wordquilt

Dec 6, 2018

Dark tree

Written last night:
Dear Friends,
Black tree today: #2 Santa would not approve!

Maybe the tree is dark because I ran into some dismal things today: before 7 this morning Zing and I encountered a depressed friend. The holidays bring her down. Zing! cheered her as well as he could. Later, on my way out, a man who lives here asked if I noticed anything missing from the lobby. Of course, I didn’t. I always fail such tests. “The two white chairs!” he said, almost gleefully. “Stolen!”

And then, on our last walk tonight, Zing and I passed a homeless man shielded behind his brimming grocery cart, trying to wash his feet in the fountain next door. I was surprised when Zing growled at him, and glad too, that Zing recognizes an intruder. I looked away and hurried past, to give the man a little bit of privacy. 

Nov 29, 2018

Christmas trees can grow on you

I'm getting attached to this tree!





Nov 28, 2018

Terrible trees: Santa would not approve


Written last night:

Dear Friends, 

Here’s my tree again — this time I measured the relationships— trunk to tree and length to width, etc., trying for an exact picture.  The bottom 3 pictures are mistakes — what happens when you pull the original along the printer bed while a copy is being made. Santa would not approve.
Love, 
k
My real tree

Terrible Tree #1
Drippy


Terrible Tree #2
Squished

Terrible but Tolerable Tree #3
Leggy

Nov 27, 2018

Christmas, nasty and nice

Written last night:
Dear Friends,

Today at the gym:
You know what it’s like -- everyone but you is taut and sculpted and wearing designer stretch things — while you are barely able to crawl up the steps, and you might still be wearing your slippers because you’re half asleep. That’s the super-confident way I approach the gym, anyway. They do a pretty good job at keeping up a sleek, intimidating facade… until this morning  — there was a cryptic sign on the front door that said the lockers don’t work, but it meant all the toilets and showers were out of commission. This is a bad thing at a gym. It turns out someone had flushed 10 terry towels down a toilet over night. It would take a while to fix things. Go to Starbucks across the way if you need a restroom. 

Don’t tell, but some very un-Christmasy part of me was happy. The gym is such a muscular enterprise, but they are human too! Yay! Now, let’s go to Starbucks…

And here’s my little tree — I got some lights today.

Love,
k



Nov 14, 2018

Water is for fighting

Written last night:
Dear Friends,

I’m here with a glass of wine and there’s the smell of ginger and cinnamon on the stove, and Zing! is asleep under the bed. It sounds peaceful … but it follows a busy day. Zing! went to daycare, which always tires him out, and I am also tired because I went to Sausalito with a group in a van. Anyone who has sailed on a small boat knows to avoid being trapped in a vessel with others … unless you love them! But I saw this “field trip” sponsored by the community center where I take ukulele … it said “lunch under the bridge.” I signed up. 

I will keep it short, but it is complex. Water is a big issue in California, as as it is in Florida and in many other states. The area where we live -- the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta -- is rich in water, while some of the state is drier. They want/need what we have. Two-thirds of California residents and farms and businesses get their water from the Delta, so  water flow isn’t exactly natural anymore. All kinds of things are done to get water where it is needed/wanted; I was surprised to learn that the first and most devastating was hydraulic mining during the Gold Rush. Now there are also canals, levees, and in the future there may be water tunnels. 

Today we saw a model of the Delta — kind of like models you made in school, but this was built to help The Army Corps of Engineers learn what to expect when changes are made to the Delta system. The Corps tried things out on the model before they did it to the actual Delta. This is no science project — the model is the size of a giant warehouse, and it’s normally covered with water, but today a computer glitch made it dry. Never mind — we got to see the locks and dams. 

The model is just for education now. The Corps uses computer models, which are more exact and cost less.. 

One sign at the model quoted Mark Twain: “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.” (However, it seems Twain never actually said it. Politicians just like to attribute it to him.)

And we did have lunch at The Dead Fish restaurant under the Carquinez Bridge.
Love,
k
Carquinez Bridge -- that's smoke, not fog
view from The Dead Fish restaurant


Part of the model, which most days is covered with water
OK-- it looks boring, but it was a useful tool 





Nov 3, 2018

Art crop blooms on Yolo County farms

Written last night:
Dear Friends,

I just got back from an “art gala” at the old hotel in Woodland, the center of rural Yolo Countyacross the Sacramento River from Sacramento.  The hotel has become a party venue with a 1928 vibe. Its patio and reception rooms were crammed with party-goers, art, wine, music and food from the area. The art was all farm-related somehow — made by participants in the Art and Ag Project, in which farms welcome artists to paint there.  I’ve gone to three of those Saturdays to sketch and love the beauty. My friends bid on a painting of a farmer with a cow nibbling his ear, but someone else bid more.

It was one of those evenings when you wander the room, talking loud, I tasted wheat berry salad from Full Belly Farm, a Swedish meatball, an Italian meatball, mocha from a drive-through coffee shop, talked to the owner of Haag Walnuts of Esparto (She admonished me to say plants grow in soil, not  dirt ), and avoided  many, many wine tasting booths.  I didn’t drink because I wanted to find my way home, but maybe next year I’ll find a hotel where I can spend the night in Woodland.   

Love,
k

Nov 2, 2018

Happy coffin photo

Written last night:
Dear Friends ,
I forgot to mention the Día de los Muertos celebration near the farmers market on J Street last weekend —It’s about keeping the memory of beloved dead alive, and it seems a really happy festival. Thanks to what I learned last year, by Saturday I had already placed the traditional bright orange marigolds by Clark’s photo. Here is a look at this year’s feast. Most stunning to me was the bright, happy coffin where children were having their photos taken. Lettered inside the coffin is Mi casa es su casa — My house is your house. 
Love,
k


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