I built up a moderate level of excitement over today's eclipse. I was semi-convinced that we'd have thick overcast or rain and not see one scrap of it and this morning's sky seemed to prove me right. Last night Durwood quizzed me on how I planned to look at the eclipse without burning out my retinas and I explained the pinhole viewer/camera to him. He didn't get it so I grabbed the shoebox from my new shoes, a piece of computer paper (I almost wrote "typing" paper... am I old or what?), a box cutter, some aluminum foil, Scotch tape, and a nail. In less than 15 minutes I had this--a pinhole eclipse viewer. It works on the same principle as early cameras. You affix a piece of white paper to the inside of one of the short ends of the box, then cut small holes in the bottom corners of the opposite short end.
Over the left hole you tape your piece of foil and then use the nail (or a piece of spaghetti) to poke a hole in the foil. To use the viewer you turn your back to the sun (or whatever you want to look at), put your left eye to the open hole and aim the foil hole at the sun. You have to move yourself and the box around until you can see the image reflected on the white paper. We practiced last night by looking at the chandelier. We went out to a pizza buffet for lunch and a little boy came around saying "it's eclipse time" so I went out to the van where I'd stashed my viewer, turned my back, and there it was, the sun with a bite out of it. When I went back in a couple of the teenagers working there asked if I'd looked at the sun directly. I told them about the viewer and offered to let them look. They got permission to go out for a minute and were very impressed with the simple technology of it and boggled when I explained that this was essentially how the first camera worked. (I suspect they thought that I was the assistant at the first photo experiments too.) Anyway, we were too busy looking while the eclipse was happening but while Durwood gothis hearing aids adjusted I stayed in the parking lot and took a couple pictures through the eye hole of the viewer just so you can see how it worked.
I did indeed get the 6 day lilies planted last night and nearly blinded myself with sweat doing it. I am probably in the Olympic class of sweat-ers so I shouldn't have been surprised but, man, that stings when it gets in your eyes. I had to do some bushwhacking to trim back volunteer shrubbery and branches growing through the fence from the neighbors which only added to the sweat quotient. There was such a pile of branches that there was no way I could have gotten them all into Durwood's big van to take them to the yard waste. I thought about just piling them at the curb and calling the city to send over the stick truck but then I saw that a neighbor with a pickup truck was outside this morning so I asked him and he graciously helped me load it all up and unload it at the other end. I promised him banana bread as a thank you. I knew he wouldn't take gas money because even though we probably drove less than 5 miles total, he still gave up an hour of his morning to help me and I appreciate it.
Last night after 6 PM I picked up KW and we went to the fairgrounds to get our entries and our RIBBONS. She got 3 firsts, a second, and a third but one of her firsts earned Best of Show and that's a real RIBBON of a ribbon. Very flashy. I am over the moon with my 9 entries and 9 blue ribbons. We talked to the woman in charge of making sure no one made off with someone else's entries and I said that I suspected that some of mine were the only entry in that class (there are so many classes it's not surprising) and she said that it was possible but the judge considered how well things were made and didn't just hand out a first. She said she'd seen the lone entry in a class get a third or fourth so that made me feel like I'd earned my ribbons. Would you be surprised to learn that we discussed what we'll enter next year on the walk back to my car? We've got the fever now. We're going to try to get more of our knitter friends to enter next year. It's only four bucks to enter as many things as you want, a real bargain.
August 21--Frank Gehry, Bubbles Chaise Longue. Felix sat in the middle of a sea of cardboard. "It's the perfect medium," he said. "The possibilities are endless." As he spoke his hands lifted and manipulated the wide strips of corrugated cardboard which were supple, not rigid like Celine expected. "What are you doing with it?" she asked. "Building. Creating. Making," he said emphasizing the last word as if making was the ultimate destiny of corrugated cardboard. She watched him bend it like old-fashioned ribbon candy. "Making what?" She cocked her head to one side like a confused spaniel. "What does it look like?" he said, his face a mask of concentration. "A track for Matchbox cars?" she guessed. He turned to look at her from under lowered brows. She tried a mollifying smile. "Sorry."
The honeysuckle's blooming again, most of the blossoms are on the renters' side of the vine. I think it's time to chop it way back in the fall and let it start over. I'll google it.