March 28, 2013

Emma's Room

Emma, 14.

Her bedroom, as she left it when the bus pulled up across the street. My dear, sweet girl. She loves her bed and likes all the blankets and pillows to be crazily swirled into a messy, cozy pile. She snuggles down in the middle. She calls it her "nest."

There are lots of moments when I miss the tiny Emma. So much. Sometimes my heart breaks with the missing of her. But then I watch her from a distance or pause a moment to watch her face while she's sleeping and I catch glimpses of that same little person . . . it's still her. She's still the same Emma.

She's becoming her own person. Making her own choices, finding her own style, figuring out what it is she loves, what she dreams of, what she stands for.

The note to herself on her mirror makes me smile every time I walk by her room.

    Every night:
  •  50 jumping jacks
  •  15 push ups
  •  100 crunches
  •  1 minute plank

I remember when I started writing myself notes too. Making lists. Taking charge.

Oh, what a precious, joyous time. 

p.s. I refrained from showing you the clothes strewn all over the floor. Something strange happens every morning while she's trying to figure out what to wear, and the entire closet ends up on the floor.

March 24, 2013

Purple Sun day

The crocus are

then unfurling
into the shy slant
of spring's pale
lemon sky.
Flocks of light blue
breezes migrating
from the south gently
mingle with warming
rays and I am
shivering from chill,
warmth, both at once.
My paper face
tilts, like purple crocus
to the western horizon.
flower and I, awaken
to the moment, fill
yawning lungs,
ready hearts with fragile

— Jenny Scheuch, 2013

March 21, 2013

how to love this world

Two days ago I made vegetable curry for the first time ever. It was tasty and my whole family liked it. Honestly, I had never used coconut milk in a recipe before. I know that may be shocking but I'm a girl who lived my entire senior year in college eating almost exclusively Doritos and Minute Rice . . . soooo . . .

Yesterday we welcomed the first day of Spring.

Today is National Poetry Day and the sun is shining. Also today — Izzy relaxed on the couch with her tongue sticking out in that incredibly adorable way animals sometimes do.

Tomorrow is Friday and nobody can be uncheered on a Friday.

Yes, I'd say there is much to celebrate this windy week in March.


by Mary Oliver

    a black bear
      has just risen from sleep
         and is staring

down the mountain.
    All night
      in the brisk and shallow restlessness
         of early spring

I think of her,
    her four black fists
      flicking the gravel,
         her tongue

like a red fire
    touching the grass,
      the cold water.
         There is only one question:

how to love this world.
    I think of her
         like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
    the silence
      of the trees.
         Whatever else

my life is
    with its poems
      and its music
         and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
      down the mountain,
         breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—
    her white teeth,
      her wordlessness,
         her perfect love. 

"Spring" by Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems. © Beacon Press, 1992. 

March 20, 2013


image © 2013 Jenny Scheuch 

March 18, 2013

Steal Like an Artist = fresh creative inspiration

March 15, 2013

One year

Tomorrow is my big blog anniversary. One whole year of adventures in blogland. It's been a great year. Blogging has changed a lot about how I look at the world. I've discovered that I really enjoy photography. I've found that there are lots of people out there who love the exact things I do. I've made new friends from all around the globe. Blogging has helped me appreciate all the tiny details in life, the beauty in the mundane tasks, the hope in a tiny bud, the humor entwined with midlife frustrations. I'm grateful for this new perspective and I look forward to tapping away at the keyboard and posting my way through this next year too.


Things are slowly waking up here in Montana. Oh. So. Slowly. It takes a long time for winter to pack up and leave. There's a lot of deep thawing involved. But there are daffodils poking through the dirt and most days it's warm enough to put the bunnies out in the garden area and let them explore and roll in the grass. Opal put on too many pounds this winter and needs to do some serious hopping. She's sporting a triple chin.

I put a few bird feeders outside the windows by my desk and it's been fun watching the birds come and go. Mostly chickadees and nuthatches so far. Oh, and a squirrel I call Hazel who continually gets more and more brave. She spends half the day trying to tiptoe past the dogs before they spy her and run her back into the creek bed. I'm a little worried one of them will actually snag her — that wouldn't be pretty.

Despite the warmer days I bought myself a new winter toy — an electric wood stove. I'd been eyeing them all winter but never pulled the trigger. Then I happened to be in Lowe's the other day, saw them on clearance, and decided to go for it. We set it up in the little TV room off the kitchen and I love it so much. I was worried it would feel cheesy, fake flames and all, but it's wonderful. It even has an optional heat blower, which makes that room extra toasty. Man, I just love it.

Hope you all are enjoying your Friday and plotting fun adventures for your weekend.

March 11, 2013

Dreaming and other things

Last night I had one of my recurring bad dreams.

The constants are these: I am frantically trying to get to the airport to make my plane (usually an international flight), and I am running really late. Total chaos ensues.

The variables are the forms of chaos: get lost driving to the airport, can't find gate/ticket info/people I'm flying with, long line at ticket counter and the plane is minutes from take-off, my children are with me and I'm trying to keep track of them, their bags, my bags, etc. It's a very, very stressful dream and I'm always so relieved when I wake up.

In last night's exciting episode I was trying to find the ticket counter and then check a bunch of bags and boxes filled with random stuff. The flight was scheduled to leave in ten minutes and I was a disorganized mess. The boxes weren't sealed, some of my belongings were in plastic grocery bags and I was trying to stuff them into suitcases and duffel bags. There was so much STUFF! I'm talking little plastic toys and dolls, old books and papers, dollar-store trinkets — a bunch of crap, really. It wasn't working. Stuff was falling out everywhere and oodles of it didn't even fit in the bags. Aaaaak!

I woke up, thank goodness, and it was morning.

In the past this dream is all about the flying. I know why I have it — because I HATE flying. HATE! (Yes, I'm yelling.) But this time the part that felt like the bigger stress was all the crap I was carrying.

So I awoke with renewed enthusiasm for purging some of the stuff in my house.

Relinquishing some things is so easy for me, like clothes. I could whittle my wardrobe to a single loin cloth (and maybe a thick robe for winter) without batting an eye. Clothes aren't emotional for me. I don't love them or covet them. That's not to say that I don't enjoy dressing nicely or having nice clothes – I just don't feel attached.

Where my attachments lie are in the little things. Sadly, I now realize, I have a hard time purging all the exact crap I was trying to fit in my luggage — my childhood collection of paper dolls, baby clothes my daughters wore, a collection of tiny painted chairs, hoards of beautiful scrapbook paper, a gallon of shells. Things like that darling little mouse family in the photo above. I love their fuzziness and their little faces. I might miss them if they were gone.

Yikes. I fear there is a canyon-sized gap between me and people who live in those tiny homes.


That said, I do plan to make some headway on simplifying this coming week. I may try photographing some of my sentimental possessions, saving the photos and letting the actual items go. The important word there is may. I may part with some things and . . .  I may not. ;)

March 9, 2013

Something funny on a sunny Saturday

Nothing like a funny foreign film to make a sunny spring Saturday even better.

March 6, 2013


A Meme

One of my favorite things is the sound of a ticking clock.

Outside my window the bare twisted branches of the amur maple, 
waiting to come alive.

I am thinking of all the things I'm pining to do, as soon as I meet 
all these crazy, lurking deadlines.

From the kitchen I hear the hum of the fridge.

I am wearing blue floral jammies.

I am reading Anne Lamott's 'Bird by Bird' for the third time. 
Yes, it's that good.

I am hearing Angus Stone on Pandora 
(thanks to Jen for turning me on to his music).

I am hoping for Spring to hurry up, but time to slow down.

Around the room, my yorkie sleeps on the back of the couch like a cat,
the space heater warms my feet.

I am going to watch "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" 
with Emma this week, at her request.

I am creating a crocheted blanket, and a plan for my garden.

I am thankful for hot showers, music, and my family.

Here is picture thought, from outside my front window this morning.

Thank you to Cait O'Connor for this blog meme.