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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

All fired up

The pizza oven has been very patient. I’ve been too busy to play with it. So it sat and dried.

It finally enjoyed its first fire yesterday. No pizza yet though. The chef has to experiment a bit first.

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I built the base and made my first attempt in 2016. I wrote about it here. While the base is a little wonky, it is strong and survived even though the first oven did not. I built it too late in the season and there were freezing temperatures at night. So the water never evaporated, it froze and then when I warmed it up, probably too quickly, it melted and the whole thing collapsed. The project was like childbirth. It took me a couple of years before I was ready to try it again. But I waited for the hottest day of the year and tackled it again, with a few modifications. But the sun pointed to my mound of sand and told me it was time to start.

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Tim built a beautiful roof. Now it is protected from rain and snow and provides shelter for the chef and a place to bang your head for the pizza oven builder. Rather than dig the sand and clay again, I bought it. And I added cement, I don’t think I could bear to see the whole thing crumble again.

I began with relaying the fire bricks that make up the floor in a bed of sand. Then I built a mound of sand on top, 22″ diameter, 16″ high in the back and 10″ in the front. Next I covered the sand with wet newspaper. Very much like paper mache’ projects. In theory, once the oven dries around the mound, I will be able to scoop out the sand and paper and be left with a pizza oven.

The recipe was 1.5 parts Portland cement; 2 parts Hawthorne Clay from Sheffield pottery; 2 parts silica; and 2 parts wood shavings that had been soaked in water. It was from delftclay.co.nz

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I made it in small batches so I could adjust if it was too wet or dry. I mixed the dry ingredients, sprinkled some water and then kneaded with my hands. I probably made at least 30 batches!! I’m a little broken today. But I digress.

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This is probably a project best done with a crowd that likes to make mud pies. If I have to do it again, I will buy an oven. But, for now I will have to wait and see. Anticipation!

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It’s almost summer in the Adirondacks and my calendar is full. I’ve been here, there and will be everywhere.

This wool rug came off the loom just in time for warm weather. It was woven in double width and then unfolded.  It’s sort of mind blowing. You weave part of the top later, the bottom, then the top again and it’s connected on one side. I hope the obvious middle becomes less so over time.

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I sewed this baby quilt for a dear friend’s new grand daughter.

2E0D0B60-78F5-4D50-88B2-93B6A416877CAll while finally getting to spend time outdoors. I’ve been walking to work, in the woods, and hiking with friends and family. Summer is a glorious time at home.

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I traveled to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen in his Broadway show. I think he was singing and talking directly to me. Wonderful!

A88C78BF-91B1-44D0-816D-9FD5EC256CAD16A8DBCF-C88C-4370-AB85-F8579F7D0F8BWe came across these Lady’s Slippers in the woods and hiked around and to the top of this waterfall.

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557F06EE-E55F-491D-8ECB-A46B5545A6A4And enjoyed ice cream from one of the many stands that open for summer.

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Next I’m headed downstate to babysit grand children for a bit, then off to North Carolina to visit that dear friend, then canoe camping with more grandchildren, traveling to Guatemala, weaving camp in New Hampshire and back to Seguin Lighthouse in the fall. What have I done?? My head is spinning.

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Well we’ve completed our walk, all 150 miles. I’m embarrassed to admit that I realized my boots were tied too tight, which was why my old boots hurt my feet. Unfortunately, I realized this on about day 10. I think my rain pants, which hooked onto my shoelaces, gradually tightened my boots. Live and learn.

Our last day was the longest and also had the most elevation gain. I was sort of dreading it since before we arrived. Add the sore toes, sore calf, shin splints, and my dread mounted. To make matters worse, as we approached the shoulder of Mount Brandon, we saw two hikers who looked like they just arrived from Mt. Everest. While I only had on a wool undershirt, wool tee shirt, wool leggings and light pants. (I had everything else I might need in my pack),  they each wore at least two down parkas, hat, gloves and looked miserable. They had camped somewhere along the mountain. One loudly told us the weather was very bad on the other side of the mountain; very cold and the wind was howling. Did we have any idea where we were going? And the path down the mountain was treacherous and steep. Did we know what we were getting into? It was very cold and steep. This is all a gullible, chicken like me has to hear.  This is how it looked from our approach.

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But I had read the guide. I knew it would be steep but not impossible. OK, I might not turn around at this point but wait to see what lie ahead. So we walked through cloud cover, still in a tee shirt. And I didn’t get cold. Their weather scare was wrong, the wind had picked up but it was still in the low 50’s. Chicken little?

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When we were ready to start our descent we met another group of hikers headed our way, one in a tee shirt. This made me feel a little better but I should have disregarded their opinion. They were swigging from a bottle of vodka to celebrate their ascent but…they said the way up was HORRIBLE. Very bad, very steep. I sent Tim to the edge to check it out. He’s a much better hiker than me and I trust his judgement. He said it was nothing. Steep for a ways but not unlike the Adirondack mountain trails at home. So away we went. I made it and never got cold. And the sun came out.

Later that night we were celebrating in a pub and enjoying good company. The publican was even telling stories. At some point our table asked for two pints of Guinness.  I said, “make it three”. Tim said he’d like a half pint and so would she. I said, “no I would not, I would like a pint”. The crowd went wild. They almost lynched Tim. “Let her have her pint”, they cried. And so I did. These were people worth listening to.

 

 

 

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Our walk around the Dingle peninsula, also called the Kerry Camino, continues. There are more sheep than cattle here and lots of mud. The innkeepers ask us to park our boots at the door rather than tramp inside with them.

I’m not guaranteed to shed pounds on this trip, despite 13 + mile days, because of the hearty breakfasts we eat, but I am bound to lose a few toenails. There’s no avoiding getting wet feet with all the mud. We’ve been very lucky with rain after our first day, only light showers. Today I didn’t even need rain pants.

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I still stop to admire the sheep. Today we walked through several grazing fields with sheep. One sign was a little disconcerting though. It advised us to walk into a field but watch out for the bull!! I certainly did.

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We stopped at a church from the 12 th century yesterday and at a pool of water today with some historic and probably religious significance.  Oddly enough, the trees get decorated with all sorts of things – socks, earrings, a pack of cigarettes. Not sure about this custom.

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We passed a townhouse yesterday on our way into Anascuel that reminded me of ones I have seen in Queens, NY. There, two owners of one house don’t always agree on paint color and you will see I house with each half painted a different color.  Here the owners couldn’t agree on whether ivy should be allowed to cover the house.

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To each his own.

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Is that the verse? I wonder if the Irish have as many words for rain as the Inuit have for snow. We were reassured that yesterday there would only be showers, not rain per se.  One man we met walking his old dog said there could be ten squalls or perhaps none until night, you never know. That’s Ireland for you. Here’s what the radar looked like,  chicken pox, with little squalls all over the place. Not like home where we often get one huge formed storm system. But we are not home, are we?

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The first couple had hail and strong winds. That hurt! And they were in the first hour of yesterday’s walk. Then we mostly had showers, quick bursts of rain and wind. The walk was through a bog – read miles of mud and puddles – that were unavoidable. I had water sloshing in my boots, which at least prevented blisters. We took a lunch break during a bright spot in the weather. I changed into dry socks only to walk through puddles for the next couple of hours. Gaiters might have helped.

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And to think we are here in early Spring to miss mud season at home. May have to rethink this.

The skies were dramatic and there were long views over the Lee River at the start of our walk along the Dingle Way, which was an old pilgrimage walk. I’m rereading some of John O’Donohue’s work, my favorite was Anam Cara, which is on my bookshelf at home. He reminded me to breathe.

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We’ve seen many breed of sheep along our walks and often walk through fields with animals since all of the land is privately owned. We saw this colorful flock near the village of Camp. Dyed in the wool?

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And at the end of the day, I had a sunburned, hail beaten, windblown face.

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We celebrated Tim’s birthday by traveling by bus to the start of our next walk. Again it would have been helpful to read a little more about what we were getting into. Gaiters were highly recommended. Don’t we know it. We wash the mud off our pant cuffs daily. And I think this next walk along the Dingle way covers 100 miles or so over 6 days, yep that’s a lot of miles. The highlight is the last day when we will walk 16.2 miles and climb 2644 feet.  What was I thinking?!

Rather than carry a gift all this way, I brought a photo of one of Tim’s gifts. I am weaving a wool rug for the cabin and left it set up on the loom at home. This next gift makes me giggle when I think of it. We keep a toilet seat hanging on the wall of the cabin to keep it warm and ready for use outside. It looks like a toilet seat hanging on the wall.  No longer. I stained it and then stenciled ivy leaves around it. This photo doesn’t show the last inspired touch. Finally, I wove a kumihimo braid to hang it up and to also work as a handle. I thought of mounting it in front of a mirror (mirror, mirror on the wall) but thought that might be over the top.

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We went to a bird of prey exhibit outside Ballyvaughan, ( a sleeper day covering only six and a half miles) and it was fantastic. The birds soared overhead while the handlers talked about them. We met one of the handlers on the bus to Galway and she hunts with falcons! I may have to rethink my archery plans.

Here’s Jesse, an adorable owl.

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Our walks have covered much ground that looks like this.

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Photos don’t do it any justice.

I had my first soft boiled egg, because it had its own knit hat. I have now sunk down to taking photos of my food.

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Today’s a light day in Tralee while we gear up for the Dingle walk. I hope the weather is half as nice as the first leg. Much of our walk is along the Wild Atlantic Way. I finally figured out their logo. First I thought it meant river crossings, then electric lines.

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But it is the WAW! Ha.

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