Monday, September 22, 2014

Reclamation of Boards and Men

I had fully intended to tell you this story like a week ago.

I am sorry, I used the word “like” in an inappropriately teenage way. I will punish myself later.

Now back to my story. Well really, it isn’t my story at all. It is someone else’s story. But I get to tell it which is excellent in every way.

Several weeks ago now I was off on my next photo adventure for Towards Employment. This day, a rainy Friday morning, found me in an industrial part of Cleveland trying to figure out which building belonged to Rustbelt Reclamation. I will tell you about them in a minute because what they do is FREAKING COOL. I found, on that rainy morning, that doing my homework before hand is a very good thing because I had found the address for Rustbelt and figured out where to park but I had no earthly clue where the actual company was. I was wandering along, looking for someone to ask when I saw a face in the distance that I had seen before……it happened to be the president of Rustbelt Reclamation, whose picture I had seen while doing my research….and who also happened to be a classmate of HHBL’s while they were both getting an MBA at Case Western. SAVED! Deej Lincoln, once he figured out that I was the photographer they were expecting and not some crazy haired stalker woman, walked me over to the correct building, SO not where I thought it might be, and waited with me for my Towards Employment cohort, Jessica, to arrive.

I was at Rustbelt Reclamation for two reasons. I was there to photograph several men who are TE graduates and are now working at Rustbelt Reclamation and I was there to take a photo or two of Rustbelt Reclamation itself, to tell it’s story just a bit.

Robert, Regis and Lamar were a bit more reserved with me….at least at the beginning. Who was the crazy haired little white woman come to invade their space.

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There weren’t that many smiles. That is until I started asking a question or two. And when I wasn’t afraid to get a bit dirty, kneeling on the floor to get just the right picture there was a smile or two showing up.

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HA! I knew there was some humor in there somewhere. They couldn’t resist the lens for long.

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These men are proud of the job that they are doing at Rustbelt Reclamation and they have a right to be. They worked hard to get here, going through the TE program. They work hard here at Rustbelt Reclamation.

And the photos might have ended right here except for one question.

I asked them what their favorite part of the building was. Where did they like to be the most. And all of them gave me the same answer. The second floor. Why the second floor? Well because that is where they all started when they came to work for Rustbelt, the second floor, pulling nails out of wood.

I probably should tell you a bit about Rustbelt Reclamation at this point. Pure and simple, they reclaim what otherwise might be lost from old buildings that are going to be torn down. Primarily that would be wood and metal items. The wood comes to them from various sources, all metal nails and strapping etc is removed, the wood is cleaned and planed and made into boards which become tables and floors and cabinets and wine bottle carriers and all manner of things. Really, look at their website and see all of the things that they make with these reclaimed materials. It is just fabulous. And they are expanding! Next month they will be moving their offices into the building across the street from the plant. I would have hung around there all day and just breathed in the smell of wood.

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All the reclaimed wood is marked with it’s place of origin. They know exactly where every board foot came from. And that is because, when they are done with a piece of furniture or an installation of cabinetry they add one of these….

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A “coin” that tells you exactly where the wood came from. Really, so cool. Sorry for the blurriness of the photo, I took it on the fly.

Alright, now back to the story. So, once I knew about the second floor we had to go down and take a picture or two of course. But before we could do that the guys needed to round up their “props”. They wouldn’t take a picture without the tools of the trade.

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This is some of the wood that currently resides on the second floor, waiting for the skills of Robert, Regis and Lamar. Flooring from an old Chrysler plant in Indianapolis…thousands and thousands of board feet that the guys from Rustbelt went out to Indianapolis, packed up and brought back to Cleveland. Who knows what it might become!!

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I tell you, the pride in work and doing a good job and loving the job that they do just beamed out of these men.

I couldn’t keep them all day although I wanted to. I wanted to hear their stories. But they had work to do so I finally sent them on their way. After that it was off with Chris Gellin, who is the Director of Harvesting and Raw Material, for a tour of the rest of the facility.

I am just going to show you the pictures or we might be here…..for at least another ten thousand words.

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RusRec Deb 6bwI don’t know what this is but I wanted it very badly. I am sure I could find a use for it!!

RusRec Deb 8bwWhy do industrial settings lend themselves to black and white photography. Makes me feel like Margaret Bourke White.

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I think Jessica and Chris might have gotten a bit exasperated with me. Every time they turned around I was lagging behind taking photos. Really, this place is fabulous.

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R to L: Brinton Lincoln, Deej Lincoln, Chris Gellin and oh shoot I cannot remember your name.

Why are they laughing you are asking yourself? Because I am kneeling in the street and I had just told them that I HOPED they would tell me when the truck got close enough to run me over.

Thank you Robert, Lamar and Regis for letting me take your picture over and over and over again.

Thank you Deej, Brinton, Chris and Mr. Name I cannot remember for letting me wander around your reclamation space. Thank you for being the kind of company that is willing to put in the time and effort to reclaim both boards and men.

Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 277)

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Greetings from crazytown. Remember, when you are done dosing yourself with the blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, faster than Scotland’s fleeting attempt at freedom, over to Conversion Diary to see what else is going on.

Blather that even Scotland can’t say no to.

1.
I have not been grocery shopping in two weeks folks. My brain may explode in a little mushy pop. For most of the past 29 years I have gone to the grocery store on Monday morning. Every Monday morning unless we were out of town. It didn’t matter if the progeny were just babies, we went on Monday morning. There was a time when I would have one in a baby carrier and two in a cart and I would be pulling a cart with groceries in it….but we were there on Monday.

Now I work on Monday.

No grocery shopping happens on that day.

Saturday has now become my grocery shopping day. But last Saturday I was doing this……

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Is that not the most fab color for bridesmaids!

So naturally I didn’t go grocery shopping.

And then we went out of town.

SO here it is Friday and we had to stop on the way home from work last night because we had no milk and no bread.

This work thing is messing with my schedule.

And the worst part is that we are out of ibuprophen. That is bad. I need my 4 ibuprophen before I go to bed so that in the morning I don’t feel like I am an achy pile of post menopausal crabbiness.

Yes, I said I take 4 ibuprophen at a time. Don’t send me emails please. It is OK to take that many if you have a doctor’s OK.

2.
We took Max to the office yesterday for the first time.

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He did fabulously so we are going to do it again today.

Yesterday we really didn’t have a choice in the matter. He had to be picked up at the kennel, which is a 40 minute drive from Chez Knit (I know!) and I didn’t have time to pick him up, take him all the way home and then go back to the office. I already had food and water bowls there for him and he just checked everyone and everything out and then flopped on the floor with a big sigh and went to sleep.

Everyone who came into the office loved it.

And the EXTRA SPECIAL plus is that there is a wooded area where I can walk him and I DON’T HAVE TO PICK UP THE POOP.

Winning!

3.

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I am fascinated and obsessed with the panorama option on my phone.

This is the WWII memorial in DC (obviously).

Seriously obsessed.

4.
I know that Fall is almost upon us because I have begun to sleep like a bear in hibernation. It may also be because the sun doesn’t come up as early and shine right into our bedroom, thereby waking me up at an hour that makes even me, the early riser, rather unhappy.

But it is more that that.

I am dead to the world once my brain shuts off.

Now if I can just keep myself from eating everything in sight in preparation for hibernation I will be doing OK.

5.
You know what is fun about going on a short trip.

Vacation eating.

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Falafel schwarma with all sorts of “extras” like beets and pickles sauce and Oh be still my beating heart.

It was delicious. And the falafel store owners was hilarious.

We also ate at this place, which is TMO’s favorite

Founding Farmers

I had the Mushroom Meunier with risotto. Mother of all that is holy and good was it delicious.

6.
I have SO many photos to edit and stories to tell you guys. How am I going to get it all done?

You do what to hear the stories right?

Cuz I have a few to tell.

7.
Instagram. Because it is what I do.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From One Generation to the Next

Some days are just a boat load of fun. Life right now is about as busy as I have been in a long time. I am not complaining....generally......but it is a rare day that I have totally to do as I choose.

Today was one of those days.

We are visiting TMO and TSiL for a couple of days. TMO had Monday off as she has just gotten back on Sunday afternoon from a month in Ghana overseeing a project for her work. She gets off the plane at 3:45p and we arrived at 8:15p. Poor thing. Yesterday found HHBL, TMO and I at the Newseum. TMO's office had kindly given her the day off and so she had enough energy to show her poor, old parents around for a bit. I will tell you about that another time. All I will say is that the Newseum is worth the price of the admission.

Today TMO had to go back to work. And TSiL had to go to work. And HHBL had to go to a conference. That left me a day ALL. TO. MY. SELF. SWEETNESS!! I will give you the whole long story when I get home so brace yourselves for that. Just know that I took pictures...a boat load of pictures. I walked A LOT. I ate falafal schwarma for lunch....burp......and I might have bought some yarn.

I just generally had a blast.

And YOWZA to I need a shower.

I ended up down by the WWII Memorial for a period of time. It was a beautiful day to just wander and watch people and to see the interaction between students of all ages and the veterans there to answer questions.

One generation passing on knowledge to another.

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 276)

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Friday has rolled around again despite my thinking that I lost a day or two this week. Where DO the hours go?? You know the orders from on high. When you are done diagraming all the sentences here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of Winter coming, over to Conversion Diary.

Blather that is relatively sane.

1.
Yelling at the copier when it will not do what you want it to is rather useless. Cursing at it under your breath is also not a great way to get it to print out the collateral material that needs to be printed and put in the folders and shipped out to parts unknown.

Threatening to get out all of my calligraphy materials and do it that way didn’t seem to phase the copier one bit. It just laughed at me…and continued to print blank pages.

Kicking it felt good but still did not yield results.

But the pain from my foot took my mind off the pain of not having the collateral that I needed.

All 800+ pieces of it.

The problem was finally resolved after I got the IT guy involved.

Stupid copier.

2.
Taxes, and the figuring out of them and when to pay them and who to pay them through is a tool of Satan and the government.

I have made it through most of the taxes and I have a spreadsheet with all the dates that taxes are due and where they get paid and they have all been entered as tasks in my Outlook calendar for the next 6 months.

That isn’t too obsessively over the top is it?

My brain hurts severely.

I had to have ice cream to soothe it.

3.
Even as you are reading this I am most likely on my way photographing another Towards Employment graduate. I can hardly wait to tell you all about them AND the company that they work for. Funny story about that too.

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Strength and power and dignity and joy all rolled into one little person!

4.
Yesterday was our last poultry CSA pick up of the year. I have been stock piling so that we have enough chicken to last until next June when the CSA will start up again.

I don’t think I can even buy chicken from the store again. It just doesn’t taste as good as the birds that we get from Brunty. 

The weather was going to be bad yesterday evening and so I ended up getting there just a bit early and had to wait for a few minutes for the birds to be packaged. It gave me time to do a bit of “shopping”. I bought breakfast sausage in both links and bulk.

Sunday brunch here we come.

Do you think 5 whole chickens and 8 cut up chickens is enough to get us through? I am worried.

5.
I spent one more evening out on my driveway photographing the Supermoon. The sky was definitely not as clear as in July and August and I was just plain tired on Tuesday night. But I sort of like this one. The clouds were moving at an incredibly rapid pace and….

well…..

I just like it. It needs a bit of work, this is almost straight out of camera. I just “tweaked” it a bit. When I have time…whenever THAT is….I will play some more.

Super Moon and clouds 9-9-14

6.
I am totally obsessed with watching the Holderness Family on YouTube.

7.
LOOK! It’s Instagram photos. Because I have to have all the adulation and attention.

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