Sunday, August 20, 2017

20~ Cats, and Trains

Maria was a house sitter, and kitty caretaker for a few days. Meet, Masacchio. Momo. We were always greeted with nose kisses and his sweet, beguiling expressions. Collect the mail, a little kibble, a little wet food, open the slider to let in the breeze, love on kitty. It was an easy job, a happy one, too.

And we went to the train station, watched a long freight pull in, slowly. Then Grandma Boo's train arrived from Union Station, where she's been visiting cousins, Julie and Becky, and Liz and Kai. While we waited, Maria and I wistfully discussed hopping on board a Coast Starlight, again, and going north, again, to Albany, and Portland, and Florence, and Bandon, through forests, over rivers, again. We like to tell a story of a mother and daughter who board a train with their cat... and all of the dear and silly things that could happen aboard a train with a cat.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

19~ Better Left Unsaid

I can think of all the reasons why I was collapsed on the sofa, unable to stir, or to even care to rally, again. I could list the fires we've put out, the hoops we've leaped through, the bridges we've had to construct... but it's too much. I may be up, now, and sitting at my desk, but emotionally... I am still prone, and hoping to recover. And likely, it's all better left unsaid. We move forward.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, August 18, 2017

18~ Plenty for Sharing

When Maria volunteered in the school garden, she came home with loads of tomatoes. We also had quite a few homegrown tomatoes to use up... so, we got busy, making salsa. Aren't those teeny Spoon tomatoes adorable? That would be their one redeeming quality... looking cute. But mostly they are a tiny big pain! Tedious to harvest, annoying to wash and sort, and just a laborious process, for little return. I did not plant these... they returned from last year. I'm sure we are doomed to see them (everywhere) in our yard, forever. Our fate is sealed, but if you haven't fallen for these cute, tiny nightshade wonders: Don't! Spare yourselves!

It's possible I take pictures and post every single time I make salsa, and I've probably shared the recipe a few times, too. Probably because of the colors and textures, I can't help but want to capture the beauty. Also, I just get very excited about how delicious fresh salsa is... it's like the culinary expression of summer, the heat, the sweetness of garden tomatoes, the abundance, and sharing with friends. I hope you have garden tomatoes, however big or tiny, and that there are plenty for sharing, too.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

17~ Coming Soon!

Not Just Another Yoga Studio

Where we live there is at least one yoga studio per 42 residents... it's in the city's charter. But, by popular request, we are opening the first goat and yoga studio in town. Actually, this is only part of my empire scheme. The final vision is for an all inclusive California suburban experience. Bird House Goats & Yoga will have seminars on Meditation Through Laundry, Zen and the Art of Cosplay. We are developing a Tai Chi class, led entirely by chickens. We hope to include weekend workshops on felting cat hair, cutting your own wheatgrass, cosmic alignment of raking a hen house, chanting with goats. Exclusively, during Santa Ana season, we will be offering Hot Yoga, with Goats and All Night Sweat Lodging in our barn. Consider Goat Massage... that's deep tissue, and it's breathtaking. Ungulate hooves can pinpoint the spots where you are most susceptible to bruising and tendon tears, opening you up to seek alternative healing, restoration. If we can pass the food handler's licensing test, we may add a fro-yo shop with fresh goat's milk frozen yogurt and boba. Can you see it? 3D print your own yoga mat! Buy my Totes My Goats Tote... to carry your bottle of kombucha, flip-flops, and knitting. Drum circles! This won't be just another yoga studio. This will be the Ultimate Ungulate Universal Yoga and Spa Sensation. Reserve your space now!

Namaste, to all the friends on FB who tagged me and posted goat yoga videos on my wall. And a big and loving thanks to Geoff, William, and Max, who helped me demolish the old goat shed, and build this awesome new shelter for our dear goaters.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

16~ Picking Up

This is the book we started in Maine, last Fall. We would leave our little nest of a home in Portland to explore the coast, and find adventures, then by nightfall we were back in the cozy spot where this book awaited us. Now, we are picking it up, again, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.... maybe because it rained all day, maybe because we were all together and enjoying our fireplace, eating the last of our homegrown apples. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for the warmth and serenity of family time, of soft light, comforts, and a good book, for a moment's relief from the news, the weight of hate, fear, disquiet. Grant us peace, all, and the loving kindness to share comforts, and light.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

15~ "Love casts out fear..."

“Don't try to make me grow up before my time…”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Monday, August 14, 2017

14~ Something New

Chickens and goats were sent out into the garden, while Geoff and William got to work on the new shelter for Ada and Tasha. After taking a good look at, and making an honest assessment of, the little cottages we put up for chickens and goats four years ago, it's clear those original structures are overdue for an overhaul. The new goat house is raised, so they can stay out of mud and rising rain water. On dry days, the hens will love the shaded space beneath, where they can have dust baths, and probably make their renegade laying nests. It will have a pitched, tin roof, and three solid walls, with an open area, where they can watch events, follow the comings and goings of Bird House days. While the walls went up, the hens enjoyed the bamboo... they love to scratch and snack in this sheltered spot. And the goats... the goats "tried" to stay out of the way, but were most insistent are being helpful, which is not at all helpful. Even with goats butting in, a lot of progress was made.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

13~ Slow Sunday

Summer is a slow Sunday, windows open, and laughter from the night before still resonating through the house.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

12~ A Very Good Idea

Alicia Paulson had a good idea for dinner, and she shared it on Instagram. The idea... shortcake and strawberries for dinner. And who would judge that with anything but appreciation? We took the inspiration, and the recipe, for our own dinner. It was a very good idea.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, August 11, 2017

11~ Twilight

The misty blue, in their twilight.

It's hard to separate wonder and gratitude for all of the good things in our lives from the political climate, headlines, angst, and Tweeted drama of this new age. The dark bits, the hateful spewing, and rhetoric seep into our daily lives, and how can we look away? It's news. It's the daily message, tone, policy. And it is a new age. Our familiar, if imperfect, ideas of America, of engagement, presence, and values, are eroding, deteriorating, at such a rapid fire pace, one scarcely recognizes the landscape of our society and discourse from what it was a year ago. I am not idealizing our country, or sweeping our shortcomings under a rug... we are flawed, and always have been, but I did appreciate the effort to promote peace, to maintain civility, to foster respect, to value intellect, expertise, science, education, our environment, civil rights, justice, morality, truth. Those are good goals, good standards. When did truth become so blatantly eschewed? Why is kindness equated with weak-kneed liberalism, or spineless inaction? I think I know, but it's hard to get a decent discussion on the subject... I am astounded at how ferociously the new age is defended, excused, 'rationalized,' or simply accepted in exchange for one piece of moralizing legislation, or favor. I have been admonished for even trying to express my concerns so that I am, frankly, scared to speak, reluctant to voice opposition. Thankfully, there are still eloquent, bolder voices, speaking aloud, questioning, and holding us accountable. Would you believe... I miss old Republicans, the sort that held conservative values, and saw another way around a problem... we didn't always agree, but I'd like to go back to heated debate, mild banter, even a little moral outrage, instead of what passes for "leadership," the locked and loaded, abuse suspects, grab 'em where you may brand of government.

It's hard to sleep, to sit quietly with my thoughts, because the news, and social media, are infused with hate, with acrimony, threats, blustering, greed, and oppression. I don't feel safe, nor powerful. I don't feel great, or even like I am part of something that espouses greatness. In case you're wondering, I choose love.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

9~ One Planet

It's one planet, this home, and garden, spinning through space. We share it, however difficult it may be... we have to go on, sharing, and making our best efforts to live peacefully, constructively, lovingly, together. I can only hope that what begins at home is good, is increased and shared, raises our thoughts, drives our actions.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.