Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Hobbies and Staying in on a Rainy Day

It's dark and rainy out here in the country, a good day to stay in and do things around the house. I made sugar cookie dough and am chilling it in the fridge as I work on my computer, making more watches for my website. This recipe is just like the store bought cookies, but with fresh ingredients instead of a cocktail of questionable additives and chemicals (I use half pure walnut oil and half butter for the shortening, for a change, along with half whole wheat pastry flour and half white flour. After they're baked, I frost them using my usual homemade buttercream icing. It's so easy that I don't even measure anything, just a handful of this and a little of that. It's foolproof. Fun to make on a rainy day.

Though it is August, it's time to gear up for the upcoming Christmas holiday season. I've been designing watches for the last week, and have many more to do still. We will be getting other new products in soon, so it's good to get them done now, before Zazzle introduces the next new products. I like to keep up with it all, to keep the stress down and not fall behind in getting products in my stores in a timely manner. A pot of coffee and music on the stereo as I work, and the marathon goes on until I am too tired or worn out to think anymore. It pays to keep "fresh", so I have to stop and reboot here and there..don't want the quality of work suffering by pushing it too hard.

My teeth were bothering me (infection, etc) a few days ago but they are doing better now after seeing my dentist and being vigilant with using mouthwash, toothpaste, etc. It's frustrating and worrisome to have to deal with recurring gum infection problems, but I take it one day at a time and hope for the best. I just think of a year ago (and earlier) when my teeth were so very bad and I was truly suffering. This is nothing compared to that, thank goodness. I've become much more aware of my oral health, better late than never.

As the holidays approach, I'm getting in the mood to make wreaths again. It's a total departure from what I normally do but it's a good change of pace, which is needed every now and then. As a kid, I always engaged in many hobbies involving creating things (pottery thrown on the wheel, enameling, realistic sculpture, murals on buildings and on floors (for my alma mater, Laurel School). Then there was the aquarium keeping era, raised tropical fish of most kinds, but tired of all the work and stopped that. My energy level is much lower than when I was young. I want to get back into horseback riding but will wait until I lose more weight, and get a better pair of riding boots. Have the helmet and some of my old riding gear, just want to be more in shape and save up because it's an expensive hobby, even out here in the country. Riding is such good exercise. I miss having my own horse but will work hard in hopes of getting back into the sport steadily before I get too old to do it. It's all good motivation for my workaholid tendencies. Fuel for my inner fire.

Mom and dad are doing well. They are worried because two feral kittens (that have been living on their front porch) have disappeared. We hope that someone adopted them, they were so cute. The mother cat is still living on the porch, poor thing probably wonders where her babies went. My folks have enough cats already, so I just hope that the babies are somewhere safe and happy. They need to get the mother kitty spayed so she doesn't make more in the future. UPDATE: The kittens came home two days later. Not sure what happened to them to be missing like that, but they are back, living at my parents' house, on the porch, happy and healthy. :)

Mom's garden is huge, growing like crazy and very prosperous. Her herbs are super-sized, and she uses him in her cooking. Mom is the best cook. She could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. Her roses (the ones given to us by a kind nursery owner because they needed some TLC) are doing great. We sprayed all our rose bushes with fungicide and got rid of the diseased leaves, and now both her plants and mine are leafing and even budding! They are Mister Lincoln roses which are longstem, with deep red flowers. Mom already has an amazing Chris Evert rose plant (deep apricot/yellow/orange) that is just stunning. My other roses range from a miniature rose bought at Heinen's (orange/yellow) and pink "ground cover" roses. I grew roses as a kid here and there, always had gardens then, and now it's back to growing them again. Mom's been growing everything, all of my life. She and dad are near-experts at it, but dad doesn't garden anymore. He stopped gardening when I was a kid. Being raised on a farm, he got away from it when he became an architect (when I was a baby) and didn't have time to do it much after that. But mom loves it, and I do, too.. guess it's in the blood.

My garden flowers...and Farrah, garden monitor