Still going… and wondering what all I’m trying to say to myself. Something good, I think, about there being so much, who we can be, and the choices we might make. ~Hazel at Handstories

Sometimes it’s hard to keep going with social media. So much is about tapping a beat and when the beat stutters, it can be hard to get it back. Then you wonder, Why? Why do I do this? That’s why I appreciated Hazel’s sentiments so much this morning.

In California for another two weeks. Body has made the turn. Soccer will be on all day. Nina will come and clean. Pork chops and apple crisp are on the menu. I hope the sun comes out. It’s been iffy.

We haven’t heard the Everton song yet. Their fans are CRAZy!

That’s all, really. Lila and I will head up the hill. She’s very opinionated and I defer to her. Don’t want to turn down Mayo? Okay, we’ll go straight. Don’t want to continue up the path past the gopher holes and eucalyptus trees? Alright, we’ll turn around. I don’t know if there is aversion involved (coyotes are a real possibility) or if she just reaches a point where she’s had enough.

We should all feel such ease about turning around don’t you think? Even if it’s mid-route and others have different ideas?

She, Lila, is the heart of this household. She came as anxious dog — still hides under the bed when the fireworks start, probably barks a little too much — but she has calmed down into a lion-like regal being. So much dignity! There are many striking things about her, but one is how she vocalizes when being pet. Sometimes I swear she’s purring!

Saw the boy again yesterday. We called home. Watched soccer (what else). Ate apple crisp (yes, today’s batch will be the week’s SECOND). And then he went off into his future — more immediately, to hear music in Santa Monica.

Lastly, I must express gratitude to the women with whom I regularly write. What would I do without them? This week, all three groups convened and it turned out to be an important place to note what’s happening here. Life after a stroke.

Truth is, it’s always good to note what is happening here.

And in that vein, if you haven’t read Deb’s blog lately, a recent post was a satisfying example of noting what’s happening. Life with Charlie.

Three feels like six

California time.

It’s weird to watch Nicolle Wallace at one. Been waking at four something or five since I got here and then wondering why I’m so hungry at nine a.m. Usually my clock turns around sooner.

There have been sightings of three Great Horned Owls above the gully behind Billy’s place. A beautiful hawk perched on his western-most fence post two nights ago, scanning for lizards.

Got to see C yesterday. I was dreading the introduction to his new tattoo but I actually liked it — a very geometric beetle with a body about four inches long. It’s just below and behind one knee. Thank goodness it wasn’t another female demon vomiting blood (I kid you not).

Things are blooming around here, as you might expect. All that rain! Hills normally gold and brown are waving with verdant grasses and wildflowers.

I really really saw why Birds of Paradise are called that this morning.

WordPress just wigged out on me — a bouncing keyboard. Really weird. I tried turning phone off. Then on. Tapped away trying to snag a command. Finally caught a save. But I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

“Riot is the language of the unheard”

Lying on the couch after dinner, half-asleep and wondering when all the shows about WWII will finally dry up, I suddenly remembered the dead robin in my bag. Eek! I’d picked it up on our walk yesterday with the intention of burying her here and then forgotten.

Still in my bag? Sleeved in a newspaper plastic but still. I’m going to California in the morning. Imagine if I’d forgotten it altogether.

I found that butterfly tag in my carryon laptop bag. “Riot is the language of the unheard.” Where did I hear that? A slightly haunting relic of the summer of George Floyd? Does anyone know who said it? [thank you Deb and Nancy. This was said by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.]

And, to pick up on Grace’s blog about creative endeavor, there is that question that thrums through the life of a maker. Why? Why do you do it? In particular, what is the point of all these collages, many of which exist purely in ones and zeroes on a screen?

This one is paper, but uses a print out of a digital collage in the background (me, peeking out above the book).

One thing I said in the comments is that there are very few things I do in life that don’t require overcoming resistance. Ugh. This again? Working with pattern in cloth and collage is not like that. I just find myself doing it. For that reason alone it’s a valuable, ongoing exercise.

There’s more to say about this, but as Jude recently noted on her blog, maybe the saying matters a whole lot less than simply continuing.

Right now, I’m “getting” scenes about some characters living in Boulder during the pandemic. I have no idea yet whether this is a viable project. There are ecstatic dancers who appear and disappear (all women) and no one knows what to make of them. There is a feral boy who lives deep in the woods. There’s a mom and her three kids, one of who is decompensating (again). Her middle child is a lawyer working for a social justice group that objects to decisions being made about the former bomb factory at Rocky Flats (turn plutonium-contaminated land into a public park? Really?)

I share this because, like the collages, the scenes keep coming whether I want them to or not. I’m sure Deb can speak to this.

Okay. Off to give Ken a tour of recently planted perennials so he knows what to water in my absence. Mostly divided hosta. Oh those reliable and prodigious hosta!

A visual journal

*Pardon the repeat from Instagram and FB.

First the components: the B&W profile supplied by Paris Collage Club as this week’s prompt; the paper collage using the prompt and magazine cutouts; a photo of K on Mt. Washington in Los Angeles, full size and cropped.

Variations made using dianaphotoapp as usual. I also used the app called Grungetastic for the third image. A number of older collages (both paper and digital) got layered into a couple. Usually I like selections that keep the week’s prompt very distinct and central. But then again, the combos where the prompt nearly disappears can also intrigue me.

You’ll notice in one collage the National Geographic image of an Egyptian man dragging a net. I have riffed off of this photo for two years now (from Acey’s challenge and before). I’m not sure why it compels me so, but writing this post I now see (duh) how my photo of K echoes that silhouette.

I’ve printed out a couple of these and will go back to paper and see what comes up.

But first, we are off the buy compost and a few flowers (it’s almost Mother’s Day after all!)

Friday round up

Finn says: Happy Friday! I say: Fuck Off Anderson Cooper!

The smoke alarm went off for no apparent reason in the wee hours last night. I was glad my husband was home, even though he didn’t know why it went off or how to make it stop. It just stopped. I was just glad.

Can you see Finn at the door? He’s looking at me and I’m looking at my two new iris plants. Blooming this morning! Project Structure ongoing. I’ve moved many clumps of errant echinacea and potted up even more for a friend. This weekend: wandering ferns to get new homes (not the ones visible here but the ones crowding a new azalea bush).

Treats from India

One night while K was away, a pack of coyotes exploded into a yipping and howling cacophony over at the school. Woke me out of a dead sleep. At first I thought it was a pack of teenagers because we get those too, but no.

Photo by my neighbor

Once they dispersed, Finn dashed to the front hall windows and howled in a way I’ve never heard him do before. Bark-bark-hoowwwwl. Over and over, urgent and insistent. They must have passed in front of the house.

We also have turkeys and red-tailed hawks and an impossible number of rabbits.

I went for a tetanus shot yesterday and then left without getting it. Last one was 2016. Expertise varies about whether a cut from a rusty object warrants another booster before the standard ten years is up. I got fed up with the rigamarole. And anyway, it’s a small cut that I’ve kept very clean. Dr. Billy, my brother, didn’t think it necessary.

Some might not mind if my jaw locked up.

Meanwhile, the day before I had the chattiest mammographer ever. We bonded over being short. Laughing, I said I hoped that meant she wouldn’t have me on my tiptoes practically hanging by a clamped boob from the machine. It HAS happened.

I leave you with a mystery. See that thread crumbs shop moon? I didn’t put it there. That shelf is 18 inches off the floor. A few days earlier, I found it under the table next to an unruly puzzle piece. It seems to have a mind of its own. What’s it up to?