ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
Our farewell to Mr. Montague was a precious, peaceful, painless, utterly trusting one around 10:30am (PT) this morning. ... His was an attentive, caring, fiercely protective, and noble soul. We are so grateful that we were able to provide him with this final gesture of our love and respect.
We drove up into the mountains to deliver him [to the potter who also does pet cremations], and then down to the sea for a few hours where we could hear the ocean purr and our salty tears fell amidst tide pools of memories; our cries were answered by sea birds on the wing who could miraculously lift our hearts onto the breeze, all of us together -- for a moment -- again.
Thank you all for your expressions of sympathy and condolences. They mean a great deal.
Friday we started talking about Edward. He's pretty much run wild the past handful of months as Christine hasn't had the heart to say "no" or ignore him when he asks to go out. I found a website about cat training (not all of which seemed appropriate for our situation), and we negotiated from there. We've started a practice of carrying him out to a bench in the little yard area near our unit, holding him and chatting with him, before we return in leaving him there. We are going to the same place to collect him. We've talked with the neighbors where he hangs out and asked them not to feed him. So that's been some distraction, especially while he's inside, trying to retrain us to let him out.
Reading a March summary from Chuck Fager (http://quakertheology.org/Preview-QT-2
* Poplar Ridge is almost indistinguishable from a Baptist Church;
* Polar Ridge's pastor wanted to reduce the theological diversity of NCYM-FUM by insisting that all Meetings be aligned with NCYM-FUM and no other Quaker bodies.
* New Garden is the meeting most targeted because it is in fellowship with the more liberal branches of Friends "New Garden Friends Meeting is an inclusive, welcoming Christian faith community. Our members and attenders represent a wide range of religious backgrounds and traditions. Grounded in more than 250 years of Quaker heritage, New Garden remains a vital Meeting for those who seek that of God in every person." [Code word inclusive means they welcome LGBTQ members.]
* Poplar Ridge's attempt to dominate the Yearly Meeting business by demanding unity in theological stance has been incredibly divisive.
* The Yearly Meeting executive body, witnessing that Poplar Ridge had finally crossed a line in beginning exploration of starting a new Yearly meeting, had grounds to release Poplar Ridge and its financial partner Holly Spring before the gathering of the whole where the dissent and tumult would be even more charged. Unfortunately, by applying this particular judgement of a line to the disruptive and demanding meetings, they needed to equally apply it to the more universalist meeting that maintained a membership in a second yearly meeting.
So, i read this as a trimming of two extremes from the Yearly Meeting.
Ah, here's Chuck's more up-to-date blog post: http://afriendlyletter.com/breaking-car
It seems my reading aligns with his.
I'll note that were i to move to North Carolina i *might* sojourn with a North Carolina Yearly Meeting
(Conservative) meeting, but i could not join one. I would not be interested in any meeting that was aligned with NCYM-FUM -- except with the possibility of the expelled New Garden Friends Meeting. I'd be more at home at a Meeting that was part of Piedmont Friends Fellowship and Yearly Meeting. I've happily joined Friends at the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting in the past.
This morning Mr M has left his corner to come join us on the bed. This is so remarkable after weeks of his hiding in nooks. He's been sitting on my chest purring away. Such a delightful gift. Meanwhile his spine and legs seem simply skeletal.
I signed onto skillshare yesterday for a free sketching tutorial (Digital Drawing Workout: The Art of Subtraction). It was a pleasant diversion. There are also food photography tutorials which seem likely to align with my china shoot needs. The system is offering three months for 99¢, so i went ahead for the trial. It's not my preferred mode for learning, but it may provide the inspiration needed to pull off the etsy sales photos. (I also think there seem to be plenty of similar tutorials on youtube; the difference is there is theoretically a learning community at skillshare.)
This morning i've a planning meeting for a visioning process for Meeting. I'm trying to get in the right mind frame for it: the reading i've been doing just doesn't fit. I suppose thinking about moving and the elephant issues have not helped. I'm preoccupied with how to find sustainability day to day: i've not been thinking about helping the Meeting find such sustainability.
Concord is located 29 miles east of San Francisco, meaning that the commute through the Caldecott Tunnel and across the Bay Bridge can be done in approximately thirty minutes when traffic is light, and in less than a week when traffic is heavy.Would a two hour ride be better than a one hour drive? (Especially when the one hour is so uncertain?) I imagine four hours of reading the interwebs and writing twice a week might be pleasant. (Admittedly this is with the rose filter on at maximum strength.)
The linens arrived for the china sets. This means this weekend can be spent in photographing pieces. I'm still trying to decide how many place settings for the dining set that includes the serving dish: six or four? I'm convinced the tea set should be for six. And, it's time to commit to the second attempted replacement tea pot.
Edward has coming home during the day, twice now Hurrah! His regular presence and comfort staying inside certainly reduces Christine's worry.
I was just driving through the Googleplex en route and on return from Shoreline park. The massive white buses are dense on the road -- but traffic isn't. While i am frustrated by the issues raised by the corporate busses (how pulling those users out of public transit removes the user base to improve public transit for the rest of us), driving around the Googleplex at rush hour made me really appreciate the behemoths. The traffic didn't seem much different from when i worked out that way except for the busses and the clumps of Google bike riders.
I held another's pain today with another person. "This is a safe space," i tried to affirm, but the third person was in so much pain.... I hope that effort will make way for healing.
And only so much time.
It did remind me that i want to be more intentional about being grateful. And i am so grateful not to have such a stressed out job. There are some things i'm finding makes me ... dismayed?... about the future. But the future isn't here yet, and i was very glad to be able to enjoy the present this evening.
I'm going through photos from February, adding observations to iNaturalist and editing the "studio" photos.
The goal is to feel ready to both start planning next spring's collecting trips and taking china photos.
My attempt to stain the crazed lines is not resulting quite in the results i want. I've moved on from the fluid acrylic paints, but i have a feeling i really need to warm up the teapot to open the cracks enough to get strong pigment take up. I'm trying markers right now.
We went to see the David Foster Wallace movie, End of the Tour. Intense and saddening. OK, depressing. But good. It was nice to get to know the guy, even if it was third or fourth hand. Christine really has enjoyed his work.
In talking with Christine about pros and cons of moving to NC, i suddenly realized that the Big Holiday Productions would be harder to avoid. The Hayward fault looks much more stable, all of a sudden.
I took Friday off for Mental Health. We drove straight over the Santa Cruz mountains on tiny windy roads, myself at the wheel, no rush. Lunch in Pescadero, not at famous Duarte's (thirty minute wait) but at the Country Store restaurant up the street. Then to Bean Hollow State Beach where we meditated on the waves and i visited tide pools.
I've bid on two sets of gold flatware to go with the china. One set is won, and that will cover the tea set and the six settings without tea cups. Another set looks to be almost won at a sweet agreeable price. I've bought the matching linens. Soon the fashion photography will begin.
It looks like mis-matched china teasets are going for hundreds of dollars on etsy. Hopefully, the additional elements i'm adding will get the premium price i am hoping for.
I didn't attend Meeting but did some research on visioning process for Meeting as well as some discussions about elephant herding with Christine.
Work starts in fifteen minutes with conference calls for a standards group outside work.
Before we begin the home buying process in earnest here in California, i believe i will be asking my directory and manager whether i could keep my job if we moved to NC. This sort of timing issue would be gone then, and we wouldn't be buying on the Hayward fault (and probably within reach of sea level rise).
Summer rain is so very very rare here, even when it's not a drought.
Reading the twitter hashtag on the GOP debate depressed me. Admittedly, my sense of cheer is at a distance due to some concerns that i am carrying.
Yet, even growing up, i recall our family making at least daily use of the dishwasher. So, i'm curious --
How many times a week do you run your dishwasher?
more than once a day
Do you machine wash pots and pans?
rarely have pots and pans to wash
What do you hand wash?
the dishes for a meal for one person
"special" dishes (china, crystal, hand made pottery)
the dishes for a meal for two
dishes for family meals
glass cookware from the microwave
pans used in baking
pans used in broiling
stove top pans
plastic dishes and flatware
crockpots, slowcookers, pressure cookers
cuisinart pieces, blender pieces, other prep dishes
dishes, utensils, etc i need right now
dishes, utensils, etc that are barely dirty
really really stuck on (or burnt) stuff
all of the above
and things not above
Christine was pretty elephant besieged since i have been back, so a lovely evening is also something to cherish.
There are times as i'm doing this that i wonder if we should keep the china and use it to death. (It's just the question of storage.) Spending time looking at it has made me appreciate it, even though it is so not my style.
Maybe i could, should keep 6 settings and divest myself of 6?
I've just bid on a china teapot that should complement the set, whether i sell off the china or i keep it!
I haven't been eating much since i came home -- in a good way. (I haven't been doing much that requires refueling, either.) It feels like a great deal of stress eating has gone by the wayside. If i can keep that up when i go back to work, it will be a win. I'm not craving sweets.
So in outline, this trip:
Thursday: San Francisco direct to RDU. Beer with my sister to debrief. Gathering at my folks home with Mom & Dad; mom's brother, his wife, his son; my brother and his eldest and youngest; my sister, her two kids, and her husband. I went home with my sister to sleep in her guest room. Her son stayed with his cousin.
Friday: Breakfast at my sister's place and then lots and lots of family at my folks. All of the above, plus my mother's sister and her husband. (And my sister's husband worked during the day.) It was very low key, and i spent most of the time listening.
Saturday: Morning at my sister's place and folks visited her new-to-her home. My brother's wife and his other son arrived very late Friday night, so they were added into the gathering. Lunch was at my folk's place and once folks retired, we took the kids out to decorate my folk's car. I departed with my sister's clan, dressed for the party, and then my sister and i set up for the shindig. (All of ten minutes: the rest was provided by the venue.) My parents were delighted, astounded by the shindig: i swear it is the only occasion my mother has experienced where she wasn't deep in the organizing other than business events. (They planned their own wedding.) After, i met up with my sister and her dear friend in the bar and had a few cocktails. One had Aperol, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and prosecco; the other was Hendrick's Gin, Fever Tree tonic, and cucumber. Very pleasant and fun (a rare for me bar experience).
Sunday: After breakfast with my sister, her husband, and their daughter, we arrived at my folks just as some family were departing (my dad's step-sister and her creepy husband, my aunt and her husband). Others had left very early (my uncle and his clan). After lunch my sister took all the boys and her daughter home, my brother, his wife and daughter settled in for what turned out to be a very long nap, and i had some time just with my parents. After a regathering for dinner, my sister headed home, dragging her son behind her. It was his first separation from his cousins since i arrived. My folks took me to the train. Amtrak was an hour late so we went out for an unnecessary but incredibly indulgent desert. It took some time before my roomette was ready on the train; once in the room i quickly retired and watched little towns slide away into the night.
I really liked sleeping on the train.
Monday: I woke in Savannah and not Jacksonville as expected: Amtrak had added another hour of delay over night. I sketched pine trees. Meals: leftover veggies and cheese from the party, cheese and crackers from the train. Once in Kissimmee, Enterprise took an hour to get me a car. I was steamed, mostly literally as i waited in the tropical pre-thunderstorm air. Severe accident on the interstate led Google maps to route me on some country roads: still a longer drive than i had expected. I had a shorter than planned visit with Grandmámá, then met up with BB at Pirate's Pointe. We then had a fish dinner out with Grandmámá and Charles, BB listening to Grandmámá's stories of Brazil and the Bahamas (and imperialist natural resource extraction in which her father was engaged). BB and i enjoyed a lovely gulf sunset, a pair of osprey, and a juvenile Night heron.
Tuesday: A good breakfast with BB, sun shower and rainbow on the Little Manatee River, hours with Grandmámá (i'm not sure we could have engaged much longer), Taco Bell for lunch, Flight out of Tampa at 3 pm, ( and then the travel delays begain. )