Sunday, August 26, 2012

i guess i can't avoid this any longer. friday was a sad day around here. we had to bury our little thieving cat, crabby. she died in her sleep on the neighbor's porch. she had come home the night before. jumped up on the windowsill in the kitchen to eat and drink. i thought that maybe she was coming out of her strange wild phase that she's had for the past few summers. and was coming back home like she's been doing every fall. but i suppose she was coming home to say goodbye.
tom left work.....i hated texting him the words 'crabby's dead'. but that's all i could get out. i was sitting on the front stoop of the studio with her wrapped in a blue towel, on a green wooden chair, with a little tortie foot peeking out. the mid afternoon sun baking down on us. feeling empty and sad. and then tom was there, lifting her and carrying her to the crabapple tree. he knew just what to do. where to put her. under her favorite bench, under her favorite tree. it was a hot humid day and he dug through the hard earth, digging through roots with sweat dripping off his nose. and then he went hunting through her pilfered stash to find the perfect one of her stolen treasures to keep her company. a little knit purple and white rabbit. and
one of the last of her gifts, a yellow plastic rose that she left in the back of the yard about a month ago, sits on her grave with a heavy gravestone.
i haven't been able to write on her blog yet.....i feel like there is more of her story to tell. although the stolen treasures have stopped arriving in the yard, i think her gifts will continue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

tom pointed out a few years ago that when the crickets fill the air, the lightning bugs have gone. i've watched carefully and there is sometimes a short overlap, but for the most part, he's right. i do love the crickets. they are a constant song. i wake up to them and i fall asleep to them. they are tireless. and this morning the cicadas have joined in. there are the sounds of steps as early walkers pass the windows. the sun is making all the harsh shadows i love in morning. the spiderwebs are intricate and filmy. and although our cottage time this year was spectacular, i'm happy to be home.

Monday, August 20, 2012

being at the cottage means hours of relaxing by the lake, taking the time to prepare farm fresh food, reading, swimming, spending time with friends and countless other wonderful things. but my mind never really shuts off. and we are 5 minutes from the most wonderful and overwhelming salvage and antique spots i've ever been to. in my mind, i am always working beautiful quirky materials into pieces for my studio. pieces for my home. pieces to sell. i took my parents to rummage through barns and packed farmhouses and fields of doors and metal and materials for 3 hours today. we bought doors. we bought old wooden legs. we bought a terracotta greek revival architectural fragment of a woman's face. amazing. but my head is spinning with all the possibilities. i want to use these beams as the most awesome counters ever! and i found a 100 year old, amazing white tongue and groove floor to ceiling bookshelf with gorgeous molding at the top taken from an old school house. 9 feet long and 8 feet tall. it would make the most perfect built-in bookshelves. i just don't have time to do it all!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

this is herriott.
tracy and i were at miller's the other day. hunting through the buildings of treasure that is a mecca of sorts to me. (the photo of sinks in a field in my last post was from miller's) and one of the first things that greeted me was this wonderful sheep. i thought tracy should have her since wool figures so centrally in her work. but, although she didn't want to leave her, she didn't think the sheep was for her. so i happily and completely claimed her. she tucked easily into the back of the car and i knew the sort of amused scowl tom would give me when i introduced them. i can't wait to get home and clean her up and pile her high with folded quilts. she came from the estate of a vet in the area, and when i searched for a name, harriet leapt straight into my mind. but i changed the spelling as an homage to my favorite childhood vet, james herriott.
i'm sure there will be more photos when she's cleaned up and has made her way into the studio!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

my head is cluttered. i can't seem to find the words lately. i had hoped to write this week. but the words are all diaphanous. pale and cloudy. out of reach. we've had a great week. amazing time with friends. swimming. sunning. treasure hunting. a lakeside fire late at night with guitars and laughter and dazzling stars. great meals. perfect weather. pure happiness. but i still can't find where the words start. there were young loons, sunning on the raft. extraordinary sunsets. breezy nights perfect for sleeping. my favorite hammock swaying in the shade. good books. and did i mention wonderful friends? and i haven't seen a single bat (which for me is a good thing). but still, the words are out of reach.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

i sit at the lake with my books. books to write in. books to read. my camera. and my edgar. the little spot i made a decade ago. a picnic table from lichened boards, jutting slightly into the water. chairs. a shady spot for edgar's bed. and watching me through the trees is a little white house. a house that stands alone and empty all the year. there is a different sort of sadness that echoes from a summer house that is alone in summer. she peeks through the trees at me.....this house. she hasn't felt the creak of opening doors or the freshness of the lake air through open windows in too long. and she's just a few feet from me. lonely through a tangle of branches and woodsy undergrowth. i think of her, this house alone in a little forest on a lake. i take her home with me and daydream. i think she considers me a friend.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

there was rain in the afternoon. a rainy afternoon at the cottage means naps and reading and overall coziness. and then after the rain, bright evening sun carried a rainbow in it's palm. gentle air and perfect light. wandering around with a camera.
i always dread being away from my little square of home and studio in the city. and dread isn't really a strong enough word. and yet once we get here to the cottage i am happy and i don't want to be anywhere else. here we sit, all comfy and relaxed and happy. maybe we'll stand under a meteor shower tonight. the dark is silent here at the lake.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the wind is churning outside. stirring up all the night sounds. animals and rustling. branches and garbage cans. i have been asleep three times and woken by edgar three times as he defends us from the night sounds. my mind is all stirred up as well. it matches the unsettled night. all day i've been hearing from high school friends. and college friends too. our friend is dying. in hospice. i think he's in that last deep sleep that i saw with my grandparents. but he is just 45. the cruel effects of a brain tumour. there has been a sobering cloud on our day, thinking of his family, his wife, his young children, his parents. deep sorrow creeping along with me as i wonder if he's still alive. i wish peace for him.
there is such a lovely power in quilts. a special energy that is joyful. the sun is stretching over the sky right now, a little after 6 in the morning. and i'm aching to get to the studio. since i've directed my focus towards the quilts, i've felt my anxieties fade, my sleep improve, my energy go up. i've changed around the workspace so that i have a circular flow and fabric organized by color. a window seat in the kitchen is where i will sew now. i love the flow of windows and light and airiness. i have tables in the showroom now too. to celebrate the process. to cut fabric into squares beside the finished quilts displayed and ready to sell. and i feel the energy building on itself. i'm trying to build a bigger presence for my quilts online. pinterest. etsy. i'm making plans for new and different quilts, new sorts of designs i've been sitting with for a while. i wonder what september will bring.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

these boots stand on the porch beside the bbq. they stand like they are ready for work. for someone to slip into them and the serious work will begin. tom bought them a year ago to take camping. in case of rain. but i don't think there was rain. and i don't think he's worn them since. but they have made a home on the porch. by the kitchen door. i love them. they bring the farm i play with in my mind one step closer. the boots to step into to go feed the chickens. or muck the stables. or milk the goats. or bring in the eggs. they are the same boots my dad had. and my grandfather. boots with purpose. these are happy and hard working boots.
sunday evening we drove 40 minutes north to tracy and dave's camper, tucked on a hill in the woods. and after our evening i feel refueled. we ate like kings. we sat in a torrential downpour, enjoying the sounds and the awe of it. tom and dave played guitar for hours. sam's cousins came by. and all the guys went swimming on the little rocky island. i didn't want to go with them, because the camper was just so cozy and dreamy and i loved sitting at the little table and chatting with tracy. when i settle into my surroundings, i make a little home there and it becomes a space i hate to leave. i was explaining that to sam when he couldn't understand why i wouldn't want to walk down to the lake with them. and he nodded understandingly and said.....'oh, hermit-crab style'. exactly!!!! that is exactly what i am.....a little hermit crab that appropriates wherever i am as my own cozy little spot. i love having a parallel, an easy explanation. thank you sam!!!
i needed all the loveliness that tracy and her family shared with us the other night. i was a little worn out. my little studio is getting overhauled. in a big way. reorganizing a room of fabric. making 30 quilts. and most importantly undoing the direction i've been building for a few years and re-aligning my little ship. but our little evening in the woods has cleared my head and given me the right energy to re-route my course.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

this is where i've been sitting. watching the day start. with a raucous wind circling. i think a fierce storm is on it's way. but the porch swing keeps me protected and i can still feel involved. i was going to paint the swing this year. but i love it so much just as it is, the idea of changing it doesn't sit well. however, after 12 summers, maybe this will be the year. the sooner i do it, the sooner it will be worn in and feel like it's always been painted. the porch swing defines our summers. it's always there, waiting to share the day with us. to take a few minutes and do nothing. this summer, porch swing time has been rare. tom has been working more than usual. and i have goals to meet in the studio. but until the days get cold, i'm going to remember to take a bit of everyday and share it with the porch swing......and maybe paint it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

are you sick of my garden yet? i have loved the wilds of my garden this year so completely. it's dense and meadow-like. the queen anne's lace dominating like an overbearing big sister. the intensity of the heat this year makes it even lovelier to me. it's thick and cool and deep. with amazing scents. and tall black hollyhocks peeking above it all. but before we head to the cottage in a couple of weeks, i'm going to have to undo all the gloriousness of it and attack it with the weedwhacker. the flowers are already withering. the grasses are browning. and my dear misunderstood garden will have soon passed it's pinnacle. i'm preparing myself. i will pick little posies like my mother does. i've never been one to make bouquets with flowers. i like to see them bursting from the ground. but my mother's house, and my house when she's here, is always dotted with wonderful clutches of flowers, large and small, wild and sedate. i'll try to start cutting the flowers to bring inside. a mason jar of queens anne's lace on the dining room table seems like a good place to start!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the sky was layered with white last night. a full moon behind clouds. mist in the air. the streets and the trees were silver. i miss out on the most beautiful summer nights because of my irrational fear of bats. and i realized last night when i forced myself to take edgar out, just what i've been missing. balmy air and a warm mist. crickets and frogs non-stop. an august background. the night itself was alive. and it distracted me somewhat from the constant dread of the flapping of bats (just writing that has me in a pre-hyperventilating state). i wanted to stay on the porch swing and soak it all in. a summer's worth. a year's worth even. but i think last night was the first step. i'll go out again, maybe tonight, and fill myself with the beauty of august nights and a summer moon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

summer. freedom and discovery. an open ended day to discover what is to be found. fat slugs under a log. delicate baby bird shells. icy glasses of lemonade. staring up at a tree from beneath it and hearing the flurry of leaves as a squirrel runs through the branches. picking wild blackberries. painting a fence. cooling off in the lake with cannonballs off the dock. the fine balance between freedom and accomplishment. a summer well spent.