since this is one of the pieces for the coldworking class tomorrow, I think I'll turn it over, use the cranberry for the top and the white as the bottom. Hopefully, I'll be able to shine up the cranberry in class so it will sparkle enough to use for the top.

I am quite pleased that I can stack shelves because I have been limited using a 12 inch, round ceramic shelf. It is too small for a kiln run for four, 4-inch coasters, and too big for a quick firing of something smaller. In other words, I could not fit the two above pieces on the 12 inch shelf because it is too small. I did not want to do two firings to get the two, 5" pieces. Now, I see there are more options. I discussed some considerations when choosing a kiln in the 10 Basic Glass Fusing Tools on April 8, 2009. This is a good example of the problems with a 14" kiln. I used half-inch posts on the floor of the kiln for the first shelf and half-inch posts for the second shelf on top of the first one. The cool down was three to four hours longer than that needed for a single shelf.

Tomorrow is the first class in The Perfect Edge: A Basic Coldworking Class at Helios. I will take the above unslumped pieces as well as the three, slumped pieces below. The class promises to be fun and I can hardly wait to make "the perfect edge" on all these fused glass pieces. :D
Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Glass Fusing - The Perfect Edge

Saturday, April 25, is the first day of the Basic Coldworking class at Helios Kiln Glass Fusing Center. I am to bring two slumped pieces and two unslumped pieces.

Since everything I have on hand is slumped, I needed to get a couple of pieces done and decided to do a small round dish using Bullseye clear, a cranberry streakie, and a lacy white. I am putting the white over the cranberry, topped with clear, in hopes that it have a very nice effect. We'll see.

I then took the scraps, filled a round form, as a coordinating piece to the first one. And, I am trying something new -- stacking the two pieces in the kiln. The kiln's heating element is in the top only whereas most people that stack trays have the heating element on the side. I'm keeping my fingers crossed all will come out as it should. Again, we'll see. :D I'll let you know if you can give it a try with only a top heating element or it's a big NO, NO.

Until next time, God bless.

Garden Report #7 TAAAA-DAAAA!!!

Whew! Assembled - check. I must admit that the assembling of this garden was a little more involved than I thought. It has been a learning experience. We had one hitch that we couldn't do anything about -- the right side is higher than the left side.

Ooops, ground not level, right side about 1 inch higher than the left. Too late to move -- dirt was already in. It is only evident when you put on the So there was only one thing to do, lower the right gate to match with the left one. :D Over all and considering we are less than "moderately" skilled, like none, we didn't do too badly.

Automatic irrigation timer is in.

On our last rain, I caught some rainwater in an extra container which I will use for watering until there is no more at which time I'll hook up the hose for the automatic irrigation system. All we need is a couple of bags of dirt to level the left side, some more plants, a couple of bricks for the center walk around, and some mulch on top to keep the beds moist.

The plants I bought Monday already look like they have grown an inch or so after just 24 hours in Double Thunder, the dirt from Geo Growers.

Until next time, God bless.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

San Jacinto Day

Today marks the historic battle at San Jacinto when Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna and his army of 1300 and Texas won its independence. Texas had formally declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836.

On the afternoon of April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston and his army of 900 volunteers attacked Santa Anna of Mexico. Sam Houston had been retreating for about six weeks and Santa Anna was not expecting any thing different. The Mexican army bedded down for an afternoon siesta when Sam Houston attacked. Due to the element of surprise, Sam Houston had control of the Mexican camp in eighteen minutes.

Approximately 600 Mexicans were killed, 700 allowed to surrender, with 9 Texans killed or mortally wounded. Sam Houston was shot in the ankle. Santa Anna was captured but was let go after he formally surrendered. About 1/3 of the now existing U.S. changed hands as a result of the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas was a republic for ten years and then petitioned for annexation by the U.S. in 1845.

The monument is 570 feet tall. For more information, visit The San Jacinto Museum of History.

Until next time, God bless.

Garden Report #6 (Almost)

We are almost there but not quite finished. Hubby picked up a load of Double Thunder from Geo Growers for the raised beds. Double Thunder is made from non-shrinking compost, composted rice hulls, granite sand, gypsum, and combined with extra organic compost and is ultra-rich! I also mixed in Miracle Gro potting soil along with some bagged compost. We originally purchased the soil from Geo Growers in bulk, i.e., loaded up the truck bed, but Geo Growers also sells dirt by-the-bag, but you have to bag it. We need approximately two bags to level the beds.

The dirt is all in and I placed a few plants in the beds -- will put them in the ground tomorrow after installing the irrigation system. Then, we will top off with shredded hardwood mulch to hold the moisture in.

I recycled, some used, black plastic weed protection under the brick walk-in. I miscalculated and shorted myself two bricks. I am hoping that we can bring the bricks out past the gates and around the entire structure but need to get the gates hung to judge the clearance.

Tadaaaa! It is almost finished. :D

The gates must be installed quickly! Maggie, Luc's lady friend and digger extraordinaire, was sniffing around and in the beds, probably plotting how many holes she should dig and which plants should be destroyed.

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Garden Report #5 --Woooohoooo

Woooooooohooooooooo! The garden is almost complete!

The top rails are all attached and ready for the screens.
Screens are up. The gates are yet to be put on, the automatic irrigation system assembled, and the hose bracket for the sprayer needs to be attached. The garden requires 40-41 cubic feet of soil which hubby is picking up from Geo Growers tomorrow. Before the dirt is in, though, I'll put down a sheet of weed protection plastic in the walk around center then top with brick or concrete squares.

All in all, the garden has come together well. I've had to put in a few extra screws to tighten up a spot here and there. My only real complaint is that the directions should indicate the distance from the edge of the wood boxes to the top of the braces. If one is assembling on concrete, the directions are perfect, but when it is assembled on the ground which is not totally level, it would be better to know the exact distance to measure from the top of the wood boxes to the top of the braces. I had to rework the braces several times before I got it right so the plastic tubs would be level and not higher than the edge of the boxes for the top rail finishes off the wood boxes. It doesn't do for the plastic tubs to be too low or too high.

So far, I definitely recommend this product, and we are less than "moderately" skilled -- the directions indicated assembly would take 6-8 hours for two of the "moderately" skilled.

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Basic Coldworking:The Perfect Edge

It is still raining in my part of the country which prevents me from working on the garden kit. I have recorded nine inches of rain for this year -- a distinct difference from last year where I recorded all of 11-6/10 inches of rain for the entire year! Since we've had rain, patches of grass are appearing, but the top soil was blowing away last year. I posted photos on this blog of four hours of top soil accumulation on the back porch. Items from rocks to bits and pieces left from the original construction on the house that were long since buried appeared on the surface. The land looked scalped, but thank God that was last year, and we have rain this year! When it drys out and assembly on the garden once again starts, garden reports will be coming forthwith :D

In the meantime, I registered for a basic coldworking class, beginning next Saturday afternoon, at Helios Kiln Glass Studio. It has been at least four or five years since I took any kind of glass fusing class. This class teaches techniques that will give my fused glass pieces crisp, finished edges and which will take my work to the next level of professionalism.

I love taking classes on just about anything -- pottery, Bible classes, silversmithing, glass fusing, art metal sculpture, beading, wire wrapping, Effective Writing, Paint Shop Pro X, photography, lost wax casting, mold making, powdered frit -- name it and I've either done it or at least thought about it. :D

I am to bring several fused pieces to class, some already slumped and a couple that have not been slumped. I do not have any unslumped pieces and have to fuse a couple before next Saturday. I plan to use scrap glass as fill in the above form, fuse and take to class.

The above was filled with scrap glass and medium clear frit. After fusing the edges were rough and uneven. This will be a perfect piece to take to the coldworking class. I haven't yet decided what to do for the second fresh, out-of-the-kiln, unslumped piece, but it has to be done this coming week. I already have a couple of slumped bowls and trays that are good candidates for the class; I will choose the ones needing the most work.

Naturally, I'll take a lot of pictures during class to post. I can hardly wait.

Until next time, God bless.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Garden Report #4 & Etc.

Here is where we are on completing the assembly of the Backyard Botanical Garden. I was not in the mood to do much yesterday and only attached 5 of the 8 top rails. I did get the plastic tubs taped up -- the blue stuff --for screwing in the last three rails today. Well, folks, the rains started about 6:30 this morning! I'm thrilled, of course, that we got some rain, but the weather interfered with my garden plans for the day. :D Let me quickly say, "Praise God" because I just emptied an 1 1/2" from the rain gauge, and it is just now 11 AM. It looks like more rain is coming our way. Hooray!

Since the garden project is on hold for at least 24 hours, I want to introduce you to our neighbor's bull, Pico, which we recently invited over to court our cows. Pico is a young bull with a completely different attitude and personality than our old bull, Big Red pictured below.

Unfortunately, we had to sell Big Red in November of 2007 since he was 12 years old and his age was taking its toll. As an aside, it was a sad couple of days to a week when we had to take him to auction because Big Red had been a fixture on our place for about 10 years. Big Red is pictured here in the yard with hubby -- he had a bummed knee from jumping over the fence to fight with a run-away bull from a neighbor a couple of fences over. We could not get Big Red's knee well and kept him in the yard for about a month to keep him from roaming around the place on an injured knee. Eventually the knee did heal, and we were able to keep Big Red for another five years until we sold him. Except for the last year, he sired many good looking and healthy calves.

Don't let this innocent look deceive you because one of Luc's favorite things to do besides chase a ball, steal pillows or anything else he can grab from the house is to run at the cows to give them a bit of a scare. Big Red, the gentle giant, would step a little faster on his short legs, but Pico has a different attitude.

Just as an afternoon walk was about to begin, Luc spied Pico and dashed away from hubby when he was not looking. When Steve did look, he saw Luc disappearing around the edge of the barn after Pico. As hubby was running to get to the edge of the barn and calling Luc to come back, Luc came out from the side of the barn at full speed with Pico behind him pawing at the air after Luc.

Hmmm, it has been several weeks to a month since Luc was chased by Pico, and we've noticed that Luc has not taken the notion to run at the cows or at Pico for that matter. We also take precautions when we spy the cows and Pico off in the distance during one of the daily dog walks. We take a different route just so to not tempt Luc. Maggie has also given a try at a run towards Pico; Pico is younger, lighter and more agile than Big Red, does not run, stands his ground and faces her down. We've noticed she, too, does not seem to be overly interested these days when it comes to Pico.

And, so is life on the little ranch in the Texas Hill Country. If the sun comes out tomorrow, the garden project might be finished. Well, maybe.....we just take it as it comes. Life is sooooooooo relaxed in retirement and in the Texas Hill Country. :D

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

True Women

I had the great pleasure to attend a luncheon yesterday, April 15, featuring Janice Woods Windle, author of True Women. If you have seen the mini-series, you know True Women is about some early Texas women pioneers, their lives, their trials, and their triumphs. These women are not fictitious but real because they were ancestors of the author and had a lot of grit and courage.

Mrs. Windle told the story of how this book as well as two others came to being written. When Mrs. Windle's son became engaged, she wanted to put together a family cookbook for his fiance'. When going through the collection of family recipes, she noticed the recipes had different handwriting styles as recipes were written by different women through the years. She then decided to write a one page essay about each of the women contributing the recipes. Well, the rest is history because the original manuscript was broken up by her publisher into three parts with the result being made into three different books, True Women, Hill Country: A Novel, and Will's War: A Novel. All are available at Amazon.

Being a fourth generation Texan, I loved the True Women mini-series and promptly ordered the book from Amazon this morning. I bought Hill Country: A Novel at the luncheon and was fortunate enough to get it autographed. I live in the Hill Country -- like it is in the name of my blog -- and can hardly wait to read early history as seen through the eyes of the pioneers that settled this area.

If you like history and strong women, by all means order a copy of one or of all Mrs. Windle's books from Amazon. And, yes, she did write that cookbook and it, too, is available.

Until next time, God bless.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garden Progress Report #3

Since the day was filled with errands, we did not get much done today except for drilling the holes for the sprayer hose and putting the plastic tubs in the wood frames.

And, since tomorrow, Wednesday, is filled with errands, it will be Thursday before we pre-drill and screw the notched top rails which will hold the sides of the plastic tubs up. We will probably tape the sides of the tubs to the wood which should make it easier to get the top rails on properly without having to fight with the tub sides slipping away from under the notch on the top rail. Does that make sense?

I don't know about you, but when on a project, I am usually obsessed with getting it completed in the shortest time possible that I forget to enjoy the process. However, that is not the case this time. We work an hour or so, go do something else, and if there is still daylight, we go back to do a little more. I worked a little more than that yesterday with reworking six braces and getting the remaining eight in.

The instructions say that the estimated assembly time for those of "moderate" skill is 6 - 8 hours. Well, we are not "moderately" skilled. lol But by taking a relaxed approach, though, we are not making any disastrous mistakes. Mistakes, yes, like the six braces being set too low, but we are not ruining a part or two by being in too big of a hurry. The target date for the garden soil is this weekend -- I think we will make it. :D But, if we don't, so what; there is always next week. Whew! That feels good to say that.

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Garden Progress Report #2

The weather was magnificent today, very cool and sunny - just right for work on the garden. I have one complaint about the instructions. The instructions should give the distance from the top of the boxes to the top of the braces. I had to redo all the braces put in yesterday because the tubs were an inch short for the notched top rails to hold the tub tops up. Aaaaaargh. After some measuring and several attempts, I finally settled on the correct distance. All 15 braces are in but cannot proceed because the wireless drill ran out of juice.

After some errands tomorrow morning, I hope to have the time to set the plastic tubs and the top rails and, perhaps, work on getting the side screens up. Wednesday is filled with errands: pick up, sign, and mail the tax return; attend a luncheon featuring Janice Woods Windle, author of True Women; and participate in a Tea Party in Austin. With luck, though, Thursday is free and we'll be finished with assembling the garden and ready to pick up 41 cubic feet of organic garden soil. Then, it is to the nursery for plants and seeds, if not too late. We should begin planting this weekend! I can hardly wait.

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Garden Progress Report

At long last, we are working on assembling the Backyard Botanical Garden kit. We had several set backs in getting started, but all is going very smoothly.

We first decided to get some fill to level the area where the garden is to sit.

The next step was to unpack the above boxes.

Separate and count all the parts. BTW, we have no grass except for a patch here and there since we just came out of a terrible drought.

Our helpers, Maggie and Luc, needed a rest before the next step.

Luc checking to see if we are following directions.

Luc forgot he was working, found a piece of paper in hubby's truck and decided to eat it.

The hardest part, we hope, is finished.

Braces are in on one-half of the garden. The left side will be done tomorrow. We had to redo a few braces because we forgot to measure the distance from the top so the plastic tubs will be level.

All in all, though, the directions are quite clear, and everything seems to be going together very well.

Until next time, God bless.

He Has Risen!

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!

Luke 24

The Resurrection

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7' The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8 Then they remembered his words.
Until next time, God bless.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

10 Basic Glass Fusing Tools

If you are interested in glass fusing, below is a list of the most basic tools and equipment needed.


1. Safety glasses, one clear and one with IR-3 rating

2. Running pliers

3. Glass cutter

4. Cutting surface

5. Kiln*

6. Kiln shelf and three posts

7. Kiln shelf wash

8. Haik brush

9. Fused glass handbook

10. Fusible glass


1. Slumping mold**

2. Glass grinder

Check around the Internet for prices on kilns, tools, and glass, as well as any local glass shops in your area.

* As a beginner, the most difficult decision is choosing the kiln size. I bought a 14 inch kiln, but it only has a 12 inch working surface area. It is too big for doing a quick run of a few pendants and I am limited by size for trays or serving pieces. If I had it to do over again, I would get a small, tabletop kiln to experiment; then armed with more knowledge and experience I would have gotten at least a 16 inch kiln in order to do larger pieces. A small 8 inch tabletop kiln is never wasted because you can always use it for test runs on glass combinations -- anything you do not want to take the time to fill up a shelf of a larger kiln.

**Pendants and coasters do not require a slumping mold which I listed as optional. If you want to do bowls, dinner plates, serving pieces or trays, etc., then, of course, you need slumping molds in the shape and size, or sizes, you want in order to form the fused glass.

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Rule of Three

It started last Saturday with the purchase of the Backyard Botanical Garden kit from Sam's, when on the way home with our purchase, a little red light with the message "check engine" suddenly appeared in the dashboard. The next day, Sunday, I noticed a little headache, but as the day and week progressed, the headache was accompanied by an unsettled stomach, dizziness, and chills. Monday was the worst; but each day thereafter I improved, i.e., upset stomach was a little less, the bouts with dizziness were further apart, and my t-shirt did not stay damp all day. This morning, Saturday, I had to turn my computer on and off three times before it would boot up. When I had a nasty computer virus in February, I, fortunately, purchased a Dell-On-Call contract and was able to give Dell an immediate cyberjingle.

I've always heard trouble comes in threes, but never really kept track of it until today, that is. :D Due to the recent experience with a dreadful computer virus and thinking my computer may have died, I was very happy that I had printed everything out yesterday and backed up a few items, namely, the 2008 income tax figures and notes I prepared for the accountant. I've been dragging my feet on getting all that stuff together and spent the better part of Thursday afternoon and most of Friday organizing the information. I had a moment or two of panic, though, when I couldn't find a couple of items. :D The items surfaced, thank you, Lord, and I'm ready to make an appointment with our accountant in Austin.

I tell our accountant every year that as soon as all the information is in, I'll see him in February -- March 1 at the latest. Somehow, I never seem to make the date I say, but this time it is much later than usual. What about you? Are you super prompt in getting your taxes done as soon as you have all the W-2' and 1099's? Or, do you drag your feet to just barely make the deadline, or file an extension for Pete's sake?

I have another question for you: going back to the rule of three, what has been your experience? I'm keeping track, now. I have no time for delays; we have a garden to assemble, load up with soil, and get to planting. Time is a'wasting -- we're burning daylight -- tic tock.

Until next time, God bless.