Monday, February 27, 2006

In anticipation of Self Portrait Tuesday: my pathetic sick self

The challenge this month for SPT is "All Of Me." Well, here I am. Day 6 of a virus that seems to be swallowing me whole.

Obviously, I have no dignity left.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

day 4

(clickon photo for larger image)

Tonight I did a collage on the coffee table because I am tired of laying on the couch, bored with watching tv, and can't think well enough to do anything that I should be doing.
I have no explanation for this collage other than it is made up of images and colors that I am attracted to.

Friday, February 24, 2006

the same street that earlier today two cross-country skiers made their way down the middle of the road in the middle of the day in the middle of town

Tonight I went for my first walk since Wednesday. I know I shouldn't have, but I missed my dog and the snow and fresh air and movement. It was just a short hike around the block, and despite the objections of my throat and lungs, it felt good--a deep blanket of feathery snow beneath my feet and a deeper darkness of stars above my head. In town I see so little of stars, but tonight their presence reminded me of my old place. While Anu rooted around in the snow I stopped and stared at the scanty pin-pricks of light with head tilted back--reminding me of a line by Joyce Carol Oates, "a scattering of lights like startled thoughts." It felt good to stand still in the cold air on a quiet night-time street. No cars, just silent snow on top of snow. In the darkness I found myself, for the first time, satisfied with the sky above me--even though it wasn't the country sky I left behind, a sky so heavy with stars that it used to, literally, steal my breath away on a regular basis. But still, even here, there is sky--where the bare branches of an oak tree, spread across the inky cosmos like miniature lightning bolts, are the only barrier between me and complete surrender.

the flu

i am so sick i feel like a puddle of dirty melted snow.

my ass has been kicked.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This is the winter I love.

It's in the 20's with big fat snowflakes falling from the sky. I'm not as interested in the sub-zero digets-- but this--this is the kind of winter I can live with.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Of course it so happens that the morning I think of carrying my camera with me just in case I see something cool but forget the camera at home is the day that I walk to school along a snow covered lake lit by the most amazing sunrise I have seen in a very long time and since I didn't have the camera with me I can only try to tell you about its softness, hazy along the edges and hot pink in the center that gave way to waves of blue-grey then fading into a color I can only describe as luminous.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

brief moments of thought...

There are moments in the day when I think to myself: Yes--I can do this! Last night was slightly productive. I went to bed looking forward to today and woke up still feeling optimistic. But it is now after 8 (pm) and let's face it...I'm lacking all sense of reality. Because there are these other moments, like now, when I think to myself: I'm f#%*ed! It's impossible! On a daily basis I find myself stripped naked of time. Meanwhile, the knot in my stomach is growing. It is almost March.

It's my grandpa's birthday tomorrow. My grandma's throwing a birthday party for him, but they live two hours away. It's just another thing that gets in the way of everything else I should be doing. My grandpa's been sick lately. He might not be around next year.

Life does not wait. My other grandpa died 8 months ago. Life does not wait.

Friday, February 17, 2006

someone's enjoying the severe weather alert...

This is Anu, my wonderfully hardy (hearty) wolfie girl. And today marks her first indoor nap since moving. She is rather happy about it and is full of groans and sighs and stretches.

I went outside to take her for a walk this morning--the negative 40's are no joke. There are spider webs of frost on everything--a surreal deep freeze. We only made it halfway down the alley before she was lifting her paws from the cold and my heart went soft, my hard resolve to make her an outside dog once and for all slipped out from under me...and so now she's peacefully tucked in our bed with a full belly and plenty of covers, kisses, and snuggles. Yes, she's very happy...and sleeping.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: All Of Me on V-day

In ode of "all of me, " here I am after a long day of slingin' roses.
Once a florist, always a florist--it's like ridin' a bike, they say. It's amazing what you'll do for family. And much to my husband's dismay he's now married into it.
Bah-humbug. We doooo love Valentine's Day.
This picture kinda reminds me of a bug that's drawn to the light.
Dumb bugs.

Monday, February 13, 2006

February 13th

Today I have to work at the flower shop and probably tomorrow too. After all, Valentine's Day is upon us and it is time for this x-flower elf to come out from behind her computer and books to make lovely bouquets of roses and lilies and yes, even carnations too. Most people don't like carnations because they're cheap and not very fancy and they have a weird smell. But I like them. They remind me of being a kid--when life was a little less complicated, when I could walk into a cooler full of flowers just for fun. Not that being a kid was easy; I wish it was so. Oh, where is this going??

To say: "I grew up in a flower shop" is kinda like saying: "I went to Catholic school." Both are true--and if you've experienced either, then you know what I mean.

But anyway--duty calls--
and off I go... to the thorny under-belly of love.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Old buildings are cool, but after 4 hours of sitting in the gallery I came home frozen solid. 2 1/2 hours later and I think my nose has finally thawed. I give the hot bowl of soup and cup of tea all the credit. Well, that and the space-heater. But the soup--mmmm. Sicilian lentil with tomatoes and portabello mushrooms and fennel, oh yeah--it hit the spot. But now I'm being swallowed by sleepiness, a dangerous feeling because I vowed productivity today.


That's me, the loner goat:


Friday, February 10, 2006


10 am and here I sit, finally, with a cup of coffee. I slept on the couch last night because V. was snoring. He doesn't snore very often and when he does I can usually whisper to him and he'll stop. But not last night. Hmm, so I slept on the couch and didn't get up until after 9 this morning. And the poor dog is probably waiting to be walked even though when I look out the window into the yard I see that she is still tucked warmly in her dog house. Today I'm feeling slightly weird. I never get sick because I don't allow it. But head feels swimmy, my throat feels puffy, my limbs feel heavy, and my joints creaky. So there ya have it--while my brain-mass is levitating into the clouds, my body is sinking into the ground. I'm feeling slightly discombobulated and can only hope that this small, but potent, cup of coffee can pull me back together.

Last night I dreamt that I was at a family reunion. My uncle was dressed up as a plastic dinosaur and Vinny was throwing pebbles at him and my grandma who was laying on the beach on a lawn chair. I was standing in ankle deep lake water with my sister saying: "I wannnnna go hoooooomme!"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My apologies. I think I've started repeating myself.

But I'm going to get to work now.
  1. plan class
  2. WRITE!
sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The word "tag" reminds me of being a kid--back when I was a tom-girl with blonde hair all the way down to my butt. One of my favorite games in gym was flag-football. I remember running, hair flying out behind me, trying to dodge any hands that came too close to the plastic flags stuck to my waist with the velcro belt that the gym teacher, Mrs. Stebe, handed out at the beginning of the hour. We played outside in the parking lot. But what flag-football reminds me of is a t-shirt that I was particularly fond of in first or second grade. It was red with a picture of Pebbles on it and read: "Anything boys can do, girls can do better." Even though I've grown up to believe in equality, at the time I was VERY proud of that shirt. It even started a "rumble." Boys against the girls in a game of TACKLE football. It got too rough and the game was brought to an quick end by the teachers. We were fierce! But I'll admit, even today, I am happy to have been the instigator of an elementary school revolution. The word "tag" reminds me of these sorts of things. Maybe that's why I like the word.

So anyway, here it is (thanks tara!):

What were 3 things when you were little you wanted to be when you grew up?
  1. A Solid Gold Dancer--and I practiced often! Imagine this: 7 year old girl, brown shag carpet, red leotard with rainbow stripes, and a killer stereo system. How could I not want it?!
  2. A Piano Teacher--I still remember standing on the curb in the sun waiting for my sister to get home from school. I think I must have wanted to tell her of my career decision, but all I remember is talking to myself about it. Oh, I had such passion to teach! It's no coincidence that it's what I'm doing now (although with words, not pianos). I remember the dirt and the scrubby grass, the tar, the blue sky, and my heart nearly leaping out of my chest in anticipation of growing up. I love that feeling. I still experience it. :)
  3. A Zoologist--I wanted to go to Africa and study the gorillas like Dian Fossey.
You can live one day over again from your childhood. What day will it be?

The day I tried to build a raft like Huck Finn's. One summer we lived on a lake where I spent a lot of time playing in the woods and pretending to be a run-away. I guess I had a traveler's heart even at a young age. I spent most of the day collecting wood, dragging fallen trees from the woods to the lake. If I could do it over again I'd finish that raft. Who knows where it might have taken me.

You have two minutes (and a mover with you if you need heavy lifting help!) to grab 5 things from your home before it morphs into a polka dotted hobgoblin and hops away. What will you take? (Food/drink/family/friends excluded!)
  1. My journals
  2. My photo albums
  3. My favorite red ceramic mug
  4. My little Buddha statue--for good luck. It's about 2 inches tall and it's gone with me on every trip I've taken. Anyway, it would remind me that simplicity is good.
  5. The wool cable knit sweater my mom hand-spun and knit for me.

You have to paint one quote on your kitchen wall. What's it going to be?

"Nothing is muddy that RUNS IN TIME..." ~Kerouac

I love this question and if I wasn't living in a rental I'd go ahead and actually paint it.

What is one thing you want to have accomplished by the end of this year?
  1. GRADUATE!!!! (oh yeah, you all already know that)
  2. I'd also like to travel somewhere interesting--preferably exotic.

You are moving to the moon for one year and can only bring one flower with you. What kind will you bring?

This is an interesting question for me because I grew up in a flower shop and spent much of my life working with flowers. As you can imagine, I've acquired quite a few favorites, but if I could have just one? It would be:
a wild iris.

You just received word that aside from one flower, you can also bring five books with you too! Your choices?
(Thank god--I can bring books too!)
  1. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  3. Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg
  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  5. A great big anthology of women writers. But if I don't have time to order it from Amazon before being sent to the moon, then The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and Three By Annie Dillard. Oh, come on--my stack isn't that thick! Can't I have 6 books?!
Anyone who won't hate me for tagging! I'm curious about lots of you! Oh, come one. It's fun. It's ok to have fun. ;)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

winter morning observation

This morning, well below zero, I watch two Grey Squirrels outside from the perch of my second story window. One looks at me through the glass as he shakes snow from his paws. Their muscles seem a little tense, from the cold. They move stiffly, sending puffs of snow to the ground as they travel the length of the thick tree branch. Today they move more closely together and with less talking than usual.

Watching them, I decide that I like squirrels as much as I like birds. But it is cold, and today, I'm glad I'm neither.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Here's one I bet we can all relate to: (read it out loud for maximum pleasure)

writer's block

the typewriter sits silent, it's as if you've
been betrayed, it's as if a murder has
yet words still run through you brain:
"the Spanish bird sings!"
what can
that mean?
at least it's a ripple, even if unusable.

when will the keys
beat into the
it's so easy to die long before the
fact of it.

I look at the machine resting under its black
cover; an unpaid gas bill sleeps on top of

there is a small refrigerator in the
room, it makes the only audible sound

I open it and look inside:
it's empty.

I sit back down in the chair and wait; then I
decide to fool the

I write this
with a ballpoint
in a red
I am sneaking up on a poem;
there will soon be something for that
to do!

there is a French expression, "without
life is hell."

the glory and power of that!

now let the Spanish bird sing!

~Charles Bukowski. From Slouching Toward Nirvana.