Wednesday, April 04, 2018


Last night a friend and I texted each other our woes, in strictly vague and generalized terms, and then we groused a bit over the utterly vacuous, and violent, state of things, from the Tippy Top, down. Then we sighed, then we lol'd, then we agreed to get together soon, in real life. And then I asked her, "Did we fix something?" And I asked, because I felt better. I had been wound up and feeling hapless (I am not even going to Google that, because in this instance hapless means... helplessly unhappy, needing help, and essentially drained of hopeful sentiments.) I was feeling hapless, but with just that little exchange, with no resolutions or platitudes, I suddenly had the lightness of feeling some relief, as though a stone were removed from my shoe, or a leak was repaired, a puzzle solved. What a gift it is to have a friend... especially the kind that addresses you as Chica hermosa, or Honeybun, or My sweet baboo. The world may be upside down, but I've got a sweet baboo on speed dial.

My nerves and soul need soothing, calming. I need pure chamomile, straight, concentrated, unrefined. I am taking it in tea, in bouquets, in wholesale.

And yellow. Golden petals, sunshine hues. Anything that complements the new coats of blue paint on the workshop. I love love love the blue I see out the window from the kitchen sink, from the dining table, when I walk to the chickens, and around the garden. I pay it homage with egg yolk yellow ranunculus, and daydreams of towering sunflowers.

Alex is painting. Max is studying. William is figuring things out. Geoff is winding things down, and sees a break coming, any day now. Maria is registered for high school, and diligently preparing, happily anticipating.

And I am still sketching. Still playing with India ink and ratty-rats. I have stacks and books, and nests of ratty-rats, and other works. Works in Progress, attempts, sketches, rough drafts... I am still using the language of someone unsure, a student, an apologetic novice, and I don't know what to do with all these rats and other works. A long time ago, I dreamt of writing books, especially for children, but I wanted to illustrate them. I wanted to illustrate them, but I was no artist, and I was too shy or lazy or busy or doubtful to learn. Now, I am learning, and I think, "Maybe now I can write a book. Maybe." Only, I seem to have lost the muse for writing. Is it a muse? Or am I too shy, too doubtful, or busy? I have been trying. It feels downside up, not having a story, but feeling closer to having the pictures.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Some Pictures From My Phone

Next month is my anniversary of blogging, Chickenblogging. I will have been blogging for sixteen years. There have been 3,736 times when I had something to say, to share, to express, wanted to demonstrate a process, to show a thing that I found beautiful or sad, or absurd, and I published it in this space, my blog. Early on, the pictures I shared were all in my head, and I relied on my words to convey what I saw. My skills and the technology available, were limited. These days, it's all about the pictures. I love that I can share them, and I think using the blog as our photo album is probably the most compelling reason for maintaining my blog... I just enjoy keeping up our picture book, marking passages, reflecting on the days we are living. Of course, I can't talk about blogging without saying how much I've loved and appreciated comments, discussions, exchanges, friendships, visits, meeting up... we've been very fortunate to enjoy a whole spectrum of connections through blogging, and that has been priceless.

What got me started on this? Oh. Yes. I was about to share another batch of pictures from the last few days, and I thought, Why am I posting these? What do I have to say about this assortment of cats, flowers, and house-paint photographs? And it's quite possible I have no good reason at all, beyond the simple notion that we've had some nice moments this week, moments when I had to take a picture, because I wanted to hold a memory, an experience, faces, feelings, and remember them, keep them where I could revisit them, and feel thankful, connected.

Lately, I've been thinking... Chickenblog is real. There is no "fake news" here. I am not gathering your data for my spy network, and I don't try to grab your attention with sensationalized headlines, and pages of pop-up ads. I feel kind of happy that I didn't let this become a Yoga-Mom-Cosmetics-Fashion-Gossip blog with all sponsored content, and glossy pictures. I am even relieved that I am still coming in under the radar, doing my own thing, not corporate. Good or bad, I can enjoy that as blogs come and go, we are simple and sincere, and uniquely our own.

March 29~

Alex and I were visiting a shop with lots of salvaged funk and found treasures, and when I saw this sign, I was reminded of another Garden of Weeden sign, back in Massachusetts. I am always thankful to be reminded of my dear friend, and our many connections, and moments of synchronicity, and serendipity.

March 30~

Cairo Approves. That's what I am calling my interior design shop, or my decorating style. I bring it home, because I like it, then the cat checks it out, and if he approves, it stays. It's quite eclectic, as you might imagine.

Everyday I pass a nondescript section of roadside embankment, but now there's lupine growing there, and it's made the small section breathtaking. Traffic moves at a good clip on this road, and it could be easy to miss the wildflowers, which is why I am glad I decided to stop. I pulled off the road, and wound my way around to a spot above the embankment, where I could get out and approach the tall stalks of purple blooms. Cars and trucks whiz by at highway speed, and the meadow of wildflowers, is only a seven square foot patch, at most, but their beauty and resilience give me the feeling of being in the middle of a field, a broad and open space, and I can make-believe that the flowers grow on from horizon to horizon.

William, Grant, Paul, and Geoff, on the phone with Fred, at the International Banana Museum. Hello, Fred? Are you in? A bunch of us are about to split, and make our way to your appealing museum. We've heard it's the top banana of plantain museums.

They did it, too. They got into Grant's Bananamobile and headed east, to the Yeti in the desert, to iron giant dragons and insects, to a Salton Sea, and Salvation Mountain, and to the place where everyone knows Grant's name... the International Banana Museum. Their quest for the ultimate in singular fruit expression was epic. Really, really epic.

This guy. He's on his way to Tokyo, the sensei. When I get a chance, I would love to post some of the pictures from the Epic Banana Split. You could not write a wilder, nuttier send-off for a great friend and adventurer. We won't say good-bye... but, see you later.

And while the Banana Bunch was in the desert, I stayed home with my cold or flu, or whatever this ailment is, and boiled eggs, sketched, napped, puttered, and gazed at the new wall of gorgeous blue paint on our nearly completed workshop. I love that blue.

April 1~

It happened that many events were landing on the first of the month, including the celebrated return of the Banana Bunch, Easter, our cats' birthday celebration, and April Fool's day. And really, due to the extreme nuttiness of the Epic Banana Split, the greater part of the day was spent in recovery and mellowness. There was some artistic painting, some sketching, more napping, more flower and house paint appreciation, a burger dinner, friends dropping by, a little CnC talk, and a bit of Gaslight Gathering planning. All in all, this day was not bananas.

Chango is 18 years old, and Cairo is 2. We celebrated them with even more affection and indulgences than usual.

I just love how many pictures I can take with my phone.