Friday, January 21, 2011

Eagles of Prairie du Sac

Last weekend Richard and I took a quick trip to Prairie du Sac, just a bit west of Madison, to watch the eagles and get away for a night.  It was really amazing to see so many bald eagles congregated in one place, and I even got a few good photographs.

It snowed the entire day we came home.  Big, heavy, wet flakes.  It was beautiful but a little hard to drive in.  On the way home we stopped at Hawks Inn, where we got married, just to see it in the snow.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Treasure in the Trash

My friends know I have a knack for discovering treasure in the trash. When I lived in my favorite apartment in Oshkosh I shared a dumpster with many of the businesses on Main Street and the things left protruding from and beside our dumpster were always interesting to say the least. I once stubbed my toe on some reel-to-reel recording equipment that was nearly as big as me, but I imagine this little gem must have been discarded from the used bookstore.

I found this book on the ground beside the cardboard recycling, where it had probably slipped from the rest that had been deposited there, I picked it up to put it into the recycling and while it may not exactly be a treasure the book wooed me and I brought it home with the intention of salvaging the illustrations inside.

It was missing its cover, starts on page 157 and continues only to 572.  It is probably a piece of a much larger manuscript, and I've been unable to find a title or author so I've reached an impasse in researching it.  When I flipped through it again this morning I came across something I hadn't seen before - a leaf that had been pressed and dried between the pages.  It's things like this that make me smile, knowing that the object in my hands had a life before me.

edit: Google books is my hero - I now know that the book is "Wife and mother: or, Information for every woman" by Pye Henry Chavasse and was first printed in 1888 and is still printed (without illustrations) today.

New Year, new plans

We're more than two weeks into the new year, and I've made no solid resolutions because I always need to give myself time to think.  This year I think I will depart from my usual list of projects and things to do, and go with the bit more abstract, self-improvement goals...mostly.

Pick up my camera more often.  After the trip to New York I found myself falling out of love with my cameras and taking pictures.  I realize this is mostly due to my limited movement and not getting out much, so as I gain more movement I resolve to pick up my camera more often, and to challenge myself with photography.

Get better.  I realize this one is rather abstract, but after so many issues with my back I am glad to be slowly recovering my strength and I plan to work on it as hard as I can.

Create.  All I tend to do is muse and sketch out ideas, and I plan to motivate myself to create more.  I'm going to set aside some time each day just for creating.  No cleaning the office or organizing my pit of a desk, just making.

That's it for now, but I'm sure there will always be more to add.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Adventures in Thrift Land

Because we are terrible at reading calendars we mistakenly thought today was the 50% off sale at the Habitat ReStore (it's actually next Saturday) and made a trip out to Wauwatosa to see if there was anything we desperately needed for the house we're still trying to buy.  While there wasn't anything we needed to pick up for the house we did have some great little finds, and now I know where I'll be picking up a sink for my often dreamed of dark room.

I had a little thrill when I saw this box on the shelf among the other hardware.  Not only am I a sucker for great vintage packaging, but one of my littlest cousins is named Atlas and when we come across fun things with his name on it we like to pick them up to give to his parents and while these aren't exactly practical I also needed nails this size, so they had to come home with us.  I picked a couple other things, but since they're gifts I'll wait to share those.

After lunch we decided to drop by Goodwill where I found these fun little vintage ornaments.  I have a soft spot for Shiny Brite christmas ornaments, and while only the seven blue ones on the right are actual Shiny Brite, but for just 49 cents I can deal with a few duds.