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Sunday, June 29, 2008

JULY CALENDAR



















If you have signed up to be on the Martin's Glass House email list, please check your current email inbox for a printable PDF of this calendar.

PLEASE NOTE CHANGES IN OPEN STUDIO AND WORKSHOP TIMES FOR JULY!

OPEN STUDIO DATES:

  • ALL WEDNESDAYS: 5:30 - 9:00 PM
  • FRIDAYS, July 11, 18 and 25: 5:30 - 9:00 PM
  • SATURDAY, July 5 and July 19: 10 AM - 2 PM, Bring a Sack Lunch

WORKSHOPS:

  • Saturday, July 12: Cabachon Workshop (for wire wrapping), 1 PM - 3 PM

  • Saturday, July 26: Wire Wrapping Workshop, 1 PM - 3 PM - PRE-PAYMENT REQUIRED - please mail to:

Martin's Glass House, 2315 Douglas Dr., Laramie WY 82070


FEES & DESCRIPTIONS:

Open Studio: $10 studio fee (includes kiln firing, use of tools and equipment, and all instruction and guidance) + cost of all materials. No experience required to attend an open studio. You may make any project you like. If you do not already know how to cut glass, please take advantage of this time to learn glass cutting skills.

Cabachon Workshop: $25 fee. Cabachons: fused glass "blobs" (like those used for pendants) that can be dressed up by wire wrapping, using gold and silver wire to make plain and fancy wire baskets. In the Cabachon Workshop, you may make up to three cabachons of different sizes and shapes (up to 1-1/4 " square or round each, including dichroic glass) to be used for the wire wrapping workshop - all for this one low fee!

Wire Wrapping Workshop: $25 fee, PRE-PAYMENT REQUIRED. Local Laramie artist, Dillon Ruland, will be providing instruction on wire wrapping your fused glass cabachons. Select 2-3 of your own cabachons (these can be made at the Cabachon Workshop on July 12) or purchase pre-made cabachons at the workshop. All wire, tools and instruction are included for this one low fee!


Phil's Wire Wrapped Cabachon

Learn to create a wire "basket" to hold your fused glass cabachon, then attach it to a neck cord to wear it as jewelry, or use ribbon to turn it into an ornament.

Once you have learned the basic wire wrapping basket design, you can create limitless designs to make each of your cabachons unique!

Phil made this basic wire wrapped pendant on his first try!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Frogs in the Lilacs - and in the Blender

Good Morning, Laramie!

It was Friday, June 6th, and we woke up to yet another beautiful (but windy) day on the incredible marshlands of the high plains in southeastern Wyoming. A male mallard took flight from his morning bathing hole and nearly crashed into the dining room window as he headed toward the wetland.


We took a look across the street. Yes! Our lake was still there! We didn't know how much we would enjoy living on a lake! The grass is so tall, it hardly looks like a lake; but, lake it is! Susie and Brad's house, though, was still an island.





The Cottonwood Homeowners Association borrowed pumping equipment from the City. Early in the morning, the process began to pump water from the residential area into the river. All day long, City vehicles, Game and Fish vehicles, and Lookie-Lou vehicles came into the neighborhood to see the flooding that made the headlines of the news in the Friday Laramie Boomerang.



The gas company had been out on Thursday to shut off the gas to Susie and Brad's house. The gas meter was under about three or more feet of water. Actually convenient for us because a number of people had smelled gas coming from our gas meter, so while the guy was here to check on the submerged meter, he was able to fix our gas leak.







Then... the process began. Seemed like it should be a simple thing (easy for me to say). Stick the pump hose into the water and pump it into the manhole, which leads to the storm drain under the road and empties into the commons area, eventually to drain into the Laramie River. They began draining water from the wetland area. Then decided to try to block off the culvert from the wetland to the drainage ditch o that they could just get the wetland water out.

But, using a shovel to try to dig up enough sludge to close the culvert only released mud into the drainage ditch, and didn't stop the flow of the water downstream which - as you can see by the early morning photo above - was flooding the rest of the residential area. We'd never seen so much water in our neighborhood before.



So, they brought in the Big Guns that could plow up enough sludge in one fell swoop to block the flow of water to the drainage ditch. And pumping only the wetland area began. The pile of sludge is to the lower right of the photo.




And, this is what it looked like in the manhole/storm drain system. Skippy and I knew you would want to see this. I asked the guy if the frogs were in there. He said he didn't know. I sort of imagined this to be like a frog "blender"... the water was swirling around forcefully, moving very turbulently down the drain.




So, because Skippy and I knew you'd want to see this, too, we walked down to the end of the street to see the water coming out the other end. If I can figure out how to put the video of this into this blog, I'll put that at the end. Amazing! This is where the frog smoothie emptied into the Laramie River!



But, just draining the wetland area didn't remove much, if any, water from Brad and Susie's yard. Skippy and I saw Susie leaving for work. She said they weren't having any problems in their crawl space, though - that their sump pump was moving the water out. So, that was good! But the pumping crew decided they would pump Susie's yard after they drained a lot of water from the wetland area.

The pumping crew hooked up about a dozen 50-foot long hoses from the pumper, running the hoses down along the side of the road, across our driveway, to the next manhole cover, which is in front of our neighbor's house. Kind of interesting. I didn't even know we had that many manholes on our street.

The drainage ditch was pumped next. Hadn't seen it that low on water in a long time.





To give you an idea of how big these hoses are - because Skippy and I knew you'd want to know, I put my cell phone down next to them. Can you see the phone? It's in the lower center of the photo. The pumping crew said they couldn't turn the pumper on full power because it would have forced too much water down the storm drain too fast - also that the force of the water would catapult the hose out of the manhole!

Those hoses can move a lot of water - and frogs - downstream!

But the crew then realized that they were losing some water en route to the river, in more places than this one in the photo.




And, by the time the water got to the second manhole, the hose was kinked and water wasn't coming out very fast at all. (Maybe too many frogs?) By this time, Phil had gotten home and got into the action, helping Lee (on the right) and Rich (on the left) try to get the kinks out of the hose.



As a side note: When Phil did come home, he tried to pull into the driveway, by going around the hoses blocking our driveway, on the shoulder of the road in what everyone out here calls the "borrow his truck is deeply stuck in mud. Skippy's thinking, "Yeah. If I had a 4th leg I could help pull that truck out of there." The Game and Fish truck couldn't pull him out, and our neighbor couldn't pull him out, and the tow truck guy never showed up last night to try to get him out. So, the truck is still there today (Saturday, the 7th).

Welp, the pumping crew decided to return to Plan A - back to the first manhole - to pump Brad and Susie's yard. Katrina (center of the pump hose) came down to survey the situation just in time to help move the pumper hose over to the other side of the road from the drainage ditch to pump the yard.





And Phil got to hook up the hose to the pumper. All he could say about this picture is that it's his checkbook in the photo.








By sundown, some progress on the pumping was evident as the gas meter began to emerge from the water in Brad and Susie's yard.





Isn't this incredible lake front property? This is this morning's (Saturday, June 7th) sunrise over Martin Lake Resort. This morning there is no wind. I can hear the birds singing - or maybe it's frogs - from the house. I recorded the frog noises by the lilacs in our yard yesterday (the wind recording came along with it for free) and, if I can figure out how to do the video thing, I'll put that at the end of the blog, too.


Looking west, all things look pretty quiet. The pumper worked into the night - well after 10 PM. They didn't pump our yard - they knew we wanted to save the ducks' swimming hole, I'm sure. But, it looks like some of our lake has drained into the drainage ditch now that it was carrying less water - or maybe the grass is just too high to tell how deep the water is now.



The pumper stands silent. Phil wondered if it ran out of fuel. We'll know later today if they come back to pump anything more out of Brad and Susie's yard or the wetland area. The neighborhood kids were concerned that there wouldn't be any water left for the salamanders that they enjoy catching over in the wetland area. It's funny how much kids grow over a winter. They sure look older and taller than when we saw them last summer.


And this is what Brad and Susie's yard looks like this morning. The dogs should still enjoy it.

We'll keep you posted. Today we are going to Chef Ron and Chef Anne's wedding - the chefs who cook for our YUM (Young Uh-dult Ministry) lunches. They won't be cooking for us tomorrow. We'd planned a BBQ and Wiffle Ball Tournament, but it looks like we might be frog hunting instead of playing ball.

And here is where I will try to insert the videos of the frogs in the lilacs, and the water moving in the manhole to the river.

VIDEOS:

Frogs in the Lilacs - with Wind: Purposely no talking so that you get the full pleasure of the wetland sounds.

Water in the Manhole: No talking, just turbulent water sounds - and wind.

Water into the River: Yes - there will be talking, water sounds and wind. Amazing - no frog sounds!























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































video

Thursday, June 5, 2008

FLOOD UPDATE AFTER JUNE 4TH STORM


It's exciting living across the street from a wetland - or IN a wetland!

We woke up this morning to see that we have a pond (not quite a lake again yet, but working on it) again in our front yard after a tremendous thunderstorm last night. The ducks were back in the pond this morning - and this afternoon they were cruising in the drainage ditch.

It rained constantly all night long and throughout the whole day today.




Across the street, the house is an island. The newspaper reporter was just there taking photos and interviewing the owner who, at the time, was trying to bail out her crawl space, keep the dogs occupied by throwing sticks into the water to keep them from chasing the dead animals that the water was surfacing, and talk to the gas company guy who had to wade into the water to shut off the gas.




The water this week is backing up mainly on the other side of the road, and is now flowing down the street. Our yard is in the foreground of this photo - the house across the street in the background, and the water is seen here at the corner of the road. The fire marshal was here (he lives in the neighborhood) to investigate. He discovered that someone at the far end of our drainage ditch has permanently blocked off the flow of the ditch into the river - consequently, the water has been backing upstream in our yards.




Here is where the water is crossing the road and beginning to flood our neighbor's neighbor's yard. This photo was taken at about 2 pm today.







Here is our neighbor's neighbor's house across the street from us where the water flooded their yard - photo taken at about 5:30 p.m. That's our driveway in the center foreground.

The good thing about this is, Phil isn't going to have to mow the lawn for a while. Also, it's keeping them varmits a bit under control this year - and Skippy continues to do his part to help. Not sure what it's going to do for our wiffle ball tournament and BBQ this Sunday, though!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ARK SURVIVES FLOOD! VICTORY AT SEA!

Yes! The ARK survived the recent flood at Martin Lake Resort!
Floodwaters have receded, so it's sad to say that we have no more ducks because we have no more lake. Skippy has been busy unearthing them furry little varmits that were surfacing due to the high level of water in the soil - digging them up, then reburying them after their demise, over in the Native American Beagle burying mound. And we are busy unearthing relics that were stored in the crawl space (aka "indoor pool") to see what happened to them in the flood.


But... Good News! The ARK survived the flood! When it was found, the occupants were still inside, seated exactly where they were (40 days/40 nights) since the flood. Apparently they were little phased by the whole ordeal, as they were found still reading some captivating books with images of flowers in them.





The ark, built by Phil's grandfather many, many, many years ago (okay - not exactly in Noah's time), was found resting upon the mount at the top of our driveway after extracting it from the crawl space. Still in pretty good shape - a little dusty, musty smelling, but otherwise in pretty good shape. In this photo, you can see where the water level was on the bottom of the ark - where the paint is cracking off the bottom (see brown streaks in photo).

There were some other items, though, in questionable condition - such as three boxes of old 78 rpm and 33 rpm record albums (the equivalent of CDs and DVDs from many, many years ago, though not Noah's time!). The jackets are mostly pretty well water damaged, but the records might be salvagable. Perhaps 1963 wasn't such a good year... at least for this particular album.

A few albums escaped much damage at all. Maybe a little dampness, but otherwise at least in pretty good shape. For one: VICTORY AT SEA! Imagine that!





We still have more boxes of to sort out, to figure out what to do with what we've salvaged, where to store it again - but, hey... the crawl space is getting cleaned out, so that's cool! Unfortunately, there are 5-6 plastic containers of Christmas decorations still in the crawl space. I wish some of them had been in paper boxes so we could just get rid of them.





















































So, that's it for the first round of crawl space extractions. No salamanders discovered as yet, but stay tuned for further adventures at Martin Lake Resort.