Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Room With a View :: Two Hundred Seventy

Yesterday, when the dryer died, we installed solar! Unfortunately, my old laundry line disappeared after we remodeled our porch, but Geoff's string of lights, hung along cables, work very well for this added task. With help from the taller people living here, I got two loads of clean laundry hanging in the sun. Efficiency? Our solar system had everything dry in less than an hour!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fair and Festive :: Two Hundred Sixty Nine

Bambi and Maria, hearing the stone carver's tale, at the Viking Festival. We enjoyed another engaging and inspiring visit to the Viking Festival. For something new, we came later in the day and stayed after dark. The surprises were the people we met, like a teacher the boys knew from middle school, and our friends Leslie, Ido and their children. It's such an ideal venue... small, and full of great crafts, folk art, music, history, amusements. It's no wonder we enjoy returning, and come home with more ideas for making!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Before the first Viking Festival we attended, William and Alex were making things for period costuming and diversion. By the end of our first visit, I was completely certain we had to make our tent! Soon enough, our hopes and plans were coming together for one big-Big-BIG tent. Each time we go back to the Festival, we find new reasons, and ways, to enjoy our time there.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Taking Action :: Two Hundred Sixty Eight

Here is a picture of our kitten, Neo Cairo Nepenthes, being adorable, fluffy, angelic. Approximately two seconds after this photograph was recorded, he leapt onto my arm, and chewed it off with unrepentant gusto. He gnawed on my flesh, with such possessed conviction we couldn't decide which to dial first, a priest or the ER. Thankfully, he released his bite, and to our relief we saw that my arm, miraculously, had remained intact, though damaged. He took gross advantage of our momentary distraction and bolted through the front door. It took two abled bodied men to herd, then wrangle him, only inches from the street, and back into the house. He arched his back and spit gravel, then knocked over the sorted mail. "There is no hunting like the hunting of man," he meowed, eyeing us, without a care.

And this is why his particular, special appointment was moved up ten days. If he wants to quote Hemingway at us, he better learn, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self."

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Strange Days :: Two Hundred Sixty Seven

Happy Fall! For our last night of summer we paid a visit to the hallowed halls of suburban commerce, stalking the aisles in pursuit of consumer meditation. All the signs of the new season were upon us, and we immersed our eager senses in the banquet that lay before us... fall scented candles, autumn lighting, heaped masses of confections, skeletal anything and everything. Pumpkin anything and everything. It was a kind of bliss, absurd, yet sublime. Mindless, yet utterly engaging. And for your information, glue sticks are 70% off.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

(This may be the first in a series, which I can't think of a title for, yet, but pertains to us desperately trying to adjust to Max's absence, feeling sad, and counting the days until the weekend.)

Then I Googled "quotes about dogs." You're welcome...

“Every dog has his day, unless he loses his tail, then he has a weak-end.”
—June Carter Cash

“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”
—Abraham Lincoln

"A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”
—Jack London

“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
—Harry S. Truman

And this favorite...

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
—Groucho Marx

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

We Are Cozy :: Two Hundred Sixty Six

Cairo has been extra alert and curious since the change in the weather. It's been raining since yesterday. The garden already looks happier, and everything feels refreshed, brightened. The world is far from perfect, but the weather outside our door is rather ideal, and we are cozy, inside, and feeling thankful for our comforts.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What The Birdie Saw :: Two Hundred Sixty Five

Here is the hen I call Birdie. She likes to take her dustbath next to the badminton net. She's an expert fence hopper, so it's no trouble at all for her to go wherever she pleases. She's not tame, but she's not unfriendly, either. She's just Birdie, a green egg laying, healthy, dust bathing chica.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

It's no wonder Birdie chooses to dust bathe on the other side of the fence!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Beginning :: Two Hundred Sixty Four

This time it's real. Max is moved in, and beginning. Actually, classes don't begin until Thursday, but Max decided to brush-up. For him, focusing on his studies is the thing that helps him settle in. For me... well, I have a lot to learn. I like that I have some company, and the insights, and support of wise, kind friends... thanks, Andrea, Diana, Jennifer, Liz S, Moments.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

We had the luxury of making the Move-in Day a two step process. Max set up his room, met his roommate, and lead us on a campus tour, then we all came home together.

On Sunday, Max packed a few more things, except not this Boop. No Boops at kawledge.

This time we had Maria and William with us. And we toured more of the campus.

I think he's going to appreciate Monday's menu... ono!

Max got to get a peek into his physics lab, recognized a lot of things, and was able to confirm that he can scramble between Humanities and Physics in the allotted ten minutes, even with an armful of text books.

On this hot day, we enjoyed nice breezes as we powered around campus, checking things out. Looks like someone has learned how to really hang loose at school. We stayed kind of late... honestly, not to delay the inevitable, but just figuring things out, solving odds and ends issues. And yeah, probably delaying the inevitable, just a little. I filled the time giving him loving looks, and saying things like, remember to hang your towel, and stop the microwave as soon as the popcorn stops popping. Seriously awesome things, like that.

If there's anything sophisticated or insightful to say, you won't hear it from me, not on this subject. I belong to the proud, but reluctant subset of mothers who have no desire to rush anyone away from home, who have so loved family life, that I see no harm in the status quo. But, yes... he's ready, and able, and I know that it will be a blessing and a joy to see what's next for him.

And even if I am not ready and able, I know there's a good chance I will figure it out... certainly, it's all much easier with sweet friends to offer comfort and support!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Silken Threads :: Two Hundred Sixty Three

The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unfolds a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.

Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.

E.B. White

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Making Joy :: Two Hundred Sixty Two

Here it is... I am sad.

News, comments, events, politics, crisis, the big, wide world... Lately, I've let too much seep into my head, my emotions. It's not that I ever intend to escape reality, or close the door on responsibility, information, facts, truths. It's only that too much of the aforementioned and I am incapacitated, stunned into inaction. And even deeply hurt. Frankly, I cannot fathom the level of outright hate and acrimony that is spewed on the Internet. The incitement of violence, the name calling, accusations, even belittling common friends over differences of opinion... it confounds me. I think I am naive, yet not ignorant, hopeful, but not sanguine, sympathetic, not pitying. I've been accused, often enough, of being too sensitive. That may be true. Nonetheless, I will guard my hope, strive to keep my guileless nature intact, and endeavor to remain an informed, and sensitive person, because I feel awful otherwise. So I must impose a fast, preserve my head and heart... and for a time, tune out the news, the "issues" of the moment in social media, and instead turn to home, gardens, nature, stars, and moon, cats, chickens, and art, loving family, close friends, folding laundry, picking tomatoes, making things, holding hands, breathing. Gratitude, laughter, good will, kindness, compassion... I want to foster these, for well-being's sake, for the benefit of all, for joy.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Moving In :: Two Hundred Sixty One

"Delay as much as possible," the wise words from Diana that I am taking to heart. So we moved Max into his dorm, unpacked, helped him settle in, a bit. We met Max's roommate, and his family, and they all seem like very nice people. That's such a relief-good thing. We walked around campus, took in some sticker shock at the book store, had lunch in the cafeteria, played a few rounds of ping pong. Then we all came home, Max, too! We can return him on Sunday; prolonging the inevitable, and enjoying a little more quality time together!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pumpkin Days :: Two Hundred Sixty

One day this week Maria counted four pumpkin items at Trader Joe's, the next day there were ten, including actual pumpkins. Pumpkin Days are here! It's not fall, yet, but it's coming. Fog. Colored leaves. Brisk mornings. Wooly socks. Homework in front of a fire. Hearty soups and fresh baked bread. And pumpkins! All kinds of pumpkins.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Moving Box :: Two Hundred Fifty Nine

It's pretty full, so we must be getting close... move in day for Max. All summer Maria and I have enjoyed our laughs as we poured over Pinterest Boards for Dorm Rooms. When we first read a checklist of "necessities," that included television, game console, boom box, CDs, DVDs, and every variety of pillow from therapeutic to decorative, she asked, What exactly is it people do at college? And neither of us was too distraught over the prospect of the big day. But. Now. Suddenly the big day is imminent, and moving box aside, none of us feels exactly prepared. Max is a practical fellow, pragmatic in his ideas about what he needs. He turned down decorative pillows, strings of lights, area rugs and matching seat cushions. Televisions and entertainment centers were never an option. What he actually wants is for classes to begin, for the routines and demands of this next chapter to be delineated, and to come home, often.

He's not moving out, I console myself... it's only that our universe is expanding.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.