Friday, December 31, 2010


So here it is, the last day of this big year and I am poised for the new fresh year to begin tomorrow. This year was pretty good so I think I'll keep at what I have been doing. Can't find my last list of resolutions if I even had one, usually it's a list of loose intentions, exercise more, drink less, be happier, be a better mother. I can do these things. In 2011 I want to write a bit more, sew some more, keep reading, keep learning, maybe raise some pigs, get the chicken flock to be more productive, get rid of some stuff, cook better stuff, make better work, collaborate more widely with people, finish some projects started long ago, hike more often. Eat more vegetables and less meat, write more letters, learn to use the camera better, work in the garden, grow a little food, learn to play a song on the piano and sing along to it. Keep giving blood. Keep the kitchen sink cleaner, read the magazines that I subscribe to, watch less TV. Love my loved ones a little bit more everyday and embrace the great unknown. Look up everyday and say thanks for this life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Between

Pearl went back to her dad's today for the duration of the Christmas break. I went to see a friend and drop off a little gift and then did some shopping to replenish my vegetable supply. I feel like all I have been consuming the last 10 days is alcohol, sugar, flour and animal fat. I am waiting for my gout to reappear and for my ass to sprout another ass. Oh well. In the parking lot at the local specialty food store a Volvo load of good looking enthusiastic people waved at me like crazy and for a minute I thought, do these people really know me because I have no idea who they are. I immediately thought this is early Alzheimer's, loss of recognition of people you have spent long hours in meaningful conversation with. In the store they apologized for mistaking me for someone else and I felt so relieved to not know them after all but also I felt good because they were attractive and obviously hip and they had mistaken me for one of their tribe. I stood a little taller then as I stuffed my overpriced purchases into my shopping bag hoping I wouldn't later be accused of shoplifting. It was a gorgeous day and I felt good even though the doomsayers predicted snow, I saw no evidence of it. I can't quite get down to work even though there is some to be done. I still just want to knit and sew and read and eat candy and float around between the house, my office, the chicken coop and woodpile. It's late now, the dark hours and I am up working because what else is there to do but sit and type and listen to music and think about this life I have created. All possibility and perfection like a freshly made bed that you could dive into or lay out all your things on, a vast plane of discovery. A place to line up the words that are the signs of where I want to go in the next year, words, garments, books, a space for lovemaking, journals of blank pages to contain all that I am thinking this moment and the next and the next.

Happy New Year dearest readers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Early riser

Slipping out to my office under cover of darkness while the house is asleep. I have one little letterpress job I need to print this morning for Christmas. I can hear the rain on the skylight in the vestibule which means when it gets light finally I will be installing the coop door in the rain. Oh well that's what rain gear is for. I hope the chickens enjoy their new security. I want a coffee but the sound the steamer makes would ruin this beautiful heavy silence.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coop News

I strive to be ruthlessly efficient in all things and so recently I decided I needed to figure out who's laying and who's not laying down in coop-world. Obviously the two roosters getting eaten was a loss because I could have eaten them myself and that Brahma was huge. Put that in the regret column. The Bantam Rooster was just little and I feel sad about him but I never really saw where he went, just like the Peacock he just didn't show up for work and was never seen again. Now I have about 8/9 full size hens and 2 bantams. I get about 2 eggs most days, Chicken Betty White is the most prolific layer despite her scrawny size and erratic behavior, and she lays a white egg. I discovered yesterday during my work in the coop that one of the Barred Rocks is producing the only brown egg I have been getting. So that saves those two hens from eventual slaughter. My plan is to create a lean mean first-rate laying machine down there, if you don't lay you're soup and that's it. Grain is for layers, full stop.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back to earth

So beyond all of my deep talk of transformation etc... I have work to do. My chicken flock is getting knocked off one by one so I am doing something about it. Off I go out to the coop to build a little aviary attachment so that the chickens can be left in while I am away here and there over the winter without fear of being devoured by raccoons and hawks.

I saw Food Inc, finally, grudgingly and so I am once again thinking about raising a few pigs and some chickens for my meat eating needs. So there, concrete news from the country that you don't have to roll your eyes about. Enlightenment is great and all but bring on the bacon.

Happy Solstice you pagan vixens.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Self Portrait

As time is not to be wasted and some sort of enlightenment seems to be the goal, I am interviewing a new state of being called clarity. I wear it like skin made from 1 part sobriety and 2 parts consciousness. I wore it out the other night on the outside of my clothes after trying it out underneath everything at home. I was not disappointed. My surprisingly brave self rose to the occasion and I found myself able to engage easily with the other humans without the aid of the usual mix of cocktails and social anxiety.

I heard once that the experience of self has no physiology. It doesn't show up on brain scans or MRI's, it has no weight or chemical make-up, it is not represented by a chromosome or spiraling model of atoms. This state of self is elusive and it is ours alone to wrestle and often it is a struggle that seems endless and insurmountable. I feel strongly, it is the one thing in our lives that we have some control over even though at times it seems we are completely powerless over it. For the past 18 months I have been experimenting with decreasing my negative thoughts about myself, my work and pretty much everything and it's astounding how over time I have trained my mind to go in new directions to leave behind old pathways in search of better avenues. The more I do it the more these pathways present themselves, everything feels open and possible.

I had a dream recently, similar to the dreams I had in college about my teeth rotting. I woke up in the morning and tried to consider what the dream was about and why it had shown up again now. I was very happy in college and my life seemed to be laid out ahead of me full of possibility and so I took the dream to mean that I am again in that same space only I am older now and while there is still uncertainty and some fear of what lays ahead I can overcome it, I can go to the dentist, I can understand my self or selves as they shift and I can pilot myself forward in the direction, I alone want to go.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like something else.

It's so weird, I am actually looking forward to the holidays. I feel myself easing into it, counting down the days. My mammoth letterpress job will get shipped off tomorrow. Through the whole process I have been finding time to knit my crazy micro sweaters and also start a new hat for Mark. I have a few presents identified for my little family and some ideas for other small offerings I want to make and give away.

This is the person I used to be, a thoughtful gift giver, a Christmas person. It feels good to be revisiting that long lost part of my self. I'm looking forward to doing a little baking for the family and decorating the house with hand-cut snowflakes. The lights are up already, I bought new LED ones, very fancy and energy efficient. I love that.

Mostly what I am noticing is that the heaviness I have felt for so long seems daily to be lifting and just when I think I'm feeling normal I feel a bit better. The more I do, the more I want to do, and in between I am able to feel at ease with what is happening around me.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I have 9 minutes to make a blog post. I have to get back to printing my annual pre-christmas job. It's been going well thanks to the miracle of polymer plates and friendly technical help from my friends at Bison. It was my birthday yesterday which didn't stop me from working. I love my work, let's face it and I feel good when I get things done so that is a gift. I had a nice day, a couple of friends came over and we ate and drank, two more things that are good to do. Mark put up the Christmas lights and suddenly I feel really good about the holidays, a strange sensation as it is not always the way. So I am buzzing with love from my family and friends, enjoying my work and the sun is even shining, not too shabby. Have a good week, I know I will.
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