Friday, October 23, 2020

Can You Hear Me Now

Time to experiment.

I cannot figure out why images aren't loading in the usual fashion. Blogger has its own system, with size options. And I am petulantly considering giving up on my own system of formatting and writing code, and just giving this way a go. Wait... one more thought: If I select "Original size," maybe it will post it as I formatted and exported the image, and not the actual original, full size. Ok... more experimenting.
Yes! Yes yes. Happy dance. The bonus being, I figured it by myself. W00t W00t. Please, someone, tell me you are W00t W00ting with me, just a little.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Back to It... Now With Images

Hello! It's me, Chickenblogger. I've been on an involuntary hiatus, because my computer expired. It was 8 years old. Is that old, for a computer? I never can tell. Geoff can tell. When he confirmed that my Mac was dying, I felt some small disappointment. Let's face it, after a year like we've all had, it takes more than a dead computer to rattle us. After resigning myself to not blogging, to not editing photographs, I practically forgot all about my desktop, and it hardly registered when Geoff mentioned ordering a new one. I wasnt trying to be ungrateful or dismissive, but Geoff, in his line of work, or helping the kids, says a lot about "computers" and "placing orders," and none of it is anything I am much help with. And now, it's been a whole month... Let's face it, after a year like we've had, days and weeks meld and blend, and time passes in ways that are difficult to grasp. A month has come and gone, and I have a very new, very beautiful computer. Geoff set it up, too. Thank goodness. It's my job to monitor how it's working, what isn't working, and so, here I am: Blogging, again. It's been weeks since I last posted, other than the experiment with the phone, and I am easing my way into familiarizing myself with this new machine. Let's see how this goes.

I've already forgotten what I have had to say about our front yard, so I may be repeating myself. We are widening our driveway, adding a retaining wall, putting in a deck, walkway, mini-deck, and eventually opening a walk-in gate by the Little Free Library. All of this has been in our plans for years, as part of our Make and Share activities. It makes less sense in the midst of a pandemic, with all of us socially distancing, but someday we will dance on the deck, and serve coffee and cakes, and hug, and sing. Someday. And all of these plans and improvements will be wonderful for these purposes.

Mike and Geoff are standing between the two Torrey Pines, and discussing the width of the deck. Mike is the best... we feel so fortunate to know him, to have had him do his amazing work here. This time, more than ever, I can see how lucky I am to have ideas, plans, creative inspiration + Geoff to help me figure out the practicalities and engineering, William and Alex to contribute design ideas, and then Mike to execute our vision(s). As much as I would have loved to contribute to the project, with hands-on help, I have total confidence in Mike's skill and artistry. I even gave him a box of odd bits to add to the steps going up to the deck... shells, stones, some fossils, glass. I want to introduce a bit of flotsam to the flora and fauna of this new garden vision, and I know he will do something good with my ideas.
Liberty, and Pepper's beak. I took Liberty's picture, mindful of the fact that she has aged a lot since spring, so have Pepper, Trillian, Lilikoi, and Emma Thompson. They are the dowager hens, now, and they seem to know it. Initially they were feisty and ruffled about the Chiclets, then the Happy Campers, and they were even laying eggs, but over summer they slipped into retirement, stepping back, stepping down, quietly. They go to roost early, and wander off to remote corners of the garden. They don't patrol and peck like haughty hens anymore. They are so much milder, my stately Chicas, and I am sentimental about them, nostalgic, too. It's such an honor to hold a chick, to shelter her and watch her grow, to appreciate her dramas, her close-calls, and special moments. Every hen has been unique, dear, sometimes maddening, often funny, and I love them, each and every one.

If there is one thing that surprises me most about what I am doing with art, it is my choice to do hard things. I used to avoid challenges... no buildings, no mechanical, hard things, like vehicles, or perspective, no starting over, or trying again on the same subject. One failure meant "never again," rather than I think I can do better. I was intimidated. I think I was lazy. I knew they would be hard, that they would turn out poorly. None of that has changed. But I don't feel embarrassed, as much. I don't worry about being bad, being an amatuer, or "wasting time." I wish these insights and perspective had come sooner. I figured it with crochet much sooner, and I have made loads and loads of poor, and useless things, but now I can make pretty things that I use, and enjoy. I am happy to say that I have made a good stack of "bad" art, lots of sketches, doodles, do-overs, paintings that will never be hung, paintings that showed me what does not work, what could work, what makes me want to try again.

It's almost noon. Just this little bit has taken up hours, and I thought I was going to put up pictures from September 25 through this morning, but I only have this one day... and I am done. Maybe I just want to go back to my painting, to sitting with the chicas and goats. Other times, when I have taken a blogging break, it felt a bit torturous, and I was thinking about it all the time, missing it. This month slipped by, and I hardly thought of blogging. The world has changed, for me, for you? I just know that things feel very different, very heavy, and someday I might have perspective, I might understand. Maybe, I don't ever want to understand. I keep asking, Why hate?Almost every bit of news, every horrific story of racism, of crime, of greed, of corruption, raises the same essential question in my heart, Why hate? We are thirteen days from an election that is a choice between love and hate. There are details, of course, issues, sides, policies, values... but it does come down to love or hate. And I am not sure I am ready to see the outcome.