Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thankful Thursday | people: what a bunch of bastards

When I uploaded a link to my last Thankful Thursday post on Facebook, my sister, Sierra, commented, "I'm just going to add myself to your list, since everyone else is on it." (And I replied, like a good sister, "I am never thankful for you. You are a constant burden to me. OBVIOUSLY.") It's a painful realization, but my relationship with Sierra is probably the one I take most for granted of all my relationships. She has been my buddy for so long, I can't really remember my life without her (though I did exist on this planet for five whole years without a sister by my side). I have lost so much family over the years to "irreconcilable differences," and also there is technical family who never really lived up to the role, people who have never been a part of my life. To take my sister for granted is a dangerous play. Our relationship changed the year we both got pregnant. These babies of ours bonded us. These three years with children, it has been Sierra more than any other person who has kept me sane, made me feel normal, who has shared the particular and intense disappointments and triumphs of motherhood. Sierra is my mommy group, and she is my therapist. She is also Martigan's second mother. I would be impoverished and unhappy were it not for Sierra's willingness to just be with my boy. Of course I am thankful, every day, for my sister--for her peculiar sense of humor, for her peculiar brand of beauty, for her quiet support, for her realness, for her conversation, for her love of my son, for her love of me (even though I have not always deserved it)--so perhaps I should express that gratitude aloud.

I Am Grateful:
  • for wild trumpet vines, which always remind me of Grandma.
  • for that minutes long pause I take after parking the car to finish listening to The Knacks "My Sharona".
  • that gas station hoses are so long, because I never do a very good job of parking next to the pumps.
  • for Wolfman, always and in every way, but especially when he so carefully hands me that first cup of hot coffee in the morning.
  • for the fresh eggs my mother-in-law delivers to me at work.
  • for each customer who tells me, "I love this place," (or like) and then actually buys something.
  • for little messages from people I care about, left anywhere on social media.
  • for Wolfman's spot-on Chris O'Dowd impression (and that he's memorized so much of The IT Crowd's dialogue), which he breaks out when I'm feeling stressed and disappointed.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Wolfwardrobe | you should be wearing the finest gown, but here you are now: gas, food, lodging, poverty, misery, and gardenia

Jacket - resale | Dress/Tunic - Sacred Threads (BeYOUtiful Butterfly Boutique) | Capris - resale | Shoes - Crocs (Rack Room Shoes)
So, I haven't bought anything new (i.e. not used) for my wardrobe in ages, shoes included. But, through a couple of key finds at my little resale shop, I've discovered that I really like Crocs. They are an ugly kinda cute that I dig, and they feel good on these weary mom/shopgirl feet. In fact, I think I was wearing my ugly (not at all cute) forest camo Crocs as I was taking a mall walk on my break and saw that Rack Room carries my new favorite shoe brand. I bought these pretty pink/coral t-straps on sale for $30. Maybe that's a deal, but typically my entire outfit costs around $30 (if that). Still, I'm good with this fiscal decision. I will wear these things all freaking summer long. [Jacket previously worn here.]
Jacket - resale | Tank - resale | Pants - resale  | Bra - Coobie (BeYOUtiful Butterfly Boutique) | Sandals - FitFlop (BeYOUtiful Butterfly Boutique) | Belt - second-hand (Grandma) | Necklace - gift (Selena)
Funky patterned palazzo pants (or patio pants, or whatever it is they should be called depending on whatever criteria) are becoming favorite statement pieces in my wardrobe. I'm collecting them as they come into my shop (the ones that do my butt justice, anyways). Of course, as I write this, I realize that nearly every piece in my wardrobe is a statement piece. (I struggle to justify buying basics.) The point is: I dig these comfy ass pants (either reading of "comfy ass pants" is correct). [Tank previously worn here.]
Jacket - resale | Tee - resale | Skirt - resale | Leggings - resale | Boots - second-hand (Grandma) 
Tees, mostly the ones I bought at concerts, were once a staple of my wardrobe. And then, in one of those rash wardrobe-cleansing moves I always regret, I got rid of all but a handful. Now, I am slowly building my tee collection once more. Since I never spend more than $10 on any one piece of my wardrobe, I'm not really shopping for tees so much as letting them come to me--like this Cry-Baby tee I pulled out of a white trash bag while working at the buying counter in the shop. Oh, the pop culture gods were smiling down on me that day. [Jacket previously worn here.]
Jacket - second-hand (mother) | Top - resale | Camisole - resale | Jeans - Old Navy | Shoes - resale | Scarf (on head) - resale
I don't know how to wear my mother's old Air Force jacket except with florals (and if those florals are soft and Victorian, even better). I'm aware looking at these photos, as I was on this day, that this is not the most flattering ensemble on my particular body--unlike the fitted Cry-Baby tee and pencil skirt combo above in which my body looks slinky and bangin, this tent-blouse drapes over my body as if I'm smuggling a raw turkey. I look pregnant-ish in still-shots. Moving, however, with all the float and flow of this top, I felt like an angel in an old military jacket. (Or better yet, a ghooooOOooOst.) [See this post for jacket details.]

Here are a few other looks from the past few months that I never got around to posting:

All items purchased resale at BeYOUtiful Butterfly's Butterfly Exchange in Cary, NC with the exception of the peach jacket in the first ensemble, purchased at Uptown Cheapskate.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thankful Thursday | he never met a man he didn't like

Our brood of cats is down to just the one--Thorn Rex, the Big Black Bastard, Back Yard Panter, Highlander of Cats--and Thorn, in some ways, is very much a dog. I forget how much I enjoy being in the presence of cats. The house in Burlington is populated by a proper glaring, a couple of which allowed for pets and ear scratches. I suffered later in the night with itchy eyes; my cat allergy developed within the past couple years, and being a regular nuzzler of cats, this is an unhappy development (for me, maybe not for the cats). Itchy eyes be damned, I am so grateful to exist in a world with cats, (their world), and I am so grateful cats do not have wings. Because, as Wolfman and I posited one morning over breakfast, wouldn't that be a terrifying world to live in--one in which cats had wings? (We'd have to carry  armored umbrellas on any outdoor trek.)

I Am Grateful:
  • to Grandma when she packs my lunch one day and adds an entire sleeve of ginger cookies.
  • that I can wear, essentially, whatever I feel moved to wear to work, and the freedom that has given me to explore and experiment with my personal style.
  • for cinnamon raisin toast with apple butter, the taste of autumn even as summer only just begins.
  • that it was Jared's childhood home to which we brought our baby when he was first born, and that in that laying-in period with newborn Martigan, the view out our window was the same with which Jared had grown up.
  • for plum wine with dinner when I'm feeling blue.
  • for Jo Beth's cooking (particularly those little mashed potato cup cakes).
  • for Martigan's tiny voice on the phone telling me, "I miss you."
  • for Ella's animated, exaggerated happiness, the way she wiggles her entire body and claps her hands to her face when she sees us pull into the drive way.
  • for the memory of how giddy the sight of Jared's Xterra, now our family car, once made me when it pulled into that same driveway.
  • that my son has three grandfathers, each one different, each one special, each one kind and loving, to watch and guide him as he grows into a man.
  • for two uninterrupted mornings in a row, without the baby, to write and drink my coffee at a leisurely pace, and be quiet.

Photos from Father's Day afternoon, spent with Wolfman's dad in Burlington.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Uwharrie | to the shade, to the shelter of the woods

Before Jared and I left for Uwharrie (alone), my plans had been to hike, to sleep, to love on my husband. The latter two were accomplished; I did not, however, get as much of the former done as I'd thought I would. We did hike. On misty, drizzly Sunday morning I pulled on the indestructible cargo pants Grandma ordered for me from her work surplus and my Crocs that match the forest floor (I never got around to shopping for proper hiking boots, but the Crocs served me just fine) and we ambled easily down hill for a half hour, then climbed our way back up. We returned to the cabin and I napped for I-don't-know how long, longer than I'd hiked, I'm sure. 

Even though sleep, real sleep, had been a big part of my plan for the weekend, I still feel guilty about that nap as I type this. Our last (and only full) day at the cabin, and I spend a good portion of it unconscious. On Grandma's days off, she wakes up early--the same time she wakes for work, possibly even earlier--so that she can experience her entire day, rather than sleeping her time away; a day of autonomy is a very precious thing to her. I don't typically "sleep in." Even before motherhood (Martigan will not stand for me sleeping in), I never slept in longer than an hour. Probably it's my training that prevents me from doing so, and also being married to a man who wakes before dawn to immediately get started on being Really Useful (as is his wont), and it may also be the memory of my mother sleeping entire days away, which I hated as weakness when I was a  kid (read: tough little brat). I needed that nap, though. I probably need entire days of naps. I've only slept through the night a handful of time since Mads was born, and for those keeping count: the boy is turning three in a couple of months. Nearly three years without real, uninterrupted sleep--somebody should do a medical study on me.

Aside from the sleep (and the short hike, and the love), most of our stay was spent sitting in back of the cabin by the fire pit. We did make one exploratory venture out to Troy because I'd seen a sign for Troy's "historic district" on the way in. (Probably, this trip was my grandmother, again, her voice always a part of my own.) I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there was not much to be seen. I did push open the door of an empty storefront in a big, old building and stepped inside thinking I'd explore a bit (this was definitely my grandmother). Jared did not follow but stood at the door waiting for me, and when I heard a thump upstairs (or possibly in the next room?!) I skedaddled. "High tailed it," that's what I did because I have seen one too many horror movies, and I won't take my chances.

No, mostly we sat by the fire pit. I read. I drew a couple tarot cards. Wolfman cooked and listened to music. He grilled lobster for the first time. I read every message in our cabin's guest book, read passages from the funnier ones aloud to Jared. We made s'mores (or tried to, the chocolate did not melt properly, so I gave up and just ate toasted marshmallows instead). Then, Sunday night, our last night alone far away, we sat together in silence and watched the fire die. When anyone has asked me, my takeaway from this weekend is this: I'd forgotten what it felt like to just sit and do nothing. And what a pleasure to sit and do nothing next to the man I love.
Our first weekend away without the baby ("the baby" is actually not a baby at all, but a nearly 3-year-old boy). I'd forgotton how quiet it was when it was just the two of us. It rained much of the weekend, not hard but a drizzle. We managed one venture into historic Troy and one wet morning hike. Otherwise, we were close to or in this cabin, reading, writing, casting, cooking, lounging, loving each other. Built a fire in the pit out back, roasted marshmallows, watched the fire slowly snuff out. How long it's been since I've just sat, without words, without aim. Just to be still, what a luxury. Michelle & Jared, Apex, NC
On the drive home, Wolfman pulled the car into an empty parking lot so I could take a picture of this horse in the sky. What love.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...