Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Neosho and beyond

Time flies....finally taking a minute to tell you about a place we went to while visiting Neosho, WI. We went there for a wedding and a couple days after I requested that we take a drive to Nick Engelbert's homestead, and immigrant from Austria, where he mosaic'd his house and made garden sculptures. I have always been drawn to this type of work and love a book called "Fantasy Worlds"
I'd like to go to Barcelona, Spain to see Antoni Gaudi's work. Just amazing.

So we set out on our way to one of the nearest sites of mosaic/grotto type of homes. The nearest being 2 hours away. Many of the sculptures on the grounds are reproductions. The originals were breaking down and now reside at the Kohler Foundation. In 1961 Nick Engelbert died after a year of cancer, he had lived in the home for almost 30 years. He moved to his daughter's and son's-in-law in Maryland to live out that last year. 10 years prior to his death he took to painting on a regular basis, a very naive folk art style and pieces of these are displayed in the home and also at the Kohler Foundation. 

Here are some of the pictures we took while there:

Unfortunately, a part that no longer exists are columns with arches that were the beginning of his project. There were pictures of it on display and it would have been so cool if they were still there. They were part of the entrance to the grounds. 

The exterior is cement and rocks and the porch is a mix of rocks and shards of ceramic dishes, metal pieces, broken beer bottles and other trinkets.

The entrance of the grounds is this guy and his monkey, he takes the donations.

Original pieces displayed inside the house

this is part of Paul Bunyan that is no longer on the grounds but some pieces of the sculpture remain. Paul, himself, was 11' tall.

This art is one of two similar paintings done on a wall right before Nick moved from his home. 

Nick's wife was an avid gardener, which is one reason why he began these mosaic sculptures. Now, more gardens exist around each sculpture to help protect them from weather. 

When we arrived, a newly built large shed that is used for art classes was in progress of being mosiac'd by volunteers -- we were invited to join in. I put in a few shards and R's girls spent some time leaving their mark.

It was a nice afternoon, I'm glad I was able to convince the family to take this road really didn't take too much arm twisting as we all enjoy creativity. We had some trouble with cameras, though. R's sister's camera that we borrowed, stopped working, we thought it might be batteries. R went into the small town and bought some new ones. It wasn't the batteries. As I fiddled with it, the zoom lens opened, and then wouldn't close, and stayed like that. We couldn't take pictures but we could review pictures. I had my camera with me, just in case it might give me a break and work. It did for a few snaps and then did the purple haze thing again. So, like any reasonable camera owner would do, I threw it to the ground. Sometimes slapping it on my hand would jostle things to a working position but that wasn't happening....what else was a girl to do except throw it on the grass? After a couple times of doing this, it finally worked again and I was able to take a few pictures, as seen above. I was also able to get some of this drive in diner "we HAD to go to" due to a certain young lady's experience a few years back:

Back in the day (it's been around for 40-50 years) the waitresses wore roller skates and brought your food out to you on a tray that attached to your car window. They still have the trays but now they wear sneakers. Because it was a bit warm out, we chose to sit at a picnic table.

When I was a kid we had an A&W about 20 minutes from us and Mom and Dad would take us there for burgers and we ALWAYS got a root beer float. At Kilties we had the burger, onion rings and a chocolate swirl custard (it's not called ice cream I believe because of the whole milk and whole other ingredients) Later that day, I regretted that I chose to have a Kiltie lunch, I'm not used to eating that way and my stomach wasn't happy about my choices. But, it was a fun experience.

Next adventure -- Nantucket, MA.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lucy goes on vacation??

Well, Miss Lucy went to stay with Angela while I'm in Wisconsin (Neosho area if you live in WI) At first, Angela and her family were a little worried in that Lucy wasn't interested in much of anything. Angela's new kitty Reesie wasn't thrilled at first to have her there (although she loves Angela's dog Cassy) Well, apparently Reesie sat vigil next to Lucy's crate the first night. Has had an interest in her since and apparently is really starting to like her being there. Lucy? well, she's kind of has the "what the?" thing going on it looks like....

Lucy actually came out of her crate yesterday and went to the screen door as everyone was eating dinner outside. She went out, roamed around, did her duties and after about 15 minutes, went back inside. Small steps, but steps.

I think she'll be fine and we don't have to worry about her ability to become somewhat comfortable.

Can I just tell you? it's bleeping hot, humid and the air is incredibly thick...I thought it was hot in CT but this is crazy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lucy's new eyes...

The camera gave me a reprieve...

Lucy's eyes BEFORE cataract surgery:

Lucy's eyes AFTER surgery:
she's actually giving me the "what the $%&@ are you putting that thing in my face for?" 

Every time the camera made a noise she tried to run and hide in her eyes, but she still gets spooked...we're working on that. 

Today she went up AND DOWN stairs with wooden treads. The first time coming down was on her own, she has a tendency to want to fly over a couple, she found out that doesn't really work in her favor. So when it was time to go down again I sat a few steps before her and she carefully walked each step down with me repeating "eeeeeeaaasy" for each one. She done good!!!

When I was getting things back out to my car, although I tried to thwart it, she scooted out the door. Down the road she went (community of condos, not a well traveled street) and I chased after her, calling her, she didn't care, she pretended not to hear me (Schnauzers are good at that) and off she went. Fortunately, she found something smelling pretty good in a yard and I was finally able to get her to heed my call. Silly girl. 

I wish I could get a picture of her smiling...she looks soooo happy, it's very cute. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lucy's eyes of diamonds...

I really really wanted to be able to post a picture of the new Lucy face. (the camera is still not functioning properly but I've found out the problem.) She is so cute I can't even stand it. Two Mondays ago (July 26) she had her cataract surgery and this past Monday we went for a post-op visit. In between the two the week progressed in her favor. After a few days of laying low (and me feeling not much had changed with her) she started to open up, come out of her crate a little more. Thursday I could see the difference in that she could see things to walk around them, instead of into them. Yeyyyyyy!!! Her eyes look bright and happy. They shaved around her eyes for the surgery and it looks so good on her, her beautiful brown eyes (without cloudy discs) are happy. She's smiling a lot, too. Really. She has changed, a little more confident. At first you could tell she wasn't so sure about this sight thing and that made me a little nervous, would it backfire and make her more nervous and scared? it didn't, thank goodness. She walks differently, runs differently, well, she actually runs I should say because she can see if something is coming up in front of her, she didn't run before. Her head is high, she prances like a horse. Did I mention how cute she is and how much she is in my heart?

Her eye drop schedule is beyond anything you'd want to have in your life, but I haven't gotten all flustered about it, surprisingly, but I was lacking some sleep. I just set my phone alarm for the time reminders. It went off 10 times a day for a week. Each time, I gave anywhere from 1 to 4 different eye drops, at least 5 minutes apart, for each application, there were 8 meds to shuffle around. I had a was the only way. It started at 6am and ended at 11pm. This cataract after care is serious stuff. This week she has eight, also, but the alarm is sounding only 9 times. She is SO GOOD at getting the drops. That's when she is coming when I call, for the drops! love that girl.

Her eye check on Monday went smoothly with a little shaking on Lucy's part. She was very curious of the new sights but after sitting around for a bit, she started to hide between or behind my legs and shook lightly.

The left eye didn't have a lens replaced (insert non-understandable medical jargon here as to why) so she will only and always have far sightedness in that eye. The right eye is still inflamed, so she actually isn't seeing much at all (she could have fooled me) this eye did have the lens replaced but she may end up, when all is said and done, not really being able to see out of this eye. I am thinking in a positive manner that the inflamation will go down and she will see as sharp as ever.

What I am amazed at is how she is a different dog...still afraid of loud noises, or too much noise, but most of the time will come to me when called. She ONLY came before if I asked her if she was hungry and then her body would stretch out as far as it could in order to get the food. Sometimes, she'd come out and turn right around, she'd do this 3 or 4 times and then decide to not come out into the kitchen. Tough Love here...she didn't get to eat. The next day she'd come out and stay, a little more eager.

Right now I think it's the e-collar that scares her off a bit because there isn't any peripheral sense of sight or hearing. She's gotten used to it being in her way and just barrels through if it stops her by getting caught on something. Initially they said it would have to stay on for 4 weeks, ugh!, but now it can be removed over the weekend.

It was so funny...on Friday I took her to my job (I paint interiors) and my client loves dogs so she said to bring her in. I did. She followed me around each step I took, while working. I was working in an 8x10 laundry room with a washer and drier in the middle of the room. Painting scrunching down and Miss Lucy needing to be right there, well, it took me a little longer than it should have, and yes, she ended up with paint alongside her body. It was so funny to see her following me around like that, she showed no attachment to me before her surgery.

Today I stopped by a friend's and Lucy was right there with me, not venturing too far with me out of her sight. Did I tell you how cute she is?

We didn't get a lot in donations for this surgery and used up just about all our funds, but we felt it was really worth doing for has brought me so much joy... I think she's pretty damn happy about it, too.