Saturday, December 31, 2011

i love books. really.

Check out what I found at the Salvation Army. Have I mentioned I love that place?

A very young guy shopper was checking me know, kind of trying to get me to look at him in return. Of course I'm sighing and trying to telepathically tell him to GET OUT OF THE FRIGGIN WAY because I am trying to look at books.

I wonder if this is why I had trouble getting dates when I was single?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

new year.


Thoughts are kind of doing a marble-roll in my brain tonight. How 2012 is here. How, without really trying to, I'm handling the promise of a new year in a completely different way. I'm not really making "resolutions" anymore. I used to make lists, like everyone else, of things I wanted to acheive or eliminate and, like everyone else, I never stuck to these lists and sometimes threw them away in frustration.

I'm not sure that I really expect anything anymore. And I don't mean that in a hopeless way, not at all. But...let's just say that I am letting go. I am letting go of having so much damn expectation about everything. I am letting go of hate and trouble and difficulty. I am letting these things fall through my fingers like sand, so that I can make all kinds of room for more good in the new year.

I do have a few things I've been a little obsessed with lately. I'm feeling much better, and there's a good chance my health might continue to improve,, that right there just opens up a whole new set of doors. The word school is jigging around up there. I'm exploring my options and doing my research, but being extra careful to not put too much stake into anything.

Usually when my brain is so full, I get all frantic and panicky and weird. But this is a different full. It's good stuff. I'm not judging my own experience in any way, and that feels wonderful. (I think that releasing ceremony might have gone a little deeper than I already knew.)

Also, spring will be here before we know it, and there will be flowers again. So that's something to think about, isn't it?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

book page ornaments.

These will be the party favors for my Christmas day brunch. Everyone will get one on their plate, and each are completely unique.

book paper, thread, seam binding, squares of an old pastel sketch i didn't like

Have a good Christmas everyone. :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

bye bye shadow.

Yesterday was exciting. I did my very first releasing ceremony and my husband participated with me. I learned from the beautiful Pixie Campbell and her Mother of All Releasing Ceremonies. What an amazing teacher this wonderful woman has become, not just to me, but to so many women around the country (and a few willing men too).

strips of paper for my releasing wishes

in the end, i had quite a few

we gathered our materials: our wishes, lavendar, and tobacco

we put them in the woodstove


we said a prayer as the bundles burned. then we watched them turn to ash.

I have to say, this felt really good. What made it even better was knowing that so many other amazing people were doing the exact same thing with the exact same intention. Powerful stuff, I tell you! I'm definitely doing this every year. My thanks goes out to Pixie, for introducing me to this and so many other wonderful things.

And now, rest. Because I have actually come down with a cold.

Friday, December 16, 2011

health and wealth.

Well folks, it's official. We are having a poor Christmas this year. I don't even mind it really, except  when I'm looking at all these stylish blogs where stylish people are purchasing stylish gifts for their stylish friends. So let's just avoid those, shall we?

Maybe I shouldn't say poor, I should say "handmade". Because that is actually true. This year, I will be hosting a Christmas morning pancake breakfast, and every person will have a completely different ornament on their place setting, made out of book paper, of course. I'll post a picture of those as soon as they're done.

This year we're really trying to put the emphasis on Jesus, especially for Hayden. Explaining that Christmas is his birthday and all that. I'm trying to get him into the whole story, Mary and Joseph and the angel from heaven, and he likes it, but he also likes Santa Claus. And I'm conflicted about this--I don't want to steal that childhood Santa Claus magic. So I'm sort of letting that slide, but making sure I teach him about what Christmas really is.

For those of you wondering--and you were, I'm sure--about the current status of my health, let's just say that I'm improving. Not quite where doctors want to see me yet but that will take more time. I'm still anemic, but maybe just not deathly so at this point. As for my shitty excuse of a neck, I'll be seeing an orthopedic specialist next Friday. I've been praying for the right hands, and hopefully these will be. We'll see.

I recently finished taking an e-course by the glorious Madelyn Mulvaney, and I feel the need to shamelessly promote this woman. Her Persisting Soul course woke something up in me that's been buried for a long while. What can I say? I look back at my life and see a lot of pain. I know, isn't that sad? But it's true. And a lot of pain and sadness can make it a little hard to see the beauty that's all around. I think I just got tired. Like, really, soul-achingly, sand-for-bones tired. I stopped looking. For anything. But I did pray.

"Lord, please send me something to make me feel again."

And then along came Maddie. Just like that. If you need a pick-me-up, or just need to flex some creative muscle, then PLEASE, for the love of whatever, take one of her e-courses. You will not regret the decision, I absolutely promise you.

*taken for Persisting Soul, week 1*

Another thing this course did was got me writing again. The images I gathered inspired poems, which eventually inspires short stories. I'm proud to say that I'm once again sending my writing out into the universe, hoping for a good response. It's been a long time.

So life is good lately. And terrible. And strange. And quite beautiful. Ever-shifting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ooooohh, i'm still alive...

That's a song by Pearl Jam, in case you didn't know. Sigh. Dork.

Anyway, I'm still here friends! Just going through a lot of rough stuff. See that? It's underlined. Which means it's pretty major. I don't bother moving my hand to click the underline icon thingy very often.

An update of much more substance coming soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We spent Thanksgiving at my grandparents house. I walked around after dinner, looking at all their treasures, a lifetime's worth of stuff. I couldn't help but have the thought that this could be the last year I get to walk around their house like that. But I hope not.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

As the holidays approach, I like to get busier and busier. I'm working on my first quilt, making construction paper turkeys and christmas trees with Hayden, making healthy chili, adding vintage trims and buttons to some of my worn-out clothes to make them new again, and filling out antique christmas cards. But throughout all this, I'll have to remember to pace myself a bit. I also have a lot of doctor's appointments and medical tests this coming week, which usually means one thing: burn-out. And I don't want to be burned-out for Thanksgiving. There is pie to be eaten.

But today--glorious Sunday--shall be a wonderful day, if I have anything to do with it. I will wear my green dress and plum cardigan and tall boots, and I will drink too much cinnamon coffee, and I will take my husband and son to a Peter Pan show later. We will watch people "fly" and maybe have some gooey grilled cheeses afterwards. At least, I hope this is an approximation of how the day will go. I could really use a good day.

Or maybe I'll just go back to bed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The sun was shining through the big window, so bright my eyes watered. My skin felt infused with warmth and like it was golden, even though it isn't. I forgot what I'm not and remembered what I am.

Where and how do you feel beautiful?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

rosemary loaf cake.

I love this time of year, this heading into winter, if for no other reason than this one: it gives me an excuse to bake excessively. I find myself giving away cookies and biscuits and halved loaves of homemade bread because there is seriously no way we can eat all of this by ourselves.

One of my favorite cookbooks is How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Ahh Nigella, you do truly own a piece of my heart with your witty anecdotes and your habit of (very) shamelessly going back for seconds...thirds. She's such a babe, isn't she? Quite bodacious, and her recipes are out-of-this-world delicious, even the more humble ones.

One of the recipes in this book I always go back to is her rosemary loaf cake. This is a beautiful cake, so aromatic and comforting, with an interesting mix of sweet and savory flavors. It goes incredibly well with tea or strong coffee, or, if you're my son, chocolate milk. I've learned over time to let it sit for 2 days before even tasting it--a true exercise in will-power if there ever was one. But seriously, try to wait. It's gloriousness isn't quite there right after its baked. Just eat your weight in cheese or something while the cake sits and becomes amazingly damp and dense. Yum.

Rosemary Loaf Cake

1 cup plus 2 tbsp soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups self-rising cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 2 tsp chopped rosemary needles
4 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp brown or white sugar

9 x 5 inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream soft butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of flour after each addition. Add the vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour, then the rosemary. Thin the batter with the milk. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with sugar and bake for about an hour. Cool cake in its pan. Serves 8-10.


Monday, October 24, 2011

the door.

Every time I go for a walk or jog I pass by this really dilapidated shed/barn hybrid. It has the arched door you see above. The lock has been in that sideways position for as long as I've lived in the area, so apparently no one goes in or out.

So I basically want to break into the place now, just to see what's behind the door. I don't know. I'm a pretty decent citizen, but I've always had a fascination with entering places I'm not supposed to be in. Not to steal or vandalize, but just to look.

When I was a teenager I used to break into old abandoned houses, barns, once even a church (blasphemy!), again, just to have a look around. I was never caught, which is just sheer dumb luck on my part. I think there's a part of me that's always hoping to run into a ghost because I'm stupid.

Oh, speaking of the church. I did that one with a friend. It was all boarded up, but the boards were all rotted through, so we took one off of one window and climbed in. It was a really small, old church, almost like a one-room school house. But here's what I'll never forget: the entire place was black. At first I thought it was painted, but once my eyes had adjusted, I realized that there had been a fire at one time. All the old wooden pews were completely charred, as was everything else. It was incredibly eerie. Also cold, which is strange, considering this was the middle of the summer.

Now I'm a mother and want to set a good example, so I don't break into property that isn't mine anymore.

But I still want to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Yesterday I was diagnosed with extremely severe anemia. I'm starting treatment and I will let you all know if I start to feel better.

This explains so much...why I've felt so incredibly tired and sick.

If any of you believe in God and would like to pray for me, I'd really appreciate it. <3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

slow weekend.

I've had the flu all weekend. I managed to get some chores done, sitting down in between each task.

Everything feels more surreal when you have the flu. You know what I mean--your head is sort of spinning. I felt like a leaf that could have blown away with the wind. I sat and watched the laundry ripple for a long time.

Our tree out front is finally changing color.

Sometimes I'll throw a blanket down and lay underneath it, especially on a windy day like this one. I like to lay in the spot where the sun shines through the leaves and blinds your eyes for a second at a time. I love that. It makes me think of glitter floating around in the air.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If I could deliver these flowers to my friend Nina in person, I would.

Monday, October 3, 2011

i am disgusted/thankful.

art set--found out for the trash by the husband

I have been dumpster-diving and trash-picking for about 8 years and I still can not believe the things that people will throw away.

Friday, September 30, 2011

it's friday...

...and I couldn't be happier that this week is over. I am going to go sip some whiskey, watch Ms. Pettigrew Lives For A Day, and pass out joyfully.

Happy Friday loves.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I do not love winter as a whole. I love the first snowfall, like most of us do, I love bundling up and walking outside and hearing...nothing. That quiet that is almost eerie. But I do not love that it lasts for months and that we struggle to keep the house warm.

But I do love the preparation. I've been puttering around the house, cleaning, making broths to freeze, cutting up old felted wool sweaters to make brightly-colored leg and arm warmers, considering making some heavy curtains for our flimsy windows. Nothing too intensive, as my neck is still healing and very, very vulnerable to injury right now. But enough that I feel like I'm useful again.

We picked the last of the tomatoes and I said my final goodbye to summer. It's been such a bloody difficult one--I can't say I'll really miss it.


- easing myself back into yoga, very slowly, very gently.
- eating tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
- possibly painting something.
- watching an early Harry Potter movie with my small one.
- missing my husband.

Monday, September 19, 2011

only what i can do.

On days like today, I hurt. I can't turn my head to the left or right. I can't take a breathe without wincing. I can't cook pancakes for my boys, I can't go for my jog, I can't stand, can't sit, can't lay. I am bursting with agony and discomfort. There is not a thing anyone can do.

After a while--maybe because of the immense fatigue that comes with high amount of physical pain--the stabbing feeling just IS. It is there. It is huge. It is not leaving. I accept this, though I don't know how. It's amazing what the human body can physically adapt to. I hurt therefore I am.

There is only what I can do: sit and hurt. Lay and hurt. And watch my boy play blocks. That is all I can do, right now, in this moment. Watch. Notice that his hair is turning the exact same shade mine was when I was small. Notice that he can now write the word "the". Notice that he can get himself a yogurt from the fridge or a pear from the fruit bowl.

I cry. Sometimes in privacy, sometimes out in the open. Pain will lay waste to inhibition, will devastate pride. I have no pride anymore.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

breaking up with bitchy.

There has been a lot happening over the last month or so here. Things that I'd rather not mention in the internet world. I have a fine line of what I share, one that is very loosely defined, but I definitely know it when I feel it. I know what I'll share or explain, and what I'll leave to interpretation.

So let's ignore the what and focus on who. Moi. All of what's been happening has caused me to take a deep and very scary look inward. Not even a handful of days ago, I had a realization:

I do not like who I am becoming.

I realized that I'm turning into the type of woman who, for example, instead of enjoying playing with my son, is instead worrying about cleaning up the mess of play only 5 minutes into building towers. The type of woman who incessantly nags her husband because, hey, he does things a little differently than her. The type of woman who gets annoyed when said husband is listening to music and dancing around joyfully.

I am annoyed by my husbands joy.

What?!?!? What the fuck is wrong with me? Honestly!?1

It's clear to me that I am trying to exert control over pretty much everything in my life. What I can't figure out is why.

Actually, maybe I can.

My father--completely estranged from me--recently found me on my Facebook page and sent me a friend request. I can't say I'm actually that surprised. These days, everyone has a Facebook account. I had even checked at one time to see if he was on there, floating around in cyberspace. He wasn't, not when I looked, but has once again resurfaced in my life at a completely unexpected time.

My father completely unhinges me as a person. That is the honest truth.

This man, who at no other time makes ANY effort to contact me, now wants to have a shallow internet relationship. (I'm well aware that maybe he thinks that Facebook might open up to other things, but he seems to be forgetting that HE HAS TO PICK UP A PHONE AND ACTUALLY DIAL THE NUMBERS TO CALL ME.)

Anywho...I know how scattered and weird this blog entry is and I apologize. I am scattered and weird, so what can you do?

But the above has been bothering me--very, VERY much. I seem to always step into the same box when I'm having my daddy-issues: I become controlling, unattentive, obsessed with the weirdest, most unimportant details, and bitchy. Examples?

Hmmm...oh, you know. Ridiculous crap. Like, "Hayden, put the friggin' M&M's back. You can't have them. You'll turn into an obese person." (Yes, like RIGHT NOW. Like the blueberry girl in Willy Wonka. I'm a fucking idiot.)

Or maybe my husband trying to cheer me up by taking me out for lunch or trying to joke around or tickle me. And I just respond SO well. Oh yes! You know, I marvel at my iron will when it comes to this. You could hand me a million dollars and a nanny and a new ass and I would still be a bitch.

So yes...I've been wondering what is wrong with me. Am I imbalanced? Do I have a hormonal issue? Do I consume too much animal flesh and caffeine? (Probably yes, to all three.)

It's enough. If my beautiful little boy asks me to dance with him to Lady Gaga and I refuse, simply because I just don't FEEL like it, then IT. IS. ENOUGH. I can't take myself anymore. I have been so bloody off-balance for a while now, and even though I know exactly what to do to heal myself, I haven't been doing it because I'm a sulky, LAZY ASS.

The remedies are actually pretty simple:

- stop drinking 45 cups of coffee a day. Too much coffee is known to make people extremely irritable, especially when the body is coming down off the caffeine and--BOOM!--crashes hard. One cup in the morning, then green tea or yerba mate the rest of the day.

- get back into yoga. In what reality do I live that I think yoga is not a necessity for me? I am the world's most anxious person, always tearing my cuticles apart and pacing around, and when I do yoga regularly I am actually normal. I am calm. I can think rationally. I did yoga the past two days after not doing it for, I don't know, a month and a half? I honestly wondered how I could punish myself by living without it.

- go vegan. At least for a while. I've never been a full-on vegetarian, but I do like to cleanse occasionally with an all-vegan diet. This I have not done in....I don't know. My body is fueled with the flesh and proteins of other living creatures, a lot of salt, some butter, and ginger ale for the resulting stomach cramps. Very little that is of the earth. To myself I say: Idiot woman.

- journal. Like, you know, a journal that NO ONE reads. Ever. A journal where I am free to spout even more self-indulgently than here. Where I can get it OUT. Whatever "it" might be at the moment. (Ramblings about my idiot-father? Could be!)

That's it. Simple. And I haven't been doing it. I am a moron. I am treating myself and everyone around me like crap because of my negligence. Granted, I haven't been doing it for very long, but I don't care. I was raised in an environment where, if you were tired or bored or unhappy, it gave you reason to treat everyone around you horribly, WHICH IS SUCH UTTER BULLSHIT AND I WILL NOT REPEAT THIS CYCLE.

Today was day one. I danced with my son and chased him with my "scary face" and goofed-off with him. Tonight I plan on actually shaving and seducing my husband. I might even give him a foot massage, who knows?

And--Lord please help me with this one--I am going to stop complaining. I am a blessed woman. No matter how determined I am to be unhappy, there is NO WAY around that fact. I have a home that I painted with any colors I chose. I have enough food to eat--even if there's a week here and there where we live off of pancakes and eggs and brown rice. I have a husband who isn't perfect, but who loves me so much it can make him cry openly (and who also does laundry). I have a brother who is me, if I were tall and male.

No more. No mas. I'm done. I know it sounds corny as hell, but I am breaking up with bitchy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

hayden and the butterfly.

I love this. I love that when it's just my son and I spending time together, I get to see a beautifully sensitive side of him. No rough-housing, no screaming, no crazy, just him and his amazing curiosity for all things small.

He was very upset over the butterfly's injured wing. Poor guy.