Friday, October 23, 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.

Amira and Maria, the anagram sisters.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Country Store & Home Again

William is finishing a waistcoat, and needed to pick up more muslin, and a nice contrasting fabric for the back, and all of this is at JoAnn's; both locations are out of the way. Our chicken feed was all gone, the hay getting low, and it never hurts to get the goat chow while I'm out; the best feed store is almost as far away as the fabric store. With two incentives to make a longish drive, I dreamt up a few more good excuses, and William and Maria joined me on the winding road to the Country Store. In all, we made five stops, and each of them was worthwhile. We enjoyed either window shopping and appreciating sights, or picking up essentials, like deli sandwiches from Major Market, alfalfa from the feed store. William found his fabric, and Maria and I spotted some hilarious Foo inspired flannel! Really, the only regret I have is not bringing home those fallen oak leaves. Do you think they'd mind if I went back, sat on their store stoop and collected the leaves as they fall? A basket of these would thoroughly delight me.

Back home we were met by stir crazy hens, and ravenous goats. I sat on a log and watched the hens scratch and peck over the treats I gave them. The goats did their usual dance, jockeying for position, for their evening supper. The new hens are more daring than the old guard, and will get into the mix with the goats to steal their oats! I watched the show, shaking my head at the nonsense of goat-chicken dynamics. Heading back to the house, I was, once again, met by the beautiful glow, the happy welcome of our home, and I stopped to take a picture. It still feels brand new, like a dream. This is a good time... we have our projects, and our errands, we have our safe ride, and winding roads to interesting places, we have home, and we have each other.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Great Pumpkins, It's Fun Around Here!

Totoro has been observing that a new season has arrived, with some cooler nights, a bit more fog, and a pumpkin patch growing on the garden bench. There's even more stirring... in fits and starts, here and there. Let's have a peek into some of the fun...

For starters, a suspicious package arrived last week, labeled: Exploding Kittens, in big and bold letters. Marvelous. "A card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats... oh, yes, please! I mean come on, it's like they made it for us.

Magic The Gathering, Exploding Kittens, and sewing... lots of sewing, for William's part. He has this uncanny ability and willingness to try, and try, and try at some very difficult patterns, and his diligence is paying off. Just a little peek, of something I am sure he would be loathe to share, but I admire his dedication, and determination. I have more experience, in terms of time and practice, but his skills, his daring has excelled far beyond what I dare to try.

And between card games, and tailoring, we are visited by fellow makers who want to have custom masks for Halloween. Don't panic, James! We have some supplies and ideas on hand for making Halloween fun. James, knows. He's a goof.

When preparing to make custom masks, my advise is this: Chop wood, first. Then visit your manliest thoughts. Ready? Begin.

With plastic covering his hair, and vaseline protecting his skin, Alex got James plastered. William documented the Art Spa Session.

These are bandage strips, already loaded with plaster. Wet, apply, and let dry.

At the Bird House Art & Spa we provide a full menu of random and marvelous experiences.

Here's looking at you, kid.

Wames meet James.

Also, we are a test center for Nerf (in our dreams, but yeah, seriously.)

Maria, Corey, Max, and Lucas + 2 Nerf Rivals = Friendly Combat

Pulling the dried plaster bandages off of the plaster model they made.

From the plaster bandage fasces, to plaster molds, to the vacuum former...

Custom mask making can get fancy.

As Celine prepared to paint her face mask, Maria scrounged through my supplies and pulled out this ready made model.

A new favorite shade... soft, grey greens. Then she added gold swirls and vines.

There is so much to this image that I love. I'm just sitting here, thinking of Max being a senior, and all of the hard work he's applied to school, and how far he's come with finding his own interests, and sharing his interests with new friends, and Alex growing as an artist, and an engineer, and working hard to respect both of those interests, and I see our robot, and our bitey rat, and of course our porch... oh, how we love this porch!

We have space, and light, and shelter, and supplies, and friends... and it's such a blast to enjoy all of this.

Celine and James, putting their best faces forward, as usual.

Maria found the dry erase markers, which for some reason had disappeared.

Samantha, a figure of Maria's imagination, and ever developing artistic skills.

The heat waves come and go, but there's no holding back time. It's mid-October, and we are busy having fun, getting our pumpkins in a row, and ready for Halloween.

So much goodness awaits us!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Five Good Things

Good Things began as an intention... to purposely align my thoughts with my heart, to see the plenty, and recognize even the small things that make life good. I don't think I am a pessimist, but there are days, like Mondays, when there seem to be extra trials, more than the usual number of frustrations, and it bothered me to succumb to the disappointment, to feel the pressure of life's needling, goading annoyances, when there are far more pleasures, many more blessings in each day, things worthy of notice. It's been good... not only do I feel grateful, but I enjoy stating my gratitude, taking particular notice of special moments, small and big.

I have always been in awe of the wonderful things in life... the saves, the bounty, the opportunities and adventures, my dreams coming true... I often say there are still miracles, but we don't always recognize them for what they are. And it has been my nature, my instinct, to be quiet {This must seem very paradoxical for a blogger, I know... but if you could hear all I don't share!} Quiet, when I feel overwhelmed with gratitude, quiet, when I feel overwhelmed with grief, or sympathy. Quiet, when I am scared that too much goodness will invite tragedy, when freely and openly celebrating my happiness will incur some terrible consequence, fate evening out the good with the bad. Quiet, when I think that I am abundantly fortunate and I empathize with those who are in a hard place.

Something I've noticed... sometimes, when I am sad, or scared, when things really do feel like more than I can take, the good things I find are in contrast, or paired, with bad things... which in turn makes me feel ashamed, apologetic, self-censored. {Funny, how when I write things down, and turn them around in my thoughts, they seem less profound, less heavy.} And all of this means... I think it might mean, that I want to continue to state the good things, to resist the urge to go quiet, to stop apologizing in my mind... for speaking, or thinking, or being myself, or even for the times when it feels best to sit quietly, and just let the good, or sad, things stay in my own thoughts. And I am hoping that my first intention for Good Things, to align my thoughts with my heart, can be joined by a second intention: To trust my ideas, my thoughts, to freely express who I am and what I feel, the good, and the bad.

Good Things...

1. Home-cooked food... my own, my friends'. This bowl of faro came from Karen's MNO dinner of the night before. I missed being with my friends, and I had not eaten anything all the next day. Karen brought me this, and in eating it I felt a nourishing relief, like being hugged, and reminded of the love, friendship, support, laughter, understanding, and goodness of friends. In a bowl of faro? Really? Well, yeah, really. She's a really good cook, and a really good friend. And so are Diana, and Anna B. My plate runneth over.

2. Chickens. And eggs. And feathers. And all the messes, and passages, and annoyances, and hassles, and amusements, laughter, and grace that chickens bring.

3. Knowing when to let go. Whether it's a much anticipated adventure, or just a notion of how things should have gone, we cannot always get what we want, or do what we planned. The part of letting go I struggle with is when I am sad about being misunderstood. This morning someone posted this: "The bad news is: You cannot make people like, love, understand, validate, accept, or be nice to you. You can't control them, either. Good news is: It doesn't matter." I understand the first part, the bad news, but it's the second part I struggle with. So often, I want to let go, but it still matters to me.

4. Talking. And listening. When something matters, even when it's hard... it's so helpful to be with someone who will talk and listen.

5. Finding one rose, in a dry, hard, neglected, drought weary garden, so I can say farewell, I loved you.