Sunday, October 18, 2015

Days Are Long

...but years are short. I read that recently in The Happiness Project. I certainly feel that way. The days pile up slowly, then are gone in a flash. What did I do this summer? This year? How have I gone so long without posting?

The air feels like autumn (yet again), surrounding the sunlight in a warm haze, pulling summer gently away into the past, peeling the leaves off the the trees, sneaking in the brisk wind that brings down branches while we sleep, a dry storm. We're all hoping for a real one, though I was relieved when we arrived in SFO from JFK a few Fridays ago, from rain to moonshine, and was happy for it until I remembered that I need to wish for downpours, not be glad to have left precipitation behind.

Speaking of years, I had a birthday! M threw a party for me. I was so touched and grateful for everyone who came.

The day after the party, Felicia took us up to Coppola for lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour.

Here's the Flickr set.

Since my birthday, I've been to New York and back twice, both times for work. The first conference was at Javits Center, very large, and it took a lot out of me to attend. I was so glad M came with me. We had some fun, though, good food, seeing the Madhu Caiolas and Noah, and going to the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt.

Here is that Flickr set.

I was back again six days later for a smaller event - I tried to make the most of the time I had.

I went for a lovely walk in Central Park Sunday morning. 

On Sunday night, I went out with Monique and Gina to see Fuerza Bruta, a fun performance piece. 

I finally made the time to get down to the new home of Poets House; I volunteered there when I lived in New York, at the Spring Street location. It moved to the financial district after 9/11, and it's in River Terrace a beautiful neighborhood by the mouth of the Hudson. I attended a poetry reading and discussion with Jane Hirshfield. Very inspiring - I noted that I was one of the youngest people in the audience, and which reminded me how very niche poetry is these days. 

I had dinner with my friend Cathleen on Tuesday night. On my last night in New York, I slipped out of the conference as soon as I could and walked downtown to Union Square. I had time to wander through Fishes Eddy and the farmers market (so many memories of shopping for so many meals!) before spending a lot of time in the Barnes & Noble waiting for and then enjoying the talk and book signing for the new Humans of New York book by Brandon Stanton, released that very day.  

Check out the Flickr set.

These are the kinds of activities that remind me how incredible, vibrant, and rich New York is, and why I enjoyed living there for so long.

But Sonoma County has its charms, too. For instance, Felicia took me to see Parsons Dance Company for my birthday the week between New York trips. And I had a lovely day today, walking the Tennessee Valley trail with the PA Gals.

I have a very good life!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Flickr link

Thanks for the reminder, Kam, I meant to post this:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer Adventures!

So my resolve to post entries more frequently has been put to the test--and defeated--by Life Stuff. But not snuffed out! Allons!

I also realized that photo organization takes up a lot of my time. I have to "lay them off" as the pros say from my camera into iPhoto, then edit and download them onto my desktop, then upload them to Flickr, and then upload some of them to a post here and finally to the Blurb book project. After that, posting a blog seems to be quite out of reach. Keeping it all straight is by no means easy either, even as organized as I am. First World problems, to be sure, and my current excuse for not putting digital pen to digital paper more often of late.

Since pictures are worth 3-4 figures of words, I give you my summer so far in photos.

Julian graduated from high school, and we celebrated with him, family, and friends.

Mom turned 75 and we celebrated with her and even more family and friends.

I went to a conference in San Francisco at the end of June. It went well. It ended.

Kalyani, Hannah, Jo, and Susi drove out from New York. We camped in Lassen. It's been a long time since we've camped!

Mark and I hiked to the top of Cinder Cone. The views alone were totally worth the steep, sweaty climb. We paced ourselves.

We had most of Butte Lake campground to ourselves. The lake level was quite low, which meant it was better for kayaking than swimming.

M and I hiked to Bumpass Hell. Pretty amazing place. Driving through the park was great - such vistas!

It rained pretty steadily our last afternoon there. Luckily the canopies provided enough shelter for games, conversation, and dinner. It was not a restful night for me, however - too damp for a good night's sleep. Despite reveling in the complete lack of connectivity, I was ready to leave. I hope it won't be another two years before we camp again, however.

We then rendezvous'd up on the coast. We had enough time to take a walk on the Stornetta Public Lands and visit B. Bryan Preserve, where we were "kissed" by giraffes. They are pretty amazing creatures.

I had a conference in Portland, so was there all last week. It's been in Portland for a dozen years, which has been wonderful occasion to see Lloyd, Jacque, and the cousins. Next year it will move to Austin, so I'm glad that I'll have a chance to see Dad & Ginny, but will miss the Portland pilgrimage. Lloyd and Jacque took me on a tour of the Columbia Gorge. We saw Multnohmah Falls, had lunch at Skamania Lodge, then stopped to see Herman the Sturgeon!

I did have some good meals at Ox, Noble Rot, and Farm Cafe during the conference. I also had a few hours after the conference ended to take in the International Rose Test Garden.

I'm really glad to be home. No more conferences until the end of September! The garden is going great guns and is a source of deep satisfaction for me.

Bonus adventure: Have you ever seen a steam roller be a tool for art creation? We did in June.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Closes

It's the end of spring and the days are so long, there's almost too much of them to enjoy. I find myself going to bed while it's there's still a bit of dark blue in the sky, like the nursery rhyme.

Our little garden bed is growing pretty well. It's breezy almost every evening, which seems different than previous summers, making it hard for some of the peas to climb, but I help as best I can, rappelling twine down from the tops of poles, cramming their little tendrils into the cracks in the bamboo, hoping they'll have enough time to grown into a hold before the evening breezes start up again. The chard is prone to leaf miner, but I'm determined to rout it out. The tomatoes are all looking hearty, but none has set yet. We've started adding chard, kale, lettuce, and herbs to our meals regularly.

A golden snow pea
Vulcan chard

We've learned a lot about gardening in just this short amount of time, chief among them: soaker hoses on timers is the way to go.

M is busy teaching himself to weld. He's made a couple of machine stands already, one from one of my brake rotors, which he was good enough to change for me. He found a bucket of rusty used horseshoes at a garage sale and is already using them for few household projects.

Potholder corral
Star art in progress

He wants plenty of welding practice before attempting to plug the hole in the Chevelle floorboard. It's good to see him so excited about his projects although the wine bottles into glasses effort has subsided, unfortunately. I think we've drawn about even in terms of crafty dilettantism.

Memorial Day weekend was quiet. I did meet the PA Gals for lunch and a wander through the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond. It was interesting, though of course we did more talking amongst ourselves than museum-ing. I'd like to go back. There was a "Rosie" there, and I think there is most weekends - that would be a fascinating conversation. She and M could have compared learning to weld notes! I have been doing a lot of museums this year. I don't have any more visits currently planned, so I better get cracking. Maybe I should make at least one per month my goal for the rest of the year.

I just got back from a conference in Santa Clara. It went well. I'm glad it's over.