after words, Excelsior.

I’m in my backyard, in a city, there’s a train out under the bluffs. I love that lonesome whistle, I love it too much. If I wait awhile, and I think I will, another one will roll on through. There are crickets for the in-between, since it’s a summer night.

My father died. Life is short, the trail is long. You could build cairns to find your way back home. You could put them close-together. All hope and a wish for some homecoming… you’re not sure of anything, much.

My father was a champion of men. (He was? He is?) Well whatever it was or is: like that. Yes, I’m certain.

I’m more of him than of anyone. I’m more of him now than I even ever was before, but I ain’t no champion… just his kid.

He has actual blood that is still alive.

He shined so. I miss him.

His departure timed like the perfect clock he made me– the one I sold at the yard sale long ago to the stranger who said I would later regret it. She said something about shame, too, something forgettable. That stranger had a father, once.

My blood leaks out when the moon is full: tick tock tick. He made me like that, I can’t take the credit. Thank you. Thank you. 

I regret nothing.

We did our best is all. The way it goes; the way of things; appropriate; supposed-to; like how the ocean swells at night– the worst.

Death is anticlimactic relief, openings, weights lifting or shifting. But grief, you old grey junkyard dog…

Grief is a bully and a friend. A friend who is there for you even when. When you wonder who you’d like to call and the answer is nobody, it calls you up. Grief ropes you in and ties you down and frees you up like a fast romance that might last.

Grief teaches you this: You can walk through this world like you don’t have skin: raw and warm and wet and glistening, reflecting everything.

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soft and stone

oh, dear. i’ve found new channel for my obsessive tendencies, and it’s dangerous(ly fun)! the first time i saw margaret oomen’s crochet stones, i fell in love. the other day, i wondered if there was a pattern out in the world somewhere, since i’m not yet skilled enough to crochet intuitively, but really wanted to make some. magically, there is, over at the purl bee, where everything is cute and rainbows and unicorns all of the time! i loved reading margaret’s words about her process and the energy behind the materials she uses (repurposed thread, yeah!). i used her tutorial as a jumping off point, and think these will offer me the chance to learn a lot of new skills/become better at reading patterns in the crochet department. there are a million free doily patterns on ravelry and i’m going to jump in.

these here are a gift for some lovely friends. as you can see, they’re irregular and flawed, but that works. speaking of flawed, it sure looks as though my front porch needs a coat of paint. why? why must i be responsible for things like painting the porch? why can’t i just wade around in rivers all day finding stones and then, at night, make clothes for them? it isn’t fair.

xo

closer to the human frequency.

there are secret places not far from home, places that belong to you and to me, that we can make our own, if we take the time to find them (which we should). if you bring improvisation and good cheer, everything will be better than fine. even when you forget your tent… especially then. xo

weekend updates.

♥ update number one: i’ve got some (slightly disappointing) news: you won’t see my shining face gracing the tv on wheel of fortune. the fed-ex man didn’t bring me a letter. i won’t be choosing r, s, t, l, n, or e. i won’t be building a new deck on the back of the house with an outdoor shower & hot tub with my hefty winnings. but that’s okay; i’m cool with it. the whole wheel thing provided me with hours of amusement, a trip to the ocean, and the privilege of being the recipient of one most excellent practical joke. it also provided me with some hope, some extra spunk, some fantastically egomaniacal counting-chickens-before-they-hatch through some winter days. if you’ve missed the saga, you can read about it here and here and here. okay, wheel, we’re over!

♥ update number two: my cat contimews to be awesome. i had a hunch about frida from the moment i met her, and although she’s mostly graduated from the early days of lounging on the princess bed (she’s more into human furniture now), she’s still my little princess. her transformations are constant source of enjoyment around here. i mean, she herself enjoys most everything about life… especially when she’s being pampered, which means, to her, just about anything associated with receiving loving care. this cat even enjoys getting her nails clipped! she’s like, “yes! time for my mani! purr purr purr! here are my fingers! clip away! wait a second, could you please pause for a moment? i need to rub my head on the clippers and tell them i love them! ok! now let me rub my head on you! i love you! okay, clip away!” and so, lest you think i’m evil for “making her wear” a princess tutu, remember that playing dress-up equals attention equals enjoyment equals this cat effing rocks at loving life, and i love her for it. serious gratitude. she’s like the best dream i’ve ever had, but real.

♥ update number three: only forty-six more granny squares to make before i can start piecing the blanket!

♥ update number four: i don’t like having an etsy shop and am waaayyy over it. actually, i got over it months ago, and closed my shop after my very first (and only) sale (those rad julep tumblers up there), when i realized how much time/ thought/ energy went into finding/ styling/ photographing/ listing/ writing about the items, and then wrapping/ packaging/ labeling/ shipping them. and then further when the purchase was stolen during shipping. and then further when i spent literally hours on hold with the postal service. no thank you.  i like thrifting for myself, and for people i know, and i’m going to stick with the pleasure of that.

♥ update number five: pretty sure the birds decided the clematis wasn’t their best bet, after all. no further progress on the nest. maybe they’re just taking a break? doubt it. at least i’ll be able to prune it back when it starts going wild. edit!! they’re back at it!

♥ update number six: it might’ve been the rainiest march on record here in portland, but there’s evidence of springtime anyway, everywhere i look. i am hopeful, yes. warm days and sunshine ahead.

also, i am hopeful for a happy april for you all. no fooling. (yep. totally corny.)

xo

in the clematis.

hi all, i do realize this picture is no beauty, but i didn’t want to linger and disrupt the activity that’s happening under the eaves of the guest house in the backyard: excitement! two tiny grey birds are building a nest in the clematis! (maybe that’s the reason i forgot to prune it back this year.) we’ve been watching them work from the kitchen window, flurrying about, collecting their softy mosses and working up their architectural plans. maybe there’ll be babies out there come summer? that would sure be swell. i’ll keep you posted.

xo

thrifted things are people, too.

there’s been magic on the thrifting train of late! proof:

this lovely linen tablecloth would like to say, “come, dearie, sit down for a spell, and have a spot of tea.” so polite and inviting, she is. (she’s got a british accent, in case you were curious.)

… and here are some of her friends. they told me they’d like to take turns having breakfast with me all week. (they’re so relaxed they forgot to inquire about my schedule, which doesn’t include breakfast. they also forgot to inquire about whether i actually eat breakfast, which i do not.)

midcentury. orange. enamel. bowl. four exceptional qualities, indeed. “i love holding fruit,” she says… “go buy some bananas and grapes. organic only.” she’s kind of a snob.

the largest faux-fur pillowcase on earth told me she’d like to entertain some shagging by the fireplace. what a trollop!

the hankies do not like me to use words like trollop, because calling people names is bound to make them cry. they’ve gone to dry the pillowcase’s eyes.

and these three lidded pyrex beauties! the two smallers turned up at an estate sale last week, and the larger today at a thrift store. what luck! they have something to tell you, too… in the form of a song.

have you been out thrifting lately? what do your friendly finds have to say?

xo