Friday, February 02, 2018

Making a Holiday Jolly

Some years it is celebrated subtly, almost indiscernibly, and some years we go all out. Groundhog Day is our holiday, our make-it-what-we-will nonevent celebration of the nonsensical. With gaiety and peasant glee, we set aside rationalism, empiricism, and turn our thoughts to the whistlepig, cheeky Marmota monax, and ask Hey, little fellow, how are you? What do you see? By checking in with our fellow North American mammalian, we are attesting to our place in nature, and observing the cycles, patterns, well-being of our world, and being peculiar specimens ourselves, we naturally add favors, gifts, activities, special baked-goods, fancy dress, and song. (We are still compiling the particular songs that will comprise the official songbook of the day.)

Groundhog Day is observed either quietly, seemingly as though overlooked, or with tremendous exuberance and merriment, but it never incurs stress, demands over-exertion, debt, or undue pressure. Groundhog Day is best observed with time out of doors, it is a fitting day to make home improvements, and dig holes, it is a good day to seek, and create, poetry and art, to meditate on the beauty that inspires us, and though we hardly know what a real winter looks like, we do appreciate seasons, and our place in nature, and so we look to this day as a pause in our busy lives, when we can make merry, be light, and recognize the long and fascinating history of people relating to the natural world, our imaginations, and the traditions that come and grow, evolve and blend, and make our lives interesting, meaningful.

Happy Groundhog Day, friends. We send you best wishes for laughter, natural beauty, reflection, comfort, creative expression, and a chance to break from routine and feel wonderful about this moment, and the seasons ahead.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Super Rare Blue Blood Moon Situation

Here's the situation... I was going to make a quick post about the blue moon, about dried roses, pretty gifts, playing with gouache paints and how hard it is to be a bumbling art novice. It was going to be simple, brief, and technically routine. Nothing challenging in putting together a blog post, because I do them all the time, have been for nearly 16 years. But, once in a blue moon, I hit a technical glitch. Today's glitch... a pop-up that tells me I don't have permission to preview my own photographs. I Google the issue, find what seems like a plausible description and solution, and an hour later, and loads of aggravation, and I am still locked out of previewing my own photographs. Seems like this blue moon always rises when Geoff is locked away at work, in the depths of crunch mode.

(Excuse me a moment while I kick the ground, and find something to smash, while crying futile tears of frustration, then try to recover my dignity and accept that I am both an art novice, and a tech novice. The struggle is not so rare, unfortunately.)




Life goes on.

I forgot what I was going to say.

Did you see the super rare blue blood moon?

I made everyone come outside to see it with me... totally worth it.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Taking Cover

January 26
Anne and Fred and I had a belated holiday, celebrating Thanksgiving and Chanukah, birthdays, and new plans, new destinations. They made dinner, and I came with dessert, and though we were sorry Geoff couldn't join us, we did enjoy our evening together.

(A hen-cake! It's been so long, but I still got it!)

January 27

Saturday was my designated "Really Really Get The House Clean; Company's Coming" day, and so of course that was the first day of the heatwave. I reasoned that watering the garden would be imperative, because of the forecast for high temperatures, and dry winds. (Yes, the Santa Anas are back, and so is the Fire Weather Warning.) Anyways, I would just like to state, as a reminder to myself, that my "Really Really Get The House Clean; Company's Coming" day was a lot more enjoyable when I rewarded my efforts with small, regular breaks. Dishes Done... visit the sweet peas. Another load of laundry spinning... read an interesting article. Cleared off the porch table... watch something funny on the Internet. And so on. I was flitting from one disaster area to the next, all day, even past my bedtime, and a lot was accomplished without me feeling utterly beat.

Another nice thing to appreciate is how readily and willingly any of the four WAMMO will pitch in, and take initiative. Maria and I were bringing things to her room, and realizing that some changes were in order. She was happy to clear out things she's ready to let go of, and when I pointed out to her that her shelves are adjustable, she took over figuring that out, choosing a new configuration, getting tools, and making the changes herself. And while she diligently tackled that task, I kept her plushies and books company, and may have dozed off for just a few minutes. The nap was my reward for letting Maria be self-reliant, and not intervening. Good mom.

Saturday's clean up, was in anticipation of our Sunday Work Day, when we wanted to get through more steps for enclosing the carport. What it mostly evolved into was a day long open house, catching up with family and friends, celebrating Geoff's birthday, and mine, too, a little bit, actually, and also making carport progress. (I'm calling it #boomnerdspace2018, for our BoomNerds Instagram.) Fred and Anne came by, and we were looking forward to birding, especially seeing hummingbirds, but the wind, dry and hot, was really coming in, and so no birds. Instead we talked about some of our Making endeavors, and art. I did not resist intervening, this time, and begged William to please share his models of flintlock pistols and swords. His first pistol was hand sculpted. Now, he's working on a new piece, and he's able to 3-d print parts that that he can add to the pistol as removable furnishings, instead of parts that are glued into place.

Geoff and Alex made a run to the hardware store, for lumber. Paul, Janece, Amira, and Rae came. Ruth arrived, with carrot cake! And salad. And gifts. Holly was over. And Leo, too.

I decided to bring out my gouache paints. I wanted Janece, Paul, and Rae to share in my new-found love of playing with gouache. Rae, who painted Kiki, has used these paints before.

Confession: I did not need to "bring out" the paints, because they were in the heap of stuff covering our dining table, because when one "flits" from disaster area to disaster area, cleaning while taking regular breaks, there's a strong likelihood that even a very obvious mess will somehow get overlooked.

Admission: I seem to be increasingly immune to mortification, and was surprisingly unfazed by my shockingly cluttered table.

Conclusion: The paints, and other supplies, were on hand and we were able to play!

Addendum: Did anyone notice, I wonder, that I wiped down the front door, and matched about 400 pair of socks?

For me, one of the most dreaded tasks in #boomnerdspace2018 project was moving the five hundred pound metal cabinet. It's seriously too much of a beast to be easily moved, and if it tipped and fell... I shudder at the possible results.

Let's get to the good part, where I breathed a huge sigh of relief: It's done! They used a hand operated ratchet, a "come-along", and with William, Paul, Geoff, and Alex working and overseeing, the job was done, and without blood loss. Win. Win.

At the very end of the day, I brought my chamomile flowers, and birthday bud vase, (Magnolia Market) from Ruth, upstairs. I lit candles, and did just the briefest bit of bedtime yoga, then crawled into bed. It couldn't have been nicer.
January 28

Oh, this morning's sun. And the wind. And the "fire weather warning." Even Cairo couldn't bring himself to face this forecast.

I left the drapes closed, and just inhaled the chamomile.

For today... I will be flitting from this to that, then rewarding myself with small, regular breaks... like blogging, and taking cover from wind, heat, and other disasters.

Happy Monday, friends. Do what you can, and when you need to, take cover!