Category Archives: In the Company of Cloth

notes from a quilter, collage artist, fabric collector

Time to count 5/29/21

1 — one recovery well underway

2 — two dogs; two wheel chairs; two novels being read; number of pairs of pants I thought I left home but had actually stuck in a drawer

3 — three days in California; three slings; three to tango

24– number of hours til I see First Born

Too many to count: stunning plants in the yard; times I wished I hadn’t let ten years go by between visits.

The tawny dog, Lila, is a Carolina dog (mostly), aka American Dingo aka Dixie Dingo. The breed is believed to have come across the Bering Straight eons ago and is nevertheless viewed by some as the only indigenous dog in America.

The “secret garden” is, for now, inaccessible. I took it upon myself to move the guardian dog over to the side of the house where my brother will be able to see it from his beautiful new bathroom.

Proof of introversion and place

Twenty-five minutes after sitting down in 11D, I tug my mask down to sip hot coffee and say to the man seated next to me: “Just so you know, I’m fully vaccinated.”

He replies, “So am I.”

That’s it. Sum total of our exchange. Perfect!

Behind us two former strangers are going on and on (as extroverts do). Lived on the Cape but used to live in Boulder. Red Rocks. Acoustics. Concerts they’ve been to. Concerts they’re going to. Restaurant recommendations. Weather in Wellfleet. Daughters siblings aspirations.

Gratitude of the moment: thank Christ I’m sitting in 11D and not 12D!

* * *

Once on the ground in California, I get a text from husband. Have I landed in LA yet?

“A man wearing flip flops just skateboarded past me, so yeah.” That was IN the terminal, PS.

There are HEdGES of rosemary in Los Angeles! I clipped one out front of my brother’s and brought in two bouquets. Hard to believe that in Massachusetts we can pay $2.99 for three small sprigs.

As I type my hands are redolent with the oils. A nice way to begin the day.

The bliss of running errands

I picked up one cauliflower, rejected it, lifted another. It fit in the palm of my hand, on the cute side of small.

Tomatoes worthy of the name! Radishes to die for.

The serendipitous meal planned. You know the kind — when you see some particularly appealing pile of eggplant or bok choy and design a meal around it? Today it was poblano peppers. I bought three. And marscapone cheese.

But they did not have pansies at the adjacent greenhouse. Damn! It was the whole motivating force behind running the errand. Ever since I got my second shot a month ago, I’ve had pansies in the brain.

That’s okay. I went for deep purple and bright pink petunias, some elephant-eared begonia, pink and white snap dragons. A few more bags of dirt. We are supposed to have glorious weather all week.

For what it’s worth: Needham, Mass farm store: every single shopper and clerk wore a mask. Newton, Mass CVS: every single clerk and shopper wore a mask. I did not wear a mask to walk Finn this morning for the first time in a dog’s age (ha ha) but I did while shopping.

Seven questions, one announcement

7 Questions:

Will I actually (finally) do the right thing and cancel my FB account if they allow trump back on? (Perhaps WHEN should be subbed for IF, since the whole thing has the stink of inevitability and greed about it).

Why am I so loggy in the morning these days?

How do you write a book as good as Hamnet?

Will it ever get warm here in the Northeast?

Does anything compare with a serendipitous trip down a rabbit hole while doing research for my novel (hint: it involves the Quakers in 1758)?

Why can’t I leave comments on blogger blogs? Damn — I keep trying!

When ineptitude or real glitches prevent me from sharing an audio file (in this case, a reading of the chapter that I wrote after emerging from the rabbit hole) is that a signal that I shouldn’t?

How does the rain make Finn’s coat so very soft?

Okay. That was eight questions.

1 Announcement:

I am going to L.A. at the end of the month for two weeks.

Read that part again.

The girl who couldn’t find QTIPs or her car in the parking lot last week during a simple run to CVS will be flying solo through Denver to LA right before Memorial Day.

I’ll be part of my brother’s care routine and we’ll also see BOTH BOYS. K will join a few days after I arrive. We’ll fly Young One in from Colorado.

I’m a little nervous about being OF USE in my brother’s household. Confident about kitchen routines. Less sure about everything else. The good news is that he has the strength to aid in his transfers now and can manage toileting on his own.

Flashback. I may have told you that the worst part of helping my dying sister with her toileting was how — even in a severely weakened state — she made a devilish rally to tell my how I was doing it all wrong. The shit didn’t phase me in the least.

You know that story about the poor Mexican boy separated from his mother at age 15, reunited with her yesterday after THREE YEARS? I almost cried to see him patting his mother’s back, squeezing her shoulder, tugging on her hair — the gestures saying not only, I love you / I missed you, but are you REAL?

Also heart breaking because they were not the gestures of an eighteen year old, but of a much, much younger child.

No comparison, NONE, but how could I not sit there and make my own tally?

By the end of May, it’ll be nearly A YEAR AND A HALF since we saw our kids.

PS Lest you think Noreen was pure ogre, let me tell you she had a real gift with geraniums. Look at how her plants have thrived even in my northern window!

 

April 14, 2021

A vigorous walk with Finn this morning. Still chilly. The Christmas cactus I set outside last week got severely stressed, making me realize how hard it is not to push the season this time of year. New England.

This is an unglued collage laid out in front of the fish tank, such that shadow and refracted light become part of the composition. I like that. From this morning.

Thirty four seconds. What can I tell you? I’m trying to find my way to something next level here.

Two of my collages were featured on the Diana blog this morning. That’s always nice!