Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Grove/9 Years.

This is Grandma Patty's Grove. The Little Girls asked all day to come here, they love to play in this old, pioneer, forest cemetery. And I like to think somehow my Mom can see them, hear their giggles and voices, watch them play tag around the plot barrier and hold Goo's hand when he starts to wanders off. Something special is happening here, something sacred to our family. We brought sparklers today to light with my Mom. It was cold and beautiful.
My Mom was killed in a car accident. Hmm...this is something I never say aloud and not because I know it makes the listener uncomfortable or instantly sorry but because unless the listener has experienced the despair of a sudden trauma like this, there really isn't any point. I am not interested in anyone feeling sorry for me, just someone who understands. And so after my Mom died, I relied most upon the words of friends who had lost their parents this same way. Tamber, Faith, Bato and Mike. And I want to thank anyone who was in close proximity to me at that time (Tim, Jennifer, Michelle, Andy, Leilani, Nancy... my students). I know it was ugly. Yuck...I hate to think about that time. But the most comforting words spoken by anyone in the days after her death were from a total stranger, a man who was building the house next door to my parent's house. He rang the doorbell in the early morning of January 1st. When we answered the door he took off his hat and folded it in his hands, looked up with a quivering chin and said, "I am so fucking sorry." Those words have meant a lot to me these last 9 years. They define the magnitude of the tragedy of her death, the reality of which cannot be explained here.
Also, I just want to say a public thank you to Margaret and Gordon (Tim's parents). Every year on this day they send me flowers. This lovely remembrance plus their beautiful words about my Mom are a bright spot on a cold, dark day. Thank you M&G for your love and remembering her.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Three Houses... very special Christmas.
Our House/Christmas morning.
The Ranch/Christmas mid-day.
Tim's Parents/Chrismas afternoon-night.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas.

Dear Honey Hutters,
Merry Christmas. Sending you warm wishes of holiday cheer. While this is the happiest time of year in many hearts and homes, I know it is the hardest and saddest time for many as well. Wherever you are at mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually I wish you peace.
Fondly and with Much Love,

Thursday, December 20, 2012


A friend asked me if she could buy a few bow bracelets. I told her I wasn't really selling them but I could show her how to make them or just give her some extras I had made up (after all, the flattery is payment enough). She told me she isn't crafty and wouldn't feel comfortable not paying for them. And so here I am figuring out how to price these little sweeties...any ideas?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lost and Found.

Do you know what this is?

It's a Christmas miracle. I lost these earrings 3 years ago, I have searched high, low and everywhere else. I always keep my eye out for them and hope they will magically appear in an unchecked coat pocket. Yesterday I was cleaning out an old bag I had up in my closet. As I opened it I actually thought, "wouldn't it be great if I found my disk earrings in this bag, HA!" I pulled out a couple bobbi pins from one pocket and scooped out another pocket with these lovelies. I sat there gobsmacked for several moments then did a very jubilant happy dance. I don't loose things often (well, my temper frequently but otherwise...) so these treasures left me haunted.

Speaking of haunted, a little story...
In fifth grade, Jesse Melnick was new to my school. His grandparents took him out of public school and put him in private school after his mom committed suicide. I think he had a younger sister, no dad that I was aware of. He, Damon, Gina and I were good friends and I remember him speaking lovingly of his mom in the comfort of our small group. We "dated" for four days in sixth grade when he gave me a bracelet of his mom's to wear until we "broke up". I felt awkward and sad when he gave me the bracelet and gave it right back to him after the long weekend of our "relationship". He and Damon left in seventh grade but we kept in contact and ran into each other here and there.
When I was sixteen, I had stayed late at a youth group party and when I arrived home, my parents were furious because they couldn't get a hold of me/I broke curfew. They were carrying on in frustration/anger while I just stood in the living room not at all surprised but confused at their exaggerated reaction. After I got my lecture, they told me they were more concerned about my being on the road/away from them because Damon's mom had called while I was out to tell me Jesse had been killed in a car accident.
I remember Jesse's funeral very clearly; going by myself, sitting on the soft velvet pew, the chapel smelling like Pine Sol and a faint musky smell I didn't like at all, teenagers weeping, making eye contact with Gina and loosing it myself, Jesse's sad grandparents holding hands, the warm afternoon at the cemetery and Jesse being buried on a hill under a tree from which wind chimes sang softly in the breeze (by the way, wind chimes in a cemetery=super creepy) and leaving the burial feeling so desperately sad.
My sister Shannon and her family recently moved into a new house in a new town about 45 minutes from where we grew up. There is a shed out back where a previous owner abandoned random belongings. My nephew Dawson was rummaging through/cleaning it out and found a little old treasure box. Inside he found this: Jesse's ID card. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

This was my view all weekend.
Watching My Littles closely, snuggling them when they needed a hug and when I needed a hug. Like yours, my heart is broken for the families and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School. May we all cherish our children more, each other more. For life is so very precious.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Tonight is the Book N Hooker's (my book/knitting club's) Christmas Party. Each member is to bring a little hand-made gift for everyone. After many hours of freaking out, I decided to go with a project I've never done before (risky). I made leather bow bracelets. I've always been a little shy of working with leather but this project is so easy, I think I'll have The Little Girls make one for each other for their stockings. I used this as my guide.
When I saw this, I knew these little Christmas houses would be a fun way to wrap the bracelets. (I colored them to look like the Doors of Dublin!) 
I can't wait to see what hand-made gifts the other ladies come up with and I'm a bit nervous/excited as this is my first Book Club Christmas party.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Sick Bed.

When Savannah was 2 years-old we started the tradition of "The Sick Pillow". The Sick Pillow is really just an old soft flannel pillowcase I used to slip over Savannah's pillow in case she threw up. Since then whenever she has a bad tummy ache, cold or flu-bug she asks for The Sick Pillow. She had a fever yesterday and terrible stomache too. The Sick Pillow wasn't going to cut it. So I pulled out The Sick Bed, where I could better snuggle her by the fire. And since I kept her home from school, My Littles and I stayed on The Sick Bed all day. We crawled out about an hour before the sun went down and went outside for some fresh air, but once the sun was down we were snuggled up under the flannel sheets-all four of us. I had to take The Sick Bed down this morning (Savannah is feeling much better), it is a cozy-trap and so inviting next to the warm fire--I'll never get anything done.

Monday, December 10, 2012


My Littles and I went to picked out our Christmas tree at The Ranch's neighboring ranch. The whole deal from unloading to hunt to sawing to loading up took 10 minutes. Savannah led the excursion, she is very efficient. 
The Littles decorated the following morning, we've only broken 3 ornaments so far (grrrr....). Goo is all saucer-eyes while playing with The Polar Express, mostly the engine is tucked under his arm as he marches around the house looking for someone to set it properly on the tracks for him.
Best tree yet.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Do you want to see what is in day seven's box for My Littles?

They are going to love it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cursing Time.

Do you want to know a secret?
I live in fear...
of the moment The Little Girls don't want to be like me.
of the moment they think my dancing around the house looks silly or embarrassing.
of the moment they don't want me to do their hair.
of the moment they don't want to snuggle with me.
of the moment they shrug away from me when I give them a hug or worse yet offer me a cheek to kiss instead of lips.
of the moment they don't want me to walk them to their classroom.
of the moment they take someone else's advice over mine.
of the moment The Little Girls would rather tell a friend what happened at school than share their day with me.
of the moment in a future argument when one of them yells, "I HATE YOU."
of the moment when they don't care what I think.
of the moment they feel self-conscious of their bodies or personalities.
of the moment they see themselves through the eyes of someone who will break their hearts instead of the way I see them.
of Little Girls grown up.
I live in fear of time. (Chronophobia.)
Why can't they stay little forever?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Laying Low.

This week is Spirit Week at Savannah's school.
Here is mustache day:

The Goo is sick, so so sick. Today will be just like yesterday (without the anxious Dr. visit), snuggling by the fire, snuggling on the couch, a close cuddle every time I pick Goo up. I hate to see him feeling so miserable, but I kind of LOVE all the extra snuggling. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Calendar.

The last few years my go-to Advent Calendar has been of the Trader Joe or World Market variety. You know, the ones with the little daily chocolates. We start off consistent but mid-December forget about them and I end up either letting The Little Girls scarf down chocolates to catch up or I magic the whole thing away to the trash out of annoyance. I want something decorative and more permanent, a display all three Littles can enjoy now and in the future. I was thrilled when I came across Jordan's creation and decided to make my own version for my mantel. I love how Jordan does a simple beautiful forest but I wanted to use some woodland animals as toppers. The Littles love their sweet furry faces and Goo is crazy for the VW Beetle.

Day one: a ticket to take photos with Santa!
Day two: Chocolate Coins!
(If you are planning to make this, get your boxes here!)