I forget: Photos look so cool when they are printed. Especially at big sizes, like 8" x 10". I've been going through my archives, especially since getting the Canon, and picking out lots of photos to turn into prints. They look good. I'm really pleased. That camera rocks. I ADORE the paper (Moab Lasal Photo Luster [now called Exhibition Luster]). It's kind of a matte/semi-gloss. It reminds me of honed Carrera marble. Technology. Awesome. Anyway, I have to admit that, content-wise, the photos look pretty cool together as a group. I think there's a story in them, somehow. The story of these days. Maybe pictures are more like a poem than a story. No linear plot. Little glimpses. Distilled (like a poem). I can't write it. I can print the colors of it on paper, and hold the pages in my hands. I look into them and see the details, sometimes the big picture. As if I could.
In the now-quiet house, the animals appear again, venturing back out into the center of the spaces. After a weekend of the most beautiful weather I've even seen in my entire life, yesterday dawned cloudy and cool, a welcome margin of gray into which we decided to fit some spring cleaning. I opened the newspaper and was excited to see that a recipe for pizza inspired by one I'd made last spring was included in an article about asparagus and pizza (thanks Deena!). We cleaned the fridge, got some groceries, made some dough, went to the lumber store to buy some cedar boards for our new raised beds, went back to the store to get more boards (naturally, we can't count), and spent the day puttering happily. Andy took the old roses out of the parkway (sorry old roses, but I know you were unhappy) and built one of the beds. There will be three total, each 4' x 8'. We'll plant vegetables and flowers. It's the only real sunny spot we have. Half of our neighbors came by while Andy was out there, one by one offering opinions and advice. Kind of funny. We just smile and do our thing. Whatever I dream up, he'll figure out how to make it work. I bring the plan (and the pizza); as long as he has his playlist, his puppers, and a decent IPA, he's off and running. I sit on the steps with a sketch pad and seed catalog, and study the light. Tulips blooming. Waylon Jennings. Potatoes, eggplant, lettuce, peas.
I finally finished tying the quilt shortly after I took this photo. It was all I could do not to take it out of the dryer (I always wash and dry my quilts [on warm] the minute I finish them), put my pajamas back on, and hop back into the bed. But instead I made a poppyseed lemon cake. I'll let you know how it turns out. How both turn out!
Rain rain go away. My dearest friend Martha and her baby girl Mila are coming to visit in two days and the forecast is rain all the way. I have the conversation circle all ready out back, but I have a feeling all conversations will be taking place at the table, or under quilts, or in front of the fireplace.
Before it started raining, though, Andy and I spent the weekend cleaning up the back yard, getting it ready for spring, and I really can't describe how good it feels to do that. This will be our first full spring and summer with the new kitchen door and the deck-dock and the walkway, and those things have been life-changing. No exaggeration at all. It took a long time, over ten years, before we were able to make it happen. But it was worth the wait. The connection to fresh air, wind, rain, sunshine, birds, slugs, and the natural life of this little piece of land (in the very middle of the city) is all right off the kitchen door now (instead of down a dark hallway where you get hit in the face with coats, down some little stairs where several tall people have hit their heads on the "ceiling" [including Andy Paulson who, within the first five minutes of us excitedly moving into the house, found himself lying flat on the hallway floor after smashing his forehead against the "ceiling — it was awful], through a warped old sticking wooden interior door [which used to be the house's original exterior back door], and through the tiny mudroom — a real rat maze — then out). Even in the rain, it's all right there, and I feel a greater sense of peace and . . . possibility . . . now that there is only one lovely little ridiculously functional new door between us. Yeah. That worked.
I feel like I should do an exuberant little song-and-dance number about it on the deck-dock stage.
I'll give you a better tour of the yard when it's not pouring!
Oh, and! Two things: The Winterwoods ABC sampler pattern is now available as a downloadable PDF. AND many people have asked me what the "O" in the sampler is. It's the cross-section of a tree trunk or a log! :-)
In between sunbreaks I would like to tie the quilt, especially when it's pouring, and I mean pouring rain outside and us girls are all tucked in upstairs after dinner, waiting for Andy in the warm, rosy lamplight with some coconut cake and my new favorite show, Dual Survival. But this dear little Violetflower is always on the quilt now, which makes it tricky (and cat-hair-covered). I don't deny her anything these days. The quilt is so big I was actually able to tie all over one of the corners of it while she was cozied up on a pile of the bulk of it a few feet away. So, slowly but surely.
I ordered some patio furniture. Here's how I did it:
"Honey, I just wanted to let you know that I got some new poufy chairs for the backyard with a little round wooden coffee table to go in the middle so that we have somewhere to sit happy birthday babe!!!!!"
The minute that thermometer hits 68 these doors and windows are flying open and I am not coming inside for four months!
Yesterday I was up in a part of the city we lived in for a short time with friends when we first moved to Portland (that cute kitcheny window belongs to this restaurant, which I think used to be the little newspaper I did copyediting for). I can't believe how much the neighborhood has changed. I need to get out more. A few people have asked me about the stuff-to-do-in-Portland list I was working on last year. I had forgotten about that. So I just looked at it. That thing is huge. It's not entirely finished. But I will do that, and put it out here in a couple of pieces, so stay tuned.
If you haven't made the Dutch oven bread yet pretty pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease try it right away.
I seem to have stalled out after my quilting frenzy. Now all I do is just sit around watching our yard turn its delirious shade of florescent green. Well, actually before I sat around yesterday I weeded the front parkway since about four hundred dandelions bloomed in approximately twenty minutes. Weeding is seriously exhausting. It always looks so much prettier after you do it, but hellity hell dandies. You do make me work for it.
Some answers: 1) No, I dont stand on a ladder to take overhead table photos, but I do have an articulated LCD screen on my Canon camera that tilts toward me so I can see what I'm shooting. This is the second third camera I have had with an articulated LCD screen and I definitely would not buy a camera without it. It's awesome. 2) Yes (and thank you very much for asking), I might start selling photos because I own a very nice professional-quality photo printer that I don't use enough and it is just sitting there doing nothing and it might be really fun to have prints. 3) But not before I figure out how to redo my web shop because my web shop pretty much sucks and I have to fix it. 4) I'm not sure if I will do a quilt pattern and/or a new cross-stitch kit for the sampler on the black background. But I might. The quilt is a super weird size. I think it's like 100" x 100". Maybe I'll just write the pattern exactly how I did it and you can adjust it however you'd like. It would be really easy to make it a little bigger or smaller. 5) I forgot the last thing I was going to say. Crud. 6) Oh yeah, I just remembered: I still need to ask Brady if they named the farm yet!
(*Several people have written to me to let me know that they have been having a hard time leaving comments for the past week or so. I think Typepad made some recent changes to the verification thing that is causing problems. I've taken it off [that thing bugs me, anyway] so hopefully that will make it easier now. Sorry about that, and thank you for the heads up.)