Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making Maeve

This is Maeve. She is the Waldorf "heavy doll" I made for Veda's Christmas gift. Making this "simple" doll was waaayyy more complicated than I had anticipated, but it was very rewarding and enjoyable as well.

I made her from raw sheep's wool that I cleaned and carded, pieces of cotton fabric from an old t-shirt and wool yarn. The hair was very labor-intensive! I wound wool yarn around a rectangular piece of cardboard, taped the sides with painters tape to hold it in place, cut the loops on the sides and stitched down the middle. Then I had to hand-sew each strip onto her head. It took forever!

Her head is a ton of tightly packed wool. Her body contains wool and some lentils to give her weight. I made the clothes from an old t-shirt. I also made her a little wool hat from an old sweater and a backpack so Veda can carry her around like a baby.

Most of the instructions I found in this book, but I had to look up how to make the hair online. I also added the lentils myself because I wanted her to have weight.

Homemade Holidays

Completely amazing dollhouse made by my father.

My big, fat Christmas dinner - kickin' it old school.

Snow People on Christmas!

The tree with gifts

Our Winter Solstice altar
This year, for the first time in a decade, I stayed home for Christmas.

Usually we drive either to Florida or Indiana (and trust me, NOBODY should be driving to Northern Indiana in December!) to visit family. But stress and craziness of all the traveling always leaves me feeling utterly wiped out - mentally and physically. So this year we opted to have a quiet holiday.
We celebrated the winter solstice with a fine meal, gifts and candle lighting, as we always do. Then my son left to go to Florida with his father, which made me sad. But I decided that Veda, Scott and I would do our best to enjoy Christmas this year, even with one of our flock missing.
And was truly wonderful! We awoke on Christmas morning to fresh snow...and it continued snowing all day. I cooked a big, traditional dinner...just took my time since nobody cared when we ate. We build a Snow Daddy and Snow Baby. We went sledding. We sat around and did absolutely nothing. Heaven!
We gave simple gifts...almost all handmade. Scott made me a beautiful pasta drying rack from oak. I made Veda a Waldorf doll I had sewn. She also received a doll house that my father made by hand from pieces of the old oak tree from my parents' backyard.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

San Francisco

Inka, Kim and Kim's aunt (who officiated the wedding) during the ceremony
Veda looked lovely in her sparkly red dress. Too bad she had to be physically removed by Scott and missed the entire ceremony due to her siren-like shrieking.
Silvio was the ringbearer
The wedding cake -- it was quite delicious!
The newlyweds roasting in the sun after the ceremony
Birch and Kim's son Silvio running with the wild pack of kids that took over China Camp after the ceremony.

Birch being Birch in front of the Chinatown Gate in San Francisco

Chilling inside an ancient redwood tree in Muir Woods

My sistah Kim took us to the airport for the trip home

The new tattoo Kim gave me the night before we left

We just returned from our first actual vacation together as a family! We went to San Francisco for my friend Kim's wedding. I'm lucky to have close friends that live in excellent vacation spots!

Birch and I had been out there before to visit Kim and her son Silvio, but Scott had never been to California at all, and it was our first long airplane trip together with Veda (although I have quite a bit of hard-won experience in that area in a solo capacity...I travel a lot with one or both kids to visit grandparents).

The 6-7 hours of flying time and 2-3 hours of layovers each way was...errr...challenging, to say the least. Anyone with a 2-year-old knows that long trips with time changes, routine changes and lots of sitting still are not so fun for the active toddler (or the toddler's parents, or anyone else in the near vicinity).

But the trip...oh, the trip! I SO miss traveling! It was so incredible to spend 4 days seeing new sights and experiencing new things with my family. Sooooo good to get away from our routine. And the wedding itself was inspiring...

Kim and her new wife Inka live on boats in Galilee Harbor, an artsy, progressive houseboat community in Sausalito with a history that goes back to the hippie days of the 1960's. During our stay we got to participate in the wedding celebration with their amazing group of dynamic and fascinating friends. We were given one friend's entire apartment to use during out stay and were given rides to and from the airport and all the wedding activities by other friends, each with their own incredible life story.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Apple peeling time!

This is my favorite month! When I was a kid, I'm pretty sure it was because of my birthday (Sept. 24). Well, heck, it's probably still because of my birthday. But there's more to it now...

Growing up in Florida, there was, of course, no change of seasons, except the change from Tourist Season to Not-So-Much Tourist Season. As far as the weather went, we had hurricane season and then the rest of the year. Temperature-wise, things went from Unbelievably Hot and Humid (summer) to Slightly Less Hot and Humid (not summer) with a rare freeze here and there to keep us on our toes.

Here in NC, we have these magical in-betweens called fall and spring and then the extremes of summer and winter. I love September the best because it's when the heat gradually begins to fade and you can feel fall coming, although it's not quite here. Still nice and warm, but not horribly hot. The nights cool down. Clear days become brilliant and the mountains stand out proudly from a tart blue sky, flashing the last of their green hues before putting on the browns and reds of autumn.

Oh, and the flowers and fruit! We get blue asters in September..and cosmos. And then there are the apples. I never cared much about apples when I lived in Florida, but now we have an annual ritual of picking apples then peeling them and making apple sauce, apple butter, apple pies...all that good stuff.

Although I do consider myself a person more inclined to tropical climates and I dream of someday living on a warm, sunny island, I know that if and when I leave here I will miss the texture of the seasons. Every September, I'll feel wistful for that first bit of chill in the air, the ritual of setting up the apple peeler in the kitchen, the cheering sight of that certain brisk shade of blue sky...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can It!

I am almost embarrassed to admit that part of me still wants to title this post "A Fig to Thee!" That's so sad. It just strikes me as funny in a nerdy Lit Major sort of way. Ah, well...on to the story....
I am addicted to canning. It's crazy. I started canning jam about 10 years ago because we always went blueberry-picking up on the Blue Ridge Parkway every summer and I needed something to do with our loot besides blueberry pie, blueberry pancakes, blueberry get the picture. So I started making jam...and it was good. I graduated to peaches and then to apple butter and eventually got into making some pretty tasty salsa, if I do say so myself (with lots of garlic and cilantro...not as spicy as my father-in-law would prefer).

I've done that same stuff more or less every summer for years. But this summer, I started experimenting. I had a bigger garden this year than I've had in awhile. And my mom has an absolutely awe-inspiring collection of antique cookbooks. So using a combination of the internet and a bunch of pickling recipes from the late 1800's (using measurements such as "a teacup of sugar" and "a lump of alum the size of a walnut" etc.) I started making a bunch of fun stuff.
So far this season, I've done chow chow, dilly green tomatoes, kosher dill pickles, dill pickles (those are for my dad), salsa verde (TONS of tomatilloes this year!), peach salsa, peach jam, peach chutney, pickled jalapenoes, pepperoncini, tomatoes, pickled onions and today, the aforementioned figs. I still plan to get a few blueberries and, of course, make some apple butter...maybe a bit more peach jam before all the peaches are gone for the year.

There are so many cool things about canning -- besides its obvious edgy rock star appeal, of course. Here are a few reasons to get canning: 1.) If you keep your jars from year to year and grow your own produce, it's a great money-saver. 2.) Homemade stuff tastes amazing (unless you are a horrible cook) and there is nothing more uplifting on a miserable, grey February day than to break out a jar of last summer's goodness. 3.) It is a huge ego-boost to give someone a jar of your jam and have them gush about how crafty and smart you are to make YOUR OWN JAM! and...4.) possibly the most compelling reason...The jars look incredibly beautiful lined up in your pantry.

I will admit...after I can a batch of something...after the sticky, infernal mess is finally cleaned up and the canning stuff put favorite, favorite thing to do fondle my jars. Yes. I am a jar fondler. I love to pick them up and examine them, hold them tight. riches. I feel rich in preserved food. Lining them up on the pantry shelf is a ritual. Each jar is carefully placed and admired, moved around, admired again. Is this just me? I think not. Surely everyone who invests the time and energy into growing, picking, cleaning and preserving a harvest feels this way.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the way august is...

This is such a dragging-your-feet month...It is the end of summer. School is about to start. The garden is on the wane and, believe it or not, many of us are already stressing about holiday travel plans and such seemingly far-in-the-future questions as how we're going to make it through the financial and emotional crush of another long winter.

I love August. I love the fat, hot August moon. I love the slow evenings in the backyard with bonfires and conversation, snacking on green beans we just pulled from the vines. But it always feels like the end of a lovely thing.

Of course, part of this is a seasonal thing, but it is also, sadly, imposed by the school schedule. This annoys me no end. When Birch was very small, I always saw us as homeschoolers. I wanted our learning to ebb and flow with our energy and the seasons and the demands of our lives. But things turned out differently for myriad reasons and here we are kowtowing to the aggravating and unforgiving demands of "tardy policies," "vacations" and "attendance policies" that are set by people in suits that are far and away from the rhythms of our lives here in our little urban farmstead paradise.

Now, I hesitate to complain, mind you. Really, we are incredibly fortunate because my son is able to attend an absolutely amazing environmental charter school with a curriculum that comes straight out of my most Earth-conscious, peace-mongering, community-loving hippie dream. His teachers are phenomenal, dynamic people that constantly challenge the students to question what they are taught and search for their own answers. Every week, they go on amazing field trips to hike in forests, camp out, raft rivers, investigate natural areas and artistic communities, etc. But still...

Part of me wishes that we could homeschool...that we could create our own learning system. School has been such an enormous benefit to my son, that it would take a huge leap for me to pull him out of that wonderful learning community. I have a lot of soul searching to do as Veda approaches school-age...

Thursday, July 1, 2010


These photos are a couple weeks old...need to take new ones! Things have grown at least 2 feet since then! Above is one of the raised beds with peppers, wax beans, basil , potatoes and carrots.

The chicken tractor before the chickens moved in. Again...need to update photos!

To the right are tomatoes and potatoes, to the left are tomatilloes, patty pan squash, pole beans and sweet potatoes.

The 4th of July is this weekend and we are soaking up every moment of this beautiful summer. I love how the lazy days unfold around here for the kids and I. On these quiet, peaceful days I so, so appreciate that we are crafting a life centered around our home and garden and the sacrifices that we make in order to have that life seem worth so worth it.

In the mornings we roll out of bed whenever our bodies tell us it's time. No schedule orders us to move out at a specific time. But when we do get up we are eager to begin the day. Birch runs outside as soon as he wakes up to feed and water the chickens, and Veda usually accompanies him. I fix a breakfast of fresh eggs and whatever else we have on hand. Then we usually all end up down in the garden to give it some love...squashing the squash bugs (sorry, squash bugs...not much love for you!), pulling weeds and harvesting whatever is ripe.

Sometimes we have errands to run or bread to bake or other busy things to do. But some days we go to a park or the library or just hang out being lazy, taking walks or playing until Veda's naptime rolls around after lunch.
I'll never forget all our summers. Even before I met Scott, even before I had Veda and moved to Asheville, once I went freelance and gave up the Rat Race, Birch and I have had these lazy, gorgeous garden and porch summers that seem to amble on on like a good slow song.

I am grateful to Scott for supporting this aspect of our lives...for getting up in the dark and going to a job he doesn't like every single day so Veda can spend her afternoons running naked in the backyard and playing with butterflies. So I can spend summer days canning salsa from our tomatoes and making pickles from our cucumbers. And I'm grateful that he is willing to never have any money and live so close to the bone so life can be so rich for us in other ways.

We are fortunate indeed.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

river day

Sunshine baby

Throwing stones into the river on our hike on the Warren Wilson River Trail.

Some of my nettle harvest drying in the kitchen.

Veda has been crazy about rivers lately, so this morning we took a trip out to the trail that runs along the Swannanoa River on the campus of Warren Wilson College. We hiked out for 15 or 20 minutes then settled down on a little bank that was covered with sweet, blue butterflies. Veda immediately wanted to get in the water, so it was off with the clothes and she went straight in. Such a good time...we need to do a "river day" at least once a week. :-)

I went by myself yesterday to the bank of the French Broad River, but with more of a purpose than just fun in the sun. I had heard that I could find stinging nettle there...and, yes, there were FIELDS of it! Not something you'd want to encounter by accident, I guess, but for me it was a bonanza. I harvested a huge shopping bag full of beautiful, vibrant green nettle to dry for my daily tea.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Mother's Day at Craggy Gardens.'s everywhere. Too bad there is never enough time in the day to take advantage of it all! Case in point: I had to admit a sort of defeat with my Poem a Day for a Month project.

NOTE TO SELF: Never vow to create a poem a day for a month during a month when you have a child on spring break and two different sets of relatives visiting.

At any rate, I will eventually write enough "make-up poems" to finish out the month...but it will take time, of course. I do believe, however, that ultimately the project was a success because the first couple of weeks where I actually did write a poem a day were phenomenal. I mean, I had seriously forgotten that I was capable of creative writing...of taking the plain old, nothing special moments of everyday life and assigning to them words that evoke images and feelings. Of course, I didn't always do that (which is obvious if you've read the poems! ha!) but there were moments...there were sparks.

This morning, I was talking to my amazing friend Virginia while our insane toddlers hurled themselves with abandon around the slides and swing sets at Oakley Park, and through the child-watching frenzy (only the parent of a toddler can relate to this) we were able to chat a little about being a mom and the creative process.

Virginia does a fascinating radio program and blog (check her out at that takes an enormous amount of time and energy, and she does it while also being a very devoted and conscious single mama. I bemoaned my inability to paint or write or sew or do ANYTHING not directly related to homemaking and childcare for more than a few paltry minutes snatched here and there from sleep time or family time. She agreed, and said that she finds herself to actually be most content when she is devoting herself entirely to being a mom and keeping a clean, orderly household. But, she is driven to create. She is driven to put her voice out there in the universe. And so she goes without sleep...or makes herself a little bit crazier by struggling constantly to carve out time for her work.

She inspired me. So now, I am cutting this short-ish so I can go work on my latest painting. I need it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poem for April 27

Big gap here in the poetry...things have been busy, to say the least. So, now I'll be playing catch-up for awhile.

there are poems to write
and images of eggplants
and goddesses that need

into the wet, vibrant
language of paint
and canvas.

there is wool to be felted,
quilts to be sewn, beer
unbrewed, money somewhere
to be made.

but it all must wait
for now,
my hands are full

with my child
in the heart
of childhood.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19 and SO FAR BEHIND!!!

I'm not giving up. I'm still going to write a poem for each day of this month. But it is definitely taking some time.

I've realized something important...there is great truth to what Alice Walker said when I saw her speak a few years back in Hickory: Writers need TIME. In order to write, you must have a lot of down time. You must have a lot of alone time. You must have time that to others looks suspiciously like loafing, but which is really the incubator for creativity.

Without time to stroll around your yard talking to trees, time to sit perfectly still and stare aimlessly at the moon, time to lean back against a wall and feel the cool of the earth against your legs...without this, the brain has no time to process do that alchemy that is turning an impression into words.

And sadly folks, this is a thing I do not have right now. My days fly by in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, meal-cooking, laundry-doing, question-answering, tadpole water-changing, boo-boo kissing, kid-ferrying, toddler-cajoling insanity. I careen from one needy person to another administering love and food and occasional reprimands and by the end of each very long day, after all the little monsters are tucked in their beds, I crumple into a shapeless heap on the sofa, barely a single brain cell sputtering.

This, my friends, is the stuff of life and often the stuff of inspiration, but it doesn't allow me to write a poem every single freakin' day for crying out loud! (((sigh)))

Alas, I shall perservere. One day I will actually get to my goal and have a full April of poems here for all to read and enjoy or else grimace at.

So...poem for April 15 is this:

Do you know what this is?
asks my neighbor's daughter
who is three. I look at her
etch-a-sketch with one square
and one rectangle one
inside the other, and I say,
It's a building.

Well, no, she says, of course
not. So, preoccupied
with grownup things, I mumble,
It's a box, because that is what
I see. But her sea-green eyes crackle
with mirth at my stupidity
and she patiently explains,

It is a robot tummy.

And so it is.
She is absolutely right.
And for just one moment
her fairy hands have pulled
me, dark and ponderous,
back into the light
of childhood.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poem for April 14

Ack! Still a day behind. Story of my life...always playing catch up.

This morning, thanks to a cool story on NPR, I learned that coincidentally April is National Poetry Month! How apropos. Obviously the National Poetry People found out about this blog and decided to make a national observance in its honor. Or not. Funny that I had no idea about that when I came up with the idea to do this (originally considered a "good" idea and now considered a "what the hell was I thinking?" idea).

The NPR story was also interesting because they had some lady from the National Poetry People Thingie read some favorite poems by some amazing poets that I didn't all catch because my toddler was repeatedly telling me "no" about breakfast and my son was complaining about having to do carpool. One thing I did catch was some poems by William Stafford, whom I used to read a million years ago, but have since forgotten about. Ah..the craftsmanship! The skullduggery of his words. Inspiring...and someone who who loves the art but putters pathetically with it.

And so, on with The Show...

There are days -
whole days -
that are a frog in the throat,

a pencil with the eraser
chewed off,
a spoiled pear.

There are days
that are two flat tires
in the rain with no spare,

a pimple on the end
of your nose or a worried
hangnail that won't come off.

I sigh through them,
these stingy days, or yell
and burn the scrambled eggs.

Sometimes I cry
along with the babies when the sun
pulls up stakes for the night.

But it's all good in the end.
The sun comes shuffling
back, rubbing his eyes,

and I remember
that this is just where we are
and this is just what it is
in the here and now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poem for April 13

Behind again. Yesterday was insane. And Veda won't sleep...less than normal, even. Which means no free time or down time for mama. (((sigh))) On the bright side, we do have a bunch of new tadpoles in the family now...5 Japanese Firebellies and 1 Leopard frog who was a freebie from the pet store because he hitchhiked in with a school of goldfish.

Being not-quite-two,
the world is a full place
and sunshine endless.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12 Poem

feels like a dishrag
in a kitchen that feeds
a big family
who has no dishwasher:
frayed at the edges,
soft and holey
in the center,
and faded all over
from too much wear.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

catching up...Poem for April 11

I miss that old place
up on the hill and way
out there in the middle
of nowhere.

that creek sang to me
like an eager lover
all night through open
wavy-glass windows.

the sweetgum trees sighed
and shook their heads
at my young, unrooted,
and artless ways.

It is joyous and sad that
without me the arrowheads
still doze beneath the pebbles
in the creekbed,

the winters still wrap
the dry hayfields
and proud little house
in a quilt of silence,

and spring still pops
each year like an imp
from behind the clouds
to claim it all in the name
of No One In Particular.

Still owe this one for April 10!

Wow...I'm behind. This stinks. So I'm going to do a cheap trick here and write a little haiku for April 10, then hopefully catch up (with maybe another haiku?) tonight. At least, that's the plan. Wish me luck!

several platoons
of sugar ants marching to
my kitchen scrap pail

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poems for April 9 & 10

Well, again I have to do two poems in one day because I never got time to sit down yesterday and write. This is hard! Between working and being mom, there is no time for things like writing and exercising and reading and contemplating...important things, but during this phase of my life, they go by the wayside. Ah, well. Here we go...

I think the real American Dream died
somehow, sometime
in the cold of the night
and no body was ever found.

No somber obituary was written,
no grand eulogy was delivered
in a breaking voice
before a weeping crowd.

Our Dream slipped away from us
quietly, frail,
her heart hollowed from neglect,
already become a hungry ghost

while we worried with prejudice,
felt our hearts break or soar
for unreal lives on a flat screen,
shopped for Rollback specials at box stores.

That one's been floating around in the brainpan for a few weeks...not fully formed. I think the above was just a draft. A direct response to my recent unsavory dealings with banks and bureaucracy and a resulting new understanding of the general fragility of "durable goods" such as houses and vehicles and such.

Will have to get to the next poem later. For now, I have to work.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poems for April 7 & 8

Ack! I didn't write a poem yesterday! I fell asleep on the futon last night watching "Sherlock Holmes" with a belly full of wild mushroom enchiladas and tres leches from Limones (hurray for tax refunds!). So, I owe two now. Guess I'd better get cracking.

The asparagus
crowns, long and wild like witch hair,
green magic inside.

Okay. There's one. Now, there's this other I wrote in my head and forgot. Let's see if I can find it...

When the rain started
after lunch, the whole world
inside this house

went to sleep
like nursing babies
in the hypnotic blue.

But the world outside
our walls split open
with a rush of color:

lime, young melon, jade,
seawater, spearmint, emerald,
the brilliance of moss.

April is a drug
that both heals us
and makes us high.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Poem for April 6

Long and convoluted by very awesome spring day. Veda and I went to a park, played in a creek, screamed a bit, tried to nap but couldn't, ate some pumpkin seeds and danced to an African drummer in the GreenLife parking lot. Then we came home and while Papa Bear worked on building some raised beds in the backyard, we grilled some tofu, tossed some salad, mixed up some wicked dressing, washed some dishes, fussed a little bit and ate some supper. Now it is time to sleep....

And thus, from nowhere in particular shoots this verse....


Tonight it is beans again
and rice, and maybe some carrots
if they're cheap.

The spring breeze floats
through the ripped screen,
The bluegrass ripples

Past me from the half-broken
Boombox I've considered
throwing away, but am too lazy.

Though I long for sushi,
I know we are blessed
with this simple meal because
I remember

The man in Yang Shuo
with no legs, who shared
jokes with us as he begged.

And the father in Hanoi
with the melted face
and torso from the napalm

who tried to smile when we
gave him a coin, but couldn't,
so his toothless wife did for him.

And those babies in the Mosquitia,
playing in the sun, under palms,

with ribs like my daughter's plastic
sleeping under a roof of cardboard.

We, the blessed, we have these gifts:
The wind, and our roof, and our forgetfuless --
And those who share them with us.

We are blessed.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Poem for April 5

From a fun day of working compost into the garden with Veda:

Pretty, she babbles
As she strokes the pink ribbon
Of wiggling earthworm.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Poem for April 4

I am tired. I do not want to write a poem. Which seems like a good argument for not doing this Month of Poetry crap. I mean, what's the point of writing poetry (supposedly a leisure activity for me) when I just want to go to bed and not write ANYTHING?

The fact that tomorrow is my deadline with the paper and I just spent several hours turning verbose press releases into banal but concise news briefs, could quite possibly be the reason for my rebellion. My brain is quite sick of words at the moment.

But here we go...

The community tiller broke
And needing to break up
The squash bed
I swung a wooden-handled
Hoe high into the clear sky
Then down again in a hard
Swoosh, over and over
into the relentless

Earth, a space
The size of two SUV's or
A swimming pool --
Not so big.

And the ground
Did relent little by little,
And I felt for a time

And then I felt
A grain or two of the truth
Of the life of the women
Of this world
Who have no choice
But to beat life

For themselves
And their babies
Out of the dirt
Day after day
After sweaty day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Poem for April 3

Well, I'm running close to deadline here, but hey...that's my style. So, I have absolutely NO idea what I'm going to put down in the next few minutes. Impromptu poem-craft...let us see what unfolds...


Finding the hostas
shooting sunbound
like rockets from their
forgotten bed
in the cold shade
of the wall makes me lose
for a moment the angry
ant of worry that will not
give up the trail.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2 - DAY TWO - POEM #2

Well, today was a hard one to squeeze in. And only the second day of the month...oh no! Granted, today was WAY busier than usual. Very much not the normal routine. Birch got out of school at noon, we dyed Easter eggs and had an egg hunt, then I drove the 3-hour round trip to drop him off at his dad's for the holiday...THEN I came home and Scott and Veda and I went out to Highland Brewery for an hour of beer and games and barbecue.

So now I'm back, and this is the poem that has emerged from this day. Actually, it comes directly from my trip to drop Birch off with his dad, who was cleaning out out the last of his things from what used to be our old home...the place where Birch was nearly born and where he lived most of his young life.

And so here you have two and already resorting to the brevity of haiku to fulfill my commitment. Ah, does what one can.

Here it is:

Indian Creek laughs
remembering that lost spring
one decade ago.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

a poem a day

Happy April Fools! I sorta hate April Fools Day. I'm not good at practical jokes and I often am a big wet blanket when people play them on me, so I'm celebrating this day with...POETRY! Yay!

My whole life, ever since I could pick up a fat pencil and scribble a word, I have thought of myself as a poet. But lately it seems I don't write anymore. I could blame it on having toddler and a 10-year old to chase, but even when my son was small I wrote a lot of poetry. I think now that I write for a living, I spend my creative energy on other activities like sewing and painting and felting.

But with the entrance of this much-needed and very vibrant spring weather, I have made a vow to renew my love of writing verse. I declare that each day for the month of April 2010, I will write one poem and publish it here.

They may not all be good. In fact, all of them may completely suck. And a lot of them will probably be haiku...or else very short...because there are days I'm lucky if I can get a shower and dress myself in between taking care of everyone else. BUT I will write. we go!


Getting Her Down

You are my sunshine, he hums
To her in his dark, rhythmic
Orbit of the bedroom.

Each night he shuffles
This path, holding her slumped
Sweetness against his beating heart,

Rocking and loving the daylight
And restlessness from her bones.
She breathes lighter

And flutters finally to sleep
As he sends again his mantra
To the listening Universe:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

out like a lamb

Veda wearing a shirt made for me by my grandmother when I was a baby and a pair of cotton pants I made for her.

I took a pair of jeans that Birch had outgrown and used some scraps from some old cordouroy pants to make...voila! pants for the hip, discerning child.

This has been a hard year so far. Financial woes like I never really imagined possible, including ridiculous issues with banks, insurance companies and the state government that ended up costing us many hundreds of dollars in "idiot fees." Illness...bizarre, mutated illnesses that seemed to go on forever. Gloomy weather...rain, unseasonable cold, even snow this late in the year...but always the gloom.

Yuck. Well, I'm glad it's over. Here's to April!

And with April comes my Month of Poems. For the entire month of April I will write a poem each and every day. And YES haiku counts.

One thing I did do a lot of in March, besides using my neti pot and taking care of sick people, was sewing. Made lots of pants for the family. Repurposed some old jeans for Birch and Scott and sewed Veda a couple of new pairs of pants using some pretty cotton and cordouroy I was given. Also, March brought me my spiffy new "sewing closet." Scott converted the junk closet in our computer/dining/play room into an area for my sewing machine and stuff. Very cool!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Birch!

My St. Paddy's Day birthday boy being himself.

Just had to put in a birthday wish for my big 10-year-old boy! He's so excited to be double digits today.

He woke up early this morning and we had hung Christmas lights all over the house. I had put his gift on the table for him last night before bed so he would find it first thing (I knew he would get up super-early). It was a huge Lego set he had been wanting. I let him open it early because I knew he would want to start working on it right away. Then I made him a cheese and olive omelet.

Tonight's plans: Asiana for dinner (FREE on your birthday...wooHOO!) then the legendary Hamburger and French Fries sugar bomb cake from Bi-Lo that he has been wanting for years now.

Now...if only I could go watch G-Love at the Orange Peel tonight to celebrate my own not-so-insignificant role in his birth. Ah, well. Maybe next year...