christmas cheer

I just don't have it this year. which is not normal for me. I do believe I've even forced cheer upon friends in the past. oh well. there is always next year.

was looking for inspiration on the LOC Flickr site, and the Google Life archives.

I found great photos. of other people's cheer.

I really should holiday it up a little bit. As I'll have a variety of guests for a few days. And how will I get cookies baked, without some sort of flickering holiday lights somewhere in the house?

at least snow is pretty

snow was pretty. but it blew away. today's negative wind chill. on a snow-less, grey & windy day. is not pretty.

tho' it does inspire me to get some pre-holiday baking done.

(above: winter in moscow from the Life archives)


another trip. but with corporate intent.

flying. I think would be improved if this was my greeting upon the plane.

am glad my trips have been short. will be glad to return home again after this one. for a weekend that will start Friday noon when my plane lands.

a weekend I realise, that must involve christmas shopping. or my wee ones & folks will go without this year.

snow on the ground here. blowing hardily in the cold wind.
looking forward to sunny skies in Denver.

(image once again from the Life photo archive now hosted by Google.)


more chicago

thanksgiving in chicago was good. & would have been if all we'd done was stay on Victoria St. & played cards. but since we also spent time with other kansans, and found time to walk, look at art, drink and eat around the city. it was better than good.

color on the city street.


tall buildings on the way to the museum of contemporary art. where I saw this Kara Walker exhibit (since the museum has no exhibit link, here's a Times article I read awhile ago), and initially gasped, oohed & ahhed. paper cuts, beautiful & haunting. also, alexander calder mobiles. amazing.


devon st., after a delicious dinner with hot, milky tea. as we passed stores of saris & bling-y bangles. I (mostly) contained the urge to go inside and wile away the time, just touching the pretty. and wondered why I'm such a non-bangle person. can't stand the jingling noises, I guess.

christmas at gino's north. pizza in the booths. strong drinks at the bar. the jukebox needed more country. but beautiful spot to enjoy a wintry evening drink.

more trip photos on flickr.


thanks be.

a meal with friends.

with an entire plate of delicious.

an apple tart. of the almond, butter & caramel variety.

wine and whisky.

thanks for evenings with friends. thanks for feeling at-home, even when faraway from it.
thanks for all of my friends, currently scattered across the country & the world.
thanks for my amazing family. and the chance to love two little ones, who know me as aunt lissy.
and for the possibility. that change is good. even change which hurts at first--knowing it must have an outcome worth hoping for.

and thanks for that apple tart recipe.


eames, for instance

still playing with the Google Life photo archive.

here, it was search "eames".

simple design. so beauty.


kitchens, for instance

Google now offers image searches from the Life photo archive.

so if you'd like, you can search for photos of kansas farms, or abraham lincoln, or simply, kitchens. beware of how much time in the day you'll spend here.

I now desire a way to get a print of this last image.


shall save our country

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
-Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, Dec. 1, 1862



one of my biggest loves, is our democracy. as imperfect as it can be & as hard it sometimes seems. but it is meant to grow, to change and to be constantly improved. It is meant to be cared for, strived for and appreciated. by the people who get to live with it.

and when the power of the people is proven. it is a reminder of how lucky we are.

when Obama/Biden took Ohio, I had tears come, feeling like 8 years of anger, fear & cheat, letting out in choked relief.

and when Virgina put it over the edge. I finally began clapping. It is amazing to feel Joy.

It is going to be a long, hard road. helping to fix what has been damaged in this country.
I believe the voting majority, have chosen the right people to do it.

oh wow. talk about the better angels of our nature & the swell of a chorus of our union. I wonder, Mr. Abe Lincoln. what you'd be thinking about now. or Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Dream. Or even Thomas Jefferson, as he had declared that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

congratulations America. we've decided to go with Hope. let's all stand together, and show the world just how amazing & great we really can be.


we the people

of course.



my little nephew. is three.

the party was this weekend. he'd requested I make his cake, chocolate. with m&ms.

his presents were tractors, trucks & cars. as well as a toy blender.

he had a great time. (family & friends, b-day pics are on Flickr)


floods, floors, demolition & friends

this post is a bit of a catch-up.

our annual trek to a bluegrass festival was derailed a bit. by flooding. the big, brown Walnut jumped its banks and took over our usual campgrounds. yet, the festival found a way to proceed. and we were rather simply uprooted miles away to a lake camping. made for a quieter time, and yet maybe the best Winfield City Lake, ever. my t-shirt this year didn't, per usual, commemorate music. but instead, the floods. and stinky mud.

next, my last big house project. at least, the last one I can really manage on my own. (I think)
the front room. wallpapered in leafy imprints and muted mud colors. carpeted in dingy white. well, in the same spirit of inspiration in which I've removed previous ugly carpet from the house (anger, frustration and the need for a distraction) I pulled up the carpet. had to cut it into pieces in order to get it out of my house. the thing was damn heavy. and it threw my allergies into whack. but underneath, the same wood floor as the rest of the house. a bit darker, and a bit scratched up. but, all-in-all, beautiful compared to what it once was. I just might get started on the wallpaper now. I just might. (please hold any questions as to when I'm refinishing the floor)

the demolition part of this post comes from the house across my street. as old as my own. its new owners decided to take it down. the week of demo was dusty & loud. watching it come down, of course threw all those "permanence of life and material possessions" questions into my head. but now, it is a muddy empty lot. giving me a "better" view of Main street. or rather, giving Main street a better view of me. (and yes, d., as you are reading this and wondering if I took video of the demo. I did. Just in thought of you)

I guess the "friends" part of this post is always around. living in a small town can get to feeling lonely at times. but then you have friends that visit. they buy you coffee or bourbon and remind you of why you liked where you once lived too. or they call you for dinner, b/c they've just decided to drive up from the city-to-the-South. or you realize that you are always busy on weekends because of them. birthday party at a bar on a Sunday afternoon. housewarming parties that start in the afternoon and go into the night. random get-togethers inspired by a bottle of wine. knowing you've got friends knitting downtown on Saturday afternoon. or drinking on a patio on a Friday night. I'm reminding myself of this luck I have. Because I know that in a few months, I'll be deep into Winter and full of the blahs.


pink flamingo

I doubt anyone will be surprised.

that I bought this mum, because of its name.



happy birthday, william faulkner. I believe you'd be 111 yrs old.

thanks for being so brilliant. you and your "little postage stamp of soil" of which you wrote about.

even though I'm pretty sure I stopped thinking about being a writer, when I discovered the bar at which you set. It pained me really. As I read "As I Lay Dying". And sunk into the reality of what powerful skill truly is.

"The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

little dresses

i can't seem to stop. these dresses keep pulling me to my sewing table.

of course, if you saw my niece in one of these. you'd totally get it. just wait until I start making coordinating pants for cold weather. I might go crazy.

but I'm always a sucker for being able to put fabrics together.

and I've realised this pattern will easily grow up with her. which gives me a reason to just keep buying fabric.


little adorable

this weekend, started some little dresses for my smiley-niece. they are on the big side, as so is she. but also for her to grow into. I've been buying fabrics for awhile. And may go out and buy more today.

it kept me occupied some hours. kept me home at night rather than out. which is what I needed.

and oh yeah. booties. little felted booties. so cute, how could I not buy this pattern?

sorry for the dark photos. it is a dark morning. summer quickly fell right into a cold-ish, rainy fall. let's hope that while camping next week, the weather brightens up a bit.


big speech

"But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you."

I didn't weep last night, as I thought I'd might. During Obama's big speech. But I sat transfixed. And once again, moved by Obama and the campaign that has swept me, my friends & family, and this country. Of Change. Of Hope.

Thank you Barack Obama. Thank you Joe Biden. I believe we-the-country, are on the road to salvation.

am also sort of relieved that I won't feel compelled to sit in front of the tv for another night. the junkie is going to enjoy some relief.


able to love again

"People around the world have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."

thanks Bill. for last night's speech. and for reminding me of the man & politician & democrat I know you can be. maybe I can now forgive you for your dirty disappointing politics of this Spring. and once again love you adoringly, as I had for so many years.

tho' I haven't been writing about it. I've been glued to CNN/MSNBC/CPSAN since Monday afternoon. these are the days created for politico junkies. and I am very definitely. one of them.

by the way, hey John Kerry. great speech. where was all that fire four years ago?

also, if I could have a t-shirt that just says "joe biden kicks ass" -- that'd be great. if not a tee, maybe a tattoo.


a.word.a.day of the summer



Lasting a very short time.

From Latin fugere (to flee) which also gave us other words such as fugitive, centrifugal, refuge, and subterfuge.



garden tour

a hot weekend. but hot like Kansans know it should be, by August. so we don't even always bother to stand in the shade. since, it doesn't help a lot. though we do try to hold a bottle of icy water along with our bottle of beer.

a group of us had our first garden tour. organized by a man with a magical garden of his own. the group was meant to bike around town to visit our own gardens--though not all of us managed the bicycling part.

Sunday afternoon, we all gathered and traveled from place to place. My yard being #3 spot. I offered Shandy. Or plain lemonade. Or plain beer. My veggie garden was the smallest on the tour.

In my friends' gardens I got to see many examples of good Kansas wildflowers, almond trees, cherry trees and figs. As well as many beautiful sunflowers. And healthy veggies. And rainwater/barrel collection. (I'm inspired)

We ended picking cucumbers for ourselves, and having a potluck at the final destination. Complete with "dirt cake". The afternoon was hot, but it was full of fun. And now we all have next year's to look forward to. Thanks James.


waiting is over

and tomatoes are everywhere. in the bags which mom drops off from the farm. and in my own backyard.
the daily salads of tomatoes & basil have begun. last night, I rolled it all up into a warm tortilla, with a slather of goat cheese and sprinkle of pepper.

and, pink.

sad to say that I'm fighting off blister beetles in my tomato patch. they hungrily eat away all vegetation. they are bastard things, with long, grey torsos. which secrete a toxin, causing blisters to all humans who touch them. so in gloved hands I find them, drop them in a container. and then take them to the sidewalk. where I take satisfaction in squishing them underfoot.