Wednesday, April 19, 2017

19~ Waiting For Maria

Mister Foo, gazing out the window. Cairo, luxuriating. And Chango, in one of his favorite spots. They are waiting for Maria. We are all waiting for Maria.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

17~ She Is Ready

Maria, our youngest, our child who has counted down to 6th grade camp since first grade. Packed, with a book (Lord of The Rings,) her favorite pens, a journal, Blue Bumby, the extra shoes suggested on the packing list, and body wash & shampoo all-in-one. Just everything, you know, because that's how you pack when you send your child to their first away camp. If not actually, then at least mentally, you pack for every possible circumstance and foreseeable situation, and you pack for improbable things like blizzards, wolverines, impromptu poetry slams. Everything, because if I cannot be there to kiss her goodnight, to hear her reading aloud, if she has no kitties to greet her when she enters a room, then she should have a suitcase full of clean socks and love, and affection, and best wishes, and all of our support and encouragement, and a toothbrush.

I am trying to be funny, to make everything humorous, and I think this is because I hesitate to admit how difficult all of this is. She is our youngest, our baby. I love and trust everything about her, her intelligence, her curiosity, her enthusiasm, her emotional capacity to empathize, to express her own ideas, feelings. She is capable, and more importantly, she is resilient. I know all of this, and also what our culture insists are the ideal things to do... to coax independence, self-reliance, to push them out into the world. I know all that, and I know this, too... it is an honor and a privilege to be her parent, to bear witness to her growth, her voice, her doubts, and revelations. I am in no hurry to rush this. Her life, all of my children's lives, are like marvelous novels, and I do not intend to re-write them or put calls into the editor, but neither can I put the books down, stop caring about the settings, the characters, the plot. I cannot help but wish to have more time, more space, to see how it will play out, to watch her choose a camp activity, to hear her impressions of archery, night hikes, camp food, to catch the details I know will not come out in her retelling, the highlight reel. In my defense, because I distinguish my love and curiosity from obsession and hovering: It's not about stalking her... it's just that I really miss her. I love to see her happy, I love to hear her laughter, to know when she's tired, or short, or insightful. She's such a compelling story.

I have been happy to love every stage of my children's growing up. Infancy, toddler years, betweens, teens... all of it. So, here we are, on the brink of new points of view, new kinds of stories... ones all her own, with parts hidden, and parts she will tell in great detail. And I will love this, too. And I hope that everything we packed, everything we've held up to her, and wished for her, I hope it's enough for a week at camp. And... and I hope that she sees, too, that she has her own resources, her own strengths, her own wishes, that can carry and sustain her, that get her through this week, and all the rest of her long, marvelous story.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

16~ Hello Easter





Easter. I could go through the archives of this blog and pull up all sorts of evidence. Evidence that decidedly proves that I am forever dropping the ball when it comes to Easter. Sometimes, rarely, we have success... really lovely occasions, to be sure. But there are far more accounts of melted chocolate bunnies, empty baskets, and general confusion. Never mind all that. This year I let the day arrive quietly, with no big demands, or expectations. We invited our friends, Paul, Janece, and Amira over to share in our No plans for Easter? gathering. We made five, or more, different salads, and I hid a basket for Maria, and another for the big kids, which included croutons for the salad. William baked his beautiful challah loaves. Everyone was on hand in preparations, and clean-up, and that was wonderful. Did we decorate eggs? Uhm... No. But we may, yet. We played badminton, and thanks to Amira, we all learned how to make white glue and borax slime, which was loads of gooey weird fun. Hello, Easter. Welcome hope and spring, and re-birth. We needed a gentle, quiet day, no less full of reflection and gratitude, but slightly less sugar infused, fancy, demanding. Maybe next year we can get the families together, which I would dearly love, and maybe someone will grill lamb, or we can try our hands at pysanka eggs, but I think I will retain this new tradition of allowing for a quieter, gentler, slightly less demanding celebration.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

15~ Something New

One of my favorite souvenirs to bring home from travels is new ideas, new points of view, new inspiration. Geoff, Maria and I stayed in a very nicely appointed, charming Airbnb home, with a particularly marvelous sleeping alcove. We can't quite manage to build an alcove room, not yet, but we decided it's time to ditch the wonky-dirty-sad blinds in our bedrooms. And while I don't count myself as an instinctive decorator, we did achieve something wholly satisfying. Between Geoff's patience and DIY skills, and Ikea's simple and tasteful selection... the entire enterprise was much easier than it might have been ( I still found it a bit daunting.) These results in Maria's room have bolstered my enthusiasm, and I am looking forward to finishing the installation of something new in our bedroom!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, April 14, 2017

14~ Just Chickens



Still dear, still silly, still smelly and messy and noisy. Still my muses and amusement. I am a lucky lucky chickenblogger.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

13~ Wood Workers







Alex separated the mahogany boards that were carved on Frankenrouter, so we could remove the burrs and begin fine sanding the four pieces, which will be tent polls for the A-frame Viking style tent. The dragon heads are Alex's own design, which he took from sketchbook to computer, and will finish in this beautiful wood.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Oh, How I Miss You, Chikckenblog

My Picture a Day, and other musings, have been on the back burner, and I miss all of it. I even miss consistently mistyping chicahkebcblog chickenblog. Now we are home from our trip to Portland and Albany, and I have about a thousand new pictures, and even more stories to share. So. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. I will be back at my desk, blogging away, scratching the surface of my deep thoughts.

And while those thousand, or more, photos are loading from my camera, and phone, I will amuse myself with pictures of Neo Cairo Nepenthes and his menagerie of ratty-rats. The ratty-rats that he adores, sings to, poses, stalks, hunts, slays, collects, sleeps with, hides, and cherishes.

And one picture from Christmas morning when Cairo thought Bambi's slippers were a new kind of ratties from Santa.




11~ Cat on a Rail

Mister Foo once fell from the second floor railing, all the way down to the first floor. A straight shot, with nothing to break his fall. Seeing the whole thing gave me a dread pit in my stomach, both for that moment and for any chance it might happen again. And it might happen again, because he loves to run to the railing, even where it's all that stands between him and the ground, and he leaps onto the narrow footpath he loves to amble. There is, I suppose, a lesson in here, somewhere... something about letting go, trusting others to do what they know, what they love, and let them live their own lives. (Of course all of that tough love, letting go, release them never pays an ER bill.)

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

6~ Rain and Shine Portland

The room with a view... the earliest hours of the day spent in bed, watching the rain and wind move through the trees.

Time playing tricks on me... who is this young lady?

Another pretty bus stop, another pretty clematis scene.

Either dry and goofy looking, or soaked and... goofy looking. Somethings are unavoidable, but we have our humor to help us cope.

Same bus stop, but seriously? Who gets bus stops this gorgeous. Just a street in a city, in the Pacific Northwest. Pinch me.

We tried to capture every green blossom for Junior Master Gardening mentor, Karen S.... aka Mrs Snacky.

Another Poetry Post and another bright idea we are eager to implement back home at the Bird House.

A playhouse fence?? Yes, I am scanning our yard for a fence to replace with this far more whimsical theme.

Aprons. In windows. You know me, Portland. You know me so well.

Porque, bonita.

Red roses, for Bambi.

Did I post this mural, before? I find a lot about Alberta Arts worth repeating. Even three times, or more.

Oh, good. It's still there.

Did I mention we like the oatmeal brûlé?

How about the croissants? Did I mention the croissants?

How about the arts? Surely, I mentioned how much we like the arts in Alberta Arts?

Something new... finally on this fourth attempt, we timed it right to go into this shop, Rutabaga Retail.

It was worth the wait, and worth seeing their selection of local artist's work.

This came home with us. No surprise. Put a bird on it flavor comes home to the Bird House. It's meant to be, right?

Also meant to be, a drop in at Collage. Actually, we went to Division, and Alberta, for double the crafting fun.

And we are still walking... are you with us?

Ok... cool beans at Green Bean Books, because we got to look into the magic of the Fing-O-Matic!

Book store and maker magic mash-up!

Diorama and book magic.

Bunny magic.

So, after a while I just started raising my fist in the air, and dramatically declaring, "Portland, I regret that I have but one stomach to give to you!" Because, food. Really good, really beautiful, really tasty, healthful, appetizing, interesting, appealing food, everywhere. Honestly, our entire Potlandia travel itinerary was Walk and Eat. Repeat. And still there was only so much we could consume.

Next time, I will reserve a meal for the Bollywood Theater, because it looked amazing.


At least we could quench our thirst with mango lassi.

This deserves at least two more angles, to show all of it, but the sun was not cooperating. See? This is why I am already imagining the next visit, so I can try again to capture all of Portland, rain or shine.

Here is a place that deserves a second, and third visit... Hippo Hardware. A whole other bus ride and walk from Alberta Arts. A whole other world in retail! They have it all for the home improvement, thrifty-DIY-maker crowds.









And even after Alberta Arts, and Hippo Hardware, we were up and out, ready for another explore.


Ready for another Lebanese dinner, like we enjoyed the first night.

We came back to our nest with two pieces of baklava, and Maria turned our little dessert into a beautiful scene, making another day finish sweetly, completely.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.