Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Take Care and VOTE

Is there really anything else I can say? I am heartbroken over the senseless losses, which I was going to mention, but then I realized that this list is too long, and growing.

Take care. I think of my family, my friends, and all I want is for them to be safe, to have a chance to see their dreams come true, to enjoy adventures, to make something good. I think of neighbors, the cashier at the market, my hygienist, and I want them to be alright, too. Really, everyone. Everyone deserves good health, support in hard times, encouragement when they are close to achieving goals, or when they are too close to giving up. I don't say we can have all of this, all the time, but I want to live in a place and time when racism, sexism, classism, hate, violence, oppression, and cruelty are unacceptable: Period. Respect and kindness, education, clean air and water, healthcare, and leadership that echoes the compassion and generosity I see in my own family, in my neighbors, and friends... that's what I want. I am keeping my expectations high, and I am voting.

Only when it's clean... the cats love to drink the water I have set out for painting. And it doesn't matter if I use a tall jar, with a narrower opening, because they just dip their long arms and paw the water out. So, part of my routine includes waiting for them to come around to lap up the water before I shoo them away and start painting.

Chickens and goats love pumpkin. And it's good for them. I like bringing them their own pumpkin, because of how happy it makes them, and because they peck at it, carving their own Jack-o-lantern, which can get pretty spooky looking. Fall treats are growing all over the garden. We have citrus ripening, and guavas all ready to pick. We even got some decent pomegranates this year, which is delightful.

Eggs... not so much. The hens are molting, and they're in the autumn of their years, so we may have seen the last egg from this flock. Can I confess? I'm not sure I'll be getting chicks, not anytime soon. We've been plagued by stick fleas, and my poor hens suffer. Maybe I feel like I am in the autumn of my years, too. Being a city farmer takes oomph, and I don't feel perky, the way I did 16 years ago. Part of me feels sad about this, and part of me anticipates some relief. What I am really hoping is for a second wind, hopeful sparks of inspiration, and the eradication of all fleas, so that in a year, or two, the idea of raising baby chicks is irresistible.

He looks so attentive, like he might be hanging on my every word. I think Chango found his second wind. He's going upstairs, again. He stopped doing that all summer, and I thought it was just another sign of his years. But we saw him actually dash up the stairs, and even crazier... he bolted out the porch door, like a youthful, mischievous cat. He didn't go far, but seemed to revel in his outdoor excursion. We haven't seen him make this move in a long time. Chango El Cubano is 18 years and 7 months old. He's such a dear old man cat.

Daniel came to school with me. It was so much fun sharing watercolor class with a friend. We met Daniel when my cousin lived with us... back in 1997, and Daniel would cut Gabe's hair, then he started cutting William and Alex's hair, sometimes he'd cut Max's hair. It's such a nice part of being settled in an area that we can look back and recall connections with people, and appreciate that those connections grow, evolve, endure.

Daniel might join our class when we take a trip to the Zoo. In preparation for the field trip, we had a lesson in sketching animals. I've tried to describe the discomfort of that lesson. At home I can sketch, but slowly, and with the option to erase, erase, erase. In class, Kris and Stan prodded us to be quick, work in pen, loosen up! I don't know which is the worst obstacle to confront: Lack of skill, or Pride. I felt so uncomfortable and cringy watching my misshapen creatures appear. But. Maybe it was fun? Maybe, with more practice, this could be alright? When we placed all of our quick sketches, with paint, on a table, the funny animals, the wild lines... well they looked good. They looked artful, expressive, sincere, and comfortably weird.

Trillian, our bird on a wire. She roosts there. I don't know why, or how. I've seen her, and company, roost up there through storms, with hard wind and driving rain. Mad hens.

This hollyhock sprout went to my friend Yanina. I hope it's happy being transplanted. I made a rash choice and just dug it up. It's got plenty of root, and certainly seemed vigorous enough to handle the move.

From my room, I can see the street where Yanina lives, and I often take pictures of that view, the neighborhood across the way, the back country, and distant peaks.

And from my friend's street, we can see our Bird House. I asked Maria to turn on our balcony light, so we could see our home, through trees and the marine layer, at sunset.

After we brought the hollyhock to Yanina's, we went walking, window shopping. Friday night and out with William, Alex, Max, and Maria. We had no agenda, no plan, and it was one of the nicest outings of recent memory. It may be "too soon," but the shops are putting up their holiday sparkle, and I am just fine with it. I am more than fine with the windows, and displays at Anthropologie. I know their store employees assemble and add to many of the creative installations in the store. This one delights me. Gah! The birds, the mice... oversized coloring pages! And deer. I'll be back to take deer pictures, smell candles, gaze at plates, and sigh, more.

What's he building in there? I think WAMMO can recite about every line of Tom Waits' spooky recording. "What's that tune he's always whistling? What's he building in there? We have a right to know." We know, this time. Geoff's building custom shelves that hold storage containers. Floor to ceiling, inspired by a set-up Adam Savage has. We know he spent his entire weekend, blissfully engrossed in designing, welding, sorting. It's not a playhouse for the children. We crack up about this song, and we love our new workshop.

Building, baking, making art, finishing homework, folding clothes, connecting with friends, gazing out windows and enjoying the views... we are doing these, and more. Take care, friends. Take care, and vote.