Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Dreaded Raw Garlic Cure

Well I have had the stomach bug that is going around. I did the mint tea. I did the grape juice.
I did the goldenseal, which usually works great with me. Finally I did the dreaded raw garlic cure. The way this works is, first you chop up about a tablespoon of fresh ginger and boil it with a few cups of water. Set that aside to cool. Then you mince up a big clove of garlic. You mix this with a few spoonfulls of peanut butter. Sometimes I put in a drop of soy sauce. You eat the peanut butter garlic mix and wash it down with the ginger tea. The tea is to keep you from tossing the whole thing, as you already feel nauseated & its pretty strong stuff.
One's breath is helacious after this, of course, but what care I?
So, sick since Wednesday, did the D.R.G.C. on Friday. Performed a wedding ceremony on Saturday & carried on normallly (or as normal as I ever get) and then back to the outhouse with the trots. Or the sprints, as it were. But then felt well on Monday. Until later on. Then at 1 am I did the garlic.
I am telling you this in case you are suffering from this same bug. So you may have a chance to vanquish it. (I feel like Marley's Ghost telling you this)
Meanwhile, the cherry trees are in full voluptuous bloom. I'm glad the winds did not tear off too many flowers. No hummingbirds this morning. They must have done with these for now.
John is lying in the grass out back, dressed all in green complete with green velvet pants. He is coming down with the bug, I fear.
I have been cutting pages of my book in half as they are printed two pages to a sheet. They still need to have the holes punched in, and to be collated, and to have the covers printed, and to be bound with the comb binders. Such a lot of work. I'm so glad John is doing the actual printing.
And what about all the metalsmithing waiting to be done?????? As soon as I feel a little strength. I am so weak now. But I miss the metal.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fierce Attack Sheep

Twice lately the wild turkeys have come by the house, and both times the sheep have chased them away! Yesterday Petunia ran around & around the pear tree with her head down and the turkey running away from her as fast as it could go. These are wild timid sheep! So its very surprising. Turkeys, though, are so obviously descended from dinosaurs, its no wonder that the sheep do not want them around.

I have been out hot twisting silver rod. It took about a year after John came up with this unorthodox method of silversmithing for me to try it out. And it took longer yet for me to start using it regularly. My rate of 'fried' pieces is about what it was for me with bronze about 24 years ago. And if I get the least bit distracted while I am doing it its sure I will mess it up. But the ease and fluidity of working it this way is a treat. I get tighter twists, and greater range of design. I've got a bunch sitting in the 'pickle bath' now, a mild acid that takes off the black fire scale that inevitably happens when one heats silver up that high.

When I was in my 20's I never thought I'd live to this age. Back then, we all thought the atomic bomb was looking over our shoulders just waiting to pounce on us and send us to smithereens. Never mind that bogus stuff in school when they had us crouched down under our desks! Anyway, now I am nearly 60, and in the thick of being a self-employed crafts person. This is what we have both been doing since '81. I'm still amazed at the world politics, and how such a huge number of humans keep on living on this fragile planet of ours.

I'm several years past the age when my father, a professor of botany, retired. As an artist and writer, I will never get to retire. I was talking to a stone mason at the grocery store the other day, and we both agreed that we expected to die while we were still working. This is probably how everyone always thought of themselves before the American dream of retirement came along. I don't know. My husband & I live very simply, without many things that our contemporaries consider essential. But we do have unheard of freedom and flexibility.

When we first started being crafts people we drove a '61 hump-back 544 Volvo. Back and forth across country. We knew some inopportune time it would die a final death, probably in the winter in Montana on the interstate. So we decided to be prepared to cut our losses and walk away with all our metalsmithing inventory on our backs in one small bag. It was such a good car we never had to, though.

I have nattered on enough for now. more later.
OH! A hummingbird came to the open door of the smithy today. Ruby throated & humming.