Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kind Evening

I tried to post last night but blogger was not cooperating. So I will try again tonight, although by now the lyrical momment has passed.

As I drove home yesterday, I saw the sun set on a pillowy layer of fog. It was illuminating the sky in ambers, ochres, and red and was quite lovely. High above some finer clouds seem to be ondulating like ocean waves, pushed by the high winds. It was spectacular. I keep thinking that I should carry a camera with me at all times as when I drive throught the countryside I find all kinds of beauty. I also often wish that I could capture my thoughts. I would have a very nice short story from my musings. Unfortunately, on most days I return home to the tedium of my life, and soon extinguish the inspiration that a momment of peace created as I traveled through our small county, filled with golden hills, green tuffets, and wildlife.

I once had a Environmental Psychology professor who stated that naTure is very random, and almost bleak. He disputed that photographs such as Ansel Adams' work did not represent nature adequately. To illustrate his point, he used a camera, headed for the local hills and pointed the camera to various cardinal points, determined by a randomized computer program. The resulting photographs were boring and bland, only focusing on the patch of grass in front of them. From this he derived that photographers who find bright flowers, tiny bird wings and other wonders in the world were misrepresenting nature as they focused only on small parts of the environment. I so completely disagree with his argument, because the human eye does not wander randomly through our surrounding, rather it selects precise parts of the environment to focus on and examine, and derive emotions from. One person will perceive the exact shade of blue in the sky, another the grayness of the road ahead. Who as the more accurate perception of their surrounding? Each does according to themselves. As I drive through my area, I find flowers on the side of the road, whisps of clouds that the golden rays of the sun are still caressing, a small bird perched on a wire, all of which a camera following computer pre-determined coordinates would miss.

Monday, July 24, 2006

And the excitement just begins

I have been hyper busy with all of the new house stuff lately and that leaves little time for blogging. Here is a pic of the new P'tit Manor.

It's nothing spectacular, but we are quite pleased. So, for fun this week-end, I blasted an ugly brick planter with a rotary hammer, it's a small jack-hammer. That was hard work, and left me definitely sore and panting!

Next on the demolition block is the ugly kitchen tile.
Complete with pink sink! The bathroom also has pink tiles, but they are so kitch they are cool. And some accent tiles have little turquoise seahorses on them. I will have to include a picture of those too.

Last Wednesday I went dancing to the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars. They were fantastic. It was packed and very enjoyable. Some friends were the opening act, and they did a very good job. It was a very pleasant evening.

Tomorrow I will get my orientation at the college as a new employee for the class I teach in the fall. It is coming quick and I am getting nervous. I don't know where I will get the time to fit in prepping for a class. Although a lot of the work is already done for me if I want to use some of the previous instructors notes. So it could be relatively painless.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The days are just packed

To quote one of my favorite authors, Bill Watterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes, the days have indeed been packed. Work continues to be trying as one of my latest recruit, who was finally getting it is moving to another program. (Maybe I repeat myself here). In addition, one person is going on vacation for a month and that means that other will have to monitor the families she works with while she is gone. Also most of the families we work with have been in crisis for the last couple of weeks, so indeed the days are packed.

The great news is that I no longer am the Chair of NASW! Yeah! After three long years of that, I was ready to move on. The new chair is a young woman who used to work with me and who is very nice and dedicated. That will be nice.

On the home buying front, we did sign our loan on Wednesday, and working in the field I work with, we are use to stating the elephant in the room and I realized just how much that culture does not transfer well to other social contexts. As we were signing a 30 year loan, it struck me that it is very unlikely that we will pay the whole thing back, as I am 50 and the hubby is 58. Thirty years from now I will be 80 and the hubby 88. Even in the best of situation, it is unlikely that we would still live there, paying our outrageous mortgage still. When I stated that fact the loan agent was very uncomfortable, even though I did say it in a joking kind of way. But most folks don't want to think or talk about death in our society. So it struck me as funny that her answer was "oh no, you are just kids" or some similar innanity.

I did get to play softball this week and I was a catcher for the first time. I did well as that but struck out every time I went at bat. Lack of practice. One of the stikes landed at my feet too, which I think was more of a bad call than anything.

I also purchased a capacity to e-mail the photos I take from my camera phone only to realize that the quality of the pictures is soo poor that it's clearly not worth it! Oh well, I can sent dorky pictures to others who have camera phones!

It is summer and the hills are now all yellow and brown. I love how they look. They seem like lovely brown velvet pillows that you would just want to roll in and feel the softness on your skin. Unfortunately they are mostly made of burrs and dried weeds which would not be so soft and cuddly.

With summer comes summer concerts everywhere and Friday nights in the plaza. I love getting out of work at 5 or 5:30 on Friday to go see whoever is playing and enjoy great music and seeing everyone in town. That is the great part of living in a small town, no matter where you go by yourself you are sure to meet someone you know and strike up a conversation. It is both reasurring and distressing. Should I get grossly innebriated, everyone would know, including my employer.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Le quatre Juillet!

I do love living in a small town. It gets particularly funny when there are some "big" events like the fourth of July. All of the town gathers down at the little park by the bay and is treated to several bad bands playing all kinds of old junk, the mayor, dressed as Uncle Sam making dorky announcements, kids performing in talents shows, and the grand finale of fireworks, lasting about 15 to 20 minutes, sent one at a time, to all american music piped over small speakers strategically placed throughout the park.

It's just fun to watch, especially if you come from some large town or city. You get to see all of the kids your child went to school with, and of course, the sun setting over the bay, which is simply beautiful. As usual, it was "colder than a well-digger's ass," an expression I borrowed from Tom Waitts, and no amount of blankets and jackets could keep the crowd warm. Several of which departed the moment the fireworks began, to my great amazement. Wasn't this the point of the show? I guess they just got too cold. The other amazing thing is that folks come over from the valley, as far as Fresno, a four hour drive away, to experience the Morro Bay Fourth of July. I barely make it and it is down the street!

It was fun though, dorkyness and all.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Not big on writing

Wow, I'm sure not big on writing these days. I have been rather exhausted despite the exitement at getting a new house and planning for the move. Work has been very challenging and we continue to be swamped. I have to replace one of the new folks who was just finally starting to "get" it. That is a true bummer. Now I have to start from square one. The other woman is still needing a lot of help, and now we all will have to take the families the woman who is leaving will leave behind. She is going to another program in the agency.

We had a great party on Saturday for our debrief from the music festival, people brought food and libations and some of us enjoyed themselves a little too much. Overall, I think folks had a good time. We took a small walk to the house to be, which is literally right around the corner and that was fun to show it off. Now we have to plan what we are going to do and what changes we will make to it. There is quite a bit of work, but I think it will be great. We have floors to refinish, a kitchen counter to redo, we need a new stove and dishwasher (I never lived in a house with one! Am I unamerican or what!) and of course some painting and gardening. All of that should be fun.

I feel uninspired and that I am writing some kind of drivel, but one cannot be amazing everyday. It is very foggy here and the stars are not being seen much. The sun peeks out during the day, but the fog returns at dusk and we have been known to call our town "Mordor Bay" after Tolkien.

Here is a shot of what a 9 year old, a 6 year old and a five year old do to a lovely Zen Garden, donated by no other than Spinsterwitch a few years ago, when there parents are busy enjoying themselves! Note the use of the drink decorations!