Monday, December 31, 2007

Balance

On Saturday I went over to a friend's house to help her trim the hooves of her two goats. (I grew up on a goat farm. If you want stories I have dozens, all embarrassing.) I knew from previous trips that she lived near an old cemetery, one that I've been itching to photograph for over a year now. There's an old gate that makes the entrance look like a castle:


But more intriguing is the vault. You can almost see it from the road, and it's magnificent.



Walking up to the vault gave me a hollow feeling at the base of my throat; the weight of all the lives and time that have passed was palpable. I only walked through the front of the cemetery, and I could have spent hours in that tiny part.

Every time I changed position I saw another beautiful scene, another macabre sight that caught my breath. This was one of my favorite shots. I wasn't sure it was going to turn out; I was already at my car when I noticed the top headstone. It wasn't until I zoomed in with the camera that I noticed the broken marker in front of it. It's going on a card for sure.

All our fears are represented in a grave yard. There are families buried together. Children's tombstones, marking lives cut far too short. Stephen King was right when he said that there is really only one thing we are afraid of. The Dali Lama was right, too, when he said that in order to live fully we must accept this fear, and the reality of our own demise.

Walking through a place with so much history and so many stories always makes me a little contemplative. I felt the same way in this little farm town cemetery that I felt in Westminster Abbey: a mixture of awe, fear, despair and joy. Because we all end up in the same place, eventually, but parts of us linger for awhile. And if we're all headed in the same direction, then what is the point of all this violence and war? Why should we be cruel to others when we are the same at the deepest levels? Why cause others to suffer and shed tears, when we could all be making cookies?



I went home and hugged my little family. We made cookies whose heads kept falling off. We ate too much sugar, had lots of fun, and talked about learning to play the guitar together (again) this year. And while I may never be famous, and I may not be able to make a lasting mark like Gandhi or Elvis, I can enjoy the time I get to have. I can compost, I can make gifts for people I love, I can recycle and laugh and speak out and live according to my ideals. I am lucky and happy, and even though I still share that one big fear we all have, I'm living with it a little better these days. I couldn't ask for any more.

I wish you plenty, and peace, and good fortune in the coming year. Most of all, I wish you the best kind of cookies: the kind that have heads that fall off.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gender neutral

I have lots of projects I want to get into now that the holiday insanity is over. There are bibs for impending babies, cloth napkins for our house, curtains for keep the cold out, and then there's this issue:


You need a different view to see the how bad these chair seats are:



What you see staining the chair is from a myriad of sources. All of them are directly related to a young child and food, and some sources are grosser than others. And every seat on every chair at our kitchen table is this bad. The set is at least 15 years old, and I think they've held up pretty well, actually. But the day care has taken its toll on my chair upholstery, and I've been waiting to re-cover these babies since October.

I recently received a how-to book on upholstery, and it includes a section on this type of seat. I need to pick up a couple of tools, some beer and some fabric. I've been looking for something pretty (for me) and fun (for the kids) but not really feminine (for J) to use, and my favorite so far is this pear print.

The price isn't bad (another fabric I looked at on that site was $38.00 a yard) and I think it would be a fun addition to our house. If the spouse approves I'm going to order the fabric, grab my tools and get crakin' on something I'll get to enjoy every day. (One of the best things about working at home is that you get to have the work space you love, and you can change it anytime you want.) I promise to document the process. You could use a good laugh, right?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Today's the Day!"

One of my favorite quotes from the movie "The Jerk" is above. If you haven't seen the movie, please do. Anyway, Today is indeed the day. I am going to blog the hell out of this site, and I'm going to do my best to update (nearly) daily. I am also going to post pictures in all the posts I can.

So:
Christmas at the parent's house. Note the cagey look and slight pout. Thunder before the toddler storm.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Prematurely

I'm blown. We went to J's parent's house for the weekend and we're all whacked out now. Poor girl had a little fever from Friday night until this morning, and we both had a bit of a bug as well. Not to mention that going to that house near Christmas feels like having someone inject a mix of crack and Draino directly into your brain.

I forgot my camera on our trip, and didn't remember to take any shots of the stuff I made before we left, so I have no pictures of family, scenery or presents. I'm a little sad about this, but not devastated. We had a great time. There are tons of pictures of the girl and her cousin that I wish I had, but I have the memories. It seems that the ages of 2 and 4 go together very well.

You know what? We've got X-mas for two more days. I'm blown now. I'm going to go lay down for a bit.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sneak attack




I neglect my blog. Since I have no real readers that I know of, I don't really feel all that bad about this. I had a commenter once, bet I'm guessing she left due to both the quality and frequency of the posts. (Goodbye dear reader...you made my day one day. My apologies for sucking.) But I've been so busy sewing and creating gifts fir the holidays that I haven't had time to write about doing these things. To hold you, my imaginary reader, I will give you three pictures of a scarf I made.

More to come!