Word and Image

Delaware

Tomato

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Ripe red juicy! Imagine that! I watered the plant that bore these beauties. Proud! I can hardly believe my green thumb. Yes, they taste as good as they look!

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9/11/18

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I’d like to remember 9/11. I got married (the first time) on that date. And now, it’s completely different because of terrorism. The raw pain and anguish has finally subsided this year. Life has moved on. Like other historical horrors, this event has lost its edge. I suppose for an entire generation it will have about the same historical meaning as “Pearl Harbor” which occurred years before my birth. In past years I would post a pic from that fateful day in 2001. Now, it was the beach on that day last year. This year I will be in Scotland. Nothing to note yet, I schedule posts in advance because of my busy schedule. I haven’t forgotten the day…


The mess

Oh! I am reminded that we are not neat. Well, about once a year… for company coming to visit. Ordinary! It’s a state of chaos. Our life. We live it. What you see are ongoing projects. We fiber. At least I do and Colleen does and has for quite some time. I spin now. It’s by default. The only way we could ever convert fleece to yarn is with my help. We simply are overwhelmed with too much raw material. Meanwhile we got company. Things were clean for a moment. If you host five little kids, it’s sure to be a mess, just a different sort. Neat for a day: that’s the motto.


Tomato tree

This was another joke. We found it in the nursery near the end of the spring planting season. It’s taller than me. There were tomatoes on it. I figured the cost per tomato vs the cost. I came to less than the retail price at the farmer’s market. We had a lot of fun with the plant but the joke has since faded. Some of the family liked eating the tomatoes. The blight took most of the leaves. The top wilted and the whole plant wilted shorter and shorter. Tomato worms provided more color photos. All in all I would not repeat the joke. The other Walmart (special) tomato plant is thriving without blight but there are few tomatoes. Me ‘n tomatoes? We are not a match.


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…


Outside

Reduced to eating outside. We adapted to eating our meals to the last remaining open space. We have a spectacular deck space after all the plantings. I even have lights! It’s really idyllic. The setting is as good as any outdoor restaurant. Until, you add a picker. Don’t ask. It’s a device to comb out wool fiber. And it’s dangerous. And it takes up my last available space. … and so, we gotta eat out. Colleen loves eating out.


The mess

It got out of hand. We live in the midst of projects. Sometimes things sneak upon us. We have been quietly blissfully buying sheep fleece. The source! It has to be less expensive to start with raw material. A finished skein is costly $$$. It’s often sold by the ounce and the money quickly adds up. Weaving can be expensive. So, we found ourselves with more unwashed fleece than we knew what to do with. Don’t ask! But it meant a lot of fleece needed washing. And it meant a lot of space was needed to dry it after the wash. No, you cannot put it in the dryer. I told you not to ask! It was already crowded. Now, it’s a mess. We don’t actually have two places to sit and eat among two tables and twelve chairs. Don’t ask!

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Elle? Yes, she really is hemmed in by the mess. The cats love it. It’s an obstacle course with lots of hiding places.


So long

… as in, they’ve been constructing this building for years… at least two. We’ve lost track. It was initially a building without windows. None! Then they cut in windows, but not in the back of the building. There is a giant two story garage door there. And then they added the balconies. It might be commercial. But it is at the apex of a triangle intersection with busy traffic on both sides. There is no parking lot. So?? We can’t wait to see what this building is used for. At the rate of construction revisions, it might still be a while…