A Little Bit Late But Loads of Pictures To Catch Up

The meadow is exploding with goldenrod!

So yellow!

Walking along a newly mowed path I was briefly seeking shelter from a quick shower in this covered picnic area,

Just off to the left is my new house.

Then on with the walk…

Past this lovely tree and following the creek by the Indian Mound entrance…I found where it meets the river behind the corn field.

And more interesting trees.

And wildflowers…

On the way back to the house I talked to a man flying his remote control airplane. I took a picture of it flying around me.

The following day I returned to the river behind the cornfield.

My house is one of those roofs on the opposite side of the corn field.

I gathered moss for my moss gardens by the front door where there is no sunshine.

My remaining fish bottles with wires and rocks will hang over this bench when my son and Marla return for Thanksgiving.

While walking through the meadow I saw many butterflies and added some to my Meadow Book.

It was nice to have time to catch up with my book and what is happening in the meadow.

And one more thing. At the end of the kitchen cabinets sits the Information Center. It never occurred to me how easily it would be mistaken for a Bible open on a podium. The movers were the first to ask if it was a family bible. No, we never had one of those in my house. We had dictionaries.

Perhaps it is an assumption of where I live…that this would be a bible. It is not. And when I looked over to see what page it was opened to I found this sweet little drawing….illustrating a quintain.

A quintain is a mounted target for jousters when practicing. Interesting, right? A good scrabble word if nothing else…doubtful it will come up in cocktail conversations, but I might just share it anyway before opening the dictionary to a new section. And the word “quirk” is a good one for Wordle. I will check out that word, “quirt” before I change the pages. The fact that the acid content in the pages causes browning of the edges, gives it even more authority and the wisdom of age. It was published in 1983.

So that is all for now.

Til later….


More Settling

New light fixture is now hung in the dining area and dimmers added to switches.

That was Monday at 7 a.m. And that evening I invited other neighbors who are just moving in if they would like to take a break from unpacking and come for a drink at five. Cheese, crackers, fruit and wine. was laid out.

It was an enjoyable evening exchanging moving experiences and what we liked about our new houses.

I took some time off to just draw birds from the meadow.

Early this morning the shades man came and now all the windows have their shades.

I have ordered more shades for the porch because the afternoon sun makes it very hot out there.

This sign caught my eye at the gym the other morning.

Speaking of the gym, last week a young man and I passed each other in the hall and then both turned around quickly. He used to work out with Lee and I at another gym a few years ago. He was a nurse at the hospital and when things became hard for all the changes needing to be done for Lee, he offered to help and gave me his phone number. I kept it stuck to my sun visor but never called.

When Covid came I quit going to the gym there near the hospital and did not start again until a year ago here near the new house. Now almost a year later I run into this dear man and it turns out he works at the care center where Lee is cared for and even feeds him on occasion. Because Lee has changed so much in appearance and this is miles away from where we had met before, he never connected the name.

Anyway, I reminded him that a few years ago I had told him when I needed him, perhaps he could come over to have a scotch and just talk. Tonight when he finishes work and working out at the gym, he is coming over for that drink and a good catch up on our lives. He has moved from where he lived before and now lives not too far from me. He is a very kind and generous nurse and I am so happy that he likes his new position at the care center.

Isn’t life surprising?

So I picked up a pizza because he will likely need dinner after our scotch.

Now I am going to take another walk through the meadow to find more changes to draw. Crows are gathering over that way…..

Til later….

Small Distractions

I brought home an armload of flowers to put on the hearth a few days ago. The new living room rug is down but wants to keep curling on the ends where it had been rolled. Cartons are weighting the taped edges but it will take some more time for it to go flat.

I added a smaller snake than we had before to the front garden. Then ordered a bamboo fountain and small pump to have a water feature by the front door in a favorite old pottery bowl.

Then I took a day to organize and catch up on the alcohol consumption books. I started them over twenty years ago. The book had to be covered with a carry bag of some alcoholic beverage. The early ones were LCBO standing for Liquor Control Board Ontario. The first came with a friend bringing a very nice Dalwhinnie single malt scotch. The book pages are blank sheets where a label of something alcoholic is peeled from the bottle, pasted onto the page with a comment or two of how much I liked the drink and how much I may or may not have liked the company I drank it with. No label was to be repeated but the companions certainly could be. The books are made in all sorts of sizes depending on the packaging I am fitting for the cover. Extra short folios are added to allow for the addition of labels taking up space.

So here is the one just finished and the new one just started.

The book on the left from an excellent time with Australian friends lasted until the final drink at my old place. The one on the right was the only way I could find to fit the box a terrific scotch came in given to me from an equally terrific student in Australia. I drank the scotch there but brought the box home. If you are ever in Tasmania drop in to the distillery and enjoy.

Above is the inside cover

And here are pages from the previous book so you can see neatness is not a priority.

And the new labels in the new book. The first page is a bottle of 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon. I kept this bottle because it was the last I had with the original convict chosen for the label. His descendants later objected and now there is a different one. It seemed fitting it be one of the first in the book.

Then my love of 19 Crimes faded as they were willing to put anyone who served time on their labels. Celebrity Americans who had not a single thing to do with the 19 crimes of deportation from England to Australia.. My daughter’s partner, Ben, brought this one down to celebrate the new house…knowing I would not make the purchase myself.

The one on the right is the last of one of Patrick’s very excellent choices in scotch whiskey. So now the book waits for a new to me label from a bottle of something hopefully drunk in good company. There is a wonderful history in the pages of these books. And when a favorite companion passes on, I slip the obituary into the pages where we last had a nice drink together. There are now fifteen books in all. And in addition, the two Covid books with labels of what was getting us, the family,  through isolation.  Those, of course, are not near the fun of the others to look back on.

And finally today, to stall opening more boxes, I made some savoury scones. I learned two things in the process. How to make buttermilk out of milk. Just add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk. Mix together and wait 8 minutes before using. You could also use white vinegar but I am not a fan of vinegar.

The other thing I learned is not to separate the scones after cutting them into wedges to bake. Cut them into equal pieces but bake the round whole before separating them after baking and cooling.

These are delicious using up bits in the refrigerator.

Til later….

More Pictures/More Stories

The evening before last, just about wine time, I got a facetime call from friends in Australia. It was so good to hear their voices and be remembered by them. No wonder I have Australia greet me when I come in the front door!

On the chest below the large Aboriginal artworks sit The Fatal Shore pieces. I made these from Robert Hughes’ book shortly after the devastating fires there from a few years ago. The one in the back is made like a raft. There is an old padlock for the convict settlers and a rusted pin that supports an oar. All of it has been burned in places. The low boat in front is where I took the pages of his book, opened them to shape to an old wooden boat that I burned in Aboriginal marks. The pages are colored with the soils of Australia. Scattered wooden sticks that have been burned in patterns scatter across the front. The colorful card came with two lovely reds from friends who came to see the house last week.

Here is how the den is shaping up. This morning the internet was hooked up in the office area of the den.

Still no shades yet, but maybe this week.

More arranging needed on the shelves above the TV and books. Then where the old Chinese cabinet ended up near the end of the kitchen island.

And the shelves on each side of the fireplace.

At the top is a wood block print by Gwen Diehn and a couple of my Patriarchs that did not get buried.  On the left is the River Lethe Boat that I made when Lee was losing his memory. I loved making this after a bit of research of how the passengers boarded the boat after drinking the water of forgetting from the river. They step in and drop their luggage on the way down to be seated below. All the tiny text that appears on them and the strings representing flowing water are in the past tense. I took the piece a bit further and imagined that the ferryman had a lapse of memory and drank the water, so ended up just tying the boat to a piling to wait for what happens next.

The next shelf down I just took hold of all the New Zealand flax baskets I’ve made over the years with basket makers in Australia and stuck them into the corner. The glass trophy I won with a wonderful cash award from the South Australia Museum is tucked in with the baskets. On the right is a collection of Lee’s turned bowls.

Below that is Chad Hagen’s felted journal page and Jo McEwen’s egg tempera painting with Indian printing blocks and metal animals.

Then a Doris Messick basket, more bowls, some by John Jordan, a boat I made of sticks and handmade papers, plus a small mixed media piece from an artist in central Tasmania who opened a cafe in an old stone church. Finally an Australian insect.

Below are boxes made about Australia and a large one holding all the gifts from students over fourteen trips down under. They sit next to a burial boat I made in front of an old Indonesian heddle.

Below that are my hand sewing baskets and a magazine basket.

The top shelf you can’t see is all baskets Lee brought home from Thailand and the cased Patriarch from my undergraduate days. Another one not buried.

Then a scroll journal entry from Helen Sanderson’s trip to the Antarctic, a voodoo basket from Africa and a ceramic piece by Obie Clark.

Next is the non nourishing bowl I made in undergraduate school about why men leave, Ted Cooley’s raven, another bowl by Lee and assorted baskets by makers I knew in my basket making days….Theresa Ohno, Grace Kabel, Polly Sutton and Edith Bondie.

Next an old carrying basket from South America, a yogurt carrier belonging to a Messiah warrior, a Knud Olson turned bowl, engraved prints by Lucious DeBose, an oil can I bought at a flea market in Ballarat, Victoria, more turned pieces and a vase with mudcloth markings that I really needed to own.

Then another turned piece by Lee, a Zulu basket, Froud’s Box made in honor of Brian Froud for all his Fairy research, another foundry mold holding monkey ball gourds, and a small family of Indonesian powder holders all gathered in the corner.

Lastly are the two baskets that have always held my extra napkins, the Bose speaker, a wicker hamper with books I have made topped by a sweetgrass basket.

On the old post office table from Brasstown sits the In Search of Lost Time Series of three using old clock parts and text from Proust. The explorers “chess” game from Expedition to Elsewhere: the Evidence sits in the middle (I could not bear to bury it with the rest of their explorations), The Writer sits with a guest book from our old house on the left of the table with a small glass case made by Marla Shelton about Lee and me.

I took time yesterday to catch up on the sketchbooks.

The cats and I are home.

New area rug comes tomorrow with an Amazon order of new towels, bedspread set and dining light fixture.

More later…..