Monday, May 26, 2008


I am equipped to go camping. I am not as equipped as, say, asha and M. Lee, to trek about the unknown world with one spork and a napsack slung over one shoulder. Not like that. I am a campground camper. Not a trekker. I bring my stuff, a minimalistic version, decorate the redwoods as though that were possible or necessary, and sit there until I want to go home. I like sitting here. I like sitting there. Either is fine. I have my tent and my throw rugs so I don't drag dirt inside the tent. I have my shower bag and my bag of games with travel scrabble and dice and a cribbage board and cards; I finally caved and purchased blue speckle-ware plates. I found a full set of pots and pans at a yard sale for two bucks last year, so felt pretty good about buying 30$ worth of new stuff. I like having the camping gear all tucked away, year after year, so when we pull it out it is like christmas. Having a poor memory is delightful. And with perma-gear, there is less to put away when we get home.

This year, with my utter dependence on Silver Hills Squirrely Bread, I found a camp toaster for 1.93 at Walmart. I hate the W stores. But, as the impact of peak oil begins to affect me personally (ah, acceptance; ah, materialism gone awry; ah, shit) and the marauding zombie hoards begin to branch out from Winco and Walmart and Walgreens onto your front porch and mine, it makes a freakin' good case for camping gear and good locks for those gas caps. They (the zombies) were in rare form at Walmart yesterday. I really expected the biting to begin in earnest.

So I looked online for one of those fold-up kitchens, and, as with anything, you can take out a loan and get the top-o'-the-line, but I found the one I wanted for only 60 bucks. It's just a small aluminum set of folding shelves and a top rack for hanging utensils. Nothing burly like Coleman makes which is so cumbersome you may as well install an actual kitchen sink in the forest. I'm happy with my rubbermaid wash tub and tin pan. Some things are just right the way they are. Heaven knows I can haul water. I happen to know the exact weight of five gallons going uphill pregnant. But that, my friends, is another story for another day.

I have been reading this survivalist guide to packing your gear. This is a guy who is into the weight and volume of things. He's thinkin' about carrying his shit around. Not me. But there is a way to pack meat for the duration. He says you freeze it really good for a couple of days in the deepest part of the freezer, and then use in order: chicken first, then pork, then beef. That is the recommended order. I love to cook in the woods, so we will eat very well. I like to eat ribs and other barbaric things straight outta the fire. The first night, we will have blackened chicken breasts with whole green chilis and jack cheese ala clay's smokehouse. Yum.

We will prepare with rain gear and plenty of rope and tarps, and huddle beneath the redwoods for an early summer nap.

I hesitate to say I have enough, but I think I'm just about ready to go.

This post is
In memory of my brother Marc Dixon Kinney
Who returned from Viet Nam but never came home.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

over and done with

Yep, its all gone. I chickened out and didn't sell the blue bouncy chairs. As a woman was prepared to hand me 100.00, I choked and found new resolve to paint them. I'm pretty much over the whole shabby chic thing and they are most definitely shabby. But they are so comfortable, and at some point, function does over-ride form. Doesn't it? Besides, I wander through all of the aisles of all of the stores and there is brown on brown and taupe on beige every friggin place you look. I don't want no fucking menopause-beige lawn chairs. I'm done with beige. You can't make me. I'm keeping my antiques. They will be painted white or red. I'm in a pretty red mood these days. Seems most of my shoes are red. I bought a pair of red pants.

Who cares?

So, I made about 60 bucks. But the important thing is that I got rid of a bunch of stuff I don't love. Impusle buys. And I'm willing to take the hit to learn the lesson. I resolved to only keep the stuff I really really like. And you know me.... I do like my stuff. Remember the old adage:

You can't have everything -- where would you put it?

So, there you have it. I felt really good about pricing things low, and selling to people in my neighborhood who loved what they found. And in the end, the rest went to goodwill and the free chairs left on the street. It was sweet to see this little boy who wanted this idiotic black beanbag chair and ottoman that I HAD TO HAVE at one point. I was certain if I had this certain beanbag chair that I would write more. Well, not only is that a crock of shit, it was so uncomfortable. And because I had made such a thing about getting it, I had a hard time (me!) admitting what a waste of 20 bucks it was. So, I finally drug it down the thin stairs and put a 10$ price tag on it. This kid really wanted it, sat on it, hung out, but his mother wouldn't cough up the cash. When we put the free sign on it, he came back. When we left for dinner, he was camped out waiting for his mom to pick him up.

So, my load is a little lighter, and that always feels good. A trip to the redwoods on a light tank should be nice. I only want one thing: one of those camping kitchens. They're cool.

Friday, May 23, 2008

but before we go...

Gotta do the Yard Sale. I'm tossing things down the staircase, and if you recall, it is a bit narrow. One stuffed chair got stuck and in pushing it through I nearly followed and would have spent my redwood adventure on crutches. But I caught myself in the nick o time and am saved.

Anyway, I am looking forward to selling my shit for money. Please come and buy some. I'm selling the blue bouncy chairs, L. You know you want them. I'm over shabby-chic.

Ginormous Yard Sale. One day only.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

redwood bound

We are in the serious planning phase of our May/June vacation. We leave next wednesday and will be in the valley wed nite, then off to Jedediah Smith State Park in the heart of the Redwoods. A cathedral of trees nourished by the pristine Smith River which, by Mighty Columbia standards, barely qualifies as a creek. Its a beauty. Jade pools and dark overhangs of moss and rock and ferns and wild Rhodys and Azalea and Trillium and and and. I love that place. Haven't camped there since I was a girl and it was free.

We will take, along with everything we own, a propane heater because it is looking a little chilly there under the trees. Ah, more fires. More and more and more.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

fine dining

I have been looking and looking for a dining room set that will fit in my bay window. Oh such are my struggles. The trials and tribulations of judybluesky in the big city. So many choices and craigslist too. So I finally settled on a nice black set from good ol' Freddy's. I love Freddy's. You can get about anything there. So, I rearranged my junk, made a yard sale pile, and next week, if the blazing spring sun obliges, I'll sell all my shit that I don't want anymore. I may change my mind. I will, no doubt, many times over. My husband finds this behavior curious. He admittedly wouldn't change a thing, inside or out, until the house looks like the set of Psycho, stuffed mothers and all, but not me. I'm for a bi-annual clearing out. You should show up. It'll be a good one. I'm trying to think of a good name for it.

Cheap Crap
Spring Cleaning Extravaganza
The Best Yard Sale Ever
Multi-Family Yard Sale (a white lie)

But whatever the title, it'll be one day only. Period. I'm not one for dragging things out. Either they sell or they don't. And I am usually surprised at what doesn't sell. My treasures usually sit unnoticed and unappreciated until I run in the house to use the bathroom and return to find that my husband has sold my 50.00 crate and barrel oil and vinegar set for two bucks. Usually, you can count on things made of wood selling fairly well. I will not have a christmas table. I will not sell wax items that have been sitting in the sun. I will not purchase things at stores and resell them. I will sell my piles of large clothing. I will finally rid myself of my old primer-rust chairs and a bunch of other shit. I'll probably sell it all too cheap and, as my husband says, "...spend the year buying three thousand dollars of shit and selling it for twenty five bucks." Sounds good.

Ah well, its something to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

canby in the mist

So much for forecasters. I never trusted them anyway. I did hope, however, that I'd be able to shop for great plants in dry if not warm weather. Liars.

No worries, though. The Canby Master Gardner plants are there for the taking if you have PLENTY of money. They seemed a little pricey to me. I only spent about twenty bucks, so got off easy.

We bought a wagon (a Gorilla Dump Wagon) to make the trip. I had no intention of going without one. I looked on craigslist for a kiddie wagon cheap, but didn't get the one that was listed. So we went shopping late Friday night and found one at Freddy's. Its great. Too bad we really have no room for it. It is much better than a wheelbarrow, with four fat tires and a dump-able bed for less shoveling. So, K put it together for me and pulled it around the garden party. I do love my flowers.

This year we bought two pale coral bells, a maidenhair fern, three tomato plants and a black viney thing. Now, I can happily go to some other place and buy pony packs of lesser plants for filler.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Happy Anniversary to us! Four years. I feel more married this year than I have in the past. I was trying to explain that to my husband over sushi at Todai--nasty salty snow crab, no creme brulee for me--I just feel more like I think other [normal] people feel when they are married. I held my breath for the first two years. I couldn't believe my good fortune. I was afraid I would wake up and find, once again, that I don't get to keep what I have.

I went through life that way for the longest time. I was always sure that the gods would see that I had a wonderful life and eventually, send someone to tap me on the shoulder and say, "We know who you are and we saw what you did." And just like that, in a fingersnap, it would all be gone.

And it could have been, and could still be. But it isn't. And a fabulous life takes maintenance and cooperation and that hardest of all things, the word escapes me... it means to split the difference, to give and take, to... to... COMPROMISE. That's it. Ah. To willingly suspend the need to have it my way. Not my best thing. I spent so many years getting good at making people think it was their idea. Then, just moments later... their fault.

Naw. Not really. I'm not that mean.

Anyway, Happy Day. May Day May Day. Silver heart with wings for me, stargazers for him and a star in heaven.