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… then there’s Steve who decides to make a cedar tongue and groove liner for the drawer that will hold some woolens. Last year, in 2020, around this time he’d crafted a dining room table out of three different woods, made a cutting board out of some of the remainders, and gave me some of the shavings from the tapered legs so that I could experiment with some wall art.

This year he received a commission (from me) to create a side table. He purchased some live edge wood and is experimenting with mortise and tenon jointwork for the legs. That incomplete project is leaning against the wall in his woodworking shop with one experimental leg sticking out. The focus right now is to methodically complete the cedar lining for one drawer, and with the remainder make some cedar blocks to hang in the closets.

The former owners of the house left behind a large wooden piano seat top. He’s planning to turn that into a utilitarian table to help organize his work space and properly sort out works-in-progress. I asked, silly me, why don’t we grab a hammer and some nails and put legs on that thing right now. With an arched eyebrow he described his plan to make a frame, the seat will rest on the frame, and legs will attach to the frame, just like the dining room table.

But of course.

2021 was a hard year physically (though not as hard as some I can remember!). He is not pleased at how long it is taking him to complete a project or sometimes even to saw through a thin sheet of wood. As his “sous chef” in the shop I am picking up a whole new language involving woods and tools. I’ve learned how to loosen a hold fast and help make a handle for a delicate Japanese saw blade. But mostly what I’m learning is a different kind of patience. Patience in working with the wood … you can’t rush it or you’ll destroy the wood or worse yet tools. Patience with that fellow as he learns, at least I hope he’s learning, to be patient with himself as he moves forward in the world at a different pace.

Oh, did I mention he has plans to make another dining room table? The plans are just in his head for the moment. When he starts to sketch it out on random pieces of paper that he leaves lying around the house then I’ll know he’ll make it real. At this pace … and keeping in mind I will co-opt his time with gardening related matters … he may not finish that table until Christmas 2022. And that’ll be just fine.

red and gold

painting by donald langosy

Now on view at the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, MA, an exhibit of works by artist Donald Langosy. Learn more on the center’s website: https://www.multiculturalartscenter.org/. If you’re unable to make it into town, the website also presents a virtual gallery.

painting by donald langosy

FYI, it was my pleasure years ago to take a peek inside his studio. Enjoy.

https://wordsandimagesbycynthia.com/2016/07/07/in-the-langosy-studio/

more pickling

Working with what’s available in the house … cucumbers, white wine vinegar, light brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic, red peppers and oregano. We’ll see how this batch turns out.

rosemary

autumn light

thai basil

autumn, a guest post

When I saw Donna’s photos from Lovell, Maine I knew I wanted to share them and so I asked her for some words to accompany them. She shared a poem written by her partner’s daughter, Kristin Roberts, and suggested Kristin’s words might work instead. A perfect pairing. The poem, written by Kristin in the 7th grade, attests to her sensitivity and great observational skills about nature, about the people who engage with the Lovell landscape, and about the passage of time. Please enjoy this lovely pairing of words and images that capture the season.

Photo by Donna Stenwall

Autumn

Crimson, buttercup, marigold leaves swirl rustling around in rhythm of Autumn. The icy winds swipe.

Bee charmers with nets on their crowns, collect the pure golden honey from dripping cones. Farmers collect apples just before the tart crispy fruit turns to ripe.

The bitter winds nip at my face, redden my cheeks, numb my fingers, while icy blue Jack frost freezes Queen Anne’s lace.

Warm golden summer’s gone.

Photo by Donna Stenwall

Oaks and birches are stripped bare. Rifle shots ring out in echo as sharp eyed hunters bring down swift graceful deer.

Sweet singing birds long ago flew south, replaced with huge black crows with their loud mocking mouths.

Soft fluffy snow will soon replace corpsed grass. And the awful sight soon will pass.

Photo by Donna Stenwall

My lawn is littered with bright leaves, each unique in its own way. Dark misty evening is extended. Gray dawns are gloomy, bright mornings have ended.

Brilliant gay summers will be here at last, when the silver season after golden Autumn soon comes to pass.

by Kristin Roberts (1981-2011)

garden learnings

The nights are getting cooler. The daytime light is shifting. I’m not sure how much longer the nasturtium will last. There were leaves in abundance and few flowers which makes me think the soil I used was too rich. We’ll see what the next growing seasons holds meanwhile …

Nasturtium Salad

a new batch

cucumbers in brine with hot red peppers and oregano

nasturtium in light

nasturtium flowers