Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Not for Sale



Yesterday I mentioned that we had gone garage sale shopping over the weekend. We didn't find anything we were looking for, though the girls were given some ridiculous freebies, but it is fun to get out and look around at sales so we do it a couple of times a year.

While we were out at a sale I was wandering through rows of furniture with the girls when a total stranger asked me,"How much for the lady in the hat?" 

I was the lady in the hat.

He was with someone I know and he had seen us talking. I had been kind of joking with my acquaintance and this guy probably felt comfortable chiming in. I am certain he meant no real harm, but still...

I gave him a look and said,"Uh, not for sale." Then I hightailed it from him with the girls in tow.

Cordelia whispered to me,"Mommy why does that man want to buy you?" She asked because we had recently had some random conversation, after a history lesson, about how in certain parts of the world the men think they own women. I had assured her that we live in a country that does not allow for such a thing. 

I mean, what do I say to that?! The weirdest part is that has happened to me before, many times. It is always awkward men a generation or more advanced in years than I am. I am sure it has never occurred to them that they are being totally disgusting and creepy---but they are! It makes me uncomfortable.

I am from a generation who, for the longest time, did not feel comfortable calling themselves feminist. I remember a time, maybe around 14 when I spoke up for equal treatment and then demurred and said,"Not like I am a feminist or something." 

You know what? I am a feminist! I believe women are entitled to the full spectrum of equal rights. I want that for my daughters. I do not want them to be quietly polite when men ask to buy them in a joking manner. I want them to speak up for themselves and their treatment. I want them to feel safe and confident that they will not be harmed or low grade threatened by men.

I understand that this weird stranger probably just put his foot in his mouth, heaven knows I am guilty of that, but it has happened to me so many times. Seriously, what is that all about? It is not funny. It is not OK it makes me, and now my daughters, feel uncomfortable. 

So I thought I would put a positive spin on this and use it as an opportunity. I wonder what I should have said to this man? Obviously he probably has never even considered that he is creeping people out with that behavior, but I also don't want to let people talk to me that way---I do not want to quietly accept creepers, but I also do not want to tear into them for being thoughtless. 

In the end I used it as an opportunity to talk to my girls about how we treat others, about how it is important to get away from people who make you feel uncomfortable. So it was a good learning experience and I have been thinking a lot about it since.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Garage Sale Story


This weekend I took the girls garage sailing. We returned with lots of new stuff. Apparently little girls are just handed random odds and end at a garage sale. Their haul included this weird glitter jumper, two stuffed animals, a red purse, and a cheetah bracelet.

That is all I have got today.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Quote: Under the Weight of flowers

Lilac branches are bowed under the weight of flowers: blooming is hard, and the most important thing is--to bloom.
~ Yevgeny Zamyatin


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Confessions: Snack Attack



Once I made a snack of ground up crackers and mustard. #noregrets

Once I made a snack of shredded cheese (pre veganism) and pickle juice.

My go to highschool snack was mini pizza with m&ms and ranch dressing. Yes, I do want to veganize this unhealthy concoction.

I loooove to eat cold spaghetti, pre mixed with sauce, in front of the fridge.

Eric and I sometimes make pizzarritos when we are feeling snacky. Tortilla, Daiya cheese, leftover spaghetti sauce, olives and whatever toppings you have. Wrap. Heat. Eat.

Sometimes my mom surprises us with a case of the only vegan ramen we can eat. A very guilty pleasure.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Phone Photo Friday: 5.27.16

I will find an art gallery or museum anywhere. Here I am at a strange gallery I found tucked away at Denver International Airport. I wandered as I waited for my friend Toni.

A photo from our Airbnb. Low quality as it was mostly just to send to Eric to prove that our Airbnb hostess had not abducted us. 

In case you were wondering how Eric and the girls did without me...

It was basically the best weekend of their lives. Eric decided to just make some rad father/daughter memories and had a yes weekend full of surprises and fun activities.

They explored.

They had snack picnics 

They ate popsicles in their tent in the backyard.

This

They went to a bunch of parks I am told.

And had an amazing time with their father.

I mean look at those kids.

They are deep into a happy childhood.

Eric also took them out to dinner.

I went out to eat too.

Last Saturday morning I had some time to sketch.

Eric started his day by taking the girls to Jump Craze. It is as insane as it sounds.

The girls had a blast.

Full steam ahead.

Ha!

Meanwhile I was having vegan donuts with this beauty.

Toni and I also happened to find the longest stemmed dandelion ever grown. I killed it for a photo op. Who knows how tall it might have grown?

Back to Eric and our little ladies.

After Jump Craze it was time for a quick hike and a picnic at the waterfall.

Look how happy those girls are!

Meanwhile at the Botanic Gardens.

Toni and I wandered around all afternoon. 

We stopped to paint.

Sketching.

Toni and me.

Downtown Denver

I made it home Sunday evening and the rest of the week has been business as usual.

Elise and my mother.

Lucy

My dad and the girls.

Chalk drawing

Chalk drawing. 

Sketching with my mister

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spring

My neighbors probably think I am crazy! I just spent the better part of half an hour creeping around my front yard. I was talking flowers with Cordelia, but we really got into it. We hunched and sniffed and felt all of the flowers. We stood staring at the three blossoms on our poor apple tree (it was damaged by severe weather and we are desperately hoping she returns to her former glory). We felt the dew wet grass.


We sat in the sun for a few vitamin D making minutes.


We talked about how beautiful the seasons are.


We rubbed the velvety lambs ear.


We avoided the Virginia creeper, which can cause a painful burning sensation. Good thing it is everywhere...


We enjoyed the moment and it was good.


I hope spring is treating you well.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today



Today we have no plans to leave the house...or well our property. We will probably spend much of the day in the yard.

Right now the girls are making menus and playing restaurant and eating tons of fruit. I am cool with that. 

Today is a slow day. I have papers to grade, there will be homeschool, but it will all get done at a leisurely pace.

The beds are stripped. The laundry is rumbling along. The sunlight is filtering through the windows. Animals are lounging in patches of light. The girls are in pajamas. I may be in my pajamas too. I have some coffee and I am about ready to work.

I plan to clean and organize and sort and maybe make some chalk drawings with the girls later. I have goals, but no specific deadlines or limitations. It is going to be a nice day.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Music for People Big and Small


My dear friend Andy Mason, whom I have mentioned here more times than I can count, has recently released an album! Music for People Big and Small is his newest release and it perfectly captures Andy as a musician. He has long split his work between adult music and music for kids. He excels in both arenas so it only makes sense that he should marry the two for his many fans who are both big and small. 

We have been blasting his music in the car and our whole family knows and loves his music. Eric and I have had front row seats to his career for the past 16+ years and it has been such a gift to watch his music and career grow. He has always had a raw talent that is truly astounding. I mean his voice...it is just amazing. Honestly I don't really know how to describe it---soft, strong, smooth, kind (yes a voice can sound kind), beautiful. On top of his golden pipes he is an amazing song writer, guitarist and performer. 

This album showcases his abilities with amazing production value and the accompaniment of many talented musicians, including his oldest daughter (he and wife Anne recently welcomed their newest family member, Juniper) Kew who wrote a tearjerker of a song for Lennon, Andy and Anne's 11/2 year old son.

I urge you to check out Andy and his music! Seriously, just do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

http://www.andymasonmusic.org

Monday, May 23, 2016

Denveganfriendunion

I'm baaaaaack from an insane weekend in Denver. Let me give you the rundown.

My friend Toni and I have not seen each other for 17 years, almost to the day. We last saw each other in May 1999 at highschool graduation. We both moved and lost touch. Last year or so we found each other online and picked up right where we left off, without missing a beat. Honestly it is crazy how similar we are: vegan artist nature lovers! 

We decided to meet up and make a little mini-vacation out of our get together. We named our adventure Denveganfriendunion. So Friday morning I left my family for my first ever solo weekend. I drove down to Denver and met Toni at the airport. 

In case you were wondering if it was weird to meet up with a friend after nearly 20 years I can tell you, at least in this instance, it was not weird at all! We just kinda did a quick catch up and then picked up where we left off. Conversation flowed and was very natural. It was easy and lovely.

We did something new and rented an Airbnb apartment. Neither of us had done such a thing before, but we were game. We checked in with a free spirited 20 something and our place was nice and clean and comfortable. 

We got settled and then we headed to our massage appointment. Toni treated me to my first EVER massage. It was luxe! Seriously I felt so awkward at first, but then I told myself to just enjoy and I settled in for an amazing time!

So look, I know this is a blurry photo in weird light, but it is hilarious! This was me after my first ever massage. This was the business, let me tell you! It was a luxury experience like no other. It was more than a simple massage...there was a spa and steam room and relaxation chamber and insane showers and champagne and plush robes. I have never ever ever done such a thing and it was beyond
 amazing.

After our experience at the spa...and we took our sweet time...we were starving. We went to Watercourse and ate a fantastic dinner. We had marinated tofu lettuce wraps with a delicious dipping sauce. For dinner I had a curry plate that was the bees knees and Toni enjoyed a macro plate. 

We returned to our Airbnb and talked until it was time to sleep. We were both totally exhausted!

The next morning I had planned to sleep in, but it was not in the cards for me. Insomnia came on vacation and I was up before six. I quietly made some coffee and enjoyed some solo time sketching in the morning light.

When we were ready to head out we grabbed brunch at Beet Box Bakery and Cafe.

We ate gluten free vegan donuts. I know that you are probably thinking that they tasted like sawdust and cardboard, but you would be so very wrong!

The donuts were so so delicious. My one regret is not going back for a box to take home with me.

Seriously. They were so good that we had to have our photos taken with them. Trust me it was totally natural, and not awkward at all, to stand at the wall looking cute with donuts while a stranger took our photos.

After brunch we went to the Denver Botanic Gardens and wandered around for the rest of the day.

It was so magical and beautiful there and we are both nature lovers so we simply enjoyed. It was such a lovely break from the intensity of the city.

We stopped a few times to sketch.

It was so delightful!

When we were done at the gardens it was time to grab some dinner. We headed downtown and found our way to City O City.

We enjoyed each other's conversation and some delicious food.

I mean look at these Korean tacos! Ahh! Get in my belly!

We hit up a cute hip store downtown where I purchased a giant air plant and some geodes for the girls.

We had planned to hit up the museum after dinner, but ended up cruising around and having some tea and conversation before bed.

The next morning we cleared out of our place, grabbed some grub at Watercourse and it was time to take Toni to the airport.

I had such a lovely weekend. I returned home to my family, whom I missed a great deal. I am so thankful for a great friend and a beautiful weekend!





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