Friday, May 25, 2018


We haven't left, yet. We haven't finished packing. I still have delusions of grandeur about how much housecleaning I will accomplish before our pre-dawn train departure. We won't be out of the country, or even this time zone. But, I am already homesick. Or, at least, I am feeling anticipation. I will be homesick. I will want Chango to sleep around my head, and talk to me in the wee hours. I will want to see Cairo carry his ratty-rat around the house, and curl up at Geoff's feet. I will want to cut new bundles of sweet peas, and watch the peaches for signs of ripeness, catch them before the birds. For several happy months I have been in a giddy state of happy anticipation of traveling to Portland, of introducing the boys to moss, waterfalls, tree shaded streets, and countless other PNW delights and joys. I have been imagining the Oregon coast, late night pajama parties with my mommy, sleeping in the redwoods. It will be a wonderful adventure... I know it. So, why? Why am I already a bit homesick?

Oh, Cairo. How will I last without your withering look of judgement? Geoff, if I find a riverside cottage, with a huge workshop, will you bring the goats and chickens and cats, and all of our friends, and meet us there? If not, then I will be home, soon... I miss you, already.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,

I am delighted to realize that this is the anniversary of my blog, where I have been writing and sharing photographs, staying connected, making new friends, and enjoying exchanges with people, around the world, for 16 years! I have been the lucky recipient of generous expressions of support and encouragement, good advice, and even hilarious spam. I've met fellow bloggers, travelled to meet some, and welcomed others in our home. There have been gifts, received, and given, and a few promotional giveaways, drawings for prizes, silly games, pointless posts, and effusive ones, too. I struggle with all that I am not, with what I wish I were, but all of that aside... what I mostly have here is a lovely collection of good memories, and reminders of the best days, and moments of overcoming life's twists and turns.

I painted a love letter to my mother for Mother's Day. And I am bringing it, and her grandchildren, to her. I'm also thinking of bringing this new crochet project I started. I had three works in progress sitting on my bed... all appealing and satisfying crochet projects, and still, I had a compulsion to learn a new stitch and pattern, so I looked up "shell stitch blanket." It was a hard start at first, as all new enterprises are, but now it's gotten to the satisfyingly challenging point, and I don't want to leave it alone while we are away. Really, in anticipation of this trip, I should be cleaning, planning, packing, and tying up loose ends... practical, adult-life loose ends, not actual yarns.

"What would you like for mother's day?" may be my favorite part of the day, when possibility and small favors are mine for the taking, and I was delighted to sit with Geoff, snipping the expired chamomile blossoms onto a plate, watching his hands beside my own, seeing the flowers float down... because they did seem to hover and fall very slowly. And all I want is to see tiny bowls and little cups full of dried flowers. Because they are pretty.

And Maria coded a game, and made the art, too, of a tea cup that catches falling chamomile flowers. When you have 100 blossoms in your brimming cup it becomes tea. It's the first video game to bring me to tears. How did this happen? As though I won a prize, and I get to be here, now, seeing my children become, and live and grow. Every stage or phase, each chapter has been my favorite, my dreams coming true.

Here is the banana bread Maria baked.

Happy Birthday, James!

What I think, when I remember this quick visit from James, Robin, Sean, Janell... we really need to have a party! They were bringing Alex home from celebrating James' birthday, and we had what was like a whirlwind show and tell, squeezing in ideas, new developments, like the workshop. And my head spins in a happy and sparked way, so that I am determined and eager to circle a day on our calendars for making... we'll make cheese, and dough for pizza, which we can bake in Charles' portable ovens, and little viking tents, and let's get that forge built, craft, laugh, games. It's friends, like these, that make you feel inspired and motivated, and connected. I'm pumped! We're due for this kind of gathering. Let's do this thing.

Maria, Bambi and I joined Alex's art class for the final session, when everyone's work gets shared and critiqued. And here's another fine example of this marvelous community we live in, this charmed life we enjoy... we can crash this class, and spend four hours in the company of some of the sweetest and most supportive people I have ever known. I take every chance I can to slip into that class, learn, observe, see art.

And here's another fine example of this marvelous community we live in, this charmed life we enjoy... I think I could repeat this sentiment everyday. This time it's for the pleasure of sitting through a haircut for William, visiting with Daniel, our dear friend.

I love India ink...

I love India ink, until it smudges, and then I experience a moment of existential crisis and despair. It's temporary, but real.

Oh well.

So, the cliche is... a picture is worth a thousand words. And the thing is I want to write those thousand words. I want to tell the story behind every loaf pan, and sweet pea petal. There is a memory, an anecdote, or a whimsical daydream to go with any of these photographs, but the day and hours are slipping by. It takes so much time to format the images, and then type in each one, and writing, of course will take even longer. I need a better office chair. My neck hurts. I need to run errands, write notes for Geoff so he'll know which can holds goat food, and when to collect eggs. I gotta clean house, and pack to leave, and double-triple check tickets and reservations. I should maybe probably for sure make one more reservation, unless I really believe I can drive straight home from San Francisco (it's not impossible, but 10+ hours on the road is an easy way to blow all the rest and peace gained on vacation.) I am just going to leave these pictures up, and hope to come back, check in, and add notes and observations.Done. I'm not sure I'll be able to blog from the road, but maybe I will be able to edit this post... we'll see. Good enough.

Oh... and any suggestions? Must see spots in Portland? San Francisco? Along the central coast?