printing pretty paper

Welcome to our new paper zine, tumblehome! I am pretty darn excited. I am also pretty darned determined to do something even simpler than previous zine efforts, as zine-ing is kinda a one-woman show around here and I have other responsibilities and, dare I say, a limitation or two.

On the note of previous self-publishing experience, several years ago about a dozen readers paid for a year’s subscription to my previous almanac, “Hoquiam Sure Nail & Fire”, and four times as many more supported that particular publication in a variety of ways (per-issue, submitting content, etc). Anyone who was on the SN&F email list will receive an email over the next day as I go through these records. If possible, I would like to zine them all up! 🙂 Since the SN&F project is a few years old, doubtless some email addresses will no longer work. I ask anyone involved to please bear with me. If you think you should get an email and you don’t, let me know.

For now, please cross your fingers I will have everything ready and a few awesome little booklets in my hot little hands, come July 1st!

2012 07 cover snip

out by the ole potato patch

Today we didn’t do much outside the house, at first. I caught up on many emails. At 2 PM we went to the official opening of the HQX Community Garden:

The Proverbial Old Train Track Shot
I love taking my kids to the garden site. Did you know that the very existence of train tracks means kids can entertain themselves – for hours at a time?

Courtesy of Mlle. Fisher
My mom has been painting garden plot signs for anyone who asks. She does something custom according to what the “customer” wants and what she feels like doing. It adds a lot to the congenial atmosphere of the place.

We had coffee and cookies and people fussed over my bike. It is re-invigorating shopper’s lust within me to trick it out further (DLG and Wide-Loaders, anyone?). Yes Laura, I realize I need to get pictures of the damn bike. And my car, come to think of it.

Afterwards I biked to the Silver Pony, an antique store in Hoquiam, with the intention of doing an interview and feature in my next zine. This is a really great shop, and I browse there often and buy there every now and then.

Grays Harbor Miscellany

weekend ennui

It’s officially true: I am one lazy-arsed bitch when it comes to vacations. Suddenly whatever frenetic energy enables me to care for kids and home and school and outside interests while keeping my beds made and my bathroom spotless: gone. Last night I sat in bed and read Watership Down (parts of it out loud to my children when they’d come in and ask for it) while my husband bathed the kids and cleaned the garage and I just sank further and further into the mattress. What gives?

I decided to operate on the principle that if we listed some things we had to finish it wouldn’t feel so bad to come out of a weekend knowing we’d done our fair share of R&R. So Ralph accomplished the lawn-mowing work, wired the house up for network printing, and worked on bike lights. I cooked a lot this weekend: fresh bagels, roasting a chicken, sourdough starter, soup from scratch, zucchini quiche and some rather excellent pancakes. It feels great to work so hard on things that literally get consumed so fast it’s as if I did nothing at all.

And finally: we finished this latest issue of the zine (available for download late tonight). Mailings and distributions start tomorrow.

and ask our esteemed panel, why are we alive?

We had an outdoorsy day today: from taking a 9 mile roundtrip to get Nels from school straight to the bike shop where Terry and I (mostly Terry, although the kids and I were there for a lot of it and I even helped and learned parts of my bike, yay!) Franken-biked my Giant into an Xtracycle! Since my bike was torn apart before my eyes this involved me finding a way in poor weather to Sophie’s school and back home without wheels – in horizontal rain for part of it. Bitar’s Bike Shop is also slightly colder than the outdoors, and the outdoors were cold. Short story, it’s almost 9 PM and I’m still not warmed up.

The bike conversion is – so far – as lovely as I’d hoped. As in, I might have trouble sleeping tonight. In Bitars as I removed parts from the box I gazed upon them and fondled these parts (Oh, sleek Snap Deck!) as if they were so much excellent and rare porn, finally delivered into my hands after a seeming lifetime of waiting. The Xtracycle was fun; the g-d euro child’s bikeseat (I shall not name specifically and therefore print libel here about the annoying setup instructions) ended up taking us past 6:30 PM and Terry’s departure time so my S.U.B. will not be street-ready until tomorrow (pictures later; I’m kind of exhausted). I’m hoping dearly for a better day than today’s offerings (of which I had to bike, walk, bus with children) but I will test-ride that thing come rain or shine.

Oh, and Monday I was interviewed on by a college student (with his ladyfriend taking photos) for some coursework that involves Sure Nail & Fire. My zine is being featured as a small-town effort extolling the virtues of Harbor life; I listened to my interview today. I was really impressed with the editing job, especially after the NPR experience and how much coaching that entailed for just a short blurb; and considering Monday’s relatively low-fi recording device. For the record both interviewer E. and his girlfriend (photographer) K. were the most charming, sweet visitors we’ve had in a while. Smart and easy to talk to as well as cute as if kittens could be made into people (I bite my tongue to not refer wistfully to their youth).

It's ALIVE!!


I find when I invite gratitude into my life, richness pours in. Today I felt so fortunate to be sitting in the hospital with my mother and son while my father sat pre-surgery awaiting another medical procedure – this time, a port installed into his body so we could pump chemo into his heart. The nurse commented on my father’s eyelashes. Since his latest respite from chemo his hair not only grew back thicker and kinkier, his eyelashes are long and curly like a cupid’s, a rare physical beauty blooming from a ravaged body. Another strange-yet-true part of our journey with cancer. Nels’ behavior is complemented by many nurses and staff and in turn I get to hear the (rare) out-loud testimonies from my parents, who are proud of the care their grandchildren receive.

This morning my husband printed out fifty copies of the zine (click to download: [here] ) and after getting home from the hospital I painstakingly stamp them all. They’re off to my East County distributor, whose efforts I appreciate so much in spreading the zine out a bit. Perfectionist I am, I cringe that my website still needs an update; oh well. “Done is better than perfect,” I remind myself.

In just a few minutes Nels and I travel to Suse’s kindergarten class for a Valentine’s Day party. My mother made lovely meringue sugar cookies and I am supplying soaked almonds and dried fruit. Let me tell you, my time with those children is unadulterated joy. Now if I can just pace myself, I’ll still have energy to sew on my brother’s coat this evening before we’re off to an Open Mike at the deli (Ralph is performing).

as in "flavors"


This afternoon I’m sitting in Casa Mia with my husband and son drinking coffee and watching, out of the corner of my eye, back-to-back episodes of “Cops” from the television that faces the restaurant kitchen. Onscreen an anemic blonde’s shiny, anxious face crumples into ruin as officials pull two small baggies of a plant from under her seat. Her boyfriend sits against a concrete wall, grim and silent, while she is handcuffed and put in a patrol car. Both of their faces are as spare as knife blades, homely with anxiety and a life used to disappointments, setbacks, and drama. I feel so odd seeing this onscreen. We don’t have television in our home; getting glimpses of it is a foreign experience.

Today I’ve had several birthday wishes and songs,* a lovely bouquet from my friend Shannon, and numerous sweet emails and IMs. A morning mocha from my mother and – best of all – Ralph took a full day off to be with me. In the “Gets Your Teary-Eyed Thing Going” category, my daughter ratted my birthday out to her class and after my volunteer time the teacher led them all in singing to me. I love those children dearly.

I also just printed out the finished copy of January / February’s Sure Nail & Fire, mailed out issues to subscription-takers, and got our Valentine’s out (two separate swaps). Oh, and I’ve officially decided to homeschool my kids, and been rather busy with that concept as well.


Busy busy.

* I even find the ones from my online community-bots to be oddly comforting.

a lovely man in so many ways

I recently found an anti-Walmart piece by an author I respect, for publication in my zine. In fairness, ideally, I’d like to put in a pro-Walmart or rebuttal piece (Walmart is a big deal here on the Harbor). So yesterday I’m telling my parents about my desire to find someone to write an article I could put side-by-side in the publication.

“You know…” I say, “Someone who can tell me some positives or a piece by a Walmart supporter.”

“Problem is, they don’t know how to read or write,” my dad snorts.*

“Oh come on,” I roll my eyes, annoyed with the put-down and wanting real conversation.

“Gap-toothed hicks…” he’s continuing on, mostly to himself.**

“Um,” I say, “As opposed to your gaps, and all the metal, and the pieces coming out like a messed-up drawer of silverware?”

He draws himself up with dignity: “A missing tooth isn’t a gap,” he imparts, offended. ***

* I hope the fact he’s currently dying from cancer alleviates some of my readers’ annoyance at his asinine, snide nature.

** No really. I am so sorry. He’s terrible.

*** My father did indeed stop being a jerk and come up with the idea to publish a call for a rebuttal or feedback, in case I don’t find someone to pen the pro-W piece this time around.

creativity comes in fits and painful sedentary jogging spurts

One way I’ve been getting some time to my own thoughts is hitting the YMCA right at 4 PM – before the evening rush, but just as the childcare opens. I can listen to music really loud and work out a few aggressions / sorrows. I also can look straight ahead and see high school boys on the swim team, diving off the diving board. Today one was wearing a speedo with a pirate flag smack over the bum.

While on the treadmill this evening the man next to me (OK he’s running, I’m walking, but he’s doing a SLOW run and I was on longer) kept looking over. Trying to catch my eye. He looked familiar to me. But he had his headphones in and so did I, so I didn’t ask if I knew him. At one point I looked over and he was using the headphones to watch sports statistics on the treadmill TV (yes, there is a television in the treadmill!). I on the other hand was listening to Panic! At the Disco, The Kinks (simply cannot get enough), and Radiohead – while occasionally looking up at the CC set to watch Tom Hanks on Oprah (this all worked very well for me). After a while the man started to smell, or rather his smell wafted to me. It was part man-funk and part stale doggy. I have a very sensitive nose so, just because I can smell you doesn’t mean you should worry you particularly smell bad. By way of illustration: one summer day (pregnant was I) my husband and his friend Bart came inside my parents’ house and I, from fifteen feet away, said, “You smell like bark. Were you climbing trees?” to their very shocked expressions because of course, they did and they had been.

OMG OMG OMG!!! I like, completely finished the first issue of my zine… ohgeez. So yeah. Download here at the – oh yes, did I mention? I (well, RALPH and I) finished the website, too. You can go to “Current Issue” and download the PDF – it’s a rather large file so give it a few minutes.

an event!

Come to my sewing workshop on Wednesday, September 12th! It’s at the library! You could totally pay your fees or look through archive copies of our local crappy paper! 😉

Introducing...  Sew Helpful!

I hosted a few sewing workshops in Port Townsend. I only got attendance when I charged money for it. However I’m willing to try *again*, this time with an “aggressive leaflet campaign”.