Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Backyard Love

Cucumbers from the Garden

Going into my backyard this morning put me in a major funk.  I feel like I worked so hard this year getting everything together and working hard to make it look nice and keep the weeds down.  Did the vegetable garden with bush beans, cucumbers, peppers and eggplant.  The herb border garden was looking good and well tended.  The pool was up and functional.  We even acquired a sandbox from Philly Freecycle.
Then the pool got a whole.  It got extremely hot here in Philly.  The weeds threatened to overwhelm.  The neighbors soaked the sandbox with their sprinkler.  I lost all my clothes pins.  We haven't mowed.
So, when I got out there this morning, there were no pins to hang the laundry.....and my very pregnant self just cried.  All that work for naught.  The yard was strewn with toys, weeds and bugs.  It made me want to weep.
Chris was the first to take action.  He picked the ripe cucumbers and brought them inside.  I promptly began cutting.  He started to fill the pool.  I began making myself a clothes pin holder.  Then we weeded.  I cut back the creeping vines and later mowed.  And the kids are happy again.
There is still much to catch up on, but I am feeling the love again.
Clothes Pin Holder
and yes, we do have a windmill in the backyard.  It squeeks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Women with Children

I was going through photographs yesterday and felt inspired to put together some images of women with babies and children. Specifically mothers and grandmothers, but not limited too. Here are some that I choose. I am not quite sure what I want to do with them yet....but I felt really inspired....and realized how much these images made me happy....






little pig, little pig

I had some much appreciated and greatly needed time off this weekend, where I did a whole lot of nothing...it was splendid. But, I did manage to paint this little piggy bank that has been with me forever. Nate has now claimed use of it, which makes me smile. My Mom received this as a gift for her baby shower when she was pregnant with me all those years ago.
Saturday morning I was feeling the itch to paint and I thought, what a great little muse. This piece will be included in the Keys' Family Art Show which will be taking place on Saturday, August 28th at our humble abode. More info to follow......
Also spent Saturday evening down by the Wissahickon Creek dining at the Valley Green Inn with my Mom, Aunt and Melanie.
It was a late dinner and dusk faded to night. A bit spooky but also wonderful...the food was great and the atmosphere just what I needed.
Photograph circa 2006

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So I have finally reached a knitting goal....after many years of knowing how to knit and purl....I faced my fears and went digging for a beginners knitting pattern for a hat. Using 4 needles (some useful online videos teaching me how to cast on to said needles) I managed to clumsily make my way through knitting a beanie hat for a toddler. In the photo my very sloppy first attempt hides behind my latest most colorful version of the same hat. I learned much from this dip into the unknown. First, just keep knitting. It doesn't have to be right the first time, but if you make your way through, you'll have a better handle on it the next time. Second, I hate while using the double ended needles stitches slide off and boom your dropping them....I need those cork things. Third, following a pattern wasn't as hard as I lead myself to believe.
So on with knitting. I think I have done 5 so far and am working on the sixth. Its quite relaxing....and I feel so accomplished.
Next attempt are mittens, only after I fill some hat orders for the winter. Nate and Milo have both requested this hat in black wool with green stripes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Found the camera again, the real one...
and then even charged the battery.
and without ado, corners of my home.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Long Beach Island, a poem for Old Sh*t Fridays

4 o'clock
high tide
lugging big while buckets to the beach
fishing's better off of the surf
smelling sea salt on the air
white dunes looming
beach becoming smaller, smaller
Daddy's fishes larger, larger
Mommy sits on the flowered sheet
rubbing Ban de Soliel on her fair skin
I sit
waiting for the ocean to come
& grab me
I walk to the surf
and feel the smooth sand pull on my feet
feel the ocean moving me in
feel the tides
shifting me out to sea...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Photo Picks of the Day

Milo and I choose some photos to share with you today. The first one is of an albino snake found in some crazy little animal park that we stumbled upon between Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island, Maine. Milo says he likes its colors.
The second two photos are snaps from 2004 when Milo was a wee one snuggled in the sling. We went to a music fest on the Western Promenade in Portland & met up with our friends Josh and Michael. We were fortunate enough that fine evening to make a new friend, Oakie, the Oakhurst Acorn. Oakhurst is a local Maine Dairy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a poem, finished

So I had been working on this poem for quite a few years, since 2003, the fall before Milo was born. I was pregnant, living in Maine and had just formed this fantastic and vibrant writers group. We kept up through the winter and then a few of us ladies stayed in contact and kept on having writing group until I moved back here to Philly. But that time, while I was gestating, proved very fertile and I planted the seeds for this poem, Prague Flood August 2002.
This spring I was lucky enough to head back to Maine and attended a writers retreat sponsored by the Wife of Bath. It was fantastic and one of those lovely ladies who I wrote with all those years ago, attended the retreat. I workshopped that poem and finally feel like I have finished...I have never struggled with a poem like I have with this one.
The Wife of Bath was having a summer issue about travel and I submitted this poem. Chris even submitted a postcard he cooked up, that if I ask him nice maybe he will let me post here...
but this summer issue is not to be. The Wife has bigger fish to fry and hopefully will be back soon with the literary mag.
So without further hoopla, fanfare and the like, here it is.

Prague Flood, August 2007

3 nights, after the rain
the Vltava has not receeded
flooding its ancient banks
and low lying neighborhoods
houses unloose their bricks
elder trees, set free from the sodden ground
tumble into the river
the flooded Zoo has emancipated its animals,
seals rolling in the current
trying to hide beneath the shadowy walls
of the stone bridges

we creep cautiously
through the dark evacuated old town
roaming alleys
using our hands as guides
on the damp and crumbling walls

once familiar passages
have become blocked by hulking shadows
dark looming figures in our paths
I trip twice and stumble
feeling the wetness of the furniture
tossed out from the depths
of watery cellar graves

in the absence of light
sounds come louder and closer
the sloshing of water
a far off siren wailing
than quiet
the brush of a large body into stone
an elephant's feet crushing wood
a furl,
flute light on the air
than running footsteps
shouts I cannot understand
and my own breath
coming faster
seeking refuge
amongst the dark and steeped city

& in our hast
we are looking for that secret place
where we've heard the fiddle call
it is known for its beer
which miraculously still springs forth
from golden fonts
the smell of smoke and food is growing near
as we stumble & search & hope
& deep within Stare Mesto
lit by candles & propane the door beckons
here the people are among the broken chairs
but the floor is dry
& the music plays
& we have found asylum
for our rain weary souls.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The McMichael Park Flea Market

In early June, we are treated by the East Falls McMichael Park flea market....these are some snaps from that day. This year, as excited as ever I found some serious treasures that I haven't photographed, yet....but here are some from my wanderings that day. Plus a busking musician.