So, life has its surreal moments. I was not equipped with my camera when I took Ruby for her walk the other afternoon following the mini ice storm. It was too darn cold; by the time I saw anything worth photographing, the batteries in the camera would have been so cold that it would have refused to function.
Consequently, the amazing beauty I saw as the sun was slanting down that afternoon will have to remain in my mind. It was a mini ice storm, just enough freezing rain to glaze everything, to make little drops on all the branches that looked like tiny christmas ornaments adorning every tree and shrub. After the freezing rain, there was supposed to be sleet but it didn’t hit our area. In the meadows, the grasses were glazed with a thin coating of ice, enough to give them sheen but such a light dose that they did not fall down flat to the ground under the weight.
Off in the corner of the field I was walking around was a stand of sorgastrum, its tall heads were bending in gentle arcs, all glazed with ice. As I walked past, the sun angle reached the magical spot and every arch of grass turned into a rainbow of color right before my eyes as the ice refracted the light to me.
I really have the best husband in the world. He tolerates without grumbling the fact that my quilting exercises have pretty much taken over half the dining room:
What you are seeing here are the beginnings of fabrication of the baby quilt. I got my numbers cut out last night, now I have to applique them to the color blocks. In the first picture, you are seeing our dining room table. Uppermost in the stack of squares you see is “A is for ant.” I have all the letters except V and X, and they are coming.
Meanwhile, I am not committed to some of my letters. “J is for jungle” is pretty good, but there might be something better. So I Googled “J is for” this morning, and found lots of examples: Jet, jam, jelly, jellyfish, journey, jump, joy, etc. The last three might be concepts a bit difficult to portray. But the surreal one was far down the image set on Google: “J is for junkie” accompanying a bedraggled soul actually shooting up. Disturbing.
The quilt has been quite the topic of conversation around here. My niece went with me to the fabric stores and observed that when I get surrounded by lots of fabric and imagery I get what she calls “fabric brain” and what I would call “fabric induced attention deficit disorder”. She really was a lot of help to me in finding some of the very cute fabrics that are going to be featured in my alphabet. My older sister is contributing too, so it is really a family effort.
Jim is actually quite a good resource in this endeavor, giving me some very good ideas. So last night, as we were settling down in bed on our way to sleep I was talking about the quilt a little bit (not doing that thing with my mouth… but the Other Thing: talking…) Anyway, we got a tad silly and he suggested that Y could be for Yttrium. When I pointed out that it might be hard to find an image that screamed “Yttrium” to the poor parents who are going to be playing the Naming Game with their baby, he then said “Well, you could just put on the whole periodic table of elements.” I declined to do that, and then he went on and said that later on in the child’s life I could do a needlework project of the periodic table.
Do you think he was being sarcastic? I don’t.
Anyway, I pointed out that it might be more to the point for the CHILD to do the needlework project as that would give it the opportunity to really learn her (his?) periodic chart.
But the upshot of the whole discussion was that we realized that the list of Atomic Symbols of the elements could be used somehow in that quilt, a subtle thing. And it is going to be used, too. When I quilt the first border, which is going to be a plain fabric, I intend to do the list of elements in order of atomic number. It is exactly the right size to give each element about an inch and a half of space for its symbol. I think this is very cool.
And this is the sort of pillow talk we engage in. Then I did that thing with my mouth and stopped talking.
As I work on this quilt, I realize that there are plenty of images that could be multiples. Like the image of the horses. That could also be P is for pony or C is for colt or F is for foal.
While we were discussing J today, Jim came up with J is for jonquil. Now this is just a dandy idea, but I can see the poor people looking at my quilt and wondering why J is for daffodil. You could put the same image under N is for Narcissus and create the same confusion.
I’m really trying not to be TOO subtle here. Maybe later.
This year on Jim’s birthday one of our friends presented him with the butternut squash to end all butternut squashes. Today he cut it open and it is roasting as we speak. I believe it is going to be featured prominently in our dinner tonight.
For your information, that is a french chef’s knife with an 8 inch blade. We are saving some seeds to see what comes up next year.
And so, life goes on its merry way. Hope your surreal things are beautiful and tasty too.