Friday, May 23, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo, capturing a moment from the week.
A special moment. A moment I want to remember.

:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments, for all to find and see.

My Grandmother, Eunice, and her great-granddaughter, Maria, playing as a Contract Rummy team ::
Pasadena, California

Thursday, May 22, 2014

It's Time To Share The Secret

We are are opening a Little Free Library!

This is the secret project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, something I have been dreaming on, plotting and planning for months. I can't believe it's almost time for our grand opening!

Do you have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? They're darling and smart, a terrific idea begun in 2009, by Todd Bol. He's in Hudson, Wisconsin. I love Wisconsin.

Little Free Library has a good website, with a blog, and their history is really inspiring. I love that they achieved their goal to build 2,510 Little Free Libraries—as many as Andrew Carnegie—and keep going, in just two years! Since 2010 they have registered nearly 15,000 libraries, and they're growing!

As soon as I learned about them, I was smitten with the idea of them... I love the idea of encouraging literacy and building community, of sharing resources. Immediately I began learning all I could, even collecting ideas and more inspiration on a Pinterest Board.

I may, just may, be a teeny bit of a packrat collector! I actually had a small wood cabinet I picked up at the thrift store last year. I thought it would be a good piece for storing things in the barn, and I brought it home to spruce up some day. Once the Library scheme was firmly rooted in my brain I saw that little cabinet in a whole new light, and I told everyone here in the Bird House about my vision. I was so sure it could be done, but only with everyone helping.

So. I removed the hardware, and scrubbed the cabinet.

I took all all those blue paint samples we were testing for the house, and poured them into a yogurt tub, so I could paint the cabinet.

Maria came to help with the painting.

And while we painted, Alex cut framing and boards for a roof.

Next, I asked William if he could please cut out the wood sections of the paneled door.

Then I sanded the cut-outs.

Max cut aluminum plates so we could use them as mounting brackets.
The Little Free Library will be set on its post this Sunday! And that's when I will make the big unveiling here, too.

Geoff decided to reinforce the floor of the cabinet. It's solid, now!

By now, it was Mother's Day, and besides a beach walk, all I asked for my day was to see more progress on our Library, and I got just that.

This part of the re-model really impressed me. Geoff cut this trim with a bevel so it could hold the glass pane.

Not just a good idea, but pretty, and well done, too. Geoff really made my vision even more special. Everyone did.

Maria and I have been collecting books, and we have all kinds of ideas about seasonal themes, and we hope to include Maker Club events as part of our library experience. By Sunday, I need to paint some signs, design and print book labels, make some lemonade for our neighbors and friends, and get ready to celebrate!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How He Says Good Morning

After a long night of dashing up and down the stairs,
pacing across the beds, and perching in the window frame,
Mister Foo likes to settle in for a nap.
He looks for someone about to get out of bed,
who is thinking it's almost time.
He detects their drowsy reluctance to stir,
and he makes his move...
Mister Foo is soft and warm, like the bed,
and he starts his motor purring and circles 'round your head.
Then he boops you,
casting his spell.
Love me, he murmurs.
Good morning, it's nap time.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Five Good Things

Hello! Happy Monday. Time for Five Good Things. When I take a moment to focus on good feelings, acknowledge good things, I find it gives me an improved perspective for facing Monday. Because, seriously, Mondays are brutal... First World, suburban crisis brutal, my shoelace broke and the wifi in this cafe is flakey, brutal. Five Good Things is not a toothpaste-sparkly-crosstitiched-affirmations kind of exercise. I'm not trying to gloss over realities, or paint a rainbow on a train wreck. I just need to look beyond the mess on my desk, the frustrations, and noise of things I face/ignore/deny/suffer/endure/whine about, so that I can acknowledge that even in the midst of the whole spectrum of discomforts and disappointments, there might be something shiny, someone kind, a new point of view, a gift, a blossom, a hope. Five Good Things redirects the typical Monday Mind, the chatter that wants to bemoan the laundry list of chores, obligations, complaints, and setbacks, and encourages me to begin with gratitude.

Have you ever heard of Big Sunday? We went to the school farm to complete a couple more details of finishing the chicken coop... we still need to add wire beneath the roof, switch out some hardware, add trim, but it's close. It's really, really, close. This visit was about moving the coop to its permanent home, and so we went to the school farm during a Big Sunday event. We met a big group of volunteers, from different business and organizations, all volunteering together, in corporation with this organization... Big Sunday! Their Mission: To build community through community service. We believe that everyone has some way that they can help somebody else. And their motto: Everyone helps, everyone wins. Isn't this great?

Max, Alex, William, and Geoff added some temporary 2x4 pieces so that the coop could be lifted by many hands, at once. This bit of cleverness was a great help, and made the heavy job much easier. Of course the biggest help was the many volunteers available to heave-ho! I read that the Big Sunday event was a success, and those volunteers did a lot to get more jobs done, like pulling up huge sections of ice plant, and developing ideas for keeping squirrels out of the garden beds. Yeah, there is no end to the things that need to get done, in a garden, on a farm, but it's always a whole lot better with Big help!

Good Things...

1. William, Maria and I made one more visit to Pasadena, to make a repair in the kitchen, play Contract Rummy, see Julie and Rebekah's new place, and to get more hugs before Grandma, Becky, and my Mom go to Oregon.

2. Driving to L.A., and from L.A., with no traffic. This actually falls into the subheading: Unbelievably Awesome Things

3. This week Chcikenblog is 12 years old. (And also, I still mistype chiecken, every time. Not good, but amusing.)

4. Alex is finishing a last final, right now. Max has 19 total days of school left. Maria has 24 total days of school left.

5. We have zucchini coming out of our garden. More lasagna! Grandma Nancy's zucchini bread!

What do you do with zucchini? What good are you enjoying this morning, this week?