Saturday, August 09, 2008

Wonderful Company

We have had wonderful company of all sorts since the last week of May, but are now on our own again. The guests have been HelpX volunteers, CouchSurfers, WOOFers from years past, and some people in no category at all. Its been tremendous fun. The photo is in our kitchen & I'm baking pie with lots of help. From left to right is: Me, Alexis Morgan, Collin Cavote, and our dear Louise Hanavan. Louise has been a welcome visitor in summers past, and she plays guitar & banjo and sings wonderfully well. Collin is living aboard the sloop Grace now, out in a nearbye harbor. Alexis, who is a terrific artist, is soon back to school on the east coast. We have a few more guests from HelpX and CouchSurfing coming soon. More new friends! Yay!!

Meanwhile we are printing my book again, Design Your Own Celtic Knots. John is running the printer and refilling the ink. Soon I will do a how-to on YouTube.

We have both been smithing a bunch. I have gotten a commission making three silver & abalone clasps for a button-blanket garment. That will be fun! I plan to make them look a little like bull kelp. All sinuous.

I am gearing up to make downloadable PDF chapbooks of my poetry. I will be putting it in to groups of 10 to 12 poems per book. I think I will print some too. We shall see.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Six Years Since the Wreck

Its six years today since the wreck. My parents were driving to see the wild yellow orchids that were blooming in a Revolutionary War cemetary. They had been instrumental in saving this stand of rare orchids. It was 7:45 on a Sunday morning, and they were hit by a drunk driver. The drunk had been celebrating his 18th birthday & was blind drunk, coming out of the woods to the right of my parents car. My father was killed. My mother nearly was. Just before the moment of impact she pulled her legs up in front of her to protect her internal organs. And so she survived, but broke nearly everything else.
I was very close to my father & miss him terribly. We had to wait a year to have a memorial that my mother could attend. It was at the cemetary with the wild yellow orchids, and we scatterred my father's ashes. Well, everyone else scattered them. I hid under a big fir tree and drew a heart with his ashes. At the memorial I recited Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle in to That Good Night". He liked that poem, and I had memorized it in case he ever wanted to hear it.
My father wrote wonderful letters full of wry humor and awful handwriting & spelling. I have never thrown out a letter from him. There weren't many. After he died I saw a file of letters and cards I'd sent him over the years.
My father was the president of the Connecticut Botanical Society for 10 years. They loved him. Then he was the president of the local chapter of the historical society at the Hart House. He was the town botanist in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. People enjoyed his talks. He was a good looking man in his 80's. I did a Google search for him and there was no mention of him. How could that be? Maybe me writing this in my blog will begin to redress that lack. A teensy bit. Lord, I miss him.
Donald M. Swan July 11th, 1919--August 4th 2002

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Lost in Space

I have not posted in here because I was daunted by losing my password. Yes, that is no excuse. How about that we have had guests continually since the end of May? We are down to one guest right now, a very nice HelpX volunteer name of Collin. He likes to bake! The cherry harvest is over, alas. The apples are scarce on the bough this year. Such a dark springtime we had. Soon the salal berries and the blackberries will be ripe. We have more company coming this week, and then more the week after.

I have been smithing slowly along. It is hard sometimes with my bad back and my weakness from being laid up in the autumn. But I like smithing.
My first brand new ShopVac died entirely. Whats with that? I have lost faith, and will replace it with a used one from the free store.

John & Collin rowed out to the sad sloop Grace today & began the huge task of cleaning her out. She is such a sweet boat, but needs so many repairs. Still, she floats happily. The otters have used the decks as a party spot. Oh, those messy otters! Plus seagulls pooping like mad. But it can all get scrubbed off. One day we will sail her again. After we replace the bent boom, the dinged mast, the torn off spreader, the ripped mainsail, and, oh yeah, the motor. She needs a long shaft 10 horse outboard. Some day we will sail her again, wing on wing, out in Rosario Strait.

For now I am land bound. I have been working on a set of cabinet handles in hot wrought bronze. (among other things!) I got them nearly all done & then went to drill the holes in them. I managed to drill them off center & ruined the whole shebang. I have started from scratch with heavier stock. The person who ordered them is being very patient.

Soon I will post more photos & poems. Oh, we decided it was not the right time to get the ram. But I sent her the needles anyway. So I have half-credit for a ram!

I am to receive the nice floor loom that my sheep-to-shawl team out on Stuart Island bought years ago with the shawl raffle money. I guess I am the only weaver left. Of course, there were only 35 people on the whole island then, so there were only two weavers to begin with. I am happily spinning the warp threads for a project using Petunia's fleece. Oh! We finally got them sheared a few weeks ago. They are happy to be out of their heavy hot coats, and have been galloping around. They are very fast! And their fleeces are very nice this year! Thick & healthy. One of our HelpX guests is a knitter & dyer of yarn. She & I are going to have fun!