Tuesday, May 07, 2019


May 5~

In some ways it feels as though I've been time traveling, and not just in blog posts, but in life. Am I alone? Is anyone astounded that it is May? the other day, I resolved to do something to mark Easter, when I remembered that day has come, and gone. It's May. We have firmly established that it is spring, and Maria is counting how many Mondays of school are remaining. Max has already had mid-terms for his last quarter of his junior year. Geoff is through with crunch-time and the spring training deadline, and onto new projects and goals. William and I agreed, we should open the calendars to mark days, make plans, and ready ourselves for summer, for liberty, destinations, activities, excursions. Alex and Bambi are sharing a countdown, too, and soon they will be done with another semester of classes, and in Japan.

Even my own class will be over, soon, and so I am finishing oil paintings. Have I mentioned? I am in a beginning oil painting class? It started in January, no... it began in February. That seems a long way back, somehow. I am feeling sophomoric about oil painting. Finally, I am developing an understanding of how all the steps come together to complete a painting. The lessons and techniques make sense in a mechanical, rote sense, so at least I know what I am meant to do. But, knowing all of that makes executing the plan almost as hard as knowing nothing at all. It comes to practice, now, I suppose. I need so much more practice, and more than that, and so on.

My physical therapist has become a partner in my art. I see her twice a week, and she helps me recover, relearn, restore. I've learned exercises, means of managing my time and activities, so that I don't slip back into pain, and contortion, as much. Really, without her, I wouldn't be blogging, or painting, driving, making plans. When she works on my neck and shoulders, she knows whether I've been painting, in the garden, or just carrying around worry and aggravation. (Worry and aggravation... My countdown is for the trial, the State of California vs Drunk Lady Driver, and now that I've been subpoenaed and questioned by her attorney, a suited predator with all the appeal of a tick, I am prepared, like a cat, staring into the dark, tense, still, waiting... ready, yet vulnerable.)

I must remember to breath.

Breath, and paint, and walk, and watch for birds, learn their songs. The western bluebirds are back nesting in the birdhouse that hangs from the jacaranda. We watch them, the pair, fly back and forth to the nest, with food for the peeping babies. I wish we could see the babies, too. The father bird is such a blue, brilliant, and fanciful. The mother, wide-eyed and vigilant, seems tireless in her care. They are such a darling couple, a true set.

Cairo is watching birds, too. He has our balcony, now screened, and I've made perches for him, so he can look out, watch. Cairo and Chango keep me company there. As long as we have this spring weather, not too cold, nor windy, nor wet, then I can paint on the balcony. It's become a cat's nest and studio.
In fact, it's so comfortable I almost don't dread the heat of late summer. I like to suppose that with all the windows and doors open, we will have breezes and cross ventilation, and summer will be only hot and bright, not scorching and mad.

May 6~

Yes, like time traveling. I look at these pictures, reminders of changes we've made, improvements, projects completed. We've been so immersed in all of our undertakings, and now the sawdust is settling, the paint drying, and I look around and feel a bit astounded, wondering when did all of this happen? Well, it all happened recently. And, as easy as pie, our Bird House is a Blue Bird House! At last it is painted, and it only took 5 years... laugh out loud, and totally worth it.

William, on our calendars, let's make a note about harvesting apples and apricots. Maybe we should plan a garden party. We can invite friends over to pick fruit and make preserves, and pies. All for sharing.

So much has happened recently, and there is more to look forward to. My thoughts and intentions are traveling back in time, and forward, and for the present, there is much to do...

Friday, April 12, 2019

April 5-10 Painting In and Out

April 5 ::
Painting, painting. Painting everywhere. Alex and I are plugging away in our art class, learning all about Monet, learning all about oil painting. And at home, Mike is making his way around all of the Bird House, rebuilding and repairing the parts of our home that are too damaged to leave unchecked, and when he has restored a section, it is brightened and refreshed with a lovely coat of Arrowhead Lake blue paint. And the balcony, now screened and scrubbed, has walls that are Vine Leaf green, and a ceiling of the same Arrowhead Lake, blue. My vision for the little room... a forest with fallen pine needle floor, evergreen walls, and deep, dusky blue sky.

It rains and rains, and I don't feel the least bit tired of the clouds, the gray, the puddles, or showers. I must be made for this, because thinking of the rainy days only makes me sad to think that it will soon pass, or that next year we might not be so fortunate. It makes me wishful... let the earth soak this up, fill the reservoirs and aquifers, bloom native blossoms and feed the bees, bring back the butterflies and beetles. I want as much cleansing, cool, and thirst quenching rain to fall and collect, as we possibly can hold, and I really, really want it all to return next winter.

April 6 ::

Here is the balcony. Have I shared already? Overshared? It's the happiest space. We are in here all the time... one or two, or six, and the cats, too, know that the old balcony, once leaky and dull, is now inviting, bright, a place to gather and make plans. I am so glad we've improved it with the screens, the paint, the drift wood perches for cats to climb, the twinkle lights. It feels like a mountain cabin, a luxurious treehouse, a comforting refuge, like a rooftop garden, safe from all the cares of the world.

April 7 ::

April 8 ::

The shelves are in... my vision is complete! I love the satisfaction and pleasure of having ideas and plans for a space, and having all of it realized, and look and feel as wonderful as imagined.

April 10 ::

April 11 ::

On the roof, that's the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so...
At night the stars put on a show for free...

~Carol King

(This post was back-blogged on June 5, 2019.)