My Latest Boston Trip

I just got home today from a great trip to Boston; my first day there, my second cousin Katy Miles very kindly hosted a get-together at her home in Dorchester where I could see my cousins. I had a chance to meet up once again with folks whom you’d think I’d feel distantly related to…but don’t. It’s not that I know anyone really well;  it’s just funny to me that our shared Newfoundland gene pool seems to have a small selection of commonly replicated traits which we share. Nuttiness being chief among them. In the above photo–aside from me, my lovely aunt Mary and my brother John–there are by my counting 8 O’Neil and Tranford second cousins and some of their partners and spouses.

I had a really nice time at an afternoon game at Fenway Park. Here I am with my brother John. Despite all the scratching of body parts, spitting, prima donna behavior by players and absurdly high ticket prices, I like the actual game of baseball.

I know my Aunt Mary feels she is not nearly as photogenic as she was in her youth (who is?) but agism is a terrible problem in our culture, and I think this photo shows engagement with life and joy in good company makes everyone–regardless of age–great material for a photo:

I didn’t do any real gardening chores this time around. I just transplanted a hydrangea….

…and some echinacea…

I was constantly amused by the wild turkeys dining at the backyard bird feeder. I’m so glad I don’t have that birdseed bill!

The 3 hour time difference is catching up with me so that’s all for now!

Small Garden Update

This is how part of my yard looks like. I’m leaving for Boston Friday, will be gone a week and will not be using any mobile devices or computers: so no blog updating. I also have some tendonitis in my wrist from mouse-scrolling at work: so, the less typing the better. It’s a great time to get on a plane, for me, as I’ll have some movement restrictions in my hand until this gets better.

So here are some photos of what’s going on in my yard. I have a nice columbine that is finally flowering:

There are the apricots, they were all picked today.

I dug up the small raised beds and moved the frame, they’ll be used later. I planted a sage garden this space, but I can’t find the photos I took so next time…

I’ll be back here May 20th to post photos of my Boston trip!


Clare and Bearbear: Therapy Team!

Bearbear just passed his exam to be a therapy dog; of course, as his handler, I had to pass the test, too. I think I was the bigger variable, personally.

Of course, Bearbear did very well. Except for the part where he had to demonstrate his excellent “down”. He had to do this after the part of the test where he was intentionally startled, to assess his overall composure. He was fine, but after being scared he gave me this look (pardon me for anthropomorphizing) that said, “You expect me to do WHAT after THAT?” I had to try 3 times but he finally agreed to work with me.

We took a 2 month-long class to prepare for the test. Then a trip to the vet for a $120 signature to say he’s healthy. Then, all the paperwork was submitted along with a fee for registration and insurance to Pet Partners, the national organization for therapy animals. This is the photo I sent them: I hope it can be used for our badge. This photo is a few years old, my sister took it:

Once we get our badge, we’ll be volunteering a few days a month at the hospital where I work, as well as the Ronald McDonald house which is very close to my home: even therapy dogs need easy commutes!

Shadow Fabric Part 2

I took the fabric I made last weekend (see previous post) and pinned it down today and stuck some more contact-paper shapes on top. Then I applied another layer of screen-printed dye paste. This is how it looked before the dye:

A close up…I’m a bit tired of cutting out the same shapes!

Once the first layer of dye dried, I carefully unstuck the shapes and reapplied them in different spots on the fabric and screen-printed on more dye. Here’s the yardage drying out on the patio. I don’t “proof” or “cure” or “batch” anything; most advice and tips on dyeing fabric calls for the dyed fabric to be sealed in a plastic bag overnight to get the maximum amount of dye.  Sometimes I’ll let something sit that has a lot of nuance; but in this case, after a few hours in the sun this fabric was tossed in the wash. Once dried, this is how both pieces of fabric look:

Here’s a close up:

And another close-up:

I’m generally quite pleased. I’m able to see how everything is going to fit together now; I just need to keep at it and hope to have this project done by the end of summer.