Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Weekend=Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale!!!

Check out the vendor list here!

And they have a bar people.

I am so there.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


The Beatles were the soundtrack of  my childhood. I can remember being 4 or 5 years old and spinning around our home in Juneau to their Sergeant Pepper album.

I miss John Lennon. I wonder what music he would have made. I love how he and Yoko almost leap into a kiss at the end of this.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

I just heard the news of her death. I am sad for her children. Instantly I thought of how angry I was at John Edwards. I used to adore him (in a purely political way) and then he proved to be all too human and I loathed him and judged him for his supreme lack of decency.

Only a couple of people know what goes on in a marriage.

Life beats the shit out of us all.

I am so sad for Elizabeth's daughters and son. No mama. That she had to survive the death of her own child and the loss of her husband to his own ego and a ridiculous tart seems too much.

Even for her estranged and unfaithful husband I feel grief.

Such a high price to pay.  Eventually we all have to pay it. As my obnoxious father says, "Life is a fatal sexually transmitted disease." For some of us life is a bargain. For others it costs so dearly. Most of us have the relative peace of obscurity in which to conduct our messy journeys and take our leave. Elizabeth had to buck up and move on with her life splayed before a world free to scrutinize her as if her days and losses were no more than  simple tidbits of juicy gossip. She kept her chin up - the southern belle with a spine of steel. That she did.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yo! Ron Wyden- remember me?

So, remember when I told you that you owed Oregon a lap dance 'cause you had turned into a blue lap dog??? Today I am giving you a shout out to remind you of our history and to make a confession.

Confession first: I voted for you! Once again for the man I swore I'd not vote for under any circumstance. I believe I said we were through. Kind of like me and my Monkey Muffin. Only I haven't cheated there. ORLY you say. "Did you not tell me you'd never vote for the blue dog again?What's up with that ?" You may wonder Mr. Wyden and dear reader. I know I still do.

See, like most of life, it's complicated. I had my nose pressed against the pavement, jackboot on my neck, facists surrounding me.

In our sane state of Oregon where we elect-

instead of inexperienced tall guys   (thank you a million times over  to every progressive Oregon voter for turning out) whilst voting by mail and every vote is a real and counted vote, when faced with the ballot, I caved.

Now breathe. Then watch this:

So,  I am calling out to you Mr. W and all those other strange people in Washington. The unemployed need you to stop the circle jerk and do something meaningful. Extending benefits for the long-term unemployed isn't an esoteric concept. Anyone can grasp that it is almost impossible to survive in this place without a dollar or two. And for the love of dog, it's Christmas!

We need to believe there is some function the American government still serves on behalf of it's citizens. Please demonstrate that real people hold some value, that you may in fact be wholly owned corporate subsidiaries, but that you still have human parts-including beating hearts and minds capable of empathy. Stand up to your minders or be subversive-whatever is required of you to do the right thing.

And, if one of you (yes YOU Mr. Wyden) goes home for a lovely Christmas break  without ensuring this extension or, worst case scenario, standing nude on the steps of Congress holding a press conference surrounded by the homeless, hungry, and desperate citizens of this land of milk and honey,  screaming out with righteous and telegenic indignation that REPUBLICANS DO NOT CARE HOW MUCH MISERY THEY CAUSE NOR HOW MANY LIVES THEY DESTROY, I can assure you that the next time I see your name on the ballot, I will not fill in the oval with a blue or black ink pen. Because, since we have always had such a frank and honest relationship, I feel O.K. telling you that Earl is starting to look pretty Senatorial despite the fact that he once tried to kill my daddy with a canoe on the Nehalem river.

Hey! Look at that tie! Remind you of anyone Mr. Wyden?

Just saying.

Our President wants to cuddle with these rat bastards Ron. I do not understand why. Where is the change in which I can believe? Time to buck up and remember the wise words of my obnoxious father - dance with (and, since you still owe us a lap dance, for) the ones what brung you.

You must not leave Washington without first staging a meltdown of epic proportion on live tv and not just cspan 'cause I think I am the only one still watching it. Make some noise! Put on your pasties! Strip down and shake your groove thing. Not so much because I want to see you naked, no offense, but  because it will in fact work at getting some sort of media coverage. You feel me?

What we have here is an empire in decline. Not necessarily a bad thing. We just have to adapt. If you want your serfs to keep feeding the machine, throw us a fucking bone.

I gotta go knit a safety net.

Do that thing you used to be able to do. Stand and deliver. I promise I'll love you long time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Third Birthday

Madeline Alice Spohr, the girl with the golden curls, would be three years old  today. Heather and Mike's sweet, firstborn child- I will never forget her.

Heather wrote a beautiful post about preparing a memorial for her Aunt Kathy who passed away this summer. Her aunt traveled the world and when she was in a particularly exquisite place she liked to imagine her beloved people, those who were no longer alive, in that very place. She would imagine their joy in being there. While she was visiting New Zealand she felt Maddie close and wrote to Heather about what Maddie would have seen and loved.

This must be an excruciating week for Maddie's family. When I saw the pictures Heather took of Maddie and her little sister Annabel visiting the same beach on different occasions I lost it. The picture of Maddie looking out into the sunshine, her tiny arm resting on the fence, her windblown curls, it's breathtaking and heart breaking and I am reminded of the great love and strength her parents live daily. Their grace, honesty, and simple humanity are so very moving. I believe they are deeply inspiring people. Maddie's folks would make her proud.

Madeline's yummy little sister Annabel and her sidekick Rigby have made a series of wonderful films during the short time Annie has been "in the industry". They are a high profile Hollywood duo-think Affleck and Damon with serious acting chops and unparalleled comedic timing. They will make you laugh out loud. They will make you want Heather Spohr to be your very own mama. You will know that it would be big time fun to share a dream come true with a daddy like Mike.

In honor of Maddie's third birthday the Spohr's are making a special DVD of The Adventures of Annie and Rigby available to benefit the Friends of Maddie the non-profit organization founded to honor their daughter. Friends of Maddie is making a difference for premature babies and their families. It's a little present for her big sister from Annabel. Actually, it's a gift to the entire universe!

You too can be a friend of the glorious girl with the golden curls your own fine self. Celebrate a brief and bright and shining life. Help NICU families through some scary times. Step up. Be there. Let Annie be your guide. From litle things (and tiny people) great things come-LOVE.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zut Alors!

It's fall. Autumn! Torrential rain arrived in the pnw and guess who has a new roof? I am a lucky duck.

Quelle joie!

If only I can re-train this brain to stop panicking at every grey cloud, all will be tripendicular. Big shout out and props to you dear reader Red Tara for the emergency tarp that made it stop raining in my bedroom (on my tiny bed!!!!! The horror!) last winter!

I was reminded of the fact that it was ALMOST THANKSGIVING by the recipes in Sweet Paul's Magazine.  Issue #2 was just voted best online mag by DMA (which is a digital media thingy I guess). I think it is my favorite magazine, digital or otherwise, for the Autumn 2010 season.

I've made the pate and soup and will be working my way through the lemon&coconut cake, orange cake, sweet potato and spice cake, and cupcake recipes for the next few months. Have I mentioned that I LOVE cake?

Bless his sweet heart. Paul delivers real treasure on a regular schedule.

I am also loving in no particular order:


 My mother's healthy new knee



So strange. I have developed a thing for Michael Nyqvist.

However, in this nostalgic fairytale my heart belongs to Goran played by Gustaf Hammarsten.

Insta-Dress Tutorials!

and always and forever

my tiny bed

night night

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dear dog the teenage squirrels!

Dear reader let us turn the page. Enough with the raving. Summer we now leave behind. On to autumn with  a new roof,  some rain, a lot of leaves to rake, soup and bread, and the perennial signal that winter is imminent- the crazed teenage squirrel, fresh from the drey, filled with bravado and an urgency to do all the teenage squirrel related activities possible directly under my truck tires. The streets of Portland are a mosh pit for headbanging juvenile sciuridae.

Dang little friend! Slow down and accept your amatuer status. I careen all over the road trying to avoid you as first you hop directly in front of me, then freeze, then skeedaddle back the way you came only to zip back at me with a hearty bonzai and whoa. I have managed to avoid you so far but really, calm the hell down and read a book or talk to your mama about what it means to be a grown squirrel. Cause you are gonna wreck yourself if you don't checkit ok? Really.

Aside from suicidal tendencies, I adore autumn.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm Out


Off to Lost Wages next week. Why Nevada? Why? I don't want to go to the desert in August. That's where the clothes are. Wish me luck and be good while I'm gone.

I'll be back!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ode to my monkey muffin

What a delightful euphemism! Actually, this is a dear john letter to you my beloved. We met just a few short years ago. It's been pretty passionate between us ever since. There is almost nothing I'd rather do, no where I'd rather be, no one I'd rather, well, "have coffee" with than you.You've really been there for me. Except for that time when you wouldn't take my check, which was awkward.

So, this will come as a surprise my dear. We are through you and me. It's just not working. And increasingly, after our time together I feel used and old and blah...I need something new and fresh. Perhaps we will meet again for a quick nibble or a walk in the park with a hot cuppa on a winter's day. But for now, we must part. I'll miss you but we were never really any good for each other. Buh bye!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Get excited and make things and then share them

I am starting to find my mojo. It began with organizing and it is blossoming into something fun. Meanwhile, the delightful Blah, Blah, Blahg lets you download the image above in a multitude of lovely colors. You can visit the original art from moleitau by clicking on the pic.

I love creative people who share. Recently, thanks to my dear reader Red Tara (herself a fine example of sharing and inspiration) I was turned on to the lovely Sita Sings the Blues. Sita's creator Nina Paley feels the same way I do about Digital Rights Management. I adore her "I am the Content Industry" tee. You really should check out her blog and watch the lovely and tuneful Sita Sings the Blues- a film she created and freely shares with all of us.

When it comes to art and craft I believe it has all been done before and we riff on the tunes of previous makers. Naturally, we develop new materials and refine techniques all the time. But the creative spirit that is in all of us predates each of us to be sure.

There are artists I admire as much for their interest in spreading skill and knowledge and love of art and making as for their own personal artistic expression. Commoditizing everything is so fucking depressing. Believe me, corporate tyrants want to put a price tag on all of it.

Nina has a quote on her blog from Frederick Douglass:

“Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”-Frederick Douglass,  August 4, 1857

Shall we sleep through the sale of our souls? Comcrap wants to buy a piece of  them at a bargain price. And that is but one example.

I was freaking out the other day ( as I am won't to do on occasion) saying really weird stuff about corporate/government conspiracies to control and ration/re or mis-direct the innertubes, denial of access, censorship etc. etc. etc. At one point I wailed something incoherent about "what will we do when they take over the internet?!?" And my gorgeous child told me with infinite patience, "Mama we will just make a new one." And then  he proceeded to tell me all about BBS and the kinds of technical evolution he could imagine and I was blown away by the beauty of that mind. He made me feel hopeful.

Perhaps it is just this decrepit collection of baby boomer decision-makers that has me freaked and when we pass on the young will have a better way forward. At least among my child and his pals there is a sense of creative collaboration and problem solving that is inspiring. They have somewhere along their way learned the fine art of sharing.

As usual, an incoherent but nonetheless heartfelt post.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dear Netflix stop freaking me out!

O.K. let me think this through:

The Virgin Spring

1960NR89 minutes
On the way to deliver candles to a church, the virginal daughter (Birgitta Pettersson) of feudal landowner Töre (Max von Sydow) is savagely raped and murdered. But fate takes a vengeful hand when the killers unknowingly seek food and shelter at the girl's home. Will the grief-stricken Töre learn the truth about his visitors? Set in medieval Sweden, this disturbing tale directed by Ingmar Bergman earned an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Recommended based on your interest in Arrested Development, Season Two

Which is described as follows:

Arrested Development: Season 2
2004NR3 discs / 18 episodes
With George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) busting out of prison and never-nude "analrapist" Tobias (David Cross) running into the arms of the Blue Man Group, things have never been so bad for the put-upon Michael (Jason Bateman). But isn't that why we watch? The second hilarious season of this Emmy-winning series (narrated by Ron Howard) brings back all your favorite characters plus a few more, including rival magician Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller).


 I still don't get it.

Are you saying that 

 is like


Now Netflix, I know you like to tell me you understand me. Pandora likes to mess with me like this too. Lull me into a false sense of belonging. Make me feel that I am deeply understood and completely accepted. And then, like any mad-hot relationship, one day I discover you don't know me at all.

Recently Pandora compared the musical genome of Husker Du with that of Peter Frampton. And now you pull this.

It is safe to say you are bugging me out. To further the creepiness you  choose to characterize my viewing as "emotional and cerebral" (which sounds like you are suggesting I need therapy) and use this as a basis for recommending films. How does this "emotional, cerebral" tag fit in with my ardor for Shameless and my endless passion for SouthPark?

  Matt and Trey are so pretty!

What was I talking about? Oh yes. Srsly Netflix you are making my head throb.

I have seen both  the Bergman and the tv show and I can't find any common ground.

It's sort of like recommending Carl Rove based on my interest in Justice or British Petroleum (RAT BASTARTDS!!!) based on my interest in clean energy or Miley Cyrus based on my interest in Paul Robeson.


...seriously odd. I feel completely misunderstood. Or perhaps you know me so intimately that I have yet to discover parts of myself that would recognize such a meaningful yet exquisitely subtle correlation between Virgin Spring and Arrested Development. Ouch and Whoa...spooky.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Bargain


Did you know you can buy an entire gulf for 20 billion american dollars? Then you can trash it beyond redemption and say "What?" like an arrogant dumbass when asked 'wtf?' Sweet Deal!

I'm speechless.


Oh lawd dog! Speaking of dumbasses:

Give me strength.

Edited 6/19/2010 to add this picture of a rat bastard hypocrite. Click the preceding link for the CBS news story about how the rich like to relax on their yachts while the ocean dies. I guess it's a power thing. Don't ever doubt they are wishing with all their black hearts that it was you they were defiling.They don't really get off unless their victims scream audibly.

Tony enjoys the regatta today. 
What a small, supercilious prick.
I hope he takes a swift one to his stern.
Rat Bastards.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dear Fabric Depot it's not me its you... I HATE YOU!!!I HATE YOU!!!I HATE YOU!!! Or why customer service is 99% of a business's lifeblood (the other 1% is cash)...

 This is not about Johnny Depp or John Waters despite my undying devotion to both

Hello Dear Reader. Let me set the scene for you. Just past 6PM on a Saturday night in PDX. Everyone else is downtown getting ready for the Starlight Parade. Yours truly is obsessed with stitching Natalie Chanin's rosebud stitch and decides, after a long day's work at her own retail job, to head to Fabric Depot -hereafter (and occasionally prior to) known as Fabric Creepo.

My beloved Mill End is already closed for the day and it is a sewing emergency. I need buttonhole thread.

As usual, Fabric Creepo, you do not have what I need, but I find a few things I want. It is me, about 4 other customers and 15 staff members in the gigantic store. I pick out some stretch denim for a skirt I want to make and embroider. I just need a yard or two.

There is one customer at the huge 4 sided cutting station. Normally there is a line at each corner with 2 employees on each side cutting for 8 customers. Tonight, praise the Rose Festival Princesses,  it's just little old me waiting for the sole employee who is assisting the customer ahead of me.

As I wait calmly for a few minutes I am approached  by two different employees. Do these employees want to offer to cut my fabric? Hell no! Each of them has decided I need to be herded like the stupid sheep I am.

The first says, "You need to stand at the corner of the cutting tables." She then walks away. O.K. I move to the corner. Then moments later another employee sees me standing with the bolt of fabric in my arms by myself, still the sole customer waiting at the cutting station. She also decides I need to be moved and  tells me " Please move closer to the sign with the arrow." Oh, the sign a foot to my left? That one? O.K.

A minute or so later the employee who has been helping the other customer wanders my way to tell me, "You need to be standing behind the sign."

O.K. ladies, throughout each of these encounters I have moved exactly where I have been directed. I have not made a single sound or strange facial expression. I have merely complied with your need to assert your dominance over me your obviously highly annoying customer.

However,  I feel at this juncture that its my turn to give some directions. So I say, "I have now been asked to move 3 times by 3 different employees and still no one will cut my fabric." That's all. Said in a friendly, if somewhat ironic way.

The employee looks at me ( in a rather self-satisfied manner imho but I am trying to spare embellishment for the sake of absolute clarity here) and says, "Well, if you won't stand where you are TOLD to, we will think you are being helped and we will ignore you." Then she smiles nastily,  walks away, and does just that.

Bitch please! Have I mentioned that I also work retail? It is a tough gig. I know. There is no glory, only guts and not always your own. I give tremendous latitude to retail workers because we see some pretty atrocious human behavior on a regular basis. I have been at no time during this visit unkind or, up until my first exchange with the 3rd clerk, verbal at all. Now I am rendered speechless.

I stood there for a few moments just stunned and heart sick that someone felt so small they need to wound a stranger. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights. I was immobilized by such a sense of grief.

She wandered back, took my bolt, and said "How much?" Still in a state of disbelief I simply said, "Two yards please." She cut it and I moved quickly to the bank of cashiers. No waiting there. No directions for location changes either.

However, as I tried to pay with my credit card, the cashier kept scrutinizing my signature and then looking up at me with a very puzzled expression (which probably matched my own). Then she said, "I'm going to need to see some ID please." " Going to need to" not "please may I."

O.K. no big deal. It is good to be careful about credit cards. And admittedly, a $9 dollar fabric purchase is probably the perfect crime. So, I hand her my license.

She takes a good long look at it and then, apparently horrified, a good long look at me. She does this not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. THREE DOUBLE TAKES AT ME!!!

O.K. yes, my license picture could be better. I look a bit like a serial killer in the photo and at the time it was snapped I had long hair which was today curled up in two buns on either side of the back of my head. But lets take a moment to return to reality. A $9 dollar charge that has been authorized by the credit issuing bank. A woman wearing a blue linen jumper and birkenstocks (for the love of dog!) with a wallet full of id splayed before you, and your thoughts turn to what? Robbery?

Finally, I snapped.

I said, "Now I remember why I always vow never to shop here again." And she looked at me like I'd asked for the cash in her register. I asked if she need more forms of ID, a DNA sample,  or if she and her fellow clerks would like to take a moment to see if they could possibly cook up any other ways to make me feel more uncomfortable. I started to flash on Jack in 5 Easy Pieces (you know the diner scene) and yet I was barely making any noise at all-still in shock.

The cashier just next to us asked if there was any trouble and the clerk said, "No. She doesn't want me to check her ID."

My head exploded.

Then I detailed calmly and concisely (with, I am certain, an embarrassing crimson red face of mortification) my experience of Fabric Creepo's customer service during my 10 minute visit for this newly interested employee.

She apologized multiple times for my "being made to feel uncomfortable" which was nice of her as she was blameless and yet took one for her ridiculously rude team. She gave me a comment form to send in to the company and a card with the address. So, I am grateful for her attempts to be kind when all around her a sea of retail workers seemed hell bent on making me cry.

I love textiles of all sorts. I think I have mentioned that I am a die-hard Mill End girl. They may not offer 35% off sales often, but they are near my hood and have everything I need when I need it. Their staff is made up of fellow artists who are professional, helpful, and kind.

They close shop before I am finished with my work day. This is an O.K. thing. Apparently, assisting fabric store customers is  equivalent to hand to hand combat or bomb disposal. I believe stores should keep human hours and workers should have time to be home for dinner. When forced to work past 6PM on Saturdays, they can not be held accountable for their rage.

I can only visit The Mill End on my days off. I will bear that in mind whenever I am jonesing for buttonhole thread, denim, embroidery floss, or in fact, anything textile related. Mill End and Etsy only from here on out.

I promise you Fabric Creepo I will never darken your door again.

Now I'm gonna go have a good cry and maybe tell Johnny all about it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wherein the pacifist changes her mind on the death penalty...

The Bayou Buzz informs us that the State Bird of Louisiana, the brown pelican, is washing up in need of de-greasing as are her fellows the green heron and northern gannet. So BP, here's my take on your "little accident".

Here in 'merica we have a system of justice that is horribly flawed. We tend to lock up citizens of all colors other than pasty with a rabid proclivity unseen in just about any other culture. We also feel poor folks are guiltier and more deserving of prison sentences than rich folks. The persecution of Martha notwithstanding. Basically in the good ole us of a only professional athletes are allowed to commit crimes penalty-free. We love our rapist basketballers and wife-murdering football types. I mean honestly are crimes against women really even crimes?

That being satirically said (well, just the last question), we do have a justice system. And one thing that we try to do within this legal system of "justice" is ensure that penalties are designed to address and mitigate against crime. It is hoped that these penalties or punishments or sentences are a deterrent to willful misbehavior and in some instances even un-willfull or accidental, but no less egregious behavior.

For example, should I one day decide to hire someone to operate my forklift and neglect to provide them with safety gear and training, I would be held to account and found, at the very least in a civil court case, responsible for any accident and associated costs that befell my hired hand.

If through my negligence as a landlord who did not maintain working fire alarms and fire escapes, I was responsible for the deaths by fire of my tenants, I would surely spend time in prison for manslaughter.

And, I believe that if I was drilling a well for my neighbor and I had a device that would ensure that I could stop the flow or output of said well in an emergency, thereby preventing any damage to my neighbor's property and I chose not to deploy said emergency device due to my concerns about the convenience or cost of same- I would be legally responsible to restore my neighbor as closely as possible to pre-loss condition.

Now BP I am sure you are hearing a lot of "let the time fit the crime" talk right now. And truly how can any time fit this heinous crime? I am simply here to add my voice to the choir. And I am not as naive as my vacant stare would have you believe. I know you have a universe full of attorneys ready to defend your right to rape and pillage. Let's just imagine some person of conscience is driving the bus for a moment...

You have annihilated an entire ecosystem, very probably destroyed the only coral reef left in this hemisphere, and devastated countless businesses - perhaps permanently destroying an entire fleet's lifetime of fishing. And you have only just begun.

Your willful disregard for the natural world and the human landscape which you are exploiting renders you unquestionably culpable. You did it. And you have the powder burns on your hands to prove it. We need to put you down for the benefit of humanity.

I am not a supporter of death penalties for people. However, as the Supreme Court so recently decided to elevate corporations to the status of persons, I am willing to re-consider my opposition. In this case, I want to see you spending every penny of revenue you will EVER generate on repairing the losses you have caused, on making restitution to the countries, the peoples, the animals, and the environments you have willfully destroyed.

And then, when your life as a corporation has been spent to the satisfaction of all of your victims, I want you put to death. I'm sorry, but I can think of no punishment to fit this crime except that you British Petroleum pay the ultimate price. And by you I don't really mean all of your executives and your investors whether they be rich white bastards, pension fund investors, or the governments of the world. Those losers just need to be rendered broke. But you BP - Corporate Person - no BP, no more.

Here's your mugshot you rat bastard

I know we could get a jury to convict and a judge to hand down that ultimate sentence. We need to establish a clear penalty for destruction on such an epic scale (because then perhaps we could apply the law to weapons manufacturers and crazed, war-hungry governments too-you know what I'm talkin' about- lawyer types call it a precedent).

After all , here in 'merica we execute developmentally disabled teenagers and innocent people. While you may have some fools believing you are a people, we all know you ain't an innocent. And I am O.K. with this little aberration in my moral code. BP I want you dead.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Boys and Beauty

A mighty fine mama
Elizabeth Cady Stanton with her daughter Harriot

Shout out to all my mama peeps. You make the world go round. You are the center that holds. I love you.

I also love the William Morris quote, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

I must re-focus on this as my house is filled with dog hair and paper. Things functional, but not so beautiful.

To turn our minds to useful beauty, a brief round-up of my recent blog trippin'.

Sweet Paul has a magazine!

Amaretto-baked French Toast with Pecans! Heavens! I'm making the Papaya and Citrus Salad with Maple Syrup Dressing this weekend.

It is all, every inch of it, glorious. I am old school re: electronic readers and eZines, but Paul's magazine is so visually rich, filled with practical, real-life-possible grace notes- I'm sold. I'll forgo the paper and bliss out laptop-wise.

Thank you Sweet Paul for your inspiring, delightful blog and the reminder that beauty and simplicity are at hand every day (and meant to be shared).

photo from click to buy

Dear Kaffe Fassett I love you.

I am working on a prototype and need some voile (I say "Vwall" like Toile- chicks at Fabric Depot say "Voyal" like Toil or Soil-so odd). This Orange Jungle Paisley makes me happy. Your magic ways with form and color are a constant inspiration. Besos Kaffe!

Humane writing from Mig. This post came at an important time for me and I return to it again and again: Careers in Science: Balneology.

I was in my crazy tree and it helped me come down. One of the most resonant, beautiful, and kind things I've read in a long while.

Thank you for so many beautiful metaphors, valentine limerick contests, leads on blogs I can't imagine having missed, 10 years of Metamorphosism. When I despair of huMANity, I think of you like a touchstone.

Stephin Merritt
The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs is beautiful, hysterical, sad, sweet (gifted to me by my sweet brother ptj). I listened to it non-stop during a long family road trip through Mexico several years ago. I sing to it constantly. "Hey lady day can you my save my life again? My only love has gone away. Will you be my only friend?"

Stephin your voice is big and deep and masculine and fragile all at once.

Sweet Paul, Kaffe Fassett, Mig, Stephin Merritt, and all the creative men that inspire me (especially my lovely brothers who are such fabulous adventurers and collectors and makers and daddies), I wonder what you would say about the inspiration and influence your mamas had on you.

In their presence and in their absence, their love and their devotion, their neglect and their distance mothers are absolutely influential in our lives. As my obnoxious father says, and I often quote, "You gotta dance with the one what brung ya." The dance between mothers and their babies is sometimes sweet, sometimes excruciating. They made us, those mamas. I thank yours and mine for the invitations to the dance.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Boy Howdy! Welcome Natalie Chanin to PDX!

I can not believe on of my heroes is winging her way to my green and pleasant town. SQUEEEEEE! Natalie Chanin has a new book out and will be here at Powell's Books on Tuesday the 13th!

She will also be speaking at PNCA on Craft, Identity& Commerce. Her lecture is free and open to the public. You should go! Srsly! Anyone want to work for me so I can go????

If I were able, I would love to attend her retreat at the ACE on the 17th. As it stands, I will have to wait patiently in the hold queue for the book and dream.

I just finished reading yesterday's grey lady piece on Ms. Chanin's partner Butch Anthony. The article is delicious and the accompanying slide show has accomplished an unprecedented feat-inspiring within this Cascadian girl a strong desire to ramble around the South, specifically Alabama, for a visit. You can tuck me in here:

Photo source this & next Robert Rausch for the New York Times
and there's this:
An artful life is what these two inspiring people are forging.

This is a quote of Natalie's from the article:

“Butch can work wood or metal, he can grow anything. He has an incredible way with the things of the world, whether it’s a tree or a piece of junk, and he has his own aesthetic about how it should go together. He knows the name of every leaf and every plant and which ones you can eat. And if the world ever came to an end, I would want to be by his side.”

Damn that's good and strong and sweet.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One Year Gone

I don't know how Heather and Mike have survived this first year without their daughter Madeline. I think it remains a mystery to them as well. How can such a devastating loss not kill you? Throughout this most difficult year they have written about their grief with grace and honesty. Thankfully, there has been great joy for them too with the birth of Maddie's little sister Annabel. But their pain will always remain unfathomable to anyone outside of Maddie's family. As Heather has written, it is the daughter who should be present when the mother breathes her last. Never the other way round.

Despite the worst of all possible losses the Spohr's continue to create a beautiful legacy for Maddie while making a difference for babies and their families. I admire them endlessly and wish them peace and so much love.

To learn more about the girl with the beautiful curls, the famous Madeline Alice Spohr and her equally remarkable parents please visit Heather's blog The Spohr's Are Multiplying and the Friends of Maddie website.

I will always remember your darling girl Heather and Mike. Always.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunflowers and Blue Skies

Some days I wake up grieving I know not what. There's always plenty to sigh and storm over. So, most often, I don't puzzle on it too much. It is what it is or maybe it is nothing.

Today there is something. After reading Mig who wrote about justifying one's own existence (or not), I was reading Yarnstorm at Jane Brocket's little slice of the world. Jane wrote about the sad news of Elspeth Thompson's death.

Elspeth sort of enchanted me ( and I mean that in the "moved by magic" way it sounds) with her beautiful blogs, books, and columns.

I read a comment left in condolence by arusa that quoted a poem:

Why did you vanish
into the empty sky?

Even the fragile snow,
when it falls,
falls in this world.

- izumi shikibu -
woman poet of the Heian period, Japan

And then another comment that is one of my beautiful Mother's favorite poems by Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

And lastly, I recalled this from Kathleen Raine posted by Elspeth on her own blog here:


I believe nothing – what need

Surrounded as I am with marvels of what is,

This familiar room, books, shabby carpet on the floor,

Autumn yellow jasmine, chrysanthemums, my mother’s flower,

Earth-scent of memories, daily miracles,

Yet media-people ask, “Is there a God?”

What does the word mean

To the fish in his ocean, birds

In his skies, and stars?

I only know that when I turn in sleep

Into the invisible, it seems

I am upheld by love, and what seems is

Inexplicable here and now of joy and sorrow,

This inexhaustible, untidy world -

I would not have it otherwise.

Elspeth had that extraordinary ability to appreciate and nurture the exquisite in the ordinary and untidy. Sometimes extraordinary skills demand an excruciating sensitivity.

So, to make sense of the painful impermanence of the beautiful we can try words, frail though they be.

I like to look at my child's eyes. From his early days to now they are made of sunflowers and blue skies.

click on photo to see the sunflowers up close

They are as miraculous as anything I've known.

What is enough? Enough to convince us to stay. To see things through. To believe that there is something ahead of us or something right now that requires our presence.

To steady my gaze on the now, I claim the natural world, these eyes, and a quote that I believe originated with Pam Houston in Cowboys Are My Weakness:

"A death wish is a life wish, as love is the flip-side of fear."

And I will not judge another for their own conclusion.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Not You Again!?!

Oh No!

Dear OPB,

For the love of dog how can it be possible that it is again time for PLEDGE Week/Month? Why?Dog why? How many years is it really appropriate to replay Rock, Rhythm & Do Wop? Seriously! Frankie Valli is freakin' me out! Have Mercy!

I've not yet completely forgiven you for the whole soft ball lob from Jim Lehrer to George Bush during the Bush - Kerry debates when your rabid neoconservatism reared its ugly head (as an aside, how the hell you got to good old liberal Texan Jim Lehrer is a frightening thing upon which to speculate. He was so obviously and deeply affected. It aged him overnight.)

So, back to what I once was able to refer to as pledge week-now pledge month. Is your target demographic really the over 80 set? Really? Because I don't feel that old. I am a pretty regular viewer now that you have mended your ways and put a little Public back in public broadcasting. I think Frontline is amazing. I dig Art Beat. I watch Julia cooking with Jacques religiously -it is my sole religion come to think. Mr. Roger's owns me as we have discussed previously. Sewing with Nancy makes me sweat in a good way. Do not get me started on Masterpiece Theatre. Zut! I have never been the same since I watched Glenda Jackson as Queen Elizabeth in my first remembered Masterpiece Theatre viewing orgy as a wee girl in the early 70's.

Heavens! I could rave endlessly about my devotion to you. It is an awesome thing.

However OPB, despite my obviously overlooked devotion to you, you consistently and quarterly wound me. Honestly, I can not watch Victor Borgia one more time. Nor do I need a quarterly review of the Big Band Years. I am also worn out by Ed Sullivan and the Beatles. That's saying something, as I bear a deep and abiding love for all things Liverpudlian. I hold you personally responsible for permanently destroying the Beatles-induced frisson I've cherished MY ENTIRE LIFE.

Shall we talk aerial views of Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and Greece to uplifting, ethnically appropriate elevator music?

These shows are probably fab when the viewer is stoned beyond high. But sober, again, once is enough.

Oh yeah! Suze Orman can blow me. She and her helmet hair creep me out and pleez with cheez sister who in this third world nation we inhabit has the resources to set aside 6 months salary in a rainy day fund? She tells me at least 4 times a year that I am heading toward financial ruin. Always a heartwarming thought. Well Suze, excuse me but you do not inspire me to give OPB any more money than my basic membership because, as you remind me ad nauseam, I am on track for abject poverty. As I said, "Suze Orman blow me."

And Suze, what is with all the weird jackets girlfriend?

Also, if Wayne Dyer tells me about that butterfly that came and sat on him one morning whilst he lounged in perfect mental health on the lovely lanai of his house in Hawaii because he is highly evolved and therefore in possession of a beautiful Hawaiian estate complete with friendly winged insects one more time I will expire. Hey Wayne! A freaking GINORMOUS red dragonfly once landed on me and convinced me that life was worth living.

I don't show up in your living room 4 times a year to tell you about it.

As for Celtic Thunder, Celtic Women, and the Celtic Tenors - I get it. My name is celtic. It translates to warrior. And yet, whenever I observe that yet again you are inflicting Michael Flatley upon me

or those weird generic blonde and redhead waifs that sing Enya songs badly 'tis not my Celtic blood which rises but the Viking Berserker who dwells in my heart and feels the call of a good and frenzied pillage -perhaps at OPB headquarters.

Now, you may feel that I am overreacting. Certainly, there are people who adore repetition of all things celtic, baby boomerish, 1950's US gloryday-ish, rockandrolldowopish, and self-helpishisms. It must be working for someone. It is your go-to fundraising formula. But here's the thing OPB, allow me to one up your own rerun mentality.

When, of an evening, I come home wired and tired from a day of trying to make impossibly unhappy people happy and all that I want is a cup of tea, my cozy bed, and a good Brit-com (and here we catch the author suffering from her own bout of regurgititous)

it pains me, nay, near slays me, to find that 12 weeks have so swiftly flown and once again I'm subjected to weeks of the same crap you've been slinging to solicit dollars for the last twenty years. Gee, next weekend I'll get to watch that creepy guy who bears a slight resemblance to Willford Brimley making Down Home Favorites and American Comfort foods on those weird cooking USA shows you love so well. And then, I'll have another chance to catch Celtic Thunder!

I have a proposal.

Please, please, please-the prettiest of pleases with brown sugar on top PLEASE just once could we have an all BBC Pledge Break?

We could start here:

Move on to this:

Add a dash of circus:

Revisit Grace Brothers and Mrs. Slocombe:

Kick it into high gear with my darling Inspector:

Schedule a week night with Basil:

And the Pledge Month climax could always be:

You would rake it in OPB! I swear. I'd beat Suze's projections for my complete financial collapse by instantly gifting my entire estate to you! Seriously squeeeeee!

I am a pacifist despite my inner berserker. But hear this OPB and let me be clear. One more of these and I may blow: