Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hello August, four days in

Enough catching up, don't you think? Oh, there's more, always more, but it's a new month so time to move on.

Here are a few things I am loving these days ...

Monday long rides with Coty
We've been taking longer bike rides, usually on Monday mornings, though we had two nice long rides on a little getaway a couple of weeks back - Tuesday and Wednesday rides, 42 and 22 miles. I am loving these long rides. In the countryside we ride through, the ripening corn is tall now. As we pass, the honey fragrance of the cornfield envelops us. Roosters crow and cows stand in a line under the cedar trees along a pasture fence line or wade up to their bellies in a muddy pond. We see red-tailed hawks on power-lines or atop tall snags. We catch the whiff of a skunk that has crossed the road in the early morning or see the remains of an unfortunate black snack, hit by a car as it warmed itself on hot pavement. The cotton plants are flowering now. Yesterday, we rode 33.4 miles. I was dragging at the end. The last few hills felt higher and longer than the last time I'd ridden them, my quads and knees weary, the bandana I tie around my head totally soaked. I checked the temperature on my bike computer as we pulled into the country church parking lot where we'd left the car and it said 95 degrees. No wonder I felt wrung out. Next week, we'll start earlier!

Garden tomatoes
It's that time of year. The German Johnsons I planted in the top terrace are ripening. There are not nearly enough of them, however, to satisfy the desire for vine ripened tomatoes, so I go to our little local farmer's market on Monday afternoons to replenish our supply. My sister, who has a larger tomato patch than me, has also shared some of her bounty. Really, there is nothing quite like a garden tomato, just picked and warm from the sun, sliced up and eaten with just a twist of freshly ground salt and pepper.

Recorded books by Ivan Doig
I listened This House of Sky, back in May. Masterfully narrated by Tom Stechschulte, Doig's memoir recounts his growing up years among sheepherders and ranchers in Montana. His widowed father grudgingly resorts to asking his mother-in-law to live with him and help raise his son. The lives of father, son, and grandmother become interwoven in unforeseen intimacy as they share the hardships of ranch life, growing up, and growing old. I've also listened to three of Doig's novels: Whistling Season, Work Song, and Sweet Thunder. Of his writing "creed", Doig wrote:
“If I have any creed that I wish you as readers, necessary accomplices in this flirtatious ceremony of writing and reading, will take with you from my pages, it’d be this belief of mine that writers of caliber can ground their work in specific land and lingo and yet be writing of that larger country: life."
Doig died in April of this year. Here is the NY Times tribute to him.

Designing a quilt around some of my wax fabrics from Chad
Back in February, Coty went to Chad. He came home with three gorgeous pieces of wax fabric for me. I've been looking and looking at them and been loath to cut into them, but I finally took rotary cutter to two of them and began designing a sort of medallion quilt. I started with one of my favorite quilt patterns, Flying Geese. Then I drew from the free form cutting ideas in quilts of Nancy Crow and patterns in Cultural Fusion Quilts and starting cutting and sewing curved sections of fabric together. Finally, I did something inspired by a pile of quilt blocks I picked up at an estate sale a few months ago and did some improvisational cutting and piecing. I don't know how this quilt is going to end up, what it's going to look like, whether or not I'm going to like the finished product, but it's a learning process that I'm enjoying.

 Please excuse the fuzzy quality of this picture. It was taken in less than optimal light!

Almost daily Snapchats from New York City
Back in early July, Andrew moved to New York. I am missing him so much, but he's great to send me snapchats several times a week. Street scenes, skyline vistas, Central Park-scapes, office views. I love seeing what he's seeing and I can't wait to visit and see the sites with him.

What are you loving these days?

1 comment:

O'Quilts said...

Lovely blocks,lovely post...nice to see you tonight.