Archive for the ‘ Outside the Studio ’ Category

I’ve been good and working in the studio 4-5 days a week, but I did take some time to help Katie dye her hair:

And to set up her new aquarium and now I can’t get Dory’s song out of my head…LOL.  “Just keep swimming, swimming….”

She is setting up a planted aquarium and has been pretty excited about her new project. We set it up last weekend:

Then I got bitten by the aquarium bug HARD.  I’ve had aquaria and ponds all my life, from little 10 gallons like Katie’s to a pair of breeding oscars in a 100 gallon tank, and Mike had a reef aquarium (*coughmoneypitcough*) for a few years, but for the past few years it’s just been the ponds.  And they are no fun during these long New England winters.  So I started searching Craigslist and found a 56 gallon aquarium!  I didn’t really have room for a big tank, but the 56 gallon is a tall tank with a small footprint and I have the perfect place for it.

Craigslist kinda scares me.  The last time I responded to an ad, I met the guy in a parking lot and took John with me, and all was fine.  If I put an ad in Craigslist, it’s usually to give away baby koi or water lilies, and they have to come to my home, and that’s really scary so I haven’t done that in awhile.  But I couldn’t really ask the guy to meet me in a parking lot with a big fish tank, so I brought my dear friend Nancy with me as a bodyguard, LOL!

Turns out I bought an aquarium from Ben Kingsley. Well, he kinda looked like Gandhi.   A nice little bald guy and his wife who teach school.

I’m going to wait a few weeks before starting to work on it (first project:  a stand), because well, I did promise to take some custom orders!  And I need to sell some customs before I can start buying fish!  And I certainly don’t want to horn in on Katie’s fishy excitement.


End of summer

Yesterday’s harvest.  I think this says it all.

I just found out that the kids’ summer break has been extended one day thanks to Irene.

We had a great summer, ending with a trip to visit my in-laws in Chicago (Hi Grammy and Toto!).  We rushed back just in time to batten down for Hurricane Irene, and the only casualties we had were the food in the freezer since we were without power for more than a day.  We count ourselves very lucky as the same cannot be said for thousands of others.

Soon RSE will be buckling down again, filling up inventory for upcoming shows (next show is my favorite- the Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Festival, Oct. 1 and 2).  Also coming right around the same time- I will start taking custom orders for the holidays!  So keep your eyes open and make sure you are on my newsletter list if you have plans for an RSE Christmas :D.

Taking a break!

RSE is taking the rest of August off!  Three weeks… and one has already passed.  While relaxing, I notice that the zinnias I planted on the rock wall around the entryway have filled in so nicely!  I’ve never planted zinnias before.  What a happy, easy flower!

And the lotus in the pond has reached a new record in leaf size, I think!

We have also been indulging in a lot of crazy, giggling watermelon seed fights here on the deck:

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

George did it again!


UPDATE:  Finally, on July 8, George’s staples were removed.  Although he occasionally licks the wound, I think it’s going to heal.  It’ll leave a good sized scar, but it’s closed and healing.  I can deal with the scar!

Let me tell you about George.

I often talk about Russell here, but I don’t think I’ve talked too much about his big brother George.  This is George.  He is a Bad Dog:

But George has a great sense of humor.  I call this next picture “He ate them all.”  He didn’t really, though (not this time):

George’s favorite activities are counter surfing, garbage can diving, and bolting out the front door and leading us on a merry chase through the neighborhood .

George went in for his shots a couple of weeks ago and the vet found a tumor on his back leg.  He thought it could be a mast cell tumor which is a common cancer in dogs.  So, he recommended to have it taken off and sent to the lab.  Last Friday George had his surgery.

We brought George home with a big 3.5 inch incision on the back of his thigh, just above the hock joint.  And, of course, the Cone of Shame:

Well.  George, being 1/2 poodle, has such long legs and neck that he was able to reach his incision despite wearing the largest e-collar made!  So, back to the vet’s he went on Monday minus a few stitches, and the vet put in some heavy duty staples with a staple gun.  Well, a staple gun for vets, anyway.  Since George could still reach his incision, we found a different sort of e-collar, and just in case, we put pants on him:

The twins, John and Katie, are now out for summer vacation.  Being teenagers, they don’t always think.  They let George out to go to the bathroom.  WITH his pants on.  When they saw him trying to take a dump, they ran away screaming and left me to deal with the mess.  And what a mess it was!  I threw away this pair of pants.  So next, I put some outgrown baseball pants on him, which worked well because they were short and had elastic bands around the bottoms.

John and Katie let him out again.

The elastic didn’t allow for, um, things to escape.  They let him in the house, not realizing he came in with a little more baggage than what he went out with.  Use your imagination.

Sooo, that night I was out of pants for George, but figured the inflatable collar was working well enough that he didn’t need pants.

Nope.  Back to the vet’s the next morning for more staples.  Then I went shopping at the local overstock store for some kids’ sweatpants.  This is the look George is sporting today:

Stay tuned and I will let you know whether the cone of shame, pool floatie and Tony Stewart NASCAR pants do the trick or not, and if they slow him down during his next bolt out the door!

Incidentally, yes, it was cancer, but the vet got it all, so hopefully there will be no recurrence!


Rising Sun Earthwork’s precious mascot Russell is having surgery, and I’m a wreck.  I’m trying to work but at the moment I’m having lunch and my mind is wandering…

The surgery is a tricky one- a laser soft palate resection.  The vet (a specialist has visited the clinic to perform the surgery) cuts out some of Russell’s soft palate with a laser which cauterizes the wound.  He needed this surgery because he was having trouble breathing and would vomit frequently during hot weather or exertion, which indicated his soft palate was too long and obstructing his airway.  It’s a common problem in smooshy faced dogs. :(

So I just thought I would blog a little about it to pass the time while I eat my panini.


Russell got to come home last night and ate a small meal of soft food.  He was in great spirits!  This morning he’s feeling sore and sorry for himself and couldn’t keep the soft food down so I made him a batch of ground turkey and rice and that seems to be sitting well!  My poor baby!  The vet said his palate was really blocking the airway so hopefully this will make him much more comfortable once he heals!

Do me a favor…

…heck- do yourself a favor and check out this band:

We saw them opening for Third Eye Blind in Providence on Sunday.  I believe the opening band was supposed to be U.S. Royalty, but they had to cancel.  And wow- we were blown away by Zander Bleck.  These guys are amazing!

They are rising stars, and I predict they will be rising quickly… I’m not a music expert by far; most of what I know comes from being a garage band mom, but I just wanted to point them out to you all.  The show was so full of ebullience and energy and you could tell they were thrilled to be performing for the sold-out crowd.  It didn’t hurt that Zander and company are, as my teenage daughter said, “Hawt.”  I’m not speaking as a cougar here.  It’s just that Katie’s enthusiasm has a tendency to, um, rub off on me, LOL.  Switching to mom-mode:  “They are a group of very talented, attractive young men.”  There.  God forbid I should embarrass anyone.

Anyway, check them out; and when they are playing on the radio umpteen times a day, remember that I told you about them first!  :D

Well, the technical term is “we.”  What WE did.  We painted and put a new floor in the basement!

First incarnation of the basement was institutional green asbestos floor tile and baby poo brown painted paneling.

The winter DH spent 3 months in Italy (2002 maybe?), I built in cabinets and did this:

The footprints were made by our dear Irish Wolfhound, Maggie who passed away in 2004.  The kids were 7 and I wanted it to be a bright, cheery playroom.

This is just before we started painting- the cabinets on the left had doors on them and the purple shelves were open.

A few years later the asbestos tiles started popping up (I’d only painted them to avoid the hazard of removing them), so we replaced with laminate flooring.  Then last spring during the Big Floods around here, we got 1/2 inch of water in the basement- just enough to ruin the floor.  So, that came up, and we lived with sticky black tar adhesive on the basement floor for 8 months.  It was really bad and left black goo on the bottoms of all the furniture.

Here we’ve primed the walls and I’ve started with the window trim and bookcases and cabinets.

Doors and trim.

A better shot of the awful floor.  Walls have been painted.

New floor going in!  It’s a commercial grade vinyl plank faux wood floor- waterproof.  I insisted on doing it myself because I’m picky that way, but it’s pretty easy to install! However,  I walked like a crab for days afterwards.

Almost finished!

And the finished basement!  I really need to replace that cabinet under the TV though…

The yucky plants in plastic bags are pond plants that spend every winter in the basement window.  Ugly.  But in the summer they make up for it by beautifying my pond!

Looking  back, I wish I hadn’t decided to do this over the holidays.  It made for a pretty draining “vacation.”  I still have to put baseboards in but will wait for a weekend further down the road.

Be afraid….

Be very afraid.

I took a glass fusing class.  They forced us to make snowmen.

What?  I meant to make a hydrocephalic, mouthless snowman.  Shut up.

Almost forgot the pictures!

Here are Elvis, Qbert and Ziggy:

And here are the remaining cast of our Haunted House. Front- Silent Hill Nurse and Vampire Surgeon.  Back- Creepy floating face, Victim, Wall Face and Grim Reaper: