Friday, December 20, 2013

if it wasn't so ominous, the sound of the freezing rain falling when i step outside the kitchen door, would be beautiful. it's whispery and soft.  tinkly and misty.  but the predictions of it's destructive results are dire.  they are talking about freezing rain for days and widespread power outages.  so my kitchen is abuzz now.  the windows steamed over.  all the elements on the stove fired up.   three pots of pasta.  all the salmon from the freezer in the oven, perogies frying, eggs boiling.  things we can eat cold.  
i always have a tickle of excitement during these quasi-emergencies....when life as we know it shifts to something a little more basic.  more human really. tom tells me not to cook everything we have in the house.  it's hard for me not to.  but i didn't boil the whole dozen, just 6 of them.  and only one bag of perogies.  i am a person that goes all in.  with pretty much everything i love, i love it all the way.  so, tom is sometimes that necessary voice of moderation.  
so the house is warm and sweet with the smells of food.  and the world i know is covered in a coat of ice and it keeps falling from the sky in it's own pretty way, pretending it's a song instead of a storm.

Friday, December 13, 2013
this is the third day of a quilty christmas.  and although i love every quilt, i have a special connection to this one.  this quilt is an elegant, tone on tone patchwork of solid white and cream, cotton and linen.  it's the perfect backdrop for gray, shadowy colored thread to sew words into.  and the back is a linen colored cotton printed with an illustrated map of paris.
20 years ago i lived in paris.  i'm not alone in my love for this city.  i love the smell of diesel that seeps through it's streets.  i love it's serpentine underground metro tunnels.  i love the language.  the parcs.  i love the architecture and the churches.  i love the books and the narrow streets.  the gray and rainy days.  the climb out of a metro station to a square patch of sky. i love the people. the markets.  the street food.  i love the many many smells. i love the fabric stores in narrow hilly streets leading up to sacre coeur.  and let me say again, i love the metro.  it connects the city, making it so much less massive.  and when i would head home at the end of a day of wandering with my heavy bag of cameras and film, books and all the treasures i'd collect along the way, i would ultimately be on line 1.  this line cuts a swath east to west through the city.  it was the first metro line to open.  and it's stations are historic and memorable.  i would embark at the chatelet station and the second last station on the line would drop me a 5 minute walk from my apartment in saint mande.  other stations on this line are bastille, le louvre, tuileries, champs elysees and hotel de ville to name a few.  
so this quilt has the names of these historic stations, quilting the layers of cotton together, written in a smooth flowy script.  you can feel the energy.  it's like a little journey across the city, with your eye settling on many of the high points.  oh i love this quilt.  and now you know why.  you can find more info on this beauty if you visit the listing on etsy.

Thursday, December 12, 2013
so, this fabulous creature arrived at the door today.  tom's abominable sweater.  complete with lights and a battery pack.  we found it a few weeks ago on etsy and he is beyond tickled with it.  he came bursting in the back door of the studio, strutting, with the lights glowing. and the biggest smile on his face.  it is easily his new favorite thing.  there is no mystery what he'll wear to christmas dinner.  or to our christmas movie watching night with our friends this weekend.  or until the sweater just gets too stinky to wear's not washable of course.  it's electric!!!
in other is the second day of our quilty christmas.  and the star of the day is a large throw that i quite love.
it has a bit of a story..... before i'd moved to making my farmhouse patchwork, i made almost all my quilte from 7 inch squares (and before that it was 12 inch squares). i had a king sized quilt top in the studio, made from 7 inch squares.  and i didn't really love it.  and couldn't imagine myself ever finishing it. so, i started to cut.  i cut it and sewed it back together.  and then cut it again.  and sewed it again.  this went on a few times until i'd turned a king sized top into a cozy and soft throw, with tiny, uneven and randomly colored squares. and this is today's featured quilt.  it adds interest and warmth on a bed.  or waits on the back of the sofa to get pulled around you while watching tv.  it's perfect to snuggle under alone, or with someone else too.  it measures 73 by 50 inches.  and for more info, you can check out the etsy listing.  
i hope you find ways to keep the holiday stress down and have wonderful fun times with family and friends.      

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
we have managed to pull out the cartons of tucked away christmas treasures.  and we've found a most perfect tree to stand grandly, modelling all our memory filled little baubles that we swoon over every year.  tom's grandmother's ceramic tree sparkles in the window.  our stockings dangle beside the fireplace.  and christmas specials are beginning to fill our dvr.  so christmas is charging right along.  and in that spirit, i thought i'd have a little celebration of sorts in the studio as well.  the 12 days of a quilty christmas.  and with each day, one quilt be the star.  
today is the first day of our quilty little christmas.  and our star today is a cheerful and charming little lap quilt.  she has some of the beautiful vintage fabrics that i told you about a couple of months ago.....the fabrics an elderly gentleman brought me from his mother's fabric collection.  those are interspersed with other fabrics,  chosen to create a dreamy vintage look, to remind us of an era when simple moments in life were noticed and appreciated.  this little beauty is a lap quilt and measures 38 by 51 inches.  she tucks smoothly around like a tight little hug.  and for more info, this little beauty is listed in my etsy shop. 

so as the holidays burst merrily upon us, i hope we all find the joy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

the air was heavy and gray today.  the sort of day that demands a few cups of tea.  the sweet steam and the warmth pressing into my palms brightened the gloom a little.  and while i sat sipping tea in the mid-morning, tom started our holiday decorating.  he always gets the ball rolling with christmas traditions.  he has inherited pieces from his grandmother, and ornaments from his great grandmother. i think his favorite is the entire cast of rudolph figures his sister left in his care when she moved to australia. he set up everything except the tree.  i think that is our quest for tomorrow. 
this is our first christmas with ezra. such a happy and vivacious spirit he's brought to our home.  and christmas will be extra special this year with him. he has a way of erasing the sadness that sometimes sweeps in when we miss our wonderful edgar. 
so we look forward for this christmas season as it rolls in.        

Thursday, December 5, 2013

tom is playing guitar and singing.  ezra snuggled into me on the couch.  i'm drinking green tea chai.  and knitting.   there is a fire burning in the corner.  and i had big chunks of lindt milk chocolate instead of dinner.  tom is playing my favorite song from his repertoire right now.  that usually means he's about to stop and wants to leave me happy when he goes up to bed.  tomorrow is his early morning, so he goes to bed earlier than me.  (he just stood up and put down his guitar.....i read him what i wrote about him playing my favorite song before he quits, and he laughed and said...."you got it, pontiac.")
i'm knitting every evening now. knitting because i'm desperate to feel the wool and the hand crafted cedar knitting sticks i bought this weekend.  (i like calling them sticks instead of needles.  they don't feel like needles).  the wool is soft and light, a bit like a pale gray cloud, both in weight and colour.  wool that was dyed by hand in a bath of plant dyes. and the knitting sticks are smooth, light but substantial.  they have been shaped and shaved and smoothed all by hand.    and they settle warmly into my hands.  the scent of cedar infuses my skin.  and my knitting.  so i sit with my ezra, knitting into the night.  with ezra's snores replacing tom's songs.  it's a good night. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

the week has started out gray.  but not gloomy.  i love monotone days when the air matches the sky.  ezra was limping yesterday after a dash across the yard.  i'm learning that this is his way.  today it seems to have cleared up, and our walks have been a pleasure through the puddly snow.  ezra has learned to sleep on our bed with my legs entwined with his.  and my feet warming on his belly. until recently he would jump off the bed if i got too touchy feely with him while he was sleeping.  but now he is wrapped around my feet, while stella purrs with her head on my hip, and tom's breathing on my other side has slowed down to sleep breathing. and the laptop glows on my lap. 
i am spending the early part of this week tidying my studio to make it more welcoming when i open sunday afternoon for customers.  the next few sundays before christmas i'm open in the afternoon so if a quilt is on your list, come by the studio.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

i take myself on little journeys while i work.  i wander through the interiors of my childhood.  my youth.  my life.  i have many hours to myself each day as i work.  and i string memories and images of my life into those hours.  the quilts i make build on the translucent memory that breezes through my mind. they are steeped in nostalgia. i walk through the interiors that i've inhabited over the course of my life.  it may be that i have never forgotten a room i've been in.  i remember the boxy little walk-up apartment my parents lived in when i was born.  we moved from philadelphia when i was 3 1/2 but i have memories of houses of my parent's friends, shops my mother frequented, the church we attended. i remember the layout of the apartment and the hallways and stairs leading to the apartment and the apartment of the neighbors across the hall.  those are the earliest, foggiest memories.  the late 60s.  i don't remember the people or even the details of the decor.  it's the floorplans that i love.  the movement.  i can move through houses, following the hallways, walking through doorways, feeling the light coming from windows.  sometimes it's a hotel room i remember.  holiday trips visiting relatives and friends.  the people fade but i remember walking in the front door or into the kitchen.  the portals, the embrace of the rooms and being pulled through hallways.  these are the memory images that my mind constantly scans.    

Thursday, November 28, 2013

i had a friend when i was in my 20's who really taught me about being a solid grown-up.  she was 13 years older than me.  for several years i had a tight knit group of friends in toronto and we often saw her and her husband.  when i first met them, she had just had a heart-breaking and horrible miscarriage.  it was my introduction to her positive and clear perspective.  she welcomed me into her family, so that when i was in toronto, i always would stop in and see them, eat with them, play with her children.  their home was that sort of home.  there was always good food.  fresh coffee.  a ready laugh.  
it was through her example that i learned to not get involved with the drama that circles around one, quick to entangle and difficult to tame.  i watched her and learned how to make people feel welcome and comfortable in one's home.  i learned how to smile through pain.  i learned how to let difficult times pass and welcome the good times.  and so i spent a good portion of my 20s with her as a role model. 
sadly, i can't remember the last time i was with her.  but i'm sure it was more than 15 years ago.  i got married and settled into a life that no longer included frequent trips to toronto.  and we fell out of touch.  but i would think of her often.  her smile.  her quiet kind demeanor.  her grace.  
i learned a couple of weeks ago that she was in palliative care and that immediate family were her only visitors.  a few years ago i learned from friends that she had been diagnosed with liver cancer in an advanced stage.  but she had beaten the odds, beaten the cancer.  or that was what i thought.  but tragically, the cancer had continued to ravage her and today was her funeral.  it seems unreal.  so very sad, but unreal.  for i haven't seen her in so many years.  but her spirit remains so strong and kind and alive.  i hope that i can pass on the gifts she gave me.  gifts that make lives better, stronger, happier and fuller.  those are good gifts.  i love you, olgica.     

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

night has softened around us.  there is a storm predicted to roar in overnight.  but for now the sky is quiet.  ezra is asleep beside me.  the fire is on.  stella is wrapped around the back of the stove.  i've brought home pieces to iron and cut,  while i watch the bbc's middlemarch.  i've been preparing quilt tops for the last couple of days.  lovely, long 15 hour work days. 
but today i had to head to a doctor's appt.  a mole was on my neck that my parents have been urging me to have removed.  and today was the day.  a lovely large gash with 6 stitches is now creeping out of my hairline at the back of my neck. i quite like it.  although i think i'll miss the mole for a while. 
if you have been thinking of my quilts for gift-giving this season, you can find me at the mulberry school's winter fair this weekend.  friday evening 6-9 and saturday from 10-4. it's a lovely event!
i am also opening my studio on the 3 sundays before christmas.  on the 8th, the 15th and the 22nd the studio will be open and tidy and ready for visitors from noon to 4.  so feel free to drop by then as well.  
if you have an inkling for a custom piece in time for christmas, please  get in touch as soon as possible.
i think the winter season will be in full swing soon, especially if this storm actually happens.  a time when an extra quilt or two always makes sense :)   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

morning is whipping around in the wind.  i'm trying to get the motivation to head over to the studio.  it's early, although it feels earlier than it is because of the darkness.  this time of year is a continual string of production.  and i love it.  i'm making things i haven't made since last year at this time.  little paper tags.  napkins.  cards and handmade envelopes.  as well as the quilts.  always the quilts. 
my quilting machine has been giving me a bit of a rough ride this week.  my friend megan, who is both an extraordinary quilter and a mechanic of sorts with these monster machines, is coming to help me today.  hopefully we'll get it humming again.  and this afternoon i'm driving out to liv's goat farm.  
every year liv turns her huge farm kitchen into a shopper's paradise.  handmade treasures tucked into every nook.  her soap and her goats are the main attraction.  but she has a collection of goodies that compares to an evening on etsy. 
the doors open tomorrow, friday november 22 at 10 am.  and she's there all weekend until sunday at 5.  it's a lovely drive in the country.  the address is: liv simple farms, 431 cowdy rd, enterprise ontario. if you need it, here's a map  


Saturday, November 16, 2013

the fire is on and ezra is curled in a tight little circle, snoring loudly.  tom has gone to bed although it's early on a saturday night.  i finished a quilt for my sister-in-law today.  ehe's having serious major surgery on monday and i want her to have a little something from us while she's recovering.  i quilted it with her children's names and healing words. and i hope when she wraps it around her she gets a little strength from it.  
i wish i could talk to my grandfather right now.  he lived for so long, that it's strange not to have him around to ask questions.  i keep wanting to ask him what 1913 was like for our family.  was there trouble in the fields?  were there any family tragedies? or was it a happy year full of birth and joy.  this year we have been confronted with alot of heart ache.  and i'm ready to let go of the consistent strain of bad news.  we are eager to move forward.
so tonight, i'll sit by the fire and read a little.  an alice munro short story.  until i fall asleep.  and i'll move happily into tomorrow, quilting quilts and starting the week with positive and bright energy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

in the past months, since i began to swirl my sewing machine into words as i quilt, i have met some lovely people and made some wonderful quilts.  for now i've become a scribe of sorts.  my customers trust me with the words that sing with meaning for them.  they give me the words that they danced their first married dance to, or the words they sung to their babies, or the words of their mother's favorite poem.  they give me lists of words that empower, or poems that have been written for them.  and all of these words become part of me.  all the words wade through me. as i sew them, it is quite a little dance.  i have written them by hand on paper, studied them, let them be familiar and sure within me.  and then as i start sewing the words there is a little chant in my mind as i repeat the words over and over, ensuring that my mind and my eye and my hands are all linked in and working together.  the words stay with me after.  i feel so fortunate to be filled with the words that others find meaningful.  for it opens me a little and gifts me with a little of their truth.  a great sharing.  one line keeps running through my mind lately.....'you whispered me back to my feet'.  a poem of love.  a poem of commitment.  and i am trusted with it.  
i love these quilts and their dreamy whispers.  it seems the line 'you whispered me back to my feet' could have been written for the quilts as well. for they wrap you with warmth and whisper their words as they warm you.   

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

we buried our beautiful Floyd on Friday.  beside telulah.  his death was so difficult.  he was young and strong.  and rippling with energy. but in the last few days his big mischievous eyes had grown soft and sad.  he couldn't breathe.  he had sustained some sort of an injury to his trachea.  a fight?  a fall?  a blunt force trauma?  it was a couple of weeks ago we knew something was amiss.  he jumped on me and his skin was puffed with air and crackling.  sub-cutaneous emphysema.  the air he breathed leaking under his skin.  puffing him up.  our vets scoped him and found a small stricture deep at the base of his trachea.  they implanted a little spout on his back.  I would knead the air out in big gulps. he sat for hours on my lap.  warm and sleepy and sweet.  after a few days it appeared the air in his skin was less dramatic.  but his air hungry seize of a cough was still there.  still convulsing him whenever he made too much movement.  and when he began to struggle to breathe, we rushed him to the vet's oxygen crate.  he was comfortable in the oxygen, or he appeared to be.  but when we brought him out, his sides heaved, his mouth opened, working so hard to get air.  his eyes followed us around the room.  he was locked on us.  he trusted us.  he didn't seem afraid.  just tired.  and once again, our wonderful vets did all they could for us.  even coming in from his day off to do another scope.  where he discovered the stricture they had originally seen had tripled in size, cutting off his windpipe almost completely.  leaving just a tiny pinhole for him to breathe through.  the original injury, over healing and building scar tissue that was cutting off his oxygen, his life.  oh Floyd.....we couldn't let him go on choking with every breath.  so while he was under the anaesthetic, they euthanized him.  he just didn't wake up.  they wrapped him in his quilt and he sat on my lap as we drove home.  I couldn't quite believe he was dead.  so warm and soft on my lap. he was still warm, when I wrapped the quilt around him the last time and laid him in the ground.  he looked so comfortable and cozy.  it's all I could do. 
only 4 years old and such a spirited part of our family.  our house is more than a little dull now. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

my neighbor is a massive limestone complex, almost 200 years old.  and a prison.  i've written about it for as long as i've shared my life here.  i walk with it daily, along the walls.  and until a month ago, every morning, the 8 o clock bell would swim into our house and find me. filling me a little with the energy and delight to get the day started. the day i realized that it was silent, silenced me.  i sat on the porch and waited for it.  and it just wasn't.  like a heart that stops beating.  the kingston penitentiary closed and decommissioned after 178 years.this week, my friend who works at the museum prison, invited me to tour the prison as her guest. it was an honor to wander through the grounds with my camera.  it's stories and history will undulate endlessly through our little village.  


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

sometimes summer can be too weighted with expectation.  and it can slip away in the speed of living it.  but when a stretch of warm, summery september feathers into october, it cannot go unnoticed. 
today, i had to slip away from the studio in the middle of the day.  something i rarely do.  the beachy warm wind smelled of my last chance to really sink into summer.  so i walked out the door and to my little beach, grabbing a bucket off the porch to carry my treasured finds.  and for an hour or more, nothing else existed. the tumble of waves drowns out any worry.  and the water gathers around my feet, making tiny pools of sparkle and lovely.  the pebbles murmur. 
 and when I leave, my skirt is soaked past my knees.  my hair is like twisted rope.  and for the rest of the day I can smell the lake on my skin and see my feet through a quiver of water


Thursday, September 26, 2013

it's been a week of bright warm days and mild september nights.  with the smell of woodsmoke beginning to swim through the neighborhood once it's dark.  and i've had a delightfully busy week.  busy in the fabric.  feeling like i had to force myself to leave the studio at night.  the fabrics bright and fresh like the days. i'm just finishing up a batch of vintage styled beauties.  i was able to use some of the vintage fabrics that i told you about a few posts ago, interspersed with many of my favorite patterns and colors.  there will be 5 quilts in this batch. 
there is a draw to these florals and dots and popsicle colors that i can't quite explain.  the first quilts i made were from fabrics that i'd bought for no purpose.  that i'd bought only because i wanted them piled in a cupboard in my home.  and i'd been buying these fabrics for years.  this vintage-y flavor is the look of my first quilts.  and over the years they've grown and developed.  and they've become a little more elaborate and complicated, but still dreamily simple.  
so, it's been a good week, sewing and cutting and planing the next batch of quilts.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

tonight i don't imagine i'll sleep much.  the moon is huge and the crickets are loud.  but really i'm not sleeping because i'm tracking my parent's flight to paris.  they have set off on another of their adventures.  and they won't be back until almost november.  they aren't young, although they do make 75 seem like it might be, as they head off to wander through europe with their friends, in an almost youthful carefree way.  it's wonderful.  but i'll be up and watching their flight wing over the atlantic and will be anxious for their 2.00 am facetime or text when they arrive.  i'm not a wanderer.  although i love to drive.  the open road.  silence.  my head full of words and images.  but i'm at my best when i'm at home.  when i'm settled in with what makes me full and happy and busy with life.  although sometimes i wake up in the morning believing i'm in paris.  it's lodged so hard in my belly, in my sleep it makes me believe it's my life.  there may be a time, when i find some years to live with paris again.  although i'm so very happy where i am, worrying about my parents as they fly.  

my quilts have been sedate lately.  sedate and elegant.  quite lovely and warm.  i've been making piles of soothing calm quilts.  but i'm craving color again.  eager to start cutting into the striking bright vintagey fabrics.  the colors that cheer and smile at me as we work together.  that drum into my skin and make me sing.  the colors that turn my head and crank up the music.  tomorrow i begin a batch of ready for african prints and vintage florals.  i can't wait to get started!!!

and so i let ezra's belly warm my feet and the moon light the room as i stare at my phone, watching the blue line that is carrying my parents off on their latest adventure.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

on the weekend i broke the presser foot on my machine.  the machine that sits on the frame and allows me to quilt words as well as simply making my quilts the way i've always imagined them.  and it looked like i was going to be out of commission for weeks while waiting for the new part to arrive.  that just isn't an option for me anymore.  there was a time when i could have spent the time tidying the studio.  or working on other things.  even cleaning my house.  and while all these things need deperately to be done, i'm thrilled to say, i just don't have that luxury.  my little corner of the world has quilts that need to be quilted.  and i had to get things humming again.  i am fortunate to have found an expert repairman for my machine.  he can brilliantly resolve anything that is interfering with my production.  but on sunday he came to the studio and shook his head.  the presser foot had 
snapped and needed to be replaced.  i had assumed that and already begun the calls around town looking for one.  nothing.  i ordered one on ebay.  but it would take up to 2 weeks to arrive from oregon.  so yesterday i started calling shops in cities i could drive to and from in a day.  and after a few hours i found the part.  i wasn't 100% sure.  he didn't have internet.  the other shops i'd been emailing a photo of the broken part.  with nothing matching up.  but this little shop in ottawa, i just felt had the right piece to get me back to work.  so, ezra and i made the trip, picked up 2, were home before tom got home from work, and, had finished the quilt that had stalled on the frame and were home making dinner by 7.
i love the pace that fills the studio now.  i love that problem solving goes hand in hand with the creative adventures that happen everyday in my workspace.  and i love that this crisp chilly morning i'll be pumping out quilts again.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

 last week a man came to the studio, with a bag of fabrics that had belonged to his mother.  his mother was born in 1890, and she died almost 35 years ago.  she was a seamstress and a quilter.  he told me that when she was young she would stay with a farm family for a week and during that time, outfit the entire family with their wardrobe for the year.  and then move on to the next family, clothing their children as she had the last family's.  i loved that story. it seems to represent community in a profound way.   and he was presenting me with her fabric.  fabric that had outlived her. some little scraps were neatly folded in tiny bundles and tied with a strip of the same fabric.  lovingly.  she loved her fabric.  and now i love it.  yardage of perfect florals that i can imagine my own grandmother using to fashion a dress or an apron.  i feel very fortunate as the buzz of the studio is swift and strong now.  the quilts pumping through my hands.  and i love it.  the constant rush of the fabrics in my hands and my eye watching all the colors and dreamy little patterns spill into quilts. 

i just came inside.  i've been out on the porch while ezra was sniffing around the yard in the dark.  there is a lick of cool to the air tonight that wasn't there last night.  or the night before.  this week the summer night sounds seemed to shriek. as if the creatures doing the singing know their show is almost over. and the heat is almost gone.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

another cricket filled night.  and i had applesauce for dinner.  last night my parents took home a bag of apples from the tree that bends so low and precariously at the studio.  we often wonder if it will survive another season.  but it always bears delicious apples, however mishapen and wormy they may be.  people pick them as they walk past.  and i see kids of all ages walking down the sidewalk gnawing on them.  and tonight my mother came to the house with a mason jar of applesauce they had made this afternoon from the apples.  with the added punch of raspberries.......  delicious and beautiful.
today was full and abundant in good discussion and directives.  business planning is something that can sometimes get left behind at my little studio for the whirlwind of creating is always  first and foremost in my mind.  but i have good people in my life who step in and help me move forward.  i am grateful.  recently, i was also interviewed for one of the local papers, and the resulting piece was a beautiful and insightful portrayal of what my studio is all about.  here is the link to the story.  the people in my life who support what i do and urge me forward are greatly appreciated.  

so tonight, i sit with tennis muted on the television, my family in bed, the windows wide open to the crickets, feeling very fortunate. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

we're home.   i have cinnamon incense burning in every room, it's spicy smoke chasing away the closed up musty smell.  lamps are on.  windows are open.  crickets are singing, just a little less grandly than they do at the cottage.  ellsworth forgot he is skitterish around ezra and jumped up on the couch,  threading himself through ezra's legs to get to me, purring and kneading on my shoulder.  it's dark by 8 now, so the house is at it's best....cozy.  i had a long slow bath.  stella sat on the edge of the tub just to be near me.  and i have the first load of laundry humming.  being at the cottage erases all the things staring at me to be done while i'm at home.  and tonight, i've come home feeling a little more balanced.  yes, when we pulled in the drive, i helped tom carry stuff in and then went straight to the studio and worked for 6 hours.  but it felt good.  like exercise.  and i was home by 6.30.  it's all feeling a little less frantic.   and tomorrow i hope i can maintain the steady sort of busy that doesn't drain me, but fires me up.  it's how a little holiday is supposed to work.   

Monday, September 2, 2013

it's night.  the little cabin is cozy and sleepy.  and there is an ocean of crickets surrounding us.  like we are floating in their song.  any other sound is a distraction.  even with the wind kicking up the waves,  their song is the storm.  i think there might be millions of them. 
the only light comes from the computer screen.  ezra is snoring beside me and tom has just rolled over to sleep on my other side.  we're both a little sad to be leaving the cottage tomorrow.   we will miss our little nest in the trees beside the lake.   i love that we sleep away from the cottage.  a sleeping cabin.  with no washroom or kitchen.  just windows and woods and each other.  and a little porch on the side. 
every year i grow to love it more and more, this earthy little spot that is so much a part of tom.  his blood and bones are filled with the air of this patch of land on the lake.  and the water.  even in winter i can smell the lake seeping from him.  it's in him so deep.   he was sad today.  sad to drive away tomorrow, until next year.   but filled up with it's life until we come back. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

all is lulled and calm today. 

last night was sweet, sleeping in the cabin with the wood walls and the smells of a forest filling our lungs.  ezra frightened by the fireworks that the last weekend of the summer seems to demand,  but finally able to climb into bed with us and relax.   we each found our comfort groove for the night, shifting against one another.   the lake sleepy below the  windows, gentle and dribbling.

and when we awake it's september.   and the very whisper of the word makes us more grateful for these summer moments now,  now that the calender tells us we will only have a few more outdoor weekends with sun on skin, and grass on toes and the blue of the lake swallowig us whole.

i take my computer and my camera to the weathered picnic table,  covered with lichen, in it's own little enclave    surrounded with lake.  tom slips off the dock and into the lake for his morning swim.  and ezra chases chipmunks until he accepts the futility of it and climbs onto the table, sprawled along the boards, leaning his back against my arm. with his eyes on the water. 

flowers of some sort grow out of the rocks beside the lake and there is a bee who pauses and sinks into each one. 
i will take this morning with me, deep into february.  this day has become my angel sister who lived just a few hours on a september morning but keeps her spirit in me forever. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

i miss out on one of the sweetest pleasures of summer.  balmy, starlit summer nights.  and especially the silvered hour of nightfall.  it's rare that i can sit and sink into the nightness around me and enjoy the gentle air on my skin.  and if i do, i can't be alone.  there is safety in numbers.  i have a fear.  i don't have many fears that control me.  but this one, i admit, has quite a hold on me.  i'm terrified of bats.  and our lakeside neighborhood is quite full of them.  swooping into our yard nightly on quite a strict schedule.  and at the cottage, it's much the same.  and at the farm.....don't even let me think about that.  you see 39 years ago, we moved to the farm with it's elegant limestone farmhouse, graceful gardens and waving fields.  but one of the first those silver moments as the day fades, my parents were pushing me on the swing that hung from one of a dozen huge elm trees in the yard and bats started to pour from the eaves.  at first my parents were lost in the idyll of the moment, and they thought the air was full of swallows.  until my father shouted, 'those aren't swallows, they're BATS'
my father is a determined and driven man, so the next morning, he had a ladder up to the eaves and with a putty knife and pink insulation, he spent the day stuffing every crack and possible opening there was.  and then night came again.  my little slope ceilinged room so sweetly tucked under the eave, seemed attacked from
above.  the rush of flapping bat wings, trapped in the attic now, thundering  above my head and the squeals echoing and bouncing between the stone of the walls and my ceiling.  there was panic.  my father had done his job well and the eaves were frighteningly secure.  the only escape for the adventurous few was directly into the house. 
i don't need to continue do i......the 7 1/2 year old that i was, has never recovered from that day.  believe me, that wasn't the end of the drama, but, i panic and hyperventilate and shriek at the first dark swoop and flap of wing.  i don't care how many mosquitos they eat. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

so, this morning i had the best shopping spree.  it was a combination of shopping online, having a brilliant personal shopper and being on an exotic  vacation all rolled into one.  when my friend marc left for south africa in early may, i told him how i wished he could bring me back oodles of gorgeous african cottons and that i was jealous of all the amazing fabric that he would have such easy access to.  well early this morning, as i was cleaning the kitchen, while the house was still, i got a text.  marc was hitting the fabric district of cape town, and taking me along, via text.  the next couple of hours there was a stampede of colorful photos coming to my phone.  he went from store to store, going through rolls upon rolls of endless fabrics, searching the best deals, making sure they were 100% cotton, and sourcing the fabrics he thought i'd like the best.  it was fast paced and such a rush.  non-stop for hours.  i was giddy through it all.  and in the end over 50 metres of amazing fabric that i will cherish and use delightedly to bring a new level of flair to my quilts. all of these fabrics are produced in south africa, printed and dyed there as well.  it's a good purchase on so many levels!   

after the rush of the acquisition, the decisions, the movement and flow, had all settled and he was back at his house, he sent me a photo of the entire stash.  and he said...."they smell heavenly.  i hope the smell stays". i wondered if they smelled of incense. "no, soft smelling.  it's hard to explain".  and then he found a way to explain...."it smells like old jamaican mamas from toronto when i was a kid".  an evocative scent and a beautiful story image to help me live it just a little.