Wednesday, October 28, 2020

More October Days and Nights

October 14

We are still figuring out what Halloween will be in a year when we can't gather as we have before, when passing things between people is not ideal. One thing we have settled is bringing decorations and cheer outside, out front, where we can share it as much as possible with neighbors and friends. William brought out Pumpkin Head, the jolly scarecrow he made last year. And my order of remote controlled candle sticks arrived. Besides our lit Jack-o-Lantern friend, and floating candles, we are working on something really big, and keeping it under wraps has not be easy for me. It's kind of purrfect, and hopefully we can get passed the challenges that have been arising. In the meantime, we've created a magical atmosphere, with lights and blithesome touches.

This is the Before shot. All the debating about what to do with the kitchen is settled. We are having Mike paint the walls. Now that I've taken everything down, and prepared for paint, I can see how very badly these walls need paint. We've been here 11 years, and this kitchen hasn't seen fresh paint since it was built, which was at least 10 years before we moved in. Anyway, this relieves my consumer guilt, and I no longer feel indulgent and decadent. My mood is more well, it's about flippin' time!

We moved some kitchen operations outside, so we could still eat, and maintain social distancing. Mike masked up and stayed in the sealed off kitchen, and we kept outside, or out of the way of the kitchen and painting. Only one disaster ensued: We forgot to turn off the sprinklers. Maria and I were seated at the picnic table, surveying our clever set up, when the automatic sprinklers went full blast, super soaking us and our temporary kitchen. Oh, and Geoff was away, and the on/off for the app is on his phone. We laughed a lot about this.

It took me much longer to get the kitchen ready for painting than it took Mike to paint it! Rather than experiment with colors we settled on two things... 1. Something complimentary to the red of the cupboards, so blue. 2. We know and love Arrowhead Blue, just like the outside of the house. It's a big change from palest green, which is just what I needed. And we love it. It's surprising, but we find it both energizing and soothing. And we love how boldly it frames art, and furnishings. William and I have been diligently, mindfully, putting things back on the walls. I always laugh at myself for thinking that I need to record how everything was before, believing I will do things just as they were. We've changed many things, though, and that's been good, too.

October 15

Have I mentioned the coffee table book William and I are going to have published? It will be entirely comprised of photographs of Feynman asleep on chairs. In chairs. He sleeps in them, sunk in, melded, luxuriant, blissful. The Physics of Sleep, by RP Feynman Cat, A study of the feline in recline.

It's been hotter than summer. I planted the annuals, in the one section of the new garden where I am giving way to flowers and seasonal color. The California native plants I will put in the ground as soon as the heatwave breaks. I brought home manzanita, sage, and ceanothus. I have to own, it makes me feel virtuous and pleased as can be to have this chance... for one thing, I love manzanita, sage, and ceanothus. Those three plants bring me to the local foothills and coastal ranges of California. If I could add a redwood, I would. And if I am successful, if they take to their new home, then we can hope to see more birds, and the plants won't need irrigation, nor fussing over. I love the red bark of manzanita, the tiny bell flowers. I love the smell of sage, its properties and sentiment, the memories it recalls. And ceanothus, in bloom, is a balm for all the senses, and heart. Happily, the nursery was well stocked in annuals and native plants. And now we have pansies, snapdragons, scabiosa, and salvia all tucked in and looking pretty.

October screenings have included, Arsenic and Old Lace, Over the Garden Wall, The Wizard of Oz, and True Stories.
Tia Thalia's paintings made the cut, of course, and are back on the walls. Her still life is always especially appropriate this time of year, with a traditional pan de muertos, and the calénduas.

Bambi, Alex, Max, and Maria, October 17.
It hasn't been too difficult for us to stay home, and possibly we have taken it a bit too much to heart. We finally determined to visit a beach, and couldn't. Our beaches are packed! Close to home it was overcast, even foggy, and yet I have never seen the beaches as full as they were this day. We were astonished. Geoff just kept moving south, until we were all the way to the Glider Port, and even there we had to go clear to the north end of the unpaved lots before we could find space to park. Here we got above the low clouds and fog, we could see clear to La Jolla Cove, over the Scripps pier. Hang gliders were drfting leisurely in the sky. Maybe on a weekday, in the morning, we might have better luck getting on a beach, to the shore. We'll try, again.

We are fortunate to feel close to nature, and open spaces, close to home.


gretchenjoanna said...

Arrowhead Blue is gorgeous! I have come back here several times trying to say something less generic than that. I love it so much.

That blue on the picnic table is a different color, isn't it? A little more toward aqua...?

I waited so long, you have a couple more posts published in the meantime. I need to catch up!

Ruth said...

The blue in the kitchen looks amazing. Good choice.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Oh, Ruth, thank you so much! I think you have excellent taste, and sweet decorating skills. Don't doubt for a moment, if we weren't in this COVID season, I would have had you over to consider our options with us! I do love how it turned out, but it's also a relief to get positive feedback! I think we managed to liven and freshen up the room, and that has made me feel good. I am so glad we didn't choose painting the cupboards!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I get that! It doesn't sound generic. I read things I write and ask, "How many times can I say "pretty," "happy," "thankful"? I love Arrowhead Blue, too. And I only hesitated, because I worried the same color all over the outside, then more inside would be "generic," lol.
You have a good eye. Alex used a blue in his studio, and when we dragged home the picnic table, I used it to restore the weathered wood. And yes, you're right, it has an aqua vibe. It's a Behr paint, too: "Nocturnal Blue." I even did one stripe of it on the kitchen wall. As much as I love how it looks on the table, it was too vibrant inside, too artificial. It's funny about color, how subtle differences make it right, or all wrong.