Monday, November 26, 2007

this is called procrastination

Meet the bean thread noodles that I cooked tonight. They were supposed to be a crispy topping for a pilaf rice dish I made but I kinda forgot how these noodles are to be prepared. Oops. We didn't eat them so I photographed them.
Taking this picture was me procrastinating on working-out, and now I'm procrastinating on some art that is due to be in a show next week. I've been saying that I'm desperate to work, but now, when I have my hands free, I'm refusing to go open the door to my studio. Maybe if I ignore it a little bit longer...
It doesn't surprise me that I'm doing this. I've done this for as long as I can remember. It got worse in college. For me, work is either hot or cold. I'm either conscienciously preparing, way in advance or I'm pushing it back as far as possible. It's just me. It's just how I do things. Frustrating for sure, and something that I want to improve upon. But... good things come out of procrastinating. The stress doesn't feel good, but it nudges me into the "right" place that I need to be to make it happen.
And finally, I'll head that way....just after I get myself a cafe con leche.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Today, Marshall drew an amazing picture of our fireplace. Slightly to the left of center is the smoke, framed by bellowing flames. Below is the wood (sticks) which looks like a double-crossed "T" and below that are the three knobs (the ones that adjust the gas flames).
What I love about kids art... simplicity with unusual places of detail.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

beautiful thanksgiving

I moved our dinning table into our living room, where the fireplace is. I closed our golden-colored curtains, lit candles and loaded a corner table with delightful food. Our feast included a 17 pound, Fosters and butter basted turkey with stuffing, the traditional green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted vegetables, sweet potato casserole, rolls and a triad of salads. It was quite yummy!
Last night the idea struck me, to have our feast by firelight in our living room. I wanted it to be special and to remember in the coming year to live thankfully. I speak as if I am thankful, being polite with my words, but to really live thankfully, that doesn't come easy. It may come easier with the obvious things, but not in the monotonous, the challenging or the annoying.
I want to live in thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

what I didn't get for my birthday

I didn't get a recumbent cycle exercise machine for my birthday. An extra special "thank you" goes out to the men in my life who didn't gift THIS!
Would THIS have been better than NOTHING?
absolutely not!
Maybe it would help me shed those extra pounds, but I would HATE to get this as a gift. The message it would send is too horrible.
The story behind the box is this; we were at Marshall's gym class and they were unloading new exercise machines. So we asked for a box (one of the best kids toys ever). This morning we lit it up, and it's now our cow barn (complete with Hot Wheels cars for the "cows" to play with). Maybe we'll paint it so that I don't have to be reminded that I'm still not exercising.

Monday, November 19, 2007

this nineteenth day of this eleventh month

a whinny boy awoke
i wondered, "could it be a joke?"

boys were dressed and going
i felt my mind slowing

cereal sloshed
i begged, "could i get washed?"

"happy birthday, mama!"
i may, i wanna

eyes wide, mad and sad
i sighed, "please let me have..."

talking across the sea
"i am happy."

sometimes they're so unpleasant
i opened my first present

the boys play, smile and cry
i voice, "why?"

children bring insight, joy too
i delight, no longer thirty two

Friday, November 16, 2007

the battle for dino eggs

The kids were playing dinosaur at the museum today. There was another mama there with three boys and they were playing together with Marshall and Stewart. They were gathering and guarding their eggs which resulted in some very active play. I wouldn't have really given if much thought since no one was getting hurt and no one was being mean, but the other mama kept barking for her kids to share and stop being mean. So, I got down there with them, near their "nest" and directed some quiet encouragement to Marshall, saying something like, "you're doing exactly what the dinosaurs did... protecting their young". Lest you think that I was being an instigator, the boys were just growling at eachother and grabbing for the eggs, with the smallest bit of tame wrestling AND I didn't direct this comment towards her children.
After the next order came out, I assured the mom that she shouldn't worry about my kids and that I was ok with their play. She said that not sharing wasn't ok with her. I don't think I responded. (So you know, it wasn't a tense exchange.)
I couldn't figure out why she thought her kids were being mean, and I couldn't wait for them to leave so the imaginative play could continue without interruption. I felt like her standards of control were unreasonable. From my perspective, the boys were just pretending. The grabbing wasn't bully-ish or mean, it just seemed like a game. I was mystified. It was weird.
They continued to play until finally the mom said that they had better move on so that no one would get hurt. I was glad. Marshall and Stewart continued to play pretend dinosaur, growling, waving their dino claws and showing their terrific teeth.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

my new favorite art

In my house, I am enjoying some new favorites. The kids and I gave three Kipp Normand peices to Mike for his birthday. They are each striking, but I particularly love these two that are framing some of Marshall's new art.
Enjoy it with me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

two and a half weeks later

We had a strong rain several weeks back. The wind and rain downed our neighbor's tree (seven or eight doors west of us). For over a week, the tree remained on the sidewalk and on part of the street. Now, it's out of the "public" space, but consumes his entire front yard, blocking his walkway and front door.
We stayed close to home for our nature walk today so that Nigel could nap as he seems to be fighting something. Marshall, Stewart and I walked down and plopped ourselves on his curb and drew what we saw. Marshall called his drawing, "Big Bully", and Stewart named his, "Orange One". We then dragged some branches home so we could light them up for our winter porch display. I was surprised that we enjoyed ourselves so much over something that's so annoying.
Marshall was perplexed about how the neighbor gets inside. I am too since his back yard looks grown over up to his back door. Mike and I are pretty sure that it's not an abandoned home. When we mentioned it to his next door neighbor, he seemed to say something to the affect that they weren't worried about it and that the resident just went in the back door anyway. We're not sure how someone can live with it being like that. We're wondering if the person or people who live there are simply not physically able to take care of it. We'll inquire when we figure out how to reach the front or back door.
This is living in Fountain Square. We'll take the good and the annoying!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

the long search for a sunday meal

Since going to Trader's Point Creamery last week, I learned about a brunch they do every Saturday and Sunday along with an indoor farmer's market. I was excited to plan our family gathering there for Sunday afternoon, with cousin Brian and family coming in from Crawfordsville, and cousin Lauren and Chloe visiting from Boston. I thought that it would be a great place to eat together and explore. I called to see if we needed reservations for a large group, "No", they said.
So I planned it, everyone showed up and there was no brunch. We were told it was done only on Friday and Saturdays now. Some got yummy chocolate milk and I figured out where we could go for brunch. I felt obligated to find us a place because the original idea was mine to begin with. I wanted to make it right. So, I decided on a place in Zionsville, ONLY 9 miles away. 9 miles further.
And it was good... good to be with family. Zionsville was a nice place to be on a rainy fall day, with a quaint downtown.
I did not enjoy decision making for an entire group, not knowing where we were headed or what to expect. I did not enjoy trying to give directions to 5 drivers, when my directions were second hand. I thought of myself as being pretty flexible, but I wasn't in that place on Sunday. I give that responsibility to someone else for next time.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

broad ripple day

Our cousin Lauren is here to visit with, now 13 year old, Chloe. I can't even belive that this same Chloe was in our wedding 10 years ago and was led down the aisle by our neice Taylor, also 13.
It scares me a bit to have time leap forward like that, right before my eyes. And weird that in that "blink- of-an-eye" leap, my life has changed so drastically. It doesn't seem possible.
Lauren, Chloe, Amy, Mom, Nigel and I had breakfast at Petite Chou (they serve a yummy crepe au fromage). Nigel was an angel to withstand the time afterwards, perusing Broad Ripple's boutiques. And even though he did great, he won't be doing that for much longer. (He is still the perfect age to cart around, where he doesn't demand mobility... just the occasional nibble).
Mike, Dad, Marshall and Stewart joined us on Westfield Blvd. for Garden pizza from Bazbeux (pepperoni for the boys). After eating, we crossed the street to the canal to encourage the boys rock throwing distances.
Later in the evening Mike, his parents and I enjoyed a birthday dinner at Mama Corolla's before attending a Spirit and Place event at First Friends Church. We heard some entertaining stories by Phil Gulley and music by Carrie Newcomer.
It was a full, Broad Ripple day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

happy birthday Mike!

Isn't he great!
Happy Birthday, Mike!
Mike got some homemade artwork from the boys and Kipp Normand artwork from all of us.
Marshall was happy to help with the candle counting and placing. All the boys were happy to help daddy blow out his 32 candles.

third party

Some people would say that I threw away my vote.
I'm glad to disagree.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

we've been farming

At the Sparrow School, we're studing farms.
Trader's Point Creamery, Anderson Orchard, and The Brown Family Farm (our egg co-op farm) have seen our little troupe this week. It's been busy, trying to get in some farm visits before it gets too cold.
Next week, we'll stay a bit closer and try to visit Boring Farms in New Palestine. I'd also love to visit the farm where we'll be getting our Thanksgiving turkey from, and a farm with 4-H'ers raising goats or rabbits or llamas (any leads on the later would be helpful). What else? Wouldn't it be fun to visit a John Deere dealership?
But if these big things don't happen, I'll be satisfied with the farms we've seen and our Boring Farm visit. I'd like to encourage Marshall to do some video journaling of Boring Farms and it's legacy. I think he asks good questions but would like to see him put a little more effort into listening to answers. Maybe this will be a good exercise for him to do with Uncle Phil and Grandpa Eugene ("Whale-tail"). More on this later.
Some thoughts about homeschool:
We're not home much.
It's so incredible to watch Marshall, Stewart and Nigel interact with eachother so much.
The world is so grand and curious and I'm loving that we can explore it together.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

frazzled girl

This week, I worked on a display for this Missions Travel Journal release. I learned that I took on more than I could handle with everything else that was happening this week. I had several late nights working on it.
The idea was an easy one, one that I was excited about. Creating it was difficult though, with mistakes or accidents happening one right after the next, like using a new kind of acrylic sheeting, a saw that malfunctioned and paint not drying in the cold fall air. I ended up tired and frazzled and glad to be done. Seeing it hanging was disappointing.
There are lessons to be learned here.
(frazzled face created by Katherine Green)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

boring robot boys

We saw so many kiddos last night, at Fountain Square's Halloween event and then at our doorstep.
We also witnessed several adults (or really old-looking teenagers). "Hum, and what are you dressed up as?" I wanted to ask when they approached sans children and without costume (unless you count a halloween bag as a costume).
"Trick-or-Treat, and could I just get a cig or beer instead of candy?"
"Trick-or-Treat! Just let me scope out how many younguns you have running around."
"Trick-or-Treat, your house looks quite tasty to me."
How I've let my mind wander. I'm sure they just wanted a year's supply of candy for free!
As for Marshall and Stewart, they had as much candy as they wanted last night and this morning picked out 5 pieces. Each piece went into an envelope with their initial on it. They'll get to choose a mystery envelope for the next 5 days. The rest of their stash will be donated to the witch (not me).