Bunny Bravehart came along, of course, but spent most of the time in his pocket so he would not get burned.
Last weekend I went to Mesa for a workshop on Patinas. I spent most of it in the studio working but here are some photos of what else I saw; the metal vessels are by David, who taught the workshop.
Bunny Bravehart came along, of course, but spent most of the time in his pocket so he would not get burned.
I was planning on visiting Elisa of Scotland (see the pictures in the banner above) in Scotland next month. It has been almost 5, yes FIVE, years since I visited and it was time for one more visit.
Elisa and I started to plan this trip last October and we figured that late April / early May would be a good time to visit as there would be almost NO chance of snow but it would be cool; the tourist season would not have started making it a great time for a wee side trip to Glasgow.
And here we are with 35 days until my scheduled departure and "we" canceled the trip and visit.
As I wrote yesterday, Elisa is in the throws of Shingles Saga herself. It has been almost 2 months since it began and despite the fact that she is healing, she isn't feeling all that well at the moment and add the fact that she has CFS, we don't expect her to be up to a visit in a month either.
Thus the decision to void the visit and vacation was made. And a good thing we did this now versus next week. When you cross that 30 day limit with award miles, the cost of cancelling is much higher. But the award miles are back in my account and come May of this year I can look at booking the trip, again, for next April.
Last time I posted pictures of the house but this time, I posting the other pictures of our trip. As always, the Bunny came along and had a grand time and he drank too much. ON the way back, we stopped in Tucson to visit Kevin Potter and everyone at PotterUSA.
We took another road trip to Texas a few weeks ago and saw the progress on the house.
The new roof is done
The exterior of the house has been painted
The kitchen is almost done - no appliances yet
The flooring has been put down in the family room
My studio has been painted and laid out - now to install the cabinets, heating and cooling, and the fume hood
and so much more...
Here are some more pictures of the house and some more deer that were around, and the snow we encountered in New Mexico but luckily not a blizzard like last year.
I spent the 3 days of the Labor Day weekend, in Arroyo Grande, California which is part way up the central coast. I went to teach a private workshop but I returned with wonderful memories and a new friend. To see what I taught in the workshop, go over to the Adventurous Silversmith blog and read about it.
And no, Bunny Braveheart did not come along as he decided to stay home and keep Boots and Erich company while I was gone
For your enjoyment, here are pictures of Jan's metal art and some of the surrounding area.
Yes again! Between Christmas and New Years we went to Texas again. Much has been happening.
First - we bought a THIRD house but this IS (really it is) the one we will move to when "we" retire. The house is almost 3,000 square feet if you include the bonus room and then there is the 1200 square foot workshop at the back of the property. The house needs a bit of renovation but we knew that going in and the price was very low because of it.
Secondly - we will be selling the second house we bought for two reasons. The HOA is a PITA. We have a neighbor who is part of the issue. He reports the slightest noise or issue the renters, of our house, cause. I will tell you that both of us are not fans of HOA's but we had heard this was an OK one but I guess not. It makes us not want to live there. The second reason is that selling this house will free up a lot of cash so we can do the renovations on the new house.
We left on our road trip Christmas day and on the second day between Tucson, Arizona and Fort Stockton, Texas we experienced a high plains blizzard. It started on Saturday December 26th. First as we crossed into New Mexico we had some rain then it was sleet and then big snow flakes but nothing was sticking to the ground. When we crossed into Texas, it has stopped but it started again just outside of El Paso. By the time we got to Fort Stockton is was 28 degrees and the wind was blowing bad.
We woke up on Sunday the 27th to the actual blizzard, 27 degree weather, about an inch of snow on the ground and a cloak of ice on the car. I had to crawl into the car on the passenger side that had less ice and force the driver side door open. I got the car started and turned the defrosters on full blast since the ice on the window was probably a quarter of an inch thick. Almost an hour later with lots of scraping, the window was clear and we could hit the road and luckily we had an all wheel drive car.
See that blue area? That's where we were.
The roads were not closed but there were not a lot of cars driving and the I-10 was not being plowed but the trucks and cars that were moving had made a small track we could also follow. So it was 40 mph for most of the day with the snow/sleet/slush/rain and high winds battering us as we went. We saw several accidents along the way - mostly single cars or pickup trucks that had spun out. Along the way we would get in lines with other cars and big rigs and just stay together until the big rig would struggle to go up a hill dropping to as low as 30 mph and then we would speed up and gently pass them cause remember we did not have to get up to 60mph, we only had to be faster than them - so one car would pull out and eventually all would and we could get past the big rig. As we got closer to Texas Hill Country the storm became rain with thunder and lightening. What should have taken 4-5 hours was almost 8 hours.
Monday was dry and we had no issues in New Braunfels. We went to the new, new, new house to start the walk through for the renovation changes. We completed this on Tuesday with a very, very long list of lots of little things to do and fix plus pictures of the worst things in case we need them for reference. We also spent more time in both New Braunfels and San Marcos just wandering and looking in shops to familiarize ourselves for the future.
On Wednesday we headed home - arriving in the afternoon, New Years Day.
I now have a complete list of the work to be done - actually there are three list. One list for the house which we will renovate first. Then we will do some work outside the house which is the second list. The third list is the renovations on the workshop. These are now with our contractor and we are awaiting estimates for cost and time which if all goes well, the work will begin at the end of the month.
Here are some pictures of the road trip, as usual.
Yup, another one. I went to see family and a workshop. Of course Bunny Braveheart came with me and we met a new friend Pi the Interplanetary Panda who came home with us.
Here is a movie of their adventures together along with my cousin Amy.
And I stayed at an AirBnB place in Dumbo not far from the workshop. Andrew has a cute cat, MAX, who is 15+ pounds and he was so cute. Like any cat, he wanted to be in the bathroom any time I was in there - washing up, using the loo, taking a shower. He would push his paw against the bathroom door to be let in so he can jump into the tub and lick water from the faucet; is this TMI?
Anyway here is another small video of some photo's I took of him.
The first two weekends of February means it is Tucson Gem & Mineral show time and was there last week having a fun time with my friends and Bunny Bravehart too.
For me though, this year the Tuscon show was about me having fun with my friends. I was looking for any stone BUT IF I found one or two that caught my eye, yes I would purchase it.
And to that end both of those goals were met.
I went to the following shows: Pueblo/River Park Inn, The Hotel Tucson, and Kino Sports Park for some specimens for our mineral collection and I was able to pick up some tools and just a few stone for me to eventually make some jewelry out of
With my jewelry friends I was able to attend the AGTA and GJX shows. I am amazed at the quantity and value of some very high end gems. Plus I get to help them spend their money and learn along the way.
Here are pictures of what I came home with.
My second week in Scotland was as fun as the first.
Elisa and I finished sewing 2 pillows and a pair of sheep named Rogan and Josh, to go along with Tad and Pole; we watched all three of the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" movie series - the Swedish versions with English subtitles; we made soup; and had lots of lounging around and eating of chocolate and making of puns.
Overall a fantastic time was had by all. It was a hard choice but Claymore stayed behind in Scotland because the Laird indicated that there were sheep and cooo's to rustle before winter set in and he was needed to provide for his family.
The trip home was another event in of itself. On Thursday afternoon, Mike drove me back into Aberdeen and I popped into the Aberdeen Whisky Shop to get a nice bottle for our next door neighbor and after that we went back to the CLAN house for another fish & chips supper. We retired early as we had to be up at 5:30 am so I could get to the airport as 7:00 am to check-in for my flight home.
The flight from Aberdeen to Frankfurt went off without a hitch and I had plenty of time to get through security (again) and to my gate for the flight to San Francisco. Once I did get to the gate they made us queue to do a security screening which I felt was odd since I had done this in Aberdeen, you know those questions about who packed the bag, were you given anything to carry, blah, blah, blah... but I just took it in stride and then had a sticker put on the back of my passport.
And then I had to go stand in ANOTHER LINE so they could get my passport and ICE information (In Case of Emergency). I thought this was a bit much but considering it was Germany who knows what rules had been put in place since my last trip through here but I had not seen this much scrutiny even at Heathrow. Once that was done, guess what - I got to go stand in another line so we could start boarding the plane. By now we were 20 minutes behind the posted schedule for boarding but still had plenty of time before the scheduled "departure time" and people were still in the other lines going through this process but finally I was on the plane and settled into my seat while the rest of the plane loaded.
Eventually there was no one else boarding - and we waited, and we waited, and we waited, and soon another 30 minutes went by and we were over an hour past the take off time.
Soon there was an announcement that two people had been removed via the back of the plane and that they were removing their luggage from the hold of the plane and oh, by the way - we were also waiting for sniffer dogs to be dispatched. When would they arrive, no one knew but those people in the back half of the plane were to "de-plane" so the dogs could move about freely. Finally the dogs did arrive, the people had to get off, leaving everything behind, and "please no pictures of the dogs or security personnel". We were now 2 hours behind the departure time and the three plus hours I had given myself between planes in SFO was disappearing fast and I came to the conclusion that I was going to miss my connection and so I popped open my tablet and sent Eric an email quickly telling him we were delayed and NOT to go to the airport to pick me up until I knew what flight I was on from SFO. I had to turn on data roaming to do it and yes it will be an expensive email but it had to be done.
FINALLY, those who had gotten off the plane (I being in the front of the plane did not have to) re-boarded, settled into their seats and the plane left the gate and moved into the queue for take-off where of course, we sat some more! So by the time we got into the air we were 3.5 hours behind schedule and missing my connection was fact.
[We later found out that two women from the middle east were arguing about sitting in the middle section, middle two seats and there being a man on either side of them - oh my! One man, so I was told, volunteered to change seats so they could have the aisle and next inside seat and only one would have to sit next to a man. Was that ok? - I guess not as they were still arguing and raising their voices and when a stewardess came along to tell them to sit down, she got pushed... and we all know what happened after that!]
I then settled in for the 11 hour flight. I finished reading my third book over the course of the trip [These being:The Virgin Queens Daughter, The Custom of the Army: An Outlander Novella, and The Boleyn Inheritance] and I decided to have a wee dram of Scotch with my dinner. I had been given a miniature bottle of an 18 year old Glendronach by Mike and I figured with the events of the day... The steward had come around and I had gotten a glass (if you can call a plastic cup, a glass) of water with some ice. Having drunken the water I then poured part of the bottle over the ice and I was sipping it when the steward came back with dinner. He saw the bottle and then looked at me and asked "where did you get that!?". I told him I brought it with me. He then said "It is illegal to bring your own alcohol on the plane, we can fine you." I found this quite strange as it was less than 3 ounces and I had put it trough security scanners TWICE and no one had said anything. So, I Looked at him, capped the bottle and put it away. Afther he moved down the aisle, I took it back out and finished the scotch - while my row mates just looked on a smiled at my actions. [I have since looked on line and there is conflicting information about this so if you do, just be careful]. I then watched 3 movies [Movies: The Avengers, What to Expect When You are..., and Mirror Mirror. On the way over I watched Brave and Snow White and the Huntsman] and caught a nap.
Eventually we did land in San Francisco, I made it through customs and got to the service counter at 8:00 pm where I was rebooked on a 10:30 pm flight down to San Diego. I then called Mr. Kern with my new arrival time and we chatted for a bit and after that I went into the bar, had a quick bite to eat with an Anchor Porter and waited, again.
I was finally home and in bed at 1:30 am after having been awake and traveling for over 24 hours.
Enjoy the pictures...
In 14 days, I will be on a plane to Scotland.
In my last post, I wrote why I am going and tomorrow, Mike goes into Aberdeen where he will check-in, settle into his room and get his first radiation treatment.
Elisabeth and I had our regular Sunday morning chat were we discussed recipes of mine and my mothers, that she does not have, I then scanned them all and sent over electronically. I will be doing a bit of cooking and restocking of her freezer. Elisa also told me that if all goes well, Mike will be able to pick me up at the Aberdeen airport known a Dyce ( airport code: ABZ). We will then go back to his room and I can crash out having been on the "road" for over 24 hours. That night we will have a nice visit and dinner. The next morning he won't have a treatment so he and I will get in the car and drive to the house together. Mike will return to Aberdeen the next day. This means that I will have to save my experience of travel via mass transit for my return trip.
Over the past month I have also had a growing pile of items I will be taking over: Her new camera and iPod have arrived as it is cheaper for her to buy it "here" in the USA and have me carry it over; Then there is the pile of OTC medications; Japanese food stuffs; and a few other goodies I have added along the way. So after our call, I did a test "pack" to make sure it all fit in the suitcase that will be my checked bag. There is just a little bit of room left over for some clothing. I will have another small bag with my clothing that I will carry on the plane - I won't need much since we are going to home the majority of the time I will be there.
Next weekend, I will do my actual packing. So I have another week to get anything I need.
I will be posting pictures of my adventure and of course the Clan
Laurie lives in central Texas with Erich a.k.a. "the shop elf"- her hubby of 30+ years and Cowboy Boots, the cat; her metals studio including 100+ hammers and 300+ chasing tools; her sewing studio which has two sewing machines, a closet filled with fabric, hundreds of skeins of embroidery floss in many materials, and Mrs. King the dress dummy; two weaving looms, assorted knitting needles, tubs of yarn; lots of books; plus a plethora of geeky tech gadgets and more.