Saturday, October 08, 2016

Mini Making :: Two Hundred Eighty Three

Sometimes we make great towering things, like a Laputa robot, or a pneumatic tentacle robot. Sometimes we make mini-mini things, like apothecary jars... Love Potion #7, Snow Dragon Scales, Mummy Dust. Today Maria was in a miniature land, making little bottles of this and that, and binding a teeny spell book, too.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Friday Favorite :: Two Hundred Eighty Two

We have a routine, and it makes Friday a favorite day of the week. Max and I meet for breakfast, in the commons. His last class of the day ends early enough for me to get to campus after Maria is dropped off. Then he shares Calculus and physics with me, all the way home. Max is a remarkable teacher, and I love our ride together. Centripetal acceleration, Newton's laws, defining vector lines and a point in a three dimensional world, even physics puns.

And congee, which for me is like arroz con pollo, especially with the cilantro sprinkled on top. Congee, and Calculus, physics, and Max... my new favorite way to start the weekend.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Oh Woe, Dryer Blues :: Two Hundred Eighty One

It's official... not only will our dryer not ignite and heat, but it has at least four other fatal flaws threatening its very existence.

Dear, old dryer of unknown origin, we salute you. Thank you for drying wet clothes, for making a horrid, but instructive buzzing sound. We forgive your haunting rattle, a symptom of your condition, as was the high pitched whistle. Sorry, we didn't notice your loose hinge... I thought you just preferred having your door shut with extra emphasis and effort. Your broken lint filter was never a barrier to my appreciation of your gifts to us. Today, you move to the carport, so our neighbors can pay their last respects, for an indeterminate time. You may become a robot, or an art piece, or a combination counter space and cat shelter, but only incidentally, because we don't have a truck to haul you away. Rust in peace.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

{Take care with pets, and small children, around appliances. I think Cairo looks silly and adorable in our expired dryer, but I know he could get into a world of trouble if he were accidentally caught in one while it was operating. A good friend shared a very sad story about his kitty, and a tragic dryer accident. I feel so sorry for what happened, and I appreciate his concerned remark about this issue.}

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Portland to Portland

It seems like only last week we were in Portland. Portland, Oregon. Maria and I filled up a whole week with really wonderful Northwest adventures, family time, and city trekking. And like I say, it feels like all of this was just last week, and next week... next week we will be in Portland, again! Portland, Maine! And Boston. And Concord. And Salem, and points between!

This is a dream coming true, years in the making, with an added, generous boost from Ruth. And when William heard my plans, he sighed so wistfully, I had to see if we could add a ticket. Don't you love it when, otherwise complicated, plans work out smoothly? That's how this trip has been coming together... smoothly, and full of promise for some truly exceptional experiences and opportunities. We've had terrific luck with timing, reservations, with the warmth and kindness of friends... Jennifer, Lauren! It seems the path is wide open for a wonderful adventure.

Normally, I don't like to advertise our plans, but the Northeast is all new territory for us, and I keep thinking how insightful and helpful my friends are, how many good tips we might miss if we don't say something now. We will see Concord, and the Granary Burying Grounds, and we've read about the Peabody Museum. We hope to see Plymouth, the Miles Standish Cemetery. We would be remiss if we didn't catch some historic sites of the American Revolution, I know. Am I missing something in New Hampshire? We drive through when we go to Portland. Are there Maine stops it would be a tragedy to skip? I'm thinking of stopping at Fort William's Park, Maine, and finding a farm where we can eat local noms!

Portland, Oregon gave us such a promising glimpse of Autumn colors, and now I am pinching myself, thinking this is only a dream... we are actually going to see New England in the fall! For a month I've had Boston and Portland added to my weather app, and I check it twice a day. The closer we get to our departure day, the more gleeful I feel. The temperatures are dropping! We are going to freeze, but happily! I have no sense proportion... I feel seriously compelled to write notes to myself: Do not pack flip flops (standard daily wear, year-round). Do bring a real coat (So Cal hoodie is not a coat.) What about gloves? Long underwear? I cannot say that I've stopped wishing for snow, even though snow would be crazy on a lot of different levels. I cannot say that I haven't stopped imagining that we get snowed-in, no flights going west, but miraculously, Geoff, Alex, Max, and Bambi can come to us, so we have a white Christmas together, and snowshoe through the woods. It's true, I can make fabulous trips, in my mind.

As for reality, we have plane tickets, and places to stay. We have reservations for a visit to Orchard House. Maria is reading Little Women, and just finished Once Upon a Flock, a gem of a book, with New England color, and plucky hens! Remind me to find our copy of Make Way For Ducklings. It's the one book about Boston that I feel most familiar with, and I keep meaning to brush-up. Should we get on a ferry from Portland, visit an island? Is it true that apple cider donuts are very yummy? How could they not be? I can't wait to compare all that I have imagined with all that we see and do.

Here's a personal bit... ever since I was about ten years old I've had strong notions, and yearnings to visit three places: Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Maine. Wisconsin and Hawaii became significant and dear destinations for me, with strong ties and meaningful connections. I've known, for nearly forty years, that someday I would love to, have to, visit Maine, New England, the Northeast, and I feel lucky and stirred to be about to fulfill this dream. Maria, William, and I are counting the days, and full of wonder.

Today Feels Like Fall :: Two Hundred Eighty

Our Mediterranean climate is mild, lovely for year-round gardening, and even winter beach days, but when it comes to finding changes of season... well, we have to look more closely, appreciate the subtlety, and savor the moments, which may be quite fleeting. Today feels like fall. The market had this display, and the air was cool enough, breezy, too, so that I sighed nostalgically at the sight, recalling my childhood and the sheer thrill of seeing pumpkins, gourds, pretty corn, and funny squashes. It recalls caramel apples, and apple cider, the imminent arrival of adored holidays, treats, celebrations, and comforting home traditions. Here come jack-o-lanterns, roasted pumpkin seeds, candle light, moonlight, long nights, shadows, the call of owls, an extra layer of something soft on the bed, socks on morning floors, hoping for rain, looking for colors in the trees. Tomorrow it may heat up, again, we may feel a wistful longing to go out in search of a maple forest... but today, we can feel fall, close to home.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

And close to home, we brought fall into the chicken run. Leaves and pine needles, all swept up and tossed in a heap for the goats to chomp and the chickens to rummage through. Our direct mulch-compost system has been a brilliant success. The farm yard gets a no-cost ground cover and nesting material, and eventually, the garden will be supplemented with a lovely amendment.

Ta-da! I am so tickled about this layout app I added to my phone, and this, plus our new Instagram account, has me fairly giddy with delight! I am slow to the party, I realize, but I am enjoying the fun.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Cosmos in the Garden :: Two Hundred Seventy Nine

the universe seen as a well-ordered whole.

an ornamental plant of the daisy family with single dahlialike flowers. Native to tropical America, it is widely grown as an ornamental

I love how simple a definition can make something seem, and how vastly complex the reality can be.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Benevolent Order of Makers :: Two Hundred Seventy Eight

Back Row: William, Amira, Geoff, Alex, Maria~
Front Row: Grant, Paul, Janece, Natalie

That's a wrap! We asked our friend, Mike, to take a picture, before we loaded robots, and gear. Maker Faire San Diego, two days of sharing some of what we do, is over. Max was a big help, too, on Saturday. The days are long, busy, full, exhilarating, engaging, and we always leave with new ideas, new plans, new friends, and excited for next time.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Connection~Inspiration~Maker Faire :: Two Hundred Seventy Seven

Our first visit to a Maker Faire was six years ago, when we went to the Bay Area Maker Faire, in 2010. It was there that we first enjoyed the connection and inspiration that happens between makers, between curious minds, and that was the beginning of taking what we love to do to a new level that includes outreach, like developing group projects, mentoring, tinkering, playing, testing, designing, sewing, cooking, building, and sharing. It's about being open to opportunities, to trying and maybe struggling, even failing, but trying again. We love Maker Faire events, because it puts us in an open place where we can share and exchange, where we hope to spark new ideas in curious people's minds, and enjoy the same gift from all of the amazing people we meet at Maker Faire.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.