My Shit's Fucked Up
Well, not really. There is potential for things to be much, much worse than they are now. I just haven't processed this redundancy very well. It's my second nature to narrate a situation, as it's happening, for future use and I will mine this shit for something. As is, I've painted a bit but no where near where I would feel any degree of alacrity. As is, it's stopish-and-startish, in a loop. But I've developed a new passion for jewelery, always a good idea when you're on the dole. My new favorite things are old old drippy bead earrings, which I was delighted to learn are also known as Cha Cha earrings (although the term 'cha cha' seems adaptive to things overblown and well, oh shut up). On Christmas day, I had my best friends over and made them endure a Cha Cha earring show. Well, I made them dinner, too.
The chicken sisters are well. I finished the Autumn version of Ester (pictured above) and am now working on Winter, along with a commission from a friend who is doing me a favor with the business, but she keeps hiring me to do things I've moved on from. In this instance, a dog. Commissions are always a source of much shitfuckandpiss with me, which demonstrates to me that I was always meant to have a day job of some sort. The lack of a job, day or otherwise, is a big black hole that sucks my attention and renders me enert.
I also fell off that delicate little Queen Anne chair of a wagon, again, and drank back on all the weight I'd lost the previous months. I've now quit - a-fucking-gain - and am slowly deflating, as well as being able to stay up past nine o'clock. I let it slide, but that slide has been arrested.
Precious, dwindling time in the chicken workshop.

I've had little time to hole up in the studio this week, as I've been visiting various corporate possibilities, spewing words out of my word hole, sick of hearing the sound of my voice. Amazingly, I'm being called back for second, third, fourth, etc, interviews. Which is a job, all by itself. I come home from these exercises more knackered than at the end of any conventional workday. I have three days until I have to go in to Quintessential Seattle Company No. 1 for my fourth visit. Oh, just give me the fucking job, already.

Fallow Fall.
We've been having a very dry blue Fall here and its really throwing me off my game. It's not just that I feel I need to be out in all that blueness, which I do, but there are a lot of things that need to be done indoors, too (psssssssssssssthint: like painting!) and I stress about the need to do both and time is all tick tick tick and sometimes it just makes me spin my wheels. I do my best work when the weather outside is frightful.
I finished a lap quilt (well, actually two: the first one was ugly but functional but as soon as I saw it on my couch, I knew I'd never use it precisely because it was ugly). So, this new one is 50s barkcloth - a design attributed to Dali - with velvet, backed with fleece. I'm happy with it: it's a beautiful thing and very comforting. I just like a little sensuality in my comfort, is all. Like extra butter on the mashed potatoes.
I finally switched out my Spring quilt to my Fall one, even though our nights haven't been all that cold. This is fine with me, since Ester is going through her third fucking molt of the year. Apparently, the feather ratio readjustment makes her lose her equilibrium and she sways around like a drunk. I think it makes it hard to steer. Sometimes they'll all be running behind me and then they make a turn but Ester just keeps on going in the original direction. It's only slightly less distressing to watch for having seen it once before and then I thought she was dying. Even another chicken owner exclaimed "That chicken is sick!", but no, that's just Ester molting. Again.
I have a busy week with interviews. A necessary evil. At least I'm refreshed enough (not really) to dunk myself in some new fresh hell. I think now I understand on some new level the importance of work. At the end of the day, you've probably changed nothing, except how someone consumes something, but it is something about the hive, brushing up against it, even if it's just to have a bit of road rage getting there and back - its all an exchange of energy and you alway, ALWAYS, (and its always so easy to forget) wield the power to influence the positive and negative factors of that singular, everyday experience. So, wish me luck. Because I give one shitty interview.
Sun shining and big-ass pile of compost mocking
After three thousand trips to Home Depot to get bags of mulch, garden soil and compost, I finally broke down and had a yard of compost delivered to my driveway. The next day, a little ahead of schedule, monsoon season kicked in and now it's a big smelly mountain of mud. And now the sun is shining and if I listen carefully, I can hear that mound crooning to me softly to get off my expanding ass and get it distributed. The problem is, around this time, I completely lose my gardening boner, so I'll just have to shame myself into it at some point. This morning I've been busy making orange-cinnamon-nut rolls and that's pretty much the extent of my accomplishments. The quilt I started is muttering in the next room and a big painting of Beulah I started is whispering taunts, but I might just crack open Jonathan Franzen's new tome and go outside and read with the chickens.
Getting back in the saddle again

This has proven to be a difficult saddle to climb back into. In some ways it mirrors my real-life attempts at getting on to that thing on a horse's back. Pretty unsuccessful. I was always better at bare backing.....

It's been an odd couple of months. My last day of employment was June 30th and then six foggy weeks of waiting for Lulu's condition to deteriorate. Her final days were filled with her favorite (pricey) chew bones and on my part, guilt, dread and tenderness. When she did begin to fail, it was quick and awful. The house was quiet and strange for a few days. The cats slept in places they'd never before favored. Then they started playing and now every morning there is much kitty galloping that never happened with Lulu around to police activities. And it was about two weeks after she was gone that I came home from running errands and had a stark feeling of peace and relief that I wasn't to be greeted with slobber and hair and unremitting need.

I love dogs, but Lulu was the lesson that I need to love them from afar. I've never connected with dogs the way I have with cats (and chickens). You have this idea of yourself as how you want to be, and then, often, there is the disparate picture of what you actually are. I have wanted and gotten many things in my life and so many of them have been things I only thought I wanted. Through all this, though, I did right by Lulu and gave her the best life I knew how. I do miss her and her gentle ghost occasionally wafts into the room and she is part and parcel of my life and what I am. She was a good dog, but then, they all are.

It turns out that losing my job abruptly took all wind out of my sails. Additionally, it was summer, which is never a creatively productive time. But I have to tell you, I have done fucking diddly squat in two months. Now that the rains have begun, I hope to be able to focus and it's not like I've done nothing (for instance, I've read like a motherfucker). I have finished a painting and am working on two more and I've begun a quilt. And I gardened - a lot. Big projects that involved digging and schlepping and ultimately got me to shed some pounds and get some muscle tone back.

Now that I put it all on paper, as it were, I can see I've not been that idle. But it has been odd. As much as I do NOT want to join the work force again, I know I have to and would rather do so before my little cushion runs out. I realize that my day job is part of my creative process - it gives me something to push up against and apparently that's necessary. Hm. Who knew.

Old sister summer keeps rolling along

Lulu turned a corner several days ago. I opened the studio in the morning and her diaper sat on the bed, where she'd successfully discarded it in the night and upon examination, her poor yoni which has been like it's own little Eli Roth movie, had finally stopped bleeding. Her demeanor has shifted as well, probably due in no small part to no longer having to sport a fucking diaper. So, she's scheduled for surgery next Thursday. I would have liked to have had the time leading up to it to be with her, but I've been called back to the evil salt mine to finish up my last week, so I'll be sitting in my chair, doing what I've been doing for the last 7 years (fuck all), which will no doubt make the final spring of freedom more resounding.

So, summer moves on. It's been hot but not ridiculous. Ester is molting, again, but even though she looks awful, this molt doesn't seem to be wringing everything out of her, as past ones have. I tell her she's beautiful and she totally buys it. Women. I watched Night of the Hunter last night. It had been about 10 years since I watched it last and it still holds up as one completely over the top yet still expertly reined in movies ever made. If you've never seen it: c'mon!

Another day, more adult diapers
Lulu is actually doing much better today, so I am thoroughly bemused. And vets, like their human-treating counterparts, as usual fail spectacularly when most needed. But for now, we're here, together.