Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Tuesday - April 26

It's 7:20am and I'm sitting on the back patio. It's beautiful out here. I have my steamy cup of espresso and the morning sunlight is shining gold-green, highlighting all of springs new growth. I threw my most colorful sweater on before coming out--the one striped with red, light and dark blue, grey, and rich brown. Vince calls it my "coat of many colors".

Flower boxes sit all around the patio's ledge, filled with freshly-planted parsley, chives, basil, lavender. There are more plants inside we dare not bring out until at least mid-May. These extra plants are our back-up plan.

 As I'm writing this, a small rabbit is sneaking out from under our neighbors shed. He's eyeing me up, trying to decide if this large, multi-colored creature is a predator or not.

Two things have been occupying my mind lately, in equal measure. One, doing what I can to fix this house up, make it even more beautiful. I want to paint the kitchen cupboards a very bright red next. Right now, they're cream, and that just won't do. I don't even think cream is technically a color. Not in my book anyway. It's white that sat out too long. I'd like our front door to be a beautiful robin's-egg blue, and our railings white instead of black. There's so much work to be done, but it's fun, this process of making a house our home.

My second obsession as of late is travel. I just want to go somewhere. The desire is so frantic in fact, that I could go camping in the wilds of PA, or travel to a crazy, bustling city. I honestly don't care. Maybe what I'm truly craving is a road-trip with no destination in mind. To pack my favorite leather bag with a change of clothes, my sketchbook, a camera, tea and coffee (MUST have the coffee), and a book of poetry. Throw blankets and a tent--just in case--in the back and : away!!

Alas, not today. Nor tomorrow, I think. But we are planning for something soon, most likely this summer. I think all our souls could use a little replenishing.

I've been working with old books again, thanks to a freshly thrown-out batch in the library garbage. Vintage books, nearly falling apart, with beautifully embossed cloth covers. I missed these relics. A break to paint and play with other mediums was needed, but now--back to my true love: BOOKS. <3

Ah, and the wee boy is up. Time to get him ready for school.

Friday, April 22, 2011

it's not enough.

moon and feathers
The paint, the canvas: it's not enough. I want to dip my hands into fibers and fur, feathers and glue. I want to make ridiculously frivolous and useless sculptures and found feathers and bits of trash of sea glass. It's really insane...I can actually move myself to tears thinking of how much I want, how much I need. Art tortures me with its unfulfilled inspirations and also keeps me in some kind of arousal for this silly life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

it was delicious.

heaven is a chocolate bar
goat cheese and spinach omelet
olive-oil and lemon loaf cake
This weekend was date weekend. It was also a food weekend. What could be better than cheese and chocolate and sweet/savory cake and snuggling and giggling until 1 in the morning?

Asparagus, maybe. Roasted with sea salt and olive oil.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


my zen master


Although it's once again rain and gloom here in PA, we haven't been taking the occasional sunny day for granted. The shoes fly off and we head outdoors, to dig, run around, or just lay in the grass. It's a slow process, spring. Or at least you think it is until one morning you walk outside and suddenly, EVERYTHING is in full bloom.

I've been feeling a little creatively jumbled lately. There is so much I want to do: make some new skirts, embroider pretty flowers, make herbal tinctures and tonics, alter all the curtains in the house, cook healthy meals, paint with my hands, get back into making jewelry. I can't choose and find myself frozen in place more often than not. Perhaps I'm feeling the dizzying effect of spring too?

Monday, April 4, 2011

what we're left with.

My Aunt Rose died a little over a week ago. What can I say about this woman? I didn't know her as well as I probably should have. I lost touch with her in recent years, so busy I've been starting a family, decorating a home, turning myself into an adult.

My mom was able to go to her funeral (I wasn't) and bring me back little pieces of my aunt's history. She was an amazing woman: funny, lighthearted, an incredible quilter, artistic, lovable. My mom told me stories of how when she was little, it was her aunt's house that she look forward going to the most. It was there that she could blossom and thrive in ways she couldn't at home.


I've always prided myself on not valuing material possessions overly much. I don't believe that the things around us are nearly as important as less tangible moments: a kiss from a small child, the smell of wood burning, church bells in the distance. But my viewpoint wavers a bit when I encounter objects from the past, especially when it belonged to someone I knew.


When someone we love dies, all we're left with is the things they owned. Or pictures. Both incite memory--we smell them, we feel a weight wafting around the room, if only for a moment. And they're there--alive!--again for just a few seconds, so strongly rendered in sensation that we have to turn around to make sure our deceased isn't standing there.

unfinished quilt square

And the bittersweet sensation that runs through us as we realize--only after our loved is gone--that we shared interests, hobbies even. That if time had been a little kinder, or different, or our clocks could run backward, we could sit together, share cloth and needle and talk of vintage antiques. But we didn't know, and it never occurred to us to ask.


But this is how it goes with our elders. We get used to the idea that they're here and then--suddenly--they're not.

I'm thankful I have my believe: that death isn't the end, that we will one day look over those we've left behind. That my Aunt Rose can see me, sitting in my living room, running my fingers over these treasures,  looking them over with an expression of awe and thankfulness.

I am humbled.

Friday, April 1, 2011

healing (slowly)

chicken soup, duh.
I'll be honest: I am worn to the bone from how much our family has been sick this winter. We are once again recovering from another cold, and the house is a symphony of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing. The dishes are arrayed train-style across the counter, crumpled-up Kleenex balls are blowing around on the floor like tumbleweed, and my brushes/needle & thread/pens & paper have given up on me days ago.

I have to laugh. I mean, burn-out from a handful of minor cold's? But yes, it's true. I'm friggin' SPENT. 

We also recently had a death in the family, my Aunt Rose. I couldn't attend her funeral, but my mom and step-dad did. They were thoughtful enough to bring me back a few things that belonged to her--some hairpins, a small brooch, and a quilt square that just about brought me to tears. I photographed these treasures and will be posting them here soon. She was a very special woman...I'll miss her presence in the family. She always called me "Britty".


Anyway. More hot soup. More hot tea. More steaming. More stretching. More sinus medication that makes me feel like my head is detached from my body. More listening to my son cough through the night. (Isn't that the WORST?!? I mean, he's fine, technically speaking. No fever, perky all day. But the cough lingers, and it sounds worse than I guess it is. But I listen to him all night. I don't sleep. Like, ever.)

I promise that when I'm well I'll post something interesting. Whenever that is.