if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home Found!

Today we picked a new rental home after searching near and far, we decided to stay in the area where the kids are thriving in school. We got another former state home. Solid and uncomplicated and 50 bucks less a week! More soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Old buddy old blog...

I see the bookmark on my browser, dear blog. I feel guilty when I pass over it, mumbling..."but where would I begin..." I will thank my external prodder for nudging me to write (Mom). Ive been roving along composing transitions lately, it is yet to be seen if anyone will show up to play my score, though. My recent trip to the US was sort of like a very social boot camp. I can say that the most satisfying part of a 26 day trip back to San Juan Island was the human contact. Having daily visits with my beloved Nina and her world was wonderful. I stayed with my generous and tolerant friend Nancy and her home and her company was a sanctuary from the rigors of landlordship, house refurbishing and fsbo marketing. Smack dab in the middle of the trip Nina and I took a sojourn to Spokane to Dustin Hannafious's college graduation. Dustin graduated from Gonzaga having studied civil engineering. I loved the collecting of family and the goosebumpy bagpiping ceremony. Nina and I stayed in the fanciest hotel ever, called The Davenport. I got in a nice swim and Nina a treadmill walk there as well as a dandy mother's day breakfast downstairs. I was able to visit with my Evergreen sponsor, Gail Treemblay, on the way home , revealing much more common ground than I had realized before. She has created and shown some incredible installation artworks, often with a political message. It's great to have made the connection.
I had several nice visits with Bob, my father in law. I worry about him, there all alone without us close by to lend an occasional hand or ear. Bob showed Nna and I his garden grounds and he came to a rollicking potluck where some spontaneous theatrics came to life. One highlight was Larry , Nina's boyfriend portraying a blind female chef. He belongs in the family, I think. I was a fifth grade teacher with turrets syndrome and Chinmayo's horse at aerobics class had me in stitches. These roles were imposed by the crowd who added them on one by one as we struggled to portray them while standing on the "stage" (or sauna foundation) I had a seaside visit with the girls, including Cate McKee. Kim Bell had another set of girls out to her lovely rustic cottage and showed us her studio where she makes grand and whimsical birdbaths.

I enjoyed various Lawrence women from Natalia and her new daughter, Charley to her solid new grandma, Lisa and a new exposure to Anna, who was a smart and hilarious co house guest at Nancy's. Nancy was galivanting around some, between her cutting edge job of facilitating an affordable housing structure within the community and beyond at conferences and her devotion to her two grandchildren. I had too short of time with Laurie, who is always at the helm of her popular eatery The Market Chef and her energetic family home. I sadly missed my friends Bruce and Tina altogether! I guess we'll have to meet on some other corner of the planet. I could go on forever about the cozy cradle of friendships that I have even more appreciation for now, after living in the socially cooler climate of New Zealand for a couple of years. I am Proud of Sue for putting herself onto the list of important people to nurture. I see Mary Nash mellowing into her role at the top of the welcoming and sending off point that is The Doctor's office. Restaurant ownership is a heck of an education! isnt it.

The house project that was the focus of my trip was both an ordeal and a labor of love necessary for me to move on to what is next (which is?) The fact that my tenants hadn't found a new home when I had arrived and the property manager who put them there wouldn't even answer my calls to give me "starting point" documents (Im glad I never voted for her) (oh stop it, Kate) Alls well that ends well, or should I say once the boat is launched why worry who was not there pushing off. Im happy with the cooperation and civility that we had during the stressful time of all that transition and I must say, I don't relish the job of landlord.

On the flip side of that, since Ive been home, I have been absorbed in the process of finding a new rental home here in Auckland. Our delightful landladies, a couple comprising of one opera singer and one Prison warden/ housing New Zealand manager, need their house back. We knew this was coming, but it doesn't make it any more fun to be at the mercy of the many various property managers. Some are very nice and some are patronizing and snooty. Some have such thick accents that the messages are questionable. Im not racist, but if I have a human relations based business, I'd pick someone who people can understand as a receptionist! We have spent three days looking at houses in the area where we currently live. Yesterday we were given very overt messages from some pretty shady characters. There are Tongan gangs to the south and Maori gangs to the north. Which do we prefer, Got me? What do they eat? could I cook my way into their hearts? Cant we just move into the no gang neighborhood, oh yes, just move the decimal once to the right and your safe as a cherub. We had such good luck in finding our current house, we'll have to think positive and find another one. The truth is that we have it pretty good, while lot's of families around us have a lot more uncertainty and struggle. Why is it this way? Why are resources squandered on violence and hate while innocent children navigate such scarcity? Can we just get on with evolution and take care of ourselves here? Easy for me to say i suppose... Ill stop here, before I get any soggier. More when the sun comes up tomorrow. Kate

Friday, May 09, 2008

Potluck on Friday Night May 9 Barnard's 6:00

Hello all you readers. If you are reading from San Juan Island and it hasnt come to be Friday Night, the ninth of May then Ill urge you to come to a potluck at the Barnards house at 417 Point Caution road (off Sutton road or as you may know it- the dump road) It is at 6:00 and I think Daniel Finn is coming and possibly the Chadwicks and anyone who wants to hear the New Zealand quips and quandries and eat some springtime vittles, and undoubtedly laugh. We could play charades or maybe I can get Daniel to bring his guitar... anyway, I hope to see some folks there that I havent had a chance to see thus far on my focus pocus house selling trip to the island. It looks like the house is just about empty of the folks who were living there so it's full steam ahead with selling it. Ive decided to put a prenegotiated price of $317,000 on it to move it before I depart the country on the 21st of this month. Come on Buyer! I know you are out there! I enjoyed a campfire last night at fouth of July beach. The girls and I got a few songs in and a couple of us had a skinny dip or two in the shining pastel and certainly bracing water. I have had regular emails and calls with the family at home who are living on pesto and cucumbers from the garden and doing such unconventional acts as eating dinner at the park across the street, that, apparently was Lilli's idea. On with the day!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Oh Life!

This evening I am thoughtful.
I am staying at my friend Nancy’s house and there is another house guest, Anna Lawrence who is here to visit her niece, Natalia, who has a 12 day old baby (who was 10 pounds 9 ounces at birth) We are a funny trio: witty, loud, reflective, and passionate about our families and opinions. Tonight we had a dinner that Anna prepared, delicious salad greens with lot of surprises. Tomorrow we are having a Primary Pizza feed. Anna and I have been warned about the seriousness of the gathering. I hope we can behave!

My brother in law, JD had brain surgery today. It really puts into perspective how even the most centered and competent people- well, all of us actually, are not exempt from vulnerability. I feel especially tender-hearted about JD and I am at odds as to how I can help, or even express my feelings around the situation. The human spirit is strong, though, and many, many families navigate these treacherous waters and all of them arrive on the shores buoyed and nudged there by hope gathered from sources, both familiar and unexpected. My prayers are with you, JD.

I am here in Friday Harbor to sell our house, which is a modest and artsy first home. I arrived here to learn that the Matthews, our tenants, had not yet found a place to live and two days to go until the end of the lease. I felt the tension of the situation, and struggled not to react. How was a bitchy, impatient approach going to help, anyway? I was glad to have refrained from bearing down heavily after they had secured a place in two days. Today I went there with Nina to garden while load after load was moved out of our little house. How did they walk around in there?
Compassion is a generous friend. If you remember her, she’ll shower you with true satisfaction and contentment that is far better than cakes or wine, flattery or pride.

My friend Natalia’s baby’s name is Charlie, She is a solid little nubbin with lots of long black hair. She looks perfect. Natalia is exhausted and depleted by the ordeal of 40 hours of labor culminating in a C section. Natalia is in that chaotic first two weeks of having a baby OF YOUR VERY OWN! She has her wonderful whispery humor and smiling eyes, though. I think she and Charlie and her dad, Adam, will have a wonderful time together. What wonders!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Global Cat Sitting

MY name is Caterina E'stone and Im an international cat sitter.
This was a hilarious post that the internet gobbled up. Pooh! More when I get over it. Kate