Saturday, December 31, 2016

Come on, New Year! :: Three Hundred Sixty Five

We've all heard it... this year, 2016, has been awful (mean, cruel, a mess, tragic, the worst.) Just, like... well, you know. One hardly can stand to list the losses, and crushing disappointments. And I know perfectly well, it's no good making 2016 a scapegoat for all of our grief and frustration. 2017 will have its challenges, too, I am sure... yeah, pretty darn sure. Sigh.

Anyway. We thought we were about to suffer one more heartache, one more wth?? Cairo got very sick, and we spent the whole day waiting to find out whether he was going to have to go through major exploratory surgery. And. It sucked. We cancelled our Happy New Year plans, and fumbled through our day feeling sad and lost and utterly stressed out, because kitties are sweet innocent furry muffins of love and should never spend new year's eve in a clinic, enduring needles and procedures. And then we got a happy ending (pricey, but happy.) He's ok. No surgery. He might have eaten a bad spider? We don't know. But he's alive, and that's great.

Ooph, 2016, you have been something. Good, and bad, and frankly surreal. Good-bye, good-night, and good riddance. Thank you for leaving us with our furry muffins of love, and for 99 more good things. We loved our trips, our friends, the good food, and all the making we did. We are grateful for each of the many great things that did not go wrong, truly. But, let's end this year, now. And start over. Let's move forward.

Happy New Year, friends... and best wishes! Wishes for good health, laughter, kindness, inspiration, time, resources, support, courage, bright ideas, tasty food, bodacious gardens, glitter, glue, new shoes, and a picture a day that you take with your heart and keep in your mind, in joy.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Starry Night :: Three Hundred Sixty Four

The best gift? Leisure time. And resources... in this case craft paints, brushes and tiny canvasses. I am a fortunate person, I know. I feel so thankful for the time I've had, and taken, to enjoy my blessings, to sit quietly, to cook, to dance around the kitchen, to talk to my chickens, to see friends, wrap gifts, and to play at being an artist.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tiny Hen :: Three Hundred Sixty Three

On a tiny canvas, a tiny hen. In her nest.

Somewhere along the way, in this Picture a Day project, I must have miscounted. I recall starting a few days into the new year, and so I thought I would reach #365 the second day of January, not December 30. Weird. I could, in an alternate universe, go back and count every picture, each post, but: NO. I stuck with it, had some fun, and now it's nearly done, so that's fine.

My favorite parts of this challenge were playing along with my friend, Jennifer, and creating a visual representation of our year... it doesn't show everything, but it's surprisingly good at recalling special moments, and occasions, things I am not so sure I would remember if I hadn't saved a picture.

Thank you, some of you that left comments... comments, engagement, are a real gift to anyone that's blogging, or painting, sharing something of themselves, and I cannot deny that the connections made all the difference to me.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hen Pecked :: Three Hundred Sixty Two

Emma Thompson is keeping an eye on Pippi and Pepper, the two silver-laced wyandotte hens. Pippi and Pepper are pretty. Pippi and Pepper are mean. They rule the roost, but tyrannically, cruelly. They peck, they pull feathers, they torment, they are greedy and selfish, and calculating. And they are particularly abusive of my dear Mako, who is a mild and sociable hen. Pecking orders, and being hen-pecked... these are natural aspects of chicken life and I've seen enough flocks and known enough hens and roosters to know what's up. However, some hens can rule a roost with grace and discipline, with intelligence, mercy, decorum. I've kept roosters who gave their all for their flock, without overstepping their authority. A mean hen, or rooster, spoils the fun.

Be certain, you mean hens, that I have got both eyes on you, too. No one is interested in enduring your fiendish ways, and sharp beaks.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dear Friend :: Three Hundred Sixty One

A visit from Friend, the western scrub jay... it's always a pleasure.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

With Warmth, Welcome Winter

Well! We did it again! And once again, I think opening the doors for Solstice may be one of my favorite nights of the year.

The first time, was 2012, and we were just trying to survive the Mayan calendar calamity! Apparently, the secret to overcoming the end of the world, was to make eight trays of enchiladas and share them with friends!

In 2013 we just figured why not make this a tradition? A brilliant idea!

We had to settle down and recover in in 2014, but good things happen, even when you least expect it!

Last year was epic! Viking epic. By this time we were already confirmed for this year, 2016!

Mark is making pies! Cream pies. This one is coconut, and it was most happily enjoyed, so were Stacy's bars, Leslie's Turkish delight, the pecan pie, the brownies, the hot chocolate!

Our "theme:" Pasta, and virtual reality, with some MTG, robot and Lego action. Honestly, anytime you ask friends to come with food, to play... you've got a party!

Huge props to James for bringing the virtual reality set. Unreal! But, like, totally real!

With the controls we were drawing in 3D space, making snow, teleporting, intense stuff. The visuals were stunning. James made a lot of people really happy with this experience.

We like Hugs Reality, too. It's real.

Leo, Carol, and Grace~

Kelly and Natalie~

Kelly and Paul~

Here we have a bot crew, Ido, Geoff, and Darrahl, tinkering, developing, making, and playing.

Ido is programming in Scratch, to operate a Lego robot through a tablet. He's working on making low cost learning projects with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Love this.

Throughout the evening this little robot evolved and developed, as everyone took turns modifying and experimenting.

Avram, Coram, and Sanjana getting into the Vive.



Coram, and Amira, and our feast!

Anna B and me~

I remember being totally impressed at the powers of concentration Corey, Alex J, and Max have... playing Magic the Gathering in the midst of all of this!

Gordon and Bambi~

Paul and Leslie~

{Every time I write down these names, I have this compulsion to add little hearts. If you can, just picture me smiling, and thinking We know such wonderful people! *hearts*}

Bobbie and Darrahl~ *hearts*

Simon, Bambi, Alex, Grant, and Paul~


Ido and Geoff, and lights~


Celine, Kaleb, Paul, Grant, and Clark~


Tim and Lisa~

Gordon taking his turn with the Vive.

Ido and Leslie~

Kaleb~ He built a boat that carries a motorcycle.


Bambi and Alex~

Celine and Camille, Alex R, and Leslie~

Simon, Leo, Spencer, Bex, and Maria~

Grace's tree. *hearts*

Alex R, Leslie, and Spencer... who is about to get his turn!

It's snowing!

The Anagram Sisters, Maria and Amira~

And room for a new sister, Bex~

James and Celine~


Sunday, December 25, 2016

All Day Joy :: Three Hundred Sixty

As though we were snowed-in, as though there was nothing beyond the walls of our cozy Bird House... we played, and played, and rejoiced, and napped, and played some more. There was plenty... of laughter, of reflection, of gratitude, of hot chocolate, and generosity, love, and joy. We called family, we made a beautiful dinner, and we made new plans. Maria's favorite gift? My new pens! And then she listed just about everything else, too, and looked newly delighted with Christmas joy. We want for nothing but the hope that light, love, and joy came to your homes, as well.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.