Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mother Things

Here is a valuable piece sifted from Ruth Riechl's book, Not Becoming My Mother...and Other Things She Taught Me.  

She is the editor of 'Gourmet' cookbook.

The following excerpt from the book is a letter from a man who wrote to the author's mother after spending time with her one evening. It seems like he was older and wiser, nothing romantic. He saw so much potential in her that he couldn't help but write her a note and encourage her.

Go ahead into life, full-blooded, courageous and leap for the adventure. But you must do it soon---before the summer of your youth has cooled into caution. You are magnificently charming--and you come like a torrent. But you will be spent on the futility of little things. You are not a watercolor. you are carved out of life--and there can be no petty hesitancies about you. 

(This was passed on to me via my friend Emily. She reads cookbooks for fun. Marcella Hazan easily trumps Jamie Oliver and Julia Child both; when Emily has her apron on.) 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gently Used

Quilts are pieced together with with forethought and love. The more they are used, the softer and more puckered they become. 

I'm sure if they had a say in it, they would choose to be cuddled until the colors blended and wore through. Tight hand stitching keeps it together even when the fabric gives way.

I love scrapbag antique quilts best. Re-purposed fabric from clothes. It seems like they whisper a better traveler's story. 

Someone said, 'we should be completely used up, poured out and worn to a nubbins when we die'. Or something like that. 

I concur. :)  


These are called love spoons. I found them in Wales. It was impossible to pick only one. I was smitten with the handcrafted artistry.  

Traditionally, when a young man started courting a girl, he began the process of carving his first gift to her. Maybe he was admired for his craftsmanship and his choice of wife? Perhaps she was admired for being worth so much effort and symbolic care? 

Girls? We still want wooed. Pursued. Won. Courted with creative words and actions of love. 

Loverby still makes me feel like this, after 21 years. It doesn't look like a spoon ~ one bursting gift of creative inspiration to seal the getting part. 

It looks more like tender hearted loving kindness in action. Whenever it is now. He decides ~ day after grueling day to generously and continuously help me feel chosen, like Johnny Lingo's Eight Cow Wife. 

Some days it must be a most difficult task. Carving a spoon with only your fingernails would seem easier, I'm almost certain. 

Thanks for your steadfast, forebearing, never failing, stout heart, Loverby. 

iLike. iDo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finding Rest

This is an old, water damaged lithograph from the turn of the century. It hung with a companion piece in my grandma's house since forever ago. I keep it in our bedroom. If you'll notice, the STALLION has all his anatomy present and is using all that testosterone well. Noble beast. 

Tacked unceremoniously underneath is a simple quote from John Eldredge's Wild at Heart
There under the shadow of a man's strength, a woman finds rest. 
It reminds both of us what our best roles are. 

Craig's is to initiate and use his strength on my behalf. Mine is to simply respond. 

And when a woman is relaxed, rested, protected, fought never know what else he might initiate that she'll want to respond to.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All Tangled Up

Love is nice to hold on to.
 Clasp it tightly, without a choke hold. 

It can look messy. Tangled. Meshed. Interwoven. Impossible. 

It's a good way to climb. Nice support for each other. 
It makes a seriously tangled mess.
Beautiful love knots tied to an irrevocable trust. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Tulips are lovely. Delicate creatures. 
This one danced too long, finally succumbing to the wind. 
It blew her down. Apart. Fallen comrade. Bruised.
 Fragile. Short lived. 
She is busy making bulbs down below ground. 
She will bloom again, with her offspring; but it will take a year. 
These are succulents. 
This plant family is rugged. 
If a leaf is plucked off, an entire plant grows from it. 
It doesn't need much water.
 Roots will form without being buried properly.
 In fact it likes the cut places to dry out. Scabs are good. 
They are prolific and need split up regularly. 
Given away. Shared. 
They will live happily in harsh
places, cold winters, bad soil, rocky reaches. 
They squirm into unlikely nooks and crannies. 
Hot sun, rain, shade ~ it's all good. 
They don't need cosseted. 
Succulents stay juicy with life, storing their own moisture. 
They don't need prime living conditions, they adapt anywhere.  
They are an independent, forgiving plant. 
I like tulips, but would rather be succulent. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kaelee's Bridal Shower

We hosted a bridal shower yesterday. Kaelee is a sweet girl. Ingenue would best describe her personality. She was a good sport as we tortured her by dressing her up in jewel incrusted breastplates, white gloves, frilly apron, leather motorcycle jacket, lacy collar, and princess crown.

We all sighed and cried as she recounted how they fell in love. They have a good start on marriage because they have a solid base of friendship. Romance comes and goes. You can't swoon or gaze into each other's eyes all the rest of your life. Friendship is needed. Useful. Priceless.

She found herself surrounded by love and memories and well wishing. I hope their life goes well also. But this isn't the best thing. The best thing is that they'll know and fully experience intimacy with their Creator. Together and separately. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

My gift to her was standard bride's fare. The CD and book, Sheet Music by Dr Kevin Lehman. I give it to every engaged couple, hoping they'll educate themselves for love's sake. A monster bubble wand with bubbles to remind them to play. A bunch of glow sticks for the same reason. And night lights with red bulbs in them, because they make the boudoir and the sacred things done there, glow. 

Unsolicited advice? The important things sift out to only a few. Sleep naked. Play together. Pray together. Be learners. Stay friends. Have friends. Laugh. Make memories instead of buying stuff. Stay out of debt. Make love often. Travel. Read. Eat real food, made with love.

And remember to be, rather than to appear.

Maid of Honor

Bride's Maids 

Jumping for Joy


Friday, May 7, 2010

Worn Out

Bluest ever sky. Whitest ever cloud. Perhaps a heart shaped one, framing us. Noticed. 

When the seat drops out, decorate it. Whimsey. 

Grandma died a couple of years ago at 106.
 Still wanting to dance. We found this in her things. 
She had saved them, unused. 
Saved for a special day that must have never happened?
 I want to use and enjoy my pretties. 
Wear them completely out. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

No Jelly

This is a fitting excerpt for this blog's intent and purpose.

When my friend Susan and I used to write letters back and forth twenty some years ago ~ or rather she wrote 5 to my one ~ this was a handwritten plea to tempt me to find and read the book. I did. Back then, I was determined NOT to let this hideous thing happen. I wonder if it has, without me noticing?

"...Death is not the enemy; age is not the enemy. These things are inevitable, they happen to everybody. But what we ought to fear is the kind of death that happens in life. It can happen at any time. You're going along and then, at some point, you congeal. You know, like jelly. You're not fluid anymore. You solidify at a certain point and from then on your life is doomed to be a repetition of what you have done before.

That's the enemy. There are two kinds of people walking around on the earth. One kind you can tell just by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving and changing. With these people, you can never say, 'X stops here' or 'I know all there is to know about Y'. And that's the kind of person I hope I shall be always.

I said, 'but if there are always changing & moving, couldn't that mean they are unstable?' 

Far from it. They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. They are the only ones who are still alive.

And how will I know if it starts to happen to me? I asked. 

Well, if you wake up one morning and think: another day to get through, that might be a danger signal. Though not necessarily. Everyone has dreary interims. You just have to distinguish between a dreary interim and the onset of jellification. However, if you catch yourself becoming complacent, I'd say that was a bad sign. Or repeatedly choosing the old, familiar routine rather than rousing yourself and striking out for new territory, whether it's mental or emotional, or actually going somewhere new.

If you ever feel it coming, she said, you must do something quickly. The best antidote I have found is to yearn for something. As long as you yearn, you can't congeal: there is a forward motion to yearning.

Now, my thoughts go forward to meet hers. I know something of life's betrayals and stupidities myself. I know the ashy taste of not living up to some part of your dream. I even know the necessity for making constant adjustments to your life story so you can go on living it. But I also know something else that I didn't know then. As long as you can go on creating new roles for yourself, you are not vanquished. 

Excerpts from The Finishing School by Gail Godwin

Thanks Sue, for uncovering it again. I love organized friends who find good things to share and remember how to retrieve them later.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Fever

A friend I only know from Twitter and Facebook sent this exuberant collage in the mail. 
In the mail with a stamp and a handwritten poem note. 
The envelope was hand written too.
 I haven't met her in person, but this was close.
 Hand made with love and thoughtfulness. 
A delightful gift that splashed sun rays all over my day. 
I think she must have had fun putting it together. 
Being creative with 
textures and color ~ using our imaginations ~ tends to have that result. 
Hand to pen 
ink to paper 
mind to heart
to heart 

Thank you my friend. The east coast and west coast are not so very far apart after all. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Princess Crown

Jenny is the music teacher in a previous post. It's her birthday. Her friend Jan, made this for her. She is the playful sort who wants to wear it out in public. It's why I love her. She is the source of much inspiration. 

The quintessential princess. 

It is wonderful that Jan took time for a personally creative gesture such as this. Jan and the Crown Princess epitomize play. They are both much too old to be engaging in such frivolity. Or are they?