then I got to listen to a lot, a LOT, of Lowellian cursing

Brrr!

By the time I’d walked a mile in an absolutely wet, windy, and rainy blizzard through piles and piles of snow, and waited and waited and waited for a bus, and given up after making phone calls and texting and other plans, while huddling wet and cold against the icy brick contemplating a plan, and realized I’d be unable to make my meeting, and finally gave up and headed home,

I admit, by then I felt a few tears rise in my throat. I mean after all the whole business was about two hours exposure without relief (yes, in light of certain anniversaries today, I know I am whinging, big time). And what was funny is to think as I first set off through the snow, I was wondering if maybe taking a few hours out of my day to make one meeting where a solid half the clients are nodding out from Suboxone, and I thought maybe I’m a fool, maybe I’m wasting my time. Well it seems the Universe was beating me into humility because after all that I didn’t even make it. Well, the Universe isn’t so unkind, I guess – it was my choice, I could either re-learn humility or just be pissed and cramped. I elected the former.

But at the beginning of the “adventure” I had a nice walk with Ralph. Our gonads were frozen solid by the time we got to the barren comfort of overhead shelter:

FROZEN

(Given GH Transit wait times the “No Loitering” sign seems a bit… ironic.)
(Actually, as previously discussed, I’m unsure what “irony” really is. Yes, I’ve looked it up.)

Ralph ran across the way to grab me a coffee; he went by himself in case the bus came by and I missed my opportunity. This was back when I had a backup plan of sipping the coffee and holding it close for warmth, while I waited. Back before he’d left and I’d gone on to wait an hour before a bus came, a bus that wouldn’t have gone near my destination, meaning there would be no time for me to make my appointment, and I had to give it all up. Yes, back when I was so naive. I had a lot of growing up to do.

Ralph Ventures To Get Me Coffee

I was bundled up well but the rain had soaked my jeans and that was my downfall. Wet jeans. Holy Shit.

So I eventually went home and the exercise, plus the high of dodging scary drivers sliding on ice, worked off my aforementioned upset.

And then after I got home it took a long, long time to warm up. I watched Reel Injun while waiting to feel my face again.

 
Then I watched The Fighter (although I’d already seen it a year ago) while finishing up the details on the last homesewn item for the upcoming magazine spread.

Several kids came and went, wet and getting fed and getting re-dressed in dry clothes. We washed and dried and hung things up. Ralph made a lovely dinner of turkey sliders on homemade buns, yellow tomato and avocado dressing with lemon, carrot sticks, and potato chips, and we fed whatever children ran through the house.

Then we set up all the outdoor stuff to dry in time for more snow adventures tomorrow.

Boots Upon Boots

Serve God, love me and mend

It’s been suggested to me I should build a sense of humility by doing “inconspicuous good deeds”. It’s a really good idea. Today I took a few friends’ kiddos for a walk, then dinner and a bonfire; and while cooking I got a phone call; I received the opportunity to commit to taking two more teens tomorrow to an Al-Anon meeting (and ice cream after). Of course in writing about it here I risk being not-so “inconspicuous”, but today the awareness of helping others with no desire for reciprocity or reward kept me right in the moment.

Flora

Railroad tracks.

Kidlets

I had enough kids that at one point I almost left one behind somewhere. But that was okay, it was one of mine.

At My Mom's

We stopped at my mom’s for firewood…

At My Mom's

… and I lingered in her back garden.

Phoenix, Cassidy, Nels

I made the kids hot dogs, hardboiled eggs, potato chips, carrot sticks, cubed cantelope, macaroni and cheese, apple juice, and s’mores. While I cooked I sent two girls back with the firewood wagon, to my mom’s. The children brought out chairs and helped me start a fire and a few of them sat and read. It was heavenly.

While walking at one point Nels asked A. if he could hold her hand. She smiled and said, “Why?” He replied, “Because I like you.” She said, “Okay.” Then they held hands for a while and she said, “You’ve said you love me but that you aren’t going to marry me.” He said, “Right. I love you.”

It was about as simple as hand-holding can be.

it’s better than bad, it’s good!

So today I’m wiggling my ass because I’m pretty proud of a coupla things I sewed the kids recently (both made with the perfect amount growing room):

Supermodels

Like the artfully disinterested poses? Yeah, me too.

The dress (made up using a vintage McCalls pattern) featured my first thread-drawn applique. I am pretty pleased. You’d probably be surprised how quickly it came together for me, from sketching to completion. But then, I’ve put in many years of general technique which came in handy. I didn’t even look for a tutorial, I just figured shit out. Turns out shit came together pretty good considering it was my first try!

Bleeding Heart Motif Closeup 1

(Seriously – I’m so excited about this and look forward to trying some more soon!)

OK, as for Nels. Simple longsleeved t-shirt, right? Kinda but – the fabric I found for this is quite lovely – an organic hemp/cotton blend sweater knit. My son commented on how much he liked its look and softness right away. The only thing more fun than sewing up something that feels good and comes together nicely is to have one’s client really like it.

So here’s Nels. With a large sheet of bark he scavenged from the old LaVogue’s room that we weren’t technically supposed to be in (don’t ask). Looking all sad. But I swear he wasn’t! He had his sheet of bark! He was solid gold!

Log From Blammo!

Nels’ shirt – Homesewn listing; Flickr tagset

Phoenix’s Bleeding Heart Dress – Homesewn listing; Flickr tagset

The Flickr tagsets generally include more construction detail, should you be interested in such things.

And finally – here’s something I feel good about. After I finished the dress I asked Phoenix if she’d rather have the garment, or have  me list it for sale to go toward paying off our layaway on the rather choice bike we have reserved for her and partially paid. Now I know she wants that bike –

but I guess she wanted the dress more.

She’s been wearing it ever since.

Choice

(diamonds at the ill-used railroad tracks:)

Pretty

no you can’t

NO NO NO

I have simply got to stop grousing, internally and out loud, about our bus system. Yes, it bugs me it takes an hour (sometimes more) to travel seven miles (from the HQX downtown station no less), the commute my husband requires get to the college. Yes, I think the bus system is not designed with any seriousness toward daily commuter needs – an environmentally and socially progressive mandate which would improve our lives immensely. Yes, routes have been cut. Yes, I think so much about Aberdeen and Hoquiam is as pro-car as one can imagine. Yes, I think about all the “bus people” and their needs and their lives and when I see busses leave late or arrive early and the callousness of some drivers I despair.

But I’m not ready to spearhead a campaign about any of this because I have my own life to sort out. So here I sit. It’s not how I long I have to wait (although this bothers me for reasons I won’t go into, here), the worst thing is the noise along what amounts to a highway, and the dust and exhaust fumes. The gawks aren’t that fun either because riding the bus here means there’s a large set of people who pity you or look down on you. For reals.

But whatever, fuck it. Seriously. Some of the people closest to me ride the bus and we can commiserate what it’s like and I can stop bitching so much. I actually enjoy talking to people on the bus and I enjoy helping the mamas with strollers and babies and saying “thank you” to the drivers, every time. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a racist diatribe on the bus although today I heard a man bitching about a couple toddlers who were up front. I turned my head and looked at him, is all. I still do not always know how to handle public asshattery, and I don’t always have the energy, especially days like today with too-little sleep and staggering menstrual cramps.

I walked home from the station. I enjoy walking whenever the weather isn’t miserable – and today it was fine. Most times I walk in Hoquiam I see hardly a soul. But today there was a festive air in town, driveways, block parties: graduation for many adults and young people.

Party Time

These celebrations seem remote to me although I remember the period of high school graduation well. I guess this would have been sixteen years ago. Having been given a tremendously trivial amount of freedoms up until age eighteen (like most USian kids), for me graduation merely meant more praise from grownups (as I had a great grade point and had earned scholarships etc), a pedigree of other people’s required accomplishments for me, a deeply fragile sense of self, a few very good friends, a lot of excitement in my heart, and a desire to party as much as possible. It wasn’t all bad at all, on balance.

It is touching to see famlies celebrate. It’s nice to see young people honored. It’s pleasant to anticipate more activity in the neighborhood now that school is out.

Also, today I met a small kitten, a little black thing that looked younger than I’d think was decent to separate from his mother. His name was, improbably, “Puffy”, and he had not been fed recently, or at least – he was ravenous. I fed him a bit and in his zeal his tiny mouth bit me harder than I’ve been bit by a cat. I loved him up a bit more, eliciting a fragile purr, and then gave him back to the little boy who “owned” him and told him, please feed and water this little one.

And so life goes.

tacos, the cause of, and solution to, all life’s problems*

Tacos Dorados

I am the hugest downtown Hoquiam nerd you can imagine. In a small town that espouses the mantra “shop local” (like so many), our burg’s City Council has probably by now officially added an addendum to this dictum as follows: “Whole-Grain Jeebus, Kelly Hogaboom, We’re Weary Of Seeing Your Tired-Ass On The Block. P.S. Get A Life.”

Of course, I jest, because I have a life – and it’s a pretty good one, especially lately. And to quote an incident from high school which I shall not delve into today, “outdoors is killer”. Yes, even in our weird humid weather we are walking and biking a lot (this isn’t super-common where I live). Today I was on the streets quite a bit (#carfree! but… not really by choice); first a trip to the coffee shop for a date with a friend, then later my son and I made our way downtown to the new taquería, the coffee shop (again), book store, and the recycled clothing shop (sorry for all the Facebook links, that’s all the rage with the kids today). This time, for lunch, I had the tacos dorados (as pictured above), and Nels had a few simple mixtas. Then both of us paid up and profusely thanked the proprietor, Nels proclaiming airily “those were the best tacos I’ve had in my life!” The proprietor complimented my Spanish, which I get a lot and is funny because I have only the most remedial skills, but my pronunciation is okay and I continue to pick up more. Fun times: this restaurant has the menu in both English and Spanish, which I think is good for everyone.

The book store was awesome, as always. I picked up a wonderful tome for my daughter – The Child Thief. It is wonderful knowing one’s children so well. Phoenie instantly stuck her nose in the book and it’s taken some effort to get her to eat, stuff like that.

And now a game: guess the dog’s name (it’s not mine, don’t I wish it was!). I know someone will come close!

Someone Guess This Dog's Name!

* may not be an actual statement of fact