Tuesday, February 21, 2017

365 | it doesn't matter that I'm not enough for the future or the things to come

Sunday 15 January 2017 | An old friend of mine is having a baby boy. Pregnancy is such a magical time, and I am so happy for her. I think about my own pregnancy all the time, and while I don't want to have another baby, and I am in every way unaccountably happy to have my boy living here with me, outside my uterus, I miss being pregnant sometimes. I tell Mads, usually when he's climbed into our bed in the mornings for snuggles, "You used to live inside me. I grew you like a watermelon," and he finds the whole idea very funny.
Tuesday 17 January 2017 | A photo popped up on Facebook today of me at a gathering with friends, and I hated it. It wasn't the stomach roll or that, in general, I looked kind of washed out and bland, but that I looked so dreadfully, painfully bored. I hated to see that in a moment of celebration with friends, I looked so dull, so out of it, so removed. On the day of the photo, I was feeling a touch of the social anxiety which crops up to step on my toes every once in a while. I wished, looking at that photo, that it wasn't so obvious on my face.
Wednesday 18 January 2017 | I release All or Nothing. I release perfectionism. I release the defeatist attitude, the persnickety inner voice that tells me I'm not doing it right, I'm not doing enough, I'm a fuck up. I am a work in progress. Progress is life.
Thursday 19 January 2017 | I listened to Beyonce's "Formation," at least ten times today.
Saturday 21 January 2017 | Waning moon, 34% illuminated. 62 degrees and foggy much of the day. A mixed bag, emotionally. World wide, thousands of people marched in Women's Marches, and I was glued to my phone watching it all.
Sunday 22 January 2017 | I dropped Mads off with my sister today, but I missed him and tidied his room while he was gone. I organized his toys and hung more dream catchers above his bed and held so much love for him and sent so much love out to him.
Tuesday 24 January 2017 | I'd made the decision, after seeing news of the Dakota Access Pipeline and having a very real, very physical reaction that hurt, to stay off the internet for a while. Not to bury my head in the sand, but to step away from a Twitter feed that, increasingly, has made me feel trapped and furious. After I made this decision, I took a walk, looked up in the sky and saw this cloud ship.
Wednesday 25 January 2017 | Lunchbox Chaos Vaughn.
Thursday 26 January 2017 | Thorn Rex Vaughn.
Sunday 29 January 2017 | A friend wrote to me about her husband crying during Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, during that scene when the house in Montauk begins to fall apart and fill with sand and water at the end. She wrote that he is not, usually, a crier, not at all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday | repeat to yourself 'it's just a show, I should really just relax'

I used to wonder what it would be like to be in love on Valentine's Day. I started imagining my life with a partner in high school, but it seemed like such an impossibility. I knew I was pretty and smart and all those things we're told (or, at least, it is implied) make finding love easy, but I was also wounded and guarded, immature and awkward. I didn't know if love would ever find me. I never hated Valentine's Day, though; I don't think I was ever bitter about it, even as I approached my mid-twenties having never fallen in love. I just thought: how nice that must be, to know that the holiday doesn't mean much and is cheesy, but to wrap yourself in the security and privilege of it regardless. I am grateful to have tripped into a love that's lasted nearly a decade now. I am grateful to spend Valentine's Day with Jared, my husband, the Wolfman. I am grateful for his love for me and my love for him and that our love created Mads, the true love of our lives.

I Am Grateful:
  • that so much of my wardrobe is green.
  • that so much of my wardrobe is pink.
  • that so much of my wardrobe is black.
  • for the way Wolfman looks at me; I never dreamed of being looked at that way by such a beautiful man.
  • for the company of Lunchbox and Thorn, breathing (wheezing) in my bedroom with me on nights I fall asleep without Wolfman, while he works or records music.
  • to eat like a queen, more bread and meat than is decent, even though I'd meant to do a whole foods fast for the New Moon.
  • when Wolfman, without prompting, hands me a bottle of hard cider, top already popped, at the end of a long day.
  • for the smell of brioche buns.
  • for the sound of Mads and Ella chewing Bojangles "bo rounds" (hash brown bites) in the backseat of the car in the morning.
  • for my gentle husband, who lets me rant, giving me so much space and respect.
  • for flickering candlelight.
  • for working brake lights.
  • for chocolate glaze.
  • for the National Park Service.
  • for the costume design of Sam Raimi's fantasy shows.
  • for talking god stuff.
  • to the Uber driver who tells me I look pretty as she drops me off at work one morning.
  • for vines that creep up walls and plants that grow in the cracks of walls and sidewalks.
  • while singing along to the MST3K theme song with Wolfman.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Madmartigan, 3 Years Old | love like yours will surely come my way

Dear Mads,

You are three-and-a-half years old: part-time Batman, my sweetheart, winning and witty conversationalist, kung fu/break dance master, and a true blue Stinky Pete (the stinkiest of all the Petes). I love you. I love how you push my face toward yours for kisses when you think my attention has wandered. I love how you pronounce everything with a drawl, sort of English, but a lot Southern. I love your energy and your story-telling and that you want to be next to me all the time. I love standing in the parking lot and leaning over you in your car seat for last minute hugs as I leave for work. I love your high, excited voice when I talk to you on the phone. You are my everything, my every day. I can't believe three-and-a-half years have passed already since the day I first held you in my arms. 

Happy Valentine's Day, Valentine,
Mommy

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just Joy | king of the impossible

  • At the playground, I'm pushing Mads in a swing, but fret aloud about the cold. He reassures me, his hair whipping around his face, "I love the cold. I love the wind. The wind makes me wild!"
  • Twice in one day, at my grandma's house and then later my own, I coax cats to me--Doc Holliday at Grandma's house, small and black, Thorn Rex at mine, large and black. I call Doc in the ringing "kittykittykitty" I was taught as a girl; Thorn prefers to be meowed at in his own language. Both cats meet my finger tips with cold noses, they both lay at my feet and offer their bellies to be rubbed, both let me pick them up and nuzzle my face into their fur. 
  • By intuition or chance, on a Tuesday morning, I dressed in a skirt and blouse with the optimal amount of swish and sway in their materials and then, on my afternoon dinner break from work, I walk to the neighborhood grocery store for a deli sandwich and the wind whips about me, playing in the folds of my clothes. I nod and smile to the residents of the surrounding townhomes and apartments as so many of them take advantage of this 70 degree winter day and walk the greenway path with groceries in their arms. I sit in the grass on a hill, take my shoes off, and know I look like a witch because I feel like one.
  • 'It is Preschool Story Time at Eva Perry, and our letter of the day is 'W'. Ms. Mary pulls a wolf puppet out of her tote bag ('W' is for wolf), and we all--Ms. Mary, kids, parents, puppet--throw our heads back and hooowwwl.
  • We're home for the evening, and I'm sipping a hard cider. At Mads' request, I put the Flash Gordon soundtrack on the turn table, then I sit and watch him perform an athletic dance, half kung fu/half ballet.
  • I've put Mads to bed and have started washing dishes in the kitchen when I hear him up and in the hallway. As I walk him back to his bedroom he tells me, "You didn't give me a big hug." I pick him up and hold him against me, his arms and legs wrapped tight around me, his head tucked into the crook of my neck, and I rock with him until he tells me, "Okay Mommy, put me down now," ready to sleep. I lay him down, tuck the Star Trek blanket his dad sewed around him, and tell him I love him and goodnight.
  • It is only five minutes before we need to be out the door; the car is warming, and I have yet to finish packing up my lunch, but I am riveted watching the new snail in the fish bowl in our kitchen. For the first time in the two days since bringing the snails home (two, one for each fish bowl), I'm seeing it move up the side of the bowl, sending out a long feeler and antennae. I watch it slide along the glass, then retract and shut its shell like a door when the blue beta swims close to investigate.
  • I get into the car after work, and Mads asks for a knock knock joke. He laughs mightily over my "orange you glad to see me."
  • I lift Mads out of the car, hold him on my hip and point to Venus in the sky. I say, "look at that big star," and Mads says, "lets wish on it."

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

January Joys & Favorites | you spun gold out of this hard life

| Joys |
| New to the Garden | When Grandma asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I told her I am obsessed with plants and she could buy me a bag of dirt, put a bow on it, and I would be beyond thrilled. She did buy me a bag of dirt. Also: a few pots, a Mother Jones homesteading omnibus, and this Norfolk Island Pine. I already have a Norfolk Pine I rescued from the clearance shelf at a hardware store in January of last year. Despite looking like they were plucked from the North Pole, they're actually tropical plants and love a lot of humidity and sunlight. Keeping them misted is not a problem for me, but the sunlight is not so abundant in my home. But, I've set this one up on my dining room table next to my fish bowl, to gaze upon every time I sit down to eat a meal. (More garden updates here.)
| Baby Shower | My pal-since-forever, Selena, is having a baby boy. This month I was lucky enough to help her celebrate with a baby shower in her childhood home. Selena has been so dear to me for so long, and I couldn't be more happy for her.
| Forest School | The kids and I have been spending a lot of time outside on Thursdays. They are particularly keen on leaving treats for birds and critters. We've left stale toast hanging from trees and these mushy apples, on which we spread peanut butter then dipped in bird seed and skewered in the thicket beyond the back fence. (Unfortunately, these mostly attracted rats, which our cat, Thorn, then massacred.)
| Snow Days | We might not get another snow this winter. So, I'll savor this (and this).
| Favorites |
| Teas | Trader Joe's Organic/Fairtrade Rooibos & Honeybush! I swear by red tea and drink at least one mug of the stuff a day. The honeybush is a nice touch, mild but pleasant and sweetish, much like the rooibos itself. | Paromi Tea's Chamomile Lavender! a gift from my grandmother because she knows lavender is a special herb/flower for me, carrying special meaning, which I like to wear as a perfume and consume in teas and coffees and candies (I'm also keen on the color lavender). Also, Paromi teas come in a nice frosted glass jar, protecting against UV light, moisture, and other potentially tea-ruining elements (also: pretty enough to give as a gift).
| Restaurant | Dame's Chicken & WafflesMy foodie pal at work, Vincent, had been talking up this restaurant for weeks before Wolfman and I finally got the opportunity to go. Our waiter was a sweetheart, the food was rich and satisfying, and, luckily for us, the night we chose to go was a quiet one (so we hermit Wolfpeople were as comfortable as we could be in a public eating establishment). I ordered the Frizzled Fowl ("a panko-crusted chicken cutlet, a classic waffle, blueberry shmear, drizzled with plum sauce and almonds") with a side of collards (pictured below). Wolfman ordered the Buff Brahmas ("two cutlets drizzled with whiskey creme sauce, a classic waffle, and peach and apricot shmear") with grits.
| Stationery | With a Secret Santa gift card to Barnes & Noble, I bought some paper lantern notecards by Papyrus. I crave stationary but have such a hard time choosing prints and papers that I feel truly represent me. I'm attracted to everything at once, which makes me question all of it.
| Hooch | Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey: Though I'd love to pretend that drinking whiskey without grimacing is a talent of mine, because I've watched and read so many Westerns, it's not the truth at all. I am not schooled or graceful at whiskey. But, this Black Barrel is the closest I've ever come to drinking whiskey straight-faced--smooth, spicy, and utterly indulgent.
| Product | Herbabless Goat's Milk Patchouli Lotion: I don't use lotion, or at least I didn't up until Santa dropped this in my stocking. Previously, I used coconut oil exclusively for all my moisturizing needs. But, I like the smell of this and I like the ingredient list, and I like even more that it's locally made, so I leave it on the kitchen counter for post-dish washing dry hands.
| Books | Flotsam by David Weisner, Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain, and The Strange History of Bonnie & Clyde by John Treherne. These books all captured my imagination in different ways this month.

| Movie | In December, I watched my first Studio Ghibli film, Kiki's Delivery Service, with Mads. Naturally, I chose a movie about a witch as my first encounter with Hayao Miyazaki, but neither Mads nor I were really that impressed. In fact, I may not have even tried another Studio Ghibli film, except I'd forgotten Howl's Moving Castle was in my Netflix DVD queue. I must have a Netflix angel watching over me, because I absolutely adored this movie. It was just so strange and beautiful, the music so sweeping, everything just trippy and weird and magical. Mads loved it, too. We turned this one back in reluctantly. There are many more Hayao Miyazaki movies in the Wolfpeople future. | Other movies I loved this month: Paddington and Gross Pointe Blank.
| Music | I'd like to be able to say that some obscure 90's pagan metal band or a new stoner band that plays only songs about Satan was my favorite this month. The truth, however, is so much more basic than that. I finally got around to listening to Beyonce's Lemonade and it blew my freaking mind. I've listened to "All Night" so many times, I feel like it's been inscribed into my DNA at this point and is part of my emotional make-up forever. | Other music I loved this month: Solange's A Seat at the Table and Delicate Steve's This is Steve,



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