A few random bits & pieces; leftovers, if you will. I'm pretty good at finishing leftovers. Last night's supper used up seven leftovers and generated only one for a net gain of 6! But I digress.
First of all, we've managed to catch three rabbits (but of course we saw two more this morning) and two possums. All have been relocated to new & happier homes. Still no sign of Harmony Hal, the groundhog. We'll keep trying, though.
Next, we went on Saturday to see the Barber of Seville at the local multiplex. For opera lovers, this is a huge treat: the Metropolitan Opera Company picks a few performances to broadcast via high-definition simulcast to selected movie theatres. Tickets are so popular locally that they run them in two adjacent theatres, each with "stadium seating." That's especially lovely because the seats are nice & generous, so for those boring bits (you know what I'm talking about), one just leans back and closes one's eyes and lets the music drift by. Then one wakes up for the exciting bits! In a rare double-bill, we headed off west after the opera and attended a concert by the Cassatt String Quartet, which played an early Beethoven quartet, one by Ravel, and two pieces for quartet and voice. The first was by Libby Larsen, setting a Native American blessing to music; quite lovely. The second was "Daybreak" for soprano and quartet, written by my great-aunt, Rebecca Clarke, using a text by John Donne. Quite short, but it gave Starman the notion to look up her other choral works. I think -- although I can't be sure -- that might have been the first ever piece of hers I heard performed live, or performed period.
I've been meaning to mention this for a while. There's an interesting trend locally of houses with front doors and no steps to them. I think I know what's going on, but it does look odd. These appear to be manufactured homes, which is to say, houses constructed off-site and then transported to the site in pieces and put together. A step up from mobile homes, to be sure, but they tend to be fairly standard in their architectural aspirations: center door and vaguely Colonial in style. In our neck of the Endless Mountains, everyone drives. I mean everyone, and everywhere! So every house -- regardless of construction method -- has a driveway. That might mean a garage, or it might just be a back- or side-door entrance from the driveway to the house. In some cases, there's a deck on the side or back, and the owner accesses the house from there. The front door is thus ignored. So I have a theory about all this, namely that the construction of poured-concrete steps would cost extra, over and above the cost of the house itself. So when you buy one you think, Of course I'll get steps leading to the front door . . . eventually . . . But then moving in is expensive, and you want new furniture, and one thing after another, etc., etc. At least one of these houses has been front-step-less for as long as I've been driving past it, which means at least 7 years. I'll try to take a couple photos . . .
I finally broke down and went to a fabric store. Okay, two fabric stores. And a website. At Sew Many Quilts, in Johnson City, NY (a lovely store, by the way), I fell in love with the two quilt tops they had up on the wall, both using a wonderful pattern called "One-Block Wonder." Really stunning -- you make hexagonal blocks using kaleidoscopic techniques, then piece them together so that the colors and patterns flow into each other. It uses all the stuff I love: low contrast, floral & foliage designs, watercolor techniques, etc. I had to buy fabric to do this (and the book, and the 60-degree ruler!). Now, all I need is to finish the final organization of my craft room/office and get cutting. Yum! Fabric... (I'll include a link to a one-block wonder quilt that someone else did; it's almost certainly a time-sensitive link, though, so I'll work hard to sew one myself and include that photo!) http://www.sewinspiredquilts.com/classessummer06.html
I have saved the best for last: I'm almost finished with an entire New Yorker magazine. March 19, the "Style" issue. Just have the movie review to read, and then it joins the recyling pile. (Actually, it goes on to Coffee Jones, as there are some wonderful articles in there, but that's recycling of a sort.) Mind you, three more have arrived while I've been reading it, and I have another hundred in the wings, but it's a start, right? Right?