Friday, September 29, 2006

My trial of the Japanese folded and dip dyed paper called Shibori

I am loving all the cool things we get to try in the Art From Many Lands course I'm taking.

Wanna try it? Click here or just try it my way:

Cut a square of a rough but not too absorbent paper (commercial paper towels work well). Fold it in half, then very carefully fold the doubled strip into thirds (lengthwise). Now, beginning at one end, fold one corner up to the opposite side to make a triangle. Continue folding the strip into triangles folding first one way and then the other. Now you will have a very thick paper triangle.

Drop some food coloring into the compartments of a muffin tin. Dilute a bit if desired. Dip each corner into the dye. I brushed a bit onto the edges, as well as dipping the corners.

Now put some newspaper on the floor, place your wet, colorful triangle onto the newspaper, cover with more newspaper...and step on it to spread the dye!

Very carefully, unfold the paper to discover your new work of art!

Monday, September 18, 2006

10 states in 29 hours!

We're back from a last-minute trip from Maine to Tennessee. (One of the advantages of Empty Nest Life is that one can get away more easily to go on such last-minute adventures.)

Deb's college housing arrangement in a furnished apartment wasn't working out--the landlady didn't like her having other students over for meals and she didn't like the landlady's not keeping her agreement to refrain from smoking indoors. The landlady objected to "strangers in my house" and gave her just 4 days to be out of the apartment!!!

Needless to say, Deb immediately got busy making inquiries and phone calls in search of a new place to live.

Anyway, with the decision to head south made only a day before departure, the OC arranged to take some vacation days now instead of later and I got busy canceling commitments, doing laundry, making bread and packing. We then stuffed the van with her bed and bedding, dresser, card table with chairs, bookcase, a collapsible living room chair donated by a thoughtful sister and several other items she'd requested and headed south. We made all our stops along the way as brief as we could to keep the wheels rolling as much as possible each day. A late night motel stop 5 hours or so from our destination had us far enough south to reach our motel and then her university by early to mid-afternoon.

We met up with Deb at the office of the housing director where she picked up the key to a university-owned apartment which had just become available that very week (God's timing, once again proving to be perfect)! We went right over to check it out and unload the van. Then off to her old apartment to work together stuffing her belongings into the duffels and boxes we'd brought along and ferrying it all over and piling it up at her new place.

That night, she slept in her own bed in her new apartment. Well, not precisely "new" as it's in the basement of a house that must be at least 50 years old. But the young lady with whom she's sharing the apartment seems very congenial and this apartment is close enough to campus for her friends to walk or bike over for visits.

Speaking of visiting with friends, I have to tell you about the wonderful gift given her by some friends of ours who moved from here to there a couple of years ago. We spent a lovely afternoon with them and, when they they discovered that she needed a dining table gave her one...complete with four chairs! So now she can have dorm-weary friends over for all the "potluck" dinners she wants!

The OC was please to get in a day of remote work thus saving a vacation day and, after taking a day off for a delightful Sabbath rest, we repeated the 21-hours-of-driving "10 states in 29 hours" dash back home again.

On the off chance that you might have been curious, we drove through: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

So this morning I had the scanner on to create a semblance of someone else in the house while I zoomed around doing baking and cleaning in preparation for a possible upcoming solo road trip.

There were the usual transmissions of 911 calls: a hard-of-hearing elderly female had fallen and was not able to get up to unlock her door, a smoke alarm was going off but no smell of smoke, someone had an injured squirrel in a box (and they called 911 for a squirel ?!?!), some sort of ceremony was referenced in conjunction with an elderly woman complaining of hip and leg pain from a previous fall.

Then a call was issued for all EMTs to observe a minute of silence in memory of those lost 5 years ago and BAM the TV images were replaying in my brain. Only this time, unlike the first time, I also had a mental overlay of our part-time firefighter son-in-law standing at attention with his fellow firefighters all fully decked out and ready to risk their very lives in service to others.

Thank you to all who serve!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Haiku (HI'-koo)

One is never bored
when both friends and family
keep having crises.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Christmas in September?

Christmas in September?
Originally uploaded by Larry13.
I just came back from our local organic Community Supported Agriculture farm with a green and red collection. From the available options, I chose a BIG bag of Swiss Chard, lettuce mix, cauliflower, red peppers (this week I chose them instead of eggplant), lovely vine ripened tomatoes (including a couple of heirloom varieties) and, from the u-pick field, some green (and a few purple) beans, a sprig of basil and a lovely bunch of fresh mint which is already hanging to dry in preparation for its future as part of homemade bath salts.

Note to self

Note to self, "In the future, remember to replace kitchen countertops at least every 20-25 years."

Our new countertops not only make the kitchen look much lighter and brighter than did the old mustard-yellow ones that came with our house when we bought it 20 years ago, but are so much easier to clean!

Kitchen Renovation

Of course, after another 20 years or so, our poor old cabinets will be falling apart and we'll need to redo the entire kitchen. We'd better start saving now....