Friday, September 09, 2016


I am on vacation. Poor me. I just got a manicure and pedicure. Poor me. I think there should be more, and funner. I think I shouldn't have to do housework or cook or breathe in and out when on vacation. I should camp. In a perfect spot for many days in a row and write perfect prose. It would be dirty and hard. Not the prose, the camping. Or maybe the prose. And I'd complain about that. And I wouldn't write anyway. We know that.

I am going to try to stop complaining. I am truly a chronic malcontent. So, I'm going to shut down the voices in my head who are not satisfied with my life. I've done the best I can. I do the work I want for money, I married the man I wanted, moved to the town I wanted in the house I wanted and have everything I want and am still not happy. Contentment eludes me. I'd never make a Buddhist. I could never meditate, my knees would hurt and I'd complain, and the bitter monkeys who live in my head and give me constant shit would chatter all at once and I'd never get the job done. Relaxation.

The Job.

You should see the view out my back window. It is different every day, every moment. But  what do I see? Tomatoes I need to pick. Until the sun sets and it is nearly impossible to see anything else. Ahh.

I'm glad I took enough time off to see myself. It takes time and distance. I feel like I have that view of Half Dome from Glacier Point. A certain perspective that comes when I take the time to make the walk uphill. That's the vacation view. Spend enough time alone to get sick of yourself. That.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016


I want to stop procrastinating. Some. I can't stop everything at once. What would be left? My life has been based largely on waiting until just the right moment for one thing or another. Since moving to my brand new house, I've been so busy with landscaping and weeeeeding and more weeeeeeding that I've hardly had time to consider what to do once I get things in fair shape. This is rationale. I know it when I see it. I've been picking weeds until I have an actual waistline. So when I finally started looking around the house to see what I've been neglecting, the list was long.

I started with boxes and boxes of brand new clothes, shoes, boots, you name it -- that I'd ordered but didn't fit or I changed my mind or whatever. Some boxes had been sitting in my studio room for almost a year. You get a full year with Zappos. I love Zappos. So I repackaged each thing -- I know myself well enough to keep the return postage stickers -- and sent all the stuff back, probably $1000 worth of crap. 

Next thing: A couple of weeks ago I opened an old trunk that sits in the living room. It is crammed full of fabric, one of many similar bins. I pulled out one piece of striped cotton that I love, have loved now for about nine years, and took it out of the trunk. OUT of the trunk. Keeping the cloth visible exponentially increases the likelihood that I will make something out of it. It is helpful if I trip over it from time to time, bringing the project gently to mind. I've wanted to make pillow covers out of it. I have two large sitting pillows in my living room, covered with a cotton twill in two stained and noxious shades of olive green. When I bought them I meant to recover them. They were the right shape and nothing else. They have served as dog beds, small chairs, baby beds, props for reading late into the night, small girl beds when pushed together but that slide apart when slept upon.

I tripped over and stared at the fabric until today. Today, In got out my scissors -- the good ones -- threaded my sewing machine, changed the thread on the bobbin and everything. I haven't used the machine since we moved and long before. One of the spools of thread was mis-spooled. half the thread went one direction and half went the other. Imagine me trying to wind the bobbin with this stuff. When I finally figured out it was the thread that was wrong and not me, it was easy. Throw it away. I found another spool of black thread. I had four to choose from. This led to organizing the thread. Annie will understand this. I hadn't yet reorganzied the thread since The Move. Before, the wall of thread had been left up when the staircase was rebuilt at the clinton st. house (see previous post "white powder and fifty shades of pink"). Now, each little spool had to be cleaned of white powder still clinging like coke never did, the spool-holder washed off. As I was re-ordering the spools by color, I saw the similarity between thread and nailpolish. I have six spools of off-white-nude-not-pink thread, too.

Thread in order, I began laying out the fabric without a pattern. Its been a long time since I've used my machine, and I'd rather sew by hand. But I figured it out, and the pillows took about half an hour to make once I'd figured out the cut and fold part. The pillows are beautiful. Cowboy stripes.

So that's some

southland, greenland

I am back from five days in the camper with my sweetheart and our dogs. As predicted, in real life, not here, we were unable to obtain lodging on the coast for more than one night at a time on the coast. We are not planners, and these days, counter-intuitive as it may seem, to be a camper, one must be a planner. Now, you must jump online nine-months in advance, say, January one, and grab frantically for that choice spot, the one with the perfect view at sunset, competing with a bzillion other campers, and hope you get through. I like campground camping, just not on Labor Day Weekend. So, we didn't get a spot but for one night, then another for another single night, then we headed south, where we camp in the front/back yards of our relatives. Who live, as you know by now, off the grid.

But they all grow weed. And September is high time, pun intended, for near-harvest activities, and we learn this each year. Nobody has time to sit and chat. There are plants to water (by hand with buckets) and deals to be made. It is so odd, driving through the land where I misspent my youth, past fifteen-foot high fences with bright green bushes peeping over the tops, bursting with pollen, garden after garden of skunk smelling dank, selling like hotcakes on every street corner, billboards along I-5 encouraging off-road purchases: Need Marijuana? Next Exit. I can't absorb the rate of social change. A sure sign of aging.

But we finally made it a spot on the Applegate River, gated and private-ish, because my step-son is dating a sweet girl with a quarter mile of river frontage. It meant we didn't have to stay all the way upriver with the outlaws. We had the place to ourselves so we decided to have a party. It started innocently enough. By Monday, there was a crowd of family and near family, food and drink. I don't drink.

I did find time to sit on the river and read my book. It is that river, that water, that is home to me. And to my kin. My son came down from his garden to hang out the night before, but the crowd of Labor Day scared him off. Smart guy.

There were too many people and my father-out-law's wife is unpleasant. She arrives and expects. As a lifestyle. She expects. She waits. Her face is permafrost. She is never invited except by default. She brings out the assassin in me.

Tuesday morning we headed home, after buttoning up everything before nightfall on Monday. While I was still in bed, Kurt hooked up the trailer and as soon as I could get things arranged, we were off. It is good to be home. I have the remainder of the week to be on vacation, so need to find something to do that doesn't feel like homework.