Friday, September 18, 2020

Nice Blogs

September 11
September 13
Spider webs, and dew, foggy mornings, cats that want to snuggle, lingering in bed on cool mornings... I am not taking any of this bliss for granted. I promise, I was as selective as I could be, and I could have shared three times as many pictures of water droplets on gossamer threads.

We have been insulated, sheltered, from all but smoke haze. Each day of cooler weather, of fog, brings forth a sigh of relief, and mindful concern for all of the rest of the West. I don't assume that our reprieve from heat and wind, is because Fall is coming. We are as much in wildfire season as ever, and the real answers lie in adressing climate change head on.

Going all the way back to March, we spend more and more of our outdoor time in our front yard. Periodically, we hosted gatherings out there, and our Little Free Library has been out front for long while. But since the Stay at Home Season began, we do more and more in the front yard than ever before, from movie nights in the driveway, fireside chats, safe-distance breakfasts, and our own family meals, we are drawn to the shade of the Torrey Pines, the open space of our wide driveway, and the chance of seeing friends out for a stroll.
September 14
Classes and studies continue to go well for Maria. She baked banana bread last week, and this week she begins the section on pastas. It's not hard to add up all the things missing, but she manages very well focusing on what is working, adding other activities to fill in gaps. With Alex and Bambi, Maria has been practicing weight training, yoga, and ballet, and she's keeping up the D&D. Maria and William share lengthy discussions on language, etymology, literature, and culture. Max is waiting in the wings, eager to be her math tutor.

Geoff is programming from home, and continues to fill every waking moment with all sorts of activities, including a huge dive into laundry conquering, preparing for the arrival of a highly anticipated laser cutter, working with Alex on making a forge, cycling, and making designs for new front yard features. I am not sure when he rests, so I try to compensate for him. William is diligently managing several design projects, including a future house addition, the new front yard feature, and a giant cat. I wonder which we will see first, the new front yard feature, or the giant cat? Maybe both at once, and soon! He is also doing more contract work, 3D printing products. Alex, is working on making the small forge, he helped install a punching bag, and he's making art, as well as managing the narrative, and gaming for D&D. Bambi is taking online courses, keeping up her personal art projects, and interning, plus she is a phenom in the areas of organizing and motivating. If we had a larger room, I would definitely enroll in her ballet class! Max finished two actuarial math courses, and now his degree is clear and complete. I love when he leans close to me and whispers, "It's Tuesday. And. I have no school." He smiles, thankfully. He reorganized his desk, and settled into a project that he's visited off and on over the years. He is developing an entire deck of Adventure Time themed card for Magic The Gathering. He's also organizing MTG games, which means engagement and activity with local friends, at our large table, with plexiglass dividers, for safety.

I dabble, like always. I've probably spent most of my time sitting with goats and chickens, as well as cooking, and stargazing. I managed to crochet a couple of things, and then it got very hot, and I got, sorry to say, bored. That's ok. I usually switch crafts and projects, from embroidery to crochet to sewing, then printmaking. The one activity I have most missed, though, is sketching and painting. I don't know what has been my block, why I havent been able to do the thing I was loving so much. But. Maybe the block has cleared. Geoff and I were out riding, and came upon an old truck. I do love old trucks, but I couldn't have guessed how much I am inspired to paint them. On the same ride, I saw a pretty bunny. He was standing, alert, backlit by the setting sun, and then I wanted very much to get home and sketch, paint. I am anxious for it to turn out the way it's pictured in my head. I should know better, but the tension is absorbing, and a welcome distraction from news, and news, and news. Oh, and I am definitely heavily involved in designing, advising, and planning the new front yard features, and that is an excellent occupation!
September 15
Are you curious? About the the new front yard features? I've already hinted and described parts of it on Instagram. For a long time we've wanted to make a transition space between the street and our home, where we could extend the intention and mood of our Little Free Library, and Maker Events. We also have wanted to make a retaining wall for the slope that faces our house, and support the two, large trees. So! With help from Mike The Builder, we are widening the driveway with a retainting wall, and building a deck adjacent to the Little Library. Social isolation and COVID mean this project won't have quite the same purpose as we originally intended, but we are thinking forward. If we build it... progress, justice, and gathering will come!

Oh! And the zucchinis, onions, and sundried tomatoes, in the pan? Just so I don't forget the meal William and I collaborated on, because everyone loved it! We have loads of giant zucchinis coming out of the garden. I froze some, shared some, and we are eating lots! William cooks Tuesday dinners, and he's developed a yummy pasta dish with creamy (vegan) sauce, and steamed broccoli. This time he thought we should try something with squash, and I came up with sauteing onions with zucchini in oil from a jar of Trader Joes sundried tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, then adding the tomatoes, too. Now I think of it, I should cube and freeze more zucchini!
September 16
Sharing may be one of my most favorite things to do. And I have been very fortunate to experience some lovely, treasured, occasions of giving, and receiving.

Kim, the mail was slow, and we know what that's all about, but it sure was worth the wait. She sent me this hand made card, and inside was a fairy, with wings, and lace, and a gentle face. It's hard to describe my reaction, but I feel delighted, and loved, and inspired, and good. Thank you, Kim, for the warm glowing pleasure of being one of your friends.

Someone was "sorry" to have visited Chickenblog, and let me know about that in a comment on my last post. There was also mention of "nicer blogs," and that got me thinking about nice blogs and IG accounts, so I thought I would share just a few I enjoy. And if you are ever sad, or lost, or angry, silly, happy, creative, weird, bored, tired, confused, weary, hurt, healing, loud, quiet... you don't have to hide your feelings, or be something, someone, other than yourself. We are, you are, I am, complex, unique, individual, worthwhile, and good, in all of our moods, with all of our feelings.

Here are some Nice Blogs...

oonaballoona, by Marcy Harriell, is something I only just discovered yesterday. She has these Reels on Instagram, where she shows dresses she sews. I found myself thinking, "Now, why have I forgotten to twirl, to spin in a full skirt, with all of the colors and smiles, and love, like I did as a child?" She hasn't forgotten, and her effusive joy is infectious!

I have this frequent wish, that bloggers would come back to the Internet. Not influencers, not corporate spokespeople. I am talking old school, friends, neighbors, like No Ordinary Moment! She's back, and writing, sharing, reflecting. And I think we need more of this, more voices, and points of view, more original content, and ideas.

Speaking of original Calamity Kim is the original. I have said it before, and I will say it again and again: Kim is the hardest working and most generous artist, crafter, creative out there!

I admit it, I have become a plant lady, an indoor plant enthusiast. I have a ways to go before I am knowledable, skilled, worthy of being a real Plant Lady. And so, I depend on the kindness, enthusiasm and good tips of people like Garden Marcus, and the Plantkween, Christopher.

This mention is all about a voice, and supporting this young woman, Samara Joy McLendon, singer, student, and soon to be recording artist. She is very close to reaching a big goal, and I hope we will all be enjoying more of her music, soon.

Over and over again, Alexis Nikole, Blackforager, has me saying, "I did not know that." And then smiling, with her, when she comes across something growing, something edible, something good, where she is foraging, cooking. She's excited about the world around her, and it's very nice to explore with her, through her posts.


beadgirl said...

Aw, I'm happy to have found your blog!

gretchenjoanna said...

Those are the fattest fiejoas I have ever seen... but I know, you live where they are happy. Do you have more than one bush? I was just reading that they do better with a pollinator. Hmmm.

The zucchini-tomato-etc dish does look yummy! but then, most of your post is "yummy" in one way or another, as usual. I'm glad to see that though there is smoke in the sky, ashes don't seem to have sifted heavily onto your plants.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

BeadGirl, thank you.
It's sweet of you to say so!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

We have loads of them, and I think I should have thinned the crop, because they are actually smaller than they have been in other years. Still, sweet, though. I wish we could share more of them! We have four bushes, and so maybe that does help them. We are very fortunate with our bees and other pollinators... they love the rosemary, oregano, and lavender we have growing around the yard.
GretchenJoanna, thank you for your *yummy* praise.
No ash! Only haze. Gah, I do not like seeing myself as superstitious, but the fire anxiety is bad! We have been so very fortunate, and I am thankful, as well as worried that things will change. Worry won't help, I remind myself.
Are you growing zucchini? You got me thinking about that pasta dish, again.
Happy almost-Fall!