31 October 2007

a special treat.

For me, halloween conjures up more than just miniature snickers bars and memories of a childhood pumpkin seed fight with my sister. it brings to mind everyone's best-loved halloween song by none other than The Wiggins sisters (aka The Shaggs). if you have yet to discover these wonderful musical siblings, today is a special day for you indeed...
The Shaggs, according to wikipedia, were "an American all-female rock and roll group from Fremont, New Hampshire. Their first album,
Philosophy of the World was released in 1969. The Shaggs have often been considered the worst rock and roll band in the world (or the "Most Horrible" by the New York Times), and this designation has made the band's first and most famous album a collector's item in its original vinyl pressing."

while my personal favorite song from their collection of hits is definitely "My Pal Foot-Foot," ("Who Are Parents" is also brilliant) you'd be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable holiday classic than "It's Halloween!"



It's Halloween
It's Halloween
It's time for scares
It's time for screams
It's Halloween
It's Halloween

The ghosts will spook
The spooks will scare
Why, even Dracula will be there

It's time for games
It's time for fun
Not for just one
But for everyone

The jack-o-lanterns are all lit up
All the dummies are made and stuffed
By just looking you will see
It's this time of year again

It's Halloween
It's Halloween

All the kids are happy and gay
There doesn't seem to be a cloud in their way
But when it's over and they've had all their fun
They'll wish that Halloween had just begun

Oh, there are witches, goblins, vampires, devils, Frankensteins and zombies
And there are tramps, Cinderallas, pirates, angels and gypsies
So let's have lots of fun and give many cheers
For Halloween comes but once a year

It's time for games
It's time for fun
Not for just one
But for everyone

It's Halloween
It's Halloween
It's Halloween
It's Halloween

It's Halloween!


so, with the bio assignment done(ish) i am soaking in some free time this morning. jeremy headed off to portland brew to work (focus) over coffee and a quiet corner. eli slumbers. two complete cups of coffee (the second one taken in the garden), a cheese omelet and buttered wheat toast: i am off to a good start. already sorted the laundry. made the white-bean crockpot chili for tonight. it's halloween. the first halloween i have cared about since i was eleven. eli's monkey costume is hanging in his closet, ready to put on. we are meeting friends at the mall for store-to-store candy grabbing. maybe he'll have his first nibble of chocolate tonight. will post photos, as the furry little monkey crawling clumsily across the floor is not to be missed. i am hoping for a good mail day. my friend jenni sent something (a pretty catalog and some orange lip balm), and i am also awaiting a small ebay purchase - paint-by-number flowers. this, i am hoping to hang in our new house, that is, if we sell ours in the next two weeks. we'll see. in the meantime, must go. the monkey is waking up now. time for a banana.

30 October 2007

scenes from a morning walk: by color









[photographer's note: the variety of colors was completely accidental. i was just snapping pictures along the way and when i reviewed them later, i realized that i had unknowingly captured this entire spectrum.]

27 October 2007

saturday. i am...

...once again inspired to write. this is exercise for the real writing i am meant to be doing: jj's bio. (yes, it's coming.) the autumn temperature brightens my belief in an ability to manipulate words somehow. that, and this pad of paper, a square white plate of banana bread, and Eli nearby. we are outside. a dog is howling. i am wearing a grey sweater and optimism. the breeze is perfect. Eli has a hood and looks remarkably like an Oompa Loompa (sans the orange face.) i am sipping my third half-cup of the day of what begins as hot coffee but is inevitably abandoned. i stirred it with an antique silver spoon, stirred it until it overflowed, soaking a paper towel with caffeinated milky splashes. today has been productively lazy. Lunch: a flavorful collision of cultures assembled at the Turnip Truck. I ran in...seven dollars and fifty-eight cents later i ran out with a bag containing thai chicken soup with red curry, two condiment containers of roasted red pepper hummus (to be eaten with corn chips), a pistelle (half-size baguette), & two squares of chocolate (dark for me, milk for J.) Eli enjoyed a bit of pistelle too --- broken into lumps on his tray. then we all took a nap. now we're awake in the garden. crumbs of a banana bread snack for the flies and bees. or for no one. sirens, a whole fleet of them, woke us up, but now we are quiet & still & listening to the birds between the tires skimming asphalt. Eli slays dragons & spins the world on his exersaucer's circle of play-things. he looks up to show me the space between his two front teeth. there is curiosity--so much curiosity in his eyes. i wonder what he would write about if he could. surely something brilliant and full of life. moving on now to a grocery list. this time i made it to the bottom of the mug before it turned cold. way to go, me.

ten cent wings.

i spent last evening with my three closest girl friends. a long-overdue catch up session and plenty of laughter; just what i needed.

and was reminded of just how amazing it is that the four of us, friends here in nashville, are all transplants from houston who came here for different reasons: a new job, a change of seasons, a musical husband, an education. diverse as we are, we are so much the same. our lives have intersected for at least a decade, and these evenings out together are becoming few and far between the more our lives evolve, so i treasure them all the more.

being that jeremy was away in greenville for a concert at portland studios, this left me without a babysitter. christie's husband todd, brave soul that he is, agreed to keep eli along with their own two-year-old, for the night.

i left home at 5:20 wearing a turkey-&-rice-scented necklace that eli had insisted on putting in his mouth during dinner. he refused to eat another bite of baby food until i let him inspect the turquoise bead dangling from my neck and i was in too much of a rush to argue against his persistence. so off we went...

after a grown-up dinner in hillsboro village, the girls and i walked a few wonderfully chilly blocks to one of my favorite music venues in town, the belcourt theater, for a Jonatha Brooke concert. so nostalgic and fun. a little disappointed not to hear "West Point," but she filled her set with plenty of amazing old songs and a few great new ones, including a french song that i loved.

post-concert coffee at Fido: we dragged out our glorious hours of freedom as long as we could, then headed back to relieve todd from baby-duty and found him bleary-eyed on the couch, curled up with the dog.

this morning i am baking up a pan of "healthy" banana bread made with honey to greet my road-weary husband when he arrives home in an hour. and i am listening to jonatha sing a cover of simon & garfunkel's "bleecker street." her voice haunts me with thoughts of another town and i dwell on one of my all-time favorite lyrics:

"i saw a shadow touch a shadow's hand..."

simple, but i love the image & miss my husband and the reach of his hand that comes whenever we're walking anywhere together.

here's another favorite, absent last night, but it's good even just to read. some songs are like that...

If I knew what I was after, I'd remember where I'd been
If I was sure of something better, I'd go, I'd go
But I am just another picture, and I watch myself like you
I imagine what you're thinking,
I know, I know

Ten cent wings, I'll take two
Pin them to my sweater and I'll sail above the blue
Ten cent wings tried and true
Orbiting like satellites I'll sail away with you

I will love across the borders, I will wait until it's dark
I will fly and you'll be with me, my wings, your heart
Then our memory may fail us, and our language will go too
But the shooting stars will catch our
Celestial view

Ten cent wings, I'll take two
Pin them to my sweater and I'll sail above the blue
Ten cent wings, tried and true
Orbiting like satellites I'll sail away with you

But I'll never tell, I'll never say, I'll never be that brave

Ten cent wings, I'll take two
Pin them to my sweater and I'll sail above the blue
Ten cent wings tried and true
In another life you are with me, and I'm with you
Ten cent wings, I'll take two
Pin them to my sweater and I'll sail above the blue
Ten cent wings, tried and true
In another life you are with me and I'm with you

16 October 2007

paper & linen

two projects semi-completed.

reupholstery of a red velvet flea market chair in plain nubby linen. new tacks to replace the old bent ones. fluffier stuffing. my plan has always been to recover the back too, but while pulling out the old batting, i uncovered this beautiful wooden detail that looks like a butterfly. for now i will leave it.



paper collage from old farm ledger. [torn paper & mod-podge on canvas.]

15 october

yesterday marked two years since I lost my dad. there are so many things about him worth remembering, but among those that stand out most are the simple, small things in all the days I knew him...

chocolate frosted donuts brought home on saturday mornings. striped tennis socks and calloused fingers from working in the garden. squinting thoughtfully at the sky every evening after work. martinis with green olives. heaping bowls of Blue Bell buttered pecan ice cream. a left-hand written signature. help with my math homework. old green wheelbarrow. a love of sausage pizza, hot dogs, and sweet 'n sour chinese food. his morning cough while shaving. christmas morning home movies. always the first to buy any new gadget. the way he joked and pretended to be serious even when he wasn't. and his nervous pride just before he walked me down the aisle.

09 October 2007

{exciting & not-so-exciting recent thoughts & occurances}

- i've been doing laundry for two days straight.

- eli has four top teeth emerging.

- our house is up for sale.

- portland brew has the best scones.

- fall is taking its time this year.

- eli has discovered something new: cords & plugs.

- our neighbors have had a clawfoot tub sitting in their front yard for two weeks.

- it has been a long time since i have done a sit-up.

- my favorite aunt is coming to visit next weekend.

- a likable cold-weather plant: ornamental cabbage.

- i finished two projects (sort of) -- paper collage and recovering a chair. [photos later.]

- jeremy bought me a new notepad today with a bird on the cover. it made me happy.

08 October 2007

evins mill

for our anniversary, we escaped Nashville for a quick overnight trip just outside of town. we left Eli in the capable hands of some friends and headed to Evins Mill in Smithville, TN.

it was a perfect little respite. dinner in the rustic lodge. a walk around the old grist mill. morning spent reading on the rocking chair porch overlooking a creek. we meant to wake up early and hike to the waterfall before breakfast, but instead slept in for the first time in seven months.

since then, life has resumed a pace i can hardly keep up with. photographs of our wilderness hideaway are a nice reminder of quieter days...