Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Friday, November 30, 2012

Almost Open Studio

We are tired.

We are getting ready for my Open Studio Sale.
The other artisans have dropped off their handiwork.
My honey is working hard at making our
school room 
catch all
dumping grounds
 into a lovely show place 
(well, it's still a medium-mess right now, but by tomorrow 
I have high hopes we will be looking lovely.) 

I still have a ton to get done.
There are paintings that need finishing touches,
soaps that need molding,
sleeping potion that needs mixing,
and everything still needs to be tagged.

We can do it!

Don't forget to stop by if you are in the neighborhood/state/country.
December 1st and 7th and 8th

Guy is making fudge.
You won't want to miss it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Soccer season 
is officially 
 (am I allowed to say yay?)


We spent our last game day in a blustery rain with wind so strong it turned umbrellas inside out.  We bundled against each other and cheered for out team, but secretly I was glad for a tied game.  I hate the thought of any boy going home after the last game of the season with his head hung low from a loss.  We dripped and froze our way through it, and I tucked blankets around little girls and "nuggowed" (snuggled) with frosty cheeked Jonah-boy.  We were miserable and happy and cheerful all at once.  
It was funny.

Adam played great.  I am proud of him.  He is strong, determined, smart, and friendly.  He is a good player and a great team member.  He works hard, and cheers on his team mates.  
And man, can he jump.
I love watching him play.

We went to the pizza place after for the whole "you played so you get a trophy" ceremony.  Adam was happy.  Tummies were full.  Hideous orange cupcakes with four inches of frosting were consumed.  Our booth was snug, so warm and cozy.  
It was perfect.

Fall brings endings on it's heals.  
Sometimes endings are a really good thing.  
Especially when the endings happen 
inside where it's dry.

(I hope to post some great soccer storm pictures 
as soon as I can figure out why Google is blocking my photo uploads.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chair Wars!

In Sacramento
  if you don't want something, 
you put it on the curb with a free sign on it
 to give it away.

This has it's risks.

It could get vandalized.
It could get peed on by a passing dog
(or worse, a person).

It could get left, rejected, ignored.


 another chair could show up 
on the NEIGHBOR'S curb.

A more confident 
and slightly better looking chair
(based on the 1970's palate).

I think we are going to be stuck 
with our lame-butt green chair
for a while.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Behind the Wheel

You know those little steering wheel toys that toddlers love?  The kidlets sit in the back seat, steering furiously, signalling wildly their planned turns, and of course, honking their little brains out.  In their little grey-matter makers, they are really the ones making this big ol' van go!  And they truly believe with all their itty-bitty heart that they are "behind the wheel".

I have finally realized that I am that toddler.  I steer my life furiously, trying to keep it on the road I think it should be on.  I signal my intended shifts in direction, all well thought-out and carefully considered.  And I honk my horn, 
oh! how I honk my horn!
"Outta my way!  I'm driving here!" 
I know where I'm going and nothing is going to get in my way.

Yes, I am that toddler who thinks I am actually the one in charge of this mini-van that is my life.  I sit in my booster seat imagining that my foot is on the gas, while all along God looks into the rear view mirror at me and maybe smiles at my funny little efforts at control.  He is in charge.  He knows it, too, but He lets me figure it all out on my own.

I am not saying that I have no impact over the direction of my life.  I do, I know that.  My choices matter.  I can have a huge influence - for good or not - based on my attitude and decisions.  But ultimately, there is a whole category of life events that God chooses for me, 
and I can honk all I want, 
that won't change what His path for me.


I'm feeling grateful tonight for Dan Mealey (age 78, I think), who showed up this morning when he heard that our pipe had burst in the yard during the night.  Guy had simply had to shut off the water to deal with it later because we needed to hurry Ellie-girl to the doctor for an up-all-night, miserable bladder infection with vomiting.  When we got back, Dan was there, tools in hand.  He just jumped right in and fixed the pipe so that Guy could get to his church meetings and I could tend to Ellie and Tessa (who had a bad headache and tummy ache).  Jonah felt the needy-theme in the room and joined in on the tear-convention.  
At one point I had three crying children literally on my lap.

Tonight I am also grateful for antibiotics.  
When they are needed, they are such a blessing...and I may get some sleep tonight.  

But mostly I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who looks out for me on rough mornings,
 and sends grey haired angels.

I guess I will let Him drive.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


A family of pumpkins sits near the hearth, smiling out into the dim, golden room.  Candles lit on pedestals and in gourds glow and flicker warmly.  My children are cozied up on the rug, pillows and blankets tucked around them, traces of facepaint in their eyebrows, their candy bags snug in their laps.  Guy and I collect Mommy and Daddy tax now and then; for me a Butterfinger or Junior Mints, for Guy a Peanut Butter Cup.  I make herb tea with milk, brown sugar and butter (trust me... awesome) and we settle in.

The music begins.  The amazing opening credits to what is fast becoming my all time favorite movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, sweep me away to the rustling, dry leaves of my own childhood, and Halloween nights long since forgotten linger like faint spirits in my heart.  I feel my mom's touch as I remember her using her lipstick to paint round circles onto my cheeks the year I dressed as a clown.  I think of Dad and his enthusiasm for a well made costume the year we made me into a 7Up can.  I trace the streets of my childhood home in my mind, hearing the leaves skuttle across the sidewalk on the evening breeze as though they were being spirited along.  Somehow I remember a certain house, here and there, the rustle of my costume, the itch of the makeup, and the thrill of the night air.  It was scary and exciting, and safe and comforting all at once.  I am called back as the movie begins, our Halloween night tradition.  Now I am here, watching my children's memories being created - right at this very moment.

Jonah has long since been unconscious.  He didn't make it home from Kathy and Joanna's neighborhood awake, but a "high-bop" (lollipop) fused in each hand remained held aloft, as though he might eat them in his sleep.  Ethan has been the recipient of generous donations from younger sibs, who can't bare to see him treatless.  It brings out a soft tone in his voice as the kids ask what his favorites are.  Adam is freshly showered, a must for detatching his bald cap that was painted right on to his head, fusing it to his hair.  I cuddle Tessa who is too squirmy in my arms, and Guy sits close.  Ellie is deep in the throes of candy carnage. 

Children begin to fade, and by movie's end we shuffle sleeping souls off to their beds.  I leave the DVD menu playing for a while so that I can hear the music a little longer.  It's so mournful and sweet.  The candles in the pumpkins have almost all burnt out, and Guy snuffs out the last few. 

Candle smoke lingers faintly.  The now childless floor is strewn with wrappers.  My Sweetheart kisses me.

You know, if you look waaaay back, before the black cats and witches, Halloween was a celebration honoring family members who had passed on to the other side.  It was really all about family, living and gone.  A bon fire believed to be sacred was lit in the middle of town and everyone carried a gourd - with a flame from that main fire inside of it - back to their homes to light their hearth fires with a small portion of that sacred light.  They welcomed the new year, honored those who had died, and spent time together as family.

At least some things haven't changed with time. 

The focus of the night was almost more on the collecting 
of pumpkin seeds than on the carving.

 The kids carve away as Guy compares 
the relative sizes of his thumbnails. 
"Would ya' lookee there!  This one is smaller!"

 Carving directions: "With ears like this, Daddy!"

 There is a certain family resemblance...

 Ethan's cool logo.

 And now on to the Trick or Treating with friends.  
Kathy even ventured out with new baby Ryan, 11 days old.

 "Forget the candy, I think I am in love with this lamppost!"

 Don't know how it happened, but we had 3 skeletons this year.
The cat was lonesome.

 Jack Skelington and "The Haul".  He made his costume himself.  
Somehow the red eye really finishes the look.

All tuckered out.
He was asleep sitting up with the crazy head bob thing.  We laughed at him freely.
There is nothing better than making fun of your exhausted children when they are unconscious.

Harvest Cider

A mug of some fresh pressed apple cider
(the good stuff) - hot

A big ol' squirt of carmel ice cream sauce

A big ol' scoop of Egg Nog Ice Cream


Thursday, November 1, 2012


You wanna know what's really scary? 
Jonah and the neighbor kids hiding behind the tombstones in the yard to get away from the search helicopters (lovingly dubbed "ghetto birds"). 
Don't worry, we call the kids into the house at the first rounds of gunfire.
Love this town.


Things Jonah has been heard to say in the past few days:
kahwry! - scary
Hah-WIN! - Halloween (repeated, getting louder, while jumping, fist in the air!)
tanyee - candy
Tee-ooh Teee! - Trick-or-Treat!
hey-bop - lollipop
My bag! - his Trick-or-Treat bag, spoken clear as a bell
No fooht, no eat, tanyee! - what we hear at lunch (fooht - food)
rrrraaarrrrrr! - What pumpkins say

Halloween night to come, as soon as we can find the camera!