Thursday, December 2, 2010

the death of things

It's puzzling how something so breathtakingly beautiful can be so miserable and unpleasant. Sure, I like to take the children sledding, and watch them enjoy themselves in the snow. But after about 20 minutes and a few snapshots, I'm over it. The freezing takes to my chest, and wheezing replaces breathing. My nose starts to run and I want to go home.

In some ways, winter feels like the death of things; still and cold, rigormordus setting in, stiffening the flesh and bones of the city. My creative self goes into hibernation, due to my inability to go outside daily for the long walks that inspire me.

I can only stand being out in the cold for a short period of time before my nose starts freezing and my head fills up with cold, and then there's the likely possibility of me busting my accident-prone ass on the icy sidewalk.

To breathe the crisp winter air at 17 degrees with a wind chill factor of negative 6 is not my idea of fun. Or refreshing.

So indoors I stay, where it's warm from the fire and the soup and the bread baking in the oven.

But of course, with death comes rebirth; a [shaky] transition that offers bee buzzes and butterflies, light and rain, and the inevitable warming up of things. Just like us, Earth, same in spirit, flaunts its new shell. Light, water, growth, and it's like the cold never hapened. It's like life never died.

SO looking forward to spring, but enjoying the beauty in the meantime.

Monday, November 15, 2010

whispering voices

when we walk into a room
the ancestors part the crowd
clearing a path for us
to walk hand in hand

when we come together to learn
time stands still
knowledge flows freely
we evolve
in a rapid but steady pace
breaking down barriers

we have built a house
with no walls
so the messages flow freely

the bones of our home
are trees and stones
the foundation is strong
like new
wind breezing through
lightly pushing voices around

soft. subtle. bringing forth
that move big things.

stories. people. worlds.
whispering voices that make
screaming changes.
loud and real. bold and necessary.

we came together
as a result of forces
beyond or control.
plans made by the Divine.

so only divine things manifest.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

thrifting therapy

This has been a month of amazing thrift store and vintage finds. Wait. Rephrase. This has been a life of amazing thrift store and vintage finds. I can't think of a week, since high school that I have not spent hours in a thrift store, antique shop, or vintage shop. Or all three. It's one of my favorite things.

For the last couple months, my friend Tiffany and I have been going digging together in various thrift stores and vintage shops every week. We have found some great new places in Akron and Cleveland, and I'm excited to share some of these places and found treasures with you.

everything on me is thrifted except my knitted boots, which i got from TJ Maxx. the skirt is vintage, and i got the same one in cream. love it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

flab for a good cause

Yesterday, Tiffany and I spent the afternoon baking some new recipes for Sweetea Pie, our dessert and tea company. We baked key lime cupcakes and vegan blondies. Everything tasted wonderful. So wonderful that we began to wonder why the hell two people with no self control decided to bake for a living!

As I popped the sixth mini key lime cupcake into my mouth, I began to wonder if I had cancelled out the boot camp class Tiffany and I had gone to the night before. Oh well, you gotta test your new products before you put them on the market, right? And even if you gain a few pounds of flab around the torso area in the process, isn't it all for the greater good?

Well that's what I thought, until I logged onto Facebook, and read Tiffany's update, which basically said she wanted to DRINK the key lime buttercream frosting she made, and that's when I realized that we are in serious trouble.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

forgetting to remember

It always amazed me to see Great Gran, in her eighties, sitting on the floor with the greatest of ease, getting up with the same ease, strutting her little four foot 10 self around like she was a woman in her fifties. Still driving (big pillow on the driver’s seat so that she could see over the wheel), thrifting, cooking, creating, laughing. Living. Her daughter, my grandmother, has followed in her footsteps, youthful in her seventies, salt and pepper hair just appearing out of nowhere over the last few years. Great Gran never really went grey. A few strands here and there, but youthfulness runs through our blood.

“Did you know you wrote a book, Gran?”

“Did I, baby? Oh.”

“Yup, you told stories of how you’d sneak fruit from your uncle’s mulberry tree when you were little, and remember your mama’s mule that kicked you?” Her somber stare is replaced with a smile, and a knowing look in her eye. She recalls the stories like they happened yesterday, and completes my sentences as I tell them.

We do this song and dance weekly, because, though she may not remember she wrote the book, she remembers the stories. Stories that took place eighty some years ago in farm houses and in little one-room churches, near fresh water brooks and under mulberry trees. Stories that shaped who she became, therefore contributing to the me that I’ve become, that I’m still becoming, almost a century later.
She loved old country westerns and working with her hands. She lived for fishing and laughter and family. Now she just sits. I wonder what is going through her mind, as she stares the day away, fully aware that her mental “self” has become
lifeless, and waiting for her physical body to catch up.

As I help her in the bathroom, and change her diaper, I try to use the same love and care that she must have, 30 years ago when she changed mine. “Let’s go wash your hands, sweetie,” I say, as she has said to me countless times throughout my childhood. “Okay baby, she says, sweetly and with a vulnerability that makes me want to ball up and cry.

She is now 92, and she has watched me grow from a child to a woman, and now as I watch her grow in reverse, standing toe-to-toe with childhood, becoming a baby again, I embrace the moment, give thanks for my youth, and mourn the grandma that is no more. Her laugh and her hands are reminders of her former self, and as I stand next to her, rubbing and soaping them under warm flowing water, she giggles, opening up a locked box of memories, flashes of yesteryears taunting and torturing me like a bad movie, reminding me of my own mortality.

We are butterflies, fluttering freely, finding our way on crooked paths. We are born, we crawl through life, wrapping ourselves up in a chrysalis of experiences that make and break us, our spirits, ourselves. In our own time, we break out and fly, unable to forsee the future, living in the moment.

Like the butterfly, we are oblivious to the smiles and the beauty we bring to others, we just fly. And like all beautiful things, our lives as we know it must come to an end.

But long after the life we know ends, the impressions left behind live on.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

new studio space

i am so excited! i put down my deposit last week for my new studio. this is going to be the perfect place to get things done. it's just my kind of space: hardwood floors, high vaulted ceilings, built-ins (including a built in ironing board)and the coolest old-fashioned elevator ever.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

on chasing dreams and butterflies

just like the butterfly, i too will awaken in my own time. -deborah chaskin

in an effort to further my career and "follow my dreams," dreams that i decided to put on hold when i had children, i have decided to allow my children to attend school. not a traditional school, but the closest thing to homeschool, in my opinion. this decision did not come easy.

infact, it's years in the making. my husband has been in my ear for a couple years, trying his best to convince me that i can, infact, have it all, that i wouldn't be a bad mother for taking some time for myself to finish my degree, and spend full days working to build my business. i disagreed throughout the years, quoting homeschool books that told me that my children should be home with me. and i've enjoyed this time immensely. wouldn't take a day back.

but i have now reached the point where i don't feel like i'm truly living out my purpose as i should and could be. the truth is, i have, as many mothers do, chosen to give up my goals for my children, and that does not have to happen. rebecca woolf said it best in her book, rockabye : "having a family is a choice. happiness is the most underrated accessory to success. it is paramount to be inspiried by life in order to be an inspiration to a child."

she goes on to talk about how many mothers say things like, "i gave up my dreams for you," and other declarations of nonsense, because, though you may have to make major adjustments when you decide to have a family, you do not ever have to lose your whole self, your sense of who you are.

one year ago, i told my husband he was crazy for suggesting that i send my children to be taught by strangers, though secretly, the thought of a full work day, the chance to treat my business like an actual business, gave me butterflies. i remembered researching Waldorf schools over the years, and felt that if i ever did send my children to school in the future, this would be my choice.

last winter i found one in ohio that i fell in love with, and recently, have decided to relinquish some of the control i have had for years over the education of my children, and begin to reclaim control of my own life and future.

i am overwhelmed with exitement over what these new choices will bring. stay tuned. and to you, tj, thanks for your support and encouragement, no matter what decisions i make. i know i frustrate the hell out of you sometimes, having "revelations" which are pretty much things you've been telling me all along. but....

just like the butterfly...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

it doesn't take much to please my children.

they are in their element when outdoors.

their imagination is endless...

i swear they think they're on the beach.

Friday, July 9, 2010

splish splash

water is essential. don't be afraid to get wet.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

in the garden

reggae playing loudly from speakers powered by the sun. fingers digging deep into organic soil. planting small things that will grow and feed me.