What Do You Mean This County is Dry?!?!?

Mr. Basketmaker is so lucky that it never dawned on me when we were looking at this property to research whether it’s sitting in a DRY county or not. It never occurred to me! If I knew ahead of time the alcohol availability of this place, “dry county” would have made it to my “con” list when we were trying to make the decision of “yes-or-no” to uproot our lives and move here.

However, we figured it out rather quickly when we went out to get a bottle of wine. They do sell beer and wine coolers. But no wine or liquor. Bummer!

wine-glass-basketryAnd yesterday it was a major bummer. Somehow, I seemed to have hurt my lower back. Not exactly sure how but I think it was over the weekend when I lifted an outdoor table over my head to prove to my obnoxious husband that I’m not as weak as he says I am. What was I thinking?! Oh yeah. I wasn’t. It was my female ego trying to prove a man wrong. Now look at who is the obnoxious one. Yes, it is I. And I’m paying for it now.

I have not been able to stand up perfectly straight in two days. I’m using one of our carved walking sticks as a cane. And I’m whining to Mr. Basketmaker every second I can. All this whimpering and belly-aching has included the absence of wine in this house to take the edge off and maybe help me fall asleep!

So he did what any wonderful, amazing and extremely loveable husband would do (Okay, I’m being a little wise here and intentionally poking fun at all those “women” bloggers out there who brag and publicly write about how snuggly and amazing and loving and wonderful and marvelous and stunning and fabulous their incredible husbands are and in turn how perfectly spectacular their lives are… blah, blah, blah. Don’t worry, Mr. Basketmaker still drives me crazy and I will continue to complain about it here — No ‘fakeness’ found within this blog people!)

I veered off on another tangent… where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about my wonderful, amazing and extremely loveable husband, who, to ease my pain and suffering, jumped in the car and drove to the next county to get me some wine! Isn’t he the best?

All is good in my world right now… for the moment and/or as long as I don’t move, except to drink my wine of course.

Splint, Splint and More Splint

Okay. I’m not a basket maker, a basket creator or a basket weaver. I’m only a basketmaker’s wife — so bear with me on this description of the basket making process!

Today is probably the first day that I saw the value in having a large wide open space for Mr. Basketmaker.  The process of drying splint! Now, I might add that we have experienced lots of value in moving to this wide open space in Tennessee, but before, in our cute, quaint and cozy bungalow up in New Hampshire, I was cooped up in my little studio office and Eric was in his little workshop and our environments didn’t really mix, business-wise.

But here, we live in a wide open industrial buildingsplint-basketry now where my office/studio is in the back, but still accessible and exposed to our living quarters and open workspace. The same space that Mr. Basketmaker will utilize for his own craft.

In addition, it was also delightful because Mr. Basketmaker, my husband, is also a MAN and men don’t share too many things that enter their brains if you know what I mean. I could go on for hours of all the dreams, ideas and thoughts that entered my head at lunch time. Eric? He would let me know once a year of an idea or dream that entered his head!

Well, maybe a slight exaggeration, but after he laid out the splint, here in our industrial building in Tennessee, he shared with me that he had this weird thought while laying out his splint, which is the product of “refining splint material” which is a process called “split to satin.”

So I guess, technically, from what I derived from the explanation and being a non-basketry-person, it’s like peeling the splint in half. And then you have two pieces with a beautiful finished side each, to expose the wood’s satin. Hence calling pre-split splint, SPLINT and split splint, SPLINT.

Confused? Honestly, I am too. I’d say to all my non-basketry followers to move on and don’t give it a second thought. But to all my basketry followers who are really following me because of Eric, it’s okay that you belt out a huge laugh at my expense. But you’re only allowed this one time.

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, back to Eric telling me about his weird experience. When he was laying out all this splint to dry, he shared with me that now he’s in Tennessee he instantly correlated his work process of laying out splint with working on a tobacco farm and laying out tobacco leaves so they would dry. Now that we live in Tennessee, and it’s much more humid down here, he has to take extra precautions in ensuring that his materials (splint) dry properly and not get moldy. Up North, when they come out of the water, he simply hung them up to dry. But now, as southern transplants, it requires an extra couple steps of laying out all the splint separate and flat and putting several fans on them so they completely dry in a speedy manner.

I think that’s so cool! Even though I’m married to a basket maker, and I travel everywhere with him and experience his class instruction, I’m still so disconnected, because of my own work, of what is involved in making materials for his basketry business.  I might add that he could easily call another country and have all his materials finished, cut and delivered, but Eric is a true craftsman and an American. He still holds true to his craft and believes in having all his materials made right here, in the US of A.

splint-basketry-2

Five Questions Friday: Harsh

Q: I’ve been waiting for you to get done with mowing the lawn and moving our outdoor furniture and come inside, sit down and answer your five questions! When are you going to stop and take a break today?
Eric: I will stop mow’in when the grass stops grow’in!

Q: What do you think of our giant tomato plants? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Eric: Well, look at the last time I grew tomatoes at my previous home in Danbury, NH (photo at right). This is no joke, I really grew this odd tomato. Anyway, we are already taking softball-sized tomatoes off the vine here. Like I’ve been telling people, you can’t be a bad gardener in middle Tennessee!

Q: Did you really have no idea that letting Chance roll around in freshly cut wet grass was going to stain his fur green?
Eric: I didn’t really think about it at the time, but now I know what to do to celebrate the next St. Patrick’s Day.

Q: I was pretty busy the second we returned home from Minnesota. What have you been up to this week?
Eric: I have been trying to turn this warehouse into a home for the past two days.

Q: What annoyed you this week?
Eric: Illinois. And I need to say that I’m only being honest. Lynne’s sister and my nephews live there and we do love visiting them but if she didn’t live there I would never stop for anything but gas in Illinois, and only if running on empty.
(editor’s note: Sorry Land of Lincoln dwellers! His answer was really harsh! And it does not represent the opinions here at the Basketmaker’s Wife).