Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day Weekend here

Hectic time lately, what with software and hardware and too many commitments all falling over each other at the same time.

So to help me get in the spirit, a nice Silver Spotted Skipper spent a lot of time on the sedum out front.  Quietly flitting and sipping, sipping and flitting.  Telling me something.

Happy Holiday to blogistas for whom it's a holiday weekend, and happy Ordinary Weekend to the rest of the world.  September here any minute now.

Monday, August 26, 2013

So finally a Kindle comes into my life

After saying loudly for years I would never buy a Kindle, because it's the equivalent of paying to enter a bookstore to buy books, a Kindle has come into my life. And I didn't buy it. I got it the old fashioned way -- I won it in a drawing!

After getting my lovely Renaissance book last week, I forgot that there was also a drawing for various prizes to close the summer library reading program.  Then today a phone call from Rina Banerjee, branch manager of the library I was involved in, to tell me I'd drawn first prize, a Kindle.  Yay.

So I hotfooted it over there, and here's Rina with the lucky winner, doing the Grip and Grin for the libe's pr, and well deserved it is.

So this afternoon is all about finding where the on switch is, and going from there.  I've managed to register myself, and my big plan is to learn to download ebooks from the libe. 

Steep learning curve here,but I'm  very proud of realizing that I can charge the K using the adapter from the Ipod Touch, what a concept,and it's now all green lights and ready. 

More than I am, but this is pretty thrilling, I can tell you.This is the first thing I ever won in my entire life!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No Need for Giverny

 Monet could have lived in my little town and enjoyed this walk with me this morning.  The red flowers are cardinal flowers, doing very well this year.  I have one or two where I live, who planted themselves or maybe birds did, and since they like to live near water, they intelligently took root right at the foot of the downspout!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Being Rewarded for Doing What You LIke and Would Do Anyway

Not many places in life where this happens, but I just got one.  This summer I took part in a reading program, where all you did was read what you wanted and log the titles and authors into the library's LitFinder.  

At the end of the program, next week, there will be a drawing for a Kindle and a couple of other things. But no matter how the drawing goes, every participant got to come into the libe, bringing their log printout and choose a free book from a cart of choices.  So today I did.  That was great fun, and I scored a wonderful book, seen here.  I took off the jacket so as to show you inside as well in one shot.  Now this is cool!


Spent a good time outside reading it and studying what's in there.  At the Uni, I did a heavy duty section of my degree on art history, mainly the Renaissance in Europe, so this was a kind of nostalgia trip as well as new learning. And I was tickled, after last week's trip to the Unicorn Tapestries in NY, to observe places in other medieval works where the unicorn shows up.

Then there's the show of sunflowers, seeds a gift of a friend who lives across the street and can now enjoy them along with me.  The purple plant is a purple sage, smells wonderful when you brush by it. It's not the sage I use for pesto, though -- that's common sage and I grow it out back. 

All this leisurely activity, stitching a little, reading about the Renaissance from a safe distance, reading my medieval mystery story, another Dame Frevisse, I see a theme here,  is taking place while my friends are across the street digging and hauling and generally overdoing it, while I get to kibitz.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An afternoon at Bountiful

Farmshare day today, after a morning of enormous storms, serious downpour, the kind you can't see through, tornadoes a bit north of here, but here we got lucky.  By afternoon the sun was out and steaming the earth.

So today's farmshare was the sort of great food you get in the middle of the season in the middle of the state in the middle of the farmshare.  And the extras:  as much corn as you could deal with, a large and juicy canteloupe, blackberries picked at six this morning before the storm, peaches and tomatoes, likewise, and flowers in the field, borrow the clippers and pick at will.  Jill the Farm Lady tells me that the extra flowers, to pick freely, will be the norm every week from now on

So there I was in a field of zinnias, fighting it out with the butterflies and happy bees, as I clipped and picked and had a wonderful time.

The bees did not stop when I picked the flower they were on -- just went on seriously working until they were Ready To Move On. And the sulfur butterflies were all over the place, following me as I left.

Good thing I had my farm mud shoes on, since there was about six inches of mud to navigate after the torrential downpours of the morning.  But what a heavenly afternoon followed.

This was after a trip to the thrift store, where I scored a beautiful pink linen top which I may wear and then again I may stitch, and then again I may do both...and to the library to pick up Mrs Bradley and Call the Midwife Season Two.

A walk in the wet woods around here cleaned my shoes up a bit, though that wasn't the purpose, but it works for me.

And now I'm here, after eating a quarter of that melon with ginger sprinkled on.  Nice glass of chardonnay. 

Come to think of it, this whole day works for me.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Dragon Guarding the Garden

I was outside reading this afternoon and pleased at not being bitten even once by this year's mosquitoes which seem bigger and fiercer than ever before, when I realized why the patio was so human friendly.

I had a dragon in the garden.  A nice praying mantis, just a few feet from where I was sitting.  A fierce predator, very little can stand up against Mrs Mantis,and I am betting she had had a nice lunch of biting insects.  As I watched her, she groomed her face with one foreleg then the other, and then studied me closely.

Maybe she was posing for her picture.  She did a nice side view and a front view.  My neighbor came over to admire her, since he loves insects as much as I do, as small animals.

Always good to have a mantis on your side.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Road Trip!

Great day's vacation in the Big City -- New York -- to the Cloisters, to be exact, the medieval art and architecture part of the Met. Museum of Art, way up Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson.

View from high over the Hudson

View from the other side of the museum, the cityscape. 

One of our embroidery buds is leaving for a transfer to far away, and gave us as a good bye present a booking of a stretch limo to take us in great style! 
My first trip in such a classy vehicle, call me Beyonce.  Happy group setting out, ready with all kinds of vital snacks.  Great day wonderful stitching and tapestry and architecture, and well, you just had to be there.  No pictures here of the Unicorn Tapestries, the main reason for our visit, since photography is not allowed around them, in order to preserve them, so to find out more, go here.  

Lunch at little tables set around the garth, in the shade of the cloister.  Herb garden, where I pinched and sniffed and had a heavenly time.


Serious shopping opp. in the gift store.

It's so long since I was at the Cloisters, so it was great to renew my acquaintance, and now with much more knowledge of tapestry and stitching and goldwork.  It's a maze of small rooms, all with medieval artworks, sculpture, religious icons, ecclesiastical vestments, secular tapestries, stitching of many kinds, small enough that you can wander around happily without being overwhelmed, big enough to keep losing your group, as I did.

Serious thanks to Helen H. who prearranged all kinds of information and made sure all was planned up, and to Suzette D. who took us there in a limo.  Without them it wouldn't have happened.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lazy lovely summer day

Wonderful day today, hot but not too hot, conferred with neighbors about squirrel which has taken up residence in the kitchen fan vent, on the outside wall, and was assured that he couldn't get any further into the house, and that a lot of other neighbors have similar squirrel nests.  So I contented myself with pulling out a lot of nesting material and banging on the vent cover to annoy the occupant.

Hike on the Preserve, gaggles of kids in summer programs pointing and shouting and pushing one another, so very few birds ventured out, other than turkey vultures gliding on the updrafts high in the air.  Tiger swallowtail butterflies all over.

But on the way back from my hike there across the trail was a red fox.  He stood and studied me for a while, and I studied him, then he turned to face me head on, I suppose to scare me off, and finally he decided that discretion was the better part, and ambled off into the shrubbery.  I know it was a red fox, because as he left, I could see the white tail tip flicking.

Home to big laundry, and work in the studio, to finish up an artist's book, which you can see here, if you like:

Then, being a bit tired with this lazy day, Duncan and I took a lovely long peaceful nap on the sofa, at least I thought I was reading, until I woke up.

Nice glass of moscato and a baked potato for supper, and now I'm off to watch a video about Guarneri and Stradivarius, which I'm hoping will have plenty of sample music in it.

So really I didn't do a thing all day..