Friday, August 14, 2015

~This Moment~

~This Moment is a Friday tradition, capturing a special moment from the week~

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments, for all to see.
Alex and Bambi, the Highlands of Scotland

This moment, for me, was about Alex and Bambi sharing their first pictures from their travels, and feeling connected, relieved, thrilled for their adventures. I implored them, Take loads and and loads of pictures. Selfies, too. Selfies especially, even though those are maligned, because I want to see Scotland, but mostly I want to see you in Scotland! I love every picture, every moment they are sharing.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Happy Summer

Bill, and Hans, my brothers, and cousin Gil next to cousin Julie. Me and Debbie in the water, and our cousin Jack, hanging back. About 1976, I think.

My mom sent out an email, to me, my brothers, some cousins. "Happy Summer," read the subject, and I thought she was sending something from Grandmother's birthday, or the Oregon family moving day. But it was this blast from the past! Hans and I searched Google Earth in hopes of tracking down the exact Whittier house, where Grandma and Grandpa had the polar-cold pool, the cat named Rufus, and those two nippy pups, Chiquitin and Major. Our Los Angeles summers were happy, in Whittier, and Alhambra, at Olvera Street. Happy family summers... don't be fooled by Hans' expression... (insert sister laugh, here.)

The house is still there. The long driveway, and the cul-de-sac where we rode the giant tricycle, and lit hoards of fireworks, stinky ground charring snakes and dazzling ground bloom flowers. Inside, Grandmother kept the house comfortable, tidy, their nice things were familiar, somehow reassuring. Her owls, and African violets, the many neat stacks of books... I cannot see any of these without sighing wistfully, and missing her. She had the softest towels, and always good aromas happening in the kitchen. I think she could make a delicious caldito, stew or soup, from anything, and with a toasted tortilla, well, that would be heaven to have right now. Hot summers in Los Angeles smelled of gardenias, mowed lawns, and the congestion and pace of a sprawling city... if that is a smell. If there wasn't an invitation to a friend's pool, like Blanca Arellano's, then at least we had sprinklers to run around in. Then Grandma and Grandpa moved into the Whittier house, with the pool and slide and diving board. The pool was unheated, and was always shockingly cold. The best times were when the day was hot enough for even Grandfather to cannonball in, and to find Grandmother, too, holding the ledge, joining us in the water.

When my own children were growing up I realized that cousins make excellent playmates and friends. Not perfect, or trouble free, but like having a batch of fresh siblings to play with, to quarrel with, to enjoy secrets and giggles, to share in the joys, and some minor woes, of days together. The house, on the map, on my computer screen, has changed very little, but it took a while to find, because I had to scan and sort through all the freeways, and malls, the industrial parks, even time itself to find it. The world is so much bigger, now. We are not so insulated, as we were then, in that place. We live further apart, see each other far less often. Thank goodness for this picture of a happy summer, and all of the funny, irritating, clear, faint, and dear memories this brings to mind.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Five Good Things

It's all good. It's all random, and messy, and mixed-up. We've faced kitchen flooding, bad smells, repairs, and cat barfs, and still: It's all good. Let's not pretend I grin and twirl through every mishap and crisis, but it helps to laugh and dance, whenever possible. And it's prescribed, suggested, encouraged and highly recommended to seek goodness, make good, share good, do good, and love the good. We went to the beach, and even though it was closer to bedtime than beach time, we enjoyed the last of the sunlight, the campfires, speculating on plans and notions, being in that place where the edge of the world is lapped by the sea. Walking back to our car from a shop in North Park, I looked up into a beautiful wispy pine tree where the homeowner had hung all sorts of blue lanterns and ornaments. It was beautiful. Back at home, Geoff and William have been diligently working with Frankenrouter, our sexy beast of DIY CNC milling. It's milling wood! The graphic is one William created on the computer, inspired by Lord of The Rings. More on this, soon.

What a skimpy, brief post this is... but you guys! This is the last Monday of Maria's summer break! This is the last Monday at home before Alex and Bambi leave for the Highlands of Scotland! This is the last Monday when I will have any chance to do all of the forty-two things I was so sure we would get done when it was June, and summer was new and full of promise!

Good Things...

1. Sitting with Geoff, having breakfast out, talking, not talking. Burritos.

2. Bitternut squash, the fellow who appeared at the dining table this week.

3. The restoration of our kitchen sink, dishwasher, and garbage disposal, because Geoff. Oh, sweet conveniences of modern living, and lovely man to make it all run smoothly!

4. Grant. The man. The legend. The friend who rides in on his white horse and brings news of things funny, fair, and fabulous. {I just had to steal this picture from his FB page.}

5. My beautiful graceful, Godly, and beloved Grandmother Eunice, who turned 93 years old this week. She is a blessing to us all. She is more than good.

Skimpy and brief! We need breakfast, and there are bank errands, and all kinds of running around, like chickens and goats, but with clothes on. Be well. Find good things!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

El Pajaro Bordado

Some friends were asking for embroidery lessons, so I gathered supplies, extra needles, fabric scraps for practicing, and then I decided to make a small project for myself, so I could show by example, and have fun, too. I took inspiration from a box of loteria cards. And to be sure I had a purpose for my little embroidered bird, I fit my sketch into a triangle so I could start a new party bunting-penant decoration. I never know what to call those, but I love making them, having them around for festive occasions. Unfortunately, the embroidery lesson was postponed, but lucky me... I had two-and-a half hours to myself to work on my pajaro while Maria was in her dance class.

As for my last embroidery venture... I haven't abandoned it, but I set it aside until I can decide whether or not to start over. I think small breaks can help me from making rash decisions.

There are so many fun themes in a loteria game, and I'd love to stitch up some more. And of course, it would be fun to create my own. A Foo card, maybe?