Five Questions Friday: Cold Water

Q: Is this the longest we have ever been apart?
Eric: Ah, I think so!

Q: Anything interesting or funny or cool or whatever happen during the week at John C. Campbell?
Eric: Uh, well the most interesting thing that happened right away is when I first arrived on campus. I ran into that young kid we met last year who was taking the blacksmithing class. Turns out, he was there all year, focusing on blacksmithing and this was his last week there. I didn’t know you could stay the whole year. What a great education instead of doing the typical college route.

Q: I was going to mow the lawn today but thought you would want to do it as a way of “unwinding” from your week-long workshop. Did I make the right call?
Eric: No!!!
What? Really? You always tell me to not do it all because you like mowing the lawn!
Eric: I have so many other things to do these next 7 days! This time I wish you did.

Q: So I saw before you left, you were writing a “Mr. Basketmaker’s Thoughts”  about Ben’s Redneck Bootcamp. When will you be done? 
Eric: I’m not sure. I did start writing it and need to add to it. But I heard your brother said “Enough already with the Redneck Bootcamp!”
Well, I’m not sure those were his exact words…

QWhat aggravated you this week?
Eric: Having no running hot water all week at John C. Campbell!
Oh that’s not good. I’m glad I wasn’t there! You know how much I love my hot showers!

Lonely? Go Thrifting!

So people ask me all the time, “What do you do when Eric is away teaching?”

Honestly, my initial reaction is to try not to take offense to that since I believe it’s simply an innocent question. I don’t actually think that people believe I’m in a catatonic state without him. Nonetheless, I don’t want to sound insensitive either, because I really do miss Eric when he is away! Like this week. He is teaching at John C. Campbell and I stayed home so the dogs wouldn’t have to go into a kennel for seven days. And it has been even more quiet because we recently had our nephew and my Dad here all week and Eric left the next day after they flew out. So it went from people around all the time with lots of things going on to just me and the dogs.

So it was a little odd to have it abruptly quiet here. But I pretty much do what I normally do every day… work! I have a lot of freelance projects going on and I’ve been catching up on my lengthy “to do” list. But late afternoon, it gets pretty quiet. I am used to walking into the workshop and seeing what Eric is in the middle of. And majority of the times, I like doing something annoying if he’s in the other room with the planer on… like rearrange his neatly piled materials on his work table, or write a note in the middle of his job list… something like “I need to tell Lynne how fabulous she is.” I like to leave little reminders so he doesn’t forget about me! lol.

So what did I do the other day after I finished my work and there was no Mr. Basketmaker around for me to go visit? Go to the thrift store of course! I love thrifting. And this is what I came home with…


I love vintage textiles. And I was excited to find these two, sweet yellow ruffled pillow shams. The price? $1.99! How could I pass that up?  I couldn’t… Where am I going to use them? Don’t know yet. But I’m sure I’ll find something to do with them!


And this cute, abstract crochet doily! Love it! I was looking for over a year now for a little doily to sit under a gorgeous piece of pottery we got as a housewarming gift from very close friends of ours. We like to display the bowl in the middle of our dining table, which used to be Mr. Basketmaker’s grandmother’s table. And because we didn’t want it to get scratched, I folded up a quilted placeholder to sit underneath, knowing I would eventually find the perfect little “something” to sit under it.

And it is perfect! The bowl has dark greens and brown tones and when it sits on this, only little hints of red peek out and then the light gray yarn frames the bottom rim which creates a great contrast. We love mixing colors and patterns in our home.

That’s why I couldn’t pass up on this pillow. I love vintage patterns. I think Mr. Basketmaker will like the other two items I bought but I’m pretty sure he will say “do we really need another accent pillow”? Well, I don’t think he will use the word “accent.” But I got this for $2! Who could say “no” to that? Not me!


So what do I do when Eric is teaching out of town? I work, I organize the house, I miss him lots and of course, fit in a couple “thrifting” excursions. All of this makes the time go by really fast until he returns.

Mr. Basketmaker’s Bootcamp: Frog Pond Love

Ben started his day gathering long grass for his Ghillie suit (more on that later), with Jackson close behind.

But soon, a storm quickly rolled in. And it was the four of us waiting out the storm in Mr. Basketmaker’s workshop. We do not have a basement, nor a storm shelter (yet) so with the old farmhouse having one-foot thick walls, that is our go-to place when bad weather rolls in. So Ben got to see a dark and windy Tennessee storm up close.


Then he brought me over to the other side of the workshop, where Uncle Eric’s refrigerator is, to show me all his Sprite bottles stored on a shelf for when he gets thirsty. The funny thing is, Ben doesn’t really drink soda! He’s a water drinker. But when my Dad went to the store, he asked for some bottles of Sprite.

We soon figured out that he most likely wanted to put “refreshments” in Eric’s refrigerator so he could be, well, more like Eric I guess! Working in the shop, then taking a break and going in the other room for a cold beverage! Guess he’s really liking the workshop lifestyle!


So after the storm was done, my dad and I went back into the main house where he could do some research on his new fantasy football team and I could finish my freelance work. Ben and Eric stayed in the workshop for the rest of the day. He worked on finishing his Quiver basket (which I posted earlier) and burning his one-of-a-kind design in my walking stick.

After a full day in the workshop and a huge dinner, Mr. Basketmaker and Ben headed to the pond, redneck style of course — Eric on the lawn tractor, Ben in the trailer and a farm dog running alongside of them!


But first they needed to do some clearing, so Eric taught Ben how to use a weed wacker. (I should add that the next day he asked me if he could use the weed wacker again. I pointed him to a good location with lots of weeds!)

But the poor thing kept getting aggravated because his safety goggles kept falling out of place and down over his mouth. And Eric wouldn’t let him continue without them firmly in place.redneck-bootcamp-5-weed-wacker
After a wide path to the pond was cleared and a direct route to the pond’s edge opened up, the plan was to use a net and catch some frogs. I guess Ben didn’t get the memo because he decided to ditch the net and just hop in.

Here he is with a stick in hand — planning on nabbing either a frog or a fish like the “mountain men” do on many of his favorite outdoor shows.

He wasn’t successful. Which I’m glad for. Because both of them had the intention of making some fried frog legs with their catch! I was not looking forward to that happening in my kitchen!


Now if my sister is reading this, I did not approve of him going in this nasty frog pond! Mr. Basketmaker was fully in charge. I wasn’t allowed to make any comments… just take photos. But here, I asked him to please show me that he still had my favorite rubber boots on his feet and they weren’t at the bottom, stuck in mud! So he’s kicking up his legs to reassure me that the boots are still on!

I soon left both of them on their own and they were there well after it got dark. Occasionally, I would look out and see the large flashlight shining on Ben. I have no idea what they were doing or what they possible could be talking about. But I didn’t want to know and still don’t.

All I know is that boys (young or old) are easily amused. If you asked Ben, he would probably say that that frog pond was the best part of his entire trip!

Now I get to wash his camo clothes… again!!