Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This Week: Winter

Whenever I think of posting about "weather" and "winter," then including the actual temperatures, our highs and lows, I get embarrassed. I think of my friends in Massachusetts, or up in Oregon, in Norway, or England. I think, now, they know what cold is! They are going to think our "winter" is nothing at all. And they'd be correct. Our "winter" has been nothing at all. We have had 90s, 80s, and regular days of 70 degrees fahrenheit. Local friends post pictures of their children in the surf, or swimming in a pool. Most nights I've slept with an open window. It really has been more like a late spring, unseasonably warm, and terribly dry.

Well. This week it decided to be winter, with some rain, even. And for us, it feels really cold.



We had a high today of 55 degrees. Wimpy, right? I know. But we forget to wear sweaters, we never unpacked our beanies. I am too lazy to put on lace-up shoes, and go out in flip-flops. I am acclimated to 74 degrees, from just 2 days ago, and now we are getting frost advisories, but by the time I remember how to put on a sweater, and wear socks, we will be in another heatwave.

Ah, geez. I know. None of this can sound too terrible to anyone still shoveling snow, or facing more dark gray skies. In truth, I love this week of winter! I really want it to last long enough for me to get it together to bake some bread, wear one of the twenty-five shawls I've crocheted. We love the rain! We love the cats piling up on our feet, roasting butternut squash, putting on gloves, watching clouds, in the big, wintery blue sky. Gosh, it's cold, we sure hope it sticks around! Now, I am going into the kitchen to finish steaming potatoes, and red-cabbage. We are fixing a hearty dinner, to brace ourselves for this week of winter.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Little Lights, and Other Means

Light, and hope, signs of intelligence, or at least true compassion, any means of saving our hearts and minds... that's what I look out for, and want to kindle, fan. These days, though. Oh. Truly. Just too much. National news, tragedies, bad weather, and bad governing... any of it is more than enough to keep us on edge, unnerved. I don't say much.. I don't want to add to anyone's plate, or take away anyone's peace of mind, so I paint, or crochet, or watch my hens. I listen to my children laugh, or read aloud.

I make my bed.
I floss.
Yes, flossing, and bed-making.
And yoga, too.

In the midst of some of the most trying events, and longest days, when there is a great deal I am struggling to manage, I have turned my priorities around, and am clinging diligently to little things, simple details, the very minor things I have tended to leave for last (meaning: completely abandon.) I am embarrassed to admit that, at long last, I am devotedly doing very, very basic tasks, and feeling accomplished about it. Anyway, it's what I am doing... a routine of personal undertakings that give me even a teeny sense of having done a good thing, and then I move on to whatever other pressing things I can manage. Strangely, I haven't seemed to be any less "behind" on all of those bigger, daunting tasks... I wish I could say I am getting ahead, but. Yeah. No. I am not getting ahead, but my bed is made.

This week got harder, though. Some pressing paper work came in the mail, a call reminding me about dental procedures that need completing, we are waiting to hear from the school Max applied to, and Maria was just visiting her high school of choice and there is plenty to manage and consider with that, and, and, and, and, and I am leaving plenty out, because I don't want to add to anyone's plate, which is why I don't say much. But... I'm feeling it. All of it. And if anyone wants to commiserate, or share their most best tips for how they live fabulously, adulting, coping, soaring, even getting ahead, please, feel free to share.

Confession... if I'd used the time I've spent reading Top Ten Tips to A Cleaner Home on Pinterest boards, to actually take out the garbage and shred the junk mail, I might be one step closer to being a fabulous adult. Happily, at least one good tip I read, somewhere, has made a practical impression on my cotton-headed noggin: Breaks. Housework bores me silly, and the tougher assignments, like figuring out pressing paper work that arrives in the mail, or cleaning my desk, drain my brain and soul. But the tip I read, suggests taking things one at a time, and enjoying breaks. Wash the dishes, then read an article. Sort the mail and feed the farm, then cut some flowers, plant some seeds. Fold two tons of laundry, then paint, or crochet. Instead of feeling like cleaning will mean a long day of drudgery, that everything on the list is an equal priority... I take it in small bites.

Oh my gosh. I have not suddenly seen the light and am earning a gold star for domestic competence. I would be so mortified if someone could make an algorithm to display every Chickenblog post, in the last 16 years, when I have had an epiphany or lightbulb moment about how to do things better, start over, try harder.

Breaks. That's it. That is my latest scheme and method for facing dirty dishes, another junk drawer disaster, or epic bureaucratic paper work chore. I just resign myself to going at whatever is most pressing, doing it as best I can, then enjoying an Instagram spree, or second cup of tea, or painting another ratty-rat. In fact, writing this post is my break/reward for clearing out an entire garage closet, cleaning the kitchen, and finding the thing that made the fridge stink.

Recent events make me want to reach out, to ask, Ça va? Are you okay?

Ça va, Chango?

And when the news got to be too much, I painted more...

Ça va, ratty-rats? So many rats.

So many good moments, and little lights, to hearten us, and those breaks to recharge our minds and souls.

Ça va, friends? I know I could use some encouragement. How about you?

I am looking for light, but these two... I think they'd appreciate it if, after making their bed, I would remember to close the curtains.