Friday, April 30, 2010

Ah, Today...

We started our day with a breakfast picnic down by the water. The sun was shining and we could feel the heat by 8:00 a.m. and, oh yeah, it was a pedagogical day. So with a big To-Do list, off we went to set the tone for our day. On the way down Riley suddenly said to me that he feels different. Not different from other days, but different from other kids. Then he said he liked feeling different, so I started breathing again. I love that he does and that he likes it, feels good in his skin. I didn't at his age, I don't remember when I did but I think it might have been just last week. To have accomplished so much by the age of seven! I have noticed lately how he is becoming very much an introvert, preferring to say at home with me instead of running with other kids. Maybe it's a phase, maybe he's cogitating on recent lessons and just laying low. Who knows? Who knows even about ourselves as adults when we go inward. So it was very appropriate that the rock we left behind this morning was this:

I feel so lucky to have been able to spend the day with these:

We have a patch of weird growth that runs down the far side of the fence to the garage. I have haphazardly planted odds and ends there, seeing if anything will take. So far, not much has. This year I decided I was going to try to make something grow where nothing had so far. I was going to till the soil, plant something wild and adventurous then add what was needed to make it grow. Metaphorically it all screamed to me, what I want, need to do with parts of my life I am transposing to this heretofore untameable stretch of weed. This is the "before" shot

and now the "after"

We weeded, fertilized and planted wildflower seeds, hummingbird garden seeds, wild lupin seeds we got in P.E.I. last summer and some Chinese lantern seeds. Now I just need to find a way to dispose of that piece of rotting plywood. Last time we stored a piece of plywood in the garage we invited a hive of over 5,000 bees, but that is a story for another day. As we were cleaning up we caught this little guy having a shower while the grass seed (planted yesterday) was being watered.

It has felt like Saturday all day today. What luck to get two Saturdays this week!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

On the Nature Trail

My day was one long nature trail. I love it when it comes to me as it did today, from the early morning snail marching across my grass to the crumpled robin's egg on my evening walk. I can lose myself in this stuff.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Biggest Challenge

My biggest challenge by far as a mother is finishing one task without interruption. Without stopping to attend to at least three other more important things that are constantly cropping up. It leaves me with a feeling of never really accomplishing anything some days, like I never catch up, my wheels spin and spin and I feel further and further behind. I should have listened to what I had to say yesterday about my rock messages having meaning for me. There is today's rock:

And if that didn't get through to me, I should have seen the art in all these Bakugans strung up and across my desk chair instead of just being annoyed that I couldn't sit down when I wanted to.

I was encouraged to wish on a dandelion

and go jumping on the big rocks

but all I could thing about were the chores that weren't getting done back at the house.

These feelings were largely aggravated by having to find seventy-five times over this small "nut" from a Tech Deck mini skateboard toy which normally fastens onto the wheels but kept coming loose. Naturally without the nut on the wheel the toy is rendered useless. There's a picture of the nut, I threw in the dime just to give some proportion to the size of the nasty thing.

What is even more surprising is that I found the wretched thing seventy-five times over the last twenty-four hours. The last time I found the nut, the mini-skateboard went AWOL at which point I gave up and swore. At least seventy-five times.

And after three days of vigorous weeding in the garden, the therapy of tearing up and ripping out having had no positive effect on my mood, here is what is left of my blue geraniums after the unnamed vine strangled it in two short weeks.

And how was your weekend?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Navel Gazing

I have done plenty of that so far this year. I love it when it feels like I've been hit over the head with something that has been under my nose all along. Most of you probably know the Queen of Arts, a.k.a. The Rock Fairy, and the bags of rocks she produces for sale. She chooses rocks from the Maine or New Hampshire beach and then lives with them for a while before painting and labelling them with words. I have both bought her bags of rocks and been gifted them. I love leaving them around, offering them up to people I know with a blithe, "here take one" as I hold open the bag. They produce a giddy kind of feeling, anticipation and always, so far, followed by a meaningful aura of "oh, I needed that". Imagine my surprise when yesterday, as I was placing one of these rocks down at the water near where I live, when it dawned on me that these rocks I pick and choose to leave aren't necessarily messages for those who find them, but messages I need to hear too. Oh my goodness. BOING! CLONK! Here is the rock that started this revelation yesterday:

I usually leave the rocks in a fairly obvious spot and am puzzled when I pass days later and see them still there. This time I decided to be cagey and make it not obvious. I suspended it about six feet off the ground on the top of a sculpture. It would take looking UP to find it.

This morning Riley and I took our granola bars and our dog down to the water, we had each chosen a rock to leave from our own stashes (The Rock Fairy had given Riley his own bag of rocks when she visited us last week). Neither of us knew what the other had chosen but see how well they go together.

We left them on a park bench, in plain sight. Wouldn't it be fun to watch the reaction of the people who pick them up?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Haiku

For March and April
indifference has been my plague
no real highs or lows

I sigh and wonder
how to call the feelings back
or if I'm ready

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. Can we do a little something extra to take care of our earth? I try to live everyday as earth day, without trying to sound too pompous. But this was something I have wanted to write about for almost a month now. I have written a few posts about my composter. The supposedly squirrel-proof tumble-design backyard composter that my rather hardy squirrels decimated. Well, they decimated the trap door that is essential to its proper function. I recently wrote how the company, Envirocycle Systems sold me a replacement door for around $20. A bargain I thought. It shipped to me pretty quickly but I was dinged at my front door by UPS for an additional $23.24 in customs and duties. A bit of an insult since the door was originally made in Canada but had to be shipped from the United States. Mike, the very attentive and friendly guy who works for Envirocycle Systems, came running to my rescue once again. The story goes that his company paid UPS in advance for customs and duties so that I wouldn't have to pay at my door. So boo on UPS for double-dipping and yay for Envirocycle Systems who sent me this cheque to reimburse me for the extra I paid out to UPS.

I like to champion companies who go the extra mile for their customers. My mind boggles that UPS tried to get away with billing twice for customs and duties and that with business practices like that they stay in business. It is not the first issue I have had with UPS and probably won't be the last. But three cheers for Envirocycle Systems!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


First dandelion on my lawn this spring. I really don't mind them as long as they are green, although I pull them because I feel the evil eye from my neighbors. I especially like a bouquet of them with their milky stems, preferably picked by a child. And absolute fields of them from a particular angle when it looks like a blanket of sunshine yellow. One man's weed is another man's miracle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shades of Brown

Here I am, collapsed on the sofa after work today.

My color of choice? Brown. From my long sleeved BROWN t-shirt to my BROWN blazer, KHAKI-ish trench coat and pants, and let's not forget my BROWN socks. I seemed to lack any kind of imagination when getting dressed this morning, I would go so far to say that I may have dressed in the dark. But that's OK, because I match those new patio chairs I just bought.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thank Someone

It's the end of the weekend. And what a weekend. Riley and I were graced with a visit by none other than the Queen of Arts herself. We spent two full days yakking, browsing some art supply stores and playing with paint. Fun, fun, fun. She showered us with goodies and some of her rocks. She so very generously gave me a 24 box of Inktense pencils we had both oohed and ahed over. In honor of her self Riley and I left this rock down by the water this morning where we found ourselves with our dogs after she got on the road for the long drive back to New Hampshire.

Thank you, Kim for your generosity, your time, helping me to see my creative spark may not have taken a permanent hike and for encouraging me with my new projects. Thanks for the open talk, the shared tears and for tolerating my cooking once again. At least this time I didn't burn anything. I am proud to call you my friend.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Official

It's official. I'm an old fart. I bought these patio chairs a couple of weekends ago.

I know, yawn. Dull, brown or is that grey? They don't do anything except fold up. But they are mine. I even got to sit in one for about 10 minutes today.

And the mint is up and taking over. I love it. Love mint and from the looks of it I'll be able to start picking it in another week.

Something else has occurred to me lately that I am finding hysterically funny. After almost fifty years, I am just coming to accept that I am a fair skinned freckly person. Who knew?! I have been taking a lot of self portraits with my point and shoot, trying to get a better bio shot since it's been three months that I first cut my hair and I don't think I much look like my old mug anymore. In this process of looking closely at these hundreds of shots, it's dawning on me, holy crap I really am fair skinned and freckly, aren't I? I think up until now I have obsessed about my other and more evident flaws, blowing each one of those out of proportion that the more obvious parts of me were invisible to myself. For some reason, I am finding this hysterically funny.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

You Gotta Have Sole

I was lucky enough to play host to this little guy, A.K.A., The Sole Monkey in recent days. He is quite popular, even has a blog of his own.

I have just written about his time over here with us, he is now on his way to Cara in the U.S.A. as his next stop in his trip around the world. Thanks for the memories Mr. Sole Monkey!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Haiku

Until today, we
couldn't buy a day of rain.
I am washing clean

my worries, my fears
another chance to see this
as necessary

the permanence
of impermanence, sadly
eludes me except

when I try to go
with the flow and be aware
of the unpolished

jewels in the raindrops
as well as in the starkly
happy instances

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When Bunnies Go Bad

Saturday night I was looking for my rabbit paw print stencil that I thought I had saved from a few years ago. After a diligent but fruitless search, I googled some combination of "easter rabbit paw print stencil template". Much to my surprise the first two entire pages of google results led me to one porn site with naked tatooed women hanging off dance poles (I'll spare you the link). I have to wonder what wag took the time and energy to set that little gem up. What if this person used his/her talents for good instead of evil? I can imagine a world where there are no such practical jokes, frankly I find it revolting that people even think up such stunts. But despite all that I did find a good stencil and we woke on Sunday morning to a bit of this:

And my sweet one reading the answer to the question note he wrote on Saturday night (Where does the Easter Bunny get his or her Easter eggs?):

Answer: Dear Riley. Thank you for the Easter eggs (we had left some pictures of eggs for the rabbit to find). To answer your question, I make my eggs with my rabbit-magic. Keep on believing in magic your whole life and you will see it everywhere you go. (signed) E.B.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Yes, I have been. And while I was missing in action I:

1) shook hands with a man named "Thor"
2) met another small man named "Fluk"
3) ate more chocolate before noon the day before Easter than I usually eat all day
4) ran with Uncle Seymour
5) washed my hair (twice) with conditioner
6) joyfully put on sunscreen
7) had to confront (or at least acknowledge) numerous things I have been running away from

because it seems, my life is just like that.