If you don’t know me, this section may be of little interest to you…

I’d prefer to live a more simplified life, though I struggle to strike a balance between modern conveniences and the things that mean the most. My imagination and lustful eye colours my world and sometimes, my thoughts stray and I struggle to focus on what is right before me. In these times, I fall away into extended sessions up in my art studio, listening to music.

It is on this page I post my personal thoughts, tracking the days of ebb and flow…(August 2008—my snarky, playful response to a friend’s text). This is my online journal, my sandbox. While I leave it without password protection, I expect you, reader, to respect that it’s mine. If you don’t like what you read here, then don’t read it. 

Lower Colorado Desert
Upper Sonoran Desert. JIG 2002.

It’s useless to tame a nomad, they will only scratch and kick
from the inside out, hurting themselves and those they only long to love.

I wrote this several years ago when I was working and traveling around California, living out of hotels or small studio apartments. Now, I own a home and while I still travel a great deal (mostly for work), I find myself itching internally and wanting to sometimes pick up and strike out anew. Conversely, on any given day, I only long to be at Wildlands. Up in the studio or in the back yard. When it’s warmer weather, kick back, light a fire in the outside chiminea and watch the evening fall. Perhaps wandering around under the guise of work was a way to avoid setting down roots and developing a community here in CA. I stop now and look behind me and all those open roads and big sky days. Hmmm. Yes, I do miss those.  Yet, the freedom I feel to create this life here (in one place) feels right.   I may not always live here at Wildlands, but for now, I do and it’s great to be home.

Christmas Time
December 29, 2006

Christmas Time

Life is good and beautiful. Granted, it is nearly4 am and I should be sleeping, but sleep is overrated. Though, my bed with its soft sheets and warm comforter is not. Hmmmm.

The dog split awhile ago and is curled up no doubt on said bed. My first Christmas alone without family was a truly lovely day and in some aspects, the best I have ever had. I feel the shift coming on in my life and I’m truly happy about where I am and those who are in my life. This Christmas was all about making sock monkeys with friends, hosting a huge tree trimming party (well over 30 people squeezed into Wildlands), baking mayhem (I made fruitcake!), and spending time with friends. I spent lots of late nights up working on a present for Sitches up in Seattle. It was truly a labour of love and there were a few times I thought I was going to loose my mind knitting the scarf. He sent me my favorite present— toe socks and a new black hemp bag. Perfect. I saved his present for last. We talked as I walked over to Bee’s house for brunch. It was foggy and cold and I was warm and fuzzy from talking with him. It was the first Christmas since I was a teenager that I spoke to my uncle on the phone. That was beautiful to me. It was wonderful waking up and having something to look forward to; I wasn’t filled with dread or sadness because I was physically alone in the house. And truly I wasn’t alone, I spent a good portion of the morning on the phone with loved ones.

Christmas could have been a hard day, but instead it was a beautiful day filled with friends. And so the holidays are behind me and I am in good cheer. I’m ready to welcome the New Year. And unlike last year, I look forward to this year and all it may hold for me and those I love.

February 12, 2007


Old equipment. Altamont. 2.12.07 JIG

Life is good and beautiful.  Two days last week I was given a rare opportunity to escape the neverending cell phone that runs my days and ruins my non-work time. Actually, unless I do not have cell coverage, my cell is always on. In my pocket, on my pillow. I love my job but its duties does not provide many opportunities to relax and let go. Today,  I was given a third chance to go out and about in the Altamont hills, installing one way doors on owl burrows. Got a bit of sun on my face, a few sore muscles, but mostly, quiet of heart and soul. Letting go, focusing only on the task at hand and the considerations of what comes after this phase of work. It’s amazing how relaxed one can be if only given a few moments to ponder the simplest of questions.Old equipment close up. 2.12.07 JIG

I like old things. What is it about old rusty once relied upon instruments or equipment that stops me in my tracks? I saw this old piece of equipment and I had to take snag the camera. I hear stories forming in my head of who and when and why and why put off to pasture, to sit and collect rust during the winter rains.

I came home tired, dirty, and happy.  I am relaxing now, curled up with the dog and cat on the sofa. Life feels very good. If I could wish upon a star (of which, there are none as it is raining now), I would ask for a friend of mine who is sick to be better so that he could come visit me here at Wildlands. And so, we could pack up the car and head out camping on the coast.

Oh right. On a last note, I’ve decided to save my pennies (grin) and purchase an old split window VW bus. I haven’t found it yet, but as with all things in my life, it’s just a matter of time until it finds me. Ummm. Driving old roads in a VW. Lovely.

February 23, 2007
I have gone off the deep end. I have re-arranged every room in the house. Currently, my bedroom is somewhat put back together, but that’s about it. Literally everywhere you look, there is madness and mayhem. The animals are super on edge with the re-arranging, the noise, the piles of stuff everywhere. Hmmm, can’t blame them for that. Eeek. I took today off of work and find myself not really getting things put back together. I’m too distracted. I got an itch I can’t seem to scratch… Wish me luck.

March 1, 20o7
Mayhem and madness leads to a weakened immune system and sickness. On Sunday, I came down with the stomach flu. The house was mostly put back together (sorta) and I’ve spent days feeling plain awful. So, note to self and to you, reader, reel it in… or pluck yuckiness is your reward (hahaha).

March 19, 2007

Who’s the cutest boy in all of California? yup. Siddhartha. He’s digging me working from home today. Rather than hanging out on the bed or up in the studio snoozing (which he normally does), he is camped out under my legs. We’re out in the diningroom. Golden sunlight coming in through the wall of windows. It’s been a great day. I got a lot off my plate. The Gibson is sitting in its stand nearby and I think I’m ready to call it a day from work and do a bit o’ guitar practice. Yippee.

I had a relaxing weekend which I needed after the last few weeks running around crazy and working late hours due to owl crew and my other (seemingly neverending) work tasks. Last week was fun, though– we all got a chance to work with  biologists out of the Portland, Seattle, and Florida offices.

I’ve been working a great deal on the gardens and for the first time in two and a half years, I actually feel like I’ve got half a chance at successful landscaping this year!!! I was pleased to find six pumpkin plants growing out of the half wine barrel (where i’d tossed sugar pumpkin guts back in November and covered with a bit of dirt). I hung the hammock in the back back yard under the fig tree. Daisies, black eyed susans, zinnas, nasturium, and sunflowers are starting to pop up where i sowed seeds last weekend! Awesome. Keep your fingers crossed… and yeah, i gotta remember to water stuff. Blahblah. Have some faith, people!!

More soon.

April 21, 2007
Tonight I’m experiencing a rare sensation of calm. Since late yesterday, I have strove to gain perspective on the last month. Work is never going to slow down, it is not going to get “easier,” and I need to manage the stress that comes along with having a successful career. I’m frazzled and more incredibly, I have lost the ability to communicate clearly and at times, comprehensibly.

However, I am fine. Aside from the poison oak on my neck, I am in good health. Outside of work, there is nothing in my life that I cannot manage. I need to take those statements to heart. I am fine. For the most part, everyone I love is fine.

This morning, Sid and I came back from our morning walk to find a basket filled with fresh baked scones and soothing tea packets left by neighbor Laurie. I was incredibly touched by this gesture.

I have recently hit a culinary stride. I made biscuits from scratch (using Ben’s New Zealand cook book), butter thumbprint cookies with minor recipe alterations (the lavendar nutella combo was a big hit with my neighbor Dan–who thinks I should ditch my current career and open a bakery), beef stew, and then shepard’s pie (from the beef stew).

Most exciting: I made my first cake from scratch. Buttermilk golden cake — two layers. I made lemon curd as a filling and topper with buttercream icing. I used recipes from the Cake Bible, a book Einah gave me for my birthday last year. The recipes are a bit intimidating but exactly the processes I want to learn. The buttercream icing was the most interesting to make and oddly enough, it tastes a lot like sweet butter (hahaha). I took the cake over to chick night on Thursday for Bee’s birthday. It was a big hit.

On a final note, it is raining. Steady drips, rain splats, the sounds of cars of the wet pavement. Wind gusts, cool breezes through the house and studio. And now, nearly 2 am, I am now sleepy. And so, I think I’ll close, head into the house, and curl up in that big soft bed and drift off with the hope of not only good peaceful dreams, but also, for the hope that when I wake, my world will be as it should be— of my making, filled with those I love, and worthy of laughter and love.

April 22, 2007
Today was a good day— no, a great day. It was a Sunday and I am quite fond of my Sundays. The routine changes from week to week, but it has a consistent theme: Sundays are all mine. I do whatever I want on Sundays, typically with a bit of mind matter stimulation. I got up around 9.30 am and considered going to the farmer’s market but then, decided against it as I really don’t need anything.

I took Siddhartha for a two walks and on one of them, I ran into folks from the neighborhood and had several gab sessions. I had a nice warm fuzzy chat with my friend up in Seattle and that perked up my mood substantially. I am a lucky woman to have a friend like him. He’s a Gemini too and I love the way our talks meander. We ended up on and off the phone throughout the afternoon and after a few glasses of wine, I cut off the last call before I made a serious ass of myself. He found this funny. Good. Always good to make him laugh.

However, the reason I’m in a great mood… wine and chats aside— THE BOSTON RED SOX SWEPT THE YANKEES at FENWAY for the first time in 17 YEARS. I listened to the game on MLB Audio, quilted, and drank wine. I got pretty tipsy by the 6th inning and had to reel it in (lest I run a needle through my finger) but can I just say? I LOVE SUNDAYS and the BOSTON RED SOX.

May 5, 2007
Last night, I got to see a great show with BrightEyes, Gillian Welch, and Jim James. Oakley Hall opened for Jim James—who came out with a guitar and just belted out some of my favorite tunes. To my surprise, half the place just wasn’t paying attention to him and that blew me away even more. I sat back against the thrones and just soaked up the music pouring off the stage. His voice, guitar playing— such a treat to have him out on that stage. He kept making cracks about the Greek Theatre that made me laugh. That’s one man I’ll go see play again and again. That voice. Yikes. Gillian Welch and Dave came out and played a long set which was also amazing, but very different from JJ. I’m amazed by these two performers because how aware they are of each other’s actions; extremely tight. BrightEyes came out with tulips and a very Jesus Christ Superstar vibe. The up tempo First Day of My Life—loved it. The visual were produced by a guy up behind the thrones using an overhead transparency projector (I think) and I enjoyed his imaginative, seemingly spontaneous visuals. I hadn’t seen BrightEyes perform before nor have I heard live sessions besides the Austin City Limit episode, and so, i found it to have been a refreshing performance. [I read a few blogs about the performance and I had to laugh—I don’t think I was that demanding or critical of any band when I was in college. Christ, lighten up— they are musicians, not robots]. The finale had Gillian Welch leading “Miss Ohio” with JJ and BrightEyes. I was touched by this because May 4 is the anniversary of the KSU shootings in 1970. Given my family history and college association with May 4, I especially loved the performance. Besides, that song always makes me think of my Mom following my dad south to Atlanta in the early 70s.

May 23, 2007

I had a lovely birthday even though the Red Sox lost. Carrie woke me up early in the morning and we talked a few times throughout the day. Einah called and that made me smile. Stitches sent down a few cds and three blown glasses pieces—I love being friends with a glass blower! He called later in the day and it was good to talk with him. He has a way of downshifting my whirlwind thoughts. I like that. I had a low-key dinner with friends. Overall, a very calm and loving birthday.

May 31, 2007
Big day. When am I going to learn self-control? See the “uh-ohhh Jenny” post. I know why I went crazy in the front yard. I’ve had a lot on my mind and last night I had a wild dream about Stitches. We packed up our places and moved to the atlantic coast or new zealand (it was a bit fuzzy, and both places had randomly funny accents, and yes, I do know the difference. I am a southerner by birth and I dated a Kiwi). And so, I’ve been lingering between dream state and life angst and when I’m like this, only two things are going to soothe me— music and brutally hard work. Quite honestly, my sore muscles and sunburned skin tonight doesn’t matter because my mind is calm. Nearly at peace. Well, as much as a Geminian brain can be.

I listened to the playlist I made for Carrie (Ebb and Flow, Babydoll) over and over this afternoon. I was listening to Bird Girl and Darlin’ Girl and I started to cry. Not sure why. Just did. I put my head down in my crossed arms, sitting there on the front steps right before I heard the mailman clear his throat— he was delivering my birthday package from Carrie. Made me laugh. Sunshine in the rain. I laughed outright—just when I needed it, karma kicked down a atta girl, you’ll be alright.

Other exciting bits— I scored game 1 and game 4 tickets for next week’s Red Sox appearance in  Oakland! The tickets cost way too much but ah, you only live once. Besides, it will be great to see some of my favorite Rivercats play against the Sox. I’m going with Chris on Monday night and on Thursday, I’m taking my boss to the game. He’s originally from Boston and followed the Sox when he lived out there. I’m looking forward to seeing a game with him. I haven’t seen the Sox play in so long. Since I don’t have cable, I don’t see them that often either–I listen to the games.

Last night caught Wolfowitz on Charlie Rose. Not sure what to make of the man, actually. Definitely someone who has been in the arena long enough to play semantics and it seemed as though CR was getting a bit irritated with him. However, as with most interview, CR showed charm, wit, and that twitch of sentimentality. He likes Wolfowitz personally but you could tell he wanted more from his first TV interview. Hmm. So did I.  I’m listening to CR now and I must say— his voice resounds warmth. Every time I hear his voice, it is as though I’ve been handed my favorite poem and the New York Times’ Sunday crossword puzzle…

Tavis Smiley has dedicated this week to The New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward and I highly recommend you see these bits. Touching and frustrating and astounding— we as a country have let Americans live like this because they are poor and black. Last night, episode 3, featured a Mom “Carol” and her daughter’s struggle to rebuild. She’s become a leader in the ward where building has been incredibly slow (some might even say nearly non-existent) and her daughter— a fiery 18 year old who lite up the screen. And yet, these individuals shine in their faith, humour, and rock-solid faith in their community, the lower 9th ward. Truly inspiring.

I have been thinking about floods more as I live in Sacramento and I wonder what would become of Wildlands, the pets, and myself if a similar levee break were to occur. It’s about community, the bonds that tie, and I don’t have that here, certainly not like I have had in my past. And yet, I know I would pull through. Having said that, I gotta get basic supplies in this house. I’m such a bad “bachelor” and an even worse “what if” planner.

Prior to CR and TS, I kicked back to knit and watched a great three part series called Craft in Americaand felt such a surge of excitement and inspiration. I sometimes forget there is a community of artists out there as I certainly haven’t found them here in Sacto. Before the show was done, I was wondering—why don’t I have a kiln and wheel anymore…I did start college as a potter, after all? Why don’t I own a loom???On and on…. mostly, I was inspired to organize Wildlands and see if I can draw a community to it. It’s ripe for it— and I could use the inspiration. I’d like to get a batik show or two during SecondSaturday events this fall. We’ll see. Right now, I’ve been so pre-occupied by life and Wildlands, I haven’t given any action to batiking. And yet, I’ve got plenty of ideas to put down in wax and dye. Much like my sentimentality rant on Kent, I’m feeling the need to produce again… finally. Sleep well, dream better. Night.

June 9/10, 2007
I’m up late; restless. I’m going to go snuggle down with the AH biography here soon. Siddhartha is snoring on the futon. I hear Sweetpea’s bell in the livingroom. She’s probably rolling around on her back. Patty Griffin’s Heavenly Day playing. Hmmmm, damn near perfect here at Wildlands with the soft Delta breeze blowin’ in through the window.

I have a few things on my mind…in no particular order of importance. I’ve thought of a Gary Snyder poem several times today. Perhaps that is the best place to start, from the collection of poems From the Back Country. Of course.

Looking at Picutres to be Put Away

Who was this girl
In her white night gown
Clutching a pair of jeans
On a foggy redwood deck.
She looks up at me tender,
calm, surprised,

What will we remember
Bodies thick with food and lovers
After twenty years.

My thoughts have been slow coming today; working under the hot CA sun will do that. Pushing myself, ripping up more of the front yard, moving plants, repotting, replanting, mulching, on and on. I knew my mood—this sentimental quiet (but not quite sadness) would be best quelled by manual labour rather than reaching out to any one person and talking it through. It’s the same thing on replay recently, truth be told. I laid down for a short nap around 3.30 pm. And my thoughts twirled into an odd dream that disturbed me even more. And yet, when I woke, my world was as it is, but perhaps not as it should be, but it is what it is. And this Ryan Adams’ lyric was in my head when I woke “and I could find her in a thunderstorm just by the way the rain would fall…” I felt close to peace—Siddhartha breathing at the foot of the bed and Sweetpea purring with her head on my arm. And so, as not to linger in dreams that are not real, I got up, made coffee, and went back to it.

And while looking up the poem to type here, I came across a poem by James Wright that leads perfectly into my next thought.

Milkweed

While I stood here, in the open, lost in myself
I must have looked a long time
Down the corn rows, beyond grass,
The small house,
White walls, animals lumbering toward the barn.
I look down now. It is all changed.
What it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world.

Wildlands is a place to retreat and find refuge. That thought came through my thoughts over and over today. I watched an Anna’s hummingbird feeding on the blue salvia—as Siddhartha laid the salvia’s base. I saw another preying mantis today. It is a fairly healthy ecosystem, or at least I’m doing what I can to make it a healthy place. There are lots of insects and spiders. I did spy evidence of voles in the backyard this afternoon. Hmm. Sweetpea will find that intriguing.

I like my neigbhorhood. Sacramento is a city and I live in an older neighborhood. I think it has a bit of an academic feel that is slightly artsy, but not as gritty as Midtown. The Wildland gardens are a bit wild and provide a sense of country along a city alley. I dig that admixture. Siddy was a bit smelly and so, I gave him a shower in the back yard. I then checked vegetation growth along the fence line and realized I wasn’t visible to my neighbors, so I too enjoyed a refreshingly cool shower outside on the patio. It felt great. Some days I really do live up to my reputation as earthy crunchy.

June 10, 2007
A thought on possessions. I’ve moved this thought over to the main page. See here:
Thoughts on Possessions/>
Thoughts on Luck—related to thoughts on possessions”


Postscript

I had two dream sequences last night. One was about Stitches and I living in a community filled with other artisans, musicians, and like-minded folks. The details aren’t for cyberspace, but I woke up in the middle of the night wanting to express this to him without knowing what words I’d use if I ever could muster the conversation. The second dream, I was driving wildly in a VW bus on the streets of Kent (but the architecture was more SF victorian and Ohio) with a new man, exploring the world and I woke with with flushed cheeks recogonizing the sensation that comes with a new adventure. Ryan Adams is on heavy rotation in my dream state, as I woke with this lyric in my head “If I could find my way back home, where would I go? Lost out in the woods, lookin’ for you…When, when will you come back home?”Enough.

June 12, 2007
It’s been a nice combination of Ipod walks, Ipod filter through Wildlands’ stereo, and LPs pulled out in a stack in the media room. Joni’s got a few late night plays with emphasis upon the live LP Miles of Aisles. Just seems a good fit with the Delta breeze blowing through (which sadly is not the case today. It’s haught and I’m starting to resemble the plants in the front yard… wilting. Hopefully to be revived by a late afternoon watering (and for me, an outdoor shower). It had better cool off—

It hasn’t really cooled off and the natives are restless. Sweetpea’s lounging about and intimidating the dog. I caught this blurry picture of her with her paw hanging over the footstool in the media room. Siddhartha is just laying out of the shot. Nice try, Pea. Here’s Siddhartha, wilted and cranky too—being sweetly stubborn, refusing to move as I put clean sheets on the bed. He did move, with a bit of paw tweaking (he doesn’t like his paws to be touched). Ah, poor boy.

June 14, 2007
I’ll say it again and then shut up (for awhile)—It’s haught. Which is not to be confused with haute, which is so not my surrounding at the moment. We are all laying about, limbs extended, bellies exposed, panting. Well, Pea and I are not panting, but Siddy’s got a good rythmn going. Come on Delta breeze…

And the Sox are losing—to Colorado, for the love of gawd. The Yanks won today; they will be just over six games out of first if we loose this game (which is likely—going into the 8th, nearly a dozen stranded, we’re down 5 runs and have left way too many on base).

Thoughts on a conversation with a guy I know today: Hmmm. A man wants a woman to be vulnerable. I hear that. Money doesn’t provide much stability (for me). I’m independent because I’ve had to be. What gives me a sense of peace and security is love…and the knowledge that no matter what, we’re in it together, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, when I wake up, you’ll be there. I make do, but wow, how nice….to dream. And it would be rewarding, right?  I find it incredbily ironic that as an anthropologist, I still do not understand men, as individuals.

Okay. outside to shower cuz it’s…. yup. You know…

June 21, 2007

Some people identify with one season more than another. Now that I do not live in cold climates, I would say, I like all of the seasons for several reasons. However, I was a summer baby raised on a healthy dose of outdoor play and sunkisses. I love summer. I love the warmth, the breezes, the greenness. California is not as green as Ohio and sometimes, I miss the sheer lushnessof a midwest summer. Tonight, now onto midnight, I sit out by the chiminea, watch the embers glowing, feel the Delta breeze coming through, and smile. Happy Summer Solstice.

The monthly chick night met up at Wildlands tonight for a fire out back, some yummy tummy foods, laughter, booze, and chitchat. It was awesome. I like this group of women.

I love the sound of laughter filling up Wildlands. The house, in preparation, got an amazing cleaning. A lot of organization too…. cleaned out the closests when I should have been cleaning up the yard, etc. In the end, the house looked great and the back patio was a suitable setting for our gathering. I drank too much sangria but ah, who cares. I will sleep in tomorrow.

I do sit back and ponder who is and who is not here—in my heart and in my life. Midsummer represents fertility—and I do feel a blossoming coming on but am far from where I thought I’d be in my life, at this stage. Ah, well. It is a good life…. i’m off…. the embers keep drawing my attention.

Sleep well. dream better. jig

July 17, 2007

Been nearly a month—oops. Life is good over here in the valley. I’ve started a new eating/exercise/sleeping schedule which produced immediate results, to my amazement and delight. My caffeine intact has dramatically reduced in my typical ebb and flow style. I leave for Philadelphia tomorrow to see Carrie, Arun, and the kids. I can’t wait. More on this soon… probably will blog about it.

August 5, 2007
My mind’s twirling in memories—those that are lingering, recent and old. Ah, time flies.

My trip to philadelphia was exactlywhat I needed. The time with Carrie (is there a more wonderful friend?), Arun, and the kids was like hot chocolate on a snow day and a sip of cold cold ice water on summer’s hottest day. Our combined history is multi-layered and so rich— these two people hold my last 18 years between them. Needless to say, I feel most myself with them—they get me. The first night in town, we had a wee bit too much o’ cheer and while I was green sick the next half day, I wouldn’t trade that night for anything.

The visit brought to surface (again) what I left behind, what I continue to live apart from, and what I long to have again. And I say that knowing I strongly believe that statement to be true, but there is something inside of me that cleaves to life in CA. I want to leave and yet the thought of actually leaving strikes me cold.

Today was a beautiful day filled with strong wind, beautifully filtered sunlight, and I felt such happiness, though I have no real reason to be happy. Hmmm. Wonder if that makes sense. Let’s restate that, shall we? I count my blessings and am happy to have and share with the little community I have here, and yet, I am filled with happiness even though I am nagged by thoughts of wanting more. And yet, as I drove home from the BBQ (that was great cheer and laid back and wonderful to see some friends), I was struck again— it could have beena perfect day. It wasn’t a perfect day….all the elements were there—this thought flittered through my mind even as I snagged Siddhartha and went out for a walk. It should have been a perfect day. Except, when I come home, there’s no one here to share it with…. If I was feeling a bit better (drained from recent weird hives breakout), I’d have built a fire outside and enjoyed this lusty wind-filled night.  And in that wishful moment, I grew more tired exponentially… to be without a motivator or a supporter, I dropped down in the media room and began this blog.

I love Wildlands. I love the weather here in CA, the wind, the sky, the hot days and chilly nights. It’s a part of who I am. And yet, I feel there should be more. And so, I think, I’ll end this blog with a silent wish, one that can be read, and perhaps whispered but not stated loudly or boldly, please provide a reason to stay.

And my final thought: love is the strongest force in this world, regardless of what we may otherwise see or hear…

The Edna St. Vincent Millay poem mentioned above…

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

I’m off now to go read some Gary Snyder, poems out of the raggedy Back Country copy. Something to soothe the soul.
Sleep well, dream better. JIG

September 1, 2007

Sorry, I haven’t had much inspiration to write in the last month or so. Or rather, I’ve been too moody and distracted to actually put thoughts down, at least out to cyberspace. I’ve been struggling with Wildlands’ upkeep, lost in Red Sox games, etc. I did have a brief retreat in Santa Cruz two weeks ago.

This is the holiday weekend— most people think i’m out of town (wicked giggle) and as such, I plan on having a Wildlands’ long weekend— cleaning, organizing, canning (height of fruit season!), and if all goes well, painting on Monday.

Love to all. JIG

October 13, 2007
It’s funny, folks, I’ve been on this page, wrote thoughts only to come back a few hours later to delete them. Just a lot swirling around my head these days— good and bad, but not necessarily anything I want to put out in cyberspace. I’ve been doing some work around Wildlands the last few weeks and struggling with a heavier work load at ESA (yeah, i didn’t think it was possible, but it is). I purchased paint for the livingroom and now that’s pretty much done. I got paint for the bedroom and media room, but haven’t gotten around to actually painting either of them. I’m painting an 18″ strip around the room, at the level of the window and door tops but leaving the rest of the media room that burnt yellow that you’ve either come to love or loathe. The purpose of painting the ceiling and this strip— to increase the amount of light reflected in the room. It’s a fairly dark room given its location. This will brighten it up a bit (no cracks about the yellow already being bright enough. ha!) I’m thinking I’ll go take the dog for a walk, come back and knock out at least the first coat here in the media room. The patches painted thus far are driving me nuts… then perhaps tackle the bedroom some other sunny day. Though, the patches of orange, muddied in their attempts to cover the now infamous “blue phase” attempts, are also driving me nuts.

Right now, I’d love nothing more than to take a few weeks off of work, putz around Wildlands, head to the coast for some windy fog-filled nights and mornings around a campfire. Alas, I don’t see that happening. It’s fall and it is beautiful. Rains have come to CA early this year (or at least earlier than most prior years). And yesterday, I needed the cover that the rain and cold provided, it sheltered me and gave me every reason to stay in the house, calling off my trip to SF, working nonetheless, but in the comfort of my own home with the dog and cat nearby, snuggling.

Stitches and I have been swapping text messages, all centered around baseball and the Sox/Tribe series, which finally arrived last night. However, aside from that, no other personal chatter. I miss him and his friendship but must square my shoulders, smile, and keep on walking…. can’t be more than I am, and honestly, and maybe more importantly, I can’t be less than I already am. Take it or leave it, I say kindly, because this is me. And I am a bit stunned that you’ve dropped off and out…

okay, Cat Power rockin me out right now… gotta put on the tevas and hit the pavement. Co-leading a paddle team tomrrow on the Consumnes River out of the preserve and i’m looking forward to it… will be a good time…. up early again, though. That bites. Then another full week split between Oakland and SF with little or no hope for getting all my tasks done or issues addressed… bats, bullies, and bmps… another day in paradise, i tell ya. On an up note, company hired an assistant for me…. sweet. Will take a lot to get her up to speed, but i’m willing to go into overdrive to make this happen as it will lighten my work load substantially.

JIG

Tonight, I am reminded of my last few years of college. I wish there were more pictures of that time— where is the b&w photograph of me wearing the Dickinson College radio station t-shirt, hair long, cross-legged, rolling a cig? Hmm. Where are those men I loved more than I loved my own lovers? Paul— are you still in Boston? I haven’t heard from you in a year. Did you move to Argentina with Solange? You, of them all, I miss the most— we go back 20 years. Stunning, isn’t it? Bean— digger and brewer. Always there for me, waited to leave CA until I was on my way south, steering clear of that year’s troublesome relationship. You’re back in Ohio and running the brewery— am I still welcome to come play brew assistant like I used to in Walnut Creek? Russ— ah, Russ. Charismatic with chocolate eyes that light up. I remember that old corduroy coat you used to wear— standing out in the cold, you talking so animatedly, eyebrows raising, smoking, waving your arms about. I miss your hugs and the way you’d yell “Gaarrrisiiion” when you saw me. I can’t remember the last time I heard your voice—but we’d promised each other to go down and give Beaner a hard time at the brewery. Garth– your absence hurts the most— your comings and goings out of my life left me more bare and bruised each time you did it. And still, in so many ways you were my best friend. All those nights rapping on my bedroom window, long walks around Kent in the middl of the night when you needed to think and wanted my company. The night you came home from New Mexico. Your visit out here in CA— we tried to find the Eight is Enough house…. You are the only man i’ve ever met who knew how to knit— a gentle giant, smoking a bareass cig, all those tats, and you knitted a sweater for your girlfriend. Amazing. I think you’re married now. Not sure, haven’t heard from you since I was stranded in O’hare— four years ago christmas?

Well, I think I’m going to ring a few of you up— it’s about time. Russ, Beaner, Paul— talk to you soon. Garth, I’ll love you to til the day you die, but your taste in women always sucked and you should have taken a lesson in loyalty from your dog. You are missed but it’s an understandable and accepted absence.

Sleep well. Dream better.

October 16th

Errr… my Sox didn’t have the heart tonight to push on through… or rather, they didn’t have the heart to show up. I don’t want to rant and rave, but feel disappointed and let down. Not because we lost but rather, we didn’t go down fighting. It was on the faces in the dugout— some looked as though they just didn’t want to be there. Fine, because, boys, the Tribe really wants to be hereand they showed it all the way through the 9th inning.

Sigh.

It rained all day. And although I ended up working from home, it was a long, chilly day, and I don’t feel any more rested. Ironic.

I think i’m going to bed, curl up with the Glorious Cause, and then fall asleep. Early morning— big day in SF office tomorrow then class tomorrow night. Thankfully, game 4 isn’t until Thursday night.

I did indeed paint the first coat in the media room, though not until Sunday. The paddle was great and I came home sore and energized. Had a long chat with my uncle Andy and I felt more grounded after the call. Last night, caught up with Rita which was pretty lighthearted although we both were tired. She has a reason to be tired (she has cancer— and yes, Rita I said it in my funny voice) and that constantly puts my woes into perspective.

Okay. Off to read and snuggle down in the softest of sheets and warm comforter. Hope my dreams are the same.

Sleep well. Dream better. JIG

November 6, 2007

Ah, well, aren’t we just rolling around from a stunning summer into a beautiful fall and now, winter is coming on. It’s chiller in the mornings and that lingers a bit longer as I’ve noticed how the sunlight has softened. It seems like golden afternoon sunshine nearly all day long. These past few weeks have been a rough haul, kids. And yet, like a snake shedding its skin or a crab off to locate a new shell, it’s a necessary process.I’ve declared that I can’t work longer hours. I’m working from home much more, if not exclusively, when not out attending meetings. I’ve made another self-declaration to finish every unfinished project I’ve got going in my life. No so much to wrap up the loose ends, but rather, by completing these un-done tasks/projects, I can begin to clear the physical clutter and thus, the mental webs.Life is good. I am happy, most days. Focused more on the here and now, versus the far and “in the future.” I have put myself out in the dating world, which seems odd for several reasons. It meant saying goodbye to the NZer and closing the chapter on the other men in my life. Took the pictures off the fridge, took down the hand scrawled notes. I can’t spend another year thinking/wishing/hoping for the men who are not here. With this realization and acceptance—new doors open, or so I hope.

Generally, I’ve been really upbeat and quite active. I’ve continued on my health kick and with one more pound, I will have lost 10% of my body weight. This may present exciting opportunities for clothes shopping when I’m in philadelphia later this month. I’m so excited to go to Philly again for Thanksgiving this year! Carrie called today just to tell me she ordered the turkey from the Redding Terminal. Ah, i can’t wait to see the fall leaves blowing around on that beloved part of town— go into the bustling market, charged with the excitement and energy that comes with the holidays.

Okay— here come the holidays. I’ve been knitting up a storm and hope to have it and the house all done for the upcoming tree trimming party (just alittle over a month away. YIKES). And i feel the cool air of winter, ah, yes, here comes the fog… beautiful.

Keep your fingers crossed. I’m itching my way out and have high hopes for the end of this year and 2008.

“we all do what we can…we do can just one more thing… we could all be free—maybe not with words but with your mind…you’ve got to choose a wish or a command…” Cat Power

November 9, 2007

The sound of traffic on wet pavement coupled with soft rain— is there any sound quite so lovely? Hmmm. Definitely in my top 5. It’s been a beautiful morning filled with music, more music, pumpkin baking/puree-ing, and general house cleaning. Sara’s coming by here in a bit to pick me up and we’re off to get supplies for mexican wedding cookie baking. I’ve volunteered to make 600 cookies for her wedding next weekend.

There’s a method to my madness— I love to bake and I’m starting to wonder if perhaps my neighbor Dan has a valid point. He has said for two years I should open my own bakery. While this seems completely outlandish, I’m considering it a bit more seriously. Maybe not a full on bakery, but perhaps catering.  Let’s see how I feel after 600 cookies (that’s 25 batches).

At this moment, life is soft and lovely and I feel at peace and happy.

Welcome to the holidays.

Jennifer

November 12, 2007

I wonder…

If I saw you again, after these past years, what would I say? Or would I say anything at all? More likely, I’d throw my arms around you.  I hope that I would not cry, but I think I would. I’d laugh through my tears… both out of sheer relief and joy. If only for a few minutes, you’d be back in my arms. I’d burrow my face in your chest and inhale your scent. I fell asleep for a little bit and I awoke with your voice ringing out from a dream; you singing in the kitchen, calling the cat. You were carrying on a conversation with her— and I awoke right after you said “My accent is not funny. Pusspuss, eat your vittles.” For the first time in about two years, I did not immediately feel sadness in the depths of my heart. It did not ache. Not immediately. I’ve come to accept your choice to live without me and as time passes, I learn to appreciate the strength of your resolve. I read an article on eels recently and shivered. I thought about the children’s book stored in the straw bag (which is still in the kitchen, yes) and considered pulling it down and reading it. It is up on a tall hook and I thought, no, leave it where it is.I did retreive the cookbook recently— that should make you smile. Now that it’s winter, I’ll pull out the merino tshirt. I love that thing.

Life is moving forward. I’m off to Philadelphia in less than a week. New folks coming into my life and I’m doing well. My friends are good and steady; I am loved. I hope the same for you. It’s getting on summer there while winter begins here—including the foggy mornings. I miss you. JIG

November 13, 2007
Today was a not a good day. I’m going to bed now, curl up with the Glorious Cause, Siddhartha and Pea. Tomorrow, I work from home and the task list will have to wait (and grow) while I take care of important non-project related issues. I’m weary. I am ready to resign. I have been in tears on and off for hours. I leave for Philly on Monday morning and while my heart aches a bit leaving behind siddhartha and pea, I am looking forward to it. Bob called from NY tonight to talk desserts and cookie dough. Carrie’s got the turkey ordered and ready for pick up on Wednesday morning at the Redding Terminal market (one of my most favorite places). Einah just requested champagne for her birthday (thanksgiving day this year) and I can’t wait to get on the plane and turn off my phone. Leave behind the struggles that have wore me down for weeks. It is a bit risky heading east this time. For the first time in nearly a decade, I am on the fence, tottering, wanting to see friends and seriously wondering about how I might move and be closer to these loved ones once more.

Please, universe, be kind. I am off to bed to snuggle down in those softest of sheets and warmest of comforters, cool breeze through the bedroom window, seeking peace. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

JIG

November 14, 2007

Okay, most of my friends got this via email earlier and if I forgot to send this to you, my apologies. While I’m at it, I’ll apologize for the graphic image (cover the kiddies’ eyes) but I can’t stop laughing at it. It’s horrible. And I thought my Jesus jokes were going to land me my seat in Hell (yes, with most of you) but jeez, I think this just secured the deal…

Today was a hard, long day. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, just not sure what sort of light it is yet… paradise, paddling out of a dark sea cave or locomotive coming on full blast. Only time will tell—at least my frustrations at work are out in the open. Siddhartha is snoring on the futon. I should be baking cookies… nah, i think bed, up early, cookie baking before my day gets nuts around 8.30 am.

Night. Sleep well. Dream better.

giggling wickedly. LOVE THIS CARTOON! sigh.
night

November 15/16, 2007
Well the cookies are out of the oven and I’m waiting for them to cool down a bit so I can go to bed. But I’m not sure if I want to go to bed. I have so much to do before I split for Philadelphia. I almost typed “split for home.” Ah, that word, home. Home has been a few places for me over the years, California for nearly the last nine. I have been aching for the east coast these past months. My heart is here but some days I feel like it is about to leap out of my chest and hit the road for the other coast. I’m nearly ready. Not just yet, though.

Siddhartha and I went out for a late night walk, the streets were quiet around Curtis Park and I relished time out with him. He and Pea are curled up together on that big soft bed of mine. They look peaceful and super cute.  I’m listening to Joni. Yeah, I’m going to make a lot of money and then split this crazy scene. Yeah, I hear that. Oh wait. I did that. Out in the Sonoran. Hmmm. Now, fourth of july is playing. “I love the man beside me. We love the open road…” I’ve been missing Jonathan a bit. I rang him up a few weeks ago; it was awkward. I guess it would be. You can’t ask a woman to marry you and then freak out the next moment and have it notbe awkward. And yet, I miss him the talking for hours, spun up Joni on our CD players in synch, daydreaming together. I miss how he’d call me when he was grocery shopping and he’d become mock-irate and keep me laughing. I miss that. Besides, it is the holidays I associate most with our friendship, stemming back from those cold cold Kent nights.

Ah, i’m rambling. And i’m saving you, reader, from most of my rambles as I’ve typed and deleted far more text than what’s here right now before you. Stitches carrying on an email conversation right now from Seattle. I’ve missed him too. And yet, that’s probably best left light, casual— superficial. I suck at superficial.

Okay… the little black beast just sighed loudly from the bedroom. That’s my cue… time to curl up with Pea purring in my ear and Siddhartha curled up behind my knees. I need the peace of that moment…

sleep well. dream better.

jig

November 27, 2007

I am home. Sweetpea is kneeding my collarbone, slouched over my shoulder. Purring loudly. Siddhartha is curled up at my feet, under the quilt, sleeping quietly. He seems small, sleeker. They are both sights for sore eyes.

The week in Philadelphia can’t really be summed up easily. It was heartwarming. It was heartbreaking. It was me sleeping for the best of 24 hours because I was sick over the weekend. It was spending time with people I love. It was simply being in their presence, all plans loose and lazy. What struck me the most— the atmosphere of all for one and one for all— TEAM WORK, negotiation. If they have not perfected this art, they are well on their way. It certainly has been instilled in their children. Ah, Kamal and Nina. I am in awe of them. I didn’t know I had the capacity to love little humans that way. Kamal is growing up– a little boy. Tall, lanky, a wicked smile and laugh, strong will. And sweet. Nina? Cantankerous, ADORABLE, coy. She chit chatters incomprehensibly and so, I lighten up and think, ah, she isn’t really able to form words yet, and THEN, moments later she blurts out a perfectly enunciated “WHY?” or “thank you”. I tell ya, she swept me off my feet.

More than anything, I was reminded that these visits could be my life. With each trip, I loosen up and begin to feel comfortable and happy with the sights and sounds of Philadelphia. The old architecture. The people. I went out on my walking tour on Monday after feeling miserable for several days— I wasn’t feeling up to it but I wanted to go. By lunch time, I’d covered a fair bit of ground and while I noticed the rain, I felt lighter. My shoulders were more square. My natural pace returned. I felt young, vibrant and alive. I got asked out in the coffee shop in olde city. That made me smile.

We laughed a lot. We just hung out. We just were. Bob, James, Einah all made the trip down to Philly and I now can’t imagine what thanksgiving would be without the Philadelphia gathering. Carrie and I have a new “tradition” (for in her family, if you do it ONCE, it’s a tradition. Thank you, Marj. I wholeheartedly coop that sentiment!!)– pick me up at the airport late night, hit the all night diner, eat greasy spoon food (that tastes SO VERY DELICIOUS at that hour), then go grocery shopping for Turkey day. Awesome combo, I tell ya.

We also hit the liquor store and bought MORE wine even though Bob and James said they were bringing TONS, Carrie already had plenty in the basement, etc. Well, needless to say, by Saturday night— there was a single bottle of red wine left. Hahahaha. Booze hounds. Loved it. Wedensday night was so warm, we sat up on the deck, drinking wine, laughing, talking. We were out there WAY too late. Poor Arun lost the coin toss and was up with the kids after less than 3 hours sleep. I stumbled out of bed with less than 3 hours as well after Kamal woke me up. He snuggled down in the covers with me and we chit chatted for a bit before heading downstairs.

I am glad to be home. The quilt I’m laying under is old and the scent is familar. Kitty is burying her face in my neck. Sid is snoring. I soaked in my bath tub for an hour. I flopped down in the media room and sighed. Yup, I’m glad to be home— but I’m realizing, home could be anywhere if the ingredients are present. I am still fence-sitting. I wonder what 2008 will hold. I wonder if recent chitchat here will encourage me to stay? It’s been a long ride out here in CA and I don’t want to give up. Conversely, I do not want to “waste” time out here on this coast when there are people on the east coast whose lives would be more if I was there (just as mine would be more).

Ah, enough for tonight. I am happy. All is well and wonderful in this world. Peace begins at home. And it is great to be home.

I’ll be working from home the next few days, resting up since I’m feeling sneezy/wheezy.

Sleep well. Dream better. Love, jig

November 29, 2007

Well, hello there! I’ve been home sick from work this week (since arriving back Tuesday night). I’ve never been a well-behaved sick person and I keep resisting the urge to get up and do something.  I’ve been sleeping a whole lot and this is good, though it’s a bit weird for me.

I went out last night to celebrate Christina’s birthday at Tres Hermanes. I love this resturaunt— small(ish), warm, colourful. Great environment. I came home feeling warm and fuzzy. I wore the new charcoal grey alpaca small cable turtleneck I purchased with Carrie at the Banana Republic outlet in Philly, topped it off with my lovely short dark brown suede coat (the coat Eins’ absconded with a decade ago and returned to me a year ago). I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my friends, having a good meal smothered in amazing Mole sauce (I ponder the sauce for a moment… YUMMM), laughter, chatter. All good stuff. I resisted the urge to run back and hug everyone again. I wrote up the annual tree trimming Evite tonight and I’m really looking forward to it.

January 12, 2008

Ah, a bit of time has gone by, no? I realized last weekend that I had not posted in this journal section since I’d password protected it. I may have subconsciously stopped writing because I felt restricted, had a sense of being restricted. As such, I’ve removed the password protection. As Popeye said, “I am what I am.”

Life has been full since I last wrote. I have no desire to recap, really. I am sitting in the media room, sunlight streaming through the windows, Sweetpea on the wicker hassock, Siddhartha still snoozing in bed. We are lazy today. I did not go to the market, choosing instead to stay in bed and enjoy these precious moments of peace and slumber that I only feel when snuggled down in my bed.

The house needs a good dusting and de-cluttering. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently. I need to remove a bit of the clutter from Wildlands before we bust through the seams. Currently, the house feels like a pair of jeans that is too tight and pinches in the wrong places. Unfortunately, I purchased most of my beloved pieces of old furniture before I purchased this house and so, they do not fit comfortably here in the smaller rooms. While I have no real plans to get rid of any of these pieces, I need to focus and place them more smartly with the rooms.

I’ve been gone more than I have been home since New Year’s Day. I want to take a few days off, though, I doubt I will. Always something pressing at work to address. Ugh. And yet, my work lights me up. Except last Thursday, I felt a bit sorry for myself as I trudged back up the stairs to my hotel room, saddened that I would not see Siddhartha and Pea that night. I wanted to call and whine to friends. And yet, I should not, or cannot. I made this bed— actively, willfully, purposefully. I felt the absence of a partner most acutely that night.

I am home now and I love the sense of peace I have here. The recent winter storms have taken a bit of a toll on the gardens and the surrounding neighborhood. The back yard is a complete mess and I look at it and wonder what my plan is for that space. I’m not at all pleased with its layout or its content. The front yard is coming along nicely, though I need to straighten up and organize it a bit.

I waiver a bit these days— life is good but it is not what I want it to be. Spending a good deal of time concentrating on what I want vs. what I have. There is contentment— I relish this reality. And yet, I was reminded quite recently, repeatedly, there could be and perhaps should be, more.

One step at a time.

Today, I will go to the grocery (having missed the farmer’s market) and pick up staples. Then, I’d like to bake a few loaves of bread, pick up a bit, and spend the remainder of the day in the art studio cleaning up. It’s an utter mess up there (as I pushed and stored all odds and ends up there during the holidays). Ah, see, all back to clutter. Grin.

Happy New Years. Love to all, JIG

January 13, 2008
I should not watch or read Jane Austen novels. I am entranced by them and find tears streaming down my face at the lovely heart-wrenching final moments of love realised. When I was younger, I found them enthralling and inspirational— so filled with hope. And now? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. it’s simply depressing. Having said that, PBS’ presentation of Jane Austin’s Persuasion was utterly beautiful.

Sleep well. Dream better. JIG

January 16, 2008

Postscript: I have become addicted to scrabulous on facebook. Online scrabble is AWESOME.
in that dorky way, of course.  if you have a facebook account, look me up and play a game…

January 19, 2008

Hello there! Let’s see, I overnighted in SF on Thursday and have been met with such work hell, I wonder when I’ll hit my threshold and resign. As such, I’ve holed up in my little Wildlands realm for the last two days—What have I done? Hmmm…. not much. I’ve put away clothes, vacuumed, picked up/packed out clutter, and considered shredding the three largeshopping bags of “items to be shredded” for the one hundredth time. Pulled out the goose down comforter (for the first time this season!) and put on the pretty pretty new cover Eins got me for Christmas. I went to the farmer’s market and played with Siddhartha in the park.

I’ve slept lusciously late, fallen asleep reading American Sphnix and had lovely dreams scented with old eastern forests and the clatter of carriages on Philadelphian cobblestone before the war.

I walked around my neigbhorhood in the sunlight, chatted with a few friends from the neighborhood, and incredibly did not answer my cell phone at all this weekend nor have I answered a SINGLE work email. I placed four calls, talked to two friends, and generally enjoyed the cell phone not being attached to my ear. I’ve poured over recipes (dozens of them, in fact, most breads and luscious pastries whose construction boggle my mind) and I placed scraps of paper or dog-earred the ones I want to make.

I spent nearly five hours on the phone with an old friend from high school— a GUY. I know, but he was raised with sisters, so I think that extends his tolerance for the phone exchanges. We are both talkers, so I think that also extends his tolerance. I appreciate his ear and he’s a really sweet guy even though he puts up a bit of a rough exterior, always has, of course. I’m filled with a sense of all being right in the world because we’re back in each other’s lives instead of only the rear view.

I’m knitting a new sweater— soft of softest alpaca. I’ll post pics once it resembles something more than a wrinkled blob on the sticks.

Hope each of you are well.
Sleep well. Dream better.

January 22, 2008

It’s pouring rain and my heart is heavy. I am lost in song lyrics. Hmm. Maybe I’ll go find videos on YouTube and post a songs to sing when days are grey blog. Hmm. May be. Right now, I need to vent. JDL texted me the Joni quote “i am as constant as the northern star” last night.  And this threw me into a funk. Low blow, Lesser—We’ve been doing this dance since my senior year of college. Fucking Pisces duality— you are worse than Gems— swimming about in your murky pool or fighting so hard to swim upstream against the current that your selfishness is hurtful and damn near drowns me every time.

Why do I fall for it? WHY? We’ve been doing this for so long—i think when you send messages like this or your more infamous texts asking me to marry you, that you actually are going to follow through one of these days. The impact of your JIG knowledge begins and ends with the Joni Mitchell first pressing LPs that you gave me for Christmas in college. I’m angry at you. I wish we’d do what that lady in that bar said we should have done—do you remember? the conversation we had right after that?

We would have had this sussed out a long time ago if I’d gotten on that flight to Boston instead of getting into a huge argument with you a few days before. I’m not saying we’d be together today, but we would have at least figured a few things out. Lesser, if you say you’re going to be there….BE THERE.

For years, I have put men aside because the love/lust I had for adventure, my career, the next horizon–was stronger than my attraction to a long-term relationship. Then Ben came and went and you picked me up. You showed such kindness, softness, and selfless love, you stunned me. I let go and dreamed along side you. I gave in and dropped the act. I’m warm and flushed like I was in college when this sexy stranger leaned over during anatomy lecture and whispered in my ear. You were there— calling me every few days, just checking in and reminding me it was okay to cry. What’s the Robert Bly poem line— I love you in slow-dim witted ways?

I remember driving up the 5, talking to you and you just blurted out that you still love me. I almost drove off the road. You’re the sort of woman once had is always missed once gone—or some similiar romantic chatter that brought my heart to my throat. And then, there are all the months of un-returned voicemessages. Text messages that sat. And then, when I’d tucked you away, out of nowhere, you’d reappear, like you did last night. Right now, I am angry— like the night at Bean’s when I threw the beer on you. More hurt at your insensitivity and inability to see beyond yourself.

I met another Pisces recently and we click. I’ve considered this one could get me the way you get me, Lesser. That’s reassuring—but what is not: all the signs are there that he’d hurt me just as badly. I know you, Pisces. Ah, to be loved by a Pisces… yeah. To be drown. No more fish for me.

I sit watching the rain fall, soaked, cold. Hmmm. I have some salmon and corn in the freezer that I froze last summer. That sounds good—- bake a small loaf of bread. Yes. FISH for dinner. Hmph. yes, that will make me feel MUCH BETTER.

Don’t get me wrong— I love that you love me. I love that you get me—but for once, stop swimming in circles (we’ve been doing this too long) or stop pushing me aside when you’re swimming upstream. Pushing me aside in your self-absorbed moodiness isn’t helping either of us. Ah, Pisces. I get it. Now stop, okay? It’s okay to stop and enjoy what you have and share it with those you have…. my door’s open. You know where to find me.

JIG

January 24, 2008

The house is quiet. I hear only the heat on and Siddhartha’s tags as he snuggles down in the other room. It is an odd sensation— to hear but be free of noise. I spent the majority of the day on the phone and while it was a productive day, it felt wasted. We didn’t get out for a walk today because of the continual rain (and yes, my dog is a wuss, but this is long established, so no surprise there). Kitty is frisky— she grabbed my ankle as I headed for the espresso maker this morning. I think she’s a bit annoyed that I’ve been home for so many days in a row and it’s been raining, so her adventures have been quite limited.All is good and well here.  I wrote a blog about music, more about my crappy day yesterday and edited it severely tonight. Something about having an audience, i reeled it in. So, i’ll put it here— I said yesterday outloud the thoughts that have been on my mind—but how to achieve them successfully, I do not know. I want to quit my job, open a bakery, get married and make babies. How very odd that these three things keep cropping up in my thoughts. Or perhaps I just need a nice long vacation? Sigh. Ugh. I don’t know.

Things are well. I hear the rain. It’s lovely. Ok. I’m off to curl up with the deliciously biased Jefferson biography. Thank you, oh thank you, Ellis for your sharp critical eye. yeah, yeah, i know, but I’m a Hamiltonan through and through.

sleep well. Dream better.

JIG

February 1, 2008

that simple beat and guitar…“Black bird singing in the dead of night take these broken wings and learn to fly…All your life you were only waiting for this moment to be arise…” I know some folks would say the Beatles are overrated, but sitting here, cool breeze coming through the window, the sun dipping down, I can feel the fog settling back down on the valley— I shake my head and think how much stronger my heart beats because of their music. I, mean, truly. Maybe it’s because when I was little there was a period of time I refused to listen to anything else. Abbey Road and the blue double album. Yes, indeed.

So, how are all of you? Life is good. Sorta. I’ve been working too much but that’s not really news to anyone. I am working on a new sweater (not of my own design), been taking Siddhartha to the park every day. Been going out to music shows with Julie recently and that’s been simply great. Love being out on school nights, listening to bands, and well, kicking back like I used to…

Perhaps that is the biggest news: Siddy’s been off leash now for the last few weeks. He still has selective hearing, but when it counts, he comes to back. He hasn’t tested my nerves and I appreciate that. Walking with nose down, smelling, I’m calling his name and he ignores me competely. Yet, if he looses me, he stops and searches the area until he sees me. His tail wags, then he’s back to smelling. Cutest boy in all in CA.

Paddle team kicks off next weekend with boat repair over at the Preserve. I cannot wait! Spring and summer on the Cosumnes is going to be awesome!! Okay, off to do some stuff in the studio before heading out.

February 9/10, 2008

Home, curled up with the pets, knitting off a bit of tipsiness after a night out. Yawn. Now i’m sleepy. Finally. Thankfully.

This morning I woke up at 9.30 am, flew out of bed in a panic— only to realise it was Saturday—but not before I’d surfed through the dryer with wicked lightening speed for under clothes, jeans, and a soft long-sleeved tshirt. I had the pullover going over my head, rapidly scanning my mental calendar—what had I missed in the hour I’d overslept— a conference call? What emails were supposed to go out first thing? And then— blissful realisation— it’s saturday you dork. I walked through the house stripping off clothing, sunk back into bed, the pets welcoming my return. I snuggled down in the down comforter, cool and warm simultaneously against my skin, until 11 am when Sheri woke me up. I lazily got up, made coffee, got dressed and began my day— which happily consisted of a few hours in the art studio. a bit of cooking, and loads of knitting.

While out reading a friend’s blog, I’d noticed she’d found a search engine that rates blogs for language. I typed in my blog’s address and nearly fell over when it received a “G” rating. The only “warning” was that the word “dead” shows up somewhere in these pages. Now, as most of you know, I have a mouth on me. If my pets could speak, their first words probably would have been “motherf*cker” as it often slips out of my lips when I stub a toe, burn a cake, etc. I’ve taken up saying “motherfather” (as shouldn’t that person be the same, I mean, truly) upon my friend Bill’s recommendation.

I am surprised and also a bit proud of myself for the little kid G rating— awe. peace. love. happiness. hippie knit bit woven pieces—Hahahhaaha. Yeah.

On a related note: life is not as I’d thought it would be, dreaming backwards 10 plus years, but I can say truthfully, it is a life mostly of my own making—my choices, drive, and acceptance of who I am. Recently during professional struggles, I have begun to loose my way. I began to doubt my own personal understanding and it has shredded me inside and out. I feel (and sadly have appeared) a bit ragged. And today, tonight, I’m unsure where I am going (metaphorically and quite literally), but there is great peace tonight knowing it will be created not out of strife, through forced or broken acceptance. No, it is of my design. It is a slow, lazy realisation, truly. But one that will allow me to lay down in bed and dream. And tonight I believe my sign off more than ever: sleep well. dream better.

By the time you are reading this, know I awoke early, stretched, yawned, made a strong foamy capp, dressed, headed off to the market with Julie. Got more espresso at the beloved CoffeeGarden and now can be found curled up knitting or putzing up in the studio. Happy Sunday! Love to all. JIG

February 15, 2008
Today’s an anniversary for me— too personal to put out into cyberspace. However, a few laugh lines, forehead creases (damn my raised eyebrow tendency!), and a few sporatic grey hairs have brought bit of clarity to that very grey period of my life. I’ve remembered the sadness and confusion. Today, I have two thoughts on this anniversary of mine:

1. I recall the stranger in the St. Louis airport who laid his coat over my shoulders as I slept on the floor. When I awoke that Valentine’s day morning I felt warmed by the random act of kindness. This stranger had slept above me in a row of chairs where I’m sure he’d had a horrible night’s sleep. He told me he’d slept above me so that other people would think we were together— a woman shouldn’t sleep alone in an airport, it just isn’t safe, he’d said. At the time, I was lost in my sense of loss— silly woman sleeping curled up on the airport floor—not a clue that the heaviness in her heart was about to double, triple. Hindsight is astounding. I think now of this stranger and the Gandhi quote: be the change you want to see in the world.

2. I am OK with my life. It is not what I’d planned, but to compare my younger dream self with today’s reality— it’s apples and oranges. I need to be more kind to myself—I should begin with forgiveness. These ‘transgressions’ I have made against my younger self’s dreams are not really transgressions…diversions from a path, a purposeful distraction. There is no peace to be gleaned from this self-ridicule. I drive myself hard…and I’ve seen myself though my loved ones’ eyes— i have done all of it to prove a point to myself. Ah, a bit absurd and certainly lacking merit. While I will continue to move forward with my career, today, standing back— I am good. I am done for now. I need to return to the world that is less work driven and more life-driven.

And now, onto a three day weekend. I am turning off the ringer on my phone. The sun is shining and quite beautiful here. Still a bit chilly but i have the windows open. Siddhartha is sleeping next to me on the futon.  Sweetpea is curled up next to him her paw on his paw. Cute to an outsider, though I suspect a bit of intimidation is actually the case. Here’s to a weekend of painting, studio time, plucking on the gibson and overall lazy happy warm fuzzy….

Love to all. JIG

February 16, 2008
A few weeks ago I overnighted in SF and got to spend some time with Matty. We went out to dinner at Zushi Puzzle (www.zushipuzzle.com) over by the marina. Afterwards, Matty, Vince, and I spent the evening at Vince’s doing some work (ah, to share time with other workaholics. Sigh). What’s the post here about? Well…

Vince still had his Christmas tree up (poor dried out noble fir that was still simple stunning) and as I stared at the balls, I recognized one of them. It was the red glass ball i’d doodled silver glitter designs on several years ago. Two years ago, Matty was at my tree trimming, saw the ball, and asked to have it. As I can’t seem to decline him, he went back to SF that night and hung it on Vince’s tree—and now, it has become a part of his decorations. When I told Vince i’d made the ornament, he threw his arms around me in a quick hug, somehow closer than we’d been the moment before.

That night, I slept at Matty’s apartment and Matty stayed at Vince’s. the next morning as I was waiting for Matty to come home, I had the chance to walk about his apartment. I love doing this— spending time in another’s space without them—a window on their life.  I was struck by my presence in his small apartment. Above the kitchen entry— a purple and green stretched leaf batik. In the hallway, the black and picture of the falling down/burnt out structure in the desert. When Matty got home, I expressed my appreciation that he’d hung up my art pieces. He laughed— of course he had.

Sometimes I wonder where my art goes once it leaves my possession. Do my friends hang it up? Most say they do but I sometimes fear that it gets stuffed into a closest, folded into a drawer. I am learning, however, this is not the case. There are pieces of me in my friends’ homes. This realization has warmed me in the recent weeks….

Postscript: (a note from Sheri) Since there is not a space for comments on the journal part of your blog i will tell you here… two of your batiks hang in my bedroom, one in the extra room/office/catch all space across the hall. One more at the landing. A photo you took is on the bullitan board in the office/extra room/catch all room as well. My phone book you made me when my bag got ripped off when I first moved to Ann Arbor is in the book shelf by my bed… most numbers long outdated I can not toss it away. Your photo of a tree in the desert sits near by w/ a photo of an olive tree I took in Palestine…..Your artwork surrounds me and reminds me of the love or good friends…hugs to you!
sher

February 19, 2008

Without going into it, let me just say: I am an idiot.
On the upside, I have a show at the Coffee Garden scheduled for June’s second saturday. Of course, that’s the weekend i’m supposed to be at the music festival in TN, so I’m going back in this week to reschedule to july or august.

I had a roller coaster of a day at work and I was on the phone with yet another engineer until after 7 pm. These work relationships detract from my life and leave me feeling weary and frazzled. I am excited to make so many pieces for this upcoming art show— and as such, I will begin to focus upon the art, the creation. These engineers? They can keep it to office hours. Enough. I was doodling on the phone and I’ve been doodling since…

Postscript: Okay. I’m not done. It’s pouring rain. Siddy is sleeping under the quilt with me on the futon and kitty is curled up in the chair. I picked up the guitar after I finished typing the bit above a few hours ago. I’m restless. Fucking ebb and flow. Sucks. I don’t know why, but I just thought of Amy Arnold and something she said to me years ago. We were sitting in one of the Loft’s booths. She smiled broadly when the Rolling Stone’s You Can’t Always Get What You Want came on…and she said, “this song is about you. You don’t get what you want, but you get what you need, Jenn.” I am thinking about this ruefully tonight. DO I? Gawd. Self-absorbed. I feel sad recently— I’ve been thinking about those who are no longer and those who are simply no longer in my life (JDL, BTJ).

This weekend, I had a dream about Rob Wolf. I miss him and I can’t believe he’s been dead for so many years. I was thinking of him and Patty Griffith’s song Goodbye which has the lyric “I guess it take awhile for people to really disappear… I remember where I was when the word came about you—it was a day much like today, the sky was wide and bright and blue.” When I thought of him this weekend, I couldn’t hold it together. I wish… well, a lot of things. I put that restless strife into strumming the Gibson and the tips of my fingers are sore and slightly purple.

I do remember a few good things today. Lunch with my boss at a favorite Mexican place in Livermore. I went to buy smokes and Mark was kind and grabbed my hand as I went to leave. The slight touch brought a smile to my face. Thank you for that, sir. The art show—let’s not forget the art show.

I wish it wasn’t raining. I want to go for a run. That’s a funny thought— Siddhartha would not be amused. When I got home from my meeting this afternoon, we went for a walk. As we were playing at the park, the skies opened up and soaked us. We came home and after a good rub down with his towel, he looked fluffy like a puppy. I felt more warm and fuzzy myself after slipping into my favorite jeans and colourful toesocks…

Okay. I feel better now. Rants and raves. And tomorrow, the sun will rise and I will feel warmed again… Ah, winter— time to stew a bit, and these winter showers will bring artistic flowers, no?

February 21, 2008

Hi all. Last night there was a lunar eclipse. I sat outside in the front yard, opened a bottle of wine, had a few smokes, and talked on the phone. First Sara, then, a client, then, rushed off that call to pick up one from Scotty. Hadn’t heard his voice in a while and there is something warm and easy about our talks. Everything I know about drilling comes from him. I smile when i’m talking to a client or a construction manager or contractor and they are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Nah, boys, I know drilling and I’m not buying a word you’re saying, thank you Scotty. He’s a Texan. He has that drawl and you can hear it through the phone when he smiles. I have and will always adore this man and there’s a part of me that will always be a bit sad that I didn’t end up with him. He’s married now and I respect that, truly. We talk politics, about his kids, etc. Each time we talk— I walk away from it feeling loved, warmed through and through with an overwhelming sense of safety. Odd, eh? Ah, the power of friendship with this man— I am proud to know such a strong, upstanding man. He’d do anything for me, if I only asked. I wonder if I will ever see him again in my life. I hope so. I owe him a truck wash… I was in bed by midnight. I slept until 8.30 am and quite honestly, didn’t do more than three hours of work all day. I called in sick and I did feel sick— tired and a bit of a fever. I think sitting outdoors in the cool night did me in a bit.

But mostly, I sat back on the sidelines as yet another work drama unfolded. Ah, internal politics and egos. It’s interesting, really. Life is more than this. I kept thinking that today. And tomorrow? I am heading up to that messy studio of mine and working on art all day. I’ve already taken the day off and all my clients know I’m not reachable unless absolutely necessary. And I shall listen to music mixed with the falling rain and fall back in love again with my life.

hmmmm…”one day i won’t live here anymore. Someone will wonder who lived here before… i live too many miles from the ocean. i’m getting older and I get up every morning with a cup of coffee…some live too long without an answer… ” patty griffin lyrics. Yes. Indeed. One day I will not… when? and where am I heading? I don’t know yet. But I’m leaning more and more in that direction.

February 25, 2008

Ah, what an interesting weekend… good stuff. Had yummy Indian food at a place within walking distance of Wildlands… any of you come visit, remind me to take you there, k? The news from here is a bit silly and a bit mundane. I worked in the art studio and I’ve been filled with luscious creativity recently, though a bit unfocused. Four or five things going at once. Ah, well. The little black beast became a labby this weekend when he not only RAN AFTER A STICK (repeatedly) at the park but then, got his freak on by throwing himself down in a MUD PUDDLE and rolling back and forth. He was covered in mud and I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.Good boy. Several dog parkers were witness to something he’s only done in front of me before— tossed a stick up in the air like a baton, caught it, pranced around (repeat). The shit he can do is pretty amazing— funny too.

So, that’s the news around here. Let’s ignore the crazy work stuff… love to all. JIGs

1. blood on the tracks 2. joni mitchell miles of aisles 3. neil young live rust 4. james laid 5. CSNY 4-way street 6. ben harper live from mars 7. bob marley legend 8. Smiths Louder than Bombs 9. beatles abbey road 10….and a whole slew of others rotates out of this position— roberta flack, nina simone, marvin gaye, simon and garfunkel, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, on and on and on… and on…

February 26, 2008

Sunkissed. Hair spun up in a braid. Warm from the inside out. Content.
This is the sensation of a day without work angst and pressure. A wonderously beautiful sunny day on the green rolling hills of California with fellow biologists (all girl crew today) on owl crew. Sara hung out for a while after we got back to Wildlands and we chatted excitedly, distractedly about our gardening plans for this season— such a good egg that woman.
I spoke to one engineer at 8.25 am. My boss at 9 am. One call to another PM at 4 pm. Responded to two emails. Amazingly simple day. Or perhaps, I made it a simple day by choosing to give myself a single day to complete a simple task… dig a hole, install an owl door, move on….A beautiful day… here’s to spring and owl crew.

February 29, 2008
Shhh… do you hear that? Silent. Cool breeze, curtains moved by the wind. Open windows. Sunset. Smell of a campfire nearby (hmmm, I should have one of those soon in the chiminea!!). Doggie sleeping on my feet. Peace.  Happy Leap Year!

March 4, 2008
Okay, I gotta few thoughts, folks…I had wanted articles of impeachment for the last five years for my birthday, and sadly, I never got them. However, Bush’s approval rating is down to 19%, so at least I’m not alone in my disapproval. However, of course, it does go much deeper than disapproval— sheer outrage that my fellow Americans re-elected him and have (as a nation) allowed this man to remain in office regardless of his actions. The picture is a bit scary actually, but the vampire reference made me think… I do hope Americans turn the corner during the 2008 elections and don’t continue down this dark trail…fear mongering, lose of American service men/women in a ‘war’ (hmmm who has heard anything about Afganistan in awhile?), suppression of civil liberties, illegal wire tapping…you get my point.

My second thought… the rating system I posted above— it doesn’t work. As a bit of a trick, I’ve been a bit more mouthy (ahem) in Ebb & Flow recently and my rating hasn’t changed… hahahahahaha. Good to know.

Everything here is fine. Thursday is going to be a roughday. I’m meeting in SF with the head of HR, her boss, and my boss to discuss my ‘future.’ ugh. Next Monday there’s a big ole meeting in SF to discuss a recent project that went south. Hmm. LOVELY. Ah well. I’m thinking there is a week’s vacation in my near future so I can work around the house and relax a bit…

Cosumnes River Preseve’s Paddling crew met up on Sunday and the season opens on the 16th. I’m stoked. I’m really looking forward to participating in the guided tours (open to the public) and spending more time there! One of my CRP friends gave me a kayak… I need to go look for a new paddle but otherwise, i’m good to go! yahoo. Who wants to hit the river?On other fronts, I did a major yard cleaning on Sunday out front. Things look…GREAT. It’s shocking, really. Everything is ALIVE and health and (mostly) happy where they are planted. Daisies in bloom. Irises up. The ceonothus is ALIVE and BLOOMING. Can you believe it? I know. Truly!Love to all, JIGs

March 5, 2008
Ah, today was such a good day. There’s been some work stuff going on and I’ve been edgy because of it. Ah well, the meetings I’ve been dreading have been postponed until next week. As such, I choose to set aside my fear and anxiety until Monday. What comes, comes. Honestly, I have nothing to be afraid of and my life is a good one. I have no real complaints. Especially in light of two (extreme) events that occured today.
1. Sheri texted me to say her car had been stolen from a busy theater parking lot this afternoon. WTF? I mean, truly! This woman who gives her heart and soul to the world—how it is HER car gets stolen? From a purely karmic standpoint— WTF? Grrr. I’m going to think about this one for awhile. She’s such a good, kind egg. We talked this evening and she was in decent spirits, though how I’m not sure. How can anyone have that much love and peace and understanding in them? Up for sainthood (in Goddess realm, of course, Sheri) for sure.
2. Siddhartha played again at the park this afternoon, chasing sticks, though it took awhile for him to stop eating the grass and pay attention to the sticks I’d collected. See, he chases sticks then eats them, he doesn’t retreive. AND THEN, the most amazing thing happened (nearly an hour into our park time), he showed interest in a ball this guy had— he stood up and pawed the guy. The guy threw it (just as i was saying “he doesn’t case balls”), Siddy took off after it, and as I was saying “well, he usually doesn’t and he doesn’t retrieve,” here came Siddhartha tearing back for me and the guy. He dropped down and rolled around on his back with the ball still in his mouth. It wish I could explain how wonderful this was— my dog finally realizes he’s a labby and that yup, chasing sticks and retrieving balls is what he is supposed to do. He’s always so shy at the park— avoiding other dogs, wandering along the fence line. Certainly not today— it just takes him a while to get comfortable. Sweet boy is crashed out on the bed now, snoring. Ah, good boy.
March 13, 2008
“Oh river with your water so calm, I will not forget you wherever I roam…I’m so selfish, won’t you forgive me my haste? I hope you last forever—at least all of my days” Joe Purdy’s Abbie’s Song
I’m kicked back, calm for the first time in a few days. I had “the” meeting on Tuesday and am a bit embarassed to say, I cried all the way through it. Yeah, real professional. But I couldn’t help myself. Slow tears. The weeks of overwork, frustration, stress—it did me in. The meeting itself was OK. A clear track where my career is going, so progress. On the way down the steps at the North Concord BART station, I slipped on some water and fell—banging the shit out of my lower back and knocked my head around a bit. Been in a bit of pain since. Nothing broken but damn, it hurts. Walking about, I am transported back 34 years to my teetering baby days trying to keep upright. A bit comical.
On other news fronts— Siddhartha is blooming. He’s playing with others at the park, running around in big wide circles like the devil is on his heels— even when no other dog is chasing him. Today, he chased and RETREIVED a toy several times. He likes to bring it back to me (or sometimes only halfway), flopping down, and rolling around on his back— like a fish out of water. So happy, this dog. I’m thrilled— i can’t remember a time he’s been so animated and happy. Hmm. I say this as he’s curled upon the futon, paw over his muzzle, blocking out the light, sleeping quietly. Super cute.
Okay. I’m off to read a bit of Burr then onto sleep. Owl crew 6 am is gonna come wicked early… grumble… ah, right, i love these days. Ah, yes, I do, indeed. Love to all.
JIG
April 8, 2008
“Wake up, we don’t have to pretend anymore, while you were sleeping, i drove us to some place where the weather will always be warm… you can go outside and bury your face in the sun…” Joe Purdy lyric “Pretenders”
It’s been a few days. Today, it is cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy. Soft breezes and it feels like fog trying hard to burn off… not typical for this time of year, but I appreciate it nonetheless. Snuggled down in a soft sweater, relishing this moment. Opening day at Fenway and the Sox won; listened to it on WRKO.
I have been traveling a good deal for work and as such, have had a lot of time to myself. Well, not as much as I’d like, seems as though my cell phone is attached to my very last nerve. That aside, lots of driving. Stunning sights. Wind through my hair. Sunshine. The experiences have left me tired but calm, content. Plucking at the Gibson, reading, and oddly enough, not knitting that much. Gardening. Putzing in the studio. Wondering what i’ll do about the non-functioning sewing machine. Turning my attention to thoughts of pieces for the upcoming art show.
Yesterday, I did have one of those magical moments at the dog park. I felt like snow white dog whisperer. Then continued on a walk around the neighborhood, ran into neighbors here and there, bought milk at the corner store, came home to my neighobr next door delivering me chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. Yum.
Tater tots for dinner with eggs over easy, flipping through Sunset magazine and dreaming about gardens. That’s the vibe over here in California. Love to all.
JIG
April 16, 2008
Ah, Spring. Lovely Spring. It’s appearance is marked by some of my most favorite things: Baseball. Strong windy gusts. Everything in bloom. However, i knowit’s spring by the appearance of dead creatures dragged into the house through the doggie door by the resident carinvoire kitty, Sweetpea.  Ugh.
Siddy and I came home from a nice walk/play at the park. Got food for Pea and Sid. Walked back and forth several times from the media room into the kitch. After half a dozen trips back and forth,  I sat down, caught up with the game (Sox at Yankees), and smiled as Siddy came to me three timesand nuzzled me. Awe. Look. The labby is being cute.
I get up to get water, plug in my cell phone and there inches from my feet was a small pool of blood, feathers, and yes, a dead Sparrow. Poor dead Sparrow. After a manadatory yelp, I got a plastic bag and disposed of Pea’s first kill of 2008. That taken care of, Siddy hopped up on the futon and fell asleep.

Gross. Ugh.So, to summarize, this week’s installment— love. deep wells of friendship. silliness. the ties that bind. Love to all. JIG

April 28th, 2008
Bad day. ESA won the Golden Gate Bridge project but I am not to be part of the project as I live in Sacramento. Proposed for my position on the project is a woman who has treated me very poorly in her short tenure at my company. I am without words and angry. I busted my tail for the interview and from all accounts, sold the panel on ESA’s compliance monitoring program. And so, in my place, there will be woman working on the highest profile ESA job in the last 10 years who has less than one week of monitoring experience. To say I am downtrodden and disappointed is an understatement. I’ve been telling myself all day that is should not let it bother me so much, but it does. A great deal.  I would feel better about this situation if it wasn’t the ONE junior staffer who has been so rude to me in the recent months…

I thought about this all day and have not wanted so badly to leave ESA in a very long time.

JIG

April 24, 2008

Ooops! World meet Klutz, klutz meet world. Yup. In another mindless moment in a string of absentminded moments, I stepped backwards off a step and snap crackle pop on the left ankle. Hobble, hobble, life is humbling. So, that’s eaten up nearly a week, but also, a few things…

I was part of ESA’s interview team for a new project proposal. What is the project, you ask? The seismic upgrade on… THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE.I spent Monday in SF for interview prep, had a late dinner with Matty (hold that thought, I’ll be back to this), stayed in an expensive but mediocre hotel, and went off Tuesday morning to the Presido. Ah, what a beautiful place. The interview was held at the Officer’s club— where I attended a wedding reception three years ago (hold that thought). The interview— squared shoulder, smiling at the irony of time and place. I got a bit chatty at the end (going out of my mind in pain), but we agreed afterward that it was a very good effort and I felt proud of myself— I love what I do and that certainly shines through to the interview panel.

This afternoon, to reward myself for a few days of good behavior (semi-good behavior), Sara came over, we had lunch at a great little Greek place in East Sac, then went to the Coffee Garden, sat out back in that lush vegetated oasis, and knitted. That was great. Sara remembers more than I would have expected after years of knitting-absence.

Life has a way of bringing me back to places I’d once been. Specifically I am brought back to the places I’d been in a state of panic, unsure-ness, or sadness. The occurrence of this time/place return, always when I am stronger and at my best, makes me laugh. I recognize this now when the first time occurs— I allow myself to feel what I feel, but then recognize, I was brought to this place for a reason and fast forward a bit of time, I’ll be right back here— and I will be happy and secure with my life. I was reminded of this as I hobbled into the Officer’s club in the Presido. The last time I was there, ah, well, it’s a long story, but attending Emily’s wedding was bittersweet and I’d driven round and round the Presido until I found the place.

Monday night met up with Matty (I LOVE the fact our offices are two blocks from each other!) and snagged dinner from a little Greek place in the financial district). We sat outside his office and talked. It was quick, perhaps an hour, and yet, it was easy and real and we laughed. Friendship like Matty’s cannot be quantified. Peace and great joy, and beneath our lightheartedness, we are fiercelessly loyal and loving. A rare find out here.

Which brings me to my third item to share. Scotty emailed me two days ago— he’s coming to work in Oregon, 8 hours north of me. He wants to get settled and then would like me to take some time off work and come see him. I was stunned. Scotty— my Texan is back on the west coast. it’s been 7 years since I left him in bed back in Red River county and a lot has changed. He’s one of the reasons I headed to the desert (to get over the heartbreak) and he was also the person I called that first night in the desert, crying and afraid.

He’s remarried and I haven’t quite forgiven him for that, though, I do understand the reasons why we didn’t move forward. I even accept them. But, yet, the thought of him— god, all those years ago— we worked together on the Carquinez Strait. Even though it was his choice to halt the dating, he’s kept track of me, he checks in, we talk a lot of politics, this Texan republican and I. He is the strongest man I know, cut from an old-school clothe and his friendship and affection touches me deeply. I cannot wait until I see him— that dimpled smile, laughing eyes, and to feel his hug, laugh outright at whatever he says in that Texan accent of his.

May 7, 2008

Things are better on the work front, mostly because I’ve been taking some time off, attending only to the things I have to get done. In fact, i’m taking the next two days off to do some things around the house. I’ve put off so much for work over the last four years, I need a breather to attend to some things here at Wildlands.

Having said that, all is well. I left the house at 6 am, picked up coffee at the Coffee Garden (oh, how i love that place!) and headed to Petaluma for the weekly meeting. I hadn’t been onsite in months (six, eight?) and WOW does it ever look different. Some information (and an aerial shot of the site) can be found here: http://www.patriciajohanson.com/timeline/petaluma_wrf.html. Anyway, I spent several hours with a Covello Inspector who I have known for six years now. This guy and I have been through a lot in our professional lives and I respect him so much. We’re also about the same age and have a lot of fun together. It was great catching up with him today, looking around the site, and getting updates. A lot of bantering and intermixed chit chat. I bought him lunch (long overdue) and we spent more time talking about our lives than work. I drove home feeling lighthearted and pleased that for the first time in weeksI had a pretty stress-free day. Once again, reminded why I do what I do and the professional relationships that make the work fun and rewarding. I also saw Heidi— it’s been over a year since I’ve seen her— wow. It was good and we laughed together. She gave me her cell phone and I look forward to catching up with her. Hmm. I wonder if she would like to start up Sunday market trips again?

I’ve got a new project in the works and I’m pretty excited about that too— more on later. However, I was reminded of a quote on Sher’s blog (playful spirit for peace) “If you have a need, say it outloud. That’s the rule.” I’m horrible about asking for help/assistance/advice. However, my new project screams for community outreach, which is exactly what i’m doing— some connections through the doggie park have offered up help and so has Chick night chickies… that sort of response— it warmed me up, through and through. it may have taken SIX YEARS, but I am integrating into a community and while I’ve always felt at home here at Wildlands, I am beginning to feel at home in Curtis Park and Sacramento.

Okay. enough warm fuzzy. It’s 11 pm, I want to knit a bit. Then off to sleep on the futon. Sulk. the doggie and I both can’t wait for the bedroom to be done so we can have our bed back. The cat could care less, it seems, as she feels more than comfortable torturing us whereever we sleep.. hahaha. Nah, she’s the easy one in so many ways.

Sleep well. Dream better. Love to all. JIGs

May 11, 2008

Happy Sunday. It is a beautiful day; just home from the market with Julie… up early at 8.30 am, got coffee (ah, old soul coffeehouse, you are incredible) and a scone. Good stuff. I went to see Dan (he’s having a yard sale) and he volunteered to install a new ceiling fan in my bedroom. SWEET.

Life around Wildlands and Curtis Park has been wonderful recently. Today, i’m feeling good about my life even though I said goodbye to JDL yesterday. Wrote him a long prose/poem email. After a decade— I can’t wait any longer, though I will always love him. I’m sure nothing will change outwardly but inwardly, I’ve let go…and that’s pretty astounding given I always thought we would end up with each other. All that Joni Mitchell fate.

I’m heading to Ohio at the end of May— my first trip in nearly six years. MP is picking me up at the airport— I can’t wait to throw my arms around him. It has been approximately 15 years. WOW—time flies. He found me back at Christmas on Facebook and we’ve been chatting ever since. I feel stronger and warmer now that he’s back— all is as it should be. I also spoke to an old friend yesterday (DRB) from HS. He’s heading out to CA in October and we’re making plans to hang out. Now, that’s gonna be fun. I had a pretty serious crush on him all throughout HS and early college; I always saw him out and most of our times were spent intoxicated. We talked yesterday for a few hours and all sorts of dumb memories came back to me…. hahahaha. Ah, in so many ways, my past is coming into my future… much like the Feist tune.

Good stuff.

I’m painting my bedroom (including trim, sigh) and it’s coming along nicely. I’m struggling over what to do with the “rustic” pine floor that’s been painted over and over again. Have it stripped and refinished? Lay down laminate hardwood floors (like in the media room)? Sigh. I don’t know. If i strip it, I should also strip the media room and I’m not up for pulling out laminate and going through that process… just yet. So, I think I will let indecision reign— scrub it well, throw down a large rug and mull it over for a while.

Pics of updated rooms once the furniture is back in it and I’ve gotten the new furniture for the media room… the house is so disorganized, i’m getting irritated….

always something to do around here…

Love to all. JIG

May 13, 2008

I don’t keep much stuff around, I value my portability, but I will say that I have saved every letter you ever wrote to me… the one you left on my windshield, outside that little motel… letters littered with little lewd pictures, drawn by the ghost of Woody Guthrie who’d use your big thick hand just to draw one or two for me. And I think of your letters as love letters, which is how i think of songs, for it is the writing of them that tends to carry us along…Ani Difranco, Soft Shoulder.

This may be the last time I see you, forgive me for holding you close. This may be the last time I see you, so of this moment I will make the most…but if you keep me in your heart together we shall be eternal, if you believe… Ben Harper, Roses from my friends.

Ah, i’m in a comtemplative mood tonight. Not sure why, really. I am distracted by people who are far away, feeling in touch and out of touch in the same moment. Wondering what’s going to develop in the next few months. Lots of possibility, ya know? My birthday is in 10 days. I guess I’m always like this right before my birthday— looking forward and looking back. My visit to Ohio, teaching knitting at the homeless shelter, the art show in July, Darren’s possible visit in the fall. These things, leave me wonderous. I’m reaching out and feeling support like I have not in a long time. I keep thinking of something I wrote to Stitches a few years ago, I can’t be less than who I am. I can be more, but not less….

And heading back to Ohio after nearly six years. I’m stunned. Six years, truly? I want to go to the Zephyr and see Patty behind the bar. I want to throw my arms around Mike at the airport. I want to knock on my mom’s side door and say hey Lady, thought I’d drop by for some sun tea— got any? knowing she’s got a fresh glass jar all brewed up…

I want to see the lushness of Kent— the last time I was there in summer, it was Memorial day weekend and Einah was by myside at the parade. My grandfather was alive and glowing with pride as four generations surrounded him on the Main Street bridge. I don’t want to see any ghosts, that’s just too painful. How will I stop myself from not seeing them? Garth and I slugging it up the hill to the brownstones, Garth drunk and heartbroken. Paul and I sitting in the Gazebo. I wish I could go find them, those kids, who were brimming with life and tell them to hold onto themselves and each other. Ah, I know, we still do, but it’s harder now that he’s in Boston. I remember that cold December morning— my mind distracted by JA and Sarah tapping on my bedroom window. Her betrayal and Paul and I sitting in the car, him sobbing. And I, lacking words to comfort my hero, could only hold him, and wanting to lash at Sarah for her selfish and thoughtless actions. That moment our worlds began to unravel, our commonness.

I remember a birthday years ago in santa barbara. I was in love with the Texan. Birthday on the beach, building sandcastles with even my most macho of guy friends. Writing to Paul to say I wasn’t sure if I was coming back, that I’d left to escape the ties that bind. I think about that now. The ties that bind— silly woman, those were the ones that loved you the most, loved you the best. And I left the community. Those were the turning points. I hadn’t been out West more than two years. And I did not. Huh. Now we’re all spread apart and we’re never going to be back together again unless it’s a Big Chill moment and I don’t want to even wonder who it is going to take to bring us all back.

I’m due to go to Macchu Picchu with Paul in the next three years. I wonder if he will be able to go as they want children soon. I want to travel through Egypt, see Petra, and travel onto Instanbul— next year? 30 days away from home. Hmmm. I wonder if I could convince anyone to go? A float down the Nile too…

Okay, I’m all over the place here. I’m going to go fall into 1788 and fall asleep. Sleep well, dream better. Love to all, JIG

May 17, 2008

I’ve been thinking via song lyrics the last 24 hours. I could go on and on, but it’s the my morning jacket lyric from Golden and Hopefully that have me swirling in thoughts. I’m turning a corner in my life. It may seem insignificant or bizarre, but I’m moving rooms again. My bedroom will be the back bedroom— the room I first occupied when I bought the house. It feel right and it’s time. Theraputic. The new “media” room (the front bedroom) was the room that Ben and I shared when he was here. For nearly the last three years, I’ve thought about this either as I fell asleep or when I woke up. It’s time. I can’t imagine having a meaningful sexual experience in that room (though I’ve had a few decent fucks).

I keep saying that I’m open to a relationship and I finally feel it in my bones. It’s time. Life’s prime for it and I’m happy again with my life, my immediate surroundings, and who I am. As such, time to put the final nail in the Kiwi coffin and move on…

And now, to the lyrics… May i be more able to recognize the men in my life so that I may recognize their love for me…

I won’t ask you where you’re going. I won’t ask you where you’ve been. It occurs to me at times, you get sick of my lines, but I just want see you safe again.

Hopefully, it occurs to me that there’s one thing that I can’t stand. That’s the thought of one single day without your head in my hand…

Love to you all. JIG

May 27, 2008

Hi. I’m lost in thought… heading to Ohio on Thursday morning. Six years. Unbelieveable….

June 9, 2008
Hi. Been a few weeks. A lot of thoughts swirling around, mostly good. My trip back to Ohio was more fun than I could have imagined. I loved meeting Mike’s family and spending time with him and Odin. He’s accepted the job out in AZ and will be moving there soon. Sheri came down from MI and we spent an afternoon together in a special place. We had dinner with my mom and aunts and stayed in the parking lot laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants. Ah, to laugh like that! Family, friends, and mentors.

Went and saw Dzeda— oh god, I adore that man. I truly doubt he can comprehend how many of us still think of him and owe much of our love of history (and our desire to continue reading/learning) to him. It was great to see him. Oddly, the sight of him in khaki shorts and a golf shirt, untucked with no shoes made me laugh. I can’t recall ever seeing him so casual. Good for him.

more on the trip to Ohio soon….love, jig

June 12, 2008

Woah. Last night, I had the most amazing dream. I’ve been playing around with dream stimulation techniques recently and last night, the work paid off. Yikes. I woke up energized and inspired. I was surprised/encouraged by my ability to relax and then focus upon the subject at hand. Once in the dream, I had better control on the activities and oddly, there was more conversation than usual. My dreams are typically quite vibrant in both colour and emotion, but rarely do they have such a strong verbal communication component. Mostly, I’ve been thinking about a friend of mine who is far away and I’ve needed to spend some time with him but neither of us are in a position to take a week off and hang out. As my need was completely selfish, I focused on my desire to spend time with him. And spend time with him, I did. Grin. Part of the dream was completely torrid, but I’m an adult and am allowed such desires. However, that component did take me by surprise a bit, though, gotta say, it was fun waking up and thinking… wow, what’s going on in that head of yours, kid?

I’m looking forward to bed tonight—which usually, it’s like pulling teeth (yes, my own) to get me to go to sleep… ah, here’s to sleeping well and dreaming better. Awesome.

June 14, 2008

So, today was a good day. I conducted a frog survey for most of the morning/early afternoon with one of my favorite coworkers, talked to Stitches (who reminded me the new MMJ album is out), went to the Beat and bought said CD (along with a few LPs), and then went to the post office to pick up a passport application. It’s time. As of Labor Day, I have been without Ben and us for three years. I did away with my passport in a fit of pain so that I wouldn’t fly to NZ. While I may one day travel to NZ and AU, it will not be to seek Ben out. I’m beginning to think less and less of what might have been between us now if I’d gone then. Time does that, I suppose. Softens the pain and warms the memories so that I can let go. I’m nearly there. So much going on here and promise of many things— more so than since he left.

So, with that, upbeat and smiling, I am heading to the dog park with Siddhartha under beautiful June skies… love to all. jigs

postscript: A person noted tonight that there’s a good deal of personal/private info on my blog and specifically, here in Ebb and Flow. Well, yes, there is. It’s my journal page.If you don’t know me, i’d imagine reading this page is a bit like being a voyeur. And that’s OK. I’m not ashamed, embarassed, or really all that concerned about what is written here. However, bringing up bits from this page in conversation and then passing judgement on my choice to keep an online journal, ah well, I don’t consider that fair play. Might want to keep that in mind. If you are reading this page, recognize the information here really only makes sense to me and to my loved ones who read it… Having said that, sleep well, dream better.

June 15, 2008

Listening to MMJ’s “in my car” on LP. That voice, those lyrics… i long to dream when I listen to these songs (golden, hopefully, bermuda highway)

I am reading a report on Guatanamo on McClatchy report. Saddened, sickened at our country’s detention of innocents. Such a simple statement, but one which I can’t seem to write about. I’m angry at our leaders. I’m angry that this has been allowed to continue… not just in Guatanamo but all over the globe. I’m angry that our nation’s citizens have been so divided and blinded by fear that they didn’t demand due process for these individuals. That they didn’t demand a stay for their own constitutional rights when they were whittled away…

My uncle said tonight that he had to respect and appreciate my viewpoint (insert topic) because i’m a straight constitutionalist… a hamiltonian constitutionalist. I grinned from ear to ear. Damn straight i’m a hamiltionian constitutionalist. I love my uncle, but I love him even MORE now.

Okay…sleep well. dream better.

don’t let your silly dreams fall between the crack of the bed and the wall…

June 17, 2008
Just woke up from an intense dream… I had become the sole guardian of a little girl named Abbey. I was living in Philadelphia and Carrie was there with me. She wasn’t very old— maybe 9 months and she was sweet and quiet and when I’d sit her down, big tears would well up in her eyes. She pulled on Siddhartha’s ears and seemed not to notice but instead sat perfectly still, starring at her. I had no little kid items and Carrie and I were packing her up (it was winter time) to take her to the store to buy just the essentials… i found myself saying— i’ll deal with clothe diapers NEXT week. Right now, I gotta figure out what she eats…

I think this is mostly inspired by an upsetting scene in Michaels that keeps coming back into my mind. Sure, always known about the biological clock and haven’t ever disregarded its presence, but the urge has been stronger the last few weeks… ah, who knows… but I do smile… Abbey. Abbey Road and Abernathy…

okay. off to doggie park with the little black beast. it is quite warm here, so a bit of a late start this afternoon. JIG

Friday June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice
Stayed up late reading Gary Snyder.
Had thoughts of you and this book you gave me this afternoon.
I wanted to lay my head on your shoulder during the movie, but
somehow, never made it over that way.
I yawn when I’m tired. And comfortable.
I wonder about you and this gift.

___________

Later

Somewhere in the dark,
I swore I heard you say my name.
I was reading April 1865 and was stirred enough
to get up and walk around the house.

The pets did not follow.
I thought for a moment, I would see you
there on the back patio, smoking a cigarette.

I did not leave the hall light on
after taking a swig from the milk carton.
If you’ve come home, you know the way to our big soft bed.

You should know, Richmond is burnt and Lee is on the run.

_______________

June 23/24, 2008
I am spent. I finally gave the Christians next door the letter I have wanted to write to them for a year. Thank you MDS for proofing it over the phone. Long story short—i came home today to find my neighbor had entered my side/backyard again (moving a barrier I’d put up) so that he could work on his garage. He removed plants I’d been working to grow for two years. The damage isn’t so great; it was his complete disregard of boundaries and my privacy. Just yesterday afternoon I’d told him not to come into my yard after he told me there was work he needed to do on his garage from my yard.

I’m beyond tired of this conversation. I’m tired of coming home and finding evidence that he’s been in my yard (a ladder in my yard leaning against his garage roof…taking down said ladder and placing it on my back patio only to find it has disappeared a few days later).

I put the barrier back up. I kicked the dirt back against his garage that he’d dug out. I toss around the plants he’d dug up. I went over and knocked on their door—loudly. He didn’t come to the door. I went to the park, came home and saw that his car was not there. Passive aggressive jerk. I drafted a letter, copied it out anew and delivered it. Lorrie was the only one home. I feel badly— i like her a lot and apologized that I was put in a position that I had to write it. She hugged me and told me she understood.

I do not want to talk to Dave right now or for a long while. I need to calm down. The letter was calm but I doubt I will be able to hold my temper when (never if with this man) he begins his “i just had to” defense of his actions. The letter stated that he is breaking the law by trespassing onto my property. He does not now or at any time in the future have permission to be in my side or backyard, most especially when i am NOT at home. Plain and simple. Feel better because i said it kindly, rationally, and without threatening him with legal action.

July 15, 2008

Whoa. Nearly a whole month? Really? Seriously? Geez.

I’ve been lost in thought a bit these past few weeks. Between the wildfires, the smoke blocking out the sun, work mayhem and madness, life mayhem, i’ve been a bit distracted away from Ebb and Flow.

Quick share: knitting up a sweater to proof Uncle Andy’s sweater design. Collecting materials for the homeless knitting shelter project. Clean up around wildlands and planting things. Listening to a lot of music. Spending down time with siddhartha and pea. Exploring.

I have thoughts but may need to save them until another night when the delta breeze isn’t coming through the window so perfectly. I’m off to dream.

Sleep well. dream better. love, jig

July 26, 2008
Ah friends, where have I been? Running through my days with a few bright spots (not ready to share those just yet because well, they are the promise of bright spots, not quite bright spots yet) and a whole lot of dark spots. It’s work, mostly, with life complications.

Wildlands needs about two solid weeks of hard focus work….everywhere.
My hairs growing quite long and it marks the days, i suppose. The last two days, i’ve spent so little time in my head that tonight, as i type this, I am free. Open handed. Open hearted. Without fear, stress, or any real concern the hell my work life has become. Instead, i am free.

I purchased my Gary Fisher today and thought about Bean the whole time. Haven’t heard from him in a while and I miss him. Hmmm. Something tells me I need to hop a flight to Columbus here soon just to check in with him. Hopefully his summer of brew fests has been going well. Still blows me away that one of my best friends own a brewery. I miss him a lot and there are times when driving on the 24, i want to take the backway into Berekely and drive past his old place just to feel closer to him. God, it’s been years— what 8 years since he split this coast and headed home to Ohio? Yeah. Miss him.

But anyway, lots of thoughts about destination vs. the journey, the process of moving forward. I am reminded it is the journey, not the destination— ever. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind the work travel so much. Yesterday out on the boat, I was sharing a story with my boss and my assistant. Tom wondered aloud to Rachel how is it one person can have so many adventures, come across so many characters. He told me I’m lucky and I was reminded of my uncle— there is no such thing as luck— there are people who see an opportunity in every situation and those who see a problem in every opportunity. He and I fall into the first category…. and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yes, adventure and characters. All told, a good life. I need to reach out and pull that in closer to my heart. Recently, I feel as though i’ve been holding my breath too long under water, clenching my fists to my sides, to hold onto to any sense of hope and strength (work life ONLY). And today, i feel young and free and OK with the adventure.

I was going through my books to loan to my assistant and pulled out a book on Big Sur natural history. Out of it fell two photographs. One of Cat digging down in socal 7 years ago and one of me that winter, back in Kent, smoking a cigarette wearing that long rust poncho of mine. Looking up at the camera innocently. Dina took that picture. I love that picture. My hair is longer than that then and I’d thought it was long then.

Ah, friends, I hope you are well. I send love and laughter on the western breezes.
I am getting excited for fall— the MMJ concert, the art show, and then, of course, Thanksgiving in philly with Carrie, Arun, Einah, Bob and James, and of course, the babies.

Love to all. JIGs

July 29, 2008Wow, what a crazy few days. Not sure what just happened… i was having a better day, a good night and suddenly, a wave of sadness/tiredness/confusion just washed over me. Now, stumbling, questioning. Ah, should just let it go. I have surrounded myself with old friends and have flipped through a lot of memories these last 24 hours. Called Opie (god, so good to hear his voice. Immediately centered me) and Bean after I found out about Prufer. Bean was comforting in that way that only Beaner can be. I look forward to speaking to them more soon. Then spoke to DRB for a huge chunk yesterday afternoon. He’s coming here in October— I wonder what’s going to happen. It will be good to see him.

It’s funny— among those i love and who have know me for a long time, i feel safe and confident. Top of the world. Unbalanced by recent interactions here with men i don’t know but want to know. Sometimes, like today, I wondered if i should just drop it all and continue on my way back East. More promise of things here than actual presence. That bugs me some days. Others, not so much.  Hmmm. Not sure.

Listening to Band of Horses… St. Augustine. The whole album weaves itself nicely. A great story. I highly recommend it.

Okay. Off to go curl up in bed and cry. The news about Dr. Prufer’s death has me sad and don’t feel like fighting back the tears anymore.

JIG

August 9, 2008
Had that same dream last night; woke up warm and fuzzy and curled up in bed, enjoying the moments at home, in my bed. Last night was Julie’s birthday and I drank too much but had a lovely time. After leaving Julie’s place, i headed over to OS and hung out with a friend for a few hours. That was a lot of fun, actually. It’s been a long time since i did anything like that… there was something carefree and fun, driving over there, hanging out while he closed the place, and then sitting out front talking for the longest while.

Fall is in the air and I am hopeful for more than what is now. Tonight, took cookies over to the dog park for our newly instituted “second sunday” dog park gathering. Dan dropped by and grinned and poked fun at the group, as usual. He’s such an odd bird.  JIG

August 13, 2008
My favorite professor died a week ago Sunday. He’s been on my mind since. I wrote a blog about him, but as this is a more private part of my blog, i’d like to share two of my favorite quotes of his:

“cold than a witch’s tit” and “sociologists are pussies who really want to be anthropologists; we needed a divorce.” The second quote was Prufer’s response to my question “why are the two deparments now separate?” I think about the second quote when I am introduced to a sociologist. Definitely an area that Prufer influenced me. Grin. There’s so much more I would like to say on the topic of him—what he contributed to me academically and personally, but I feel it would be gushing. And he’d hate that. Ah, I miss him. Yet, i’ve missed him these last 10 years that I’ve been out of school, too.  As Opie commented, though, his fiestiness lives on in each of his former students. I think of his family, of Jason, and I smile softly. While I lost a mentor, they lost a husband, a father. And what a sharp loss it is.

JIG

August 31, 2008

Ah, it’s been an intense few weeks in my life. For the first time in many years, I am NOT focused on Wildlands or work. Yup, I’ve been keeping busy certainly, but i’ve been spending more time on LIFE. What have I been doing? well, ummm, lots of things. Most notably, hiking, biking, a night camping, running laps around the soccer field, playing tat the dog park until all hours, doing weight training, attending a music festival.

I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m remembering who I was in college and pushing myself and Siddhartha to get out and about in nature (as opposed to our neighborhood). I’ve been really afraid to push myself physically since I got sick four years ago. I’ve been working on regaining my health for two years now— eating better, sleeping more, reducing stress. The last stage has been returning to a more active life inwhich I don’t worry about my core temperature and going into an allergic reaction. My body is responding and I feel better/happier than I have in a really long time.

September 1, 2008
Donated 12″ of my hair to Locks of Love today. Was totally spur of the moment but since I’m feeling down about my appearance, I chose to let go of mermaid costume fantasies for this year and cut it off. I was pleased to be able to donate it. The free hair cut part (a cute bob) was an added bonus. HOWEVER, as if I haven’t been feeling down enough the last 24 hours, who should email me today? Yeah, E.  WHat’s up with that universe?! You throw EFREN at me, today of all days? He wanted to know what a certain diving bird was— I reponded with the answer and that was it. And that will BE IT. Sigh. Fuck. I’m going to the dog park and then back to the studio…where i can sulk, and play, and soul search and attempt to remember why I am a great catch…

JIG

September 21, 2008
Ah, how time flies…
We went camping in Lassen and the guy from above was great help assisting me in choosing a camp spot in the national forest. We found a great little campground (see photos in the “one big holiday” post. The camping trip was so-so. One of my friends can be a bit intense and sets the alpha mood and sometimes, I’m just not that into her pushiness. We went on a long hike and it was too long for Siddhartha. I didn’t want to go back alone with him as we’d heard a loud crash through the brush close to the trail right AFTER seeing fresh bear scat. So, we pushed on and I was on edge for most of it, worrying how I would carry siddy out if he couldn’t make it. He was exhausted, but such a TROOPER. I am very very proud of him.

September 23, 2008

Well, Sky is home and sleeping. It has been a long 24 hours but it is going well. Not anything bad, really. Just adjustment period—for all of us.

On the meeting/men dating front, i’m just OK. Just going to keep doing what I’m doing…that’s all I can do and not focus too much on the fact that yes, once again, I am sitting back and feeling like, yes, I am a lot of wonderful things but loveable is not one of them.

September 24, 2008
Well, things are “good” on the homefront. I’ve been a bit down and not feeling that well throughout the day, but ultimately, onward and upward, right? So, I’m just doing what I do every day, which is put out fires for work, and well, react as things come up.

I had a bit of an awkward moment at the vets today. Siddy and Sky got microchipped and I needed to give them an emergency contact. Actually, the woman worded it “someone who won’t be on vacation the same time as you.” Carrie popped into my mind as she has a LAND line, so I gave her that number. She wrinkled her nose and said “Philadelphia?! The contact should be someone local. Don’t you have someone local?” I smiled and responded, no, I don’t have anyone local. It’s the truth. I don’t trust/know anyone well enough to be a secondary contact for something as important as my dogs. Hmm. That felt weird. DOGS.

Siddy has a few subcutaneous tumors that will need biopsy done once he and Sky are over their sickness. I’m a bit worried, but I know it will be OK.

September 26, 2008
So why the long face, kid? It has been a long week but rather than take the time to enjoy the new addition (and she is a sweetheart), I’ve felt mostly stress and sadness.  Meeting men is hard and I’m beginning to feel discouraged. Went to dinner with Sara tonight. that was nice. watched some of the presidential debates at the Coffee Garden before we wandered home. Tomorrow will be spent in the studio, focusing on myself, my art, my little world and ignoring the world (mostly). Ah well. It’s fall.

September 27, 2008
I have been slow, pensive, quiet today. I am reflecting on a few conversations with close friends. I am thankful for these close friends who know me so very well and love me in spite of my faults. Or perhaps, they love me because of them. The last few days, Sheri has checked in every day to see if my spirits have lifted. She has been supportive and kind. Last night, Carrie called and I knitted as we gabbed about children’s names and politics. The ebb and flow of my thoughts faded today as I considered these friends, this support from them.

I have everythng that I need; I may not have what I want, but I have what I need and I am happy. I may sometimes become envious and confused, but ultimately, I recognize the fundamental fact that all is well in my world in its current incarnation.

Today, coming back from an errand, i bonked the enameled sign that hangs on the front door and I grinned. It reads in plain old school typewriter font: what would you do if you knew you could not fail? Yes, indeed. Time to ponder on that…

October 11, 2008
Well, hello there. Life keeps rolling along and some days, it’s difficult to get off the ride for a breather. I’ve been living with a chest cold for the last week but even with that, I’ve logged over 11 miles running with the dogs. Typically, we run anywhere between 1.6 and 2.5 miles. The distance really depends upon the dogs and how we are working as a trio. It’s been good; I’m becoming a better runner— Improving my form, regulating my breathing. I’m to the point where my legs hurt before I’m panting wildly. I skipped a few nights— on days I’d gone hiking or when I took the dogs to play at the dog park instead (Wednesday).

Sky is doing well and she’s so damn cute. It was an interesting week with her, but I’m just kicking back and doing what I can to keep the house picked up so she doesn’t get into trouble and our situation is improving all around. She loves water and has joined me in the bathtub on not ONE but TWO occasions.

I struggled a bit throughout the week, feeling lonely because I am not in a relationship. This has never bothered me that much, but it is fall and I am sentimental.

I went to a party last night and came home energized and happy. I met my friend Guphy at the dog park; she’s a funky dresser and the owner of Hazel— a rocking dingo looking female. She recently purchased a house over in Oak Park. It’s HUGE and about the same period as my place. Anyway, I won’t gush about the house. I showed up and there was a quiet pulse of music coming from the house. I go in—no one there. Hmmm. I head up stairs, through a room, and TADA! Folks standing in an unfinished attic space and a band playing. Now, this vibe I recognize. The first party in sacramento that was my kind of real.

It was an anthropological study, watching them all interact, each well-known to the other. I spent the night talking to folks, introducing myself. Had a lot of great conversations about anthropology, politics, art, and music. My favorite topics—with people who shared my passion.

I arrived at 8.45 and left at 1.30 am— a record for me, i believe. I left with a few new acquantances and the promise to go see one guy’s house (that he’s remodeling over on N street). I actually made the rounds, saying goodbye to people.  It was apparent that I was one of the few people who didn’t know all the others at the party; given how shy I am, I was surprised how long I stayed and also, to have had such a good time. A nice feeling. As I left, Guphy thanked me for coming, told me I was a lot of fun, and that everyone thought I was quite charming. Charming, eh? That made me grin.

I look forward to more parties at Guphy’s place— and learning more about the music scene here. I’m meeting up with Christina and a few others at Fox and Goose. It is cold and breezy—- perfect October 2nd Saturday here we come!!

October 12, 2008

Okay, where’s the positive? My mom read my blog and wants to know why I’m sad. Hmmm, well, i think it’s pretty clear. Ha! Ma, I’m struggling with the fact that I am single. I have a good life that I like a lot but not one that lights me up inside because every time I’m feeling awesome about it, someone reminds me how much better it would be with two. Or I remind myself, through some stupid slip of thought that I’m missing a partner in my life.

So, to focus upon the positive—

1. As of tonight, I’ve run 21.3 miles since October 1 (over 11 nights). The first few nights, I ran just under a mile and on a few nights, I’ve run almost 4 miles. It evens out to less than 2 miles per night. Meh. Could be better. However, for someone who is NOT a runner but who is becoming one, not bad.

2. Running with Siddhartha and Sky is sorta fun…until the very end when we are all tired. Then it’s more like slugging—pulling them or them pulling me home.

3. I go running even though I’ve been fighting a chest cold for a week. Hmmm—taking the approach of “sweating” it out. I come home with my mind clear, feeling upbeat, and really in love with a hot soak in the tub.

4. Sky is super cute and sweet. While I recognize many of her traits are because she is a puppy, I suspect that she will always have this sweet personality. She is fearless and loves to run at the dog park with her new little friends.

5. Siddhartha seems to be adjusting—he looks sad a lot, but friends point out, he always looks sad. He has taken to jumping on dogs and humping them if they jump on Sky. Funny. You being protective, Siddhartha?

6. Sky likes to growl/bark at the cat who simply ignores her, walks under her legs (freaks Sky out), or swats at her. Overall, Pea’s been just GREAT and is holding her ground. Good girl.

7. I cut stencils tonight for new batiks.

8. I have a few good friends here around town who while not close to me, do provide moments of distraction away from the more wistful fall thoughts that seep into my head far too often recently.

ONward and upward.
JIG

October 14, 2008

So, hey, sorta cool… Julie called tonight and asked me to make desserts for Keith’s birthday party on Saturday. I was touched she’d ask me to make something for her brother— and of course, her family (and most especially keith and his wife Megan) have been awesome at including me in their family functions. Hmmm pumpkin crisp (from scratch), here I come! I really wanted to make a pumpkin cheese cake but she thinks he’d like a pumpkin crisp more… okiedokie.

Which reminds me… i should make treats for my art show opening night. Should talk to the Coffee Garden and see what my options are for drinks/food. Hmmm.

Tonight was a LONG run under a stunning moon— I ran forever staring at it, how it danced with the autumnal clouds, and in general, was stunned by its beauty. Came home, showered and then numbly banged my head against the wall when I saw the RS score— 14-3 Rays.

Are you KIDDING ME?!! Way to go, boys. Sigh. let’s go, RedSox… said quietly between head thumps against the wall….sigh.

So what’s with the picture inclusion tonight? Ah, well, I heard from Eins today. I’d sent her this recent pic to show off my haircut for locks for love and she found the pic hysterical. Why, you ask? She says I’ve had that look since I was young. that made me grin ear to ear. Really? Seriously? yeah. Noted.

October 17, 2008
Well folks, as of last night, I have run 22.8 miles in the month of October. Sounds impressive, right? Well, sure, for a non-runner, I’m impressed until I break down the mileage over the span of days. Then it is just a wee bit over a mile a night. In reality, I don’t run every night (mostly 4-5 nights a week) and I started off with less than a mile a night. Last night was 2 miles with Sky (solo without Siddy who was NOT in a running mood) with no breaks (for her or for myself). We took Wednesday night off (sorta) because we ended up hanging out with dog park friends and when we got running, it was clear to me that NONE of us were in the mood, so we put in less than a mile and headed home.

Tuesday night, we ran 3.1 miles and all of us were tired afterward. What i’m finding— my calves/ankles (top side) seem to stiffen up before my lungs scream. I don’t know what to do about this, really, other than stretch more beforehand.

We headed to the park, Sky and Sid both had a lot of fun. And then we went running for 2.9 miles. I didn’t think that Sid would want to go, but he whined when I went to leave without him. So, he came along and we all had a good run.

I’ve been very introspective today—wistful and for what, i’m not sure. Just wistful. Not sad. Wistful. It’s fall. JIG

December 1, 2008
Ah, well, my how time passes. It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve been in my head as much as I have been out in the world.

It was a long few weeks with the little black beasts— mostly Sky Harbor giving me a run for my money. However, that situation is now quelled— clicker training and a crate. She’s taken to both and i’m relieved. Our life is a bit more quiet for our combined efforts.

We ended up running 40 miles in the month of October and only a 1/3 of that in November— new running shoes gave me terrible cramps in my ankles and calves. I’ll keep at it and hope for the best. On Thanksgiving morning, Einah joined me on a morning run (that was fun!!) and the next day, I went with Carrie to the YMCA. My first trip on the ellipical machine left me limping and cringing for days, but ah, well… think i need to remove the insoles from the new shoes.

I got home from Philadelphia tonight. It was a long week— I missed Siddhartha and Sky a lot— was worried that things would go well in my absence. This time, a house sitter who stayed here. It was a bit of a magical moment for me… came home…foggy and dark. Walked over to the park and there they were… little red collars flashing. I whistled a few times— siddhartha came running. Sky danced about me, acting quite shy. Then she completely melted when she realized Siddy was melting… Mama’s HOME. yippee.

The trip was good, but hard. I didn’t feel well for half the trip and slept a lot, which I’m worried bothered Carrie and Arun. I guess I came off as anti-social. I wonder if they knew, though, how heartwarming it was to wake up in the morning and how i’d lay there to listen to the kids interact and play? Or how I’d do the same after a nap? Or the comfort that came from SLEEPING in their home?

Lots of thoughts and none to put in here right now… sleepy. So glad to be home. Peace begins at home. Sky is so beautiful and sweet. Siddhartha sleeping beside me, Sweetpea ontop of him, and Sky lopping about, chasing her tail, or chewing on a bone, while laying on siddy. Cute indeed.

JIG

December 4, 2008
I will open by saying everything is fine. But it’s not fine. I have a pit in my stomach, i’m nervous, and i’m on the verge of tears.  And I don’t know why. I have felt this way since yesterday early afternoon— distanced from my surroundings. I want to cry and have cried several times over the last 36 hours. I’m sad. Sigh. Onward and upward. me

December 10, 2008
“It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees and singing songs of joy and peace” & “I won’t decorate my love for you.”

These two songs’ lyrics are playing in my head, back and forth. The first, of course, is Joni (river) and the second is Liz Phair. Just random start to today’s ebb and flow. Or not so random? It’s Christmas time. I am where I belong, but yesterday while driving home, i put on a mix and couldn’t stop from laughing and crying and thinking of the wintery scene in Kent. Folks who I’d like to see will be meeting up. Who I may need to see.  But why? What could seeing some of these old college friends do for me that is not achieved in my daily life in CA? We all know the answer— everything and nothing.

While this may not fit with your understanding of me, I am not one for living in or re-living the past. Rather, I stand firmly upon my past, those experiences and human bonds, like building blocks, raising me up to who I am today. My past is my foundation, for better or worse. There’s no changing the past and there’s no use in softening it. If I were to ever consider doing so, I would need to remember this—- editing, revising, and softening would weaken who I actually am—for myself and my loved ones.

Truth be told, it is 5 am on Thursday morning and I have not slept. I had meant to sleep, but somehow the evening became the wee hours and the wee hours are now pre-dawn. For the last several hours, I’ve been curled up on the futon with the pets, spinning up mixes and writing a blog for a friend’s birthday. I picked up the house—which stunningly, there wasn’t a whole lot to do or left to be done for Saturday’s party. It’s shocking how i’m weeding through possessions (thanks to Sky Harbor who has been task master for this!) and in general, becoming more organized— mentally and physically. This is of course with one BIG FAT exception: THE ART STUDIO. Yeah (sheepish grin) that place is TOTALLY out of control. Between the electricity “issue” the night before Thanksgiving vacation, art show creation, and general “put it in the studio to organize later” practice, it’s QUITE the scene up there. YIKES.

I’ll get to it soon… perhaps over Christmas holiday.

Tomorrow a friend comes to visit— to help with tree-trimming party preparation (mostly getting the tree, moving furniture, and MAYBE decorating outside…we’ll see. Some baking to be done, some showing of the sights around town. I’m looking forward to it.

Okay. Love to you, and you, and yes, you over there. Sky is sleeping on my right side, nuzzling me. This is a new thing for her. Sweetpea is on my left, purring, fast asleep with her paw on Siddhartha’s head. Siddhartha is laying between my legs with his head on my left leg, snoring. So, in this moment, I am no longer weepy. I feel strong, quiet, loved.  All is as it should be. Peace begins at home and love begins with YOU. Good morning everybody! Me

December 25, 2008
It’s been two weeks since I updated here. Hmm, what to tell you? The tree trimming was a fun time and I had  a very good, albeit odd, few days with my out-of-town friend. It was unfamilar to me, having a guy around to help with EVERYTHING, willingly, happily. From insisting upon carrying bags to putting together a rather complicated piece of IKEA furniture (i know, right?!!).  On Thursday night, we went to Katmandu Kitchen, had great Indian food, and was followed up by the best massage I’ve ever received. Over an hour long and amazing. My left shoulder (which has ached for weeks) no longer ached, and I woke up warm, fuzzy, and snuggled up with my friend. We spent all day Friday running errands. I strongly dislike errands and shopping, but somehow the whole day sailed by and I found myself feeling quite relaxed and content. I’ll post tree-trimming photos on the main page here in  bit. The time spent was sensual, erotic, intense, fillled with quiet smiles and giggles. Sunday morning was awkward and filled with missteps; in the end, I was left confused and sad when I dropped him off at the train station; the weather (cold and rainy) reflected my mood.

Wandering through time since then, I’ve had a few good days tossed in amongst some crazy work days and a minor cold. Moving into Christmas, I found the spirit on Tuesday and stayed up the entire night (yes, really all night) baking treats for delivery to a few of my favorite places (Coffee Garden and Tower Cigar) in addition to a few neighbors. Last night, curled up watching a movie, Gabriel texted and ended up here with me and the pets, talking through the movie and relaxing. We curled up in bed (proud to say didn’t have sex— smirk–for once) and woke up in the morning, snuggled up at 9.40 am with my mom ringing my cell to open presents. Ooops! Overslept. Got up, made espresso for us both, played with pets, and opened my presents with mom on the line. Upon Gabriel’s departure, I ran around getting ready and headed over to the Coffee Garden and then onto Bee and Colin’s for brunch. The owner of CG thinks I should go into baking (oh, should I, Michael? Hmmm. Let’s talk) and the treats were a big hit there and over at Bee and Colin’s— I had a good day and came home warm and fuzzy and a bit more warm and fuzzy.

Spinning up mixes now on cds that look like 45s. Awesome. MERRY CHRISTMAS. LOVE TO ALL. me

March 15, 2009

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Right on. I’ve been living that lyric.
After a long winter inwhich I struggled with my ongoing ankle inflammation problems, I’ve continued the uphill climb, returning to my normal self. I joined the gym around the corner, played waaaay too much scrabblous on FB, cleaned out the front yard, sowed seeds for dozens of plants/flowers, and been working 18 hour days for work.

Friday nights are for friends and the weekend is mine to do whatever I wish. Today was a bit of gardening and then relaxing, daydreaming. Life with Sky Harbor continues to be comical and for the most part, far less dramatic than in the months of October, November, and December. She’s doing well and isn’t eating my possessions.

Had a few bumps and bruises to my heart in the last six weeks (thank you TK for being a complete flake) but have survived mostly unscathed. I’m looking forward to the continued onslaught of spring and the conclusion of owl crew 2009.

I am in the process of purchasing a car— the nicest I will have ever owned and I’ll use it for work as well as life. 2006 Jeep commander, dark green. I’m sure I’ll post pics once it arrives from CO and I purchase it. I will say, Carmax rocks.

Making plans to attend both Saskquatch (misspelled) music festival in Seattle’s Gorge over Memorial Day and Outside Lands in August. In May, I’ll be headed into Oakland’s newly renovated Fox Theatre to see M. Ward (with snarky girl Ostfeld as my listening, dancing partner).

Life feels better in ObamaNation. I’m not listening to the news as much and appreciate Charlie Rose’s nightly broadcasts more than ever. The nation squares its shoulders and we will be OK. Until I return to E&F, i wish you love, peace, and joy.

March 16 (2.37 am), 2009
Not ebbing, not flowing. Slack tide might be the best description.
It is late and there are clean sheets on my bed. I have half a mind to text G and see if he’d come over and act as pillow and heater for the night. Wouldn’t be all the odd as he’d texted Thursday night about this time, offering to leave the door unlocked or bike over to spend the night. It’s a bit tempting and intoxicating, the offer, to leave the side door unlocked. I feel like i’m in college, creeping up the stairs to his bed. I’d say bed room, but it is so tiny, it’s just a room with a bed in it. Grin.

And yet, I don’t want to deal with the rest that comes with G. He’s such a quandry, more drama than I’m capable of handling. And yet, ummmm the sex is fun. ha. And I like how we curl up until I’m asleep and how peaceful he looks in the a.m., though, emotionally and physically distant— no matter how many nights we spend together. But right now, I’d like him here. Hmmm. No, I think solo to bed would be best. But as the weather warms, the breeze blow through the window, the urge is only going to increase.

Maybe I should just go to bed now and get up in a few hours and go work out. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Yes. That seems the better option. I wonder if we’re ever going to figure our friendship out? Gee, I hope so. There are days I’d like nothing more than to drop down and have a real conversation with you. And some days, there’s the complication of sex and that noise/growl you made deep in your chest the last time you hugged me goodbye. ummmmmmmmm. G, if you’re reading this now or later, the door’s unlocked….

March 29 (2.37 am), 2009
It’s 10.30 pm PST and i’m so sleepy, I’m not sure why I haven’t given in and gone to curl up in bed. I took a shower after the dog park and water makes me so incredibly sleepy. Hmmm. I should really attempt to find a water sign as a mate. I suspect their influence would soothe me as their represental element does.

I’ve been running in high gear since I posted on the 16th. I spent a few days in SLO last week which was great on so many fronts. It’s always good to see my staff, spend time with my boss (3 hour car drives are great for catching up/learning new things about him), and seeing the project. It’s such beautiful country on central coast. We had performance reviews and they went rather well. By monday afternoon, I was so bushed, over-caffinated, over-stimulated, I thought I was going pass out. The night before, I went over to G’s. I enjoy our time together so much but we always end up in a tussle after we have sex. This bugs the fuck out of me. Not even sure what started it this time, truly. We were texting on Monday and things were funny and then, not. The bigger picture here, i suppose, is that i told G that i didn’t want to sleep with him again. This last time, sneaking up the stairs, having great sex, laughing, giggling, kissing, more great sex, was close to turning my switch on…that switch, and well, i’m not even going to consider going down that path with him. However, upon a bit of reflection, i shall miss him. Playful, affectionate, yes. The rest, no.

That twist aside, my week continued to be upbeat. My assistant found a great horned owl nest and we went out to have a look and take a few pictures on our way to another site inspection. So pretty, these owls. All owlsl, actually.

Then on Friday, a dog park friend drove me to pick up my “new” Jeep. I love it. It rumbles along. I like it a lot. The black beasts, Megan, and I have ridden in it so far. Took it to the plant nursery today and loaded it up.

I woke up this morning, my eyes opening to the bright blue sky, blooming tree branches, and the warmth of too many animals in the bed. One in front of my knees (Sky), one behind my knees (Siddhartha), and one snuggled up on my shoulder (Pea). I don’t like having all of them in bed, but I forgot to latch Sky’s cage door last night, and thus, her presence on the bed. Kudos to her for not destroying anything while Mama was sleeping. She is sooo sweet in the morning—she’s always awake before me— we females get up while Siddhartha stays in bed (often nosing his way under the covers. ugh), make coffee, and eat breakfast. This morning, Sky and I split a banana. We’re still working on her grabbiness, but overall, she’s such a charmer/goof ball that I’m willing to overlook her slight misbehavior. After all, she’s being compared to Siddhartha, who is so incredibly gentle, so incredibly patient and non-pushy.

I awoke this morning from a dream and I don’t remember it, which is rare for me. What was left, however, was an emotional imprint of sorts— a feeling of love, peace, comfort. The windy day contributed to my continued sense of bliss, and now, i find myself returning to thoughts of bed and that dream. It’s just out of reach…

I’m taking vacation for the next week—minus Thursday—and I cannot wait. I do have several work assignments to wrap up on holiday, but I don’t mind. I’ll be working in the gardens, eating better, sleeping more, getting back into my workout routine, and re-charging. As such, a few work projects will not bother me all that much—so long as I’m accomplishing them on MY TERMS— not my back against the proverbial wall, scrambling, and fighting the urge to freak out given the long hours/lack of sleep, etc.

I don’t want to talk about work too much here, but I do want to say that my company and my boss (and his boss) have carved out a niche for me and my career path is clear. I feel content and fulfilled. I have acheived more than I ever could have imagined, and my future is bright. Lots of continued hard work, dedication, but for once, I am not worried. I am not stressed about strategy/career ladders. This—- this sensation— is odd. I have what I want. I will continue to achieve… and this is my career.

Okay. Pets are all curled up around me and i’m fighting sleep. The wind is blowing incredibly hard. LOVE THE WIND.
Sleep well. Dream better.

April 6, 2009

Hi. Today was Sheri’s 40th birthday. Therefore, it was a golden sunshine beautiful day. I wish we lived closer. Life is as it should be, i suppose… feeling content/peaceful/sorta sad. Perhaps it is not sadness but rather simple introspection.

Love to all. JIG

April 8, 2009

Some days, it is really hard emotionally to be single. In those moments when it strikes you, you are one. It’s up to you to get it done because there’s no one sharing your little world with you. Just you. And this usually strikes in hard times and then your mind goes to the rest of the times when i am one. Not two. Sigh.

It’s cold, windy, wet. I’m sure that’s it. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and do it all over again. I will be fine. I know. Just feels better to put it down here. It’s okay to feel the oneness. Night.

April 10, 2009

hey, hey sunshine day dreamers! Who’s happy? Yes, indeed. Thanks to PG&E (who broke a part on my hot water heater this morning and then had to replace it) and my claw footed bathtub, I’m back to smelling like a squeaky clean nature woman. Yummm. I took the longest soak in the tub. Until it gets a bit warmer and I can return to showering outside, i relish my nightly baths in my old tub. I may have only been without hot water for three days, but it felt like FOREVER. Cold showers. Yikes. They were enough to make me feel down and cold, and well, weepy. Meh. Guess it just goes to show how sensitive I can be to my surroundings. Never would have me pegged for such a delicate flower, eh? Yeah, but i’m like one of those hearty delicate overly-specialized flowers—-hmmm like desert indigo.

Okay, here’s to the weekend, planting strawberries and lavendar, and ummm a few other things. Updates to follow soon. Love, jig

April 18, 2009

it’s late, nearly 3 am and I can’t sleep even though I am sleepy. Hmm.

Ani Difranco lyrics in my head from Sorry I Am.Not sure what that’s about.  A full day of running errands and working in the side yard. I’m finally at a point where i’m feeling good about that. The rest of the gardens—front and back— are complete mayhem. Sigh. One day.

G and I argued again this week over email. It’s lame. Beyond lame and yet, i allowed myself to be drawn back into the drama. I’m angry at myself for allowing it to happen/continue. I know why I did— I want to believe the best of him, of everyone i know, when in reality, we irritate each other. But in those moments, curled next to each other after one of our spontaneous get togethers, there’s great comfort and peace. Dreamed about him last night, camping somewhere in redwoods. Possibly why I entertain the drama. There’s more to him than that crap, though, i’m pretty exasperated by the back and forth we seem to do so well.

Okay. Forcing myself to go to bed. Cool breezes through the windows. Sleeping pets. Time for me to do the same. Sleep well, dream better.

“Today was a good day; didn’t see me no demons, didn’t fight with no ghosts; maybe we haven’t all gone crazy after all. ” For some reason, the Joe Purdy lyric is going through my head. It’s late and I should be in bed., sleeping. soundly. But, I’m not.

May 4, 2009

Today was may 4; the one day I dread each year. It’s my day of reckoning, personal accounting—where have you been, who are you, where are you going, and what have you done? It’s the day I grieve for my grandfather, whose loss is still felt strongly after nearly 7 years. Of course, when he was alive, I never saw him on this day for it was his dark day. The day the national guard fired upon the KSU college students. Given his post as retired Kent Chief of Police, we never quite saw eye to eye on why i felt compelled to sit vigil up in the parking lot.

I think of him, my family, my friends who I loved so well and who loved me back in that sleepy college town, and i can’t hold back the tears. But on this day, not all days. Just today.

I think of young adults being murdered by peers on a beautiful May day and each year, as i get older, i grow more and more stunned— armed national guardsmen on a college campus. The hows/whys seem trivial when I consider that single thought— armed. And I want to go on and on about my thoughts on gun control. Yes, the Constitution. Yes, i know your right to bear arms, my right to do so. And yet, the mere presence of guns raise the electric tension, and they are so easy to use. Would more deaths occur if we could only club and beat each other to death?

Ah. Well. So many thoughts and not put on the main page because I struggle to put into words my thoughts on this day. Woven into me, my family, my years in Kent, my friends. Last June, Sheri and I sat on Blanket Hill and she gave me a candle she’d lit at her May4 memorials. I lit it last night and again tonight, for a few minutes, sending out thoughts of love, hope, and forgiveness to all who may seek these wishes.

I am glad the day is over. I find myself holding my breath on this day, waiting for something to happen, and then find myself gasping for breath, only in that moment realising i’d been holding my breath. I’m not sure what I think is going to happen; just on edge, waiting. This is odd for me as I’m usually so optimistic, hopeful. I do not ever expect the worse.

A few weeks ago, I dreamed that I woke up without the pets. In my dream, I went outside and found my grandfather sitting on the back deck, in gardening clothes, smoking his pipe, and talking softly to Sky as Siddhartha laid under his bent legs. Sky sat wagging her tail, and he was chuckling at her antics. I brought us out coffee and we just sat and talked, about what I can’t remember. But I hugged him tight and rubbed my cheek against his scruffy chin before burying my face in his chest.

Okay. I feel better. Just a memory from a dream, i find soothing. Night. Sleep well. Dream better.

May 13, 2009

On paper, a long week. In spirit, it has flown by—I am happy. Though, as I type this, I’m a bit anxious, but either way, it’s been an especially good two days. I meet a guy. I hung out with said guy. I’m worried I somehow blew it or am not a woman he’d like to know better, but either way, I should be comforted that for a few days, I was reminded that while I can be a lot more, I shall not be less than I currently am.

The thought of being more is thrilling— always exhilarating to explore possibilities. Put my foot in my mouth a few times. It was a lot of fun, filled with laughter, and I felt more at ease than not. Filled with potential, a building of layers. There were moments I felt quiet comfort inwhich I’d look at him, removed, and analyzing—processing, and agreeing with self—yes, I like this. A lot. Okay. More on this if the feeling is mutual. And if not, onward.

The best news— I left Sky out of her box with Siddhartha and Pea for approximately 15 hours today. I had not meant to leave her so long, but I stayed in the east bay longer than i’d anticipated (didn’t think I’d hang out for five rapid fast hours). I held my breath as I opened the front door. Sky came running and then ran away, cowering a bit. Uh oh—what had she done? gulp.

A box of matches strewn about on the floor. A bottle cap chewed up. A sock (previously chewed) on the futon. My puppy is growing up. I think she is learning— Mama always comes back. No need to destroy and chew. Aweeeee. Super cute.

May 15, 2009

All is quiet on the western front. Sky and Siddhartha curled up on the futon; Sky nuzzled against Siddy’s back. The windows are open and the soft, cool Delta breeze is blowing in on us all.

Listening to Joni’s Miles of Aisles’ live track “for free” and am pleased with my day. I was able to sleep in a bit this morning before heading back to the grind.

Hole up at the Coffee Garden, working, I heard someone say “I thought I’d find you here!” Bee had come to get coffee. I shut down the computer and we had a lovely chat for an hour or so. Then, I went home to shower and snag the dogs for a run at the park. Guphy was there and we made more plans for the camping trip before I split for dinner.

To celebrate my birthday, Bee and Colin took me to Taylor’s market cafe. I was impressed by the quality of the food, the atmposphere (though loud, it was pleasant in that bustling sort of way). Full dinner— lamb squewers, cilantro hummus squid salad, prime rib (yummmmmmmm), and vanilla cheesecake. A lovely bottle of Matchbook red and after dinner iced coffee. My friend Steve (fellow S2 dog parker) was behind the bar and he brought over 3 glasses of champagne when he found out we were celebrating my birthday. I left tipsy and warm, happy. Thank you Bee and Colin!!

Tomorrow, I have chosen not to head back to Oakland for the M. Ward concert. I know, shocking that I shold pass up this show, but in reality, i’ve seen him play several times, and while one of my favorites, I’m so looking forward to working in my art studio, making THINGS, that there’s no place I’d rather be than right HERE at wildlands. Yes, truly.

As such, you know where to find me, being a creature of habit and in the words of L. Cohen, ‘and someone who only visits you on raids.’ grin. yeah. go find that poem. Love to you all. sleep well. dream better.

May 16, 2009

Up late, getting some work done. A fairly productive day up in the art studio and then tonight, a good romp at the park with the dogs. Been working since late evening. No word from the fellow I met last week—I am disappointed that he’s chosen not to contact me again. I really thought there was potential and i was excited to spend more time with him. Okay. Disregard my excitement above. Twas nothin’, folks.

It’s always interesting surfing the dating waters. I resist the urge to beat up on myself in times like this. Men are motivated creatures if they like a woman, want to know more of her. And so, the confusion does he like me/does he not like me is really an unnecessary torture mechanism that woman seem to propogate as necessary. It’s comical in some ways.

Next week will be busy and then the camping trip . I’m looking forward to it—especially now. I’m glad to have such a good distraction for my birthday!! Okay, back to the grindstone. Have a good night, kids!

May 17 (day) 2009

I’m in a twist. I know that i should not be, but I am. I’m irritated. I wish for once life would cut me some slack (or err, more than it currently has—never know what you’ve escaped, folks) and let something be EASY. Yeah, i’m talking about dating and meeting someone. Gawd knows, i’ve put it on the back burner, gone with the flow, and done what I can to make myself available to finding a parnter without flat out hunting for one. And so, here i sit on a Sunday, needing to get work done (for work, in the gardens, and up in the studio) and I feel as though I’m spinning my wheels going over in my head… sigh. It would have been nice. I was inspired to spend time with that one. I’m really back to thinking i’m cursed. yes, really.

Okay. I’m going to pack up and head to the Coffee Garden to seize the day and get some work done because otherwise, i’m going to sit here and stew. And that will only bring trouble.

May 17 (evening) 2009
Shhhh… do you hear that? do you? listen.

Quiet. Slow, steady breaths, calm beating heart. Peace from inside out.

I went to the CG and worked on their back patio for 3 hours (even with the misters it still felt 102 degrees!) but i enjoyed the torture, sweating out my frustations and causing me to focus. Split out of Sacramento right before 5 pm to shoot pics at the bulb with Tony and Magda. It was windy, gusty and nearly 30 degrees cooler there on the bay.

Sky Harbor flung herself into the waves with abandon, got flipped over a few times by them (meh. she handled it well enough), and ran up and down the beach, chasing Siddhartha who was also quite happy to be away from the valley heat.

And with each toss of the stick, step on the gravel path, and click of the camera, i could feel my heart and mind untwisting. This place absorbs whatever has my soul in a twist as i am plunged into the windy landscape, sprayed with sea water, and time stands still.

I drove home, just shy of getting the Icarus shot but will be back before the show with a friend and our four pack to sit and wait for the sun to set in front of the sculpture. Tonight was gusting and i’d given my sweater to a friend and knew i couldn’t wait out the sun…this time.

Siddy made fast friends with some 20somethings having a picnic in the amplitheatre. The large group adored him, even after he’d licked the icing off one of their cupcakes (sorry).

I drove home thinking about what AA said all those years ago, sitting in a booth at the Loft— you’re like this song that i played for you—you can’t always get what  you want, but you get what you need.

Yes, the universe has been good to me; I’ve worked hard. I may not have a warm pillow of a partner to nuzzle against tonight, but i do have a good life. One i built bit by bit like the sculptures at the Bulb.

Speaking of which— after 9 months of thought gestation, i know what i want to create— bring music to the bulb in the shape of large, oversized, working instruments. Need to think about it, but yes, i think that would be lovely. May begin with chimes first, then a standing bass/guitar/banjo (or such) creation…

I exhale these thoughts. Relieved that the angst and frustation is gone. I am tied to places as some are called back by people. Perhaps that’s my lot, to feel comfort, love, lust, and inspiration with the landscapes and not a person. It would not be terrible at all. I think of Neruda and the Isle Negra overlooking the wide, vast pacific. Yes. Thank you, bulb. Thank you, ocean. See you soon.

May 18, 2009

Okay, seriously? ! I feel like i’ve had waaay too much espresso, though, i’ve only drank one americano today. My mind is clipping along at such a rapid pace, i feel as though my speech and typing can’t keep up!

we interrupt this blogger’s freak out with this late break news…a house finch nested inside a large excavator over the weekend ….one has to seriously question the birds’ nesting strategy. Okay, back to your regularly scheduled blogger…

E’s out sick, J didn’t know what to do… ugh. Adam is coming this evening and we have a whoooooole year of catch up to do…and he hasn’t met Sky yet. Siddy will surely melt at the site of his favorite vet “uncle” while Pea will remain distant until Adam’s settled into a chair outback. Too warm for a fire, but i suspect there will be a few beers in my future … k. off to clean and get the house ready for Adam’s visit!

May 20, 2009

Yikes, I am tired. Wow. Went for a run tonight with the girl. Not a long run, but long enough to ease my mind and now, icing ankles, relaxed.  Had a great visit with Adam— catching up, remembering what it is like to talk to a friend and just let it all flow. So relaxing. It took Sky awhile to warm up to him, but Siddy and Pea were both shameless in their admiration. Siddy even slept with Adam last night, coming in to curl up against me after Adam had left this morning.

Another mentally intense focus required day. Sky is asleep. Tuckered her out between the park and the run… as it should be. I think i shall go fall into bed, snuggle with siddy and sleep to dream. Night.

May 21, 2009

In alittle over 12 hours, I’ll be headed out of range to go camping at a ghost town in Nevada with friends. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Got the gear sorted, just need to do some laundry and bake a few batches of cookies. Can’t WAIT. I usually hang close to home on holiday weekends and can’t really recall the last time I took off camping for my birthday. So, know that’s where I am—dogs in tow. Be back in range (no cell) until Monday late. Be well, be safe and have a good holiday weekend! CYA!!

May 29, 2009

Just after midnight and I’m home after a cake & ice cream gathering at Bee and Colin’s house. The dogs came along and we had a good time sitting around the dining room table, catching up. Bee made me a german chocolate cake from scratch!! It was my request—and it was delicious!!

Got home Monday afternoon from ghost town camping in Nevada’s Pine Grove. Google it sometime. I’ll blog about it soon, but suffice to say, the best time i’ve had in years. Yes, really. Unfortunately, I broke out in hives/poison oak oozes on Sunday afternoon and have been recouperating since. I’m taking this week off as i can’t currently put shoes on. 😦

More on camping soon (over on main page). You can check out the pics on my flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wovensunshine/sets/72157618725260643/

I will say this… I am still at peace, feel rejuvenated, and loved. Best birthday since I came to CA ten years ago. For that, i feel blessed. Sleep well, dream better.

May 30, 2009

Okay. Headed up to the art studio to get some work done on the upcoming show. I’m not feeling that good physically, though, i think i’m through the worst of it. My hands are still swollen (and that’s painful!!) but the ozzes are drying up. It’s the little things, folks, truly.

OKay. onward and upward. literally. out the back door, up the short flight of stairs to the mayhem and madness that awaits me in the unruly art studio…the show goes up on Monday.

Talk soon.

Postscript: Just came down from the studio to get some cold water…it is hot and dusty up there. Anyway, a bit sadly, i trotted down the stairs to leave a note for someone who doesn’t live here. Sounds odd, I know. Hear me out. I was up there and remembered a dream i’d had last night, except, it took me the distance from the studio to kitchen, enough time to get a note pad and a pen to realise it was a dream. I turned and looked at the picture on the fridge and sighed. fuck.fuck.fuck. Four years. I think it may be time to take the picture off the fridge. I’ve said this before, but leave it there out of sentimentality….

June 4, 2009

I think it’s the 4th anyway. Super tired, wicked busy, and well, just feeling in slow-motion after last night’s ROCKIN’ thunder and lightening storm…which knocked out the electricity. It was the bolt that rattled the HOUSE that gave me pause. Hmmm. Forgot how powerful they can be. It was lush and awesome to watch the storm. I went up to the studio (i mean, COME ON, I CAN”T SLEEP THROUGH A THUNDERSTORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and watched it. I kept the pets inside though.

Anyway, long week that was a bit interesting in the start—spent night at G’s spontaneously (sneaking up the back stairs, as i’ve been known to do, feeling like a teenager), and in moment of weakness, took him Indian take out the next day (and didn’t even get dinner for myself!! what was i thinking?!) when i knew he was working through a double shift.  It was awkward, as it always is. He’d wondered last week if the prior password protected blog was about him (it was not);  i wrote one for him, putting out my thoughts and haven’t heard back from him. That’s what I get for playing with an archangel. No big surprise there.

I waver back on him, the archangel.  On paper, we should be life friends. We “get” each other. But in reality, unless we are naked or near-naked, we do not seem to have the ability to communicate in any meaningful sort of way. I recognize a vulnerability within him and that’s what keeps leading me back to this goal— to find common ground and move forward as friends. Life friends.

Show goes up tomorrow. i’m excited. working on titles and vita now. will post more info on that AND ghost town camping soon.

June 8, 2009

I should probably not post tonight because i’m in such a bad mood. I should not say “bad” but a bit emotionally on edge. I did have a lovely day and an even more lovely late afteroon/evening ssitting at the coffee garden with a friend. She was there studying and I came into finish hanging the show.

However, some recent drama with G has me in a twist and i know it should not. I’ve been sleeping with a man for the last nine months and we don’t know one another outside of bed. In bed, it’s a good match, and the interaction we have there (sex aside) is comforting, kind, playful, and dare i say it, on occasion, loving. I don’t know why I’m so bothered by it tonight because it doesn’t bother me AT ALL most of the time.

Okay. I’m off to listen to music and cry a bit. Not because of G but because i’m tired, on occasion, such as tonight, I am a horrible bachelor who forgot to buy milk or groceries for that matter—just hard being one some days.

On an up note— folks are giving very positive feedback to the art show. Fingers crossed. Either way, i love all the pieces I’ve put forward and am very proud of the show.

JIG

June 16, 2009

it’s hard being honest with yourself. It’s sometimes harder to be honest with yourself than it is to be with another. And then, there are times, when the honest truth is right there, in front of you, in front of the other, and you just say it outloud. Walls melt, walls reform. Time moves forward. Animals sleep and I lie awake, awaiting a response from the universe, from my analytical brain, from the person I spoke the truth t0. It’s late. Early day tomorrow. Time moves forward. With or without you.

June 17, 2009

It’s true. The truth does set you free. Soft smile.

We want to see the best in those who help us fill our time, yet sometimes, their best isn’t very kind or loving, or even real—to us or themselves. And this fact only impacts you as much as you allow it to upset you. Whether life long friend or part-time lover, I can’t place our shared experience only on my shoulders. I’ll hang in there, hoping for the best, but ultimately, everyone has their limits. I said goodbye, I hope you heard me. I said it with love and with kindness. Earlier today, as the wind blew through my hair, I felt my heart lift up and away, untangled from the twist.

Love to you all. Off to curl up in that big soft bed, snuggle down with Sweetpea, and fall asleep to the sounds of Siddy and Sky Harbor snoring quietly and running in their sleep. Sleep well. dream better.

June 20, 2009
Technically, it’s the 21st as i’m awake in the middle of the night, restless as hell. I rearranged the media room FOUR times in THREE hours…and after all that (undoing, redoing, undoing, and redoing again the stack and the tv system), I moved it ALL back where it had been previously. Total time suck. The only peace I can get from this— I would have wondered if I would like it better the OTHER way had i NOT gone ahead and made the moves.

I leave for SLO tomorrow afternoon. Katy and Zeph are going to house sit; I’m glad the dogs will have someone here that they know. Sky’s regressed a little bit—being super shy and even running from me on occasion. Patience. Love. Consistency. She’ll come back around.

Okay. I’m either off to sleep OR i’m finishing the kitchen clean up. Honestly, I may just finish it up tomorrow. I think that may be best… sleep well. dream better. me

July 1, 2009

cannot seem to fall to sleep. been listening to this Bon Iver session on World Cafe… http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95032106

Archangel came over on Tuesday night; we stayed up talking until birds chirped loud,  then snuggled, then had sex. Didn’t mean for that to happen. I doubt he’d believe me but i didn’t. I’d had a hard day and i just knew he’d understand w/0 me having to say it. And he  did come when i asked him to. I did not ask him about us (lack of friendship) or about the blog he never responded to. If he wanted to be a part of this life, he’d tell me. He has no words for me. So, makes me sad to know how i could help, contibute, but he isn’t interested in who I am. Just sex when we are without. Meh. It has its place. I can’t beat myself up on this. Ah well.

More to follow when I have a few days to think. Archangels, guitar legends, neighborhood friends, warm fuzzy. Sleep well. Dream better. Love.

July 5, 2009

I am thinking of my grandfather. I am thinking of him, family, and wondering how life would be different, how I would be different, if I’d had a different familial situation. It’s curious, but ultimately, I sit back on my heels and realise, we are all handed a deck and we play the cards. What if NOTHING would be different? Meaning, i’d feel the same, have the same life, etc., regardless.

I know that’s not true, but sitting here, wondering how things could have been, doesn’t change what was and what is, currently, in front of me in my life.

Having said that, I missed my grandfather terribly this weekend. While using some of his tool to make the arbor, i found myself having silent conversations with him. Ah, well. Onward and upward. Miss you, though, Papa.

JIG

July 9, 2009

Being one can be, at times, challenging. To know your daily responsibilities rest soley upon yourself—details stacked up and some tasks fall through the cracks. These are practical matters that I manage the best I am able. However, it’s emotional impact that I don’t know how to mitigate.

Yes, i have friends whom I may call here and there, but none that I feel strongly have an eye out for me. My family is fractured and live far away. Instead of sitting here, feeling sorry for myself when I created the physical distance, I choose to square my shoulders and to a degree, embrace my oneness. I will no longer put added pressure on myself when I drop the ball on either a house/garden/social obligation. I accept that things will drop and I will focus upon achieveable tasks.

It is a fine line between selfishness and altruism when one belongs to a community. I strongly feel I contribute as much as one person can. I won’t feel guilty or awkward when I can only contribute in the singular.

I’m heading to the beach, to stare at the waves, to relax and recharge. Time with the dogs and a small group of friends.

I say this to the world— i am a lot more than what stands in front of you at this moment. I will never be less. I do for you what I can, when I can, often making personal sacrifice to do so. While I will continue, I need firmer boundaries so that I may rebalance the scales in favor of my personal life and those needs. I’m not very good at asking for help. If you see me struggle, why not offer assistance?

Over the last few weeks, people have wanted to share with me their stresses, their drama. My personality (cattle dog) is to jump in and help, to listen. Yet, I’ve noticed it is not a two way street. Inside I have bottled up work and personal concerns without my own vehicle of release. So, i’m taking a break. The therapist is out of the office indefinitely on her own personal health holiday—with the exception to Ann Arbor residents.

I’m going to repost something here that I wrote originally on June 16 and 17, 2009.

it’s hard being honest with yourself. It’s sometimes harder to be honest with yourself than it is to be with another. And then, there are times, when the honest truth is right there, in front of you, in front of the other, and you just say it outloud. Walls melt, walls reform. Time moves forward. Animals sleep and I lie awake, awaiting a response from the universe, from my analytical brain, from the person I spoke the truth t0. It’s late…….Time moves forward. With or without you.

and

It’s true. The truth does set you free. Soft smile.

We want to see the best in those who help us fill our time, yet sometimes, their best isn’t very kind or loving, or even real—to us or themselves. And this fact only impacts you as much as you allow it to upset you. Whether life long friend or part-time lover, I can’t place our shared experience only on my shoulders. I’ll hang in there, hoping for the best, but ultimately, everyone has their limits. I said goodbye, I hope you heard me. I said it with love and with kindness.

I’m going to leave it at that for now. I’ll post pics on flickr account when i get back. Love to you all. JIG

July 30, 2009

I have been surrounded by too much noise and not enough silence these last few days. The Stinson’s vacation may have relaxed me a bit too much—broke out in hives all over on our last night. Sweet. Inbetween then and now, i’ve travelled a bit for work, hung out with a few new friends, and taught an old friend, Pam, how to make jams and pickles in the water bath canner.

Otherwise, been dreaming of days off and gardening. may get a bit of that in tomorrow and my whole weekend is MINE. MINE. at last, a free weekend. I’ll be up in the art studio or finishing up the arbor or both if you need a quiet place to drop down for a few hours or a cold refreshment…sun tea, espresso, or a negra modelo.

Hope all is well for each of you. JIG

August 4, 2009
HI there. Thanks for dropping into E&B. Listening to Brandi Carlile’s most recently album. One of my favorites. The quote at the botom is from one of the tracks. It reminds me of those who are far away but whom I love. We all make our own choices.

I’m like the rain in a downpour; ill wash away what you long for… you’re growing old in peace at where you’re at; i wish i could be there for that, but I moved on… You’re like the tide in the deep blue because you’re always there when i need you….

I had such a lovely evening…perfect breeze and golden sunlight.

Earlier last month, I reflected upon my 10 year anniversary in California and specifically, the last 7 years in Sacto. I have been considering relocating. I’m not sure what the future holds, but since i had that musing here, Sacto has been kind to me, reminding me why i call it home.

A snapshot of my afternoon/early evening:

Dog park playing with Sky Harbor and Siddhartha, pleased to see they both responded well and stayed off the soccer field during practice. See, co-habitation is possible. Three little boys played with Sky, throwing her frisbee for her while giving Siddy tons of love. Talked to neigbhors, made plans with a few others, grinned as one complimented my silly sunglasses.

Then, went to VOX to drop off photos for the group show—my first midtown art show—which opens this Friday night (friends/relatives) and will be on display this Saturday as part of Second Saturday art walk.

I walked into VOX and after following the sound of people to the back, I encountered a fellow dog parker. It was good to see him and catch up for a few minutes. Of course he was there. I tease him about being a midtown hipster and there he was helping moving things around for green sacramento.  ha. Picked up an excellent iced americano from Old Soul before heading back and unloading my work.

It’s with that upbeat attitude that i headed over to the Coop where i picked up a few essentials as well as some throat herbal stuff for a friend who’s been sick. While there, i ran into a neighbor/friend and got a few hugs. Good to see him, it’s been awhile. From there, over to drop off the herbal stuff, love on her dogs, then home to love on my dogs and to make said friend carrot ginger soup.

The soup turned out great— a lovely deep, but bright, orange hue and a great blend of savory with a hint of sweet. YUM. I’ll drop that off tomorrow.

And sitting outside a bit ago, I looked up and smiled. Hello there, beautiful moon. It isn’t for everyone, Sacramento. But honestly, it’s a great place. The delta breeze, the golden sunshine, all of it.

It’s taken a long time, but nearly every time I head out of the house, I encounter someone I know—new friends, neighbors, old friends. And so, what am i saying? Sacramento+community=home.

Okay, so on everyone’s radar should be the upcoming meteor shower. A friend and I are going to head outside of town, just a bit, to see the show— marking 11 years that I left Philadelphia and 7 since I laid in a hot spring in the Jemez mts. with Dina, Sarah, and Brad looking up at the streaming night.

Life is good. Peace to you all. Love, me

August 8, 2009

Had a good, but sad dream last night. In my dream, had a visitor at Wildlands—a friend of my sister’s, who was murdered several years ago in his driveway in Texas. We sat out back, smoked cigs, talked, laughed.  We talked about Einah, what’s she’s been up to, my visit with her last Thanksgiving in Philadelphia. Not sure why I dream about him. I didn’t know him well, but I know my sister cared for him very much. I am reminded of the Leonard Cohen poem about raids— do not forget the old friends you had before me, I who visit you on raids. Good to see you, if only in a dream. Peace to you, sir.

August 16, 2009

Ah, amazing what can occur in a week.

Went out to see the meteor shower—two nights. One here in Sacto and one down on central coast. The central coast show was amazing… streaming meteors across the night sky.

Spent three days on the central coast for work— amazing what my field staff chose not to tell me over the last few weeks/months.  Sigh. Made for an interesting trip and well, a bit stressful. While I appreciate my staff solving issues in the field, there are definitely ones which require them to pass it up or at least inform me of an occurrence.

I was frustated by one of my biologists who pushed the accountability back on me. This shrinking away from one’s own responsiblity pretty much ended dinner abruptly on Thursday night. My second in command and I sat and drank beers for several hours later, talking, figuring out how to move forward.

Overall, it was a good visit. I posted pictures on flickr… horizontal direction drills, trenching, jack and bore…blabhblah. good times.

Rested all day yesterday with the pets as i needed to relax a bit.

This week will be intense, but meh, what else is new?

jig

August 30, 2009
Hi everybody. What a long few weeks. A week ago, a few minutes after leaving the BART interview, I was informed that a  fatality had occured on the central coast job—the third in a year. While all near-misses and fatalities give us in the construction industry pause, this one impacted us as the “could have been me” thought was not only appropriate but also realistic.

I took off to the coast on Friday to get away, camp at Dillion’s beach with a few friends and our dogs. I came back with my mind cleared a bit and shoulders squared for the hard days ahead. I headed to the project Monday morning and spent the days subtly working our team through a series of team-buiding exercises. The time together helped boost our confidence on the ground, strenghten us as a team, and reinforce our relationship with the overall project team, including the construction manager and contractors.

I drove back to Sacramento feeling better about leaving our team on the project. However, I wasn’t home more than a few hours before I began to downshift and feel the affects of the long weeks. I’m struggling a bit to see the big picture, or rather, wanting to deal only in big picture, wrestling with the details. Of course, life is in the details and I’m struggling with that too. Either I’m way macro or i go way micro— time with the dogs, doing laundry, focusing on small things here and there that provide me with a system to work within— which provides comfort, for now.

I was to go to a bbq this afternoon—made cookies and prepped other food, but recognizing i’m barely able to interact on a one to one right now, have passed the treats off to a friend and am taking a raincheck on today’s bbq.

I’m feeling a bit lost and aching without knowing what to do to make myself feel better other than hard physical work—  i’m headed to the yard to work out some of my frustrations on wildland’s unruly gardens.

I did go out with Erin on Friday night— a good dinner, great conversation—upbeat and affectionate. Ended up at her and John’s apartment, watching a movie with them while Erin cut my hair. The night left me feeling softer, better. Not sure what brought on the current ebb/flow session— ah, well, i do, but not up for just laying it all right here. A long, quiet hug would be good right now. Anyone got a spare?

I do hope everyone is well and will not take my silence here or offline as an insult. Just need to pull in the ranks a bit and focus on ME for a bit. Slow and steady won the race.

love, jigs

August 31, 2009

hey, Blue.

There, the call of autumn
dropped down next to me
in worn trousers.

It’s been awhile.

Not meeting his gaze,
I reach over and hand off the
cigarette I’ve just rolled.

I roll one for myself
as he pulls the lighter from his pocket.

Yeah, it’s been awhile.
I  nod to myself

snag the lighter, and
exhale the cigarette I haven’t lit.

I sit back a bit on my heels, perched
and think about my old leather work boots—
the ones that creased just right
when I’d bend my elbows and let them drape on my knees.

I came by earlier, you weren’t here.
I nod a few times, and closing my eyes,
I lean in for a kiss.

I find my voice.
Good to see you too, Hatch.

I feel his grin.
Softness, shirt
Scratchy, beard
Strength, his hands.

You’ve been reading Snyder again, haven’t you?

I nod, rub noses, then graze lips before
biting on his lower, just hard enough.
Why, yes, I have.

Grinning, I stand up and receive a smack on the ass—
Come on, groceries are in a bag on the counter.

I lend a hand, pull him up, and call the dogs into the house.

JIG August 30, 2009.

The above is a from a dream I had last night. Who Hatch is—your guess is as good as mine. Could have been a few men in my past/present. Not sure, really. Only that his beard was soft but scratchy and I was glad he’d come by.

September 1, 2009

“Today was a good day; didn’t see me no demons, didn’t fight with no ghosts…”

Indeed, Joe, indeed.

In fact, it was a very good day. I felt the universe opening up and embracing me a bit.  It helps to do a good deed here and there.  On my way to Dyer work site, I came off the exit in the Altamont Pass.  About a mile down the road, I see a cyclist on his back under a small oak, sipping water, laying downhill, head and back to traffic. I drive past and then swear at myself for a few minutes. Dammit. I back track, throw on my flashers, and pull along side him.

He gets up, quickly, when I ask him if he’s okay. Lemme give you some water. He says he’d given blood the day before and that he’d ridden to hard… and yes, looking past his shoulder, down the 1.5 mile near vertical climb he’d just come up. Yes, sir. Indeed.  I opened up the Jeep, snagged one of the many gallons I keep in it, and reached for his water bottle. He smiled sheepishly and I said something lame like “i spent 10 months in the lower Colorado desert. Take the water.” Like I gave him much choice? He’s a bit disoriented and I spend a few minutes chatting with him, allowing him a few minutes to sip water and catch his breath before he hops back on his bike all he-man style.   I go to get in the Jeep–if you’re okay, i’m gonna take off. He smiles and tells me that was a very nice thing for me to do–  then he give me a sweaty hug and says “thank you.” Simple words. Warm act. And i could smell him on my clothes for a few hours. ummm good sweaty guy scent.

I’m a woman. If you’re a dude and reading this…you probably won’t get it. Sometimes it is the little things, including sweaty guy smell that can boost a woman’s day.

Then, driving home, dealing with a difficult client and then a more difficult assistant (yes, mine), I was feeling a bit weary. I checked my email and there was a message from Eric. He’s coming to Sacramento next week. I haven’t seen Beaner in 7 years—not since he left CA and went back east. He owns the brewery now—master brewer. I am beyond words excited. He’s one of the few friends from college who knew me then and saw me and THEN had an opportunity to see me in CA. He left before I shed my skin and grew up. Before the desert. Before I came back to Sacto and bought Wildlands. He has seen me at my most vulnerable. It will be good. Can’t wait to see him and throw my arms around him.

I am taking days off when he is here. I just don’t care what is on my work plate. Old friends=gold.

And with that, i say goodnight. Sleep well. Dream better. Love, jigs

September 9, 2009

Quiet. calm. peaceful. I can feel this sensation pulsing through my veins. I look up, look at the pets and notice, yes, they feel it too. It’s been an intense few months and I’ve made repeated attempts to slow down, refocus, and be kind to myself. This weekend was lovely for me—took it for myself, worked hard in the gardens (but not too much as to over-exhaust myself).

have not

I stumble sometimes, but I can’t beat myself up too much given how productive I am in my personal and professional life.  This weekend (and a few days off this cominig week) should help keep me on the path to repairing my raw emotional and mental state.

Now, finishing up work, tending to the black beasts, and looking forward to a non-stressful evening. Fall is coming. I feel it in the wind, the decreased intensity of the sun, and in my soul. down to the bones. My most favorite time of year…. bring it…i can’t wait.

________________

I’ve been wanting to do a fancy outside dinner party for awhile now with the theme on local grown/produced foods shared with friends outside with twinkling lights and candles. Planning has begun—Wildlands on October 24th. Colin and I are working out the menu; most likely 5 courses. Bee will make the desserts (wow— the first time in eons i can hand that task over to someone else!!). I need to figure out the guest list but know i need to keep it under 10 or so people. I’m thinking about roasted vegetables, whole roasted chickens from Taylor’s market, and exploring appetizer options. Ultimately— simple, delicious, and local… yum, no?

I’m designing a candle chandelier from recycled materials which I’ll hang over the table.

More on this soon.

Late night, G, came over and we stayed up half the night talking on the back patio and then hit the sack. While we may not be friends outside the borders of wildlands, while here, there is at least a passionate truce between us. We’ll never be more than this— an evening here and there and I’m good with this. I enjoy the time with him while also recognizing we’re both here in limbo until we strike up meaningful relationships with other people. I woke early this morning, the creature still in my bed, and worked outside until I couldn’t take it anymore and went back to snuggle with the creature soundly sleeping in my bed. The boys curled up on the bed, Sky on the floor. awe. poor kid.

September 12, 2009

Home from a lovely lovely evening out and about for Second Saturday. The air was cooler, breezy. Perfect evening here in Sacramento. Had a lazy dinner with Erin, John, and Erin’s brother. We were an animated crew. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. Home now, warm, fuzzy, curled up with the pets. Ah, life is good.

Sleep well. Dream better.

September 17, 2009

Sigh. Late night, cool breezes through the window. Been curled up with Einstein’s biography for the last few hours. I’ve missed quiet time, reading, snuggling with Siddhartha. Got home from SLO last night and i’m still relishing the fact that i’m HOME. Covered in poison oak, but home nonetheless.

A few surprises the last week, but mostly, on an even keel. I have been wondering where a few people have wandered off to—maybe they’ll grace Wildlands again, or not. Who knows. I’m too tired, too peaceful,  to worry that much.

Sleep well. Dream better. I’m off to snuggle in my bed with my favorite boy in the world, Siddhartha. He’s so glad to have me home, staying close, nuzzling me. Yeah, i missed you and your crazy sisters when I was away on my work trip–a lot.

September 19, 2009

Had a lovely afternoon in Curtis Park— some music, friends, and bbq. Spent some time with people from the dog park,  a few ghost town folks, and enjoyed the music of the Poplollys.

Home, now, relaxing, dreaming a bit. Pretending it is winter, i’m curled up now with the pets, working on the fisherman sweater pattern. Back’s done. Front half done. Ugh.

Spent the early afternoon wandering around the native plant sale with Bee—she picked up a few grasses and bearberry groundcovers while I picked up a few of those, a snowberry (FINALLY), and five adorable currants— mostly sierra goldens and one pink currant. Came home and planted those before running off to the art in the park event.

I’m dreaming of the fall dinner party which i’m really looking forward to hosting. I’m thinking light but hearty…Colin, Bee, and I will meet next Sunday for brunch to peruse recipes, toss ideas, etc.

Recently began a friendship with a guy only to have it drop off and not sure why. It’s been bothering me a bit. I’ll give myself one more night of slight sadness and then let it drop away. Life isn’t always what i think it will be, but it is mine, and it is good. For that, I am thankful.

It’s odd, really. I’ve been keeping this online journal for 22 months. Looking back, there’s a sea of days, different lives, different world, and yet, the same world, this one, my world, and it’s reassuring. I’m wistful tonight without true reason, honestly.

Looking back, looking forward. Sleep well, dream better. jig

September 22, 2009

Ah, what a long day. I’m still struggling with poison oak and a few work dramas that are unfolding. Maybe i’m just weary to deal with them, so they feel like pure drama. At noon, i laid down with a splitting headache and slept for a few hours. I woke up with tears streaming down my face with my own screams still echoing in my head… “YOU left ME… HERE… all ALONE.” I have no idea to whom I was screaming or for what reason. I thrashed around in my bed for a second, heart pounding, and then realised, no, I wasn’t alone. Nothing was wrong. Sweetpea was on one side. Sky was on the other and Sid was lying at the foot of the bed with his paw on my leg. Sky was awake, looking at me, licking my hand, looking a bit afraid. Her sweet face made me smile. I nuzzled her, then got back up to face the world.

The evening at the dog park— it was like dog park heaven. Everybody was there and the dogs had a blast playing, and honestly, so did I. I am part of this community— we run our dogs, we talk about our lives, we PLAY just as much as our dogs do. We have our running jokes about how I throw worse than most girls but man, i can wick a frisbee—and just sometimes, not hit a human or a tree.  Grin.

We walked the block home, Sky carrying her frisbee in her mouth, making me laugh while Siddhartha trotted next to me, his leash dragging on the ground.

It’s now 2.30 am and i’m near tears again. Fuck if i know why. Time for bed. To curl up…and to whomever i was screaming at earlier in my dream… either come back and resolve it or let me sleep in peace, eh? Thanks.

JIG

September 25, 2009

Red Sox vs Yankees, kicked back with a microbrew, a cold, cold glass of water, and a pita bread pizza. This is…good.

It’s been a long week working from home and supposedly out sick. It’s sucked. On the upside, life’s not so bad other than looking like a leper (thank you, poison oak. oh, how you torment me). Went to see Bon Iver last night with Pam and had a really good time. Such stirring music. I suck at writing about music as i tend to feel and see it, so i’ll leave it to that. I’ve posted a blog with youtube videos on the main page. enjoy.

So, my mom wants to know why i seem so down. Hmmm. Let’s see. Work’s hard. Really  hard. I look like a leper. It’s hard being one and then add the animals into the mix, and well, i get tired.

On the upside, making tin-can lanterns, gone through recipes, and meeting with Colin on Sunday to go over menu. Life at the dog park has been good— i love how the dogs run to me like i’m snow white. Siddy’s been running around a lot recently and this makes me laugh. Sky is well, Sky, and she always makes me laugh. A sprinkler is broken at the park and Sky thinks this corner of the soccer field her is personal slip and slide. FREAK. But funny.

I’m looking forward to fall. I dread fall. Take your pick. Old souls, wind blows, golden sunlight, star shine, ghosts, memories, music, and me. It’s good. It’s heartbreaking. It’s…freedom.

Been talking to someone from HS recently, i’ll call him Edison. Funny about perceptions people have of one another when in fact, teenagers are pretty much one  walking defense mechanism. I called Edison the other night and we talked for hours. And we laughed a lot. It’s an awesome ride learning who someone is.

Spoke to Justin tonight—god, his voice. I feel like i’m 14 again and we’re on the train tracks downtown Kent. And in the same moment, we’re exactly the age we are, still friends, still there. That warms me deeply.

So, ma, i’m not sad, i’m just struggling to keep head above water as life keeps throwing curve balls, fast balls. I am traveling every 10 days (and staying 4 days each visit) to the central coast job. It’s draining.

Love to all. me

September 28, 2009

hey there. Struggling with poison oak in my eyes, house cleaning,  laundry and departure to central coast tomorrow.

Woke up from a dream about G earlier today. Not sure what brought it on. Who knows how my mind works. The dream was simple. Standing on the front porch, watching him get off his bike, open the gate, push his bike into the yard. Pause, look up at me, long stare—not joy, not displeasure, just that open look of his that I find unsettling. And then, a smile and a whoop when Sky and Sidhartha threw themselves on him. Pats and hugs and coos to Sky before standing, removing his helmet, holding it with his fingers, and again the open look.

I woke up and stretched. Thought about G, thought about texting him and thought better of it. I have other things to do tonight and he’s not one of them.

Okay. more from central coast. Sleep well. Dream better.

October 7, 2009

It’s funny how time speeds up and slows down— on occasion, on the same day. Moments seem like hours, hours pass in seconds. Days stretch on and for others, it breezes past.

I’ve been traveling to Naci every other Monday, staying for four days. I’m tired. I feel like a stranger in my home, or rather, prefer to only be AT home. Having said that, it’s been a fun few weeks around Wildlands. It seems, I can’t leave the house without running into friends. This is comical and makes me smile. It is fall; I look around at this community of mine— mostly built around this neighborhood and fellow dog parkers. Been riding my bike a lot— Around the World food walk last Saturday with Bee and Colin, to and from the Coffee Garden, that sort of thing.

I’ve resisted traveling this week and have had several meetings—either conference calls or the Sacramento office.

Late nights this past week reading Khara’s thesis (an interesting piece on Native art) or up working on tin can lanterns. Colin and I worked up the dinner party menu— exciting stuff.

Today, Michael asked me to begin selling chocolate chip lavendar cookie/brownies. I’ll see how that goes; could be fun. As Dick pointed out tonight at the park, however, don’t do any more that will overwhelm me. Soft smile. Yes, i hear that.

It’s fall— a time for wistful thoughts and windy bike rides home through the neighborhood.  Always by my side are the dogs. Siddhartha, who has returned to playing at the park, and Sky who spends her days bouncing about and giving kisses. And late at night, there’s Sweetpea… curled up next to me and purring.

yes, this is a good life. sleep well. dream better. jig

Sleep well. Dream better.

October 11/12, 2009

It’s the middle of the night; I leave for central coast/LA work trip at 7 am.  I  do this every night before a trip; I can’t sleep. I lay here, looking at Sweetpea, Sky, and Siddhartha.  I get up, wander around the house; I snuggle down with them and listen to them sleep. I do not like these frequent trips away from home. I wish there was someone here to tell me everything’s ok. Even the fact that i’d vocalize that here makes me laugh. Silly woman. Everything IS okay. Sleep well. dream better.

October 13, 2009

Headed back to Sacramento tomorrow. I hard exchange with someone tonight; doesn’t matter who and doesn’t matter what. However, more clear than anything— i am ONE and ONLY ONE. Responsible for myself and accountable to ALL. Sigh. Giving up. sleep well.dream better.

jig

October 18, 2009

Well, hello there. It’s late on Sunday night and I’m taking a break from pounding holes in tin cans. The animals are literally curled up around me. Pea to my right, by my hip. Siddhartha down by my ankles under a quilt, and Sky to our right, fighting sleep and woofing quietly at the world outside.

My days are flying by at lightening speed. I am moving through the motions, pushing myself, and wondering how/why I have this life, what exactly is this life, and where, perhaps, I am going.

I spent last week down on the central coast and in LA. There’s a lot to say about this work trip, but nothing that can’t wait a few more days. I’m still pondering what it all could mean.

I returned home late Thursday night and after running the dogs and catching up with friends, I came back to the house to realise the roof’s been leaking. Sigh. I cried myself to sleep Thursday night. I needed more than anything someone to tell me it was going to be OK. Sadly, there wasn’t anyone here to do that. I woke up Friday morning to fog and as the day went on, the sun came out. I found a roofer, got a few estimates, and the chosen roofer patched the roof. Colin and I went up into the “scary” attic (i.e., the attic i’ve never investigated—even though I’ve owned the house for five years!!). There was some damage but nothing horrific.

And so, relieved, Colin and I went to dinner at Dad’s, had a few beers, and I went home more relaxed. The weekend has been intense physically— cleaning the backyard like i’ve NEVER done. All in prep for the upcoming dinner party next weekend— which I’m super excited to host.

Before I go back to punching tins, I want to put out to the universe— I am thankful for the people in my life. I have a good community here. I’m meeting new people, strengthening bonds of those in my life, and overall, feeling my place in this community solidify.

Thank you to the people I see every day at the dog park, the coffee shop, those who leave tin cans on my front porch, who give me hugs, who celebrate in small ways (the best way) my successes and moan at my failures. Thank you. I don’t know if you know how much your presence in my life keeps me going and serves as inspiration.

The last week was a roller coaster ride with G—all over the place. Sadly, after a good overnight, we returned to our typical interaction. Bottom line– i end up feeling alone, confused, and angry at him. I can’t rely on him and he pushed the envelope this week (and yes, i opened the door on that) and now, I know, as if i hadn’t before. It is not wise to play with an archangel. They will only smash you to bits.

I may not find a partner. It’s lonely and it’s hard, but in the end, this is my life…and it isn’t a bad one. Soft smile. JIG

January 8, 2010

HAPPY 2010 folks! Arrived home Sunday from my 5,700 mile journey to Kent, Ohio and back. I have a lot to say and photos to post over on the main page. i have thoughts to share here.

Ultimately, i would like you all to know—all is well. And if it’s not, i’ve been reminded recently,  i have the ability to make it so. love to all. jigs

January 14/15, 2010 (3 am)

Just woke up. I had that dream again about Gary Snyder’s poem “Hatch” and a fellow who calls me “Blue.”  Wandered around the house, went out in the backyard, took a few minutes for myself, to clear my head. I’m going back to bed now, but would like to say to the universe, it would be nice to see Hatch again soon; err, tomorrow perhaps.

Love to all. jigs

January 16, 2010

Hello, there. While I have a lot rattling around in my head, since October, I have struggled to find my voice. My silence is directly related to the work situation and my general sense of frustration and confusion. On the life front, it was an exciting fall and is shaping up to be a lovely winter filled with friends, good music, and daily frisbee throwing sessions with Sky Harbor and Siddhartha.

So, quickly:

October. I hosted the Wildlands’ dinner party in late October. Five courses, all locally sourced food, and 11 friends— folks who are important to me but who did not know each other. I sent out a short dossier on each person, so little time was spent on “how do you know Jenn” and “what do you do for a living.” The evening was a smashing success foodwise and people-wise. The dinner party was the highlight of October.

November is a blur but featured the wedding of two dear souls in the Nevada desert. Good music, new friends, and a great couple. I came home remembering that we are as free (physically and emotionally) as we allow ourselves to be.

December. I kicked off a five week long vacation by hosting the annual Wildlands’ tree trimming. We made paper ornaments again this year and everyone had a good time. A few days later, I began a 5,700 mile journey to Ohio and back. And what a GRAND adventure it was. More on that some day soon (i hope). Pictures are posted on Flickr.

I am home tonight, considering what to write— should I retrace my steps or simply tell all of you that the road was a good one littered with heartwarming moments and a lot of time spent exploring myself while asking hard questions (in regards to my career). I have developed no hard answers, but feel stronger than I have in months.

Just returned from a simple, hearty dinner with a friend. After dinner, we wandered around an Asian grocery store where they had live bullfrogs and fish and crabs for sale. It was fascinating. It’s near 65th and Florin (?) or so. My friend is a Sacto native and he epitomizes why i live here. More on that another night.

Last night, I went to see a band play (BBBR), danced a bit, and chatted it up with new and old friends. The band held special attention for me and while I want to say more, I’ll stay an comment until i actually have more to say. It felt good to dance, to move the body, and be out with good friends. While I didn’t get home until well past 2, G came over and we were up well after 5am. This morning, when Erin called, it was hard to leave him; the pets curled about him, laying on  a bed of feather down comforters, sleeping soundly. I could have stayed there all day, curled up with him. It’s a shame that we are so compatible physically and so dysfunctional emotionally. I returned home around 4pm after helping Erin and John move a few items to their new home (yay!).

Okay, enough for now. I dream of Hatch and wonder when he’ll wander his way to my front door.  Sleep well, dream better. JIGs

postscript:

it’s quite late….

twice tonight i’ve sworn i heard his voice as i was roused from sleep. The first time, i heard him telling me Mark was ringing my mobile; I got up and saw i’d just missed a call from him. Just a bit ago, I woke again, having fallen asleep in front of the television, and I swore I heard Ben calling from the back porch, telling me it was raining and that the studio door was open. I’m never quite sure how it is he continues to creep into my dreams after all these years. I’m doing well, happy, though not as productive in my creative endeavors (of late) as i’d like.  I don’t yearn for him anymore. Life moves on and we move on with it. We laugh. We dance. We fall asleep late on Saturday night, sore and remembering those who have shared the space you once shared with me.

it is raining; i just checked. i’m off to snuggle down in my bed. einah said on our road trip, after making a few observations, that i am clairvoyant. As cheesy as it seemed then (and a bit, now, grin), there are times when i’d have to agree. There’s a lot more to this world than can be seen or touched, but we feel it just the same, we just may choose to call it by a different name. I rhymed. dammit. definitely time for sleep. ha.  Night. Sleep well, dream better. jigs

January 19, 2010

Listening to music as the wind continues to howl around Wildlands. The music has me a bit distracted, in a good way, or perhaps I’d fall even deeper into thought. So, what am i listening to? Music new to me by a Sacramento based band (Be Bold Brave Robot).  In particular, these lyrics have caught my attention and have my thoughts circling themselves:

you tell me when i get home/you’d like to make my life your own/well, they are only photos/don’t be foolish/i’m just better at documenting…

I am thinking about perceptions, i am thinking about the lyrics. How we see others, how they see us, how we perceive others perceive us. Looking outward, I hope for sun beams on howling days, sit back and sip a cup of coffee when I realize a sunny day was only in my dreams. And still, when i open my eyes each morning, I look up from my bed to search the view and hope for blue skies. Last night, the wind was howling and I laid there humming an old Smiths song, watching the bare trees sway mightily in the howling wind.

It’s a good life, this one, and while I struggle some days to recognize my place in it, I know, when i look around, I am comforted. Yes, I would not want another life. I have no desire to go back and have a re-do, I wouldn’t want anyone else’s life, even in small ways, really, because if i did, then, well, i’d have to give up all those moments, tied to landscapes and people, singing the songs i now hum to myself. Would i find meaning in those lyrics without the life i have now? Sure, other thoughts would be there, and it isn’t out of fear, but perhaps, contentment, that I don’t want another set of lyrics to be floating around my head today. I’m good with these, making them my own.

Secondly, I am reminded of an exchange i had with a friend last night via fb chat. He’s unhappy (severely so) in Kent. He sees my life as golden and is a bit scathing when it comes to our exchanges. I feel for him, i do, i really do, but at the same time, i think, he most probably would not like this life of mine if it were his. Some people are like that. All humans search for their place in this world—within themselves and as part of the larger whole. I send him warm thoughts tonight.   Take the time to stop, see, enjoy, and yes, document. It’s only documentation that sets us apart, really.

And I am struck by another lyric, “when we are kings, you’ll remember, i never left you alone. ” Perhaps my friends will hear this as i do. I love you and am made warm by you.  Love, jig

Postscript: home from pub quiz with KH, ZD, and RB—we came in third! Good job, though, i had little to do with it; my brain was a bit fried this evening and i was more content to sit there, sip a few pints, and relax with friends. The pub quiz was a bonus. I was wearing my Columbus Brewing Company tshirt and that made me feel special. Glowing grin. dork. okay. onward. RB picked up his newly knitted alpaca beanie and he looks super cute in it. Yay. When in need, ask and the universe can, on occasion, provide. On our way out the door, archangel texted–he had an allergic reaction to new detergent and was broken out in hives. As soon as KH dropped me off,  I hopped on my bike, went to safeway to get stuff, then over to the CG to drop off that stuff. Poor guy. I know, i know, we tussle, we do, but in the end, i can’t walk away from an archangel in need. Just seems like bad ju-ju. I am home now, ready to curl up after a chat with Matty. I miss him terribly and love him dearly. Hmmm, something about old, old friends keepin’ ya real.

Going to knit a bit and then curl up to read. Sleep well. dream better. love.

January 21, 2010

Well, it’s late and i just woke up after falling asleep watching a movie.  Hmmm. Life sounds so humdrum but i grin wickedly and rest assured, I don’t post all the goings on here. ha! I headed back to work on Tuesday and it’s been interesting. Today, I traveled to the Altamont and was reminded while driving down and being onsite WHY i love my job as much as i do.  I came back to Sacramento in the afternoon and spent some time with a friend. It’s been pouring buckets for days now and I’m quite over the rain splatters.  Sky Harbor feels similarly as i haven’t taken them to the park for a few days and she’s nearly fit to be tied. So is the cat, who is weary of Sky’s attempts to “play” with her. Still, peace begins at home and i’m sure in the heat of summer, i’ll look back at this lovely winter and smile…

February 12, 2010

Hello there. While it’s been a completely crappy return to CA on the work front, i’m pleased to say, i’m warm fuzzy on the life front. Just home tonight from spending the evening with friends playing “high stakes 99” with the desert camping crew. It was a formal affair and I wore my best party dress with black ribbon-trimmed crinoline and pointy, pointy heels. Like 1940s pointy shoes. It was a lovely, lovely night filled with friends, laughter, and well, ball busting. Katy and I baked goods for the affair— a four tiered lemon and orange cake with chocolate ganache (spicy with hot peppers) and candied lemon (on top for garnish) for Tim’s birthday AND chocolate-stout cupcakes with whiskey ganache filling and Bailey’s cream icing. Yeah, the group hated the offerings. ha!

More important that well-received baked goods, was the reception— good friends, good OHIO based-friends hanging out, laughing, playing, and well, making merry. After 7 years in Sacramento, I have a community—one that feels like the one I left in Kent, Ohio. It’s heartwarming, truly. If you’re from Kent, you’ll know what i mean. If you’re from the group, you know what i mean. Everything’s better with a good, solid group of friends.  Tomorrow is take 2 with the group down in the Delta— Alkali Flats (reformed) debut show. YAY!!!

With that, i am going to take off this party dress, remove the makeup, take down my hair, and go curl up in my warm bed. Sleep well, dream better. JIG

February 15, 2010

Ummm, yawn, squeak. I’m a sleepy woman this evening, even though I didn’t really get out of bed until noon. I spent the day putzing and looking through the world with soft lens.

It all began with a text message from Archangel at 12.01 am on Saturday night wishing me a happy valentine’s day. I don’t have a good history with Valentine’s Day. I hate the holiday—how it makes men feel guilty and women feel alone or worse, anxious. As such, I’ve never quite paid attention to the holiday—in or out of a relationship.

Having said that, archangel came over last night after he got off work (early, even). I had the table set in the dining room with a few candles and dinner in the oven. I made a six layer chocolate cake for two (about 4″ in diameter), bake Cordon Bleu (with goat cheese and Applewood bacon), braised Brussel sprouts (EVO & high quality balsamic vinegar) and roasted beets with lemon and cumin. Chilled blue label Chimay, warm Guinness, and after dinner Four Roses Single Barrel (100 proof) bourbon. We sat there for hours, talking, telling jokes, laughing, kissing. It was nice to spend the time with him in such a way.  We went to bed, experienced our usual intenseness, and I fell asleep content, warm, and sore. I woke up smelling him—that scent of evergreen, coffee, bourbon. Intoxicating in and of itself.  He wasn’t to spend the night as he needed to be home to let in contractors this morning. He hit snooze a few too many times and I must say, i was less than encouraging—i snuggled against him and nuzzled him.  On his way out, he let the pets into my room and i was soon surrounded by the snuggling consortium… Sky, Siddhartha, and Pea. A good snooze until noon-ish.

Hours later, biscuits are in the oven and i’m making breakfast for dinner— my favorite. Sleep well, dream better.

JIGs

PS: it’s getting late and i am heading to bed. NPR is offering up free stream of Clem Snide’s new album, to be released on February 23rd. I can’t get the song “Please” and “Denver” out of my head. It’s a good listen thus far and I recommend everyone having a go.

I am thinking of my evening with Archangel last night. It was a good night, sitting talking. I got a little weepy talking about Wildlands and all the things that fill it. He pointed out my sentamentality isn’t locked into the belongings but to the house itself—if i were to get rid of things, I’d still be drawn to this home. He’s right, of course.

Lyrics from “Please”

Please be sweet to me, my guard is down.
Please just sleep with me, before I drown.
Just drove back from Ohio, but
not before they let me know the numbers weren’t looking all that good.

His softness, sitting across from me softened me. Later in bed, pillow talk and laughter. Such intensity. I wonder, if after a year and a half, if we’ve crossed some threshold that i hadn’t thought to cross, but find myself here nonetheless.

Here’s the link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123569297

Remember that week in the mountains, half naked, we laid in the grass. Between us a love without question and all this, days spent with you, was all I should want from this life. Hope that you never forgive me. Forever deny me your smile. Cuz I met this woman in Denver and now, she is carrying my child…

That photograph on my fridge of Ben standing on the back patio in front of the fire. It may be time to take it down. Not because of Archangel, but rather, because of me. I am not the same woman he loved; I am not sure if i would recognize my love for him, if he were to come home. I am thinking of that tonight. I am thinking of letting go…

February 18, 2010

I’m a bit lost in thought tonight, thinking about a text I received from a friend of mine. I haven’t seen him in about a year, well, I’ve run into him a few places, but haven’t had a good long chat for at least that long. At any rate, I was thinking about him and Tilden and how I miss those urban hikes. I wonder if Siddy misses Lake Anza—the only body of water he’s ever RUN into (and not away from).

I am thinking about Archangel and wondering where we stand. I was thinking, briefly, that “things” may have shifted between us on Valentine’s Day but, the more i consider it, the more i think it was most likely, just a matter of timing. Unsure of what to say, so i’ll say nothing more on the topic.


Spent the last two days working at the San Pablo dam project site. Ah, the first project I won as project manager for ESA. Sitting there, on a culvert, looking down at a slow moving stream, i was mesmerized. Sure, the early mornings and long days have been exhausting (5 am departure and 6.00 pm arrival home), but i’m feeling more like my old self. I am feeling better about work—not because anything has changed (in fact, it’s even more depressing than before), but because i won’t allow it to bring me down. A possible new client said I had better quals than anyone else from any other company she’d looked at in a month (for an upcoming project).

I’m proud of my quals; I have a knack for compliance work and I do love it very much. This shines through when I talk about it. If ESA is unwilling to recognize my hard work and the quals I’ve built for the company, then OK. That doesn’t CHANGE or compromise MY qualifications as a professional. Somehow, these last two days, “playing” in the creek (surveying for species and keeping an eye on water quality), i relaxed a bit. I smiled. I laughed. I talked to the construction workers and I reconnected with the WORK.

Yesterday, I saw a CA newt and interacted with it for a long while. I had been feeling a bit like Kermit, sitting there on the culvert and watching the small pond in front of me. When I saw the newt, I had just been thinking how I was missing a fozzie bear sort of creature—and there appeared a rust coloured newt. ha! So, i nicknamed him FozzieBear. Playful, strong, good day.

Okay. It is late and i have another very early morning tomorrow. I send warm thoughts to you all and tell you—you gotta listen to the new Clem Snide album (to be released next week). It’s stellar. there’s a link you can cut and paste above. cheers. jig

February 21, 2010

I broke off my year and half long affair with Gabriel on Friday night. It’s a long winding trail we’ve been on, but mostly one explored under the sheets. While it has been quite an exploration for me,  I’ve begun to hate myself for carrying on with him on such a superficial way. It’s just not me. I’ll miss the sexual asides and the pillow talk. I sent him an email and let him know what I’ve been feeling and how I am teetering on the brink of feeling more than one should about a person she doesn’t know in daylight. I have not heard back from him and aside from split second eye contact yesterday afternoon, I have not had any interaction with him.

I am hoping to carry on positively in my interaction with him (which is limited to the cafe). I have learned a good deal from the experience, all practical and applicable to my present and future. I am a serial monogamist. I lived nearly 2.5 years barely noticing the world was passing me by. Then, almost two years ago, I began dating here and there and all the while, rating every man I met against a photograph of a man kept on the fridge. I met archangel in this dating phase and we quickly became lovers and never got around to dating one another.

The emotional ups and down of a limited arrangement has caused us bumps along the way. However, for the most part, the limited nature of our interaction fit my needs— physical closeness and exploration without the emotional entanglement. I could remain closed off. My heart was safe from a shattering end. In the recent email, I proposed he and I back track a million miles and see if we could move forward on a different path (dating), but I honestly suspect my email will go unanswered. And that’s okay. Sometimes, we tell others what we need to hear.

Ending this affair marks the end of wandering, emotionally closed off (I hope). The man in the photo is not going to walk out of the photograph; he’s gone. While I’ve known this for a long time, I haven’t felt it to be true. I haven’t wanted it to be true. I feel it tonight and while the realisation makes me a bit sad, I feel stronger, happier. I’ve given a bit of thought to archangel too, but having put my thoughts down in an email, having read those words outloud, I have an odd sense of self-love and accomplishment. I said what I needed to say. I said it with great respect of what we’ve been, acknowledged him, and now can let go—perhaps to open myself to a more meaningful exchange (with someone else). I no longer have the archangel for release…and because of that, I am free.

I’ve spent the last few days putzing and relaxing, preparing for another long work week. I did not work. I should have, but I chose not to give up my weekend. I’ve given up enough weekends and special occasions to my company with little or not recognition— if anything, i’ve built an unfair expectation.

So, with that, i shall give a few more listens to Clem Snide’s new album before climbing into bed. I need to be up and out by 5.15 am. Ah, only five hours away. Nah, it’s good for me to be up and out and exhaust myself physically—it calms my mind and reorientates my thoughts.

Yes. Sleep well. Dream better. May we all realise our dreams in the waking hours. love to all. jigs

February 28, 2010

Well, hello there. On this last day in February, the sun is shining warmly with a slight chill in the air, windows open, and the stereo to sing along to as I make breakfast. Stayed up to 4 am sipping bourbon by luminary light. Biscuits are coming out of the oven, gotta go.

March 8, 2010
Days of ebb
and flow, indeed. Days begin and end. In between there are big sky days filled with rain clouds, fog, and streaming sunlight burning through both. It’s coming on spring in northern California and it’s good to see the seasons change. Spending time with the dogs, more solo these days, is lighthearted and joyful, which I also need. Been giving knitting lessons to friends and that is also a good way to spend time—

here’s to spring.

March 9, 2010
I’ve been knitting
a sweater to wear when the weather
gets cold again.
Sitting outside, strumming
did you hear through the fig tree,
the fence?

You greet the dogs, pat the cat,
snag a drink from the cabinet
on the back porch.
You sit down, look at me, and I go back to strumming.

I want you to live happy and free.
I laugh, pause, fingers in place, meeting your gaze.
This isn’t working for us anymore.
Or, perhaps, it’s just not working for me.

And with that, I place the Gibson in the chair gingerly,
cross the few feet between us, take your face in my hands
and kiss you
roughly
purposefully.

You know, I’m going to miss these late night screws.

It’s coming on Spring and my toes aren’t so cold at night.
You travel safe, dear Archangel, down your bike lanes and espresso grounds.

I’m heading in to bed. Stay here tonight, if you’d like, but tomorrow,
I’m headed south, to the Bay.

JIG

You say we’re going home
And I think of a black lab bouncing at the door,
The other, head down, nudging his way past the bouncer.
The furry cat, looking up from her perch, stretching her paw across the quilt.

Windows down, sun roof open, considering chopping off my long soft strands.
One more time.
Drove the Bay area bridges,
mulling over the spans between the here and there.
The Bay, that blue collar bridge loved by this blue collar girl,
San Mateo with its roadway sunk to aqua skies.
Going Carquinez, coming Benicia.

I sing along to the songs on the radio.

I thought of the Bear who wanders the Berkeley hills.  Hope springs eternal.
Twirled up in those blue skies, I drove.
Arriving home, sitting out front
I soaked up the site,  mulling
it over.

What’s so special about this house?
Who lives here and what’s up those steps,
through the
glass-paned red door.
Leaving the Jeep behind,  I enter the home that is this house
and hear it whispered
Welcome home, traveler.

April 10, 2010

Hello there. Haven’t blogged much but have been busy working in the front garden, teaching friends to knit, and doing some baking. Been feeling really productive. The veggies are planted and the garden’s off to a good start for a productive season.

In the last two weeks, I’ve baked:

one four tier carrot cake (may post recipe sometime soon), 9 dozen oatmeal chocolate cookies,  5 dozen chocolate chip lavendar cookies, and two dozen scones.

I baked the cake for my friend Sasha’s birthday. She and her husband said it was the best carrot cake they’ve ever had. This compliment warmed my heart.

In other news, I met up with a guy last week and it was a good meeting. We’d made plans to meet up last night and again today but neither came to fruition. Dating sucks but at least it inspires me to dress more like a woman than a rag-tag tomboy. hahahaha

Otherwise, life is good. My friends are awesome and make me smile, feel loved.  It’s storming outside and I’ve spent the day curled up watching movies and snuggling down with the pets.

April 16, 2010

Wow, this week disappeared and with it my 3 date curse, or so it seems. I’ve had three dates with a new fellow who we shall call SM and/or Sky’s boyfriend. My labby, who is so shy and certainly does not want you, or you, or YOU to touch her has become smitten with this new guy. I even have photographic evidence.

So, what shall I say about SM? He’s a tall, big guy (6’3″ and 260). He has a wicked goatee, deep brown eyes, and i feel so comfortable with him, i’m a bit stunned. We had a 10.5 hour date yesterday— i know, right?! We putzed around together and it was like we’d been running errands, snagging lunch, and doing home repairs for years. While I sowed seeds, he fixed the front door’s deadbolt— the proper way.

I feel calm around him. I enjoy spending time with him. He likes to take things slow, so that means i have not yet (after 3 dates) received a kiss. Are you kidding me? Seriously? 1-2-3.  Yes. I did ask him if he liked me and he said he does and that he feels good spending time with me, that our last date was great…and…that he’s slow moving. Okay. Hrmph.

Refreshing to take things slow, but also a bit hard. We’re going out again Sunday and this time, he’s planning the date. He’s not telling me what/where we are going other than we’ll start our morning at the farmer’s market, come home, drop off veggies, and then load up the dogs… hmmm. Intriguing.

So, right now, all i can say… work sucks. My job may be waning, but personal life? check. check. check. Life is good.

JIGs

May 11, 2010

Some days, the waves roll in and I don’t know what to do with myself.
The tides seem stronger and I am reminded of time passing.

Next week is my birthday. 10th one in California [looks back over shoulder]. So much the same, so much different. And yet, not a lot is the same, meaning, change occurs slowly, so slowly, it’s difficult to see, to remember, how subtle change, over time, equals great change…

Sentimental tonight. Not sad, just sentimental. A few hiccups with SM, but he’s got something special planned for Thursday. I’m looking forward to that. One date at a time, for sure.

JIGs

May 14, 2010

Ummm, a cool delta breeze is blowing through the open windows. It wasn’t super warm today, but the cool breeze feels good. I am in shorts and am thinking a sweatshirt would feel good soon. I love this time of year.

SM and I took the dogs on a day trip into the back country. Images from Gary Snyder’s “in the back country” ran through my mind. We had an incredible day, driving around, looking for untraveled paths. We found one off the main road outside of Georgetown. We had a picnic, drank a few beers, Sky splashed in the water, Siddy crossed the creek on a fallen log—- one of those timeless, lazy, wonderful days.

Driving home, sleepy, watching Sky nuzzle SM’s elbow and remembering how they behaved all day with him, I softened. I softened in that terrible sort of way. I wanted to nuzzle him too. And so, as we stood on the front porch, he on the lower step and me on the top, i did just that. We shared a few kisses and he asked to see me Saturday night after he gets off work.

Softened still, I realize… if this doesn’t work out, if we go deeper, it is going to hurt. It’s been five dates—day long ones, but only five, but I like this man. I want to date him, spend time and explore with him. Holds breath a bit… butterflies and such. I can’t wait to see him tomorrow night.

Okay. Need to clean the house… tomorrow is going to be a gnarly day, getting the backyard ready for planting and getting ready for the party on the 22nd.

Cheers. Sleep well. dream better when ya do.

jigs

May 17, 2010

It was one of those lovely days. Cool breezes, warm sun, storm rolling in towards the evening.

Attended a lovely taco truck surprise birthday party for a friend’s husband on Saturday evening…wow, talk about inspiration.

SM came over after work on Saturday and I fell asleep on him. He woke me up at 2.30 am, gave me a kiss goodnight and I snuggled back down, warm, happy, and feeling good about my time with him.  Prior to going to the party on Saturday afternoon, I spent time working in the housegetting ready for my birthday garden party on the 22nd. It’s going to be a good one. Today was all about the backyard— New addy chairs, a huge long table, and sun sails. Friends coming and going the last few days, helping out. Their assistance has warmed me through and through. I’ll post pictures as soon as the yard is ready!

This woman is going to go curl up and while doing so, count her blessings.

May 29, 2010

A lot has been going on around here, some good, some not so good. Wildlands was a revolving door for a week while I, with a bunch of help from friends, got ready for the birthday garden party. The back yard looks awesome now that it’s been cleaned up and the flower beds have been altered. Michael hung beautiful yellow sun shades, SM built me a 10′ long table (perfect for dinner parties!!), and Jacob hung the twinkly lights. Cate and Rob became the addy chair painting crew with assistance from the lovely Ms. Ally. I’m incredibly touched by my friends’ donation of labor, materials, and time. It was a blast working together to bring the garden up to snuff for my birthday.

It was a twinkly lite affair with white wine sangria (omg. thank you, Cate!), a stunning birthday cake by Bee AND dozens and dozens of lamb curry pasties by Colin. I could not have felt more loved.

Well, I could have, but that’s a short side comment: SM and I made jam the Wednesday night before my birthday. The next day he made an off-handed comment how he’d never eat any of it because who knew if it was “safe” to eat. I was insulted and told him as much. I’d sent him home with 4 jars and planned to give away the rest to friends. Since then, I haven’t heard a peek from him. He did not show up at the garden party. We all enjoyed the long table and probably will for years to come.  No reason to cry over spilled milk, I suppose.

Life is short.

Which brings me to some of the not so good.  Yesterday afternoon (Friday), I took the black beasts to the vets for their shots. Our vet checked out Siddhartha and noted the previous lumps have grown (fast) and he has several new ones, a few I hadn’t even noticed (sigh). A few of them looked/felt suspect, so she recommend biopsies. Additonally, she discovered while his ears look great on the surface, deep inside his right ear, there was a bad infection with puss present. I felt like a terrible dog owner.

Sky howled when the vet led Siddy from the exam room. She loves her Siddhartha. Siddy looked at me, pleadingly, and my heart broke. The biopsy results won’t be back until Tuesday. I cried most of the way home until he nudged me from the passenger seat. I looked into those soft brown eyes, so kind, so loving, and I nodded. Yup, kid, you’ve had a great life. There’s nothing I regret about how we’ve led our life for the last seven years. Everything dies, including my sweet boy. So, we’re going to keep on keepin’ on and living this little life of ours until such a time he isn’t enjoying his world.

We came home from the vets, I gave him his antibiotics (for his ears), fed everyone, snagged a beer, and curled up on the futon with him where we all snuggled until this morning.
______________

I have a good life with a strong community of loved ones. I am grateful and feel blessed to have this grand little life.

I am heading outside now to paint the side of the neighbor’s garage (the one that faces my side yard) and then, who knows? May head over to Cate’s with the pups in tow to help her in her garden. I had a really intense dream about the Pomfret hallway murals that I drew and that Einah and her roommates/friends painted. In the dream, I was contacted to go back there and perform restoration on them. I’ve been wanting to paint a mural on the neighbor’s garage and now, I am inspired by the Pomfret murals. I think I still have some sketches and I *think* I may have some photographs somewhere… here’s hoping. Either way, my memory of them, that time in my life, is perhaps more inspiring to me than the *actual* murals. I’m beginning to hatch ideas in my head—story mural of where I have been… all that wandering to reach home… Wildlands…this little piece of land where plants thrive and creatures roam, in and out under the Sacramento skies.

Love to all.

June 11, 2010

Huckleberry Hatch. More on this soon…

June 15, 2010

Trading Forever. Hmmm, there’s a heavy thought. Thing is, I’m not sure what I’d want to trade, if anything, to receive “forever,” in whatever incarnation that could come. I wonder what that could mean about myself. Sitting back, I think it means, I’m content. I may not have this or that, but I have myself, this community supporting me. I pause. Yes, this is enough.

So, what am I prattling about? I signed up for the Sketchbook Project and I chose for my sketchbook’s theme trading forever. My mind reels… so many possibilities… and the one that most folks may not go to first… there’s not anything I can think of right now that I’d be willing to forfeit for a shot at “forever.” I don’t want forever, I want the ebb and flow that comes with the day to day, these days to days. In a year, in five years, in thirty years… who knows what they will be, but at the core, it will be this. So, perhaps, I’m not willing to trade this moment for the more elusive. Which is odd; I am a dreamer… but I believe in the dreams I can create in my daily life, not those that are grasp at and never within reach. The world is here, in reach… I can’t undo and change…I diverged from this path or that path, explored, and those choices have led me here… so… I’d not this for anotherforever.

Interesting, I suppose that I chose the theme. I did. It intrigues me. The project involves me, a sketchbook, a theme, and a few months to fill it. Then, it goes on tour around the country until it arrives back at the Brooklyn Art Library where it will reside as part of their permanent collection. Exciting stuff. I’m encouraging as many people as possible to also participate in the project.

More information can be found over on the main page. If not listed under “recent posts” search for “sketchbook project.”

Cheers. I’m off to fall into the fall of 1862. Sherman is headed to Vicksburg with the Army of Tennessee and the Confederate army is mourning the lose of Johnston, headed to Nashville. Night. Sleep well. Dream better. xoxoxo

July 28, 2010

A quick catch up… ice cream, ice cream, a few cakes, batches of cookies, fish taco night for 12, and umm, more ice cream making. That has been July.  Two dog bites, two dogs, four vet visits…. tiring. All healing nicely. Sweetpea claims primary nursemaid of the year award. What can i say? she loves her dogs.

11 years in CA this month. sits back. ponders. looks around. ponders. nods. yes, this is good.

Feeling a bit underwhelmed of late, but that’s OK too. I’ll figure it out… life’s squishy details always work out. period.

And with that, the soft, slightly chilly breeze of the delta air streaming through the windows, i set off to finish a nasty work assignment… but first…

Sitting out back
Cat under the addy, Sky sniffing the air
I wasn’t surprised to hear the breaks of your bike
the quiet step, rap on the gate.

You out here?

Get up, walk to the gate,
unlock, and watch you roll your bike into the back yard
head to the wood pile, snag a few logs, place them on the fire,
head into the house, snag the bourbon bottle and two glasses.

oh, it’s been one of those nights?
We roll smokes, watch the fire,
and it’s a good hour before i get up to get water,
you reach out and snag my waist, like the cat does with my ankle
For me too.

And you get a kiss,
and I get a kiss.
Dropping down on the back patio,
water in hand, you looked different.

I thought about all those nights,
when you were the creature in my bed.
Now, you’re a man, sipping bourbon
on my back patio.
This works just fine too.

August 28, 2010

What a looooooooong few weeks. What a long weekend. eek.

I’ve had a few bouts of food poisoning in the few months; the most recent on Friday from a sushi joint in Concord. Friday afternoon/evening was pretty miserable. I promised two friends down the block that I’d help them build a new privacy fence (100′ long) in exchange for some electrical work here at Wildlands. The fence building took longer than we thought and so, had to cancel canning plans today with another friend to finish the privacy fence. All and all, an exhausting weekend. The upside, I think the hard labor worked the food poisoning out of my system faster than anticipated. Still queasy stomach aside, I know it could be worse.

The fence is done and I was able to fit in a nice long nap before running errands and hitting the dog park. I feel really lucky to have this community around me. We stayed at the park for well over an hour and a half; I was shocked that Sky had any energy after her two day long romp Nucchi (fence building neighbors dog). They were super cute together and actually PLAYED with one another—something they never do at the park.

Overall, looking forward to going back to work tomorrow so I can rest a bit. Sleep well. Dream better.

September 3, 2010

Can’t sleep. Sometimes people cross our paths and they are like magnets; you’re drawn to look at them, to smile at them. The world slows and milliseconds seem like minutes and sounds around you mute. Perhaps it’s just me. Laugh.

Today, sitting outside of a tire shop downtown, a man about my age walked up with an older gentleman. Without cause, I looked up, he looked over, and we stared. I went into the tire shop a few minutes later and found him inside. Over the span of just a few minutes, we did this a few times. As I walked outside and got into my Jeep, opened the sunroof and put my hair up, I turned, saw him stop talking to the older man, and he stared at me. I smiled. He smiled. I drove away. Hours later, I’m still thinking about this random path-cross and wondering how/why I ran into him and why I was compelled to stare and to smile, why I paid any attention at all.

For you see, when I am out and about, I say hello to people who cross my path, but I typically don’t want to truly engage them. I love people, but find that after long days of work strife, I simply want to stay within my little world and actually go out of my way not to make eye contact. This isn’t all the time, but simply when I’m out and about, taking time for myself. Crossing paths with this fellow today, it seemed as though we wanted to say something to each other. I felt a pull towards him—love that sort of energy. Sadly, I haven’t something that for a long time.  Ah, well. I need to go to bed; friends coming in the morning to pick figs. Then, going to pack up and head to the hills in the late afternoon for a lovely two nights away from Wildlands. It will be good to get away.

sleep well, dream better.

September 6, 2010

Home from a weekend up in the foothills. A friend owns 22 acres along the Cosumnes north fork. We played in the creek and even Siddhartha got in the water. At one point, he ran along a steep rock outcropping (which was too steep for human) and Miles (my friends’ son) said it was Matrix Siddhartha. hahahaha. Indeed.

Being Siddhartha, he didn’t sleep well Saturday night, choosing to sit erect at the front tent window and whimper. As such, I did not sleep well. Sunday night, after hours of playing at the river and getting to meet chickens, we all slept better. Sky showed great interest in the chickens. I kept her leashed and after awhile, she turned her back on them, laid down, and paid more attention to what was going on inside the house than behind her.

Slept well under the stars last night and had lovely, but odd dreams.  Came home this afternoon and Sweetpea set to bathing the dogs after I’d bathed them. Periodically, she would pause, mid-lick, and look at me— you took them into the wild again, didn’t you? They smell wild.

Now, after my bath, she is curled up, looking very tired indeed.

Okay, time for bed–up and out at 4.30 at. yikes.

September 20, 2010

I’m spent and will be heading to bed here in a few minutes. I’ll blog about the last 72 hours tomorrow, but here’s the lightening fast recap

-converted the laundry room into a pantry, got it painted, and stocked it
-dog sat (two chihuahuas); visited them three times in 20 hours. Long story.
-purchased and moved a 1950s cigarette machine
-hired a handyman to take two trips to the dump, thus emptying the house of old (unusable) furniture the backyard of debris
-repaired a damaged wall in the kitchen and prepped it for conversion into a chalkboard
-did R&D for upcoming special orders and ordered 22 new cookie cutters online. I cannot wait for them to arrive!!

and then, the lovely aspect—spent time (albeit brief for a few of them! catch up soon!!) with 9 friends, ran the dogs everyday, and took a break on Saturday afternoon to have a two-hour phone call with a beloved Gem who lives cross country. We’ve arranged to have weekly phone calls. How cute/awesome/great is that?

October 5, 2010

It’s late and I’m heading to bed. I’ve had a series of lucid dreamscapes and look forward to exploring a bit more. Hatch was there with a scratchy beard..

In real world news, the backyard is coming along beautifully. Look for a post this weekend. Sleep well. Dream better.

October 14, 2010

Sometimes, I just want to hang my head and cry. It’s Autumn and I’m tired; I’m sure it will pass. The yard is nearly done, just a few more touches here and there… hopefully I can call it officially done this weekend….

October 28, 2010

It’s late, getting onto the middle of the night, and I am wide awake courtesy of Sky Harbor who woke me up a bit ago, howling in her sleep. Unable to fall back asleep, I got up and wandered around. The lights Nick hung earlier and the spider webs Angela so artfully spread around the yard and back porch look amazing. The night air has turned chilly, and the air smells like fall—a bit of residual fireplace smoke, leaves, and a crispness that warms my heart but freezes my toes.

Siddhartha joined me in the media room when I settled down here and he wasn’t that thrilled when I stuck those said cold toes under him. He lifted his head, gave me the look every male has ever given me when I’ve done the same thing, and then, resigned, laid his head back down and sighed. This ritual of ours makes me laugh outright. He ignored my laughter and pretends to be asleep. Now, he is asleep. Baby girl (Sky Harbor) is now awake and on the prowl for pets and perhaps a toy or a bone she left lying about earlier.

Sweetpea is snuggled so close to me that it’s a wonder I can still type.

This is so close to bliss, even if I have to get up a few hours from now and drive to Livermore and give a training for DWR. It’s bliss because by definition, bliss does not last forever. I think of my Sketchbook project—trading forever. I would, indeed, trade much to have this time last forever, or at least to slow a bit. The thought of not always having him (and Pea) nearly stops my heart. So, I love them while they are here. Isn’t that how we all should love? In the moment, hoping for tomorrow, but not making any assumptions.

I’ve been intermittently sick all week and plan on taking a sick day on Friday. The Halloween party is Saturday night, rain is forecast, and I haven’t finished decorating the house/my owl costume/food prep, though all of these items are well over 70% done. The bathroom is clean and so is the fridge. Those of you who know me well know I despise cleaning these, and so, having them out-of-the-way, ah, that’s half the battle.

Neal will come over on Saturday morning, work on his costume while I bake, and then, we’ll install a new toilet (the old one has been leaking and needs replaced) and then do a bit more decorating around the homestead.

I am excited for the party but also very tired. The backyard renovation is not complete, though almost nearly, but work slowed due to sheer exhaustion. I doubt anyone coming over will even notice that it isn’t “complete” but will instead ooh and awe over the transformation. Well, at least that is my hope and the few who have previewed it lead me to believe this will be the case.

ah, Sky chewing on a bone. Oh, and she just brought me a sock. Err, thanks, Harbor.

I’m thinking of Snyder and Hatch and wondering, will this be the fall you arrive? There’s a desire without need or desperation. I dreamed of walking down a CP sidewalk, dogs alongside, leaves swashing down and over and under my feet. I was wearing an old beloved pair of periwinkle Converse low tops while he walked along side me wearing an even older pair of brown leather shoes or boots.  He loosely held Siddy’s leash and I was tugged along by Harbor until the corner, by the park, when he reached out and snagged my hand from behind, slowing both Sky and I with a soft, but firm touch.

I love fall in CP. I love everything about it. I love my friends. I love my community. I love how the slight moisture in the air makes my baby fine hair all wispy and tangly. I love that tomorrow I am carving pumpkins with friends two blocks from my house. I love that the night after, I’m making sushi with a friend to celebrate her birthday—again three blocks away— and then, on Saturday, the party, where the majority of the guests live within 10 blocks of Wildlands.

Okay. It’s well beyond witching hour. Sleep well. Dream better.

November 15, 2010

oh holy bejeeezus I need to remember to update. ha!

Well, let’s see… I didn’t get my costume finished but got enough done that most folks could figure out that I was a great horned owl. Just about 50 people crammed into Wildlands’ house and back yarden. Neal came over in the morning and helped with last minute details including installing a new toilet! yay. If you don’t know Neal, you should. Everyone should be as lucky as I to have a friend like him. He’s awesome. AND he is my local egg source!

I”ve been working on bakery gigs (lots of R&D) and basically attempting to stay on the straight and narrow at work while striking a better life/work balance. This is good.  I also helped Bee and Colin’s privacy fence building (out of old doors). Friends were given a door to paint— I finished mine yesterday after initially working on it a few weeks ago. It looks great and they seem pleased.

As we move into the holiday season, I anticipate more fun evenings with friends here at Wildlands and at large.  Okay. Onward. Best wishes.

November 16, 2010

A friend came over this evening and took pictures as I tried a new recipe—glazed ginger lemon bars. We chatted and laughed and had a good time. After she’d left, I posted an update to FB, a neighbor friend a few blocks away commented, and moments later, I found myself biking over to her place to drop off a few bars. I made a little package out of wax paper.  I knocked quietly and smiled when she came to the door in a cute pair of pjs. I got back on my bike with a big smile on my face— i love norcal in fall. I love the slightly foggy but oddly crisp night air, and most of all, i love the night sky. There before me was Orion, shining bright. I got back on my bike and peddled the four blocks home, let myself into the back gate, and smiled broadly again when my new backyard greeted me.

Life is good because of these small vignettes, strung together through time.

November 27, 2010

It’s a cold, rainy night in sacto. Has a friend over to watch movies and will be heading to bed to read for awhile as soon as I finish up.

A few thoughts before I head to bed. It’s been a long week of pie and cheesecake making—16 pies donated to Loaves and Fishes (I had the help of three friends—so wonderful of them to help) and then, about that many pre-orders for Thanksgiving. I feel thankful for my life and well, the support in my baking gigs.

What’s been on my mind— two friends have been attemping to adopt for awhile and on Monday, we received news that they had been given a little girl in a foster-adoption situation. Yes, good things do happen to good people. They invited me over that evening and I will admit to crying out of sheer joy for them. We discussed revised Thanksgiving plan (they host every year) and I left in very high spirits. On Wednesday, we received an email that the county of her  birth had made a mistake and that the infant would need to be given to her sibling’s adoptive parents. In the email, my friend apologized for getting us excited. I cried. I wanted to break something. I can’t imagine what my friends are feeling. How could this happen to my friends? They are great people. This is NOT FAIR. But yet, life isn’t fair, blahblah. So, I went to Thanksgiving at their house and I can only speak for myself, but i felt like there was a hole in a warm home that until a few days before had wanted/been prepared for a child, but did not feel less because there wasn’t a child present. I don’t know how they pulled it off. It was a beautiful meal, a good day, and I am honored to be their friend. I marvel at their marriage, their obvious love for each other.

Soft smile. Life is mostly an equilbrium, balanced by each of us between a series of mundane made magical and painful made beautiful. I’ll continue to do what I do, love my little world filled with friends, pets, and beautiful foggy cold Sacramento nights. sleep well. dream better.

December 2, 2010

Today’s thoughts are random, but in the forefront of my mind:

1. I love that it is “snowing” on my blog. I forgot I’d set that little feature up to begin on Dec. 1 of each year. LOVE IT.

2. I love that my Sacto friends rarely read my blog. I am not being facetious. Truly.

3. I love that it is the 2nd of December and I’ve ordered Christmas cards and finished 95% of my shopping ALREADY.

4. I love that on Saturday I’m going to the cigar shop on Saturday and decorating the place with Mark. It’s only taken 4 years of cajoling and teasing, but there ya have it. That taxidermy deer is so wearing a santa claus hat! hahaha

I love that everything I think of right now has NOTHING to do with work.

It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas. YAY!

January 12, 2011

One of the things  love most out Calfornia is the sunshine. Over the last few weeks, there’s been very little of it, but it should be noted, nearly every day, for at least a few minutes, the sun shines making for lovely mid-day walks or sunset dog runs at the park. Today, the temperature is chilly but the sun’s shining and I’m enjoying it immensely. SMUD’s here removing the big Sycamore tree (at my request).

January 16 2011

Had that dream again last night.
Second time in a week.
Old upright piano
You sitting next to me

pounding out hillbilly tunes from my childhood,
new to you and old to me
our friends here , there starts the mandolin and it
joins the twinkly lights…

Foggy Sacramento nights, warm fire.
If I get the piano, will you come
or will you be bringing it home with you?

January 18, 2011
Been listening to bluegrass/appalachia all day; the mandoln and banjo warmed me up as much as it put me in a comptemplative mood. Worked on the Cornflower cake and went to the park (no big surprise there). A friend dropped by to loan me a wedge (to split firewood) and his demonstration made me laugh. I didn’t get the  cake done but I will finish it tomorrrow after work. A good weekend. Had a long chat with a fellow Gemini—we share the same birthday—we tossed about the idea of sharing our birthday together this year. THAT would be lovely indeed. We’ll see…okay. Off to bed. Too tired to say more. Sleep well. Dream better.

February 15, 2011

sometimes being a good friend isn’t ‘good enough.’ Sometimes I can’t help someone and it pains me. I want to help. But sometimes, I just have to sit back and let them work it through. Ugh.

March 12, 2011
I wrote the last entry after a conversation with a friend up in Seattle. I refer to him on the blog as Stitches. He was dealing with a housing situation and flat out said he’d talk to me once he’d resolved it. Fair enough. Sometimes each of us has to figure out our issues solo. He’d flat out said he didn’t want my help. I like helping my loved ones and well, I’m pretty good at problem solving. What bothered me the most—his implication that I didn’t “get it.” I stepped out and off and waited for him to re-appear—hopefully, in a better state.   Earlier this week he did.

He said he’d be swinging through Sacramento on his way to the bay area. He’d be flying in late at night and rather than have a friend pick him up who lives up the hill, I could and spend a few hours with him before he and his friend headed to the bay area the next morning. All fine. What made me twitch—he made a statement like “that’s all he can manage to do right now.” The qualifer pretty much irked me and made me less excited to see him. A day or so later, he messaged me on FB chat. Long story short,  he proclaimed himself a “prick” and kept the slams coming. I lost my patience. The rest of the week, I stewed on it. I am not adverse to conflict-resolution—sometimes, you gotta take the high road, open a dialogue, and apologize. His friendship means a lot to me, so I wanted to hit it straight-on and talk it through. My attempts were unsuccessful. He wouldn’t budge/offer/accept an opportunity to talk. We ended up FB chatting again last night and I was stunned by his high-handed and rather zen artic stance. What is it with these men my age who claim to be chill? Is “chill” another word for “avoids conflict” and “unable to communicate like a grown up?”

I wanted to reach an understanding. I wanted us to smooth over the rough patch. I told him I needed to work it through or I was calling it quits and walking away. He chose silence. Fair enough. Friends have conflicts, hit rough patches—it’s the nature of all relationships. Some you want to repair and others, you just dont (for whatever reason).  While I’m disappointed in his chosen path, I choose to accept it and move on. In some ways, I’m relieved—life is good here in Sacto and I am dividing my attention between the gardens, friends, the bakery, and work. That’s enough. I know the impact of his choice hasn’t hit me yet. When It does, I’m sure I’ll return to wondering why we couldn’t work it through. I say to future self: change what you can but accept people for who they are—-if they aren’t willing to be in your present, smile, think of them fondly and move on.

March 13, 2011 Daylight Savings
Future self, recall tonight— slight chill, warmed by great friends, music played around a fire on N street, stars in the sky. Charmed life, indeed. I am blessed. Grateful for these people who folded me into this town and who now nod to me and look for contribution with a smile, a laugh. I love each of you. Such simplicity. Sleep well. Dream better. xo

March 31, 2011
It’s quite late Wednesday evening and I’ve got an early morning. The windows are all open, fans going—it will be good sleeping, if I can get to bed. I’m awake with the scent of campfire on me—another Wednesday dinner night here. I am grateful for my friends, this little life.

And yet, every now and again, I stop and give myself a moment to recognize who isn’t here, who isn’t sleeping in the other room, who doesn’t read (or know about) this blog. Yes, I mean you, kiwi. While I’ve moved forward, I haven’t moved on. I never thought I was that sort of woman, but it appears that I am (very much so). To quote Austen’s Anne Elliott, “women love longest, when all hope is lost.” I put this out to the universe mostly because I was cleaning up the kitchen, talking to Sky and I swore I heard him say, “ah, honey” in that soft tone. Starring out the kitchen window, I felt it all wash over me again. I sat down in the dark of the media room and shuffled through a few songs until I found what i was looking for… Allison Krauss’ “crazy faith”

…am I a fool for hanging on?…

perhaps.

I began this blog four years ago, mostly to document why I stay here, or rather to give me reason to go forward without you. In quiet moments, I wonder…

I turned and looked at the fridge, I wanted to see the picture of you out back by the fire pit. Long frame standing there, smiling. The picture is gone—I want to tear the house apart to find it but write this instead. I’ll find it, no doubt, and the sight of you will strike every raw nerve left in me and I’ll laugh or cry. I am grateful to have been loved by a man so kind and lovely. I doubt I would trade the memory of your love for food or peace. Edna would be proud. ha. Honey, kiwi…

I love you in different ways. I love you like I love this house. You’re not coming back. I know. I love you anyhow. xo

April 25, 2011
Ugh—what a long week and it’s only the wee hours of Tuesday. I’m off to Denver on Thursday for the conference where I will be presenting the paper and giving a presentation. The PPT isn’t finished yet and i’m feeling anxious. I  got little done over the weekend because I felt like crap and today was a real whopper for work and in life. Maybe i’m just looking at it all upside down. I’m headed to bed and am hopeful that I’ll have a decent rest and wake up ready to conquer the world. Yes, let’s try that outlook on…

A. came over tonight and she’s a mess. Heartbreak will do that to ya. Poor woman. Randomly, two searches lead to my blog today — the kiwi’s name 2011 and with wovensunshine.  I doubt it was the kiwi, but if it was, ah, well, I look above to the March 31 entry—I’ve written all I had to say. Soft smile.

Okay. My toes are cold and it’s late…. need some rest before I wake up and conquer the world. sleep well. dream better. xo

April 27, 2011
Didn’t get the PPT done, but man, i felt like I kicked butt, putting out fires and coming to the rescue all day. Unfortunately, the work went unnoticed— i’m a master fire-put-outer, why praise that? ha. Got a great night’s rest, dreamt of Hatch and the lingering feelings from that dream remain with me. Thanks for coming, Hatch. I feel more like myself after you’ve dropped in to a dream. I tossed frisbees for Sky at the park and chased Siddhartha around. It was dog park filled with friends and favorite pups—windy, sunny perfection. I’m off to curl up with the black beasts and finish the PPT tomorrow. Yes. Really. Sleep well. Dream better.

May 2, 2011

After staying up all night,  I flew out to Denver Thursday morning. I tried to sleep on the plane but arrived still near-sleepless and on edge. I had a good meal (Sheppard’s pie) at a lovely little Irish pub, then went back to the hotel (downtown Sheridon—very nice place!), took a warm bath and went to bed. I woke up around 3 am, watched the royal wedding (no haters), and finished my presentation. At 1 pm, after practicing for a while with my client, we gave the presentation to a very attentive group that asked heavy-hitting questions. A grand success.  Afterwards, we went to a Rockies’ game, it snowed on us, and I bailed by the end of the 6th inning. SNOW?! ugh.

I arrived home before noon on Saturday and began rushing about, getting ready for the Lootnanny—which was a blast! Thanks to everyone who came out. Yesterday, I slept nearly all day, enjoyed being home with the furries.

MOre soon. JIG

May 6, 2011
Home after a long sun-kissed day at Los Vaqueros and then over at the farm. I stopped there on my way home because I just needed to spend some time with eggman and all the native plants. Great way to top off a long week. All good, just LONG.

Dreamed about Hatch and the stand-up pian0 twice this past week; Katie told me on Tuesday night—she may have a lead on a stand up. YAHOOOOOO. Eggman is crazy enough to volunteer to help move it. I think we’ll need a whole team. ha!

Anyway, got a few orders to fill tonight then going to garden and batik and chillax all weekend.  I picked up about 18 native plants today; gotta get them in the ground and work on the veggie garden some more!! Maybe be social on Sunday for a few brunches. We’ll see.

Woke up this morning before sunrise, drove south and watched a big sky day open up before me— I am blessed, no doubt. If i can get the poison oak healed up on my feet, I think I’ll volunteer some dig time to the archaeology crew early next week—gawd knows I’d love to forget some of my PM responsibilities and just dig or sift. 🙂

Strong thoughts of BJ these past few days, silly woman that I am. Not really anything to add from the 3/31 entry. My uncle’s ill in OH and I wish I could be back there, but just no way right now. Ordered flowers for Mother’s day… don’t forget mother’s day folks. xo

May 7, 2011

Sometimes a window opens and an old friend climbs through.
Received a comment on the blog tonight (below). My heart jumped—

J

JIG
JDL
In
SF

I didn’t know ten letters could stop me in my tracks. JDL kept me from drowning after Ben broke things off. Most notably, he holds the special spot of knowing (mostly intuitively) me mind, heart, and soul, without ever having fucked me. I haven’t seen him since college, though he’s known to come and go from my life, so erratically, it’s caused me great pain over the years. He once asked me to marry him and then rescinded the offer before I had time to gather my wits. That sort of thing. We did the dance for many years, just never had right time/place align. He’s married now, living back east. It would be good to see him. Nothing more. I’ve sent him an email telling him to call. We’ll see

It’s amazing sleeping weather—soft cool Delta breeze, windows open, black beasts and furry cat snuggled down. Yes, sleep well, dream better.

PS: received an email from him this morning stating he was solid booked for his west coast trip and to have a good day. Made me laugh outloud. It’s Mother’s day and I’m off to work in the gardens while a friend keeps me company. I had a few brunches to attend, but need to spend some time here at home. Home.

May 8, 2011
Shiver. Chilly night in Sacto after an overcast day until late afternoon sunshine. Worked in the backyard all day and finally got the rest of the pavers in AND some clean up done. Thankfully, a few friends dropped in on me and they provided moral support as  I laid pavers and took a breather. The backyard renovation is nearly done and I’m finally beginning to feel that the end is in sight—for six years I didn’t know how to solve the problem that was the backyard and then, well, several months feeling overwhelmed as the reno began. There were a lot of firsts, just proving to myself—one can achieve their goal if they plan ahead, remain flexible, and be willing to put in the work. YAY. Phew. I’ll be blogging about it…as soon as I can call it “done.”

May 27, 2011

My birthday was Monday and suffice to say, the weekend prior and the day of was among the best celebrations I’ve had. Last year’s party was a bit overwhelming, so this year I spent time with the people who mean the most to me here in Sacto, relaxed, played at the river, and had two dinner parties. A thought struck me, as I grow older, it’s not what I receive on my birthday, but what I already have—a strong community who love and support me, filling my life and Wildlands with abundant positive vibes. I am very thankful indeed. Warm fuzzy. Warm fuzzy.

June 14, 2011
Perhaps if I’d reel in my socializin’, I’d have more time for journal upkeep and blogging. Ponders. Naaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Been having a lot of fun recently with friends. It’s a wide group and often, I come home from a long day, head to the dog park, then weary, I settle in to a quiet evening at home when there’s a knock knock at the door. Sky lets out a bark or two, then a few yips—her signal that it’s a friend. Even when it’s my first inclination to be cranky, I find myself revived and re-inspired by these drop-in visits. Want to go wander the neigbhorhood with the pups? Make dinner? Go get dinner? Coffee? Strum guitars? Yes to all. I go to bed relaxed, mind cleared, and content.

When it’s not drop-in visitors, it’s BBQs, live music events, and of course, the monthly 2nd Sat bonfire at Miller’s. Memorial Day was wild— a gathering (or two) every day. I went back to work to get a break. Grin.

I’ve been attemting to get a few things done in the back—- Nick fixed the lights and Neal cut down the plum trees. I need to get a few bids for a new back fence. Found more flagstone and need to get that laid down and covers planted… paint the deck, sand/re-seal the table, tear down/rebuild the stairs…then call it done (I hope). Fingers crossed.

Everything’s growing like mad in the front and back… soon to be considered out-of-control. Ha!

Okay. Enough for now. I’ve got to go find a new tuner and then pick up dinner supplies—and then, off to the wilds of Neal’s backyard for continued digging. xo

July 4, 2011

Ah, Independence day. I just got back from running the dogs at the farm—i love going out there when Neal has a work day. I pushed Siddy into the pond (much to his dismay) and Sky needed no encouragement whatsoever. Meh. It’s 100 degrees— they’re black dogs and needed a cool off.

Six years ago, Ben was here from New Zealand. We were paddling around Lake Tahoe and then of to explore SF. This super hot weather has me thinking of him. Efren came by last weekend and as I sat across from him, listening to him, I was reminded– the man I miss most from my past isn’t E but Ben. Which is odd, i suppose, as I was with E longer.

Happy 4th of July all. xo

July 11, 2011

Had a great weekend—went to Reno for thrifting opts with a friend on Saturday. Stopped on the way back to dip our toes in the Truckee river and later, Donner Lake. Donner’s a stunning place—

In other news, just feel bummed out and lacking my usual rosy attitude. If there was a time I needed Hatch, it’d be now.

Okay, off to get ready for my first printmaking class— attending with a friend over at the UC Davis craft center… I’ll keep ya posted.

July 12, 2011

Sometimes you fall down and soetimes you fall up. Not being cryptic, really. I had a long day yesterday—just draining. I didn’t sleep well. I had a quick call with MM this morning and headed off to work, wondering if I’d be able to put on a happy face at tonight’s potluck for the lovely E’s bday celebration.

So, dealt with work and drove home through the Altamont and up the 5 with the Black Keys blaring. I stopped by Tower Cigar, got a bit of comfort from Mark, then picked up wonton makings. Rushed home, fed the dogs 1 lb of raw lamb (rushing about I opened the lamb, not the turkey) and so, they got an extra special dinner treat. They now think I’m a rockstar. Ha.

I whipped up several dozen lamb and turkey wontons (see tonight’s recipe post) and made it to the potluck only 40 minutes late. I was going to drop off items and jet. I wasn’t feeling social. Yet, surrounded by these people who love me, I relaxed, had a few drinks, and enjoyed the lovely Sacramento night. I am deeply comforted by this little life.

I came home warm and fuzzy and now am thinking about heading out for a night of camping on saturday with the group. We could all use a night away near water. Yes, ala ESVM, “i have need of water near.”

Okay. Sleep well. Dream better.

July 20, 2011

The only light shining through Wildlands’ windows comes from the laptop screen. I’ve got Joni’s Miles of Aisles playing on the new turntable. My gawd, how it strokes every part of my being. I remember that time you told me, ‘love is touching souls.’ I could drink.a.case.of.you.darlin’ and I’d still be on my feet… “

I’m going to turn out even this light now and drift back and forth through time, listening to music, laying on my back, knees bent, feet flat, arms stretched out on the floor… sleep well, dream better.

July 28, 2011

It’s a long story, so I’ll skip that and just get to the heart of it. I have a new lover who has re-inspired me. Note, not relationship. I don’t really think I’m tame enough for a relationship and honestly, I gave up those dreams when BJ left. We’ve been meetng up for a few months now. Haven’t felt like saying anything until now.

Tonight, I sit blissfully unaware of the world outside, playing albums, and shimmering in this night. Good times…at peace. More sinful than lighting candles, but meh, I’m okay with that. Ha. I’ve lit enough candles…for now.

I was thinking about something Sheri said years ago and then, laying back, feet on floor, knees bent, I felt the vibrations from the speakers… yes, I have always been a storm. I embrace that. BJ, I turned a corner tonight. I know you’re never coming back. Doesn’t mean I love you any less, truly, but there’s no reason to hang on and not say goodbye. Enough time has passed without you. Goodbye, my love—I love you from here to there, until the end of time.

Sleep well, dream better. I’m turning my attention to James’ Laid album, then a bit of Live Rust, I think.

August 15, 2011

Isn’t it funny how EVERYTHING can change while nothing has outwardly changed? Since I last posted here, so much has been going on—I feel different. The world seems brighter. So.Much.Has.Changed. Been working on the house, helping friends work on theirs, running about town with the pups, and in general, getting so fucking excited for Fall to get here. Soon…

I re-connected with a friend tonight and it was good to hear his voice. It shocked us both to realize it’s been two years. Whoa. Two years…how did that happen? Time flies when you love the life you’re livin’…

Sleep well. dream better.

October 18, 2011

Holy cow, Batman! I haven’t updated my journal for TWO months. Damn. Hmmm. Well. Let’s see, had a few bumps in the road around the house and the repercussions of those have led to more than a few sleepless nights, but I’m finally settling back in to normalcy. Due to the amazing assistance of friends, I might add.

On a more positive note, Sarah helped me paint the living room (yes, finally, peanut gallery) and it’s no longer eight different shades of blue. I picked up new pillows and dark navy blue velvet curtains. Sarah “staged” the bookcases and gave me a chandelier lamp that didn’t work at her place but works great at mine.

I still have the glass doors to repaint and rehang on the shelves, but otherwise things are looking great. My most excellent partner in crime, Ms. Sarah, is perched on the sofa.

In the last two months, Neal and I completed the backyard archaeology project and now i’m onto pottery refits and bottle research, sorting, and cleaning.

I’m getting ready for the annual Wildlands’ Halloween costume party. It’s a lot of work BUT I am really looking forward to it.

See…here’s a pic of me… all is well.  I’ll write more soon. Suffice to say, it’s fall and I love fall. The pups and I are busy wandering about, playing with friends, and hanging outback around the plank table or firepit. Fat cat is good too. Super snuggly recently…

xo jigs

October 24, 2011

Sometimes, time moves so fast.
It’s fall and I am a bit restless and feeling out of sorts. For the first time in a very long time, I am missing the east coast’s fall and wondering about my life here in CA. Things haven’t felt right for a few weeks and I’m struggling a bit… I guess the last week in particular. Ah well. Time moves forward. All is well, just a bit lost. That will pass, no doubt.

October 5, 2015
Tonight at the park, I stood there bantering with a woman I don’t much like, keeping the peace for the dog group, and having a very distinct thought of you. Wishing you’d step out from behind the tree in the shadows and approach us with Siddhartha in tow, put your arms around me and remind me, and more importantly them, that it was time we wandered home. I stood there in the darkness after other dog owners left, looking up at that big oak tree and fighting back the sense of loss and sadness. You are gone and you’re never coming back. I know this; yet on fall nights like this one, your name seems to come across on the wind and I think for a second, anything could be possible…but that. In general, I am not sad and I have no regrets for my life. However, moments like tonight make me think about selling the house and packing the Jeep and going… away from memories and dreams and back into sunrise mornings and long, drawn out sunsets against endless skies.

Here on the Frontier
There are falling leaves.
Although all my neighbors are Barbarians,
And You, You are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups upon my table.
Anon, Tang Dynasty

I miss you. JIGs

__________________
12.1.16

Siddhartha is gone; since late September. Just me and Sky now. I didn’t have the heart to write it here until now. 15 years is a long time to have a pup and I am grateful he stayed so long with me. I miss my boy.

_______________

2.9.17

In my first fall in CA, I lost one of my closest HS friends to cancer. Two years later, I lost my grandfather. They are buried, facing each other, about 50 feet apart in the graveyard in Kent, Ohio. Last night I dreamed my friend was coming up my front walk; I threw open the front door and ran down the stairs into an amazing hug that went on forever. He apologized for having been gone so long and handed me a bouquet of daisies from my grandfather. I turned to open the front door and turned back and he was gone. When I woke up, I was humming this song. This has been on my mind all day. I keep thinking I smell his soap. Pure joy for seeing him again and deep sadness because he is gone. I think the rain is getting to me; I am thankful for music

______________________

2.18.17

I want to scream at the top of my lungs
There is no yelling.
I take the keys from the hook,
square my shoulders
and head out.
I climb into the Jeep,
open the sun roof, turn on music
and drive away
Glancing in the mirror, I look back
see me sitting there
head against the steering wheel
no joy left to be mustered.
I’d ask you to come back home
but those days have long gone.
There comes a point in life when we’re settled or dead.
we aren’t moving, we aren’t hopping planes and crossing oceans
I crawl into bed and dream of what was
and what I left behind.
I think of all the years…
I am not sad.
Not really.
I am disappointed that we were never brave, enough
And now there’s no going back, no making up for lost time.
I am sad for that.
I get up, make coffee, feed the animals and smile.
If you chose to live your life without me at least I had this.
I look around at the old house
in need of repair.
At least I had this, even if
it was without you.
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