Monday, November 14, 2022

Some of The Rest of October

I am backblogging... Inserting posts that I am writing now, into the timeline, because the gaps of missing posts makes me anxious. I stopped posting after November 13, 2022, and it wasn't planned, and the time-off was perhaps needed, or maybe... I don't know, but now I wish I had kept up. Anyway, I want to go back and add some highlights, some particular moments that later I will appreciate. So, that last post was essentially from October, when we were watching Maria settle into her fist quarter in university, and progress with our ADU was really moving ahead.
October 11, 2022. Alex and Max, on the foundation. And I had to double check this because I was doubting that we could have had a blank foundation and then framing in the same month. But that is absolutely accurate. With luck and a good crew, framing a house is relatively quick. Everything else up to this point had been long, slow, complicated, slow, laborious, frustraing and slow. Then, suddenly, we had something solid and it seemed rather miraculous. I believe I was not posting about the ADU at all, because I wanted to do it all justice and writing was still hard (post drunkladydriver... it's still hard, honestly.) Anyway, "news" of all of this was not forthcoming, and now (February 2024) it's nearly complete, and that is both quick and pretty hecking long. I must apologize: Writing in the future, about the past, is awkward, and I am not even trying to make this as plain as it could be.
October 14, 2022. I remember, very clearly, that I was visiting Maria as much as I possibly could, except for when I delibertly stayed away so it didn't seem like I was visiting as much as I could. And despite my visits, she was leaping! On her own time, Maria was exploring campus, visiting centers and events, and getting to know her roomates, and taking on all manner of new experiences. It was wonderful to hear about, and special to witness. I felt like, as a mother, I could not have asked for a better start to college for her.
October 19, 2022. A bedroom, an office, a full bathroom and a powder room, a laundry space, kitchen, and livingroom. A front porch is coming, which may or may not be enclosed. What else? It feels like the biggest question was always, "What is it for?" We had ideas, and hopes, and those were always changing. I guess the answer that works best is to say, "For choices." We could rent it out, or use it ourselves, we can have guests, we can have room for our work, for our interests (which are many.) The city has long been in a struggle to add more housing, so they have been making accomodations for homeowners to add on granny flats and accessory dwelling units. Our family of seven adults, with home offices, will always appreciate the extra space.
October 20, 2022. Somewhere between Cardiff State Beach and Dog Beach.
October 24, 2022. I love looking into the Bird House at dusk, when the sky is softly lit, and the kitchen is glowing. It catches my breath, and I recall all of the times when I wanted to be home, to have a home. Looking at the view from the entry of the new construction has a whole new feel, and I am only beginning to consider the possibilities.
October 25, 2022. Mending.
October 28, 2022.
October. How is there nothing of Halloween? I cannot fathom. But here is some of Maria's art.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Still October

Just pretending it's still October, that I am still participating in the "Picture a Day' activity on Instagram, which I didn't actually keep up with. No need to explain, right? Okay. It's October and here are some moments we enjoyed on the fourth of October, when Ruth and I met Maria on campus.
This was barely Maria's second week at University. Now, she's finished mid-terms and is working on final projects. She's even enrolling for her second quarter. She is happy. Seriously. She likes her classes, and her roommates, and walking all over campus, finding new spaces, making her way around new environs and experiences. And, I should add: I am happy, too. There are still moments when I have a sudden start because she isn't in her room, or I imagine her walking to class, clear across campus, in the rain. Those are not easy moments. But, then again, I am terribly fortunate, too... we see eachother at least a couple of times during the week, and she comes home for the weekends. It's so lovely to have this balance between discovering independence and new opportunities, all while retaining our connections, our walks, talks, shared interests.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

3 & 4 October Photo a Day

Morning Things... must include a cat sleeping on my legs or between my ankles, or across my knees. And sometimes it's two cats. And we know, us cat keepers, that the rules say "do not ruffle or disturb," and so morning things include one extricating oneself out from under cats.

Other morning things, in recent months include visits to the beach, walking and looking for something new. Looking for something new is the game I play to keep motivated and engaged. I can't lie... it was easier to walk all day, in Paris, Amsterdam, and I'd do the same in Madison, Wisconisn, or Portland, Oregon, easily and gladly in the Redwoods, Limekiln, the shores of Lake Michigan, around Whitefish Bay. Closer to home, I depend on my game, and I look for things to photograph, to keep me moving forward. On October 3rd, the morning thing was taking the trail from to top of Torrey Pine State Park down to the ocean.
Cozy is the prompt for today, and I thought of my quilts, and how happy I am that I learned to quilt. That I made these, and more, and have them to remind me of hours hand sewing, of colors, and babies, and picnics, and the way my mind contentedly reflects on loved ones, how I make prayers for their well being, and imagine days to come when we will be together. I get lost in dreams, wishes, hopes, and there must be something binding, something that gets held in the threads. I feel all the good and promising urges and yearnings, and they feel cozy, warm.
Another cozy offering... a birthday dinner celebrating Bambi. She and Alex prepared ratatouille, and garlic bread loaded with mushrooms, and for dessert there were orange cranberry scones. We are going to reinstate week-long birthday celebrations, so that Maria can join in the fun when she comes home.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

2 October Photo a Day :: Everyday Moments

Last week Maria asked for a refresher lesson on making corn tortillas, and so we made some together. Today we turned to making flour tortillas, which she has less experience with, and they are a bit harder. Oh, but they are so delicious.
Cooking, in a house with seven, is an everyday activity. We all cook, and share some delicious meals together. These flour tortillas were rolled up with the beans I made this week, and so that was lunch. Cooking... 2/31 for October's Photo a Day!

Saturday, October 01, 2022

October Photo a Day :: Hello

"I am so glad I live in a world with Octobers," Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables.

I'm sure I have shared this quote, often, before, but I would be remiss not sharing it today, the first day of October. And it even feels like the first day of a new month in early Autumm. It's not hot, and the marine layer is making it seem possible for rain to be in the forecast (it isn't.) It was cool enough that I was lured into cooking a full meal yesterday, and so dinner was hearty, flavorful, and I am probably even more excited that there are leftovers.

Well, look at this... apparently I am blogging, again. All credit to LaShawn Wiltz, on Insta, who is hosting a Photo a Day prompt for the month of October. I would also like to acknowledge Quiana, Harlem Lovebirds, for sharing the link in her stories. The theme is "Fall," and there are 31 prompts, and since I am running out of steam and motivation to keep making beach walk reels on Insta, it occured to me that this could be a low pressure renentry into posting. Low pressure. Low expectations. Super chill. Don't mind me. I am just trying to psyche myself up, here.

The first five prompts are... 1. Hello 2. Everyday Moments 3. Morning Things 4. Cozy 5. Current view

I am literally taking a deep breath, letting it out semi-dramatically. I am also waiting for photos to load from my phone onto the computer, and I am anxious about how long this is taking. My small, yet daunting, plans may be derailed before I can begin. Well, in the meantime, I can just keep writing.

I figure Hello could be a self portrait, something to introduce myself. So I brushed my hair and went out to sit with the goats and chickens. Why? I don't know. For some reason, probably vanity, I act on an impulse to believe that hairy, wild eyed goats can only help me look better. Or, perhaps cute, farmy animals will raise my appeal, give me some charisma, charm.

Why is the computer being so slow? No. Wait. Okay. Finally. Pictures are loading. Yes, I am blogging in real time, a meaningless point as I am not publishing in real time, and it will be a long time before reader traffic is coming by here, again, anyway Still, I am here and keeping it real, folks. It occurs to me, I may not remember how to get pictures exported and then inserted here. Sigh.

The self portraits? I don't like them. Somewhere, in my head, is a lengthy, likely self-depricating, essay on aging and invisibilty, but I think the bottom line is I am very uncomfortable with how I look. Ada wasn't really feeling it, either, and I couldn't get her to look cute next to me.

Hello! This is 1/31 for an October Photo a Day Challenge. I am Natalie. I love to take pictures, to paint, to embroider, and mentor in STEAM activities, like robotics, arts, and crafts. I love language(s), walking, swimming, cooking for lots of people, listening, and writing. I don't like having to choose a "favorite," because I have many favorite things, in many categories, and they are always changing. At the moment, I would consider "The Martian" my favorite book, and movie. I cry everytime I watch The Martian. I have learned to love riding a bicycle, and I am learning to love other things that once seemed improbable. I love following the planets, and observing constellations.

Guess what?

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Hmmm Okay Interesting

uh... this business of posting from the phone is harder than it looks. Like, much much harder Either i will skip doing this or I will muster a high tolerance for errors, disorganized pictures and some jankiness. Seriously... dont judge too harshly because formatting and the user interface, wow, so frustrating.

In an order that can only be described as "Not how I want them..." I present: Pictures from our trip, First Day! Maria and I are in Europe It's amazing. We have begun in France, we stayed near the airport the first two days based on Geoff's brilliant insistence that we begin slow and easy, to shake off jet lag before facing Paris. It was a masterful plan! More on that, later.

Paris is amazing: Big, loud, bustling, disorienting, beautiful, enchanting. I have a lot more impressions and details I look forward to sharing, and we've been here barely two days. And as compelling and wondrous as this city is, our first delight was meeting Gala, the grey lady of our Gare Lyon area apartment, with Amelie vibes. Say, "Salut, Gala, ça va ?"
She has the loudest purrbox motor and welcomed us heartily, affectionately. Ah, Paris, merci beacoup for such a comforting, sweet introction I think we are going to enjoy a wonderful time.