Monday, July 27, 2015

Out of the frying pan...

We're always just one spark away from disaster. The Lowell Hill Fire started two days ago and is being fought with everything that's available. Incredibly, no structures have been lost but four firefighters have been injured, one seriously.

It's only five or ten miles from here, our fairgrounds has become a staging area and heavy equipment trucks are moving past my house day and night.

The smoke is choking. I wake up to a hazy fog of thick smoke but complaining is useless and silly when people are either being evacuated or are planning exit strategies depending on how the wind blows.

We can only wait and watch and send good thoughts to those who stare down the gullet of the beast and with shovels, chemicals and sheer courage say, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!".  Bless them and their heart.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Leaves, fire and tears...

I tend to work through grief by immersing myself in my studio and brother, I've been working a LOT in the last three months. My well has run very low but I find that I can keep it from running completely dry by just being in my studio. Often I become so completely absorbed in creating something interesting that I forget everything else.

Life has been rough for me and mine, horrendous events have knocked our wheels out from under us, sadness and loss have torn holes in our lives. All we can do is hug and talk and try to be there while the terrible wounds heal enough to go on with life.

And so, I do the only thing I can, keep working, keep moving, stay focused on the blessings, even when they seem elusive at best. We are at our best when things are worst...a line from an old movie, but it's true, not to run from pain but towards it, to help with the unbearable burden.

So, my little world may seem trivial but it's the best way I know to go on, I like the thought of things that will remain when I am no longer here. A legacy of beauty, pieces created with love and soul, little bits of me that will speak to those down the road.

I now have my own soldering set-up, mine, all mine. This has been a long time coming. I waffled around for years and years, not quite sure if that was the direction I wanted to go. But once I started using a real oxy/propane system I knew I had to get busy and get it done.

Gathering all the paraphernalia took some time. I had the Smith Little Torch but originally bought Oxy/Acetylene regulators, soooooo, off to Cyberweld for a new regulator, then gather up the chemicals, crock pot, pickle, alcohol, borax, flux and so on.

Whew! Then, with the help of a great metalsmithing friend, the tanks were connected and voila! That first flame thrilled me.

I'm setting stones, building bezels, thinking through designs. I know the leaves thing is sort of trite but I really love that organic look and wanted to try to on my own. They are so much fun, cutting and shaping and filing and soldering on the stems and more finishing makes me happy on so many levels.

More will come, the ideas are endless,

Don't hold back on love, spread it around, tell that person you love them, because tomorrow may be too late.


Sunday, July 05, 2015

4th of July...

Doesn't get a whole lot better than a July 4th party at Lucchesi Vineyards. Their private road is named View Forever which gives you just an idea of how gorgeous it's going to be. Their gracious gardens wrap around the top of the hill with grapes sweeping down into the valley.

Lovely shaded seating and cool breezes, grilled burgers and very good wine, laughing conversation and music led us through the incredible sunset and into the cool dark night towards dancing to live music and eventually to a far distant display of fireworks. It was lovely to see the splashes of color all along the ridge, from Meadow Vista to Lake of the Pines, Roseville, Sacramento and on.

It was peaceful and sweet and later we star watched in the hot tub. Life is good in so many ways, even in the midst of challenges and loss, the very act of keeping company makes the road a bit easier.

I was heartened to hear very few fireworks, probably the first time in my life the endless pop and bang has not accompanied the day and evening hours of this day. Our community seems to have taken to heart the danger we live in with our drought, thankfully.