Last Saturday, we went to an open house of a local maker of pipe organs, Schreiner Pipe Organs, Ltd. (which appears to have no web presence), displaying part of an organ that will be installed in a North Carolina church. It's being co-made with C.B. Fisk out of Gloucester, and you can see a photo of a model on their web site. That was pretty neat; in the unlikely event that you have an open house for a pipe organ in your own neighborhood, I recommend you go.
This week was Thanksgiving, of course. We went to my parents' for Turkey Day itself. My brother and his girlfriend, and my grandmother, were there for dinner (Mom said it had been ten years since both kids had been home for Thanksgiving); my (adoptive) brother's biological half-brother S. (recently come into our lives), his mom, and his three kids came for dessert. It was the first time I'd met any of them; S.'s daughter called me Auntie when saying good-bye, which was faintly boggling.
(Oddly, this was the second abnormally warm Thanksgiving in a row. Last year we were walking the dike without coats after dinner at Chad's parents; this year we had all the windows open during the day, though we shut them at night when heavy winds came through.)
We drove to Chad's parents on Friday, making better time than I expected, for leftover turkey and apple pie. Saturday we went out to the Corning Museum of Glass, which I've been wanting to do for ages and had pretty much given up on, since it's an overnight trip from home. I had a heck of a good time, and wish I could have stayed longer. Their galleries are very extensive—you can browse highlights online, though I'd prefer a thematic browse option (and the "next" option on "view all" only worked for me in IE). Looking through that, I recognized the following (put them into the search field of the highlights page): two micromosaics, one of the "Basilica of San Marco" that looked almost woven, and one of the "Piazza S. Pietro" that looked painted; a "Beaded Sampler"; and a sculpture by "Wilmarth, Christopher" that I am convinced is a tic-tac-toe game. Also, in the "Animals in Glass" exhibit, I was highly taken by a Set of Three Vases with Dragons.
The best part of the collections, though, was the Frederick Carder Gallery, which as you might guess from the pictures is just packed with a remarkable range of stuff. In the fifth picture on the right, you can see a shelf of light-colored pieces; I decided that if I were offered one piece of my choice, I'd take one of those, a very simple bowl with fluid, wavy edges, made of a gorgeous white iridescent glass.
The best part of the museum was the Walk-In Workshop, where I blew my own holiday ornament. Okay, the staff starts the bubble for you, and then you blow the rest, and that's all you do, but it's still very cool. If we go back, I'll try a Roman bottle, as that seems to include both blowing and shaping the glass (the flowers are just shaping, and what would I do with one?). We also saw live flameworking and the hot glass show, both of which were very neat.
(The museum's store is also extensive. I got three presents, including something for a difficult recipient, and was very virtuous and didn't buy anything for myself, because I do that too often when buying presents for other people.)
We came back today, and found that the dog seemed to have done very well with being dog-sat for the first time. This was a huge relief, because I was very worried about it (and very tedious with my worry). We are most pleased to know it works well for her.
Link: Washington Post article (may need bugmetnot) about The Book Thing in Baltimore, a very cool-sounding store where books come in for free, and leave for free (except the occasional rare one sold to finance the place). It's facing big rent increases, and is looking for help. I know the holidays are a strapped time for everyone, but you might want to take a look, because, you know, giving away books to people who want them!
And now to bed, to be up too early for court in the morning.