Friday, August 12, 2016
Ray of light.
This summer has been a bit rodeo.  I posted here that in late May, the gunblogger community lost a stalwart member, and I lost a personal friend.   Although Ray battled some health challenges, our tribe hoped and prayed he would come through them.   Alas, it was not to be. 

I launched into summer, ready to get much accomplished and to get some rest from school, as well.  I was tired, and the gut-punch of losing Ray sent me into a bit of a tailspin.  I came down with a flu that lasted two full weeks, topped off with a cough that lingered.  The cough hung on until my second annual 50th birthday float on the Guadalupe in late July, but the active time outdoors seemed to clear that up, finally.  Floating on weekdays combined with broody, rainy weather to yield an almost deserted river.  I felt my feathers smoothing out as I glided down a quiet river under ancient cypress trees swagged with long streamers of Spanish moss.  The sun stayed away, mostly, and the temperature remained warm but not hot.  Unmolested by shrieking rednecks, myriad turtles sunned themselves on rocks and driftwood, and all manner of birds were to be seen on the river.  In one golden moment, we floated past a pair of fawns getting their lunch from their mothers on the bank.  It was a moment of pure beauty and happiness.  I thought about things, and I felt myself healing.

Laughing and smiling about Ray is feeling more natural now than despair, although my heart aches with his absence.  He would call at least once a week during his commute home through Seattle traffic, and we had big plans.  We hosted a gathering at the Gingerman in Houston during the NRA convention, and we were looking forward to throwing a soiree at the Dallas NRA in 2018.  I miss our talks, and sometimes the phone ringing during that time of day makes me think it's him, for an instant.  But it won't be.

Last night the Perseid meteor shower peaked, and I stood outside with friends for a bit, looking at the sky.  A bright orange streak burned southward, and thoughts of Ray came rushing to mind.  I saw a few more streaks of light before I went in for the evening.  I awoke this morning at 5:00, put on some shoes and let the pups out, and I went out, too.  I scanned the sky, expecting the meteors to appear at a different point in the sky, when I looked overhead in the same spot of that first orange streak, and there came another orange streak.  The fiery ray made its way with purpose and intensity, but unhurried to the southern horizon.  It felt like a "hello" from Ray.  I was comforted.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Happy birthday, Dad!
I've said it here before and in many ways. I'm humbled to have such a splendid father. I hope your birthday has been wonderful, Dad. I love you and I couldn't be more proud of you. 

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Monday, July 18, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Monday: slow on the draw
Sorry for late and spotty puppy posting. This summer has been full rodeo since it started.   I think Chuy had only pulled a muscle, and he seems fully recovered. However, he quite liked being lifted onto and off of things like the bed or the sofa. Now that he's feeling better, I'll catch him jumping on and off things, but he still does a "Princess and the Pea" routine, waiting patiently for his curbside service at every turn. Ha!

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Sunday, July 17, 2016
First attempt cleaning old textile: Venice Tapestry
When I was about 20, I began collecting vintage images of Venice, particularly antique photos.  When I came across this badly damaged tapestry of Venice, $4 didn't seem much of a risk or gamble-- even in its world-weary state, I still love it. Plus it's a chance to try my hand at cleaning stains from an old textile.  

Based on the spill/fade/soil patterns, I think this cloth was on a buffet or some horizontal surface, maybe with small objects displayed atop it, as there are less-soiled squares that might have been the bases of vases or candelabra.  I did a bit of research, but most information was on cleaning, and not on removing extensive stains.  These may be mildew, but they don't smell bad, so I think it's more likely something was spilled on the piece. 

Sorry, but I should have taken a photo prior to spot cleaning.  We shall see how this goes.  The first real area of concentration was the dome area, (which I DID snap before cleaning) which was the worst staining on the piece.  I soaked the piece with glycerin, waiting 30 minutes, then blotted the glycerin through with a damp cloth, frequently changing the cloth underneath.  You can see on the under-cloth the progressive blottings.  This part is a test, and if all goes well, I'll do this method from one end of the piece to the other, probably in stages.  Hopefully this will yield brighter colors, as well. 

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Sunday, July 10, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Chuy in crisis
Chuy had a health scare yesterday, and we had to go to the vet. Hopefully it's just a pulled muscle in his back, but there's also the danger of IVDD. He seems to get relief from the pain killer they gave me for him. Hoping for the best.
Update: Chuy has been on painkillers for a week, but gradually he showed improvement in mobility and comfort levels.  I think he must have pulled a muscle.  Now he's his usual spry, jaunty self, to my delight.  :)
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Sunday, June 19, 2016
Sweet thoughts of my Dad on Father's Day
     On this Father's Day, and every day, I'm so grateful for my excellent, wonderful Dad.   He is the personification of all the finest traits you could hope for in a man.  He is good-natured, always quick with a smile or a good word, and he is a great and present help to all around him who might need a hand.  He is industrious and energetically attacks any task that needs to be addressed.  He is unflinching in his morals and integrity, and stands for what is right.   I am truly blessed, and I love him so very dearly.  Happy Father's Day, Dad, and thank you for being so wonderful. 
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Monday, June 13, 2016
On the terrorist attack in Orlando:
Blaming the implements used in this attack is like blaming fertilizer and rental trucks for the OKC bombing. It's like blaming rooftops for the murder of all the gay men thrown from them. 
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Sunday, June 12, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: mini pup-tent on the recliner
Home from Dallas, relaxing with my furballs. :)

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Sunday, June 05, 2016
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: knackered puppies
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Sunday, May 29, 2016
Should auld acquaintance be forgot...
Today I am reeling from the loss of my friend Ray Carter

Ray was a remarkable person and my dear, close friend.   We'd often share conversation during his commute home through ungodly Seattle traffic, and we've logged hundreds of hours of phone time over the past eight years, since we first met at Blogrado.  We hosted a party together at the Houston NRA convention, and had plans to host more.  Last week he told me we'll host the first gunblogger party in heaven.  I'm holding you to that, Ray.  And thank you for being my friend.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016
My bedbugs
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Wise words:

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Thursday, May 19, 2016
Doggie stretch:

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So funny:

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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.

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