Tuesday, May 07, 2019


May 5~

In some ways it feels as though I've been time traveling, and not just in blog posts, but in life. Am I alone? Is anyone astounded that it is May? the other day, I resolved to do something to mark Easter, when I remembered that day has come, and gone. It's May. We have firmly established that it is spring, and Maria is counting how many Mondays of school are remaining. Max has already had mid-terms for his last quarter of his junior year. Geoff is through with crunch-time and the spring training deadline, and onto new projects and goals. William and I agreed, we should open the calendars to mark days, make plans, and ready ourselves for summer, for liberty, destinations, activities, excursions. Alex and Bambi are sharing a countdown, too, and soon they will be done with another semester of classes, and in Japan.

Even my own class will be over, soon, and so I am finishing oil paintings. Have I mentioned? I am in a beginning oil painting class? It started in January, no... it began in February. That seems a long way back, somehow. I am feeling sophomoric about oil painting. Finally, I am developing an understanding of how all the steps come together to complete a painting. The lessons and techniques make sense in a mechanical, rote sense, so at least I know what I am meant to do. But, knowing all of that makes executing the plan almost as hard as knowing nothing at all. It comes to practice, now, I suppose. I need so much more practice, and more than that, and so on.

My physical therapist has become a partner in my art. I see her twice a week, and she helps me recover, relearn, restore. I've learned exercises, means of managing my time and activities, so that I don't slip back into pain, and contortion, as much. Really, without her, I wouldn't be blogging, or painting, driving, making plans. When she works on my neck and shoulders, she knows whether I've been painting, in the garden, or just carrying around worry and aggravation. (Worry and aggravation... My countdown is for the trial, the State of California vs Drunk Lady Driver, and now that I've been subpoenaed and questioned by her attorney, a suited predator with all the appeal of a tick, I am prepared, like a cat, staring into the dark, tense, still, waiting... ready, yet vulnerable.)

I must remember to breath.

Breath, and paint, and walk, and watch for birds, learn their songs. The western bluebirds are back nesting in the birdhouse that hangs from the jacaranda. We watch them, the pair, fly back and forth to the nest, with food for the peeping babies. I wish we could see the babies, too. The father bird is such a blue, brilliant, and fanciful. The mother, wide-eyed and vigilant, seems tireless in her care. They are such a darling couple, a true set.

Cairo is watching birds, too. He has our balcony, now screened, and I've made perches for him, so he can look out, watch. Cairo and Chango keep me company there. As long as we have this spring weather, not too cold, nor windy, nor wet, then I can paint on the balcony. It's become a cat's nest and studio.
In fact, it's so comfortable I almost don't dread the heat of late summer. I like to suppose that with all the windows and doors open, we will have breezes and cross ventilation, and summer will be only hot and bright, not scorching and mad.

May 6~

Yes, like time traveling. I look at these pictures, reminders of changes we've made, improvements, projects completed. We've been so immersed in all of our undertakings, and now the sawdust is settling, the paint drying, and I look around and feel a bit astounded, wondering when did all of this happen? Well, it all happened recently. And, as easy as pie, our Bird House is a Blue Bird House! At last it is painted, and it only took 5 years... laugh out loud, and totally worth it.

William, on our calendars, let's make a note about harvesting apples and apricots. Maybe we should plan a garden party. We can invite friends over to pick fruit and make preserves, and pies. All for sharing.

So much has happened recently, and there is more to look forward to. My thoughts and intentions are traveling back in time, and forward, and for the present, there is much to do...

Friday, March 29, 2019

Up To Date

"Up to date" might be overstating it, but Geoff installed a new hard drive on our computer, and dusted stuff off, updated software, kicked tires etc... and now everything is working at a lightning pace. I would stick around and blog all day, except I am due at art class. I leave you with Cairo, proudly inspecting and improving the latest acquisition. This furniture piece represents my unceasing determination to find order and refinement in our home. It is a humble, and unique entry catch-all... for keys, phones, wallets, mail, gears, paint, yarn, flashlights, cats.
Thank you, and good day.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Other Plans

Things are not working... but then again, some things are working. It's just frustrating to make plans and set goals, and then be derailed by leaking pipes, janky computers, temperamental hard drives, and PTSD. My physical therapist is booked this week, and I am not seeing my emotional/brains therapist until next week. Our kitchen sink is leaking, and the hen that I thought had made a happy recovery suddenly died. Rest in peace, Fiona. I could share more, but I think it would be best if I simply made other plans. And, I would like to add... the time and inclination, the support and opportunity to make other plans is golden, a blessing, a tremendous wealth of good fortune. So, there it is... I am thankful to have the space and time to see that today I need to make new plans. I may go look at birds, a happy suggestion from my sweetheart.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Lofty Bird House Improvements, Part II

Of all the stages of our lofty improvements, I am not sure which was more unnerving... the open window:

Or the open landing to the floor below!

But for all we went through to get a new room built over the entry to our home, we never had a moment's regret or doubt. And if you're up for it, we can continue with how it all came to happen.

March 12...
We left with Cairo peering out of the gaping hole where our big window used to be. Mike got it out, all in one piece, and we were already reveling in the wonderful off-shore breeze, the songs of the birds. And this is when I took Cairo into our bedroom for his own, and the birds', safety.

There's a lot more work to be done... frame the window, inside and out, finish the wall with drywall, texturing and paint, replace the second, smaller window by the stairs, and then tackle the rotted beams, siding, and trim on the outside of the whole house before painting it. And even though there are no more open windows or stairwells, Cairo still finds ways to act crazy!

March 13...
Mike is always super considerate, so the protective sheets go back up, and he gets the new drywall textured, then painted.

Just for fun, and since we were out of Thai Basil green, I went darker, and the third wall is painted Behr Vine Leaf.

Suddenly! In less than 3 weeks our idea is a finished space. I love how the darker shade of green frames the window and view. Geoff chose the Ikea Billy bookcase and added their smart lighting... which we can operate and time with an app on our phone.

Suddenly! No more broken steps, and shedding carpet. No more giant, closed, and inaccessible window. No more "grand" entry with useless 20 foot ceiling! Suddenly we have a beautiful and inviting space, with fresh air breezing in, and a cozy sofa long and deep enough for napping, wide enough for company. Cairo is certain all of this was done for his pleasure. We are certain this is all wonderful.

March 14...

Eunice's roses. They were hanging in the stairwell, but now I am rethinking all of it... and enjoying slowly settling in.

There, I think the roses might look nice on the new wall.

It's going to take a while to put things back in order... new or old. It's a luxury figuring it all out, and enjoying what we have.

There's still more getting done, but this seems like a nice place to take a break...