When I came in to work this past Wednesday I saw this on my desk and nearly fainted. I’ve been dropping (okay, throwing) hints around that I wanted one of these for my birthday and I THOUGHT somebody finally took the hint (okay, broadcast).
It was the next best thing, though. The artist who makes these – Dave Grunewald – is a craftsman living in upstate New York. His website QuiltBoxes is a thing of beauty and if you go looking I recommend you tie a bib around your neck because you will drool over these things. He also has a wonderful Facebook page where you can read the reviews of his admiring fans (including me) and get updates on new designs.
Back to the quilt box – he actually DONATED one of these to be raffled off at the Lowell Quilt Festival that is coming up in just a few short weeks. Talk about a stand-up guy! I loved the feel and the smell (oh the wood!) and precise detail of this piece. Inside is a series of divided spaces to put whatever you like – and every edge is shaped, every joint is perfect. It is a thing of beauty I would display on mantle at home – seriously. Quilters everywhere appreciate the time and patience and devotion it takes to create a quilt. These boxes are an extraordinary complement to quilting and serve an equally beautiful and useful purpose.
The festival committee had a meeting that afternoon and scooped up the box and put it away for safe keeping. Not that they don’t trust me. Okay, they don’t trust me. (They had to wrestle it away from me.) I’m giving my husband one more chance to gift me with one of these things for our anniversary, and if he fails again I’ll just gift myself one. With his credit card. Work with me, people.
I am a slug. I have achieved some sort of house-sitting-non-vacation nirvana and I don’t feel even remotely productive. That is unfortunate because I still have 2 jobs, still have to go to work, do laundry, the whole nine yards. It is some sort of limbo not being fully in one place or the other. It is fascinating – I’ve never had this sensation before. I’m fully convinced I will show up at work in clam digger pants and one of my husband’s old shirts, and on a day I can be house sitting I’ll get up, shower, do the hair and make-up bit and go sit in the living room and make applique grapes (don’t ask) for the next quilt project taking shape in my head.
This summer’s best-selling t-shirt at Joe’s store says, “Say no to pot!” Next to that, there is a cartoon of a lobster pointing to a boiling pot of water. It’s pretty cute. Last night there were 3 lobsters that said YES to a pot. We steamed them, then took them out on the front porch and cracked, dunked, poked and inhaled their buttery goodness. It was delish. Not to be wasteful, we put all the shells and bits of legs into a zip lock bag and in to the freezer. Next time we are wanting some shrimp scampi, we’ll pull the bag out of the freezer and use the shells to make a lovely broth. Being married to the son of a fisherman has its perks – the man does things with fish that make my head explode. It’s a good thing he can because all of his bad habits at home are starting to show up at the house-sitting-house, including his unexplainable penchant for leaving cupboard doors wide open in the kitchen. It makes me NUTS.
I wish I could go back to house-sitting-house and take a nap. I even brought one of mom’s quilts over there to crawl under and just bliss off to sleep. I take the BEST naps over there. I am a slug. I have the slows.
Well, my birthday pergolapalooza is in the books. Had thee loveliest dinner under the stars & grape arbor / pergola of the homeowner where we are house sitting. It was a perfect evening, made better by loved ones who came, brought presents (woo hoo!) champagne & great food, sang to me and loved me long time. I felt like I landed on a movie set – it was so perfect! Lanterns glowing and swinging in the breeze, candles on the table and flowers from my garden. Joe was a champ – grilled everything to perfection and organized the task of stringing the lanterns, etc. He has mad skills! Later on, we went inside for cake and ice cream and stories and laughs. It was a happy house, a happy group, and we decided we need to make up some birthdays so we could do it again. (Note to self: I don’t think the homeowner would be as enthused…..especially if we showed up when he was back at home, huh.)
I feel like my life has has been a steep, uphill climb for a long time now. The economy has been lousy for so long and has hurt many small businesses like Joe’s store. I can’t get enough hours at work to make ends meet – our budget has been cut over and over. Along with a few health issues on the horizon….. I really needed something like this to happen. I feel renewed, charged up and ready to go back out there and face the universe. It’s so nice to have this birthday to put in my memory book and cherish forever – do it for someone you love, if you can. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just organize a great pot luck and show up with love in your heart.
They’ll never forget it, I promise.