Saturday, June 30, 2012

The List

I've been seeing these awesome lists in the blogging world.  Sort of like a bucket list, I see them as "get off your butt and do something" lists.  They make a person get up and get themselves out of their comfort zone, and that can only be a useful thing.  

Inspired, I stole from a bunch of lists and made my own collection.  It's a mish-mash of being in service and fulfilling some festering crafty-type needs.  I'm pretty proud of it.  For a few of the items I'm going to be reaching out and requesting your support, but I'll let you in on that later.  

So I think I'll give myself two months to obliterate this bad boy (possibly with the exception of the art-show and book).  I'll blog about each one as it gets crossed off "The List".  GAME ON!

  1. Publish a magazine
  2. Sell my art at a street fair-style event
  3. Begin my volunteer journey (The Animal Place and Wild Things)
  4. Sew my daughter a dress 
  5. Throw a themed party
  6. Run a half marathon in 3 hours or less (Disneyland, in September!)
  7. Leave a note for a stranger
  8. Submit a piece of writing for publication
  9. Bake a tray of goodies for the local fire department
  10. Make cards for a local nursing home
  11. Purge T.V. for a week
  12. Write thank-you notes to people who serve me: postman, garbage guy, etc.
  13. Give all our old shoes to "Reuse-a-Shoe"
  14. Visit the NICU with treats for the doctors and tired/anxious parents
  15. Write/collect 100 letters for military service people and send them off:
  16. Smile at everyone all day- write about it
  17. Make a no-sew fleece blanket
  18. Leave presents anonymously on 10 doorsteps (flowers, notes, artwork, etc.)
  19. Put up 10 "Take What You Need" signs
  20. Write a toddler friendly vegan kids book (there seem to only be older-kid books with too much sadness in them)
And here's a little sweetness to round it out:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day of Awe

Today left me in awe.

Let's start out at the farmer's market.  Saturday mornings always do.
I could hyperventilate- there's so much good stuff.  Cherries are overflowing from baskets, there's deep red and light yellow with a kiss of red.  There are peaches and nectarines in piles on table tops, Ro is anxiously touching them all because she recently discovered how good they are.  I bought golden beets and red beets, carrots and thai basil.  I loaded up on brilliant red strawberries and got a bag full of mushrooms as well.  That's not all: broccoli, garlic naan and some indian eggplant spread, squash and a few flowers made it back into my house as well.
Oh man, that's a happy fridge!

Then my wee-one and I headed out to a wedding.  Upon arriving we were overwhelmed with crowds, it turns out the wedding was taking place in the midst of the Western States 100 Mile Run.  At that point the runners had already been running for eighty miles.  EIGHTY MILES!!!  Holy crap.  These people were cruising along at a faster pace than if I were running my standard 3.3 mile loop, show offs.  I mean really, this is an incredible feat!  I can't even wrap my brain around it.  Just amazing.

Fast forward to the wedding: my daughter is running around with the other little ones, waiting for the ceremony to begin.  She approaches a girl who is smaller than her, bends to be face-to-face, puts each of her hands on the girls shoulders gently, barely, and says in a most loving soft voice, "What's your name?".  I could have cried.  Who is this kind, gentle child?  How she come to be under my care?  What did I do to deserve this toddler who is so amazing?  She completely blows me away every day.  I was stunned to see her stop running like a wild banshee and take a soft moment to include this other little girl.  I was SO very proud.  I wanted to get everyone's attention and point it out, to show them this little beam of bright, awesome light.  Gosh, dang it I just couldn't be more in love with her.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sweet summer sunshine

Life is so exciting in the summer!  Outdoor activities are available around the clock and that means less possibility for screen time- yay!

We're stocking up on vitamin D lately by getting our swim lessons on,

taking weekly hikes with friends, 

losing the poundage by running (sorry, no picture of my sweaty awesomeness), attending festivals, 

playing with cousins, 

and other general liveliness. 

I know summer's only just begun, but I'm really digging it.  We've finished one round of swim lessons, the outdoor family movie nights have started back up (so far: Lion King and Cars), I'm actively training for a half marathon at Disneyland (in September) and my friend Alice and I get together weekly with our girls (they are 3 months apart in age) to hike and wander the wilderness.  Not to mention the weekly farmer's market on Saturday mornings where we get a Grandma Debi fix and where the past few weeks have been gearing up for an outrageously delicious fruit season.  I cannot wait to see what's available tomorrow morning!  

On another note, who replaced my kiddo with a 5 year old?  She's been saying the craziest things lately.  Some cute and some disturbing.  Like today when she told me to "shut up", like it was no big deal.  I can assure you that this language is not used in our house, and yet here it is, smacking me in the face as it flies out of her precious little mouth.  

Last week she told me matter-of-factly that she is pregnant.  

Yesterday, in the tub, she asked, "What's this?".  I told her, "It's where you go pee-pee from".  She asked Ethan, "Daddy do you have one like this?".  And then she asked me.  Oh, man- that came out of left field.  Who knew body-parts talk came at age two?  Not me.  Although, I don't really know when I expected it.

Lately, when E and I are using a "tone" with each other she is a firm request that we, "be nice to each other" and then follows it up with a, "Mommy, talk to Daddy".  Well played kid, well played.

She's nearly got the "Hakuna Mata" song down, it's really the only part of The Lion King that stuck in her brain (thankfully; you ever notice how dark that movie is?) and it's available to watch on youtube so....that's what we do.  I bet you can imagine how stinkin' cute it is to hear a toddler voice say, "It's a problem free, philosophy".  Yeah, it's cute.

She's obsessed with helping in the (tiniest) kitchen and I love it.  Most of the time.  

Yay summer!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I got to hang with an old friend (an oldie, but a goodie) for a bit yesterday.  He came by to purchase a piece of my art and it just so happened to be lunch time, so he stayed and chatted.

It was through chatting that I got a bit closer to the heart of why I'm so uncomfortable putting a price tag on my work.  Or even calling the paintings I do, "my work" for that matter.

We all identify with certain labels in our life.  I, for example, call myself a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, cook, vegan, runner, hiker, writer, reader...I think you get the idea.  I feel like I can own those labels, rock them, if you will.

I see a person who sells their art and has their art on display as an artist.  Up until a week ago I did neither of those things.  So clearly, I wasn't an artist.  I kept my creations in the high shelf of my closet, not entirely sure why I was amassing them but sure that I wanted to continue making yet another.  A few weeks ago I was pretty proud of a painting I had done, I posted it on facebook (eek!) and the compliments came rolling in.  Not only that, but talk of selling the dang thing were swirling and I was a bit in shock.

Imaginary conversations like, "Oh, no-no-no-no-no.  You don't understand, I not an artist" where the person would reply, "Oh, I see.  Thank you for telling me!  I'll be on my way" would happen and I'd be relieved that I hadn't perpetrated a fraud on some poor confused soul.

As a result of my conversation yesterday, I realized that it's not up to me what art is to someone else.  Nothing special has to happen to a person for them to be an artist.  The space I put up between myself and "artists" is just that- an empty, meaningless (except I gave it meaning) space.

Consider that space gone.

Artists don't get dressed up to go to they?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Ever feel like your head is gonna explode because your kid has asked you the same question seven times in one minute even though you've answered her each time in a different way (just in case there was something about the previous way that she didn't get), and she is still asking with a sweet, innocent, honest little face?

That's me.