Kittens Becoming Non-Kittens

I had this head-jerk, omg moment the other day. For the past week plus I’ve been all “ooooh, my sweet snuggler, my adorable little hugging kitty boy/girl, you want to give me smooches and I’ll give you smooches right back, all the head butts you want, oh so purry, I love you, all the eyeblinks and more, oooh let me give you kisses…”

Wait.

It’s been awhile but suddenly my head jerks up and I think – wait, this I have known before. I’ve been here, seen this, and have already scheduled the little operations that this is all about.

My kittens are growing up! Waaaah!

You know kittens – those adorable little fluffernuts of brainless fun and excitement. Not to say that kittens aren’t adorable and often snuggly etc but most of the time they’re already off on their next adventure. That’s why so many of my photos of them are them blissfully asleep, so perfectly beautiful and peaceful and sweet. (and why last week I did my first Facebook Live episode – five minutes of adorable cat siblings snoozing together in all their snoring, twitchy loveliness.)

But this week – this week Harry’s like ‘come on, I’m here to lick your face because I love you so much. I’m going to wrap myself around your arm and purr. Hey, can I follow you up the stairs and hey will you pay attention to me. Like NOW?!” Meanwhile Ginny is oooh I’m going to reach through the banister and watch while you hang up your backpack because I love you so much and am so excited you’re home and I love you so much. Hey and can I sleep right by your knees? And don’t I look adorbs while I’m running into the cellar where I’m not supposed to be?

Yeah. That first rush of hormones. Super adorable. Super loving. Yup. Please let it stay just like this for one more week.

Advertisements

A Generation – a musing

I was thinking about generations yesterday as most of the country observed Martin Luther King Jr Day.

My parents’ generation (and mine were on the younger side of it) – The greatest generation – born in the depression, fought and sacrificed in a world war. They buckled down at home, rationing, recycling, women working while men were off to war, building and gathering around a common cause. Were things perfect? Totally not so. There was much discrimination and inequality and when the men came back, women were sent back home or relegated to lower wage jobs.

My generation (and I’m really on the tail end of it on most scales) – The baby boomers, the kids of that generation. We grew up during the “korean conflict” and “vietnam”, neither popularly understood or supported war actions and the cold war which had us hiding under our school desks so we’d know what to do if someone dropped a bomb on us. (PS I am pretty sure the answer to that question is die, perhaps mercifully die.)

But here’s what I was really thinking about. I was pretty young when John Kennedy was assassinated. Such a clear moment even so, with all its somber ceremony and the unexpected killing of his accused murderer. Ruby died long afterward almost an afterthought. The young president, full of hope and vigor was not perfect by any means either but he was inspirational as a leader, even supported the arts. We remember his words today and his promise as a leader taken away too young.

His successor, Lyndon Johnson took on the social missions that Kennedy had set out and accomplished much while simultaneously getting mired in Vietnam. He and his wife underscored the beauty of our nation and pointed out that we needed to preserve and appreciate it.

Then Martin Luther King Jr was killed.

Then Robert Kennedy was killed.

I was older then, old enough that I was taken with the message of both men, too young to do much about it other than being inspired by the ideas. It was a blow to think that someone would remove such leaders from a world that so needed them.

Then Nixon. Seductive in his promise of ending Vietnam. Slimy in almost every other way. There was a summer of his VP being against the wall and leaving. Then it all began to crumble around him. It was scary and yet the process – the hearings, the news reporting, and ultimately his resignation and replacement – was all orderly and reassuring. The constitution holds because people want what’s right and this isn’t.

Like the assassination of Kennedy, everyone hoped we’d never go through anything like that again.

In the years since, government has really faltered. Too much lobby money, too much money behind elections, obviously no need for government experience to rise to a high office. Much political finger pointing, too little discussion or interest in seeing the needs of the nation. Can you imagine anyone saying right now – we should start a new space program. Or invent something that will really clean the air or oceans. We should develop non-polluting transportation and power…

I heard about a guy who wants to run for senate and he’s freaking 95. Come on – surely there’s someone younger available, and frankly I’d like to see some folks younger than me starting to come up. We need new ideas and energy and they need to start getting the experience.

We had a young fellow recently as president and he got shut down by the politicos at every turn. And the current administration would apparently like to erase all traces of its predecessor for no other reason than he was black and young and smart.

Anyway, I was wondering about the impact of losing those three leaders on our generation, with the dollop of September 11, 2001 on top. I think we are in need of new leaders to help us to action but in the meantime we only have us.

Sunday Off

I had breakfast and then drove home the long way through Chatham, enjoying the sun even if it was in the teens. Felt warmer. Stopped for gas at the Stewarts in Chatham and cleaned my windshields and put the end of the wiper fluid in the car hoping it might warm up the front nozzles (and it did). I did a little (emphasis on little) vacuuming with my cute little yellow vacuum cleaner. The cats didn’t think too much of that, even though it’s much quieter than my old vacuum.

When the cats returned to their perches (purr-ches?) I admired Harry’s ability to spring back from vacuum-induced-panic.

I did a little painting:

And now I’m writing. All in all a good day off!

Today I Rise

Today I Rise from The Flourish Initiative on Vimeo.

The inner game

Forget shoulds and experience is. — W. Timothy Gallwey

Great letter from Sara Genn about the inner game of art.

Let your muscle memory do the technical heavy lifting. Think of your practiced, mastered skills as an insurance policy against self-doubt, but also as a set of wings for heightened expression. If you want to be a painter, you need to know how to paint. This mastery frees you to then slip into an automatic mode of play and communication.

What to read? What to read?

Mom and I like to order from Dover Books now and again. Often she’ll want coloring books, bookmarks and such and I’ll look through the catalogue and fill in the order with things to give us free shipping or use of a coupon etc. It’s a happy joining of purposes.

This time I ordered two books I hadn’t spotted before and now, well friends I hardly know where to begin I am so enamored of both!

The first to jump into my cart was the book by John Pike on watercolor. My home palette is by John Pike and I knew he was a Woodstock NY painter. This is a reprint of the 1974 edition of his book, originally published in 1966. Here’s an illustration of the palette, still in production and still a favorite of many.

Fortunately, we needed a little more for this order and I found another book I’d not seen before, The Welsh Fairy Book by W. Jenkyn Thomas, a 2001 reprint of the original 1907 edition. There are a few familiar tales and one that revealed one of those happy coincidences – I’ve named a family in my NaNoWriMo story Gadarn which is just perfect for them.

Guess I’ll just have to read both at once!

Back to Work

There’s always a little pause after NaNoWriMo during which the desire to keep writing (even not at that pace) is overwhelmed by fatigue and the rushing stress that is December and the holidays. Some of that fatigue was also being sick which turned out to be a stealth sinus infection.

But now – a brand new year!

In the past few days I’ve done some writing and some painting so we’re on track for a good year. So far the temperatures are definitely not conducive to anything like plein air work but I’m going to try and convince myself that car-sketching is a thing.

First I sat down and did four small quickies.

Yesterday I treated myself to a “Paint-along” with my via-Patreon-tutor, Alan Owen. These often don’t go as planned because as he’s filming he gets to turn off the camera and let things dry. I often miss the skip and keep painting and then have to either go back later or figure out how to fix what’s going on. Still a good learn. To me, his trees don’t look like my trees. Around here most of the trees are bare and so the tree line is a brown/grey with a lot of pines mixed in. (Sorry for the iffy screenshot but it is enough to show the trees. Also many brit trees have their trunks covered in thick vines, which he also shows here.)

Here’s the photo I took while it was all still a bit damp.

And then another when quite dry.