Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Time for Metamorphosis

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

Now posted at The NDN Silver Blog, it's the butterfly's song, with a message the rest of the world needs to hear. It's a song of the spirit, and also a warning that it is a time for metamorphosis, if our world is to survive.

The post is here. Wings's main page is here. Inquiries via the site's Contact form. And, as always, sales are much needed, so shares of the site links are much appreciated.



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Electric pushed to next week. Progress on the downstairs details, though.

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.
Apparently Victor got delayed on an out-of-town job, so he had to reschedule. We're having him come out on Monday instead. Which now also turns out to be the same day the horse vet will be out to do a blood panel on Shade, because she's having inflammatory reactions that, with her genetic and medical history (a mother with severe founder and Cushing's, and laminitis in her own right front), mean that we need to keep on top of the risk of both Cushing's and insulin resistance.

In the meantime, the progress may not look like much from the outside, but the guys began a couple of big things today. First, they put the first coat of stain on the first two of the interior doors, and Tony also began staining the window trim in the ground floor interior. Second, they did this:

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.
Yeah, I know; to most people, it probably looks no different from the last image I posted showing the downstairs bath plasterwork. But see that darker edge around the doorway? That's the brand-new door frame that they built today. They got the one for the utility room done, too, and got them both stained.

Tony's off next week; he has family coming into town. Reynaldo will be here to continue the woodwork, though. We'll also likely have Sherm's crew, unless they get it all finished this weekend; Victor, to finish off the wiring; and if we can get all the flooring yet this week, Floyd and Gary will do the downstairs tile. And once again, it'll start looking very different very fast.

For tonight, I've got to get a jump on some of the week's posts for Wings's site. I need to spend all of tomorrow trying to get the rest of the gardens in (or as much as humanly possible, anyway), and I have to get caught up on a bunch of other tasks, too.

Many thanks to all. More updates tomorrow, if all goes well.



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Red Willow Spirit: Hope Transforms

Photo copyright Wings, 2017; all rights reserved.
Now posted at The NDN Silver Blog, it's this week's edition of Red Willow Spirit, with a look at small transcendent summer spirits. This week, our teacher is Butterfly (and her cousin, Moth), wing├ęd messengers of love here to remind us that even in the darkest, most dangerous hours, hope transforms

The post is here. Wings's main page is here. It's all photos today, a combination of Wings's and my own, and as always, his are available for purchase in any of the usual three formats; simply inquire via the site's Contact form. Also as always, sales are much needed, so shares of the site links are much appreciated.


All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Silver on the Sky Road

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

I walked out this morning to let the larger chickens out, and discovered that Silver had left us. We were just noticing last night how happy, content, and comfortable she looked on the top of the coop with her girls. This morning, she was in a different spot on top of it, slumped forward, gone just long enough for rigor to have set in. She had a piece of straw clamped firmly in her beak, as though she'd been rearranging her makeshift nest when her little heart just gave out.

This one is a bit harder than most of the others. She was the last of our old guard, our first group of chickens that we acquired in 2012. Her sister died of wry neck just days after hatching, but she was tougher. She would prove to be both a little skittish and fairly dominant, but she was always my beautiful girl, not too fond of being held, but willing to have her feathers stroked.

Silver outlasted all the others from that first round, and all of those from the second group we got a few weeks later, too. The only remaining one of her cohort had been Sky, who we lost suddenly a few months ago, and Silver took it hard; she mourned her openly, looking into the distance out the fence every evening, as though she expected her very skittish sister to come barreling up, squawking all the way. It took weeks for her to come to terms with it, but eventually, she settled back into her role as matriarch and alpha, and again began socializing with her younger siblings (the ones who joined us as hatchlings in 2014). A few weeks ago, when we finally brought the new chicks over to the coop to integrate them, she was the first to intermingle with them openly without much overt dominance, and unlike the younger reds and blacks, she seemed mostly comfortable being among the shrieking ankle-biters. Perhaps it was the fact that six of them are her distant cousins, Silver-Laced Wyandottes like herself.

At any rate, she survived a little over five years, which for a free-range hen not being shot full of artificial substances is a pretty good run. She had been slowing noticeably in recent months, and until a couple of weeks ago, had ceased laying entirely. Since then, she's given us a few more light brown eggs, small and so pale they're not far off ivory — her final tangible gift, I suppose, to us. But she seemed to have no pain or discomfort, and last night, she seemed perfectly happy, and so it appears that she went the best way possible: simply went to sleep and didn't awaken again.

She's buried at the edge of the west garden, next to her beloved sister Sky  as always, with everything she'll need. And we both miss her terribly.

We love you, Silver. You'll find Sky again, and your twin Star, along the Sky Road where you'll truly be able to fly.



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

The last of the moulding. Not much to show, but a lot in the works.

Photo copyright Aji, 2017;
all rights reserved.

Not much visible progress to report today, but a lot of stuff in the works. That up there is the tangible result from Tony and Reynaldo, the last of the mouldings; they'll only be able to put one of them up for now, though. The other two have to wait until 1) Ice gets here and finishes the texturing on the back wall of the stairwell, which will likely be next week; and 2) I then get it painted, which involves more episodes of me hanging off a ladder on top of a scaffold.

Miguel apparently works another job most weekdays, so he and Sherm will probably not be back until the end of the week to finish off the interior plaster. But we've got the final round of pigment ready to go, and they'll be able to pick up whatever else they might need in the way of Structo and Red-Top.

Tomorrow, Victor comes to start the work of finishing up the wiring. We'll also be calling to order the stucco for the color coat of the exterior plaster, which is slated to begin on July 7th, weather permitting. I also have to place a few online orders for materials, we need to get over to Olguin's (the local sawmill) to figure out which posts we need for the decking, and very soon we'll be heading to Lowe's and Home Depot to pick up tile for the downstairs and wood for the upstairs. There's a lot more to do, too, but I'm wiped and can't think of what it is right now.

Tomorrow, I should have more substantive info, and possibly better images, too. For now, I have to finish up here and get to work plotting out the order of the materials orders.

It's a nice problem to have.

Many thanks and much to love everyone for all your help getting us to this point.



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Monday Photo Meditation: A World Transformed

Photo copyright Wings, 2017;
all rights reserved.

Now posted at The NDN Silver Blog, it's a photo meditation for a transformative and transcendent season and the spirits who inhabit it. It's also a reminder that in a world transformed rapidly, often dangerously, there are still blessings to be found in its changes.

The post is here. Wings's main page is here. As always, Wings's photos are available for purchase in any of the usual three formats; simply inquire via the site's Contact form. Also as always, sales are much needed, so shares of the site links are much appreciated. 



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The best kind of house-related post.

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

Your hint is in the tags, or rather, what's not in them.

Okay, okay.

There will be no request for link shares in this post. We have been blessed beyond belief this weekend. Avilyn's post sparked contributions beyond anything we could have imagined, and today, we were afforded yet another blessing by the universe: a loan arrangement that, combined with the funds raised, will permit us to finish off the construction under repayment terms that we can manage. I've already told folks to take us off various fundraising lists, so that no attention will be deflected from the folks on them who still need help. And we will, of course, be right there with everyone as soon as we can, giving when and where we can. It will be small amounts, true, but we will, as always, pay forward while we're paying back.

Yes, I've spent time weeping tears of joy and sheer relief. I'm still mostly speechless; I can't quite believe that I'm not just asleep and dreaming all of this, because it's been so elusive for so many years. But it is real, and we are blessed, and we are profoundly grateful to every single person who has helped us along the way, with everything from donations to art purchases to wishlist items to link shares to kind words and good vibes.

This is also a moment of celebration for me for the very simple reason that I won't need to write these repetitive fundraising posts every night. What I will do is post daily updates, so those folks who want to see the progress can do so. It's going to move very fast now, as fast as physically and logistically possible.

To all of you who have been with us the nearly two years of this process (and some of you, the nearly seven years we've been without a real home), chi miigwech and ta'a. You have given us nothing less than a life, one with a decent shot at health and safety, and there are not words in any of our languages to express to our gratitude adequately.



All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.