The first picture August takes! by Terataurusrex
Happy accidents happen but when my baby daughter picks up my camera and shoots the bedspread....all of a sudden I become a proud Mommy. I didn't even recognize the design. If life is to be filled with more of this, I have much to look forward too.


Oklahoma Storm

It got so dark at 11am, it looked like 11pm.
It started to rain and the light began to return as the sky cried.
We watched from our kitchen window.
The lightening here is like the flash from an old, Polaroid camera.
It doesn't streak across the horizon, it pops.
The thunder doesn't roll across the sky, it is sharp and slices it.


At my kitchen window sill sits a potted Easter lily. The scent of this lovely flower greets me each morning and raises my spirits no matter what sort of dreams I had or didn't have. I love how the stores are filled with flowers right now. The colors and scents so divine. These displays make me stop and sniff each time. Catching the smell of mountain laurel in the breeze as I walk is always a sure sign of spring. I even dream of this scent.

Pictures of August at the window in her playroom. I love her at the window looking out. I remember doing this most of all as a child. It is something I did quite often when I lived in Austin and had a backyard. There was something so very zen about staring off from a window. What you see when you are in the world is very different from what you see at a window looking into the world. Both points of view are necessary.  I love how she will stop in the middle of play and look out.

Juice, juice, juice! I have been juicing up a storm since last year but it's increased even more. My most recent discovery has been red cabbage, cucumber, ginger and pineapple. It makes a lovely purple drink that tastes nothing like red cabbage. This along with my new love for fizzy, kombucha drinks has me on a health-high lately. The giant bag of juicing carrots at Whole Foods is a great find.

Zoo! Take us to the zoo, get us to a petting zoo, quick! We read so much about horses, donkeys, roosters, lambs, elephants, giraffes... It is about time we try to se them again. We took August to the zoo  when she was four months old and she loved the peacocks but noticed little else. It was too close to naptime and in the upper nineties. Many of the animals were hiding. Spring is perfect zoo time!
We have made the best of feed stores though:

Cary Grant films...I must watch one Cary Grant movie daily and have seen quite a few, from his earliest works to Walk Don't Run.  Penny Serenade is my new favoriteI remember how George Clooney was always being compared to Cary Grant but I never agreed with that. Cary Grant stood a full inch over six feet tall (probably looked taller and more dashing in a tux) and George Clooney is five feet, eleven inches... to start. All that went into making Cary Grant was gone by the time George Clooney came around. Different worlds create different men.

I recently discovered Williams-Sonoma sells everything you need for beekeeping, backyard flocks, kombucha brewing and more. I hope this means we are becoming more agrarian. When my thoughts turn to nesting they rarely include a couch, patio sets or stemware but are of goat keeping, cheese making, efficient composters, beehives and of course chickens. The chicken coops they sell are as pretty as the ones I have seen for sale in England and Australia.

11 Months Old Today



August in March

August will be eleven months in four days. She is still such a baby right now, not a toddler just yet.  I cannot leave the room or she cries. We do everything together. She now plays at my feet no matter where we are. If she wakes up before I do, which is rare, she plays with my hair or entertains herself with the sheets or a piece of clothing. Even though she can practically run now, she does not leave my side.

Two weeks ago she started to climb on my back when I was on my stomach reading a book and she clutched my shirt as I gave her a mama monkey ride. She can hold on tight, so tight, in fact, that the pediatrician commented that she had never seen a baby hold on so tightly before and she had much strength.

Now that it is spring there are much flowers to see and sniff and last week we spent an hour looking at flowers outside a grocery store. Then we took a walk and sniffed the mountain laurel blooms hanging from the tree. The world is of great interest outdoors and indoors. Her eyes got big when I explained the refrigerator to her yesterday, then showed her the freezer and "cold".
What is exciting and brings me the most joy is her personality and watching it take shape as she becomes more of a little person. Her own little person.  If she likes a book she hugs the book and if she likes a particular page in the book she lets me know by kissing the page. Hugs and kisses happen with much frequency.  She sleeps through the night and my girl does not wake up before 9am, sometimes not before 11am.  We have teeth, five of them! Amazing is how I can carry 23lbs with one arm just as easily as I carried 13lbs for an indefinite amount of time. 



Remember playing M.A.S.H. with your girlfriends? How at slumber parties with close friends it would inevitably start everyone talking about their dreams... from a nine year olds point of view? I remember playing M.A.S.H. very well. I played it constantly growing up. I played it alone, over and over through class, through middle school and then secretly in high school during breaks in the library and even in . Even after college. Geez, I admit, before and after going out with guys well into my late twenties. On my wedding day to my first husband! If ever a bad sign...

The games became more and more complex, more categories, more lists, more specific lists, more specific-specifics. I enjoyed the dreaming but they were looking desperate. I wanted to know my future. I still do. What has remained a constant has been finding a simple life, true love and children.

I was happy with the "shack". I always envisioned plants and flowers around my shack, a garden, lots of cuddly animals. I even dared putting down 4, 5 and 8 children!  What  was always important to me was stability. I wanted a stable and peaceful life, that was happiness to me, boring to some, heaven to me. To have what was  needed, a loving person in my life by side, my best friend and confidant and there would be no worries. I thought that was easy to get when I was nine years old. Just make the right hard is that? When you love someone, they love you back exactly the same, find a simple life, all needs will be met because you are not complicating things. Such are the thoughts of a little girl.  Then you realize how easy it is to be mislead, lied too, taken advantage of, misunderstood and the choices are harder, the consequences of certain choices, the results of those consequences of certain choices.

Tonight there is a notebook by my bed with fresh M.A.S.H. games scribbled all over the last few pages. None of them turning up very good. Thought I would include a few amusing M.A.S.H. games found online though. If you manipulate the categories right and make just enough lines, it offers a feeling of order and control for a few fleeting minutes.


Yesterday, I was thinking of evening walks on red dirt roads under the dogwoods. It would be a month before August would arrive and I can remember all those feelings and emotions. I remember how it felt to walk, so heavy. I kept turning back to see if I was leaving footprints because each step felt like it sank into the earth. I was not. I picked a dogwood blossom off a tree.

The dogwood bloom is a plain flower that appears on the dogwood tree every spring. It always looks like it has been stepped on to me. Injured. It offers nothing other blooms do. There is no scent to it, nothing outstanding, no fruit comes from it, just a simple, four petal flower that looks like a child's drawing. I tried to make a dogwood bloom look nice once, but it stood out and remained a dogwood.  You can't even really press it between a book or wear it in your hair, or put it in a bouquet. The dogwood is so perfectly imperfect to me. 

I just had the most imperfect week of my life. It bought to mind all the other imperfections that make up my life. It is what happens. But this evening, I sank into a soft couch and opened a jewelry catalog and there was a gorgeous, sterling silver pendant with a spray of flowers. I like that I thought and dogeared the page. I went back and read the description: Dogwood Blossoms Pendant. Tonight, I made the dogwood my official flower. A tree filled with these imperfect flowers becomes an elegant, delicate sight. The details of each homely flower is obscured by the fragile beauty of thousands of them. 

Take a Picture

I love looking at photographs.  This evening I viewed photos belonging to a friend of a friend. The woman in the photo was young and beautiful in her stylish wedding gown and her groom was as handsome as they come. You could see in the photos, the way he looked at her, he completely in love and you didn't have to know her personally to know that no one else could get her to smile that way. She wore that smile all through her wedding and honeymoon photos in Hawaii. From the photos her groom took of her it was evident that she will forever be his queen.

A few years forward and she still wears that same smile, but it is on a more secure face, she is even more radiant. His eyes, a new tenderness, looking even more in love with her. Every photo is of them holding each other, not posed, just the body language of a duo more comfortable in life and at ease with each other.

Everyone puts their best photos online. No one photographs a fight, crying mate, hurt lover, sad faced and lonely. When I see a series of sweet photographs of two people in love I can't help but be on their side, strangers they might be, but I hope they last a lifetime. Truly. I feel doing that is a small prayer for them. Where there is trust between two people, there is comfort, defenses down, love grows and many photographs are taken.


Sunny days, happy times
Take a picture so we can remember
The way it feels to love each other
Just in case of cloudy days to come

See the smile on my face
Take a picture so we can remember
The things you do to make me smile this way

Ask a stranger to take a picture
We should have one side by side
Look at me, and say `I love you'
Aren't I the picture of pride

Sunny days, happy times
Take a picture so we can remember 
The things we share, the dreams we're dreaming of
Come and take a picture of love

~Words and Music by Margo Guryan

The Good Old Days

Today I was thinking of Room 19 in Petersburg, IN. The alarm would go off at 5:30 am and I'd get up, walk two feet to a tiny fridge and fill my arms with corn tortillas, queso fresca, a container of pork carnitas,  half of an avocado from the day before and a lime.  Then I would step to the side two feet and assemble Jacob's lunch for the day, using the microwave, not forgetting to include tomatillo salsa and spiced plantain chips that were stored in the desk drawers with our sweet and salty snacks.

Once that was done I would wake him up and while he dressed for work,  I visited our overstuffed, little fridge again and this time filled my arms with bags of carrots, celery, a cucumber, a beet and a red bell pepper. It was time to make our morning juice. Everything had been washed in the bathroom sink ahead of time so all I did was slice. The sound of the juicer switch was always something I loved. It made a real "click" sound.  The roaring of the juicer's motor would shake the desk and bottles of chartreuse, bitters, vermouth and whiskey would rattle, it was our morning noise. One by one the sliced veggies would become both a frothy juice in a large measuring cup and dried pulp in a bowl. By the time Jacob was ready to exit, his juice was neatly poured into a long paper cup that he drank quickly.  Kiss-kiss, big hug, his rough hands putting lovely snags in my robe, and goodbye.

Once he left I would pour mine into a glass and watch I Love Lucy episodes in the dark.  It was summertime but the morning air had a slight chill to it and it's own scent that entered and filled the room when Jacob opened the door to leave. Truck engines could be heard running and starting, like birds, they each had their own call. One by one they drove off and by the time the second I Love Lucy episode began,  there was silence, the motor lodge was asleep again.  If I cared to stay up till sunrise, sunlight would cut like a knife, only on the right side of the window. The drapes were not wide enough to cover the last quarter inch of the opening. I would lay down, shut my eyes and wonder what I'd do for the day.  This happened every morning while there. But I remember specific mornings by the text messages I'd receive when I'd lay down after watching television. The morning I am thinking of today was, "I love you, you are my miracle." 

March Surprise

What is it about March? The universe pitches me curve balls in March... I have always welcomed these changes though. Yes, at first it hurts to be thrown into the raging tide of change, beaten black and blue, then suddenly, calm waters.  The soul at peace, the spirit lifted. I have taken on March Surprise in the past but this time I feel so much more at ease, so relieved that there is a March Surprise and a bit excited about it all.

I cannot help but think that this time it is different because I have my tough, little Taurean by my side.  This happy little girl keeps me singing and laughing, she demands it. It's going to be a unique journey with this awesome little person. We are surfing it this time, going home is such a ride but not a low and lonely ride for these two.