Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sounds of Silence (NOT!!!)

Matt and I returned home on Wednesday after 3 1/2 days of what was supposed to be a 7 day get-away at Lake Tahoe, California. We'd rented a house there with plans to spend most of the time reading our armloads of books. The picture at the right shows the kind of vacation that we expected:

This is what we found: The house that we rented is next door to this one, on the same side as the porta-potty. A plumber was there when we arrived on Saturday afternoon, but was gone after about a half an hour. Another contractor stopped by for about 20 minutes after that. He let us see inside the house which was pretty much down to the studs. He told us that he thought the dry wall installers would be coming on Monday. On Sunday, the owner came by to water the lawn. He told us that the workers would be doing some "minor" work outside on Monday and after that the insulation would be blown in. He said, "It shouldn't be too noisy."

No construction workers came on Monday or Tuesday. We got the dredger instead. It made a couple of noisy pass-bys on Monday and rooted around directly in front of our house for an hour and a half to two hours on Tuesday. Having settled in with a big food shop for the week, Matt and I decided to make the best of it.

Loud hammering began on Wednesday morning. When we called the rental office, the agent said that she'd return a prorated portion of the money that we'd paid if we wanted to leave early. On the way home, we revisited our criteria for future vacations. We like the feel of the place to the right. The old adage applies: There's no place like home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Joi de Vive Pixelated

On August 27, I began a blog in which I described the previous two or three weeks as abundantly joyful. I felt as if each molecule of air that I breathed had at its center a core of perfect goodness. I was a blessing to all whom I encountered and they, by their presence, blessed me. When I was alone, the infinite/eternal and I were One.

A few weeks have passed and reality's hard edges have poked a few holes in the fabric of my Joy. The photos below are of some of the threads out of which this fabric was (and still is) woven.

Adequate sleep: It binds together all the other threads. Without it, nothing can hold. After enough sleepless nights despite my regimen of four pre-bed antihistamines, I decided to toss the pills and stay awake until sleep came thudding by. At this point, I'm mostly getting the sleep I need and waking up with far more energy than I'd had previously.

My hubby, Matt: For a year or so, hubby Matt had a benign tumor on his parathyroid that was causing calcium to be leached from his bones. During this time, he experienced constant spontaneous bone fractures and frequent intolerable pain. The condition went undiagnosed because we all were pretty much focused on his Leukemia and its possible ramifications. Now, several operations later, Matt's been doing substantially better. He goes for daily walks using walking sticks or a cane, has washed the cars, and has done some light gardening. We've truly been given a second chance. In the unexpectedness of this, we relish the good times that we thought were lost to us.

Being able to make fun plans: For many many months, the only plans that Matt and I made were to consult with his various doctors and show up for his various operations. Now we buy tickets for plays and musical performances and vacations are once again on our schedule.

My daughter, Rachael: Rachael, and I had a two day/two night get-away, starting out in San Francisco a then heading to Half Moon Bay. She's wise, funny, and very observant.
She also "gets" me. I am always astounded that this amazing young woman is my daughter.

My son, Ben: Ben sets his goals high and works hard to accomplish them. I'm proud of him.

My granddaughter: Maddie is my first and currently only grandchild. She is a delight. I didn't "need" to be a grandmother for my life to be "complete," but I consider myself blessed that Life has given me this Gift.

The many avenues of creativity that are open to me: I often think that my truest self emerges when I'm alone, especially when I'm working on a project that involves some creativity.

For Maddie's birthday, I made a reversible multi-colored treasure bag into which I put five
smaller such bags filled with objects that are condusive to exploration and creative play. The bags with the tiny pink bear and the tinier white dog are reversible. The blue and beige striped one has a large front pocket. The white one, made with a sheer fabric, has twelve or thirteen compartments. Arriving at a creative idea and seeing that idea expand even as I work on it is a powerful experience for me.

The digital camera that Matt got for me has opened a whole new world.

At this point, my flower project is virtually finished. (I'll have to give it a more pleasing name.) I'm planning to have Tap Plastics finish off the project for me. I'm thinking that I'd like to have the multiple levels protected by plastic banding that goes around the project, possibly as part of the front surface. My mind is abuzz with other themes that I'll use to create future photo mandelas and abstracts. And that's exciting to me, the buzz of future projects whirling around in my head. And also the awesomeness of the technology that's allowing me this kind of play.

And then there are my glass projects. I don't like the way the pink candy dish turned out. I intend to smash it, put the broken pieces in the kiln to reflatten them, and utilize these pieces in a whole other project. I enjoy thinking about this.

Eventually I'll get around sewing the top and shorts that I was going to make for Burning Man 2006. The pattern is already cut out.

I have no idea how I'll use some of this "junk", but I know I'll have fun doing it

.A clear desk (finally): During my non-blogging weeks, I got caught up with my long ignored piles of paperwork. This included going over bank statements from March onwards. I firmly resolve, as I've resolved before, to keep up to date with this stuff.

Books: I have shelves of books that I'm looking forward to reading. Literacy is such a wonderful gift. Come to think of it, aren't we all blessed by our long ago ancestors developing language and a visual way to represent it?

Music and the potential for me to be a music maker: I recently purchased a musical keyboard and have tapped a few of the keys for about two minutes. I'm looking forward to learning how to play. My optometrist told me that I show the early signs of developing macular degeneration in 15 or 20 years. That will probably put the kabosh on the viusal projects I so much enjoy. With that possibility, I've decided to expand my musical skills beyond those of turning the CD player on and off.

The beauty of my world: Since moving to our current residence, I've never taken for granted the natural beauty that surrounds me.

My plants: I no longer seem to have a black thumb. My plants are thriving. They are a factor when I think about taking multi-week vacations.

Routine chores: As long as I'm not rushed to get them done, I enjoy the meditative peace and pace of doing them.

Daisy and Morris: My cats are and always have been a constant source of joy to me.

And so I come to the end of this post feeling truly blessed having reminded myself about the things that elicit my happiness. A final one, about which I didn't write, is reading the blogs of my on-line friends. (I hope I still have on-line friends.) I'll start doing that when I'm again at my computer.