Friday, January 30, 2015

This Poem

This poem, a sad melody, fills me with recognition.  Where to begin, what to say?

Standing before the door, you go first. 

Which door to open, which door to close?

One door at a time.  Like in “Mystery Date” open the same door and another choice appears.

Too many beginnings. 

This poem is a warning; stop, breathe, take a step back.  Pick at the thread on the sweater.

Doors swing open and shut.  Sweaters unravel.

Take a step in. Pick up a stitch.

Begin again.

CA 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Decoupage Hearts

Decoupage Hearts

Decoupage hearts
Pages torn apart
Shiny Shellac
Light bleeds

Pages torn apart
Chips in the armor
Light bleeds
Fault lines

Chips in the armor
Fault lines
Pick up the pieces

Drifting down
Pick up the pieces
Rough edges

Drifting down
Shiny shellac
Rough edges
Decoupage hearts

CA 2015

Saturday, February 22, 2014

apple doesn't fall far from the tree

I know, I know I'm so far behind on writing this thing.  But, I've been busy living life... and that's pretty good.  I did want to share  a photo with you all, and a promise I'll be back soon.

Ms L at the age of 7 holding a photo of me at the age of 8.

No denying what family she came from!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Helper is in:

Help Desk $1.  No checks or change
The Helper is:
I don't know what goes on around your house in the evenings.  But, around here you just never know what might happen.  There are evenings when Ms L can be found creating snowflakes or writing letters to her pen pals.  N can be found reading (Quelle Surprise!) or perhaps hunched over a Lego creature of some kinds.

And there there are evenings like tonight.   N set up a Help booth in the living room ala Lucy Van Pelt.    Not to be outdone Ms L sets up a help desk in her room.  N's is bar bones and overpriced  at one dollar a session.  Ms L's is lovely with mood lighting and bargain at 1 penny (fake only please).  
They are each other's best customers.  N's actually gotten L to pay two dollars for questions she needs no answers for,:

"Where's Feather (her invisible cat ) hiding, I can't find her anywhere?!!  "
"She's on top of my head!  One dollar please, " he replies.

"I forgot , Where did Daddy go again"
"He went to work"
"Oh, yeah.." she says, palm to forehead "Now I remember"
"One dollar, please," he says a little too gleefully.

Taking cash only
 Visiting Ms L's room is a different experience.  First she offers you a free pass for your first visit, after that you must pay in fake paper pennies, any size will do.  And when you ask your question she answers in the form of a riddle ala the Sphinx.

Me: "How am I going to pack for my kids super secret adventure, " I ask "when they are home and there's a light bulb out in my daughter's room?  Can I pack in the dark, when they are sleeping"

" realize I am one of the kids, right?  Your daughter."  She replies with a slight eye roll (I swear it was there)

I assured her, yes, I was aware she was my daughter.

"Okay, then here's your help  When you are in the dark and all alone you should use 'blank' to help you pack"

"A lantern?"

"Yes!  Please hand over your free pass and have a great day."

Special mood lighting in Ms L's office
Help 1c
for fake pennys only
1c  IN

As I sit here now the help desks are closed.  (N closed for business when he realized he wasn't getting any $$ from me and Ms L said there were no more free passes for the day)  

Currently the kids are giving each other noogies.... I have a feeling I will be dispensing my own "help" in a few minutes.  
Never a dull moment. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkins 2013

It was a rough year for pumpkins at our home this year.  We picked some out at a farm a couple of weeks ago, figured we'd keep them safe and cool on our front porch until Halloween week.  Well, out of the four we picked out one was smashed by vandals, and two went bad.  Luckily,  Ms. L got a "bonus" pumpkin went her class went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch.  Whew...we still had two viable pumpkins.
Naturally the vandals smashed the largest pumpkin and the two that rotted were the smallest of the lot. So this left a couple of medium sized pumpkins to carve.  Oh, and there was one of those teeny tiny pumpkin/decorated gourds, too.  I decided to carve the teeny tiny pumpkin, much to Patrick's chagrin.

It's always a gamble on who's going to do what when it comes to pumpkins.  In past years neither kid has had any interest in the gutting process and much interest in the carving, but very little patience or skill in that arena.  So... I was curious to see who would do what this year.

Ms. L was totally into the gutting:

N, not so much:

However, when it came to the stencil and the actual carving, that was a different story:

There are no photos of Ms. L carving, because she didn't do any carving.  Now, in her defense the stencil was being stubborn and her pumpkin was very thick and hard to carve.  But, still I don't think it was really her thing this year.   So, I did the stencil and Patrick did the carving of her pumpkin:
You'll note that it originally said L and then it said Daddy.  When Patrick's pumpkin got smashed by vandals, L wanted Daddy to have her "bonus" pumpkin.

The pumpkins turned out great and both carvers were proud of the results:

What's that?  You're wondering how the teeny tiny jack-o-lantern turned out?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  Despite the doubters in the room, I did indeed manage it:


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I took a break from my normal day to day activites today and I took a writing workshop.  It wasn't quite as dynamic as I hoped it would be.  It was me and a bunch of 70+ year old women.  Now, let me tell you these women were great and they all had their own stories to tell.  And I enjoyed my time with them.  But, most of them will be back at the community center tomorrow taking another workshop on batiking (is this 1978??)   They were there for the fellowship and the chance to do something different.  I was there to get a good kick in the motivation department and maybe pick up a new writing buddy.

Good news is I got a good kick in the motiviation department and I cranked out about 9 pages of writing today.  Most of it will end up in the recylcing can one day.  But, if one paragraph or even one gem of a sentence is a keeper then it was a day well spent.

She held me in her arms and helped me off the ledge by singing songs of long ago chuch campfires.  She sang to me of bullfrogs on the banks of the Hanky Panky and of Fire and Rain.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Few of my favorite (Autumnal) things

Canning.  Look at all that Apple Butter and Apple Pie filling.  It's gonna be a good winter.  Who knew all those years of canning tomatoes in 100 degree Iowa summers would yield the know how to do this?

Someday I'm going to go on a trip and all I'm going to do is take photos of trees.  Live trees, dead trees, tall trees, short trees...but for now I'll settle for a random tri-color tree.

Pumkins.  Let's be clear about this, I don't like  pumpkin pie or pumpkin bars.  Don't give me pumpkin scented candles or pumpkin flavored ANYTHING.  But, if you wanna see me smile, give me a pile of pumpkins for carving.  

Corn maizes.  They remind me of Iowa.  It's that simple.