Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday-1pm: The Pen and I

Yesterday the roofers were hard at it again.
By the time they left very late in the day they had striped half of the big garage below my window...
...and had re-shingled the garages in the back there. Somebody was either moving in or out--see the U-Haul?
I was going to actually go over and visit Dagan and Leah (who were home cleaning last night and invited me over to hang out) but since I haven't used the car again for over 2 months...dead as a doornail. So--it wasn't a fluke last time--LOL! This old car (1992 Paseo) will just lose the juice if I don't at least take it out to drive it around for a few minutes every week or two. *sigh*
I tell you--honestly--if I don't write things down I forget them anymore. I will have to make a point of marking it on my calendar--"drive the car!" Even if I just drive it around a little bit and drive right home and never even get out of the car. (Seems like such a waste of gas, but I guess it is worth it, eh?) Dagan and Leah told me to do that last time but, apparently, there was a part of me that just didn't believe it...thought it had to be a fluke. Guess not. I believe it now. So, I have to wait until they can stop by and jump her again. May be a while. They're super busy this month. Oh, and if I am feeling awful for weeks like I was, I can call and ask if one of them can come zoom the little red car around for a little bit for me. I'm so sorry guys!
About 9:30pm a fire truck and police car raced up in all their noisy glory. There was no fire alarm going off, though. I have no idea what that was all about, but you have to wonder. You'd think if it was somebody injured or collapsed it would have been an ambulance and not a fire truck? They weren't here for too long and then off they went. Just a little something to jump start your heart--LOL!
Dee asked me to talk about how I got interested in pens, inks, and paper. Well, I can remember as a child be totally fascinated watching my dad carefully fill his fountain pen. It was one like this...with a lever and a bladder.
Nobody could touch his special pen and there was this whole procedure to fill it from the ink bottle--awesome! Was really disappointed if he didn't let me know so I could watch. I think that was my introduction to the fountain pen. I remember thinking that I just had to have one of those when I grew up!
I remember we got to use some Speedball dip pens with India ink in junior high art class! Well, I begged my folks till they bought me a kit. All the red peeled off the original Speedball holder, but it looked similar to this one.
In my nib box...yes, I do have a lot of nibs...
...I still have those original nibs. I don't know if this was the whole set or not because I can't remember all these years later. I didn't used to take very good care of them when I was a kid. See the old dried India ink in the crevices? (Embarrassed to show you--should probably soak them and clean them decently, even if I haven't used them in probably 35 years--LOL!)
I always loved writing supplies. From the time I needed pencils in school, I had to have certain pencils that had a harder lead. And when we were allowed to have ballpoint pens..whoohoo! I tried several, but the more expensive and refillable Parker T-ball Jotter was the winner. I wouldn't use anything else for years! My original one that I had used throughout high school...well, I lost it when I was waitressing a few years after I graduated. I was heartbroken. But did that mean I'd use some cheap disposable pen that blobbed--no way! I bought two Jotters and kept one at home (the red one that is in the best shape). Obviously never lost either one of them--LOL!
I still think the original pen was stolen. (There was a waitress who had her eye on it--LOL!) I even carried disposable pens in my apron so that if somebody asked to borrow a pen I would never have to lend them my Jotter. Oh yes. I have always been a pen fanatic--ROFL!!
I've had a fascination with all kinds of pens. My very, very, very favorite dip pen is this beautiful feathered pen with a brass nib holder I happened upon in a little shop in Minneapolis around 15 years ago. I adore it! Love how it feels in my hand. Totally awesome! Whenever I am going to sit down with a dip pen to really take my time and contemplate with a letter...this is what is usually in my hand. Not that I don't have other holders that I use and enjoy, but if I could only keep one...this would be it.
All my life I have actually felt that I have been a scribe in past lives. More than once. There is something ancient I feel inside of me when I have anything in my hand to write with...from back in my crayon days. And--no surprise--I preferred my crayons and pencils unbroken, sharpened, and organized--LOL! (Probably why I wasn't very good with pastels--you are supposed to break them! ROFL!)
I do have things I have never been able to let go of even though they may be impractical or useless. My set of cobalt blue glass pens that I bought maybe 25 or 30 years ago. Neither of them have ever worked, but they are just so pretty. (My new one from GouletPens does work, by the way!)
I have a real hand carved quill. It is so old and dry that it has many splits. So even if you soak it, it doesn't write well. But it is just cool!
I bought this replica of an old "snail" inkstand that also holds a couple of dip pens on the left there. You put ink in the bottom of the bottles...
...and then tip them up like this when you want to use them.
Trouble is, you can't put very much ink in them (only in the very bottom of the snail belly or they will drip) and they don't have a tight seal to the rubber stoppers so they dry up pretty quickly. And they are a pain to clean out. But--this is just the coolest ink holder! I'll never get rid of it.
So, love of writing and pens led me quite naturally to inks. And if you love to write, you can't help but become very aware of paper quality...especially with the dip and fountain pens!
I collected this and that here and there over the years. When I would accidentally find paper that was better and didn't feather or bleed through...ahhh! I just buy that until I couldn't find it for sale anymore. But the quality of most paper I would find at Office Max or Target or such...well, it kept me from wanting to use my dip and fountain pens as much. I usually had to use only one side of the paper because of issues and would get so frustrated by feathering on new paper or some pretty journal I bought. So, I stuck with ballpoints for years and then switched over to gel pens. Oh, and before the gel pens--do you remember Flairs!? :)
As much as I had learned to use the internet it hadn't occurred to me to look for any pens other than my safe gels. I discovered JetPens a few years ago. I'd see and drool over their fountain pens, but I had wasted my money on a beautiful Waterman FP about ten years ago that never worked well and leaks around the nib into the cap--argg! So I had reluctantly avoided buying fountain pens. I used my bottled inks with my dip pens.
Then I finally broke down a couple years ago and ordered a Cavalier FP from JetPens (half the price of my "on sale" Waterman) and I was in love!! That is what started my searching online for bottled inks and what led me to GouletPens and then WritersBloc. I found Goulet's "Ink Drop" and discovered the cheapie Preppy fountain pens...whoohoo! Seventh heaven!! And then the search naturally widened to find actual fountain pen friendly paper. I have been making my bookcards for about three years and if I was going to use a fountain pen for writing letters in those I needed to be able to write on both sides of the paper.
So, because of my born love of all things writing (started journaling at nine in pencil) that is why you see me so dang excited over all of my pens, inks, papers, and journals. Ahhhh! It is absolutely glorious! Well worth waiting 60 years to play and search and discover! I do so love the internet! You can learn about and find most anything!! :):)
Slept really well and long again last night! Sunny day--blue skies and white clouds. The roofers are hammering away. Karma is sleeping right through it. (By today she knows they're not going to be over her head and that is what freaked her out before.)
Life is good!!
May you have something that gives you much joy in your days!
May you have many things, for that matter! :):)
"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."
Fyodor Dostoevsky


Furry Bottoms said...

I've had the ambulance called for me twice, and both times it was the fire department that came, not police cars. I think its bcause the Fire dept also has a medic truck either separately or in the fire truck itself.

Toriz said...

Hope if it was someone moving out it was one of the more annoying types of neighbours, and if it was someone moving in it was someone nice!

Yep; got to make sure the car gets some exercise. I guess the battery is like people's muscles... Use it or lose it sort of situation!

Interesting reading about how you got started with pens. I had a reasonable pen collection myself. Nowhere near as good as yours, and many of them are lost, broken, or "maybe" in my parents' attic now, but I did have a decent collection. What I sent you was just the small selection I could lay my hands on.

YAY about having a good sleep again last night! :)

Dee Ready said...

Thank you so much, Fran, for answering my question and for sharing your passion for writing and all the accouterments of the craft. Through your sharing, I learn so much.

And I do believe, because your passion goes back into your early childhood. that you were a scribe--maybe in Egypt or in a scriptorium in a Benedictine monastery.

Maybe you were an historian in ancient Greece or one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Whatever you were once, you are now a lovely person. I so enjoy coming to know you through your blog.


Queenie Jeannie said...

What an interesting journey you've had with writing! And you really have some lovely treasures too.

Soooo happy to hear that you are sleeping better! The non-sleep fairy must have left you...and found me, lol! But that's OK, as you've had a much rougher time of it! TGIF!!!!!

Intense Guy said...

Didn't they just re-do these roofs? Or did they just do the main building(s)? Inscrutible Poofers... they make my headache.

I like Dee Ready's thoughts.. a former scribe in a past life... You could have iluminated pages as the Gregorian chanting when on in the background... and then been that monk in the old Xerox commercial "It's a miracle!"


Desiree said...

Firstly, am I missing something? I see Dee has addressed you as Fran. I thought your name was Rita. I found this a rather fascinating expose on the origin of your love of pens, ink and parchment. I love the idea that you've always felt you were a scribe in a past life. I love how passionate and reverent you are about your writing tools. I would love to see an example of your writing. I assume you would have studied calligraphy, too? Do you still write often

Desiree said...

While I was typing my comment, the page froze and I was unable to complete it. I'd also wanted to add that I was delighted to hear you'd slept well, again! Holding thumbs you do a repeat performance tonight!

Rebag said...

Oh good Morning Rita!!! Loved catching up in your blog again.....Your collection of pens is awesome!! I have always loved to write but never got into the fountains and ink,...too afraid I would make a huge mess LOL But I love the look of ink on paper and the calligraphy scripting and ink art....

I had to laugh at Karma and her little antics, shared the photos with hubby this morning, about her looking up at the TV screen LOL love it!!! Our cat does the same thing when she is feeling good.

You asked me over on my blog if I use the room with the french doors..... Indeed I do... when you leave my living room it goes out to a sitting area for clients or friends, like a small waiting area just outside of the Reiki and massage room.

Hope you have a great day full of blessings~


Rita said...

Nikki--That's interesting! I have only seen the ambulance show up. But you are probably right because there was no alarm going off. Thanks, I never knew that. :)

Tori--Ha! Every time I see someone moving in or out I think the same thing!
LOL@use it or lose it with the car battery! True!
I've been thrilled to be sleeping well! Good luck with the unpacking! :)

Dee--I think you mixed me up with Fran--LOL! But you're right. I just know I was a monk who sat at a table and copied books. Not sure if I was ever good enough for illumination decoration, but I hope so. ;) I can see me painting hieroglyphs in Egypt or even with a chisel in Rome--other forms of copying. I think I was an excellent copier. ;)

Jeannie--Sorry the night fairy is keeping you awake now! You've been getting a lot of cards made, though! ;)

Iggy--The "poofers" just did the main buildings. These guys have been working pretty steadily, though. Not poofing...yet. ;)
I would have felt so proud to have been allowed to do the illuminations!! Whoohoo! They were the true artwork in the manuscripts! I do love gregorian chants, BTW--LOL! ;)

Desiree--Yes, It's Rita. I think it was just a slip. Maybe I remind her of Fran. :):)
I think my handwriting is okay. I plan to make a video to show how the glass pen works pretty soon and I'll post it in the blog. (Don't think I want the roofers loud radio and hammering in the background, though--LOL!) Then you'll see my handwriting, such as it is. ;)
I did take calligraphy classes from a professional about 15 years ago and she taught us the one basic style. But I haven't been practicing it for many years. Love looking at all the different styles!
Thanks so much! I DID sleep really well again! Three nights in a row--whoohoo!
Bless you!

Reba--Hi, Lady! Well, yes, you do get ink stained fingers sometimes...and I have spilled ink on various things, including carpeting once--LOL!
I think cats just love those cursors!
Oh, I figured you were using that beautiful room with the french doors! I am so happy for you!! Best of luck with your business. I hope it keeps going as well as it has been and you continue to get new clients!! :):)

Beth said...

Life is good Rita! Thank you so much for reminding me.

I enjoyed all of the photos, very interesting.


Desiree said...

I lurve those inkwells too even if they are more decoration! I have a glass pen on my wish list, maybe next year, wanna make sure I get a real good one! You always have such great stuff! I want to play with it ALL!

Dee Ready said...

Dear Rita, please accept my apology for calling you "Fran." I suspect I had just written an e-mail to her and was still back there instead of with you. So sorry.

And please, also accept my thanks for your comment on my Thursday posting. The following line really leapt out at me: "We may keep guidance in our pocket, but we each have to walk our own path."

I have a lot of guidance from other wise women and men in my pocket, but finally I have learned to walk my own path. The spiritual journey I am on will end only with my death. How blessed it has been.


Anonymous said...

Hey there, I am so crazy over pens myself, it drives my hubby crazy when we go somewhere and they have pens on sale cheap I always buy some LOL Happy Weekend to you!!

Deanna said...

I'm wondering if you don't just need a new battery for that very special car. You might want to check that out.. anyplace that works on cars can check it for you.

I love pens too.. but not like you do! My dad also had a fountain pen that nobody could touch. He's fill that bladder and write with it. I loved that pen but don't know what happened to it.

I've asked hubby to teach me caligraphy - since he was an art teacher for 30 years and certainly knows how. But it hasn't happened yet. We'll see.

Take care and don't forget to take Betsy for a drive occasionally!


Cowgirl Red said...

How interesting to learn about pens and hear your story! You have followed your bliss with writing. xoxo Terah

AliceKay said...

Would you believe I wrote a long comment and I think I clicked the X to delete it instead of clicking on the publish to publish it? (let me know if you don't see a comment from me before this one and i will post another one tomorrow sometime. bedtime for me now)

Rita said...

Beth--Yes, life is good! I hope all goes well for you. :)

Desi--I know! The snail inkwells are just too cool! If you want a glass pen that you know can work buy it from GouletPens because Brian tests every one. :)

Dee--I wasn't offended. Easy to do when you follow a lot of blogs--plus emails. ;)
I hope to be learning till the day I die, too. :):)

Lynn--Another pen lover! Glad your hubby is understanding. ;)

Deanna--I believe we already tried getting a new battery. There has to be some worn out something that is a slow drain on this old car. It is almost 20 years old. My juice drains faster, too--LOL!
I don't know what happened to my dad's pen, either. Funny, both our dad's had the special fountain pens that were off limits. ;)
Your hubby was an art teacher! He must have all kind of goodies to play with! Whoohoo! Maybe it became just work for him? You could probably find some youtube videos and then use a book and practice on your own. He's a teacher. He probably won't be able to resist helping you if he sees you practicing--LOL! ;)
I won't forget this time!! :):)

Terah--Thanks so much, lady! :)

AliceKay--No I didn't see any comment but this one. Sorry. I hate when that happens. :(

Donna C. said...

Wow, you do have a lot of pens and neat stuff. I have always loved writing with nice smooth pens and journaling but I have had tremors since I was a teenager so I have to brace my hand on the paper and ink would smear. So I usually stay with pallpoints that don't smudge.

My obsession is with boxes. I collect trinket boxes or other neat containers with lids. They are all over the house. I used to collect a lot of food/detergent boxes too with the intention of covering them until my husband flipped out one day and said our house looked like sam's club. So I got rid of all my uncovered tide boxes LOL

Rita said...

Donna C--Sorry to hear you have tremors in your hands. MY son has to use ballpoints because he's a leftie and smears ink that doesn't dry fast.
I love boxes and all kinds of small and smallish containers! I've only tried to kind of recycle my own a couple times, but I wasn't very good at it. LOL@your hubby being overwhelmed! ;)