This is lunch.
(plus a handful of the ugliest but sweetest strawberries that have ever existed - the kind you would describe as having a "great personality")
And this is the view.
(right now, as I type, I can hear the downy woodpecker bapping away just down the hillside. I've been sighting him the last few days, quick flashes of a red crown and a bold white chest).
The house is coming together, the pile of flattened boxes is nearly epic, finally yesterday, I hung the first painting.
I like to feel out a house before slapping up decor. I like to know which windows let in the morning breeze, where the richest puddles of afternoon sunlight fall, and which walls I will touch as I pass, every time. In short I need to live in a place fully, deeply, in order to make it home. I like to know the rhythm of steps it takes to travel from the bedroom to the fridge in the middle of the night. I like to shift the house plants around until they settle in like brooding hens. I like my paintings to tell me where they want to hang.
I'm working on it.
* * *
About a quarter mile down the street is a little market, the local corner type. They may be small, but they cater to both the organic milk drinkers (when home, I am a staunch milk-with-my-coffee gal) and the "dinner out of the fry case which happens to be the thing my nightmares are made of" eaters, but best of all, they have a well stocked plant selection out front. Two days ago I bought a new begonia along with my laundry detergent. Today I'm trying to think of something, anything I might need just for the excuse to walk down there and buy another plant. Maybe bananas. Or dish soap, do I have enough dish soap? Probably not.
* * *
This place is alive with humming birds. Yesterday I stared into the blue sky until my eyes watered and cried as a brilliant blue fellow hovered just feet above my head. The entire backyard is a wild playground, thick and tangled as the hill slopes down to the river. One might call it an experiment in invasive plants gone terribly wrong, this quest for the jungle crown between bamboo, stinging nettle, ivy, horse tail and blackberry (my neighbor is a shirtless man who swings a machete while wearing a Coors ball-cap. We've only waved from a distance). Along the fence the blackberries have won, but this serves me well: Every morning thus far I have trotted out my laundry room door, colander in hand, to pluck fat berries, two for me, four for the basket, one for Sancho. We stand outside in the weak sunlight of early morning, mouths watering, a new ritual.