Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Concert-ed Effort

Tomorrow's our big concert - nearly three solid hours of singing, drumming, and dancing. I hope the crowd joins in - the more the audience participates, the better we are.

I have a new microphone for this one. It's wireless, but a handheld rather than the headset kind - I keep blowing out the headset ones, and it's a real pain to lose my mic in the middle of a concert. I can still be heard ('cause you know I'm a big ol' loud mouth), but it strains my voice something fierce. This mic should afford me some of the opportunity to mingle with the audience while singing without any of the irritations and foibles of the headset. We'll see.

Today is T and the Evil Genius' second day alone together. It makes me a little nervous, leaving them alone, because T's idea of a vegetable is a potato chip because potatoes are a veg, right?? Also, it's buggin's chance if Bird'll have a bath while I'm gone, or brush his teeth, or even wear different clothing in the four days I'm away. He probably won't be sticky in more than a few places, anyway, and he'll probably have a fine time with his daddy.

Is it wrong that I'm having a fine time without them? Eh, whatever.

Wish us luck - it's very important that we not suck tomorrow night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We're Off...

...but then, you knew that.

Today, Mum and I are heading down to FPG. We're leaving early so we're not unloading and setting up in the afternoon or i the dark. We're looking forward to a nice time in Florida - the only plans we have are to get (we hope) matching tattoos and the band has two concerts to give over the weekend.

This weekend is Beltane, by the way - pop by on Friday for an entry concerning that holiday.

Meanwhile, I'll be home on Sunday, and I'm pre-posting some things for the days I'm gone, because for some reason they don't have Internet access in the Ocala National Forest. Unreasonable, I say.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do You Know the Kissing Wench, the Kissing Wench, the Kissing Wench...

...do you know the Kissing Wench, whose lips are scarlet red?

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, we have Kissing Wenches - three of them, actually - who wander the fair planting big, lipstick-y kisses on likely targets, usually at the urging of the person's companions/family. Their lipstick is vivid, to say the least, and liberally applied, and you can spot their victims from a distance, either by the lovely shade of crimson they're still blushing or the nearly indelible lip marks on their...anatomy.

The Wenches will kiss anyone, man, woman, or child, just about anywhere, and they work for tips. They're sweet, bawdy, and hilarious, especially when they have to chase a victim down...which happens quite often. Those Wenches are relentless, and I've never seen anyone outrun them, though the ladies wear full Renny garb.

One of the Wenches at the fair works around the area where our booth is planted, and she's friendly, funny, and smart. She's learning how to say "kiss" in many languages - so far she has Portuguese, Spanish, French, Japanese, Russian, and a few more I can't recall. It's only one word, or maybe a phrase, but it's terrific that she puts so much into it. She has lips all over her - lips for earrings, lips pinned to her bosom, lips on her mug, lips for a pendant...they cover her from head to toe, a sort of lip-y pox.

I read once that the Wenches have a guild. If they do, I am delighted. I am usually anti-union/guild (please don't hate me for that - I was raised in a home full of strong opinions and some of them stuck), but a Kissing Wench Guild? That's something the world needs more of!

If you attend a Ren Fest somewhere and you see a loud, gaily dressed, over-lipsticked woman wandering about and puckering up, cough up a buck and present a cheek - it's all in good fun!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Week, Another Mad Scramble to Get Things Done

I spent another weekend at the Ren Fest helping K sell her beautiful glass art.

On Friday evening, she let me play with some of her scraps and make a piece - it was fun, and if my family didn't insist on trifling things like eating regularly and clothing that fits, I could easily get into making fused glass, myself.

As I was playing ineptly with the scraps, looking for pieces that would fit the space I had available, she hovered behind me, watching and sipping her coffee. I remarked "I guess it's a good thing I'm using scraps, huh?" and she nearly choked. Heh. It turned out OK, and I am keeping it in my pocket as a sort of anti-worry stone. I may sneak into her house and play some more when she's not looking.

The weekend was slow. Slow, slow, slow. I had some fun verbal repartee with our across-the-walkway neighbors and some of the strolling players, played my flute and sang a little, and mostly tried not to melt into a blue puddle - it was hot!

Now I am frantically trying to get shirts sewn (I never even started them last week, and I have today to do them), bake, do laundry, make lists, pre-blog for the days I'll be gone, grocery shop, and pack for next weekend. I'm leaving on Wednesday for the Florida Pagan Gathering near Ocala, where my band is performing on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. They're an enthusiastic crowd, and I'm looking forward to the concert...although, it's more than two hours of singing, and I wonder if I'll have any voice left when we're done. Whew! I may get a new tattoo while there, as well. One of these days, I'll post pics of my tattoos...but not today.

I'd love to sit here and type all day, but I have to get my arse in gear...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sheep! Dogs! Sheep Dogs!

Behind our booth at the Ren Fest is the little grassy space where sheep-dog demonstrations are held three times a day. There are eight or nine sheep, and two fellows, one older, one younger, and they use voice, gesture, and whistle to tell the dogs what they want.

The dogs are border collies, and I adore them. They're so keen to go, they fairly vibrate with suppressed energy, and as soon as they're permitted to work the sheep, they snap into a focused state a Zen Master would envy.

The sheep are...well...sheep. Ruminants. They've eaten some of our silk ivy vines and they smell like...sheep. One of them is kinda cute, though - it's black and white, and I can't help wondering how its wool would spin up...grey? Variegated? I haven't had a chance to ask the shepherds, yet, but I plan to, if only because these are the questions that haunt me!

One of the dogs is fifteen years old. I don't know any human fifteen-year-olds who mind that well, do as they're asked with a grin (and a lolling tongue, but given the way kids these days pierce, maybe that's a good thing), and beg to be let to work more, more, c'mon, there's still some fight left in those sheep! You can tell he's an older dog when he runs - he favors one foot a little, but don't tell him you noticed, because he won't thank you for it - he wants to work! He's an old hand at this sheep business, and he radiates confidence in equal measure with his enthusiasm.

The second dog is, I think, seven or so...although I may be wrong. He's middle-aged, for a dog, anyway. He is still young enough to get up to a few tricks, but mostly he's steady on, intent on the job at hand. He doesn't just grin - I swear, he's laughing, although whether it's at us or the sheep I couldn't say. I suspect a bit of both. He knows what he's about, too, but he looks to his humans a bit more, making certain before he acts.

Then there's the puppy, a two-year-old that has better manners than most adults I know. He is sharp, anxious to please, and desperate to make those sheep mind their manners, sorry they ate your vines, ma'am, I won't let it happen again, mind the droppings there, thank you. He gets a little excited and forgets that there's a human in charge of things, but he's still a treat to watch.

I want to pet them all, frolic with them (but not in the sheep meadow, because I know what those sheep do in the meadow and I don't want to step in it, let alone frolic) and generally play with the beautiful dogs. I never had dogs when I had sheep because the sheep were largely penned and there were only four of them - not enough to qualify as a flock, really. I love dogs, and these fellows remind me of how much fun a canine can be.

Don't get excited, T, we're not getting a dog. Unless I can also have a dozen sheep or so...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Evil Genius Takes Being Green to a Whole New Place

Yes, it's real.
Yes, it's permanent (well - as permanent as this stuff gets, anyway, which means it'll wash out in six to eight weeks).

Yes, I am insane.
Most important - see how his shirt matches his hair? Awesome!
Oy, oy, oy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pele's Burn

I have so much to do today. Most of it's good, but I feel stressed. The twenty-four hours in one day are not enough just now, and I'm beginning to feel pulled in many directions at once.

By the end of the day I'll have driven for two hours for a three hour appointment that includes hauling the Evil Genius along...but he'll get his Mohawk haircut with green (I hope) tips that he wants, so I get to feel delighted and a wee overindulgent, too. Then two hours home. How I suffer for my art. Heh.

Y'all, my hair doesn't get blue on its own!

I will have baked bread, packed clothing for the weekend at the Ren Fest, written a grocery list and shopped. I will, hopeful, have mended my Ren costume where it needs a little love from the needle.

I will have tried, if not succeeded, in cutting and marking more sarongs to turn into shirts, although when I'm actually going tog et the sewing done is beyond me. Maybe Monday night? Tuesday night? I have no idea.

I will have pre-blogged some entries for the weekend and next week, because on the weekend I'm at the Ren Fest and on Wednesday I'm heading to Florida Pagan Gathering to perform and will not have a computer at either event.

Throughout all of this, I will be hauling around a curious sort of simmering anger/resentment/distress that is bubbling along under the surface, waiting for a chance to erupt.

I love Pele - how she flashes, dances, burns so bright, creates even as she destroys. I love her passion, that transforms even as it consumes.

I love that she has taken root in my soul, near Boadicea but not too near, across from Fand and Liban and Oshun - the fire Goddess near the water goddesses, the healing goddess, oddly comforting. Pele is one my family could understand, the burning one. We do fire well, as some of you have read before. But I also do water well. Contradictions abounding.

Love her though I may...I could wish that, just now, she could give the tempering of my life, my inner being, a break. I'm exhausted and blistered by her presence, and I think I need a rest.

Sorry...not much lyrical, today, not much funny or insightful...just me, trying to muddle through...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beautiful Lady, Beautiful Words

Hey, y'all - while I'm off at the gallery wasting time being artistic, go check out my friend Rachel - we've known each other in the Blue Nowhere for many years, and if we weren't cut from the same cloth, well...we were cut from complementary bolts, at least.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I See

I was driving home from a spate of errand running a few days ago and was struck by the beauty of the day.

I'm often struck by the world around me, and can often be heard mumbling "Oh, my..." and "Thank you for the beauty of this day...", even when it's raining, blowing, or otherwise "rotten" out.

I wondered if anyone else was sharing the moment, the awe, or if they were just driving, just seeing the road ahead and what they had to do at their destination, the radio tuner or the CD player, their phone or iPod or other distraction.

I saw cows in a rolling pasture, black, white, brown, grazing among the anthills that studded the ground, mounds of grains of earth laboriously borne from the heart of the hill to the surface, dark red clay making a measles effect on the bright green grass. Above, the sky was London blue topaz peaking through ragged holes torn in whipped marshmallow clouds, themselves swirling into impossible peaks, whorls of white and grey making great sweeps across the horizon. I saw flower petals driven by the wind, having leaped from their trees to ride the gale before coming to rest and pinking the earth.

Every day, I see an amazing confluence of light, motion, chaos, and color. I see a cloud and know what a wonder it is, how it couldn't exist without the perfect conditions of water, particulate matter, temperature, and atmosphere. How unlikely is that cloud, and what a delight to see it and know it. How awesome is the wind, that blows and blows and is proof that you don't have to see a thing to know it is there. How like gods, is the wind, unseen, but felt nonetheless.

To see a bird in flight is to watch the end result of an eternity of constant change, constant fine-tuning to make each feather fall just so, each muscle function in the perfect way to hold the wing, to know that the song it sings is its own, and that all the other birds have ears to hear and know who calls, and why, while we who should be so much more hear so much less.

To eat an orange is more than just to consume fruit. We eat the wind that caressed it from flower to fruit. We eat the sun that warmed it, soaked into, became an integral part of its sweet-tartness. We eat the moon and stars that dappled it with silver light, fallen as dew on midnight's blue linen wrap. We eat the earth that nourished it from bud to juice-swollen perfection, and we consume the rain that cooled its sun-fevered skin, covered it with light refracting jewels, soaked into the earth, the tree, gave it life in liquid form.

Wherever I go, I see a complex, beautiful place, filled with complex, beautiful beings.

What do you see, when you remember to look?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls...

...because is isn't tolling at all.

This morning, just as I was getting to the good part of the dream where the handsome, single, lonely Knight Errant was rescuing the fair maiden from fire breathing sheep...

I woke up.

Because my ears thought they heard the doorbell and wanted the rest of me up and running to answer the door, convinced that there would be a stranger with a winning lottery ticket just for me. Or something.

OK, not really, but there very well could have been someone from Terminix, and I can't afford to let them decide no one's home and they'll just reschedule for next year.

Last Friday, as I was bolting from the house, I noticed something - several somethings - several bazillion somethings, it look like - crawling up the wall. I know a termite hatch-out when I see one. I saw one.

We couldn't determine where they were coming from, except that it wasn't from up top of the wall...unless they're rare, magical, teleporting termites (and that would be my kind of luck) that don't need a hole to get through a wall. Down at the base of the wall was most likely, but there's a lot of...erm...stuff there, so we didn't check...it didn't really matter, because wherever they came from, they shouldn't be there.

We have a contract with Terminix to use those bait stations all around the house, so they have to come out and deal with the mess, and, should the little wood-munchers have done any sort of damage, Terminix is supposed to pay for the repairs. Yeah, hopefully there aren't any repairs to be made, but I won't be holding my breath that they'll actually honor that contract. Does anyone honor their contracts any more? My money is on "not bloody likely", but hope springs eternal.

So when I thought I heard the doorbell, I woke up...and wanted to go back to sleep, because up before eight? No, thank you, not when I wasn't in bed until after midnight and didn't sleep well at all. Then I remembered that Terminix is coming around, but not when they are coming around, and what if that was them and I didn't get up so they went away and then termites would eat my house up from the inside out and I'd wake up one day in a pile of wood dust and termite poo?? Eeek!

Of course, there was no one at the door. And of course, I wasn't going back to sleep. Sigh.

This isn't the first time I've woken to the sound of a ringing doorbell that hasn't rung, probab;y wno't be the last. Hurrah for auditory halucinations. I wonder why it happens...and I wish it would stop!

Stupid termites - I bet they did it so next time the bell rings I won't answer. It won't work, you little devils! Your days are numbered...soon, the bell will be tolling for you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Artist's Dilemma

Good morrow, good gentles...hack...cough...wheeze...

Pardon me, I seem to have some Renny Gabble stuck in my throat.

Whew, what a weekend!

We woke quite early on Saturday, hoping to arrive at the Fair with time to spare for fluffing the booth. What we didn't count on was the Georgia DOT choosing the opening weekend of the event to close the highway and reroute all traffic through the exit we needed to get to the fair.

An aside - Dear Georgia DOT - what the HELL?????


While we were still early enough to get everything sorted out and slip into our garb..

Another Aside - did y'all know I'm a talented woman? Yep - I can get undressed and re-dressed in public without ever showing more skin than when I'm fully clothed. Mad skillz, yo.

Where was I? Oh, right...so we got dressed, shot a few clandestine photos of the booth setup (cameras and cell phones are forbidden to vendors and players during fair hours), and were ready to go.

Saturday was gorgeous, a perfect day for opening an eight week festival, despite the traffic issues that were the talk of the fair-goers.

Another aside - Really, Georgia DOT, who does that? On the day a long running event opens its gates to the usually enormous crowd and funnels tens of thousands of people through the site, often in one day, who decides it's a good idea to close a four lane highway and force the traffic into two lanes and an exit ramp??

Right, back to the show. So we had literally thousands of people passing by, pausing to look at the shiny, shiny glass.

Without fearing accusations of exaggeration, I believe I can say that K had a good day.

Sunday started out with little rain showers, just enough to moisten the ground and keep fair-goers away in droves. It was...quiet. We still had some good sales, but it wasn't even half what we did on Saturday. Still, I think it was a decent opening weekend, and we managed to come up with a rainy-day setup that would suit if the weather turned really foul. We were a little crowded when the rain was falling, but did alright once it cleared. We're hoping it's the only rainy day at the fair.

We didn't walk the fair much, just visited a few of the vendors nearby and one quick trip to the Pirate's Ship to purchase the cutest wee little knives because I forgot to bring anything with which I could butter bread or cut sausage. D'oh!

The most difficult part of the weekend came around closing time on Saturday. K had a tough choice to make. You see, she's been wearing this piece...

...for several months, ever since she created it. It's one of her favorites. The central image is her own art, the line drawing turned into colorful prints, a t-shirt, one of the images in one of her coloring books, and of course, dichroic glass pendants and earrings. She was quite proud of the CZ she embedded above the goddess.

To say she loves this piece is to understate.

So of course, one of the thousands of people passing through admired it on K's neck and wanted to know if it was for sale, and if so, how much?

Herein lies the artist's dilemma. If one love a piece of one's own art, but one is in the business of selling one's art, what is one to do? In K's case, she named a price that would probably ensure that no one would buy the piece. The woman said she'd think about it and walked away. K was fairly certain the patron wouldn't be back.

Except, she did come back. Now K had to decide - would she really part with her beloved pendant? Was the money worth knowing that her favorite piece was no longer hers? Honestly, I've never seen her think so long or so hard about parting with one of her pieces...but she finally took it off, kissed it goodbye (literally - she kissed it several times), and handed it over. She consoled herself with the thought that she was making a tremendous profit on the materials and she could always go home and make one, if not exactly like it, then at least similar.

Overall, it was a fine weekend, and I'm looking forward to next weekend. Between now and then I need to repair my costume (it suffered a modicum of wear and wants a few well placed stitches), re-lace the bodice/vest so it's smaller (I've shrunk a wee since I first bought it, and it is now too big), and possibly find the funds for some new shoes (the boots are grand, but they slouch and are an effort to get into/out of) and maybe a new shift to wear with my other costume, and maybe a new blouse to wear with my skirt. First, though, I'll have to win the lottery - the way they price their costume pieces, I'm thinking the clothiers suffer from the artist's dilemma, too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Little Boy Logic

Scene: Three mothers, one toddler, one infant in front of the large house in the evening. Four little boys of varying ages playing 'round back, enjoying the flashlights they've just been provided. Two of the mothers are preparing to pack up and head home after an evening of grilling burgers, chatting, and occasionally telling the rowdy boys to play away from the cars.

There a thud and a cry from the back yard. One little boy commences to wail. His mother runs around the Sanford and Son style parking area that blocks access to the backyard, identifying the cry as coming from her boy.

The hostess follows.

The two mothers find one little boy crying disconsolately on the ground by the slide, one little boy endeavoring to look innocent, and a third little boy anxious to tell all.


EG: Little Man pushed Noodle off the play house!!
LM: ...
Noodle: Sob, snuffle, whimper, weep, wail...
M (Noodle's Mum): Let's see what's hurt (checking various body [arts for damage from toes to head) Just a bit of dirt...what happened? Did you fall from all the way up there??
Noodle: Yeah...snuffle, cry, weep...
EG: He was up there and he pushed him right off!
LM: He was standing on the railing and he shouldn't do that!
K (EG's Mum): So you pushed him off??
LM: ...
At this point, EG fetches LM's Mum, advising her on the way of what has occurred.
KW (LM's Mum): LM, what were you thinking??
LM: He was up on the railing, and he shouldn't be there!
KW: So you pushed him off?!?!?
LM: ...
KW: You're done - go get in your car seat.

KW and K compare notes and chuckle over how they had the exact same thoughts.

Meanwhile, M is trying very hard not to laugh, because Noodle is fine, just a bit dirty and bewildered and he's being unintentionally hilarious, KW is trying to sort out her son's logic, and K is just relieved that it wasn't her Evil Genius who did the pushing.

End scene.

Little boys...sigh...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Good Morrow or Some Junk

I am spending this weekend, and almost every weekend for the next two months, helping my friend K run her booth at the Ren Fest.

I'll be spouting gibberish like "Good morrow, m'lady, how fare thee today?" and "Zounds!" and "Prithee, my lord, remove thy tallywhacker from out my tankard" in a corny, false British or Irish or indeterminate Not American accent while selling her award-winning products that I don't want to name here in case the Ren Fest costume patrol happens to find this blog.

They are fierce about the costuming. I am worried I won't pass muster, but I am ready to argue my case if I must.

First, the Renaissance Festival is not a reflection of the Renaissance period, but more accurately a mixture of Dark Ages, Middle Ages, and a dash of Elizabethan/Regency Era romance novel thrown in for fun.

Second, the behavior, speech, and dress of participants is, at best, a characterization of the romanticized perception of these historical eras, and not at all an accurate reflection of the society, mores, and norms of the times.

Third, you may rightly argue that my blue hair is not "period" and so must be covered entirely lest some poor fair-goer be traumatized, demoralized, and jolted completely out of the illusion of having travelled back in time, but I will rightly argue right back that there was no such thing as polyester fabric, polyester thread, or most of the materials in your faux-period costume that you're so proud of, and if you want to more correctly reflect the eras of which you purport to be an expert, you might restrict your materials to wood, bone, wool, or linen - sorry, cotton wasn't really an option, back then. You could have silk or satin if you are nobility, but the ration of nobility to peasant at these fairs is already overblown. Also, you'll need more grease in your hair so it doesn't show under your wig, if you're lucky enough to have one, and you probably shouldn't bathe for the next six months or so, if you really want to be correct.

I could go on, but really? It's all in fun, and if they can remember that and keep off my back about the only head scarf I own that remotely matches my costume, and the slashed sleeves on my blouse don't do a very good job of covering my tattoos but I need time to fix that, and the knee-high leather boots that no woman would ever have worn, well...we'll get along fine.

Meanwhile, if you're going to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, come and find me - I'll buy you a fried pickle, because we know those just scream "Renaissance/Dark Ages/Middle Ages/Elizabethan/Regency" era.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bob Is Dead, Long Live Bob

Bob the Wonder Computer, as some of you may know, suffered some kind of computery stroke a while back - all of a sudden, he froze up, and when I got him unfrozen he was moving as slow as a politician keeping a promise. OK, maybe he wasn't that slow...

Any way, I managed to copy all my Word files (all my stories, songs, poems, stories, letters, documents, and stories) to disk and to a flash drive so I could keep pecking away at things on any computer, which is a good thing because if I'd lost them? You'd still be hearing the screams.

I also got my photographs onto disks, except for October of 2007 which said it copied successfully but then the disk came up blank...after, of course, poor T had begun wiping Bob's memory clean, so...sigh...bye-bye, photos of the spider climbing in the jack-o-lantern's eye, lovely dark silhouette against the orange, glowy light of candle and pumpkin. Bye-bye, photos of family carving the pumpkins that year. Bye-bye, pictures of Evil Genius in his dinosaur costume, trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.

Still, it could have been worse.

I was able to write on Bob, and even play a game or two, if I didn't mind incredible delays in booting up, opening files or moving between active programs. I could not, however, get online. Y'all, I need my Internet. I'm pretty sure there's a minimum daily requirement of vitamin I, without which I will shrivel up and die.

Something had to be don to poor Bob. Something drastic. Something had to be done or I was going to have to sell one of T's kidneys to the highest bidder and go get a new Wonder Computer...but I love Bob and am loathe to part with his geriatric self.

T, possibly fearing for his kidney, possibly because his lizard brain was tingling with that warning that people get when someone close to them is a breath away from running amok through the neighborhood with a sharp object and a crazed gleam in their eye, or possibly because he felt sorry for me and my beloved Bob, hatched a plan.

He wiped Bob clean, effectively killing him from the inside out, and reinstalled Windows.

He reinstalled Word.

He reinstalled AOL (don't start - I've had AOL since practically the beginning, with the same screen name all these years, and no matter how craptastic it can be sometimes, I love it and am not moving on until you pry it from my cold, lifeless hands).

Bob is back!! He's not the Bob I knew and loved, but he is some version of himself - at least for the next month, until Windows will shut itself down because I cannot register it (it's not pirated, bootlegged, or stolen - much like me, it's dysfunctional, cranky, and confused about its existence). Sometime between now and then. I need to find the money and spring for a new copy with a working registration key. Hmm...where's T with that kidney?

Lessons learned? Always back things up. Always check the backed up thing on another computer. Then check them again. Flash drives are easily portable and have as much or more memory to them as my entire Bob - I got an 8 gig one for less than ten bucks, and it's can clip to my key chain. Bob has a 20 gig memory. I'm not telling Bob about the flash drive - I don't want him to feel bad about himself. It's not the size of your hard drive...

Also keep a new version of Windows handy, because selling a kidney is harder than you think - eBay disapproves of that sort of auction.

Bob is dead, long live Bob.

Thanks, T. You done good.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Temporal Muddle

It's early, 'though not early enough - I should have written this last night before I went to bed, because I may be making myself late...but I seem to have gotten up before I went to bed, so perhaps it will be alright.

Have you ever done that?

Gotten up before you went to bed, I mean?

I should have gone to sleep much earlier than I did, knowing full well I'd be up much earlier than I was, but then I had things to do...just things...frittery things, tiny little time-gobblers that alone don't mean much but put together consume a feast of hours.

No gallery today - rather, I am headed for a long ride to a short (I hope) bit of work setting up K's Ren Fest booth. Over the next two months, I'll be spending the bulk of my weekend days there, helping run her booth and generally wreaking havoc in a (hopefully) musical, entertaining, happy sort of way. Or at least, a non-discordant, one shade better than boring, non-grumpy sort of way. It's good to have boundaries.

What time is it? Hmm...I'm still up before I've gone to sleep.

There is caffeine in my future. And a nap. Probably at the same time. Hey, if I can get up before I went to sleep, anything's possible.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It Must Chaff When He Swims

It started out innocently enough.

Before lights-out, I usually read Bird a book, maybe sing him a song or three. One night last week I made T do it - I was busy writing or something, and sometimes I need to enforce the idea that Daddy can do the good-night thing, too.

They read a book called Fish Story, an early reader book.

Next day, Bird wandered up, frowzy headed and still warm from sleep.

Me: G'mornin', my heart, did you sleep well?
Evil Genius: Yup I did. Mommy, guess what?
Me: Chicken butt.
EG: No, not chicken butt! Seriously, guess what?
Me: Seriously, little dude, chicken butt! (it's a game he plays with his father, and sometimes me)
EG: Mo-om-meee! Stop playing around! Guess what?
Me: OK, small-boy-whom-I-love-with-a-big-love...what?
EG: An octopus has eight testicles!
Me: Really? Eight of them? Imagine the athletic supporter...
EG: ...

Hey, it amused the Hell out of me, anyway.

Happy Birthday, Mommylady!

Today is Mum's birthday. She's old enough to know better and young enough not to care. Yes, Mum was born on Tax Day - but since I do my taxes in January, April 15'th is all her. It's easy to remember - it's when procrastinators walk around with a face like a cat's ass all day, but we're grinning.

I could tell you how old she is, but then I'd have to kill you. Also, she might disinherit me...and my whole retirement is depending on those Franklin Mint plates...

She used to be a human swizzle-stick, my Mum - skinny, skinny, skinny! I hear you in the peanut gallery, wondering what happened to me...my father's genes, that's what happened! Thank the gods she's finally got some meat on her bones - I was getting tired of fighting off hungry canines when we went out.

My Mum qualifies as a genuine, accept no substitutions, no artificial flavors, colors or attitudes, crusty old fart. I adore her.

Happy birthday, Mum.

*edit - Mum had officially requested I call her an "old bat" rather than an "old fart". OK, Mum - you're a crusty old bat and I still adore you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Live, We Laugh, We Dance, We Are Purple

I am alive. I breathe, I weep, I sing, I hold my son close and rejoice in his aliveness.

I dance. I dance in the rain, in the sun, beneath the moon; I spin, circling, circling, circling, dizzy, joyful, and throw wide my arms to embrace it...what it?...all of it, everything. I am a mote of dust, a mote of light, tossed into the wind, floating on a sunbeam. I open my mouth, and from me pours the music of the Universe, the music of Creation, the one note, the many notes, the Song.

We honor the dead by living. Certainly, there is sorrow to be borne. Certainly there are hard moments, hard days to endure...but we live, you and me, we are ineffably thrumming with our own vitality.

Today, I am wearing purple to honor a bright little light that winked out last week. Does it matter that I never met her, or her parents, or any of the scores of other people doing the same thing? Nope, not a whit.

Today, together, we live, we laugh, we dance, and we wear purple while her family says farewell.

Blessed be, little girl, sweet child, small wonder...I hope your journey around the spiral is swift, and the ones who knew and loved you will know and love you again when you return.

Reposted from last week

I don't know the Spohrs, not even a little...but I have read their blog from time to time, and I read many people who read them, and they were dealt a stunning blow yesterday...and this is all I can think of to show support, compassion, and love to a family that walked off the edge of a cliff without warning. If you have some time and a few bucks to spare, let them know you're out here in the Blue Nowhere, part of their community, part of their web.

Sweet dreams, baby girl.

Update - the Spohrs, like many people in this world today, did not expect to be seeing their daughter through the veil. They could use some help with funeral costs. If you know me you probably don't know them...but don't let that stop you. Even a dollar is a blessing to parents who weren't expecting to lay out a bunch of cash for something that is definitely NOT a first bicycle, summer camp, driving lessons, a prom dress, a wedding gown...so please go to:
http://babyonbored.blogspot.com/2009/04/if-youre-asking-yourself-what-can-i-do.html and look on the lower right part of the page for the Paypal link that says "For Maddie" with her darling picture on it, and donate what you can.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello, and Welcome to Monday

As waking goes, slowly rising from the benthic depths of swirling, shapeless dreams, bits of them clinging like mist, filmy scarves of imagination, color, imagery trailing behind the psyche, isn't a bad thing. Especially when one didn't sleep well at all - a combination of position, dreams, preoccupation with a number of concerns, promenading cats, and a general inability to get one's mind settled into the calm, unruffled composition of sleep.

I finally went deep shortly before dawn, stilling, relaxing, restless thoughts paused, cats curled around me, tails over noses, drifting.

I woke slowly this morning - the bedroom window is open to let in fresh air, sunlight, and birdsong. This morning, it let in damp air, rainy-grey light, and the desultory plop-plop-plop of a light rain.

It was a slow waking, a reluctant one, and could I have, I would have gone back to sleep, perhaps remained a-bed for the rest of the day. Alas, as my eyes cracked open and noted the time, my mind sprung into action, somehow freed of it's dreamy bonds.

Laundry...need to wash shirts, undies; Evil Genius needs clean clothing folded and put away. Hungry...can't make bacon and eggs for brekky, had that yesterday, what've I got that's healthy? How much do I weigh today? Need to update weight thingy at bottom of blog. Errands...need to buy claves like mine for PJ, pop in to grocery store to pick up dinner fixin's. Work...need to finish the other 28 shirts I'm sewing for PJ, hope none of them are shredded at the edge like that red one was, careless manufacture of sarongs, grrr. Need to write, but have to wait until everyone's in bed or it's too loud out there, and how do I get the character from point "a" to point "b" without boring the reader to sleep. Wish I could go to sleep again...don't want to face the day, the long, boring, pointless day wherein I once again get nothing done and take the whole day to do it.

All in a minute or less, plus a few random thoughts crammed in the corners.


Still. It was a nice way to wake, the hushing of the rain, the scent of it, the plipping and plopping of the trees, occasional bird making itself known because Spring will not be denied, cool air, cozy duvet and cats curled in contentment on their warm human.

One may hope the rest of the day will turn out so lovely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Last but not least...

Nope, nothing's sacred.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Catbit, the latest pet from GenSplice labs "Cute 'n' Fluffy" line. Two heads, one litter box - everyone's a winner! All the coolest Easter baskets will feature one of these little darlin's - order yours today!

Still my favorite!

In a more serious vein, if you celebrate this day, I hope you have a blessed one - the gift for which Christians celebrate Easter is worth remembering, and one to which pagans are not strangers, either (the greatest difference being that Pagans had many sacrificial kings where Christians have one sacrificed King).

In the midst of the chocolate, the eggs, the ham or lamb or the wild tofurkey, think on the tremendous love that a heart must bear for a man to give himself over to Jesus' fate. Think on that love as the foundation for what has grown into the church today - whatever I may think of Christianity and its dogma (and oh, boy, have I got some opinions about that), I haven't forgotten that the church is founded on the hope that the life of one man may be given over for the benefit of all men.

I wish you a blessed day, be it sacred to you or no.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blessed Be, Little One

I don't know the Spohrs, not even a little...but I have read their blog from time to time, and I read many people who read them, and they were dealt a stunning blow yesterday...and this is all I can think of to show support, compassion, and love to a family that walked off the edge of a cliff without warning. If you have some time and a few bucks to spare, let them know you're out here in the Blue Nowhere, part of their community, part of their web.

Sweet dreams, baby girl.

Update - the Spohrs, like many people in this world today, did not expect to be seeing their daughter through the veil. They could use some help with funeral costs. If you know me you probably don't know them...but don't let that stop you. Even a dollar is a blessing to parents who weren't expecting to lay out a bunch of cash for something that is definitely NOT a first bicycle, summer camp, driving lessons, a prom dress, a wedding gown...so please go to: http://babyonbored.blogspot.com/2009/04/if-youre-asking-yourself-what-can-i-do.html and look on the lower right part of the page for the Paypal link that says "For Maddie" with her darling picture on it, and donate what you can.

Dye Job

Monday, April 6, 2009

And the winners are...

...going to have to wait until the end of this post!

First, thank you to the four hearty souls who braved my First Ever Blog Contest. I am tickled you decided to play along...I'm no Pioneer Woman, giving away Kitchen Aid mixers and cameras and gift cards with thousands of responses in minutes, and having four people jump on in warmed the cockles of my heart!

So I posed the question "What the hell is that??" regarding this detail of a photo:

Would it help to see the whole thing? Here it is:

Still not certain? Here, maybe this will help:

Yep, Jellyfish. Mine was a dead one, though.

So - I think Rachel came closest with her guess of dead fish flesh (appetizing, Rachel!), so I'm awarding her first prize. Good job, Rachel!

Then it was a toss-up between Kit and Wild Cakes. I decided that Wild Cakes came closer than Kit (sorry, Kit), so once Rachel has finished the laborious process of choosing which piece of crap rare objet d'art she would like and both of you have e-mailed me your shipping addresses, I'll mail off the prizes. Michelle and Kit, I'll cook you a fish dinner as a booby prize, if you like!

Thanks again for playing, y'all - next time, the prize will be something I've made, but first I have to make it!

Mini Eggs

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I was lifting Bird out of the van earlier this week because the sedative they gave him at the dentist wiped him out. He was limp, soft, and damp like kids are, you know, like fresh flowers or a peach that's been in the mist, not unpleasant, just...you know...a kid.

He leaned into me, murmured, nestled his head against my shoulder, legs dangling down. His hair tickled my nose, his breath was warm on my neck. My arms were full of him, full of my heart, my best good thing.

I wondered. When did he grow so big? When did he reach the size that I couldn't carry anything but him? When did my baby, ten and one-quarter pounds, become this little boy? When did he become to big for me to carry cross-ways, cuddled up to my heart? When did he grow so long that his feet nearly brush the ground when I pick him up, tangling in my legs when he forgets to wrap them around?

He has almost grown to the point I can't carry him, any more. When will that day come? I will have to become stronger, hold it off a little while longer.

You never know what you've got...

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Word From Bird

Mommy's working at the track today. Gramlin is staying with me because I can't go to the track yet, at least not without someone to watch out for me because I'm still a little small to be wandering in the pits by myself, but I really like it there and sometimes the drivers let me sit in their race cars, but this weekend is motorcycles and I'm not supposed to sit on those, but I did sit on one once a few years ago when I was little.

So Mommy won't be blogging much this weekend, except maybe some pictures, because she's in the tower running track communications which makes her tired and her hair gets all frazzly but she still smiles when she comes home and I give her hugs and kisses and she tells me all about the races and if anyone wrecked and how the workers rescued him.

She talks to Daddy about Pit Bunnies, but when I ask her what they are, she just tells me I'm too young. I don't know why a bunny can be in the pits and I can't - they're way smaller than me.
Uh-oh, I have to go - I'm not supposed to be on the computer this early, Mommy and Gramlin say it will rot my brain. Bye!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Small Story

There in the field where houses once stood surrounded by palisades and earthworks and men dressed for war...

Where the tramp of marching feet made a refrain for the verses of clanging, hammering, shouts, laughter, children, and a thousand other tiny notes that made the cacophony of the day...

There in the place where a baker once baked, scent of bread rich and heady in the morning air, mingling with smoke and damp and the slightly sour smell of bodies living close by, unwashed...

Where hope and despair once dwelt hand in hand, where once the promise of a better life in a new land shone bright as a new penny despite hunger, fear, and uncertainty...

There, where people lived, worked, loved, and looked to a better tomorrow...

There, nothing remains...but a tiny flower begs to be noticed, to remind that Nature is, was, and will be in residence, even when the walls have fallen and only ghosts remain to bring a chill to the curious living who traipse through the grid of forgotten streets, wander across once-was boundaries, wonder about they who lived here, before returning to the air conditioning, refrigeration, electric light, modern world...

Never realizing that they are dreaming the same dreams, hoping the same hopes, fearing the same fears, passed from generation to generation like an unseen heirloom...

All while the tiny flowers bloom, and bloom, and bloom, unconcerned save for our careless steps.