Friday, December 28, 2007

"choto matane"

"little bits of "see you later""

Today our dear friend and 4-month houseguest, Yoriko, left for Japan.
There has been a flurry of commotion since the second week of December, starting with Yoriko's sister's arrival. We made friends quickly with Sambi and then the girls were off to Chicago. Then our summer houseguest (and friend), Kaori, arrived for a Christmas visit. Soon after Sambi was headed home. Now Yoriko has gone, and Kaori is leaving for a visit to NYC.

So there have been little bits of "see you later" happening around here, and I am preparing for the nearing departure of Matt, who seems to have just arrived. Another "see you later" is on it's way.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


We walked in from the Boring family Christmas and Matt was here. Yes, my brother Matt came all the way from Taiwan to spend Christmas with us. No one knew that he was coming. He took a taxi from the airport to our doorstep. Yoriko and Kaori were having a party here and told him where we were. After surprising mom and dad, they came over here to wait for us to arrive.
What shock!
And what a gift!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

nice blinders!

I was just thinking about the horse that pulled us around on Saturday's "Santa on the Square" carriage ride. He had blinders on and he was grumpy. While I can't say for sure that his reason for the mood was the blinders, it certainly was a good enough reason. (It could also have been the pulling people around in the snow with bells jingling behind your ears while getting slushed upon by speeding cars.)
Sometimes I wish I could have someone directing my sight, focusing me on the most important things, like the blinders. A little more of a "one-tracked" mind may be good. There are always too many things going at once.
Mike is right when he tells me that I do it to myself, that I take on too much. It's just that I crave interaction, excitement, inspiration, creative expression and more.
And while the blinders work for the horse, that kind of "guidance" wouldn't work for me. It would cause some grumpiness, at the least.
At this place, when I'm caring for three little boys, my mind has to be focused on many things... multi-tasking at it's busiest. So, I add on a bit more of the things I love. Doing these things helps me to "be" myself. The ability to go after them gives me autonomy.
And someday, I will need to live at more of a "one-tracked" pace. I may need the blinders then.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A bride named Sambica (Hymn)

Out of the ten peices of art that I showed at The Harrison Center's "White Christmas" show, this gown was my favorite.
I found a vintage dressform at Midland Antiques. After I resized it to a more realistic size, I put it on an old coatrack and paper mached it with paper from an old hymnal. That's how she gets her name, Sambica (the word for hymn in Japaneese).
The gown is made entirely out of recyled/reused materials. The majority of the dress is made from bulk coffee bags (bullet bags) that I got from local coffee shops. They were painted and then sewn.
The bustle and bust are made from plastic netting bags (that often package fruit and vegatables) and cereal bags. The bustle is accented with magnetic audio tape that I found somewhere.

Friday, December 7, 2007

a little jesus

You would have thought he was a little Jesus by the way he transformed the ER on Wednesday night.
Although we don't know how, Stewart injured his neck on Wednesday. He was completely out of character, crying hysterically and refusing to move his head. He kept saying that his hair and neck hurt. Mr. Tough Guy had officially fallen apart. Our dear friend, Dr. Rachel looked at him and said he should be checked out at the ER just in case it was something bad.
Off we went.
And into the ER he walked like a little Jesus (without the healing and parables). Everyone who caught a glimpse of our Stewart couldn't help but smile. He was wearing his green turtleneck, red overalls, blue snow boots, and stripped bear hat. By that time he was pleasant and quite serious. It seemed like the nurses didn't want to leave our room. The lady we shared a room with for an hour kept saying, "Stewart, help me be brave.", and "He's so sweet."
When we left, the man who was with Stewart's roomate, gave him dollar (Stewart calls it his penny.) The nurses were sad. We were thankful that he was alright and VERY proud.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

still a sparrow

I often think of my Sparrow family. My grandma, Edna Sparrow, passed away in the late spring and my grandpa, Stewart Sparrow, passed away when I was in high school but most of the family is still in Spokane, Washington . Today, we were looking at the journal of a trip we took out there to visit the Sparrow family when Stewart was a year old. An amazing heritage we have in the Sparrows, brimming with detailed stories of adventure, family and community.
Whenever I see a little sparrow flying about or fluffing up it's feathers in the cold I can't help but smile. These little birds are delightful to watch. Their shape is charming. Even the word "sparrow" feels like a perfect word. Maybe growing up with this name, and knowing who the Sparrow family is created this affinity for them.
Here is a foretaste of some art I'm finishing, complete with a few sparrows. The art show is this Friday at the Harrison Center for the Arts. Try to come, if you can.
P.S. Check out our family's newest work for the Advent season at (Boring Advent Blog Extra)

Monday, December 3, 2007

i'm halfway to being a single parent

Mike has been working so much lately to prepare for a big trial. I've had a quasi-single-parent experience.
I have not enjoyed it... at all.
It has made me realize how much I rely on him to be home at a certain time. After dinner he and the boys usually wrestle or play chase and then he usually handles Stewart and Marshall's bedtime routine while I get Nigel ready for sleep. It's all on me these days. And then the weekends... I have missed having the freedom to work on my art or on other projects. I have missed having a substantial break from being alone with the kids. To have a partner in this endeavor is a huge gift, not to be underestimated.
I'm extremely frustrated that his work has taken precedence over mine, but, yes, his work pays the bills and he has to build up his professional experiences. Mike has been stressed by this trial but I've seen him excited about work for the first time in, well, forever. It's great but there's a tinge of jealousy when I see him leave excited. He gets to go out, do something he's enjoying, that he's good at AND get paid for it.
All the while, I'm wilting. Actually, I wilted after day one, and now, I feel more like I'm pulverized. My kids are upside down, and this mother's emotional life feels like a Jackson Pollock painting. I have to stay in, do something I thought I loved but now feel like I hate, that I don't feel like I'm good at AND NOT get paid.
I'm tired and I want to work.