Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Paintbox of my Mind !

Well, I did it ! I scrimped and saved, and I sent away for some new oil painting brushes. The rat bastadge Movers Paul Arpin Van Lines (now Arpin Van Lines) the most HORRIBLE unethical bunch of ratbastadge nincompoop idiots I EVER had the misfortune of dealing with, lost one (of many) of my belongings, this one was a box of art supplies, which included couple hundred dollars worth of nice brushes.

PS~ If you ever want to have your furniture destroyed, (broken hardwood table legs, scratches a quarter of an inch deep on your hardwood dressers) your belongings lost, (boxes, my Hammond organ for three months, and when they found it, it no longer works, so I have to hire a tube specialist to repair it) with the added bonus of having your contract doubled upon arriving and having the rest of your belongings held hostage until you can pony up twice as much CASH as you had agreed upon, PLUS having the delightful experience of being told by the district attorney's office that there ain't ONE damned thing they are willing to do about it, regardless of how many pictures you have supplied of ravaged belongings.. I tell you, it's like a rape. So, if you want to just rape yourself with no vaseline, hire Paul Arpin Van Lines to do your moving for you ! They will gladly lie to you and take your money for inferior service and superior destruction.

But I digress.

I wanted to get a lovely set of laminated wooden rainbow-colored brushes by Papillon but I can no longer find them online, and the gal who said she'd order them for me has been just too busy to keep her promise, darn it... She's juggling lots of plates! So I had to settle. But I got a nice deal, good sturdy wooden handles, came with a nice wooden case, natural bristle brushes... And I picked up some turpentine to clean my brushes when I'm done for the day, and a couple of palettes.

I had taken a beautiful picture of Nihki Roxie, she's looking straight at me, and it's nice and sharp. So I gathered all my materials, my easel and canvasses that Dian & Mary Claire bought me, my paint box full of paints, my new brushes, an old sheet, and I am beginning a new project!

I have successfully translated what I see on the photograph onto the canvas, using a pencil, and I called my friend Jane who is an artist and we talked for about an hour on my next step. I didn't want to lose the detail and I've never oil painted before ! *laughs* I can't take a photo of the canvass at THIS point, pencil does not photograph well at all.. But I will take some pictures of the progress as I go along.

I realized I have to get a few more tubes of paint, and I must get some linseed oil before I can start putting brush to canvas, but I've been studying, and learning, and getting my fingers dirty exploring the colors I do have.... OOOOOOO rainbow fingers!

I'm quite excited, and I hope that I can translate what I "see" in my head with what I put on the canvas!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Goodbye, Granny

About three and a half years ago, I adopted/rescued 2 Oberhausli goats. My good friend Dorrie, an elderly Gentlewoman who lives alone, asked me if I could take them, because she had fallen, spent some time in the hospital, and was now finding it very difficult to take care of them. Their names were Granny, and her son, Joey, a wether. Granny had spent most of her life tethered, but not Joey, because he wouldn't go anywhere without his Mama.

This put my goat count to five. I had the two Nubian Princesses, Corazon and Tattoo, Granny & Joey, and Chevy, a white Pygora wether who came to Wolfdancer Creek last year. I call them the Royal Goat Court.

With the help of my friend Greig, (who is a Blessing!) we (read that HE, because I didn't do much except hold one end of the fencing) fixed most of the old perimeter fencing, and fenced some areas off limits. I have a rather long row of beautiful large leafed Rhododendrons lining the west side of my pond, and rhodies are very poisonous to goats, plus, I have my gardens, and my fruit trees, and goats are notorious tree killers, and garden vegetable pillagers.

So they have about 3 acres to browze in, plus the neighbors' wild piece of property which they are quickly denuding of blackberries.

Now, when I adopted Granny and Joey, they weren't in the best of shape. They were both VERY thin, Granny's tummy was huge, but all her hip bones and spine bones were easily counted from afar.... Joey was rail thin. Their fur was very rough, dull and coarse. I wormed them several times, put them on minerals and grain, and good hay, and let them freely wander the 3 acres to browze at their heart's content. Within about a year, their fur was shiny and glossy and soft to touch, they both had put on 30-50 pounds, and they looked very nice and healthy!

Dottie told me she thought Granny was about 11 years old. So she was real close to around 14 plus years old. That's quite elderly for a goat!

On Wednesday, the other goats jostled her around while I was passing out treats and hay, and she went down, back legs splayed behind her. I shooed the other goats off, and helped her up, and gave her some extra treats and skritches, which is my wont. Granny is a VERY sweet friendly goat, and actively solicits attention. On Thursday, I gave them all treats, and she was doing well. I THOUGHT she was ok yesterday, but I didn't go treat them. I could've sworn I saw her up and around, but now, I don't think so. This morning, when Greig went up to refill the hay barrel with a lovely orchard-alfalfa mix, he found her dead. :~(

We spent most of the afternoon digging a very deep hole in the hard, damp clay. (At least it was not in the summer months, when it's baked hard!) We got a big bag of lime, because BooBoo the Bear has been around again, I saw his scat about. We placed Granny in her grave, limed her, then I covered her with a blanket of autumn leaves, and we buried her. I told her to Go to God, and that I'd be seeing her over the Bridge. I told her that I genuinely was honored to know her, and I felt as if we hadn't had as much time together as I would have wished.

So for the last 3 years of her life, she got to wander free of tethers, got to eat her fill, and I got to know a very sweet goat. I shall miss her a great deal.


Monday, January 11, 2010

My Tribe

People ask me often what I mean by "My Tribe". They wonder if I am Native American (I am part Iroquoix, and part Apache biologically, and definitely NA for my Spirit.)
A long long while ago, in a universe far far away, in a (then) small town in San Diego (Yes, Virginia, there used to be a close-knit small town aura in SoCal) there was a group of people who went to the same High School, called El Capitan.

"Sycamores and Mighty Mountains, Colors, Black and Gold! These will be our inspirations as our lives unfold ! Guide us to the understanding of our fellow man, lead us all to new horizons, Hail El Capitan!" Thirty-something years later, in 2010, I will be in a group of people in the Golden Dragon, watching the Cameltones, when the drummer will slip next to us during break, and we will, all eight of us, burst into our alma mater song. How many folks remember your High School Alma Mater song? I graduated in 1975, and I still remembered it! *laughs*

I lost many of my photographs from high school, when an idiot I was engaged to, Van Meers, burned them in a fit of weird inappropriate jealousy. But my friend Cathy has several! I am going to try to see if I have some more in photo books .. This is one of Cathy's of our Choir group. Everyone was supposed to dress up in flapper gear, but as I recall, 1) I was NOT "grrrly" or flapper-ish, and 2) we were pretty broke, and unless it was Theatre clothing, there wasn't any extra money for costumes. So I wore my street clothes. Somewhere, I still have these jeans, and their "partner" set, owned by Jeff, and still around with him, as well! Heavily embroidered and stitched with love, they are vintage cloth art! :~D
So guess which one I am.

This past New Years, I visited with my Mom, my Family and my Tribe, where I spent not-enough time with way too much laughter. My friends threw me a party which was inventive and very fun! Here are some more pictures from that party. These are my Tribe.
The culprits and Master Minds of the concept, soon to be an annual event

My Dear Friends Chris and Larry

Tim, myself, Jeff & Robert watching the Music makers

Jeff gives good hugs !

MarBaby, Randy, Robert & Tim around the campfire.. Hey what's a great party without fire?

Steve & Sam jamming.. I was struggling with the creeping crud and was terribly hoarse with a sore throat, else I'd've been singing with them! That was my only sorrow !

Sam Steve and John

I was in my element! Friends and music *happy sigh*

Larry, Ralphie, Chris & Jani

Cathy and my Baby Boy, Teeghkii, whom she baby sat for me whilst I was rehearsing at the theatre or working. Teeghkii still remembers her very fondly!

So there's part of my Tribe. An Elder once told me that Family can be born into or chosen, and they are both to be Honored as Special. As I have gotten older, I have realized just how special this bond has been! Hardly anyone I know has had this kind of still-close bond, despite time, despite distance, despite changes, despite all the living we have had between then and now. Most of met each other in High School, or in our early twenties. We have saved eachother's lives, we have held eachother's hearts in ours. These are people I am Honored to call friends. They are my Tribe.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Annual All Howl-i-Daze Party

When I went to visit my Mom & Tribe, Cathy and Jani threw a GREAT party for me, the First Annual All Howl-i-Daze Party, where we celebrated all the holidays that I missed, such as

St. Paddy's Day,

Fourth of July (there were even fireworks!),

Fat Tuesday,

We did THAT one up!

and Cinco de Mayo.

In no particular order. I just got to go to the Designated Table, and call out a Howliday to celebrate ! So many folks showed up, folks I hadn't seen in FAR too long ...
Like Sam,

and Mar Baby

and Jeff .. Here he is with the OTHER tallest man in my world, Chris !

OMG! it was so good to see him and Larry !

and well, everybody. Cathy even stayed till the very end, and she NEVER stays out late anymore ! I'm still awaiting another set of pics from Jani. My cheeks and belly ached for days from the grinnin and the laughin and the singin and the *happy*happy*joy*joy* It was just the best party I've been to since .. well, since a long long long time. Since the last great Tribal gathering!

It appears as if I have reached an unspoken limit for pictures in this post --go figure!- So I shall write another one ! With pictures of the music makers...and more...


Friday, January 8, 2010

Tales of Terrorist Toothpaste Transgressions!

Now, I know (now) that some idiot terrorist nincompoop tried to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day but I grow weary of common sense being so... well, uncommon. On Dec 28th, I tried to fly to San Diego to see my Mom, and visit my Tribe. It took me 13 hours to fly a 2 & a half hour flight. I certainly made two large mistakes:
#1 I told the truth
and #2 I don't watch television, so I knew nothing about the idiot with a bomb.

Because I just HAVE to find the sunny side of every shadow, I figured I'd write about it. There's plenty of laughter in the tale, much of it in a keystone cops kind of way :~D Much of it at my own expense.

Picture it, if you will. Our heroine blithely approaches the airport, little knowing that she is about to step into: The Twilight Zone.

Since 9/11, I have flown five times with the same "personals" bag in my luggage. It's a three-fold bag which hangs on the back of a door. VERY handy for traveling! It's filled with clear, see-through plastic pockets where you put ungents and potions, lotions and whatnots, toothpaste, shampoos, & conditioners. You know, Grrrrl stuff. So why on Earth would I even think that any of these ungents and potions and toothpaste might NOW be considered dangerous weapons of mass destruction?

The Security Cop fellow is hollarin' about everyone having to place their ungents and potions and whatnots in a plastic Ziploc baggies. I think this is retarded, since there's all these clear plastic windows in my well-traveled personals bag, but I've learned to shrug and follow instructions, so I do this thing.

When I am checked through with my boarding pass, I get told my toothpaste is too big. I have, you guessed it, Terrorist Toothpaste. Right alongside the Terrorist Toothpaste is my Biosilk & Pantene hair conditioner. Those of you who know me, know I have fairly long -middle of my back- quite curly fine hair, and if I don't use superior hair products it gets brittle. And man, there is little in this world more embarrassing than to go around town looking like a frayed Q-tip. The folks say "Just throw it away", but who the heck has about $50.00 bucks extra to spend to replace this kind of stuff in this economy?? They say bag checks cost $15.00 bucks, go back and check your bag.

OK, fine. I hobble off to the baggage check in, and as I hobble, I call my ride, who has walked away a mere THREE MINUTES earlier, dagnabbit, but he does not answer. I wonder still, just what he thought about those 5 frantic phone calls (and a partridge in a pear tree!) The ga at the baggage check-in recognizes me, but tells me it's too late for her counter, hurry inside. I hurry inside, stand in a hurried line, hobble hurriedly, and get told "Well, you should have come here first." riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. It's too late to check my bags, I'm told, the line didn't hurry hurriedly enough. I ask them to call the gate, cuz I'm a'comin', and she says she will. So I hurriedly hobble to the post office right next to the gate, and mail my Terrorist Toothpaste and Companion Potions back to myself, and re-enter the boarding line. I go through security for the second time, hobble to the gate, and I MADE IT! with 7 minutes to spare!

But Lo! & Behold! The lady at the baggage claim did NOT call the gate, and they will not allow me to board. *sigh* I get told that there's no flights out until tomorrow ! I actually grabbed my lips and squeezed them together in order that they not drop copious and illegal F-bombs about. I suppose I looked as if my head were going to pop off, because after about 20 minutes, they found me another flight... with three connectors.. Puddle jumper. From Portland, Oregon PDX to San Jose, from San Jose to Los Angeles, and from Los Angeles to San Diego, arriving at 11:30 pm. It is 10:30 am, and I have been at the airport now for an hour and 45 minutes.

I am NOT a good flyer, I'm a white-knuckled take-off-and-land OMG I hate this kind of flyer. This is NOT a roller coaster, this is NOT a Disney ride, we are all thousands of feet up in the air and even the elephants look like ants ... if I had a magnifying glass that big .....

But the silver lining was, at least I was in Portland. Because those OTHER three airports are, well, not as nice as PDX. On PDX, they have live music. Every time I've been there, there's someone plugged into an amp, playing music. Steel drums, pan pipes, acoustic guitar, violin, it's all beautiful. So if you ever have to spend 7 hours stuck in an airport, I hope you wind up stuck in Portland, because at least they're civilized.

In San Jose, you have to go to an entirely different airport to change planes, consequently ensuring you get to go through customs, errrr security, errrr jail... or whatever they call it now yet another time. You get to go OUT of one airport, catch a bus, and go IN through more security, strip ... and hurry and wait. In L.A., well, what can you say about L.A. except their airplanes all look like great white sharks in a feeding frenzy with brightly colored fiesta fins.

The puddle jumpers did make for lovely lights. Since most folks still had their Christmas lights up, it looked like someone had spilled chests filled with jewels across the dark velvet landscape, jewels lit from within by luminous fireflies of loveliness. The skyscrapers and office buildings were festooned with garlands of rubies, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds cascading down their sides. It was quite beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I almost forgot to be scared! In San Diego, I get all sorts of excited when I land in San Diego, because I know I'll get to see my Family and my Tribe. That makes it all sweet.

When I finally got into San Diego, picked up by my little sister Laurie, may angels sleep on her shoulder, I learned why #1 was so incredibly foolish of me. (You remember reason #1, don't you??) There, in that personals bag, was a 6 oz. brown glass bottle, unmarked, unlabeled, with about an inch of clear oil in it. My friend Greig makes this WONDERFULLY scented oil which I use at the ends of my hair, and on my arms and legs. It mixes well with lotions, and has a lasting and lovely fragrance of herbs and essential oils. In my purse, I also had a small nail knife, you know those Swiss Army knives for nail care? about 2" long. Can you imagine the mischief I could have caused with that dangerous weapon? Stewardesses threatened by pedicures at knife point! Film at eleven! So if I had just left my toothpaste and ungents and such in my personals bag, I'll betcha I would have had NO problems at all.

Teach ME to be honest and forthcoming ! *bah*

Till the next great adventure ! Onward to the next star and to the right !