You have to defile a mummy completely or they'll come back to life.

so it turns out I know how to show 11 – 13 year olds an awesome day adventure

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in dailies | 0 comments

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

We took a page out of Phoenix’s 2013 birthday trip, and headed off to Tacoma today. We had a carload of rumpus!

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

I seriously cannot with five preteens. As in, cannot believe how wonderful they are! Here I’m just ordering them buckets of chocolate milk because we were on the first leg of the trip and had to get from point A to point B etc.

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

They were all grownup and ordered salads with their meal! Instead of applesauce. One child ordered applesauce, then hid it from view when this choice was remarked upon. Can you tell which child?

Birthday singing from staff, other customers, and her friends:
Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

And then – off to the zoo!

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

So like, in no way was our sole male attendee shunned by the girls… but neither was he particularly invited in when they’d cluster up like this. Which gave me no small amount of amusement!

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

 Rarely do I regret having just a phone camera (and no training) – but failing to capture the African Red Tip Starfish is one of these times. Gorgeous!

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

Six tigers sighted – including these little tigers. Some feistiness in the tiger enclosure. They are wonderful animals!

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

So, this lobster was massive. I found the other zoo attendees comments about eating him quite insensitive. Isn’t it exploitive enough he’s in a cage being bored off his ass – or whatever lobsters have for asses?

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

Jaws!

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

UM A DADDY SEAHORSE, PREGNANT

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

Her last day of being twelve. Excuse me, I have something in my eye!

And after the zoo – I got us to Krispy Kreme. Because, hello

Zoo Trip, Phoenix's 13th Birthday

Home to yoga, and delivering a meal to a new family with a brand-new baby, and unwinding a bit before crashing into bed.

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dreamin’ ’bout my bundle of joy

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in dailies | 0 comments

Today I finished a birthday dress for my sweet soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old daughter. I traced a tailored garment template for my super-secret relatively-ambitious large sewing project. I got through our laundry pile and attended two back-to-back yoga classes. Ralph took a final test and got his second A+ Certification; he’s on his way to a Bachelors. When he got back in tow, we had lunch together – and helped a friend out with a wee errand.

I am feeling better. Can you tell?

Not everything is in tip-top shape. Incredibly, my cough still hangs on – and it if wasn’t for a recent chest x-ray I’d be worried. My shoulder injury affects my yoga practice a great deal. I am learning patience – and humility.

My children are cheerfully growing up – I am relegated to a support position, mostly. My son is entrenched in afterschool basketball. This week he gets a 98 on a big math test – and tonight he asks if I’m proud of him. Of course I am. He went from having absolutely-no-formal-math ever, to acing a math cirriculum so controversial and oblique that the untrained adult can’t figure it out.

My daughter is looking forward to her birthday. She probably doesn’t realize just how many special little things we have planned for her. Tonight we’re watching “The Venture Bros” and she’s snickering at my shoulder. But after one episode she stands and says, “Mom – I love watching with you, but I have to respect my body. I’m going to bed [early].” She shakes her hair out of her eyes and exits. I’m left here with a bed full of cats – Ralph off in Nels’ room, putting our son to bed.

I’m thinking family life, I stressed way too much when they were younger, my little ones. I’m only glad I started easing off a bit while they were still in the home.

 

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i know who i want to take me home

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in dailies | 0 comments

My child has a standing group-counseling event miles away once a week; this means I drive even more than normal to pick the child up, early, from a rural school. As well this week I am running back and forth for a sporting season (basketball: Nels). I am logging hours on a backwoods road which regularly yields heron, bald eagles, elk, and the occasional owl – but rarely-to-never deer or hawks, more often seen alongside the thoroughfare highways.

I have not yet adjusted to having the children out of the home during daylight hours. I have been working on sleeping more – discovering, half a year ago, that even when I did not need to rise at a particular time, I could only sleep six hours at a stretch. (Thanks to practice, patience, and some supplements – calcium, magnesium, wild lettuce, and melatonin – I’m up to nine!)

With more sleep comes a (seemingly) less productive schedule. Made (seemingly) less-productive still by my practices of meditation, volunteerism – and resting while I recover from a deep cough.

My son wants me to take a job at his school: his idea of paradise is to play kickball (or this week’s fad: sproutball), selectively partake in hot lunch, play with friends, and get cuddles from his teacher/playground-aide mama. His simple demands for childlike needs tug at my heart. My son is remarked upon by strangers often for his advanced vocabulary and speech patterns, his good manners, his dress – but at the same time, his younger nature. While other boys have followed suit of their peers and the television programs in their home, Nels is still childish in some ways. He dresses his own style; he is quick to cry publicly. Gentle at heart with animals and small children. As excited today as he was years ago – at a common snail or dun-brown snake:

 
 
My daughter has developments in her personal life as well; her age, and the increasing sophistication of interaction between boys and girls in her peer group, require that I am less forthcoming in sharing them here. You can imagine, reader, how honored I am she shares with me, privately – that I am her confidant.
 
By way of illustration: each child, on separate whims, affixed a valentine above their bed in a position of honor. Nels elected the cheerfully silly card I made him (“You’re The Shark To My Tornado!”) – while Phoenix displays a folded handmade heart, with words handwritten in a cribbed boys’ hand. The children are two years apart, and as close as siblings can be. But as ever, they have their own separate worlds.
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the longest

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in dailies | 0 comments

Is it special, when you’re lonely?
Will you spend your whole life
In a studio apartment
With a cat for a wife?

On my mind today is a sense of illness – it steals upon me during a perfectly sunny walk in the woods this afternoon, and creeps through my belly, blooms in my chest. My head swims a bit. I want nothing more than to rest, to lie down. Instead I get to drive and haul children, a dog, a friend or two.I get to do the minimum amount of housework at home so we can visit a new family with a new – brand-new, as in born today – baby!

My children’s interests, activities, appetite, and clothing consumption seem to have escalated here, in their pre-teen years. Their needs for scheduling, and for talking out peer issues, and our plans for their upcoming birthday celebrations, do not make for idle time. Tonight I sit on bleachers in the rural school’s immaculate gym – splashed everywhere with the school colors of black, orange and white – and watch my son and other boys dribble basketballs, run pass-drills, and work on shooting form. I feel a softness in my chest for these boys – the little boys, and the “boy” coaching as well. I stand up and pocket my phone at four as Nels proudly hauls his backpack up his shoulder – before asking if I’ll carry it. My son puts his arm around me when we leave; he is growing so tall, so fast. His neck is flushed and his body elastic and warm from practice.

Nels' 1st Day At Basketball

Preachers Slough

Greedy For Babies

 Today’s exertions have left my cough a little deeper than it was this morning; my neck and head ache. My body feels ill-used, and misses the weekend-night cuddles of my children, who go to bed before I do on school nights.

But tonight I am grateful to have once again discharged the day’s duties; to have remained true to the purpose. To have walked the dog and pet the cats and helped the children and held hands with my husband and looked into his eyes deeply and when he asked me how I was, to tell him, “I love you.”

Life is a gift and today although my bones are cold and brittle I’m grateful to get the chance for another 24. Breathing in, breathing out.

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a baby shower gift: Larvae-Monster

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in dailies, sewing journal | 2 comments

I’d conceptualized this garment a while back – probably after listening to A Princess of Mars on tape. Not that this particular babycreep is inspired by any particular bit of Burroughs’ descriptive prose, but more like an idea that banged around in the ol’ braincase for a bit.

Larvae-Monster

I had this wonderful 50/50 heavy duty knit in a heathered plum… and of course a high-quality poison-green faux fur. Perfect!

Larvae-Monster

Believe it or not, faux fur – a good quality one – is a great fabric for baby and child use. It is rugged and withstands washing well, is warm, and most people enjoy the way it feels. It is also surprisingly unfussy to sew with – once you know a few tricks.

Larvae-Monster

I had to include some star-shaped ear-tabs because this is a Space Baby, of course. These were a wee bit tricky to get just right, but I know my knits. Interface first for best results!

And of course: all wrapped up for the family, with a homemade card and some chocolate just for mama:
Larvae-Monster

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a trip to Portland, Oregon

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in dailies | 0 comments

I’ve had a hospital visit, a couple chest x-rays, and a couple roadtrips since I last wrote here.

Portland Trip

Nels dressed up for the cats at Purringtons Cat Lounge. Yes, that’s a real thing. Above: Owen. Owen was a bit of a trouble-maker – but handsome, and affectionate.

Portland Trip

Emily with Rephil. Rephil was not shy about straight-up clinging to a lap. Anyone’s lap, really. A true sweetie!

Portland Trip

Phee, looking super-posh. <3

Portland Trip

Portland Trip

After the cats: a soak at the Kennedy School.

Portland Trip

Then dinner at Nicholas Restaurant on Broadway. Pictured above: Phee’s lamb kebab.

***

Now and then the cloud of depression lifts. It is such an obvious difference – like clouds parting for sunshine. I am wise enough to really appreciate my good-mental-health days fully – to savor them. Who knows how I will feel tomorrow!

Today I started sewing after a long hiatus. I have an ambitious project I’m debuting in spring, and I’m making the preparations now. Winter was a little rough – first, the tail-end of my busy season, then an unsavory experience or two.

One good thing about getting older – for me, anyway – is having a bit of perspective. I don’t take my time, talents, or resources for granted. I’m glad to have had a chance to put in some time designing and sewing tonight.

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Valentines Day 2015 – “a little too sweet”

Posted by on Feb 14, 2015 in dailies | 0 comments

Valentine Day 2015Each of my mixtapes is so lovingly curated. I listen to them enough that, over time, they come to evoke the memories of a particular time in my life. Last year, I humbly admit, I busted out some awesome double-CD love for not only V-day but my 37th birthday. This year, what I lack in quantity (no 2-disc mix), I more than make up for in twisted, sad, or otherwise super-disturbing “love” songs for the happily-coupled or singleton alike.

“a little too sweet” – the story goes my father’s grandfather always had to comment on his wife’s homemade rhubarb pie. “A little too sweet,” he’d say after taking a bite. One year, his ladywife baked the pie with no sugar whatsoever – I believe verily this to be old-skool trolling. Half the family was in on the joke, keeping their giggles in their bellies as the patriarch sat down to his pie slice, and lifted the fork to his lips. Chewing, swallowing. Then: “A little too sweet”, he deadpanned.

Enjoy, my lovelies!

[ zip file: songs, liner notes, & CD case ]

SleeveLayout-DW.pdf

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