Friday, July 7, 2017

“Cleaning in the Nude”

            Now that I have your attention—Yes, I strip down nekked whenever I clean with anything that can destroy my clothing. I don’t know why or how, but as soon as I enter the same room with bleach, it spills and splatters all over my outfit, leaving my shorts pockmarked and my tops tie-died. For years, I’d approach any cleanser with extreme caution only to look down once I tightly screw on the lid to find a patch of orange-white dots doing a polka on my pants.
            I struggle with paint, too. It doesn’t matter what kind of paint I use, half of it ends up on my clothing, covering my hands, and tangling my hair. I have a special outfit I don if my painting takes me outside, or if anyone else is in the house while I roll walls or brush doors.
            The other day, my son proudly purchased a wonderful attachment for me to use while spray painting our outside furniture. Excitement filled me as I pulled pack the trigger and found a steady, smooth stream flowing from the can and effortlessly covering our Bistro table and chairs. I moved swiftly around the furniture and decided to add four plant holders and a small table to my repainting adventure.
            When I finished the job, smugness filled me. I had an itsy-bitsy speck of paint on my right index finger and thumb from when I’d repositioned the furniture a tad. A triumphant “Whoop!” and a fist pump to the air swirled around me. I’d painted nine pieces and walked away without being coated by Hammered Bronze!
            This miracle, though, proved short lived. In my enthusiasm to try out the attachment, I worked with bare feet. My outdoor shoes sat forgotten on the back porch. Now if any of you have ever used spray paint, you know it casts a mist far and wide. Imagine me dancing around the table and chairs, focused upon the clean ease of my new toy, and not noting that I capered and cavorted onto that light coating.
            When my son asked me about the effectiveness of his little device, I reluctantly admitted my foot folly. He laughed. . . and laughed . . . and laughed.

The finished project!

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Laboring on the 4th"

Broken Hackberry

            While most people spent Independence Day surrounded by friends frolicking in water and then feasting on foot-longs while “ooohhh-ing and aaahhh-ing” at fireworks, we labored in our back yard. A couple of weeks ago, our neighbor’s large Hackberry tree, which dominated the back corner of both our yards, cracked and split under the weight of its own leaves. The branches of this substantial tree arched over a redwood patio cover we’d moved to that portion of the yard when the Hackberry stood a slender twig on the other side of our fence. Over the years this junction of tree limbs, pittosporum, and patio cover became a squirrel playground. And during the lazily hot months of summer, those squirrels loved to lounge across those redwood beams and chop away their afternoons. This damage, partially hidden by the Hackberry’s boughs, became too obvious to ignore once the tree was gone.
            We toyed with the idea of repairing the patio cover since it is original to our fifty-year-old house. But between squirrel munching and wood rot, it became quickly clear that taking it down would be a better way to spend our long weekend. Pushing it down took only a matter of minutes, but dismantling took hours. We decided to neatly pile the pieces of wood that can be repurposed for some later yard project. The rotted portions received an axe treatment and turned into kindling for our outdoor fire pit.
David with downed patio cover
            Simultaneous to the patio cover demolishing we decided to refurbish a statue of a fairy. Over the years, her dramatic two-tone coloring had faded so much that she blended into the bushes. After I cleaned her thoroughly, my husband brought her inside and hand-painted her back to glory. 


        As he worked on her, I refurbished another statue that I purchased years ago. Once she regained her serenity, I repainted our Bistro set as well as several dollar store plant stands. The final chore found both of us draining out the hot tub, which we then scrubbed clean. We rewarded ourselves with a dip in the ice-cold water. What a relief to sit and soak after so much work!

The statue I worked on
By the time evening fell on the Fourth, we couldn’t muster the energy to view fireworks. Our traditional viewing of Independence Day never happened, and I don’t ever remember fixing anything for dinner. All of the laboring on the fourth has left us with a little nook for our hammock and some wind chimes. Not bad at all.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

“Our Moral Obligation”

         Another round of presidential misogyny left me fuming for a few days. A horde of angry responses snarled and gnashed their fangs within my mind. Yet I stayed away from keyboard. Not because I wanted to reign in my words, but because I fought for just the right order and organization to my thoughts.
         My little blog posts won’t change anything.
   The president’s deeply rooted personality disorder won’t miraculously disappear because I wish it so. There’s no magic. Not even the fervent prayers of the multitudinous faithful will rescue us from this current mess.
       Instead, we have to watch every day and wait for this man to stop skirting around social inappropriateness and actually break a law. A “biggy” that really matters. In the meantime, we summon every ounce of patience as investigations into obstruction of justice play out. Our gut tells us that this may not take that long; but whenever it happens, it may still be too late.
      And so, why do I write? Why do I pass along every article I read about this administration? What do I hope to accomplish?
         A moral obligation.
        A moral obligation to speak out every time an injustice occurs.
        A moral obligation to share facts and data that become obscured by ignorance—or even worse, a political agenda that seeks profit over prosperity.
        A moral obligation to pass along documented and referenced research about the administration’s desire for authoritarianism.
         A moral obligation to protect our right to vote.
         A moral obligation to voice dissent.
         A moral obligation to stand with our free press.
        A moral obligation to address the absurdities of this president and to yell, “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!”
      And that’s it. The bottom line. My moral obligation compels me to educate everyone I can with the understanding that we must stand together to fight against this abnormality.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman