Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ScapeGoatYarns time.

Hello. I'm over here. Come join me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dead Bird

There was a little brown bird outside the kitchen door, belly up. Claws tucked. Edie noticed it and said, "Look at the pumpkin!" I told her that actually, it was a bird.
"It can't fly."
"Why do you think it can't fly?"

She studied it for a moment longer, and pronounced it dead.
"Because it's dead. We gotta bury it!"

So we buried it. I found a bird's nest of pulled wool, still soft with lanolin, looking like a cloud, and laid the bird inside it. Edie helped me dig a hole behind the shed with her toy shovel, and I made it deeper with my grown up shovel. We laid the bird in it and said, "Good bye, bird." Then we covered it with dirt and patted it down.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Could it be about time for a post? Two months and some change, what's to report?

Hm. Hmm.

It is overwhelming to contemplate catching up with the summer, so I'll let it drift. It was a good summer, tinged with the slight panic of having said yes to a project I wasn't sure I'd be ready for.

So I bought new strings, I dug out old scale books, I fretted over the loss of my notes from lessons with Andrew Ehrlich, my Portland teacher...I reviewed the shifting rule, tuned my ears back to a concert A, played along with a drone, and threw my violin down in frustration nearly every time I picked it up. Which didn't really matter, when it came down to it, because playing in Jherek Bischoff's 30th Birthday concert at Town Hall was a fresh dose of pure magic, where a force greater than myself took hold of the reins and I didn't screw up too much at all. There were old friends, new friends, aquaintances, legends, and mysterious bearded strangers. Jherek's dad was there, his brother was there. A handful of degenerates were there. My daughter's one-octave, rainbow colored glockenspiel was there, I played it, and I didn't screw up too much at all. Jherek's music is incredibly luscious and alive. I love it. Everyone who was there loved it. I don't know what to else to say, except that I came away inspired. Everybody did, I guess.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Holy Moly time flies!

Today I am sunburnt and happy. Forgot to apply sunscreen on the parts that never see the light of day...such as my back. We went swimming in a lake! Leann and Brad came to whisk us away from the tantalizing glow of a computer screen swarming with zombies, on into the day!

Actually I'm kidding about the zombies. That's what I've been doing with my late nights instead of writing in this blog, but this morning we got up and out by 8:30 am. I had the day off (woohoo!) and Edie and I took a long stroll to Cafe Ladro so I could get one of my freebies. We played at the local elementary school for a bit, and some kids at the YMCA came out to play on the climber too. One kid took great joy in wheeling Edie's stroller around wildly, first empty and then, as we made to leave, with her in it. By the time I pushed her up the hill to our house, she was zonked out and I was sweaty yuck, so I parked the stroller at the foot of the stairs and got some lunch while Uncle Robby babysat for five minutes.

He doesn't like bugs. I came out to find him swaddled in his blanket like a creepy troll, in an effort to protect himself from the big scary beetle that my cat had injured and was now buzzing around in circles, on its back. He ran inside and I got to work on my sweater for a WHOLE HOUR! while Edie rested. Did I mention I'm working on a sweater? It's made from recycled yarn; I pulled apart a super bulky brown thing that was extra unflattering, and I'm making the Wrenna pattern, from the book, French Girl Knits. Last Wednesday I went to Maria and Chris' house for a knit-b-que and Maria and I are knitting the very exact same sweater! What I mean is that we are each knitting a sweater from the same pattern, not that we are knitting a sweater together. Leann is working on a scarf with some cute self striping yarn. We ate brahts and beer and Edie came for a while, and also ate brahts and beer, though not with anybody's permish.

Anyhow, just wanted to say it feels good to be sunburned, after a day like today. We went to the lake, Edie rode on an air mattress with Leann and then with me. We ate sandwiches and bananas while somebody at a picnic table nearby sang Cat Stevens perfectly, but just for one song. If I'd have known he was going to get up and leave after the one song, I'd have clapped much louder, but I clapped just a little, thinking he was going to play a whole Cat Stevens album. Some crazy little boys put Edie and I to work, building a swimming pool on the beach. "Here, you do this rock like this. Do it right, or you'll be fired." I asked him if he was going to give me a paycheck, and he said he'd find one and it would be a beautiful paycheck. "I'll give you a rock and it will be your paycheck, and then you give me a paycheck rock too, okay?" Their redheaded stepchild of a little brother came up and started splashing Edie. She liked it, so I didn't stop him. I said "do you think she likes getting splashed? Would you like it if she splashed you?" to which he answered a double yes. A couple of minutes later, though, he dumped a bucket of water on her head ("I'm gonna give her a shower!") and she cried. I turned her to face him so he could see that what he'd done had upset her. Which, I'm pretty sure was the point.

There was another family there. When the little boy who liked splashing Edie took his pail and shovel from her, because they were his and not hers, this other dad came over with his son, who handed Edie a pail and shovel and said, "Would you like to borrow my toys?"

Whoa, I just got really tired.

After the lake we stopped by Candice's house to dance and eat raspberries while the boys played soccer games and Edie watched. She's fascinated by the backyard sports. It was great to see Candice again. We are going to start a weekly lunch date because our jobs are close together.

Time for bed already, my goodness!

Happy Fourth of July.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where we're at.

oh. has a month really almost flown by since I was lamenting the green lung lava that threatened to drown us all in its persistent bubbling forth?

I have been so maniacally busy, all these days. gone is my internet addiction, since there is no time for it. gone also my drumstick ice cream cone addiction, since the little layered packages of hydrogenated deliciousness are just too hard to hunt down and I don't have time anyways and besides, I'm not all that unhappy anymore so the need for chocolate has simmered down from a raging tempest of need to a pleasant burbling once-in-a-while thought. I still love coffee though. I still spend extra time thinking about coffee, even decaf like I drink. Also yarn. I find my mind wandering, as children tumble past me on the playground throwing woodchips and crashing tricycles, to what my next knitting project might be, and where I might obtain the yarn for it.

There's a whole choir of fiddlehead ferns sprouting along the outside of the chainlink fence as if to cheer us on. They reminded me of a scarf pattern I want to try. Our playground is in a beautiful place, completely surrounded by trees, and more than one kind of bird. The kids like to pretend they can see exotic animals in the distance, just behind that bush there. Do you see it? The antelope? We've seen woodpeckers and hawks, slugs, lots of slugs, and tent caterpillars. I guess this is their year. Some things get squished, and some get sucked into the field of static electricity put off by our yellow plastic slide. The kids stand underneath to demonstrate static's hair raising properties, and if I accidentally touch them as they slide down, I get a good jolt.

I can't say that every day is magical and creative and fun. There are some really stressful times, like today when I opened a new package of bubble wands and suddenly the children became piranhas, all teeth and needs. "BACK OFF!" I said too many times to feel skillful about. But later I turned them all into sharks with good results. "Great white sharks have to be very sneaky, or their prey will get scared and swim off. So we're going to sneak onto the playground, very quietly." Ahhh....peace and quiet for about 45 seconds. In a place like our playground, though, things do get a little bit magical once in a while. We are surrounded by trees, and airplanes fly overhead. The nearby airport is not a commercial one, so the planes are more varied than I've ever noticed. A two story carrier, a shiny seafoam blue plane, and a faraway jet plane with huge plumes trailing. A robin redbreast cleaning up fallen cheerios.

There was a lazy afternoon of hopscotch, but I was tired of drawing squares for them so I drew some smaller boxes, for the squirrels. Then some very tiny squares, for the ants. Then some which were very far apart, for the crickets, and some lilypad shaped, for the frogs. Suddenly hopscotch was fun again, and we lost track of time until all the parents came, one by one.

Another afternoon was rainy, and Gavin built a bowling ball from some waffle blocks. Then we were setting up lincoln log pins and these crazy little kids were waiting for their turns, in chairs that they brought over from the table. We had a mini-bowling alley right there and absolutely EVERYBODY who played, cooperated in setting up the pins for the next player. There was no fighting, no whining, just happy kids talking excitedly about bowling and reciting the order of players. "After Gavin it's Trinity, after Trinity it's William, then David, then me. Right?"

One of the highlights of the past month, I've been wanting to put down here, was on the way to work, riding what has become our usual bus since we are almost never out the door before ten o clock anymore. At one point, the driver stuck his head out the window and said, "Hey, Mom."
When I looked up, trying to figure out if I'd really heard him say that, he explained that she lives along his route, and she waits for him outside every morning. They just celebrated their 50th and 75th birthdays last October. "You're never too old to be somebody's kid," he told me. I totally agree. I'm not that old, but old enough to feel a tiny bit foolish for being so glad when my dad hops on the same bus as me so he can walk me and Edie home, or when we get there and my mom is in the middle of fixing us dinner.

This isn't a forever thing, this living at home again after being old enough to have grown up already, but for right now, it's pretty good. It's exactly where we need to be. And the sunset comes in my room at night, and the frogs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green lungs.

I've been sick...



which is not true. I've been sick for about three weeks, as has the baby E, as has my mother, as has me.

It is mostly just draining of energy. and we coughs a lot.

but we had a couple of super nice days this week, playing in the yard and dreaming about a summer garden. Edie befriended a plastic horse that's lain dormant in the corner for ages, riding it (though it doesn't move in any way - it used to sit on springs like the pinchy riding horses of childhood), neighing for it, and giving it hugs and kisses. The weather was so nice that even Champ got into playing ball, though he's usually too tired or old or something. We took him to an off leash dog park, where he got busy herding the other dogs, and where Edie got lots and lots of doggy kisses.

I think Mountlake Terrace is a pretty great place to be right now. It's pretty out, and when the sun's not shining, the greenness is. Green green green green glorious green.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


We are doing a bit better now.
Wee One's spirit is back - she can't scare it away for long. Where yesterday morning she was laying on the floor, listless and vacant, today she was trying on paper bag hats and discovering small daisies in the grass. Apple cheeked, and still sick, sounding like a winterbound goose when she opens her mouth, but happy. Happy today.

And next week her Hoppers will be here, to appreciate the changes a month can make in a Wee Thing. Grammy can bathe her proper again, and Grandpa will sing her the pie song from the first movie she ever saw. Best of all, she won't be at school for those last two hours of the day when we all go out to play and she sees me not coming to get her for what feels like forever.

Here's what I love today:

The garage sale that Laura called to tell us about, where eight dollars became two pairs of dangly earrings, two funky scarves for dress up, two pretty shirts, two rope lights for our bedroom, one green one purple, four issues of Babybug magazine, one wooden car, a stack of plastic cups and bowls, a necklace with two keys (one big one small), a purple beaded flower ring, a sturdy skirt for playing in, a pair of leather baby shoes with bears on them, a pair of baby socks, and a novel about streetcops in jazz-era Seattle, Rat City. The woman selling her things is the director of an arts-based preschool and is a retired dancer for the Bolshoi Theater herself.

This poem, written by Neil Gaiman for Tori Amos' Wee One, unborn at the time.

The writing of Robert Fulghum. I just blazed through Maybe (maybe not) though maybe I should take his words easy. They are meant for pausing between, in quiet reflection. Ha. And right now I'm reading Words I Wish I Wrote, which is full of tasty nuggets.

Lemon Ginger tea for sore sorry throats.

Avocado Chocolate Shakes for all occasions.

Finding a lost baby shoe, two days later on the gravel roadside where and when I least expected it yesterday.

The sky between six and seven pm, lately. Holy Clouds! Dark and broody sky meets jubilant sun as it bids our diamond studded emerald forest farewell for the evening.

Walking the same route up and down the hill, noticing the flowering trees cranking it up just one more notch each time.

An epiphany concerning the female duck's drab choice of costuming, uncovered while walking past a drake and his mate at the transit station. Him, gaily colored and bearing a crust of bread toward his sweetheart, sitting in the bushes and nearly impossible to see. Oh...right...a sitting duck, wearing camoflauge as she warms her Wee Ones to life. Something I neglected to learn during childhood, when one can reasonable expect to learn things about ducks and their logic.

A gigantic bag of frozen fruit from Costco, mostly peaches white and yellow, which has diminished considerably under my devoted attention.

Likewise a fortunately not so gigantic bag of Sundrops- the prettier, healthier cousins of M&Ms. Their shells are colored with beet juice, beta carotene, and purple cabbage; and if you pay attention, you can just taste the colors.

Fitting into some clothes unexpectedly. Thanks, feet. Thanks, hills.

Lost. (the tv show, though the state of being by the same name definitely has a place in my heart as well.)

Speaking of shows, I just discovered Yo Gabba Gabba on Nick Jr. Actually I found out about it from reading a blog. But I have the feeling that I'm one of the last to know, as usual. It feels like the first time I ever found the Nickelodeon channel when I was a kid, watching TV in the summertime by myself. I'm pretty sure the show was "You Can't Do That On Television," and it was so awesome that I looked around me in disbelief, the way I always do when I stumble across something awesome that nobody has ever mentioned before. Check it out, the Yo Gabba Gabba compilation cd just jumped to the top of my priority list and bumped Andrew Bird's new album down to second place.

That's it, because it's late and I am about to go love on some Grey Gardens remake with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.

But also? I am not knitting all that much right now.
Which might be kind of a good sign, in a way.