Friday, August 31, 2007

All bad things come in threes, or urgent-care twice in one day!

This is a week of injury for me. Yuck! besides the getting all banged up after tripping over the divot in the parking lot last Saturday...I woke up yesterday with a very sore ear, so spent the morning at Urgent Care and got it looked at, with a prescription for antibiotic ear drops. Went about my busy day, working, house fixing, getting ready for Art in the Pearl demo... by dinnertime I noticed that my right arm/wrist was being hard to bend, and that the little scratched place on my wrist had turned all red and swollen and a long red streak was headed up my inner arm! Eeep, I know this is not good, so I manage to make it back to Urgent Care before they close, and I get seen my the same (nice) doctor that I saw that morning. Yes I was here earlier, no this was not a problem then .

They cultured the wound, and I got sent home with oral antibiotics, and instructions for care. Today the arm is worse. I am doing everything that the doctor suggested to help healing. The culture results won't be in till Sunday. It is gorram Labor day weekend and I am supposed to be doing a cloisonne demo at Art in the Pearl on Sunday, which will be damn difficult with an arm that is all swollen and painful. I hope the antibiotic starts working soon, this is actually scaring me, and I wish that I had computer access at home, I'm at the library right now, while out doing errands like picking up more epsom salts to soak my arm, and getting some food for the four houseguests I expect this weekend.

I am not sure why my body has chosen this week to do all this...I sometimes manage to get the message within the occurrence, but what obvious thing am I not noticing, that would generate all this injury. Or is it just the random unfolding of the universe... anyway, if anyone wants to send healing thoughts my way, I would be grateful...

Monday, August 27, 2007

ashes ashes all fall down

On Saturday, on my way home from Mr Plywood, I stopped at the Concordia New Seasons for a snack. I fell in their parking lot, the asphalt was worn and uneven. So instead of finishing the window trim project, I got to spend Saturday night at the ER where the groovy digital X-rays determined that my wrist and thumb were not broken. So I am all wrenched and bruised, but my hands should feel better, hopefully before too long.

I am doing a demo on Cloisonne Enameling this weekend at Art In The Pearl, on Sunday afternoon. Should be interesting, it has been years since I did a public demo. Am expecting Bill, and Jen, and Travis and Molly, down from Olympia, as Bill and Travis are also demo-ing, on Monday.

The hens have started laying again, Hooray!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

can we build it, yes we can...

This morning when I was working cleaning the home of my client in Sellwood, the children were watching "Bob the Builder". Somehow I've never seen this cartoon before.... So when I came home to Acorn Cottage, after stopping at the Environmental Home Center, where I found a gallon of creamy white Safecoat no-VOC trim paint in the mistint corner (yay, $8/gallon instead of over $30), I decided to finally get off my duff and start the cutting and putting together of the window trim for the workroom.

I have been gathering useful bits of wood from the Re-Building Center for the last several weeks. And no magic knight on a white horse with a chop saw in his, or her, saddlebags is going to show up and magically transform the workroom. It is going to be me, figuring it out as I go along. (As well as help from my awesome band of friends) But mostly it is going to be me, and today I made a start. Measured and cut and used the scarey saber saw, and the sureform rasp, and cut out the first set of trim, and painted the first coat of paint. I'm going to do the window trim in stages, as I'm not sure enough of how it will all fit together to cut it out all at once. But I've begun. and even though I have done bits here and there with wood, it is not a skill I have a lot of confidence in myself...this feels like leaping yet another hurdle, but in a good way.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but never jam today..

In which our intrepid heroine returns to her regularly scheduled life...

Came up from Acorn Cottage to visit the Menagery for the weekend. This morning Cathy and I went to the Olympia Farmers Market and bought three flats of organic fruit: strawberries, peaches, and apricots. We have the strawberries hulled and frozen, and most of the peaches canned, with the small leftover amount on its way to becoming peach balsamic vinegar jam. Tomorrow the apricots will be dealt with... in the morning, before the birthday party.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hey Mr Spaceman...won't you please take me along...I won't do anything wrong...

When we lived in the Allston House, sometime back in the late 1970"s, (nine adults and two large dogs in a two bedroom apartment in Boston) we imagined that it was good preparation for what we called "when the shit hits the fan" Some unspecified environmental/political disaster that we were sure would be coming soon. What it really did, was to make us all a little crazy, and remove most all of the shreds of suburban modesty any of us still had...

As a child, if you slept alone in a single it meant that you had bothered the others in the dormitory until they wouldn't tolerate you.
...
A person whose nature was genuinely unsociable had to get away from society and look after himself.
...
... but for those who accepted the privilege and obligation of human solidarity, privacy was a value only when it served a function.

- from The Disspossesed, by Ursula LeGuin

I have had this undercurrent of thought drifting just below the everyday concerns of my life, disturbing my positive feelings about the life I am building here at Acorn Cottage.

When I went up to teach at Danaca in Seattle, I stayed with E and her extended family... the visit was very enjoyable, I met new interesting people, and the teaching went very well. Somehow, coming home felt rather lonely...

For almost all of my adult life, since leaving the home of my parents, I have lived in community, with rare short intervals of living partnered. Living this way was a purposeful choice on my part, for various reasons that changed over time... the reality that there are limited resources, companionship and overlapping skill-sets, the fantasy that this would be good practice for life in space (well, we were very young), economic reality at the bottom of the food chain...

Living with others has a way of showing a person where their rough edges are, and clever and lucky folk are able to thereby further their growth as human people. Living alone, you can be just as peculiar and dysfunctional as your nature allows, with far fewer opportunities to notice...

Invariably, my life with others ended with my being asked to leave. While sometimes this was for such benign reasons as needing the space for a coming baby, most often it was a more or less kind version of "we cannot stand to live with you", on occasion prefaced with "we like you, but..." In actuality, this was the real-time form of my great struggle in the middle chunk of my life, that I am an "Unwanted Being"...

I don't want to give the impression that I go around all the time brooding about this, mostly now I just don't think about it, as I am too busy with the life that I do have. I'm not sure what mental-emotional-spiritual re-construction of my belief system would help. While I am far more often calm and happy and productive than in my younger days; I cannot help feeling that I've given up on being a connected part of the human world. I like the shape of my life, and have awesomely great friends and a home that is mine, for the first time ever. I am quite aware every day of how great these blessings are. I wonder though, is it "giving up" in the sense of failing, to simply turn away from a struggle and say well that is just how it is, I have enough to do...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

little miss muffet at 70 mph

The last several days have been very busy. I left on Thursday last for the first leg of my trip up to Danaca to teach the weekend cloisonne workshop. Waited till after 8 PM to leave, as the traffic on I5 was, as usual awful.
While driving north, I realised that the moving blob on the windshield was in fact a spider, was somewhere between the size of a nickle and a quarter(legs included) and was in fact, on the inside, almost at face level. I do not like spiders in my personal space, and while I can usually manage to scoop them up with a cup and a bit of cardboard at home, while zooming down the highway I just am not quite so coordinated. Somehow I managed to detach my rubbish bag from its holder and smuush the spider, while maintaining control of the car and staying in my lane. At 70 mph.

Stopped overnight in Olympia, to leave Smokey at "doggy camp", and have some visiting time with some of my friends. (always good) Got to see what a ton of rocks looks like, as they are building a new raised bed on the edge of the driveway. Since they have both a pickup truck, and a quarry just across the valley, rock edging is more of a possibility. A ton of rocks looks a lot smaller in person than in my imagination. Nonetheless, there will eventually be a wonderful home for all the mediterranean dryland herbs, with several tons of rock edging.

More to come, but I've got to go to work now....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hi ho, hi ho...

Am feeling much improved, dread rhinovirus may be on the run... I no longer feel like my teeth are thumping through my skull, and I can breathe. There must be something to that hot whiskey and lemon and honey. (And having a tiny blue microwave to heat things up in helped)

I finished the class handouts with minutes to spare yesterday, had to go home in the middle and transfer files onto a CD, as the copy shop computer gagged on my handout file. This meant that I needed to figure out how to put the file onto a CD, something I do rarely enough that I never remember the process... And I made up feedback forms for the class, so I will have useful information from my students, and documentation about my teaching so I can seek more teaching jobs closer to home....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

spontaneous generation of rosebushes

For some reason yesterday, I was looking along the south edge of the backyard, the narrow zone where nothing much grows, where the hens like to take dust baths, when I found there were three new little rosebushes starting to grow.

Now, I know that they weren't there when I moved in, 'cos what was there were several really sickly rhodies, which I gave away on Freecycle, to folks with a better place for them than total shade. And I know that my neighbor on the other side of the fence hasn't got roses, 'cos the old fence blew down last year, and during the months before the new fence went up, I got a clear view of his little backyard, and the plants on the other side of the fence do not include roses. Though I wouldn't be at all sad if the daphne over there decided to send up sprouts on my side of the fence (not very likely, ha ha)

So my best guess is that wild critters have dropped rose hips in the yard...maybe the destructo-squirriels have actually done something non-destructive. I guess that baby roses will do alright there for now, but wonder if moving them to a spot that actually gets some sunlight might be a good idea. (Long term, I intend to extend the hen run along that edge of the yard, since it is pretty dry shade under the shadow of a six foot high cedar fence, and anything in the hen run will get scratched to bits).

Am still feeling under the weather, but not as bad as yesterday. Made some hot honey and lemon and whiskey before going to bed last night, and it sent me right off to dreamland. Between that and all the echinacea tea and tincture, hopefully will have useful teaching brain by the weekend. Am running around like mad today to get all the class prep done, then suddenly get all exhausted and need to go nap... I feel a bit like a toddler today