A Bit of a Break

Our son came down to spend time with Lee. They stay in the shop or at Lowes Hardware store getting things to use in the shop. Lee loves it because they can get back to making glasses out of wine bottles.

After the glass is cut and polished Patrick will put a food grade epoxy in the stem and turn some exotic woods for the bases. Sometimes they will put some frosted design on them.

Patrick will go home tomorrow and Lee and I will get back to doing nothing in the shop because I am so afraid he will turn on a power tool. But he will spend a few days vacuuming any dust up and asking when Patrick will return.

Last night I had the fixings for spring rolls laid out for our dinner. This is easy and I will do it more often because Lee likes it and it is easy!

I did get away for an overnight in Asheville. Some shopping, a lunch out and good views and visits. I leave long before my friend gets up so I can take in Trader Joe’s on the way home. I decided to buy several frozen meals there to make dinners easier for me. By dinner time my energy is pretty much depleted. And because their red and orange peppers were only a dollar each, I bought several to make meat stuffed peppers for Lee and a vegetarian version for myself….all now in the freezer.

This morning when I went out to get a shovel to bury the forgotten piece from funeral the other day I found this little fellow in an over weed-filled  garden.

There is no way to keep up with the weeds so I have let them go. The deer have chomped down some azaleas in the front yard and later this fall I will just pull them up.  A lady who wandered into the driveway a week or so ago told me of a friend who bought a house here in the area because she just loves it here…..and then turned around and sold it because there is no one willing or able to do work whether it is in the gardens, yards or house repairs. I understand but need to keep Lee in the place he is used to for as long as I can.

Winter will come and then everything will die off….the ultimate weed control.

But I did bury the last little thing this morning and covered the place with the last of my collected soils for watercolors and laid out all the sweetgrass on top of that.

I like this picture and may use it for the cover of a book of notes on letting go.

And in the meantime I will finish the framing of the textile/prints pieces and then what? Not sure. Maybe start to do something made up of lots of small stitched parts….a quilt of sorts with paper and cloth and threads.

This one is a wood engraving I did with antique Japanese cloth patches stitched on.

And a woodcut of an owl I did years ago with textiles.

I am hoping to find a shop that will take them.

Anyway that is enough for now.

Til later.

Final Resting Place – Finally!


Today the grave digger came. He brought a worker to help with the clearing and luckily for me carried all the pieces and assisted with the laying in.

For a while in my artist imagination I thought I might dress in black, carry an umbrella, lean over the hole with sadness…..maybe even have a fellow artist help me with the placement. But no, this was better. I took the helper aside and said, “Listen, you have to do this in a certain order. It matters.”

His response, “Yes, Miss Sandy.”

How perfect was that!

Here he is laying down the cloth in the fresh dug hole.

Then the houses are placed. Tony, the helper does all the carrying down a slippery slope and hands the work to Steve who dug the hole.

Then all those patriarchs….so glad to be laid to rest by men they would have appreciated.

Lovingly collected earth pigments mixed together and tossed over.

The war works get laid next and I tell the boys to be careful as these represent the suffering…lay them down softly.

Then the Expedition to Elsewhere pieces go down.

I toss the collection of Artist Group Meeting notebooks into the center of the pile.

Once the boat gets laid on top with all the specimens inside, they cover it with the banners.

My final view. And then the dirt goes back.

Pack it all down.

And then it is done.

I turn and find a small piece from the Expedition to Elsewhere….it was just a small basket made to fill wall space in the exhibit. I will bury it with the rest while the dirt is still soft enough to get it underground. And I will scatter the rest of the soils on top of that and cover it all with the sweetgrass. Just not today. It is hot and humid out there.

My outside studio space is empty again. I can’t remember when there was not a pile of things out there waiting for something to happen.

I will go read a book….another good book.

I tried to not read too quickly the book by Paul Howarth titled, Only Killers and Thieves, but yesterday it wouldn’t leave me alone. Like a Cormac McCarthy the writing draws you in with the writing of place, descriptions of people….but like McCarthy, not for the faint of heart. I have to say I loved it and hope that he writes a sequel. It reminded me in no small part of McCarthy’s first of the Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses.

So now I have dug out a book that a friend in Australia gave me to read on the plane coming back home. I saved it to read when I had just finished another Australian story and was not quite ready to say goodbye.

Then I am sure it will be back to some other mystery from the Brits to get lost in.

And just a couple more remarks about Australians. I miss them. I miss that I am not on the roster to teach this coming year. We mostly keep in touch and they will let me know who the lucky tutor is that will have them in a workshop. They are the best students ever and will push themselves to get the most from whatever is on offer.

And you know what else. They will call each other, “gorgeous”. I love that they use that to compliment each other and no one checks to see if that person really is “gorgeous”. I miss being called gorgeous, but last week I came close.

The Hispanic waitress at the diner looked me right in the eye and said, “You are very beautiful.” And all I did was order my usual pecan waffle. The word “beautiful” is lovely in a Spanish accent. Made me feel gorgeous just hearing her say it.

Til later.