Bean took me by the Kindness Trading Wall in Tacoma the other evening where love awaits to conk someone over the head. It was found among many other painted rocks- some humorous, some clever, the slightly novice mixed in with the more well crafted, and all an example of participation and effort. The bold pink underline rang out to me like a command: LOVE. So simple, just not always easy. Gonna keep trying, and you should too. ♦
Returned home from celebrating my mom just a bit ago. Full up on Italian food! Here she is in one of my favorite pics of her with a short knobby-kneed tot of a tyke I still see in the mirror from time to time. My mom faithfully tells me just how much she loves and is proud of me, looks on the bright side continually, and never puts any pressure on me to be anyone other than myself. Thanks, Mom! ♦
Faced the day anew from the vantage point of the couch this morning. I’ve been holed up in my room sick as a bog (yes, bog, those things are foul) in bed for much of the week. Sleeping, dreaming, a hibernation of restoration.
Wish I could say all those hours down and out at least went to the art of reading, but no. The last time I really got immersed in a story was well over a year ago with Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. Hmm, this photo visually recalls another. Yeah, the stack of books near my bed is outta control. Sometimes wish I had a second life where all I did was take in knowledge in every form that could then be USBed into my mind for this one.
Bringing old friends with me as I return to the land of food and sustenance today. Eggs, sourdough, marmalade, hot sauce. This is one of those live photos that captures a few seconds of sound and movement along with the image on an iPhone, and it’s really too bad that the frothing spitting sizzle of the browning butter crisping the edges of my eggs doesn’t translate to this page because, golly! A worthy little event to witness. And on the heels of nourishment? Audio visual needs met- finally gonna watch Hard Lovin’ Woman in a moment, a short documentary about Juliette Lewis. She’s crazy wonderful- her + a stage + all that manic energy = electric!
2016, I still love you, despite your harsh dealings with us, the people of this world. Defiantly declaring life is good, and will do so forever more. The camper on a ferry ride last year told me so.
Now, if I could just get a ton of snow for about three days straight past the point of this pretty frost nonsense. Thanks, 2017. ♦
A little love from my tree to yours, along with one of the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. Or so says Buddy the Elf, but with no talk of the savory goodness of garlic in those categories, we may need to regroup. ♦
It was the afternoon of Button’s baby shower, and over two dozen attendees decided to alight upon my front door at the same time. Were they all sitting out in their vehicles, only to see one person head in and then- stampede! I believe so, more or less. I only wish I’d had everyone pause for a quick pic as I opened the door- all huddled on the porch flowing down the stairs and spilling onto the landing below. Quite the sight!
Had a small hiccup to start- nothing big, just a standard power outage. Or two, *cough*, three. Yeah, two new coffee urns, I’m lookin’ at YOU. I had most every light and appliance on in the place (my usual, when entertaining), and had just hit “start” on the coffee and hot water before opening the door to guests. When one aunt immediately ran for the bathroom and a (not Bean) pregnant lady nabbed the other, their combined light switching caused all the power to promptly cut out.
Thank goodness Bean went to town on the switch box to correct the problem, but not before it continued to trip as no one, i.e., me, had addressed the urn snafu just yet. I’d quickly returned to the kitchen where I was practically up to my elbows in meat, having roasted and shredded a near ton of pork to marinate for mini sliders aplenty and had grossly underestimated the time to build them all despite having a nifty assembly line process in place. Drat to you, NOT pre-sliced rolls. Next time I’ll read the package better, AND not fail to test any new coffee urns and the like. All of course, after I’ve grown two more arms and can transcend the need for sleep. Used to be really good at that last one, but I currently try for midnight (heavy on the ish) to 7 a.m. (more ish).
There was much, much more where this came from
In keeping with the wedding theme, style and colors
So some twenty minute hullabaloo passed by in completing the buffet prep while people got to mingling about with beverages in hand. Got the whole thing back on track and great fun was had! The group games were especially hilarious, one pitting three teams of people against each other in a relay to diaper a dolly blindfolded. At one point, my Dad was neck and neck with my Mom (my parents have made amends and we spend our holidays together in recent years with no animosity, because God is good) and good-natured jokes flew out about ex-spouses this and older folks that and they gave as good as they got, but both still caused their teams to lose big time! (This portion of the tale brought to you by team 1, the winners.)
Because Cadbury tastes like chocolate and Hershey’s doesn’t so sayeth our Brits
Chew on this
Would anyone like a peanut?
It being a coed shindig, a few wussy men chose to stay home, while the majority attended with their counterparts, totally missing out because they were hung up on the term “shower” rather than viewing it as a party, as it was.
a few of many more details
And at parties, there’s cake, of which I’d ordered two- a chocolate one and a good one – white with double lemon filling. I have a thing with cakes for some reason- it doesn’t matter if I order it early or late, in person or on the phone, at a chez fou bakery or a grocery- THEY GET IT WRONG. Always. For years. It’s both comical and disappointing at the same time. This cake ordering task is usually passed to someone else because of this now fact, not just common cowinky. So I shoulda known. There was a big ol’ mix up at the bakery with one of the cakes, but they managed a work around that was actually better than the original order and >>> FREE <<< on top of it because of the mistake. I KNOW to look under the hood and the pizza box aaand the cake box when picking up an order, but I believed the manager when she said she’d checked the replacement cake in the back before bringing it out.
I got home around 11 p.m. and was set to add all sorts of candy buttons I’d bought to customize it. I open the box and the lavender accosts my eyes. One, I’m happy it’s a cake! Coulda been a pie. Perhaps a cream puff. But that’s not the color we’d discussed, they’re now closed and there’s no time nor other person to drive back the next day to fix this no matter how I reason it out. I decide to scrape all the buttercream off, recolor it, refrost, button it up and call it a night. So I did. Thought I’d get around to a follow up photo the next day when the full spread was out, but as shared, time and power had other things in mind.
Naturally, in the journey from there to here, this brings me to Africa. Met for dinner with a friend several weeks back and she shared a story about their eldest preteen daughter discovering ways she can help the parts of the world in need, by volunteering in her immediate community as well as outside of it. This discovery led her family to decide on a trip to Africa for two weeks at the end of Mayish to help put a roof on a church and to work with the youth there on the coast of Kenya where ISIS attempts to recruit from the younger population.
Later that night, I received a text from her following up on this, that and the other that had been discussed over dinner. She ends the message with an “Oh, BTW” kinda thing, stating that I’m welcome to join them on the trip if I’d like. I stopped reading- I’m immediately ponderous, joyous, conflicted, and torn. I reread the message and see that I hadn’t even finished it- she had written on to say that she’d found a ticket online and she’d pay half for me. Because of course she would, that’s how she is. But I know that I won’t go, so I write back how very much I’d like, no, absolutely love to go, and the reason for not.
That precious perfectly perfect reason was born this last Saturday night, May 28th, around 10 p.m. just shy of her mommy’s birthday- my Bean, of course- on Sunday, May 29th.
These two people in a photo from many years ago now, are the proud and exhausted parents of Edie. Edith Quinn, that is, intended to be called Edie, the newest “It” girl in town. Edith, a harsh unforgiving name, to my ears at least, is balanced so nicely by the succinct “Quinn.” Named for a number of characters in recent films and such, including Despicable Me, Downton Abbey and Crimson Peak. Now I must rewatch Grey Gardens again. Bean and Shane shared a short list of name possibilities months ago and intended for the name to be announced at her birth, but …
We were out late ordering breakfast at an ungodly hour after a trek to Grapeview, WA for my Dad’s brother’s 50th wedding anniversary. Tired, Bean calls Button by her actual name in mentioning the crib construction to Shane. He gives her a look and I pretend I didn’t hear anything, trying to determine if this is her way of telling me early. She says the name again and Shane’s face tells me this wasn’t intended. It takes her a moment to clue in, but when she does, she admonishes her brain on baby repeatedly, not believing she’s slipped. We kept right on calling her Button though, and still do!
Bean’s birth experience, the overview:
1 Hours go by, contractions occur, dilation proceeds and Bean barely talks, breathing, breathing, breathing, tense and rigid focusing on the ceiling.
2 Reaches magical dilation number and receives epidural. Continually wonders aloud how women manage a birth without an epidural having had a taste of the pain.
3 Births her daughter and then proceeds to brag like a warrior queen about how well she did. And she did! Did it quite fast when it came time to push and that epidural didn’t seem to be doing much considering the noises she made (though I’m sure it staved off a whole heap’s worth of more pain). Her incentive was to keep their birthdays separate.
In new daddyhood, Shane only left the hospital room to grab the occasional cuppa tea. He remains in awe of the female body to power through all it does in producing a most lovely munchkin. A lightweight when it comes to blood or maybe just grisly situations- he left the movie theatre and puked when we saw the arm cutting scene in 127 Hours– he relayed the story of cutting the umbilical cord and watching the entire birthing process rather than just standing up near Bean’s side as planned originally.
A birthing room favorite- just in case anyone’s clueless about why everyone’s there, the sound of the baby’s heartbeat is broadcast prominently from a monitoring machine, chugging away in a white noise of underwater warbliness.
Felt it flood in and expand filling with a sense of warmth, culminating in incredulous wonder.
I’ve been concerned as of late wondering when love would take up residence in my heart for the new little life on the way. I was surprised to find that it had not, having expected that it’d be that “just built-in love” with family that I’ve always known. When not built in, I always feel care build whether gradually or quickly, and boom!- one day I wake up and I love another person. It’s just there, and took only my recognizing it for it to be so. As I held Edie this past weekend though, I actually felt love grow. In the moment! Felt it flood in and expand filling with a sense of warmth, culminating in incredulous wonder.
Button has gobs of dark hair much like Bean did as a baby, and is in fact, much cuter than any old button. I like to give voice to her little baby movements- a twitch here, a small flail there- like the folks from Mystery Science Theater 3000 with a running commentary, but making Bean laugh is a no-no at present as she’s on the mend and laughing hurts. Hurts! So not fair, how can I control myself … I’ve had some wonderments, like why the heck don’t see-thru diapers exist? It’s been a number of years since I’ve had diaper duty, and a helpful little plastic window placed just so as to ascertain whether a deposit’s been made seems doable. (If a diaper is the lone wardrobe selection for some munchkins, please purchase the windowless kind.)
Lastly, in arriving here from there, a reminder of Grandpa found its way to the hospital room in the form of a rubber pillow meant for spacing the legs. The staff call it a Minion, but no sir, that, is a peanut. ♦
She’s not yellow like a Simpson, just super glowy lighting
Finding art and beauty in everything lately. Threw Bean and Shane a co-ed shower for Button a while back and during clean up some of the leftovers mingled together in a pleasing menagerie of texture and composition. I dig the rather garish colors as well. Pickles, rocket, croutons, and candy of cotton.
Then at the store, these hearts nearly leapt out at me, with a call to join their army of love. Fall in line!
And this walk- nothing oddly unusual, just nature wearing its glory au naturel.
A pause before entrance.
Spent some time in O Canada last summer where I stopped in at Miniature World. The carnivalian (gettin’ wordy with words) circus scene was an absolute favorite. It employed sooo many little figurines of people and I wondered how many folks set them all up- just one? They aren’t willy-nilly- they’re all in an interaction or have a place to be. No red noses though. I’m partial to the guy at the far right walking out of frame, the way the lower half of his coat’s taken flight. The scene sprawls for many feet beyond the photo filled with replicas of all the classic rides found in such places. Push a button and the lights dim causing everything to glow in the dark under black lights.
Oh, yes, and there’s this dandy as well.
In things with a bit less beauty, I had to take part of my car dash apart recently in the hopes of installing a new flasher relay, no blinkers = no darn good. Took me less than five minutes to remove the two screws and swap the thing out. Success! Even learned what the heck torx 20 screws were and that they allowed me to finally use the star tip bits in the screwdriver kit. It then took me no less than a stinking (pee-yew) half an hour to get the darned things back in place. At any rate, I can now flash people freely again, and we’re all better for it.
Gosh, three days after a trip through the car wash and nothing to show for it according to the photo here.
It would appear that I’m still evil as someone felt they must brand my little car on the passenger’s side door. They must know it’s best spelled with an “A” as well. Most of the time it doesn’t display itself quite so prominently, and with the circle not etched in as deep, I’m merely marked as though with a scarlet letter. (In other things anarchy, Bender’s lines continually repeat in my mind as I write.)
Those are stars in my ears, uh, eyes. ♦
I’m tired and need some rest so naturally, it’s time to start a movie. These things don’t watch themselves, you know. Undead children in foreign lands. Wahoo.
Nearly time for fatherly festivities too- much still to do, but I’m reeling it in, bringing it home, wrapping it up, and moving it along. In mere hours my aunt will be down from Alaska where she relocated last year to be close to her daughter and grandchildren. She now has a moose that resides in her backyard. I’m stowing her away as a surprise guest for my dad’s party. Air bed’s been set up at the flip of a switch. Too bad I couldn’t flip-switch those sheets as well. Ugaroo.
Lunch today, this thing of green was total yum. As were a hoard of daisies in bloom along the greenbelt thick with wildlife mere feet from the toy company’s front doors. Classic flowers had me thinking classic thoughts: the power some can hold over the heart, one little thing and it soars, another, it utterly deflates. ‘Tis good to feel so deeply. ♦