Lake Waccamaw, Nature printing, Printmaking

Lake Waccamaw Last Weekend

20220820_083240Last Friday night we drove down to Lake Waccamaw. Three friends joined us – one was recuperating from knee surgery and the other two from a death in her family. So we made it as stress free as possible, which isn’t hard to do at Lake Waccamaw. Saturday began threatening to rain but it turned out to be a good day. We had a lot of clouds but the sun started peeping in and out.

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Saturday morning we pretty much had a rolling brunch and my sister and brother-in-law came over for lunch. Lisa brought delicious sliders. I have to get that recipe from her. Susan braided my hair and Don’s hair into pigtails. Don’s hair is extremely long because he hasn’t cut it since 1996 or so. He made this yummy tuna dip so we anointed him with the lake name “Tuna Dip Willie.” Robin took the kayak out and later that afternoon we sat in the lake and had drinks. Nobody wanted to cook so we ordered out seafood from Dale’s.

The afternoon was sunny enough that we experimented with a packet of pre-made cyanotype papers. At first we were very pernickety about process and used the bathroom as a darkroom but later we found that less effort gave us the same or almost the same results. Everybody made at least two prints and I’m going to make an accordion book with them later. The Spanish moss made great prints.

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Sunday was a back porch day. The gliders are back! Another rolling brunch with people going in and out of the kitchen to eat English muffins and bacon and sandwiches and junk food. Robin and Don had to leave us in mid-afternoon. Then the rain came, and I thought the house might flood, but it didn’t. The next day the standing water was gone.

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Late that afternoon we had appetizers and dinner at Lisa and Tim’s house, and watched the birds at their many feeders. It was a fun evening. These boiled peanuts were huge!

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Then on Monday morning, we relaxed for a few hours before cleaning up and hitting the road. We had enough time to stop at The Berry Patch (a.k.a. “The Big Strawberry”) to eat huge ice cream cones and buy veggies.

I’d write more but this is the second time I’ve written this post. WordPress is giving me problems. Later, gator.

Family, Lake Waccamaw

Easter at Lake Waccamaw

20220416_192942It’s a gorgeous day. Even yesterday with its rainstorm was great. We spent about an equal amount here at the lake house and at my sister’s house, visiting, eating good cheese and grilled chicken. This morning we could hear the birds sing, and the occasional car or truck on its way to and from Easter services or the boat ramp – you know you can find God in either place.

I did my usual poking around for natural objects that are attracted to me. Including the mayflies, which have to be the most harmless critters in the world.

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That weird bone is why you should be careful when handling a catfish. They stick out from the sides of their head.

Sandy and I wandering along the canal looking for the Easter Gator. We finally found her trying to take a nap. She said to feck off, she is out of eggs.

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Purty little purple wild asters haven’t been mowed down yet.

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My sister has my grandmother’s high school diploma. She graduated from Welsh Neck High School in 1904.

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Now I have to go make the deviled eggs. It is Easter in the U.S. South.

coffee pot posts, Lake Waccamaw

Saturday morning coffee pot post

20220416_111330[1]Lake Waccamaw edition. We are here for Easter weekend, and it is a good thing that I love my sister and bro-in-law so much because so far this Saturday morning is a bust. I had a tough night’s sleep from indigestion from our usual indulgence of fried seafood at Dale’s last night, but we were lucky to get tables on the screened porch because the mayflies on the screens apparently turn the other diners off. We did not want to eat inside – this part of the country is heavily Trumpy and anti-vax and anti-mask. But the fried seafood at Dale’s is heavenly.

Inspector Loud Outdoor Gadget has been mowing and weedwhacking his dozen blades of grass two doors down since 8:30 a.m. This is the dude that was jackhammering cement the last time I was here. I wonder if he is OCD. And the wind is wafting the lovely sulfurous smells of the paper plant across the back yard, and radar shows a big storm system about to hit, which will at least bring a merciful end to the noise of Detective Monk down the road.

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But I still love the lake house, and the view, and every now and then I can hear birdsong when Mr. Motor relaxes his hand on the gas leaf blower or the pressure washer on the spotless white slab of cement that covers half of his small yard. I raise my cup of coffee to my lips and enjoy the sound of my living husband snoring loudly in the next room. “I don’t feel like I’m dying!” he proclaimed to the therapist when we went together last Monday. I’m glad, actually. I get frustrated about his denial about his health challenges, but on the other hand, we are all dying, so we better get a good handle on living until the time comes to die. Maybe his way of thinking is best.

It’s family time, and we’ll enjoy hanging out with them, then I will go back home, take Monday off, take some big deep breaths, and then dive into the emails that I see are already piling up on my work account, over a HOLIDAY weekend, on Tuesday morning. I made sure to keep my promise not to open any. Why some people cannot stop themselves from working on a holiday, I do not know.

This is why I need more than one full day at the lake – to fully relax. April is the cruelest month in my job and these April Easter weekends are much needed. Early retirement is much needed, and a little over a year away if things go well.

The new T-Mobile service on the phones is great. Much, much better. This was the test, bringing them down here where the service is often spotty for all cell phones.

Now, the birdsong is back. I’ll go out on the screened porch, watch the ducks and herons, walk along the canal and look for the Easter Gator, and hope that the wind has shifted for the day. I have two good books and some slow stitching supplies…which may or may not get used but it is a comfort to have the choice.

critters, Lake Waccamaw

Saturday morning coffee pot post

I guess it is the view of the lake that makes this living room more comfortable than our living room at home, but that can’t be all of it. I should try to figure this out.

I’m giving the WordPress app on my phone a whirl. I don’t think I have enough space left in my brain to learn many new platforms.

Yesterday we had a quiet morning before we went to Dale’s and ate lunch on their screened porch. It was chilly but not too bad. I had a vegetable plate with double fried yellow squash, field peas, and collards. Sandy had country style steak, Tim had catfish bites, Brooke had fried shrimp, and Lisa basically had the same as me. Sister unity.

That was a late lunch then it was naptime and I did some prep for my dishes tonight. We ate leftovers from Thanksgiving.

We are really so fortunate.

Milo was pretty chill yesterday but he did play with Rascal. Rascal and Sissy have had enough of Milo and Sissy spent most of her time “hidden” under the cover on the daybed.

There were buffleheads out on the lake this morning. Now there is a large mat of coots floating out there.

The house is comfortable with two small electric heaters. I need to take a walk because my hips are groaning. It’s hard to make myself leave this room!

collage, critters, Lake Waccamaw

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

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Now I remember why I bought a Bluetooth keyboard to go with this Kindle. At the time I was trying to avoid buying a new laptop. The space that the on screen keyboard takes up is annoying. I will have to remember to take that keyboard with me when I travel.

Anyway, we are at Lake Waccamaw (which autocorrect always wanted to change to “Saddam” before I added it to the dictionary. I’m not sure how you get from one word to the other on that one). Thanksgiving dinner was awesome, thanks to my sister who cooked ALL of it. We got here mid-afternoon and found out that the big meal would indeed be on the actual holiday, since my brother declined the invitation to come on Saturday and my niece is departing this morning. So I will be cooking my asparagus casserole and butterbeans and deviled eggs today or tomorrow to go with Lisa’s wonderful leftovers.

Tim is doing really well. We spent some time around the firepit before dinner. The kitten that they rescued from a local parking lot came to visit with my niece. It turns out that Milo is a Bengal cat and his nickname is CujoCat, because he will bite. He is already huge for his age and although he was subdued yesterday usually he is constantly running around. He finally let me pet him but you have to be vigilant. He bit Sandy but it was a play bite. He still has those needle kitten teeth. A beautiful cat!

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The heat is broken here in our house, and waiting on a part. However it hasn’t been a problem because Lisa and Tim brought over several electric space heaters, including an electric fireplace, which is a nice touch. We were both actually too warm last night. Tonight will be the test when the temperature dips below freezing.

We brought art supplies but I doubt we will use them. If I do anything it will be to paint this base, which will have many layers and components if it goes as planned.20211121_160616

Last Sunday I had some good studio time by myself. I completed this collage from three of the painted papers I made earlier this month.20211121_16012120211121_16025620211121_160241

I also worked this one a bit more. It needed more contrast. I might put some embossing powders on it too. IMG_20211121_184724_341

Finishing my coffee now and about to head back to my sister’s. Even though it is cold now, November is a beautiful time at the lake, with different birds passing through. Yesterday as we sat on the beach we could hear the coots making purring noises out on the lake somewhere. Apparently they do this in a group as a comforting sound. Seems like there is something different here every time I come here, and I’ve been coming here for sixty years. 

fiber art, Lake Waccamaw, Upcycling, weaving

Lake Waccamaw, September 2021, Part II

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The moon, the moon!

We saw a bald eagle dive for a fish while we were on the boat.

I finished off the sakiori and washcloths that were warped up on the rigid heddle loom toward the end of that wonderful week, and played tapestry with Rosie, my homemade industrial pipe loom. The sakiori pieces are intended to be book covers. Since we have a serious clothing waste problem on the planet, I’d like to weave more sakiori.

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Lake Waccamaw

Lake Waccamaw, September, 2021

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I have been enjoying a very quiet week at the lake with a friend from long ago who reconnected with me pre-pandemic. This is her first time down here and it’s been fun and relaxing. We’ve spent most of our time at the house because we are both super paranoid about, well, you know. We have spent some time outside with my family, and it’s been very good for my head. I took the kayak out for just a little ride.

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Usually I stay at the house when friends go to see the state park and what-not, but this time I gave Beck the tour around the lake. We went to the end of the state park on one side where there is an old dam that marks the beginning of the Waccamaw River. This is an area that has been fixed up with a lovely boardwalk and trails. I think that I will come back here when the reptiles are hibernating for the winter and take a walk.

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The other end of the state park has a boardwalk from the campground to a pier with a swimming area. There was a couple of families there playing. The water was very shallow and clear, and the skies were big.

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critters, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, Wilmington

Lake Waccamaw, June 2021

This time, Sandy came with me and friends visited for a few days. The weather could not have been more perfect – low humidity and in the low 80s most of the time. We turned off the air conditioning after the first two nights and didn’t turn it on again until the day we left. It felt like the old days with fans whirring all over the house.

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As usual, the lake provided us with a few stunning sunsets and lots of gator sightings. All gators were well behaved and stayed in the canal on the other side of the road.

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One day Susanne and Susan and I played with fibery things on the back porch while Joseph played the dulcimer on the old glider. I didn’t get much done on my tapestry because of my eyesight problems and the super close sett on this weaving. We went to Pierce Hardware and Dale’s Seafood, so they got the local flavor of the place.

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After Susanne and Joseph left, my sister and brother-in-law and Susan went with us to Indochine in Wilmington. It’s a bit of a drive, but oh so worth it.

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I didn’t do much walking, but I did go for a swim one day and Susan kayaked. Tim picked us all up on the pontoon boat one afternoon and that is always a treat. Susan is laughing because she just retired as a big rig truck driver and we made her drive the boat.

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Even though there was the threat of Tropical Storm Claudette, it was mostly a lot of wind by the time it got to us. The lake is way down because of drought, so we had hoped for more rain. We spent a quiet weekend with naps on the gliders and zombie TV and ate with my family, then packed and drove home on Monday. It was a much needed mental and physical rest for both of us.

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dyeing, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, tapestry, weaving

Lake Waccamaw, April 2021

20210426_150338I spent a few days and nights down at the lake house with my sister last week. Lisa spent most of her time with me since she was having her bathroom remodeled at her house, which is within walking distance. It was the first time we have seen each other since July, and it was a good time.

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Other than to ride with Lisa to get takeout meals from a couple of places and to walk down to her house, I didn’t leave the house. The weather was a bit cold the first couple of nights and we discovered that the heat is not working. Lisa brought out her electric fireplace from storage and it made the place very cozy. Then the weather turned perfect, although still too cool to get in the water. By Wednesday afternoon when I left, it was getting hot.

Happily, my weaving muse came back finally came back and I starting weaving on this tapestry that I began three years ago at a Tapestry Weavers South retreat. It is an abstract interpretation of a photo I took of a calm reflection on the lake when it was just barely raining and a little bit of blue sky was reflected on the tea colored water.

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All but a little bit of the darkest color are silk threads that I have dyed with natural dyes at various times. Sometimes I threw them in with a bundle of fabric or paper or tied them around a bundle, so those are variegated. The blue is from indigo, and the warm brown coppery colors from black walnut. The other browns and grays – I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed designed from the perspective of the threads, and adjusting the design as I go. Not my normal process, and maybe this was why I had a hard time getting going again on it. Decision fatigue! I am very happy with it, but it won’t be finished in time for the TWS show, I’m afraid. My eyesight gets too blurry to work on it very long. Guess I need to make an optometrist appointment.

Coronavirus Chronicles, Lake Waccamaw

Been too long, back at the lake

I have neglected to post here, but I have been doing a lot on my laptop for work and finishing up the new Tapestry Weavers South website. Transferring the files from the old site to the new was time consuming because of issues with the old design and a problem with getting into the dashboard of the hosting company, but I have FINALLY gotten them to acknowledge that I am who I say I am and now awaiting the information to transfer the domain. Not exactly what I wanted to do with my free time, but it’s almost done, hallelujah! WordPress.com will be much easier to work with since they will automatically do updates and I am already hosting this site here.

“Hallelujah” has been stuck in my brain for about a month now.

Sandy and I suddenly decided to come down to Lake Waccamaw after a call from my sister on Sunday, and I am so glad that we did. The weather is as perfect as it gets. Low humidity and high temps in the high 70s-80s. The water is cool for a change, and there is a bit of a breeze to keep the bugs off. The wifi is better here than it is at home; I guess because there are not so many people here working and taking classes online. I can work on the back porch facing the lake and listen to the waves and birds singing. Zoom meetings will be taking place late this afternoon and tomorrow. At one time when I did freelance work for Greensboro College, I didn’t like working from home, but these days when I can take my work with me, it is wonderful. I needed a change of scenery badly.

First time I have seen this kind of snail. She was a big one!

The plan was to leave tomorrow after the last Zoom meeting so that I can be in the office on Friday, my one designated office day per week. Tomorrow the forecast is for flooding rain from the remnants of Hurricane Sally moving northeast. So we have decided to leave late this afternoon. I don’t want to, but we don’t want to drive three hours in that, either. We will be packing and cleaning, after a take-out lunch from Dale’s.

Last night was a real treat! For the second time since mid-March, we sat down at a real restaurant and had dinner outside, with lots of spacing and beauty in one of our very favorite restaurants, Indochine, in Wilmington, NC. We went all the way, with appetizers, drinks, and dessert, and enough leftovers to eat another meal. If you love Thai and Asian food and you are ever in Wilmington, NC, I highly recommend it.