Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Porch work

Every day is a work day around my house. I can't remember the last time, outside of the time when my kids were here in July and we took a day trip into the city, that I took a day off. Feels like weeks of labor under my belt, but I am not complaining as it shows. Every day is new project done and out of the way and that is a good feeling, no doubt about it.

I keep a "things to do" list going in the cottage, hit it first thing in the morning after I get my coffee water going. Check off things that I hit the day before that I might have missed, add few new items, strike others from the list. It would be daunting to try to remember all the tasks to get done if I didn't have this system going every day. Years ago, when I was in the navy, I would carry around a small spiral bound notebook in my pocket. Kept me abreast of the day's duties, somewhat like "quarters" did for the division in the morning. We all need to keep a list handy just to help keep us abreast of the day's activities. My list told me that today had an "about time" item on it. I had to finish the painting the porch railing. The weather was right and the mood for the job was perfect.

Stood outside and knocked out the job as the rest of Port Orchard went downtown to lend a hand to painting the town, well, if not red, at least other nifty shades. I figured to make PO prettier one house at a time, even if that house was mine. Took care of lot's of other things, too. Oiled cabinets, painted the basement door, unloaded a bookcase. Prepped supper. Stuff got done.

While I was on that porch I was reminded of the summer I took off almost seven years ago. Took more than a summer off, spent six months working on the house, building up a business, goofing, searching for work. Landed a job right here in the county, which was a different place altogether different than where we had expected to land at the end of that six months. I learned a valuable lesson that summer, far more valuable than the ones that helped me build a trellis, a shower stall, slap up dry wall and build a porch. I learned that you should always expect the unexpected. Learn to appreciate what you have in front of you, and more, don't bet on the bird in the bush, take the one in the hand anytime. But also to watch that bird, as they can bite.

So, I took on that porch job today and did all but paint the door trim. Wasn't on the list and so it didn't count. But you can bet it will be on the list tomorrow morning. One more thing to brighten up this little house of mine. One more thing that will help to put the ghosts to rest. One more thing that help me get a bit closer to my children.

Check off that porch railing paint assignment. On to other things.


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