I visited a friend today

I visited with a friend today and she showed me how the women in her country protect their skin from the sun, because I asked what it was that some of them were wearing on their faces in her family photos. She brought out a a round piece of wood that looked like a small, well worn tree stump. She then brought out another piece of wood that looked like part of a tree limb with bark on it. She then added water to both pieces of wood and started grinding them together. It produced a fragrant, yellow paste. I put this on my face and there was an instant coolness. As it dried it felt so soothing and refreshing, not at all like a clay mask or any other facial mask I have ever used. The scent became more floral and familiar as it dried and I suddenly realized it was sandalwood. I was wearing a sandalwood paste. I wore it for the rest of my visit and then brushed it off before I left. My skin felt so smooth and I had the lovely scent of sandalwood all around me the rest of the day. I want to make this beauty treatment my own.

She made us a lunch. We had the most flavorful spring rolls filled with curried chicken breast, vegetables and spices of cumin and turmeric. She made a simple salad and an omelette that we shared. We chatted while her three boys and August ran around, tumbled and played. They were filled with energy after their lunches. I told her she must share her recipe for the spring rolls with me. I need something new and delicious on my plates.

Our late morning visit had now turned into an early evening tea and it was time for goodbyes. August dislikes goodbyes to the point of becoming rude and cranky rather than saying goodbye. She pouted and whined a little before crying and throwing a tiny tantrum. Just as we opened the door she reached for her new friends with arms open and gave each of them a tight hug. As we walked away August had a smile on her face and I was happily inspired. We were invited to come back next week. 

Mommy Eyes

Today I opened up my art supply bin, dragged out the watercolor paper, the only four water colors that had not dried out, it's a five year old box of 12, and all my old brushes. I thought if August saw me painting, she would start painting. She hasn't been fond of finger painting.

August enjoyed dipping the brushes into the water and into the paints. She mixed the colors together, and was painting. I was thrilled when I saw what she was creating. So much in fact, I couldn't concentrate on my own project. Before she was even done I already decided I was framing this one. She seemed to love painting with brushes and it will make it easier for me to get back into it. First, we need more paint.

Two years ago...

A little tidbit left unpublished until now:

August. This is her month, the last days of summer, butterflies, cicadas and fiery sunsets that drown in the humid cornfields of Indiana. This year we are in Texas, where summer still has two more months left. I have yet to smell autumn in the morning breeze. It is still a long way off in these parts.

We are no match for the powerful cicada. Conversations trail off then die under their heavy clamor. They blanket parties and get togethers, hypnotizing everyone. You suddenly find yourself languid.  I used them the other day to put August to sleep. We sat under my grandparent's porch, under pecan trees and just listened. I don't remember drifting off but when I opened my eyes my grandfather and August had both fallen asleep. 

I am different. Four months later and there are no longer photos of architecture, animals, landscapes or the like.  My days are filled with August and they have been sublime. I can't take my eyes or the camera off of her for long. Every moment is something I never want to forget. If only I could save the scent of her head, her little feet and hands.


groupings, placement, messes

I truly enjoying turning a corner of the house and finding what little hands have done. These fresh configurations, arrangements, compositions, little installations, scenarios appear unexpectedly and make me so happy. I photograph them because they last but an instant and I want to keep them. Before we pick up the room I scan it over to see what all has gone on there. A mess is not simply a mess. I find all sorts of surprises that make me smile or laugh. I don't expect others to see what I see through my Mommy eyes, I just enjoy them tremendously.