Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Iron Craft: Catalogue Creations

So, two weeks ago I didn't get around to finishing my Iron Craft challenge. I had gathered the materials, but the time needed to put together my project just did not materialize.

This week I did two projects and maybe, it was to make up for the last challenge. Or maybe it's because I wanted to do both of them and the longer time span for this year's Iron Craft challenges allow for multiple projects.

The first I found in a round about way. I followed a link through Just Crafty Enough that led to a tutorial about recreating an Urban Outfitters wall decoration. When I saw these I knew that I had to make the flowers for Lotus Bud's room.

I bought those animal prints before Lotus Bud was born. I thought they were super cute, but now I don't know. I'm not sure I like them anymore. Adding the flowers made that wall decoration so much more personal. And the flowers brought Spring into the room.

My second craft was inspired by a t-shirt from Dharma Shop (the shirt on the right of the image below). About two seconds after finishing the iron-patch, I realized that I should have chosen a different color shirt. I had orange and green shirts available but passed them over. That was a big mistake. I like it anyway, I just think if I had chosen a different color shirt, the image would have stood out better. The shirt would have been more vibrant.

Done and done.

I'm so glad we had some sunshine today for the photos!
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

E. Abbey Revisited

Paradox and bedrock.

Loveliness and a quiet exultation.

I'm less enamored by Edward Abbey on this second read-through of Desert Solitaire. More on that later. For now, I appreciate the bits that resonate through my soul.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Letters to the Lotus Bud: Year 2

Oh, My Love,

You have grown.

You were once like this...

...and now you are this lovely little girl.

We had a small birthday party for you this year. Just the three of us - you, me and daddy.

Hey! No cracks about us getting old. Truth be told, you make us young again. Enjoying the zoo with you and watching your excitement over finally meeting those creatures you are obsessed with.

Yes, I know. One day we will have a long, difficult discussion about keeping animals in the zoo. We will remember how much you were moved by Happy Feet. How sad we all are about the small confined area that keep these amazing birds. But, for now, I will take that look of sheer surprise, the 'o' that your mouth molded into when you spotted them through the window, the wonder in your voice as I made one of the penguins follow my finger as it went swimming by. I thought you would have a heart attack with all the excitement. One day it will all change and hopefully on that day, you will set your sites for Antarctica and I really hope you do because I am going to visit your while you are down there doing serious scientific research that could very well save this planet. One day. For now, I will take the joy.

I promise, I tried my best to make you a cake. It was my first, you see. I know it looks like the leaning tower of s**t. But you ate it anyway.

Well, I guess you just kept sticking your fingers into the icing and licking your fingers. I still believe you liked it and that's what counts.

That's the thing, Shunks. You make me want to do things better for you. I try everyday to be a better Moogy and I know that day will never come when I will do it perfect because that's not what it's about, is it? It's each and every day of trying, living, being. Every single day of you being in my life is wonderful.

Thank you for being you.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend in the Woods

We finally found winter!
The type of winter I love: temps in the 40s, melting snow, sun shining bright.

Growing fungi.

Perfect light for the snowgirl.

Winter flowers

Spring buds.

Another snowgirl.

Delicate grasses.

Brilliant blue sky.

Nature's paper.

Bright moon.

Perfectly poetic February afternoon.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

January Readings

It's already February and I find myself wondering what the heck happened to January. Usually I can't wait for January to be over but because of the warm winter, the month that always seems the coldest to me in Minnesota flew by. Either that or I'm freaking over the fact that my little itty bitty Lotus Bud will be two-years-old (!!) in eight days.

In the effort to find some pattern in the books I read I decided to track them each month; see if there is any rhyme or reason to my reading selection. I spent a couple of hours today trying to remember all that I read in January. It seems to have been a light reading month. I was surprised to see that the library didn't have a list of books that I checked out. Perhaps that's a good thing. I'll usually check the reviews in Amazon before requesting a book from the library. Amazon didn't have my browsing history, which while surprising, I was pretty happy to learn. The Internet will probably keep a track of all my personal information, but not my reading list. Huh? It seems to me that to know a person's reading list is to know what they are thinking.

Sometimes I'll finish a book, then I'll follow a lead into another book. Which is what lead me from Heacox to Hoshino. I picked up The Only Kayak: A Journey into the Heart of Alaska by Kim Heacox after I finished Deep Water Passage (which I read in December; a book about one woman's kayak trip around Lake Superior). Here I wrote about how Heacox introduced me to Hoshino with whom I promptly fell in love. I did eventually pick up Moose by Michio Hoshino but that just left me yearning for more. Heacox was interesting in his account of living in Alaska but it didn't seep into my bones like Edward Abbey does and no doubt I'll be picking up some Abbey this month.

I then went on a Neil Gaiman kick finishing both Anansi Boys and American Gods. Listening to NPR while driving to the Arches National Park in Moab got me intrigued with Gaiman what with his move to Wisconsin and all (and really all not that far from our WI property). I'm sure everyone who reads contemporary fiction has already discovered Gaiman. While I liked the idea of American Gods I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Anansi Boys. Kali makes an appearance and that was fun, of course. But who am I kidding? I don't even come from the part of India where they worship Kali (therefore my knowledge of Her is about the same as any mainstream Midwest reader) and do I really get that excited over a couple of paragraphs about this Hindu god? (You bet I did.) On the other hand, Anansi Boys was hilarious in a subtle comedic way. I'm sure it was full of British cliches, but it was a whole new brand of humor for me. I found myself laughing in those last few minutes before bedtime.

I planned this to be a review, but I'm merely giving you my impressions here because I hadn't planned to review until today and this is after all, my first month's attempt. I'll do better next time. I promise.

But before I go I have to share a bit about Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee. I recently read a blog that asked the question 'what is your favorite book?' and the blogger admonished anyone that listed more than one. Unequivocally it is this book. It has been my favorite book for a couple of decades now and I really try to read it only every three or four years. It's simple derisann, ooma. Lee produces this groshing new language that drives you tosky at times, but honestly, I don't see how the book could have been written without it.

Don't ask me the main character's name. I couldn't tell you and believe me, I've gone over it a few times to try to find it. Anyway it's about this culture who's youth (called the Jang) are encouraged to live life (for a century or so) to the fullest experiencing all manner of fun and games, sex, drugs and rock and roll. They change bodies, they change gender, they take ecstasy pills and explore debauchery with their inner circles (but only if they marry for an afternoon, or a week - hey, there are some rules). Great fun, no? Except it gets mindless and boring (droad) after a while. Who knew?

The book was written in 1976 and it is scary, I tell you, scary how much it reminds me of the youth in 2012. And yet, so profoundly moving when I realized how much the book reflects my own yearning for a green, local, back to the earth, agricultural, perhaps authentic, moments.

So, don't be a floop. Go and read and tell my it isn't the best book you've read in a while.

[OK, sorry to have called you a floop - unless of course you don't read it. Then you really are a floop!]
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Roots of Winter

As Winter continues to be undecided about itself, I am decidedly happy for my extended CSA share. I feel so much gratitude for these nourishing vegetables this year. It's definitely a new experience for me. I've been roasting up vegetables for lunch. I still have trouble telling the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip, but details like do not matter when both roast up deliciously.

So, did you hear? Phil apparently saw his shadow today. 6 more weeks of winter. If it means 6 more weeks of the kind of winter where the day begins in fog, then temps rise to 40 degrees, I don't mind. Honestly though, I could use a bit more snow.
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