Saturday, February 15, 2014

Our Cat Washburn Foo Lives A Foo Life

On FB, I started an album of Foo moments. It's dear, and absurd.  He's not yet a year old, but judging by the places he's been, the adventures he's, either, enjoyed or survived... He's already lived one lifetime.  What a lucky little polka spotted puss he is.  And aren't we lucky, too?  Even when he's bad, we adore him.  Even when we admonish him, we not-so-secretly beam with amused delight, because he is a pure soul.  His misdeeds are mostly forgivable,  and often funny. 

It's so easy to load and share snapshots of Mister Foo's day... Two reasons to deeply appreciate my iPhone and social media.  Those tiny images, a fleeting moment, are evocative, silly.  They make me smile, calm my nerves.  Most of the pictures are grainy, dim, not Photography, but collectively they are a story, life as art, personal and meaningful art.  "Art makes you think."  I read that, recently. And when I revisit the FB album "Life of Foo," I think... For all of the challenges and complications life can throw at us, there is grace and worth in loving each other, and great healing in laughter.  

Before dawn my chickens were clucking, sounding distressed.  This is unusual in chickens, who sit quietly until first light.  I had to pull on my boots, grab a flashlight and investigate.  I think it may have been that big and romantic moon that stirred the ladies.  Nothing was amiss in the run.  

Back to bed for me.  And fortunately Mister Foo found me and nestled between my legs, on my feet.  A perfect heater. I slept still, sweetly, and soundly.  Geoff woke me, "Have you seen Mister Foo?"  He took a picture.  I peeped, with a sleepy eye, and laughed out loud.  I hadn't imagined he was laid out, as though in a hammock.  He looked like a sleek cat canoe.  He was thoroughly content and resigned to a leisurely Saturday cat nap. 

Did you notice his heart?  Can't miss his polka-spots.  A Foo life, is good. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments, for all to find and see.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolates Bigger Than Your Face!

Lollipops are out this year, and giant chocolates are in. Maria finished her class's Valentine cards yesterday… she's holding big chocolate sweets for each of her friends. Love, Maria.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blue :: Bluer :: Bluest :: Bluedocious :: Blueberry

The Blue-et Points:

1. Our home needs painting. This is not an aesthetic option; the paint is worn, tired, fading, thin.

2. I like that our home is the blue house in the neighborhood, but in some light, the paint looks grey. Sad, weak, anemic grey, and it makes me feel blue.

3. Huh. I thought I had more points.

Okay… moving on!

We began with two panels of Boat House blue. I like it… and the dryer it got, the more I liked it. The main thing, the best thing… every time I looked at it I felt enlivened and happy. But. Could we go darker? We decided to look into Mega Blue.

By the time we got to the hardware store, the FB feedback was "Go darker!" Practically unanimous, except for Anna Banana, who commented, "NO!" I love Anna Banana.

Things are getting serious! Thank goodness for these little paint samples. The "wrong" color could be a costly mistake. It might cost us our friends, the neighbor's respect, restful sleep. So, we are happy to invest in these test runs. Once we choose our color, I am strongly inclined to pour all the samples into one pail, mix, and paint our poor table.

Foo won't even look at the blues. He has his own ideas about good paint colors. His paint chip choices have names like Salmon, Ball of Yarn, Rainbow Trout, and Purrfect Posy. When my cousin saw this picture she insisted we let Foo wet his paws and walk his blues across the table. That is tempting, Adriana!

From the top:
1. Mega Blue
2. Boat House Blue
3. Beacon Blue

And the next day, in the morning light:
1. Bright Blue
2. Mega Blue
3. Boat House Blue
4. Beacon Blue

An hour later…
1. Bright Blue
2. Mega Blue
3. Boat House Blue
4. Beacon Blue

And who hasn't wanted this job? Naming paint colors? I know this much, when we choose our blue, it will be forever more Bird House Blue.

Comments are still coming in, and this is something I love about social media. Seriously. It's so much fun getting everyone's point(s) of view, plus great tips, helpful suggestions, moral encouragement, and truly awesome… an offer to help get the job done! Sweet. I even love the friends who are, basically, appalled. Don't worry. It's going to be great. And blue.

William decided to give us a bigger picture, and he started dabbling with Photoshop. The paint color fun reached epic heights, people. Epic. Heights. He hoped to prank Geoff, but he's a graphics, guy, so it didn't get far.

As soon as he saw this image, he said "Step away from the Photoshop." Geoff had the last laugh, when Maria said "It needs a goat."

Welcome to Casa Pepto Goat.



Getting close, I think… Bird House Blue.

Four things are settled, so far.
1. We need to repair the shutters.
2. The sofa corner, as much as I love sitting in it, has to go. Away.
3. The trim will be white.
4. Geoff is putting up window boxes with flowers.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Five Great Things

24 hours before a tea party!

Designing a mask for Winter Formal.

Maybe not five good things. Maybe a lot more. We had a very full weekend. Rather than revisit my moments of distress, feeling utterly nuts for loading so many activities and events over three days, I will breath a sigh of relief, and acknowledge that it really was worthwhile, and brimming with goodness. I hosted a dinner evening with friends, then Geoff took the children to see the late premiere of The Lego Movie. Geoff made it into the office at some point, then home to do all kinds of favors for me. There was Winter Formal, corsage and mask making for Alex, on top of a lot of homework. Max had homework, too. And I committed everyone, especially William and Geoff, to volunteering at the school farm Sunday morning, followed by a tea party back home. Alright, written down it doesn't sound so bad, but believe me, we were overbooked, and looking a bit frayed. There were (long, pained) moments when I questioned my sanity, and felt like a big loser, and I only mention this to emphasize how well things really turned out, in the end, with an extra push, generous friends, thoughtful family, and my willingness to surrender to the twists and turns that make life a wild ride! How about some more pictures, already?

Bambi asked Alex to Winter Formal, a masquerade.

Last weekend they were plastering each others faces and making their masks. Alex built an infinity mirror into a mouth piece of his mask. He added LEDs, which changed color, and Geoff was able to program them to move. Net effect: Cool, creepy, amazing! He also made a special corsage for Bambi, who loves bats. She's something of a Chiropterologist, actually. And yes, the vial is lit, with another LED.

(I can't think what to say here, because I'm emotionally overcome. These two are a joy. A sweet, sweet joy.)

All lined up, so we can flash them with our cameras, and gush over them.

Bambi and Alex, perfectly suited for a masked ball!

All that mask making and Calculus homework, and Geoff in crunch-mode at work, and us planning to spend Sunday working on re-tuning a chicken coop at the school farm? Perfect time to add a tea party and try my hand at pressing linens, right? I am laughing at myself, now.

Naturally, there was no better place, in the whole house, for Foo to curl up than the on top of the tablecloth I finished ironing. And remember, the table is covered in paints, tools, and parts… but by the time we came back from dropping off Alex and Bambi at the meet-up spot, we came home to a clean table! William and Alex stepped right in to help their brother, and me. And for their good deed, I rewarded them with an early wake-up call to go work at the farm!

This coop still hasn't seen a chicken, but it will soon. It needs upgrades, and security measures, so that everyone can enjoy peace of mind about chickens living next to an open canyon. Hardware cloth, and new doors, a new roof, and other finishing touches are in the works. We are so happy to have had this chance to pitch-in where our friends Mim, and Camille, have been working so hard to bring green education to our schools and community. I like to think Lady Betty Orpington would approve of this effort.

Shy, quiet, and a very good worker. I feel bad, because I know I put Max in challenging situations, but it makes me proud to see him rise to the occasion, and he's well skilled, in so many areas.

William has really taken to carpentry. Ever since he and Geoff built the barn, he has been eager and plenty willing to take on more construction projects. I see a few more weekends with this chicken coop. And while they measure and cut, I will be happy pulling weeds.

Wholly guacamole, this a long post! No successful, self-respecting blogger would ever write about domestic perils, anxiety, formal dances, mask making, Chiropterology, chicken coops, tea parties, infinity mirrors, and curry chicken salad in one post, or even in the same blog. Time for tea!

Out of our denims and work boots, and into velvet and china cups!

When Beckie, Liz, and Kai arrived early, I hope I didn't disappoint them with my panicked reaction, because they are the perfect ones to come early… they dismissed all my embarrassment and apologies, and put themselves straight to work. And honestly, everything was lovelier and cleaner, and better prepared thanks to them.

These are the much appreciated baked puffs Beckie brought, and she filled them with curry chicken. Liz brought gorgeous scones, and all through the party I was hearing the love and appreciation for these two dishes.

Scones with raspberry preserves. Scones with cream. And Michael, with his warm and beautiful smile.

I asked everyone to bring tea… especially their favorite tea. Ulterior motives? Yes, I really want to find a tea to fall in love with. My clever plan was highly successful!

Have you noticed? Someone, let's call him Michal, got hold of my camera and kindly thought to include me in some pictures.

William got to share his flintlock pistol. I will never be able to do it justice, describing how amazing this creation of his is… he's teaching himself such remarkable skills, and has persevered, through hoops, over hurdles, to make this reproduction. It's a beautiful piece of art.

Alex spent about 90% of his day writing essays and completing endless math equations. He had a lot on his plate. (He just called me from school, and his test went well, and his hard work is paying off. It was so nice to hear a bit of relief in his voice.) When he poked his head in for a moment, I begged him to share his mask.

I love that Aunt Liz tried it on. Alex kept a controller in his pocket, and he could change the colors and motions with a flip of the switch.

Beckie, and Me, Maria, Liz and Kai~

One more, because it's a funny capture of our wild ride!

Good Things? That's easy…

1. Family

2. Friends

3. God's work. Our hands. Working together to make the good things happen.

4. Making.

5. Not giving up. Not surrendering.

Please, I love for you to share your good things.