In 2007 I joined the Cloud Appreciation Society. Not because it was the cool thing to do, but because I was shocked there were other weather geeks out there. I have always been fascinated by storms and in awe of their unharnessed power. Clouds being the more unassuming element of weather are often the most mysterious.
This evening, one hell-of-a storm passed through. It was the kind of weather that left me breathless on the balcony, and more anxious than my dog to get out afterwards. The real secret of a Minnesota thunder storm is the tail end; clouds you can't imagine, and tonight a rainbow.
Because I can't put into words the experience Oscar and I had encountering the rainbow, I won't even try. Some moments are between a girl and her dog.
Clouds are the ultimate "had to be there" moment. They just never look the same digitized! Hope everyone was sheltered from the storm...and that you all got a glimpse of that once-a-summer rainbow.
As a professional "mailer", if I said I didn't wait for the mail carrier to come every day, that would be lying. I have been known to stalk, track down and meet my mail at the door. The US Postal Service is my life line on long days of tantrums and PBS kids programming.
Every time you move houses, there is a significant lag in mail delivery. The post-relocation flow is one, maybe two pieces of mail per day; not enough to keep an addiction at bay. That was until yesterday. THEY HAVE FOUND ME! Like a marooned traveler out at sea, my new blonde mail-woman has thrown me a life line.
In individual slow motion the catalogs came tumbling out as I opened the tin door. Nothing could have been more satisfying in that moment. I retrieved them one by one from the ground. To the Pottery Barn, I made the "I love beautiful things" face, to Pottery Barn Kids, the "kids don't need designer room decor" face, to Athleta "I wish I were still an athlete" face, to Garnet Hill "this is more my speed, stretch jeans" face, and to Sundance, the crown jewel of my catalog addiction, "I'm home".
I could hardly sit still while putting Axel down for a nap. Missing a whole season of catalog meant two things. One, everything would be "all NEW". Two, the Spring collection pieces would already be clearancing on-line! The second his eyelids closed, I was balcony bound with catalogs in hand.
Worth mentioning is the JCrew catalog which is not pictured. I have learned from experience that JCrew needs to be put away immediately, temptations are to be avoided at all cost. A catalog photo shoot would only be the gateway excuse to excess spending.
The week of rain has passed and we can now enjoy some Minnesota sunshine. I did get some sunshine in the mail however and created a new batch of Louise Pleated Wristlets. This fabric collection is called "Peaceful Planet" and the colors are divine. Although the initial batch are almost gone from my Etsy shop, there are a few left...and I have a tiny bit more fabric stashed away.
Axel made use of the rain by practicing his contortionist skills. Quite easy for a kid born breach. Those legs bend in ways that frighten me!
Oscar spent his rainy days feeling sorry for himself.
Questioning faith is a life long journey for me. I'm always looking for signs. I have a questioning mind being trained as a scientist, and the questioning actually helps my faith grow.
In the last 2 years, license plates have been my signs. In 2008, the month our checking account hit $0.63, the year we had a new baby and Jahred returned to school, Mankato's license plates from the DMV were printed with S-E-W. "SEW 546" ; "SEW 081"; apparently the plates are printed alphabetically and somewhat by geographic location. Nearly half the cars in Mankato had/still have "SEW - - -" license plates. When I started seeing them, it occurred to me instantly that this was my sign, a way to remedy our finances. "Sew" I did, and my Etsy shop began to grow. Sewing paid the bills, sustained our family and fulfilled my inner need to provide. SEW may have been a random license plate assignment to some, but for me it was an answer.
Today, on our way home from the mall, I was questioning myself again, what? how? why?. My answer was delivered at 55 mph, I was following a Chevy with the license plate "4 PAPA" (insert goose bumps here). To my even further shock, the truck was red, Papas favorite color. I NEVER carry a camera with me, but happened to have one in my purse this morning. I snuck it out of my bag and yes, I took a picture while driving. Having proof of a "pinch me moment" is worth the temporary risk of a moving violation.
Who is in charge at the DMV after all? Or maybe I'm just in the right place at the right time.
Even stranger is the Arby's sign in this picture. Thanks to Papa, we had a steady flow of "Beef 'n Cheddars" growing up. Arby's will always be a special treat, and as Papa would say, they have the best coupons.
I grew up in a family with an unfair hate of bumper stickers. While I agree that it isn't necessary to broadcast your opinions on your car, I do enjoy some comic relief during rush hour.
Even though I told myself upon purchase of my first car that I would slap on a bumper sticker, I haven't found just the right one. Perhaps it's like anything else, once you start, you can't stop?! I have yet to break the seal.
After another weekend on the road, I'm inspired to try a few virtual stickers, get up the guts, and maybe someday wear my heart on my bumper. These stickers along with THOUSANDS more can be found at Cafe Press.
...for the tree hugger in me.
...because peace is chic.
...for my one true canine love.
...because Moms need support...especially in traffic.
From conception on, I have focused on having a creative child. Most of our day is spent with the guitar (accompanied by full-contact egg shaking and rhythm sticking), reading (not always the words exactly on the page), creating snowmen from playdough, and/or watering our "gordon" (garden). In-between times are often spent with crayon (the most sophisticated/washable art medium in the house).
Although I have NEVER stressed to color in the lines, and we mostly use blank paper, this child has somehow gotten the idea that one must stay inside the "box". Perhaps part of our genetic code starts with following guidelines, and results in color contest winning. I remember my brother actually winning a coloring contest (although I'm pretty sure I colored his page). It must have looked awesome for a 4 year old (the true artist being 8). He won a gigantic gift basket from the local Hallmark store and I was so completely jealous that right then and there I quit letting other people put their name on my work. Truly, thanks to the coloring contest, I never cheated in school. Someone receiving a brilliant gift basket (or an A+) by way of me...I dont think so.
Upon completion of Axels latest coloring endeavor, I wondered if he may some day win a coloring contest. From random scribbles in multiple colors to unprovoked concentrated scribbling in classic solids. Although I prefer to see a child using his inner genius and not following lame sketches in dollar store art books, inner genius won't be posted in the window of the local Hallmark, they want their bunnies crayoned to perfection.
So ok, the kid wants to stay in the lines?! Can I at least push for expansive, unrefined use of color?
For as long as I can remember, "Robin Williams" has been the answer to my celebrity dreams. "Which celebrity would you like to have lunch with?" . . . "Which celebrity would you like to marry?" . . . "Who is your favorite actor alive or dead?" Even before I could understand his inappropriate humor, I knew Robin was the guy for me.
Since Mr. Williams was unavailable on the day of my wedding, I married Jahred instead. Now more careful of what I wish for, I don't get to be Robins wife, but I do believe I can sympathize with his mother. Axel is comedically frustrating in every way. He misbehaves, he wanders off, he does the most inappropriately funny things. Although I can't pinpoint his future career exactly, it must be in the field of comedy, circus or one of those shows where people eat gross things, survive in the wilderness, whisperer of animals, or perhaps he will live with me forever and DRIVE ME NUTS.
Just to give you a little glimpse of what I'm dealing with . . . for every ONE of these:
. . . I get about SEVEN of these:
Now you know.
Some families have heirloom crown jewels, priceless art, or historic documents; my family had a radio. Of course we have other special things, but one little Sony has filled the places we love with music, recorded voices and captured our energy.
Upon discovering some of Papas handmade tapes, I decided it was time to digitize his many interviews, songs and lectures. I pulled out my sweet little stereo, given to me by Papa when I bought my first house, and attempted to load the ancient tapes into my computer. The "Silver Fox Sony" had finally taken a bow.
As a die-hard purger, I can happily throw away most things; this radio I could not. So, one day last week, I put on my "go green" hat and set out to salvage anything I could.
As I unscrewed and detached, inspiration hit. From the buttons to the counter, many pieces seemed art worthy. I was able to make 2 necklaces, a key chain and 4 pair of cufflinks. What wonderful "heirloom" gifts these will make in our difficult year ahead.
NEW - I'm searchable!
Grab my button: