April 26, 2013

for now

I have suddenly decided to embark on a blogging hiatus of an unknown length of time. New adventures, unforeseen shifts, change in focus — life is like that, isn't it? An ebb and flow of season, a constant turning toward and away from the sun.

My heartfelt thanks to you for reading, commenting and following my often silly ramblings. I hope to see you all in cyberspace, or in person, if I'm so lucky.


Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

~ Mary Oliver 

April 22, 2013

A Three-dog life . . .

(My three dogs — and my dear daughters)

While it's true that I do, in fact, have a "three-dog life" my post title is actually referring to the beautifully-written memoir.

In my last post I mentioned I was reading A Three-Dog Life by Abigail Thomas.  Well, I finished it in a day and I have to tell you — it was wonderful. A touching, heartbreaking, and honest memoir.

Here's the synopsis:
When Abigail Thomas’s husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his skull was shattered, his brain severely damaged. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations—and with no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before—he was sent to live in a nursing facility that specializes in treating traumatic brain injuries. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a story of great courage and change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lived in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. Hailed by Stephen King as "the best memoir I have ever read," this wise, plainspoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail has discovered since the accident: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it.    ~ from Amazon

I've logged this book into my Book Journal and starred the entry. 


So, what should I read next? I have a few books in my pile but they all seem a little heavy. Anyone read a good book lately? Maybe something on the lighter side that I can read while I sit waiting at soccer practice or ballet class?

April 17, 2013

Pieces of April

reading: A Three Dog Life, a memoir by Abigail Thomas (sooo sooo good)

listening to: Half Moon by Portland band 'Blind Pilot'. We saw them in concert here in Missoula last year. I love every single song of theirs. Pure musicalpoeticgenius.

watching: this 3-minute video - I want all of my girlfriends and my daughters to watch it.

eating: an entire half of our first watermelon of the year (store-bought)

dreaming of: visiting my newest nephew Noah, born a mere three days ago. I wish Texas wasn't so far away or that airplanes went super fast but never left the ground

welcoming: the goldfinch to the growing clientele at our bird feeder. On a side note, last year we had a yellow warbler couple decide to nest in the tree outside Emma's window. We had such fun watching them build their home, watch over their eggs and finally feed their three frail children. Emma even lucked into seeing the very moment one fledged (as a 12-day-old! oh how soon they leave!) I posted some photos and wrote a poem about it here.

thinking about: taking a sewing class, making a terrarium, taking Glucosamine to see if my hips and fingers feel better

fretting: that I may be developing rheumatoid arthritis at 43

asking: "what can I do to help?" after watching this

What's up in your neck of the woods? 

feeling daffy


She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead."

- by A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

April 12, 2013

The roaring '20s

{or How I Wish I Was a Flapper}

Click here to listen to some quintessential 1920's music while you enjoy this post.

You know how I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast during the Olympics? And then how I was dying to be an American colonist and live in Williamsburg around Thanksgiving? Well, I recently watched the 1970's version of the movie The Great Gatsby and re-read the book in anticipation of the upcoming release of the movie remake, so (as one might expect) I am now wishing I lived in the 1920s. I've been oogling over the clothes, the hairstyles, the music (which I've always enjoyed anyway) and the trends of the era. What an interesting and crazy time in history.

Say, I'm due for a haircut and I always enjoy making it worth the money, maybe I'll go for a bobbed look. Did you know that the "bob" first made its appearance in the 1920s (it was quite controversial) and prompted the advent of the "bobby" pin?! Just a little tidbit I learned today.

The hats of the day were cloche hats. Gloves were popular, and the "character" shoe (a sturdy heeled dress shoe) became popular and is the shoe still worn by dancers today. We recently inherited a whole bunch of gloves that used to belong to Gary's grandmother. I should go through them and see if any would fit that era. I know some of them were made in France, so they certainly aren't cheap drugstore varieties.

I have sweet memories of my grandma singing "Bye Bye Blackbird" and dancing the Charleston for me once or twice when I was little. She would have been in elementary school in the 1920s but as the eleventh of twelve kids in her family I'm sure her older siblings were wearing the styles and listening to the music of the times. It's so fun for me to imagine what it was like in her little Pennsylvania town back then.

Speaking of the Charleston, here's a video of some '20s peeps shaking their groove thing.

The new Gatsby movie opens in May 10th in the U.S. and it's going to be in 3D (which I am actually disappointed about because 3D movies kinda irritate me, but hey - maybe it'll be cool). Plus I'm thrilled with the casting of (the oh-so-dashing) Leo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and (the adorable) Carey Mulligan as Daisy. I loved her in An Education.

Last night I said to Gary "I wonder if they'll ever figure out how to time travel." He just shook his head slowly and rolled his eyes. He's known me long enough to just to smile and hope I never get too whacky. And I've known him long enough to say "Well, if they ever do I'm going off and leaving you here, old sport." ;)

April 10, 2013

Bits of found things

Our first daffodil of the year and a deer promptly trampled the poor little thing and bent the stem so it was left staring at ground rather than the sun. Happily I swooped in for the rescue and gave it a new home in living room where it gets lots of attention.

I heard this song on the radio yesterday afternoon as I sat parked outside the school waiting for the girls. "Me likey," I said to no one in particular and I wondered if it was Josh Ritter but the announcer didn't say. Found it online today and I was right — it's Josh, and I've been listening to it all day. Mighty fine tune.

I also found my favorite tea, Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos (red bush tea), after almost a year of looking. It was like the tea company quit making it for a while or maybe African red bushes had a year of terrible production. Who knows. But I was parched with thirst for it, living off the memory of that delicious brew . . . then I steering my cart around the Good Food Store and viola! there it was (and on sale no less). I snatched four boxes just to be safe, but now I'm thinking I should go back for a few more just in case it goes missing again. I started drinking it years ago when I was reading a lot of Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books (his website - linked with his name here - is fun). I loved those books and the way Precious Ramotswe talked about her refreshing pots of red bush tea. All her yammering about it made me thirst to try it. So I did and I was hooked. It's naturally decaffeinated so you can drink it day and night, which I have pretty much been doing these last few days.

Just finished Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin and I really enjoyed it. I'd never read anything of hers before but I'm sure I'll read more now. Atwood's writing was lovely (and her vocab large, I grabbed a dictionary more than a few times). The story itself was very engaging. Hmmm, how would I describe it — part mystery, part tragedy, part romance, with a twist or two, and people and place I could vividly see in mind's eye. Yum, I do love a good book. 

Question: I'm looking for new linens for my bed. A summer quilt. Some pretty 100% cotton sheets. Shabby chicish, maybe white, maybe with tiny flowers. Anybody know of good online sources for bedding?

Happy midweek adventure to you all.

Oh bother, I keep meaning to tell you that I've added a button so you can follow me on Bloglovin' now. I guess Google is eliminating their blog-following services in a few months. It's easy-peasy to set up an account with Bloglovin' and they even import all the blogs you were following with Google.

April 8, 2013

Printable : Virginia Woolf

1. Click on image to download larger size jpg

2. Print at will  :)

April 5, 2013

Seagulls and Obadiah

I promise this will be my final ocean post, but I just had to add these seagull photos to the blog. I love the way they turned out. They look almost ethereal, more like paintings than photographs. Maybe it's because the gulls were so backlit.

At first they were all bathing in the estuary that comes in along the north end of the beach. Then some darker weather started moving over and they began to face into the wind. Some tucked their heads to stay warm against the gale and some just stood tall, beaks pointed south, bearing the heavy gusts.

I was reminded of a favorite childhood book, Thy Friend Obadiah. It's the story of a young Quaker boy who reluctantly befriends a seagull in his Nantucket fishing village during the Colonial time period.

I always loved this book — the cobblestone roads on Nantucket, how the family dressed and cooked their meals in a big stone fireplace, the way Obadiah's mother tucked him under heavy quilts in his attic bedroom (by candlelight no less). But the best part was when Obadiah peeked out his bedroom window and saw his loyal seagull friend, perched on the chimney facing into the wind, keeping watch through the night. I wanted a seagull friend who would sit outside my window, darn it.

April 4, 2013

Part 3, Evening at the Ocean

Evening is definitely my favorite time of day for a stroll down the beach. The rhythm of the surf, the slant of the sun, the screams of the seagulls. Barefeet. The ones I love. Perfection.

Emma gazes out over a the horizon, closes her eyes with her face in the wind.

Kate is the beachcomber. Scanning for shells and sand dollars. Finding tiny crab claws, smooth black stones, creatures in the surf.

And Izzy? She just chases seagulls and runs so hard her little back legs (chicken legs, really) kick out behind her at funny angles. Like a two-year-old, she would swim straight out into the waves without fear if we let her.

We walked, and walked, and walked. Then we walked some more.

April 3, 2013

Beach bound, part 2 ~ foggy morning

hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic

     — Van Morrison

A foggy morning.

Low tide at Haystack Rock

Tide pool exploring. 


April 2, 2013

Beach bound, part 1

Friday morning we left for the Oregon coast in what will be known as "The Speedy but Delicious Ocean Visit of 2013." The town of Cannon Beach, Oregon is one of my favorite places to glimpse the ocean and through the years we've somehow never taken our girls there so I decided it was high time we made the trek. The drive is about 10 hours from our house to the surf. It was a long day, made a little longer because Kate was born with a bladder the size of a walnut, or maybe a pistachio, we're not sure, but one thing we do know is that it can't hold much. I once joked with her that she should write a memoir someday titled "The Bathrooms of my Youth." She's frequented more public restrooms in her 12 years than any one person should in their entire life.

The photos I've posted today are from the lush green forested area just North of Cannon Beach. There should be a hundred different words for describing all the various shades and depths of green you can find in the Pacific Northwest. The greens are one of the things I miss most about living in the Seattle area. Of course with all that green comes a fair bit of moisture, and I must say that I don't miss the rain (and I don't miss how large my hair gets when I'm doused in humidity).

Next up I will post my beach photos but tonight I am tired and lazy, so I'm off to snuggle up with a book and a hot beverage.