New things… horses to beach pebbles

Since starting Project Nina (aka quitting my job of over 8 years and finding what makes me Me) I’ve done a few new things.

I’ve been horse sitting (not a typo for house) for a very sweet 27-year-old Arabian.  His name is Laddie.  He is over 10 years my junior poops like you wouldn’t believe and I am without a doubt in love.  He is incredibly patient while I brush him and clean his hooves.  He loves to hang out with me in the pasture and take walks.  While he enjoys carrots, apples, untouched grass and being brushed his favorite thing is finding just the right spot and rolling in the dirt or mud or grass.  He pads the ground with his hooves, snorts a little and goes for it!  He lowers himself onto one side.  Leans toward the center of his back and shimmies.  Then it’s up and back down again for the other side.  It makes him so happy that my disappointment over the disappearance of his pretty brushed hair quickly evaporates.  Plus it means I get to brush him again!  Why haven’t I been horse sitting since I moved here?  I guess it wasn’t time.  Laddie’s owner is a friend of the family and I had heard about her for years but we didn’t meet until I started Project Nina.

I signed up for a storytelling/solo performance workshop presented by Back Fence PDX and Portland Center Stage and taught by Lauren Weedman.   I was in the PCS lobby waiting for Red to start and I thought I would “like” PCS on facebook.  A few days later the workshop showed up on my facebook feed.  I hadn’t done any performing since I left New York in 2001.  I don’t know what it was but I clicked on the link, filled out the information and paid my deposit.  It was exhilarating if not a little terrifying.  I needed a 1200 word piece.  By this time I had started my blog but I didn’t have much from which to choose.  My sister-in-law told me I should write about peeps.  After all she had heard the story for years.    I wrote it.  First draft was around 600 words.  I could try to flesh it out or go with something else.  (My first blog post was just about the right length.)  I re-wrote and tweaked and when the deadline came I submitted both Peeps and Cancer… In this economy?

The weekend of the workshop arrived.  I drove to the theatre.  Parked in a lot because it was going to be several hours and I just wasn’t in the mood to take mass transit.  There were 11 participants (coincidently all women) we met in the lobby, paid the remainder of the fee using the handy-dandy Square.   After introductions we headed up stairs to the conference room that would be our creative home for 2 days.  We chatted, waited for late comers and settled in.  After a round of 2 truths and a lie (always fun) we started reading and discussing our pieces.  Originally I had written my piece the way I usually told it.  Which was to people who knew me and knew what it was to grow up Jewish in Colorado Springs.  We all got our notes and headed home for rewrites.  Lauren said I could tackle the rewrite of use Cancer… In this economy? which she thought was ready.  I figured I was there to workshop I should workshop.  I dove into rewrites.  When I read it on the second day it was, for all intents and purposes, a different piece.  I got a few more notes, stopped by the Office Max for an ink cartridge because of course this is when it needed to die.  Back home, did another rewrite, got ready and headed to Hotel de Lux for the performance.  I couldn’t have been happier with it unless I had invited people.  I kept it pretty under wraps because it was my first time performing in over a decade and I just wasn’t ready for an audience I knew.  What if I sucked?  What if after all these years I couldn’t do it anymore.  My sister-in-law asked if she could come and since I had been going to her performances it felt right.  Next time out there will be invites.

I joined a CSA!  My parents and I are splitting a share.  (Because while I may be a home owner I am not really a grown up.)  I had accompanied my brother and sister-in-law for a pruning party several months ago to get the farm ready for the growing season.  I thought then that I would like to join the farm.  So when the open house came around I decided to take the plunge.  Well, sort of.  I knew I wanted to join.  But a share is a lot of produce.  I didn’t want to split it with my parents because I don’t like discussing money with them.  Especially right now since I’m not making an income.  So I talked about it with a friend, but she may be moving to California.  Which would make it a little inconvenient.  My mom knew I was going to the open house and asked if I was going to join.  I said if I can do a 1/2 share absolutely.  She said if I can’t that she and my dad would love to split a share with me.  (They had no idea how much it was.)  At the open house I inquired about the 1/2 share but learned I couldn’t do a 1/2 share unless I found someone for the other 1/2.  The woman who owns/runs the CSA said she could easily eat a share on her own.  I was not that confident in my own ability.  So I told her I would think about it and get back to her.  Back to square one.  I saw my mom later that day, but this time in a car not on the side lines of a soccer game.  And like an idiot I said I was waiting to hear from my friend.  She said “but we can split a share with you.”  I wasn’t quick enough to change the subject.  She said it again.  I was stuck.  I said I didn’t want to talk to them about it.   There was a  question in the air.  I said I didn’t want to talk about money with them, especially right now.  And that the share is $800.  They were both a bit taken aback.  Now I was in it.  I might as well go all the way.  So I pointed out that there are 29 harvest so it was pretty reasonable.  Even more so when split.  My brother and his family are splitting a share with another family of four.  There’s a lot of food!  Again they said that they would like to split a share with me.  So I emailed the owner and we wrote checks.  I’ll get to help with the harvest.  Hang out with goats, chickens, cows and lamas (at least I think they are lamas, we haven’t been introduced yet).  Today I did our first pick up!  2 reusable cloth grocery bags (of course) of produce.   I’ll be busy searching for and trying new recipes.  Oh and lets not forget the dehydrator and the juicer.  They will be busy little kitchen appliances.

I am in week 6 of The Artist’s Way and continuing to enjoy the journey.  I’ve written about this (and may again depending on what it inspires) so I won’t repeat myself here.  If you haven’t worked through the book I encourage you to do so.

After years of collecting them every time I visit the coast I’m successfully turning those perfect little beach pebbles into jewelry.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with them or where it will go but it’s a fun little project and that is the point of this time.

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