A poem I wrote today in honor of Mom's birthday. She's so far away...how I wish I could steal her away for lunch whenever I wanted....
a cracked halo in her beautiful
my consort, my dear momma.
A poem I wrote today in honor of Mom's birthday. She's so far away...how I wish I could steal her away for lunch whenever I wanted....
a cracked halo in her beautiful
my consort, my dear momma.
The family gathered tonight. A spontaneous and jovial game of Apples to Apples ensued. The REAL entertainment of the evening: watching the herd sacked out on the sofa checking out the Christmas tree lights in their cool new goggles. Here's what the lights look like through the star glasses.
We also have angels, snowmen, and snowflakes. Way too much fun. Oh how I love all my beauties...and that nice boyfriend, Mike, of the oldest wild pony. Are there words for that feeling of complete and utter how-could-life-be-better-?
Tomorrow will be the day of last minute stilt making with the wild ponies' grandpa (my dadio) and picking up the last minute 1964-volkswagon-beetle-engine-hood-turned-sidetable I had welded up for Vinnietheman. Cross your fingers he doesn't read this before Christmas morning. :)
a day of remembering. Making bread...never just a loaf. Always a "batch". Remembering my Aunt who would grind wheat weekly in the grinder stuffed in the corner of the kitchen filling the house with the warm smell of comfort. A dozen loaves a week, at least, we feasted on. A few loaves "sacrificed" to the pan scones and the cravings of a gaggle of cousins hankering for fresh-from-the-oven slices slathered in butter and honey from the five gallon bucket we'd dip our knives into...each wielding our own in the name of self preservation. :) I should have been surprised that she felt my rememberings when she phoned me out of the blue this afternoon...but I wasn't. I've grown accustomed to those kinds of things.
...in which you learn that the moral of the story isn't always "the early bird gets the worm".
The Christmas time warp has hog-tied and shackled me. Feels a bit like standing between two giant cones which make no sound more than a slight, subhumanhearing buzz and push the air in great, hypnotizing ripples. I don't mind. I'm actually surrendering quite willingly to the lull of the seasonal excitement. If you've ever had two young girls in your keeping at this time of year, and have ever had the pleasure of being their momma, than you know of magic that hovers. The whispers and excitement and planning and sneaking about to wrap this and hide that. Coins being counted to see if "there is enough for...." which sometimes resolves itself with a chat with papa and asking for a little help to cover the difference. I'm often fed lines like "Momma, me and papa are going down to the store for half and half" to which I reply "Papa and I.... See you in a while." And in a flash they are gone - before I ask any questions...which I never do. :)
This weekend, the last before Christmas, found us adventuring out for a tree. Weeks later than our normal time of acquisition, I was certain we'd find a tree to settle on and I'd spend the rest of the evening propping it up (good side out) on a table to make it look taller and more special. Imagine the wails and sobs and it's-the-end-of-the-world whines when the sign on the U-Cut farm said "closed". Onward to an expensive tree lot - me crossing my fingers they would have something left other than those wretched too-dense-to-hang-anything-from trees which look as though they've been attacked by a hedge trimmer. Ugh. Though I've never been one to pine for the luxurous in the every-day of life, I feel like the richest woman in the world when a beautiful bit of nature comes to live with me for a while. I've had dreams of a perfect "pencil tree" for some time now. A tall, skinny Noble Fir which grows more in rigid layers than as a cone with a sillhouette of slightly protruding and wayward branches all perfectly reaching out. But, in these lean times, I could not see the logic in spending perfectly good money on such an extravagance when there are children to be pleased.
We wandered the lot, "All trees marked down to $25 except for the tall ones and if you buy a tree, I'll give you one of those" said the lot attendant pointing to the 2 foot tops the girls were cooing over. Then I saw it. The tree in my dreams. A pencil tree, standing there all alone among the little 6 footers. We examined it first and falling in love, decided that the prudent thing to do would be to check out all the little trees before deciding anything. I just kept wanting it...all beautifull and regal standing there...slated for the chipping chute if it didn't find it's way into a living room...and soon!
Imagine my surprise when, in spite of the $129 yellow price tag tied to it, we purchased it - no wheeling and dealing - for fourty smackaroos!?!?! Thrilled beyond words, I was, to know that I had the tree of my dreams and it didn't require any financial compromise! :) Not only did we get a free tiny tree, but both of the girls and their friend EACH got their own free tree! Our house is decked, I tell you!
I've always dressed my abies tenants in a white, sparking gown, but this year I was craving something different. Red. From head to toe. Three strands of lights were not enough. Six is better but 10 would be ideal (including the one strand of white I tucked in for filler). She's at least 15 feet tall - tickling the tongue and groove ceiling...with a folded paper star atop made from old blueprints VInnietheman had on hand. Every time I catch her in view from around some corner, I giggle inside - and sometimes outwardly - because of her beauty - even though she has little on her in the way of ornaments.
Tonight as I finally made my way to this computer to share the happenings of my world for the past few days, I am so plumped with gratitude for the goodness in my life. For the fact that I have an adoring family - two girls who are easily brought back from a "humpf" by a little humor, a husband who humors me, and a cozy warm home, all safe and sound, to share. I pray for a safe journey for my dad and his wife who are leaving the Wasatch Front in the wee hours of the morning to join us for Christmas....through the desert, up and over the mountains of snow through Susanville, Shasta, Ashland...to us and our little lit village, red striped stockings hung with care, our glowing red sentinal and our open open arms.
Wild pony number one. Seeing her in front of these lights caught my breath in my throat....My wild ponies and I are especially in love with this album again this year. Track four, "Little Town", is our favorite. (You can also check it out on iTunes and listen to the beautiful samples.)
Cold cold cold. Seems there should be feet and feet of snow outside...something to show for all this cold. Alas, there are just a few frigid piles here and there and the rest of the world is a thick grey-white dusting of thick frost. Days like this mean taking fresh water out to the rabbits every morning and keeping the stove well stoked.
Here are some dreamy white views from Monday...
Today I'm dreaming of laughter. I'm dreaming of movement and stillness in one breath. I'm dreaming of the smell of moss and of a swath of Japanese Anemones fingering their way down the hill.
On a side note, the last day for shipping etsy orders for US delivery in time for Christmas is Friday (according to the USPS).
"Bridge to Captain. Bridge to Captain. There has been an invasion. They're asking for you. Only you can restore order to this ship."
The captain wears an apron
and packs lunches and boils the water
and maintains the order of the ship
Phone rings again and again
Fragrance of sustenance
Something old, something cleaned
Something ticking, something bubbling
cupboards slam, footprints on countertops
How is it that wild ponies (or space invaders)
can climb so high?
How is it that this teeny tiny bridge holds
so much energy?
The bland vanilla walls fell in defeat today covered over by a lovely gray-green shade of "Boardwalk". The smokey tones are not given justice in the photos but the change is deliciously overdue. A small change, to say the least, but one that makes this old, dated kitchen (whose days are numbered) feel a bit more inviting.
This is the corner just to the right when you walk in the kitchen. This is where the nucleus pulses...phone calls, reminder notes, cell phone chargers, pens, a handfull of unsharpened pencils, calendar, my 12 year old sansevaeria, and school papers (mostly that should be thrown in the trash ... a MUCH too difficult a task for a wild pony fresh home from school....way too difficult to drop in the can which sits just below said corner!!) What? What's that you say? You see no papers? That is because I threw them away. They obviously weren't going to throw themselves away.
This is the opposite corner. A treasured bowl (which contains our staple packets of EmergenC (my favorite flavor is the Raspberry) atop my favorite red scale. Nothing satisfies my craving for soda like a tall glass of EmergenC. Well, except for a soda which I treat myself to about once every few months.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll show you the fruit corner. Or my treasured Aloes. Or maybe more snow.
We celebrated Grandma LaPriel's 90th birthday last night (and will again on the 23rd...her actual birthday). Her name means "the Pearl"...and how fitting. A pearl is built delicate layer upon delicate, hard earned layer. The luster from years and decades and lifetimes - surrounded by ebb and flow, tossing and turning, a bit of hiding out.......and then the harvest is beheld. We, her progeny, reflect back her luster.
Happy Birthday, Grandma Lapriel.
I love you.
The white that blanketed our world in the night - a rarity for us - is already making a move. Snow that usually muffles the sounds of even silence have the opposite effect when only an inch falls and the sun promptly warms it. It's the constant sound of dripping, crackling, the heavy sky pushing down on the tree tops with bits and pieces falling wet to the ground.
Snow has an effect on my girls that no other weather does. They become endlessly giddy and play for hours....and hours and hours. Throwing snowballs for the equally as excited dog and discovering that when a large clump of snow is grated along the top of the running heat pump, it acts like a snow blower. Squeals outside my window...a snowball thrown to tempt me away from the work at my desk. I'm coming, I'm coming....
Small little wrappings of winter quiet now available in my etsy shop.
It was moving day today for some friends. It came quickly and sooner than expected so there was little help lifting the heavy things. I lifted more furniture today than I have all year. Good thing one of my friends is a Chiropractor. I think I earned free adjustments for life. :)
This truck. If it could tell stories it would have a thousand and one, at least. Belonging to a generous and helpful church friend-to-all, it is always the first rig to show up at anyone's house on moving day. More than half it's mileage is from moving families in need of help. There are a few keys floating around that are always available to anyone when needed. Today it clocked in more time of service and it's 1002nd story was written. Box after box it's hauled. Couches, chairs, beds, baby cribs, dishes, plants, toys, the occasional fly-a-way garbage can...you name it, it's been in the back of this truck. I had the strangely comforting feeling today driving this truck - feeling like I, in some small way, had the opportunity to be a part of one small story of service in the long, long life of this truck - springy, bouncy seats, rubber mat floors, heavy duty metal seat belt buckles. This one is made for the long haul and seemed worthy of sharing for today's december views.
My oh my. Yesterday was a blip on the radar. You know those days when you're so busy doing something rediculously fun with people you love that you don't pay any attention to the time? Yesterday was that day for me. I took my december views photos early, early in the morning with the intention of getting them posted first thing. Dear women of my family came over not much later to begin the family quilt for baby Enekai. Tradition. Each handmade block from various family members came together on my dining table and dear sister-in-law, Amber, and I each took the helm of our respective sewing machines to put it all together. We rummaged through my pared-down-but-still-mungous pile offabrics and "made do"... Grandma and Amber's darling Ezra of no help at all!
I'm so pleased with the coming together of it all...it's SO KevinandHeidi (the proud parents). Each stitch represents of breath of love for the dear recipients and the wool blanket standing in for batting with keep precious Enekai wrapped toasty in that love for years to come. What a gift it was for me to be a part of it.
Vinnietheman's mom was here with me until the bitter end helping me stitch and hold and roll and pin and trim and tuck and press and....even Sadie grew tired of all the activity and surrendered to my scrap-dropping ways. When we rolled into bed around three AM, I saw the frosty moon and felt a little comforted by the fact that I wasn't the only one still up. :)
Today, I post enough December views for two days. I'm a bit thick-headed this morning and off to help a dear friend clean her new house before moving day Saturday so these are raw, unedited, unprettied up and many slightly un-focused. What do you want out of a woman who was standing in a frozen field in her robe and slipper shivvering to death all for a photo...or twenty?!?!? :) That reminds me of a funny saying my birthmom blurts out when referring to someone who seems to be a little ditsy: "That kid's been bucked off onto a frozen field one too many times." I know how that feels. :)
spontaneous remembering...is there any other kind? What started out as needing to quickly retrieve a few photos from the old suitcases in which they are stored turned into a family affair of shuffling, oohing, remembering, question asking, laughing, appreciating, making-fun-of, and smiling. Lots of smiling while all sitting cross-legged on the dining room floor. Especially delightful was the little smoochy face Melissa used to make as a toddler...sucking her full upper lip to her nose while concentrating. I'm in love with these pictures of pictures. They're fuzzy and dreamy...kind of like the stories in my head of these times but yet so different too. Yesterday seems so clear in so many ways when I remember........
I'm loving these december views.
Rescued woodpecker with broken wing...camping out in the girl's bedroom. He will find his way to the animal santuary tomorrow. More december views here.
Today Vinnietheman and I celebrate 9 years of marriage (and 13 delicious years of togetherness). I love this day...this day that is also the anniversaries for my mother's parents and dear step-dad's parents. We didn't even know it when we were planning our own wedding date. The girls are away to friends' houses and we are in the quiet and comfort of our own haven...our home, our sanctuary, place to just be. Heaven. (You may wonder why I am posting this then if we are together? Well, the man still needs his CNN fix - blech - and I wanted to share a december view with you. I missed posting yesterday's photo).
The sun shone today and the one room in the house that gets flooded with winter sun for a good part of the day is my studio. It called to me from the artificial light of the kitchen and so I spent my time whittling out little pendants (in my etsy shop) for this holiday gift giving time. Of course, i certainly recommend giving to one's self if one is inspired to do so. I sit in my studio in the flickering shadows from the naked oak branches and the drunken-on-berries birds fluttering around in the pyracantha. I watch the cats stalk their play-prey. I watch the sun move from my left to my right as the day creeps on. I sit in the worn brown chair hunched over the table in feverish-yet-meditative activity and wait for the wild ponies to storm through the door pulling a tornado in behind them - chattering up a storm about the days' events and racing to the bathroom to see who gets there first. As the light changes from golden to pink to red to violet as it sets to the right of my chair, I change my rhythm. I hang up my artist apron and put on my momma one. I am she until the wild ponies punch their tickets for the golden ride to the other half of their life...until they burst through those doors again and blow me right off my seat.
And so with all the fuzzy lighted ebb and flowing energy of my days in creative endeavor and balancing momhood, I offer you invitations to join me in being here now, to reaching, to savoring the day to saying "yes" to all the growth and beauty life offers you in every moment. (I, myself, am a "yes" woman...as opposed to "learning to say no". I, rather than say no to something that I don't want to do, instead say yes to something else I would love to do more than that...or yes to the opportunity for growth I may not see yet in doing that which doesn't appeal to me in the moment.) What can you say yes to right now? Can you say yes to breathing deep? Can you say yes to smiling anyway? Can you say yes to simplicity? How about to fevered and chaotic comings and goings? Can you even say yes to that? Can you, in saying yes to even that which is hard, bring your bigger, stronger self to the table? Can you say yes to the clarity that doing what you might not want to do (but that needs doing) brings to your spirit?
(birdwatchers now available in my etsy shop)
Dare I admit the hours spent sorting through all my music?? Dare I admit the countless times I declared "THIS is the song!"? No, I don't. And so I share a song that has pulsed in my veins since I was little. A song that, when playing, warrants a declaration of absolute quiet OR ELSE from me to Vinnietheman and my wild ponies. OR ELSE!! (I was sifting through my favorites from Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens and the zillions of other artists in my collection, moved deeply by many of them, and when I chose THIS song Vinnietheman said "Don't BORE them". Hmpf!) :) I listened to songs - the words resonating. One about the gift of parenthood, another about Danny Boy, another reaffirming the good in all of humanity, and a few about loving and believing in oneself. But with a whirlpool (wordpool) of lyrics to choose from - no easier than choosing a favorite cheese, I tell you - I opted for a wordless song that conjures up images of flashing color, the grinding tiptoes of rememberings, that sound a seed might make when sprouting through the crust of soil and then the sound it makes while reaching for the sun, the boom felt in your back teeth when someone gives you a "look", the smell of riding horseback in the desert in spring flicking the tops of the sage blooms with you toes while whizzing by....
Thanks to LK for the idea of the Day of Sharing Song. Go here for more participants.
Evidence of abandoned action is all around me. I was digging holes for new plants and a wind blew winter in...stopped me dead in my tracks
leaving the shovel and pots where I stood
chairs cold and empty
trees asleep and settling into themselves for the long haul
It's a heavy acorn year. "They" say that means a hard winter is coming, maybe in more ways than one. I'm girdled with anticipation...I love "survival mode".
See more december views here.
I so enjoyed reading the many, many words you all shared when LK presented the Day of Sharing Words a few weeks ago. What fun it has been to delve into the writings of new-to-me poets! LK has invited anyone who desires to participate in the Day of Sharing Song. Here's what she says:
"Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought. E.Y. Harburg
A Day of Sharing Song The idea: Songs can move us
to places we haven't been in a long time, places we long for every day,
or places we some day hope to be. The combination of music and poetry
can transport us across distances, and through the years. While we
listen, perhaps we grin wildly, or are moved to tears. We all have
songs that are "ours" in our very hearts. We have songs that touch
us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us
some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never
been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the song sings for us. Meeting new music, musicians, composers,
poets, new ways for my soul to sing, is an intruiging concept. Want to
go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along. Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share. The Date: Wednesday, December 3. The Plan: on your blog, post a song that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. You can do any or all of the folowing:
A Day of Sharing Song
The idea: Songs can move us to places we haven't been in a long time, places we long for every day, or places we some day hope to be. The combination of music and poetry can transport us across distances, and through the years. While we listen, perhaps we grin wildly, or are moved to tears. We all have songs that are "ours" in our very hearts. We have songs that touch us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the song sings for us.
Meeting new music, musicians, composers, poets, new ways for my soul to sing, is an intruiging concept. Want to go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along.
Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share.
The Date: Wednesday, December 3.
The Plan: on your blog, post a song that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. You can do any or all of the folowing:
Include the composer and/or musician and source (book, album). Perhaps also include the amazon or itunes link if there is one. no explanation required, no other revelation necessary.
One last thing- Perhaps add an image. a photo. a video. a painting. a collage., if you would.
Go here to this post.
Add a comment with your link.
LK will create a typepad page with the links, so others can hear the song, see the image and share in the experience.
If you are intrigued enough, post on your blog about this Day of Sharing Song. Link to this post.
Send an email to encourage your friends to post.
Pass along this info to any groups in which you participate."
Who couldn't use a few new songs in their hearts? Here, here. Hear, HEAR!!