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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weather, whether or not

Saturday was a nearly perfect day. All windows open and breezes wafting in the pollen. Today began dragging in the humidity, too, and suddenly it was time for windows down and air up.

Laura stopped for a couple of weeds in the garden on our way to the grocery store this morning, and she found our very own Mr. Toad has exited his winter abode.

How about that for stink eye? I just noticed his chest markings look like a couple of playful tadpoles. That would only elicit more stink eye. "Hruumph, stupid old woman. Tadpoles are not toads!"

He was close to the size of my hand, so I elected to let him be.

I have no idea what this flower is. The coral bells have grown up since last week, too.

So, back to the weather I led off with. We got to mid eighties today, and then the bottom falls out all week long.  The threat of severe weather in the middle of the country trumps my whining about forties overnight next week. I hope the potential for tornadoes spares people. 

I read an interesting quote, "They don't vote governments in son, they vote them out." Also from my lips to God's ear, we must exchange out these climate deniers, and that's just for starters.

My sister's chives did not overwinter, so I promised her a trowel full when I see her next. That could be sooner than later, or later than sooner. She says she will oversee the goods moving into the new abode as I watch them leave the old.

Laura is moving back with her mother this coming Saturday, and even has secured summer employment at a local Plato's Closet.  I'm packing slowly. 

My neighbor and I commiserate on the management of the park. Or lack thereof. We both come trailing blue ribbons in management and organization, and simply do not understand how people so deficient are appointed to positions requiring planning, scheduling and other elementary skills of property management.

I cannot get a move in date. Without a moving date, I cannot hire a moving company. "Yes, I'm moving, very soon, but I don't have the date. Can you rent me a truck and a crew for that day?"  I'm sure they think less of me than does that toad!

Today we pulled up all the garden art and stashed it on the porch. All the pictures are down. Now I need to fill boxes, taking care to leave out a sauce pan and my toothbrush.  Assuming, of course, I  get the nod from on high.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Holding pattern

It's warmer today, but I'm still cold, of course. The thermostat indicates sixty-nine in the living room, and I'm remain in winter attire. The front window is open for Mr. Cat's use, and I guess he's absorbing all the sunshine heat before it filters back to me. 

I check the drawing of the layout of the new unit frequently, to see where things will go. One great feature is the presence of a window on each side of the new living room. I wonder if it will be warmer.

Our new lives, Laura's and mine, have not yet begun. This is the last week of classes at school, next week are finals. Last week and this, she and her mother have organized interviews for a summer job, and interviews are being implemented. 

School work happens too, every day. Laura spent much of this week recording a video for her ASL class. A good deal of the time involved tears, lost in the intricacies of computer language. I know nothing and she is one rank above me. I suggested she consult her siblings, but that was dismissed out of hand.  Some time later her cheerful self was back in place; she resolved the problems and the assignment was finished.

I've been weaving. This is a difficult warp. Not irritating, just tedious. I knew the purple would be a problem; I was quite right.

Probably two-thirds of my fifteen yards are woven to the front beam, and suddenly this  bit of the bumpity bump boucle is balking at travelling through heddle and reed. It was abandonded yesterday, to consider its transgression and suffer bed without dinner. 

I was out and about this afternoon, phone in hand, and the blooms were interesting. I got some on the way home.

And, finally, can you see what I think is a tiny, abandoned bird nest in this pine? I cannot believe pine needles just fell in this pattern. It's a small nest, and I don't know birds this small.

And so, back to getting that thread on track.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Phones don't float, they sink

The Motorola back flipped from my pocket and went straight to the bottom of a very large puddle: glug, glug, glug. I retrieved it stripped it, took it home and left it to dry overnight.

In the morning, no luck. I went to the phone store. For $10 they would put it in the dry-out machine for an hour. If that worked, I could have it back for $100. Or, I could buy a new phone. Or...

I bought a Google Pixel 3, whatever that means. It is smaller by far than the Motorola's, I do not like Samsung and the other android brands, and the salesmen told me the Pixel 3 is the best camera on the market. When pigs fly, they could deliver the Brooklyn Bridge!

Here are the paper narcissus. They are done so soon. The ones with petals laid back are a day old.

Canterbury Bells. I do not recall them blooming so early in the past.

Dan asked me how I would move everything from the garden to the new lot, and I told him it would remain, and I hoped the new folks would take care of it. And the old grump actually said "What a shame; and it's looking so good. After three years"! The new camera doesn't seem to make any difference.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Back at the ranch

Dan, the maintenance man, asked me to stop and approve the way he intends to install the screen door. (That's Dan's back, in the next picture.)

I said I didn't need to stop; I wanted both door knobs on the same side. 

"I can't do that!" says Mr. Dan. "Then you won't be able to bring anything through the door."

"Why did you ask?"

"If you look at it now, you won't argue with me later."

So I went over, and took the opportunity to walk up my new steps.  The deck guys closed the risers, so my wheeled cart will work.

My front door, there, opens in, to the left. They did it that way at the factory. If the storm were hinged on the same side, it would open into the middle of the deck, using up much of the access room. 

"So, case closed?" asked Dan. I went on in.

I looked in all the rooms, but only took one picture. The window at the end of the drive will be the studio, and yes, it has the smallest bathroom in the entire park enclosed in that room. Definitely the cat's room, as there is no other adequate place.

I don't see moving before June. No water hook up yet; the state hasn't inspected yet. There is no shed, there is grading to do and grass to plant. But, it's happening.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Beautiful day, sad story

The national park has been here longer than I have, but not much. I've told the story of undervalued property, 400 displaced families. How Ohio Senator Taft and Ohio businessman Vail (who had land to donate) tracked down President Ford, on vacation in Colorado, on December 27th, to have legislation for the park signed, back in the seventies.

And so it began.

I've been fascinated by the golf course bounded by Akron Peninsula Road and Truxell Road. The corkscrew willow at the end of the pond on Truxell Road has been my header picture for the last many years.

The stately yews planted by Mr. Yesberger, straight row after row, have drawn me in for years. Sadly, the year I booked a tee time and a golf cart, for the purpose of photographing trees while a granddaughter drove the cart, I was foiled. I neglected to complete my disguise with a golf bag. I was not allowed to go on the course. I would distract the golfers!

It's the course where I followed the life and death of a young deer, who I called "The Little Guy". And, it's the course where a solitary heron has spent the summer these last several years. Today I saw the heron for the first time this year.

Mr. Yesberger, the owner and builder of this course, lived across Akron Peninsula Road, up (down?) a windy road. He died unexpectedly a few years ago, and title passed to an unexpecting grandson. The story only grows sadder; this young man could not carry on, and took his life.

I always knew there were covenants of some sort protecting the land from development in the circumstance of no heirs, but I was very hazy on the details. So, I sought them out.

That piece of legislation that President Ford signed in his vacation motel room in Colorado, has the only stipulation of its kind of any federal park  in America. In the event the land leaves the Yesberger family, it may not be developed, though it may be returned to its natural state.

The person who explained this to me wanted me to realize the amount of tax revenue lost to the village, the school, the library.  But my mind focused on "returned to its natural state". 

Yes, he explained. The ponds drained, the roughs gone, the greens gone, the sand traps gone, the hundreds and hundreds of trees removed.

This is still sinking in. 

I think I'll go post the picture I took today of the willow.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

And they are no more

Deb and Steve of Elements Studio, held their studio open house yesterday and today. It was a complete success for me, and I hope everyone else did as well.

They used their garage and studio. It was a massive undertaking, just cleaning up ceramic dust and making enough room. Looking through from the garage, above, the shelving is a backdrop for Deb's carved scenes.

Bags of clay powder are stashed everywhere! I have a table of towels over past the woman in the red scarf, and those are sacks of powder beneath the table and behind the wire grids. Now you'll notice supplies stashed everywhere. It was a beautiful job.

Over in the studio now, here is a sweep of the room, with pottering paraphernalia neatly stashed everywhere. That wall of porcelain plaques over to the left disguises the big collection of odds and ends hidden on shelving.  

More displays of various artists' wares, going around the room.

And the last set of shelving. I'd guess Steve put some spare pottery there on the steps, to discourage anyone checking to see if there might be "more upstairs", in the studio attic.

I did not see the kiln anywhere, and cannot imagine where it was secreted away.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Another day in the rain

For weeks I've looked at the paper narcissus, asking, "Where are the buds?" And here they are. This time next week, a stand of the little white beauties.  The woolly thyme is quite taking over as ground cover; there are only a few stubborn weeds to deal with.

The rain keeps on sprinkling, day after day. The plants are so happy. Here is a sedum, an August lily hosta w.a.y in the back, Aunt Laura's iris and everywhere, air blooming crocus (colchium).

Here is Aunt Laura's iris, close up. They are ordinary little wild iris, but Aunt Laura gave me seeds, years and years ago.

Pink coral bells and my little stand of miniature daffodils.

Look at the puddle! Any step into the dirt yields rising water.

The chives are happy in their pot. They will be moving, soon.

And speaking of moving, here is a bag of marble chips I emptied when we moved here, three years ago. I wanted whatever I had in a pot there to have a nice background. I think I'll put on a pair of gloves and pick up a good many of them for the new rock garden.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Some more of my week

The plum (?) tree outside the Methodist church is in flower. Nancy and I led Tuesday, until the last hand, when we were swept away by their massive meld.

The week commenced rather coolly, daytime highs barely reaching the sixties, before disappearing. Yesterday Ruth and I took advantage of a fabulously beautiful day to go to Caroline's school and watch her team play its last softball game of the year.

At Ruth's house, mid afternoon and temperatures up to the eighties, I stripped down to one shirt. I tied the hoodie around my waist, just in case. As we sat in the bleachers and cheered the girls, the weather changed literally on a walk off walk. 

We watched it coming, coming, coming, and the big rain started and the temperature dropped thirty degrees in the time it took to  walk fairly quickly the hundred feet to the car. Such a storm!

Back home I began to work on a new project. I bought a skein of cotton yarn, plied with a fine synthetic boucle.  It is the boucle that makes an otherwise nondescript strand of cotton appear so crinkly and interesting.

I calculated enough yardage to put fifteen yards in each of eleven bouts on the loom, and that much at least is working out. I spent the rest of yesterday and most of today putting the fifteen yards on each bout. I've never warped this way, mathematically. Once there were eleven little balls of purple to put on bobbins, my work was over, theoretically.

I merely turned the beam and wound until each fifteen yards of purple was beamed on. A good idea, except I cannot recommend it for boucle yarns. I have figured out how not to have the little bumps catch in the tension box reeds, but it still must go through the heddle eyes and beater bar reed.  We'll see.

Monday, April 29, 2019

I can see it now!

I went to lunch with Ruth today. On the way back I went up the street behind. Take a peek:

The drive is seven feet wide and maybe forty-five feet long. The deck will be four feet wide by five or six feet long.

I already gave pig a little pot of flowers on the step.

But he needs a handsome display to tickle his nose, like last year.

I will get my flower poles fastened to the new deck and there will be mandevillas on all corners.

My new garden will be a rock garden. No flowers except in pots. 

I did puzzle mightily over the glass lady and the water lily. How to set them up on concrete.

And then it came to me. I will have all my baubles and gewgaws on display. In fact, I was elated to find I have two fifty pound bags of Delaware River stones in the shed. More will be needed, I'm sure.

The things I want to display the most are intended to be sunk into the ground, and that can't happen. They surely can be fastened into a fifty pound umbrella stand, and the whole affair buried in Delaware River stones.

Done, done and done, wouldn't you say. PS--and I'm wide open to even better solutions. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

8 day vacation

I need a vacation. The last one was to Wisconsin at Christmas, and not soothing for too many reasons. I read an article recently on the maximum days and benefits reaped before there is a substantial decrease in vacation benefit. After day eight of a vacation that began on day one, positive benefits began to decrease.

Of all the places I’ve been, one I would like to revisit is Saratoga Performing Arts Center, SPAC, in Saratoga Springs, New York. But then, I wonder if the buildings that fascinated me in my brief wanderings remain, or if ten or fifteen years has seen them renovated. 

I must have been there last before the turn of the century. A friend and I wandered in and out of buildings of the Roosevelt Baths. Everything was wide open, no security anywhere. Much of the interior was in disrepair, or in need of serious sprucing up. A tour in Google shows much improvement. I would need a scooter to get around these days. I definitely would drive, and I definitely would take a friend. This one requires more thinking on.

Another destination is a trip to South Carolina, to see my friend Carol. We visited her last spring; we drove down with her and flew home. Having gone as far as the bottom end of South Carolina, I may as well keep on to Union Point, Georgia. Another weaver pointed me to a yarn dealer there who seems to be like yarn dealers I knew in the south, years ago, and bought from. This is  Georgia Yarn Company.

Then, there always is Wisconsin, and a week immersed in Ann’s library is a vacation. Last summer we visited the Dells (the real Dells, on the Wisconsin River, between the bluffs), and Taliesin, and outside of driving through the farmlands and looking at the old towns, I’ve seen Wisconsin. It’s always good to see the dogs, which are gone and who are new.

So much hinges on moving, as it turns out. All will go well, or encounter a thousand snags.  Concrete for the driveway was to be poured yesterday, but due to rain, that didn’t happen yesterday, or today. The forecast is for rain every day for the next two weeks, excepting the weekends, of course.

I did have my audience today with the ramp powers who be, and had the first intelligent discussion of ramps. I can have a ramp, but to be zoning compliant, its configuration would be more awkward than I care to deal with.  I want a ramp in order to get heavy stuff up the porch and so into the house.  

They offered to help find a used wheel chair lift to mount in front of the deck to carry up groceries.

Suddenly someone was above and beyond the call of their job description, and I appreciate that. I didn’t mention that a wheel chair lift is way ugly, but I did get on the internet and find a cart with wheels that easily climb steps.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Mary Ellen Carter

If you live in a rental unit, you will immediately understand this post. If you own the home and spent years puttering it into your scheme of efficiency, or even just started, cast your mind back a few decades. You'll remember.

This adventure started last December. I went to the rental office to inquire into the availability of a one bedroom unit. "Oh, no problem, honey!" from Theresa, the site manager.  I had my heart set on a single bedroom unit like the two examples on the street behind me.

I was so excited! Could I have the bedroom door into the bathroom. Could I have a walk in shower. "Oh, sure honey." The cat could have his own room, the 14 foot square living room could hold all my weaving on one wall, with plenty of room left.

In one of my several stops in the office I learned "management" could and would put a two bedroom unit on that lot. I could chose one of the two plans and still have a walk in shower.

It was becoming an uphill battle.The rent is two hundred dollars a month higher than the one bedroom, but still two hundred dollars a month less than the current three bedroom unit.

I still felt a bit like one of my favorite folk songs, that Stan Rogers classic, The Mary Ellen Carter.

I picked a unit. They chose the other one, the cheapest unit.

It was delivered a week or so ago, and blocked the access road, to the annoyance of my neighbors. But eventually it was sited.

Dan, the maintenance man has been in, and says there is a walk in shower. He was pretty grumpy about the whole interior layout. I believe all I care about is the walk in shower. We'll see. And yes, our rent increased effective May 1st, even on this virgin unit. We must all be on the same page, you know. Honey.

I must keep my eye on the progress to be sure I get a ramp access to the door. That is the front door. With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go, as Stan Rogers sang, who knows what will transpire. Dan tells me there's not enough room for a ramp. Bet me!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

No change in the weather, no change in me

It has not stopped raining here since forever. Many of you had it much worse, and for that I am so sorry.  Pig, toad and lamb are taking the brunt here, but then, they have been out in all weather for the last thirty and more years.

We took a drive out to Steve and Deb's home, to deliver the sack 'o towels. Laura spent yesterday afternoon pricing and tagging the towels, a great help. 

This is Steve and Deb's fairly recently renovated home, from the doorway of the new studio, up the hill. A great view of the tin roof, circa 1860, and the glass pane, circa 1840. The second story addition, erected in the eighteen hundreds, and the bedroom of the children, remained supported only by love, according to the carpenter who undertook those renovations.

If you are an artist who loves looking around other studios, here is Elements Gallery, 360, or rather close.

The wall behind Deb's work table and some of her carved plaques.

The back edge of the table. I was waved off photographing the front, with Deb. 

More stuff that must come in handy when throwing or casting porcelain.

On the top shelf. I wonder if the vase on the left did not pass the glaze exam. On the right looks good to me.

More work area, the kiln, and I'll guess that white box involves glaze, as Steve makes theirs. 

Sophie, la gata, and the next to last side of the studio. I found a lovely small plate here, and Deb and I made a trade.

And so more errands and home. I need to go work on setting up my loom for its next project.

When I wrote the blog earlier tonight, I could not figure out how to get the purloined picture of Deb and Steve published. Someone put it out in Facebook a year ago, when they were closing Elements Gallery in Peninsula. Now you have them. I am fortunate to have them.