Sunday, July 30, 2006

Saved by French Art Nouveau

I think that maybe we have chosen a color scheme to paint the house. We found a pattern in a Dover book of Art Nouveau animal patterns by M.P. Vernevil. The pattern is for tiles representing air, earth, water and fire -- a bird, rabbit, fish and salamander in a three colors: a sort of light peach, a redish tan, and an olive green. I think once we are sure, we'll take down all the paint chips and color samples. If you can zoom in on the advertisement behind me, you'll see pretty much how we've felt about finding just the right color.

People also wanted pictures of the house. It's a mess. We've removed most of the doors, and there's paint scrapings all over the floor. Arthur is not allowed in the house until the painting (and clean-up) is over.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Options

I got off the phone today with Ed, a contractor friend of ours. We discussed the scraping and it turns out scraping enamel paint off of trim is like throwing Sauron's Ring into the Cracks of Doom; it's a nasty, dirty, hazardous job that will take a long time and somebody's got to do it. At least we don't have to deal with any Orcs. But Ed did give me some options:
  1. Set the house on fire and rebuild
  2. Try some non-toxic paint remover
  3. Rip out the old trim, and put in unpainted new trim
  4. Grin, bare it, and multiply how long we thought it would take to paint by four

I suppose the one good thing about all of this is that we can't seem to come to a decision about what color to paint the insides and maybe we'll have some idea once all the trim and walls have been prepped.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stop the Presses


We're not even halfway done scraping all the latex off of the trim. So much for having the house painted by this weekend. So much for moving into it by August 15. Mark doesn't even want to pick a moving date. I'm secretly hoping that we can move by the end of August simply because it's unsettling to me to shuttle between two places all the time and I'd like to get back to writing instead of thinking about painting (and packing and moving and unpacking).

At least we didn't get a real fixer-upper.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Time Windows

I think we're going to start measuring time in how long it takes to scrape all the evil latex paint off of a window. For me, it's about two hours.

It's been another scorcher in the Willamette Valley -- 101 F on the valley floor. Arthur and I ran away to Corvallis, where it's cooler.

The Great Color Debate has taken a pleasant twist; Mark appeared this evening with a casket. Inside were photographs of various art pieces he's taken over the years. He also had a copy of a Sister Wendy book and a book on Edward Burne-Jones. "We already know what sorts of things we love, so let's choose a few and build our color palette up from that. He then turned to a reproduction of Burne-Jone's Briar Rose, the pannel where Briar Rose is asleep, and pointed to the rich green tapestry hanging behind her. "Isn't that beautiful?"

So we may go for a Pre=Rephaelite Brotherhood look. Given how long this house painting job is taking, it might be appropriate to use Love Among the Ruins as a starting point.

Monday, July 24, 2006

We'll Be Done When?

It's just after midnight, so technically it's Monday morning; the thermometer is reading 78 F as an outside temperature and NOAA reads a few degrees lower. And it's supposed to be like this for the next few days. Euew. Just eeuew.

Today we spent something like eight hours collectively on the task of stripping the latex paint off of the trim. We managed to sort of clear one side of four and a half doors (keep in mind that each door has two sides) and the woodwork around an old cabinet. We still have something like three more door sides to go, plus all the trim and the mantle (although I did manage to peel most of the top of the mantle off with my bare fingers yesterday. So it's probably really optimistic to imagine that we'll be done painting by this Saturday. We might be ready to start. Mark is talking about moving our moving date back a week or two, as well.

Mark likes to use an electric sander to take off the latex. I prefer an old-fashioned paint scraper. Mark's sanding down to the beige enamel layer; I find that with the stripper I'm going down to the green jade enamel layer. At the end of my shift, I was sweaty, and covered in dust and paint chips. I felt like an extra from The Ten Commandments -- only with a dust mask.

Since we don't want to know what's in the beige and jade enamel paint, we're keeping Arthur out of the house until we're finished scaping. Of course, we're going to have to rinse down all the walls again. I'm voting that we get a sponge mop and use that.

The great color debate is going forward and backward. I thought we had settled on a kind of pale wheat color and a darker one for the trim, but Mark has other ideas. I suggested that maybe we could get some corrugated aluminum siding and use that as a kind of wainscoting, but Mark vetoed that faster than you could say "Post Modern."

So I find myself waiting for the house to cool down enough so I can sleep by blogging and playing with colors at Earlier, I sat in a cold bath and read Architectural Digest and Sunset Magazine. What these magazines have taught me is that our house could be beautiful if we had $50,000 to throw at it.

Money aside, I did see some things it might be fun to try; a hanging lamp / chandelier for the square hall; painting the walls a river stone color and the trim a dark stain to make the house look like a castle; or we could paint our house as blandly as possible to emulate a semi-famous designer.

Part of the problem is the house -- I don't know how or why, but it really wants to slide into "Old Lady" style (and Mark agrees with me on this one). I don't know if it's the 50's round chrome cover over the kitchen vent (which was grease colored before I cleaned it), or recessed linnen closets or the very wide mantel that could accomodate a flock of ceramic owls with room to spare for a bunch of antique farm impliments -- but I do not want to live in my Grandmother's house.

I find the back yard much easier to think about. When I let my imagination go, I can see a kind of mini-gazebo surrounding the cherry tree, only with the roof pitched to direct water onto the tree and a bench encircling the tree trunk. I see a long narrow brick trough running west to east with water in it. The trough is stepped into three sections, and a cascade of water tumbles from the higher sections into the lower before being pumped back. At the top, there's a little jog in the trough so that the Garden Sphinx can have the water come from underneath her paws as she looks north -- watching the circumpolar stars spinning over our roof at night.

If only the tree and yard would stretch to the demensions of my imagination.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Move Calendar

When a Door Closes


Arthur has been watching us and he's figured out what doorknobs are. Luckily, he can't quite reach the doorsknobs in the new house. He pulls himself up, stretches, and just barely brushes the bottom of the knob. He can reach our current house's bathroom knob, so it's only a matter of time before he ascends to the bathroom level and can play with the toilet.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What Were They Thinking?

Hooray! It's the end of Saturday, and we're where we thought we would be Friday night. Today's theme was "What were they thinking." Not us; the previous occupants of our house.

While the mercury climbed into the hundreds (and the humidity rose, too) we contniued to wash the walls and scrape back the trim. The current wall paint layers are a kind of ugly sandstone-meets-khaki and a pale intestinal pink (in the kitchen). Before that, the walls (and ceilings) were white. Before that, they were a kind of avocado-sage green, and before that they were yellow. We're guessing the green and the yellow layers are the layers we don't want to know the chemical composition of. And guess what, we're probably going back to a yellow-based palette (although Mark isn't quite sure yet and wants to experiment with one room before committing).

Whoever did the last paint job didn't really know what they were doing. The white trim on some of the door frames, the Jim Kirk divider, and the mantle was a latex paint applied over an enamel. At least in most places the white latex peels off like a bad sunburn. In other places, they painted over hinges. It was a rush job, too, as there are some places where you can see through the top coat.

We hope to do better.

We also found places where people were creative with trim, walls, screws, and nails. I also found the false ceiling in the kitchen where we can hide small bodies (I found two dead wasps, so that's a start).

Mark Wyld stopped by to help (during the hottest part of the day), and I think he thought we were being anal-retentive very thorough in our efforts to prepare the walls and ceilings. Mark W also broght by some hedge clippers -- they're vorpal, and Mark D had to call me back into the house to continue scrubbing the walls before I could begin my topiary masterpiece. They're waiting though, hung up on a nail, calling to me.

My dad loaned us a laser level. Mark tried to convince me that we had no tasks in the house that could use a laser level; but I quickly chimed in that they would be handy getting a square-cut hedge. They're waiting for me, too, singing a duet with the clippers.

In the very early evening, Elizabeth and Jamie (from Scary Reading Hour at the Library) stopped by and Jamie and Arthur got to play together for a while. By this time we were taking a kind of break in the back yard, so I pulled up some pernicious weeds and we discussed things to do with rhubarb (which, it turns out, we have growing in the back).

If we're really good, tomorrow is taping day.

Friday, July 21, 2006

John Burridge

Today Arthur and I hid out at my folk's house. They have a swimming pool and air conditioning. They're also going just a little bit crazy getting ready for my sister's wedding, mostly because about three weeks ago their water heater failed and flooded the downstairs and the wallpaper and the carpets and some of the sheetrock and various stored items (like books) got soaked. Who would have thought your house could be flooded on a hill 300 feet above sea level?

In response to the wedding, my sister is fighting back her inner Bride-zilla, my dad is channeling his inner vaudeville carpenter, and my mom is making lots and lots of lists.

I had gone to help out with The Great Deck Rebuild, but ended up doing some computer work for the folks, instead. Then Arthur needed to be fed, and then we both sort of napped. We did make it into the pool, but Arthur wasn't as into it as I thought he would be.

This weekend is the great house scraping weekend. Tonight we managed to scrub and scrub and the one room that had been a Shrine to Mother Whoever is a completely different color from the other rooms. Maybe we'll have to call that room the Sistine Chapel. Five more rooms to go! A quick and dirty estimation of the square footage is about 1000 square feet of walls (probably in a very, very pale yellow) and about 800 square feet of ceilng (in a nice, bright white) to wash, rinse, scrape, prep and then paint.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Angels Don't Lie

The weather I hate is back. I guess it's back all over the country. Tomorrow (Friday) and most of the weekend it's supposed to get to 100 F. At least it isn't humid, and at least we can cool the house down to 60 F or so at night. I wish it would rain. Don't get me wrong, I like the sun and the light, it's just the heat I could do without.

The other day I was walking Arthur around our new neighborhood on a shopping trip and he started imitating the crows. It took him a few tries before I realized what he was doing. He's also learned the sign for bird, and I think today he wanted us to whistle, so he made the sign for bird followed by music.

The house move is going slowly. I think it really hasn't quite sunk in that we are home owners. We're also having to rethink our decorating style. Six years or so we agreed that we wanted a fairy tale cottage style. It was that or else sixties retro (which I think is a little sterile) or Elizabethan Palace (which Mark thinks is too exhausting).

Mark, who has more style than I do, noticed it first. Fairy tale cottage style doesn't work with the new house -- the ceilings, while high, are not vaulted, and there's no exposed rafters or wood banisters or ladders going up to lofts. It's a 1950's house that sort of but not quite uses golden rectangles in the floor layout.

Just to move something into the house I took the two gilt angels out of my writing loft and put them on the fireplace mantle in the new house. They don't go at all... OK, they go even less in the new house than they did in our current home (but they're gold and over the top, which is why I love them).

We'll have to negotiate a new style we both like. I think we might be able to go with an Arts And Crafts style or a Mission style. Art Deco is out. Mark has already vetoed hanging wattle fences as a border along the top of the walls as a way to add some texture to the house. He's also vetoed painting the walls as if the house were the Temple of Dendur, and he's vetoed placing a Japanese spirit gate outside the dinning area window to continue the line of portals that start with the front door and continue out through said window. I've taken down the offensive light fixtures in the bedrooms, but we haven't found something to replace them with.

I still think we should build a bunch of shoe-box-sized boxes, sink LEDs into them, paint the walls white, and then change the LED colors to whatever mood strikes us. We could even cycle through Christmas colors and bring out the gilt angels.

I don't know what we're going to do with our dog-sized Sphinx.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Joys of Home Ownership

We haven't moved yet, but we're getting a lot of junk mail from mortgage companies who would be very happy to charge us money to manage our mortgage.

The moving strategy goes something like this:
  • Clean the walls
  • Prep the walls
  • Pick a color to paint the walls that isn't dreary or too Romper Room; something that doesn't make our complexions look blotchy or ghastly and yet doesn't force us to live with an oddly colored trim
  • Paint the walls
  • Paint the walls with a second coat
  • Wonder how to pull up the carpet tacks underneath the space heaters
  • Attend my sister's wedding
  • Pack everything we own into boxes
  • Move
  • Wonder where the hell various items are for three or four weeks
  • Wish the kitchen had more damn counter space
  • Pull up the blackberries living in the yard
  • See how much money we have left for things like new window treatments to replace the hanging plastic slats in the living room and to get new bedroom (and kitchen) light fixtures so we can send the current ones back to Tragicistan
  • Install shelves that are too high for Arthur to reach
  • Raise the shelves that were too high for Arthur to reach when we started...
So far, what we've discovered is that Arthur prevents us from getting anything done unless he's napping, we wear him on our backs, or one of us watches Arthur while the other actually works on the house.

We have managed to clean the walls -- we think the sooty black marks on a wall we were blaming on an old space heater were actually caused by a previous occupant's shrine to some Indian Personage (when we saw the house the first time they had a very large portrait of a middle-aged woman surrounded by many candles and thurables).

The back yard lawn is bothersome. The last folks to mow the lawn didn't mow it so much as mush it down. We've aquired a fabulously antique push mower, but the grass is too tall to mow even at the mower's highest setting. I have managed to create a kind of path which runs from the back patio slab to a couch sized spot of dried yellow grass stubs. We have three rose bushes -- I like the blooms, but Mark doesn't like rose shrubs. We also have two trees, a nice, shady ornimental cherry tree, and a sad, dying, broom-handle of a maple tree. Along the patio slab is an herb garden -- the herbs are slightly withered except for the oregano (which is a thug) and the clover (which is overrunning the sage).

So far our neighbors are friendly. Our neighbor to the east is Dorothy Parker. I guess we'll have to get her books.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tequila vs. Rum

I've discovered rum mixed with orange juice.

In some ways I think I prefer tequila. Tequila can be integrative -- I feel when I've drunk enough tequila that I've somehow managed to tap into the mysteries of touch. Rum is just disorienting -- things feel disconnected.

My sense is that rum has knocked out my main integrative processes -- the sub-processes that allow me to walk and turn out lights seem to be working OK. But the way that they communicate with each other isn't working properly. I also feel really cold, but the thermometer is reading 69 F. This sort of thing hasn't happened to me with tequila or vodka.

Vodka usually knocks out my awareness of muscle tension; so does tequila. Rum doesn't appear to do this -- I can feel how my right neck connects to my right shoulder. I can feel how my nose feels when I touch it, but my nose has become localized. With tequila, my nose would become a minefield of tactile information; under Vodka my nose would just be numb. With rum I can feel my nose, but it feels a slightly disconnected from my face.

With tequila, and to some extent vodka, it feels easier to organize my thoughts. Rum seems to muddy them more. I suppose that I might have felt this way with my initial experiences with tequila and vodka, but that repeated doses have allowed me to learn how to think (or at least navigate cognitively) -- rum is a new experience, so I have no corresponding cognitive mapping. Rum may be an opportunity to explore alternative connections in my cognitive associative array.

Rum seems to have affected my balance... I don't recall feeling this dizzy before. Again... Awareness has been redefined upon a macro level -- awareness of how my hands move is limited to the start and end processes. Libido seems slightly elevated, but nothing compared to the reactions of tequila. Salacious phrases seem just as easy to mutter under rum as they do tequila, but they're more amusing under rum than anything else.

I suppose a video tape would reveal flaws in my motions that I am unable to detect at this moment. To me various test motions seem fluid (except for occasional typos in this text).

In summary, rum seems to have the same effects that I imagine nepenthe might have -- awareness has been knocked back from a micro level to a macro level, and there is a disascociation of bodily sensations. To the extent that I can perform automatic tasks, I can. It would be interesting to see if tequila and rum could be mixed -- would the hyper-sensitive tachtility associated with tequila overcome the apparent numbing effects of rum?

So, how about art, truth, beauty and freedom?

Right now Im' feeling like a biological process trapped by my perceptions. Is this delusion or a glimpse of how the processes really work? It all comes down to the question of is reality a revelation of hidden processes or an unfolding of known processes into unpredicted patterns? I have to day that with rum I feel like I've slowed down my cognitive processes enough to look at them.... And the only thing I can tell you right now is that they're dizzy.

I suppose Dionysus would be laughing at me right now. Here I am, a confirmed desciple of Apollo, and I can barely type because my fingers wish to follow other branches on the cognitive associateve tree of homophones and synonymes and my eyes keep bouncing between the goalposts of this window. Only practice typing and the shining light of Fowler's Modern English Usage keep this posting legible.

Leave this body for a moment. Do not shuffle off this mortal coil so much as jump above (or below or beside) it -- like a passenger in a Volkswagan sticking his head out of the sunwindow (or was it moon window?) My hands try to sign in a new language... they try to sign in a language my eyes do not know. My body wants to dance new forms, but they are divorced from meaning. Is this a metaphor for the world -- forms do not have meaning? Or is meaning packaged in everything and it is our task to organize the messages into something coherant? Do the gods and goddeess and dieties send us everything at once ? Do our senses act not as doorways, but as gateways -- blocking out the messages so that our feeble minds can deal with things in a linear fashion?

If truth depends on what you drink, I prefer the drink that gathers truth together. I prefer the cup of truth that bridges the world of vision, of disolution, with the world of the every day. I prefer a truth that doesn't make one so dizzy.

Another Rejection

The US Post Office finally deigned to deliver our mail today. I'm not sure what happened with our mail hold while we were on vacation -- they were supposed to deliver our mail last Wednesday, but they didn't get around to it until today.

Sitting in our mail box wa a large conglomorate of messages bound together with two rubber bands. Nestled in amoung the junk mail from the Baby Industrial Millitary Complex and various mortgage companies was a slim envelope from Polyphony. I've developed a writer's feel for letters. The ones that have a mass that's slightly more than the mass of the envelope are rejection letters. I imagine that an acceptance letter is hefty with a contract. The one from Polyphony was wan and thin.

Anyway, the negligent mass of the envelope spoke to my spinal cord and I knew that a rejection letter lay concealed within. I said 'damn' in front of Arthur several times. I shivied open the envelope and there it was, the dreaded form letter, "Thanks for playing," with a nice and encouraging hand-written note from Deborah Layne.

So, with this rejection it's pretty clear that I don't quite understand the market for my stories. I'd like to think that I'm simply sending things to the wrong markets; the alternative is that I'm outclassed, and my writing can't compete against other stories. The next step is to re-evaluate what I've written from a marketing point of view.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New York (the state)

Once again I've let the blog get behind and have a ton of things to write.

Last week we got back from a two week vacation in New York (the state). Our flight home got in about 9 PM and we got home about 1 AM. I don't know how Mark managed to get into work the next day.

Arthur was the best child on the plane both ways. On the way back there was a particularly insane child three rows ahead of us, so in contrast every other child on the plane was a veritable angel.

The Dwyers are doing well; we managed to spend time with all of Mark's brothers and sisters. We flew into Newark Airport and then rented a car so we could drive to Suffern, New York, where Mark's mother, Mary, and two sisters, Melora and Melissa live. Suffern was our home base. Everyone was quite excited to see Arthur, especially Kristina, Melissa's daughter. We got (somewhat) adjusted to the time zone in time to drive to Buffalo July First.

While we were in the air flying to Suffern, the bank was trying to reach us. They'd forgotten to have us sign some piece of paper and they wondered if we could pop in and sign it. We'd only been telling them for about two weeks that we were going on vacation. So there was an afternoon of frantic FAXing. Everything got straightened out, but at one point Mark was considering flying back to Oregon to sign everything.

July First we drove to the wedding celebration. Driving to Buffalo was somewhat entertaining as it was the July Fourth weekend and just a few days before many of the roads in New York (the state) had been flooded out by torrential rains. Arthur traveled well, and we had a nice stop on the Erie Canal where we saw some old stonework and various unattractive joggers.

Mark's oldest brother, Michael, lives in Buffalo with his family. Laura, one of Michael's daughters, had a large wedding celebration with tiki torches, inflatable totem poles, faux grass skirts, and lots and lots of games. The Dwyers took up most of a wing of a local Mariot. Mark's sister, Maria, and her family; and Mark's other brother, Matthew, and his family came up for the celebration. I'm afraid I only saw it on tape, but during the celebration the three brothers did an improvised tiki torch dance that was pretty funny (think Ooompa-loompas in grass skirts).

July 3rd, several of us went to Ontario to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It was obligatory that we ride the Maid of the Mists to get as close as possible to the falls. Arthur was great in the line to the boat, and then slept through the entire twenty minute aquatic adventure. The falls were pretty; it's amazing how much water flows over them.

While we were in Ontario, we got a chance to visit a butterfly conservatory. I got a some really good shots of butterflies up close. Even though we stayed much, much later than we had initially imagined we would, Arthur was a real trouper through it all.

July 4th, we had a nice breakfast and visit with Michael and Karen (and Christian and Patrick) before setting out to visit Amy and Sharon in Ithaca.

Ithaca and Cornell were interesting. It's always fun for me to see buildings that are older than my grandmother (a building in Oregon is old if it was built in 1910). Amy and Sharon fed us wonderful meals and took us on a great tour of Cornell. Amy, Mark and Arthur listened while Sharon and I went up into the bell tower near the Ash Chapel with a chime mistress to see the chimes played. She let Sharon and I sound the noon carillon.

We sped off from Cornell July 5th to visit Mark's sister, Megan, at the Joseph Campbell Center for Symbolic Studies in New Paltz. Megan, her husband, Morgan, and their two boys, Marly and Masio, were all at trapeze camp (which Megan teaches). Megan's class wrapped up and we visited their cabin before finishing our travels back at Mary's in Suffern. Since we were leaving after dark, we stopped back at the trapezes to see all the fireflies. There were lot, they were in the meadow and up in the trees -- it was the most fireflies I have ever seen in once place.

July 6th we hopped into the car again to visit with Lime Green Larry in the City. I actually asked Mark, "So, if people from Oregon are Oregonians, and people from California are Californians, people from New York are ..."

"New Yorkers."

"But," I continued, "people from New York City are..."

"From the city."

Anyway, we got into the city a little early, so we went on a photo outing of the city, and wound up at the Museum of Natural History. It was funny; I love their astronomy section, but it's all astronomy 101 stuff. So after about a half-hour looking at suns and planets and the spiral of time, we went into the dinosaur exhibits. The taxonomy is exhausting, but I always feel like I'm learning something new. Mark decided that Arthur needed to have all the dinosaur's feet pointed out to him. Judging from the photographs, I think he might have been looking at their teeth instead.

We met Larry at the Rockafeller Center for a trip to the Top of the Rock. The elevator ride up was really cool; the ceiling went clear so you could see the blue LEDs in the elevator shaft, and they had a timeline of TV playing as you ascended. The view was great. The sun was setting and the sky was very clear. Arthur liked the light fixtures.

Larry had to leave us to our own devices, so July 7th was Metropolitan Museum of Art day. Arthur handled it pretty well, but the MET really isn't very infant friendly beyond the Temple of Dendur. Luckily he fell asleep for most of it, and Mark continued to perform the lion's share of child care duties. I think the most interesting object this visit was one of Hatshepsut's sphinxes. The face was more or less in one piece, and the eyes still held a mesmerizing power.

After the Egyptian exhibits, Mark wanted to see the Rembrants -- various pieces that had once been united as an alter were reassembled for the first time in many years. I think of the Rembrant exhibit the most interesting piece was the top where God and some angels were posing with a sphere or two; the angels had these sort of petulant expressions on their faces.

I'm afraid most portraits don't speak to me jewelry, sculpture and architecture do. I'd say that the most fun painting we saw was one by William Blake that was the parable of the Virgins with the Oil: the foolish virgins lamenting was so over the top it was great. There was also an interesting picture of King David and another one of a kind of flower angel emerging from the mouth of a serpent.

Outside of the museum, on a park and bubble break for Arthur, we saw Cleopatria's Needle (where I met a new best friend who insisted that I try absolutely everything in my and my camera's power to photograph it).

On July 9 we (Mark, myself, Arthur, Mary, Melora, Veronica, Melissa and Kristina) went to the Bronx Zoo. We saw the gorillas, giraffes, African dogs, various rodents, buffalo, wallabies, tortoises, goats, chickens, geese, peacocks, alligators, and prarie dogs. Probably the most funny event was when Arthur, who had been exposed to a battery-powered dancing rodent that sang "Girl, You Really Got Me Now", signed to us (by reaching out and making a pinching motion) that he wanted us to turn on the wallabies -- presumably so they would start gyrating and singing old seventies rock songs.

What I found fascinating was the gorilla exhibit. It was pretty slow for a while, but then a mother gorilla started to express her milk, lick it off of her hand, and then regurgitate it. It looked like she had eaten some grass or other plant material as well. She would repeat this process -- expressing, licking, regurgitating -- and I'm guessing that she was working on creating a kind of semi-digested paste for her infant. What was intriguing was that she would stand on her legs and then sort of bend over like she was one of those glass drinking birds to regurgitate. Her legs seemed engineered to accommodate her large belly as she swiveled at the hip. Then she'd essentially barf up into her hand while the homo sapiens on the other side of the glass said things like eeuw! They eeuws were louder when she licked it all up again. I couldn't help thinking about all the pagan imagery of the Sacred Mother's milk and in my mind I could hear my friend Gra saying, "Ha! Where is your Goddess Now?"

July 10th we (Mark, Arthur, Mary, Melora and myself) visited a lake with Megan and her boys. Arthur really liked the lake and wanted to play in the water for a really long time. It's a good thing he seems to like cold water because that's what he'll get when we visit the Oregon coast. This was our last day in New York (the state), and we had racked up about 1500 miles in travelling.

July 11th was the day we journeyed back to Oregon. It was a long day, but fairly easy -- we got back to Eugene around 1 AM.

Now we're back and we own a house. We're in the throes of repainting and we'll have to pack up everything we own in about three weeks -- stay tuned.