Thursday, March 27, 2014

a tree grows in brooklyn and right into lent

i have my lenten art image. and it didn't come from my Bible, though the psalms have been empathetic. it didn't come from church, though community's been great. it came from a most unexpected place, as the most important images usually do: it came from the end of betty smith's novel, "a tree grows in brooklyn". here is that paragraph, "but the tree hadn't died...it hadn't died. a new tree had grown from the stump and its trunk had grown along the ground until it reached a place where there were no wash lines above it. then it had started to grow towards the sky again. annie, the fir tree that the nolans had cherished with waterings and manurings, had long since sickened and died. but this tree in the yard--this tree the men had chopped down...this tree that they built a bonfire around, trying to burn up its stump--this tree lived! it lived! and nothing could destroy it." art project dedicated! grateful...

thank you, monument men

having just seen the movie "monument men", i am grateful! grateful to have seen as much art in Europe as i did. grateful that i could smell the oil on canvas and see brushstrokes. grateful that though some may try to end an era or people group, culture will always rise, quite literally, from the ashes. i know some critics didn't score this movie too highly, but i seem to rave A's sometimes over the ones they give C's to. que sera sera. well done, george clooney and company!

vacating the norm

vacation means being able to sit and type in the bakery over a fresh cinnamon roll while cherry tree blossoms blow in the rainy weather like snowflakes...it means being able to fall asleep and wake up when one's body wants to...vacation is time to hold the baby chicks and get lost watching their antics...and look up random movie showtimes during the day...massages...baths...sunny walks with no particular destination...finishing reading that stack of books...pondering life, but not too deeply...exploring fresh ways of doing things and new opportunities...baking from scratch...taking care of ordinary day tasks in an enjoyable and non-rushed way...what does vacation mean to you?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

4 T trail (pdx)

no matter where you live, i'm sure there's a fun adventure like this waiting for you. if you're local, though, you've got to try the 4T trail! during spring break at least, parking at the zoo is nearly impossible, so we started at council crest (trail), hiked to OHSU, took the tram down (free this direction), rode a streetcar downtown (trolley) and then hopped on max lightrail(train) back to the zoo, then hiked the rest of the way to council crest to complete the loop. you really could to it in any order and combination that you like, depending on the day. it offers an amazing view of both mt. st. helens and mt. hood and of our beloved city in general. plus, it only costs $5 (for the day use trimet ticket). definitely worth it!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

spring reading

here's a fun and eclectic mix for spring break reading: "nicholas and the gang" by goscinny & sempe, (french children's book), "the man who loved books too much" (is this even possible?!) by allison hoover bartlett (non-fiction), and three fiction novels: "the aloha quilt" by jennifer chiaverini, "lark & termite" by jayne anne phillips, and "the brightest star in the sky" by marian keyes.

new arrivals!

we just welcomed 17 baby chicks into our family! because i've waited for this day for over 30 years and, as this quite literally may be the closest to motherhood that i'll ever come, i'm taking my mother hen role seriously. of the brood, 3 are mine. i've made sure to cuddle them often. short of sleeping downstairs in the shop next to their heat lamp, i check on them several times a day. if i listen through my kitchen floor in their more active moments, i can even hear them peeping! it's a quintessential way to welcome in spring for sure. we've mixed several breeds together which doesn't seem to effect pecking order as much as age. 3 black australorps, 4 black sex link hybrids, 2 rhode island reds, (5 cornish for the sole purpose of eating, so i'm not naming those), and my 3: an ameraucana named ginger who has a heart-shaped feather pattern on her head (greenish-blue eggs), a gold sex link hybrid named linden (light brown eggs), and a cuckoo marans hen named etienne or "ettie" for short (dark chocolate brown eggs). whomever wrote the care guide had a sense of humor, too. on temperature and weather: "don't let your chickens roast on the roost!" on accientally getting a rooster (90% chance they are all females but there is that 10%): "contrary to popular belief, roosters do not just crow in the morning, they crow all day long!" and on molting: "just imagine if you suddenly lost all your feathers, you'd probably be uncomfortable too. a vigorless hen is a sorrowful sight!" today there were no sorrowful sights, only joy: the sky was blue and the sun warm on our faces. we planted new flowers and the chicks snuggled each other in contentment.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

new beginnings

printemps, or spring in french, is a time of new beginnings. this can be both an exciting and scary season (or "sciting" as my friend katelyn used to say) for people because it is a freeing invitation but into unknown, often uncharted, territory. it's all around us, this reminder that it is good to be alive, to celebrate all that we have and all that living--in the truest sense of the word--really means. so get out there, love God, love yourself, love others. i wanna see you be brave!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

hope in a fortune cookie?

i don't usually put that much stock in fortune cookies. but i'm holding onto this one, maybe it will encourage you too: "all the puzzles in your life will soon fit into their proper place."

seasonal rites of passage

i've been keeping a list of how the nw turns over in it's sleep from winter to spring: crocuses, first daffodils, lighter mornings, clear sky starry nights, new birds singing, green buds on the trees, cleansing rains, pruning for new growth, warm wind, blue sky, pink sky, baby chicks, cherry blossoms, biking, sun on my face, magnolias, taking students outside for the first time, sweet smells of cut grass...to be continued. what are your favs? (also, i'm pondering chicken names, feel free to weigh in. i don't know how many we're getting and don't even bother to suggest "kiev, orange, glazed or fried" :) i'm thinking: rosemary, etienne, linden, ginger...i guess it will rather depend on their personalities?)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

babica hen & chicks

i know, i know...i tell you this every year. because every spring for as long as i can remember, i've gone to Wilco to look at the baby chicks. what's new this time is that i went yesterday knowing that next time i go--in a few weeks or less--i get to pick out whichever ones i want and bring them home, all fluffy and peeping under the heatlamps in our shop! this tickles and delights me more than i can even describe. when it's warm enough, they'll get their new coop and grassy home. i'm getting egg layers and will name them (i already have names picked out) knowing that it's possible a hawk will get them...it's always worth the risk to love, however, even if it's a feathery little ball that fits in your hand. speaking of hens, i tried a new breakfast place today, the local babica hen, and it's delicious! always so nice to have a classy local place to take myself out to or out-of-town guests. beautiful, warm interior with a restaurant garden outside. oh, and p.s. like the ones we'll be having in a few months at home, i could tell that my eggs tasted organic.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

God save the tree...

today our apple tree is getting a severe pruning. branches scattered all around, naked bared limb cuts exposed to the rain and cold and bits of spring sun...the sound of the chainsaw, the skilled hand of the pruner. it's happening down the road, too. more of a gentle clipping version for those trees. and again in the orchard i pass along my walking loop. any branches that are tangled or crossed go in favor of fruit-bearing branches that get to stay. it's healthy. it lets the light and air in so the tree can breathe. it sends more energy to the roots. anything to save the tree.