And for some reason this looks like one of them. Probably because I woke up from dreaming about moving (we're not) and not being packed or having sorted out the trash and recycling, the dog (we don't have a dog) had run away, and our daughter's visiting friend (who was my stepson's wife) wouldn't leave--and I just realized that we were at 3310 Cave Ave. which was where my Grandma & Grandpa Stephan lived. Plus I woke myself up coughing at 4:15 AM and now I have a sinus headache. And some lamebrain white supremacist shot up a Sikh temple yesterday in Milwaukee. What is wrong with people? What motivates them to hate and attack innocent people going about the business of living, not bothering anyone, just trying to get by like the rest of us, only they're a different color or religion or their spouse is the same sex or... or... or... WHAT? Can anyone explain it to me? Anybody? You know, my ideal neighborhood would be one house each of every ethnic group and color of people, Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, Native Americans, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Gays, I'd be the token Caucasian straight Catholic. All the different color kids all playing, the moms and dads gardening and helping each other, borrowing and lending stuff, I could be the old white lady with a few rockers and chairs on her wide front porch where I'd teach them how to knit or crochet and we'd laugh and tell stories... think of the great block parties we'd have. You could come visit. God, it makes me cry just thinking about the hate in our world today. Enough about that. We went to Shawano yesterday afternoon for Family Supper and to celebrate Durwood's birthday. The heat and humidity took the day off so we sat on their screened porch across the street from the Wolf River and JZ & HZ told us about their cruise of the Baltic last month while having cocktails and cheese & crackers. Then JZ grilled stuffed burgers to go with the corn on the cob, salad with homegrown cukes and cherry tomatoes and homemade Green Goddess dressing (Ina Garten's recipe, if you're interested--yum) DIL1 made, and the coffeecakes I made, with Brandy Alexanders. Porter was there too, trying to mooch a bit of cheese and being very well-behaved. It was a fun time. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if DD & DIL2 could have been there. (and Mom, but I'm sad enough thinking about the poor Sikh's to dwell on that right now) HZ brought DIL1 and I linen dishtowels from an Estonian market; hers has crazy dancing chickens on it and mine has Scandinavian-looking line-drawn fish. They're awesome! The perfect "sweet something" from their trip. That HZ, she's tops when it comes to thoughtful. That reminds me, I need to dash off a thank you note for the lovely time. (I'm thrilled that she's brought that back into my life. It takes no time at all to write a note and it's cheap to mail, but it means so much to get an actual piece of mail (that isn't a bill) addressed to you thanking you for something you did. You should try it. Surprise someone. Do it today. In fact, I also need to jot a note to a writing friend whose husband is gravely ill. [thanks for the reminder] Toss up a prayer for Judith's husband Jerry [don't want God to get confused about which Jerry] if you get a minute, will ya? Thanks.) Yesterday's Photo a Day theme was "logo" and I couldn't decide what to take. This morning when I staggered out into the kitchen I saw the perfect thing--the logo on the fleece jacket I fixed for Durwood's birthday gift. *head slap* Today's theme is "writing." That's an easy one. Here's my notebook with last night's prompt writing all ready to transcribe here. You can't really see it but there's a line through the center of the palest writing (my pencil lead was running out) from when I dozed off at the end, but I managed to complete the thought before turning out the light and snuggling up with the birthday boy.
August 6--Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg, Saint Eustace Loses His Sons. Despite her white cotton glove Sara smudged the ink on the page. Once her heart stopped racing she frowned at the ink on the thumb of her glove. The vellum page was supposed to be from a manuscript published in the early 1400s. The ink should have dried in six hundred years. She reached out and tugged the lighted magnifier closer then bent over the page. The vellum looked right, so did the tempera and gold leaf. Even the subject matter of the illustration and the Latin under it were spot on... but there was that smudge. She drew off her left glove and sniffed it to see if she'd gotten a solvent on it without knowing it but all she smelled was the tang of gall from the old ink. She snipped off a piece of the stained cotton and fixed it on a slide, a drop of distilled water smoothed it out and she slid it into the microscope. A test of the residue proved that the ink was made of the correct ingredients. Sara stood at her table unwilling to allow her next thought to be spoken aloud. How difficult would it be to find a piece of vellum the right age? Not very hard at all. Every art student and restoration specialist learned how to grind their own paints and tints and inks from natural ingredients... A chill on the back of her neck made her turn to see her lab partner standing in the doorway scowling at her. "Oh, Martin," she said, "sorry I couldn't resist starting. I hope you don't mind."
Can you tell I just read a book about a spy/art restorer? I'm not too proud to slide into a story on someone else's coattails. It felt good to actually race through a page without stopping to push for "what's next" for once. Time to go pen a couple notes, eat, dress, drop a tank off at Van's, then zoom across the river to pick up my paycheck... and work, of course, work, that's the important part. Oh, and congrats to DD for getting a promotion and (tiny) raise at work. Yay!