It's a hot, humid summer morning. I've just come in from the barn. Sam and Sally Swallow have almost completed their nest, high up on a barn rafter. I can't tell a male swallow from a female, which is unfortunate because I can't ever be sure of who's doing what. I suspect that it's Sam who looks on quietly while Sally adds some building material to the nest. And it's probably Sally who chatters and hops back and forth on a nearby wire while Sam is working on the nest. She's telling him just how to do it. I had a conversation with Sam this morning. I told him that I think they're building a fine nest. He chattered back in pleasant tones. I'm sure he was thanking me for the compliment.
Yesterday was June 1st. I rooted around in the back of the bathroom cabinet and pulled out the big bottle of Coppertone suntan lotion. Am I going to the beach? Definitely not. But just the smell of Coppertone takes me back to my childhood in a little fishing village in northern Florida. It's amazing how powerful scent is. I can close my eyes, smell this lotion, and be transported to the beach. OK - maybe I have an overactive imagination. At any rate, Coppertone is my summer lotion - and summer is here. This means kicking off another one of my summer traditions - reading a sea-going novel. I'm in the middle of an old favorite - Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.
Over the years, I've accumulated a collection of Dover clipart on CD-Rom. I've used it to decorate stationery, notecards, and my computer journal. And I've finally figured out how to make use of it here on Bywater Wisdom. I like vintage advertising art like the scene above. And no - I am not old enough to have dressed like this at the beach.
The latest news on the oil spill is that the saw they're using to cut a pipe is stuck in the pipe! Good grief! If this wasn't a colossal tragedy for people and wildlife, it would be a comedy of errors. I'm not against drilling for oil, but I think it's insane to drill so deep on the ocean floor that humans can't go down there to fix things. Apparently the robots don't know what they're doing. If only humans could go down there, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux could probably plug the hole. In case you don't know, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux are the main characters in a lot of Cajun jokes - the male equilavents of Lucy and Ethel.
I recently purchased the Divine Office, a Catholic app, for my iPhone. I'm a sort of generic Christian-at-large person so I'm open to whatever is uplifting, no matter the denomination. Many years ago I developed a love for the Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal) and got into the comforting habit of Morning and Night prayers. I haven't been so faithful about Noon and Vespers. The busy-ness of the day intrudes. For that very reason, the Divine Office app is a blessing. I always have my iPhone with me. I can leave the audio off and read prayers and scripture, or I can turn the audio on and listen. Sometimes I turn the audio on long enough to listen to the hymn and read the rest in silence. The hymns are sung by choirs, and many of the hymns are old Protestant favorites. It's nice to see the various denominations borrowing from each other. It gives me hope for Christian unity - someday.
Kudos to Martha Stewart for a gadget of hers that I recently discovered - the Scoring Board. It's designed to score paper to fold to make envelopes, and no doubt I'll use it for that. But it has solved a personal problem for me. Three years ago I had to train myself to write with my left hand because of arthritis in my right thumb which tends to tremble when trying to grasp something small - like a pen. Fortunately it doesn't hinder any of the other thousand tasks that I still do with my right hand. Although I didn't need lined paper when I was writing with my right hand, my left hand is more comfortable with lines. Of course, you can buy lined writing paper, but there's so much beautiful stationery that is not lined - and I want to use beautiful stationery! Drawing pencil lines is time consuming. Even if they are faint, they detract from the beauty of the stationery. Here's where Martha's gadget comes in. I can score lines on the stationery. If I place the stationery on the board - face down - the lines look slightly raised and embossed. If the stationery is face up, the lines are indented. Either way looks fine, but I prefer the embossed look. I can score a full-size sheet of stationery in less than a minute. I don't know if Martha dreamed this up during her "confinement" or if it's an invention of someone on her staff, but it's a nifty thing. Thanks, Martha!