Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September - my favourite month of the year

Hooo doggies! I thought I'd be in touch over the summer, but what a fool I was. First we were in Turkey for 10 days.
There were 13 of us, Steve was the only male. He had a great time. We are at our first group meal, eating an appetizer that is is sort of like pizza and bruschetta and beaver tails. The toppings are amazing. I have no idea any longer, but I loved it. The young lady in the green head scarf is Sumeyra, one of our guides, a lovely person.

We were run off our feet, often sleeping on modes of transportation rather than in beds. We had a terrific time, saw so much and spent way too much time on buses. Istanbul is the size of .... of.... well, I can't think of a good adjective. It is huge. The traffic never stops.
A tiny segment of Istanbul, across the Bospherous is more of the city. Gigantic.
Aside from that quibble, here are a few of our earliest photos. More will come, I'll feed them into the next weeks instead of doing a dedicated post.
The cupola over the door to our first mosque.
Not recovered from Turkey and jet lag, Steve still had half a week of work to finish off before he was officially on Sabbatical. Once it was on, the car was packed and we spent most of our summer at the camp. The only energy source is solar. The lights go on when the sun sets. We listened to baseball games on a battery radio. I tried charging my computer up at home and bringing it along to do a post at camp, but the battery died long before I was ready. I gave up. We had a tiny bit of internet on Steve's phone, used to tell us the weather and if it was safe to leave the shade and not get sweaty.
This is our camp. Our retreat and our soul saver. Steve puttered around all summer and the short step has been replaced by a step that is wider and deeper, the exterior has had a refreshing coat of stain, and behind the rock we installed a water barrel to collect rain water for washing things.

The blessed bunkhouse. We landscaped the path to it so there are two steps, not a series of things to trip over. We lost the tree last winter to a hurricane and ants. Ants ate most of the bottom section of the tree, so the wind finally took it down. Steve built a little fold down table for me inside and it was terrific for writing or painting on. Or holding the scotch glasses while I poured the bedtime drinks.
We are now at home, all the laundry is done, the bathroom and litter box are clean, I found the vacuum and used it a lot, Steve made some peach jam and roasted red peppers for winter and I have found all my sewing projects.

I didn't attempt sewing at the camp. There was this squirrel. And there was this cat. The cat, Cleo Belle, is ours, the squirrel isn't.

Cleo Belle and squirrel did not like each other much and every time I thought things were calm, the squirrel would screech from a branch right outside the screen porch and the cat would go nuts. The squirrel would leave, laughing its tail off and the cat would spend ages looking for her nemesis. Cleo would finally relax and I would try to stitch again and back would come the squirrel. I lost so many needles and small bits down between the floor boards while all hell was breaking loose, that I decided to knit. Or read, or work in my sketch book. Anything that was easy to lift out of the way of a charging cat.
This is one of two matching pillow cases I embroidered when I was around 14. For my hope chest. I know, seriously. But it turned out my hope chest contents were all well used. I am still using the cutlery I collected from Texaco at the camp. These love birds adorned the bed when I moved in with Steve and 30 years later we are all worn down but still functioning.

I am going to cut these up and revision them somehow. It will be part of my continuing pledge to be a Karen Ruane groupie. I think it will turn out fairly well, the women participating are all terrific embroiderers. Looking closely at this, I am surprised how darn good it looks after all those washes. And the stitches! Not bad.
Steve is clumping around in the basement looking for boat parts. He plans to work on finishing the sail boat that has been in our driveway for over 5 years (we can't agree on the actual length of time it has sat there, 5 years is a compromise) The next section of the Sabbatical will be spent on this project while I return to studio work and getting everything ready for winter. Preserving, moving a cord of wood, gutters, cleaning the yard, finding a new fall coat and winter boots, insisting Steve buy some jeans and not wear work clothes for the next 12 months. What is it about men and vacations and clothes with holes in them? Does he really think the shirt with holes, paint stains, a frayed collar and that says Old Duffer is a turn on? We won't talk about the flannel shirt that goes over it. Older than the pillow cases, is all I'm saying.

Next Monday. More of Turkey and other adventures.

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