It has been more than a year since we experienced the ravages of Covid. Can we remember? Do we? Toilet paper was in short supply. I did a little dance in the grocery aisle when TP was in stock again. We chased appointments in order to get a vaccine.
So much has happened. It’s hard to remember that so recently – it seems so long ago, now – Patch died. Colleen completed a memorial scarf/shawl with his colors – green eyes.
Patch would sit on and among Colleen’s looms. (Yes, that is plural – looms!) As a weaver cat, Patch was taught not to play with the warp and weft – threads. He was large enough to disrupt the weaving process until he was ready to move. We miss him.
I need(ed) a kick in the pants. Boredom? Stagnation? Progression? Rut? I started taking flower pictures in earnest last summer. Sure, I have tons of flower pictures from the past. Yawn! But, last summer I started paying attention to the little details. I discovered I had been missing a lot. This spring I convinced myself to get a macro lens. I had a macro lens. It was an old clunky mechanical macro lens, now decades old. There were a myriad of reasons to justify the purchase of a new toy. I am acquisitive and have been all my life. Why not indulge? I did. I got a spiffy full frame mirrorless camera body to go with it. Don’t ask. Boys and toys. It has been a game changer. I am, for the moment, shooting exclusively, extensively, with the new camera and macro lens. Better images? Sure. You can also do the job with about any other equipment. But, like cars, some are better suited to the task. Ease of use and consistent results help. It is similar to the improvement of my dive photos after I started using a dedicated underwater housing and a flash strobe. Unless you are a gearhead, you will not likely understand. Maybe you will nod indulgently like Colleen. Part of what I love is that she (Colleen) understands too well my exuberant enthusiasm. Her spinning wheels are much larger (size) examples how much fun it is to have different tools for the same task. Why use different spinning wheels? Each (wheel) brings something different and, so, brings joy to the task at hand. I like different cameras (not too many) for what they can do to get the image I have visualized. I firmly believe that iPhone is not the best tool for most situations.
I have made few trips alone. This was one. Colleen has been curious and asks often about my travels before we were together. On this occasion I was set up by a fellow neurosurgeon who asked if I would attend his birthday party. Of course! And, then, he told me it would be in Norway. I had an unplanned stay – in a farmhouse room – with a loom! Two looms! Who knew how much that would impact later on in my life! Traveling alone is no particular fun. I learned early on that dining alone was an issue. I soon carried a book to read while eating. More importantly there was no joy in being unable to share something picturesque without someone in the moment. That has changed permanently for me now. I shall be traveling with the one I love.
Something old…. Well, Colleen likes to entertain. We have silver we got for cheap at one antique store or another. Yes, we have several sets. Did I tell you they were cheap? Yes, very. You just have to hit the sale at the right time. Coleen has made the linen. Yes, she wove, she has talent! The plates are from my side. Lisa never like them. My brothers gifted them. Colleen loves them. It all worked out. Pickles, yes, the pickle fork is rude. We got that at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Ha! Ham? I got a shoulder. Wrong cut, looks like sh*t, tasted great, you’d never know after it was cut. I gotta say it’s been nice playing “house” with Colleen.
… the opposite of minimalist. I wish. Ha! We are close to clutter. But not! Call it cozy. Call it busy. What weaver wouldn’t kill for a studio like this? Barn loom and four modern looms. I have cameras – lots. Looms (five) are bigger and standout in a room. Alas, we have looms in the living room. Don’t forget the great wheel! And we have beer mugs – lots. My Nantucket baskets await. I shall give them away one day. Ha ha.
Consider it home. We (truly) live in it. It’s a happy home. Did you peek into the background? There’s something to catch your eye everywhere. Meaning and memories abound, stories to regale you of adventure and fun, not clutter, but about love. If there were only one beer mug it would just be a representative of the genre, a commemorative. But, each one after is a memory of place and travels. Yes, we’ve been around a bit. …making up for lost time. Yup, stuffed…with love.
During covid I am down to two chief subjects, my cats and flowers. Boring is good. It means we are safe and sound. I have joined Colleen in obsessing over weather. I have four different weather apps open and one beach cam. And we cook and eat. …repeat. Colleen asked me to photograph her handicraft and mine. We completed these projects among others. Spinning fiber to yarn; weaving yarn to material, scarves; weaving Nantucket baskets. I’m not bragging; the girl’s got talent. Me? I’m better than I was but not as good as I’m gonna be.
Weaving. Colleen wove this in a week. It was a sampler demonstrating double weave. ??? I think. Who knows? I was on my own to explore Amish country. Quaint. It is a clash of modern vs old. Horse and buggy, bicycle without pedals, modern hay baler pulled by horse, clothing without buttons, it’s just so dyssynchronous.
There are many who gawk. (Guilty, me.) The folks are oblivious. They tolerate. There’s no choice. They are out in the public. Or, that would make me rude. Sorry. A camera and me? There’s no way i pass up a photo op. I just do my best to be discrete.
Since I know Colleen we have been taking pictures of barn looms. I shoot to see the tie up and set up. Fascinating?! Well, we bought a real one a couple years back. It dates back to the revolutionary war period – old, real old. And then we won another one in a chance pick up from a man who got a pile of wood at a government auction and didn’t know what to do with it. (The name – they kept them in barns, or the construction of the loom was like constructing a barn.) No one knows. After a couple of years, it works. I built the harnesses. And we tied the heddles – hand tied – my surgical skill came in handy. It works! Did I say that? We actually… Colleen is actually weaving with it. Ain’t that grand?
What do you do in the time of corona? We took to drinking. Alcohol. I don’t drink. Didn’t. …till now. Ha ha. I had some Scotch. Good Scotch … as in 15 year old Glenlivet. The good stuff. We brought it home from the source, Scotland. Samples really, they were the taste samples from the tour we took. Colleen doesn’t like the taste of Scotch. She prefers dark beer. I don’t like either. So, we did not bring any Scotch home. I wish we had. No matter. We mixed it with eggnog. Heresy?! No, palatable for me. Cheers!
On a slow day you take what you can get for photos. I’m reaching sometimes. But you gotta keep taking pictures even if you are in self quarantine. ?? It’s mohair being prepared as a warp. (If you weave, that makes perfect sense. I don’t (weave)).
It’s come to this. Living room.
noun: a room in a house for general and informal everyday use.
“the apartment has a comfy living room with sofas, chairs, TV, and dining table”
Looms. Spinning wheels. Etc. The room has no room to turn around. We have a studio… for looms, and, it’s full. And, the bedroom? My bed has a loom. And, a cat. I guess we’re sleeping out tonight.
What to do on a rainy day and with no where you can go? Hey? Have you considered all the gas and money? We’re spending no money at home. And we’re not driving, so, no gas consumption. It’s good, right? Colleen set up her loom. This one was a trade-out. She swapped looms with a woman. Neither (woman) liked theirs (loom, not husband, silly). It’s been a while (months). It just takes time to set up. It would help if we could find the manual. But… at last, product! It’s placemats. Colleen likes table linen. We have a lot of placemats. So, alas, gifts – it seems I never get to keep the gorgeous product around to show off her skills. Someone is gonna be a very pleased recipient.
What does a Scotsman wear under his kilt? That is a classic question. More to the point is that it’s not natural for guys (to wear skirts). I’m not being sexist. This poor guy wears pants in normal life. His legs are naturally splayed. It’s a guy thing. Unfortunately, there was ample indication of what was under the kilt. A lady would never show. So I guess that part is sexist. I really don’t want to know the answer to this question. Nope, don’t. Please don’t tell me.
Maryland Sheep and Wool – Festival. Say it and it’s an instant party. There was a huge crowd. The ominous weather forecast did nothing to lessen the attendance. Folks are a bit quirky. I don’t see knitting and sheep tattoos every day. Who spins in a dinosaur costume? Look closely. Bring your kids. The poor kid in the wagon was shivering. It’s a whole lot easier to carry your kid. There was no room to maneuver a stroller. Yes, it was that crowded.