Monday, March 30, 2009

Roosters - 2, Lynelle - 0.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nights in Black Velvet

I know, I made it seem like this place was all tranquil Arcady in yesterday‘s blog. But the truth is, there is a little bit of wacky at the old farmhouse. Think ‘Arcadia’ mixed with a dash of ‘Cold Comfort Farm.’

To begin with, let me state that getting chickens and roosters out of their coop is way easier than getting them back in. Roosters can be bizarrely aggressive, and your Northside all-weathers or your cowboy boots or black, low top chucks are only going to protect so much. There is a crazy as hell bantam rooster who is out to murder me and I have the bruises on my knee to prove it. However, roosters know next to nothing about human anatomy, so he was not as near to my essential organs as he believed. Muahhahah.

And then, there is Bob. Bob is special. And by special I mean he has some sort of genetic problem that causes him to look and act abnormal. Other chickens will sense this, and sometimes try to kill him. So Bob roosts alone at night, in his own private bachelor pad. Mom explained that Bob was a party animal and may need “extra coaxing” to get him back in the coop. This translates to chasing him around the garden in the dark for 45 minutes. I finally managed to whack him off the fence with my flashlight and while he was still dazed from the blow, scoop him up and stuff him back into his coop.

In bed, at last. Or I would have been, if there weren’t three good sized dogs already in it!! I fought them off and claimed a little chunk of sleeping territory, which did all right until midnight. That was when Velvet woke up feeling playful, so she nipped the back of my head and gnawed on my arm before I got up and let her out. And of course, after that, one by one, each dog decided it was time to have a wee and a sniff about the yard. It wouldn’t be so bad if they would all go together, but no, the rounds have to be made by one’s self. Otherwise, someone might miss some very important sniffing.

I gave up on sleep at that point and decided to make my way to the kitchen for a snack and hot cocoa. My rummaging about woke Grandma, who marched into the kitchen STARK NAKED to see if she could help me with anything, you know, fry me up an egg or whatnot. “Thank you, grandma, but no,” I told her, as I found I suddenly had no appetite.

So. It’s not all idylls and shepherds here. No sir. I’m willing to bet I’ll find “something nasty in the woodshed,” if I look very hard.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lynelle in Arcadia

Got to the farm in the middle of the night, two nights ago. Luggage includes one suitcase, a large camera bag, a book bag, a project bag, and yet another camera bag. Spent the first half of yesterday getting all of Mom’s instructions on how to take care of the animals, grandma, and the gardens. Spent the second half teaching Dale how to use my Canon 20d. He was a little bit disgusted to find that I had lost my user’s manual. But life goes on.
Saw the ‘rents off to Africa at 2:30 am. That, and my horrible cough, made it a rough night. Up at 6 to feed the horses (Chief first, as he bites you if he’s left waiting) then the chickens (hens out of the coop and into the henhouse yard, then the roosters, then Bob, the little half retarded rooster who is cooped by himself.) Then the dogs. Wally on the back patio, Zena and Bella on the side porch, and Velvet in the kitchen. Then off to water the garden.
Did the orchid house first, and spent a few minutes hunting for the little tree frogs that live there. I consider it good luck to see one. Then part of the veggie garden - I save the other half for tomorrow.

And now it’s 8:00 and Rene makes me try driving to town for the post office and to put gas in my moms car. The reasons why I am 32 and still don’t drive will have to wait for another blog. It’s a round trip of about three miles but I still find it harrowing.

Breakfast: fresh eggs, whole wheat toast and huckleberry jam. Yay, breakfast. Which, I have come to realize, is my favorite meal of the day. The eggs are fragrant and so flavorful, and very small, which makes them cute.

9:00, and we go into the orchard with one of Dale’s bows, and practice some archery. I don’t actually hit the target, but one of my arrows comes close. Good enough for me, and I call it a day. The quince is blooming, something I’ve never actually seen in my adult life. The grass underneath it is covered in a snow of white petals. Nothing else in the orchard is quite in bloom yet, so this is pretty magical.

After Rene takes his turn, we gather up the arrows and put the target away and I see him off, back to LA to care for my cats and help Master Lam in kung fu class. He’ll be back in a week or so to check on us.

Now I get a lesson from Grandma on how to take care of her, and the animals, and the place, some of which directly countermands Mom’s orders. I nod and smile, but I give nothing away: I know which side my bread is buttered on.

A two hour nap follows the lesson - I know, it’s hard work, country livin’ is - and now I’m up. The dogs are sleeping, Grandma is puttering (she insisted on burning the some of the trash, but I was able to make a compromise with her - no Styrofoam will be burned today, thank you very much) and I’m trying to decide what to do with myself….

Pictures will follow in a week or so - I forgot my card reader at home. I am sheepish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chinese Culture Night

Chinese Culture Night
Originally uploaded by bnelle
The CSUN Chinese Student Association is hosting a Chinese Culture Night, featuring the Kienando Elite Performance Team (I know, we are pretty full of ourselves;) Friday, April 17. There is also music, dance, and a fashion show, among others. All celebrating the beauty and history of Chinese Culture.

It's a special night for us, because our performance will feature Master Johnny's powerful and graceful Quan Dao form - something he hasn't performed outside of our school in years. It's going to knock your very socks off.

Tickets cost 5 bucks.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Italian, the language of Lynelle

Very funny things happen when you google yourself - you find all kinds of things you were not expecting. Like this article, in Italian, from Inscena Magazine, which features one of my polaroids. I would like to tell you what it means, but my understanding of Itialian is based on my rusty understanding of French. Anywho. It's about creation and distruction and Heidegger and Emmanuel Levinas.

So, they credit me under my flikr account - brightnewthings. I'm ok with my art going out in the world and doin' stuff on it's own. I just sort of wished there was a little check involved; you know, somethin' for my troubles, and all that.
If you want to see it, here's the link.

Mille Grazie