It's a good thing I wasn't counting on sweet potatoes to keep me alive over the winter. The deer ate the tops off the six biggest (and prettiest) plants last night--leaving the six smallest intact. I'd never grown sweet potatoes before, so this was an experiment. What I learned: if I want sweet potatoes, I'll have to put them where I can fence out the deer. The dogs and I surprised the culprits early this morning: a doe and two fawns.
This is the first year the deer have come close to the house--perhaps because the man who owns the neighboring property (I won't dignify him with the word "neighbor") has installed a deer feeder and a deer blind on his side of the fence. It's not unusual to see a half-dozen deer eating the corn, which is delivered from the feeder by means of a solar-powered gizmo at twelve hour intervals. This intrepid hunter sits in his blind and shoots them, from a distance of about 25 feet. Shows what a brave, macho sharpshooter he is, doesn't it? Not.
Re: Darning eggs, which Leslie Thompson mentioned in a comment on the previous post. Here's my egg, photographed with my current sock project. (Thought I'd given up knitting, did you?) I inherited the egg from my great-grandmother, Jane Jackson Turnell, who came to America from Lincolnshire in the early 1870s. It's a different style from other egg-shaped darners I've seen. I wonder if it might have been used to darn holes in flat items, like napkins and tablecloths, as well as socks. Anybody an expert on darning eggs? Maybe it has another name, to reflect its different shape?
If you want to know how this might have been used, I found this interesting tutorial. My mother didn't use an egg; she darned on her fist, and that's how I learned. This egg came along years later, when I cleaned out my grandmother's things. I love it because it's a symbol of my great-gram's industry and frugality, her attention to detail, her care for small things. It's a metaphor for a way of life that will disappear, unless we find a way to keep it alive.
Book report. I'm working on the last chapter today, and maybe the author's note. I may have to take out a section unless I can tie it up. Sometimes little pieces of action--interesting in themselves, but by themselves not very significant--become "islands" in the book. Either they have to be bridged to something else or cut. So I have to fix what I've come to think of as the "ferret" plot. Isn't much of a "plot"--therein lies the problem.
Reading note. Through metaphor, the past has the capacity to imagine us, and we it.--Cynthia Ozick, Metaphor and Memory