Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New fabric

I found this cheerful batik that I plan to use for my next baby carrier design. I've recently learned that I'm not nearly as obsessed with baby carriers as many many many women out there, so I'm not allowing myself any guilt over indulging in this fun fabric. It will be something bright and happy to contrast with the upcoming long cloudy gray season. I am thinking of making something that is a sort of hybrid Mei Tai and backpack, but I guess I won't really know until it's done. I might have enough to make a matching diaper bag or tote. That would be fun, and oh, so coordinated.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

A long time ago I found this vintage mobile at a yard sale. When I say a long time ago, I mean over twenty years ago... It accompanied me through my many moves and various relationships. Also many years ago, I made a painting for my dear friend Pea Soup when she became a mother. The color photo copiers had just come on the market and I made a copy before I sent the original off to her. I think it may have been my first painting. It's one in a three part series I had in my mind. The first in the sequence is a female figure lovingly and protectively embraced by a male figure (part of this painting is exposed in the photo above, on the right). The second in the sequence is a female figure in the bloom of pregnancy, the male embracing her with his hands gently and lovingly placed on her full belly. I never finished this one, but I did make a mosaic of a female figure in full bloom. It may appear in a future SPT post. The third in the sequence (which is the first I actually painted) is the female figure with the babe in her arms.
The series was a self-portrait series based on my hopes and dreams of family and motherhood. The little pastel angels and clouds in the mobile are so adorable. I still love them after all these years. They also represent my hopes and dreams of motherhood. This is the year I finally put them up, as this is the year that I became a mother. I am a believer in dreams coming true, even though some may take forever!

Monday, August 29, 2005


He's so precious. I am smitten.

Hellos and Goodbyes

I don't much like goodbyes. Hellos are good. I have a tough time when it comes to goodbyes though. My mother is in the beginning stages of a 3-month circle tour of the U.S., and dropped by for a very short visit this weekend. She and her husband arrived Saturday evening, and now, Monday morning, they are gone. I am sad. I didn't get to say goodbye and I feel let down. When they arrived, I was on the floor playing with the baby, and my mom got right down on the floor and started playing with him, so I stayed on the floor and said my hellos from there. It was sort of a chaotic moment, then it was over. No hugs. They are early to bed, early to rise people. We had a nice day of chatting, Scrabble playing (I got a 7-letter word on the first play, with an 'H' on a double!) and movie watching (saw Something the Lord Made, very good film). After the movie they said goodnight, and goodbye, as they would be leaving in the morning. I had the baby in my arms again, so again, no hugs. No real goodbyes. I thought surely I'd see them in the morning before they left, as I'm up between 5:45 and 6:00 a.m. every day for my morning expression exercise. This morning I was up at 5:45. I came downstairs and peered out the window. No car. They had already left. What kind of people leave before 5:45 a.m.? I was up until 1 a.m., and fed the baby at 2 a.m. Somewhere between 2 and 5:45 they departed, and I find myself sad that I didn't get to say a proper goodbye. I feel deflated. Maybe even a bit rejected. I really wanted to say goodbye.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Slug tracks on spider webs

What an interesting title. There must be a story behind that one. Hmmmm. Welllll, let me see. Yes, there is, indeed. My mother is visiting for the weekend. She's a smoker and steps outside frequently to light up. Last night she came back in and asked me if I knew there was something that emitted a sharp point of light, in a crevice among the rocks in the rock wall. In the rocks, I asked? Not on the bank? I do have a set of solar lanterns that do not spend much time collecting sunlight, and I've noticed at night they try to shine, but they only muster up a tiny point of bluish light. They are lined up behind a box of lilies (or what's left of the lilies, as they have bloomed and wilted). No, she insists the strange light is coming from among the rocks. How odd. I ask the cool cat to go investigate. We've had raccoons back there eating the plums. Perhaps a varmint has moved in among the boulders and is peering out and the strange light is the moonlight glinting from his beady little eyes. As it turns out, there is no varmint. It is merely the sparkle of moonlight reflecting off the slimy trail left behind as a slug meandered through or across a spider web.

In retrospect, it's not a very interesting story, but it was funny at the time. One would have to know my mother. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I am now officially afraid of pigs. Pigs are of the family Suidae, having short legs, cloven hooves, bristly hair, and a cartilaginous snout used for digging. Maybe that's why they say here suey suey suey, only it's really here sui sui sui. But I digress.

Suidaephobia. I made up the word. It sounds plausible, though.

I recently read (yes, I actually sat down to read a book!) a snippet about a man who remembered as a boy that he lost his dog, and deep down inside he knew that the dog went to the hogs. Or, more explicitly, the dog went snooping around as dogs so often do, and snooped his way into the pig pen, and was narry seen again. The horror of the story is that the pigs gobbled him up. This was at the heart of the man's trust issues, or issues with authority, as his parents and until-then-trusted-adults had all told him the dog had run off. But I digress.

Reading this snippet brought to mind a scene from Hannibal, a very disturbing film, in which two of my favorite actors, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins, discuss the matter of pigs. The matter being that pigs eat everything, bones and all. Of course, the pigs in this thriller were trained to be ragingly carnivorous. Such an awful film. But I digress.

Thinking of Hannibal brought to mind other references about pigs, most likely from The Sopranos and the matter of disposing of evidence, as pigs thoroughly consume every bit of it.

Who would have ever thought that the subject of cute children's tales and nursery rhymes would be so sinister? And here I am, nicknamed phonetically after these horrifying creatures.

I wonder if there is some hidden meaning or menace in my blog name. It is, after all, about a piggie. Ah, but the piggie is squished. I must have known all along that they were no good.

A line in the sand

I stink at investing. I'm generally a day late and a dollar short. My 401k has flexible options for allocating funds, depending on how conservative or risky one is. For years I kept my money in the stable fund, being the super conservative person that I am. Along came the dot com boom and my coworkers were revelling in the super growth they'd achieved. I plodded along with my low growth stable fund. Finally, I decided that I should join the masses who were headed towards early retirement with their fast and furious gains. I reallocated my funds. Wouldn't you know, the dot com balloon went poof. My timing was impeccable. Buy low, sell high. It sounds so simple, but for some reason, I am consistently out of phase. By the time I make a move, it invariably turns out that I've bought high or sold low. So, the thing to do is diversify. I tried that. Somehow, I still manage to lose. Well, maybe I've gained a little, but looking back over time, I would have done much better to have stayed in my safe stable fund all along, and not listen to anyone's advice. However, I have recently decided to try being a little more active in my allocations. To keep track of daily trends and make decisions and changes more fluidly than once every two or three years. Having made that decision, two days ago, it would appear that the stars were not aligned for me. The stock price dropped, so it was a good time to buy. I tried to buy, but made my order after the closing time, which means I would get the next day's price, not that day's price. Drat, so there's a time limit involved. That's why you see scenes from the stock exchange on TV with utter chaos and people yelling, waving their arms, bits of paper fluttering through the air. Okay, I get it. I cancelled my order (nice option available with my plan) and waited to see what the next day would bring. The next day, the price dropped even more. I should have kept my order and not cancelled it. I tried to place the order again and got a proxy error, whatever in the heck that is. I guess my session timed out or something. Hmmm. So, I missed the boat again. Today was the third day of looking at stock prices. Today the price went up a bit. Not much, but a bit. It was still down a bit at 4 minutes to closing, so I decided to place my order. Confirmed. Great, at closing the price ended up being up. So I say to myself not to worry. It's just a line in the sand. Forget about the gains or losses prior to today. Just make sure that the next time you sell, the price is higher than it is today. Don't worry about what the price is today. It's just your reference point. Chill. I am definitely not cut out for this. (But if my coworkers retire as multi-millionaires while I have to work until I'm 90, I'm going to be very angry with myself for not being able to grasp the simplicity of 'BUY LOW, SELL HIGH'.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

True Love

Two Tuesdays ago... Wow, that must be an old picture of you. You're skinny!
No, darling, I took that picture today. It's Self Portrait Tuesday. It's current.

Yesterday... Wow, you look so skinny! And so young. You look twenty years younger than you are. That picture doesn't look anything like you.

Ahh, true love.

(Of course I'm going to post flattering photos. And I may have to take two hundred before I get one, but by golly, there's bound to be something that I can work with. It's digital...)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Too Much Information
This goes with the previous two posts; ref great gizmo.
psp glass block rendering

status quo
A Life Out of Balance


fresh color and a new youthful do, purposefully messy,
no brushing desired or required
psp colored chalk rendering

Monday, August 22, 2005

Any Given Monday

Or Tuesday. Or any day that I go in to the office. Coworkers are all male.
Conversation in a hallway. I’m briskly walking towards the ladies room.
Coworker: Hey, you’re not pregnant and your hair is short!
Me: Nope, not pregnant. Yep, short hair.
Coworker: Are you back, then?
Me, not wanting to get into it: Um humm.
Coworker: How long has it been, a year?
Me: My baby is 7 months old now.
Coworker: Wow. Time flies. Next thing you know you’ll be a grandma.
Me: Next thing you know…
Coworker: Well, welcome back.
Me: Thanks.
Conversation in an elevator.
Coworker 1: Oh. Are you back?
Coworker 2: Hey. You’re back.
Coworker 3: Welcome back.
Me: I’ve been back. Since March. I come in to the office for half days sometimes.
Coworker 1: Half days with full pay?
Me: I’m mostly working from home, but I’ve been working full time since March.
Coworker 2: You get to work from home?
Me: It’s a temporary arrangement. (awkward silence) A lactation thing.
Coworker 1: Oh. Way too much information.
Coworkers 2 and 3: Muttered agreement, averted eyes.
Me, flushed face, head hanging: I know, I know. Sorry. I don’t know how to explain it without it being too much information.
Coworker 2: I didn’t much like working from home, when I used to do that. Missed the people, and didn’t like to hear the screaming baby all day long.
Me: He’s in daycare, but yes, I miss seeing the people. That’s why I’m here.
Coworker 1: Welcome back.
Stepping out of the elevator.
Coworker 4: Hey, it’s you! Are you back? Welcome back!
Me, smiling, not pausing my stride: Thanks!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Counting chickens

I am a multitasker extraordinaire, I marvelled at myself, as I walked on the treadmill with my babe strapped to my back, the breast pump strapped to my front, a bottle of filtered water in one hand, and a book in the other. I am the queen of multitasking, I revelled. Calculations fluttered through my mind. How profitable this venture can be, I thought with much excitement. Thirty minutes on the breast pump four times a day, coupled with the treadmill. That's two hours of exercise a day, when before there was none. Two hours of exercise a day! Imagine how svelte I soon shall be! Not to mention the books I will finally get to read. Oh, the excitement.

Twenty two minutes and forty four seconds into this revelry I had to pause, put down the book and the bottle, flip the stop switch on the breast pump, unstrap the tubes, and hasten to the nearest mirror where I could check my babe who had slipped further and further down my back as the minutes passed. I couldn't make it the entire thirty minutes. What if his face was buried in my back and he couldn't breathe? What if the carrier was cutting his circulation and his legs were turning blue? Thankfully, his face was fully exposed so he could breathe freely. He was fast asleep, and no harm had befallen him. I adjusted him a little and stepped back on the treadmill, plugged in the tubes, switched on the pump, switched on the treadmill, and proceeded to walk the remaining seven minutes and fourteen seconds.

Three minutes and twenty three seconds later I found myself unable to stop worrying about my little babe, sleeping soundly with his face against my sweaty back. Had he slipped even further down? I must make sure to practice the back carry more often, so I can get the hang of how to tie him in just right. Four minutes twelve seconds. Why are these seven minutes dragging on so? Five minutes fifty nine seconds. At last. The minute digit will change to six, I can count down the last fifty nine seconds and then it will be seven and then the final fourteen seconds will be over in no time and finally, we will be through. Finally. Shut down the treadmill. Turn off the breast pump. Unplug the tubes. Turn off the fan. Make sure I've got my balance, hurry downstairs to the kitchen sink. Take off the bottles, set them on the counter, remove the collection funnels and the hands free strap (great gizmo, by the way), hurry to the sofa to ever so gently take down my sleeping babe. Ignore the frowning husband who is shaking his head with that what-in-the-hell-hairbrained-idea-is-she-up-to-now expression on his face. The babe stirs and squirms, looks for his pacifier, finds it, stuffs it in his mouth like a pro, sucks contentedly, and drifts back to sleep. I return to the kitchen to tend to my bottles. With much dismay I realize the revelry and self-bestowed congratulations were premature as I measure the yield; a paltry four ounces. Four ounces. Why only four ounces? I ran to my computer, topless, and did a quick Google search. Does excercise diminish milk supply? I didn't find an article about exercise while expressing. Only that babies might not like the taste of milk expressed or nursed immediately after excercising, but that exercising in general has not been found to diminish milk supply. Of course there wouldn't be an article about exercising while expressing breast milk. What kind of a hair brained idea is that? Suddenly I can't help but recall the hours of research I had spent in the early days trying to find out what impedes breastfeeding. There was that magical and mystical phenomenon that I had yet to experience --letdown. The conclusion of the matter was that stress interferes with letdown. One must be relaxed. I should have known better. Exercise is a form of stress.

Crushed, defeated, I returned to the living room and put on my shirt. What is good for milk supply? Calories and fluids. I guess I won't be spending two hours a day on the treadmill after all, and I am not quite as extraordinary as I thought. I think I'll have some ice cream. And maybe some potato chips after that.

Friday, August 19, 2005

My Sleeping Boys

After a long day of daycare and work, Boo and CC often catch a few winks. Boo likes the swing and tries to get it going by pumping his legs. I wonder if he wonders why it doesn't do much when the same motion makes his kick-n-play bouncer bounce like mad. He kicks and kicks and kicks those yummy legs, but nothing happens in the big swing. Good thing Daddy is there to help.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I see how it is

That's what the Cool Cat said as he looked over my shoulder at my blog. "Oh, so you post pictures of Clayton and flowers and household items, but none of me. IIIII see how it is." So here are some pictures of CC, and of course Bugaboo.
Boo likes high altitudes and is learning to fly. CC will have to live his dream of flying vicariously through Boo.
Pops is showing Boo how to get up on his knees, in the hopes that he will dazzle us with his crawling ability. (I'm not in such a hurry for Boo's mobility for a variety of reasons. First, I haven't baby proofed the house. Second, I'm already exhausted without actually chasing him. Third, when he's mobile he won't want to snuggle as much, as he will be far too interested in exploration.)
This is entirely staged. Boo is holding himself up, but there is no forward mobility, and the happy expression is soon replaced with red-faced angry and passionate crying as he gets high-centered with his belly on the floor and his legs kicked up in the air behind him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A modicum of success

For the first time in my life I've managed to coax an African violet to bloom. Until now, I've not even been able to keep one alive. I attribute the success to a few things.
Most importantly, the violets are in a special two-piece pot that is intended specifically for violets (helps prevent root rot, I think).
The pot is critical in allowing the violets to survive under my care, however, blooms did not occur until I added vitamins to the water. To perk up the watering experience, I purchased this colorful pitcher on clearance for only $3.

While I was at it, I found these delightful stained glass bird suncatchers, so I bought three of them and strung them with floral wire to make a mobile. My kitchen window is happy to have them there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Woman in Conflict

Things I like, yet simultaneously dislike:
  • junk food
  • driving the speed limit
  • driving in general
  • daycare for my Boo
  • working full time
  • working from home
  • working in the office
  • a high tech job
  • computers
  • the internet
  • tv
  • exercise
  • summer
  • rain
  • snow

I'm sure there are many more, but I'm too tired to think.

Self Portrait Tuesday

Sitting in a comfy chair, babe asleep on my lap. Water falls over river rocks. Gentle breeze tickles my face. Leaves rustle. Flowers sway. Hummingbirds flutter. Subtle scents of thyme drift through the air. Ahhh, Shangri La. My sister's back yard. So lovingly and expertly landscaped. She and her man are so incredibly gifted. I am so privileged and grateful to be still for just a moment and drink it all in.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


The thing I don't like about vacation is that I have to work like a maniac to get all the work done that is due while I'm planning to be on vacation. It's not so much like getting a true reprieve from work. I still have to do all the work. Grumble grumble grumble. I will very much enjoy taking the next few days off. I'm taking Boo to meet some of his cousins. I only wish my chauffeur, Mr. Squished, the cool cat himself, could come along.

On another note, these pretty things are blooming now. I think they're lilies of some sort. I'm surprised there's anything blooming as I yanked out a ton of bulbs last winter.

This is a mystery flower. I planted several last year and nothing came up. This year, these odd, tall, leafy and not very attractive things came up. I let them live while trying to determine if they were weeds or if I had purposefully planted them. Having decided upon the latter, I let them live yet a little longer. They surprised me with blooms --tiny bursts of flower atop tall lanky, leafy stalks. Not very impressive, but up close they're quite pretty.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Peas Porridge Cold

Peas and rice, actually, and quite alot even made it down the hatch. Hopefully peas can't make a person blind. This little guy likes to be very interactive and feel the food. Consequently, it ends up between the fingers, in the eyelashes, up the nose, and under the chin. Some even makes it as far as the bib.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

I look like one of those Asian women who paints her eyebrows on, and uses a youthful reddish brown color instead of a more realistic blackish color. Oh wait, I am one of those Asian women... ...well... ...blended, anyway... ...or maybe it's shaken, not stirred...

I was previewing some self portrait attempts and decided to try another, and realized the previous showed up in the background of the present (but obscured by the flash). I thought that was kind of funny so I PSP'ed it to clarify the background.

Note: I iron almost as often as I brush my hair.

PSP: Jasc Paint Shop Pro, much cheaper than Photoshop

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shameful Reminders

I added a ticker to my blog to remind me that I should be paying attention to my health. To give myself a boost I calculated my '43 down' based on the high point I reached when I was full term with Boo. I lost quite a bit of fat while carrying him, and was actually down a whopping 62 lbs after taking a strong diuretic called Lasix, to combat the extreme edema that happened in that last trimester. Sadly, I've put some of the offending weight back on. Although 62 is a much better number than 43, 43 is still better than zero, so I should not beat myself up too much about this, and continue to remember that it's a battle worth fighting and not to give up.

Perhaps it's not psychologically good to call it a shameful reminder then. I shall try to come up with a more positive title.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Jack is Back!

I found him! Happy Jack is Back! We celebrated his 89th birthday with some yummy chocolate cake. Note the happy chocolate mouth mess.
Boo had fun trying out the wheel chair.
He and Uncle Jack had plenty to talk about.
We had a nice visit. I'm so glad we found him. Somehow I've made it forty years without losing someone close to me (apart from my Grandpa, who died when I was around twelve). I don't know how to say goodbye. I will miss him when he goes.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Saturday SAHM

I love Saturdays (apart from highway rants). Saturday is my day to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom, the epitome of my life, the dream of dreams I've dreamt for as long as I can remember.
Wake up, pump, play with Boo. Change his diaper, tickle him, love him. Breakfast together. Big boy oat cereal for Boo, old fashioned super thick oatmeal for me. Snuggle and play some more. Bake a cake. Make frosting from scratch. Actually follow a recipe with almost no alteration (substitute whipping cream for heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate for milk chocolate). Package cake, paper plates, napkins and forks for afternoon outing. Feed Boo a bottle. Play some more. Nap time for Boo. Pack the diaper bag. Pump again. Read a magazine. Read a magazine!! (It was worth repeating.) Clean the kitchen, do the dishes. Have a salad. Jump in the shower (quick, before he wakes up!) Load the car. Pack up Boo. Hit the road. A nice Saturday drive. Visit an old friend. Eat cake. Play. Sing songs. Say goodbye. Drop by the fabric and craft store. Contemplate fountain designs (new project brewing). Look for bargains. Drive home. Happy boy. Arrive home. Unpack car. Play some more. Another bottle for Boo. Take a little nap with my beautiful boy. Pump again. Green beans and rice for my good little eater. Beets, yams, and potatoes for me. Sit on the swing with Daddy and Boo. Enjoy the evening air. Make Boo giggle.
Get tired.
Play some more.
Get very tired.
Night night bottle. Sleepy bye for Boo.

Movie time for Daddy and me. Download photos. Pump. Blog.

A glorious day.

Some People

On the highway
Driving speed limit
Prepare for lane change
Blinker is on
Check rear view mirror
Red car closing fast
Changing lanes
Red car zooms past
Duelling lane change
No signal
Red left front
Grey right rear
Only inches apart
Male driver, young
Dark hair
Car full of people
Mostly children
Driver's side
Small fuzzy head
An infant on his lap
I . N . F . A . N . T
On the DRIVER'S lap
Some people
Should not be parents
Should not be driving
Plate number is a blur
Can't call him in
Say a prayer instead
God protect those children

Friday, August 05, 2005

Sweet Nectar of Life

My life revolves around milk. How long can I make it before the next time I must pump? It's a game I play. Mostly because I'm lazy. There is the setup time where I have to get myself locked and loaded. There's the time on the pump, which is usually 3o minutes, and sometimes more. Sometimes I fall asleep on my midnight shift and wake up an hour later (with bottles nearly full). There's the cleanup time. All the parts must be washed every time. Of course measurement is necessary. How many cc's this time, I ask myself, hoping I at least produced 90 from each side. I've learned that I can live with a six-hour cycle without too much pain or leakage, so I pump at 6 a.m., noon, 6 p.m., and midnight, plus or minus a bit. How long can I be away from home, without packing my pump? Life is planned in 5 hour increments (the 6th hour is for pumping, cleaning, etc.) How much can I get done, how far can I go, how long can I sleep (the answer is always 'not long enough'). These are questions I constantly ponder. I track, calculate, and plot my milk supply. I'm neurotic. I know.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sun in Suburbia

It's so hot here in Suburbia. The sun blazes through the windows and the house feels like an oven. Mr. Squished wanted to cover the big half moon window and suggested a fitted accordion blind. Mrs. Squished thinks fitted blinds are cheesy dust catchers. She does not approve. Mrs. Squished thinks decorative films are often cheesy as well, but the lesser of two evils. The Squished couple agree to use a light blocking film. Mrs. Squished finds a film that, as luck would have it, blends nicely with the wall color and doesn't compete too intensely with the light fixtures.

Yesterday's project: add light blocking film to living room window. Small project. Simple project. Terse words spoken in unfriendly tones are exchanged between Mr. and Mrs. Squished. Dare they attempt to build an entire house? (It's part of the grand plan, the great American Dream.)

The light is still bright, but nicely diffused. The house is less of an oven. Family Squished is at peace.

In America

I watched a movie entitled In America last night. Before I became a mother, I would have enjoyed this movie, but I don't think I would have had such strong emotional reactions. I had to keep asking Mr. Squished Piggy to check the DVD jacket and reassure me that it was rated PG-13, when it looked like something bad might be going to happen to children. I can't handle seeing anything bad happen to children.

The movie is set in New York, and the young family live in a very creepy building that I fear, sadly, is extremely realistic. There's a scene where the mother sends her two little girls out for ice cream, ALONE! OMG, nobody sends children anywhere alone any more! I was squirming in my seat, certain that something horrible would happen. There are too many unpredictables and crazies in society these days, and especially in the film, in their own building. They knew their neighbors were drug addicts and crazies so how on earth could that mother have sent her kids out? I was so appalled! In another scene, the baby came early and was sent to the ICU. I lost it there. I just sobbed and sobbed, looking at that little baby that might not make it.

The film was very well done. It stirred emotions and captured human desperation, love, beauty, and triumph on many levels. I was still sobbing when the credits rolled.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Where I'm From

Meme Pea Soup:
Fred, a teacher, has taken George Ella Lyons' poem 'Where I'm From' and asked his students to write their own story, using Lyons' poem as a base. He also opened this project up to the world, inviting people to participate via the internet.

It's a beautiful project. If you try it, please link back to Fred's site.

Pea Soup posted mine on her blog before I mustered the courage to become more than just a blog stalker myself. Now that I am a bonafide blogger, here is my poem.

I am from the old copper tea kettle, dinged, battered and sticky, from Coats and Clarks All Purpose White (the economy roll) and the rummage sale blue pants, three sizes too big, but triumphantly made of denim like the other kids wore.

I am from the house on Nora Creek Road, chipped red shutters and tired white paint, a red metal roof that sings in the rain, dark orange water from a well nearly dry, sour and unforgiving.

I am from the honeysuckle that grew wild on the hill, from pinecones scattered everywhere, and poppies with papery orange petals, out back by the old church pew.

I am from choosing birthday dinners and megalomania, from Nelsons, Outhouses and Applegates, from HCK and all the Cerethes there ever were.

I am from the over indulgers and bewildering intellects.

From be careful or your face will freeze that way, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself, from dumb Kopf, idgeyut, spiteful wench and don’t be schtewpid.

I am from Thanks be to God, the Lord be with you and also with you, from Be Not Afraid and Beatitudes, from In the Stars and On Eagle’s Wings, from Glory Hallelujah.

I am from a land that’s evergreen, and amber waves of grain, from teachers of kings in a faraway place and Yankee ingenuity, from rice with everything (but NEVER milk and sugar), and a block of ice cream cut three by three for all to get their fair share.

From an ancient tiny woman squatted with a bread board across her knees making wontons the way they’re supposed to be made -- the only time I ever saw her. I am from red suspenders and the yellow straw hat with a hole worn through, from you’re a good kid and I believed it.

I am from a stack of boxes tucked in a closet that survived hundreds of miles and dozens of addresses, from fervent poems scrawled on scraps of paper, and every letter I’ve ever been written. I am from walls adorned with nearly a decade of Fourth of July masterpieces wrought from the hands and imaginations of the people I love.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Sue: (f) English diminutive of Susan, from Hebrew shoshan: "lily."

I bought this groovy eyeshadow years ago -- "Big Bang" by Urban Decay. I seldom wear it, however, as it is hot fuchscia and hard to pull off without looking like a sleep deprived and hungover woman, however, since I am a sleep deprived woman, it works quite well these days.

This is the kind of collage that would frighten the Baudelaire orphans and bring glee to the wicked Count Olaf.