Sunday, November 29, 2009

What to do, what to do...



I am calling my vet tomorrow morning...Lucy needs a dental, but it seems even more important now that I discovered a "hole" underneath one of her gray teeth. It seems you can look in and see the root of the tooth, right through the gum? My poor girl! It must be so painful.I am kicking myself that I didn't notice it before now. I've been keeping my eye on her front gray teeth... I haven't noticed that side one. Arg!! Hindsight... no wonder her smelly mouth has gotten even smellier than usual, and that she's gotten even more picky with her food. Oh, my poor Lucy! I am such a bad person not to have noticed this!!!

I'm getting a lot of family pressure to "put her down"--that she's old, it's not worth the $800 (high estimate of the range I got), that it's unfair to put her through surgery at 13 1/2. I realize that she might not survive surgery, but my God... how can I put her down?? She's pretty healthy for her age, knock on wood! My parents are concerned about my finances... the college I work at is doing very badly, and there's a huge chance I might not have a job next year. Hell, I might not have a job next week. I barely have the $$ in the bank to cover the surgery. If I get her surgery, then I have no savings account left and what the hell happens if I lose my job? How am I going to afford Lucy's and Clifford's care?? (Thank God Jack is young and healthy, knock on wood!). How do I pay my mortgage?

There is really no debate in my mind. Lucy is going in for dental surgery. Putting her to sleep is NOT an option. If she survives the surgery, I am so worried my parents will be disappointed in me for spending that money (although jeez, I'm 33, why am I so concerned about their approval? Why that anxiety?). But if I do the surgery, and she passes away during the teeth extraction, I will never be able to live with myself for putting her through it. It makes me sick to my stomach, even thinking about it. She was having some breathing issues this summer in the heat, what if she has a stroke under anesthesia? Or sufficates??

The pressure of doing the right thing for Lucy, coupled with Clifford's worsening lameness (is it the corn? Arthritis? Cancer?) pressured with the realization that I should probably begin job searching and interviewing seriously now (that alone makes me feel sick), that there are few jobs in my town so I may have to sell my home and move (or do a long commute), that I have barely any money saved in the bank... wow. Stress. It has been difficult feeling thankful this Thanksgiving holiday. I AM thankful for Xanax, though. LOL. It seems the only thing that is getting me through the past few weeks.

I did get 4 pet portrait commissions within the last few weeks! Yay! That $$ will go straight into the Lucy Dental Fund. I was so upset and desperate yesterday that I even went to Walmart to apply to work over the holidays, but they were done with holiday hiring- that's out- I hope I can sell more work via my Etsy store. It has been slow this season. :o(



This has been a depressing post. I'll end with a cute photo. Lucy was sleeping on the couch, and Jack snuck up next to her. He has the most guilty look on his kisser, lol. While Lucy enjoys getting up on the couch with Jack if he's there first, she usually won't let him up if she is up there first (she's not into sharing!). Jack REALLY likes the couch though, and as soon as Lu dozed off, he snuck up lol.

Some other happy photos:



My happy boy Clifford. Cliff doesn't let ANYTHING bother him. He loves to talk...but as you can see, he is carefully watching me to make sure I'm paying attention! :o) I wish I had Cliff's joie de vivre. He really thinks he has the world by the b-lls. :o)



Jack has started cockroaching!! I guess that means he is settling in and liking us. And I do love him, he's a great pup. He does drive me insane at times.... sigh... I guess I should expect nothing less from a teenager. :oP



Lucy's mouth situation has really driven home how important it is to keep the pups' teeth as clean as possible so we won't have to do any more dentals. Raw turkey necks (NOT cooked) have a reputation for really cleaning up dogs' teeth. The bones are edible because in raw form they are very spongy and not brittle at all. Sooo... Jack and Cliff have begun getting weekly necks. They are disturbingly phallic and disgustingly slimy, but the boys love them (Lucy, even in her younger days, wouldn't touch raw meat with a 10 foot pole. I don't blame her!).


Last but not least, my suet feeder finally had a visitor... a Black Capped Chickadee! I got some fun pictures with the telephoto lense on my camera. I was a surprised a chickadee would eat suet (I thought only woodpeckers did) but it's all good. As long as those glutonous, pesky squirrels don't eat it... any kind of bird is good for me!

Back to work tomorrow. I am nervous about it. :o(

Jen

Monday, November 23, 2009

Learning to use the Press, Sketching, and All that Jazz



 I've been practicing on my new press: The first few prints I pulled were pretty poor (uneven pressure) but with a "sliding board" (plexiglass sheet in the pic above) and some felts, the problem was solved. I was able to print some really nice prints from it... YAY!

 

I've also been working on the sketch for a new reduction print. My model for this one is Cliff:


My original drawing is on the top... the others are photocopies of my drawing... I had to bring it to Staples and shrink it a bit to fit on my linoleum piece! Thankfully I only had to "try" twice, so it was only 14 cents. I hate having to make a gazillion photocopies, trying to get it JUST RIGHT for the block. Waste of money and paper! But by golly, no matter how much I try I cannot draw my original drawing to the exact size I want it. It's always too big... always. :o)

This reduction will be challenging because the dog bed is laying on an oriental rug. Ack! I've never even drawn an oriental rug, much less carved and did a reduction of one. AND I haven't done a reduction in almost 8 months, because I had such a high failure rate and got discouraged... Gulp. I need to get back on the horse, but I'm sooo nervous.

In the meantime I'm doing a quick sketch for a 1-color linocut that I want to enter in the Art Show at the Dog Show this year. I'll try that before the reduction-it will be nice practice on my new press.

I have 4 pet portraits I'm doing for 'clients' (customers?) for holiday presents too. Three will be in charcoal, and one will be in oil pastel. And my brother Jeff asked that I do 2 "historical" pieces for his new apartment- one the Roman Colosseum and another a 1940's era Berlin cityscape (he is a history Ph.D. candidate with a specialty in WW2)...each 22 x 30... this will be challenging... haven't done buildings in years much less that huge scale.

Will I have time to do my Xmas cards? 2-color reduction of junco's (winter birds up here)... dunno. Not looking hopeful although my sketch is done. I may have to skip Xmas cards this year... sigh.

And I'll end this post with a cutie picture of the three hounds. I hung some suet from my backyard birch tree in hopes of drawing in some Hairy and Downy woodpeckers to photograph. The dogs came outside with me to hang out, but only Jack was really "intrigued" by the suet. I think he really wanted to eat it- crazy dog.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Building a Printing Press- Part 4,569?? The Press is Finished!




Dad and I finished my printing press on Sunday! Here it is, complete and ready for the ride back to my house~! I am so excited. I had sooo much fun building this- working with Dad, learning some carpentry skills, and making such a cool machine!

Now I just need to learn to use it, LOL.

Jen

Building a Printing Press- Part 5

This past weekend I went to Mom and Dad's house and worked on my press... and finished it!! Here is Saturday's work: Building the Jack Ram cup and putting the assembly together.




  The Jack ram cup was formed from electrical socket junction box covers. This was basically taking a round, flat metal cover, bending the sides with a hammer, and cutting it down with a hacksaw. I used a dremel to get the cuts started (making grooves... boy, does the dremel on metal make sparks fly!). This is the final product... a bit misshapen, but it will work (I hope lol):






After I finished the jack ram cup... it was time to put the press together!



Here is the frame of the press....done! YAY!
















Around 6 or so, my brother John arrived and we decided to call it quits for Game Night (we usually play Saturday nights). Guess who won Scrabble that night? Me!!! :o) Winning Scrabble is almost as satisfying as building the press, lol. So Saturday was a good day (well, despite my early-morning discovery of Lucy's toe, that is!).

Jen

Lucy's been overdue...



Well, it's been a couple years since Lucy visited the ER, so it was time for my accident-prone girl to break the dry spell.  Thankfully she didn't flay herself down the side by running into a fence (2002), flay herself over the back and down the side by cutting a corner to fast and catching her skin on the bumper of the parked camper (2007) - this time she only (thankfully) somehow managed to flay the top of one of her back toes- took the top layer of skin and the fur right off!

 
I'm embarrassed to say... I came home from work Thursday and Lucy seemed really stiff. She was also really stiff on Friday. I chalked it up to the arthritis in her lower spine, and just gave her some extra Deramaxx. It never occurred to me that the humpity-stiff posture and minced walking would be from a toe ( I assumed, if it was foot-related, she would have been walking on 3 legs. I guess I learned something!)! Saturday morning I sat down with her on the couch after breakfast, went in to snuggle, noticed the purple, puss-filled toe and freaked!

Thankfully my vet has emergency hours on Saturday and had room to look at Lucy. Not sure what happened- did Jack step on her (he's prone to trample when he gets excited)? Did she catch it in the dog door? Whatever happened, it turned the toe purple and swelled it up pretty badly. Saturday the swelling was so bad, the toe kind of overlapped her little toe next to it... ick. After it was shaved and lanced, the size has gotten smaller and it is looking better.

Poor Lucy has 4 pills (antibiotics) a day to take for the next 10 days! She is a Picky Patty anyway, and "tricking" her into eating horse-sized pills is a nightmare. One I can cut up, because it is a pill-pill, but the other is a capsule. Arg. So far I have hid the mediciine in lumps of butter, wads of bread, and pieces of hot dog- and the wench found them every time, and spit them out unceremoniously! This is going to be a long 10 days.

Extra gentle snuggling ordered for Lucy! :)

Jen

P.S.- The vet said it could also be a mass (cancer) but I don't think it is. I dremel Lucy's nails every month or so, and would have noticed any mass growing on her toes. I'm thinking the toe got caught somewhere and the skin tore.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sketching



Working on some sketches of the hounds- Cliff at the top, Lucy at the bottom. Lu's muzzle is a bit off... too squat or short, or something. Clifford's eyes have been driving me insane... eyes are the hardest part, especially on a straight- or 3/4- view. I struggled for hours with them last night! Finally just erased them off, and will try again after work today.

I know a lot of people just trace photographs and that is how they get their preliminary drawings, but I find a lot of satisfaction from drawing without tracing anything, even though it takes much (much, much, lol) longer and can really be frustrating at times. I go through a lot of erasers!!  I use photos for references, but photos lie a lot especially with anatomy and perspective, so I don't rely on them too much. Not only that, but I (personally) like to look at something, internalize it, filter it through my head, and then let that image out through my fingers, with pencil or carving tool- so the "picture" actually has a little "me" in it. I'm not sure if that makes any sense?

I'm lucky that Lucy is a great model! So is Cliff, of course, but if I'm looking at a photo for a drawing reference and something looks 'off,' doesn't feel right, is too dark/blurry to make out- Lucy is a real champ at letting me examine her anatomy to double-check. How many times has she rolled over on her side for me so I could count her nipples and make sure I don't draw in too many (or too few)?? How many times have I asked her for her paw, so I could more closely examine toe shape and feel out the bones beneath the skin? Lots of times! :o)  Clifford will allow me to do SOME prodding, but usually gets up and leaves in a huff if he feels I'm asking too much.

Jack is shaping up into a good model too, in that he will allow me to flop him around to get a good drawing angle, or check his teeth, toes, etc. If he's feeling sassy though, he'll sometimes mistake my prodding for playtime, and start play-mouthing, kicking, pawing, etc.

And speaking of Jack... he did his first Roach the other day! I didn't get a pic (he moved when I went to grab the camera) but the next night he did it again, and I got a cute photo. This morning he tried to invite Cliff to play with a few playbows and flips- wow! So the boys may be making strides in their relationship. That is very exciting!

Jen

Building a Printing Press- Part 4

Some photos from last Sunday... just got around to uploading them this morning before work. Sigh. The week has gotten away from me... and to be honest, I've just been lazy at night after work. I believe this has totally stemmed from my eating getting away from me... when you eat junk all day you just don't have the energy that you do eating a healthy, vegetarian diet. Twizzlers, cake, lattes, pop tarts and donuts give you great energy for a half hour, but after that... CRASH. Oh, but they are so delish... my sweet tooth (teeth) are out of control... need to rein myself in. I can hardly fit into my pants anymore! So bad! :o(

Anyway, on Sunday I worked exclusively on building the base of my new printing press. I drove over to Mom and Dad's, and they were out shopping, so I let myself in and decided to go to work myself. I hoped Dad wouldn't feel bad that I started without him, but was really excited to see if I could "do it myself" so to speak. And use all those power tools without cutting off a finger or something. :o)

First, the dogs and I went out into the big yard to play for about an hour. After that, I was able to haul their beds into the garage workshop and settle them in while I worked (without MUCH complaint, except from whiney-boy Cliff). Amos, Cliff's BFF, came down to join us but "Fatty McHumpleby", as I've taken to calling him, wouldn't stop sucking on Cliff's leg and trying to hump his shoulder, so I made him go back upstairs.




I first used Dad's drill press to make holes and attach brackets to the bottom 2x4 pieces...



I'm not as precise as Dad is, and so I...um... may have not measured as correctly as I should have. So I had to use his hand-held drill to go back in and make new holes for the brackets I mis-aligned.  Dad came in at this point, helped me fix my mistakes, and took some pictures of me working (man, is my hair really that God-awful orange? I hope it's the camera flash adding some of that florescent-ness). If you notice, I'm wearing SHORTS! We had an Indian Summer day on Sunday, and it got into the 70's!!! Crazy.



This is the bottom of the press (it's upside down). All finished... and I put it together almost all by myself! I love learning carpentry skills...



Here it is, right-side up. The brown MDF board is the press bed. I'm not sure I like the brown and gray together, so I might re-paint the gray at some point. My bottle jack is bright red, though, so maybe it will spruce it up!:



Tomorrow (Saturday) I'm going back over to Mom and Dad's in the afternoon and I'm really, really, REALLY hoping to get this baby finished. I want to use it!!  I'm working on several sketches at this point for new linocuts I'd like to get ready for my Etsy store for the holidays, and I need to design a Christmas card! I wasn't sure I was going to do them this year because of expenses (*coughLucyandClifford'svetbillscough*) but they are so fun and a great way to keep in touch and let family and friends know you are thinking of them.

So much to do!!

Jen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Big Apple Trip for NY Print Fair '09

After finding out about the NY Print Fair from Annie B. last week, I decided to hop a bus to the Big Apple on Saturday and check it out. Galleries of woodcuts, linocuts and etchings? Hooray! It was a 5 1/2 hour ride down, and almost 6 hours back, but Mom happily agreed to check on the dogs for me, so it made a do-able (but LONG) day trip. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera, but that's okay.

The morning didn't start off so well. Okay, I got  up at 4 AM, had the dogs fed and gave them some pampering to tide them over until Mom came for dinner feeding. The day was going to be clear but very cold (low 40's at the most), so I decided to wear jeans, my spring jacket (which is lined) with a sweater underneath, plus bring gloves. Unfortunately I realized that my jeans were all in the hamper, but I didn't want to wear work pants (uncomfortable-yuck), so I just grabbed the pair of jeans off the top of the hamper, figuring they were pretty clean. I had only worn them once or twice and its not like I work out in them or anything. So it wasn't until 6:30 AM, when I'm sitting on the bus in the Syracuse terminal ready to begin the long haul south, when I realize there is dried diarrhea down the front of my jacket and down the leg of one of the jeans. WTH!!! Apparently, one of my poop bags must have had a hole in it yesterday on Cliff and Jack's walk, and the diarrhea leaked out all over me!!! OMG I was so embarrassed!! Once the bus went dark and started on the road, I furtively tried chipping off as much as I could, but I couldn't get it all. Sigh. I can't believe I didn't notice that before I left the house!! Talk about walking humiliation.

Anyway.

Having only 8 hours to cover everything in New York, I decided to start out at the NYC Public Library (which had a GLORIOUS exhibit of early Manhattan lithographs... if you are a NY or map buff, it is a must-see.). This was probably the highlight of my trip. Seeing the streets, fields and forests of Manhattan mapped out in the 1700's and 1800's was really amazing... how much things change. Since I lived in Queens and Brooklyn at one point (or two points, I should say) I was really fascinated to see how those burroughs developed, street by street, through the decades. And how things changed when the island was handed off by the Dutch to the English.

Upon leaving the library, I was pleased to see a naked man, wearing only a navy-blue thong and navy-blue knee socks, hopping up and down the library steps in a theatrical display. He had "NY Yanks" written across his back and chest, and was making quite a scene for the tourists. He looked EXACTLY like Freddy Mercury, so I joined the crowd staring at him, too- I mean, the resemblence was REALLY uncanny. Not only was his dance strange, but it was 35 degrees out! I mean, FREEZING COLD, wind snapping, and the guy was dancing around in only a thong and knee socks.  This is what I miss about living in NYC. We have Whackadoodles that live up here in northern NY, but our Whackadoodles are no where near as amusing as City whackadoodles (and I say that with a heart full of affection).


Well, onto the galleries. There were maybe 10-15 galleries highlighting printmaker artists, but I have to say I was rather disappointed. The art was really modern and abstract... not my thing at all. I did see a wonderful moku-hanga print by Annie on exhibit which totally blew me away, and one other landscape that was so intricately beautiful I couldn't believe it, but everything else was abstract squares, lines, splotches, etc. For the life of me I still cannot "get" modern art. I went into these galleries trying my best to understand what made a woodcut of a rectangle so awesome, or the etching of 2 vertical lines, but... man. I just don't, don't get it. To take a break from the abstract prints I kept seeing, I went up to the Fuller Building in Midtown, which is chock-full of galleries... I seem to remember hearing that Midtown art was more traditional/conservative than the art exhibited in Chelsea...lol. Nope, not at this building. Out of the 10 or so galleries I visited, only two were representative art... one of portraits, one of landscapes. The rest were splotches, lines, etc. Meh.

After the disappointment of not seeing any real shows that inspired me, I went to a few art stores to hopefully buy some GC ink and maybe some linoleum. I only found Speedball inks (ick) and the linoleum seemed really hard. I was hoping all the big art stores in NYC would have a good variety of printmaking materials but not so much. :o( New York Central had a fabulous paper department, but it was so hot and crowded in there that I couldn't even look at the samples- wall to wall art students shopping- it must have been 90 degrees and I was bundled in a sweater and [poopy] jacket. Way too hot and crowded- Didn't stay long.

I then stopped at a place near Macy's and gave my ears a second set of holes- I have wanted to do that for awhile. I can't remember when I got my first set of holes, but it was 6th or 7th grade. As I was sitting in the chair and the earring woman was loading the gun, I started to think, "Hmmm. Maybe getting my ears pierced before a 6 hour bus ride isn't the smartest thing," but I persevered and did it anyway. It hurt, but in a very exciting sort of way. I actually wanted her to keep shooting my ears with it. I don't know what that says about me?!? Lol.


Subway fare is up to $2.50 a ride!! It was $1.50 when I lived in the city, and it wasn't that long ago- late '90's, early aughts. Boy oh boy. Because of that, I walked most of the day (and have the calluses to prove it) instead of bus and subway-ing it. I did treat myself to one cross-town ride on the L, but that was it.

At 7:30, I made my way back to Port Authority to catch my bus. The bus down had been a Trailways, and the bus home would be a Greyhound. I was kind of surprised that on our Greyhound bus, the driver has this plexi-glass (bullet proof glass?) partition that he folded out and used to cage all the passengers in the back! I guess it was to protect himself from hijacking or something, but if he had a heart attack and died... there would have been no way for the passengers to get out once he closed and locked the door. Has anyone ever seen this on a bus before?? (Many thanks to Trace, who just sent me this lovely Greyhound bus story and warns about the dangers of being partitioned in back with the other passengers, who may be a BAD sort of whackadoodle. Thanks Trace!).

We got back to the Syracuse bus station at 1:30 AM, and then I had another 40 minute trip home from there.  Finally got home, horsed with Clifford and Jack for a bit (Lucy was fast asleep and never heard me come in, poor thing). By 3 AM, we were all sound asleep, with poopy jeans and poopy jacket headed straight for the wash!! And all's well that end's well in the Zalewski household- at least for this trip. :o)

Jen

Thursday, November 05, 2009

History/Herstory- Lucy, Clifford and Jack

I posted a "new" blog post yesterday, but because I started it on the 16th, it posted under "October 16." Which stinks, because it's a really fun post so I wish it was at the top of my blog! Oh well...  Here's the link. Anyway, I've been in touch with Jack's racing owner, as well as the kennel that whelped him, and HOLY CRAP I GOT PUPPY PICTURES!!!! So be sure to check out the link for utterly cute squee-worthy brindle puppy cuteness. And I'm not a puppy person, so that's saying something! :o)

That has also got me thinking about Lucy and Clifford's racing careers. Of course, after adoption I right away went to bat searching for pedigrees, long-lost siblings, racing info, etc. I wasn't as lucky with them as I was with Jack, but I thought I'd share some of their "history and herstory" with you. :o)

I wanted to start with Lucy, but Blogger imported her JPG to the bottom of my post and I can't move it for some reason. WTH? So, we'll start with Cliff since his stuff imported to the top.

I was lucky with Cliff in that my great friend Bridget was part of the group that travelled to the racetrack to pick him out. That's right, Cliff was hand-picked especially for yours truly. And B will forever be in my heart for picking me such a special boy!! Anyway... Clifford came with a little strip of paper summarizing his last few races. I dont' know what this is called, but I got one with Lucy too.

Cliff's summary:


This gives Clifford's racing name and a little sentence about him (gender, birthday, sire and dam etc.), the dates of his races, the location (PL- Plainfield Greyhound Park in Connecticut), some numbers that confuse me to this day, and then the description of his performance in each race. You can see what they said about him- "Early Factor, Bumped First Turn, No Threat," etc. Well, if he was a stunning racer on his last few races he probably wouldn't have been retired, so I expect most people see poor comments on their racing slips (or whatever these are called). On the far right are the dogs that actually ended up winning that race.

This is Clifford's Official NGA Bertillion:



A Bertillion is where each dog's color and markings are recorded- right down to the toenail color! As you can see, Cliff is marked Red with mostly "dark" colored toenails (he seems more Red Fawn to me than Red, but whatever). His ear tattoos are at the top of the paper. The Right Ear tatoo of a greyhound holds all their birth/litter info in 3 digits! "68G" means that Cliff was born in the month of June (6th month) in 1998 (8 represents 1998) and his was the 7th puppy (G is the 7th letter) of the litter to be tattoed. Therefore: 68G.  The left tattoo is made up of random numbers to mark the individual.

This is Cliff's official NGA registration certificate. All racing greyhounds are registered with the NGA (National Greyhound Association), as compared to the AKC or UKC. "Pet" scrawled across the certificate means he was released from racing to be adopted out:



Now we'll move on to Jack. This is Jack's NGA Registration Certificate. I dont' know why it wasn't cancelled out, but I only got a copy, not the original.:


If you notice something familiar about his pedigree... yes that's right, Jack's paternal grandsire is Clifford's father! I have two genuine My Rooster boys (okay let's me honest, so do thousands of other people thanks to the miracle of artificial insemination, but still- it feels kind of nice and cozy to have them related.) :o)

Jack's Bertillion is a bit more interesting than Clifford's because he has white tuxedo markings. I am still puzzled why he was registered as a "Brindle." Not that I'm a color expert, but he seems very Dark Brindle to me- much darker than other Brindles (and in case you are wondering, the NGA accepts greyhounds in several different shades of brindle: Black brindle, Dark Brindle, Brindle, Red Brindle, Light Brindle, Blue Brindle).


I didn't get a summary of Jack's racing with his adoption packet, but I found it somewhere on line before... I need to print that out.

And now onto Miss Lucy!!

Poor Lucy... her adoption group didn't provide me with an NGA certificate or Bertillion, so I don't have much on her at all. I did get a summary of her last few races though. As you can see, she also raced at Plainfield (PL). I'm pretty sure the "D" column means she raced at Grade D. Grade A is the fastest, most competitive grade, and I think Grade "J" is the slowest and least competitive (Jack retired racing Grade J, lol). Grade "M" is Maiden (or schooling) races.



I did have a nice surprise with Lucy, though. Like Jack, I was able to get in touch with her racing owner (although he didn't have a website or email). He wrote me a nice letter saying he was happy that she found a nice home, and that she got into a few scraps with other greyhounds during her time at the track. ROFL! Ah, Lucy, Lucy. Well, some things never change...

Lunch break is over. That's it for this exciting installment of Jen & the Greyhounds!

Jen

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Greyhound (& Pug) Playdate!

Today has been sooo busy. I spent the day at Mom and Dad's, hanging out with them, working on my printing press, and having a greyhound (and pug) playdate!

My friend Renee met me at my parents' house. She lives about 7 miles north of them (and I live about 8 miles south) so it's a nice meeting point. Plus, my parents have a half-acre fenced in making it a great play area. Renee brought Mercedes (11 y.o. light brindle grey) and Morgan (1 y.o. brindle grey/dachshund? mix). Combined with Amos (the only pug that would come out to play) and Jack and Clifford (Lucy was sleeping inside), it made for a fun afternoon.

Mercedes gallops around the yard...



Jack playing with a ball...


Mercedes, Clifford, and Jack...

Amos and Morgan play...

Morgan dashes by Amos and Cliff...

Mercedes and Clifford get frisky...

Sniff pile! Jack, Amos, Mercedes and Cliff...

Jack bolting across the yard with the blue ball...

Jack, Mercedes and Morgan...

And this picture, which I love. Renee found Cliff's *favorite* scritch spot. Look at that grin on his kisser! :o)

Building a Printing Press- Part 3

Spent today at Mom and Dad's house, hanging out with the dogs and working on the printing press (oh, and visiting with the parents and my friend Renee, too!). Dad showed me how to use a hacksaw to cut threaded steel and slotted steel bars (which will be used as the sides of the press). I used a metal file to smooth the ends and remove burs.


Of course, since it was ME doing the cutting and not Dad, all my pieces of threaded steel came out different lengths. :o( It won't matter too much, but kind of embarrassing. I measured and all.. what happened?? Oh well.

I also worked on getting the bottom parts of the press ready for assembly... priming, painting, etc. Fun stuff!
I'm hoping to get this baby finished within the next couple weekends or so-?!?

Jen