Thursday, April 29, 2010

Celebrating Poetry Today

No surprise here, my friend Hafiz just whispered in my ear, "Enjoy!"

Some Fill With Each Good Rain

There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that.

In one well
You have just a few precious cups of water,

That "love" is literally something of yourself,
It can grow as slow as a diamond
If it is lost.

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a 

Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife

Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

There are different wells within us.
Some fill with each good rain,

Others are far, far too deep
For that.


I love you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Beginning, thank goodness!

Here is a new little friend whom I found a couple of days ago, on a sunny afternoon, after an emotional melt-down.  She will bring beauty and fragrance to my summer.  This is what I call good planning, and health-care.

I wanted to show you my toddler tomatoes, but since the ever-fabulous blogger-business has decided to change how one downloads photos, and it took me a little brain-bending to figure it all out (somewhat), the Purple Cherokee seedlings are somewhere else (not here).

Look carefully, and you will see my clown, the male Oriole, way up there.  They have been working on a nest on the far side of this tree, which before the leaves emerged, looked like a wad of trash tied in the topmost branches.  I hope they line it with Labrador hair, as there is plenty of it around.

Yes.  Apple blossoms:  Make me smile, think pie.

I cannot help myself, I must photograph the eggs.  How perfect can something be?  Perfect examples of possibles, from cakes to chicks.

A few short days after this photo, the Wisteria is busy making leaves.  The rain has sent the petals into the puddles. On this day, last Sunday, it was warm and the bees were buried in the blossoms.  All was abuzz and fragrant.

And here is N2's #1 Grand Baby!  He had his introduction to the Northern, Out-of-the-City family and friends, and here he is having a moment in Grand Mother's arms.  Look at those paws!

I have not had an easy couple of weeks.  While the season has changed, shedding the leafless garb of winter for the flamboyant, colorful and beguiling wardrobe of wildflowers, leaves and Orioles, I have felt out-of-the-loop, sad, demolished.

Fortunately, a tiny pin-prick of wisdom has held forth "this is temporary."  I believe this.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A spring day, unsettled somewhat

There's more to a cake than meets the eye.   LC

Outside the clouds pile up, the sun disappears, the wind goes blustery and occasionally there are outbursts of rain.  It is beautiful.  I am painting (as you can see), and while I am thinking about that painting, I made a cake from scratch.  It is my version of Bonnie Butter Cake (1974 Betty Crocker), with brandy (I have no vanilla) and walnuts.  The icing is (more)Butter Lemon.  The cake is too warm for the frosting, so it is piling up, somewhat, at the edges.  I may move it later, back to the middle.  For now, I confess, I ate the corner and I am so glad that that is done, and I can go back to the studio.  Next time I eat, I promise, it will be some healthy hot soup.

You know, there was a time, when Wayne was a tree trimmer, that I made some variation of this cake every day.  It came out of the oven just before the school bus stopped at the side of the house.  Right about then, Wayne and his brother, and now and then a worker, would coincidently arrive.  The kitchen filled up with swarming children(all girls!), backpacks, chatter, bickering and whining, laughter and a couple of kids from across the street.  The 'fridge door would be jerked open, out came the milk.  Plates clattered, and the silverware drawer would be crashed open, forks flew out on to the table.  Chairs scraped the floor.  Then the back door would open again, and in came the tree trimmers, with a waft of fir or oak or brush-pile smoke ahead of them.  Wayne's brother would have a beer in hand to wash his cake down, sometimes he brought me one.  Usually I had a fresh cup of coffee, so I'd put the beer into the 'fridge and he'd drink it the next day.

Inside of fifteen minutes an entire cake would be gone.

Oh how could I forget the baby boy?  When 'the sisters' arrived, for whom he had been waiting in great anticipation at the window with Punkin-the-long-haired-orange cat, he'd squeal with delight and drop to all fours and plow into the kitchen to meet head-on the incoming crowd.

This is my present-day Little Man.  Well.  Not so little, but the name fits him.  Emerson is dealing with this rainy day in typical Labbie fashion.  I know there is a glimmer of hope that some one (me) will take him to the Lake one of these days.  Little does he know how bone-tired I have been.  I am grateful for this day to catch up some on tiny bits of housework, to make a meal for tonight, to work in my studio.  I am most grateful that I feel so upright!  Alive!  Nothing hurts, and I am coughing very little.  Shhhhh (whispering here), I AM RETURNING TO THE LIVING!!!!!  I just don't want Emerson to know quite yet, understand?  Isn't he handsome and cute?

This is my elixir:  It is a fresh lemon, sliced, a couple of broad-leafed sage leaves, and fresh ginger, sliced.  After letting it steep, I pour a cup and add a generous teaspoon of honey.  I have been drinking this by the gallon, seriously.  Guess what else I discovered:  pour this(cooled) into about 1/2 bottle of Pellegrino and voila!  Limoncello!

And this is my present day Tree Trimmer.  Actually, he is a chiropractor, but he still loves that saw.  I scold him if I think that he is trimming too much (hahaha!), and he does it anyway.  He does not eat a cake a day, and besides, I don't really feel like baking one every single day anyways.  Not to mention that we would lose our fantastic figures.

Someday I may write about loving this man.  It hasn't all been peaches and roses, though that may have been an unrealistic expectation in the first place.  Even as I write this it occurs to me, what would he write about loving me?  Maybe we will write a piece together.  Maybe that is what we are doing.

Yes, now I go paint.  Wait, I'm hungry!  

Saturday, April 17, 2010

TGIF; We're so glad you're home, and congratulations!

It Felt Love

Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain



The kids are home from their trip to Italy, and we are in love with all things Italian, starting with delicious pizza and a million things to put upon it.  Decidedly delicious.

When Grandma Mary Helen wakes up in the morning, and comes out to her kitchen, this is what she sees.  Imagine this out your window every morning!  Through our evening together, the clouds settled on the peak, disappeared the whole mountain, and then let her go to settle into the dusk.

Nonnie's Papa (not Gram's Papa) is coming up the driveway.  Annie is dancing... notice the stillness around her.  This is my favorite skirt, I want one.

Thomas a little shy, but excited, here comes the Papa.  The evening colors so exquisite.  The temperature warm, with cool breezes.  A moment to breathe in, and hold on for a little extra.

This is a garden to savor:  The Peonies past their prime, yet still drenched in gorgeous (yeah, I like that!).

These two seem to be having a quiet conversation.  Maybe they await tonight's snail trails and tickles?

Made their own pizzas, and ate them all.  Yum.

From left:  Mama Margo, Bride-to-be Gina, Grandma Mary Helen, Sister Lia.  Beautiful women!

(my baby boy!)
(sorry, I can't help myself!)

Beautiful ring, for a beautiful young woman... all hopes and dreams and practicality and excitement and hard work and education and determination and tender and we love you, Gina.

It is official:  We are having a wedding in June, 2011.  And we do weddings!  This is going to be really really really fun.  And we are so excited for these two.  Most likely I will be writing more on this subject, for now, I am savoring this sweet moment, these two young adults, and the wide-open future.

Congratulations, Skyler and Gina.  I love you completely.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Dear Dev, You need to come and see your Mama...

While talking to #2 Daughter this morning, on the phone, in the sun, on the back porch, "You should see what I see on Mom's Clematis..."

So I picked them, one by one.  I put them in my left hand.  The sun warm upon my back I notice, these little buggers are nocturnal.  They chew all night long.

They wake up in my palm.  Actually, it feels kind of cute to have them crawling around on my hand.  Is there a poem here?  Who are these guys?

They do, fairly quickly, get squirmy and decide to flee.  They pile upon one another.  They do not click, or whistle, that I can hear at any rate.  They move faster than one might expect.

Look at all the beautiful spirals.  So perfect.  You know, this is the same spiral found in the Sunflower, in sea shells, in my thinking, doing, wondering.

So, I took them out to the front yard, and put them into the Periwinkle.  They won't hurt anything there.
Blessings, Little Spirals.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

bad good dogs and flowers; Muse

The possible's slow fuse is lit by the imagination.   Emily Dickinson

The lilacs are loving this long, cool, and wet spring.  They just keep getting plumper, and more purple, and light-headed.  The heart-shaped leaves make me smile beyond green, even.  I snipped an armload of them, it feels so opulent, almost as though it is too much to accept.  Through my years of yards and gardens, I have rarely picked the lilacs, thinking that they are most beautiful outside.  Two days ago, I threw caution to the wind, buried my face in the foliage and fragrance, and voila!  Now they are in one of my favorite old blue quart jars:  Perfect!

My Little Mom used to admonish me for picking flowers.  Some of my choices were deemed "weeds!" and of course, were not allowed in the house, so I took them, in jars, to my room upstairs.  I loved the Dock(Burdock) Weed, yellow buttercups, chamomile, yellow and purple mustard, willow branches, and fistfuls of clover.  Mom loved to pick her own flowers, and in her late-years it was a beautiful daily ritual for her to wander around her yard and harvest her bounty.  She did accuse me of stealing her jars, though.  And yes, this is one of them!  Thanks, Mom.

Okay: get ready for this next photo.  It is painful to look upon.  It shows straight-on the shape of the lawn in the back yard, with little hope of recovery in the near future.  Note to self: figure out something!  This is the tag-team for fabulous four-legged hole-digging.  Could we make money with these two?  Harness this dedication and intelligence for The Greater Good?

Luna loves to bury Emerson.  She holds him down, in the hole, with a choke-hold on his neck.  If I manage to ever get a photo of this I will share.  His expression is one of toothy delight, wide grin, no growls because they get in trouble for growling (don't ask), his feet flailing in the spring air:  Heaven on Earth.

See?  No remorse:  These are the bad good dog faces.  The Possible is always possible.

"the possible's slow fuse..."  This morning I am enchanted with this line.  The Orioles are all here now, the male is piggy with his feeder, hissing and pecking the beautiful female, who hangs upside down from the wire-scroll hanger, unconcerned with his peckish ways.  Patience, my dear, The Possible will reveal itself in a most wondrous way, the flamboyant male will weave the nest with her.

The weather pummeled the Iris.  I felt concern that their unfurling would be hampered from all the rain.  Yet, each day a new colored one reveals itself.

Cucumbers and Prayers

All day long
The earth shouts
"Gee, thanks."

Such an exuberant gee,
It starts throwing 

As if God were passing by in a parade encouraging
Rowdy behavior
by looking so beautiful---
That a whole avalanche of mania swoops in!

I like this idea of throwing things at God,
And especially---His making us rowdy!

Thus, as soon as Hafiz is out of bed
I start stuffing large sacks
With old shoes, cucumbers,

For the upcoming

And who knows
What else.

Yes.  Let us plant cucumbers, possibles, prayers.  Let us breathe in this special spring day.  Let us breathe out love and healing.  Let us celebrate!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Sun In Drag

The Sun In Drag

You are the Sun in drag.
You are God hiding from yourself.
Remove all the "mine"---that is the veil.

Why ever worry about
Listen to what your friend Hafiz
Knows for certain:

The appearance of this world
Is a Magi's brilliant trick, though its affairs are
Nothing into nothing.
You are a divine elephant with amnesia
Trying to live in an ant
Sweetheart, O sweetheart
You are God in

Oh. That Hafiz.

Monday, April 12, 2010

wet meander

You know I love you baby
more than the whole wide world
you are my woman
I know you are my pearl
let's go out past the party lights
where we can finally be alone
come with me and we can take the long way home
come with me, together we can take the long way home
come with me, together we can take the long way home.
Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan

Rain.  More rain.  Lots of rain.  I have been loving every drop of it.  Every drainage ditch is filled to the brim, and then some.  The clouds hang heavy, their underbellies dragging across the landscape.  It is so beautiful.  Brings out the artist, right?  One of my favorite photographers said something like, "...the only way to get a good photo is to go out there and get wet (or hot, or blown away, or all of it!)"  I am still coughing like crazy, but I took the long road home, for some quality-time with LC and the camera.  Coughing be damned.

There's a place out there, where the vineyards are manicured, and the places for the water to travel are controlled, directed.  The "drop" is gradual, with these amazing steps of concrete.  When all the water is calmed down, it flows gently, quietly.  Today it is rushing, clamoring, noisy.  Wrecked my hair-style, got my camera soaked.  Oh God, I love it!

Last night Wayne and I went to see/listen to John Prine.  I have vacuumed many a rug to Mr. Prine.  Wayne sings his songs, even I heard him singing last night.  It was fun to hear the audience sing with John, those songs are in us like our breath, on us like our freckles.  Someone noted last night, that the audiences are getting pretty old.  And, my youngest and his fiancee were there, so the whole audience wasn't old   ;-)

Falling.  Flowing.  Wet.  Spring.

Forgiveness, it seems, cannot be forced.  When we are brave enough to open our hearts to ourselves, however, forgiveness will emerge.    Pema Chodron, from "The Places That Scare You."

And that, is what the seasons teach.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Getting Well

To know know know you, is to love love love you
and I do I do, yes I do.

Today my grandson, Kai, is S I X !  How this has happened already is one of those mysteries which will never be solved.  Today his mama, my Elisabeth, was sworn in as a Search and Rescue person.  Newly trained and building: probably not correct lingo, but that is how I see it.  This is a milestone for her, a marker, a stepping-stone, and the ceremony celebrates each one of the new people for their dedication, their hard work, and their service.  One might say, this is a tall job: and it is volunteer.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend as planned.  Being a coughing person right now, it is best to stay home and not frighten anyone.

And I will just have to show up later with donuts or something that a policeman would like for his birthday.  Yes.  Now I have a plan.

I headed out to the garden for some chard to put in the Pumpkin Curry soup, grabbed my camera because it is indescribable outside.  Realized, "Oh, this feeeels soooo goooood!"  The air is light-hearted, the birds delirious, there are the beginning of color-riots, even in my dog-tormented yard.  When else do you sit down for a moment, on your own porch step, and appreciate the Cyclamen and Alyssum?

This is the Candy Cane mint.  I am going to make some syrup with it.  Because, it tastes like that; like the middle of a chocolate mint patty (I mean a really good one).  It's great for tea, and a main ingredient of my Girlfriend Tea.  My "Eldest" after having said yes to a cup of tea, peered over my shoulder at this very clump and exclaimed, "Eeeeeeeeewwwww.  Mom.  There's ants in there."  Bear in mind, if you don't remember, this is my favorite Nursey daughter speaking.

Old Flag.

This is the bush Cecil Brunner.  I dug her up from Mom's yard in Ferndale.  She was astonished (the rose, not Mom) finding herself in Cloverdale, which can only be described as the polar opposite of Ferndale.  Today I notice that there are many buds.  Oh, everyday gets even better.

Those days that I was either in my bed flat, or in my bed on my side, I had some weird dreams.  The most notable was the FB Dialogues.  Understand that I slept for 41.5 minutes and then woke up.  This went on for three days, and is why I missed Easter.  The dream picks up where it left off, repeats itself, and goes forth a bit.  Someone states their state-of-mind, and someone comments.  "No!  That's not right!" I say vehemently, and my mental chatter commences.  Sometimes bits of disturbing national news enters the string of comments.  My mind sticks to the disturbance, like a fly to flypaper.  Flopping from side to side, winding myself tightly in sheets and layers of pajamas, I argue relentlessly with the "facts" only to awaken confused and disoriented in darkness and tangled clothing.  The second night repeated the first, with the addition of a new photographic trick performed by FaceBook, whereby images appear, swirl apart into molecular fragments, mix together with red, and reform in 3-D.  For many reasons, the images were reassuring to me, at least I could count on them.

Calendula Baby!  These pretties are loving this two-day renewal of Spring.  Oh yes, let us get to bloomin' and so they do.

I managed the FB Demon by calling in something more real to me, though it took some Doing.  I said, "God, this will never do:  Comments fly around like nobody's business, and upset me.  I obsess on nobody's business, and this is driving me crazy in a nutshell."  God most likely looked at the clock, noting that it is 3:14 a.m., smiled and "She's serious.  Good."

Yes, it is good to recover.
Happy Birthday Kai!
Congratulations, Liz!
I really do love you.
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