Tuesday, April 28, 2009

trillium woes

This little beauty has tried her best but for the second consecutive year, Sophie has trampled her. Sunday night I found her snapped at the base before she even had a chance to bloom. So I brought her in to enjoy the single bloom. This might be the last year she even has a chance. Trillium plants are damaged easily by picking (or trampling) and it is illegal to pick them in many states and Canada for that reason. They only produce the three leaves below the flower and those are the solar power plants for the entire plant.

The trillium is often consider symbolic of the Holy Trinity but is also a symbol used by midwives (although I can’t remember why). My midwife Krystn had one tattooed on her upper arm and our red trillium bloomed the day Jude was born. I knew it would. Well, actually I thought the white one would, but it waited to honor her when she came back for my post delivery visit.

I’m looking into willow edging like this one to keep Sophie out of the area. It’s probably too low to make a difference, but it would look really nice.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

shibui washi

John just delivered this amazing table to a lucky person in Pittsburgh this weekend. I’m calling the piece shibui washi because it reminds me of an eagle. It is huge and has a counterpart that can be linked with it to accommodate larger dining parties. The table itself was made from two consecutive slices from the same walnut tree that are book-matched and joined in the center to create mirror images (or eyes and a beak as it appears in this case).

He came back with a check and a cold which we all have now. This morning while everyone was nursing their colds, I sat outside in the balmy weather enjoying my tea and watching the flurry of bird activity that was happening creekside. I didn’t see any eagles but I did see a heron, ducks, and lots of songbirds. We had a pair of eagles hanging out along our stretch of the creek while John was working on the table. Their energy went into that table and the table will offer incredible gifts of patience, power, and vision to its new owner.

“From the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger, all animals are to be found in men and each of them exists in some man, sometimes several at the time. Animals are nothing but the portrayal of our virtues and vices made manifest to our eyes, the visible reflections of our souls. God displays them to us to give us food for thought.” ~Victor Hugo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

bowing down to T. rex

Every morning I try to wake up early so I have time to pray, meditate and read. It doesn’t always happen, but when I do manage to it does make a difference in my day. One of the prayers I do in the morning is a body prayer.

One morning I was doing my prayer and it was still dark, but I noticed there was something on the floor in front of me. It was Jude’s 10” tall Tyrannosaurus rex and his beady eyes were staring right at me. I was caught in this moment of being deep in prayer and at the same time wanting to laugh at the ridiculousness of trying to do that in midst of the chaos that is my house.

Two days ago I sat at the kitchen table reading before any one was up. I usually read the Bible and other spiritual texts. There he was again on the table looking at me. And again I chuckled at the thought of this dinosaur showing up when I am trying my best to be mindful and connected to the Divine.

The next day, I noticed T. rex on the kitchen counter looking in the sink at the dirty dishes as if to shame me into doing them. And I had a moment of insight that this is exactly what mindfulness is all about. It is not hiding away from the world and its messiness. It is facing it head on taking it in with all it has to offer regardless of what that is…dish after dish, toy after toy, breathe after breathe. It is a kind of mommy mindfulness I suppose.

The prayer…
“I step into the embrace of the Beloved (step forward) to receive and to give (cup hands at heart and extend them forward). I put behind me all egotistically thoughts and worldly concerns (move open hands to either side of your head). I open my heart (hands over heart) with thanksgiving and praise (extend arms up). I surrender to You (bow at waist), now and always (bow with head to floor), at one (kneel up on knees) with You (head back to floor).”

Oops...this is what happens when T. rex spends too much time hanging out at the sink...

“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.” ~Zen proverb

Monday, April 20, 2009

a week

On Sunday, I remarked to a couple of different people that it was hard to believe the past week was only 7 days long. There was so much packed into that week. A lot of fun, a lot of cleaning, a lot of cooking, a lot of cake decorating, and some good weather just at the right times. Here are some highlights...

I also wanted to mention that I finally switched over to flickr. If you like to look at other peoples pictures like me and want to see more pics from the last week or if you are my mother, here is my photostream. I created 4 sets: chasing bubbles, easter, jude's birthday, and jude's birthday party about 200 shots of 3 year old happiness in total.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

making a room

I'm in a major nesting frenzy today trying to create a playroom out of a 8 x 8 area of our frontroom.  I think what I am trying to accomplish is about as easy as this...

which I very much appreciate for both the art and the music.

More on Jude's birthday to come...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter

Today was absolutely gorgeous as Easter should be.  

We had a lot of fun dying eggs last night... 

And at the last minute I decided to make Jude an Easter basket from a fulled sweater.  It turned out very floppy, but Jude didn't seem to mind and it did the job.  I think I would have used interfacing next time on both the wool and the lining fabric which was very thin.  The handle took forever because I tried to turn it, ended up tearing some holes in it when my patience ran out and I resorted to tweezers.  I patched the holes by needle felting a small piece of the sweater onto the openings.  

This morning before church we searched for the eggs the Easter bunny hid at Mimi's house.  Jude thoroughly enjoyed this activity.  When he found one he would turn around and hold it up for us to see.  Then he would place each one gently into his floppy basket.  
Hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did!

"Let every man and woman count himself immortal.  Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection.  Let him say not merely, 'Christ is risen,' but 'I shall rise.'"  ~Phillips Brooks

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

actually, tires go around...

Jude has been saying things like...
Cookie monster is actually blue. 
Actually, corn grows. 
Most tanker trucks actually have ladders.

So that is where the title for this post comes from.  Jude didn't actually say it, but it sounds like something he would say and it pretty much sums up what has been happening around here.  So my unexpected spring break from posting isn't from lack of things to share...just no time to share them. 

We traveled down to Philadelphia at the end of March for the Philadelphia furniture show.  John's work was well received.  And we sold two pieces off the floor so that was encouraging and a much needed source of income!  Jude and I had a great time exploring the city.  I felt like we were on a great city adventure trying to find our destinations and parking spaces for our big Sprinter van.  On the one hand driving the van in the city is fun because people respect a big vehicle like that in the city.  And you sit up high so you have a great view of things.  But when it comes to parallel parking with limited windows to look out...well, I guess you can figure it isn't the easiest thing to do.

We hunted down Trader Joe's, Wholefoods, the Institute of Natural Sciences, and spent the day at Ikea.  Jude helped me pay attention to all the lights by playing a "Go dog, go...Stop dog, stop" game.   And we played shape searchers when we were walking down the big city streets.  So much fun to have in the city...

The following weekend I got news that my aunt had some surgery done and was in a lot of pain.  So I offered to come help her out for a few days.  Her significant other had to return to work Monday and work long hours this week and she really wasn't supposed to be alone.  John insisted that my tires needed to be rotated before I left.  In the process of rotating them, he discovered a bolt in one.  That might have left me stranded on the side of the highway somewhere.    Since it was Sunday, there wasn't really anywhere to get the tire fixed.  So we tried to find my brother in law to see if we could borrow his van.  In the process we ended up calling  my sister in law who just happens to have the same car as me and the same tires.  She graciously loaned me a wheel and drove on her temporary tire for a day so I could make the trip to Ohio with Jude safely.  (thanks Linda!!!)  When, John was getting the wheel off her car he discovered that her rear tires were down to the cords.  So lots of tires being swaped, changed, replaced.  

While we were in Ohio, Jude and I got out for a walk one day when it was nice.  We were walking on macadam walking trail.  Jude, noticing orange plastic bars sticking up out of the middle of the road said, "That's silly.  How is a car going to drive through here with those sticks sticking out of it?"  And I replied, "Actually, this is  a sidewalk.  Cars don't actually drive on it."  As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized where all those actuallys were really coming from.