Yesterday's schedule was supposed to be car maintenance and updating my photos files in the computer. BUT it turned out so much better!
We are a one car family now, so when I had to take my car in for work that was supposed to take all day, I had to find something to do. I packed my computer and camera (both of which can entertain me for hours) and headed off. I had a delivery to make to a friend, so he said he would meet me across from the car place for coffee. Well that turned into two hours of reminiscing, gossip and philosophy! I met Mike about 30 years ago through out mutual profession of Graphic Design. Since then we went on to teach together, and just generally weave in and out of each others lives. It was wonderful to spend that time with him. (and to get his semi-pro reviews of all things pop culture and media!) I had planned to then head downtown by bus, but Mike took me down to State street for my photo day.
I decided to go to the new Chazen Art Museum first, but as I headed there, it dawned on my that a high school friend, Jeri, who I have connected with through Facebook works right next store, in the Humanities Building. I decided to interrupt her work day (something we retired folks feel free to do!) and say "hi" in person. Well, a warm welcome and hugs ensued, and we headed off for coffee! Another two hours of wonderful chatter! Turns out we both have enjoyed working with fiber and quilting and sewing in all kinds of aspects. We got up to speed on each others adventures and plans, and it was wonderful to see her.
Then I had planned to meet my high school BFF, Marta, for coffee!! By the time we met at another coffee shop I didn't need more coffee, but was ready for more camaraderie. We saw each other through a lot in high school. I am not sure either of us would have made it through without a couple of wonderful art teachers (Don Hunt and Evelyn Bauman) and, of course, without each other. We got up to speed on each others lives, and then headed down State street for the Chazen Museum. We probably had made this same walk down State Street a million times in the late 60s, so of course there was a lot of "remember when" and "boy has this changed" talk along the way.
We wandered through the Museum, giggled a lot and finally said "good bye" when she deposited me to pick up my car. We lead different lives now, but are still sisters in heart.
And lastly, Jeff. We have been going to the same mechanic for about 35 years now. He is a great guy and has seen us through many cars. I got a big wonderful hug as we said "good-bye". Hope we can find someone even half as good and reputable in VA.
What is that Girl Scout song we learned? "Make new friends, but keep the old...."
This past weekend I attending the Quilt Festival in Chicago. This is a huge quilt exhibition, educational forum and vendor show. On day two of the show, I noticed a covey of young men outside the doors, and doubted very much they were quilters. I am both curious and forward, so I followed them up the escalators to see where they went.
There I came upon a world I had never seen before! It was a Grand Prix event for "Magic the Gathering". There was no admission and they were a welcoming bunch, so I went in. Amazing. Excited participants and camaraderie (just like downstairs at the quilt show); Vendors showing their wares (just like downstairs); Artists displaying their work (just like downstairs); People concentration on their work, making friends, competing, and using technology, all the same on both floors.
It made me think about how much more in common we have than we think we do. Perhaps, we just need to visit each others' sub-societies more often. Thanks guys for making me feel welcome, and introducing me to your world; hope you had fun when you peeked into the quilt show and saw mine!!
The wren and I; A private dance.
I have taken so many pictures of our birds, and with a wren house in the tree right outside my window, you would think getting one of him would be easy-peasy... but no. This little guy and I have been dancing around each other for weeks now. I do not think that a wren stands still for more than a millisecond at a time, and they are the same size as the leaves they perch in. That combined with my general lack of patience (some would say severe ADD) has made for a real dance - one that I am positive the wren knows he is a part of! Anyhow, today I finally got an acceptable shot, but thought you might enjoy the lead up to it...
DISCLAIMER: Please note the following shots are numbered for your convenience... I have not included the many that were taken just after he left, or when I knocked the tripod in my excitement to shoot. Accuracy would have them numbered "shot 108, shot 437, etc", but I have simplified it for you.
Above: I decide to focus on the house... Day one (top left) he never appeared. Day two (top right), this was as good as it got. Day three (bottom left) he mocked me by photo bombing my shot as I waited thinking he was in the house! Day four (bottom right) (coincidentally right after finding a four-leaf clover) I got a great pic of the house, but he was twitching a bit fast.
ABOVE: After another week or two of trying to follow him from branch to branch - resulting in many blurry photos of our apple tree - I decided to tripod-up and wait for him to land in one place. This required almost more patience than I could endure, but because it was possible to wait with both coffee and sitting down, I made it. The first shot (upper left), he was almost out of the frame, the second (upper right) he was posed beautifully with his head directly hidden behind the branch. In the third shot (lower left) he shows us how he can hide - yes he really is in the shot. The fourth shot (bottom right); we are almost there.
Finally an acceptable shot. We have now called a truce. I have learned that I will never have the patience (and probably not the equipment) for really amazing nature photos, but it sure is fun trying. It is amazing how much you learn about the habits and reactions of something you are trying to photograph. I have also learned why you see many pictures of finches, cardinals, oriels, and robins, but rarely the little wren.
You can relax now Wren, The paparazzi have left.
Good Bye Bessie.
Bessie has left the building.
Five years ago I went to Milwaukee Sewing Machine Company and purchased this industrial serger sewing machine. I had a small home machine, but had found it not "up to snuff" in the speed, agility, or strength departments. It takes a lot of whatever to handle several layers of heavy sweater knit fabrics and not complain or balk.
I brought her home and set her up, and I have to admit she intimidated me a bit. All those threads, exposed motor, and speed. It was a bit like getting out of a Chevy and into a Ferrari. (not that I have even driven either of those!)
But we soon became fast friends. As long as I gave her appropriate oil cocktails, and cleaned her out now and then, she ran like the wind! Scarves that had taken a long (almost unprofitable) amount of time, were now swiftly and securely seamed into glory! She never grumbled when summer came and I switched from sweaters to t-shirts. She loved the velvets I started using just this past year. If ever she coughed or skipped a stitch, it would be found to be a result of my ineptness, not hers.
Don't "sit still"
In a happy coincidence, my Facebook photo group had the theme "motion" and I had a trip to see my grand kids... what better combination could there be! To see more of the pics I took, please go to this link.
But beyond thinking about photos, I was thinking about kids and adults. Watching the big group of students at my Grandson's pre-school "graduation" made me think about how much we confuse our kids. We are vigorously pushing them ahead at the same time telling them to sit still!
The kids sitting at the ceremony were not bored, or "restless" they were excited and nervous and giddy... all of which caused eyes to constantly scan, feet to constantly swing and heads to bob. Many could not contain themselves to decorous walking, so they skipped or ran or danced up to get their diplomas and hugs! We adults giggled and "awwed" when it was annouced that the child wanted to be a superhero, or police officer, or mommy, or doctor, or earth worm! But that is still their reality - anything is possible. I know, until told otherwise, I truly thought I could be a horse when I grew up.
I am not sure how or when we lose this. Or maybe, more accurately, it is taught out of us. When we lower our standards to reality and make our feet hold still. Some people never do. They are the lucky ones. The world retains its energy and potential for them.
Smelling the barn door....
I am sure by now many of you are thinking "will you just move already!!!!" We have been so lucky to be able to really have the time we need to divest and move. The couple who bought our house, rented it back to us for the last several months while we each prepared to move. We just got back from taking another load to Charlottesville. So the next time we go will be the real deal!
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !