Sidelined Mile-Markers, Stained Glass, and Video Talk

Lately, I find myself gauging the passing of time and the seasons by the growth in our gardens. In the spring, young chutes of leatrice rise out of the ground reaching full bloom by mid-July, enticing bumble bees that bumble from one flowery chute to the next, so loaded down with pollen it's a wonder they can make the return trip home. Within a couple more weeks some of our hostas will take their turn at sending up their flowering risers. Before too long I'll begin to notice glimpses of color among the sumac patches along the roadside on my rides. The chill in the air that's sure to follow will be a welcome relief from the hot, humid few weeks that precede it.

And so it goes.

So many mile-markers of summer have been sidelined this year: the Edina Art Fair; the Uptown Art Fair (as well as several other art fairs); the Dakota County Fair, and the State Fair—they've all been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Surprisingly, I'm still getting emails for advanced ticket sales from the organizers of the Renaissance Festival, seemingly oblivious to the pandemic, or very hopeful.

I'm feeling a sense of urgency (as I do every summer around this time) to try and squeeze in as much outdoor activity as possible from my days. It's difficult for me to remain still for very long, especially this time of year—but I had to do exactly that last week. I received a request from a repeat client on my Etsy site, wondering if I could possibly make a suncatcher in a design that's no longer available. I had actually just thrown the pattern out in the previous week's trash, quite sure I wouldn't be needing it again. I took some time to reconstitute the design before cutting and piecing it together and sending it off to its new home in Franklin, Tennessee.

One of my larger panels sold last week. We like to hang them in the windows of our sunporch to deter birds from crashing into the windows. I know I should've been thrilled to receive the notification of the sale but I'm not really. I grow a little attached to them. I detailed some handling instructions for the buyers before heading off to FedEx to have it bubble-wrapped and double-boxed for the trip to its new home in Ohio. It arrived safely 48 hours later. It's always a relief to know they've arrived without issue.

Being down in my basement shop last week was actually kind of nice. I could feel the tug of a dozen other things I would like to have been doing outside but I was also enjoying the slower pace of my stained glass work. I hope to begin working on a replacement panel for the larger one that I mentioned above. I have a design already in mind from a suncatcher I did last winter. I went out last Friday and purchased the glass for it. All that's left is for me to find the time. I know it's around here somewhere... 🤔

The deer in our neighborhood are as plentiful as ever and because of them, our potted flowers don't stand much of a chance. I don't mind, though. I find that a few nibbled flowers are a small price to pay for the blessing of having these beautiful creatures grace our yard. (The blog continues below.)

Charlie isn't at all fond of walking in the heat and humidity of the kind we've been contending with. I try and walk him early in the morning but even then he has little interest. We usually manage 10-14 miles (16-22 km) of walking together each week but lately, we're down around 4-5 miles (6-8 km). I'm hoping to have him out later today after some storms pass through leaving us in cooler air.

I've been contemplating purchasing a drone to use for capturing aerial video while on my rides. There's a "follow me" feature that some drones have that allows the drone to follow a person's cellphone signal, taking video of them in the process. I like the idea of being able to do that but so far, none of the drones I've seen are ready for primetime with respect to the "follow me" feature. They all seem to have difficulty staying locked on to the signal they're supposed to follow. There may be some larger drones that are more capable but I need something smaller that will easily fit in my camelback backpack while leaving room for my sports drink. My wait for the ideal drone will continue.

Until I find the perfect camera I'll have to be content with my simple grounded videos. One change I'm considering, though, is a rear-mounted camera to capture video of the dogs on my gravel rides that give chase but never make my front GoPro's viewfinder. I think that could make for some fun footage!

That's all I've got.


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