Fumbling towards Ecstacy – and standing still.

Life is…. life, these days.

Fun, fulfilling. But I feel the need for deeper connections with humans, these days. More of them.
And, I suppose, within my own family. Yet at the same time, lethargy has set in. Day in, day out.

For me, maybe this is a “con” of the internet. I have dear friends in my life, and most of them do not live where I do. A small handful do, and I am thankful for that. But my tribe is so far flung, and I think it hampers my overall satisfaction with my connections with others. I have always had room in my heart for more than one person. I love many people, deeply. DLJ is the only one that this love translates into a physical relationship, and the commitments of a partnership, but I love others, too. Connections run deep across the planet for me, but I know it isn’t the same as being there. Lately I have been wanting more deep, meaningful relationships with others. I feel this is mostly a desire to have more feedback, more interaction. Meaningful interaction, not just daily conversations with adults, the way I would if I had a full time job.
I seek experience. I always have. As a Mom with a little dude, right now my outside experiences are very few, so I know I am wanting others to bring me their lives and stories, while mine is relatively in one place, stable. Domesticated, frankly.
I wonder what the future will be. Meanwhile, I should be more content with my present. It’s what I have now, it is what we all have, right now. But I am being coached to also dream of the future, and use that for present happiness now. Planning for later, now, so that I am ready for later, when it comes.
I really want a clone. There’s just too much I want to do, and not enough time, leniency, personal freedom to do it all. And that includes being a Mom, at home, as I am. I don’t want that to go away. Just…can’t do it all.
Grass is always greener.

No room to move

Such a busy weekend. We just had bamboo floors installed in the living room and dining room, after ripping out all the carpet ourselves. White carpet in a dining room. Who does that?
Along with this is the obligatory moving around of furniture, and getting rid of things we don’t use, or giving them a better use.

Slowly but surely. The floor guys need to come back to finish the stair that goes into the sunken living room, but that is about it.

We had a birthday party to go to yesterday, and another one today. I am feverishly putting together inventory to put in a gallery tomorrow. And then I need to make MORE. MORE MORE MORE to fill out my offerings, and to put some others back out at the coast, and then try to get some up on Etsy, too. STUDIO TIME: NEEDED!

We said goodbye to a dear friend 2 days ago, our cat Lolita, who was 20. She moved in with DLJ years ago in Oakland, California. Her physical descent was quick into kidney failure and we brought her to the vet to stop her pain on Friday. It was a sad day, but I feel better knowing she is no longer declining. She wasn’t eating at all and every day looked worse and worse. She wasn’t Lolita as we knew her, so I know we were doing the right thing.

Life goes on. Halloween, we are finishing up Derek’s costume today, and need to carve one more pumpkin.
With that, we are quite busy today. I sort of envy the snow storm in the east, I know the power outages and such are not fun, but there is something cozy about a house with all that snow…. if you have power and heat somehow, of course.

Happy Halloween/Samhain!

Enter Summer

It’s raining tonight. It’s a nice, cozy rain. We went to a birthday party earlier for one of Derek’s friends and it was a good time, good food and friends. There was a point were most of the kids were running in crazy circles around the house, faster and faster and louder, and eventually, two bonked and cried, but soon they were all running again, it was so loud we adults could barely talk…..
…except for Derek and one of his friends, who were over in the family room playing together, putting cars in a giant recycling truck, completely oblivious to all the craziness going on, which seemed impossible, it was so rambunctious.

I love my little dude!

I sold a lot of excess glass today, and my first flameworking torch. Sniff. But it had been sitting on a shelf. I repainted my studio Saturday, finishing up painting over most of the pale yellow areas a light blue. And now, suddenly, even though the paint job was quick and imperfect, I am on this minimalist kick in there. I took down posters, postcards, etc., in order to paint, and now I don’t want to put any of them back up. So for now they are stored away until I decide if I want anything in there again. Funny.

I just signed Derek up for his summer swimming lessons, so I think our summer schedule is now complete. A gym sports kind of class on Tuesday mornings, swimming on Thursday evenings, speech therapy on Fridays (he is doing very well with his stutter these weeks. Except when excited, it is almost nonexistent, which is very good progress and bodes well for the future with this and eliminating it completely) and then hopefully Friday playgroup. Oh, and a playgroup at his preschool in the forest on most Wednesdays. That leaves Monday for shopping, one day for a babysitter, and the rest of the time for playing with friends, hanging out at home, zoo, etc.

In other news, we bleached the hell out of our bathroom today. The shower pan is so old that the sealant is gone, and we can’t get it back on there (its a pebbled shower pan, huge and heavy.) So we can bleach it and leave it for two weeks. That means we shower downstairs for two weeks. Excitement around here, I tell you. Oh well, it will feel exotic, showering in a “new” location.

Thrilling, huh?

Rainy Holiday weekend.

Well, I guess it is not the weekend yet. Derek is upstairs and I am trying to get him dressed to go swimming, but he is being very dawdly today. I fear this will end in a freakout when it is too late to go swimming, but he has to learn to get dressed at least semi-efficiently if he wants to go out.

The rain is pouring down, I can hear it through the layers of wood and insulation that is the roof.

Our big project this weekend is Derek’s bed. He will be 4 in August, but still sleeps in his coverted crib, it just has a low bar along one side so he doesn’t fall out. He has been so happy in it over time we saw no reason to hurry to move to a twin size bed. I am sure he is the last of his friends to make the switch, but little childhood is so fleeting, we are in no hurry….but he is getting TALL. It’s time, soon he will be squished out of the bed anyway.

So I have been very mindful this past week at bedtime, at what it feels like to sit right next to him, holding his hand before we leave the room, what he looks like when we walk in to check on him, the size of him in this bed, his very first one, save for the sidecar crib we had next to me in our room when he was an infant. I am eager to make his new bed, but I am indeed taking the time to stop and reflect and enjoy these last nights and naps where I can sit right next to him, even lay down, my hand still holding his. I remember putting the crib together before he was born. It goes so fast…but not as fast as it would if I was hurrying to the next stage, and not stopping to reflect. The days are long, the years are short. I remember this every day.

His new bed is in the garage, ready to be built. We are making it ourselves, and it will have a jungle theme to it. I picked up the paint yesterday, the wood is all cut and just needs to be sanded. By the end of this holiday weekend, he should have his new bed, mostly. I have a few things I need to get for it still, but it will be read for sleeping.

I will be sure to post a picture when it is all completed.

substance…

Need to make an online journal entry of substance.

I need to make the time to do it.

How did my days get so busy, so full, so hectic? Web stuff, straw stuff, preschool stuff, little boy stuff, house stuff, preschool auction stuff, health stuff, DLJ stuff.

Well, I must get back to the STUFF. I will try to write something with decent content in the next few days.

Lights in the rain

It’s another rainy Sunday here in Oregon. But we will probably put up the holiday lights anyway. Last night we went out to dinner at New Seasons, a local schmancy grocery store, and Derek saw his first holiday lights of the year. He was VERY excited, and kept saying “Who else in this neighborhood has their Christmas lights up?” and “Oh that is so PRETTY!” He is so sweet. I hope we can record him saying these things. Last year what he said was “Can we find more lights?” And the year before that….not much at all since he had very few words…

I am very busy. I am doing a lot of work on Thomas Dolby’s site right now, it is deep in crunch time on that one. And I just started working on a new site, another band called the Shanghai Woolies, a local band that plays hot jazz. And I have lots to do on the website for Derek’s preschool, as that is my volunteer parent job. And of course, the beads, the glass, the straws. Plus being a Mom and a wife. Busy! Very busy. I need things to settle down, but I am not sure when that will happen. The immediate crush should slow in a few days and not be so hectic.

I’m still in my pajamas. It’s been a nice, long week of DLJ being home. We were going to go to LA for Thanksgiving but it was canceled at the 11th hour, my MIL was very sick and didn’t want us to come. So we went to the coast instead. It was nice, we had two days that were cloudy, but also partly clear, with no rain, so Derek got some beach time in, we went to the Oregon Aquarium on Thanksgiving Day, which was a GREAT day to go. There were less than 200 people wandering the whole place, it was like it was rented out for a private party or something in terms of our freedom to roam around and see very few other people.

While life is very busy right now, I am grateful for the busy. It means I have work to do, art to do, ways to help friends with their work, and a great family to be a part of.

June.

And it is raining, still. I know it usually stops by the time we have our annual party, which is the Saturday on or closest after the summer solstice…but it sure is grey a lot, here, still.

The garden loves it, however, and I am not one to complain about free water for my plants. The asparagus is still producing, the spinach has started…the swiss chard is coming up. I hope I get some of these things before it gets too hot…but I will plant more in the fall.

Next year I have to let at least one plot go fallow, it will be sad having less stuff, hmm, maybe I will cram some more plants somewhere else.

We had a lovely past week, with DLJ off for 6 days. Derek had been in the middle of a little potty backslide. It’s his first one. Since I did EC with him for training, he’s been doing #2 in the potty since around 9 months, and was in underwear by his 2nd bday. I had gotten used to it being pretty easy, but all of the sudden he was just NOT going to the potty to pee. At least it was just pee, thank goodness, but still. But we seem to be back on track. So that was the one thing that made the past 1.5 weeks a little frustrating. But we went to Breitenbush Hot Springs and had a great 3 days completely off the grid, everything there is self contained, water for hydro-electric power, geo-thermal for heat….very relaxing. It was overcast but it never rained when we wanted to be outdoors. We all slept wonderfully, with Derek in his own adult sized bed, even, sleeping from night fall until the gong woke us up for breakfast.

My parents are out wandering around Europe on a riverboat, which sounds fabulous. Myself, I am looking forward to having 2 days to myself soon. I think Derek and DLJ will go to visit DLJ’s Mom without me, leaving me here COMPLETELY ALONE with no one to wake me up before 10 am. I might even go out at NIGHT! LATE!

DLJ and I are seeing Imogen Heap in a week or so in Portland, a proper night out.

But DLJ just called saying there is a power outage at his work, plus one at the Vancouver office, so he probably won’t be here for dinner. Sigh. Not sure if I will go ahead and make the salmon, or hold it until Thursday when we will all be home for dinner.

It is so grey out. I think it’s a day to make some decaf once Derek wakes from his nap. We just got our farm milk delivered this morning. It used to be on Wed. at around 6-7 pm, but it was before 10 am this morning! I like this new schedule!

I haven’t made a bead in a few weeks. I am working on a project and sending a tool back and forth to get it just how I want it…but I need to get in there and make something besides straws. I cleaned the studio out yesterday to spic and span, and now it is begging for some creative usage!

Domestic bliss.

Life is pretty good around here  right now.

Tonight, after Derek goes to sleep, I am going to make this. to eat for dessert tomorrow. I am so busy these days, I don’t cook much to enjoy the process, it’s mostly about a scratch dinner that is also quick to do with a toddler underfoot. So tonight, once he is asleep, I’ll work on this recipe.
DLJ works late every Wed. He goes in right after lunch, and comes home late at night. I really have come to enjoy this arrangement. I get him at home for half a day, once a week. He gets time to work on his projects at work when no one is bugging him during working hours to do something else. I get my “alone” time every week to do what I please, be it work, or just reading, or, like tonight, mindful cooking. The days are getting easier, Derek as a toddler is a challenge, of course, but he is not 100% needing me every moment anymore. I get little breathers here and there to type, or do a quick cleaning chore, or just a moment or two to look out the window and think. It’s nice to finally be here…where my world opens up again.
We are in the middle of a lot of little house projects. Repainting the kitchen and some trim needs to be done, and we selected the color, at least. A back wall in the garden needs to be put back in. Those are the two projects I have for the spring/summer. Part of me wishes for a newer house that doesn’t need as much upkeep as ours. And if I had to do it over, I’d stay strong and wait for one with a more mid-century look than what we purchased. But overall, I do enjoy this house. And I don’t need the house of my dreams for my first house, certainly. Despite the work this house sometimes requires, it does make me feel more like we really live here, but taking care of and improving it. And even though I do get a touch of wisfulness when I visit friends with a more modern, or less-work house…what I have is a less than $700 per month mortgage for over 2k sq. feet, which is plenty of room for all of us, and a low payment that is a locked in amount that brings more peace and ease of living than a house with little work to do.
Next week Derek and I are going to Tucson to see my parents, while DLJ stays home. I know he will miss us, but he will have plenty of time for his projects he never has time for while we are around to distract him, like cleaning the garage and maybe finishing the great toolshed he built out back over the past couple weekends. And we will enjoy the desert weather. It has been raining here a lot, as it should this time of year. I appreciate it, and so do my plants that I don’t have to water every day (yet) but a small break of sun will be great for us.
That’s the news. Slow, and happy, pretty much, in our little corner of the Pacific Northwest.

Museum.

I forgot. I have to go out to the studio and prep for a demo at the Museum of Contemporary Craft tomorrow. And I need to bring my camera so I can take a photo of my work on exhibit before the show gets taken down in a week or so.

I haven’t played in my studio since before Christmas, I have been so busy and the rain has been relentless. I still love it though, the sound of it on the roof and hitting the lawn outside doesn’t get old. I would like a nice, sunny day, however.

I told Derek today we were going to get some salmon for dinner, and he added, “get bacon, too?” I guess he takes after Dad. I like New Seasons bacon, it has no nitrites in it, but I didn’t have the time to trek over there.

You know,  this quickly turned into  a very boring domestic entry. I actually have a lot going on in my brain right now. I am supposed to go to London in February, a very, VERY short trip. It was short by my decision, so that Derek, who has not been away from me for more than about 10 hours, wouldn’t have to deal with my absence for too long. I could have stayed longer with my friend Thomas, but we are planning a trip specifically to stay with him in the nearish future, and I felt like I couldn’t do that on my own without the family, also a reason for cutting it so short. But now, it’s in upheaval in my head for several reasons. Being away from Derek, being someone who hates flying and cannot sleep on planes then dealing with jet lag, plus being on gig-time while I am there, as I would be helping out and enjoying a very special sold out gig of a very special friend’s…and not have much time to do anything else. Combine that with not having a hope of recovering with a day of sleep when I get home (re: Derek) and  the eco footprint of such a long flight for such a short time, plus United screwed up the schedule and is sending me both there AND back on different flights with different layovers in different cities than I booked with…

I’m still struggling to decide. I know what my gut says, and usually my gut is the “GO GIRL, GO!” type and this time…it’s whispering something else instead of that.

I have a little more time to think on it. Either way, I win, and either way, I lose.

Anyway. I have to get in glass/demo/informal lecture mode now, to teach some folks tomorrow about how fun working with molten glass is!

p.s. BT has a new album coming out! Makes the BT/Dolby tour seem so far away, yet the days on the bus just like yesterday all at the same time. I am very much looking forward to it.

Burnt

Not enough time around for all I want to do. It is no one’s fault, no one to blame, but with various illnesses, and other distractions and time sucks, I’m behind. I am behind on my glass straws. I haven’t updated that blog in weeks. Months. I just goofed on a big order and unless the buyer is nice about it, I will maybe break even. It was my own fault for not looking over an alchemy bid on etsy well enough, and as a result she’s getting a FABULOUS deal unless she is understanding about my mistake.

I love making my glass straws, I just wish I had more time. There is a due date for items to be in a local museum in a few days, and I have nothing new for it. I WANT to give them something NEW…very recent…but I may not have time. I have some good stuff in stock…but…

And then I want time alone. Time to just be. But if I take time to just be, I am not taking time to create. And I miss creating. It’s cold now down in the studio, so creating takes a little forethought to turn the heater on. I think I need to make a “Cave night.” Something a friend of mine has. Something another friend calls “bro-ing in.” I need a night to bro-in.” Or I will go mad. And I must create on that night, not sit and do nothing. The sitting and doing nothing should be daytime, during a Derek nap. Fridays were supposed to be that day…but it never happens. Hm.

So, while I would like a pony, I would also like:

A whole day to myself.

A disk cutter (saving up for that.)

Coffee that hasn’t gotten cold by the time I get to it.

An extra day every week to just be with DLJ.

One more REALLY warm day.

Drinking chocolate.

A chasing hammer.

TIME. MORE, MORE, MORE time.

I have some neat news, but it’s not completely sorted out yet. Soon.

But hey! I have a bead in a magazine! The Winter 2010 edition of <i>Bead Unique</i> has one of my focals in it. I am doing a holiday show Dec. 6 downtown in Portland, and it will be nice to have a newer magazine to display with my work. Oy. I need to finish my brochures! Another thing on the list that never ends….