Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hi friends!

I have been obsessed lately. I started a crafting project, and it has taken me over. It all started when my friend Rachael found this link last year. My thoughts then? Oooh, aahh, love it - but no way. Too much time necessary.

But this year, the project was still in our heads, so last week Rachael and I started our advent banners. And oh, did we!

The joy of these envelopes has been making me giddy. Now, when Phoenix wakes me up at 5:30am, (and then goes back to sleep, himself) I sneak down and start crafting before the others wake up. I am not ready to reveal these tidbits of lovely, that will have to happen next week.
But I just had to let you know why I have been absent online and on Sunday (I did not even check out the Creative word for the day!). I have been stolen away by tiny envelope-making fairies, and each one is cuter than the last. (The envelopes, not the fairies, I think they have to all be cute.)

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and enjoy time spent with your dear ones.

Gobble gobble...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sweet treat

I still think it tasted just fine, wrapper and all. I don't know what all the hollering was about.
It was funny the first time it happened, but the 3rd? What is going on with this child? How many treats have I given him, assuming he was unwrapping them? Oy vey.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Lonely

When the vines of the heart
Have their accustomed shape,
Twined and trimmed through the years
Of learning and merging
And living as one

What when the withering starts?
When the space filled by two
Is occupied by a solitary one

Topiary of a relationship
How deep are your roots
As they mingle underground
Seeking that growth elixir
Or the simple comfort of time

Time spent as we curved round
One another, shaping a life,
A comfortable nest

What is it that makes two into one?
that thing…
That takes the lonely heart and makes it full
makes it content
and takes away the hunger

For a time or an eternity
The lonely heart is fed.
The mingled vines they hold.
For in the spring,
when the deadwood is cleared,
Underneath lies the green of new life.

For my friend. I will always believe in the spring…
Need to soak in more Lonely? Check out the other Sunday Creatives, over at Justine’s place.

Friday, November 12, 2010

pilgrims and indians

Pilgrims and Indians, Pilgrims and Indians sat down together...

All across America, elementary classes will soon be decorating paper vests, and dressing like small Native American ambassadors and Pilgrim immigrants. As the de facto room Mom for my girls' Kindergarten class, I was assigned a job.

Cutting out 22 Indian vests was step one. But step two allowed for the willing help of my Shadow, and he was all too happy to spray the vests with water, while I crinkled them for a more suitable leather look. Step three - hang them to dry on our handy zip line!

Step four, don't tell any other teachers about this perfect set-up. :) My aspirations of support for the school do not include being known as The Vest Lady!

Happy Friday...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My grandmother had a rock garden.

Just inside the front door, under a giant window, was a reservoir of white rocks.

She had a variety of houseplants in pots growing there, she who could grow anything from light and air. There was always a jelly jar with something rooting, by the kitchen sink. Tomatoes and peppers at the back door. Cacti and succulents on the coffee table. I know where that came from, that tendency to grow green matter for no reason other than growing.

Her own mother.

My Nanny was always old, as a great-grandmother would be. She was a farmer's wife, though I did not realize that for a while. I only knew that she gardened and cooked. Gardened in the manner of a half-acre vegetable smorgasbord that she and my grandmother grew, not the aesthetic flower gardening so lovely and inedible. No, people of the Depression needed to look out their windows and see that year's food spread before them. I thought that was normal, that sprawling sort of selection.

She would drive out to the farm, park in the field behind my house, and walk through the garden, harvesting.

I would see her car and dash back there, a barefoot stick of a country girl, to poke down the overgrown aisles with her. Vivid yellow squash blossoms, bumpy small cucumbers, towering bean vines, cool dirt - these memories come easily. Nanny pointed and let me gather what was ripe. "He-yah, Bethy Lee," she would utter with a grunt, pointing at some hidden squash. I would cautiously poke under the leaves, ever alert for snakes, and twist the plump squash away.

She of the green thumb, passing that greenness down.

Down and down through family homes filled with house plants, now civilized and easily kept. Her vegetables served fresh and seasoned are not easily forgotten. Some of my earliest remembrances are set in her kitchen, a sunny place on Harvey Street that has been gone for years. A biscuit and a backyard full of fruit trees.

Green thumbs cannot be staunched.

Farm wife to downtown wife, trailing green whither she goes.

It flows as a constant through the family the compulsive push to tend and nurture, feed and flourish. Daughter to daughter to son - where it sits this generation, in my brother.

He can't help but plant and grow, and his plants can't help but thrive as lush as Jack's beanstalk.

I can't help but see this and let it warm me, this constancy of genetics.

And in the meantime, passively tend my own small piece of the green, gathered from my grandmother's rock garden as it was dismantled on her passing. A potted aloe plant, now placed on my piano. Thriving despite my inability, despite my lack of the green luck, all plump tentacles waiting to be needed.

And tucked in the midst, a forgotten gift from a decade ago... from me to my Gig.

Somehow I was meant to have this plant.

(You can thank Phoenix for this post - as he unearthed the pinwheel yesterday, from the depths of the aloe. I grinned and remembered painting it for Gig, and how she moved it from plant to plant over the years. You may also notice how Phoenix has unearthed my long-ago nickname - another reason why his shouts of "Bethalee" always make me grin...)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Aspiration

Breathing in and out
Forcibly slowing my thunderous heart
Patterning my body to the peace I desire

In order to aspire, first we must aspire.
The elemental breath
begins it all.

Shivers come, stillness falls
just breathe
when all else fails

World around, you are mostly welcome
wild bipolar world
of calm and chaos.

Making sense of it all
will take a tumbling succession
of lifetimes.

Lifetimes to breathe
one deep
inhalation {aspiration} exhalation
after another.


The act of aspiration got me through today's Sunday Creative, and you? Jump over to Justine Gordon's to see other creative interpretations.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

benign god

Hi friends...

You're lucky my computer froze, and I lost a post yesterday. It was really boring. I think I was moaning about photo storage, and blogger not letting me post pictures anymore. How mundane! You don't visit me for that! Where are the cute kids, the funny quotes, the wacky house-appliance-crashing days? The Halloween cuties, the festival pumpkins, the party-going kids?

Like I said, no pictures. Google has cut me off.

My words will have to be sufficient until I can clear out some online albums. It's only that google owns about the the whole world now, and certainly blogger, and certainly picasa and wherever else I am stashing photos online. And google being google, they know everywhere I am, and how to tally how much of their space I am using, and probably what I just had for lunch.

Somehow I don't mind. Benign god, ye google.

Hi. I came around here to say Hi.

We had some less than inspiring electoral choices around here. Choice is way too strong of a word.

And somehow, you know, every time I see the words Reclaiming America, I'm maybe feeling a little put out.

I'm a benign god too, you know. If I'm the face of the one holding America in my hands, do I look so dangerous?
Hi. I'm sitting right next to you, and we can talk.
We can even be friends.
Best of all, we can share America.
I promise.

Because even though I may disagree with you, I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler.

(I {heart} you Jon Stewart, for many things in general, but that line in particular.)