I’ve got to finish this blanket. The intended recipient has already arrived on the scene, though I haven’t met her yet. I have two rounds on the border to do, to finish this baby blanket, and then I can work on tying off the loose ends.
Once I’ve finished it, I can think of other things again! Like editing photos, writing blogs… and helping my parents finish stripping the wallpaper from my old room. I have pictures from before that started, too. Bits of my childhood are being ripped from the walls.
Anyway… here’s how the blanket looks, with two more rows of do-dads to add to those ripples. It’s not quite as big as MY bedspread, but then we don’t want the baby to disappear, when she’s wrapped in it, now do we? Hang in there, my fingers are getting tired of all this nonstop crocheting, my eyes are protesting staring at the endless white, and my ears are getting tired of listening to my audio book.
If I could figure out where my “real” copy of Doomwyte was, I’d be finishing it the normal way, I assure you! But since I can’t, I have two hours left to listen to, and yes, the full cast is exceptional. But those two hours should be enough time to finish the last two rounds of the blanket.
On one of my magnolia hunts, I knew it was unlikely that some of the blossoms would even have survived the beating they took in the recent rainstorms. Nevertheless, I went to see if any buds had waited until the return of the sun.
After he jumped off the magnolia blossom, I watched the lizard crawl out onto a branch. I wished my camera lens could be longer, but did my best to get some pictures of him, before he ran away into the greenery. The petals of a magnolia would certainly make a comfortable bed for one of them, and probably a good place to catch bugs.
I will never understand the idiocy of some people. Especially when it comes to something as simple as carefully wrapping up something fragile, before you send it through the mail. Do you really think our mail carriers pussy-foot around, carefully looking out for every item that comes through their hands? Even when it’s marked as fragile? Please, disillusion yourself.
A member of my family buys and sells certain figurines on eBay, and we received another box in the mail, the other day. They were very excited at this particular find, knowing that they were a popular item. Until the box was opened, and we found out the original seller hadn’t used the brain they were born with.
If your box of figurines comes with pieces of cardboard that will hold the ceramic item in place, why wouldn’t you use it? Or use it correctly? This seller had put the piece of cardboard, with the perfectly cut shapes in it, upside down. The three figurines in the box had immediately come loose, and two were broken. Somehow, the camel survived the trip.
This is where I come in, because I have a love of gluing things together that is slightly insane and makes no sense to anyone else. Ok, it doesn’t make much sense to me, either. I enjoy puzzles, now and then, but they are nowhere near as fun as gluing a broken vase or figurine back together again. However, the fact that the item was broken in the first place doesn’t make me happy. If it did, I’d be breaking my mom’s things, left and right, I suppose. : )
What I do like is knowing that, often, the item has sentimental value, and if it can’t be restored to mint condition, it can be restored and continue to give someone joy. Perhaps it was a special vase, given as a wedding gift? Even if it will never hold water again, if it was special, it can still be treasured, complete with cracks.
At first glance, you can’t even tell that the standing angel is broken. But once you turn him around, you’ll see that the halo was busted off. I almost gave up, at this point, because it’s impossible to hold broken pieces firmly against the head of that angel, when you can’t get your fingers between the wings on his back. But luck was holding on, still. There was a small piece of ceramic still attached to the halo itself, which allowed me to glue the two broken pieces to it. Once dry, I could attach the whole piece to the head of the angel.
This was not my best glue job, to date. My super glue bottle seemed to be old, and was not drying in a few seconds, as it should have. Instead, I was having to hold the pieces firmly together, for ten minutes at a time… very unusual, if you know what super glue is like. And no, I still didn’t glue my fingers together, and I never have. But I was not pleased with the cleanliness of some of the fixes, because you could see the cracks more than normal.
I fixed these on the first day of June, when we finally turned our air-conditioning on. When my mom announced we were turning it on, and shutting the window, I was holding an angel’s head together with two hands. So, I switched him to one hand, and went around, shutting any window that could be shut one-handed. And no one either laughed or questioned me for walking all over the house, with an angel in my hand. I haven’t decided if they were being unobservant, or they’re just used to me doing odd things like that.
If you’ve actually read this far, wondering how I can write on and on about broken figurines, then hang on. There was another point to this post. We’ve been amassing a collection of broken figurines, because for every 10-15 pieces that arrive intact, you’ll have one that was chipped or smashed. I fix them all, and they go on a certain shelf until we decided what to do with them.
As the number of fixed angels and shepherds climbs, we’ve begun to debate whether people would buy a broken set, for a much reduced price, knowing that they wouldn’t have to worry so much about the grandkids breaking them, because they’re already broken. What do you think?
Some people might have a perfectly intact set, and have just one that was busted or lost, and be happy to pay a smaller price for a nicely fixed figurine. Quite a few of the ones we have, my mom can’t even tell where they were fixed. Sometime soon, we might be selling them on eBay, with closeup pictures that show where the breaks are, but it isn’t likely that a guest in your home would ever notice the flaws, from across the room. If you have any thoughts on this, we’d be curious to know.
Meanwhile, I keep my eye out for other things that need fixing. I am a ceramic engineer’s daughter, niece, and granddaughter (yep, we’ve got quite a few of them in our family), so it almost breaks my heart when I know something should be gloriously in one piece… and isn’t. I know, I know, I’m very weird. But if I can’t create them, I can certainly do my best to put them back together again.
Too many photos, too little time? Is it really that I don’t have enough time? I don’t feel like I’m doing that much, but let’s think that over again. I found out a week or so ago that a grad student friend’s wife was expecting and… I think her due date was yesterday. So, in addition to raiding my mom’s baby bootie stash (I don’t know how to knit, yet, so I can’t make them myself), I’ve been working on crocheting a baby blanket. I’m not posting pictures yet, because I haven’t had time.
As many of you already know, you can’t type on your computer and crochet at the same time. Nor can you read. Yes, some FB friends recommended that I listen to audio books, and I did dig up my Audible account, and find I had a few credits to my name. So, I’ve started listening to Brian Jacques’ Doomwyte, which I’ve read before. But if there’s one audio book series I like, that would be the unabridged Redwall books. Jacques narrated them himself, with a full cast to do all the voices. Of course, it makes all the bad guys creepier, and the descriptions of the Doomwyte cave even creepier than it ever was when I read it.
So, suddenly I’ve realized that I have a lot of photos piling up, from a visit to the Botanical Gardens, wandering around in my own yard, pictures of my bedroom before we started stripping the wallpaper, and a number of other things. But if I throw my weekend into catching up on photos and writing, I’ll never finish that blanket! And I haven’t heard if the baby arrived yet…
My preference is to watch movies while crocheting, though, which I find much more entertaining than just listening to an audio book. The crocheting just flies by. But I feel like a lazy bum, sitting on the couch all the time! I haven’t watched this many movies since… well, since Imogen and I had our movie binge, in Australia. No, I didn’t start watching any Austen or Gaskell movies yet. Instead, I’ve been watching my way through The Hobbit (with my family), Bedknobs and Broomsticks, While You Were Sleeping, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Tangled. If I can talk my brother into watching The Hunger Games with me, I’ll watch that again, too.
Also, I should have lots of time, because I haven’t gone to the gym much in the last week. I’ve been pretty tired, despite not working enough to make me so, and my foot has been bothering me. But I avoid going back to the doctor for it, and hope that the lack of energy isn’t from having a mono relapse. I don’t think it is. Even if I did HAVE a mono relapse, it’s nothing like what I’ve heard other people go through with it. But it keeps me from having enough energy to do what I want to do, and I feel like I’m doing little enough, as it is!
And so, all this rambling is to tell you that I’m really trying to accomplish something with my last week or so (finish a beautiful baby blanket!), while I’ll go ahead and share some pictures of the most recent flowers that have come up in our yard. They’ve survived, despite the beating that has been administered by all the rain… but I think these were taken before the worst of the storms AND the heat.
Last week, it was in the 90′s, all week. This week, it’s “cooled off”, staying in the 80′s. Practically a cold front, you know. And it’s only getting started! This is only June. July and August are just waiting to knock us flat… or send us running for cover, in the air-conditioning of our homes. The humidity is here to stay, as well. If it were just a dry heat, we could handle it. But no, this is the South, and humidity comes with the heat, no ifs, ands, or buts.
I’m not really afraid of the swimming pool, but last summer, I couldn’t talk myself into going there for a swim. All summer long. At the time, I was still six months out from my Christmas-time illness, in Australia. I went swimming in a pool, got an earache, didn’t deal with it fast enough, went to see the doctor, and then took antibiotics. The antibiotics made me so sick that it almost ruined my vacation, and I was starting to think that hospitalization sounded good.
You can see why I was a little wary of going into the water, afterwards. Oh, I did, several times, but only when invited to do so. It was never my idea. I’m pretty sure I went tubing on Lake Maraboon, once, and I was in a pool with all my Aussie kids. But despite the Aussie heat, I didn’t seek out any swimming opportunities. And when I arrived home, summer was on the doorstep, and I couldn’t talk myself into going to the Clemson Pool.
Today, it was in the 90′s, and even being inside, in the air-conditioning wasn’t keeping me from being too warm. Of course, when I’m doing any kind of physical work, I overheat quickly, so by the time I left after cleaning up, I was roasting. And then stepped out into the heat and humidity, still in my work clothes. Ugh.
Once I was home in the air-conditioning, though, laziness set in. It’s no longer fear of the water and what it might do to me, but it’s been so long since I’ve been in it, I needed to vault out of my rut. So, after doing a few necessary things at home, I forced myself to go find my swimsuit and towel, and drive up Old Stone Church Rd.
When I arrived, I was surprised at so many of the changes, until I saw the showers and bathroom looks exactly the same, a bit dilapidated. But in the years since I’ve been in Australia and PA, they’ve redone the pool, the eating area, and even the outside of the buildings. Also, the gate on the fence, that stays closed, and I almost couldn’t figure out how to open it. The edges of the pool now have fancy stonework, and the bottom of the pool no longer has any lanes. But it’s still the rough bottom to the pool, that will eventually wear the skin off your feet, if you spend as many hours in there as the kids always do.
I managed ten minutes in the sun before adult swim, and then got in the water. Immediately, the clouds came out. And after fifteen minutes of adult swim, the sun wasn’t coming back. In fact, the clouds were rolling in. So, I headed home in time to beat the storm, though it had yet to thunder.
It’s a start, though. I no longer fear ear aches, as a result of swimming (besides, we have tons of hydrogen peroxide, if needed). But no reason to keep wearing that rut down. Time to go swimming, while summer is still here!
The sun was out, and I was finished with flowers. Well, for the time being. Having driven by the Carillon Garden every day for who knows how long, it occurred to me that certain of my past haunts would now be loaded down with green. How different would the leaves on the trees look from the bareness of the winter branches?
As soon as I reached Brackett, I veered down the North Garden walkway, heading to get a good view of the Cooper Library. The fountains were shooting sky-high out of the Reflecting Pond. Mind you, I don’t see how it can reflect much, with the constant spray from those waterspouts going upward.
I just read that they clean that pond, once a year, and after it’s clean, students will sometimes go swimming in it. I think it’s on the bucket list of stuff you’re supposed to do, as a college student. Not sure I would want to swim in it, just the same, even if they had just cleaned it.
I kept meandering toward the water, noticing that there weren’t many flowers blooming nearby. Just lots of green leaves, and the grass is starting to become green again, with all the rain we’ve been getting.
When I reached the path, below Hardin, that approached closely to the pond, I slowed down. It had occurred to me that if it was at all windy, my camera would be in danger of getting sprayed. I wasn’t worried about getting myself wet, of course, as it was a very hot and sunny day, but I won’t ruin my camera, just to get a good picture.
Sure enough, as soon as I was out from amongst the trees, I put my camera behind my back, and watched as a gust of wind threw a wave of spray in my direction. Coming from the top of the waterspout, you could see it slowly wending its way towards you, through the air.
It was both odd and fascinating to see that water spray coming towards me. Then I moved fast, to protect my camera from the next one. I’ll save a trip around the pond for another day, when it isn’t windy.
Up above Hardin, I crossed the street and walked down the path towards Riggs. Then, I remembered how the last time I took pictures of that location, you could see Riggs through the trees, because there were no leaves.
And the statue between Hunter and Sirrine, which I almost always identify as a dancer, now, unless I’m specifically looking for the microscope. I think I have pictures of it under white spring blossoms and bare branches, but not under the green leaves of the trees.
They’re repaving the neighboring parking lot, and replacing the lamp posts, so barely anyone even comes up this path, anymore. Why would you? Cars can pull up to drop things off, but most grad students have to walk from distant parking lots.
Once inside the branches, you no longer notice or care about the leaves that grow on the outside edges. There aren’t enough of them to shelter you from the sides, though they do block out the sun, from above. Mostly.