Sunday, May 31, 2020

We're All In This Together

A friend made that super fantastic title for me the other day and I decided it needed to be the feature of this page about the award that my son received from Civil Air Patrol. I also decided to use a piece of plastic that my son gifted me after he dismantled a key board. I thought it was only fitting as the award was for the Air Force Assocation's CyberPatriot competition. They got first place in NY State for the service division and there wasn't time for the ceremony before Covid hit. So, a couple of months later when the Cadets really needed a lift, they got an award presented to them at home. 

It's super hard to believe that the kid that started CAP when he was just a youngster now is old enough to grow a beard and fly a plane. 

Yes, that's right. He's flying these days. A scholarship from our local Experimental Aircraft Association has him lifting off a couple of times a week in hopes to obtain his solo and ultimately his private pilot's license. He's taking ground school as he goes. It's a pretty useful pursuit this summer. A summer where a job isn't a thing as the place he normally works isn't open yet and we're not even sure what phase that place will fit into or whether they will even need the extra staff. 

It's good for my soul that he's getting to do something worthy. I, like every other parent on this planet during the pandemic is worried that her kids are not getting enough. We're embracing the small things here, but right now there are some fairly large things looming on the horizon that are scaring our socks off. 

It's all a little too real to me at the moment. Generally speaking in our quiet little spot, democracy is something in the background. On Friday it was in my head all day. My office at work is above the police station and was one of the many places throughout the country with protesting. All day there were horns honking in support, chanting, and squealing tires. Normally I can work through just about anything but all the cacophony coming into the third story of my building was distracting. Despite my best attempts at calm (it was peaceful after all) I could not relax. By the time I got home my head was pounding. Other places aren't so lucky as we've seen fires on the news and some of those places are a short drive away. 

Escape with a book, some cooking & crafting were the small things that helped bring my head back into a good spot. Add in some sunlight and a historic SpaceEx launch, I'm ready to head back into the thick of it with a little wind under my wings. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

When Bad Things Happen to Good Transfers

Picked this little dresser up off Facebook Market Place. It met all of my criteria. It needed to be cheap ($35), close by, and ugly. Since it was previously white and pink and not the nice shade of pink and in my town, it all worked out. Don't believe me on the pink thing do you? Alright, hold tight.

The owner had it stored in the garage and it had kinda picked up a bit of a funk smell to it as well. The first chore was cleaning it off & spraying it with Lysol. I'm not entirely sure that actually worked or it just aired out on it's own. Anyhow, the intermediate step was to get rid of that pink which really wasn't all that easy to cover, even using gray chalk board paint.

About three coats later, it had a nice gray tone to it. Sadly the drawers weren't all that excited about closing firmly so after the paint job there was a lot of sanding to get things to fit happily back together. I then ordered the Prima Transfer "On a Voyage" from Amazon. I really was excited about the ship and the compass and I thought with the curved top it would look like a sea chest...or at least have that theme.

Since this was in the very middle of Covid, shipping of the transfer took forever and even was delayed. Finally, I got my hands on it and that very evening began working on getting it transferred onto this dresser. The first piece went on really well. The second which had the ship was horrible! I've seen transfers pick up the paint instead of transferring onto the piece, which is bad paint adhesion. This was very different. It was like the bottom layer of the transfer that was sticky went on but the top layer with the image refused to budge. I think to be honest it was old and I learned subsequently that it had been discontinued. If I had ordered from a distributor, I could have asked for a new one or at least gotten my money back. Amazon wanted the whole product back and two sections of it were already on the dresser.

 I kept at it and it turned out to mainly just be the second drawer up that didn't work out so well. My options were to order another transfer and sand the drawer back down or come up with plan B. I decided I wanted roses and to make this look like the inside of a trunk. Enter a second transfer. This one was a water slide transfer and required the whole piece be mainly finished.

After a bunch of brown glaze rubbed on, gold paint dabbed in various places and then a coat of clear, I was ready for the blue rose water slide. That can be found on Ebay and was shipped super quick and worked effortlessly. It definitely made me much less sad about the places that didn't transfer so well. There is so much detail in this piece now!

I'm not sure yet what I'm doing with this piece. It's up for sale, but mainly because I made it for fun and to pass the time during the no fun Covid. Might be a donation piece, we'll see.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Orioles and Buffalo

I was pretty emotional Mother's Day morning. NY weather had been flirting with us where one weekend I got a sunburn and the next all the plants were covered in snow and ice. I bring a lot of potted plants in for the winter and some of them have been around since my first house which is pre-kids. So, around 20 years. They had all headed back out of the heated porch and had been basking in the sun. I knew better when I heard it was getting cold, but the volume of plants to bring back inside was A LOT. Some of them really didn't look good after their cold night out in the snow and it felt like a big ole stomp on my heart on top of all the rest of the shizz going on. One cannot possibly have to deal with a virus AND snow at the same time....

I went for a drive, hid some rocks in a local park and came back home. That head clearing session did give me some perspective. I could mope the rest of the day and go to bed angry and sad, or I could rally the troops.

The troops had just gotten up. See Pratt Inc. has first shift and second shift. Second shift has just wrapped up the last semester of in person, on line, extra break weeks, messed up college. How anyone managed to get decent grades at all in such a rapidly changing messed up situation was beyond me. Both kids have taken a little time to smell the roses so to speak or in this case stay up all night playing on-line games.

Anyhow, by the time I stomped back into the house, they were all just finishing showers. An offer of Arby's for whatever meal immediately follows cereal at noon and a trip to the Buffalo farm was on the agenda with ice cream for dessert. While I was negotiating this trip out, my first visitor to the orange and grape jelly feeder arrived. He was cold too but stuck his beak into the jelly and orange like a rock star.

Add in orange birds & buffalo babies, it was a pretty rock star day. Most of the plants are recovering with one probably a goner. I'm OK with that. Shizz happens. Here's to Mother's Day 2021 with no snow and better yet no virus!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Snooze for 30 Days

Moved the kid out of college last weekend. I do not possibly think a more f-ed up semester was had. From the week and a half off due to water issues (somebody damaged a fuel supply line accidentally which in turn ended up migrating into the Town aquifer ) to an extra week off on top of Spring Break for Covid so the teachers could transition classes to electronic, to on-line everything even finals. We signed a contract with John for a room in the Haunted Mansion on the hill for the whole semester which meant that she still had to pay rent, including this month for three days, so she headed back down after Spring Break to social distance in New Paltz. We moved her out in a cloud of pot smoke. The remaining kid in the house was smoking a bong at the time. Made me wonder if Code Enforcement should require vent fans in each room in college towns. Dear me we had quite the sore throat at the end.

Anyhow, she's back and moved in. I have passed off all my orchid duties, which was pretty extensive back to Lexi. Most of them decided to bloom so it looks like a green house in her room these days.  We are all enjoying the birds at the feeder, an extra hand with the dogs, and wishing that both Pratt Inc. kids had the benefit of real college vs. this on-line mishmash that everyone is making the best of. I suppose in the scheme of things, it's not like they are in the middle off WWII after college like Grandpa Ham. Grandma Skip lost her fiance to the war and then ended up marrying a flyboy who was my Grandpa. Major life things right there that dictate the course of a life.

Anyhow, speaking of flowers, cupcakes, and art...all those little things that make your day just a little bit happier, let's talk about social media. I think the majority of us tune into places like THE BOOK as a palate cleanser, or at least I do. Being an election year here in the States I was prepared to see everything go political. Add in a Global Pandemic, we have the addition crunch of conspiracy theories, opinions, more opinions, and stupidity. At times I have found myself wondering how the particular person posting gets through their life with the serious lack of science and common sense that they are displaying by hitting share. I try to be careful what I share. For one thing, I try to read/watch/double check it all. One time I posted something about a broken window in a business, without checking to make sure it was Corning NY and not Corning, California. I was thankful somebody alerted me to the fact it wasn't local to me and I deleted the post.

It's making me increasingly angry to see all the stupidity. I've taken to actually posting content that explains why their hysterical conspiracy theory video was actually harmful. So harmful that Facebook was taking it down. One of the answers to that link was less than satisfactory, so instead of getting angry, I hit the unfriend button without remorse. A group of us came up with a good plan the other day on THE BOOK. If you wouldn't eat lunch with the person in real life, why are you friends with them? If you'd eat lunch with them but the things they are currently saying piss you off? There is the Snooze for 30 Day Option. Hopefully when they are out of your time out jail, the opinion du jure has passed and they are back to posting flower photos.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A Tank on 86

Recently my son popped out of his room around 2:50 in the afternoon and asked if I had a minute. He then adjusted his shaggy hair in the mirror and tweaked his collar. Working from home, sure I have a minute. My coworkers used to just yell from the other room. Now they snore on the couch and occasionally pop out of their rooms in a college induced coma. I miss the old ones. The new ones are cool but I have to make lunch for them and listen to them bark about the squirrels.

Luke wanted a photographer. A photographer for yearbook photos. Photos that were due in ten minutes. I signed, stopped what I was doing and put on some slip on shoes and trudged up the hill. A clump of daffodils would have to do. I took a ton of photos until he was happy and then gave up my phone so he could take the ones he wanted & color correct.

He also has a license for Photoshop on his computer so he added a few things. In one photo, he added a tank tooling down Interstate 86 that you can barely see in the background. Now, these little Easter Eggs are way too small to see in general, but he knows they are there.

What a crazy time and crazy year. Who knew I'd be a yearbook photographer at this stage of my life!

A quick shout out to Tanya Leigh Designz who created those cool little tabs. I actually was pretty excited to work them in, even the little germ Covid which looks better in blue! The one bright spot too all this social distancing is that there has been an increase on the crafting side of things for me!

Have a Happy Tuesday!