The chicas, our herd of matronly hens, are laying like spry, young hens. It's surprising, given their ages... five and four years old. Lots of eggs, when there's also lots of chard in the garden, means quiche! I made four, with leeks and the chard, and my very rustic looking crust, which is the frozen one from Trader Joe's.
One view, above, is of my failure to thin. I can never bear to pull up tiny seedlings. It's for the good of the garden to give plants space, but alas... I am too greedy, too sympathetic to do what is right, and now the sweet peas are lush, plentiful and over-crowded, which I am pretty sure is the reason these are not flowering. I pretend to be satisfied having lovely green vines, but the truth is I so wish I had been a wise and dutiful gardener, and not so greedy.
I was trying to remember whether I've mentioned we are enclosing our carport... I have. While it's been a project that goes in fits and starts, in the last week, or so, we've made a lot of progress. And yes, technically, I am entitled to say "we." I've held boards, procured goggles, or said "good job," with genuine enthusiasm, all of which makes me a part of the crew. William has really put his heart into this project. Ever since Geoff and William built our barn, William has demonstrated sweet construction skills and industry... it makes me wish we could just keep adding little barns and forts and cottages all over the land! Sooner or later, everyone lends a hand, takes a shift. James has been here, Paul, Max, Alex, and Ido came by (dressed for Purim) and I think that counts, too.
I've been obsessing over India ink and gouache painting. I follow #augustwren, the artist Jennifer Orkin Lewis, on Instagram. She's shared some live videos on her page, and she demonstrates how she creates some of her art with dip pens and nibs, and India ink. She answers all of the viewer's questions, and her lessons have been so informative, so generous, I feel like I've found my very own art teacher. I dove in! I think what I am loving the most is how much it has relaxed me. I get so frustrated and disappointed with how far I feel from achieving what I wish I was accomplishing. Ironically, I decided to practice with the ink, to improve my confidence, and skills, to discipline myself to be consistent, precise. But! Instead, I have relaxed my expectations of what's "good," and let go of the outcome. The ink forces me to slow down, which is a good discipline and practice for me, but it's also liberated me from being too controlling. It's fun, almost meditative, and I cannot understand or explain why, but it makes me feel more forgiving and accepting of my results. And then something nice happens... here is my handy illustration:
It's occurring to me that the more I accept the flaws and blobs, the smudges, and things that don't turn out as I wish, the more I enjoy the process, and continue to practice, and gradually, I figure things out, feel more confident. Oh, goofy me. I think it's so hilarious when I am ruminating on some deep thoughts, then write it down, and it stares back at me, not as a profound insight or discovery, but as a simple truth. lol.
And Acceptance Makes Her Journey More Pleasant.
I have been practicing, a lot. First, India ink, then gouache paint. I wish you could come over and play with me. If not drawing and painting, then crocheting.
Another good practice? Leaving the house... going out to see the sunset, play with beach stones, walking through town, or up and down the beach. We've been enjoying regular outings, and I think those are improving results, and making our journey more pleasant.
Max's art orientation class made an assignment of visiting the Timken Museum, and we made a morning of it. It's not only a beautiful museum, with a very nice collection of fine art, but it's also free. After Max finished his observations, we walked around the park, before getting Max back to campus, and his next class.
Such a long post. All sorts of views, and some news. Maybe this is a good practice, too... choosing happy moments, picking the best views that capture events in our week, then gathering them here, in a post, and reflecting on highlights. It's not everything that we have going on. It's certainly not the messes, the let downs, the grotty bits that would embarrass me, that make me feel far-off from what what I wish I were accomplishing, but there's something quite comforting, and encouraging in seeing the good, emphasizing the pretty parts. Sometimes we make smudges and blobs, but if we quit when things go wrong, then we'll miss the sunsets, and blossoms, the chickens running across the lawn, and children growing, the masterpieces. More deep thoughts and other musings, to remind myself.
Keep moving forward.