Thursday, January 29, 2009

The year of the this Chinese New Year, which is my year! I am a "Year of the Ox" and so this is going to be my year. I could tell immediately as this week I stumbled upon Christmas cookies from Anita that I had popped into the freezer way back when. What a treat! I am re-celebrating the Christmas holidays all over again, only without all the wine. (OK...maybe I am sneaking in a little wine too).

I know this will be a good year for us all - as long as we keep drinking good wine. So here are a couple pictures to remind us of the COLD winter and the WARM summer at the lake.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Chinese New Year has begun

Today we get to "start again" at the New Year. I feel excited for us all. Already we are so good at showing our commitment to hope and to see the great moments in our lives! I am smiling because I hear hear the smart-alec remarks even as I say this. The wood stove is full of logs and pumping out heat, which makes is happy to be inside. After a week of poor air quality and burn bans, it is great to feel really warm again, despite the cold temperature outside.

I am on my way to SAM today to play, doing art projects with kids. Then it is back to my sweat shop routine. On February 8 I am doing a little show/sale in Seattle with some people, so I have needed to focus on preparing something for that event. It has been a good exercise but one that I don't plan to repeat often! It does feel good to give effort in a slightly different direction- a reminder to me not to get my wheels stuck in comfortable ruts.

Still, I like my comfortable ruts and hope for the New Year to enjoy more time at the lake and more time in the garden. I also hope I will expand to be more active in my community, helping to make a positive difference. For today, I just plan on enjoying a city day.I hope that I will take time to look at the art around me, both consciously created and accidental. I also hope someone weird talks to me on the ferry. Last time I rode the ferry the brother of Twila Tharp (important choreographer of modern dance) talked up a storm. But I had on my rose covered raincoat then. Today it is cold, so I will have on my wool coat and won't attract as much attention.

Hopes for the day, week and year abound. We are destined to have a great year of adventures and sharing. I send hugs today and intend to smile at everyone on the street to make them crazy. That is always good entertainment. Challenge for today- smile so that your eyes crinkle up!

Love you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

i also hope for a big rosemary bush that takes over my yard and doesn't release me from its evil-for-good power and refuses to die even when the snows come.

a new year - a new era?

One of my hopes for this week is that I smile at someone I don't yet know. And they smile back.
One of my hopes for this year is that I learn more jokes and read more good books than bad and believe more in an ability to plan and create the/my future.

Winter Wishes

One of my hopes for this week is a free moment to fill with a warm cafe au lait and War of the Saints by Jorge Amado.

One of my hopes for this year is a moment spent watching the bats and fireworks fly while roasting marshmallows at the Lake.

now pictured: susan's once burnt hair

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Still January

After 6 days the fog has finally lifted, literally if not figuratively. Historically it has been a momentous week, which is saying something for January. Nationally we have a new president who has inspired the nation to be proud of itself for a few moments. There is nothing better in January than having the opportunity NOT to feel guilty for our backslides and broken promises. Coming off the high New Year's promise for a fresh start, it quickly becomes apparent to us all that old patterns are hard to break. New exercise routines don't hold fast; promises for more changes don't manifest themselves. We all begin to realize that individually we won't always get want we want, the minute we want it.
Oh well- so what else is new. Still, the message from the political front holds true at the home front on Tulin Road. Realistic expectations! This can be a hard concept for daily living. It can also make the difference between a happy day and a day of frustration.
This week I have felt frustrated by what didn't get done but have also tried to enjoy the moments of doing, with a reality check in place. Life really isn't a race. Still, the older we get, the harder we all run to experience more and accomplish more. Maybe realistic expectations just means knowing, everyday, that we really can't have everything. We can have today, the people close to us and the priorities we set as the most important. If we are very lucky and make hard decisions, we can have those important priorities, people and adventures in our lives. When it isn't easy we can choose not to make it harder. We can choose to enjoy what is good. So- message for the moment: make the hard decisions when you must, tear off the band aide when is needs to come off and the rest of the time enjoy a walk in the air, a cup of coffee and a hug.

With those words of wisdom??? I am off to spray the trees with salad oil- must be green you know. I hope eternally to ward off the pests and mildews of the northwest. What is gardening without HOPE- gardening in California?

Love you all,
Mama Llama

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pictured: Pumpkin doughnuts from dough leftover from sunday brunch. Quite a treat for a Wednesday breakfast.

Not Pictured: Susan's burnt hair.

Delicious toasty little suckers to warm the belly for the bike ride - 30 mph winds and temps in the 20's. Yum!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beginning the New Year

Yesterday I took down Christmas. The tree was tinder dry, so it was time. Still, every year I wish the holidays were longer. This holiday season was full of adventure and I know that every year from now until I die, my mother and sisters will remind me of how much "we love to be at the lake for Christmas" just so I won't forget the year I almost didn't make the drive.
It was a great lesson for the new year; a reminder not to make decisions based on fear of what might happen. Against all apparent odds, we drove through Seattle's snow to find more snow in Idaho. It was beautiful! Nothing horrible or dangerous happened. We tested our strength and stamina by digging our way out (or was that Dave Sullivan digging our way out?) and have a great story to tell for years to come. It was a wonderful time being together all day and all night so we could be in each others' way and realize how connected we are. With lots of uncertainty in the world, it was a great gift to be together and know we are a force together, to face the year ahead. Unfortunately Anita, Barb, Lynne and I all have the same plan- if trouble comes we'll just live at the lake. Hmmm... how will it help solve TROUBLE if we are ALL at the lake- that could be scary.
Enough maudlin banter- the year is ahead with lots of challenges and adventures. This is my very first message and I have lots of plans to continue and share. Today was the first work day of the new year (since it was the first day after Christmas was gone). I worked on a blanket, treated goats and rabbits and changed their living quarters a bit, planted my mushroom seeds and made lots of visual plans for outdoor winter projects. I am already feeling behind and it is the first day of the year!!! Important to remember to see what is accomplished, not only what needs to be done. There is always more to do.
With lots of plans for more art work, more fiber projects, more garden projects, better animal care, new cooking ideas and more reading, I think I just might give up sleeping for the new year. It is exciting to know that each day offers a new start and an opportunity to choose to smile. That isn't always easy but it is a challenge that doesn't take extra time so why not. Let's everyone smile through the coming week.


Beginning the New Year