Tuesday, February 01, 2022


It hasn't been strictly all work and no play for Geoff. Between meetings, trouble shooting bugs, writing code, and anticipating big developments at work, Geoff stole away for some more moments of sheer glee, operating the work platform he rented. He even got me up there. It was worth it for the view, especially looking east toward those back country views! Geoff wanted to take me to the height where there is a panorama view of the ocean, but I settled for the view between the trees. I think Paul was the most daring, and his curiousity paid off. So besides being indispensable with replacing the 100lb pound window, Geoff made as much use of the lift as he could think of, and I'm glad he made some time to play, and enjoy the novelty of this opportunity. We jokingly debate which heavy equipment rental we will do next.
Here is a whole other view, not from our driveway. On our way to dinner, Geoff took a detour to see the blimp. It must have been headed back to the hanger in Carson, after the day covering the golf event at Torrey Pines.
I am fortunate, and can garden year-round, and I imagine that in places where winter has been too much, already, this must sound wonderful. It is wonderful, and also relentless! I think, without planning or intending to, I gave myself a year off. I've done so little in the garden. The first year of lockdown put me in overdrive, anxious to get the most out of our growing seasons. Then, by the second year I couldn't do it... physically, nor mentally. When I felt apologetic about not sowing seeds, or pulling weeds, I would rationalize and remind myself that gardens need to rest. Nature can restore herself. It wasn't as though nothing was growing, or any harm was being done... other than things looking very scrappy. Since the new year, I have been a leisurely gardener. I have been slowly, gently putting bulbs in beds, and pulling up the more egregious weeds. I trimmed the oregano, which had grown and died back, grown again, so many times, it was a shrub, a privacy privet. I planted peas, lettuce, and a dill. I have more flowers to plant. I am studying all sorts of fine leafed plants that may or may not be chamomile, or carrots, or more weeds. At least they're green. I believe in the correlation between happiness and gardening, so I am glad to be busy in the dirt, even if it is slow, sporadic, random.
Inside, things are not as slow. Not as slow, at least, where Mike is working. He's almost done painting the bathroom between Maria and William's rooms. And the ceiling in the hall, where he installed the ladder into the attic is all done. Geoff ordered plywood, so we can make a floor up there... something strong and easy, mostly for safety. And. What else... the big window is in, and Mike will be trimming it up on the inside. And, then I think it will be time to tear out our bathroom. Do I sound cool, calm, and collected? Haha! Every tile I chose has arrived and is waiting in the hallway, along with the safety bar, I ordered for the shower. Yesterday, I thanked myself for all the work I had done earlier, clearing out and organizing our bathroom cabinets and drawers. Those efforts made packing things up much easier. Only a few things remain, and when Mike says he's ready for demo, I am ready, too. Ready, but nervous! It's been a nice bathroom, except for the tile disentegrating, and the huge tub no one wants to climb in and out of. It's so nice we can update things in there. And the job is in very capable hands. I shouldn't worry. But I worry. I'm not even sure what I am worried about. It's going to be loud. And messy, but I can't really be concerned about messes, because Mike is so mindful and keeps things as orderly as possible. Maybe it's because we have so many things going on, and I am keenly aware that I am only barely (if at all) keeping things straight in my head, checking all the boxes. Ok. I am just going to stop here. And take some deep breaths.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, friends. And today is Imbolc? I love holidays, celebrations, symbolic gestures to honor life's seasons, and rhythms. I read the loveliest account of the significance of this day for an Instagram friend. It made me happy for her, and wistful too, because I have such a longing to be feel connected with traditions, with rituals, and ceremony, and celebrations. Happy Lunar New Year, by the way! Happy Birthday, Karen! Happy Birthday, tomorrow, Aunt Liz! Does anyone else feel a little melancholy, a little bittersweet, emotional? I think if I were to Mother myself, I would be sending me to bed for an early nap, then schedule a nature walk for later in the day.

BirdHouse Notes: It's Groundhog Day Eve! For the record, I am still grappling with the "indisputable" fact of Christmas being over, yet somehow it's the first of February. The consensus seems to be that we should make pancakes tomorrow. Lots of them. What we would really love is to have a pancake dinner, and invite everyone over. I suppose we could have varieties of toppings, like all kinds of chopped fruits, nuts, and different syrups. If it can't happen, just as I imagine, this year, then count on us... in the near future we will have a Groundhog Pancake Festival, and everyone will be welcome! February 1, 2022

Bird House Notes:Happy GroundHog Day! I bought an electric griddle, especially for the occasion. It was the vision of hosting a pancake party that sold me on the idea. In fact, when we do have that event, and can invite positively everyone, I might need a second griddle. As for today's celebration, I think it's going to be a mini feast of roast chicken, stuffing, butternut squash, salad, green beans, and cranberry sauce. And something outdoors... like planting more flowers, and maybe we can have a supper outdoors, with a campfire burning. I would love to share this day, if only virtually, with friends. Lately, we have seen a steady succession of sad, and difficult events, and it compels me to gather, to hold hands, and hold fast to hope, to love and kindness. Wherever you are, if you can, do something gentle and uplifting, hold fast to some kindness, for yourself, for those around you. I am thinking of you. February 2, 2022


Nicole said...

Happy Lunar New Year and Imbolc - a friend mentioned it yesterday and I had never heard of it before.

Wow, so much going on at your place. But those views! Absolutely gorgeous. I love gardening but I'm not sure what I'd think of year-round gardening. It sounds lovely but also, woof, a lot of work!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Happy Lunar New Year! And Happy Groundhog Day!
We got the views... I am still pinching myself. But you are so right... year-round gardening is a lot of work! It makes me happy for the people that love gardening, like LOVE LOVE it. I love gardening, but I can't pretend that it's something I want to be attached to all of the time.

Janece said...

Paul had so much fun coming up to play on the big machinery. He said he did put a little fright in your heart with his (higher, higher! antics). Sorry 'bout that.

(I like that you are dropping your Bird House notes into these posts -- I usually catch them before they "expire" -- but just in case not, I can find them here. Brilliant!)

My mom had an electric griddle during my growing-up years. I remember using it a lot for making English muffins for 4H. It was, as I remember it, such hard, grueling work. (I did win a Blue Ribbon for them at our fair. I was so proud of it and I've never made them again. lol.)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I love that he was having fun! It really felt like something too good not to share, so I am glad he could get into it like that. Leslie brought Simon and Bex, and they went up, as well. And yeah, standing on the ground, there's a point when seeing someone go up, up, up gets increasingly uncomfortable and then it hits a point where it's awful! lol... I feel like our primal instincts can't trust rational things like "physics," and "engineering," and we suddenly emit high squeals of panic and discomfort, our empathy on high alert!!

Yay! I wish I had thought to do it sooner, adding the Notes to posts. I have them all saved up, but I can't believe how many years I've kept that up, and now they are in a file that's like digital shoe box, and too daunting to manage. I am glad you appreciate my newest method.

Wait. At first I thought it was heating up English muffins that was "grueling work," and I was trying to calculate how many muffins you were dealing with that would be so difficult! But, you were actually making the muffins, and blue ribbon winners, too? Wow! We need a demo of that! Yum! But, yeah, making enough for all of 4H, could be intense.