Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stranger in strange lands

It's been over two weeks since coming home from Europe. Everytime I leave California, I panic beforehand... then when I'm away, I always get a little wistful and homesick for it.

Coming back and walking around Oakland felt strange. At first I was totally elated that I could now talk to anyone and everyone. I know the birds, the trees... the people I buy pastries and coffee from in the morning. It's been so good to see friendly, familiar faces! But going back to the daily grind has admittedly been a bit of a shock for me. I felt a little better when Beth told me earlier this week that getting depressed after a trip is a fairly common occurrence. Hearing that was such a relief.

It's like needing flowers- needing enchantment... enchantment on the daily, somehow?

I 'spose one does come home wanting to make your little corner of the world more magical...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Now I'm on the hunt for a sketchbook to take with me on my trip, and have just spent the past three hours on the internet looking for it...

Wow, self.  Was that really necessary?

It has to have:
- Thick sturdy archival paper that will take heavy ink
- A pocket inside one of the covers to shove stuff in.
- Nothing spiralbound, tapebound, flimsy
- No moleskine
- No weird tooling
- Mostly ixnay on someone else's art on the cover (definitely not on the pages)
- Unique in some inexplicable way, but... also,
- Small enough to fit into my back pocket?

Maybe it ain't here.'s there.

Manifest, sketchbook!

Away with you, travel butterflies :(

Monday, July 6, 2015

Band of the Summer
Take walks, smell flowers, follow bees.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Time to time travel

Wedding season, graduations, Mother's Day (not to mention the occasional baby shower), ... I'm realizing all over again what an insane month May is at work right now.  Not that I don't like busy. I kind of love and thrive on busy. But when it gets to be consecutive days with no let-up, it all catches up with me in the end. Which is what's happening now. I've been a total couch potato.

Here are some things that have been getting me through:
(If you've ever played Settler's of Catan or thought you'd want to come back in another life as an experimental archaeologist....)

Two gents and a lady work on building a medieval castle somewheres in France. Most people working on castles had mad skills and actually traveled around quite a bit.  Watch what they do with the little they've got. Amazing.

Same sentiment, same three people- only this time, they're working a medieval farm with a beautiful Tudor cottage.  My favorite is Ruth. You can tell she's totally in her element (except when she fishes for eels. Hehe) 

What I noticed when watching this is how simple and gorgeous their lives are. They just seem to reflect and belong to their surroundings in a way we totally don't right now. One scene where this really struck me showed Ruth walking in to the little chapel with red ochre murals in her red ochre dress- that's what I mean. Everything and everyone fits. (I suppose it's easy to look back and think of things idealistically, though. No bathing? No thank you.)

Michael Wood is the man. (I watched his "In Search of Shakespeare" too, but can't find it on youtube anymore- also ties into the whole Tudor Monastary Farm series if you can find it... but!) I was telling Beth about this and how the tale is associated with the Sutton Hoo treasure. (It's crazy how that treasure was found. The story is told here!)

Didn't everyone have to read Beowulf in high school? Apparently not.   

If you can find "In Search of Shakespeare" too- watch it! So good!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Postcard exchange

It's super nice out and I really just want to be outside in the sun walking around, instead of working on what I've been attempting to finish up here- the background to my paper theater. My circulation is and always has been notoriously bad- that sounds totally old ladyish... but... I've been making a point to partake in a brisk constitutional every day.  Everyone's gardens are bursting at the seems with blooms and bees and there are tons of cabbage white butterflies flitting about. I like to try to count their spots if they stay still long enough: two's a lady, one's a manfly.

J & I have been exchanging postcards. Here is his of a cloister garden in the town where he lives- the main tourist attraction there. I hope he doesn't mind me showing his... 'cause I am loving this, and hope we can keep it up!  He told me shortly after arriving that one of the first things he noticed were that the birds sounded really different there.  He also went on to describe a strange bird he saw from his window. I thought it might be a magpie and looked it up. Yes. Apparently there's a lot of lore surrounding them too.  People like to address the lone ones especially by wishing them a good day and asking about their wife and kids. This is supposed to ensure good luck and abate the bad, so I let Johnathan know. Here he is about to fly across the world!

Hope you have a happy May Day weekend full of bees and blooms and lucky things!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

a gnome allys

I'm totally getting my dork on cause I love this photo (and I don't mean to hint at anything).
It's just that I saw it on Pinterest and went eeeee!!!  Looks like my idea of a good time- a right and proper 10. (Can you tell I've been reading uber British novels?)

But then I started scrutinizing it and saw what a jumbly conundrum it is, because she's among summer and spring flowers and yet, her gnome friends are bringing her apples & crabapples- so what season is it 'sposed to be exactly?

Something similar I experienced recently at the grocery store- there are ears of corn on sale right now, and maybe that isn't really a surprise... but corn is a thing for me, man. A particularly fall thing. Shucking it in April is a little weird!

While J's been swept away by an old world tide, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts while I work at home- probably not stuff I'd listen to if other people were around. A lot of it addresses issues such as anxiety, mindfulness, and ways to change your thinking so you can be a more productive and responsible human being.

I think about that word a lot and realize I don't always associate it with having your shit together 100% of the time.  Instead, I think of being responsible as being able to actually respond to things in a way that comes from an honest place, and at best- a place that's in line with your Self while doing what you can in a given situation. Often I theorize that the most responsible people on the planet have experienced more than their fair share of mistakes, challenges, and unpleasantry.. yet, they've somehow found ways to work through and around them, then turn it all into something good that allows them to give back.

The major wall I often surmount is a large one I've made full of worries. And while I don't want to dwell on all o'dis' for obvious reasons, I feel it's worth mentioning... because I know I'm not alone.

I love how this man states that anxiety is the result of an overactive imagination. That makes tons of sense to me.  Not only that, but it also frames my problem in a more positive light. Like, ok. I'm not using this for good right now. I have got to make something or do something that will make me feel better. I know it's a long-ass speech, (and I've listened to it twice now...) but, man.

Also, I came across this article about how important it is to both hear and tell good stories.

So in my IMAGINATION, these two are people pedaling a tandem bicycle right now, and
this picture is henceforth my totem... because while it doesn't totally make sense... for me it implies that working hard and having fun can go together...., and all the jumbly, quizzical bits would probably be best left unscrutinzed and simply enjoyed for the love of gosh.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meri meri quite contrary

Yesterday was Earth Day and today is St. George's day. In honor of the former, I promised J a garden update. In honor of the latter- RAWR.

Well....the foxgloves are looking nicely robust. They remind me that they're utterly vulnerable and tend to look a little wilted and droopy when they need water, so...I go for the watering can and give them a good dousing- which, I'm trying not to do too much as we're mid-drought. (Being good about grey watering n'such.)

Fuschias and I have a kind of tenative relationship. We'll see.. if the other one in the pot blooms, I'll know we're on good terms again. They're super lovely to look at after the sun goes down. Very glowy. I haven't seen any hummingbirds visit them yet, but that's ok because Oso's been in beast mode.

Parisian blue skies/forget-me-nots seem kind of shy this year. There are only a few blooms and they're mostly hiding under their leaves. I think the sun is coming for them though, so we'll see what happens next month. Next to them are wisteria and the bleeding hearts (which show no sign of having survived my landlord's workmen's stompings), as well as the blue sweet pea shoots. So this is kind of a sad & blue corner.. but there are primroses (not pictured) cheering it up!

Look at this feller! I thought he was dead. (Mr. Monk's hood, from the botanical garden's plant sale.) Eeeee! Nopenopenope.

Miss Gardenia is getting ready...she's like a southern debutante. I'm so excited! She's even opened a little more since I took this photo yesterday evening. Slowwwwly. There've been bugs on her innermost parts, so I've been spraying her occasionally with neem. She doesn't seem to mind because I think she likes having her leaves glossy and wet on occasion. Also, some mornings when I've made coffee, I've straight up taken the french press out filled with water and grounds and given her a little morning juice. So we essentially end up having coffee together.

Thennnn,,,,these guys (Australian violets) are spreading evvvverywhere inside the raised bed. I went out and drew them in my old photo album yesterday evening.. and today, when I went out to run an errand I stopped on the sidewalk to look at this little patch of succulents that had a cute little fence made out of sticks around them.  When I looked further behind, there was a large mound absolutely covered with them. I was like, oh hi guys!

I planted Empress of India nasturtiums among them which are just now coming up. I hope the violets don't mind much. Hopefully she won't be a haughty neighbor and they'll get along alright.

Andd! That is it for now. Oso's parked his butt on my forearm so I'm going to stop typing. Happy belated Earth Day!

Monday, April 6, 2015

African fruit

I've always thought it'd be nice on some planet to have fruit as a teleportation device... though... only certain fruit. Because if all fruits and veggies could teleport you to their place of origin, you'd end up somewhere different for every meal or snack. That could get confusing. Also, if it were so, you'd definitely have to eat the same things as people you'd need to stay around.

That'd be pretty weird if, at work, you had to eat the same things as your co-workers.  Just so you could all stay put.

And what about casseroles or smoothies. Yowza.

Johnathan's in Europe now, so I have this theory about produce there- that the majority of it must come from Africa. Which probably isn't true. He's going to get groceries tomorrow, so I'm going to ask. But...

Yeah.  It's still blowing my mind that he's half-way across the globe right now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January was...

Cabin shenanigans w/ friends I've barely seen all year (even though I'm still convinced that cabin was haunted).

Sweeping through Cottage Grove, OR & Portland for the weekend.
Re-reading Opal.
Seeing Raina randomly at the art museum totally geeked me out & made the trip.

'Watchd a barred owl in the Pioneer Cemetary.
Nearly got pushed off a cliff while hiking in Macleay park.

Started a new wee sketchbook.

Cleaning, gleaning, & organizing-  ain't no joke.  Got rid of mondo stuff, made room for new.

Made lists. (One list is called my "Hairy Balls" list. The other list is stuff I like doing, which I can only do if I do something on hairy balls.)

Got ramen with Aleks & John and the Mama.
Saw Beth & Jeff briefly after they ate allota cheese. We listened to

Milli Vanilli

Got a duck dress.

Gave myself a home haircut. So it's short and slightly crooked. But ok.

Rode Rosey to Berkeley and back for community accupuncture sessions. (Love accupuncture!)

Listened to First Aid Kit.

Watched all four seasons of The IT Crowd & some of Comedy Comedy Bang Bang.
Got a wee crush on Reggie Watts.
Ate alotta dumplings and vegetables.

What didjooo do?