Saturday, November 26, 2016

Birthday Wishes :: Three Hundred Thirty

We all wished to celebrate Maria's twelfth birthday, but we were getting a little behind on the early planning. So, we called on some friends, picked up cupcakes, ordered take-out, covered the dining table with butcher paper, and pulled off a grand fête! Every bit of it was good, and Maria is still beaming about having a circle of friends to play with, her fluffy socks, and other sweet gifts. I think the only thing that might have made it perfect for her would be if there was some leftover house special chicken to re-heat for breakfast.

This impromptu and simple party, and how thrilled Maria was for all of it... it's her. It's a sweet reflection of how easy, joyful, and gratifying our lives are with Maria. She has such a kind, intelligent and generous way about her. Her actions match her thoughts, her heart matches her attitude, and she sincerely, seemingly effortlessly, makes life better. So, even when a birthday party is thrown together, at the last minute, and it's pouring rain outside, she finds only silver linings, and wants for nothing more than friends to play with. It's such a delight to celebrate Maria, to sing for her, and wish, too, for her birthday wishes to come true.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Chango's Chair and Heritage :: Three Hundred Twenty Nine

We are thankful for Chango, our grandpa cat. He'll be seventeen years old in the new year... well, spring of the new year. We love our Chango. El Cubano. And recently we researched what is very likely his Scottish name. He is Changus, from a little known line, the MacChangos. Surprisingly, not much is recorded on this history, but what we did discover is quite noteworthy, distinguished. Yes, and so in honor of his illustrious heritage, I spruced up his chair. His chair is the one I put next to my bed, so I could be the kind of woman who sits at her bedside, sipping tea, reading novels, and writing thank you notes to friends and dignitaries. Well, if you haven't received a thank you note from me, it is only because Changus MacChango never leaves my chair. It is his chair, and now, with the new cover, he seems ever more confirmed to living in it. From his vantage point he can watch the window, anticipate company, access his nightstand, and water, cross the bed, trice nightly, and sleep contentedly, knowing he is safe, loved, and distinguished.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks :: Three Hundred Twenty Eight

Usually it's only a cat or two that jumps in when I am trying to make the bed. Today I got lucky... two cats and three of my children showed up. We made cat hammocks with sheets, which Cairo and Foo lovelovelove. Then it was all laughter and stories, plans and more laughter. There are many great plans and traditions that can go into Thanksgiving, or any holiday, but the very best part is sharing 'chores,' and making plans, laughing and playing, together with loved ones. It could hardly get any better.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What Do We Celebrate :: Three Hundred Twenty Seven

Every year I look forward to Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday... and no, not because of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag, not because of infantilized versions of the first harvest and feast at Plimouth Plantation. I love Thanksgiving for the simple pleasure of sharing our blessings, our works, and best intentions, for the communion, reflection, gratitude. It's reassuring to revisit traditions, connect with family, open our doors to new friends, offer our services to community, to strangers. The familiar dishes we prepare, the care we put into a gathering centered around thanks restores my spirit, guides my intentions, inspires my thoughts and actions. And honestly, sadly, this is the first year I feel almost too devastated by events in the world, by words and character, by symbols, threats, attacks, acrimony, and dishonor, to feel the pleasure, the healing, of Thanksgiving.

With every bit of sorrow, fear, grief, anguish, and injustice I read about, I feel more and more detached from celebration, from happiness. The reports from Standing Rock, where The Standing Rock Sioux and supporters are being abused for fervently insisting that their land and water be protected... the news from these events is wrenching, and the actions of the United States government are deplorable. This is not one hundred years ago, two hundred years ago. This break of treaty, this militant abuse of our citizens is unconscionable, and it is happening today, under our watch. I would like to be a proud American, but this disgrace speaks to a long history of maltreatment and dishonor against indigenous people, against my people. My thanks, my honor, my respect, my celebration is for the Sioux Nation, for their supporters, for peaceful protest, for the bravery of all who sacrifice to preserve and protect natural resources, land and water. Their land and water. Our land and water. My thanks, is for the courageous and good men and women who stand against tyranny, and for justice.

And Also...

I've just come back to add a few things, in hopes that it will be cathartic.

My heart is with my Grandmother, and I am praying for her comfort, for healing, for her peace of mind, for literally just everything to be good, and safe, and beautiful, because she deserves nothing less.

Rest in peace, Curry, you golden, darling pupper. Straight to heavenly fields and cool waters, to our pet families who have gone before you.

The election fallout is still seeping it's dark poison into my psyche, and I will not wait and see. Every troll, fascist, racist, Nazi, hater, fear-monger, and greedy s.o.b. crawling out from under rocks: See the light! Shudder in the reflection of the love, peace, compassion, humility, humanity, kindness, sympathy, empathy, and resilience of the forces that deny your will, your ignorance, your hate. I don't have time, and I won't make space, for your shit.

I am doing laundry, cooking, repairing the plumbing, and will be facing big OC traffic. I am not happy, but I am able, and riled up, and today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, I will move forward. I am cursing and shaking my fist at tragedy and injustice, against war, genocide, torture, loss, heartache, sad times, setbacks, bullies, hangnails, atrial fibrillation, flat tires, and even death and taxes. Thank God, I can get riled up and rally.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Twinkle Light Season :: Three Hundred Twenty Six

Our cabinet of curiosities has strings of lights now... I added them, and the porcupine quill we brought home from Nesting, the shop upstairs, on Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts. The shop that is as cozy as a nest, but full enough to get lost in. Maria exclaimed when she came home, and saw the lights. Don't you love the joyful effect a little light can add? More light! More joy. It's best shared.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dear Goats :: Three Hundred Twenty Five

Oh My Goats. These two. It's not their best portrait, but it's true to form. It's hard to get them to stand still. They have such earnest faces, and hopeful expressions. Just the kind of countenance that compels me to put a box of licorice in the grocery cart. Treats for our sweets. They are such dear little goaters.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.