The new project has only been a few days, but it has already been very exciting!
I look forward to travelling with you this year!
dance, you filthy, taut-buttock’d hippies, dance!
First: after some sewing-room time listening to JCS, which is kind of one of my favorite things, I went online and found the ultimate Bob Bingham thread – Bingham also known as Caiaphas, who wore a novelty calculator on his sexy bare chest and a spray-painted acorn squash on his head. ZOMG so many great memories of singing the entire rock opera word-for-word with my HS girlfriends!
Second: I need any great pictures, video snippets, or factoids re: Billy Zane. Don’t ask why. Hush, child. Just: Trust. And post anything good in the comments.
Today: attempting to catch up on my writing commitments, I wrote a piece on Underbellie. I hope it helps someone.
Finally: you have a few days left to pre-order my zine and save a little funds. I have to be honest, my zine is in desperate need of help. I make about $1 to $2 per issue, and I think last issue (in February) I had fewer than ten subscribers. You can grab archive zines gratis; please do so to consider if this is a project you’d like to support or pass on.
Additionally, in zine news: I am offering up a sponsorship program. If you’d like to know more details, email me at kelly AT hogaboom DOT org. I am aware I just told you my zine is not enjoying widespread circulation; however, I do have a business plan for increasing viewership and response. So please do contact me if you’d like to support the zine in this way.
The onset of the colder weather is a very odd and precious time for us because, like I imagine in days of Yore, it usually involves a period of compromised resources and more meager habits, an odd preciousness of more carefully-selected enterprises and purchases and a more dear experience of daily life.
Case in point: car troubles could be a source of anxiety if I let them. We already only have one car working and it’s not working well. The worst problem (of a handful), the most serious that I can tell, is a leaking of at least two seals which lends itself to an extremely wet interior now that the rain has set in (we’re talking squishy sounds when you step in, they’d be satisfying if they didn’t herald a fall-apart we can’t afford) which means children who have to hold groceries and my purse and their books on their lap (for fear of water damage), and even rusty bits beginning to fall off the car (frowny-face). We do not have a Plan at this point, or rather we could have lots of Plans if we had a bit more funds. Fine, whatever. We will survive. In fact I look forward to whatever future we have – as far as a car goes – as the current one is not sustainable.
Today I worked extra-hard, despite a lack of sleep and that nagging irritation I was seriously behind on sewing work (which I am), to put the house in order and love up the kids and make a lovely, nourishing dinner for my husband when he arrived home from his late-night class. I haven’t really mentioned this much but Ralph Hogaboom is being rode hard and put away wet at work since the very busy summer, without abatement so far. Ralph is a stellar man and as you might expect a heroic Systems Analyst (or twatever they’re calling them these days). His job is kind of both of ours in the sense I can listen and advise and think about his position and be entirely impressed with what he delivers. It’s not that I couldn’t respect (or sleep with) a man who did only his lukewarm-best in the nine daily hours he’s ransomed to Strangers… it’s just, knowing about his work reminds me of why I like him so much. Enough to breed with him, as it turns out.
In addition (today) I kept getting distracted by our children, so funny and alive and particular. Nels bobs around playing his various games and requires my participation at times; he delivers kisses and hugs and tells me how Pretty I look today. I take my daughter, after soccer (practice goes an extra half-hour because they are enjoying themselves) and we get some milkshakes. Her body is wiry and cold and she comes to the grocery store with me and pushes the cart and is the Best Company Ever. My last $50 of the week, gone, parts of it spent to make her suggested dinner (spinach and bacon quiche, served alongside a multicolored salad and some rich red chianti for Ralph and I). After dinner, at home, a hot bath for both of us.
Of note: today I also wrote a small magnum opus: “part 2 (.Tenderness.)” at Underbellie (a follow-up for “Hi, my name is Kelly. I’m a recovering Good Parent (Part 1)“, penned about three weeks ago). Response has been wonderful including a specific and incredible Thank You email that reminds me why I write.
Sometimes I write a rather polished post and other times, like tonight, I write until I’m about to collapse into a hot bath and then bed. What are you gonna do.
My recent Life Learning Magazine* article published automatically on Underbellie (I’d forgotten I’d scheduled it); I’m going to leave it up for now (with a call-out to my editor to make sure this is cool; read it while it’s hot!). And yesterday I rather busted ass on a shadow-dieting piece which I feel rather massively insecure about mostly because the topic is so vast it was hard to condense it.
The funniest thing (to my tiny brain) is I clicked on a tweet re: unschooling to find myself quoted in a blog, which is how I found out the unschooling piece had gone live. And the blog post didn’t say anything hateful about me (bonus).
I must stop writing and publishing. One day someone is going to be SO MEAN TO ME (well, AGAIN), and I’m going to seriously cry. I will never be a thick-skinned person.
But anyway, today I’m proud enough of my writing.
* P.S. You should seriously subscribe to this publication, and no I get no kickback or whatever for saying this.
Poor Ralph. Truly he does not know when I’m going to get this feverish idea and simply obsess on something until I get my way. In this case “my way” involved about $32 worth of sewing patterns, which I enjoy shopping for and ruminating on more than perhaps the reader can understand. At dinner the children asked I sew them sleepwear and were quite specific: two “nightshirts” that match in style (but not size nor fabric), as well as a set of button-up flannel PJs for Nels (“Like my mermaid pajamas,” he tells me – and reader it is a total shame I never took pictures of those home-dyed and hand-embroidered lovelies!) and a summer-weight nightgown for Phoenix.
As we finished our dinner (homemade pita stuffed with fried tofu, cucumber, and grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese) my brain was working like the tiny little self-perpetuating maniac it is. When I contemplate my next sewing project (and just so you know, there’s currently one 20% underway in my sewing room, and it’s going to be Awesome) I think over what fabrics I have, what patterns I have; my children’s current tastes vs. what’s already in their closet (in this case, nothing regarding sleepwear; they go to bed in home-sewn boxers and Walmart panties). In my case the planning is one of my favorite parts of sewing: in a kind of energized trance I swim through my ideas, my inspirations, strategies and skillset; it is the first stage in a process where I pluck something from thin air that never before existed and fashion it with my tiny little hands.
By the time my mom stopped by to pick up the children for a sleepover (her request) and we all shared a half bottle of wine (“we all” meaning the grownups) I’d thumbed through my pitiful little batch of highly organized Ottobre patterns and thought about the Etsy shop I stalk for vintage children’s patterns. I also considered an appropriate “nightshirt” for Nels, meaning one he would love and that I would enjoy sewing – something new to tackle. After the kids left I circled around Ralph like a shark and then came out with it: he must allocate funds for these sewing patterns. My final pattern decisions: one of my Ottobre patterns for the button-up pajamas, the Folkwear kittle for matching nightshirts, and a lovely vintage nightgown for my daughter (who favors fitted bodices and long hems). In all cases I already own the requisite fabrics (although I could be persuaded, always, to buy something else fondle-able and lovely) and – to save on shipping, obviously – I gave ordered just one more excellent set for my girl, a little swimset she will adore (probably to be made up in seersucker, which my mom charmingly calls “cocksucker”, which to her credit, a tiny bit, is a piece of jokery from a respected and acclaimed novel). Thinking of these patterns winging their way to my porch, to arrive just as I finish the current sewing project, gave me little shivers of joy.
I’ve been realizing just lately I feel a tiny, tiny bit sad at the middling-quality fabrics I often sew with. This simply can’t be helped; if I am to sew as much as I do I have to rely on sales from the large “meh”-quality chain, thrift store finds (and fabric “scores” are sparse, here), and gifted fabric (two yardages of flannel sent by my girl JJ will be made into Nels’ button-up jams). In my most recent finished object I did observe that a higher quality fabric would have rendered a well-made piece into a piece of Art; but, well, we’re a single-income family of four (with lots of pets) and I make clothes my kids wear into threadbare dust with their varieties of high-energy outdoor play.
So that’s that, for now.
In other news I am fully published, for realz. Let me tell you, tears of pride and gladness are in my weak beady eyes thinking on this. Wendy Priesnitz, the founder and editor of this publication (as well as companion magazine Natural Life) is a Real Life (S)hero to me – someone I look up to immensely and find myself reading and re-reading her words. She has been a deeply influential mind and author in our family. For some perspective, I get told by several my writings serve as help, or mentorship, or are appreciated for candor or insight. Well, Priesnitz is a persona and author I go to for mentorship, one of the few I’ve found who’s spoken to my heart and mind like cool drafts of clear water. To be included in her publication is extremely gratifying.
The article I wrote, “The Unschooling Conversation That Never Happens”, is available with subscription obviously (and I recommend it; it’s a wonderful periodical and includes awesome authors like 19-yr old unschooled anarchist Idzie) but will also soon be available online either at Underbellie or the LL site or both.
And finally a footnote: HQX residents may be amused at the “lumberjack” collection at Etsy. Yeah, ok, little cutesy/hipster stuff because loggers are funny and quaint and extinct? Grays Harbor, you and I know logging history is here and gone but also still very, very much with us.
You know what’s funny, I am getting an increasing number of queries seeking advice on parenting, schooling, and family life. Today I had three such requests, two of them quite lengthy in content. I am very happy to help people; it is a calling (among a few others) very dear to me. I am currently worried about my inability to email or responding quickly to all missives and inadvertently hurting feelings. So these days if you put a letter to me and I don’t immediately respond, I do intend to.
It’s funny because my whole life I’ve been asked for advice (to be fair, I also tend to freely give it, a process I am working on doing with respect and a commitment to non-asshattery). I remember once in seventh grade choir a group session where suddenly a girl – whom I did not know – turned to me and tearfully asked if she could talk to me. In a private practice room she laid out agonies in her family life. She needed someone to listen and be present with her pain. I remember even at age thirteen feeling so honored to be trusted in this way. I hope for her, and for the friends and acquaintances and Tweeps and etc. who seek me out, that I did more help than harm.
My own life busies along. Yesterday a feminist blog (I adore) discussed reproductive choice and as a sidebar to the discussion a few people demonstrated a fair bit of birth ignorance. Ah, birth ignorance – a subject that usually has the power to send me into deep personal pain and agony. Rather than arguing what would have been a derail to the main topic, I did my best to turn my feelings into something constructive at my little Underbellie site (the jury’s out on that particular aim).
Today it rained the wet, splashy, delicious-smelling rain that is so entwined within my memory it seems bone-deep. With the spring weather comes a revitalization in my spirit; winter really can seem like a death to me at times. When the sun and spring precipitation re-emerge (often forming spectacular rainbows, as we were treated to today) I feel like the clouds are clearing.