Friday, April 29, 2011

Doorbell, er Derville

Clancy and Derville have become such great buddies. I truly believe they communicate with each other in a special way.

One of the cutest examples of this is how Derville is like a doorbell for Clancy. Since we've gotten Derville, we've had to keep the doggie door closed except when we are letting Clancy in and out. This was a little saddening for the Pooh in the beginning, but Derville picked up the slack right away.

Check out the conversation:

Clancy: Yeah, so I'm still out here and kinda want to come back in. Do you see her anywhere? I wanna lay on her pillows. Can you get her to hurry up, please?

Derville: (In a Joe Pesci voice) No problem, Boss. I hear ya, Boss. Lemme track down the old lady and bust her balls a little and see if we can get some freaking service here! Hang on, Boss.

Derville: (Now in a whiny little kid voice) Heyyyyy. Heyyyyyyy. Meooooooow. MEOWWWWWWW. Meowm, Heyyyy Moewm, Ma, MEOOOOWMMMMMM!!! Translation: Hey, lady! The big guy wants in. He's ready to come in now, why don't you hurry up and let him in!?! Hey LADY!!! Let the big guy in!!!

Clancy: Thanks, kid. Don't be too ruff on her, though...remember she's the one that feeds you at 5am. Don't wanna mess up that sweet deal, do ya? Thanks again, Doorbell.

It's so funny how Derville voice changes. Not just his voice that I hear in my head but his real voice. He always announces when he comes in to a room with a little "meep." In the morning, at 5 am, his voice sounds like a little kid that pissed his bed and is scared to tell his mom. He comes up to my head and says "mmoooeeemmm" and I swear it sounds like he is saying mom in a timid scared voice. Freaked me out the first few times because I really expected to open my eyes to see a ghost child! And finally, he chatters at anything else that is moving. He gives the birds and the squirrels and the flies the business, for sure. He sounds very tribal using the clicks and clucks to communicate.

Funny cat, that Doorbell, er Derville of ours. We sure do love him and the Pooh!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Local Craft Warehouse is Closing!

This morning, I stopped at our local Craft Warehouse because (unfortunately) it is closing and (fortunately) the deals are getting good. Today I scoured the aisles and found a few must-have treasures.

This beautiful little drawing box:

It's a Sumi Drawing and Painting Set.

What is Sumi? It is Japanese black ink: solid black ink used in sticks for Japanese painting and writing.

I have no idea how to do this but I love to learn new art techniques and I just had to have it. It was the last one and this set really is lovely. Plus I'm a sucker for anything with an Oriental style and this box is gorgeous.

I also got a small flower press which I'm sure I'll be posting about soon.

And no, Mom, I didn't forget about Jason. I got this for him:  

Block of Italian clay

He's never said he wanted some clay but I have a feeling he's going to like getting his hands on this squishy block. It air-hardens and can be painted with anything.

I got the inside scoop that the store is handing in the keys around the first week of June so I'm going to head back down there every now and then until it closes to see what other treasures I can find.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weird blooms

Remember how I said that I cut the bloom from the rhubarb plant and put it in my window to grow?

Well, I gotta tell ya, this is one we-heird plant!

Weirdly phallic. 

 Weirdly bulbous and slightly hemorrhoidal looking.

 There are so many things that come to mind when I look at this, but none of them are particularly pleasant. Well, I do think the pink and green colors of the cauliflower-looking stuff  are pretty -- they look like Dippin' Dots!

Rhubarb Split, anyone? It's just doing this on it own...engorged with water I guess.

The WE-HEIRDEST thing about this clipping is that it smells like really strong rhubarb! Ok, not a big surprise since it is from a rhubarb plant, but the smell is so different than that of a regular flower, it's interesting none the less!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blooming or Bolting??

Can you tell which plant in the garden is blooming and which plant is bolting?

Well, the other day I noticed our rhubarb plant was starting to flower, so I did a little research to find out if I should let it bloom or cut it back.

Here's what I found:  

If plants flower when we want them to, we call it blooming. But if plants flowers when we don't want them to, we call it bolting. 

Flowering is an undesirable trait when growing rhubarb; therefore, bolting describes the event. We don't want the plant to flower because then all of the energy will go to the bloom.  We need all the energy to go the plant so we'll have big, beautiful rhubarb stalks in a few weeks.

So I cut the bloom at the bottom and put it in my kitchen window to flower! It's going to be a weird one, for sure!

So if the rhubarb is bolting, then the rosemary is blooming.

I'm really proud that the teeny tiny rosemary sprig we planted 2 years ago is getting huge and blooming like crazy! I started noticing the blooming rosemary around here a couple of years ago. They have the most beautiful powder blue/purple flowers and I had never seen that before -- or maybe just never noticed.

Now I feel like a real Oregonian with our giant blooming rosemary plant!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Since it is Earth Day here on Earth and I'm feeling very Earthy today, I thought it would be the perfect time to share pictures from our day trip to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm -- 26th Annual Tulip Festival -- Woodburn, OR last weekend.

<<-begin-rant--There were SO many people out there! It was really hard to keep those fuckers outta my pictures as I was taking them. I don't do any post-editing to my photos because I really try to capture the image I want on the spot. So when some fat ass walks right into my shot, I get a little disappointed. You can only title so many shots "Beauty ruined by an oblivious fat ass" and I already have my share of those.--end-rant->>

Other than there being tons of people there it was an amazing experience. I would like to go during the week instead of on the weekend. It would be nice to actually stop and smell the flowers without someone running over me.

 We did get some awesome pictures, though. How can you not with acres and acres of tulips in all directions!?!

Made me really wish I had a serious camera instead of my little point and shoot. It takes excellent pictures but sometimes I want it to do things that it doesn't want to do. I know, I know read the manual...well I have and you have to go through 50 screens to adjust the zoom or focus manually. That's not fun to me. I might as well just take crap photos and edit them beyond recognition later on the computer, but that's not my style.

Nature provides so many beautiful things that I could never imagine on my own, I don't understand why anyone would want to "edit" that natural beauty. Probably the same reason I don't understand why women cake on the makeup when they have natural beauty. And perfume -- don't get me started on perfume! Why people CHOOSE to smell like petrochemicals and toilet cleaner is completely beyond me. Give me a little amber body scent and I'm a happy girl.

In celebration of Earth day, I challenge you to tap into your natural beauty today and give the editing tools a break. You are beautiful. We are all beautiful. Let's live it, breathe it, and believe it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Always and Forever

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary!

It's crazy how "5 years" doesn't seem to be an accurate time count at all. I feel like we've been moving through this "thing" together for thousands of years. Thousands of lives and lifetimes. Infinite versions, with infinite beginnings and infinite endings.

I can't wait to experience every single one of them together with my hubby! I'm so thankful that we continue to find each other.

In honor of this special occasion, I asked our good friend, the ultimate mustache man Jim Croce, to sing our song for us today.

So here it is.

"A long time ago" by Jim Croce.

I love you!

Seems like such a long time ago,

I was walking on a lonely road.

Getting tired of dreaming alone,

like all the lonely people I had known.

Seems like such a long time ago,

there was no one who would share my song.

I was just a boy far from home,

but I became a man when you came along.

We spent the whole night talking.

You said you'd like to see the sun rise.

But in the gold of morning,

was nothing that I had not seen in your eyes.

I was so afraid to touch you,

thought you were too young, you know.

So I just watched you sleeping.

Then you woke and said to me,

The night is cold, it frightens me.

I could sleep so easy next to you.

Wasn't very long ago,

you said that you would like to share my road.

Then you started singing my song.

Spent so many nights a-waiting,

Lets not spend a moments wasting time,

because we have very far to go.

I will go if you will take me,

I have never had a lover.

I am young but I am so alone.

We spent the whole night talking.

But in the gold of morning....

(Sidenote: I've been reading extremely too much existential shit lately and so I am completely switching gears with a recommendation from Jason to read "The Adding Machine" by William Burroughs. Will update on that later.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Special Delivery!

As I mentioned previously, this week has been very much on the stressful side of things. Add the fact that it hasn't stopped raining in forever, I'm still wearing wool socks because we have yet to hit 70 degrees this year, and our garden box looks like a redneck swimming hole which makes it impossible to get the garden started.

Sounds like good times, eh? Just another gray day in the neighborhood.

And then...

...the flower delivery guy knocked on my door with these:

 (notice the redneck swimming hole in the backyard)

I was completely surprised!! Unexpected flowers from an unexpected sender.

Usually flower deliveries are reserved for birthdays or deaths -- neither of which is the case today. Hooray!

The roses are so pretty and smell so wonderful. What a great way to brighten my day!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Putting on the "big girl panties"

I had to put on my "big girl panties" today and take a huge stand.

I've been so incredibly nervous to pull the trigger on this decision. But I did it!

Turns out, the catastrophes I had created in my head were much worse than how things actually turned out. (Just like they always are.)

Now it would be great if I could just remember this the next time my heart is beating out of my chest and I'm hyperventilating in anticipation of expressing a choice that has already been made. It's all going to be okay!

Pheww. Now that I've purged it all out, I need a nap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flowers, gnomes, a cat and a dog

The tulips are really busting out around here!

It's so nice to see some color after so many months of gray days. (Even though most of the days are still gray, the color is much appreciated.)

Jason and I are going to cruise out to Woodburn this weekend to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm for their 26th Annual Tulip Festival. I saw pictures of it last year and decided it was a must-do for this year. You can check the field report here and see pictures from the current day! It's absolutely breathtaking. Fingers crossed we don't get rain!

These are the tulips I planted in our front yard. Like my little gnome? He's a happy guy. He has a pal on the other side who you can't see, but he's a happy guy too.

Derville loves hiding in his Dumbec box.

Larry the landlord's yard. His flowers are always so beautiful! What are the blue ones called? We have some growing randomly in our spice garden and I didn't realize they were ornamentals until they bloomed this year. I think we may have used them as scallions last year -- oops.

Last but not least, Clancy looking at the beautiful flowers from his window throne.

Hope you're enjoying Spring, where ever you are.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ring the bells that still will ring

As you may or may not know, we love Leonard Cohen. He is the closest thing to "God" as I can imagine. So it was very ironic when we heard these lyrics from his song "Anthem" a lot during our MBSR course:

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

I've heard these lyrics a million times before, but it wasn't until they were put into the context of personal satisfaction and achievement that I really understood them.

It's a great reminder that some parts of us may be broken or gone or don't ring anymore, but what we do have -- the bells that still will ring, we must cherish and utilize. Forget your perfect offering. Surrender to the idea of imperfection in order to achieve satisfaction. There is a crack in everything. Nothing is perfect and in fact, most of time the imperfections are the most necessary and beautiful parts of all.

Because that's where the light gets in.

Here's the video of "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen.

He's such a classy guy, you'd never know he was monk!

"Anthem" by Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

In My Secret Life

I've been working on this piece for a couple months now. It's the longest I've ever spent on one drawing or painting. This time I used colored pencils in order to try my hand at more details and less blending. I don't like it as much as paint (oil especially). i really enjoy the blending and layering that oil paint allows.

This drawing started out as a creative outlet during work hours. I kept it on my desk and worked on it a bit at a time when I needed to clear my brain. Like Leonard Cohen's song "In My Secret Life", I felt like I was retreating to my secret life when I worked on it. I pictured the entrance like the garden from the movie "The Secret Garden". 

"My Secret Life"

I can't even begin to describe what's behind the wall except that it's My Secret Life.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Breaking out of the mold

Currently, I've been re-reading "One" by Richard Bach -- the follow-up to his novel "The Bridge Across Forever." I really like both of these books. Actually I like all of Bach's books -- Jonathan Livingston Seagull is especially simple yet beautiful.

"One" is particularly interesting to me right now because the central idea is that every version of ourself already exists.


Just imagine: the version that grew up in the big city and the one that grew up in a small town. The one that went to college and traveled the world and the one that stayed and worked a hometown job. The one that met their soulmate and lived happily ever after and the one that fucked it all up and let the soulmate slip away. The version that is successful and the one that fails miserably.

They all exist. At the same time. We just have to make the choices that result in the perpetuation of the version of ourselves that we want to be.

 No one can make the decision to change your life for you. It has to come from within.

Pardon me, but I've been on quite the existential journey lately. So many things to think about, choices to make, risks to calculate, triggers to pull. My internal struggle to find peace in a dual-identity existence is being stretched to the limit.

Logical brain fights freedom-seeking brain.

"Some times you have to let your dreams go," says logic.

"NEVER!!" is the returned battle cry of the freedom-seeker.

All signs in my life seem to be saying this:

Take the leap toward happiness - it's scary, but no one can do it for you.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Happy Birthday to Pooh!

Happy Birthday, Clancy Pooh!

Today is Clancy's 12th birthday! We've already sung "happy birthday to pooh" a few times. Clancy loves being sang too.

Mother nature brought him fresh flowers and sunshine for his special day.

(posing sweetly for his birthday picture by the tulips)

Birthday flowers!

(sexy wind-blown, lip-licking, photo outtake)


Here's to being 12 YEARS YOUNG!

I'm so happy you've been a part of my life -- I can't imagine it without you!