Monday, February 13, 2017


Eliza made this for Ani. There is a lot of love going 'round.
(see the fish leaves? my favorite part)

I thought I would really confuse things and bounce around in time again. A little here, a little there, and maybe I'll get caught up!  I figured it has been a while - maybe years? - since my last "gallery" post, which would maybe imply that there is no art going on around here, which would be just silly. And wrong. Along with a long dive into the fantastic coloring books that are available these days, there has been making of every kind...writing, drawing, sewing, crocheting, sculpting, collage. I've decided that the way we're going to make it through February is to set Fridays aside for a full day of meandery making. Doesn't that sound like the best plan?? I think it will be soul-saving for me, and that can't be bad for any of us...

E's sketchbook, above and below

Eliza flew to NYC with Dan in January, and her last-minute got to get this done!!! project was embroidering these jeans so she could wear them.

Ani's art making often centers around play. She made these fine ladies for herself; I am quite taken with their hair...

The mesmerizing spirals are a tool we've all been using for some meditative time, while listening to music or a story.

Ani's spirals

The girls made signs for their rooms out of el wire. Eliza's says "wander" and Ani's "imagine".

My own making has been more of the postcard variety. My commitment to be more involved in knowing what is happening in our government goes hand in hand with learning to have a voice, and I'm playing a little trick on myself to keep interested: I'm making awesome postcards that - I KNOW, I know, will get lost at the bottom of a pile, but...they make me happy to make and to write and to clip to the mailbox to wait for pickup, so this intersection of art and activism is likely to become a familiar one around here.

My most recent piece of making is thanks to our friend Ari Beloved Jones, who taunted me with several precious octopuses, crocheted within snatching distance of my grabby little hands, before kindly and patiently teaching me to make one of my own. So dang cute.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

end of the summer part 2

I know, summer is long past. But I look back on these posts as a narrative of our life, and we might not remember how goofy we all got with Dan's brother's family the summer three of us had our first fancy phones and tried to be cool and take selfies. I'm sharing one, but trust me, there were many.

We are a big group when we're together, and mostly we eat and play and eat and play and...well, you get the idea! Happily, that is what we do.

Once in a while, when the weather cooperates and the mosquitoes aren't hovering, we get out for a hike together, which is also lovely. This time it was to Stephens Falls at Governor Dodge park. I hadn't been on this particular hike, and it was beautiful; lush with moss and ferns and water.


I also have only been to Governor Dodge once - for cross-country skiing - and not gone swimming, so in we went.

the annual reading of Molly Whuppie around the campfire

We see this family once a year, and it is mostly watching Ani play with the youngers that squeezes my heart with sadness. They fall into it with such love and affection, figuring out how best to include everyone.  She truly fits in with this bunch, content in the middle of the action.

We are still getting to know the youngest, but did she have us wrapped around her finger! Dan and I took a van full of kids over to his parents for a game night, and in the car she pointed out the drink holders and said, you know what we sometimes use these for? Custard! Frozen custard! Below is evidence of her immense powers.

Until next time, dear ones...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

showing up

I have a difficult time making decisions of any kind, but when I first heard about the Women's March on Washington, I didn't hesitate to say yes. It felt absolutely right. To say I had some pent-up energy around the election is an understatement, so having a focus to move towards, even temporarily, was helpful. The girls were in complete agreement.

My indecision revolved around the how. Drive with friends? Take the over-night bus? Stay outside of DC and ride the train? It was stepping enough out of my comfort zone - into the political arena, with hundreds of thousands of strangers with their own opinions and agendas and raging feelings - that I wanted to get in and get out as quickly and simply as possible, so the over-night bus it was. From step one I was aware that this was a privilege to be so thankful for, having the time to go and the money to spend on the bus. 

Dan did his part for the cause, driving us to the bus at 1:00 in the morning and picking us up again at 2:30 the next morning. Gleep! It was an uneventful, sleepy ride, and we arrived at 8 Saturday morning.

We were so happy just walking to the metro!

Ani's highlight of the day was being stuck in the metro, where we disembarked into a wall-to-wall sea of people heading to the march. It was still a pretty sleepy bunch, but once in a while a big "Whooo!!!" would erupt and undulate through the crowd, waking us up with the shivers!

We quickly started to realize how many people were there and how far we were going to have to be from the main rally. We found ourselves a jumbo-tron and stood watching the opening speakers with a few thousand of our closest friends...

Eliza and I got all swoony over Gloria, who declared the gathering
"the upside of the downside"

To be honest, managing the day - finding bathrooms and waiting for bathrooms, having to pee while pressed up against people for hours - was a challenge, but the spirits of everyone around us were so high! There wasn't anything that could dampen the mood. Even the poor security guy assigned to bathroom duty was polite, kind and friendly! So many issues were represented: Black Lives Matter, immigration, LGBTQ rights, No Wall, No DAPL, women's reproductive rights, gun was a feast for the eyes and for our burgeoning activist selves the day was full of positive action, raised voices and filled hearts.  

Before we left, I'd asked the girls why they felt it was important to march.  Eliza said she felt like we were showing up for people who didn't have the option to be there; that this president has made a lot of young women feel like they don't matter, that their voices are not as important, and she wanted to show up to have a voice. Ani told me she was thinking about friends of ours in the community who are Muslim and are here from Saudi Arabia in a tenuous visa situation, following the deportation of the family member who brought them here. She worries for them and knows they are scared to speak up for fear of drawing attention to their situation.

We returned tired but inspired, ready to move forward to the real work of becoming informed, speaking up and showing up, again and again and again.