Thursday, December 14, 2017

Without Words

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Recent Reads

Are you a book purist? Must you read only original copies in the original language? Maybe you simply must hold and smell an actual book. Or is a Kindle ok? What about audiobooks? Or maybe you are like me and do all of the above! I am of the line of that that a book in any form is good! 

Here is what I have been reading in all of the above forms:

Eric and I listened to Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline over the course of two long road trips to drop off art and to attend a galley opening. The book is not my usual fare, but I really got into the fantastic and nostalgic details that Cline included in this novel. The story takes place a future where people retreat from the horrors of their lives into a virtual world. I don’t want to say much about it, but give it a read! 

Immediately following the completion of Ready Player One we continued into the world of Cline with Armada. This novel imagines a reality where online video gamers were in training for an intergalactic battle. Now I am in no way interested in video games and I found this to be a fun and enjoyable book. 

Alright, so when I was a young girl I read this book about a mummy and it terrified me. I spent the next year sleeping on the extra bed in my brother’s room. Eric found and purchased the book, The House on Hackman’s Hill by Joan Lowery Nixon, for me. I re-read it and while it no longer freighters me I do feel that it is definitely a major scare for young kids. My girls will not be reading this bad boy for some time.

Several years ago I watched an interview with Susannah Cahalan about her book Brain on Fire and it has long been on my list of books to read. In the novel Cahalan details her descent from a promising writer into madness as she suffered from a debilitating illness. Her recovery and research are fascinating!

The End We Start From, by Meghan Hunter is a beautiful and spare story. A very quick read, but don’t mistake that for simplicity. The story is one of a cataclysmic flood and a new mother struggling to survive. Hunter explores the chaos of a world upended and juxtaposes that with the joy and rhythms of motherhood. 

I am currently in the midst of The Power by Naomi Alderman. I am super into it! Have you read it? Details to come.

I am also slowly, so slowly, working to translate Thérèse Desqueyroux by François Mauriac. 

What are you reading?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kind Words

This morning I was up first as is often the case. I went to the kitchen and started the coffee. I turned up the heat and I started my daily French lesson. Soon I heard the stirring of children. Elise came first. I could tell it was her by the sound of her step on the stairs, different from her sister.

She rounded the corner and came into the kitchen. Her eyes were half open and her hair was a mess, though that is pretty much the natural state of her hair right now. She climbed into my lap and told me about her dream.

When she was done with her dream story she gave me a big hug and said, “You’re the best mommy in the whole universe.” Not that she has any point of comparison, but I didn’t mention that to her. Instead I gave her another hug and I asked,”Do you know that I love you so much?”

She leaned back and looked up at me. She rolled her eyes and said,”Uh yeah. You tell me that like seventy hundred times a day.” 

By now Cordelia had joined us and I said the same to her. She laughed and said,”Yeah. You say that constantly.”

It is true. I tell them that I love them all the time. I make it a point to tell them how much I love them. I give compliments freely and often. I tell Elise that her snuggles bring happiness to everyone. I tell Cordelia that her generous heart is a strength. I tell Elise that I love how she chooses to wear mismatched socks or that Cordelia has her own distinctive fashion sense. I compliment their intelligence and their creativity and their kindness.

I see them follow my lead and give each other compliments. Cordelia loves to find something to compliment her friends or the cashiers at stores or whatever.

The point is that these kind words are a gift that we all share and pass along. I hope that my words help these girls to feel confident about who they are and what they are bringing to the world. I want them to never ever doubt that they are loved and supported. I also hope that their individual kindness spreads.

Monday, December 11, 2017

My Favorite Day

Mondays are my favorite days right now. Mostly this is because we have no set obligations. We have no classes or anywhere to be out in the world. The girls play a little longer in the morning. We do school, it is pretty low key with no rushing. Mondays are the days where we take a little extra time for all things.

So this morning between breakfast and school they were explorers.

And they went for a swim at the beach.

I caught up on a few chores and listened to a podcast before we started school.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Quote: Intelligence

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.
-Albert Einstein

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday List

Today is a get it all done kinda day. Here is the list:

• General daily cleaning
• General daily laundry
• Take recycling
• Sketch out three drawings for show
• Complete drawing for show
• Drop off many bags of stuff at thrift store
• Drop off bags of clothes for sale at Children’s clothing store.
• Wrap some presents
• Bathe dogs
• Family movie night.

What are your plans for the day?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Phone Photo Friday: 12.8.17

Hey-oh it is Friday again!

Christmas season has descended upon our home.

The girls are all kinds of jazzed as kids are during this time of year.

They have written approximately a zillion lists, which is funny because they know they get something they want, need, will wear, will read.

They are also just into the spirit of the season. They both love the music, books, and giving spirit.

I am already starting to feel a bit claustrophobic with all of the decorations, but I am not being a humbug about it.

Watching the girls read together gives me loads of motherly feelings.

Such a clown. 

Daily drawing.

My parents say that this is my face. Ok...

Elise loves to snuggle.


She made herself a snow lounge chair.

She just went crazy.

This cat is back to her normal spirited self.
Of all of our animals she is the most hilarious and entertaining. We really had quite a scare with her several weeks back and are so thankful that she is back in action.

Oops. Forgot to take down the flamingo lights on he back patio!

Food face maker in training.

Always breaking dolls. I overheard Elise whisper to Cordelia,”Don’t even worry about it. You know they will just buy you a new and better one.” Ha ha, we didn’t. We are too cheap and it is super glue all the way.

Motherhood often means waiting in random public restrooms, laughing quietly to yourself as your child grunts in a stall.



Finishing up work for a show that opens next month.

Daily drawing.

Two pals sharing a space heater.

The key to getting my dad to smile in a photo is to first let him do the weird thing he is gonna do...

Then take the photo as he starts to laugh at himself, but 

take the photo before he laughs too hard.

Happy Friday! Yes 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Without Words

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


So Elise is at that fun age of questions. Cordelia has been in the stage for many years so I feel well prepared for round two of this phase. The questions are unending and forever fascinating! Here is a sample of some of the questions we have fielded in the past 12 hours.

1. What even are Christmas trees?

2. Do mummies poop?

3. Well, if they did poop what would it look like?

4. What are ashes?

5. What do cat and dog brains look like?

6. How are flowers made?

7.How are seeds made?

8. What is wind and air?

9. Can you paint a molecule?

10. How are dogs and cats made?

11. How is nature made?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Twenty Years!

Twenty years ago the fifth of December fell on a Friday. I remember that day well as it was the day that Eric and I became Eric and I.  Today marks twenty years since we became an official couple. 

Two decades together!

I cannot even put to words what a gift it has been to share my life with this amazing man. He is such a supportive, kind, honest and loving partner. He is truly my best friend and it has been my absolute joy to share this life with him. I am thankful today, on our wedding anniversary and every single day. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

It Snowed

Well I was expecting a skiff of snow, but we got a fairly significant pile up, or at least enough that I get compelled to shovel.

While the girls had a blast in the snow I worked to shovel the driveway and sidewalk.

Look at those pink cheeks.

So I shoveled our sidewalk.

Then I shoveled the neighbors’ sidewalk.

Then the neighbors on the other side.

Now my arms are jello.
The end.
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