Saturday, July 28, 2012

The haps

July. The month of mad swirling memories, hazy, crazy, thunder-stricken. The population doubles around here in July and August, with gawking expressions peering at you through every window.  Strangely clad people with unfamiliar faces suddenly populate the roads. In their spandex and outdoor gear, high heels and purses, they look too city, or perhaps worse, too back country. We're a genteel little island (at least at first glance ;), with good roads and two coffee shops and endless galleries and really, there's no need to dress like you're about to hike the PCT.
This month, when I'm not working, which seems to be rarely, I've been spending more time reading and writing, and like I said before, less time socializing. Part of this is thanks to my mad book luck of late, finding just the right volumes in Serendipity's chock-full shelves.
In these months, I have more energy, yet want to mostly hang out with my nearest and dearest. 
I'm impartial to soft, blonde things.
When it gets hot, we like to eat our meals in the yard, by the fire pit, have some friends over, watch the sunset and the stars. 
The culmination of the summer madness is, in many ways, the fourth of July. That single day, the population doesn't just double but triples and quadruples. For a few brief hours our town becomes a small city, teeming with people, and then, after the parade ends, the crowds disperse as quickly as they appeared and a rather eerie calm settles in.

If one is in the parade, which I try to be every year, the effect is particularly spooky; seeing hundreds of people line our "main" street.

Each year, our group tries to do some subversive theme and this year's float was a non-GMO one. Some awesome, rebellious folk are striving to create a county ordinance banning GMO seed and plants out here. It's a mighty effort, but a worthy battle and the float took a playful look at this serious theme with "monsanto scientists" spraying "round-up" into the crowd, mutated animals and vegetables (including the freaky fish from the Simpsons;) and happy non-GMO veggies.
IMG_7524 IMG_7502 IMG_7542 
Our group certainly had the best tunes, singing non-GMO  slogans over Beatles songs.
If ever some sharp-eyed visitor came to our town  they might notice a strange uniform look to the signs of the businesses and wonder if perhaps there was some county ordinance, or a neighborhood by-law dictating the look of the town; but no. Each business simply turns to the same talented sign maker. Ours arrived in the beginning of the month and is beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, I've had the pleasure to hang out with Emmy from time to time in the last month, since she moved out to Doe Bay to garden for the summer. She first came out for a Homesteading class our friends Jen and Josh hosted and was right at home with goats and the chickens.   
  IMG_7404 IMG_7412 IMG_7405 
Since then Emmy and her friends have come out for drinks and the biggest thunderstorm of the summer, when all the lights went out, the band played in the dark bar and we danced in the pouring rain. Such fun. I'm hoping to visit Emmy soon in turn soon, though the way from one Island to the next can be surprisingly long. She's thinking of staying through the winter, and so here's to spending long nights soaking in hot tubs and short days hiking in the rain.

  bouquets and presents 
July is a big, important birthday month for my Island family. Mali, her mom and her dad (who are kind of like my aunt and crazy uncle) all have their birthdays and since Mole star was home for the summer I wanted to throw her an actual celebration. 
  my card is the best 
Brunch, champaigne, Gunnes and of course a multitude of presents. I was mighty proud of my presents, especially since originally we were gonna gift sister with a tattoo, before she chickened out. I made her a dress (which I'm going to try to force her to pose in.), the perfect letterpress poster and many other assorted bits and bobs. 
  champaigne champaigne pop goes the
and punch too! 

In the evening we had a little party on the beach with sangria, salads and fake kitten tattoos.
  tattooed babes 
When in doubt, tattoo a kitten on your boob, kids.
  posers sunsets 
The sun came out, balloons escaped to the sky, we drank and ate.
  party on players sunkissed 
I, who sort of hate baking, even made a gluten-free layer cake that turned out rather okay. Anything for my sister.   
Kiss kiss 
So July draws to a close, giving way to the even crazier month of August, a day at a time towards the fall. The good life, the sweet light. How is your summer?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"That summer seemed last forever!"

To think I ever quoted Bryan (Not Ryan!!!) Adams on a blog title! But you'll understand all of my reasons once you press play.
Told you so. The River Sisters need come do a show at our local. That is, once they get the heck outta dodge Turkey and Hayle gets old enough.  

This awesome duo, featuring our very own Sara, can make Bryan Adams cool and sings such 20 something classics as Dylan's "It Ain't Me". I totally recommend to subscribing to The River Sister's Youtube feed.
This one goes out to you Missa. The planets must have totally connected Sara to us...

So many things have happened, online and off while I was on a little vacation, from my routine, from the internet and all. Babies born, my sister's day of birth celebrated, huge thunderstorms have rolled through and now, it's high summer, the languid, manic, strawberry kissed high-summer.  And from here on out, it will last forever.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Say Hello To My Little Friend

No, really. Contrary to some misspellings in some emails, I'm not having kittens, but a kitten, although she's plenty kitten for a couple. Who knew kittens were this feisty? Our first cat, Kissa, was a kind of sluggish little thing, with a kitten cold that just wouldn't  quit. This little girl, on the other hand, is a total maniac foot, shirt sleeve, plant and blanket killing machine. She basically just eats and attacks stuff.
I had originally wanted to get a boy cat, because Kissa is definitely more C.'s kitty than mine, but as fate would have it I ended up with a little tabby girl. 
So far she seems to know that I'm her crazy cat mom, purring whenever I pick her up, crawling from C's chest onto mine if I come to bed after him. We named her Kettu, which means fox in Finnish. We chose it 'cos she's orange, we're watching too many X-files and she's crazy like a fox.
Still, she's cute as a button. Kissa however is of a very different opinion on that. She hates, Kettu, even though Kettu is really submissive, even though she does like to try run after Kissa to play. Kissa doesn't seem to get that Kettu is small and ridiculous, and is rather terrified of her. She's basically just coming home to eat and seems pretty pissed off with us. We hope that she'll adjust with time. Anyone got any tips or insight into kitty psychodrama?

Waves and Heather, I'm looking at you ladies. Although if you're too busy to council me on kitty emotions what with moving countries and giving birth, I understand;).

Last time I got a kitten, I needed advice on making her bird-safe and discovered that my readers are quite cat-experienced, so I trust some sage cat-counseling is coming my way.
Crazy like a fox, indeed. 
But I love her all the same. Welcome, female animal number 40 000 and 9.
 Got a good/ epic pet tale to share? Indulge me. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More than words

A while back I mused a little on the magic of tattoos, highlighting in particular, the difficulty of deciding what words one might put on their skin. While all tattoos merit careful consideration in my world, words particularly do so,  because they have a magic of their own, a very ancient one at that.

In most Western folklore, it is held that a word can have as much power as the actual object, emotion, or force of nature it envokes. This probably stems from the time when humans first developed the capacity for language, when the ability to communicate complicated instructions could be used to your immediate advantage in way that must have seemed nothing short of supernatural others with less language.

There is a whole Judeo-Christian mythology about God inscribing his name, or another sacred word onto something to give it life. In fact, the whole Bible begins with a Word, equating it with God and God with the Word.

 Much folklore and light witchery too is dedicated to words, writing them on parchment and disposing them in different ways, or safekeeping them somewhere holy to make your dreams materialize. Little bits of paper litter the Wailing Wall, various Shinto shrines, prayer candles can be inscribed with the name of  a loved one to remember, or bring them luck, joy, health.

Oh, words are not to be taken lightly. There's even a Jewish myth of the Golem, where a mere mortal human being can animate a man made of dirt by inscribing a word on him.

At the same time, it bears repeating that tattoos are a deeply personal ornament, whatever one likes for oneself goes, no judgement. 

As far as I'm concerned you are free to honor your favorite TV show, day of the week, or 80s hairmetal band lyric on your skin, if you so desire. 

As for myself, I mentioned before that I've been keeping an eye and an ear out for a special word, sentence, cadence, for a while now.

And don't worry, it's not like I spend all of my free time thinking about what tattoos to get; it's just that as my personality evolves, as I essentially become more me with each passing year, I sometimes wonder "What will it be?". 

There are many other things like that I think about from time to time. 

What will be my life's work? Has it already begun, unbeknownst to me? Who will be our child? Or perhaps even, will we have a child, or simply carry on as this family of two happy adults (and a multitude of animals)? What will my first book be? Have I already begun it, or am I still practicing? What will our house be like, our land? Or will we not opt to live in that paradigm, gypsy-ing around this small Island for the rest of our lives? Which of my dreams and goals will I realize and which will not come to pass and which will fall away altogether?

 You know. Stuff like that.

 So obviously, tattooing words on my skin gets very little wonder time.

And yet. As I was musing on the right words again the other day, as I turned beds for starting some winter garden stuff,  they suddenly appeared in front of me, as though from a long remembered dream. 

"Really?" I thought to myself. "These ones?" The ones that have been there all along, for years now. The ones that so perfectly sum up everything that matters to me in this life, everything I need to remember each day. Seven words from more than eleven hundred years ago

Have they been waiting for me to find them all this time? Looking straight at me from their cave? Feeling a little like a fool is appropriate in this case. Not that it matters. I have my words now. They are not important to me so that I can tattoo them to my skin, but because I needed to be reminded of them. I was a little lost and now, I'm back to my path once more, the seven words making way for hundreds more. So obvious. So perfect.

 Or in the words of Jack Kerouac:
"Someday I will find the right words and they will be simple."

Got words? And sorry for my cryptic musings, I will certainly reveal the words once I've gotten them tattooed. Honestly I'm kinda musing for myself at this point. Excuse the self-indulgence. It is my blog after all, a narcissistic endeavor by nature.