Friday, October 08, 2021

Rainy Friday, Sunny Forecast

Our cat, Cairo, slipped out the front door this morning. He is always employing some tactic, or other, to make an escape. Saki and Feynman are happy, thankful, to be indoor cats, but Cairo fancies himself a woodsman, an explorer, and naturalist. We know better. Our great outdoors are no place for a floof nugget wiht soft feet, and inflated confidence. There are too many coyotes, bobcats, and fast vehicles for any small pets to be safe. I followed him around, in the light rain, as he gingerly picked his way around shrubs, and damp leaves. He chewed on blades of overgrown grass, and sat beneath the woodpile. I wasn't in the mood to chase him, so I just quielty tracked him, knowing that a big truck was due to arrive at any minute and the sound of four tires on the driveway would most likely send him running to the front door. My calculations were accurate. And I had a brief, yet worthwhile meditation on raindrops, stacks of beautiful smelling piñon, the soft light of a fall morning. Mike arrived, his work truck following the curve of the asphalt was muted, slow, but enough of a concern that Cairo dropped low and scurried to the door, and in.

Rainy day breakfast for the goats. I didn't ask the goats to stand in the rain to eat their hay, and instead served them in their shelter. Ada, staying out of the power struggle between young Grace and Tasha, looks unfazed. Smart goat, staying out of the fray. The issue was settled, breakfast resumed. The sun will reappear tomorrow, and I think the goats will appreciate that.

Our favorite handyman has returned! New projects have commenced! Plans that have been turning in our minds for months, are taking shape. I ordered tile, you guys! And. More hints? A bathtub, two sinks, some faucets, and I went and picked up a tankless, electric water-heater. What else? We had already ordered a door, and two windows. And good thing, because they took months to arrive. And, up until yesterday, we were scrambling to move stuff. Move trash out, and rearrange essentials, and dismantle a few things, in preparation. Mike does great work, and he wastes no time jumping in... whatever our vision, he smiles, nods, and says, "Ok. Sounds good." Last year, he gave us improved outdoor space, and a fresh look for our kitchen. This year, some bathrooms are getting tlc, which they are much in need of. Since Geoff is away, I am the boss... kidding. Well, not, but there's no bossing to do, and I can rely on Mike to do everything well, and safely. He even picked up hardware for the door, and I did not have to think twice about choosing, and that was priceless. I know Geoff is going to like what he sees when he gets back here. I know we are all going to be appreciating the home improvements coming to the Bird House. Is anyone going to ask what color tile I ordered?

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Dropping In...

It is the highlight of any day when I get a text message from Maria. Between classes, after school, she lets me know of any changes in her schedule, or if after school plans are developing. Sometimes I get a picture, often I get sweet expressions, and amusing details from her day. I cherish these interactions we share. And I miss the teachers and administrators that used to be on campus, the ones that took pictures and shared them... lots of them! Stricter regulations about visiting school campuses make it harder to make connections with what's happening at school, to feel in touch. The social media glimpses made up for it. Thank goodness for the teachers and staff that we stil know from when her brothers were students, from before social isolation, closed campuses, and safety concerns. (I appreciate the safety measures, but I miss the relaxed and broader community feel our schools enjoyed.) Thanks to some dear people there, including club hosts, mentors, and favorite teachers, I enjoy the pleasure of seeing Maria recognized and supported, I know she has caring individuals that look out for her, and her peers. So, when she has unscheduled hours, she can be in a welcoming space, to study, or chat. When she participates in clubs, after school, she will be around friends that are like family, who go way back. Alex, and Max, even William, were good students, participants, and built good will with the school, which has been a nice legacy for their young sister. I am especially thankful for Book Club, and Sue F., crafts, book events, that welcoming space, and these elf ears.
This door is like a large screen, where the cats can enjoy their subscription to the Wild Life Channel. Today's feature, Lizard in the Sun! Their tails swished in rapt fixation. Oh, wait... I can share the video!
Saki and Cairo, riveted by nature.
On Monday one of our trees was being like a postcard for fall color, full of honey golden leaves that swayed in the breeze, and then that massive storm howled through, and the leaf show was blown away! Now those leaves, a bit battered, are groundcover for the goats and hens. It's our one annual brush with a classic fall scene, and even though it's small scale, I love the day when we have a pile of leaves!
I saved a few for indoor decorating, too. Most years they are so dried out by the time they drop that they tend to crumble, but these are still pliable, and they smell pretty. My head is full of Pinterest saves for leaves... paint them, dip them in wax, press them, make a garland! Naturally, all of these appealing ideas come to me when I have pressing matters to attend to, adulting chores that cannot be put off for later. *sigh*
One last look at fall color, this time as eggs. And now, to tackle some of those adulting matters!

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Just Clouds

Yesterdays's clouds continued to build and move, and the sunset painted them in a breathtaking array of colors and moods. In every direction we turned, the sky was spectacular. Geoff and I went out on our usual ride, but at the half way point the darkening eastern sky lit up in fantastic bolts of lightning! So we made a bee line for home, and I probably squeal-screamed about every other minute, then pedaled harder. We could see the storm was moving fast, and we really hoped to be faster! At home, we found Alex, Max, Maria, Bambi, and William watching from the backyard. The storm was still staying to the east, and some of us were trying to film the lightning. Maria captured some action, and we thought that our entertainment would move along, as these sort of rare storms do. Instead, this storm got bigger, louder, and lasted until pre-dawn, with lots and lots of rain, and wind. We ate our dinner on the porch, for maximum show value. One strike was so loud and bright, even Geoff screamed. The cats circled around our feet, Grace-goat pealed long plaintive bleats, while Tasha kept under the shelter, and very quiet. I imagine Ada was huddled with Tasha, and the chickens dozed contentedly. I've seen those hens sit in the wide open through hairy weather and look untterly unruffled. Our candlelight dinner was like a merry holiday. This morning, Janece and I compared notes, and she says Paul watched a weather segment, and learned that this storm made a double pass, traveling out to sea, gathering energy, and coming around, again! I have never been through a longer lasting, more dramatic thunder storm in San Diego County... this was Midwest level, or Sonora, or Guatemala! If Geoff gets any weather in Madison, he should be a bit acclimated for it. I wonder if our weather will head out east. I hope it holds off until everyone is under a good roof, and in the mood for lights and action!

Monday, October 04, 2021

Autumn Skies

Happy Birthday, Bambi! Bambi's Mom, Robin, was sharing that Bambi has asked for birthday sushi since she was four years old. This year was no exception, but there was a twist. Her favorite restaurant is no longer open, sadly, but we may have a new favorite, where everything on the menu is vegan. Ordering was a bit confusing, as we weren't sure what all of the no tuna, no crab, no shrimp items were, but once we were served... there were no disappointments! Everything looked beautiful and tasted amazing. Purple black rice? They call it "Forbidden." We only know it was delicious. Thank you, Robin, and Gordon, for including us in this wonderful celebration.
The setting itself deserved some photos, too, but I was too busy enjoying the good company, good food, and welcome outing. We all want to return. I will order the California rolls, again, as well as the Eggplant No Tuna Bites, and another order of Believer, please.

We came home to a really close-up visit with one of the neighborhood owls. We hoped he would hoot for us. There have been at least three regulars, calling at dusk and dawn. I love hearing them, and seeing them is special, too.

And a little noise for the new lights, please! Geoff just finished running a cable, and hanging up the lights. He hand picked each bulb. The man loves lighting! I am so lucky. We went with blues and oranges, in a mix. After Thanksgiving, we will switch out oranges for reds and greens, I think. Some of the bulbs are actual neon, and have surprisingly intricate details, like flowers and messages. It's all LED, so it takes very little energy, and we don't keep them on too late, so Nature can have its nighttime.

And today, speaking of Nature, the sky has been giving us a show, since sunrise. We even had a brief thunderstorm, with a steady shower of warm, plump raindrops. I went out to sit with the goats, pretending they needed me, because they don't like water and loud noises. But really, I think they were fine, and I was the one that was appreciating the company. They are silly and sweet, and lift my mood.

Pretty soon Geoff will be visiting Wisconsin, again, and taking my heart with him. Life is full, yeah? His Dad is recovering from some difficult setbacks, and we hope Geoff, and Holly, can help him rally. We are all going through it, but I will say it anyway... things are extra hard these days, expletive expletive expletive pandemic. (How do people still manage to debate this issue, and deny the actions that could have long since reduced the terrible numbers around COVID? For the record, the maskless, and unvaccinated, have recked havoc in the lives of loved ones, and it makes me angry, and very sad.) I will be so relieved to hear good news, and have Geoff home, again.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Some Fun

All I need to start a new blog post is a picture of a cat, or a chicken. Any cute cat, or scratching hen, will get me going, and I can wax poetic for days. So, here we have Sakamoto in a box, looking adorably innocent, and I can't help bringing his little mug to the world, for all to see. He helped himself to the box sent by my Mom, and all of the soft and delicate shawls and rebozos, which are, fortunately, protected in the bag. After he finished inspecting and approving these contents, he took an all day nap on the coat Mom sent Maria. Good thing the beautiful coat is as black as kitty. And Mom, it fits very well. Maria only wishes it wasn't 80 degrees out!
In other news... Maria and I left the house! She's in a book club at school, and the librarian arranged tickets for us to hear Anthony Doerr (All The Light That Cannot Be Seen) sharing his latest novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land. It was worthwhile... more than, actually. If Anthony Doerr is appearing at location near year, I highly recommend you attend. Some of his events are virtual, and Maria and I are thinking of tuning in, again, because we enjoyed his presentation so much. Normally, I would say more, but 1. I really hope Maria will be writing something about this experience. 2. I really hope you have a chance to see him for yourself.
Continuing with the book theme, as well as turning out for authors, independent bookstores, artists, and friends... I made my own event of bringing home some more books. I ordered these from an independent book store and normally I would have them shipped, but this time I purposely chose to pick them up. It was to get me, and hopefully others, out of the house. It worked! Geoff and I had an almost spontaneous date, visiting The Book Catapult, where I got to see Susie Ghahremani's mural and finally bring home the book she illustrated, She Wanted to Be Haunted. I also got my hands on Phoebe Wahl's book, Little Witch Hazel. Geoff and I walked around South Park, popping into Bad Madge... sweetest welcome, there! I found a perfect party favor at Gold Leaf, for Bambi's D & D birthday night.

And then we somehow found our way to Pop Pie! It's been a long time since we've enjoyed this pleasure so we made up for lost time! We shared lunch... the creamed corn, and the vegan curry pie are so good! Then we made another order and brought home Pop Pies for everyone! Max exclaims for the Classic Chicken Pop Pie! My horchata was wonderfully refreshing on a hot Autumn day.

Wow! That's a lot for one little weekend, and it's still Sunday. I wonder what else we might get up to before it's Monday? What are you up to?