change my stride / then i’ll fly

Noble Tiger

Things went my way today. I had energy again and got quite a bit of housework done. I experienced a happy, happy day free from constipation. (Yeah, readers? I didn’t fill you in on this whole ordeal, unless you follow me on Twitter. A side-effect of four days on medicine. I thought constipation was like this not-really-problem, instead of being one of those things that like, consume one’s entire thoughts and activities all day long. Fortunately for me, it was only a handful of hours of sheer Hell. I spent yesterday on the couch quietly sobbing while trying to be distracted by the delicious Danny Trejo’s turn in Machete.)

So back to today, I had a few errands to run, including fixing my car stereo, which had distressingly experienced total failure. Remember the fellow who installed my stereo, and gave me free basil a year ago? He helped me today. And he’s still up to his gardening BTW.

Roscoe's Automall Garden Center

So anyway, all fixed.

In commerce, I sold the Upcycled Newsboy Hat to a lovely mamacita in NY…


and listed a Louise outfit (yes, from “Bob’s Burgers”. If you haven’t watched this show, why not?):

Green Dress & Pink Hat

While shopping at the Goodwill for funiture (bright orange chair, acquired) Nels found this pseudo-ruched rainbow shirt with a boatneck and silver star. He loved it lots, and I bought it for him for $3.

Nels + Rainbow/Pseudo-Ruched Star Shirt

Life is good, but it’s late and time for a hot bath and cold glass of water and snuggles.

we’ve kept our hoofsies warm at home, time off of work to play

My cold is pretty nasty, as it turns out. Woozy, sore throat, headache, congestion – even nausea! I’m missing the jug of codeine cough syrup I once spent a few months pulling off (it really was necessary, I had this odd cough that didn’t go away for a long time, weird). I’m in a fair amount of physical discomfort, as well as the emotional and mental discomfort of not having my body at Standard Operating Functionality.

Ralph worked hard over the conference and at home, and today was no exception. I think he mowed our lawn and my mom’s, and I know he did laundry and made a wonderful dinner (deep-fried asparagus, fresh fruit salad, and gnocci with lemon, spinach and fresh peas!) while for the middle part of the day I stayed shut in and watched several episodes of “The Vampire Diaries”. Look, it’s no “Teen Wolf” but close. I owe my brother’s lady J. an apology as I believe I scoffed at the concept and here I am eating it up like the gooey handfuls of mental Fiddle Faddle  it is.

I am aching to clean house, and more than that, to sew. I did drag myself to the kids’ swim because I love watching them. After each exercise in the pool Nels would pop out of the water and stick his arm up with the thumbs-up and his smile, with his teeth a hot mess of Adorable. It was fun times.

I am feeling more strengthened than ever in some thoughts and shifts regarding parenting and unschooling. Ralph and I talked about this and we both feel the same. When I feel better, I am going to write a bit about that. It was – inspiring. I’m so used to being around non-unschoolers and it makes a big difference to talk with others who do our weird fringe normalcy.

It’s late and it’s time for bed. Patience, hot tea and hot baths, and hopefully I will feel better soon.


call it free

My life could be a little sitcomish, if you squint. Not the sit-coms I watch – well, I kind of don’t watch any. But, kind of silly and down-homey and provincial. Like, this afternoon my kids came and woke me up and they were so kind. I was taking advantage of the kids’ stay-over with my mother – staying in bed until ten or so after a poor night’s sleep. The kids showed up after movies and breakfast of steak and eggs and suchlike their grandma cooks them. (Um, have I mentioned how much it totally works out to live next door to her? It is really, really working out.)

Anyway some time after I get up and shower and pull my shit together, Phoenix cleans her room and I look around for my son while I make tea. I’m not too serious about finding him, as every day I’m half-resigned to the half-private and independent lives the kids often lead during the day. My mom comes over. She’d put out an artificial white Christmas tree on the corner with a “FREE” sign, and looked out the window an hour later to find it gone. All-pleased like she struts over for coffee, to discover the tree on my porch. Delivered by a very satisfied young man in his little suit jacket, I should say. We’re deciding if we’re keeping it, or putting it back on the corner. Nels admits it’s a little early for Christmas, but perhaps we could store it in the garage.

Nels and Phoenix run about outside mostly, later with friends out of school. And by the way, Nels’ four front teeth were recently lost and the new ones are coming in and it’s about a thousand percent adorable. I’ll have to give him an interview on video, for posterity.

I’m sick today – a sore throat. I’ve been laying low and hand-embroidering while watching the kind of television program I do like to watch, mainly really really grim (well it’s either that, or grim but also slapstick). I took the advice of a friend online and rested, and I’m glad for it now that I’ve discovered I’m sick, and my sister is visiting later in the week. A little red meat for dinner, more tea, and back to handsewing and couch-time with family and friends.



nature red in tooth and claw

About twelve hours ago while I washed dishes and sipped coffee and got ready for my day, I received a text from the friend my son was visiting. “Nels says, ‘Mama I want you more than anything. You’re the best mama in the world.'”

Loving and demonstrative their entire lives so far, my children have been telling me these things even more often. “You’re the best mama.” “I love you.” “I want you.” “Cuddle me.” The other day in Happy Teriyaki, my daughter tells me as we walk to the loo to wash our hands: “Mom, you’re the most tender person in the world.” And, sadly, I reflexively responded to her lived reality with a cock-block of negatory logic, “No, I’m not.” I recognized my mistake immediately, of course – let’s hope one day my heart can outrun my mind which in turn will outrun my tongue.

I’m glad my children hold me dear.  I’ve not been holding myself in the same light. Self-criticism is not a worthwhile practice; after all it is no virtue but rather still staying in the Self, where we suffer much and don’t do others many favors either (I can quite picture what Thich Nhat Hanh means when he calls our condition “the corpse-like state of self-absorption”). And since I grant a great deal of importance to the gift of life, if there’s one thing I think I might look back on and regret, a forerunner in the race would be not giving myself a break. In fact a spiritual mentor recently spoke this phrase when I asked about the experience of Guilt for our past (and present) poor behaviors: “We can only live starting this moment, so maybe let’s give ourselves a break,” spoken softly and punctuated naturally with the most easy and simple and gentle smile.

I’m going through a lot right now so perhaps I can “give myself a break” that I produce few results, for instance the grand event yesterday was taking a walk and getting tacos, or that a few days previous I succeeded in the dubious accomplishment of watching an entire season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in one day (most of the ladies were deserving of the title but frankly I was arsed at the finale – hence my new tattoo JUJUBE 4 EVA!). The sudden change of season to the cold and dark has typically been difficult for me emotionally, and this year seems little different. I’m in my first year of Recovery, and now I have a (possibly) chronic medical condition and face, very shortly, (what occasionally seems like a torturously arbritrary choice to have) surgery.

These things, on top of the rest of Life, might not be a big deal to others. But they are a Big Deal To Me, and at least today I know that matters.

Nels snuggles us in bed while we watch a nature show, some horrible big-toothed fish being dragged out of a river, and suddenly he says, “Gosh!” as if he’s surprised. I look and see he’s holding his underwear, donned only a few minutes ago after his bath, in a ball in his hand, and he’s got his head cocked, posed in a feigned quizzical surprise. Nude and warm under the covers. And I laugh and laugh and laugh.

Children, they’re good for what ails ye. Or at least, me.

i am totally advocating for Ralph to name his band “The Jelly Tugs” but I don’t think he’s going to

Friday links – short and sweet this week.

A wonderful article: The Solace of Preparing Fried Foods and Other Quaint Remembrances from 1960s Mississippi: Thoughts on The Help by Roxane Gay

Another heady piece – hey, if you’ve ever thought criticizing a piece of work (as racist, misogynistic, disablist, etc etc) as “censorship”, perhaps you should read “Spinster aunt can’t shut the fuck up all of a sudden” at IBTP, where Twisty breaks it down for ye.

An article on gliding dragons in Malaysia; OK, I have to admit, shit like this almost makes me not deeply fearful of Nature.

OK, there’s a certain trend that’s getting a little tiresome (for me), but still, these are some awesome awesome wedding photos!

Make: a cardboard cat rocket. Seriously this would go over so big at our house. Not just with the cats, but with Ralph, Phoenix and Nels constructing it.

Washington tree-ripened peaches are here! And here’s how to make pies from them. P.S. I also have the ear of a state-winning pie champion when I have pie questions. Pretty cool stuff.

Free swatch day at Spoonflower! Did I design & submit a swatch? WHY YES I DID!

Fun! A cross stitch manicure from The Daily Nail – a really cool blog project, too.

Homemade NKOTB sweaters from the 90s (and a little V. Ice), as compiled at Craft, and knit & blogged by Joanne Conklin. So much fun!

Someone should tell Buster Crabbe to pull his shorts up a little higher. Who’s with me?

I sent this to my brother and he said it wasn’t funny. But I think just about EVERY SECOND OF IT REALLY, REALLY IS.

& finally: So. Adorable. & sweet.


Phoenix sits cross-legged in the straight-backed chair and takes her turn as she, A., J. and I read from Trivial Pursuit cards. My daughter knows a surprising number of answers, but what’s more notable to me is how excited she is to stay up late (until about 2 AM as it turns out) and hang out being a Grown Up. Later at home she gives herself a bath and puts on camisole and panties and we join Nels (where we’d found him at my computer, watching original “Pink Panther” cartoons and laughing like he discovered the first joke) then queue up an Australian mermaid teen drama for a few episodes.

I can’t tell if the show is good or not. The kids love it though. “That makes sense,” Nels sagely nods when one of the characters makes a decision involving who to invite to her birthday party. Phoenix agrees. For all their smarts and worldly know-how, they are still as simple and loving and straightforward as children ought grow up to be (and as I often wish I could easily reclaim). I love that my seven year old son has no problem identifying with and celebrating femme-identified heroines. I love the kids cuddle tangled up in one another’s arms, happy I’m watching their show with them. A few moments later: “Her hair looks like Top Ramen,” my son says in the same judicious tone. When I’m sleepy I ask the children to turn off the show. Nels runs off to join his dad for sleep (Musical Beds, in our household, including feline members as well), and Phoenix wraps herself around me and we whisper how much we love one another, and I’m into sleep.

Life has been so busy and full for me it’s a wonder I keep track. I write lots of notes in my moleskine and that helps. I have one of those cool phones but for some things I like putting pen to paper, it’s more efficient. Today in my son’s possession is a small bronze coin that means more than other currency, and he carries it tenderly in his pocket as he runs off to play with his sister. I buy a cup of coffee and greet the well-known baristas who at 11:30 AM I see in an aura of clear divinity. In the evening I emerge from a church building to a pouring rain that’s warmer than any I’ve felt; I’m taken aback. Then for a friend who quite suddenly lost her companion kitty today, we buy flowers and a card (the flowers roses on Nels’ insistance, the card quite tasteful and sweet and chosen by Phoenix). I smile and say “excuse me!” and mean it and make eye contact in the shop when a cart crosses my path (or vice versa).

Today someone told me “I love you” in a way where I knew they really meant it,

and that was pretty amazing.

sewing curtains

so who doesn’t have a party to go to?

Well our party spirit is a little dampened. This morning we found out someone got ahold of Ralph’s account/credit info and cleaned us out. I mean CLEANED us out. So that was kind of fun! Ralph had to stop work early and make all these phone calls and stuff and I have no idea if we’ll get our monies back and get food and stuff! Wheee!

But nothing shall stop me from Friday’ing your ass up! Pull up a cup of joe and check the linkage!


Androcentrism: It’s Okay to Be a Boy, But Being a Girl… at SocImages makes valid points, plus I didn’t recognize who that was in drag at first. Pretty cool.

While we’re on the above-mentioned quote, please watch this Madonna video. MY FAVORITE PART of the video culminates at 02:49. P.S. So interesting this video got banned after the other violent shit male artists have pulled.

Tracy Morgan: If My Son Was Gay, I’d Stab Him To Death; HA HA HA that Tracy Morgan! So funny! Hm, there’s not an emoticon I can think of to type how I really feel about this. … Anyway, here’s Wanda Sykes response to Chris Rock’s defense of Morgan, via Racialicious. Thank you Ms. Sykes.

Okay, moving on. Look, I totally enjoy FYeahSeamstressTiger on a lot of levels (for instance, as I believe I’ve made my position clear long ago [#7]):

sewing curtains

But the aggregate effect of the occasional snooty I-can-sew-so-well-and-you-totally-don’t-get-it leaves me cold.

h/t friend Dawn for this Cute little flash animation about how we’re gonna fuck things up. IS it flash? I don’t know. I just call everything that has that look, flash.

Bullying (30): How to stop parent bullying at The “I need to think about it” technique? Kelly-Goddamned-Hogaboom needs to practice this one.

When Homeschooling is Blamed for Child Abuse by Laurie A. Couture. Sometimes I’ve wanted to write out what’s behind the many distinct eyerolls I experience when I hear child abuse blamed on homeschooling – because it’s just laughable. Ms. Couture’s article stands on it’s own merit, however. And the last bit:

“The vast majority of parents who allow their children to learn at home are passionate about their children, love them deeply and put them, their needs and their interests first. Child abuse is a tragedy that will continue as long as this culture supports power-over, punitive, subordinating ways of treating children. Unschooling and relaxed homeschooling are part of the solution!”

Yeah, that gives me the chills.

The Link between Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders by Kendra Sebelius (also known as @VoiceinRecovery on Twitter). Absolutely bleeding edge on progressive treatment for comorbidities more common than many people realize.

Yes, I put my name on the bone marrow donor registry but I kinda want to pee in fear thinking how awful it would be to donate. I’ve given plasma before so know the whole, suck the blood out and put it back in routine (COLD blood going back into one’s body, ugh!), but the needle in the pelvis bit sounds like the real picnic. ANYWAY, truly, if I can help in this way I hope to!

Make (or at least, read about the deliciousness): red currant jam from David Lebovitz’s blog. I am new to having him in my feed reader and I’m liking what I read. His points on complaining about red currant prices are pretty rad.

This week: I watched Norwegian indie film Troubled Water, and started Canadian television series “Due South” (spoilers in both links, obv). The former is elegantly-rendered grief porn, & I say give it a miss (despite a few merits). The latter is a lot of fun, altho’ it’s so unselfconsciously mid-nineties it actually might bog me down and I might not finish. But I can’t get enough Paul Gross, he’s like Cheez-It’s to me.

Quote of the Day
Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers. ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Tweet of the Week
Kevin Murphy, participating in a Twitter hashtag game that many others were rather vile with. But in this case – MUCH LULZ

“It rubs the lotion on its skin / Or else it gets the hose again”

My onset insomnia comes and goes, irrespective of what’s going on in my life, for good or ill, or how much exercise I’ve had or what foods I’ve eaten or haven’t, or how hard I’ve worked or lazed about or how much I drink or abstain (pain pills are great and weed can help, but even if I wasn’t relatively cautious about getting high as a regular strategy, I am too lazy to procure even the herb, especially considering in general I find pot culture annoying). The best strategy I’ve come up with is Acceptance, especially with regards to myself; to forgive and regard with some humor my imperfection of, say, not being able to settle myself to unconciousness. I usually end up watching something on Netflix, staying up late with the kids – at which point we often fall asleep together – and then sometimes, like last night, I’m up until dawn, long after everyone else has fallen asleep, trying to find something on Netflix that is good and relatively escapist or at least not triggering. Weirdly even with that caveat I’m also able to consume dark or intense material; one morning Ralph was up and about at 6 AM to find me finishing Awful Normal then up and starting I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal (both great films, hey); when he asked what they were about and I told him he reacted with mild horror.

But it’s funny what can really bother one; when I am trying to relax and feel sleepy, it sucks when, say like last night, I’m watching some BBC special, and all of the sudden my eyes crash open upon viewing yet another creepily insensitive and misogynistic portrayal of the process of birthin’ a baby (ah yes birth: inherently horrifying, gruesome, and hell yes does mommy scream and flail on her back, and rarely if ever have I heard a depiction of low-voiced coping-through-contractions; oh and then she dies – unless a d00d is helping her out – often being cut open or bleeding profusely and graphically, because don’tcha know women are just made wrong), and my toasty feelin’-sleepy vibes get put on hold (never mind the rest of the episode, where nurses kept the newborn motherless child from the father, because don’tcha know, men can’t care for babies, not even their own). The annoying and unsettling but far-too-common scene-chewing birth drama had one upside at least: I went on a cute li’l birth-in-the-media rant through Twitter today that ended up being one hundred percent satisfying.

Point is, I’ve consumed some great entertainment lately – and some not-so-great stuff. I finally finished the adorable sitcom “Gavin & Stacy” (& have happily had a Welsh-accented rendition of “Islands in the Stream” stuck in my head for a few days), a program Ralph felt was uncharacteristically “romantic” for my taste. Getting back to the semi-gruesome fare he apparently expects of me, I’m just about caught up on FX’s “Justifed” (thanks to the recommendation of this post at Racialicious) and I’m loving it right up to I think an episode this week, which I will gleefully grab right up when I can (I’m almost never watching television as it’s happening – how exciting!).

I also watched Jackie Brown last night. I’ve seen about seven Tarantino movies during which time I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with his seemingly perennial fascination with and reification of racial and sexual exploitation, plus the penchant for favoring slickness over story development, also shooting people in the face, sometimes children, and subjecting us to gratuitous rape, and the “n-word” as much as possible, all of which causes me to feel rather unamused & disinterested about his whole bit. However! However. Jackie Brown was good, and lead actors Grier and Forster were – transcendant. And icing on the cake: toward the end of the caper where Brown walks into a building and her cerulean blue blazer is exactly the color of an outdoor wall behind her, and I felt this thrill knowing they painted the wall just for that purpose, that fifteen seconds, and it was perfect! And never mind some other minor flaws in the film, for instance that IRL contemporary people don’t listen only to old-skool Motown. Because, the truth is, maybe we should.

Oh, and I finally got around to the martial arts classic Enter the Dragon, and laughed mightily at John Saxon kicking ass in an Orlon turtleneck and really tight flare trousers, which I’m guessing had just the right amount of Comfort-Stretchâ„¢.

If it seems I’m watching a bit more onscreen – well, that’s pretty much true; I just finished a sewing project for a client in Chicago and it involved hours of handstitchery. Handsewing, unlike machine sewing, provides different opportunities. Reminds me of: my mom will sign-paint in her living room with a film playing, but it’s usually something she’s seen many times, like Out of Sight or Casablanca or Out of Africa or old “X Files” are some of her favorites, and by virtue of walking into her house I’ve seen some of those over and over, in bits of pieces. So when it comes to machine-sewing it’s a bit tough for me – because like with my mom’s signage, I need to keep my eyes on my hands which means I can’t play something I really want to see. Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (watched it a dozen times so I now only really need to keep my eyes on the part with Gary Oldman’s nipples) and the recent obligatory viewing of Black Swan worked well for that. But handsewing? I can put something on that I really want to consume and pay attention to, and for the most part I see it all.

And that leads me to: my new sewing digs are up and running; while I suss out the perfect (dirt-cheap) studio in Hoquiam, Ralph bought and installed shelves in our backroom which converted that little space to an awesome work area (here, take a tour). Tomorrow I start on a shirt for a friend’s son, unless it’s sunny and warm, at which point I’m headed outside tout de suite.

& now: it’s almost 1:30 AM. Tomorrow’s Conch Shell lasagna is tidy in the fridge; the fresh-baked cheesecake smells delicious and cools on the stove. I’m cracking a beer, fixing a tomato sandwich for Nels & I, and getting up to some snuggling and, knowing my kids, a nature show. I’ve got my hopes set on “The Jeff Corwin Experience”.

Take me out, baby / I want to go sail tonight :: Friday links!

Thursday I had one of the most energetic and lovely days, but now it’s 2 AM on Friday morning and I’d better get my links up!

1. Spousal unit Ralph updated his design website, favoring pink. I think it looks great!

2. From ricedaddies: “Who Loves More: Parents or Children?” This piece includes an analysis of a childhood book – a pretty funny analysis I think- and then delves into even more thoughtful territory.

3. Mexican Pointy Boots. This was seriously nine minutes of my life well-spent:


4. Katie Makkai – “Pretty”:

(Also, do read Tami Harris’ thoughts and the comments, at “Not a pretty girl.”)

5. From friend and reader Kat: “What Happened When I Chased Down the A**hole Who Slapped My Butt on the Street” at alternet. Good for her.

6. “A Black Woman’s Plea for ‘Justified’ – The Red State Western You Should be Watching” at Racialicious. This is super-smart commentary on American television and the typical (and atypical) treatment of race relations (specifically black/white race relations).

7. “AED Guidelines for Childhood Obestity Prevention Programs” from the Academy of Eating Disorders. This? is stunning. D’you think our First Lady will take note? I sure hope parents, teachers, and other adults do.

8. So, I’m not going to link to the deplorable article by LZ Granderson entitled, “Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps”. I don’t want to contribute to even one blog hit, although by all means go read if you can stomach it. Ostensibly about the sexual exploitation and objectification of young girls and young women, it was also a hot mess of oppositional sexism, patriarchal attitudes, adultism, slut-shaming, sexism, victim-blaming, and misogyny (so: nothing we haven’t heard before). Yes, this was aired on CNN. A few good things came out of the piece: namely, on-point rebuttals. Here are four:

From PostBourgie: “Sexism, What About the Children?! Edition”. At Shakesville: “This is so the worst thing you’re going to read all day.” From Pigtail Pals: “Did You Just Call My Daughter A Prostitute?” And from Amy Bradstreet, a friend and reader and supporter and awesome-lady: “Shame And Blame Where It Belongs Regarding The Objectification Of Children”.

As always for complex or socially-heated subjects showcased by rather long pieces, feel free to add your comments to source articles and let me know – I will happily link back through here.

9. A Derrick Jensen quote, which I take as a refutation of “well, that’s human nature” / “it’s natural for people to act that way” of those I consider pro-status quo apologists, as posted by Idzie.

10. “Being acceptable in the eyes of society”: people would do well to read what it’s like to be a mother and/or mother-identified.

11. Make: sent to me by my brother’s lady J.: Herb Stenciled Easter Eggs. Beautiful!

11. “green snake”, a photo anthology (a tiny bit NSFW). I keep wanting to try absinthe, but I’ve thus far been too lazy to try to get ahold of some.

12. And finally: the best ballon dance I’ve seen, and that’s saying something:

love is in the air


I don’t think I will ever tire of the early part of my day, getting up to writing or dishes or housework or a run or laundry or sewing or yoga or all the above, walking in and out of the bedroom where the kids lay in the most peaceful and beautiful sleep. Later when I (most likely) don’t have children living in my home, I will miss this very much; this is why I try to breathe deep and enjoy most every day like this I have. Fortunately it’s so lovely it’s easy to savor.

Their sleep is one of the more satisfying “white noise” presences I can imagine, besides a clean house and purring cats and the sound of water (and thinking on it, those usually accompany my mornings as well). Most nights after bath the kids slip on their chonies, no pajamas or anything, before tumbling into bed with me (eventually) and watching some bullshit on Neftlix (we’re into nature shows, cryptozoology, sketch comedy, and survival documentaries as long as they’re bereft of asshattery). By morning, however bitterly they may have fought in vying for position to lay on top of me, they are now in a big brother and sister tangle in the middle of the king size, all smooth skin and tangled blonde hair (the other night Nels sighed in the most exaggerated manner, said, “Man I need to take off my underwear!”, then slipped them off and slept nude – it was odd as first of all he never had done this before, secondly I fail to see how the garment was confining as they hang off his bony little hips and constrain him in no way I can figure).

Today I woke them (I rarely have to do this) by rubbing their backs and speaking sweetly for a while. In time they surfaced and I told them grandma wanted to take them swimming and did they want to go? (Yes!) I’d packed up their swim gear and had clothes ready and asked if I could dress them. Soon they were running about the house, wiry and bright-eyed and having brushed their hair, washed their faces, and brushed their teeth. Just before my mother drove off with them I handed them some money to pick up a pizza on the way home, an errand Nels accomplished with much aplomb, feeling very much like he’d provided for us all.

I have a sore throat and very slight head cold; today’s mundane errands (book store, consignment to earn us some more clothes, donating the clothes not consigned) I accomplished sedately; I don’t want to drag my illness out or make it worse. Fortunately I had some handsewing to do so I sat through a couple Baz Luhrmann films and drank tea and tried to be patient with my ailing body.

Ralph came home and – at my request – made a late night matzoh ball soup and we watched a little of “The Jeff Corwin Experience”, a goofy but very satisfying nature show. Phoenix, budding naturalist with a major in herpetology, called out the names of each species presented with total acuity. Nels added his own impressions of how the handled snakes and skinks and anteaters might feel, swearing like a pirate all the while.

I’d rather be well so I could get out and stretch my legs, and finish this late bit of sewing awesomeness. But patience, patience, my time will c ome.

Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy. – Lao Tzu

Valentines Day Flowers