Saturday, January 30, 2010

It'll Grow Mom

Aren't I supposed to say that to him?  Lord knows, his hair grows and grows until he can't see. I just wanted him to reveal his big brown eyes again, and perhaps get reacquainted with the brush (a mom can dream).  Instead, on a day, when the wind chill was minus four, he wanted the barber to take it all off.

Did you lose a bet?

The barber joked.

His brother likes his hair super short, and I'm used to it on him.  He likes to rub his hands over the top and he likes that it always looks groomed, without his actually having to groom it.  He likes when the barber puts a touch of gel in the front to make it pop up a bit. 

But this one, he was the crazy long-haired one.  I liked the shiny shagginess of it.  I also liked that even as identical twins, they had such different ways of accessorizing a very similar face (growing up, I thought that would be one of the best parts about being an identical twin.  Someone to try that hair cut first.  Boy, I'm a chicken.)  Mom, he assured me, it'll grow. 

I should be so daring.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

haiku Wednesday (or look out, another camera walk)

soak in the absence
relish the not-here-today
behold winter beach

off season beauties
rusted, salt-eaten, wind-blown
wabi sabi land

Thanks for indulging me.

Learning to see again.

I did feel a little self conscious shooting the dumpster.  I think the construction guys thought I was with the building inspectors dept. 
I'll have to turn that into a poem.

Monday, January 25, 2010

pink patchwork

A million years ago, I lived in a bubble gum pink bedroom.  Groovy 2-D animals covered my green bedspread and my mom's friend's painted my dresser with green chalkboard paint and used chalkboard erasers as drawer pulls.  A hot pink heaven.

My much adored grandmother Kingsley much adored the same deep bluey pink.  Her kitchen walls, corner kitchen cabinet (only one cabinet in those old kitchens) were all painted chalky pink.  Her avocado fridge broke up the pink and her big monster white stove took up a whole corner.  It probably just seem huge to me, with it's oven used for storing cereals and a pilot you had to light with a match every time.  Grandma, with her chestnut hair and Revlon's cherries in the snow lipstick, had very strong feelings about colors.  She hated lavendar and mint green - no pastels for this lady -- but she loved deep purple and kelly green, almost as much as pink. Can you guess which one is her in the picture?  Oh, notice my great Uncle Mike's shorts & suspenders.  To say nothing on the black socks.  Hey, I didn't say we were royalty.

So as I was taking pictures of this pink & green quilt top, I thought it might be too pink.  And then, I thought of Grandma and realize, for someone, it will be just pink enough.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Too Many of Me

I just googled myself, which not being a celebrity, a published spokesperson or a paid professional, is something I very rarely do. But I had just reset all of my facebook privacy settings and wanted to see what worked.  Anyway, to my extreme annoyance, there's another person with my name who comes up first.  I knew she existed because she has friended me on facebook (in a fit of name-ism, I declined) but I noticed that two of her friends were really my friends.  It's one of the perils of the Google age which never existed before.  She lives in my state, but our paths would never have crossed.  Now, I understand how Howard Stern must feel when he is confused with Howard K. Stern.  I might have to start using my middle initial, because honestly, I think she had the name first. 

I did finish a pink and green quilt top today. It's really quite pink . Wow. I think I got a little enthusiastic over the recent birth of Charlotte Ann.  I don't even know if the mom like pink!  Photo tomorrow, but you can see where I'm going here...

Monday, January 18, 2010


Not really in the true spirit of the holiday, but I had the itch to take the kids to the city.  Not always the greatest idea when the rest of the school population has the day off, but we did get lucky with parking, and that always puts a spring in my step.  So off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art we went.

Any parent knows, the key to successful museum trips is brevity.  As much as it killed me to whiz by every painting and nearly every sculpture, I kept the trip focused for my own sanity and in an attempt to make happy museum memories.  Arms & Armor - check.  Egyptian mummies - check.  Cafeteria with greasy food and sugary dessert - check.  Trip down to dad's office to say hi to dad - check.   Then home.  Two out of three slept in the car.  Of course, number three, who's almost three, cried "I need you" loudly and squirmed for the last stretch up 95 north.

Oh, and I think the good fortune spread to the cafeteria when I dodged a puking kid by about six inches.  I just heard a dad yell at me and my packed stroller, "Move it!  We need to get to the bathroom QUICK!" I shuffled aside as best I could and one second later there was some modern art all over the rug.  I was glad not to be that dad.

And while the company was endearing and eager if not a teeny bit whiney, I have a confession:   I would have loved to have had three hours in the museum all by myself.  Of course, I would have felt all kinds of guilty though.  Oh, motherhood...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Blue Period, or Portrait of a Portrait

I have painted funky portraits of two of my kids.  I was sidetracked by a jar of jam, and then my painting teacher moved back to Amsterdam.  Very sad.  I miss her and the company of my three Dutch friends very much.  We are starting another painting group in my grey cottage studio as soon as I have it ready for company (ahem, this could take a while), but in the meanwhile, I paint without a parachute.

Mark has wanted me to paint his portrait for quite a while. I've shied, as I'm really such a beginner. But, for Christmas, I quietly, secretly painted him out in the little grey cottage studio.  It's unusual for me to be so monochromatic, but I think I was influenced by a week of Picasso immersion as I prepared to teach fourth graders about him.  Picasso usually added in a rosey orange somewhere, and that may still appear on Mark.  Also, he thinks the eye looks a little too menacing, so I've sent images abroad for my old teacher's advice.  Anyway, here he is.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stories of Creative People

Here are a few cool things about creative, passionate people that I've enjoyed lately, and thought you might too.

Helvetica Yes, a documentary about a font. Really quite engaging (though I did sleep through the last half hour, but that's just me). It's also about graphic design, visual culture and the global design world.  After you see it, you'll never look at Helvetica the same way again. 

Funny People.  An Adam Sandler movie, even.  Poignant story about fame, loneliness and the quiet desperation that most comics share.  A bit crude, a little too long, but surprisingly touching.

My Life in France.  If you liked the Julia Child scenes in Julie & Julia, you will love this book.  Julia Child's passion jumps off the pages and her descriptions of post-war Paris will make you want to sell everything and move to a shabby apartment on the Rue de Loo.

What stories about artists move you?

Friday, January 8, 2010


I suddenly have this urge to make time stand still.  I feel like it's all just happening too fast.  Everyone's growing, calendars are being filled too far in advance.  I want to savor the days.  Everyone's -- by that I mean the newscasters, the shopkeepers, acquaintences -- complaining about the cold, but aren't these the same folks who complained about the heat? 

Saturday, January 2, 2010


To me, September feels much more like the new year than January 1, thought there's no descending ball to back me up here. In any event, I resolve:
- to take more chances (inspired by the fearless Julia Child)
- to take better care of my physical self
- to be kinder to myself
- to finish more of what I start, but not just for the sake of finishing. Although, thinking about it I think I need to learn to be a better quitter. Sounds funny, but I think there's something healthy, empowering, and often beyond my reach to quit things when they have become an unrewarding obligation. One of my greatest pleasures this fall and holiday was the fact that I did not run the school fundraiser that I did last year. I declined this year simply because it sucked too much of my precious time. Seems obvious, but it was a big struggle to say no. Especially because no one else picked it up so they dropped the program.

So this year, I resolve to say NO more to others and YES more to my family. That's a big one, so I might just leave it at that.

Sounds like some goofy manifesto from a Nike ad. I should resolve to spend less time on the computer, but let's not get crazy.

Enjoy day 2 of 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Years.jpg

Spent our NYE in Florida, where fireworks are legal (to buy at least). We shot off a bunch and hid in the bushes (or at least I did). Alex chose this picture, as he wanted to show everyone what our magnificent display looked like, from his perspective.

Happy 2010!