Word and Image

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Photography: The story behind the image

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Antiques

We do antique stores. Shop, browse, pick around. Mostly we see stuff and wonder who it is that would want to take it home. There are some good ideas. There was a wooden ruler to measure height. I had marks on a wall for both my kids. When we moved I couldn’t take the wall. The ruler is a great idea. Old adding machines? And, there are things we have no idea what they are/were for.

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Happy hour

We returned to the scene of our wedding day. The group was headed to a local pizza joint for the specials. The place was crowded. But Nantucket was welcoming. We arrived just before the thunderstorm hit. And we finished as the storm ended. We caught a rainbow and the sunset on the bay. I must admit it was indeed a very happy circumstance.

Three bake sales and an art show

The same weekend: three bake sales and one art craft sale. There were two bake sales in two churches. One church was selling specialty knives in addition to baked goods. We got knives. Why? Don’t know. The second church sold books and baked goods. We got books. Six grandchildren all read. We don’t need books. But who can resist a book sale. The art was Delaware by hand and displayed the wares of craftsman from the area. We looked and admired. As expected, the price of handmade craft was expensive. In between we hit a yard sale. That was priceless. There was junk. Someone sold a Kitchen Aid mixer (not junk). Her neighbor dutifully handed over cash and the sale was done before our eyes. We bought a vintage baby buggy from the very same neighbor. Ok! I got another project to fix up. The last stop was the AARP scholarship show – craft, baked goods, and a farmer’s market with corn straight from Georgia. It was a packed day.

Memorial Day

Flags are displayed all around. I was struck by the flag on the construction equipment. Was it a political statement or a symbolic salute to the holiday? Things have changed. I feel suspicious of a statement with which I do not agree. Perhaps I am being too sensitive. Or not. It is a symbol and sign of the times we are in.

Strawberry

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We have a lot of strawberry plants among the pots of flowers on the deck. I wait and wait. And often I am too late to catch the strawberries at the peak moment of ripeness. Not always. One can always savor the first bite of the strawberry you grew in your own garden. You don’t ever get enough. In fact it’s more like an accent. There never seem to be enough for dessert.

Together

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My cats orbit without touching. They are in the same room – sometimes. Mostly they are never together. Cats don’t romp – generally. So, it was a rare picture indeed, to see them sitting side by side in the curtain at the door. I can stage them. Not really. But sometimes they do surprise me. I’m lucky to have had a camera on hand. They parted moments later.

First ply

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After you spin, you ply. That is, you combine two single spin fibers into a plied yarn. You can ply more, but two is good. And this looks good to the untrained eye. There are plenty of defects. I’m not sure what we can do with it. That would be for Colleen to decide. But this skein is ready to go. I hope. As in, I hope it will be put into some project and not just sit around looking pretty (not).

Second spin

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After the first, I kept at it, moved on, and tried to improve. It’s mileage. The more you spin, the better you feel the fiber in your hands. Ha ha. It’s a zen thing. And I got better. Of course, the first was worst, so there was only better to go. And indeed, I am. Ha! I am my own worst critic. It’s only that honesty is a necessary trait in order to improve. I’m not prime time yet. But, there is a great promise. No, one cannot achieve what the industrial mechanical machinery can spin. But, I am happy with imperfections of handmade, custom made home spun yarn. I suspect time will tell as I get better. We have a good many spinning wheels both antique and modern. At least they are all in use.

The bullet

By default I am becoming a spinner. There are spinning wheels and there are spinning wheels. To me they are like rental cars. I’ve never driven a Porsche. But I can drive a car. Aren’t they all alike? Ha ha! But true enough, I eat to live not live to eat. Mostly. Spinning is getting to the product – yarn. When you look at a skein you don’t know what wheel it was spun on. But I suppose you can have a lot of fun getting there. it’s too early for me to be able to appreciate the differences. Now, if we were to discuss cameras… well, right about now, I have more than a few. And they all have a role in different circumstances. I might use one differently depending on the subject or lighting. Perhaps someday I will know spinning wheels too.

First spin – spun

We processed fleece. Sheep fleece. It needs to be cleaned and washed. You cannot wash it on the sheep. I wish. And you cannot wash wool in a washing machine. It will felt. That would never do! No, in order to spin and weave you must prepare the fleece. Why? Because it is the beginning of the process, the source. We’d have sheep in our yard but the homeowners association forbids it. Darn! How many fleece and how much? A lot! So much fleece was waiting we were days washing and drying. Hence, the “mess.” With all this fleece ready to be spun, it would be a good long time before you could expect to do much else. So! I have decided to spin. You know, help out. After all it is one very large task. And so I shall/did. And here is the result. I tried drop spindle a good long time ago and was miserable. I didn’t spin good and the wool did not like me. We parted. But now I am spinning. Um, they say your first skein is a piece of work no mother would love. And mine was a work only I could appreciate. Actually, I got the hang of it right away. Don’t be too smug! I was. Looking back it was true. My first effort was laughable. I got a lot of encouragement from Colleen. She’s a truly supportive spouse. And I have to love her dearly for her kind words. We are still laughing…